A brilliant wife and mother—Rebekah

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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).
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.”
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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

Do you see these women (2)? two high power high-society-networking high net-worth mature women church leaders

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 and women: How Jesus gives grace to a love-thirsty woman (modified with added revelation Mar 22, 2020)

Jesus with Samaritan woman at the well

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)

story of a young widow: from rags to riches

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, race and religion: forgive one another as God has forgiven you

Do gender, race and religion matter in voting? if not, then what really matters? Be open and watch.

(https://youtu.be/KUrF7Cn8qsc)

(https://youtu.be/BzxHM2b94es)

(https://youtu.be/IKa4MFWMGn4)

Rambling thoughts: Gender Polarization and solution (updated June 8, 2020)

woman’s In Christ position

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 from a lineage of scholarly and godly genteel background. She was considered the best dressed woman for all time in the oil and gas frontier 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 self-focus, more me vs others, more hurt and more destruction, more exclusiveness and demonization of others, 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”. surprised? Women are also in Christ! Start afresh from this equality foundation. Unshakable. Seeing yourself the way that God has made you in Christ will change 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?

Last word: don’t go after the wrong men and expect them to recognize your real worth. Go after the One you know will never reject you (because you are a woman). His name is Jesus.

Matthew 26:13 I assure you: Wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.” Said Jesus of a woman who shows her priceless love for Jesus because she alone (among all the important men who are there) recognizes He really is Who He says He is, the Son of God, the Savior. And she knows He will make history. And she too (unknowingly) in her faith in action by anointing Jesus before He went to the cross.

Famous Fearless Women 1

Luke 1-45Why 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).

  1. 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)
  2. She is a thoughtful and careful young woman. she considered what manner of the angel’s greeting was. (1:19)
  3. 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)
  4. She is spiritual. She knew the angel came from God and the message for her was from God. (1:38, 47)
  5. She believes those prophetic words about the forthcoming supernatural event. (1:38)
  6. She accepts her role in this supernatural event. (1:38)
  7. She believes in the power of God. (1:38)
  8. She expresses her willingness to undertake her role in God’s divine plan. (1:38)
  9. She considers it an honor. (1:48)
  10. She takes immediate action to go to her most trusted social support as led by the Holy Spirit. (1:39-44, 56)
  11. She is well-versed in the words of God. She believes in the supernatural power of God’s words. (1:46-55)
  12. 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)

23 July 2018

current woman gender issue and resolute for 2018 and beyond (part two): economic issue and key to success

Proverbs 31:2526What is a woman’s true worth? In my previous post I presented her spiritual worth. This morning I started writing this post to address women economic issues. But I was halted by a name while browsing through “The Economist“, “History proves that the capitalist system works. The countries endowed with free minds and private property rights have been the fastest-growing and the most prosperous.” “Free enterprise helped far more than feminism—household appliances ended drudgery. Above all: marriage was the best deal ever devised for women.” (Phyllis Schlafly)

Phyllis is a different breed of woman issue champion and speaks differently from others on the subject. She has a no-nonsense style and gets to the gist of the issue. Instead of making women to bear more economic responsibilities and financial burdens, she speaks plainly (my interpretation) to the men. “Man, we American women hold you responsible to upkeep us and the children. Man, be responsible! No, man, don’t ever think of passing the buck to us women!” Here are some of her classic sensible words of wisdom taken from various internet sources: My personal comments are in brackets.

The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap. (Go for it, guys! it’s you job to aim higher -higher pay jobs!)

Women have babies and men provide the support. If you don’t like the way we’re made you’ve got to take it up with God. (Clear cut responsibility. Fair play, guys. Stop your nonsensical excuses. Just pay up.)

American women are so fortunate. When I got married, all I wanted in the world was a dryer so I didn’t have to hang up my diapers. And now women have paper diapers and all sorts of conveniences in the home. And it is the man and the technology that has made the home such a pleasant place for women to be. (“American women are so fortunate. ‘Sigh…” from women from other parts of the world…)

Since the women are the ones who bear the babies and there’s nothing we can do about that, our laws and customs then make it the financial obligation of the husband to provide the support. It is his obligation and his sole obligation. And this is exactly and precisely what we will lose if the Equal Rights Amendment is passed. (It’s a man’s obligatory responsibility issue, man! Woman, never give up your upper hand! It is his problem and not yours!)

Feminists have convinced themselves that any difference between men and women is oppression and that women in the United States are an oppressed minority. This is such a lie. American women are the most fortunate class of people who ever lived on the face of the earth. We can do anything we want to do. (Sigh…many third world women would wish they were Americans!)

Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be. (Honestly, I believe a man certainly knows the difference between a man and a woman.)

The feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy. … Self-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness. (I agree to not proclaiming negative words on ourselves!)

In colleges, there are no gender separations in courses of study, and students can freely choose their majors. There are no male and female math classes. But women generally choose college courses that pay less in the labor market. Those are the choices that women themselves make. Those choices contribute to the pay gap… (I agree with this as you can read my sharing on key to success below!)

I don’t believe that everybody should be paid the same. I believe in equal pay for equal work. (Well said, ma’am!)

My college degree is from a great university in 1944. I got my master’s at Harvard graduate school, completely co-ed, in 1945. My mother got her college degree in 1920. What’s the problem? Those opportunities were always there for women. (Thumbs up to these pioneers!)

What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother. (I cannot comment because I am neither. But I do enjoy the regular lengthy visits from younger relatives ranging from infants to young adults. I consider them as God’s grace.)

If the woman picks the wrong man, that’s not society’s problem. That’s her problem. (This again relates to the success key of “careful choosing” and preparation as I share below about economic success.)

There are many choices out there for young women. And you have to ask yourself whether you want to model your life on the women who let life pass them by and who spend their lives thinking they were victims and that men are the enemy. Or do you want to have a happy life with a successful marriage and 14 lovely grandchildren. The choices are out there. (AGREED! Again a matter of making good and right choices of models.)

The United States is a giant island of freedom, achievement, wealth and prosperity in a world hostile to our values. (Claps!)

In a world of inhumanity, war and terrorism, American citizenship is a very precious possession. (SIGH from men and women from other nations, “Don’t we already know? Why else do you think we want to become your citizens/residents?)

The European nations’ loss of sovereignty to the EU should be a warning to Americans. It is a mystery why any Americans would support the concept of the EU. (Ma’am, certainly a mystery to many of us from the rest of the world too.)

Location is the key to most businesses, and the entrepreneurs typically build their reputation at a particular spot. (I included this quote because it is relevant to women as a start-up entrepreneur. It is the simplest and least costly way to test out your business plan and products. The best network is relationship based from locals already know you well, trust you and even support your business efforts. This is a wise beginner’s move before you try virtual network selling on internet.)

This blogger’s notes:
Last night I did a search and came upon the unique case of Rwanda women. Rwanda has the highest number (63.8%) of women parliamentarians. One reason was that after the genocide the president decided to make up for the shortage of men by giving women legal entrances to the previously closed doors of offices. Yet, the significant representation of women did not change the society and family. Here is an excerpt of an article:

“she returned to Rwanda to interview female politicians about their lives — not just their public positions but their private lives, with their husbands and children. She found with rare exception that no matter how powerful these women were in public, that power didn’t extend into their own homes.
“One told me how her husband expected her to make sure that his shoes were polished, the water was put in the bathroom for him, his clothes were ironed,” Justine says. And this husband wanted not only his shoes laid out in the morning, but his socks placed on top of the shoes. And he wanted it done by his wife, the parliamentarian.”  The women’s explanation was that they were Rwandans.
(https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/07/29/487360094/invisibilia-no-one-thought-this-all-womans-debate-team-could-crush-it)

The article about an African nation is not new as a few years back I have seen the same public-private discrepancy  in an Asian country which went through a genocide. Many women became sole bread earners and raised up their children. The matriarch had decision making authority and financial responsibility in the family. But in the community they remained silent, demure, graceful and uninvolved in the men’s social-political world.

Africa and Asia may be different from America. Phyllis McAlpin Schlafly née Stewart (August 15, 1924 – September 5, 2016) was an American constitutional lawyer and conservative political activist. She was known for staunchly conservative social and political views. She was well educated, informed and highly qualified and yet she remained contentedly married and enjoyed her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. She has made a pertinent point: When it is a win-win situation between genders, why not continue the win-win?

In developing world, when a family man is unwilling or is unable to pay his dues and be faithful husband and responsible father, the woman steps into the role of the bread winner in lieu of the husband. This is a global generic issue throughout the history of mankind. In these cases the women show their willingness and capability to do so.

Some richer nations use public funds to subsidize the qualified poor and unemployed. However, Many developing countries cannot afford such luxury.  As men flock to work in the growing cities for better pays their families are left behind. Often the men’s wages can barely support their costly city lives and their wives and children have to survive on their own means. Some non-profit organizations give women and children hygiene/basic healthcare, education, vocational skill and trade training. Many women become sole bread-winners.

But what about the issue of unequal pay for certain groups of women, the economically poor, and colored (non-white) women in a predominantly male governing society?  I have no answer. I would suggest you read my following testimony carefully and perhaps find your own key.

A generic advice to both genders: Have I been given less pay or less promotion opportunities despite equal merits due to whatever prejudices or discriminations? My honest answer is “NO”.

  1. The reason was I chose my field of study and employers carefully. The key is: “Choose wisely”. Choose with planning and hard work of preparation accompanied by a lifelong positive outlook, enduring optimism for success and persistent learning new knowledge (always at a few steps ahead of others in the pack, man or woman).
  2. *In my case I believe in having a close relationship with God trusting in His grace (undeserved favor). It works. Ask God for the right job, geographical location, people group, employer, bosses, pay and promotion timing. Above all, maintain who you really are, a woman/man of worth in God’s eyes. The Bible has given good promises for success for both women and men. Use them. Be willing to shift your paradigm and relocate when you are called. “Relocation” is my second key word to success.
  3. What have you been doing in the past if you are one of those who feel that you are a loser because of your____________(race, color, gender, class, and whatever)? Have your past strategies worked? What has or has not worked for you/others? What can you do to make things work? Can you find good successful role models who has proven by bountiful good fruits to emulate? These are just some random pragmatic questions I would ask you to ponder on. If you are already a Christian, then my best advice for you is to pray and ask God to open up good choices and relocations (including the necessary training and equipping) as testified above.*

One cautionary word to those women who do not already know: “Don’t think that in a man’s mind/heart a woman is like a man.” You can try. But you are just not. I have asked women, “do you want to change place with a man?” So far the answer is often a strange look meaning,”What, are you nuts?” or a laugh and a definite “NO! No Way!” So I have concluded that women are really smart. We know our secret God-given gifts and advantages which men do not have. On the other hand, man, you too have your God-given gifts and advantages that women do not have. You just have to find out what your special gifts are.

Read King Solomon’s description of his capable mom: Proverbs 31:10-31, a capable and loyal wife, wise and good mother, successful and wealthy business woman who is fair to her workers and kind to the poor. Above all, her King son summed her up as “a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” 21 Bible verses were dedicated to record this wonder woman. What an honor!

an evanescent rose: random perspective

evanescent roseAn Evanescent  rose. I took this picture in late November 2015 at Santa Cruz, CA. I have a soft spot for roses. Is it because of their beauty despite the thorns? Or should I rephrase my question to, is it because of their beauty in having the thorns? I believe there are two perspectives. One can view the thorns as encumbrances. Another may view the thorns as added advantages. I like to think that the thorns of a rose demonstrate the strength of an otherwise seemingly fragile looking flower. I do not like to liken a rose to a woman or vice versa. But if anyone ever thinks of a woman as a rose, please also think of the thorns, that is, the inherent strength of a woman. No, women are not the weaker ones.

a word of comfort to a woman of faith

Luke 8:48
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).
Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”