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Ruth 4:13-14, 17-22 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.”

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Matthew 14;26-33   “But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”  And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind,  he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

At one point, Peter looked to his Lord and stepped out in faith.  He walked on water!!!

I am at a point in my life where I am being asked to step out into an unknown and almost impossibly seeming journey.  I am being asked to step out in faith, trusting that my Lord will carry me and hold my head above water. The very thought of stepping out of my “boat” seems like I’d just drown.  Yet, I feel as if I am being called to walk down this very uncertain and scary path.

I hope that in some time in the near future, I can update this post and say that I obeyed and that the Lord was faithful and kept me afloat, though it seemed impossible to my doubting soul.

Mark 10:13-16 “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. “

A guest blog spot by my friend, Stephanie of Three Boy Mama, who requested this colorway for her new precious baby.

“When Lamar offered to dye a colorway specifically for our coming babe, I was so touched! I jumped on the chance to have influence on the colors. The immediate thing that came to mind were the bookplates that I had seen growing up, in all of the classic bible storybooks. I remember one that I had that was huge; it was a big hard-backed book and had the most wonderful bible stories in it, descriptive and true to scripture. One of my favorite pictures in the book was a picture of Jesus surrounded by little children. The light around Him was just beautiful, and the children looked up adoringly at him, unafraid and trusting. I knew that I wanted the colorway for our new baby to be reminiscent of that picture.
Children are mentioned frequently in the bible; in Psalms, they are said to be a heritage from the Lord, a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3). In the book of Mark, Jesus mentions children frequently. In Mark 9:36-37, he takes a little child into his arms, saying, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me”…in other words, God Himself. But in Mark 10:14-15, verses I’ve read over and over before, I found something that struck a new chord in me. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” Jesus says. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Wow…these are such powerful words to me. It speaks of many things; it speaks of a child-like faith and trust in the Lord, in His mercy and love for us. It also speaks of relying on Jesus like a child relies on its parents; when we were children, we were totally dependent upon our mother and father. They fed us, clothed us, comforted us when we were scared, rejoiced with us when we were happy, wept with us when we were sad. Isn’t that how we should think of Jesus, too? He is our heavenly Father; we should depend upon him for comfort, for our daily needs! He is there for us when no one else may be. He is our Savior, our Redeemer…our Father.
Thank you again, Lamar; you are a true friend and sister in Christ. May you and your family continue to be blessed!!”

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 “Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your Feast–you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”

Taken from Wikipedia- ”

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt ; “booths”, also known as Sukkos, Succoth, Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles), is a Biblicalpilgrimage festival that occurs in autumn on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). The holiday lasts seven days, including Chol Hamoed. In Judaism it is one of the three major holidaysShalosh Regalim (three pilgrim festivals), when historically the Jewish populace traveled to the Temple in Jerusalem. known collectively as the

The word Sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew word sukkah, meaning booth or hut. The sukkah is reminiscent of the type of huts in which the ancient Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. During this holiday, Jews construct and reside in sukkot small and large. Here families eat their meals, entertain guests, relax, and even sleep. The other key and unique observance of the festival is the daily (other than on Shabbat) waving of the Arba minim, or four species, consisting of the lulav, etrog, hadassim and aravot.”

Galatians 6:1-6 – Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.

Matthew 1:1,6    “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

Matthew 1:1,6   “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

Matthew 1:1,6 “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Sometimes I really love to write these parts of my blog.  Other times, well, I really don’t like the task.  Not because of what I read in scripture, but rather to see the scripture as a measuring stick.  And so often, I am measuring up short.

I’ve always loved the Fruits of the Spirit.  Loved to read about them and ponder them.  However, each time I really contemplate them, I always seem to fall short.  And Patience is a virtue that I am not abounding with at the moment.

The dictionary defines patience as ” the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.”  And that is a hard task as stated.

However, when you look at Biblical patience, it’s even more astounding.   The John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible says of patience or longsuffering, ” which intends not so much a patient waiting for good things to come, for more grace, and for glory, through the Spirit; but a patient bearing and enduring of present evils with joyfulness, being strengthened by the Spirit with all might, according to his glorious power; being slow to anger, ready to forgive injuries, put up with affronts, and bear with, and forbear one another: and which is usually accompanied with gentleness, humanity, affability, courteousness, shown both in words, gestures, and actions; in imitation of the gentleness of Christ, and agreeably to that wisdom, that heavenly doctrine of the Gospel, which, among other things, is said to be gentle, and easy to be entreated.”

You see, I think of this in context to how I’ve responded to my children lately.  And I’m ashamed.  I preach to them about following Christ, yet my own life is not always a good example of how to follow.  Recently, I’ve made an attempt to really spend more time in daily Bible reading and prayer.  And I know that our Lord is faithful and just to give us the things that we ask that are according to His will.  And I know from the scripture that He desires for us to have the gift of patience.  As our family expands, I can see the need for my savior more and more.  For in my own strength, I always fail miserably.  Yet through His grace, may I come to succeed.  This year, I am setting out on a journey to become more Christ like in all aspects of my life.  Hopefully, a year from now, I’ll be able to look back and see how much my “fruit” has grown, especially concerning the area of patience.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

This is the second in a nine part series on “The Fruit of the Spirit”. I’ll admit, I’ve struggled with what to write about joy. Sometimes in my life, I don’t feel like I have joy. What is joy exactly? Well, the dictionary defines it as: “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.” and “a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.” That’s one big emotion.

As I was sitting here lamenting on what to write, my hubby asked me to think of who was the most joyful in the Bible. Immediately, the apostle Paul popped into my head. I thought about how often he was imprisoned, yet he continually wrote about having joy in his life.

The story in Acts 16 is incredible. Acts 16:16-26

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The Philippian Jailer Converted

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Most of us won’t have to go through what Paul and Silas did.  Being beaten and then imprisoned. And what did they do while they were there?  They had a little time of praise and worship. How was this possible? Because they understood the difference in joy and happiness.

From a sermon I read on-line, “Paul understood that there is a difference between “joy” and “happiness.” A person can be happy and not have real joy. A person can have joy but not really be happy. The word “happy” comes from a root “HAP” which means “luck, chance, good fortune.” Here are some other words that come from this same root: “happen” “happening” “happenstance” “happy-go-lucky.” To remember the word “happy” just think of “happy-go-lucky.” If things “go lucky” then you can be happy! If things happen the way you want them to happen, then you can be happy.

For example, you can be happy if .  .  .  .

…it’s a nice day
…you get a real special gift for Christmas or for a birthday
…you do well on your report card
…everything is going your way

But what happens if your luck runs out? What happens if things do not happen the way you had wanted them to happen? What happens if . . . .

…the rain spoils the activity or event
…you don’t get the gift you hoped you would get
…you get poor grades on the report card
…you catch the flu
…your favorite team does not win
… your friend lets you down

Happiness depends on circumstances and happenings! If things go well, I can be happy! If things do not go well, there goes my happiness!

Joy is much different than this. JOY does not depend on circumstances, JOY depends on the LORD, and He never changes! Even though Paul’s circumstances were terrible (he was a prisoner!), he could rejoice.  We cannot always count on things happening the way we would like them to happen, but we can always count on God being God no matter what happens.”

This year, I hope to learn to be able to find joy in ALL my circumstances.  And I pray that you will too.