At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference I sat down with Donna Feyen of More Than A Review to talk about Blood Moon Redemption. Please join us.
So delighted and honored to be a 2019 Selah Award Winner. Awards were presented at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference on May 22. Blood Moon Redemption won Third Place in Mystery and Suspense. Not long after that wonderful evening I was awarded two Finalist placements in the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards — Religious Fiction and Book Cover Design Fiction.
Super Wolf Blood Moon tonight, Sunday, Jan. 20 into Monday Jan. 21 followed by a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus Tuesday morning. Apparently we have some glorious events to view in the night sky in the next few days. As long as the weather is clear we’ll have a great view of Sunday’s lunar eclipse. The moon is at its closest point in its orbit to the earth . . . known as perigee. Apogee is when it’s at its farthest point from the earth. When the moon is in full phase and perigee it’s called Super Moon – it appears a bit brighter than at other times. The first full moon in January is known as the Wolf Moon – apparently so called because the wolves could commonly be heard howling that time of year. A Blood Moon is so named because of the red tinge due to the refraction (bending) of light as the moon passes through the shadow of the earth. Just a thought – when you watch a lunar eclipse you see the shadow of the planet you live on. I just think that is so cool.
On Tuesday morning those two brilliant lights in the pre-dawn sky will pass near each other, known as a conjunction. The smaller light is the planet Jupiter and the larger is the planet Venus. As we orbit the sun and they as well, it will appear they are next to each other, even though they are 400 million miles apart.
Neither of these events is that unusual, but what a privilege to view God’s handiwork in creation. It’s been 3 years since a total lunar eclipse has been visible in the U.S. Genesis 1:14 states “And God said, et there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.” They are not to rule our lives . . . God is our Lord, but they often indicate and foretell what God is doing – think of the star that guided the Wisemen to meet the child Jesus. Astronomy is fascinating. Astrology is putting our trust in the wrong place.
In my novel, Blood Moon Redemption, I explore the prophecies and events that surrounded the Blood Moons that occurred on Jewish Feast Days intertwined with an ancient relic and a terrorist plot. Might be a fun read as we have this Super Wolf Blood Moon this weekend and a great Planet Conjunction just 36 hours later. Happy sky viewing and speculating what these events might signify.
The Cheesehead Devotional Hall of Fame Edition was named a Finalist in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. It also received Second Place Nonfiction in the Serious Writer Medal Awards.
Vince Lombardi is on every page and Brett Favre’s mother, Bonita, wrote the foreword. www.amazon.com/Cheesehead-Devotional-Hall-Fame/dp/1946016330
Christmas Ivy has been awarded two honors. 2016 at the Florida Christian Writers Conference it won First Place in Short Story. Recently it was named a Winner in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. Christmas Ivy takes you to a simpler time with heart-felt needs and an amazing visit that points to a provision that can only be divine. www.amazon.com/Christmas-Ivy-Judy-DuCharme-ebook/dp/B01N0B4MY9
BLOOD COVENANT, ISRAEL, AND THE END TIMES
Bible Study by Judy DuCharme
What is Blood Covenant?
Basically: Whatever you have belongs to me and whatever I have belongs to you.
Technically: A solemn agreement or contract or union between two parties who give themselves unreservedly to each other – strength and weakness, wealth and debt.
It is the strongest bond two people can have and it lasts to all following generations.
10 steps of Covenant throughout the world and history:
Write what and where you remember seeing these steps in the Bible:
1. Two people come together._______________________________________________________
2. Exchange of coats – “Here is me” (character, commitment) _____________________________________________________________________________
3. Exchange of weapons – sword, shield, bow – “I am your strength, I will defend you.”
4. Exchange of portion of name _______________________________________________
5. Cutting – letting of blood (wrists) ____________________________________________
6. Wound is sealed so it can always be seen – rub something in so, even when healed, it’s visible.
7. Animal(s) cut in half – walk around while pledging commitment _______________________
8. Rehearse blessings and cursings – very stringent, serious ______________________________
9. Memorial established to remind of covenant – stones (engraved), sheep exchange, planting of trees _____________________________________________________________
10. Covenant Meal (celebration) – simple bread and wine ______________________________
The word ‘covenant’ appears more than 250 times in Old Testament.
Do you see the 10 steps mostly in the Old Testament or New Testament? ___________________
Have you seen covenant stories in the Bible? _____________________________________________
Where do you see covenant in your life? ______________________________________________
Blood Covenant, Israel, and the End-times
Bible Study by Judy DuCharme
Nehemiah 1:5 And I said, “I beseech Thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.
2 Cor. 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. (first is old covenant, second is new covenant)
Covenant Heads or Partners are called Friends. This is not a light term. John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants . . . but I have called you friends.
2 Chronicles 20:7 Abraham, thy friend forever.
The Creator voluntarily initiated entering into covenant with the created.
Genesis 15:1 the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.” (This is the exchange of ___________)
Genesis 15:17 a smoking oven and a burning torch passed between the pieces. (of cut animals)
The ancient Hittites would cut animals and the lower party would walk between the bleeding pieces and take an oath of loyalty to the superior, “May the gods do so to me as I have done to these animals if I do not fulfill the terms of this covenant.” In Gen. 15:17, who is passing between the pieces and what does this tell you? ____________________________________________________
And do you see a significant comparison in the New Testament? _____________________________
God’s name: Jehovah which comes from Yahweh, which comes from Yah,which is pronounced like breath escaping “AH!” Read Genesis 17:5, 15. What did God insert into Abram and Sarai’s names?
________________________. Think about the sound of the breath. How does that relate to who we are? _______________________________________
Exodus 3:6,15 God now calls Himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. And He says it is His name forever. What has God done here? ______________________________
God requires circumcision in Gen. 17: 10,13,26, a sign of cutting, of letting blood.
Read Deuteronomy 11:26-29. What is the condition or the key to receive the benefits of the covenant? ___________
Deuteronomy 28 lays out the benefits and blessings as well as the curses. List some of the blessings God provides for you in His covenant. __________________________________________________
Memorials established to remember the covenant – stones engraved or piled into a monument, sheep exchanged, trees planted.
Exodus 12:1-28 Passover, the Covenant Meal – the day, the meal, and the blood were all signs. Read verses 13,14. Do you see companion signs in New Testament? What are they? ________________
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. Where does Jehoshaphat remember the covenant? ___________________
What does God tell them to do? _______________________________
God’s covenant is set, is promised, but we must engage it. How do we do that? _______________
When God said to Abraham, “Give me your son, your only son” in Genesis 22, Abraham knew it was covenant and that because of covenant God would do the same. He obeyed unquestioningly for it was covenant rights. And Abraham named the place ‘The Lord will provide’ for God asked for his son and then provided the ram. How did God later do just what he asked of Abraham? __________________ _____________________________________________________
When Jesus, in the Passover with his disciples, said, “This is the blood of the New Covenant”, the disciples had a thorough understanding of what it meant to enter into covenant.
After going through this, where do you see covenant evidence in your personal life?
Mephibosheth, a Covenant Story by Judy DuCharme
The dust billowed as the young messenger raced to the palace. Mephibosheth wondered what news he would deliver. His father Jonathan and grandfather King Saul remained in battle. Perhaps news of victory would sound throughout the halls.
Though only five years old, Mephibosheth knew the importance of this battle and that Grandfather Saul must always win. Grandfather reigned as King, and what a good king he was. Sheth, as everyone affectionately called him, hoped he too would reign as a great king one day. First, though, that rascal David must be stopped. Daddy never thought David was a threat, but Grandfather knew David couldn’t be trusted. Grandfather said David only wanted to steal away the kingdom, and since he was King, he must be right.
The messenger reached the palace gate and Sheth waited to hear the shouts of victory. Instead, cries of agony rose to his ears. Servants and family alike threw themselves to the ground and covered themselves with dust.
Sheth’s nursemaid ran into his room. “We must go at once or we’ll all be killed.” Her eyes were large with fright.
“But why? What has happened? What is the news?” Fear crept through Sheth’s little body..
Nursemaid threw his things in a bag and did not answer. He could see her shoulders heaving as if her whole insides were about to break loose.
“Nursemaid,” Sheth struggled to get the words out. He felt a choking deep within as if he, too, were about to burst.
Nursemaid turned, kneeled, and with eyes red from tears, looked deep into Sheth’s own big blue eyes. “Sheth, dear Sheth, we have received the worst news.” She paused.
Sheth trembled, so afraid to hear her words.
She continued as if she had to force each stubborn word out of her mouth. “Your . . . grandfather and father have . . . both been . . . have been . . . killed in battle. Sheth, they are no more.” She hugged the boy tightly. “David’s men killed them and now David will be king. He will kill us all if we stay. I know your daddy told you David is a kind man, but their friendship was long ago. David has long tried to steal the Kingship from your grandfather and now he’s done it. He’s a terrible man and we must flee or we too shall die.”
Sheth could not move. What did this mean? Daddy and Grandfather could not be gone. They would arrive home soon. He looked at Nursemaid again. She told the truth. David’s a terrible man. He’d taken away what meant the most to Sheth.
Nursemaid picked him up. “We must go now or David’s soldiers will be here.” She carried him down the narrow stairs. The steepness of the steps proved difficult to maneuver. Tears streamed down Nursemaid’s face, and Sheth felt a a deep trembling within as a volcano of sobs threatened to erupt.
At a sharp turn in the stairs, Nursemaid stumbled, blinded by her tears. She fought to regain her balance, but instead fell headlong down the steps. Sheth could not jump free for she held him too tightly. She landed full force on his little legs, making a terrible crunch.
“My God, my God, why this curse upon our household?” Nursemaid covered her face with her hands.
“I can’t move! My legs won’t work!” Sheth cried and reached out to Nursemaid. “They hurt. They hurt. Please help me.”
Again through the midst of tears, Nursemaid picked up the little boy and carried him to join the rest of Saul’s household.
From the palace they fled to Lodebar, a dry desert place, and took up residence there. They told no one they were of the household of King Saul. The years went by, and Mephibosheth grew to a young man. He barely remembered the days of living in the palace where life was good. Now, life was very hard. He married and had a son, but because he was crippled, no one hired him for any type of work. Sheth considered himself a burden to everyone around him.
From time to time, news came of continued wars between King David and those who were former followers of Saul. Sheth often wished he could join them in battle and avenge the death of his linage. Fear and anger would grip him at times and others would say, “Sheth, if David ever finds you, you’ll be dead. He’s a terrible man. You should be king, Sheth, not him . . . but what good could you do with those crippled legs?”
One day, a messenger from the King’s palace arrived. “King David has called for Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul.” Sheth knew that life was over now. It hadn’t been a good life, but he did not want to die. He said goodbye to his family and his own young son with great emotion, for he knew he’d never return.
Upon arriving at the palace, he bowed before David in fear and trembling.
“Fear not, Mephibosheth.” David smiled. “I seek to show you great kindness. I have been searching for you many years for just this purpose.”
“And why should the King want a dead dog such as I?” Sheth fell to the ground before David.
“Years ago, your father Jonathan and I made a covenant promise to one another. We became as brothers forever. How deeply I grieved at the death of your father for it was as if my own family had died. For a long time now I have sought to find anyone left of Jonathan’s seed that I might render to him according to the covenant between us. At last, I found Ziba, one of Saul’s servants, and he told me of you. I will now restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you shall live here with me in the palace.”
Mephibosheth slowly lifted his head. He couldn’t believe his ears. Surely this was a dream. This couldn’t be King David. He’d been told all his life David wanted to kill him.
David summoned Ziba. “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. Now, you and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him and produce food for his family. He will live here with me as my son and eat at my table for the sake of my covenant with his father Jonathan”.
So Mephibosheth and his family moved to Jerusalem, and there they lived in the palace with King David. And Mephibosheth ate daily at the King’s table.
David and Jonathan made a blood covenant with each other when they were young men. This is recorded in 1 Samuel 18: 1-4. A blood covenant could not be broken. Since the beginning of time it has been the strongest commitment that could exist between two people, families, or nations.
A blood covenant basically said, “Everything that is mine belongs to you, and everything of yours belongs to me.” It was a forever promise – from generation to generation. That is why David sought out Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for covenant is ‘berith’ which means ‘to cut’. To establish a covenant they would cut their wrists and rub soil into the cut so it would leave a mark. Usually there would be an exchange of coats which represented their promise to care for each other. Weapons would be exchanged meaning they would share their strength and protection. Each would recite to the other the blessings of their covenant as well as the curses if the covenant was ever broken.
The story of Mephibosheth is taken from 2 Samuel 9. Let’s look at what it means to us:
The name David means ‘one who loves’. David in this story is like our Father God who always loves us no matter where we are.
The name Saul means ‘one who asks demandingly’ – one who is selfish and always wants for himself. Saul is like all men, the human race. Man is basically selfish and only thinks of himself.
The name Jonathan means ‘God gives’. God gave Jesus, so Jonathan in this story represents Jesus.
The name Mephibosheth means ‘One who gets rid of shame’. Sheth represents men who have let Jesus become their Lord and live in their hearts, putting away the shame of living in sin without God.
David looked for Sheth. God looks for us.
Saul hated David. Man often hates God and tells likes about him.
Jonathan was the son of Saul. Jesus was born and lived as a man – he was the Son of God.
Sheth was raised by Saul’s family but ended up in the house of David. We were part of the world but Jesus has saved us and made us whole.
Matthew 18:11 says, The Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
The word ‘save’ means: to make whole, to protect, to rescue, to heal, to cure, to preserve, to deliver.
Jesus came to heal and protect and make whole every part of our lives.
Mephibosheth was in a dry desert place, crippled and without hope. He thought David wanted to kill him. When we don’t know Jesus, this world we live in is dry and without hope. We feel helpless and angry.
Sheth was always meant to be in the palace, but he didn’t know it. Everyone you know is meant to be in the palace, in God’s house, eating at his table and surrounded by His love and provision.
Sheth was told that David was cruel and could not be trusted. A lot of people feel that way about God, that He’s going to get them if they’re not careful. They don’t know the truth of His love and the good things He has for them.
Because of His love for Jonathan, David sought for Sheth and brought him to his house.
Because of Jesus, God searches for us and brings us to Him. He wants us to live with Him and have all that He has for us. He wants us to have wholeness in every area of our lives. He is the King of everything, and when we live with Him, we have the King’s authority over sickness and all the work of the devil.
The blood covenant left a mark on the wrist. Jesus had a mark on His wrist from where the nails held Him to the cross. He took those marks to establish God’s covenant promises to us. When we ask Jesus into our hearts to live with us He makes a change in our hearts. Our hearts instead of our wrists have a ‘mark’ because they become new. God loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die for our sins and then raised Him from the dead so we could live without sin, live in the palace, in the house of the Lord forever.
The Son of Man, Jesus, has come to save thoroughly, rescue, heal, protect, cure, preserve, and deliver that which was lost.
2 Samuel 4 and 9
Joshua 2, 6:23
Book of Ruth