Saturday, November 30, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Rebekah

Chapter 18 – Rebekah

At about the time that Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac to God, Rebekah was born. In fact news of her birth reached Abraham. Years later Isaac, when he was forty, married Rebekah. The story about their marriage reveals a lot about Rebekah. Here are a few nuggets of knowledge that I panned from various chapters in Genesis:

1)      Rebekah was a beautiful young virgin.
2)      She was generous, thoughtful, and strong, carrying water jugs and repeatedly filling them to water a stranger’s camels.
3)      She liked jewelry and happily wore the nose ring and bracelets that she received as engagement gifts.
4)      She was adventurous, eager to ride a camel off to a strange place to marry an older man.
5)      She was rich with many maids and even a personal nurse named Deborah.
6)      She tended to be curious, asking questions of the servant who had come for her.
7)      She was modest, covering herself with a veil before meeting her future husband.
8)      She was lovable: very clearly the Bible states that Isaac loved her.
9)      She was barren for the first twenty years of their marriage, but her husband prayed on her behalf and she finally conceived.
10)   She wasn’t afraid to speak direct to the Lord, and she did so, asking him why her pregnancy was so difficult.
11)   She showed favoritism, preferring her second born son, Jacob, over Esau.
12)   In the end she was deceitful, helping Jacob steal Esau’s birthright.

Next Saturday – Ruth

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Advent Candles - Candle of Hope

Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ. More and more candles mean more and more light, as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

We light the first candle, the candle of hope, and rejoice in the coming of our Savior. Isaiah 7: 14 says "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.

God of Hope, come into our darkness. Renew our trust in You, for You alone are our hope.

We have hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. When we continue in the faith and do not move away from the hope of Jesus Christ, we are filled with joy and peace.

O God, help us abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Rachel

Chapter 17 – Rachel

When Jacob first saw Rachel, a young shepherdess “lovely in form and beautiful”, he fell head over heels in love with her. He was willing to work for his uncle for seven years without pay if he could have her hand in marriage. Think about that, fellas. Multiply your salary by seven – would you pay that much to put a ring on the finger of your beloved?

How about fourteen times your yearly salary? In the story in Genesis 29 we learn that

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When I Don’t Understand What God is Doing

You know how it goes. We all have things happen in our lives that we just don’t understand. We cry out to God: Why? Can we ever find answers to why bad things happen to good people?

Here are a few of the things you might think are bad (some are, some aren't) that have happened in my family in the last two years:
       1)      Loss of job
       2)      Birth of child with Down Syndrome
       3)      Heart attack
       4)      Cancer
       5)      Sudden deaths

In Isaiah 55 we read:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Every one of the above “bad things” came with a blessing that couldn't at first be seen.

Romans 8:28  says:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I don’t need to cry out Why? anymore. I can simply trust God. Can you? 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Naomi

Chapter 16 - Naomi

We find the story of Naomi in the book of Ruth. Naomi and her husband left Israel to live in a foreign land among people of another religion. She raised her sons and they were allowed to marry non-believers. Then Naomi was widowed and both of her sons died. How devastating! She decided to go back to her homeland and told her daughters-in-laws to stay behind. One obeyed, but Ruth didn't want to leave Naomi. This was an incredible testament to Naomi. She must have been a wonderful example for Ruth to want to go back with her to a strange land with strange customs and a different religion. She must have seen something in Naomi that she wanted for herself. She clung to Naomi even at the cost of renouncing her people and her gods in favor of Naomi’s people, the Israelites, and Naomi’s God, Yahweh: "Your people will be my people and your God my God" (merely four words long in the Hebrew: ‘amekh ‘ami we’lohaikh ’elohai, which literally means "your people my people; your God my God").

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Quick Look at the Book of Job

Job lived in Uz which is a word play since Uz means “take counsel” and if you’re already familiar with the story of Job you know that he takes counsel from his friends after suffering family tragedy, financial losses and health problems. The description of Job depicts a righteous man. He was blameless and upright, feared God and shunned evil. The word shunned here is the translation of the Hebrew word “suwr” and is a verb that means to turn away, to go away, to desert, to quit, to keep far from, to stop, to take away, to remove. Job shows us how to be righteous: just shun evil.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Mary

Chapter 15 – Mary

I've written about Mary as a teen HERE , but as a mother it’s a whole other story. When she gave birth to Jesus she had Joseph by her side. They were poor, but within a couple of years they had been visited by the magi and received costly gifts which certainly helped the young family set up their household when they returned from their Egyptian exile.

There are a few scenes in the Bible which show Mary’s character as a mom. She loved her son, believed in him, and had pondered all those wonderful things for thirty years before his first recorded miracle. She played a big part in that, didn't she? There was a wedding feast and the host ran out of wine. Mary hinted about the problem to Jesus, but he said his time hadn't come yet. But mother knew best. She ignored his statement and told the servants to do whatever Jesus said. And he turned water into wine. I love that she had perfect confidence in him. Good mom.

She was concerned about her son, ready to stick up for him if needed, but even after that miracle she wasn’t exactly convinced that he deserved to be followed by the masses. Mark 3 tells us of the situation after Jesus had appointed the twelve apostles: he went into a house and such a huge crowd gathered that he and his men were not even able to eat.

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

What an interesting translation (NIV). His own family and his mother, Mary, thought he was messed up. Immediately following this we read that the teachers of the law thought he was possessed by Beelzebub. I’ll bet Mary thought, “Well, I can say stuff about my son, but nobody else better put him down.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

Terrific mom – right there involved in his life, defending, encouraging.

And Mary was at the crucifixion, too. Take a moment to think about that horror.

Mary was also around to see the resurrection. What joy!

After the ascension, Acts 1 records that all the disciples joined together constantly in prayer along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Those must have been some pretty bittersweet prayers. I think Mary is our most courageous and powerful example of a mother that we have in the Bible. What do you think?

Next Saturday – Naomi

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kindle Countdown Deals

Kindle Countdown Deals

Starting Thursday, November 7, Amazon will include EDGE OF ESCAPE in its special Kindle Countdown Deals. That means that it will be downloadable for only 99 cents on November 7 (regularly $3.99). They raise the praise to $1.99 on Friday and $2.99 on Saturday so MAKE SURE you download it on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 to get the lowest price.
Please share this information on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. THANK YOU.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Lois and Eunice

Chapter 14 – Lois and Eunice

Lois is the only woman mentioned in the Bible specifically as a grandmother. She was Eunice’s mother, Timothy’s grandmother. Lois and Eunice are mentioned in only one verse in the Bible. It’s a quick compliment and oh so important. Here’s the verse:

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Paul is the writer of this second letter to Timothy and he has shown us that even one parent, mother or grandmother, can have a profound effect on a child’s faith. Lois and her daughter and grandson lived in a Gentile nation. Timothy’s father was not of the faith and yet Lois passed her Jewish and later Christian beliefs to her daughter who made sure her son was brought up in the saving faith. It must have been hard to do so being surrounded by a nation of unbelievers and in a house where the father was of a different religious heritage. Praise to these women for making it work and raising Timothy who was a faithful companion to Paul and became one of the early ministers of the Church.

Next Saturday – Mary

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