Leah, the Unloved – An example for us today

Leah, the UnlovedWho wants to read a story filled with betrayal, deception, jealousy, polygamy and extortion?  These look like characteristics that would come from a soap opera or a harlequin novel.  But no, this comes from the Bible.  The focus of this story will be about Leah in Genesis 29.

Leah was the first wife of Jacob.  She was also the oldest daughter of Laban (Jacob’s uncle) and the older sister to Rachel, Jacob’s second wife.  The name Leah means “wild cow” or “gazelle” in Hebrew.  The only physical characteristic we were given of her is she was tender eyed.

In an act of deception, Leah was given to Jacob by her father, Laban, rather than Rachel – who Jacob was promised to marry.  Did Leah have any choice in the matter?  Perhaps Leah was being obedient to her father or maybe she also loved Jacob.  In verse 26, Laban defended his deception because of the local custom: It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the first-born.  This was not something Jacob was informed of in advance. Especially after living there for seven years, Jacob would have been familiar with this custom, if there really was such; thus it may have been just a lie on Laban’s part. Nevertheless, for Jacob it was irony, since the issue of the firstborn and birthright now entered in as it did with him and Esau.
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The Thanksgiving Lord

 Thanksgiving Lord

God be gracious to us and ‍bless us, and ‍cause His face to shine ‍upon us — ‍Selah.  2 That ‍Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.  3 Let the ‍‍peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.  4 Let the ‍nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will ‍judge the peoples with uprightness and ‍‍guide the nations on the earth. Selah.  5 Let the ‍peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.  6 The ‍‍earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, ‍blesses us.  7 God blesses us, ‍that ‍‍all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” Psalm 67

Thanksgiving is a time to truly praise the Lord for his blessings.  It is a time to strengthen relationships we share and to reach out to others.  God’s blessings to us is not only for our own benefit, but He wants us to share and pass along the good gifts He brings our way. Continue Reading

The Puritans and the Christians Today

Puritans 1 Peter 2:12With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought I’d share some thoughts regarding the Puritans.

When you hear the word, “Puritan”, what comes to mind?  Is it an image of self-righteous, obnoxious, narrow-minded, humorless, witch-hunting, killjoy kind of person?  I used to think that way, until I became a believer!

In sixteenth-century England, the Puritans were concerned about bringing Christian values to bear an increasingly secular nation.  The Christians today have the same problem.  What was the Puritan’s solution back then?  Go to America and create a purely Christian society for the world to see and follow. Continue Reading

The Legend of the Jack O’Lantern

Occult (in latin “accultus”) means to cover up, hide or conceal.  The purpose is to deceive you.Jack O'Lantern - Ephesians 4:27

Occultism is always involved with some contact with the demonic world. 

One of the characteristics of occultism is that it creates a strange magnetism that draws the participant while, at the same time, frightens him. People are attracted to it and move into it, but always with some degree of fear and trepidation.

Demons and occultism work hand in hand. In fact, occultism would not exist without demons. If there were no demons, there would be no occult.

Here is some important information about the legend of the Jack O’Lantern. Continue Reading

Have No Fear

1 Peter 4:12-13 – “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some No Fearstrange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

Peter tells us not to be surprised when fiery trials come.  Trust me, when I’m going through trials, I need to remind myself that I’m not the only person going through them.  Many people are going through trials – through persecutions, hardships, loneliness, and so much more.

I’m unemployed right now.  I was laid off three times in the past 2 years.  My mother, grandmother, and grandfather passed away during this time.  I was struggling so much financially; I had to move to my father’s home to get back on my feet.  Then, months later, I was kicked out because my Christianity “disgusted” my family.  Aaaah those fiery trials…..they aren’t fun.

We need to remember trials produce patience and maturity.   If it weren’t for trials, we’d be weak, obnoxious, narrow-minded Christians.  A trial is an instrument to accomplish God’s purpose for you.

James 1:3 – “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”  Can you see how God is using these trials to make you pliable?  He’s causing a stiff, unyielding person to become softened, sweet, loving – the way He wants you to be.

Remember, God wants us to know the blessing and the peace that comes from being steadfast and unmovable.  God desires that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing – James 1:4.

Be strong my dear friend.  God will never leave you nor forsake you.

Blessed Repentance

Blessed RepentanceRevelation 2:1-5, “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

“Repent”: in Greek, it’s “metanoeo”, means to change one’s mind, to think differently, to reconsider.

Five of the seven churches in Revelation were told to repent.  Repent is a fundamental thing to do.  When you repent, you want to change the way you formulate your ideas. Continue Reading

When in doubt, Praise God!

Remember GodThomas came with doubts, did Jesus turn him away?  No.  God never turns away the sincere heart. Tough questions do not stump God. He invites our inquiries. What concerns you?  What occupies your mind?  Talk to God.  Pray and read the Bible.  God can restore you.  He can heal you.

Doubt is a threat to faith – it leaves no room for the hope of faith that is rooted in the assurance of faith.

Here is some scripture to remember:

Praise the Lord for the glory of his name; worship the Lord because he is holy.
Psalm 29:2

Sing praises to the Lord, you who belong to him; praise his holy name.
Psalm 30:4

Come, let’s worship him and bow down. Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us,
because he is our God and we are the people he takes care of and the sheep that he tends.
Psalm 95:6–7

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