An Unusual Topic for Me…

It all began in Genesis. 

Of course, it did!  I was just going to read a chapter or two ahead of our Pastor who was and is teaching in Genesis.  Then, I thought, maybe just a few more chapters.  The next thing I knew, I wanted to read more and more.  I even read through the Books of the Law and all the books right up to my current chapter, 2 Chronicles 9.  Periodically, as I was reading, I came across a word that I didn’t understand.  It was concubine.  I kind of got the gist of what it was and didn’t have a dictionary handy; so, I would just read on.  Well, today, I looked at the on-line version of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. 

Here’s the definition as copied from the on-line version at www.1828-dictionary.com

concubine

 n. [L., to lie together, to lie down.]

1. A woman who cohabits with a man, without the authority of a legal marriage; a woman kept for lewd purposes; a kept mistress.            2. A wife of inferior condition; a lawful wife, but not united to the man by the usual ceremonies, and of inferior condition. Such were Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham; and such concubines were allowed by the Roman laws. 

Wow, I thought it was some old testament thing that didn’t happen anymore.  I have known many concubines!  I wonder what they would say if they knew that they fit the definition?   If they were called by the title concubine?  Think of how common it has become for men and women to live together, to cohabitate before marriage.  In some circles, it’s even approved and encouraged.  God forbid!  In fact, God has forbidden it! 

In the beginning, there was Adam.  God saw that it was not good that he be alone.  God made one woman to be his wife, Eve.  Eve and no others!  That’s God’s perfect plan. 

Many women have fallen into the trap of living together or doing other things prior to marriage that ought not to be done.  Perhaps they realize that they have sinned and are perhaps still sinning.  It’s not too late!  God is a god of forgiveness.  That forgiveness and new beginning comes through shedding of blood.  Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, shed his blood on a cross to pay for our sins. 

Jesus Christ shed his blood so that we can approach God as righteous.  That happens when we repent of our sins.  We are truly sorry and promise not to do it again.  We also have to trust in Jesus as our Savior. 

1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

My friend, perhaps you have fallen into this type of sin at some point in your life.  You can be cleansed.  You can be forgiven.  You can.  Do it now.  Then, trust it to be under the Blood of Jesus and go and sin no more. 

Just something to think about….

Laura

Doing It at Wal-Mart

Don’t be afraid.  What can happen?  So what if you get caught?  Do you think anyone will be shocked?  Maybe.  But you know, I’m sure He shocked quite a lot of folks Himself. 

A couple of nights ago, I was walking through Wal-Mart with my friend Ellen.  We saw a friend and stopped to talk.  She was rather unsettled because she’d just learned that her husband was going on a business trip out of the country the next morning.  Very short notice.  We talked and encouraged.  Then, right there in front of God and everyone, I did it!  I prayed!  No one panicked.  God heard and my friend was blessed and encouraged.  

A little while later, we were passing the electronics department.  I overheard a lady telling her co-worker that her foot was really hurting.  I walked on by; then, I stopped.   It was clear that she needed prayer.  Was I going to obey God and pray with her?  The Holy Spirit gave me the boldness to turn around and ask her, “May I pray with you?”  She eagerly said yes and told me the problem.  I prayed with her right then and there aloud.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  Faith also comes by hearing someone pray for you in in faith.  I hope that faith was imparted to this lady as well as healing power from God through Jesus Christ.

If we don’t start doing things like this now, how will we have the courage to do them when things get tougher for Christians?

Just Something to Think About…

Laura

Verdict Changed

Israel had been going their own way for awhile.  The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant and had recently returned it to the Israelites.  Interesting story there…boils sores and misery, read about it in I Samuel 5 and 6.  Seems no one wanted to keep it because it brought trouble to the Philistines no matter which town it went to.  The Philistines sent it back and it was kept at Abinadab’s house and his son Eleazar was consecrated to guard the Ark.

Fast forward to chapter 7.  Twenty years later, the people of Israel mourned and sought after the Lord.  That is when Samuel sacrificed and sought the Lord for the people. 

“And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.'”

Samuel did, they did, and the Lord did.  Of course, not much later, the Israelites were falling away from the Lord’s will again.  Much like you and me.

What struck me about this story, as I read it this morning, was it’s application to us, His people today.  I found myself asking myself if I truly am seeking God with my whole heart.  Am I committed to the Lord and serving Him only?  Sadly, I can think of times even today when I not only was acting in the flesh but justifying myself as well.  It’s that old pointing the finger thing that started with Adam and Eve.  Does it justify my sinful feelings and thoughts?  No.  Alas, I’m not judged by how someone else is treating me but by how I respond.  Today, the verdict is guilty

Thankfully, I’ve got someone else who served my sentence before I even committed the sin, before I was born.  His name is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah that Jewish people looked forward to for so many years.  Because of Jesus, I now have a new verdict– not guiltyHe took my guilt and was crucified and resurrected.  He paid the price for me.  I only need look to Him and faith and believe.  I need to return and commit, repeatedly if need be.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”  1 John 1:8-10

I think I need to spend a bit of time in prayer now.  What about you?

Laura

Thankful for the Sacrifice that Changed my Verdict

Lower Incomes and Loss of Employment

Many of the writers of the blogs I’ve been reading as well as many of my readers are facing uncertain times.  Many are facing lower incomes or loss of employment.  It is frightening.  We ladies like our security.  We like our comforts, whatever they may be.  We like knowing that the bills will be paid, that we can buy groceries, shoes for the kids, whatever we need, and a few extras. 

Over the last five years my husband went from $60 K job to now working part-time for less than $300 a week.  He’s looking for full-time work and has been for months.  Our reality has changed dramatically.  Life doesn’t look like I thought it would or even like I’d like it to; but, I’m getting so much closer to God through this.   God has provided in amazing ways.  We were able to move to a caretaker’s cottage and take care of a country estate four the absentee owner in return for rent.  Money has come from unexpected sources with perfect timing.  Just yesterday I was thinking of some things that our children need.  I have no way of providing those things.  Today, an envelope arrived with no return address.  It was filled with cash.  Yes, cash.  There was an envelope with the children’s names and an envelope with Lowell and Laura on it.  Praise God!  We can buy wood so we can keep warm!  The children need shoes.  We can buy them!  Praise God!  God is so faithful to take care of us.  God bless the sender, who obviously sent it in faith.

My point in sharing this is that you can survive.  You’ll have to learn some new skills, learn to be content, learn to make do; but, you can do this.  You have to lean into God and get that Word hidden in your heart.  Talk to Him.  He is great at showing you every bargain if you talk to Him all the way through the store and ask Him to show them to you.  God bless you through this!
I’ve written a lot about what God’s done over the last couple of years.  Although I write on WordPress now, I have a list of my best writings on the top of my old blog, http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com .  You might take a look.

Blessings upon blessings to you!

Laura

Dish Soap, Laundry Detergent, and Gas

My husband has been out of work since August 1.  Even the job he had didn’t meet all of our expenses.  No unemployment benefits are available to him.  Tuesday night, I put the last of our money in the gas tank.  It’s an incredible thing to have no income.  The only thing we can do is depend on God for our needs.  God has since sent a check for $25…enough to buy dish soap, laundry detergent and some gas.  He’s incredible.  He knew these were the things we needed immediately.  Thank You Father God!  I think we are learning to live by faith in a more real and “desperate for God” way than ever before. 

I don’t know your exact situation.  If God hadn’t made an incredible way for us to have a place to live in a caretaker’s cottage working off the rent, we’d be out of a home right now.  God can provide when it seems impossible.  I find that so much of what I experience depends on how I am take things emotionally.  True faith comes from true need and true dependence.

Do you know the Lord?  He is so much more than church.  He is our savior, our redeemer, our hope in hopeless times.  He is our provider and healer of the broken hearted.  I’d love to tell you more if you’d like to meet Him.  Just comment; and, I’ll e-mail you.

Those of you who know Him, I encourage you to really get to know Him through His written word, through prayer, through being still and listening for His still small voice.

God bless you, dear reader!  Your family is safe in HIS hands. 
Laura

Blessed Among Women in My Own Generation

Thanking and Trusting God

Dear Readers,

I received a question about my post, “Thank God for what you have. Trust God for what you need,” this morning.   The question was about where I found the quote.  Honestly, I don’t remember where I heard or read it. I may have seen it on a wall plaque or something. It’s not a direct quote from scripture.  However, I do know that it’s true from reading the Word of God and through the miracles He’s done in my family’s life.

I wrote the post back in Feb. last year. My husband did find work; but, he is now doing temporary work again. It encourages me to read how God got me through last time my husband was out of work; because, God’s Word and His provision are timeless.

I encourage you to pray, read His word, and be thankful. Thanking Him for every little thing changes your focus. You can do all things through Christ who Strengthens you!  I spent a lot of time in the book of Philippians, especially chapter 4, during the time that I wrote that post. It has some great truths…

“4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Take a look through my posts both at Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage and Harvest Lane Cottage. I’ve written a lot about hope, trusting God, and faith in hard times. It’s been how I have been living life for the last five years.

 You might also like to read my husband’s blog for the Kingdom Business Journal. You can also find the steps to peace with God, as explained by Rev. Billy Graham, here.

 May God bless you with hope, peace, and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

God bless you,

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage