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

July / August Issue 2006
"O, The Deep Deep Love of Jesus!"

Our Staff...

Laura Beth Wagenschutz, Editor

Gina Allison, Columnist

Hannah Brown, Columnist

Deborah Brauer, Columnist

Rebekah Wark, Columnist

Kristina Jossund, Columnist

Johanna Spangenberg, Columnist

Ruby Wagenschutz, Columnist

Ev. Benjamin Jossund, Columnist

Letter from the Editor...

In studying out "the Love of God" for this issue, I found that there really was too much information to include it all in one letter. There are only 13 verses in the entire Bible that include the phrase, "love of God", but there is so much meat in each and every verse, that it would be impossible to expound on all of it. So, I have chosen only two aspects of the love of God to talk about here. I pray that each of you will keep your heart open to hear what the Lord wants to say to you. For, believe me, He does want to speak to you!

First, let's look at Romans 8:35-39, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Wow! There are so many different ways to look at this portion of God's Word. We could look at the first part and say, "There is no exception when it comes to those who can receive Christ." It says right there, that tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword cannot separate us from the love of God! If a man (or girl) is truly seeking God's face, and coming to Him for salvation, there is nothing, not a problem, not their social standing, not their financial situation, not even their past sins that can separate them from the Lord and from His salvation. Anyone can repent and be saved! Praise the Lord!

Then, once we are saved, "we are killed all the day long" for Christ's sake! Not a physical death, but a dying to the desires of the flesh daily. Once we are saved, we need to be willing to give up all to follow Christ.* In so doing, we become conquerors! The Lord gives victory over the sin in our lives; it is not us who wins the victory, it is Christ through us.

When one asks the Lord to forgive them and becomes a Christian, there is then nothing that will separate them from their God. Death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, nor any other creature can separate the Christian from the love (salvation) of God. We are in His everlasting grip, never to be plucked out! Once we are saved, we are always saved.

Now, we have just seen that nothing in man's power, nor angels' can make us "un-saved" once we are saved. However, there is one thing that can separate us from Christ's love even after we are saved.

In Jude 1:21, God's Word says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." This verse says that we are to "Keep ourselves in the love of God." Thus implying that we ourselves are capable of separating ourselves from that same love! Not that we can make ourselves lose our salvation, but we can so act as to separate ourselves from the daily walk with the Lord and from His love that He freely gives to those following Him. What a frightful thought!

I know that I don't want to separate myself from the love of God, and I pray that you don't either. So, how can we keep ourselves in the love of God? What is there in our power to do to protect ourselves from being separated from the love of God?

First, we need to be faithful in our prayer life, our daily conversations with God. Prayer should not be a one-sided practice! We need to have a quiet time during our devotions in which we simply sit and listen for God to speak to our hearts. We, in turn, can respond.

Then, we need to not only read our Bible every day, but we need to study God's Word! There are treasures untold just waiting to be gleaned by the eager heart. The Lord is waiting for you to reach in and draw forth a handful. What are you waiting for?

Lastly, we need to be willing to be a mirror, to reflect the love of God to others in need and searching. We are the only lamps that the Light of God can burn in! The Devil is prowling, waiting for a lamp to come on so he can try to blow out the flame before it spreads to others, but if we are secure in our salvation, and faithful in talking to God, and studying our Bibles each and every day, we will not easily fall prey and be blown out.

Don't let the cares of this world and trials of life take your focus off of Christ. It is then that we fall away from our daily devotions; it is then that we remove ourselves from the love of God. We give Lucifer the victory when we take a "vacation" from our walk with God.

Let's not give in, Ladies, but let us strive to remain in the love of God! May we hear at the Judgment Seat, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

*Many people assume that "getting saved" means "giving up all to follow Christ". However, the two have only one thing in common, that is that each requires faith. "Getting saved" is: trusting God that He will forgive me of my sins if I but ask, and following through with that faith by asking Him to come into my heart". That is the extent of "getting saved".

Now, "giving up all to follow Christ" is another matter all together. One must first know that they are saved, and needs to have followed the Lord in believer's baptism (which does not save, only testifies publicly that one has received Christ and shows obedience to the Father) before they can "give up all to follow Christ".

As to a definition for "giving up all to follow Christ", I really cannot say that there is a satisfactory definition! I believe that this is a never-ending practice, because as we live we draw closer to different people and we become attached to different things, sometimes unknowingly! We don't mean to become attached, but we do so without trying. Each day we must make Christ the focus of our lives and give up all that is dear to us to the glory of God. This needs to be done willingly every moment of every day, in every area of our lives.

The Pure In Heart

By: Evangelist Benjamin Jossund

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Purity is the key to seeing God.

There is no nobler pursuit then to see God.

Therefore purity is the noblest of virtues.

There is no excuse for sin in the life of a young person. There is no sin too big for God to forgive. No sin is too little for God not to notice. The blood of Christ is effectual in cleansing us from ALL unrighteousness. To be cleansed is to be made pure again. Purity is not an accident. It is a deliberate choice to be purified by confession of sin. Young people, God has called us to live pure lives.

I have heard the excuses the world gives for sin. Understand this: There is no disease that causes sin. There is no sin in our lives that can be legitimately excused in society. It is not mom and dad’s fault. I don’t care what kind of school you had, your sin did not originate there. There is no such thing as temporary insanity in God’s eyes. Sin is a choice we make. It may be an easy choice to make or we might really struggle with committing a sin, but to sin or not is always our choice.

Do not let the Devil rob you of your humanness. What separates us from the beasts is our ability to understand morality and to choose an action accordingly. I am not a hormone crazed creature driven to action by the impulse of nature. I am a man created in the image of God. And while the image is already marred by sin, I have retained complete control on my free will. A man must decide to be a man when it comes to cause and effect. The effects of sin in my life must be recognized as being caused by my sin. It is my sin that has separated me from God. You are the only one who can keep you from finding God.

It matters little what background you have. Many great preachers have had children who never did come to terms with their sin and ended up as spiritual zeros. Conversely, I can recount numbers of stories of Godly men who were born to alcoholics, men of loose morals, and other profane types of characters. My point is you will never see God when your sin is someone else’s fault. It is your sin that hampers your spirituality. It is the pure in heart that see God.

I care about the abused individual. I hate the fact that the innocent suffer at the hand of a pervert. But even those who have been violated will become a slave to the sin of self-pity if personal sin is not cleansed. I run the risk of sounding cold and uncaring, but let us see the facts as they are. I, as a sinner, deserve to be in Hell tonight. I deserve to be on fire, tortured, and screaming as the searing pains of eternal death pierce to the depths of my soul. I have experienced God’s grace in that I can still seek God. Don’t let the sins of others keep you from the noblest endeavor in which a man can engage. Don’t let the sin of self pity keep you from knowing God.

Satan will try to get you anyway he can. The Devil will attempt to make the believer think he is locked in his sin whatever that sin may be. It is a lie!! A man always has a choice. Choose purity. Purify yourself on a regular basis. Take the grace offered by God through Christ that all of your sins can be cleansed and cast into the deepest sea!

Be pure!

Ev. Ben Jossund

Prayer Power...

Requested By: Miss Laura Beth Wagenschutz

Request: I would like to ask prayer for the salvation of my aunt Lisa, and friends, Liz & Sarah.

Requested By: Miss Hannah Brown

Request: Please pray that my parents would be able to find the house the Lord wants us to buy. I also have 1 unspoken request. Thank you!

Requested By: Miss Rebekah Wark

Request: Please pray for my Uncle Len, my mom's oldest brother. He had cancer removed from the right side of his brain in January, now it is growing on the left side. They haven't given him but maybe a year to live, most likely he doesn't even have that. Two of my great aunts also have cancer. They all claim to be saved, Praise the Lord!

Requested By: Miss Morgan Guiley

Request: Dorothy's pregnant!! (Dorothy that had Savannah) She's not due until January, but it looks like she'll have a long, tough pregnancy--5 months of bed rest, and already, she can't stand up for more than 15 minutes at a time! Plus, (naturally), she's scared, so if you think of it please keep her in your prayers!

Requested By: Miss Juli Wilhite

Request: I have a dear friend named Jennifer who's a pastor's daughter. Recently, she "tossed Christianity" into the trash, moved out from home, and is dating an unsaved guy. She's also left church. Pray that her eye's will no longer be blinded by the devil. We are praying for her safe return to her family and church, but most importantly, to God.

Concerning Grace Bruce...

Dear Laura Beth,

Well, it's bad in human terms. Grace left (July 1st), without her baby or her husband. The prayer at this time, is that she will be able to get back into the U.S. within 6 months.

Wednesday night, after church, all the people gathered around her and her husband to pray for them as they go through this trying time in their lives. It was really hard, and we were all crying before it was over.

Pray, with us, that she will be able to find a church in Java. If there's no church (which is likely the case), pray that she will still be able to maintain a close walk with the Lord, through Bible reading and prayer. She has already given us an overseas address that we can use to write to her. Our ladies plan to do that often. Also pray for her safety. Indonesia is known for its troubles both geologically (volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis) and politically (many terrorists--it's a Muslim nation).

Thank you all, in advance, for your faithfulness to hold this dear lady, her husband Ken, and her 6 month old baby Abishai in your prayers. God has a purpose in everything. We'll continue to trust Him. He is faithful.

In Christ,
Christy Lahr

Dear sisters,

Thank you for your prayers and your love. I still have to go back to my country; my husband and our baby stay in US. We have peace about it. It is well with our soul.

In Christ,

The Bruce's

Bible Believers Baptist Church

660 Constitution Ave

Stowe, PA.

The Hope Chest of Proverb 31...

By: Miss Gina Allison

Taming The Tongue

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26

“A word is dead, when it is said, some say, I say it just begins to live that day.” Emily Dickinson. Our words are alive. They travel into the very hearts of our hearers and may affect their lives in a very real way. God calls our tongues “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” But on the flip side, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Words define us in society. Other people measure us by our words. It would appear odd to hear a suited CEO to speak like a gang member. In the same way, it should be odd to hear a Christian girl speak like a lost person. The next item to add to your “hope chest” is a tame tongue.

When speaking of the tongue, I don’t mean that flatbed of flesh in your mouth. The “tongue” is a reference to the voice and the words spoken using that voice. The Bible speaks of the importance of taming, bridling, and controlling the words we say and the manner in which we use them. Proverbs 25:11says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Also in Proverbs 15: 23, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! We have all heard the fairy tale of the king who turned everything to gold with his touch. Every word the Proverbs 31 woman speaks turns to gold in the ears of the hearer. I know this goal is seemingly unattainable, but we know this woman is an example of what a godly woman can and should be. Also remember, Solomon’s mother is not describing a “aged woman” for her son, she is describing the qualities desirable in a young woman of marriageable age. This is what he should look for in choosing a bride! No, you don’t have to be perfect to be a godly wife, but you should be striving to develop these qualities in your life. Direction, not perfection is a well-known phrase and it goes for both young men and young women in all areas.

1. The Timeless Truths of a Tame Tongue
Taming the tongue is not a new problem, nor has it gotten more difficult in recent years. The truths from God’s word are timeless; these truths regarding the tongue have not changed. It is as important to guard our tongues now, as it has been thorough all ages.

A tame tongue displays two specific character qualities kindness and wisdom.

Kindness- the quality of being warm-hearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic.

Wisdom- the use of knowledge in a practical and successful way.

Kind words are warm-hearted, considerate, humane, and sympathetic. A godly woman doesn’t make someone who is sad or depressed feel worse about themselves. She doesn’t berate someone who has made a mistake. Even in disciplining her children her words are spoken with kindness. She encourages, uplifts, and speaks with words of wisdom, wisdom that is not based on her own philosophies or knowledge, but wisdom based on the word of God. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” That’s a pretty strong statement. It means we have the power to encourage someone to a life of godliness and discourage someone and drive him or her away from God. We need to grasp the responsibility our words hold. We often speak without thinking and we have no idea the inward pain our words may cause. Proverbs 10:32 says, “the lips of the wise know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness.” Do you know what is acceptable? It says here that wise lips know what is acceptable as godly speech. This says a lot about whether we have wise lips or not. Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” A modern version of that proverb- “It is better to be quiet and to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

The Tongue Tamer

In I Samuel 25: 2- 42, we find the story of one woman whose speech stands out to me. Her words were kind, wise, and well chosen. Her name was Abigail. This “Abigail is a ‘woman of good understanding, and a beautiful countenance’ In her winsomeness and wisdom were wed. She had brains as well as beauty… loveliness and intelligence went hand in hand. A beautiful woman with a beautiful mind as she had is surely one of God’s masterpieces.” (All the Women of the Bible- Herbert Lockyer)

Although Abigail was a godly woman, her husband, Nabal was “churlish and evil in his doings. (Verse 3)” Churlish means to be rude, crude, ill-mannered, and undignified. Quite the opposite of what we see of his lovely wife, Abigail. Nabal was a very wealthy man and very well known in his hometown.

One day David and his band of 600 men came to ask for provisions. These men had been acting as a wall of protection for the servants and flocks during the time of shearing. No one was hurt and David’s men or anyone else took nothing, but Nabal would not show them any kindness. He refused to neither help them in anyway nor provide them with any food or other provisions.

David, in a fit of rage, called his men to battle and prepared to destroy Nabal and his entire household, which would include Abigail herself. When Abigail heard these words, she knew she must stop the destruction of her home. She gathered the supplies David needed, and set off to stop David from taking vengeance into his own hands. On the way, I wonder if she was thinking of what to say and how to say it. Abigail was a wise woman. She wouldn’t just “spilled it” or “gave him a piece of her mind.” She planned her words carefully to make the most impact on David. “Her wisdom is seen in that she did not attempt to check David’s turbulent feeling by argument, but won him by wise, kind words. She followed the dictates of her disciplined will, and speaking at the opportune moment her beautiful appeal from beautiful lips, captivated the heart of David. We can never gauge the effects of our words and our actions upon others.” (All the Women of the Bible- Herbert Lockyer)

Listen to Abigail’s words, “Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaiden, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaiden.” Abigail is the wife of one of the wealthiest men around, David is a man running for his life from King Saul, and yet she is addressing his as “my lord” and referring to herself as “thine handmaiden.” She speaks to him as if speaking to the king. What humility she displays! She goes on to beg David to forgive her foolish husband, and to accept the provisions she has brought. She praises him for fighting the battles of the Lord, and assures him that God’s blessings will fall on him for the good that he has done. She reminds him of his destiny to become king, surely he wouldn’t want the blood of innocent men and women on his hands, it would be a burden and not a pleasure.

David then thanks her for her kind words and her advice, which spared him of avenging himself and spilling innocent blood. He says, “Go up in peace to thine house, see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.” He would allow God to avenge his men and take revenge on the only guilty party, Nabal. Abigail went home, but did not tell Nabal until the morning what she had done. When Abigail told him, Nabal’s “heart died" within him, and he became as a stone. 10 days later, God smote Nabal and he died. Abigail was finally free from her wicked husband. When David heard the news, he sent for Abigail and she became his wife. Because of her wise and kind words, Abigail spared the life of herself and her household and eventually became the 2nd wife of David, the King of Israel.

2. The Terrible Troubles of an Un-tame Tongue

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so it the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3: 5-6,8)

In part one we discussed the wonderful uses of the tongue, but now we must look at the terrible troubles that come from an un-tame tongue. The bible says to think on good things, so I don’t want to spend much time here, but I think it’s important to cover these things as a warning to young ladies.

Volume- “In ancient Jewish marriages not only was the content of a woman’s speech important, but the volume of her voice was important as well. A woman could be divorced without a marriage settlement if she had a loud voice! How was “loud” measured? By the ability of her neighbors to hear her speak while in her own house.” The volume of a lady’s voice is very important. We shouldn’t yell or scream. Some girls are blessed with louder voices than others, but you must control your volume. Saying your voice is naturally loud is not an excuse. But on the other side, a girl who whispers all the time is not any better. A lady should speak at a moderate volume with a controlled sound, no squeaking or growling. Can your neighbors hear you when you are angry, or does everyone strain their ears to hear you speak?

Quantity- Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Do you talk too much? Have you been called a jabber mouth or chatterbox? Those aren’t compliments. Part of “opening her mouth with wisdom” means her mouth is not always open. No one ever tells her she talks too much! Unless her words are kind, wise, and uplifting, she doesn’t say them. Now that’s not saying she doesn’t participate in delightful conversation. But if any of the following things are involved she openeth not her mouth!

Hurtful words- there is a big difference between playful teasing and hurtful words. Making remarks against someone’s physical body or mental abilities are extremely hurtful. Those are things people cannot change, and when other people make snood remarks about them, it stings deep inside. Jokes that make fun of someone else are NEVER funny. I like this quote from Amy Carmichael. “If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another, if I can in anyway slight another in conversation or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Gossip- Gossip needn't be false to be evil - there's a lot of truth that shouldn't be passed around. (Frank A. Clark) How much gossip is spread in the name of “prayer requests” or “testimonies?” When someone shares a prayer request with you, you should not share it with anyone else, unless they tell you to spread the word.

Nagging- Proverbs 27:15- “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Nagging is a difficult one to detect. It’s so easy to simply “remind” someone to do something. But more than one or two reminders becomes nagging. It’s a reminder rarely said in a spirit of love, but in a harsh tone of “why haven’t you done it yet?”

Slander- “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18) God also refers to this as “sowing discord among the brethren.” It takes a hateful person to tear down someone’s reputation and testimony by spreading false rumors about them. Gossip may or may not be true, but slander is always a false accusation. Slander cuts like a knife, and a slanderous tongue murders those around. Slander ruins reputations, and can destroy people’s good opinion of someone. God says you are a fool to slander another person’s good name.

Lying, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22 God hates lying. There is no such thing as a “little white lie.” All lying is wicked, and once you lie, that lie can grow until it takes years for people’s trust in you to be restored.

Arguing- Proverbs 21: 19, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Do you know what contention is? It means every time someone says something you have to verbalize an opposite opinion. That is a wrong attitude and it lies much deeper than just your words. If someone says white, do you always say black, even though white may be your favorite color. That is a person with an argumentative spirit. It’s one thing to have and verbalize an opinion, but often it’s better to keep it to your self. Also, when preparing to be a wife, it’s good to learn to offer your opinion, but in submission you are to back down if your husband does not agree.

Did you notice that each of these sins do not only affect the hearers, but the lives of the speakers as well? They destroy homes, families, relationships, and churches. God warns us many, many times in his word about the tongue, and we do best to heed his warnings. And un-tame tongue will bring terrible troubles upon you, if you do not learn to tame it. There is a lot more that could be said about each of these subjects. I pray if you detect you have a problem in one of these areas, that you study it out and beg God for deliverance. “How we use our tongue reflects on everything we do and affects everything we do and every person we come in contact with.” (Dr. Gene Getz in The Measure of a Woman.

Gina Allison

What's Cooking?...

Hello Ladies! I hope you all are enjoying your Summer. I would like to thank Miss Melody G. for sending in the recipes for the Pot Pie and Sage Biscuits; they both sound wonderful and I can't wait to try them! Here they are...

Pot Pie

1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup read and / or green pepper

1-1/2 cups cut broccoli

Any other vegetables, but into bite-sized pieces.

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. each, pepper and paprika

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup milk or half-and-half

3 cups chopped, cooked meat (chicken, ham, or turkey, etc.)

1 TBS. lemon juice

1 recipe for sage biscuits (see below)

In a 10 inch, oven-going frying pan, cook mushrooms and peppers in 1 TBS. butter until tender. Remove vegetables from pan.

Melt remaining butter frying pan.

Stir in flour and seasonings.

Add chicken broth and milk; cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens.

Stir in meat, vegetables and lemon juice.

Prepare biscuits as directed. Place wedges on top of hot meat mixture. Bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until biscuits are done.

Sage Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. rubbed, dried sage

1/2 tsp. cumin seed

6 TBS. shortening

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp. light corn syrup

1 tsp. water

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sage and cumin in a mixing bowl.

Cut in shortening until crumbly; add milk and mix to moisten flour.

Shape into a ball; turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll or pat into an 8 inch circle. Cut into 6 wedges.

Use as directed above.

Sage Biscuit Variation

May be cut with floured 2-1/2 inch round cutter.

Brush tops with mixture of syrup and water; place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in an oven heated to 450 degrees for 12 minutes, or until brown.

Well, I hope enjoy these recipes! Thank you again, Melody, for sharing these with us. If anyone else has a favorite recipe that they would like to share, please send them in soon so we can try them and publish them as well!

From the Kitchen,

Hannah Brown

“Once Upon a Time”...

By Johanna D. Spangenberg

One of my earliest memories took place during a men’s meeting at our home. I was three years old at the time and couldn’t see above the knees of all the men standing around talking on the porch, but I knew my daddy’s voice. I followed the soothing sound of his voice, discovered his pant leg and began to tug on it, calling “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” as I peered upwards as far as possible. Unfortunately the men were so noisy, Dad couldn’t hear me. At last there was a slight lull in the conversation. I shouted up among all the legs, “Hey, PASTOR WILHITE!!!”He stopped mid-sentence, glanced down, laughed, and gently picked me up.

Every day when Dad came home from work, my sisters and I would scream “Daddy’s home!!!” as we flew through the living room and attacked his legs with hugs and kisses. Each night, we’d sleepily call out “I wanna marry you, Daddy, when I grow up! I love you, Daddy!” and he’d call back, “I love you too, girls.” I was the oldest of eleven children, yet Daddy and I shared a bond that most girls do not have the privilege of sharing with their fathers.

Each night we would beg Daddy for a “Once-upon-a-time Story”. He was the best storyteller in the world, and oh the adventures he took us on! Wild safaris in Africa, spooky ghosts, his childhood on the farm, we never knew where he would take us. Some nights, I fell asleep with butterflies in my stomach when I knew that I would get to go early in the morning with Daddy on his paper route – it was one of the most exciting things for me. I felt so grown up when he let me help roll the papers. I remember sitting in the front seat of the car next to him, watching him throw those newspapers so far! Wow, my daddy was the strongest man in the world!

Although he was busy as a pastor, Dad always made time for each of us. As a little girl, I always anticipated my dates with Daddy.

I was nearly 12 years old when I became a true Christian the Bible way. My father happened to be at home, in bed with a fever and shingles. I had never seen him so sick and thought he was dying. That night at church, I realized that I had never had a personal relationship with Jesus. When I turned in faith to Him, He immediately began to change my heart. I ran home, flew up the stairs, and tearfully stood by my Daddy’s bed looking down at his feverish face. “Daddy, I just got saved!” He must’ve been praying for me that night. The next day I sat by his bed for an hour and read the Psalms to him. A deeper relationship developed from that point on.

The years flew by. The little girl matured into a young lady, while her hero grew into a precious friend.

As I grew busy in high school we wondered how to find time for each other? Every Thursday night Daddy would get out his saxophone and I’d sit at the piano. Our music merrily filled the hours. Often we’d sing duets. How we loved blending our voices in our favorite songs. What a two-some we were!

October, 2001 my family embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. We moved to South Africa as missionaries. Not long after arriving there, Dad contracted bacterial pneumonia. As I was sitting by his bedside feeling helpless, I couldn’t stop crying, thinking “Who’s going to be there for my graduation in a few weeks? Who’s going to walk me down the aisle someday? I can’t live without Daddy!” Dad was in the hospital for 3 days before he was well enough to come home. Seeing my father so weak was unusual. He was always such a strong man – my hero.

I graduated high-school that spring and became Dad’s secretary. This would continue to be my way of spending time with him over the next 3 years. During that time I learned so many things about my father, and I learned how to follow his leadership (thus preparing to be a submissive wife). This helped me to understand the difficulties my Daddy faced, and through it I gained a deep respect for his inner strength, character, and the way he always made time for his family.

I inherited many habits from Dad, and as I grew older, these similarities drew us together. We had some of the most awesome and encouraging conversations as we ran errands together, or worked in the office during the afternoons. Nearly every night I’d slip into Mom and Dad’s room and talk with them, sometimes for hours.

Dad had been praying that someday God would bring my future husband to Africa so that he could get to know him. In 2003, Jared Spangenberg graduated college and visited us. He and Dad spent hours together, going places, working on major projects, talking. I, as well, became good friends with him. During the next year, Dad and I had dozens of conversations about Jared as my feelings for him grew.

That Christmas, I decided to keep a journal for my Dad, instead of writing long letters to Jared, so that Daddy would have my heart completely. I wanted Dad and Mom to be totally involved in my life, and I wanted to have the security of knowing that when I got married someday, my Daddy would be able to hand ALL of me over to the right guy. Little did I know that my future husband would be Jared!

August 27, 2004 Daddy was in on the surprise when Jared proposed to me against the breathtaking backdrop of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. That night, in our hotel room, Dad asked me if I was excited and I replied with happy tears, “I can hardly believe that two of the most wonderful men in the world LOVE ME!”

As the months sped by, I continued to fill up my journal to Dad, but the entries shortened as the love letters to my Prince Charming grew longer. My deep conversations in the evenings with Dad switched places with 3 hour phone calls across the ocean, accompanied by a blissful smile and twinkling eyes. Another man was winning my heart. I knew that Daddy and I would always have an extra-special bond, but we both realized that my upcoming marriage would bring about a major alteration in our relationship.

That Christmas we returned to the States for a rest. I don't know if any father-of-the-bride has ever been so helpful in getting a wedding together as my Daddy was. In the midst of the whirlwind of activities, he was there, ever supportive and strong for me. From keeping in touch with the caterers to seating arrangements for our reception, it was Dad who spent hours planning until he was exhausted.

The night before the big day, the Bride-to-be was sleeping soundly by 11:00. Merely an hour later I was jolted awake by weeping. I sleepily glanced at the clock: midnight. Then I felt strong arms around me and someone’s tears on my cheek. My dear Daddy was kneeling beside my bed, sobbing as if his heart would break. Over and over he repeated, "I'm gonna miss you so much, Joh. But I'm so happy for you, so happy.”

The rising sun peeped in my window. This was it! Today I would walk down the aisle with all eyes on me, and Dad would give me to Jared! Hours later I was a princess and my Daddy couldn't stop smiling. That walk down the aisle was our last march arm-in-arm together. Daddy gave an awesome message that day. I don’t know how he made it through without crying … too much.

Last year my husband and I went to the airport with a huge gang of people -- my family. It was time to say good-bye. After all the bags were taken care of, Dad and I sat on a bench watching all the action going on around us. "Well, Joh, I'm really, really gonna miss you & Jared” he whispered. I replied, "Yeah, Daddy. I've never known life without you, but I love Jared so much now that I can’t even imagine life away from him.” We smiled at each other. Nothing else needed to be said.

Just as they headed to the terminal, Dad hugged me goodbye. As he pulled away he tearfully smiled, "I'm so proud of you. You make me so happy, so very happy." It was all I needed to hear.

Nana's Notebook...

I came across the following story/illustration some months ago, and I believe it is worth passing on to others.


There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. As she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and asked him to come to her home to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's just one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the young woman continued, "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor looked at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The young woman explained. My grandmother once told me this story, and since that time I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. My grandmother said that in all her years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, she always remembered that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' She said it was her favorite part because she knew that something better was coming -- like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!.

"So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork -- the best is yet to come.'"

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he bid the young woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death, but he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of Heaven than he did -- a better understanding of Heaven than many people twice her age, with more experience and knowledge, for she KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork,?" And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people about the conversation he had with the young woman before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her.

The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Nana's Note: If you are a child of God, I pray you will daily remember that no matter what circumstances come into your life, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

The Treasure Box...


There is a lot of talk about friends in our world today. In worldly settings, your “coolness” is usually determined by who your friends are. If you manage to get yourself included in the group with the “cool” people, you are automatically looked at as “cool”. If you end up being stuck with the not so cool people, you yourself may be labeled “uncool” all through your teenage to young adult years. Unfortunately, the worldly habit of labeling people as “cool,” or “uncool,” seems to have rubbed off on a lot of saved people (especially teenagers) in our churches.

Because I am a missionary’s daughter, I’ve been able to travel often, and have seen many different churches. From what I’ve seen, usually in every church there are one or two different groups of teenagers who stick together, and spend most of their time around each other, then there are the “stragglers,” the people who are by themselves, or who spend their time only with one or two other people. Sometimes this might be simply because they’re too shy to mingle openly with others. However, too often it seems that these “stragglers” are left to themselves because they are not seen as “cool enough” to befriend.

Do you know what really saddens me about this? Usually the people who are rejected by the “popular” group are the ones who perhaps lack certain social skills or graces, or are perceived as less intelligent than the majority. Perhaps they don’t dress very stylishly, talk too much, laugh too loudly, or are too boisterous. While I agree that one should work on those areas, even the most polished of socialites makes mistakes at one time or another. In fact, we all make mistakes, so do we really have the right to treat someone like they are worthless because there are things about their manners that we don’t like, or that we think are inferior to our own?

Sometimes a lack of social appropriateness can come from instability, shyness, and a fear of rejection. We should strive to look past the outside gracelessness of some people, and try to see them as individuals who are recipients of God’s love. We should be careful not to add our rejection of someone to their burden, after all, after someone has been rejected by God’s people, to whom will they turn for acceptance? Truly, some of the people who have been through pain and insecurity of rejection by others are most worth knowing. They will be sensitive to you when you go through something hard, because they know how it feels.

While thinking about the subject of friendship, I began to ask myself, what is a real friend, anyway? Is it someone with whom one spends most of his time? Is it someone whom you see as cool enough to be in your own social circle? Is it someone who shares your same interests? Well, I wanted to be correct in the definition, so in preparation for this article, I looked up the dictionary definition of the word “friend.”

On the surface, the word definitions listed did not seem anything out of the ordinary. “Friend: 1. a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. 2. A person whom one knows, an acquaintance. 3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause, a comrade.” What?! I stopped reading for a moment. Definition number three gives us something to think about, doesn’t it? A friend can be defined as “a person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause, a comrade.” Well, why are we, as Christians, on the earth right now? We have a mission to try to reach every unbeliever with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is that not the biggest struggle and cause in which we will ever be involved? According to this definition, we could call any of our fellow believers “friends.” So why to so many of us (myself included) often forget that we are fighting a battle together, and are on the same side?

The Bible teaches us that God hates unrest and resentment between his people. In Proverbs 6:16-19 the Bible lists seven things that God hates. The Bible says: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (emphasis added)

God makes it clear in His word that it is extremely important to keep our relationships with our fellow believers clear of anger, resentment and distrust. In Matthew 5: 21-24 God tells us: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

When we do not have a right relationship with a fellow believer, we are not going to be able to serve God to our full potential, because that wrong relationship will interfere in our fellowship with God Himself. Now, I realize that sometimes people just do not “click” well with each other. However, that is not a good excuse for disregarding God’s commands on how we should be treating one another.

The second thing about the definition of friendship that caught my eye was the “Word History” section beneath the definition. Here is part of it:

“Word History: A friend is a lover, literally." The relationship between Latin amcus “friend” and am

“I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend”and phile “I love.” In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, frond, the Old English word for “friend,” was simply the present participle of the verb fron, “to love.” The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr-, which meant “to like, love, be friendly to.”” –from

According to the historical meaning of the word “friend” to be a true friend to someone is to love that person. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that “A friend loveth at all times…” The Bible commands us to love the children of God. John 13:34-35 says: “ A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” We find similar commands in John 15:12-17, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, I John 3:11, 23, 1 John 4: 7, 11-12 and 2 John 1:5.

What is Biblical love, and how can we apply it to friendships with other believers? The answer to the first part of that question is found in 1 Corinthians 13. In this passage, the word “charity” is used. One dictionary meaning of charity is :

“The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love.”

Keeping this definition in mind, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-11a, which says: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…”

I don’t have room to go over every characteristic of charity listed in this passage very deeply, you’ll have to do that at home, but let me just touch lightly on a few of them.

Charity is kind. It is easy to be unkind, especially when we feel that we have been slighted or mistreated. Often an uneasy relationship with someone can escalate into a full-scale conflict, because both parties involved allow unkind thoughts, words, and actions to heighten their feelings of prejudice against the other person involved. Believe it or not, small, consistent acts of kindness will do much to ease strain between you and another person. Just remember to ask God to help you to have the right motive in being kind. You should be kind to others because you love them and because you want to please God, not because you want to make yourself look better than they.

Charity is not puffed up. Every person struggles with pride. Someone who truly loves others is not going to be putting others down to make himself look good. He is not going to befriend only those who have something to offer him, or who will increase his social status. He is not going to constantly seek ways to put himself in the limelight. He is not going to talk only about himself, or be consumed with his own problems, but will be willing to give a listening ear to those who need it, and will be concerned for the problems of others. He will make friends with those who need a friend, and do his best to serve others above himself.

Charity is not easily provoked. Have you ever been around someone who gets offended very easily? Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say around them, because no matter what it is that you say, they will somehow find a way to be angry at what you said, they’ll misinterpret your meanings and motives in any way possible. It’s especially difficult when they act that way towards you, but not towards anyone else. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe you know someone who’s hurt you in the past by a thoughtless word or action, and now you are so suspicious of them that you often misunderstand this person’s actions and words because you have convinced yourself that this person cannot have right motives in anything. Obviously, this sort of attitude is not going to be profitable to your Christian service. It is unfair to the person in question, and furthermore, could become a stumbling block for the unsaved who might be watching you.

Charity thinketh no evil. So much misunderstanding and hurt among saved people could be avoided if each person would give everyone else the benefit of the doubt instead of being quick to believe the worst of each other. It is awful when false gossip is started (sometimes by a well-meaning person who allows herself (or himself) to be misunderstood), and a person’s reputation is lost because no one was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and squelch the rumors. Often barriers are raised between believers because they are prone to believe the negative about each other, and slow to accept the positive.

Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. This ties right in with the above point. If we love others, we are not going to rejoice when we hear that they have done something wrong. We are going to try to discover the truth. If we find out that they really did do something wrong, we are going to be saddened for them. Unfortunately, sometimes our reaction towards a wrong that another believer has committed leaves something to be desired. It’s easy to be extremely judgemental   "Oh, did you hear what THEY did? I just knew there was something wrong with that person! I would never do that!!” Sound familiar?

On the flip side of the coin, if someone is doing what is right, and doing their best to follow the truth, we should rejoice for them. We shouldn’t become envious, or feel that they are somehow trying to show us that they are better than we are. We need to be glad when people are doing right. If we have some questions about their motives we need to leave that to God to deal with, because He is the only One who really knows what is going on in their hearts.

Finally, Charity beareth all things. This “bearing” could refer to a couple of different things:

One, it could refer to what Galatians 6:2 says: “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Sometimes, the reason there are problems between believers is that each one has no idea what trials the others are going through. Either that, or they minimize the trials of others while focusing in on their own. Often, people will condemn another person’s attitudes and actions without thinking about the trials that person may be facing.

Two, “beareth all things” could refer to staying true to a friend through difficult times in your relationship, through arguments and misunderstandings. It could mean loving your fellow believers, even when it’s not easy because of the attitude of the person with whom you’re dealing. None of us are perfect, so every relationship is going to have its rough spots. Remember though, investing time and effort into your relationships with all fellow-believers, is something that will bless you in the long run, and it is worth the effort.

In closing, I’d like to make myself perfectly clear. I understand that sometimes it is easier to be closer to one person than another. There is nothing wrong with having some really close friends, and some friends with whom you are not quite as close. I’m not suggesting that you must trust all fellow believers implicitly, and tell them all of your deepest darkest secrets, or that you should compromise your standards in order to be “friends” with everyone, either of those imbalances would be unwise. However, I do believe that we should each do our best to be a blessing to all other Christians, even if we don’t “click” particularly well with them.

Maybe you’ve had a conflict with someone, and you want to resolve it, but they aren’t willing to do that. As long as you are ready to reconcile, and your attitude is right towards them, you have done your part. You can pray for them and ask God to help them, but then it is up to the other person to make things right.

I believe that if God’s people will treat each other as we ought, and work together for the glory of God, the results will be tremendous. However, if we allow small misunderstandings and prejudices to dictate our feelings towards others, we will soon become ineffective. If we allow a worldly idea of what is “cool” and what is “not cool” to set the standard in how we judge others we become unbiblical in our attitudes toward each other. The Bible never tells us that only cool people are worth anything. God loves each of us equally. He is not a respecter of persons. We should not be respecters of persons either. May we have the love of God towards one another, so that we may truly call each other “friend.”

In His Name,

Deborah Brauer

There Is Reason to Be Joyful...

Hello, Ladies! Are you enjoying your summer? I sure am enjoying mine. Hey, I have a joke for you:

Q: Why don't blind people like sky-diving?

A: It scares their dogs!

Psalm 100:2a says, "Serve the Lord with gladness: ..." I just wanted to take minute to encourage everyone to not only keep serving God, but to do it with gladness. We can be doing all the right things and be in the will of God, but when we aren't "glad" about it, we hinder what the Lord can do through us! Take Missions for instance! You can give without loving the lost, but you cannot love the lost without giving. In other words - one can give to missions and never win a soul to the Lord out of love and concern for that person, but one cannot go to the lost world out of true love and compassion unless they are first giving to soul-winning ministry of others, AKA: MISSIONS!

The second part of Psalm 100:2 says, "...come before his presence with singing." You cannot come into God's presence grumpy! If you come to church crabby and not expecting something from the Word of God, you won't get anything out of the preaching. Notice: I said "expecting something out of the Word of God" NOT "expecting something from the preacher". If we think that everything said in a Sunday service is just coming forth from the mind of the man of God, we will definitely not get anything worth while and if we feel convicted about something, we'll be mad at the preacher...not realizing that it's God that said it, the preacher is just His messenger! Ask God for a sweet spirit, and gladness in your daily walk with Him. Try it and see what a difference it makes!

With a Grin,

Bekah Wark

Bea's Bulletin...

Congratulations to columnists, Ben & Kristina Jossund!

Little Alistair was born on June 5th, a perfectly healthy, happy little boy.

A Word From Our Subscribers...

Laura Beth,

Just wanted to say thanks so much for sending your latest DOF issue. Read it right away. Thank you for all you have to do to put it together for our benefit.

Mrs. Nolan, TB

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