Women of Thanks – Three Cousins

Women of Thanks – Three Cousins

 

“Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.” Luke 1:36

“God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  (…) You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Jesus.” Verses from Luke 1

“It was Mary Magdalene, Salome, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.” Luke 24:10

 

Ok, going to tax your brain … “Still they’re cousins, identical cousins and you’ll find; they laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike.  You could lose your mind when cousins are two of a kind!!” I’ll give you a moment … Did you guess “the theme song from the 1966 Patty Duke Show?” Well, if you did you are absolutely correct! The song really doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot to this devotional but Elizabeth and Mary (from scriptural history) and Salome (from church history) were cousins too. The TV show followed the adventures of Patty and Cathy, a set of cousins who were identical in physical appearance; the Bible tells us the stories of Liz and Mary, cousins who are bearing children with divine purpose. Possibly, Salome was pregnant with James at the time; we know that John was the youngest apostle but do not know when his brother James was born.

            One thing we can almost be certain of is that these cousins were women of God. Cousins whose sons would be used by God in mighty ways; John ~ who is called John the Baptist, Jesus ~ the Savior of the World, John ~ the beloved apostle of Jesus, and James ~ the first apostle to be martyred. It’s hard to think that these cousins would have been grateful women; John the Baptist was beheaded while Jesus was alive and James was martyred early in the age of the Church. They were both killed because of their love and faith in Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews, and their commitment to walking in His commands.. We know that Jesus, Mary’s son, died on a Roman cross at age 33. John lived to an old age; he wrote 5 books of the New Testament and helped the early church to develop from his headquarters in Jerusalem. We also know that Mary was cared for by Salome’s son John throughout the remainder of her life.

            However, we KNOW they were thankful for their sons. Elizabeth said (v.25) “ ‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people’.” She was thankful that God was giving her the gift of motherhood after she stopped believing in the dream. Mary said, (v. 47) “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Salome, loved her sons; however, she got herself in a little trouble because she had too much pride in and ambition for them. Church history tells us that she prompted them to ask Jesus, “Let one of us sit at Your right and the other at Your left in Your glory.” Although we hear little about Elizabeth after the birth of John; we know that Mary and Salome followed Jesus, along with other disciples and the twelve, as He ministered for three years. Both women stood at the bottom of the cross as He gave His life for us and were among those who discovered that He had risen from the dead!.

And, you might ask, what did the younger cousins do with the “rest of their lives?”  Acts 1:14 tells us that these women of thanks were stalwarts in the early Church, “They all [the apostles and disciples of Jesus] joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” I praise God for the scriptural women of thanks who have demonstrated strength of character from the Garden of Eden through the glorification of the Messiah!

Women of God

David was a man after Gods’ own heart,
I long to be the woman (The apple of his eye)
By Gods’ grace I surrender my life,
I belong to Jesus Christ,
He saved my soul and gives me life.
 
I am the woman after Gods’ own heart,
His favor and mercy will never depart.
My heart is fixed on Jesus Christ,
May I speak words of faith and words of life.
I live by faith not by sight,
May Gods’ word shine through my life.
God is merciful and full of grace,
I am his servant driven by my faith.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
I will not worship him in a form or fashion.
Woman of God connected together by our faith,
Lets stand together and take our place.
~ Patty Faye Locklear ~ Copyright © 2011 All Right Reserved      

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Please visit my website at http://www.asistershugs.net

Women of Thanks – Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba

“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba. (…) Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” Matthew 1:1, 17 [some names added by ejgb] 

        Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; only Caroline remains from the nuclear family that so many Americans watched for such a short time in the White House. Even looking back today, I enjoy the photos of the young family but also remember the pain that surrounded them, even before that fateful day in Dallas. They lost two children, one daughter and one son, shortly after birth; I thought, as I watched the search for John, Jrs’ plane in 1999, about Jackie, the storybook Mom, who had died only 5 years before.

        Becoming a mother, especially when one desires children, is a life changing series of events. Ask any mother and she could share stories of the highlights and lowlights. I remember my daughter’s infamous words, “I can’t wait until this baby comes and my life gets back to normal.” I laughed and retorted, “Sweetie, your life will NEVER be normal again!” My words still ring true!

        Motherhood is what all of today’s women of thanks have in common. Although each of their stories is different; they all desired children – especially sons. Aside from Hagar, each woman gave birth to a son of promise; a son who is included in the direct line of Jesus; our Savior and the Jewish Messiah. I included Hagar because her love for Ismael and God’s faithful provision for them is so clearly detailed in the scripture. Can you imagine the excitement in Heaven when God the Father announced His Son’s impending birth? I like to think that each one of them had a mothering story that they would have shared with Mary.

        As we anticipate sharing Thanksgiving with our families, maybe we can take a few moments to look back at all the holiday memories that include our Moms, grandmothers, and (for the lucky few of you) Great-grandmothers? Remember the smiles they shared, the special touches they used, or the special songs they whistled, hummed or sang! Cherish the memories of the women who thanked God for you!

Watching parades with cousins with Mom mom humming a tune

Smelling the turkey and wishing our parents would all return soon

From the football rivalry game 

My brother and nephew played later; Mom and I watched then rushed home

To baste and peel and prepare a meal to which all the family would come

And always thank God round the circle 

Memories still of that circle where we all gathered to praise

The Lord for His blessings and problems He’d helped us allay

From the youngest to the oldest 

“Lord, please let Mom know we love her and tell her we offer with thanks

Our memories of Thanksgivings with her; the smiles, the laughter, the pranks

And we know she gave her all … for us

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Women of Thanks – King Lemuel’s Mother

“The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

‘Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! (…)

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of

the poor and needy.’” 

        If someone were to ask you to name a woman who has made an impact in the world, who would you mention? Possibly Marie Curie or Margaret Thatcher or Joan of Arc; maybe Mother Theresa? I remember sitting at my Mom’s bedside and thinking, “Here is a woman who has positively touched the hearts of thousands of children as well as raising six children of her own who have positively touched a multitude of hearts with grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have the potential to positively touch myriads more, yet “the world” would not recognize her name, now or ever.” Throughout this series I’ve tried to spotlight scriptural women we’ve all heard of before and women we might have overlooked.

        If I ask a thousand Christians to tell me a little about Proverbs 31, I’m certain most of them would relay some information about the “virtuous woman.” They’d probably tell me how inferior “she” makes them feel or, from a different angle, how unattainable “she” is. Yet, the well-known words from this chapter are the epilogue, “a short addition or concluding section at the end of a literary work, often dealing with the future of its characters.” Possibly, “she” was King Lemuel’s queen or maybe he was reflecting on his mother. The early part of chapter 31, however, are “an inspired utterance his mother taught him.” In these words she calls him “the answer to her prayers;” isn’t that a precious way to refer to your child?

        If there were “words of knowledge” that your children cherished enough to share with others, what would they be? In her words, she told her son to steer clear of women, wine, and beer. She told him that women could be his ruin, that wine was for medicinal use, and that beer could alter his memory causing him to forget what was really important … overseeing and caring for others. Knowing that he would be king someday, she stressed what she believed to be the key to his successful reign:

                        1. Speak up for the downtrodden and the poor

                        2. Judge with fairness

                        3. Defend the rights of those who cannot fight for their own

Isn’t it amazing how closely her words remind us of Jesus’ words, “Love your neighbor as yourself?” Pretty smart advice from a woman who is never named, huh? 

Following are “Words of Wisdom” from one of my Mom’s favorite songs:

Remind Me Dear Lord

Written by Dottie Rambo 

The things that I love and hold dear to my heart,

Are just borrowed they’re not mine at all.

Jesus only let me use them to brighten my life;

So remind me remind me dear Lord. 

Nothing good have I done to deserve God’s own Son;

I’m not worthy of the scars in His hands.

Yet He chose the road to Calvary to die in my stead;

Why He loved me I just can’t understand. 

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then;

Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been.

Just remember I’m human and humans forget,

So remind me, remind me dear Lord.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Women of Thanks – Job’s wife

“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. (…) Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” Job 42:12-16 

        As most of you know, I was married twice before I met and married Rick. Neither was a good marriage nor a Christian marriage, although the first husband attended Sunday school for four years while I children were very small and the second man did claim to be a Christian. My kids’ father was a cruel husband who “married a little girl and didn’t like the woman she grew up to be.” We lived together sixteen years and had two children; there might have been fifty days during that time that we didn’t fight but I doubt it. Suffice it to say that I married him for all the wrong reasons. The second man I met in church and, although “looking back” there were signs of impending problems, we dated for two years prior to our marriage. Within two months of him moving into my home, he began physically abusing me. Our marriage lasted ~ off and on ~ for six months. BUT, even with the first two husbands in my life being abusive, I was not a devoted Christian for many of those years and not a great wife either. The details run a long, twisted road; I praise God that He forgives and forgets!!!

        Job’s wife, at the beginning of the story, appears to be a good and faithful wife. Although the Bible doesn’t mention her by name, Jewish history records it as Nahrela. She and Job had a prosperous life; they were wealthy, respected, and the parents of ten healthy children. However, when God allowed the evil one to strip Job of all his worldly possessions, his children, and his health, the evil one chose to allow his wife to remain. As we do not have any word from God as to her devotion to Him and we can tell from the text that Job’s children were not loyal to the Lord, it’s hard to imagine how she could have accepted all these trials and heartaches. What Job would have shared with her was the goodness of God.

        After the loss of the children, Nahrela comes across in the biblical narrative as fickle and unsupportive of Job as each new affliction takes its toll on her husband. There are passages throughout the book that insinuate that she took the evil one’s side. Yet, after the trials are over and Job has stood faithful to God, she must have sought Job’s (and God’s) forgiveness and reconciliation. Today’s scripture tells the story of the return of happiness, prosperity, and parenthood to Job’s life; a life he shared with Nahrela.

        No, the ten additional children could NEVER replace those she lost but our hearts of love have lots of room to stretch. I’ve talked to my “blood” grandchildren about this elasticity when our third grandchild arrived at 8 ½ years old. Nahrela’s heart welcomed the ten children and, assuming that she lived as long as her husband, she was surrounded by grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In the patriarchal culture of her day, she died as a BLESSED woman. I like to think that she saw the faith of Job and as God blessed them over and over again with material gifts, she accepted and followed the Lord also. I don’t know this for certain but I know this … our Lord allows us second chances and, in my case, even third chances!!

 

Job was sick oh so long

‘Til the flesh fell from his bones;

His sheep, cattle and children,

Everything that he had was gone.

But Job in his despair,

Said He knew that God still cared.

Sleepless days and sleepless nights

But Job said that’s all right because …

 

I’ve got confidence; God is gonna see me through.

No matter what the case may be; I know He’s gonna fix it for me!

(Lyrics by Andrea Crouch)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Women of Thanks – the Widow of Zarephath

“Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” I Kings 17:9

        My Dad is 85 years old and has been a widower for almost three years. One thing we have noticed, over and over again, is that he is a widow magnet. He is not an overly attractive man or the picture of health or a sociable person but there is rarely a time we take him out for an adventure that an elderly woman doesn’t come up to him and begin a conversation. My husband teases him about it; Dad’s usual response is, “What do I want with another woman?” I know he means it but it is an interesting occurrence, isn’t it? Loneliness is universal and it is a far more women far outlive men so a widower can be rare! 🙂

        The Bible speaks often of widows and always admonishes children of God to care for them. Especially in the Old Testament but even through the political climate of the New Testament; widows were often among the poorest rung on the socioeconomic ladder. Due to the patriarchal rights of inheritance, widows were not the direct beneficiaries of their husbands’ estate; even widows of wealthy husbands could be left penniless. There was no social security, no food stamps, and no social program to care for widows; if they were without family, they were alone in the world.

        As with many women of the scriptures, there is little backstory of the widow of Zarephath. We simply know she must have had an intimate relationship with God as she heard His direction. Her trust must have been securer for when Elijah, the prophet, told her to use the minute amounts of flour and oil she had left to feed him, she did! We are told that, as the prophet had promised, God continually supplied her with enough flour and oil to feed Elijah and her son; what miraculous provision! Yet God wasn’t finished overflowing His blessing on the widow, was He?

        Illness happens; no one is exempt from it! The widow’s son took ill; day by day his condition worsened until he died. Understandably, she questioned God … “Why, Lord? Why my son?” Even the prophet echoed her cries, then prayed “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!’ The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.” (I Kings 17:21, 22) Her soul’s prayer had been answered by the God she loved; she rejoiced in His faithfulness!

I’ve discovered the way of gladness

I’ve discovered the way of joy

I’ve discovered relief from sadness

‘Tis a happiness without alloy;

I’ve discovered the fount of blessings,

I’ve discovered the “Living Word”

‘Twas the greatest of all discoveries,

When I found Jesus my Lord. 

Lyrics by Floyd W. Hawkins

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Women of Thanks – Deborah

Women of Thanks – Deborah

 

“Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the palms between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.” (…) [Deborah proclaimed], “So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength. Then the land had peace forty years.” Judges 4:4-5, 5:31

        Have you ever found yourself in a position of authority; for example, the head of a vital committee, director of a huge event, or mentor to an important person and wondered, “How did I get here?” I remember thinking along those lines back in the late eighties when a simple inquiry call to a person I didn’t know in New York City led to my being back stage with some of the biggest names in Latin music. It didn’t last long, maybe a year or two, but it was a big “volunteer” job I enjoyed. Its time came and went, leaving me with some nice memories yet I am still not certain “how I got there.”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if, someday in Heaven when I get to speak with Deborah, Israel’s judge and prophet that I find she shares the same feeling. We don’t know much about Deborah except she was a married woman God used for a “season” to change the face of her nation. We can think of other women God used in this way: Esther, Miriam, Rahab, or Dorcas. These were ordinary women who loved the Lord and were willing to serve Him when He called them.

        Deborah served as a judge in Israel; an arbitrator of sorts. Once again, Israel was in trouble because they turned their hearts from God. The Lord prompted Deborah to call the leader of Israel’s military, Barak, and tell him that, if Israel turned back to Him, he could lead a military overthrow of Sisera, leader of the ruling nation. Another woman, Jael, served a pivotal role in the story but it is kind of yucky (you can read about it in Judges 4 and 5). Wrapping the story very quickly, Barak hesitantly agreed to lead the troops only if Deborah would come along with him. She became his prayer support; the woman behind the man.

        Deborah loved the Lord, followed His direction, served Him with dignity, and was certain to offer her praise as due: not to Jael, not to Barak but to the God of Israel! A woman we know little about who was unique in her call. A singular woman who was chosen to lead from among many homemakers, a servant of God who mirrored His determination and integrity. 

“Heavenly Father, thank You for creating me a woman. Thank You for Your Son, who showed Himself as the promised Savior, to a Samaritan woman at a well, Thank you for Jesus’ willingness to stand firm even when the disciples couldn’t understand why He would bother with her. Thank you for the stories of Deborah and Jael who served you as they were called and remembered to give You the glory! Use me as You would. Help me to put You first and always be ready to follow Your direction while responding positively to Your commands.  In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”

  

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Women of Thanks – Naomi

“So Boaz married Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The townswomen said to Naomi: ‘Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.’ Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son!’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 4:13-18

        I will admit to not completely understanding the tradition of early Israel. I, like you, read the Old Testament, often with a bit of confusion. Passing down a wife, upon the death of her husband, from brother to brother, marrying a slave girl in order to have more children or to give a different wife children, or (in this case) having a child with your new husband to continue the family lineage of your dead husband; none of these traditions make a whole lot of sense to me. However, we see examples of each in the Old Testament.

        The book of Ruth is a wonderful love story, whether one is reading it at face value or attempting to find a correlation and parallel to God’s gift of His only son. We read of a wife and mother following her husband to a strange land with two less-than-healthy sons. She watches as they marry “foreign” women and then, tragically, as her husband and sons die. Despondent, she decides to return to her homeland. Although Naomi could have, under law, “dragged” her daughter-in-laws with her, she gave them permission to stay in their land with their friends and family. Ruth didn’t want to leave her mother-in-law alone; she insisted on going along. In love, she said “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

        The story of Ruth is familiar; working to support herself and Naomi, she meets Boaz, he protects her, she finds out from Naomi that he is “family,” Ruth and Boaz fall in love, Boaz arranges to purchase the lineage of Naomi, and the couple marries. The townswomen and Naomi are thrilled and grateful when Ruth gives birth to her first son, Obed, for it is through this little boy that her lineage will continue!! Even better (something Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi will only know from Heaven) – Obed is the father of Jesse; Obed will be David’s grandfather!!

        Naomi’s life was turned around by Ruth’s love and she was thankful!! No longer would she face a life of possible destitution, loneliness and gloom. Yet, can you even imagine, how Naomi’s gratitude would’ve multiplied a thousand fold had she known that her “son” would be the great-great-great-great (with some more greats) grandfather of the Messiah ~ Jesus!!

(Remember this Sunday school song? No author known.)

Well, surprise, surprise, God has a surprise;

Right before your eyes;

It’s baffling to the wise.

Surprise, surprise God has a surprise;

Open up your eyes and see.

~ 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Women of Thanks – Anna

“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, 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 

        We all know her; she’s the woman in church who loves the Lord, serves Him faithfully, and is either an early widow or never married. She never gave birth to a child but dotes on her nieces and nephews; she also loves the church’s kids! She has taught Sunday school for many years; every child has grown up loving her back and is please when she is their child’s teacher. She’s “Aunt” or “Miss” but never “Ms.” There is always candy in her purse, little gifts under the church tree, and a smile on her face.

        Anna was “that woman” at the Temple in Jerusalem. She had married at the normal age for Jewish girls, 16 -18 years but tragedy touched her life early. Before she was 25 year old, she was a widow. No husband, no children but a deep devotion to the Lord and a desire to be of service to Him in any manner. She lived in one of the tiny booths that surrounded the women’s area of the Temple. I can imagine that she freely shared smiles and hugs with all the children who came to Temple. She had spent the biggest part of her life serving the Lord as He called her and “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem;” she was anticipating the arrival of the Messiah.

        One day as Anna went about doing the small jobs a woman of 84 years could do; she saw a young couple with a tiny baby enter the Temple. Possibly she remembered her own youth, her own husband, and her dreams of motherhood as she walked over to greet them. The scriptures call her a prophet; she voiced messages from the Lord. As she gently took the baby from Mary’s arms, a touch from God told her that this baby was the promised Messiah. We’re told that she thanked God and conveyed the message of their deliverance to everyone around her. God had blessed His humble servant with the task of planting the seed of knowledge to the nation of Israel that their Messiah had come! What a mighty God we serve!!

 

“I will serve Thee because I love Thee;

You have given life to me.

I was nothing before You found me;

You have given life to me.

Heartaches, broken pieces, ruined lives are why

You died on Calvary.

Your touch was what I longed for;

You have given life to me.”

by Bill and Gloria Gaither

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

 

Women of Thanks – Me

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30 

            Last week I had X-rays of my ankles and knees. A year ago I was diagnosed as needing two knee replacements and had a need to keep my ankles totally immobile by wearing knee high plastic boot-braces. After prayer and discussion with my husband, I decided to seek a second opinion. The pain in my ankles is often excruciating and I see no need for two knee replacements if the calcium growths in front and back of my Achilles tendons that are causing the pain can not be fixed. Today I start evaluation of the issues by the second doctor; post control of my diabetes. Why do I mention this? First, to ask for prayer but second, and most important, is to let you know that my God is stronger than ANY pain! Does our loving God always reduce the pain? No but His presence in my life makes EVERYTHING easy. As Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:14 “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” I am grateful for a God who ALWAYS stays constant in my spirit!!

            So, today it is my turn to be the woman of thanks! To do so, I’d like to share with you the words to my very favorite contemporary song; a Sandi Patty song from her album “Artist of my Soul.”           

There’ve been times in my life You’ve opened doors

They weren’t what I was hoping for

So I walked right by them, I didn’t even try them

there’ve been dreams I forgot and dreams I let die

unnoticed sunsets in front of my eyes

I just couldn’t see them I thought I didn’t need them

sure there are things, I’d do different and yet

grace gives me days where I simply forget 

‘Cause You set me free to run through fields of laughter

and to sing as though I have no yesterdays

You set me free from my befores and afters

from a debt I know I’ll never pay

When You set me free 

There’ve been chances to love that I’ve ignored

mercies I found I couldn’t afford

I’m sure I would’ve shown them If I would have known then

How we all play a part in each other’s lives

and there’s more to the game than winning the prize

so much I want to try now I feel like I could fly now

sure there are things I’d do different and yet

Grace gives me days where I simply forget 

Father, You father me ever so patiently

You give me wings to fly 

when you set me free

To fly, to soar to places I’ve not been before

the boundaries of humanity cannot contain what you set free 

‘Cause You set me free to run through fields of laughter

and to sing as though I have no yesterdays

You set me free from my befores and afters

from a debt I know I’ll never pay

When You set me free 

THANK YOU; LORD!!!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Please visit my website at http://www.asistershugs.net

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50 in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed and Diana), her son-in-love (Boomer), daughter-in-love (Alyssa) and her three grandchildren, Mathieu, Emma and Amelia, are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer and accomplished vocalist. From her home, she maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs” from which the devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed, is in the process of establishing Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for struggling Christian women. She is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling at Liberty University.

Women of Thanks – the Mothers

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17 

        Rick and I traveled to VA this past weekend for what was supposed to be our youngest granddaughter’s piano recital. When we were on our way we were told that the recital date had been changed; delayed a month. Since we hadn’t seen our girls for a couple of months, we went anyway. What a wonderful surprise we witnessed yesterday, 2013 Veterans Day. Both granddaughters sing in the chorus at their elementary school whose nickname is “Patriots.” Possibly because of the nickname or that their town is centered amongst two major military bases, their school has an annual Veterans’ Day presentation attended by many representatives of our five military branches. The kids sang the expected patriotic songs as well as each military’s song. The parade of the military attendees was impressive but it was as they exited that all in attendance were touched to our hearts. As the veterans, past and present, began to exit, without direction the kids reached out their hands (on both sides of the center aisle) to touch the veterans. With huge smiles, our veterans picked up their pace and almost jogged – sports style – slapping five with the little ones. Not only were the kids and veterans blessed; those in attendance were blessed. Can’t speak for everyone but those around us left feeling proud of the children and veterans, as well as our homeland!

        Can you imagine how the mothers who brought their children to see Jesus felt that day? Traveling with a child is never easy; I’m sure it was even harder when most traveling was done on foot with no modern conveniences whatsoever. Lunches must have been packed to last for days; all they hoped for was a touch from Jesus for their children. The disciples and others in Jesus’ entourage tried to send them away; Jesus was busy and tired, these were only women and children, really unimportant in that culture.

        But listen … as you read the passage, can you almost hear the voice of Jesus as He calls to the disciples … “No, no, no … don’t send them away! I WANT to see them; I want to listen as they laugh; I want to give them hugs and tickles and raspberries. Children are innocent, not know what prejudice or bitterness or anger is; they only know joy! I need them around me; I need to show them unconditional love and kindness. Kids, come on over to Jesus … hurry!” How the mothers must have hurried alongside their children as they began to run toward Him. How their lips must have been singing and their faces shining! Thanks to last a lifetime must have filled their hearts! 

“Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world;

Red, brown, yellow, black and white,

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world!”

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.