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These Lessons were written by my first Wife, Sister Norma Bagwell, before she died in January, 2009.

 

December 30, 2003 (Tuesday)

What has God taught you in this last year?  What would you like to accomplish in the coming year? These should be thought provoking questions.  At least they are in my life.

A few days ago my husband asked me that first question.  I did not hesitate when I answered him. If you will promise to ask yourself those two questions, I'll tell you my answers.

Firstly this past year I feel like God has tried to teach me to not look back so much.  I believe He has shown me that there are so many things right now that He still wants me to do for Him.  When you start getting older and you are in your late fifties the devil can try to make you focus on things you cannot do anymore.  This was the strategy he was using on me.  Most everybody knows of the health problems I have been trying to work through this year.  I appreciate the prayers of every one of you. The fact that I was not able to travel with my husband every week has been very discouraging to me.  Satan would like to make me think my usefulness was over.  The best part is how God through His blessed Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and told me there is still much to be done.

When God opened up this web-site and this internet ministry He told me there was something here for me.  Please continue praying for me.  I am only trying to be obedient to my Lord.  I want to think like the Apostle Paul did in Philippians when he said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:14) 

Now we come to that second question about the new year ahead of us.  I need to spend more time studying my Bible in the year 2004, the Lord willing.  There are so many promises in Psalm 119 if we love God's Word.  In Isaiah 26:3 we are told that God "will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."

In January Brother Bagwell and I plan to study the Book of James.  Next time I would like to start a little Bible study from James.  Between now and then would you read that little Book (of James)?  See what God tells you.  Let me hear from you.  I'd like to know you are out there reading.

God bless you and we wish you a blessed new year to the glory of God.

                                                                            --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

December 22, 2003 (Monday)

It is Monday morning and it's three days before Christmas.  Our family is like yours.  We are all busy doing those last minute things we said we wouldn't wait this late to do.  We have a hundred things on our mind:  last minute shipping, trips to the Post Office, a bank deposit to be made, bills to pay, etc.  You know the routine.

With all this going on please allow me to be a bit personal today.  I need to stop and praise God.

Every year at Christmas while we sit around the table to eat our meal, my husband always asks everyone to name something for which they are thankful.  God has blessed our family and we have so much for which we can praise Him. 

Our youngest son John was married this year in August.  Now we have a new member in our little family.  I want to stop right now and thank God for Lacie.  We love her with all our hearts. 

I was hoping I could write this without tears but the thought that someone will be missing at out table this year makes me sad.  As many of you know our daughter Joy lost her husband this past summer.  He had been sick with Crohn's Disease for a long time.  We will all miss Bobby, but he is in heaven waiting for the rest of us. Even in that sad note I have a praise.  I want to thank God for His grace and love that He has shown toward Joy.  The Lord has truly been with her.  I also want to thank everyone who has prayed for her.

I want to say a word of appreciation and gratefulness to every one of you who reads this "Ladies Page."  Brother Bagwell and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

In closing today I want to thank my Heavenly Father for sending His only Son to this earth  to be born of a virgin; to live a sinless life here in this wicked world; and to willingly die for my sins.  "Thank you Jesus for what You did for me on Calvary. I want to love and serve You more in 2004."

As 2 Corinthians 9:15 says:  "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."

                                                              --- Norma Jean Bagwell

 

 

 

December 16, 2003 (Tuesday)

I saw this article the other day and it was a blessing!  I thought you might enjoy it as well.

Hundreds and even thousands of years before Jesus the Messiah was born in Bethlehem, God has spoken many prophecies about His coming.  He spoke them through men like Moses, David, Isaiah and Micah.  In order for Jesus to be the true Messiah, He had to fulfill every prophecy that was ever spoken and written about said Messiah ... AND HE DID!  Every single one!

HERE ARE JUST A FEW ...

*  He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) ... and He was (Matthew 1:18-25)!

*  He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) ... and He was (Matthew 2:1-6)!

*  He would heal the sick and make people whole (Isaiah 5:3) ... and He did (Matthew 8)!

*  He would be crucified (Psalm 22:14-17) ... and He was (Matthew 27:31)!

*  He would die for our sins (Isaiah 53) ... and He did (John 1:29, John 11:49-52)!

*  He would be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10) ... and He was (Matthew 28:1-10)!

The many prophecies about Jesus' Second Coming have not yet been fulfilled ... but one day they will be!  Every single one!

In celebration of His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection ... and in anticipation of all that we have to look forward to when He returns ... HAVE A WONDERFUL GLORIOUS WORSHIPFUL REVERENT CHRISTMAS SEASON!

Jesus says:  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, Which is and Which was and Which is to come, the Almighty."  Revelation 1:8

Now that message was on a Christmas card!

                                                                     --- Norma Jean Bagwell

 

 

 

December 11, 2003 (Thursday)

Today I want to study with you the godly Virgin Mary.  Let's especially focus on her Psalm of Praise know as the Magnificat.  (Luke 1:46-55) It's her heartfelt adoration of God that flows so freely in this passage!

In these days of great pressure on Christian ladies, it is so refreshing to see a Bible example of a Christian mother who loved her Bible and let it become her model of conversation! 

(Remember Mary spoke the words of this Psalm of praise to her cousin Elisabeth in everyday conversation! No gossip is to be found here!  Just words of exultation to God and exhortation to Elisabeth, the priest's wife!)

Also notice the traits of God she "gets in" this short speech:  His holiness, mercy, power, goodness and faithfulness!

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Here is the Virgin Maryís Hymn of praise to God for the kindness shown to her by His choosing her to be the mother (of the humanity) of our Lord Jesus! It is one of the greatest songs of praise in the Scriptures. The thing that has impressed my husband and me is the way Mary so fluently drew from the Old Testament as she magnified God! Let me show you what I mean.

Verse 46 seems to refer to such Scriptures as 1 Samuel 2:1 which says: "And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation." Also I believe she was familiar with Psalm 34:2-3 --- "My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together."

Verse 47 might refer to Isaiah 12:2-3 which declares: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Or maybe she remembered Isaiah 45:21-22 which says: "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

Verse 48 is easily seen as parallel to 1 Samuel 1:11 --- "And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head." Or maybe 1 Samuel 2:8 --- "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them." And look at Genesis 30:15 --- "And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher." Or Malachi 3:12 --- "And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts."

And verse 49 alludes to the Mighty God --- Genesis 17:1 "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." Or, Psalm 24:8 --- "Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle." Or when she spoke of "great things," she may have had in mind Psalm 126:2-3 which say: "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." And when she called our God HOLY she perhaps had the Psalms in mind! Psalm 99:3 --- "Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy." Or even Psalm 111:9 which says: "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name."

Verse 50 well may be alluding to Exodus 20:6 --- "And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Or even to And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin...."

And verse 51 echoes Deuteronomy 4:34 --- "Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?" Or again Isaiah 52:10 --- "The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." Look at her verb "scattered" and then read Psalm 89:10 --- "Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm." The term "imagination of their hearts" comes from Genesis 6:5 and 8:21 with a dash of Deuteronomy 29:19-20!

Furthermore verse 52 definitely quotes part of 2 Samuel 6:6-8 which declare: "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them." Or Psalm 113:6-8 "Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people."

And verse 53 continues with a glimpse of Psalm 34:10 --- "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing." Or maybe even Psalm 107:8-9 "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."

Verse 54 seems to reflect the truths of Psalm 98:3 --- "He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God." Or Isaiah 44:21 --- "Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me." Or even Micah 7:20 --- "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."

And lastly, verse 55 which simply summarizes a host of Old Testament verses that promise great offspring to Abraham and his sons (as the sand of the sea or the stars of the heavens)!

One lady writer who is sort of an expert of Mary says she here quoted the Old Testament (not counting allusions or illustrations) at least 15 times.

If any lady in Scripture knew her Bible ... it was the Virgin Mary! She is obviously familiar with the writings of Moses and the Psalms as well as the prophets and books of history! (Nothing is left!) Would that all we Christians emulate her in this area!

                                                       --- Norma Jean Bagwell

 

 

 

December 1, 2003 (Monday)

Rahab's story isn't over yet.  Remember we said earlier that nearly every time her name was mentioned she was labeled a "harlot."  In the genealogy of Matthew 1:5 she is just called Rahab!  You might be asking just how did she get her name in the genealogy?  Well, things changed for Rahab after she helped those spies.  You might say that was a real turning point in her life.

Now I don't fully understand when or how Rahab became a believer.  You know she was though because her name is given in the New Testament in 2 places of much importance. First of all in the Matthew account of the Godly line and then again in Hebrews chapter eleven.

After God's grace cleansed Rahab's soul He opened the windows of heaven and poured out His richest blessings on her life. 

Little did she know how her act of courage which she displayed when she hid those spies and helped them escape to safety would change her life.

Rahab married Salmon, a prince in the house of Judah!  To Salmon she bore a son named "Boaz" ... whose son was "Obed" ... whose son was "Jesse" ... whose son was "David."  (Ruth 4:20-22)  Through this line JESUS was born! (Matthew 1:1,5)

To me this is a beautiful story of the grace of God.  How He could use a "nobody" like Rahab who would yield herself to Him.  She became a very important "somebody" in the Godly line of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Rahab displayed remarkable faith when she trusted those two spies to keep their promise and give safety to her family when they came back to take the land.

                                                         ---  Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Brother Bagwell and I have been studying a different subject or book at mealtimes during the past few months.   This has been a very helpful project. We have both benefited from our studies. In July we studied Jeremiah; in August we studied the New Testament book of Acts; in September we studied Song of Solomon; in October we studied Old Testament Prophets and now in November we are studying the "Nobodies" of Scripture.  Rahab was a nobody but she became a very important "somebody" after she met God. We know she became a Christian because there are only two women mentioned by name in Hebrews Chapter 11. (Which is the great faith chapter)  They are Sara and Rahab the harlot.

Nearly every time Rahab is mentioned she is called a harlot!  The Bible reports in Joshua 2:1 that she was a harlot. This was her reputation before she became a believer. She was an idolatrous Amorite.  (But in Matthew 1:5 where she appears in the "godly line," she is NOT mentioned as a harlot!  She, being forgiven, is mightily used of God!  That is GRACE!)  Rahab's full name meant "insolent and fierce." "Ra" was the name of an Egyptian God. Rahab lived along the wall of the godless city of Jericho. When Joshua sent the spies into the city they went to Rahab's house. She now must choose whether to help them or turn them over to the king. Rahab makes the right choice. She reveals her faith in God by hiding the two spies and asking them to promise safety for her and her family.

Rahab makes three statements to the spies which clearly reveal her knowledge of God. In Joshua 2:9 she said "I know that the LORD has given you the land." In verse 10 she says "We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt." And then later in verse 11 she confesses "The LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

Whenever the name of God, LORD, is written in all capital letters it is in reference to the name Jehovah.  Jehovah is derived from "havah" which means "to be or to  become."  Of all God's names, Jehovah is the name used most frequently in the Old Testament (6823 times).  Jehovah speaks of God's eternal being of essence. He is from everlasting to everlasting.

If you need assurance that God is always there, never wavering, always keeping his promises, run to your Jehovah.  Trust in His name. He will not change. He is Jehovah, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

                                                                         --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 19, 2003 (WEDNESDAY)

A few years ago a Pastor's wife came to me and asked me to share a verse with her that meant a lot to me.  At that time I didn't have to think very long because one of my all-time favorite verses was right there on the tip of my tongue.  It was out of my mouth so quickly.  I think she was surprised that I didn't have to get out my Bible and start looking.  The verse we shared that day was Psalm 119:165.  It says:  "Great peace have they which love Thy Law;  and nothing shall offend them."  There's a lot in that verse which can help us today. 

With the world's situation as it is and every news program mentioning terrorism, Americans are constantly thinking about peace.  Many of our leaders fear that we may never know real peace again.

Isn't that strange?  I know a God Who has a Name that means PEACE.  (JEHOVAH-SHALOM) The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom."

Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:14 that:  "He is our Peace ...."  In Philippians 4:7 we find "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

I would say that peace that "passeth all understanding" is the same peace called "great peace."

Then a person who knows Jesus as his or her personal Saviour has the greatest peace there is, if what?  IF they "love Thy Law!"  The whole chapter (Psalm 119) refers to God's Word as the Law over and over. 

If you love a person you will want to spend time with them.  If you love a book (your Bible) you will spend time with it ... reading.  When love is present your conversation will give you away.  I think you see what I mean here.

Now look at the last part of the verse:  "And nothing shall offend them."  In Hebrew the verb "offend" actually means "to trip someone, to cause to stumble and fall." 

One more verse I love about peace is Isaiah 26:3.  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee."

If I love God, and I put my trust in Him, and I keep my mind centered on Him, and I stay in His Word, it will do two things for me.  Number one, He will give me the greatest perfect peace!  Secondly, He will keep me from falling.   (I mean the kind of falling where one cannot recover or get up again.)

That verse gives us a lot to ponder!

It has been probably six years ago that I gave this Psalms verse to the little Pastor's wife.  I saw her a few months ago and she's still talking about that verse and how it helped her!  I trust it may help someone else today as they read Psalm 119:165.

                                         --- Norma Bagwell

 

                    

 

NOVEMBER 13, 2003 (THURSDAY)

I am thinking that David must have had a lot of confidence that his God would take care of him. We need only to take a stroll through the Book of Psalms and see the Names and Titles of God mentioned there.

Sometimes God takes on the title of a weapon. When David fought the giant, he used little stones and a slingshot. Later in the Book of Psalms David called God his "Rock." Psalm 62:2 says: "He is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense; I shall not be greatly moved." This is repeated in verse six. David was very confident in his God.

In Psalm 62:7 David says that God is "the Rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God." In Psalm 61:2 David cries "lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for Thou hast been a Shelter for me and a Strong Tower from the enemy."

In the fourth verse of Psalm 23 David talks about the comfort he experiences from his God. He mentions a dark lonely valley, but David will "fear no evil" because God is with him (Jehovah Shammah). He speaks of a rod and a staff that will give him comfort. How can a rod and a staff bring comfort? David was a shepherd himself and he (Psalm 23:1) refers to God as his Shepherd (through life).

 First the rod is a stick that hangs from the shepherdís side in a long narrow pouch attached to his clothing. It is about 2 feet long. Usually it is chosen from a young straight oak tree. It is taken from the root of the tree and has a "club" at the end. Sometimes metal spikes are driven into the club so they can kill attacking animals with a single blow from the shepherd. He can beat off enemies of the flock such as eagles, snakes, wild animals, bears, wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, and even robbers!

Remember those poor little sheep are defenseless. They have no claws or horns or tusks or fangs or shells or speed. They have only the shepherd and his rod to protect them from danger and death.

While the rod is used to defend the sheep, the staff is used to lead and guide. The staff is a longer stick (about 6 feet). It helps the shepherd to climb over rocks and check out crevices and caves before leading his sheep there. The staff has a crook at one end which helps the shepherd guide his sheep. The crook can be placed around the neck of a wayward sheep and pull him back into the fold.

Now I can understand more fully why David said "Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."

Have there been some times in your life when you thought you felt the "crook" of the Shepherdís staff around your neck pulling you back when you might have wandered far away from God? I feel like most of us have. That is really a comfort to know God is watching over me ... even when I stumble and fall. And I do often. God is there to put me back on my feet again.

Do you know God in this way? Can you read through the Book of Psalms and call God your Strength? Your High Tower? Your Buckler? Your Defense? The Rock of your salvation? I am glad today God can be those things to me. I feel defenseless like the little sheep, but "the Lord is my Shepherd."

                                                                              --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

NOTES FROM NORMA (NOVEMBER 7, 2003 --- FRIDAY)

I am no match for the devil, and you arenít either! The only way we can defeat satan is to have Someone Else fight our battles for us. Iím so glad I know Someone Who can do just that. His Name is Jehovah-Saboath!

Well, knowing this, I think Iíll just "go in the strength of the Lord God!" (Psalm 71:16) Give me some marching orders. I can fight this war with the help of the Lord of Hosts. (Jehovah-Saboath)  Here are two examples in Scripture. I will mention them briefly. I am hoping you will be familiar with these situations. Both are found in the Old Testament.

Do you remember Hannah and Elkanah? For some reason God had closed Hannahís womb, and she had no children. As if this wasnít enough of a problem, Elkanah had another wife. Her name was Peninnah, and she had children. Hannah went yearly to worship and sacrifice at Shiloh with her husband. She was constantly provoked by this other wife. Finally through her bitter tears she prayed "Oh Lord of Hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maid servant, and remember me, and not forget thy maid servant, but will give thy maid servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head." This story and her prayer can be found in 1 Samuel 1:6-7 and 10-11. God did answer Hannahís prayer and gave her a son named Samuel and she gave him back to the Lord!

Then there was a little shepherd boy named David who had heard of a great giant of a Philistine. When the giant learned that David was going to fight him, he mocked David and laughed saying that he would kill the little shepherd and feed his flesh to the birds and the beasts. David answered Goliath and said, "You come to me with a sword, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, Whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee..." This account can be found in 1 Samuel 17:42-47. It happened just a David said. God helped him kill that God-hating giant!

Ladies, our warfare is spiritual. Ephesians 6:12 says: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." We have three giants that we fight in our Christian lives every day: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our Jehovah-Saboath will help us! We can anchor our trust in the "Lord of Hosts" and depend upon Him. Call on Him by His Name! He is the Lord of battle. He is the Lord of victory. Actually our victory has already been won at Calvary! Colossians 2:15 says: "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

THE POWER IS THERE!  LET'S CLAIM IT!

                                                                                          --- Norma Jean Bagwell

                      

 

 

NOTES FROM NORMA   (NOVEMBER 3, MONDAY)

Have you ever been through a trial or a conflict and you just couldn't seem to find God?  I mean the burdens were so heavy.  You felt like you were taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.  Your spirit told you to hold on because God was aware of your circumstances and He did care.  The satan was telling your mind that it was no use to pray.  The old devil would say "You've used all those verses on God is my Refuge and Strength and look where you are now!"

I have been there!  And more than once, I must confess.  The other day I was so stressed out and I was looking for some material on one of the other pages I was writing for the web-site.  Nothing was going right.  Then I believe God showed me something beautiful!  He showed me that one of His Names (Jehovah Shamah) means "I AM THERE!"  That thrilled me to death!  He WAS there and He DID CARE what I was experiencing at the time.

Perhaps today someone out there has had similar feelings.  You were so desperate to find God but where was He right then?  Maybe this truth from God ... using His Name "Jehovah Shamah"  will encourage YOUR heart!

The history behind this name of God (meaning Jehovah is there!) can be found in the Old Testament in Ezekiel.  Read Ezekiel 48:35.  We won't take the time right here for a history lesson.  Can't you see why the Israelites were so happy to think about returning to their homeland.  That's where God's Presence was; in that sweet city of Zion they would find safety, security and tranquility because "God was there."  (Jehovah Shamah!)

 

I won't sing today, but I am reminded of a song:

"Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus.  He's the One Who always cares and understands!"

                                                                                                --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

NOTES FROM NORMA  (OCTOBER 29)

Everybody wants to have a good name, a good reputation.  On October 22, I saw this verse:  "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."  You have no doubt heard my husband mention reading the chapter in the Book of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month.  Now if you haven't tried this yet, I challenge you to do it.  Brother Mike and I have been reading Proverbs like this for over fifteen years.  I know I have not been perfect, and I've missed my share of days along the way.  Nevertheless, it has proven to be a great source of wisdom to us.  In fact the very definition of wisdom can be found in Proverbs.  (This will make a wonderful study for another time.)

I'm not original in using this verse in Proverbs 22 because I'm sure many a preacher has used it as his text when delivering a message on the Names of God. 

Would you stop and just think about it.  I know a God Who is so wonderful, so important, so great and powerful that He has hundreds of Names and Titles to describe Himself. 

Most of all He is my Savior.  In Acts 4:12 I find:  "There is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." 

Hebrews 5:9 tells us:  "And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation."  That's right!  No one can take it away!

2 Timothy 1:2 says that God is "able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 

If you are not convinced yet about my eternal salvation, look at John 10:27-30, where the dear Lord Jesus compares His children to sheep.  "My sheep hear My voice, and I hear them, and they follow Me;  and I give unto them eternal life;  and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, Which gave them me, is greater than all;  and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.  I and My Father are One."

Another great verse is Titus 1:2.  "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."

I think I'll sing another song:

"Thank you Lord for saving my soul.  Thank you Lord for making me whole.  Thank you Lord for giving to me thy great salvation so rich and free."

and ...

"I know I am saved; for Christ set me free.  He purchased my soul on the cross of Calvary.  I know I can sing, for Christ is my King.  I'll see His face in glory by and by."

I better go for now ... but I've only started on God and His Names!

                                              --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

Notes from Norma ... Saturday, Oct. 25th

Singing is a wonderful way to praise God!  I love to sing.  Many times the words of a song can trigger some thought of praise. 

There is a little song I learned when I was young:

The birds upon the treetops sing their song!  The angels chant the chorus all day long!  The flowers in the garden lend their hue ...  So why shouldn't I?  Why shouldn't you?  Praise Him too!

My God loves music.  After all, He made the tiny little birds to sing!

I have sliding glass doors in my kitchen-dining area that go outside to a deck on the back of our home.  I love to watch the birds.  They are beautiful to me.  I have had as many as three feeders out there at one time.  I collect porcelain birds of all kinds.  My family all know what they can give me for birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc.

You know, those little creatures remind me of how attentive and tender-hearted my God is.  He hears the little songs of the birds.  I know God loves and cares about me so why don't I praise Him more than the birds do? 

Psalm 119:164 says:  "Seven times a day do I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgments."  I will never run out of things to praise God about!

Psalm 150:2 says that I should praise God for what He does ("Praise Him for His mighty acts!") and for Who He is ("Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!")

Let's sing a song and praise our God for "Who He is to us and for What He does!"

                                                                                    --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

Notes from Norma ... October 21, 2003

Please forgive me while I give a bit of personal testimony here. Dr. Mike Bagwell and I were married in August of 1964. Both of us were students at Tennessee Temple College in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The fact that I was marrying a preacher was no surprise because Brother Mike was called to preach at age 15. Very early on, before we were married, I began to look at the responsibility of being a preacherís wife. I always looked at it like it was an honor (and never a drudgery) to marry one of Godís men. I still donít feel worthy, but I am so blessed of God to be married to that man.

I meet people often who make statements like this: "Being a pastorís wife ... now, thatís a hard job. I would be afraid I couldnít do it."

Well, the "job" (as they put it) can be hard or easy. It could be both a joy and blessing ... or just a mere task! This all really depends on you and what you want to make of it. And since there really is no job description for the pastorís wife in the Bible ... we donít have much to go on.

The pastorís wife is just that. She is his wife. She is the helpmate to meet HIS needs. She is not hired by the church. She is appointed by God! By no means should she be expected to fill the role of assistant pastor.

My husband told me a long time ago that all he wanted me to do concerning the church was to be his wife first. Then ... if I felt led to teach a class (or do other things), that was between me and God. These many other duties however were not expected of me (at least by him) because ... I was his wife! (I do love to teach ladies or older teenage girls.)

Also let me say this. The pastorís wife should not be expected to be in the nursery every other Sunday. She needs to be in the service with her husband.

Now, my view of this may be a little different than most pastorís wives. But it is (in following my husbandís counsel) where God has brought me on this issue. After all, Titus 2:4 tells me that we more seasoned ladies are to "teach the young women to be sober, TO LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed."

I believe my view of being a preacherís wife well fits the Scriptures just cited. And (if I may say this without boasting) my husband says he surely is pleased! He quotes the verse in Proverbs, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord."

                                                                                  --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

Notes from Norma ... October 17, 2003

For the last few days I have been finding verses about our words or our speech, etc. Iím thinking about Christian ladies who are out there every day in the work place. They may be surrounded by the world. Does it matter what we say? Can our speech affect others? Donít we need to be big conversationalists (talking about anything and everything) to make friends? Will people think we are not very smart if we donít talk much?

Letís look at some verses in the Book of Proverbs for answers to these questions.

Yes, it does matter what we say! Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a soft answer can stop an argument! Proverbs 16:24 says: "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs chapter 17, verses 27 and 28 tell us how much we should talk. "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and the man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

Questions answered! Letís obey the verses. (The quietest person at the table ... just may be the smartest!)

                                                  --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

Notes from Norma ...October 13, 2003

This summer my husband and I started a neat little project.  When I finish telling you about it, Ladies, you might want to mention it to your husband and you could try something similar.  Everyone does not have the same schedule we do, so your time together may be much different than ours.  We picked our mealtimes to study our Bibles.  It is mostly just the two of us now since John (our youngest) got married in August. 

Mike usually lets me pick the subjects.  We spent July in Jeremiah;  August in Acts;  September in Song of Solomon; and now in October we are studying Old Testament Prophets. 

Those prophets are not as simple as you might suspect.  My husband always seeks a challenge, so he couldn't just pick the Major or Minor Prophets!  He's looking for obscure and unnamed prophets! 

In yesterday's Scripture (1 Samuel 9:9) we saw a great truth!  (My husband may preach a message about this some day.  So if he does, pretend you never heard it!)  The Scripture says that in Israel the people would seek out the prophets when they wanted to hear God's Word about a matter.  The prophet was called a "seer."  ("He that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer."  1 Samuel 9:9)  The name "seer" means simply "one who sees!"  He could see spiritual things which others would miss. 

Now we do not have prophets today in the same sense.  (We have the completed Word of God.)  Yet we Believers today are expected to be able to see and discern some things of spiritual value. 

I believe God's Holy Spirit who dwells within the Christian will guide us and teach us spiritual truth.  We need to seek the wisdom of God as we live our daily lives and guide our families and teach our children. 

The Book of Proverbs is an excellent source of wisdom.  Here are 4 verses from chapter 10 alone.  Proverbs 10:11 says:  "The mouth of the righteous man is a well of life ...."  And Proverbs 10:13 says:  "In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found." Also Proverbs 10:21 declares:  "The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for want of wisdom."  Proverbs 10:32 ends the chapter with these words:  "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable."

Remember ... a godly mouth will speak from a godly heart. 

                                                                                            --- Norma Bagwell

 

 

 

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