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😉📚

Remember Remember

Effigy of Guy Fawkes

I’m sure we all know this famous quote from the movie “V for Vendetta”. I have never watched the film myself, but I had a childhood friend who used to quote it all the time on the 5th of November. You see, the 5th November is my birthday. Anyway, this is not about me. This is about Guy Fawkes.


Let’s start by asking ourselves one simple question: “Why?” Why would someone be driven to such a drastic act? Well, let’s examine the background Guy Fawkes would have been born into.

Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth Catholicism was quite heavily repressed, this repression intensified after her excommunication in 1570. She then went on to massacre dozens of bishops, priests and forbid many of the Catholic practices during her reign of terror. When King James I took the throne there were many who hoped that this would change. To their dismay in the year 1603, when King James I took over they soon discovered that this was definitely not the case. In fact King James I oppression only increased towards Catholics, despite his wife, Anne, being a Catholic. He was strongly protestant and would fine any person refusing to attend Protestant services. It was also under his strict observations that the King James Bible, used by Christians today, was translated. In the years between 1604 – 1612, there was understandably much unrest among the Catholics.


So, now we ask: “How?” How did this take place? Who planned it? Well, let’s see how they planned all this.

One night in an inn called the Duck and Dragon, 5 men met and discussed plans to destroy the Houses of Parliament in England. These 5 men were none other than Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby, Tom Wintour, Jack Wright and Thomas Percy. The plan was proposed by Robert Catesby. They planned to plant bombs using gunpowder in an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. After all their planning, they swore an oath on a prayer book to never speak of this to anyone else. It was only later that 8 other men joined what came to be called the “Gunpowder Plot”. Catesby may have been the leader of this plan, but it was definitely Fawkes that has always been remembered.

It was clear from the very beginning that not only was Guy anti-Scottish and pro-Catholic, but also that he sought aid from the Spanish government to help him start a rebellion in England to dethrone James. He claimed that James would drive out the Catholics, declaring them heretics. In the year 1605, he also took to calling himself Guido instead of Guy. He took on an alias in aid of this plot–John Johnson. He worked as a caretaker in the cellar just below the House of Lords. It was in this cellar that they stockpiled their gun powder. It was this gun powder that, on the 5th of November 1605, Fawkes would light upon the opening of Parliament. King James I, his eldest son, the House of Lords and the House of Commons would go up in flames. While all this was happening Guy would escape across the Thames, while his other 12 conspirators would start instigating an uprising in the English Midlands. They planned to kidnap Elizabeth, James I’s daughter, and install her as a puppet queen after which they would marry her off to a Catholic. They hoped that this would eventually re-install the Catholic rule they wanted.

But before this plot could even come to fruition, an anonymous letter was sent to a Catholic sympathizer warning him not to attend the Opening of Parliament. This caused the authorities to suspect something was about to happen. There is still no name to the letter that was written and sent on October 26 warning of this plot. Some have said that the authorities knew in advance and had designs to use it as a means to cause further restrictions on Catholicism.

Why A Guy, though?

Simply put. Fawkes was caught on the 4th November the night before with a match at the ready to light the bombs the next day. They caught him and tortured him in the Tower of London under James I’s orders, while his other conspirators were arrested and given similar treatment, except for four men among which was Catesby who died in a shootout with English troops.

The next year 1606, all the conspirators were hung and drawn and quartered for their treason. After this great victory, the English started lighting bonfires in celebration of the great victory they had won. The government then declared November 5th as a day of thanksgiving (I suppose you could call it their version of Thanksgiving). Children would go around with an effigy of Guy asking for “a penny for the old Guy” something very similar to trick-or-treating.

Guy Fawkes has undergone many changes over the years. In America, it was celebrated as Pope Day, but soon died out around the 19th century when Catholics were finally emancipated. In the 1980s, the graphic novel “V for Vendetta” was released completely over-hauling Fawkes’ look and turning him into a hero. We all know the DC movie by the same name released in 2005 based on the graphic novel.

I originally planned to have this out yesterday, but if you want to know what happened to stop me yesterday you can access my Ko-fi account, I have it all down there. In fact, I write daily what’s happened. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad, but if you want a look into who I am, you’ll find it all there.

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders. Keep safe. 👧🐰

Why Do Wear Costumes and Trick or Treat on Halloween?

Image courtesy of

Costumes have become a very important role in the modern celebration of Halloween, but why? Why do we dress up? In the modern age we live in, it’s become something we do for fun, but where did all this start? In my previous article, I spoke very briefly about this, but here I will take a deeper look into all this and we can see what gets dug up.

For a quick recap: “The Celts, as I mentioned in last week’s article, celebrated what we call ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ or ‘Halloween’ (Samhain to the Celts at that time) was celebrated on November 1st when it was the end of summer and the boundaries between the living and dead were believed to be blurred.” This is where the core of our article comes in.


Samhain Disguises

We all wear disguises for some or other reason, but I think we can all agree that this is mostly to hide something. Whether it’s to hide how you’re feeling or to hide from others–we all wear disguises. On Halloween/Samhain this was the case with the Celts. Because the Celts believed that the spiritual boundaries were blurred, they believed that the dead walked among and interacted with the living. This understandably terrified them as they believed they would be cursed or quite possibly be killed. So they had to find a way to repel these beings of another world. Their solution: disguises. These they used to ward the dead and this is now a tradition that has been passed down to the present. When the Irish folk came in search of a better life and for work during the Great Potato Famine, they brought across all their customs and traditions and we just adopted them and modified them. In doing so, I feel we lost a lot of what this tradition means.

People in those times were too afraid to leave their houses because of these ghosts, but they quickly found a way around that, donning scary masks or disguises to blend in with the spirits that they so dreaded encountering. These disguises were also used to honour the spirits. This idea began in County Cork, Ireland.


Trick or Treating

Of course, how could anyone think of this tradition of disguises and spirit-warding without thinking about trick-or-treating? They are tied so closely tied in with each other that it is impossible to think of the one without the other. So let’s talk about how trick-or-treating started.

A few years ago, my father explained to me the origins of the various holidays and celebrations we have today and I was quite shocked. One day, I think I’ll write on those. (If you have any ideas let me know 😉 ) In particular the tradition of trick-or-treating, this also is quite similar to the story of the Jack-o’-Lanterns. The tradition started with the offering of food or money to the dead. Trick-or-treating itself, according to my sources, say that this tradition was originally children dressed up in their ghoulish attire going from door to door asking for money or food. All things considered, this makes sense given that these offerings would’ve been made to the dead. But then, just me digressing a little (and again if you know the answer please tell me), it kind of defies the purpose if the money or food went to the spirit? It could be that the parents made the food for the dead and then something else for the kids to come collect? Either way, that is where it all started.

People in Catholic countries, however, don’t celebrate it as the rest of the world do. Instead they visit graveyards and churches to light candles for the dead, pray and bless their spirits. As a Christian, I prefer not to get involved in this simply because of what happens on this holiday. I won’t mention what, but I can tell you it’s not the trick-or-treating or costume parties that put me off.

I’ve grown to love ghost stories now that I’m older, but I still think that playing with Quiji boards and trying to interact with demonic entities is something not to be taken lightly or done simply as a game.

Tomorrow is October 31st and all around the world people will be celebrating this, not knowing it’s origins. I hope that as you read this, you’ll be a bit more enlightened about this. Please be careful out there tomorrow 🙂 In South Africa, we’ve already had terrible things happening. So please pray for us, most importantly for our children this time of year.

God bless and keep you safe, my darling avidReaders! 🙂

We Are All One People

Pholoa Motlanthe, from St Martin de Porres School, Orlando West, shares a poem he wrote for Heritage Day.

This poem, written by one of South Africa’s young boys, has a depth and profundity that we could all learn from. No matter where we come from, we were all one people and have more in common than we think we do. Instead of looking down on one another, let’s look up and learn from each other.

You struggle as others. Fight as others. Cry as others.

We are all the same.

God bless you all my darling avidReaders. Today as we celebrate our history, let’s learn to accept another’s history, too. Once you can understand their past, you’ll understand their present.

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman

The sea was still. The only sound to be heard was the lapping of the gentle waves against the sides of our ship, gently rocking us back and forth. It caused all the men aboard to go quiet. Just a few seconds ago we’d been in a violent storm yet now this calm had come to rest on the waves. The seas may have calmed, but the violent storm had only moved from the waves to now wage on in our own hearts. We should’ve been relieved, but there was something about this silence. It was an eerie calm.

That was when we heard the cries. The dried out voices of desperate men. Our captain called back as loud as his voice allowed him only to be returned with silence. Our captain started barking orders at us, demanding we get closer to these poor souls should they need our help. So we did. We rushed to our positions and started in the direction of the voices. It seemed the closer we got, the more the sickening feeling grew in our stomachs, but we trusted our captain and kept at our work until at last we heard loud cries of help. There we saw him–if what we saw could be described as a ‘him’. The figure we saw was inhuman. His flesh hung from his bones and, like the rest of his ship and crew, he glowed with an unearthly red as though he had climbed his way out of hell.

We had all heard rumours of the Dutchman (for that was no doubt what was before us), but had never come across her ourselves. We all knew the legend of the Dutchman–her captain had vowed to round the Cape of Good Hope regardless of the cost. As the story goes, he was cursed by the devil to wander the waters for all eternity. Some said it only was by the love of a woman that he would be saved, while others claimed that this was a falsehood.

It didn’t matter what men said about her–the truth was far more terrifying. The Dutchman’s captain wore no hat as there was no hair or flesh for it to rest on. His crew moaned tearful oaths begging, pleading, for us to send their messages to those both dead and alive. The captain uttered no sound, but stood quiet and resilient. He stared into the eyes of our captain–finding the measure of this man who bore flesh when he could not. In contrast to the painful, desperate cries of his crew, we all stood still and silent as the waves beneath us.

The ghost captain continued to size up our captain, not a word from either man. We stared at his crew too shocked to look away, lest we never see these apparitions again. Then it happened. Right in front of our eyes they were gone! The ship, the crew, the cries–all gone, as though it was nothing but a dream. All of them returned to the Locker from whence they had come. No one would believe that right before us stood the crew of the Flying Dutchman! Though she was always seen from afar by a lucky few, our crew had been the first to see her captain face to face. It didn’t matter what other men thought of our stories, we would always know that we had been the first to see the crew of the Flying Dutchman and to gaze into the eyes of her terrible captain.

I hope you enjoyed this little piece I wrote. I’ve had it on my heart to write something about the Dutchman and then thought it would be fun to do it from a narrative point of view. Please let me know if you liked it and if you want me to do more myths and legends in this format.

God bless you, all my dear avidReaders 🙂

Are Dragons Real?

Scientific American Blogs

Many people think of dragons as winged serpents breathing fire and then eating the ashes, but the ancient texts only ever to dragons as huge reptiles. It was only in the later texts that ‘dragon’ would be replaced by the word ‘dinosaur’. Evolutionists would have you believe that these creatures are extinct and that they died before man even came to be, but the question is rather a simple one: If so, then why…? Why do we still see these magnificent creatures? Why do they wash up dead on our shores? Why do people in certain parts of the U.S. see Pterodactyls? And what is going on in the Congo? Why do certain villages in Kenya bury their dead deeper than usual?

All these questions and many more are raised by people all over the world. You’re all probably thinking, “If dinosaurs (dragons) are real, then why aren’t UFOs?” Well, I can’t account for UFOs, but I can say that I have never had the honour of seeing a dragon up close. From those who have, it appears as normal as air in our lungs. Then, there’s all the evidence of man and dinosaurs living side-by-side. In China, they have records of an emperor who used dragons to pull his chariots on special occasions. There are even records of a family in China that raised them for their blood and body parts to be used as medicine. Explorers and great ancient philosophers from all over the world write of dragons existing.

Alexander the Great on his explorations in India said that many of his men were frightened off by great dragons living in caves. Alexander, however, was not the only explorer to have encountered these creatures. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles recorded in 793 A.D. they are quoted as saying that a terrible warning came over the Northumbrians of “great flashes of light across the sky, and whirlwinds, and fire breathing dragons.” In France they have records of a water dragon coming out of the water of the Seine River. This dragon appeared harmless as it did not breathe fire, but soon after it laid waste to parts of France. This dragon was hunted down, brought back to where they had found it and was beheaded. The dragon’s head was mounted on a building. This dragon was named ‘La Gargouille’ and from it came ‘gargoyle’ which are common in French architecture.

The Ica Stones of Peru

We’ve all heard of the Ica Stones and the Nasca Drawings. There are many interesting things depicted on the Ica Stones. There’s drawings showing surgery, their daily lives as well as dragons. Now, why would they have drawn that there if they’d never seen dragons before? Is it perhaps that the people who created these stones knew of dragons? Something to ponder at least.

Other Evidence

The Ica Stones aren’t the only evidence we have of these creatures. Civilizations all over the world have tales of dragons and the havoc they have caused. 2000 years ago, Gilgamesh wrote of a particular dragon that guarded the Cedar Forest of Amanus in Mesopotamia. Having powerful legs like that of a lion, the talons of a vulture, with a head bearing bull’s horns and a tail like a serpent. This creature they called Humbaba and he is sometimes depicted as human-like figure with scales on his back and the ability to breathe fire. He almost resembles a Stegosaurus in description, but since the stories can’t seem to agree on his physical characteristics it would be quite difficult to give an exact description of Humbaba.

The Loch Ness Monster and Other Famous Dragons

We all know this famous Scottish legend. So many stories surround the Scottish Loch. With the great depths the loch reaches, the possibility of a sea monster in the loch is not strange. For over a century locals have reported sightings and over the years the number of sightings continued.

I remember reading one particular story of a young boy and his friends who were out on the Loch, I can’t remember for certain if they were out looking for Nessie or if they were just out wind-surfing, whatever the reason they were out on the Loch. At some point they hit something and were capsized. Once capsized, they found themselves swimming blind in the fog. They called after each other and started swimming in the general direction of shore, but this was where their trip took a dark turn. Suddenly, they heard someone screaming and then another one of them screaming that something had got their friend. They immediately knew what had happened–Nessie had got one of them. They started to swim frantically towards the shore. Then came another cry and the last of his friends screaming that it had taken another of his friends down. After a while the boy realized that everything was quiet. He called for his friend, but heard nothing. It was then that he realized he was alone. He made it to shore crying for his friends that had been taken by Nessie. He told everyone what had happened. Sadly, his is probably not the only story like this.


These amazing winged creatures have been spotted multiple times in American states such as Texas, Ohio and other states in America. Stone carvings further add to the question of whether or not some of these amazing creatures may still exist. There have been spikes in sightings of these winged creatures in North Carolina this year. Most scientists have refused to accept that these creatures could still exist as it would contradict all that they claim to be true, but when so many are seeing the same thing you have to question whether or not they are right about all their theories. I mentioned above that the locals in Kenya bury their dead deep down otherwise they feel that Kongamato will come and dig up the bodies and eat them. They also have said that Kongamato lives deep in the caves.

Mokele Mbembi

Possibly the most famous creature in recent news. Tales of Mokele Mbembi were only discovered when Christian missionaries went into the Congo to speak the locals about Christ. They told stories of their encounters with what appeared to be a hybrid between a Plesiosaurus and a Brachiosaurus. This creature has been getting a lot coverage in the news. Since the discovery of 6 new species of frog and bat, many have wondered about whether or not this creature exists. Some parts of the Congo are still difficult to explore for various reasons and this makes it seem enticing to explorers. Could it be that those regions are where Mokele Mbembi is now hiding?


In reality all we will ever know is what people say to be true. If we want to know for ourselves we need to go out there and see for ourselves, but until then, we live and wonder if these people are just imagining it or is there more to this than we think. Whatever you choose to believe, I believe they are out there. Maybe they aren’t as big and scary as holiday portrays them, but as I mentioned in my article on extinct creatures (see Science and Medicine articles) the environment has had a major effect on their growth. History tell us that man has always walked with dragons/dinosaurs and thousands say that they still do.

So, avidReaders, I pose this question to you: What do you believe? Let me know in the comments what you think. I’d love to know.

God bless you all my dear avidReaders. Have a blessed week 🙂

Delicacies You’ve Probably Never Tried

We all know that every culture has foods that form the core of their customs and rituals. In this article I am going to through a few of these dishes and where they originated as well as a bit of the history behind some of these unique dishes.


Bird Nest Soup. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our first dish takes us into Asia, more specifically, China and to a dish called Bird Nest Soup. This particular dish has also been called the “caviar of the east”. Contrary to what you may think, the soup does not contain sticks, but rather the bird’s saliva. The “nest” is covered in a light chicken broth and is a very rare and expensive dish ranging in price from anywhere between $30 to $100. It is the most expensive meat in the world!


This is image is courtesy of

Our next dish takes us into the land of Cambodia and to a dish, that for a long period, was considered an essential food due to the extreme poverty they experienced. This dish is fried tarantula. It was first discovered during Khmer Regime rule. These insects are deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt. This is not just any tourist or native delicacy–this is something that reminds Cambodians of their history and the trials they have endured during the Knmer Regime. The price of this treat is 8 cents per spider. Let’s put this into perspective, many poor Cambodians live on the same as $1 per day.


Balut image provided courtesy of “”

This next rare delicacy is found in the markets of the Phillipines. It is definitely something that bears mentioning. This dish is called Balut–an egg yolk with a twist, instead of raw egg yolk, it is a fertilized egg that has an almost-developed chicken or duck embryo. Balut is boiled and eaten right out of the shell, much like we would eat oysters. This dish can be found in the street markets and is purchased at $12 a dozen. Balut is often accompanied by a beer.


Casu Marzu image provided courtesy of “

This next dish takes us to the faraway land of Sardinia and to a specific type of cheese that will blow you away! Known to Sardinians as “Casu Marzu”, this dish contains live insect larvae. Now here’s where this dish gets interesting. As a result of the obvious health threats it presents, it has been banned. Essentially Pecorino, which has the cheese fly, Piophila casei, in it. The cheese is fermented as the maggots eat at the cheese fats. As a result, it becomes soft and creamy with liquid sometimes seeping out. This cheese has to be consumed while the larvae are still alive as once they die, they become toxic.


Sannakji image courtesy of “”

This particular dish is a raw dish consumed in Korea. Typically served as live octopus, Sannakji has been described by locals as a “party in your mouth” as the octopus essentially fights to preserve its own survival. Sannakji is cut into pieces, seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately with the tentacles still squirming.


Puffin Heart image courtesy of “”

Sometimes called the “clown of the ocean” or “sea parrot”, the puffin is an adorable bird and something looked upon with wonder. Come to the shores of green Iceland and you will find a different use for the puffin. As a result of the large puffin population, Icelanders have a different use for this bird. The birds are first caught in big nets, then killed, skinned and their hearts eaten while still warm.

You will find hundreds of intriguing dishes out there, one such dish I came across in my research was something served in Vietnam called snake wine. I encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think of these dishes! I’d love to know what you all think! 🙂

If you are a foodie or someone who just loves good recipes follow the link below for some fine dining. or follow their Instagram account on “the_social_grant_sa”

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders!