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Matthew 17:14-20 “And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. “
Ruth 2:1-3 “Now her husband Elimelech had a kinsman, a powerful man, and very rich, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz.
Ruth 2:8-12″ So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me-a foreigner?” Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband-how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD , the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Ruth4:9-10,13 “ Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.”
At this site, Boaz is described as “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2:1, NAS). However, the Hebrew is much more descriptive. He was, ly!j^ rwB)G! vya! (‘ish gibbor chajil): vya! (‘ish) (man, right man), rwB)G! (gibbor) (heroic, mighty, noble), ly!j^ (chajil) (efficiency, wealth). Thus, the better translation is “a great, noble leader.” Boaz was an aristocrat and entrepreneur with not just management skills but leadership ability. He had great ability as an agriculturist. He managed a large estate. He would be able to manage a large corporation today.
His leadership ability as revealed in the book of Ruth was magnificent. He managed women in the workplace, established policy on sexual harassment, managed an estate, and was a brilliant lawyer. He is one of those rare and gifted leaders, who because history dealt him no crisis, never became famous. If one can imagine what great leaders like Douglas McArthur or Napoleon would have been without a war, such was Boaz, whose sole claim to fame is that he was one of the greatest husbands who ever lived.
Boaz was also a mature believer. Unlike others who married for convenience, Boaz waited for his right woman and spent the time advancing to spiritual maturity. The path that his right woman took to reach him is a testimony to his spiritual advance in the grace of God. When Boaz finally met his right woman, he was probably 50 years old. He was waiting faithfully for God to fulfill His promise when he saw Ruth working in his field. The Lord brought Ruth to him per the divine order of precedent.
In looking at the character of Boaz, this site says that The Lord was an important part of his daily life. He thought often about the Lord, spoke freely of the Lord, and allowed the Lord to be a part of his everyday business dealings. Listen to him greet his reapers in the field. “May the Lord be with you,” he said. And they responded, “May the Lord bless you” (Ruth 2:4). To Ruth he declared, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter” (Ruth 3:10). And again, “I will redeem you, as the Lord lives” (Ruth 3:13). All the people who attended his wedding acknowledged his dependence upon God for his future posterity: “May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel” (Ruth 4:11).
It looks as though Boaz is getting more interested in this lovely woman as the day goes on. At mealtime he invited her to join him and his reapers for lunch, and he made sure she was served all that she wanted.”
Later, Naomi helps set up a meeting between Ruth and Boaz where she asks him to be her “kinsmen redeemer” and marry her. For more details on that, you can read about my blog post on Ruth and Boaz’s love story here.
You can read about my blog post on Ruth here.
Genesis 25:19, 21-27 “Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son…Isaac prayed to the on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob… When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.
Many people think of the crucifixion of Christ as what you see in old paintings and art. A man with a tiny trickle of blood coming from this hands, feet and head- hanging on a sanded and smooth cross. Yet, that is not an accurate picture of the death of Jesus.
The most incredible description of the events of Christ’s humiliation and death that I’ve found are on this website. Be aware though: it’s highly graphic.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ll cut and paste his beating and death. I found 2 good descriptions, and will take a little of each to help explain it.
“While most are aware that Jesus was beaten and then crucified, few comprehend the horrific mutilation that occurred to His body both before and during His crucifixion. Jesus’ body was so beaten and battered that He was virtually unrecognizable to the people of His day.
To help clear your mind of the typical picture of a barely-scarred Jesus hanging from a cross, a detailed examination of His execution must be described. While various forms of crucifixion were used, we will describe one possible method.
Before being crucified, Jesus is forced to undergo a severe scourging. To begin the horrible ordeal, He is stripped of His clothing and His hands are bound to a post above His head. A Roman legionnaire steps forward with a flagellum—a short whip with jagged pieces of bone, glass and metal tied into nine strips of leather. This is commonly referred to as a cat-o’-nine-tails.
The heavy whip is brought down without mercy, over and over again, across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs. At first, the flagellum cuts through the skin only. But as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the flesh, causing blood to ooze from the capillaries and veins. Blood then begins to spurt from smaller arteries in the underlying muscles.
The flagellum begins to produce large, deep bruises, which are then ripped open by succeeding blows. In time, the skin of Jesus’ back is hanging in long ribbons, like spaghetti. The entire area is an unrecognizable bloody mass of torn flesh.
The severe beating is halted when the Roman centurion in charge has determined that Jesus is near death.
Though the Jews had a law that prohibited more than 39 lashes, there is speculation that the Romans would not have made any attempt to obey the statute.
At this point, Jesus is close to being in shock. One can only imagine the agonizing pain pulsing through His nerves. He is then untied from the post and allowed to fall to the ground—soaked in His own blood. The soldier performing the beating notices a great irony in a “simple, unsophisticated Jew” claiming to be a king. A robe is thrown across Jesus’ shoulders, and a stick is placed in His hand, like a scepter. To complete the mockery, flexible branches covered with long thorns are formed into a crown, which is pressed firmly into Jesus’ scalp. Since the scalp is one of the most vascular areas of the body, profuse bleeding begins almost immediately.
The soldiers proceed to mock Jesus and strike Him across the face. They then take His “scepter” and strike Him on the head—the thorns are driven deeper. At last, the soldiers grow weary of their vicious attack and tear off Jesus’ robe. This causes agonizing pain, similar to carelessly removing a surgical bandage, due to His robe having bonded to the clots of blood and serum in His wounds. Significant bleeding takes place once again, as though He were being whipped with the flagellum.
Ironically, in respect of Jewish custom, the Roman soldiers return Jesus’ garments, and then make Him carry a long wooden beam along His back. The condemned “criminal,” along with the Roman soldiers, begins His slow journey to the site of the crucifixion, Golgotha. Jesus struggles to walk erect, but considering the immense weight of the wooden beam and the state of near shock produced by incredible blood loss, He constantly falls. The weight is too much to bear. The beam gouges into the shredded skin and muscles of the shoulders. Jesus tries to rise, but the endurance of His muscles has been exceeded.
Wanting to hasten the crucifixion, the centurion-in-charge selects an onlooker—Simon of Cyrene (Matt. 27:32)—to carry the beam. Jesus follows behind Simon, perhaps slightly relieved, but still bleeding and in near-shock.
“Jesus’ Crucifixion: Jesus is again stripped of all clothing – not even a loin cloth (contrary to images depicted in artists’ paintings). Simon is ordered to place the cross on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His torn shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. To comment on the shout Jesus must have released is too much to bare.
Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some movement. The cross portion is now hoisted to the upright pillar where it fits into a groove near the top.
Jesus left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. To make matters worse, the Victim is mocked by His executioners as well as some of the religious onlookers in the gathering throng.
As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in His wrists, excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain – the nails in the wrist are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.
At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the abiility to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostals muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods of fighting for air that Jesus uttered the seven short sentences which are recorded.
The Death of Jesus: hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber in order to take a breath.
Then another agony begins. A terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues; the tortured lungs are making frantic efforts to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.
A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, is lifted to His lips. He apparently does not take any of the liquid. The body has reached its limit. This realization brings out His sixth words, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished.” His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally, He can allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, and straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
We have had our glimpse at what Christ went through – a terrible sight, and more than enough to leave us depressed and despondent.
Remember, this was all done willingly. Christ offered up Himself for the sins of the world – and more particularly for you – that through His sacrifice we might know life.”
Not only did Christ endure the cross for us, but he knew that it was coming. He knew the scriptures and was familiar with all the text. These verses in Isaiah were written 700 years before Christ’s birth. Yet, Isiah 53 so accurately describes exactly the life and death of Jesus, it’s almost as if it was written after the fact. Yet He willing endured it all for you and I.
Isiah 53 -“Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal his saving power? 2My servant grew up in the LORD‘s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
4Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! 5But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! 6All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.
7He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins—that he was suffering their punishment? 9He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10But it was the LORD‘s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD‘s plan will prosper in his hands. 11When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. 12I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.”
He was “crushed” so that we might live!!!
Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. ”
Psalm 23:1, 4-6- “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. “
I am just in such a great place. God has really blessed me. This Thanksgiving, I had a chance to reflect on all the blessings I have in life.
First, I have a WONDERFUL God who has given me so much. Like I have said in previous entries, I know that every gift is from God. He has given me life. He gave me His Son and now I have eternal life through Christ. That alone is so much to be thankful for.
He has given me an absolutely incredible husband. We are so perfect together. We complement each other so well. My husband is thoughtful, sweet, funny, good-looking, compassionate, passionate, caring, sensitive, strong, and just all around- the man of my dreams. He has supported me in everything I do and has been an amazing daddy!!
He has given me wonderful children. Every day, I wake up with overflowing love for my two precious daughters. My 3 1/2 year old is so sweet and smart. She’s got so much energy and always loves to run and laugh. Yet, in the same moment will just come over and give me a kiss because she loves me. My 19 mo. daughter is so expressive. She is so smart. She loves to be wherever her sister is. She loves to be outside and play. She makes the cutest faces and has the most amazing expressions. She cracks everyone up. She is sweet and lovable.
He has given me a wonderful family. My parents have been so great. They loved me and raised me to love the Lord. They support me in everything I do and are there for me. My sister and brother-in-laws are great. I love my mother and father in laws and we get along great.
I have the best job in the world! I am at home with my girls all day, and I dye yarn on the side. I love the influence I get to have on my children. And yet, I have a creative outlet. I have been blessed with amazing customers, who have been so sweet to me. In fact, this colorway was inspired by a customer who wanted a custom done for her brother for Christmas. I have wonderful partners and am so thankful that this has been working out so well.
I am thankful for my health, my house, my husband’s income and his job that he loves, for my car that runs, for the food on our table, for my education and for so much more. You see, “my cup truly overflows”. God has given me so much, and I am so thankful!!
Proverbs 3:11-18 “My child, when the LORD corrects you, pay close attention and take it as a warning. The LORD corrects those he loves, as parents correct a child of whom they are proud. Happy is anyone who becomes wise—who comes to have understanding. There is more profit in it than there is in silver; it is worth more to you than gold. Wisdom is more valuable than jewels; nothing you could want can compare with it. Wisdom offers you long life, as well as wealth and honor. Wisdom can make your life pleasant and lead you safely through it. Those who become wise are happy; wisdom will give them life.”
This colorway was inspired by a shirt I’ve owned since High School. And I STILL wear it. LOL This picture is taken my sophomore year (91-92) and is with my best friend, Cheryl. The hair styles are so funny!!! (You can click on it to see it bigger. )
I was out on a date with my husband, when this verse came on the radio. I instantly knew what colors I’d see it to be. Green, like dark emeralds. Maroon, like deep rubies. Navy, like dark sapphires. And white- like diamonds. Precious jewels. Valuable to most. Yet, this scripture tells us that Wisdom is more valuable and nothing can compare with it.
I think it’s ironic that this set of verses starts off with admonition for taking the Lord’s correction seriously. And then it talks about wisdom. I think that the Lord is often trying to teach us and correct us lovingly, the way most parents do their own children. Yet, I think, as stubborn adults, we often turn away from His correction. Part of wisdom is knowing when to take correction.
This verse also says that Wisdom leads to happiness and long and pleasant life. This philosophy is so different than what many people think of today. They think fame, wealth, beauty will make them happy. Yet look at Hollywood. Those people are famous. Yet they can’t even go to the bathroom without cameras following them. They long to raise their families in peace, but are subjected by constant paparazzi. They marry the ideal man/woman. Yet, look at the divorce rate. Look at how long the marriages last. They have wealth, yet look at how many end up in alcohol/drug rehabs. Do they seem really happy? Truly peaceful on the inside?
True peace and contentment can only come from God. He offers us things not of the world. Wisdom is one of the gifts he offers us. And I think that one who is wise will understand that the pleasures of the world are temporary and fleeting, and therefore would rather go after eternal things. A wise friend in college said that she just committed to praying for wisdom. And the Lord answered her, for she was wise beyond her years. And she blessed my life in the process. I think I need to start daily praying for wisdom, for I long to have the life God promises us we’ll have with it.
Genesis 29:16-18, 20-21, 25, 30 “Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I may go in to her. So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years.”
The Story of Rachel and Leah:
Jacob begins his long journey, both physically and spiritually, from his home and family. Shortly after he leaves home, God appears to Jacob in a dream, presenting the image of the ladder from heaven to earth. God speaks to Jacob and promises him protection, offspring, and the land on which he lay. Jacob then travels on to Haran, where he meets and falls in love with his cousin Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban. Jacob arranges with Laban to work seven years to marry Rachel. However Laban, who has something of a shady reputation, substitutes his older daughter Leah for Rachel on her wedding night. Jacob confronts Laban, but is told, ironically, that the older has precedent over the younger. Jacob agrees to work seven more years for Rachel as well. Years pass and the sisters, as well as their servants who are given to Jacob as concubines, bear Jacob twelve sons and a daughter. These sons will become the ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel. At the end of the portion, Jacob and his family depart from Haran and from Laban, and begin their journey back to Canaan.
( summary taken from http://www.kolel.org/pages/parasha/bereshit_summary.html )
I chose the colors of pink because she was Leah’s sister, and she bore Jacob 2 sons: Joseph and Benjamin. The brown is for the years Jacob worked for her, 14 in all. The brick red and maroon are the heartache over her not getting her husband for 14 years and being barren for many years thereafter.
The entire story can be read in an easy reading format here: