This past week, I have spent some time reading the biography, Mrs. Oswald Chambers: The Woman behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional.
I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. I think this is my favorite sponsored book review yet as I love reading Christian biographies of saints who have gone before me, and I also loved it because Mrs. Oswald Chambers (Biddy) was a pastor’s wife. Even though there so much in my life that would be very different from Biddy Chamber’s life, I am finding inspiration and being rebuked at the same time as I read how she loved God passionately and loved and supported her husband wholeheartedly.
I will have to come back at a later date and share more after I have read the whole book, but here are a few thoughts that have challenged my own spiritual walk as I have read the book:
Thought #1: I was challenged by the Chambers’ desire to live dependently on God and not to worry about or ask for money.
Many missionaries and church leaders of this era such as George Mueller and Hudson Taylor lived a life that practiced full dependence on God for financial matters. I know I am not ready to live completely the way they did. There is support in the Bible for taking care of your own household and for being prudent and wise in decision making. However, I know that money probably takes up too much thought in my life — and probably in most Americans’ lives.
In ministry, we cannot be driven by money. It is good to keep Psalm 24:1 before us so that we can remember, “The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof;”. My husband and I often will say, “It’s only money.” By that we mean, people and relationships are more important. We also can freely give to the Lord’s work knowing that God will bless the giver by making sure his needs are met. In some personal situations, I have felt like my husband was very generous and maybe someone did not deserve what he/she received, but I know in the end the Lord will bless my husband because he was unselfish and gracious in the area of finances.
Sometimes I can be more of a fighter. I don’t like to see what I think is other people taking advantage of God’s work or money. However, Oswald Chamber and his wife Biddy had the proper response. They prayed fervently and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of people who were taking advantage of resources that belonged to their ministry. Sometimes sin must be dealt with right away by the people in charge; but if it is a brother or sister in Christ, I need to learn the practice of being still and praying to the One who knows how to handle all situations and let the Holy Spirit convict of sin rather than trying to be the one who hands out the punishment. When we allow the Holy Spirit to handle the matter, hearts will be softened and changed rather than hardened.
A couple of quotes from Oswald Chamber about the subject of dependence on God over money are the following:
Jesus never had any home of His own, never a pillow on which to lay His head. His poverty was a deliberate choice. We may have to face destitution in order to maintain our spiritual connection with Jesus, and we can only do that if we love Him supremely.
We have to trust in God whether He sends us money or not, whether He gives us health or not. We must have faith in God, not in His gifts.
Thought #2: I was challenged by Biddy’s realization and peace with the fact that God was Oswald Chamber’s first priority which took precedence therefore over their marriage.
Most of us who are believers would say, “Of course! God should be our spouse’s first priority!” But do we really believe that? I know sometimes I can get upset when ministry comes before our family life. And if ministry allows no room for family, then there is an issue. But in my case, usually it is selfishness rising it’s head. I want what I want when I want it, instead of realizing that God’s work at that time needs to take precedence.
Here’s a wonderful quote from the book on Biddy’s perspective of their marriage:
Biddy knew marriage to Oswald would not be a relationship focused on each other. God’s call commanded Oswald’s time and attention. She viewed her role in partnership with him and God as a helpmeet — a woman specifically designed for Oswald’s needs and God’s purposes.
Her beloved painted no romantic pictures. Indeed, Oswald cautioned, ‘I have nothing to offer you but my love and steady lavish service for Him.
And Biddy knew that was enough: the love of her beloved and her Beloved God who would be with them in their service for Him.
Thought #3: I was challenged by her wisdom in dealing with her daughter.
I have to complete the book, but I skimmed a little bit towards the middle and end of the book so that I could give a full review. Oswald Chambers was 35 when he married Biddy. They had their only daughter when he was 38. Then at age 43, he died from complications of an appendectomy. Biddy had to therefore raise Kathleen, their daughter, all by herself from a very tender age of four years old. Due to Biddy’s view on finances and how all money belonged to the Lord, Biddy did not keep any proceeds from the books that were written by Oswald Chambers (with Biddy’s help). Therefore, they often had financial difficulties. Kathleen struggled with the lack of funds, especially as a teenager which did prompt Biddy to make some changes in how they lived and what Biddy could do to provide a more stable income for their family. Kathleen later said about this time,
‘It can be a handicap to be raised in a Christian family. You image you know more than you do, but you only know about God,’ she explained. Biddy gave her daughter room and time to find her own personal relationship with God.
My kids are also raised in a Christian family who are the “pastor’s kids.” I need to pray and trust God and sometimes give them space and time to make their own relationship with God.
This book has been such a pleasure for me to read, and I probably will share some thoughts next week from the book as well. If you enjoy reading biographies and want a new book to read, add this one to your Christmas wishlist. It is on Amazon, and will be available for purchase on October 17. You can pre-order it right now! You can also enter a giveaway below which will end next Saturday, only a few days after the book has been released.
I would also appreciate your prayers for Michelle Ule, the author of this book. This book launch has been a very intimate launch as we have been part of a Facebook group with Michelle where she has done Facebook live chats and shared her own personal life with us. This past week, Michelle and her family, which includes grown children and grandchildren who live close by her, have had to evacuate their homes due to the California fires.
She shared this picture of the fires that are very close to her son’s house. Last update I heard, they were optimistic that their houses would be spared, but they could not go home for some time due to not being able to have electricity as it was not safe to have electricity in their area right now. Please pray for all the people who have lost their homes and pray that Michelle and her families’ homes may be spared.
You can enter a giveaway to win your own copy of this great biography by Michelle Ule!
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Must be a resident of the United States. Creative K Kids is not responsible for the fulfillment of this prize.
You can also enter a giveaway for Stock the Crock cookbook HERE.
Here are some posts I enjoyed reading from last week’s party:
- 13 Ways Your Words Can Help Your Kids from Tips from Toni
- Cultivate Joy from Redeeming Home
- Do’s and Don’ts of Ladies Bible class from Maidservants of Christ
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