Transformation Garden

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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

The Women Who Met Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valc√°rcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

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Devotional Week 44 Friday


Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“It is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High. To show forth Your loving-kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.”

Psalm 92: 1,2

Amplified Bible


“Praise to the Holiest in the height,

And in the depth be praised;

In all His words most wonderful,

Most sure in all His ways.”

John Henry Newman


“Learn the lesson of thanksgiving. It is due to God, it is due to ourselves. Thanksgiving for the past makes us trustful in the present and hopeful for the future. What He has done is the pledge of what He will do.”

A.C.A. Hall

Today’s Study Text:

“So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, ‘What is the petition, Queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee; and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.’”

Esther 7: 1, 2


“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”

“What Is Thy Request?” Part 49


“One evening I left my office in New York, with a bitterly cold wind in my face. I had with me, as I thought, my thick, warm muffler, but when I proceeded to button-up against the storm, I found that it was gone. I turned back, looked along the streets, searched my office, but in vain. I realized, then, that I must have dropped it, and prayed God that I might find it; for such was the state of the weather, that it would be running a great risk to proceed without it. I looked, again, up and down the surrounding streets, but without success. Suddenly, I saw a man on the opposite side of the road holding out something in his hand. I crossed over and asked him if that were my muffler? He handed it to me saying, ‘It was blown to me by the wind.’ He who rides upon the storm, had used the wind as means of answering prayer.”

William Horst


Is there a special request I’ve made to my heavenly Father?


Have I witnessed His providential leading in my life, not only in small ways but in large ways as well?


“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray! Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Philippians 4: 6-7

The Message Bible


“That is the Divine care for all fear, anxiety, and undue concern of soul, all of which are closely akin to doubt and unbelief. This is the Divine prescription for securing the peace which passeth all understanding, and keeps the heart and mind in quietness and peace.”

E. M. Bounds

The Necessity of Prayer

“I challenge you to shift the focus of your prayer. Don’t spend a lot of time describing your mountain to the Lord. He knows what it is. Instead, focus your attention on the mountain mover – His glory, power and faithfulness.”

Bill Hybels

Too Busy Not to Pray



            It was time for the “banquet of wine” to begin. The guests were in place and Esther had taken care of every last minute detail.


            There was just some unfinished business which kept King Ahasuerus from settling down to enjoy the time with his radiant queen. He couldn’t hold back any longer as he blurted out the words which contained the thought that had possessed him for two long days: “What is thy petition, Queen Esther?” (Esther 7: 2, K.J.V.).


            The king hadn’t been able to sleep since the activities of the previous night. And while he may have felt better, having honored Mordecai the Jew who had saved his life, even this event, long-overdue, didn’t give the king the peacefulness he desired. He may well have watched Esther’s every movement, hoping to get a sense of her emotions. But the king couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something very important plaguing his beloved. Otherwise, why would she go to such a length to honor him with two feasts on two succeeding nights? What’s more, she even went to the trouble of inviting the king’s “second-in-command” Haman, and at this point in time, the king himself was beginning to wonder about Haman’s loyalty.


            Before the gorgeous queen could even respond to the king’s question, Ahasuserus quickly assured Esther that any request she laid before him would be met with his total approval. In fact, he reiterated, for the third time, that if she desired half of his kingdom, it would be hers!


            Thousands of years later, looking back upon this scene of immense generosity by a worldly monarch, I can’t help but reflect on the gracious kindness of my own heavenly Father, who sits high and lifted up on the throne of the universe. And who acknowledges the needs of His earthly children with the words, “What is thy petition (your name)”? With humble hesitation, we shrink back thinking that any request may be an imposition on the Ruler of the Universe who we so frequently forget longs to give the best He can offer to everyone of His beloved children.


            Whenever we doubt the ability as well as the desire of our heavenly King to respond to our needs, it would do us well to remind ourselves of what transpired on just one day in Medo-Persia. As author George Dickinson so compellingly encourages us to recognize: “The precise timing of the various events that took place this day appears unrealistic. Life just doesn’t happen (this) way…But the whole story implies an extraordinary situation. If miracles do happen, if God does intervene, it reports what actually took place in Persia long ago. And on this premise rest the hopes and faith of millions.”


            Dickinson then takes a moment to describe the “miracle work” of esteemed prayer warrior and caregiver for over 2,000 orphans in Bristol, England, George Muller. I am personally inspired by Muller’s life for his prayer ministry and the response of individuals who were inspired to give the funds necessary to keep his ministry afloat is a pattern we have adopted here at Transformation Garden. During the past ten years God has always, miraculously, supplied the needs of the Garden work through the generosity of friends like you. As Dickinson writes, George Muller, in a span of 55 years, witnessed 30,000 prayers answered on the same day he laid his request before God. On one particular occasion, “the last food in his orphanage had been consumed. Nothing appeared in sight to feed all the orphans. But Muller with eyes of faith knew that food would come, and he prayed about it. While he prayed, an importer of food from France had a strong impression he should send some potatoes to Muller’s orphans. He saw to it that 25 tons were on hand in the orphanages kitchen at the next meal.”


            We need to continually remind ourselves that as we bow in humbleness before the Almighty King of heaven and earth, we cannot impose on Him for He has already bestowed upon us all the riches of heaven in the life of His son, Christ Jesus.


            The great English pastor Charles Spurgeon, in his treasure of a book, Spurgeon’s Prayers, reminds his readers that when “Ruth went to glean; she expected to get a few good ears of barley; but Booz said, ‘Let her glean even among the sheaves, and rebuke her not; he said moreover to her, ‘at meal-times come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.’ Nay, she found a husband where she only expected to find a handful of barley.” Then Pastor Spurgeon shares these words; “So in prayer, God may give us such mercies that we shall be astounded at them, since we expected but little…God help you, believer in Christ Jesus, to cry aloud unto God, and His answer of peace is already on the way to meet you.”


“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

Jeremiah 33: 3



“You cannot guess how greatly God will bless you. Only go and stand at His door; you cannot tell what is in reserve for you. If you do not beg at all, you will get nothing; but if you beg He may not only give you, as it were, the bones and broken meat, but He may say to the servant at His table, ‘Take thou that dainty meat, and set it before that poor one.’”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


You Said to Me Today


“My Lord

You said to me today

‘With everlasting kindness

I will have compassion on you.’


You said to me today

‘I am with you

And will watch over you

Wherever you go.’


You said to me today

Do not be afraid.

Stand firm and you will see

The deliverance of the Lord.’


You said to me today

Commit to the Lord

Whatever you do

And your plans will succeed.’


You said to me today

‘Those who hope in the Lord

Will renew their strength.’


You said to me today

‘The eyes of the Lord

Are on those who fear Him

On those who hope.

In His unfailing love.’


I said to you today

‘Surely God is my salvation

I will trust and not be afraid.

You are my strength

You are my joy

You are my song.’


Your friend

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus