Daughters of Faith
An Internet Ministry For Encouragement Of Christian Girls and Ladies Around the World.
King James Bible Study - Help in the Time of Need
The Basic Truths Of Life!
Everyone that ever walked on this planet must come to terms in this life with some basic TRUTHS. These will be the basic truths that no one can argue with, if they are sane. Of course, if you believe what God says in His Own BOOK about you, then you will have no problem with accepting these basic truths.
1. The Brevity Of Life
"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14b) Our life is brief! like a vapor, or like smoke. "Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?" (Job 7:1) He is born, and then he will die! This is certain! (The exception being Enoch and Elijah, and also, those believers in Jesus Christ who are alive when He comes for His Church.)
2. The Brevity Of Your Remembrance
You will soon be forgotten. A man is remembered only a little while, and then he is forgotten. "He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him anymore. Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness." (Job 7:10 & 10:20-22)
3. The Sureness Of Trouble
Life is bale full of troubles. I have also found this very true!!! "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not." (Job 14:1).
4. The Verity Of The White Throne Judgment
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). You will not miss this one unless YOU ARE HID in the CLEFT OF THE ROCK!
5. The Eternality And The Finality Of What You Do With Jesus Christ:
We will all be held accountable over this issue. It is a hard fact of life, my friend. Now will you take God's offer of eternal life ... purchased by His Son ... for all those who will put their trust in Him ... a thumbs down? You will everlastingly suffer the consequences!
6. That Men Never Learn From History
We learn from History That Men Never Learn From History! It is a heart problem! Men refuse to learn the "lessons" afforded by the light of HISTORY: the recorded historical events which occurred as fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Now, these are the basic truths with which we all must deal with one way or another!
7. What Should You Do?
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"; [Romans 10:8-13]
THE BIBLE :
Believe The BOOK!
The King James Bible
This is God's Holy WORD to you and I! Do you believe it? The A.V.1611 (or The King James Bible) is God's word PRESERVED in the English language for you and me. It came from the English Reformation. This Bible declares that: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." [2 Timothy 3:16] God's inspired word is preserved in the A.V.1611. The word "preserved" means maintained inspiration. "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." [Psalm 12:6-7] “PRESERVE.” .
Home In The Hills:
[Or New Jerusalem]
Everybody is going home someday. Everybody is going to their LONG HOME. When you die, you are going to go to your “long home” whether, it be in “Heaven” or in “Hell”. Do you realize that truth? “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:” [Ecclesiastes 12:5]. Read More?
Daughters of Faith
An Internet Ministry For Encouragement Of Christian Girls and Ladies Around the World.
Daughters of Faith
"O, The Deep Deep Love of Jesus!"
Daughters of FaithMiss Laura Beth Wagenschutz, Editor & Columnist
Miss Chaille Jacobson, Assistant Editor & Columnist
Miss Amanda Sedler, Columnist
Miss Deborah Brauer, Columnist
Miss Hannah Brown, Columnist
Miss Rebekah Wark, Columnist
Miss Gina Allison, Columnist
Mrs. Ruby Wagenschutz, Columnist
Our Part-Time Staff:
Mrs. Dawn Wagenschutz, Columnist
Mrs. Johanna Spangenburg
Ev. Benjamin Jossund
Greetings From the Editor...Hello, Ladies! How are all of you doing? I pray this issue finds you all busily serving the Lord.
As most of you know, I recently went on a missions trip to Mexico for my High school Senior trip...I have some pictures for you from that and also some interesting and funny stories to share with you. I hope you enjoy all of that!
In this issue, we wanted to pay a tribute to those in our Armed Forces and also to their families, so we asked each of you to send in the names of your friends and family who are serving and what branch of the Service they are in. We have a special section of this issue dedicated to them and to you as well! Please take a moment to thank God for His protection and also to ask Him to protect our servicemen and women overseas.
Please note that, due to the extent of additional Patriotic information in this issue, several articles have been omitted. We are sorry for any disappointment, be assured all articles will be present in the next issue.
Many things have happened since the last issue of DoF was sent out...not only my missions trip to Mexico, but also a couple of weddings amongst my acquaintances, many engagements, serious illnesses and prayer requests which God has mercifully and wonderfully taken care of, and much more. I’m sure you’re life has been very hectic as well! But, I want to take this moment to encourage each of you (as well as myself), to take a step back from everything and to ask God to help us to be able to focus and to see the lessons He is trying to teach us through all of this.
Many times I find myself getting so busy that I begin to ask God to just make everything go away! Then it’s almost as if He says, “Why would I make everything go away? You haven’t learned anything from all of this yet.” It’s then that I realize that God is either testing my faith or strength in an area, or trying to create new faith and strength in another area of my life! If I do not accept what comes my way and try to see below the surface to find God’s will, I will be overwhelmed and will get tired or discouraged and give up. That is not what God wants to see. So let’s open up our eyes a little wider and see what it is that God is trying to teach us today.
Prov. 16:33 & Mark 11:22
P.S. Due to the amount of information in this issue, the font has been made as small as possible. I'm sorry if it is a bit harder to read! Let me know if you would like to have the font enlarged and sent to you again. ~ Laura Beth
P.P.S. Thank you, Miss Ashley Wasson for sending in your recipe for the Christmas Cookie Contest! Everyone else, remember to send in your recipes! Read Bea's Bulletin for details...
Welcome to New Subscriber...
Our newest subscriber is: Miss Christy Fuller
Welcome to Daughters of Faith, Miss Christy!
We pray that the Lord will use this publication as an encouragement for you.
Tribute to Our ServicemenIn the last issue of DoF we asked subscribers to send in the names of their family and friends who are in any branch of the Service. Here we would like to pay a special tribute to each of those serving and also to their families.
We appreciate your sacrifice and respect your courage and your love for this great nation.
On behalf of the DoF Staff...Thank you!
"A Prayer for Our Soldiers"
Lord, Hold our troops in
Your loving hands.
Protect them from danger
As they selflessly protect us.
And comfort the families
That await their safe return.
We ask this in the name
of our Lord and Savior,
Mike Gallagher, Army Reserve (Brother of Abigail Gallagher, subscriber)
Kevin Gorden, Army National Guard (Brother-in-law of Abigail Gallagher, subscriber)
Tim Bailey, Army National Guard (Friend of Abigail Gallagher, subscriber)
Jared Wark, Navy (Brother of Rebekah Wark, columnist) Pictured below.
Gary Gollmer, Army (Brother of Amanda Sedler, columnist)
Steve Wagenschutz, Navy (Husband of Donita Wagenschutz, subscriber.
Uncle of Laura Beth Wagenschutz, Editor)
Kenny Sullivan, Army (Brother of Sheena Sullivan, subscriber)
I AM THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
(This poem first printed in the September Issue of 2001.)
I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up ... and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher.
My colors a little bit truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped -- and I am saluted.
I am loved -- I am revered.
I am respected -- I am feared.
I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome,
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheShan.
Saigon and Vietnam know me.
I was there.
I led my troops.
I was dirty, battle worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me --
And I was proud!
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country.
And, when it's by those whom I've served in battle -- IT HURTS!!
But I shall overcome -- for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I AM PROUD!
MY NAME IS OLD GLORY, LONG MAY I WAVE.
DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, LONG MAY I WAVE.
On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC,
are displayed two words: Laus Deo.
No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are
totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't
care less. Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this
with everyone you know.
But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125
inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our
nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of
Columbia, capital of the United States of America.
Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and,
one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest
point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in
So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and
only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say "Praise be to
God!" [Laus is 'Praise be' and Deo means 'God']. Though construction of
this giant obelisk began in 1848 when James Polk was President of the
United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and
opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial
with a tribute to the Father of our nation, "Laus Deo....Praise be to God!"
From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take
in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with it's division into four
major segments. From that vantage point one can also easily see the
original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant...a perfect cross
imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north, the
Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln
Memorial to the west.
A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state?
Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the
Constitution. So, read on.
How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for
those who notice. Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898
steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings
the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer
offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by
some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School
children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16
and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God!
When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848,
deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by
the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral
direction, the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of
our unique democracy .... "One Nation, Under God." I am awed by
Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your
opportunity, so read on!
"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United
States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the
citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to
government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another
and for their fellow citizens of the United states at large. And finally
that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice,
to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and
pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author
of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in
these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our
supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." Laus
As you probably guessed, over 92 percent of Americans like the idea that
our Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "under God." It is clear when
one studies the history of our great nation, that Washington's
America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the
guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to whom was given all
praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her
When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over
our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as
it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look.
Though many try to disprove and reason, their arguments are weak and easily
proven without basis. Their efforts will forever be in vain; God assures us
of that. Have you noticed as of late, how many more people are coming
together, affirming the fact that this nation was, from the beginning,
built on God? Any nation that is not built upon God will fail. The truth
is, we have always been one nation under God! Laus Deo! Praise be to God!
You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo," it's location, or the
architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning,
or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in
vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in
vain." (Psalm 127: 1)
Let us remember to do our part, through prayers and sacrifice, to be the
watchmen who stand their guard.
It is hoped you will send this to every child you know; to every sister,
brother, father, mother or friend. They will not find offense, because you
have given them a lesson in history that they probably never learned in
school. With that, be not ashamed, or afraid, but have pity on those who
will never see.
~Author Unknown, received in an e-mail forward
The Treasure BoxBy: Miss Deborah Brauer
So Others Might Live
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. – Romans 12:1
The world in which we live has many celebrities toward whom people, especially children or teenagers look. These people are usually actors, actresses, sports stars, or musical entertainers. The old-fashioned heroes are becoming more and more rare. Men and women who have sacrificed and given their all for noble causes are no longer the role models of most young people. They have been replaced by the glittering famous (many with huge paychecks) who care little or nothing about those who are looking up to them.
Throughout the history of the United States of America, are men and women, many without extraordinary talent, who have given of themselves for the benefit of others. We call them heroes, such as the pioneers who fought against the wilderness to clear land, scientists and inventors whose amazing achievements have revolutionized the way we live. Many of these people sacrificed so much, and yet did not see the fruits of their labors, and would have had no way of knowing how much their sacrifices meant to the world.
Perhaps more than all others, the people who have been the most honored in American history are those who have given their lives for their country, and for their fellow-citizens, such as the brave soldiers who have fought on foreign battlefields, and at home, to insure that the generations to come would have the same rights and freedoms that they held dear, also firefighters and police officers. Men and women who put their lives in jeopardy on a daily basis, and not only do they risk their lives, many do give their lives, so that others might live.
The sacrifices made for us by others deserve respect and appreciation, but that’s not the main thing I want to bring out in this article. We, as believers have something in common with these men and women of the armed forces. We are in a war, a spiritual war. Just as men and women have given their lives on literal battlefields, we need to be willing to give our lives on mission fields, at home, or abroad. Every citizen of the United States has a duty to their country, and their fellow citizens, just as every citizen in the kingdom of God has a duty to their King, and to those who have not yet heard the gospel.
As soldiers of the cross, we need to be armed. Just as the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces would never send his troops to battle against the enemy without proper weapons and armor, so we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil without the armor of God. We can discover what armor we need by reading Ephesians 6, verses 10-17.
I’m not going to take the time to outline all of the armor for you here, but I would encourage each of you to read this passage of scripture for yourself, and to ask the Lord to show you how you can apply each of these pieces of armor to your own life. Can you imagine if the troops that were sent out to battle went out to fight, but didn’t bother to bring any of the weapons or armor that had been provided for them? It sounds like a really dumb thing to do doesn’t it? However, if you’re neglecting to use the armor that God has provided for you through his Word, then you are just like that, or maybe even worse in a way, because they are fighting only for temporal and physical things. We are in a battle for souls.
Can you imagine where our country would be today if no one was willing to give of themselves to insure freedom for the generations to come? How about you? Are you willing to give yourself to God and to His work? Are you willing to sacrifice your hopes and dreams and follow God’s will for your life? God has called us to give of ourselves, and to follow His leadership in our lives. This is such an important thing to do, because if we don’t follow His leading, many people will die and spend an eternity in hell, people that might have been saved had we done what God told us to do. Are you willing to sacrifice your all…so that others might live?
In His Name,
Prayer PowerBy: Miss Amanda Sedler
Hello, Ladies! I just want to say a quick thank you for praying for my brother, Gary, who is in Iraq right now. Please keep praying! He's getting kind of discouraged with everything that has been going on, so please don't stop praying now for him and also the rest of our military who are fighting. They need God's protection!
Requested By: Laura Beth Wagenschutz
Request: Please pray for the salvation of: Lisa, Sara, Liz, & Kathy.
Requested By: Bethany Boomhower
Request: Please be in prayer for my mom. She's been in and out of the hospital for about a month now and the doctors do not know what is wrong.
Please, send in any prayer requests you may have. We would be honored to be able to pray for whatever it is! We look forward to hearing from you.
With a Prayer,
Nana's NotebookBy: Mrs. Ruby Wagenschutz
A few days ago our country celebrated the 229th anniversary of our declaration of independence from oppression and tyranny. It has been my privilege to visit Washington, D.C. on two occasions and see the monuments and historical documents, etc. concerning the history of the United States. From my childhood and earlier years I remember a nation which was safer, happier, and more godly than we now have. I'm afraid we have moved far away from the original intent of our founding fathers. I want to share some words of great patriots of the past to stir your hearts about the condition and needs of our nation today.
"The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country." ... Calvin Coolidge
"The good in the United States would never have come into being without the blessing and the power of Jesus Christ . . . I know how embarrassing this matter is to politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and cynics: but whatever these honored men think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of America is at its best and highest, Christian." ... former Ambassador to the United States from Lebanon
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do futile things if we do not know where we came from and what we have been about." ... Woodrow Wilson
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." ... Abraham Lincoln, on April 30, 1863, in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.
"Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice can not sleep forever." ... Thomas Jefferson
"There is but one hope for our sin-ravaged land. We must return to the source of our greatness. Let this be our motto, 'In God we trust.'" ... excerpt from Bring Back The Glory
Bea's BulletinBy: Miss Laura Beth Wagenschutz
* We will be hosting the First Annual Daughters of Faith Christmas Cookie Contest this Fall and we want all of you to join in the fun! Two winners will be chosen and will receive a free surprise gift as well as having their winning recipe printed in the November/December Issue. You may send in your recipes as soon as you get this paper, there is not an "Early" limit but: Please note that all recipes must be sent in by September 15! If we have not received your submission by that date, we will not be able to accept it for consideration. Judges will be: Laura Beth, Hannah Brown, Rebekah Wark, and Amanda Sedler. If there is a tie, my dad will cast the deciding vote. :0)
We look forward to getting your recipes!~Laura Beth
* What do you think??? Is the paper too long? Is there too much information?
Let us know what you think. What's your favorite article?
What's your least favorite article? Have any new ideas for articles you would like to see? Write! firstname.lastname@example.org
(My Sister, Amanda & I, July 4th, 2005.)
There Is Reason To Be JoyfulBy: Miss Rebekah Wark
Hi, Girls! Are you enjoying your summer? I sure am. I just want to take a few moments to share with you a few thoughts about our soldiers and their diligence.
God's Word says in Colossians 3:23, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men." I was thinking about our service men and women who are not only in Iraq right now, but all over the world, serving their country. They are bravely standing against the odds in countries where they are vastly outnumbered to bring freedom and peace to the people. They love their job! They are committed to their job, to their President, and to their country. They are serving "heartily" for a greater good than their own agendas, and we are very thankful for that and respect them.
Thinking of this, I began to also think of our service in the Army of the King of Kings. Are we as committed to serving "heartily" our King and our Country? Are we willing to die in the service of Christ? Are we willing to stand against the odds and fight for what is right and good? Are we willing to give our all for the soul-freedom and peace of the people around us?
Let's all get busy fighting Satan's forces for the souls of men and women. Let's, like these soldiers, give our all for the sake of a greater good.
Keep Your Sunny Side Up,
The Hope Chest of Proverbs 31By: Miss Gina Allison
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
“Every experience God gives us; every person he puts in our life, is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see.” Corrie Ten Boom made this statement many years ago. These words came from the heart of a woman who was tortured in a Nazi Concentration Camp, yet she continued to follow God, realizing that every person she made contact with had a purpose for the future, only God knew what that purpose would be. Every day of our life we meet people. We make new friends or visit with old friends. Each day we pass people with needs, many of which we will never know. In this article we will be challenged not to let those opportunities to give and bless someone’s life go by. As Hebrews 13: 2 says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” You may never entertain an angel, but every day you may have the chance to be an angel in someone else’s life.
· The next item to add to your “hope chest” is faithful fingers
Edith Hamilton said, “Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.” Our faith is to be acted out in our every day life. The scriptures reveal the necessity of living faith in James 2: 14- 18, “ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” These verses are not saying that works are needed for salvation, what they are saying is that without works faith can not be shown to anyone else. What good is faith if it does not bring forth fruit?
1. Faithful Fingers find faltering friends
Faithful Fingers will portray two specific character qualities- Compassion and Generosity
· Compassion is using words and actions that will bring comfort and healing to those in physical, emotional, and spiritual need.
· Generosity is recognizing that everything I have belongs to God and then learning how to be a wise steward of His time, money, and possessions.
Compassion is a heart attitude with action. It is never good enough just to feel something. Feeling sorry for someone usually makes both of you feel worse. The best thing we can do for someone is act upon those feelings and help them. No matter what the need, there is always something you can do, even if all you can do is pray. Often we feel that praying is not enough, but a wise person said it this way, “Prayer is not the least you can do, but the most you can do.” When you pray you are getting hold of the very heart of the Almighty God, what better gift could you give then beseeching the throne of grace on their behalf.
After you have prayed, (which you should always do before taking a next step) Generosity comes it to play. During your prayer time, God will probably have placed a way you can help on your heart. If he hasn’t then you still need to pray. Ask him for the answer. Generosity is the feet to our prayers and our compassion. The woman in Proverbs 31 was a giver. She knew that everything she had was merely a gift from God and it was her privilege to pass it on in Christ’s name. We should never think of giving as a duty, but a privilege. As it says in Matthew 25: 40 “…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
In verse 20 of Proverbs 31, we are told that the woman here “stretched out” and “reacheth forth” her hands. It would appear from these verbs that this woman gave as much as her earthly means would allow. In the book Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George she explains, “This kind of stretching, as you know, requires a heart- a generous heart of love and compassion, a heart after God. This dear woman gives to the poor and needy with her whole heart.” We ought also to give with our whole hearts. Why? Because in Acts 20: 35 it says, “…It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The blessing of God is on our lives when we give to those in need, no matter if that need is physical, emotional, or a spiritual need. While God is blessing us, we are blessing the lives of those around us. The principle of sowing and reaping from 2 Corinthians promises a giving life is a blessed life. “He who sows courtesy reaps friendship and he who plants kindness gathers love.” (Apples of Gold) Let’s look at the life of a woman who through her kindness to the poor and needy reaped her much love and friendship.
· The Faithful Friend
In Acts 9:36-43 we find the short, but insightful story of Dorcus. Verse 36 says, “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcus: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.” Those last three words are very important, “which she did.” “Dorcus didn’t merely dream, make great plans, or passionately desire to better the lives of her suffering sisters- she acted.” (The Remarkable women of the Bible- Elizabeth George) The bible only tells specifically of the garments Dorcus made for the widows, but I don’t believe this was the only good work Dorcus did, because the verse says she “was full of good works and almsdeeds.” Why did Dorcus do these things? Herbert Lockyer answers that question in his book All the Women of the Bible, “As a disciple she certainly had faith in the One who had called her, but she came to see that faith without works is dead. She also knew that works without faith gained no merit with God, and so the hands that dispensed alms and made garments were inwardly inspired by him whose hands were nailed to a tree…What is that in thine hand? the Lord asks Dorcus. She said, “a needle,” and he took what she had and she stitched for Christ’s sake…the garments Dorcus cut out and sewed represented Christian faith in action.”
Most do not realize the woolen garments Dorcus made were worth a couple months’ wages. She could have sold them and made good money, but instead she gave them away to those who had none and trusted God to take care of her own needs. Dorcus was a giver. She was also a faithful friend. She did not look down on those who had less than she did (some commentaries suggest she was a wealthy woman). She gave to those in need and richly blessed their lives.
Then one day a tragedy struck the town of Joppa. The well-loved Dorcus fell ill and died. One that day, the widows, and the poor, and the needy lost a great friend. They came to her home and wept. Who would care for them now? Some believers sent for Peter, having heard of his miracles. When Peter arrived, the widows surrounded him and showed him the gifts from Dorcus. I imagine Peter was overwhelmed with the generosity of this woman. Peter went into the place where her friends had laid Dorcus. Peter then prayed. I picture his prayer something like this. “God in heaven, for many years Dorcus has blessed the lives of those around her. Even in this very home weeps those who received because of her giving heart. But Father, they still need Dorcus. No one else has taken the time as she did to see that those in need were provided for. Father, if it be your will return this beloved woman to her friends.” Peter then turned to Dorcus and said, “Tabitha arise.” And she did. God returned life to her body and Dorcus returned to her life of giving. Because of this, many believed on Jesus Christ and were saved. Dorcus’s faithful fingers brought forth fruit unto life eternal.
2. Faithful Fingers bring forth Fruit
“When asked what love looks like, the early church father Augustine replied, “Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrow of men. This is what love looks like.” This verse of Proverbs 31 is a clear example of Christ’s love in action. “The image of the single extended hand reveals her generous and giving nature… for the woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes, generosity doesn’t end with the mere giving of things. The plural word “hands” signifies those activities requiring two hands.” (Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George) As Christians it is our duty to Christ to serve other people. In James 4: 17, “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Sounds pretty serious to me. God doesn’t take lightly a stingy and uncaring heart. Proverbs has many verses about the blessings of helping the poor and the consequences of those who will not. So what can you do to help the poor and needy?
· Give away clothes you never wear, don’t keep them in your closet or dresser just taking up space. There are many who can’t afford to buy new clothes; some may be in your own church.
· Instead of having a yard sale, give the stuff to a local charity such as the Good Will or Salvation Army.
· Never give away broken or torn things. Those in need do not deserve our junk. If it can’t easily be fixed, throw it away.
· Make a casserole or dessert and take it to a shut-in or someone you know is having financial difficulties, or family troubles.
· When visiting yard sales, keep an eye out for things that might be useful to others. Example- an aluminum walker for an elderly person, baby items for new mothers, toys for children with very little, books, tapes, or even crafts for shut-ins. Sometimes yard sales also have furniture, it may be above your price range, but you can speak with your parents about it.
· Take the time to visit nursing homes. Just by speaking with the patrons lets them know you care.
· Send flowers and a note to those in the hospital or sick at home.
· Offer to baby sit for a couple with young children.
· Offer to come clean a widow’s home for her, catch up on her laundry, scrub her bathrooms, or do her yard work.
· When a need is mentioned in church, write it down. If money is requested, give some if you have it. If not, find out how else you can help.
· Pray for the prayer request and listen for God to place a way to help on your heart.
Edgar Watson Howe said, “When a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think of something appropriate and do it.” So much can be done for other people, if we just get out of our own little worlds and take notice. My mother has always taught me that other people come first. No matter how much our own tasks have to be struggled through to make time. Others are what life is all about. We have always made sure we are present to support other people even when we often have so much to do ourselves. You can only find true happiness when you live a life of giving.
Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” We can never out give God. Why can’t we? Because of this promise he gives in Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he giveth will he pay him again.” It’s a law God has placed that those who give will have given to them more than they give away. God richly blesses a giving and compassionate heart and life.
I’ll end with this quote from Jimmy Carter, “ I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… I’m free to choose what that something is, and the something I’ve chosen is my faith. Now my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands--this is not an option—my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”
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