“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:19-22)
Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…
Coming up at that very moment, Anna gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. ~ Luke 2
We often hear about the shepherds and the wise men that came to worship Jesus following his birth. Yet there are two other characters who show up after the birth of Christ that we might not hear as much about. (Read Luke 2:22-40)Continue reading
I wrote this Bible Study for Nichole Howson of Defying Shadows blog awhile back. It’s about Tamar, the daughter of King David who was raped by her brother Amnon and then lived the rest of her life “a desolate woman.” The story is quite tragic but it helps us wrestle with some very tough questions. Ultimately we must relinquish control and give God our deepest hurts and pains.
May God heal the deep places in all of us.
Over the next few Wednesdays we will be sharing some Biblical Posts relating to Mental Health for Wisdom Wednesdays. We will also be having a few Guest posts. To start us off is a post from a lovely woman named Jody.
And She Lived her Life a Desolate Woman: A Meditation on 2 Samuel 13
Amnon took hold of Tamar and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” She answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her…
Have you ever heard the term “life scriptures” or “life verse” and wondered exactly what it meant? You might have thought the obvious: they are scriptures for life, and that is indeed true! And yet, they can mean something much deeper.
Throughout my journey on this thing called life, certain scriptures have beckoned me to journey more deeply. In the midst of the storm, scriptures would speak clearly above the crashing thunder and bring peace and assurance. In the lulling comfort of seasons of blessings, other scriptures would help me recognize those blessings and get me on my feet to praise the source. In the darkest valleys, his Word would reassure me of His presence even though I could not see. Over and over, in every season of life, God used HIS WORDS, found in scripture, to speak into my life and the situations I faced. He’s so good!
But there’s more to a “life scripture”. . .
See, there are other scriptures that speak to a place so deep within your soul that you know that you know that you know those verses were meant to carry you and guide you through all seasons. These are verses that define you—or rather, God uses to define you and your relationship with him.
I generally write for artists and creatives. This devotional, however, is for women. Women of adventure!
So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left. ~ Genesis 24
Oh Rebekah, Rebekah. I admire your bravery and sense of adventure. A proposal has come through a servant of a man from a distant, foreign land and without hesitation you say, “Yes!” You are a woman of adventure!
Let me give you a little background to the story. Abraham is growing very old and has commissioned his most faithful servant to find his son Isaac a wife from among his own people. This means a trip back to Abraham’s homeland. With his mission bathed in prayer, he leaves with camels, servants, provisions, and many gifts.
My friend Merri (great name, right?) sent me this captioned photo the other day. It got me giggling… smiling… and then thinking…
The ladies in the front row caught my eyes first—their skirts a-billowing and laughter erupting! They are caught by surprise by the rushing wind, giving them a joyful thrill. One lady has ahold of her hat and if you look closely, the other has hers tucked between her knees. And, oh my! There might be a girdle or two showing. But they are happy, oh so happy!
As you read, imagine the scene below as part of a larger drama unfolding. Think of the setting (Ancient Israel; very early in the morning at sunrise; Springtime, chill still in the air), the plot (Mary finds tomb empty; brings Peter and John to investigate; they find it as she reported; the body of Jesus is missing), the characters (Mary Magdalene, angels, Jesus) and the dialogue (try to hear it as you read).
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” they asked.
“Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener she said, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” which means “Teacher”.
John 20:11-16, NLT
Now, let’s understand the implications of this drama:
Jesus appeared first to a woman. In a world, time and culture dominated by men, a woman. Not Peter, the Rock upon which the future church would be built. Not John, the disciple Jesus loved. But Mary Magdalene, a woman he had healed, rescuing her from a slew of demons that had held her hostage until Jesus touched her and set her free.