Friday, March 24, 2023

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: Anonymous Women Bible Study - Potiphar's Wife

A “trophy wife” in our current culture is used as a derogatory or sarcastic term. The dictionary’s definition of this kind of woman is an attractive young woman who is married to an older successful man.[1] This is how we would describe our anonymous woman in this particular story.


In the U.S., we have built television shows around these types of women. One of the first television shows was called, The Real Housewives of Orange County.  A plot based around women who have everything their hearts desire, yet by the end of every season, one of these women finds herself in a divorce because she realizes that money can’t buy love. Our anonymous woman in this week’s passage is the wife of Potiphar. The way her life is described in Genesis 39 she would be a candidate for The Real Housewives of Egypt.


This woman is the Egyptian wife of Potiphar, who is a man of power. He is the captain of the guard for Pharaoh. He is well off and has a home that is well established. She would be considered today possibly as a socialite. She really had no responsibilities, not even in her own home. Her claim to fame was that she was the wife of an important and powerful man. Her accomplishments are so minimal, her name is not even mentioned in the passage. In Hebrew tradition, her name is Zuleikha which means fair, brilliant, and lovely and she is considered as a villainous.


Zuleikha was likely a manipulative, spoiled, and deceptive woman who probably got away with murder, in this case a big lie. The scripture doesn’t mention whether or not they had children. It’s likely she didn’t otherwise she wouldn’t have had time to chase after Joseph. Even though Potiphar had given her everything she could ever desire, she wanted more. It could have been she felt neglected by her husband because there were likely many nights she was left alone due to his job and position. She may have felt unloved and this was her way of making her husband jealous.


A lonely married woman can be a ticking time bomb which is what we find in this story. She was probably used to getting attention by everyone. Then when a handsome young man that her husband trusts his household with comes into her life and he doesn’t pay her that same attention, well that’s when bomb goes off. After spending day after day with Joseph, she probably became emotionally attached because she shared her heart with him. We know women are emotional and this can trip us up. Then she gives in to her heart which is lust not love and she tries to seduce him. To her disappointment, he resists. We know when our flesh is told no, our sin nature craves it even more. Then one day, she goes in for the kill, and when she does, it back fires on her and Joseph runs for his life. Unfortunately for him, his robe was left in her hands.


We know that there are always two sides to every story. Surely Potiphar knew that his wife was like this. Scripture says that Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph and he was successful (Genesis 39:2). So why then would he have believed his wife when she accused Joseph of raping her? Maybe, he didn’t want the wrath he would have experienced if he didn’t believe her so he threw Joseph under the bus. This accusation that was made against Joseph could have possibly given him a death sentence, especially since Potiphar had such high ranks with Pharaoh. Instead, he was thrown into prison. With the authority Potiphar had, he may have suspected Joseph was innocent and spared his life. On the other hand, Potiphar also may have not wanted to take responsibility of the situation because of his own pride and neglectfulness of her. He couldn’t let people know that he wasn’t taking care of his relationship with her. After all, he was protecting the country in his position as Captain. He couldn’t allow to people think he didn't care for his own wife.


Joseph on the other hand, respected God and his earthly master, which is why never gave in. God had a plan to preserve Joseph until his appointed time. Prison isn’t a comfortable place, but it’s possible God still needed to work on Joseph’s heart. God used Zuleikha’s downfall to keep Joseph safe until it was time for him to fulfill the dream God had given him when he was a teen.


We can learn so much from this story about our lives as a follower of Jesus. God provides us with what we need and still we can have eyes that lust after the world. Proverbs 31:27 describes a woman with godly character. It says, “She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” (NLT) Zuleikha had someone else watching over what should have been part of her responsibility, her home. When a woman is bored, or anyone for that matter, it can make for some big trouble. When we have nothing to care for, we are susceptible to temptation. God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we are able. He will always make a way of escape, just as He did for Joseph (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even a godly desire, when worshiped, can easily turned into lust. When we pursue the desire instead of God, the Holy Spirit in us may be replaced by sensuality and demonic influence.  If we are persistent in going after the desire instead of the desire-giver, we can be lead down the wrong path which can lead to death.


Jesus encountered many heartbroken, unloved women. He understands the heart of a woman and what she really needs. That is love not lust. Beauty, status, success, and things, don’t fill the hole in both the hearts of men and women. Everyone is tempted in this sinful world, but when we keep your eyes on Jesus and the word of God in our heart, we can have authority over any situation or sin.


Zuleikha was left standing with Joseph’s robe that was considered a symbol of authority in her hands. At that moment, there was one of two choices to be made.  She could have taken authority over her actions and told the truth. She could have taken responsibility for her life and become known as a woman of noble character. Instead, she accused an innocent man and likely never got what she desired from her husband, love, affection, and attention.  God gave us all the love we need through His son, Jesus. It’s in him we are complete, lacking nothing.  Therefore, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV)


Resist temptation with authority:


Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.  


Luke 10:19 (NLT) Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.


Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV) Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so thou you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.


James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.


Ecclesiastes 7:1a (NLT) A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. 

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NLT) A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.

Peter 2:9 (NKJV) then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgement.

 Compiled by the R.E.A.L Women Bible Study out of Hills Church of Laguna Hills, CA.



Friday, March 3, 2023

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: Anonymous Women Bible Study - Rachel's Midwife

A gem cutter is called a lapidary. They consider all the various cuts to a gem as well as seeking to enhance its brilliance, and lessen its flaws and imperfections. This has been the journey of our study on these women who are unnamed. Their particular role is vital to God’s bigger story and each one of us bring a different facet as we chisel away at the story through our own experiences about these anonymous women.


This is the case with Rachel’s midwife. Her story revolves around Jacob’s clan. She came from Paddan-aram which is modern day Iraq and Syria. She is only mentioned in four verses (Genesis 35:16-20), but her story actually begins when Jacob takes his wives, children, and the rest of his household and livestock to head towards his father’s home. They settled for a bit in Bethel. Somewhere in that time, Rachel conceives and it’s not until they begin the final leg of their journey, she goes into labor.  Sometimes we hear stories of women giving birth in a taxi, car, or ambulance. But Rachel was riding on the back of a camel. The thought of that while in labor and after a birth is not appealing to any woman. That makes delivering a baby in car with soft leather seats and privacy not so bad.


The job of a midwife was important as there were no physicians at that time. They were skilled in their work as they were technically and emotionally trained. They most likely learned this skill through other midwives. They not only coached the mother through the birthing process, but also gave her prenatal care and cared for the child post birth. They may have been single women and had never experienced childbirth for themselves because of their responsibility to the mothers and children they cared for. Because of the importance of the midwives throughout the Old Testament, God blessed them for their sacrifice. It is likely that after God gave Moses the law, that they were outcasts as they would be considered unclean due to the blood they were dealing with through the childbirth, and in this midwife’s case, the death of Rachel.


This midwife was an important part of this story. She was probably there when Joseph was born. But this birth was different. She saw that Rachel was struggling through labor. The delivery was hard. She could see that Rachel was in such pain that maybe she feared the baby would not survive so she encouraged Rachel to bond with him, to make eye contact. When Rachel saw her baby son, in her last breath she named him, Benjamin, which means son of my right hand. (In the Jewish tradition, the right hand was a symbol of strength). She spoke a name over her baby that she clearly was not experiencing in that moment. Did she name him this because of the encouragement of the midwife who was at her right hand, to bond with her newborn son when she was at her weakest? This midwife was present during these two major life transitions, the birth of one life and death of another. All at the same time. This also added more responsibility to her role in Joseph and Benjamin’s life, as she was likely the one to help raise them since they had no mother.


This is story does not have a happy ending. In fact, it leaves one wondering why God would not heal Rachel. In a previous chapter, when Jacob flees under the cover of night from Laban’s oppression, Rachel steals her father’s idols and keeps it a secret. When Laban discovers they have left and his idols are missing, he goes after Jacob. When he reaches Jacob’s clan, Jacob confidently tells Laban that he nor anyone in his group has the idols. He goes so far as to cursing death upon the one who stole them (Genesis 31:32). He had no idea his favored wife had taken them and hid them. This is an important reminder to be careful what you speak. Words are powerful!


A midwife’s role was to encourage the birthing mother to “let go” and allow herself to become a conduit for this great force to flow through.[1] We see this job as a very important one, not only in this story, but in our own lives. Her encouragement to Rachel was needed in this time of tragedy and trauma. We see through these four verses the necessity of a “spiritual midwife” in our lives. As women, the power of words can shape us for the good or the bad. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Studies have shown women speak more words in a day than men.  This means words are the main ingredient into women’s emotional well-being. As spiritual midwives, we can become life coaches to one another to encourage and help one another accomplish God’s purpose in His great story. We have the ability to help another birth what God has placed in them.


A midwife brought comfort during the time of intense pain. We can bring encouragement to each other during intense seasons. Think about Rachel’s birthing experience. There were no epidurals, no medical tools, IV treatments, and surely the woman giving birth was not quiet. The groans and blood-curdling screams could probably be heard throughout the camp and the only way to ease the pain was the coaching and encouragement of life-giving words the midwife offered. There was a grace upon her to see the birthing mother through to the end.


As we chipped away at this “gem-of-story” that is inserted in the bigger story, we discovered the important role we are in each other’s lives. For example, a diamond in natural form is imbedded in coal and it has to be chipped and chiseled. It is then placed on a device called a dop where it is cut by another diamond. Only diamonds can cut another diamond. Only women can help other women. We understand the female emotional and physical make up and God places us in each other’s life to help us to become as brilliant as He intends for us to be.


It’s not a coincidence that God told Abraham that he would have as many sons as the stars in the sky. Stars look like diamonds on a black velvet backdrop. It was the job of the midwives to make sure that promise was fulfilled so generations later, the Morning Star, Jesus could be born and shine above all others and bring abundant and eternal life to ALL of God’s children. Our job as spiritual midwives, is to make sure we help speak the life of the Holy Spirit into others so they may be born again. Our job is to train the next generation in this skill so the birth of new Believers can continue from generation to generation until the promise of Jesus’ return is fulfilled.


Encouragement to focus on while!


Proverbs 21:21 (NLT) - Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.


John 10:10 (NLT) - The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.


Psalm 71:20 (NLT) - You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21 You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.


Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) - Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


Psalm 34:4-5 (NIV) - I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.


Psalm 89:9 (NIV) - You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.

Compiled by the R.E.A.L Women Bible Study out of Hills Church of Laguna Hills, CA.

[1] - Midwives


Friday, February 17, 2023

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: Anonymous Women Bible Study - Lot's Wife

The story of Lot’s wife in today’s world might be considered for a movie script. It’s disturbing to say the least. It doesn’t have a happy ending, but it does teach us once again, the importance of obedience to God’s commands. To begin her story, we need to learn a little bit about Lot, where he was from and who he was as person. If he was a television character, he might be a guy a bit like Eddie Haskell from “Leave It to Beaver.”


Lot’s story begins in the place of Ur where both he and Abram were from. Abram had a brother, Haran who was Lot’s father. When God called Abram to go to a new place, as any good uncle would, Abram takes his nephew on the journey. Lot's father died so Abram may have included Lot as a son since he didn't have one and took him with him.


They set out and traveled all the way to Egypt. After leaving Egypt, they settled in Bethel and Ai region. Both men had become wealthy along the way. But things got complicated between the Abram and Lot’s herdsman so they decided it was time to separate. Abram gave Lot the first choice of choosing where he wanted to live. He chose the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley, which was like a well-watered garden (Genesis 13:10). This was where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located. Looks can be deceiving as beautiful as this area was, it is noted in the Bible the people were wicked (Genesis 13:13). This is a case of “the grass ISN’T always greener.” 


Eventually a war broke out between the kings of the region and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah lost the battle and the people of these two cities were captured. This is interesting as Sodom was a great city with 15-foot thick walls of protection. A place where people felt safe and secure. It was a center for arts which brought wealth. Abram got word and set out to rescue Lot. Abram not only freed Lot, but the women and other captives which is why it’s possible this is when Lot met his wife (Genesis 14:16).


Lot’s wife was possibly a Sodomite. According to some Jewish rabbis, her name may have been Idit (Edith). They may have had 4 daughters as the scripture says they had sons-in-law. We know 2 of the daughters were virgins. It is possible that she was a worldly woman. Especially having grown up in the midst of wickedness. God’s law had not been given yet, so people once again were living without restraint. As some women would respond with unexpected company, she may not have been happy about having the two angelic visitors. It is thought that she only had enough food preparations for her family. It’s also thought that salt was an ingredient she lacked and she went to neighbors asking for some.[1]


As we know God gave Abram, now known as Abraham, a head’s up as to the destruction that was to come to the two cities. This just may be the original story of “A Tale of Two Cities.” Scripture tells us that there were no righteous men. Abraham couldn’t believe this was possible, especially since his nephew was living there. Lot and his family had favor because of Abraham. God said He would bless anyone who blessed Abraham (Genesis 12:3). He pleaded with God not to destroy all the people, so God said we would not destroy it for the sake of 10. Could this have been the number of people in Lot’s family? (Lot, Idit, 4 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and 2 betrothed sons-in-law).


The night before God was about to reign fire down on these two wicked cities, He sent two angelic visitors to warn Lot. This is where our story takes a sad turn. We see how evil these people were as they tried to beat the door of Lot’s house down to sexually violate these visitors. Lot knew better and tried to reason with these men, so instead he offered his two virgin daughters. What? Thankfully, the angelic visitors intervened. They told Lot to evacuate and get out as many family members as they could. Lot’s wife was probably shaken at hearing all of this, especially as she didn’t have time to pack. Unlike Noah’s wife who had time to plan, Lot’s wife did not. They were commanded to flee to the mountains and to not to look back!


Lot did not do his family justice because he didn’t obey the Angels instructions to go all the way to the mountains. As we read these Old Testament stories we find God takes men to the mountain top. He wants to bring us higher. Instead, Lot cut a deal to go half way. This caused Lot’s wife to stumble. We don’t know exactly what she was thinking, but if it was only Lot, the two virgin daughters, and her, that means her other daughters and family members were left behind and destroyed. Her disobedience by looking back not only caused her death, it created more long term and lifetime trouble for God’s people. Upon her death the two virgin girls thought it was a good idea to conceive children with their father so they could keep the family line going which is how the Moabites and Ammonites were born. They were enemies of God’s people and fought them on their way to the Promised Land. If the condition of Lot’s wife’s heart was bitter, it’s no wonder she turned to salt. As much as salt flavors with small amounts, too much can ruin a good dish. The decisions and disobedience of Lot and his wife changed what God for them - SALVATION.


The impact this story makes on our lives today is clear, God hates sin. God made a way for us to be free without having to drown or burn. All of us are subject to sin whether it’s of our own doing and/or someone else’s leading. We can become captives without even knowing it. All of us have experienced trauma of some kind at some point and when we bond to that we then filter everything through it. Our culture today wants to tell us it’s okay, that it’s our truth and that’s just who we are. God’s desire is for us to find healing, be set free, to look up and move forward. We can become secure in our bondage and God wants to save us from that. Lot’s wife’s only making it half way because of her husband’s choice and looking back in her own rebellion caused more trauma to her family legacy. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to change our own legacy by forgetting the past and looking forward to what God has for us in the future. He wants us to keep moving forward, leaving what we think is secure to the abundant living of salvation.


In closing, we can learn so much from Noah’s story and Lot’s. Even Jesus uses both Noah (Matthew 24:37-39) and Lot’s wife’s (Luke 17:28-32) stories as an example of the times we are living in. As we connect these two stories in God’s big story, it’s not a coincidence they were our first to study. We see God’s aversion to sin and His desire to eradicate it. In Noah’s story, God uses rain to destroy the whole earth. In this story God uses fire to destroy two cities. We can see God was trying to purify His creation. It takes water and fire to do that. After Jesus came, these two elements are used in our redemption story. We are baptized in water as a sign of new birth and we are baptized with fire, which represents the power of the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us and begins our transformation process, burning away the old ways. This is a sign and a wonder for sure! Let’s keep pressing forward and not look back so we can see the great things God has for us ahead.


Scriptures in the event of an evacuation:


Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NLT)- Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.


Luke 9:62 (NIV) - Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) - Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.


Proverbs 14:12 (NLT) - There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.


Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) - “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


Psalm 39:7 (NIV) - “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.


Psalm 42:5 (NIV) - Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


Matthew 6:34 (NLT) - “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.


Psalm 28:9 (NLT) - Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.


Colossians 3:2 (NLT) - Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.


Romans 12:2 (NIV) - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 *This information is a summary of the study and observation the "Anonymous Women of the Bible Study" by the anonymous women of an online group out of Hills Church in Laguna Hills, CA. There are also women from other states in the U.S. who are participating that attend other churches. This is why we are called the body of Christ.





Thursday, February 2, 2023

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: Anonymous Women Bible Study - Noah's Wife

Our investigative women did a great job taking facts and coming to some conclusions of what Noah’s wife was like. Yes, it is all speculation and presumption, but basing it on life as we know it, the nature of men and women is the same. God created us in His image and that never changes. As we know they were living in crazy times. Probably similar to our generation. They were 9 generations from Adam and Eve. The people on the earth were made up of two brothers, Cain and Seth, so the multiplication of the earth was as we’d say “kissin’ cousins.”  


It’s possible Noah’s wife was a daughter of Tubal-cain. She may have been an adventurous woman, ready for anything. It said the Noah was the ONLY blameless person living on the earth and he walked in close fellowship with God (Gen. 6:9) just like it was said about his great grandfather Enoch (Gen. 5:21). In pre-flood times, it had never rained. The water they needed came from under ground so this was a phenomenon to have been told that it would rain. 


Noah’s wife may have been concerned by what was going on around her. This means her extended family were considered evil. She was going to have to leave them behind, along with her home, and everything that created security in her life. This wasn’t like they were going on a cruise and then coming home from a vacation. As Noah built the ark, she had to plan the meals for the next year and prepare and pack. She had three daughters-in-law joining her that also were leaving family behind. They most likely were young, as the sons were born when Noah was 500 (we assume she was close in age) and the rain began when he was 600. That right there can be a challenge because sometimes in-laws don’t always see eye to eye.


We speculated that she was patient, trusting, follower, loyal, and obedient to what her husband was called to do. She submitted to the process. If she wasn’t a Proverbs 31 woman before this, she most likely became one after this experience.  It was crazy to get on this boat, but crazier not to, especially if God was telling them to. She probably experienced rejection in the community since her husband was building a large boat that was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (1 and a half football fields). Remember, these people had never seen rain so the people probably ridiculed them for doing something so ridiculous.  The ark had 3 levels: top deck was for Noah and his family. The second deck was for the animals. The bottom deck was for waste. There was only one door on the side and one 18 inch window. Imagine the darkness inside and the smell. No glade plug-ins to help with the smell they would endure for the next year. The boat probably rocked as well so the combination was not a pleasant experience. We all know what it was like being locked down in our homes during COVID. We loved the people we lived with, but at least we could go outside and enjoy fresh air and find some space.  Those were some long days and nights living in darkness. Never knowing whether it was day or night. They couldn’t go outside and walk the deck like a you can on a cruise ship. The sun didn’t shine for at least 6 weeks when they first boarded. They didn’t have much light inside. What a picture of sin. In that giant environment of darkness and only lit by possibly some fire light. That can be a challenge. It’s romantic at first, but after a while, it’s grueling.  But what God does in the darkness can be life changing. Just as a seed is buried in the ground, life that begins to grow underneath the soil until it’s time for it to break forth. There was probably a transformation happening in this family of 8. When they disembarked, they were probably not the same people as they had been.


God was going to preserve them and the animals. Noah was probably the last one onboard and as his foot crossed the doorway, God, with His mighty hand shut the door. Like a treasure chest filled with precious gems, these people and animals were tucked away and safe.


There was no covenant at this time. The closest was God telling Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of Good and Evil . It wasn’t until the time of the Mosaic law that God had made a covenant.  But after the flood, God placed a rainbow in the clouds to ensure that He would never destroy the earth or mankind again. As we have experienced rain throughout our lives, we’ve all seen rainbows. We know that somewhere there is a break in the clouds and the sun is shining. There are times of consistent rain in our own lives, spiritually, physically, and emotionally speaking.  Storm after storm, we get hit, soaked, sometimes it’s dark and we become weary wondering if it will ever end. But we have hope when the rainbow of God’s love appears, we know that His son is shining. Even when there isn’t a break in the the clouds of life, our faith tells us that the “Son” is shining and we can expect Him to come through.  This is what we call faith. If we sum up truly what Noah’s wife had, it was faith. Faith to trust the process, faith in her husband, and faith to believe that when she couldn’t see, there was salvation at the end. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.” (Hebrews 11:1-2, NLT)


As we know, the Bible had not been written and there was no scripture to hold onto. But we have promises to hold onto in our times the unknown.  The following scriptures are promises that were shared in our group last night.


Life preservers in the storm!


Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.


Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.


Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.


Psalm 18:28 - For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Isaiah  43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 85:9-13 - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before Him, And shall make His footsteps our pathway.



I pray you will be encouraged to know that God’s got you and He’s protecting you through the storm. Keep your eyes on Him. All of His promises are Yes, and Amen!



Compiled by the R.E.A.L. Women Bible Study out of Hills Church, Laguna Hills, CA


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Heavenly Coffee

 Would you ever drink a cup of coffee that had not been filtered? Of course not! Have you ever had a cup of coffee with grounds in it? It's nasty, gritty and bitter!

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (NLT)

So many who profess to be followers of Jesus don't read the Bible. It's so important for us to do this because it is the only way we can determine good from evil, truth from lies, and love from hate. Reading God's word is like drinking a cup of filtered coffee. It's warm and comforting, sweet (if you are like my husband who sugars it up) and may even have a bite to it. The Bible is much like a filter that we can process the world's "grounds" through. When we are renewing our mind daily through it (Romans 12:2), it helps us keep the grounds of bitterness, anger, rage, harsh words, and slander out. It only allows holiness and godliness to sooth our souls, and just like caffeine, keeps us alert to the schemes of Satan (and there are plenty of them).

Our minds are like the grounds basket in the coffee maker. If there's no filter, your cup of java is going to be gritty and bitter. But when you start your day with the truth of God's word (John 17:17), your cup will be sweet and smooth. Have you ever made a pot of coffee with the same filter of grounds? No way! This is what most of us do when we only receive the Sunday message and try to live Wednesday what we drank on Sunday. It's not the same.

So remember every time you make a pot of coffee, your mind is the basket, the Word of God is the filter, and the grounds represent life. Allow the Holy Spirit to pour into you something warm and delicious!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Happy Birthday Church! - Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022


Today is Pentecost. This is the 50 days after the Passover celebration. But today is the birth of the Church. The day the Holy Spirit came to dwell not only with mankind, but in mankind.
In my devotional reading through the Bible this year(I'm reading the chronological version), it's no coincidence that I read 2 Chronicles 6. In this chapter, Solomon has completed the Temple and is celebrating the place that God's Spirit now dwells. 
“But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 19 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you. 20 May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive." (2 Chronicles 6:18-20, NLT)
Today, we celebrate the Church, that is made up of people, where God's Spirit now dwells!
"Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)
Chapter 7 of Chronicles, beginning verse 1-3, NLT:
When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,
“He is good!His faithful love endures forever!” 
"On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability." (Acts 2:1-4, NLT)
Another non-coincidence look at the reference numbers of both of these scriptures. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament!
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Fighting for the Promise

Over the past 3 months I have been reading through the books of the law and Joshua. I've discovered some things this time through.
When God gives a promise, it will be fulfilled, but it won't be a smooth journey. We'll have to fight battles along the way. God's people faced resistance quite often, but when their hearts were trusting the Lord, they always overcame. I think sometimes, we as followers of Jesus think life should be set on cruise control because if "Jesus takes the wheel" we won't have any problems. Of course there is an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. (John 10:10) As I've followed Jesus, throughout my life, it's definitely been a struggle. He told us we would suffer, have trials and tribulations, but His promise to us is He overcame the world (John 16:33).
One of our greatest battles we will fight is our own will and doubt. Any time they got off track in disobedience, they lost. Whether it was fighting an enemy or it was in their own doubt of trusting God to lead them.
I also realized that some of the "do not's" they were given wasn't to deprive them. It was to clean up their way of thinking and being. I mean when one of the laws is not to have sex with an animal, means they were doing some crazy stuff in Egypt. Think about it, the Egyptian gods were half man, half animal. Maybe the thought was they could become or give birth to a god that would give them power. Hmmmmm.
I find today, we are living in a world much like ancient Egypt. There are all kinds of things going on that even many Believers have adopted. I'll be the first to raise my hand. I often look to the world for comfort and answers to my problems. Jesus is who I need to look to. When the children of Israel found themselves complaining against Moses, they were bitten by snakes and died. But God told Moses to form a bronze snake on his staff and have the people look at it so they could live and be saved. This symbolizes to me when Jesus hung on the cross so that I could be saved and live! 
I close with these portions from the book of Joshua. As we continue to live in this new world, it's a good reminder to learn from old history. 
"'But if you turn away from him and cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry with them, 13 then know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of your land. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you, a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes, and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you. 14 'Soon I will die, going the way of everything on earth. Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!'" -Joshua 23:12-14 NLT
"'So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.'" _Joshua 24:14-15 NLT
Choose to trust God's promises. Fight to protect them, just as you would fight to protect something precious to you. It will be worth every conquered battle! AMEN!