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Archive for the ‘Treasures from the Word’ Category

The Scent of LIFE!

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Anna finished pounding the herbs and spices for her mother. Mama was making sachets with dried myrrh.  Myrrh was one of Anna’s favorites!  It smelled so good! She couldn’t understand, though, why adults wasted it on the dead!  Mama had told her it was to hide the smell of decay and death during the mourning time.  Anna supposed she would understand those mysteries when she grew up–for now she was content to learn about the plants and their healing properties. And their wonderful smells!

She had learned the hard way that myrrh might smell good–but it tasted awful! So bitter! Her mouth puckered at the memory of it. Sayura had told her it would keep her well when everyone was sick last winter. Anna didn’t wait for her mother’s instructions, thinking she knew just what to do. Well! it tasted so bitter she vowed to always wait for Mama’s instruction from then on!

She couldn’t quite decide how to describe its smell. Sweet…balmy…musky…like a warm summer day in the forest.

Different spices and herbs had different ways of releasing their flavor, fragrance or healing properties. Some simply needed the container holding them to be opened or broken.  Others would be heated, like incense, with the aroma helping to lift spirits or bring healing fragrance. Spices such as the cloves she had just finished pounding needed crushed to bring out their aroma and flavor.

“You may put the powdered cloves in that jar, Anna, then please put the rest of the myrrh powder into those sachets for me.  I am taking some of these to Salome and Mary Magdalene.  I need to get them there before sundown and the Sabbath begins.  If you have two of those sachets done before Eliana comes, give them to her. They are fighting sickness there.”

“Yes, Mama.  Why do Salome and Mary Magdalene want the myrrh?”

Mama looked at her young daughter.  How much should she say?  With a heavy heart she replied, “A loved one has died, Anna.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!  Please tell them my prayers are with them.”

“I will. Thank you, Anna, ” said Mama as she left.

Later, as they gathered for the Sabbath, everyone was quite solemn. The events of the day had been strange and tragic. The revered Rabbi, Jesus, had been crucified. Anna could hardly comprehend the cruelty of men!  What had He done that was worthy of death?  The world seemed extra dark that night. Even the Shabbat candles Mama lit didn’t seem to penetrate the awful darkness….

As Mama tucked her in and blessed her, she asked the question that had been on her mind. “Mama?”

“Yes, Daughter?”

“Why did Master Nicodemus bring so much myrrh and aloes to the grave?”

“Papa says that is the way to show respect   Master Nicodemus highly respected Rabbi Jesus. As did we all!”  Mama took a deep breath.

“Why did God allow this to happen?” cried Anna.

Mama stroked her hair as she pulled her close and let her cry. “Little One, many times we do not fully understand the ways of God.  That is why He is God and we are not!  But we can know that He is able to bring good out of–”  she broke off briefly– “out of even this.”

Her own tears found their way down  her cheeks.  She had asked those same questions! Oh, the wickedness of pride and anger! Rabbi Jesus was so meek…so mild…why this jealousy and injustice…

“Mama?”  Anna’s own sobs had subsided.

“Yes, Anna?”

“Since Master Nicodemus brought so much myrrh and aloes, will Salome and Mary Magdalene still need the myrrh you took to them today?”

“Yes, my Little One.  They will go to the grave after the Sabbath to add their spices to what Master Nicodemus and Master Joseph have already brought.”

“Because they respected Him, too?”

“Because they loved Him…as we all did.”  Tears flowed freely now.


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Anna awoke to commotion. She tried to figure out why there was something going on when it was still dark–was it a robber?  She listened and realized no, it wasn’t a robber…she thew off her blanket and ran over to peer down the ladder at the cooking area…Papa was excitedly saying something to Mama and it looked like he was putting on his coat and rushing off.

Throwing her own robe about her, she hurried down the ladder.

“Mama!  What is it?!”

“Oh, Anna!  Mary and Salome have been to the garden, where Rabbi Jesus was taken for His burial, and the most amazing thing has happened!”  Mama’s eyes were wide with wonder and amazement.

“What?!  What Mama?!”  Anna’s own heart started beating faster with the anticipation.

“They say that Rabbi Jesus has risen from the dead! He appeared to Mary!”

Anna stared at her mother in shock! Could this be true?!  She knew her own mama was not given to foolish tales like the gossiping women. But this seemed so–so–


“Yes, Daughter! Yes!  Papa has gone to see the disciples to learn more!”

Anna knew there would be no more sleep! She went over to the part of their home that housed the animals and milked the goat, then she helped her mother prepare food, for surely Papa would be hungry when he came home!

It seemed to Anna to be forever, but later that morning Papa came home. The light in his eyes said it all–wonder, amazement, joy!

“I have spoken to the disciples–many have seen Him! It is true, Naomi, it is true!  He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!”

“Praise be to God!”  Mama said.

“Naomi–this proves what Rabbi Jesus said was true–He truly is the Son of God!”

“Papa!  Mama!”  Anna’s eyes were wide with her own wonder.

“What is it, Child?” Papa asked.

“I was just thinking of the Psalm which says that His garments shall smell of myrrh, aloes and cassia!*  All that myrrh…instead of covering the smell of death for Rabbi Jesus, it is the smell of healing–of life! The myrrh that Master Nicodemus anointed Him with was just a picture, like you teach us, right Papa?!”

Papa smiled.  “Yes, yes dear Anna!  He has made peace with God for us! He truly is the Anointed One!”


*Psalm 45:8




Note:  Herb and spice information in this story is for informational purposes only.


Don’t Stop the Blessing!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Sorry for the long silence!  It’s been busy, as you can imagine, especially since I am preparing for T-Tapp trainer certifications coming up in two weeks!


For those of you who purchased the 4 weeks of the Advent Study, I do intend to finish the last two weeks shortly.  Just didn’t want you to think you were forgotten!



This morning as I was reading in 2 Samuel 6, something that I’ve noticed before came up in a new light.  In this chapter, David is rejoicing and dancing before the ark as they bring it to Jerusalem.


Verse 15:


And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.



Now before we get too harsh with Michal, let’s look at some things that had happened.



Her own father “used” her to be a “snare” to David–whom at one time she truly loved.



And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David:  and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.  And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him…..

~1 Samuel 18:20-21



Thanks, Dad!  :p



Then in 1 Samuel 19:17, King Saul has the audacity to say,



Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped?





I don’t condone Michal’s lying, but her father certainly put her in a hard spot!



Then when David had to flee for his life, King Saul does this:



But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

~1 Samuel 25:44



So this poor woman had been used by her father to try to kill David, accused of deceiving her father (which she was backed into doing by his madness–again, I don’t necessarily condone her actions, but let’s face it–we don’t always trust God, either!), then she is given to another man.



Who knows whether she felt anything for this man or not, or whether she still loved David….it didn’t matter.  She was just something to be used for her father’s “vengeance”.   Then as if that isn’t enough:



And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.  And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.

~2 Samuel 3:14-16



From this passage it seems as if Phaltiel has some feelings for her.  And by now she is probably tired of being jerked around like a piece of furniture.  Or maybe she does still have feelings for David.  Or maybe she doesn’t really relish the thought of going from being one man’s wife to being one of many of another man.  We don’t know, but put yourself in her place.



On one hand, we almost feel sorry for her and don’t blame her one bit for her reaction.  Her father is dead, her husband has taken other wives, and things just have not turned out the way she thought they would.



Ever been there?



Perhaps you knew God’s plan and purpose for your life.  You were excited to see how it would unfold!   But then people backed you into a corner and you made a few unwise decisions.   Perhaps they accused you.   Then they used you.   And when you’re just getting used to the “new normal” of things, you get jerked around again.



Then of all things, someone you think is responsible for all your pain is actually rejoicing and worshiping God in a way you don’t think appropriate, and all the bitterness and anger come out in a despising thought in your heart.


You nurse that thought until it grows….then when that person comes into your life, you just can’t hold it in any more.  After all, you are right!



You spew out ugly, self-righteous words.



And you stop the blessing cold.



Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

~2 Samuel 6:20



She couldn’t wait to mock him (“came out to meet David”).



He was coming to bless his household.



I wonder, ladies, how many times our husbands are wanting to bless our households, and instead we meet them with expectations, especially maybe of the type of spiritual leader he’s supposed to be!


Look at him! He’s supposed to be dignified and regal, and instead he looks like one of those base fellows!  Jumping and dancing as if he’s at a party!  Honestly!  Doesn’t he know that’s not the way to worship God?!



Perhaps if I put it this way,


Look at him!  He’s supposed to be our spiritual leader!  But he doesn’t have a consistent quiet time every day, I never see him studying things out, and I don’t think he prays.  He’s always Mr. Fun Guy with the kids, but how in the world are the boys ever going to learn responsibility?!  Doesn’t he know that’s not the way to lead our family?






Ladies, I caution you to examine your hearts.   I have one more post on Relationships that I hope to post in the next week, and one thing it will focus on is our penchant for “being right”.  Being right is not the goal.



Being righteous is.



And sometimes, being righteous is shutting our mouths and letting God deal with things.


Nowhere is that harder than in a husband/wife relationship.   We don’t like the way God’s “purpose” has worked out.  We’ve been hurt (even the best of husbands is still a sinner and likely to disappoint you in some way.  Just remember you also are a sinner and you are likely to disappoint him sometimes, too!)   We feel justified in nursing that bitterness.


And one day we cross the line to despising.



Then to saying something cutting.



Please don’t do it.



Because if you see the end result, it’s just not worth it.



Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

2 Samuel 6:23



No fruit.  No life.



Just barrenness.



If you persist in being right and making sure you get your point across, whether to a loved one within your family, a friend or even an enemy, you will invite barrenness into your spiritual life.




God takes honor very seriously.   We don’t always know what He is up to.  Sometimes we think we have things “all figured out” and expect Him to work in certain ways.  But just as you will read in 2 Samuel 5:19-25, God often works in a myriad of ways, and often not what we were expecting (Jericho, anyone?!).



What will be our response?



To despise, mock, “be right”?



Or to trust, honor, and rest in His plan?



I don’t want to be barren and unfruitful in my life.  I want Him to be able to use me, bless others through me, and be a light shining and pointing to the Savior.



So I choose honor.  I choose to NOT hinder the blessing.  And I sure choose to NOT bring a curse on myself by my foolishness in hanging onto my hurts and bitternesses!



I choose LIFE and BLESSING!