Esther; For Such A Time As This Chap 8 Carri Lynne Pratt
in every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and
his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews,
and a holiday" Esther 8:17
This week our reading is from Esther chapter 8. Read Here Listen Here
We read that Esther's people are in peril, even after Haman had been put to death. There was still an edict pending to put all of the Jews to death on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. This was to be a genocide of the Jews as horrific as that of Hitler's decree.
However, once again Esther uses her position to plead for her people and get the king to create a new edict allowing the Jews to fight back in self-defense.
As you read/listen this week consider the following:
The Jews rejoiced at the news that they could fight back against the evil people coming against them. Imagine the relief they felt.
It is easy for us to lose sight of the power we have through the Holy Spirit. This power makes us more than able to fight against Spiritual Warfare. It might not be flesh and blood coming against us but we must always remember that Satan and his spirits are real and want to destroy the people of God.
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
You can fight back! Rejoice in the fact that you have been given power by God:
Spiritual Meditation: "Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
Lent Day 6 - Thankful for My Witness Carri Lynne Pratt
"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The way we act around others is our silent witness to the world. We are to clothe ourselves with kindness and draw others to God through the amazing love and truth He has given us.
Thank you Lord for giving me the privilege of being set apart for Your Kingdom work. Thank you Lord for the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. The gift of Salvation is the most precious gift anyone can receive. And although the Holy Spirit is the only one who can provide that gift, we can share the Good News with those in our circle of influence. Thank You Lord for the witness of Christians around the world who boldly proclaim Your name.
Lent Day 4 Thankful for Empathy, Connection, and Compassion Carri Lynne Pratt
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience."
Compassion: A feeling of deep sympathy for another person going through times of grief, pain or misfortune. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of someone with compassion. We read of many times in Scripture that Jesus reached out to humankind with compassion. One of the most famous, and shortest, verses in the Bible tells us that "Jesus wept." John 11:35. Being thankful helps us to be more like Jesus and to be a blessing to all. We can also be very thankful when others are compassionate with us.
Think how many wounded people we have all around and continuing the cycle by hurting others. There is ongoing spousal, child, elderly, and animal abuse.
Hurting others is a root, past issue that causes them to be hateful and out of control…
The root issue is almost always HURT or SHAME.
Not properly dealing with and processing hurts or trauma will cause the pain to be stored in your brain, in turn affecting your daily life, thoughts, health and relationships.
Dredging up a past hurt is never fun, and reliving it is hard, but the pain has to come out for one to be set free.
Ask the Lord to reveal what is causing you to be so angry or withdrawn. Confide in a trusted friend or counselor and allow yourself to feel and properly process the pain so you will heal and have peace. Refusing to deal with past pain can make people walk around like a zombie causing more wounded people. "Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story..." ~Brene Brown author of The Gifts of Imperfection "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
Our hearts are broken for the families grieving in Florida today. We pray the Holy Spirit would provide comfort during this horrific tragedy. We are thankful that He comforts us as well in our times of loneliness, grief and pain.
Ladies, we are so excited to begin another Lent Season with you and see what God has in store for us. We have chosen Thankful, Grateful, Blessed for several reasons but the most important is to use this time to focus on how truly blessed we are to be daughters of the Most High God and loved/saved by Jesus Christ His Son! Amen!
The best way to make every day of Lent count for you personally is to begin a Gratitude Journal. This does not have to be a time consuming activity, this is a simple, 'I am thankful for', type of journal. I have given each of my children a composition book to use and each day they will write the thing they are thankful for and draw a quick picture. This way they can look back on Easter Sunday and see just how blessed they are!
This journal activity could be as easy as opening a word / Google document right now and typing what you are thankful for each day.
Looking forward to being Thankful, Grateful and Blessed with you!
Esther; For Such A Time As This Chapter 7 Carri Lynne Pratt
"Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther,
"Who is he, and where is he who has dared to do this?
And Esther said, "A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!"
Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen."
The Bible clearly tells us in Proverbs 22:8, You Reap What You Sow and we see in this passage that Haman has found out how true that is for him. It also tells us in Proverbs that, "Whoever digs a pit will fall into it." Proverbs 26:27
This week we are reading Chapter 7 Read Here Listen Here
We see that Haman was very proud of his plan up to this point. So what changed? The biggest difference was his evil activities were exposed when he was confronted by someone more powerful than himself. Someone who had the power of life and death over him.
We can draw a comparison between Haman and King Ahasuerus to humans and The Lord Jesus. It tells us in Philippians:
"At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11
We humans go about our daily lives engulfed in a sinful society, often times hardly noticing the evil of our ways. However, when Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead His light will expose the darkness. We will all bow our knee to Him and be forced to make an account for our lives. Do you think there will be anyone on the earth who will be terrified to see Jesus in person?
Actually, everyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should be terrified to see Him face to face. Jesus has the power of life and death over all. The very Good News is that all who have "Confessed with (their) mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in (their) heart that God raised Him from the dead will be saved!" Romans 10:9 will not be terrified but be over joyed!
Spiritual Reflection: Consider what you are reaping and what you are sowing. Jesus tells us we can recognize His disciples "by their fruit." Matthew 7:20 What kind of fruit are you reaping?
to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Lent begins this Wednesday!!!
As we begin the Lent Season for 2018 we will be focusing on our blessings.
God is so good. He cares for us in so many ways and He has even given us amazing health benefits for simply being grateful! Learn about them, practice them and give all the glory to God for what He is going to do for you this Lent.
Lent Season for 2018 is February 14th - April 1st.
Esther; For Such A Time As This Chapter 6 Carri Lynne Pratt
"On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders
to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were
read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had
(saved the king) . . . And the king said, "What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" Esther 6:1-3
This week we will be reading Chapter 6 - Read Here Listen Here
We see great irony in this passage. Haman is on his way to the king to ask him to murder Mordecai. However, God has already gone before him and set the stage to protect Mordecai and allow Haman to fall into the pit he had dug. We read that the king could not sleep and through his servants reading to him, basically his diary, he was reminded of the great deed that Mordecai had done for him.
This reminds us that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31
As you read this week's passage, keep in mind:
God is always in control. Might it have been God that kept sleep from
King Ahasuerus? After all, was it simply by chance that the king was reminded of Mordecai's good deed moments before Haman was going to come in and ask for his death sentence?
God will use various circumstances to help His people
Consider the similarity to the story of Joseph and remember his famous quote,
"What man meant for evil, God used for good." Genesis 50:20
When has God intervened on your behalf? What bad circumstance has God taken from your life and turned around for good?
Spiritual Discipline for this week: Meditation
Here are the steps to Meditating on a verse of Scripture:
1. Start by asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom
2. Read the verse & Be still in God's presence Listen for His prompting
3. Consider what it is saying in context. In other words, read the verses before and after it to see what is going on in the text.
4. Ponder the verse over time (a day or even a week)
5. Ask, How does this apply to my life? What can I take away and do differently in my life?
Practice Meditating on the following verse:
"Finally, (Sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
Save the Date!!!
Purim March 1, 2018
We will be celebrating the Jewish Holiday of Purim,
which celebrates Queen Esther,
by posting the full movie of Esther
as well as the full reading of the book of Esther.