Good morning, all!
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your love for all the saints (and fellow bloggers!). I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother (sisters!) have refreshed the hearts of saints.” Amen!
Some of you may be familiar with the “Pumpkin Gospel.” It is an awesome way to carve pumpkins with your kids to share the Gospel. We have been doing this tradition in our family for about 5 or 6 years after I learned it at a Hearts at Home conference. We did it at our church with the Wednesday night program and Sunday School as a way to think about God at Halloween. For the actual presentation with Bible verses, there are a couple of sites I have seen it on this year: http://www.ginaconroy.com/ginablog/wordpress/ and on the Proverbs 31 site(Sharon Jaynes). If you google it, here is another great site for a step by step:
Anyway, we did it with our family last night. We always carve one pumpkin with a cross instead of a face. OK, here is the really cool thing! All of the kids carved a jack-o-lantern (so we had four faces) and I carved the cross. When we finished each one, we put it out on the porch. We noticed it was pretty windy. I finished my cross first, and as each child finished his/her face (with Dad’s help!), we set it outside. Well, when Ashley was finished with hers, we went out to find that all of the jack-o-lanterns EXCEPT for the cross had blown out! We relit and watched them go out. You can imagine what a great lesson it turned out to be- God’s Light never goes out, His Light shines in the darkness…. Praise God! He is so good! What a cool thing!
Well, it is the 31st of the month, so I turn to Proverbs 31 for my prayer and devotion.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” O, God, make me such a wife!
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” The Amplified says, “The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of honest gain or need of dishonest spoil.” Lord, I pray Brian would always have full confidence in me, because I put my trust in You. May I NEVER be like Job’s wife who said, “Just curse God and die.” May I always bless my husband and be a blessing to him.
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” And the Amplified, “She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.” May I never be like that nagging wife in Proverbs, dripping, dripping, dripping, criticizing, quarrelling! May I always be a comfort to Brian!
“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food (the Amplified says “Spiritual food”) and portions for her servant girls.” May I always have a servant heart for my family! Help me God to joyfully serve them, taking good care of them. May I always provide spiritual food for my family! Help me to nourish them in You!
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” The Amplified, “She considers a new field before she buys it (expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties); with her savings of time and strength she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.” Lord, may I never neglect the duties you have given me by adding more! Help me to be wise when “expanding!” Give me wisdom when considering “one more thing!” I want to be faithful “in the little things!”
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Help me God to not be lazy! Thank You that You give me the strength to do the things You’ve called me to do! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
“She sees her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” The Amplified, “She girds herself (Tracy gird yourself!) with strength- spiritual, mental and physical fitness for her God-given task- and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work (with and for God) is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night (of trouble, privation, sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust.)" Whew! Lord, may my lamp of faith never go out! May it burn through the troubles, sorrow, trials of life!
“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” May I always be compassionate, Lord. May I always be generous- not just with my money, but with my time, my friendship, my love….
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” I am reminded of Isaiah, “He keeps in perfect peace whose mind is staid on Thee, because he trusts in You.” Lord, may I always trust You. I also think of Rahab and how she saved her family by putting the scarlet cord in her window. Lord, may I save my family by trusting in You, pointing them to You.
“She makes coverings for her bed, she is clothed in fine linen and purple. He husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders in the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” God, may I always be a blessing to all around me- my family, my husband, my community!
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come (Amp. …knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it!)" Hallelujah! May I always be clothed with Your strength and dignity, Lord!
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Lord, may I always speak with Godly wisdom! You say You give wisdom to anyone who asks and that You give it generously (James). Lord, pour out Your wisdom on me and may I always speak with faithful instruction! May I be an encourager! May “life” be on my tongue!
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Lord, may I always watch over my family. Again, help me to not be lazy or idle. I think of in Timothy when Paul warns against idleness. He says it leads to gossip! Help me to stay focused on what You are calling me to, God!
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Oh, that I would be such a blessing!!!!!
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Oh, how I long to be that “quiet and gentle spirit” of 1Peter! I want my “beauty” to come from the light of Christ shining so brightly from within!
“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Oh, to You, Lord be the glory! I know I am nothing without You! May others see You when they look at me! That is the c of my heart! Glory to God, all glory to God!
Good morning, all!