Category Archives: God’s love

A woman’s 2019 new year resolution (a conjecture)

Psalm 139:14

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:

3,801,846,256*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.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:13 wove
  2. Psalm 139:14 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Syr., Vg. You are fearfully wonderful
  3. Psalm 139:15 Lit. bones were
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The woman movement and God, a testimony: does God care about you?

Isaiah 49:15This is relevant today. Some women are still angry with God and with their issues that seem not resolved because of many man-made blockages. Please read on…

1 Corinthians 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

a fifty percent perspective

romans-122Some women are very angry. They decide to take matters into their own hands and walk down the street to make their voices heard. I know how it hurts or infuriates oneself when one feels that others are not listening, or worse, perhaps mocking or scoffing in their hearts. It hurts to be considered and treated as a second best or third best or not even a human who matters (in some societies). Gender, age, color, race, looks, nationality. All these matter to the physical world. Discrimination means her physical rights and entitlement are taken away from her because of her age, gender, looks, race, color or nationality (even if she has the right color, race, or looks). Indeed, in the fallen world, all men are not born equal. This is not a new issue. Some women may not know this, gender men are not born equal too. Have things improved since…

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a decorative path of love

path-decorative-caThe 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project has been a neighborhood effort to create a beautiful mosaic running up the risers of the 163 steps located at 16th and Moraga in San Francisco. The residents had been working on this project since January of 2003. It was inspired by the famous stairs in Rio De Janero, these steps were meticulously created over a summer to build a beautiful walkway for the whole city to enjoy. Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher led the creation of the 163 mosaic panels that were applied to the step risers, over 300 neighbors joined us in making them, and over 220 neighbors sponsored handmade animal, bird and fish name tiles imbedded within the mosaic.

To get to the Mosaic Steps you would take the bus from Golden Gate Park (about 15 minutes away) and then get off around 16th avenue. Approaching from 16th avenue you can immediately see the Mosaic Steps as they ascend to Grand View Park. After walking up the two blocks of steep streets (like everything in San Francisco) you will reach the base of the steps.

Are steps up the slope considered a Path ?

Enjoy climbing the decorative path, which may be viewed as a labor of love from a group of neighborly people. Their labor is not in vain.

Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Luke 10:36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

Matthew 22:37-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

“If you just work hard enough, you will get there.”

“If you just work hard enough, you will get there.” Her life was remarkable, characterized by the confidence that she can accomplish whatever is required because of her trust in the Lord.

In the midst of World War II, Margaret studied medicine in London. She topped the class with Paul Brand as second. Despite their brilliant academic performance, both were committed followers of Christ and dedicated their lives to serve God in a third world country. They both pioneered practices in the treatment of leprosy in India and throughout the world. Almost by accident, without formal training in eye diseases, she became an ophthalmologist and one of the foremost authorities in the field of ocular leprosy. You will be encouraged and inspired by the remarkable impact of this medical pioneer in the field of leprosy and by her vision for God. Her work in medicine and rehabilitation has literally touched the lives of millions, and her quiet, humble leanings upon her Lord and Savior has touched perhaps even more lives. Through this unique biography/autobiography, we have, for the first time, a look at the personal life and world-renown work of this great medical pioneer. we see the record of a woman who was firstly a disciple of Jesus Christ, and an example for professional women in combining responsible motherhood of six children with pursuit of an outstanding clinical career. The pace of the storytelling is such that one ends a chapter wondering what is going to happen in the next. Human interest events combine with objective reporting to provide a wealth of quotable insights.
Dr. Paul Wilson Brand, CBE (17 July 1914 – 8 July 2003) was a pioneer in developing tendon transfer techniques for use in the hands of those with leprosy. He was the first physician to appreciate that leprosy did not cause the rotting away of tissues, but that it was the loss of the sensation of pain which made sufferers susceptible to injury. Brand contributed extensively to the fields of hand surgery and hand therapy through his publications and lectures, and wrote popular autobiographical books about his childhood, his parents’ missionary work, and his philosophy about the valuable properties of pain. One of his best known books, co-written with Philip Yancey, is Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants (1993), republished in 1997 as The Gift of Pain. His wife of 61 years of a happy and fulfilling marriage, Dr. Margaret Brand lived until 95 and passed away in 2014.

(The above information is taken from various internet sources: Vision for God: The Story of Dr. Margaret Brand Paperback – September 1, 2006)

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Why not women: A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership
“We did not write this book for the millions of women who are happy and secure in their roles. Our passion was for the hundreds of millions of women who are not free. It was for their sake, and for the final completion of the task of taking the Good News to them, that we wrote this book.”

Multiplied millions of women all over the world are looking over the church’s shoulder, longing to see the freedom Jesus purchased for them at Calvary. Millions more have found freedom in Jesus but are still bound by human ideas-ideas that pressure a woman to let culture, not God, determine her place in the Kingdom.

While hurting men and women are outside the church cry out, “Is there any hope? Does anyone care?” their sisters in the church are asking, “How can I share the hope I have” How can I, a woman, serve the Lord?” Many women, having heard God call them into public roles in the Kingdom, are serving in positions of leadership. They are asking, “Will the church support us?”

We must respond. The issue of women in missions, ministry, and leadership is dividing homes, churches, communities, even societies. We must respond responsibly, for we never want to find ourselves working against God’s purposes, quenching His Spirit at work in the lives of those He has called. We must respond carefully, since God’s truth often stands in direct opposition to what the majority of people believe. The book includes a recommended resource list, Endnotes for each chapter 1-18 with a final word, short author biographies and related book lists.
(quoted from Amazon)
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till we say goodbye

20150615 butterfly

happy time abide

thank you for singing awhile

till we say goodbye

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For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!

(Song of Solomon 2:11-13)

her eyes will not cry

20150603 an evening 2

her eyes will not cry

on such a glorious morning

wordless love from sky

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Sadness cannot overcome a heart that is determined to smile. Yes, despite disappointment, hurt and perhaps even pain. There is always a greater love to look up to.

The psalmist said,
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:60

a wise and no ordinary mother-in-law: Naomi

The book of Ruth consists of three main characters: Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. We have already read about Ruth. Today we look at the rare subject of mother-in-laws. Naomi is no ordinary mother-in-law.

In ancient Jewish society, girls were married at an early age, usually at the outset of puberty or around the age of 13. So the age of Naomi could not be that old as we were taught in the past. She was married to Elimelech, a man from Bethlehem in Judah and they had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. The whole family migrated to Moab during a severe famine in Israel. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. This means Naomi could be around forty years old when she decided to return to Judah. Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland.

She advised the two young women (possibly in their early twenties) to depart and return to their own parents so they could remarry eligible young men. But Ruth has converted to belief in the God of Israel, and decided to follow Naomi to Judah. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Naomi actually had landed properties inherited from her late husband. But she was not selling yet and Ruth went to work to support the two. She met a very rich man and landowner Boaz who was closely related to Naomi’s late husband and was in a position to buy the lands from Naomi and marry either Naomi or Ruth.

Naomi decided that he married Ruth. She sent Ruth to him and they married and had a son who became the grandfather of king David.

The story showed that Naomi was familiar with the Law of God for the children of Israel. She could have married again as she had valuable landed properties. Boaz was her husband’s contemporary and close kinsman. He knew her and was concerned for her welfare. Boaz kept abreast of the news of Naomi. She was more socially acceptable and honored in Bethlehem than the Moabite woman Ruth was.

Let us read and see Naomi’s godly character and wisdom:

  1. She was a woman who loved. She treated her daughters in law just as if they were her own daughters. The three widows had a closely knitted family. The two young daughters in law loved her and would have followed her home to Judah if she had allowed them.
  2. She taught them about her God and her belief. Ruth was fully converted.
  3. She honored and loved her husband throughout her life. She followed him faithfully to a foreign country. When he died she lived on with his sons and got wives for them. When they died she decided to remain a widow and never remarried despite her good prospects to remarry.
  4. She loved and missed her home in Bethlehem. She kept in touch with the news back home and when she heard of the land producing good crops again she attributed it to God’s favor. She immediately started on her journey home.
  5. She must have known of all the close relatives and those eligible to buy her lands and marry her. But she did not mention or approach any of them.
  6. Only when Ruth went to work and happened to meet Boaz and he had shown mercy and favor to both of them, she made the decision to marry Ruth off to him.
  7. Why did she not remarry? She did not lose out in history. She was given due recognition in the end of this record in the Bible. She had provided love and security of a family for her daughter-in-law who loved her and sacrificed for her (in leaving her own parents and taking the risk to follow her to Judah), sold her own properties inherited from her husband for a good price (as Boaz was a very rich and honorable man who cared for her), and gained a grand son who would take care of her in old age!

Here are some notable verses from the book of Ruth. I would encourage readers to read the whole book.

Ruth 1:14-18

14 And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. 15 “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” 18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

“Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the Lord bless the one who helped you!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.”

“May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”

“Good!” Naomi exclaimed. “Do as he said, my daughter. Stay with his young women right through the whole harvest. You might be harassed in other fields, but you’ll be safe with him.”

[ Ruth at the Threshing Floor ] One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for.

When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “What happened, my daughter?” Ruth told Naomi everything Boaz had done for her,

Then Naomi said to her, “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has settled things today.”

Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon.

Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel.

Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own.

The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.

Naomi and Ruth

Naomi and Ruth

When God talks about His love

What God says about His love. He does not change like man does. He loves even without being loved in return. He does not even forget even when His loved ones leave Him for others. He heals them and brings them back to Him. He keeps giving and not taking. He declares: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love!” What a God! What great love! 

Jeremiah 31:3-4 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.

dance before the Lord

Hosea 11 New King James Version (NKJV) God’s Continuing Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son…

“I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;[c]
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,[d]
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.[e]
I stooped and fed them…

My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though they call to the Most High,[f]
None at all exalt Him.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?…My heart churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not come with terror.[g]

Hosea 14 New King James Version (NKJV) Israel Restored at Last

14 O Israel, return to the Lord your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;..

4 “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,..Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;..

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What does God wants from those He loves so much and for whom He has paid the greatest price, His Son? Know the Lord. Know God. Know Him. Yes, knowing God and the One (His Son Jesus Christ) whom He has sent, is eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-18 New King James Version (NKJV))

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Jeremiah 31 A New Covenant

31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah —–33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31)