biography, Chrisitan woman, daughter of God, healed testimony, thoughts, why not woman, woman of faith, woman writers

Woman of faith: 48 years of diamonds

Joni Eareckson TadaBe encouraged and lifted up by the quotes from Joni Eareckson Tada:

“I can’t believe I’ve lived in a wheelchair for almost 50 years. At times it is hard. God has taken me down a rough road – living with paralysis isn’t easy. But on that rocky path, I have discovered many diamonds in the dust, slivers of scripture packed with power – a fragment from a biblical proverb or a snippet of a Psalm…”

“As I look back on 2015, I am so grateful for God’s abundant blessings — blessings like the stamina to have been “on the road” 102 days this year, where I had the privilege of joining Pastor Chuck Swindoll for a Sunday service interview; speaking before international disability leaders at our Joni and Friends Global Access Conference; and attending our wonderful Family Retreat in Texas. Plus, the blessing of having recorded over 8,000 radio programs after 33 years on the air! Not to mention the opportunity to have written on important issues, such as the dangerous right-to-die bill in California. And of course, I praise the Lord for having been declared cancer-free! Wow, what an amazing year it has been! It’s why I want to be like the tenth leper in Luke 17, who came back to Jesus with loud praise, thanking Him for what He had done. Will you join me…”

“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.”

“Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised.”

“We rant and rave against God for the evil we have to endure but hardly blink at the evil in our own hearts.”

“God wants us to be a good example to others who are observing us.”

“There is this fine line between presenting to You all of my weakness and thinking that it can’t be done. In Your strength, I find my own.”

“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.

Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.

You want a warrior Jesus.

You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.

To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that don’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.

You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”

“AS a matter of fact, God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your ‘step of faith.”
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty

“But that’s the same for everyone if we let society determine our value,” Steve explained as he sat down on the piano bench. “We always lose when we evaluate ourselves according to some one else’s ideas or standards. And there are as many standards as there are people. A jock measures you by your athletic ability; a student by your brains; a steady by your looks. It’s a losing battle,” he said, striking a sour piano chord for added emphasis. “We have to forget about what people say or think, and recognize that God’s values are the only important ones.” ―  An Unforgettable Story

“That truth set me free, along with other truths like leaning daily on God’s grace and realizing that God’s children are never victims. Everything that touches their lives, he permits. The irony is, you can’t imagine a more victimized person than Jesus. Yet when he died, he didn’t say, “I am finished” but “It is finished.” He did not play the victim, and thus he emerged the victor. Forget the self-pity. True, your supervisor may be trying to push you out of your job. Your marriage may be a fiery trial. You might be living below the poverty level. But victory is ours in Christ. His grace is sufficient. Know this truth and it will set you free. This day, Jesus, I can feel sorry for myself or victorious in you. Show me how to choose the latter.”
More Precious Than Silver: 366 Daily Devotional Readings

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FROM WEBSITE: In 1967 Joni Eareckson Tada was injured in a diving accident at 17 years old, leaving her in a quadriplegic state with minimal use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, Joni re-entered the community with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.

Joni and Friends began in 1979 at Joni’s house as she and her friends responded to the many questions and needs pouring in from families affected by disability who read Joni’s books or had seen the movie of her life. From the beginning, Joni, her staff, and volunteers devoted their energies to developing Christ-centered programs and services which would help meet the spiritual and practical needs of disabled people and their families, including Family Retreats, the distribution of wheelchairs and Bibles worldwide to people affected by disability, and church training at local and national disability ministry conferences. Joni and Friends continues to reach out around the world to people and families affected by disability with the love of Christ and the practical help they need.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please visit the web-site of Joni Eareckson Tada at http://www.joniandfriends.org/

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woman of faith (3): Love is larger

ten boom sisters.JPG
Corrie Ten Boom and sisters

“God does not have problems. Only plans,” proclaimed Corrie ten Boom when a clerical error allowed her to be released from a Nazi concentration camp one week before all women prisoners her age were executed.

Corrie and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives. Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was born in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1892, and grew up in a devoutly Christian family. Family members were strict Calvinists in the Dutch Reformed Church. Faith inspired them to serve society, offering shelter, food and money to those in need. Generations of ten Booms held Christian prayer meetings for Israel for 100 years prior to World War II. In this tradition, the family held a deep respect for the Jewish community in Amsterdam, considering them “God’s ancient people.” During World War II, the Beje house became a refuge for Jews, students and intellectuals. The entire ten Boom family became active in the Dutch resistance, risking their lives harboring those hunted by the Gestapo. She and her family harbored hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Twelve days later, Corrie was released for reasons not completely known.

After the war, Ten Boom returned to The Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation center. The refugee houses consisted of concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the occupation. She returned to Germany in 1946, and traveled the world as a public speaker, appearing in more than 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time. Corrie started a worldwide ministry and later told her story in a book entitled The Hiding Place. In 1977, at age 85, Corrie ten Boom moved to Placentia, California. She died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. Her passing on this date evokes the Jewish traditional belief that states that only specially blessed people are granted the privilege of dying on the date they were born.

Here are some quotes from the autobiographical book The Hiding Place.

“I had believed the Bible always, but reading it now had nothing to do with belief. It was simply a description of the way things were–of hell and heaven, of how men act and how God acts.”

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. . . . Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”

“No hatred”

“When He tells us to love our enemies He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

“Love is larger than the walls which shut it in.”

“No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still”

“There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will! Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it.”

“And for all these people alike, the key to healing turned out to be the same. Each had a hurt he had to forgive.”

“and here I felt a strange leaping of my heart-God did! My job was to simply follow His leading one step at a time, holding every decision up to him in prayer.”

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

“In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”

“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know – to tell us that this too is in His hands.”

“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things….In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.”

“Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way . . . God can give us the perfect way.”

“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes.”

“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.”

ON LOSING HER FIRST LOVE

“…suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say, “There’ll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not–soon or ever–be anyone else.

The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words.

“Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.

“There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.

“God loves Karel–even more than you do–and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us his perfect way.”

I did not know, as I listened to Father’s footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this–places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.”

ON THE JEWS

“One day as Father and I were returning from our walk we found the Grote Markt cordoned off by a double ring of police and soldiers. A truck was parked in front of the fish mart; into the back were climbing men, women, and children, all wearing the yellow star. . . .

“Father! Those poor people!” I cried. . . .

“Those poor people,” Father echoed. But to my surprise I saw that he was looking at the solders now forming into ranks to march away. “I pity the poor Germans, Corrie. They have touched the apple of God’s eye.”

ON DEATH

“At last we heard Father’s footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the balnkets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.

But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can’t die! You can’t!”

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” I sniffed a few times, considering this. “Why, just before we get on the train.”

“Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need–just in time.”

 

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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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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)

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woman of faith (1): stepping out

Yeomans His healing power.jpg“God delights in His children stepping out over the void with nothing under their feet except the Word of God.”

Dr. Lilian B. Yeomans (1861-1942) was a medical doctor, evangelist, college educator, and author. Her father was a physician and they moved to the United States in 1862, when he became doctor for the Northern Army during the Civil War. He died in 1878. Lilian decided to follow in her father’s footsteps, and so she attended the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor to become a physician. Lilian and her mother Amelia were physicians in Manitoba. They learned medicine in Michigan, as Canada did not admit women into med school at the time. They provided health care for women and children, the poor in their community. Lilian became addicted to morphine after using it on the job. After nearly dying, she was healed from the addiction. She gave up her medical practice, and became an evangelist and a missionary to the Cree Indians. She wrote about diving healing and how God had healed her addition. She was a popular speaker on the topic of healing.

“Just believe what God says that Jesus has done for you…
spirit, soul, and body —
think about it, talk about it,
sing about it, shout about it,
and the praise cure has begun.”

In a sense the whole Bible is a revelation, not only of His willingness to heal our spiritual ailments, but our physical ones also. One of His covenant names is “The Lord that healeth”(Jehovah Rapha), and He is also the Lord that changed not, the changeless, healing, health bestowing, life-giving Lord, undisputed Sovereign over all the powers of the universe.

Biography

Lilian knew firsthand about trusting in God’s promises in His Word. Born in Canada and briefly living in the United States, Lilian return to Canada to become a medical doctor. She and her mother, who became a doctor at the same time she did, specialized in women’s and children’s health issues. Lilian was surrounded with the problems of the poor and the unemployed. She served prostitutes, visited prisons, worked with alcoholics, and dealt with the social breakdown of people in the rapidly growing city of Winnepeg. Along the say, she also became addicted to drugs, which she had easy access to as a physician.

She said that under the heavy stress of practicing medicine and doing surgery, she would take morphine, or other drugs, so that she could sleep. She was extremely aware of the dangers of this habit, having treated addicts in her own practice. She believed that she had it under control, until the terrible day she discovered that the drug was the master and she was the slave. She was taking drugs at levels 50 times those prescribed for an adult male.

Lilian tried to quit numerous times. She said that if she managed to go 24 hours without them that she would go into withdrawal where she had heart palpitations, hot and cold sweats, nausea, racking pain, mental delusions, intense cravings, and an inability to even stand. She made at least 57 attempts do break free of her addiction. She would throw away the drugs, swearing to never use them again, only to be driven back into them. She sought medical help and attempted medical cures. None of these attempts to heal herself made any difference. Her health was disintegrating and one nurse described her as “a skeleton with a demon inside.” She prayed day and night to be delivered, but she did not believe that God really healed people.

Lilian came to the point where she was bedridden. Her doctors would not take away the drugs, for fear that she would just die. She turned to the Bible for solace. God began to speak to her, not just in a single verse, but throughout the entire Bible. It became clear to her that the Word of God had healing as a part of every section, not just some, but every section. She read in Job about healing, saw God’s heart in Genesis that God called us to walk in His image, saw in Exodus that there were “no feeble among them” in the wilderness, that Deuteronomy called for ritual cleansing of lepers, Numbers showed sickness being dealt with through prayer, sacrifice and atonement, and many others.

In 1913, Lilian wrote:
“I went down into the deepest depths. An addict is the most abject slave on God’s earth. There is one thing that is dearer to the human heart than anything else, and rightly so, and that is freedom. God wants us free. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, forever and ever; to preach deliverance to them that are bound, and He has called us to do the same thing. That longing for freedom that we find in the human heart is God given, yet the addicts are the most abject slaves in existence. It is a dreadful thing to be a slave to a man or woman; it is an awful thing to be a slave to your own passions, your whims, your caprices, but the morphine or heroin addict is a slave to a drug and to the demon power that lies back of the drug. I tell you I never met a morphine addict yet who didn’t know there was a personal devil. You will get acquainted with him as he pulls the fetters that bind you until they tear into your flesh.”

Lilian came to the realization that she was healed. Her craving for drugs was gone and her health returned. She never again took drugs. The truth of God’s healing power became a reality, which she shared from that time on. Lilian gave up her medical practice and decided to become a missionary among the Cree Indians in Northern Canada for a time. She held evangelistic meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada and taught and spoke on the healing power of God. She led thousands of people to believe God for salvation and for their healing. Her goal was to infuse people with the knowledge that God still heals today. She reportedly saw some very remarkable healings.

In the last 20 years of her life, Lilian taught classes in a Bible College and published several books. She died when she was 85, on December 9, 1942.

http://www.secretplaceseries.com/Support/Testimonies/L_Yeomans1.html

http://healingandrevival.com/BooksLBYeomans.htm

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a writer’s portrait (with quotes)

woman writing in gardenengrossed in her world

she records her time in ink

composing a view

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“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”
—Margaret Laurence
“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke
“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.”
—Angela Carter
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Bill Johnson
“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” —Larry L. King, WD
“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, WD
“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.”
—May Sarton
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
—Ernest Hemingway
“Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”
—Leslie Gordon Barnard, WD
“Writers live twice.”
—Natalie Goldberg

daughter of God, God's creation, love story

God sent a precious gifted wife

There are times when a woman believer hears God better. She takes the spiritual lead and steps out in faith boldly. This is a testimony of such a woman who lived 2000 years ago. The Bible record of Priscilla, wife of a Jew named Aquila.

Excerpts quoted from an article about this couple: “this Christian couple were one in their experience of God’s saving power, and so became one in their holy zeal for the Saviour, and in their service for His church. They were partners in faithful endeavors, not only to present Christ by lip, but also in the excellency of their walk and conversation.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/all-women-bible/2012/09/24 All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer)

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,

[ Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos ] Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off atCenchreae because of a vow he had taken.

They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.

[ Final Greetings ] The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.

[ Final Greetings ] Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household ofOnesiphorus.

Excerpts from another article:
“When the apostle Paul penned the epistle to the Ephesians in AD 62, Aquila and Priscilla were back in Rome after living and serving the church in Ephesus for several years. I am sure; however, they were not forgotten by the saints there. Perhaps the Apostle Paul had Aquila and Priscilla in mind as an example of a Spirit-filled husband and wife when he penned Ephesians 5:18-33….”
Read more at http://creationrevolution.com/aquila-and-priscilla-a-godly-marriage-for-ministry/#JiGB8OZ4q540zgIy.99AD62 Bible study
best thoughts, daughter of God, last days

God sent a woman when He couldn’t find a man to fulfill a vision

god sent Lydiatoday we look at how God sent a woman instead of a man to fulfill His call. Awesome !

Acts 16:6-15 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Call from Macedonia

Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia,[a] but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we[b] decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

Lydia of Philippi Believes in Jesus

11 We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests.

“If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.

Footnotes:

  1. 16:6-7 Phrygia, Galatia, Asia, Mysia, and Bithynia were all districts in what is now Turkey.
  2. 16:10 Luke, the writer of this book, here joined Paul and accompanied him on his journey.

 

best thoughts, daughter of God, love story, woman story

A woman’s worth: she asked the price and gave all she had

I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China… I don’t know who it was… It must have been a man… a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing… and God looked down… and saw Gladys Aylward… And God said – “Well, she’s willing.”
 – Gladys Aylward

https://urbana.org/go-and-do/missionary-biographies/small-woman-big-heart-great-faith

Gladys Aylward portrait

Excerpts:

The half-starved Chinese prisoners in Yangcheng were rioting. In the center was a man with a large bloody kitchen meat cleaver. All were shouting. Several men had already collapsed on the ground, mortally wounded. The warden called to A-Weh-Deh, “Go in and stop them!” The woman known to foreigners by her English name, Gladys Aylward, stood trembling at the entrance. “Why me?” she gasped. The warden challenged, “You tell us your God is all powerful. Is He or is He not?”

“He is,” she declared, seeking to bolster her courage, as she stepped into the sandy courtyard. “But only through the help of Jesus will I prevail, for the Gospel of God in our Bible states, ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.’”

One pair of eyes after another eyed the “Foreign Devil.” Hardly imposing, a whisper thin woman about thirty years of age, standing 4’10” tall, Gladys spoke to the man with the cleaver with unexpected authority, “Give me the cleaver,” she commanded. Astonishingly, he did. Then to the prisoners, “Now form yourselves into ranks and tell me what this is all about.”…

One day she saw a poor woman sitting by a wall with a small, very dirty child. “Is that your child?” Gladys asked her. “It looks very sick.” “What is that to you?” the woman replied with hostility. “Do you want to buy her or not?” Shocked at the idea of selling a human being, Gladys asked the price. All she had was nine pence. The woman agreed, probably sure that the infant would die anyhow. Though Gladys gave her the official name of Mei-en (“Beautiful Grace”) she always called her Ninepence. This was the first child she adopted. Soon she had more, many more, especially as the country erupted into war…alywardz

_________________

Gladys Aylward stands out as an example of how God can use someone of meager means and abilities when they give themselves over to the leading of the Holy Spirit…

Born into a working class family in Edmonton, London on February 24, 1902. Daughter of a mailman and oldest of two sisters and 1 brother. Unlike many famous Christians in history, she didn’t excel scholastically or set her self apart based on her exhaustive knowledge of the Bible and the classic languages, rather her early life was marked with a propensity for play acting and a willingness to serve…

She became a parlor maid at the age of only 14. Her call to missions came about when she attended a revival at when she was 18 in which the preacher expounded on giving ones life over to the service of the Lord…

She continued her work as a parlor maid with little chance to realize her calling. In her mid-twenties, she applied and was given a probationary position with the China Inland Mission Center in London but this endeavor didn’t bear fruit. At the age of 26 her probation ended in failure. She had fallen short of their expectations and was rejected for service as a missionary to China…

Determined to follow God by whatever means available, she continued to work and to save her money and after four years, at the age of 30, her opportunity came in the person of an aging missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson,1 who was looking for a young assistant to carry on her work. Gladys was accepted but Mrs. Lawson didn’t have the means to assist her with the passage to China. Adding to the difficulties, save as she might, Gladys lacked the funds to travel by ship, the preferred method of travel to distant lands. So she put her affairs in order and with only her passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds ninepence, set off for a perilous, overland journey to the inland city of Yangchen, in the mountainous province of Shansi, a little south of Peking. An area where few Europeans visited and the people didn’t trust foreigners…

Mrs. Lawson’s missionary strategy was to establish The Inn of the Eight Happinesses. Yangchen was an overnight stop for mule caravans that carried coal, raw cotton, pots and iron goods on six-week or three-month journeys. Lawson and Gladys provided forage for the mules, a nourishing supper, and then would entertain the men with Bible stories as a Christian witness.

As time when on, Gladys became fluent in Chinese and learned to work with Lawson who was in increasing stages of dementia. She died, a short time after Gladys’ arrival, thus leaving her to manage the inn only with the help of an older Chinese helper. One day she was visited by the local Mandarin (magistrate), a man held in the highest honor and even fear by the local citizens. He asked that she assist him by becoming his “foot inspector,” making sure that the new laws against the ancient custom of female foot binding were being complied with. As a result, A-Weh-Deh (“the virtuous one”) became increasingly known and respect by the citizenry not only of Yancheng, but also of the villages in the whole territory.

Wherever she went, she not only examined feet, but also spoke of the Lord Jesus and the salvation He offered to all who believed. “After 2,000 years, the Gospel had finally come to these mountain villages, and it was she, a tiny woman from a modest house on 67 Cheddington Road, delivering it in a sing-songy mountain dialect of Chinese” (Wellman p. 103). Only two years before she had been a parlor maid in an English manor. Over the years, little groups of believers in each of these villages began meeting together to worship the Lord—fruit of her ministry…

During those years China was under attack by Japan and many Chinese soldiers were wounded. So she added their numbers to those for whom she provided succor. Her Inn became a refuge for 20 orphans and as many as 30 to 40 injured soldiers at a time.

The war intensified and her children charges now numbered around 100. She had become a citizen of China in 1936 and her activities in support of the local populace,..she gathered up the children and narrowly escaped the city.GLADYS AYLWARD story

Unable to use roads or transportation, she was forced to lead her children, on foot, over the mountains to the safer province of Sian some 100 miles distant. The trek took twenty seven days in which they had to endure the elements and many hardships. She herself had become ill en route and when they finally arrived safely, she collapsed. The doctors were amazed by the feat as she was suffering from typhus, pneumonia, a relapsing fever, malnutrition, and supreme exhaustion.

She regained some strength but never recovered totally from her illness yet this didn’t stop her from continuing her ministry, now located in Sian. She started a church and once more she was sharing the Gospel in the villages, prisons and among the sick and helpless.

She continued working with refugees, lepers, anyone who needed help. She brought to the hopeless the hope of Christ. An American doctor observing the lepers, noted: “Their bodies are so contorted with disease, they cannot kneel. Their hands are so crippled, they can barely receive the elements. Yet their eyes flame with joy and hope. All because Gladys Aylward brought them Christ” (Wellman p. 190).

Once on a long trip she found a Buddhist monastery hidden in a deep valley amid high mountains. She was surprised to discover that they were expecting her. “Here at long last is the messenger we have waited for,” they said, as they accepted her message of salvation through Christ (Wellman p. 191).

Her ministry continued until 1947  when the new Communist regime told control. Gladys and other missionaries had to leave China and her choice of destination was decided because she had a burden for the spiritual condition of her native England.

She wrote, “England, seemingly so prosperous while other countries passed through terrible suffering… had forgotten what was all important – the realization that God mattered in the life of a nation no less than in that of an individual.”

In 1958, after ten years in England, she left for Taiwan and started another orphanage. She remained here for the rest of her life serving God by serving His children. She died January 3rd, 1970.

http://www.tlogical.net/bioaylward.htm

Ref: Wellman, Sam. Gladys Aylward. For the Children of China. Ulrichsville, OH: Barbour, 1998.; Swift, Catherine. Gladys Aylward. The Courageous English missionary whose life defied all expectations. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1989.

 

best thoughts, daughter of God, love story, woman story

Christian woman testimony: casting starry crown

Mary-slessor-and-adopted-childrenMary Slessor

Mary Slessor wrote to a friend who had long prayed for her: “I have always said that I have no idea how or why God has carried me over so many funny and hard places, and made these hordes of people submit to me, or why the Government should have given me the privilege of a Magistrate among them, except in answer to prayer made at home for me. It is all beyond my comprehension. The only way I can explain it is on the ground that I have been prayed for more than most. Pray on, dear one — the power lies that way.”

On another occasion she wrote: “Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service — praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the Kingdom.”

As for her rewards, she had but one question: “What would I do with starry crowns except to cast them at His feet?”

See also Some Thoughts Written in Mary Slessor’s Bible

http://www.historymakers.info/inspirational-christians/mary-slessor.html

Excerpts:

Mary became a Christian at a young age. She enjoyed going to church; it was a wonderful outlet from her miserable home life. She was not well-educated, but loved to read, and would stay up late soaking up any book she could find. She loved reading the Bible most of all, studying Jesus and his life in the gospels. Mary dreamed of doing pioneer work in the remote interior of Africa. At the time, missions work was mainly for men, so she was encouraged to get involved with home missions. It was her older brother who was planning to go as a missionary, but when Mary was 25 years old, he died. She wondered if maybe she could go in his place. Early in 1874 the news of the death of David Livingstone stirred the church and created a great wave of missionary excitement. Mary was then determined to go!

In 1875, Mary was accepted to go with the Calabar Mission. So, at age 27, she sailed for Calabar (located within present day Nigeria)…

Mary began to learn more and more about the culture of the local tribes. Witchcraft and spiritism and cruel tribal customs were hard to fight against. One custom that broke her heart was ‘twin-murder’. The tribes thought that twins were a result of a curse caused by an evil spirit who fathered one of the children. Both babies were brutally murdered and the mother was shunned from society. Overwhelmed and depressed, she knelt and prayed, “Lord, the task is impossible for me but not for Thee. Lead the way and I will follow.” Rising, she said, “Why should I fear? I am on a Royal Mission. I am in the service of the King of kings. Mary rescued many twins and ministered to their mothers. She was continuously fighting against this evil practice, often risking her life to stop the leaders from killing twins. The Lord gave her favor with the tribesmen, and Mary eventually gained a respect unheard of for a woman…

She was bold in her ministry and fearless as she traveled from village to village. Mary rescued hundreds of twin babies thrown out into the forest, prevented many wars, stopped the practice of trying to determine guilt by making them drink poison, healed the sick, and told the people about the great God of love whose Son came to earth to die on the cross that sinful men might have eternal life…

She was destined to live alone with her adopted children. Mary’s lifestyle consisted of a mud hut (infested with roaches, rats, and ants), irregular daily schedule (normal in African culture), and simple cotton clothing (instead of the thick petticoats and dresses worn by most European women at the time). The other missionaries were unable to relate to her life. Mary didn’t focus on health precautions or cleanliness much. Although she did suffer from malaria occasionally, she outlived most of her missionary coworkers.

She was 55 when she moved on from Okoyong with her seven children to do pioneer work in Itu and other remote areas. She had much fruit with the Ibo people. Janie, her oldest adopted daughter, was a valuable asset in the work. So, for the last ten years of her life, Mary continued doing pioneer work while others came in behind her. Their ministry was made much easier because of her efforts. In 1915, nearly 40 years after coming to Africa, she died at the age of 66 in her mud hut. Mary Slessor has become an inspiration to all who hear her story. She was not only a pioneer missionary, but also a pioneer for women in missions. mary-slessor-tenner

More information on Mary Slessor

best thoughts, daughter of God, love story, woman story

Christian woman testimony: she cannot love without giving

AmyCarmichael with Indianchildren“Give me the Love that leads the way
The Faith that nothing can dismay
The Hope no disappointments tire
The Passion that’ll burn like fire
Let me not sink to be a clod
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God”
Amy Carmichael

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
Amy Carmichael

“He said “Love…as I have loved you.” We cannot love too much.”
Amy Carmichael

“One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving”
Amy Carmichael

“He hath never failed thee yet.
Never will His love forget.
O fret not thyself nor let
Thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.”
Amy Carmichael

“The word comfort is from two Latin words meaning “with” and “strong” – He is with us to make us strong. Comfort is not soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love.”
Amy Carmichael, Kohila : the shaping of an Indian nurse    

“If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider ‘not spiritual work’ I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael, If    

“If I am afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand”, or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael, If

“The best training is to learn to accept everything as it comes, as from Him whom our soul loves. The tests are always unexpected things, not great things that can be written up, but the common little rubs of life, silly little nothings, things you are ashamed of minding one scrap”
Amy Carmichael, A Very Present Help: Life Messages of Great Christans

“If my attitude be on of fear, not faith, about the one who has disappointed me; if I say “Just what I expected,” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary Love.”
Amy Carmichael, If    

“If I do not feel far more for the grieved Saviour than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael, If    

“If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael, If    

“If I make much of anything appointed, magnify it secretly to myself or insidiously to others; if I let them think it “hard,” if I look back longingly upon what used to be, and linger among the byways of memory, so that my power to help is weakened, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael, If    

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” How often I think of that ‘ought.’ No sugary sentiment there. Just the stern, glorious trumpet call, OUGHT. But can words tell the joy buried deep within? Mine cannot. It laughs at words.”
Amy Carmichael

Read her brief biography here: http://www.gfamissions.org/missionary-biographies/carmichael-amy-1867-1951.html

Excerpts: AMY CARMICHAEL 1867-1951

One of the best-known and respected missionaries of the first half of the 20th century was Amy Carmichael.  Her 35 books have blessed countless thousands.  One who knew her well gives this testimony:  “Miss Carmichael was a blessing to all who came into intimate and understanding contact with her radiant life.  She was the most Christ-like character I ever met, and her life was the most fragrant, the most joyfully sacrificial that I have ever known.”

 Amy Carmichael was born in 1867 into a well-to-do North Ireland Christian family.  In her teen years, she was educated at a Wesleyan Methodist boarding school; and at age 13, while still in boarding school, she accepted Christ as Savior.  When she was age 18, her father died, leaving the family in difficult financial circumstances as he had given a large personal loan that was not repaid.  The family moved to Belfast.  There she became involved in visiting in the slums, and seeing the terrible conditions under which many women and girls worked in the factories, she began a ministry with these women.  It was a work based on faith alone in God, and He met the needs in most remarkable ways…Amy received her Macedonian call in 1892 at the age of 24..After about one year in England, she returned to the field, this time to India.  She arrived in Madras in November of 1895, a discouraged, confused, and ill young Irish woman. ..A life-changing experience took place in 1901.  A little five-year-old girl, named Pearl Eyes by Amy, was brought to her by an Indian woman.  The child had been sold by the mother to the temple, and there she was being prepared and taught all the degradation of temple prostitution…