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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Did Ruth Chase Boaz?

When we read the biblical book of Ruth, we can’t miss the beautiful story of how Ruth, a young widow, finds her second husband Boaz.

Some might think that she actually was looking for a rich husband, happened (on purpose) to glean in his fields, flirted with Boaz, thus gaining his approval, and then she proposed and was accepted.

I don’t read it that way at all.

Here’s why:

“It’s important that we understand the customs of the day and exactly what Ruth did.

First, Ruth shows submission to her mother-in-law Naomi when she goes out to glean grain for their food. Boaz, the owner of the field she gleans in, shows her compassion and kindness. At this time, it seems he has no idea who she is or that she’s related to his family by marriage. (Ruth 2:5)

Somehow, Naomi finds out he is a relative, eligible to be a “kinsman redeemer,” and she tells Ruth to approach Boaz about redeeming Naomi’s husband Elimelech’s property, since Elimelech and both their sons had passed away. (The popular custom was for the kinsman redeemer to marry his relative’s widow and raise up children in the late kinsman’s name. It also entailed buying the property of the deceased so that it wouldn’t be sold outside the family.) It is thought that Boaz might have been a cousin to Ruth’s late husband. He was second in line to redeem Ruth.

When I read this beautiful story, I never get the impression that Ruth batted her eyes at Boaz or that he was infatuated with her. It seems Boaz was quite surprised when Ruth asked him to redeem her. He was an older man and was amazed she would consider him instead of a younger man. He even told her she was a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:10-11)      

Everything Ruth did was proper, respectful, and in submissive obedience to her mother-in-law. Boaz and Ruth’s resulting marriage is one of those arranged, happy outcome marriages, blessed by God.

I understand the pressures out there to “find” the Right One or even to have a boyfriend. Sometimes well-meaning adults, even pastors, ask girls if they have a boyfriend, just to make conversation. Especially those single women over twenty might feel that people expect them to go find someone.

But these pressures don’t come from biblical thinking. Flirting and chasing are not right for a Christian woman! Instead, a lady should be a friend to all and let God take care of finding her man, if indeed there’s a man in God’s plan for her.”*

What do you think about the story of Ruth? Do you think she made herself too available to Boaz? Why or why not?

Yesterday’s post, “If God Has a Man for Me, Do I Need to Find Him” goes along with this theme and might be interesting to you, if you have not read it.

*Quoted from my book, His Ways, Your Walk: Bible Applications for Women, available now on Amazon. For a description, click on the tab “My Book.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If God Has a Man for Me, Do I Need to Find Him?

The question of the ages: do I go looking for Mr. Wonderful, or is he supposed to look for me?
  • Is it right for a woman to look for her husband?
  • Is it okay for her to encourage someone she thinks could be Mr. Right?
  • Is it right for a woman to put herself on a dating site?

What do you think?

These are all good questions.

Always, the Bible has the answer.

I know there are lots of opinions on this subject, and all of them have some validity. But, the Bible holds the answer, the key to understanding what is right and proper and what is not.

Think with me. Name the women in the Bible who went hunting for men. Let’s look at them:
  • Lot’s two daughters—made their father drunk and became pregnant by him
  • Tamar—wanted vengeance on her father-in-law Judah, dressed like a prostitute, and got him to sin with her. She conceived and then accused Judah.
  • Rahab—a harlot by trade
  • Potiphar’s wife—went after her husband’s steward Joseph, unsuccessfully, then accused him of forcing her and had him thrown in prison
  • The “strange women” in Proverbs—all from the oldest profession in the world

 Would you call any of these women “virtuous”? I think not.

The kind of biblical women who went after men were always bad women. They were doing wrong. Never in the Bible is this kind of behavior smiled upon.

“Oh,” you might say, “I was only thinking of striking up a friendship with a young man.” Nothing wrong with that, of course. You should be friendly with anyone, male or female. 

I like the advice that the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy. (Timothy was a young, eligible bachelor and a church-planting pastor.) Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Timothy was to treat the people in his congregation like family.
I think it’s a good guideline for how single women should treat single men—like brothers! (If they are Christians, they really are your brothers, in Christ.) You can laugh with them, talk to them, share with them. Notice the last part of the Bible quotation above—with all purity.

We’re not talking about flirting. Flirting is anything you do to call attention to yourself. Some girls fling their hair out of their eyes or over their shoulder. Some walk with a swing that’s overdone. Some pose with one hip up, or they bat their eyes. Please!

A Christian girl should not exhibit herself. She should exude character.

Down deep, every woman wants to be loved for who she is as a person, for who she is as a woman. She wants to be appreciated and cherished.

How she acts around everyone, not only the eligible men she knows, will determine what people think of her.
  • Do you understand that biblically it’s not appropriate to flirt or come on to men?
  • Do you understand that biblically a Christian girl doesn’t go “on the hunt”?

In the Bible, you will only find one virtuous woman who made herself available to a man, and that was Ruth. In my next post, we’ll explore her actions and what they mean for us today. I hope you’ll want to find out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

God's Perspective for Single Women 3

In the last two posts, we’ve talked about being single. Today, we’re talking about daughters. Are you a daughter? (Unless you’re a man, I would venture that all of you are daughters!)

All through the Bible, the Lord shows that a girl’s father is responsible for her if she’s unmarried. (Deuteronomy 7:3; 22:16, and many more passages)

Let’s look together at Numbers 30:3-16.

If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her (verses 3-5).

Notice with me several things:
  • The young woman is in her father’s house. She lives at home and is therefore under her father’s protection and authority. (This passage is not talking about a lady who has been living independently and is older.)
  • The father’s judgment—his yes or no—overrides the daughter’s vow.
  • The daughter is to be submissive to her father’s judgment. She will accept his approval or disapproval of her vow.

Numbers 30 goes on to say that a woman who has a husband is different. Her husband is her authority.

Let’s read verse 16, These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house.

I think it’s clear that a father is responsible for his daughter, if she is under his roof, and that a husband is responsible for his wife. This isn’t a dictatorship. It’s a protection. God gave man the leadership in the family (to be explored in later posts) and this includes the father-daughter relationship.

Let’s go to the New Testament for further understanding about single daughters. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Colossians 3:20 goes a little further. It says, Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Children are to obey their parents. What does this have to do with the single woman? Well, it all has to do with age and where you live.

Do you live at home, and are you under 18? Obey your parents in the Lord. (I personally think that if a young lady is single and being supported financially by her parents, she is still under their authority until she becomes independent. That is, if a girl is 20 or 25 and living with Mom and Dad, she should obey her parents—because she is under their roof and their authority.)

The command to honor our father and mother does not have an age limit on it. We are always to honor them.

Let’s say you are 35 or 40, living on your own, and financially independent. Do you need to honor your parents? Yes. Do you need to obey them unconditionally? Probably, you can make your own decisions, but you should always honor them. I believe there will be some things you will want to talk over with your father, as God has given him to you as your advisor. Ask the Lord to help you make wise decisions, and consult your dad from time to time.

Many girls have no involved father in their life, and therefore, they don’t have his protection or advice. If this describes you, don’t despair! God is your Father. Do you know Him? If you have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son, you have a Father. In fact, you have a perfect Father. (Click here for a previous post that contains some verses that might help you with the concept of God as your Father.)

In summary:
  • If you’re single, honor your parents. (That goes for married people, too!)
  • If you are living at home, financially supported by your parents, and especially if you are under 18, obey your parents.
  • If you are an adult single woman, it is good to honor your father by seeking his advice about important decisions.
  • If you don’t have an involved father, know that you have a heavenly Father that loves you, protects you, and wants to be consulted and honored in your life.
God bless you!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

God's Perspective for Single Women 2

In my last blog, we explored the questions single Christian women ask along with 1 Corinthians 7:34. Today, we will look a little bit earlier in the same chapter to see what the Apostle Paul had to say about singleness:

For I would that all men were even as I myself.
But every man hath his proper gift of God,
one after this manner, and another after that.
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows,
It is good for them if they abide even as I.
 (1 Corinthians 7:7-8)

Paul was single. He dedicated his life after his salvation to serving the Lord full-time. Paul implies that singleness is a gift from God in verse 7 and says it is good for the unmarried and widows to stay single in verse 8.

This is the Bible, the inspired Word of God. It says it is good to be single, a gift from God. (Later, we see that marriage is also a gift from God. God provides two options for people—singleness and marriage—and His blessing is on both of them.

It’s always healthy to see exactly what the Bible says about our lives. The idea that every girl needs to be married is not biblical. Neither is the idea that everyone will always be celibate. God has a plan for each life, and His best can be either marriage or singleness, as He wills and directs.

If you are married, you can have this biblical perspective. It will help you with the single young women you know.
  • You can encourage them to be actively serving the Lord.
  • You can encourage them to have a biblical perspective on singleness as a ministry. 

If you are single, a biblical view of singleness will help you in your daily life.
  • You will realize you don’t have to have a man—unless God brings someone special into your life.
  • You will realize it’s perfectly okay to be single.
  • You will realize, if you have no desire to marry, that God has given you the good gift of singleness.
  • You will rest in God’s timing and in His sovereignty.
  • You will get busy serving God in your church.
  • You will be joyful and completely fulfilled.

A biblical perspective helps all of us with contentment.

For singles, it takes out the “desperation factor”—that I’m not married yet; is something wrong with me. It helps women wait on God’s guidance and wisdom for each step in their walk with God.

A biblical perspective helps married women learn not to “push” their single friends. It helps us not to be “matchmakers” and busybodies. It helps us to see that not everyone needs to be married like we are.

I would love you to share what a biblical perspective on singleness has done to help you. If you like, please comment.

Friday, February 22, 2013

God's Perspective for Single Women 1

“Oh, I am 23 years old and don’t even have a boyfriend. Is something wrong with me?”

“My pastor is trying to set me up with an eligible bachelor in my church. I don’t even like the way the guy acts. Should I go out with him, just to be nice?”

“Someday, I would like to have a family and children. There are no prospects in my life right now. Will it ever happen?”

“I am not married, and I don’t feel fully realized as a woman.”

“Is it okay that I have no desire to get married? Or am I weird?”

“My aunt actually expects me to go out and find a boyfriend. Is that the way it should be? Do I have to go hunting?”

“I know that I am in God’s will to be in this ministry (or school, work, whatever) at this time in my life. Does this mean I will never get married?”

I could go on and on.

Christian women all over the world are wondering what God thinks about being single. They’re confused because authority figures in their lives give them conflicting messages. The world has messages too.

Where does the Christian single woman fit in?

Does she fit in?

Always, always, the answers are in the Bible. Thankfully, there are only a few to look at, so the concepts are easy to find and easy to understand. (This will be a series of blog posts, since there is more than enough material to put in only one.)

Let’s look first at 1 Corinthians 7:34.

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin.
The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord,
that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:
but she that is married careth for the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.

Okay, the wife and the unmarried woman both serve.
  • The unmarried woman serves whom? The Lord
  • The married woman serves whom? Her husband

Both are sacred duties, but they are different duties.

The single woman can use all of her time to serve the Lord. She can be active in her church, ministering to others, teaching and helping. All of her non-working time can be spent serving the Lord. (Her working time, too, for that matter—in being a good testimony where God has put her.) She is responsible to God as her head and to her father as her advisor.

The married woman, in contrast, serves her husband. She yields to his authority. She cannot give all her time to the ministry, as she must serve her husband.

Looking at this biblical concept from 1 Corinthians 7:34, there are some obvious advantages of the single life:
  • More time to serve God
  • More time to serve others
  • More time to be involved in your church
  • More flexibility in your schedule. (You can go to bed when you want to and get up when you want to. You can decide what to do with your time.)
  • More quiet at home in which to worship God in private devotions and work on projects for others.
  • More freedom to minister. By that I mean that you don’t have to be thinking about feeding a whole family, or who needs the car now, or how to coordinate activities. You only need to know if the ministry is something you know God is leading you to do and then do it.

In the next post, we’ll explore another Bible passage specifically for single women.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is This Absurd, or What?

Recently, I read a motion. It includes making a new law to change the definition of marriage, allow the adoption of children by same-sex couples, etc. The fifth part of the motion was especially disturbing to me.

It says that pedophilia should be recognized as a legitimate sexual orientation.

I don’t shock easily anymore, but this was beyond belief.

How in the world could you legitimate the abuse of children? How could something as scarring as the victimization of children be passed off as okay—and protected by law as normal behavior?

Part of my ministry is counseling women. Tragically, quite a few of them have been victims of some kind of sexual abuse as children. They had no say in what happened. They were threatened with harm if they ever told. In some cases, the abuse went on for years. In every case, it hurt them. It harmed them as people. It harmed them as young girls, and later colored how they viewed themselves as women.

We have read and seen on TV the horrible hurt—sometimes so damaging a person into adulthood that he can hardly function in a normal way—wreaked by “wayward” priests or orphanage workers. We abhor such actions towards the children entrusted to them. Our hearts go out to the men and women whose abuse so colored their thinking and self-worth all their lives.

Interpol is cracking down on child porn rings, as well it should. Thankfully, they are rounding up hundreds of people who exploit children. They are also catching child traffickers.

I’m just scratching the surface.

But imagine, if all of this abuse is ruled a legitimate sexual orientation, it would no longer be a crime to hurt a child in this way. Everything from incest to child porn would be deemed okay.

I am outraged!

I believe it is past time to stand up for the vulnerable, those who have no say whatsoever in the laws that are passed. It is our responsibility as adults to protect our children and grandchildren from becoming defenseless victims of crime.

Jesus had a lot to say about people hurting children. He loved children. He loves our children and grandchildren.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6; the same idea also in Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2).

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 18:10).

Jesus showed people what it meant to receive Him by showing them an illustration of kindness to children: And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me (Mark 9:36-37).

I love how Jesus and John refer to Christians as “my little children.” It conveys the love of a parent for a child. It’s a beautiful, pure love that invests itself in the child. This love has the child’s best interests in mind.

Jesus loves children.

We love our children.

May we fight to ensure their safety. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mentoring for Women

There are several key passages for women in the Bible. One that’s for singles, marrieds, and anyone who’s a woman is Titus 2:3-4. It says:

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women . . . .

The aged women . . . . How old to you have to be to be in this category? (I know I’m there! I’m over 50, a grandma, and well . . . no doubt about it, I’m there.)  But, this passage is not only talking about the grandmas among us. It’s talking about spiritually mature people.

I know a young woman in her 30s who has been walking closely with God for a long time. Her actions and reactions are pleasing to Him. A lady in her 70s once told me that this same young woman was “more mature than I am.” She was talking about the young woman’s wisdom, her spiritual maturity.

Have you walked with God for years?

                                        Do you presently walk with God?

                                                                            If so, you’re a biblically aged woman!

Let’s look again at Titus 2:3-4 (above). What does it say the aged women are supposed to be doing? 
  • First, they’re to be good examples.
  • Second, they’re to teach younger women.

If you are a mature woman, are you mentoring younger women? If you don’t feel like you have an “audience,” it might be closer than you think. Consider these:
  • Daughters, nieces, granddaughters
  • Young women in your church—perhaps in a Sunday school class, youth group, singles ministry, counseling
  • Younger friends
  • Young women you teach in a home Bible study

If you are looking for a mentoring opportunity and don’t have one, pray and talk to your pastor. Both prayer and your pastor will help you find your niche.

Are you a younger woman spiritually?

                               If so, are you being spiritually mentored by an older lady?

As we’ve seen, the mentor can be your mother, aunt, a teacher at your church, a Bible study leader. She can be anyone who can help you learn the things that come later in Titus 2: to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (verses 4b-5).

If you’re not presently being taught these skills and principles, look for a woman who will be glad to take you under her wing and teach you. Ask God to help you find the right Christian lady to ask.

  • “Aged” ladies in the Lord, find younger women and girls to mentor.
  • Younger ladies in the Lord, find a mentor.

It’s great Bible advice!

Monday, February 18, 2013

When Your Bags Go First Class

My husband and I were making a long trip, one of those where you have to take several flights to get to your destination. It seems the planes are never big enough for all that has to go into them. Sometimes that includes people’s carry-on luggage. (Yes, we fly economy class.) We had two carry-ons that wouldn’t go anywhere, so a stewardess stowed them in first class. Another man arrived later, and there was no place for his bag, either. My husband told him what we did, and so he trotted off to find another obliging steward. He returned empty-handed and told us, “My bags travel better than I do.” We had a good laugh along with him.

The bags go first class, and we go economy. Such is life.

I love the TV ads where they advertise airlines. You see a passenger reclining in a bed in a dimly lit plane. He or she is just about to nod off into la-la land while covering hundreds or thousands of miles. The attendant is gorgeous, immaculately-dressed, and she (always a very pretty woman) tucks the person in. Oh yes!

My experience is that all of this is . . .
                                                            in your dreams.

Granted, the TV ad is probably about first class, and I’m too cheap to pay for that. But honestly, I’ve flown on many airlines, and first class, though roomier than sardine class, is certainly not flat beds and perfect-looking stewardesses. 

It’s a funny world, full of funny circumstances, like our bags going “better” than we do.

The spiritual world is full of “funny” things, too.

Think about these biblical paradoxes:
  • Give and it will be given to you. (Luke 6:38)
  • We can be rich with God or poor spiritually and rich financially (Luke 12:20-21).
  • A spiritual seed has to die so it can grow and bring forth fruit (John 12:24).
  • Christians are in the world but not of the world (John 15:19).
  • But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27—two paradoxes here).
  • When I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  • Jesus left the glories of heaven—to become poor—so we could be rich. (Philippians 2)
  • But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ (Philippians 3:7).
  • Paul wrote from prison: But I have all, and abound: I am full (Philippians 4:18a). 

So when your bags go better than you do, think on the paradoxes in the Bible, how God is glorified using weak, sinful man. How God turns things upside down and inside out, because His ways are not our ways.  How Jesus left the glories of heaven to make Himself flesh in order to save us. Amazing!

And, by the way, heaven is a lot better than first class! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Perfect Peace, Everlasting Strength, and Full Joy

I’d like to share with you some verses I’ve found recently. Oh yes, they were in the Bible all the time. Some of them, I have memorized. So, they’re not new. But, I would like to show you some new things about them.

Let’s look first at Isaiah 26:3-4.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

The Hebrew word used for perfect peace here is shalom. It means: peace, welfare, completeness.

Looking back at the verse, we notice the first sentence is a prayer to God. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.

Who gets kept in this complete peace, welfare, and completeness? The person whose mind is stayed (leaning, resting, supported by) on the Lord and trusting in the Lord.

Then, Isaiah switches from prayer to preaching. I think this is so interesting. In the Psalms, many times we see the psalmist switch from talking about God to prayer. Here, we see prayer turning into admonition. When God tells us to pray without ceasing—to constantly be in communication with Him—this is what He’s talking about. We are to communicate so naturally with the Lord that it becomes a part of our breathing, a part of who we are, sharing everything with God.

Isaiah admonishes his hearers (and us, his readers) to trust in the Lord forever.


Because only in the Lord Jehovah (Lord is the word for Jehovah; Jehovah is the Existing One, the I Am.) is everlasting strength.

We trust in Him because He is the Always Present, Ever Powerful, Strong God.

Does that do something for your spirit? It does for mine.

God will keep us complete, in peace because we trust in Who He is.

Would you like to see another blessing from Scripture? Go with me to John 15:11. Jesus is speaking,

These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full.

Not only can we have an enduring peace and everlasting strength through our great God who always IS, but we can also have full joy. (I looked up the word full, and the Greek means “filled up.”)

Perfect peace.
Everlasting strength.
Filled up joy.

All of them are fantastic motivations to trust our all-sufficient God more.

Friday, February 15, 2013


UNTIL FOREVER by Darlene Shortridge begins with the story of Jessi, a divorced mother, her ex-husband Mark, and their son Ethan. Ethan is critically injured in a car accident which was brought about by Mark’s irresponsible drinking—again. The story goes on to address hurt, love, and forgiveness. Jessi’s aunt Merry helps both Mark and Jessi deal with some very difficult issues, and little surprise-package Olivia adds a happy healing balm to everyone’s life.

This book deals with some profound realities typical to almost everyone’s life. I felt Mrs. Shortridge handled the story fairly and realistically. I loved how God worked in hearts and through people.

This is titled a “Women of Prayer” book. Definitely, the power of prayer is evident throughout the story.

I really liked this book. It has some very thoughtfully written plot twists that were a genuine blessing to me. It has a spiritual depth with realistic characters. A very good debut novel.

EYES WIDE OPEN by Ted Dekker is one of those stories that could happen to anyone—but you hope it would never be you! Scary, improbable, yet believable, what happens to Christy and Austin will keep you turning pages and wishing these things couldn’t be true. But the reality is that Christy and Austin are locked up . . . and they may never get out.

Eyes Wide Open is a series of four books. This first one ends quite abruptly, leaving you with the desire to go out and buy the rest so that you can find out what happens. (It is also sold as the set of four together. I recommend getting the set.)

I was scared, laughed a little too, and the horror of the situations that first one and then the other find themselves in was captivating. Literally.

If you enjoy being scared a little, you’ll like this book—and the next three of the series, I would presume. I look forward to finding out what happens next.

I also read SELL MORE BOOKS! BOOK MARKETING AND PUBLISHING FOR LOW PROFILE AND DEBUT AUTHORS by Blythe Daniel, Brian Jud, Stephanie Richards, and J. Steve Miller. It is helping me rethink marketing with my own debut book. Interesting, and at times, over my head. But, like I said, I found it helpful. A great resource for a new author—or any author, for that matter.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Permanent Answer to the Need for Romance

Romance is, according to the dictionary, “excitement, love, and adventure of the kind found in literature, romantic quality or spirit.” The list of its definitions goes on to say “an exaggeration or fabrication that has no real substance.”

Who doesn’t want romance?

Most of us are looking for passionate excitement of some kind. We read novels with romance in them, and we imagine ourselves in the place of the heroine. We love to visit romantic places—full of history and who-knows-what kinds of stories. We even make up “what should be” in our heads—and sometimes, in our hearts as well.

Most women are tailor-made for romance. We thrive on it, fictional or otherwise.

But, for most, romance—the kind we dream of—eludes us.

Let me let you in on a secret: it’s because we’re looking in the wrong places.
  • Single women seek it. Their radar is on red alert for Mr. Wonderful.
  • Married women look for it in their husbands.
  • Young women look starry-eyed towards their future.
  • Many women read novels that express their desires.
  • Most women have expectations without fulfillment, and they are frustrated.

Yes, we’re looking in the wrong places.

This is Valentine’s Day, and everyone dreams about Mr. Handsomeness coming by with a dozen roses in his hand, a diamond ring in his pocket, and sweet nothings on his lips.

It may happen for some of you.

But, even if it does happen this year, be advised. This kind of romance will not last forever. (Sorry to burst your bubble!)

Years ago, I found the permanent answer to my desire for romance.
  • It wasn’t in novels.
  • It wasn’t in my husband (though he’s a keeper, for sure).
  • It wasn’t in flowers and chocolates on the right day.
  • It wasn’t even in the fairy-tale European village I live in.

I found it in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • He is always there for me, all day, all night, forever.
  • He absolutely and unconditionally loves me. (He gave His life’s blood for me and took my sin on Himself. He continues to love me, even knowing that I am human and fallible.) That’s love!
  • I found Someone who wants to communicate with me 24/7. I found that He has something special to say to me each day, through His Word, and through my listening in prayer. He actually wants to listen to what I have to say, no matter how dumb it may sound, every day, all day—and every night, all night.
  • Jesus meets all my needs. He even knows them before I do. The Lord meets my emotional needs as well as my physical and spiritual needs.

I found romance in my Divine Lover.

Read this verse with romance in mind:

But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 4:19)

Do you believe the Lord is sufficient? Do you believe He can provide all your needs?

He can!

Start today to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He will meet all your heart needs.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Almost Obedient Little Dog

Buddy is a sweet old dog. He’s not going to win any beauty prizes. He’s just a cute stubby little dog. He’s blind in one eye, and his teeth are worn down, but he’s a lovable little guy and has many friends.

You see, Buddy lives on a Bible college campus, and he’s at home with the students and faculty. He wanders into the main building, up to the office door, and spends his afternoon snoozing on a blanket on the floor.

This evening, everyone was eating supper in the dining hall, and in came Buddy. Now, Buddy isn’t allowed in the dining hall—and he knows it. But, there he was, in and under the tables, trying to socialize. The director of the school told Buddy to “Go out.”

Buddy obeyed . . . kind of. The little dog decided that several inches inside the door was good enough for “out.” So he lay down there, looking a little bit guilty.

The director told him again, “Buddy, go out.” So he went to the door, turned around, and his front two paws and head were “in” and his hind parts were “out.” It was hilarious, and we all laughed at the little half-obedient dog.

Immediately, one of the young ladies said, “Isn’t that just like people? They want to maintain one foot in the world and also one foot in the things of the Lord.”

Do you remember the church in Laodicea? God wasn’t pleased with their wishy-washy approach to obedience. He said, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).

All through Scripture we read of people who “partially obeyed” but weren’t honored for their obedience.

We think of Saul. When told to completely wipe out Amalek, he saved the best animals and the king. (Saul’s excuse was that he was going to sacrifice those animals to the Lord. I always wondered what he thought he’d do with Agag.) God’s prophet Samuel was clear about God’s opinion. Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).

Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

God wants us to listen and obey.

He wants the very best for us, so His commands are always for our good—even if we don’t understand them at the moment. They’re to be fully obeyed.

Unlike little Buddy who pushes the boundaries and partially obeys, we should joy in obeying God, fully and willingly. We don’t need to lie down at the door or stop with a couple of paws in and two out.

If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love;
even as I have kept my Father’s commandments,
and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full (John 15:10-11).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sharing Christ by Preaching the Cross

I’ve heard some “interesting” preaching in my day—those-tickle-the-ear sermons that make you feel happy about your own righteousness (which biblically adds up to filthy rags), the entertaining sermons based on movie themes, lovely painted word pictures eloquently delivered and meaning very little, extremely emotional illustrations, and if-you-love-your-mother-please-come-forward altar calls.

The Bible says, For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).

This verse is not talking about preaching foolishly.

It’s talking about preaching the cross (verse 18), Christ crucified (verse 23), and preaching Christ, made wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption for us (verse 30).

This is serious preaching.

It makes the difference between heaven and hell.

The Apostle Paul is writing to the believers in Corinth, Greece. He clearly understands his audience.

He says the Greeks seek after wisdom. Very true. A simple history lesson will tell us about the all-encompassing search for knowledge in ancient Greece. They must have had a hard time wrapping their heads around Christ’s crucifixion—the Perfect One sacrificing Himself as the substitute for man’s sin. They labeled it “foolishness.” (verse 23)

But, some Greeks believed in Jesus. Paul writes to them: Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men (verses 24b-25).

God chooses to use people to do His work, so that He gets the glory. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (verses 27-31).

By the foolishness of preaching,

            through weak men,

                       relying on God’s power . . . .

                                   What a privilege to share Christ!