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.

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TakesStringWhen I was a young child growing up, it was common for people to say, e.g. We’re planning a vacation this spring, DV.” What were they saying? DV is short for the Latin words, Deo Volente meaning GOD WILLING. I rarely here people say these words today.

However, it is Scriptural. James 4:13-15 says: “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. Whereas ye know now what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For what ye ought to say, IF THE LORD WILL, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers: “I will come to you shortly, IF THE LORD WILL” (1 Corinthians 4:19). And again: "I trust to tarry a while with you, IF THE LORD PERMIT:" (1 Corinthians 16:7).

Proverbs 27:1: “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Proverbs 16:9 is so true: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

As we go into this New Year, we can trust our Sovereign God implicitly. He knows the way He has planned for us. It is already written in His book. We make our plans, but let’s always be ready to say DV and be open to God changing and leading us in His ultimate plan (Psalm 37:23; 48:14; Proverbs 19:21; and Jeremiah 10:23).

This takes all the sting out of life. When things don’t go our way, we know that God’s way is better. I’s not always easier, but it’s always better. Even the most difficult, despairing, and terrible things God is working out for good. Read Genesis 45:6-8; 50:20; and Romans 8:28.

We can trust God in every situation. He is sovereign.

God be with you today,

Nancy Campbell

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DontDropI once heard a prophetic utterance as I was about to return home from a men’s conference. The message came forth that the heavens are weeping over our nation’s children who are crying themselves to sleep because they have no fathers to answer their questions.

I am shocked and horrified at how many children in our nation who do not have fathers present in their lives. The U.S. Census Bureau states in Fatherhood Data and Statistics that 24 million children, one out of every three, live without a biological father. These statistics are tragic!

Absent fathers have drastically weakened the nation. Fatherhood is an awesome responsibility. Failure to take up this challenge through lack of interest or selfish priorities reveals a great weakness of character that is not acceptable. In fact, if is plain irresponsible.

Marriage breakdown and divorce is also a main contributor to absent fatherhood. All children need loving, understanding, kind fathers who make every endeavor to be present and involved with their families. Every child is another link in the generational chain and parents must make every effort to make that generational link as strong as possible.

Don’t drop the baton.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell


Painting by Vickie Wade

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WhoisFirstA few more thoughts for the beginning of this year. Isaiah 48:12 states: “I AM HE; I AM THE FIRST, I ALSO AM THE LAST.”

We know factually that God is FIRST. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. But is He FIRST in our daily experience? This is a challenge to me.

My thoughts are usually of the LORD the moment I wake. I love to read His precious Word before anything else I do. However, I have a problem which I am sure you face also. I prefer to read my literal Bible (my flesh and blood Bible), but often I turn on my iPhone while still lying in bed to get my first thoughts and message of the day from God.

But many times a message will appear on my iPhone as I’m turning to my Bile! It can be tempting to check it. And if I check that, other things appear! Oh, what a distraction! Will I be tempted? A thousand times No. I hear the word in my heart—FIRST! Who is first in my life? Who am I going to make first in my life? God of course!

Therefore, I make it a habit to discard anything that appears on my iPhone as I go to the Word. I DILIGENTLY resist it with all my heart. I DETERMINE to resist it. For God is FIRST! He must be FIRST in every action.

Are we phonies? Or is God truly FIRST?

As we embark on this New Year, can you join with me to make God FIRST in every thought and action. And let’s be strong to read His Word first before letting that iPhone take over.

Love to you today,

Nancy Campbell

Read also: Isaiah 41:4; 43:10; 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 21:6; and 22:13.

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BeginWithGodToday is the beginning of a New Year. Beginnings are so important. They are the foundation.

“In the beginning GOD” (Genesis 1:1). Everything begins with God. And this is how we should live our lives. Every decision we make and every belief we have must all begin with God. We don’t start with man and try and bring it back to God. It never works. We start with God and everything works down to us. Then it works the right way. Because God’s way is always right. It’s the only way. Every other way is misleading.

Because we continually keep getting away from God’s way, God reminds us in Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus saith the LORD, stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Do you want to live in rest and peace this year? Get back to the old ways. To the very beginning. To God’s principles He gave in the beginning. To the very first words He said in the beginning.

Now that’s challenge, isn’t it? The very first words God ever spoke into the ears of man were: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Many people have their own idea about this. They don’t like God’s mandate. However, if we want to walk in a straight path that leads to life we must accept the beginning (Matthew 7:13,14). The first words. The first establishment of God’s plan for marriage and family. Anything else is devious.

May we not be like those who responded to the words in Jeremiah 6:16 with “We will not.”

Let’s begin everything in our lives with God. Let’s take every thought and every decision to God.

Happy New Year,

Nancy Campbell

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BeAvailableMen, one of the greatest responsibilities of good fatherhood is to be available to your children as much as possible. All children need the godly, stabilizing input and influence of their fathers, some more than others.

Please do not leave the overall responsibility of parental presence to your wife. There are many times, even in the daily ministrations of family life, when things go wrong. I think most women tend to be more emotional than men. It’s not their fault. It’s just the way they are wired.

Most men react more rationally and calmer when a child has an accident or gets into trouble. I know that men cannot always be available because of working away from home, but when you get a lunch break or some time to take a break, please give your wife a call. Check up on what’s happening at home.

A husband’s reassuring voice of wisdom goes a long way to calm a wife’s frazzled nerves when things are not going well. When you are at home, be at home. In other words, be involved with your family as much as possible. I think it is possible for some men to be at home, but they might as well not be home. They shut themselves off from their family.

Genesis 22:7 says: “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father and said, My father: and he said, here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for burnt offering?” Like Isaac, there are many sons and daughters crying out, “My father, my father, where are you? Please answer me. I need your help and wisdom now.”

Fathers, when you are at home, make yourselves available. Even though you may have responsibilities to take care of, even at home, be ready to drop what you are doing to attend to the needy request of your own flesh and blood, your children.

Beware of being overly taken up with your iPhone, computer, favorite hobby, or self-interest. Remember, you are a father FIRST OF ALL. You are an honorable, attentive father. Fatherhood is a crown for your head. Put it on and wear it with godly pride. It is your privilege.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell


Painting by Janice Trane Jones

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JoyHomeI have been meditating about the joy of home the last few weeks. God is the creator of the home and it is meant to be the most beautiful place on earth. It is meant to be a replica of God’s home in heaven. Jesus asked us to pray: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Of course, everything that God designed, the devil hates and seeks to destroy. He wants to steal from us every lovely thing God intends for us. God woos women to the home, which He made for them, and where we find true rest and joy. The devil woos women out of the home and into a life of deception.

Our God is a dwelling God. He loves to dwell. He dwells in His home in heaven. He dwelt amongst His people in the tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem. He dwells in our hearts. And He will dwell with us for all eternity (Revelation 21:3).

He also wants us to be a dwelling people. The word dwell occurs 468 times in the Bible, translated by many different words. I found 26 different Hebrew words for the word “dwell” and five more that speak of temporary dwelling.

Every Hebrew word gives a beautiful description of dwelling in our homes. Let me tell you about one for today. The word “mnuwchah” means “matrimony, repose, consolation, an abode, comfortable, quiet, resting place, still.” Although it means to dwell in a home, it also includes matrimony. When we marry we make a home—a place of comfort and consolation, a repose, a resting place for God, ourselves, and our children.

Here ae a few Scriptures where it is used:
“My people shall dwell . . . in quiet resting places (mnuwchah)” (Isaiah 32:18).

“The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place (mnuwchah) for them” (Numbers 10:33). God intends our homes to be resting places. He loves to call them resting places.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside still (mnuwchah) waters” (Psalm 23:2).

“The LORD grant you that you may find rest (mnuwhchah), each of you in the house of her husband.” We find rest in our homes.

And God Himself speaks and says: “This is my rest (mnuwhchah) forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:14). God desires to live in rest. He wants to rest in our homes. He wants to rest in our hearts.

As you think about all you want to accomplish in this coming year, can I draw your heart back to your home? God wants to do beautiful things in your home. Powerful things. World-changing things. Great things can come out of a home that is filled with God. Filled with His rest and His peace and His joy.

Embrace your home.

Love from Nancy Campbell

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ProtectGemsProverbs 31:10 (AMP) states that the virtuous woman is “Far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.” Expensive jewelry is kept in a safe place where it is protected from thieves and destroyers, such as the Crown Jewels.

Sending one’s wife out of the protected environment of a godly home into the unprotected work place is not esteeming her value to be worth more than rubies. While your valuable treasures are kept in a bank vault or in a strong steel case with an expensive lock, your most treasured and loved wife is placed in a work environment of sleazy, flirtatious predators. This does not make sense to me.

No wonder our homes are falling apart and our treasures are thrown to the wind. If you regard your daughters as crown jewels, you will also protect them from the wolves of the work place or crazy colleges.

Father, you have a divine responsibility to protect your living gem stones.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

Painting by Marie Kvěchová-Fischerová

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GodChoseWomb2I love the prophetic words of Christ in Psalm 40:7, 8: "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God." All through eternity, Jesus Christ was already the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). He bore the weight of this burden all through eternity until God's perfect moment in time.

Oh, come and see what God has done! How did He come? How did God choose to send His Son? We immediately think of how He came as a little helpless baby. But first He came into the womb of a young virgin. Luke 1:31 states: "And,
behold, thou shalt conceive in thy WOMB, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." Who could ever dream of such a thing? Our Savior, Jesus Christ related to every aspect of our humanity, even to being conceived and growing in the womb of a woman.

Isaiah 49: 1, 5 is another messianic prophecy which also speaks boldly of the womb: "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far (God wants the whole world to receive this amazing news!); The LORD hath called me from the WOMB; from the bowels (WOMB) of my MOTHER hath he made mention of my name. . . . And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the WOMB to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him . . . "

Because God put such favor and importance on the womb to bring forth His Beloved Son, Satan hates the womb (Genesis 3:15). There is still war against the womb today. Satan seeks to delude and deceive women about the power of their womb. The Son of God came through a womb to deal a death blow to the enemy and bring salvation to the world. But God still wants children to come forth from the womb to bear His image and to bring salvation to many.

The womb is God's blessing to us. It is His blessing to the world. Nothing in this world can happen except through the womb. All the mighty works God wants accomplished can only happen through His servants and they must come into the world through a womb. All the great feats and accomplishments of this world only happen through someone who was conceived and birthed from the womb.

Why do so many women today choose to close their womb? To stop the function of their womb? Many reject their womb, and yet GOD CHOSE A WOMB for His Only Beloved Son who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Mary's response was: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38). What is your response?

Be blessed today,

Nancy Campbell

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HeIsWithTheeThe angel of the Lord encamps around the homes of those who fear the Lord! And He delights to dwell with us for He is a Dwelling God. What a wonderful promise to take into the New Year! #godwantstodwellwithus #godwithus #burdenbearer #aboverubies

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fathersmilingdaugtherWhen your heart is turned toward your children, you will find yourself smiling at them more. A loving smile does wonders, even when a child does not deserve it. A smile of agreement and approval always gives encouragement. A knowing smile gives comfort and assurance to a child who needs to overcome insecurity and uncertainty.

Smiling lights up your home and family. Smiling is the language of love. Smiling that comes from a spirit that is in a healthy relationship with the indwelling Christ can melt the hardest rock and break the most solid ice.

Many times, when words don’t bring healing to deepening wounds, why not try smiling? Too many religious Christians think that smiling and laughing are too worldly, frivolous, and carefree and that Christianity is a pious, straight-faced business. Just look at some of the older generation photographs.

And yet smiles are the most healing of all influences. They are also very contagious.

Hebrews 1:9 gives a testimony of Jesus: “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. He was full of joy, gladness, and smiles more than anyone else!"

Be encouraged to smile more in your home,

Colin Campbell

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SimionGod told Simeon that he would not die until He had seen the Messiah! When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord, dear old Simeon perceived that this baby was THE MESSIAH for which he had been waiting. He took Jesus up in his arms and proclaimed: "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A LIGHT TO LIGHTEN THE GENTILES, and the glory of thy people Israel" (Luke 2:26-32).

Simeon, like Zacharias also prophesied that Jesus came to bring LIGHT. Jesus is the LIGHT GIVER! When He comes in with His light, He also brings His glory.

Job 18:5-56: "Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him." What a terrible indictment it would be to have people say, "The light is dark in their home!" I don't want there to be any darkness in my home, do you? I don't want our light to die out. I want the light of Christ to increase.

Is your home filled with light? Or are their shadows of darkness? Let's make room for the light of Christ Jesus to shine into our hearts, into the hearts of our children, into our plan of every day, and into every room in our home. Let's push out any darkness that creeps in and make fill our homes with light.

Be blessed today,

Nancy

Don't you love this amazing painting of Simeon taking baby Jesus up in His arms, knowing that he is privileged to behold the Messiah and embrace Him in his arms? Read the whole story in Luke 2:22-38.

 
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starry nightMany Christians who say they believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God fail to realize that God's first mandate for all husbands and wives to be fruitful and multiply. It is just as important today as it was to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

"Why is it important?" you ask. It's all about the image and likeness of God. You may think that God's image is His business and not ours. Surely there are other things about God that are more important. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our very existence in this world is primarily for this express purpose. We should look and act entirely different to the way the world looks and acts.

Are we a clear revelation to this needy world of how God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit looks and acts like? Wouldn't this world be a better place to live in if the image and likeness of God was multiplied and manifested everywhere-in all its glory and clarity? A thousand times, yes.

Is it possible that every child born to a Christian couple and raised in the ways of God, born again, and filled with the Holy Spirit could be like a great neon sign, showing to the world the image of God? Absolutely, yes. Your street, your family, your city, your country, and your world would be far better off with the multiplication of God's image and likeness. God's love, His truth, mercy, holiness, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, and all His virtues are what it is all about.

It all begins with a newborn baby being raised in the ways of God. And why would we stop with only one? We need to multiply God's image with two, three, four, or however many God plans to give us. This truth needs to be shouted from the roof tops.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

 
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FloodedLightWe are currently in the season of remembering the most wonderful celebration in the history of the world--when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth as a little baby. We know that this was not the actual time of his birth, but it is the time we remember His miraculous incarnation.

God spoke through the prophecy of Zacharias that He would send His Beloved Son into the world "TO GIVE LIGHT TO THEM THAT SIT IN DARKNESS and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). This is not the light of Christmas lights, but the light of Jesus Christ that fills are hearts and which He wants us to shine to everyone around us.

They had no room for the Light of the World in Bethlehem. Do we make room for Him in our lives? Do we allow Him to expose the darkness and flood our lives with His light? Every time we respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives and say Yes to God we open to His light. When we are stubborn, want our own way, and say No to the convicting of the Holy Spirit, we choose darkness.

Dear mother, we must teach our children this powerful principle too. Every time they say Yes to you and Yes to the Holy Spirit they receive more light into their lives. When they disobey you, and say No to the voice of their conscience they allow darkness into their lives.

Let’s be those who open up MORE AND MORE to the Light and less and less to the darkness. Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth MORE AND MORE unto the perfect day."

Each new day, individually and as a family, ask God to FLOOD YOU WITH HIS LIGHT.

Love from Nancy Campbell

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WhereZealMen, if we have no zeal, we are like gasoline without octane. What man wants to drive a car that has no "get up and go"? Come on! Sluggishness is something we men cannot stand when it comes to driving cars or working any kind of machinery, including computers.

Some may think that zeal sounds a little fanatical, but the truth is that most of us could do with a bit more of it! Some, a lot more of it!

True zeal spurns compromise, especially when it comes to principles. Jesus acted with zealous fanaticism to cleanse the house of God. John 2:17 tells us that it was zeal that motivated his actions.

If it's okay for communists, socialists, progressives, and Islamics to be zealots, what about God’s people?

The Greek word for "zeal" is “zecos” meaning "heat, ardor, fervent mind." It's most important for us men to be zealous for our families, our homes, our principles, our work or career, and most important of all, our service to God. A man without zeal will tend to be overly casual. He will be a "moocher" Have you heard this word before? We use it in New Zealand and Australia for loitering about aimlessly.

A man lacking zeal is like trying to drag around a heavy weight. He has no spring in his step, no oomph in his personality, no twinkle in his eye, and no passion for anything. He is like a dead man walking. He is a bore to be around, a fire without heat, a drag on society. This is not the man being created into the image and likeness of God (Romans 8:29).

THE DEVIL CREATES ZOMBIES. GOD CREATES MEN WITH FIRE IN THEIR BONES.

Zeal knows no apathy. It deplores laziness and slackness. It believes in creativity, enthusiasm, and a job well done. Zeal cannot tolerate sitting around and accomplishing nothing. That’s mooching!

Zeal loves motivation. It rejoices in challenges. It fights for what is right.

Seven times the Bible mentions God possessing and acting with zeal. Zeal is a great motivator. If God uses it to get things done, so should we. Isaiah 9:7 says, "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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CrownedHave you ever worn a crown? Yes, you have, perhaps without realizing it! Psalm 103:1-3 says: “Bless the Lord, O my soul . . . who crowns thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Every morning God puts a crown on your head of His lovingkindness and tender mercies. Thank Him for this beautiful crown and be consciously aware of wearing it as you walk through this day. It will change your attitude and turn your heart to God in gratitude and awe.

The Hebrew word, “lovingkindness” is chesed, one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. It describes God’s unfailing love and mercy to undeserving sinners. It is similar to “grace” in the New Testament which can be understood as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”

Psalm 103 gives us more understanding. Verse 8 tells us that God ABOUNDS in lovingkindness. Verse 11 says that God is GREAT in lovingkindness, and verse 17 says that His lovingkindness ETERNAL. It is from “everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”

As God crowns us with lovingkindness, don’t you think we should pass it on to others too? Can we crown those around us today—our husband and children. Let’s pour out kindness and mercy over them.

Love from Nancy Campbell

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BothNaturalThe very first mandate God gave to the husband and wife was: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

If God believes in fruitfulness and multiplication, so should we. When God gave these words to Adam and Eve, He spoke of the natural and physical. Anyone with an honest mindset must agree.

There are some who argue that God is only interested in spiritual fruitfulness and multiplication, such as John 15:16 where Jesus spoke primarily regarding spiritual fruitfulness.

However, to argue that we do not need to be naturally fruitful to produce a world full of spiritual fruit is plain, straight, ridiculous. God wants fathers and mothers who are spiritually fruitful to bring forth natural sons and daughters. He wants them to raise them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord to multiply spiritual fruitfulness that will influence the whole world—every nation, every city, every village, every home, and every individual.

It is for this purpose God has called and mandated every husband and wife to be fruitful and multiply, both naturally and spiritually. The more children we permit God to give us, the greater potential we have as parents to influence the world for righteousness. We cannot increase righteousness if there is no one created to receive it. As we teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord, the whole earth will be filled with His glory (Numbers 14:21).

Those who call themselves Christians, and yet have no vision to increase and multiply sons and daughters, obviously have no vision to see the world influenced with the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 15:46 tells us: “First which is natural . . . and afterward that which is spiritual.”

Do we believe in God’s Word or our own understanding?

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

Picture: Howard and Evangeline Johnson and their ten children.

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Hanukak1HANUKKAH

As a family, we love to celebrate Christmas, not the tinsel and glamor, but the preciousness of gathering together as a family. Our family gatherings are so special and wonderful. We also love to remember the most amazing event in the world when God sent His Son to this world—into the womb of a woman and to be born as a little baby.

Bible commentators agree that Jesus was not born at this Christmas time when the world remembers His birth. He would most probably have been born about the month of September during the Feast of Tabernacles. However, this is most probably that time that He was divinely conceived by the power of the of Holy Ghost. Incredible. God coming to the earth as a "seed" from the Father. I am in awe.

We sing the words of O Holy Night:
“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!”

I am sure you are like me and can do nothing less than fall to your knees in wonder and worship!

However, we also love to celebrate Hanukkah. We love to light the Hanukkah candles each night and to also read Scriptures about the Light during our morning and evening devotions. Why do we celebrate Hanukkah?

1. It is a celebration that Jesus celebrated. Read John 10:22, 23.

2. Hanukkah in the Hebrew means "dedication." God's temple was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BC, but the Maccabees family led a revolt against the Seleucid armies and called the nation back to God. After they had driven them out of Judea and Jerusalem, the Maccabees consecrated and rededicated the temple. However, God no longer lives in a temple in Jerusalem, but lives in the temple of our hearts. We like to use Hanukkah as time to rededicate the temple of our lives to God.

3. It is called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and also the Festival of Lights. It celebrates the re-lighting of the Menorah. They could only find enough oil for one day, but miraculously the lights kept burning for eight days while they prepared the anointing oil, specifically commanded in the Scriptures. Because this celebration remembers the relighting of the menorah, we like to read Scriptures about God and Christ who are the light and how He also wants us to be His light in this world. We do this at our Family Devotions each morning and evening. And each night we light a Hanukkah candle.

I will post the Scriptures at the end of this article. Read and meditate on them in your personal devotional time. Then choose the ones you would like to use with your family. For each day, you may like to take half the Scriptures at Family Devotions in the morning and the other half in the evening, or whatever works out in your home.

If you have older children, it's a lovely idea for each one to have their own Bible and give a Scripture for each one to read aloud--and to share what they feel God is saying through the Scriptures. If you have little ones, you may only want to take one, or one or two Scriptures from the list and talk about it.

And don't forget to ask your children questions as you read the Scriptures. This is how you learn together.

During the eight days of Hanukkah, I usually send out a post each day telling you a little story about Hanukkah that relates to us as mothers, or a revelation from the Scriptures about the meaning of Hanukkah. I didn't get around to doing it this year and therefore I am behind time! Here they are for you in one big lump. I know you will enjoy them. You will be inspired, blessed, and encouraged.

Don’t forget to read the devotion for Day 8! FULL TIME HANUKKAH PARENTING! You will be inspired.

HANUKKAH DEVOTIONS
The following are some very interesting Hanukkah devotions.

MY FAMILY AND I WILL NEVER GIVE UP (Day 1 of Hanukkah)

Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication as it is called in the New Testament (John 10:22-23) is a festival of lighting candles for eight days to remember the dedication of the temple and the relighting of the lampstand which God commanded should never go out (Exodus 27:20-21).

It all happened because of a very brave family. Antiochus Epiphanes ruled over Israel and commanded all Jews to renounce their way of life, practice pagan observances, and live like the Greeks. He erected the "abomination of desolation" in the temple. Many Jews assimilated to avoid persecution and being killed. BUT NOT THIS FAMILY!

Mattathias was a godly older man with five brave sons--John, Simon, Judas (known as Maccabeus), Eleazar, and Jonathan. When the officials came to their town of Modein, they tried to get Mattathias to influence the people of his town to turn away from God. Listen to his reply, "Mattathias answered in a LOUD VOICE: What do I care if everyone in the king's entire kingdom turns from their own religion and starts obeying his laws? MY FAMILY AND I WILL ALWAYS KEEP THE PROMISES OUR ANCESTERS MADE TO GOD. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP OUR FAITH OR DISOBEY EVEN ONE OF GOD'S LAWS. WE WILL NOT OBEY ANTIOCHUS!" (1 Maccabees 2:19-20).

When a cowardly Jew stepped forward to obey the king by offering a sacrifice, Mattathias was so furious that he rushed over, killed the man, destroyed the altar, and killed the official who ordered the sacrifice. He and his sons then ran to the hills leaving everything they owned behind. This began the bravery of the Maccabee family who conducted continual battles against the enemy and eventually delivered Israel and Jerusalem and the temple of God.

We don't face being killed for our faith today here in our Western countries, although this is currently happening in many countries of the world. Will we be those who give in or will we have courage, individually, and as families to stand true to God, even if no one else is standing? The Scripture says, "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).

May God give us the strength and anointing to be bold and courageous and to raise children who will have courage and boldness to stand up for truth and never give up their faith.

STAND FOR TRUTH (Day 2 of Hanukkah)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God was never reticent to speak the truth, even in the face of death. When he came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Dedication, he walked in Solomon's Porch (on the eastern side of the temple) and people gathered around him.

Jesus knew the Jews would be remembering more than the rededication of the temple and the lighting of the Menorah again. They remembered the great victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, but also how he lifted himself to be god over them. It was Antiochus himself who added "Epiphanes" to his name, which means "God manifest" which was utter blasphemy to the Jews.

In the midst of this thinking Jesus boldly and publically declared, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). In other words, He confessed that He was God, which of course, He was! This was too much for the Jews who, remembering Antiochus Epiphanes the evil blasphemer, took up stones to stone him (John 10:22-33).

It was no coincidence that Jesus chose this timing to speak these words. Everything about Hanukkah speaks of standing up for truth even in the face of danger.

May we never cringe to speak the truth, no matter what the consequences. "The righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1).

MORE AND MORE LIGHT (Day 3 of Hanukkah)

Are you reading the Scriptures I posted for you? If not, you can still print them off. Go down a few posts and you’ll find them. We loved talking about the Scriptures we read last night, especially how Jesus Christ is the One who lights every person who comes into the world.

John 1:9 tells us that Jesus is “THE TRUE LIGHT, WHICH LIGHTS EVERY MAN THAT COMES INTO THE WORLD." Every person who is born into this world is without excuse regarding their relationship with God. Every new baby is born with a God consciousness, a light from God our Maker. We have a conscience that knows what is good and evil. This only comes from God.

Proverbs 20:27 says "The spirit of man is the candle (light) of the Lord." Have you noticed that when a new baby is born into a family that a heavenly atmosphere fills the home? There is an "awe" that we only experience with a new babe. It’s a new light from heaven. Little children are so open to God. I loved to watch my three-year old grand-daughter sing all day about how Jesus is in her heart and how she loves God.

Why then, do many walk in darkness? The answer is in John 3:19-21. We are all born with a light from God, but we can either push back the light or open to the light. It is a privilege for children to be born into a home where parents love God. These children have an opportunity to receive more and more light. In an ungodly home, the light with which they are born can be gradually extinguished or often smothered completely.

I believe that every time we say Yes to God and obey the prompting of His Holy Spirit within our hearts, we experience more light in our lives. Every time we say No to God and are disobedient to the Word, we accept darkness. Teach your children this principle, dear mother. Teach them that saying Yes to you and Yes to God will bring them to further light (Proverbs 4:18). Teach them that when they say No to you and No to God's ways, their minds and hearts will cloud with darkness.

Job 18:5, 6 says, "Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him." I don't want it to be dark in my home, naturally and spiritually. I hate to have curtains and blinds pulled over and everything looking dark. My curtains are always open (just as well I live in the country!). I love the light and the more the better. And it’s the same spiritually. I want more and more spiritual light in my home and less and less of darkness. I'm sure you don't want it to be dark in your home either.

Let's open our hearts and minds MORE AND MORE to the light of God. Let’s encourage our children into more and more of the light and revelation of God. Begin each day by praying, "Oh Lord God, please flood my mind, my heart, and my home with your light, today. Amen."

FAMILY DEDICATION SERVICE (Day 4 of Hanukkah)

Why do we call this celebration "Hanukkah"? Because "Hanukkah" is the Hebrew word for "dedication." When Judas Maccabee (the hammer) and his army eventually crushed their enemies, Judas and his brothers said, "Let's go up to cleanse and rededicate the sanctuary" (1 Maccabees 4:36). The temple was desolate, the gates burned, and even shrubs were growing in the courts like a forest! But they restored the sanctuary, built a new altar with whole unpolished stones (because the altar had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes), brought in the Lampstand, the Altar of Incense and the Table of Showbread, and offered sacrifices as God originally commanded. "So they celebrated the rededication of the altar for eight days" (1 Maccabees 4:56).

How does this affect our lives? God no longer lives in the Holy of Holies in the temple, but in our bodies, which are the temple of His Holy Spirit. We not only the temple of the Holy Spirit, but the "naos" which speaks of the Holy of Holies. This is the very word which is used in 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:16. What an indescribable truth!

Our temple may not be desolate, but it is very easy for us to allow things to come into our lives which grieve the Holy Spirit and spoil and dirty our “naos.”

It is a lovely idea to have a rededication service one night during Hanukah and dedicate our temples again to the Lord. Choose which morning or evening you would like to do this together as a family. Explain to your children about it, and then ask each one of them to confess to the Lord anything in their lives that grieves the Holy Spirit and to rededicate their "body temple" to the Lord. This includes mom and dad too, of course. Each one can do this silently or orally as you feel led of the Holy Spirit.

When we have all dedicated ourselves individually, then the father can rededicate the whole family to be a living sacrifice to the Lord and to be set apart for His purposes (Romans 12:1-2).

I know that the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily as you experience this dedication service in your home.

A MOTHER'S COURAGE (Day 5 of Hanukkah)

A brave mother watched her son being killed. No, not just killed but cruelly tortured. They cut out his tongue, scalped him, cut off his hands and feet, and then maimed and helpless, fried him alive! In the same manner, they tortured and killed her second and third sons. The third son cried out, "I have received these limbs from heaven, and I give them up for the sake of God's laws." Another cried out, "We are prepared to die rather than sin against our ancestral laws" (2 Maccabees 7:2, 11).

Because they would not bend and turn from God's laws this dear mother watched as Antiochus tortured her fourth, fifth, and sixth sons the same way. The mother had only one son left, her beloved youngest. Antiochus tried to influence the mother to save his life. He promised he would make him rich and prosperous and even a political advisor. She obliged by turning to her youngest son saying, "Son, pity me who carried you in the womb nine months, nursed you for three years, nurtured you, and brought you into this stage of life with care. I beg you, child . . . Don't fear this killer but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death so that in God's mercy I should recover you with your brothers" (2 Maccabees 7:27-29). She watched her last son die before she was put to death herself.

This mother was a nurturing and caring mother. But she had a vision for her children beyond this earth. She raised her sons to fear God rather than man. She raised them to stand for truth, no matter what the consequences. She raised them to see beyond this earth to the endless life of the heavenly.

May God help us to be courageous mothers. May He save us from raising wimpy, mediocre children who are seduced by the humanist trend of an ungodly society. May He anoint us with the mighty power of God to raise children who will have the courage to stand for God and for truth, no matter what persecution they face.

(You can read the whole of this amazing story in the Apocrypha in 2 Maccabees chapter seven).

RELIGHT YOUR LAMPS (Day 6 of Hanukkah)

Hanukkah is also called the "Festival of Lights" because of the relighting of the Menorah. This was a huge thing that happened that day, because the Jews knew that God had commanded the lights in the Holy Place to BURN CONTINUALLY. They were to never to go out--and they had been out for a long time! God said it was a statute that must continue for all generations (Exodus 27:20-21 and Leviticus 24:1-4).

How did they keep the lamps burning day after day, year after year? God said they had to attend to the lamps every morning and every evening. They had to trim the wicks and pour more oil into the lamps, the oil speaking of the Holy Spirit. Once a day was not sufficient. It required attention two times a day to keep the light burning

This is a type for our lives today. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, He fills us with His light, but it is very easy for the light to dim or even go out. There are many temptations, deceptions, and evils around that diminish our light. To keep the light burning, we must tend to it every morning and evening. We need to do this individually and as a family.

A powerful way to keep God's light burning in every member of our family is to have Family Devotions (or whatever you call it in your home) every morning and evening. Each time we come together as a family, read the Word, and spend time in prayer, we relight our lamps. If we fail to do this, our light can go out very quickly.

How big is the flame in your family? We are not meant to be a flickering light, but a great light. If your flame is only smoldering, get back to God's "morning and evening" principle. It's the only way that works. Let the light in "the holy place" of your temple and your home shine for all to see God's light.

THE WAY TO VICTORY (Day 7 of Hanukkah)

Judas Maccabee and his brothers continually fought battles to save Israel and every time they faced armies far larger and stronger than themselves. But their trust was in God.

Listen to Judas' confession on one occasion: "When all his followers saw the host coming against them, they said to Judas, 'How can so few of us fight against so many? Besides, we have had nothing to eat all day, and we are exhausted.' Judas replied: 'Many can easily be overpowered by a few; it makes no difference to Heaven to save by many or by few. Victory does not depend on numbers; strength comes from Heaven alone . . . Heaven will crush them before our eyes. You need not be afraid of them'" (1 Maccabees 3:17-21).

The Israelites also had to face enemies far bigger than them. Deuteronomy 9:1-3 says: “Hear O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations GREATER AND MIGHTIER than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, a people great and tall, the children of the Anakims (giants), whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.”

I know that you, too, often face dilemmas that loom much bigger than you can handle. Don't focus on your difficulty. Look to God. He is your Strength. He is your Source. He is your Sufficiency. He will always do what you cannot do. When we try to handle our problems we usually make a mess of the job. Put them in God's hands for He knows what is best to do.

Victory does not come by intelligence or fleshly strength. It only comes from God. Just as God delivered the Maccabees time and time again as they faced insurmountable armies, so God will deliver you as you trust in Him. Make sure you have the right confession. Don't confess your problems; confess your trust in God. It's the way to victory.

FULL TIME HANUKKAH PARENTING (Day 8 of Hanukkah)
AN IMPORTANT POST FOR ALL PARENTS TO READ!

Apart from the official Hanukkah celebration which we finish celebrating today, we read about a number of dedication celebrations in God's Word.

1) Dedicating the tabernacle for 12 days. Each prince of Israel dedicated the altar for a day each (Number 7:10-11, 84, 88). This was the first dedication we read about.
2) Dedicating a new house (Deuteronomy 20:5). It is biblical to dedicate a new house.
3) Dedicating Solomon's temple which he built for the Lord (1 Kings 8:62 and 2 Chronicles 7:5, 9).
4) Dedicating the rebuilt temple when they came back from Babylon--Zerubbabel's temple (Ezra 6:16).
5) Dedicating the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:27).

And there is one more! You'll never guess!

It is found in Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The word "train" is "hanuk," the verb of hanukkah, meaning "to initiate, dedicate, consecrate." It is not enough to celebrate Hanukkah for eight days. As parents, we are FULLTIME HANUKKAH CELEBRATORS!

When we realize that training our children means to dedicate them to the Lord, it gives us a much larger and loftier vision. Everything we do and plan for our children should be done in the light of dedicating our them to the Lord and setting them apart for His service. It's not a one-time dedication. It is a verb which requires daily action.

When our children are disobedient or don't complete what we have asked them to, we can sometimes be lazy and let it go. But not if we understand we are daily dedicating them to the Lord. How can we let things go when we consecrating them to God's holy service? We have the responsibility to train them to obedient so they will be obedient to the Lord!

As children get older, they can become more worldly and want to do what other worldly teens are doing. We could think, "Oh that's the stage they are going through." But not if we understand that we are daily consecrating them to the Lord. We will pray up a storm. We will fight the devil. We will work with our children to keep them on the narrow road that leads to life. We will do everything to save them from the broad road that leads to destruction. WE ARE PROVERBS 22:6 HANUKKAH PARENTS!

When we "hanuk" our children, it determines how we educate our children. It would be ludicrous to send our children into an ungodly education system each day if we are daily consecrating them for God's purposes.

As we consecrate our children to the Lord, we recognize that they totally belong to the Lord for whatever time God has for them on this earth. Above everything else, we know that we are ultimately preparing them for eternity.

Blessings from NANCY CAMPBELL

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO READ EACH DAY FOR HANUKKAH

Day 1
God is the Source of Light and gives Light
Genesis 1:3-5
Exodus 27:20-21; 40:24-25; cf. Leviticus 24:1-4; Numbers 8:1-3
Exodus 13:21; Nehemiah 9:12,19
Psalm 36:9
Psalm 104:1-2
Matthew 17:2 (You can read the whole story in Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-13; and Luke 9:28-36).
1 Timothy 6:16
James 1:17

Day 2
Jesus is the Light of the World
Isaiah 9:2, cf. Matthew 4:12-17
Luke 1:76-79; 2:27-32
John 1:4-9, cf. Job 18:5-6; 21:17; Proverbs 13:9; 20:20; 24:20.
John 3:19-21
John 8:12
John 9:5
John 12:44-46
Acts 26:22-23
Ephesians 5:14

Day 3
Shine the Light of Jesus to the world
Proverbs 4:18
Isaiah 58:6-8, 10
Isaiah 60:1-2
Matthew 5:14-16
Luke 12:35
John 5:35
Acts 13:47
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
Philippians 2:14, 15

Day 4
God's Word is our Light
Ezra 9:8
Psalm 19:7-11
Psalm 119:18, 105, 130
Proverbs 6:20-24
Luke 24:30-32 (You can read the whole story in verses 13-32).
Ephesians 1:17-18
2 Peter 1:19-21

Day 5
Walk in the Light
Psalm 89:15
Isaiah 2:5
Romans 13:12-14
2 Corinthians 4:4-7
1 John 1:6-9
1 John 2:8-11
Ephesians 5:8-20

Day 6
Out of Darkness into Light
2 Samuel 22:29 (Psalm 18:28)
Isaiah 42:16
Isaiah 50:10
Acts 26:17-18
1 Corinthians 4:5
1 Thessalonians 5:5
1 Peter 2:9

Day 7
Living in God is to live in Light
Psalm 4:6
Psalm 27:1
Psalm 37:3-6
Psalm 43:3-4
Psalm 112:4
Micah 7:8

Day 8
God is the Light of Heaven
Isaiah 24:23; 30:26
Isaiah 60:19, 20
Revelation 21:22-25
Revelation 22:3-5

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HomeRoofThere are many twins in the Bible? Have you noticed them? Grace and truth. Peace and righteousness. Faith and love. Resting and working. Yes, although God talks about living in His rest, we must also work. We don’t work for our salvation. We only receive salvation by God’s grace. But God has also created us for “good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

In 1 John 3:8 it says: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.” The “works” of the devil. Yes, the devil works. It’s the same word that’s used in Titus 2:5 where we are exhorted to be “keepers at home.” Many versions of the Bible translate this Scripture as “workers at home.” It comes from two Greek words: “ergon” which means “to work” and “oikos” which means “home.” This literally means “WORKERS at HOME.”

The challenge to us is that if we do not work to guard our home and family, the devil will outdo us. If mothers would rather work outside their home than in their home, they give room for the devil to work in their home behind their backs! This is one of the reasons the devil woos women out of the home. He can then get his hands upon the minds and hearts of our precious children. If mothers are not protecting, guiding, teaching, and nurturing their children in the home, who is? Who is that person? Are they godly? Are they righteous? Are they anointed from God for the task? Are they teaching our children the truth?

We must work to keep our home a place of love, joy, delight, and holiness. This takes work.

Keep working dear mother. Don’t let up. Don’t let the devil work havoc in your marriage and children while you are busy with other things.

One of the greatest ways we destroy the “works of the devil” is through fervent prayer. How much are you praying for your children? Your home? Future generations?

Keep the devil at bay from your marriage and home.

Be blessed today,

Nancy Campbell

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WorshipEverywhereMay you have a beautiful worshipping day.

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StrongHomesSTRONG HOMES MAKE STRONG CHURCHES!

~ Colin Campbell

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