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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

Available at:
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Christianbooks.com

 

Devotional Week 33 Friday

 

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Colossians 3: 2

Amplified Bible

 

“I have heard people say that ‘Only doctrine is important.’ Would they leave no room for Christian experience? Consider the preaching and example of the famed Jonathan Edwards, used so mightily by God in the Great Awakening throughout New England in the 18th century.

 

Edwards was acknowledged by society to have been one of the greatest intellects of his time. Yet he believed in genuine Christian experience so positively that he wrote a well-accepted book, Religious Affections, in defense of Christian emotion.

 

Charged by some that his revivals had too much emotion, Edwards stood forth and proclaimed that when men and women meet God, accepting His terms, they experience an awareness that lifts their hearts to rapture.

 

What higher privilege is granted to mankind on earth than to be admitted into the circle of the friends of God.”

A.W. Tozer

 

“I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.”

John 15: 15

Amplified Bible

 

Today’s Study Text:

“She (Vashti) was fair to look on.”

Esther 1: 11

K.J.V.

 

“Fair” in Hebrew, “tôwb”, as a descriptive adjective – “Vashti was agood woman.”

“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”

“Vashti’s Voice” Part 10

 

Definition of “Voice”: “The sound produced by vocal organs of a human being. A medium or agency of expression. Giving ‘voice’ to ones feelings. The right or opportunity to express a choice or opinion.”

 

“We have so many voices in us, how do we know which ones to obey?”

Edna O’Brien

 

How do I use my “voice”?

 

When I look at a person like Vashti, even though there is no Biblical record of the specific words she spoke, what does her voice say to me today?

 

“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

Laurie Anderson

 

“I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.”

Psalm 116: 1, 2

N.I.V.

 

            I’d like to pose a question to you. “If today you stopped talking – all was silence as no words passed from your mouth – who do you think would notice? Family members? Close friends? Co-workers?” And one more question, “Do you ever feel that if you stopped speaking no one would even care?”

 

            At its core, the story about Vashti contains a gold nugget worth a great deal to both women and men. It is this: how we choose to use our voices makes a major difference, whether we recognize it or not, in our own life and the lives of those we interact with on a daily basis. My voice can be the power tool of my existence for my words carry with them my thoughts, my opinions and my soul. Nothing gives a glimpse into our inner being like the words which tumble out of our mouths. Here are a few Biblical passages which confirm this truth:

 

1. “For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.”

Job 15: 5

K.J.V.

 

2. “I said, ‘I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me.’”

Psalm 39: 1

K.J.V.

 

3. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

Psalm 141: 3

K.J.V.

 

4. “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”

Proverbs 6: 2

K.J.V.

 

5. “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life; be he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”

Proverbs 13: 3

K.J.V.

 

6. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Proverbs 18: 21

K.J.V.

 

            During the past 5 days we have witnessed the way Queen Vashti of Medo-Persia chose to use the words of her mouth. She understood the power unleashed by her tongue when she said, “No,” to what Renita Weems calls “the manipulative power of her husband, King Ahasuerus.” Weems continues by underscoring the fact that “Vashti acted out of a power all her own. Risking her marriage, her status, and her life.” Vashti used the words of her mouth to refuse a request which the law of Medo-Persia actually forbid: exposing your body to strangers. Furthermore, Vashti’s refusal to demean herself in front of drunken witnesses served to say much more than a simple “No!” Her actions became a voice, not only in Medo-Persia, but down to this very day where we live in a world that calls for powerful voices of purity…integrity…and most of all truthfulness.

 

            I could never have imagined where our studies this week, taken directly from the Biblical record, would have led us. So many new discoveries about a woman who God used in His providential plans not unlike the way He used Deborah, Rahab, Ruth and yes, Esther.

 

            Writer Greta Schumm inImages: Women in Transition, penned a poem that she states was “written with special affection for Queen Vashti”:

 

The Call

 

“We are

to be

the mannequins

 

thin, mute

and haughty

 

set before windows

to be seen

marveled at

appreciated

 

locked

where spots of anchored light

will fall.

 

Somewhere alone

wanders

the woman in me

far away from the dollar toys

and dull of window eyes.

 

come along,

come along

New-Born

I have room for you

in the soul

of one person

Singing.”

 

            As we have witnessed Vashti using her voice to minister to the women at the time when she lived, her voice still lingers in the air. And as Carolyn Mathis writes, “Vashti can be a model for us, thousands of years later. Vashti’s refusal echoes through time, sustaining women who seek to resist the definitions and expectations of those considered powerful. We are Vashti’s sisters. And today we need to sing Vashti’s song. A song of justice for all.” Open your mouth. Use your voice. Use your words. Be one of Vashti’s sisters!

 

 

A Psalm of Beauty

 

“She walks in beauty

as the night,

veiled in the folds of mystery,

concealing the deep, dark secret source

of her integrity,

revealing only what will inspire,

so is she who walks with God.

 

She rises in beauty

as the dawn

radiant with newly awakened light,

clear as far as the eye can see,

slowly, surely enticing all

into the orb of her energy,

so is she who rises with God.

 

She sits in beauty

like a stone, certain of her appointed place,

fundamental and firm to the insecure.

Unafraid to sit alone,

so is she who sits with God.

 

She stands in beauty

like a tree

deep-rooted, so no catastrophe

can wipe her memory from the land,

nor fell her

when she takes a stand,

so is she who stands with God.”

Miriam Therese Winter

Sacred Journeys –

Daily Prayers

Your friend

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

 

 

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