Monday, June 27, 2016

Aliyah Means Going Up

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is June 27 in my corner of blog land. Over the weekend, I was reminded of the Hebrew word, "aliyah."
Per recently adopted custom, in Google I type "hebrew definition aliyah, or whatever Hebrew word meaning is being sought. The results are quite telling and enriching.

Traditionally, it referred to Hebrews who would go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual feasts, appointed times. See Leviticus chapter 23 for those feasts. During their time of going, they would travel in groups and sing praises to YHVH, God. Several of these are in Psalms 122 through 134 called, The Psalms of Ascent.

Today, aliyah according to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, refers to the dispersed Jewish people returning to Israel. The site -, also mentions a metaphysical definition for aliyah.

I was reminded by a Replacement theology Spokesperson that Yeshua went up to Jerusalem where he ultimately offered Himself for the sin of humanity, you, me, people before and after us. See Luke chapters 9 through 24 for this detailed account.

I would suggest that every day and at certain points in life, we each have a choice to come up to God, come before God in prayer, in quiet, in worship, in meditation, in times of good and plenty, in times of deep despair, anguish, angst and frustration....

Our recent guest poster, Ester T, sent me an essay by Rabbi Sacks from the United Kingdom titled "From Despair to Hope" in which he makes some telling observations. Consider:
It is when your self-esteem is ground to dust that you suddenly realise that life is not about you. It is about others, and ideals, and a sense of mission or vocation. What matters is the cause, not the person. That is what true humility is about. As C. S. Lewis wisely said: humility is not about thinking less of yourself. It is about thinking of yourself less.
When you have arrived at this point, even if you have done so through the most bruising experiences, you become stronger than you ever believed possible.
In the 1970s, there was a Christian chorus that asked to be brought to the rock that is higher than I. This exemplifies the sense of making aliyah.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence continue to bring us up from where we are to where He intends.

Mellow Roc

Monday, June 20, 2016

Up In The Air (Fiction, David Russell, about 3,730 words)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I am pasting a recently drafted story of mine. Its title, "Up In The Air."

I welcome comments and observations you may have about the story itself. It ends happily ever after for the couple, but with plenty of work to do within the family.
Up In The Air
David Russell

3735 Words

I drove Scott to the airport to go see his parents. I met them last Thanksgiving when going home with him. There were some tense moments during that Thanksgiving weekend. I have fallen in love with him, and would consider marriage if he pops the question. It's early March and winter is finally releasing its grip.
Meantime, Scott's desire is to thaw the freeze that they exhibit toward ReyAnn and himself. Though now known, only two weeks previous, the marriage conversation with ReyAnn's Mom included her blessing and welcome to the family.

Scott called me Saturday evening. He sounded sad as he recalled the conversation with his parents.
"Mom, Dad, I love ReyAnn and have plans to marry her."
"You could do better then her. Find a sports world star instead of some country girl from Minnesota," Mom said.
"She is not just a country girl. She is my fiance and has her vocational ducks in a row."
"Just how does this country bumpkin affect your life?" Dad asked.
"I have a renewed interest in life and work. Love isn't blind," Scott said.
"It's your decision Scott, and it's your life," Mom said. The tension in the house was as chilling as this cold March day. Mom may have been releasing her ground out of frustration.
Previous Summer
The morning sunshine started to remove the fog and dampness as I went to work at the Body and Bath store in the Duluth mall. The morning mall walkers were completing their trek as day shift would soon start. In a couple hours the corridors would be buzzing with conversations and many stores catering to shoppers.

Shortly after the start of day shift, I noticed my casually-dressed supervisor, Gayle, approach me.
“Did you get those linens on the display,”
“What linens?”
“The overnight delivery; I posted a bright-colored sticky note on it before you arrived this morning.”
Staring at Gayle, I replied, “I didn't see it.”
She returned my stare stating,
“ReyAnn, tend to it please!”

Overall, life was pretty good. I like college life at Lake Superior. Like many 20-somethings, I'd like romance, and a job with good pay and minimal nagging.

Later that morning a co-worker named Andrea engaged in small talk with me.
“Rey,hi! Doris, Rita and I are going to the Storyhill concert in the park after work, want to join us?"
“Sounds good! I'm having the morning from hell with Gayle."
“Most people really don't get along with Gayle.”
“What time is the concert,”
“At 7, band shell, Canal Park,” Andrea said.

About noontime Gayle again approached ReyAnn.
“Those linens are still on the table. When the hell are you going to replace them?”
“I'll do it now, excuse me!" Right away - I retrieved the box and shelved the linens on the display. A burst of energy was felt from the encounter. Letting Gayle have it might feel darn good.

I got to the park around 6:30 and looked for my three friends. Storyhill were doing sound checks, and the crowd were getting anxious for the concert to begin.
Finding my group of friends who had blankets and snacks spread out by a tall oak tree.
“Doesn't that sky look cloudy?" Rita questioned.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our summer park concert series. We have for your listening pleasure, StoryHill and ask you give them a very dynamic Duluth welcome,” stated the show’s Master of Ceremonies.
The band performed crowd favorites for a good hour, took a short break. Their second set featured new material, and was about a half hour long.

“Notice those three guys over there that keep looking in our direction. They look like body builders you'd see on ESPN,” I said.
“I've seen one of them on SSI<" Doris said.
"Social Security Income?" Rita inquired.
“No goofball, but Sport Service Information," Andrea answered.
“He looks younger,” Rita added.
“Ah rita, come off it.

“Get their attention and we'll get a cold beer after at Peanut Barrel,” Doris suggested.
After some back-and-forth eye contact, the three men slowly made their way to where the girls were seated. Scott approached the group as the other two stood nearby.
“Hi ladies. I'm Scott, and this is Bob and Ted. Rita invited them to sit down, and light conversation ensued.
During the waning moments of the concert, the skies darkened and sprinkles began falling.
"we’re going to the Peanut Barrel afterward. Want to join us there?" I asked.
“Sure, - we’ll meet you there,” Bob said. Andrea excused herself to go home. She was a single parent and had her 8-year-old son to look after.
I noticed several of the concert goers pressed on to the Peanut Barrel. Six or eight people crowded into the restroom I used to attempt a towel off after the short soaker.
The Peanut Barrel was two city blocks away from the park. Atmosphere comfortable accommodating young professional socialites. Bar-food and various cold beer and wine were available menu items.

I recall sitting across from Scott, Rita from Ted, and Doris from Bob. Conversation was light and the room bustled with chatter, bartending, and contemporary roc as background music served up made for pleasant ambiance. Pictures of sport players adorned the walls; a big screen TV featured a Twins baseball game.
“Gosh Darn!!!! did you see that damn ball just about go over the fence, Doris blurted. “That outfielder saved the lead for the Twins.”
Ted asked, “Doris, you like baseball?”
"If it’s on then I’ll watch it."

I decided then and there to start to know Scott. I found his demeanor pleasant and his physique quite attractive.
“Scott, what's with the SSI T-shirt?"
“I cover the University sports."
“My brother has a hockey scholarship to play here starting next year,” Doris said. I wanted Doris to butt out.
“Oh," Scott said.
“May be looking after little brother.”
Again, I got his attention and asked,
“Have you lived around here long?”
“Long enough. About four years. Originally, from Muskegon, Michigan," Looking at ReyAnn to invite more talk he asked,
“How are you managing summer?”
“Working a shit job at the mall.”
“Can't be all that bad can it?” Both exchanged glances and smiles as they talked.
“I have a supervisor who is a classic witch. Never satisfied.”
“Sounds like it’s time for a clean break.”
“Got any recommendations?” Reaching across my fingers brushed his forearm.
“You don't want to act in haste, repent in leisure. Do a variation on that ReyAnn,” Scott said. He liked the instant touch and meant his comment to be supportive.
"I'm tired of doing the some variation. I'd like to punch out her lights," I said making a punch gesture when speaking.
A half hour later, we settled our tab and prepared to leave. Scott asked me to have lunch the next day. I said,
"How about if we meet up outside Subway in the mall?"
"Sounds good, around noon okay?"
"yes, see you then." I felt elated.

During staff meeting the next morning, I tried Scott's idea to do a variation on my angst and frustration with Gayle.
“I don’t like being singled out. Someone put the towels back on the table, in the box, after I had shelved them. Gayle chewed my butt out for it. Since none of us like being humiliated, I’ll be watching for the person who crosses me."
I can throw my weight around some even though I'm an attractive, 5 feet 8 tall, athletic-appearing 22-year-old red head. All morning I thought of Scott, especially his baby blue eyes, thick curly hair, casual dress and body build. Noontime arrived, we have 45 minutes for lunch.

Scott had a short walk from the SSI Network, spotting ReyAnn as they both approached the Subway from opposite directions, giving her a sideways hug as they greeted.
“Haven’t we met somewhere?”
“I think that’s someone else’s line,” and both laughed at the exchange. Taking her hand they headed inside and placed their order.
“Scott, How does a Muskegon guy end up in Duluth?”
“Well, after graduating from Michigan State in Communications, I got out in the real world, got a job, started to pay loans, and find a girl, settle down and start a family. They exchanged smiles. "Guess the family started is with other peers or professionals.”
“ReyAnn, what's your claim to fame?”
“From St. Cloud. Have two parents, and a dog named Zoey.”
“We're onlys!”
“”Only thing I don’t share is my sleep-in time on the weekend,” ReyAnn said. Scott flashed her a smile.
The small talk continued while enjoying our soup and sandwich.
“This is sure a pleasantry worth repeating,” Scott said. I nodded in agreement, and added,
“Tonight I’m planning to chill. Have had a few late nights."
“Know what you mean. I am going over to the IM Building for a swim. Need to work out some stuff.”
“Heard some good things about that new movie opening this weekend, about the inner city basketball team. Would you be interested?”
“I think a late Saturday or Sunday show would be best for me. Where's it playing?”
“The Duluth Cinema on Harbor Drive,”
“Call me at work Saturday, there all day,” ReyAnn said reaching for and handing him her business card.

Scott was finding his reserved side to be letting go. He imagined sharing the same lane at the IM pool, or playfully splashing each other, doing laps or sharing a kiss on the shallow end. Scott wanted her to touch him again. He felt much of the time like a 26-year-old man going through the motions of life. ReyAnn was standing on the periphery, and something in him wanted her to move in closer.
“Thanks for the lunch – Scott. Let's talk Saturday,” I said reaching around and rubbing his back briefly with my right hand and then we had a brief electrifying kiss and embrace.

Nearly two months passed and we were spending most weekends together at Scott's place. The fall term was underway. We attended the season opener of the UMD home game for the hockey team.
During the second period, still scoreless, I got a puzzled look on my face.
“Rey, what’s up?”
“Mom just sent me a text." Reaching over I grasped Scott's forearm.
“She says dad was rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack,” Tears began to fall.
“Are they home in Saint Cloud?”
“Oh Shit! I have to go there ASAP." Putting his arm around me Scott said,
“Let’s finish the game. Then we can make plans that will get you there ASAP.”
They were sharing a scoreless game and vulnerability.
"I gotta text from the boss telling me to host tomorrow morning's sport show."
"You can't go with me?"
"Sorry babe. Message says George Gronk fired. Reasons known only to administration."
Once the game concluded, the plan decided would put ReyAnn on the next train going to Saint Cloud, and they would meet up in a couple days thereafter. Fortunately the train schedule was convenient as it left Duluth one hour after the game concluded. The distance to St. Cloud was about 140 miles, so ReyAnn would arrive home in about two hours.

A half hour after arrival, ReyAnn and her mother went to the hospital. Her dad was in the ICU, stable but serious condition.

“Honey, I’ll make it through this. You and your Mom are my biggest supportive fans and of course family,”
“Dad, I love you, tears streaming down my face. "Dad, I don’t want to lose you.”
“If I have anything to say about it, you won’t. By the way, how is Scott?”
“He’s fine. Wanted to come but had work.”
“Are you sure you want to continue a relationship with him? Don't TV and radio types move around a lot or burn out.”
“Dad, don’t go there. He is a nice caring man, just give him a chance!”
“I only want what makes you happy and is best for you, Rey.” He reached over the side-rail taking her hand in his for a moment. ReyAnn's phone rang.
"ReyAnn, this is Scott's mom. Scott asked us to call. How are you?" ReyAnn took a momentary pause.
"Hi Mrs. Hardin. Dad is stable, and hope he stays that way," she said.
"We're thinking of you and your family."
"Scott will inform you of changes. Thanks for calling."
It felt strange to speak with the woman who had little to no interest in me. I think she's ill-tempered.

The new day arrived, sun shining through the picture window in Dad's room. Hours dragged. Nurses, doctors and lab techs made occasional appearances to check monitors and vitals. Mom and I kept vigil at dad’s bedside, with intermittent trips to the cafeteria or outdoors for some momentary solitude. Scott called a couple times, and Dad would converse on occasion. He slept much of that night.

Around 5:30 the next morning, Dad took a sudden turn for the worse. Blood pressure and other vitals showed deterioration. Another attack occurred, but this one would be fatal. ReyAnn missed Scott being with her; from Scott's side, he felt trapped by professional demands and the inadequacy of sending texts or calls when he could. Also, he had only met ReyAnn’s parents in passing when they came to visit her just before Fall term. The feelings and situation were truly awkward for him. He loved ReyAnn, her youthful side, approach to life and her career and personal goals.

At 5:47 a.m., the machines beeped announcing ReyAnn’s father did not make it. Grief was immediate for both women. The attending doctor, a middle-aged African-American, expressed his condolences to both Mom and ReyAnn.
“Honey, I am glad the three of us were able to be together on your Dad’s last day.”
“I am too, mom.” Both hugged and cried freely for several minutes feeling intense loss. Dad would be cremated as planned after organ donation was addressed.

The memorial service was two days later. Scott arrived the evening before. He apologized profusely to both ReyAnn and her mother.
"I wanted to be here all along but couldn't get away from work. I'll help in any way possible," he said as he gave ReyAnn and her Mom separate hugs.
"Thanks, glad you're here," said Reyann's Mom.
At Thanksgiving, ReyAnn went home with me to meet my parents. One particular conversation occurred Saturday removing any doubt of what the other thought. I felt stuck in the middle like peanut butter between two pieces of bread.
Scott's dad began,
"ReyAnn, Scott tells us you plan to be an accountant. Moving back to St. Cloud?"
"No. I'd like to stay in or live somewhere like Duluth."
"I think Scott could be on ESPN in a few years, New York, lights, camera action. You and Scott are great friends, but he has career and much more ahead of him."

Face turning red ReyAnn replied,
"Your son and I are becoming more than friends; we l o v e one another!" ReyAnn excused herself and retired to the guestroom where she cried. We ate a mostly silent dinner. ReyAnn and I went to see my old stomping grounds and returned to Duluth the next morning.
Over Presidents' Day Weekend in mid February, we went to visit her mother in St. Cloud. I helped her process her Dad's belongings to give away. During time alone with ReyAnn's Mom, I asked for ReyAnn's hand in marriage.
"I love your daughter. Would you give us your blessing to be married here?"
"Yes Scott. We embraced... "Do you have a date in mind?"
"I was thinking the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend."
"Have you asked her?"
"I plan to the first weekend in April. I have to cover the opening game between the Twins and Athletics in Oakland."
"By phone or how?" My plan was to propose while airbound."
"Oh, how romantic, how sweet!" Taking both my hands in her she added,
"Yes, you are a fine young man. You have my daughter's interest uppermost?"
"Yes, I do. She is a splendid woman!"

A day later, Scott called his parents to tell them of the wedding plan. Their response was unified and neutral, not discouraging, not encouraging.
"Of course, Scott, we will attend," his mom said.

In early April, baseball season began, and the Twins had a weekend series against Oakland. Scott would be covering the games for a subsidiary of Sports Services Information.
“Rey, I want you to come along. Opening day is a pretty exciting occasion in baseball!"
“When do we need to go?”
“Thursday morning. I need Friday to get stats and information on the teams,” he said.

On Thursday morning shortly after 4 o’clock, they were aboard the plane in Minneapolis, settled in and enjoyed the comfort of the cabin and the scenery outside the window. The sky was clear and appeared starry through take-off.

“Rey, Rey, Rey, are you awake?”
Silence continued for a few minutes. The flight had gone on for slightly over an hour. They were perhaps flying over Kansas.
“Rey, I want to ask you,” and then the plane took a big turn to the left and a slight lunge. It felt as if the plane were going into a dive.
The flight captain advised,
“Passengers, we are in turbulence. Please remain seated. Put up any treys and fasten your seatbelts. Just before the sentence ended, the plane lunged forward falling several feet. Scott felt his life in the balance. ReyAnn wakened by the commotion held Scott’s hand quite tightly.
“Oh my! What is this?”
“I don't really know, plane troubles."
“You are sooo special to me!"
"This is too weird," I said.
Several passengers screamed; some children were heard crying. Just then the plane took another lunge. This time to the right with the nose nearly vertical. The momentary bouncing felt like it had gone on for several minutes.
“Oh Scott, know I'm glad we had the past several months together. You saved me from duking it out with Gayle.”
“Rey, I don’t have to keep up an image when we’re together. You are getting to know the genuine Scott.”
The plane stabilized a few minutes then made a sharp turn to the right, but this time reversed, with the descent feeling as if the plane were on its side at a 60 degree angle. A shaking sensation was felt for several moments, and passengers collectively showed their panic. Scott and ReyAnn held hands but were making out as this might be the last time they would express love to one another. Some cried loudly, others kept saying, Oh God. Others could be observed trying to send text messages to those significant to them. The passengers lives were in the balance.

Eventually, the plane began to stabilize. It was gradual.
“We will not be proceeding to Oakland, but are preparing to land in Oklahoma City,” the flight captain said.

As the plane began it's descent, Scott turned to me with a wide smile across his face.
"ReyAnn, will you marry me?"
"Marry you?" I was surprised.
"Yes Scott, any idea when or where?"
"Well, Saturday of Memorial Day, your home, St. Cloud."
"You sure have your nerve! You get me up in the air, nearly killed and ... "Yes, let's do it!"
Feeling up in the air though in a terminal, we unfastened our seatbelts after landing.

Once on the ground in Oklahoma City, Scott took care of professional matters, and after checking into the Holiday Inn, we called my Mom first, then Scott's parents on Skype to share the happy news not only of our engagement, but of lives being spared byProvidence. We took a later flight to Oakland, and Scott covered the Saturday and Sunday games for the Network; We spent some leisure time touring San Francisco.

I awoke Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend to sunshine beaming through my bedroom window. At 10 o'clock family and friends gathered at my childhood home for the ceremony. The reception was held at the local VFW Hall. We had a catered dinner, and hired a group to perform light classics for background entertainment. The couple would leave for their honeymoon in North Carolina on Monday.

One of my favorite moments is the toast my Mom publicly presented at our reception.
"I welcome Scott to our family. He is a fine young man, and has the ability to keep ReyAnn in check and in good care. Her Dad wants ReyAnn to be happy and have the best. I'm nearly certain, his wishes are being met in this marriage. We toast Scott and ReyAnn, to their beginning and continuation."

After lunch on Sunday with Scott's parents, I got things off my chest with Scott's Mom. It was nearly a physical dual. Some might call it conflict resolution. I remember her saying,
“ReyAnn, does an accountant have a future with a communications media type? I hardly think so,”
“Well, it’s hardly your decision. Scott and I met, we fell in love, your husband and my mom seem okay with our marriage, what is your problem?”
“My problem is disrespectful, ascerbic boisterous types like you. You're a rural country girl and dress to sloppy for my Scott."
“One more accusation out of you and I will change that smile permanently,” I said..
“Ladies, calm down. There is little need to ramp up the antimosity,” Scott’s Dad stated as he came inside hearing the show-down. Within moments, both women retreated but exchanged few words until that evening when ReyAnn and Scott departed.
“Mom, ReyAnn is a fine woman. Give her a chance at least for me,” Scott said.
“We'll see. You needed an athletic woman not a number cruncher.”
“Mom, I think that’s my decision,” he said sternly. Only time would tell if a thaw might occur.
The couple left the next morning to fly out of Minneapolis to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they would rent a car and drive to the seaside resort near Wilmington, for a week of fun, love, and bonding. After landing in Raleigh, they spoke with Scott's father over the phone. He said,
"I think we all have to adjust. Let’s work toward becoming family."
"It's going to take time Dad. Mom has some major thawing to do," Scott replied.
"Enjoy yourselves, and send us some pictures from Wilmington," Dad stated


David Russell

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Soul Trusts In Thee by Roeh Israel Worship Team

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Thursday June 15 in my corner of blog-land. Earlier, I was listening to some Hebraic Messianic music from an online station called Chavah Messianic Radio. When they play songs sung by Paul Wilbur, Zemer Levav, Sons of Korah, and now - the Roeh Israel Worship Team, my being benefits and so may yours!

The song I heard by the worship team reflects on the time when God gave the ten words at Mt. Sinai to the Exodus, (children of Israel), and, time in life when G-d makes himself known to us, and we say yes to the relationship, taking on His name. When you and I assume someone's name either through marriage or a working relationship, i.e., let's say employee, you agree that your behavior will demonstrate something good and positive and noteworthy about that name. We are not alone, an island, left to our own devices though sometimes life may feel fragmented.

I want to close this post with an excerpt from a daily reflection I read titled "Today's Word Study" by Skip Moen. It's advisement is simple, but truly necessary when you and I take on a name, especially the name of Yaweh!

We put on the “clothing” of deeds, thoughts, words and attitudes in order that what was hidden can be seen.
Today you can be clothed in God’s image. Just do what He does and be radiant!

Kevod Yeheveh,

Mellow Roc

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Ugly Bug Ball (Disney Song)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Info for this post comes from the health site, Topic is insect repellents. Now you got the reason behind the post title!
Personal notes about life follow post:
With summer upon us now and the Zika virus spreading via mosquitos, which insect repellents work best and which are appropriate for pregnant women and children?

Response from Philip J. Gregory, PharmD
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Center for Drug Information & Evidence-Based Practice, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
The Zika virus was detected in Brazil in May 2015, and by February 2016, Zika infection was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. For most people, symptoms of infection are mild and include rash, fever, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms typically last for up to a week. Zika virus infection during pregnancy is much more serious. It can cause life-threatening fetal birth defects, including microcephaly and other serious brain and eye defects.[1]
The best approach to preventing Zika virus infection is to minimize mosquito bites. Common-sense measures to reduce bites include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and keeping windows closed or screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
EPA-registered mosquito repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered mosquito repellent (Table). These repellents have been shown to be safe and effective and also are considered safe in pregnant and breastfeeding women. In addition, most of them are considered safe for children 2 months of age or older. Lemon eucalyptus oil products are typically not recommended for use in children younger than 3 years.[2-4] For children under 2 months of age, an infant carrier can be covered with netting to shield against mosquitoes.[3] In Canada, the use of picaridin products in children under 6 months of age is not recommended.[5]
Table. EPA-Registered Mosquito Repellents
Duration of Effect
Special Considerations/Comments
DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)
OFF! Deep Woods® Insect Repellent;
Repel® 100 Insect Repellent

30% concentration should provide protection for 6 hours

20%-23.8% concentration provides 4-5 hours of protection

6.65%-10% concentration provides about 1-3 hours of protection

Concentrations over 50% offer no additional benefit

Controlled-release products might offer a longer duration of protection even with lower concentrations
Safe for children 2 months of age and older. Children should use products containing 10%-30% DEET concentrations. Do not apply to children's hands or around eyes.
Avon Skin-So-Soft™
Bug Guard Plus Picaridin

20% concentration provides protection for up to 7 hours

10% products provide protection for up to 5 hours
Known as icaridin in Canada. Canada recommends against use in children under 6 months.
IR3535 (Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate)
Avon Skin-So-Soft™
Bug Guard Plus IR3535®

7.5% concentration provides about 10-60 minutes of protection
Safe for children 2 months of age and older.
Lemon eucalyptus oil (para-menthane-diol)
Cutter® Lemon
Eucalyptus Insect Repellent; Repel®
Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Protection for up to 2 hours
Lemon eucalyptus oil is not recommended for children younger than 3 years.
*Products are representative examples; this is not a complete list.
I did not know there is a separate category for Environmental Protection Agency recommended repellents. I learned too!

Current Book: Part of me is traveling back to my teenage years as I read, "Guitar Notes" by Mary Mato. The main characters are three high school students who are all interested in music. Changes come about as two of the three exchange notes about their craft and life experience via a shared practice room schedule. The third character is a girl who reminds me of a typical adolescent of that gender.

*******Big News
I was informed by the editor of The Flash Fiction Press, that my short story, "Not This Place" will be featured in their online edition on August 9, 2016.
I will remind you again when time gets closer.

-Yes, in terms of current events, the horrific situation of over 100 persons killed/injured this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, by a "deranged person" "terrorist" is the media buzz of the moment. Looking at the Facebook Newsfeed earlier today, nonverbally encouraged shut off the damn news and live your life!

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is enabling.

Mellow Roc

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Look At The Harvest Festival

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, June 13, in my corner of blog-land. From Sunset June 11, to sunset, June 12, the festival of Pentecost, also called Shavuot was observed in Israel and throughout the world by those who observe the festival calendar established in Leviticus chapter 23. Shavuot celebrates the harvest in Israel, and also celebrates the giving of G-d's instruction to the Exodus at Mount Sinai. Then, the collective committed in Word and intent to hear and do God's Word..

In about 33 to 36 CE, God in his kindness, began to "pour out of His Spirit on all flesh" giving the comforter to humanity known as the Ruach HaKodesh, Holy Spirit. Many came to, and still come to faith that day as well.

In the world today, masses of humanity reject the God of the Bible and choose to make themselves and humanity at large the end-point. The buck starts and stops with us. The problem becomes, Who will be in charge?

How do we just come together and live in a warm goo of love and acceptance and imagine a world with no fighting, no religion, no hassel, whatever!

I prefer to believe God is our higher power, transcends us. He said Remember Shabbat and keep it holy, don't steal, don't kill, don't commit adaultry." That's the practical part of love your neighbor as yourself.

Rabbi Russ Resnik of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations has a blog post titled:
Shavuot, Kindness, and the Kingdom To Come.

I close this post with a concluding thought from his post which discusses kindness expressed by humanity, expressed by Ruth in the Hebrew Scriptures, expressed by G-d toward each and all of us.
Note: In Hebrew, gemilut hasadim" is translated to mean kindness.

Rabbi Shimon says that the world is founded on gemilut hasadim. How striking that the line of David, which becomes the line of Messiah, is founded on gemilut hasadim as well! The Messianic kingdom depends ultimately, not on the sort of power and resources that the world depends on, but on the deliberate practice of kindness. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. . . .  God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us” (Rom 5:6, 8).

Kevod Yeheveh, His lovingkindness is forever!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Guest Post by Ester T, (Rice Bran Oil Use and Benefits

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I am very pleased to let you know Ester T has provided us another informative guest post. We will learn about rice bran oil and its benefits to overall health. Thank you for viewing her previous post, June 2nd. I hope we will be seeing her often at our blog in blog-land.

Note: For those interested in my previous post concerning a church denomination providing transgender clergy benefits for sex-change operation, see previous post dated June 7th.

Now, some welcomed words from Ester.
The health benefits of rice bran oil include its ability to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, help prevent cancer, improve skin health, help in weight loss, relieve menopausal symptoms, protect your heart, increase cognitive strength, and lower allergic reactions.
Rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and the husk of rice kernels. It has a very high smoke point, which is why it is commonly used in high-temperature cooking methods, such as stir frying and deep frying.
It is most widely praised for its content of vitamin E to speed up wound healing, increase cellular regeneration, smooth skin, reduce wrinkles, and provide protection from sunburn, its ideal fatty acid balance, antioxidant capacity, and cholesterol-lowering abilities, has the best possible composition of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats that help reduce Cholesterol level, protects your heart. 
Rich source of antioxidants, that free radicals causing healthy cells to mutate into various types of cancerous cells in the body are neutralized. Free radicals can attack the skin cells and increase the signs of premature aging
Weight Loss Efforts:Although rice bran oil  is technically high in calories, but the viscosity of rice bran oil actually means that the food only absorbs about 20% of the oil. When less oil is absorbed, the food still retains the flavor and gets the health benefits of the rice bran oil,  so rice bran oil is probably your best choice if you’re worried about your weight.
Rice bran oil is high in fiber, which can improve digestion, unless you have an existing gastrointestinal tract condition. . Only use rice bran oil for cooking when you need it, and in moderation!

Thank you Ester.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be with us in our health choices.
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We Are In The Final Era (Opinion)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

It is nearly Wednesday, June 8, 2016 in my corner of blog-land.

When I started this blog in 2009, the primary goal was to encourage believers in Messiah Yeshua to learn about the Jewish heritage of their faith. An excerpted blog post below from a website titled Exposing the ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, demonstrates what eventually happens when belief in a Jewish Messiah is twisted, ignored or minimized. Unfortunately, subtlety is a damning wolf in sheep's clothing.
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of  You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)

The managing editor of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a partnered lesbian. The ELCA's magazine (formerly "The Lutheran") has been promoting homosexuality for a long time now, but below is a recent article highlighting the work of a transgender Lutheran pastor (a woman who identifies as a man). The ELCA has ordained practicing homosexuals since a church-wide vote on the issue in 2009. More recently, with no church-wide vote, the ELCA began ordaining transgender pastors. A few months ago Portico, the ELCA's healthcare plan, announced it will begin paying for sex change operations (with offering dollars) in its healthcare plan for pastors and their families. Portico stated this decision was made after consulting with ELCA leaders.

I rest my case.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us even in the midst of theological incorrectness.

Mellow Roc

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Grass Still Grows (acoustic folk song, Van Wagner)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, June 6, 2016. In addition to it being like summer in my world corner, according to "The Writer's Almonac" today is the seventy-third anniversary of the movie drive-in theater. It had its birth and creation in Camden, New Jersey. Entry was said to be 25-cents per car, and each person attending was charged 25-cents. Today, the drive-in theater is alive but not as popular as it once was.

I want to thank those of you who looked at the post by our guest blogger, Aster T, which appeared on June 2nd. I want to briefly visit a health topic that is of concern to many adults, that being excess intra-abdominal fat or belly fat. One respected voice from Integrated Medicine in the USA is that of Dr. Andrew Weil. Here is his bottom line on belly fat treatment.
I recommend a program for everyone that includes both aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, biking or swimming) for 30 minutes a day, five times a week - as well as strength training with weights (or with weight training machines if you work out in a gym) two to three times a week. If you haven't done strength training before, I recommend a session or two with a trainer to learn proper form so as not to injure yourself.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
L. Schwingshackl and G. Hoffman et al, “Impact of different training modalities on ahthropometric and metabolic characteristics in overweight/obese subjects: a systemic review and meta-analysis.” PLoS One, December 17, 2013 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082853
Karine Sahakyan et al, “Normal-weight central obesity and cardiovascular mortality risk in the US population,” presentation at European Cardiology Society meeting, August 27, 2012,

Finally, I just finished reading "Girl About War" by Sara Novac. It is the story of a young lady who survives the Yugoslavian war in the early 1990s and raises some interesting observations about war and post-war recovery. The book is in four parts, and my only minor complaint is each part tends to end abruptly and its succeeding part doesn't really come together until near the story's conclusion. Otherwise, a great read in my opinion.

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, the presence of YHVH encourage and sustain you hourly!

Mellow Roc

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keep It Simple, (Guest Post by Aster T)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Thursday, June 2, 2016, in my corner of blog-land.

Most of us are more willing to make life changes if they are simple, don't radically change our day to day routines, and can become routine over time. Our guest poster, Aster T, offers some suggestions for improving personal health by improving nutrition through the following means. I am excited to have her share her expertise with us! Please leave a comment and help her feel welcomed! Here's Aster T all the way from the UK.
Shalom all, happy to be here; a short intro of myself- 
I have been interested in Health issues as far back as I can remember for the reason that I love good food and enjoy cooking since young.
To start, we need to build on a sound foundation. spiritual as well as natural.
To cook a tasty meal, we must have the right seasonings....
Never use refined table salt. Go for Himalayan Pink Salt, available at Health shops, and online trustworthy sites.
Himalayan Pink salt contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements including Iodine, often found lacking in our diets. Iodine is the No.1 most preventable cause of Mental Retardation.
Himalayan Pink Salt is understood to work throughout the body at cellular level. It is also believed to enhance the effectiveness of other antioxidants. In addition to sodium, Himalayan salt is relatively high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and chloride.
Many healthy fats, in fact, actually promote healthy weight maintenance and a well-functioning cardiovascular and nervous system, among many other benefits.
Never use Vegetable, peanut, canola oils, which are all damaging to health. 
Virgin Cold pressed Olive oils are meant for salads, not for cooking at high temperatures. I recommend -
Coconut oil. Perhaps the most misunderstood -- and also one of the healthiest -- oils you can consume, coconut oil is an amazingly-versatile, nutrient-dense superfood that is the richest known source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which aid in the proper digestion and assimilation of fats, as well as boost energy levels. Coconut oil is also rich in healthy saturated fats and antioxidants, and has been found to promote brain health, boost immunity, and strengthen thyroid function.
Since it has a high smoke point and is incredibly shelf stable, coconut oil is great for both cooking and eating raw. Many people regularly eat unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil by the spoonful, as it is a powerful antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral food that is rich in disease-fighting lauric acid. Coconut is also a powerful energy booster, as it quickly penetrates cells and provides rapid nourishment. 
Sesame oil-  has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Sesame oil is also rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium, the latter of which is known for its incredible calming effect.
Also rich in polyunsaturated fats, sesame oil helps contribute to proper fat absorption; cognitive acuity; healthy skin; a lowered risk of heart disease; and strong teeth and bones. Sesame oil also helps fight diabetes, reduce high blood pressure, prevent gingivitis and dental plaque, protect against kidney damage, and fight depression. 
Use filtered water, for cooking.
Go for Organics! Enjoy living!

Aster T

Thanks Aster T, and thanks to you for stopping by to read and be informed.

Mellow Roc