I write this for you: about internet and social media

internet marketing

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”

https://kingdomofgodaughter.wordpress.com/

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”

https://wheniamsixtyeight.wordpress.com/

*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.

Wounded Love —a ruler and a visionary

the love life of Leah

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)

  1. 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!    
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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)

Do you see this woman? (1)

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:

  1. Because He (God) sees everyone, He expects us to see too.
  2. The way God sees (as demonstrated by Jesus) is different from the way that a man sees.
  3. God sees both the external behavior and the internal motive.
  4. 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.
  5. Jesus sees the details of the two individuals’ hospitality behaviors: what each person does or does not do reveal what are inside them.
    1. 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.
    2. 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)
  6. 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)
    1. She loves much.
    2. Her sins (regardless of numbers) are forgiven.
    3. God gives her lots of grace.
    4. She is both forgiven and saved. Her faith in God (Jesus) has saved her.
  7. What has the woman done right?
    1. She is not afraid of what man thinks of her.
    2. She is more concerned with what God thinks of her.
    3. She comes just as herself, totally undisguised.
    4. She knows and believes what Jesus has taught and the love of God that Jesus has shown openly to many.
    5. She is prepared to pay all costs for Jesus.
  8. 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

not the weaker sex/gender

charityI feel compelled to say something about the cliché and stereo-typing some people or media use about gender differences. It is wrong and deceptive to keep using the “cliché” that woman belongs to a weaker sex/gender and should be treated likewise. In certain nation the society/community tries to use law to confine woman to the weaker and thus vulnerable social economic political category. I personally do not think that will help to protect woman and children or the aged. Based on my experience from study, travel and observation including interviews, I have found strength in woman that a society obsessed with past tradition and prejudices will not find. It is a real tragedy for one half of mankind to be overlooked this way.
Will woman be protected by a law that emphasizes her weak/vulnerable physical characteristics? An honest study of the nations of the world and you will discover that the answer s a definite NO.
On the other hand nations or societies that emphasize woman’s strength and ability to contribute actually benefit from this positive and realistic outlook and attitude. By now the world is fully aware that brawn and physical force do not rule the world. Brain and religious/spiritual belief do. Woman excels in the latter fields.
Our focus to make the world or our nation a better and safer place for our children and the elderly citizens should not be focused on merely making physical law to restrain as evil can only be restrained and removed when we raise a new generation of socially-responsible, pro-team-building, good-neighborly, non-violent, patient, kind, gentle, nurturing, self-less, and honest people with integrity who are willing and capable to work hard for themselves and for others. Woman by nature has these intrinsic values and can qualify and contribute to this positive nation-building effort tremendously.
Coercive control can only breed discord and hatred. On the subject of focusing on the supposedly risk of man dressed up as woman and infiltrates the toilets to do harm to woman, if you insist on using the Law, to be physically effective you need to post woman armed guards at every public toilet. You need to arm the air-hostesses to guard the airplane toilets. You need to arm all the girls in the co-ed schools. You need to give all the female population training on how to use a gun. You need to give lessons for the physically weaker boys too as they too may become victims. You need to train the older people too, the less advantaged people who are more vulnerable to mugging and violence too, the people of colors that are more subject to being victimized too…the list of the world is endless for the vulnerable.
Conditioning is a powerful weapon. Brain washing has been effectively used by many evil totalitarian regimes until the victims are exposed to another conditioning.
I have no answer to the sorry state of the world.
My personal conviction is to start by positive teaching and good-conditioning of our younger ones on the principles and values set by Jesus. Love does not demand its own way.

1 Corinthians 13 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Greatest Gift
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Footnotes:

1 Corinthians 13:3 NU-Text reads so I may boast.

woman’s half is beautiful

fifty percent
fifty percent

Why I name this blog fifty percent? From a man’s perspective it means the male population. From a woman’s perspective it means the female population. Similarly, the husband views his half s important, whereas the wife focuses on her half of the marriage relationship. Perhaps it’s not exactly equal half for each to hold. Nonetheless none can claim wholeness without the other in any relationship. Jesus said the two shall become one. A top-heavy situation cannot last. It topples. Likewise, I consider that a healthy, practical, sustainable intimate relationship between two persons only manifests where there is true equality. This means mutual acceptance and respect in words and in deeds. This calls for an acknowledgement of the validity of the other fifty percent and giving her/him an equal value in the equilibrium of life together. This blog aims to take the perspective of the often neglected and demoted fifty percent. Giving the many voiceless a voice. A rightful positioning as God has given to each of His children. Hence, this blog is named “A woman-the Fifty Percent’s Perspective“. I believe this the Creator’s original design for the human race.

Galatians 3:27-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

“You are much, much more.” she wrote

maeve-binchy_grandeI decided to post some quotes of a much loved Irish writer of stories. She wrote of simple ordinary everyday people, but their stories are credible and real. Of love and deceit, family drama, wealth and poverty, of friendship and courage. Families and people who aren’t always quite what they seem.

Maeve Binchy Quotes

“I’ll understand if you don’t want me. But I will be heartbroken. You are all I ever dreamed of and hoped for. You are much, much more. Please know that I didn’t think I was mean-minded. But I realize I am. I don’t want you to put your arms around me and say it’s all right, that you forgive me. I want you to be sure that you do, and my love for you will last as long as I live. I can see no lightness, no humour, no joke to make. I just hope that we will be able to go back to when we had laughter, and the world was coloured, not black and white and grey. I am so sorry for hurting you. I could inflict all kinds of pain on myself, but it would not take back any I gave to you. – David Power”― Maeve Binchy, Echoes

“I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”

“We’re nothing if we’re not loved. When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really. And I think we are all striving for it in different ways. I also believe very, very strongly that everybody is the hero/heroine of his/her own life. I try to make my characters kind of ordinary, somebody that anybody could be. Because we’ve all had loves, perhaps love and loss, people can relate to my characters”

“Any one could write a book,” said the taxi driver. ” Yes, they could, but they DON’T,” said Maeve Binchy”

“But an intelligent man like you would know that to live in an unrealistic hope is a very foolish way to spend a life.” – Lena Gray”― Maeve Binchy, The Glass Lake

“It was so silly to try to define things by words. What did one person mean by infatuation or obsession and another mean by love. The whole thing couldn’t be tidied away with neat little labels.” – Lena Gray”― Maeve Binchy, The Glass Lake

“She put her head down on the table and cried all the tears that she knew she should have cried in the past year and a half. But they weren’t ready then, they were now.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“I look placid, you see, that’s why people think I’m fine. Inside I worry a lot.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“If you had your time all over again…? She was keen to know. You can’t rewrite history. I have no idea what I’d do.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“Listen to me, Ria. It will be different when you and I have a home. It will be a real home, one that people will want to come running back to.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“Wasn’t it hard that you did so much for children and loved them so deeply and they seemed so indifferent to you in return?”― Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street

“A silly idea about a book of blessings couldn’t really work. Not seriously.”― Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street

“It was true what they had been saying: if people remember you, then you’re not dead. It was very comforting.”

“Writing is a bit like going on a diet; you should either tell everyone or no one.”― Maeve Binchy, The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club

“She said that it was dangerous to try to know somebody too well. People should have their own reserves, she said, the places they went in their minds, where no one else should follow.”

“How will I explain it all … to everybody?” “You know, people don’t have to explain things nearly as much as you think they do.”― Maeve Binchy, A Week in Winter

Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939– 30 July 2012), known as Maeve Binchy, was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her sympathetic and often humorous portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature, and her often clever surprise endings. Her novels, which were translated into 37 languages, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and her death at age 73, announced by Vincent Browne on Irish television late on 30 July 2012, was mourned as the death of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognizable writer. She cracked the US market, featuring on The New York Times best-seller list and in Oprah’s Book Club. Recognized for her “total absence of malice”and generosity to other writers, she finished 3rd in a 2000 poll for World Book Day, ahead of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Stephen King. (Excerpts From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

random quotes of women on writing

cynthia-ozick“On a gray afternoon I sit in a silent room and contemplate din. In the street a single car passes – a rapid bass vowel – and then it is quiet again. So what is this uproar, this hubbub, this heaving rumble of zigzag static I keep hearing? This echo chamber spooling out spirals of chaos? An unmistakable noise as clearly mine as fingerprint or twist of DNA: the thrum of regret, of memory, of defeat, of mutability, of bitter fear, made up of shame and ambition and anger and vanity and wishing. The soundtrack of a movie of the future, an anticipatory ribbon of scenes long dreaded, of daydreams without a prayer of materializing. Or else: the replay of unforgotten conversations, humiliating, awkward, indelible. Mainly it is the buzz of the inescapably mundane, the little daily voice that insists and insists: right now, not now, too late, too soon, why not, better not, turn it on, turn it off, notice this, notice that, be sure to take care of, remember not to. The nonstop chatter that gossips, worries, envies, invokes, yearns, condemns, self-condemns.”
Cynthia Ozick, The Din in the Head

“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”
Alice Munro, Selected Stories, 1968-1994

“A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Anne Frank

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
Beatrix Potter

“Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.”
Daphne du Maurier

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
Anaïs Nin

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“I hate writing, I love having written.”
Dorothy Parker

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”
Nora Roberts

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.”
Alice Walker

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ”
Agatha Christie

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”
Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
Joan Didion

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer

“Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.”
Iris Murdoch

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”
Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.”

[Speech upon being awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade), Frankfurt Book Fair, October 12, 2003]”
Susan Sontag