Bible story · daughter of God · why not woman · woman of faith · woman story

Two godly housewives

It was an impossible situation, with no man qualified or brave enough to fight the domineering powerful enemy commander. The nation was subject to years of oppression, humility and subordination. In this desperate time, two notable housewives (both mothers and wives) stood up and defeated the enemy. It was incredible and yet it happened: They were Deborah, the prophetess-political leader of the nation, and Jael, a housewife who killed the enemy’s commander.

a fifty percent perspective

Today’s message is about two notable housewives (both mothers and wives): Deborah, the prophetess-political leader of the nation, and Jael, who killed the enemy’s commander.

In the history of the list of Israelite Judges (commanders) and their great exploits, there was a woman prophet-commander named Deborah. She ruled for forty years. Her life was interesting as she was proficient in a number of roles: the nation’s spiritual leader, the nation’s political leader, prophetess, strategist, military commander, national ruler, and also a housewife.

The following passage recorded her history briefly. I summarize below the significant events:

  1. Deborah knew how to hear God and align with the plan of God. She was courageous and knew her strength. She raised a victorious war against their powerful enemy and destroyed the enemy completely. God took care of the spiritual changes and she merely obeyed. She aligned with God. That was her key success factor. 
  2. She asked/assigned…

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Bible promises · Chrisitan woman · daughter of God · family · mother's story · thoughts · woman of faith

She sees a GREAT NATION. She is a mother.

Leah_w_Rachel_67-63There is a mystery about Leah. She has unusual eyes. She is the the older sister of Rachel. She was the first wife of Jacob and gave birth to six sons and one daughter. The Bible did not describe her look except a sentence about her eyes. Her eyes were attractive. I have previously written about her faith in God and her close relationship with God. She knew that her husband’s first love was Rachel who was more physically attractive. BUT Leah loved Jacob. She was determined to have his children and she had six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. She named all her sons. Jacob did not seem to care. She named them in terms of her relationship with God and her perspective of God.

(This is what she said when she had her first four sons: Genesis 29,30)
So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.
(Later she had two more sons: )And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. Leah said, “God has given me my wages, because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar. Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.

What is so great about Leah’s eyes? From what we have read we see that this woman is without malice or jealousy. She sees and keeps her focus on God’s goodness and the good sides of life. She does not even blame God for her unloving husband or her possibly unshapely body. She does not give up on her love. She does her best. Se knows that only God can grant her the favor and ability to give birth. She is not ashamed or embarrassed by her fertility or try to be politically correct. Mother needs not be politically correct. She not only has one son, she carries on and has six! She sees what God has done even in her little world as a housewife and gives thanks. She sees the future where her many sons will grow up and do great things. She is right. Her sons did great things. They became the ancestors of the Israel nation. She became the mother of kings and priests. Yes, her eyes do matter. Instead of a mere family, she sees a great nation! And history has proven her right.

The versions of the Bible describing Leah with lovely eyes are as follows:
GW Leah had attractive eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features.
GNT Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful.
TLB Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely, and in every way a beauty.
NOG Leah had attractive eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features.
MSG Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved. So Jacob answered, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Did Jacob finally recognize it was Leah he should give honor as his lawful heavenly-ordained wife? He did. We read from below the words he gave his sons before he died: (Genesis 49)
Then he charged them and said to them: “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of …which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah…”

Bible verses · biography · daughter of God · God's creation · haiku · mother's story · why not woman · woman of faith · woman story

happy mother’s day: a golden haiku for my mother

happy mother's day 2016

endurance patience
faith hope love joy peace
strength to strength she glows

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)

daughter of God · woman disciple

a godly businesswoman was raised from the dead!

Dorcas-tabithaThis is highly relevant today. Dorcas was one of the Christian woman ‘business as mission’ pioneers in the early churches. What was her success secret? Take note that she was described as ‘a disciple’. She was not just a mere business woman. She was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and her life was a testimony for Him.

a fifty percent perspective

Today we read of a woman philanthropist in the early Christian period. She was a godly successful business woman believer philanthropist who made clothing materials and clothes. She lived and worked in Joppa, situated on the Mediterranean coast some 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Jerusalem. The sea-port town was cosmopolitan and was occupied and frequented by many nationalities (considerably Phoenicians, Greek, Roman and others). Joppa is located about 30 miles (48 km) south of Caesarea.

She was a Christian philanthropist: who gave “altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons…and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.” (dictionary definition of philanthropy)

This story recorded in the Bible Acts chapter 9 started after she was dead. But the other Christians  sent for apostle Peter (who was 11 miles away at Lydda nearby) and he came immediately and raised her from the…

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woman of faith (2): Keep free to follow the will of God

Penn-Lewis spirit soul

THE GENDER ISSUE

“I saw that God had given me a specific commission . . . but the one objection was the fact that I was a woman. There was no quarrel with the message . . . no denial of the divine seal . . . no getting away from the evidence of the results. But none of these . . . did away with the fact that I was a woman, therefore I could not but see that, whilst God opened doors . . . in some quarters, others were fast closed to the message I bore, purely, and only, because I was a woman.”

The great cry of this heart was, “Why did God not commit this vital message to one who could . . . deliver it without restriction?” Often, in the early years, as she labored to deliver the message, she also gazed out upon the audience, “watching with eager eyes to see whether there was not some hidden and chosen instrument to whom God could transmit this burden, who would rise up . . . and let me step aside. . .” The following expresses her deep concerns. . . “for years I cried to God that He would raise up a man . . .” to fill “the commission He had given to me . . . many tears did I shed over this, . . . . until at last, . . . I saw and could say with the Lord, ‘I beheld and there was no man,’ . . . . . . God had committed this message to me, and at whatever cost, I must go forward.”

On one occasion, “a gentlemen with strong prejudice against the ministry of woman” was in attendance at an Overcomer conference. . . . In conversation afterwards, he confessed: ‘I would not have believed it possible, had I not seen it, that God would use a woman like that!’”  Her response? “God never does use a woman like that . . . or a man either! God only uses the NEW CREATION.” (http://bit.ly/10Mcj4D)

“All that I have, all that I am, all that I may be is Thine, wholly, absolutely, and unreservedly” Jessie Penn-Lewis.

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Jessie Penn-Lewis (1861–1927) was a Welsh evangelical speaker and author of a number of Christian evangelical works. She was born in Victoria Terrace, Neath, South Wales in 1861. Her father was a mining engineer and Methodist minister. Jessie was nurtured in the “lap of Calvinistic Methodism,” as she put it. Surrounded by love and a large library, she ventured into a life of learning and activity which always seemed far beyond the capability of her persistently frail body. Strong-willed and independent, she walked at the age of nine months, and by the age of four could read the Bible freely, without having been taught to read.

At the age of eighteen, Jessie married William Penn-Lewis. She was converted to Christ eighteen months later, and set about to learn to follow God. She wrote: “After I had been married some eighteen months, I began to feel very ill at ease about the Lord’s return. I knew I was not prepared to meet Him . . .” Thus, she began to seek Him. And as the Lord is ever true to His word, not long after . . . she “found the peace that every restless soul needs, in the Savior.” At the age of thirty-one, she was baptized with the Spirit, and her simple motto became, ”Keep free to follow the will of God.” God gave her remarkable insight into the Scriptures, and it became obvious that He had fashioned her to be a teacher.

When she was nineteen, she was frail and learned she had tuberculosis. Though initially, the medical opinion gave her “six months” to live, she later said that God had other plans. But she was miraculously healed. So it was, as a frail servant of Jehovah Ropheka that she was enabled to endure and accomplish labors beyond all natural power and resources. Indeed! Numerous were the times throughout her life when the fulfillment of the calling upon her defied the physical condition of her body. So vivid was this reality, that later in life, on one occasion, when in a terribly weakened state, her physician responded to the questions and concerns of those near in this way. I cannot say how it will go, as Mrs. Penn-Lewis was “a law unto herself.”

Jessie was involved in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival, one of the largest Christian revivals ever to break out, although the revival was abruptly shortened with the mental and physical collapse of one of the leaders, Evan Roberts. Her ministry took her to Sweden, Russia, Finland, India, Canada, and the United States. Her life became linked to the spiritual giants of her generation: F. B. Meyer, Andrew Murray, D. L. Moody.

Jessie developed a lasting fellowship with F. B. Meyer. Referring to him as her “old friend,” he was chosen to preside over the service when her husband was called home on March 24th, 1925. A letter to her from Oswald Chambers (Nov. 2, 1903) states, “Your ‘Cross of Calvary’ is pre-eminently of God. The splendid treasure of pain, your pain, has merged into the greatness of God’s power. Your book teaches clearly and grandly what the Spirit witnesses to in the Bible and in our hearts, viz: that ‘the way of God’ flatly contradicts common sense, and by utmost despair the Holy Ghost leads to resurrection triumph. The breakdown of the natural virtues seems to be the point wherein most regenerated lives are cast into despair. Your book will help these to understand that this despair must end in death to the natural goodness and self, and be raised by the power of God into inconceivably glorious power and peace and liberty of life…”

Jessie founded The Overcomer, a serious journal on the pursuit of the deeper Christian life. She was a weekly contributor to The Life of Faith, for three years (Nov. 1904 to the end of 1908), and to The Christian, for two years during that same time. She collaborated with Evan Roberts on what has become the premier and classic work on spiritual warfare, War on the Saints, which describes the work of demons on Christians. Jessie was close to Evan Roberts and there is some controversy associated with her influence over him. After his mental breakdown cut the revival short, he stayed with Jessie and her husband in their home for a couple of years, but he never fully recovered. Ultimately, Jessie declared some of phenomena of the Welsh Revival to be the work of Satan.

While touring to the United States, Jessie was privileged to speak at the Moody Bible Institute Workers Conference (Sept. 1900). Reserved, as she was, there was no question of her being embarrassed when the President, R. A. Torry introduced her as “one of the most gifted speakers the world has ever known.” On that same tour, she visited and spoke at the Gospel Tabernacle, sharing tea with Mr. and Mrs. Simpson. This was followed by addresses in the church of D. M. Stearns, Germantown Philadelphia. Concerning the booklet on the “Message of the Cross” that was circulated in the millions in India, D. M. Stearns remarked, “It is God’s telegraphic dispatch to a dying world.”

Three times during the years 1926-27, Jessie was brought near to the gates of death. And three times, owing to the prayers of others and her own indomitable faith and courage “for the work’s sake” she was brought back as a miracle. The attacks left her weak in body, though buoyant in spirit. Those present for her last moments shed no tears as she entered into glory, and remarked, the Presence of the Lord in the room was something beyond the realm of “faith,” – it was almost “sight” in its reality.

For many years Jessie addressed great audiences at vast conventions of Christians. Finally, after one such series of talks she arrived home obviously ill. Her strength waned rapidly and she slipped into the presence of Christ in 1927 at the age of sixty-six.

Few women in modern times have left so profound an impression on their generation, and few have so boldly and biblically stated the value of their gender. Jessie Penn-Lewis was the embodiment of Women’s Liberation in its best and noblest sense.

As her earthly tent was laid to rest, around the open grave they sang the song There is a fountain filled with blood, adding to the chorus some of the last words spoken by Mrs. Penn-Lewis:

I do believe I now receive The life He offers me,
And standing on Christ’s finished work,
I claim the victory.

Excerpts taken from Jessie Penn-Lewis: A Memoir, by Mary N. Garrard.

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A Spiritual Autobiography by Jessie Penn-Lewis: The beginning of “Leading of the Lord” -Written for The Christian in 1903

I was brought up in the very heart of the religious life of Wales, for my grandfather was a Welsh divine, well known throughout the Principality in his day; and my father’s house was a rendezvous for the ministers as they passed hither and thither on their Master’s work. My childhood’s memories gather round their visits and the great meetings of the Sunday-schools, when often I sat as a tiny child in the midst of the grave elders in the “big pew,” listening with intense interest to the “howl” of the minister.

“The mercy of the Lord is…unto children’s children; but as it is often with children brought up in the midst of religious surroundings, the true inward change of heart did not come until I had married and moved away to England. Then it occurred without the aid of any human instrument, but the day—New Year’s Day—and hour are imprinted on my mind.

Only a deep, inward desire to know that I was a child of God; a taking down of my (too little read) Bible from the shelf; a turning over the leaves, and the eye falling on the words, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6); again, a casual turn of the sacred pages, and the words, “He that believeth hath eternal life” (John 6:47).

A quick facing out whether I did believe that God had laid my sins upon the Lamb of God on the Cross; a pause of wonderment that it really said that I had eternal life if I simply believed God’s Word; a quick cry of “Lord, I do believe”—and one more soul had passed from death to life (John 5:24), a trophy of the grace of God, and the love of Him Who died. The Spirit of God instantly bore witness with my spirit that I was a child of God (Romans 8:16), and deep peace filled my soul.

The new life bore fruit in that I sought to conquer my besetting sins, whereas hitherto I had found myself at their mercy, as I feebly attempted to restrain them. But my attempts still ended in abject failure, and the succeeding few months were a record of bitter repentance, and many tears over sins I could not conquer. At this point, we removed to Richmond, Surrey, and found our way to Holy Trinity Church. The first sermon I heard from Rev. Evan H. Hopkins was an opening of Heaven to my soul. I learned the secret of victory, and it was not long before I proved the power of God to deliver from the bondage of sin through the precious blood of Christ.

Under the Spirit-lit teaching of Mr. Hopkins, and the earnest, loving help of his noble wife, I learned the joy of full surrender and the possibilities of a Spirit-filled life (Ephesians 5:18). But active service for Christ seemed far away from me, for from childhood my health had been frail, and now winter after winter was spent in increasing suffering from bronchial and lung attacks. It seemed as if my life was slowly ebbing away. Nevertheless, in 1890, with apparently only a brief span of life before me, I ventured to take the hon. secretaryship of the Richmond Y.W.C.A. Institute—“If only for six months,” I said, for my whole heart was drawn out in service for the King.

Gradually, I learned to draw upon the Lord for strength for His work, so that in spite of continued ill-health and suffering, I worked, and organized, and labored incessantly. But after a time, I became conscious that the spiritual results were not equivalent to the labor of the work. I began to question whether I knew the fullness of the Spirit. Without doubt I had received Him, and had “entered into rest” as concerned my own life and fellowship with God (Hebrews 4:10); but when I compared the small results of my service with the fruit given to the apostles at Pentecost, I could not but own that I did not know the Holy Spirit in the fullness of His power.

“My life is not my own. I can do nothing else but be obedient to the heavenly vision since God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise. Here am I, raised from the grave to be His instrument! Here am I to be spent, every breath, for the God who gives me breath. Our home is not our own, it is God’s. We have nothing, we glory in being slaves of Jesus Christ, my dear one and I.”

(http://www.secretplaceseries.com/Support/Testimonies/J_Penn-Lewis1.html)