Women Who Fear the Lord – Hannah

The story of Hannah has always been dear to my heart. She was the bullied by her husbands other wife because she couldn’t have any kids. Her husband loved her but didn’t get what she was going through. The Priest Eli thought she was drunk when she was praying. She finally has a son but gives him back to God when he was a little boy. Through it all she learns to be thankful. With Thanksgiving around the corner, let’s learn from Hannah to be thankful for our circumstances no matter what they are.

This week I have written down the topic write how the verses fit that topic for the day, what you learned from it, and how to apply it to your life.

Monday — 1 Samuel 1:1-8 – The hurt that a husband’s love can’t heal.

Tuesday — 1 Samuel 1:9-11 – A heart felt prayer.

Wednesday — 1 Samuel 1:12-18 – Out of confussion came blessing.

Thursday — 1 Samuel 1:19-28 – Life moves on.

Friday — 1 Samuel 2:1-5 – A heart of praise.

Saturday — 1 Samuel 2:6-11 – God is in control.

( Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash )

Women Who Fear the Lord – Deborah

I am so ecxited to be looking at Deborah this week. She is the only female judge listed out of the twelve in the book of Judges. I have seen some add Barak as a co-judge to Deborah’s story, I can’t agree with that, since Deborah called him out for not doing what God told him to do.

Monday – Judges 4:1-3 — What did the people do after Ehud died? What did God do? How long did Israel suffer under who?

Tuesday – Judges 4:4-11 — Who was Deborah? Where did the people come to see her? Why would they seek her out? Who was Barak? Why did Deborah send for him? What was Barak’s response? Did Deborah agree? Why would Barak not get the glory of the death of who God told him to kill? Who was Heber and where was he at?

Wednesday – Judges 4:12-24 — What did Sisera do once he heard that Barak was at Mt. Tabor? How many men did Barak have, vs. 11? With 900 chariots, each having two – three men on them plus an army of foot soldiers that joined them on the way to the river Kishon, do you think the battle was even? Why or why not? What did Sisera do during the battle? Who is Jael? Why is she important to the story? What happen to King Jabin?

Thursday – Judges 5:1-23 — What does this part of the song talk about?

Friday – Judges 5: 24-30 — Who is this part of the song about?

Saturday – Judges 5:31 — What happens to the enemies of the Lord? Those who love the Lord are like what? I included the link to the AMP verision on this verse.

(Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash )

Women Who Fear the Lord — Ruth

Last week we saw Naomi tell Ruth and Orpah to go home when their husbands had died and she decided to go back to Judah. What was home? According to the Jewish Middrash, Ruth and Orpah were daughters to the King of Moab, Eglon. Their brother was Balak, the one who hired Balaam to cuse the Children of Israel. For Ruth and Orpah the home would be returning to the palace, which Orpah chose. Ruth, however, chose to go with Naomi to a place of uncertainty, and one she was not welcomed because she was from Moab. I love how the NET version puts Ruth’s response.

16 But Ruth replied,
“Stop urging me to abandon you!
For wherever you go, I will go.
Wherever you live, I will live.
Your people will become my people,
and your God will become my God.
17 Wherever you die, I will die—and there I will be buried.
May the Lord punish me severely if I do not keep my promise!
Only death will be able to separate me from you!”

Ruth 1:16-17 NET

Ruth had not made a confession of faith in God while she was married. Here we see after living with Naomi for at least ten years, she saw something about the God Naomi served and wanted what she had, even if it meant she would never feel at home again.

This week as we look at Ruth. My friend, Andy Lee has written a great Bible study should you want to dig deeper into Ruth, The Book of Ruth A 31 — Day Journey to Hope and Peace, which you can get on Amazon.

Monday — Let’s look at chapter two of Ruth, we need to look at is Naomi and Rahab were more than likely close friends and were related to each other through marriage. Their sons probably played together growing up. Think about it, Rahab, an outsider/convert, raised Boaz. She probably taught him about her life and how to treat others. In what ways do you see in chapter two how Rahab may have influenced Boaz in dealing with Ruth?

Tuesday — In Ruth 3:1-9, we see Naomi gave Ruth instructions in what to do and say to Boaz and what Ruth did and said to him. Ruth didn’t follow Naomi instructions? What is the difference with what Naomi told Ruth to do and what Ruth did? Using the following verses in Psalm, what did Ruth ask Boaz to do for her? Psalm 91:4, 36:7, 57:1, 61:4, and 63:7.

Wednesday — Read the rest of chapter three, note in Naomi’s instructions what Ruth was to tell Boaz and compare it with what Boaz told Ruth. What did Boaz need to do that caused Ruth to have to wait? How was Ruth blessed by Boaz?

Thursday — In chapter four Boaz goes to the one kinsman that is closer than him. What was that kinsman’s response in verse 6? Why would he not want to follow the Law of Moses? Boaz had no problem in redeeming Naomi and Ruth, why might that be?

Friday — There are certain way things must be done. Sometimes it is hard not to go from step one to step twenty and do every step in between, when they don’t seem nessary. Yet, Boaz did just that, he went step by step to be able to marry Ruth. List the steps in Ruth 4:7-12, Boaz had to take.

Saturday — In the last few verses we see what Boaz did restored Naomi. Why was she happy again. Also we see the geneology from Perez to David. Compare it to Matthew 1. There are some people that say Matthew 1 is wrong no way could Rahab be in it. But Jews are very piticular when it comes to knowing their family linage. Then there is the fact this is God’s word and the linage of His Son, Jesus, there are four messed up women listed in Matthew 1, Ruth and her mother-in-law are two of them.

(Photo by Michal Janek on Unsplash )

Book Review – Ten Iron Principles

What I love about the book is it is not a here are the principles and do it book as so many are. This book starts out with K. A. sharing how she learned these principles in training for an Ironman race.

I could list the ten principles but then you wouldn’t need to read the book. Instead, I’m going to share my favorite principle, which is number seven — Use Whatever You’re Doing as a Time for Worship. What a great reminder to not matter if you are cleaning toilets or running an Ironman, it is great time to spend in prayer, worship, or memorizing scripture. Something could happen that would make the day be your worst day but when we put our focus on Him and give Him praise you heart can’t stay down.

Of course, my favorite principle may not be your favorite. So get “Ten Iron Pirinciples” and enjoy learning about how to perserve through the hard times.

Women Who Fear the Lord –Naomi

This has been a struggle for me. I couldn’t figure out why God kept insisting on having Naomi in this study. When I thought about it, Naomi didn’t seem to fear the Lord but her husband. When he said that he was moving the family to a place that God had forbidden to live in. But then I got to thinking about Sarah who obeyed Abraham even when she knew what he wanted her to do was wrong, yet she was blessed by God. So likewise, Naomi was obedient to her husband when he was in the wrong. So Naomi, fits into 1 Peter 3:5-6.

We will be spending the next two weeks going over the book of Ruth. This week focused on Naomi. Next week, on Ruth. But right now we are going to go back to Rahab. She would have known Naomi. It appears that Naomi’s husband was somehow related to Rahab’s husband, Salmon. How do we know this to be true? Boaz, Rahab’s son, became Ruth’s kinsmen redeemer, although there was someone who was in line before him. What we don’t know is how close Rahab and Naomi were. Did Rahab try to get Naomi to talk sense into her husband to stay and wait out the famine?

Use the book of Ruth to find the following.

Where was Naomi from? What is so special about it?

In Hebrew the meaning of the name says a lot about a person. Use the Blue Letter Bible to look up the meaning of Naomi’s family names and what she wanted to go by when she returned.

Did God ever see Naomi the way she saw herself? In other words, was she ever mentioned in Ruth by that name?

Why did Naomi want her daughter-in-laws to go back to their parents’ home?

What time of the year did Naomi and Ruth return?

What were Naomi’s instructions to Ruth in chapter three?

Did Naomi receive a blessing in the end?

(Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash)

Women Who Fear the Lord — Rahab

Rahab is one of my favorite women in the Bible. So much so that I am writing a book about her. After all she is mentioned in three books of the Bible and we will be looking at those places this week. However, I’m going to change up the reading a little and share some of what I have learned in my research about her and Jericho.

Monday — Joshua 2:1-7 Here we see Rahab in her old life, a prostitute, and a liar. Here is the thing some of the books I have read states that she was running a brothel. In my research on Jericho changed the way I saw thing. I will place a link to David Livingston’s article on Jericho at the bottom. Jericho was a two wall city. An outer wall then up the hill was another wall, where the wealthy, shops, and most of the city life happened. The area between the two walls was for the poor. This is where you would find the temple prosititues. Yes, Jericho was one of two cities that were the main centers of worship of the Moon god, Yearch, later named Baal. It the temple were partiotions for the force prostitution and in the certer a large basalt satue with his arms stretched out in front of him for child sacrafice. The gates to the cities faced East. Rahab’s house was discovered at the north end of the wall. There were certain temple prostitues that were give a one room house in the outer wall for special visitors during the festival times of worship. The Hebrew word here used for harlot/prostitute — zanah — can mean, to be a cult prostitute, to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.) More about this later.

Tuesday — Joshua 2:8-21 This is Rahab’s confession of faith. I have heard that the fact she hadenough flax on her roof to hide the spies, showed that she wanted out of the life she was in.

Wednesday — Joshua 6:1-21 This is Rahab’s “Exodus” story. Like in Egypt and the pleagues mocked the Egyptian gods, so does the march around Jericho mock Yearch. It was there New Year Celebration, which celebrated him finding a wife and son. It was six days of slience in the city and the seventh was a loud celebration that they were found. What about the red cord hanging down the wall from her window? Remember the Passover and the lamb’s blood that was painted over the door? Imagine what the rope that was able to support the weight of the grown men as they scaled the wall out Rahab’s window looked. It would be seen from a distance as a line of blood running down the wall.

Thursday — 6:22-25 It was import1ant that the spies kept there word to Rahab since they were at that time the only example of God she and her family had experienced.

Friday — Matthew 1:1-6 Rahab was important enough to God that He placed her into His Son’s family. Matthew is the only mention of her that the word prostitue was not after her name. Every woman mentioned in the genenology of Jesus was not the perfect Jewish wife. Starting with Tamar who tricked her father-in-law, Judah into getting her pregnant when all of his son’s had died. Next is Rahab “the prostitute” and a Cannanite. Ruth, a Moabite, a coutry that they were forbidden to have anything with, became Rahab’s daughter-in-law. Bathsheba, called in Matthew ” whose mother had been Uriah’s wife” who David had killed during battle. Then Mary, the virgin that became pregnant before her wedding. Can you imagine the gossip going around town about her?

Saturday — Hebrews 11:31 The “Great Hall of Faith includes Rahab being saved because of her faith. So why is she known as the prostitute? As you read you see those who died in Jericho were called disobedient. Rahab had made a confession of her faith in God not Yerach. Remember on Monday one of the uses of the Hewbrew word for was “to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.)” Since this is is figurtive, when you look that most of her life she spent serving a false god, and by her confession of faith in the One True God, she became unfaithful to Yerach. She became a prostitute for God. This last part is all a guess on my part as to why she was known through out the Bible as a prostitute.


(Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash)

Book Review — Shame Off You

We live in a fallen world, where people want to remove the blame from themselves and put it on the other person. It doesn’t matter who was to blame the shame the first person felt is still with that person and the person they blamed. Then there are the advertisements that add shame for not looking a certain way or acting in a way that is acceptable to those who decide what is the correct way. Our words can cause someone to feel shame even if we didn’t me them to.

Growing up I dealt with a lot of shame. No matter what I could do nothing right, according to my dad. I had a plaster plaque that I had worked on for a class. I was really excited about the piece it was someething that represented me. The night before I had to turn it in, I had left it by the door to grab as I left for school in the morning. When I went to grab it in the morning I noticed something was off from when I left it the night before. While I slept my dad had taken and added what was needed to make it “realistic”. I wanted to smash it to pieces. It no longer was mine but his. I was so ashamed to turn it in. See the year before when I had to make a float to represent a book that I had read, he took care of the float because he was good at that while I was good at writing.

The shame of these two and other events growing up has hounded me over the years. All I can tell you about the plaque is the rug and the wood floor, that is what he added his touch to. I would never know my true grade because of him. Likewise, with the float, I was so embarrassed to turn it in. From then on shame has stopped me because I felt I could not be good enough.

Denise Pass in her book, “Shame Off You”, has help me to get that shame off of me. Yes, I have been working hard over the years to get rid of the bitterness that my shame created. Let me share a couple of quotes that really helped me.

Family is where we first learn what it means to be known and loved — or not. Family can be a powerful incubator for shame.

The root of our shame is formed by a fear of rejection and cultivated by comparison.

We give shame the power to harm us only when we let other people define our worth.

These three quotes really had a big impact on me getting shame off of me. The reflection sections at the end of chapter help you to work through what you just read and apply it to your life.

Get your shame lifted off of you.

Women Who Fear the Lord – Jochebed

How can we forget the power of a mother’s love. They were those that put their child up for adoption because they wanted them to have a good life and those who adpoted a child to give them a family.

This week we are going to look at one awesome mom, Jochebed. “Who is that?” you might ask. she is Moses’ mom. She hid at home until that was no longer possible. so she built him a water proof boat and placed it in the Nile River, trusting God to protect him. His sister watched over him and when the Egyptian princess found him, His sister set it up that his mom could raise him until he was about five-years-old bringing him up in the Hebrew faith.

Monday — Exodus 2:1-10

Tuesday — Exodus 6:20

Wednesday — Numbers 15:20

Thursday — Numbers 15:32-36

Friday — Numbers 26:59

Saturday — Hebrews 11:23

Photo by Kavya N.M on Unsplash

Book Review – Standing Together & Giveaway

First, I want to thank Carlos and Rosemarie for putting their story out there. With our current study, “Women Who Fear the Lord”, Rosemarie is definatly belongs to that group. Not only did she have to deal with the truma of Carlos’ injuries, she struggled with being a wife and support to him and a mother to their two girls. Carlos like many of our warriors, especially those that are wounded, suffered from PTSD and became addicted to the pain medication.

Q: You were an experienced nurse and had training in trauma life support, but were you truly prepared to care for Carlos when he arrived home? How did you manage taking care of Carlos and your two young daughters?

Rosemarie: As a nurse, I had the knowledge of what should I expect to see when I met Carlos at the hospital. An intubated patient connected to a mechanical ventilator with drainages and monitors. However, at that point I had a different role. I was the wife of an injured husband. Being a nurse helped me understand procedures and prognosis, but I felt the same uncertainty, desperation, sadness and helplessness any other family member feels when a love one is going through a difficult time. I wasn’t completely prepared because it was an unexpected situation. Before leaving to go to Afghanistan, Carlos and I talked about what should I expect if I saw the Marines at the front door (that he had died in combat), but we never talked about him coming back home seriously injured. We didn’t expect that and weren’t aware of how many service members were injured in the war. When I stepped into Bethesda Hospital, it was eye opening to see how many wounded service members came back and how many families were affected.

When I first went to Bethesda, I traveled without my daughters in order to focus on my husband. Our daughters were four years old and five months old at the time. My mom took care of them in Puerto Rico at first, but as the weeks passed by, I was desperate to see my daughters. I felt conflicted between my two roles as a wife and a mom. I asked two friends in North Carolina (where we were stationed) to take care of my daughters there. That way they could bring my daughters to the hospital, or I could travel from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina to see them. When the doctor told me the recovery process could take two years, we started to make plans for how we could all be together. There were four women who were the key to finding us a place to stay and be able to travel daily to the hospital for treatments. We had to start early, at 5:30 in the morning, to have our older daughter ready for school, the younger for childcare, and Carlos ready for treatments. We started new routines, but we also had family members that stayed with us and helped. However, we wanted to learn how to do it as a family of four. It was hard sometimes, but God helped us through.

Q: Many marriages have crumbled under the weight of trials less life-altering than what the two of you went through, however, you’ve come out the other side stronger. Can you share some of the decisions you made along the way to fight for your marriage?

Rosemarie: There were many difficult decisions made during that period. First, we needed to prioritize roles. There were times a decision left me feeling unsatisfied, but we had to focus on what was needed in the moment. We always tried to make decisions together. It didn’t matter that Carlos was injured, we consulted each other on every decision. Carlos was injured, but he was still the head of the family. We encouraged each other. When Carlos felt ready to give up, I encouraged him. When I was feeling defeated, Carlos encouraged me. Overall, the most important thing was to pray for guidance. In this situation, we understood we were not self-sufficient. We needed God to give us the strength to continue every day.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who may not be seeking help for their depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or even addiction? 

Carlos: Trying to help someone that is not actively seeking help is very challenging. It could be the person has not recognized that he or she has a problem. In my situation, I had people who confronted me, showing me that my actions were hurting me and the people who loved me. My personal advice would be do not push away the people in your life that care about and help you. Also, believe the best days of your life are not behind you, but ahead of you. I would say to somebody in that situation you are not the only person facing PTSD or addiction, so look for a professional or a support group. They can share examples of how they have faced similar situations.  

Q: What were some of the ways you saw God working in your recovery?

Carlos: In the beginning, my questions were, “Where is God? and “Why me?” During my recovery, I understood God has always been there, taking care of me. He was with my Marines when I stepped on the IED. He was with my wife and daughters, giving them strength so they could comfort me. God was with the doctors, nurses, family, friends and many strangers who have become family. I saw God was making me a better father, husband and person. Each time we shared our story with someone, I saw God using my recovery for good.

Q: You say, “Standing has nothing to do with having feet.” What do you mean by that? 

Carlos: In my life, standing is living God’s purpose in my life. Also, serving in my community, being a father and husband, and leading by example means standing in my life. 

My daughter, Nairoby, taught me a lesson about standing. She was five years old and playing and running all over the apartment. She told me, “Now you run Papi, you run Papi!” I told her I wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t run right now. I didn’t have the legs to be able to. I went to my room crying, and Rosemarie asked me why. I told her why, and she replied, “Don’t you see that she doesn’t see what you can’t do? She looks at you as Papi.” That’s what it means to stand.

Q: Where can people learn more about Touching Lives Leaving Footprints and C.R. Evans Ministries? 

Carlos: You can go to CREvans.org as well as on Facebook (CR Evans), Instagram (@crevans923) and Twitter (@crevans923).

Check out their testimony on CBN. https://youtu.be/GTATisdXbSU

Carlos, Thanks for your service and the reminder who we are is not based on what we can do but who we is based on what we do with the life we have been given by God.

Follow this link to enter a chance to win a copy of “Standing Together

Women Who Fear the Lord – Rachel/Leah

Imagine the planning you have done to have the “perfect wedding” only to hake your dad trick your furture husband into marrying your older sister. Could you wait another seven years to be with the man you love, all because of your dad’s deception? Rachel had to do just that while Jacob worked another seven years for her dad.

But what about Leah? Her dad tricked her sister’s love into marrying her. How did it feel when he found out she wasn’t Rachel? Why did her dad have to be so mean? Surely, she could have found a husband of her own. Or, was someone else in control of her life? What would the reason be?

This week we are going to do things different as we look at these two sisters. Besides seeking the possible answers to the questions above and any other questions you might have, let’s take some time and make a list what we find out about both sisters. What they looked like, how long Jacob worked for each sister, how many kids did they have and the names of their children… Whatever else. you can think of as you read Genesis 29-31.

(Photo by Liz Martin on Unsplash)