About Marie

Happily married to the same awesome guy for 47 years. Love God, reading, cats and travel. Avid crafter, especially counted cross stitch and crochet.

Think On This – – Lot’s Wife

Gen 19:15-26, Luke 17:29-33

Interestingly, we know her only as Lot’s wife. I’m sure she was a real person, with real, thoughts, ideas, and plans. what could have made her so disobedient?

Lot was probably quite wealthy by the time God was ready to destroy Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain. After all, he had chosen the best land and location when it was offered by Abram. (Genesis 13)

Looking back is such a normal part of our lives that it’s hard not to look back. But we must! After all, it’s impossible to fully forgive if we keep going back to the issue.

And so, Mrs. Lot looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. She knew not to do that.  Did she think there would not be a consequence? But why did she look back? Was it memories, things she left behind, were their daughters following…

We can often think of all kinds of reasons not to move forward. I have learned when God says to do it, it’s best to trust Him and move forward. His plan is better than anything we’ve left behind. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Think On This – – Hagar

330px-Expulsion_of_Ishmael_and_His_Mother

Genesis 16 and 21

Did you know that Hagar was the only person who gave God a name?  She called Him the God who sees me. El Roi. All of the other names given to Him were given by Himself.

Hagar was a slave, given to Abram by Sarai to produce a child who would fulfill God’s promise of offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand of the sea.  According to the custom of the time that was totally acceptable. But she was still a slave and probably felt invisible, unnecessary, and unloved.

After the birth of Ishmael, Sarai abused Hagar to the point that Abram sent both her and her son away from the camp, into the desert. At the point of death by starvation and dehydration, Hagar heard God’s voice. Not once, but twice.  He told her to go back and she did. I don’t know about you but I’m reasonably sure I would have questioned that and had some second thoughts. Why would she even want to go back to the abuse? What was this God thinking? But back she went, to Abram. Guess what? Did God speak to Abram, too? When she got there he (Abram) protected her. I wonder if she ever felt safe again?

We all spend time in the ‘desert’. Whether by our own choice, someone else’s, or circumstances. We all know what it’s like to feel isolated and unloved, without hope.  We know the pain of being placed in circumstances that are not of our own choosing.  Yet, as this story shows, God is always with us, always seeing. He alone provides and protects.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I hope you’ll take the time to watch this beautiful video: The God Who Sees

Think On This – – Sarai

Sarai Is Taken to Pharaoh’s Palace by James Tissot.

Genesis 12

Why was Abraham so afraid of dying that he gave Sarai to the Pharoah as a concubine, saying she was his sister? (True, but a partial lie is still a lie, right?)

Sarai was almost 70 at this point. Her beauty must have been stunning!  What must she have thought of her husband? Was he a bully, in that he seemed to be an expert liar and manipulator?

Here’s an interesting article you might want to check out. Sarah’s Abduction by Dr. Ralph Wilson.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. 1606-1669

 

Genesis 22

After the sacrifice, Abraham went to Beersheba and lived there. Was he afraid to face Sarah?

What must Sarah have thought/felt when she discovered why Abraham took Isaac? It seems that a short while after she found out she moved away ,as she died in Hebron (See 23:1). Had she had enough? Did Abraham try to stop her?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Read more in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith

Think On This – – Noah

What was happening while Noah was building the ark? The people of the known world were going crazy. Sin was rampant.

Did Moses ‘just’ build the ark or was he also busy trying to get the mockers and scoffers to believe and understand?

Are we destroying ourselves again? Chaos, sin, violence, corruption, perversion…

Save our sons and daughters, friends and neighbors… Come quickly, Jesus!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Read more in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith

When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams – – Book Review

Eve… Sarai… Hagar… Rebekah… Rachel… Leah… Dinah…

Stories we know quite well yet is there more to these women?

What happens when we insist on doing God’s job for Him? What happens when one assumes they know best and determines to go a step further? It seems each woman named above had to find out her own way and often that is/was the hard way.

There are some tremendously powerful words in these stories. Often, I could see myself and my own responses. Although I knew these stories well, I found myself re-reading and pondering them more deeply.

We’ve all struggled with the some, or all of the same issues these women have. Things like knowing what we’re supposed to do and not doing it… Doubt… Fear… Survival… Abandonment… Disobedience… Choices… Desperation… Yet deep down God is always there and always will be.  The lives of these women are changed and made better even When Life Doesn’t Match (their) Your Dreams (by Jill Eileen Smith).  Yours will be, too!

Read it! It’s worth it!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Books and Blythe Daniel. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Promises

 

God’s promises are words He always keeps!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.               Isaiah 41:10

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 3:18

“… THE WORD OF OUR GOD WILL STAND FOREVER.” Isaiah 40:8b

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is part of a flash mob of writers who write for 5 minutes on a word given each Friday by Kate Moutaung at https://fiveminutefriday.com. Come join us and see what others have written.

Commandments

Exodus 18 brought these thoughts to mind.

The Israelites had escaped from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and defeated Amalak so far. There were probably more than 1.5 million people at that point. (The Word tells us there were 600,000 men, not counting women and children.)

Moses was doing all of the judgings himself when his father-in-law came to him and advised him to make some changes. I’m sure Moses talked to God and his advisers (see Genesis 18:12) about it, too. The plan was, there would be men in charge who knew the 10 Commandments well and would judge in hierarchies of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

It was so simple.

But then, would it be perfect again? Probably not! Since the fall men and women have gotten progressively farther and farther away from His Word. I wish I could shout it to the multitudes. God’s Word and God’s Law matter!

Can I get an amen?!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Practice — Haiku

I wonder how many hours of my life have I sat at the piano? Sometimes making music. Sometimes staring at the keys because the music wasn’t happening. Practicing the same phrase or measure over and over until a measure of perfection was achieved. Always enjoying the good and the bad of it all.

What a blessing, this talent God has bestowed.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is part of a flash mob of writers who write for 5 minutes on a word given each Friday by Kate Moutaung at https://fiveminutefriday.com. Come join us and see what others have written.

Mirror, Mirror

I am totally fascinated with the Tabernacle of the Exodus. From the structure to its furnishings, God was specific and exacting in His instructions. Moses was given the blueprint that would not only serve as the guidelines for the place of worship during the Israelites travels to the Promised Land but would influence places of worship for generations to come.

One of the pieces of furniture in the Most Holy Place, the area where the priests offered sacrifices and worshipped, was the copper laver. This particular piece was where hands and feet were washed (purified) before preparing and presenting the sacrifices.

So, one might ask, where did they get the copper? see Exodus 38:8 When Pharoah told the Israelites to leave Egypt He also told them to take all they could from the Egyptians. In fact, He caused the Egyptians to practically force their ‘stuff’ on the Hebrews.  This included jewelry, clothing, and other pieces of a personal nature like copper mirrors.

When Moses asked the people to give the necessary materials for the Tabernacle, copper was part of the request. The Israelite women gave their mirrors to the cause. Sacrificially, I might add. I doubt they did it without a bit of complaint. After all, it’s difficult to give up those things we personally value.

The following is a bit of information about mirrors and the Hebrew slaves in a book by Hugh Taylor called 10 Questions – The Essentials for a Spiritually Healthy Life.

The mirrors also have a powerful backstory. During the period of enslavement, many Israelite men did not want to father children who would grow up in slavery. The women knew better. They knew that the future generation would be free, so they used the mirrors to beautify themselves, to encourage their husbands to be intimate with them and ensure an Israelite future. If we are afraid of the future, we should keep in mind these mirrors and the brave women who used them (pp. 57)

What is God asking you to sacrifice for the building up of His Church? Possessions? Time? Relationships? Addictions? Money? Think about it and pray about it. It matters!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Mended — Book Review

Several weeks ago I received an invitation from Blythe Daniel to review and launch a book she and her mother had written. To be honest I was a bit hesitant because my own mother and I did not have a good relationship. (To be honest, we didn’t have a relationship.) My hesitancy came because I’ve really wanted to understand and forgive her and  I’ve not been able to do so. Plus, she passed away several years ago and it’s hard to rebuild a relationship with someone who isn’t here. But…

Through reading Mended I’ve come to understand a bit more of the person. This book contained some of the most healing words I’ve ever read. Most importantly, we are only responsible for the words we’ve said and the things we’ve done. We cannot and should not let ourselves think we can fix everything. Nor should we make ourselves totally responsible for the healing that must take place. We can only handle what is ours.

Forgiveness is a huge part of mending any relationship. We can always choose to forgive even if they don’t deserve it. Jesus did!

Verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse was part of daily life for me. I was a hostage in a very controlling situation and truly felt I was the person at fault. It wasn’t until I left home for college and had very limited contact that I was able to put the situation into some sort of focus.  Through these words of Helen McIntosh I was able to reach a level of forgiveness that hadn’t been possible before: When we are the victim and need to forgive someone who has hurt and offended us… They may never even apologize or make amends. They may be deceased or in jail or another place you can’t reach them or oblivious to their offense. But we remain their prisoner until we let the offense go. pp.94 Letting the past go and committing to not dredging it up again has given me a kind of peace that has freed me from the pit of my mother’s words and actions and my own self-condemnation.

For me, this book was worth every word. Did I regress into the bad memories? Sometimes? Did I have moments of clarity when I started to understand? Yes! Can I move on and begin to understand the person behind words and actions? Yes! Can I forgive? I have to! There’s really no other choice.

Thank you, Blythe and Helen, for these incredible words! I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to rebuild (or build up) any relationship. It’s truly powerful and worth the time.

Consider these Words that are gems of light scattered throughout the book:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Words kill, words give; they’re either poison or fruit–you choose. Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Books and Blythe Daniel. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”