A Mother of Nations

Genesis 17:15-19

Following Phoebe’s marriage to Walter Palmer in 1827, the couple became interested in the John Wesley’s writings.  Of special interest was his teaching on the doctrine of Christian perfection.  In 1837 Phoebe came to know the truth of the experience of entire sanctification personally.  Her family soon followed, experiencing this second definite work of God’s grace.  They were excited about what God had done for them and felt they should spread the good news.

Two years prior, Phoebe’s sister Sarah Lankford began to have weekly prayer meetings with other Methodist women. Eventually Phoebe became the leader of the meetings which were called the “Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness.”

In 1839 men were finally allowed to attend the meetings.  Among them were Methodist bishops, theologians and ministers such as Edmund S. James, Leonidas Lent Hamline, Jesse T. Peck and Matthew Simpson.   Others that were influenced during this time by her speaking and writing were the temperance leader, Frances Willard; the co-founder of the Salvation Army, Catherine Booth; and the first president of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness (later the Christian Holiness Partnership), John Inskip.  The holiness message which had died down to a flickering ember burst into a flame that spread throughout the world.  Phoebe Palmer was blessed by God to become a “mother of nations.”

By Dr. Gayle Woods

 

 

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The Adorning

1 Peter 3:1-6

Many miss the point Peter is trying to make in 1 Peter 3:1-6.  He is saying, “vs. 3 “Whose adorning” . . . (vs. 4)   “let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”  The example for this admonition is found in vs. 5 when he says that this is what set aside “holy women” of the past.  They “trust[ing] in God, adorned themselves. . .”

The fact that Sarah laughed (Gen 18:10-12) when she heard that God was going to give her son in her old age is not of importance.  Didn’t Abraham also laugh earlier upon receiving this message?  (Gen 17:17)  What is of importance is that she adorning herself in trust for God “obeyed Abraham” and followed her husband’s journey of faith.

Catherine was a tender, compassionate woman.   She also was a woman of deep faith and great conviction.  She was a quiet, reserved woman.  This she overcame, however, in her desire to serve Christ. She accompanied her husband William to tent revivals as he preached throughout England.  Later she became his strong supporter as together they founded the Salvation Army in their desire to reach the poor in England with the gospel.  William Booth was blessed to have a godly wife who was adorned by the hidden man of the heart, an ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, and an astounding depth of trust in God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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Inner Beauty

 1 Peter 3:1-6

 

What a beautiful outfit; adorned by trust in God.   Whenever I consider  godly lives I think of my mother.  She was a very intelligent, cultured woman who loved God with all her heart, soul, mind, strength and her neighbor as herself.  She loved to believe God and His Word.  She didn’t question the Word.  To her, God was really God.  He could do more than we could ever ask or think.  He was the God of the impossible.  She was adorned by trust in God.

I love the memories I have of her.  As a child I would come rushing into the room and find her quite often in one of two postures.  Either she was sitting in a chair reading her Bible or she was on her knees in prayer.  Those images made an indelible impression upon my soul.  She was adorned by trust in God.

She had a quiet, rock solid faith.  She did not parade her faith.  She simply exercised it daily.  To be with her was to sense that the current ran deep.  She loved the Lord so sincerely that she would not consider doing anything that might bring Him grief.  She trusted God with her family, her future, and her faith.  She was adorned by trust in God.

She was an attractive woman.  Many who look at her picture comment about her beauty.  The beauty of the human form was not all that people who knew her saw.  Her outward beautify was not what those who barely knew her saw but did not comprehend.  She was adorned by trust in God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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