The Wonder of Abigail

She is known for her wisdom
She is known for her wisdom
Narrative from 1 Samuel 25
 

If she were a man, she would have been a prophet. She is wise, and very beautiful. That’s quite a combination. Her husband, Nabal, is a crude and rude, nasty dude. He cheats most he has dealings with. He is also a wealthy man, and he has had previous contact with David’s men. It seems that David provided protection for Nabal’s sheep and shepherds. Definitely a good thing to have in the wild and woolly Judean wilderness.

David sends a delegation of 10 men to ask for some special provisions. This would be a small  recognition of the service rendered by David’s men. Please note: Their simple request was not burdensome or excessive. They were not asking for wages, they just wanted a nice diversion– a party was anticipated. It was sheep shearing day.

Nabal essentially mocks this delegation. He laughs at them, calling them bandits who are in rebellion from King Saul. (Nabal, I suppose may have been trying to appeal to Saul.) Nabal sends the delegation away, with nothing to show for their efforts.

David is beside himself in anger, his men have been denied– and he has been publicly mocked. He quickly puts together a small army and moves directly against Nabal. His force  is enough to destroy everyone. His heart is full of vengeance. He moves to destroy Nabal. And then Abigail shows up.

Abigail is magnificent. She has been warned of Nabal’s insult that has triggered this potential massacre. She takes the initiative and launches out to meet David. She carries the deep scent of grace and humility with her. And she brought the provisions he had initially requested.

At the first sight of David, she throws herself down. She pleads for her people, and begs for mercy. It is interesting that she focuses on David himself. She appeals to David’s reputation, and seems more concerned about it than he does. But her intercession is more effective. In humility she speaks to David with a visible brokenness. She reminds David of his true identity. She declares to him, who he really is, and how he should behave, as a result. And David desperately needed to hear her voice.

lynnie1
Lynnie, my Abigail

Abigail deserves any focus we can place on her. Many years ago, a man placed his hands on my shoulders and prophesied. All I remember is this, “Your wife is an Abigail to you, she will be a source of wisdom and understanding to you. Listen, for she will be your wisdom,” This is the most significant word anyone has ever said to me. It has really shaped our marriage of 24 years.

Understand dear reader, my wife Lynn is my Abigail. She consistently brings me back to my true calling and purpose. She will not let me shake off my holy summons. Her words press me, and guide me into a place where I finally see His direction and purpose for me. She is God’s gift to me. I desperately need her to speak into my life. She is truly my wise Abigail. I am sure that her eternal crown will exceed mine.

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ybic, Bryan

Cheryl Meakins Horizontal 300x200I recently have been introduced to Cheryl Meakens. She has a wonderful blog at http://www.meakinsspeak.com/.

I encourage you to visit her site. I believe she has something good for you.

The Wonder of It All

Fairy Blue Wren
Fairy Blue Wren

This day– this wonderfully good day, has been a flood of kindness for my soul. Sitting on my deck soaking up the Alaskan sun, I’m jolted by a considerable awe at the created world that swirls around me.

I haven’t though these thoughts for a long time. But now they visit me, and I think it may be time to entertain them.

If creation is wonderful, the Creator is more so. He is responsible for everything I see. And living in Alaska gives me ample things to see and ponder.

I sat and mulled over a very persistent question. “Why is there ‘something’ instead of nothing?” There is nature that we see and touch. We take pictures of it. Our artists and writers and poets work out of this wonder that surrounds us all.

I was stunned when I first saw this picture of this wren. He is so wonderfully blue– a masterpiece meticulously ‘manufactured’ by Someone. I am left with an authentic awe and reverence that is left behind like when the tide goes out.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, NLT

“Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!” Isaiah 65:18

“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” Romans 8:19

“He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” Colossians 1:17

What we see and touch is full evidence of God the Creator. He reveals himself– what he is like. His character is seen all around us. We describe His faithfulness which is like the mountains. His love is like the ocean, and He also finds time to feed every sparrow that He has made. His fingerprints are on everything.

We enter a classroom, when we step outside our house. My problem is my “drone-ability.” (I just invented a new word.) I move through the creation blind, without really perceiving it. I can be completely impervious to the glory of God swirling around me. And I really don’t want to be this way. I want to live in wonder.

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ybic, Bryan

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Velcrocity, My New Amazing Word

velcro-magnified
Velcro magnified

I like inventing new words, especially for words that have far too much mileage on them. A car runs great, but even the best autos start to have issues after the odometer goes over 200,000 miles.

So I’m purposing a new word even though I’m not quite ready to completely toss the old one yet. The new word is “Velcrocity”. I will define velcrocity as a mix of love, faithfulness and endurance. (Possible forms of this word– Walk in velcrocity, be velcroized more and more. Wasn’t that velcroful worship? And on and on.)

Just in case you’re wondering, Velcro is a fastener mostly used for clothing. It consists of two strips, one is covered in tiny loops and the other in tiny flexible hooks. The two strips ‘adhere’ when they are pressed together and separate when pulled apart.

“Velcro is strong enough that a two inch square piece is enough to support a 175-pound (79 kg) person. The strength of the bond depends on how well the hooks are embedded in the loops, how much surface area is in contact with the hooks, and the nature of the force pulling it apart.” –Wiki

Why velcrocity? Thinking about the Father God’s love for me (and others) made me start thinking about Velcro– and being “laid up” with my health sucking so poorly has helped me pray and think. And being way too curious I did a frontal assault on the internet of the sticky subject of Velcro.

The best info came from Wikipedia, of course. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro

The more contact between the strips of Velcro will strengthen the bond. The tighter the hook part pushes into mesh part more effort required to pull them apart.  The negatives of this wonder are they have to stay clean. Lint, dirt of hair get between and can keep the strips from bonding.

As I write this, the imagery parallels what I’ve already learned from my Bible, prayer, fellowship and worship. Spiritual lessons quite often will come from what I see physically. But I need to be teachable and a whole lot more perceptive.

Focus on Jesus, and stick to the things of God. There is an adhesion needed in the Church today, and it truly starts with your heart. The covenant heart of God is that you would more and more cling to Him. He is truly tenacious, in the best use of the word.

“I will never leave you, or forsake you.”

“The Love of God endures forever.”

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Kyrie eleison.

ybic, Bryan

(How about Velcrophobic? Velcroful? Velcrology? Velcrophobic? —and then maybe not,)