Another calendar year has gone by. For a woman, what may this mean? More external lines. More internal issues. More unfulfilled dreams shelved. Less certainty. Less physical resources. Less dreams.
The above is merely conjecture based on incomplete information of each individual of this planet’s female population:
Current female population as at 9-1-2019 49.6% of the world’s population
*3,800,750,379 females as of 31 December 2018
When I made that conjecture I was purely assuming that generally women would be concerned with physical aging and related physical resources and relationship issues. In brief, the physical, social and economic constraints on a woman as she increasingly ages. Do they matter? Yes. They do. Not many people in this world would look at a woman and not notice her looks and all physical appearances that speak of her possible status and condition in life. If she appears older, weaker and less economically endowed a question might be, “Will she become an encumbrance in a relationship or in a community?”
If the above conjecture is true, it means an increased burden (compared to man) on a woman. She has to keep young and stay fit, stay in health, looking pleasant to the eyes, positively exulting energy and vitality, presenting at all times a sound mind oozing with wisdom and knowledge, dressing smartly and sharply while talking sense evidenced by monetary outcome from her performance to give a convincing impression and proof that she is an asset and not a liability to any man or partner or employer or fellow stakeholders in whatever community or organization or society in which she happens to participate. In addition to all that she has to be multitasking at home too.
A very tall call for 3,801,846,256 sisters, nearly 50% of the world’s population. Food for thought: if all women spend our time and money on keeping up to these requirements, we would not have much time and money left to take care of the other half of the population who just have to fend for themselves. Men should be thankful that most women are kind and merciful and give grace (undeserved favor) over matters concerning the other 50%.
In a world without God* the staggering conjecture is quite plausible. (*I refer to the God we believe to describe Himself as Love and Grace according to the Bible.) I would therefore hold fast to my stance with the God whom I believe in, a good God who loves His creations, both men and women. He created and even wove us wonderfully before we were born in our mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 For You formed my inward parts; You [a]covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for [b]I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My [c]frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
I have been thinking of how best to progress from here onward, after all the recent events, some of which have not yet passed on…Time lingers when we least want it to. Whilst doing my correspondence Bible courses I am now in the Book of Ephesians and unlike what I thought earlier, I am not really that “well-versed” in my understanding of this Book. I like the whole Ephesians. My NKJV is marked with colors where I have walked with my fingers. Yesterday I found my Message Bible and read the Ephesians. I also found another version of the Chinese Bible which I had not read for ages. Then I looked up the online Bible Commentary by Andrew Wommack. The whole experience is wonderful! I am humbled. Here I am today, sharing a passage from Ephesians 4 with you, my sisters.
so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along
with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so
long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but
with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain,
they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of
that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you
have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth
precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse
of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that
old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of
it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a
life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as
God accurately reproduces his character in you.
this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell
your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each
other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as
fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t
give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.
29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and
breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit
for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle
with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and
thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
This young woman encountered the worst tragedies anyone could think of: a sudden death of her husband -the sole bread earner of the family, and he left behind two young sons and a huge debt. In those days a married woman was considered a mere property of the husband. Her social status came from being a man’s wife. The loss of her husband without any tangible inherited asset meant a total loss of status in the community and an overwhelming financial crisis. We had no knowledge whether she was trained for any commercial skills. If she had any, she would have proceeded to get an employment or make some income. But this woman had no economic solution on her own. Whatever she had in her house were used up to pay the creditor. The lender had the right to repossess everything and even take her children as payment. The creditor was coming to take her two young sons into slavery.
The case of this unnamed woman as recorded in the Bible:
What can we learn from her? How did she cope? What did she do right?
1. She heard God. Instead of waiting for the worst fate to arrive -her two sons taken into slavery by the creditor, she went to ask for help from the right person -her husband’s spiritual teacher and principal of the school of the prophets, Elisha, an accomplished true prophet of God. She told him honestly all she had left was a jar of oil and her two children.
2. She obeyed God. She did exactly what Elisha told her to do, to the minute details: borrow as many as possible empty vessels from all her neighbors, shut the door, together with her sons poured her only jar of oil into those vessels, did not stop until all the vessels were filled thereupon the oil would stop.
3. She believed God’s words through the mouth of the prophet. She and her sons thus witnessed God’s awesome supernatural power of multiplication of physical elements. (This was also miraculously done by Jesus later as recorded in the New Testament’s Gospel of Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-38)
4. The positive result: She became a woman of wealth*, debt free, and a successful oil business entrepreneur with ongoing profit to support herself and her two sons for the rest of their lives. She could also support their continuing education and training for their called prophetic profession just as their late father had pursued.
5. Whilst the multiplication of the oil was entirely miraculous, the level of the woman’s wealth depended on her faith and action in obedience to the words of promises of God she heard and received as true. At best she could have borrowed a few small jars if she had half believed. But she believed totally. She borrowed lots of big jars. That was why the Prophet Elisha told her she would remain wealthy for the rest of the lives of her and her sons. This revelation opens my eyes -Don’t limit God!
Bible verses: (2 kings 4:1-7)
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
*Olive oil was considered to be one of the great sources of wealth in the days of King Solomon (cf. I Kings 5:11; II Chronicles 2:10). In biblical days an abundance of oil was a sign of prosperity and favor and a lack of oil was one of the many curses for disobedience (Deut. 28:40). The oil of olives was widely known and used during most of Bible History. It had a wide variety of applications, and was a valuable commodity. It was used for anointing the living and the dead, for sacred offerings, for lighting lamps (in the Tabernacle, Temple or in ordinary people’s homes), cooking and medicinally. It was also used in personal grooming, and as an ingredient in some soaps (as it still is).
Gender polarization is an ancient monster that has reared its ugly head menacingly and is increasingly prowling around looking for victims to devour in this time. But I cannot remember my siblings and I being deliberately brought up in the polarization way. We were just flowing with life and circumstances.
In my family the women could appear stronger than the men. For example, when a gigantic venomous monitor lizard (or viper) entered our house the men (my dad and eldest brother) ran away and my mom was the one who took up a weapon (a long sharp metal something) pierced the head of the monster and pinned it to the ground. She shouted for the man folk to return and deal with the threshing dying beast. They had no clue what to do. So she instructed them to fetch a tough huge sack so she could cast it into it, tie the sack up and ask them to cart it to the back yard and burn it to ashes. We children were stunned and awed by the cool, composed, tough and bloodless execution all done without display of any emotion on her part.
If my eldest sister was home she probably would have run away too. As for me? I neither fled nor fought. I was just a curious eight years old bystander. Courage is not gender specific. When we kids grow up and have our own family we have displayed immense courage too when needed to protect our loved ones. I cannot think of any specific trait labelled gender-specific in my family.
No, my mom was not a superwoman of gigantic size and power. She was a beautiful, elegant, intelligent and knowledgeable average size business woman. She was considered the best dressed woman for all time in the oil town where she lived most of her adult life. She rose to the monster-killing occasion when needed. Her goal? Protect her little chicks (including a toddler and an infant) like a mother hen does. After the incident she sat down and continued her afternoon tea as if nothing had happened. Then she instructed us to return to our homework. She was capable of and focused on multitasking as the circumstances required. That was my typical mom.
So where do all these ugly scenes of gender polarization out there come from? Knowing where they come from helps us to resolve them or kill them, just as my mom did with the “monster”.
What about running to the street and crying wolves? You may be too late. The monster (mobster) is really big and evil out there and its sole purpose is to use you and other human to steal, kill and destroy everything human value and love.
What is the solution? This is a question for every Christian to turn inward and ask oneself. One thing I know, aligning with the polarization monster will not bring salvation or deliverance. Whatever you do, if the outcome is creating more divisiveness, more hurt and more destruction, then your alignment is with the death monster and not with the super-abundant life that God has promised and given you and your loved ones in Christ Jesus.
My solution? Come to the point where our sole identity is in Christ. Start afresh from this equality foundation. Unshakable. See yourself the way that God has made you in Christ changes how you think about yourself and that matters most. God is a lot more concerned with where you are going than where you came from. God is in the spiritual realm. He has the best thoughts for you. Why don’t you go to Him for your inner healing instead of calling out the dead and let other more destructive men use you for their ends?
The historical record of Queen Esther, another fearless godly woman clearly shows the hands of God in her life. The whole amazing life and death episode for a whole people group as recorded (in excerpts) in the following passages took place over a brief period of ten years. The planned timings were strategic and flawless. It was supernatural and divine. What was Esther’s role then? She was fearless and faithful to execute God’s plan. Neither the powerful king of Persia nor his second in command, Haman (an enemy of the Jews) knew of the true identity of Esther, a Jewish girl. God’s hand selected and planted her in the midst of the brewing storm and she proved her worth.
Summary on significant timings of events concerning the powerful king of Persia:
On the third year of the king’s reign he gave a party during which his first wife (Queen Vashti) publicly dishonored him and thus lost her royal position.
On the seventh year of the king’s reign,Esther (a Jewish girl) was made queen to replace Queen Vashti and her uncle Mordecai became a palace official. Mordecai was strategically positioned to discover a plot to assassinate the king and saved him in time.
Sometime later the king promoted Haman to be the most powerful official in the empire. During the twelfth year of the king’s reign, Haman plotted the massacre of all the Jews in the empire and manipulated the king to issue the decree of death to the Jews.
Mordecai told Esther and Esther instituted a fast for three days before she entered the presence of the king with boldness and wisdom.
Because of the strategic positions of both Queen Esther and Mordecai in the king’s court, the Jews in the Persian Empire were saved. Their arch-enemy Haman was impaled on his own gallows (originally constructed to hang Mordecai).
Within two months (70 days) from the time of Haman’s murderous scheme to the ascension of Queen Esther and Mordecai,the fate of the Jews was divinely intervened and transformed, in which they gained the king’s royal decree to defend their lives.
Within a year on the appointed date to execute both decrees (one of which marked for death by the decree of the same king),the Jews indeed overcame their enemies with the decree for life. Life triumphed over death!
Reading of the Bible verses from Esther (excerpts):
1:1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty. 9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Xerxes. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
2:16 Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18 To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone. 19… and Mordecai had become a palace official. 21 One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthana and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king’s private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him. 22 But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report.
3:1 Some time later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.
3:7 So in the month of April, during the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ reign, lots were cast in Haman’s presence (the lots were called Purim) to determine the best day and month to take action. And the day selected was March 7, nearly a year later.
4:15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
5:1 On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.
8:9 So on June 2 the king’s secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Mordecai dictated. It was sent to the Jews and to the highest officers, the governors, and the nobles of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including that of the Jews.
9:1 So on March 7 the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies.2 The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai. 4 For Mordecai had been promoted in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces as he became more and more powerful.
Why are some women fearless? Who are those women? Why should women be fearless? Mary, the Mother of Jesus on earth is one of them. It is not easy to write afresh about Mary. What revelation is there other than the obvious which every church has taught? The Scripture will show us.
Here is a brief list of spiritual characteristics about Mary, based on the Gospel of Luke (Chapter one).
She sees, hears and converses with angels without fear. The angel Gabriel was sent to her and spoke to her. She saw him and was “troubled” at his saying but she did not faint and pass out at the phenomena. (1:19)
She is a thoughtful and careful young woman. she considered what manner of the angel’s greeting was. (1:19)
She remains calm and rational. After hearing him out she asked question about the practicality of the announcement. She was engaged but had not yet married or had intimate relationship with a man so how could she give birth to a child? She questioned the angel/God’s messenger boldly. (1:34)
She is spiritual. She knew the angel came from God and the message for her was from God. (1:38, 47)
She believes those prophetic words about the forthcoming supernatural event. (1:38)
She accepts her role in this supernatural event. (1:38)
She believes in the power of God. (1:38)
She expresses her willingness to undertake her role in God’s divine plan. (1:38)
She considers it an honor. (1:48)
She takes immediate action to go to her most trusted social support as led by the Holy Spirit. (1:39-44, 56)
She is well-versed in the words of God. She believes in the supernatural power of God’s words. (1:46-55)
She knows and trusts God. (1:45-55)
Can Mary be described as a fearless woman? Yes. She has displayed great boldness and courage in accepting her role in this divine appointment and assignment. What is her secret for success? She is fearless. What makes her fearless?
The answer is in John’s description of God (1 John 4) we know that God is love. God’s love is perfect. Perfect love casts out fear. Mary abides in love –God. God’s love is the divine power that carries her all the way to fulfillment of her role in history. The crucial word “relationship” with God stands out in Mary’s life! She has a close relationship with God and knows God’s true nature.
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)
How can we apply what we learn today? By the Holy Spirit. “By this we know that we abide in God, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)
“Women have awoken.” Some reporters/editors/media opinion might describe women this way when they pen some news about women taking part in some public group actions occasionally. Let us not congratulate ourselves too soon as we read their remark. The remark implies only one thing: women/some women had been sleeping beauties all this while. This is of course nonsense.
For the information of the uninitiated, most women have always been wide awake. We know what goes on. But we just do not talk about it with you. We also know better than to join ourselves with actions which we know are subject to manipulations by ulterior motive/secret agenda with which we do not agree. Why should we lend you our strength? We each have one vote with equal power as yours. We speak with votes. We are the silent but effective majority.
What are our agenda? We are committed to taking care of and training our children on the right track for their future. We know what it means if we support a social/cultural/political misconception that it is good to steal from another’s purse. No, we are not proud of any form of stealing (in whatever nice name/philosophy like “equal-distribution” you may dress it). Why? Because it can only mean one thing: that our children are inferior and must have some forms of handicaps to help them to survive. No. We are not proud of that connotation. We are not proud of being classified by any classification that would render us to be subject to handout/quota/special treatment. We refuse to wear that hat.
Traditionally, once upon a time, in fairy tales, women were admired for being sleeping beauties. But, man, get real. We are wide awake and we have purposed in our hearts to impart to our children the awake values and strategies: just, honest, ethical, motivated, diligent, intelligent, and wise, committed to a profession, a trade, a craft, a labor, a work effort and a production in prospering the economy, social development and nation building. Yes, you will be surprised, we women know economics better than you do.
Judges 5:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 “Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away,
O son of Abinoam!
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