AND JESUS STOOD STILL…

The man was sitting by the busy roadside.  He was one of the powerless, one of the useless; he was a man with no leverage, what could he do for anybody or even for himself — he was blind and a beggar.  Bartimaeus lived when all there was for him was to sit by the highway and beg…for mercy, for food.  When it rained, when the cold penetrated his robe, when the sun scorched his skin — who cared.

One day everything changed.  As he sat by the side of the road, it got noisy, busy, loud —
“Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus stood still . . . ”

I often read some before I go to bed.  A few nights ago as I read Mark 10, this story touched me profoundly:  The blind man began to cry out,  “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” — then louder “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me”

“And Jesus stood still.”

Later the same night, or rather at 4:30 in the morning, the phone rang.  Our daughter in law called that our granddaughter had a dangerously feverish body.  We prayed over the phone, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on our little girl.” Then our son and daughter in law rushed to the 24 hour pharmacy with the doctor’s instructions.  By morning her fever had cooled and she was smiling again.

Jesus knew very well what the blind man needed, craved, cried out for — but he still asked him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Have you heard the song, “Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus; anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on — ”

If we want something of Jesus we must actually ask.

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ABOUT GOD’S GIFTS IN AND THROUGH WOMEN

Are women, females who are created in God’s own image, equal to men? I don’t mean are they the same as men, but is their status on par with men in God’s way of doing things? This is a favorite question of mine into what the Bible means when it comes to women today. For those of us who are women it benefits you and me to know as certainly as possible what we believe.

I say “Yes” Since we are in the image of God. There is no greater or lesser “image of God.” As it says in Genesis: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)  Neither is given an attribute of superiority.

The verse used to silence women (I Co 14:34: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak”) may be one of the misunderstood passages. I believe the reason is because it is spotlighted, used alone with no other Scripture to compare it to. God tells us “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1Co 2:13) It is written specifically to wives. Although there may have been loud and obnoxious, disrespectful wives, thinking their newfound status gave them the right to demean their husbands in public . . . the Bible does not say. But this verse does not negate all the rest of Scripture, giving gifts to every woman, as to every man who is a Christian.

Then, are the gifts of the Spirit given to women as God decides? I say, “Yes.”

Are women gifted to speak, teach and prophecy? There is nowhere in Scripture where God gives specific gifts to men and then qualifies that gift for men only.

Here is an example of the gifts of the Spirit in their practical use: “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you (man, woman) hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (ICo14:26)

Even Philip the evangelist, which was one of the original leaders “had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy”. To prophesy means to speak under divine inspiration.

I do not have a desire to be anything in the Church but a daughter of the living God, created in the image of God and obeying the command of Jesus before he left the earth, “Go ye into al the world and preach the gospel to every creature…” (Mark 16:15).

What is your gift? How will God through the Holy Spirit use you? “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man (man and woman) to profit withal.” (1Co 12:7)

What is your gift? How will God through the Holy Spirit use you? “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man (man and woman) to profit withal.” Your gift will bring profit to the Church, to you . . . when you are determined to use it to glorify God. (1Co 12:7)

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WINNING THE DEBATE ABOUT YOU

One of the hottest debates today is about you? One of the passionate questions in history is about you . . . how you “should” live as a girl, a woman, a wife. Even the word “should” implies coercion and control (“You should do this”, “You should do that”, “You should be this way” . . .).  We react. We know down deep that these decisions are ours to make.

No wonder we are sometimes afraid to even consider deeper; what did God plan when he created a woman? He completed the creation when she was made: “and God saw that it was good . . . ” It was good for the whole world, for the present and the future;  indeed for a future: “Therefore SHALL a man leave his father and his mother, and SHALL cleave unto his wife: and they SHALL be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

The way many men treated women on the pages of the Bible was not God teaching them to marry many wives, abuse, beat a wife, a daughter . . . any woman.  It was wrong then, it is now.  The mistreatment of women through history perfectly proves God’s warning after Adam and Eve sinned. “He shall rule over thee” was not a command to Adam.  This was a warning directly to Eve . . . to all women.  Nowhere in the Bible does God tell men to control, teach, train or speak for their wives or tell them what to do! You, a woman, think capably because you are given this power.  You, a woman, create because God does.  If you are married, you are a guide and a ruler of a family.” That is because you care, you are capable and you are gifted. (I Ti.5:14)

You have amazing power to “make a marriage” because of your spiritual, intuitive personality.  You have equally amazing ability and satisfaction to “make a house into a home” because down deep, you care about this deeply and it is your style!

Think positively about who you are: a female, created in the image of God.  You have the essence of ability, creativity and influence! Don’t run fearing that God is “out to put you in bondage” of some kind (though there are religions and men and cultures who do)! “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36) . . .

Whatever else you do, whatever your style and gifts, you can bless your marriage and home because you keep your heart there.

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THESE GIRLS OUR SONS MARRIED

As Eric and I brought up three sons, our family felt complete.  I was brought up in a family of ten; a family of five was just right!

All the years of doing our best to be parents kept us so involved that I didn’t think of what having daughters would be like…until now! The girls added to our lives, as our three sons got married have brought such happiness that I must commend these girls today!

The first to enter our family was Kristen: she married Josiah after he was transferred to Texas from Afghanistan in the Navy.  She has such a gentle spirit, that her powerful gifts surprise you; many of them stem from her computer skill.  She makes things happen.  Their four children are participants in those abilities as we see them grow via pictures from our distant State.  Kristen has been in the trenches, so to speak, with four children, Jonah, Lydia, Isaac and Annabeth.  She focuses on them and on her Husband as if all of them are “the only one”!  She is a wise, loving, fun, wife and mother!

The next to bring a treasure into our Clan was Joshua.  He married Tania:  who is both deeply wise and honest with such compassion, you feel blessed when she speaks.  She is able to do many things at once (like care for sixty people in her home for an evening).  She has a big world and she handles it in stride. Her gifts as a teacher are amazing as there is always a technique ready to bring the student around.  She and Josh are thoughtful and loving and seem to be the center of a large world…Their three girls, Becca and Jessi and Tamra are blessed!

Roxy and Zach married last.  He found her when he was doing routine banking…and just couldn’t forget that girl.  He sent her a note…she responded.    Roxy has intuitive wisdom, she is a communicator, and ends up saying or writing what she thinks: her care for making a big family close and communicative goes a long way in creating a family that feels special.  When Lilly was born seven years ago, another communicator was born.  Roxy’s interest in medicine and pharmacy began when she donated one of her kidneys to her mother…and so all of us continue to be enriched by all the rest of us.

I must tell you:  they are an answer exactly to our prayers.

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WHAT DO WOMEN WANT!

What all women want may be very similar.  One reason for believing in our similarities is that we are created in God’s own image.

His creation is beautiful, self sustaining, and intricate.  His highest creation, you and I and all mankind is intricate: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  There must be “typicalness” to us.

My goals very general and rather vague goals are:  I desire to please God and obey Him from my heart.  I desire to be a good wife, to please my husband and enhance his life.  I desire to be beautiful inside and out.  I desire to become all I can become: developing the gifts and abilities I’ve been given and using all of them.

Do you agree?  Do you identify?

We are, as the Bible says,  “fearfully and wonderfully” made.  But intricate as we are, as hard to comprehend as our hearts and minds and bodies are, we are created by God.  So we are understood!  We are understood by God.  We are loved, as we love our children, only more so.  We are planned for.  We are comforted.  We are watched over.

God provides the way for us to “make” ourselves into somebody, “that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”  We are free to study, think, grow, plan and devise our way.  And His face shines on you and me when all of the above is happening. (Psalm 144:12)

“The LORD bless and keep you: the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you.  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

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