Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Thank you my shepherd for providing the things I need
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
Thank you for helping me to stop and rest
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
Thank You for the calm waters still the trouble in my soul
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Please let Your path be clear so I can see and follow it
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
Thank You for showing me that You will help  me stand up to evil
For You are with me;
I know You are always there, I only need to hold out my hand
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
They give me a sense of peace and love
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Your preparation makes me strong, and my enemies see I don’t fear them
You anoint my head with oil;
Your anointing shows me I am moving in the right direction
My cup runs over.
Your blessings are so much more than I can hold. I will share them with others
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
I know I am Yours, and if I follow You, I will have peace
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.1
I will someday be in Your heavenly home

 

The 23rd Psalm is so rich in love, peace and imagery. On a difficult day you can pray this Psalm. You can stop at each phrase and imagine you are enveloped in God’s love in each setting. Even if when you are facing difficult times He will always be there with you.

This past July I was really tested. Jim, my husband, had gone to the hospital for a routine CT scan. He had a pulled muscle in his side and the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn’t torn. The regular scan went well. Then the tech injected him with the dye for the contrast scan. Jim felt warmth going up through his body and a strong urge to sneeze. The scan was done and when he got up he felt light headed. Then he could feel himself swelling, in his throat, eyes and nose. Soon he was fighting to breath. He passed out, and a nurse saw him waver, caught him and assisted him to the floor. Through his fog he heard “man down,” he opened his eyes and looked to see what they were talking about. Then, seeing the ceiling, realized it was him. He told me his first thought was “it’s a good thing I didn’t die, Jann would be pissed.” I have always told him that I get to go first. He would do much better going on without me than I would without him.

I was home doing some cleaning and realized he had been gone much longer than expected. I texted him and waited about 10 minutes. I hadn’t heard back so I called the hospital and was connected with radiology. They proceeded to tell me that he was in the ER, but wouldn’t give me any information. Later, I found out it was because of the Hippa law.

I rushed over to the hospital, praying all the way there. I was strangely calm and felt peace. God told me everything was going to be okay. When I finally was able to go into the ER and to Jim’s bedside the first thing I said was “What did you do now?” He smiled, still breathing with difficulty, and said that he had had a sever reaction to the contrast dye. The doctor told me Jim had anaphylactic shock, and almost died. I kissed him and said a quick prayer thanking God for not taking Jim away from me.

He stayed in the hospital for several tests to make sure there were no problems from the dye, and then returned home the next day. I can’t thank God enough for letting me keep my wonderful husband.

Have you faced something that was very difficult and felt God’s love holding you tight? Write me back and share your experience.

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 23:1–6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

PRAISE GOD!!!

Last week was quite a week. On Monday I sent a query letter to DEB HAGGERTY at ELK LAKE PUBLISHING. She responded and sent me the material I needed to fill out for the proposal. Tuesday I sent all of that to her. Then Wednesday, Deb offered me a contract. She called and answered some of my questions. Then I received the contract on Friday. I sent the signed contract and other paper work to her Saturday.

So, PRAISE GOD!!!!! I now have a publisher, contract and a new agent, SHAWN KUHN of the SUZY Q AGENCY. This is all so amazing. I still can’t quite take it all in.

The contract is for the first three books in “Bible Characters Through the Ages Story #1 Adam in the Garden, Story #2 Meeting Eve, and Story #3 Watching David and Goliath” These are all working titles. The editor can make new suggestions for the titles.

Here is a little information about the series:

“Bible Characters Through the Ages”

Two time traveling children want to meet the historical figures of the Bible starting with Adam, but in the past they lose their time travel machine. Can they find their way back home before time has changed? Then, can they return to meet another historical figure of the Bible? Read “Bible Characters Through the Ages” the series to share their adventures.

I first learned about writing groups and conferences when we moved to Florida 6 years ago. I have been working and learning so much about this new career of mine. Who would have thought that God would have me writing for kids at the age of 65? Surely not me, but I am blessed to be able to do this.

He also has me doing workshops for the Florida League of Christian Schools conference. My workshop is on helping children become better writers. It’s a fun event and I meet a lot of great teachers, principals, and administrator’s.

Have you ever thought about writing? Please do it. How can I help and encourage you?

How Would You Like to be Sold?

That’s exactly what happened to Joseph. He was one of Jacob’s sons. His brothers always thought he was the favored son; Jacob even made Joseph a tunic of many colors, much finer than what the others had. Joseph didn’t help matters much. He would have dreams and tell his brothers about them. They were always about him being greater than his brothers.

  • Do you have siblings? Did you feel your parents favored on of you over the other?
  • Help your children to all feel equal love and attention from you
    • They each have different gifts
    • Use those gifts to increase their self-image
    • Let them use their gifts to help others.

All but Joseph were in Dothan feeding the flock. Jacob asked Joseph to see how his brothers were doing. They saw Joseph from far off and while talking, they decided to kill him. They were tired of hearing how great he was. The brothers would kill him and tell their father that a wild animal had killed Joseph. Reuben had second thoughts and said they should just throw Joseph in a pit and leave him to die.

While they were eating they saw a caravan coming their way. Judah told them, that they should sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites and make some money. They received twenty shekels of silver, and Joseph was taken to Egypt, and sold to Potiphar. Potiphar was one of Pharaohs officers and the captain of the guard.

Joseph worked hard and found favor with God. Potiphar saw how God helped Joseph. He was prosperous in all of his endeavors. Seeing all of this Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of his house and all that he had.

  • Joseph went from his brothers planning to kill him to overseeing Potiphar’s estate.
    • Look for ways to give each child responsibility
    • Older children can oversee dishes and some of the cleaning
    • Younger children can carry their dishes to the kitchen counter
    • They can all help keep their rooms picked up

travel-945309_640Then Potiphar’s wife tried to take Joseph to bed, but he refused. She got mad and told her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. He was sent to jail. While there he did everything he was told, and eventually oversaw the prisoners.

The Pharaoh’s chief butler and the chief baker had been put in jail with Joseph. One night they each had a dream. The next day Joseph interpreted them. The butler was released after serving his time, but the baker was hung. Then two years later Pharaoh had a dream and no one could interpret it for him. The butler remembered Joseph interpreting his dream. He went to the Pharaoh and told him about Joseph.

Joseph was summoned, and he interpreted the dream. Pharaoh was so pleased, that he made Joseph the overseer of his household. Then it came to pass that there was a famine. Joseph’s brothers came to get help and food in Egypt. Joseph saw them, but they didn’t recognize him. In the end the family was reunited.

  • When you talk with the kids in the morning, ask them about their dreams
    • Ask them if the dreams make them feel good or bad
    • Help them to see if there is a meaning to their dream
  • Do you dream very much? Do you remember them?

How Would You Like to be Told Your Name is Going to be Changed?

That’s exactly what God told Abram and Sarai. Abram was 75 years old when God came to him with this news. He also told Abram that he and Sarai were going to leave their home and move. They were to take their belongings, and nephew Lot, and move from Haran to Canaan.

12 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”1

I would imagine we all have experienced moving, at least once. We’ve moved quite a few times, 19 to be exact, in 44 years. Some were just for a few weeks, or a couple of months. Each move takes its toll. Some moves people make are for jobs, and some to join family. Our last big move was to join our kids in Florida. It is great to be with them again, but we left a lot behind.

I thought the move would be easy and wonderful. Wrong. Leaving other family and friends was much harder than I thought it would be. We also had to start all over again. We had to find all new doctors, a new church home, and make new friends. We lived with one of our daughters for three months, then the other for two months. We really appreciated them helping us out, but it was great to finally be able to buy a home and be on our own again.

Are you facing a move? Help your children adjust:

  • Let them sort their toys into piles of keep and donate
  • Give them a box to pack the toys they are keeping
  • Show them how to wrap the fragile things
  • If this is a far move, have a going away party with their friends
  • Give them an address book to write the addresses and phone numbers of their friends
  • If older make sure they have email addresses

Abram and Sarai left a lot behind them too. The last move we made was our choice, but they were told they were moving directly by God. He guides us to new places where if we listen to Him, He will make life changes for us that in the long run will be better. Abram and Sarai were told when they arrived in Canaan that the land would belong to them and their descendants. It was in Canaan that God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah.

They had been in Canaan, for quite a while and still didn’t have a son, so Sarah had her maid servant, Hagar, lay with Abraham and she bore him a son named Ishmael. Hagar taunted Sarah, because she was able to have a son. Out of frustration Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away. God blessed them, and through Ishmael came the nation of Islam.

When Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, God told them that they would have a son. This made them both laugh, since at their ages this seemed impossible. But with God all things are possible. In their old age Isaac was born. When he was a boy God tested Abraham and commanded him to give the boy to Him as a sacrifice. Abraham followed God’s directions and just before he was to kill Isaac an angel stopped him and showed him a ram to use as a sacrifice.

Have you faced some difficult things in your life? It can even be a good thing, but any change can be difficult. Teach your children how to cope.

  • Tell them what is going on.
  • If a health issue of a loved one, give details that are age appropriate
  • If you are moving let them know right away, so they have time to adjust mentally
  • If a new baby is joining the family, let them be part of the preparation

 

Share how you and your family work through the changes in your life.

 

 
1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ge 12:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Life and Time of Noah

What can you learn from reading Noah’s story?

From the time of Adam there are nine generations until the time of Noah. Noah was 500 years old when he became a father. His sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The people had grown farther and farther away from God. They became an evil people, and only thought of their pleasure and wants.

God wanted to get rid of all of the people and living creatures on the ground and in the air. He was ready to wipe everything He created out. Then He remembered Noah and his family and that they were good. God talked to Noah and said:

14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood;
make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside
and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how
you shall make it: The length of the ark
shall be three hundred cubits, its width
fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

16 You shall make a window for the ark,
and you shall finish it to a cubit from above;
and set the door of the ark in its side. You
shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters
on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh
in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the
earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with
you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your
wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living
thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the
ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and
female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after
their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its
kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.
21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten,
and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for
you and for them.”1

I don’t know about you, but if God came to me and said that, I think my first reaction might be, “right.” It’s not always easy to follow what you feel you are being led to do by God. Often we feel we are inadequate to handle the task. We ask God, isn’t there someone that is better qualified than I am to do this for You? Are You really sure You want me to do this?

If we choose to follow the guidance of God, it’s amazing what we and our children can do.

  • For our physical health:
    • We need to walk more, and take the kids with us. We can use the time to actually talk with each other.
    • Be smarter in choosing what we eat, teach the kids better eating habits too
  • For our mental health:
    • Take time to rest our minds, literally get away from stress.
    • Have the kids sit and read a book.
    • Stay away from electronics, they can cause frustration
  • For our Spiritual health:
    • Read the Bible more and meditate on the reading.
    • Imagine sitting in a peaceful place with Jesus and just enjoy being in His presence

Once Noah began building the ark, I can imagine that he was teased by everyone. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and Noah and his sons are building this huge boat. It must have been difficult to work on something that probably seemed ridiculous to the other people.

Then the rain began to fall. It didn’t stop until it covered everything up and over to the mountain tops. Have you been out in the ocean, and all you could see was water? If you’re on a cruise ship it’s kind of cool. There’s nothing around, but beautiful calming water (of course that would be on a sunny day 😉 ) However, Noah and his family knew that everything was gone. It was all under water.

What would it have been like to be closed up in the ark? I really hope God made the all the animals and birds get along. I have also wondered about the smell, hmmm.

After floating for 40 days, Noah sent out a raven and it couldn’t find a place to land. Next he sent out a dove, but it returned. Noah waited another seven days, then sent out the dove again. It returned with an olive branch. This was a sign from God that their time on the boat was about to end. Once the water had receded they opened the door and let out all of the animals and birds.

They built an altar and made a sacrifice in thanksgiving to God, for saving them. God placed a rainbow in the sky. He told them that this was His sign, that He would never destroy everything again.

When I see a rainbow I say a prayer of thanks for the blessings in my life. Even for the tough times He has gotten me through. Tell me what you think of when you see a rainbow?

 

 

 

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ge 6:14–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

We Can be Held Firmly in Our Faith in God

Teaching from Bible stories

Job 1:1, 8-12

1 There once was a man named Job who lived
in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a
man of complete integrity. He feared God
and stayed away from evil. 8 Then the Lord
asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job?
He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a
man of complete integrity. He fears God
and stays away from evil.” 9 Satan replied to the Lord,
“Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You
have always put a wall of protection around him
and his home and his property. You have made him
prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
11 But reach out and take away everything he has,
and he will surely curse you to your face!”
12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan.
“Do whatever you want with everything he possesses,
but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the
Lord’s presence.1

 

God let Satan try to persuade Job to stop trusting in God, break him, and cause him to lose his faith in God. Satan is always trying to cause us to stumble and turn away from God. Sometimes we listen to Satan and do things we shouldn’t do. There are many times that I catch myself doing something wrong and tell him to go back to hell and leave me alone.

Teach your children to recognize the difference between what is of God and what is of Satan.

  • If you find your child being mean to another child, ask them if they would like to be treated like that
  • With an older child if you find they have broken something, talk to them about the reason they did it
    • Was the object not working the way they wanted it to
    • Did the object remind them of something that made them sad
    • Are they upset about something and taking out their aggression

Once you have the child settled down talk with them about how they feel. If it is a bad feeling then Satan is trying to make them misbehave. Tell them to think first before acting. Would God or you, the parent, be happy with what they are about to do? Explain that God is always there and wants to help them to be good.

 

Psalm 26:1-5

1 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in
mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD
therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD,
and prove me; try my reins and my heart. 3 For thy
lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked
in thy truth. 4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will
I go in with dissemblers. 5 I have hated the congregation
of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.2

 

In this reading from Psalms David is putting his life before God. He says that he has tried to do as well as he can in the sight of God. The psalm goes on to ask God to help him keep his eyes on God and to not sin.

When your child is facing a tough decision ask them to think about the consequences:

  • Is what they are about to do going to hurt anyone including themselves
  • Would God be happy with their choice
  • Is what they are about to do going to help someone else

 

We too face times we need to ask these same questions of ourselves and our choices. Share this with your child so they can see how you have found your answer.

 

Hebrews 1:1-5

Jesus Christ Is God’s Son
1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many
ways to our ancestors through the prophets.
2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to
us through his Son. God promised everything to
the Son as an inheritance, and through the
Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates
God’s own glory and expresses the very character
of God, and he sustains everything by the
mighty power of his command. When he had
cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the
place of honor at the right hand of the majestic
God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far
greater than the angels, just as the name
God gave him is greater than their names.3

 

In the Old Testament the prophets talked about the coming of the Messiah, the coming of the Son of God. Then in the New Testament God’s Son is born. He tells us that Jesus will walk with us and tell us what His Fathers words are for us. He sits at the right hand of God and is above all including the angels.

We need to share this good news with our children. That God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to be on earth to walk and talk with people. Also that He can relate to what we go through in daily life. That He has experienced everything that we do.

  • He fasted: so He felt hunger
  • He went to a wedding: He had a good time at a party
  • His friend Lazarus died: so He felt loss
  • He was beaten: He felt the pain of bullies
  • He died on the cross for us: He made it possible for us to come blameless and talk with God.
    • Without His death and taking away all of our sins, we couldn’t be in the presence of God
    • The Holy Spirit speaks for us when we don’t have the words to say
    • Because of His love we can feel His loving arms around us, supporting us

 

Use these lessons to strengthen your faith and to teach your child of the love of God.

 

 
1 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Job 1:8–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
2 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (1995). (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version., Ps 26:1–5). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
3 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Heb 1:1–4). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Showing Our Children How God Helps us in Stressful Times

Using the Bible stories as lessons:

Queen Esther: A strong and faithful young Jewish woman was taken from her home. She was part of a group of young women that were to be groomed for a chance to be the next queen. King Xerxes chose Esther. An evil man named Haman hated the Jews and was trying to have them all killed. Queen Esther heard of this and was used by God to save her people.

Tell your children that even when they are young God can use them to do great things.

  • For birthday, have party, but bring donations for a charity as presents
  • Instead of a party do volunteer work at a food pantry
  • Serve a meal at a homeless shelter
  • Girls can donate hair to make a wig for a child that has lost their hair
  • Visit a children’s hospital and read to the patients

 

Psalm 124:6-8
6 Let’s praise the Lord!
He protected us from enemies
who were like wild animals,
7 and we escaped like birds
from a hunter’s torn net.
8 The Lord made heaven and earth,
and he is the one who sends us help.1

 

God is always with us even in the face of our enemy.

Tell your children that even when they are young God hears their cry.

  • If there is someone bullying them they can pray for God to give them strength to stand tall
  • When something bad is happening in the community, like tragedy a in a school. Help your child work through their fear, teach them to pray asking God for strength
  • Bad things happen, but lessons can be learned. When our children were young a boy at their school hung himself. We talked with the girls about how tragic this was, but also that no matter how big their problem was that they could always talk to us and that God was with them

 

 

James 5:13-18
13 If you are having trouble, you should pray.
And if you are feeling good, you should sing praises
14 If you are sick, ask the church leaders to come
and pray for you. Ask them to put olive oil on you
in the name of the Lord. 15 If you have faith
when you pray for sick people, they will get well.
The Lord will heal them, and if they have sinned,
he will forgive them. 16 If you have sinned, you should
tell each other what you have done. Then you can
pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent
person is powerful, and it can help a lot. 17 Elijah
was just as human as we are, and for three and
a half years his prayers kept the rain from falling
18 But when he did pray for rain, it fell from
the skies and made the crops grow.2

 

Pray with your children and have them pray for others

  • When someone you know is sick or injured teach your child to ask God for healing, or the acceptance that sometimes death is the healing
  • When something fun or good is happening, teach your child to thank God for the good He has brought into their lives
  • If there is a need in your family, such as a financial problem, teach them to pray asking how they can help
    • Not to ask for a new toy
    • To ask to eat at home more
    • To go out and pick up bottles and cans and turn them in for the deposit and give it to you

Developing a strong faith and trust in God is important for you and your child. When you give them the example of praying in front of them asking God for help you are giving them a very valuable gift. You are showing them that you are human and have struggles too. This will teach them that you are not perfect and still have a lot to learn from God. Teach them from a very young age to say simple prayers before a meal and before bed. As they grow older and understand more you can pray with them and teach them to pray for their struggles and joys.

 

 

1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Ps 124:6–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
2 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Jas 5:13–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Meet My Illustrator

Meet my dear friend and illustrator, Suzanne Lassiter Everett. Suzanne will be doing the illustrations for my new series being published by Write Integrity Press : Bible Characters Through the Ages.

I will need your help:

  • Characters your children would like to read about
  • Activities they would like to see Daniel and Sarah be involved in
  • Scary incidents Daniel and Sarah could be involved in
  • Ideas for scenes for the characters

I would like these books to be something the children can really get involved in. There are discussion questions at the end of each book. The books can be used in Sunday school classes, schools, and as family time devotion.

If I use your child’s idea as the basis for what I write for a scene in a book, I will try to put their name on the acknowledgement page in the published book. Have them write out the scene. Tell them to be very descriptive with the scene so the reader can picture what is happening. Here is a sample from “Adam in the Garden”:

“Sarah, where are you?” Daniel called.
“I’m in my room,” Sarah yelled back.
Daniel went down the short hall to her bedroom. “Want to go on a time travel trip with me?”
“Really, Daniel?” She picked up her ballerina doll, named Princess. “How are we going to do that?”
“Let’s make a time travel machine!”

The more description they use the better the reader will be able to picture what is happening. Here’s another example:

He looked around the garden and saw Adam nearby.
“Sarah look, there’s Adam behind that bush.
He’s tall and thin with dark hair. I bet he works hard to take care of all the plants and
trees God created. I see his big arm muscles
He looks real strong. Let’s go and talk to him.”
When he climbed down from the tree, Sarah cried.
“There are a lot of trees that look like the one that’s
near Yahweh’s Express.” “Don’t worry, Sarah. I’m sure
I’ll be able to find the tree,” he answered,
but he really wasn’t sure. “Let’s go talk to Adam.”
They ran over to where Adam was working on a
space in the garden. He was startled when he saw them.
“Sarah, just look in his eyes when you talk to him,”
whispered Daniel. “He doesn’t have any clothes on.”

So let’s have some fun kids. Start writing down your ideas and send them to me through my blog at: Jann W. Martin I can’t wait to see what you send me.

Seeing God’s Beauty

Can you imagine what it would have been like to watch as God created the world? To be one of the angels standing by and looking on as the darkness took form. There was nothing, and then there was light, sky, and land. On the land the grass, trees, flowers and food began to grow. In the sky there was night and day. Once that was done there were creatures of all kinds on the earth.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2
The earth was barren, with no form of life; it was under a
roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God
was moving over the water.
1

beach with verseSitting alone looking out at the sky and water is one of my favorite things to do. It gives me time to reflect on my blessings and concerns. To pray, asking God for forgiveness as well as guidance. It always gives me a sense of peace.

The following is from the King James Version Commentary:

At the voice of God’s command, the waters obeyed; and it was so. Not only did God call the dry land into existence; but He also named it Earth, and the waters He named Seas. The dry land was called Earth (Heb ‘erets) because that word bears a meaning which may refer to that which is lower. It is in opposition to the firmament above, literally the heights of verse 8. The Seas (Heb yamīm) is used in the very broad sense to include every body of water, even lakes and rivers 2

Using a commentary as you read the stories of the Bible helps you understand more as you read. For instance, the seas also included the lakes and rivers. I never broke it down like that when I thought of creation.

Looking at all of creation in the beginning would have been amazing. Everything would have been clean and without blemish. There was no sin, everything was perfect. When Adam and Eve decided they wanted to be more like God and know what He knew, that’s when there started to be trouble. Adam had to work hard now to get their food, and Eve knew the pain of childbirth.

When we go to heaven we will once again see things as they were in the beginning.

  • Be able to see God
  • Have peace among the people
  • Our land free from weeds
  • No more droughts
  • No more floods
  • Clean air and water

Tell me your vision of what creation would have been like. What do you do to feel closer to God?

 

 

1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Ge 1:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
2 Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Queen Esther

Esther was a young beautiful girl when she and many other young virgins were summoned by King Xerxes. He needed a new queen since he had sent Queen Vashti away for not obeying him. We find their story in the book of Esther, a portion of their story follows:

8As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. 9Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.

10Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. 11Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.

12Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. 13When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. 14That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the next morning she was brought to the second harem,* where the king’s wives lived. There she would be under the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the concubines. She would never go to the king again unless he had especially enjoyed her and requested her by name.

15Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.

16Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter* of the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.1

Esther and the other girls must have been really scared. They were taken away from their families to the palace of the king. I wonder if they knew why they were being taken away from home. Once they were settled in I imagine they began to enjoy themselves. They were assigned servants to wait on them hand and foot. They went through spa treatments for 12 months. I think I could handle being pampered like that for a while, but not for that long. I would get restless and need something more to do. I like to feel like I have accomplished something at the end of the day.

Once Esther was queen she found out that Haman, the scheming prime minister of King Xerxes, was trying to kill off all of the Jews, she contacted her cousin Mordecai. He told her that he and all of their people would fast and pray for God’s deliverance. Queen Esther also fasted and prayed. At the end of her fast she went to King Xerxes without being asked to come to him, coming like this could be punished by death. No one was to come to the king unless he requested them to be in his presence.

She found favor in his eyes and invited the king and Haman to a dinner she had prepared. Then she told them that she knew what Haman was planning to do and that she was also a Jew and would be killed. King Xerxes had Haman taken away and killed.

Esther was a simple Jewish girl that became a queen and saved her nation. This is quite a story of faith and strength. We daily face things that we have to deal with. They usually aren’t as big as what Queen Esther had to face, but what we do in our lives is just as important to us and those around us.

Many years ago I was offered a chance to take a series of video class through Trinity Seminary. After three years of study I was commissioned as an Associate in Ministry. This opened a whole new avenue for me to serve our gracious Lord. He has used me in many wonderful ways since my commissioning. The path He has me on now is to write for His beautiful little children to bring them closer to Him.

The movie One Night with the King is very good and gives you a visual of what Esther’s life might have been like.

I would like to know how He is using you in this beautiful world. Please share with me your path and tell me if there is a way I can help you on your path.

 

 

1 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Es 2:8–18). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.