Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Proverbs 31:20

Proverbs 31:20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

Extending a helping hand is not only the right thing to do, we as Christians are called to help.  And when we do help we are blessed.

Micah 6:8 No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 But if there are any poor people in your towns when you arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 19:17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD--and he will repay you!

From today's lesson, here are some ways to help:
- the giving of money
- the giving of food
- the giving of assistance
- the giving of help to the elderly or the ill
and how we can begin to pursue a heart of kindness:
- begin at home
- keep your eyes and ears open (Proverbs 20:12)
- pray for a heart of love
- err of the side of generosity

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Proverbs 31:19

Proverbs 31:19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.

When I read this I immediately thought of my Grandma.  As long as I can remember she was never without her 'hookin' as my Dad called it.  She was always working on what I now think of as magnificent projects.  There are so many quilts, bedspreads, tablecloths, doillies, and afghans - I think we all have something that she made just for us. At least those of us that were here when she left us - 6 children and their spouses, 16 grandchildren - most were married, and I think there were about 32 great-grandchildren at that time.

But as I was saying, she was always working on something, and it was always for somebody else.  The only photo I have on my computer of something she made is of this bedspread.  She made for my room when I was young. It is still on the bed in my old room and I tried to take it home with me a couple years ago, but turns out that me and my mom have quite a dispute about who it actually belongs to haha!

My Grandma spent hundreds of hours creating gifts and thinking of others.  And knowing her, I am sure she put many, many prayers into every project! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Proverbs 31:18

Proverbs 31:18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

Because of her hardwork she is profitable.  She works hard because of her caring heart and her creativity increases.  Her continuous hard work builds her confidence which helps to improve her skills, further increasing her creativity.  Her desire to do more increases and so does her caring heart.  This continuous cycle revolves around the virtue of caring for others.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Proverbs 31:17

Proverbs 31:17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.

She is strong because she is diligent (verse 13), disciplined (verse 15), and energetic (verse 17).

Our level of energy can be directly affected by our attitude.  These verses can help us increase our energy or improve our attitude...

Nehemiah 8:10 Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!"

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Galatians 5:22-23 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Proverbs 31:16

Proverbs 31:16 She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

Here we see this women buying property.  She is putting her money to good use and enabling her to earn more money which helps her to better provide for her family.

The lesson put it like this:
"Her virtue (verse 10) led to
her willing heart (verse 13) which led to
her industry (verse13) which led to
her savings (verse 11) which led to
her investments (verse 16) which led to
her prosperity (verse 25).

Or put another way...

Hard work and a love for others
leads to
A heart in pursuit of excellence
resulting in
God's gracious blessings

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Proverbs 31:15

Proverbs 31:15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls.

uggg...do we really have to go here! Please can we not sleep in?  What about those of us that are not morning people?  Are you still thinking about the nagging, complaining, crabby wife?  Yeah, me too - because I got up too early!

...sigh... are you also thinking that I need to spend some extra time on this lesson? yeah me too...sigh...

It is actually a very simply lesson really- it is in 3D - diligence, discipline, determination.  hmmm perhaps I should look up the definitions of the 3D's...

Diligence: constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.

Discipline:  punishment inflicted by way of correction and training
  - well maybe that's not the right definition. 
  - How about this instead: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training
  - although I may need some sort of punishment inflicted to get my butt out of bed earlier in the morning!

Determination - the act of coming to a decision or a fixed purpose or intention

The end of today's lesson hit pretty hard, I'll quote it:
"Just pursue the excellent pattern of the godly woman of Proverbs 31. She heartily sought and developed the disciplines in the...
- practice of early rising
- provision of daily food, and
- planning of the day's work
Who knows what we could accomplish for God, give to others, and realize for ourselves if only we would follow in this godly women's disciplined footsteps!"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Proverbs 31:14

Proverbs 31:14 She is like a merchant's ship; she brings her food from afar.

Today's lesson had a great analogy and question that I will quote:
"Think about the image of a sailing ship and of a 'sailing' woman as she runs her daily errands. What do you think 'puts the wind in her sails' as she runs to and from to gather up goods?"

The 'wind in her sails' comes from a joyful spirit.  She goes beyond just accomplishing the tasks, she does it out of love for her family.  Her joy comes from providing for her family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Proverbs 31:13

Proverbs 31:13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. (NLT)

Proverbs 31:13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. (NIV)

I chose two translations because it can show two entirely different virtues.  First she is busy, implying that there is always something on the go, she is always busy at something.  But second, and perhaps more importantly, she works eagerly.  She is happy and joyful while she works...still thinking about that nagging, complaining, crabby wife?  yeah me too...sigh...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Proverbs 31:12

Proverbs 31:12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

How can you help your husband?  By being aware of what he is doing, what he needs and wants, and providing for him. Showing your love by being observant and thoughtful.

We can learn from Jesus' actions in Acts 10:38 Then Jesus went around doing good

Perhaps we need to shift our focus and put it on what you can do for your family and husband rather than what they are not doing for you.  Shift your focus from being nagging and complaining and instead meet the needs of your family.  (notice that I wrote this point in the second person - this was/is a really big ouch point!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Proverbs 31:11

Proverbs 31:11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

Let's first have a look at the opposite of enriching his life - these are actually quite funny, probably because we know they are so true...

Proverbs 19:13 a nagging wife annoys like a constant dripping.

Proverbs 21:9  Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. 

Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.

Proverbs 27:15 A nagging wife is as annoying as the constant dripping on a rainy day.

Okay, pretty clear that we should watch ourselves and be careful not to nag, complain, argue, or be crabby. Yikes!  Probably need to work on this a bit more!

Our husbands can trust us when they can count on us, trust us with information, when we are responsible, reliable, dependable, and they are able to place their confidence in us - no matter what.  That is what we should strive for - that and biting our tongues when we are crabby and wanting to complain!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Proverbs 31:10

I got back into blogging in the middle of this study, but hated to leave it unfinished here on the blog.  So I am backdated some entries so that in case anyone wanted to follow the complete study here you could.

The study is based on Proverbs 31 and guided with this workbook:
We are currently studying Proverbs 31 using this study guide. It is a great workbook and I recommend it for a great study of Proverbs 31. 

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies.

The term virtuous also means trustworthy, dependable, faithful, strength, noble character.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

A worthy wife makes him happy, a shameful wife exhausts him.  Which are you, or which would you rather be?  I would prefer to be precious to my husband - to be considered by him as the heart of the family.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury

A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury

If you are reading reviews then you already know the storyline and you know this is Christian fiction, with characters that pray and read scripture.  I won't repeat all that..

I have never read a Karen Kingsbury book before, so this review is for all of you who also have not experienced this talented Christian author. In a few words, this is a book that you can fall into and let the world go by until you are done. And when you are done, you will be looking for more tissues and more Karen Kingsbury novels because in one book she has become one of your favorite authors.

Disclosure: Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program.

I review for BookSneeze