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.
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?
This is how God describes you! And why are you so amazing? Not because of anything of yourself, but because you are God’s created handiwork.
All of God’s works are amazing. As I look out the window I see the green leaves appearing again on the trees and the dogwoods are blooming. It is beautiful. We look at the night sky and we are in awe. We behold the breathtaking mountains and we cannot help but praise God. Each animal, bird, or insect is an intricate and remarkable creation of God.
But the greatest glory of His creation is man. It is only man who God created in His image and likeness. We have been chosen to reveal the purposes of God and be His representatives. I think we need to be reminded of how God sees us, don’t you? On the sixth day of creation, after creating male and female, God beheld His creation and “behold, it was very good.” This word means “exceedingly good, very beautiful, excellent indeed.” The Amplified says “He approved it completely.”
This means the way God created our female bodies is perfect and for God’s intentional purpose. God did not create us only for existence, but for purpose. Therefore, our bodies should function according to God’s plan. He didn’t create a womb for the woman for her to stop the function of her womb. He didn’t give her breasts only for beauty, but to nourish life. And it is all glorious and wonderful.
However, Satan who hates God’s creation and who hates life seeks to distort God’s purpose for His creation. He has succeeded in deceiving women regarding their role and purpose in life. He has blinded them to the glory of who God created them to be.
Let’s remind ourselves again of the wonder of who we are as we read the descriptions of God’s works of creation in Psalm 111. The works of the Lord are . . .
HONORABLE (v. 3). The Hebrew is “howd” and means “beauty, excellency, glorious, majestic.”
GLORIOUS (v. 3). The Hebrew is “hadar” and means “magnificent, splendor, beauty, excellency, glory, honor, majesty, and dignity.” This is the same word that is used to describe women in Proverbs 31:25: “Strength and honor (hadar) are her clothing.” We are to be clothed with God’s anointing of glory and dignity.
WONDERFUL (v.4). The Hebrew word is “pala” and means “marvelous, miraculous, hard, extraordinary, astonishing, beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations.” It’s the same word that is used in Psalm 139:14: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully (palah) made: marvelous (pala) are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” God’s amazing plan of the female body is extraordinary and miraculous. Why would we want to discount it?
POWERFUL (v. 6).
FAITHFUL AND JUST (v. 7) they are perfect and should never be changed. “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness” (ESV).
Let’s live in the glory and purpose of who God created us to be.
Be blessed, Nancy Campbell
Where can you communicate while you eat?
Where can you enjoy real fellowship sweet?
Where can you laugh with friends who are neat?
At the table.
Where can you pour out your heart and soul?
Where can you explain what is taking its toll?
Where can you share your vision and goal?
At the table.
Where can you dialogue and sift through ideas?
Verbalize thoughts and yet still be at ease?
Discover new subjects to debate if you please?
At the table.
Where can your hearts be knitted as one?
Where can you yarn and old stories be spun?
And feel accepted so you don’t have to run?
At the table.
Where can your children learn to sit still?
Acquire eating habits that won’t make them ill?
Be taught good manners of which some have nil?
At the table.
Where to imbibe values and ethics for life?
Learn to eat correctly with fork and knife?
Observe how “to father” and be a good wife?
At the table.
Where can you reveal God’s ways to your kin?
Teach them His Word will keep them from sin?
And to follow God’s laws is the way to win?
At the table.
Where can you encourage your children each day?
And boost the confidence of these “jars of clay”?
Give counsel that will keep them from going astray?
At the table.
Where can you make your house feel a “home”?
With a lovely warm ambience and happy tone?
From where your children will not want to roam?
At the table.
Where can you show love to God’s special “flock”?
Feed those who come to your door and knock?
Even those who don’t know God can be their Rock?
At the table.
Where does God love His presence to fill?
Where does He want His blessings to spill?
Where does He want restless hearts to be still?
At the table.
Dear father and mother, look again at your table,
Family meals together will make your home stable!
Make it a priority--your God will enable!
Sit at your table!
~ Nancy Campbell
The following is the FERRAR FENTON BIBLE translation of Psalm 127:
If the LORD builds not the House,
In the vain the builders strive;
If the LORD watch not the Tower,
In vain the Watchman guards.
In vain for you to rise at dawn,
And late to go to rest,
And eat of carefulness the bread,
When He gives His darlings sleep.
See! Children are the LORD’S estate,
The body’s sweetest fruits;
Like arrows in a giant’s hand,
Are they, your youthful sons.
The man is blest who has with them,
Filled up his quiver full,
He will not shame when he may meet,
His foemen in the Gate.
The following are some ideas that I have found helpful in maintaining togetherness at our family meal table.
EVERYONE COMES TO THE TABLE ON TIME
I believe it is important to train our children to come to the table the moment we call. Of course, they will know the approximate time of the meal and can anticipate it. They should also be in the kitchen at this time, helping with the meal and setting the table, so they shouldn’t be too far away.
SET THE TABLE ATTRACTIVELY
The Bible speaks about SETTING the table. Proverbs 9:2 (CJB) says: “She has prepared her food, spiced her wine, and she has set her table.” A lovely set table draws the family to come. Use a tablecloth. Maybe even add candles or a centerpiece. This is not extra work for you if you train your children. Organize them to take turns and have competitions to see how attractively they can make the table.
If you are in the stage with little toddlers and can’t imagine the thought of washing an extra tablecloth, purchase a pretty one and cover it with clear plastic. All you have to do is wipe it down at the end of the meal.
THINK OF SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Have you noticed that if you don’t prepare something to talk about, the conversation goes nowhere? It is often quite boring and shallow. When I prepare the meal, I like to also think about what we will discuss at the evening meal.
Ask the children a question (and make sure everyone at the table gets an opportunity to share their point or view). Or bring a subject to the table for them to discuss (and once again, make sure each one takes a turn to speak, even the youngest child). This changes your table time from nothingness to wonderful memories—or even a riot or a revival! I can remember when sometimes one of the children would stand up on their chairs with their fingers waiving to make sure they got their point across! Our table was never boring.
If you are at a loss to think of subjects, go to DINNER TIME CONVERSATIONS: http://aboverubies.org/…/797-family-meal-table-dinner-time-…
ONE CONVERSATION ONLY
Although we allowed our children freedom to speak, we only allowed one at a time. We never allow separate conversations to carry on at the table. Everyone must be focused on the subject the whole family is discussing. It is not etiquette for some people at the table to personally speak to each other when there is a family discussion in progress. Children should also learn this etiquette for when they visit other families. They should give undivided attention to the focus of discussion at the table.
IPHONES ARE BANNED
I do not allow iPhones at the table. The table is a time of family togetherness. We come to interact and communicate with one another, not other people who are not at the table. This is the height of rudeness!
STAY UNTIL THE END
I expect everyone to stay at the table until the meal is finished. That means staying until we have enjoyed Family devotions together—the reading of God’s Word and prayer. Interestingly, in the Netherlands, they call Family Devotions “Finishing up the Meal.” Reading God’s Word and praying together is how they finish up their meal! This also means not popping up and down throughout the meal.
CLEAR THE TABLE AFTER PRAYER
I have found that if we begin to clear the dishes away from the table before devotions, it is difficult to get everyone back to the table again. Once they are up, they start disappearing. Therefore, we do not clear the plates away until we have enjoyed our reading the prayer together.
Many blessings to you from Nancy Campbell
Yesterday we talked about the first question God asks in the Bible, “Where are you?” God didn’t come to Adam and Eve the moment they sinned. He came at the end of the day. The heat and toil of the day is over and a gentle breeze is now blowing. It’s the time to rest. It’s the time for fellowship.
Genesis 3:8 says: “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
This is the time of the day God still wants to visit us and fellowship with us. It’s the time when we gather to eat together as a family. It’s the time when we sit around the table to fellowship and discuss things together. It’s the time when we invite God’s presence to our table. And we wouldn’t leave the table without opening His precious Word to allow Him to speak to us and to spend time praying and calling out to Him.
God longs to come to us. Do we long for His presence? Or do we hide? Just as Adam and Eve hid from the presence of the Lord, I believe many families continue to hide from God’s presence. This is the time of the day God established to specifically communicate with His created ones. We should make sure we are not hiding.
Unfortunately, the enemy of God and of our souls seeks to keep us from this daily appointment. He makes sure that all our extra-curricular activities are scheduled for this time of the day when we should be home preparing the evening meal and gathering our family together to not only eat together, but enjoy His presence. Sports and lessons all vie for this time. Instead of preparing for a meal with God and our families, many mothers and children are still away from home and fighting the traffic. No time to prepare a meal. Grab some fast food. Eat it while looking at the head of someone in front of you in the car!
This is not how we are meant to eat meals. We are meant to sit around where we can see one another’s faces and truly communicate. And even more than sitting together, Satan makes sure we don’t have time to read God’s Word together. He makes sure we won’t be home to pray together as a family, the most powerful, nation-changing, and world-changing thing we can do as a family. Nothing we can do is as powerful as praying together.
Don’t let good things prevent you from doing the most powerful thing. Don’t let Satan trick you to hide from God’s presence when He comes to be with your family in the “cool of the day.”
Love from Nancy Campbell
I begin this new series today.
One of the most important roles a man can have is to be a father. Better still, to be an anointed father.
Leonard Ravenhill said: “In all thy getting, get unction.” Unction is another word for anointing. Perhaps we have been wrong in primarily equating the anointing with preaching and certain music which moves us deep down in our hearts and spirits.
We read in the Scriptures that the original anointing oil was applied to the High Priest of Israel and to his sons who were set apart from the secular to serve the Lord in a religious sense. The kings of Israel were also anointed with olive oil and set apart to lead God’s people in a civil sense.
The anointing was often accompanied with divine wisdom, authority, and prophetic utterances. The anointing enabled the anointed to accomplish amazing and miraculous feats to overcome their enemies. The anointing brought God on the scene.
I believe that the Christian families of our nation need Holy Spirit-filled fathers to raise sons and daughters in the ways of God, especially in these challenging times.
To be continued.
It is true that we can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
How you can give heart-felt love to your family and others who are part of your life?
1. Give your smiles of approval.
2. Lavish encouraging words.
3. Give sympathy.
4. Give advice and counsel.
5. Help and give support wherever possible.
6. Give fellowship, friendship, and time.
7. Give financial assistance when appropriate.
8. Organize trips and excursions (especially surprises!).
9. Give heart-felt affection.
10. Offer forgiveness freely.
11. Pray for your wife, children, and those who need your prayers.
12. Give your children good doses of God’s Word each day.
If God as a father gave His very best for us because He wanted us to become His own special sons and daughters, how can we not be like Him in our fatherhood?
Painting: “Testing the Waters” by New Zealand artist, Barry Ross Smith.
Do you remember the fearless reporting of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who helped expose Planned Parenthood selling baby parts? Now, California Attorney General, Zavier Becerra has filed felony charges against them which could put them in prison for years. All for standing up for life and justice. Please pray for them and please sign the petition in their defense.
Like me, do you love to stand up for life, truth, and justice? Proverbs 31:8, 9 says: “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Here is a petition you may like to sign to stand up for life. (I’ll send you two more inn separate emails).
Tragically, over 4,000 babies are aborted every day in our nation. That's over 1.6 million every year!
The Supreme Court admits in Roe that once Congress establishes the personhood of unborn children, they must be protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which explicitly says: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property." Therefore, the passing of this LIFE AT CONCEPTION ACT can end abortion in America!
To sign, go to:
God loves to ask questions. We notice that when Jesus came to earth that He loved to ask questions too. Of course, God always know the answer, but He wants to hear a personal answer from us.
The first question God asks in the Bible is “Where are you?” After Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, they realized they had sinned. When they heard the LORD God walking in the garden they freaked out and hid themselves among the trees. Genesis 2:9 says: “The LORD God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’" God knew where they were, but He wanted to hear from Adam and Eve.
God still asks this question to you and me. “Where am I?” “Where are you?”
Are you hiding from My presence? My sweet fellowship? Are you too busy to hear My Word? Do you think My thoughts? Are you obedient to My ways or are you more in sync with society around you (Isaiah 55:8, 9)?
God knows the answer, but He wants you to answer Him. He keeps calling to us in the midst of this distorted and deceived society in which we live. He constantly calls us back to Him, His truth, and His ways.
What is your answer?
Love from Nancy Campbell
A 15-year old schoolboy in Minnesota wrote this prayer:
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange, or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the State.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues, and cheeks.
They may outlaw guns, but FIRST the Bible,
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the “unwed daddy,” our Senior King.
It's “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such “judgments” do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires, and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns, the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make,
Should I be shot, my soul please take!