Who Was She? Hannah – The Enemy’s Provoking Has A Time Limit

She felt like a failure.

She felt purposeless.

Provoked and tormented by her enemy day after, year after year, month after month…baby after baby, her enemy pushed her, harassed her, irritated her. Peninnah may have used every opportunity to provoke Hannah especially at the yearly sacrifice! Mocking her and treating her mean with ill contempt Peninnah, pointed out that Hannah was the problem. Also, since it was expected for women to have children, the others in the community may have looked at her scornfully, talked about her, or laughed at her too.

Yes she must be the problem, not her husband, Elqanah. He was fruitful through Peninnah and she was not.

Though she was loved and favored by him, she was powerless to do anything to change her barrenness. No doubt she had tried every remedy known to the women she knew, still nothing worked. What was wrong with her? What had she done wrong? Did she have some sin in her heart that caused the problem? Why after so many years, was she still unable to do what every woman at that time desired to do, be a mother?

One year when they went to Shiyloh, to sacrifice and to worship YAHUAH TSEVA’OT, she could take no more. She was beyond desperation. She was despondent and vexed to the point that she stopped eating-her sorrow could no longer be concealed. Fleeing she went to the Temple and there she wept profusely. Her pain so heavy and tears in bitterness, she appeared to be in a state of drunkenness to the High Priest, Eli. As she cried out to YAHUAH TSEVA’OT she said:

When Eli realized that this woman was not drunk but rather pouring out her heavy heart, he blessed her. In her prayer and Eli’s blessing, the enemy’s provoking had lots its power. She returned no longer in sorrow but full of strength and joy. After so many years of praying, she was finally heard.

A song comes to mind by Rita Springer called Defender when I read this, the lyrics are:

You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory

You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

Hallelujah,
You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way

You know before I do
Where my heart can seek to find Your truth
Your mercy is the shade I’m living in
You restore my faith and hope again

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

Sometimes there is nothing we can do but worship. We cannot change the circumstances or situations. We’ve done all that we can do. We are at the end of our rope. We are broken and in despair.

I know of a woman who was married to an abusive, adulterating man, who continually provoked her to anger day after day. Sometimes he would say he was sorry but nothing changed. The woman tried to wait, tried to hope, tried to believe he would change and things only got worse. Until one day, while praying she received her answer and a year later the way was made for her to start over. During the waiting time, nothing the man did or said, bothered her again-the enemy’s provoking had lost its power.

Today, woman of YAHUAH, you may be experiencing the enemy’s provoking in your life. Maybe it is in a work situation, a sickness that is unrelenting, a relationship that is driving you crazy, even hoping for a child that is wayward or unborn -year after year you have hoped and you have prayed yet nothing has changed. It may seem like the enemy has the upper hand in your life, but know that YAHUAH has a perfect time. Hannah’s barrenness was not caused by her. It was caused by YAHUAH for His purpose and in His time, the barrenness was turned around, just as it was for Sarah and Rachel.

Woman, don’t stop crying out. Don’t stop praying. One day, YAHUAH may speak through someone:

“Go in peace: and the Elohim of Yisra’el grant you your petition that you have asked of Him.” 1 Shemu’el 1:17

For even more encouragement, listen to the previous week’s Sabbath Message of Hope called

The Broken Woman and also this week’s current Message of Hope called Broken for HIS Glory.

This post is based is based off the book of 1 Shemu’el chapter 1. While reading Jill Eilleen Smith’s book about Hannah called A Passionate Hope, I saw how provoked Hannah may have been. Though the book is a fictional account it accurately follows the scripture story and has some further things to consider such as the other things that were going on during this time in history. The sons Eli were corrupt and were polluting the temple while Eli did nothing. Another aspect of the story was how hard it may have been for Elqanah and Hannah to fulfill the vow in giving Shemu’el back to YAHUAH. Furthermore, I saw in the book, that sometimes we may have to help our enemy and that they both shared the same type of despair.

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Shabbat Message: Broken For HIS Glory

Why me?

Why is this happening to me?

What did I do to deserve this?

How come I am dealing with this?

Why am I…broken?

There are times in our lives when neither our own sin or the sins of others is the reason for the situations or circumstances we are going through.  Something’s we are born with.  Something’s that happen are seasons in our lives.  Either way there is a purpose for everything. 

Brokenness often comes as a purpose for our own belief or to help others to believe.  We can be broken for hope. Often we cannot see the outcome of our brokenness while we are in it.  So we must learn to have hope while we are broken trusting that He loves us enough to show forth HIS glory through and to us.

This Sabbath Message Broken for His Glory comes to share Hope and Joy for the broken.  Whether you feel blind or lame, be it physically, spiritually or emotionally today, there is hope. Click here or on the image below to listen to this week’s Sabbath Message of Hope.

Who Was She? A Woman of Gratitude

It had been days since they’d sent for Him, yet He wasn’t there. She’d watched Him do amazing things in the lives of other people but now when she needed Him herself, He didn’t come to her at all.  Didn’t He care for her and her family?  Why didn’t He help His friend?

I don’t know which she felt more of anger or grief, nevertheless she was hopeless.  She and her sister were surrounded by many people, but He was not one of them.  What was she to think?  What was she to do now?

Then when all hope was lost and life seemed dead, He showed up and did the miraculous.  He did the unbelievable.  He gave them back, that which was dead.  This was a monumental moment in her life and those around her. 

She had to find a way to express her gratitude.  Maybe there was…she had something she had been saving up.  It was so valuable and it was cherished by her.  It was something she’d set aside for one day.  She did not know that one day was coming but the Heavenly Father did.

Though not socially acceptable she came, pouring the precious ointment on Him, its fragrance filled the room.

What is my response when YAHUSHA HaMashiach (Messiah) restores hope? 

What is my response when YAHUSHA HaMashiach does the unbelievable? 

Is my response like that of the nine lepers who didn’t return when they had been healed to keep on going in life? 

Or is my response like that of the one leper and Miryam, who came back to worship Him?  

Am I so wrapped up in myself and getting the answer to prayer that I forget the One who did it for me?

When I have the chance am I bringing my best of worship to His feet?  Or is my life so busy that I have to make an appointment for it? 

Have I given my all to everything and everyone else, not saving up something for Him? 

Am I more concerned about the rules of righteousness than I am about the One whose righteousness cleans me?

Miryam came to Him fearlessly and purposely she expressed her gratitude to Him.  Her gratitude was so strong that it filled the room and others could not help but notice.  She poured out her best on Him, can we today, do any less with our praise and worship?

Based Upon Yahuchanon (John) Chapters 11 and 12

Which Bread Am I Eating?

The other day a psalm caught my eye. 

“It is vain for you to raise up early, to sit up late,

To eat the bread sorrows:  for so He gives His beloved sleep.”

Tehilliym (Psalms) 127:2

What I focused on was “to eat the bread of sorrows” and I thought what bread have I been eating?  I was feeling depressed, sad, despondent, discouraged and this had been going on for a while.

If we are what we eat and if I am feeding on sorrow, then sorrow is what had been filling me.

However, what if I made different bread choices?  What if I choose the bread of joy?  The bread of love?  The bread of life?

Later that day, I was reading Yahuchanon (John) chapter 6 and for the first time, what YAHUSHA HaMashiach (Messiah) was saying made sense.  I know am not the only one who is puzzled by some of His words.  Sometimes I think the puzzling happens because we read only part of a chapter or even having them separated in general, may contribute to missed or incomplete understanding.

Anyway, what does bread have to do with Yahuchanon (John) 6 and me understanding more?

Well, YAHUSHA HaMashiach (Messiah) already knew what He was going to do to feed the crowd of people.  Most of the time I have separated the miracle of the bread and fish, from the rest of the chapter.  However, when I read the chapter entirely, I saw that when the crowd found Him, they wanted to eat.  They knew He could fill them physically.  However, YAHUSHA has always pointed to:

Eternal Life.

He later told them, the bread from Mosheh was not bread that leads to eternal life, but the true bread from heaven gives life comes from the Father.  The people basically said “okay give us this bread.”

Then YAHUSHA told them that He is the bread of life and those who come to Him will never hunger (we still get hungry from bread) and never thirst. The Yahudiym (Jews) were very upset because of what He said, asking how a man can give us his flesh to eat?

YAHUSHA HaMashiach (Messiah) responded back by saying they are correct, and that if one doesn’t eat His flesh and drink His blood then they cannot have eternal life.

Okay, to be honest, that part always stopped me.  What did He really mean?

Finally, I read down to verse 63:

“It is the ruach that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are ruach and they are life.”

His words are spirit and they are life!   As Shim’on Kepha, soon declares “…You have the words of eternal life…”

When we chose to eat of His word, we can find life.

“As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats Me, even he shall live by me.”

Yahuchanon (John) 6:57

So if I am eating of the bread of life, the bread made purely of His words, I can have life-life eternally.

So what am I going to choose to eat today?  Will I choose the bread that is only temporal, likely feeding me the junk leading to depression, anger, disbelief and discouragement?  Will I choose the bread of life, which comes from the Heavenly Father YAHUAH through His Son YAHUSHA HaMashiach?

Who Was She? Hannah: It Was Time

We all know the story of Hannah very well (found in 1 Shemu’el (Samuel) 1:2-2:21) , however today I’m sharing my own Hannah story. My story is a bit different because I was not barren (at that time we had three daughters and one son) and nor was I being tormented by someone else for that barrenness.

One day when, our first born son was about 9 months old, I took him and his sisters to the park. While I was swinging him on a swing, another mother came with two boys both under 4 years old. I observed how the boys interacted with each other and I said in my heart:

“YAHUAH, I don’t want another child right now. But I see that our son needs a brother. So if it is in Your will, please allow us to have another son.”

At that time, I didn’t want to have any more children. Our first born son had WPW w/ SVT, so I was tired of the challenges it brought as well as the challenges of pregnancy. With him, I had multiple issues which included a Near Death Experience and I had no desire to go through that again. Lastly, my husband and I, due to all the stresses weren’t on the best of terms.

Still I prayed. Setting my fears and desires aside, I prayed.

The next month, I was pregnant. Months later we learned that this baby was a boy!!!

All of our children are unique, with special callings. This last born son, however, has a call on his life. We don’t know what it is and how YAHUAH will use him but I am telling you, this boy surprises us all the time.

Many times in the mornings, after I do our scripture reading and ask the kids what they learned from what they heard, he applies the word accurately in his responses. Two years ago, when I started having Girl Time with our daughters, he made me a card telling me “thank you for blessing my sisters” – he was only 4 years old!

Weeks can pass between the times when we have focused on one scripture topic and have moved on to the next, but then he will apply something in the past to the present correctly! Like Shemu’el (Samuel) in the bible, we know that he hears YAHUAH and that YAHUAH hears him.

Like Hannah, YAHUAH had a time for Shemu’el and for each of us, He has a time for everything.

Getting Rid of Spiritual Constipation

I didn’t know there was such a thing until earlier today, when I was feeling spiritually stuffed up.  I felt like there was a blockage somewhere.  I started to feel sluggish – spiritually hopeless and depressed.  I sat down on a chair and held my head.  Worry began to plague me and I started counting down the hours when I could go back to bed…

Then…

I started remembering the Word of YAHUAH.

I started thinking of His faithfulness and goodness.

I started thinking about how He is in control and aware of everything.

I started thinking that maybe I need to trust Him more.

Then…

I was able to sit up and continue on in my day.  I was able to smile at our kids and serve our family, with a sincere heart of love, instead of being consumed by worry and fear.

Yes, I believe we can be spiritually constipated with the cares of the world, with sin, with doubt, with fear, with unforgiveness, with bitterness, with anger, with guilt, with hate and other things.  However, YAHUAH’s word which is sharper than any two-edged sword is able to clear through all of that if we let it.  YAHUAH’s word repeatedly says “Let this mind” or “Let the peace” and it is our choice, to let The Word in.

When we let the truth of His Word pour through our hearts, those things that are hindering our forward movement can be destroyed and eliminated in our lives.  When we clear out all these things, then His love can move through us and bless others.

So, today if you are feeling spiritually constipated today, reach for the medicine which can give you life again and heal your inner most being!

He Always Hears Me

  He Always Hears Me

If I could,
I’d climb the uppermost mountain in the world.
I’d stand on its uppermost peak
and I’d shout as loud as I could:
 YAHUAH, CAN YOU HEAR ME?
Followed by,
What do You want from me?
What is going on down here?
What is the purpose of pain?
What is the purpose of loneliness?
What is it that I need to do differently?
What is Your purpose for me?
What is Your plan for this situation?
What do You want me to do?
What are You going to do with all the wickedness that is abounding?
What changes do I need to make?
What do I need to do to know that You are here?
What have I done to displease You?
What can I do for Your mercy?
 
If I could,
I’d climb the highest mountain in the world.
I’d stand on its highest peak
and I’d yell as loud as I could:
YAHUAH, CAN You hear me?
Followed by,
Where are You?
Do You see me?
What are You going to do about this situation?
Where are other believers?
Where is my deliverance?
When are things going to change?
What’s wrong with me?
Why is there so much pain in life?
 
If I could,
I’d climb the tallest mountain in the world.
I’d stand on its tallest peak
and I’d bellow as loud as I could:
YAHUAH,
can
You
hear
me?
How am I to live my life before You?
How do I let my light shine, in times like these?
How do I encourage my husband?
How do I reassure our kids?
How can I better example?
How can I be a better friend?
How can I make better choices?
 
But instead,
I lay down,
realizing that I don’t need to go anywhere.
YAHUAH hears me.

He hears me
ALL THE TIME,
EVERY TIME
 
But I don’t always hear Him.
 
I miss His voice.
I miss His voice because I am looking in the wrong places,
I miss His voice because I am too busy,
I miss His voice because I don’t want to accept His answer,
I miss His voice because it doesn’t sound like I want it to-
you know the one we all listen for –
THE BIG BOOMING VOICE!

But He speaks through the smallest of whispers,
He speaks through the tears of a friend,
He speaks through the prayers of a husband,
He speaks through handmade cards,
He speaks through the cords of a song,
He speaks through the smiles of a child,
He speaks through the strangest of dreams,
He speaks through the unexpected hugs-big and small,
He speaks through the chirping of the birds,
He speaks through the tear-jerking moments in movies,
He speaks through the beauty of the sunrise,
He speaks through the calm in a storm,
He speaks through the closed doors,
He speaks through the open windows,
He speaks through the testimonies of overcomers…
 
Through all my questions,
My worries,
My fears,
My sorrows
And
My tears
He always hears me.

Written by: A Joyful Womanhood 6/15/2019 4:00pm

Who Was She? Lydia: No Ordinary Sabbath

She was a wise woman I am sure.  She sold fine cloth and must have carefully interacted with those around her.  She took time every week for what was most important to her, worship and prayer with others near the river on the Sabbath.  We don’t know her prayers or who exactly accompanied her but she wasn’t alone, members of her household were there too.

This Sabbath, was no ordinary Sabbath, YAHUAH had something for Lydia on this day.  He opened her heart to receive the good news of Messiah/Mashiach in her life through Sha’ul!  YAHUSHA knocked on the door of her heart and she willing received Him in!  She wasn’t alone in receiving YAHUSHA, people around were immersed at the same time she was!

Like her, sometimes it is time for us to go a step farther in our faith.  We may have been worshiping YAHUAH for many years but now our life needs a change as did Lydia’s and others.

When YAHUAH comes and directs something to me or shares something with me, will I keep going about my ordinary day OR will I stop to receive what He has for me?  Will I share what He has given me OR keep it to myself?  Will I open my heart and home?

Based upon Ma’aseh (Acts) 16:6-15

Who Was She? The Woman & Her Deliverer

They thought they had a plan to ensnare Him.  It was a brilliantly crafted plan; surely this was the perfect way to confront Him. 

I am sure they probably thought, “Who does He think, He is?  Forgiveness and healing’s on the Sabbath – we don’t authorize that.  We’ll show Him.”

The woman. 

She was their perfect scapegoat.  She was a sinner.  Though she may have held many of their secrets, her sin according to the law was the focus, not theirs (or so they thought)! 

After much planning, the time came to put their plan into action.  Grabbing her in the very act of sin, they dragged her before Him and threw her at His feet.  Then they stood there, arms crossed, ready for a battle,  saying “This woman was caught in the act of adultery, according to the law she is to be stoned.”

What they did not know was that they were part of a greater plan.

Afraid and trembling at His feet, she must have thought this was her end…

However…

Today was the day that her sin, through her accusers brought her to the Deliverer.

Eagerly they waited for the judgment to come yet there was none.  YAHUSHA Messiah didn’t accuse her.  He didn’t tell her what a horrible woman she was and start grabbing a stone.   Instead He pointed out their sin.  To her, He acknowledged her sin and gently said to her, “Go and sin no more.”

The enemy of our souls has a plan each day.  He thinks that he can take our sins, laying them bare out in the open and point his ugly finger at us…saying “See I told you she was a sinner.” Maybe the very people who seem to be close to us, have turned on us and we find ourselves out in the open and exposed.  Maybe it looks like our end is near…

But this exposure, only reveals the mercy of YAHUSHA HaMashiach and the long-suffering’s of our Heavenly Father YAHUAH.  Today we are facing various trials whether they are due to sin or challenges of life, they are still trials.  These trials of situations and/or sin, should take us to His feet, where deliverance is ours for the choosing.

We don’t know the outcome of that woman, but today you and I can make the choice to leave those things that are displeasing in the Father’s eyes and follow His Son – YAHUSHA HaMashiach.

He is our Deliverer.

Based on Yahuchanon (John) 8:1-11

Living with Food Allergies and Sensitivities

It had  been a long day. 

A much longer day than I had expected.

Though I prepared snacks that would have lasted our kids a few hours, our appointment took nearly three times as long as we’d thought.  When it was finally over, as we began our way home, we stopped at a fast food restaurant that I thought might be okay to eat at.

As our three girls and I approached the order counter, there was a big sign that said:

“Our products may contain peanut allergen.”

I looked at our three daughters each one at a time.  All of them have a nut allergy, with one being extremely allergic-I made the decision to leave – eating would have to wait until we arrived home and I would have to cook.  I was tired of cooking.  I needed a break – but at what cost?

______________________________________________________

Twenty years ago, if someone would have told me a person could be allergic to peanut butter, I would have thought they were crazy.  Flour? Carrots? Oats? Kiwi?  Peaches? Apples?

Yeah real crazy.

However when our oldest two daughters were eating a snack one day, I sat observing them.  They were eating apple slices with gold fish. A good snack right?  But I noticed something in our oldest daughter who was around 4 years old at the time, that she turned into the energizer bunny and could not stop moving.   I wandered what was happening to her.  Was she just excited about eating gold fish?

Over the next few weeks I tried some experiments on my own.

Apple and peanut butter – no problem.

Cheese and goldfish – problem.

Orange and oatmeal cookie – no problem.

Cheese  and saltine crackers – no problem.

Carrots sticks and salad dressing, gold fish – problem.

Goldfish – problem.

Finally I stopped buying goldfish and the problem stopped.

I believe she had an allergy to the dyes in the goldfish because as I started reading labels, anything that had that dye, she had similar problems. 

That was the beginning of our journey in food allergies and sensitivities.  As I started to read more labels, I noticed that many foods not only weren’t kosher (they contained pork, shell fish and or other unclean ingredients) but that they were full of many strange ingredients.  Eventually I read and heard that cow milk was bad for our bodies, so I switched to almond milk.  This is one of my biggest regrets…I will talk more about that further down.

During this same time we had our third daughter and after weaning her to nut milk she seemed to develop a rash.  We couldn’t  figure out why and it seemed like it wasn’t too bad however it  was always present on her stomach and legs.  Eventually as she learned to talk she would say “Mommy, legs hurt.”  I’d rub them with some creams, which seemed to help for the moment but nothing lasted very long.  Doctors suggested that she might have eczema, but they weren’t too sure.

Between the time of the birth of our two sons, I noticed some changes in myself.  Regular flour started to burn my hands and I would have these horrible sneezing attacks when I cooked with it.   Whenever I ate bread, I felt like there was a huge rock in my stomach.  Eventually I gave up eating bread and I wore a mask when I cooked with wheat.  Our second born daughter (who seemed to be born with a runny nose and was constantly sneezing) could not even come in the kitchen when I was mixing because her sneezing attacks were even worse!!!

Then one day, when she was eating some raw carrots for snack, she said to me “Mommy the carrots and raw almonds are burning my mouth.  They have been for a while.”

I told her to stop because she might have an allergy to them.  She stopped but I was still serving nut milk (I didn’t connect the two yet).   Eventually I found out about raw milk, particularly A2 Milk (which is the original cow  without the mutation).  We made the switch and…

Eczema gone.

Runny nose nearly gone.

I was still using white flour and wheat flour in baking until about few years ago, when our second born daughter ended up in the hospital for asthma.  We did not know she had asthma.  While in the ER, a respiratory therapist, said to me as he watched her “Have you had her checked for allergies because these things that she is doing are more than likely the cause of allergies?”

A few weeks later, her allergies  were confirmed: nearly every tree, grass, all nuts, wheat, corn, oats, raw carrots, some apples, and animals with fur.

I felt as if someone had sucked the breathe out of me-what were we going to do?  I could go without eating wheat (which is a bit hard as I love to bake) but what about her, what was she going to eat?  Corn was one of her favorite foods?  She loved nuts and apples?

As a family, we immediately made the switch to go Gluten-Free.  I still cooked with corn and oats for about another year (since they were lower on her allergic reaction chart) but those two things were removed from her diet a few months later.

One thing I noticed immediately, was that I could use the GF flours and I had no sneezing attacks!  What a relief! Well sort of…gluten free flours do not cook like wheat flour so there was a big learning curve.  I even attempted coconut flour with mixed results but I primarily cooked with sorghum, flax, and rice flours.

In our discovery regarding our second born daughters’ food allergies, we learned that some of our kids are allergic to nuts, raw carrots, kiwi, tapioca flour (which is in many gluten free blends) and some diary products.  For example our daughter with eczema, cannot eat many gluten free foods/mixes because of the dairy in them.  Recently I received a box of Bob Mill’s GF Brownie mix for free, well a day after the brownies where made, our third born daughter had huge patches of raised, itchy red spots on her stomach and legs.  She complained of feeling hot and was itching. 

So…living with food allergies and sensitivities that our family has is a big challenge.  We can all tolerate Einkorn flour but if our second born daughter or myself eats too much of it our stomachs will begin to hurt.

Over the years, we have learned to read labels on everything-hair products, toothpaste, laundry detergents-everything we buy is read to see if it contains anything that one or more of us might have a problem with.  Sometimes we miss the ingredient then a problem occurs and sometimes we recognize new ones.

Remember when I told you about having a long day and not being about to eat out because of the peanut allergy?  Well, on our way home, we stopped at the grocery store and picked up things to make nachos (Kettle potato chips for some and also some corn chips for the ones that tolerate it) and…some gluten free cookies.

Well the name brand gluten free cookies caused big problems in three of our kids!!!

Even the simplest of foods can cause us problems, so that means that we have to prepare all our meals-no eating out at all.  I often (with the exception of Sabbath) spend 70-95% of my day in the kitchen.  Sometimes I want to give up!  I love to cook but sometimes  it is a chore rather than a passion.

One day though, while our daughter with eczema was having a hard night in pain, YAHUAH impressed it upon my heart that He gave me the passion for cooking not for my own pleasure, but for my family.  So now when I feel like I am most frustrated and tired, I find strength in His Word, knowing that He is with me through this time and I praise Him for the hands I have and the provision He gives us to eat what is good for us.

As much as possible I plan to share what things I have learned, recipes, and so forth of what has helped us.  In addition, we are all eating low carb and some are keto!!! 

Shabbat Message: The Broken Woman

Seems like no one is listening?

Does the heavenly Father, even hear the cry of women?

Doesn’t He see the problems in our lives?

Does He even care?

Doesn’t He see I am at the end of my rope?

Yes He does. Three woman.  Three encounters.  Three deliverance’s.  Three stories of hope and encouragement to us today.

So if you feel broken, discouraged, disappointed, worn down, or hopeless, YAHUAH has sent a word to you today!  Watch and listen to this Shabbat Message: The Broken Woman.