Her New Tabernacle {chronicle}

Her New Tabernacle {chronicle}

July 14, 1979 Andover, MA

July 14, 1979 Andover, MA

She’s been gone almost a year now.  She finally left her earthly house of this tabernacle behind and went to live in God’s Tabernacle.  My mother often said she wished she would die in her sleep, which is what she did, as far as I know (I wasn’t there.  I was at home sleeping.)

My mother made her living as a bookkeeper.  Her last employer was a Jewish plumber, Max Wolf, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Mr. Wolf was a practicing Jew.  At some point while employed by Mr. Wolf, my mother was asked by him to keep the books for the local synagogue, where he attended.  This required her attendance at a monthly meeting, in the synagogue, where I suppose she reported to the attendees their financial status and received receipts for the next month’s report.

My mother respected Mr. Wolf and his synagogue, often speaking of her attendance at the meetings, which were held in a back room of the synagogue.  It occurs to me now that, although my mother had been acquainted with numerous Jewish businessmen and women, previously, this was likely the first (and only) one which generated her respect.

As a young child I remember my mother speaking ill of Jewish shopkeepers who were shrewder than any of their customers.  For her to work for a Jewish employer, as well as for his synagogue, and have the level of respect which she had for them, was amazing.

What does this have to do with a tabernacle?

To my knowledge the origin of the term tabernacle is in ancient Jewish culture and worship.  God gave detailed instructions to Moses for building the first tabernacle, which he recorded in the book of Exodus.  The purpose of the tabernacle was to house the ark of the covenant and for the priests to make atonement for the sins of the people.

While the Israelites were wandering through the wilderness for forty years, the tabernacle had a place of prominence among them when they set up camp.  And when they traveled, it went before them, or rather the ark of the covenant did.  The tabernacle itself was dismantled for traveling.

The God of Israel did not literally dwell inside the tabernacle, but it was representative of God’s presence.  It was the place where the priests entered God’s presence, inasmuch as men may do so and live.  Thus the rope tied to the priest for pulling him out of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, in the event that he died.

Loosely translated, God was inside the tabernacle.

Years later when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, that took the place of the tabernacle.  Solomon desired to build God an house more glorious than his own in accordance with his father, David’s, wishes.  Whether or not the terms synagogue and temple are the same, they are used in the same context fro a place of worship, where one meets with God.

John said in the first chapter of his Gospel (1:14) in reference to Jesus,

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The word ‘dwelt’ is also translated ‘tabernacled’.  Jesus is the Word, Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore is God, and He lived or tabernacled among men.

Jesus tabernacled among us on earth.

As you may know, I started memorizing the book of 2 Corinthians two years ago.  I was working on chapter five during the last few months of my mother’s life.  It had been weeks since she had spoken to me.  It was a lonely agonizing time, knowing that she would be soon leaving her earthly dwelling-place, to meet Jesus and her loved ones who were waiting for her.

At the time it felt cruel to be memorizing verses about death while my mother’s life hung in the balance.  I thought the verses likely would be soon forgotten (they were not) for the pain of losing my mother.  But I kept on.  Because it was the right thing to do  Because the verses are God’s words to me.  And because He had a purpose in doing things His way.

That last paragraph is the heart of the matter.  The tears are pouring from my eyes.  Not for my mother, or for the loss of her physical tabernacle, but for letting God be God and submitting to His Word.

My mother is tabernacled in heaven.

There’s a short backstory to the passage in 2 Corinthians 5.  When I was a Bible college student in another lifetime, likely before you were born, I studied that passage.  I remember writing a paper on it.  it’s meaning has always been special to me, even though I had not lost someone close to me.

The verses became personal to me when  my mother died.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

For in this we groan, being burdened, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.

If so be that being clothed, we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:  not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4

My paper showed the immediacy of being in God’s presence upon death (verses 6-8), which is comforting to know.

When I review this passage, which I did again yesterday, I am reminded of my mother.  As time passes the memory is less about her dying, and more about her life, both in her earthly tabernacle of this body, and in her new home — heaven.

For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then I shall be known even as I am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Beulah and Marion Dennison Salem St. Andover 1951

Beulah (left) and Marion Dennison (right) Salem St. Andover 1951


Marion Joyce Dennison Moore

Entered her earthly tabernacle:  May 14, 1920

Entered her new tabernacle:  March 10, 2015

Note:  I am currently the age my mother was in the top photo.  I somehow missed the youth gene.

For more remembrances of my mother you may wish to read:

Her Final Home

The Birthday Book

Oh Dear, Where Did My Mother Go?

Final Destination

Mother Knows Best


Featured Images {chronicle}

Cleaning out my drafts folder this week .. this was written almost a year ago .. Featured Images {chronicle} is an update of a previously unpublished post, with pictures of my grandson.  At the end I’ll add some current pictures of him .. how did he get so big???  Here’s his mother when she was a tad older than he .. with her Gram:

Here’s the old unpublished unedited post:

{sigh}{big sigh}

Has anyone else had the privilege of learning how to use a featured image for a post?  My photo won’t show on the post.  I thought perhaps it was too large, but when I edit it, it won’t save.  Help!

Meanwhile, I learned the simple process {two clicks} of making a photo gallery, which I should have done long ago.  This one is a bit random, from Christmas.  Photos already on the blog.

Learning, ever learning, never ending because there are always new things, things changing, more information, faster, faster…

Learning little by little, overwhelmed much of the time, the rest of the time spent with head in proverbial sand.

Today the learning curve is about Featured Images on WordPress.com blogs.

  • First, choose a theme which allows Featured Images.
  • Next, check your theme to see where it can be used.  The My Life theme (this blog) allows featured images in posts and on pages, but not in the header.
  • Make sure Featured Images is checked off on your Screen Options (top right side of post editing screen).
  • Try it out on an unpublished post.
  • Decide how to best use featured images for the benefit of your readers.

Current update:

Obviously I succeeded in getting the Featured Image to work, as I’ve been using it regularly.

This Christmas is the year of passing the family ornaments down to the next generation.  No pictures of that yet, but it’s very much in our hearts, this first Christmas without my mother, my kids’ Gram.  We have her 1950s ornaments as well as handmade ones which she gifted to us years ago.  Lots of memories, lots of love.

Christmas is the season for family, for remembering the old ones, cherishing the new ones, the young, and making new memories for the future.  It is a time for family traditions.  It is a season of love, of giving, of cherishing what loved ones have given.

Christmas is not about stuff.  It is about relationships, it is about selfless giving to those we love, just as God gave us His only Son that we might live through Him.

 May your Christmas season be filled with memories

and joy and hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Now, let’s see if I can remember how to make a photo gallery ..

Her Final Home {chronicle}

My mother, who suffered with Alzheimers for the past decade or so, entered Her Final Home on March 10, 2015.  She would have turned 95 in May.  Since she and I both love(d) history, I thought I’d share some of hers with you, and file it in the {chronicle} category.

My mother was born, the third daughter, in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada.  The year she turned three her father came to the States to work, as many Nova Scotians did in the early 20th century, between the world wars.

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye

As my mother told it, one man would come, find a job, send for his family, and when the next job came available, send for the next man, and the process continued thus.  My grandfather came in April of 1923, and sent for his family in July.

My grandmother and the three little girls came from Nova Scotia to Boston, Massachusetts by boat.  To my knowledge my grandparents only visited their birthplace once, after their children were grown.  My mother and one sister went before my mother married.  My mother went two other times in her retirement, once with a sister and once with a brother.

My mother lived in a number of houses growing up, all in Andover, Massachusetts.  She took great pride in showing those houses to us.  All or all but one are still standing, in good repair, still private homes in use.

Elm Court  c.1924

Elm Court c.1924

Two brothers were born after the family came to Andover.  Because my mother was in the middle … well, you know what the middle is like.  There were four years between her and her next oldest sister, and six years between her and the first brother.  She was ‘daddy’s little girl’.

They lived in Shawsheen Village, and then Temple Place, which is several buildings divided into apartments (the same today as in the 1920s), a house on High Street, one on Elm Court, Chickering Court, two in Ballardvale, 79 Pine Street, and finally the house on Salem Street.

One time they moved because they outgrew where they were.  One time it was the Great Depression and they lost their house (after the Depression, when Grandpa got his job back).  The last house was owned by Phillips Academy, which employed my grandfather as a carpenter.  My grandparents were able to buy the house from the Academy at a good price.

My mother’s favorite house was 79 Pine Street.  In a world where all is fair, they would have still lived in it after the Depression.  I wish I could remember all the good times about which she told me.  Good memories.

79 Pine Street 1932  (my mom is in the middle)

79 Pine Street 1932
(my mom is in the middle)

My mother lived in many different homes over the course of her life, mostly in Massachusetts after I grew up.  She lived in Andover again for a number of years until about twenty years ago.  I figure she lived in Andover about fifty years, more than half her life.  No wonder she missed it in her declining years.

When the dementia took over she would talk to me about trying to find the train to get somewhere.  One of her favorite parts of living in Andover was riding the train into Boston.  She worked in Boston before I was born.  She didn’t have a driver’s license until I was four.

It was so hard to convince her through the dementia that she didn’t need to get any where any more.  She seemed to be trying to get to work.  She hadn’t worked in nearly thirty years.

I imagine my mother has quite forgotten all of the many places she called home on this earth.  She is in her Final Home at last.  I came across the certificate from my mother’s baptism and church membership the other day.  She was eleven years old.  Her best friend’s father was the minister.

My mother trusted in the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, to redeem her from her sins and was assured of God’s gift of eternal life.  At no time did the Alzheimer’s steal that from her.  Until the last conversation we had, which was not very recent, she still looked forward to joining our loved ones.

Marion Joyce Dennison Moore knew, as I know, that her Final Home is heaven.