Friday, February 26, 2010
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3 A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
6 Like cutting off one's feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.
7 Like a lame man's legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8 Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.
9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!"
14 As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
17 Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
18 Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows
19 is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"
20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.
23 Like a coating of glaze [a] over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit.
25 Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.
26 His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
I am so glad today is Friday. Mitch and I and our two boys are going to Tahlequah tonight. Mitch's parents are trying to get their house and property ready to sell. They are going to pull stumps in the yard and do various things outside tomorrow. I'm really hoping that us ladies will go shopping! I can only hope! Heehee..
We won't be at church on Sunday and I promise, I will be missing you all!
Have a blessed weekend!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
1 These are more proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for [a] the silversmith;
5 remove the wicked from the king's presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness.
6 Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman. What you have seen with your eyes
8 do not bring [b] hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man's confidence,
10 or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation.
11 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear.
13 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house— too much of you, and he will hate you.
18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.
19 Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
23 As a north wind brings rain, so a sly tongue brings angry looks.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor.
28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
To comment, just go below this blog where it has the word "comment" and click on it. Right now it should have a 1 by it because I posted a comment to myself.
So, let's try again! Thanks!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The third verse on the Romans Road to salvation picks up where Romans 6:23 left off, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.
The fourth stop on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The final aspect of the Romans Road to salvation is the results of salvation. Romans 5:1 has this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins. Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Would you like to become a Christian, and receive the salvation that is detailed in the book of Romans? If so, here is a simple prayer you can pray to God. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation! “Jesus I believe that you died on the cross and rose again. I ask that you come into my heart and into my life. I am sorry for my sins. Thank you for loving me. Amen!”
2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
5 A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;
6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say.
8 He who plots evil will be known as a schemer.
9 The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.
10 If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man's house, do not raid his dwelling place;
16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.
19 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring? Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good:
24 Whoever says to the guilty, "You are innocent"— peoples will curse him and nations denounce him.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them.
26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive.
29 Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did."
30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-
34 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. [a]
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Lord, thank You for this day. It's been a long one. Strangely quiet in many ways... but rewarding at the end. Thank you for the fellowship of the women at RUCC. They have all become so precious to me. Please reach out Your hand to their every need... all their requests.... all the needs in their lives. Continue to bond us closer together. Show us Your ways. We love You, Lord. It's ALL about You.. without You, where would we be? You alone are worthy or honor, praise and Glory. We worship you in Spirit and Truth. Burden our hearts for each other. Teach us to see prejudices we may have and judgments in ourselves. Help us to love more..... Amen~
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please
We've longed to see the roses
But never felt the thorns
And bought our pretty crowns
But never paid the price
Find me in the river
Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare
Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry
Find me in the river, I'm waiting here
Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please
We didn't count on suffering
We didn't count on pain
But if the blessing's in the valley
Then in the river I will wait
note well what [a] is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost. [b]
"Eat and drink," he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.
9 Do not speak to a fool,
for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death. [c]
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it;
get wisdom, discipline and understanding.
24 The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him.
25 May your father and mother be glad;
may she who gave you birth rejoice!
26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes keep to my ways,
27 for a prostitute is a deep pit
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait,
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights
and your mind imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt!
They beat me, but I don't feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?"
Again, I want to thank you all for the fun we've had with our Secret Sisters gifts. If you have not received a gift please let me know. If you haven't been able to give your Sister a gift, let me know that too and I will help you. It's such a blessing seeing the joy on each persons face as they open gifts given especially to them!
See you all tonight!
Grace in mentioned 170 times in the Bible.
Grace is God's unmerited favor. Grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. In the Bible, grace and mercy are like two heads of the same coin. Mercy is God withholding judgment or evil that I deserve; grace is God giving me blessing or good that I do not deserve. Because of God's mercy, I do not receive the judgment of God against my sins; because of God's grace, I receive eternal life and a promise of heaven though I do not deserve them. Both mercy and grace come to us though the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;
he guides it wherever he pleases.
2 People may be right in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their heart.
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
than when we offer him sacrifices.
4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart,
and evil actions are all sin.
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6 Wealth created by a lying tongue
is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.[a]
7 The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The guilty walk a crooked path;
the innocent travel a straight road.
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10 Evil people desire evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;
if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12 The Righteous One[b] knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked;
he will bring disaster on them.
13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
will be ignored in their own time of need.
14 A secret gift calms anger;
a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15 Justice is a joy to the godly,
but it terrifies evildoers.
16 The person who strays from common sense
will end up in the company of the dead.
17 Those who love pleasure become poor;
those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18 The wicked are punished in place of the godly,
and traitors in place of the honest.
19 It’s better to live alone in the desert
than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20 The wise have wealth and luxury,
but fools spend whatever they get.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 The wise conquer the city of the strong
and level the fortress in which they trust.
23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
and you will stay out of trouble.
24 Mockers are proud and haughty;
they act with boundless arrogance.
25 Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,
for their hands refuse to work.
26 Some people are always greedy for more,
but the godly love to give!
27 The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable,
especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28 A false witness will be cut off,
but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29 The wicked bluff their way through,
but the virtuous think before they act.
30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan
can stand against the Lord.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
than to be dishonest and a fool.
2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
haste makes mistakes.
3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
and then are angry at the Lord.
4 Wealth makes many “friends”;
poverty drives them all away.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
nor will a liar escape.
6 Many seek favors from a ruler;
everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!
7 The relatives of the poor despise them;
how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
their friends are gone.
8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself;
people who cherish understanding will prosper.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and a liar will be destroyed.
10 It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury
or for a slave to rule over princes!
11 Sensible people control their temper;
they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
12 The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish child[a] is a calamity to a father;
a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.
14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,
but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.
15 Lazy people sleep soundly,
but idleness leaves them hungry.
16 Keep the commandments and keep your life;
despising them leads to death.
17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—
and he will repay you!
18 Discipline your children while there is hope.
Otherwise you will ruin their lives.
19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.
20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,
so you will be wise the rest of your life.
21 You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
22 Loyalty makes a person attractive.
It is better to be poor than dishonest.
23 Fear of the Lord leads to life,
bringing security and protection from harm.
24 Lazy people take food in their hand
but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
25 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson;
if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
26 Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother
are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.
27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child,
you will turn your back on knowledge.
28 A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice;
the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
29 Punishment is made for mockers,
and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.
All my kids will be home this weekend and I can hardly wait!! It's been too long since we've all been together!
I have spring fever and want to either go shopping or plant a garden/flowers this weekend. Seeing the bulbs coming up through the ground and the buds on my hydrangea bushes causes me to want to get out in the yard and work.
I've been dragging a bit... please pray for me emotionally and physically. I could use some prayer! :-) Sometimes we just need a lift!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
they lash out at common sense.
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4 Wise words are like deep waters;
wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5 It is not right to acquit the guilty
or deny justice to the innocent.
6 Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
they are asking for a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips.
8 Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
9 A lazy person is as bad as
someone who destroys things.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.
11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
humility precedes honor.
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.
14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge.
16 Giving a gift can open doors;
it gives access to important people!
17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
until the cross-examination begins.
18 Flipping a coin[a] can end arguments;
it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
the right words bring satisfaction.
21 The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy;
the rich answer with insults.
24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Early Bird Special through February 19, 2010 Individual Tickets: $59 / Groups of 10+: $49
After Early Bird Special:Individual Tickets: $69 / Groups of 10+: $59
Door Price: $89
All group orders of 10 or more receive 1 free registration!
Rachel was more beautiful than Leah. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work for Laban for seven years in exchange for marrying her (Genesis 29:15-18).
This was the beginning of Rachel's problems. Laban, her father, was not a trustworthy man and after seven years he deceived Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel as promised (Genesis 29: 21-28).
Rachel and Jacob were very much in love but the deception of Rachel's father had hurt her badly. It produced hurt and bitterness in her heart that she never really overcame. Bitterness is like poison to the soul. It destroys a person.
Women of God need to be careful of the hurts and emotional wounds that may follow them from their backgrounds and childhood. These need to be dealt with. Only Jesus can heal these kinds of aliments.
Laban's dowry from Jacob (14 years of labour) was quite expensive. Rachel rightly thought that she had been exploited and sold. She never forgave her father for this (Genesis 31: 4 -18). The same can be said of Leah.
Because of her fathers actions in deceiving Jacob into marrying Leah, Rachel had to share her husband with her sister. Her fathers sins affected her life. There was constant trouble in the home. Both sisters struggling for the attention of Jacob. Child birth was used as the main weapon (Genesis 30).
Rachel had problems in bearing children and Leah used this to her advantage. Maybe the bitterness in Rachel's heart contributed to her problem in child birth. God eventually gave her a child (Genesis 30:22)
Women (and men) need to make sure that they do not allow curses which have been set lose by the actions of past generations cause havoc in their lives. Sometimes problems in your home maybe due to curses made, directly or indirectly, by other peoples actions. This was the case for Rachel and Leah.
The lesson we learn from here is that we cannot afford to harbour unforgiveness in our hearts. It will only destroy us.
The remarks of Rachel and Leah in Genesis 31: 14 - 16 and the actions of Rachel in Genesis 31: 19, 35 showed the disgust she had for her father right to the very end. This again could have been the reason for the tragedy that befell her in Genesis 35: 16-19.
Rachel had every cause to be annoyed with her father. He had done her wrong. She and Jacob were very much in love and could have made a wonderful couple. Her fathers actions destroyed this. However, things did not have to go the way they did. Rachel's life stands out as an example and warning of how generation curses can affect us.
God can turn these kind of situations around for us today if we serve Him and love Him with all our heart (Romans 8:28). If you love God you will forgive those that have hurt you and refuse to harbour bitterness in your heart against them. Bitterness destroys (Hebrews 12:15). It is in
After getting your heart right with God, you can then pray and break the curses that might have been let lose in your life. It might be helpful to ask other believers to pray with you. Ask God for healing and a restoration of all the things that satan has caused.
Remember, many times curses are let lose in our lives due to no reason on our behalf. Nevertheless it is within our authority to break them once we get our hearts right with God. Let Rachel's life be an example to your life and not a mirror of it.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Priscilla and her husband Aquila were tent makers by profession. Paul, worked with them making tents in between his preaching engagements in the synagogue. Perhaps you have heard the term "tent making ministry". It comes from Acts 18 where Paul was making tents to support himself financially in the ministry.
Priscilla was no doubt talented in the secular world and also gifted by God in the ministry of the word. Her involvement with Paul must have helped her get rooted in the word. Priscilla and Aquila later followed Paul to Syria.
They all went on to Ephesus where they stayed while Paul went on to Caesarea. The people of Ephesus probably needed a lot of teaching of the word and this may be why Priscilla and Aquila stayed. These two were sound in the word. They had a ministry, which they were committed to.
Not all ministries have a large public face. Only few do. Priscilla and her husband knew their calling and stuck with it. In Acts 18:24-26 We see them helping Apollos. Apollos was well grounded in the word himself. Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and taught him even more of the way of truth.
Are you faithful in what God has called you to do? Maybe it's leading a small bible study group. Do it with all your might. You have precious souls in your audience. As you feed them with the word and encourage them in the faith you will give birth to more ministry. Priscilla was a spiritual parent. Mothering children in the Lord and raising up strong ministries. What a call. What a blessing.
Monday, February 15, 2010
A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out
Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out
Ruth was the lady who clung to her destiny. She inherited a family by marriage. The family line was no ordinary one for out of it came Jesus (Matthew 1:5).
Ruth was born a Moabite (or Gentile) yet her faithfulness led her to a greater inheritance. She clung unto that which was good. Neither circumstances nor things past were able to hinder her from laying hold of that which was more precious.
Ruth's life is a picture of the born-again Christian. We are born again by faith. We all have to make a choice to walk with God. Do you cherish what you have inherited in Christ more than the world and all it has to offer?
Ruth chapter 1
Famine had driven Naomi and her husband Elimelech with their two sons out of Judah to the heathen land of Moab. There is no indication that they were led by God to leave. We can only assume that circumstances urged them to leave. Something that both Abraham had tried and regretted (Genesis 12: 10 - 20) and Isaac had been warned against (Genesis 26:1-5).
Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died in Moab. Naomi, whose name means 'my delight' must have been shattered. Naomi's two sons married Moabite women called Orpah and Ruth. Tens years later, and without any children, the two sons die. Naomi is left with two daughter in laws. This seems to be tragedy.
When Naomi hears that the famine in Judah has retreated she decides to return to Judah. She asks her two daughter in-laws to leave her. Orpah kisses her and leaves while Ruth clings unto her and stays, returning with her to Judah.
Ruth's commitment to her inheritance was real. She had every right to have walked away like Orpah. However she had counted the cost and made up her mind (Luke 14: 27 - 32). Have you made a commitment to continue in your inheritance in Christ? Will you serve the Lord no matter what?
Ruth had no idea of the out come of her commitment. She was not to know that Christ were to come from her descendants. In like manner we to have no idea what rich rewards in heaven await us.
Naomi certainly had no clue of what was in store. On return to Bethlehem she asks the people to call her Mara meaning 'bitterness'. This gives us some ideal of what she had been through.
Ruth Chapter 2
The story of Ruth is one of godly character. The decisions we make in life are decided by our character. A godly character will take you far. Ruth was firmly committed to what she believed was right. Her thoughts and actions were dictated by her commitment and character.
One decision she made changed her whole destiny.
The same is true of the decisions we make today.
Has the life of Christ touched your character. Anger, bitterness in the heart and self-centeredness will take you away from God.
The culture of the day meant that Ruth, as a widow and Moabite, had little hope of attaining anything as far as wealth and stature in the society was concerned. Especially since she had left her own people. She has no incentive to act nobly apart from her character. How God loves and rewards a right heart.
God granted her wisdom and favour. These two ingredients can turn any hopeless situation around. A godly character gave her both.
Ruth made herself available to work with Boaz, a relative of Naomi's dead husband. According to the custom of the day, he was one of the people who could marry Ruth and give her an inheritance. God granted Ruth favour with Boaz and he received her kindly.
Remember, your commitment to God will lead to His favour upon your life.
God's favour gave Abraham a covenant and brought Joseph out of prison. You need the favour of God in your life too.
Ruth Chapter 3
To someone living in the western culture the advice of Naomi to her daughter-in-law, Ruth, may sound like a bit of sly scheming.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The reasons for Ruth's seemingly strange actions in chapter three holds its explanation in the culture of the day. Women were not allowed to propose marriage to men. The only way they could show their intention was by laying at the man's feet.
By laying at Boaz's feet, Ruth showed her clear desire to continue the inheritance of her husband. Boaz was the next of kin (save one), and although he was much older than Ruth, she was still committed to him.
Remember, Ruth was under no obligation to do this. Here is a lesson in faithfulness and commitment, not marriage principles!.
Boaz was astonished at the faithfulness of Ruth. However he still had to sort out the problem of the other kin before he could redeem her.
Ruth Chapter 4
If Ruth is a picture of the Christian (or Church) then Boaz is a picture of Christ our redeemer.
Having decided to redeem Ruth, he set out to settle the account with the person who had a 'legal right over her'.
Who had a legal right over us before Christ came along and paid the price.
In the presence of elders of the city, Boaz made a legal deal, with reliable witnesses, and 'purchased the right' to marry Ruth.
Can you see any parallels here with our Christian faith? Romans 8:16, 1 John 5: 6-10
Boaz married Ruth, God blessed them with a child whose name was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, from whose linage Jesus was born.
In closing let me drop in a word about Orpah. She acted in wisdom as far as the secular world was concerned. There was no earthly wisdom in following her mother in law back to Bethlehem.
She probably had a good life, not knowing what she had missed.
When we make choices in isolation of God's counsel we lose out. Many times we are not even aware of what we have lost. Only heaven will reveal what ministeries were aborted and callings that went unheeded because of the wrong decisions that had been made earlier along the way.
Her life glows of grace and hope. Her trip down to Moab might have been a mistake but her gratitude to Ruth soon restored her past failings with God's grace. Learning to be thankful for the things God has blessed us with can only lead to more blessings. God loves a thankful heart.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Miriam was the big sister of Moses. Her name means 'one who loves or is loved by Yahweh'. Yahweh means 'the self-existent one'. Yahweh is one of the ways the children of Israel referred to God.
Amram and Jochebed were the father and mother of Miriam, Aaron and Moses. Moses was the youngest of the three yet became the leader of the pack (Exodus 2:3-4; Exodus 6:20; Numbers 26:59). Moses was the man who led Israel out of Egypt.
As the big sister of the family Miriam knew all the secrets. Women often get to know about things that men don't.
When Pharaoh of Egypt decreed the death of all Israel baby boys in a desperate attempt to curb the growth of Israel, Amram and Jochebed put baby Moses into a waterproof basket and set it on the river in an attempt to save his life. It was Miriam who was watching the basket when the daughter of Pharaoh discovered it. It was Miriam who suggested that a woman from the Hebrew people be found to take care of Moses. You can just imagine the excitement in Miriam's eyes as she ran back to inform her mother of the good news.
Miriam's quick thinking meant Moses was brought up by his own mother. If there was anything to know about Moses Miriam knew it.
Miriam was with Moses throughout the nine plagues. She came out of Egypt with Moses. Miriam was a woman of God. She was indeed a prophet herself (Exodus 15:20).The fact that Miriam was a prophet is a little known fact because everyone concentrates on Moses. Miriam was called to play a less prominent role than Moses but nevertheless a vital one.
The same is very true in the body of Christ today. Many women despise the roles they are called to play because they are not prominent public ministries. The mother of Moses fulfilled her destiny. She brought up a godly child. Jochebed, Moses' mother (Num 26:59, Exodus 6:20) is not well known yet she played one of the most important roles in the nation of Israel and indeed the Church.
Indeed, both the parents of Miriam received special commendation from God in Hebrews 11:23
Dear Woman, maybe God has called you to minister to a small group of people within your Church. Maybe you are an encourager or exhorter. You might even have the gift of prophecy and have been used to minister to several wonderful people in a way that does not seem very significant.
Or maybe you are presently bringing up children and like the mother of Moses, do not consider your job as being that significant. Serving God is doing what He wants you to do and not what people think as important. God rewards and blesses us for being faithful in the things He has called us to do and not in the things we want to do.
Miriam knew Moses very well. This created a problem for her. She was not able to see her little brother Moses as the anointed prophet of God.
When Moses married an Ethiopian woman Miriam and Aaron spoke up against his choice. Some Bible translations call the woman a Cushite, others Ethiopian and some even say Sudanese. What is clear is that the women was a foreigner. Bible scholars are divided over whether she was of African decent, as names and geography have changed in meaning over the centuries. In the ancient world the whole of the southern world from Africa to India was denoted by the word Ethiopia (English travellers as late as the 17th Century still used the name in that sense). All this leaves the possibility but not confirmation that Moses wife could have been of African decent.
Miriam's name is mentioned first when it comes to the criticism of Moses (Numbers 12:1). This has been interpreted as an indication that the criticism of Moses was Miriam's idea. Aaron simply followed along (Aaron was always good at following).
Notice that although the criticism started because of the wife Moses had married it soon became an issue of who could hear from God. Is Moses the only one who can hear God? seemed to be the main issue of contention (Numbers 12:2).
Jealousy sets in when we lest expect it. It is easy to see how Miriam became offended. After all, she knew Moses when he was in nappies. She was also a prophet herself. So how was it that he was being so authoritative. She could hear God too!
The truth of the matter was that Miriam, Aaron and Moses were a team sent by God to deliver Israel (Micah 6:4). Miriam, our main focus here, was instrumental in saving Moses (Exodus 2:1-10) and leading Israel in worship (Exodus 15:20-21). her ministry was not insignificant, yet she took her eyes off her privileged calling and concentrated on what Moses had that she did not.
Contentment with our calling in life is vital if we are to avoid growing envious of others.
God's judgment on Miriam was swift and severe. Moses, true to his nature, pleaded for her and she was restored again (Numbers 12).
If you have a husband (or wife) who God is using, make sure you honor and respect the gift and anointing on the person's life despite their weaknesses. Chances are Miriam knew about the weaknesses of Moses that others did not know about. Hence it was harder for her to respect him. We always need to honour people of God. Dishonoring them is dishonoring God.
Miriam loved the Lord. Indeed that is what her name means. She just got her attitude wrong and this got her into trouble. God punished her and later restored her again. Some other people who did not really love the Lord and who also stood up against Moses were not as fortunate as Miriam (Numbers 16). Do you love the Lord?
Friday, February 12, 2010
If you've ever tapped your toes to a country tune, watched a western, know the theme song from Bonanza, read a Zane Gray (or Louis L'Amour) novel, done a line dance or square dance, or own a pair of jeans, you're "cowboy".
The message of God's love for you remains the same. We're committed to solid evangelical Christian beliefs. It's just the atmosphere that is different.
Our dress is casual and informal. Wear your jeans, stetson and boots if you've got them. Or wear whatever you're comfortable in. And to answer a common question ... yes "cowgirls" and "little wranglers" are most welcome too!
Cowboy from the start or just cowboy at heart ... you're welcome here.
Round-Up Cowboy Church
Sunday 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday 7:00 p.m.
At the church at 6:30 p.m..
Bring either spaghetti, a salad, some garlic bread or a dessert~ and your appetite! Wonder how many ooey-gooey, choclate-ty desserts there will be?? Hmmm... yum!
We will have a great time of fellowship and several laughs with the games to come.. and a devotion.
This is for everyone! Not just couples. We hope to see you there!
After work I'm off to the grocery store to buy the "fixin's" for our Valentines Party tomorrow night at 6:30.
After getting home last night Mitch and I took one of the park's four-wheel drive trucks and drove all through the park. It was SO beautiful!! We took loads of pictures.
It just amazes me how God takes things that look tired and blah (brown tree branches with no leaves) and transfers them into wonderlands of white! Isn't that just how He is with us too, when we give our lives to Him?? We are brilliant white! Thank you Jesus! Praise Your Name!
Mary's life is full of faith, love and virtue that it is extremely hard to write about her. Even a modest list of her virtues would take volumes.
Woman of Faith
Luke chapter 1 and 2 introduces us to the life of Mary. As a young girl she is already full of faith. Notice the angel's words to Zacharias the Priest and his response (Luke 1:13-18). Here we see a priest having problems believing the word given to him by an angel.
Mary displays no such form of unbelief when addressed by the angel. Her response is one many of us Christians still desire to repeat today.
Luke 1:38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (NKJV)
Somehow, Mary, an ordinary village girl, had more faith in God than a righteous Priest.
Mary's life is a testimony to the fact that ordinary women can do extra-ordinary things for God. God is no respecter of our positions in life. He looks at the heart. A heart full of faith is a useful vessel in the hands of our God.
Woman of virtue
Mary was a virgin. She had known no man and kept herself pure. No wonder the favour of God was upon her life (Luke 1:28). A life lived in discipline to God's commands brings His favour. Do you want the favour of God on your life? Then change your lifestyle. Bring it into accordance with God's will. God's favour brings God's blessings. Living right is essential to a fruitful Christian life. Every time we compromise our lifestyle we deny ourselves the favour of God. What tragedy. No wonder why satan spends so much time tempting us to compromise our Christian stand.
He knows that without the favour of God we cannot accomplish the will of God. Satan is no fool. Nor should you be.
Filled with the Holy Spirit
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (NKJV)
Despite all Mary's virtues she still needed the Holy Spirit to fulfil the will of God.Nothing can replace the power of the Holy Spirit. God fills vessels that are set apart for Him.
No one can say Jesus Christ is Lord except by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). We ignore the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church today at our own peril. He is the source of all godly achievement.
Supernatural things can only be done for God when His (Holy Spirit) presence is with us.
The angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and then the power of the Highest will overshadow her.
Take time to pray for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit today. Let us not assume that we have all the power of he Holy Spirit that God wants to make available to us.
All Mary required for the filling of the Holy Spirit was the favor of God. If you are a child of God, you too can receive His power today.
Mary brought forth the Lord Jesus Christ. What a favor. Her life is one full of riches. Study her life and find out some of the attributes that God looks for in the people He uses.
Mary seeks God's will
Luke 1:39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, (NKJV)
After the angel had finished delivering the message to Mary she immediately set out to confirm it. She makes her way to Elizabeth's house. She knows very well that a pregnant Elizabeth is confirmation that she has not just been seeing things but indeed has seen an angel.
The moment Mary speaks to Elizabeth there is a conformation of the things of God. Even the baby in Elizabeth's womb jumps for joy.
Allow God to confirm the things He tells you in secret through other people. In the midst of two or three witnesses the truth shall be established. All the confirmations that Mary was receiving would have been tremendous help in sustaining her through the difficult times that were to come.
Mary lingered around Elizabeth long enough to see the evidence. Elizabeth was six months pregnant before Mary turned up on her doorstep (Luke 1:36). Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months (Luke 1:56). She was there when the baby was born (Luke 1:57).
The attitude of Mary is one we should all follow. Many Christians today receive prophecies from God and then sit down idly waiting for them to be fulfilled. Not Mary. She stayed active. She sought the things of God. She remained in the right place.
When God gives you a promise you need to pray it through. Play an active role. Never cease believing God for His promises. This is what the attitude of Mary shows.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Manoah was the father of Samson. He married a woman who was sterile and childless. (Judges 13).
One day the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah's wife and told her she would have a child.
Many Bible scholars believe that the term "the angel of the Lord" refers to the special appearances of Jesus prior to his physical birth via Mary. The Lord did appear to people during the period of the Old testament in the form of a man (Genesis 18). There are also several occurrences that refer to the appearance of "the angel of the Lord" (Genesis 16:7; 22:11; 31:11; Exodus 3:2; 14:19; Judges 2:1; 13:3; Zechariah 3:1-6)
Manoah's wife was one of the few people who the angel of the Lord appeared to. The angel appeared as a man (Judges 13:11-15) and his words gave the barren couple a child. What an amazing God we serve. God took the trouble to send his "messenger" to a woman that seemed totally insignificant (we do not even know her name).
God's way of valuing people is different from the world's. Never look down on yourself. God doesn't.
The appearance of the angel to Manoah's wife teaches us about two ways God moves in the affairs of mankind. God can move in sovereignty or (and) supernaturally.
God's sovereign acts are the things He choices to do without any prompting or desire from us. This is what happened in Judges 13:3. The angel of the Lord came without any invitation or prayer request from Manoah's family.
God's supernatural acts are the things He does on our request. This is what happened in Judges 13:8 - 31. It was the prayer of Manoah that brought the angel of the Lord back the second time.
God's sovereign acts are for the few people He chooses to touch in this way, whereas His supernatural acts are for everyone who would reach out to Him in faith.
Woman of God, God may do a sovereign act in your life but you can receive a supernatural act whenever you reach out in faith. Manoah's wife received both. Scriptures show that more women than men have received sovereign acts from God.
Let's not forget that Manoah's wife was barren but by a sovereign and supernatural act of God she received a child. Whatever you are believing God for today you can receive it.
Many people only believe in the sovereign acts of God and forget (or do not believe in) the supernatural acts. Nearly all the miracles of Jesus in the New testament were supernatural acts. There is no reason why you cannot receive from God.
A supernatural act from God requires desire and faith from us (Judges 13:8-9, Hebrews 11:6).
As Manoah and his wife were offering sacrifices to the Lord the angel ascended to heaven (Judges 13:19-21). Praise and worship open up heaven for us. If you want to touch the heart of God learn how to praise Him.
Judges 13 tells us of the story of a couple that were dumbfounded by the mercy and grace of God over their lives.
God came to them and taught them about his sovereign and supernatural acts. He showed them the importance of praise. He revealed to them his desire to use the fruit of their womb. He brought life out of a place that was considered dead. He used a woman that was considered worthless and insignificant.
By the time the Lord had finished with Manoah's wife she was a confident woman of God who was able to discern the way of the Lord, give out godly counsel and bear fruit (Judges 13: 23-24).
Questions 1. Who was Manoah? 2. Why did the angel of the Lord appear Manoah's wife? 3. What affect did the angel have on Manoah's wife? 4. Do you know Manoah's wife's name? 5. Is it necessary for your name to be well know if you are to please God and do His will? 6. What sacrifices can we offer to the Lord? Hebrews 13: 15-16 7. What is the difference between a sovereign act of God and a supernatural act of God?
We may have a few from church (or others) that want to go, but don't have the funds. If you are willing to sponsor someone going, let me know privately and we will get it taken care of.
I will be looking into hotel accommodations this week.
I'm looking forward to our time together!
I've always been a sleeper. Take away my sleep and you have one sick (literally) and cranky gal. I have very low tolerance for extremely long hours..... It's not a will issue.. it's a "can my body handle it" issue. I've always had to try to get to bed pretty early and sometimes extrememly early.. if not, I will "hit a wall" and that's when I feel, that God *forces* me to rest. Not sure why I share that... lol
Wednesday night services were really good. There was a lot of meat to chew on and a lot of things brought up to make you think. We are in this world, but not of it... or are we? It's a choice we have to make... and our life is all about these choices. Are we going to shut off the TV if there is cussing or if there are scenes that make a sailor blush? Are we going to stand and listen to a dirty joke all the way to the punch line? What are those things in your life that satan sets as pretty traps? Don't be decived! So many times when we see that thing that is shiney to us.. we are drawn in... and it's only when we have it in our hands that we realize the trap door has been shut and we've been trapped. Be aware of your surroundings... who you hang around with, what you watch or listen to. Pray that God will give you such a dicernment that you will see traps from afar and turn the other way.
Today watch closely for those traps. Make WILLFUL changes in your life. Be purpuseful. Obey Him and His ways.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers today~
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Sidonians (1 Kings 16:31).
Her name originally meant 'The Prince Baal exists'. Baal was a weather god worshipped in the Syro-Palestinian world.1 In Biblical Hebrew Jezebel's name means 'there is no nobility'. Jezebel is an evil woman in the Bible (Revelation 2:20).
The main characters in the life of Jezebel were all affected in one way or another by her evil deeds. Ahab, the king and her husband was a weak willed man whom she dominated and led to do much evil (1 kings 21:25). She encouraged him to worship idols while she personally made sure all the prophets of God (who she could catch) were killed (1 Kings 18:4). She personally took care of the prophets of Baal giving them direct access to the throne (1 Kings 18:19).
Jezebel's domination of her husband was directly responsible for the whole of Israel falling into the sin of idolatry. The whole nation suffered a famine caused by the lack of rain. This was God's judgement on them 1 KingS 17. This was particularly humilating for Jezebel since Baal was supposed to be the god of weather.
When Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel Jezebel soon got on his case. She threatened to take his life. Elijah knew this was no empty threat and ran for his life. The mighty prophet of God who had raised the dead and called down fire soon became afraid and even depressed because of Jezebel's action 1 KingS 18.
Jezebel not only worshipped idols but also practised witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22).
Naboth owned a vineyard. Ahab desired it but Naboth refused to sell the king the family property. Jezebel intervened and had Naboth killed simply to meet Ahab's selfish needs. At this point Jezebel herself was in charge of the nation of Israel. Ahab the king was simply her puppet 1 KingS 21.
God eventually sent Elijah to declare judgement on Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab was to die and have dogs lick his blood and his descendants cut off (1 KingS 21:17-22, 1 KingS 22:29 - 40, 2 KingS 10).
As for Jezebel she was to be eaten by dogs (1 kings 21: 23-28, 2 kings 9: 30 - 37). Jezebel lived for quite a while before God's judgement caught up with her.
Apart from idol worship, witchcraft and sheer wickedness Jezebel also used the spirit of domination and seduction to get her ways (2 Kings 9:30).
There is no record of Jezebel repenting. She did much evil.
The main lesson from Jezebel's life is that the deeds of a few can adversely affect a whole nation. Evil people sometimes live long. Could God be giving them the chance to repent? Destruction waits for them if they do not.
1. Who was Jezebel?
2. Mention some of her attributes?
3. Was Elijah able to withstand her?
4. How should we deal with the spirit of Jezebel in the world today?
5. How does the spirit of Jezebel manifest itself?
6. How did Jezebel's life end?
7. How did Elijah's life end?
8. Why does it pay to serve God?
Please remember a very special lady that is in our own bible study group. She's been going through some hardships. The Lord knows who she is.. and we know Who's she is~ amen? Hold her up by your thoughts and prayers today. I am praying that like Jabez, God would bless her and expand her territory~ AND that he will free her from all pain! Join with me......
1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
Ladies bible study was a blessing last night. We had 11 people and two of them were new faces! Praise the Lord! We had a quick game of commercial slogans and then went into our James study. We finished out the first chapter. Although everyone seemed extremely quiet (they must have had a full, busy day!) there was some discussion. I love James because it shoots straight from the hip~ no beating around the bush~! Maybe that's why everyone was quiet! LOL
After study we took prayer requests and then stood in a circle to pray.
Afterward it was wonderful to just stand and talk with ladies about our up-coming Extraordinary Women Conference coming March 5th and 6th. To make plans and actually see it coming just blessed my heart! There may be as many as 8 so far, and that's far more than I expected. Oh Lord, that even more would come!
I want to encourage you if you've not been able to come to Bible study to come on Tuesday nights. We are just a bunch of regular people discussing scripture... who care for each other and hold each other up in prayer.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Your heart is breaking
Your mind is unclear
Your tired and restless and full of fear
Come to me-
You say words you shouldn't
You don't do things you should
You doubt and try to change,
but never think you could.
Come to me-
You thought an evil thought
You thought the thought again
You turned the thought to action and now your bound in sin.
Come to me-
You say "But I knew better, I belong to you"
Child, I am not surprised by anything you do.
I made you in my image I fashioned you with care,
When you cried tears into your pillow, remember I was there.
I have always been and always will I be.
For even when you do those things, you still belong to me.
Even if you do these things, Oh child, don't you see?
Even if, even if, you still can come to me.
There is a secret place I have created where you may seek my face,
this place I have for you is called "The Father's Warm Embrace"
And when I have held you in my arms and rocked you, listening closely to your fears,
I will place you on my lap and wipe away your tears.
Then, I will smile. A smile to let you know I am pleased.
For when you hurt and when you sinned, still- you came to me.
So, do not draw back from me my child,
I am Abba Father to you, remember in my word I said -Behold,
I make all things new.
I will forgive you, heal you, restore you,
I will shower you with grace.
I will never turn my back to you, but you will see my face.
On your journey home, when I see you I will run.....
Even if, Even if, My child, even if just come.
WM Events for the month of February~
James Bible study (7:00 p.m. at church each Tuesday night)
Feb 2 (already met)
Ladies Night Out (6:30 p.m. meet at the church. Every third Tuesday of each month.)
Men & Women's Work Day @ Church
Elkanah had two wives - Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah did not (1 Samuel 1:1-8). Hannah's name means 'woman of grace' or 'gracious woman'.1 She eventually gave birth to Samuel after endeavouring years of cruel mocking and taunts from Peninnah for being childless.
Hannah had what many would call 'a raw deal in life'. She was childless in a society that considered not having a child the ultimate failure. A longing of the heart denied can cause much pain. Rather than allow her pain to cause bitterness towards God Hannah used the pain in her heart as a catalyst to pray. (1 Samuel 1:12-20).
Hannah developed a more intimate relationship with the God of Israel than the priest of Israel had. Eli was a man who watched lips instead of perceiving hearts (1 Samuel 1:12-24). How often today do we applaud those who 'talk the talk' at the expense of those who are quietly 'walking the walk'.
Eli was the priest, yet even when God spoke he heard nothing (1 Samuel 3:4-6). On the other hand, Hannah, a childless woman conversed freely with God and received her request. God honoured the most despised in the society with the favour of his blessings.
The perception that God in the Old Testament did not treat women well is not true. It was the culture of the time that detested women not God.
After Hannah's encounter with God her attitude changed before her condition did. She started to live a normal life again prior to having a child (1 Samuel 1:18). Contentment comes with believing God and finding rest in him. Contentment starts in the heart not with possessions. Hannah soon gave birth to Samuel. When the child was weaned she gave him back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:24-28). From what we know of the culture of those days Samuel would have been about three years old at this time.
All mothers know that the time will come (or has come) when their children will grow up and leave. That is the time to let them go. No more holding and pulling their emotional cords. It's time to stop influencing them. Let them loose to be what God has called them to be.
This might involve calling them and praying over them. Releasing them to go and fulfil their God given destiny. You will always be their parent but no longer their guide. For some parents this is not easy. On your part it might involve a few tears. But it is the right thing to do (Genesis 2:24).
They might still be around and visit you often, but they are now independent of you in many ways.
God used Hannah to show us that this is possible. If anyone cherished her child Hannah did. Yet even she knew that children are a gift from God. We are given the privilege to care, guide and train them and later release them into life.
Hannah's story ends with her giving praise and glory to God (1 Samuel 2:1-11). She had a fulfilled life. The fact that she had to wait for some things did not mean she was doomed.
Waiting for things is not a curse. In fact God always uses it to produce a blessing if we remain faithful to Him. Keep your trust in God. That is what Hannah's life is telling you.
1. Who caused Hannah much grief?
2. How did she pour out the bitterness and hurt in her heart?
3. What was the changing point in Hannah's life?
4. Was she willing to let her child go after having him?
5. Where do our blessing come from?
6. How can we cope with unfulfilled desires in our life?
7. Compare Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-11 with Mary's in Luke 1:46-56.
Do you see any similarities? What do these prayers teach us about prayer?
Romans 15:20 & 21 20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As I sit here drinking my coffee this morning I'm overwhelmed (in a very good way) by God's marvelous grace. Unmerited favor.. Something we cannot earn... something that He gives to us freely because we have given our lives to Him and He is our Lord and Savior. Grace is very hard to wrap thoughts around. Like the virgin birth, it can at times be hard to understand. Why would anyone want to give me something I don't deserve.. why would anyone forgive me of my sins... why would anyone willingly give their life for me? The Lord doesn't give it to us and then take it back... he pours it over our heads.
Grace can also be defined as God's fullness in the life of the believer. God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). The grace of God in Paul enabled him and empowered him in his weakness. Another verse states, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8). God's grace working in us supplies the sufficiency whereby we may abound to every good work. I like to call grace "God's enoughness." By this I mean that God is enough for us no matter what the situation we face.
Grace is first of all necessary for salvation. Ephesians 2:8 states, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." One aspect of salvation is called justification. That is the act by which we are declared just (righteous) before God on the basis of the payment Jesus Christ made for our sin. The Bible clearly teaches that we are justified by the grace of God (Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7).
But not only are we saved by the grace of God--we also serve the Lord and live the Christian life by the grace of God. The letters of Paul always speak of a blessing of grace for the believers (along with peace). Just for an example, Romans 1:7 states, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Paul is speaking to believers who are already saved and on their way to heaven, but he also recognizes that they need grace for living the Christian life. They need God's strength and sufficiency.
A good verse to help explain this grace by which we live is 1 Corinthians 15:10 where Paul testified, "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." It was God's grace that made him what he was. It was God's goodness working in him that made him the great servant of God he was.
We also need the grace of God. We need it first of all for salvation. Without the grace of God, we cannot have eternal life. However, we also need the grace of God for our daily walk with God. We are weak and prone to stray. Jesus told us that we can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). But God provides daily strength through His grace working in us. We should seek this grace for living from him. Then, we should believe that He will provide what He has promised and walk with assurance that His grace is working in us.