Our new assignment for our ministry group is sharing how we hear from God. God speaks to His people in so many ways. The Bible says even those who do not believe know of Him through creation. We are all in different places in our …
This is my third response to things in the Old Testament that lead to Christ. Our ladies ministry group has been sharing Biblical truths during this time of social distancing to keep us in touch. My topic tonight is the Mercy Seat. It is a perfect picture of Jesus and what he did for us.
God instructed His people to build a tabernacle. This structure was to be a place for God to be with His people. The tabernacle was designed to show us Christ, our need for a Savior and how to approach God. The structure was a tent and within the tent was a section called the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place. This is where the high priest would offer God a sacrifice for the sins of the people.
This act of the high priest giving a blood offering for the sins of the people pointed out the need of a Savior to free us of our sin. The word used for this is propitation. The people were given mercy from God for their wrong doing. They were made right with God.
The one high priest was the only one who could enter this room. He went there to offer a sacrifice for the sins of all the people. Inside the room was the Ark of the Covenant. The top of the ark was called the Mercy Seat. It was a solid gold platform with two angel like figures on each side. These were called cheribims. The cherubims faced each other. God said I will meet you there. God would make himself known in what was called the glory cloud between the cherubims and the lid of the ark or Mercy Seat.
God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to fulfill that same need. He became the propitiation for our sins. That was His whole purpose in coming to Earth as a man to dwell among us and then offer His own life as a sacrifice for our sins. Freeing us from our sins includes removing the guilt and making us right before God so that we can fellowship with Him. When the priest went into the Holy of Holies the sacrifice they offered only lasted a year. When Jesus offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sin it was for all time; before His arrival as a man on Earth, during His life on Earth and for all time after He ascended. What an amazing plan of Salvation!
We can see that Mercy Seat again in the tomb where Jesus sacrificed body had lain and an angel was at each end of the place where he was laid. Again I say, the Bible has one message and that is Jesus! Thank you Jesus for your Boundless Love and Amazing Grace
I have been putting in a few pictures from my window while I am staying home more. Hope you enjoy.
I have always loved the story of Nehemiah. From the beginning prayer of Nehemiah to ask God’s favor through the end, Nehemiah stayed grounded in obedience and prayer. What a great example for our children! My sister shared her version of Tobiah with me and I added some illustrations. Enjoy!
Tobiah the Bully
Now Tobiah was a bully You would not think so with a name that means, “The Lord is Good.” But Tobiah wasn’t good. Tobiah was an enemy of God’s people.
Tobiah would take his merchant cart and sell things in the city of Jerusalem. He knew he was not suppose to sell things on the Sabboth, but Tobiah paid no attention to rules. Rules were for other people. One day he heard that a new governor named Nehemiah was coming to rebuild the city walls and gates. Tobiah did not want that. Nehemiah might make him quit selling things on the Sabboth.
When Nehemiah arrived, Tobiah gathered up his friends Sanballot and Geshem. They planned to make Nehemiah afraid. They wanted run him off. They sent threatening letters and spread rumors and lies. They heckled and mocked Nehemiah, but
Nehemiah was not afraid. He and the people had finished the wall in 52 days. Everything was good in the city. It was safe and secure. They even celebrated the Feast of Booths. This was a fun time for everyone. It was kind of like a camp out. Everyone built a small tent or booth in front of their house. They ate and slept in the small shelters for a week. The purpose of the feast was to remind them how God had taken care of them in the wilderness when Moses had brought them out of Egypt. It was a time of joy!
Now you might think that Tobiah would not still be hanging around town. But he was a bully. He wanted to stay and cause trouble any time he could. That’s the way bullies are. One day he heard that the governor, Nehemiah, was leaving the city to go back and visit the king and thank him for his help.
Tobiah hurried quickly back to the city. When Nehemiah was gone, it would be a great time for a long stay in Jerusalem. At first Tobiah scouted out the city. It was really a quite lovely and very safe place with the new wall. He decided that he would move to Jerusalem. He looked around for a new home. He was a friend with the priest at the temple. “What a beautiful place for a new home,” thought Tobiah. “The Temple of God.”
Tobiah loved the beautiful courtyards. The storerooms in the temple were large and spacious. It was a perfect place for his home, and it even had things there he could probably sell. So Tobiah moved in his stuff. He moved in couches, tables, goblets, platters, carpets, pillows, lamp stands and shiny copper kettles. And he propped his feet up right there in the house of God.
Now when Nehemiah got back from Babylon the people ran to meet him at the gate. They told Nehemiah all that had happened and that Tobiah was living in the temple of God. Nehemiah was angry. The temple belonged to God and the storeroom was where people brought their gifts to God. Tobiah was not only a bully, he was robbing God. So Nehemiah strode off to the temple with the people following close behind.
The first thing he did was throw old Tobiah out of the temple. He threw out all of Tobiah’s stuff. There were carpets flying and pans clanging. Nehemiah threw out the couches, the tables, the goblets, the platters, the pillows, the lamp stands and all of Tobiah’s stuff. He tossed out Tobiah’s merchant cart and wares. Then Nehemiah marched Tobiah right out of the city. He cleaned up the temple of God and once again the people could worship God by bringing their gifts to the storehouse.
I love learning about family history, but also the history of our country. It is amazing the gems of knowledge our forefathers drew from scripture when they set out to form a new government. Sadly our children do not get to learn these stories. Today I am doing the story of Jonathan and David. I have included one of those gems in the story.
A long time ago God’s people, the Children of Israel, decided they wanted a king. Now this really hurt God because he was their king. But the people continued to moan and complain. They wanted to be like all the other countries around them who had a king. God warned them of the danger of an earthly king. You see a king is a judge, a lawgiver and a leader. And God knew that when people try to be king things like greed and jealously can cause them to be a very bad king. The people continued to call for a king and soon Saul was anointed as their first king. Just like God had warned Saul became greedy and jealous. He disobeyed God. God was displeased with Saul so he sent Samuel to anoint David the shepherd boy as king.
It did not take long for Saul to realize that God had anointed a new king. Saul had a son Jonathan. “He should be the next king,” Saul said. So he told his son Jonathan and all his attendants to kill David. Now Jonathan was a good boy. He knew it was not right to kill David. He knew that he should follow his father to be the next king, but he also knew God had already anointed David and that was the way it would be. Jonathan liked David a lot. They had become good friends. In fact they were almost like brothers. So instead of going to hurt David, he set out to warn him about his father’s plan. “Be on your guard tomorrow morning,” said Jonathan to David. “My father, Saul, is looking for a chance to kill you.”
The next day Jonathan went into the field with his father, Saul. “Please do not harm your servant David for he has not done anything wrong to you,” said Jonathan. “Everything he has done has been to help you. He killed the Philistine Giant for you. He has won great victories in battle for you and he has played beautiful music for you when you did not feel well. Why would you do anything bad to an innocent person like David,” Jonathan said.
But nothing seemed to change Saul’s mind. So Jonathan went to see David. Jonathan made a covenant with David. “May the Lord call David’s enemies to be held accountable,” said Jonathan. This must have been a very difficult thing to do because David’s enemy was his father. But Jonathan knew that his father was acting against God’s will.
So Jonathan made a plan. He told David, “Tomorrow toward evening come to this field. I will shoot three arrows to the side of the place where you are hiding. Then I will send a boy and say go find the arrows. If I say to him, ‘Look the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then you are to come to me because you are safe. But if I say to the boy, look the arrows are beyond you then you must go away because the Lord has sent you away. Just remember I made a covenant with you to help you and I will keep it.”
So the next day, David hid in the field. Jonathan was having a meal with his father. Saul became angry at Jonathan for being a friend to David. So Jonathan left taking a young boy with him and went into the field. He told the young boy they would target practice.
When they reached the place where David was hiding he shot the arrow. He told the young boy to go get it. “The arrow is beyond you,” Jonathan told the young boy.” The boy knew nothing of the plan, but David knew this meant Saul still wanted to harm him. Jonathan sent the young boy home. David bowed down to Jonathan three times with his face to the ground. They kissed each other and cried together. But David cried most. Jonathan told David to go and reminded him of their great friendship which they made to be forever no matter what happened. Then Jonathan returned home and David went his separate way.
David one day did become king. He wanted to be a good king but he knew how hard that was. David knew that he would make mistakes even though he wanted to be a good king. To be a king you have to make laws for people, you judge people and you are their leader. David knew God was the only one who could do all three.
Our forefathers knew this too. They knew that man can become jealous and greedy that his heart can be deciteful. So instead of having one person do all three jobs, they set up three branches of our government: one called the legislative who makes our laws, one called the executive which is our leader and all his helpers and one called judicial which judges the people. These three branches keep us safe from a powerful king that could take away our liberties given to us by God. Our forefathers knew God is the only Righteous King.
Thanks to Covid-19, this is a very different time for most of us. Most of us are weary of being at home, and even for those of us who like to be at home, the worry of going out in public and getting necessities is a bit exhausting. There are many different challenges we face during this pandemic, one very big change that many of us are experiencing is children learning from home not school. I was so blessed this morning to visit with my 10 year old granddaughter who has set up a home school for her younger brothers and sister. Every school day she teaches them in her little school room. She creates them lessons for reading, writing, mathematics, science, and they even have physical education. I am so very proud of all of them.
I suggested that she could also use her teaching time to do Bible stories and memorize Bible verses. I decided to post some Children’s Bible Stories for her and others to share. Today I chose a story about Jethro, Moses father-in-law.
Jethro Offers a Plan for Moses
Most of you know the story of how Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. While in Egypt the Pharoah had become very oppressive to the people. They spent long hours and in harsh conditions working for the Egyptians. God’s people had cried out to Him to save them from this terrible place and get them out of slavery. So God had sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt. It wasn’t an easy task. Old Pharoah did not want to let the people go, but finally, with a little persuasion, he did.
God had parted the waters of the Red Sea and the people had crossed over into a vast wilderness on their way to the promised land God had planned for them. With so many people there were always problems. People often got into arguments about all kinds of things. Moses was the man in charge. He had to take care of all these complaining people and keep peace among the Israelites.
Now Moses wife, Zipporah and his two sons, Gershom and Elizer were still living in Midian with Ziphorah’s family. Moses father-in-law had heard that Moses had led the people into the wilderness so he decided it was time for Ziporah and the boys to join Moses. When they arrived, Moses was so excited to see them. They shared stories and enjoyed some wonderful fellowship. Moses shared of the difficulties they had encountered and how God had parted the waters and brought them safely across.
The next day was a usual long hard day for Moses. People lined up to ask Moses questions and have him settle their disputes. Jethro watched all that was happening. That night he told Moses, “You can’t keep doing this. You will become sick trying to solve everyone’s problems.” Moses replied, “But I have to help these people.”
Then Jethro said to Moses, “Now listen and I will tell you what God has said. First, you need to pick some of the most faithful men that are honest and not greedy. Put some of them in charge of thousands of people. Then divide each group of thousands into hundreds and put leaders over the groups of one hundred people. Divide the hundreds into groups of fifty and put leaders over each group of fifty people. Divide each group of fifty into tens and put leaders over each group of ten people. The leaders can take care of their group. If there are questions the leaders can come to you if they do not know what to do. That way you do not have to take care of everyone’s problems.”
What a great plan! Not only did God send Jethro to bring Moses his family, he also gave Jethro a perfect plan to help Moses care for all of those people. It was now time for Jethro to go home. His daughter, Ziporah, his grandchildren and Moses all waved good bye. They were sad to see him go, but they were so thankful he had come to share God’s plan. Now life would be so much easier for Moses.
When the leaders of our country set up our government they followed the plan God gave Jethro. We have leaders that take care of our towns, leaders to take care of our counties, leaders that take care of our states and leaders to take care of our country. They also used God’s law, the ten commandments as the moral law of our country. We can be so thankful for the story of Jethro. Our forefathers had so much wisdom to choose God’s plan and His law to govern our country.
This year I have written stories for our children’s program at church. My goal was to focus on secondary characters in a story. Each of us have a story to share. Everyone’s story is different even if we have shared similar or the same events. Each of us is at a different walk with God. But often when we tell a Bible story we focus on the character we think is the main character.
So I chose some characters that we may mention in a story but never focus on their perspective or story. It was amazing some of the wisdom gleaned from doing that. I soon realized how we have made assumptions about people in the story when we only looked at one person’s perspective. I had to wonder how often we do that to people we know as well.
One of my favorite characters was Naomi. The book of Ruth has always been about Ruth and Boaz and their love story has been a part of many wedding ceremonies. A new look at the story with Naomi in the starring role told another amazing story.
Most people upon reading the story criticize Elimelich for moving his family to Moab. It was a country of pagan worship. Some might even see the misfortune of he and his sons as a result of moving there. Some criticized Naomi for her bitterness for having lost her husband and sons. But there is so much more to be seen in this story. I will share some of the precious gems that came from focusing on Naomi.
We don’t know why Elimelich moved his family to Moab but whether God led them there or they made a bad decision, God took the situation and orchestrated an amazing outcome. In this family of redeemers, Christ our Redeemer came. The famine, living in a pagan nation, and the death of Elimelich and their two sons did not control the outcome of Naomi’s story.
In spite of her losses Naomi must have been a true worshiper of God. For Ruth saw something in Naomi that she desperately wanted. She was willing to leave family and homeland to go with Naomi and worship her God, just as Naomi worshiped God.
Next we see Naomi return to her homeland in Bethlehem. Even though she felt empty from the loss of her family, she remained faithful to God and committed her life to making a way for Ruth. She knew that Ruth was young and alone. She would have no way to provide for herself. But she was young and had a chance to change her situation.
Naomi on the other hand had no way to change her situation. She was old and could not have any more children. She had no sons or any way to continue her family. She was empty and her family story was over. It was final. The end. NOT!!
Ruth was much younger than Boaz and could have married a younger man but she cared so much for Naomi. She knew that a child by Boaz was the connection Naomi needed to restore her opportunity to have a family to carry on her husband’s name since Boaz was a relative of Elimelich. When Ruth and Boaz placed their baby son, Obed, into Naomi’s arms for her to care for, we see that Obed was a gift from God, turning Naomi’s life around, providing her a redeemer for her family, and giving Naomi a renewed purpose in life. She now had a way to carry on her husbands name through Boaz’s son. And she had a beautiful baby boy to help care for. What a beautiful picture!
But the story doesn’t stop there. Obed’s name comes from a word that means worshiper. I’m sure that as Naomi helped care for Obed she shared stories of God’s protection and care through her journey. She taught Obed how to be a true worshiper of God. Obed must have seen her joy of worshiping God and he too became a worshiper of God. In fact as we look at the family tree we find that Obed’s grandson, David the psalmist was one of the greatest worshipers of God. In this amazing family line of worshipers, in the same town of Bethlehem, another redeemer, “Baby Jesus,” came into the world. Only this redeemer redeemed all of mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” !
Love this LOVE story! It truly is a love story, but far greater than just the marriage of Ruth and Boaz. It tells how God can redeem even the most final of situations. Nothing is too hard for God. No ones situation is too final for God. God sent His Son to redeem all mankind! When sharing stories with our children and grandchildren it is so important to include stories of Thanksgiving, praise and worship to God.
Such an amazing blessing to see my grandson baptized this weekend.
I have done a lot of reflecting these past few days. In the midst of all the reflecting, it has been an amazing holiday season. It all started with my book launch. It was a great evening and has been fun seeing my books bought and reviewed. I can’t thank all of you enough for making it a really fun experience.I always love Christmas and start decorating early. I want to be able to host as many activities as I can and also provide a Christmas experience for anyone who drops by. I also want to pass on the many wonderful traditions of Christmas to my grandchildren. And so, the whole house gets transformed into a Christmas wonderland. When we catch a day for making cookies and gingerbread houses, the atmosphere of lights, music, and decorations are the backdrop for the event.I was honored to host our ladies ministry group. We enjoyed a meal together and worked on a special mission project. Next came the big family Christmas. But before it started we participated in a celebration of life for my husband’s sister-in-law in the city and then a rush trip back home to host our family Christmas. It is so difficult to lose a loved one during the holiday season. It was a day full of reflecting and floods of emotions. Our family Christmas always begins with a meal and then some special activities. This year it was a cookie contest, Christmas trivia game and of course our gift exchange. We always start the gift exchange with the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2. It was a fun evening. Maybe it was the funeral that morning but I really missed mother and daddy this year. Many moments during the season my mind trailed off to the little peaches and cream house and the little cedar tree shining with beautiful bubble lights, colorful ornaments, and hands full of silver tinsel. I had to wait until after Christmas to celebrate with my little family. I was a bit concerned that the weather might make travel difficult but it turned out to be perfect. I had spent the year planning for this day. My first project was winter quilts for each family to snuggle under. Then I got pajamas for everyone. Next, I purchased each family a book called “Mary’s Treasure Box.” The story tells about all the items in Mary’s box. Each item helped tell the story of Jesus’ birth. In the end it suggests that they should start a treasure box of their own. They can put in items that tell the story of their life. And so with the skills of my brother-in-law, I had a treasure box for each of the grandchildren. They were beautifully handcrafted and truly are a treasure themselves. I can’t wait to see what they put in them. I had also made doll clothes for the girls dolls. I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be. I’m not the greatest seamstress but I had enjoyed making them. I think if the dolls never wear the clothes again they already had 30 wears during the weekend. My heart did sing as I watched them take them off and put them on over and over again. It truly was a beautiful Christmas. I am so thankful for all that God has allowed, provided and protected us through this year. The treasure box of this grandmother’s heart is so full.
We all get one chance at life. We start off with big dreams and ideas. Some we reach some we don’t. But one thing we do learn along the way is that time is precious and cherish every moment. No one lived that better than my father. Every day was precious and every day he had a plan and purpose. Some of the most important things in his life were God, family, kids, and his love of horses. He spent most of his time outside of work doing things for kids. He served in saddle club, 4-H, church activities, parades, the public school board and so much more. He was always encouraging, supplying things, teaching and providing transportation to get kids places.
Age did not seem to be a factor for him. At 90 years old he had a vision for a large building that could be used by kids and adults as a place of worship as well as a place to learn horsemanship and other life skills. God had blessed him with enough to secure financial means for just such a building.
Thanks to him the Laclede Baptist Association Camp is in the building process of a huge building that can be used for their equine program called Whoa Camp. Children and adults can use the large arena for various types of programs, revivals and other services. What a blessing that even after his passing he has left a wonderful place of ministry for years to come.
So here I am retired but still teaching art at the Christian School. As someone posted the other day, “I’m in the winter of my life.” I have so many things I still want to do and many I will never get to do. One of the things that has become a passion in my life is writing childrens’ books. I have been blessed to put together a few. This past year, however, I have been given the opportunity to lauch my latest creation. Sally the Cow. As is all my books, it is a family story. This one is about our old milk cow.
Sally was a cow who seemed to have some vocabulary, so it seemed appropriate she tell the story. John always talked to her and she always did just what he said. Of course since she was the boss cow, the rest of the herd always followed her, making it easy to care for the herd. She seemed to always like our company, so any time we were in the same pasture as her, she was there watching and nosing around.
My live book launch date for Sally the Cow is November 22. I would love for you to make this a super lauch for me and preorder your copy today. Order one for the kids, grandkids and neighbor kids. When your book arrives, go to Amazon and post a review. The review is most important. It will really give my book a boost and offers much more reach. You can also call your Barnes and Noble Bookstore now and ask them to put it on the shelf. They should order it for you, but it won’t be on the shelf until Nov. 22nd. The more calls and reviews the more reach for the book.
I am hoping that age does not keep me from pursuing those passions God has given me. This is an exciting new venture and I thank you for your encouraging comments and support in purchasing a copy of my book. Please share the link with all your friends and family. I am so thankful and so excited in my winter extravaganza, the book launch of Sally the Cow!!
It was a beautiful service and the image of angel’s rejoicing in heaven filled my mind and heart with unspeakable joy as I watched. It was a day of rejoicing. A child was born into the kingdom of God and that day began following in His footsteps.
What an amazing plan God provided for His creation. He sent His Son Jesus to carry away our sin. He offered us a place as a child of His to live forever with Him.
Jesus is the Way, the only Way, the Truth and the Life.Jesus, the name above all names.
He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.
He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
He is the one who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
He is the bread of Life. Those who come to Him will never go hungry.
He is the Word. The Word was in the beginning and the Word was God. Through Him all things were made. In Him is life.
He is the faithful witness. The firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
He has saved us and called us to a Holy life through His grace not anything that we have done. In His Father’s house are many mansions. He has gone there to prepare a place for us. He will come again and receive us unto Himself. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
In the beginning God created everything. He not only created it, but He gave it all order and purpose. It is indescribable the order and design that was placed in each creation. I love learning biblical truths. I am amazed daily as new things are revealed about God’s Word.
I love the study of the heavenly bodies He created. The sun signals each year as the earth rotates around it. The moon signals each month as it goes from darkness to full moon light and back to darkness again. The stars give us signs of the seasons. The constellations represent the story of Christ from Virgo the virgin to Leo the Lion of Judea. Twelve of the constellations are symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel. Unfortunately civilizations have changed the stories of the heavenly bodies and have worshiped them as idols.
God created each creature giving each instincts that provide them with everything they need to live. They know how to care for their young, shelter from the storm and find food and water. They each have their own specialized way of protecting themselves.
God created the rivers and oceans and set their boundaries. Amazing! With His Word He can calm the winds and waves, the lightening and rain. He can open the heavens with showers or withhold the rain from falling. He can make the day stand still.
God created man in His own image. Imagine what that means! We are His children. One of the most beautiful things He created is family. He created the perfect place for children with the love of a mother and a father. I am beyond thankful each day for the family who raised me and the family My husband and I raised. I love watching my children as they raise their precious families. I stand in awe of all that God has created and designed.
It seems that so many people are so dissatisfied with life and want to change all that God designed. The sad thing is they will not find the happiness they are looking for, because what God ordained “IS.”
This morning we are headed to Sedalia to the Missouri State Fair to take the grandchildren. Going to the fair was an annual event for our family. We seldom missed. Most years our extended family went also. Going in the pick-up was the most economical. …
I have always loved learning family history. Our family has some fun stories in their trail. I have really enjoyed the history passed down about my mother’s family. Her mother has many interesting people on the genealogy chart. I love that it starts with the Mayflower and the name John Alden and his daughter Elizabeth. Having such a known starting point makes it rather exciting.
Further down the family tree is President Rutherford B. Hayes. The family received a letter from President Hayes. The letter gave the genealogy of the family starting in 1607. Some of the family came from Ipswich, England on the ship Francis in 1634. They settled in Salem Massachusetts.
The family ended up in Ohio. One of my grandmother’s aunts was a professional pianist. Her aunt always sent Christmas presents to Grandmother and all the family. I have the old trunk that she sent gifts in one year. When she passed away she left her piano to my grandmother. Unfortunately grandmother lived in Missouri and had no way to go pick up the piano.
My Great -grandfather started out as a surveyor for the Wheeling Railroad. He later went to Montana and helped survey the North Pacific Road that led into Helena Montana. He moved to Missouri and became a postmaster.
Our lives are so intertwined from generations ago. It is a bit mind- boggling and amazing at the same time.