Miriam’s Song

“Words cannot control Him. We can simply ask Him.” This simple, yet powerful, truth permeates the pages of Jill Eileen Smith’s new book, Miriam’s Song.

The story of the Exodus is thoughtfully enhanced by the telling of Miriam’s part in it. With a few historical twists and turns, and a lot of the author’s imagination, the ancient story comes to life.

Although there is very little known about the real Miriam, there is much in this work that is plausible and possible. This very believable fictional retelling is worth every word. It flows with the ups and downs, goods and bads, of what was a very difficult journey.

In all really good fictional stories, there are interesting ideas that are introduced to enhance the reader’s understanding. For instance:

Have you ever given any thought to how dangerous it might have been to get water from Nile River? Crocodiles were a real possibility.

The blood covering the doorways of the Hebrews protected them from death, just like Jesus’ blood on the cross does for us.

When Pharoah asked Moses and Aaron to bless him, they just walked away. (See Exodus 12:32.)

This is an absolutely, delightful, thought-producing, retelling of The Exodus. It’s definitely worth the read. I give it 5 stars. Thank you, Jill Eileen Smith.

Blessings to you and yours!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. 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.”

Holy vs. Common

Rosary Worship

Have you ever noticed that sometimes God puts valuable information in sometimes obscure parts of the Bible?  That nuggets of wisdom are sometimes hiding in the shadows of other information?  We’ll be lighting the shadows in today’s post and looking at Leviticus 10:8-11.

During the time God was giving the law to Moses He spoke to Aaron, his brother, once in a while too.  In this portion of Scripture He tells Aaron and his sons to distinguish between holy and common.  God uses the possibility of to much ‘wine or other fermented drink’ as an example of the kinds of worldly issues that can be brought into the arena of worship.  Basically, He’s giving the First Commandment again…You shall have no other gods before Me!

I want us to particularly look at the idea of holy and common, and what that means in our walk with the Lord.  Let’s start by defining the words:

Holy      The Hebrew word is qodesh and means a holy or sacred thing or place.   It refers to being sanctified which is being set apart for a specific purpose.  The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as – exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.

Common    The Hebrew word is hol and means not holy, ordinary.  Webster defines it as belonging to or being shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group; falling below ordinary standards, second rate.

With the realization that these commands were given regarding the Holy Place and the use of it and its contents, there are a couple of concepts here that I think apply to my (and perhaps your) personal walk.  First, what is God’s, is God’s.  It is set aside for His purposes, it is holy.  It does not become the object of our worship.  What might this include?  Objects, robes, vestments, furniture, art, buildings, and more that have been given/set aside for His use.  I think sermons, music, lessons, VBS, Sunday School and many other activities of the church are also to be perceived as Holy.

What does it mean to distinguish between the holy and the common?  A synonym for common is ordinary.  He was telling the Priests to be aware of the ordinary invading the holy.  He wanted His place of worship to be holy, sanctified, set aside (as different) from the ordinary.  For me this means maintaining a worshipful atmosphere in the Church/Tabernacle/Cathedral that is all about God and not about the world around.  It means the things of worship are for God.

So…..What is the focus of your/my worship?  Are we bringing so much of the ordinary and common into the Temple that we no longer worship the One and Only?  Have we made the environment of worship so sterile that there is nothing of God in His Temple?  Does God even know the place is set aside for Him?

A musical moment of Holiness – What Do I Know of Holy

Heavenly Father I worship You!  Give me the ability to use the Temple as You intended.  Help me keep out the ordinary and embrace the Holy.  Oh, Lord, You are the Great High Priest!  Cause my worship to be all and totally about You.  Make it so!

The picture at the beginning of this post and following are of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH.  The first time I was there was with the Toledo Symphony Chorale in singing the Bruckner 9th Symphony w/voices.  It took my breath away then and still does.  God’s presence was so visible.  I am in awe of what God allows man to do so He can be praised and worshiped   Don’t get me wrong,  I worship indoors, outdoors, and all the places in between, but I believe that are places that God has set aside from the ordinary to give us a glimpse of His great glory.

Rosary Exterior

Exterior of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo OH.

Rosary CathedralThe sanctuary in the evening without worshipers.

Rosary OrganThe Pipe Organ located in upper balcony at the rear of the church.

Rosary AltarThe main altar area.