Monday, December 15, 2008

And it just so happened . . . Not !

In the book of Esther, though  the Name of God is not mentioned, we sure see His hand at work.  In these chapters so many things just seemed to “happen”.  But we know that HE was in total control of every situation.  We see Mordecai (just happen) to raise Esther (2:7) when she had neither mother or father. We see that Esther ‘just happened’ to be  fair and beautiful (2:7). “So Esther was taken unto the king …. and the king (just happened?) to love Esther above all the women, and she (just happened) to obtain grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he (just happened) to set the royal crown upon her head, and make her queen…” (2:16-17)   “And (it just so happened that the matter (2 men were plotting to kill the king) was known to Mordecai.  And it (just happened) to be written in the book of the Chronicles before the king.”  Esther 6:1 “On that night (it just so happened) that the king could not sleep.”  (There are so many times in the Word when either sleep  or lack thereof are used mightily by God! A study all in itself!) Esther 6:4   “And the king said, Who is in the court?”  Now Hamen ‘just happened’ to be in the king’s court when the king was looking for some advice on how to greatly honor someone who had saved his life. 

My favorite part is when Hamen was complaining to his wife and friends and they (just happened) to encouraged Hamen to build a REALLY TALL gallows to hang Mordecai on. That very gallows, just happened to be handy, when the King needed something to do with evil Hamen.

My heart has been so encouraged from the book of Esther. All the circumstances that “just happened”.  But that HE had totally under control.  What a joy to know that nothing concerning me or my life ever “occurs” to the LORD.  He is in total control every moment.  Nothing in my life ever “happens” by chance.  But an All Knowing, All Loving God…..prepares and plans a path … just for me.


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

--Louisa Stead

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hamen …. Hiss….Boo…Stomp


Back to the book of Esther!  I have been thinking about Hamen.  He was a wicked, sinful man.  Thinking nothing of the true God and thinking EVERYTHING of himself.  I am wicked and sinful too BUT I have been redeemed by the blood of my Savior, the LORD Jesus Christ. I am not sinless…..but hopefully, as I grow in my walk with the Savior….I sin less!   Hamen would hear nothing of the true God. Thus, this man will spend eternity in hell. I on the other hand, wait with joy to spend eternity with my Savior.  It is a fun and interesting thing to note that each year the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim to remember how Esther saved the Jewish race.  It is a time of great celebration and feasting and starts out with the reading of the book of Esther.  Each time they come to the name of Hamen, the people hiss, boo and stomp their feet to blot out even the sound of his name.  This year, about March 14, we are going to celebrate the Feast of Purim in our house (get all those Jewish costumes ready for the g’kids!) and read thru the book of Esther…..hissing and booing each time the name of   _ _ _ _ _  is pronounced.  What a great reminder this is of my sin…..O that I would hiss and boo when sin comes creeping or roaring into my life.   Does my sin matter to my God.  Absolutely it does.   So if you hear me hissing…….and booing…..know that I am not loosing my mind…..but saying NO to sin!!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Countdown to baking.....3...2...1

Each year we Martinson girls, and now a Rockhold girl, get together to do our Christmas Baking. Tomorrow is the BIG day. We have had some great times. Lois use to wear some long dangly light up earrings. And Jill and Katie some reindeer antlers! As I think back I wonder what we were thinking.......9 month, 10 month, and 12 month old infants....left in the care of a 3 year old with us ladies baking away in the kitchen, which is not visible to the living room where the chlidren were. Amid the confusion and the mess...we have made some wonderful memories! I don't think any of us will forget Jill's peanut brittle. Or Katie's "special little muffin tins" that we buy more of each year!

Here is a picture of some of the kids eating their lunch last at last year's Christmas Bake Off!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lemons? Make Lemonade.......

Sometimes in our home we say, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I have been thinking about Esther today. As a young girl she was orphaned. That is a big lemon for a little girl. Just like our Faithful GOD He had Uncle Mordecai waiting with loving, open take her in and faithfully teach her the ways of the True GOD.

Then there was the king's decree that all maidens be gathered together so that he could choose a new replace Vashti, whom he banished because she would not act in an immodest way. Wow! That would be a REALLY BIG lemon for me. Even being the one chosen by the king would be a lemon!

Then comes wicked Hamen into her life. This man wants to destroy the entire Jewish race, of which Esther is a part. Perhaps a MUCH BIGGER lemon than most ever have to experience!

When I think about Esther the word "winsome" comes to mind.

Win-some adjective; sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging

Esther 2:9 is talking about the person who took care of all the maidens while they were in the palace and he said of Esther, "the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him...". Verse 15 says, "Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her."
Kinda sounds like 1 Peter 3:3-4, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning ... but let it be the hidden man of the heart ......even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

When Esther was faced with lemons....she definitely did not make enemies. We tend to lash out at others (probably at those closest to us) when faced with a lemon. My heart has been encouraged today to face those difficult things, those lemons, that come into my life with a "winsome" spirit...with an attitude like Esther's. I have not always done that. But by HIS grace may I strive for HE may receive the glory.....for all that is in my life!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Pride is the lofty view of one's self or one's own. According to Augustine, it is "the love of one's own excellence." [1] The opposite of pride is humility.

We talk about pride from time to time in our house. As ladies, when our feelings are hurt or we are offended, (which is most often one and the same) - it is often and mostly the result of our own pride being wounded. Our pride is something we must keep in check. Today I have been thinking about Hamen. What a proud man he was....all the kingdom bowed to him...except Mordecai. Day after day Mordecai refused to bow. Hamen was so angered that this one single man did not bow that he came up with a plan to exterminate the entire Jewish race. Really, it was Hamen's pride that was wounded. To think that someone would dare to not bow. And our pride can lead to anger too. Really, it was one law (refusing to bow to Hamen) and one man (Mordecai) who refused to bow. But Hamen reported to the King that "there is a certain people scattered abroad .... and their laws are diverse .... neither keep they the king's laws..." (Esther 3:8) Hamen made Mordecai's offense sound so much more awful than it really was. He needed someone to blame for his hurt feelings and his anger. Isn't that how we are when our pride is hurt. We make big deals out of small things. I'm asking the LORD to show me my pride.....and when I am hurt or offended I want to deal with my pride and not someone else's acitons.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me, and know my thoughts.
See if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139:23-24

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am enjoying going thru the book of Esther right now. To know that the Name of God is not even mentioned...yet to see how His Name and Person is glorified over and over in this little book is amazing. Thinking about Mordecai today and how he was so strong and true to what he knew was right. When Haman demanded (Esther 3:1-2) everyone bow and pay homage to him--Mordecai would not....could not bow to any but his true God. Sometimes I think Mordecai just quietly did not bow and hid his actions...but no. He was at the very gate of the palace when he refused to bow. In plain sight of all those who were in authority over him. Oh that we would be willing to stand for what is right no matter the cost. And to teach our children how to stand for what is right. Mordecai knew who was on the "real throne" and he trusted his God to protect him. Doesn't that make you glorify God? It does me. I don't remember ever teaching my young children about Mordecai but he sure would be a good Biblical character to teach our kids about. "That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I AM the LORD, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:6

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our family

We four live in the house at the present. But on any given day it may be filled with the joy and laughter of any one or all of our 11 grand kids. Or maybe even the whining or rejoicing of any of the 8 parents of the grand kids! Its home to us .... and we love it.