Random Ramblings

Reflections on my walk with God

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Let your yes mean yes….

In my meandering walk through #Rom2Rev, I have just re-read the book of James. I am reminded that the Old and New testiments have very different instructions in many things and one in particular caught my eye (again) – taking vows or oaths. As was often the case Jesus turned the old ideas on their heads.

In numbers 30:1-16 there are very specific instructions about taking vows and in particular, about the vows taken by women. In this long and detailed passage the message is that women can only make vows if those vows are approved by their father (if they are unmarried) or husband (if they are married). It is incredibly convoluted and as with many of the OT laws/rules must have made life difficult, particularly for women.

Reading this passage as part of a YouVersion plan last year, I looked at the views of other YouVersion readers for their thoughts. I noticed that most are pondering why women were not allowed to make up their own minds. However, some writers have taken this passage as instructions that even today we women cannot make our own decisions, but that we must always defer to our father and subsequently our husband or Pastor!

We no longer live in Old Testament times, we are not bound by the rules and regulations that the Ancient Jews had to follow.

We are commanded by Jesus not to make vows at all.

Matthew 5:33-37.
“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows , but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord .’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King . Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

This is reiterated by the Lord’s brother in James 5:12
But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

Jesus tells us to simply let our Yes mean Yes and our No mean No!


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Trying to pray

The kitchen vent rattles and clatters
The sun burns golden through tightly shut eyes
Seconds tick away
A door slams

I’m trying to pray
The quiet I long for escapes me
Dirty dishes wait patiently
The laundry pile beckons

I am trying to pray
Behind closed eyes
The needs of friends and family
Situations local and global
My mind is wandering

Thoughts of what I have to do today

I’m trying to pray
Thanks to God for the new day
Thanks for prayers answered
Requests for healing
For answers to questions

I’m trying to pray
But there is a list of jobs to be done at home
Surrounded by the family clutter
And the messiness of life

I’m trying to pray
Thankful for my own health
Praying for those not so fortunate

I’m trying to pray
But my mind wanders to the pile of marking
The emails to be answered
Lessons to prepare
Work engulf my thoughts

I’m trying to pray
Resting in God’s presence
Trusting Him with my problems

I am praying that
I will be at peace even as I plunge into the busyness
As I deal with the messiness
Remembering that this it not all that there is