Twelve Extraordinary Women

Dear sisters,

I can’t really say that the last few weeks have been uneventful for me.  I seem to always be busy and short on sleep but nothing new or exciting to share despite that!

One of the things I’ve been trying is a different kind of devotional.   Honestly, I’ve never been very good at doing my devotions every day.  Actually I dare say I’m bad at it.  Drew is quite the opposite.  He does really well, generally reading either the Bible or a devotional each morning before work.  For this past Christmas, I bought him a book, “Twelve Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur.  Its more of a book than a devotional, but it also includes a study guide.  Something that I think would work really well for a study group.  While I was searching for something for his “Twelfth day of Christmas” gift (I’ll have to tell that story some other time), I came across said book.  But I also came across one called “Twelve Extraordinary Women” also by MacArthur.

So I bought both.

And of course, its nearing the end of May and I still haven’t even finished the 200 page book.  In any case, I do quite like the different style of the book.  As opposed to a devotional which is read this scripture passage, then read this commentary on it, its a chapter book, each chapter devoted to a different woman in the bible.  It outlines strengths, weaknesses, differences between roles of men and women, and more  – like how Abraham and Sarah were actually half-siblings, they had the same father (not something I normally remember about them).

MacArthur

I’m a little sad to say how much I read and I think to myself, “Oh yeah! I forgot about her,” or “I forgot that happened.”  The first chapter (on Eve, of course) was a little hard for me to get into but now I’m on to Rahab, the prostitute.  The song I sang sooo many times as a child always pops into my head, “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho!” but its very refreshing to look at Rahab’s role in the whole story.  Its amazing how God can use even a “harlot,” Rahab.

The book is really living up to the title.  What extraordinary women the Bible tells us of!  And even as I sit here before bed time, about ready to read a few more pages, I’m reminded of some other extraordinary women – thats YOU.   I don’t thank God enough for my sisters (biological or not).  So I’m going to take a moment to do that now.  I appreciate you all and couldn’t ask for anyone better.

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful blessings. Amen.

~T~

Slow down and think.

I am generally very good at doing my devotions every night, but sometimes I end up doing them without thinking.  I once challenged myself to complete a Read-the-Bible-in-a-Year study.  Well, I did quite well in the way of completing it, but do I remember it? I was just checking the verses off.  I was succeeding. But did it do me any good?  What is the purpose of my goal if I attain nothing from it? Isn’t the Bible supposed to be a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path?” (Psalm 119:105)   If I don’t remember it, how will it light my path?  So I tried to take is slower.   I stopped looking at the dates, instead of reading three different passages each evening I read one.  Well, this helped slightly.  I was doing better, but was I understanding, was I meditating on it?

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1: 1-2 (emphasis added.)

Isn’t that what we are called to do as Christians? Not to just read the Bible, but gain knowledge and wisdom from it? To learn from it!  When I was in school and reading a text book, did I just read it to get it done? (Well, maybe. 🙂 Sometimes.)  I read it to learn, to be able to answer questions about what I read, to take a test on it.  Isn’t the Bible much more important to my life than a school textbook? Then I was given a weekend devotional written by Donald Whitney. (Tabletalk October 2011)  It was entitled The Gospel and Journaling.  Whitney said a few things that really helped my dilemma.  “As opposed to the kind of daily experience with the Bible in which we pass our eyes for two seconds over each verse on the page, not remembering a think we’ve read, journaling can help us to slow down for a few moments and actually think about and absorb the passage we’ve just read.”  He goes on to explain how writing things down clarifies our thinking.  Just like in school when you think you know or understand a subject until you have to explain to to someone or write it down.

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It makes sense, doesn’t it? So now I have a journal.  I am going through Psalms, slowing down and thinking about what I am reading.  I use a study Bible and read the notes to help engage me. And I also don’t leave my devotions to the two minutes before I go to sleep.  I am not that clear-headed in the morning so I still do my devotions before bed, but I give myself more time and do it earlier.  How can I think and meditate on it if I’m too tired to think? And you know what, my devotions have made more of an impact in my daily life.  Because I remember and recall what I have read.   James 1:25: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (emphasis added.)

So, slow down and think.  And be blessed by the Word of God.

In Christ,
~Mindy~