Sunday, June 28, 2009

bleating and lowing

Do you hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the cattle?

Does that sound like a strange question for today's Devoted Woman? Let me explain...

In 2 Samuel 15, the story is told of the prophet Samuel being sent by the Lord to King Saul with instructions to totally destroy the wicked Amalekites because they had waylaid the Israelites on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Lord's judgment and direction was very clear and specific. Saul was to destroy EVERYTHING - men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.

Reading on, we see that Saul took his army and killed all the people and everything that was despised and weak. BUT, Saul spared the Amalekites' King (Agag) and the best of the sheep, cattle, fat calves and lambs - everything that was good.

As a result, the Lord told Samuel He was grieved that He had made Saul king of Israel because Saul had disobeyed Him and not followed His command. When Samuel went to Saul, Saul told Samuel that he had done what the Lord had commanded. Then Samuel asked, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears? And what is this lowing of the cattle I hear?" Saul replied that the best of the sheep and cattle were kept to sacrifice to the Lord. (Note: that is clearly not what the Lord instructed Saul to do.)

Samuel told Saul that because he did not obey the Lord's command to destroy EVERYTHING, Saul would no longer be king of Israel. Saul confessed his sin to Samuel. Even though he would no longer be king of Israel, Saul asked Samuel if he could accompany him to worship the Lord. Samuel complied thus allowing Saul the opportunity to get right with God.

So how do we relate this story to today's Devoted Woman?

The words of Samuel to Saul are just as relevant today as when they were spoken in Old Testament days. "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams."

Has the Lord given you instructions or a direction to follow in your life? Have you chosen to do exactly what He has asked of you or have you decided that your own way is better? Has He instructed you to give up certain habits or attitudes - or even relationships - but you have decided that keeping them isn't all that bad. Perhaps you have rationalized that these things can somehow be used for God's glory.

Do you hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the cattle?

Ask yourself.... Have you already chosen a different path or determined how a plan should play out in your own mind rather than trust and obey what God has planned for you and has clearly said in His word? If so, this is sin that does not give glory and honor to His will - but rather honors your will. "Rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry."

If you have strayed from the Lord, the good news is He loves you and wishes for you to return to fellowship with Him and worship Him with your life. He longs to have a special relationship with you and has great plans specifically designed with a purpose for you to fulfill. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18

May God use all DW's to reflect His love to the world. May He humble our hearts to love Him, while we seek and obey His will with our entire heart, soul and mind.

Written by Beverly (Momba) Drong
(Victoria's Mother)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

beautiful feet

My darling daughter (Victoria) treated me to a spa day last week, reminding me that we "needed to get beautiful" for my nephew's wedding on Sunday. We had the works: massages, hair shampoos/cuts/stylings, manicures, and pedicures - a day of pure pampering. By the end of all the services, I was so relaxed I felt like jelly. Once again, Victoria had spoiled her old mom rotten. I was so blessed because the experience was something I would have never done for myself.

Interestingly, out of all that care and attention came an unexpected lesson. I looked at my feet and for the first time in my life I thought they were beautiful. Now don't get me wrong. I've always appreciated my feet. They have supported me through thick and thin. They have taken me everywhere, at anytime, always working in closed quarters. They have never complained except when forced to do their job in cramped conditions. They have been the workhorses of my body. But beautiful - No! I have even been teased about the big space between my second and third toes - the result of slamming into a bedpost barefoot while making the bed. (You know what I'm talking about! O-U-C-H!!!)

But after all the whirlpooling, massaging, buffing, lotioning, and polishing something wonderful happened. My formerly taken-for-granted "Cinderellas" were transformed into "beautiful princesses". Contrary to everything I've done in my life, I couldn't wait to try on some snazzy sandals and see my perfectly polished digits brought out into the light for all to see.

Even the writers of Scripture thought the subject important enough to address in both the Old and New Testaments. Isaiah 52:7 says, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, your God reigns." Romans 10:15 quotes from Isaiah by saying, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."

Maybe that's why the Lord opened my eyes to my "beautiful feet" because I know I want to share whatever is "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy" (Phil. 4:8). I want to share the good news of God's love for you and me. How much God longs to have a personal relationship with each one of us through His Son, Jesus Christ. How He is preparing a wonderful place for us in heaven where we will be able to fellowship with Him for all eternity. Isn't that the best news ever!!!

I'm so thankful for that extra-special day and for an extra-special lesson. Happy Day and Happy Feet to all DW's!!!

Written by Beverly (Momba) Drong
(Victoria's Mother)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

sisterhood

It is a constant blessing to me to think of the fellowship we gals can enjoy with each other. There is a special bond of love and nurturing that is found between women: grandmothers, mothers, mothers-in-law, daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, girlfriends... and, or course, our wonderful DW network. Let's look at a few examples of these relationships in Scripture in what we might call the Sisterhood Hall of Fame.

Our first example, found in the book of Ruth, is that of two widows named Naomi and Ruth. When Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to Israel after the loss of her husband and two sons, her daughter-in-law, Ruth, pledged to remain at Naomi's side and to leave her homeland for the unknown in Israel. Ruth's unfailing loyalty to her mother-in-law was also a display of her commitment to follow the God of Israel. With the love and direction of Naomi, Ruth eventually met and married Boaz. Together they had a son named Obed who was the grandfather of the great king David. God blessed Naomi and Ruth's mutual love, loyalty, and commitment by placing Ruth's name in the geneology of Christ.

A second example, found in Luke chapter 1, tells of Mary and Elizabeth who were close relatives and experienced miraculous pregnancies. Mary had just learned that she would become the mother of the long awaited Messiah. Soon after, the angels' promise came true that Elizabeth would become pregnant with John the Baptist. The Bible says that Mary hurried to be with Elizabeth (vs. 39). Mary showed great love and concern for her older relative by staying with Elizabeth throughout what might have been a difficult pregnancy and delivery given Elizabeth's age.

Our last example, found in 2 Timothy 1:5, tells of the lives of Lois and Eunice, the grandmother and mother of Timothy. Their godly example and teaching prepared the way for the ministry that Timothy would have under the apostle Paul.

These, and other illustrations, can serve as continuing role models for us as we share our love, care, and concern with all the precious sisters that God brings into our lives.

Written by Beverly (Momba) Drong
(Victoria's Mother)

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