How do you know?

How do you know
Your future is bright?
How do you know
You’re bound for success?
How do you know
You were born to succeed?
How do you know
Your time has come?
How do you know
You must stop it or blow it?
How do you know
You are at the winning point?
How do you know
You have found
Your partner for life?
How do you know
You are on the right track?
How do you know
When you’re on the wrong track?
How do you know
All you need is perseverance?
How do you know
You have come to the end
Of the road?
How do you know
Your spouse loves you?
How do you know
A new idea is better for you?
How do you know
You’ve taken a good decision?
How do you know
It’s time to quit?
How do you know
Staying on can ruin you?
How do you know
Your faith is strong or weak? Yes, how do you know?
Tell me how you know;
I ask because I want
To know how you know;
I ask because it’s hard
For me to know;
So how do you know?
I ask because
I guess you know it;
And I want you to tell me;
I ask because
I know if you know,
I will.know,
Becsuse you will tell me;
Do you know?
Tell me if you know;
I really want to know;
How do people know certain things?
I really want to know
Why some people tell lies;
I really want to know
How one would see black
And call it white;
And that happens daily
Under our very noses.
How do you know
That someone is someone?
That someone is someone
You can trust;
And how do you know
That someone is someone
You cannot trust?
How do you know
When your closest friend
Is stabbing you on the back?
Let me tell you something;
In God alone you must trust;
Take it or leave it;
In Him alone, I do trust;
We, humans, will fail you;
Your most trusted person,
Will fail you,
But God will not;
He will never fail you;
He will always stand by you;
At all times, in him, alone,
Put your heart;
Put your trust;
He will never fail you;
Neither let you down;
He will always hold you up;
That is how wonderful
Our good Lord is at all times.

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Only a few

Yesterday was not
My best day;
Take note!
I have not said
It was a bad day;
I only say
It wasn’t
My best day;
Ask me what I mean;
I will tell you;
Many things;
Only a few things
Went
As I expected;
Only a few;
Let’s end here.
But my spirits
Remain strong;
I will not crumble;
The load of discouragement
Will not stop me;
I will keep my head up;
And keep going;
Till my destination.

The 8 Most Powerful Women in the Bible: Part One

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 MAGDALENE

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?

Image of Mary Magdalene courtesy of James Tissot Collection at Brooklyn Museum freebibleimages.org

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 Magdalene at Jesus’ resurrection courtesy of freebibleimages.org

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 Jerusalem.


HANNAH

Image of Hannah courtesy of Moody Publishers and freebibleimages.org

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.

“Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, 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 plans.

Image courtesy of freebibleimages.org

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 woman?

  • 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.


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Those who give up (Be inspired today 341 by Ngobesing Suh Romanus)

Those who give up
Usually end up
Admiring
Those who don’t give up.

Those who give up
Eventuall become
Jealous
Of those who don’t give up.

Those who give up
Usually end like losers
While those who don’t give up
Win.

Those who give up
End up mourning;
Those who don’t give up
End up celebrating victory.

Will you give up
And mourn
Or stick to it and celebrate?
Isn’t the choice so clear?

Your golden crown

If you want to win
A golden crown,
The rules of the game
You must learn;
And once you have them
In your palms,
To obey them
In the best way that you can;
The main rule always
To be on top,
Is never to turn back
Without the crown;
To persist until you win;
No matter how weary
Your legs may be,
Perseverance is the word;
Crawl like a baby
To the finishing line;
This encouragement
I give to you,
That you may claim
Your golden crown.
If not for the victory,
That you will win,
For the courage
You have displayed.
Now, you go and bring
Your golden crown.

If someone you care about…

If someone you care about
Doesn’t pay attention to you,
If someone you extend a hand to
Doesn’t take your hand,
Don’t be angry;
Don’t turn your back
On such an individual;
And don’t draw a negative
Conclusion
That you have been rejected.
You cannot just guess why;
And act on guess work;
It may have nothing to do
With their not liking you;
Not valuing you,
Not respecting you;
Jilting you;
Ignoring you;
Spiting or despising you;
Don’t be surprised
Things could change
For the best tomorrow;
Many are not friends now;
But will be great friends Tomorrow.
Stop jumping to conclusions
When it comes to people;
Or making hasty judgement,
Give time to people;
And go by the rule:
Never give up on anyone.
Keep hoping,
And helping them to be
Excellent people.
You may get exactly
What you want from them
If not today, tomorrow.

Do you have faith?

Faith is more than talking;
Faith is not just saying
“I have faith.”
Faith is shown in action;
You know you have faith
When you are patient
Till you get what you want;
You know you have faith
When you persevere,
When you are going through
stormy situations;
You know you have faith
When you persist,
Despite discouragement
Till you get there.
You know you have faith
When you fall repeatedly
And get up and continue.
That is faith;
That is true faith;
Not fake but true faith.
The faith that brings results.

Wishful Wednesday – Rise Up

Hello everyone, & happy Wednesday.🙂  In Monday’s post , I talked about how wonderful it would be if everyone would look out for each other.  My wish for you today, is that you’d do just that. That you’re able to rise up & stand in your community, that you’re able to rise up & lift a standard in your home, Rise up & stand at the workplace. Rise up for your home country, Rise up for America….Rise up for the world!❤