Watching over the household

Pr. 31:27:  “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

As a woman whose job is to care for her home, her children, and her husband, this verse runs through my mind quite often.  Although we all need breaks where we rest, we are urged not to be continually idle.  There is a big difference between a 1 hour break and a 1 month veg-out where little to no work is done at all.

No worries men, hang with me.  I have a different take on this verse today.  I want to talk about not watching over the ways of the household of God.

After Stephen was stoned, Christ’s followers were greatly persecuted.  Stephen had just been stoned for preaching the gospel.  Saul was making ‘havoc’ of the church, dragging off men and women to prison.  Now, the rest were being scattered throughout the regions of Jerusalem and Samaria.  I would imagine this would not only have been a sad time, with the death of a friend, but also pretty scary and uncertain.

It would be natural for those scattered to go into hiding.  Grief has many stages and effects, and it wouldn’t have been out of the question for some to simply tend to their own well-being at the time.  However, we don’t see that taking place.  Acts 8:4 says that those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.  It tells specifically of Philip going to Samaria and preaching Christ to them.  There were miracles, deliverance from unclean spirits, healings, and baptisms.  Vs. 8 says, “And there was great joy in that city.”

Wow!  What I notice is that instead of giving in to their feelings and emotions, those who were scattered were determined to take care of the household of God and not use this time to eat the bread of idleness.  When there is work to be done, someone has to do it.  It seems these followers took their work seriously.

We all need breaks from time to time.  We were created to rest and the Lord even modeled that for us.  It is good to spend Sabbath time where we rest, renew our strength, spend some deliberate quiet time with God in prayer and in the Word, and re-create ourselves in His strength.  However, we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into idleness.  We must care for our Father’s house and our Father’s children.  There is work to be done.

We can take notes from those early followers and remember that there is great joy to be spread.  Our family is counting on us!

Inspired,

jamie

You are as important as a spider

Pr. 30:28:  “The spider (one of the things that is little on the earth) skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in king’s palaces.”

Strange verse to pick?  Let’s see.  In Acts 6 when there was a complaint that some widows were being neglected.  The twelve believed they were supposed to remain in prayer and in the Word, so they summoned the growing number of disciples and told them to, “seek out from among you some men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

The whole multitude was pleased with this decision and seven disciples were chosen to take on the task.

From Jamie's phone 2-18-15 2044

How do I relate this to a spider?  Spiders, indeed, are little.  They can be scary to some, insignificant to others, and tolerated by others.  However, to those who appreciate their skills and their contribution to the balance of nature, they are amazing and extremely important.

The same goes for the “little” people in the kingdom of Christ.  Sometimes we feel too small, somewhat insignificant, and sometimes simply tolerated.  However, God gave us all specific skills and abilities we can use for His kingdom.  We are all part of the balance and each of us is important.

We must not; however, wait until we’re called upon to decide to use what we have for the Lord.  When the seven were chosen it was because they were already of good reputation, and full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.  They may not have had a chance to put their specific skills to work prior to this; however, they had already made the choice that what they did have would be used for the Lord.  They were already of good reputation.  They were already full of the Holy Spirit.  They were already tapping into God’s wisdom.

We can do the same.  We can make sure that we are daily walking with the Lord, being fed His wisdom, being filled with His Holy Spirit, and ensuring that we are making wise choices that lead to a good reputation.  Like the spider, we were given certain skills for the work in our King’s palace.  When the time comes that our specific skills are needed to complete the task, we will be found ready.

So, see?  You are important, and your skills are just as good as those of the spider.  Keep learning with the Master.

Feeling sticky,

jamie

They will realize you’ve been with Jesus

Pr. 25:11:  “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

In Acts chapter 4, after healing a lame man, Peter and John had been arrested for preaching about Jesus and His resurrection.  The next day they were brought before the rulers and asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”  vs. 8:  “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said to them…”

vs. 13:  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

The words Peter fitly spoke, through the power of the Holy Spirit, were like apples of gold in settings of silver.  It was even more of a testimony to the rulers that he and John were uneducated and untrained.  Because of this, and the words that had been spoken, they marveled.  “And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

We don’t have to be Pastors, Bishops, certified teachers, or even seminary students to speak of Jesus and His resurrection.  John 15 tells us to abide in Him.  Simply being with Jesus gives us what we need to do His work.

When we spend time in God’s presence, we are not only being fed His wisdom, but also strengthened, equipped, and more confident in Him and who we are in Him.  When questioned, Peter didn’t have to pull out his credentials in order to be heard or set free.  He who had been with Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit did the work.

Vs. 14 says, that after this and “seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”  God took care of everything.  Peter and John simply did what they were called to do and the Lord did the rest.  The rulers could say nothing against it.

The lesson for us:  Spend time with Jesus

Learning from the Master,

jamie

Need a time of refreshing?

Acts 3:19:  “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”

You may be way ahead of me on this one, but I never noticed the second part of this verse, “So that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”  That sure sounds like the Lord I know…Refreshing.

I knew we were to repent and be converted so that our sins would be blotted out; however, I never noticed that another promised reward of doing so would be so that times of refreshing would come upon us from God’s presence.  I love when I find something new in a verse I’ve read over and over before.

When we repent and call the Lord ours He not only blots out our sins, but refreshes us with His presence.  I can think of nothing more refreshing than the presence of the Lord.  When I am in His presence I can feel pure joy, peace, love, hope, safety, purity, and salvation.

Are you in need of refreshing?  Not only can God give you what you need, but He will.  Being saved by grace offers a refreshing that you cannot find anywhere else.  Having the Comforter as your King offers a peace that cannot be duplicated.

If you have repented and been converted and you are in need of a time of refreshing, call upon your Savior.  He will rain down all that you need.  Spend time in His presence and feel His power and His love envelope you now.

Enjoying the perks,

jamie

More than an anthem

What do you type when you have no words?  When you’re focused only on yourself, your circumstances, or your feelings, what can you type that leads back to God?

I was looking to the Word just now, and found only words that brought tears to my eyes.  In the background; however, I hear my husband playing his guitar and singing the song “We Believe.”  I heard these words:  “So, let our faith be more than anthems greater than the songs we sing and in our weakness and temptations we believe, we believe!”
My faith must be more than an anthem.  I can write blogs about God every day of my life, but if it turns out to only be an anthem or the theme on which I’m stuck, then I’m lost.

There is only foundation.  I believe in God the Father.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, and He’s given me new life.  In my weakness and temptation, I believe.  I believe!

I am declaring this truth to you, hoping that not only will you be encouraged, but that I will, as well.  The bottom line in life is Jesus Christ.  On Him we can rely.

Looking to my Salvation,

jamie

Isn’t that a bit hasty?

Pr. 21:5:  “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” 

If you are riding in a car with my kids for any length of time, you will hear them listing off the things they want.  “I wish we could go to the park.”  “I want to go to McDonald’s.”  “I wish God would move our house to that field with all that land so we could have animals.”  “I want a lightsaber.”  “I wish we could get ice cream.”  Seriously, it just goes on and on.  The longer the ride, the more wishes that are voiced.  They aren’t demanding these things, mind you; just thinking out loud.

They aren’t the only ones.  I’m not a big window shopper.  If I don’t go to stores, then I’m not aware of what I’m missing.  Once I step foot inside a store, I see all kinds of things I didn’t even know I “needed.”  HA!  I’m sure I could come up with a list of things I want to buy or do right now if I thought enough about it.

Solomon warns that being hasty leads to poverty.  How true.  If my kids, or I (the one with the check book), just started doing all the things they say they want, we wouldn’t have enough money for the things we need.  We can’t go to McDonald’s, Sweet Frog, the beach, etc. every single trip and still have money for electricity, food, or savings.  More than that, if we spent all our money on those impulsive ideas they have, we wouldn’t have the money to do the other things that they really like even more.  They simply don’t have the brain capacity just yet to understand that some things are worth Not doing so that you can do the things you really want to do.

We have to teach our kids how to be diligent planners.  How?  Well, we don’t give in to their every whim…or our own.  We don’t go out impulsively buying or doing things that catch our eye or our fancy.  Before I grocery shop with my kids, I even make a point to pray with them that we will make wise decisions and that God will direct us with wisdom.

It’s really a good reminder for all of us.  It’s good to let an idea or an impulse marinate over night once in a while to make sure you have peace about it, or to make sure you actually “need” it.  And there is nothing wrong with planning to save up for something or planning to do it another time as a reward.  Sometimes that can even be more exciting!  We are reminded that the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.  Sounds like we will have exactly what we need.

Guarding my wallet,

jamie

Do you have the heart for it?

Pr. 17:16:  “Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?”

After determining to go “chemical free” with all the products that touch my skin, I have recently been experimenting with herbs to replace my former chemical shampoo and conditioner.  This has taken a lot of research and a lot of fun chemistry experiments in my kitchen to discover the best way to prepare them.

To be perfectly honest, I am not convinced that my hair is clean at all.  I am not, however, quite ready to throw in the towel.  Perhaps I will end up with a different recipe, or with a bottle of store-bought, all natural shampoo, but for now my stubborn, choleric personality has kicked in, and I am determined to make this work.  I will not give up without a fight.

This verse reminds me of my current situation.  How so?  Well, I could buy as many herbs as I want.  I could line them up in beautiful bottles on the shelf and show them off to everyone who comes into my home.  I could tell everyone I can find about the wonderful herbs I bought for my hair.  Oooh…I could join some fancy ‘herb club’ or get a discount plan for the best herb shop I can find.  I could even show them off as I make my rounds through town.

If I never put them to use; however, there is no point in even spending the money or the time on them.  It would be foolish.

We can buy as many Bibles, study guides, and concordances as we want.  We can join the best church around.  We can wear our church gear, put our church stickers on our cars, show off our Bible apps to everyone we see, and even talk about all the great outreaches we know about.

If we never put any of those things to use; however, there is no point.

Why have a Bible and not use it?  Why join a church and not attend?  Why wear the gear or sport the logos if you’re not committed?

When we determine to become truly invested in the wisdom that comes from God, and set our minds to learn more of Him; that is when we are no longer counted a fool.  We must get into the Word.  We must turn our hearts into a “chemistry lab” where God can create something new within us.

We must continue and not give up.  That’s when we know we have a heart for it:  when we won’t allow anything to stop us from learning more and we will stubbornly continue, not allowing setbacks, failures, or greasy situations to get us off track.

The Lord has so much to offer.  If we not only get the purchase price in hand, but also set our hearts toward Him and continue with Him the rewards will be beyond measure!

Washing my hair in faith,

jamie