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Friday, October 2, 2015

My Thoughts on The Treasured Woman by Christa Bryant Week Four


This is the last post about the The Treasured Woman for the 2015 September book club. I want to encourage you to keep on reading with us, and if you haven't started the Treasured Woman. Go ahead and read it! I want to remind you that the October book club is Sandi Rog's Out of the Ashes.  If you haven't gotten a copy, pick one up today.

My Thoughts on The Treasured Woman

Chapter 10: Rehab

Rehab is one of my favorite women of the Bible. She is a woman who found faith in God and hid the spies in Jericho. She is also the mother of Boaz who married Ruth, so if my counting is right, she is the g-great grandmother of King David. I don't suspect she ever imagined in her wildest dreams that she would have a future King of Israel in her lineage, or even greater, the King of Kings: Christ!

Christa talks about putting God first, "grabbing on and not letting go." She challenges us to examine our own lives and really ask ourselves if we are putting God first. She brings up one of my biggest pet peeves, and that is the parent who puts secular activities before the worship of God. We must be careful to encourage our children to put God first and not to put stumbling blocks in their paths.

Rehab recognized the power of the Lord. She had heard of the works he'd done as he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. She knew that they were conquering the lands about her, and in her fear and reverence toward God she desired to cling to him and follow his commands. (Hanging the scarlet ribbon from her window.)

Christa encourages us to recognize that God has laid out a path to become Christians, and that his way is the only way to salvation. Just as the spies told Rehab to gather her family into her house and tie the scarlet ribbon in her window to be saved, God has told us that we must put him on in baptism to be saved (John 3, Acts 2:38).  Rehab was wise enough to recognize God's conditions for salvation, and we must be, too!

Chapter 11: Hannah

I've always felt a special kinship to Hannah. There was a time I was told that I would not be able to have children. In fact, I had to tell this to the man who loved me before I married him so he would know going into our marriage there was that possibility. I wanted him to have a choice for his future even if that meant his future was with someone else.

The crazy thing about our story is that we got pregnant right away after we got married with our first child. We were surprised so, I assumed the doctor's warnings were completely wrong, until we tried to have our second.

It took two years to get pregnant with our daughter. People around us were having babies, and I can't express the pain I felt seeing their happiness, knowing that I might not ever be able to have another child. (I know that sounds petty, I was already blessed with a son, but it was how I felt at the time.)

When I finally did get pregnant with our second child, it was after being electrocuted in a lightening storm -- story for another time -- I decided if the baby was a boy his name would be Samuel, because I knew he was a gift from God.  When she was born her name quickly became Naomi.  We thought that was all, but God had other plans and a year and two weeks later our third child was born. Surprise!

While, I don't know all the pain a woman who can never have children has, I do remember those two years we tried to get pregnant and the years before I had our first child. I remember what it was like to think I would go through life never knowing a child of my own, so in some ways I understand part of Hannah's pain.

Hannah was mistreated by her husband's other wife, and in her complete sadness she prayed to God asking for a son. God granted her petition, and soon her son Samuel was born. Hannah was so thankful to have a son that she dedicated his life to God. Christa reminds us that our children are gifts from God and we should raise them in the service of God.

She also reminds us to count our blessings and to use our abilities for God. Christa teaches us that giving back to others, and doing good is where happiness truly lies.

Chapter 12: Esther

Esther was not only a woman of courage but she was a prepared and humble woman. Esther is a great example of a woman who rose to meet the challenges that came her way and her story is s shining example of the providence of God.

Christa encourages us to remember that we are the daughters of the King and because of this we can have courage to follow him and use the abilities he's given us. She also reminds us in order to use those abilities, we must grow in them. We must study the Bible so we can teach others, and always look to his word for guidance.

If we hone our abilities we can use them for honor and glory to God. For example, if you're a great writer, you can be writing books, or articles. If your an accomplished speaker you may be speaking on ladies days. We must remember that the only way to sharpen our abilities is to use them. We don't have to be fearful when the occasion arises for us to use our abilities, because we can rest assured that when we are faithfully following God he is with us.

Chapter 13: The 21st Century Woman

Christa ties all the women covered in the first 12 chapters to remind us that we can be the women God wants us to be, and we can be the woman given for an example to us in Proverbs 31.

To be this woman we must have a consuming faith, and let go our our excuses. God can use us, we have never done anything so bad that he won't forgive, and we have never gone through anything so hard that we cannot recover. We must be hard workers in the kingdom of Christ, teach our children God's ways and serve others. We can be the Proverbs woman let's start today!

Don't forget to rate Christa's book on Amazon click: here.

3 comments:

  1. Chapter 11 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
    1. How did Hannah feel at the beginning of her story?
    Overwhelmed with despair.

    2. How significant are her emotions to the promise she made to God? Her deep emotions showed her desperation and commitment to God.

    3. When Hannah gave Samuel back to the Lord, what does she teach us about working for the Father?
    Commitment with gratitude.

    4. What blessings do you have in your life?
    Husband, Christian children, a special Christian friend, job in the Medical field, work part-time, like to study, read, write, my home.

    5. How can you use them for the work of the church?
    I can get together with young mothers to encourage and give advice on raising their children to be Christians, my friend and I can arrange get togethers with other Christian women, we have a blog together but we could work more on it together to clarify a purpose, as. I am not working full-time, I use that time for these ideas, write a Study guide for women, read and encourage the Christian authors on the "church of Christ Women Authors" blog, beautify and take care of my home so I can have Christian women over during the day.

    6. What programs do you have in your church or community that you could use your talents for?
    I could wrIte an abstract or give a presentation for work. I could host a prayer meeting in my home.

    7. The blessing of Hannah is that she gave back to the Lord and his service what she could have kept to herself. Are there things that we keep to ourselves that we can share more readily with others?
    Meals, time and money.

    8. What blessing does the Proverbs 31 woman have and use for those around her that we can emulate?
    The Proverb Ladies is blessed through her relationship with God. As a result, everything she does is for the glory of the Lord!

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  2. Chapter 12 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
    1. Which quality of Esther do you admire most?
    That she asked others join her in prayer during the most difficult time of her life. This showed her faith and dependence upon God and He gave her the courage and strength she needed to do His will.

    2. Do you view Esther as a beautiful woman who was blessed to become queen or a woman shaped by God?
    She was as a beautiful woman shaped by God.

    3. How does that translate to how you view yourself?
    It gives me confidence in the power of God to use me in His service.

    4. How did Esther rely on Mordecai and Hegai to help her become queen?
    She relied on the wisdom of these two men to help her become queen.
    She was submissive.

    5. How can you better prepare your talents and gifts for the Lord?
    First, I have to pray for wisdom. Then I have to set time aside to develop them, by study or gaining knowledge at them. I need to put the use of those gifts to practice and by trial and error get better at them. I have to plan by setting up a schedule and manage time better in order to incorporate these things into my life.

    6. Do you think God prepared you for a specific work in the kingdom?
    I am committed to Bible Study. I like to write. I took public speaking. I like to plan and organize. I think he has prepared me but I still don't know exactly in which direction.

    7. How do you view humility?
    I see it as not being arrogant or puffed up about oneself and thinking of others.

    8. How can you adopt a spirit of humility?
    As mentioned in the study, I can seek the advice of others and listen openly. I can call out to God more throughout the day.

    9. How can you rely on people in your spiritual family to help you develop your talents, abilities, and spiritual walk?
    Get to know them better, trust them enough to talk about such matters. What do they see my talents as. Do they see a way for me to use them. Ask for their prayers.

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  3. Chapter 13 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
    1. In this study, what have you learned about yourself and the presence of God?
    I have learned that I need to rely upon God harder than I have been. He is there for me throughout the day, I just have to draw near to Him.

    2. Do you identify with one of the women of Scripture?
    Yes.

    3. If so which one?
    Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His teaching.

    4. Which woman in this study had the most impact on your walk with God?
    Esther. I learned to get prepared to use my talents and how my blessings can be used to serve the Lord.

    5. What hinders you from having a closer relationship to the Father? Worldly pleasures competing for attention.

    6. How can you be closer to the Lord?
    Prayer and memorizing Scripture.

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