Women are God’s glorious creation who fit perfectly into His grand plan. She expands His temple by giving birth and training her family to live adult, productive lives. How incredibly valuable mothers are to the Lord! But this nurturing reality didn’t exist for women in biblical times.
When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them equal reign of the earth. But as the forbidden fruit was eaten, so too, was the woman’s rights to help dominate the land. As the Judaism religion developed, they overplayed this scene – women had no rights. Their primary purpose in life was to give birth, raise children in the Jewish faith, and attend to all the needs within the home and for her husband. She was never to be seen outside socializing with others, nor within the temple walls.
However, under Mosaic Law, Israeli women enjoyed an honorable status, and men recognized their rights. Though husbands were head of the household, the wife could freely express her religion and work a job.
So, who made the world change their view of women? Jesus loved the female genus, and He highly respected them. He healed their ailments, allowed them to travel with Him, and made disciples of a few. To express their importance to Jesus, He even chose a woman to bear witness to his resurrection (Mary Magdalene).
Proverbs 31: 25-30 expresses God’s deep love for mothers:
God also gave guidelines to husbands and children:
“Honor your marriage; keep it pure by remaining true to your wife in every way.” Hebrews 13:4
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…” 1 Peter 3:7
“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 6:20
Mothers mold their offspring with love and integrity. In moments of illness, strife, or despair, their children remain foremost in their thoughts. They adorn their families with our lasting memories. Mothers, the Lord chose YOU to rear His creations and to love them as you love His Word. You are truly a gift.
To all the mothers who grow God’s kingdom, may you have a blessed and Happy Mother’s Day! Know you are so special and loved!
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“God doesn’t Judge Dark Skin,He judges Dark Hearts” Godstillspeaks.com
It’s a 2.8 minute read.
Why would any one wants to change their God given darker shade skin to nothing less than whitest ?
I have no idea about other non white country people,but in India it’s a different thing.
Famously it is said that Indians are fascinated by 3Gs- Ganga ( River Ganges ), Gandhi ( father of the nation ) and Gora ( means fair skinned ).
Fair skin appears to be India’s psyche.Many believe,India getting colonized for centuries by the fair skin invaders is the root cause,resulting in the inferiority complex.
Being born in India with dark complexion is highly disadvantageous more so if you are a girl.
If you come across matrimonial or TV advertisements or Bollywood,company interviews….. as far as selection of the candidate is concerned,preference is given to fair skinned people.Dark complexion kids are bullied with nicknames in the school life.
So to survive the rat race, you must have a whitened skin or white washed skin.
What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a political
position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes may be
true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent examples of
strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible. Now two thousand years
later, everyone may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a
guiding tool in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.
Did you miss the first two parts of this series? Click HERE for Part One. Click HERE for Part Two.
Joanna the Apostle (also known as Junia)
Joanna does not have a specific story as some other women
in this series. In fact, her life is pieced together by many scriptures
throughout the Bible, but what an influential person! She was an upper-class
Jewish woman in 1st century Palestine. Her grandfather was Theophilus, the High
Priest in the Second Temple, in Jerusalem.
The earliest mention of Joanna was in Luke 8:3, where she
is referred to as the wife of Chuza, a steward to Herod Antipas. They were
married when she was very young, and they both maintained jobs in Herod’s royal
household. I’m sure this placed Joanna in a very unpopular category with
ordinary Jews. One of her husband’s duties was to make sure everyone paid their
taxes to Herod.
Like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, too, had demons in her body.
She was often curious about Jesus and His miracles. Would He cleanse her as
well? On the days she traveled away from the royal household, she would sit as
a bystander and listen to His sermons of parables. One day, Jesus directed his
attention to her and spoke with conviction. As the healing miracles of Jesus’
power tell, He knew she was possessed, too, with infirmities…and so He healed
Joanna gave a lot of money to Jesus and His disciples. She
was wealthy, well-connected, and influential, so she was able to protect Him in
subtle ways. She became instrumental in the success of His mission. In this
biblical age, it was scandalous for a woman to be financially supportive of a
man, much less a female who came from King Herod’s house. But, she took the
risk, even though she witnessed her employer, King Herod, behead John the
At some point in Joanna’s marriage, she becomes single
again. One can only imagine the reasons why this happened – perhaps Chuza
divorced her, or was he murdered for his position in the royal home? The Bible
does not state a specific cause. But, Joanna was in the ranks of the Galilean
poor with no social standing or financial security, but she held her head high,
turning her life to serve Jesus.
She memorized the Lord’s parables and joined Jesus in
storytelling among the poor villages along with a few other women. Many of
their listeners were rejected for their conversion to Christianity, so Joanna
could sympathize with their feelings. Indeed she was inspired by Jesus’
teachings. She traveled as far as Rome, being a witness to the Lord. She was
eventually named an Apostle.
It is spoken in scripture Joanna and Mary Magdalene
prepared the cloths to wrap Jesus’ body after His crucifixion. She was also a
witness to the empty tomb after His resurrection. Her love for Jesus was deep,
and she served Him faithfully until the end of His life.
What made Joanna a powerful woman?
Joanna was brave and proud. She faced public
condemnation by becoming single and leaving a royal household, but she held her
head high amidst the turmoil and confusion. I’m sure her conversion to
Christianity was a radical change too.
When she lived among the elite and wealthy, she gave her
money to Jesus and the disciples. She was generous to a fault. Her high
values didn’t place wealth on personal belongings, but rather to God.
Joanna was inspiring because she transitioned from
an aristocratic woman to a humble servant during her life. She didn’t mourn the
loss of possessions but became a witness to the strength of the Lord. Money was
a means-to-an-end to serve others.
Jesus healed her ailments because he recognized the self-power
she had inside her to change.
Her stewardship to Jesus and the Gospel was
uncompromising, and in return, He blessed her with grace.
After Jesus’ death, Joanna became a traveling missionary.
It is implied that if she died outside the Holy Land, they brought her body back
to Jerusalem. In the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, they adorned
Joanna a saint.
Imagine if suddenly your body just appeared as an adult.
You are facing another human who looks different, and his name is Man.
Everything around is magically beautiful. Objects called trees stand taller
than yourself, and the ground is green with grass and shrubs.
God spoke to them saying they could eat from any fruit of
the trees except for the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden. God
warned them if they ate from the tree, they would die. This scenario is precisely
the one Eve faced on her creation day. I wonder what her thoughts were at this
As she walked through the shrubbery, she saw a slithering
serpent who spoke to her. (Genesis 3:1-6, NIV)
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in
Eve responded, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the
garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the
middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”
“You will not certainly die, for God knows that when
you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil,” the serpent retorted.
The fruit on the tree looked delicious, so she picked it
off the stem and took a nibble. Then she handed it to the Man who also took a
bite of the irresistible fruit. Their eyes opened wide when they realized they
were naked. Ashamed and embarrassed, Adam and Eve pulled fig leaves off of the
trees, sewed them together, and covered the most intimate parts of their body.
Suddenly, they heard footsteps walking in the garden, so
they hid, in fear, among the trees. The Lord God approached them and asked why
they were hiding. Adam spoke first… “I was afraid because I was naked; so I
God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you
eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam and Eve
hung their heads down.
Adam answered, “The woman you put here with me—she gave
me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then Eve responded to God, “The
serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13 NIV)
God sternly faced Eve and said, “I will make your pains
in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to
children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
(Genesis 3:16 NIV)
Then the Lord God said to Adam, “Because you listened
to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must
not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil
you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and
thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of
your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it
you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19
The Lord made garments of skin for them to wear and moved
Adam to the east side of the Garden of Eden, where he would work the land for
food. Adam and Eve procreated, and a son, named Cain, was born. Later, another
son, Abel, was born. As they grew older, their children learned to struggle,
working in the fields.
Eve realized the curse God placed upon them, for life was
a battle. Childbirth was unbearable, and then she endured the death of her son,
Abel. The Lord punished Cain for killing Abel and placed him in the land of
Nod, east of Eden, to become a wanderer. We must do what is right before God or
reap the consequences.
Many misunderstandings about Eve swirl throughout the
generations and since the beginning of mankind. She is held responsible for the
sin of humanity by eating the forbidden fruit. Some believe she ‘enticed’ Adam
to eat it, too. However, there isn’t biblical truth to this statement. The fact
is, Adam did not have to take the fruit and eat it, but he did, knowingly aware
of the consequences.
Eve is mislabeled with names such as “the devil’s gateway,”
“temptress,“ and “wicked persuasion.” My response to any of those unwarranted
titles come from this standpoint – Eve did not know of evil, nor Satan and his lies.
How can she be singly be held accountable for the fall of mankind?
What made Eve a powerful woman?
Eve was the first woman, no other before her.
She is “the mother of all living,” for she is the
beginning of humanity. Eve represents the maternal potential of adult
women. She proclaimed the sons she gave childbirth to were created by man and
Eve was created with a pure heart, and her only
knowledge of life came from Adam and God.
Created in God’s image, Eve carries the feminine qualities of the character of God. Her power of being a woman teaches us mankind cannot exist without ‘womankind.’
Eve’s powerful story wasn’t so much about her good
qualities, but what she taught us about life and a relationship with God:
Disobedience to God leads us to follow our own will, thus
unfortunate consequences. She believed Satan rather than God. How many of us,
today, act on impulse versus praying to God for the correct answer to problems?
When we compromise God’s Word by blocking out or changing
the parts we refuse to hear, it becomes a means to continue sinning.
If we do not resist sin when it presents itself, we will eventually give in to the temptation.
Next Sunday will be the final two women in this series. Be sure to join us!
What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a
political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes
may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent
examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible. Everyone
today, now two thousand years later, may find much wisdom in the biblical
females. Use them as a guiding tool in your personal lives and to develop a
relationship with God.
The last point I want to express is “behind every
successful man is a strong and wise woman.” So true of these most powerful
women in the Bible! I hope you enjoy my review of this week’s next two women.
This biblical story begins in the time of King Xerexes,
who ruled from India to Ethiopia in 486 BC to 465 BC. In the third year of his
reign, he gave a luxurious banquet for all his officials and ministers in the
garden courtyard. His wife, Queen Vashti, threw a separate party for women in
the royal palace. As he became drunk, he ordered his personal servants to bring
his wife to him. She was gorgeous, and he wanted to show her off to his
proteges. Queen Vashti refused to show off her beauty, and the king lost his
temper at her disrespect of his orders. He wanted to avoid his embarrassment,
so he ruled her to leave his premises. “Every man is master of his own
house; whatever he says, goes.”
King Xerexes’ young royal attendants suggested he search
the kingdom for beautiful young virgins to replace Vashti. Soon, a woman named
Hadassah, otherwise known as Esther, was brought to the palace and given over
to the overseer of the women in the harem. She stayed twelve months for beauty
treatments and for visits with the king in the evenings. Esther soon won the
admiration of everyone, including the king. He placed a crown on her head and
proclaimed a holiday for all the provinces. But she had a dark secret…
Her older cousin, Mordecai, raised Esther after her
parent’s death. He was a member of the Jewish community who had an ancestor
captured and taken away from Jerusalem. Her rearing was in exile, and Mordecai
begged her never to tell a soul.
Mordecai often walked in front of the palace, hoping to
glimpse Esther. He still felt responsible for her welfare. One afternoon, he
made his usual trek to the palace gates. He overheard two guards plotting the
death of King Xerexes, so he quickly sent word to Esther, who told her husband.
In the king’s investigation of the incident, she told her husband that Mordecai,
“her cousin,” heard the conversation, but this was all the details she gave
Sometime later, King Xerexes promoted a man named Haman to
the highest-ranking official in the government. He required everyone at the
palace gates to kneel before Haman, but Mordecai refused repeatedly. Haman
learned Esther’s cousin was a Jew, so he devised a plan to kill all Jews
throughout the kingdom.
Esther’s maids told her of Haman’s plan, and she was shocked
and scared for her relatives. So she sent a servant to find Mordecai and find
out the whole story. She also handed the servant clothes for her cousin to wear,
which would hide his Jewish roots. But, Mordecai refused to wear it and relayed
a message to her, “Do not imagine that because you are in the king’s palace
you alone will escape the fate of all the Jews.…” He encouraged her to talk
to her husband.
Esther sent a strong message back to Mordecai.
“Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast
for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids
will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s
forbidden. If I die, I die.” Mordecai followed her instructions.
Three days later, Esther dressed in her royal robe,
visited the king on his throne. She asked him to arrange a dinner with Haman,
of which he obliged her request. Meanwhile, Haman was building seventy-five
foot high gallows. He would soon hang Mordecai.
The day of the dinner party arrived, and King Xerexes,
Esther, and Haman gathered for the feast. The king asked Esther, “What would
you like? Half of my kingdom? Just ask and it’s yours.” Her charm beguiled him.
She broke into tears and revealed the horror of her people’s fate at the hands
of their dinner guest. Haman was now terror-stricken. The king raged with fury and
stalked out into the palace garden. He saw the gallows structure and came
storming back into the banquet room when he noticed Haman on the floor in front
of his wife. Haman was pleading for his life at Esther’s feet, and the king
exploded with anger. King Xerexes ordered him hanged at the very gallows meant
for Mordecai… and so it was done.
Later in the day, the king presented Queen Esther the
estate of Haman, archenemy of the Jews. She admitted her background to him and
the story of her cousin. Mordecai came before the king who took off his signet
ring and handed it to him in a loving gesture. Esther appointed Mordecai over
Haman’s estate. Then, she pleaded with her husband to please revoke the plan
plotted against the Jews. “How can I stand to see this catastrophe wipe out
my people? How can I bear to stand by and watch the massacre of my relatives?”
King Xerexes allowed Esther and Mordecai to write whatever
she deemed necessary to stop the massacre on an order, and he signed it. Their
city exploded with joy for Esther saved their lives. Celebration, cheering, and
feasting took to the streets. Many non-Jews became Jews on this day. Mordecai
also became a mighty name in the palace. The king, with love on his face,
turned to Esther and said, “What else would you like? Name it and it’s
yours. Your wish is my command.”
Mordecai soon released a notice calling for an annual
celebration of the Jew’s freedom, and it became a tradition. He soon ranked
second in command to King Xerexes for the peace and prosperity he brought to
I found it interesting God is not mentioned in the Book of
Esther, however, the protection of His chosen people is implied. The Jewish
religion was an ethnic choice rather than a religious practice in the era of
Esther. When the Bible was interpreted, many rabbis were troubled by Esther’s
failure to live as a Jew, so her story suffered in its religious connotation.
Why was Esther a powerful woman?
Esther was a female hero, for women in Persia were
a low species in society. Whatever power she did have was earned through
manipulation of higher forces (such as her husband). Esther used her beauty,
charm, and political intelligence to save the Jews. She fought for her
Queen Esther was a positive role model for Jewish women
during her lifetime. She was courageous to approach the king about the
death plot of her race. Her life was on the line and it was risky but Esther stood
up for what she believed in, even though it was dangerous.
Though God was not mentioned in the Book of Esther, Esther
used fasting and prayer for clarity. It placed her in the path of humility.
Esther is a powerful example that our background does not
determine God’s plan for us, only faith. She was an orphan and lived in
exile, but God brought her to redemption and freedom.
Not many details are known about Esther after the story
written in the Bible. However, Jewish scholars claim she had a son named Darius
who became a king. He lifted the ban against the rebuilding of the Holy Temple,
which led to the building of the Second Temple.
According to Wikipedia, Esther is commemorated as a
matriarch in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. She
is also recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox
Churches. It is believed Esther’s son buried her, with Mordecai, in a mausoleum
in Hamadan, Iran. In 2009, Iran added it as a Jewish holy site on their
National Heritage List.
Abigail’s short, but compelling story, is in 1 Samuel 25,
and written about 960 BC. It occurs in the town of Maon, a Jewish settlement in
the West Bank.
Nabal was a very wealthy, yet obstinate and harsh man, who
owned three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. His wife, Abigail, was an
intelligent and beautiful woman. One afternoon, Nabal was shearing his sheep in
the wilderness. A young warrior named David was hiding in a nearby town, and he
heard of Nabal’s huge undertaking. He sent ten of his men to visit Nabal; after
all, he guarded Nabal’s sheep on more than one occasion.
“Go and approach Nabal. Greet him in my name, ‘Peace!
Life and peace to you! When your shepherds were camped near us we didn’t take
advantage of them. I’m asking you to be generous with my men – share the feast!
Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to David, your son.”
Nabal was furious and began insulting the men while
demanding to know the identity of David. He yelled, “Who is this David? The
country is full of runaway servants these days. Do you think I’m going to take
good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it
to men I’ve never laid eyes on? Who knows where they’ve come from?”
David’s men ran back to tell him of Napal’s arrogance. “Strap
on your swords!” he called out to four hundred of his men. “What a slap
in the face! May God do his worst to me if Nabal and every cur in his
misbegotten brood isn’t dead by morning!”
Meanwhile, a young shepherd ran back to Abigail and told
her of the confrontation in the fields. He begged Abigail to do something
before they killed everyone. She immediately took action by gathering two
hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready for cooking, a
bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes. She
loaded all the food on the donkeys and had her servants lead the way to David.
No one could say a word to her husband.
As Abigail was riding her donkey into a large ravine,
David and his men were descending from the other end. They all met in the
middle where Abigail quickly climbed off the donkey and fell on her knees
before David. With humility, honor, and respect, she humbly spoke to him of her
“My lord should not pay attention to this wicked man
Nabal. He simply lives up to his name! His name means ‘fool,’ and he is indeed
foolish!” David immediately recognized Abigail was sent by God. He
apologized and thanked her for stopping him from murdering all of them. He
accepted the food she brought him and said, “Return home in peace.”
Abigail arrived home, and Nabal was eating a huge spread
of food and was very drunk. She left him be… until the next morning when she
told him what she gave David. Nabal’s raging face turned red, and he grabbed
his heart and fell onto the ground. For ten days, he laid in a coma until God
took his life.
When David heard Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be
God who has stood up for me against Nabal’s insults, kept me from an evil act,
and let his evil boomerang back on him.” He sent for Abigail to propose
marriage to her, and she didn’t linger. She climbed onto her donkey and rode to
Abigail was David’s second wife, as he was also married to
Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both women accompanied him while they sought refuge in a
Philistine territory, and their life wasn’t easy. But, soon after settling in
Hebron, Abigail gave birth to their only child, who was named Chileab (also
In case you did not make the connection in Abigail’s
story, the man who she married was none other than a young King David, one of
the most well-known figures in Jewish history. He was promised by God that his
children would rule Israel forever. If we delve into Bible scriptures, Abigail
was one of eight wives to David.
She suffered the consequences of an arranged marriage to
Nabal. She could not blame or fight their choice. But, her story reveals why
women should follow God’s guidelines for a partner. Though he was an abusive
husband, she remained dedicated to him until God’s perfect timing played out.
Why was Abigail a powerful woman?
Abigail was a very humble woman. Though she was wealthy,
she did not let her riches interfere with the welfare of her family. Not only
did she save her family, but she saved David from committing murders.
She was fearless as she rode to find David and give
him her offerings. It was perilous for her to face a man with an army of four
Abigail had an attitude of humility, honor, and respect
as she approached the man who would one day rule Israel. I think David knew
Abigail was the kind of comrade he needed to be a successful king.
She always acted in wisdom, for God was building
character in her heart. Living with an abusive man, she still grew into a
respectful woman, even amid adversity.
Please join us again next Sunday for two more powerful women in the Bible. God bless!
What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a
political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes
may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent
examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible, and I will
review two a week for the next four Sundays. Our ladies, now two thousand years
later, may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a guiding tool
in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.
The last point I want to express is “behind every
successful man is a strong and wise woman.” So true of these most powerful
women in the Bible! I hope you enjoy my review.
Mary of Magdala lived in a comfortable village of many
Greeks in Galilee. They depicted her as a prostitute in town. According to
scriptures, the single Mary Magdalene had a serious sickness caused by ‘seven
demons,’ so many people assumed she was a fallen woman. But, in biblical times,
certain illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, heart disease, and epilepsy
were thought to be demonic. The Bible is unclear what her specific situation
was, but bible scholars agree she was not a prostitute.
At some point in her life, Mary met Jesus in one of the
many villages He ministered to, and He healed her afflictions. She became an
immediate follower and a leader of a group of women who traveled with Jesus and
helped to support His ministry. Only a strong, self-confident woman would be so
brave to spread the Gospel in biblical days.
Jesus had two groups of people who accompanied Him – a
group of men led by Peter the Apostle, and a group of women led by Mary
Magdalene. However, according to religious tradition, females were meant to be
seen and not heard, but Mary, in controversy, was very close to Jesus. Just as I
wrote in the past, God chooses people to be His disciples that we least expect
to reach this broken world. Mary was one such example. Her great faith earned
special attention from Jesus.
On the day they crucified Jesus, Mary Magdalene, along
with two others, stood at the base of His cross and watched Him breathe His
last breath. Her heartbreak must have been unimaginable! In the Bible passages of Luke 23 and Matthew
27, Mary prepared Jesus’ body for burial by making a spice anointment for the
linens. She observed from afar as they placed His body in the rock tomb. Mary
visited His burial site every day as if waiting… did she know something?
In the early morning light, the following week, Mary visited
the tomb. As she sat and prayed an earthquake erupted and forced the rock away
from the entrance of the grave. Mary jumped up to look inside, and it was
empty! Suddenly, God’s angel appeared before her.
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
With tears streaming down her face, Mary replied, “They
have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
Suddenly a voice from behind her spoke, “Mary! Why are
you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”
Not recognizing the face, she said to him, “Sir, if you
have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him
away.” He responded with, “Mary!” It was Jesus standing before her.
She dropped to her knees, grabbed His hands, and said in Hebrew “Rabbouni!” Jesus told her not to hold on to Him because He had not ascended to the Father yet. Instead, He ordered her to go tell the disciples he was resurrected.
Mary ran to them and announced, “I have seen the Lord.”
It is interesting that in a society where women were held
in low regard, Christ showed Himself first to a woman. Mary loved her Lord, and
she was His truest, faithful follower.
What made Mary Magdalene a powerful woman?
She taught us to live courageously and faithfully for Christ. Jesus set her free by eliminating her ‘demons,’ and instead of going about her own life, Mary worked for Him. Even when she faced difficult times, and people called her hopeless, she allowed Jesus to work through her.
Mary was more loyal to Jesus than His own disciples. They hid as Jesus was led to His crucifixion, but Mary stayed with Him. She also anointed His linen with spices.
Mary was given the honor of being the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection. She was very important to Christ, or He would not have revealed Himself to her before the other disciples. It may be safe to comment Jesus changed the way women were viewed in society.
Mary teaches us that even if our lives are in terrible disarray, it is never too late to find hope in God.
Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends and His apostle, ostracized her work as a disciple. In the Gospel of Thomas, he said, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life,” but her strength of character and love of God gave her the courage to move forward. Today, she is often called the first woman evangelist.
What happened to Mary Magdalene
after Jesus’ resurrection? Much controversy exists about this topic. One theory
suggests fourteen years after the crucifixion, she was put into a boat by Jews
and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France where
she lived in solitude in a cave.
Another theory claims she
accompanied John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. Some say she
evangelized Provence, France during her last thirty years.
A recent book titled The Lost
Gospel even claims Mary and Jesus were secretly married and had two children,
but someone’s imagination was a little overextended.
Today, in the Russian Orthodox
church, they know her as the patroness of sinners and penitent women. One of
the world’s best-known monuments is the Church of Mary Magdalene in East
Hannah is an inspiring and
wonderful story of humanity and all its flaws. No one is the leading character
in the story of their own life.
Elkanah lived in the Ephraim
hills of a small town thirteen miles to the northeast of Jerusalem. He practiced
polygamy through his Levite religion. Hannah was his first wife, and he adored and
loved her, doting on her every need. But, she was infertile, and his family
name needed to be honored with children, so he married another woman. Peninnah
was envious of the love Elkanah had for Hannah. She cruelly taunted Hannah to
tears each time she gave birth to their ten sons, and Hannah lost her sense of appetite.
One day, Hannah traveled to the
sanctuary, and she spoke to the priest about her inability to have children.
Her soul was crushed as the tears flowed down her lovely face. She dropped to
her knees before the altar and prayed.
if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, if you’ll quit neglecting me and
go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely,
unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.”
Before the year was out, Hannah
conceived and gave birth to a son named Samuel. She told Elkanah she asked God
for this son. Hannah also explained when the child was weaned, she would
present him before God, where he would remain forever. He agreed with her
The day arrived when Samuel was
no longer dependent on Hannah for nutrition. She took him to Shiloh along with
a butchered bull, flour, and wine and presented him to the priest, Eli. “I
prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have
dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”
Hannah and Elkanah dedicated their lives to God as they watched their son grow up among the priests. Hannah made Samuel little white robes cut to his size, and they took them to him. Eli often said a prayer over her on those visits, “God give you children to replace this child you have dedicated to God.” His blessings and prayers were heard as Hannah and Elkanah had three more sons and a daughter.
Today, we acknowledge Samuel as a
prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, an equal to Moses. He wrote the story
of his life, including his mother, Hannah, in the Book of Samuel.
What made Hannah a powerful
Hannah’s main attribute was perseverance. She prayed for many years for God to give her a child. She had faith in the power of the Lord and never doubted He would answer her prayers. Hannah teaches us never to give up, even when we think something is impossible. Her faithfulness to the Lord bled into her son, who became a great man.
Her boldness, strength, and devotion were like no other for she was a mother who gave up her first-born to the Lord. I’m sure most parents would rethink this decision. But, Hannah recognized all things are God’s possessions, even our children. He honors parents with children as merely a gift, a temporary gift. We are to mold them in the ways of the Lord as a blessing to all nations. In Hannah’s case, because she fulfilled her promise to God, He blessed her with a legacy of five more children.
Hannah’s power is also demonstrated through a promise which she kept to God. Her integrity is in the commitment of handing her child over to God. She never went back on her word, for if she did, she might never have conceived any more children. God rewards us for loyalty.
Thank you, Hannah, for teaching
us we must trust in the Lord in everything in our lives. Life is not always a
bowl of cherries, but with persistent prayer, miracles can and will happen.
Dedication to the Master who created us, along with integrity, will reap you
blessings beyond your wildest imagination.
Hannah is buried in the Tomb of
Samuel in the West bank, beside her son Samuel, on top of a steep hill just north
of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot.
We hope you enjoyed Part One and will return next Sunday for two more powerful women in the Bible.
My windows were wide
open, but tears resonating from the house next door hampered the refreshing molecules. I wondered…
what kind of man makes a wife cry? The sobbing was an every night occurrence. He
arrived home again and again, in the wee hours. She told me he worked late, but
I doubted it.
He opened the door
and kissed the kids goodnight while they stood at the mirror, brushing their
teeth. Without a kiss for her, he told his wife he was going out back to work
in the shop. “It relaxes me after a hard day’s work,” he claimed. She made
dinner, so he grabbed the plate of food and headed to his hideout. The pain
sharpened as a dagger twisted, once again, by his careless appearance. The back
door slammed again and silence.
He locked himself away
safely in the shed and pulled out a knife to snap off the top of a bottle
buried in the chest. Whittling his world away, he hid his sorrows in the bottom
of a longneck bottle. His state of mind included carving the names of his exes
in the bottom of his soles so he could save himself from sin. Several hours
later, he staggered to bed and slammed the door shut again. So, the screaming
begun behind the blinds. It’s a horrible life for a wife to witness and endure,
and only God could save the innocent from the terror of his conscience.
What kind of
Christian man puts his family on a bus Sunday morning and stumbles to the shed
for his own benediction? He opened another bottle for his personal communion. As
he stared at the ground, he chuckled at the buried empties; meanwhile, a poor twenty-something
mother of three, put on a face and filed into the aisle of a sanctuary. She has
no money for the offering plate and seeks only the strength to make it home.
I ask God in
heaven for His mercy. My heart is wrenched by a man named Christian who carves
his past in the bottom of his boots. His days are numbered… he will soon
discover if God doesn’t show His wrath first, then the bottle will. His wife bears
a name she hates so much, and her three little ones will have to endure the
legacy of their father’s misfortune. Are there prayers in heaven for a man who
calls himself Christian? I wonder…
The day will come
when the blood he bled will be no more. Three little children will have to fend
for themselves while their mother struggles to support their mere existence. Her
sacrifice is to put on an apron and do her best every single day. The kids now sit
on the porch and carve their past into the treads of their own little world. I
watch and pray God will bless this mess – the man called Christian, now left beneath
his unmarked tombstone. A coward at best, he carved his memory into his
children, and his reputation branded them for life.
I have changed the
names in this story. I ask God, in the name of Jesus, to save this family. God
bless the innocent, abused wife who slaves her life away and waits for Christ’s
return. She prays for the forgiveness of the hatred boiling inside her for a
man she thought she knew named Christian.
Allow me to ask
you Christian women and men, does this resonate in your heart? Or does it
familiar? Please use these verses to enlighten your soul and know you are not
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19
“A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, but the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence” Proverbs 13:2
“Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways.” Proverbs 3:31
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught” Proverbs 3:24-26
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” Isaiah 61:1
There has been a number of states who recently passed measures to severely limit and outlaw abortion. These pro-life laws have brought down the wrath of the Leftists who favor abortion at all times and for any reason.
The most controversial of these so far is the new Alabama law criminalizing abortion except for saving the life of the mother. With this and other such activities in mind, I decided to conduct an experiment concerning Leftist’s mindsets on abortion and see if they really were as easy to predict as I surmised.
This experiment was conducted in two steps. First, I drew from my experience in the pro-life movement for 36 years and predicted seven reactions from the Left to this law in advance. Then I compared my predictions to the actual responses represented by 10 articles either giving the Leftist response or pieces talking about multiple responses.
Predicting the Predictable
My predictions took the form of generalizations, as I had no way of knowing in advance the precise wording which was used in the articles. Here are my seven prognostications of Leftist responses to the new pro-life legislation in states such as Alabama and Georgia.
1.) In at least one article, [and likely many] the response that the new law is attempting to regulate women’s bodies will be mentioned.
2.) Ditto for one or more mentions that the law is a threat to Roe v. Wade.
3.)There will be false assertions of what the law actually requires.
4.) In some manner, the humanity of the unborn child will be denied.
5.) It will be asserted that the law will harm women.
6.) Trump will be criticized because he is pro-life.
7.) The ‘far-right’ and/or the ‘religious right,’ will be blamed and scorned.
I made these predictions at 8:51AM, CDT, on May 18, 2019. I realize that the reader will have no way of knowing for certain that I didn’t read the article responses ahead of time except for my word that I didn’t do so.
However, besides my assurance, when the results are tabulated it should bolster my claims… I hope. I returned to the experiment for part two on 5/21/2019 and checked on how my predictions panned out.
The results are calculated by number for each source that was cited. Whether or not a particular prediction was actually used more than once in an article was not noted, merely counted as one ‘fulfillment’ of a prediction.
It should be noted that this is far from any kind of scientific survey. I selected 10 examples only, which is insufficient for any definitive conclusion according to statistical science.
I suggest, however, that even this small sample could be expanded over a longer period of time with more responses and the results would vary only slightly. More importantly, even this smattering of evidence reveals the priorities and motivations of the Left when they try to argue for a woman’s ‘right to choose.’
Each example of at least one predicted response is noted in the list below. I read each article and recorded the instances when a predicted Leftist reaction/response occurred and assigning it a number from my list of 7.
In other words, in the first article, I found at least one example of my number 2 prediction that the new laws would be seen as a threat to Roe v. Wade. This ‘raw data’ if you will, is compiled and analyzed afterward, as will be seen.
The results of this ‘experiment’ yielded a mixed bag of the expected and the surprising among the pro-abort Left’s responses.
All of the predicted responses appeared at least once. However, the top four responses are revealing about the mindset of the Leftists as these give vital clues to what they consider most important in the abortion battle.
The highest frequency pro-abort response among those I had predicted was number ‘4.) In some manner, the humanity of the unborn child will be denied.’ In 9 of the 10 examples, this response was observed.
The next most frequent Leftist response was number ‘2.) …mentions that the law is a threat to Roe v. Wade.’ This was used in 7 different pieces.
The third most frequent response was recorded 6 times in two different articles. First is prediction ‘1.) In at least one article, [and likely many] the response that the new law is attempting to regulate women’s bodies will be mentioned’ which is tied with response number ‘5.) It will be asserted that the law will harm women.’
The other three predicted responses had a large drop in stating what I assumed they would. Only 3 pieces used predicted reaction number ‘3.) There will be false assertions of what the law actually requires.’ Two articles used the number 6 prediction that ‘Trump will be criticized because he is pro-life.’
The most unexpected result to this author was that only one response used number 7.) The ‘far-right’ and/or the ‘religious right,’ will be blamed and scorned. In some cases responses that I should have predicted also appear in these articles I examined.
One of those is the false claim that the Bible and Christianity are supportive of abortion, which was cited in at least one case. This journal has covered that claim in a number of past articles.
Another false claim from the Left that I should have expected was the accusation that these laws are a reflection of ‘racism’ on the part of conservatives. The racism claim did surface, however, I did not record the number of times it appeared.
In The Final Analysis
From this small experiment, we can only make limited assumptions rather than hard conclusions. Yet, these assumptions are not without merit and can be instructive to gain some understanding of the destructive worldview that pro-abort Leftists embrace, in order to rightly oppose its evil design.
Of course, the pro-abort Left could as easily make predictions about the pro-life responses to these new state laws concerning abortion. I would concede that, however, I also would stress that one side is predictable for its object to preserve life, while the other is staunch in a campaign to destroy life.
If the frequency of occurrence indicates importance, the factor the pro-abort Left considers most important is that the humanity of the unborn is denied always, regardless of the truth. The pro-abortion mindset is that above all else and at any cost, it cannot be admitted that the unborn child is a living human being.
The second most important point is that Roe v. Wade must be untouchable. Roe v. Wade is the Left’s symbolic Holy Grail and it is considered a sacred validation of an absolute right.
The problem with that position is the history of bad precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, namely the 1857 “Dred Scott” decision. “Roe” has been compared many times with this infamous SCOTUS ruling which enshrined the institution of slavery as a supposed constitutional ‘right’.
The comparison is from a different era and addresses a different issue, but the point is the same. That point being that just because the SCOTUS makes a ruling does not automatically create a newly-imagined Constitutional right.
The third item on the pro-abortion acolytes’ list of most cherished beliefs is that pro-life advocates wish to regulate and control women’s bodies. Any threat to the full legalization without exception of abortion on demand is a perceived threat to a woman’s bodily autonomy, and therefore must be opposed.
The final important finding is that abortion is portrayed as good for women’s ‘health,’ while any other solution to a pregnancy, including birth, is harmful to women. This fiction is peddled constantly and is easily refuted by many facts, not the least of which is this, as Anna Paprocki writes in the Federalist,
There is no federal abortion reporting requirement. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute acknowledges that the current “patchwork of surveillance efforts” relies on “incomplete” reports from states and that California—estimated to account for 17 percent, or one out of every six abortions in the country—is one of three states that “do not report to the CDC at all.” Guttmacher uses voluntary reporting from abortionists, filtered through its own ideological lens, which fails to fill these gaping holes.
The following video demonstrates the use of these four beliefs employed by the pro-abort Left in a brief debate recently shown on CNN.
The desperation of the Leftist pro-aborts is evident from the blatant denial of reality especially on the part of the woman in the video, as well as the deflection of the host. For example, Cuomo is correct when he says that no states currently allow for the killing of a child already born in an attempted abortion.
However, he also fails to mention that Virginia recently tried to pass such a law which was proposed in January of this year. The law failed to pass in that state, but it is a harbinger of things to come if Leftists have their way.
America must make the choice to embrace either life or death and in doing so embrace either God’s curse or His blessings. The lovers of abortion today are clearly favoring a choice of death without understanding the terrible consequences that will follow.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 [ESV]
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
It’s a day to thank God for all the mothers we know on this Mother’s Day. Our moms are like great trees standing proudly amongst the forest. They bear fruit and give shade to protect us from evil elements. This is a day of remembrance for not just my own mother but to all the others who gave us a life worth living in an unknown existence we call earth.
Where would we be without the beautiful ladies who gave us life? Let me begin with all the pioneers and name worthies in history. What strength and endurance their mothers experienced as they stood on the dock waving goodbye to their child! Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Jacques Cartier, and other explorer’s mothers must have been devastated to think it would be the last time they saw their sons. Yet, others stand so proud in the light of their children’s accomplishments such as the Steve Jobs, Alexander Bell, and even the great entertainers and athletes of our times. Where would we be without those mothers who created a life that richly blesses our lives today?
One mother, in particular, stands out in my mind and is of biblical proportion. A very young girl, Mary, gave birth to a son who still tries to change the world by His ministry. Jesus, God’s immaculate conception, was like no other child and His mother, too, was like no other woman. The anguish, fear, and heartaches she withstood, and all in the name of love for God. To me, she is the “mom” of all mothers for without her, what would our life be? This is a perfect day to give thanks to the mother who gave us her beloved son.
I also reflect, this day, on the mothers of my childhood days in Severna Park, Maryland. In this small town, the women worked at church and gave the community a special meaning. Some helped in the educational field, turning kids into men and women of great knowledge. Those were the days when moms sat for hours helping with homework, starting showers, and tucking us in bed. It didn’t matter if we were their natural children, adopted, or just a good friend. There’s a lot to be said for the love of a mother, a sobering reminder we’d be lost without them. Happy Mother’s Day, Mother Mary in heaven, for we owe you everything as your precious son died for us so we may be a better servant. Thank you.