I have started the following blog to teach internet, social networking and social media marketing, google, Facebook, blogging, email, and other related digital communication. I will be using a story telling mode to convey the lessons. I pray you will view the blog and get something out of it. I will try using more visual drawings to help you understand. All the lessons will be in the following blogs. I will place the link here each time I do a new lesson. Add this to your Favorite or Bookmark.
Dear one (whom I still consider a friend, even though we have not known each other for over thirty years):
I am praying for a miracle about you. I know you may not be reading this because you may have forgotten how to visit here. Because you may have forgotten how to access my blogs or anything called blogs. Yet I hope you will visit me (my blogs) one day. Perchance. You see, I believe in miracle.
One day you asked me what internet is and what blogs are and how different they are from Google, Facebook, YouTube or emails. I remember one day you asked me to give you a list of some of my blogs on the Bible women. You said you want to know more about them, and how God views women.
Because you do not allow anyone who is not your long term friends (like having over thirty years of true friendship) to keep your phone number, use WhatsApp to reach you, or write email to you and you have deactivated your Facebook and Messenger account, and you haven’t learned to use all other social network accounts, and are in fact still struggling with internet and all related digital media, and you may have even misplaced the handwritten list I have written, and you are unlikely to remember how to use the internet to browse and google my WordPress name or URL* address for the blogs, I need a miracle. And I still believe in a miracle.
One day you were very depressed and told me one of your good friends had cancer. He went through very modern medical treatment and was recuperating. His mouth was in great pain. They put tubes to help him breathe and be fed. You wanted to know how you may pray for him. You wanted to record a prayer and asked me to agree with your prayer without speaking. You believe in the power of prayers and the Amen (agreement) of a fellow believer. So I did. Your friend wanted a prayer that would be miraculous and got him out of the pain and out of the hospital within the shortest time. It happened. He was free of the tubes and out of the hospital on the third day! So you see, miracle does happen.
No matter how challenging it is for you to learn to apply what you have learned about media from me during that short season, I still believe you will persist and practice them. For a person who values privacy and personal space above all else, book marking the blog site is the best option. You can choose to visit the blog and check if there are new ones, at your private and confidential convenience. WordPress blog is a safe place to visit. They do not spam you with stuff.
I would suggest you re-activate your Facebook account. You do not have to worry about people spying on you. I have already taught you how to keep private and safe from unwanted visitors. I have also taught you how to block practically everything from Facebook, Gmail, and WhatsApp. There is really nothing to fear. I have taught you to open other email accounts for your own trusted group of elite friends and associates. And you have written all the instructions long hand step by step in your note book. You have applied them on me immediately and I am blocked out. So you are doing very well.
Why do I advise you to re-activate your Facebook account? This is a useful tool to keep track on others if you want to. You can visit and see the public announcements of forthcoming events like zoom meetings, live streams and recordings of past events. Facebook may prompt you to add friend certain people but you don’t have to respond or pay attention. The list is auto-generated and has nothing to do with those people on the list. They do not know the suggestions by Facebook. I have taught you to remove them from the list. I have taught you to unfriend or unfollow people whom you have inadvertently added friends. You can start your own private (closed) group and use the Facebook tools for your purpose. There are many new things to learn and you can do it. I have witnessed your determination and ability to learn.
I have decided to publish a notification on my Facebook upon every new blog I write for this WordPress woman blog. You may find something you are looking for in each woman character I am writing about. Do make an effort to find me, and read. I pray media technology will not deter you, my sister, and many others like you. There is nothing complicated about media technology. It is just a way we communicate with each other.
Thank you for reading this letter. Thank you for taking the bother to find me.
With best thought (Philippians 4:8) for you always,
Kai, June 25th, 2020
“a fifty percent perspective—a voice for women”
p/s: Because time was too short during the brief season we encountered and shared with each other in persons, I did not fulfill my promise to teach you about the internet using a PowerPoint as you prefer visual and drawings. But I did prepare it. I shall go through it slide by slide at interval in my following tech-nerd blog and will link to this woman blog upon each posting.
“a millennial nerd’s confession”
*what is a URL? (Uniform Resource Locator)
URL (or URL-address) is a special form of individual address of a certain resource on the Internet. It can refer to the website, some particular document, or an image. The Internet user just needs to insert this code into the location bar to find the needed website, document, folder, or image. In plain language, it means the following: due to the URL address, the user gets information about where the needed information is located.
She is a ruler and a visionary. She gives birth to kings and priests. Yet she is another greatly maligned and misunderstood woman of God. I am going to challenge all the wrong thoughts and slanders about Leah —the gentle hearted, caring, beautiful and godly mother of many nations. She is both spiritually and physically beautiful in God’s eyes. Here is a long list of facts that dispel the previous wrong teachings about Leah. There are many Bible verses about Leah’s life, far more important than those about Rachel. Let Leah come alive in my writing and your reading. (Genesis 29:16-35; 30:1-21; 46:15; 49:30-31) (Also read the genealogy background: 11:26-29; 24:15,29; 25:20; 29:16)
- She has great spiritual and physical beauty inside and outside: Leah, comes from a lineage of famous world beauties. Kings and princes fell in love with them. How is Leah related to Sarah? She is the great grand-daughter of Milcah, Sarah’s niece. Sarah is stunningly beautiful even in old age (12:14-15; 20:2). Leah’s aunt Rebekah (Laban’s sister) is another great beauty (24:16). Leah’s only daughter Dinah is also very beautiful. A powerful prince fell madly in love with her and died for her. (Genesis 34:3) Leah’s twin sister, Rachel, is another stunning beauty (29:17). Leah has to be beautiful!
- She has the birth right: Leah is the first born (29:26). She is qualified to inherit the double blessings God has designated and recorded in heaven for her. She knows and takes hold of her entitlement with courage and positive actions. She heard of the twin sons of her beautiful aunt Rebekah who married Isaac. She was supposed to marry the elder twin Esau but she found out that he is godless, idolatry, carnal and cruel (a merciless hunter) to animals. (Hebrews 12:16) He is not interested in the matter of God or worship Him. He even sold his divinely appointed first born birthright to his younger twin Jacob, a godly man. By doing such a sacrilege Esau has lost his right to marry Leah.
- The beautiful eyes are the window to her soul: Leah and Laban know that God has a great destiny for Jacob and Leah is the first born with the equal right and entitlement to that destiny. She has beautiful attractive eyes, a gentle and beautiful heart for God and worship Him only. She is a worthy daughter of God who can raise up the whole nation of Israel. Kings and priests will come from her lineage. “The eyes of your spirit allow revelation-light to enter into your being. If your heart is unclouded, the light floods in!” (TPT Matthew 6:22)
- What went wrong? Why did Jacob want to marry Rachel? Because he saw her first and he was attracted to her physically (29:10-11, 17-18, 20). Jacob was already an old man of 78-year-old when he first saw this beautiful young woman. Obviously he was physically youthful and fit as he later worked for seven years in order to marry her. His parents gave him a clear instruction —go to his uncle’s house and ask his uncle for a wife from his daughters. The custom is to to marry off the firstborn (older) daughter and Leah is the rightful bride. Jacob did not obey his parents’ instruction. He went to the well instead to meet this shepherdess. In a former time, Abraham’s servant prayed and was led by the Lord to the well for the divine appointment with Rebekah, who was sent there by God. Jacob was not led by the Lord on this occasion. Disobedience causes him to miss God’s way. Rachel is beautiful in her face and her body (29:17). Any single man would fall for her at first sight (unfortunately for Jacob, without knowing her inside). Rachel is a carnal, idolatry woman. She stole her father’s household gods when Jacob took his family (Leah and Rachel and their children), servants and possessions, left Laban (his father-in-law) and returned to Isaac (his own father). (31:30)
- Leah knows God: The Bible describes the two sisters differently. Leah is described to have tender eyes. She is a gentle-hearted, loving, caring woman of God. She considers others. She is willing to bear the disappointment, hurt and pain in her heart without talking to others about them. She talks to God. She believes that God will make compensate and comfort her. She asks God for help. she gives names to her own six sons, a daughter and her maid’s two sons. Jacob has no say or does not bother with his children. The names of her sons are: Reuben: Behold A Son, Son Of Vision (God has given her a son for Jacob); Simeon: He Who Hears (God hears her); Levi: Joined, Joiner (God has joined Jacob to her); Judah: Praised, Let Him Be Praised (She praises God for all that He has done for her and for Jacob, her beloved husband); Gad: to cut, invade and expose (a troop of warriors for God’s army and kingdom); Asher: happy, to go right on (God has given her joy, comfort and rest); Issachar: Man Of Hire, He Is Wages, There Is Recompense (God has given her concrete benefits like wages for her hard efforts and generosity to others); Zebulun: Instance Of Exaltation and honor, Glorious Dwelling Place (God has given her honor, exaltation, a good dwelling place for her husband and her). (29:16-17, 23, 31-35; 30:9-13, 14-21; 35:23)
- She is a ruler and a visionary. She is fit to give birth to kings and priests: What does Leah’s name mean? Many say it means “weary” for weak and weary eyes. Few know that in fact the name Leah originates from the Assyrian language and means ruler, with the qualities of a ruler and visionary. She names her only daughter Dinah which means judge. (30:21) Leah is not weak at all. She is a stable and strong woman of God because she knows God and believes in His words and promises for her, her husband and their children. When Rachel is shepherding the sheep with her father and brothers in the field, Leah is the one who takes charge of the whole household. There is no mention of her mother who could have died young. After marrying, seeing how weak Jacob is, how else do you think their children can be raised to become the twelve tribes of Israel nation? Rachel is idolatry and dies young (at the birth of her second son Benjamin) while on the way back to the promised land. Jacob is not interested in anyone but himself and secondly, Rachel and her two sons). The true leader is therefore Leah, the matriarch in spirit and in practical living, the one whose name means ruler and visionary. No, God has not used a spiritually weak and short-vision woman to birth forth a nation. Leah is the comforter and steadfast helper to Jacob.
- Leah’s exceptional eye: Do you ever think Leah has no other more qualified and worthy suitors? Laban is a rich and influential man in their hometown. Leah comes from a famous lineage of beautiful women. She is the first born. She is godly, wise, kind, gentle and generous. She is young and capable and rules her area of household responsibilities well, and she is also a visionary who dares to dream and talks about her great destiny (she has heard from God in her close walk with God.) She comes from the same family of Abraham. Many fellow countrymen would have heard of the godly visionary Abraham’s story and the blessings he has received. The discerning young men in town would have noticed her exceptional worth and potential for greatness. Surely Leah has many suitors. But she has set her heart and eye on God’s heart and God’s eye. Her eye is exceptional. God has singled her eye out. Because she can see what others cannot.
The story of Leah is one of heartbreak. Her love is sacrificial, visionary, and based on God’s promises. It is never ever any cheap blind love. Jacob is deliberately hurting and insulting to Leah in his public declaration of ardent love for Rachel, the shapelier (perhaps more voluptuous) wife, Rachel. Jacob uses her and her children as human shield to protect Rachel and her children, and him from Esau’s likely attack. Genesis 32:8, 33:2 And he put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last. Jacob thinks that if Esau attacks those (the maids, his unfavored wife Leah and her children) in front, he and his favorite wife and children can escape. How did Leah respond? She does not respond to such petty carnal unbelief. Just as Jesus has so much love to give and longs for us to return that love but people just outright reject him for some physical attractiveness of this world —the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life that alienate people from God. Jesus faithfully went to the cross, unloved by many. He defeated the power of sin and death. He gave birth to many spiritual children, many nations! Leah is a type for Christ. She faithfully loves and not hates. She continues to bear many children and gives birth to the Israel nation, which in turn births forth many nations through her one crucial human descendent, Jesus (from the Judah tribe).
How does Leah really love Jacob? Bear in mind the huge age gap when they first met: Jacob was born in 2006BC and he fled to Laban in 1928BC at the age of 78 years. He married Leah in 1921BC at an age of 85. He wasn’t a dashing young man when he came to their house and proposed to marry one of Laban’s daughters. And yet Leah loves Jacob to the point of taking the bother to give birth to six sons and one daughter for him! What kind of love is that? In Genesis 29:30 and 29:32, Leah wants to be loved, Strong’s 157. Aheb (Achev), the love that Jacob loved Rachel, but not Leah.
“Aahav/chav is a love that has been wounded but continues to love. It can still be unconditional love, it can be a nurturing love, a caring love and have all the same elements of racham except like our first love there is a tinge of sadness, bitterness to ‘ahav/chav, an unpleasant memory.” —a Hebrews teacher. It can even mean: like, friend. But Jacob does not even like Leah as a friend. The Bible describes her as being “unloved” (Strong’s 8130: detested, hated intensely, turned against) by her husband. Leah could have married someone much younger, her own age group, but she has chosen to marry an old man like Jacob, just because she knows her destiny of greatness in Israel’s history.
Her sister Rachel has a sad end. She died in giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, after a brief marriage of 18 years to Jacob. Jacob inadvertently cursed her on their way fleeing from Laban, not knowing that she was the culprit who stole the idols from Laban. Genesis 31:32, 35:19. Leah was left to comfort Jacob when Rachel died and help raise her sister’s children.
Leah has a good ending: Jacob has to live the rest of his long life with Leah, possibly another 28 years before he moved his family to Egypt —Leah’s descendants contributed 33 out of sixty-six persons who came from Jacob’s body. Although the Bible does not record the death of Leah, Leah was given the honor to be buried in the family grave, together with Jacob, Isaac and Rebekah, and Abraham and Sarah, while Rachel was buried somewhere by the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem). Genesis 35:19, 49:30-31. Even Jacob recognizes God’s plan and destiny for Leah. In Genesis 49:8-10 Jacob blesses Judah (Leah’s fourth son) to carry on the Messiah lineage as God has designated.
Leah’s story is one of heartbreak. But she trusts and holds fast to God’s everlasting love instead of man’s transient fickle love. In a way she presented a type of God’s love through Jesus, her human descendent. She was sustained by God’s love and her love for God through all those long years of loneliness in a loveless marriage. Isn’t that what true love is?
1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Rebekah, one of the four Matriarchs, is characterized by the Rabbis as a prophet and a righteous woman. Yet she is one of the housewives whom Bible readers would have overlooked if not for their famous sons. In the Old Testament time women are assessed by whether they have sons or not. In her case she has twins. But it does not bring her double-happiness. Instead she has had a hard time with the sons and the foreign wives of the older one. This woman may not be viewed positively by some. Why? Because she favors one son over the other and helps her favorite son to carry out a scheme to cheat her husband by taking advantage of his blindness in old age. At the end she is separated from her favorite son and dies without seeing him again. Some may therefore consider her a fool.
But I am going to challenge all the wrong thoughts about her today. Read with me from a new perspective. I pray you receive your fresh revelation as you read this article.
I will look at two persons, mainly this brilliant wife and mother, Rebekah, and her apparently docile husband, Isaac. Many Bible teachers teach about Isaac and brush Rebekah aside. But the Bible clearly places Rebekah at a more strategic historical position than Isaac in terms of shaping the Jewish nation history. Without her there would have been no Jewish nation, nor there be a Christian descendant by faith heritage from Abraham.
Here is a list of Rebekah’s significant roles and the strength of her character which God has put to important use:
- God arranges a servant of Abraham who talks to God and asks God about how to make sure he gets the right woman to be Isaac’s wife. Genesis 24:12-14
- God arranges for Rebekah to arrive at the right time, the right place, and meet the right person —the servant, just as he has asked God for her to show up and do exactly what he expects her to do, a show of kindness and hospitality to a stranger and a traveler. She goes the extra mile too, by showing diligence and kindness to his animals. Genesis 24:15-20
- God designs Rebekah to fit in the great destiny. She is of the same genetic stock of Abraham —being his niece, very beautiful to behold, virtuous (keeping herself pure, still a virgin), hard-working (coming out to fetch water personally and not relying on maids), observant and full of initiatives (by noticing the traveler’s camels need water too and offering to get water for them), knowing her own worth (in not giving herself to any suitor), knowing and expecting her great destiny to come to pass (by waiting for the right spouse no matter how impossible it may seem, because surely by then the whole town’s most eligible bachelors would have tried wooing her).
- She is a well-brought up woman of a well-to-do family, with her own nurse, Deborah and maids. (24:59; 35:8) The Bible finds it important enough to record the name of her nurse. Yet, she learns to do chores like fetching water from the well, cooking excellent cuisine which her husband Isaac loves. Indeed, those skills come to be used at the right moment and divine appointment. (27:9, 17, 25)
- Rebekah is strong and perseverant in character. She was barren for twenty years before she has the twin boys, Esau and Jacob. Rebekah is totally unlike her mother-in-law, Sarah, who could not wait for God’s promise to come true and tried to jump start her destiny by giving her Egyptian maid Hagar to Abraham as a concubine and thus produced a tragedy, Ishmael. (16:2, 15, 21:9) On the other hand, Rebekah waited for her own descendants and kept her lineage pure just as God has wanted.
- Rebekah is intelligent, brave and determined. Why does she choose to go with Abraham’s servant immediately and travel to a distant country to marry a man whom she has never met merely at the words of the servant? She knows God. She has bothered to find out about her distant relatives even before the arrival of that fateful day when she met the reality of her going there to join them and their God and leave her mother, brother and gods (idols) behind. She finds out facts, knows and trusts what God has revealed and confirmed to her, and she makes the right decision with confidence and assurance of her hope. She is not a rash woman who simply takes chance (as many Bible teachers have wrongly taught us). Genesis 24:55-61 24:58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
- Rebekah has a close relationship with God. She is resolute to walk by faith and fulfill her great destiny. She asks God about her future and He answers. When her twins are conceived, struggling inside her, she asks the Lord and the Lord tells her why, and that the younger twin, Jacob, will excel and rule over the older twin, Esau. (25:23) She believes and stays faithful to God’s words and prophecy.
- Rebekah is married to an unequal, Isaac, a weaker man, given to carnal desire in his old age. Not only he does not believe in God’s prophecy about his twins, he has chosen to favor the older one, who is a carnal man too. Isaac and his wife Rebekah go separate way in the matters of God. Rebekah is the spiritual one who fears God and wants to make sure God’s will be done by hook or by crook. Isaac is the carnal one who cares only for his own physical gratification and forgets about God and His expressed will. 25:27-28 “So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
- Isaac is weak and fails to be the head of the family. He also fails in teaching and disciplining his two sons in the matters of God. Esau is a godless man who does not fear God and has no interest in God’s purpose in his life. He despises God’s providence of the double blessing for the first born. (25:32, 34) The Holy Spirit describes Esau in Hebrews 12:16, “That no one may become guilty of sexual vice, or become a profane (godless and sacrilegious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.” Isaac obviously is not so senile that he does not know his son’s weaknesses and that he does not believe and worship the same God Abraham and Isaac believe and worship. Isaac blatantly married two idol worshipping foreign (Hittite and Ishmaelite) women who caused family strife —they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah. (26:34-35; 27:46; 28:8-9).
- Isaac is born very rich, as the sole heir of Abraham. But he is a man of his own worth in the world: very successful farmer, sower, live stock owner, shrewd businessman, and negotiator of deals. The Lord blesses him specially because he is the promised heir of Abraham. 26:12-14 He not only prospered, he continued prospering, until he became very prosperous. He could have done better in distributing his wealth and possessions between the two grown sons according to the culture and practice in which he was brought up but he failed to do so despite seeing his sons becoming increasingly hostile to each other. A more decisive and caring father would have done it before the situation got out of hand. When the family tragedy struck he was both old and blind.
- Rebekah decides to take matter into her own hand because she sees an indecisive and incompetent husband who does not carry out his role as the head of the family. She has done her best to repeatedly remind him. She has undertaken to personally educate and coach Jacob since young all about God and his great destiny because Isaac is too busy in the field. She remembers God’s prophecy about her and her prophecy by her brother as well. (25:23; 24:60) She reminds herself not to forget them even though the situation may look helpless with her older rebellious son and her apathetic husband.
- We all know the story of Rebekah initiating a scheme for Jacob to take the blessing of the first born from his father and flee to safety after that. Do you think that Rebekah never thinks of the consequence of her separating from her beloved son, Jacob, the promised heir God has selected? They never see each other again. Knowing her murderous older son Esau, she has prepared for the cost she must pay. True enough, she has willingly paid the price.
- Rebekah has to live with her husband Isaac and the murderous and rebellious godless Esau for the remaining twenty years of her life. Yet she was prepared to do that for the sake of bringing Jacob to his greatness as the promised one for God.
- Rebekah is a woman who knows and lives the power of hope. She endures the loneliness of a visionary. She can envision her son Jacob returning in glory. She can envision how he is being trained from a distance by God to equip him for the greatness God has planned for him. She hears of him getting married and raising all those sons for God. She envisions them becoming many nations. She sees him and his family in her dreams. She knows her hopes are not in vain. Because she has trusted God all her life against all odds. She loves to the point of sacrificing her personal gratification. Isaac is blessed to have such a selfless wife. Otherwise he could not have fulfilled his role as one of the patriarchs for the twelve tribes of the nation Israel.
No, she is no ordinary wife and mother. She really knows God and wants God’s best for her son. And it makes all the difference. —June 21, 2020, Kai
How to make the Bible characters come alive when we read the Bible for ourselves and for others? This is one of my quests as a Bible scholar and teacher. I have read the Bible since 1983 when I encountered God through the Holy Spirit powerfully and was immediately filled with the passion to read His words. For nearly three decades I read His words consistently and systematically daily often in big chunks. In addition, I learned from many teachers and books. Most importantly, I learned how to hear God, listen to the Holy Spirit and receive revelation.
In the last nine months, and especially during the COVID 19 LOCKED DOWN, while having the luxury of living in a modern high-tech environment, I have had the opportunity to teach a fellow-locked-down person, a novice Bible reader how to read the Bible. How do I read the Bible characters and make them come so alive? That was her main question after I walked through a number of the characters with her. She is not a newly converted believer. But she had never been taught the way I taught her. After learning the new way of reading the Bible she is filled with fresh enthusiasm to read the Bible on her own and has been progressively practicing what she has learned. In March she requested me to compile a handbook of Bible highlights with emphasis on Bible characters for her. I went through all 66 books of the Bible and completed the task by the 12th of May just in time for her to return to her overseas home. She can use the material I have installed in her own laptop and go through the Bible herself. Knowing the way, she can dig into the Bible as the Holy Spirit leads her to go deeper.
This episode makes me realize the importance of showing an effective and yet simple and easily accessible way that helps and facilitates novice Bible readers read the Bible and thus encourages them to read increasingly more on their own and receive fresh revelations for themselves. They will themselves own the first hand revelations. This is my vision and main goal in studying and teaching the Bible. Everyone must DIY and can use a hard print Bible as your lifestyle. Power outage and stoppage of the internet cannot stop you from hearing God through His words.
This is essential for all today’s global Christians because not all can access and/or zoom and other digital ways to learn, read and understand the Bible, yet hoping to know what God is saying to them individually.
Here is a brief summary of what I do when I read the Bible.
- I read the whole book and other related books of the Bible which pertain to the characters and/or events. For example, when I study the two characters Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2-3, I read the whole book of Philippians and the relevant chapters in the book of Acts.
- I pray and ask the Lord Holy Spirit to lead me to read the right passages and meditate on them.
- I read related articles and studies about these two Bible characters, the historical context, the culture and society and other important background.
- I study and meditate on the missionary journeys of Paul, the early churches (mainly house churches) he planted, and his women disciples and coworkers, the kind of person and leader Paul is and how he handles issues raised by his followers and co-workers and churches.
- I familiarize myself with Paul’s way of writing, what he really means, why does he say certain things the way he says them, what is he trying to say to them, what results he is expecting, why is he confident of saying them and expecting those results? I ask myself lots of questions about the way Paul writes those letters which have become the Scriptures, a significant part of the New Testament Bible. Knowing Paul is absolutely essential for me to understand his letters. For example, a letter from your close one is always easier for you to understand than a letter from a stranger. Pick his brain. Pick his heart. You will find treasures you have never noticed before!
- It takes me quite some time to meditate. After the first round of reading I leave it and think about it a lot of time while doing other things. I will turn the verses over and over in my mind and talk to the Lord about it until my mind is crystal clear and certain what the Lord wants me to talk about. The apostle Peter actually tells us how it works, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” 2 Peter 1:19.
- Often it is at the clearest point like a morning star rises in my heart then I can put into writing the essence of what I receive and it just flows effortlessly as I read through the verses again while I write.
- When it does not become a fluent flow I will just record the pieces as notes for future reference.
- In the case of two characters Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2-3 I was alerted by the Lord to not restrict the reading to the mere context of 4:2-3 or even the immediate verses before and after. My spirit clearly says, read the whole letter of Philippians. Read 1:1 and see the difference between this letter and all other letters of Paul. This letter addresses not just the whole church (all the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi), it specifically calls to attention episkopoi (supervisors/overseers/bishops) and diakonoi (ministers/deacons) in Paul’s opening greeting.
- When I read the whole letter I realize that truly the whole letter addresses the issue of reconciliation and restore unity in Christ Jesus, what is unity, why unity, the consequences of disunity, how to re-establish unity, the key problems, action points, the two role models, and the assurance that they can do it.
- I read with Paul in mind. I walk through the letter with him. I see him in his Rome house arrest. He cannot go to Philippi physically but he knows his people very well. He knows what is going on and he knows they will follow what he says in his letter. He has to write a positively encouraging letter to counter the negatives: lack spiritual knowledge of the true condition of Paul, anxiety, discouragement, loss of discernment, disagreement over trivial matters, disunity, loss of peace and joy in the two co-worker leaders and affected those who followed them.
- I learn from Paul’s way of writing: he starts off in the first chapter with something positive and commendable about them. He uses words like: joy, confident, good work, love abounding, filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ. He finishes off the letter in the last chapter with more positive praises of them: he rejoiced that their care for him flourished again, they have done well to share in his distress, their being the only church giving to his ministry, fruit abounds to their account, like sweet-smelling aroma, acceptable sacrifice to God, well- pleasing to God, and his assurance of their reward—God’s supplies of all their needs according to the riches of His glory.
- I read Paul’s letters with this in mind: Paul does not impose standard on others that he himself does not practice. he also does not impose on others requirements that they cannot follow. All he asks them to do is to practice what he has been doing and has already discipled them to do. in addition to his teaching and training, they have the same Holy Spirit in them to give them the desire and power to do exactly what Paul does. He himself does exactly what Jesus does and more just as what Jesus tells His disciples and followers to do.
I pray that this sharing on my part will help you to read the Bible in a way that makes the Bible come alive to you too.
June 17, 2020
June 18, 2020
Please share this article with those whom you know are serious about reading and knowing God through the Bible. Those who want to hear God for themselves when reading the Bible. Those who are not satisfied with a mere literal caricature of the Bible characters. Yes, all those who believe in chewing into the real meat of the Bible instead of drinking mere milk. I will be writing more on the way I read the Bible and conduct free zoom classes as well for the more digital and internet savvy group as well. Please watch out for my announcement in this AAAA Watchman blog.
I always write with you in my mind and in my heart because you want to know about the women in the Bible.
Yes, I have not forgotten, however briefly, the time we have spent together, pouring out our hearts on the words of God, searching and studying the Bible, the enthusiasm and passion for the words of God, and the rich revelations we received in our quests.
As promised, I have started a new season to study and write more about specific women in the Bible. This is an urgent need. Many churches consist of mainly women (if not all). The Bible records the active and positive participation and contribution of women in both the Old Testament time and in the New Testament churches. New Testament church leaders like Lydia, Phoebe, Junia and Priscilla have received increasingly more attention. There are also other lesser-known women who are equally important leaders and serve in the capacity of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
I recently wrote about one whom Jesus singles out to praise in my blog titled “Do you see this woman?” (1) https://kingdomofgodaughter.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/do-you-see-this-woman-1/
Do you remember that one morning you told me you had a strange dream in which you were told to read Philippians 4:8? I told you it is Paul’s letter to two very important women. They were not just any women in the congregation. They were both loving, giving, mature church leaders and Paul’s valued co-laborers for the Gospel.
I didn’t manage to tell you much about them at that time. So today I would highlight these two women, Euodia ( Greek Εὐοδία, meaning possibly “sweet fragrance” or “prosperous journey”) and Syntyche (Συντύχη, “fortunate,” literally “with fate”). One is called “prosperous journey” and another is called “Serendipity”. Such auspicious names!
Having such nice names and being capable and hardworking leaders in the important Philippians church do not exempt them from being reminded to reconcile their disagreements. Paul’s letter actually pleads with them to agree in the Lord. (4:2). The two appeared in strife. Let us find out what happened by reading the whole letter. Paul’s appeal to them was written in Philippians 4:2-3 (HCSB) Reading the mere context in 4:1-9 will not help us to fully understand the two women. These are two real persons in life and not two-dimensional caricatures. Paul’s whole letter is meant for them and I would read the whole letter as the background and dig out more details about the two.
- The two women are important leaders in the church: First, we can note Paul’s appreciative and respectful attitude towards Christian women co-workers. He works with them and values their contribution, recognizes their diligent efforts in telling others the Good News, and affirms that their names are written in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:2-3). He addresses the letter specifically to God’s holy people, church bishops, and overseers/deacons. (1:1) (Note: The Letter to the Philippians is different from Paul’s other letters because he specifically includes the episkopoi (supervisors/overseers/bishops) and diakonoi (ministers/deacons) in his opening greeting.)
- Women founded this church: When Paul responded to the visionary call to Macedonia, instead of meeting a man as he thought, because there were not even ten Jewish men (the required quorum) to start a synagogue, he met a rich business woman, Lydia, who was leading a women prayer group and she was converted by Paul and immediately started the first house church in Europe, in her house in Philippi!
- The status of women in Philippi is high: Philippi was the chief Greek city of Macedonia (Acts 16:12) under the Roman Empire and it has been well documented that Macedonian women enjoyed greater freedoms, rights and powers than many other women of that time.
- Paul describes these two women Euodia and Syntyche in the same terms he describes prominent church leaders like Timothy and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:22,25), as those who have contended for the Gospel at his side, with a worthy ministry comparable to that of the men. Paul uses words that carry a metaphorical reference to gladiators fighting side by side in the arena. Far from demeaning women, Paul is actually declaring them capable and valuable for his ministry. Paul does not have gender prejudices or stereotyping women’s role in his ministry.
- Paul is in prison and his chief concern is maintaining unity among his co-workers. This is exactly the same concern of Jesus before He left Earth. In John 17:11-12 Jesus asks the Father to protect Jesus’ disciples by the power of His name so that they will be united just as the Father and Jesus, so that no one was lost. There is a supernatural power for Jesus’ disciples in being one just as the Father and Jesus are one. Disunity among leaders can cause their sheep to go astray. Paul explains to them what it means to have unity: “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (2:1-2)
In practice, how to achieve this unity? Paul gives them two main action points:
- Do not be self-centered: 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 2:4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- Do renew their mind by thinking good thoughts about the other. 4:8
Paul gives them two real life models to follow:
1. Chapter two: focus on Christ’s example of an attitude that can lead to reconciliation. 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
2. Chapter three: Follow Paul’s example. he focuses on Jesus and the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (3:14)
Can the two women do it? Yes, definitely. Because Paul says confidently in 3:15 “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” He knows these two mature sisters in Christ love God and have the fervency and diligence to serve God and obey God’s words. Paul has discipled them well and trusts them to do as he urges, to reconcile.
Lastly, Paul sums it up by saying, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (4:9)
You see, the consequence of their disagreement and strife in the church has caused the loss of God’s peace in them and affected the others in the otherwise exemplary church.
At the end of the letter, Paul brings up a praiseworthy uniqueness about this church led by women leaders. They are a loving and giving church to Paul’s ministry! They themselves in turn are experiencing the richness of God’s supplies for their generous sowing into Paul’s ministry. (4:19)
Postscript: These women are well-connected high society people. Even the royalty —the Roman Emperor, Caesar’s household send them greetings through Paul. Their networking is important to Paul’s ministry. (4:22)
Jesus does not perceive women in terms of their sex, age, or marital status; He considers them in terms of their relation (or lack of one) to God. Surprised? Indeed, when reading the Gospels we do not see Jesus showing any favoritism towards the masculine or feminine genders in terms of His teachings and interactions with His disciples and followers, who consist of both genders. He wants His believers to focus on God and on their relationship with God. This blog is the first of a new series I shall be posting here about how Jesus sees women (individually) as revealed to us in the four Gospels.
“Do you see this woman?” He asks Simon (a Pharisee) in Luke 7:44, Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.” What does Jesus see in a woman or a man? It is very clear that Jesus sees these:
- Because He (God) sees everyone, He expects us to see too.
- The way God sees (as demonstrated by Jesus) is different from the way that a man sees.
- God sees both the external behavior and the internal motive.
- Jesus takes note of the external behavior (which is important revelation of what is inside): Simon invites Jesus for a meal in his house. A woman (considered a sinner by the religious Simon) gate-crashes and anoints Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil.
- Jesus sees the details of the two individuals’ hospitality behaviors: what each person does or does not do reveal what are inside them.
- Simon does not really respect and honor Jesus. In fact, he is insulting and rude to Jesus. He does not give Jesus water to wash His feet as is the custom of those days. Neither does he greet Jesus as his guest a normal greeting (kiss) as required by the custom. He does not anoint Jesus’ head with oil. Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations. (Deuteronomy 28:40; Ruth 3:3; Micah 6:15) Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests, as Jesus points out on this occasion.
- The woman does just the opposite of what Simon does/does not do. She shows great honor and respect for Jesus. She washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipes them with the hair of her head. She kisses Jesus’ feet. She anoints Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil. (Luke 7:44-46)
- Jesus wants to see the love of God inside us when we come to Him. And He also declares that love has positive consequences. He describes the woman as follows: (Luke 7:47-48,50)
- She loves much.
- Her sins (regardless of numbers) are forgiven.
- God gives her lots of grace.
- She is both forgiven and saved. Her faith in God (Jesus) has saved her.
- What has the woman done right?
- She is not afraid of what man thinks of her.
- She is more concerned with what God thinks of her.
- She comes just as herself, totally undisguised.
- She knows and believes what Jesus has taught and the love of God that Jesus has shown openly to many.
- She is prepared to pay all costs for Jesus.
- Jesus gives to each individual exactly what the person wants. Simon the Pharisee wants only a superficial recognition from men that even Jesus comes to his house and have a meal. The woman just wants to show her love and honor for God (Jesus) regardless of costs (the cost of a priceless jar of fragrant oil, and the open insult and rejection by the men there). Jesus lets her do that. Jesus also gives her a bonus: forgiving her many sins. And she is now a daughter of God.
Kai, May 21, 2020
Today I received wonderful fresh revelation in how deliberate and persistent Jesus is when bringing a maritally broken (having had five previous husbands) Samaritan woman to salvation and in-filling of the Holy Spirit! Many want to know how to receive the Holy Spirit. A thirsty woman has received by faith on her first encounter with Jesus. How did she receive it? Or rather, how did Jesus make sure she receive it? Jesus gives her grace. She receives by faith.
The Scripture: (comments from this blogger are in bracket)
John 4:7, 9-14 (NLT)
7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”
(Jesus took the initiative to approach the woman voicing out her need for her, “Please give me a drink.” He wanted her to ask Him!)
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
(The woman was like any natural human, absorbed by what she saw in the physical realm. Her first response was dictated by her life experience, traditional cultural and religious practice. She immediately drew a boundary between she and Jesus. If Jesus was just a tired passer-by waiting at the well for his food and drink, he would have been turned off by her legalistic questioning.)
10Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
(But Jesus was not distracted from what He has intended to give her. Jesus always acted deliberately. He went to rest at the well deliberately. He wanted to give her a gift, the Holy Spirit in-filling; He also wanted her to ask for this gift!)
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
(The woman’s response to Him in her physical realm was no surprise. In hind-sight we can all see how she continued plodding away apparently at the wrong track. But don’t we all?)
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
(Jesus, undeterred by this Samaritan-Gentile woman’s mindset, continued to address her spiritual thirst, and explain patiently what the Holy Spirit is like and how He will meet her unquenchable thirst in her when she is filled! This is further described in the next section of the Gospel of John when Jesus addressed the multitude of Jewish temple worshippers in Jerusalem)
John 7:37-39 (NIV) 37[ On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.]
John 4:15-26 (continue the discourse between the Samaritan woman and Jesus)
15“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
(The Samaritan woman’s attention was finally turned to what Jesus could give her and she asked Him for that supernatural Gift!)
16“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
(Jesus wanted truthfulness from the spiritually thirsty woman. She was looking for love in the wrong places to quench her thirst which can only be met by God in her! Instead of assuming that the Samaritan woman kept changing husbands, it is just as reasonable to think of her as having experienced the deaths of several husbands, or as a woman with unfaithful husbands , or even as a woman whose husbands divorced her for her inability to have children. And now she does not even have the security of a proper marriage. In all scenarios she was indeed not fulfilled. Jesus wanted to address her hurt and possibly disappointment with God.)
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,where our ancestors worshiped?”
(It is interesting that the woman’s response and attention turned to that of God, religion and worship. Despite her marital problems and then ‘lawless’ living, she knew about the key Jewish and Samaritan religious physical difference. Now she wants to know more and how to worship God correctly. Is she sincere in wanting to know God to the point of talking to a stranger, a man, and a Jew? I believe she is. She is thirsting for God just as Jesus has discerned. )
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the One you worship, while we Jews know all about Him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
(Jesus came to the point of true worship: 1. Know the God-Person Whom you worship, not the place or physical church or congregation group; 2. Know God in the Spirit, and therefore could worship-join to Him, in spirit and in Truth-His word.)
(1 Cor.6:17 (AMP) 17But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.”)
John 4: 25The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”
(The Samaritan woman was thus saved! Her spiritual eyes were opened when she turned to the matter of God and true worship, and she recognized and accepted Jesus as the Messiah, her Savior!)
(Samaritans were hostile to the Jews. Yet Jesus took a deliberate journey to meet with this woman in order to save and deliver her from her past hurt and present uncertainty about her future. The saving of one woman is worth it! After her salvation, her countrymen were saved at her testimony.They came out and encountered Jesus themselves, and accepted Him as their Savior.)
How to receive the Holy Spirit? Jesus promised this, “your heavenly Father give to them that ask Him.” (Luke 11:13b) Just ask. It is a gift. The Samaritan woman asked Jesus and received. Her life was transformed and she became the first gentile evangelist, witnessing for Jesus!
(Modified from an originally published post in my AAA Jack watchman blog on 6/8/2011)
Dear sister, congratulation for being selected to deliver possibly the speech of a lifetime in an honorable prominent position. I opened my Bible and here is the message for you.
1 John 2:8-11 (NKJV)
8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Matthew 6:22-23 (NKJV
Jesus describes the Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is [a]good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is [b]bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Dear sister, I pray you open the eyes of your heart to receive God’s light. (Ephesians 1:18)
A Gen.Z offers a solution to the wall issue. Why are you ancients (all above 15 years old) so boring? Why can’t you simply get stuff done and not repeatedly squabble? She then went on to give a minimalistic IMHO (hers) solution in Gen.Z language in text. (Transliterated by this blogger)
The main issue: To wall or not to wall. In another wordy sentence: To secure or not to secure the sovereignty of a nation through building a border wall so as to be more effective in processing and registering potential foreign workers or other economic migrants or whosoever etc.
Assumption 1: Those outside believe it most desirable to get inside by walking across the border without waiting for documents.
Assumption 2: Those outside try to get inside by whatever shortest means they can because they believe it as their best current option.
Assumption 3: Those outside once inside will try all means not to leave regardless of their employability or continuing independent legitimate sustainability.
Assumption 4: Those inside have a legitimate right to maintain the size and components of their population to ensure a continuance of an established lifestyle they have enjoyed in their legitimate sovereign homeland.
Assumption 5: Those originally inside cannot believe that in its right mind any nation would allow whosoever to simply walk in without documents and a due process of screening and registering.
Factors to consider:
Pros: Abundant supply of voiceless and faceless unregistered foreign workers at a much lower unofficial wage could mean higher profit margin, more profit and higher ROI for those who employ them.
Cons: Uncontrollable influx of unregistered workers could cost the registered tax payers more in terms of additional social and other related economic, social, medical and law and order burden and thereby, happiness and wellbeing.
Moral and ethical issue: Unregistered workers could face economic, social and other exploitations, degradations and loss of dignity as a free human being without the legal right to redress as a citizen has. Beware of bringing back slavery and oppression.
Solution: Build an effective system to ensure that both sides are duly protected and respected against whatever issues as mentioned above and whatever adversities and hardships not mentioned.
Application: For example, deal with and make accountable and responsible the leaders of the outsiders’ original countries and set up registries there to process the applications.
Set up moral, ethical, productive and profitable employment opportunities there. Upgrade the livelihood of the local there. This option is predicated on altruistic (if there is such a thing) magnanimity or other realistically commercially viable and profitable considerations on the part of the investors.
IMHO thinking outside the box: The enterprising can offer to buy off the whole poor nation like buying a company if it is insolvent/bankrupt and no longer able to run its business proficiently and profitably and take care of its own people/employees.
IMHO thinking outside the box: Since so many people are desperately trying to get inside America, why not consider selling duplicates of America in as many places as possible in the vicinity where people are desperate to leave their homeland to get into America!
Unsigned: IMHO from a Gen.Z
This fifty percent blogger’s IMHO food for thought: people have souls and are not properties and are not for sale unless they are really desperate. It looks as if some people are indeed desperate at this time. This is not just Americans vs the poor nations issue. This is a borderless global economic issue. The rich and the poor are both borderless. I like the business enterprising idea of selling duplicates of America though. Aren’t we all already doing it? Are we not doing it virtually? Time to think of physical Apps.
Psalm 74:17 (NKJV) You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.