Category: women of genesis

HELLO ASENATH

Hey guys, have you ever heard of Asenath before?
No?
I didn’t think you had.
She is the woman I want to focus on this week. She’s one of the obscure figures of Genesis and I’m excited to introduce her to you. But before we jump in why not take a minute and check out last week’s post, Hello Potiphar’s Wife. Last week I had the blessing to see Potiphar’s wife from a completely new perspective. I was slightly surprised with how relevant her story is. I was definitely able to relate to her and her struggle. I hope it speaks to you.
I never noticed Asenath until today. This Egyptian lady is found in Genesis 41. She was given to Joseph as “compensation” for his interpretation of pharaoh’s dreams. Not much is said about Asenath. All we know is that she was the daughter of Potiphera who was a priest of On also known as Heliopolis. Her father was a priest which implies power and status. Genesis 41:45

You know, I get the feeling that Asenath was not just a prize, I think pharaoh wanted Joseph to assimilate to the Egyptian culture as much as possible. After all he was second in command, the Egyptian people needed to be able to trust him. What better way to do that than to have him marry an Egyptian woman. I’m sure it was also part of the plan for Joseph to be associated to an Egyptian family who was well known and respected. Asenath connected Joseph to what would seem to be a rich Egyptian culture. The people he governed would not be able to tell that he was really a foreigner and not one of them.

This idea immediately makes me think about the influence we as women have. It actually reminds me of that line from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “The man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck.” It makes me smile and giggle a little bit. I can’t even begin to claim that I know anything about that being that I am seriously single and have never been married. But a woman doesn’t need to be married to have influence. The fact of the matter is that we are all influencers. Either we influence for good or the opposite. We each have a circle of influence. We have an instagram/twitter/facebook following and the amount of followers doesn’t matter because the point is that someone chooses to follow you. Honestly the people you influence the most are probably unrelated to your social media. Whether we like it or not there are people who watch what we do and will follow suit.

I’m reminded of the students I get the chance to lead at The Wave Student Ministry. Yes, many of them follow my social media accounts but I’m reminded on a regular basis that they are watching my actions more than my instagram posts. I’ve experienced first hand how students will follow my behavior during worship or even when I was in the classroom my mood would set the tone. People will follow suit.

I think that Asenath was successful in her influence over Joseph. If you know the story you know that Joseph’s success solely came from God however I think that God blessed his marriage. Even though Asenath wasn’t a Hebrew woman God was able to use her to bring forth fruit in Joseph’s life in the form of two sons.
So the question is, how are we using our influence?
This past Wednesday our youth pastor gave an incredible message on occupying the school hallways in such a way that students transform their schools. He used the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 to connect the way the crowd prevented Zacchaeus from seeing Jesus. He posed the challenge to our students of clear the crowd or get out the way but don’t be part of the crowd.

Now I pose that same challenge to you and myself. Are we part of the crowd? Are we preventing people from seeing Jesus? Or are we clearing the crowd so that Jesus can be seen even by the shortest around us?

Our influence can do that. We can “Live out loud” for Jesus and help others get closer to Christ just by living influential lives on purpose. Living intentionally with the bigger picture in mind. The bottom line is that we are influencers like Asenath. It’s up to us to determine the direction in which we will lead.

My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father thank you so much for opening our eyes to you. Thank you that there was someone in our lives who we were influenced by and in turn we met you. Thank you for giving us the ability to also be influencers and leaders to those around us. Jesus I ask you to help us  live our lives on purpose. That we may be intentional about living for you. That we may be careful in our decision making, remembering that every decision we make will influence those watching. It will either draw them closer to you or suggest that they can distance themselves from you. Please help us to influence those around us towards you always. I pray that our lives may be a huge arrow that points everyone we encounter in your direction, that they too may meet you and know you. Thank you for your mercy and patience with us as we navigate through this corrupted world. I pray that you may shield us from all the false glitter that constantly tries to distract us. Help us to shine so bright that your light in us may clear the crowds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 12:1
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

Thanks so much for checking out this post.
How have you been an influencer lately? Share in the comments below.
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See you next week!
Keep Shining,
SuperStarNat!

 

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HELLO POTIPHAR’S WIFE

Welcome back!! I’m always so honored that you would take time out to hangout here and read the words God has placed on my heart to share with you. If you missed last week I was talking about Tamar. She was Leah’s daughter-in-law. Feel free to go back and catch up.

But before you continue to today’s woman of the bible, I recommend that you type in your email address in that space on the right so that you can receive the next newsletter. My friend says it’s like reading a page out of my diary.

If you know the story of Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, then you’ve heard of the infamous wife to the Egyptian, Potiphar. Now Potiphar’s wife is left nameless in Genesis 39 where she get’s her fifteen minutes of fame. Whenever scriptures leaves a person nameless I immediately feel like this is someone whose place I probably could have filled. Or maybe you could have filled. What I’m saying is that in my opinion if a character is left nameless I think it’s to help us see ourselves in that situation. We can’t say, “Oh, only so-and-so’s go through that.” A nameless character opens up the possibility of us saying, “Oh! That could be me!” But that’s just what I think, I didn’t look it up or anything.
Keeping that in mind, when I read this story I immediately feel like I could be Potiphar’s wife! I also feel like I’ve already been Potiphar’s wife.

Let’s talk about Potiphar for 2.5 seconds. Right off the bat in Genesis 39:1 we learn that Potiphar is an Egyptian official who works directly for pharaoh. His official title was, Potiphar the Captain of the Guard. So we know that this is a man of power. He is a wealthy man in the most powerful country of that time. We also learn that he is a very smart man. Why do I say this? Well, in verses 2 – 6 we see Potiphar recognize that Joseph wasn’t like all the other slaves. Potiphar didn’t worship the God of Israel but he noticed that this God blessed Joseph, He blessed Joseph so much that anything Joseph touched prospered. So Potiphar being the intelligent man that he was placed all of his businesses in Joseph’s hands because then it would also prosper. However this is also where we see what Potiphar’s vice is. Verse 6 “… he did not concern himself with anything except the food
he ate.” Hmmm…. our smarty pants, super high ranking official Potiphar was also a gluten.

Keep verse 6 in mind as I go back to Potiphar’s wife.
Now that we know a little bit more about Potiphar we can draw some conclusions about Mrs. Potiphar.

1. She was married to a rich man = she was rich.
2. She didn’t work so she was home all the time.
3. Her husband bought a slave, gave him all his work to manage, and just ate all day.
4. She was probably super bored and lonely.
5. She is the original desperate house wife!

Now you and I know that sometimes when people are bored they end up doing some pretty dumb things. And I don’t want to make any generalization but sometimes when someone has everything they could possibly need or want they end up thinking they can always get whatever they want and no one will ever say no. Which ends up being the case with Mrs. Potiphar.She was bored and spoiled and when she wanted something she went after it until she got it. The problem is that not everything we want is good for us. And just because we want to do something doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it.

At the end of verse 6 going into verse 7 there is an important detail to this story, “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.”

Mmmmhhhmmmm.
My boy Joey was a holy hottie. He had God’s favor all up on him and he wasn’t painful to look at.I think you might know where this story is headed now.
Mrs. Potiphar noticed Joseph and was like, “How you doin?”

Now why is this wrong?!? MRS. Potiphar!!!! She was obviously married and not just to a random person. She was married to Joseph’s boss.As we continue reading chapter 39 we watch as Potiphar’s wife goes from being a rich, bored housewife to a vengeful angry desperate housewife.
She starts by noticing Joseph’s good looks. She gets bold (in a negative way) and straight out throws an indecent proposal his way, verse 7 “Come to bed with me!”
Actually I take it back, after rereading that verse again for I dunno how many times… I realize that she wasn’t asking him or proposing it as if he had an option. Mrs. Potiphar was commanding Joseph to go to bed with her as if it was part of his job description. I know this isn’t about Joseph but his responses are so on point. He obviously says “No!” Verse 10 reveals that she was not prepared to handle the word “NO!” “she spoke to Joseph day after day…” She was determined to get Joseph into her bed one way or another. Finally her desperation got the best of her. Verse 11 says that one day Joseph went to work and none of the servants were in the house. Meaning it was just him and the desperate housewife. Honestly, I think she probably gave everyone some distracting out of the house task to get rid of them and create this opportunity. In verse 12 she caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” Joseph was no fool. He literally RAN for his life. He ran so fast that Mrs. Potiphar was left with his coat in her hand. She was livid. Remember she wasn’t used to being denied what she wanted. Our desperate housewife sot out to get even with Joseph for the humiliation. She took his coat to her husband and cried, “RAPE!” You and I both know that she was lying but her husband believed her. She didn’t get what she wanted out of Joseph so she had him thrown into jail for having integrity.

Potiphar’s wife is often referred to as one of the Bad Girls of the Bible  . I think she was simply bored, neglected and spoiled.

So what’s the takeaway? How have I been Mrs. Potiphar before?
Maybe you’ll be able to relate.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it makes you mad when you can’t have it?
Have you ever been angry with God because you pray and pray and keep praying for something in particular and God just keeps on saying…. “Ummm, NO!”?
Have you ever been angry with someone for not doing what you want them to do and look for a way to get even?
Or, have you ever chased after what you wanted even though the door kept shutting in your face? And the more often that door was slammed the harder you chased?!
On another note….
Have you ever been so bored that you start lusting after something you normally would stay far, far away from?

Oh lust.

Most people think that lust is just about sex and sexual desires. But the truth is that lust can translate to anything. You can lust after money, fame, popularity, nicer shoes, a bigger house, a fancier car, a certain type of relationship, a particular job, and the list goes on and on. The problem with lust is that whatever you are lusting after can become an idol in your heart. You want it so bad you start wanting it more than you want Jesus. Yea, I said it. Lust will lead to idolatry. Which is why I pray almost on a daily basis for God to remove the lust from my heart. I know what it is to place something/someone on a higher pedestal than God and it has never ended well.

Potiphar’s wife was definitely dealing with lust. She was lonely, bored, had too much power and wanted someone to follow her orders and obey her every command. She wasn’t a believer so she didn’t know it, but I truly believe that was her conflict. She was idolizing her power and when her power wasn’t enough she went from desperate to MAD.

I can go on and on so I’m going to leave you with one thought.

1. Run away from lust!
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, I ask you to please grab hold of each and every single heart that encounters this blog post. I ask you to search those hearts. Reveal any lust in them and please remove that lust. I ask you to not just remove it but replace it with purity and righteousness. Lord Jesus, I thank you for this story in your word. I pray that your scripture may not return to you empty but that it may penetrate and change someone’s heart today. Thank you for each and every reader. Please bless them beyond their imagination. Pour down upon them supernatural favor and blessings that spill over. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:22
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you enjoyed it or if God spoke to you through it go ahead and click that like button. Or click that share button if maybe you know someone who needs to read these words. Don’t forget to subscribe for the next newsletter which will be sent out on Sept. 1st.
Until next week!
Keep Shining! Nat

HELLO TAMAR

I’m BACK!!! It’s been two weeks since my last post. I’ve been kicking myself in the butt over and over again for not making the time to write. If you got the newsletter last week then you know what’s been going on. If you didn’t get the newsletter than what are you waiting for to subscribe?!? Stop reading and go on over to the right hand side of your screen and type in your email address. I send out a newsletter the 1st and 15th of every month. I really don’t want you to miss the next one.

This week I want to continue learning about the women of Genesis. We’ve been in Genesis for what seems like forever! But it’s been a ton of fun getting to meet some women who I had never noticed before. Today’s woman of the bible is Tamar! Tamar is part of Jacob’s family through marriage. Click on that read more button and jump into this unexpected story.

 tamar

Why was Tamar disguised?
Wife. Widow. Wife. Widow. Prostitute?
In Genesis 38 we see how Judah, one of Jacob and Leah’s sons, branches off and starts his own family. He gets married and has three sons. He arranges a wedding for his eldest, Er. Er marries Tamar. But sadly Er is not a good guy. He is actually so evil that God decides to eliminate him. This leaves Tamar as a widow. Being a widow is never easy and in biblical times it was even harder. Remember that women didn’t have the kind of rights that we have today. They were pretty much helpless without the backing of a man, father or husband. To help widows from utter helplessness there was a custom in place. This custom called for the deceased husband’s brother to take the widow as his wife and carry on the brother’s name. That’s how Tamar went from widow to wife. After Er’s passing Judah arranged for his second son Onan to marry her and carry on Er’s name. Onan wasn’t fond of the idea of his seed carrying on his brother’s name. He went out of his way to make sure that Tamar never became pregnant. His plan didn’t work out well, God was not amused. He was seen as wicked by God and so God eliminated him too. Onan’s death left Tamar a widow all over again. Luckily for Tamar, Judah had a third son. At the time of Onan’s death the third son, Shelah, was too young to marry. Out of fear of losing Shelah the way he lost Er and Onan, Judah sent Tamar back to her father’s home to wait there for Shelah to grow up and become her husband.

Shame on Judah for blaming innocent Tamar for his sons’ deaths which were caused by their own wickedness.
In any case, Tamar waited. And waited. And waited. All along she was in mourning for her two dead husbands. She waited for Shelah to grow up. And grow up he did, but he never went to Tamar and she was never called back to her husbands’ home. She was left, forgotten.


So much time passed that her mother-in-law passed away. After her passing Judah decided to go
check on his workers who were shearing his sheep near Tamar’s father’s house. He must have forgotten about the proximity to Tamar’s home or the possibility of running into her. Tamar however did not forget the debt that was owed to her. She disguised herself as a prostitute to deceive Judah and seduce him. The old man completely fell for it. She convinced him to leave valuable personal items as collateral in the meantime that he sent payment for her services. Of course she ends up getting pregnant. The town finds out and the word gets back to Judah. The law is that prostitutes are to be put to death so he condemns her and calls for her death. Not realizing that she was his very own daughter-in-law. She sends him the collateral items with a message, “Recognize these? The owner is the father of my child.”
Bam!

Judah had no option but to take responsibility.
Tamar is saved from her death sentence and ends up having twin boys.

Poor Tamar. I’m thinking that all she wanted was security. Love would have been a great bonus but in her situation she needed to be taken care of. She was wronged repeatedly by Judah and his sons. So she took manners into her own hands. Her methods were probably not the most morally correct but she got results.

I think that sometimes we don’t get the results we want because we are afraid to do something we normally wouldn’t do. Think outside the box. Be creative and innovative when searching for solutions. Maybe try a disguise.
I am NOT saying that prostitution is ok.
I am saying that being bold before the Lord is. Nothing you or I do will surprise our God. He has placed everything we need within us. And by “everything” I mean the HOLY SPIRIT.
I am studying the book of John with some of my students from church and today I read John chapter 3. The second half of verse 34 blew my mind. John 3:34b “for God gives the spirit without limit.” As I finish writing this post I recall this verse and the thoughts that ran through my head.
God blesses us without limit. There is no end to the amount of Himself that God gives to us. Starting with His creativity in designing and creating this world we get to enjoy. Continuing with the sacrifice of His one and only son. He tops the giving with an unlimited supply of Holy Spirit!
We in our humanness are the ones who create limits for God. Suggesting that He can’t do one thing or the other.

Today I want to suggest that perhaps the solution to the situation you’ve been dealing with has been in front of you this whole time! I am sure Tamar felt limited. She probably felt hopeless and helpless. I bet she even felt a bit confined. But she was outright bold and fearless. She was determined to break the limits that had been wrongly placed on her by others.

Today I dare you to be fearless! I dare you to tear down the limits that you’ve created around yourself. I dare you to step into that which God has been calling you to. Like Tamar take off the figurative widow’s clothes and throw on a brand new veil. Tap into the unlimited supply of Christ’s spirit that resides within you and watch as He brings forth double the blessings!
My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father I pray for all of the eyes reading this. I ask you to bless them. I ask you to reveal to them where in their lives they have raised limits before you. I ask you to give them boldness and courage to tear down the limits and to take of the “widow’s clothes”. I ask you to dress them in new clothes of an unlimited nature. That abundance may be upon them. That they may experience your faithfulness in an extravagant way. I thank you for Tamar’s story. It reminds me that you created me to be creative and innovative. I pray that you may spark creativity and imagination in the minds of my readers today. That they may be able to see through your eyes. Thank you Jesus for your goodness. It’s in Jesus’ holy name that I pray, Amen.

Memory Verse: John 3:34
John 3:34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

I would love to hear of your bold moments. Share one in the comments below. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to get more from SuperStarNat.com

HELLO DEBORAH of Genesis

Last week in Genesis 34 Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, had a traumatic experience that changed the course of her family’s life. This week in Genesis 35 we meet Deborah.
 wpid-img_20150731_203508.jpg

 Deborah is mentioned in one verse and then nothing else is said of her. Even though we know very little of Deborah this one verse speaks volumes of her character. First of all it says that she was Rebekah’s nurse. Remember Rebekah? Jacob’s mom. By now in Genesis 35 Rebekah has passed away but her nurse was still alive. From this one verse it is unclear how Deborah came to be with Jacob and his family. All we know is that he was on his way back to his father’s home and on one of the stops, Deborah the nurse passes away. Verse 8 says “Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”).” I want to zoom in on what the location of Deborah’s grave is dubbed, Allon-bacuth or Oak of Weeping! Deborah must have been greatly loved by this family to be so remembered. The fact that her grave sight was a place of weeping tells me that she was a woman worth mourning. She must have led a remarkable life. Which draws the question… 
Am I leading a remarkable life? To answer that I guess first I would need to define what I believe a remarkable life would look like.
Remarkable Life:
Kind
Caring
Generous
Humble
Grateful
Patient
Honest
Selfless
The list can go own…

If I am completely honest with myself and you, I’d have to say that I have a long way to go. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on memorizing the book of James for United Camp 2015 (subscribe to the newsletter to get more on camp). I got up to chapter 3 but in chapter 2 I came across a verse that has been pressing on my heart like crazy. Jame 2:13 Kind mercy wins over harsh judgement every time. (MSG) It’s as if God were literally writing this verse on my heart. Revealing to me the immense need for kindness in the world around me. I think maybe this verse has been on repeat because Jesus is doing a work in me. Have you ever noticed how much it hurts when God grabs the hedge cutters and starts pruning you? Well, in order to live a remarkable life, one that is remembered decades and centuries after you are gone, one that leaves a mark and creates a legacy; we must be pruned. Oh my sweet friends, let’s allow God to do a great work in us that like Deborah we made live lives worth mourning.

I’m grateful for verse 8 in which we get to meet Deborah if only for 3 sentences. She reminds me that it’s possible to become the best version of me. She reminds me that I CAN impact the world around me. She reminds me that I can break the generational curses in my family and boldly say, “IT ENDS WITH ME.” Whatever that IT may be. Deborah also reminds me that it’s up to me. How I am remembered and mourned is up to me.

My Prayer For You:
Dear Jesus, I pray for every reader who happened upon this post. I pray for every faithful reader who visits this blog weekly. I ask you to please open their eyes to your work in their lives. I pray that they may pray bold prayers. I ask you to give them courage in their prayers. I pray that you may give them strength and assurance as you move in and through them. Please continue working in them that they may continue to grow and become better versions of themselves. Please give us all spirits of kindness. Help us exercise kindness in our daily lives with loved ones and strangers. I ask you that as we live out your kindness you may reveal yourself to the world around us and increase your kingdom. Thank you for the kindness and mercy that you so graciously bestow upon us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Memory Verse: James 2:12-13 MSG
James 2:12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

I am sure your definition may be different from mine. I would love to know your characteristics for a remarkable life… please leave them in the comments below. Also remember to subscribe to the newsletter, it’s emailed every 1st and 15th of the month!

HELLO DINAH

The last few posts have been about the women in Jacob’s family, his wives.
This post is about his only daughter. Dinah. Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter.
Dinah is first mentioned in Genesis 30:21 where we learn that she is the daughter of Leah. Her name doesn’t show up again until chapter 34 where her story unfolds.

Genesis 34
As the only girl of the family I imagine she was very protected. For that reason I find it odd that in verse 1 it says that Dinah, “went out to visit the women of the land.” No where in this verse does it say that she was accompanied. Was she traveling alone? She must have been alone because in verse 2 we see that Shechem, the son of the ruler of that area, “saw her, took her and violated her.”

Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was raped.

Side note: if you are not a believer or if you are prone to think that God’s word is just a bunch of old stories that have nothing to do with us today…. reread that sentence above. God’s word from the first to last book is completely relevant to us today.

According to a report put out by the White House in 2014, it’s estimated that “1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime.” This doesn’t include the number of victims that are molested or sexually assaulted in other ways.

Now you may be thinking… why are you going there? Well, I seriously think that we need to talk about the subject. Based on that statistic most of you reading this will know someone who has been or God forbid will be raped, or you yourself have been assaulted. I myself know women, (more than one) who have been sexually assaulted in one way or another. It’s a real issue.

I want to spread awareness but I also want to speak to those who have been victimized.

  1. It was not your fault! Sexual abuse in any form is never okay!
  2. Don’t hide. As difficult as it may be to stand up and speak about what has happened in our pasts, it’s necessary. I’m learning that God cannot heal what is in the dark. We must shed light on our hurts, whatever those hurt are.
  3. You are not alone. I’m also learning that I am not the only person who has experienced some of what I’ve experience so I promise you, you are not the only one who has experienced what you’ve experienced.
  4. There is hope. Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Going back to Dinah. I am positive that she was devastated in all ways possible. She was most likely emotionally distraught and mentally stressed. She probably blamed herself. I’ve been told that victims tend to feel shame and guilt after been abused. Dinah probably felt those emotions too.

I’m far from an expert on this topic. But after reading Dinah’s story I felt it on my heart to remind someone today….

Your story is not in vain.
When we shed light on our past and hurts allowing God to heal and bind us up we win.
When we seek Christ in the midst of pain and crisis we find healing.
When we surrender our guilt and shame at the foot of the cross we find deliverance.
When we reject the devil’s lies and accepts Jesus’ truths we find purpose.
I’m believing for you. There is hope. Let’s, all of us, take our pains and hurts and place them in God’s hands like paint brushes. Let’s sit back and watch as He paints a beautiful redemption masterpiece out of our stories.

My Prayer For You:
Lord Jesus, I don’t know what their stories are but you do. I don’t know what they have experienced in their lives, what hurts they carry, what shame or guilt they battle daily, but you do. Father I don’t know what their struggle is but thankfully you do! I ask you to please lighten their load. Please heal their wounds. Please give them the courage to seek you and professional help so that they can finally find the peace they’ve been desperate for. I thank you so much for the courage to speak on a topic that is so rough. I pray that someone may find hope in the words that I write. I pray that you may use this blog to encourage and inspire. Please let every reader know that you love them and that they are not alone. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Psalm 34:17 
Psalm 34:17 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

If you or someone you know has experienced any type of sexual abuse seek help.
You can check out RAINN: Rape Abuse Incest National Network or call them at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)

Thank you so much for stopping by. Remember to share your thoughts in the comments below. Subscribe to the newsletter for exclusive updates and goodies.

HELLO ZILPAH & BILHAH

Sometimes we are put in the middle of a fight that is not ours. Sisters Leah and Rachel were fighting a heavy war. Their drama spilled over into the lives of women who were innocent to the mess. Has this ever been you? Stuck in the middle of someone else’s fight? Read the story from the beginning Hello Leah, Hello Rachel.
Both Zilpah and Bilhah were servant girls working in Laban’s home. Both were a wedding gift. Zilpah was gifted to Leah as her wedding gift. Bilhah was also gifted to Rachel as her wedding gift. They may have not been surprised by the change in ownership. They may have not cared that they had new mistresses. I bet they had no idea what they were about to get into. If you haven’t read the last two posts go read them now! Trust me you want to know the back story.
Genesis 29-30
The problem was that Leah and Rachel were married to the same man, Jacob. To make things more interesting Jacob was married to Leah through deceit. Who he truly loved was Rachel. The sisters feuded over their husband’s love and attention.  So you guessed it. Leah and Rachel brought their servant girls into the mix. Up to this point Rachel was barren. Not having birthed any children put her in what she thought was a huge disadvantage to her sister. Leah had already given Jacob four children. We learn in Genesis 30:1 that Rachel became jealous of her sister and took out her frustration on Jacob. As a result Rachel resorted to old manipulative schemes seen earlier in Genesis. In order to gain mommy points and get even with Leah, Rachel pulled a page out of Sarai’s playbook. She handed Bilhah over to Jacob to conceive. Yup. Bilhah ended up giving birth to two boys. Leah who already had 4 boys of her own reacted to Rachel’s schemes by giving Zilpah over to Jacob as well. She wanted to keep the upper hand. Zilpah also gave Jacob two sons.

These manipulations just pulled more people into the fire and didn’t resolve anything. Rachel and Leah continued to feud.

Zilpah and Bilhah were now all the way caught up in the middle.

Unfortunately for them, they were slaves and didn’t have much of a say.

You and I, on the other hand, have been made free in Jesus. We do not need to be all the way caught up in anyone’s feuding rivalry.

My one and only point. If you feel yourself being drawn into the middle of someone else’s brawl.

SET A BOUNDARY! Or multiple boundaries.

There is a huge difference between being supportive of a friend in need and being manipulated as a pawn in their war. I’ve experienced it before and you probably have too.

A friend has been offended by another friend and now one or both want you to choose a side. Or a couple you are close to breaks up and again you are being made to choose a side.

You know whose side you choose? JESUS’ period!

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in someone else’s drama. Definitely pray for all parties involved and if asked respond with wisdom aka scripture!

My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, I pray for wisdom. I ask you to please bless us with discernment. Lord teach us to listen to you that we may be quiet when you prompt us to be quiet. That we may speak only when your spirit leads us to speak. Lord I pray for our friends and family. I pray that you may keep us all in peace that there may not be any animosity or fighting between us. I ask Father that if differences arise you may help us to make the Jesus choice! Help us to cover our loved ones in prayer that their wars and battles may be resolved by you. Thank you for your word. Thank you for the examples we see in your word of what to do or not do. I ask you to help us create and maintain healthy boundaries in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Memory Verse: Prov 10:19 

Prov 10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.



Have you ever been asked to pick a side? How did you handle it? 
Comment below and tell us all about it!

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Love you guys so much for joining me on this Women of the Bible journey! I pray supernatural blessings upon you and your loved one!
Nat

HELLO LEAH

Hello again!
I’m excited to continue taking a look at Jacob’s wives. Last week we peeked into Rachel’s story (read it here) This week I want to focus on Leah and her experience. If you haven’t already subscribed to the mailing list go ahead and do that now. Starting on July 15th I will be sending out bi-monthly update emails with news, personal updates and extra freebies you can only see in the newsletter! You won’t want to miss it!
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Genesis 29 tells the story of how a father tricks his daughters and creates a divide between them that will never be mended. 
In Hello Rachel we learn that Jacob has fallen in love with Rachel and that her father tricks him into marrying her sister Leah.
Genesis 29:23But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her.”
Poor Leah! What stress must have been upon her shoulders. To be the older sister and unmarried meant so much. The fact that she was unmarried meant that she would be a burden to her family. It also meant that she was in the way of Rachel’s freedom to marry. In verse 26  Laban excuses his behavior to Jacob by saying “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,”. I am sure this hurt Leah. She must have resented her father for forcing a man who didn’t love her to marry her. She must have resented the other family members who probably felt pity towards her and weren’t discrete about it. She must have been jealous of Rachel who was wanted and loved. How painful to feel unwanted. To feel rejected. Have you ever felt rejected? It is such a lonely and painful emotion. In my experience rejection comes along with a whole parade of friends. Rejection has made me feel worthless, not enough, unvaluable, small. Rejection can give way to jealousy and bitterness. In my opinion it can be severely damaging if we allow it to be. Unfortunately, it is one of those negative emotions that everyone will encounter at some point in their lives, for one reason or another.  
I’m sure Leah was experiencing all of these emotions. Not to mention the fact that she probably felt ugly and compared herself to her sister. Verse 17 reveals that Leah was not as attractive as Rachel, “There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.”
How disappointing all of this must have been. Maybe Leah never dreamt of marrying for love, but I would imagine that she at least hoped to be chosen, selected. Now she had to endure a marriage to a man who openly loved her sister more than her. Verse 30 “So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah.”

Leah doesn’t deal well with the rejection. I will be sharing my thoughts on Leah’s and Rachel’s coping on July 15th! Make sure you subscribe and confirm your subscription in order to get the continuation of this portion of the story!

Like I said earlier, rejection is a part of life. The good news is that we can learn to turn to the Lord when we feel rejected. We can allow His love and word to heal and restore us. God has a lot to say about how much He loves us and how He does not reject us.
I have listed some bible verses that have greatly blessed me when I’ve felt lonely and rejected. [Emphasis added by me]

Know that Jesus was also rejected. This is a reminder that he indeed experienced every emotion we ever will.

  • John 1:11 ESV / “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
  • Isaiah 49:15-16  NLT / “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?     Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! 16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
  • Jeremiah 30:17 ESV / For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: 
  • Isaiah 41:9 ESV /  You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”
  • Philippians 4:19 ESV / And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 27:10 ESV / For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
  • 1 Peter 2:4 ESV / As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
  • Psalm 34:18 ESV / The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
  • Psalm 40:2 NLT / He lifted me out of the pit of despair,  out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, I pray a special prayer for every person who is experiencing loneliness and/or rejection at this time. I ask for every person who is dealing with the aftermath of being rejected. I pray that you may infuse their hearts with your word that is living and powerful. I ask you to please heal them as you declare in your scriptures you came to bind up our wounds. You came to save those who are crushed in spirit and you are near to the brokenhearted. I ask you to please give us the courage, strength and faith to turn to you for healing when we are hurting. I pray that we may not turn to the things of this world which will only leave us empty and hurting worse than before. I ask you to please bring peace and comfort and joy to those who are in need of it in this moment, Lord, that they may see your mighty hand moving in their lives. I thank you for your goodness. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you and praise you for always loving us and never rejecting us. We can always turn to you! In Jesus name, Amen!

Memory Verse: Psalm 34:18 
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.



I would love to know what bible verses you use when you are feeling lonely or rejected. Go ahead and share your verse with me in the comments below!

HELLO RACHEL

Hello there awesome people! I have some great news to share with you  today!

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Picture

Rachel & Jacob

Okay so now that all the latest news has been shared let’s get to the reason you’re here! Today’s woman of the bible is another one of my favorites. I’ve always found her story to be so desperately romantic. Her name is Rachel! The last two weeks I shared about Esau’s wives. You can check those posts out here and here. The next few weeks I want to focus on Jacob’s wives. He followed his parents’ instruction and found his wives from within his own tribe. The story starts in Genesis 29.
In Genesis 29 we see how Rachel and Jacob meet. It’s a normal day for Rachel. She is going about her typical business as the shepherdess looking after her family’s sheep. 


The fact that Rachel is a working woman reminds me of the responsibility I have to stay busy and not be idle. How important it is for us to work and use our giftings and talents. I truly believe that we position ourselves to be blessed when we are productive workers or volunteers. Sometimes I wonder if life is just passing me by as I work day in and day out, but then I remember that God is always moving. Even behind the scenes of what seems boring and mundane, He is orchestrating a beautiful story.

Rachel is shepherding the sheep towards the well when she sees a stranger among the other shepherds. He looks in her direction with a mixed expression of excitement and relief. She watches as he quickly removes the stone from the well in order to water her sheep and then he runs towards her. He presents himself as her father’s nephew. A relative! Rachel gladly runs to her father’s home and retells the recent events. She then leads Laban back to the well to meet his sister’s son, Jacob. It was quite the scene. A splendid family reunion. Laban invites Jacob back to his home.

I imagine Rachel continues about her business as usual. Maybe she noticed Jacob’s attentions towards her. He might have stolen secret looks at her while working on Laban’s land. A month after his arrival Rachel’s father asks Jacob how he could repay him for working for him. I’m sure Rachel beamed with joy when Jacob asks for her hand in marriage in exchange for seven years of service.

How patient Rachel must have been as she waited for Jacob to complete his service to her father. My favorite verse in this story is verse  20“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

Finally, the day comes when Jacob’s seven years of service are complete. I can’t imagine Rachel’s excitement. Butterflies must have taken flight within her as she knew that she would be wed to the man who loved her and was willing to work so long in order to gain her.

Ladies, the right man for you should be willing to wait. Seven years or as long as it takes. If he can’t wait for marriage to get the goods then he is no good!
I truly believe that when it’s God ordained the time will fly and like for Jacob years will feel like days.

Sadly, in vesre 23 we see that Laban had other plans. He plays a trick on both Rachel and Jacob. 23  “But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob,”

How absolutely devastating. A day that was supposed to be all sunshine had a heavy dark cloud over it. What a rift this deception must have created between Rachel and her sister. Rachel must have felt extremely betrayed. I wonder if she blamed Leah for not having already been married.

At this point in the story the idea that sometimes we have exactly what/who we want directly in front of us but out of our reach comes to mind.

Have you ever been in this situation? How did you deal with it?

I must say that it’s not an easy one. I can’t even begin to think that I have the right answer to that question.

The best I could come up with is to seek God’s guidance. Definitely let’s not make emotional decisions because those never end well.  Also, let’s not force things to happen if it’s clearly the wrong time. A friend once told me, “The right guy at the wrong time is just as bad as the wrong guy at any time.”

Rachel doesn’t completely lose Jacob. On the contrary, Jacob commits to work an additional seven years to marry Rachel.

They are wed but I can’t tell you that this was a happily ever after ending. Verse 30 says something crucial to the story, “and his [Jacob’s] love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah”
Rachel ends up having to share her husband and who wants that?!

Next week I want to take a look at Leah and her side of the story.

Today’s takeaway: 
1. Don’t wait around for life to happen but work. 
2. Live and enjoy where you are because that’s exactly where God needs you to be.

My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, you know how strained we feel sometimes. Sometimes our lives feel boring, insignificant or even mediocre. I ask you to please remind us that our seasons in life are not in vain. I ask you to transform our hearts that we may live with grateful hearts. Help us to enjoy our walks and rejoice in them regardless of the difficulty level. We trust that you are working behind the scenes. Help us to be patient as we wait for whatever we are praying for. Also give us wisdom that we may not become desperate and make permanent decisions on fleeting emotions. Thank you for your constant grace and protection. Please comfort those hearts that are hurting. Your word declares that you came to bind up the brokenhearted. Please let lose your healing over those who feel broken and damaged. Thank you, Jesus for hearing our prayers. It’s in your name that we pray, Amen!

Memory Verse: Psalm 37:5
Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.

I tried more of a storytelling approach today. Did you like it? Leave a comment, click like, or share this post! I would love to connect with you!

HELLO MAHALATH

Last week I stressed the idea of being equally yoked by doing a study of Esau’s marriage choices. We learned that he was negligent in his search for a wife and married women outside of the blessing umbrella. I focused on romantic relationships but in conversation a friend pointed out that it’s also important to maintain a state of being equally yoked in our close friendships as well. Many times our friends can have more influence over us than we would like to believe. To read last week’s post click here.
But today… let’s talk about GRACE!
Today I want to continue looking at Esau’s relationships and choices. Let’s start in Genesis 27:46 where Rebekah in a heated discussion with her husband, Isaac, is being quite the drama queen. She exclaims in what I imagine a frustrated and whiny voice, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.” Talk about being exaggerated. If we were to study Rebekah’s life as a mother we would see how she favored Jacob. I understand her concern and desire for a daughter-in-law she could love. Her reproach, however, led Isaac to counsel his son in regards to the matter. Isaac commands Jacob not to marry a Hittite woman but to go back to Rebekah’s family and take a wife from among her brother’s daughters. As is to be expected Esau hears all about these conversations. I mean let’s be real… you know there are no superficial secrets in your family… once one aunt finds out all the others will be informed soon thereafter. In Genesis 28:8 we see Esau finally come to his senses and he understands the gravity of his choices. 8Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.”

I know the focus of this blog is all about the women in the bible, but sometimes we need to take a look at the men in order to understand why some of the women are mentioned. This is one of those instances. By now in Esau’s life he has lost just about everything that mattered as the firstborn son. Jacob cons him into selling his birthright in Genesis 25:29-34 and then he straight up steals the firstborn blessing in Genesis 27. I’m sure Esau always knew that he was his father’s favorite and Jacob his mother’s but I think that in marrying the Hittite women even his father lost a bit of respect for him.

I think maybe he was counting on Mahalath to help him gain back some of his parents’ good graces.

Has that ever been you? Have you ever done something, big or small to gain someone’s forgiveness? Maybe wrote them a letter? I remember doing that back in middle school. Notes were all the rage back then. I got into some type of disagreement with my “B.F.F.” and I wrote her a long letter trying to make amends. Or maybe you went out of your way to buy something for someone or do something you know makes them feel loved. It’s interesting how we’re wired to try to gain forgiveness. Let’s be real. If you know and admit that you did something wrong you aren’t going to expect the offended party to just forgive you and get over it oh so quickly. Many times the offended party requires some groveling on our part in order to GRACE us with their forgiveness.

What is GRACE exactly?

The google definition: “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”

Now that I think about it, that human nature piece must be why it’s so incomprehensible to us that God would give GRACE so extravagantly. He requires nothing but repentance in order to forgive. And what is repentance, simply the admittance of wrongdoing and the intentional choice of not committing the act again.

So, if you were completely honest with yourself right now what would you say is the Mahalath in your life? How have you tried to gain back our Heavenly Father’s good graces?

Did you think of it? Is it right there in the front of your mind?

Okay, good.

I pray this next statement may encourage and free you.

Nothing, NOTHING, N O T H I N G, you do can earn you God’s GRACE or forgiveness!

Isn’t that thought liberating?
I know it’s counter cultural but it is TRUTH!
Mahalath represents  our striving, our efforts to gain what no one can gain.
Remember there is NOTHING you can do to make God love you any more or any less than He already does!

My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, right now I ask you for every person who is striving to gain your forgiveness. I pray for every person who is running themselves into the ground trying to gain your approval or your love. Please press on their hearts the irrevocable truth that you are gracious like no other. Please remind them that you love them just as they are. Allow them to feel your love. Help us to not go out into the world seeking Mahalath. Help us seek you instead because you receive us in our sin. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your unconditional acceptance and love. Thank you for never letting go of us even when we try to pry your hands away. I ask that Romans 8:38-39 may be written on our hearts. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
2 Corinthians 12: 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

HELLO JUDITH AND BASEMATH

I’m excited about today’s post… here are some new women who are not heroes. Like Lot’s Wife they are examples of what we should steer clear of. I’m grateful for these stories because we can learn so much from them.  I hope you learn something new from this post. If you do please leave a comment below! I would love to connect with you and thank you personally for checking out Superstarnat.com.

DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED!

Genesis 26: 34 Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

In Genesis 26 we meet two women who enter Rebekah’s life as her daughters-in-law. Both of them are Hittite women. Their race possess a huge problem! You see back in chapter 24 when Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac, he gave him ONE rule…. NO CANAANITE women! (Genesis 24:3)
Unfortunately, Esau overlooked his grandfather’s instruction. He married two, not one, but two Hittite women.
Now why is this such a big deal? Is it really about race or about blessing?
To fully understand Isaac and Rebekah’s distress we need to have a short history lesson. Operative word being short.  

I’ll take you back a few generations to Noah’s sons. There were three of them: Ham, Shem and Japheth. Genesis 9:22 says, “Ham, the father of Canaan…” This is a prelude to what is about to go down in verse 25 where Noah says, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” Noah was upset with Ham for having dishonored him. Turn the page and check out Genesis 10 where in verses 6 – 20 we learn that Ham has a son named Canaan and that from Canaan came the clan of the Hittites. In Genesis 11:10-32 we learn that Abraham is a descendant of Shem. Now remember that Noah cursed Ham’s descendants and declared that they would be slaves to Shem’s descendants. Later in chapters 12 and 13 we see the Lord called Abraham out of his father’s land to go to a land the Lord promised to give him. Abraham ends up settling his family in the land of Canaan which the Lord promised would one day be his (his descendants). In the last part of Genesis 21 verse 12 God, while speaking to Abraham, declares that Isaac is the son through which his nations will be counted. “…because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.“ To help clarify the point I’ve been leading up to I want to share this line from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, “The covenant seed of Abraham must be a people by themselves, not mingled with those who were out of covenant”.

To bring it all full circle in chapter 26 Isaac and Rebekah are filled with grief by Esau’s decision to marry women who are out of God’s blessing due to Noah’s curse over the Canaanites. He has disqualified himself from the blessing through this union.

Now how does Judith and Basemath relate to you and me?
When I first read this passage for this blog post the first thing that came to mind was, UNEQUALLY YOKED! Yup! I went there!

I really do not believe that Abraham was racist or prejudice against the Canaanites. I firmly and strongly believe that he was looking out for his descendants. For the generations to come. He wanted to make sure that the blessing was not tarnished. Ensuring that Isaac married from his own tribe to maintain the blessing.
The same goes for you and me. We are to maintain our blessing! We must also marry within our own tribe… Christianity. Judith and Basemath represent the world and those who live outside of God’s will. As Christians we are responsible to protect ourselves from being pulled into the world.

A friend gave me this illustration and I thought it made perfect sense.
Imagine that you are standing on a chair. What’s easier? For you to pull someone up onto the chair next to you or for the person standing on the ground to pull you down to their level?

That’s us. We are standing on a chair in our Christianity. Mingling romantically with those outside of Christianity is the same as extending our arm to be pulled down from our chair and back into the world.
Remember we are living in this world but we are not of it. [Hebrews 13:14]
Let’s be smarter than Esau. Let’s not scorn our blessing of salvation. Let’s protect it instead by keeping our romantic relationships within God’s boundaries. Do not be unequally yoked was His command!

My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father, please give us wisdom. Please grant us the discernment to know when we are extending our hand to someone who can pull us away from you. Please keep us drawn in close to you that we may be lights shining on a hill instead of lamps hidden under a table. I pray that we may trust you to lead us in the correct path. That in singleness we may trust you and wait on. I pray that even if we are not single that we may learn to solely depend on you and not attempt to take things into our hands. Remind us that you are sovereign and do not need our help. We  love you and thank you for your goodness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 6:14
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

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