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Widen Your Tent Stakes

I am lucky to have been blessed with two beautiful children. Looking at them I am continually reminded of what a miracle they are. If I had to count the number of surgeries that I’ve had that dealt with my reproductive system, it would take two hands to count them. After one of my surgeries my doctor said, “I hope you believe in something bigger than you because there’s no way you should’ve carried one child, let alone two.”

When I had to make the critical decision of having a hysterectomy at a young age, the reality of never having another child came crashing in. We had toyed for years with the idea of adopting and when the hysterectomy became a reality the thought of adoption came back to mind. My children began saying, “Let’s adopt.” The idea of adopting sounded like such an awesome thing to do but in my heart, something didn’t feel right. I pushed back to God in prayer asking for Him to give me clarity.

Early one morning, I took a jog while I was serving at a YoungLives camp. Holding baby after baby while I served on the childcare team pulled at my heartstrings. The idea of adopting a baby had my emotions all discombobulated. During that run I asked God, “If You want me to adopt, put it on my heart to the point that it’s so overwhelming that I can think of nothing else. And if You don’t want me to adopt, remove the desire from my heart and show me what You want me to do.”

During my time at the camp God removed the idea of adopting from my heart and He reminded me of a scripture I had read in Isaiah. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2. The verse is in reference to Israel having so many children that her tent will need enlarging. God put it on my heart to widen my tent stakes and be a mother to others, as in teens and young adults who needed a safe adult they could talk to. I said yes, and God began to bring youth to my door asking if I would pray with them or asking me for wisdom. Before long I would be called Momma Chaffy.

As the years went by, youth came in and out of my life. Some of them I am still walking with while others just needed a moment to talk to someone. One Sunday in particular as I sat in church, my attention was drawn to a young adult who was new to my church. Each weekend I would find myself looking to see if she was at church and one day I said to my husband I think God is going to bring another young woman into my life to be a mom to. The very next weekend she approached me at church. Her name was Laci and she asked if we could go to lunch.

Over lunch Laci shared with me that she had told our pastor she needed a mom. She had a mom, but her mom was in no way active in her life. My pastor encouraged Laci to pray that God would show her who to go to. After praying, Laci felt that she was to come to me. That day would be the beginning of my relationship with Laci.

From the walks we’ve taken together, the long talks we have had, to the chick flicks we’ve watched and our many dinner and lunch dates, a very special relationship has grown between us. Laci graduated from college and I was thrilled to be sitting with her family during that special day. When I have volunteered in her classroom, she introduces me to her students as her mom. I can honestly tell you that watching her try on wedding gowns in the fall of 2017 was an honor.  Laci has met an awesome man and she will become his wife in August of 2018.

I have been given the color that Laci would like the mothers to wear. I will wear a dress in that color with pride as I watch Laci say, “I do”.  I am so excited for the wedding and also my husband has been asked to marry them. Laci has an amazing father, but she wanted to make sure that somehow my husband was also included in their special day.

As I said before, I cannot look at my children without seeing the miracle that they are. “With what’s going on inside of your body I don’t know how you carried one child, let alone two”. In man’s eyes, those words seemed so final. But in God’s eyes, those words just meant I have another plan.

Last summer my son was married, and I gained a beautiful daughter-in-law. This summer Laci, though not my biological daughter but the daughter of my heart, will be married and I will gain a new son-in-law. Someday I will get to plan one more wedding when my daughter finds the man of her dreams.

Children do not need to be your biological children to take up room in your heart. Laci is a perfect example of that.I know that there are many women out there who long to have a child and medical issues have stood in the way.  Take it from me there is plenty of room in our hearts for children that are not ours biologically. There are children to be adopted and there are teens that need someone that they can trust to speak into their lives or fill the void of a missing parent.

Programs like YoungLives need women who can mentor teen moms. Many of the youth that God has put in my life came through the youth programs in my church or my kids would ask me to reach out to a child in their school. With Mother’s Day around the corner I know that there are many women who are hurting. How painful it must be for them to watch other women celebrate the joy of motherhood every Mother’s Day.

If you are reading this and you understand the pain that I am talking about, please ask God to use you in a child’s life and be willing to widen your tent stakes.  You just might be the mother figure someone has been praying for.

For more information about use this link — YoungLIves to watch a video and learn more about how you can get involved with YoungLives.

Looking for more daily encouragement?  Order a copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Comfortably Numb

I woke up with the words “comfortably numb” on my mind and it reminded me of the song by Pink Floyd.  Comfortably numb…hmm…have
I become comfortably numb? Have you become comfortably numb?  As the day went on, those two words continued to roll around in my head like the clothes being tossed to and fro in my dryer.  I was sure God was trying to show me something that needed to be shared with others.

The next morning at 4 a.m., I am wide-awake because I am still hearing the words “comfortably numb”.  As I lay in bed I say, “Okay God, I hear You, You have my attention. What are you trying to show me?” Any thought of staying in my warm bed was gone at that point.

Snuggled in my warm bathrobe with a cup of coffee, I sat down and got to work trying to understand what God was showing me. Thank goodness for Google because at 4 a.m. I was not ready to go looking for a dictionary. I looked up the definition of “numb” and its synonyms.

Numb when used as a verb means to “deprive of feeling or responsiveness”.  Some of the synonyms for numb are: apathetic, indifferent, callous, detached, aloof, disinterested, insensible, unconcerned, and unfeeling.

Ouch! The definition of “numb” should be enough to get our attention and the synonyms ought to pierce our hearts.  Have we as Christians become numb to the needs around us?  Have we become apathetic, indifferent, callous, detached, aloof, disinterested, insensible, unconcerned, and unfeeling towards those lost in the darkness?  Are we so “comfortably numb” that the depravity of this world no longer bothers us? Is it possible that we can make a difference?

In Ezekiel 22:30, God is looking for intercessors, people who will stand in the gap.

“I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone.” (MSG)

God couldn’t find anyone. Not one priest, not one prophet, not one prince, and not even one person who was willing to intercede in prayer.  Today God is still looking for prayer warriors who will stand in the gap. He is looking for those who have not become comfortably numb to the needs of those in their community and the world.

One person can make a difference with their prayers. Will you answer God’s call in Ezekiel 22 and pray for the lost. Can we join in prayer against the wickedness of this world?  Will you pray for our leaders and will you pray against the division in this country? Lets ask God to burden our hearts for the needs of this world so that we never become “comfortably numb”.

What was Pink Floyd singing about in their song, “Comfortably Numb”?  Some say it was drugs. Roger Waters who wrote it said it was not.  I really don’t think it matters.  What matters is that God is creative and he can use any means to reveal his message to us.  Let the opening lyrics of the song play in your head and listen closely for what God has to say to you.  They seem to go perfectly with Ezekiel 22.

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Is there anybody in there? (Or in this case, “out there”?)

Just nod if you can hear me.

God is looking for someone to answer the call to intercede in prayer for this world. Is that you?  Just nod if you can hear Him.

Until next time, may you be Simply Blessed.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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The Importance of Staying Connected to Christ’s Body

Van Bradeen, Living Stone Church and Author of LIVE LOVE

Even though Jesus is our savior and His perfect word transforms us, our Christian life is not complete without other believers. Jesus designed His church to be devoted to each other’s spiritual maturity. Yes, sometimes we are afraid to let others see our issues, or even to evaluate ourselves against the perfect word of God, but resisting our call to be a vital part of God’s church can lead to pride and self-righteousness. It runs counter to God’s requirement that we become humble and vulnerable—necessary qualities to grow into one of another.

When a jagged rock falls into a creek, years of water washing and rubbing against other rocks eventually make it round and smooth. God designed us to be members of His church where we learn to function together, gradually smoothing our rough edges.

In the same way, pulling a burning stick from a campfire extinguishers the stick’s flame. It doesn’t burn well apart from the other sticks. The same goes for us. Rarely can we can make it apart from a local church; we become too easily deceived and the flame of the Holy Spirit eventually goes out.

Being joined together is more than just an act of our wills, however. As followers of Christ, we supernaturally become members of Jesus’ church through the Holy Spirit, being called as members of one another. Membership into His body is foundational to everything we will do in Christianity. It is essential for understanding the heart of God and His intentions for His people.

Just as one body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

The biblical definition of member is derived from the differing members of the physical body. Each member has a God-ordained function that supports the functioning of the entire body. Yet, we can only function as a spiritual body if we submit to God and His design for the church, being joined to each other in the spirit of unity. If, as a member of Christ’s body, I purposely neglect my connection with others, I am telling God and my fellow Christians:

*I don’t need them.
*I don’t want to be what God designed.
*I’m fine on my own.

There are many reasons Christians hold these attitudes and stay disconnected from a local body of believers.

*Fear of vulnerability.
*Guilt and shame.
*Past hurts and fear of trusting people.
*Thinking they don’t need help.
*Want to be left alone.
*Rebellion to the call of God.

We are more than saved beings walking alone with God. We are truly our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are to look out for each other, help each other, pray for each other, speak the truth to each other, and build each other up. There is never a time in our Christian life where we graduate out of God’s body.

For more of Van’s wisdom, grab a copy of his book Live Love on Amazon and you can also listen to his Easter Sermon, “The Four Wounds Of Christ” but clicking here.

Van can also be followed on Twitter  and FB,

Have a Simply Blessed day 🙂

 

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Choosing the Block Option

Growing up I did not have social media or a cell phone that allowed anyone to get a hold of me through texts, social media apps or email any time they wanted.  When someone was hurtful to me, I would not feel obligated to hang out with him or her.  It was easy to just move on and not have to worry about what they thought or what they were doing. I remember breaking up with a boyfriend and he made one call to a friend asking her why. That was it and we moved on. There were no social media posts for him to see what I was doing. I did not know what he was up to unless we saw each other in person or a friend mentioned something.

Today cell phones, apps, and social media make it difficult to move on because technology has made it so easy for everyone to know everyone’s business.  In reality, we should have the right to choose who we let into our lives. Social media has turned that upside down. We should not feel a sense of obligation to have people who have hurt us or who make us uncomfortable watching us on social media. Watching those who have hurt us is not helpful either.

Choosing to press the block option on social media seems to be taboo. We are so worried about offending the person who offended and hurt us that we can’t block them.  We allow them to see our lives, to comment on our photos, to text us or message us through apps.

Why is that? It is my right to choose who I let into my life and it is your right too.  I have blocked people who have shown me nothing but hurt. If I wouldn’t want to spend time with them face to face because of how they hurt me, why would I want to give them access to my life on social media?  Why would anyone feel obligated to allow hurtful people to have access to their social media accounts?

Recently I blocked someone who made me very uncomfortable. My right to keep my life out of his sight on social media, far outweighs his belief that he has the right to know anything about me.

I think it is time we start looking at our cell phones, computers, and all forms of social media in the same way we look at our personal space.  We choose how close we let people get to us in regard to our personal space, right?  We are given the right to say no to unwanted hugs. We instinctively step back when our personal space is invaded.  It’s time we apply the same thinking to all forms of technology.  All of us need to understand that we have the right to step back from anyone on social media who makes us feel upset or anxious. It is time we throw out our sense of obligation that we need to be social media friends with them.

You do not have to allow someone who hurt you to watch your Snapchat story. They lost that privilege when they hurt you. Your life on Facebook is none of their business either. It is okay to choose the block option.  You do not owe anyone an explanation, just like you don’t owe anyone a reason why you don’t want them in your personal space.  Ask yourself today and be honest, who makes you anxious or upset when they are near you personally?  If you do not want to be around them, it is a good indication you don’t need them as part of your life through social media. Is there an ex-boyfriend or someone from school who is hurtful to you? If so, do you feel obligated to stay connected with them on Facebook or other forms of social media?  If you feel a sense of obligation that is keeping you from blocking someone, please talk to a parent or an adult you can trust.  Choosing the block option is okay.   As always I would love to hear what you think and feel free to share this.

This was originally written for the Whatever Girls Ministry

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman to Woman…Lydia

We are continuing our look at some of the amazing women in the Bible and what we can learn from them. Today I have chosen to take a look at Lydia. Her story can be found in Acts 16:12-15, 40 

Lydia lived in Philippi, a Roman colony in the district of Macedonia and the water in the area was known to make a brilliant purple Copyright: roxiller / 123RF Stock Photodye for cloth. She was a business woman who dealt in the dying of purple cloth which were a very expensive commodity and in my reading about her I learned that she was very well off for single woman.

Besides being a business woman, Lydia also found time to worship God in her Jewish faith. While near the river bank in her daily time of prayer she meets Paul and it is written that as Paul shares about God that her heart is opened.

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. (Acts 16:14)

The scripture goes not to say that she and her household are baptized, and we can also see that she is a woman of hospitality. Paul says this about her and her household: When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:15)

In looking at Lydia I see some important lessons

  • Lydia had heart that was open to the Lord and we should also have a heart that is open to hear from Him. I hope that you pray for God to give you a heart the always open to listen him.
  • Lydia is a wonderful example of a woman who understands how to balance her job and her time with God. I think that for many of us, including myself it is easy to allow or time with God to take a back seat when life and its responsibilities get overwhelming. Whether you are career woman or a stay at home mom, make time for God daily.
  • She is also an example of what it means to have the gift of hospitality. She opened her home to Paul more than once and shared what she had. I think that is a gifting the is very important and can easily get looked over in our churches because we focus on the other gifting.  If your gifting is hospitality I hope you use it for the glory of God.

In reading about Lydia something else spoke to my heart and I want to share it with you before I close.

The very water that was so important in the dying of the purple cloth was also the same water that would be used to baptize her. Let me explain…”Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating its dye gave it a great deal of prestige. It was the most expensive dye known to the ancient Israelites in the Bible. It was the color of choice for those of noble or royal birth or those who were high-level officials” -see biblestudy.org

As stated above, Purple is a royal color and the very water that gave the brilliant purple color to the cloth that provided for her financially is the same water that would baptize her as a daughter of the king of kings, Jesus Christ. That water and her faith in who Christ was would allow her to become an heir in Christ and part of the royal priesthood that is talked about in 1 Peter 2:9-10

I hope you are enjoying our look at the women of the bible in the Woman to Woman series. It is my hope that you will be able to apply lessons from the woman in this series to your own life.

Until next time, may you be Simply Blessed.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Mary

Today we are wrapping up our look at the women in Matthew 1, the lineage of Jesus.  Mary is the last woman listed and she has the honor of calling herself the mother of Jesus.

Mary was from the town of Nazareth in the hills of Galilee. She was from a poor but honorable family who were descendants of Israel’s greatest king, David. Mary was trained in the scripture and knew that God had promised to send the Messiah who would rescue her people and be their king. Right after the 400 years of silence, the time between the Old and New Testament when no new Scripture was written, and no prophets had spoken, Mary’s story unfolds.

What is amazing about Mary’s story is that people believed that the king would come from a wealthy and powerful family. Instead God choose a poor girl from a humble family.

Mary is the perfect example of God choosing the most unexpected person to do something for His kingdom.  No one would have ever picked David to slay Goliath but God did.  No one would have ever thought Joshua could bring the walls down by marching around the city of Jericho and blowing a trumpet but God did.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are not good enough.  We may think God has better candidates to choose from for the job but God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose David to slay Goliath, and He knew exactly what He was doing when He chose Mary to carry His Son. God knows exactly what He is doing with you too.

Trust God to use you as He sees fit. Mary was the only one in the group that did not have sin that is mentioned.  Unlike Ruth who comes from a line of people whom God had cursed, Mary was a descendant of David. She, however, was not who most people thought God would have chosen.

God picked exactly who was to be a part of the genealogy of His son so that it would show His grace and mercy.  From these five women we can see that no matter how big our sin or whether we don’t see ourselves as worthy, God has made it clear that we can call ourselves heirs of His kingdom.

We need to believe who we are in Christ and understand that there is nothing that we have done that is too big for His forgiveness.

I hope you join me again next week for the Women to Women series.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post.

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and christianbooks.com

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Mentoring For All Seasons…By Janet Thompson

Mentoring For All Seasons

I grew up in Southern California where, with few seasonal exceptions, the weather was consistent year round—sunny and beautiful. Sunny and hot with morning fog near the beach in summer. Sunny and warm with occasional Santana winds in the fall. Sunny with a few storms, rain, and overcast days in the winter, when the temperatures might dip into the 60’s. Sunny and colorful in the spring. Those were our seasons.

Then we moved to Idaho where we have four extremely distinct and different seasons, each one lasting about three months, except last winter’s snow went from November until a few snow days in April! The biggest difference I’ve noticed about the four climate “seasons,” is that the year seems to fly by in Idaho!

We’re continually coming out of one season and going into the next completely different season—a great metaphor for our life seasons. Many of you have experienced the blessing of having a mentor in the changing seasons of your life, or long for a mentor to help you through a new life season. That’s when those with experience in a life season can reach out and offer counsel, support, prayer, and God’s wisdom to a woman in a season we’ve experienced. Mentoring is that easy.

When we moved to Idaho from Southern California, we had never lived in the rural mountains year round. We had a lot to learn and there was always someone willing to mentor us; all we had to do was ask and be receptive to what they had learned from living here. Now that we’re a bit “seasoned,” we can help others moving here too.

So that’s my challenge to all of us, let’s look for those women and young girls God puts in our path and share what we’ve learned from our life experiences and how God and His Word helped us and will help them too in whatever life season they’re going through now. And if you’re going through a difficult life season or are new in your faith, ask God to help you find a mentor. Mentoring for All Seasons encourages women to intentionally share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. I’m not just talking about women; we need to mentor our tweens and teens too!

Mentees come from all walks and seasons of life, ages, and spiritual maturity. Even if a mentor doesn’t share the exact life experience of her mentee, the mentor can provide spiritual guidance, do research, and pray about how to address the specific issues her mentee is encountering. Some mentees might even be seekers or brand new believers who need to know how to live as Christian women today.

In Mentoring for All Seasons, sixty-five women share their mentor or mentee testimonies, along with my own personal experiences, helpful tips, and suggestions will guide women in how to connect and nurture each other through mentoring relationships, as a mentor or a mentee from tweens to twilight years. There are Scriptures for each season to help guide the discussion to God’s Word. Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does!

I pray for Holy Spirit inspiration for some women to become mentors. I pray for courage for others to take a step of faith and seek out a mentor. I pray for all to enjoy the blessings of trusting God and watching how he honors your obedience to becoming Titus 2:3-5 women.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of nineteen books including her latest, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness, available at all Christian bookstores, online book stores, Amazon, and signed by Janet at her website store, where you can see more of her books.

She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet and her husband Dave relocated their empty nest from Orange County, California to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and they love watching the deer frolic in their yard.

Sign up for Janet’s Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.

You can also visit Janet on Facebook and on LinkedIn 

A heartfelt thank you to Janet for sharing with us today.  I hope you have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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Woman to Woman…Bathsehba

 

Bathsheba is the next woman in the lineage of Jesus listed in Matthew 1.  I hope you are enjoying the Woman to Woman series and the lessons we can learn from the women in the Bible.

Bathsheba is not mentioned by name in Matthew 1. She is referred to as Solomon’s mother and Uriah’s wife. Though her name is not mentioned, she is no less important than the other women who are listed. One of the important things to note is that she is the wife of Uriah who was one of David’s men. Uriah had gone off to battle, and while lounging on his roof, David sees a beautiful woman bathing on her roof.  I am not sure if she knew the king would be watching or if it was totally innocent. David asks his men to find out who she is and even though they bring him back the news that she is married, he sends for her anyway so that he can sleep with her.

Not a good idea, David! That one moment of lust starts a domino effect…

Bathsheba ends up pregnant from their escapade and David is afraid his sin of adultery will be discovered. He calls Uriah back from the battlefield and tells him to go home to his wife.  Seriously, David?

King David thinks if Uriah sleeps with his wife Uriah will think the baby is his. But that backfires because Uriah is a loyal soldier and chooses to stay in the palace with his king rather than go home to his wife. That leads to yet another attempt to cover up his sin. David orders Uriah to be sent to the front line in hopes he will be killed. When Uriah dies, David marries Bathsheba and they have a son. Growing up, my mom always said if you lie you will get caught and that is exactly what happened. Nathan the prophet confronts David about his sin and David repents asking God for forgiveness. There is a consequence for their sin, their child dies.

God, however, blesses Bathsheba and David with another child and they name him Solomon and he is loved by God.

When we look at the story of Bathsheba and King David we see that though God can always forgive, there will still be consequences for our sinful choices. We all fall short from time to time, but when we repent, God forgives us. Yes, there will be consequences but God is good and there is always something so much better ahead than what we leave in our past.

Have a Simply Blessed day and I hope you take a moment to read the whole story of Bathsheba and David in 2 Samuel 11 and 12

Next week we’ll finish our look at the women of Matthew 1 and look at Mary the mother of Jesus.

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Ruth

Welcome back to the Woman to Woman Series.  We are making our way through Matthew 1 and today we will be looking at Ruth. She is the only lady listed in the Mathew 1 that has her own book in the Bible.

Ruth is the daughter-in-law of Naomi who left Bethlehem with her husband to live in Moab because there was a famine. Naomi had two sons and one of them married Ruth. Sadly, Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah all lose their husbands and Naomi decides to return to her homeland.

Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law and chooses to go with her to a land the she doesn’t know, to live with people who serve a God she is not familiar with. The book of Ruth is full of so many treasures. But before I share some of the gems found in her story, I would love to have you read the book of Ruth on your own first.  Here is a link to get you there…RUTH

Now that you read the story of Ruth, let’s dig in and look at some hidden treasures…

Gem #1: Ruth is a Moabite and that piece of information is where we will find our first hidden gem. Do you remember the story of Lot in Genesis? Lot ends up hiding with his daughters, after his wife is turned to stone, while running from Sodom and Gomorrah. His daughters get him drunk and sleep with him so that they will not be without children. Both of them become pregnant and the eldest daughter names her son “Moab” and he becomes the father of the Moabites. This angers God and in Deuteronomy 23 it states that the Moabites are excluded from the assembly. In other words, no Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. (Scholars say that the term 10th generation is another way of saying forever). Ruth is a Moabite which means she has been excluded from the assembly of God. But by the grace of God, she is named in the lineage of Jesus. That just goes to show us all that there is no end to God’s forgiveness and redemption.

Gem #2: Boaz is a Kinsman Redeemer. Let me give you a little explanation.

As you read in the book of Ruth she meets Boaz, a rich landowner and relative of Naomi. He is strong and powerful and I think it was love at first sight. Naomi knows that Ruth must find a home for herself and someone to provide for her and when she realizes that Boaz has found favor in Ruth, she instructs her about what to do.

She tells Ruth that Boaz is a family member (a Kinsman). Next she instructs Ruth to wash and perfume herself and to go where he will be. Naomi also tells her to not let Boaz see her until he has had food and drink. Ruth is obedient and does exactly what Naomi tells her to do. She quietly goes to Boaz and uncovers his feet.  He wakes to find a woman lying at his feet and he asks, “Who are you. (I am guessing it must have been very dark or maybe she had her head covered.)

Ruth tells Boaz who she is and asks him to spread the corner of his garment over her because he is her

“Kinsman Redeemer”. A Kinsman Redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws, had the privilege or responsibility to act for a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need of vindication. Just as Boaz is Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer, Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer.

Christ identifies Himself with us and He redeemed us because of our need. (Jesus is not only our redeemer from sin He is also kinsman to us). We are part of the family of God and Jesus understands our struggles. He is truly able to help us in our time of need. Like Ruth found her Kinsman Redeemer, we have found ours.  Just as Ruth was covered by Boaz’s garment, as a sign that he would redeem her and protect her, we have been covered by the blood of Christ.

Gem #3: Ruth’s grandson would become the great-grandfather of David, a man after God’s own heart and a hero to the people of Israel. Not only was she no longer excluded from the assembly of God, she is now counted by name in the lineage of Jesus.

The story of Ruth is such a beautiful story of God’s grace and provision. I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful treasures that are found in the story of Ruth. You are worthy to call yourself a child of God and you are deeply loved by Jesus who laid down His life for you.

Next week we will look at Bathsheba.

Have a blessed day.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

 

 

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Woman to Woman…Rahab

Welcome back to the Woman to Woman series.  So far we have looked at Abigail and now we are making our way through the women of Matthew 1. This week we are looking at the second woman in Matthew 1, Rahab, who unlike Tamar she was actually a prostitute.

Her story begins in the book of Joshua. Joshua sent two men secretly to go and view the land, especially Jericho. When they got to the city they came to the house of Rahab and they lodged with her. The King of Jericho came to her house and told Rahab to bring the men out who had entered her home. Rahab told the king that the men were there but they had left and that if he hurried, he would find them and over take them.

After the king and his men left Rahab who was hiding the men says,

 I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt”. Joshua 2:9

Rahab knew this God they served. She acknowledged what He could do and that He was the one true God. That was a statement of her faith in God. I love her boldness in what she says next. She says, “Because I have dealt kindly with you, please deal kindly with me”. She then goes on to ask that they would save her family. They make an oath with her and tell her that when they come back to the land, no harm will come to her or her family as long as they do not leave her house.

In order to leave without being caught, the men lower themselves with a rope through the window. Not just any rope, a red rope or a scarlet cord. It was a symbol of her lifestyle, a glaring reflection of her sin for all to see. Ever heard of the red-light-district? It has the same meaning. With the cord that showed her sin, she saved the men of God.

Before they left the men told her to gather her family into her house and when they came into the land to hang the scarlet cord in her window. In a class I took at Portland Bible College, my professor mentioned that she had to go and get her family. He pointed out that they most likely did not associate with her. Still, she cared so much for them she risked her life to save them.

The cord and her faith in whom God would save not only her, but her whole family. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the cord that saved her is the same color as the blood that saves us.

Rahab was a Gentile and a prostitute but she was credited for her faith. 

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

Besides being an example of what it means to have faith, Rahab is also the perfect example of God’s love being big enough to forgive our sin no matter what it is. It is my hope that you too will have the faith of Rahab and that you will always remember that God is so much bigger than the mistakes you may have made. When we leave our past in the past and put our faith in God we will find forgiveness and a new beginning.

Rahab would in time marry Solomon. They had a son named Boaz. Boaz would become the kinsman redeemer in the life of the woman we will look at next week. Her name is Ruth. To read Rahab’s whole story read Joshua 2

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com