Hannah, the Church, and Barren Wombs

The biblical book of Judges tells us about a woman named Hannah. She was married to Elkanah and resided in Ramathaimzophim.

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to explain where she lived, she also had to deal with the fact that her husband had another wife. That wife wasn’t too friendly either. She was jealous because Elkanah loved Hannah more than her.

The fact that her husband loved her more didn’t help Hannah’s problems either. She wanted children and the other wife had plenty. To make herself feel better, the other wife was always rubbing it in. The other wife was able to give Elkanah something that Hannah couldn’t — children.

Talk about being depressed, Hannah had a lot to be depressed about — or so she thought. Why couldn’t she rest in the love that her husband showed to her daily? No, Hannah couldn’t rest. She wanted children!

Yearly, Elkanah took his two wives and all his children to Shiloh to worship and to sacrifice. Yearly, she endured the trip and the provoking of the other wife. She finally had had enough. Children was what she wanted. She realized that the only way she would ever have children was to cry out to the One who could provide the miracle she desperately desired.

Into the temple she went. Crying out to God, she poured out her heart’s desire. Her burden had become so great and her heart so heavy, she fell before the altar with her face in her hands. She would not stop praying until she had an answer. She was serious.

As she continued pouring out her supplication, she caught the attention of the high priest. In her earnestness, she had not cared who noticed her. But he, having not seen such earnestness in so long a time, thought she had to have been drinking. So sad that the man of God did not have the spiritual discernment to realize she was a woman in spiritual travail.

As she defended her actions, the high priest told her to go in peace “and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” Hannah left that day with confidence that God had heard her prayers.

Today our churches are without children. We have barren wombs but no desire. The ‘lost wives’ of the world mock and torment because they have a multitude of children led away by the great deceiver. We must find our tears again.

O for children to present to the Lord! O for fruitful wombs bearing precious souls for Christ’s glory! May our burdens be heavy for lost souls and may we find ourselves weeping at the altar where the Lord awaits our petitions.

May we have an abundance of Samuels. Yes, praise God, Hannah had a son. But not only did she have a son, but God opened her womb for many more children. She was able to rejoice over seven while her adversary’s womb waxed feeble.

Hannah is a picture of the church today. She is being persecuted by those who are jealous of Christ’s love for His own. But as the church cries out to God, precious children are being born. The arrogancy of the proud will be brought to nought. The children of the Most High God will prevail. May we follow Hannah’s example and cry out to the LORD who is the only One who is able to deliver us from barren wombs.

Gallery Collection

Do you have your ticket to Heaven?
Do you have your ticket to Heaven?
Isaiah 54:5-8
Encouragement for the Wife Forsaken, A Promise from the Lord
"Spiritual songs are songs that lift one's eyes to Heaven. They are inspiring songs that only the saved can sing, and it is the saved who sing to God with divine love and gratitude in their hearts."
Excerpt from So, What’s the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome by Peggy Clark
Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael
Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael

The “In the Way’s” of Psalm 119

Blessed are the undefiled in the way.

David took notice of those whom he described as in the way.  The in the way’s were giving off such a sweet savor of life that David desired what these people had with all his heart.

Who were these in the way’s? David left us a description of them in  the first eight verses of Psalm 119.

1) Undefiled

2) Walk in the law of the LORD

3) Keep God’s testimonies

4) Seek God with their whole heart

5) Do no iniquity (sin)

6) Walk in God’s ways

7) Keep God’s precepts

8) Keep God’s statutes

9) Respect God’s commandments

10) Know God’s righteous judgments

David said that the in the way’s were a blessed people.  Their way of life set an example for David to follow.  Their influence obviously  affected David in a tremendous way.  As a young man, David began writing psalms, singing praises to God, and living a godly life.

1 Samuel 13:14 tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. He greatly desired a heart like God’s; and he definitely touched God’s heart in a  special way because God chose him to be king over His people.

Truly, as David became one of the in the way’s, his life was blessed beyond measure.

Everyday Nuisances that Spoil Our Vine

Summer is the time that creepy, crawling things appear. Snakes, grass fleas, ticks, and even ants become nuisances to our day-to-day activities. Although small, these creatures can wreak havoc in our lives. Just spread out a picnic cloth and see how many decide to come and visit.

Scripture tells us that it is the small foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Sol. 2:15). Small animals bite at the foundation of the vine and damage its structure preventing nourishment from reaching its outermost parts where fruit is produced.

In the same way, it is the small sins that seem to overtake us as individuals. The little things manage to get in our way and spoil our pleasurable moments. These small sins prevent the fruit that draws sinners to our Lord from being produced.

“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.” Flies are little flying creatures that can land on the ointment, get caught in it, and die; thereby, causing the ointment to spoil. The ointment thus being spoiled is devalued and cast aside.

“[S]o doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor” (Eccl. 10:1). What we tend to take for granted as acceptable may possibly turn out to be the sin that so easily besets us and destroys our reputation and testimony. What may be classified by some as a small sin is still as harmful as any other sin because it cuts off the spiritual nourishment to our branches and renders us fruitless.

Just as steps must be taken to rid ourselves of those day-to-day nuisances of pests and other creepy creatures we dislike, we must also take steps to rid ourselves of any sinful thoughts or actions that displease our Lord.

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28). No one wants to be caught with little foxes biting at their heels when Jesus returns. We want our vine to be running over with fruit that brings glory to Christ.

 

 

Under Grace

 

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14

We are not to let sin reign or have control over our bodies. We are reminded that our bodies are mortal. In other words, our bodies will one day die.

We are not to obey sin or yield to its desires. Nor are we to allow our bodies to be used as instruments or tools of unrighteousness which results in sin or a sinful lifestyle.

Instead, we are to yield to God because in Christ we have been raised to new life and are therefore to be separated unto Him. Yielding means that we give God the right of way. We yield to His commands and to His desires for our lives. Our instruments which are our eyes, hands, feet, ears, mouths, etc., are to be used in service to Him.

As we yield to God, we are no longer under the dominion or control of sin. When we were under the law, we had no desire or ability to abstain from sin.

However, after we have been saved by Jesus Christ, we are set free from the control of sin and are able to live righteously because of the grace given to us by God. Because of that grace bestowed to us, we have the power to abstain from sin.

Therefore, sin shall not have dominion over us because we have experienced the power of God’s grace working in our lives.

This is the liberty that only the saved in Christ can experience.

A Psalm of Deliverance (Ps.18:1-3)

I will love thee, O LORD, (Jehovah, the Self-Existent One)

my strength. (my help)

The LORD is my rock, (my lofty fortress, my stronghold)

and my fortress, (my castle, my defense, He surrounds me with His protection)

and my deliverer; (He causes me to escape from harm, He carries me away to safety)

my God, (my Strength, my chief, He is the mightiest of all)

my strength, (He is my refuge)

in whom I will trust; (I choose to trust Him)

my buckler, (God is my protector)

and the horn of my salvation, (His power against the enemy makes me safe)

and my high tower. (He is the place I can run to for safety, the place where the enemy cannot get to me, I am hid in Christ)

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (I will call upon the One who has proved Himself to be worthy)

 

 

 

The Masculine Role in Nature, An Example

I had to separate a rooster from the rest of the flock this week. Even though he is in a separate pen, he continues to call for his hens every time he sees food bits.

A rooster will pick up food he sees and drop it, call his hens, and continue to pick up and drop the food. This is so the hens will find the food easily. He will do without to make sure his hens have what they need.

This picture of selflessness is an amazing example in nature of the masculine role.

Adding Geography to Your Bible Lessons, Part II

Introducing the geography of a particular Biblical event gives added understanding and enlightenment to the concepts being taught. Students are able to envision the scene in their minds and are able to engage in the action of the story.

What picture do you envision after reading the following statement? The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was written by the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

Compare that picture to what you envision after the following added elements.

Rome was the major city in the Roman Empire. The city remains to this day in the modern nation of Italy.

But what if we add more information. Let’s see if we can get the students involved in the learning process.

How many miles is the present-day city of Rome from the present-day city of Jerusalem? What route did the soldiers take as they brought Paul from Jerusalem to Rome? How did they travel? Would this have been an easy trip? What was the terrain like in and around the city?

Where was the prison located in the city? How would Paul’s prison have differed from a modern-day prison? Where would he have gotten his food and other necessities?

What route would Paul’s letter travel when being sent from Rome to Colosse? What modern-day city is near where Colosse once stood? How far did the Roman Empire extend beyond Colosse?

In what modern-day country would one find the remains of the city of Colosse? What type of roads would you travel in order to get there? In which direction would you travel in order to go from Colosse to Laodicea or to Hierapolis?

These “where” questions can be inserted alongside the other 4 W’s: who, what, when, and why.

Teaching all of the 5 W’s will make your Bible lessons come alive for your students.

Adding Geography to Your Bible Lessons, Part I

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Public, Private, or Home Education?

At this time of year many parents are discussing next year’s plans for their children’s education. Private schools are advertising advanced discount rates. Home education curriculum publishers are filling e-mail boxes with sales pitches.

Before you let the advertisers decide what is best for your family, sit down and discuss what your goals are for each of your children. Is the current educational placement meeting or supporting those goals? If so, then you may continue down the current path. However, if it is not, then you need to seriously consider what needs to be changed and how that change can be attained.

Some consider private schooling to be the appropriate arrangement. These parents may be concerned about the subject matter being taught or the environment that is affecting their children in their current setting.

Others may consider home education as the proper alternative. They want control over the subject matter being taught. These parents also wish for their children to interact with all age groups, not just their peers.

Any setting for a child’s education must be taken seriously. The pros and cons of each must be weighed carefully. Whatever direction parents decide to take will greatly influence the future attitudes, work ethics,  and actions of their children.

Any authority that you place over your children will lead them in a certain direction. Is that the direction you prefer? You must decide.

 

Think! Part II

As a teacher I realized that my students needed more than just an assignment. They needed direction in completing that assignment to my satisfaction. I gave them a handout with the information in Part I Think! (previous post) along with the continuation below.

However, I just didn’t hand them the paper. I discussed each point thoroughly, giving them examples and encouraging them to keep the paper in their folders.

When my students felt they could go no further, we would discuss the items on the handout to get them thinking about what they could do to move forward in their assignments.

There are many types of assignments students will encounter. My goal was to help them discover how to process an assignment of any type and plan a method to complete it properly. Hopefully, these bullet points will be helpful to you and your students.

  • Look for the information you need to solve the problem, to help you understand the information, to help you complete a project, etc. Look at problems as a challenge that you can conquer, one step at a time.
  • Organize your thoughts.
    • Where are you going?
    • What do you want to end up with?
    • How much time do you have to solve the problem, read the book, write the report, etc.
    • Make a plan, schedule, list, etc.
    • How will you implement your plan?
    • What do you need to implement your plan?
  • Redeem the time.
  • Do the work, step by step.
  • Check your work after each step.
  • Do the best you can. If you truly did your best, you can be proud of your accomplishments.

Think! Part I

When I taught at a local private school, I would give my students a handout. The purpose of the handout was to help them with their assignment schedules.

It wasn’t that my students couldn’t think for themselves. They were just immature in their thinking abilities.

Let’s face it. Sometimes we all get stuck. When we are headed toward a deadline, we may get confused and panic which reduces our ability to think clearly. That happens with our students also.

So, to help with this, I would like to share some of the ideas I passed on to my students. Maybe they will help you in your schooling activities.

  • Make a mental picture of the information. Create a mental picture in your mind. If necessary, draw a picture on paper.
  • How does this relate to what I already know? Relate the problem to something you are already familiar with or to something you have already experienced.
  • Think out loud. Sometimes it helps to talk out loud to yourself or to someone else. Saying your thoughts out loud helps you to think things through, make wise decisions, plans, etc. Plans will come together. Ask yourself if this answer makes sense. Is this a good idea or not?
  • Make a chart or a graph. Make diagrams, lists, etc.
  • Brainstorm. On projects, seek out as many possibilities as you can before you make a decision. Then follow through with your decision.
  • Ask a lot of questions. Ask yourself questions. Ask others questions. Do you still think your plan will work? Is it a good idea? Can it be implemented? Do you have enough information? Your first idea may not work. Don’t give up. Keep at it.

I’ll continue this on the next post. Hope the thought processes discussed thus far will give you direction when you face that next difficult assignment.

 

The Book I Really Want to Finish

As I was working on my Goodread’s page I began thinking about the books I was reading or attempting to read. It seems I always have several by my bedstead waiting to be picked up again. I guess they get lonely and start calling out my name. I feel compelled to pick one up and read a few pages.

One book (set of two actually) that I have wanted to finish is The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. A writing of over twenty years collected and translated for us (thankfully in English) to read and discover the day to day treatment of those who lived under the Soviet Union’s regime.

It describes in vivid detail the false imprisonments, labor camps, inhumane treatment of citizens, and propaganda that terrorized and help captive those under the icy fingers of Communism.

This book is a must-read for all educated citizens, no college student should leave school without it.  You might want to add it to your teenager’s reading list.

 

Did You Hear the Latest Message?

Did you hear the latest message? Have you ever been asked that question and suddenly realized that you couldn’t recall what  the message was about? It happens to all of us.

Sometimes life’s difficulties commandeer our focus and derail us from the track where our minds are suppose to be traveling. The bumps shake us up and suddenly our focus returns to the important.

Be thankful for the ‘bumps’ that turn our focus to the important things in life. Sometimes those bumps keep us from becoming a wreck in the ditches of life.