Kaleidoscope Lives: Deborah {Abrupt Azure} and Jael {Wily White}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Deborah {Abrupt Azure} and Jael {Wily White}

KaleidoscopeTransacting the Proselytes

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Rolling her eyes, Deborah called to Barak. Like a coward, he was hiding in his house rather than leading the nation. “Didn’t God tell you to gather the army at Mt. Tabor to defeat Sisera? God promised that he would give you victory, but you are sitting idly!”

Barak sheepishly twisted his hands together. “I-if you come with me, I will go,” he stammered.

Deborah sighed. Why would this man not stand up and obey God? “Okay,” she said. “I will go, but you will not receive glory; the Lord will lead Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

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Days later, Sisera ran. He knew that the Hebrew army, which had just killed all of his soldiers, was on his heels, and he did not want to meet the same fate as his army. If he could make it as far as Heber’s tent, he would be safe. Heber had pledged loyalty to King Jabin. Surely he would be friendly to Sisera as well.

Heber’s wife, Jael, greeted Sisera at the front of the tent. As she hid him under a rug, Sisera requested a drink of water. Within moments, Jael brought him a skin of milk, which Sisera eagerly drank.

“Keep watch at the tent door,” requested Sisera. “If anyone asks, there is no one in the tent.” With that command, Sisera fell asleep, finally safe, full, and content.

His security was short-lived, however. Jael had cunningly given him milk to lull him to sleep, and she took advantage of his slumber. With hopes of assisting Israel, Jael quietly drove a tent peg through Sisera’s temple.

When Sisera’s pursuer, Barak, passed by, Jael relayed the story to the Jewish commander. Israel’s enemy had been defeated by a Gentile housewife. Once again, God used an unexpected source to protect His people.

Kaleidoscope Lives: Job’s Wife {Afflicted Ash}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Job’s Wife {Afflicted Ash}

Kaleidoscope

Mother

Blessed, Opulent

Doting, Rejoicing, Living

All she had disappeared

Grieving, Cursing, Lamenting

Discontent, Despondant

Job’s Wife

Her children were dead; all ten of them had been crushed under a falling roof. Her luxurious life was over; the 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 donkeys that funded the family were gone. Some had been stolen by Sabeans and Chaldeans. Others had been consumed by a heavenly fire. Either way, she had become poor in a matter of minutes. There was no one to help her; all of her servants were gone as well. To make matters worse, her husband was covered in sores and using broken pottery to scrape his itchy skin. Anything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong. Job’s wife was miserable.
Boldly, she approached her husband. “Why are you trying to retain integrity?” She demanded. “Curse God and die.”
Job quickly rebuked her. “You are speaking foolishly! Should we only accept good from the Lord and not accept pain?”
When hard times come, do you respond with the patience of Job or the discontentment of his wife?

Kaleidoscope lives – Guaranteed Gold {Queen of Sheba}

Kaleidoscope lives – Guaranteed Gold {Queen of Sheba}

Kaleidoscope

Ruler
Rich, distinguished

Traveling, questioning, doubting

Sight gave her belief

Beholding, honoring, believing

Humbled, fulfilled

Queen of Sheba

Queen-of-Sheba
“You are undeniably mad!” Exclaimed the queen. “There is absolutely no possibility of a man being so wise. You must take me to be the most gullible individual on earth”

Despite being told by numerous subjects of the grandeur of King Solomon of Israel, the Queen of Sheba refused to believe such claims. While the prospect of his immaculate wealth did not surprise her (she was quite prosperous herself), the fame of his intelligence seemed unlikely. No human individual could possibly rule so cunningly.

As Solomon’s fame spread throughout the world, the queen decided to visit Solomon and test his supposed knowledge. Loading a caravan with gold, jewels, and spices, she traveled the journey to Jerusalem, armed with hundreds of pressing questions for the acclaimed king.

Upon her arrival in Jerusalem, the queen was awed by Solomon’s vast houses, temple, and servants. Everything was beautifully arrayed and immaculate. “King Solomon,” she started, “I have some questions for you.”

Hours later, the queen sat dumbfounded. Solomon had easily answered every question she had presented. It was as if he knew everything!

Once the Queen of Sheba had gathered her thoughts, she addresses King Solomon a final time. “The outlandish stories my servants told me were true! I did not – I could not – believe the claims until I met you and heard your wisdom with my own ears. But they did not even tell of half of your brilliance! Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the stories I had heard! I honor your God for appointing you as judge and ruler!”

The queen then gifted spices, gold, and precious stones to Solomon, and she contentedly returned to her country with her servants.

The Queen of Sheba did not believe the magnitude of Solomon’s wisdom until she had seen it for herself.  Today, we cannot see God and His majesty.  However, we believe that He is omniscient and sitting on His throne in Heaven.  “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29)

Kaleidoscope Lives: Eve {Guilty Green}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Eve {Guilty Green}

KaleidoscopeTesting the Pupil

Foremother

Original, Blameless

Fellowshipping, Relishing, Cleaving

She heeded to temptation

Biting, Offering, Falling

Marred, Sinful

Eve

 Eve

“Starfruit. No, wait. Mango! Yes, mango is the best fruit! Okay, your turn Adam.” As Eve and Adam roamed through the garden, they continued their conversation with God. Everyday, they enjoyed the unhindered presence of their omnipotent Creator.

          “Did God say that you could not eat of every tree of the garden?”

          The unfamiliar voice caught Eve off guard. She had only ever talked to God or Adam. Who was this? “We can eat from any tree in the garden,” Eve replied. “But we cannot eat or touch the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. If we do, we will die.”

          A serpent made its way down the tree, laughing at her gullibility. “You won’t die. God only told you that because he knows the power of this tree. If you eat its fruit, you will become like Him. You will know good and evil.  He doesn’t want any competition for control.”

          Eve glanced at the forbidden tree. The fruit was a dazzling green. It shimmered and simultaneously appeared darker than grass but lighter than a lime. She tentatively picked the bulbous fruit from the tree and turned it in her hand. Was the serpent right? Maybe one bite would be okay.

          It tasted delicious, like nothing she had ever eaten. It was tangy, sweet, and refreshing. She turned to Adam. “You must try this. It is the best fruit in the garden!” Without hesitation, Adam took a bite.

          The shame hit them out of nowhere. They were…naked.

          As a result of their sin, Adam and Eve both received targeted curses and were kicked out of the garden. Furthermore, death entered the world and all mankind received a sin nature.

Sin can look beautiful, but it always brings consequences.

Kaleidoscope Lives: Dorcas {Faithful Flax}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Dorcas {Faithful Flax}

Kaleidoscope

Transacting the Proselyte

Disciple

Generous, Sick

Giving, Aiding, Dying

God honored her service

Awakening, Living, Proclaiming

Resurrected, Beloved

Dorcas

dorcas

The widows of Joppa huddled together in the attic, crying and wiping their tears. They could not believe that Dorcas, their beloved sister in Christ, was dead. Each of them clutched a blanket that Dorcas had hand-woven for them and recalled fond memories of Dorcas’ service to the Lord.

“Remember when the man arrived at midnight from Antioch,” asked one widow, “and he had not eaten in three days?”

“Yes! And Dorcas made bread in the middle of the night! The whole town awoke to a wonderful smell.”

“Oh! How I miss her!”

From outside, the women heard three male voices chatting heartily.  The widows quickly grew excited.  “It’s the messengers! They have brought Peter!” Sure enough, the door opened to reveal two Joppa natives and the impulsive apostle Peter.

The women rushed to Peter’s side. “Peter!” they proclaimed, “Dorcas was such a gracious woman. She served the Lord faithfully and generously. She made us coats and blankets. She welcomed strangers into her home and helped the elders with church, but now she is dead!”

Peter did not even appear worried. He asked them all to leave the room and knelt beside Dorcas’ lifeless body. After a short prayer, he calmly said, “Dorcas, arise.” Miraculously, Dorcas’ eyes opened and she sat up. Reaching for Peter’s hand, she stood and walked with him to where her friends were waiting.

The widows were astonished to see their fellow-worker alive again, and news of her revival quickly spread throughout the town.

God honored Dorcas’s service by adding years to her life. Just like Dorcas, he requires all women to be humble, hospitable, and serving Him (I Tim. 5:10).

Kaleidoscope Lives: Lydia {Prominent Purple}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Lydia {Prominent Purple}

Kaleidoscope

Transacting the Proselyte

Merchant

Rich, Illustrious

Selling, Bargaining, Prospering

God employed her willingness

Learning, Worshiping, Housing

Faithful, Generous

Lydia

lydia

Lydia had every right to be pompous.   Purple was a symbol of royalty, and she was known throughout Philippi for her exquisite purple cloth.  She was prosperous, prestigious, and, surprisingly, unpretentious.

She and other women of Philippi met by the river weekly to worship God. When Paul and Silas taught them one Sabbath, Lydia’s heart was opened to the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection.   “If you have found me faithful to God,” Lydia requested, “stay in my house.”

Paul later wrote to Lydia’s church in Philippi, “Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourself.  Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others” (Phil. 2:3b-4 NCV).  This is exactly what Lydia did. Rather than selfishly use her home for her own needs, she opened it hospitably to Paul and Silas.  This upper-class merchant condescended to board vagrants.

Lydia’s generous offer shows her servant’s heart and parallels the example of Jesus, who emptied himself and became fully obedient to God (Phil. 2:7).  Just as Paul wrote to Lydia, “in your lives, you must think and act like Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5 NCV).

How can you humble yourself today?

Kaleidoscope Lives: Mary {Bland Brown}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Mary {Bland Brown}

KaleidoscopeFine-Tuning the Future

Girl

Average, Common

Living, Working, Planning

God’s system of salvation

Rejoicing, Raising, Reflecting

Humble, Revered

Mary

nativity story 2

Warning: you are about to see my heart.

I’ve got some decisions to make.  I am about to face some adventures, and I am terrified.  I am excited.  I am at war with myself.  Also, I have been asked to fill some leadership rolls, and, honestly, I feel inadequate.  Who am I to lead these groups? I can hardly rule over myself; I fall into the same sins again and again.  How am I supposed to lead others?

Moses couldn’t lead himself either.  He killed an Egyptian.  He was not fit to speak (Ex. 3:11).  Furthermore, God planned to kill him because he disobeyed God in order to avoid conflict with his wife (Ex. 4:24-26).  Yet, Moses led an entire nation to freedom.

God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.  – I Corinthians 1:27

Mary was just a young virgin from an unassuming town.  She was nothing special, just another peasant girl working in the home.  She had no accolades.  Even her name was common and implied bitterness.  Yet, Jesus himself was born in her.

Not many mighty, not many noble, are called. – I Corinthians 1:26

God does not need me to be independent, strong, brave, autonomous, or perfect.  In fact, Paul states that wise human words can make the cross of Christ “of none effect” (I Cor. 1:17).  He needs me to be like Mary–humble, relying on Him, and obedient.

I want to be used by God, and I must find my strength in Him alone. In Paul’s words, I must be “enriched by Him” (I Cor. 1:5).  My own knowledge will fail–God will even destroy it (I Cor. 1:19)–, but “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (I Cor. 1:25).

If any man glory, let him glory in the Lord.  – I Corinthians 1:31

God, use me as your humble servant.