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Mentoring For All Seasons…By Janet Thompson

Mentoring For All Seasons

I grew up in Southern California where, with few seasonal exceptions, the weather was consistent year round—sunny and beautiful. Sunny and hot with morning fog near the beach in summer. Sunny and warm with occasional Santana winds in the fall. Sunny with a few storms, rain, and overcast days in the winter, when the temperatures might dip into the 60’s. Sunny and colorful in the spring. Those were our seasons.

Then we moved to Idaho where we have four extremely distinct and different seasons, each one lasting about three months, except last winter’s snow went from November until a few snow days in April! The biggest difference I’ve noticed about the four climate “seasons,” is that the year seems to fly by in Idaho!

We’re continually coming out of one season and going into the next completely different season—a great metaphor for our life seasons. Many of you have experienced the blessing of having a mentor in the changing seasons of your life, or long for a mentor to help you through a new life season. That’s when those with experience in a life season can reach out and offer counsel, support, prayer, and God’s wisdom to a woman in a season we’ve experienced. Mentoring is that easy.

When we moved to Idaho from Southern California, we had never lived in the rural mountains year round. We had a lot to learn and there was always someone willing to mentor us; all we had to do was ask and be receptive to what they had learned from living here. Now that we’re a bit “seasoned,” we can help others moving here too.

So that’s my challenge to all of us, let’s look for those women and young girls God puts in our path and share what we’ve learned from our life experiences and how God and His Word helped us and will help them too in whatever life season they’re going through now. And if you’re going through a difficult life season or are new in your faith, ask God to help you find a mentor. Mentoring for All Seasons encourages women to intentionally share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. I’m not just talking about women; we need to mentor our tweens and teens too!

Mentees come from all walks and seasons of life, ages, and spiritual maturity. Even if a mentor doesn’t share the exact life experience of her mentee, the mentor can provide spiritual guidance, do research, and pray about how to address the specific issues her mentee is encountering. Some mentees might even be seekers or brand new believers who need to know how to live as Christian women today.

In Mentoring for All Seasons, sixty-five women share their mentor or mentee testimonies, along with my own personal experiences, helpful tips, and suggestions will guide women in how to connect and nurture each other through mentoring relationships, as a mentor or a mentee from tweens to twilight years. There are Scriptures for each season to help guide the discussion to God’s Word. Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does!

I pray for Holy Spirit inspiration for some women to become mentors. I pray for courage for others to take a step of faith and seek out a mentor. I pray for all to enjoy the blessings of trusting God and watching how he honors your obedience to becoming Titus 2:3-5 women.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of nineteen books including her latest, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness, available at all Christian bookstores, online book stores, Amazon, and signed by Janet at her website store, where you can see more of her books.

She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet and her husband Dave relocated their empty nest from Orange County, California to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and they love watching the deer frolic in their yard.

Sign up for Janet’s Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.

You can also visit Janet on Facebook and on LinkedIn 

A heartfelt thank you to Janet for sharing with us today.  I hope you have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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Woman to Woman…Bathsehba

 

Bathsheba is the next woman in the lineage of Jesus listed in Matthew 1.  I hope you are enjoying the Woman to Woman series and the lessons we can learn from the women in the Bible.

Bathsheba is not mentioned by name in Matthew 1. She is referred to as Solomon’s mother and Uriah’s wife. Though her name is not mentioned, she is no less important than the other women who are listed. One of the important things to note is that she is the wife of Uriah who was one of David’s men. Uriah had gone off to battle, and while lounging on his roof, David sees a beautiful woman bathing on her roof.  I am not sure if she knew the king would be watching or if it was totally innocent. David asks his men to find out who she is and even though they bring him back the news that she is married, he sends for her anyway so that he can sleep with her.

Not a good idea, David! That one moment of lust starts a domino effect…

Bathsheba ends up pregnant from their escapade and David is afraid his sin of adultery will be discovered. He calls Uriah back from the battlefield and tells him to go home to his wife.  Seriously, David?

King David thinks if Uriah sleeps with his wife Uriah will think the baby is his. But that backfires because Uriah is a loyal soldier and chooses to stay in the palace with his king rather than go home to his wife. That leads to yet another attempt to cover up his sin. David orders Uriah to be sent to the front line in hopes he will be killed. When Uriah dies, David marries Bathsheba and they have a son. Growing up, my mom always said if you lie you will get caught and that is exactly what happened. Nathan the prophet confronts David about his sin and David repents asking God for forgiveness. There is a consequence for their sin, their child dies.

God, however, blesses Bathsheba and David with another child and they name him Solomon and he is loved by God.

When we look at the story of Bathsheba and King David we see that though God can always forgive, there will still be consequences for our sinful choices. We all fall short from time to time, but when we repent, God forgives us. Yes, there will be consequences but God is good and there is always something so much better ahead than what we leave in our past.

Have a Simply Blessed day and I hope you take a moment to read the whole story of Bathsheba and David in 2 Samuel 11 and 12

Next week we’ll finish our look at the women of Matthew 1 and look at Mary the mother of Jesus.

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Ruth

Welcome back to the Woman to Woman Series.  We are making our way through Matthew 1 and today we will be looking at Ruth. She is the only lady listed in the Mathew 1 that has her own book in the Bible.

Ruth is the daughter-in-law of Naomi who left Bethlehem with her husband to live in Moab because there was a famine. Naomi had two sons and one of them married Ruth. Sadly, Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah all lose their husbands and Naomi decides to return to her homeland.

Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law and chooses to go with her to a land the she doesn’t know, to live with people who serve a God she is not familiar with. The book of Ruth is full of so many treasures. But before I share some of the gems found in her story, I would love to have you read the book of Ruth on your own first.  Here is a link to get you there…RUTH

Now that you read the story of Ruth, let’s dig in and look at some hidden treasures…

Gem #1: Ruth is a Moabite and that piece of information is where we will find our first hidden gem. Do you remember the story of Lot in Genesis? Lot ends up hiding with his daughters, after his wife is turned to stone, while running from Sodom and Gomorrah. His daughters get him drunk and sleep with him so that they will not be without children. Both of them become pregnant and the eldest daughter names her son “Moab” and he becomes the father of the Moabites. This angers God and in Deuteronomy 23 it states that the Moabites are excluded from the assembly. In other words, no Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. (Scholars say that the term 10th generation is another way of saying forever). Ruth is a Moabite which means she has been excluded from the assembly of God. But by the grace of God, she is named in the lineage of Jesus. That just goes to show us all that there is no end to God’s forgiveness and redemption.

Gem #2: Boaz is a Kinsman Redeemer. Let me give you a little explanation.

As you read in the book of Ruth she meets Boaz, a rich landowner and relative of Naomi. He is strong and powerful and I think it was love at first sight. Naomi knows that Ruth must find a home for herself and someone to provide for her and when she realizes that Boaz has found favor in Ruth, she instructs her about what to do.

She tells Ruth that Boaz is a family member (a Kinsman). Next she instructs Ruth to wash and perfume herself and to go where he will be. Naomi also tells her to not let Boaz see her until he has had food and drink. Ruth is obedient and does exactly what Naomi tells her to do. She quietly goes to Boaz and uncovers his feet.  He wakes to find a woman lying at his feet and he asks, “Who are you. (I am guessing it must have been very dark or maybe she had her head covered.)

Ruth tells Boaz who she is and asks him to spread the corner of his garment over her because he is her

“Kinsman Redeemer”. A Kinsman Redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws, had the privilege or responsibility to act for a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need of vindication. Just as Boaz is Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer, Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer.

Christ identifies Himself with us and He redeemed us because of our need. (Jesus is not only our redeemer from sin He is also kinsman to us). We are part of the family of God and Jesus understands our struggles. He is truly able to help us in our time of need. Like Ruth found her Kinsman Redeemer, we have found ours.  Just as Ruth was covered by Boaz’s garment, as a sign that he would redeem her and protect her, we have been covered by the blood of Christ.

Gem #3: Ruth’s grandson would become the great-grandfather of David, a man after God’s own heart and a hero to the people of Israel. Not only was she no longer excluded from the assembly of God, she is now counted by name in the lineage of Jesus.

The story of Ruth is such a beautiful story of God’s grace and provision. I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful treasures that are found in the story of Ruth. You are worthy to call yourself a child of God and you are deeply loved by Jesus who laid down His life for you.

Next week we will look at Bathsheba.

Have a blessed day.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

 

 

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Woman to Woman…Rahab

Welcome back to the Woman to Woman series.  So far we have looked at Abigail and now we are making our way through the women of Matthew 1. This week we are looking at the second woman in Matthew 1, Rahab, who unlike Tamar she was actually a prostitute.

Her story begins in the book of Joshua. Joshua sent two men secretly to go and view the land, especially Jericho. When they got to the city they came to the house of Rahab and they lodged with her. The King of Jericho came to her house and told Rahab to bring the men out who had entered her home. Rahab told the king that the men were there but they had left and that if he hurried, he would find them and over take them.

After the king and his men left Rahab who was hiding the men says,

 I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt”. Joshua 2:9

Rahab knew this God they served. She acknowledged what He could do and that He was the one true God. That was a statement of her faith in God. I love her boldness in what she says next. She says, “Because I have dealt kindly with you, please deal kindly with me”. She then goes on to ask that they would save her family. They make an oath with her and tell her that when they come back to the land, no harm will come to her or her family as long as they do not leave her house.

In order to leave without being caught, the men lower themselves with a rope through the window. Not just any rope, a red rope or a scarlet cord. It was a symbol of her lifestyle, a glaring reflection of her sin for all to see. Ever heard of the red-light-district? It has the same meaning. With the cord that showed her sin, she saved the men of God.

Before they left the men told her to gather her family into her house and when they came into the land to hang the scarlet cord in her window. In a class I took at Portland Bible College, my professor mentioned that she had to go and get her family. He pointed out that they most likely did not associate with her. Still, she cared so much for them she risked her life to save them.

The cord and her faith in whom God would save not only her, but her whole family. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the cord that saved her is the same color as the blood that saves us.

Rahab was a Gentile and a prostitute but she was credited for her faith. 

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

Besides being an example of what it means to have faith, Rahab is also the perfect example of God’s love being big enough to forgive our sin no matter what it is. It is my hope that you too will have the faith of Rahab and that you will always remember that God is so much bigger than the mistakes you may have made. When we leave our past in the past and put our faith in God we will find forgiveness and a new beginning.

Rahab would in time marry Solomon. They had a son named Boaz. Boaz would become the kinsman redeemer in the life of the woman we will look at next week. Her name is Ruth. To read Rahab’s whole story read Joshua 2

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Don’t Go Through Life Naked…By Susan Mead

There is a culprit…

And he comes to steal, kill and destroy each one of us, yet many of you are totally unaware of him, his timing, tactics and tendencies to take you out when you are down. It is time to take him out of your life.

In today’s world, where a generation – or two – is more absorbed and intrigued by the paranormal than the supernatural power of God, it is harder than ever for us to realize – or communicate – there is a culprit with an agenda to steal, kill and destroy us. Yes, all of us.

How can this be, you ask? We pray to God when we remember, if we remember, or dare I ask, if we even know to pray to the God of all creation?

For many of you have unwittingly created a standing invitation to the enemy with wide-open access points. Like open doors to your homes, there are open doors to your souls.

Here’s the deal. The enemy loves an open invitation to step into your life, wreaking havoc. And the one who enters may be that sneaking thief, that serial killer, or that defiant destroyer of old – with a legion of foul fiends – laughing at the easiness with which they distract, deceive and destroy you…and others you dearly love.

When was the last time you heard prayer for protection on the playground, at the ballpark, over the speaker at school, on TV, or in the halls of justice? When was the last time you EXPECTED an answer, an immediate answer, to the prayer, if you heard one prayed?

Yet there is a book that answers your growing desire to be shielded from the enemy of your life. The very best book is the Bible – the very Word of God, yet Don’t Go through Life Naked: How to Clothe Yourself in God’s Power focuses on scripture with new insight and revelation that is easy to implement.

Don’t Go through Life Naked has been designed to help you resolve your daily battleground questions and help you equip or re-equip your war room with powerful prayer strategies and tactics. This book is for people who feel overwhelmed, outwitted and under resourced for the good fight of faith. Your faith is there – yet so is the enemy! And he’s gotta go…

Remember, Jesus himself tells us in Revelation 16:15, “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

Are you ready?

About Susan B. Mead:

With over 22 years in corporate American, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelf, an MBA and a Certificate of Ordination hanging on the wall, as well as a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan B Mead shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships. A master storyteller and award winning, best selling author, Susan leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world. Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

Connect with Susan on her website at SusanBMead.com where she writes each Friday, on Facebook and Twitter where she posts daily inspiration or on Amazon where her award-winning book, Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace and her newest book, Don’t Go Through Life Naked: How to Clothe Yourself in God’s Power, is available.

Are you looking for a free mini-course to deepen your faith? Text DanceWithJesus (all one word) to 444-999, then reply with your email to receive 6 days of Biblical encouragement.

 

A heartfelt thank you to Susan for sharing with us today.  To order her books simply click on the book titles above. Have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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Woman to Woman…Tamar

Tamar, the is 1st woman listed in Matthew:1 (The Genealogy of Jesus). Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was married to his oldest Son Er who was evil in the sight of God and put to death. By Levirate rights/law Er’s brother Onan must take her for a wife and once again she finds herself treated in a disrespectful way.

Levitate Rights: Tamar Had these rights but was not allowed to claim them for herself because of what Onan did to her. The law said if a married man died without children, it was the duty of the brother or other near relative to marry the widow. The son of the union would be reckoned to be the son of the first husband. Onan knew if he made a child with her, that child would get an inheritance that was the right of his brothers child. With his brother gone, he and his children would be able to claim the right of the first-born. That meant he used Tamar for sex but Scripture says that he let his semen spell on the ground. For a Jewish woman it meant disgrace and people thought being childless was a punishment from God.

God than puts Onan to death because of how he treats Her. She was promised to be married to Judah’s 3rd son who was very young. Tamar is now left waiting for the third son to grow up. Two husbands have died for treating her so poorly.  One used her. She had no children, and that was looked down on. Now she is waiting for a boy to grow up and she is not sure he will become her husband.

Eventually Judah’s wife dies and Tamar takes matters into her own hands. She dresses as a prostitute and sits by the road waiting for Judah to pass. He thinks she is a prostitute and has sex with her. He promises her a payment but she asks for his signet, cord and staff to hold until payment is brought. They are Judah’s seal. In other words they are ancient version of our personal ID. They are how he would prove his identity and now she has them in her hands. Judah sends a friend with her payment in exchange for his things. She is gone… 3 months later she is pregnant and Judah wants her burned for her sin. Judah asks her by whom are you pregnant? “By the man whom these belong, I am pregnant” she says, as she shows him his possessions.

Tamar got justice for herself. According to the law she had rights but her means of achieving those rights were extreme and not my right to judge. She fought for her inheritance and in her we see how important it is for us to also fight for what is ours. By that I mean our spiritual inheritance. We are daughters of the one true God, heirs in Christ and we should let nothing take that from us. God rewarded Tamar’s tenacity and determination with the birth of sons. One became an ancestor of King David, Israel’s great hero. She is counted in the genealogy of Jesus. You my sister are also worthy to call yourself part of God’s family.

To see Tamar’s full story, read Genesis:38

Until next week,

May you be Simply Blessed.

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…You are Worthy

Welcome back to my Woman to Woman series…Lessons from the women of the bible

Last week I started our women to women series by looking at Abigail. Over the next several weeks I would like to look at five women who are the perfect example of God’s forgiveness and provision. In these five women will see that we to are worthy to call ourselves daughters of God. The enemy loves to fill us with lies. Satan wants us to think that we are not worthy and that God could never use us because of past mistakes.

It is my hope that the women of Matthew 1 will allow you to throw the lies the enemy has feed you out the window. Matthew 1 is a record of the genealogy of Jesus and four of the women are named and the fifth who is not named is said to be the wife of wife of Uriah.

Three of the women where gentiles: Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. I believe the fact that women were listed in the genealogy of Jesus, and that three were gentiles shows Gods love is for all of us. At the time it was written women did not have a lot worth in society. Mathew 1 shows us that God’s grace is not limited to just men or to only the people of Israel. God’s grace is for each of.

Today I am going to ask you to read Matthew 1: 1-17 and make a note of the women listed and dig in a little on your own. Next week we will dig in and look at Tamar. In each of these five women there is a lesson and I am so excited to share with you what God has shown me as I have gotten into his word.

Until next week ladies (and any men who may be reading this), May you be Simply Blessed

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Abigail

Today I am starting off my “Woman to Woman” Series. Over the next several weeks I will be looking at women of the bible and what we can learn from them.  Anger and revenge. Two ugly things that can trip us all up and I love this lesson from a very wise woman named Abigail

Abigail (1 Samuel 25) is the wife of Nabal. He was a very wealthy man but he was not very kind. While in the wilderness, David came upon Nabal and he sends his men to greet him and wish him health and a long life. Nabal’s response toward David and his men was very rude and David becomes angry. In his anger, David wants to kill Nabal. Abigail hears from a servant what her husband had done and because she was a wise woman she acts quickly. She gathered bread, wine and other foods. With her servants going before her, Abigail goes to meet David and offer him a proper greeting. When she finds David, she falls to her knees and pleads with David not to get blood on his on his hands. Abigail is explaining to David that she understands his anger but she wisely lets David know that he should not kill her husband because it will leave blood on his hands. She directs him to trust The Lord and to keep his hands clean. David listens to her wisdom and he does not seek revenge. About 10 days later Abigail’s husband, who’s heart was hardened, dies.  We can all learn from Abigail’s example. When anger and the sense of revenge hits us we need to remember that we should not take things into our own hands. Ask God to remove your anger by replacing it with joy. You’re not saying that what was done to you was right or that it should be excused.

Give the pain to God and ask Him to take care of things as he sees fit. Please understand I am not asking you to pray that God will end their life. I am asking you to tell God that you cannot live a life filled with anger no matter how righteous it is. Tell Him that you trust Him to deal with those who hurt you. Keep praying for God to help you let go of the anger because hanging on to it allows what they did to control you.

This is something that you may have to address over and over because the enemy doesn’t want to see you move forward in victory. Take your battle stance and don’t allow him a stronghold. Have a simply blessed day and let Abigail be a reminder to never take revenge into your own hands. If you have time today please read 1 Samuel 25

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) at christianbooks.com

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Learning Never Ends

Photo Credit J. Holesworth

We teach our children and they also go to school to learn.  The learning or the instruction should not stop at the school or within our homes.

Learning does not end when we become adults. Daily we should be seeking the wisdom and instruction of God. He is the greatest teacher. Jesus was also called Rabbi or teacher. The lessons God has for us never end. We have to be willing to learn and grow or we will miss what he is teaching us. No matter how old we are we all need a teacher, a Rabbi, God…and we should never stop listening to His instructions for our life. We should be digging into our text book…the Bible. And we need to do so on a regular basis.

I love psalm 119:33,34 in the Message transition:

God, teach me lessons for so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—my whole life one long, obedient response.

Lord, today I pray that whoever reads this will seek to learn from you. That they will open their bible and dig in. I pray that daily they will learn from you and find lessons from you in the most unexpected things. Thank you for being our teacher and for always wanting to help us grow in wisdom. Amen

Remember that learning does not end just because you are an adult.

Have a Simply Blessed day:)

 

For more daily encouragement take a look at my 31-day devotional Simply Blessed on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel

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Keep Moving Forward

Photo Credit J. Holesworth

Life is not always butterflies and rainbows There will be times of pain. In those times we can look to the one constant thing…God. He will walk through the fire with us. When we turn to His word we find truth. It is the truth of His word that we will be encouraged to keeping moving forward even when we feel like stopping.

Scripture tells us:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire , you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2 NASB

If you are walking through something painful, you are not alone. God is with you. You just need to trust Him. He loves you so much that he sent his only son to die for you. Hold tightly to Him and keep moving forward.

Have a Simply Blessed day.

For more of my heartfelt daily encouragement order my 31-day devotional Simply Blessed. Order today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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