The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 5


Rebekah ~ Ready, Willing, and Able

This chapter begins with a discussion of the Godly characteristics of a single woman.  Many of her qualities are a good example to us of a woman of valor (Proverbs 31).  In the Bible account Isaac was nearing 40 years of age, and Abraham sent his trusted servant to find a wife for him to continue to carry on with the promises that God have given to him to be the father of many nations.  What were the qualities that the servant looked for? What characteristics did Rebekah display, which can be embraced by our single women today?

Rebekah’s purity: She was a virgin – “No man had known her.” (Genesis 24:16)

Rebekah’s busyness: Rather than looking for a husband, languishing, moping, or mourning over the lack of one, Rebekah stayed busy serving her family and others. (Genesis 24:15-24)

Rebekah’s hospitality: Her home was open to those who needed her care. (Genesis 24:25)

Rebekah’s energy: Abundant energy is generally a sign of happiness, and Rebekah’s happiness empowered her with energy enough to serve other people far beyond the minimum.  Rebekah ministered to the maximum! pg 55-56

Before continuing, let’s look at God’s plan for single women.  God calls his special servants to a life of:

Purity: A single Christian woman is to remain “holy both in body and spirit.” 1 Corinthians 7:34

Ministry: A single Christian woman is to live her life in a way that reflects her complete dedication to God.  As one who is unmarried, she has the privilege of undistracted service to God and caring for “the things of the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:34) Every day a woman is single is another glorious day to serve God wholeheartedly and without distraction.  Her singleness is a “green light” from God to go all out in service to others. (pg 56)

Checkpoint On The Journey

Is singleness a reality for you today dear woman of God? Although you may desired to be married, let not your longing slay your appetite for living. …Accept and thank God for what “is” given, not allowing the “not”  given to spoil it. (pg 56)

We also find a Godly characteristic of Rebekah in her willingness “to go.” Abraham then sent his 85-year-old servant on a 500-mile journey, back to where his people lived to find a wife for his son.  Rebekah was willing to go on that long journey to become Isaac’s wife upon being chosen by God. She followed the calling of God to move away from her family, just as Sarah followed Abraham wherever God was leading him. This is a characteristic of a Godly woman.

Let’s consider Abraham’s qualifications for a Godly wife:

She must not be a Canaanite.  (Genesis 24:3) No, she wasn’’t to be a wife of a godless people who might lead Isaac and his offspring away from the true God.

Do we struggle with the thought of marrying outside our own faith? God instructed His servants to marry within their own belief system, their own tribe, their own people.  Marrying outside of God’s way of life invited strange idolatrous customs to enter into their households. Those who did not take devoting their life to God seriously suffered serious consequences.

She must be from among Abraham’s own family. (Genesis 24:4)

She must be willing to follow his servant back to the land of Abraham and Isaac, a woman willing to forsake all – in faith –for the glorious future God had ordained. (Genesis 24:5) (pg 57)

How would you describe your devotion to God? Are you willing to forsake the worldly ways (I John 2:16) and follow God’s calling to take up your cross and follow Him, no matter how long, no matter how difficult it may be?

““And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.””

~ Luke 9:23

As a woman of God, you have a powerful influence on those around you.  One single match can be seen up to two miles away in complete darkness.  How much are you allowing your light to shine at this point in your life?

Notice that Abraham’s servant Eliezer spoke with God beforehand, entreating Him concerning His choice for Isaac,.  Eliezer was not focused on outward appearance or material wealth, but only asked for Godly characteristics and stamina for her to be able to make the grueling 500-mile journey and to flourish in a difficult nomadic life.

Women of God, what’s on your checklist?

Single or married, are you focusing on Godly characteristics, rather than on beauty or affluence? Pray about your desires and adjust your standards to match the qualities that God desires in women, not what the world’s call to modern feminism consists of.  Degrees, high job status, and total independence are not what God holds in high esteem; rather He looks for a true servant’s heart and a meek and gentle spirit. He looks for your dependence on Him to make the facing of life’s challenges more fruitful.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.””  

~ I Peter 3:3-4

Imagine the want ad that Eliezer would write to find Isaac’s new wife:

Wanted: The Ideal Wife

Must be physically strong and healthy,

energetic and able to work hard.

Must be friendly and industrious,

kind and compassionate,

generous and love to serve –

and Devoted to God.

After Eliezer’s prayer to the Almighty, he sat down by a well at the time of day when the women of the town came to draw water. Weary from the long journey, he and his ten camels needed water to refresh and sustain them.  A young woman came with a pitcher on her shoulder to the well and offered him a drink of water.  Hospitality is one of the Godly characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman.  Not only did she offer Eliezer water to refresh him, she went on and watered all of his camels!  No small chore to do for anyone, especially a stranger.  How many draws of water from the well would you think she would have to perform to water ten camels?  A camel can drink up to 25 gallons of water after a long journey! Yes, Rebekah went the extra mile in service to a stranger. Then rather than leaving the exhausted stranger, she serves yet again by inviting Abraham’s servant Eliezer to her home to  find rest after his long journey.


How much do we judge the other’s person’s character by our first impressions? Eliezer’s impression was definitely positive when it came to Rebekah.  Yes, he noticed that she was willing to work with her hands, drawing water for him, as well as his camels, and she also came at the appointed time.  Yes, she was on time! She didn’t drag her feet when the work was to be done.  The Proverbs 31 woman works willingly with her hands.  We see her rising up early to feed her servants!  She had servants, why didn’t she have them wait on her first? I find this remarkable.  Her attitude and willingness to do menial tasks.

“She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

~ Proverbs 31:15

We also see this in the case of Sarah.  When the messengers came to recount the promises to Abraham, he asks Sarah to go ahead and make cakes for them.  We don’t hear Sarah complaining, “Why are you asking me? We have servants? I’m the master!” No, we see her heart of servitude, just as we see with Rebekah.

“And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.”

~ Genesis 18:6

Checkpoint on the journey:  Do you think hard work is degrading? Do you think hard work is to be done by other people, not you? Do you dread rolling up your sleeves and working hard on some necessary task?  Here in God’s word  God praises the enchanting Rebekah.  So, if your are tempted to disdain your work, allow God’s thoughts about yet another remarkable – the Proverbs 31 woman – to correct your thinking.  She “willingly works with her hands….she girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.  Strength and honor are her clothing.” (Proverbs 31:13, 17, 25) God values women who work hard to serve Him, and the people He puts in their lives.” (pg 60)

“But I’m not strong.  I have a disability.  How can I strengthen my arms, when I’m weak?” you might ask. We might not have the physical strength to do hard labor, such as one who is aged, illness or debilitating disease, but our strength can be one of encouragement, support, a beautiful smile and being there for someone in distress.  There are so many ways in which we can strengthen our arms to do even these things.  A prayer of intercession made for someone, a card sent to someone sick in the hospital or a phone call is a menial task to some, but worth great wealth to God, and it will also mean more than you know to someone who is suffering through a difficult trial.

Willing To Go

When Eliezer states to her family the reason for his visit, to find a wife for Isaac, her parents ask if she might stay just a few more days (Genesis 24:55) with her family before leaving, but she said she would willingly go immediately (vs 58).  Even though she would probably never see her family again, even though she did not have time to prepare, even though life would be stressful as a nomad’s wife, she willingly went with Eliezer to meet her new husband.  That was an act of faith.

Take a serious inventory of your own life of faith.  Is there any act of faith you are postponing – even for “just a few days”?  Any decision you are putting off?  Any step of faith you are delaying?  Waiting may be easier, but the harder path of true faith is the path to greater blessing.  Delayed obedience is in actuality disobedience, and delayed action delays God’s blessing.  Every step of faith is a giant step toward the center of God’s will, and God’s abundant blessings. (pg 63)

So, what can we learn from our first encounter with Rebekah? We can challenge our spiritual and physical lives whether we are ready, willing, and able to perform the work God puts before us.  Let’s be ready and willing to receive the blessings God has for us as well for a job well done! 🙂

Next Chapter:  “Rebekah ~ Tests of Faith”

To Read Previous Chapter Posts See Below:

Chapter 1 “Eve ~ Remarkable Creation”

Chapter 2 “Sarah ~ First Steps in Faith”

Chapter 3 “Sarah ~ Advanced Steps in Faith”

Chapter 4 “Sarah ~ Rewards of Faith”

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments




Rubies ~ Are We Willing To Take The Pressure?

Virtuous Woman Proverbs 31:10

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” ~ Proverbs 31:10

At times, do trials seem to increase right before Passover season? This seems to be a constant theme for many people as this season approaches.  It would seem Satan does not appreciate this holyday, as it pictures Christ’s sacrifice, and he being defeated.  Christ now gives us the power over death, as we will be resurrected and become spirit-born children of God at His return.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

~ Hebrews 2:14

Hebrew scholars have correlated the New Testament Passover services with the betrothal of Christ to the church.  Satan knows this, and this season, I believe, reminds him that in the end Christ wins, we are victorious, and he is utterly defeated.   He does not want us at Christ’s wedding supper at His return.

As we see in Revelation, it speaks of Satan going after the church because Satan is angry because he has very little time left, but once again, our Savior steps in and protects His people, His bride. (Revelation 12)

What does this have to do with the Proverbs 31 woman?  The Lord says:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

~ Proverbs 31:10

If we are striving to live the Proverbs 31 mandate, you can be sure that Satan is going to come out and try to attack those attributes to bring us down in our walk with God; but, “greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world.”

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

~ 1 John 4:4

1 John 4:4

We need to be on guard and vigilant, watching those areas with prayer and thankfulness because we have our Captain, Jesus Christ our Betrothed that goes before us.  With His help, we can look at those characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman and strive, especially now with zeal to live them each and everyday and God will bless us and our families because of our faith and trust in Him. He has shown His faithfulness to us time and time again, and we need to remind ourselves of His constant care when trials beset us.

But what do trials have to do with rubies?

Because God compares the Proverbs 31 woman to rubies, I would like share what this precious gem has to do with some of the heavy trials we face at times in our lives and how God is forming in us beautiful spiritual qualities.

“Diamonds may get all the attention, but rubies and sapphires are the first choice of kings and the affluent because of their extreme rarity. Only special conditions, initiated by the Flood, could have produced these rare beauties.” 1

…but those little gems have had to go through a considerable amount of heat and pressure to form…then be cut and polished to appear in jewelry or be a part of Aaron’s breastplate of judgement.

“Rubies are formed beneath severe heat as well as pressure in the Earth’s crust. The elevated pressure as well as the temperature roots the elements accountable for the formation of rubies to become molten.” 1

Similarly, sometimes in our lives we feel as if we just can’t take the pressure, take the heat? There may be circumstances that are out of our control or trials that have gone on for extended periods of time.  We may become weary and burdened and wonder where God is in all of it, and perhaps even want to give up.  “Lord, it’s just not worth it,” you may ponder if the burden becomes too heavy to bear.  As stated above, rubies, like diamonds are created under intense heat and pressure deep inside the earth.  God also uses our trials to create these masterpieces, precious gems, that will eventually be mined, polished, and treasured.

If we, however, are willing to endure, to consciously make a determined effort…a choice to accept God’s sovereignty in our lives, and to lean on Him, the burden seems so much lighter and easier to bear.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

~ James 1:2-4

There have been many women in the Bible who have gone before us, determining that they were “willing” to endure, giving them a vision….that of becoming beautiful rubies. The Proverbs 31 women exhibited the Godly character traits we need to work on throughout our lives, and especially during trials if we are to be formed into this rare gem. It isn’t  easy to do, but it is necessary in the process to create  such a beautiful gem.

Proverbs 31 Woman

This we know for certain, if we allow God to manifest His workmanship in us now during this lifetime, we will used by God in His soon coming Kingdom to serve others, be a crown to our husband (Proverbs 12:4), and a blessing to our children.  (Proverbs 31:28)

Are we willing to take the pressure now?

It’s our choice.

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments



The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 2

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

Sarah – Remarkable Faith

This extraordinary woman of faith in chapter Hebrews 11:11, Sarah, can be perplexing with the different viewpoints that are presented to us in books and sermons and as we read the many accounts in the Bible.  She, indeed according to God’s word, is held up as our spiritual mother if we are respectful to our own husbands as she was to her Abraham, “calling him lord,” a term of respect and honor.

“As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”

~ I Peter 3:6

This is brought home even further in Ephesians:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

~ Ephesians 5:22-34

I’d like to insert the following verse for later use in our discussions of Sarah and Abraham’s relationship:

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”

~ Ephesians 5:22

She not only is faithful to her husband but is also held up Biblically as a woman of Godly faith, in Hebrews 11:11:

“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.”

As I read this chapter of The Remarkable Women of the Bible, it caused me to dig deeper into her life.  The author not only takes chapter 2 to discuss Sarah’s faith but also chapters 3 and 4.  Sarah’s faith was progressive, and it took the author two more chapters to explain it! As I said, there are many differing conclusions as to the true nature of Sarah’s life, and it was no different with this book study.  I would like to point some things with which I agree with the author.

Sarah And Abraham Nomads

Her Journey

We first encounter Sarah’s budding faith when she willingly follows her husband’s charge to leave her homeland and become a tent dweller. Abraham’s vision from God foretold the promise of Abraham to become the father of many nations.  Yes, according to God’s vision, he was to gather up all he had and leave his homeland of Ur, situated on the lush banks of the Euphrates River.  I have to insert here that Ur was no small village, but a teaming, affluent city, second in commerce only to Egypt at the time.  They probably had a very comfortable life in Ur.  Abraham had many cattle, servants, and possessions.  He was no pauper.  He and Sarah were very prosperous indeed.

Just imagine your husband coming to you one day after work and telling you that he had a vision from God. You are to gather up everything you have and leave your family, friends, and neighbors, to become tent dwellers.  Many women today would suggest to their husbands that he had better see a therapist before they would give in to such a dramatic change of lifestyle just because of a dream.  The Bible is silent on her response to Abraham.

Many think this because in that day, men were in authority and women subservient, she just went along.  I think differently, however, because the Bible holds up Sarah and Abraham’s relationship as a type of relationship that was an example for us to follow.   The fact that Sarah is very outspoken on other issues and consults with Abraham on many important occasions tells me that Sarah’s silence means that she agreed without doubting that God truly came to Abraham in a vision and that she willingly went along with Abraham in his walk with God to help him fulfill God’s promise for them. (1 Peter: 3-4)

It turned out that Sarah’s minuscule seed of faith budded when they went out from Ur of the Chaldeans. (Genesis 11:31) Possibly with pain in her heart and tears in her eyes, Sarah reacted to God’s instructions regarding marriage.  ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ (Genesis 2:24)

As always obedience to God boiled down to a faith issue.  However it happened, our Sarah took an important step in faith, and that faith grew and ultimately earned her a place of honor in God’s Hall of Faith. Are you wondering and praying, ‘How can I begin taking the steps Sarah took to develop greater faith?

Try these important first steps today:

Turn away from the pleasures of this world, “Do not love the world or the things of this world.” (John 2:15).

Turn to the unknown, the unseen, the eternal with the heart of faith – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (Corinthians 2:5-7) pg 24



Most women won’t face a literal famine in their lifetimes as Sarah did in hers, but most will face some kind of trial, a lack of a different kind in their life that causes them pain.  We need to take the problem to God and put total trust in Him. Let’s look at Sarah encounter with literal famine in her journey of faith.

“Oh the heartache! Will it ever go away? Perhaps these words darkened Sarah’s thoughts the day she followed her full-of-faith husband out of Ur. Ur had been Sarah’s home, her life, but God told Abraham to go to Canaan.  Leaving Ur may have been bad, but the land of Canaan was worse! It was 600 miles away from her beloved homeland .  Just when she was getting use to it, then a terrible famine struck, and it was time to move on again.  This time to Egypt, another 300 miles away! Surely, if they would have stayed in Ur, everything would be alright! Maybe Sarah had thoughts such as this.  We really don’t know.” pg 25

Because her thoughts are not recorded, personally I think because of the lack of response, again, she trusted and had faith in God’s promises.  When circumstances in our lives seem to worsen, do we lose heart, lose faith? We all need encouragement to look forward and not back during hard times.  In Chapter 2, the author gives us some of her thoughts concerning those times in our life when we lack something that is truly needed and we are in great distress over a continual trial that lacks a solution.

“Face forward: Real life happens in the present, and God’s blessings happen there and in the future too.

Accept your circumstances – The circumstances of life are one primary way God works in you and works out His will for you.

There “do all things without complaining and disputing.”  (Philippians 2:14)

Again, it isn’t recorded that she was crying or complaining to Abraham because of the mess they were in.  She is silent.

If your circumstances find you in God’s will, you will find God in all your circumstances.

Trust in the Lord – God will keep you in perfect peace when your mind is stayed on Him in full trust.  Isaiah 26:3)

Hope in the future – Hope in God is always the bright star the lights your path in any present darkness.” pg 25

Abraham Talking To Sarah About Talking to Pharaoh

Facing Fear

Sarah was an exceptionally beautiful woman even into her old age, as we shall see.  Many women pay exorbitant amounts for body reconstruction, cosmetics, etc., all in an effort to be as beautiful as we shall see Sarah was.  She was so remarkably beautiful that Abraham pondered it before their travels, that it might pose a problem with the kings or pharaohs  that they ran up against, because, “What if they see you because of your beauty and want you, and kill me to have you?” Abraham talked with Sarah and asked her if that situation arose, would show him kindness by telling them she was his sister?  This was actually a half-lie, as she was his father’s daughter, but not his mother’s.

Notice Abraham didn’t command her to do this, he asked her to save his life in this way.  This shows me there was a strong bond, friendship between Sarah and Abraham? Would you do this for your friend to save his life? The situation did unfold just as Abraham feared.  Their caravan did run up against the powerful Egyptian pharaoh, and he noticed Sarah’s remarkable beauty.  When Pharaoh asked Abraham who this woman was, he said it was his sister.  The Pharaoh therefore took her into his harem.  Again, Sarah is silent.

Was Abraham wrong in saying this was his sister? God doesn’t give us the answer in His word, but He did plague Pharaoh and his household.  Pharaoh did not deal harshly with Abraham as he came back to him asked him why he did not tell him that he was his wife, that he would have done evil taking her as his wife and would have lain with her.  Obviously the plagues were a sign from a powerful god thought Pharaoh. What was Sarah thinking while she waited in Pharaoh’s harem? She must have been afraid.  She had a good relationship with her husband.  What if Abraham’s caravan left without her?

“Surely Sarah wondered with fear, “What will happen to me?  Will Abraham go on without me?  Will I ever see him again? What will life be like as a member of a harem?”  We don’t know, because scripture is silent.  But don’t you hope the silence indicates Sarah’s faith as she sat in her harem-prison, faced her fears, and waited on the Lord?”

“Strength for today and hope for tomorrow are sometimes realized – by you and me as well as by Sarah – in the silent  patience of faith.” Pg 27

The author continues:

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. (Psalm 27:14)

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7) Truly my soul silently waits for God. (Psalm 62:1)

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.  (Isaiah 40:31)

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly.  (Lamentations 3:26)

Blessed is he who waits. (Daniel 12:12) pg 27

At the perfect moment when things looked the blackest, God made a miraculous appearance.  Although He was never seen, it was not forgotten. What a scene! What a rescue!

Abraham receives Sarah from Ambimilech

Trusting God Again and  Again

Now, wait, the same performance happened again, almost the same word for word, event.  Sarah was noticed for her beauty and taken 25 years later by another ruler (Exodus 20:9-11), almost word for word.  Again, God came to the rescue.  Again, her faith was perfected.  God seemed to be asking Sarah to to face her fears, and her faith once again toward Him and to, once again trust Him. After all, what had she learned those decades ago about trusting the Lord?  What are some of the great lessons that we must learn in the making of great faith?

Lesson 1:  Pray – “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”  (Psalm 34:17)

Lesson 2:  Trust – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding” – or any one elses. (Proverbs 3:5)!

Lesson 3:  Believe “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see.”  (Hebrews 1:11)

Lesson 4: Wait – “I waited patiently for the Lord: and He inclined His ear to me, and heard my cry.”  (Psalm 40:1) pgs 30-31

Sarah’s Message For Your Life Today

The author comments that some of Sarah’s trials were repeated time and time again.  She asks,

“As you enter your new day, is something in your life a “repeat” problem?  Are there daily difficulties you constantly fact?  Are there people who regularly let you down or fail to follow through?  Are there seemingly impossible hardships to be endured day after day?” pg 30

She asks us to look at a multi-faceted diamond.  This stone has to be repeatedly cut to bring out its beauty.  God can also use the trials that befall us to shape and build our trust in Him.  Remember, in your life you have a constant power available, a constant help in time of need, no matter how alone you feel, no matter what odds your face, no matter who has let you down or forsaken you, you are never alone for:

Above you are God’s overshadowing wings (Psalm 91:4) Beneath you are God’s everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27) Around you the angel of the Lord encamps on all sides to deliver you. (Psalm 34:7) Inside you God’s peace that passes all understanding guards your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7) pgs 30-31

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

To see chapter 1 of “The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 1” click here.

More articles and sermons on the life of Sarah:

Profiles of Faith:Sarah ~ A Story of Virtue

Hebrews 11 – Sarah’s Improbabilities

Sermon: Was There Faith in Sarah?

Coming Soon ~ Women’s Book Study

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

“The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ And Their Message For Your Life Today”

by Elizabeth George.

  I’ve decided to do a women’s book study that I feel you will find both encouraging and motivating. There are 15 short chapters and a message for you and I as women of God that I think you will find edifying and thought provoking.  I will be posting the main focus of each chapter and my thoughts on each of the chapters each Wednesday, beginning March 29.  Let’s spring forward together and enrich our lives with the examples of courage, faith, and promise of some of the most unique women of the Bible.

From the introduction:

“If you are like me, your life resembles one long obstacle course.  Every day is filled with challenges of singleness, married life, and child raising. They know about going without, about loss, old age, death and dying.  All of the pain, sorrow, confusion, and the difficulties under the sun have touched their hearts; and now they live in God’s Word to instruct us as we cope with our lives today.”

“Beloved, these women are gifts of God to you and to me.  Whether or not you have a  mother or a friend or a mentor who is available, you have the remarkable women of the Bible.  Let them share with you.  Let them encourage you.  Let them counsel you.  Let them show you the best way – God’s way to handle everyday and every difficulty.” Pg 7-8

We will sit down together and discuss their remarkable stories just as we would sit together in your kitchen and let the Bible teach us the lessons that many young women may have never been taught while growing up, but God our Father is a living Father, and He is always available and our best instructor.

Here are the women we will be looking at:

Eve – Remarkable Creation

Sarah – Remarkable Faith

Rebekhah – Remarkable Journey

Jochebed – Remarkable Mother

Miriam – Remarkable Leader

Rahab – Remarkable Grace

Deborah – Remarkable Wisdom

Ruth and Naomi – Remarkable Devotion

Hannah – Remarkable Sacrifice

Esther – Remarkable Courage

Elizabeth – Remarkable Walk

Mary – Remarkable Life

Mary and Martha – Remarkable Love

Dorcus, Lydia, Priscilla, Phoebe – Remarkable Servants

I hope you can join us as we journey with them and find the hidden treasures God has had written down for our learning and instruction.

There is also a study guide to go along with this, “The Remarkable Women of the Bible Growth and Study Guide:  And Their Message for Your Life Today (Growth and Study Guides)”, but this isn’t necessary.

Your Comment Are Important To Me!

For additional women’s edifying bible studies and articles from our church library, please click here.

Mothering Monday: Teaching Children to Talk

Reposted from my daughter’s blog Where My Treasure Is.

I believe that one of the most important things you can teach a child is how to talk to other people.

That may sound like a silly thing to say, but think back to the last time you stooped down and tried to talk to a child. Did the child listen to you? Did the child even look at you? Did the child answer your question or just run away? I do this a lot because I am interested in what children think about, but I am often unsuccessful in my attempts.

I’ve noticed that there are usually two main reasons why children will not look at me or talk to me when I attempt to start a conversation.

1. Shyness

2. Self-centeredness

Both of these “conditions” are natural for children and both can be improved upon with loving guidance. It’s our job as parents to help our children to grow in the area of communication if they struggle with either of these things.

Why is it important to teach a child how to communicate clearly with other people?

Good communication skills can…

…help a child to learn to care for the needs of others more than themselves.

…enable a child to express his ideas clearly and exchange them with other people.

…help a child to learn more in life by listening to other people’s ideas.

…give children the confidence they need to successful in life.

Dan and I have tried to be very intentional with teaching our children good communication skills from the very beginning. We have 4 naturally vocal children. However, even they have had to learn how to interact with others. It didn’t come naturally.

Below are some simple things that we focus on as we try to teach our our young children about good communication. As we teach these things, we are conscious to model them ourselves. When starting out, we go with our children when meeting new people. Sometimes we provide them with a small token to offer the other person (a drawing, a flower, etc.) to help break the ice a bit. As the children grow and these sills become more naural, they start to want to go off and use them on their own!

1. Look at the face of the person who is talking to you. This means that even if you’re walking past the person as they greet you, STOP and look at them.

2. Always offer a greeting in return. Of course, for a very shy child, you may have to have lower expectations, but for our family, we strive for a minimum of “hi” or “hello”.  We’ve had a couple of children who had a hard time with this when they were very young. We waited it out (even if it took several seconds or even a minute) until the child would say “hi” (or at least wave) from behind my skirt :)

3. If you see someone who looks lonely, approach them and offer a smile and a friendly “hello”.

4. When you go up to a new person for the first time, say “Hi, my name is______. What’s your name?”

5. Ask the person a question about himself. ”How are you doing today?”, “Have you ever been here before?”, “What is your favorite thing to eat here?” (at a restaurant), etc. I remember prompting my children to ask these kinds of questions even at a very young age (1 1/2 – 2  years) so that they would learn this very important part of communication. They really enjoy talking to people more when they get to hear other people’s stories and ideas. You really can’t go wrong in a conversation when you ask people about themselves. :)

6. Listen to what the other person has to say without thinking about what you are going to say next.

Learning good communication skills is a labor of love for others.

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
– Philippians 2:4

As my children grow in their ability to communicate with others, I try, as much as it possible, to let them answer for themselves when someone asks them a question, instead of stepping in and trying to answer for them. I believe that it is beneficial for children to formulate their own answers to questions such as “Why aren’t you in school today?”, “Are you excited for Santa to come?”, or “What are you going to do for the rest of the day after you’re done shopping?” If they get stuck on their answer and give me a quick, pleading glance of “Help!”, I’ll step in, of course. But I often let them try on their own first.

I’m not saying that my children are perfect communicators. I’m guessing that if you know our family personally, you would agree. However, I am a firm believer that character traits and habits can always use improvement. If we have a good reason behind our desire to help our children become better communicators, then we are more apt to try and help them grow in this area.

I don’t necessarily believe that you can make an extrovert out of an introvert. However, I do believe that by consistent teaching and encouragement, we can help our children to become considerate and confident in their dealings with others.

{For more Mothering Monday posts, click HERE.}

*This post was written by my daughter Anna.  Here is her blog

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Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Mission of Motherhood ~ Chapter 11: The Ministering Mother

Continuing with my daughter’s book study on “The Mission of Motherhood” from Where My Treasure Is.

Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkston

“Welcome back to our book discussion of The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for EternityWe are nearing the end of this jam-packed book. I hope that you have been inspired  over the last several months to take seriously your very important role as mother. This week’s topic is one that has been on my mind a lot lately, so I’m excited to share my thoughts and hear yours as well. Let’s get started with Chapter 11…

serving others

One of the fundamental messages of the Bible is that all of us who belong to Christ are expected to extend His love to and to meet the needs of other believers and those in our community. We have a stewardship responsibility for which we will have to answer to God someday, giving account of the ways we have served him by reaching out in love to others. (p. 201)

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink;
I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick, and you visited Me;
I was in prison, and you came to Me…

Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,
even the least of them, you did it to me.”

Matthew 25:34-36, 40

The scriptures above weighed heavily on my mind throughout the years of young motherhood. Up until very recently, I was nagged by the feeling that I wasn’t doing “enough”. I wanted to serve others outside of my own home so badly, but I felt somewhat constrained living out in the country with a brood of young ones.

I began to wonder, “Is there any way for me to make a difference in the world?”. Of course, I believe that mothers already have the awesome opportunity to make a difference in the world by raising God-fearing children.

But I always wanted to do more. I’ve always had heart for serving others, which was strongly impressed upon me by my own mom. Since first becoming a mother myself, I’ve had a strong desire to provide a model for serving to my own children. Over the years, I stored up ideas in my head of ways my little family would serve our community – volunteering at homeless shelters, putting on charity concerts, making visits to local nursing homes, participating in an adopt-a-highway program, etc. The problem is that when you show up to volunteer with 5 kids (10 and under) people generally assume that you will contribute more disturbance and trouble than actual hard work.

After several years of mostly fruitless attempts on my own part to come up with service projects, I decided to stop worrying so much about it and try a different tactic – putting it into God’s hands. I prayed for Him to show me where He wanted me to use my “hands and feet” rather than where thought I should use them. I purposed to keep my eyes and ears open for the opportunities that I hoped He would send.

And they came!

I found that they were not always grand, Facebook-worthy acts of service, however.

Sometimes, I when I heard of a need, I thought to myself, But that doesn’t really work into our schedule this week or That person? She is kind of grouchy though, God. She probably won’t even thank us for our service! I had to ask myself if I had actually been serious when I asked God for those service opportunities! I came to the conclusion that I’d better respond to them to the best of my ability since I had asked for them in the first place.

An amazing thing happened. The more I responded, the more opportunities He sent my way.

Service to others in need is an essential part of training and instructing our children in order to cultivate in them a loving and obedient heart. Serving others is a way to live out what the Bible would have us believe in our hearts. It puts feet to the message of the gospel. (p. 200)

In this week’s chapter, Sally reminds us that service isn’t just for the “professionals”. After all, Jesus chose common, ordinary men to do the work of God’s kingdom:

Spiritual qualifications in the mind of Christ are not determined by the degrees a person has earned at a university or a professional resume but by the anointing of His Spirit and by a willingness to serve in obedience to God’s commands. (p. 203)

As God brought to my attention small opportunities in which my children and I could serve from right where we are, I’ve learned an important lesson.

Service doesn’t always fit into tidy packages.
Being an effective worker for Christ means that we are “ready responders”.

Teaching and training my children to reach out in service isn’t all about the cool service projects I can come up with. Rather, it’s helping them to be quick respond to the needs of the people around us. And in order for us to respond, we need to be aware.

Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. – Matthew 9:35-36

Sally says:

This passage tells me that children must learn to see people as Jesus did and feel as He felt. Instead of seeing the multitude and seeing them with disdain and scorn – or as an overwhelming drain on His time – Jesus felt compassion for them. He saw the crowds as they really were. He saw their need for leadership, protection, healing, and nurture, and He responded by reaching out to them in love and by doing what He could. This is the way we need to teach our children to serve. They need to see as Jesus saw and then reach out to others in compassion, as He did. (p. 206)

So, while grand ideas for service projects are wonderful, too, let’s be careful to not discount the small, ordinary ways that we can serve as a family each and every day.

Sharing our faith is often as simple as loving others
and gently showing them the source of our love, the Lord Jesus.

(p. 208)

A few ideas…

The ways in which we can reach out to our community are so wonderfully varied. There are so many needs just waiting to be filled by ready responders. I offer below some of the ways I’ve found that my children and I can serve right where we are with the ages we have in our home at this time. As they grow, the sphere and scope of our service will no doubt change, but I hope that our hearts will continue to be the same “ready responders”!


Make freezer meals in advance – While we’re doing our regular cooking, we can make extra, smaller portions and package them away in the freezer. That way, when we hear about someone in need, I can quickly pull something out for them and my children can make a card of encouragement to tuck in with the meal.

Visit someone who is lonely – In a society that is flooded with social media, it seems unthinkable that anyone could actually be lonely, but there are actually people who are not connected by technology and consequently, feel very out of touch with the rest of the world. For someone to actually step away from their busy schedule to make a visit can be a wonderful blessing to those people.

Be available – I’ve found that a simple way to serve is to not fill my schedule so chock full that I am not available if a friend needs to talk. People’s problems rarely come on a convenient time schedule. Being willing to get together on short notice to talk to a discouraged friend is a very simple way to serve.

Grow in hospitality – One of my goals for 2013 was to develop a heart for hospitality. Hospitality is more than just “entertaining”. It involves much more than well-orchestrated party plans and Pinterest-worthy decorations. It involves opening our home to people who are lonely or never get invited anywhere, not just our friends and family. It is a wonderful time to teach our children how to anticipate the needs of others and to fill those needs – offering to carry something in for the guests, taking their coats, offering them something to drink, thinking of interesting questions to ask guests, finding out what the visiting children like to play and doing what they want to do, etc.

Give so they can give – Giving children an allowance of some kind can help them be more sensitive to the needs of people around them. We’ve found that when our children are given some money of their own, their eyes and ears are more open to people and ministries that they can support. We have been sponsoring a child through Compassion International for several years now, which has made a big impact on our children. They hear about needs during church announcements or about needs of local charities and ask for a shopping trip to buy some small things to contribute.

Teach children to work – Training children to work in the home has blessings that are more far-reaching than a clean house! I’ve found that because my children have been taught to work hard at home, they can actually be a blessing to others. When we have been presented with opportunities to help clean someone’s home or do other physical work, my children are capable to vacuum, dust, do dishes, clean bathrooms and organize because they’re accustomed to it at home. When we visit others’ homes, they are comfortable helping out in the kitchen. We try to help clean up before we leave someone’s home.

Eyes Wide Open – I encourage my children to keep our eyes open wherever we go to see if we can spot an unfilled need. One simple thing that I always have my children do is pick up the trash at the playground we’re at for the day. Oftentimes, the small playgrounds we visit have been visited by local teenagers the night before. Dan and I invite our children to join us for a quick pick-up before we leave the park so that the next person can enjoy it more. It’s not as fancy as an adopt-a-highway program (we don’t get our name on a sign!) but it is just as effective at training the heart of a ready responder. Our next venture is to make up a few of these blessing bags to keep in our van for our winter travels.

the unnoticed

Now it’s your turn!

I’d love to hear about some of the ways – big or small – that you and your children have found to serve those around you. As always, you are also welcome to share a favorite quote or your answer to one of the study questions from this week’s chapter, too!

Our last book discussion will be next Monday, January 13, 2014, when we will be discussion Chapter 12: The Faithful Mother.

To view all posts in this book study, click HERE.

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

Our lives are important to God and He has a plan for each and everyone of us, to become literal sons and daughters in His family.  He gives us of His very own spirit, so we can be grow up with His characteristics, one being that of self-control.

To find out more of God’s purpose for you, please send for our booklet“What is Your Destiny?” or click below to read it in a pdf format.

What is Your Destiny?

Look Them In The Eyes

Look Into Child's Eyes

A Sabbath Reminder

God said “Let there be” when creating all of what we see on earth.  There was much to be done throughout the week, much to accomplish, just as mothers have a continual list of “to do” through the week.  It’s a tough demanding job. A mom has the privilege of discipling her beautiful gifts of God, yet it takes its toll on us because of the continual tending.  On the seventh day, the day God rested, we can stop and reflect on what God has given us, that is the beauty of the relationships we have created with our children.

Through His creation, there is no record of God breathing into its “nostrils” the breath of life personally.  I would presume that when forming man, He stooped down from heaven and after breathing His breath into man, He looked directly into his eyes.  Yes, one of the first things He did was begin a relationship with man through face-to-face contact. 

There is something so special concerning eye contact that supercedes any conventional spoken word.  One can be surrounded by a whole room of people and still feel alone, but when someone stops and looks you in the eyes, we “know” we’re important enough to them to look deeply into our souls.  It takes time.  It’s a part of showing them we truly care.

If we have children, bend down. Hold them at shoulder level.  Look them in the eyes.  Forget about the stress of the world and tell them they are special to you. Notice, how their demeanor changes. You will have touched the soul of a child, which is their heart.  We seem to know this naturally when our children are babies.  We do this continually, but as they grow, somehow we feel they no longer yearn for this contact.  But they still need it desperately and, in fact, throughout their entire lives.

Mother And Child Face to Face Contact

No matter how busy, we need to follow God’s example and love them as He loves us.  “Breath into them,” i.e., look into their eyes.

We can also do this with others, that is, not our own children.  How do we deal with others we love?  Are we too busy to forget to look others straight in the eyes and find their soul to let them know we are there for them and see them as God sees them?

In an impersonal, busy world, we all long for personal eye contact. Is there anyone really listening?  When we disciple our children, if we don’t connect with them, they’ll find others.  Do we want to be their “connection” while they grow or someone else’s?

Let’s follow God’s example today.  Let’s stoop down and look them in the eyes. Tell them how much we care, and they are as special to us as to God. There are great blessings ahead for us if we create lasting relationships with others in this way.

Let’s “Look them in the eyes.”

What is Your Destiny?

Find out how eagerly God desires you to  be in His family:

A Ministry Mindset Means Being Inconvenienced

Mountainside in Israel

I felt Nancy Leigh Demoss wrote an excellent post that would follow up on my last post concerning “You Deserve A Break Today.”

While reading this account Matthew a few years back, this example of Christ’s ministry really spoke to me as a Christian woman.  I came to the same conclusion, but she has written it better than I could have.  So, I leave you with my thoughts in her words.  This example is not only for moms, but for all women wanting to serve God with the heart of Jesus Christ.

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. —Matthew 14:14 ESV

In Matthew 15:29, we find Jesus trying to rest on a mountainside. He barely sat down when a crowd of people came to Him looking to be healed. How did He respond? He healed them.

When Jesus received word that John the Baptist, had been killed, He tried to grieve alone. But crowds of people followed Him and begged for His attention. Scripture tells us that instead of hiding in His grief, He had compassion and healed the sick in the crowd .  (Matthew 14:13–14).

On the night before Jesus was betrayed, He didn’t hide out. He didn’t run away. He spent the evening with His disciples. He even took the time to serve them by washing the mud from their feet (John 13:1–17).

If we look closely, we find an interesting pattern. We know that Jesus spent His time on earth serving others. But have you ever considered how often He ministered when it was inconvenient?

He served others when He was tired.

He served others when He’d have rather been alone. He served others when He was sad. He served others when He’d been serving non-stop for days and days. He served others when things went terribly wrong in His own life. He even served others when He knew His own death was right around the corner.

I am deeply challenged by this truth. You see, I don’t mind serving others when it’s convenient for me. I like to help out when it works into my schedule or fits into my agenda for the day. But there are lots of times when serving others is inconvenient. This seems especially true with my family. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’ve got more important things to do than to meet the needs of those around me. Under those circumstances, I feel justified in giving priority to my own needs and temporarily ignoring the needs of others.

But this isn’t how Jesus lived. It isn’t how Jesus served. And it isn’t what He wants from you and me.

The reality is, serving others requires sacrifice. If we only do it when it’s convenient, we’re missing the point.

What’s keeping you from serving like Jesus? Will you let Him inconvenience you today?

Action Step: Go above and beyond.

Go above and beyond in service to your family today.  Make their favorite meals, play their favorite games, do something extra special for each family member. Obviously, this isn’t a pace that you can keep every day, but for just today raise the bar in service at home.

A Mom’s Prayer

“Jesus, thank You for Your example of service when it is inconvenient. Help me to value people over comfort. Give me opportunities to serve my family in Your name today.”

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Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mothering Monday: Teaching Respect for the Elderly

This is one of my daughter’s posts. We involved our children in many activities to help them learn the value of getting to know and serve the elderly.

It’s the very heart of God for us to visit the “fatherless and widows in their affliction,” for this is true religion.  To have the mind of God is a virtuous woman’s most prized endeavors.

James 1:27 “Religious observance which is pure and spotless in the eyes of God our Father is this–to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.”

Where My Treasure Is

iliana mary

“You shall rise before the gray-headed
and honor the presence of an old man,
and fear your God: I am the LORD” 

Leviticus 19:32

One of the legacies passed on to me by my parents was respect for elderly people. In today’s society where older people are often seen as irrelevant at best and useless at worst, it has become very important to me that I find a way to instill this same value into my own children. I’ve been reviewing in my mind the ways in which my parents taught us that old age was not something to disdain, but rather to honor. I’d like to share them here as a way of reminding myself of these practical ways so that I may cultivate this value in our family.

“Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge…”  

Proverbs 19:27

First, we were…

View original post 1,139 more words

Sabbath Hugs

Old Man

It was in the spring of the new year, when everyone was busy outdoors with their children, taking them to the playgrounds, planting gardens, building their decks for entertaining, so busy, so exhausted from the end-less lists and appointments. The Sabbath was her only reprieve from the week’s activities. In her hurry to get to church on time, Nancy sped past the nursing home on her way, almost late again, not noticing an 90-year-old church member, a gentleman being carefully lifted from his wheelchair into the nursing home’s transport van for another church service.  He longed for conversation and perhaps just a friendly smile at services. All his children were gone and now a widow. So going to Sabbath services was his delight. It would all be worth the pain he felt, his muscles stiff and sore from his lack of mobility. The drive seemed so long, even though a few blocks away, his body tired and easily bruised from the bumps and jars of the rough streets. He did not want to miss even one Sabbath service. It meant being together with those he loved, even though at times he seemed irritated and out of sorts. He had no strength to speak, but in his heart he yearned and ached to say them.

Every week, he sat, hunched over in the back of church because of his frailty, so that when the children would run past him to play with other children he would not get hurt, for his bones were so worn with age, they could easily be fractured.

He yearned so much for someone to stop and talk with him, children to bring him a smile, as it brought back memories of his children and grandchildren.  He longed for men and women, young and old to pause their conversations to bend down low to see his face, as his neck was stiff from age and he could hardly look up. Yet, people passed by quickly in their rush for conversation on the Sabbath. They rarely took the time to stoop low to converse with him because he seemed cranky and out of sorts.

Though the brethren did not know this, it was to be his last service.

The Sunday after Sabbath he passed away. This poem was found in the desk along with a very old tattered picture of his beautiful wife the day they were married. They looked so happy, a new life, new dreams. Here is what the poem read:

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

1 Timothy 5:2 “The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity”

1 Timothy 5:1 “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.”

Leviticus 19:32 “Thou shalt rise up before the white-haired, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Just a reminder from God to visit the older brethren this Sabbath, even though they look distant, cannot speak or mumble words that cannot be understood or seem out of sorts. This is the heart of God. Do we not want to imitate our Father in heaven?

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Someday it may be ourselves sitting in that chair, for time is truly fleeting. God will abundantly reward your love and concern. Bring your children with you when you visit. Teach them to honor the elderly before anyone else, and God will richly bless you, for you will be called the children of the Most High.

Published in: on April 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm  Comments (1)