Famous seller of purple converts to Christianity

th-57On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:13-15)

Lydia was a businesswoman. She was a merchant from the Turkish city of Thyatira who dealt in the trade of dying and selling fine purple cloth. She was successful at her trade to the extent that she owned a spacious home and had servants to care for her and help run her business. Continue reading

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Woman of influence backs Jesus and The Twelve

SERIES: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE

th-56After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-4)

These are some of the more obscure verses in the Bible that probably shouldn’t be obscure because they show us a lot about Jesus’ view of women and the important role they had in His life and ministry. Continue reading

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SERIES: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE

4-maratta2by Marti Fischer

One of my favorite authors, Dorothy Sayers, never found her Christian life dull. “Perhaps it is no wonder,” she wrote, “that women were first at the cradle and last at the cross. They had never known a man like this Man — there never has been such another.”

Her answer to Sigmund Freud’s question, “What does a woman want?” is to call the question “frivolous.”

“What is unreasonable and irritating,” she continued, “is to assume that all one’s tastes and preferences have to be conditioned by the class to which one belongs.” For Sayers, the question was not, “What do women want?” but rather, “What does this woman want?”

“Are all women created do the same thing?” she asked. Continue reading

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A foolish man’s wife thwarts a future king

SERIES: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE

th-55

There are some pretty remarkable women in the Bible, but none more courageous than Abigail, who took it upon herself to call David on the carpet when he was about to take the lives of some innocent people. Continue reading

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God announces who He wants on His team

th-54Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

“Knock and the door will be opened to you.” What door? Well, we know it’s not the door of salvation, because that’s the door Jesus knocks on, as in, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” (Revelation 2:20) That’s the door to our hearts. This is another door. This is a door we knock on, and it’s significant because this invitation is all about participation. Continue reading

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What you, I and Caitlyn Jenner are seeking

th-53Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

I am continually amazed when I realize that God threw out an open invitation to all to come closer to Him by asking, seeking and knocking. This is proof of the fact that in God’s desire for a relationship with us, He desires our participation. He created us with a need for Him and then turned us loose to find our way back to Him. And even though I believe that God is in charge of this journey (God’s sovereignty), I also believe that from our perspective, He has made it so that, for all we know, we initiate our responses to Him (Free will). Otherwise He would not have issued us an invitation. This is indeed part of the mystery of this unique and wonderful relationship we can have with God — it involves our choices and our desires as well as His. Continue reading

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When you don’t get what you asked for

th-52Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

There are ways in which writers and preachers can say things that sound good, but that fail to touch life where we live it. It’s not that what we say is wrong; it’s just that it’s safe. We found the part we can say that is always true, but we avoided the more difficult questions. That’s what I realized I did with yesterday’s Catch. I chose the safe explanation. I interpreted “Ask” as living in a constant state of dependence on the Lord. And since I know that you can never go wrong depending on the Lord, I solved the problem, but not quite, and certainly not for some people. Continue reading

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Live palms-up

th-51Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

Knowing God is based on an awareness of our own need. No one enters into a relationship with God from a position of strength. We come to God in our weakness and our sin. We have tried at life and failed. We don’t meet God at the level of our success; we meet Him out of our failure. Continue reading

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