Sept 29th- Laugh! From Barren to Believing-The Story of Sarah & Elizabeth

Gen 21:6 “Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

Luke 1:25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she (Elizabeth) said.

                Hope you had a Happy National Daughter’s Day on September 25th, 2020.  Here are other paramount events that happened for women historically during the month of September–12th, 1910-Alice Stebbins Wells formerly a minister and social worker, becomes 1st American woman police officer with arrest powers for the LAPD.  She consequently, also designed the 1st woman’s police uniform.   25th, 1981- Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice retired in 2006.  29th, 1988 the first American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest the world’s highest mountain was Stacy Allison, Junko Tabei born on Sept 22, 1939 was the first and the first to climb the highest peak of the Seven Summits.

                2020-On Sept 18 Ruth Bader Ginsberg  2nd US Supreme Court Justice dies.  And on Sept 25th President Trump nominates Judge Coney Barrett to take her seat.  If she is selected, Republicans will hold a 6-3 advantage.   On the 23rd, in the case of Breonna Taylor a Black woman who was fatally shot in her home by raiding police officers; all were abdicated except one who was charged with 3 counts“wanton endangerment” for her neighbor.

                Breonna Taylor, was only 26 when she died.  She was an Emergency Room Technician who planned to go back to school for a degree in nursing.  She like many woman worked to improve herself, building up her credit score to purchase a house and start a family.  Due to the negligence of our police and justice systems in recognizing that Black Lives Matter, an innocent US citizen will never know what it is like to realize those dreams.  Getting married, fulfilling her goals and having a child these hopes have gone down with her in the grave.  Civil unrest and peaceful protests have been incessant since her untimely end on March 13th, 2020.  Though many things in life are unanticipated and deplorable-God is a Just God.  He himself understands being innocent and still having to suffer unjustly.  Yet we are still called to have faith and take heart.  We are still called to have hope  Romans 15:3 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

                Sarah and Elizabeth were both women who were given hope by God past insurmountable circumstances.  Like Breonna Taylor, they did not have their dreams of having children in their youths.  These daughters of Abraham were well up in age, that it was physically improbable for them to conceive, carry through their terms and give birth.  Being barren, which means to be incapable of producing offspring, disgraced these women.  Not only outwardly by their community, the talks the looks. But also internally by their feelings of inadequacy and helplessness.  The act of procreation, thought of as a woman’s blessing as well as a commandment Gen 1:28; 9-7 was their impossible dream.  Therefore for a woman to not fulfill her social, societal, marital, generational, overall her feminine role- with all its expectations often left her with no hope, desperate and vexed. 

                However, God is a Provider!  The Lord visited Sarah with good news that she will give birth.  In her cynicism she laughs and lies to God when he called her out on it.   I love when the Lord said, “Yes you did laugh”.  See it is of no benefit to make a comedian and downright liar out of Jesus.  Nonetheless, in God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness at around the age of 90 Sarah has a son-Isaac!  The next time she is biblically noted to have laughed it was in the fuller realization of the joy God gave to her. 

                Similarly, Elizabeth was also infertile -until the angel Gabriel came and gave her husband the good news of the upcoming birth of John.  In contrast to Sarah, she was humble and believed He could do just as He said. Elizabeth claimed God’s favor, having assurance of faith that God had granted her “great mercy.” She so delighted in joy she went around with other neighbors and relatives including Mary, her cousin and the mother of Jesus.  Elizabeth had a son John the Baptist whom Jesus said in Matt 11:11, “Truly I tell you among those born of women there has not risen greater than..”.

Sister, what is clear in these two circumstances is that the more purely humble and trusting of the Lord and of what He can do, we are-invites Him to come very close to us and have great and greater than more than we could ask or imagine in store for us!

Concern (C)Sister, are you barren in faith?  The times we live in are never outside of God’s ability to manage.  Are you trusting of Him to author your life in incredible ways?  God writes about 8 billion stories every day every year.  He’s got this! But what will your input include?  Will you laugh in disbelief like Elizabeth at first?  Or will you rejoice in laughter believing God like Sarah at first?  John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” Believe sister.

Encouragement (E)Laugh!  The Bible refers to women many times as laughing, singing and so.  Is it that God loves to see us laughing, smiling, giggling and enjoying Him like the loving engaged father He is.  Despite the many things set up against us to cry, be fearful, anxious, agitated, angered and all over depressed–we need let go to let laugh!  Prov 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come”.  The Lord promised that He will be with us through it all. Go ahead wrap yourself in some God clothes.

Act (A):  Be Joyful !  Read John 15:11, Pet 1:8, Lk 6:21.  The joy that Jesus gave his disciples were in the words He said.  We have those words today as our daily encouragement of being joyful-the Bible.  Our joy is full and complete in Christ.  He took the hardest part of the test away when he died on the cross.  All we have to do is to follow Him straight in to glorious victory.  If that does not make you smile, be joyful and happy.  Sister you got to repent and laugh. 

For Further Women’s History

Editor’s Note: July’s blog on Esther had an content date error with a July/August mixup. To correct this mistake this post includes a contrast of two women that was planned to be written for August and September months separately. Sorry for any confusion caused. Thanks for your continued subscribership!

July 29th Fear of the Unknown – Queen Esther

“And if I perish, I perish.” NIV Esther 4:16. 

                Many historical strides were made by women during the month of August.  On Aug 6th 1965 Voting Rights Act allowed Women’s Suffrage (granted from the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug 26, 1920) to fully extend to African American women who were being discriminated against. Aug 10th Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the 107th justice and 2nd woman to be sworn in the US Supreme Court.  Another Aug 26th milestone in 1971 Rep Bella Abzug instituted the 1st Women’s Equality Day, which is annually reaffirmed by Presidential Proclamation.

                According to the COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 152, 738 in America on this date.  There are over 4 million cases in this country and 16 million worldwide with over 655,000 deaths.  Fear of the unknown is high at this time.  Many people worldwide are not only facing daily economic and social crises; but human, mental and emotional also.  On Jan 1st 2020, who would ever envision we would experience such a challenging start to a such a promising new decade.  However we are here.  In this together, with the majority of us surviving, overcoming and/or battling the effects of this pandemic one way or another.  Today I am dismayed for having lost my first relative to COVID-19.  How I as many others looked forward to thriving -holding big hopes, diving into new dreams.  We are now having to live this new unforeseeable normal with great strength and prodigious faith.

                Similar to Esther.   Esther born Hadassah, was a Jewish woman.  She was chosen by the Persian King Ahasuerus to succeed Queen Vashti based on her beauty.   Queen Esther saves her people through her fierce courageous faith.  Telling Mordecai her older cousin, to inform the Jews to fast for her withholding food and drink for three days, she approached the king’s throne. Unrequested and most likely unwanted, Esther faced this illegality which could have meant her life.  But the Lord favored Esther and the king found pleasure in her.  In the end, Queen Esther after making a dinner for him and Haman shared a story that infuriated King Ahasuerus.  So much so that Haman’s decree to destroy all Jewish people her people fell on him.  Queen Esther having been offered most anything she wanted was gifted Haman’s death.   This joyful unprecedented turn of events makes for fantastic stories or films but even more encouraging real life serious affairs.  God can change anything around when you stay focused on the mission-His.  Walk in faith over fear, trust over despair, selflessness instead of selfishness-God can use you as a blessing.  Your life, your actions, your deeds, your words, your beauty (outer and inner) along with your strength can bring about great win for others. 

                To this day the story of Esther is celebrated during the feast of Purim.  Jewish people read her story (called the Megillah) in synagogues.  When Haman’s name is mentioned 54 times the congregation makes various noises to blot it out.  We too must learn how to blot out discouragement, distraction, fear, intimidation, powerlessness, timidity and characteristics not of God.  We must boldly stand for righteousness in humility to God to protect our people, weather His will and save many souls-including our own.  By wearing masks, checking on the health of marginalized populations (elderly, sick, mentally challenged, handicapped, etc), building up our immune system (eating right and exercising safely), getting proper rest, disinfecting items, washing our hands,etc., social distancing, we show power. Control in what’s out of control and management. No we don’t shrink back in fear yet take the necessary precautionary steps to prepare to be a blessing.  With our faith in God, and the strength coming from His Word we won’t worry about perishing.  We will continue to advance, re-imagine our goals and walk on strong to our God determined destinies.

Concern (C)Sister, are you anxious about dying?  The Bible says :”Since the children have flesh and blood, (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of  him who holds the power of death –that is , the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”  Heb 2:14-15

Encouragement (E)Live! Jesus sets us free. And we submit to his authority to stay in his pastures of freedom. When he died on the cross, for those of us who have believed, repented, confessed and were baptized- the power of death no longer has a sting on us.  Just live in this truth!

Act (A):  Queen Esther had ample reasons to fear for her people, status, enemies strategies and for her very life.  However, imitating her commit it all into the hands of God. Our Father the Heavenly King will give us what we need to rise to every occasion.  He will fulfill His every purpose in the span of our lives. “..for such a time as this”, Rise, Queen, Rise!

For Further Women’s History

Dedicated in memory of my aunt Linda. 

June 30th -Deborah God’s Defender

“…they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel” Judges 5:7(NIV)

    On this last day of June we honor women who made great historical triumphs this month.  June 9th 1949 Georgia Neese Clark was the 1st woman US treasurer.  June  21st 1921 Inglewood, California -the Women’s National Basketball  Association plays its very 1st game between the Los Angeles Sparks  and New York Liberty.  The Sparks’ African American player Penny Toler scores the first basket but Liberty wins the game 67-57.  June 1st 1993

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Connie Chung becomes 1st Asian American woman to co-anchor the evening news. 

                In recent news events, the death of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers has sparked civil unrest reverberating throughout the world.  Chants of “No Justice, No Peace” , “Say His Name” & “Black Lives, they matter here” can be heard far and wide on the streets of the United States.  These emanate from protesters demanding justice of Floyd’s death right now.  What was remarkable about these protests were the amounts of young people that marched.  Also the majority of protesters were White between  53-61 percent in attendance in some cases.  Another outstanding facet of the protesters was the galvanization of mothers after seeing footage of Floyd dying calling out for his deceased mother.  Mothers everywhere were moved to answer.  

                In the heart of many of us women who are wives, sisters, daughters , mothers and the like how could we not?.  To hear such a needful cry,  desperate pleas for urgent loving and life caring even saving help can stir up the most tired and most tried of us to insurmountable selfless and intense action most expeditiously.   Deborah a leader, a judge and prophetess was such a woman in the Bible.  Her story and song is honored by God in the books of Judges Chapters 4-5.   Deborah sent for Barak, a man called by God to lead an army into battle against His people’s  the Israelites oppressors.  However, he would not go without her. He was calling her to help him and Deborah’s reply was “Certainly.. but..the honor will not be yours”.  The victory would be hers “..a woman”!

                The spirit of Deborah resounds in the hearts of many warrior women today.  The steadfast steps of bravery to see the victory and justice won for not only the people and the purpose-but for a Righteous God!  He used Deborah to embolden Barak, to save the Israelites and to annihilate the enemies of God.   He put her on the frontline.  That same strength can be seen in Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Nancy Pelosi .  And yes every woman in the march for change!

Concern (C)Sister, are you a leader?  Leadership takes many forms.  And is not always within a group setting.  A leader envisions, inspires, motivates, serves, empathizes, manages, builds, improves, tasks risks to create the world they want to see.  It is usually for a higher cause though the opposite can be true as we see in the example of Hitler.  You can be called or you can believe it is a calling.  Is God calling you to lead or to lead in assisting?

Encouragement (E)Lead by Listening  Heb 13:7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.  God totally encourages us to copy other’s faith.  You see a person who has strengths you do not?  Consider how their faith led them to victory and duplicate!

Act (A):  Lead by Following.  The Holy Spirit wants to lead you.  Through temptations, trials, persecutions, doubts, fears and all the vices Satan has devised.  But we must in humility keep in step with it.  In serving others, in loving, in sharing and many other aspects Sister you are a leader.  Be strong, be confident in yourself and the power of the Lord and lead on!

For Further Women’s History

May 28th Eve – Our 1st Mother

“With the help of the Lord I have brought forth..” NIV Gen 4:1. 

                Firstly, happy Mother’s Day again to all women who are mother figures.  Every day in biblical regard is mother’s day, as the Ten Commandments put moms (and dads) in high esteem. Exodus 20.12. Lofty historical firsts are many in May for women of various societal roles.   1872 Victoria Woodhull, representing the Equal Rights Party, was the 1st woman candidate nominee for US president.  1973 Swimmer Lynn Genesko, received 1st athletic scholarship awarded to a woman -Go U. of Miami!.  1950 Gwendolyn Brooks is 1st African American woman to receive Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1950.  2020 many children young and old were not able to spend Mother’s day with their mothers for the first time. 

                COVID19 a global virus had come. With it, numerous, unforeseeable disruptions and unplanned or no planned celebrations of moms.  Some were in nursing homes or hospitals unable to be visited for safety restrictions.  Others long distanced could not be visited due to limited, cancelled or banned travel arrangements.  Some mothers, with much sorrow, had passed away.  These circumstances resulted in an unprecedented time of hugging/kissing/loving bonds-challenge. 

                Yet we keep in us a hope to see our moms again.  Romans 5.5 “and hope does not disappoint us because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Those who have the Holy Spirit are filled to satisfaction with the fulfillment of hope.  Praise God for his sufficiency especially through trying times full of lack. 2 Cor 12.9.  Amen for our provisional God Jehovah Jireh. And for the love that remains.

                Eve was the mother of all firsts, hand sculpted and drawn from man by the perfect God himself.  So she was perfect for Adam, perfect for the world, perfect for all people, things and events to come.  Although she was cast out of garden, one could argue that she never fell completely from grace.  First woman Eve, famed for her faults, will be refocused on her missed positives.  She was not born into sin, so she was perfectly sinless.  Eve also was not artificial in any way.  The ideal companion, helper and…mother to ever walk this earth.  No one can compare- even if they lived her 900 years as scholars believe Eve did.

                In defense of Eve, she never experienced a Satanic attack, temptation, or influence before.  While we who read the Bible, have seen/heard/ or witnessed the destruction of the Devil before.  Eve had no prior reference of the lying serpent or sins’ critical consequences.  She “just” disobeyed God.  Not to make light pride of her sin, but can we really condemn her for something we do to this very day.  Additionally, sister, can we do this with or without the foreknowledge of his clever trickiness and sins’ potential devastating outcomes?

                Praise God for his mercy and awesome grace. For no woman, nor mother is flawless.  Yet they are ideally created just for us, and for us to be their children- whether biological, adopted or genetically engineered.  Provided by a God who forgives and loves us for so much.  Jesus being an example of someone who loved Mary, his mother to the very end of his days.  He listened to her, honored her and took care of her for the rest of her days.  John 19: 25-27.

Concern (C)Sister, do you show Jesus’ love to your mother?  If yes, then Amen.  If no, take a deep look inside yourself through the lens of the Lord.  Study out his word on how serious God is about honoring your parents.

Encouragement (E)Respect Mom. Mk 7: 10 (Jesus says to Pharisees & scribes) “For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’*; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’  *(Note: He does not state only if they were good parents to you).  Like Eve what will, with the help of God, you contribute and “bring forth” to life.

Act (A):  Privilege & Praise Mom.  Water to wine Jesus gave his best, spurred by mom. Jn 2:1-11.  Bring her pleasure in being your best child whether 9 or 99.  Privilege her even if she has wronged you.  Should you have an estranged relationship -repent and forgive earnestly! Eph 4:32. God allows no heart to harbor unforgiveness towards others nonetheless your mother. Restore your relationship- for Jesus first, giving God the glory.  Next, for you, letting your hurt go and making room for being blessed.  After, for your family, who may be blessed through the repaired connection (heritage, health, happiness perhaps inheritance).  And then for your mother, if these priority points help.  Free her and YOU from guilt. Continue to hold out hope for how God made her, which although is not perfect,  is a vital part of God’s overall plan.

For Further Women’s History

April 29th The Apostle -Mary Magdalene

“I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18 NIV

                Historically, April has been a great month in first strides for women.  Notably on April 7, 1805, 17 yr old Sacagawea, daughter of Shoshone chief, was the only woman and a new mother  who helped discover western territories to the Pacific Ocean as an interpreter for the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.  April 16, 1912, 37 yr old Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel by plane after being the first woman to have gained a pilot’s license in the US a year before.   Lastly, April 2, 1931, 17 yr old Jackie Mitchell, the 2nd woman to play baseball in the all-male minor leagues, struck out NY Yankees Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in an exhibition game.  Next day, her contract was voided and women banned from playing in major and minor baseball leagues until it was overturned in 1992. You go lionhearted ladies!

                Mary Magdalene was an avant garde lady like these.  Mary of Magdala was a rich woman who used her talents and service to advance Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus cured her of seven demons which bible scholars, though uncertain, believed it was a severe mental illness.  His love made a devoted and powerful follower out of Mary.  Being the first to witness the resurrected Jesus, Mary Magdalene is popularly known to be the Apostle of Apostles.  Jesus had opened her weeping eyes to recognize him at which she cried “Rabboni” (Teacher in Aramaic).  Then the Lord commanded her to go back and tell the others what she had witnessed.  In joy, she did.

                Mary Magdalene is mentioned over 12 times in the New Testament more than most of the apostles.  Her prominence, loyalty and devotion to her Master and Savior is only comparable to two other women of the new testament gospels-his mother and aunt. When all other disciples had fled in fear and despair, it is our brave and faithful sister Mary Magdalene who stayed with them at the shadowing of the cross. She followed Jesus through life for hope. Then she followed Him through death which eventually led to greater hope!  A testament to women everywhere that we are greatly loved, valuable and essential in the work of God.

Concern (C):   Sister, do you see your role in the Lord as being essential?  During this COVID viral crisis, there are many talking about the worth of emergency and essential workers.  We applaud them for all that they are doing to save and help our lives.  Do you as a woman who knows the gospel understand that you are also a Emergency worker to save souls and help others too? Acts 2 & 3.  You sister are an essential worker for God.

Encouragement (E):  Mary Magdalene was never mentioned as being espoused in her workings.  Her significant other was Christ.  Unmarried sisters who may be sheltering in place alone do you realize that the Lord is always your husband.  Isa 54:5.  Many women long for that better half.  But it is the Lord that wants to make you whole and to be your completion.  God used her and other women in the Word in a tremendous way and built a great ministry with their personal contributable resources.  Lk 8:2-3.  What can you bring to God’s table all of your own?

Act (A):  In considering Mary Magdalene, how can you use your talents for the work of his Kingdom?  People outside and especially inside the church need your vision.  Messenger of hope, tell the despaired today that the Lord is still alive!  Encourage them by the words He said and the miraculous things He has done, is doing and could do.  Show everyone by your stalwart life and ablest deeds that you too can say “I have seen the Lord!”

For more info:
-Sacagawea, Biography. com.
-Harriet Quimby National Aviation Hall of Fame.
-Jackie Mitchell. 07/obituaries/jackie-mitchell-overlooked.html

Be safe. Stay home. Save Lives. -With love from The Daughter Line.