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Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

Strengthening Families Across the World through the encouragement of women in their high calling from God as wives, mothers and homemakers.

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

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

EVERY TWO MINUTES!

How do you respond to pressure in your daily life?

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

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

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

FORGIVE YOURSELF

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

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

FORGIVE OTHERS

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

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

PULL OUT THE WEEDS

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

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

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

YOUR HEALTH IS AT STAKE

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

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

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

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

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

HEART PEACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHIRLEY WRIGHT, Palmerston North

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

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

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

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

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

Be encouraged.

Nancy Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOIS JORDAN, Ashhurst, New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I DIDN’T EVEN LIKE HIM!

“And they both lived happily ever after!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOIS JORDAN, Ashhurst, New Zealand

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

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

What are you thankful for today?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you thankful for?

Many blessings from Nancy Campbell

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