Monday, June 7, 2010

Lessons from Esther

The "Esther" Girls

This past school year my Bible Study group finished "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman" by Beth Moore.
"The whole school year? Isn't that study like 9-10 weeks?" I hear the questions coming from those die-hard Beth Moore fans.
Yes, to both of those questions.
But, I love it that we took a 9 week Bible study and turned it into a 9 month one. We broke up the weeks into months, so that we had time to finish it and watched the videos together. If you've never had the chance to do one of Beth's studies this one is really good. Any of them are great, but I really enjoyed this one.

Anyway, here are a few of the lessons that I gleamed from the life of Esther...I'll only give a few from the end of the study, otherwise, I will just be writing her study (and like I have time to do that, right? NOT!).

1. "God has my lot secure."
Esther 3:7 lets us know that a lot was cast to determine the date when all the Jews were to be annihilated; but in Esther 9:22 we see that the tables were turned..."sorrow was turned to joy and their mourning into a day of celebration."
Psalm 16:5 says, "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure."
Just as God had the Jews' lot secure, he has mine as well. So, whatever comes my way, He will give me what is needed....He is not surprised or shocked....He has it held together. As a mother of a special needs child, this truth keeps me sane...because God not only has my lot secure, he has Matthea's lot secure as well.

2. "Beauty in God's realm is not a treatment. It is a destiny." Beth Moore
Esther 2:12 we see that they girls had to undergo a 12 month beauty cycle before they were allowed to see the king. Beauty is all about looks...not much has changed since the days of the Persians, eh? Just look at any magazine in the world. I was reminded of this fact as I sat at a beauty salon a few months ago to get my hair washed. I was given a Chinese magazine and, of course, couldn't read it. BUT, it didn't matter. I saw the beautiful, the glamorous, the knock-out bod on each magazine.
God is more worried about our character than our body. Although, he does want us to take care of our bodies properly.
Ecc. 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time." That includes you and me.
But, this got me to thinking about my other daughter who will be a fashion police in about another six months time, I'm sure. A 6 year old fashion police is a very scary thing to have in your me. Especially when fashion is NOT your strong point.
But, seriously, it made me think about what she watches and sees on the characters care too much about their looks? Do their body types look like the norm or like the super-star bods that we all desire to have? What about what she sees from me?
She IS only five...but I want her to grow up with a healthy outlook of her own body and more importantly to care about her own character....that she would desire to be like Christ.

OK, so here's a question for you....
If you've done a Beth Moore study, which was your favorite?
What have you learned lately from studying the Bible?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memories in the Market

Last night a small group of us went to the Shilin Night Market to say "Good-bye" to Marcy, a dear friend that is leaving Taiwan after three years. It WAS raining, but we managed to have some fun anyway!

Standing outside the market with Erin and Marcy

Going on a weekday night is best. The crowds are not as bad, nor as overwhelming. But, don't think for a minute that the place was not hopping....because even in the rain, there were still people wandering around with drinks and snacks and doing LOTS of shopping.

We began the night off right. With. Dessert! Love not having the kids with us! ;) Uwe bargained with the lady to get a better deal. She threw in a small bag of sesame taffy candy and we each could have one soft peanut taffy like candy...but that was it. She wasn't budging. But, it made for a good entertainment watching them go back and forth for a few minutes. (But never worry, it was all laughs in the end on both sides...gotta love Asia!)

This "log" beauty is Amazing! Inside the dough-like crust is crushed peanuts,
black sesame, and SUGAR! This stand was a total sugar bomb!

So, to take the sugar rush off we followed with an onion fried bread. Of course, I didn't get a picture of this...but it is basically dough with green onion kneaded into it and then rolled out flat, then fried on a hot plate. Nice and hot!

Something we did NOT eat was the famous Shilin Oyster Omelet. These slimy things are cooked all around the market. If you like oysters, you probably would like it, but if you don't...well, then probably not.

These three Oyster Omelets had lettuce scattered on top. After this,
they would add a red sauce, which I'm not sure what it was since we did NOT eat any!

Back to what we did do.....after we finished the onion flat bread, we got the best drink there. Mango slushy....let me be clear...fresh mango slushy! Ahh, they are good no matter the weather! This did not make the Top 5 List, but would have made the Top 10 for sure!

Shilin Market is not just a food does have shops and games. We meandered around the arcade part....Uwe played a game to test his skills from his military days. And won us each a balloon horn; that when you blow up the balloon and let go the horn goes off.

He only posed with this game....this market is best described
as a county fair without the livestock and large rides!

We shopped a little and bought some odd and end things at a cheap store with lots of random things...from toys to ties to masks to tools to clothes to whatever you need. From there we finally ate some supper at Alibaba's! Great little Indian stand...

The guy would flip the bread like a pizza crust then cook it on the round topped oven.

I got the Garlic Chicken and Uwe got the Curry Chicken.

That ended our night on the town with Marcy. Last day of school is tomorrow with more good-byes at the last school chapel to staff leaving. Better remember to bring my tissues as it won't be the laughs like we had this night...
Thanks for some great memories, Marcy!