Friday, August 28, 2009

Grand Canyon Sweet

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Yeshua HaMashiach (Messiah Jesus), from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named"..that you "may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and depth and height---to know the love of Messiah which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of G-d." (Eph. 3: 14-15, 18-19)

We rode in a small plane over the rim of one of the world's wonders, the Grand Canyon, and listened, as we flew, to what was a musical "suite," inspiring and beautiful, and pondered the days ahead---and behind---and what life has in store for our little family.

We marveled together at the grandeur of what was before our eyes and considered both the brevity and significance of our lives. The hand of G-d as a master artist is evident in all He has made. It is amazing to think, dwarfed as we are in the presence of such an awesome and breathtaking sight, that we, frail and faulty human beings, are the crown of our Father's creation.

Anyone who knows Jenny and me knows that we consider the crown of our relationship to be our daughter, Danyel Misha...and in a few days she will be living no longer under our roof but on her university campus. We took this road trip in order to create a pre-college memory for her...and to delay the inevitable for us!

We are glad for the days we have had her, in the comfort and security of our home, and sad that we have to let her go so soon. The years just fly by and, in the blink of an eye, she's a young adult, ready to make her way in this world.

I didn't ask---but I wonder what she's thinking as she surveys the vastness and enormity of what is before her; the colors and contours of the canyon and the twists and turns of her future.

We can trust in the One who fashioned such a natural masterpiece; we believe that He will do the same in the life of our "little girl". He promises, after all, that "we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which G-d has prepared beforehand that we might walk in them." (Eph. 2: 1o)

I must leave off now and press on to the last leg of our journey. We are all having a wonderful time...but are a bit stressed. The emotions are---new and unfamiliar---for we've never been here before. Our plan is to--- argue as much as possible and to thoroughly annoy each other in these last hours! It will make it so much easier to say goodbye!!

Would you consider praying for Misha---and for us! May G-d keep her safe, lead her to future lifelong friends, inspire her and instruct her in the way she should go--and the ways she can grow. May He help us to help her on her way---and to discover the way He has for us.

May He bless you all as you kindly remember us.

How deep, how high, how wide---how great is the love that our Father has for all of His children.

It's time for Misha to discover that truth fully for herself. She belongs to Him, not to us. He is her G-d, and shall be--- forever!

Bittersweetly yours,


(Thanks for listening.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

O, What a Beautful Morning

"All the sounds of the earth are like music, all the sounds of the earth are like music.
The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree,
And an ol' weepin' willow is laughin' at me!"

The aforementioned quote is, of course, from the musical "Oklahoma" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I have sometimes listened to the song, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" as I drive past farm meadows and marvel at the "bright golden haze" that hovers on the horizon, illuminated by the rays of the rising sun. (Sometimes I also sing!)

In our back yard is "an ol' weepin' willow." My wife, Jenny, planted it when we moved into our home seventeen years ago. It was just little then and we didn't even know if it would survive. It did---and now it is a magnificent tree, standing sentinel behind our house, bearing silent witness to the wonderful years we've spent here.

As it's branches sway gracefully in the Tennessee breeze, it reminds us that the winds of time continue to blow, almost imperceptibly. You hardly notice the the passing days and months and years, until events startle you into reality. Jennifer and I are experiencing such an event.

As I write this, she and I are preparing to escort our daughter, Danyel Misha, to college. it seems only moments ago that we moved her, as a one year old, from Tarzana, California, to Brentwood, Tennessee. We have loved our sojourn here and she has grown up to be a marvelous young woman, of whom we are very proud. She has spent much of her summer bidding farewell to family friends, schoolmates, and all the folks who have contributed so much to helping her become the person she is today.

But now, her tomorrows have beckoned---and she is off, leaving the comfortable shelter of our home for the exciting, yet unknown promise of her own unique life experience. She is ready---and, I suppose we are too. (We'll find out soon enough!)

Prayers for her---and for us---would be appreciated.

Jenny and I are a bit undone---but our "ol' weepin' willow" seems unfazed. It continues it's quiet laughter as we contemplate a potential season of weeping in the midst of our pleasure in seeing Misha embrace her new adventure with her usual steadiness, maturity and tenacity.

When we return from our trip, Jenny and I will be in this house together---alone---for the first time ever. Perhaps, more often than not, we'll "sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky."

Well, thanks for listening. I guess I'll just close with another chorus:

"Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day,
I got a weepy-eyed feelin',
Our daughter's goin' away...Hey!...
(That's why we ask you to pray!!)
---with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein---

Shalom y'all,
Marty (We're doin' fine, Oklahoma) Goetz

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sabbath Prayer


Did you know that we are celebrating a holiday? It's a new moon, don't ya know? On the Jewish calendar, that's a time for celebration! "Rosh Chodesh,"or "Head of the Month," is the Hebrew rendering for such an occasion.

This one is special, for it is a month not to feast but to reflect and prepare for the days ahead. What days? The "Days of Awe," or, "Yamim Nora'im." These are the days which begin at "Rosh HaShanah," the traditional Jewish New Year, and continue through "Yom Kippur," the "Day of Atonement."

These are days marked by self-reflection, repentance and amending of one's ways. Elul, which comes from a word meaning "seek," is the month to commence that process.

So, let's commence! (Now don't let this be an occasion for obsessive introspection which could lead to depression, G-d forbid!) No, let's read Psalm 27, the traditional daily reading for this season, sound the "Shofar," (a ram's horn which is a symbol of G-d's call to awaken to repentance) and look to the L-rd Yeshua who said, "Seek first the kingdom of G-d and His righteousness...". (Mt. 6:33)

"Seek those things which are above, where Messiah is..." said a famous Rabbi named Shaul. I am going to try that this Elul.

Perhaps you will, too, always remembering that "the Joy of the L-rd IS OUR STRENGTH!!" That, of course, is from the book of Nehemiah, in which this month is mentioned, by the way. (Nehemiah 6: 15)

So, my friends, Happy New Moon, Joyous Pre-New Year and...HALL---ELUL---JAH!!!

Shalom y'all, Marty

P.S. I celebrated by going out to lunch with my precious daughter, Misha! Great fun!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Tennessee Thursday

Hey friends,

It rained not long but hard here in Nashville today. A slow day it was but not a lazy one. My daughter, Misha, has her mom and me on a crash course, teaching us as much as she can about the technological tools we'll need in the season ahead of us. We face an "empty nest" as our one and only child goes off to college. (Waah!)

One of the things she is teaching me is how to blog! So, here I am---blogging!! I don't have much to say right now, because we're goin' out tonight with some good friends in order to allow them to give Misha an official "goodbye and G-d bless!"

We'll be "kibbutzing," that is chatting, in days ahead.

The crickets are makin' their music now and a warm, balmy Tennessee evening approaches. So, until the next time, I'll just say,

Shalom y'all,