Friday, August 18, 2006

Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel has been a book in the Bible I have been studying for the past several weeks. Ezekiel is a man that fascinates me. I have grown up hearing his name in church and I have always known it was the name of a book in the Bible but until recently I never understood what this incredible man was all about. What was His purpose? What is he known for? So, I began to study.

When my husband was saved almost eight years ago, a Bible was given to him that I love to look at sometimes when I am studying specific things. I enjoy looking at different translations and study notes. This Bible is an Inspirational Study Bible by Max Lucado. Max Lucado helped me through some difficult years as a teenager. His books gave me so much hope in my walk with the Lord and I learned so many things about God's love for me. I enjoy his writing, it's easy to read, easy to understand and speaks to the heart. So this Bible I will go to from time to time because of the incredible descriptions he writes about each book in the Bible. What he says about Ezekiel really got me interested in reading the story.

"Out of the ruins of Jerusalem came a gutsy preacher named Ezekiel. He was among the Jews taken to Babylon after the fall of his country. He left behind his city. He left behind his temple. He left behind his home. But he didn't leave his faith. He announced it to everyone who would listen. For twenty-two years he paced the streets proclaiming both sides of the faith. The bad side? Turn or burn. Forgive me for being so direct but Ezekiel was direct. The good side? Turn and learn. God has a great plan for His people. A great city. Justice will reign and worship will be restored. Unlike Jerusalem. God's city is eternal. Who will be in God's city? Ezekiel answers that with the final words of the book-THE LORD IS THERE. Out of the ruins came Ezekiel. Out of the ruins came a promise. Out of the ruins came a new hope. Is your life in ruins? Look ahead to God's city: THE LORD IS THERE." -Max Lucado

There was a point in my life when I felt like my life was in ruins. I did not feel like there was any hope. How would I be able to grow up and have a normal life? How would I ever be a wife or a mother? If I did become a wife and mother, how would I be a good one? All I had ever known was pain, dysfunction, chaos, tragedy. Was it possible to have peace? Was it possible to live a normal life? For so long I heard the spirit of the Lord telling me he would bring me to the other side. I heard Him telling me that my childhood and my teenage years was NOT the final word. So I began to have hope. I began to feel and see that there was hope for my life! Today I am thirty years old. I am married and I have children. I am a wife and mom! And today I know that the Lord was there. THE LORD IS THERE. He brought me out of the ruins. When I felt like I was nothing but dried up bones, he gave me new life!

Ezekiel 37
The Valley of Dry Bones 1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [
a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' " 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

As I read that passage, I can't help but to get chill bumps and tears in my eyes. What a mighty God we serve!! I can't help but to shout hallelujah for bringing me out of such a dry and hopeless land! For God spoke to MY bones and He has given me a brand new life. Through the pain, I found my strength! The pain enabled me to become so much stronger than I ever was! And what does the name Ezekiel mean? Ezekiel is Hebrew, "Whom God makes strong." What a name!

So today I would like to introduce you to my Ezekiel, our third child and second boy. Today we officially found out that we are having another boy! Ezekiel Walter. We have been praying that the Lord would give us the perfect name for our son or daughter and we knew that Ezekiel was the perfect choice for a boy. Actually we were never able to agree on a girl name, now I know why. Walter was my grandfather's name, my Mom's Dad. He died many years ago but he was a strong and loving man. I am so happy my son will carry his name on. But we will call our son Ezekiel and probably Zeke. Josiah ( aka Si Si or Siah), our oldest, has already been calling this baby, "baby Zeke". It's perfect! Today as I was reading about Ezekiel, I read the most incredible thing. "Ezekiel was born exactly at the time of the reform in the ritual introduced by Josiah." How perfect is that?! These brothers were meant to be!

I can't believe it! I am a mother of two boys and a girl! Ava Beth will be the reigning princess, no one can take her place. We will be officially out numbered by the males in this house! I think Ava Beth is going to love being in the middle of those brothers. Josiah and Ezekiel will take care of her and she will probably drive them crazy!

Here's a picture of me today. This is for you Barb!



17 comments:

Barb said...

Congratulations Mandi! I can confirm that baby boys are wonderful. And I love his name.

And look at you! You're so cute. I'm excited for you. Hee hee hee.

Amanda said...

Thanks Barb! I feel dumb putting pictures of myself but now y'all can see my belly! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you and your family! What a great name and heritage this boy has. Your pictures are beautiful. I love seeing them.

Jessica

Wendy said...

Congratulations! That is a great name and I love the short version Zeke too! You have so much to look forward to! You look great pregnant!

Dee said...

Congratulations!!!!!! Considering what you shared, this name was definitely predetermined for this youngster!!! :) I too love Max Lucado and have read MANY of his books and bought my DH his study Bible about 2 years ago. I LOVE IT!!

Btw, you look great pregnant -- you are definitely glowing! :)

Congrats to the family!

Paula said...

Amanda, you look beautiful. I think pregnant women are so beautiful and glowing. You really shine.
I love the name! Ava Beth will love all the attetion being the only girl. What girl wouldn't.
I also LOVE Max Lucado I own ALL his books as well use the Inspirational Bible . My dreams is to take a road trip and visist his church in San Antonio.

Barb said...

Just got home and came back to see if you read my comment, Mandi. Don't feel dumb! Pregnant women are beautiful and you're beautiful when you're NOT pregnant too. Dumb is the photo fest Bev and I had today!

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Congrats Amanda~
Our Josiah goes by "siah" or "si" as well sometimes. Good pick on Ezekiel.

Kellie said...

You live GOD'S life for you very well. HE is truely a practical part of your life. Love to see it and read how you are dwelling with HIM.

You look awesome. Great outfit. Love the shoes. I can't wear anything like that. One it just doesn't go with my body type and I think blonds look better in shoes like that. You have a great allover look.

Love how the name of this child is so well confirmed in you and you hubby. This is a great testiment of a life with GOD.

Love you.

V. said...

Praise the Lord for HE IS GOOD!

keri said...

yay!! congrats on your boy! you look great by the way!

JenMom said...

2 boys and a girl is a GREAT combination! :-) And I love the name!!

Laura said...

"Ezekiel was born exactly at the time of the reform in the ritual introduced by Josiah." Wow, if that isn't a God thing!! Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you!!
BTW, you look awesome Mandi!

Gwen said...

CONGRATULATIONS AMANDA!!!! God is so awesome! The name is awesome as well! I'm so excited for you! Two boys and a girl is a great combination. You have your girl in the middle of two boys. That is just the opposite of what I have (I was just thinking about it as I wrote lol...) I have two girls and a boy with the boy smack in the middle of the two girls! I don't know why it applies here I just had to share! LOL!!!

God is so good! Oh and I agree...you look beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Baby boy's are so special! I miss my little man being a baby. It really makes me want another one, but can't happen. Eric is pushing 40 anyway & he thinks another one would kill him...haha!! ;) Anyway, glad everything is going well. I can't wait to find out what Chris is having!!!!! (Oh, a friend of mine has a boy named Ezekiel...and he's called Zeke.) Too cute.
Michelle
(michelles-mayhem)
I can't get the thing to publish, so I did it as anonymous.

Ezra- Our Gift From God said...

HI,
Congrats on your precious son! I am also going to have our second son in the beginning of November!
We have two girls, then our Ez man, then the new baby :)
Kids are fun, huh?
I love your name and am happy that God made it so clear that your sweet son is to be named Ezekiel. Naming our little ones is such an honor and so fun!
God Bless you,
Liz
p.s. your belly is cute :) I love that size....mine not so much :)

Minnie said...

YAY!!!!! I'm SO EXCITED for you!!!! You know I'm partial to those boys. ;o)