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

Faith, Trials

Jesus Will Get You Through Your Storm

stormy ocean with big wave

“I’m scared Lord,” I whispered as I fell asleep.

I had a vivid dream that night. I was standing on the shore of a stormy sea. The water was choppy with big waves and wind. The sky was filled with gray clouds. Jesus stood next to me. He stepped out to the stormy sea, and I took a step with Him. We walked through the storm together on top of the waves. Jesus was by my side the whole time.

In my dream Jesus did not calm the storm, and He did not part the waters. Jesus took me through the storm. I woke up with a sense of peace and comfort. Jesus spoke to me in a dream without saying a word. He was going to get me through my storm, and He did. 

Jesus will get you through your storm.

Sometimes God will calm the storm. Sometimes God will part the sea. And sometimes God will calm you, and walk  you through the storm.

I prefer “calm the storm”, not “walk through the storm”. But God knows what is best for each of us, and He is always concerned with our heart and our faith. He sees the entire story, we only see the storm, and we want it to stop. 

When we walk through the storms in life with Jesus our faith grows. We learn to trust Him and follow Him. If we go ahead of Him and take our eyes off of Jesus, we will begin to sink. There is good news. Jesus is a rescuer. Peter learned this lesson.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:25-31, NIV 

As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the wind he was scared and began to sink. Wind is scary. Big waves and storms are powerful forces. They cause a lot of damage. But Jesus is bigger.

Jesus rescued Peter without hesitation. He knew that Peter was doubting. We all have doubts at times. Is God really going to help me? Can He? The answer is yes. 

Peter walking on water is a miracle. Just imagine what miracles God can do in your storm. Our faith grows in hard times. You and I can walk on water with Jesus, not on our own.

The key to getting through the storm is to follow Jesus. We must keep our eyes on Him. The moment we look at the wind we will begin to sink. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2a, NIV 

God can fix any problem with a snap of His fingers. When He does not immediately calm our storms, He is doing something much deeper in each of us. We are being refined to be more like Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. This is never easy, but Jesus will help us. 

Storms are opportunities for our faith to grow. We are not alone in the storms. Jesus will help us to make it to the other side. Trust Him and keep your eyes fixed on Him. And when you start to sink, cry out to Jesus. He will rescue you.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Thank you for always hearing our prayers and cries for help. Thank you for Jesus our Savior. Thank you for making a way through the storms. For all those in storms right now, give them peace, comfort, and provision. You will make a way through. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen 

Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on Pexels.com

Christmas

A Christmas Without Decorations

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

My in-laws garage was packed floor to ceiling with our stuff. We moved into their house a few weeks before Christmas that year. They had generously offered for us to stay with them while Tom finished school. I stood there with my two young boys looking at the big pile of boxes that represented our life. Buried in that pile were all of our Christmas decorations. 

There would be no normal Christmas that year. I was sad. I love Christmas. I love the decorations. I love the lights. I love it all. I was looking for something that was familiar in all of the change. Anything that was secure was gone, except for my husband and kids. Christmas and all of the decorations had always brought me so much happiness. That year it was missing.

As much as I wanted to be surrounded with all of my favorite Christmas things, I couldn’t. It wasn’t even possible. I had to come to terms with where my life was at that moment in time. A choice had to be made. I could feel sorry for myself, or I could make the best of the situation. I chose my faith over my feelings.

We bought an inexpensive artificial tree. Dylan, my oldest son, and I made a red and green paper chain for garland. We made ornaments cut from construction paper and covered in glitter. Our very simple tree was beautifully decorated. The boys were happy, and a new memory was made. No, it wasn’t a fancy, perfect, from a magazine kind of tree. It was made with love and a little creativity.

Christmas came and went that year just like it does every year. Though it was not the holiday I had dreamed of, we were all together and that was what mattered the most. I held on to the fact that we would have a normal Christmas again one day. It took a couple of years, but it did happen.

Your Christmas may not look ideal this year. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one, or dealing with illness. Our entire world was turned upside down because of a virus, and nothing has been normal. We can still celebrate the birth of the Savior. He is worthy to celebrate.

Maybe you’ve just got a simple paper chain like I did for your tree. It’s still beautiful. You may have the best of every kind of Christmas decor. Your tree is Instagram worthy, yet you are hurting, or sad, or lonely. Jesus came to save us. He can comfort you in your pain. No matter where you are at in your life. If you call on Jesus He will answer.

The year I had no Christmas decorations God met me in my sadness. God lovingly showed me that He is still there no matter what. It’s not about the decorations. It’s all about Jesus Christ. 

Jesus came into this harsh world as a vulnerable baby. He was born in a feeding trough. Not ideal. Jesus was not born in a palace, or a hospital birthing suite. Jesus was born where animals eat. The King of Kings came to us in the most lowly, humble circumstances. No fancy decorations. Precious Jesus was a tiny baby among animals and dirt. 

The angels rejoiced over Jesus’ birth. 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”   

Luke 2:13-14, NIV 

We can rejoice over Jesus’ birth too. No matter our circumstances. We can choose to focus on Jesus. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. Jesus is worth it.

Love you all,

Meghan