Find Revolutionary Hope in the Book of Ruth

Photo by Joel Henry

Photo by Joel Henry

I wanted to look at just chapter one of Ruth for this post.

You can’t help but see Naomi’s side of things in this chapter. After all, Naomi and her family leave Israel due to a famine. They stay in Moab and Naomi’s husband dies. She and her sons stay there and the sons take Moabite wives. After ten years both sons die. The three women are left as childless widows. Finally, Naomi, feeling totally broken and abandoned by God, decides to go home. Both daughters-in-law tell Naomi that they will go back with her. Naomi tells them to go home as she cannot marry and have sons for them to marry. Orpah goes home. Ruth clings to Naomi and goes back with her.

Well, that’s a summary of chapter one and it certainly seems to be about Naomi and her family, but as I am often reminded, our salvation journey is not about us. We certainly benefit from our salvation, but it’s about Jesus getting the glory.

So let’s take a look at this same chapter from Ruth’s viewpoint:

  • Ruth sees a new family move to town

  • Ruth watches this family suffer a loss of the father

  • Ruth marries into this Jewish family

  • Ruth gains a new sister (in-law)

  • Both Ruth’s husband and her brother-in-law die after ten years

  • Ruth is just a devastated as her mother-in-law and sister-in-law (left as childless widows)

  • Ruth watches her sister-in-law, who professed her loyalty to Naomi, leave and go home

  • Ruth professes her loyalty to Naomi and Naomi’s God

  • Ruth leaves her family and country behind as she follows Naomi back to Israel

While Elimelech and Noami sinned by seeking refuge from the famine in the midst of God’s enemies, God used their time there to bring Ruth, a Gentile, into the Kingdom of God and into to lineage of Jesus! There Naomi was thinking that these hardships were all about her and yet, God was using them to bring Ruth to Himself for His glory.

I know that hope must have been difficult to see in the middle of the terrible hardship these people were enduring, BUT GOD is HOPE and is always ready to give us His HOPE which comes with His Salvation.

How have you seen God move in your life after you realized a situation wasn’t about you, but about God? Leave a comment below.

Daring to Soar in Confidence

Photo by Dane Deaner

Photo by Dane Deaner

I dare say many of us are plagued by a lack of confidence, at least from time to time.

Why is that? As children, and adults, we are told by someone or another something that hurts. And it’s so much easier to believe negative things than positive, especially about ourselves.

But true confidence should not come from what people say about us. True confidence comes from what Jesus says about us.

Keep in mind that I’m talking about confidence, not arrogance. We both know there’s a significant difference between the two.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

You were fearfully and wonderfully made, handcrafted by the Master Creator. That means you were created special for a specific purpose in mind.

No matter what the circumstances of your birth or life up to this point, you need to know that you were created by the Creator of the world and you have a reason -a purpose- for your life! That my friend should give you confidence.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are:

  • a child of the King of kings

  • a friend of God

  • loved

  • saved for a purpose

  • called by name by your Saviour

The confidence that comes from knowing and believing who you are in Christ truly comes from knowing Whose you are. You see, the reality is that in and of ourselves, we are unworthy sinners, BUT GOD loved us (you and me) and in salvation He chose to make us HIS.

So confidence should not be based on what you can do or positive self-talk, but confidence is who you are in Jesus Christ.

Just to give you a full picture of what the confidence of Christ looks like…

  • love,

  • joy,

  • peace,

  • patience, 

  • kindness,

  • goodness,

  • faithfulness, 

  • gentleness,

  •  self-control

Of course, we know this is the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23.

This year, as you make your plans be ever ready to flex as the Holy Spirit directs, dare to soar in confidence - the Confidence of Christ.

Leave a comment below about how you have found confidence in Christ!

Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

Do you want 2019 to be your best year yet? I sure do! And I know of one sure fire way to make it the best ever. Want to know my secret?

Here it is…

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20

Oh I could go into all the goal setting advice (which I’ve done in an earlier post), but the truth of the matter is to live gratefully giving thanks for all the things God has done for you! Like what you may ask?

I recently heard a story of this very thing. I’m not sure who the author of it is, so if you know, let me know.

Anyway, someone was telling a friend that he/she had nothing to be thankful for. The friend said, “I’m so sorry to hear of your mom’s illness.” The person replied that his mother was not ill. The friend said, “Well, that’s good!…I’m so sorry that you lost your job.” The person answered that they had not lost their job. The friend said, “That’s great! I’m sorry your car broke down.” Exasperated, they replied that their car had not broken down. The friend smiled and patted the person’s shoulder and said, “Then I guess you have a lot for which to be thankful!

We know the moral of that story is that all of us really do have so much for which to be thankful! Even in what seems to be the worst of times, we still have so much for which to be grateful. God blesses us all the time, but we often take His blessing for granted.

Truth be told, if God did nothing - NO THING! - for us except save us we have more than enough for which to be thankful and grateful for the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t you agree? Yet, we often lose track of that and fail to see just what we do have.

So this year, 2019, I am challenging you to write 1 thing down every single day that you are grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, here are just a few that you can repeat if needed:

  • Salvation

  • life

  • breath

  • family

  • friends

Grab a jar from around the house and put slips of paper by it. EVERY DAY add one slip of paper into it that lists just one thing for which you are thankful. You’ll be amazed!

Comment below of things you are thankful for and /or ways you express your gratitude!

7 Steps to Launching a Tremendous New Year

photo by bruno nascimento-

photo by bruno nascimento-

Can you believe 2019 is right around the corner? Neither can I! Time sure flies (whether you’re having fun or not).

I was recently reminded of some words of wisdom particularly when you are looking at a daunting goal. Start working on that daunting goal even if it takes years to accomplish. After all, the time will go by anyway.

That’s so true, isn’t it? So, let’s make 2019 a tremendous year!

7 Steps to Launching a Tremendous New Year

  1. Decide what it is that you want.

    That may sound pretty elementary, but you’ll never reach a goal unless you know exactly what it is that you want.

    Get a clear vision. Picture it; write it down; be very specific.

  2. Eat healthy.

    This is not about dieting. It’s about fueling your body to be the best it can be. The only way to leave sluggishness and fatigue behind is to feed your physical body healthy foods.

    Develop the mindset of “eating to live” rather than “living to eat”.

  3. Move your body.

    I wish I could tell you that the human body doesn’t need exercise, but it does. We don’t have to train for a marathon but we do have to move.

    Depending on where you are physically, start making small changes to get you moving. Walk more, take the stairs, start a stretching program; just do more than you are doing now.

    Getting our body more physically fit gives us more energy and stimulates our endorphins making us happier beings.

    (You should see your doctor before starting an exercise program.)

  4. Set realistic goals.

    Yes, we do want to stretch for our goals, but we are also motivated by achievement, so be realistic.

    There’s no way one will lose 100 pounds in a month so don’t set that type of goal. You can lose 2- 5 pounds in a month; that’s a realistic goal.

  5. Break your goal down into action steps.

    How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    Goals are the same way. We can’t just say that we are going to lose “X” number of pounds without an action plan.

    Decide how you are going to do that. Eating a certain number of calories per day, exercising, using portion sizes, meal planning and the action steps can go on.

  6. Track your progress.

    I had a boss once who always said “What is expected must be inspected to make it happen.” He was absolutely right!

    If weight loss is your goal, track your progress. Track what you eat each day. Track how much you move each day. And lastly, track the scales, but once a week or once a month is usually best. Daily weighing often sabotages weight loss because our weight naturally fluctuates daily.

  7. Practice gratitude.

    This should probably be the first on the list. So often we forget that we have much for which to be grateful.

    I recommend this practice whether you set goals or not. Gratitude alone is a great way to improve every year, month, week and day!

    Makes this a DAILY HABIT! It will change your life.

I’m looking forward to the new year! I hope you are, too. Some people break their annual goals into quarterly and/or month goals to better track their progress and determine their action steps. Do what works for you!

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Comment below on what works for you!

- Wendy