A Woman of Valor (Proverbs 31)

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.   Proverbs 31:25‭-‬30 NRSV

Do you know a woman whose name enters your spirit immediately after reading Proverbs 31?  I do. 

  • Exactly three years ago today I lost my mother, Jennette Silverthorne (1934 – 2019). Because of her relationship with God, her death was just – I firmly believe – the beginning of her eternal life.  Because of my relationship with the Lord, I sadly grieved, but wasn’t devastated. 

Ironically, what she instilled in me during her life -my faith- allowed me to better live my life after she died. At a time when I needed it most, my faith was a ‘parachute’ I never knew would work so well. While sad, on some special days, by my mother’s absence, I remember this: She was God’s child first! My Heavenly Father allowed me to ‘borrow’ her for 85 years. 

  • Many women ‘have done excellently’, but I feel my late mother surpassed them all. 

The first song sung at her August 2019 funeral, by the Oak Ridge First Baptist Church Gospel Choir, was “Order My Steps”. It fit the Sunday afternoon celebration of her life quite well.

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133 KJV

To God be the glory.  

Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way, August 7, 2022

God so loved the World . . .

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:16 – 17 NRSV

Happy Good Friday from 66 Assurance Way

Photo credit: arbyreed/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Christians: Life’s Cul-de-sacs, God’s opportunities

I can still remember driving a rental car while attending my 40th high school reunion in New York – and having the GPS misdirect me to a NYC (Queens) cul-de-sac. To say I was a bit baffled would be an understatement. In our spiritual lives, however, what appears to be a dead end isn’t – and may be a blessing in disguise. Your ‘wrong turn’ is in fact a right and righteous turn.

To be clear, if I had driven that afternoon into a road -ignoring a Wrong Way sign- that could have been fatal. Don’t confuse going the wrong way with taking a ‘wrong turn’. The latter often has God’s fingerprints all over it!

Spiritual faith is about accepting that -at times- in life we need to move forward – in spite of what our 2 eyes see. Or don’t see. Perfect 20-20 vision won’t suffice in such situations.

As a Christian you can have what I call 20-20-20 vision… seeing things through God’s eyes too. No glasses or contact lenses required! Just your abiding faith.

  • Hebrews 11:1 (NRSV)
    • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
    • Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

When you emerge from these cul-de-sacs you will not look like what you’ve been through.  If you’re faithful, you won’t ‘smell like smoke’ – after emerging from life’s fiery furnaces. Why? Because you weren’t in it alone!

  • Remember King Nebuchadnezzar’s surprise with what he saw in the furnace? Sedrach, Misach, and Abednago where joined by their savior, the son of God. They were singing joyfully, not crying
  • Scripture / Daniel 3:20-25 (LXX):

And he commanded mighty men to bind Sedrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then those men were bound with their coats, and caps, and hose, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace, forasmuch as the king’s word prevailed; and the furnace was made exceeding hot. Then these three men, Sedrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell bound into the midst of the burning furnace, and walked in the midst of the flame, singing praise to God, and blessing the Lord. And Nabuchodonosor heard them singing praises; and he wondered, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles, Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? and they said to the king, Yes, O king. And the king said, But I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there has no harm happened to them; and the appearance of the fourth is like the Son of God.

  • They emerged from the furnace unburnt and unscathed. The same couldn’t be said for the men that threw them into the furnace. Same furnace, different fate.
  • What appeared to the King to be the end of the boys’ lives was, in fact, the beginning of a blessing. It was God’s opportunity to show up and protect them.

So, don’t despair when faced with ‘fire’.   Remember this: The Lord won’t abandon you. However you must trust him.  Even during tough times. Especially during tough times!

  • Untested faith isn’t worth much. Tested, steadfast faith is a Christian’s ticket to ‘perfect peace’ and eternal salvation.

So the next time you are faced with a cul-de-sac, look up to the sky – where your help comes from.

Please do not lower your head in sorrow. Know you’re covered by Christian Assurance. That God’s got your back. It ain’t over until God says it’s over

  • That’s assurance, NOT insurance. Your ‘premium’ is trusting and worshipping the Lord.
  • When my relocation to New England from NC was delayed about 18 months by the current pandemic, I personally faced an unexpected cul-de-sac. While initially very disappointed, I soon realized that my No was really a Not yet. My plans were simply delayed, not denied. God doesn’t generally tell us when and how our needs will be supplied. I was patient and was rewarded.

The benefits of this Believers Club are both earthly and eternal. Walk with Jesus Christ, even when you can’t, as MLK put it, ‘see the whole staircase’. Will you give God an opportunity to direct and bless you?

To God be the glory.

66 Assurance Way / Greg Silverthorne

Photo credit: Glen Scott (flickr) / (CC BY-NC 2.0)