All is well with the Beckleys. We are gearing up for our periodic trip to the States (November 14 to February 20). If you are near the following places and dates, please look me up. I'll try to remember to come back here and let you know my cell number once we buy one of those cheap phones.

Nov 19 Burnett TX
Nov 26 Baytown
Nov 28 Dallas/Fort Worth
Dec 3 Lenexa Kansas
Dec 10 Paducah KY
Dec 17 Somerset KY
Atlanta area (visiting family)
Dec 31 Huffman, Birmingham AL
Jan 7 Washington DC area
Jan 10 NewPort News
Chipley, Florida area (visiting family)
Jan 28 Montecello FL
Lakeland FL (visiting family)
Feb 5-8 Florida College Lectures
Feb 11 Stonewall LA
Feb 14 Lindale TX
Feb 15 Sulphur Springs
Feb 18 Edna TX

Time is running too fast--much too fast for Granny. I was shocked to discover the date of my last entry.
I was thinking the other day how I have missed some of you. I'm glad you are still here.

Recently I prepared a requested lesson and thought today that I had posted it for you. Nada. I'm sorry. This is a basic lesson but I think very practical as you may agree as you skim through it. If you think it useful, please feel free to copy and print. I had included two comics to illustrate, but I've forgotten how to include photos (jpeg). But then when presented to my African ladies they were completely a mystery. I don't think the older ones ever did see the connections. But that's ok, I used many examples of their own culture.


Wise Women Build
Joanne Beckley

1. Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish tear it down with her hands.

2. Learn the proverb. It is a metaphor (one thing that represents something else). But the word “house” in this Proverb and in the rest of Scripture is often much more than the building you live in. It is broader than that. It can also describe a family and/or an estate.
a. Picture a wise woman building a house, a fortress, a place to keep her family secure and safe from harm: (Example: Not long after we came to South Africa in 1976, I was told I would not be considered a woman until I build my house. I was then taken to a site to watch a number of women and learn.)
b. Where does a wise woman begins? She must first count the cost! Luke 14:28.
c. A wise woman will have a goal, a blueprint plan, collect materials, and schedule contractors.
d. A wise woman’s foundation will be her first consideration before she even begins her walls for she is building a way of life. Matthew 7:24-27. Obviously a wise woman will be building on Jesus Christ, her foundation. Isa 28:16 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
e. A wise woman must be committed, diligent to follow through in building her house. This requires hard work!

3. Let’s face it, a wise godly woman is not born – she is deliberately made.
a. A wise woman chooses to be wise in body and spirit.
b. She has the right priorities for her life.
c. She is wise and self-disciplined and industrious.
d. She determines that her family will grow stronger in body, mind and spirit.
e. Do these four points remind you of a woman described in the Bible?

4. How does a wise godly woman begin to build her foundation?
a. Within herself. As she grows to be a woman her emphasis will be on learning about God and His will for her and building her faith in God, – through Bible study and prayer.
b. She will be learning how to sacrifice, to serve, and refrain from thinking only of herself, Galatians 5:13.
c. She cannot do it alone. Her strength will come from God. Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
d. She will CHOOSE to obey her Lord in baptism, continuing her spiritual growth as she practices all that she has learned, ever growing in her faith. 2Peter 1:5-8 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
e. These truths remain whether a wise woman marries or chooses to remain unmarried.

5. Proverbs 12:4 “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.”
a. This difference cannot be hid from the eyes of others, for her husband’s shame comes from others witnessing his curse (Prov 27:15-16 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike. He who would restrain her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.).
b. God created marriage (Gen 2:22-25), and intended marriage to nurture and protect the family–a reliable shelter from life’s storms. The ONLY way a wise woman can achieve this is by hard work and self-sacrifice.
c. Proverbs 31:1-31 is filled with a description of a wise woman and how she influenced her husband and children.
d. There are many Bible examples of wise and foolish women:
i. Hannah, Lois and Eunice were wise women.
ii. Houses were torn down by Jezebel and many others
iii. The only widows to be financially supported by the church are those who have wisely built their houses (I Tim 5:3-10).

** As we go through the following identifying signs of a wise woman, notice how her total focus is on her efforts to build up her family–not on a career to build her value in the eyes of the world. Each time I mention a description of a wise woman, ask yourself if it is true of YOU. Remember, all of us have made mistakes, often unknowingly. Let us use this information to encourage ourselves to do better, to think positive, and grow more in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18. Jesus want you to have a great marriage!

6. How can you identify a wise woman? Look first at her husband.
a. He trusts his wife!
b. He will be successful in his work, for she will have relieved him of most or all the household duties (Pr 31:13-27).
c. He will be confident, happy, and content, for she will be a great lover and companion (Pr 5:19; 19:13; 31:11-12).
d. He praises her in the company of others.
e. He will apply himself well to the larger matters of family and caring for them, for his wise wife will have taken care of the lesser ones herself.
f. A wise woman knows sexually stealing from her husband (defraud, 1Cor 7:5) creates bitterness. His manhood is reduced and it affects his creativity and productivity. She makes other women much more attractive to him.
g. She willingly submits to her husband, obedient in everything, Col 3:18; Eph 5:22.
h. She knows that if she makes frequent suggestions or often disagrees he will think she knows more than he does. There is no more peace in the home, his confidence is undermined and in return he becomes critical toward her. She knows that her better ideas are better when kept to herself.
i. She knows that adoring and admiring her husband just as she did before they were married can build her man into a leader.
j. She knows that praising him to the children leads to a strong, unified, and happy home.

7. How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her children.
a. Children reflect whomever cares for them. God expects this person to be the mother, the one who gave birth.
b. Children of the wise woman will be exceptional in character, conduct, and reputation because they learn from her. Samuel, Solomon, and Timothy say much about their wise and noble mothers (I Sam 1:27-28; Pr 4:3; Phil 2:20; II Tim 3:15).
c. The wise woman is teaching her children many things, by word and example.
i. To be truly spiritually minded, wanting only to please God.
ii. To be diligent and successful workers
iii. To be organized, neat, and orderly.
iv. To be gracious, noble, virtuous, and zealous
d. When did you last tell each child verbally and tenderly you loved them? Surprise each child with a favorite snack. Have you soberly expressed your spiritual ambition for their souls, praying for them?
e. When did you last pray with each child? When did they last catch you in serious devotions? When did you last describe the qualities of the spouse you pray for each of them? Praise your husband to them in private? Tell them of your great love for God? Confess any shortcomings they can see?
f. Wise women see opportunities to promote both husband AND children.
i. The woman who loves her children more than her husband will lose them both,
ii. for the husband will suffer directly,
iii. and the children will despise the selfish self-serving mother.

8. How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her house.
a. It will be clean, orderly, organized, comfortable, and bright.
b. It will reflect on the outside and inside the care of ownership (Pr 24:3-4,30-34; 31:13-27; Eccl 10:18). No part will show long-term neglect.
c. Hospitality shared within will be generous, warm, comfortable, and gracious (Pr 31:14).
d. It will be decorated creatively with the best that a motivated woman can find (Pr 31:22).

9. How can you identify a wise woman? She practices financial discipline, Proverbs 10:10ff; Romans 12:11
a. She creates a budget and never spends outside strict limits.
b. She will be economical but also plan for future family needs.
c. She will have working skills or acquired knowledge in areas that can produce profits when she has the opportunity or time.
d. She prefers family profits over personal pleasure in her hobbies.
e. She plans how she can help the poor and those in need, Eph 4:28.

10. How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her appearance.
a. She will be of a proper weight, in good physical condition, and as shapely as God intended her. She understands her husband is sexually stimulated by sight, Matthew 5:28.
b. She will dress to honor her husband, 1 Tim 2:9.
c. How she carries herself and how she acts (demeanor) will be closer to a queen than to a prostitute.
d. Her face will shine with contentment, joy, and excitement.
11. How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her heart.
a. She keeps her heart with all diligence (Pr 4:23). She is humbly contrite concerning her sins and sinfulness, but fully confident in God’s forgiveness to press ahead with bold joy in fulfilling her purpose in life.
b. Her foundation is love, unconditional love.
c. She is contented and happy with the Lord, no matter what circumstances she faces.
d. God is the strength of her heart (Psa 73:26), and she enthusiastically does anything she can for the kingdom of God.
e. As seen in Proverbs 31, her family can easily observe her submission, service, and affection to her husband. They see a consistent standard of purity, temperance, diligence, and graciousness every day. The law of kindness is in her tongue, and she rules her spirit without fail. She is the sunshine of the home and a constant example of faithfulness in spirit and conduct.

12. A wise woman teaches and enforces the virtues of Christ.
a. She instills in her children to be holy, love truth, and service others.
b. She crushes lying, sibling rivalry, foolish talking and jesting, sarcasm, backbiting, disrespect of authority, moodiness, and worldly friends. (Use the Bible to train!)
c. She requires virtuous behaviour at all times.
d. She presses them to grow in favor with God and man and keep a good reputation, Luke 2:52.

13. A wise woman is a keeper at home
a. She guides the house so that it is an orderly, peaceful, and quiet home – a delightful refuge.
b. She constantly evaluates the demands on her time and allocates her day and energy to those tasks that will provide the biggest return to her husband and children in years to come.
c. She is not a busybody, a gossip. She is not social butterfly focused on pleasing others or herself, Tit 2:5; I Tim 5:13-14.

14. A godly woman will have a great reputation
a. True character and performance result in growing in favor with God and men (Pr 11:16; 31:28-30; I Sam 25:3; I Pet 3:5-6).
b. If you are not highly esteemed by others your family will suffer for it.
c. Believe the judgment of others when they try to help you: humble yourself; repent; reform; begin right now to change.

15. A wise woman will accept that building her house is gradual and messy.
a. Trying to solve problems in raising a family, facing difficulty with finances, setbacks, challenges, and feeling lost many times – will happen! You will have to work hard to build well!
b. A wise woman must not give up even when exhausted, frustrated, impatient.
c. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”

16. A wise woman recognizes pitfalls.
a. Pride, materialism
b. Careers outside home
c. Poor evaluation of the importance of building her house
d. Thinking divorce is the solution
e. Pressures to consider being a homemaker as “boring”.

17. Let us not forget that a wise woman must also build up the church of God in her community.
a. Likewise she can tear it down by neglect and fighting (Ga 5:15).
b. What a blessed privilege to build up a local church for your future family.
c. Wise women always look ahead. They never sacrifice the future.

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish tear it down with her hands. Here is encouragement and a warning to women, whether married or unmarried. We have a wonderful opportunity to build a life, a family, a home, a community, a church of God in our neighborhood. When we waste our opportunities, time will see that we hurt not only ourselves, but we hurt everyone around us. Let us choose to "Forsake folly and live, And proceed in the way of understanding." Proverbs 9:6

May each one of us carefully build her house.

A number of the above thoughts were taken from :
Several Sermons by gospel preachers
Various commentaries
  • dawnmk23
    Thanks so much for posting this! Very lovely indeed. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog! The kids are growing like weeds!
    by dawnmk23 at 10/27/17 6:31AM
  • sjean
    This is a really good outline.
    by sjean at 10/27/17 10:30AM
  • tryphena
    Wow--what a good lesson on womanhood.
    by tryphena at 10/30/17 6:48AM
  • anne
    Y'all are with some of our family today at Lindale. Our middle son, Josh. At 6'6" he's hard to miss, especially where they sit near the front, close to his wife Lisa's parents, Matt and Allison Wright.
    by anne at 02/14/18 8:40PM

04/06/17 10:02AM

I have a lesson assignment "How do you live as a Christian widow/divorced" (what a way to phrase it, but English is not their home language.) I've not been down this road. . .
  • tryphena
    Drawing from the book I'm currently reading: Glorify God by doing good to (and for) others. Same as everyone else, although the opportunities might look different. It's pretty easy to use our unique situations as a reason that Christianity would look vastly different. "Unique" to us that is, even though no one is living a life that hasn't been lived before. Whatever we are suffering, others have suffered before us and still others suffer now. My situation feels very unique to me, in that I don't know anyone else who shares a similar one, but that doesn't change my purpose, nor does my purpose differ from yours, or your students', or any other Christian's.

    By using our widowhood or divorce circumstances as a springboard to minister to others, we bring glory to God. I don't know specifically how that looks, but being able to offer a different perspective brings richness and blessings to the church and to all relationships.

    I don't know how helpful that actually is to you, but it's my two-cents'-worth.
    by tryphena at 04/06/17 10:17AM
  • granny
    Your two cents was well worth the writting. Service continues whatever our changed situations. But oh my how African traditions can play havoc with widows trying to live for Christ.
    by granny at 04/09/17 3:17PM
  • chickadee
    I am curious about your comment. Could you please explain how their traditions make it difficult?
    by chickadee at 04/11/17 7:12PM
  • sjean
    I wonder about those traditions too. Also, what city are you traveling to on Sunday's?
    by sjean at 04/11/17 7:19PM
  • teelside
    Encouragement lives here. :-)
    by teelside at 04/27/17 11:20AM
  • praguer
    Stopping by to say hi. I've been browsing some of your lessons. So much wisdom and food for thought . . . thank you for sharing with us. It's truly a blessing to be able to share electronically. In recent years I've come to a greater understanding of the need for the "older women teaching the younger" . . . . and a realization that I took the presence of those older women for granted for many years. Now that I have no local "older women" I am increasingly thankful for the ability to at least reach out electronically. May God bless you in your work both locally and "electronically."
    by praguer at 05/20/17 5:17PM
  • grandmadiane
    I have not been very active recently and missed when you posted this question. After going on 8 years, you'd hope I'd have an answer full of wisdom yet, sadly, I don't.

    All I know is: You get up, You put one foot in front of the other, and you move forward. Nothing has changed in your walk with God as far as your talents and responsibilities go. You do either have more or less time and constraints in which you carry out those responsibilities according to the talents God has blessed you with. Give yourself grace in the beginning to figure out how to carry out the day to day life alone after having shared that with another, but at some point move forward.
    Ask for help, be open to graciously receiving help, and be willing to help others. But also be ready, willing, and able to do what you can for yourself. While the command for pure religion and undefiled religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction - I my expirence of what I have observed around me, a widows 'affliction' lasts about a week or until the funeral and people move on. And life moves on. Be an example of service to others that the next generation can pick up on.

    Prepare to be a widow/widower by understanding all aspects of how your life works so you aren't caught off guard and freeze up. If you can carry on then you have eliminated one excuse for not serving God like you should after the fact.
    by grandmadiane at 08/19/17 11:20AM

April 4

Our Sundays are really physically challenging right now. Each Sunday, we are travelling two hours on difficult roads to worship with a new congregation. This means arising at 5am and returning by 4pm. But oh, the joy of the majority of the members in this small church are university students--having access to teaching at a higher level with inquiring minds who sincerely want to please God. Hey, 5am means nothing!

And then Monday and Tuesday come along with more teaching opportunities--but the body is crying :) Thankfully Thursday and Friday are "free" days! And then the classes come around again. And before I know it the month is gone--and I am a year older.

I know you experience the same, so I thank you for listening. We are sisters, seeking wisdom where it may be found (Job 28:12), living for Jesus.
Have a wonderful day.
  • tryphena
    Have a good, if busy, week! It's good to hear from you.
    by tryphena at 04/03/17 7:23AM
  • dawnmk23
    Staying busy in the work . It's great to see you post on here. Not many post anymore.
    by dawnmk23 at 04/03/17 7:26AM
  • ceoltoir
    Life is like a vapor but you're making your vapor count. Keep up the good work!
    by ceoltoir at 04/03/17 7:28AM
  • sjean
    Why did you make this change? Are the roads paved, but rough, or are they rock and dirt?
    by sjean at 04/03/17 12:49PM
  • joc
    I'm guessing "Happy Birthday" greetings are in order. So......Happy Birthday!!! Probably belated by now.
    by joc at 04/03/17 9:48PM
  • ginnyann
    Keep up the good work dear one. The journey is never easy but worth the travel in the end.
    Trying to get our daughter to see that traveling 30 to 45 minutes to church and back is not a bad thing. Her spirituality is waning and we are so very worried. She is almost 50 and says she can make her own decisions. Please keep her and us in your prayers.
    Parents never stop being concerned that their children do the right thing.
    Hugs! And Happy Burthday!!
    by ginnyann at 04/05/17 10:35AM

04/01/17 5:04AM

I'm back. . . please don't give up on me. Our health remains steady, our Bible classes continue and the weeks seem to gallop by. I've been reading a number of your entries and respond where I can. You are important to me.

I recently posted the following on Facebook and thought you too might enjoy, perhaps benefit:

Long ago (1987), my husband wrote the following to one of our sons.
Dear son,
Your letter was very revealing and open, a reflection of your honesty and confidence in us. We are pleased that you feel you can share your feelings with your mother and me without fear of reprisal. I hope we can maintain your respect in that. Parents are ever on the verge of overreacting to dangerous situations for their brood, and we are no exception. The seriousness of your relationship with ______ is a blessing to be safeguarded. You yourself have already identified the tremendous temptations involved and as long as you keep facing the reality of the temptation, you may come through unscathed by the help of God and to His glory.

As you soar above the clouds in the ecstasy of the loving emotion, we soar with you. There is perhaps no greater emotion in life that can raise man to such rapture. Poets have attempted to describe it, writers have tried to capture it, but still it eludes our understanding. It is intoxicating, and there lies the rub. When one is intoxicated, he loses a sense of good judgment and decision making, and then he loses his inhibitions and loses his head.

Soar high, Tim. Soar higher than any before you. But soar responsibly, in a god-ward love of what is best for the object of that love and not out of a love for yourself. And while you soar, understand life has cycles of emotional highs and lows. Recognizing the cycle will not cure the “down” time, but it does let you know what is going on and thus becomes an encouragement to get up and get going in doing good.

Now that we parents have “reacted” to your letter, we can feel satisfied in fulfilling our responsibilities. We love you so very much and want so very much what is best for you.
Love, Dad


Here is my contribution on that day.
Dear son, about your concern in wanting to be independent or not having to rely on others, meaning your grandparents. When you are making adult decisions, you will often have to do what you understand you need to do and not what others expect you to do. But remember, a person loses valuable knowledge and wisdom if he is always seeking independence. Depending on others is not necessarily a reflection of youth – even those of 50 years need the wisdom others can offer. So, try to push yourself a little more with each experience, because life is fun, a challenge, an adventure. Scary? You don’t know the half of it yet. So, bite the bullet, my boy. And son, when and if that tunnel seems to get darker and darker – reach out, open your eyes and SEE all of the helping hands and hearts around you. They were in that tunnel before you! One more thing – loneliness can blow a relationship out of proportion, so ease up and laugh. Your grandparents love you so very much and they are also in the process of learning to grandparent a 19-year-old! So let love, anger, loneliness, and laughter do their part. These are “alive” emotions. Make them work for you for good.

You mentioned you still feel “uprooted.” We did that to you, son. We brought you to a foreign land and reared you there. Then we sent you back to find your “place” in the land of your birth. It may be true that you will always feel misplaced, but a good wife and family should heal this pain. So, while you are feeling uprooted, I am dealing with “mom pain.” Last Sunday evening, we sang, “God Be With You” and I know now that I will never again be able to sing this song. Pain in loving. That’s the deal.

I want to move to another subject, one that your father and I have walked through and remember vividly. It is good to be honest about love. Recognize lust and its intense power. Don’t play games with either lust or love.

A Dr Coleman wrote the following from in his book, Sex and the Single Christian:
“A couple should be careful not to get too romantically and physically involved in a situation that can get them into trouble. It is like driving 90-miles-an-hour down a city street and a child runs out in front of the car. We may jam on the brakes and have every intention of stopping, but the actual decision was made when we chose to go 90-miles-an-hour on a city street. Once that decision is made it is sometimes very difficult to reverse.

The same holds true in sexual temptation: the amount of physical contact and the setting a couple place themselves in are important factors in avoiding temptations. God gives us the option to avoid overwhelming temptation. So the guidelines have to be drawn early enough so as not to get so excited and so involved sexually that they reach a point where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to stop.

Every couple should talk this over if they don’t want to engage in premarital sex. And they should know themselves well enough to know how involved they can be with this person they’re in love with without it creating a problem. Then they must draw the line at that point, or even sooner. That’s one of the important things – BOTH parties have to take full responsibility for stopping at that point. Neither one should say, “You stop me.” Both parties assuming full responsibility helps to prevent them from going too far.”
  • dawnmk23
    Glad you are back on here, Granny! I've missed you. So did your son marry?
    by dawnmk23 at 04/01/17 8:22AM
  • ginnyann
    I've missed you too! always so encouraging and inspiring words of wisdom.
    Pray you both continue to stay well and be able to spread the good word!
    by ginnyann at 04/01/17 11:33AM
  • joc
    Such wonderful wisdom you imparted to your son. I will save this to pass on.
    by joc at 04/01/17 9:20PM
  • anne
    Good, good, good advice.
    by anne at 04/01/17 10:44PM
  • lovescats
    I love these so much!
    by lovescats at 04/02/17 1:25PM

Learned something today. . .

The name Pleonast actually has a meaning--but I'm not sure I would consider it a compliment to its users!
Pleonast - One who is addicted to pleonasm, or redundancy in speech or writing.

I think I'll take its other meaning -
Pleonast - Sillimanite, also known as fibrolite, monroelite or bucholzite, is an aluminum silicate mineral.
Nope, not applicable either!

Whatever its meaning or meant to mean, I'm thankful for each one of you on here.
  • truckerswife
    Thankful for you too. I looked it up along time ago, actually on accident searching for something else, ha ha!
    by truckerswife at 01/16/17 1:14PM
  • tryphena
    After awhile, we do tend to become redundant here. But good things bear repeating, right? Right?? RIGHT???? :-D
    by tryphena at 01/16/17 3:03PM
  • marmee
    I think Kennon did a t-shirt not too long ago that had the definition on it! Maybe it was long ago now.

    RIGHT, Anita! Lol
    by marmee at 01/16/17 3:35PM
  • lovescats
    Yes maam!

    I've never heard "tangled on the knees." Interesting! Is that South African or where you're from in the States?
    by lovescats at 01/18/17 8:55AM
  • sjean
    I like our little community. There used to be so many, but now I mostly have friends that I have never met here, but hope to meet in the future.
    by sjean at 01/19/17 11:34AM
  • ginnyann
    Yes, whatever the true meaning of the word, I prefer to think of it as a place for lovely people talking to other lovely people, caring, compassionate, humble and sweet.
    Makes me smile and is helpful!
    So there ya go!
    by ginnyann at 01/20/17 9:14AM
  • praguer
    To answer your question, we haven't gotten to my lesson yet. We had a couple requests for other topics for our class, so I put mine on the back burner. It still needs some pondering and studying. I read your article in the past about phrases used, and I loved it so much that it inspired me to teach a class on something similar. :) However, I now want to go deeper into the idea that some of these phrases are actually an indication of false doctrine creeping into the church. The specific phrases you mentioned are examples of those. Thank you, as always, for your wisdom and teaching! I'll likely be coming back with more questions. :)
    by praguer at 02/21/17 4:22PM