Sunday, August 4, 2019


Today’s¬†Reading: Esther 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Located about 200 metres inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate is Christ Church. It is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East. It was completed in 1849 and soon after became known as the “Jewish Protestant Church.” My son chose this photograph for today’s reading because of the “Star” in the sky.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Esther 2:7

And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.


Esther’s name means “Star” in the Persian language. Ahasuerus is the Hebrew name for Xerses, King of Persia (modern day Iran). The historian Herodotus refers to the six month long banquet (of today’s reading) as the occasion of Xerxes’ planning for the expansion of his empire into Europe. Persia was defeated in a sea battle just off the coast of Greece (479 BC). Xerxes then headed home where he sought a new Queen. A few days ago we were reading from the book of Ezra. The story of Esther fits between chapters 7 & 8 of Ezra. Xerxes is called Artaxerxes in Ezra.

God chose an orphan girl, raised by her closest relative, Mordecai, to save His ancient people from a holocaust which would have otherwise destroyed the Jewish people. God had long-term plans for the Jews, which continue to this day. God also has plans to bless all of us too, as long as we, like Mordecai and Esther, co-operate with His plans by our own free will. Like Esther, we may not comprehend what God is doing at the present time, but as we are faithful, someday we will look back and we will see that God was at work.


Lord God, I pray that all the plans You have for me will be accomplished as I am faithful to read Your word and pray every day. You have said that You desire to give me “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). I believe You are at work in me and in the lives and circumstances around me. I ask these mercies in Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!


I’ve stood on the eastern shore of the Ionian Sea at Salamis, between Athens and Corinth, and imagined the defeat of Xerxes’ mighty naval armada by the smaller and faster Greek ships who set the Persian vessels on fire and forced them to retreat. Xerxes never had a chance to land his army on the shores of Europe. Several years later, the Greek emperor conquered Persia and a new Empire arose under Alexander the Great.

Norma-Jean, my wife of almost 59 years, won’t read this until it’s too late to keep me from telling this story, so here goes… People would often comment about her lovely dresses, and I wouldn’t tell where she purchased her changes of wardrobe. It was at the Hadassah Bazzar (“Hadassah” is Esther’s Hebrew name). This Jewish women’s organization, named with Esther’s Hebrew name, would sell slightly used clothes at an annual event. Norma-Jean never wanted to miss the great deals at the annual sale. Years later, in the year 2000, our youngest grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen, was born in the “Hadassah” Hospital in Jerusalem (pictures below). The hospital is one of the projects supported by the Jewish women’s organization in Canada. Norma-Jean always looked great in those dresses as she would often sing on national TV. A Jerusalem hospital was helped a little bit by Norma-Jean’s purchases!

Yours for being like Mordecai and Esther (Hadassah), at the right place and at the right time, so that God’s will may be done “on earth as it is in Heaven,”



My grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen, born November 23, 2000 in the Hadassah (Esther) hospital, Jerusalem.

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where Nathaniel Shaheen was born.

3 thoughts on “Sunday, August 4, 2019

  1. Love this story of Esther. Thank you Irene and Blessed as I missed thanking you for your prayers yesterday. Our family reunion was awesome in that we had the most freedom yet to share the Gospel in prayer and speaking what God had laid on my heart for my family. All glory to the Lord and thank you for your faithful prayers. I thought of you as we were enjoying this time. Praise God that we can be workers together for Christ. God bless you. Hope you are feeling better Doreen!

  2. Thanks Get. I have been much better today. Very happy about it too – thought I might need to go into care! God is my strength.

  3. William
    wondering was does SDA stand for in your blog the other day? I’m slow at figuring things out;
    things still going sideways for me; I ask the Lord to provide the right person for the room; monies to go on loan; can’t move ahead or back……Lord here I am,, I pray for Your guidance and help Thank you Lord in Jesus name I Pray amen
    Doreen; praying for total healing for you in Jesus Name amen

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