Category Archives: The Great Escape

A Sanctuary in the Desert

Everything we begin has an ending. The only thing with no end is eternity. That’s why it’s so important to choose right where we will spend it. The only way to a safe and happy eternity is Jesus. No one comes to the Father without him. I hope You have made Jesus your Savior and Lord.

The Great Escape series has now come to an end; but we will not leave our friends Eleazar and Rachel wandering with no end in the desert. The purpose of the “escape” was to reach the Promised Land. Reach it they will!

Something had to happen during the 40 years in the desert. I decided these two children were such good friends they needed to spend the rest of their lives together. When the story continues they will no longer be children, but parents and grandparents.  In the next part of the story, Conquering the Promised Land, their grandchildren, Eliab and Elizabeth, will be the “stars.”

Coming… Eleazar and Rachel with their grandchildren

Just as Eleazar and Rachel saw the wonder of God opening the Red Sea, their grandchildren will cross the Jordan on dry ground. So, follow us in the sequence, where God continues to do miracles, this time the people led by Joshua.

Today’s story is about the Tabernacle, how the people of God gave offerings and volunteered their skills to build the sanctuary that would be their place of worship where God showed his presence.

One interesting detail we find in Exodus 36:6,7. People brought their freewill offerings until there was more than enough. Then Moses restrained the people from bringing offerings. I like to think how it would be today if we came to church and were not allowed to give our offerings, because there was “more than enough.” How great would that be?

Well, here is the story for today. Be blessed. Inspire the children to give themselves as a “freewill” offering to the Lord. I was ten years old when I answered Jesus’ call to tell children about him. I’ve been doing that ever since. More than 60 years with Jesus gets better every day. How I wish that for every child! And for you!!!!

Before we continue with the journey to the Promised Land I will have a mission story. Have you heard about Amy Carmichael, the Irish girl who prayed for blue eyes? She spent her entire life in India rescuing girls and boys from a life without Jesus. That’s what’s coming up next. Find out if she got the blue eyes she prayed for!

Welcome today to read The Great Escape #15: A Special Sanctuary for the Lord

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Murmurings, Consequences, and Mercy

We have a gracious and merciful God. He had a merciful and humble servant. Year after year Moses endured complaining from the people of Israel. In the previous story he was upset and stroke the rock instead of talking to it.

Moses was not perfect–sometimes enough is enough! Now the people were complaining again, unhappy for the food God sent to them every morning, and once again in need of water. Water was a constant need. Men cannot live without water (women need even more!).

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Numbers 21:4-9

This was a foreshadow of the greatest gift to come. Jesus was lifted up on the Cross so that everyone who is bit by sin can lift up their eyes and look at Him and live. Praise the Lord, that is all of us!

The murmurings brought consequences–death in the camp! But our merciful God sent a means of salvation. “Lift up your eyes, look at the bronze serpent and live!”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [see chapter 11], let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Welcome to read the story about the bronze serpent. Next time will be the last story of THE GREAT ESCAPE. But there is more… They need to reach the Promised Land! So we will have a series about conquering Canaan. I hope you will continue to follow us.

May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The story for the day, #14 in THE GREAT ESCAPE: The Bronze Serpent

 

 

 

Are You Thirsty? There Are Springs of Living Water

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalm 42:1,2

Imagine yourself in the desert with millions of people, all in search of water. The search lasts three days, when at last you reach a water source, but it’s bitter! What a disappointment! Your throat is burning with thirst… but drinking bitter water? No way! That’s worse than not drinking water at all!

That’s what the Israelites experienced in the desert. They started complaining against Moses. It was no small thing to deal with thirsty people. It has been estimated that the water supply they needed on a daily basis represents 300 train tank wagons. This was not weekly or monthly, but daily! They would have needed 30 train wagons with food, but God sent bread from heaven to supply that need. God also watched over his people to give them water.

When they reached Marah, and the waters were bitter, God showed Moses a piece of wood that would heal the waters. When he threw it in the waters, the water became sweet. After Marah they arrived at Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. What a refreshing place in the desert heat!

Elim, a place of springs and palm trees

Today’s story is about the rock that accompanied Israel, the rock from which water gushed out. Paul writes in a letter to the church in Corinth that the spiritual rock that followed them was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-5). The incident that I cover in today’s story shows the faithfulness of God, even though his servant was unfaithful. Even though we are unfaithful, the Lord remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:11-13). How precious!

God wanted to show the people his glory, but Moses was overcome by anger. That can happen to anyone, especially if someone is under the pressure that Moses felt.

Once again the people were thirsty and there was no water. But there was a rock! God had already given them water from that rock, when Moses hit it. This time God told him to speak to the rock and water would gush forth. But anger overtook him, and Moses hit the rock, twice! God was faithful and gave water to his people. But Moses paid the consequences of his disobedience. He and his brother Aaron would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

It may seem a cruel punishment for the man who bore the burden of leading that rebellious people for forty years to the land of promise. The rock that accompanied them was Christ. On the cross Jesus was wounded and beaten to give us the water of life. We just have to “speak” to let the rivers of water flow in our hearts.

Are you thirsty? There are springs of living water. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1,2).

May we daily thirst for God and seek more and more of Jesus.

To expand on this topic, read:
John 4:13,14; 6:35; 7:37,38; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 21:6; 22:17.

Texts for today’s theme: Exodus 15:22-27; 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13.

I have a testimony that has to do with the verse that I have chosen for today’s story. It happened in 1975, when our little family had moved to Chaclacayo, in Peru. My brother Lasse and his friend Marco (my assistant Cristina’s father) were helping us paint the rooms. There was a problem, a very short supply of water. One morning, in our devotional time, we read the passage from Exodus 23:20-25. I hadn’t noticed before the promise in those verses, but when we came to verse 25, I jumped up and cried out in excitement, because of the words that God would bless our bread and our “water.” I took it personally, and during the time we lived in that house, we had the water we needed!

Are you thirsty? Jesus is the great spring of living water. Whoever comes to him will never thirst again!

Welcome to read the Great Escape story #13:  Water from a Rock

 

I am sad to inform you that our beloved artist Absalom did not recover from the infection he had and moved from the hospital to his heavenly home. Thank you for your prayers. He will be greatly missed. Some plans will have to change but the Lord will continue to lead this ministry and provide the help I need, no doubt about that. Please pray for Absalom’s family in Costa Rica.

 

 

Caleb, the spy with “a different spirit”

Caleb of the Old Testament is one of my favorite biblical characters. I am inspired by his enthusiasm and optimism. I love that at age 85 he felt as strong as when he was 40 and went to explore the land of Canaan. While he was there, he fell in love with a mountain, and he asked Moses to make that his inheritance. But he had to conquer it!

How could he feel as strong at 85, as when he was 40? It was the manna diet! We’re talking about a man who spent 40 years in the desert, eating manna every day. There was no variety in his diet. He ate the same thing every day! But it was bread from heaven. Read about the manna in Exodus 16.

God did not give his people any kind of food. The “dew” that covered the face of the desert every morning contained all the nutrients the body needed to stay strong and healthy.

Moses ate manna. Moses died at 120 years old. His eyes were not weak, nor his strength gone (see Deuteronomy 34:7). I wish I had the eyesight of Moses! And his vigor! It was the desert air and the manna diet that sustained him. The manna, that white thing like coriander seed that tasted like wafers made with honey (see Exodus 16:31), was an extraordinary food.

This week the story is about the spies that Moses sent to explore the Promised Land. One of the spies was Caleb, who had “a different spirit.” God himself said those words about his servant Caleb.

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Numbers 14:24

What was that “different spirit” like? Caleb faithfully followed the Lord. That kind of people we need to be.

When the spies returned from their exploratory trip, ten of them discouraged the people. Caleb and his friend Joshua were the only ones who believed that God would be with them to conquer the land. When the people of Israel heard the bad reports of the unbelieving spies, they cried all night! They even wanted to choose another leader and return to Egypt. As for Joshua and Caleb, the people even talked about stoning them!

God, tired of the complaints, punished the people by making them wander for 40 years in desert, until the unbelieving generation died.

But his servant Caleb, because he had “a different spirit” and faithfully followed the Lord, would go to the Promised Land, and his descendants would possess it.

Read Numbers 13:1-14:38; Deuteronomy 1:19-40; Joshua 14:6-14.

Read the story #12 in The Great Escape: The Twelve Spies of Israel

The land that Caleb went to explore is now Israel. Since the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century the Jews have lived in exile. It is a different people, a people that has maintained its identity, its language, its God Jehovah. The people of Israel returned to their land, and 70 years ago, David Ben Gurion declared the nation of Israel. This year Israel has celebrated its anniversary. We live in a historical moment. This one of the signs that Jesus is coming soon.

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED

Nancy, my friend who translates these stories from Spanish needs our support in prayer. Her husband, Dave, has been in a very freak accident. He was rescued at the last minute from burning alive in his truck. A tree fell on it and it caught fire. Three weeks he has been in ICU with Nancy by his side. We need to pray for his healing and recovery, and for Nancy to be rereshed and have the energy needed in this difficult situation.

Absalom-Leon Sixco, the artist that does the pictures for our stories is in the hospital with a blood infection. He has been very sick but the last report I received from Costa Rice, where he lives, stated that he is slowly recovering. Please pray that he will gain his strength back.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ten Commandments

Greetings!

I hope you are doing fine and are enjoying Summer (or Winter, depending on where you live). Where I live it’s been very hot and more heat is on the horizon.

I take advantage of early mornings to sit outside and enjoy God’s creation. The birds sing for me as I read my Bible. One morning God sent me a special visitor. A friend of mine said it was good that it was only one… could have been an invasion! This was a cute little one, not what probably invaded Egypt in the times of Moses. See Exodus 8:1-15.

Moses and millions of Israelites left Egypt (and all the frogs) behind. That’s what our stories have been about. When the big multitude came to Sinai, the mount of God, also called Horeb, the Lord gave Moses laws for the people. They had no laws of their own, because of having lived under Pharaoh in Egypt, obeying his laws. Now that they were a free people they needed laws.

Read about it in Exodus 19.

It was something spectacular when God spoke. There was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain. The mountain was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended in fire. The people trembled at a loud trumpet blast, that grew louder and louder. What an awesome experience it must have been!

God made a summary of the laws and wrote them on stone tablets, with his finger. We know them as the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:1-22.

A fun activity, also a teaching tool.
(Modeling is my granddaughter Lana.)

My assistant Cristina and I have prepared several helps to teach the Ten Commandments. Find them HERE.

Welcome to read today’s story. The Great Escape # 11: Commandments Written in Stone

I wish you blessings. Next time, probably within two weeks, we’ll have the story about the 12 spies sent to explore Canaan.

 

 

Manna in the Desert, God’s Provision

Two hundred years ago lived an amazing man named George Müller, who during his life sheltered more than 10,000 children in the orphanages he founded. It seems incredible! But it’s true. The most incredible thing about his life is that he did everything by faith. George Müller prayed for everything he needed! One of the many stories about God’s provision is of a breakfast that God provided by waking the baker early so he would bake bread and bringing the milkman to their door. His cart broke down outside of the orphanage. The children had come to empty tables. They thanked God for the food even when their cups and plates were empty. And God provided!

One of the many miracle God did for George Müller
and his “children.”

If you have not read this biography I highly recommend it.

God works miracles every day. See what Jesus promised:

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14,15

George Müller knew that he was doing God’s will. The Lord had called him to open homes for the many orphaned children in Bristol, England, so he could come with confidence before the throne of God.

Today’s story is about the great miracle that God did to provide food for Israel during the forty years of pilgrimage in the desert. Imagine how it might have been that first morning when the Israelites found the “manna.” Another miracle was of all the quails that God sent flying through the camp. Think of the millions of people who needed food. For God nothing is impossible!

Do you need a miracle? Do you have a physical or financial need? Do you have a special need in your family? Are you needing a job? Whatever it is, God is your Provider.

Our girls and the car God provided when it was
next to impossible to buy a car.

Forty years ago, when my husband and I were missionaries in Peru, it was almost impossible to buy a car there, but God did the “impossible” for us. First he provided us with money, then he opened the door for a Volkswagen from Brazil to arrive in Huancayo, where we worked. Only two cars arrived, and we got one of them! Of course we named the car DIOS PROVEE (“God Provides”), taken from Genesis 22:14? God is no respecter of persons. Anyone who comes to Him in faith can experience amazing miracles.

The teaching materials on this page and all my other pages are God’s “manna.” You cannot imagine the miracles that happen every week to make it possible for me to publish these stories. My main work is in Spanish, with Bible lessons and other teaching tools. One day I hope to do everything also in English, hoping to reach many mission fields.

Ten years ago I was on the verge of death. God has given me life, to share with children, parents and teachers the wonders of his love. Every month, when I go to the bank to send the payments to Absalom and Cristina for their artistic work, I am amazed because God has provided one more month of “manna.” Absalom is an artist from El Salvador, but he lives in Costa Rica. He does the pictures for these stories. We are working on having the entire Bible illustrated. Cristina is my assistant. She lived in Peru.

Summer greeting from Cristina and me

Why is this such a miracle? Keep in mind that I‘m a widow, living on social security. I have one small church in Sweden that sends me a monthly offering to cover some of the expenses. I do translation jobs to cover the rest. Sometimes I must put everything on hold to finish a job. That’s been the case these last few weeks, the reason why the story is much overdue.

Every time you receive a new story it’s a miracle! But I’m not the only privileged. For you too, God will work miracles. Ask Him! He is our Provider!

Forty years God provided nutritious “manna” in the desert. The mothers had to be very creative to provide some variety in the meals they served. The seeds they picked every morning were always the same. They must have contained all the vitamins and nutrients the body needed. I wonder how many ways to serve it the mothers in the Israeli camp came up with?!

Read Exodus 16 and marvel at God’s provision.

The story for today is #10 in The Great Escape: Bread from Heaven

 

 

 

 

A Happy Celebration

I have reason to celebrate, thanking God for two excellent helpers. Five years ago, my Peruvian assistant Cristina started working for me. A couple of years before that, God answered my long-time prayers for an artist, Absalom in Costa Rica, to illustrate my Bible stories. My goal is to one day provide them all in English. For now, I’m happy that I can do the stories. I have Nancy in Alabama to thank for that. This ministry is a labor of love, a wonder of God’s grace.

Here you can find materials if you know people who need helps in Spanish:

hermanamargarita.com  and  misperlitas.wordpress.com

I’m sorry I had to skip one week in posting the story. We had some technical issues, as well as getting off schedule. Cristina had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She and her sisters spent two weeks of vacation in Mexico. See here my beautiful assistant.

Will you help me pray for Cristina and Absalom, for God’s continued provision for us to do this work. I don’t have in my garden a tree that produces money, but I have a God who gives us “our daily bread.”  For me that means freelance translation jobs so I can pay my helpers. God’s provision all these years is something I celebrate. All glory be to Jesus, my beloved Savior!

In today’s story there is also celebration. Eleazar’s parents and Raquel’s dad have been worried about their “lost” children. Now they find them, and all of them get together at the sea-shore to tell about their experiences of crossing the sea. And Eleazar finds out the meaning of his name–God is my help.

The story will continue with a few more chapters, telling about how it was on the journey through the desert. “Food from Heaven” is the next chapter.

Cover for a Binder

For those who want to make a binder to keep the stories, here is a file with cover page, spine text, and back cover. I’ve made a binder to keep on my coffee table, that way any visitor I have can easily read the stories.

File to print: Cover for Great Escape

In these Great Escape stories we’ve seen what happened on the first Passover, that night when the people of Israel came out of slavery in Egypt to start the long journey to the Promised Land. God ordained that this celebration be done every year.

This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD–a lasting ordinance. Exodus 12:14

For generations the people of Israel remembered this first Passover. Then came Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and now we celebrate each year his death and resurrection.

Did you see the Remembrance Circle we prepared for Easter this year? It can be used to celebrate Jesus anytime of the year.

Find it HERE.

 

You can make this circle in double or triple size for the classroom or the home. Wouldn’t it be great if each classroom and home had one, to remember what Jesus has done for us, to reflect on his redemptive work, and to rejoice for all his blessings.

Welcome those who have joined us recently. If you have not subscribed yet, I invite you to do so. That way you’ll receive an email notice every time there is a new story or some other communication.

Do you have something to celebrate? Yes, of course! This morning you woke up; your heart was beating. You didn’t have to wind it up. You are breathing. Celebrate life! Every day God gives us life is a happy celebration.

Celebrate that God is your strength. Like the meaning of Eleazar’s name, God is your help! More than anything…

Celebrate Jesus!

Welcome to read The Great Escape story #9: Together Once Again