Who Am I? Who Are You?

Who did God create you to be? Do you know His plan for you? Do you compare yourself to the world?

As I think about these questions my mind goes to Esther 4:14 – “…I am here for such a time as this”. God has a plan, a purpose, and a process for me. I know I am loved. I know He chose me. I know I’m forgiven. For me, that’s what matters.

Am I immune to the world? No! I am tempted by the same things you are. Let me tell you something that recently happened. I am very active in the music and worship services of my church. I do not want any service ever to be the Marie Show. I want my part in the services to be all about God. Last evening, I went to Facebook to check what my family and friends had done on this Easter day. The first thing that popped up were pictures of the Morning Worship Service. There I was, in four of the 10 frames. Not only was I prominantly there, the outfit I had on made me look horrible. Am I immune to the world? No!

Here’s the thing. The evil one uses this kind of stuff to get me to think I’m not what God thinks I am. Here’s another thing. I will not let him. I will be the woman God wants me to be. I will keep in mind that I am God’s Daughter, the He is expecting me as a permanent guest in His home, and most of all that He loves the real me! Even more than this He loves my family, friends, and neighbors, too!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This blog post is written in response to Week 9 of the 52-Week Devotional Journal For Women, by Deb Wolf

For Such A Time As This

Happy Purim! This Jewish holiday is special to me because I can really relate to being put in situations that I don’t understand why I’m there.

If you remember the story of Esther – she was an orphan, raised by her uncle, Mordecai.

King Xerxes had thrown a big party, got really drunk, and ordered his wife to appear naked. She refused and he, with the advice of his council, determined to depose her. After all, they advised him, if she doesn’t obey him, other wives will think it’s OK to do that.

The king determined to get a new wife. He sent a notice that all the most beautiful, young, women of the land were to become part of his harem. He would choose one from among them to replace Vashti.  And so he did.

Sometime later, King Xerxes appointed Haman to be his next in command. With that came the ruling and expectation that everyone would bow to him.  Mordecai was having none of that. He would bow to no one but God. That upset Haman a great deal and he convinced Xerxes to make an edict that if you refused to bow to the king you would be hanged.  In fact, Haman even offered to give 10,000 pieces of silver to the king’s treasury.

There were many Jews at the time that were refusing to bow to the king so they also fell under this ruling. Well, Haman told the king and between them, they created a ruling that all Jews would be annihilated.

When Mordecai heard about this he told Esther that she needed to intervene. She was not sure how she would be able to do that so she told him she didn’t have the power to do so. He, basically, responded that perhaps she had been placed in her position ‘for such a time as this’. She said she would fast and pray and would then make a decision.

She came up with a plan but in the meantime, Haman had built a scaffold upon which to hang Mordecai because he refused to bow to him.

Her uncle was a scribe for the king and had saved his (the king) life at one point when he heard about a group that wanted to assassinate him. Well, one night King Xerxes couldn’t sleep so he got out the scroll that talked about his actions and what had happened in his country while he was king.  He came across the notation that talked about how Mordecai had saved his life. The king quickly called Haman into his chambers and asked him what should be done for someone like this. Haman thought the king was talking about him and said he should have a king’s robe put on him and sit on a steed and go through the city while people bowed to him.

Well, it wasn’t about him. The king made him lead the horse that his enemy sat on. Then, the king found out what Haman was building the gallows for and had him hanged on it instead.

Esther went to Xerxes and told him about what was about to happen to her people. She was able to stop the slaughter. Now Jewish people celebrate Purim every year on the 14th and 15th days of Adar to remind them of the time they were rescued. The actual verses say this:

  •  Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy. Esther 9:20-22

I hope you are able to celebrate this special holiday in your own way. God is good!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Thank you to Bible Gateway for providing scripture links.

Star of Persia — Book Review

Yes, the story is the one we know and love.  The one about the beautiful Queen Ester, the Star of Persia There’s a bit more to it in this retelling. Along with palace intrigue, politics, and jealousy, add a king who can’t make decisions without others telling him what to do, a queen who wants a ‘normal’ married life, a father who finally comes to terms with who he really is, and you have an awesome, can’t put it down story.

Family relationships abound and add sometimes surprising twists. Personality traits of manipulation, arrogance, scheming, brutality, stubbornness,  and more, clash with strength, internal beauty, loyalty, and love.

Throughout the story the sense of God’s presence permeates. Might that be because of knowing the story so well? Perhaps.   The threads of the story, just like those of the Biblical portrayal, point to the fact that God always has a reason for everything that happens in the lives of His people.

Esther is portrayed as an obedient, loving, and caring person. I would love to have seen more of her internal qualities of strength, wisdom, and leadership.

All in all, this is a really good portrayal of the story of Esther, the Star of Persia.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

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.”