Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Ultimate Sacrifice

     With Memorial Day 2014 upon us, I was up for a history lesson; how and why it came to be. I was also curious about the red poppies and thought you might be as well. According to, “Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
General John Logan

It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) [Also]…In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Book of Ruth Series - Redemption At Last - Lesson 25
Ruth 4:13-22:

Joy exploded as shouts of mazel tov came to Boaz. Wasting no time, he mounted his steed and rushed from the city gate to Naomi’s home. Today he would purchase her field and redeem his beautiful bride.

“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife…”

But what was Ruth’s redemption price?

Leviticus 27:4 reveals the price of a female is thirty shekels. In Exodus 21:32, thirty shekels will also purchase a gored slave. Since ancient Israel’s shekel was a silver coin, is it possible Boaz paid thirty pieces of silver to redeem Ruth?

Again, there’s a hint of symbolism:  Boaz spiritually representing our Lord and Ruth, the Church.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Are You a Fixer?

    Today is Mother’s Day and pulpits once again will turn to Proverbs 31 to preach about this most wonderful woman.

    To me, it always feels like a checklist of qualities I must strive to accomplish. “She does [her husband] good and not evil…” Check – got that one. “…she brings food from afar…” Yep! Got that one too – from the far place of the grocery store. “She also rises while it is night…” – still working on this one. “…considers a field… buys it…[and] plants a vineyard.” Not!

    The list goes on and on, but I fear the unchecked qualities far outnumber my checked ones. So, does that mean my children won’t “rise up and call me blessed” or my husband won’t “praise” me? No, my desire, like hers, is to be the best wife and mother I can be; to make sure my family has all they need for healthy living. But, there are only twenty-four hours in the day and unfortunately, I’m not perfect. I can’t do it all or fix everything, even though I try.

    Throughout the ages, mothers remain the same. While our children are young, we are the fixer, comforter, supplier of needs, provider of wants, producer of joy, and disciplinarian. But, do we stop when they reach adulthood? As our grown children tell us their problems, make unwise decisions or wander from faith, how do we handle it? Do we kick into “Mommy-mode”, rushing in to kiss their boo-boo and make it all better?

    Yes, we Fixer’s spring into action as we always did and do whatever it takes to stop the pain. When we can’t, we fret, worry, and continue to look for some way to fix things. Finally, turning to prayer more as a plea to “help me fix this” rather than “Lord, You know what’s best”.

    Consider the “Mom” characteristics I mentioned. Are they not, on a much grander scale, also attributes of our great God? Jesus said of us, “You are gods…” (John 6:34) He was not meaning we are God, but at times, we function like Him. God created us in His image, nevertheless sin makes us imperfect and finite. We do not know the end from the beginning. Therefore, fixing may not be what’s best.

    Although unwise decisions could have caused our adult child pain, God may want to use it to correct and teach drawing them to Himself. Therefore, rushing in to fix things, bailing them out of a jam they created, could be making it worse and hindering the work of God in their lives.

    God knows all perfectly. If they or we need pain, He allows it. If it’s comfort, He holds us. Whatever our need, when we trust Him, He provides in the way that’s best. He is our Almighty, all-sufficient El Shaddai.

    As mothers, we so completely care for our young children, that as they grow, we find it extremely hard to let go. When pain happens in our adult child’s life, pain also happens to us. Therefore, we Fixer’s, must first turn to prayer and allow El Shaddai to guide us in the fixing. He knows our heart, our love for our children, and our desire to make it all better. Remember, He is not only all-sufficient for us; He is all-sufficient for them.

    Genesis 17:1 is where God first presents Himself as El Shaddai. He said to Abram, “…I am God Almighty; walk before Me and be blameless…”

Have a Happy and Blessed Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Book of Ruth Series - The Blessing - Lesson 24
The morning sun was mid-sky when Boaz acquired the sandal from the nearer kinsman. In this crowded, open-air courtroom, Boaz held the sandal high and shouted, "You are witnesses to this transaction. I have bought all that was Elimelech's and his sons. In addition, Mahlon’s widow, Ruth, will become my wife and I will raise a son for Mahlon, so neither his inheritance is lost nor his position at the city gate.”

“...All the people…said, ‘We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.’”

What an amazing and grand blessing. This very wealthy, prominent Israelite would marry a Moabite, and they were excited about it.

Nevertheless, what did their blessing mean, especially since they referred to Rachel and Leah building the house of Israel?

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