Saturday, 16 February 2008

The following article is located at:
Deborah: A "Do Right" Woman
Judges 4:1-5:31
Liz Curtis Higgs posted 5/11/2007

Judge Debby she was not, dispensing criminals with a sarcastic barb and a wave of her hand. Instead, the biblical Deborah was a renowned prophetess, an honored judge, and an ideal role model for every woman called to lead others.
Three millennia ago Deborah convened her court under a palm tree where "the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided" (Judges 4:5). Undoubtedly their greatest disputes revolved around their oppressors, the Canaanites. Something had to be done, and Deborah was the woman for the job.
When she ordered Barak, her secretary of defense, to amass an army, Deborah made it clear who reigned as commander in chief: "The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you" (Judges 4:6). Unlike take-charge Jezebel, who sought no one's counsel, levelheaded Deborah obeyed the Lord and insisted his will—not hers—be done.
Even if our "army" is a small group of volunteers or a kitchen full of kids, we can learn from Deborah's leadership style by putting aside any personal agenda, listening for God's clear direction, and letting others know who's really running the show.
Fearless in Battle
As courageous as she was wise, Deborah promised to lure Sisera, the enemy commander, to the riverside and deliver him into Barak's waiting hands.
Levelheaded Deborah obeyed the Lord and insisted his will—not hers—be done.
But Barak balked. "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go" (Judges 4:8). What's the deal? Was he a weak-kneed wimp? Or did Barak think the Lord would bless his efforts only if godly Deborah was by his side?
Dig Deeper
1. How does Psalm 18:31-40 describe David's victory over his enemies? In what ways does that passage parallel Deborah's battle against Sisera's army?
2. According to Deuteronomy 32:35 and Nahum 1:2-3, how can we be sure ungodly souls like Sisera have a tent peg in their future?
3. Read Psalm 47:8, which reminds us that no matter who sits on any earthly throne, only One truly reigns. How does that knowledge comfort you in light of current world events?
Whatever the case, her response was swift. "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you" (Judges 4:9). As her modern counterpart, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once quipped, "In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman."
Deborah indeed took action, yet warned Barak that he'd forfeited any claim in the victory: "Because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman" (Judges 4:9).
Keep that prophecy in mind, and be prepared for a few surprises.
Marching Orders
The two armies mustered: ruthless Sisera with iron chariots and countless men pitted against Barak with 10,000 foot soldiers and nary a chariot. Before Barak lost his nerve, Deborah told him, "Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?" (Judges 4:14).
Once again, Deborah resisted the urge to take credit or take charge, and made the chain of command clear. Oh, that I'd paid attention to Deborah's story a dozen years ago! In my short stint as an employer, overseeing three women who worked for me, I discovered my strong-willed nature didn't always serve me well. My management style was all about "follow me" and "do it my way." Yet as Deborah demonstrates, it's in following the Lord and doing things his way that we truly lead others.
Grand Finale
Just as expected, God's will prevailed on the battlefield: "All the troops of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left" (Judges 4:16). The one exception was Sisera himself, who fled on foot and sought refuge inside the tent of a woman named Jael.
Hardly a safe haven, since Jael owned a tent peg, a hammer, and two strong hands …
I'll spare you the gory story of Sisera's demise and jump to Deborah's response. When she learned her prophecy that God would hand Sisera over to a woman had come true, the sound of music rang out across the land. Her Song of Deborah, the oldest remaining fragment of Hebrew literature, was dedicated to the One she loved: "I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel" (Judges 5:3).
She also sang the praises of those who served her well—"My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people" (Judges 5:9)—and she commended Jael at length, calling her "most blessed of tent-dwelling women" (Judges 5:24). A final leadership lesson from Deborah: Acknowledge the efforts of others, rather than pat yourself on the back.
Beginning to end, Deborah was God's woman. If the Lord has called you to lead others, consider taking Deborah's motto as your own: "March on, my soul; be strong!" (Judges 5:21).Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of 25 books, including Embrace Grace (WaterBrook Press). She lives with her husband and their two teenagers in Kentucky. Visit her website:

Friday, 15 February 2008


Once again Rebekah gets straight to a woman's heart. We at WFN praise God for her insight that she shares with us!

What Will Jesus Write in the Dust of Your Life?
By Rebekah Montgomery

Struggling to cover her nakedness, the woman writhed in fear and shame before a large, curious crowd. The crowd did not worry her as much as their religious leaders did. Surrounding her in a self-righteous, angry circle, these men already gripped rocks to hurl at her.
Moments before she was in the arms of a man, though not her husband. Then the religious teachers burst in and seized her. What happened to her lover she did not know. All she knew for sure was that these religious teachers were howling for her blood. In all likelihood, she would be dead in minutes.

Frantically, she looked for a way out.
Surrounded. Trapped. No place to run. No place to hide. No way to deny their charge of adultery. She was guilty. Guilty. Everyone now knew her sin. Nothing she could do or say could change her past, cover it up, or wash her shame away. No hope. No escape. She would die for it.
In a way, she wished that the stones would start flying and it would all be over. If she was blessed, the first stones might hit her on the head and knock her senseless. Then she wouldn’t feel the rest of the rocks — just the blackness of death.

But after death, what would come next?

Soon — very soon — she would face God. Then what? She had no hope of mercy. No escape. No place to hide. Only endless punishment.

One of the woman’s accusers addressed the Rabbi from Galilee teaching the crowd: “This woman was caught in the very act of adultery,” he shouted. “Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons.

“What do you say should be her punishment?” There was a note of challenge in his voice as if he was trying to trap the Rabbi.

The Rabbi’s attention turned to the woman. He wasn’t looking at her body. Or even her sin. He was looking at her soul.
Her tears flowed as she waited for Him to pronounce judgment. If only there was forgiveness for her. She was sorry, so sorry. If only she had a chance to live her life again. She would live differently. If only. If only.

The Rabbi stooped, reaching toward the ground. She automatically flinched. Was He searching for a rock to begin her execution?
To her amazement, He smoothed the dirt at His feet and began writing in it, His fingerprints tracing words.

The woman and the mob watched in stunned silence. Something profound was happening but the woman did not know what it was.

Then the religious teachers crowded around to read what He was writing.
Jesus’ Letter to the Guilty

In a millennium past, Almighty God reached out of heaven, took a handful of dust, formed it, breathed life into it, and created a man. Now, Jesus, the one and only God-man, was doing the same; He was writing words of life in the dirt and creating a new woman.
What did He write? Some have suggested that He wrote the secret sins of her accusers.

Whatever words He wrote, it wasn’t words the self-religious wanted to read. It condemned their devout but dirty hearts. They fled from Him — guilty, condemned, but unforgiven.
But for the repentant sinner, He wrote words of life and spoke them aloud:

Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Getting Honest, Getting Forgiven
For the admitted sinner, whatever mistakes we have made, whatever sins we have committed, Jesus bends down and writes across our past: “Neither do I condemn you. I can take your dirt and form you into a new creation. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Paul put it this way: “You show that you are a letter from Christ … written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3-NIV)

When you stand before Jesus, what will He write in the dust that is your life?
The self-righteous get left in the dust — unforgiven. But the admitted sinner gets forgiven and renewed.
© Rebekah Montgomery 2008For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website,

Thursday, 14 February 2008


Dear Friends

Marriage Question: How am I supposed to make a marriage work when my husband won't try? He won't talk and if I try to tell him something that is bothering me, he gets mad at me. There is no intimacy in our marriage as that is one of the problems that I tried to talk to him about yesterday. I tried to tell him that I wanted to be treated like a woman, not one of the guys and he got mad at me. He never just tells me that I'm pretty or that he loves me, never just gives me a hug or anything that is considered sweet. All affection is out the window and if I try to talk to him about it, I am the bad guy and he gets mad and refuses to talk to me. It makes me feel like I don't know how I ended up married to this guy, I just want to be happy and right now I am not at all.

Guidance: I understand your feelings. We women like to feel loved and appreciated by our husbands, and when they fail to "show" us that appreciation we start to become dejected and discontented. But let’s back up moment. Is there anything at all that we could do about the way we feel in marriage? Maybe we could be the initiator and try and be more caring towards our husband anyway. Or, maybe we can express ourselves in a productive way and let our husband’s know how we feel?

If we don’t do anything about our circumstances we become more and more discontented within ourselves and we’ll act out with those feelings in our behavior, and then our husbands REALLY don’t want to give us any affection. Uh oh, now what did I do? This is how breakdowns in communication get started. I know that for many wives it seems we’re the only ones who do anything for the marriage, but that’s mostly because our husbands really don’t think there is a problem, or they’re not sure themselves how to repair the problems.

It’s important in marriage that husband and wife take time out of their busy schedules to share a part of themselves with each other every single day! Our marriage can’t run on empty words. All marriages (no marriage is immune) go through periods where couples simply lose touch with one another. Why? Because couples take each other for granted. They don’t do it on purpose – it just happens overtime.

To stay spiritually fit and healthy we must study God’s Word daily and pray and get close with God because how can we have a relationship with Christ if we do not communicate with Him. The analogy is the same for marriage. You must daily share a part of yourself with your spouse every single day. Without the spiritual maintenance we lose touch with God - without the marriage maintenance, we lose touch with the one we chose to be married to for life.

Marriage needs love shown and acted out. The words "I love you" are nice to hear but couples in marriage also want to be shown love. Intimacy between couples gets lost somewhere out in left field because of the lack of togetherness that marriage needs to flourish. I’m not talking about sex here either; I’m talking about intimacy. Anytime couples are spending time together, whether it is on a picnic, a walk in the woods, playing a board game, etc, it constitutes together time, which is intimacy.

If your weekdays are busy and hectic then the weekend should be set aside just for the two of you, and if you have children include them, but make sure there is alone time for mom and dad too. Unfortunately some husbands just don’t know that their wives are unhappy about anything because she doesn’t speak up. I used to be that way. One thing that I have found in my own 24-year marriage is husbands can’t read our minds. We ladies can huff and puff, clatter around in the kitchen, throw dishes at the wall, etc, and our husbands will still be oblivious to anything wrong with the marriage. They just see it as us having a bad day. We have to sit them down and communicate our feelings to them in a good way.

Be assertive (not aggressive) with your feelings and tell your husband just how you feel, without having a tone in your voice. Be kind, nice, and loving. Remember our purpose for marriage is to be giving and loving, even if we are not always treated with that same respect. I know it’s often difficult to be nice to people when they have not been so nice to us, but it is the right way to do. Showing principled acts of love is not always going to be easy but if you first be the shining light on the hilltop, your will be rewarded for your goodness, so shine on.

You mentioned that he gets mad at you when you try to tell him something that is bothering you. I’ll tell you why. Your husband feels that you are blaming him for your unhappiness and that is why he gets mad. It does not make it right that he gets angry with you, but it is a defense mechanism. Your husband does not want to take the responsibility of a failing marriage. That is why you need to express your self in a different tactic by communicating without putting your negative feelings back onto your husband. Express yourself as being a part of the problems within the marriage. No one person is ever to blame for the disarray of a marriage.

Talk to your husband, let him know how much you appreciate all that he does for you, and spend more quality time together. Let your husband feel good about who he is as a man, husband, provider, etc, by reminding him of why you married him. Watch how later you will most likely receive some extra attention you weren’t expecting. Go out on dates, rent a hotel room for the weekend, go for walks in the woods or by the lake, in the mountains, but don’t allow your feelings to control you. Unhappiness is something that can be reversed by our loving actions.

Nine times out of ten, when you talk to your husband in a loving manner, expressing yourself and how you feel, he will come to realize he has not been the loving and giving husband he should be. And just because your husband has stopped giving affection does not mean that you cannot be the initiator and give your husband affection. A healthy marriage runs on all four batteries, physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental – make sure that all four batteries are recharged at least once a week. See the articles below for more about how you can bring more intimacy in your marriage.

Article Resources:
How To Bring Intimacy Back into Your Marriage
Marriage is a holy many people have so many problems in this area. I have posted ANGIE'S MARRIAGE COLUMN FEBRUARY 2008 for you today. May it help you, bless you and restore you. Hugs Sharmaine

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Dr. David B. Hawkins
source: Crosswalk

Fire is one of those elements that can either be our friend, keeping us warm and dry, or our foe, creating incomparable damage. Likewise, the tongue can either encourage or destroy. As the Apostle James said, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness." (James 3: 9) James goes on to say the tongue is like a spark that can set a mighty forest ablaze.

Fire creates searing heat. Perhaps more destructively, however, is the fact that fire consumes the oxygen needed to survive. Fire robs us of life just as the tongue can set a mortal blaze in our marriages, stealing vitality from our life.
For any fire to continue it needs fuel. Thankfully, fire cannot burn on its own. I received a vivid lesson about fire and fuel one warm summer day when I was about ten years old. I was lying in the tall grass behind my house with a couple of buddies. With stalks of dried grass hanging out of our mouths we were telling stories and enjoying ourselves. Life couldn't have been sweeter.
To ten-year olds, those stalks of grass were temptingly similar to a forbidden cigarette and one of us wondered what it would be like to "smoke" a few of those blades of grass. It all seemed innocent enough. We gathered our "cigarettes" and proceeded to light up. Suddenly, without warning, a spark caught in a bundle of dried grass, and then another, until we were faced with an inferno beyond our control. Realizing the potential danger of the fire, we ran for the help of my dad. Three screaming boys immediately caught his attention. We formed a "bucket brigade" and were able to douse the fire and get on to the next important issue—explaining all of this to my very angry father.
An innocent outing, an impulsive act, a furious outburst of potential danger. We contained the problem quickly and limited the damage.
Like that field, a marriage can become tinder dry at times, ready for a spark to ignite things. A season of dryness, or ongoing conflict, can set the stage for an angry outburst of deadly proportions.
"But, I just can't help it," twenty-seven year old Karen said recently. "I just get so mad that I say what's on the top of my mind. I know I can be extremely hurtful. We have called each other the most horrible names, and are embarrassed about it. We both have biting tongues, and know it."

Karen and Doug, clients of mine, were newly married and already having problems. I watched as Doug nodded his head to Karen's rendition of the problem. I asked them to explain more about their problem.

"My husband and I can't seem to agree on anything. I mention to him that I want more help around the house, and somehow we end up in World War III. I hate it."
"It's true," Doug said soberly. "We don't know how it happens, but when we fight, which is not all the time, it gets bad. We say things we would never say at other times, and we've nearly called it quits because of it."
"Well," I said slowly. "I have a saying—'If it's predictable, it's preventable."
"It certainly is predictable," Karen said wryly. "The preventable part is questionable."
I could clearly see the pain Karen and Doug were in. They had hurt each other deeply with, impetuous, ill-spoken words.
"It takes a lot of self-control to slow things down enough to see what you two are doing so you can change the pattern."
"Doug is just as tired of my biting tongue as I am," Karen said.
"I can get pretty sarcastic and angry, too," Doug replied, "and we're both tired of our bickering."
"Good," I said. "Being tired of how things are going is a great place for God to work in our lives. We have to get to the point where we are at our wits end—then God can step in."
We spent the rest of our session exploring the roots of their anger and biting tongues. We discussed how their anger and sharp words had caused tremendous pain in their marriage, to the point where they had nearly separated several times. It had scared both of them, and they wanted to learn new tools.
One of the tools I shared was "speaking from your most vulnerable self." This requires slowing down the process and exploring what other feelings could be shared rather than anger—which so often is hurtful. We discussed how anger is a secondary emotion, and how we need to look beneath the surface and learn to share other more vulnerable emotions that lay below the surface.
We discussed common underlying feelings known as GIFT:
• Guilt: anger often covers feelings of unexpressed guilt.
• Inferiority: anger often covers feelings of insecurity or inferiority.
• Fear: this is often an emotion that is difficult to express, but can be powerful when expressed appropriately.
• Trauma: conflicts often reawaken previous trauma in your life, creating hypersensitivity to an issue.
Karen and Doug seemed relieved to hear that their problems were normal and could be remedied. They agreed to slow things down when they became defensive, to guard their tongues and to look deeply to see if there were other, more vulnerable emotions needing expression. They agreed to take time outs when needed. It would take work, but they agreed to take these new insights home to practice.
Are you using an untamed tongue in your marriage? Have you said things you regret later? Consider taming your tongue. Recognize and own your primary feelings, practice some of the tools in this article, and allow God to heal problems without anger and harsh words. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008



Having gained employment from my Placement with a company in Wellington. I found myself manning their reception desk in the main office in Wellington, not a position I aspired to. However with a wedding coming up and a desire to contribute to our lives together I engaged in the job. It was to be for 6 weeks and challenge was the name of the game in an environment that was constantly changing.

I should be used to change as my whole life up to that point had been about change. I had been outside of church for the last 3 years due to several bad experiences that finally saw me give up in disgust with the church and all but turn my back on God.

During my years with the church I was a solo Mum of a child who did not fit into what was considered the ‘norm’ thus leading to being ostracised and labelled as a family unit.

However I have also been on the receiving end of God giving back to me the years the locusts had eaten and I believe that due to the last 20 years of loss and failure that I have come into a period of jubilee and God has begun to restore the education I had to abandon due to my life being swallowed in caring for my son and burn-out and work.

At 44 I am 3 years through a Degree in Social Work due to graduate this year, I no longer have to worry about where my next meal will come from or how I will pay the bills, in fact now I don’t give either a thought, I accidentally ended up with not one but 2 jobs both paying more than the supermarket job I once held that I had to work 60 hours a week in to survive. Both these jobs meant experience in Social Work was more concentrated and gave me work through-out the holiday period in the lead up to my wedding.

I have a man called to be my husband in the true sense of the word to enhance and add to my life after enduring years of abuse and unfaithfulness at the hands of another man whose mission in life was to take as much as he could from my identity. I stood this for 5 years before I moved on with my son.

These changes continued and snowballed despite my not giving God the time of Day, He in His infinite goodness still blessed my life.

One of the changes was in counsellors during my time at the company I was employed with, moving from one to another site to cover shortages; I met George and Sharmaine when they arrived for a stint of two weeks with the Wellington office, George to have a much needed break and Sharmaine to work as counsellor for the two weeks.

It was not until 2-3 days later that I discovered they were Pastors of a small church in Christchurch. I wasted no time in telling them my thoughts on the church and trying (in vain) to convince them I was tuff. I had always wondered why there seemed to be a connection between Sharmaine and myself, like we had always known each other and the feeling of warmth and friendship. Then I found out they were Pastors and “Oh the penny drops.”

The next two weeks felt like they had come just for me, they hadn’t and I struggled with the feeling that I was being egotistical until they explained that sometimes God will send people half way round the world just to talk to one person.

The time for me at this company in Wellington had started with me being incredibly grumpy and ended with me feeling incredibly grumpy but with the difference being I had made friends with people who had accepted me warts and all and I think God maybe wanted to get my attention just to say “Hey I’m still here and I love you.”

The time came to a close when they had had dinner with my partner and I and I had made plans to attend a conference in Christchurch in June. Yahoo I haven’t been to Christchurch since I was 20 and now I was going back to see people I now know and to meet others whom I will know soon.

God has His eye on the sparrow.

BetweenYou and Me

BetweenYou and Me