When a Man Loves a Woman

Years ago, at a grocery store in Louisiana, Percy Sledge was checking out in front of me. Percy Sledge sang the 1966 hit song, “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He was smiling and very friendly, chatting with those around him. I wished I had asked Percy Sledge to sing a few lines from his #1 hit song, but I didn’t think of that at the time. I bet he would have done it.

The first few lines of the song goes like this:

When a man loves a woman
recordCan’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong…

 

Pastor Warren Johnson preached a good sermon on the Bible story of Jacob and his love for Rachel. I got the idea for this post from his sermon.

The Bible story of Jacob and Rachel is what I would term, “romantic.” When Jacob saw Rachel, it was love at first sight. No one can deny that! Jacob was smitten with that first encounter. He immediately jumped into action. Even though Jacob was a homebody, Jacob was no wimp. He sheepremoved the heavy, great stone off the well and watered all Rachel’s sheep. Could Jacob have been showing off a little to impress Rachel?

“And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.” Genesis 29:9-11

The Hebrew meaning of “saw” is “to gaze upon.” Jacob literally could not Rachel and Jacobtake his eyes off of Rachel.

Just like the song, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” Jacob could not keep his mind on anything else. Notice Jacob’s reaction. He kissed Rachel and then wept loudly. Now, that is an unusual reaction when meeting a lady, wouldn’t you say? Why all the weeping?

Jacob’s family had sent him to find a wife amongst their relatives. In the preceding chapter, Jacob had just got right with God. Right after his experience with God, Jacob met beautiful Rachel. I think Jacob wept, because he was so overcome with joy at how God rewarded him with Rachel. He seemed to know that Rachel would be his future bride.

Our Engagement Photo 1978
Our Engagement Photo 1978

Last week, my husband shared with our Sunday School class how he and I met. Barry and I met at a Bible Study in college. I could tell Barry was interested in me, when I approached him to ask if the empty chair next to him was taken. Barry tells others, “In college, God rewarded me, when I got right with Him, by sending Linda into my life.” Aww!  Every time Barry says those words, I am humbled, because I know there have been times when I have not acted very much like a reward.

Pastor Warren wisely said that publicly acknowledging your love for your spouse is one way to safeguard your marriage from others.

It was quite clear to all the people that Jacob was head over heals about Rachel. We are to portray our love and attraction for our spouse to others, so they will say, “After all these years, those two are still crazy about each other.”

roses
Jacob was smitten with Rachel. He talked to her father about marrying Rachel. Rachel’s father wanted Jacob to work for him for 7 years. Jacob labored for love. Jacob was willing to wait 7 years in order to marry the love of his life. Wow! Seven years is 2556.7 days!  This is the most beautiful part of their love story: “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” Genesis 29:20

Those are some of the most romantic words ever penned.

Love~Something to think about: How do we talk about our spouse in front of others? Do others know we are still madly in love with our spouse? If we desire for our spouse to speak well of us in public, what changes in our marriage do we need to make?  “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22

As we continue to read the Scriptures, we see that Rachel had Jacob’s love. Nevertheless, she was discontent and spiritually insensitive. How easy it is to become discontent when we are not walking close with the Lord!

  • Learn to get wisdom from daily reading God’s Word. Cry out to Him for His wisdom in your marriage.
  • Learn to bask in the living Presence of God. We can’t read the Bible all day, but our constant Companion is with us each step of the way.

marriage~Today, let us look around and count our blessings. After salvation, I hope we all list our husband as the #1 blessing from the Lord. Let us consider treating our husband as #1 blessing~ a priceless pursuit.

After all, your husband chose you out of all the others to be his bride.

Family Visit

Our family came to visit us for 11 days! It was extra special, because Barry’s 83-year-old mother and our sister-in-law, Bakey flew in too. Thank you, Bakey for taking our family photo.

Brandon and family arrived first. Since we live so close to the beach, they took a mini vacation there. We gladly kept our three grandchildren while they were vacationing.  A wagon ride around the block was on our agenda.

Triston, Chandler, Sterling 012I love how Triston put his arm around me.  He is so lovable.

 

Triston, Chandler, Sterling 003Playing in the back of Papa’s truck is always fun for the grandchildren.

Triston, Chandler, Sterling 009The twins wanted to play in the back of Papa’s truck too.

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 026The clubhouse that Dwayne built was enjoyed by all ages!

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 036Grandkids Kristen's Pics 072

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 041Grandkids Kristen's Pics 045Grandkids Kristen's Pics 055

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 064It was so cute to see these two-year-old cousins interact with one another.

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 133In the first floor of the clubhouse, the cousins were entertained by the old Disney cartoons. I fondly remember them from my childhood days. I guess you could say that I was entertained too.  Grandkids Kristen's Pics 139The Little Red Hen cartoon teaches children to have a good work ethic and to take initiative. I like cartoons that teach valuable lessons.  Don’t you?

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 102 Dwayne bounced the kids like popcorn and they loved it.

Back at the house, Barry’s Mom wanted to see our vegetable garden and flowers. Barry decided a ride on the lawnmower was the best way for her to sightsee.

Mamaw on lawn mowerAfter the lawn mower ride around the yard, Barry’s 83-year-old Mom jokingly said, “I came to visit, and they put me to work mowing the grass.” 🙂

Grandkids Kristen's Pics 266Barry’s mother and her youngest great grandchild, Dylan~

Someone Our Children Should Know~ Fannie Crosby

I have heard, “Next to the Bible, the most important book to own is the Hymn Book.”

Fannie Crosby was a hymn writer who authored more than 8000 hymns. She wrote so many hymns that she used pen names, so her name would not fill the entire hymn book above other names.

Fanny Crosby~birthplace“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

Fannie Crosby was not born blind.  These are her words: “When I was six weeks old, a slight cold caused inflammation of the eyes. Our usual doctor was away from home, so a stranger was called in. He recommended the use of hot poultices, which practically destroyed my sight. When this sad calamity became known, the unfortunate man thought it best to leave the neighborhood, and we never heard of him again.”

A few months after Fanny became blind, her dad died of an illness. Mercy Fanny Crosby and two younger sisters and Mrs. CrosbyCrosby, widowed at 21, hired herself out as a maid while Grandmother Eunice Crosby took care of little Fanny. Grandmother became an unforgettable, incredible influence on Fanny’s life.

Fanny’s grandmother took on the education of Fanny herself and became her eyes, vividly describing the physical world to Fanny. Grandmother’s careful teaching helped develop Fanny’s descriptive abilities. Grandmother read the Bible to Fanny, explaining it to her, emphasizing the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn’t learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge and wisdom.

At eight years of age, Fannie composed this little verse:

Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world contented I will be!
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t!
So weep or sigh because I’m blind, I cannot – nor I won’t.

A landlady of the Crosby’s also had an important role in Fanny’s development. Mrs. Hawley helped Fanny memorize the Bible, and often the young girl memorized five chapters a week. She knew the Pentateuch, the Gospels, Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms by heart. She developed a memory which amazed others.

Fanny CrosbyIn 1834, Fanny learned of the New York Institute for the Blind and knew this was the answer to her prayer for an education. She entered the school when she was twelve and went on to teach there for twenty-three years.

Romance came into the life of Fanny Crosby and she fell in love with another blind student named, Alexander VanAlstyne, who became a professor. On March 5, 1858, they were married. He was a musician and considered one of the finest organists in the New York area. Fanny was an excellent harpist, played the piano, and had a lovely soprano voice. They had one child, who went to be with the Lord as a baby.

Fanny started devoting her time to writing hymns. She would sometimes write 7 hymns a day. Whenever Fanny wrote a hymn, she prayed God would use it to lead many souls to Him. “It may seem a little old-fashioned, always to begin one’s work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration.”

In her own day, the evangelistic team of D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey effectively brought Fanny Crosby’s hymns to the people. Today, many of her hymns continue to draw souls to her Saviour for both salvation and comfort:  “Blessed Assurance,” “To God Be the Glory,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “Rescue the Perishing,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” and many more.

At 90, Fanny Crosby declared, “My love for the Holy Bible and its sacred truth is stronger and more precious to me at ninety than at nineteen.”

Asked about her long years, she said, “My secret to longevity is that I guard my taste, my temper and my tongue.”

“Don’t waste any sympathy on me. I am the happiest person living. How in the world could I have lived such a helpful life as I have lived if I had not been blind? I verily believe that God intended that I should live my days in physical darkness so that I might be better prepared to sing His praise and lead others from spiritual darkness into eternal light.  With sight, I would have been too distracted to have written thousands of hymns.” (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915)

Have we taught our children about Fanny Crosby? Fanny is a heroine of faith, an inspiration to us all and a person we should know! Don’t you agree?

Acorn Treats

Ready for Fall? What a fun Fall treat to eat and to get the kids involved in making! The Acorn Treats were a pretty centerpiece for our brunch, and the best part was…they tasted scrumptious.

This recipe is from Sydney McCauley, a Titus 2:3-5 teacher friend of mine.

Acorn Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (melted)
  • 48 milk chocolate kisses
  • 48 nutter butter bites
  • 48 semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Unwrap all chocolate kisses.
  2. In the microwave, melt 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips; stir until smooth.
  3. Spread the flat side of each kiss with a small amount of melted chocolate; immediately attach each to a cookie.
  4. Dip the mini chocolate morsel into the chocolate, then place on top of the Nutter Butter.
  5. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.

Enthusiasm Means, “God is in me!” Wow!

The photo is of our enthusiastic grandson, Bryant! Unwrapping his birthday present revealed his brand new big-boy Bible. The captured expression in the photo says it all!

At church this past Sunday, Barry and I shared our testimony of salvation and what God has done in our family! I get all excited and love telling my story of what God has done.

Today, I learned something new. I love learning something new about the Lord in His Word, because I want to know Him better.  I hope you get as excited about the true meaning of the word, “enthusiasm” as I did today.

The Greek origin of the word, enthusiasm was around 1570. Enthusiasm literally means “the God (en Theo) inside (iasm).” That is a real wow! I never knew that!

If you have been saved from your sins by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, He inhabits you.

God inside you = Enthusiasm!

Do we get “lit up” with enthusiasm thinking about the Lord inhabiting us?

Everywhere I go, the Lord goes with me.  He is my constant companion. The Lord walks with me, lives within me and goes ahead of me to prepare the way. Think about the Lord within you. Think about the Lord being with you everywhere you go. Ponder that extraordinary fact!  If we could just grab hold of this incredible truth, what a difference it would make in our lives. Jesus inhabits you! Jesus inhabits me! He lives within my heart! Wow!

Today’s reading is about how God has no pleasure in those who take Him for granted. Lord, may You renew a right spirit within me.

Bible Reading: Malachi 1:9-11

Malachi 1:9  And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:10  Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Mal 1:11  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Meditate on Scriptures for confidence
I love reading my Bible!

In this passage, God said He had no pleasure in the people. Why? Because they forgot who God was. They forgot the nature of God. Have I ever forgotten His nature? If we are not daily in His Word, seeking to know Him, then we will forget the nature of God.

Man gets and forgets, but God gives and forgives. Lord, when I am weak, thank you for being my strength. You work through those who acknowledge they are weak and are aware of their need for You.

We should daily give God honor, because He is our Father. Do we daily remember with enthusiasm that we are God’s child and He lives within?  I owe my Father honor! God is pleased with us when we give him honor.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828 gives this definition of honor. “to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore.”

Jesus said “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:23

bird
Heartless worship of the Lord is like a bird without a song.

How enthusiastic is our worship of the Lord! Heartless worship of the Lord is like a bird without a song.

Heartless worship is disgraceful and dishonoring to God because it is as if we are saying, “I am bored.”

Recognize the nobility of God. I am worshiping the King of kings. Worship is total surrender! Walking with the Lord should be a life filled with enthusiasm. Take time during the day to stop and remember “God is in me. I am filled with enthusiasm and adoration.”

Do we ever say to our children and others, “Let me tell you what the Lord has done?”  Jesus is no longer here on earth in the flesh, but He resides in each of us.  We are God’s billboard in our home. We are God’s billboard to the world.

Are we a boring billboard or an enthusiastic billboard of God’s goodness?

The definition of the word, Enthusiasm, “the God (en Theo) inside (iasm)” is a good lesson to teach our children.  When our children were home, I would learn a valuable lesson from studying God’s Word.  I would say with great excitement, “Let’s stop what we are doing, because I have something important to teach you.”  Then, my children would gather around and listen as I enthusiastically told them about what I learned from God’s Word.

I have many faults, but I don’t think my children can accuse me of being unexcited about God.  Enthusiasm is contagious and each of our children were saved at a young age, all praise to God. Parenting becomes much easier when God resides in each child.

Enthusiasm Begins at Home
Enthusiasm Begins at Home

Today, in everything you and I do, let us be aware that God is in us! God inhabits you and me. I am lit up with enthusiasm and ready to face my God-given day with Him as Lord of my life and with Him in my heart!

What kind of billboard will we be in our home today? Right now, let us, with enthusiasm, “Get all excited! Go tell all our family that Jesus Christ is Lord!” Enthusiasm begins at home. Since Christ died for us, why should we not live for Him?