Forty Days

After forty days, Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7)

Some say there is no significance with ‘forty’ because we tend to try to find the meaning behind every number in the bible. But when it comes to the number forty, is there a pattern? 

Lent is a total of forty days. Forty days for us to sacrifice. Forty days for us to repent our sins. Forty days to become closer to God and immerse ourselves in His word. Maybe God uses this literal forty, days, nights, years, to stress times of trouble and hardship. There are quite a few mentions of forty days in the bible here’s a quick look at some of them: 

God destroyed the earth with rain for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:12)

Moses fled into the desert for forty days (Acts 7:30)

Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18)

Deuteronomy 25:3, the number of lashes a man can receive for a crime is forty

Deuteronomy 8:2-5 the Israelites wandered for forty years

Goliath taunted Saul’s army for forty days before David arrives (1 Samuel 17:16)

Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2)

There are 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (Acts 1:3)

Similar to lent, there are forty days after Jesus rose from the tomb and before he ascends into heaven. During this time, again, identical to Lent, was not easy for the Apostles. They lived in fear. They lived in sadness. They lived in doubt. Yet, Jesus presented himself over this period of forty days preaching about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). So even in uncertain times, Jesus continues to spread the good news of God. He uses these forty days to teach and strengthen his Apostles with God’s word. 

If we look at our lives right now, most of us are approaching or are past the forty-day stay-at-home ordinance due to this pandemic. Has it been difficult? Has it been a time of fear? Has it been a time of uncertainty? Does it continue to be a hardship, or are you making a shift to be like Jesus and use this time to get closer to God? 

We are here for you. You are not alone. Let us know how we can pray for you today. 

Feed Your Spirit with Angelsea

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I am so happy you joined me today! With the determination to consciously live in God’s word, I invite you to plug in and prepare your heart as I, Feed Your Spirit.

Angelsea Urban is a devoted warrior of God, wife of 23 years to her high school sweetheart, homeschooling mother, mentor, and accomplished consultant and photographer. She lives near Long Beach Island, New Jersey with her husband and her two teenage children.

Angie also runs several ministries including her newest one, Creative Collective Ministry at Bayside Chapel in Barnegat, New Jersey. A ministry geared towards people who have the heart to worship God through the arts (which Jill is also a part of).  She believes that her family’s happiness and success are a by-product of glorifying God.

Angie’s favorite…

Scripture: “Seek first the kingdom of God” ~ Matthew 6:33

Other mentions in the show:

Angelsea Urban Portraits

Rooted Studios

Church: Bayside Chapel

Follow Angie on Instagram at ANGELSEA_URBAN_PORTRAITS 

 

About Feed Your Spirit – Join Jill Dobrowansky as she has conversations with everyday people who have battled some of life’s difficult seasons. It is through these times when their faith was renewed because of God’s love and grace. On Feed Your Spirit, we like to say that we are imperfectly perfect people who are uplifting others through grace-filled encouragement.

We are produced by 2 Scripture Sisters

Today’s episode was edited by Chris Nesi. Find more information about Chris and his work at https://chrisnesi.com

Listen to our new episode now!

He is Risen!

The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, He has risen from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee, you will see him there. Listen, I have told you.” So departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell his disciples the news. ~ Matthew 28:5-8 (NIV) 

What is so wonderful about the celebration of Easter is how the story of Jesus is not over. On the contrary, it’s only the beginning. It’s a new beginning for all of us. It’s a new beginning to live our lives with hope. To live a new life forgiven of our sins. A new life to walk with God. This is why these four simple words, “He is not here,” excite us. It is the prophecy coming to life! It is a fulfilled promise of God. 

We encourage you today to be like the women and run with great joy to spread the good news, “He is Risen Indeed!” Easter may look and feel different for you and your family than it has in the past and that’s ok. We pray you don’t dwell on what’s missing today but to turn your focus on the exciting news of the empty tomb. 

Leave us a comment below and share how you are celebrating this Easter Sunday. 

Special Message during Uncertain Times

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Hi Friends! I have a special message for all my listeners during these ever-changing, unsettled times. All of our lives have been transformed and impacted in some way during the COVID-19 crisis.

https://2scripturesisters.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-rjXtDBpGo/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Listen to our new episode now!

Almsgiving this Easter

This Easter, many of us will not be traveling to spend Easter Sunday with family or friends. We will not be congregating in a church. A lot of us will not be giving financial contributions to our churches or to a local charity because of unemployment or furlough. Everyone is struggling in some way this Easter – financially, economically, emotionally. So how do we get past this time of struggle and give alms during Easter? 

Right now, not many people are in a financial position to give to their church or an organization. If that is your current situation, there is still a way for you to give during this Easter season. It may not come in the form of giving money. It may come in the form of giving up a travel-sized hand-sanitizer to someone without. It may come in the form of putting together a care package for someone who cannot leave their house. Maybe it’s adding on an extra meal to your takeout order for a local hospital worker. Maybe it’s leaving out a package of disinfectant wipes to the truck driver delivering your packages. 

Speaking of truck drivers, I overheard a news anchor, as the closing music was being played, to remember to pray for the truck drivers. This is a group of workers who we are very familiar with from our childhood. I remember dad being gone for days or having to leave on a Sunday just to pick up his truck and hit the road. The hours were long. The work was exhausting. During this time, restrictions on drivers were few and employers did take into account the driver’s health and well-being. We are seeing some of the effects of that now with Dad’s declining health. It struck me that not a lot of people are paying attention to the long hours these truck drivers are working, pushing the current restrictions to the max (or in some cases, beyond) just to get the supplies to the stores and to your doorstep. Without them, our entire supply chain would break down. 

We all have a gift to give this Easter. Again, your gift may not be going into a collection basket or in an envelope but we all have the gift of prayer. So I urge you, whatever you can give, please do so with a genuine heart and make sure you are giving out of love, for God. 

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 2-3 NIV).


Let us know how we can pray for you.

Be the Light in the Valley

As a writer, the middle is usually the hardest part of the book to write. It’s not as exciting as the beginning, and it’s definitely not as fast-paced as the climax. It’s the valley. It can be arduous, and this is where most writers call it quits. It’s not much different than our current situation. Most of us have been home for several weeks now. For our family and us, tomorrow is the 3-week at-home mark for us here in VA and NJ. And with most states now calling a stay-at-home order until further notice, this pandemic is beginning to feel like an overpacked carry-on luggage.


So how do we get through this middle? How do we get through this valley? 
In a time when we need encouragement and positive news, we invite you to sign up for The Power of Positive Summit. This free online event is running from April 2nd – 8th. Each day a new short video from authors, leaders, athletes, artists, CEOs, and so many more will be available to you! We encourage you not to miss this online event! You can sign up here: http://www.powerofpositivesummit.com


Turn your eyes up and open your heart to Him. He will lead us through the dark valleys only so that we can shine on hilltops. The Lord will be your everlasting light and your days of sorrow will end (Isaiah 60:20 NIV).


As always, please let us know how we can pray for you or encourage you. 

Remain in Faith

Lent is a time for reflection on our transgressions and a time to seek God in all we do, good and bad. For most of us, this is the first time we will be missing Easter celebrations with our church communities. It will possibly be the first time we cannot be with extended family on Easter Day. For me, it’ll be the first time I cannot spend Good Friday in silent reflection gazing upon the stained glass windows that depict the stations of the cross in my silent church or leaving service in complete silence and sadness. We all are grieving in some way or another. As all these “normal” moments in life quietly slip away, how are you responding? 

First, let me reassure you, it’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to go to God with our sadness. It’s ok to ask Him to restore your faith. It’s ok to go to Him and confess that you don’t understand what is happening around us. Did you know you can go to Him and tell Him that you are mad? 

In the short book of Habakkuk, we witness the conflict between the Lord and one of His prophets. In the first two chapters, Habakkuk argues with God. Yes, argues! He is wrestling with God. Habakkuk questions how such wickedness, strife, and oppression are rampant in Judah while God does nothing. “How long Lord must I call for help, but you do not listen. Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds (Habakkuk 1: 2-3 NIV)!” When God responds, Habakkuk’s confusion and frustration intensify. Despite this exchange, in the end, Habakkuk prays, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength…(Habakkuk 3:19 NIV)” 

Others may respond in this crisis, much like Job. Job was one of the wealthiest and most faithful men on the earth. “Then the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8 NIV)” God essentially permitted Satan to test Job on the condition that Job must remain alive. Here is what happened to Job in one chapter after another (Job 1:13-19)

  • His children perished
  • His livestock stolen
  • Lightning struck killing all the sheep and all the shepherds
  • His servants perished
  • A storm swept through his house killing more family
  • His friends tried to get him to turn his back on God

Job tore his clothes off and fell onto the earth, and worshipped. One attack after another and Job did not sin, and he did not blame God. He questions God on things he possibly cannot understand. And still, through it all, Job recognizes God’s infinite power and remained in faith. God eventually restores all that Job lost with twice as much and blesses him with a remarkably long life. 

I pray these two examples can show you that no matter what we are experiencing right now, in this pandemic, we can be like Habakkuk and Job and remain faithful to God.

Are you struggling to stay in faith? 

  • Serve someone in need.
  • Pray for someone else before ourselves. 
  • Choose to TRUST God in the face of uncertainty.
  • REMEMBER God’s abilities. 

Let us know how we can pray for you during this season. Leave us a comment or reach out to us on social media.

The Purple Robe

And thou shalt make a hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. Exodus 26:36 (KJV)

Growing up, we had the privilege of watching our grandmother go into the church each week and dress the altar. At the time our family was Catholic, like most families in our community, and we were heavily involved in the church. Going to mass on Saturday nights, celebrating holidays, and performing all our sacraments were woven into our daily life. Our grandmother and her best friend, Mrs. Dee, would sew the altar cloths and sometimes the priest’s stoles. Over time, our mother assumed this role too. When we would go with Gram to dress the altar and pulpit, she allowed us to be on the altar which we thought was reserved for adults, mainly men, and altar boys. It felt as if we were a part of higher society. Witnessing the changing of colors and decorations was a privilege. We were seeing it before anyone else! Every Christmas, it was decorated with extra candles, poinsettias, manger scenes, wreaths, reds, golds, greens. But at Easter, it was always decorated in the deepest richest purples you could ever imagine. I assumed everything was purple because most of most Easter flowers were white and purple, surely a sign of Spring. Little did this child truly understand the greater meaning. 

So what is the behind the meaning or significance of purple during Lent? If we look more closely at the color purple in the bible it signifies a few things. 

First, it signifies wealth. Among other colors like scarlet and gold, purple a difficult color to be produced in that time period. Therefore only the wealthiest could afford to have it made into garments and curtains. In Esther 8:15, And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple…

Second, it signifies authority. Kings and soldiers to the roman army wore colors that signified status. In particular, we know most Roman soldiers wore red or scarlet, however, higher-ranking soldiers often wore purple alongside Kings. Judges 8:26, …besides ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian. 

Finally, it signifies mockery. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. (John 19: 2-3). And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.  Mark 15:2020 KJV

With a deliberate reading of various passages that reference purple, the Passion is the one that hits the hardest. To me, it no longer signifies Spring and rebirth. A purple cloth draped over the cross is a stark reminder that Jesus was mocked and ridiculed up until death. It’s such a striking color that makes us pause. It’s a reminder during Lent of how God wants us to spend time reflecting on what He sacrificed for us, how He forgives our sins time and time again. It’s a dark color reminding us that we all have darkness within.

So I challenge you this week to find something purple and leave it out where it will remind you to pause for God. Let it make you think of how you can repent your sins to God so that you may be forgiven and renewed by His grace. Remember we all are fighting something in the dark. You are not alone. God will not deny you because of these sins, that’s why He sent us Jesus. 

What’s one thing that you are trying to change during this Lenten season? 

How can we pray for you? 

Desert Season

There is a theme that I am becoming familiar with, and it’s called “desert season.” Jesus spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by Satan. And with each temptation, he replied, “It is written…” Jesus’ triumph over his adversary is through his father’s promised word. We too, when baptized renounce Satan and his three temptations: the world, the flesh, and the devil and accept Jesus as our Savior.  

Now knowing what it truly means, I look at a desert season as a time when we are just taking one hit after the other. When you are getting ahead in your finances, car trouble hits or a tax bill is more significant than predicted. You are determined to have a productive week at work, chaos breaks out, and you barely keep your head above all the tasks. To-do lists are interrupted. Do you ever feel this way? One hit after the other. It truly feels as if we are under attack. If we look at this week alone, we are in a national state-of-emergency from a global pandemic. Our stamina, our spirit, our hearts, our bodies, our patience, our kindness – it’s all under attack right now – we are in the desert with Satan. 

What do we do? Do we crawl in bed, throw the covers over our heads, and crash into a deep sleep? Do we eat junk food? Do we rely on alcohol? Whatever the vice is, I can assure you, if it’s not turning to God for guidance, relief, or reliance, it’s sinful. We are all full of sinful behaviors during trying times, but with the word, we can change that. 

How? We can model what it looks like to walk with Jesus. We can be patient. We can be kind. We can spread peace, not panic. We can be diligent. We can be a part of the solution. We can choose to unplug from the madness and focus on our time with family. We lay our burdens down for God is with us. He has not left us. He has not forsaken us. He can lead out of this desert season. All we have to do is call on Him and ask. Ask for forgiveness. Ask for guidance. Ask for strength. Ask for Him to find your weaknesses and make you secure. God will not cure all ailments, but he can heal the inadequacies in our souls and strengthen our spirits during our desert season. If we spend time with Him and in His word, we can discern His voice, and believe me; it’s comforting. 

 We’d love to keep this dialogue going. Tell us about your desert season so we can pray for you. 

 PS: I was going to write about the color purple during lent and how the dark color is a representation of the darkness in our soul. However, with the week we all had, I knew to focus on our “desert season.” Besides, God was preparing me all last week to write about being in the desert. We here at 2 Scripture Sisters know that God gives us messages all the time. He keeps putting a word or a theme or an image in your path to make you stop and pay attention to Him. Since our last blog post, I kept hearing about deserts. It was everywhere! Every song. Every talk radio show. Every bible plan I opened. The word “desert” kept showing up. So I stopped. I listened. I prayed. I did not intend to write about our current situation in the nation as a desert season but felt it was necessary. I pray that this blog serves as a reminder to talk with God often, desert season, or not.

Search Me and Lead Me

Last Wednesday began the Lent season. As a child, it was a day of quiet reflection with a smudge of ashes on our foreheads. It was also the day when we discussed at dinner what each of us would give up. Chocolate. Cookies. Dessert. Soda. Those are the types of sacrifices we made during lent. It was also the time when Fridays were either fish or some sort of meatless dinner, pizza mainly. Other than that, it was a waiting game until Easter. Our childhood Easters were the usual American Catholic celebrations. The morning started out with an egg hunt and the search for large baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, egg, and marshmallow peeps. Then we’d eat breakfast, get dressed in pastel dresses, put on our hand-crocheted ponchos and off to church. Our family holiday dinners were filled with activity. It made for wonderful childhood memories. 

Now as a 45-year-old, Lent is very different. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to God now than I have ever been. I understand the true meaning of sacrifice. The true meaning of preparation. The true meaning of reflection. And not just any reflection but a specific reflection on my sins. Lent is a time to ask God to search my soul for any darkness or anything that displeases Him. It’s a time to take a hard look at where I need His intervention and ask for His forgiveness and help. 

As you get to know us here at 2 Scripture Sisters, you will find a recurring theme of being still and seeking quiet. This year’s Lenten message from Pope Francis asks us to turn off the devices and open our bibles. This is a brilliant message and a wise one too. We are all too connected to the media world, including our own social media. These distractions often keep us from hearing God’s word. So as Pope Francis encourages the world, I encourage you. Disconnect. Discern. Dive deep into the desert with Jesus through the word. God is waiting for you. 

If you are on a journey of walking with Christ, what does Lent look like for you now? 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139 23-24

Final thought: I encourage you to read the full Lenten message from Pope Francis. I was moved by his wisdom and how he understands the struggle of living in a relentlessly connected world.