Sluice Box Adventures

Believing Bible Study in the 21st century

For Women & Girls

Proverbs 31

King James Bible

Daughters of Faith

An Internet Ministry For Encouragement Of Christian Girls and Ladies Around the World.


For WomenDaughters of Faith

January / February Issue 2005
"O, The Deep Deep Love of Jesus!"

Our Full-Time Staff:

Laura Beth Wagenschutz, Editor & columnist ~ Wisconsin
Chaille Jacobson, Editor's Assistant & columnist ~ Illinois
Hannah Brown, columnist ~ Wisconsin
Amanda Sedler, columnist ~ Minnesota
Rebekah Wark, columnist ~ Minnesota
Gina Allison, columnist ~ Czech Republic
Ruby Wagenschutz, columnist ~ Michigan
Benjamin Jossund, columnist ~ Wisconsin

Our Full-Time Staff:

Dawn Wagenschutz, columnist ~ Wisconsin
Johanna Wilhite, columnist ~ South Africa
An Encouraging Word
By: Miss Chaille Jacobson

Sin, Snow, and Saving Grace

As I sit here writing, the world around me is being gracefully draped in a blanket of beautiful, pure, white snow. I love to see those white, fluffy flakes falling gently to the ground. The world transforms as the snow hides the ugliness of winter. Instead of brown, dead grass and bare trees you see a sparkling blanket of those beautiful, white snowflakes. It seems almost magical. Seeing the world blanketed in the snow makes me forget for a moment all the bad stuff around me. For that moment in time it is easy to imagine that the world has to be as peaceful and pure as it feels outside. How could it not be?

I think that God has given us some beautiful word pictures in the Bible. Seeing the snow reminds me of the verse in Isaiah that says, “. . .though
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; . . .” I love to reflect on that word picture. Before my salvation my heart was ugly and scarred with sin. There was nothing beautiful about it. That sin was all God could see, and because of it I deserved to go to the place the Bible calls Hell. Without God’s love and God’s grace there would be no hope for any of us. I am so very thankful that He made a way out of that torment, a way for us to spend the rest of forever with Him in Heaven. God sent Jesus, His very own Son, to come to this earth to die a horrible death for the sin of the world, the ugliness, of all mankind. My sin! The moment that I accepted Christ as my Savior my heart was changed forever. What was once nothing but ugliness became something beautiful because it was covered in the blood of God’s Son. Just like a winter snow makes the world beautiful, God’s love did a work in me to make my heart beautiful to Him. However, this change is not something temporary. Eventually the snow falling outside will become dirty and black, eventually it will be marred with footprints, eventually it will melt away, but this great gift of salvation is not something I can ever lose. That He would love me enough to save me is nothing short of absolutely amazing!
“. . .though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;. . .”

What a beautiful picture! What an amazing thought! I am thankful for the snow God sends. It never fails to remind me of His unending, unfailing,
unconditional love for me.

There is Reason to be Joyful

By: Miss Rebekah Wark

Howdy, Folks!
I hope you all had a good Christmas. :0) I know I did. Here,...I have two quick jokes for you:

Q: Where do reindeer keep their money?
A: In a Snow Bank!

Q: What do gingerbread men put on their beds?
A: Cookie Sheets!

(These jokes are from Hannah Brown.)

Do you know what Proverbs 21:23 says? It says, "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Your mouth is what gets you in trouble so, if you keep your mouth shut, and think once (maybe even twice!) before you speak, I think you may be happier! It's
just something to think on...

With a grin,
Bekah Wark

Nana's Notebook

By: Mrs. Ruby Wagenschutz

"Self-sufficiency is the enemy of faith." This statement was part of a message I heard at a camp meeting several months ago. I wrote it in my Bible and I've thought about it and prayed about it since that time. I believe that all Christians, and you young ladies in particular, will receive a real blessing by understanding and acting upon this truth.

How many times have you heard someone say, "Well, I've tried everything. Now all I can do is pray." Why do we say that? Because we tend to rely too much upon our own cleverness and ability, but never enough upon the power of God. We seem to think that on our own we can
handle anything. When we face a problem or decision, prayer should not be our last hope. Our first thought should be to prayerfully turn the matter over to Jesus, asking Him to lead and guide, and help us to act and do only those things that are in accordance with His will, trusting Him to work it out to His honor and glory. We need to exercise our faith.

Paul says it so well, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." II Corinthians 3:5 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong." II Corinthians 12:9, 10

On the other hand, we often excuse ourselves from obeying God's commands by saying we don't have the talent or ability required to witness to lost souls, to teach a class, to sing in the choir or a group, or do any number of things which the Lord has asked us to do. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard - or said myself - "I just can't do that!" - I'd be rich. How can we explain away Philippians 4:13? "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

In areas where we possess talents and strengths, let's not go full speed ahead and fail to seek and act upon God's leadership. In areas where we feel inadequate and unsure, let's rely upon Him to accomplish His purpose through our willingness and obedience.

"Lord, help me not to be self-sufficient, but rely by faith upon your sufficiency. Amen."

The Hope Chest of Proverbs 31

By: Miss Gina Allison

Busyness or Business?

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” Proverbs 31:16, 24

Anne Ortlund, a Christian writer said, “The Industrious spider gets a large web.” Have you ever seen a spider weave her web? It may take hours, even days for her to form it. Each thread must be symmetrically in line with the others. You may not have actually watched one, but we’ve all seen the finished product. A finished web is a beautiful work of precision. The thing about a spider is that she is not just weaving her web to stay busy- her web has a purpose. That web is her business- her life support. A spider has to work very hard weaving her web before she can enjoy the fruits of her labor. So, what about you, do you have a business or is your life simply complicated by busyness? Are you an industrious spider? A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”

The next item to add to your “hope chest” is a Beneficial Business.

What do I mean by a beneficial business? A beneficial business is a task which you accomplish or a product you produce which brings financial reward for yourself and family. As a married woman having a home business will provide extra finances to care for the family, so less stress is placed on your husband. As a young single lady, having your own money will place less stress on your parent’s budget when you can provide some things for yourself, such as money for fun times, camps, clothing, ect… So how do we produce a beneficial business?

1. Beneficial Businesses are born in Busy Brains

Two specific character qualities are found in a person who has a busy brain-

Resourcefulness is
- Seeing value in objects, ideas, and people

- Repairing, reusing, and recycling

- Making wise use of your time, talents, energy

Creativity is
- Using your talents for good

- Seeing things from more than one perspective

- Using principles to solve problems

Resourcefulness is being able to look at things that people would normally throw away and use those to produce beautiful hand- made items, whether crafts or meals, or clothing. In a nutshell, being resourceful is the ability to use resources wisely. It takes creativity to be resourceful, and the most God-honoring form of creativity is the art of being resourceful. The Proverbs 31 woman made wise use of everything. Nothing went to waste in her home. She saw something in everything. We may be resourceful in other things, but we often forget to be resourceful with our time, and time is something we can never get back once passed. You might spend a lot of time being busy, but is that busyness productive? Test your activities to see if they are productive or not by writing down what you did the day before or that week. How long is the list? Did you have trouble making the list altogether? If either of these things is true, maybe you need to take another look at how you are spending or wasting your time.

Creativity provides the ideas for which the resourceful person can create. It is the ability to turn everyday, run- of- the- mill resources into works of art. Creativity has boundaries though. It can’t go beyond doing what is right. There is a biblical limit for how far you should go. “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.” (Proverbs 16:8) Never compromise to make money or to sell a product. Without either of these character qualities you cannot have a successful and beneficial business.

The Busy Businesswoman

“ And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us,” Acts 16: 14-15.

In the city of Thyatira lived a woman named Lydia. Lydia was a businesswoman. Her business was selling (and possibly making) purple material. The Bible doesn’t say what type of material it was exactly, but we know the woman in Proverbs 31 also dressed herself in this same material. “…her clothing is silk and purple.” (vs. 22) The Bible doesn’t say much about this woman at all. But what it does tell us reveals a lot about the character of Lydia. She resourcefully used her time, energy, talent, and finances to create a bustling business. Lydia was the first person recorded to be saved on the continent of Europe. After being baptized to show her belief in Christ, she invites Paul and his companions to abide in her house. Lydia might have been a wealthy woman, since she seems to have the resources necessary to care for these extra people. It would also appear that Lydia was a single woman, since no husband is ever mentioned. The thing I want to point out about Lydia, single or married, is that with the money she earned from her business, she was financially able to further the gospel by providing a shelter for the preacher and his traveling companions and a place for meetings to be held. This is the goal of having a beneficial business is that your business in it’s own small way would help to further the gospel.

2. The Bare Bones of a Beneficial Business

Elizabeth George says in her book Beautiful in God’s Eyes about the woman of Proverbs 31, “She has created a full fledged industry that reaches to the markets of the known world. Her handiwork- originally created at home from a heart of love for those near and dear to her- is now at the heart of a thriving business. The beautiful work of her hands is carried by merchant ships and camel caravans to the ends of the earth… The selling of her items to foreign markets speaks of the quality of her work, explains her prosperity and proves that she is a creative professional.”

The verse says, “She maketh fine linen…” Linen is very versatile, so it is resourceful because it can be made into many different things. Another word for girdle is a sash. “…a sash was worn to gather the flowing garments (still worn in Israel today) so that the movement was easier. Leather belts were common, but a linen sash or belt was more attractive and more costly, woven with gold and silver thread and studded with jewels and gold. These were the works of art she ‘supplies… for the merchants.’” (Beautiful in God’s Eyes, Elizabeth George) “

The Proverbs 31 woman’s business did not keep her from her home duties. If you can’t get everything done then the business should be the first to go. Remember what Proverbs 15: 16 and 17 says, “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” The Proverbs 31 woman never shirks her responsibilities to have this other business. Don’t spend so much time on this extra project that responsibilities are neglected. Do not neglect your family to pursue your interest. With God’s help and good time management, (we looked at that in the last article), you can take care of your family and work on your Proverbs 31 project. Take something personal and turn it into something professional.

In verse 16, we read, “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” Vineyards take years of work before the vines produce grapes, the fruit. This was an investment. When she bought that field, she was looking into the future and seeing what it would do for her family. Gardening is an excellent way to combine being resourceful for your own family and having a business. First, growing your own vegetables take a lot of time, but when they produce you have a lot of food for your family that won’t need to be purchased at the store, then the vegetables can be canned and frozen so they can be used throughout the winter. If you have the space, plant the garden big enough so that the overflow of vegetables can be sold at a roadside stand or farmer’s market. There is a lot of work to be done when starting a business and even more work running a business. Here are some ideas for some other types of home businesses- craft stands, flower stands, babysitting, cleaning services, yard maintenance services, pet sitting/pet care services, PC tutor services, catering services, errand, messenger, or delivery services, teaching art or music, educational tutoring services, writing for a newspaper or magazine, photography, tailoring, the list goes on and on. I call these the full profit businesses. That means whatever you make over what it cost to put the business together is your profit.

There are also commission businesses. These would be your sales-type jobs like Stampin’ Up, Home Interior, Longaberger Baskets, Pampered Chef, and Avon… You still work out of your home, but you only make a commission off of your sales.

Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. gives advice for young people starting a home business.

Do get the advice of an adult family member before starting your business.
Do consider coming up with a cool name for your business -- it will make you seem more professional.
Don't get too discouraged if your business starts slowly; it takes time to get your business known.
Don't let a competing teen stop you from opening a similar business.
Do use every available resource to spread the word about your new business, including posting flyers around the neighborhood, in community centers and religious organizations, and local stores.
Don't fall in the trap thinking that starting your own business will be extremely lucrative and fun; running your own business is a lot of hard work, but it will be great experience for future jobs and college applications.
Don't spend all the money you make from your business; do put some money aside to save for the future.
Remember, the goal is not to make a lot of money. “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” (Proverbs 23:4) You’re not trying to become a millionaire. As a young lady, you don’t want to become dependent on your own money; God’s plan is for you to lean on your parents and your future husband to care for you. If you have trouble-trusting God to take care of you or your family, don’t start a business right now. Learn to trust God before you rely on outside finances. Proverbs 3:5-“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding.” Be sure that the reason you are starting this business is not because you think your parents don’t make enough money to support you and you are trying to live above your means. “Live within your income. Let your imports be more than your exports and you will never go far wrong.”

About the Allisons...

We live in Modrice. Just outside the city of Brno, in the southern part of the country. To put in perspective, we are about an hour from Vienna,

There are four kids in our family and another on the way. Gina (20), Donna(17), James(5), and David(3).

We don't have any pets, but we do have some coi and goldfish and a carp that live in our pond in the backyard.

I am a freelance writer. It's what I have wanted to do since my early teen years. I enjoy it very much. I graduated from high school two years ago. I was home schooled. I enjoy writing these articles for Daughters of Faith magazine. I help my mom around the house. I love cooking. I love reading as well, especially historical fiction, and biographies about Amy Carmichael.