Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs
Through the weekly and daily devotionals you can be constantly encouraged in your great role of parenting, the highest career in the nation. You can also stay updated on what's happening with the Above Rubies ministry.
Kristin Eason emailed a beautiful poem she wrote, which I share with you below. She writes: “I wrote this poem after thinking how birds are always singing their sweet songs, rain or shine, and how strange it would be if they stopped singing.
I then thought how man is made in the image of God and yet how little I spend my days praising. Even though we have so much to be thankful for--a God who daily provides for us, a Savior who died for us and is our Intercessor before God the Father, nature with all its natural beauty (sunrise, sunsets, starlit sky), we often find it easier to grumble and complain. If birds praise their Creator, how much more should we as children of God?
LET’S PRAISE HIM TOO!
If birds should halt their songs of praise
And silence filled the woods each day,
Would we begin to question why,
Their natural instinct they defy?
If birds should grumble and complain,
Believing singing is in vain;
Because they sing not like the wren,
They vow to never sing again.
If birds should worry oft’ and fret,
The Lord’s protection soon forget,
No longer would they chirp and sing,
Praise and worship to the King.
Would this seem strange and truly odd,
To have no song to sing abroad?
In gratitude for wings to fly,
To soar above the sunlit sky?
Yet we’ve been given so much more,
But choose to walk when we could soar.
Above the way we often feel,
God, give us passion, give us zeal!
I’ve never heard a silent dawn,
Where birds in nests are found withdrawn.
For praise is what they’re made to do,
So, let their songs encourage you.
For Christ has given all we need,
Our enslaved hearts He came to free.
Yet we fail to sing our words,
Unlike the songs we hear from birds.
Let birds remind us to adore,
To sing His praises ever more.
Rejoicing in our world abroad,
Of hope in Christ, of faith in God.
El Dorado Springs, Missouri, USA
Thank you, Kristin, for this reminder.
I’d love to share with you a quote I read this morning. It is from an article by Alexander MacLaren called CONTINUAL SUNSHINE from his book, “Expositions of Holy Scripture.” You’ll want to read it more than once.
It is an excerpt from his commentary on Psalm 89:15: “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.”
“There is only one thing that breaks the continuity of that blessedness, and that is our own sin. We carry our own weather with us, whether we will or no, and we can bring winter into the middle of summer by flinging God away from us, and summer into the midst of winter by grappling Him to our hearts.
“There is only one thing that necessarily breaks our sense of His Presence, and that is that our hearts should turn away from His face. A man can work hard and yet feel that God is with him. A man can be weighed upon by many distresses and yet feel that God is with him and loves him; but a man cannot commit the least tiny sin and love it, and feel at the same time that God is with him.
“The heart is like a sensitive photographic plate, it registers the variations in the sunshine; and the one hindrance that makes it impossible for God’s light to fall upon my soul with the assurance of friendship and the sense of sweetness, is that I should be hugging some evil to my heart. It is not the dusty highway of life nor the dark vales of weeping and of the shadow of death through which we sometimes have to pass that make it impossible for this sunlight to pour down upon us, but it is our gathering round ourselves of the poisonous mists of sin through which that light cannot pierce.”
Some people allow themselves to get eaten up inside with bitterness, hurt, and jealousy etc. We cannot allow these attitudes to continue in our lives for they destroy us and our entire family. We have a responsibility as mothers to keep our spirits whole--pure, blameless, and continually forgiving.
However, there is one area where the Bible tells us we can get eaten up? Do you know what it is? John 2:17 says of Jesus: “The zeal of thine house hath EATEN ME UP.” These words were spoken after Jesus made a whip and cleansed the temple. He drove out all the sheep and oxen, tipped over all the tables and money, and cried out: “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise” (John 2:16). He also cried out: “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13).
Your home is also God’s house if you have dedicated it to the Lord, which I am sure you have. Therefore, we should have the same zeal Jesus had to protect our homes and families. We are faithful watchwomen who drive evil out of our home. Even if we upset everyone! I’m sure we won’t be tipping over tables and throwing money everywhere, but we’ll be strong enough to take a stand against any evil that seeks to bring darkness into our homes. We’ll have a passion to keep our homes holy.
We’ll have the zeal of the Lord about making our home a House of Prayer! In fact, if our homes are not homes of prayer, can we call them God’s homes? We’ll plan our schedules around our daily prayer times with our family. We won’t just hope it fits in. We’ll make it happen!
We won’t be apathetic about building holy homes and homes of prayer. We’ll be zealous about it. We’ll be consumed with it.
Jesus Christ redeemed us to be “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). Building your home and family for God is a good work. Do it with zeal. Don’t do it half-heartedly, allowing other things to consume your mind and time. Embrace the great commission God has given to you and pour your heart into it.
May the blessings of God fall upon you, dear anointed, zealous, passionate mother,
~ Nancy Campbell
Yesterday we talked about the opposite attitudes of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His enemy the devil. Satan was the anointed cherub. You can read the full description of his origin in Ezekiel 28:12-15.
Jude 1:6 tells us that God gave him a realm of authority. The word is “arche” and means principality, dignity, power, and rule. He had his own sphere of rulership, but was not content. Instead, he grasped at that which didn’t belong to him.
We see a warning to us in this Scripture. God has given to women a sphere where we have the privilege to rule and to reign. We admit that we love to rule over something, don’t we? Yes, it is inherent. I believe it comes from the very beginning where God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth,” but also to “subdue and take dominion.”
We go to the New Testament 1 Timothy 5:14 and read that God’s plan for the younger women is to “marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The words “guide the house” literally mean to manage (to rule and reign in the home). The Greek word is “oikodespoteo.”
Now that doesn’t mean we rule our husbands. It means that we have a sphere to manage and rule well. It is in this realm that we live in the glory God intends for us. We also must keep the right attitude and embrace the realm God has given to us. It is not significant. It is not subservient. It is a place of managership and productivity. It is our glory.
Satan comes to tempt us with the same attitude that resulted in his downfall. He makes us discontent. He wants us to grasp after other areas of rulership that God does not intend for us.
Let’s read some different translations to get more understanding.
GOODSPEED: “the angels who NEGLECTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES and ABANDONED THEIR HOMES.”
ESV: “the angels who did not stay within their OWN POSITION OF AUTHORITY, but left their proper dwelling.”
Berean: “the angels who did not STAY WITHIN THEIR OWN DOMAIN, but ABANDONED their proper dwelling.”
HCSB: “the angels who did not KEEP THEIR OWN POSITION but DESERTED their proper dwelling.”
KNOX: “The angels, too, who LEFT THE PLACE ASSIGNED TO THEM, instead of keeping their due order.”
Embrace your God-anointed sphere. It is your queendom.
Blessings to you today,
Painting by Robert Coombs. Isn’t this the most beautiful painting?
How each of our families need the Holy Spirit’s power and assistance. We live in a very deceived world. Many are deceived about moral issues, e.g. homosexual views including gay marriage, abortions, Planned Parenthood, divorce, and couples cohabiting together as partners. Many are deceived by tolerance towards many of the extreme doctrines of Islam such as Sharia law which degrades women, and yet it seems that feminists have no issue with it. How deceived are they?
Many are deceived into believing it is godly to limit the number of children they should birth and raise. Many are deceived into pushing their children into socialistic state schools where liberalism and anti-conservative values are taught and practiced.
If you are a conservative guest speaker, you may be attacked and screamed down. What happened to freedom of speech in many of our college/universities today?
It is increasingly evident that we are in the midst of a big spiritual battle for the heart and soul of our nation. If the early church believed they needed the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we need Him at this critical time of our history.
As parents, there some important things we can and must do for our children. Firstly, we must teach them about the Holy Spirit having His rightful place in their lives. How can they desire Him if they don’t know Him?
Secondly, we must daily pray for them so their hearts will be open and desirous of His involvement in their lives.
Thirdly, we must find some place of worship where the Holy Spirit is moving so they will become more familiar with the Holy Spirit’s moving in other people’s lives.
Everything in our lives comes back to attitude, doesn’t it? It determines the way we live? What is my attitude toward my husband? What is my attitude toward my role of mothering in the home? Is it based on what I want, or is it founded on God’s eternal plan?
I am forever challenged by the words in Philippians 2:5-8 (HCSB) where it says: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage (or something to be grasped after). Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.”
This a description of the mind of Christ and we are exhorted to have the same mind. Do we have anything like this attitude? What a difference it would make in our marriages. What a different to the atmosphere of our homes. I often think that if we had no other Scripture, apart from this one, to show us how to live as married couples, it’s all we’d need.
On the other hand, we see the attitude of Satan is the opposite of Christ. Although Jesus was God, He did not grasp at holding on to His Godhead. Satan was not God. He was a created being, although one of the most beautiful creatures God created (Ezekiel 28:12-19). But rather than having a humble attitude, he was not satisfied or content with the glorious sphere God gave to him (Jude 1:6). Instead he rose up with pride and independence.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 14:12-15: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Highest.” Do you notice his favorite words, “I will, I will, and I will” again and again”?
What is my attitude? What is yours? Do we have the attitude of Jesus which is submission, humility, and laying down our life? Or is it the attitude of Satan which is pride, independence, and demanding our own way? The attitude of Jesus is beautiful and brings harmony, peace, joy, and delight into our marriages and homes. Satan’s way may seem good in getting your own way, but it always ends in destruction.
I believe we must all encourage ourselves, including myself, to have the attitude of Jesus. Just remember that Satan is out do get you to go his way. He has been very successful. He managed to lure Eve to his way, even though she walked with God in the garden every day. He drew to himself one third of the angels of Heaven against God. Revelation 3:13 tells us that the whole world will follow him and few will be saved.
Don’t be one of the deceived. Go after the attitude of Jesus now.
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
Acts 10:44 states: “The Holy Ghost fell on all them which head the word.” Why don’t we see more of this happening our services today? Don’t we owe it to ourselves and our families to see our services divinely interrupted by the same Holy Spirit? What is wrong with us that we have become complacent?
We sit in the same seats Sunday after Sunday, listening to the same sermons and singing, the same hymns or worship songs. Many have done this all their lives and never experienced a divine encounter with God. They have not witnessed any supernatural interruption by a prophetic word, a supernatural utterance of tongues, a divine healing, a demon cast out, or even an awesome overwhelming sense of the divine presence of God so that everyone falls to their knees.
We must bear in mind that Acts 10:44-46 was the FIRST service to a company Gentiles who were not even born again believers. To me, I think that whatever was good enough for the FIRST service to the Gentiles, should be good enough for every succeeding service down through the history of the church! Would you agree?
Throughout the Acts of the apostles and Paul’s letters to the churches, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit was very active (1 Corinthians, chapters 12 -14). In these chapters Paul gives understanding, correction, and order to those in the church who were experiencing these gifts. There would be no need for Paul’s instructions regarding the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in most of our churches today because there is no room for Him to move, nor is there any desire or expectation for Him to move.
Are we really saying, “Holy Spirit, we don’t really need or want You to move in our services for we can manage very well without You. Thank you all the same”? I certainly hope not. And I mean that with all my heart.
Holy Spirit-filled parents want their children to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In this hour of our history, we need the Holy Spirit to fall again upon all those who hear the word, especially our children.
To be continued.
That “healing is the children’s bread” is the obvious conclusion to Matthew 15:26. The Gentile woman only got the crumbs and yet her daughter was healed.
Why would we offer our children food that has very little goodness in it? And yet we do it every day? Most of breakfast cereals are filled with dangerous sugars and are highly processed junk food. No wonder we are as sick as almost any nation on earth and our hospitals and medical clinics are packed to overflowing. I read the other day that even two slices of wheat toast are equal to taking two teaspoons of sugar and will make us fatter than ever.
The same thing happens in most of our church services. We enjoy the lifeless, sugar-coated, devitalized liturgical sermons that appeal to our dumbed-down spiritual senses. We are contented with a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Timothy 2:5). The rest of the Scriptures says: “From such turn away.”
We owe it to our children to do better than this. When we have the real bread, there will be healing. There will be life. There will be power to transform. If your place of worship does not feed you and your family with living bread, make sure you have it in your homes--evening and morning devotions.
We are not in the same position as the Canaanite woman who had no legal claim to Christ who was the healing bread. Thank God, we are now, by His grace, adopted into sonship and have every legal claim to His living bread.
This article is worth reading:
I read some time ago that the home is the emptiest place in America during the day. God never intended the home to be empty. Jesus told the parable of the man who made a big banquet and told his servant to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).
This is a picture of God’s house. He wants His home to be filled. Because we are to be like Him, He wants our homes to be filled too. Not only filled with furniture and décor, but filled with people. He wants them to be filled with family togetherness--food, feasting, friendship, fellowship, and fun.
When a mother leaves her home and the family members scatter each day, the home is fragmented. The home is meant to be the strength of the nation where the family learns together, works together, and grows stronger together.
If your home doesn’t have enough people, open your doors of hospitality and invite others in to fill your home and show them God’s love. God loves to say, “Come.” Do you?
Have a great day,
It's not enough to believe in your heart; you have to confess with your mouth. You only keep what you confess. You only experience in your life what you confess. We are exhorted to "Hold fast the CONFESSION of our faith without wavering" (Hebrews 10:23). Can I let you in on a secret? The more you confess the less you will waver!
~ Nancy Campbell
You are a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5). Oops! That’s not in the Bible, is it? Yes, it’s still there, unless you cut it out. But, it is not restricting! Its vastness is as wide as the ocean and as high as the heavens.
The home is a birthing center, a mothering/nurturing center, a training and education center, a praise and worship center, a prayer center, an eating center, a cultural development center, a social center, a hospitality center, a counseling center, a health center, an industry center, a garden center, and a convalescent center! And this is just the beginning.
There should be more joy, excitement, and productivity in the home than anywhere else in the world. Of course, YOU make it happen.
Have a wonderful day,
What will it take to engage our young families today?
A more business-like approach? A more dignified approach? A more grandiose building?
Matthew 12:22, 33: “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were AMAZED, and said, Is not this the son of David?”
Mark 1:25-27: “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all AMAZED, insomuch that they questioned among themselves say, what thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commendeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”
Mark 2:11, 12: “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all AMAZED, and glorified God, saying, we never saw it on this fashion.”
Mark 6:51: “And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore AMAZED in themselves BEYOND MEASURE, and wondered.”
Mark 9:15: “And straightway all the people, when they behold him, were GREATLY AMAZED, and running to him saluted him.”
Acts 2:7: “And they were all AMAZED AND MARVELED, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?” This happened after the disciples “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (v. 4).
Acts 2:12: “And they were all AMAZED and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?”
Acts 9:21: “But all that heard Paul were AMAZED, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem?”
Why have I listed these Scriptures? Because it high time for our nation and the families of this generation to be amazed again. Eloquence and oratory have no power to transform and amaze lives.
Paul confessed in 1 Corinthians 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Only this will amaze.
The truth is that our God has not changed. Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
When we eradicate evil in our home, we mustn’t only sweep it outside the door. We must make sure we send it FAR FROM OUR HOME! Job 22:23-25 (NASB) says: "If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent (your home) . . . then the Almighty will be your gold and choice silver to you."
When Moses told Pharaoh that he was taking the children of Israel from Egypt to sacrifice to the Lord, he stated emphatically that they would not just go over the border, but they would go a THREE-DAY JOURNEY out of Egypt (Exodus 3:18; 5:3 and 8:27-28)! It’s good to have a three-day gap mentality when dealing with temptation and anything that is contrary to God’s Word.
Don't compromise with evil and the worldly spirit. Don’t let it hang around the door of your home! Kick it FAR AWAY.
Blessings to you today from Nancy Campbell
The Scriptures to wives and mothers in Titus 2:3-5 end with rather fearful words. It says that if we do not live the lifestyle that God tells us that we “blaspheme” God’s Word. Now, before this makes you too mad, just remember, I didn’t say these words. They are the words of Scripture.
Perhaps some other translations may soften the words. Let’s see.
Bring disrepute to the Word of God (NEB).
Bring reproach to the Word of God (AMP).
Bring shame on the Word of God (NLT).
Discredit the Word of God (RSV).
Disgrace the Word of God (TJB, CJB).
Dishonor the Word of God (NASB).
Malign the Word of God (NIV).
Revile the Word of God (ESV).
Slander the Word of God (MLB, HCSB).
Speak evil of the Word of God (GNB).
Wow, they all give the same message. I wonder why such strong words are used? I believe the reason is that the lifestyle God reveals in this passage is God’s purpose for us as wives and mothers. God created us for more than existence. He created us for purpose. To function according to how He created us. When we embrace childbearing, mothering, and homemaking along with faith, love, godliness, and self-control we bring glory to God. We can only glorify God when we function as He intended.
When we spurn the purpose for which God created us we bring dishonor to God and blaspheme His Word.
However, if you don’t like these words, you may prefer J. B, Phillips’ translation. He turns it around to a positive note and states that if we embrace this lifestyle it will be “a good advertisement for the Christian faith.”
Are we revealing the glory of God as we embrace who He created us to be? Are we being a good advertisement?
Love from Nancy Campbell
Illustrator: Chiaki Okada
Who wants to live “the good life”? I am sure we all do. God wants us to live “the good life” too. That’s why He shows us how to live in Titus 2:3-5. Remember, this is the passage where the older women are told what to teach the younger women. J. B. Phillips’ translation calls it “the good life.”
The good life is a lot about loving. There are three specific things we are told to love in this passage. We are to be . . .
1. HUSBAND LOVERS. Every couple is in love with one another on their wedding day. However, marriage is all about keeping on loving one another, even when we face all the habits, idiosyncrasies, and annoyances we didn’t know about them before. We don’t love because we feel like loving. We love because that’s what we’re meant to do. We love through the hard times. We love through the unlovely times. And amazingly, the more we love the more we fall in love. We are proactive about loving. We speak words of love. We write words of love. We show our love by our actions. We are purposeful in loving.
2. CHILDREN LOVERS. Somehow, it’s easy to love our children, isn’t it? Or most of the time! The Greek words for husband-loving and children-loving in this passage show the aspect of being friendly and affectionate. It’s love we express with our hands by touching and caressing. However, I think we need to realize that there’s something greater than loving our children. It’s loving motherhood. Every mother loves her children, but not all mothers love motherhood. When we finally embrace motherhood—accept it and love it, knowing that we are in the perfect will of God, even loving our children becomes greater.
3. HOME LOVERS. Too many mothers want to get away from the home. They would rather be in their careers, than at home. I’ve heard mothers say: “I can be a better mother if I have time away from my children.” That’s not “hands on” mothering. And that’s not being a home lover. God created the home for the woman and He wants us to be lovers of our homes. That’s not talking about our décor. It’s talking about making our home a place for the presence of God. A place where we love to be with our children and where we make it an exciting place for them. It’s where we manage and rule our home well with all efficiency and order. It’s hard to love living in a messy home. Therefore, we make it a place where we love to be.
Enjoy “the good life” today.
Love from Nancy Campbell
Artist: Stevie Lewis
Changing the décor will not cut it. Serving coffee and doughnuts will not keep it alive either.
Just this morning I heard that the numbers of the Southern Baptist have dropped from 19 million to 15 million and that increasing numbers of their smaller churches are closing. The missionary force has also drastically dropped in recent years. I for one, cannot help but be concerned about this. I am not a Southern Baptist by membership. However, I certainly uphold their solid teaching of the Bible. I thank God for their stand against abortion, the gay agenda, and their godly influence for righteousness in the nation--morally, spiritually, and politically. Their missionary influence upon the nations has been enormous. Why are they, and many other churches, dropping numbers?
I believe our young families have a desire to see more life in the churches they attend. They’re not all attracted to dead, dry, traditional formalism. They are not attracted to legalistic, heavy, stoogy doctrinal teaching that has no life and power to edify or save. Young families would rather be where people are being filled with the Holy Spirit, set free, healed from their bondages, and filled with the holy fire that comes down from heaven. Young families want to feel the presence of God. They want to attend a church or gathering where the atmosphere is pulsating with the power and love of God. Young couples, along with their children, are starving for the reality of the truth. They want their children to tune into heaven and turn on to the real power of God.
They want to be amongst others who are on fire and who are enthusiastic for truth. They want to be amongst others, be they young or old, whose hearts are beating with the love of God and who do not want to stop rejoicing and worshipping God.
Gone are the days of short-winded services that barely last an hour. Stiff, starchy time frames are not for those who like Mary, want to sit at Jesus’ feet and love on Him. We want to be in a church where God is moving so powerfully that no one wants to leave.
In Acts 2:17-18 says: “And it shall happen in the last days, saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dram dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
May I suggest there is something wrong with our 21st century Christianity if parents do not have a vision for their sons and daughters to be filled with the Holy Spirit to see visions, to prophesy, and to experience miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit happening in and through their lives. Because young people are drawn towards the supernatural, if we do not teach them and open their understanding to the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit to experience the miraculous in their lives, we run the risk of them delving into all types of divination and modern witchcraft which abounds everywhere.
Christian parents, we do not want our children to grow up in so-called Christian homes where we have a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5). Our children deserve much more than dead, dry, Biblical doctrine that has no presence of God accompanying it.
Each one of our children need to see that our God still opens the eyes of the blind and causes the deaf to hear. They have a right to see that our God still heals the sick and performs miracles, signs, and wonders. He still raises the dead and sets the captives free.
Our children need to know what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrew 13:8). We owe it to our children for them to see these things happening before their own eyes. How can they possibly stand before the intellectual atheism of this age if they do not experience a real encounter with the miraculous power of our God?