One Year…

 Just when your “enemy” seems to have the upper hand, place your trust in God and realize that the day set for your destruction may actually be the day of your deliverance. ~ Angela

“In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month…they cast the pur in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on the twelfth month…” Esther 3:7

One year….did you catch that?

The Jews had one year to prepare for the day of their deaths. The month and day for the Jews extermination set by Haman was one year away. Can you imagine hearing that one year from now, all Christians in our country from youngest to oldest, men, women and children will all be killed? I shudder to think what it must have felt like to live with that threat looming over their heads for a full year? The stress, the anguish…the fear.

Once the date was set, Haman approached King Xerxes with his evil plan. Notice how cunning and sly Haman was when he told King Xerxes about these “certain people” in verses eight and nine.

First we see that Haman depersonalized the Jews by not mentioning their name, instead he refers to them as a “certain people.” We have seen this same tactic in the Nazi death camps of World War II when Hitler had numbers tattooed on his Jewish prisoners arms and deliberately took away their names. Numbers are anonymous, vague and don’t initiate emotions…but names do, “Mordecai the Jew”, names are personal, specific and recognizable.

Haman goes on to describe how the Jews are “dispersed and scattered in all provinces”, throughout all areas of King Xerxes’s kingdom…a kingdom that included Israel.

Their customs are “different from those of all other people”, in other words they don’t fit in. Nothing could be further from the truth. We learned from Joy’s post on Monday, that the Jews assimilated almost to well into the Persian culture. King Xerxes himself didn’t even realize his own queen was Jewish.

“They do not obey your laws”…if I’m not mistake, wasn’t it Mordecai, a Jew, who protected King Xerxes from an assassination attempt by his own personal guards?

It is not in the “best interest to tolerate them”. In other words, it was not in Haman’s best interest to tolerate them. Remember, Haman was an Agagite and was a descendent of King Agag of the Amalekites who happened to be ancient enemies of the Jews (Exodus 17:16, 1 Samuel 15:20 & Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Hatred has a history and is passed down from generation to generation. No one is born prejudice; we learn it and then pass it on to the next generation.

Finally we see Haman even throws in the added bonus that he will help pay for this evil deed in verse nine. And where do you think Haman planned on getting the money to pay for the men who would carry out this decree? Why from the Jews themselves, of course! Haman planned on plundering the homes and businesses of all the Jews who would be killed, pocketing some for himself I’m sure and then enticing the king with the rest.

Make note, even though Haman was a half-truth speaker, a deceiver and finally an all out liar, he was not dumb man. Through the cunning and crafty use of his words, Haman was able to convince King Xerxes to put this horrible plan into action.

But remember, what Satan plans for evil, God uses for good.

Though this decree was unthinkably evil, God used it to unite His children. Despite what Haman claimed, maybe the Jews had assimilated a little too well into the Persian culture. Maybe, just maybe God was allowing this to happen so that His children would remember who they were, how He had delivered them from evil in the past and through their dependence on Him, they would once again turn back to Him.

I believe we all at one time or another have “Hamans” in our lives. People, who speak lies about us, hate us for what we stand for, men or women who are prejudice against us for one reason or another and even sometimes devise “decrees” to do us harm. But take heart my sweet friends, though in this life we will have trouble, Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that HE has overcome the world!

I think it’s time for His children to once again unite, stand firm on His Word, pray our hearts out for a world that doesn’t know Him and in faith trust Him in the hard days knowing that He is at work.

Our lives are a lot like Esther’s, we may not see Him, yet we know He is with us, working in and through all the different events of our lives. Nothing is random.

Sweet friend, I don’t know what “Hamans” are in your life right now but I do know this, God can bring growth out of your pain. Though you may feel unseen, He sees you right where you are. Just when your “enemy” seems to have the upper hand, place your trust in God and realize that the day set for your destruction may actually be the day of your deliverance. Press on, persevere and look for His fingerprints in your life!

 

Let’s Talk! Share with us what God is teaching you through this week’s verses!

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

Esther Week 1: Fear or Faith…We all have a choice

Esther Week 1 Header

Sweet friends,

I am so glad to have you join us for our Fall study in the amazing book of Esther. It is not a coincidence that we will be going through this powerful book the next eight weeks for “such a time as this.” Before we begin, I want you to personally know that you have been prayed over. Whether you have been a Christian since you can remember and your Bible is well worn, or you are new to the Christian faith and this is your first time to read God’s Word…..you are welcome here. We have had an amazing turnout to our Esther study and I can’t wait to see all that God has planned for us as we journey together verse by verse in the coming weeks.

For those of you who are new and are unfamiliar with our SOAP method, here is a post that better explains it.

Okay, let’s get started… I simply can’t wait any longer!!!

God’s Word truly is amazing! Esther is a book that was written around 470 B.C. and is about an orphan girl in ancient Persia and her incredible journey to become queen of the powerful Persian empire. Through God’s sovereignty and Esther’s willful obedience, He used Esther to save her people from annihilation. Like Jen mentioned last week, even though God’s name is never written in the book of Esther, His divine fingerprints are all over it. We learn from Esther that there is no such thing as “coincidence,” and though God may seem distant or even absent at times in our lives, He is not. Don’t be fooled… happenings in our world are not coincidence, nor are they random. Though fear may creep in at times we must remember that no one: not a king, president or terrorist can destroy God’s plans for His people. This amazing story of a “nobody” who becomes a “somebody” is for all of us….especially in light of our world around us.

We live in a day of uncertainty. But every day as we open our eyes to welcome the blessing of another sunrise….we have a choice. We can choose to live our lives in fear or we can choose to live our lives in faith. Esther models this choice for us. Be encouraged as we read this powerful true story together that God is in the details of Esther’s life as well as your own. God’s will is accomplished through the good, bad, happy and painful days of our lives.

No matter who is in charge in our countries, God is still on the throne in heaven.

We live in challenging days. Like Esther thousands of years ago in ancient Persia, our world at times can feel like it is spinning out of control…and that evil is winning. But take heart my sweet friends, and cling to the assurance we find in Deuteronomy 31:6…

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

God is always with us.

He will never leave us nor forsake us.

We are called to be strong and courageous, which tells me that there will be times in our lives when we have to choose either a life of faith or of fear.

But take heart, God will accomplish what He has started. Philippians 1:6 reminds us of this truth:

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

And though this life can be hard, disappointing and at times heartbreaking, we cling to the truth that we find in Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

As we begin this study together, I pray you will be encouraged by Esther’s example and choose to intentionally live a life of courage, self-sacrifice and full of faith. We may not have all the answers. Situations in our lives may be out of our control…but we can choose to focus our lives on Him, the One who has all the answers and has the whole world “in His hands.”

Our confidence and faith are anchored in Him.

Let’s Talk:
Since today is the first day in our study, we’d love to know where you’re joining us from and what one thing you are looking forward to learning more about in the book of Esther!

Week 1: Video

(Can’t see this week’s video? Click here!)

Week 1: Reading Plan
wk 1 reading plan- Love God Greatly

Week 1: Memory Verse
Love God Greatly-Esther week 1 memory verse

Week 1 Challenge:

Week 1 Challenge image

 

Love God Greatly!
Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

Introducing our new {LGG} Contributor- Joy Forney!

Hello dear friends!!!

I am so honored to introduce you all to my dear friend, Joy, from joyforney.org! Joy will be joining Whitney, Jen and me on the Contributor Team here at Love God Greatly and we couldn’t be more excited! When you get the chance, make sure and check her out! I just know you will love her too!

Looking so forward to beginning our Esther study with YOU!

You can find Joy here:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest

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Hi friends! I am so excited to be joining you here at Love God Greatly!

Here is a little about me… I am a wife of a missionary pilot with MAF {Mission Aviation Fellowship} and mama to five precious kiddos. We have lived for the last 8 years on a little island in Indonesia, and just this March we moved to Kampala, the capital city in Uganda! We are still getting settled into life and ministry here.

My life is a bit of an adventure, and the biggest thing I have learned through it all, is that I serve an incredibly faithful God. He has held my hand every step of my journey, and proves Himself to me again and again.

I look forward to learning and growing in His Word alongside of all of you beautiful sisters. I pray that we might spur one another on in pressing in to Him!

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With love from Uganda,

Joy

LGG Accountability Groups Open TODAY!

Join a LGG group today

 

Ohh sweet friends,

I’m so excited to announce today that our new LGG groups are now open for new members!

Looking to join a LGG group?
There are a couple of ways that Love God Greatly groups are formed. Check these two options out, then choose the direction that works best for you!

{Option 1} Form Your Own {LGG} Group
Many women form groups from already established personal relationships with friends or family. If you prefer this route, consider connecting with women who are already in your life: church friends, mom friends, co-workers, high school or college friends, neighbors, moms/sisters/aunts/grandmas…you get the idea. We think 5-12 women to a group is ideal and no more than 25! You want enough women for participation, but not so many that it’s hard to connect as a group.

Once your group is formed, please enroll as a LGG Leader. (new and current)

facilitator-registration-300x126Using this button, you will be able to enroll as a LGG Leader as well as enroll your personal group.

 


{Option 2} Join An Existing LGG Group

Another option is to join an existing Love God Greatly group listed on the following pages. Even though the groups are listed in time zones, you are welcome to join any of them and are not limited by your personal time zone. Please note that groups will go live at 6 a.m. EST.

Eastern Time Zone
http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-fb-group/

http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-facebook-group-4

Central Time Zone
http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-facebook-group-3

Pacific/Mountain Time Zone
http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-facebook-2-group

International/GMT Time Zones
http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-international-group/

Email Groups
http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/join-email-group/

As you look through the following available groups please keep in mind that enrollment is open this week and all next week. Also, please be patient with us as we work behind the scenes removing filled groups and adding additional open groups.

A Love God Greatly group is a wonderful place to receive extra encouragement, fellowship and accountability with other women throughout the study. I encourage you to take the step and either form your own personal group or join a group today!

Should you have any problems or questions, please contact Martha, our Enrollment Coordinator, by sending her an email at: LGG.Enrollment@gmail.com

Looking for the enrollment link? Look no further!

Thank you so much for joining us and we look forward to going through the book of Esther with you this fall!

Love God Greatly!

-Angela

 

 

Esther Enrollment Begins TODAY!

Enrollment starts today

Welcome ladies to our new site ‘Love God Greatly’, a new address but the same wonderful group of ladies leading us through our eight week fall study in Esther. If you are new to our studies, please take a moment and read the following – I will try my best to explain how enrollment, subscribing to the LGG blog and joining a private group works.
——————————————————————————-
We ask all our members and group facilitators to …
• Enroll in the study (taking attendance, it’s a sign up sheet)

Click here to enroll

• Subscribe to the Love God Greatly Blog (if you are a current subscriber and receiving our blog post emails, you are all set)
Please disable any pop-up blockers/ad-blockers before Enrolling in the study and Subscribing to the blog.

How to enroll in our Fall Online Bible study, ‘Esther’
The enrollment form for our current study will be available from August 18th to 29th. To enroll, hover your mouse over the tab ‘Enroll’ on the menu bar above, then click ‘Enroll Here’. You will arrive at a page and toward the bottom of the page is a button – {click here to enroll}. The Enrollment Form will be available ‘only’ during our 2-week enrollment period. If you are participating in one of our past studies, no enrollment is required.

Explanation about Enrollment
The enrollment form is our way of taking attendance for this session; it’s like signing up for Bible study at your church. We do not send out confirmation emails but upon completion of the enrollment form you will receive a ‘Thank you’ confirmation page or pop-up depending on your browser. Please note that responses are not always recorded if you fill out the form via your phone – this is out of our control! We suggest you use a personal computer or laptop etc.

How to join a private LGG group (Please note: Groups will open on Wednesday for new members)
Our available groups will be listed on our blog only during the enrollment period. If you do not have a group to join, but still wish to join a private group, hover your mouse over the tab ‘Groups’ on the menu bar above, then click ‘Join a Group’. You will arrive at a page with more information about how we list our groups. To join an existing group, select the type of group you want to join: Facebook, Email, International or other groups. We will add available groups throughout our enrollment period, so keep checking back and refreshing the page.

Private Facebook Groups – We have arranged groups using Time Zones – ‘Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific and GMT’.
NOTE: if you live in Eastern Time Zone but wish to join a group in Mountain Time Zone – feel free – you are not limited to your own time zone. Once you select Facebook groups, scroll through the list of leaders and choose a group. Then click on the group link provided and request to join their group! The link will say ‘Closed’, if the link is broken the group is full and the leader has disabled access. We remove the links as fast as possible, so please be patient and continue to look through the list to find another group to join.

Our Email groups and International groups are across all time zones mainly because they have a slightly different format.

If a group is leading a past study, it will be noted. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find the “perfect” group, but you’ll be surprised at how God places you in the group that fits your needs!

Subscribing to the Blog (blog posts via email and our FREE materials)
If you are not already subscribed, this only needs to be done once. Please disable any pop-up blockers/ad-blockers subscribing to the blog.

1. Subscribe at lovegodgreatly.com – Enter your email address (it will be in caps, email addresses are not case sensitive). Located under Angela’s Welcome Message.

2. You will receive a popup message from Feedburner that states, “your email address will receive a verification message once you submit this form.” You will be asked to ‘enter the text’ listed – to prevent spam. This step is important!

3. Next, you will see a pop-up stating your email subscription request has been accepted – Please check your email.

4. Confirmation Email – check your email inbox, spam folder or promotions tab (Gmail) for a verification message from “FeedBurner Email Subscriptions.” Click the link contained in that message to activate your subscription.

5. Once confirmed, you will begin to receive emails from LGG. The free study guide and other materials are available by clicking the links at the very bottom of the emails.

Please Note: The emails from LGG are sent out on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, or with each new post. So if you activate your subscription on a Monday, you will likely begin to receive emails on Wednesday.

If you have any questions about enrollment or joining a group, please email me at LGG.Enrollment@gmail.com

Martha

 

 

 

 

Enrollment Coordinator

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