The Loft Link-Up ~ Pot Luck

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

September 28 ~ Pot Luck

October 5 ~ Table

October 12 ~ Autumn/Fall

October 19 ~ A Day in My Life

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is POT LUCK. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

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The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9

As my daughter would say, “Good golly!”

Are you still tracking with me on this Revelation journey? I hope that I have not lost you on one of these rabbit trails we are taking. I am a Bible study nerd, so digging around in the Bible brings me great joy, especially when there is a mystery involved. And, good golly, there is some mystery in this journey, isn’t there?

 

In case you are just jumping on the Revelation train, let me bring you up to speed a bit. We have been studying Revelation since January, beginning at the beginning and studying forward, chapter by chapter. We have completed 7 chapters, and every single post in the series is linked HERE in the order in which we studied them.

 

I felt led to take some excursions into other books of the Bible in order to give you a better understanding of some of the events noted in Revelation. So, for a few weeks we are going down some rabbit trails. We have visited in Nehemiah and Daniel chapter 2. These excursions build on each other, so it would be important for you to review the Nehemiah and Daniel 2 teachings in order to get the full picture. You may click on the links in this paragraph to do that.

 

 

Daniel's 70 Weeks Revelation Journey

 

Today, we stay in Daniel, but move to chapter 9 to begin connecting some of our dots. Let’s read the passage, then we will move into the teaching.

 

Daniel 9:24-27 (ESV)

24 Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for the iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

 

 

Okey dokey!

There is enough in these verses to occupy my teaching bent for at least a month, but alas, I am allotting one week and one post. At least that is my plan. I do promise that we will refer back to this passage in the future, so highlight it in your Bible.

The items we want to observe in this teaching session are two: a decree (remember Nehemiah?), and seventy weeks. I think the most concise way for me to teach this segment is to break it down into a few lists, so let’s have at it, as my Mom would have said.

 

MAIN CHARACTERS IN THIS PASSAGE

“Your people” – Gabriel is speaking to Daniel, so the Jewish people are the ‘your people’

Messiah the Prince – Jesus – ‘cut off after 62 weeks’= crucified

The prince who is to come and the one who makes desolate – Antichrist, the beast

People of the prince who is to come – those who follow antichrist/beast

 

 

DECREE or ‘THE GOING OUT OF THE WORD TO RESTORE AND BUILD JERUSALEM – Nehemiah!!

Now, I will tell you that some believe the decree that is being referenced is the decree of King Cyrus in 538 BC as told about in Ezra 1. Others believe the decree to be a different one from King Artaxerxes spoken in 458 BC and referenced in Ezra 7.

This is the first dot that we will connect…the decree that we studied last week is prophesied by Gabriel to Daniel!

 

SEVENTY WEEKS – events that take place in this period

Finish the transgression

Make an end of sin

Make atonement for iniquity

Bring in everlasting righteousness

Seal up vision and prophet/prophecy

Anoint the Most Holy Place

 

At the end of the seventy weeks is when Satan and the antichrist will be forever banished to the lake of fire and Jesus will set up His everlasting kingdom in the New Jerusalem.

 

Now let’s break down these 70 weeks.

AFTER SIXTY-TWO WEEKS –  events that will happen

Messiah will be cut off – happened in approximately AD 30-33

Jerusalem and the temple destroyed – happened the first time in AD 70

Flood – is it a literal flood or speaking figuratively?

War to the end

 

ONE WEEK – tribulation period

Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel – middle of the 7-year period

Sacrifices are stopped in the middle of the week when antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel

One who makes desolate appears and is subsequently destroyed – antichrist and satan

 

Scholars (of which I am NOT one) have varied opinions on all of this. As I told you at the beginning, I am offering my thoughts based on my study of Scripture. God is not obliged to make history happen the way I think it should. That is where I am obliged to bend my knee to His sovereignty if it doesn’t work out the way I think it might.

This passage is chock full of what scholars call near-far prophecy. Many of the events took place hundreds of years ago, but are also symbolic of something that will take place in the future. In fact, all of the events of Daniel 9:25-26a have been fulfilled up to our time in history. Hence, the near portion of the prophecy would occur during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175 BC – 164 BC), while the far prophecy points toward end times events.

I would like to leave you with a quote from Kay Arthur in the Precept Upon Precept Revelation 3 study.

 

“History does not confirm the event described in Daniel 9:27. Some believe there is an undetermined gap of time between the destruction of the city and sanctuary in AD 70 when Titus besieged Jerusalem and the remainder of the prophecy in verse 27. This gap of time could be the ‘times of the Gentiles,’ leaving the last seven years of the 490 unfulfilled. Some believe this unfulfilled seven-year period is the (great) tribulation (others only the last 3 ½).”

 

 

Friends, if all this does not have your head spinning, you are taking better medication than I. What questions have I created in your mind? There is more info to come and more dots to connect. Stay tuned, but feel free to ask questions.

Sharing Life….When Faith Feels More Frustration Than Song….Kimberly Henderson

Do you have people in your life who always seem to speak a word to your heart that reaches in and makes a difference? Yep, me too.

Today at Sharing Life I am introducing you to one of those women. Kimberly Henderson has a heart for Jesus and for women. God has blessed her with lovely insight and ability to put into words what He teaches her for the building up of His Kingdom girls. Most every time I read something that Kimberly writes I am blessed, challenged, and encouraged. Today, she is offering us a bit of faith mentoring that knocked my socks off when I read it for the first time. I daresay that every one of us can identify with Kimberly’s offering today.

 

Kimberly Henderson When Faith Feels More Frustration Than Son Sharing Life

 

Kimberly is a writer who lives in the Upstate of South Carolina. She and her husband are prayerfully raising three beautiful daughters and one extra barky Schnauzer. Kimberly works part-time for Proverbs 31 Ministries and shares her heart at her blog, Learning to Live for His Glory.

Please make my friend, Kimberly, welcome.

 

Kimberly Henderson

 

I prayed recently that God would let my life be a song to Him. A beautiful one that continues to echo even long after I’m gone.

His reply to me in the days that followed caught me a bit off guard.

Practice your scales.

My scales?

Memories of my childhood and the brief amount of time I spent sitting in front of a piano began to surface.

My grandmother gave piano lessons out of her home when I was a little girl and ended up with me as one of her pupils. Bless her sweet heart. I’m not quite sure how she put up with me. I wasn’t exactly a model student. I despised practicing. And I never showed up with a very teachable heart.

She wanted me to practice my scales and learn the basics. I wanted her to play a song for me once and then let me peck it out by myself. Please and thank you.

She wanted me to start with beginner pieces that made sense for someone of my skill level. I wanted to skip straight to “Memory” from the Broadway musical CATS.

Have mercy.

Needless to say, I didn’t stick with piano for long. Frustration set in and I soon gave up. Now, many years later, my grandmother’s piano sits in my living room. Unplayed. A bit dusty. Massively out of tune.

And I wish – oh, how I wish – I had stuck with those lessons all of those years ago. I wish I could sit down right now and make that Yamaha pour forth the glorious sounds my grandmother once did.

What a powerful lesson for this heart of mine. When life feels more frustration than song… when faith feels too hard and I just want to give up… it’s probably time to go back to the basics. It’s time to practice my scales.

You see, scales are like the building blocks of music. They tune a musician’s ear while also training the musician’s fingers. And God’s Word is overflowing with building blocks for my faith. Truths that tune my heart to the Father’s and help me get to a place where I can move swiftly and confidently whenever and wherever He leads.

Practicing my scales is a call to go back over the basics. To dig into His Word and rediscover truths about Him and about who I am in Him. Truths I can build on.

Basics that will restore my hope when life feels more frustration than song…. God is good. God is faithful. God is merciful. God is forgiving. God is love.

Fundamentals that will help me move in freedom when I am tempted to give up in fear… I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am set free. I am chosen. I am holy. I am His beloved.

Of course, I realize there is another faith lesson the Lord wants me to glean from my piano lesson memories. One I would be wise to not skip over. One that deals with staying humble and teachable.

I don’t know how many years my grandmother had been playing when I sat down beside her on that piano bench. But I do know it was long enough that I would have benefited greatly if I had chosen to listen and receive.

 

Sharing Life When Faith Feels More Frustration than Song Kimberly Henderson

 

And there are women all around me who have been walking with the Lord far longer than I have. Women whose lives make rich and beautiful music for Him and because of Him. Women I need to sit with. Women I need to listen to. Because the Lord never hands anyone a Bible and says, “Good luck, kid. See if you can pick out a few tunes on your own.” He gives us His Holy Spirit and He brings people alongside us to teach us and encourage us in His ways.

Has your faith walk been feeling more frustration than song lately? When is the last time you simply sat down and went over the basics? Is there anyone you could sit with and learn from?

Know that I am praying for you today. For all of us. That we will hear the Father singing over us and that our lives would be a love song back to Him.

“The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV

The Loft Link-Up ~ Fall Recipes

Happy Fall Y’all! Today at The Loft we are all about Fall Recipes. I, personally, adore Fall, or Autumn, if you prefer. I love the temperatures, the food, the clothes, the football, the leaves. I just love fall. It is my favorite season of the year.

The recipe I want to share with you today is one that brings back loads of memories for me. Memories of my childhood. My paternal grandparents were very present in my life as a child, and my sister and I stayed with them A LOT. My Grandma always fixed a big country breakfast…..eggs, biscuits, bacon or sausage, and gravy. Hot, fresh biscuits begged for something sweet to slather on them, and the options were either Bama Grape Jelly, homemade pear preserves, or White House Apple Butter. My hands often reached for Apple Butter.

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter

 

So, when I ran across this recipe for apple butter a few years back, memories of being at my grandparent’s home flooded my heart. As soon as the fall apples came in, I got my little self busy canning homemade apple butter. Dear Gussie! It is super easy, and so yummy on biscuits, toast, and even in oatmeal. AND it has all the SMELLS while it is cooking!  The great part is that you do not have to can it, should you not have a bent toward canning. The recipe says you can also freeze it. I’ve never tried that, but just wanted to pass on what the recipe said. I hope you have the opportunity to grab some apples and make this delicious homemade apple butter.

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter

5 and 1/2 lbs. apples peeled cored and thin sliced

4 cups sugar

2 to 3 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir and reduce heat to low for 8-9 hrs. Whisk to get any clumps out. Place into jars and seal. Can be put into freezer containers.

 

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

September 21 ~ Fall Recipes

September 28 ~ Pot Luck

October 5 ~ Table

October 12 ~ Autumn/Fall

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is FALL RECIPES. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

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On Another Excursion….Neb’s Dream Image

Hello! I’m so glad you are back with me today for our Revelation series.

What did you say?

Yes, Revelation. I know that last week we were in the book of Nehemiah. Annnnnd, this week we are in Daniel, but we really are studying the book of Revelation. It’s just that when you study Revelation you must take some side trips into other books of the Bible in order to get a full picture. So, that’s what we are doing for a few weeks. It may not all make sense right now, but if I do my job correctly, you will understand why we have chased these rabbits by the time we work our way back to Revelation.

 

revelation daniel and an image

 

 

Today we move from Nehemiah to Daniel. In Nehemiah we learned about a decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that was issued by King Artaxerxes in 445 BC. Today we are privy to the interpretation of a dream by Daniel. The dream was had by King Nebuchadnezzar and involved a statue.

Let me set the stage by giving you the passage we will be studying, then you will find the teaching video at the bottom of the post. If you have your Bible, please turn to Daniel 2:31-45 and follow along. If you have no Bible handy, here is the Scripture.

 

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.

32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.

34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.

37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all–you are the head of gold.

39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these.

41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Sharing Life…..A New Name for Lidia

Hello!

I’m so glad you are joining me for today’s Sharing Life post. Sharing Life is all about women speaking into the lives of other women. My friends and I are seeking to do that in three specific areas of life:

Friendship/Mentoring

Food

Faith

 

If you click on the above areas of Sharing Life, you will be taken to a previous post that falls into that category so you can experience a bit of the flavor of this series.

As Jesus-followers, we have a biblical ‘YES’ to mentor others who are coming along behind us. While you may not be ‘older’ in age, you might be just a few steps further along a journey than another woman. Well, sister, that makes you the ‘older woman’! So, be faithful to look for those mentoring opportunities in your life and take advantage of them. Mentoring is not all formal and check-list driven. It is simply being a friend to another woman and speaking into her life when the opportunity arises.

 

Sharing Life A New Name for Lidia

 

Today at Sharing Life, I am so pleased to introduce you to one of my online friends who lives a world away from me. Lidia’s writing drew me in years ago, and her gentle manner is a thing of beauty. Please welcome Lidia Arbolario to Sharing Life.

 

Lidia Arbolario is from the Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands in Asia.  She wants her life to be a tribute to God, her King, her Creator, her Redeemer, and faithful Father, in the many opportunities she has been given to make Him known and give Him glory. She believes her kingdom destiny is to be a channel of healing and God’s redemptive purposes in the lives of others. She desires to be a mentor to this generation and the next, the arising Bridal Generation, helping prepare them to be the end-time army of Christ for His Second Coming.


Lidia served as the ministry head and principal of their church school, the Christian Academy of Bacolod for eighteen years. At present, she is part of the ministry team of Family Foundations International (Phil-Asia) working to establish a culture of blessing in the families they minister to, and helping people receive a deeper understanding of their God-given identity and how to walk in their true destiny.

She and her husband Ernie were married for 30 years before he went home to heaven in 2008. They have two sons, two daughters in law, one daughter, and four grandchildren. She writes about the changing seasons of her life, the struggles, and the victories, in her blog, entitled Crown of Beauty, an ongoing story of God’s faithfulness to her.

Lidia blogs at http://mla-crownofglory.blogspot.com/


A Crown of Beauty

Do not let your adornment be merely outward –
arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel –
rather let it be the hidden person of the heart,
with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very precious in the eyes of God.
– 1 Peter 2:20 (NKJV)


We all love stories. I grew up on stories, and when it was my turn to raise my own children, each bedtime was made special by reading stories as a family.

I realize that God loves stories, too!

He is the Master Story-teller. His book, the Bible is a compilation of stories. Of faith, and hope, and love.

Of struggle. Failure. Redemption.

There are important concepts and truths about Him that He wants us to learn, but these are made more real to us by putting them in the context of a story.


What amazes me is that we are not meant to merely be passive readers of what God writes. He gives us a proactive role, including us as main characters as well.


He created you and me in the context of a story: our birth begins as a story, our timeline is a series of stories, and our life ends in a story.

Doesn’t this just take your breath away?

Many years ago when I had just gotten to know Jesus as my Lord, Savior, and King, as a university freshman, I understood my main role in life was to be an important character in His creation story, and therefore, to remain true to the script that He had prepared for me. 

There was a plot, a sub-plot, twists and turns… but they were not always revealed to me beforehand.

Yes, my life story is a all about trusting and obeying… faith in the making.

Faith was not just an abstract concept to be understood in one’s mind. It was a truth that could only be learned and understood in the context of my life.

Each one of us is in a faith journey; we all have many faith chapters in God’s book.


Let me share one chapter with you.

One of the best things that God ever did for me was to give me a new name. It was 1992, and I was in the middle of one of the most painful seasons of my life. I had stopped looking at myself in the mirror because each time I did, I saw an ugly face staring back at me. The road ahead was bleak, and hopeless. 

One night God spoke to me. “Get up,” the Voice said. 

“Stop being despondent.” The One speaking had authority. 

“Pick up your Bible.” I opened my Bible and started reading from where I had stopped the day before. The next passage was Isaiah 62.

“…you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

My heart was beating fast. I knew God was speaking directly to me.

I could only kneel and acknowledge the presence of my King. 

From that moment on, I knew I had been given a new identity, a new name. I was not Ugly, I was Crown of Beauty, a royal diadem in the hand of my God.

Once Heaven touches a person’s heart, it is forever changed. I am no longer my own, I belong to my King forever. 

Of course, I have my good days and my not-so-good ones… my ups and downs. But my ongoing desire is to draw ever closer to Him, my Heavenly Father, heeding His invitation for an intimate relationship with Him. He is my First Love. He has continued to visit me in my night seasons, He wakens me before dawn. What a great honor and privilege to be summoned, and to be ushered into the King’s presence, waiting quietly for Him to speak throne room secrets into my life.

This story is one major chapter in my faith journey; one I will never forget, and one story I love to tell over and over again.

What faith story is God writing for you?

And how do you see yourself as a major character in the plot that is unfolding before your very eyes?

I pray, my dear sisters, that as I have shared one of my faith stories with you, you will be encouraged, and strengthened, in whatever season it is that you are going through today. 

God is not finished with us yet. 

And you know what the most beautiful part is? There is no end to our stories! In eternity, our life goes on, from one glorious chapter to another!

Again, I ask… Doesn’t this take your breath away?

The Loft Link-Up ~ Beauty

Welcome to The Loft. Our topic for today is BEAUTY. Here are some thoughts on beauty that I posted almost a decade ago. They still ring true today.

I know that God must get some great belly laughs out of me. Sometimes I can just see him slapping his knee and saying to the angels, “Look at that. Can you believe her? Isn’t she a hoot?” Just this week was probably one of those times.

It was time to meet with one of my best friends. You may know her. Her name is Miss Clairol and she and I have been tight for many years now. I mixed up my hair color which looks like ketchup at first, but after being exposed to air for a few minutes looks more like a jelly made from tar. I brushed it on the roots of my hair, leaving a Medusa-like pile of hair on top of my head. The bottom half of my hair was black with color while the brownish-red ends were waving wildly in every direction. Actually the correct color terminology for those wildly waving ends is “Steamy Cappuccino”. Now you must understand that one can not color one’s hair without the hair color also getting on one’s skin, so I also had black jelly-like hair color on my ears, forehead and around the hairline on my neck. Let me tell you, I was a lovely picture!!

I had to wait the required 20 minutes for the roots to process and so I sat down to do my morning Bible study. As I caught my reflection in the window in my basement, I thought how hilarious I must look to God. Here I am approaching the Holy One looking more like something that had been scared straight out of the depths of hell. Perhaps the Lord thought that I was just trying on my Halloween costume early?? Nonetheless, it struck me that the Lord loves me regardless of how I look.

I was reminded of Psalm 45: 11 which says, “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Our King, our Prince, our Redeemer is enthralled by you and me. The Hebrew word for enthralled is awah which means to desire, covet, long for, wish, sigh, crave, want, be greedy, prefer. Each time we come to Christ, whether it is the first time we come for salvation or the countless times we come for fellowship, Jesus desires our presence. He is greedy for a relationship with you and with me. He thinks I am beautiful. He prefers me and He prefers you. How about that? It blows my mind that I am ‘preferred’ by the King of the Universe, the God of all Creation.

Dear one, no matter what you look like, no matter what you have done, no matter the lifestyle you have lived, the words you have said, the attitudes you have harbored in your heart, Christ Jesus is enthralled by your beauty and He craves an intimate, abiding relationship with you. Trust me, sweet friend, if He can be enthralled by what I looked like on that morning as I sat to worship Him with hair color all over me, He can be enthralled by anyone.

Now, it is time for you to link your post on BEAUTY. The linky is at the bottom of my post.

 

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

September 14 ~ Beauty

September 21 ~ Fall Recipes

September 28 ~ Pot Luck

October 5 ~ Table

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is BEAUTY. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

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An Excursion Out of Revelation and a Visit with Nehemiah

Studying the book of Revelation is a bit like eating a plate of spaghetti ~ there are tons of noodles and they all touch each other.

Well, maybe that is not the best illustration, but I’m going with it. It is impossible to study the book of Revelation without touching at least a handful of other books in the Bible. We are going to take some side journeys for a few weeks in order to better understand some of what we will study in the coming months. Today’s we touch the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. It will not be immediately obvious why we are catching up with the prophet until a bit down the road, so file today’s post under ‘things to remember’.

By the way, in my Word document where I write these posts I have titled this little series of posts, “Interlude Between Revelation 7 and 8 ~~ Daniel, Nehemiah, Matthew, and 1 Thessalonians ~ Lord, Have Mercy On Me!”

To say that I am treading down this path in fear and trembling is an understatement, but on I tread because I want you to walk away from this series, whenever we finish it, with a clearer understanding of end-times events.

 

Revelation Nehemiah and a Decree

 

Let’s head out on this first rabbit trail.

When we get to the portion of this series where we visit with Daniel, we will read of a ‘decree’ that will be a crucial point on the timeline of history. Today I want to tell you about that decree.

Let’s go to the little book of Nehemiah. Here are the first, and part of the second chapters that are important to our study. I have emphasized a few things I want you to remember.

Chapter 1

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.

 

Chapter 2

1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

 

 

Our buddy Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra the prophet. He was a Jewish exile in Persia, which is also the setting for the book of Esther. Let me give you a few dates and happenings to orient us. Remember that Old Testament dating is backward….the higher numbers are longer ago, while the lower numbers are more recent.

605 BC – Jerusalem is conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. Daniel and other Jewish nobility are taken captive and marched back to Babylon. (Daniel 1)

539 BC  – Cyrus, King of Persia, captures Babylon (Daniel 5:30-31)

538-537 BC – Cyrus issues orders to free the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem

Kislev/Chislev 446 BC (approximately December) –  Nehemiah, cupbearer to the current King of Persia, Artaxerxes, receives word that the walls of Jerusalem are broken down and need rebuilding (Nehemiah 1)

Nisan 445 BC (March/April)  – King Artaxerxes issues a decree for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and oversee the building of the walls. (Nehemiah 2)

 

This decree, or order, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that was issued by Artaxerxes is the one that we want to remember, along with the date of 445 BC. The walls of Jerusalem are such an important topic in the Bible, so that is why this decree is important. The home of the Jewish exiles is beginning to be rebuilt in a secure manner. The city will not always be secure, but for now this re-building is key.

I am beginning to put together a timeline that we will develop all throughout the remainder of our study of Revelation. At different points, I will offer it as a download. Not yet, though.

Okay, that’s it for today. I know there has been a lot of reading, but it will benefit you as we move forward. Next week we will be in Daniel chapter 2. See you then.

Sharing Life….Someone Needs YOU To Be Their People

Hello!

I’m so glad you are joining me for today’s Sharing Life post. Sharing Life is all about women speaking into the lives of other women. My friends and I are seeking to do that in three specific areas of life:

Friendship/Mentoring

Food

Faith

 

If you click on the above areas of Sharing Life, you will be taken to a previous post that falls into that category so you can experience a bit of the flavor of this series.

As Jesus-followers, we have a biblical ‘YES’ to mentor others who are coming along behind us. While you may not be ‘older’ in age, you might be just a few steps further along a journey than another woman. Well, sister, that makes you the ‘older woman’! So, be faithful to look for those mentoring opportunities in your life and take advantage of them. Mentoring is not all formal and check-list driven. It is simply being a friend to another woman and speaking into her life when the opportunity arises.

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Once upon a time, Greg and I had five animals…..two hunting dogs and three cats. Over time, all five of them died from an assortment of maladies. With each passing, our hearts were broken in pieces. When Greg’s last dog passed, he said, “No more animals. It is too hard to lose them.” That was in 2010.

Fast forward to 2016. Our neighbors have 8 dogs. Yes, I said EIGHT. They are an adorable assortment of beagles and hounds. When we exercise, it is not unusual for a string of them to follow us home. After a few minutes at our house, they all head back to the neighbor’s place.

About 2 months ago, all that changed. I walked home after exercising and several of them followed me. I came into the house and went about my morning. An hour or so later I look out the French doors onto our deck and see a face. A doggie face and a doggie body lounging in the sun on our deck. I thought to myself, “well, it will go home after a bit.”

NOPE! A couple of days later I walk back to the neighbor’s house, which is a half mile away and Puppy walks with me. Greg came and picked me up so Puppy would not follow me back. Success! Got that taken care of!! I decided not to walk back toward my neighbor’s house again so the dogs would not follow me home. I did not want the neighbors to think we were stealing their dogs, for heaven’s sake.

A week or two later I look out on the deck and guess what…Puppy!! For the love!!  She has now been a permanent fixture on our deck and in our lives for a couple of weeks. Her name is Aggie. Of course, we feed her since she doesn’t seem to want to go back to her home and people. She is the most playful and loving dog ev-uh! She loves Greg and runs to meet him when he comes home. She has obviously decided that WE ARE HER PEOPLE!

 

Someone Needs You to Be Their People Sharing Life

 

 

We have no idea why she has made us her people when she has 7 other dogs with whom to play at home. Here, she has only a quiet deck and the two of us. It makes no sense to us.  She is only 9 months old, and is still so playful that it seems she should prefer to be with other dogs. But, she makes it clear that WE ARE HER PEOPLE, at least for now.

What is it about us that draws her? What is it about our home?

This got me to thinking about a spiritual application for the whole thing. You and I, as Christ-followers, should live lives that draw others to us and make them want us to BE THEIR PEOPLE. We should exude the love of Christ, the compassion of Christ, and the joy of Christ so much that others want to be around us.

Now, that does NOT mean that we abandon the gospel or the whole counsel of God’s Word, but we should live in such a winsome way that others are drawn to us and we earn the right to speak the Truth of God’s Word into their lives.

 

Will You Be My People?

 

So, today I want to ask you a question. Who is looking at your life and asking “Will you be my PEOPLE?” Oh, they may not realize they are seeing Jesus in you, but HE should be the reason they want you to be their people. Are you intentionally living a winsome, Jesus-full life before the world?

Someone needs YOU to be their PEOPLE. Are you willing and available?

 

The Loft Link-Up ~ Labor or Work

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We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

September 7 ~ Labor or Work

September 14 ~ Beauty

September 21 ~ Fall Recipes

September 28 ~ Pot Luck

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is LABOR OR WORK. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

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