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The Call of Deborah
By April Groves

I can hear the voice. I have heard it all morning. As the sun becomes warm on my back, I know I must get up and begin my day. But, I am compelled to stay on my knees. It is His voice I hear and I must not move until the message is clear.

"Deborah. This is My will."

I hear and I understand. But I am a woman. What will people say? Will they even begin to accept this diversion from the norm?

"Deborah. This is My will."

I hear the voice again. This time it is accompanied by a sense of urgency. Now is the time. I must answer Him.

"Yes." Humbly, yes.

My eyes open and the world looks different. I know it is the same, but I cannot remove myself from the fact that the reality is different. I am called. Whether I like it, understand it, want it, or fear it – it is mine. I trust that Jehovah’s plan is perfect. I believe, live or die, this is the path for me.
You Are the Temple of God
By Kathy Bruins

The water splashed along the basin as the High Priest cleansed his hands, praying that his heart was cleansed, too. He had done this many times before, but this night was special! He was going into the Holy of Holies to be in the presence of the Lord! It was only once a year that a high priest could enter beyond the veil.

As he walked in the Holy Place, carefully carrying the blood of atonement, the light flickered from the golden lampstand. Without that light, he would be in total darkness. The lights reflected off the stones on his breastplate creating a colorful parade of movement inside the tent.

His robes made little noise as he continued his ascent into the holy place, only hearing a slight tinkling from the bells attached to the bottom of his robe.

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I need Him to move in the hearts of my people. I hope that He will take care of my children. I pray He has spoken to my husband.

I think of my husband and my children. He is a handsome man. Well respected and strong. He is a confident man of God and works hard. His prayers are heard and he has a heart for the will the God. There are very few times when God does not manifest the desires of his heart. He is a wonderful father and our children will become wonderful men of God under the teaching of his hand. As his wife, I have highest place in his heart second only to God. He treats me like a queen and the women are jealous. How much more so will that be the case now?

I walk back towards my home. A judge. The idea tumbles through my head like a skipped rock. It skims the water’s surface, creates ripples, but never sinks into one spot. I cannot do this. It is impossible. A prophetess, no less. The people will never hear me. The men will never allow me to advise them. The words of God are in my mouth, this is true. But the role of the woman is easily understood. But His voice is so loud.

Before I reach my home, I am once again driven back to my knees. I feel my face land in the dirt and the dust is in my nostrils. My heart pounds in my chest. The ground becomes wet with tears. The enormity of what lies in front of me is crushing.

"Deborah. This is My will."

"I know!!" I hear myself scream. My mind cannot comprehend these emotions in my heart. My fear has begun to masquerade as anger. Anger at Him. Anger that must be released or my soul will explode.

"Why must you do this to me? Have I not always been faithful to You? Have I not always followed Your ways? And for what? So that You may ask me to create an outcast of myself? So that my children may be ridiculed because they have a mother who is stepping out of her station? That my husband, the leader of our home, may watch as his wife becomes a leader in the nation?"

"Deborah. This is My will."

The phrase sears in my ears and implants itself in my head. I cannot take it any more.

"Is that all You can say?!" The frustrations erupt like lava in my throat. "Is that the only explanation I deserve? You ask to make a fool of myself and disgrace my family? Yet you offer nothing in return. Is my service and loyalty towards You not enough? Do you desire my entire life?"

The ground beneath my head is now more mud than sand. I can feel the dirt caking on my lips and nose. My body goes limp and begins to conform to the shape of the terrain. My muscles ache and my lungs burn. I am exhausted.

"Yes." He answers.

I hold my breath. Is it possible? Is He going to answer me now? My mind replays the last few moments and I revert from anger back to fear. What have I done? I tremble at the thought. My voice questioning the Almighty, yelling at Him in disgust, sounds in my head as I realize how my accusations must have sounded. I am ashamed. But, His Words come again.

"Yes, I desire your whole life. Is that so much to ask since I am the one who created it? And because I have created you, I have also created your ability. I have made you able to do this. I will continue to enable you to do so much more. Do not speak to Me of things impossible for I am the Author of possibility. The accomplishment of this task is already guaranteed in Me. I am not in need of using you. But, my dear Deborah, it would please Me to."

I cannot speak. I cannot think. I can only listen. My mind races.

"Take comfort, My daughter," He continues. "I have made the way for you. From the beginning of time, I have had this path for you. Do not be afraid. I am with you. Be strong, for I have given you strength. Be courageous, for I have given you courage. Be encouraged, I have given you My Spirit. Deborah, this is My Will."

Slowly, I push myself up. I imagine what I must look like sitting there. My face dirty and tear streaked. My clothes are dirty. My legs are sprawled and uncovered. I am immediately grateful that there is no one around to see me. I pull my legs in front of me and force myself to my feet. I dust the dirt from the front of my dress. I reach for the rag I keep tucked in my pocket. As I wipe my face, I feel the sun on my head. It is warm and comforting and the dirt shifts from the smile forced underneath.

I am Deborah. I am His. This is His will. If I must do it afraid, then so be it. But, I will move forward. I will answer His call. I will not pray that He go before me, because I already know that He has. Instead, I will pray without ceasing that He will remind me always that He has made the way.
April Groves is a wife, a mother, a daughter of Christ. God has blessed April with a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a heart and hunger for His Word. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in coastal Georgia, Jesus was not a part of her upbringing. But ever since God wrapped her in His arms and called her His own, April’s hearts desire has been to tell Him "thank you." Writing is one of the ways she does exactly that.