YOUR GIFTS AND INFLUENCE

God gave gifts to mankind; to women as well as men:  Could the Body of Christ be weakened because there are “Controllers” in the Church?  In my memory are many illustrations of such, but instead of looking like a tattle-tale, I’ll do what I love to do best:  try to understand the Bible.

“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave SOME, apostles; and SOME, prophets; and SOME, evangelists; and SOME, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  that WE henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the WHOLE BODY fitly joined together and compacted by that which EVERY JOINT supplies according to the effectual working in the measure of EVERY PART, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:10 to 16) (emphasis added).

Note that “some” can mean any of these:  masculine, feminine; this, that, one, he, she.  I derive my definition from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

And this:

“If therefore the WHOLE CHURCH be come together into one place . . . EVERY ONE (“hek’as tos: man, woman) of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.”
(I Corinthians 14:23 to 26) (emphasis added).

Try to be a peacemaker.  Hunger and thirst after righteousness.  Jesus promises that you and I who “do these things”  will be filled, blessed.

Share
Posted in Female Role/Calling | Leave a comment

NOBODY CARES LIKE YOU DO

Since you and I are likely good at creating cozy spaces, (at times the only one in the house who does), caring for the health and future of our husband and children (and sometimes parents) we feel it deeply.   It makes so much sense to step up and make home welcoming, give yourself to your family .  .  .  just because you can, your way, your style.

This care for your family is “behind the scenes”.   Who knows but God and you.   For several years I fought discouragement and depression .  .  .  going to bed between tasks, fearing the world would pass me by.  Eric was growing and doing well as a Logistics Manager for the Navy.   Our three sons were in elementary school and high school .  .  .  nobody knew.   I was strongly impressed that this was my duty.

One day I realized:  I was more than a maid.   Now I know that this “duty” was accompanied with hope and growth and reaching out.   I was more!

Find or discover for the first time your shining example in a wise woman – – the woman of Proverbs 31.  She is figurative, I think; to take examples from.  We can create our priorities from this hypothetical wise woman.  I am very afraid that you will stop here, rightfully fearing the control and demeaning of women in centuries of generations before us.   Women were controlled and dominated for sure; today some still are!  But it was not from the teaching in the Bible.  There is nowhere in the Bible that teaches and demonstrates the domination of women.   The Bible, the authoritative Word from God to you demonstrating the original equality of women with men.

Deborah, Judge of Israel was one real life illustration of God’s calling to a prominent woman thousands of years ago.   Her people, her Country had a fair-minded judge in her.

So, who are you?  What are your priorities?  Who do you put at the head of the line in your daily life?   There is a way that tends toward happiness, both yours and your husband’s and your children – – yes, the whole household.   Perhaps parents live in your domicile.  Maybe you are busy enough to include a maid.

Happiness is usually from the operation of right priorities.   See the priorities of  a successful woman in Proverbs 31.   In Verse 27, “She looks well to the ways of her house hold and eats not the bread of idleness.”  She demonstrates love.  And in Verse 28, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”  This is love expressed behind closed doors where nobody sees .  .  .  but the dedication she shows is powerful and is far reaching.   The results of her loving priorities go out into the world through her husband, her children, and always go beyond her lifetime.

Then, what does this woman do with her gifts, her desires, her education and drives?   Still in Proverbs 31.   In Verse 14 “She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar.”  In Verse 16 “She considers a field and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”  In Verse 13, “She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands.”  She is in the marketplace doing what she loves.   It’s just who she is.

Share
Posted in Influence | Comments Off on NOBODY CARES LIKE YOU DO

DON’T BE JEALOUS OR THREATENED BY ANYONE EVER!

With our first child, I gained fifty pounds during pregnancy, with the second, sixty, with the third…dare I admit it? I gained seventy pounds carrying him. Now, he was worth it! But I found myself overweight and not losing it quickly like after the birth of the first. I was busy with three young boys and didn’t realize how overweight I’d become until I saw a few pictures of my new self.

Beautiful, slim girls threatened me. I was jealous of their look, their clothes, their style and so I was silently critical. I can’t think of one that appeared to “show off”. All the angst was in me!

Then, slowly, I began to get back to exercising. My husband, Eric had followed Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s book “Aerobics” and I got ahold of the book his wife, Mildred Cooper, wrote, “Aerobics for Women”. That book changed my perspective, changed my future.

An Aerobics Gym opened a couple of miles away; I joined and after a few months worked my way to Instructor. That was the beginning of a hobby: a love of trying to improve my health, normalize my weight, enhance my personal style.

You are created in the image of God! Does this sound simplistic? Think about it. What had to happen to bring you into being…go back centuries…or just go back one generation. You are a one and only…go, do, become the best you can make yourself. Yes, it takes study, discipline, vulnerability and wisdom. You will need one or more friends (husband, sister, daughter, child hood friend… a truthful, loving person) who believe in you. But the journey, when you get a clear picture in your mind of your best self, will be a worthwhile adventure.

When you are threatened, feel small, think “I’m worthless” – just don’t. Be an overcomer. “Wow, Lord, you made me. I have these innate interests, drives, gifts. The path of my life has brought me to this place! There is a purpose for me…which is for me alone and no person on earth can fill exactly the place God created for me.”

When I lost the weight, gained strength and flexibility, my jealousy went away. I had worked very, very hard to grow in this direction. Vision can be like a clear picture in your own mind! Follow the example of the wise woman described in Proverbs. No need to compare ourselves with anybody!

Share
Posted in Female Role/Calling | Comments Off on DON’T BE JEALOUS OR THREATENED BY ANYONE EVER!

YOUR INNATE POWER

At about fourteen years into our marriage the old Dodge was still around, its heart beating on five cylinders. We lived as far West as our city goes from Eric’s workplace. The drive straight East into the sun on Route Fifty took my husband an hour every morning. When he got there his days were filled with high pressure and low praise. He came home straight toward the western sun every evening. The sun visor was long gone. Ten years he commuted in that old car. The air conditioner never worked. He was hot and sweaty and grumpy when he arrived home at night. Exactly how hot that old station wagon got on a 95 degree day I didn’t know, but he was in need when he arrived home.

Never did he complain; but his fair Swedish skin was always more red than normal on those hot days. I grieved for his suffering. I began to understand that I could do something about it. I could make coming home his highlight for the day. I began to pour out my complaint to God about that car. Finally we saved enough to buy a newer old car; one with air conditioning, electric windows, radio and tape deck (do you remember “cassette tapes”?).

Compassion will bring pain, because you will feel the pain of your husband and of those around you. Allow it. The grieving, the brokenhearted, the poor, the sick, those who are afraid or lonely and our husbands’ sometimes silent pains are real. Your husband needs you. You are his other self, the very touch of God to him. Whether he shows it, or even knows it, he is in need of someone who makes him the most important person in the world. Will it be you, his wife?

Your compassion grows strong when your heart is warmed by enduring adversity together. It is a gift from God.

If your man will reach high and go far, it will be because you believe in him. Learn to believe in his designated place. Tell him so. Encourage him when he fails. Your house can be the place he looks forward to, because you are there. As the song says, ” . . . it’s her warm loving that keeps me returning again and again.” And as the Bible says, ” . . .the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her . . .” (Prov.31:11)

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
• Does a husband’s hardship justify a high handed, hurtful attitude toward you?
• How should you respond when a husband arrives home angry?
• Sometimes you must think, “What about me, what about the children?” When does “What about me” go out of bounds?

Share
Posted in Female Role/Calling | Comments Off on YOUR INNATE POWER

A REASON FOR WHOLE GRAINS

The benefits of whole grains today are well known.

Think of this: whether it is spiritual or physical wisdom we seek the Bible is the ultimate Science Book, the go-to for final truth. The information Scripture gives for our health is significant when I’m considering health for myself and my husband. The Bible is the ultimate authority on human behavior; it gives us the Ten Commandments; the Gospel, the way to eternal life through forgiveness because of the work of Jesus on the Cross. But the Bible is concerned with health and beauty, too. Consider: “Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; you did eat FINE FLOUR, and honey, and oil: and you were exceeding beautiful. . .” (Ezekiel 16:13) . Remember, “fine flower” in those days must have been whole grain flower, not “white” flower.

We can find ways to get whole grains into our system! Whole grains contain protein, minerals, Vitamin E (it’s good for your heart). Who knows what we will miss when we eliminate them. Google “Old Ways Whole Grains Council” for fascinating information.

Try Darrel’s Unleavened Bread and other whole grain Passover Bread recipes.

DARREL’S UNLEAVENED BREAD

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1/8 cup honey (for Passover meal omit honey)
Mix oil and flour first-stir. Put water and honey in and whisk, it will he runny. Spread thin on baking sheet. Bake as hot as you can about 500-600 degree oven for 6 to 7 minutes.

We girls can live our best lives; we take pride in how we care for ourselves and those we love. My strong advice: live by the hints and instruction in the Bible . . . for your lifetime. At times the hints are found in the most unlikely places. When you purposefully live by God’s instructions to you in Scripture, then everything that happens is “God’s fault”. We have “walked by faith.” Jesus is the spiritual example of healthy food, “The Bread of Life”.

Share
Posted in Home/Family | Comments Off on A REASON FOR WHOLE GRAINS