All posts tagged Women of the Bible

How To Get What You Want From An Unreasonable Boss

Working Mom's Devotional

Esther, the Queen of Persia who saved the Jewish people from annihilation in the fifth Century BC, is a master at tackling problems at work.

To start, she understands how to influence an irrational, pompous boss. If she were alive today, she’d offer a pricey yet wildly popular seminar: How To Get What You Want From An Unreasonable Boss.

She makes it look so easy with a simple, three-step formula:     

Step One:  Take the Initiative

Esther doesn’t wait around for her boss, King Xerxes, to fix a crisis. When she learns the Jewish people are in danger – and that a plot to destroy the Jews is brewing in the King’s inner circle – she quickly takes action. Never mind that the King doesn’t like to be interrupted when he is busy sitting on his throne. Never mind that the penalty for approaching him in the royal throne room without an invitation is possibly death. Esther takes action.

Esther shows us that taking the initiative at work means having the guts to walk into the boss’s office and make the ask. 

Click here to continue reading about Esther at The High Calling. 

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Sometimes, it’s difficult to know when to ask, when to hang low, and when to push the envelope.  The Working Women of the Bible give us insight into these timeless questions.

We’re committed to sharing the stories of working women who are striving to integrate their faith, home, and work.  Do you have a desire to share your story?  Send an email to sdimickele@gmail.com by June 20 and stay tuned for details!

Working Women of the Bible: Timeless Mentors For Modern Women

Working Women of the Bible releases today.  As we read about our foremothers, I’d like to ask a couple of questions.

First, who are our female role models?

Most of us can point to a mother, sister, or grandmother who has shaped our journeys.  Some of us have relied on teachers, friends, and co-workers to blaze our trails.  Still others have benefited from the example of women we don’t even know – women who inspire us as we simply watch their journeys.

Let me ask another question.  Who do women in our society look to as spiritual mentors?

If we’re honest, the women of the Bible aren’t at the front of the pack.  Maybe the church looks to the women of the Bible for answers, but most modern women don’t think the Bible has real answers for our generation.  If anything, we dismiss the Bible as “culturally irrelevant” and instead find solutions that look more like our lives.

Will you help me challenge this thinking? 

I understand that many of us still need to be convinced.  I too was skeptical that women in the Bible even “worked” outside the home, let alone could provide insights into my journey.  So don’t take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself.  Take your time, and read about women like Deborah, Rahab, and Lydia.  You’ll too be convinced that many things haven’t changed.  Their stories are our stories.  The working women in the Bible are some of the most remarkable mentors for our generation. 

The working women of the Bible each has a story.  A personal and unique story about how God redeems work, life, and relationships one life at a time.  Why am I so passionate about telling these stories?  Because in many ways, we’ve missed them.  We’ve gone through the motions in our Sunday School lessons, and we’ve forgotten about women like Huldah and Priscilla.  Women of amazing strength and power.   Women who quietly lead by example.  Women who can show our generation how it’s done.

Will you help tell the stories of these timeless mentors?

Lydia: Risking Your business for Your faith

cost-risk-analysis

Lydia of Philippi is often called the first European convert to Christianity.  She undoubtedly represents the “new” modern woman of her day — a business woman who enjoys profitable trading throughout the Greco-Roman world. Lydia is a dealer in purple cloth at a time when purple dye is the most expensive and sought after dye in the Roman world.

Which means Lydia has plenty of capital!  She is a woman with resources, the head of her household, and wildly successful in business. 

Yet Lydia upsets the status quo when decides to follow Jesus.  None of Lydia’s clients share her newfound faith.  They probably thought she had lost her mind when she converted to Christianity.  Some of them probably considered cancelling their business contracts.  As if her conversion isn’t bold enough, Lydia next decides to risk her life for her new faith.

The Apostle Paul and his companion Silas are flogged, beaten, and thrown into prison soon after they arrive in Philippi. This would have been the perfect time for Lydia to get out. Or at least go under cover and be a closet Christian. Is following Jesus worth this much trouble? It’s one thing to be affiliated with a minority religion. It’s another thing to be affiliated with common criminals.

Paul doesn’t know how to fly under the radar. He doesn’t even try. Being a Christian means upsetting the status quo. What has Lydia gotten herself into? Yet she doesn’t run the other way. She doesn’t tell Paul to keep his distance. Just the opposite. When Paul and Silas are released from prison, guess where they head? Straight to Lydia’s house.  In fact, Lydia’s home isn’t just a haven — it becomes the official meeting place for the first church in Philippi.

How’s that for a little business development!

Not many of us have risked our business for our faith. We haven’t harbored fugitives who are running from the authorities or sent aid to our friends in prison. We continue to go about our work and play it safe. But we each have our own resources.  Like Lydia, God longs to use our unique style and recourses for a greater good. 

How does Lydia inspire us to risk the status quo for something greater? 

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Working Women of the Bible releases next week!   Thanks for following our pre-launch mini series:

Would you help me share the untold stories of these amazing women?

Esther: Finishing the Job!

woman with hammer

Esther isn’t just another great biblical heroine.  She’s a woman who knows how to finish the job!

If you’ve read the story of Queen Esther you know of her incredible bravery and valor.  She starts life as an ordinary Jewish girl but wins a beauty contest and becomes Queen of Persia,  After unexpectedly rising to power while hiding her Jewish identity, she learns of a secret plot to annihilate the Jews.  So she risks her life and approaches the King in his royal throne room to plead for mercy.  The King grants Esther favor.  He orders the death of Haman, the villain who seeks to destroy the Jews, and everyone lives happily ever after.  Right?

Not exactly.  If you read the rest of the story, you know Esther’s work is hardly done. It’s not like the King sets everything right. Everything is still wrong. Sure, Haman is gone, but the edict to destroy the Jews still stands. An order with the King’s signet ring can’t be revoked.  Several months pass since Esther first approached the King.  Esther first approached the King in the month of Nisan. It is now the month of Sivan – three months later. (See http://bible.org/seriespage/esther-8211-irony-and-providence, by Donald E. Curtis.)

Esther must have been incredibly frustrated.  Why would God bring her this far only to bring her right back where she started? 

I missed this piece of Esther’s story for years and years.  I wrongly assumed that the King immediately set things right.  Not so.  Esther must finish the job.  In fact, she shows us that finishing a job is just as important as getting hired. It’s one thing to be in a powerful position. It’s another thing to get things done.

To finish the job, Esther even risks her life a second time. She approaches the King in the royal throne room and again he extends the golden scepter. This time, she is ready. Time is of the essence, so she gets right to the point. She asks for an order overruling Haman’s edict.

This time, something remarkable happens. The King gives Esther full authority to write another decree. He even tells her to do it with his signet ring, “in the King’s name in behalf of the Jews, as seems best to you.” In other words, the King delegates to Esther and empowers her to act with his authority.

Esther doesn’t waste a second. She uses her newfound power to empower the people. An edict is written permitting the Jews to protect themselves from the coming attack. She makes certain that the edict is written in the local language of each providence “and also to the Jews in their own script and language.” She dots her i’s and crosses her t’s. Her uncle, Mordecai, seals the edict with the signet ring and ensures it will be delivered promptly to every corner of the kingdom.

After the Jews successfully defend themselves, a celebration is in order. Esther now sets out to honor the people. The festival of Purim is established to remember this victory.  In doing so, she not only finishes the job, but she honors the people and makes it their victory – not hers.

Have you ever thought you had “arrived” only to find out your hardest work is in front of you?  Does Esther inspire you to finish the job you started? 

Next week, we’ll finish our mini-series and get ready to launch Working Women of the Bible!   

  • Lydia – Risking Your Business for Your Faith (March 4)
  • Working Women of the Bible:  It’s Time To Tell Their Stories!  (March 12)

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Working Women of the Bible releases March 12, 2013.  That’s only 2 weeks away and I need your help!  Pray that women all over the world would be touched by these stories, and share this resource with your family and friends. This includes writing an Amazon Review or hitting the “like” button on Amazon, posting to your favorite social meeting site (such as Facebook) or writing a blog post or group email.  Check out 8 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author*  by my agent, Rachelle Gardner and email me at sdimickele@gmail.com if you’d like to join the launch team.

Huldah: Becoming an Expert in Your Field

expertise

Huldah isn’t a famous bible heroine.  You’ve probably never heard of her. I’ve yet to see her featured in a women’s Bible study or a Sunday school curriculum.

Yet her story is short and powerful.  Which is why we spend a whole chapter on Hudlah in Working Women of the Bible. She’s called upon during a time when the people desperately need to hear from God. And she’s called upon because of one reason: her reputation.

Just before Huldah enters the scene young Kind Josiah commissions the people to rebuild and
repair the temple. It is likely in complete disarray due to years and years of neglect. In the process of repairing the temple, the high priest Hilkiah discovers a lost scroll, probably the book of Deuteronomy. Guess who the King calls on to authenticate the scroll?  His closest advisors? The High Priest?  His Secretary of State?

No.  no.  And no.

He doesn’t even call on one of the well-known male prophets of his time, like Habakkuk and Zephaniah.  Instead, he calls upon an unknown woman, Hudlah, to validate the most important discovery of his lifetime!

Without hesitation, King Josiah sends the high priest, Hilkiah, to consult Huldah. They consult her at her home in the second quarter of Jerusalem. The second quarter is the section in front of the temple. This quarter has also been translated “in the college”—the Hebrew word is mishneh, meaning “place of repetition.”

Since education is often an oral affair in the ancient world, tradition is such that Huldah is some kind of teacher.  We also know that Huldah is the wife of Shallum. His job is keeping the wardrobe—either for the priest or king. This would have placed his family close to the life of the temple and palace. We don’t know much more about Huldah’s background. Like I said, she’s not exactly famous. But King Josiah obviously
has her on speed dial.

Why pick an unknown woman for such an important job in a male-dominated society?

It’s obvious.  Huldah is a true expert in her field.  She has an impeccable reputation.  And she likely studies for years and years (without expectation of promotion or recognition) to prepare for this moment.  Not only does she authenticate the ancient text, she goes on to prophesy – to deliver a tough message to the King that will shape the course of his destiny.

We have so much to learn from Huldah’s patience, persistence, and quiet preparation.  Like Huldah, many of us are spending years and years establishing a professional reputation.  Most of us will never be famous. We think that God won’t use our work, simply because we’re not well known. Our jobs are too small. No one has ever asked us to do anything important. Why should we expect any different?

Yet often God uses the quiet and faithful for greatness.  There is no substitute for experience, and experience takes time.  We live in a fast-track, quick-fix culture.  We want to see results right now. But God in his wisdom is preparing us for the right time and the right moment.

Are you striving  to be an expert in your field?  Do you get frustrated “paying it forward” without recognition or results?

How does Huldah’s story inspire us to serve, invest, and wait? 

Let’s continue our mini-series next week.  Will you help me share the stories of these amazing women?

  • Esther – Finishing The Job (February 25)
  • Lydia – Risking Your Business for Your Faith (March 4)

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Working Women of the Bible releases in March 2013.  Care to join my launch team?  It’s easy.  Pray that women all over the world would be touched by these stories, and share this resource with your family and friends. This includes writing an Amazon Review or hitting the “like” button on Amazon, posting to your favorite social meeting site (such as Facebook) or writing a blog post or group email.  Check out 8 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author*  by my agent, Rachelle Gardner and email me at sdimickele@gmail.com if you’d like to join the launch team.