Posts tagged epilogue

Ruth 4v18-22

Epilogue (Part Five) 

(Click here to listen to the seventh Ruth teaching)

Verse of the Week





More Words fro the Father

Romans 12

Colossians 3




From my Heart

Page from the past: December 1995


A husband and a wife. Four children (including two teenagers, one pre-adolescent, and one toddler)! Two cats. One totally disobedient dog. And two horses. This is the make-up of our family. Needless to say, with all our comings and goings, individual personalities, and distinct wills, ours is not always a peaceful place. There is plenty of teasing and laughter…and fun. And if I'm honest, quite a few thunderclaps of conflict as well.


And I love it.


Oh, I don’t always like it. I am, after all, a woman who thrives on solitude, order, calm, quiet, and peace (rare qualities in this busy household). Yet I love the richness, the ever-changing variety, the heart-stopping intimacy of shared thoughts. I find such safety in the “kindred spirits” I have found in each of my family members.


I know what they like…


They know what I like…


We know what we like together.


There is something soul-satisfying about a shared beauty; a favorite song on the radio, a breath-taking sunset, or better yet, the groggy-eyed wonder of an early morning sunrise. When I see a brilliant rainbow with my family, it takes on a deeper beauty because we gasp in wonder together.


This family of mine is nothing like the still-life portrait I once imagined it would be. For goodness sake, we can’t even get a quick snapshot of all six of us smiling with all 12 eyes open at once!


I am learning, ever so slowly, that if I let go and stop trying to get everybody to be quiet and still and orderly, I enjoy this crazy crowd a whole lot more.


Though I treasure order, they do not. Though I love quiet, I have never known one of them to leave our noisy family circle to seek solitude for the sake of silence. They prefer noise, and lots of it. And while neatness seems essential to my peace of mind, not a one of the rest of them care a whit if the house is in perfect order before they go to bed, or when they get up, or anytime in between!


I’m finally getting it. That family peace consists more in letting go and accepting each other than in trying frantically to keep everybody calm, quiet, and tidy. I am learning that conflict is sometimes okay (will I ever really believe that?) and that closeness comes not by obliterating conflict, but by living with it comfortably.


We do not always agree. In fact, we rarely all agree. And that’s okay. It is when we graciously respect each other’s differing opinions and ways of doing things that friendship sprouts like well-watered weeds all over the relationships in this family.


So I am learning painstakingly slowly to let go and enjoy this crew of six. I am daily resisting the hundreds of urges to control and corral them into my version of the Happy Family.


They are they…


and I am me…


and together we are we.


From my heart,






The Old Testament contains about two-dozen genealogical lists. The aim of these lists was to establish links from the past to the present. Biblical genealogies differ from the family trees that so many Americans attempt to reconstruct, in that they were linear genealogies. Lots and lots of names were left out, skipped over not because they were unknown, but because they were considered insignificant to the purpose of the list. Linear genealogies functioned as legal documents to legitimize claims to position, authority, or power.


This genealogy at the end of the book of Ruth was written, at least in part, in order to validate David’s claim to the throne. It starts with the name of Perez, who was the son of Judah, linking David’s ancestry to the promise given to Abraham.


The ancient Hebrew genealogies were usually limited to ten generations. In this descending format, the names at the beginning are the revered, honored founders whose stories lend examples of power and prestige, while the names at the end of the list were of the well-known recent generations.


This particular genealogy emphasizes how God included imperfect people in the generations who would bring about Israel’s greatest king, David. It gives us hope by showing us that He is in the habit of using messy stories. And if He can orchestrate the dysfunctional families of the past, perhaps He can redeem our own less-than-perfect lives.


The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 22v16-17


By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord,

because you have done this thing,

and have not withheld your son, your only son,

indeed I will greatly bless you,

and I will greatly multiply your seed

as the stars of the heavens,

and as the sand which is on the seashore;

and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,

Because you have obeyed My voice.”


Ruth 4v18-22

Epilogue (Part Four)

(Click here to listen to the seventh Ruth teaching)

Verse of the Week





More Words from the Father

1 John 4v7-5v21

1 Thessalonians 4v13-5v11




From my Heart


We’ve read the stories of Ruth and Naomi, Boaz and Orpah, Elimelech and his sons. Add to that mix King Eglon, Rahab, Salmon, Tamar, and several others. In the process, I’ve told you about me - my fears and my failures, my life and loves. But what about your story?


I’ve gathered together ten questions for you. Ten queries about who you are and who you want to be. I’ve left no room for you to fill in the blanks, for these are thinking questions – the kind you bring before the Father in those quiet, questioning hours before life’s pressures push you through your day.


I would urge you to ponder prayerfully. Think about your relationships, examine the way you use your time. Every once in a while we need to take stock of our lives and make sure we are who we want to be, that we’re doing what our Redeemer redeemed us for. After all, your story will end someday too.


From my heart,



Ten Questions

1. Who am I?

2. Who do I want to be?

3. What’s stopping me from being who I want to be?

4. What do I need to do now?

5. What kind of woman do I want to be when I’m old?

6. Who do I want to miss me when I’m gone?

7. Who needs more of me now?

8. How can I organize my life to make this happen?

9. Where does God fit into my wants and wishes?

10. Am I going after God with every ounce of my being?





Tamar’s Story

Tamar was Perez’s mother. Her story reads like a desperate soap opera set in the middle of the great patriarchal biographies. It is an ugly story, filled with deception and danger. This is not a history to be proud of. So why is it here? Why highlight this particular tragedy by including it in both David’s and Jesus’ genealogies? What is there about this story that the Author of the Scriptures wanted to be sure to communicate to us?


The story starts with Judah, one of the twelve sons of Israel, separating himself from his family. He is appalled at the shameful plot he got involved in to sell his brother, Joseph, into slavery in Egypt. Watching his father grieve over the loss of his younger son was Judah’s undoing. Instead of staying to face the consequences, Judah ran from his family in a futile attempt to forget his guilt. While away, he met a woman, married her, and started a family.


His firstborn son, Er, needed a wife so Judah found him a Canaanite bride by the name of Tamar. Because of his evil ways, God chose to take Er’s life, leaving Tamar a childless widow.


Following the levirate practice, Judah demanded that his next son marry Tamar, which he did with great reluctance. Onan took advantage of Tamar’s situation by enjoying the privileges of sexual pleasure for himself but “spilling his seed” in order to prevent her from getting pregnant. God took him too.


By now Judah is looking on Tamar with suspicion. Two sons dead on their honeymoon! Making promises he has no intention of keeping, he sends Tamar back home to her father’s house to wait for his next son to grow up. Years pass. Tamar knows that her future is sealed if she does not get a son soon. So she concocts a deception of her own. Knowing that Judah is now a widower, she dresses up like a prostitute and offers herself to him in exchange for payment. Without so much as a twinge of conscience, Judah has sex with the disguised Tamar for the price of a goat. She gets pregnant.


Three months later, a rumor reaches Judah that his ex-daughter-in-law is pregnant with an illegitimate baby. Outraged, Judah demands her death by burning. When Tamar is roughly dragged in front of him to be humiliated before her death, she rises up to bring evidence that it is Judah himself who is the father of this child.


Silenced and humbled, Judah acknowledges his sin in the matter and saves her life. Soon after, Tamar gives birth to twin boys. One of them, Perez, is named in the family of King David, and hundreds of years later, in the genealogy of Jesus.


Ruth 4v18-22

Epilogue (Part Three)

(Click here to listen to the seventh Ruth teaching)

Verse of the Week





More Words from the Father

Psalm 139

1 Corinthians 9v24-10v15




From my Heart

The End

This week our story has ended. The characters we have grown to love are gone. Ruth, Boaz, and even Naomi are silent. Simply a memory.


Yet the list of names tacked on at the end - that genealogy which we so easily skip over -represents real lives, people who lived and loved and made history.


When someday my life falls silent, I’ll leave a list as well. John Mark, Tammy, Jude, Moses, Sunday, Rebekah and Steve, Elizabeth, Brook, Duke, Scarlet and Matt. My sons and daughters. My grandkids. Maybe even a few extras grafted in. All people who will live and love and make history themselves.


The story is never really over. God started something way back in Genesis which is not ever going to be finished. There is no “The End.”


You will leave a legacy. And it is the cry of my heart that our stories -yours and mine- will be included in the annuls of the Kingdom just as Ruth and Boaz and Naomi’s were. That someday when we gather together in that place we’ll call home, you and I will sit down and read those histories together. They will, no doubt, be edited by His great grace. A few spots may well be covered over by His beautiful blood. And, my dear sisters, I think we might be surprised to find that the ending reads something like this:


“And they lived happily ever after…”


From my heart,





Ruth and the Feast of Pentecost

It is the ancient custom of devout Jews to read the story of Ruth during the Shavout, the Feast of Pentecost. This Jewish holiday occurs exactly seven weeks, or 50 days, after the Passover. The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth,” and signifies the gathering of the wheat harvest. Why Ruth is read during this festival, no one knows for sure. Perhaps the connection to harvest with Ruth’s gleaning brought this story into the celebrations. Today, orthodox Jews give thanks to God for bringing His Word, the Torah, to His people during the Shavout celebrations. Here is what they say about Ruth:

“As a result of her embrace of Torah, Ruth’s life was utterly transformed. She rose from the existence of a penniless and barren widow, facing a miserable present and a bleak future, to a life of spiritual richness and fulfillment, leaving an eternal mark as the progenitor of the Davidic dynasty.