Judges 19

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Read the First5 study on Judges 19

There are so many lessons in this chapter. First, the concubine/wife was unfaithful to her husband. Other translations say she played the "harlot."  Second, she ran to her father, its suggested that he had been allowing her wild ways for a long time because she knew she could run back to him and he would accept her instead of urging her to make things work with her husband, back at home.

The fact that her husband traveled to her to forgive her and woo her back shows that he's at least a decent man and that he doesn't intend for her to be punished over her marital transgressions like the law would allow.

The Levite was at first, trying to do the decent thing. At first, he chose to forgive his wife and keep her from an adulteress' punishment of death but in Gibeah, he went forth with her punishment not because he wanted her to be punished, but he valued his life and safety more than hers.  The Levite fell short in being a just man.  The lesson I got from him is that most people want to be just - only when it's easy.  When it takes personal sacrifice, most people won't fight for the right thing to do.  The Levite should have kept his wife hidden away in the house and called out to the Lord to ask for safety -  all while preparing to fight evil.

The father in law wanted his daughter and son in law to stay longer and longer, which is understandable, but we should allow our guests to depart when they feel it's time because the father in law messed things up for the Levite.  In that the Levite, his wife, and his servant had limited options when it came time to lodge.  I think he was trying to delay their departure because he wanted to make sure everything was reconciled with his son in law and that the Levite wasn't going to pursue the adulteress' punishment for his daughter.  Also, I think the father in law had kind of selfish intentions and wasn't trusting that the Lord was inspiring this reconciliation. As a host, he should have allowed his guests to leave when they felt inclined to leave.

The Levite wanted to lodge amongst brethren, but this was a bad choice in that a lot of the men in Gibeah had debased minds.  The Levite probably would have been safer in the heathen town in which the servant suggested they stay.  Honestly, sometimes I've felt safer around unbelievers because I've found that some of the believers that I was around to be harsh, judgmental, and legalistic.  As Christians, we need to make it a point to be the people who love with a godly love.

The old man of Ephriam had a place in Gibeah, most likely because he did lots of business there on account of having nearby fields.  He was godly - he wished safety on these travelers and was the only one to offer them a place to stay.  Also, Sodom and Gomorrah met their demise nearby and within this old man's lifetime so we know that he knows what happened there.  This old man looked up to Lot as a godly man.  But as Matthew Henry points out, oftentimes when we try to emulate godly people, we tend to emulate their good choices as well as bad (in this case, offering up the women in his house to the evil men just like Lot did).  We must look up to God, alone and only try to emulate Jesus.  He's the only perfect one.

An interesting point of Matthew Henry's, is that the evil men chose to defile the concubine but didn't want the virgin daughter.  It's likely the daughter was rejected for defilement because she had a reputation within this town of being kind to everyone and/or she was always modestly dressed.  Henry also points out that it's likely the concubine was still dressing like a harlot at this time and perhaps this is why the townsmen accepted her for defilement and didn't want anything to do with the old man's daughter.  As women, we must always consider that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that modest dress is very important for many reasons.  A rapist is totally at fault, but let's do our best not to attract/entice these evil types with our clothing choices.

Phew! I could go on and on about this chapter, but I have to stop here.  Would you like to add or discuss?  Please leave a comment!

So many lessons in this sad story.  Let's press close to the Lord today and be thankful for His love, wisdom, and protection.

Thank you for reading.  Jesus loves YOU.
 -Alyssa



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Video: Stop Saying "No" to God's Gifts


What's in My Medicine Cabinet?


Here's my medicine cabinet.  As you can see, I'm a big advocate of clean beauty care.  Not pictured is my beloved apple cider vinegar which I use for facial toner and hair conditioner.  I keep a jar of Bragg's out on the bathroom counter so I forgot to include.  You can get read my blog post on ACV here.

Check out what's in my medicine cabinet below...
1.  Rachel's Plan Bee Facial Oil - My favorite skin care expert, Rachel, from Rachel's Plan Bee, sent over some of her delicious minis. Read the blog post here.
2. MSC Lavender & Spearmint Nourishing Lip Cream - I received this chapstick in my Petit Vour box.  It does the job and perhaps one day I'd repurchase...after I use up all my other chapsticks.
3. We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Makeup Remover Oil - I use this to remove eye makeup.  Check out my detailed review here.
4. MooGoo Deodorant - I haven't worn the dangerous, aluminum stuff in almost five years.  Review is definitely coming up.
5. Rupam's Herbals Tooth Soap - thanks to this, I've never had sensitive teeth ever again.  Check out blog post here.
6. Odacite A Summer in Hossegor - expensive, but lasts me about nine months and soooo worth it.  Blog post here.
7. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil - I'm positive I'll be thanking this oil when I'm 135.  Blog post here.
8. Laurel Eye Serum - Clean ingredients, which I love.  I'll be honest though, I'm not sure if it works for me (I've been using it for over one year).  I'm not going to repurchase.
9. Toothbrush - Aaron teases me about the size of this brush head, but honestly, I can't ever go back to a traditional toothbrush size.  This has three times more bristles than ordinary toothbrushes, and is incredibly soft.  If you're right handed, make sure you get the right handed brush and buy accordingly for you South Paws.  Your dominant hand with the proper ergonomics makes for a gentler, more effect brushing experience.

10. MooGoo Brightening Cream - I played club soccer for years = lots of sun spots.  I'm positive this cream has been reversing the spots.  Blog post here.
11. MooGoo Anti-Ageing Cream - I don't think I've ever been happier with this anti aging cream for a few reasons.  Check out the blog post here.
12. Rachel's Plan Bee Body Oil - I get so sad when I run out.  If there was a spirit animal of scents, this would be my patronus.  I don't know what that means, but this body oil + me, are meant to be.  Blog post here.
13. Tongue Scraper - We all gotta do it every time we brush.  It's especially important to do this in the mornings to remove the gunk leftover from our bodies' overnight detox.  Also pictured is my floss.  Not news worthy, but it's in my medicine cabinet and I didn't feel like editing my cabinet for the sake of this photo. #LazyBlogger  It goes without saying, floss and scrape all the time, y'all!

14. Rachel's Plan Bee Bee Cream - Same dreamy scent as the body oil, but keeps my hands extra soft all day.  Check out my blog post here.
15. Laurel Brightening Mask - Honestly, I'm no longer sure if this works for me, but I'm going to keep going with this one because I'll take on any clean product with anti-aging benefits.  Blog post here.
16. Manuka Honey - I use this as an overnight mask more than anything else and I can't see myself ever stopping.  Blog post coming up because I have a lot to say about Manuka and you should definitely check back.
17. Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk - Everything you'd want from a facial cleanser - gentle and effective.  Check out the blog post here.

Have you tried any of these products?

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Philippians 1:10

"For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return." Philippians 1:10 (NLT) 

As Christians, a big part of our walk is trying to figure out what matters. It's easy for our flesh to swing from laziness to legalism. So for Paul to wish us a clear focus is extremely sensible and necessary.

Click here to read the entire chapter.  Click here to select a different translation.

Thank you for reading!  Jesus LOVES you!




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Rachel's Plan Bee - The Mini Collection

My love of Rachel's Plan Bee is no secret.  So when Rachel sent me some samples from her Mini Collection, I was more than happy to test some pieces I hadn't yet tried.

Rachel created a Heavenly-scented facial oil with simple and clean ingredients like apricot, olive, grape seed, and sweet orange oil.  I love the simplicity, I love the smell.  Throughout the day, I'll gently rub two drops onto my face and enjoy not only the moisture benefits, but the fact that it makes me smell like vanilla, my absolute favorite.

Body care tip - when rubbing anything onto your face, always make sure you're using gentle, upward motions.  My grandmother, who is Japanese, passed this trick on to my mom.  Both women have beautiful skin and I believe it's partially attributed to all those years of gently easing their skin against gravity when applying oils and creams.

With the same fragrance, Rachel's Original Bee Cream moisturizes the spots that need extra attention.  The Original Bee Cream is permanently etched into my post shower ritual for my hands and feet.  Our hands take quite a beating throughout our lives so it's important for us to always remember to give them TLC.

I love that Rachel's Plan Bee offers their products in mini sizes.  It's a great price point to try out new to you items and so adorably portable.  With The Mini Collection, our skin can still get special treatment while on the road.

Thank you for reading.  Jesus LOVES you!



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Let's Keep Our Eyes on the Lord

This photo was reposted from my Instagram
Aaron and I were watching the last movie in The Hobbit trilogy the other night. One scene struck a chord in me; the scene where Smaug, the evil dragon was facing off against Bard, the archer and Bain, his teenage son. Smaug, was smack-talking and trying to strike fear. He asked Bard, “is this your child? You cannot save him from the fire. He will burn!” On that last word, he lunged forward, open mouthed, ready to consume. At the same time, Bard was steadying the arrow on Bain’s shoulder, because the bow was broken. Bain was facing his father but he turned to see Smaug descending on them. Just then, Bard calmly said, “Bain, keep your eyes on me.” Bain did so and his dad hit his mark and the dragon died.
I love this scene because it reminds me of what God desires from us. When the enemy is thrashing about, threatening, accusing, trying to spread pain and fear, the Lord tells us to keep our eyes on Him. God is always in control and not only will we be spared from worrying when we keep our eyes on Him, but we will also be more effective in our task at hand.

Thank you for reading.  Jesus loves YOU.




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