My Prince Charming

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Many years ago, my very wise Aunt, who had been happily married for forty plus years at the time, said to me, “D’Anne Ruth, don’t forget to date your Prince Charming all the way through your marriage.  You don’t want to wake up one morning, after the kids have left home, and sit across the breakfast table from a complete stranger.”

At the time, only being married for about five years with two small babes, I giggled to myself thinking that there was no way Kevin and I could possibly grow apart.  We were so happy in our fairy-tale life together and we were enjoying every moment of being new parents to our rambunctious boys.  Work life and home life were perfectly balanced and we felt so blessed by our Heavenly Father.  What could we possibly want for; what could possibly go wrong?  We had the world by the tail.  But, despite my ignorant bliss, her words resonated with me and I tucked them deep into my heart for safe keeping.

As it usually does, time raced from a mere five years to twenty-two years of marriage and with its speed brought many unanticipated twists and turns along the way.  We have experienced satisfaction and disappointment, joy and sorrow, success and failure, gain and loss.  There have been some absolutely amazing days and some very bleak moments.  Several hopes became realities and many expectations were dashed.  But, by God’s grace and faithfulness, and by us heeding my Aunt’s sage advice, we are more in love than ever, despite all of life’s fury.

We have intentionally chosen to carve out time for one another, and have done so since very early on.  Each week we have a date night, whether it be a “movie and snacks” night in or a fancy “to-do” on the town.  Daily we touch base via email, phone or text, simply to see how the other is doing.  We enjoy long meaningful talks into the wee hours of the morning.  Breakfasts out on a Saturday morning are a ritual.  We have done the “just because” surprises for one another; flowers at work, treats left in the car, love notes sent in the mail.  It is vital to our growth and maturity as a couple.  It then filters into all we do at work, at home and at play.

For those of us who are married, the most important person outside of the Lord is our spouse.  Period.  There is no excuse for not spending quality time with one another.

So, with this in mind Daughters, I encourage you to set time aside for your Prince Charming.  Reconnect.  Explore.  Invest.  Enjoy.  Discover.  You won’t regret it.  And when the kids are gone and you are sitting across the breakfast table from one another…who knows what that wonderful moment could hold.

Even when I am old and gray, I know I want my Prince Charming to quote to me Song of Solomon 4:9, “You have captivated my heart, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”  I want that youthful spark of love to burn for many long years!

The Faith Muscle

Written by: Jody Mugford

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-4

Can I be honest?  I never liked this verse.  It used to stress me greatly.  I didn’t want to face trials, let alone be joyful in them!  And I didn’t like how James said “WHENEVER you face trials”…not “IF you face trials”.  I was very content living my days with as few hiccups as possible.

My life has certainly not been trial free, no matter how much I had hoped, and these last 23 months have been the hardest of my life.  Many of you already know our story but, if you don’t, I will summarize.  Our youngest daughter had an unexpected cardiac arrest at 2 weeks of age.  This led to an onslaught of consequences and a fight for her life for many weeks.  She suffered significant brain hemorrhages, multi-organ failure, a blood clot resulting in the amputation of her foot, and MUCH more.  I can promise you that during this time, I was not “joyful” about my trials.  Our daughter is almost two years old now, and, against all odds, she is thriving.  She is meeting her developmental milestones, and is now walking and running, despite us being told she could be paralyzed!!!  Praise the Lord!!!  But, even after the hospital stay was behind us, we have had numerous fights for her health.  She had unexpected brain surgery last year when fluid started accumulating excessively, and we are still in that battle.  We were told last month that the bones in her leg are not growing properly and she needs more surgery, which could involve arresting the growth of her leg below the knee altogether.  New trials…consider them pure joy…?

When I look back on how I handled my daughter’s initial crisis, then the subsequent battles in the hospital (dialysis, brain hemorrhages, amputation, etc.), the brain surgery and now her leg, I’ve realized something that has made all the difference for me.  Faith is like a muscle.  A muscle is useless if it doesn’t get put to work.  How does a muscle get stronger?  By exercising it.  I can stand in the gym and declare that I can lift that dumbbell, but if I never pick it up, I’ll never know…and I certainly won’t get any stronger.  In the same fashion, faith gets stronger as we walk through trials and choose to have faith in God.  I panicked when my daughter first had her cardiac arrest.  As I watched the medical team perform CPR and other heroic measures on her for hours, I clung to what faith I could muster, called people to pray, and watched, helpless and terrified.  As we endured haunting trauma and near death experiences in the hospital, my faith got a workout.  I began to exercise that muscle.  I learned to declare scripture over her.  I learned to pray with authority.  I began to understand what it meant to “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).  When she had brain surgery 11 months later, I handed her over to the surgeon and prayed with all the strength God had given me.  I knew I had promises from Him about her future so I refused to let fear of the unknown get the best of me.  And God met me there, in that hospital room, in an amazing way.  He lifted me into a place of supernatural peace as we waited for her return.  Now, another 10 months later, we’ve received very surprising news about her leg.  The potential ramifications are huge, but, by the grace of God, I don’t feel that same panic like before.  I certainly have moments where fear tries to grip me but I cling to the resolve that I have seen my God perform miracles and I know He will do it again.  Through the stretching of faith, we learn to leave these details with God…in His timing and in His way.  The situation is very scary and there are a lot of uncertainties.  I am aware of all the ways this could go badly.  But I’m also aware of all the ways God can show up and do something astonishing.

Abraham walked many tests of faith throughout his life.  He left his home to go to a new land, by faith, even though he didn’t know where God was leading him.  He had faith in God that Sarah would bear a child even though she was well past childbearing age.  And when Abraham was tested, he had faith to obey God’s command to sacrifice his only son, even though this was the son from whom his promised descendants would come.  Abraham reasoned, through faith, that God could even raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill His promise (Hebrews 11:8-19).  Each time he stepped out in trust, his faith was stretched.  Each time He saw God come through, His faith grew.

Faith is strengthened through trials.  This testing may leave us feeling stretched and broken but, just like a muscle, we heal and repair stronger than before.  When we hold firm to God’s promises, no matter how bleak the situation may appear, and we trust Him through the storm, we come out on the other side victorious.  Regardless of the circumstances, learning to put our faith in God, in His plans, and in His deliverances, will bring us into a life full of His peace and less fearful of trials.  Fear cripples so many of us and we want to avoid the storm.  But, I have found that it’s in the storms where we finally “sink our teeth” into our faith in God.  With that increase in faith, God can do more amazing things through our lives.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:16

Faith, to God, is paramount.  It is by grace we are saved, through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  Without faith in the One who saves us, we have nothing.  And, since faith is so important to God, it is tested.  It must have opportunity to stretch and grow.  It must be refined and emerge purer and stronger.  This stronger faith enables us to walk through life without the grip of fear.  We know trials will come, but we also know that our God is greater than all of it.  We are His children and He will not abandon us!  He is working out so much good, for us and for His glory!

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1 Peter 1:6-7

Sometimes the trials we endure are beyond what we can handle in our human strength.  God is so faithful to give us HIS strength and HIS grace, if we choose to look to Him as our source.  This stretching and strengthening of faith is so hard but it is so beautiful.  Be encouraged!  He has overcome with world (John 16:33)!

Love and blessings,

Jody

Staying Connected

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

The other day we were teaching at one of our schools when Dale went to use his phone and noticed that battery was almost drained. Apparently it had not been charging overnight.  It was basically useless. What good is a phone if the battery is dead?

Our lives are like that. We need to take the time each day to stay connected to our source of power, to be filled and recharged and stay connected to Him. He is our source of power.  How he wants to have relationship with us. I was reading this verse the other day and this verse sort of jumped out at me, even though I have read this Psalm multiple times.

Psalm 27:8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

But sometimes we get busy and our quiet time gets pushed aside or put on a back burner or something we do eventually when or if we have time. I have noticed in my own life that when I get out of my normal routine, like for instance summer when I can sleep in a little or when we have an extra busy week that I don’t spend as much time as I once did because of all things I need to get done that day or my busy schedule.

Lisa Whittle says in her book,” I want God.”  “In the everyday moving stream of life, even we who love God the very most get swept up the rushing current of jobs, parenting, school, carpool, laundry, vacations, and yes even ministries.  As we are numbly floating at a swift pace, it is only the occasional debris—a scary health diagnosis, a relationship wound, an injustice on the TV news—which obstructs us long enough to notice that we haven’t talked to God or paid much attention to Him in quite a while and man, now we could sure use His help moving forward.  We want Him to please hurry and get us unstuck so we can keep up with our to -do list. We act like children, stomping our feet and carrying on when He doesn’t hurry as fast as we think He should. And we wonder, lying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling fan, why God seems to like everyone else better. Our selfishness blinds us to what has become of us as we have drifted down the stream of life: We have turned into the Isrealites.  And God, who has been the always- faithful Father to us (Psalm 86:15) mourns and weeps that we have moved away from Him to the point that our love has become divided, tarnished, forgotten. He won’t stop being faithful, not will He stop loving, but He will still grieve.”

We have an enemy who will conveniently make sure that we stay busy and don’t have time to charge our spiritual battery because he doesn’t want us to be effective. He was us to be powerless and unconnected with our batteries drained. How can we withstand when the enemy attacks us…and he will… if we are unconnected?   If we don’t plug in to our source of power, we will be powerless. Vulnerable.

1 Peter 5:8, 9a Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stan firm against him and be strong in your faith.

John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot bear fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

Even Jesus spent time alone with His father.  His cousin, John the Baptist had just been beheaded. He tried getting away, to be alone but the crowd followed him and instead of just sending them away, he had compassion on them and healed those who were sick and then later that day fed 5000 men, not including all the women and children.  I am sure he would have been tired and weary and heavy hearted.  Yet, He knew where to go to be filled. He knew where to go to find strength.

Mathew 14:23 After sending them home, he went up to the hills by himself to pray. Night fell when he was there alone.

So, I close this by encouraging you to find that time each day to stay connected to Him. Don’t let your spiritual battery drain. Don’t let the distractions of every day get in the way of spending time with the One who loves you and wants to spend time with you. The One who wants you to remain connected  to Him.

John 15:5b For apart from me, you can do nothing.

Forgive

Written by: Conny Varga

Forgive. It’s a word that stirs up a lot of emotions and mixed reactions. We may think of some hurt we inflicted on others, cringing every time we remember. Maybe this word reminds us of hurtful things others did to us, and all the memories of the incidents come flooding back.

The truth is: Forgiveness is a tough topic!

Thankfully, the Bible has much to say about it. When Jesus came to earth, He taught it in unmistakeable terms.

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matt 18:21-22)

Jesus also had some warnings for us: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matt. 6:14-15)

How do you feel when you hear the word “forgive”? What thoughts come to your mind? Do you remember times when you’ve been wronged? Maybe repeatedly, by the same people? Do those memories cause you to be angry or even bitter against the other party? Have they caused you to withdraw from others, to build a wall around your heart lest it be hurt again? Have you been sinned against so greatly that you find it impossible to forgive? Maybe you feel more like a super-saint because you have been wronged more than any other person you can think of, and you are quite impressed with yourself and how well you’ve toughed it out. You might even find yourself repeatedly bringing up those injustices in conversations with third parties, highlighting you as a “suffer-with-good-cheer” type of hero. The truth is, you still haven’t really forgiven.

Whatever your answer, look to Jesus. He not only taught us whom to forgive, how often to forgive, and how freely to forgive, He showed us by example what forgiveness looks like. When God watched His only Son being betrayed, captured, abandoned, tortured, mocked, stripped of His dignity, and finally killed, He could have been bitter against a lot of people. Jesus’ friends, family, the religious leaders, king Herod, the Romans, even the criminal on the cross who mocked Him. If those same sins were committed against any of us, we might consider them unforgiveable, inexcusable. But God forgave even when the offending party was not remorseful, did not see their error, and even acted against Jesus maliciously.

He leaves us another example in the pages of the Bible: when He forgives, He will never bring the offense up again – ever! Not to you, and not to others. He doesn’t brag about how often we sinned against Him and how many times He’s had to forgive us. He doesn’t hold a grudge or withdraw from us. When God forgives, He chooses to forget.

In Ephesians 4:32, Paul instructs us: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” If God, through Jesus, forgave all of us, yes, even the very people who killed Him, then we must do the same! Forgive and forget!

C.S. Lewis made a compelling statement: To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

May we all find the courage and strength in Jesus to live out this statement, following in our Saviour’s footsteps. Forgiveness is not easy. At times, it feels more painful that the wound we suffered, to forgive the one who inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

May we find freedom and peace in the forgiveness we extend to others!

My Testimony

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

For many years, growing up in the church, I was embarrassed to share my personal testimony of faith.  I had heard countless dramatic testimonies of salvation and life transformation that my very basic testimony seemed to pale in comparison.  Struggles with drugs overcome, ruined relationships restored, negative lifestyle choices abandoned, all for the sake of the cross.

Until one day it dawned on me; the fact that I was able to remain in Christ, my whole life, was a huge testament to God’s incredible grace and His faithfulness to the Godly heritage gone on before me. I became very thankful to Jesus for his mercy and love that I began to proclaim his providence in my life to those who would hear of it.

With that stated, I would like to share my testimony with you, Daughters, and give glory to my Lord and Saviour for His work in my life, and that of my family!

I was born in Grand Falls-Winsor, Newfoundland to a father from Peterborough, Ontario and a mother from Newfoundland.  They met at Eastern Pentecostal Bible College in Peterborough and were married in their final year of school.  Before my birth, my parents pastored a few churches before my father took a career in radio.  Due to the nature of his career we lived in several cities during my childhood years.

In all the places we lived my parents were always very active in the churches we attended, involved in quite literally every ministry department going.  As children, my younger sister and I equally spent many hours working in the church and actively participating in many of the programs offered.  As a family we loved God first, took care of each other second and served Him in our church and community third…these were the priorities I grew up with and have brought into my life as an adult.

I gave my life to Christ when I was five years old, one night after a church service, in Newfoundland.  I had been in the service that night with the adults and heard the pastor talk about heaven and our need to know Jesus in order to get there.  When I went to bed, and my mother was tucking me in, I expressed to her that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart so that I could be with Him in heaven.  She led me in a prayer and I became a follower of Christ, serving Him ever since.

At ten years old I realized my need to be baptized in water, to make my walk with Jesus known to the greater believing community and to ask for their prayers for me as I grew.  That realization shortly became a reality and I can remember that wonderful moment to this day when I declared that Jesus was my Lord.

During my teen years I desperately wanted to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues.  This began a learning process in my life that took several years.  At first, I wanted to simply speak in tongues.  It was the next logical step in my walk with God, a formula so to speak.  I was seeking the gift, the formula, and not the giver of the gift.

As the years progressed, with many disappointing trips to the altar, I learned to focus on the giver and simply rest in His presence; to know Him better; to ask Him for direction in prayer; to relinquish the control to Him; to follow His lead and the tongues would come in His time.  And they did.  And it’s awesome!  I am still learning this gift given, but know that it is through intercession that the Holy Spirit moves in my life in this manner.  It is with Him that I grow in my walk with Christ and navigate this life on earth.

I love the Lord with all of my heart and I am honoured that He has blessed me with a wonderful Godly husband and two great children.  We, as a family, have devoted our lives to His work and ministry and will do so until the end.  It’s exciting to see where He will take us and how He will use us for His glory.  And I am thankful to have found my Saviour at such a young age and to have grown older with Him constantly at my side!

Daughters, never be embarrassed to share your testimony of faith and the good that the Lord is doing in your life!  Let’s share with others today!

Wisdom

Written by: Jody Mugford

“My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2:1-5

A trusted person in my life recently felt led of God to encourage me to study some portions of the book of Proverbs.  Although I’d read some parts of Proverbs before, up until now, I’d never really “studied or meditated” on it excessively.  So this has been some of my journey lately and I thought I would share one of my little revelations with you all.  Hopefully it will speak to your heart as well.

Wisdom…God’s wisdom.

I have prayed for God’s wisdom numerous times throughout my life, as many of you probably have as well.  I’ve asked for guidance when making big decisions, like school choices, relocating or applying for jobs.  I’ve asked for His direction with more intimate decisions like worship song choices when leading or how to discuss a sensitive subject with my spouse.  This portion of scripture, however, has begun a new awakening in me of the need to seek out God’s wisdom for so much more.  Yes, we need God’s guidance to make good decisions for our lives but I’m learning that it is so much greater than that!

“If you seek her (wisdom) as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.” (v.4-5)

God is asking us to seek after His wisdom, to cry out for it, to search for it like we would search for hidden treasure.  If you knew there was real treasure somewhere on your property, would you not turn over every stone looking for it?  Would you not check every crevice of your messy attic to find it?  God has hidden treasure for us, friends!  He is asking for us to cry out for His wisdom and discernment and to not stop seeking until we find it.  He promises to give us the understanding and knowledge we so desperately need.  The searching will lead to a greater awareness of who God truly is, a richer love and deeper intimacy with Him.

God is telling us that His wisdom goes far beyond His involvement in our decisions.  It goes beyond asking Him for help with our choices.  This is a life change!  I believe that if we adopted this kind of mindset, it would permeate and affect every part of our being.  To be actively seeking for God’s wisdom is to intentionally be open to His intervention, His direction and His vision.  He will begin a transforming work in the way we see our relationships, our careers, our interactions with strangers, our financial decisions, and more.  We will start to see all areas of our lives through His eyes and with His perspective.  We will glimpse the potential for greatness and also the dangers to avoid.  We will walk, step by step, hand in hand with God for His glory and perfect plan.  Wow…!

“For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.”

Proverbs 2:6-8

What an amazing promise in His Word!  God will guard the paths of those who seek after His wisdom, and preserve the way of those who follow His Word.

So how do we seek after God’s wisdom?  King Solomon writes that we are to:

Incline our ear to wisdom

Apply our heart to understanding

Cry out for discernment

Lift up our voice for understanding

Search as for hidden treasure

That is a lot of action!  King Solomon is trying to demonstrate that finding God’s wisdom is not accidental or a passive act.  We have to be intentional.  It involves prayer, time with God, prioritizing Him, meditating on His Word and obeying His instruction.  Verse 6 says that the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.  We can’t create this wisdom from our own intelligence.  God is not talking about our “common sense” here.  God GIVES us HIS wisdom when we seek it and it is often quite different than our own limited logic.  We find it when His Word (from His mouth) takes up residence in our hearts.  It will lead us down the path He has purposed for us and the promises that come with living life His way.  What peace, to know we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to do, living in purpose and love with our Lord!

Anyone up for this challenge?  Let’s set out to be transformed and live our lives in His perfect wisdom!

Love and blessings,

Jody

Needing to Take A Step Back

Written by: Cindy Morrone

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11

Hi, tired.

Have you forgotten? Like me.

In the throws of the everyday, have you disregarded how incredible you are? How miraculous your life is? Like me.

In meeting the demands of the things seen only in your line of vision have you lost your way?  Like me.

Answering, “Mom?!” Hearing your own nagging time and time again. Seeing the piles of laundry, bills and ‘things to work on.’

Has your view, your vision, your passions become entangled only in your circumstances?

Me too.

And then I remembered.

Our front porch that is used often was looking tired.  A fresh coat of paint on the door and window frames was in order.  It was my job to awaken the front door.

With all its nooks and crannies, I needed to pay close attention to the detail. And at all cost avoid any drips!

I started to get frustrated with the time and effort needed to repaint it.  Feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere real fast, I stepped back.

My perspective changed.

It was then that I realized my efforts were really starting to pay off.  I was making progress.  The difference was noticed as the dark rich colour took over the dullness of the worn paint underneath.

Beyond my front porch, when I took a step back, I remembered the miraculous deeds the Lord had already done in my life giving me hope for my present tiredness.

Like Asaph, the author of Psalm 77, I recalled Who the Lord is and how His mighty hand is always on me, I just needed to change my perspective. To see the forest for the trees.

I pray tired one; if you are like me that you too, will take this very moment to remember the miraculous ways the Lord has worked in your being; your life.

Together as we recall, I know we’ll find that our views, our visons, our passions will unravel, as a Monarch from her cocoon spreads her wings for new flights.

“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14

The Accident

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

A few days ago, Dale and I had a rather busy day of running around and doing errands. For some reason doing errands takes way longer than what you would normally anticipate, here in Honduras.  Our first errand was at the bank, where we needed a letter stating how long we have had our bank account here for the house we are going to be moving to. That alone took an hour and a half. Then we had to go to Elisa’s school, the team house and we had a few other things to accomplish.

Finally after being away from home since early that morning we made our way home a little after 3 in the afternoon. Suddenly Dale exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! That truck!”  I turned and looked out his window in time to see a transport truck speeding, and evidently coming right at us.  But at that moment he veered to the left and sailed over the median and into the oncoming traffic. The truck hit a man on a motorbike who went flying through the air and crumbled like a rag doll on the ground before it landed in the ditch on the other side. It was horrific. I don’t know that I will ever be able to shake the memory of that day from my mind.

We pulled over, as did a lot of other people. All of us were in a state of shock. I couldn’t stop crying. Dale was trembling. The paper said it was mechanical failure. The breaks had failed. Two people died that day, and it is a miracle that more people were not killed. It’s a busy highway and realistically more cars or busses should have been in the path of that truck. But they weren’t.

Another  thing is….a few seconds more,  and it could have been Dale and I that were taken out. He was so close to us. But at the last moment the truck flew over the median.  We were going around a curve in the road and there was no way the truck could have made it. At one point Dale looked at me and said, “That could have been us.”  And it’s so true. We clearly saw the Lord’s protection in that moment.  It was a very close call.

I am and always will be thankful for his protection and his hand upon our lives that day.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation—so why should I be afraid. The Lord is my fortress protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble.

We never know when our time will come. Things can happen so fast. In the blink of an eye, things can suddenly change. Unexpected things can and do happen.  Certain events can change the course of our lives.  Only God knows the number of our days, and when he will say our time on earth is done. It’s so important to be ready, to know where we are going should our time on earth come to a sudden end.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Maybe when we get to heaven God will show us how many times his hand diverted danger from our path.

James 4:14 How do you know that your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

The Trickster Gets Tricked!

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

I love the book of Genesis. I have studied the book a couple of times before, but this summer I find myself journeying through this beautiful book again.

This morning while doing my devotions I parked in the chapters that hold the story of Jacob and his brother Esau. In case your unfamiliar with the story I will catch you up. Jacob and his brother Esau are Isaac and Rebecca’s twin boys. Jacob was his mama’s favourite and the two of them tricked Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing that was actually intended for Esau (this was shortly after Jacob convinced Esau to trade his birthright in for a bowl of stew. Yes, your read that right! A bowl of STEW!)

When it was time for Jacob to take a wife he set his sights hard after Rachel. When he asked Rachel’s dad (Laban) for her hand in marriage, he agreed, with the condition that Jacob would first pay him with seven years of work in his fields. Completely smitten, Jacob agrees to this and works for Laban for seven years. When he completed this tall order he hurried to Laban and asked for his girl. Laban agreed and even threw a huge party to celebrate these nuptials—pretty sweet of him, right?! Except when it was time for Jacob and Rachel to consummate their marriage, Laban sent in his oldest daughter Leah instead. When Jacob woke up the next morning he looked into the eyes of Leah, not Rachael.

Oh, oh. Looks like the trickster got tricked!

Laban explained that he gave Jacob Leah first because it just wasn’t customary to marry off the younger daughter before the firstborn. He promised Jacob he could have Rachel as well if he served in his fields for another seven years. And get this—Jacob DID!

I think we can learn two very important things from this excerpt in Genesis. The first thing is this: You reap what you sow. That’s scriptural. Jacob was successful in swindling both his brothers birthright AND his blessing away from him. All that deception-sowing served him up a ripe ‘ol harvest of …you guessed it: deception. Make sure that what your sowing up is something you wouldn’t mind receiving yourself.

I think the second thing we can learn from these scriptures is: how impatient our culture has become with love and intimacy. I believe God is showing us here just how beautiful the wait can be. Friends, if you know a young person and you have an opportunity to share the beauty of the wait—please, I urge you to do so.

We must be ever so cautious not give up something of immeasurable value for something mediocre.


I’d love to hear what scriptures you are reading now and how they are speaking to you. Please share in the comments below 🙂