So today we have people once again protesting. We have women who did not go to work today in protest. I read that some schools even had to close for the day because of this. I think the day would be better spent remembering women who made a difference. So today I am choosing to remember Esther. Here a young girl who had been an orphan being raised by her cousin is raised to the position of Queen. I like to call it the first biblically recorded beauty pageant. She did not have to scheme or fight to win here title. She simply adorned herself and was presented before the king. A time comes when all the Jews in the land were to be executed. Her cousin sends her a request to approach the king and save her people. Now most know that if she was not called for by the king even though he was her husband she could lose her life. She had a difficult choice to make. The king did not know she was a Jew but if this execution would happen she would be found out and be executed as well. She did not approach the king with demands or outrage. She did approach him and invited the king and the man who had plotted to kill her people to dinner. She was received and the king accepted the invite. It was during the dinner that she revealed this plot and admitted to being a Jew. The king stopped the execution and the one who sought the lives of the Jews then himself was hung on the very gallows he had ordered built. A simple orphan girl grew into a woman who saved not only herself but her people as well. I have retold this story in a nutshell and I hope you will take time to read the book of Esther for yourself. This is woman is one of many in the Bible who has inspired me. Would you share a story of a woman who has inspired you?
How many of us today remember being taught to call women by respectful names. I have lived in Texas for almost 20 years now. Calling a woman Ma’m has become second nature to me. Yet I have found many women who hate being called Ma’m or Lady. I personally like being called a lady. To me being a lady is not some uppity snobby woman who wouldn’t know where the kitchen or laundry room is. Being a Lady is being intelligent, well mannered, caring, courteous, and flexible. A lady can pick up a hammer and swing at a nail if she needs to, she can hunt and fish if she likes. Although her beauty may seem delicate she has strength that she does not need to flaunt. She does not look down on others but looks for ways to help those who she can. Her compassion and grace do not make her a door mat, they only compliment what makes her beautiful to begin with. They do not have to wear elegant dresses and have the hair and make up perfect. They are beautiful and shine no matter what their attire is. They are the wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends you meet everyday. Some go to work, and others take care of the home. To each other they are equals. They do not need to dominate others or tear another down. They keep away from gossip and do not spread rumors. They do not seek revenge when harmed. They cry when they see others hurting and are not ashamed when they cry because of their own personal pain. She can fit in without changing who she is. She is a Lady.
If you are a woman and someone addresses you by any of these names please do not take offense. You are being shown respect. A little while back a young man I work with called me a b***, I knew that he did not call me this to slander or insult me, it is a term many women call themselves today and even call their friend this. Yet when this young man did this I did not react in anger but firmly told him that he was never to call me by that name again, he of course said he only called me that because that is what he calls all of his friends. I told him that I was not one and would not be called one and that It was being disrespectful to me. We talked about if one wanted to be respected they need to respect others and not even jokingly disrespect another. When we call ourselves demeaning an derogatory names and then get offended when addressed with respect who is the one really in the wrong. There is also those who call themselves names that I will not list here but you know the terms and get outraged if someone else calls them the very same name. It makes no sense what so ever. Names have meanings and words have power, so when we speak negative, insulting, slanderous, and hurtful names even as a joke we are degrading each other and ourselves. You can cry out for equality while disrespecting others or yourself. If you do then you are actually saying that you want to be disrespected. For that is what you are doing to others and to yourself. Be a real woman and be a lady.
One of my favorite scriptures regarding what a woman can desire to be is Proverbs 31. The Proverbial woman. It was not until years of insomnia that this thought hit me. This woman does not sleep. She is up before everyone else, cares for family and servants, works and cares for her home , and is the last in her house to go to sleep. Yet the one things that she is is respected. She was not complaining to her friends how terrible her life is and how unfair she is treated. She gets what needs to be done and demands nothing in return. She does not whine that she barely got any sleep or that no one helps her. She is caring and compassionate. She has an attitude I wish that I could learn to have. She is definitely a lady in my book.
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
She is far more precious than vjewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She wseeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She xrises while it is yet night
and yprovides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
22 She makes dbed coverings for herself;
23 Her husband is known in gthe gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes hlinen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 iStrength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
but you surpass them all.”
30 lCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
The first time I ran away from home I was 13 years old. We were going to move so friend I went to school with wanted to spend one last day together having fun. So we ditched the last couple of classes. We didn’t do much, went to an arcade on Woodman Ave. Then we hung out a friend’s house. The next day we were all called into the principal’s office. I was terrified of my father and had asked to take the paddle instead of him calling my father. He called my father and I was too afraid to go home. I didn’t know where to go but I was too afraid to go home. My father was an angry man and he terrified me. I wandered around with a friend Wendy until she had to go home. Now a new fear took over where would I go? I had nowhere to go so I cried as I walked back home. It was not the home coming of the prodigal son, but I lived.
Life did not get much better after we moved. Oh we had all the physical comforts a nice home, plenty of food, but living in fear takes its toll on anyone. Never knowing when something you may do innocent or not is going to set off the volcanic anger of my father. I ran away again, and again. When I was close to turning 16 I had gotten into a fight with my father. I could not believe myself. Standing up to my father was something that you did not do. I was dragged and beaten into our home. I cussed at him for the first time in my life to his face. I tried to keep him from opening the closet where he kept a paddle He had made from a 1’x4′ and 2ft. long board that he used to spank me with. I failed. The board came out and I tried to hide behind my stepmother. He yelled at me and the board was used like a baseball bat and my head was the ball. I was down on my knees when he was about to swing again and I was literally saved by the bell. The phone rang and it stopped him. My step mother had done nothing, but what do you expect from a woman who has blamed you for all the problems of her marriage. Who said’ ‘If you didn’t exist I could be happy with your father.’ (Sorry I was a part of his life before she was.) After this incident I ran away again. This time I was not so quick to going back home. I bounced around from one friends couch to another. I even got my first job at Chuck E. Cheese, while still going to school. I managed to live like this for over a month until the school notified the authorities, No charges were brought against my father and thanks for a friend’s mother I did not have to return home for a while. Yet no matter how many times I left my father’s home and no matter the reason I kept returning.
So why I am I sharing a couple of my run away stories? They had come back to my mind and they made me think about people in the Bible who had run away and why. Hagar ran away when Sarah became jealous and hateful. David ran away when King Saul wanted to kill him. Elijah ran and hid in a cave when Jezebel was having God’s prophets killed. Jonah also tried to runaway when God had told him to go to Nineveh. All had their reasons to run. So this was one thing I had in common with these people. The other common ground I shared with them was we all returned.
Life is not easy for any of us. It is definitely harder for some than others. It can be even be terrifying. Of course life can be filled with joy and hope. I do not know what you may be running from and you may have a very good reason to do so but just like God met Hagar in the dessert and found Jonah in the sea. He can meet you where ever you are. Find hope in the One who will never hurt you, but who loves you unconditionally. Even if you run away from Him He will come to find you and He loves you unconditionally.
Look up scriptures on people who ran away in the Bible
Hagar – Genesis 16:6-9- (NKJV) So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence. 7 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” (Read Genesis chapter 16)
David – 1 Samuel 21:10 (NKJV) Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
1 Samuel 22:1 (NKJV) David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.
Read 1 Samuel chapters 21-24
Elijah – 1 Kings 19:3-4 (NKJV) 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” 5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel[a] touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel[b] of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (Read 1Kings chapter 9)
Jonah – Jonah 1:3 (NKJV) 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Read the book of Jonah)
Can you name of others in the Bible who ran away?
Have you ever run away?
If you did, did you return to what or where you ran from?
Are you running away from anyone or anything?
My Dear Widow,
My heart certainly goes to you. You are faithful and giving. If only others would learn from you. You gave me your last two coins and they judged you poorly for this. Yet I gratefully received your gift and I know this cost you more than you had to give. Their ridicule only showed their ignorance, and how empty their hearts are. Your possessions on earth may be few, but my loving woman you have treasures untold in heaven waiting for your generosity. Thank you for not withholding any of your belongings from Me. I love you beautiful woman. You are a treasure to me. May the days you spend on earth be comforted by My Spirit. I wait with open arms for your entrance into My home.
Love Your Heavenly Father
Dear Five Lazy Virgins,
I know how I have addressed you may seem to be insulting. I am writing to you because I am greatly disappointed in you. You knew that the time was coming when the Groom would return for His bride. Instead of preparing you were lazy. Yes I called you lazy. You did what you wanted for yourselves and did nothing to prepare for His return. Maybe you were too busy looking for the right outfit and getting your hair and makeup done. This however was not what you needed to be ready.
You fell asleep and the call came that He was returning. You went to the others who had been prepared expecting them to give you what you needed. They did not give you the oil because they had been wise and had gotten their oil in advance being prepared no matter what the time would be for the return of the Groom. You then went to get you the oil you needed but while you were gone the Groom came and those that were ready went with Him.
You went after Him and knocked on His door and He replied that He did not know you. It was too late. You had been warned of His coming with plenty of time to be prepared but you waited too long. You just assumed that He would wait for you.
How disappointed you must be that in the end you were left behind. You have no one to blame but yourself though. I am not trying to be cruel but you did know that you needed to be ready for His return. It was no one else’s responsibility. I only wish you had not been so lazy waiting for someone else to do what it was that you needed to do for yourself. By not being ready you only showed no regard to your Groom. It was you that had actually rejected Him. You will never know the pain this caused Him. I have nothing else that I can say about this.
With a broken heart
Your, Lord God
Why do you run from My love? I married you to Hosea, yet you have been unfaithful as a wife. The love I have for you I have put in him. He does not wait for you to return to him, but he pursues you and brings you back home time and time again. Yet still you wander off. What causes you to do this?
Why do you reject the love I have for you? I seek after you and you run away. Time after time Hosea has gone after you, only to find you in the bed of another man. I chose you because you needed to be loved, not because of your beauty. I saw what you truly need. Still you rebel against Me and reject My love. If you would only realize that it is My love that causes Hosea to bring you home each time you run to the arms of another man. I forgive you for each of your transgressions, just as he does. You seek in the world that which will never satisfy you. You give into the physical comforts of a world that only leaves you defiled and empty.
I bring you home and clothe you and give you a true love. I am faithful to the unfaithful. I am tender and merciful to you. Yet you still insist on finding love in an unloving world. The world does not love you; it only takes from you all that I want to give you. I bless you with a husband who loves you and children, yet these are not enough for you. When will you see that I love you as the world cannot? Hosea loves you not these other men. They only use you for their own selfish desires and pay you with that which does not last or will ever satisfy your needs.
Do you not know what you are worth to me? Do you not know that your value is not your body or your possessions? If I did not care for you, I would leave you to your own desires and yourself destructive ways. I would not care about what you do, or what happens to you. Yet it is not the world or My enemies that harm you. It is you. You do the things to yourself that bring you harm and leaves you empty. I want so much more for you than what you try to find for yourself. I want you to experience joy and happiness, peace and love. I created you to be loved, because I created you out of love. When will you stop running? When will you return on your own? I want you to want to come to me on your own, but I will not give up on you. I have a gift greater than anything that you will ever find on earth. More valuable than all the jewels, gold and silver put together. All you have to do is turn away from the world and come to Me. This gift is not one you have to earn. I give it to you freely.
I will continue to pursue you with My love and will continue to love you all the days of your life. I will never give up on you. My love is patient. So I wait patiently for the day when My love fills your heart and mind and you choose to stay with Me. Until that day I will continue to seek after you with all of My heart, even though you break it daily. Yet I know when you learn what My love truly is you will love Me, and you will stop what you have been doing. You will then love Me in return and repent of all that you have done. You will be as happy as I want to make you. I love you, today, tomorrow and always. I am always here for you.
Faithfully loving you,
Your Heavenly Father
The book of Hosea
1 Corinthians chapter 13