Wife of Herod’s Steward

The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. (Luke 8:1-3)

 

My dad, siblings, and I were reading this passage together in Luke one morning in the car while driving to someplace. Often when we are together in the car, we read Scripture together if it’s a longer trip. After reading this chapter, I learned such exciting new things that right then in the car, I decided this would become a blog post.

It was interesting how the Lord had the 12 disciples with Him, but also the involvement of the women in the ministry of Jesus was precious and important. There were quite a few ladies who were part of the entourage. 

When we read names in the Bible, we tend to just skim over them hastily and think something like oh yeah, there was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, and so forth. Most of us don’t stop to think twice about the detail that this Joanna was the wife of a certain Chuza. And why does the Bible mention he was Herod’s steward? 

If we dig a little deeper we’ll find some interesting things we never thought about before! 

First, the name Joanna. What does it mean? God is Gracious, or Jehovah is a gracious giver. 

Now let’s take a look at Chuza her husband. His name means the seer. And a steward is one who is a curator, guardian, manager of household or lands. So Chuza held a very high position! And in none other than Herod the tetrarch’s household. It was that Herod who wanted to have Jesus murdered as an infant, and ordered the killing of all the male children from 2 years and under (Matthew 2:16). Stop and think about that for awhile! 

So just imagine how it must have been that Joanna, the wife of Herod’s trusted manager, was a follower of Jesus and His ministry! How interesting that God had His children in positions in the household of the evil and wicked Herod. And so Chuza was the manager of Herod’s properties while his wife was serving in Jesus’ ministry and probably had enough financial ability to supply different things for the ministry. Jesus never told Chuza and His wife to leave their position in Herod’s household.

When we read the Bible we almost have the tendency to think of people and events so separately and woodenly, yet there were so many connections between people and circumstances during that time- it is quite amazing when you discover them! 

Now whenever you read this passage you will remember this background information about Joanna and her husband Chuza. 

Youtube Channels We Enjoy PART 1

My family and I don’t watch TV, but we’re well informed about all the topics and trends that take place in society.  We discuss everything together, we have a variety of news sources we access, and we research anything from DIY to art and science on the web, in books and such. 

Did you know, entertainment is not a concept in the Bible? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we should have fun or entertain ourselves. Of course that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy ourselves- but it is wise if we use our time for relaxing and enjoyment with things that are useful, constructive and honor the Lord, keeping in mind the verse

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Phil 4:8)

Therefore, we enjoy youtube because there is a wide, wide variety of topics on there, and you can be really selective with what you watch and at the same time cultivate a lot of new knowledge and enjoy yourself! 

Our Favorite Youtube Channels For Adults and Children

Laura Vitale Kitchen Italian American youtube cook. Her husband films and she is the cook. She has a unique down to earth way of doing her videos and interesting things such as cooking with her Grandmother “Nonna” in Italy! 

How It’s Made – From bubble gum to rubber tires- you get to see the whole process of how things are made! It’s fascinating and very educational! There are more videos of how things are made in other channels too- so check them out! 

Jas Townsend & Son – A really unique channel that shows how cooking was done in the 18th century as well as the costumes and life during that time! They even have a short movie series about two soldiers during the Revolutionary War, made by the people of the Jas Townsend company!

Fireman Sam – Cartoon that displays real life scenarios, mainly for preschoolers and younger children. Best one out there.

Johnathan Bird – This is great for little kiddos, all about the sea and aquatic animals. The diver has a captivating way of talking and the information presented in the videos are interesting for children and adults alike! We all learned new things watching these videos! 

Cedarmont kids  Sing along Bible songs for kids with real cute kids! There are a lot of sing along videos out there, but many are low quality or very, very contemporary. These are the best. 

Steve Spangler Science – Cool science experiments for “big” kids and little kids! Steve Spangler knows how to be amusing yet explain science concepts so that even the littlest kids understand. We are selective with the ones we watch.

Betty Crocker Kitchen – Although our family would never eat the kind of desserts Betty Crocker does, with artificial colors, flavors and cake mix, their videos are fun to watch how they create different cakes- quite mesmerizing because everything looks very perfect. :D 

The Story Keepers Cartoons that tell Bible stories. They really help children learn many New Testament lessons! This is  not the only channel that has The Story Keepers, we find them by just searching on youtube too! 

More coming later! 

Tell me what you enjoy watching! 

Midweek Music XVIII: In Norway, it is a crime to sing

Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men.

(Psalm 9:19)

 

This week’s midweek music is unique. I am featuring a different kind of singing. 

It is singing in protest

Once upon a time, actually just two months ago in November 2015, two sisters were in school in Norway and were humming the tune to a Christian song. The song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. The teacher overheard them and realized they were Christians…and that’s when it all started. 

The nightmare

That very day, the two sisters were mercilessly taken away from their family by the “child protective” services of Norway, named Barnevarnet. They were snatched directly out of school. A few hours later, Barnevarnet went to their home and snatched the two younger brothers who were at home. It didn’t stop there. 

Like the Nazis

The social services arrested their father who was at work, confiscated his phone and didn’t allow him to call anyone, didn’t explain the situation fully, and did not allow him to hire a lawyer. Sounds like the Nazi’s in WWII doesn’t it? 

And listen to this outrageous part of the story. As the mother was still in shock over it all, Barnevarnet “child protective” services later came and heartlessly kidnapped the youngest child of the family  – a 4 month old breastfeeding infant, right out of the mother’s arms! This Christian family was falsely accused by Barnevarnet (“social service”) of indoctrination. Read details about their story at the link at the end of this post. 

This is the story of the Bodnariu family. A Romanian family in Norway who had their children kidnapped by the Barnevarnet social service. 

Norway, you claim to be nearly 90% Lutheran as a country, and yet you allow Barnevarnet to do these horrific kidnapping acts? How contemptible! 

The War Cry

There are peaceful protests going on all over the world over this horrific act. In the United States, Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Romania etc…. It is all over the news. 

So I am joining in the protest. 

Protest against a heartless, sadistic nation who ruthlessly stole away innocent children! 

They wanted to silence these Christian girls who hummed a Christian tune? THEN….We will sing!! Our voices will ALWAYS be heard. Loud, strong and clear! Till God brings back those children. The Lord will avenge His children!

Norway, you may have tried to stop the Bodnariu girls from singing-  but the singing has spread all over the world! 

Listen to these Romanian protesters sing in Brussels in protest against Norway. 

Lyrics to the Romanian song the protesters sang: 

“O how beautiful it is to be in a family, 
The holy family of the Lord Jesus Christ” 

CHORUS: 
“We are a united family, We are a real family, 
A family that loves, The family of the Lord Jesus Christ!” 

Keep this family in your prayers and spread the word! 

“And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help,
whether with many, or with them that have no power:
help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude.
O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.”
(2 Chronicles 14:11)

Facebook Page for the Bodnariu family. Details in the news, and here.

New Year

For some friends overseas, the New Year of 2016 has already arrived. For others like me, it has yet to come. Happy New Year in the Lord!

There are so many ways to end the New Year… I had so many ideas floating in my head about different types of blog posts I could write. 

I settled on {sets of threes} for thoughts I want to share.

 

Three verses I received for the New Year

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (2 John 1:2) 

One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
(Psalm 145:4-6)

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God (Psalm 146:5)

 

 

Three things I did today in the last day of the year 2015

I went running 3 miles with my family as the last run of the year. 

We had a time of singing and fellowship and called friends spontaneously on the phone to sing them a song/hymn for the New Year. They all loved it, and I think it’s a wonderful way to wish someone a Happy New Year, and a lovely tradition to start. 

Planned on making some lemon bar, but postponed it for tomorrow (maybe). 

 

Three highlights/events I really loved this year 2015

Second cross country trip to Chicago! Never thought it could be possible this year, but God surprised me! (post coming up)

Attended the best Air Show in the World and saw the U.S. Navy Blue Angels!

Went to the awesome Shepherd’s Conference for the last day, and got to touch some of the very first Bible translations!

 

Three things I want to be blessed with in the New Year (among lots of other things, :D )

More time to sing 

More opportunity to travel 

More opportunity to minister on the blog, evangelizing, and ministering to my family 

 

Three things I need to work on more in the New Year 

Scripture memorizing 

Keeping a thankful, Christ-focused attitude on a daily basis 

Using my time more wisely when I would rather put my brain on cruise control 

 

Three foods I loved this year 2015

Sardines with lots of lemon and sometimes mayo

Cheese blintzes

Grilled chicken

 

Three books I enjoyed reading in my spare time this year 2015

Once upon a Farm by Bob Artley

Story of a Secret State by Jan Karski

Faraway summer by Johanna Hurwitz

 

Three songs I learned and loved this year 2015 

He Will Hold Me Fast
(words composed in 1906 Ada R. Ha­ber­shon, music Matt Merker, © 2013)

O Thou in Whose Presence My Soul Takes Delight Joseph Swain 1791

Sing Praise by the Wissmann family 

 

Three {Big and Small} things I accomplished this year 2015

I opened my etsy shop (finally!) after dreaming of doing one almost since etsy began. 

I made magnets out of various things for our fridge. Now I make magnets out of everything

I made toys for my siblings! (blog post coming up soon) 

 

Top three commentators on my blog for 2015

1. Rhoda 

2. Friend from Ireland

3. Amanda Tero 

Thank you ladies!!

Three interesting people I met this year 2015

  1. A poor African American woman with her two little daughters on Christmas Eve, walking in the cold night on her way home from the store.  The little girls saw me and called out “Merry Christmas”! I turned back and ran after them to give them some money and a Gospel tract and spoke with the mother a bit. My heart went out to them, and the sweet little faces. When I left, the little girls called after me again in sweet childish voices “Merry Christmas!”

2. A gypsy couple who played the accordion and tambourine in front of Trader Joe’s for Christmas. 

3. The Wissmann family, on our roadtrip to Chicago. It was lovely getting to see them in person after listening to their CD’s in the car on my way to school for 1.5 years! 

 

What highlights of 2015 do you have? What do you pray for the New Year? 

Merry Christmas

christmas

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Do believe me when I say I had the intention to appear earlier on here and share some Midweek Music songs for Christmas again, but time slips by so quickly!

Thus I am here to wish you all a truly Merry Christmas. I wish that you may feel the Lord’s special presence this Christmas as you celebrate and remember His incarnation. May the Lord strengthen, protect and shower you with His never ending lovingkindness, and answer your prayers in the New Year that is coming.

This is what I wished my friends and family in the Christmas letters I sent them, and what I wish for you too.

I think about how quickly 2015 has passed by.

How blessed I am to have health, to be alive, to have the opportunity to study and work, to have my family around me…so many other blessings God gives us.

I think of how much there is to be done, and what I pray the Lord will do through me for His kingdom.

I think of others who are in difficult circumstances, or are mourning and I pray that God would give them His healing balm.

I think of the immense and infinite glory of God’s wisdom and love as He created this World, then sent His Only Son to save us, and the masterpieces of stories He predestines and coordinates all throughout generations.

There is so much to think about, and so much to meditate upon…may you have the chance to spend some time in prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord for the multitude of graces He has poured in each of our lives and unceasingly continues to give!

Merry Christmas!!

Midweek {Christmas} Music XVIII: Jan Mulder Christmas Carol

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So I found a new artist on youtube recently! Jan Mulder plays the beloved carol Angels we Have Heard on High with an orchestra while he plays the piano and directs the orchestra.
I love listening to Christmas carols to really put me in the mood/spirit of celebrating Christmas.  I enjoy carols that range from joyful and full of cheer such as “Hark the Herald” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High” to reflective and solemn songs such as “Mary Did You Know?” and “What Child is This?”

What kind of Carols do you listen to?

A World of Books

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25)

It is difficult to understand how it could be literally true that a complete biography of Christ’s works would be an earth-filling library… (Click here to continue)

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