Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Friday, 29 April 2016

Imitate Hezekiah

Have you ever been reluctant to do something good because you were indulging in something even better? The most sacred time of the day by far is in the early morning and late at night when everyone else is possibly sleeping. Sweet communion with the Heavenly Father is...matchless.

But-- and nay, I will not even sigh-- before dawn's early light God was inviting me to share this joy, this beauty with others like you. He had whispered the suggestion yesterday and I was prayerfully wondering how I could do justice to such a lovely topic as communion with the Father.

But do you know what? He introduced a new twist: the Bible opened to a verse about Hezekiah who was one of the good kings of Israel from the long ago Bible Times. Maybe that doesn't seem so significant but it is, it really, really is. Do you know why? It's because his Dad, King Ahaz was a nasty old man, pardon me for saying so. He sure found a lot of ways to do evil but the one that makes me cringe the most is that he 'burned his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen,"  (2nd Chronicles 28 part of verse three.) It's a good thing he spared Hezekiah, but we'll get to that later.  Because Ahaz was a man of power and great influence, many people suffered and even died as a result of his sins.

By now you must be convinced that I have Alzheimer's or something and wandered completely off the topic but I haven't. I wanted to lay this background so you would get a better idea why the verse I am coming to is so remarkable. It's referring to Hezekiah after he replaced his father as king.

OK, sit up straight, and listen: 'For he clave (clung,) to the Lord and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.' (2nd Kings 18:6)

 That's the son of an evil man that we are talking about, but fortunately, he had a mother who loved the Lord, and so I am pretty sure both of them had learned how precious it is to pray, commune, fellowship, with the Lord God. That daily contact is vital. They were surrounded by evil, and maybe you are too, but get in touch with the Heavenly Father and cling to Him like Hezekiah did. Oh my, it is so worth it!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Music in the Dungeon



I don’t suppose it would be very much fun being  locked up in a dungeon, would you? As a matter of fact I can’t think of one thing pleasant about it. Just listening to the background noises would be quite disturbing to say the least. Hear all that screaming? Without a doubt someone is getting a beating with far more stripes than most crimes could ever warrant. Then of course there is the bitter quarreling, curses and terrible groans of agony…and the mean, nasty, long teethed rats…

                Enough for the sounds: what about the smells? Maybe we shouldn’t even go there, it reeks like, like  an old fashioned outhouse . Enough said, right, because there are people living in that filth.

                There’s plenty of prisoners confined tonight in those dreadful quarters and it is pitch dark. No one can see their hand, even if they put it right in front of their face. That is enough miseries right? But things are about to get worse. The whole stone building begins to tremble and shake, and this is in the black of night, mind you. All other sounds are drowned out by the blood curdling screams of a hundred captives.

When the ruckus dies down a bit, the strangest sound can be heard. It is of singing. Singing? In a dungeon? In the dark of night? During an earthquake? Yes, and it was as soothing as a canary’s melody in a coal mine.

Who are those singing under such dire circumstances? It is Paul and Silas., not that you can see them, mind you, but they are the two confined by stocks.

I also am confined against my will. It is the prison of my flesh which urges me to do things I really shouldn’t, and makes it difficult to soar like an eagle to heights of power and victory in Jesus like I long to. Someday my chains also will be loosened and so, meanwhile I can sing in prison!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Who Told You God Is a Hard Task Master?


I like to spend time with God first thing in the morning. These days it`s the topic of choices that caught my attention, and what the Bible has to say about them. Did you know that  in Deuteronomy we are encouraged to bring our choicest offerings? Well, knowing me, that got me curious to know what was being referred to, so I hauled out the good old Matthew Henry`s commentary which is great source for inspiring observations.

I was surprised that way back in the Old Testament times already God wanted us to worship Him with holy joy. Our soul is nourished when we come before Him with a thankful heart. That`s when we are best able to commune with Him and He fills us with the desire to have our faith and spiritual understanding increased. He fills us with a longing to become more and more like Him in every deed and action.

So what is the choicest sacrifice? Holy joy, thankfulness.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

New School Prayer

I found this in my e mail this morning. I wish the real author could stand up and give a little wave. A lot of us us would applaud.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Inky, Smothering Blackness

 Check the accompanying pages for the first two parts of this story. 

 “Dathan, you’re back, you survived!” Rebaethaih sobbed wildly as she flung herself into her husband’s arms. Dathan patted the slim, trembling woman for a long time before her sobs eventually subsided.
“I can’t stand these horrible, horrible plagues,” she gulped. “I’m always so afraid of what will come next. “Oh why is it happening to us, why? Why? Has anything so awful happened in Egypt before? First the flies, then the locusts, and the bloody, bloody river. Oh, I can’t even keep track of what order they came in anymore! Dathan will we survive?—What will the Hebrew god do to us next before—“
“Rebaethaih, hush, you must not be so frantic in front of the children. You are terrifying them.”
          “But-“Then Rebaethaih swallowed her words by clasping her hands over her mouth… her eyes were bulging with fear.
“How did you all manage?” he asked while gently drawing circles on her back.
Manage? We didn’t manage. “We groped around until we found each other and then huddled beside Grandpa.”
“But at least you were safe.”
Safe. “Oh, Dathan how did you manage to keep safe? I expected you would be half way home when the, the darkness fell. Did you, d-did you wander off towards the Nile?”
“No, honey, I did not wander off, in fact I didn’t even leave my work site.”
He squatted down beside the fire pit and stirred the dying coals.
“Remember Eliab; the Hebrew slave that I’ve chatted with sometimes when he comes to pick up bags of corn to deliver to the palace?”
Rebaethaih nodded and hunkered down also. She needed to be close to him at this terrifying time. Their children hovered near, small and frightened.
Dathan found a barely smoldering coal buried deep and blew gently on it. Salke knew he should fetch some kindling but was unwilling to leave the comparative safety of the family circle. He took his little sister by the hand and together they ventured off but quickly returned with a few sticks. Their Daddy nodded in approval.
Soon Dathan continued. “Eliab knew he should be in a hurry because he had a ruthless taskmaster but he stopped to have a quiet word with me.
“Don’t be in a haste to go home tomorrow,” he whispered urgently. “Another plague is predicted; darkness will fall over the whole of Egypt. You’ll be safe if you stay the night here.”
          “How long will it last?” I asked.
As Eliab hoisted the heavy bag on his shoulder, he glanced around quickly to see if anyone was listening. Many people either hated or fear the Israelites.
          “I know not,” he admitted, “Just heed my command and you will be well.”
I watched him go then hurried off to my job, pondering how to handle the situation. I refilled my water bottle and pretended to be busy later when people wandered off for the day. Fortunately no one questioned me about not leaving also.          The darkness fell more suddenly than I had expected, and it was thick, thicker than a blanket. I heard much screaming, mutterings and cursing.”
They both reached out to their tearful children and cuddled them close.
“I was glad to have my water bottle on my belt. It was like a form of security.”
Rebaethaih leaned her head against his shoulder.  
“Pretty soon,” Dathan continued, “I noticed there was an opening between two buildings where I could see a natural twilight. Far on the horizon there were lights moving here and there and I knew that in the Israelite camp they once again hadn’t been smitten.”
Rebaethaih placed a pot of beans on top of the now smoldering coals and stirred them absently. “Would that we could be one of them,” she muttered.
Grandpa seemed to know what she had said although he was nearly stone deaf.
“Get such foolish wickedness out of your heart,” he rasped. “We have our gods, and them will we serve.”
Rebaethaih looked nervously at the old man then bent her head closer to her husband’s, “Aye, but these evils that befall us seem to mock every type of  idol that we worship. “
Dathan nodded and said in a hushed voice, “I will learn more of Eliab’s god and his ways.”
“Cursed be any man who strays from the beliefs of his fathers.” Grandpa’s voice seemed surprisingly strong for a change. He tried to raise himself up by his elbows but fell back down. “I will call curses upon you if you entertain evil thoughts.”
The group fell silent as they waited for the warmed over beans.

Early the next morning, just as the dawn made it light enough for Dathan to make his way between the mud-brick buildings, his youthful wife watched him go. She hoped that whoever those foreign neighbours worshipped, would keep him safe. Please help him to find out more about Eliab’s God.
Are there calamities in your life also? Would you like a safe haven, a Heavenly Father to cling to, to guide you? Trust in Jesus, He will bring you to the Father where you can find forgiveness, freedom and safety.

Don’t run off too far. I’m planning to post again soon. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

Apprehended: Part Two

     
“Goedemorgen, Claudine!” Verena hurried over to the young mother who was strolling down a wooded path near their town home. “May I take a peek at your baby? Hallo Jans, did I wake you up? What a sweet little boy you are!” She sighed happily and looked around. “What a perfectly lovely day to be out for a walk. Aren't spring days beautiful?”
Claudine nodded. “ Pieter and Nicholaes do not play too far from the path. We need to go home after awhile to make supper for your father.”
“Where is Margriete?” Verena asked while she was making silly facial expressions to get the rosy cheeked lad to giggle.
“Over yonder,” Claudine pointed. “She is gathering an armful of flowers to fill our rooms with.”
“Meenen is such a pretty little town.”
Claudine fell silent. At least it doesn't have a dungeon like Ypres does. She suddenly felt cold and it had nothing to do with the stirring of a summer-like breese. How I would hate to be confined to a dark prison cell when the air is so fresh and there are all kinds of interesting things to do. She felt her grip tighten around the baby's small form. Verena didn't notice Claudine's change of mood. She was already rushing back to chat with Margriete.
“Mama!” Pieter called. “May I hold Jans please?”
Claudine handed the baby to his brother who promptly sat down in the grass and entertained him by tickling his face with a daisy.
What happy, sweet children I have, and such a good husband. Why then am I feeling cast-down in my soul, all of a sudden? Claudine started singing and the rich, pure tones filled the air with a rare beauty.
Claudine had a good soup cooking by the time Piersom entered the door. Claudine quirked her eyebrows. He didn't bound in with his usual boisterous good humor.
Piersom motioned for her to step outside.
“Margariete, you can start feeding Jans. He's so hungry after all that fresh air this afternoon. Yes, Piersom?”
Her husband closed the door behind Claudine before speaking. Then he laid his hands on her shoulders and looked deep into her warm, brown eyes. “ Hendric matched my step as I was returning home from work.”
Claudine nodded. Why such a sober look?
“Titelmannus is out and about.”
“Who is he?” Why did I whisper?
“The Dean of Ronse.”
When his wife still wore a blank expression, Piersom continued, “The Inquisitor.Hendric, a pious councillor warned me to flee. I will hide in yonder woods.”
“Could you not pause to sup with us? You must be tired after such a long day.”
“Nay, I must hasten. He may have rounded up the bailiffs already to come and fetch me.” He turned to go, then paused. “You come, to, Claudine. They may be after you as well.”
Claudine knew the danger they were in. “I will fetch the baby, but you go! Go! Don't wait for me! I'll be but a moment later.”

“Where's Papa?”
“Why doesn't Papa come in for supper? I am hungry!”
“Papa and I are going for a little walk. Go ahead and eat. Pieter, you can lead in prayer. Hallo Janzie! My what a sopping wet baby! Did he eat much?”
Margariete nodded. “Everything that I mashed up for him.”
Claudine quickly and deftly changed the baby's sodden garments then hurried out the door.
She saw a ragtag, but determined looking bunch of men heading down the street so ducked into the woods and quickened her pace.

Page 737
Claudine de Vettre

MARTYRS MIRROR