Book review: The Best of Zvi

 

I just finished reading one of the most incredible books I have probably ever read! I love biographies, especially those who are sharing the gospel message with the people around them. Over the years, I have read and collected many of these books. They have been so inspiring and so encouraging to me. But this book “The Best of Zvi” has to be one of the most powerful, inspiring, encouraging, challenging, uplifting books I have ever read! It is a book that I would encourage ever family to read. When the person who wrote the below review from Amazon said it will make you feel like you are out on the streets with Zvi, it is so true! You will feel as though you were standing right beside him through the entire book! What a man of Yahweh this man was!!! I would HIGHLY recommend this book!! If you haven’t had the blessed opportunity to read it, please do! You won’t regret it!

“When it comes to opportunities for sharing the gospel, God can do the impossible. He can open doors that we never knew existed. That’s what THE BEST OF ZVI is all about?it’s a collection of fascinating stories that vividly portray God’s ability to reach people in the most unexpected ways. Zvi has had countless spiritual encounters with his fellow Jewish people, along with Arabs and people from around the world. His reports have become a longtime favorite feature among readers of Israel My Glory magazine. So powerful and personal are Zvi’s accounts that you’ll feel as if you were walking the streets of Jerusalem yourself, carrying on conversations with people of all different backgrounds?in army camps, hospitals, religious schools, synagogues, workplaces, and even people’s homes. Time and again you’ll see the incredible variety of ways God’s Word can give an irrefutable answer to the objections people raise against the gospel message. THE BEST OF ZVI will leave you greatly inspired and encouraged as you see God’s infinite love, wisdom, and power in action!”

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P.s. Preparing Them For His Glory

As I was talking to my sister, she told me “you need to write that down and add it to your article”, so here it is. :o)

Over the years, I have noticed how Yahweh has worked in my own life. Some of you know my testimony, while others of you may not know it. But when I was younger, I was rebellious. I was extremely hard. I remember my mother crying and being at a total loss. I had a really strong personality, but it was strong in all the wrong ways.

Yes, ultimately, I needed Yahshua in my heart. But I also needed those “strengths” molded in the right direction, in order for them to later be used for His honor and glory. I call them strengths, because looking back at what I would have deemed as “utterly and totally sinful weaknesses”, I have realized that Yahweh created me with those, because He needed me to have them…but He needed them trained in righteousness.

Yes, I have a strong personality. I have been told that by numerous people. But Yahweh has also showed me how I needed that personality, for what He has called me to do. Serving in the ways that I have, has required that I be strong. I needed to be able to stand on my own two feet, to stand firmly upon His Word, or I would have never survived. But this also means that I have to be careful to be submissive, to surrender to His will, and to be careful to not be strong, when I need to be weak. It’s a balancing act. But nonetheless, it’s needful.

I share this in hopes that it will encourage you, precious sisters. When I said “those of us who are hard” in the last post, it was children like me, who I was talking about. Don’t lose hope. Don’t be filled with despair. There is a reason that Yahweh has created your child, with the personality that He has. He needs them to have that personality…but He needs it trained in righteousness and holiness. This is what makes the difference. Don’t try to make them into who He hasn’t created them to be. Help Him mold them in righteousness so that He can use that personality for His glory and honor. It will mean all the difference in the world. He sees the end of the story, from the beginning. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing, as much as we may not see the good in it, just yet. He doesn’t make mistakes…even in giving your child their personalities! :o) Just be in prayer in how to train it in righteousness and trust Him with the rest of the story.

Many blessings!

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Preparing Them For His Glory

What man is he that feareth Yahweh?

him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.”

Psalms 25:12

I mentioned in the last post that I would speak more about training children and the importance of us training them in the way that Yahweh has chosen for them. Precious Sisters, we have such an important role in our children’s lives. When Yahweh blesses us with little ones, we become partners with Him in their raising up and training. Just like we are partners with our husbands, we (our husbands and ourselves) are partners with Yahweh in the raising up and preparing of our children! They are His children…we are just partnering up with Him to carry out His will in their lives. But, so often I think we go about trying to carry out our own will in their lives, instead of His will.

Sisters, when Yahweh blesses us with children, they are eternal souls…souls to be trained to further His kingdom! We.can.not.accomplish.this.without.His.help! Nor can we do this without His leadership and guidance. He told us that He will teach us in the way that HE shall choose…but are we willing to follow Him and trust that He knows what He is doing?

Moms, this means a great deal of work and effort for you. Both of you, but especially you, because you play such a huge part in this, being with them day in and day out! You impact each detail of your child’s life. Each and every single detail! Are you accomplishing this with His help? Or are you trying to do this by your own strength? Are you seeking Him daily on their behalf?

I’ve shared so much over the years about my own mother’s prayers. She has been such an example of this! In a huge part, it was her unceasingly and unwavering prayers, that eventually made me surrender my life to Him! As I mentioned in an earlier post, the way she has raised me, even with just helping me live up to my name, in a huge part, has made me into the person that I am.

But what Yahweh has had me doing, has been really stretching, too. Yahweh has prepared me and has had me serving a lot differently than He has asked my other sisters to serve in. But both her and my precious father have sought to seek His will for each one of us, and even though that often means being flexible and molding each one of us a little bit differently, they have done and are doing a fantastic job (in my humble opinion! :o).

It has been a learning curve for all of us as we seek Yahweh’s will, but it has taught me so much about the importance of a parent’s role in seeking His will on the behalf of their child. Each of us (children and adults) play an important role. We were created differently, for different purposes.

It has really taught me how much each and every member of Yahweh’s family, is just that, a different member. He created us in His image, but He created us special, with special talents and special gifts…to be used for His glory and honor…and to further His Kingdom.

Sisters, do you grasp what this means? Your child is a gift…to bring Yahweh glory and honor…to further HIS kingdom! Your.child.sister! Your precious, little, one that He entrusted to your care!

But as I shared in the last post, this means that each one of your children, will be different. They will be called to different things. They will have different gifts, different abilities, and different talents. Will you allow Yahweh to use that child, how He longs to? Will you support Him in what He calls them to do and be? Will you partner up with Him, seeking His will and desire, and then carrying that out in their life? Will you help Him prepare them for the life He has ahead of them?

Sisters, I know it is hard. You will have the peacemakers, the leaders, the go-getters, the child with a voice…the list is endless. You will have some that are just naturally “easy going”, and then you will have those of us who are the “harder ones”. Will you help Yahweh train those weaknesses in your children, into strengths? There’s a reason that child has the make up that they do. Yahweh knew and knows what they will need. Yes, it means you making sure that it goes in right way. It can be trained, but it will take work. But He gave those traits to your child, because they will need them. But instead of being discouraged with those with stronger wills, versus those with easy going ones, embrace them and ask Him how to train them in the right way, so that they will be trained in the way that they should go.

Moms, help your children embrace Yahweh’s design for their lives. Help them carry out His will, His plan, and His purposes. I remember crying out one day (okay, a lot of days!) that I wish I could live a “normal life”. My life hasn’t been like my sisters lives in so many ways. Yahweh has prepared me for something different, because I’m a different member, and I needed to accept that, and not only accept it, but embrace it.

I remember my sister looking at me and telling me not to wish that Yahweh would give me a “normal” life. Yahweh created us to be different…for a special reason. I should strive to be all He has created me to be, not wish to be “normal”. He didn’t call us to be “normal” or even “average”.

And just because my life has taken a different turn from theirs, didn’t mean it was wrong, or of lesser value. It just meant that He had a different purpose and a different plan, at least at present, and I needed to embrace that.

I remember a few years ago, after Yahweh called me to walk down yet another road which resulted in losing a little girl that I loved dearly (she passed away from cancer at 4 years old), and my breaking down and crying. I told Mom I wished I didn’t love like I did. I hated how I would pour my life into someone, only to lose them in the end. The pain was too much. I felt like my heart was torn in two. This wasn’t the first person I had lost, nor the first child I have had to say “goodbye” to. And it hurt. It hurt a lot. But I remember her looking me in the eye and telling me “Samantha, don’t you ever stop loving like you do for fear of pain. Love will hurt. It’s part of life. But Yahweh has given you a special gift in that, don’t wish for something different. A lot of people wish they could love so easily, but find it is so much harder for them, than it is for you.” And I knew she was right. I loved serving people. I loved loving people. I knew deep down, although my heart was aching, it wasn’t something I truly wished. And I knew without a shadow of doubt, Yahweh was preparing me for something and this was part of the training that I needed to go through, as painful as it was. And she knew that, too.

For me, Yahweh has called me to a season of singleness for a much longer period than He has asked my sisters to walk out. He has also asked me to serve in different ways, too. To further His Kingdom in different ways. One day He may call me to marriage and to raise little ones for His glory…and I truly look forward to this with all my heart. But sisters, I share this only to show you that each one of your children will be different. He may have some get married and become wonderful wives and mothers when they are younger, but He may also have different work for them to accomplish for a bit longer, too. How will you react to His plan? Will you help them embrace it, or will you fight against it?

He may also bless you with sons. You may have sons who are carpenters, farmers, computer software engineer, truck driver, a mechanic, or even one who is called to minister, or is called to serve on the mission field. And you laugh, but my brothers and father are all one of the above, accept for the later one. Each one will have to be raised a bit differently, and will have different gifts, talents, and abilities, along with strengths and weaknesses. And that will mean that once again, you will have to be open to His leading and how He needs to prepare each one for His purpose and His plans.

Will you, as the Masters vessel and partners, fight against His will, or will you be there with them supporting them, encouraging them, and helping them become all He needs them to become? Will you help them not only become all He needs them to become, but will you also help them embrace His calling on their lives?

Sisters, I want to leave you with this one thought. You are training His children. They are His heritages. They’re not our own. Leave them in His hands and become the partners He has intended for you to be. Don’t try to make your child into who you want them to become, but who He needs them to become. This is when His will, needs to become our own will. And this will take prayer and a lot of it. Go down upon your knees and ask Him for His help. He is there to help you. He won’t leave you. He will give you the grace and the strength you need, for each and every step of the way. But remember this…He gives us the grace and strength for this step, for this moment. He doesn’t give us tomorrow’s grace and strength, today. He gives us what we need, in the moment that we need it. So don’t borrow on tomorrow’s worries. Cast your care upon Him, and He will carry you.

All my love and prayers.

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Thoughts on Psalms 25 – Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part, you can do so here.

12 What man is he that feareth Yahweh? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

That HE shalll choose…not us. It is those who fear Yahweh, who He will teach…because they are teachable. Are we willing to be taught His way and the way that He chooses for us? Realize that the way that He chooses, may not be the way that we would choose. Are we willing to follow the path that He has chosen for us?

Moms, are you willing to seek Yahweh on behalf of each of your children and seek what His will is for that child? It may be totally different than you ever thought…but that doesn’t make it wrong. It makes it different. Are you willing to follow the path that He has chosen to bring each of your children down? This has to be one of the hardest part of being a parent. I look at my fourteen siblings. Each one is so different and Yahweh has them doing different things. But this has really made me stop and realize that He created each and every single child, uniquely…because He has created them to serve Him uniquely, too.

This means they may learn differently. He may have them (and very likely will have them) doing something totally different from the other. Are you willing to seek Him on behalf of that child and what His purposes and goals are for that child?

Yes, this will mean being stretched.a.lot! But that isn’t a bad thing. Hard, maybe. Hard, very likely. :o) But not bad.

And just like I believe we need to seek Yahweh on behalf of our children and be willing to allow Him to lead them differently and prepare them for different things, Girls, we need to realize that our husbands will also be different. Don’t expect your husband to be like your sisters husband or even like your father (for each were created for a unique purpose and a unique job). Yahweh has created each of us differently and for different purposes. We need to be open and embrace His plan for our lives…and that means we need to be open and embrace His plan for their lives, too. Don’t try to be a cookie cutter or to fit others into a cookie cutter mold. This doesn’t mean that we live unholy lives or embrace unrighteousness. This means we are open to others being different and being called differently. I hope you realize the difference. We are all members of one body…but we are all different members. This means your father may be a voice, but your husband may be a foot. Your one son may be an arm, and the other may be the lung. You see what I mean? Each are created for different purposes, and this means we shouldn’t try to force them to act the same…and it means that we need to embrace who Yahweh created them to be.

Again, Sisters, especially those of you with young children, I would earnestly entreat you to pray unceasingly that Yahweh would show you who your child is and how you can help Him prepare them for what He has them doing. More on this subject later. :o)

13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

It’s this man who trust and fears Yahweh, whose soul can dwell at ease…not the one who is stiffnecked and unrelenting…the one who is trying to control Him. We have to be submissive. We have to yield to His will. And then we will see the blessings that come from that!

14 The secret of Yahweh is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

The secret of Yahweh is with them that fear Him…and He will shew them…the ones who fear Him…His covenant! That is such a beautiful verse!

15 Mine eyes are ever toward Yahweh; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Mine eyes are EVER towards Yahweh! He SHALL pluck my feet out of the net! When we stumble and when we fall…He’s there to pick us up again and plant us back on solid ground again…talk about a forgiving God! And what a beautiful picture for each of us!!

16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

Turn unto me and have mercy upon me…do we even believe we need mercy? Or do we think we “have it all together”? How often do we fall into this sin of thinking we’re alright? Oh, Yahweh, may we never get to a place where we are content in our state of sinfulness! Help us ever be turning our eyes upon you, learning to follow you each and every step of the way! Keep us humble and true…to YOU!

17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

When the troubles of our hearts are enlarged, do we cry that He will bring us out of this distress, or do we prefer to stay within this state of mind (or heart)? How I pray that we will be like David, never content in our sin, ever crying out to Yahweh for help, mercy, and forgiveness…for God only knows how much each of us needs it!

18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Again we see David praying that Yahweh will forgive ALL of his sins…is this our constant prayer? Oh, may it be the cry of our hearts!

19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

Oh, yes, Yahweh! Keep our SOULS! Ha’Satan is out to kill and destroy us! Let us not be ashamed, for we have put our trust within You! Deliver us and keep us day by day! Show us the way that he is out to destroy us…help us ever be alert…and when he tries to get us to doubt, keep our hearts ever trustful, ever leaning upon your strength. When our enemies turn upon us with cruel hatred, like your Son, help us pray “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Help us to pray for them and love them with an everlasting love. Your love. And help us remember that they were once us. That was us not too long ago.

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me…for I wait on thee. Wow. Talk about powerful.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

I had to smile. When I read this, I had to just smile. We first must turn inward, and this Psalm does just that. It really shows us who we really are. What our true colors are, so-to-speak. It makes us, or atleast made me really think about my own life and how desperately I need His love, mercy and forgiveness and how totally undeserving I am of it, but how thankful nonetheless I am for it! But it doesn’t end with us…it ends with a prayer for Israel…David ends his prayer to Yahweh with praying that He would redeem Israel out of ALL his troubles. Not just physical, but this includes spiritual trouble, too. What an example David has left for us here within this chapter!!

Now can you see why I said it made me really stop and think about it? Now do you see why it is such a powerful passage? I don’t think I will ever quite sing this song in the same manner ever again! It is so powerful, so full of meaning! We do serve an amazing God!

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Thoughts on Psalms 25 – Part 1

Have you ever read a passage of scripture and had it jump off the pages at you? Last night was one of those times for me. I don’t know why, as many times as I have sung this passage and read it, it just really blessed me last night as I read it, and I wanted to share it with you today. It’s such a powerful, powerful, passage.

Psalms 25:1-22

1 A Psalm of David. Unto thee, Yahweh, do I lift up my soul.

Unto THEE Yahweh, do I lift up my soul. Do we lift up our soul to Yahweh? Do we lay it bare before Him? Are we truly honest with Him? Or do we try to present ourselves as better than we really are?

2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

I trust in thee…let me not be ashamed…let not my enemies triumph over me! WOW! It reminded me how much I need to be on my knees in prayer that Ha’Satan and his servants would not triumph over my life…and how easily it is for him to do just this, when I take my eyes off of my Maker and when I start to doubt Him, instead of trust in Him and His plan for my life. But it also made me realize how I need to daily be in prayer over this area of my life…that Yahweh would not let him gain one ounce of my life…but that in all I do, think, and say, it would bring Yahweh glory and honor, not Ha’Satan!

3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Let none that wait on thee be ashamed. Although Ha’Satan would like to convince us that waiting on our God will bring us nothing but shame, we know differently! It’s those that transgress His law, that are brought to shame. Oh, Yahweh, help me live my life according to your Law and keep trusting You…no matter what!

4 Shew me thy ways, Yahweh; teach me thy paths.

Shew me THY way, teach me THY paths! Not anothers. But Yours and Yours alone!

5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Lead me in THY truth…teach me…thou ART the God of MY salvation…on THEE do I wait ALL the day (not some of it, but all of it!).

6 Remember, Yahweh, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Remember, Yahweh, THY tender mercies and THY lovingkindnesses…have you ever thought about His tender mercies and lovingkindnesses and how much we need them? Day in and day out?

7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, Yahweh.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions…according to thy mercy remember thou me…we don’t deserve His mercy, but it is such a gift! No matter how hard we may try, we do and will fall. No matter how hard we try, we fall short of His glory…but that’s when His mercy, grace, love and forgiveness comes in and how thankful I am for them!

8 Good and upright is Yahweh: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

He IS good and upright…and our prayer shouldn’t be that He would have no mercy on the sinner, but that He would teach sinners His way, His love, His grace, and His forgiveness. This should be our constant prayer. And we should extend the same love and forgiveness to others, knowing that we are just as undeserving of them, as they are. And this starts in the way that we think of others.

9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

It’s the meek that He can guide and teach His way. Are we meek? For if we aren’t, we will not be teachable. Are we meek? Are we humble? Do we consider as someone lower than someone else? Or do we think of ourselves as someone better? Someone who isn’t quite “that” bad? We need to be humble and seek our God. Then, and only then, can He guide, teach, and lead us in His way.

10 All the paths of Yahweh are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

ALL the paths of Yahweh are mercy and truth to those who keep His covenant and testimonies. Not some, but ALL. He hasn’t commanded something that wasn’t truth and wasn’t merciful. Do we truly believer this? This means that not only some of His laws were meant for our good…but ALL of them were! Do we honestly believe this? Do we truly embrace this? Or do we fight against it and try to find ways that we don’t have to obey them?

11 For thy name’s sake, Yahweh, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Pardon MINE iniquity; for it is GREAT. Do we honestly look at our own sin this way? Or just the sin that others commit? How do we view our own sin? And do we humbly ask Yahweh to forgive us and have mercy upon us? It reminds me of putting others first. Sisters, we should view ourselves as not better than the next person down the road, but worse, and in need of more mercy and forgiveness, not less. When we start viewing ourselves as more righteous and our sin less unholy than theirs, we are in a seriously sad state of being. Yahweh never said this sin was worse or better than another. It is ALL sin…which means we ALL fall short of His glory. It doesn’t mean that we stop trying, but it does mean that we need to be merciful, loving, and forgiving…the same way that we would want to receive mercy, love and forgiveness.

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P.s. Preparing Them For His Glory

As I was talking to my sister about this article, she told me “you need to write that down and add it to your article”, so here it is. :o)

Over the years, I have noticed how Yahweh has worked in my own life. Some of you know my testimony, while others of you may not know it. But when I was younger, I was very rebellious. I was extremely hard. I remember my mother crying and being at a total loss. I had a really strong personality, but it was strong in all the wrong ways.

Yes, ultimately, I needed Yahshua in my heart. But I also needed those “strengths” molded in the right direction, in order for them to later be used for His honor and glory. I call them strengths, because looking back at what I would have deemed as “utterly and totally sinful weaknesses”, I have realized that Yahweh created me with those, because He needed me to have them…but He needed them trained in righteousness.

Yes, I have a strong personality. I have been told that by many people. But Yahweh has also showed me how I needed that personality, for what He has called me to do. Serving in the ways that I have, has required that I be strong. I needed to be able to stand on my own two feet, to stand firmly upon His Word, or I would have never survived. But this also means that I have to be careful to be submissive, to surrender to His will, and to be careful to not be strong, when I needed to be weak. It’s a balancing act. But nonetheless, it is needful.

I share this in hopes that it will encourage you, precious sisters. When I said “those of us who are hard” in the last post, it was children like me, who I was talking about. Don’t lose hope. Don’t be filled with dispair. There is a reason that Yahweh has created your child, with the personality that He has. He needs them to have that personality…but He needs it trained in righteousness and holiness. This is what makes the difference. Don’t try to make them into who He hasn’t created them to be. Help Him mold them in righteousness so that He can use that personality for His glory and honor. It will mean all the difference in the world. He sees the end of the story, from the beginning. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing, as much as we may not see the good in it, just yet. He doesn’t make mistakes…even in giving your child their personalities! :o) Just be in prayer in how to train it in righteousness and trust Him with the rest of the story.

Posted in Family, Godly Daughterhood, Intentional Living, Parent/Child Relationship, Preparing for Marriage, Serving Yahweh, Training Children, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Sewing Alterations – Cutting Down a Turtleneck Collar

Over the years, I have been asked a lot about how I change and alter my clothes, and how I design patterns. I am by far NOT the expert at such things, but I did want to share with you how my sisters and I do this, in case you are also one of those people who are trying to figure this out! :o) We have learned this more or less by trial and error, so I can’t tell you this is the “best” way of doing it, but it is how we have learned to do it, nonetheless. :o)

The first post I wanted to do,  is on how to change a “turtleneck” collar, into a regular neck collar. I don’t know about you, but I have never enjoyed feeling like I was being strangled! Especially in the summer months…but really…it doesn’t really matter what time of the year it is. I’ve never really enjoyed that feeling of something tight against my throat. So, how can I change shirts I like, with this type of collar on them?

Simple…cut them down! :o) The first thing to remember with sewing these are, knits will NOT shred! This means you do not have to “finish” these seams.

I forgot to get a picture of it before I pinned it, so I pulled it up so that you could see what I was talking about. It was a pretty long neck.
 photo blue shirt1.jpg

What you want to do is now is to fold the neck down inside your shirt, then pin at the desired height. Like this:
 photo blue shirt3.jpg

The next step is to sew it in place, which I like to do on a seam which is already there, so it isn’t so obvious that there is more than one “seam”.
 photo blue shirt4.jpg

Finally, you need to cut the extra off. Be careful to NOT cut the shirt…what I prefer to do is to now pull the neck back out and then hold my hand between the shirt and the collar. This prevents you accidentally snipping the shirt while cutting down the neck.
 photo blue shirt5.jpg

And viola! Your shirt is finished!
 photo blue shirt6.jpg
Making  photo blue shirt7.jpg

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The Value and Meaning Of a Name

As I was thinking about the “Feasting on the Fruits” series that I am writing for SSM (Shining Stars Magazine), and I couldn’t help but smile. I was now on the fruit “Joy”…my middle name. Which brought my mind back through the years and everything that my name meant. You see, ever since I was young, my precious Mama would tell me, “Samantha, always live your name out!”. I heard the meaning of my name over and over again, and I can honestly say, it had such a huge impact on my life!!

Today I would like to share that testimony with you. Names do have meaning and they do impact a child’s life for eternity! :o)

When I was younger (and some of you can attest to this quite well!! ;o)) I talked non-stop. I mean, my oldest brother once looked at me and decided to see if I could not talk for five minutes and so the contest began…who was right, my oldest brother that I couldn’t make it? Or myself who thought “sure I can!” Well…um….it wasn’t me. :o/ I didn’t even make it a couple of minutes! He laughed and still teases me about that contest from time to time!

But all through my childhood, Mama would tell me from time to time what my name meant. She would always encourage me to live up to that meaning.

A joyful listener to the nation”

Samantha – listener

Joy – joyful

La – the

Goy – nation

If I began to talk too much, she’d remind me of what “Samantha” meant. If I was struggling with having “Joy” in my life, she’d remind me of my middle name (and if I was really joyful, again, she would smile and tell me I was living out my name and was such a joy!). As I became older and started reaching out to people, she’d smile and remind me of what my whole name meant. Needless to say, it had such a huge impact on my life. It shaped my life in more ways than one. Listen first, talk second…and be joyful when Yahweh blesses me with someone who needs a listening ear.

It reminded me of when I went through “Finding Your Life Purpose” (I think that’s what it was called). I more or less used that small workbook as a guideline to get me going, but then just went with what I felt Yahweh telling me to do. As I wrote what He had me doing (and thus preparing me for) all through my life, what I was passionate about, etc…I realized it came down to a couple of words, but really two-word would do it. “Helping one heart and soul at a time” (or put simply into two words…”helping people”). It’s what I love doing and I can see looking back, it was indeed what He had been preparing me to do since I was a young girl! But I think it really began, back when my parents named me “Samantha Joy LaGoy” (A joyful listener to the nation). Yes, Yahweh has been preparing me my whole life so that I could do just that…but I think it started back with the name He had them name me and the impact He knew that name would have in shaping my life.

So let me ask you…what does your name mean? Mom’s, do you realize the impact the names have that you give your children? Do you name them just because it “sounds pretty”, or because of the powerful meaning behind that name that you want your child to live up to? All throughout scripture we can see how the parents named their children, because that name had a specific meaning. (Genesis 30 is one example out of many). I am here to testify, the name you give your child will have (or could have with your help!) such an impact on their spiritual life! So I’d really encourage you to really pray over what name He would like you both to name that little bundle of joy He has just blessed you with. What is it that He wants that child to accomplish? What meaning does He want that child’s name to have? Name your little ones with purpose and watch what happens. :o)

Here is a site I came across, that you may enjoy. http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/biblical

Posted in Godly Daughterhood, Intentional Living, Training Children | 6 Comments

Prayer requests for Pastor Saeed and the Naugler Family…

Hello my sisters!

I wanted to bring a few prayer requests to y’all’s attention. It is important that we pray for these children of God and that we reach out to the poor and needy instead of simply sitting by. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. I think about that verse when I think about praying for people in need.

Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, was arrested while in Iraq visiting family and trying to finish setting up an orphanage. He has been separated from his wife and two children, Jacob and Rebekah, for three years. Muslims are giving hostile demands that he recant his belief in Yahweh and covert to Muslim (saying that it is the only way to “freedom”. He’s suffering from constant beatings and threats and having fellow prisoners dragged off to execution, “…These threats coupled with the fact that there have been mass executions during the last week in Rajayee Shahr prison, have really taken their toll on Saeed. He asks for prayer for continued strength.” Read more of his story and updates here.

As we pray for Saeed, lets remember to pray for all the other believers in Yahweh around the world. Pray for them, the seeds for Yahweh’s kingdom that they’ve planted, and their persecutors.

 

My mom and I were talking a few mornings ago and a family in need of help was brought to my attention.

 photo cropped-Family-.jpgThe Naugler family are a family of twelve, who live on their homestead, in rural KY. Joe and Nicole need prayer as their ten children have been separated from them, due to an anonymous complaint filed against them. They are set to go to court on Monday and Tuesday. The sheriff who removed the Naugler’s two oldest sons has already gotten the judge to sign a petition to separate the children from their parents. They have not even gone to court yet.  Please lift them up in prayer that the injustice done against them and the child-stealing would stop. Pray for the family as they are separated in four different homes in four different counties that Yahweh would please give them the comfort and strength that they need. Those dear little ones being separated from mommy and daddy must be so scared. They have set up site with personal updates from the family and friends as well as a fund for the family here and WND did a report about them here. Please keep them in your prayers as well as the other families who have gotten their children wrongfully taken away…it is surprising to me how many people have had their children removed for ridiculous and insufficient reasons…and I don’t know more than a sand size of them! Oh, Yahweh our Father in heaven, have mercy.

“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” -Proverbs 31:8-9

It is very important to pray for our brothers and sisters and to help the poor and needy. Lift them up with prayers and encouragement, and lend a helping hand wherever we are able.

Blessings,
Sarah

 

Posted in Godly Daughterhood | 2 Comments

Lower back pain, a bed, and a solution :o)

 photo bedroom.jpg

About a month or so ago when I arrived back home again (I had been away serving an older couple for about a month), I once again faced a dilemma. I had been talking to mama about it, as I had once again been struggling with lower back pain…to the point that I dreaded going to bed. I had figured out from the different trips I’ve taken, that when I slept on a VERY firm mattress, that my lower back pain pretty much disappeared, if not altogether. This seemed to be where I was having the biggest problem with my back, but the question was, what do I do about it? We had tried a few different types of mattresses, but it never seemed to work for very long. We would buy a firmer mattress, only for it start “sagging” and not give me the support that I needed with time. The children had even played mattress swap with me, but nothing seemed to work. Like I told my precious mama, “you aren’t supposed to dread going to bed”. But I knew within time during the night, I’d wake in pain, once again…and that doesn’t make for wanting to go there again. :o) Some mornings, like after a long trip, I would want to sleep in a little bit, but the pain would be too intense to want to stay in bed for very long. Something had to give, but what?

Mom had mentioned that maybe I should try sleeping without my mattress…maybe put sleeping bags on my box spring or something, and see if that would help. We had already tried putting the mattress on the floor to see if that was the cause of it not being supportive enough for my back. But after looking at the box spring, I knew that wasn’t going to help, as my box spring had these boards going across it and I knew those boards would be um…not the most comfortable in the world! :o)

So as we were going back and forth with ideas, I ended up taking a walk with my sister (who was on the phone) and was telling her what was going on and asked if she had any ideas? She mentioned just putting the sleeping bags on the floor and sleeping on the floor! Viola! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?!

So I came home and out went my mattress. The first night I didn’t quite have enough “patting”, so I added a sleeping bag, totally the number to 2 that I was sleeping on (making it up just like a bed with sheets and blankets on top). This was the “perfect” amount for me…it gave me the support I needed, but also gave just enough cushion for comfort (I did play around with 3 just to see, and it was too much). I slept like a baby and woke pain-free!

My brother-in-law teasingly, after asking for an update on how “sleeping on the floor” was going a few days later, told me that I should write an article about it in a week or so. I laughed, but after nearly a month, I decided if I have found so much help from sleeping on the floor, maybe someone else was in my place too, who was struggling with back pain and trying to find a solution to the problem…but was coming up empty!

I know this post will probably strike a lot of people as being funny…I mean…sleep on the floor in the 21st century?!  But, seriously, I can not tell you how blessed I have been from changing just this one area of my life! My back pain is pretty much non-existent! I sleep so soundly, and wake feeling so refreshed! Yes, it may be against the “culture”, but honestly, I wouldn’t go back if I could at all help it! I have also found that my posture is so much better. I didn’t expect “this”, but I found within a couple of days, that slouching was not at all comfortable anymore! I found myself wanting to sit up straight and being totally uncomfortable in chairs that didn’t allow this. Was this because I was able to be in such good alignment through the night? I asked a friend who had also been sleeping on the floor, and she said she noticed the same thing! So it wasn’t just “me”. :o) And sure enough, a lot of people who are now learning about the benefits of sleeping on the floor, are saying the same thing! It helps with posture, it helps with circulation, and it really helps with neck and back pain (which I can certainly testify to!).

So my sisters, try it! You may really surprise yourself with how much this “little” change may bless your life! And really, could it cost any less for such a benefit? No fancy and very costly mattresses. Just the floor, a couple sleeping bags (or mat), and your regular bedding! That’s what I call affordable…not only to the bank account, but for your health, too! So before you laugh, give it a try! :o)

Posted in Choices, Health | 1 Comment