Africa, analysis, Appalachian love, Change of view, Expectations, featured, inspirational, short stories, Soothing Rain, Tonya Jewel Blessing

The Poisoned Pot

Tonya Jewel Blessing

Elisha was a man of God who returned to Gilgal during a time of famine in that region.

He was not intimidated about traveling to a place where there was a lack of food. In fact, he may have viewed the dire circumstances of this region as an opportunity to see the hand of God move in a miraculous way.

I believe that he returned to Gilgal knowing there was a famine in the land.

While the Guild of Prophets were having a meal with him, he instructed his attendant, ‘Put a large pot on the fire and boil some stew for the Guild of Prophets.’ Somebody went out into the fields to grab some herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds, which he came and sliced up into the stew pot, but nobody else knew. When they served the men, they began  to eat the stew.  But they cried out, ‘That pot of  stew is deadly, you man of  God!’ So they couldn’t eat the stew. But he replied, ‘Bring me some flour.’ He tossed it into the pot and said, ‘Serve the people so they can eat.’ Then there was nothing harmful in the pot.”

-2 Kings 4:38-41 (ISV)

The name “Gilgal” means rolling or moving. God wanted to move or do something amazing in a desolating place.

When people are desperate, they do desperate things. The servant, who was given the task of feeding the prophets, knowingly gathered gourds from a wild vine. The original Hebrew text indicates that this vine was prolific. It produced seemingly great bounty. I have read reports of people, because of extreme hunger, eating dirt, straw or grass.

My husband and I watched a documentary a couple of years ago about a young man struggling to survive through the winter in a remote part of Alaska. When spring arrived, due to extreme hunger and desperation, he ate poisonous berries. Judgment is often impaired when people are destitute.

Food was scarce in Gilgal. It is interesting that the company of prophets instantly recognized their plight and looked to Elisha for help. Divinely inspired, he added flour to the stew, making it fit for consumption.

I believe we shouldn’t be afraid to visit places where there is famine and where people may lack good judgment because of it. We need to remember that desperate people may not have good judgment. We need to sense when there is trouble or “death in the pot.” When called upon for help, we need to rely on God for wisdom and direction, and what other people see as “waste” might be in our hands of ministry a means of provision. We should view the lack as an opportunity for God to do something amazing because of His sovereignty over everything, and because of His love.

 

  1. This story in 2 Kings is an unusual one. Reread it and write a summary of what happened in your own life.

 

  1. “When people are desperate, they do desperate things” Think of a time when you were desperate, or someone you know or have heard of was desperate. What irrational or unusual thing did you – or that person – do?

 

  1. God wants us to call on Him for provision. “When called upon for help, we need to rely on God for wisdom and direction.” This isn’t always our first thought in times of trouble. Consider a time when you were in need and called upon God for What happened?

 

  1. How can this story in 2 Kings be applied to our daily life? Write a “proverb” to help you remember the main point of this story.fe

 

Tonya Jewel Blessing has written the Big Creek Appalachian series: The Whispering of the Willows and The Melody of the Mulberries as well the Bible study guide, Soothing Rain. Each of these books ask in their own way, “What makes females different to males?”

Sue Summer wrote the questions for application throughout the Soothing Rain study. She is the expert at mediasavvykids.org/.

 

Soothing Rain is a devotional written by Tonya Blessing and Sue Summers
Big Creek Appalachian Series Book Two: THE MELODY OF THE MULBERRIES BOOK LAUNCH TOUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

breath of joy, captive audiences, Faith, featured, Kathy Joy, op-ed

The Silent Jab

By Kathy Joy
I’m engaged in a move from one house to another, and I realize that I am also attempting to embrace the silence of springtime.

Twittering birds and peeping peepers are the loudest consistent noises I hear as I am carrying boxes to my car. My mind goes to the quietness of my friends and family during this season. I walk my new puppy at my new house and I continue in the silence of springtime.

Good and bad things happen during quiet moments.

Everyday things happen in contemplative silences.

That being said, some of the most persuasive people I know are the quiet ones. Laura, one of my best friends in Pennsylvania, is not only a good listener – I’ll say this, she asks brief questions, and listens for the long, drawn-out, weepy responses – but she also uses her persuasion of love to help me through some of the most difficult moments of my life. She exerts her time, her muscle, her car, her ideas.

Quiet people are often a stabilizing influence in a world jangling with noise.

A Spanish proverb says it like this:

abre la boca solo si lo que vas a decir es más hermoso que el silencio
(“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than the silence.”)

Silence helps us understand ourselves. We can be fully present and connect with others. When we are stuck or confused, silence brings us little epiphanies. Silence can be a lifelong friend. But we need to pay attention to it. For some of us, solitude is water to a parched soul; we must have it. For others, solitude is too deep, too sad, too isolating. But it can be a shared place for hunkering down and listening.

Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence.
RACHEL NAOMI REMEN, AUTHOR
Silence is a patient friend. Waiting always, watching over your comings and your goings, hoping you will join the hush and wonder.

Here’s what happens during just one minute while you remain quiet:

  • 255 babies will be born
  • Your Heart will pump 83 Gallons Of Blood
  • A hummingbird will flap its wings 4,000 times
  • A single woman will move all her earthly belongings heavy, precious, difficult to look through, to another home, alone
  • 31,600 tons of water will flow over Niagara Falls
  • 1,800 stars will explode
  • A widow will be laying in a clinic, will be waiting for a doctor’s report and advice, will be looking at her bare toes and a pile of clothes
  • 4,500 McDonalds burgers will be eaten
  • UPS will deliver 11,319 packages
  • 243,000 photos will be uploaded to Facebook
  • Americans will Eat 21,000Slices of Pizza
  • 4,310 people will visit Amazon
  • Twitter users will send 347,222 tweets
  • Uber passengers will take 694 rides**

**Research from Pawan Patar www.https://artplusmarketing.com/

If this much happens inside the space of 60seconds, then maybe you can take a little break. It’s pretty obvious the world will keep churning if you step away from it. Take a pause for you.

  • Notice your own breathing.
  • Consider the hummingbird, who flaps and grabs the nectar.
  • Lift your hands in prayer to God.
  • Expect change in this moment and into the next.
  • Be the change for someone else…quietly.

We, too, can join that dance.

We, too, can taste the wonder and the sweetness and come back for more.

We, too, can rest a minute and enjoy the quiet.

Kathy Joy, Author of the children’s book Will You Hold My Story? Breath of Joy calendarial gift books
Old man walks away with his heavy stories from “Will You Hold My Story” by Kathy Joy
Click through to Amazon’s Learn More page here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RLV59WH/
Ages 4-8 Will You Hold My Story? Find Launch Activities Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/749089085979643
Find Singing Spring Gift Book A Breath of Joy here

Wednesday’s Christian eBooks

coming of age, featured, fourteen year old girl, interview, op-ed, short stories, Soothing Rain, Speak Wonder, The Whispering of the Willows, What makes females different to males?

Womb Cleansing?

By Tonya Jewel Blessing

When Chris and I first arrived in South Africa we stayed with some dear friends in the town of Rustenburg. Our friends were extremely hospitable. They opened their home to us like we were family, and were instrumental in helping us acquire a car, opening new bank accounts, purchasing cell phones, obtaining insurance, and accomplishing numerous other requirements needed to help us navigate our ministry transition to Africa.

A few days after we arrived, we went shopping in the center of their small town. A piece of luggage had been lost in our travels, and we were on a quest to purchase pants for Chris. The area we were in was nothing like anything I had ever seen in America, and I was curious about everything. Chris had to keep telling me to pay attention and to keep up with our friends who were guiding us.

I noticed signage on almost every street post that said, “Womb Cleansing.” I couldn’t help but stop and read what the posts were about. It didn’t take long for me to understand, even with somewhat of a language barrier, that the signs were advertisements for abortion clinics.

I understand that abortion is common in most parts of the world,  but I had never heard  of the procedure being called “womb cleansing.” The loss of life is heartbreaking to me, and if possible, my heart broke a little more when I realized the deceptiveness of the terminology being used. “As you know not what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 (KJV2000) Life is sacred. Only God understands how a baby grows in the womb of a mother.

I am always careful when I address the issue of abortion. Babies are harmed and so are the women who have made this difficult decision. I want to speak the truth about the taking of life, and I also want to be sensitive to women who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion.

As Christian women, individually and corporately, may we always stand for life: physical life and spiritual life, because God is an amazing God, who forms all things.

  1. Ecclesiastes 11:5 is a powerful Scripture. Rewrite this in your own words.

 

  1. This is a sensitive subject, but God Himself creates life. He alone maintains the right to life-giving and What was your reaction to the “womb cleansing” signs in South Africa?

 

  1. Focus on “the deceptiveness of the terminology” for the abortion Why does the wording matter?

 

  1. Abortion is a difficult topic to discuss with women. Think about how you would respond if someone mentions she has had an abortion, and write it here:

 

Tonya Jewel BlessingTonya Jewel Blessing has written the Big Creek Appalachian series: The Whispering of the Willows and The Melody of the Mulberries as well the Bible study guide, Soothing Rain.  Each of these books ask in their own way, “What makes females different to males?”

 

Sue Summer wrote the questions for application throughout the Soothing Rain study. She is the expert at mediasavvykids.org/.

Soothing Rain is a devotional written by Tonya Blessing and Sue Summers

Readers' Favorite Novel ISBN-13: 978-0997162547This is Capture Books’ best-selling American-gothic novel by a Golden Writer.A sequel is coming soon!

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Emie Ashby has been raised by an angry and repressed father since the end of WWI. Her mother cannot take the risk of defending her children. Instead, she turns a blind eye. In this way, she becomes part and parcel of the abuse of her daughters.
Emie enters into trouble times as Aunt Grace provides a way to possibly survive it. How does Emie navigate the road that lies before her with so many threats nipping at her heels?

New, 2019! Book Two, The Melody of the Mulberries
sends sixteen-year-old Coral Ashby in search of a Charleston prisoner. Charlie is being held for crimes committed against her family. Her family is not happy about this adventure, and Ernest is faced with dilemmas of the heart and duty.

 

Charmayne Hafen, featured, op-ed, Twilight

Video Reading for Journey to Twilight

CLICK the pictures

TO

WATCH

A

LIBRARIAN

READING

AN

EXCERPT

FROM

BOOK 1: JOURNEY TO TWILIGHT

(AGES 8-12 modern Celtic fantasy)

Land of Twilight Trilogy

Sample reading of Book 1: Journey to Twilight (fantasy) Ages 8-12  Click the picture above to watch a sample librarian reading!

 

Advice, Appalachian love, Be mine, Big Creek Appalachia, books recommended by librarians, chapter excerpt, Expectations, featured, getting the leftovers, Historic Fiction Novel Publicity, Marriage Issues, Melody of the Mulberries, op-ed, recommended by librarians, ritualistic firsts, Tonya Jewel Blessing, Valentine

Excerpt from a Shotgun Proposal