Ruth, Taking Hold of What Christ Took Hold For Her

Ruth is the 3rd woman listed in the genealogy of Christ. She exemplifies an important truth for the greatest adventure. She took hold of that for which Christ had taken hold of her. I think of the LORD as “the LORD of the dance,” who wants each of His children to take His hand and let Him lead each day, the dance He had planned for each of us from the beginning of time. Watch this clip from Miss Potter and imagine the Lord singing these words to you. It is a mystery, but we are told that God has taken hold of each of us for a purpose. How do you know what that is for your life and for each day? We ask Him, are alert, and so often, are amazed.  God’s ways truly are mysterious, but if we […]

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Rahab, a Prostitute in The Lineage of Christ

Grace, Grace, God’s Grace, Grace that is Greater Than All Our Sin… Though she had three strikes against her: woman, prostitute, and Canaanite… She is elevated three times in the New Testament! Tessa Ashfar, author of historical biblical novels, wrote her first novel on Rahab, asking, “What kind of God would choose a woman like Rahab and elevate her to a place of honor?” Only our God, a God of grace, who turns ashes into beauty. I’ve enjoyed listening to Ashfar’s novels on audio. Here she is speaking on three of her novels — the first being “Pearl in the Sand,” which is based on the book of Joshua and Rahab’s story. She also has a novel on Ruth, whom we will study next week. This is profoundly relevant to each of us, for we each need to be rescued […]

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Tamar and Judah: “She is More Righteous Than I”

This Advent we are looking at the women named in the genealogy of Christ. If you are thinking, “How boring!” Think again. There are fascinating treasures here for you. My prayer is that you will experience the depth of God’s love for you, despite the fact you fail Him every day. The first woman mentioned is Tamar, a woman who used sexual entrapment to get what she wanted. These are fascinating chapters that have already impacted me, and caused me experience His holiness and His love. I can’t wait to do it with you. Sunday (1st in Advent) We have been called, as were God’s people of old, to carry His light, to bring justice and mercy to our world. And yet we are so sinful. Can we still expect God to love us, forgive us, and use us? Yes. […]

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Preparing for Advent 2018

We all need Advent. It reflects the truth that even during the darkest time of the year, there is a Light that shines in the darkness, a Light the darkness cannot overcome. How we need Advent to remember this word from God: Just yesterday, I was walking through the woods, feeling dwarfed by the grandeur of God. I felt seized by my unworthiness. I have failed Him in so many ways: as a daughter, wife, mother, friend, and child of God. I often think,  How can You love me? If I could do this all again, I’d do it better. Then I wonder if I really would! And the enemy tells me God could not love one like me, yet I know that is a lie from the pit of hell. God loves me with an everlasting love, just as […]

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THANKSGIVING WEEK 2018!

 THANKSGIVING IS BEAUTIFUL IN ITS SIMPLICITY, IN HOW BOTH AUTUMN & HARVEST SPEAK ETERNAL TRUTHS, AND IN HOW ITS GREAT HYMNS, FROM THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS SPEAK TO OUR SOULS TRUTH. THESE HYMNS WILL BE OUR FOCUS AS WE TRAVEL THE ROAD TO AND THROUGH THANKSGIVING WEEKEND. Sunday: 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why? 3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend? 4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day? Monday-Tuesday: For The Beauty of The Earth This hymn has long been a favorite of mine, one I sing biking or cross-country skiing through Peninsula Park. I remember singing it on our back porch with Steve as the sun rose over the […]

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31 Days of Thanksgiving (Does it actually save you?)

When I first heard that Ann VosKamp’s One Thousand Gifts  was staying on the New York Time’s bestseller list, I thought: Really? A book on something as elementary as giving thanks?  But this book has helped so many believers recover the practice of thankfulness, including me. It is much deeper than just practicing gratitude. When Ann studied the passage on The Ten Lepers, she was ready to skim, explaining: I read the passage, one I remember from the musty basement of the Knox Presbyterian Church Sunday school. I think I know this one. Jesus restores ten lepers to wholeness. And only one returns to offer any thanks. I remember the moral too, Mrs. Morrison and her glossy red lipstick: “How often do you remember to say thanks?” Yes, I think I know this one. I skim.   Indeed, part of […]

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31 Days of Giving Thanks (With the help of Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?)

This week we are going to allow God’s gift of music to stir our hearts toward thankfulness, for music has power. I see it in prison all the time. They begin to sing with their hearts and minds, and He comes to them. We must do the same, from the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same.   William Cowper wrote: Sometimes a light surprises, the Christian when he sings. It is the Lord who rises, with healing in His wings. Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks) 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason? 3. Was there a time in your life when […]

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31 Days of Giving Thanks (With help from Eugene Peterson)

This is our second week of our “giving thanks journey” leading up to Thanksgiving. Early Monday morning Eugene Peterson went to be with the Lord.   He has blessed so many of us through his writings, particularly his paraphrase of the Bible: The Message. My friend Luci Shaw was close to Peterson, and shared this from his family last Monday: . From the Peterson family update this morning: “The lantern that has been burning brightly on the shore of Flathead Lake all last week—a sentinel witness to the life-light of Eugene H. Peterson—was extinguished today at 6:30 am Mountain Time soon after Eugene took his final breath and commended his spirit to Christ his creator, his beautiful savior, and the forever lover of his soul. “During the previous days, it was apparent that he was navigating the thin and sacred space between […]

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31 Days of Thankfulness (Days 1-6)

It seems almost unbelievable that simply sowing seeds of thankfulness could transform your life, producing abundant joy, peace, and love — but scriptures and studies tell us it is true. Do you want to find out for yourself? Beginning tomorrow we have 31 days leading up to Thanksgiving day. So I challenge you to join us. I’ll have a simple track for those whose time is short but who want to be with us on this journey. And I’ll have some going deeper assignments for those who long to do that. Either way, you will experience beautiful fruit and develop a habit of gratitude, grooming a good path for your feet by Thanksgiving Day. Many of you have done this kind of thing before, some inspired by Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” When she began her simple habit of writing […]

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Election: A Hard Truth

  Romans 9 is one of the hardest chapters in the whole Bible because it explains election, which many believers simply cannot accept. But I cannot, before God, skip Romans 9, which is the culmination of the repeated refrain in Scripture of “You are my people!” and “You are my God!” I know that this is a challenging truth, and I remember struggling with it when I was younger. My husband embraced it first, through the writings of Luther and Jonathan Edwards. It took me longer. I realize now it was because as R. C. Sproul explains in his sermon, I grew up in a pagan land and it was cross-cultural for me. I knew the Bible was the Word of God and talked about predestination and election, but I made it palatable for myself by adopting one of the […]

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MY KING AND MY GOD! (Psalm 5) No matter what life brings…

We’ve been looking at a pattern in Scripture, where God says: You are my people! And His people reply: You are my God! This is the heart attitude we are to have all day long, no matter what life brings. We find it again in one of my favorite psalms: Psalm 5. Things are not going well for David, and he is so troubled he tells God he doesn’t even know how to pray, but He asks God to consider his groaning, to hear his cry for help for He is: My King and My God It reminds me of the scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when the children realize Aslan is a lion, and wonder if He could be “quite safe.” And this is the answer: As you may know, I was in the Texas […]

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When Loved Ones Break your Heart (Psalm 4)

You have loved, but the one whom you loved: a child, a sibling, a parent, a sister, a brother in Christ… has turned on you. Betrayal by loved ones is shocking and heart-breaking. What did David do when his own son turned against him, wanting his throne, plotting murder against his own father? David was hiding in a cave, his heart breaking. What did he do? Psalm 4, a follow up to Psalm 3, shows us. In Psalm 3, he cried out  to “My God.” But this time it is to “my righteous God,” or, as the ESV puts it: “God of my righteousness!” This week Paul Tripp will illumine Psalm 4 with great wisdom. And Sara Groves will prepare out hearts for David’s situation with this: On a personal note, I would love your prayers for this week: Tuesday through Saturday in the […]

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You Are My God — Even Amidst Hurricane Florence

When disaster strikes, where can we go? Only to “Our God.” He will either stop the storm, or be with us in the storm. You will hear stories from two of our bloggers who experienced Hurricane Florence last week. What so often happens in a natural disaster, is that even those who  may not have a vital faith, are brought to their knees to cry out to God for His help, comfort, and peace. Here are firefighters praying outside a home where a mother and infant were killed in Willmington, North Carolina last week. God’s ways our not our ways, but one day, we will understand. Meanwhile, we who are His children can be so thankful he is “Our God.” I sense He is leading us now on an incredible journey and I want to follow Him step by step. […]

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Experience His Presence More Than You Have

If I were to name a common denominator, a desire that the women here all have, it is to experience His presence. This last week I’ve been mediating on a pattern I see in Scripture, so I’m hoping together we can follow this pattern and see if we indeed do experience His presence on a steadier basis than we might have before. I’m not talking about the mountain-top experiences, but the steady stream of peace His Spirt can give: peace like a river. Sunday: The Pattern A few of you will look at this before you go to church, and can try this in church. So first, let us see the pattern. Find it for yourself by looking up just a few of the many times this pattern occurs. 1. What repeated refrain do you see in these passages? A. […]

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WAITING ON THE LORD!

I’m taking a break to wait on the Lord as to what He would have me do next with this blog. But in the meantime, I’d love to continue the fellowship here by suggesting that each day you come on and share: 1: One way God ministered to you through His Word 2. One blessing from yesterday for which you are thankful. Remember George Mueller’s exhortation that “the foremost duty of a Christian at the start of each day is to get his soul happy in the Lord! Also, if you have prayer requests or answers to prayer, put them in italics. I’d love your prayers for me to hear from the Lord about this blog. I so often have run ahead of Him, so I’m trying to slow down [thus this shot of me in a hammock — I couldn’t […]

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