New Beginnings

Little known stories # 7 Ruth

Rarely do we focus on the story of Ruth as a widow story.  Yet the book of Ruth is primarily a book about three widows.  Not a romantic love and marriage story.  The greatest story in the book is that of Ruth declaring her acceptance of Naomi’s God, the one true God. Ruth 1:  16, 17.  “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there […]

Little known stories # 6 Abigail

Recently I’ve been ‘living in’ the worlds of widows in the Bible.  Few think of Abigail as a widow.  Her story is usually about her industrious risk of turning David’s wrath from killing her people, including her husband, to sparing their lives. God took Nabal’s life.  David sent for her quickly and took her as his wife.  Happy ending!  Hardly.  She was taken to Hebron, a rural backwater place, hardly like the home of her deceased wealthy Nabal.  One of many wives, her new marriage brought challenges. She was kidnapped by David’s enemy and once had to flee the palace […]

Little known stories # 5 Naomi’s grief

Every person at some time grieves over an important loss in their life.  We think immediately of death.  True.  Additionally financial upheavals, relationship break ups have grief warping our perspectives and skewing our thinking. Naomi left Bethlehem hungry with her husband and two less than healthy children.  Seeking food in Moab, life there was not as planned.  Her husband and both son’s died.  She returned to her homeland with a loyal daughter in law who was determined to protect her and had embraced Naomi’s true God. And Naomi told her friends on her return that she had left full and […]

Over thinking vs action

A silly competition was set up for Master Business School participants, the marshmallow challenge. A team is task to build the tallest possible structure using 20 pieces of dry spaghetti, a ball of string and a marshmallow.  The MBA students argued about who had the greatest expertise to lead the group, then made blueprints of possible towers. They talked, reasoned, and tried to convince.  A group just out of kindergarten beat them.  They immediately set to action, trying, failing, and trying again. The Christian life is not a marshmallow challenge.  Life is messy and decisions are hard.  Thinking and understanding […]

Thanksgiving past

Thanksgiving is past and left overs are abundant.  Hopefully each of us have a few more precious memories to tuck in our souls.   Many will have a few old wounds slightly opened or at least touched.   I go again to Proverbs for the wisdom I so desperately need. Family gathering times can be times of talking about others. Proverbs 18:8  The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. That’s the problem.  Those words can wound deeply and not be forgotten Proverbs 16:21  The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious […]

Thanksgiving

Today you may spend hours with people you rarely see.  New friends, random relatives, our family tree contains many unique birds, and Thanksgiving day brings many of us together.   May I offer you a suggestion?  If there’s an ‘empty chair’ of a friend or family member whose exited this planet, do remember them, and speak of them.  Your saying their name, showing you remember, may bring tears to a few eyes.  But they will be tears of comfort.  No, you did not remind them of someone.  That person is on their mind.  And they want him or her to […]

Little known stories # 4 The Widow who gave two coins Luke 21:1-4

Many noteworthy, significant people in Scripture are unnamed.  Why?  We don’t know.  But they comfort and inform us.  We sometimes feel nameless, invisible, unimportant.  We read their stories and are inspired. Consider what this unnamed widow might have felt.  ‘I had no idea Jesus was watching me.  I acted not for notoriety, but to give back to God in my poverty.’ Who was this woman?  The widow who gave two mites.  “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. We don’t know her name.  But Jesus does.  And her name will […]

Little known stories # 3 Anna

Quiz question.  Who is this person in Scripture?  “I saw the babe!  Who would believe that the most important goal of my life would be achieved in my eighth decade.” Our culture does not esteem ‘vintage’ people.  This woman saw the babe Jesus at the age of 84.  Yes, her name was Anna.  The story of this prophetess is told in Luke 2: 36–38.  Widowed in her twenties, childless, she chose not to remarry.  Instead she dedicated her life to fasting and prayer, ‘never leaving the temple.’ Imagine her empathetic prayer as she knelt by young women who were distraught […]

Ears to hear

The book of Revelation gives us so much to ponder.  The future for sure. And lots of lessons for us today.  8 times the phrase appears Whoever has ears.  The question being ask is ‘whose listening.’  The writer John has instructed the churches he addresses before.  People heard, believed, accepted. And then some stopped listening, they needed reminding.  Live what you know.  Or you’ll become luke warm.  We understand that:  lukewarm soup, lukewarm coffee or tea.  No thanks! Learning new spiritual truths is important to be a growing Christ follower.  But learning without living it is the Apostle John’s focus […]

Little known stories # 2 Widow of Zarapath

Many know the story of Jonah and the whale.  But few know of unnamed people in the Bible who acted courageously as well.  Here’s a quiz question.  Who is this widow?   A man of God saved my sons life– twice. Hint:  She was starving, collecting wood to cook their last meal and Elijah asked her for water.  No cost, only effort.  And then he asked her for bread.  A sacrifice!  Her story is inspiring.  This gentile widow responded to the request of Jewish man. God reached to a gentile widow!  Widow or not, you’ll be inspired to see that […]

Little known stories # 1 Widow and her pot of oil

The greatest stories ever told and the seeds for all others are found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Many people who have never read God’s Word have heard of David and Goliath, Samson, and Paul the apostle. However, many of the priceless jewels of this eternal book are found in the stories of courageous widows like Tamar and the widow of Zarephath.   How well do you know these often unnamed inspiring women?   I was left with great debt by my husband, so great that my children would have to work as slaves.  This widows […]

L’Abri 2

Francis and Edith Schaeffer simply acted in faith and opened their home to folks who wanted to find answers to their questions and demonstrate in practical ways Christian care.   They opened their home in Switzerland in 1955.  Today 9 locations provide a place for students to study, work together, experience community. As I sat in the Holland location I wished to stay in the library forever.  Students had with permission gleaned fallen apples from  a nearby orchard.  A unique place, for sure.  But thousands have grown in their faith as a result of one couple who stepped out in […]