Sunday, March 26, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Any of us can be tempted by discontentment. Just ask Leah, one of the many women in the Bible. She is a very needy woman who puts her sense of worth into her husband's hands. From the very beginning, she is considered the inferior sister to her favored younger and beautiful sister, Rachel. Thus jealousy, envy, and discontent are born in Leah's heart.
Maybe she fantasizes how having a husband would propel her to a better status and make her feel loved. And as the older sister, society said she should have married first. But the stranger, Jacob, falls in love with the younger, Rachel. Her father, Laban, pulls his tricks substituting Leah when Jacob is expecting Rachel to be there on his wedding night.
We can only imagine how Leah felt as Jacob wakes up in the morning and discovers a much-less pretty wife than Rachel. In fact, Genesis 29:25 says, "And in the morning, behold, it was Leah!"
And then Jacob angrily tells Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
Did Leah's heart sink in disappointment? Maybe she thought she had really pleased him on their wedding night and Jacob's heart would be bonded to her.
How would you have felt if you had overheard your new husband say that to your father? My heart would have sunk to my toes. I would have felt even more terrible about myself.
Our hearts hurt for Leah and we can understand her discontentment. She continues to seek peace through trying to force her husband to love and favor her through having his children--which is highly valued in their society. Her sense of value and lovability is definitely held by her husband.
Tweet that: "Her sense of value and lovability is definitely held by her husband."
I understand Leah's feelings and her belief that her happiness was determined by whether her husband loved her. I felt the same way years ago when Larry and I had been married for seven years. He worked 2 full time jobs and also flew a plane for a hobby. I felt left out and justified in being angry and discontent.
But then God convinced me I could be content and joyful regardless whether Larry treated me well. God loved me and could provide the sense of worth and value like no person ever could.
Tweet that: "God loved me and could provide the sense of worth and value like no person ever could."
Surprisingly, the more content I became in God's provision of emotional strength, the less angry and hateful I became toward Larry, and the more he was drawn to me. As a result, our marriage was healed and now we've been married 46 1/2 years. Wow!
Did you know that Leah finally did come to peace. Genesis 29:35 says, "And she [Leah] conceived again and bore a son, and said, 'This time I will praise the Lord.' Therefore she called his name Judah."
Commentators believe this indicates her trust in God and being at peace.
I can tell you without a doubt how good it is to feel that kind of peace. Although Larry was willing and wanted to respond to my decrease in anger, bitterness, and nagging, we may not always receive the results we want. But what better result could there be than experiencing God's gift of peace and contentment.
If you are discontent because your needs aren't met by someone else, consider giving up expecting that person to be responsible for your contentment and happiness. You'll have God to thank!
(This is an adapted excerpt from my women's Bible study book Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series.)
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Remember Martha and Mary? Of course we all do. And remember Jesus' words to Martha? "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42 ESV).
How do you hear the tone of Jesus' voice? Is it a harsh rebuke or a gentle wooing?
I'd like to suggest it's a gentle wooing.
How we hear Jesus' voice in our hearts can indicate a lot. Tweet that!
Maybe we were scolded more than praised as a child. Maybe we grew up thinking we didn't deserve any praise, and we only expected to be reprimanded and not acknowledged for our efforts.
You might want to "try out" different tones as you speak Jesus' words out loud. What emotion does a soft and encouraging tone bring up inside you? Also, try to say Jesus' words with different words to communicate several possible meanings.
Perhaps, "Oh, sweetie, please don't worry about making a lot. We'll be full after one of your delicious dishes. I'd rather you chose being at my feet like your sis has. Come and join us now. I love you even if we starve in your house."
I'm confident that Jesus' words conveyed love along with His body language. How do you picture His eyes? Was he leaning forward to reach out to her or pulling back?
Pay attention to how you envision the scenes in the Bible as you read. It might be helpful to picture something different.
(This is an adapted excerpt from my women's Bible study book, Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series.)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Drum Roll....Kathleen Ruckman and Michele Mobley!
Congratulations ! Please email me your mailing address to KathyCollardMiller AT gmail DOT com. I'm so happy for you both. You will receive one copy of the book from one of the authors.
Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing. I appreciate it and so do Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting.
And now here's another treat. I'd like to share the wise thoughts of a wonderful friend of mine on "Making It Through the Winter Seasons of Life." I met Mikaela Vincent by traveling to a country where it would be dangerous for her if I said where she lives and ministers. But she has a powerful ministry and also is a writer and speaker. I hope you enjoy her thoughts and be sure to check out her website http://www.MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com and her books that are mentioned at the end of the post. There, she is offering a free "Guide to Knowing God’s Voice."
Friday, March 10, 2017
Monday, March 6, 2017
- Our goal was to equip and encourage moms, dads, and grandparents (a reality for many today) with practical ways to grow Christ like character in the hearts of their little girls.
- It also includes a Dad’s Tool Box for dads or men of integrity who are influencers in a young girl’s life that will empower them to help nurture each Fruit in their little girl’s life, by example as well as by instruction and suggested activities.