Lily’s Promise ~ Story of Survival Through Auschwitz and Beyond

Lily’s Promise: Holding On to Hope Through Auschwitz and Beyond—A Story for All Generations

Lily's Promise

“Heartbreaking, inspirational, and uplifting, this is an engaging story of one remarkable woman’s will to survive.” — The Library Journal

It is the Holocaust survivors who help us transform history into memory by their ability to humanize the inhumane. It is them and their words that make the past present.

These lessons, important then, remain vital now – especially when the events of the Holocaust are sometimes distorted, diminished, or denied, the testimony of victims and witnesses is invaluable and essential.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles

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Survival: Part Two-Water Purification

Image by rony michaud from Pixabay

Welcome back to, Survival: Part Two-Water Purification. I hope you enjoyed last week’s article. These articles are to help you prepare, not cause worry. This week we will cover two excellent water purification systems: Berky® and LifeStraw®.

Before we get started, neither Berkey® nor LifeStraw® has paid me to review their products. I did purchase a Berkey® and will speak on my experience with that water purification system.

Water Standards

Image by Bernd Müller from Pixabay

Regardless of what we are experiencing now, clean, purified water is essential on any given day. Several different agencies publish local water testing results. Minnesota, where I live, has several legislative acts to protect drinking water and to keep drinking water as clean as possible.

Here are just a few drinking water regulations/acts:

Back home, I often heard of older folks drinking from a creek or stream by the farm or the woods. When they finish talking about how fun and delicious it was to get a drink, they end the sentence with, “But I wouldn’t recommend drinking from there now.”

What is acceptable?

Our governing bodies within our city, county, state, and country have decided what acceptable levels are in our drinking water. Water is an essential part of our survival, so drinking the best water is a priority.

Each year the Edgerton Enterprise reports the findings from our city water sample test. You can get 2021’s water report here. This was published on June 16, 2021. To summarize, a drinking water report, https://adams.extension.wisc.edu/files/2013/01/Home-Water-Safety-Interpreting-Drinking-Water-Test-Results.pdf, will give you a variety of information on:

  1. List any contaminants: bacteria, nitrates, lead, and copper- things that can harm you.
  2. Water Quality- alkalinity, chloride, conductivity, corrosive index, hardness, ph.

At the end of the day, you and I want to be drinking water that is pure and clean. Pure and clean is hard to come by most anywhere, especially in rural settings where nitrates tend to be highest.

Chemicals in the water we drink, are allowed to be there under a certain level. You can take those chemicals in at certain levels without being harmed. Unfortunately, according to EWG’s website:

The federal government’s legal limits are not health-protective. The EPA has not set a new tap water standard in almost 20 years, and some standards are more than 40 years old.

https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=MN1590001

This isn’t good news for anyone! So, what can be done about drinking pure and clean drinking water? Enter the home water purification systems: Berkey®https://theberkey.com/, and LifeStraw® https://lifestraw.com/. These two water purification systems are very popular.

Berkey®

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

While doing research for our topic of survival, water quickly became a top survival item. I got a recommendation from a friend to try out a Berkey. She enjoyed her Berky and said the water taste was excellent. Here are just a few selling points for Berkey from their website:

Berkey Works Better Than Any Gravity Filters Available!

Berkey® systems equipped with Black Berkey Elements remove up to 99.999% of viruses and 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria, while also removing or dramatically reducing Bacteria like E. coli, Chlorine, Viruses, Chloramines, Parasites, Fluoride, Heavy Metals, Trihalomethane (THMs), Pharmaceuticals, Petroleum Contaminants, Bisphenol-A (BPA), Perfluorochemicals (PFOAS), Herbicides & Pesticides, protozoa, Inorganic minerals, VOCs, Petroleum products, Perfluorinated chemicals, Rust, Silt, Sediment, and even Radiologicals.

Berkey filters produce the most Healthful Drinking Water available. Berkey Water Filter can remove hundreds of contaminants from the water and purify more than any other gravity filter available. Black Berkey Elements exceed EPA 7 ANSI/NSF Protocols and are Independently Tested by EPA/NSF Certified Lab. (see the complete list of contaminants Berkey can remove)

♛ Berkey Makes Your Water Taste Delicious

Berkey Water Filter makes your water taste much better by filtering out all of the toxins but leaving the minerals in the water as it should be. You will notice a difference right away.

♛ Berkey For Emergency Preparedness

Berkey Water Filter is a great survival gear in emergency situations as it works without the need for electricity and is able to purify raw, untreated water from remote lakes and streams.

♛ Berkey Saves Your Money

Berkey Water Filter is the most economical water purification system available as you can purify water for about two cents per gallon and it will last for years.

♛ Berkey is Simple and Easy

Berkey Water Filter does not require to be connected to your home plumbing system. A complete standalone system that can be set up in less than 10 minutes without any tools.

Friends, I am out of time. Tune in next week as we walk through the unboxing, set-up, and use of my new Berkey®! Here is to good food, good friends, and pure drinking water!

Plague of Boils

Welcome back to today’s Time in the Word! Thank you for coming along on the Ten Plagues devotional journey. Today we tackle the plague of boils. Have you ever had a boil? I have had several boils on my back in my early adult years.

I will spare you the details of how I got rid of my boils. Suffice it to say their removal was a painful adventure. If you’ve ever seen Dr. Sandra Lee’s reality T.V. show “Dr. Pimple Popper” you can imagine how it went. If you don’t know what a boil is, you can check it out here.

A grumpy group of folks

Can you imagine an entire country’s people full of boils? Not one boil or two boils, but a body full of boils. I thought having one boil on my back at a time was painful. The boil made it hard to sleep and I had to be careful when dressing that I didn’t hit my boil with my hand, or the neck of the shirt.

A boil, at peak fill, puts tremendous pressure on the skin. A boil can make a person pretty grumpy. I bet most of Egyptian life came to a halt. Everyone was in survival mode.

Plague Number Six: Boils

Scripture Exodus 9: 8-12, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+9%3A8-12&version=NIV

Something interesting takes place here in the plague of boils. It was Aaron who performed the act of producing the plague, but today God instructs Moses to do it. Moses is to take handfuls of soot and toss them into the air. The soot would spread in the air (a supernatural act) and it would cause boils on what animals remained as well as all Egyptian people. Pharaoh’s heart was once again hardened by God.

Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf

  • Sekhmet– goddess, controlled epidemics and could heal
  • Serapis– the god of healing
  • Imhotep– the god of wisdom and healing, was deified

Interesting notes and insights

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. Moses performed the plague.
  • Pharaoh’s court magicians cannot even appear before the court and Moses because the boils are so painful. They also could not appear before Pharaoh because the spiritual, demonic connections had been severed.
  • This plague affects the human body as well as the remaining animals.
  • If we look back to the first plagues, they began in nature/environment- water, frogs, lice, flies. Then we move to mammals that caught a disease and died. Now we have arrived at the plague afflicting animals and human’s skin. God is demonstrating his supernatural powers over all creation.
  • I read the plague of boils was thought to be smallpox. Another article suggested that the boils were ulcerated skin sores on the outside- just some possible suggestions.
  • Do you think the boils disfiguring the skin were possible retribution for the beatings they took from cruel taskmasters?
  • Can you see God working in the Egyptian cult beliefs by destroying their gods one by one?

Can you see any plagues in your life, that God is using to draw you closer to him? Could it be possible that plagues are happening in our country? Look around, be discerning. What do you see happening?

Next week we witness the plague of hail and its destruction of the Egyptian people’s lives. Thank you for joining me here in Time in the Word.

Plague of Disease on the Cattle: Virus Rinderpest?

Welcome back to Time in the Word. We are halfway through our Ten Plagues. The plague of disease on the cattle had many effects. Unfortunately, the animals took the brunt of this plague. It was thought to be the virus rinderpest.

Rinderpest is a virus that belongs to the measles and canine distemper viruses- the genus Morbillivirus. Humans are unaffected by rinderpest, but rinderpest made a zoological jump through measles, which made its debut in the 11th century.

Rinderpest

This virus, rinderpest, needs a host in order to do its replication. Rinderpest binds to receptors on the host cell membrane, fuses with the cell, and empties its genetic information into the cytoplasm. Once this genetic information was exchanged, the virus begins to make new virions, spreading throughout the body.

This virus starts its attack in the lymphatic and respiratory systems and is present in all body fluids making it easily transmissible. This virus’s incubation period is short, with a rapid progression of symptoms and infection. Here is a list of symptoms:

  • ulcerating sores in the soft tissues of the affected animal
  • extreme fevers
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • weakness
  • death around ten days

Rinderpest is to blame for the 19th-century famine in Africa. The virus decimated 90% of Southern and East Africa’s cattle and in turn, caused a famine. This famine killed one-third of Ethiopia’s population, with death counts equaling the Black Plague. In addition, the virus made its way into the local wildlife, destroying those populations with extreme precision. The long-lasting effects of this rinderpest outbreak in Africa have extended into the 21st century.

As recently as June 2019, the Pirbright Institute in Surrey had the most extensive laboratory stock of rinderpest in the world. Fortunately, this large stock was supposedly destroyed.

Plague Number Five: Disease

Scripture Exodus 9:1-7– NIV

Moses and Aaron visit again with Pharaoh. Moses tells Pharaoh that if he continues to hold back the Israelites from leaving and refuses to let them go and worship in the wilderness, God will bring a terrible disease to the cattle of Egypt. God will make a clear distinction between the Israelite cattle and Egyptian cattle, with no sickness among the Israelites cattle. God gave Pharaoh one day before the plague of disease began.

True, to God’s word, the Egyptian cattle fell ill and died, while the Israelites cattle remained healthy. Pharaoh even went to see if it was true. To Pharaoh’s amazement, the Israelite cattle were alive and healthy. Yet, Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let the people go.

The death of everything from cows, camels, horses, sheep, and goats took a huge toll on the Egyptian people. Hitting food sources as well as the economy.

Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. They did and said as instructed.
  • Pharaoh’s magicians didn’t even try to duplicate this plague.
  • Affected Egyptian property.
  • All Egyptian livestock died.
  • God very distinctly kept the plague to the Egyptian people. The Israelites would not be affected.
  • I found it interesting that God used the death of the animals as a warning- it affected their economy, as well as their food supply. Think of how devastating the death of adult cattle would be. No babies to rear up. They were left with nothing. Long-lasting effects.
  • Ipuwer Papyrus mentions this plague.
  • Are you noticing how patient God has been with Pharaoh? Every plague seems to have a 24-hour think about before you respond.
  • Has God ever given you 24 hours to think about a possible consequence of action?

Thank you for joining me here today in Time in the Word. See you back here next week when we tackle the plague of boils. If you have ever had a boil, you know how painful they are. Imagine your body full of boils?!

Resources:

Survival: What Should We Be Doing?

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

I have been, as you probably have as well, thinking about the crazy stuff that has been going on. From the Russian war with Ukraine, the Covid-19 virus, mask mandates, push to get vaccinated, the 2020 election, The Great Reset, mysterious destruction of key food supply businesses, inflation, stagflation, and gas prices not yet seen by many generations. What should we be thinking about for survival if this gets worse? What should we be doing? That’s a good question.

Some folks are going to laugh at this article. They think this is just a coincidence, conspiracy theories, and fear-mongering. Look around, listen, and do your research. Something has happened to America, in America, and the world.

Surviving this all with a positive mental attitude, spiritual survival skills-FAITH, simple living know-how, and working together are things we MUST employ right now!

Survival: What should we be doing

First and foremost, none of us will get through this without God. So, wrap your mind around it because it’s the truth. God is in control of everything. He is allowing what is happening for His good purpose. Some of a Christian’s best faith growth happens during tragedy and trial.

We all run on energy from food. Recent stories of food chain disruptions and exorbitant gas prices are factors in a possible food crisis. What can we do? What should we be doing? Here are a few suggestions to prepare yourself and your family should things progress to survival level:

  • Communication– landline phones- the old kind, CB or Ham Radio, cell phones might not work, electricity may be unavailable.
  • Gathering Plan– where to meet, alternate routes home, a place you will gather, and how to evacuate people who are stuck.
  • Water supply– clean, healthy water- a gallon per person per day for drinking and washing
  • Food– 30-to-60 day supply on hand, fuel, and equipment to cook it
  • First Aid– Learn basic first aid and stock up on first aid items- most likely hospitals will be overwhelmed.
  • Vitamins and Medicine– Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, acetaminophen, and general antibiotics- 1-year supply. You probably know somebody who knows somebody.
  • Power– Don’t expect electricity to stay on. Solar panels, candles, oil lamps, batteries for flashlights, etc. If it is winter and you’re in the upper midwest, Rocky regions- how will you keep warm during winter?
  • Sanitation– Yep, the ole outhouse isn’t such a funny thing at this point, a 5-gallon bucket will work; have a plan where you can safely dispose of the waste.
  • Home Security– I think you know where I am going with this.
  • Wilderness Survival Skills– Go, buy a book- read up and practice fire-starting skills.
  • Bartering Items– coffee, liquor, chocolate, dried goods (milk, fruit, etc.)- money may not be available.
  • Gardening Seeds– pick HEIRLOOM seeds!!! You want to be able to take the seeds from what you raise to plant next year.

Food and Water are life

I won’t hesitate to tell you that hoarding food can be a problem storage-wise. Whatever you store should be stored properly with insect and vermin proof containers.

Swing on over to 4Patriots.com and order yourself at least a one-month supply, but definitely go grab their three-month food supply here. They have been giving $20 off your order, go check it out! Hurry, as people are getting nervous, and it is taking two weeks to get your products to you from Utah.

4Patriots food stats, from their website:

  • 688 total servings / about 7.6 per day
  • 135,440 total calories / about 1,505 per day+
  • Designed to last 25 years*
  • “Disaster-resistant” packaging
  • Hand-packed in the USA
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee
  • FREE Shipping & handling to USA 48

The disaster-resistant packaging is fantastic! The containers are non-descript. People will think you have Christmas decorations in the box. 🙂

Alright friends! I am stopping here, but next week we will continue to talk about food, water, and growing an heirloom survival garden. Don’t let all this talk get you down! Chin up! WE ARE AMERICANS! Let’s work together, share, and protect each other. God’s in charge. We need to trust him and be prepared!

Plague of Flies

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today we start the fourth plague, the plague of flies. Thus far, Pharaoh had shown only one time a tiny sliver of repentance when he asked Moses to pray that the plague of frogs would leave. But once the frogs had died, he went back on his word.

Have you ever relented and then hardened your heart to a person or situation? How did that decision turn out for you? What effect did it have on this situation or the person? Sometimes I wish there was a way to go back and change what was said or done. Good thing God’s mercies are new every morning and we receive another chance to apologize and do our best to right what we’ve done wrong. AMEN!

Plague Number Four: Flies

Exodus 8:20-32– NIV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+8%3A20-32&version=NIV

Moses and Aaron pay Pharaoh another early morning Nile River call. Once again, Moses is to ask Pharaoh to allow the Israelites time off to go worship God in the desert. Should Pharaoh not agree, God will send swarms of flies that will come upon Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s officials, and the Egyptian people. The flies will fill all Egyptian houses and the ground.

God also instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh that this plague is only for the Egyptians. He is no longer punishing the Israelites, making it very distinct that God is in Pharaoh’s land controlling where the flies go.

Pharaoh does not relent. The flies swarm in and “ruin” the land. Only after the flies come and ruin the land does Pharaoh tell Moses that the Israelites are free to go worship, but only IN Egypt. They could not leave and go into the desert and worship. Do you find that interesting? Pharaoh always wants the Israelites to leave on his terms. These terms are his way of testing God. Pharaoh is used to being a god in Egypt and is unaware of the One True God’s might and power.

Moses knows how to play Pharaoh’s game. He points out to Pharaoh that staying in the land and sacrificing would be a detestable practice to the Egyptian people and most likely get them all stoned. The thought of losing all his working slaves to stoning would put the kibosh on his monument building.

Having thought better of losing his workforce, Pharaoh relents and tells Moses that they can go into the wilderness, but NOT FAR, and that Moses should pray for Pharaoh.

Moses agrees to pray for Pharaoh as soon as he leaves the river, and the flies would leave the next day. The flies leave, and Pharaoh hardens his heart.

Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf

  • Uatchit- the fly goddess of Egypt

Interesting notes and insights

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. They did and said as instructed.
  • There was NO attempt by Pharaoh’s magicians to duplicate the fly plague.
  • God very distinctly kept the plague to the Egyptian people. The Israelites would not be affected by the plague from this point on.
  • Do you think Pharaoh questioned why the Israelites were punished by the Egyptians in the first three plagues? Could this be why he hardened his heart?
  • Moses warns Pharaoh not to be deceitful by asking for prayer and subsequent removal of flies and then go back on his word. Why do you think Pharaoh hardened his heart once again? Note- it wasn’t God hardening Pharaoh’s heart.

Thank you for joining me here today in Time in the Word. See you back here next week when we tackle the plague of disease on the cattle.

signs of fibro, fibromyalgia

What Were Your First Signs of Fibro

What were your first signs of Fibromyalgia?

Follow along and learn about my first signs of fibro myalgia. It started long before I realized it.

divider

originally posted on March 12, 2018

Dear Family and Friends;

Thanks for checking on me the other day. You asked about my first signs of Fibro. As you know, I acquired disembarkment disorder after our cruise to the Bahamas in February 2011 (which has never gone away), followed by neck pain, and then I was hit suddenly with extreme, contracting back pain in September that year.

Earlier First Signs of Fibro

But as I have learned more about Fibromyalgia, it seems there have been several signs of it from early in my life.

Do you remember all those chest pains I had in middle school and high school?

They could never find anything wrong so they called it growing pains. Ha! If that were so I’d be about 6 feet tall! Anyway, it turns out that many of us fibro warriors have experienced “growing pains” at puberty. So my first signs of fibro were probably chest pains at 11 or 12 years of age.

Always Just So Darn Tired

first signs of #fibro #fatigue #tired #growingpains
provided by five Minute Friday

It has also dawned on me that one major symptom of fibromyalgia is fatigue, tired for no particular reason. You know, I have always been tired. I get so tired from a shopping trip or band event. I would fall into a deep sleep immediately after arriving home from any kind of event. Really, I would fall asleep as soon as I got still.

Remember the jokes about me not being a good co-pilot when we moved from Ohio to Wisconsin?

I would sleep the entire way! When they finally realized I had thyroid issues, I thought that was the answer. And while the medication does keep everything stable, I still feel like there are more issues than what is being addressed.

All My Life Signs of Fibro

So evidently, I have had fibromyalgia nearly all my life. It’s just that the cruise somehow awakened the monster.

Thanks so much for taking an interest in my life. I know you feel that your hands are tied because you live so far away, but believe me, your frustration would be the same if you lived next door. Your prayers and calls mean so much to me. It would certainly be nice though if we were closer. Then at least you could come to visit. But I would miss that even if I weren’t ill.

With Love,

Mandy Farmer

This post was originally written for my Letters to Friends and also inspired by Kate Motaung’s prompt this week, “TIRED” at Five Minute Fridays. It has now been updated and included in my new series, Mandy’s Journey with Chronic Pain.

journey with pain
ribbon image by Marketa Machova

Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer

I have been watching reviews of air fryers for two years. Many times, I get helpful product information by watching the local Edgerton Exchange on Facebook for air fryers to end up for sale. I often read the comments from the seller. Some folks include why they don’t like the product. Others say nothing.

I think it’s telling how successful or unsuccessful a product is by how frequently you see the product on rummage sales or the Edgerton Exchange. Just my little methodology of how well a product works or doesn’t.

America’s Test Kitchens- My best friend!

When in doubt, American’s Test Kitchens it out! I love this program. They did an Air Fryer/Air Fryer Toaster review here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWPhBzPx4bc.

In the review, the Breville Smart Oven Air was one of the top contenders. I was completely sold on the Breville till I saw the price tag of $400. SCREECH! Then, I wasn’t. The cost alone prices most people out, not to mention that it is a “stand-alone” product- meaning, it has to sit on a cart or open space in order to function.

The only way I could justify getting the Breville Smart Oven Air would be for someone living in an efficiency apartment, or perhaps as a basement kitchen item in place of a big oven. Anyway, I settled for the Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer.

Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer

Image by Michele Bruxvoort

Why do I like the Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer? WELL! Thank you for asking. I am delighted to tell you. I like the Instant Vortex for several reasons. The main reason is it is like a mini-convention oven. But here are a few other reasons why I like it:

  • Price- $120.
  • Variety of performances- bake, broil, dehydrate, roast, reheat, and broil.
  • Stainless steel with an easy-view window.
  • Odor erase built-in air filter- YES! In other words, Michele proof!
  • Sits on your cupboard top.
  • Easy clean-up of the basket and grate.
  • You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use it- BONUS!

The packaging for the Instant Vortex Plus is attractive. It didn’t take a whole lot of energy to unbox it. It came with a small direction booklet, but you could go to the Instant website and download a larger version- no difference.

Before using the Instant Vortex Plus, I had to run it through a bake cycle to burn off any factory remains. This was not a problem and had very little smell. Once that was complete, it was time to put the Instant Vortex Plus to work.

First, Fries!

Image by kgberlin from Pixabay

I love fries! My recent weight loss and the dedicated healthy eating regime don’t make room for deep-fried food items. Now, that’s not to say that here and there, every once in a while you can’t have something deep-fried, but you certainly don’t want to make a habit out of it.

On my first attempt, I decided to dump some olive oil on the French fries, mix them around, and air fry. I started keeping a small notecard handy as I tried various items. The French fries were finished in a remarkable time. We enjoyed the taste as well as the crispiness of the French fries.

I also attempted my sweet potato fries as well. You need to pay attention to the time, as they tend to get dried out even with olive oil on them. But, overall, they taste delicious and were crispy.

Scones

Image by Zul Vent from Pixabay

I love scones too! I make several batches and then freeze them. Truly, scones are best fresh, but can you recreate them fresh after frozen? I was going to try! Into the Instant Vortex Plus went the frozen pre-baked scones. Pressed the Air Fry feature, set the temperature to 350°, and dialed in 5 minutes.

WOW! That worked nicely. The scones have a very fresh taste and were nice and warm. I tried bagels and English muffins with this feature and time as well. Same successful results.

Waffles and Pancakes

I keep a sourdough starter going, and my favorite thing to do is make sourdough pancakes or sourdough waffles. The recipe makes a big batch, so I make them and freeze them. Then as we need a quick breakfast when time is short, we pull out some waffles or pancakes and reheat them on Air Fry. The waffles turn out amazingly well, the pancakes are good too.

Baking

I have had my Instant Vortex Plus for 3 months. I have baked a few items with it, have heated up a bunch of food, and am very happy with the results. It will be handy this summer when it is too hot to turn on the oven!

I highly recommend you get this handy appliance. Great for kids reheating smaller items instead of using the oven, or when you’re by yourself. No need to go firing up the oven and use all that electricity for something small. Saving you time and money! Every Dutch girl’s dream!

Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends, and a good life!

Day of pentecost

Pentecost ~ God’s Spirit Poured Out

pentecost
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Thank God for Pentecost

Since the days when Moses was given the law on Mount Sinai, the people waited for His Spirit. They were not able to keep the law on their own. Spiritual amnesia kept drawing them back into the grasp of sin and darkness. Oh, how they needed God’s Spirit to live in their hearts and lives.

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Joel 2:28b, NLT

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekial 36:27, NLT

Every year, the Children of Israel would bring their sacrifices to the temple. They came at Passover and offered their sacrifices to God. It would remind them about how the death angel passed over their homes and they were freed from slavery in Egypt. On the first day of the week after Passover, they celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits bringing to the Temple the first sheaves of grain from their fields.

And then they waited. 50 days for the Feast of Weeks. 7 weeks. Pentecost translates as 50 days. All these feasts were to remind them of their sinfulness and to offer praise and sacrifice to God who forgave them every time. All this time they didn’t realize that it was part of the Promise of God to put His Spirit in their hearts. It would be the only way to chase away the amnesia because then The Holy Spirit would live within them reminding them constantly of their God; Softening their hearts toward their Maker.

But not only that

With the Holy Spirit within them, they (and we) now have the POWER to live godly lives. (2 Peter 1:3) He guides us. He helps us live lives that please God. Consider Peter. Remember how he failed time and again even though he wanted to serve Jesus. He swore He would never deny the Lord, but He did… three times. Other times, he would speak out and Jesus would have to rebuke him.

Until Pentecost

What a difference it made when Peter received empowerment from above. Suddenly, He was bold and able to preach the Gospel to everyone in Jerusalem and later everywhere He went with no “foot-in-mouth” disease.

And Guess What…

We can have that same power. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes in to live with us. And when we die to ourselves, we are empowered to live faithful lives. Paul shared with the Galatians that when we give control to the Holy Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lust of the spirit any longer. Instead, we will produce the Fruit of His Spirit. Let’s look…

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Galatians 5:16-25, NLT

galatians 5:25
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No More Sacrifices

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection removed the need for the sacrificial system. His Great Sacrifice was perfect and suited to save all men who would accept Him. Once and for all our sins are forgiven. (Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 9:12, 25-26)

So what does God expect of us? Are we allowed to just go about living the same lives? NO! (Romans 6:1-3) That would nullify what Jesus did for us. We are to put our carnal selves to death and allow the Spirit to live through us. Consequently, He now guides and directs every part of us. Back in the “old days”, they would say to give God the “unknown bundle”; that is, we give Him everything, even the things to come that we don’t know about. Whatever He wills, is our will.

When we sign a contract, the stipulations are all laid out and we sign on the dotted line. But with the Unknown Bundle, we sign on a blank sheet of paper and hand it to God. Then He places His plan for our lives on the paper.

And Praise His Name

He will empower us to follow the will of God. Sure, we may fail at times; but He will convict our hearts and we can ask forgiveness which He gives freely. The goal is that we will become increasingly more like Jesus.

I’m so glad that I have the Holy Spirit who goes with me every day, all day. I am empowered to live for Jesus.

How about you?

-Mandy