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Kingdom of Heaven ( ACAD: Revelation 12)

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rulea all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah,b for the accuser of our comradesc has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.

Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursuedd the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.
Then the dragone took his stand on the sand of the seashore.

Footnotes

  1. Revelation 12:5 Or to shepherd
  2. Revelation 12:10 Gk Christ
  3. Revelation 12:10 Gk brothers
  4. Revelation 12:13 Or persecuted
  5. Revelation 12:18 Gk Then he; other ancient authorities read Then I stood
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TODAY: Marriage and Relationship, Part 4 Zoom Details

For those interested in joining, this discussion begins in 30 minutes, 10:00am Mountain Time. Follow the link below to join.

Topic: Marriage & Relationship: Modern Conflicts vs. Biblical Principles, Part 4

  • Manoah+Wife/Samson+Wives & Elkanah/Peninnah/Hannah/Samuel
  • Text: Judges 13 (Manoah + Wife & Samson + His Wives)
  • Text: 1 Samuel 1-3 (Elkanah, Hannah & Samuel)

Time: Dec 5, 2020 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78522310683?pwd=SkNJVk5lSWtxN0thc05GbHpWQjRrQT09

Meeting ID: 785 2231 0683
Passcode: kD43k8

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Quote: Two things are wanting in America…

But two things are wanting in American civilization a keener and deeper, broader and tenderer sense of justice; a sense of humanity, which shall crystallize into the life of the nation the sentiment that justice, simple justice, is the right, not simply of the strong and powerful, but of the weakest and feeblest of all God’s children; a deeper and broader humanity, which will teach men to look upon their feeble brethren not as vermin to be crushed out, or beasts of burden to be bridled and bitten, but as the children of the living God; of that God whose may earnestly hope is in perfect wisdom and in perfect love working for the best good of all. Ethnologists may differ about the origin of the human race. Huxley may search for it in protoplasm, and Darwin send for the missing links, but there is one thing of which we may rest assured that we all come from the living God and that He is the common Father. The nation that has no reverence for man is also lacking in reverence for God and need to be instructed.

(1875) Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, from “The Great Problem to be Solved”

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An Open Letter: Woman to Man

When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His followers, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah, and still others say you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Then Jesus asked them, “And who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because no person taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am. So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow, and the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.”
~ Matthew 16:13-19 (Mark 8:27-30)

Dear Man:
Please note: What others say about you will never trump what I see in you and believe about you.

Though my day to day feelings about you derive in part from your treatment of me, my vision and knowledge of you is God-given. You may think the accolades of others will win me over. You may also think that what you do for others will make you shine brighter in my eyes. You would be wrong on both counts. You can bend over backwards for everyone in the world, but if you aren’t willing to even stand up and face me, why should the opinions of other people matter to me? Your relationships with everyone else in the world do not create space for a relationship with me. Those relationships do not even accommodate an {us}. Your relationship with others is about you and them. They have nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with us. For that reason, I am not impressed by what other people think of you because their experience of you is not representative of my experience of you.

Right now, in this moment, my struggle is seeing everything you are willing to do for others while remembering everything you have been unwilling to do for me. This knowledge continually leads to resentment, bitterness and separation.

Your struggle is admitting you are in error; that you have squandered time and taken love for granted. Pride is the downfall of every man, however, all is not loss. You, my dear Man, are a conqueror. Should you choose to accept your assignment, you can make everything right with just a word.

You love the Word of God, but you won’t speak a word to me.

You enjoy life, but you won’t share yours with me.

You yearn for the light but you keep me in a shadowy pit.

You admire modesty but the way you waste time is the most painful extravagance to witness.

You think you’re humble, but your spirit strives against me in a rage of hurt masculine pride.

You think love and war are synonymous. They aren’t. Love may be confrontational but it is not destructive. War is targeted violence and willful destruction. Creating and maintaining conflict is not an expression of caring.

You go on and on about love and grace, but what love and grace have you shown to me? Where is your mercy? Where is the love of Christ for the woman you would have as wife?
OLDER-COUPLEI do not hold a grudge against you, but I will not fight endlessly with you either. I know what you want; I know what you need, but I can’t force you to receive anything from me.

I have been equipped to nurture, love and honor your life with my being. I have been created to share your breath and expand your life.

I have prepared for you, but I am not willing to be everything I can be to a man who is content to be nothing more than a disconnected observer of my life.

You will not drain me dry and leave me nothing for myself. I won’t allow you to do that. God has shown me too much of Himself in me for me to throw myself away according to your whim.

I will not support a man who doesn’t support me. That would be energy you take from me without replenishing it. Your confidence should not cost me mine.

I will not attempt to stand beside a man who has no interest in standing beside me. To do so invites heartbreak every hour of every day.

I will not chase anyone who is not pursuing me. I am the good thing you are responsible for shepherding, but I am also responsible for where I choose to go. You lead, I follow. When you stop leading, I stop following. Remember that.

Relationships are built on mutuality and thrive on reciprocity. I cannot build with someone who is constantly attacking me. Passive aggressive behavior is violent in nature. You may “only” be emotionally dismissive, neglectful, and stoic, but each instance is an attack on everything I see in and believe about you. Such behavior attacks everything I understood about us from the vision I was first given.

If you want a woman who will sit at your feet and praise you continuously while you spend your time and energy praising everyone else, then you have my blessing and encouragement to keep looking for her. I am not the woman for you.

If you want a woman who will encourage you, despite your refusal to acknowledge her words, then again I say, I am not the woman for you. Go in peace and live a joyful and bountiful life elsewhere.

But,

If you want a woman who will strive to communicate with understanding and who will use her tongue only to bless and lift you up, then I say I am your woman.

If you want a woman who will walk, run, dance and ride through life with you in all its triumphant glory and devastating tragedy as a partner – hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder with arms linked – I am your woman.

If you want a woman to build with – from scratch or from leveraged land and materials – I am your blessed goodness. I am your wow-factor.

If you want me, you must recognize you are joining with a woman who knows her place in God’s Kingdom. My place is not subordinate to you. My place is one of honor, not disgrace or shame. My place is by your side as co-ruler of all we are blessed to supervise and manage as stewards. My joy in you derives from your recognition of your place in my life.

Be the man you were created to be, Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, breath of my breath, joy of my joy. Be true to God. Be true to yourself. Be true to me.

At night on my bed,
I looked for the one I love;
I looked for him, but I could not find him.
I got up and went around the city,
in the streets and squares,
looking for the one I love.
I looked for him, but I could not find him.
The watchmen found me as they patrolled the city,
so I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?”
As soon as I had left them,
I found the one I love.
I held him and would not let him go
until I brought him to my mother’s house,
to the room where I was born.
~ Song of Solomon 3:1-4

Song: Say You Love Me by Jesse Ware

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Imagine a Woman

Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life.

A woman who embraces her life as teacher, healer, and challenge.
Who is grateful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.

Imagine a woman who participates in her own life.
A woman who meets each challenge with creativity.
Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.

Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully-formed solitude.
A woman who is available to herself.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the full range of human emotion.
A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly.
Who allows them to pass through her as naturally as the breath.

Imagine a woman who tells the truth.
A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it.
Who refuses to defer to the perceptions, thoughts, and responses of others.

Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.
A woman who produces original creations.
Who refuses to color inside someone else’s lines.

Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual approval.
A woman who makes a powerful statement with every action she takes.
Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

© Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

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A Chapter a Day: Genesis 2

Genesis 2ESV

The Seventh Day, God Rests

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

The Creation of Man and Woman

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

When no bush of the field[a] was yet in the land[b] and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up — for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist[c] was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[d] of it you shall surely die.”

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[e] him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed[f] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[g] there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”[i]

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 2:5 Or open country
  2. Genesis 2:5 Or earth; also verse 6
  3. Genesis 2:6 Or spring
  4. Genesis 2:17 Or when you eat
  5. Genesis 2:18 Or corresponding to; also verse 20
  6. Genesis 2:19 Or And out of the ground the Lord God formed
  7. Genesis 2:20 Or the man
  8. Genesis 2:22 Hebrew built
  9. Genesis 2:23 The Hebrew words for woman (ishshah) and man (ish) sound alike
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A Foolish Woman vs. A Wise Woman

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. ~ Proverbs 9:10-12 NIV

Foolish Woman

foolish: lacking or exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgment; silly; resulting from stupidity or misinformation; unwise

A foolish woman is a destroyer – she tears her home down with her own hands.

Her destruction reaches forward from her heart to the generations of her children’s children. She contaminates every good thing in her environment and under her control. She is lazy and self-pleasing. She is insincere and manipulates through a show of care and concern. She advertises pleasure and provides entertainment, both of which are momentary. In her presence is the illusion of life, but her ways lead to death for herself and those under her influence. The foolish woman doesn’t give respect, for she has no experiential knowledge of God. She trusts only herself and her means. She operates in the flesh only, neglecting and starving the spirits and souls entrusted to her care. Her husband is ashamed and disgraced, though he may not be aware. He is hungry for her support, but receives her abuse instead. She shares only her disregard, disrespect and her haughty, dismissive attitude with him. He asks for guidance and she leads him astray. He seeks comfort and she turns her back on him. He longs for companionship, but she’s busy enjoying others. Her treatment of her husband and children, prepares them for spiritual death.     

What good is a foolish woman?

She brings no spiritual good to her household. She is a drain to her husband’s soul and brings rot to his bones. Her wickedness derives from her lack of true knowledge of God and lack of respect for His divine order.

The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave. ~ Proverbs 9:13-18 NLT

Wise Woman

wise: having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion; having knowledge or information as to facts, circumstances

A wise woman is a builder – she builds her home and she builds up her family.

She is a crown of glory to her husband’s head and he knows well the honor she brings him. A child of God, she seeks counsel first from her Heavenly Father through their shared Holy Spirit. Her discernment and good judgment is a blessing to her husband and children as she exerts her influence with knowledge, patience, love, respect and concern. She is trust-worthy and reliable; hard-working and well-respected. She points her husband towards God always, even as she stands and walks beside him; guiding him even as she is lead by him. A wise woman is aware of the power and influence she has, but she does not abuse it. Her strength is exhibited in her gentleness. Her love is expressed in her discipline. Her patience is seen in her teaching. She communicates her hopes and gives the best of herself always (even when quality of her best varies). She is a meticulous steward of her family’s possessions. She is generous with her family’s harvest. A wise woman cultivates every seed her husband plants in her. She answers his needs with an open heart, eager to be all she is called to be as his wife. She nurtures her husband and everyone in her household. Her hospitality is abundant and gracious. Her husband is at peace in her presence as are others. Her treatment of those entrusted to her glorifies God and lead them to the light of everlasting life.

What good is a wise woman?

Her value is beyond measure. Her contributions have no scale. Though she improves the physical lives of those in her household and community, she is a greater blessing to their spiritual lives. She deposits the Love of God, the Hope of Christ, the Faith of her husband and her own spirit into everyone who crosses her path. Her husband, children and the Kingdom of Heaven are the primary ground and the primary beneficiaries of her wisdom. A wise woman raises a child but nurtures a community. She provides for her home, but feeds a nation. She may have a modest planting ground, but she will have an abundant spiritual harvest.

Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” ~ Proverbs 9:1-6 NLT