A Little Servant Girl; 2 Kings 5.

Before I get into this story, I want to state a simple fact: no matter who you are, you can change someone’s life. If bad things happen to you, take the pain and use it to help someone else. Whether you are in the throngs of depression, the trap of fear and anxiety, have suffered loss or are fighting an incurable disease with all you have in you, God CAN use you and He WILL if you let him.

Our story is about a mighty captain in the Syrian army by the name of Naaman. God had used him to defeat the Israelite army. He was an honourable man, but he suffered a horrendous disease. Naaman had leprosy. He was what the Israelites called unclean and it so happened that during one of their invasions Naaman captured a little girl and gave her to his wife as a maid. She was only a little girl–or so Naaman thought, but was he wrong. Naaman’s wife lamented the state of her husband. During one of these she must’ve told this little girl. This little girl felt so sad for her lord and mistress that she said to her,

“I wish my lord was with the prophet of God that lives in Samaria. He would cure him of his leprosy.” and someone overheard this and went straight to the king of Syria saying, “There is a prophet in Samaria who can cure my lord Naaman!” The king immediately sent a letter to the king of Israel and told him what happened as well as gifts to show goodwill. The Syrian king asked that this prophet cure Naaman and informed the king of Israel that he would be sending Naaman.

The king of Israel started panicking. He tore his clothes and started to rant, “Am I God? How am I supposed to cure this man?! The king of Syria is looking for an excuse to go to war with me!”

Elisha heard this and sent a messenger to the king saying, “What’s happening? Why are you tearing your clothes? Send the man to me and he will see the power of the God of Israel.” At ease, the king agreed and sent Naaman to Elisha. When Naaman came to the house of Elisha, Elisha sent a messenger out to tell Naaman, “Go wash yourself 7 times in the Jordan River and you will be cured of your leprosy.” Now Naaman looked at the Jordan River and said, “Where is your master? Can’t he even greet a man?! He sends a servant to tell me what to do!” Naaman was expecting some kind of thunder and lightning or perhaps fanfare, instead he got a simple servant telling him to go wash in a river. If that worked he would’ve done it ages ago! Who did this prophet think he was? He was beginning to doubt this little maid that had spoken with his wife.

“Are you telling me the rivers of Damascus, Arbana and Pharphar, aren’t better than this filthy river in Israel? Why can’t I just go wash in them?” Naaman was infuriated, but his men loved him and pleaded with him saying, “Master, if you were told to do some great act wouldn’t you do it, why not listen to the prophet and go wash yourself 7 times in the Jordan?”

Naaman saw the love his men had for him and obeyed. He dipped himself 7 times in the Jordan and when he came out he was spotless. He was clean and pure like a child’s skin. He was overjoyed to be cured of the wretched disease and went to the prophet offering him all sorts of gifts as thanks for the miracle. The prophet, Elisha, told him he shouldn’t thank him because God had cured Naaman not Elisha. So Naaman went on his way, no doubt thinking of that little servant girl and her people’s prophet. The Bible doesn’t mention what happens to her, but it needn’t. You see, it wasn’t about her or Elisha. The story was about Naaman.

Naaman is all of us. We all need to be cleaned by God’s cleansing water. When Jesus came to earth knowing fully well what would happen. He didn’t come down with fanfare and light shining from Heaven, instead He came down as the worthless child of a carpenter–a nobody. Jesus was just like the Jordan River–on the surface he didn’t look handsome or have anything that made people want to flock to Him. However, just like the Jordan, the people who were cleansed by Him were cured of their sin(leprosy). Even as He hung on that cross, He had love and forgiveness in his heart.

Today, if you feel like Naaman–hiding your sin under a think suit of armour–come to God. The Bible says that every time a soul turns to God angels sing in Heaven. I hope this encourages you. I love this story. It’s gorgeous.

Have a great week. I’ve been so busy, I’m pretty sure I’m like a dead body on my platforms. Sorry for that. Next week, I should be back up and ready to post more for you.

Wish me luck. God bless all of you, my precious avids!🥰😇

My Personal Quest; Pat A. Fleming

For most of my life, I’ve been on a quest
To discover just who I might be,
Earnestly searching, day after day,
So desperate to recognize me.

I’ve felt moments of utter fulfillment
And moments I couldn’t go on,
But I knew for the sake of my heart and my soul,
To succeed, I would have to be strong.

But the people around me seemed so lost themselves
That I feared I might be on my own.
But then there’d be someone who would reach out and help
And remind me I wasn’t alone.

I’ve wanted so much to be happy,
To know what it was to feel peace,
And I thought if I finally felt sure of myself,
Then the pain and the struggles would cease.

But I’ve learned that this journey is endless;
The discoveries are fresh every day,
And no matter how much I might know of myself,
They’ll be times I will still lose my way.

And as I’ve grown older, I truly believe
I may never know all I can be.
But the answers are not waiting out in the world
But have always laid right inside me.

We’re all on this quest to discover ourselves,
Together but through our own ways,
Overcoming whatever might get in our paths,
So we can feel better someday.

But always remember not to stray far
From what matters and what’s really true.
In this life you don’t have to be perfect.
In the end, you just have to be you.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/my-personal-quest

We are all on this path together. Hold each others hands and walk together knowing you can be brave when you are not alone.

God bless all of you, my precious avids 💖😇

Weekend Enticements

You try to entice me

With the smell of coffee and pancakes.

I bury my head deeper under the covers

And ignore your ploy.

Naked, I walk into the kitchen,

My turn to entice.

I run back to the bed and dive beneath the covers,

Giggling. The pancakes are cold, I win.

All rights go to the poet, Francine Roberts. Have a blessed weekend all. God bless you and keep you!

Lot; Genesis 18&19

I don’t know if you ever heard of the story of Lot? It’s a cautionary tale that is often referred to warn of the punishment of sin. If we take a look into Lot’s history we find that Lot was travelling in Canaan with his uncle Abram (later referred to as the famous Abraham) and there was a dispute between the servants of Lot and those of Abram. This caused them to split up. Lot chose to stay in the rich fertile land near the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abram moved to the barren lands on the opposite side. God blessed Abram abundantly and Lot prospered where he was, but Lot had no idea what the future held for him. God was use him as a witness as one of the most violent miracles recorded.

So what happened to Lot? The Bible gives us quite an apt description. It says, “And righteous Lot vexed his soul daily.” This phrase in the context is referring to the sin that was happening in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God saw what was going in those two cities and He saw Lot was righteous. God proceeded to send two “messengers of God”, as the Bible says, to Lot. Lot made the messengers comfortable, gave them something to drink, something to eat and then sat down to talk with them. This would not be as simple as it seemed, because the men in the city wanted Lot to give them these men that God had sent and Lot refused. He pleaded with them and even tried to negotiate with them, but they would not listen. These messengers of God pulled Lot back into the house, shut the door and then proceeded to blind the men of the city. These men had told Lot who they were and Who had sent them and Lot listened intently, knowing God was about to speak. “Lot,” they began, “The Lord God has cursed these cities and He will destroy them with fire and everyone in them, except for you, Lot.” Lot was terrified, but what Lot didn’t know was that his uncle Abram had already pleaded for God to spare the righteous men in that city. You can find this conversation in Genesis 18v23-32. God saw that Lot was scared and the messengers said to him, “Do not be afraid. Pack up your house, your wife, your two daughters and leave. God is going send fire from heaven and completely burn up these cities because of their wickedness. Leave and do not even look behind you. JUST RUN!” Lot was dumbstruck–God was going to destroy two cities. His wife, two daughters and himself would be the only survivors of so many people. The two messengers saw that Lot was taking too long and they grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand and his two daughter’s hands and rushed them out of the city before they were destroyed with it. Now God told Lot to escape to the mountains so that he wouldn’t be destroyed, but Lot was scared that something would happen to his family if they went into the mountains. Now it just happened that there was a small city nearby called Zoar and Lot said, “Can I go to the city of Zoar and live there since it will be safer?” God allowed him to move there and they fled. While the Lord rained down fire and brimstone from heaven, Job’s wife looked behind her and, right there and then, was turned into a pillar of salt. Job fled into Zoar, but he became scared and instead fled into the mountains of Zoar with his two daughters.

It says later on in chapter 19 God remembered that He had told Abram what was happening and God knew that he would be worried about Lot, so God told Abram that Lot and his family was safe and that Abram needn’t worry anymore.

This story is so amazing. It speaks of how as God’s children we are delivered from His wrath. Because of the cross we are saved by His amazing, boundless and unconditional love.

If you are in a bad place either physically or emotionally call out to God wherever you are and He will save you. God loves you already where you are and He’s waiting for you to call out to Him. If you don’t know what to say, don’t worry. Simply ask Him to save you and He will. There are no long fancy prayers that you need to pray, just ask Him.

God bless all of you, my precious avids😇💖 Have a lovely afternoon.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Cat and Mouse by Ted Hughes

On the sheep-cropped summit, under hot sun,
The mouse crouched, staring out the chance
It dared not take.                              
                           Time and a world
Too old to alter, the five mile prospect—
Woods, villages, farms hummed its heat-heavy
Stupor of life.                              
                                     Whether to two
Feet or four, how are prayers contracted!
Whether in God’s eye or the eye of a cat.

Short and poignant. Be blessed all my precious avids 👧💖

The Book of Job

The Book of Job.

I decided for thanksgiving I’d talk about someone who had to learn what being thankful was all about. He had a rough time, but still he had hope in God. You already know this man of faith was–Job. But our story doesn’t start with Job. Instead it starts in Heaven. Now there was a certain day when all of Heaven’s angels stood before God and Lucifer also came in God’s presence. This is where things get interesting for Job. God asks Lucifer, “Where have you been and what have you been doing?” Lucifer answers him, “I have been all over the world. Walking here. Walking there.”

And God said, “Have you thought of my servant Job? He is a righteous and honourable man. All He does is to my glory.”

“That is true,” Lucifer replies, “but that is because You have kept him from poverty and loss. Take everything he owns away from him and he will turn on You and curse You right to your face.” God knew Job’s faith and he replied, “Do what you want, but don’t hurt him.” So Lucifer did.

Enter Job. Job was offering sacrifices for his children because he knew they were not right before God and he was no doubt concerned and saddened. While he was offering his sacrifices a lone servant came running to him in a panic and, crying, said, “Master! Master! The oxen were plowing, the donkeys next to them and Sabeans (an ancient tribe of South Arabians) came and stole them. They killed all your servants and I escaped to come and tell you!” While Job was hearing this, another of his servants came rushing towards him trembling. “Master! Master!” He cried, “Fire from Heaven burnt up your sheep and all your servants. I’m the only one who escaped!” Job had just barely recovered himself when another servant came running. “Master! Master! The Chaldeans (for all intents and purposes, Babylonians) and stole the camels as well as killing the servants. While the men were trying to comfort each other another man came running as fast as he could. This man looked worse than the others. Job’s heart couldn’t handle it, but he remained calm. If God had a plan, Job would trust Him to the very end even if Job had to die. The servant was catching his breath, when he looked up. His face was covered in tears as he said, “Master, your sons and daughters were having a feast in their brother’s house and a powerful wind came and hit the house from all four sides and it fell down on them, crushing them!”

Job left them and was so devastated that he tore his clothes and his cloak. He shaved his beard and fell to his knees worshipping God. He said to God, “Naked I was born and naked I will die. You have given and You have taken. Blessed is your holy Name!” Despite all his pain, not once did Job turn on God.

Again there was a day when the angels all stood before God and Lucifer came too. God asked him, “And have you seen that despite all you have done, Job still is faithful to me.” But Lucifer was not ready to give up and instead, again, challenged God, “You are right. He lost everything, but if you hurt him, he WILL turn on you–any man would.”

“Alright,” God replied, “go ahead, but don’t kill him.” So Lucifer went and struck Job with boils all over his body–even down to the soles of his feet. While Job sat in his sorrow and pain, scraping the boils with a piece of pot, his wife came along and with disdain said to him.

“What on earth is wrong with you?! God has taken everything–our sons, daughters, wealth even your own health! Yet you still say God is good! Curse God and just die!” Job looked up at his wife and said to her, “What is wrong with YOU? You are acting like a foolish woman! Do you think that all God does is bless? Do you claim to know his heart? Are we exempt from the world’s evil?” Even in his loss and discomfort, he never once betrayed God.

Word of Job’s suffering came across to his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. While they were on making their journey, they saw Job from far away. All three of them wept for Job’s suffering and tore their clothes and cloaks joining him in his mourning. 7 days and nights they sat quietly and mourned with him.

After Job chapter 3 until chapter 38 it alternates between Job cursing his existence and his friends asking him what he could’ve done to bring this on himself. After chapter 37, we see God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind and asks him all kinds of questions. Questions that God knows Job can’t answer, but that is God’s point. He is telling Job that He is the Creator of all things. All the questions He asked Job were all to bring Job to that conclusion.

You see from the very beginning God knew what was going to happen. From the day that Job was born God knew Lucifer was going to do what he did and that Job would remain faithful even at his weakest. In the very last chapter Job comes to this same realization. He says to God that he knows God is capable of all things and that He is a good God.

You’re probably wondering why I chose Job on Thanksgiving, well it’s quite simple. I chose Job because at the very end Job realizes that everything God gave him was a blessing and he was thankful for what God had given him. In the last chapter God doubles Job’s wealth and restores all his children. Job even names his daughter in the last chapter and includes them in his inheritance.

Yesterday we took a day to look at our blessings and be thankful for what was given to us. If anyone was thankful for what he had, it was Job.

Please do go and read for yourselves. Job is my favourite character in the Bible. His story always gives me strength.

God bless you all today, my precious avids.

Be Thankful by Unknown

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Happy thanksgiving every one! Today I want each of you reading this to think of something you can be thankful for.

Barak and Deborah

Read Judges chapters 4 – 5

I have decided today that I would share a story that is not really well known. We all know the story of the great heroes of faith–Daniel, David, Moses, Joseph and so many more. These men were heralded as great heroes of faith and rightly so, but there is one more man that was also heralded, but we never think of him and gloss over his name. Well, today I have decided to tell his story. We are not glossing over him this time. His name was Barak and his companion was the Prophetess Deborah. Deborah is mentioned in Judges chapters 4 – 5. She was a married women as well as a judge to Israel. She is the only woman judge mentioned. Before you scream sexism, let me explain one simple fact about God–He has never belittled women in the Bible. It’s actually on the contrary, in Psalms He actually speaks of a virtuous woman and how important she is. In Jewish culture it is the woman who decides the religion of the child. He tells numerous stories of women in the Bible who were used of God. Tamar, Ruth, Mary, Rahab and many more women changed the lives of those they encountered and were mentioned in the lineage of Christ. In the very last chapter of the book of Job, Job leaves an inheritance for his daughters and mentions them by name. This was something that was unheard as the men inherited and the women were married off, but not for Job.

Deborah was no different than any of these women. God used her mightily and this is made very clear in Judge 4 – 5. So let’s dive right into their story.

Now, as Israel so often did, they were evil and sinful. Because of this God allowed them to be sold to a Gentile king by the name of Jabin. He had a vast and powerful army and the Israelites cried to God for help as this king treated them so horribly, It was during this time that we meet Deborah, a prophetess who judged Israel. She sat out in the open under a palm tree so that all could see her. Here we see her heart. She did nothing in secret and was a honourable woman. God reveals to her one day the pain of Israel and she calls for a man by the of Barak. Enter Barak and she says to him, “Hasn’t the God of Israel commanded you to gather an army of 10,000 from the Naphtali tribe and go on to mount Tabor? God has promised to go with you and fight for you. Now, I will go to the river of Kishon Sisera, and King Jabin’s captain and all his army I will deliver into your hand.” Barak after hearing all this, looked to Deborah and said, “I will only go if you come with me. If you don’t go, I won’t either.” She said to him, “Of course I will go with you. However, this battle will not be for you honour or glory. The Lord will deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman.” It was then that she got up and went with Barak. (Before I go further, let me mention something God has taught me here. Barak did not choose her because she was a woman or a prophetess, but because he knew God was with her and he needed to have her with him because of this) So Barak went a gathered an army from Kadesh and Naphtali of 10,000 men and Deborah went with him.

Now while Barak and Deborah were putting their plans in place, there was a man who had pitched his tent in Zaanaim near to Kedesh. He had completely severed all ties with his family and tribe, the Kenites. He went to Sisera and exposed where Barak’s was located. Sisera, in response, went and gathered his armies to head for Barak. Then something strange happened.

Deborah told Barak to go up. She told him that God would defeat the armies on Barak’s behalf and give him the victory. Barak then headed out with his army of 10,000. As promised, God delivered the army of Sisera to be defeated. Sisera jumped off his horse and ran for his life. He was pursued by Barak, but somehow managed to escape from him.

While running, he ran into the tent of Jael, a woman married to a Kenite. She invited him in and gave him milk to drink and covered him with her cloak. He asked her to keep watch by the tent door in case anyone should come passed. She remembered what he had asked her, “If anyone asks for me, you tell them I am not here.” Jael, however, had other plans. She took a tent peg (at that time it would’ve been a large metal nail) and a hammer, proceeding to nail it straight through his temple. He was so sound asleep, he didn’t even stir and right there he died. Like Sisera asked, she stood by the tent, keeping watch and when Barak and his army came passed she led him right to where Sisera lay dead, the nail still through his temple. Through this the Israelites had victory over not only Sisera and his armies, but also Jabin, Canaan’s king. After this, the Israelites were a prosperous nation.

And that is where our story ends. Here we see not one heroine, but two. Deborah and Jael both were led by God to work his perfect plan. Barak, too, was used by God.

This little bit of history demonstrates to us that if you allow God to work through you, He will grant, not just you, but everyone you touch with His words, victory. I hope that, as you read the story of Deborah, Jael and Barak, you will be inspired to be brave and take the world by storm. Nothing can stop you from touching the stars, if God is lifting you up to them.

If you continue onto the next chapter 5, you will see that after this great victory all Deborah and Barak did, for a whole chapter, was praise God. When God uses you, don’t forget to praise Him and let the whole world know what He has done just like Barak and Deborah.

I hope this boosts your Monday. Be bold. Be brave. Believe. That’s all you need to know.

God bless all of you, my precious avids. Have a lovely Monday😉📚

Monday by Annie McLaughin

Monday was terrible.
Horrific.
I spent the day sulking on my lonesome and went home ready to erupt.
I could feel the slight tingle of tears threatening their way through my eyelids
Ready to pour over the second they perched open
But due to my lack of sleep last night
I doubt I could even build up the strength to open my glossy eyes
Even if I wanted to

In a weird sense
I enjoyed the mere thought of Monday being able to make me cry
I almost laughed
Or screamed
Or both

A year ago today
Everyday was a Monday to me
Everyday went horribly
Everyday made me come home crying and lock myself in my room
I was so used to that constant repetitive torture
That Monday appeared to be no different than any other day
Monday was just… It.
Tuesday was “it”
Wednesday was “it”
Thursday was “it”
Friday was “it”
Even Saturday and Sunday were “it”

But now, today
Monday is distinct
In a horrifyingly gruesome way
And this tear-jerking unsatisfying Monday gave me hope

Monday made me cry
Tuesday did not
Wednesday did not
Thursday did not
Friday did not
Not even Saturday or Sunday made me cry
Only Monday made me cry
Only Monday

Just as Monday made 7 billion other humans cry
On this torturous inescapable earth
It also made me cry

And that gave me hope that maybe I really am normal
Or I can be
Or I will be

Because Monday is unbearable for everyone
And Monday is unbearable for me
And the rest of the week is alright for most people
And it was alright for me
And Saturday and Sunday are fun for most people
And Saturday and Sunday were fun for me

Somewhere
Deep inside my clouded, muddy mind
I caught a glimpse of hope
That maybe
There is hope for me
Maybe I am cured
Maybe I can be
Maybe I will be