A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
833. A Devotional Mosaic (WR)
Last year my posts just had to somehow synch with the letter of the day, I did not give myself much more in the way of structure. It was pretty random but it is now the completed Devotions from A-Z e-book that you see below. Here's the link to this beautiful e-book. http://payhip.com/b/dGY I was thinking about McDonalds and how they used to change the number of burgers sold every few years. They started once upon a time with one hamburger. Today I sold my first copy of this e-book and I'm pretty excited. It is a very humble small beginning. My son says wow mom now you can say "more than zero copies sold!" I guess I am a long way from McDonalds and their Zillions sold but they too started with a first hamburger. Someone liked it and told their friends. Zechariah 4:10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin...
I was thinking today what I wanted to do with the A-Z challenge this year. I decided I want to look at Bible people or characters. I started with a mixed list of men and women but soon realized I could do a whole list of women and a whole other list of men. I have decided to start with women and perhaps do the men next April.
I have been working on my list today and wanted to give you an idea of some of the characters you will meet in April. Some will be familiar to you others a bit more obscure. I intend to present each as a devotional and hope to point out the things we may be able to see in each of them but may not be able to see in ourselves. I hope to show you character traits to celebrate as well as flaws to overcome.
I wonder what can we learn from each of these women? For my men readers perhaps April will give you some new insight into the women in your life and some of what makes us tick.
Women of the Bible
A - Anna - Prayed for and held baby Jesus
B - Bilhah - my mothers maid
C - Cozbi - Princess of Deception
D - Deborah - Woman Warrior
E - Eunice - She trained her son well
F - Faith (Faith is a common name from the bible but there are no women who's names start with f)
G - Gomar - forgiven again and again
H - Hannah - Prayed for a child and God answered
I - Iscah - She will anoint
J - Junia (Could she be a female apostle?)
K - Keturah - did you know Abraham had a wife after Sarah?
L - Leah or Lydia - not sure which one
M- Michal & Miraiam (Thought on Worship)
N - Naomi - Faithful companion
O - Oholibama - Her name means Tent of the High Place
P - Peninnah - She who makes others miserable
Q - Queen Candace of the Ethiopians
R - Rahab - A harlot, a spy, part of the blood line of Christ.
S - Sapphira - Guilty by association
T - Tabitha - Back from the dead
U - Uriah's Wife and where her aspirations for power led her.
V - Vashti - Had enough
W - Witch, Whore, Woman (Names we are called)
X - Xerxes' New Queen (Do you know her name in Hebrew?)
Y - Yahweh's Bride
Z - Zipporah - Woman of the Desert
I had someone recently ask me how I was able to settle down and pick something to write about. As far as settling down I just generally follow some train of thought and see where it takes me. I turn of my inner critic and editor and just write and see what comes out. Yesterday was Oxen today as you can see I already have 26 more things that I can't wait to write about. I guess I just pick the one that is screaming the loudest for my attention and trust that the Holy Spirit will lead me.
Generally I write early in the morning when my mind is not yet spinning with a thousand things. It gradually warms up with a cup of coffee and some quiet conversation with the Lord. Sometimes I feel un-inspired and will wait till later in the day to see if something interesting happens to write about. I love this verse from John 21:25 " Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were
written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room
for the books that would be written." When I first started writing daily I worried about running out of things to write about but there is so much to explore - the bible is like stumbling upon a treasure trove. It contains more than one could possibly consume in the entirety of a life time. In addition there has been no time in history where one had so much knowledge at one's finger tips. I can search commentaries, quotes, histories, customs and so much more simply by putting in the right keywords. I guess I want to do a lot more with that power and technology than look at photos of cats or play silly games.
The other side of it is that I had to find my voice. I went though a period of brokenness where I felt I had nothing to say of any value that anyone would want to hear. I was not sure that God would even be able to use me in ministry ever again. In some circles divorce is right up there with the un-pardonable sin particularly for those in ministry. I'm not making light of it or any sin but we serve a God of grace and of second, third and fourth chances. How many times does he tell us to forgive? 70 times 7. How could he possibly ask that of us if he was not willing to forgive us that much and more.
The other thing I discovered is that in a lot of places women are expected to be seen and not heard. So I had to not only find my voice but find out who God created me to be. Why would he give me gifts to write, speak and teach if those things were off limits to women. Anyway I am going to look at women in the bible because I am convinced that God does not have a problem with women. We are joint heirs in Christ, not second class citizens in his kingdom. I can hardly wait to get to letter J because I see evidence that Juana may have been a woman apostle. Women were last at the cross and were first from the tomb to carry the good news that Jesus had risen. A woman anointed Jesus with her tears and with costly oil and he said she would always be remembered. He called Martha and Mary his friends and enjoyed being at their home.
You can see I have no shortage of ideas.
Prayer: Lord come now and bless and inspire each reader. You have created them and gifted them to be a blessing in your kingdom. I pray that you would help them to understand more clearly what you are calling them to do with their lives. Give them all that they need to do everything you are calling them to do or to become.