Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For Such A Time As This

We've finally come to what is probably the best known verse in the book of Esther. Esther 4:14 says "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" For all intents and purposes, Esther had the weight of the Jewish world on her shoulders. I can only imagine what must have been going through her mind. It's tough being a woman thrown a giant-size weight. I'm looking forward to learning more about this challenge placed before Esther as I go through this week's homework.
Watch for answer's to these Principal Questions as you complete your homework this week: 1) Was Mordecai the only one in such a grief-stricken condition? If not, who were the others and exactly what did they do? 2) Why do you think Mordecai refused the change of clothes? 3) Why did Esther think Mordecai was asking too much? 4) What were the consequences of not approaching the king? Which side seems to offer the greatest risk? 5) What special significance did the fast have that you might not have thought about?
Thank you for sticking with this study. I know it takes a good chunk of time to do the homework and view the sessions, but it is so worth it. Keep on keeping on. I'll post again next Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Tough Being A Woman

Yes indeed, it's tough being a woman. So far we have explored that it's tough being a woman in another woman's shadow, and it's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment. Now, we get to discuss how it's tough being a woman in a mean world. And I second that one with an Amen! If you haven't viewed session 2 yet, I want to strongly encourage you to do so. The session is packed with practical, biblical teaching about living in a mean world. I love what Beth says: "You will never be more prone to attack than when God has pulled you out of where you have been and he has your feet on a wilderness road; but you're not there yet." So true.
As you complete your homework this week, watch for the answers to these Principal Questions. 1) Mordecai did not slander, but he also did not kneel. How do we know Mordecai continued his stance? 2) Haman's shrewd rage turned into careful calculation. How did Haman choose a day for Jewish destruction? 3) Haman was obviously adept at psychological warfare. In what ways did he apply psychological tactics to get what he wanted from King Xerxes? 4) How does John 8:44 offer all the permission we need to identify the Devil as Haman's "father"? 5) How do you picture the people of Susa reacting to the edict?
Thanks so much for taking this Bible study journey with me. Don't forget to post your thoughts as tackle this week's homework. I'll have a new post next Tuesday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just a Peaceful Sunday in the ER

Abby and Matt spent the night at The Ridge last night. Rick and I were supposed to pick up them up around 12:30. No problem; we were on our way out the door. Then the phone rang. My parents were taking Matt to the ER in Geneva. Matt had an accident on his bike and split his chin open. Rick and I were still at home, about 20 minutes from our boy. I felt like we were never going to arrive! Of course, we did get there; and Matt was being so brave.
Matt left his afternoon in the ER with 7 stitches, several stickers, a stuffed rino, and a dollar bill the doctor "found" behind Matt's ear. The staff of the hospital was awesome! Everyone was friendly and did an excellent job of keeping Matt and our family calm. The hardest part was actually having to wait for the numbing medication to take effect so the doctor could put the stitches in.
We ended our eventful afternoon with a trip to Baskin Robbins. Matt lost a tooth last night and we have a family tradition. When someone loses a tooth, we either get a milkshake or Baskin Robbins. Since we were in Geneva anyway, Baskin Robbins was the choice. Matt got a Reese's peanut butter cup cone, and life after stitches commenced.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

King Xerxes Had Issues

I'm really starting to wonder about the mindset of King Xerxes. First, he decides to show off the splendors of his kingdom and hold a banquet that lasts 7 days. Then, he gets upset when his wife decides not to come when he calls. I wonder if Queen Vashti was just ready for the party to be done and life to return to normal. What was the relationship between Xerxes and Vashti like before the days of showing off the kingdom and hosting an extravagant party? To top it all off, Xerxes decides to listen to his "advisors" and decrees that Vashti is never allowed to enter the presence of the king again. The man had issues.

As we get ready to tackle our second week of homework, the search for a new queen has begun. Before the candidates can enter King Xerxes presence they are to spend time under the care of Hegai. Beauty treatments are to be given. I'm all for taking care of ourselves, but this is just a little crazy, don't you think? The girl who pleases the king will be the new queen. So much for having a one-on-one chat with Vashti to see why she made the decision she did. King Xerxes just decided to move on. The man had issues.

Feel free to post throughout the week about your homework or the session at the end of our first week. We can learn so much from each other. I'll have another Esther post next Tuesday.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Thunderstorm And A Softball Tournament

I would love to be able to tell you that I handled the upheaval in my schedule with composure and grace. I would love to tell you that I have no trouble at all when an unexpected glitch comes my way. I would love to...but, I can't.
Rick's softball season comes to a close today with a double elimination tournament. As the commissioner of the league, he is trying to get this tournament completed while dodging raindrops and thunderstorms. I gotten a couple of phone calls from Rick asking for a weather update. "No problem, dear. There is a large mass of green and yellow on the radar and it happens to be right where you are. Not going away anytime soon, either." I was taking care of Abby and Matt, as well as my nieces, while these phone calls were taking place. No problem, the kids were able to play with their cousins. Due to the aforementioned green and yellow mass, there was no playing outside today though.
I decided to clean the kitchen and get lunch started. Toasted ravioli w/dipping sauce sounded good. I usually stick with sandwiches for lunch, but decided this would be a nice treat. I got the ravioli started and then my sister called to say she would be picking the girls up early. No problem, I completely understood. Now I had an oven full of food with only my children to feed. The dishwasher was loaded and running, and lunch was in the oven, when the power went out. Not a flicker and then comes right back on, out.
I noticed myself getting a little agitated, but I kept myself together. I called the electric company to report the outage and was told there were several outages throughout the area. The electric company was hoping to have power restored by 8 p.m. this evening. Didn't they realize that we had been grocery shopping just the night before last, and I had food in the fridge? It was 12:30 and I had things to do, thank you very much! Didn't they realize this was the day I needed to tackle Mt. Washmore, make a cake, and prepare for the Sunday school lesson? Ugh!
My sister and nieces had left. It was just me and my very bored, not sure what to do children. There schedule was turned around just as much as mine. I should have had compassion for them. I should have thanked God that the rain had cooled things off a bit, and that I was going to have some uninterrupted time with my children. Please forgive me, Jesus. I went to sleep. I told the kids to wake me if they needed me, and I slept for a little over an hour. So much for dealing with the situation like a grown-up.
The power is now back on. It was out for about an hour and a half. I am now ready to tackle the projects of today. Right after I go and apologize to Abby and Matt.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are You Listening To The Coach?

My family just returned from yet another soccer game. There are at least 5 games going on at one time on the various fields spanning the school property. As a spectator, it can sometimes to be difficult to distinguish which coach is shouting directions to his team, not to mention the constant blows of the whistle by the different referees. The players seem to have no trouble listening for, and recognizing their coach and responding to his leading. All this got me thinking about how, as Christians, the world can be filled with a hectic pace and lots of distractions. I want to be able to block out all that craziness, and listen to my coach, Jesus Christ. This is something I definitely need to work on. I need to spend some with Him, and let him do the leading. I want to be ready to say, "Put me in coach!"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Introduction to Esther

I have viewed the introductory session, and it's awesome! I'm excited to see what Christ calls each of us to do through this study. Let's pray that God will make himself known to us in amazing ways and press on to the next session. Hit the homework, and I'll post next Tuesday about session one. In the mean time, what are your three toughest things about being a woman?