Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

In my post below, A FEW GUIDELINES, I said I would tell you my thoughts of what rules we should expect for people who come into our home. Here we go:

BeautyOrderWhen people come into your home to stay, how should they fit in? Should you allow them to make their own rules and do what they usually do? Or should you expect them to fit into your lifestyle and the way you run your home? What about when children come into your home and are disrespectful to your home?

No matter what the subject, my philosophy is to find out what God says in His Word. I find the answer to all my questions in God’s Word.

The children of Israel had many strangers living amongst them. Egyptians came with them out of Egypt. So how did they work things out? Did the strangers live according to their own laws or did they fit in with the laws God gave to the children of Israel? God makes it very clear in His Word that the strangers were to have the same laws as the "homeborn.” Let’s look at some of the Scriptures:

Exodus 12:49, 50: "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. Thus did all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they."

Numbers 9:14: "Ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land."

Numbers 15:14-16: "AS YE DO, SO HE SHALL DO. One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your generations: AS YE ARE, SO SHALL THE STRANGER BE before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you."

Numbers 15:29: "Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them."

Therefore I use this biblical principle in my home. Of course, I have grace and mercy, but there are times when I need to lovingly, but firmly, state the rules of our home. If parents do not have the decency to stop their children jumping on my sofas, I will tell the children to stop. I have often seen them jumping on beds and had to curtail them.

We like to sit up at the table when we eat. I don’t allow eating throughout the house, except in the kitchen and dining room. It’s not easy to keep a home clean when crumbs are dropped throughout the house and drinks are spilt on carpets.

We expect people who stay or live with us (and because we open our home continually in hospitality, we have many people coming and going) to join with us for Family Devotions morning and evening. This is part of the lifestyle of our homeborn family, and therefore we expect “strangers,” although usually friends, to partake with us. Now if we have non-Christians sitting at our table, we won’t expect them to pray personally around the table as we usually do. However, we don’t forgo reading the Word, but my husband will pray instead.

I think this God-give law should apply in our nation too, don’t you? Strangers who come into our nation should learn our language and keep to the same laws of our country. They should not expect to make up their own rules. This is a God-givem principle.

In His love,

Nancy Campbell

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HoldOnTightOne mother commented on my post about establishing an order for the home: “Most families in Christian homes in New Zealand were raised like this. The life led now is very different and many are working wives and divorce is prevalent.”

I think this is a true statement of all our western countries. But why? Why do we now live different lives? God’s plan from the beginning has never changed. He created women to be able to birth babies, nurse babies, nurture children, and manage the home.

Sadly, women have listened to a lie. A lie that tells them that motherhood and homemaking is insignificant and that going to work outside the home or establishing a career is more important. And so, women have left the home. They have left their most important career for lesser careers. They have left that which lasts for eternity for that which passes away.

Revelation 3:11 (ESV) says: “I am coming soon. HOLD FAST what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” Motherhood is the crown of womanhood. It is God-mandated. Because it is God’s plan, the devil wants to steal it from women. In fact, he wants to seize it from them, but we must HOLD IT FAST and not let it go! When we let it go, we do so to the detriment of the family and society.

Be blessed today,

Nancy Campbell

Painting by Leon Emile Caille (1836-1907).

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ByLeadingSpiritWe have been talking about making ordinances for home to make it run smoothly. How do we do this? Do we copy what other mothers do? Do we get ideas out of a book? No, we get it by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

How did David get the pattern for building the house of the Lord? God gave it to him by His Spirit. 1 Chronicles 28:11-13 tells us that he received “the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit . . . for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.” Isn’t that wonderful?

God is interested in every detail of your home. Everything that is involved in the running of your home. Even the pots and the pans and how you should order your kitchen (1 Chronicles 9:32). God will show you how to set everything in order and how to order your days.

Ask God to show you and He will give you the plan by His Spirit. Wait for His plan. When He gives it to you, it will work. Sometimes you try to follow the ideas of others. It may work for them, but it doesn’t work for you. The way God shows you will work for you.

Be blessed today,

Nancy Campbell

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AFewGuidlinesAfter posting HOUSE RULES yesterday some ladies asked if I would share with them the rules for our house. I should never have used such a title, because I don’t have rules. What could I call them? They are more a basic, fundamental order for the home. And these fundamental guidelines change with times and seasons. I had different “rules” when the children were little than when they grew older.

Let me give you an overall picture of how I liked to run my home from when the children were little until now. My children are now all out of the home, married with their own children. But we still have young people living in our home (Above Rubies helpers and other staying at differing times). We often have up to four young people staying and visitors coming and going.

Do I have the same values for visitors? I’ll share that with you in another post.

I believe in getting up at a decent hour, not sleeping in! You can’t manage a home effectively if you sleep in. The best part of the day is gone before you even start. Wake up time will be a different time in every home and at the different seasons and ages of your children.

Currently I like to get into the kitchen about 7.30 am. I read and pray before this of course. I expect everyone living in the home to have breakfast before 8.00 am when we commence Family Devotions together. I revolve my day around PRIORITIES. Family Devotions, both morning and evening, are the highest priority in my day. Therefore, I plan the order of my day around them. That’s why everyone must be up in time. No sleeping in. I hate sleeping in myself but allow our young people to sleep in on the weekends.

After Family Devotions, we begin the day. Mothers with children will make sure basic chores are completed such as cleaning the kitchen and getting laundry going and then begin homeschooling. I’m not homeschooling now, but school grandchildren at different seasons.

Lunch time comes and we allow an hour for lunch and clean up. Larger families will most probably need longer to prepare, eat, and clean up. Some families like to read the Word at lunchtime too.

For me, after lunch, it’s back to the office to keep writing and keep Above Rubies going. Mothers may continue homeschooling, although usually they can all be finished by lunchtime. The afternoon is a wonderful time for projects, gardening, research, creative ideas, errands, visiting someone in need and so on. And rest time for littles ones.

I like to be in the kitchen again no later than 5.00 to prepare for the evening meal. This is a huge priority for me. I know that Family Devotions won’t work unless I prepare for it. It is such a blessing to have the evening meal ready for when your husband comes home so you can all eat together and at the end of the meal, enjoy time reading God’s Word and praying together. These things don’t happen unless you make them happen.

Here are a few other guidelines I find helpful in my home:

1. I don’t allow children to jump on the furniture and on their beds. This does not teach our children how to care for things or how to act in someone else’s home.

2. I don’t allow chewing gum in my home. Please understand that this is not a “thus saith the Lord.” It is my preference. I simply cannot stand finding chewing gum stuck to the floor or under chairs etc. Therefore, I don’t allow it in the home. Period. Personally, I don’t like to see people chewing gum anyway. I don’t think it equates with royalty, and aren’t we training our children to be princes and princesses in God’s royal kingdom?

3. I don’t allow children to eat food in their bedrooms or anywhere in the house except at the dining room table or in the kitchen. This only makes so much more work for you in cleaning house—crumbs around the house and marks on the carpet etc.

4. I expect ALL children and EVERYONE living in our home to join us for Family Devotions. One time, a young man was staying with us for a week or so. The night before he left he said he wouldn’t have time to come for Family Devotions as he wanted to pack his bag. It was only an excuse as he had done nothing all day! I certainly didn’t let him off the hook!

5. I expect everyone to be at the dinner table on time! No coming when they feel like it. They must be there the moment I call, although usually by this time the children are in the kitchen with you helping you with the meal and putting it on the table.

6. I allowed my children to be “children” and didn’t get at them for many of the stupid and childish things they did. However, I disciplined for disobedience, willfulness, rebellion, lying, and things that God detests in His Word.

7. I trained the children to do their chores with a smile and a good attitude. They would be given another task until they showed the right attitude. Of course, they learn this mostly from YOUR OWN ATTITUDE TOWARD WORK. You show by your actions and attitude that you LOVE WORK and it is a God-given blessing.

8. When the children grew older and were still living at home, I expected them to be home for the evening meal and Family Devotions, unless they let me know in time and it was a valid excuse. I expected them (and still expect anyone living in our home) to tell me where they are going and what time they will be home. And I have certain time guidelines for them to be in at night.

There are loads of other things I could mention, but I think I have gone on long enough.

Be blessed,

Nancy Campbell

Painting: Tasha Tudor

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GoldMin6His name is higher than any other. His name is Jesus. His name is Lord.

The altar of incense was the HIGHEST piece of furniture in the Holy Place in the tabernacle.

1. As the highest piece of furniture in the Holy Place it represents the HIGH PRIORITY we must give to worship and intercessory prayer. Christ’s ministry of intercession is now His highest and most important ministry on behalf of the church (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; and 1 John 2:1). Therefore it should also be the highest ministry of the church, not the least attended service. We see the lack of spirituality in the modern-day church by its lack of attendance to worship and intercession.

All I can say is that if it’s good enough for Jesus, our high priest, to make prayer and intercession His No. 1 priority, should it not be the same for His body?

I believe this is the main reason the church is weak in all aspects of its life, including marriage and family. Fatherhood and motherhood in the modern-day church are barely different from that of the world.

2. As the highest piece of furniture in the Holy Place it represents the HEIGHTS to which worship and intercession can take us. We become “the mounting up people.”

Isaiah 40:31 says: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall MOUNT UP with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Paul reminded the Ephesians Christians that they are RAISED UP together with Christ and to experience all the blessings of this truth. Ephesians 2:6 says: “And hath RAISED US UP together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” If we do not live our lives at this high altar of prayer and worship, how can we possibly know the things that are ours in the heights?

Colossians 3:1, 2: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things ABOVE, not on things on the earth.” It is only at this high altar of prayer and intercession, coupled with praise and worship, that we enter into the high heavenly blessings.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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GoldMin5We must teach the truth of the golden altar to our families. God has called us men to be fathers and leaders of our families, teaching our children how to pray, worship, and read God’s Holy Word. Without question, this is one of the most important things we can do as fathers.

If we who call ourselves Christian fathers place more emphasis on teaching our children social skills, the rights and wrongs of our cultural traditions, the provision of a good education, and the importance of being good and successful citizens, rather than a relationship with God through prayer and His Living Word, we fail them in what really matters most.

If we have not taught them how to pray daily and seek God through reading and meditation of His Word, from an eternal perspective we fail to teach them what matters most.

Many will say, “This is why we take our family to church once a week.” But prayer and the study of God’s Word was never ever meant to be a once a week ritual, but rather a daily habit.

How can our children possibly survive in this morally corrupt world, with all the deceptions that go along with it, if we do not wake up to the truth that we need God every moment of every day?

The Bible says in James 4:8: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” We need to encourage a daily experience of drawing near to God. How can we expect God to walk with us if our fathers never taught us how to walk with Him. How can we expect our children to walk with God if we don’t teach them how to walk with Him?

The ministry of the golden altar is needful so we can experience its value in our lives every day, from the cradle to the grave.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

Picture: Henry-Mosier-Pilgrims-Grace

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AStrongFam

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

HouseRulesDo you have laws in your house? I do. I have rules to keep my home in order and running efficiently. If I let everyone do whatever they want or however they want, the home soon turns to chaos. At the same time, I hate legality and love to have a spirit of freedom and openness to spontaneity, fun, and laughter. However, when we have an underlying foundation and plan for our home, it’s easier for this to happen. Everything is in order so we are free to do unexpected things.

Let’s look at an example in the Bible. Ezekiel 43:12 says: “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be MOST HOLY. Behold, this is the law of the house.” This is talking about the temple, the place of God’s dwelling.

God had laws for His house. He established many ordinances to make it run smoothly. In Ezekiel 44:5 it says: “Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning ALL THE ORDINANCES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, and ALL THE LAWS thereof: and mark well the entering in of the house with every going forth of the sanctuary.”

Because I am also building a house to the Lord, a sanctuary for the living God and for my husband and family, I believe I can’t do better than God’s plan. If it was important for God to have ordinances to run His house smoothly, I think I also need laws and ordinances to make my home function effectively.

God’s house had order and established daily times for certain functions. I need to make this happen in my home too. I believe in flexibility because every day of every year is different and we never know what is going to happen. However, we need to institute a basic plan to keep order.

And do you notice the ultimate vision? That God’s house will be MOST HOLY. Not only the house, but all around the house. This should be our ultimate passion and vision, to build a holy home for God’s glory. We seek God’s holiness on and in our home, but also on our land--the backyard, front yard, and all around our house. It is all to be holy to the Lord. We should pray this every day upon our home and allotment or acreage, whether it be large or small. We must guard what goes on in our home AND around our home!

“Holiness adorns your house, O LORD, forever” (Psalm 93:5). Does holiness adorn our homes?

Blessings to you today,

Nancy Campbell

Picture: The Charm of Home: Tasha Tudor

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

ReadMoreBibleHow well-taught are your children? In answering this question many mothers refer to the school or college to which they send their children, perhaps the best private school they can find in their area. Parents like their children to go to the most prestigious school possible.

God wants our children to be well-taught. But how does He want them to be taught? Isaiah 54:13 says: “All thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” The highest education our children can receive is to be “taught of the LORD.”

How can God teach them? He uses His servants on earth. The best teacher a child can have is a godly mother who teaches them God’s words and ways--a mother whose highest aim is to richly fill her children with the knowledge and wisdom of God.

God shows us in His Word the way He wants us to do this (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Isaiah 28:10).

The word “taught” in Isaiah 54:1`3 is “limmud” and means “learned, trained, skilled, and accustomed. It also means to be a disciple.” Are your children “accustomed” to God’s Word? I find so many children and teens from Christian homes are not familiar with God’s Word. They know more about the spirit of the world than the Spirit of God. Theyre more familiar with the worldly media than God’s Word.

A wonderful blessing is to teach your children how to hear the voice of God speak to them personally. When you read God’s Word to your children (or when they read it themselves) encourage them to not only read the words, but to listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts. When you read together, ask the children: “As we read, I want you to listen to what God is saying to your heart. When we have finished, I want you to tell us all what God said to you.”

You will be amazed at how God speaks to your children. And we need to get them into the habit of listening to the Holy Spirit. The greatest thing you can do is teach them to hear God speak to them personally from His precious Word. This way they will get to LOVE GOD’S WORD. It will become increasingly personal to them. It will become LIFE to them.

Be encouraged today,

Nancy Campbell

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

http://www.healthfreedoms.org/vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated-c…/

Here is a little quote from this longer article:
“Something is wrong with America’s children. They are sick – allergic, asthmatic, anxious, autoimmune, autistic, hyperactive, distracted and learning disabled. Thirty-two million American children – a full 43% of them – suffer from at least one of 20 chronic illnesses not including obesity. Across the board, once rare pediatric disorders from autism and ADD to Type 1 diabetes and Tourette’s syndrome is soaring, though few studies pool the data. Compared to their parents, children today are four times more likely to have a chronic illness. And while their grandparents might never have swallowed a pill as children, the current generation of kids is a pharmaceutical sales rep’s dream come true: More than one million American children under five years old takes a psychiatric drug. More than 8.3 million kids under 17 have consumed psychiatric drugs, and in any given month one in four is taking at least one prescription drug for something.

A pilot study of 666 homeschooled six to 12-year-olds from four American states published on April 27th in the Journal of Translational Sciences, compared 261 unvaccinated children with 405 partially or fully vaccinated children, and assessed their overall health based on their mothers’ reports of vaccinations and physician-diagnosed illnesses. What it found about increases in immune-mediated diseases like allergies and neurodevelopmental diseases including autism, should make all parents think twice before they ever vaccinate again:

*Vaccinated children were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (OR 4.3)
*Vaccinated children were 30-fold more likely to be diagnosed with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) than non-vaccinated children
* Vaccinated children were 22-fold more likely to require an allergy medication than unvaccinated children
*Vaccinated children had more than quadruple the risk of being diagnosed with a learning disability than unvaccinated children (OR 5.2)
*Vaccinated children were 300 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder than unvaccinated children (OR 4.3)
* Vaccinated children were 340 percent (OR 4.4) more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia than unvaccinated children
*Vaccinated children were 300 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an ear infection than unvaccinated children (OR 4.0)
*Vaccinated children were 700 percent more likely to have surgery to insert ear drainage tubes than unvaccinated children (OR 8.01)
* Vaccinated children were 2.5-fold more likely to be diagnosed with any chronic illness than unvaccinated children.

Worth thinking about.

~ Nancy

ANOTHER INTERESTING READ

The following is another article regarding vaccinations:
http://yournewswire.com/harvard-unvaccinated-children-risk/

Many mothers today are fearful of their children getting measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough and so on. It was so different in my day. All children got these sicknesses at some stage in their childhood and we all survived! I got them all and my children got them. When an epidemic was going around, many mothers exposed their children to others with the sickness so they could catch the “wild disease.” The wild disease is much safer than a vaccine.

Studies now show that vaccinations don’t last a life time and older people who were vaccinated can get these sicknesses which are far more dangerous in babyhood or adulthood, rather than childhood when they naturally get them and then have lifelong immunity.

The following is a little quote from the full article which you can read:
“The majority of measles cases in recent US outbreaks (including the recent Disneyland outbreak) are adults and very young babies, whereas in the pre-vaccination era, measles occurred mainly between the ages 1 and 15. Natural exposure to measles was followed by lifelong immunity from re-infection, whereas vaccine immunity wanes over time, leaving adults unprotected by their childhood shots. Measles is more dangerous for infants and for adults than for school-aged children.

“Despite high chances of exposure in the pre-vaccination era, measles practically never happened in babies much younger than one year of age due to the robust maternal immunity transfer mechanism. The vulnerability of very young babies to measles today is the direct outcome of the prolonged mass vaccination campaign of the past, during which their mothers, themselves vaccinated in their childhood, were not able to experience measles naturally at a safe school age and establish the lifelong immunity that would also be transferred to their babies and protect them from measles for the first year of life.”

It's important to research rather than just follow the crowd, isn’t it?

~ Nancy

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GoldMin4Today we look at some of the different names the Bible uses regarding this altar.

1. THE ALTAR OF INCENSE (Exodus 30:27; 31:8; 35:15; and 37:25). These passages emphasize the importance of prayer/worship/intercession to be a fragrant smell in God’s nostrils. Whatever we ask for, or whenever we worship, we do it all in the name of Jesus whose “name is as ointment poured forth” (Song of Solomon1:3).

2. THE GOLDEN ALTAR (Exodus 30:2; 39:39; and 40:26). These Scriptures emphasize the high value, inestimable worth, and preciousness of the ministry of prayer. The golden altar was the highest piece of furniture in the holy place.

3. THE GOLDEN ALTAR WHICH IS BEFORE THE THRONE (Revelation 8:3) which emphasizes prayer and worship connecting us to the throne of God enabling Him to rule and reign in us over all the earth.

4. THE WHOLE ALTAR WHICH IS BY THE ORACLE, the ark bearing the ten commandments, the covenant and truth (1 Kings 6:22). Prayer and worship open our hearts to the oracle or words of God’s truth and keep us close to it.

5. THE ALTAR BEFORE THE LORD (Leviticus 16:12-18). This emphasizes the nearness of God’s heart. We become close to the presence of God when we pray. We are to be the people of His presence. Exercising this ministry at the altar of prayer and worship releases God’s presence in our midst.

6. THE ALTAR TO BURN INCENSE (Exodus 30:1). This emphasizes the need of fire to burn the incense on the altar of our lives. There needs to be Holy Ghost fire in our prayer lives. Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”

This Holy Spirit fire burns up the chaff in our lives and causes prayer and praise to be sweeter and stronger in devotion and fervor.

7. THE ALTAR OF SWEET INCENSE BEFORE THE LORD (Leviticus 4:7). This Scripture emphasizes the need for our prayer/praise/worship to be very sweet before the Lord. No bitterness or critical spirit is acceptable to God. The Lord’s prayer teaches us that when we pray, we must also forgive (Matthew 6:12-16).

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

Picture: Martin-Luther-Prayer

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BewareUnbelief“I don’t know how we are going to survive. My husband doesn’t earn enough money to even pay our bills.”

“We couldn’t possibly have any more children. We only just make it with what we have already.”

And so, we continually make negative statements. I was very challenged as I read Hebrews 3:12 the other morning: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an EVIL HEART OF UNBELIEF, in departing from the living God.” The JBP version says: “You should therefore be most careful, my brothers, that there should not be in any of you that WICKEDNESS OF HEART which refuses to trust.”

We tend to think it is a light thing not to trust God, don’t we? We are all guilty of not trusting. Well, I admit, I am. We worry, fret, and try to work out our problems with our own understanding. But God calls it wicked! Ouch!

Why is it so wicked? Because it belittles God. We make him into a little god of our own imagination, a god that can fit in with our finite thinking. But God is so much bigger. His ways are so much higher. His thoughts are beyond finding out.

In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus told us to pray “Deliver us from evil.” This is the exact same word (poneros) as the “evil” heart of unbelief. We must ask God to deliver us from this lack of trust.

Ephesians 6:16 encourages us to take up the shield of faith so we will be “able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” It’s the same Greek word again. With the shield of faith and the power of the name of Jesus we must quench these evil thoughts of unbelief. Evil? Yes, God calls them evil!

Let’s get to the nitty gritty in order understand the seriousness of our lack of trust in our God. Satan is called “the wicked one.” It’s the same word again. When we embrace belief, and make it part of our life instead of trusting God, we give access to the devil, who is the wicked one, and wants to keep us in unbelief.

Romans 12:9 tells us that attitude we must have to this evil: “Abhor that which is evil.” Same word again!

We sang at Family Devotions the other morning:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.

Oh, how I long to be like the holy women of old who “trusted in God” even in the most difficult circumstances (1 Peter 3:5).

Love from Nancy Campbell

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MakeLovely2God, who touches earth with beauty,
Make me lovely too.
With Thy Spirit recreate me.
Make my life anew.

Like Thy springs of running water
Make me crystal pure.
Like Thy rocks of towering grandeur
Make me strong and sure.

Like Thy dancing waves in sunlight
Make me glad and free.
Like the straightness of the pine-tree
Help me upright be.

Like the arching of Thy heavens,
Raise my thoughts above.
Turn my dreams to noble actions,
Ministries of love.

God, who touches earth with beauty,
Make me lovely too.
Keep me ever, by Thy Spirit,
Pure and strong and true.

By Mary S. Adgar

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Posted by on in Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

’Tis not the fragrance of perfume

That makes you who you are,
But your shining face and glowing heart,
Which twinkle like a star—

’Tis not the fluttering eyelashes
That turn my heart your way,
But the depths of passion in those eyes
And love that they convey—

A dainty queen is not the fullness
Of femininity,
But she who loves her womanhood
And all that she can be!

~ Benjamin Graber

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If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two -
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do,
Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,
And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best,
And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome, to your heav’nly Visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last loud, hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymnbooks out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder – if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books
you read,
And let Him know the things on which our mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?
Or would you, maybe, change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends?
Or would you hope they’d stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

~ Unknown.

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BodyTempleI am so challenged. I read this morning in Hebrews 9:1 (JBP): “Now the first Agreement had certain rules for the service of God, and it had a Sanctuary, A HOLY PLACE IN THIS WORLD FOR THE ETERNAL GOD.” This Scripture speaks of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle in the wilderness. God dwelt in His Shekinah glory in the Holy of Holies. It is the holy place God chose to dwell on the earth. No man could enter this sacred place, except the High Priest once a year. And he dared not enter without carrying the blood.

However, when Jesus died and shed His own spotless blood, the thick curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place tore from top to bottom. It is now open. Now in the New Covenant God wants to dwell in our heats. Our lives are now the Holy of Holies for Him to dwell.

Is this true? Unbelievable, but yes. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and You are not your own?” The word “temple” is “naos” which is the word for the “Holy of Holies.” The word “hieron” is the word for the temple, but “naos” refers to the Holy of Holies.

Can you get this? God has chosen you to be His residence, a Holy of Holies where He can dwell.

Because God is a holy God, He looks for holy people in which to dwell in this world. We as the people of God are to be a holy people. A set apart people. A sanctified people. A suitable vessel for God’s holiness. We cannot afford to be friends with the world. James 4:4: says “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

God is a holy God. The Bible states “holy” three times because once is not enough to describe His holiness (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8). Therefore, God wants holy people. Holy parents. Holy children—yes, God wants us to raise “godly” children (Malachi 2:15). The word is “elohim,” one of God’s names. He wants children in His likeness filling this world. He wants holy families.

Let’s answer honestly: Are we a worldly family? Or are we a holy family?

Be encouraged today,

Nancy Campbell

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GoldMinPeople love gold rings and ornaments that are pure gold. They despise fake gold. With the same attitude, we should go after the real gold, which is prayer.

Men, we must pioneer this golden altar of prayer in our homes and families. Without it we fail.

Despite all the craziness going on in and out of the church, God is calling men and fathers to pioneer a revival of certain truths that He wants to use in these evil days to counteract and push back the powers of darkness. These truths assist to establish His kingdom of righteousness and peace in our families and individuals that make up His body, the true church.

Through the appropriation and activation of these truths, both individuals, families, and churches will become powerful instruments in God’s arsenal to change and destroy the evil powers over many nations.

Fathers, like the patriarchs of old, we must raise up this golden altar of prayer, praise, and worship in our families again.

Just as God calls parents to take their children away from the humanistic, public school system to the morally protected environment of their homes, He is also raising up families and churches to be involved in this golden altar ministry of prayer.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

Painting: “The Family at Prayer” by Haddon Sundblom

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GroaningsYesterday I posted thoughts on mothering from Debbie Erickson. Today I would like to share with you a Mother’s Day post from another dear friend, Peggy Fitzpatrick. She is also a mother and grandmother. Peggy writes on a different theme, but one which so many of us mothers relate to—the deepest longings and yearnings for our children. I know you will be blessed by her sharing also:

“My heart was awakened at daybreak on this Mother’s Day as I do many days, with the awareness of deepest longings for my children, for their well-being and happiness, for the fulfillment of their destinies, and their absolute good.

Almost simultaneously I became aware that this mother-longing exists in an inexplicable conjunction with the deep groaning of all creation spoken of in Romans chapter 8. I am in awe once again of the sharing we enter into as mothers with this profoundest, indescribably, instinctive identification with the very heart of the Creator of all humanity, an identification that is felt and echoed throughout all creation, and more deeply felt within us than even our own heartbeat.

I know this is not only a mother instinct, it is a life instinct, deeply joined to our Father’s own deep longing. However, we as mothers are given a gigantic dose of this connection with our children that determines our joy and sorrow, pain and concern, righteous anger or deep peace for as long as we live.

Rabbi Shaul wrote (with a motherly longing) in Galatians 4:19, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” Again, in a very motherly description he wrote: “Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” (2 Corinthians 11:29 NASB). And in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NASB) he says: “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?”

Romans 8:22, 23, 19, 25 (NASB): “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now, and not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for adoption as sons . . . For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God . . . If we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we eagerly await for it.”

Therefore, to all of us who are mothers, whether through giving birth or through loving deeply, may we know the honor and the privilege today of bearing in our hearts the very heart of our God who longs for us with a longing too deep for words.

And may we draw near to our Lord Jesus who went before us in laying His life down to bring us all into the fulfillment of our destinies. Let us lean into this calling of ours, with faith and hope, with joy and an eager expectation of good. May all the good we desire for our children find its ABUNDANT, more than we can ask or imagine fulfillment in Him.

~ Peggy Fitzpatrick, Nashville, Tennessee.

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GoldenMinistryMen, how much involvement do you and your family put into prayer in your home? The ministry of prayer is a golden ministry. It is very valuable and of inestimable worth.

Exodus 37:25, 26: “And he made the incense altar of shittim (acacia) wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were the same. And he overlaid it with PURE GOLD, both the top of it, and the sides thereof round about and the horns of it: also, he made unto it a crown of gold round about.”

Exodus 39:38: “The golden altar . . . “

Pure gold speaks of gold in its purest form. It also speaks of great value and worth. It is likened to God himself. The ministry of prayer and worship is of endless worth and should never be treated as unworthy of serious attention.

Many people underestimate the enormous value of prayer and worship and tend to have a neglectful attitude towards it. But God puts a high priority on prayer. He ordained this ministry to be the way we communicate with Him, the Almighty God.

Profanity is the sin of taking the holy things of God, making them light, and cheapening them. Esau did this over his birthright and no amount of tears could restore it back to him (Hebrews 12:15-17).

By and large, the modern-day church has very little involvement in prayer and as a result we have shut ourselves off from God’s involvement in our lives. When we are too busy to pray, we show God that this ministry is not a golden ministry to us.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

References about the golden altar of incense: Exodus 30:1-10, 34-38; 37:25-29; 39:38; 40:5, 26; Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:9-11; Revelation5:8; 6:9; and 8:3-5.

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DNAI read a beautiful message on Mother’s Day from a dear friend of mine, Debbie Erickson. Debbie is a mother and grandmother. She also organized the very first Above Rubies retreat in USA (held in Texas), well over 20 years ago. She wrote so beautifully of what I feel motherhood is all about it. In fact, I shared the same theme in my Mother’s Day post to you, but she wrote more movingly. Therefore, I’d love to share it with you:

“Today is Mother’s Day, a great day that the calendar marks once a year to honor mothers around our country. I think it’s a great idea. Moms need to be honored, treated well, and celebrated--and ideally, not just one day a year. We owe a lot to our moms. We certainly wouldn’t be here without them.

However, I am very keenly aware that Mother’s Day is a very painful day for many women who have longed for children of their own, but haven’t received them yet. For whatever reason--infertility, barrenness, not having found the right man yet, physical limitations, repeated miscarriages, etc., motherhood has eluded many women who desire to be mothers. And, so this can be a sad day for these women. I have had many friends who have felt this pain on Mother’s Day.

I have compassion for these women. Being a mom is a huge blessing and one of the greatest joys and privileges in my life. However, I want to put a different perspective on mothering that perhaps you have never considered before.

I truly believe that there are differences in the sexes. Beyond the obvious anatomical differences between men and women, God put in the DNA of women to be nurturers, to care for someone/something, to pour herself into someone/something to raise it up, to make it better, to help, and to love!

If you are a woman who doesn’t have a child of your own, you can still mother . . .
Yes, there I said it. You don’t have to have a child of your own to mother. So, how does that work? There are loads of examples all around us! Mother Teresa from Calcutta, India was never a biological mother, but she rescued, mothered, and raised hundreds of orphans who had been left on the streets to die. She became a mother to many.

What about the hospital volunteers who are childless women who sit and cuddle the tiny babies in the NICU’s to help their growth and development by their tender, nurturing touch?

What about all the childless women in ministry who have spiritual children all over the world that they train, teach, impart to, and love?

What about all those childless women in helping professions like teachers, nurses, and paramedics, etc., whose jobs include assist and giving aid to, even saving the lives of babies and children?

What about the childless women who give money to fund orphanages, adoptions, rescuing children from human trafficking, and feeding and clothing programs for the homeless? Children can be homeless, too, you know.

What about all the childless women in the world who love their pet dog or cat with all their heart and often give them better care than some moms give their own children?

These all represent ways that women can mother without ever having a child.

I believe in having babies. I believe in adopting babies and children. I believe in all of that, trust me! But for women who having children of their own has escaped them for whatever the reason, there are many ways they can mother, also!

Look around you, dear women!
Who needs a hug?
Who needs some words of encouragement?
Who needs a mentor to say “Come with me? Let me teach you about the Lord and His plans for you?”
Who needs a hot meal or you to invite them into your home?
Who needs a home to stay in while they are getting stuff worked out in their lives?
What single mom needs a few hours of free baby-sitting?
What baby or child needs to be adopted?
Who needs to be held and allowed to just cry it out?
Who needs their hands held while they go through something really scary?
Who needs someone to rejoice with them when things go great?
Who needs someone to grieve with them when things don’t turn out so well?
What dog needs to be rescued or bought?

There are so many hurting babies, children, teens, and adults, elderly, and yes, even animals, in this world who need a momma’s touch. And you don’t have to have had a baby be that “momma” to that child or adult.

It’s in the God-given DNA of all women to want to take care of, nourish, nurture, encourage, love on, and make people (and the world) better.

So, go for it, women! Reach out and change the world with your God-given nurturing DNA! Because it is in you! You’ve got it! God put that special something there in you! Don’t hold back for one second on mothering someone/something just because you haven’t had a child.

Because you have something unique inside of you that someone or something truly needs, I can truly say to EACH WOMAN reading this, ‘HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” TO YOU!’”

~ Debbie Erickson, Carrollton, Texas.

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Above Rubies Address

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