Ephesians 3:20-21 (New International Version)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week 6: Tamar,Rahab, & Ruth; A Divine Legacy

The world may try to appraise your value, but only God knows the true worth of your heart. He can see something inside of you that's bigger than anything you can imagine or dream. Don't let others determine your self worth!

Ruth 4:17-22 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: (A)to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.

Again, in Matthew 1:1-6 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, (C)Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah (Bold print was added by me)

Often times, when reading the Bible I find the genealogy boring and skim right through it. Today, it really stands out!!!! What do these women have in common? An undesirable past that only our loving God could see past. He saw into the hearts of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba and knew their true value. As a matter of fact, the genalogy of Jesus Christ, born in the flesh, flows right through their blood line. These women were an intricate picture of the bigger vision of grace! What a legacy they left behind and what a future their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc beheld because of their faithfulness.

Don't let others determine your self worth! Seek The One who redeeems, The One who has the power to forget the past and cleanse your soul...

What did today's lesson say to you?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Week 6 Day 3: Legacy of the Heart

Today's lesson brought back soooo many memories of my "Grams". Along with my title, Legacy of the Heart, I felt her photo needed to be posted. That's my grandmother! She wouldn't tell a lie, even a white lie. She raised her children and grandchildren and all of our friends. Instead of eating school lunch, I ate lunch with Grams and later started bringing my friends (who also called her "Grams"). We read books together, our favorites were by Corrie Ten Boom. We cooked together, and watched tv together, she took us to the Dr and took care of us while Mom worked. Agnes Dillon left a beautiful legacy of love.

Today's lesson creates a beautiful background of love and illuminates the importance of our heart. As we know, Samuel was told by God to visit Jesse of Bethlehem (what a coincidence, huh :) Boaz and Elimech were from Bethlehem) because he was to anoint the new king. Samuel knew the king was to be from Jesse's family (Boaz and Ruth's family...isn't that kewl!) God said He would tell Samuel which one it would be after he got there. When Samuel saw Eliab, tall in stature and handsome in appearance, he just knew that's who God had chosen. What a surprise when God told him, "no." God "sees as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearence but the Lord looks at the heart" 1 Samuel 16:7

You know, the opposite can happen. I mean, it could go the other direction give off an appearance of someone who is careless, lazy or gruff, even mean. Have you ever unjustly judged someone? Has someone unjustly judged you? If we are being honest with ourselves, I believe we can answer "Yes" to both of those questions.

The important question might be; What does God see in Me? Am I an unrighetous judge, do I give off aires of someone that is unjust, unloving, cruel, a gossip,etc. Some thoughts to ponder.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 6 Day 2: Grandfather of a King!

Ruth 4:16-17 Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Wow! Who knew? Naomi's grandson was named "Obed". A name that is similar to Obadiah, meaning servant of Yahweh. Yet, Obed simply means "to serve" or "one who serves." I am certain he served in many ways. . .

Ruth 4:15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."

Again, ... blessings spoken from "the women". I like how Kelly put this term, "the women" into perspective. They are the women we all know and love as the church moms, the ones who helped us celebrate birthdays, baptisms, graduations, and came out of the pews to hug us every time they could. They spoke blessings on Naomi...again a lesson on blessings. Sooooo much we can learn in this small book, isn't there?

Ruth 4:14 Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is he Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel."

Indeed we read on that he did become famous...Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of King David! Oh wow, and we know (as Paul Harvey would say) "the rest of the story." Yes, this is the same line of Mary who became the mother of Jesus. What a blood line indeed! What a legacy!!!

Tell me, what was your aaahhhaaa moment today?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week 6 Day 1 The Full Circle

This summer, I attended the most exciting wedding. My niece, Erika and her high school sweetheart, Tyler, are beginning the adventure of their lifetime. (By the way, this is one of their wedding pictures...aren't they beautiful?!) Erika is a wonderful christian woman and devoting her life to a ministry she can only dream about at this point. Tyler has been accepted to John Hopkins University, he wants to practice world medicine...going into third world countries to bring about healing in a crazy lost world. The happy couple began this adventure with a lovely outdoor wedding which made friends and family feel like an important part of this momentous occasion.

Yet, in the background, was a beautiful mom who was determined her daughter would have the best chance at everything life had to give. It began in church...with a devoted relationship to her Lord and Savior. Her mother, (my sister) could have been a bit like Naomi...bitter. You see, Joyce was a single mom for years. She raised her children from babies to teenagers, giving them what she had and even what she wished she had. Joyce was mom and dad, provider and nurturer to two active and beautiful children. Her son, Zack, raced dirt bikes while Erika played softball. Each weekend, Joyce was attending one event or the other while giving no thought to herself. Her children were always dressed nicely and provided for very well, while mom was content just to see her children succeed. There was no time for dating, no time for primping, even very little time for friends.

This all changed one day in a most unexpected way. Zack was having problems at school when Joyce met a teacher who wanted to help Zack and his family. Once he met Zack's mom...well it wasn't long before he was a full fledge member of the family. God was sooooo good, He sent someone who actually understood the values Joyce placed on her family. Then,again, the unexpected happened. John (her husband) underwent surgery on his colon and things didn't go well. He suffered a stroke and other life altering changes occurred in his body. Yes, Joyce could have been bitter...yet she clung to the One Provider who brought her through it all.

As our study begins to close, we read in Ruth 4:14-15 about Naomi. The story didn't end with Ruth and Boaz; it concludes with the riches God bestowed on Naomi. As Joyce sits in a hospital room with John this morning, I can't help but believe God is sooooo good. With each bump in the road that occurs, He reminds us that He is always there.

Who do you know that reminds you of Naomi? I'd love to hear about it!

Week 6

Untitled from April Dace on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week 5 Day 5; Answered Prayer!

Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.

There's a whole lot of information in this verse. It would be easy to over look the embedded truths hidden here...yet it was brought to light in our study today. Ruth was married to Naomi's son, Mahlon, for around 10 years and did not bear a child with him. She was widowed, left all she knew, submitted herself to being a foreigner in a distant land while committing herself to taking care of Naomi while taking refuge under the wings of God. Ruth became a gleaner, a maid and now she is a wife again. Yet this time, the LORD opened her womb and gave her the gift of a son. Isn't our God good?!

The gift of a son was also a good social standing. Although we realize that social standing is not something to desire, yet we need to know that our God understands. What else isn't written here, but yet we know (I'm probably jumping way ahead in our study) is the fact that Jesus was born in this blood line! What an incredible way to answer prayer. Ruth was so richly blessed. We saw her blessed abundantly with grain from Boaz, a home with Naomi, and eventually redemption by her kinsman-redeemer. I am so excited for her; aren't you!?

Then the questions arises, "How does this pertain to me?". I find that even when it seems God isn't doing anything...He really is doing a LOT! God doesn't have the same thought process as I do (I am so glad), my mind can't even comprehend His thinking or His ways. Yet, His way is soooo much better. I need to trust Him more!

What about you? What did today's lesson say to you?

Week 5 Day 4;Blessings and Sacrifice

Ruth 4:11-12 Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."

This lesson brought back beautiful memories of a chaplain's wife I met on an Army Post in Hanau, Germany. Her name is Cindy; yet, it's been so long ago that I can no longer remember her last name. Yet, Cindy, amongst homeschooling her beautiful children, supporting her husband, and participating in chapel events...blessed me greatly as a neighbor. During one of our conversations, Cindy told me her ideas of blessing others. She told me we needed to speak blessings on others rather than curse them with gossip. She looked me in the eye (which spoke straight to my soul) and said, "You know we can speak blessings on others, it's isn't just something we do alone during prayer." I remember nodding my head and saying ,"yes" while inwardly thinking..."yea, right". Since then, I didn't give it much thought.

Yet, this lesson brings back that conversation to my mind like it was yesterday; rather than 20 years ago. While looking for a picture to post with this blog, I ran across pictures of Issac blessing Jacob and pictures of Jacob blessing the sons of Joseph. What an added picture to the blessings spoken to Boaz upon the announcement of his upcoming marriage and new responsibilities. After all, it wasn't an easy step for Boaz, it required self-sacrifice on his part. Often times, if we have to give up something we won't take on a new challenge.

Yet, back to our thoughts on Boaz and Ruth...the elders spoke blessings on them. How many times have I spoke blessings on others? I pray for them...I have given food, clothing, etc. yet I feel like the Holy Spirit is asking for more...blessings.

What did today's lesson speak to you?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Week 5 Day 3; HE Knows My Name!

As a teacher at a new school, one of my biggest concerns is getting to know everyone. Generally, when building relationships, one gathers information about a person, their likes, dislikes, values, dreams, and past history. This information helps us to remember them by name. A name is really important to all of us. When someone meets me for a brief time and remembers my name, I am amazed!

During times of the Old Testament, a name (especially a good name) helped to trace family history and preserve a family name (reputation). In Ruth's case, her kinsman-redeemer would be responsible to help carry on the name of her deceased husband by granting their first son the name of her dead husband. This son would inherit the land and all that belonged Ruth's deceased husband. Preserving Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon's heritage was a big responsibility for someone to take.

One of the points to ponder from our lesson today illuminated that fact "we all have a name, history, and a wake of good and bad." Boaz knew Ruth's history...the biggest undesirable mark on her was the heritage as a Moabitess. Yet, he vowed to redeem her. Isn't it amazing, when looking at this story in light of what Jesus did for us? He knows me better than I actually know myself (I have no idea how many hairs are on my head!) He knows things about me that I wouldn't want anyone to know...yet He still died for me. He call me by name!!!!!! Out of all the people on this earth, He knows me by name! That's HUGE!!!!! He chose me, as an individual, and by my name! Isn't that just awesome!!!

Week 5 Day 2; Willing To Be Willing

I love this picture of our pastor, Don Yarger, and our son, JD. (Photo taken by Joanne Knapp) It is a real picture of willingness. Our pastor moved from a life remote from the Savior to a life of walking in obedience through leading our church. JD, choose to take the step into baptism and went to talk with Don about his desire to follow Jesus in baptism. Willingness is new word in my vocabulary.

In this part of our story on Ruth, we find the need for a kinsman-redeemer. To meet the qualifications, one must be 1) near of kin, a close relative 2) able to redeem and 3) willing to redeem Both these men meet the requirements, yet one happens to be a closer kin than the other. Yet, the one with the most qualifications is not willing to redeem the Moabitess. That qualification so easily become a hindrance to God's blessings. When faced with a cross - road, wouldn't it be a tragic mistake to find you had all the right resources but chose NOT to walk in obedience to The Master's plan?

Obviously, in Ruth's case, it was God's plan for Boaz to marry Ruth. Yet, I wonder if this near kinsman even considered the blessings rather than just considering the cost. The real question might be, "Am I willing to be willing?"

What nuggets of truth did this lesson reveal to you? What was your title for today?

Week 5 Day 1 Obedience Could Be Extrodinary and Costly

Obedience; it takes knowing the One Who Sent You and really trusting Him. Yet, the choice is always there to take whichever path you choose.

Ruth 4:1-6 Amplified Version
THEN BOAZ went up to the city's gate and sat down there, and behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken came by. He said to him, Ho! Turn aside and sit down here. So he turned aside and sat down. And Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city and said, Sit down here. And they sat down.

And he said to the kinsman, Naomi, who has returned from the country of Moab, has sold the parcel of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. And I thought to let you hear of it, saying, Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then say so, that I may know; for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I am [next of kin] after you. And he said, I will redeem it.

Then Boaz said, The day you buy the field of Naomi, you must buy also Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the dead man, to restore the name of the dead to his inheritance.

And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest [by marrying a Moabitess] I endanger my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.

As Boaz waits and hopes to marry Ruth, he must first acquire the right to do so. He is second in line. The man who has the right is interested in the land but does not want to risk his inheritance by taking in the Moabitess. I suppose there is always a risk to obedience...yet, I don't think this man even considered asking God for His opinion.

Each morning, I wake up early and create a mental list on what I hope to accomplish that day. Yet, today's study caused me to realize that I am not much different than the "other man" . I don't ask God (my greatest resource) on what I should accomplish that day. He knows what is best for me and my family, He knows what I can successfully accomplish...yet I am still choosing my own path for the daily grind.

When it comes to big decisions, health, etc. it's easy to go to The Master. There are times He calls us to the unusual and it really takes a leap of faith. That's where we meet the crossroads, again. Will you take that leap of faith and risk losing something?

What did today's lesson say to you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beth's Comments Over Week 3 and 4

Summer Siesta Bible Study - Ruth Session 3 from LPV on Vimeo.

Based on Week (or Session) Three:

1. Turn to p.68 and review the first segment “For Discussion”: Describe a time when you were overcome by a man’s kindness. In keeping with the example of Ruth and Boaz, try to think in terms of an unexpected kindness.

2. Read Ruth 2:19-20 and review the climactic revelation in this Book of the Bible. After you read those two Scriptures, turn to p.85 and review the first couple of sentences of the paragraph in the middle of the page as follows: “It’s interesting that up to this point Naomi knew she had a kinsman-redeemer named Boaz but had no idea Ruth knew him; Ruth knew Boaz but didn’t know he was a kinsman redeemer. Suddenly these two pieces of information collided to potentially change the course of history.” Our divinely ordained collisions may not change the course of human history but they certainly change the course of our own personal history. Can any of you think of a time when God orchestrated an encounter or experience where you (or perhaps both/all parties involved) could say, “Only God could have known”? If so, share it. These would be really cool to hear in your blog comments so consider sharing one of the most meaningful examples.

Based on Week (or Session) Four:
3. Turn to p.95 and, if willing, share your answers to the “Personal Response” section at the very bottom of the page: “Describe a time when you’d done everything you could do and then had to wait for someone else’s response.”

4. Turn to p.108 and review the answer to the question in the middle of the page: “What did Boaz promise to do if the nearer relative chose not to redeem Ruth?” Then, share your responses to the discussion portion just below it where we were challenged to put ourselves in Ruth’s place. What kinds of feelings and thought processes would you have had in her exact situation?

Don’t conclude this portion of the Bible study without one of you reading the final paragraph on p.108 aloud to the rest of the group. (“If Ruth slept at all that night…) Those of you going solo can simply read it again and let it go even deeper.

5. Ask if one person wants to share a brand new insight she’s gained from this study regarding Christ as her Redeemer. (For those of you going solo, consider that I’m asking each of you the question.)

For our next gathering in two weeks, do Weeks (or Sessions) Five and Six. In other words, let’s finish up! And while we’re at it, Sisters, LET’S FINISH STRONG! You will feel such joy in your soul if you’ll see this to the last page. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if just as many women signed in at the end as in the beginning? Let’s make our goal 100%, Sisters!

For those of you joining in on the meals, consider the recipes on pages 88-89. The Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries sounds perfect for summer. Lord, have mercy on us, so does the pie!

(This has been copy/pasted from the Siesta Summer Bible Study Blog)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beginning Week 5

Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy Video Week Five from April Dace on Vimeo.

Week 4 Day 5 In Season and Out of Season

This has really been an awesome week of study, hasn't it? I find proof in the scriptures that His written word is alive, acting, and piercing. What other book could leave you feeling cleansed and washed (in this dreadful heat), refreshed in His Word. (Read Patty's comments from earlier this week.)

Yet, knowing this; are you actually willing to spend time at His feet? You may be saying "yes" but when it comes to actually doing it, your actions say "no". Each day, as we rise to work, raise a family, or take care of family and/or community members, where does our supply of love, patience, wisdom, and revelation come from? There is an endless supply when we fuel up at His feet! This means meditating on the written Word, spending time in focused prayer, as well as listening and waiting on Him ... learning His voice.

For the past year and a half, I have got up earlier than the rest of my family, to spend time in scripture and pray. I have to admit, prayer time is harder...and I wish I knew why. Sometimes it helps to write out prayer in a journal.

What does your time with The Redeemer look like? I would love to read about it; I'm sure others would learn from you as well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Week 4 Day 4; Someone Wants Me; A Woman of Noble Character

Ruth 3:11 My daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.

What a woman! Yet, she was still soooooo much like you and me. Don't you feel it? Even though she was afraid, she still moved, not paralyzed by her fear. I believe we've all found ourselves in a situation that's scary...not knowing what the future holds. When we look up to Our Redeemer...I know He is the one who molds us, builds our confidence, and makes us a "woman of noble character".

(Remember to pause the player at the bottom of the page before starting the video.)

I'd love for you to share... What did Our Redeemer speak to your heart today?

While Waiting For Her Redeemer....

(Remember to pause the player at the bottom of this page before playing the video)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week 4 Day 3; Offering a Covenant Relationship

If laying out your love and feelings to someone seems vulnerable to you...how vulnerable can it be to lay it all out to our God?

Ruth 3:7-8
When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.

Ruth consistenly shows us her determination. She left all she knew to be with Naomi, she again...took a great risk to lay out her feelings to Boaz. All her apprehensive fears and anxieties from loss of a husband, homeland, etc. were laid down at his feet. A place of surrender....

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

What keeps you from total surrender?

Freshly Grounded Fatih

If you are interested...I'd love to go with a group of 10 or more on November 12th and 13th. The event is in Springfield at the Second Baptist Church on Battlefield Road. Group tickets are $29. Let me know!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 4 Day 2: It's Time For A New Dress

Pretty Woman - Julia Roberts

Yes It's a Love Story - For: ☺Kim☺

Wow, wasn't today's lesson an eye-opener!!!!! Just in case you missed it....Naomi told Ruth to "put on your best clothes". ...that's the English translation. Yet, the Hebrew word used is "simla". It typically refers to an outer garment that covers the entire body except for the head. Again, hmmmmmm. Ruth was, more than likely, still wearing garments of mourning. Yet, it's time, girlfriend, to dress for a new day!

While writing this post, I am excited. It IS time for a new day! I am moving into a new direction in life...a new chapter is being written. The direction for this chapter is in the hands of my Creator and I am excited to see the direction. Quit looking at your past to direct the future! It's a new day!!!!

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Are you ready for "a new thing?" I know that I certainly am ready! Don't cling to your old clothes in your new life...put away those things and MOVE AHEAD!

Is this where you are today? Tell us about it!

Week 4 Day 1; The Plan; Who's In Charge?

In Ruth 1:21, Naomi tells Bethlehemites that she left full but came back empty; what about Ruth? She came back with Ruth! But now...now in Ch 3:1, Naomi addresses Ruth as "my daughter". hmmmm what a switch!!! :)Naomi has moved from being bitter to praising God. But does she really know WHO is in control?

At this point, Naomi gives Ruth instructions to carry out. She is to wash and anoint herself, put on her best clothes, go to the threshing floor, keep her presence a secret until after Boaz has eaten and drank, then to lie down next to his feet (which she is to uncover). At this point, I'm still thinking...hmmmmmmm.

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone
understand his own way?
Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Proverbs 21:30-31 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD. The horse
is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests
with the LORD.
Proverbs 16:1 To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the
reply of the tongue.

At this point, What do you think about Naomi's plan?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Tid-Bit From Today

How can we come into His Presence? In the earthly Temple, only the High Priest could enter His Presence. But now, the Bread of Life, the picture outside the curtain to the Holy of Holies, has come to be a sacrifice once for all. Because of Him, your not guilty anymore! Have you accepted His gift?

Be sure to pause the player at the bottom of the page before playing this video. I hope it speaks to you like it did to me.

Week 3 Day 4; The Gift of Giving

Today we read Ruth 2:15-19.
15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her. 16 Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!"
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz," she said.

This last winter, I loved following Beth Moore's study on how much an ephah really is. This was broadcast on the tv program, Life Today. Of course, I won't be able to explain it as well, but here goes! First of all, look at Leviticus 24. In the book of Leviticus, we are reading about instructions for the temple.The beginning of chapter 24 tells us the ingredients for each cake to be made and placed on the table before the Lord. These were to be eaten in the holy place by Aaron and his sons (vv 5-9) Notice that 2/10 of an ephah was to be used in making each cake.

So what is an ephah? In Exodus 16 we find the Israelites were given bread from Heaven to eat while wandering through the wilderness. Exodus 16:22 tells us that "on the sixth day, they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one." Thus on the seventh day, they did not work and collect bread. In vs. 36 we read "...an omer is a tenth of an ephah." The bread used for the temple required 2/10 of an ephah. A double portion was used to make bread for the temple.

As we know, often in descriptions for The Earthly Temple, we find a picture of the Heavenly Temple. John 6:35 Jesus tell us that He Is the Bread of Life. He is our double portion!!!!!!! Isn't that AWESOME!!!!

Relate that information to the picture we find in our story of Ruth. Boaz instructed the reapers to pull out from the bundles for Ruth to glean. When she measured it, she found an ephah... way beyond a double portion...!

When totally relying on God, do you ever wonder what He can or will do to help? I believe He has shown us that in His presence (the Bread of Life), we will find our double portion and then some...all that we need and more! Waaahooo!

I believe Boaz followed instructions given to him by God. The Word doesn't tell us this, but we know that God provided for Ruth and Naomi through Boaz. Take time to think about how you can listen for His instructions, giving or leaning on Him for your needs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Week 3 Day 3; Accepted, Invited, and Redeemed!

Ruth 2:14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar."
When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.(NIV)

What an exciting time; and I almost missed it. Do you see it? Ruth has been invited to sit at Boaz's table...not with the gleaners but with the reapers!

When visiting Grandma's house, as a child, it was difficult to find a table big enough to fit all the children and grandchildren. To fix the problem, we had the adult table and the kids table. It was always a big privilege, as one got older, to be invited to sit at the adult table. I guess the issue of where one eats and with whom is really a bigger deal than I've previously thought about. It's the same with eating at school, or out with a large group of friends like during the company picnic.

Yet, I never related like we have today with Revelation 19:6-10.

6Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah!For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,and his bride has made herself ready.
8Fine linen, bright and clean,was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." 10At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy
." (the bold print is mine.)

The linen, beautiful, fine linen ...worn by the bride (that's us...the church)was not earned due to self-righteous living, it was given because Christ is our righteousness! and we have been invited to sit at the table...I'm just waiting for Him to call!!!

Meanwhile, who have I invited to dinner lately? I think there's a lot more to sharing a meal together than I really thought about before. I love having dinner with a group of friends!

Today's lesson was huge, wasn't it!? I'm sure you most likely gleamed something great to share with us. What did God reveal to you?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Behold The Lamb (Communion Song)

Think of Boaz inviting Ruth to his table, King David inviting Mephibosheth to his table,and Jesus inviting the disciples, and ultimately God inviting us to His table as stated in Revelation 19:6-10. (Again, remember to pause the player at the bottom of the page before playing this video.)

I Need A Savior

This is one of the songs suggested by Kelly Minter. Remember, go to the bottom of the page and pause the music player before playing this video.

Week 3 Day 2; Humility

Until today, the first picture of humility in my mind was of Mary washing the feet of Jesus. As I said, until today....

Ruth 2:13 "May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord," she said. "You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls."

Not even trying to sell her good qualities to Boaz, Ruth was continuously humble. When meeting a Knight in Shining Armour, many girls begin to giggle, twirl their hair, and say something cute or profound. Not, Ruth.

1 Peter 5:5-6 (Amplified)
5...Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, [a]so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)--[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.

6Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed the story Kelly shared about her dad giving golf lessons and shinning shoes before pastoring a church for 34 years. He was in training...learning first to serve. Do you think there is a "season" of humbling oneself before God and serving man?

Week 3 Day 1; Protection, Kindness, Understanding

So what does God's love, Protection, Kindness, and Understanding look like? That's what I asked myself when looking for a picture to post with today's blog. After searching, for what seemed like hours, I realized God painted this picture for us through Boaz. Duh!

Ruth 2:10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?"
11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

Realize, Ruth didn't look for protection and refuge in the arms of Boaz (as amazing as that might be), yet she knew that God was her refuge! Boaz could offer her food, water, and protection under the direction of The Almighty God. Many times, we look first to people to save us when the true redemptive freedom and protection comes from our Heavenly Saviour.

These scriptures also point out the character, integrity, and love of Ruth. In vs 12, Boaz, who has just returned home, has already heard of Ruth. The things she has done for her mother-in-law WHILE mourning the death of her husband.

Psalm 91 (The Message)
You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
"I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care
if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation.

How have you sought God as your refuge?
Does the integrity of Ruth stand out to you as much as it did to me? What did today's lesson say to you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Checking in with Beth

Summer Siesta Bible Study - Week 2 from LPV on Vimeo.

Your discussions in this gathering will revolve around different points in your homework. Two from Week One. Two from Week Two:

1. Look back at the middle of page 12 where Kelly had us look up Deuteronomy 23 and Judges 3 to get some background on the Moabites. Read Deuteronomy 23:3-5 together if you’re not watching this as a small group. In your small group, I want you to talk about a few things that have happened in your lives that Satan would love to use to curse you. You can think of it conceptually more than literally if that helps. At the end of class today, I want you to claim that fifth verse together in prayer and believe God to turn those curses into blessings!

2. Turn to the middle of Week One, to the bottom of p.21 and the top of p.22. I loved Kelly’s discussion about her friend “weeping forward.” What do you think that means? Several of you share a season in your life when you feel like you wept forward and several others might consider sharing a season in your life when you wept backward. Most of us have done both at some point in our lives.

The next two are from Week Two:
3. OK, Day Two has a portion that is vintage Kelly Minter and one reason why I love her writing so much. Look at the second paragraph on p.42 where she tells about her sister, Megan. If you were writing a novel that was secretly about yourself right now and right in this season and you had to name it in the form of a question, what would it be?

4. Turn to p.45 and review the part of your homework concerning Psalm 126. Please read the psalm together then discuss your answers to the “Personal Response” question: Practically speaking, how can you sow in your weeping? Don’t miss how much this section has to do with your second discussion question today.

In closing, one of you read the Elizabeth Barrett Browning quote at the end. Let it lead you into prayer and don’t forget to claim those blessings from our first discussion question today!

For all of you participating in the fellowship meal, consider the recipes on pages 62-63 and either do them or some Italian equivalent.

I am so happy to study with you! Stay in the Word and I’ll see you in two more weeks!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Message from Kelly Minter and the NOG's

(Remember to pause the player at the bottom of the page before listening to the video.)

Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy Week 3 from April Dace on Vimeo.

Week Day 5 Amazing Love!

At the conclusion of each lesson, I reflect back on what I've learned and give the lesson a title of my own. Today's lesson was absolutely filled with love, wasn't it? The more I learn about hesed, the greater my realization of the love embedded within the pages of Ruth. Hesed really permeates and leaks out over the pages; hopefully into my daily thoughts.

I wonder how many times I denied this kind of love to others. There is always an easy reason or excuse to come up with. For example, "I'm sure they would never do that for me!" Another example might be, "What would others think?" or "What will it cost me?" I am so thankful for the times someone else was there for me and didn't even consider an excuse. Why would I be so selfish when all these things in life really don't belong to me anyway? They belong to my Father who has entrusted them to me. Part of my responsibility is to care for His people in the way Christ did.

Looking at Boaz...he did what was right, regardless of what others might say. Ruth was not "the right kind of people" and he could easily come up with some really good excuses to deny her any help. Yet, there's all kinds of good excuses to help her, too. Really, Boaz was at a crossroads and he didn't even stop to think it out. He did the right thing.

Try and think from both points of view today. What would it be like to walk in Ruth's shoes? What would it be like to walk in Boaz's sandals? Both chose to do the right thing...both were put in the same place at the same time; not by coincidence either. This was a 'God Appointment'. Ruth needed someone to help her and protect her, Boaz had the means to meet that need.

Have you ever been in a place to protect or defend someone? Maybe you were the one that needed protection or a defense.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Week 2 Day 4; Work

Wow, what a work ethic. Ruth...the new girl on the block, set quite a precedence for those around her. I can just hear it now, "Those Moabite women really put in a good day's work" or "Those Moabite girls sure wake up and get after-it early." Most often, we still put people into category's or clans. For example, we might lump them together with the family name (The Wray's) or their nationality/region (those people from Arkansas), gender and age (older women), and even faith (Christians, Jew, etc). Sometimes, our ethics don't just reflect who we are but they can also reflect our affiliations. What does your work ethic reflect?

Whatever your hand find to do, verily , do it with all your might.... Ecclesiastes 9:10

What do your work ethics says about you, about your integrity, your God? Do you put your all into what you do, does the way you dress, talk (do you gossip and complain or do you bring joyful energy into the conversation?). Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord!

If Christ lives in us, what image are we bearing about Christ and the body of Christ? Has my image protrayed a woman with integrity or a slothful image? Do I make the body of Christ look like a body of busy bodies, gossipers, lazy, always looking for the easy way out or do I bring in a beautiful aroma of the Savior?

I sure learned a lot in these few verses. Something the author didn't mention was the attitude of Boaz. The first greeting was to the workers, not the just the foreman. His greeting was a prayer for God's blessings. Wow, wouldn't that be a greeting to receive when meeting the boss!

What did today's lesson say to you? I'd love to hear it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 3: Gleaming

(To play the music video, remember to pause the player at the bottom of the page first.)

Have you ever found yourself down...in a situation that seems bleak, and you decide to pull yourself up by your boot straps and say, "I'll do it! I'll do it all by myself. I don't need anyone." When the ultimate truth we all come to is we really do need someone; we need a Saviour!

The story of Ruth is so inspiring in the midst of tragedy and loss. We've all been there, and if you haven't, don't worry, you will be. (True to the words of Kenna Kenworthy!) God is the Ultimate Provider. After all, all we have is really His. Yet, I wonder if we really are the image bearers of God, called to bear the image of God, do we hoard or remain stingy with what He has given us? Do we leave or offer sheaves to the needy, those who are put in our path, not by mere coincidence, or do we remain in our own lust for stuff?

There was a lot to consider from today's lesson. What did the Small still voice say to you?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 2: Arriving/Bringing in the Sheaves!

During this season of life --- sowing or reaping; both are essential seasons in our life. As long as we are living on this earth, we will continue to walk through these seasons.

"Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping; carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, ringing his sheaves with him." Palms 126: 5-6

Sowing seeds brings on the harvest, even if we sow while we weep. We can cry, weep, and grieve but the harvest will not come unless we cast our seed. As difficult as it sounds, we CAN do it (through Christ).

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal 6:9

I wonder if tears make good mulch...it seems I have often found myself sowing with tears...yet the harvest if plentiful. Have you listened to Kelly Minter's song, "My Portion, You Will Ever Be"?

What did today's lesson say to you? I'd love to hear it!