Thursday, January 31, 2013

1 Corinthians 2

Today we are reading 1 Corinthians chapter 2!

My favorite verses were 4 -5 and 6-9

Verses 4-5 says, "and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." (ESV)
I like this verse a lot because it shows how humble Paul is. He is telling his readers that because he is giving information to them, they shouldn't put their faith in him. Instead of putting faith in him, they should put their faith in God because He is the one who is REALY speaking to you when you read this.

Verses 6-9 says, "Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him" (ESV)
This verse is saying that popular, rich, or famous people will eventually pass away, and when it says we impart a "secret and hidden wisdom of God", that means we have faith in God. In verses 8-9 it says the rulers (rich or famous people in our age) don't know about God, but He will open their eyes, ears, and hearts so that He will give them a chance to find Him.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1 Corinthians 1

Hello everyone this is Brian and we are now reading through the book of 1 Corinthians. Today I wanted to point out some very interesting verses I read in chapter 1.

Verse 25: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." First of all this verse is not saying that God is foolish or weak. It means that what people think is foolish of God, or weak of God, is actually greater than them. For an example; Somehow today my Earth Science class brought up the conversation of God creating the universe. The teacher got mad at the class and said God is not real! We are not talking about Him in this class! She thinks that believing in God is foolish, but as it says in verse 25, God is actually greater than that. So you can't ever say that something God related is foolish or weak, because in reality, God is better. I like this verse because it proves that everything someone says negative about God is not true and God is right.

Verse 27-29: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presents of God."
These verses say that sometimes choosing the weak people to do a miracle is more beneficial, because when God does something powerful in a weak person, it can show the glory of God more easily than it can in a successful person. If He does something powerful in a successful person, it might not show as much because the person is already successful. A successful person might also boast about it just as he might boast about his other successes. Also in verse 27 it says, "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise," 
What it means by that is that through the weak/foolish person, the example of God's glory would benefit better than if the success came from the wise because since the weak/foolish person doesn't have too much to be successful at, he has to lean on God to be more successful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Titus Chapter 3


Hey guys, my computer is still not letting me post so I'm letting Joe do that part of it for me. We are reading Titus 3 today! I thought Titus 3:1-3 was talking about not being full of trickery and lies, but must become honest and truthful. Titus 3:4-8 talks about God showing his ever lasting love to us, and that is why we should do our best to show the same kind of love to others, especially to our enemies. Titus 3:9-11 talks about not falling for Satin's attemps to bring us away from the protection of God. Titus 3:14 talks about helping other christians in their walk through faith with God, so we are still helping others, even if we are not bringing the lost to God. That's the last chapter everyone! Can't wait to talk about it when we see each other again!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Titus Chapter 2

Hey guys! Wyatt's computer won't let him post so I'm copying and pasting this from Facebook.


Hey there guys! Sorry about me not posting it and Joe doing it for me, my computer just doesn't like me at the time. Today we are reading Titus 2. I thought this chapter was filled with a bunch of good stuff, that I ended up highlighting the whole chapter, but with different colors to help me remember what parts are different than others.
Titus 2:1-5 talks about spreading the word of God to the lost and helping them spread the word to others that are lost, fighting with God, or just are going through a tough time in life. They should also have confidence in their faith in God that they will not be ashamed about themselves being caught spending time with God. Titus 2:6-8 is basically saying the samething as verses 1-5, but is telling us to be good examples and/or images of God. Titus 2:9-13 is telling us to obey whoever has the higher authority over you on Earth. We need to be honest at all times and, once again, good examples of God. Titus 2:14-15 is saying that Jesus gave his life to save us, and now we need to give our life to him, even if it does not come close to what his life was, he will make that life the best it has ever been.
Thanks for reading this and commenting! Hope you guys have a great day and see you on Wednesday!

Titus Chapter 1

Hey guys! Wyatt was having trouble posting this morning so he posted on the Facebook wall. I'm just forwarding what he said onto the blog!


Today we are reading Titus 1, and it is about a letter written from Paul to Titus.

I though verus 2 was good, because it tells us that God is good and promises the best for us. Verses 6-9 is saying that one person must be a true follower of God in a group to bring the rest of that group to Christ. They must be unwavering in their faith in Christ, and be like a teacher, showing others what they did wrong. Verses 10-14 is basically telling us how most people are now, and what we need to do for those lost to other things that are ungodly. Verses 15-16 is talking about the weak-willed christians and their lack of belief in God. They need to be changed so that they really are following God.

Thats all for chapter one, and thanks for letting me lead one of these!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Esther 10- Last Chapter

Hey Guys! Today is Esther 10!

Esther 10:1-4
"King Xerxes imposed a tribute throughout his empire, even to the distant coastlands. His great achievements and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Media and Persia. Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants." (NLT)

In the end, Mordecai was prominent among the Jews, and was highly esteemed by them because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for their welfare. In this book called, “Esther”, Mordecai was as big a hero as Esther was a heroine. Maybe the title should be “Esther and Mordecai”. It is the story of how God chose two nobodies to rescue his people and to be a blessing to a great king and his empire.

"Everything will be okay in the end. if it's not okay, it's not the end."

I know this is short, but this chapter is also very short and the last one of the book of Esther. Thank you guys for going throughout this book with me and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! BYE :) :) :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Esther 9

I thought I already posted this but turns out.... I never pressed publish... so here it is:

Hey Guys! Today is Chapter 9! Our second to last chapter of Esther!

Esther 9:1-3
"So on March 7 the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king's provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai." (NLT)

I love this verse! It really shows the strength of the Jews. They did what seemed impossible! What makes it better, is that they did it through God. Everyone feared them because they knew the Jews had God on their side. Even the high powers helped Jews because they knew Mordecai was a Jew and feared for their lives aswell. I think this all shows that God has a purpose for everything. God used Haman's wickedness to bring about a crisis that lead to great change for Jews. Joseph would never have become next to the King without being sold into slavery first. God is at work all the time even though we may not understand his ways.

As the chapter continues, it tell that the Jews killed 500 men and Haman's 10 sons. It also says that the Jews did not plunder. That means that the families of the men that were killed got to keep their land and riches, despite the fact they had permission from the king to do so. People could see that the Jews were only seeking justice, not trying to get rich at their enemies’ expense. Lust and greed were not part of the picture.

Esther 9:12-16
"He called for Queen Esther. He said, 'The Jews have killed 500 men in the fortress of Susa alone, as well as Haman's ten sons. If they have done that here, what has happened in the rest of the provinces? But now, what more do you want? It will be granted to you; tell me and I will do it.' Esther responded, 'If it please the king, give the Jews in Susa permission to do again tomorrow as they have done today, and let the bodies of Haman's ten sons be impaled on a pole.' So the king agreed, and the decree was announced in Susa. And they impaled the bodies of Haman's ten sons. Then the Jews at Susa gathered together on March 8 and killed 300 more men, and again they took no plunder. Meanwhile, the other Jews throughout the king's provinces had gathered together to defend their lives. They gained relief from all their enemies, killing 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not take any plunder." (NLT)

Esther 9:22
"He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy." (NLT)

After all of this happened, the Jews celebrated their victory and that God had rescued them. They deemed those days as a holiday called Purim because Purim

The chapter begins to close out with a review of all the events that occured in Esther.

Esther 28-32
"These days would be remembered and kept from generation to generation and celebrated by every family throughout the provinces and cities of the empire. This Festival of Purim would never cease to be celebrated among the Jews, nor would the memory of what happened ever die out among their descendants. Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote another letter putting the queen's full authority behind Mordecai's letter to establish the Festival of Purim. Letters wishing peace and security were sent to the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of the empire of Xerxes. These letters established the Festival of Purim—an annual celebration of these days at the appointed time, decreed by both Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther. (The people decided to observe this festival, just as they had decided for themselves and their descendants to establish the times of fasting and mourning.) So the command of Esther confirmed the practices of Purim, and it was all written down in the records."

That's it for Chapter 9! The final chapter of Esther will be up tomorrow morning! BYE :) :) :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Esther 8

Good Morning! Today is Esther chapter 8!

This chapter takes place a little bit after Haman had been hung.

Esther 8:2
"The king took off his signet ring—which he had taken back from Haman—and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman's property." (NLT)

Esther 8:5-10
"Esther said, 'If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, who ordered that Jews throughout all the king's provinces should be destroyed. For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?' Then King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, 'I have given Esther the property of Haman, and he has been impaled on a pole because he tried to destroy the Jews. Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king's name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king's signet ring. But remember that whatever has already been written in the king's name and sealed with his signet ring can never be revoked.' So on June 25 the king's secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Mordecai dictated. It was sent to the Jews and to the highest officers, the governors, and the nobles of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including that of the Jews. The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king's signet ring. Mordecai sent the dispatches by swift messengers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king's service." (NLT)

I really liked these verses because it shows that all of the waiting that Mordecai and Esther did, pulled through in the end. God was with them the whole time and had a plan for them. They really showed the strength of their faith. Their wisdom, trust, and paitience in God finally paid off. The king took his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. This automatically gave Mordecai the position and authority in the kingdom that Haman had had. Queen Esther then appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s estate.

Also, I loved when Esther went to the King to ask. Although she was Queen and knew that the King had found favor in her, she was still humble and knew that it was a large request she was going to ask him. But she knew it had to be done. Not for her safety, or revenge on an enemy, but for the safety of her people.

Esther 8:15-17
"Then Mordecai left the king's presence, wearing the royal robe of blue and white, the great crown of gold, and an outer cloak of fine linen and purple. And the people of Susa celebrated the new decree. The Jews were filled with joy and gladness and were honored everywhere. In every province and city, wherever the king's decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them." (NLT)

I love how this whole thing worked out. God turned what looked to be an impossible situtation, into reality. He completely turned the tables on evil ones and raised up those he loved. it just  shows that God can do any, and all things. He really turned this whole thing around. Sometimes when something looks like it’s the absolute end, it is actually the beginning. We may not recognize it right away, but later on we’ll see how God worked for us in answer to our heartfelt prayers. Which is exactly what happened in the story of Esther.

"They say good things come to those who wait, but the best things come to those who pray."

That's it for chapter 8! Tomorrow  is Chapter  9! I hope you all are having a wonderful week! BYE :) :) :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Esther 7

Good morning! Today is Esther 7!

In this chapter, King Xerxes and Haman went to dine with Esther for a second time, in hopes of Esther revealing her requests to them. Back-tracking a bit, I think Esther had waited till the second dinner for a reason. i think the Holy Spirit lead her to wait another day, so that everything could fall into place. The king would honor Mordecai, and the gallows had been built. Finally, it was the right time to tell the King.

Esther 7:3-4
"Queen Esther replied, 'If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.'" (NLT)

Esther 7:5-8
"'Who would do such a thing?' King Xerxes demanded. 'Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?' Esther replied, 'This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy.' Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen.7 Then the king jumped to his feet in a rage and went out into the palace garden. Haman, however, stayed behind to plead for his life with Queen Esther, for he knew that the king intended to kill him. In despair he fell on the couch where Queen Esther was reclining, just as the king was returning from the palace garden. The king exclaimed, 'Will he even assault the queen right here in the palace, before my very eyes?' And as soon as the king spoke, his attendants covered Haman's face, signaling his doom." (NLT)

This is finally when the King realizes what is going on. He remembered the decree he had given permission to Haman to post about the killing of the Jews. He obviously was unaware at the time that his Queen was a Jew! He thought, from what Haman said, that the Jews were just faceless enemies. He certainly didn't expect his beloved wife and the man (Mordecai) that had saved his life were Jews or else he decree would not have been made.

Esther 7:9-10
"Then Harbona, one of the king's eunuchs, said, 'Haman has set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feet tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to impale Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination.' 'Then impale Haman on it!' the king ordered. So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai, and the king's anger subsided." (NLT)

I really like these verses cause it basically shows that Haman got what he deserved. It's very coincidental though, considering that the gallows Haman built for Mordecai's death, were actually used for Haman's death.

"Fate is full of irony. What you dish out will come back for you."
-Some random guy's fortune cookie

That's it for Chapter 7! Chapter 8 will be up tomorrow morning! BYE :) :) :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Esther 6

Good Morning! Today is Esther 6! I hope you all are having a wonderful week! and i  look forward to seeing some of you tonight at 6:30 at the Hinkle's for the bible study!

Esther 6:1-2
"That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him. In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king's private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes." (NLT)

The first thing I thought was wow. God really does work in mysterious ways. You can clearly see the way God worked this out. The exact same night Haman was building the gallows for Mordecai's death, King Xerxes found the records of the great deed Mordecai did. 

Esther 6:6-10
"So Haman came in, and the king said, 'What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?' Haman thought to himself, 'Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?' So he replied, 'If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal robes, as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden—one with a royal emblem on its head. Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. And let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king's robes and led through the city square on the king's horse. Have the official shout as they go, 'This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!' 'Excellent!' the king said to Haman. 'Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!'" (NLT)

Being honest, I found these verses quite funny. It clearly tells how selfish Haman is. The only reason he suggested all of those things was because it was what he wanted  for himself and what he thought the King was going to present himself. He only did it because he knew he would enjoy receiving such honor and attention. I can even imagine the look on Haman's  face when the king told him that it was for Mordecai. He thought so highly of himself, and never suspected that the reward would be give to someone else, especially not Mordecai, the Jew that had not bowed down to him. Especially not the Jew that was supposed to die on the gallows.

Esther 6:12-14
"Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. When Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends what had happened, his wise advisers and his wife said, 'Since Mordecai—this man who has humiliated you—is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.' While they were still talking, the king's eunuchs arrived and quickly took Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared." (NLT)

I really like how even Haman's friends and family tell him that continuing to victimize Mordecai is not going to be his redemption. They know that Haman will never be satisfied until he has fully won his war against Mordecai, but Mordecai has God on his side and they are well aware that Haman cannot win.

"Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love."
-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

"A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away."
-Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

I'm starting to like ending this off with quotes! I think they can be relevant and inspiring :) Maybe that's only me but I'm gonna keep doing it anyways! :)    Well that's it for Chapter 6! Tomorrow is Chapter 7! BYE :) :) :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Esther 5

Good Morning! Today is Esther 5! Thank you for the encouraging comments on Chapter 4! They meant alot :)

At the beginning of this chapter, it is the final day of the fast and when Esther went to the king he extended his golden scepter and accepted her, asking her what she wanted of him. Wisely biding her time, she said that she wanted the king and Haman to attend a banquet she had prepared. At the banquet, Esther again put off the confrontation with Haman and invited them both to another banquet the following day. Haman was pleased and contempt, thinking he had found the up-most favor in the King and Queen. He was on his way home to boast to his wife but saw Mordecai sitting by the gate.

Esther 5:9-10
"Haman was a happy man as he left the banquet! But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious. However, he restrained himself and went on home." (NLT)

You can see that Haman quickly became frustrated when Mordecai showed no clear reaction. You would think that since Haman already had the King and Queen on his side, he would just ignore Mordecai or something, but no. He saw the situation as "Since I am higher than you, you should bow down to me." Obviously, the power wasn't good enough for Haman. He thought he deserved more. So if everyone but Mordecai would bow down to him, it would never be good enough.

Esther 5:13-14
"Then he added, 'But this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew just sitting there at the palace gate.' So Haman's wife, Zeresh, and all his friends suggested, 'Set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feet tall, and in the morning ask the king to impale Mordecai on it. When this is done, you can go on your merry way to the banquet with the king.' This pleased Haman, and he ordered the pole set up." (NLT)

Well that escalated quickly... like I said before, the power and favor was not good enough if Mordecai did not bow down to him. His friends told him he should build a 75-foot gallows. That’s the height of an 8-story building! Why must it be so high? Haman wanted Mordecai’s body to be seen for miles so that he would get his revenge. 

"Evil is always devising more corrosive misery through man's restless need to exact revenge out of his hate."
-Ralph Steadman

Well that's Chapter 5! Chapter 6 is tomorrow! Hope you are all having a wonderful week! BYE :) :) :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Esther 4

Good morning! Today is Esther 4!

Esther 4:1-3
"When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail. He went as far as the gate of the palace, for no one was allowed to enter the palace gate while wearing clothes of mourning. And as news of the king's decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes." (NLT)

When Mordecai heard the news of the decree about Jews, he decided to down his mourning clothing. It says he put on burlap and ash. He put the ash on his forehead and wore sackcloth. Today, we tend to picture someone wearing sackcloth as someone wearing a burlap bag with holes for the head and arms. In biblical times, however, sackcloth was made from the coarse hair of a black goat. Because it produced some degree of pain or discomfort, it was worn by one who was mourning or as a public sign of grief, repentance, atonement, or submission. Because of this, sackcloth was sometimes worn by the Prophets as an outward sign of their call to repentance. Which is why the Jews wore this type of clothing.

Esther 4:5
"Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning. (NLT)

Esther 4:8
"Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people." (NLT)

Esther 4:10-11
"Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: 'All the king's officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.'" (NLT)

Esther 4:13-14
"Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: 'Don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?'" (NLT)

Esther 4:15-16
"Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 'Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.'" (NLT)

These verses are basically the conversation between Esther and Mordecai. Esther starts off by trying to help Mordecai and sends one of her appointed assistants, Hathach, to find out why he is mourning. Obviously, Esther had not yet heard of the news of the king's latest decree.
Mordecai then gave Hathach a copy of the decree so he can give it and explain it to Esther therefore, she could beg the king not to do that to her people.
Esther's reply to this seemed quite uncertain with that whole idea. Anyone who saw the king without permission would be sent to death.
Then Mordecai explained that Esther is a Jew and that even if she is royalty, she would not survive. If she did not say something, someone else would, and she and her family would be the only ones to die.
Esther replied with instructions for Mordecai and the other Jews. She figured out that either way may result in death so she might as well die trying for her people.

In the midst of that conversation, Esther's relationship with both Mordecai and God are shaken. It took some convincing to follow Mordecai's instructions to go to the king uncalled. Esther also showed a lack of faith at this scene in the story. She did not see that God had a plan for her and that she would just have to walk with him and trust that he will keep her safe, which is what she ended up doing cause she put her people above herself.

That's chapter 4! Tomorrow is chapter 5! And guys, I know these blogs have been mostly summaries of what we've already read, and I try to add a little comparison or something in with it, but considering it is a story and it's pretty straight forward, just bare with me. If you have any suggestions, I will gladly use them cause I feel bad that all I can do is summarize. Its hard to find a deeper meaning when its a story. Thanks and see ya tomorrow! BYE :) :) :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Esther 3

Good afternoon guys and gals! It's time for Esther 3! I know it's kinda late but I slept in... like very late! Haha but here is Esther 3:

Esther 3: 1-2
"Some time later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. All the king's officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect." (NLT)

This chapter starts of talking about Haman, the most powerful official. Due to Haman's power, all the other workers would have to bow down to Haman except for Mordecai.

Esther 3:5-6
"When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai's nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes." (NLT)

Esther 3:10-11
"The king agreed, confirming his decision by removing his signet ring from his finger and giving it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. The king said, 'The money and the people are both yours to do with as you see fit.'" (NLT)

The fact that Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, it reminds me of the story of Daniel. The king at the time, King Darius, had workers that convinced him to make a decree. The decree said that anyone who prayed to God or any man besides the King would be thrown in a lion's den. Despite this law, Daniel continued to pray to God. The king's administrators caught him and brought him to  Darius. Darius had found favor in Daniel and tried to get him out of it but his previous decree revoked Darius' attempts, but we all know that everything worked out in the end because of Daniel's un-shaken faith in God.  In this case, Daniel reminds me of Mordecai (despite the Lion's den part). In both situations, there was a law that was meant to prevent them from having a relationship with God, but both of them men disregared the rules and continued to follow due to their strong faith.

Esther 3:13-15
"Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen on March 7 of the next year. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them. A copy of this decree was to be issued as law in every province and proclaimed to all peoples, so that they would be ready to do their duty on the appointed day. At the king's command, the decree went out by swift messengers, and it was also proclaimed in the fortress of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa fell into confusion." (NLT)

This was definitley a confusing situation to the Jews. One minute they're leaving peacefully among the kingdom and the next, they are going to be slaughtered. All the while, they were just wondering what they had done wrong. It kinda reminds me of the Holocaust. But Haman's reasoning was the fact that one of the many Jews did not bow down to him.

Well that's Chapter 3! Tomorrow is a free day since it's Sunday but we'll pick up where we left off on Monday! See you all at church tomorrow! BYE :) :) :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Esther 2

It's still Catherine! And today is Chapter 2 of the  book of Esther!

So at the beginning of this chapter, it's talking about King Xerxes. He was no longer angry at Queen Vashti and needed reassurance on whether he did  the right thing by creating that last law. To help, his personal attendants suggested that all the young, virgin women be brought to the King and which ever one pleases King Xerxes, would become the new queen instead of Vashti.

Esther 2:7
"This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter." (NLT)

Esther, along with other young women, were brought to the King's harem and placed in Hegai's control. He seemed to quickly find favor in Esther and treated her very well.

Esther 2:10-11
"Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her." (NLT)

Esther 2:20
"Esther continued to keep her family background and nationality a secret. She was still following Mordecai's directions, just as she did when she lived in his home." (NLT)

All the while, Esther remained completely loyal to Mordecai, seeing as though they had a very firm relationship. Although they were family, they seemed to be best friends. They told each other everything and always looked out for each other. Yep, i'm gonna quote Lilo and Stitch... right now: "Ohana means family... and family means no body gets left behind or forgotten." Which, I'm gonna be honest, is exactly what I thought of when I read these verses. 

Esther 2:17
"And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti." (NLT)

When Esther finally reached the King's palace, she found his favor. As it says above, He declared her the new Queen.

Esther 2:21-23
"One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthana and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king's private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him. But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report. When an investigation was made and Mordecai's story was found to be true, the two men were impaled on a sharpened pole. This was all recorded in The Book of the History of King Xerxes' Reign." (NLT)

The end of the chapter is pretty self explanatory with the situation of the plot and such... but I really love the continuous relationship between Mordecai and Esther. Esther didn't have to give credit to Mordecai. She could have taken all credit and recved much praise from the king but again, she remained faithful and gave Mordecai what he deserved.

Well, that's Chapter 2! I'll be posting tomorrow on Chapter 3! So keep a lookout! Hope you all are having a great week! BYE :) :) :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Esther 1

Hey guys! It's Catherine here! This is my first blog-post ever but I'm gonna try my best to do this amazing book some justice! Today is Esther Chapter 1!

So starting off this chapter, it discusses all about King Xerxes. Saying that he ruled over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, although, his throne is in the city of Susa (the capital, to be specific)

Esther 1:4
"For a full 180 days, he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty." (NIV)
Esther 1:6
"The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. there were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones." (NIV)

Now, reading these verses, it made me think of James 5:1-6 which was speaking about the rich. How they indulge in their earthly luxuries and are selfish. I automatically related this back to the first chapter of Esther. King Xerxes is showing off all of his riches, despite the fact that they will be worth nothing in the afterlife. I think he is just showing off his power. Showing everyone that he is in charge and they should bask in his glory. Later on in this chapter, you will see how he uses this power when he doesn't get his way.

Esther 1:10-12
"On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger." (NIV)

These verses are telling how the King wished to show off his wife, but she refused. As it says in verse 12, King Xerxes was furious when he heard of her refusal. Due to the considerably large amount of people at this event, the news spread fairly quickly.

Esther 1:16-18
"Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord." (NIV)

This is something the king was worried about. A woman's defiance of man was unheard of at the time, but with the news of Queen Vashti refusing to take orders from the King, all women thought that it was okay. Being the Queen, she sets the example for the other women of the society. In modern times, its just like a trend. Often times, when celebrities are seen wearing certain things, everyone starts dressing the same way. Or like, when your with your friends and they start goofing around in class, you think that since they're doing it, it's okay. Some people take this concept to the extreme though. It can easily turn into peer pressure. But in this case, the women of the kingdom saw defiance towards their husband's as an acceptable way to behave because the Queen did it as well.

Esther 1:22
"He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue." (NIV)

Huge example of the King's powerful and selfish ways. Because the queen did not give in to the King's demands, the King made a law that every man should rule over his own household (including the women).

That's it for Chapter 1! But be on the lookout for Chapter 2 tomorrow! Let me know what you thought of this chapter! Although, being quite honest, it's a pretty straight-forward chapter on it's own, but ya know... feedback is always nice :) 
Well... thanks! BYE :) :) :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The End. ;)

Hello and welcome to the last chapter of Ruth and my last blog post!

Boaz waits for Ruth's closest relative by the city gate. He finds him and tells him to sit and also gets ten elders. He tells the relative about how Naomi wants to sell Elimelech's land. He can either buy the land and marry Ruth or let Boaz buy the land and marry Ruth. He chooses to let Boaz buy it because he didn't want to lose his land. 

The relative gave his sandal to Boaz to show that he was serious. Boaz tells the crowd that they are all now witnesses and the people agreed. He marries Ruth and the LORD gave Ruth a son. The women marveled at what a blessing the boy was to Naomi and she took him and cared for him. The neighbors named him Obed. 

This is the family history of Perez:  Perez was the father of Hezron.     Hezron was the father of Ram.  Ram was the father of Amminadab.     Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.  Nahshon was the father of Salmon.     Salmon was the father of Boaz.  Boaz was the father of Obed.     Obed was the father of Jesse.  Jesse was the father of David.

Whoo that's it were done with Ruth and she and Boaz lived happily ever after. The End

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ruth 3 1/15/13

Good day everyone, today is Tuesday and were continuing the story of Ruth. 

Naomi wants to find Ruth a husband and suggests Boaz. He's nice close relative and back then that was ok. He was working at the threshing floor. A threshing floor is a specially flattened surface, usually circular and paved, where a farmer would thresh the grain harvest. That just means separating the edible part of the grain from the rest. ANYways, Naomi told Ruth to dress up for Boaz and lay at his feet after dinner. 

So Ruth agrees and goes out to lay at Boaz's feet while he slept. At about midnight Boaz wakes up and sees Ruth at his feet and says“May the LORD bless you, young woman. You have been very kind to me. Your kindness to me is greater than the kindness you showed to Naomi in the beginning. You could have looked for a young man to marry, rich or poor. But you did not." He says he will help her but there is a closer relative they have to talk to before they can get married because of legal procedures. She stays at his feet for the rest of the night.

Boaz tells Ruth to keep their meeting secret and then fills her coat with a bushel of barley for Naomi. He then goes to the city and she returns to Naomi. She gives her the barley and tells her what happened. Naomi tells her to be patient and wait to hear back from Boaz.

And that finishes Ruth 3. Tomorrow will be Wednesday and the last chapter of Ruth. I'll see you guys at the Hinkles. Take care, brush your hair. Oh and thank Wikipedia for the threshing stuff.