Bible Reading Challenge Check-In

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Hey there! Monday has arrived and I’m checking in with you on the Bible Reading Challenge. Thanks for keeping me accountable. At this point in the reading, I’m a couple days behind. To be honest, I don’t have a good reason for it other than last week, our family had several things go wrong and I spent more time than usual taking care of problems.

This week, I’m looking at the week ahead and thankful to see a few more open spaces of time on the daily schedules. I have my home and work lists ready for the week and I’m feeling ready to tackle the lists.

Earlier today I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to listen to the sermon from this morning once it was posted online. It was so good and stimulated so much thought that I wasn’t keeping up like I wanted to. My husband then mentioned that he wants to have our oldest son watch last week’s sermon and this week’s sermon. All that to tell you that the current sermon series by our pastor is called Good, Better Best- Don’t Settle, Keep Climbing, and we are LOVING it. I just checked and today’s sermon wasn’t up yet, but here’s the link to the series if you’d like to check it out. You can watch the video OR listen to the audio.

And now it’s your turn! How was your week and how’s the Bible reading going?

Looking forward to a new week! Give it to  God and let him make it great!

Rachel

PS: Stole a picture from my niece again this week! She called it Tennessee Sun.

Ruth Who Dedicated Herself: Women in the Bible Week 4

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Welcome to week 4 of Women in the Bible: Beautiful and Brave series! Each week for 10 weeks, we are studying the most beautiful and brave women in the Bible. At the end of this post, you will find the prior articles in the series.

This week we are visiting Ruth, who dedicated herself. Ruth holds an interesting place in the lineup of women in the Bible, as she is one of only two women in the Bible with books bearing their names. (Esther is the other.) Perhaps this fact makes her one of the more well-known of the beautiful and brave women in our series.

Let’s pause to make sure we all know the backstory of Ruth. Ruth was the Moabite widow of Mahlon, son of Naomi. We don’t know the reason for Mahlon’s death, but his brother, Chilion, was also dead and so was his father. These three men left their widows behind, clinging to each other.  In chapter 1, Ruth makes a statement to her mother-in-law that has resonated over many, many generations, verse 16:

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Persistent dedication requires purposeful determination.

This kind of dedication doesn’t come by chance. One must choose to be committed at this level.

I feel like I can hear the urgency in her voice when I read this declaration from Ruth. I wonder if she had a bit of a reputation for being a little on the stubborn side. Because the next verse says that when Naomi saw Ruth was determined to go with her, she didn’t say anything else. Maybe she made the mental note: “What’s the point?” Wouldn’t it have been fun to see her facial expressions? Do you think she maybe rolled her eyes? Regardless, Ruth had made up her mind and wasn’t changing it. What beautiful commitment she displays!

While this may have been the most beautiful thing Ruth is noted for, I think her bravery is captured when she follows her mother-in-law’s instructions on the dating traditions of the time. Through gleaning the fields for barley, Ruth is noticed by Boaz, a man who also happens to be a potential kinsman redeemer. Naomi instructs Ruth to go to Boaz after he has gone to sleep and lie down at his feet. This may seem a bit strange to us, but in keeping with the customs of the day, Ruth follows Naomi’s directions to the letter. Boaz is smitten with Ruth and flattered by the fact that she wants him to take her hand in marriage and redeem her through loving marriage.

This is a great place to enter “And they all lived happily ever after.”

The short book of Ruth sure is power-packed with principles for us today. But we’ll have to save those for another post. It’s about time to outline the profile of this brave and beautiful woman:

  • Name: Ruth
  • Occupation: Gleaner of the fields
  • Family background: Mahlon’s wife and Naomi’s daughter in law, great grandmother to David
  • Daily life: caregiver for the aged
  • Emotional baggage: none we’re given
  • Weaknesses: a bit on the stubborn side
  • Beauty secrets: joyfully loyal and flexible
  • Acts of bravery: Dedicated herself to caring for someone who had no one else, bravely following her mother-in-law’s instructions and beautifully loving her family.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be David’s great grandmother?

Each week I want to highlight one of the posts linked up in the previous week. This week, I chose Julie’s beautiful post about how our heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us. Be sure to stop by Julie’s beautiful blog!

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Bloggers, I’m thrilled to have your 100% Christian encouragement  linkups this Whimsical Wednesday. If you have chosen to participate in the Women in the Bible series and link up your post, then I plan to choose and highlight one of your posts here on the blog next week.

Rachel

Original Post: Women in the bible: 5 of the most beautiful and brave

Introductory Post: Women in the Bible: Beautiful and Brave series

Week 1: Sarah Who Remembered God’s Promise

Week 2: Deborah Who Declared God’s Truth

Week 3: Hannah Who Poured Out Her Soul

Week 4: Ruth Who Dedicated Herself



Bible Reading Challenge Check-In

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Welcome to Monday! I thought you would enjoy this photo my niece took in the mountains of West Virginia. Isn’t it beautiful?

Here we are at the Bible Reading Challenge check-in once more. We have 11 more Monday check-in’s to go! If you are reading through the Bible with us this year, then congrats on making it this far. If you are using this Monday group for weekly accountability, I applaud your commitment. No matter where you are in reading God’s Word, our goal is to read each day and spend quality time getting to know God more.

Let’s celebrate what God is doing in our lives today.

I feel so blessed to have found a sweet two page writing signed by my mom this weekend. I’ve been doing some cleaning in the basement where we’ve stored things for the last 14 years. The place was getting a little scary so my husband and I started tackling it all last weekend. We have a ways to go to being totally organized, but we made quite a dent in the backlog. The essay I found that was written by my mom was about me, used as part of a college honor ceremony from 1993. (Ok, go ahead, calculate my age.) 

The essay is a brag letter and it touched my heart to read it again, especially since my mom has been in Heaven for 14 years. I wanted to share one part with you:

Finally, when I think of Rachel, I am reminded of her keen sense of humor. God has used this to help others and herself through the tough times. I am sure He will continue to use this, as well as her other talents, for his glory.

I know that so many of you stumble across the blog because you are facing hard times. Either Google sends you here or a friend shares a link that brings you here. Or maybe you know someone who knows someone else who…. :)

Who knew that what my mama believed almost 20 years ago would be exactly what God would do?

And to close out her “brag letter” about her girl, she wrote out:

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

That’s what my mama said Jesus wants to do for me.

And that’s what he wants to do for you too.

Do you have a praise to share? I’d love to read it.

Have a marvelous Monday and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel