Posts tagged listening
The Deaf Shall Hear

In those days the word of the LORD was rare… 

Then the LORD called Samuel.

 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!”

 A third time the Lord called,"Samuel!” 

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

I Samuel 3v1,4,6,8,10

Samuel’s first hint at hearing God’s voice was a call. A beckoning. An invitation to come close and listen.

But he didn’t know that at the time. He heard something but he didn’t know who was calling let alone what he was saying. And so he answered with the simple wisdom of a child,

Here I am.

When the same confusing urging called again, Samuel repeated the only response he could think of:

Here I am.

Again and again. Simple words of acceptance, of availability, of acknowledgement.

Here I am.

When Moses first heard that urgent calling, “Moses! Moses!” he responded the same way:

Here I am.

Isaiah said the same words when He heard God calling, searching for someone who would be willing to do His bidding:

Here I am.

For those of us who are learning to listen to the Voice of God in our lives, the first words we hear sound like an invitation. With Samuel and Moses and Isaiah, we sense a strange stirring, a beckoning  to come close.

Our hearts yearn to know and be known by Someone whose love we cannot possibly grasp, but whose Voice we long to hear.

There comes an alertness to something more, to something we need, to something we are willing to go after if only we can learn how.

In the early mornings as I light sweet smelling candles and arrange my tea on the table beside my chair, I tune my silent ears to that Voice.

Here I am, Lord.

I stand shivering before the heater, wrapped in the warmth of a shawl, my mind slowly untangling as my heart hears… something. Someone.

Here I am, Lord, here I am.

Often, the first words I sense are my name. Just as God called Moses, and little Samuel, and the great Isaiah, by name…

He whispers my name, and yours.

Di, come close. Listen.

And sometimes it’s just a feeling. A sensing in my slowly awakening spirit. A pulling of my heart that draws me into His presence.

Here I am— Lord, I’m here!

I curl into the corner of my big chair, open the only Word we know without doubt is His— that Word that is sharp enough to discern what I cannot.

And He pulls me into His heart as I read the stories, as I imagine Moses all alone, little Samuel longing for his mom, Isaiah, so afraid of what he cannot understand.

I read and I listen.

I pause to stare out the window, to sip tea, to ponder.

More than any other way, I am convinced that He speaks in and through and with His written Word. A poet/writer paints a picture of a-

“thin place through which the presence of God breaks into this world and bursts with unpredictable consequences into our lives.”

The Fire of the Word, Chris Webb

Yes! Yes!

I have seen that thin place— sensed His presence, His speaking in these Scriptures. I have entered in to see and know and feel and hear Him in the depths of holy silence that encases this Book.

Are you there yet? Being pulled into a place of listening? Sensing somewhere in your soul that Someone is calling you into intimacy?This is His invitation to come. To settle in with the Scriptures open, to read with ears wide open.

That stirring you sense is a beckoning to lean in and listen— not for solutions so much as for Him.

I am here, Lord! Speak, please speak! Your servant is listening.

From that quiet place where even the deaf can hear,


P.S. Are you hearing His beckoning in your spirit? Can you tell us what that sounds like for you? And if you’re longing to hear but can’t seem to— will you leave your name and I will pray? I’d love to take a whole list of you on my walk today.

[1] The Fire of the Word, Chris Webb

How I Hear

People often ask me what I hear in the quiet of my world. How does a woman who is deaf function in a world that cannot fathom soundlessness? When I tell them about the cochlear implant and that I hear via a tiny computer in my head, they want to know if I hear normal now. Or do everyday noises sound different?

I get good questions from good people who care, people who want to know so they can know me.

The truth is, I don’t remember what normal sounds like. Though I’m certain I do not hear what everyone else hears; I rarely get the punch line of jokes, though I automatically laugh with everyone else (why is that?).  The worship music our church is known for sounds more like a rhythmic clamoring of pots and pans than the beauty I’m sure must be coming to everyone else’s ears. I need help to interpret my 3-year-old grand girl’s cuteness. And I use my eyes to navigate my way in public places lest I miss something important.

The fact that I can hear at all astounds me every day. The gift of the cochlear implant is a miracle of epic proportions. When I “unplug” from the shear exhaustion of listening, I hear nothing. Nothing at all.

Listening to God is a lot like being a deaf woman who hears through a computer. We hear imperfectly, missing punch lines and often misunderstanding what we thought we heard Him say. Whenever I hear someone proclaim with astonishing confidence that they know that God told them they were on their way to success and riches, or they are sure they know what is wrong with someone struggling because God gave them a word… something inside me questions. Really?

What I hear in my spirit sounds different than promises of success or solutions to other people’s dilemmas.

Take this morning...

I got up early as I usually do, padded out to the kitchen to make my pot of tea, fed the dog, then made my way through the dark to my little cabin in the back. I stood in front of the heater, shivering and worrying about the fact that I’ve taken so much time away from my desk lately and all the things I really should be accomplishing and doing and planning and finishing…

Then heard that sweet shushing I have come to know as the Father’s way of reminding me to quiet those sounds of shame. To allow Him to lead me beside quiet waters where He waits to refresh my soul.

Ah, yes Lord! I’m coming.

Curling up in my big chair by the windows that overlook the woods, I pour my first cup of steaming tea.

Good morning, Father, here I am. Foolishly worried again, I confess the wrongness of my thinking. As if my own effort, that striving to work harder and longer and more… could accomplish anything of Kingdom value. I know better, yet here I am again.

I sense His presence as we talk, that quiet calm that settles somewhere deeper than my fretting, that sets me free from striving. Trust relaxes my tense shoulders as I breathe Him in.

I open my Bible to the place I’ve been reading all week, asking for His words, leaning in to listen— not for direction so much as for what I may be missing in my blundering obliviousness to His Spirit. The words on the page fairly hum with Him, my Lord and Lover. A reference of a phrase that catches my attention leads me off on a rabbit trail to Genesis, then I Samuel, back to Exodus.

“God remembered Noah…” (Genesis 8v1)

Hannah, “deeply troubled”, “pouring out my soul to the Lord”, begs God to remember her… (I Samuel 1)

“God heard their groaning and He remembered… God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”(Exodus 2v25)

Concerned. God is concerned for His people.

My heart awakens. Excited now, I flip back and forth to every reference I can find. Why have I never noticed this?

I know God cares, but in this moment I know His care. He is concerned and His concern changes everything.

In the still dark morning, I worship.

God remembers

The Creator of this beautiful world is concerned…

In the midst of that moment of worship, I “hear” God’s concern for a woman I know and love. She’s one of those gracious women who would never, ever tell me that life is rough right now. I’m not sure she’s even capable of the whining and complaining that most of us weave into every day conversation. All I know is that her husband is laid up at home recovering from surgery and that her daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia.

I sense God asking me to show this friend His concern for her, to remind her that He remembers. And even though I know she knows… sometimes it’s hard to really know when exhaustion and worry muddle our minds and beeping machines drown out His voice.

In the midst of those moments of awe-filled wonder at who He is, the strangest thing happens inside of me— all my worries and stresses don’t matter anymore. My heart is filled with the delight of a task assigned to me by the God who remembers, who is concerned—who is asking me to show His concern to one of His hurting ones.

Now when I move to my desk to plan my day and the week ahead, instead of pressure, I feel energized.

Listening to God is an adventure of discovery. Of being led, of being the skin of God to someone who needs His touch.

I have time, plenty of time, for His plans for me. What was it that I was so uptight about?

What I hear in this quest to listen to God are real words that catch me up into real purpose— words that incite wonder and amazement, words that elicit a joy that overcomes my tendency to uptight, worry-filled fretting.

I’ve never once heard assurances that success waits right around the corner if only I’ll try harder and do more, set goals and make them happen. I’ve yet to hear grand prophesies or proclaimations.

In the quiet of listening, I hear what matters to God— and somehow He makes it matter to me.

From a heart still learning to listen and loving it,


P.S. I love to take your name with me as I walk through the woods and talk to the Father who remembers and is concerned for you. If you’d leave a message comments section, it would be my honor to pray with you and for you.

When God Speaks

It is cold and dark as I boil water for tea— my favorite tea— the one I save for special occasions but cannot bring myself to purchase because it’s ridiculously expensive— the tea Matt and Simona gave me for Christmas even though it’s ridiculously expensive.













The path to my cabin in the back is layered in ice that crunches underfoot. I wonder, Does crunchy ice make noise? It feels like it must, each careful step creating a crevice of pebbles and ice.
























The frozen rain that is inundating the Northwest pelts my face. By the time I open the door to my cold cabin, turn the wall heater to high, light a cinnamon scented candle, and settle into the big white chair by the window, my flip flop clad feet are numb. I tuck them into the heating pad and sigh.

In the quiet I sense His presence. A presence I love. A sense that God is near, that His gift of Immanuel, God with us, is not confined to Christmas. I am not alone. I am not isolated by the soundlessness of deafened ears, as I feared all those years ago.

The silence of my world is sacred— a trust from the heart of a good God. An extravagant gift that came to me unbidden, unwanted.

How I wish I had not worried and fretted and raged all those years ago. I wish I had known that He speaks—

I wish I had known how beautiful God’s voice would sound in the silence.

Today my book launches— the book that tells my story of learning to recognize and know and love that Voice. The book that tells the whole story that I didn’t want.

On Christmas morning I gave my book to each of my four children, even tried to make a sort of speech about this gift from my heart, then gave up on words and gave in to tears.

The sad truth is, my deafness hurt my children. And facing that truth as I wrote hurt me. What mama wants her children to learn hard things by watching her stumble through hard things?

But the bigger truth is, my deafness helped each one of them to grow up clinging to the Father. They watched and they listened as God took my anger and turned it into joy. They saw my struggles, were embarrassed and dismayed at a mother who couldn’t hear. And every one of them— John Mark, Rebekah, Elizabeth, and Matt— chose to follow this One who rescued me from despair.

And that, my dear friends, is simply grace.

From a heart reveling in God’s inexplicable goodness,


P.S. An excerpt from He Speaks In The Silence is posting today on the Proverbs 31 Ministry devotional. And another here, on Zondervan's website.


A wisp of cloud brushes the bluff towering imposingly above the silent valley; a filter softening rough edges, like the Spirit softening me. Barely there, gentle, a  cool mist rising. Whispers in the wind. I hear Him here, in this quiet place, His voice as gentle as that cloud. Not telling, not even really saying— just soothing, stilling.


The tightness in my chest loosens. I breathe deep the crisp fragrance of winter’s chill.

I remember.


In the stillness I hear words— His words, from His Word. He paints a picture for me to see.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

And carries them close to his heart;

He gently leads…

Isaiah 40v10,11

And I do see! I see Him here, walking hills He Himself formed beneath cliffs carved of His own hands—

tending, gathering, carrying, leading… me.


I see myself too: that wayward, wandering, worry-filled one. The one who rolls in wrong places, wants the wrong things, the one who woke up in the early hours, fretful, fear prone, fussing.

That I am not enough, that I cannot be enough, that my not-enoughness will sink my hopes, my plans, my year ahead.

Because it’s too much and I know it. And I am too little, I know that too.  And all these things I hope to do won’t be done because I cannot and I know it and so does He.

Failure looms and I am, down deep where no one knows, afraid.

That’s when I hear the whispers; words misting, cloud like, calling…

Come, climb up here, follow Me to these heights. See what I see. There is beauty here.

But those cliffs are far away, too far. I don’t know how, don’t have time, cannot go alone.

I am not enough.

And the light dawns, my mind sees, that Spirit seeing, knowing, speaking sureness.

I cannot do, but He can. I dare not try, but He does. I am not enough, but He is.

He can accomplish what concerns me.

He does dare use me— this less-than, unable, worry-prone me— to do my “assigned task” (Mark 13v34)

He is enough, and so am I when I go to Him, listen to Him, hide in Him, abide. (John 15v5)

And now I hear. I know. I pull out that pad of lined paper- yellow because somehow it’s supposed to help me remember. New- because this is a new day, a new year, a new plan.

I ask:

Lord— Abba— Shepherd of this worried one, please—

Plan this year for me.

Write my list.

Assign my tasks.

Fill this record of my days with Your faithfulness.

Not my will— please, never that!

Just Yours.

I’m ready now— not to plan, not to project, not to pretend I can do more than I am able, but to follow.

Like His sheep: gathered close, carried, led. 



Do you feel inadequate for the task you’ve been assigned?

  • Babies that keep you up at night and tired all day?
  • A job in a place that sinks you?
  • School too hard?
  • Relationships you can’t figure out?

Have you heard His whispers? We gather hope by knowing…

(image by Bethany Small)


How To Lead A Woman Well

Husbands, love your wives,

just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5v25-27

Dear Matt,

On the day you took Simona as your wife you made a whole string of promises. You covenanted before God and a whole crowd of friends and family to hold her close, to love her faithfully, to care for her no matter what.

You promised to love skillfully and persistently— purposefully— for a lifetime.

And then, because you hold the teaching of Scripture to be true and relevant, you promised to take the lead in your relationship.

Not to dominate her— but to take the initiative, to grab her hand in yours and chase after God’s assigned tasks[1] together.

To lead a woman well is an art form that takes skill, patience, practice, humility, and clear thinking. And respect, lots and lots of genuine, bone deep respect for who she is and what she wants and how God designed her.

Take a peek at Psalm 139 if you want to begin to grasp how intricately He wove together this woman who is now your wife. Let the words sink deep. Let God’s value of her marinate your heart.

And see this: Simona is different than you. Vastly different. When God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, He was not just talking about sex!

He also meant that she- woman- Simona- would fill up places in you that need filling. That she would help, come along side, make up for your lack.

You need to understand that her differences are not a threat to your vision of what you will do with your life. On the contrary, those differences are exactly what God intends to use to hone and craft your future. He will use her differences to make you more usable and more useful— together.

And so, my son, here are some things you need to know about those differences:

1.  You have different gifts.

You know this. Of course you do. But what I see as a harmful tendency too many ascribe to, is thinking that your “better half” should have all her gifts PLUS all of your own strengths. As if your gifts are the bottom line of normal and hers are the extra that you admire.

It doesn’t work that way.

Her gifts may very well inconvenience you at times. Just as your gifts may create some uncomfortable moments for her.

Learning to live with and step aside for each other’s different giftings is a beautiful way to honor the God who gifts every one of us.  

2.  You hold different values.

I love order. To walk into our room and see everything in place: the bedspread even, pillows puffed just so, closet door closed, pictures lined up straight… bliss.

When we were first married, Dad loved that I brought order from the chaos that had plagued his life as a single man. But within just a few weeks he made a shocking discovery: sometimes my value of orderliness means doing what doesn’t make sense to him.

Like making the bed when in just a few hours we’ll be back in it. Why bother?

Suddenly, my offering of order began to seem more like a compulsion that made more work for him.

And me? I fell in love with his big, warm, loud embrasure of life. Except when it sometimes collides with my desire for order. Or quiet. Or more people than my introverted nature can handle with grace. What then?

We’re still figuring it out. But now we know this: Your different values, combined and interwoven, will create your own unique way of doing life. Not like yours. Not like hers. Like yours together.

Learning to live with and honor each other’s different values creates a whole new and fresh way of doing life better.

3.  You go at a different pace.

Some people are sprinters. They run fast and hard, then collapse, all out of breath.

Others are joggers. They just keep going, one foot in front of the other, at a reasonable pace.

Some are hurdlers. They face obstacles and figure out how high to jump, finding exhilaration in the conquering.

Others are good at hills. The challenge of pushing hard as long as it takes, the glory of reaching the top, that’s what stokes their fire.

Here is the key in marriage: allow each other to go at the pace that works best, rather than forcing each other to go at the same pace.

This takes team-work. And understanding. And graciousness.

Learning to accommodate and honor each other’s different paces creates a satisfying run for both of you.

As a leader, Matt, you would be wise to take into account all three. To ask yourselves some questions and to be patient while you figure it out.

Questions like…

  • Am I stewarding my wife’s giftings even when doing so means stepping aside sometimes?
  • Am I willingly honoring her values in order to create a life in which we both thrive?
  • Am I learning her pace and explaining my own so that we are both running well and free?

Your dad does these things with me, Matt. It’s not the way we were taught, but it is the way we have learned… albeit slowly and sometimes painfully.

And because he has chosen to steward my gifts, and honor my values, and let me go at my own pace, I am, at this point in my life, thriving like never before. His love has created a safe place for us both.

I hope and pray and know that you will do the same for Simona.

From my heart,


P.S. Is the man in your life understanding his privilege to steward your gifts as well as his own? What does that look like in real life?


[1] Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

(Image by Hillary Kupish)



Trust in the Lord and do good;

Dwell in the land and feast on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord…

Psalm 37:3,4

(NASB margin)

For several weeks I’ve pondered a quandary: How should I order my morning Bible reading for 2014?  Should I read it thru fast? The 90 day plan? Or should I go chronological? There is something to be said for getting the stories in their right order.

Which way is best? Which way is best for me? What does God want?

And all I hear as I ask is nothing. Like I’m missing something. As if His silence is a waiting pause… Like He’s waiting for me to know what He’s already said.

I think listening to God is sometimes like that. Long silences that pull me close. I stand on tippy toes to catch the words. Lean in to hear.

What is He saying?

My disorganized mind needs lists. Left without direction, I wander in circles, taking inordinate amounts of time to get nowhere.  I want a system; a chart with boxes to cross off.  A way forward to achieve what I want.

And so on January 1 I start with a chart. It’s the one I watch my God-following man plod through every year. Every single year. It took time for him to devise his way. A beautiful balance of Old and New, wisdom and worship.  He slips it between the yellowed pages of his well worn Bible, marks it forward , knows right where he’s headed.

I try.

Day One: Genesis 1,2, Matthew 1, Psalm 1, Proverbs 1.

A 20 minute read, ½ hour at most. I have the time, I have the will.  I’ve done this before.  I can do this.

But those beginning words…a poetic weaving of mystery and science, of who He is and who I am.  The Beginning pulls me into a heart so huge, I am caught and held in wonder. I cannot hurry through. I dare not.

Created in His own image… God patterned them after Himself… to be like Ourselves.

Perched in a window, mysterious morning fog veiling the view, I cannot get past those first words. Cannot help but reach into the closets of my mind, filled with so many sermons and studies, so many silent mornings, so much beauty.

That word, “good”, tob in the Hebrew; it means so much more than simply fine. More than a good dinner, a good book, a good day. He created light and it was beautiful.  He delighted in the best-ness of His made-by-hand craftsmanship.

Which means… that He made me with all my messiness. He saw the crazy chaotic workings of my brain, knew all about the random way words would catch and hold me… and He saw beauty. Not a mistake. Not someone who needs something to get it all together.

He said it was good.

And I’m an hour into this Listening time, still lingering in the first few verses of the first chapter of the first book. How will I ever drink it in fast enough? Shouldn’t I hurry up? Who gets behind on day one?

That’s when I hear the whisper…

And what is it you want? 

I want to learn. I want to achieve. I want to get it all in. But mostly, really, I want to fill up. To savor each delicious bite of goodness He offers, to chew and ponder and swallow His way of truth.

I want those toxic, addictive, go-to words of not-wisdom cleansed out of my system of thinking and knowing and feeling. I want to fill up with Him.

And that’s when I know I’ll never stick to the chart. Because I can’t. Because I shouldn’t. Because He made me random and slow and He says I am beautiful that way.

Instead, I’ll follow a path. I’ll start in the beginning of the Beginning and meander through to the end. I’ll take my own sweet time. I’ll taste and twirl and swallow and write it down in tidbits that stay with me. Then I’ll start over.

And all the while I’ll “feast on His faithfulness”. Climbing into His lap, I’ll open His Book wide and ask Him to read it to me. I’ll listen to the rumble of His voice with my broken ears right up close against His chest. I’ll feel Him. I’ll learn more of Him and from Him.

I’ll be just who I am with Him… because He says I’m beautiful.

From my heart,


P.S. What about you? Do you have some sort of plan to direct the steps of your walk with God through His Word?

Might you take a moment to share it with us? What has worked and what hasn’t?

I’d love to know.

P.S.S. Here is Phil's Bible Reading Chart. It's also posted on the website for A Jesus Church. The great thing about this method is that it keeps you going back to Jesus' words all year long… and you'll fill up with the straight-forward wisdom of Proverbs by reading it through every month. 



Ruth 4v13-17

Ever After (Part Three)

(Click here to listen to the sixth Ruth teaching)



Verse of the Week




More words from the Father

Hosea 6v1-3

Jeremiah 9v23,24

2 Peter 1v1-8

John 17v3

Colossians 1v9-12

Philippians 3v8-14

Psalm 89v15-18



From my heart

Press On!

“Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him!” Hosea 6v3 (NLT)


Just a few days ago I watched as my daughter, her brown eyes sparkling with joy, brightly echoed her wedding vows to the man who now held her heart in his hands.


“…in joy and in sorrow,


in sickness and in health,


‘til death do us part…


I so promise.”


My own eyes, brimming with unshed tears, locked on to my husband as he administered those vows to our daughter and her soon-to-be husband. Suddenly, it seemed, the decades rolled back and it was this man who stood before me, his bride. That day, he towered above me in his cream colored tux, while I stood on my tippy toes in anticipation of all that I dreamed of.


But did I really know him?


I knew a lot about him. He was tall, lanky, with brilliant blue eyes and wavy hair that mussed out of shape with the slightest breeze. And he had the largest hands I’d ever seen. I loved those hands and I still do; the way his hand swallows mine in a warm grip of assurance. I also knew he was cool. A drummer who could sing, he wore desert boots and aviator shades and drove a souped up 1970 LeMans.


I knew a lot about his personality, of course. I knew he was moody and intense, a man of strong convictions and quick intelligence. I knew he was always in a hurry, rushing at a sometimes frantic pace, embracing every opportunity to do more. I thought I knew he’d be a good dad; after all, he seemed to love to play with children. Of one thing I was certain - I wanted this man. I longed for him, longed to know him, to keep him as my own.


The Bible speaks of a woman “knowing” her husband in an intimate relationship with the same verbiage it uses to describe our knowing God intimately. To know God is to uncover who He is, what He wants, how He loves, what tickles His fancy, what angers Him, what brings tears to His eyes.


When Hosea cried, “Let us press on to know the Lord,” he wasn’t urging us to gather more information about God, so much as to mold our minds and design our lives so as to step into His world and know His heart. Down through the centuries, his words echo as a resounding exhortation to intentionally determine to know God.


But how?


In a woman’s world full of diapers and dishes, deadlines and dual incomes, how can we add something so weighty as knowing God to the mix? Can’t that wait until the kids are grown, the bills are paid, and all these messy relationships are untangled?


Someday, we say, we’ll focus on spiritual things. For now, just attempting to read my Bible a few days a week and go to church a few times a month feels heroic.


Yet now is when we need this knowing of Him. Now, when the relationships are tricky, while the kids are underfoot, and bills hover over our heads. Like compound interest, every little bit you and I tuck away of Him yields an accumulated weight of wisdom which we need for living life.


And it’s not so hard, really. Learning to know God is not so different from learning to know the man you love. In fact, unclouded by selfishness and sin, knowing God may be a whole lot easier. Here are a few ways I’ve found to help me be intentional about pressing on to know Him.


1. Spend time reading, studying, listening to His words in Scripture. Layer upon layer, delving ever deeper to uncover treasures of His heart.


2. Ask questions, lots and lots of questions, while listening to His Word. “What does this mean?” “Why did this happen?” “What does He want from me?” “When?” “How?”


3. Memorize key words of His so they stay with you throughout the daily-ness of life, resounding in your ears until they become part of you and change the way you think.


4. Talk to Him. Bring Him your troubles, both large and small, knowing He genuinely cares about what you care about and He wants you to tell Him.


5. Delight in Him. Become wrapped up in Him; noticing His beauty, His creativity, His kindness, and the wisdom of His ways.


6. Open your heart to His family. Learn to value His people, to like them - even to love them. Being with other members of the Father’s family will teach you much about His heart. You’ll see glimpses of God reflected in His people. You’ll hear stories of how He’s dealt with their difficulties, and you’ll get more and more of an idea of the way He is.


When it comes to a relationship with God, disinterest leads to a slow and certain death. Deliberately focusing your notice on Him, pressing on to know Him, takes effort, intentionality, and determination. And every minute is worth it.


Some day you and I are going to stand at another wedding. We, the bride, will look into the face of our Bridegroom, Jesus, and we’ll cling to His hands and promise to love Him forever and ever.


So for now, my dear sister, let us press on to know the Lord!


From my heart,






The Wedding Ceremony in Ancient Israel

Wedding ceremonies in ancient Israel involved two distinctive, yet interwoven, aspects. First of all, of course, was the grand celebration which marked so many aspects of Jewish life. These were a people who had been encouraged by their God to come together often for intentional times of thanksgiving and feasting.


They knew how to party!


For seven days, the couple’s friends and relatives were entertained by the family of the groom. Wine flowed freely while food groaned on the tables. Guests were expected to wear their finest clothing for the dancing and feasting. In the Song of Solomon, we see a picture of a royal wedding with the bride being carried to the event in a sedan chair. She wore embroidered garments and beautiful jewelry. A veil covered her face. The groom, wearing an elaborate headdress, brought his bride to a wedding chamber to consummate the marriage.


There was another, more business-like side to the wedding ceremony in Old Testament times as well. This was a serious contractual agreement between families. The father of the bride was paid a “bride price” in order to compensate for the loss of his daughter. That money was kept in the family and reverted to the wife if her husband died.


Simple vows, stating the commitment of the husband to provide for his wife and to protect her, were symbolically sealed by the man covering his bride with the corner of his garment. The marriage was expected to produce heirs, especially male heirs, in order to carry on the family lineage.


Ruth and Boaz’s wedding seemed to forgo much of the formality of traditional Jewish ceremonies. Friends and family simply gathered around the couple in joyous celebration, giving them the gift of wise words and happy predictions of a blessed future. The legal contracts were sealed as witnesses looked on and the couple were whisked away to begin their life together…


...and to live happily ever after!