Trials

Never Forget 9/11

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It was a typical Tuesday morning. Dylan was playing with his toy trains. At 2 1/2 years old, life was uncomplicated for my little boy. Our peaceful morning was interrupted by a phone call, then another, and another. Call after call alerting me to turn on the news. America had been attacked.

I went into my bedroom and turned on the t.v. The shocking images of the World Trade Center on fire with smoke pouring out did not seem real. The grim reality set in at the horrific sight of the towers rapidly collapsing. Chaos, people covered in dust running, and crying. I was in complete shock like everyone else. Safe America was no more.

Our church filled up that night with people praying. Crying out to God. Looking for answers. Trying to make sense of what happened. Our false sense of security had been breeched. It was the first time I had experienced real fear living in a free and presumably safe country.

Almost 3000 people were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks on America. It’s the largest terrorist attack in world history. Four planes in total were hijacked. Two planes struck the World Trade Center towers, one plane struck the Pentagon, and flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, children, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were gone. Real people who were dearly loved. Those who lost their precious loved ones on that awful day never forget. They can’t.

There are countless miraculous stories from that tragic day. So many first responders ran into the danger to save people, to help. Many gave their lives. Ordinary citizens became heroes as well. Like those who helped bring flight 93 down. Sacrifice, honor, humanity, service, and love are what I think of when all these heroic people come to mind.

One of the most tragic days in American history brought us together. There were U.S. flags everywhere. A new sense of patriotism. Not because we were better than any other country, but because we were better together. What was meant to destroy us, made us stronger.

Churches were filled to the brim. Those of us with faith clung to Jesus, our only hope. Some who had ignored God, started seeking and searching Him out. We were a little kinder to each other, gave a little more grace, and hugged our loved ones a little tighter. Our human frailty confronted us all on that dark day.

May we never forget those cherished lives that were lost on 9/11.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2

Father God,

Thank you for your grace and mercy. We lift up all the families and those hurting today as they remember their loved ones who’s lives were lost on 9/11. Comfort them, Father. Give them peace and surround them with Your love. Remind them of the good memories they have of their loved ones. Bring love, support, and encouragement to these special people. May they experience your deep abiding love.

We lift up all those who suffered injuries and trauma from those evil attacks. Give them peace, healing, and comfort. Draw each of them to you Lord. May they experience the life changing love from the Prince of Peace, Jesus.

Heal our land, Lord. As we remember 9/11 today, remind us of who we can be in Christ. We cry out to You, Abba, for mercy, grace and forgiveness. Turn our hard hearts back to You.

In Jesus Mighty name,

Amen

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

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I love tomatoes in any and every way possible. Sliced on a sandwich, chopped in salsa, cooked in sauce and fresh from the garden are all scrumptious. Tomatoes are versatile and delicious. One of my favorite ways to prepare the all-purpose tomato is roasted.

Roasted tomatoes have the most amazing flavor and are very easy to make. I love to use Romas when roasting tomatoes but any tomato will do. You can slice them thin or just halve them depending on how you will use your roasted tomatoes.

Add them to salads, soups, or sandwiches. Toss roasted tomatoes with some pasta, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan for a delicious simple meal. Compliment your main dish of chicken, fish or pork with some roasted tomatoes. Put some roasted tomatoes on a charcuterie board or the top of crostini.

There are numerous ways to use roasted tomatoes to add wonderful flavor and texture to just about any dish. It’s also a great way to preserve tomatoes since they can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. I hope you are inspired to give roasted tomatoes a try.

Happy Eating!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 pounds plum tomatoes

olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400℉
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Slice tomatoes in half. Gently remove the seeds and stems.
  4. Place the sliced tomatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until tomatoes begin to carmelize.
  7. Cool and add them to your favorite dish.

Notes:

Store roasted tomatoes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

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Crostini

Ingredients

Baguette

Olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Slice baguette into ¼ inch rounds.
  3. Brush each side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Notes:

Add whatever toppings you like to the crostini.

I topped mine with ricotta cheese, roasted tomatoes, and fresh oregano.

For this recipe and more go to Mustard Seed Sentinel.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com

God

The Lord Bless You

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“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26, NIV

The Priestly Blessing is one of the most beautiful passages in scripture. I adore these verses. There are denominations that end each service by reading this blessing. What an incredible way to end a time of worship.

These are God’s words to the Israelites and to us. God loves us so much. He is with us, guiding us, protecting us, shining His face on us. This is miraculous. The God of the universe is infinite and intimate.

When the Lord gave these words to Moses to tell Aaron and his sons, Israel would soon leave Sinai and head out to the desert.

34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ Numbers 14:34, NIV

The Lord used those forty years in the desert to prepare the Israelites for the Promised Land. They would need that daily reminder of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. This was His blessing for the journey through the dessert.

You might be in a desert right now, or about to go through one. You will make it. The Lord will bless you and keep you. You may have to eat some manna during the desert time, but you will come out stronger with a deeper faith in the Lord.

God never lets time in the desert go to waste.

There were countless miracles in the wilderness for the Israelites. God provided manna and quail. Their flocks increased. God blessed them with health. They followed a supernatural cloud by day and fire by night. All these things and more happened in the desert.

I can’t help but think of what is happening right now. As the world turns against Christians increasingly more and more, we must keep our eyes on the Lord. The Lord will sustain us. The Lord will continue to bless us. The Lord will keep us. The Lord will keep shining His face on us.

27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:27, NIV

The Lord is the one who blesses through the words spoken by the priests. God putting His name on the people shows they belong to Him, and He is the source of all blessings. Those of us in Christ are now children of God through our faith in Jesus (Galations 3:26). We belong to God from whom all blessings flow and we bear the name of Jesus (1 Peter 4:16). In Jesus we have every single thing we need.

The Lord bless you and keep you,

the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace.

Amen

Love you all,

Meghan

Women in the Bible

The Heroic Hebrew Midwives

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Pharaoh and the Midwives, James Tissot, C. 1900 WikiArt

When admired women of the Bible are discussed, names like Esther, Ruth, and Deborah are mentioned. These faithful women were used by God mightily. But these aren’t the only Godly women in the Bible. There are many women who obeyed God and impacted history. Some were named, and some remain nameless in the Word of God. 

Shiphrah and Puah are heroes of the faith. Two ordinary Hebrew women used by an extraordinary God. Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives. Puah means “splendid or radiant” in Hebrew. Shiphrah means “beauty or harmony” in Hebrew. What beautiful names for two Godly women. 

In the first chapter of Exodus we learn about the oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptians. The king of Egypt did not like that the Israelitess had grown to such a large number. He feared that if war broke out, the Israelites would join an enemy army, fight against Egypt, and leave the country. So Pharaoh put slave masters over the Israelites and forced them into hard labor.

Pharaoh’s oppression backfired. The more the Israelites were oppressed, the more their numbers multiplied. The Egyptians dreaded the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. The Israelites had to make bricks, and work in the fields. This was hard backbreaking labor.

Pharaoh came up with another plan to decrease the numbers of the Israelites since harsh labor was not working. 

The Hebrew Midwives obey God.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”  Exodus 1:15-18, NIV 

Pharaoh vastly underestimated these women by thinking they would follow his orders. Shiphrah and Puah took an enormous risk by refusing to kill the male babies. They were just lowly midwives, yet what they did was daring. Because of their fear of God they protected the Hebrew baby boys. 

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” Exodus 1:19, NIV 

It’s assumed that Shiphrah and Puah lied when answering Pharaoh. This may not be the case. Many Bible commentators say the midwives lied, and some say they did not. Verse 19 gives their answer, and we are not told anything further on whether or not what they said was true. Maybe it was partly true. If the midwives did lie, was it justified?

20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Exodus 1:20-21, NIV 

God blessed the midwives because they feared Him and obeyed Him. God did not bless them for lying. He blessed them for their faithfulness. God always knows our heart and what is motivating our actions. Shiphrah and Puah were rewarded for their incredible faith with families of their own. 

And so the Israelites just kept increasing. God blessed the Israelites during harsh oppression by continually multiplying their numbers. When Pharaoh’s oppression increased, God’s goodness increased more. These two incredible ordinary midwives were a part of God’s extraordinary plan. 

Shiphrah and Puah stood up to evil because they loved God. As a result, the Israelites grew in great numbers, and the groundwork was laid for Israel to be set free from the Egyptians. The stage was also set for the birth of Moses, the prophet who would lead his people out from Pharaoh’s enslavement.

God used two seemingly insignificant regular women to participate in His perfect plan for Israel. 

These precious women inspire me to fear God, not man.

Love you all,

Meghan 

If you need prayer send your prayer request to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

References

https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Puah.html

https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Shiphrah.html

https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shiphrah-midrash-and-aggadah

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3555182/jewish/Who-Were-Shifra-and-Puah-the-Hebrew-Midwives.htm

Family, Prayer

I’ve Got a Praise Report!

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My husband is home! Tom walked out of the hospital Tuesday night. Praise God!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my previous post.

As I was praying for Tom during his hospital stay one of my prayers was that he would walk out of the hospital, and God answered my prayer. God has answered so many of our prayers. Tom left with the catheter still in, and is not fully recovered yet, but we believe Tom will fully recover.

So many of you have been praying for Tom and we are so grateful. We cannot thank you enough. God is listening and answering according to His perfect will in His perfect time.

Last week I had some really rough days and rough nights. I fell sound asleep one night out of exhaustion and woke up in the middle of the night completely overwhelmed and fearful. The next morning I woke up heavy hearted. Jesus encouraged me.

I sat on the couch getting ready to do what I always do each morning, read my Bible, pray and spend time with Jesus. I couldn’t start. I was discouraged. The Voice of the Martyrs magazine was sitting in front of me so I grabbed it. I flipped open the front page and read the following quote from the founder of this incredible ministry.

“In the year 1948, on a Sunday while I went to church I was kidnapped by the Communists. I knew that even in the van of the secret police I am in the hands of the Almighty God, and this gave quiet to my heart.” -Richard Wurmbrand

Richard was imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years for preaching the Gospel which went against the policy of state atheism under the communist regime in Romania. This man survived what is unimaginable to me and trusted God completely. I can trust God completely too.

It was like an arrow shot right through my heart. Tom and I were in the hands of Almighty God. No matter the outcome, no matter the path, no matter what doctors say. God has the final say.

There are still many unknowns with Tom’s health. The doctors still do not have an answer for the anemia or for the kidney failure. We have weeks and weeks of doctors appointments, and labs. But we trust God. Our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for Tom. He has carried us through this storm and He will carry us all the way out.

Thank you so very much for praying for Tom. We welcome any continued prayers for total healing. May God bless you for blessing us. Praise God for His faithfulness and goodness!

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:7-12, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan

Please send me your prayer requests anytime meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com