Wednesday, November 28, 2007

As for me and my house . . .

I have often heard that verse from Joshua 24 quoted, or seen it in samplers hanging in peoples homes. But until yesterday I don't remember reading it in context.

Here, Joshua is speaking to the Isarelites, re-inforcing the law of Moses now that they were in the promised land and making the Isralites choose who they would worship.

"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:14-15

Joshua doesn't just tell the Isralites what they should do, he leads by example. He encourages them to do what is right, but his decision will not rely on them agreeing with him and his decision.

In all that we do, may we make an unwavering stand, may both our actions and words always delare "As for me and my family, we will serve The LORD"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The things we say in private

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:6

In the quiet we can tell God anything - even the things we can't tell ourselves.
(photo courtesy of criswatk at stock.xchng)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Desire to Lead

Tonight at Bible study (it was on Marriage and Divorce) I was asked what I would look for in a husband. I could answer without hesitation (because, you know, I think about it every now and then. Ahem) "Godliness and a desire to lead."
I could go on with more minuet details such as mission minded, love children, open to living simply etc etc. But I think those two things (Godliness and a desire to lead) are two things that are especially important and non-negotiable.

Isn't a 'desire to lead' part of Godliness? I believ it should be. But in our modern society so many 'godly' men are willing to sit back and let women lead; in the church, the family and society. One of the things that the church has adopted from the world that I feel is especially harmful is women becomeing the spiritual leaders, while men take the back seat. We want to be politically correct instead of first seeing what God has to say about it.

It is hard, women see a lack in an area and feel they could fulfill the gap, instead of encouraging a man to take up his responsibility. Men feel the need is being met without much effort on their part and are happy to keep it that way.
Soon women are heading up so many parts of the church; youth ministry, music ministry, outreach, and much more. Do I think women shouldn't be involved? NO! Women should definatly be involved in their church but men need to take up their God given responsibility to be the spiritual leaders.

So that is why I pray for a husband who is willing and able to be the spiritual and physical head of our family.

I also pray for godly men to take up leadership positions in our church, to lead our church and to help train up the younger men in their responsibilities. Will you join me in this?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Women of the Bible - Rahab: Prostitute used by God

This is the second in my Women of the Bible series.

Rahab, one of the more infamous women of the Old Testament.

I never quite knew how to approach her, she was a sex worker that hid the Israelite spies, lived among the Israelites, is eventually one of the Great-great-great-something Grandmothers of Jesus and is mentioned as one of the people of Faith in Hebrews. (incidentally the only woman of faith mentioned by name in this passage)

Briefly this is her story;
(I've just included the basics, please follow the links to read the whole chapters)

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies . . . they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there . . . But the woman [Rahab] had taken the two men and hidden them. [To the palace guards who wanted to know where the spies were] She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them." (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)

[When the Israelites were attacking Jericho] Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her." So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel
. . . Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
Joshua 6: 22-25

[The genealogy of Jesus] Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, Matthew 1 : 5

One thing that has always bothered me about Rahab's story was that she deliberately lied to the guards about where the spies were. Would things turned out differently if she had told the guards where the spies were or refused to talk to them? Obviously God had Rahab in his plan to save the world through Jesus, so I'm sure he would have still kept her safe even if she had told the truth. That's just an aside, something that I always think about. I'm no Biblical scholar so I have no answers.

Another thing; they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab What were two Israelite spies doing going into a prostitutes house?!! Did they know of her already? Was there knowledge of a woman in Jericho who had sympathies to the God of the Israelites? Did God lead them?
We aren't told these details so I guess they mustn't be that important, but I still can't help wondering (sheepish grin).

Okay, back on topic. What does the story of Rahab show us?

Rahab was, as you could, say 'ripe for the picking'. She knew a lot about God, in verses 8-11 of Joshua 2 she lists some of the miraculous things that God had done for the Israelites that she had heard of. (Perhaps her 'profession' meant she was in contact with many different men who told her these stories?) She feared God and wanted to become part of his people, eventually she lived as one of the Israelites.

We need to remember that God calls all people, we shouldn't be selective about who we share the gospel with because we think 'they wouldn't be interested'. You never know who God is planting seeds in right now.
Also when a person comes to be part of Gods family, who are we to discriminate? We should be all inclusive, becasue God is.

Rahab was available to God. She could have gotten herself into alot of trouble by taking in the spies. She opened her house to the spies and hid them.
Are we available to God? Are we ready to do what he is asking even if it's hard or scary?

Rahab had a past, but God gave her a future.
No matter what you have done, what sin you have in your past, remember that God has forgiven you. We are all sinners in Gods eyes and through Jesus we can all be pure before God. Some times Christians can be judgemental about different sins, but God never is. God took a Gentile prostitute and made her a Woman of Faith.

Praise Be to God.
(Photo courtesy of vivre at stock.xchng)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amazing things

Joshua told the people "Concencrate yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do amazing things among you."
Joshua 3:5

Do we expect God to do amazing things among us? Or do we settle for less than He offers us?

Monday, November 12, 2007


There are two types of traps that Christians can fall into;

1. Assimilation

2. Withdrawal

Assimilation is living as if being a Christian makes no difference in our lives. These people follow the world in attitude, dress, behaviour. There is nothing about them to testify that they are living a life that follows Christ.

Withdrawal is living a life that is so separate from the world that you can not make an impact for Christ. These people live in a little Christian bubble - very legalistic, only interacting with other Christians who exactly follow their ideas about how to follow Christ and quick to judge those who do not live the way they do.

Of course these are extreme examples but we can easily have part in each way of living. Both can be a hindrance to sharing Gods love with people.

Do you watch TV shows or movies without thinking about whether it is healthy to let those images into your mind (I don't just mean inappropriate things, but also violence, or attitudes such as materialism, self importance that are glorified by the themes in the movie/show)? Being out of the loop around friends might not be fun, but there are better things for our minds to think about.

Do you worry about having enough money to get a house, have a large savings account, have the latest gadget? In our society materialism creeps in so easily without us knowing.

Do you buy clothes because they are in fashion or they make you look good without considering if they are appropriate, modest, honouring to the Spirit of God that lives in us?

Do you talk about other people behind their back - pretending to be sharing and showing concern but really gossipping?

All these and more are small ways that we can start to assimilate to the fallen world.

Do you spend most of your time with other like minded Christians (Your life consists of only people at church, close Christian friends, go to a christian school/home school) and have nothing to do with non-Christians? Jesus spent so much time with ordinary non-religious people. How are we going to build relationships with people to share with them the gospel if we only interact with Christians?

Do you immediately shout down anyone who says something against Christianity? The Bible says to tell the truth in love, if you don't present the gospel gently are you scaring people away from finding out more about God?

Do you secretly judge Christians who do not live as you do?

Is the way you dress and the way you live out your life so alien to the people around you that people stare and avoid you?

These and more are some ways you can be withdrawing.

(I struggle with things from both assimilating and withdrawing and I don't want people to feel judged in anyway, it's just something to think about.)

(photo courtesy of Ayla87 at stock.xchng)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant and
remember to obey his precepts.

Psalm 103; 15-18

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Women of the Bible - Anna; A patient prayer

After our women's lunch I was inspired to learn more about the women of the Bible and also share it with you.

Anna's story is told to us in 3 short verses in Luke.
(Context: Joseph and Mary are presenting baby Jesus at the temple.)

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:36-38

What can we learn from Anna?

It could have been easy for her to sink into despair when her husband died after only 7 months of marriage. Instead she devoted her life to God, worshiping in the temple for many, many years. When we face a difficult situation do we sit and yell at God, or do we praise him in all things?

Anna waited on God's timing. She had been praying and waiting for the Messiah for ages! It would be so easy to give up after a year or two. But Anna waited and continued to pray - and God rewarded her by allowing her to see the Messiah she was waiting for.

Prayer is such a powerful thing. It is so 'easy' to do that we sometimes forget it's significance. When we feel there is nothing we can do about a situation - pray about it. When we have so much to do - pray first.

The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective. James 5:16

And finally, Anna told everyone around her about the Good news.


Today we had a women's lunch after church. It was so nice to have all the different women coming together to have lunch and share time together. Most of the Dads were nice and took the kids home so the Mum's could have a few hours of peace.

Our student minister's Mum (Patricia Weerakoon) spoke to us about different women in the Bible and how they lived out their faith. We looked at what things we can learn from them about being women of God and applying that to our lives in the 21st century.

When you actually start digging the Bible has so many amazing women that we can learn from.
We looked at;
Martha and Mary
Louis and Eunice

(yep, all those women in one afternoon)

Other women I would have loved to also look at would be;
Moses Mother
Mary Magdalene
Mary Mother of Jesus

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why I seperated my blogs

Why have two blogs? Wouldn't it be easier to have just one? Probably - but I've never been someone to do things the easy way (unfortunately).

Letters to a Younger Sister (this blog - it's name kind of relates to Titus 2, and being an 'older' girl at church I want to start trainging up the younger girls) started kind of for myself. I wanted a place to keep all the things I have been learning and verses I like. Normally I have so many different notebooks and pieces of paper that I can never find that thought, or verse or idea when I want to. Hopefully the categories/tag things will help with that.
I also wanted a place that I could send girls to and know that the links would be stuff I had read and thought was useful. I didn't want lots of fun, but ultimately distracting links. I wanted everything to be encouraging or edifying.

So I started Letters, but then I wanted to post things like "Look at what I made!" (As if I wasn't egotistical enough, I had to share it with the world - shame : )) and decided that I didn't really want that on this blog. So I started Purple Frangipani. (named so becasue purple is my favourite colour and frangipani's are the most gorgeous flower in the world - according to me anyway)

That's not to say Purple Frangipani won't have lots about my faith on it, or that Letters will be void of any personal details - trying to separate my faith and my life is impossible!

They just have different intentions, but I hope you enjoy them both :)