Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

WifeLikeMomRecently, we enjoyed the company of a family at our table for supper. During the fellowship, the mother shared a conversation between her teenage son and his brother in his mid-twenties.

“You’ve got to read this book. It tells you what kind of a wife to choose,” encouraged the young brother. He thought it was time he was married!

“I don’t need to read any books.” His younger brother kept pressing him.

“Look, I don’t need books,” he replied indignantly. I’ll just find a wife like mom!”

I don’t think a mother could have a greater testimony, do you?

~ Nancy Campbell

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DadSon2A careful man I want to be—

A little fellow follows me.

I do not dare to go astray,

For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,

Whate’er he sees me do, he tries,

Like me he says he’s going to be,

The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I’m so very fine,

Believes in every word of mine.

The base in me he must not see,

The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go,

Through summer’s sun and winters snow,

I’m building for the years to be—

The little chap who follows me.

~ Anonymous

Painting by Emily Elizabeth

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ContMiriclesThis is my last post giving you a taste of Above Rubies testimonies 40 years ago. I trust you have been enjoying them.

CONTINUAL MIRACLES!

How thrilled and grateful I was when my young daughter, Lois gave birth to a big bouncing baby boy. She had a perfect pregnancy and an easy natural birth. Little Joshua was my 15th grandchild, so why was it so special?

I thought back to 21 years’ previously when I lay on a hospital bed. Because of my acute physical condition, my gynecologist, physician, and surgeon all stated this pregnancy must be terminated! My previous pregnancies and births had been very difficult and this one they felt I could not survive.

I was faced with an issue of life and death. How could I destroy life which God had put within me? No, I couldn’t allow it, even at risk to myself. I remember saying to the physician, “My faith is wobbly, but I will wobble on with the help of God.” I went through the pregnancy.

She was born with difficulty at five weeks premature, RH negative and spinal bifida! She was operated on at two days old to close the opening. After the operation, she had no reaction or sign of reflexes-- her legs just dangled. The doctor said they had done all they could.

My husband and I had received many healing touches from the Lord and so we turned to Him again. We took her to Wellington where there was a visiting Evangelist from America preaching and he prayed for her.

Nothing apparent happened, but my husband, being a man full of faith, kept telling the Lord what we read in His word: “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18). Each night as we put her to bed he would say, “Lord, we are still waiting. We thank you that this baby will walk.”

The night she was twelve months old we were bathing her and suddenly she moved and her legs kicked for the first time. What excitement as the whole family came crowding in the tiny little bathroom. Such shouting and rejoicing! God is faithful.

From this day on she grew stronger and began to hold her head which she could not do before. We decided to treat her from this day just as we had our other five beautiful children.

We had many opportunities to tell of Jesus and His love through what people saw happening over a space of time.

At fifteen years she was last seen by the specialist who was surprised that she was just like any normal girl. However, he did say that if one day she should marry and have a child she would be able to give birth by caesarean section. How wonderful is the goodness of God that she had a beautiful NATURAL DELIVERY!

whether spiritual, physical, or emotional.

MAUREEN GREEN (who has now passed away).
P.S. Lois and her husband and children were part of our church in New Zealand. She was a beautiful and normal young woman. Our God is Jehovah Rapha! Amen!

The picture is of Lois and her husband, Owen Mansill and little baby. Mother and baby are both miracles.

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FatherDaughter

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PowerForgiveIntroducing you to another friend from 40 years ago. Shirley Wright has now gone to be with the Lord. Colin and I were very blessed to pastor with Ken and Shirley Wright in our church in New Zealand. Ken ministered around the world with YWAM back in those days, but was based in our church, Christian Center in Palmerston North.

I am posting this article Shirley wrote about Forgiveness 40 years ago! THE PRINCIPLES ARE JUST AS POWERFUL TODAY Please read it:

EVERY TWO MINUTES!

How do you respond to pressure in your daily life?

It depends on whether you have a clear conscience and a peaceful heart. Can I hear you say, “Is that possible?” What a joy to be able to say, “Yes, yes, yes.”

We as women are more sensitive and tend to get hurt more easily than men so we need to be extra watchful. The key to a clear conscience is forgiveness. I know it is almost a forgotten word today as we hear of so many broken marriages and rebellious children.

But God has the answer. All through the Bible forgiveness runs like a golden thread. I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I received God’s forgiveness and oh, how clean I felt.

FORGIVE YOURSELF

It says in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” However, we are so prone to looking back and blaming ourselves for things we have done in the past. But remember, when you confess your sins, they are wiped out through the blood of Jesus.

Because Jesus has forgiven you, you can forgive yourself! And don’t feel guilty for not feeling guilty!

FORGIVE OTHERS

Because Jesus has forgiven me, so I must forgive others. And so must you. Matthew 6:14, 15 says: “Your Heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you; but if you refuse to forgive them, He will not forgive you.” These are strong words and leave us no excuse.

I think Jesus must have smiled when the disciples asked Him: “How many times must we forgive?” He replied, “Seventy times seven.” That means 490 times a day. In a day of 16 working hours it would mean 30 times an hour or once every two minutes. Wow!

PULL OUT THE WEEDS

As We counsel people, my husband and I find unforgiveness is the root cause of breakdown in relationships. Words are spoken that hurt and wound, but unless you forgive, it gives ground for some awful weeds to grow.

Do you do much gardening? We have couch grass and it keeps springing up just when I think the ground is clear. Unless I follow the root to the end and pull it out with all its little roots, my garden soon looks as though I never weeded it.

Unforgiveness, if left, leads to resentment, self-pity, bitterness, and “everyone else’s fault, not mine.” When it is embedded in your soul, it affects your body.

YOUR HEALTH IS AT STAKE

A lot of sickness is caused by hurts that are harbored and nurtured instead of letting them go in forgiveness.

I remember my husband, Ken, praying with an older lady who was crippled with arthritis and very depressed. He told her how much God loved her. Then God revealed to him that she had been terribly hurt and rejected by some close relatives and this was keeping her sick.

When he asked her if she would forgive them, as it was hurting her more than them anyway, she said, “Yes.” She asked the Lord Jesus to forgive her first, and then said, “And I forgive them.” Immediately a wave of peace washed over her as she sank back on the pillows and smiled. “I feel better already,” she exclaimed with a new light in her eyes.

A week later he went back to see her and she was up, dressed, and excitedly lifted her arm above her head to show what she couldn’t do before. She went to the window and pulled the blind up and down. “I couldn’t do that before,” she said. “Every day I do something new. I am so happy.”

We know that not all cases of arthritis are due to resentment and bitterness, but we need to examine our hearts, don’t we?

HEART PEACE

Another story comes to my mind of a young lady who had moved from apartment to apartment because of her job and for some reason she seemed to get offside with her landlords. She was a girl who had not known real love in her home and already felt rejected. All these blowups caused her to go into real self-pity. She was very unhappy.

One rainy day she decided to clean out her basement—a job she had been putting off. As she went down the steps she found the dark basement all lit up. No, she had not reached the light switch!

God was giving her a vision. As she looked, she saw many faces– her old landlords and they were all pointing to her and sneering. She recoiled in her heart. At the same time, she saw Jesus looking at her with much love and compassion. Then He turned and looked at all the mean faces of her landlords.

She knew without saying that Jesus wanted her to forgive them and she cried out, “Lord, forgive me for harboring the hurts. I forgive them.” In a moment those sneering, angry faces changed and smiled at her. God restored peace to her heart and she felt His love and presence surrounding her.

She slowly came out of that basement. It was still untouched, but inside her heart the clean up took place. She was a different girl to the one who went downstairs. She had not only met Jesus, but experienced an inner healing as she forgave.

Hebrews 12:14, 15 reminds us to be watchful and guard our lives against a root of bitterness springing up which brings torment to our minds and hurt to others.

Do you feel you have been badly treated? Perhaps you have. Yet Jesus says, “Forgive, as I have forgiven you.”

Perhaps a tragedy has hit you. Maybe you have been terribly disappointed and subconsciously blame God for it. I did this once and used it to take out my frustrations on those dearest to me. Things changed I asked God to forgive me I noticed in a few days that things were changing as I accepted my circumstances instead of resenting them.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Will you freely forgive others as God has forgiven you? You will then know the wonderful blessing of a clear conscience and perfect heart rest.

SHIRLEY WRIGHT, Palmerston North

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Posted by on in Meat For Men Daily Encouragement Blog

DadSonFishingThere is a rock of much strength filled,

For upon this rock the nations build,

As granite cliffs rise strong and tall

The rock of fatherhood should never fall.

When fathers of wisdom, strong and bold,

Stand up for their families, God’s ways to hold,

Blessing will flow from heaven above

And fill those families with God’s great love.

But forces of darkness, cunning and sinister,

Much disturbed that fathers should minister

To the needs of their families, small or great,

Have unanimously decided, ‘Fatherhood – liquidate.’

The fight is on, hell’s in a storm,

Destroy this image to which man was born,

Get rid of fatherhood, whate’er the cost

And earth will suffer man’s greatest loss.

Make fathers small, make them a shrimp,

Turn them into a jellyfish wimp,

Alcohol, drugs, anything goes,

Even to bash his family with blows.

Make him too busy to take the family away

On a fine day’s outing or school holiday,

Better to hit golf balls around the green

Than take family away to a nice mountain stream.

“Adultery, adultery,” the devil cries.

This wrecks the family and fatherhood dies.

Let feminists rise and take his place

And this will give God a slap in the face!

Let’s change his appetites, make man a boar,

Who follows his lusts for a sleazy whore.

Oh yes, oh yes, if that’s not effectual,

We’ll turn him into a gay homosexual.

Yet ignorance, plain ignorance is the best tool

To destroy fatherhood and make man a fool.

For who will take time to study, excel,

To raise sons and daughters, God’s ways to tell.

Fathers arise, stand up and be counted,

Be a part of the army that God has mounted

To revive, restore, and bring back from the sand

The highest role God has given to man!

 ~ COLIN CAMPBELL

Painting: Art print by John D. Benson

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Posted by on in Meat For Men Daily Encouragement Blog

TwoPrayersLast night my little boy confessed to me

Some childish wrong;

And kneeling at my knee,

He prayed with tears—

“Dear God, make me a man

Like Daddy—wise and strong;

I know you can.”

Then while he slept

I knelt beside his bed,

Confessed my sins,

And prayed with low-bowed head.

“O God, make me a child

Like my child here—

Pure, guileless,

Trusting Thee with faith sincere.”

~ Andrew Gillies

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

StripItOffAre you weighed down by a heavy burden today? Maybe it is a huge trauma you face. Or perhaps it is the accumulation of many little worries and problems that add up to a big weight? Are you going to keep carrying this load around? It makes you so tired. You can hardly get through the day.

You can’t live life effectively when you are weighed down. You can't even mother efficiently. You are handicapped. God knows this and therefore tells us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Hebrew 12:1).

Do you notice that this Scripture tells us to lay it aside? It actually means “to strip it off.” Take some action. Come to Jesus. Come to the foot of the cross and throw down your burden. Don’t hang on to it. Sometimes we are tempted to hang on to it so we have something to groan and complain about. What a delusion.

Let it go and look to Jesus. He showed us the way. He endured the cross and the shame because of the joy set before Him. When you take your eyes off the burden and lift your eyes to Him, He gives you new perspective and reveals His eternal plan.

Now you can run your race. Now you’ll have energy. Now you can keep going to the finishing line.

Be encouraged.

Nancy Campbell

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WhyLetHappenDid you read Lois’ marriage testimony yesterday? Today tells a tragic event that in their lives. Please get out your tissues first!

WHY DID HE LET IT HAPPEN?
One week before Christmas the little girl we were looking after went home. She stayed with us for two years until her Father called for her and said He wanted her back. This was a shock to us because she was so happy in our family and we loved her more than life itself.

There was nothing we could do to stop Him taking her. Her Father hadn’t been able to warn us because He knew that we would not give her up without a fight. He thought it would be best if He came unexpectedly to get her.

After He had taken her I told him that she would miss us and would want Barry and me. Who would go to her and cuddle her at night when she woke up? Who would play with her and tend to her like I had? Her Father lovingly told us that he would do all those things and that she would not miss us. She would be absolutely happy, He said.

The little girl’s name is Selah and she is very beautiful, in fact perfect. On that Sunday before Christmas she was looking so pretty. She was playing so happily in the garden because she loved flowers. Barry is a gardener so they spent a lot of time together. Selah often picked flowers for me and since she was only two years old they were often received without stems or slightly crumpled.

On this Sunday, she decided to go for a walk in her new red sneakers. She went down the road and onto the nearby railway line at the bottom of the hill. There were pebbles between the sleepers and she was having such fun playing with them. She was enjoying herself so much on that railway line that when the train came along she watched it approaching with happiness. When the driver of the train saw her, he tooted and tooted, but she just smiled up at him. She was killed instantly.

She had only been missing a few minutes, but I was in a terrible panic because I couldn’t find her anywhere around the house. Then I saw the train stopped at the bottom of the hill. When I heard the driver call up that she was dead, I screamed, but deep within me was peace that she was in the arms of Jesus.

Barry and I couldn’t have children. We wanted one for so long, but nothing happened. One night at a Christian meeting we were prayed for and soon after I conceived Selah—she was a very special gift from the start.

When she was born she was a beautiful baby and Barry and I looked at her in amazement and joy that she was ours. I cannot express in words how much we loved her.

We are just ordinary people, but God knew we would only have Selah for a short while and so in a wonderful way He caused us to be very good parents. Selah knew no fear during her life and she came with me everywhere I went, and if not, she stayed with my family who loved her as we did. I’m glad we have no regrets about how we treated her--only happy memories.

Initially, I couldn’t understand why such a tragedy happened to us. I cried out to God and asked Him why He let it happen. Sometimes I was angry at God, but most of the time I knew that whatever He did was out of great love. God told us that He lent Selah to us and that she had been here to do a job for Him. He said that she had known a wonderful life with us, but at last she was really home!

Many people have found God because of Selah. I have proved God to be a wonderful Father and I love Him now like I never did before.

There are so many things I have learned through this experience that I would love to share. One of the most important things is that life is so temporal and we have no insurance that says how long we are going to live. I had a few things worked out for Selah’s life, but they have all come to naught because she is no longer here.

We can place much importance on trivial matters and worthless things, but the only inevitable fact in life is that we must all die and face God sometime. Life is so short compared to eternity. We must follow the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly, otherwise in eternity we shall have nothing.

Another important thing I know now is how very precious our children are. As mothers, we have a tremendous responsibility in preparing them for eternity. We must teach them the real value of life, how to love God, to understand what Christ did for them on the cross, to love and respect other people, to be obedient, and to encourage the development of godly values.

Although Barry and I don’t understand the full purpose of Selah’s life and death, one thing we do know is that we wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

God is perfect and just in all that He does. I know great things have, and will happen because He lent to us beautiful, perfect Selah.

LOIS JORDAN, Ashhurst, New Zealand

Lois and Barry were blessed to have two more children after Selah—Azzan and Grace. They are now grandparents and Lois continues to garden, enjoy her grandchildren, and minister to people who need Jesus.

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DidntEvenLikeIntroducing: As we continue to celebrate this anniversary month of 40 years of publishing Above Rubies, I’d like to introduce you to another dear friend who was part of the beginning of Above Rubies. Lois Jordan was the original Design Artist for Above Rubies. This was before we used computers and she did everything with “cut and paste.”

Lois is not the ordinary woman. When she married, she longed to have their own home. Her husband didn’t have time to build it. He was too busy earning the money. She decided that since she was at home with her little baby boy, Azaan, that she would build the home. Studying books at night and with advice from her father, she began the dream. And she did it! She built this beautiful five-bedroomed two-story home that you see pictured. Lois is a grandmother now and Barry and she continue to live in this home she built.

I remember going out to her home when she was building. Azaan would be rocking in a hammock between poles and she would be up on the roof hammering! I would call, “Come down, Lois, we’ve got to work on some design.”

When we moved from New Zealand to Australia to pioneer a church on the Gold Coast of Queensland and to continue the ministry of Above Rubies there, Lois and her family and her sister, Janie and her family also came with us. She continued to create the design for Above Rubies for some years before they returned to New Zealand.

Lois and her sister, Janie were also the first singers for Above Rubies. With sister harmonies, we produced their original songs to encourage and bless women. Their two recordings were called HER PRICE IS ABOVE RUBIES and THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE. They blessed thousands of women. Lois and Janie, Val Stares, and I travelled to many meetings across Australia to encourage women in Australia. I would speak, Val shared testimony, and Lois and Janie sang. Does anyone have a copy of these LPs and tapes?

Serene and Pearl were only young and as they sat around with Lois and Janie as they wrote and sang, they were inspired to also become a sister due. When they grew up, they continued producing Above Rubies music.

This year in the spring Colin and I were back in New Zealand for an Above Rubies retreat and I got to see Lois again. How wonderful it was to catch up with her.

“How are you, Lois, and what are you doing these days?” I asked when I first set eyes upon her.

She replied with the most radiant face, “I just love to seek the Lord and BEHOLD Him each new day.” What a beautiful answer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone gave such a reply?

The following is an article that Lois wrote for Above Rubies in the very beginning, telling about her marriage that at that time of her life, she didn’t want!

I DIDN’T EVEN LIKE HIM!

“And they both lived happily ever after!”

That’s certainly not how we were going to live! It wasn’t that we didn’t want to, but we just weren’t happy together. In fact, I wasn’t happy being with Barry three days after we were married.

We became engaged two weeks after we met and were married five months later. During our engagement, I thought that the things I was doing were too important to stop doing to get to know Barry. “I’ll have plenty of time for that later,” I thought.

Alas, on our honeymoon, I realized I didn’t even like Barry very much, let alone love him.

It wasn’t that he was a bad person, but the thought of spending the rest of my life with him didn’t send me into spasms of joy. The greatest cause of our problem was that we were two people wanting to live our own lives and not give in to each other.

After several months of marital unhappiness, I wanted to leave Barry, but there was only one thing that stopped me. I was a Christian and had promised before God that I would love, honor, and cherish Barry as long as we both would live. However, I felt that unless something miraculous happened in our relationship, I was not going to be able to fulfill the promises I had made at our wedding.

The things that made me go further and further away from Barry now seem so small and insignificant. In fact, it is hard to remember them. Little things like going out for the evening and not telling me where he was going, hardly ever being on time, breaking something of mine, etc. Oh yes, I had list upon list of all the things he did that I didn’t like.

Of course, I never, never did anything wrong except be stubborn, selfish, independent, and above all, would not accept Barry as he was. I thought that by nagging and criticizing him I could make him the way I wanted him to be. But that didn’t make him change for the better, but for the worse.

Finally, I spoke to a counselor at our church and told him everything about our marriage. I announced that I was giving one more week for a change to occur. He encouraged me to accept Barry the way he was and not try to change him. We prayed and he asked God to do a real work in both Barry and me, which was our only hope. There was nothing we could do--we were too far apart and the hurts were too deep.

The following week a miraculous change came into our marriage. All the things that irritated me before seemed so unimportant and I began to see all the lovely things in Barry. I saw how good, kind, and gentle he was and so many other things.

At the same time Barry responded to the new love I had for him and he became so thoughtful and started looking for ways to please me and all I wanted to do was please him. That was five years ago and now he is my best friend and I am his best friend. We live so peacefully and are so much in love.

With all my heart, I know that because Christ was in our lives, when we called on Him He stepped in with His love and saved our marriage.

We have a little girl who is so beautiful. We call her Selah. We are so glad to have God’s principles working in our lives. Now we have the absolute confidence that we will live “happily ever after”!

LOIS JORDAN, Ashhurst, New Zealand

Don’t miss tomorrow’s article. I will print another testimony from Lois—this time a very sad one!

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

KeepHabitYesterday we talked about having an exuberantly thankful heart. Did you begin investing this attitude into your family yesterday? Did you start with your husband?

What are you thankful for today?

T I am thankful for our family Table where we enjoy the presence of God, great laughs, family discussions, and where we make rich memories.

H I am thankful that God blessed me with a faithful Husband and for being married for over 54 years.

A I am thankful that God is Always available to hear my cry.

N I am thankful for my God-anointed career of Nurturing and Nourishing my family.

K I am thankful for God’s Kindness and mercy to me.

F I am thankful for God’s great Faithfulness to me which is never failing.

U I am thankful for God giving me Understanding of His truth.

L I am thankful to God for Loving me enough to send His Only Son to die for my sins and shed His precious blood.

What are you thankful for?

Many blessings from Nancy Campbell

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OverTheTopGod’s purpose for our lives is to be “abounding with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). That doesn’t mean saying a “thank you” every now and then, but a lifestyle of thankfulness. Not just a lifestyle of thankfulness, but one that abounds with thankfulness! Over the top with thankfulness!

It’s not only being thankful to God, but to our husband and children. And to people we meet. It means being thankful for all the little things of life. It means have a grateful heart to all that happens in our lives.

I am amazed how this generation of young people and children have not been taught to be thankful. They haven’t been taught to say, “thank you” for everything that is done for them. Let’s make this the habit of our own lives and invest it into our children.

When your husband does something for you, thank him. Don’t just take it for granted. When your children do their jobs well, thank them. Teach your children to be thankful for the daily things in life. Teach them to say, “thank you” at the end of the meal you cooked for them. When you take them somewhere, remind them to thank you rather than just taking it for granted. It should become the habit of their lives to say “thank you” for everything.

We must not let our children get into the entitlement spirit which is so prevalent today. We don’t deserve anything. We should always be “over the top,” “above and beyond,” and exceedingly thankful for everything in life. May we never be like the nine lepers, who after they were healed, went rejoicing on their way without ever bothering to thank the One who healed them (Luke 17:11-19).

Some time back a lovely family stayed in our home. They also loved fellowshipping with the Johnsons (Howard and Evangeline’s family) who live next door. They noticed how their children were “over the top” thankful about everything. They didn’t say “Thank you” in a monotonous voice, but “Oh, tha-a-a-a-nk you SOOOOO much.” This is how their children always thank people. When they are given a gift for a birthday or Christmas, they immediately express their enthusiastic thanks and give the person a hug.

Our visiting family noticed and took up the habit too. When they waved goodbye to us, they all puts their heads out the window cried out: “Tha-a-a-a-a-a-nk you SOOOOO MUCH!”

You can never be too exuberantly thankful! Encourage a new spirit of thankfulness in your home today and see what happens.

Much love, Nancy Campbell

Nancy Campbell

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MercySeat8In my last post, I wrote about the enormity of the emphasis placed on the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs in the Old Testament. The amount of blood that was shed every day, beginning with Adam and Eve who were clothed in animal’s skins (which involved the shedding of blood), all the way to the coming of Jesus Christ was an enormous price for God’s people.

In Genesis 4:26 we read of Adam and Eve having another son whom they called Seth. Seth’s first born was called Enos, “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.”

This is very significant because usually calling upon the name of the Lord involved building altars and sacrificing the life blood of lambs, bulls, and goats. All the blood that flowed from Old Testament altars cannot be estimated in price. It all pointed to the priceless value of the one supreme sacrifice whose atoning blood ended all the vast rivers of blood shed on Old Testament altars.

Matthew 26:26-28: “And as they were eating Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Mark 14:23: “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.”

John 6:53-57: “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they had to eat all the lamb, including the internals. These days the Jews only partake of the shank portion of the leg of the lamb.

However, we who believe in Christ, are to partake of His head (His mind and His vision), His hearing, His speech, His internals (bowels of mercies), His heart of love and compassion, His legs (to walk as He walked), and His hands to be our hands of welcome, love, embrace, and healing.

This is all because of Jesus’ shed blood.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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MercySeat7The blood of Jesus Christ was, without doubt, a very big emphasis in the Old Testament church.

Genesis 3:21: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Adam and Eve clothed themselves with fig leaves, but God shed the blood of an innocent animal to clothe them.

Exodus: 12:3, 13: “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house . . . and WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL PASS OVER YOU, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 4:10: “And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance.

Hebrews 12:24: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” The voice of Jesus’ blood speaks better things (mercy, forgiveness, salvation, deliverance, and healing) for all mankind.

When the children of Israel left Egypt, they had to take a lamb for every household. Every day in the life of the Old Testament church, there were two lambs killed, the morning and evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:38, 39).

For the dedication of Solomon’s temple, they killed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep (1 Kings 8:63).

At Josiah’s Passover, he gave of his own substance 30,000 lambs and goats and 3,000 cattle; his princes gave 2,600 lambs and goats and 300 bullocks; and the Levite leaders gave 5,000 lambs and goats and 500 bulls (2 Chronicles 35:7-9). Wow, that’s 38,700 in all!

It was not the slain animals that God was impressed with, but rather the innocent blood. The inestimable value of all the blood of millions of sacrifices beginning with Abel to the patriarchs, to the sacrifice of the firstborn animal, to the dedications of the temples, as well as all the daily free will offerings, all pointed to the one great final sacrifice of absolute inestimable worth—the precious blood of God’s own son, Jesus Christ. He is the only One who takes away the sins of the whole world.

All these sacrifices and their blood pleaded day by day and year by year (as on the Day of Atonement) for mercy, favor, and forgiveness for all the sins of Israel (God’s chosen people).

How much more should we, every day, sing and shout the praises of Jesus’ blood that was so very much more effective and precious to cleanse the darkest stains of our sinful nature and give to us eternal salvation, mercy, and forgiveness?

The amazing truth is this: it took just one perfect and sinless sacrifice to take away sin and fulfil the rivers of blood that flowed from all the Old Testament altars.

If your church does not exalt and praise the precious blood of Jesus, you and your family can be deceived to build a Cain altar of your own works.

Make praising the blood of Jesus a strong part of your family worship time.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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FineWeatherToday, ladies I would love to introduce you to another very dear friend. Heather Jones is Val’s sister. Val is the Director of Above Rubies in Australia and her sister, Heather, is the Director of Above Rubies in New Zealand. This is a testimony which Heather wrote for Above Rubies 40 years ago when the magazine first began. I am sure it will relate to you as much as if she was writing it today.

The Howling Gale . . .

Most people ask children at some time what they want to be when they grow up. I always replied, “A mother.” As far as I could see, childrearing would be a breeze. However, when it happened, I soon registered a howling gale!

Our first child, Richard, was not well when he arrived, and for that matter, neither was I. We both struggled together. Nineteen months later Naomi arrived, healthy and strong. Then came Virginia 18 months after—with a heart defect. I had three children in three years. Those who have their children close know what it’s like.

My husband suffered from a disease called “deerstalking-it is.” which meant he was in the hills every chance he got. He also worked shift work, so that left me practically bringing up the children on my own.

They were not easy children, as those who knew us would verify. I got lots of sympathy, mostly from myself!

Richard had social problems. He would suddenly attack a child for no reason and cause it harm. He was so unpredictable. We could never see it coming, so every day I was going up the wall.

Those were the days that I’d go to bed at night and wish the next day would never come. I hated my life and many times wished I could die. One evening, after I’d struggled to get the children off to bed, and was still pretty wound up, a friend called and asked how I was. My reply, much to her horror, was, “I wish I could get some dreaded disease and die.” I felt that dying of a painful disease would be easier on me than these three offspring in my care.

I was desperate and cried out to God. How I pleaded with Him and how He graciously taught me not to fight my children, but to understand them. The unfolding wasn’t easy, because I didn’t always want to take His advice. But I learned to set my will to do what I knew had to be done.

I couldn’t feel close to my middle child. She was hard for me to love. I’d have her on my knee one minute, then push her off. I could see what my rejection was doing to her, and so I WILLED myself to show her lots of attention. When I’d rather watch her little sister, I’d watch her instead. I’d sit her on my knee and cuddle and kiss her until she’d had enough. It was lovely to see her respond. My attitude changed through the sheer discipline of my will. And now I looked forward to our cuddles together.

After a while she asked me, “Mummy, do you love me?” Finally, SHE KNEW I did.

Another thing I learned was that God had REWARDED me with my children. He wanted to bless me through my children. When I realized this, I stopped calling them “fair little brats” and began to call them “my blessings” and “my rewards.” As I changed my words, they changed their behavior and truly became my blessings. They are now my joy and delight.

As our children are growing up, we’re filled with joy and expectancy about their future. Their father is no longer a deerstalker, nor does he do shift work. Together we are jointly working towards a wholesome life for our children.

~ HEATHER JONES
Evan and Heather’s children are now grown and they are doting grandparents.

Picture: Heather Jones and Nancy cutting the Above Rubies anniversary cake to celebrate 40 years of doing Above Rubies. This was taken in the spring of this year in the city of Palmerston North, New Zealand where the magazine began.

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Dear ladies, Did you enjoy reading Val's testimony which she wrote 40 years ago in the post below? Do read it if you haven't read it yet. I am posting another of her testimonies which she wrote many years later. It's about how she learned to submit to her husband. It was not easy for her at the time as her husband would not take any authority to which she could submit. How did she manage to do it? Find out in this story . . .

PLEASE YOURSELF, YOU USUALLY DO!

The Bible was open before me and notes were everywhere as I waited on God to give me this anointed message on submission. You can imagine my shock when several hours into this study God spoke to me and said, “Val, you cannot teach this message.” A little unnerved I asked, “Why not?” His answer to my heart was, “Because you don’t know what submission is!”

Now I don’t mind admitting that I was shocked.

“Lord, do you realize that I’m Val Stares from Above Rubies? I’ve always encouraged submission.” “Yes,” was the reply, “but you still don’t know how to submit.”

By now I was on the defensive. “But. Lord, you know that every time I want something, or desire to go somewhere, I always ask my husband first.”

“And what is his reply?”

“He says for me to please myself. Oh yes, he always adds, ‘you usually do.’ I don’t know why he says that because he’s already given me permission to do what I think best. After all, Lord, if I didn’t want what I asked for, I wouldn’t ask for it.”

“If you are serious about learning submission, Val, I want you to go to your husband and tell him that from now on he needs to answer “yes” or “no.” If he says that you can please yourself, then you will take that as his disapproval and will stay home or go without. There is to be no pouting, no banging doors, no attitude of annoyance or hurt when this happens.”

I desired to obey the Lord, so I bowled out to the shed where my husband could always be found. He is a cabinetmaker and works at home. I shared with him the plan that God had laid out before me.

“I can’t wait!” he roared, laughing. “You’ll never be able to do it.” I felt annoyed at him for thinking I was so weak, but it didn’t matter, as I didn’t want to go anywhere or have anything at that time. So far, the strategy was easy.

About three weeks later, a visiting speaker came to town. Everyone was excited. “Are you coming, Val?” I was asked. “Sure, I will,” I answered. "I wouldn’t miss this for anything."

Finally, it was time to ask my husband if I could go. Out to the shed I went, told him what was happening and asked if I could go. As usual, I left everything until the last minute! Can you guess his reply? “Please yourself, you usually do.”

Suddenly I remembered my pact with God. I was speechless as the enormity of the situation began to impact my brain. I can’t go! Worse still, I can’t say anything. I raced into the bedroom and pleaded with God, “He’s forgotten he has to say “yes” or “no.” Can’t I just remind him?” “No” came the answer to my heart.

Perhaps pleading would help. “Lord, this is a special overseas visitor to our church. He may never come this way again. His message could change my life. I’m told I shouldn’t miss his teaching.”

“I’m teaching you.” was the awesome reply. By now you would think I would be still, but no, I had to have one more shot. “Lord, couldn’t I just have a shower and get ready so that it will help to jog my husband’s memory.”

“No!” came the answer.

It was too much for me. I couldn’t do anything. My emotions were getting the better of me. If I was going to obey God, I would have to divert them. I began cleaning the house to help relieve the tension. Around the time I should have left for the meeting, my husband walked in to find me cleaning.

“I thought you were going out to a meeting,” he said. You would have been proud of me. As sweetly as I could manage, and it wasn’t easy, I answered. “No, darling. Remember I told you that from now on I’m not going to please myself. God said you must say ‘yes” or “no.” otherwise I must stay home.

What do you think happened? He relented and said I could go? No. My husband is a gentleman and very slow to anger. This time he was livid! “If you want to be so stupid, you can stay home!” he shouted as he stormed out. It was then that the full revelation of what God was teaching me became clear.

I had overridden my husband’s decision so many times that he was now robbed of any desire to lead. He must have felt so cheated. Now, by God’s hand, he was responsible for me staying home, but what hurt me most was the realisation that it was me, the Christian wife, who had robbed him!

I wasn’t bossy when we married. I just grew that way. My husband is a cautious man and rather slow at making decisions. My impatience at waiting for an answer caused me to make more and more decisions myself and he would go along with me for the sake of peace. When you’ve got children hanging out for answers, it’s easy to get caught up in this syndrome.

I stayed home for several weeks after that while we both learned our respective roles. I thought I’d have to stay home forever! Gradually, my husband began to say “yes” or “no” without the added adage of pleasing myself.

As I continued to study the Scriptures about submission, I realized that this was something I had to do of my own volition.

Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit yourself 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 savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Are you like me and sometimes wish he hadn’t written that last phrase?

Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

The Greek word for “submission” is “hupotasso” which means “to place yourself under.” In each of these scriptures, God tells us “to place ourselves under our husband’s authority.” He doesn’t tell husbands to make us obey or make us come under their authority. We do it because we love God and our husbands and because He has asked us to. It is our choice.

In my mind, I saw my broom raised to a horizontal position above my head. The handle was labeled, “My husband’s Authority.” I could see that if he were in his rightful position, I would be able to walk beneath it in an upright position. This upright position was one of honor, security, love--and a surprise I didn’t expect or notice until much later--power!

As I pondered my imaginary broom handle, I realized that I couldn’t stand upright beneath my husband’s authority. No, I would have to bend to get beneath it, mainly because he had been slowly robbed of his rightful authority, and secondly, because he now had no compulsion to take it up. My futile efforts only seemed to make matters worse.

Just as my husband couldn’t make me submit, I wasn’t able to make him lead. Both were individual heart decisions. God gently showed me that I would have to learn to bend my attitudes until I could get under his authority. I had to become flexible. Just because the things I wanted to do were good things, didn’t necessarily mean they were what my husband wanted to do. He could have other plans.

Then I realized that even bending wouldn’t be enough to get under his authority. It would take more than a little bending. Perhaps, if I kneeled! Oh, what a humbling position, but if that was what it would take, I would go that far.

I realized I was measuring myself against Bill instead of the Word of God. I was the one who was reading the Word each day, praying, and going to all the church meetings and he wasn’t. But God wanted me to measure myself by the attitude of Jesus and His example in 1 Peter 2:18-23: “For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps . . . Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously . . . Likewise, (with the same spirit of Jesus) ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the Word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (the manner of life) of the wives.”

I had become so religious that I had failed to see that I would please the Lord more by obeying and submitting to my husband than attending every church meeting and program.

However, it still wasn’t low enough! There was only one position left! My husband’s authority was so low that I had to lie down to get under it. Yes, I had to lay down my life! To get my marriage back into its rightful order, I took this position.

I placed myself there. No one made me. It took sacrifice and I had to lay down all my own rights. But I desired to be where God wanted me to be. It was the only position from where I could help my husband to take up his leadership role again.

With God’s help and guidance, I took one step at a time. The hardest part lasted only for a season. The rewards are for a lifetime and eternity.

What happened to that feared and dreaded “door mat,” the so-called intimidated mousy wife who gets no say? It was a lie. It had no substance or power. I can now stand up and walk upright, secure and loved under his protection. On this side of submission, I have more say because my opinion is of greater value than before.

One word of warning. Submission is a daily practice, not a one-time act. I must daily check my attitude and the humility of my heart. Is my life daily laid down for my best friend, my husband, Bill?

VAL STARES
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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RubyCelDear Ladies,
Because this month is the Ruby Celebration of publishing Above Rubies for 40 years, I thought I would send you a few more testimonies that were written in the magazine back 40 years ago.

The following testimony is by Val Stares. Val has worked with me in the ministry of Above Rubies from the very first day. I remember sharing the vision with her and telling that we were going to get out a magazine to encourage and strengthen the wives and mothers of the nation. She looked at me with a blank stare! Well, her name is Val Stares!

I didn’t know that that very morning she had said to the Lord, “If Nancy Campbell comes up with any more of her great idea, I’m not getting involved.” Obviously, I was wearing her out! However, so much for her confession, she got involved and has faithfully worked in this ministry ever since. When we moved to Australia, she and her husband and family moved with us and she continued to help me in the ministry there.

When Colin and I came to USA, I handed over the ministry in Australia to Val and she has watched over it ever since, until this day. What amazing faithfulness. I cannot count my blessings to have such a faithful laborer in this great vision of strengthening the families of the world. God has raised her up as an anointed speaker to wives and mothers and she has blessed so many women and families.

This was the first testimony Val ever wrote about her early days as a mother. Val came into our church one Sunday evening and was miraculously saved and baptized the very same night. God miraculously changed her and her whole life was turned around.
~ Nancy

WORKING MOTHER FINDS ANSWER
by Val Stares

As a young girl, my heart’s desire for my future was to have a husband who loved me and children of my very own. I felt capable and confident that I could love and care for them as good as, and if not better, than the next person. To be a successful wife and mother was my big aim in life.

Eventually, while on a working holiday in Australia I met my future husband. We married and built a new home in a suburb of Sydney. Life was exciting at this stage because our first baby was on the way. It seemed I had all my heart’s desires met within a short period. A husband, a new home, and a baby of our own.

One thing we didn’t have was very much money. In fact, we had struggles making ends meet so I worked until I was eight months pregnant. Because of financial pressures I went back to work when my daughter was six weeks old. Grandma came and lived with us and looked after our precious little girl, Natalie. Having my motherly mother with a “heart of gold,” our situation looked good. But it wasn’t true.

Because I left the house each morning at 6 a.m. and didn’t arrive home until 6 – 6:30 p.m. I saw very little of my baby during the week. I longed for the weekends when I could bathe, feed, and play with her. But for the first time I experienced something from someone very close to me which I’d never experienced in my life before. REJECTION!

My baby didn’t want to come to me. She wanted Grandma! At first, I smiled brightly and covered up the hurt by joking, but as the weeks went by I couldn’t hide my hurt. I was brokenhearted. My baby didn’t know why I worked. She didn’t know reasons why I was never home. All she knew was that her mother rejected her by not being there and so she rejected me and clung to Grandma.

What had gone wrong? Why was it that I had all I ever wanted, yet it wasn’t a bit like I ever dreamed it would be? Now life was a burden instead of a joy.

When my baby was eight months old we moved to New Zealand and started life afresh, but rather penniless. We again lived with my mother, this time in a two-bedroomed flat. I continued to work and we saved hard buying ourselves a small car and then eventually building another home.

We began to experience the same old pressures again, but by this time our responsibilities increased with the birth of our son. He was a very sickly child during his first 18 months and took a lot of attention, so I only worked part time while he was young. With sickness and lack of finance life was a big drag. I dreaded each new day.

Then I met Jesus! This meeting changed my whole life. I experienced a miraculous conversion and was never the same again. However, being a young Christian I didn’t know God’s word or His will for my life and so I continued to work with the excuse that I was my husband’s helpmate and was therefore helping him with finance.

One morning at our Bible Study we had a visiting speaker. She asked us to open our Bibles to Titus 2:5 and there I read that I was meant to be a “keeper AT home.” The Holy Spirit convicted me and that very day I handed in my notice. Because of holidays owing to me finished that very day. I left work at a time of great need as by this time we had our third child and were in a new home needing fences, drive, paths, lawns, and a garage.

Our Bible Study leader gave me a memory verse to learn and claim. Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such thing as ye have: for He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’”

In the days to come I literally clung to this verse. Another verse in Philippians 4:19 tells me He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. I find this a fantastic verse. I don’t live according to my husband’s wages. I live according to His riches in glory!

I testify now that since I have stayed at home and become a mother and a wife in the true sense and learnt to trust God that we have never gone without. We have all our fences, paths, lawns, garage, bigger car, etc. All on one wage. We are well-clothed, well-fed, and much, much happier. We have never had an account which has not been paid in a reasonable time.

This Christmas for instance was our first without two wages coming in. We had a family gathering Christmas day, the first in eight years, plus during the holidays we showed hospitality in a way we had never done before. In the natural we couldn’t afford all this, but in God I learnt a valuable lesson.

My grocery account became rather large with the extra food needed so I took the matter to God and left it with Him. So often I used to give Him my problems and then take them back again and have another worry over them. This time, however, I managed to leave it with Him. On Pay Day, my husband handed me his wages and no matter which way I juggled it the money just wouldn’t go far enough. I therefore decided to pay a small portion of my grocery account and pay more later. I informed the lady at the counter of my intentions and she said, “Mrs. Stares, your account had been paid in full.” Praise God!

He hasn’t always blessed me in such spectacular ways, but nevertheless I am fully aware of His hand providing clothing for us and the children which miraculously fit or match, the very things needed at the time. Food – the very thing we’ve run out of and so on. God continues to bless me as I become increasingly obedient to His will for me.

I would also like to share that being a working mother was most harmful to my children’s behavior, not being there to do the correcting of bad habits and teach them the right ways is something I could only blame on myself. I also laid a big burden on my mother who loved to help me, but not to do my job for me. I thank God for her understanding, patience, and love throughout those years when I didn’t know God.

I now find my life is totally fulfilled as a mother and a wife and as I reach out to others, to neighbors, and friends.

VAL STARES

Picture: Val Stares, Nancy, and Pat Twomey together in Australia in March of this year. Pat is a wonderful mother and grandmother who has supported Val in the ministry of Above Rubies in Australia. She is also a dear friend and great woman of faith.

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GardenLifeFor the garden of your daily living, plant:
Three rows of PEAS:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Four rows of SQUASH:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Four rows of LETTUCE:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce by patient
Lettuce really love one another

Three rows of TURNIPS:
Turnup for the family meal table
Turnup for church
Turnup to help one another

And lastly, you can’t grow a garden without THYME:
Thyme for God
Thyme for each other
Thyme for family
Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love. You will harvest what you sow.

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KingPriest

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

WomensRightsI love this poem, "Woman's Rights" by Thomas Bracken, written in the late 1800s. Among many other poems, he is the author of the famous poem, “Not Understood,” and the great words of the New Zealand National Anthem. Thomas Bracken was born in Ireland, raised in Australia, and then moved to New Zealand where he married and worked as a poet, journalist, and politician. I printed this poem in the very first issue of Above Rubies, September 1977, 40 years ago. Celebrating, I print it for you again.

WOMAN'S RIGHTS!

Some people think that women should
Compete in life’s swift race
With men, and gain each privilege
Position, power, and place
Which he enjoys. I can’t agree
With those progressive lights;
I’ll tell you what appears to me
To be fair woman’s rights.

When passion’s young ecstatic fire
First kindles in our veins,
‘Tis woman’s right to bind our hearts
In Cupid’s rosy chains;
She wields a queenly scepter then
Which we must needs obey,
We’re building castles in the night
And dreaming all the day.

‘Tis woman’s right to be caressed
When love is in the spring
And when affection’s harvest comes
Her right it is to bring
The garnered fruits of happiness
To cheer man’s dreary way,
To smooth his tougher nature
And refine his coarser clay.

‘Tis woman’s right to wean us from
Our selfishness and greed,
A counsellor in trouble and
A faithful friend in need.
‘Tis woman’s right to lead us from
The foot of Mammon’s throne
And take us to a nobler shrine
Where purer joys are known.

‘Tis woman’s sacred right--and this
To her by God is given,
To teach the lisping little ones
The password into Heaven.
No joy man knows on earth can with
A mother’s bliss compare
When listening with the angel choir
She hears her child’s first prayer.

‘Tis woman’s right to lean on man
In sorrow and distress
For he was made to comfort her
And she was made to bless;
Her bulwark against danger, be
She daughter, sister, wife,
Or mother, he should guard her well
Aye, even with his life.

‘Tis woman’s right, ere we prepare
To battle in life’s van,
To shape our future destinies
And mould the mind of man.
And here, where we’re erecting on
Pacific’s breast a state,
The mothers of our rising race
Can make it poor or great.

~ Thomas Bracken

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Above Rubies Address

AboveRubies
Email Nancy

PO Box 681687
Franklin, TN 37068-1687
Phone Toll Free in USA: 877-729-9861
Or  Phone : 931-729-9861
Office Hrs 9am - 4pm, M - F, CTZ