Onyx Stones and Other Gem Stones [Republished]

I was so struck this morning by the deeper meanings of the Words in Luke 6:38 (HCSB):

Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

It so fit with Bettie’s and her daughter’s testimony that so touched my heart again this morning, and so I longed to share it with you all again too. You see, it turns out that what is “measured” to us in return for all we have given (which includes our entrusting of our own and other souls into God’s hands) is poured into our bosom (where the breastplate of righteousness sits). It is a Word that is synonymous with intimacy. And that Word measured is interestingly also symbolic for those who have come out of the Great Tribulation.

Interestingly the Word that means lap and bosom and chest pocket used for keeping and carrying things, is also the Word used for the bay Paul was shipwrecked in – the bay, where the islanders came to faith, as they watched Christ’s power be revealed in their midst in and through the weakness and dependence of Paul upon his God. The apostle Paul (once a Jewish leader, who had ordered the killing of Christians, but whose eyes had been opened by Jesus on the road to Damascus), had followed the Holy Spirit’s unusual promptings.

These promptings led to his persecution, his imprisonment and his shipping off to Rome – with God’s very much planned interruption of a shipwreck, bringing the love of Jesus to these islanders. As Paul joined Jesus in His suffering (through persecution, imprisonment and shipwreck), Jesus poured out His love and mercy to all those Paul met on his unusual journey. Beautifully He worked to redeem Paul’s past, fulfilling Stephen’s prayers, who as he was being stoned to death (on Paul’s command) and the heavens opened to him, had cried out for God to forgive Paul.

Do you find yourself or are you watching your loved ones in a place of persecution, imprisonment or shipwreck? What this looks like is different for each one of us. Be encouraged with me today, by Bettie’s, her daughter’s, Paul’s and Stephen’s testimonies. No, not one drop of suffering in this world is ever wasted in God’s bountiful, merciful, heavenly giving back.

Welcome to Chapter 1 of Part 7 of Arise and Shine. Today, Bettie (with the help of her daughter Becky) is introducing us to the free will offering of onyx stones and other gem stones.

Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:
9 onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. Exodus 35:5,9

-Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 16 It is to be square—a span[a] long and a span wide—and folded double. 17 Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; 18 the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; 19 the third row shall be jacinth, agate and amethyst; 20 the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper.[b] Mount them in gold filigree settings. 21 There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. Exodus 28:15-21

 “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord. Exodus 28:29 (NLT)

-“About Zebulun he said: “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
    and you, Issachar, in your tents.
They will summon peoples to the mountain
    and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous;
they will feast on the abundance of the seas,
    on the treasures hidden in the sand. Deuteronomy 33:18-19 NIV

For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11 NIV

The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. Zechariah 9:16

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.  Revelation 2:17 

On a day, years ago, of heavy prayers for my young adult children, especially for my daughter who was facing a deep heartache,  I heard a song being sung as I read this passage:

Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. Isaiah 54:11

Strangely, tho, the tune only repeated the first phrase again and again, “Oh afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted …” I felt such a deep comfort, knowing that God saw my daughter’s heartache. But I so badly wanted to sing the promise portion of the verse too. As I waited, I heard a “not yet,” whispered to my heart. How could it be that God would not allow me to sing aloud His promise? 

Sometimes His presence IS the promise.

Move forward another 5 years, and my daughter’s heartache had been eased with a love deeper than she had ever known. But after another deeper heartache, when she suffered a miscarriage, her soul was plunged into a time of anxiety and depression that seemed to speak of no way out. 

And I heard another Scripture being sung aloud as my prayers felt too heavy to bear. As the windchimes on my porch played the tune, I realized it was an answer to the phrase I had heard so long ago: 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Oh, afflicted city, 
Lashed by storms
And not comforted,

Faint not, 
Faint not,
You will reap soon,
If you faint not

Reap a harvest
Of well doing,
Faint not
Faint not.

And I wept at the promise of reaping that the Lord was singing. I longed once again for the promise of the rebuilt foundations set with precious stones, but the whisper remained, “not yet.”

Sometimes His presence of endurance is enough. 


Move forward another 5 years after peace in the Presence had come, another miscarriage brought waves of grief to our daughter and family.  Names were spoken over each little life given to Heaven: Faith and Eden were nestled in the arms of Jesus. 

But my daughter continued to ache, even as compassion grew in her heart for so many others longing for Heaven. The people of Israel, longing for a Saviour but blinded to see Yeshua before them, filled her daily prayers. 

Sometimes, in the breaking of bread, as we surrender what has been given to us back into God’s hands, the Promise is multiplied to feed not just us, but many more.

And then one day my daughter was given a dream of rebuilding with precious stones. Never knowing how I had longed for the promise to be sung over her, she heard her Savior calling her to join Him as He called the names of all of His lost sheep.

In her dream He was pulling stone tablets out of a stream, with names written on them, as He placed precious jewels around the names.When she awoke, this Scripture was given to her:

I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. Isaiah 54:11

I wept when she told me her dream. And I sang to her the song that God had begun in my heart all those years before.

Sometimes the promise of God is meant to blossom and grow to be shared.

Move forward another few months, and my daughter faced yet another miscarriage, while she was traveling out West. But this time God gave her a gift to hold onto, as she waded in the mountain streams of South Dakota…surprisingly, the very place that had been in her dream!

As they stopped to buy a memento of their trip, there on the counter lay earrings of native jade, akin to the lapis lazuli in her verse.

It was akin to a ring my husband had bought me as we traveled out West when I was pregnant–with the daughter now covered in my prayers.

And it is akin to the native New Zealand greenstone worn by Anna’s husband in the Netherlands – a gift given to him by Anna. And to the pounamu necklace worn by Anna’s elderly neighbor in her dying days, which was first given to Anna’s dying Mum, then worn by Anna when her Mum went to heaven and then given to her neighbor in obedience to God’s sweet prompting.

Sometimes the jewels of His promise are returned into our hands as a new gift to be worn close to our heart, joining us – the Body of Christ- together, the world over. Gifts that remind us daily to join Jesus in prayer, calling out to His children yet to be awakened:

He sees
He hears
He speaks
He sings

And His Word is that sure foundation you are seeking. 

Do you see how Jesus awakens us through loss and heartache to heaven’s breath and blooming? The very gift prophecied by baby Eden, whose name expresses the beginning of life–new life. Our Jesus clothes us in His breastplate of righteousness, giving us the honor of joining Him in His intercession as royal priests.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

There, carrying His heart for His Body, we are given the gift of joining Him in declaring His judgment of mercy over all of God’s children – the jewels of His Crown – that are akin to the jewels once sewn into the fabric of the breastplate, worn by the High Priest in the old temple.

Will you join me in prayer as Anna and I prepare to share our free will offerings with you for this chapter in the coming days?

Dear Holy Father, 

we bow before the beauty of Your Glory. Your beauty is like the sun that sparkles as a jewel in our skies! We cannot ever find words to express the greatness that is found in You.

And, Lord, we are so humbled that You would call each of us so precious to You, that You see us even now as sparkling jewels in Your hand, and someday we will sparkle in Your land like jewels in a crown!

We surrender our hearts to You here, as we wait for You to bring us victorious into Your land. We hold onto Your hand as the heartaches seek to overwhelm us. Show us again and again that Your presence is enough to keep us. Help us to lean upon Your endurance, knowing that You are reaping that harvest even now.

We hear your song being sung over Your bride, and we join You as You intercede for Your people. We lift our prayers to join Your building, Your naming of each precious jewel, as we eagerly look forward to that time when we will walk with You and see those foundations of precious stones that You have built, joining our souls together in You.

Oh how we long for that day of glorious redemption when You call all of Your children, Jewish and Gentile alike, to share in Your glorious inheritance, woven together as one.

In the name of Your son Jesus we pray. 

Amen.

Oh afflicted city

Lashed by storms

And not comforted,

Oh afflicted city

Lashed by storms

And not comforted.



Faint not,

Faint not,

You will reap soon

If you faint not

Reap a harvest

Of well doing

Faint not

Faint not



He sees

He hears

He speaks

He sings

And His Word is that sure foundation.

I AM Awaking [New Version]

Welcome to Day 2 of Chapter 7 from Arise & Shine’s Part 7. Today, Anna is bringing forward our second free will offering of The New Covenant of Love.

The Lord God will help me;

therefore I have not been humiliated;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know I will not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:7 (CSB)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-6 (ESV)
I AM Awaking

There's not a day
Goes by
I don't remember
How far
You've come.

There's not a day
Goes by
I don't see
The labor pain
You've borne.

Remember, My Word
Is a well of water
Within you
Springing up
Unto eternal life
For you to
Know Me

Ever more
In My death
And resurrection
Sweet mercy
In manna
From the sky
Falling

Taste Me
Your bread of
Life
And see
That I am good
Slow to anger
And abounding
In loving kindness
Never ending.

As you Sabbath
Rest your heart
Lift my Word afresh
In your bosom hid
My honey
Now take eat.

My Body broken
My blood shed
Come and feast
At My table in the
New wine
Ever flowing.

In the tears
And the groaning
Feel the love
Of the Father
Interceding in
For and through you.

In your heart
Breaking open
Hear
Harmony's song

In Shalom's
Joining together
Love's chorus
In Christ arising.

Behold Me
Truth kissing grace
Dove's eyes
The Promises
Of eternity
To you unveiling.

Heaven's cloud
I AM parting
In your tears
In awe of My mercy
I AM reaping:
"This is My Son
Listen to Him!"

Now, run your race
Into kairos time
See the Way
In the wilderness
Watch me restore
All the locusts
Have eaten.

A double portion
For your shame
My love for you
Just as for Hannah
Glad tidings
Of great joy
Bearing:
There's life
In the womb
Of salvation.

Deserts into
Eden blooming
Rainclouds bursting
With seed for the sower
And bread for the eater.

My Word is
Returning
To you now
My higher
Thoughts and purposes
Revealing.

In all things
New unfurling
Behold
The dry bones

I AM

Awaking!

The nights were cold and black, and the prisoners were being guarded by people who had had, as she often said, “a training in cruelty.” There were moments of great despair. One dark morning, as she stood in rank with thousands of other women, all stamping their feet to keep warm, her heart felt desolate and it seemed that God had forgotten her and Betsie. Suddenly, high above them, a skylark began to sing. And as she looked up she was reminded of Psalm 103, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. . . .” Immediately she was lifted in her spirit above the misery of her circumstances and knew that God had not forgotten her.

As we watched the Seagull circling against the deep blue sky, I wondered whether she was thinking of the skylark. There was freedom all around her and nobody was treating her cruelly, yet this was a kind of imprisonment. “Tante Corrie, do you remember the skylark?”

“Ja!” She beamed at me with sparkling blue eyes.

p.127, The Five Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom by Pamela Rosewell Moore

Thank You Papa, that as we bow our knees in prayer this week, we can be so encouraged that it is Christ who fights for us. Thank You that all we do is yield to Your Voice, running into Your Way and truth and life opening in the wilderness. Thank You that even now Eden is blooming in every desert we see. Oh open our eyes to see by faith, to rejoice in Your victory for us, in Christ having overcome our accuser for us to open the Way of life to us.

Thank You that we can bear every testing because it’s not us bearing that weight but Your Son, for it is no longer we who live but Christ in us. Thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit who is leading us out of death into life, each day afresh through Your precious and intimate Word to us.

Thank You that You are so very faithful to Your every Word. Now, show us Your power, stripping every sin in us that is keeping us from running the race You have set for us. Thank You for the cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on. As we raise our voices together the world over to sing as One, open our eyes to see that cloud of witnesses and to recall Your sacrifice for us, also in and through the saints who have walked before us, paving the Way for us in Your Name.

Thank You that though we may make our plans it is You who establishes our every step. It is You who completes what You have begun in us. For You are faithful, true and just. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:10-12 (ESV)

16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Romans 8:16-17 (HCSB)