A silence resonates from heaven as Christ fills the voids
deep inside my soul. I see the troubled storm clouds approaching, and they make
not a sound. A busy world persists, running in circles, but I keep an eye on
the sky, for only my God do I wait.
Standing at the edge of a great canyon where extinction
begins, and life ever after looks like a desert floor, I harbor the love Christ
sends me. Within His peace, windows open with new opportunities. The canyon is
far and wide, and in times of adventure, it seems an impossible crossing. For
some, it’s a quest, but for others, it’s a stepping stone to enter eternity and
be with Him.
I bundle my love and faith and wear it as a code of honor.
It’s autumn in October… seasons change, and life emerges with new horizons. The
sun salutes the night watchman, and I bid farewell to another night. God, in
his miraculous way, restrains the spiritually encountering distance. His quiet
voice calls, and I must be patient. It’s autumn in October, and the hour grows
Seeking my own passage, I step lightly on the ledge of
fate. The rocks are jagged and sharp, and death is just a slip away. But God
watches over me with a promissory note I pledged to Him. The canyons divulge
how minute I am as I step out where courage calls.
In the autumn of life, the Lord’s love is upon me. He
gathers His herd of humanity for a voyage to explore the canyon walls of life.
The fiery nights beacon October, and it quenches our thirst and hearts. Please,
Father, turn the desert floor into meandering waters.The quests are
over – some I failed, but some I conquered by Your blessings.
It’s autumn in October, and a new child is born. Goodbyes of
another life are hard. Still, a new life is always on the horizon, for as one
door closes, another is born again.
Another adventure, another voyage as the pride of time,
sets my course upon another mission. Only God will bridge the heavens as I wait
at the ledge of the canyon walls. I built my caves… now it’s time to surrender.
The slope is deep, but it is in God’s hands to bestow the faith as He calls me
Love is filled with memories, in yet another autumn in October. The mystical canyon mourns, and the life which once prospered refrains in the setting sun. The shadows long for God’s calling… come home with Me when you’re ready.
Our blogs will resume next Sunday, November 10, when we celebrate Christmas with the “Everything Christmas Blogs.” Please be sure to join us!
This world still evolves in the past tense. I quoted a proverb in Ecclesiastes 1:9 which reads, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” and I’ll be darned if it isn’t true. Solomon wrote this statement, 500 years before Jesus’ birth, to emphasize the cyclic nature of human life on earth and the emptiness of living only for the “rat race.” It’s a life separated from God. But, our gracious God continues to rain down His love on us… even amidst the turmoil.
I’m not a great biblical scholar, but it’s obvious we, as
God’s children have not learned a thing. It’s clear the hardships of Jesus are
repeating themselves in the modern-day. How odd to read the trials of Jesus and
then observe Christianity today.
The Pharisees and Jews took it upon themselves to
discredit the Son of man. Jesus came to save the world and to give us salvation,
but we’ve still not learned our lesson. He was a man so brutally beat,
chastised and ridiculed because no one believed him. It was easier to side with
the laws of the land, then to be uprooted to another religion.
But, a few knew the truth about Him in biblical days. They
did not fear the religious upheaval, but embraced the faith, which led them to
Him. In all His splendor and integrity, Jesus ultimately proved His identity
when He died for our sins.
Today, our system finds it easier to ruin and destroy His
direction than to believe in our Savior, who came to deliver us, two thousand
years ago. The evil brews to the point of boiling, for unbelievers are
monumentally winning over the world. The fact remains, if not for the faith of believers
who held on to their principles, the rampant corruption would go wild. This is
a prophecy in the Bible that our world is quickly fulfilling today.
My Dad, God love him, always said it’s easy to find fault
in a person. I believe goodness lies beneath hatred when the truth slowly emerges
from the layers. I can’t help but think back when Jesus walked on this earth.
His ministry was short, for evildoers who had little faith and didn’t believe
in His integrity blemished it. Doesn’t this sound familiar today as many allow
the media’s march to undermine the truth of God’s word? I cannot imagine the
inner turmoil of those who do not have faith in anything for they relish in
I energize my faith in the name of God’s glory, for the
great master and overseer of all evil, brings to light the doers of animosity.
Just as in biblical times, the proof takes a while to expose, but eventually, the
truth will be revealed for it is God’s will!
Pray for those who live in doubt and fear faith because
they find it easier to condemn than to compliment. The fact remains, God’s love
will intervene in their destructive behavior.
My dad’s words ring out once more!
“A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within. When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his evil will be revealed in the assembly.”
The “Everything Christmas Blogs” starts November 10th! Don’t miss an issue! Click HERE to receive them in your email.
Certain formulas just make sense, as in the Hi-Performance
engines of my younger days. We raced muscle cars every Friday or Saturday night
if the weather cooperated on those days. Low octane fuel was for little less-powered
engines. But, if we wanted great strength and power, high octane gave us a much
better performance. Our health and well-being run on the same performance
factors, and it’s equated to the relationship we have with God.
I’m sure some of us have observed people who sat in the back
of a church and appeared as though they slept in their clothes. Some believers come
to take up space and really don’t take part in the songs of praise. But in the
front pews of God’s church, sat the brilliant Christians, praising the Lord,
and magnified by God’s glow. Those beautifully dressed believers in the front rows,
with their hands held high to receive God’s word… need I say more? They are full
of high octane. Then, I examined those of ill-faded color, dull complexions,
blemished, and disheveled, and it was apparent their spirituality may be (or
was) filled with low octane. Their engine’s performance could be directly
related to the quality of octane they put into their bodies.
destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you
are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:17
Though a remarkable difference in the congregation is clear,
there appears to be a more profound correlation not so noticeable. My theory is
purely hypothetical, so I did some research to discover the accuracy of my
“You shall serve
the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take
sickness away from among you.” Exodus 23:25
Jesus proved in His healing work that it is God’s will we
have good health. Many examples in scriptures reveal the miracles of Jesus healing
those with ailments. Our health is the inevitable result of knowing God and
living a life filled with His love and direction. Let’s look at a few of these
My wife’s mother was a devout, God-fearing Christian who
lived her life by God’s commandments. When she passed away at ninety-five years
old, she barely had a wrinkle on her face. She glowed in God’s spirit, and He
took her from us peacefully, without pain and struggle. I have a high school
friend who has not had a natural heartbeat since 1995. Pacemakers have been the
source of her existence, but she praises the Lord for her health and life.
Looking at her today, she is the epitome of health – glowing skin, smiling
ear-to-ear, and shiny, beautiful hair. She runs on high octane and lives every
day to the fullest. God bless her heart!
On a more notable scale, the evangelist, Billy Graham, was
ninety-nine years old when he quietly passed away. He struggled with cancer and
eventually died of pneumonia, but until the day he died, he looked healthy. He
had God’s glow of high octane. The late Bishop Eddie Long, head of one of the
largest mega-churches in the U.S., is another example of one who passed away
from cancer. He maintained his youthful appearance and high octane looks until
the day he left us.
Our health is a gift to all of God’s children. We can overcome
disease and sickness, in some sense, by living a faithful life to Christ. Now
do not misinterpret my words to mean we will never get sick or recover from
terminal conditions if we live on high octane. God doesn’t promise us life with
no pain or sickness. But one has to wonder… why are those with spiritually low
octane, appear not so healthy, yet those who run on high octane rarely show any
illnesses? Pay close attention to those around you who are suffering ailments
and tell me if my observation isn’t correct.
The principles of well-being are not only our mental health but the condition of our physical health too. It’s simple – God is the highest octane you can receive for your body. Where can you get it? We obtain it through prayer and living a godly life. The more the Lord resonates in your life, the better you will look and feel. Let the love of God be Your octane bust!
What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a political
position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes may be
true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent examples of
strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible. Now two thousand years
later, everyone may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a
guiding tool in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.
Did you miss the first two parts of this series? Click HERE for Part One. Click HERE for Part Two.
Joanna the Apostle (also known as Junia)
Joanna does not have a specific story as some other women
in this series. In fact, her life is pieced together by many scriptures
throughout the Bible, but what an influential person! She was an upper-class
Jewish woman in 1st century Palestine. Her grandfather was Theophilus, the High
Priest in the Second Temple, in Jerusalem.
The earliest mention of Joanna was in Luke 8:3, where she
is referred to as the wife of Chuza, a steward to Herod Antipas. They were
married when she was very young, and they both maintained jobs in Herod’s royal
household. I’m sure this placed Joanna in a very unpopular category with
ordinary Jews. One of her husband’s duties was to make sure everyone paid their
taxes to Herod.
Like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, too, had demons in her body.
She was often curious about Jesus and His miracles. Would He cleanse her as
well? On the days she traveled away from the royal household, she would sit as
a bystander and listen to His sermons of parables. One day, Jesus directed his
attention to her and spoke with conviction. As the healing miracles of Jesus’
power tell, He knew she was possessed, too, with infirmities…and so He healed
Joanna gave a lot of money to Jesus and His disciples. She
was wealthy, well-connected, and influential, so she was able to protect Him in
subtle ways. She became instrumental in the success of His mission. In this
biblical age, it was scandalous for a woman to be financially supportive of a
man, much less a female who came from King Herod’s house. But, she took the
risk, even though she witnessed her employer, King Herod, behead John the
At some point in Joanna’s marriage, she becomes single
again. One can only imagine the reasons why this happened – perhaps Chuza
divorced her, or was he murdered for his position in the royal home? The Bible
does not state a specific cause. But, Joanna was in the ranks of the Galilean
poor with no social standing or financial security, but she held her head high,
turning her life to serve Jesus.
She memorized the Lord’s parables and joined Jesus in
storytelling among the poor villages along with a few other women. Many of
their listeners were rejected for their conversion to Christianity, so Joanna
could sympathize with their feelings. Indeed she was inspired by Jesus’
teachings. She traveled as far as Rome, being a witness to the Lord. She was
eventually named an Apostle.
It is spoken in scripture Joanna and Mary Magdalene
prepared the cloths to wrap Jesus’ body after His crucifixion. She was also a
witness to the empty tomb after His resurrection. Her love for Jesus was deep,
and she served Him faithfully until the end of His life.
What made Joanna a powerful woman?
Joanna was brave and proud. She faced public
condemnation by becoming single and leaving a royal household, but she held her
head high amidst the turmoil and confusion. I’m sure her conversion to
Christianity was a radical change too.
When she lived among the elite and wealthy, she gave her
money to Jesus and the disciples. She was generous to a fault. Her high
values didn’t place wealth on personal belongings, but rather to God.
Joanna was inspiring because she transitioned from
an aristocratic woman to a humble servant during her life. She didn’t mourn the
loss of possessions but became a witness to the strength of the Lord. Money was
a means-to-an-end to serve others.
Jesus healed her ailments because he recognized the self-power
she had inside her to change.
Her stewardship to Jesus and the Gospel was
uncompromising, and in return, He blessed her with grace.
After Jesus’ death, Joanna became a traveling missionary.
It is implied that if she died outside the Holy Land, they brought her body back
to Jerusalem. In the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, they adorned
Joanna a saint.
Imagine if suddenly your body just appeared as an adult.
You are facing another human who looks different, and his name is Man.
Everything around is magically beautiful. Objects called trees stand taller
than yourself, and the ground is green with grass and shrubs.
God spoke to them saying they could eat from any fruit of
the trees except for the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden. God
warned them if they ate from the tree, they would die. This scenario is precisely
the one Eve faced on her creation day. I wonder what her thoughts were at this
As she walked through the shrubbery, she saw a slithering
serpent who spoke to her. (Genesis 3:1-6, NIV)
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in
Eve responded, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the
garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the
middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”
“You will not certainly die, for God knows that when
you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil,” the serpent retorted.
The fruit on the tree looked delicious, so she picked it
off the stem and took a nibble. Then she handed it to the Man who also took a
bite of the irresistible fruit. Their eyes opened wide when they realized they
were naked. Ashamed and embarrassed, Adam and Eve pulled fig leaves off of the
trees, sewed them together, and covered the most intimate parts of their body.
Suddenly, they heard footsteps walking in the garden, so
they hid, in fear, among the trees. The Lord God approached them and asked why
they were hiding. Adam spoke first… “I was afraid because I was naked; so I
God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you
eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam and Eve
hung their heads down.
Adam answered, “The woman you put here with me—she gave
me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then Eve responded to God, “The
serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13 NIV)
God sternly faced Eve and said, “I will make your pains
in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to
children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
(Genesis 3:16 NIV)
Then the Lord God said to Adam, “Because you listened
to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must
not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil
you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and
thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of
your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it
you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19
The Lord made garments of skin for them to wear and moved
Adam to the east side of the Garden of Eden, where he would work the land for
food. Adam and Eve procreated, and a son, named Cain, was born. Later, another
son, Abel, was born. As they grew older, their children learned to struggle,
working in the fields.
Eve realized the curse God placed upon them, for life was
a battle. Childbirth was unbearable, and then she endured the death of her son,
Abel. The Lord punished Cain for killing Abel and placed him in the land of
Nod, east of Eden, to become a wanderer. We must do what is right before God or
reap the consequences.
Many misunderstandings about Eve swirl throughout the
generations and since the beginning of mankind. She is held responsible for the
sin of humanity by eating the forbidden fruit. Some believe she ‘enticed’ Adam
to eat it, too. However, there isn’t biblical truth to this statement. The fact
is, Adam did not have to take the fruit and eat it, but he did, knowingly aware
of the consequences.
Eve is mislabeled with names such as “the devil’s gateway,”
“temptress,“ and “wicked persuasion.” My response to any of those unwarranted
titles come from this standpoint – Eve did not know of evil, nor Satan and his lies.
How can she be singly be held accountable for the fall of mankind?
What made Eve a powerful woman?
Eve was the first woman, no other before her.
She is “the mother of all living,” for she is the
beginning of humanity. Eve represents the maternal potential of adult
women. She proclaimed the sons she gave childbirth to were created by man and
Eve was created with a pure heart, and her only
knowledge of life came from Adam and God.
Created in God’s image, Eve carries the feminine qualities of the character of God. Her power of being a woman teaches us mankind cannot exist without ‘womankind.’
Eve’s powerful story wasn’t so much about her good
qualities, but what she taught us about life and a relationship with God:
Disobedience to God leads us to follow our own will, thus
unfortunate consequences. She believed Satan rather than God. How many of us,
today, act on impulse versus praying to God for the correct answer to problems?
When we compromise God’s Word by blocking out or changing
the parts we refuse to hear, it becomes a means to continue sinning.
If we do not resist sin when it presents itself, we will eventually give in to the temptation.
Next Sunday will be the final two women in this series. Be sure to join us!
Today, I acknowledged a miracle of words when I picked up my
sacred golden pages known as the Bible. I was seeking special words of
encouragement to share with my readers when a light shone on a preface. Among
the Scriptures and descriptions of my Bible were four simple words clear as the
morning sky – The history of hope. Wow! This Christian compilation of sixty-six
books and letters, written by over forty authors, says more about the
complexity of God’s holy words than anything else. What better way can you describe
the Bible than hope!
If I ever find time to pen, ‘A Bible for Dummies,’ I’ll
use these encouraging words to show the love God shares with humanity. I often
mention the voids we have in our souls. We look for something to fill the
emptiness deep inside us. Its HOPE, of course, hopes our faith will withstand
the depression of the world we live in today.
This divine and extraordinary book is God’s plan for our
salvation. The Bible gives us deliverance from sin, repentance, a roadmap for
faith, and a refuge in times of trouble. It’s a sourcebook for everyday living,
regardless of your religion. Even though its stories took place in Asia,
Africa, and Europe, the message is still the same for all believers – everyone needs
Everyone dreams of a better future, but what do we use as
guidelines to make it happen? We can rely on our wisdom and knowledge, or we
can refer to biblical scriptures for the exact answers. I know someone right
now is saying, “I can’t understand or comprehend the Bible.” Guess what?
Neither can I, but I take one passage at a time, and I ask for God’s help…and
it works! Another resource for better comprehension is to do a careful search
on the internet. Only use resources written by the church and their ministry.
The word “hope” in the Bible means “a strong and confident
expectation.” It deals with things, yet unseen, and the testimony of God’s
promises. In other words, the Bible is HOPE. Hope – based on heavenly realities,
which gives us the power to live courageously, and to be all we can be through
The words “The history of hope” alone alludes to peace and sovereignty. Hope gives us strength and courage. Never give it up nor the hope in the power of our Lord!
What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a
political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes
may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent
examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible, and I will
review two a week for the next four Sundays. Our ladies, now two thousand years
later, may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a guiding tool
in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.
The last point I want to express is “behind every
successful man is a strong and wise woman.” So true of these most powerful
women in the Bible! I hope you enjoy my review.
Mary of Magdala lived in a comfortable village of many
Greeks in Galilee. They depicted her as a prostitute in town. According to
scriptures, the single Mary Magdalene had a serious sickness caused by ‘seven
demons,’ so many people assumed she was a fallen woman. But, in biblical times,
certain illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, heart disease, and epilepsy
were thought to be demonic. The Bible is unclear what her specific situation
was, but bible scholars agree she was not a prostitute.
At some point in her life, Mary met Jesus in one of the
many villages He ministered to, and He healed her afflictions. She became an
immediate follower and a leader of a group of women who traveled with Jesus and
helped to support His ministry. Only a strong, self-confident woman would be so
brave to spread the Gospel in biblical days.
Jesus had two groups of people who accompanied Him – a
group of men led by Peter the Apostle, and a group of women led by Mary
Magdalene. However, according to religious tradition, females were meant to be
seen and not heard, but Mary, in controversy, was very close to Jesus. Just as I
wrote in the past, God chooses people to be His disciples that we least expect
to reach this broken world. Mary was one such example. Her great faith earned
special attention from Jesus.
On the day they crucified Jesus, Mary Magdalene, along
with two others, stood at the base of His cross and watched Him breathe His
last breath. Her heartbreak must have been unimaginable! In the Bible passages of Luke 23 and Matthew
27, Mary prepared Jesus’ body for burial by making a spice anointment for the
linens. She observed from afar as they placed His body in the rock tomb. Mary
visited His burial site every day as if waiting… did she know something?
In the early morning light, the following week, Mary visited
the tomb. As she sat and prayed an earthquake erupted and forced the rock away
from the entrance of the grave. Mary jumped up to look inside, and it was
empty! Suddenly, God’s angel appeared before her.
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
With tears streaming down her face, Mary replied, “They
have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
Suddenly a voice from behind her spoke, “Mary! Why are
you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”
Not recognizing the face, she said to him, “Sir, if you
have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him
away.” He responded with, “Mary!” It was Jesus standing before her.
She dropped to her knees, grabbed His hands, and said in Hebrew “Rabbouni!” Jesus told her not to hold on to Him because He had not ascended to the Father yet. Instead, He ordered her to go tell the disciples he was resurrected.
Mary ran to them and announced, “I have seen the Lord.”
It is interesting that in a society where women were held
in low regard, Christ showed Himself first to a woman. Mary loved her Lord, and
she was His truest, faithful follower.
What made Mary Magdalene a powerful woman?
She taught us to live courageously and faithfully for Christ. Jesus set her free by eliminating her ‘demons,’ and instead of going about her own life, Mary worked for Him. Even when she faced difficult times, and people called her hopeless, she allowed Jesus to work through her.
Mary was more loyal to Jesus than His own disciples. They hid as Jesus was led to His crucifixion, but Mary stayed with Him. She also anointed His linen with spices.
Mary was given the honor of being the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection. She was very important to Christ, or He would not have revealed Himself to her before the other disciples. It may be safe to comment Jesus changed the way women were viewed in society.
Mary teaches us that even if our lives are in terrible disarray, it is never too late to find hope in God.
Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends and His apostle, ostracized her work as a disciple. In the Gospel of Thomas, he said, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life,” but her strength of character and love of God gave her the courage to move forward. Today, she is often called the first woman evangelist.
What happened to Mary Magdalene
after Jesus’ resurrection? Much controversy exists about this topic. One theory
suggests fourteen years after the crucifixion, she was put into a boat by Jews
and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France where
she lived in solitude in a cave.
Another theory claims she
accompanied John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. Some say she
evangelized Provence, France during her last thirty years.
A recent book titled The Lost
Gospel even claims Mary and Jesus were secretly married and had two children,
but someone’s imagination was a little overextended.
Today, in the Russian Orthodox
church, they know her as the patroness of sinners and penitent women. One of
the world’s best-known monuments is the Church of Mary Magdalene in East
Hannah is an inspiring and
wonderful story of humanity and all its flaws. No one is the leading character
in the story of their own life.
Elkanah lived in the Ephraim
hills of a small town thirteen miles to the northeast of Jerusalem. He practiced
polygamy through his Levite religion. Hannah was his first wife, and he adored and
loved her, doting on her every need. But, she was infertile, and his family
name needed to be honored with children, so he married another woman. Peninnah
was envious of the love Elkanah had for Hannah. She cruelly taunted Hannah to
tears each time she gave birth to their ten sons, and Hannah lost her sense of appetite.
One day, Hannah traveled to the
sanctuary, and she spoke to the priest about her inability to have children.
Her soul was crushed as the tears flowed down her lovely face. She dropped to
her knees before the altar and prayed.
if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, if you’ll quit neglecting me and
go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely,
unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.”
Before the year was out, Hannah
conceived and gave birth to a son named Samuel. She told Elkanah she asked God
for this son. Hannah also explained when the child was weaned, she would
present him before God, where he would remain forever. He agreed with her
The day arrived when Samuel was
no longer dependent on Hannah for nutrition. She took him to Shiloh along with
a butchered bull, flour, and wine and presented him to the priest, Eli. “I
prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have
dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”
Hannah and Elkanah dedicated their lives to God as they watched their son grow up among the priests. Hannah made Samuel little white robes cut to his size, and they took them to him. Eli often said a prayer over her on those visits, “God give you children to replace this child you have dedicated to God.” His blessings and prayers were heard as Hannah and Elkanah had three more sons and a daughter.
Today, we acknowledge Samuel as a
prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, an equal to Moses. He wrote the story
of his life, including his mother, Hannah, in the Book of Samuel.
What made Hannah a powerful
Hannah’s main attribute was perseverance. She prayed for many years for God to give her a child. She had faith in the power of the Lord and never doubted He would answer her prayers. Hannah teaches us never to give up, even when we think something is impossible. Her faithfulness to the Lord bled into her son, who became a great man.
Her boldness, strength, and devotion were like no other for she was a mother who gave up her first-born to the Lord. I’m sure most parents would rethink this decision. But, Hannah recognized all things are God’s possessions, even our children. He honors parents with children as merely a gift, a temporary gift. We are to mold them in the ways of the Lord as a blessing to all nations. In Hannah’s case, because she fulfilled her promise to God, He blessed her with a legacy of five more children.
Hannah’s power is also demonstrated through a promise which she kept to God. Her integrity is in the commitment of handing her child over to God. She never went back on her word, for if she did, she might never have conceived any more children. God rewards us for loyalty.
Thank you, Hannah, for teaching
us we must trust in the Lord in everything in our lives. Life is not always a
bowl of cherries, but with persistent prayer, miracles can and will happen.
Dedication to the Master who created us, along with integrity, will reap you
blessings beyond your wildest imagination.
Hannah is buried in the Tomb of
Samuel in the West bank, beside her son Samuel, on top of a steep hill just north
of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot.
We hope you enjoyed Part One and will return next Sunday for two more powerful women in the Bible.
As a birthday gift to myself, I wanted to give you beautiful Treasures a bonus video for the week. Though this tag was a lot of fun to complete, I did wind up revealing a lot of personal information, so please be respectful with any comments you may choose to leave. There are some reveals in here I can be sensitive about. They’re real and raw though, because you gems deserve nothing less.
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I recently reread the Book of Revelations to digest the word “Antichrist,” a beast who will rise to power during the end times. If we study Apostle John’s writing (called the “Beast from the Abyss”), he claims there will be many antichrists (false teachers) between the time of Christ’s first and Second Coming, but only one great Antichrist. Paul the Apostle even painted a great picture of this character. Though the Antichrist is considered an entity, it will be led by one person. So, let’s review this person’s attributes according to the Bible.
ATTRIBUTES OF THE ANTICHRIST
1 – He speaks blasphemies against God (Revelation 13:5)
and changes the words of Jesus. The Antichrist also claims priests can forgive
sins (but only God can do this). (Luke 5:21) He will also deny Christ lived as
a human being. (1 John 4:3)
2 – He has the authority to rule over every tribe, people,
language, and nation. The Bible considers those who follow him as the names not
written in the Book of Life before God made the world.
3 – He has great political power as he rises to power as a
very influential, charismatic, political, or religious diplomat. The Antichrist
won’t appear to be evil at first.
4 – This person will be an economic and foreign policy genius.
5 – He will institute lawlessness across the nation.
6 – The Antichrist will emerge from one of ten countries
in Europe as a Gentile. (Daniel 7:7-8) This constitutes the revival of the
Roman Empire. (Daniel 7:16-24)
7 – He will be a liar and deceiver whose natural abilities
Satan enhances with a counterfeit supernatural power to confuse people.
8 – He will claim himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
9 – He will represent a world religion, not predominately
Jewish. (Revelation 13:11-18)
ANTICHRIST MOVEMENTS ARE EVERYWHERE
Today, there is a movement called the AntiChrist Warriors.
They are on a rampage to destroy Christianity, a sign of the end times. Some of
their names include anti-Christian, anti-Christ, and atheism. They cause
upheavals such as the use of “Happy Holidays,” not “Merry Christmas.” They
petitioned for the US Capitol Christmas tree to be called the “Capitol Holiday
The AntiChrist Warriors also fought for the removal of prayers
in schools. We can witness their lobbying at abortion clinics, Hobby Lobby,
Family Planning clinics, florists, and wedding venues. As you can tell, they
are the leaders of Christian persecution.
Events predicted in the Bible which precede the Antichrist
include a substantial increase in Christian persecution. Random attacks of
Christians will come from hundreds of thousands of Antichrist minions around
the world. These individuals, organizations, and events were foretold thousands
of years ago, so Christian friends, be on high alert.
IS THE ANTICHRIST AMONGST US TODAY?
Many people today are trying to figure out who the
Antichrist is in the world today. My opinion is we have not seen him surface
yet. This Gentile will be a staunch non-believer of Christ, and he will hail
from Europe, Greece, or the Middle East. It’s unfathomable a great leader will
convince the world that no god exists, but Revelations predicts the event. In
the meantime, his followers are in place around the world.
HOW CAN CHRISTIANS AVOID THE ANTICHRIST?
Is there any place to hide from the power of the coming
Antichrist and his followers which live amongst us? As Christians, we cannot
hide from the world’s corruption – it’s in our backyard. But, instead of hiding
in the pages of the Bible, we should continue to live by the Lord’s Word.
Be selective of your friends and acquaintances. I have a
personal example to share with you. I knew a woman who attended my church and
was part of the choir. She sang the praises of the Lord. Her demonic behavior
soon surfaced when it was revealed she was labeled a “black widow.” She married
seven times, just long enough to steal the money and possessions of each husband.
In the 90s, she and her parents began a mission church. But, God halted that when
she was arrested for extortion. The lawlessness of the Antichrist’s believers,
which Paul the Apostle warned us about, are everywhere.
From one Christian to another, stand up for God! Do not
crouch behind your TV screen and silently watch the Antichrist protests and
destruction. Fight for your beliefs by voicing your opinion. Disconnect yourself
from the media, which gives glory to the Antichrist movement. Do not be misled
by clergy with ulterior motives – money and fame.
Be an avid reader of the Bible so you will be familiar
with the signs of the Antichrist and false prophets. Follow God’s word for your
eternal salvation. God bless.
God can change your course of history. Have you ever been
between a rock and a hard place, where you have to make a choice between two
unpleasant options? I grew old from throwing stones, so I conceded to stay in
I’ve found myself at dead-ends of lonely highways, and at
the edge of cliffs I thought was a gentle shoreline. I drove in storms where no
man ventured, unaware I was being protected by God. Do you, too, look at your
world and question how you ended up where you are today?
Second-guessing our world allows Satan a place to rest in
your life. No rest for the weary may have more meaning once you understand
the complexity of the verse. Being placed between a rock and a hard place is best
described as a vice on your spirit. God will not allow our hearts to be bound if
we continue in loving prayer. We can apply God’s command by choosing His way…
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him.”
How does God give us direction? He guides us by the wisdom
of the Bible and wise biblical counsel from His servants. It addresses every
complexing situation in life. Sometimes, though, answers may not be clear
through scriptures. Search out guidance in a library or Christian websites to
gain a piece of broader knowledge.
“Where there is
no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Maybe you’re afraid of deciding about something which you may
regret later. Everyone has to make choices, and my friends, our Father’s
abundance of grace and mercy freely flows to His children. His forgiveness is
I give God the glory! The mighty savior’s strength protects
us from the storms. He knows we face situations of being caught between a rock
and a hard place. But in the sanctuary of His safety, He delivers answers within
the ferocious winds and the sigh of calm waters. The Lord’s love abounds among
the fear. He mends the broken threads of Satan’s fury for His way is
I pray your prayers will make miracles happen when you are between a rock and a hard place. Wouldn’t you rather find peace in a quiet harbor than on a violent sea? Pack a paddle and head for the Lord!