Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Ha, ha. That title got your attention, didn't it? Well, true, that is what the subject is about, but it may take a different path then you expected. I have been going through the Book of Ruth in a Bible Study with some women, and this week is focusing on the PROPOSAL between Boaz and Ruth.
As I had told my husband (of all times, when he was proposing to me), I felt just the only right way for a guy to ask a girl to be his wife is when he's on one knee. I realize that process isn't the most common thing people do now-a-days, and it often isn't practical providing the observers, location, etc., but it was always just my dream and how I imagined things going. In the study of Ruth this week, her proposal went uhm.... just the wrong way for me!
Let me quickly summarize how things went. Naomi (her mother-in-law from her deceased husband) instructed Ruth to do a list of things:
4) Lie down
5) See where Boaz slept
6) Uncover his feet
7) Lie down
8) Follow the instructions her then gave
"Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor (after he's done eating and drinking...) uncover his feet, and lay thee down..." Ruth 3:3-4
Now, as much as I love my husband, it is very hard for me (even at his request) to take his shoes/socks off after a long day at work and rub his feet. What Ruth did was (remembering Boaz had come from a long day of outside work), uncover his feet, and SLEEP NEXT TO THEM. (It is suggested in this devotional book that Ruth probably had a hard time sleeping because of the trepidation or excitement she had. For me it
would have been the smell.)
My personal thoughts laid aside for a minute, it was a process she was willing to take that showed her humility, something I am sorely in need of. It was a gesture availing herself and trusting him immensely, so they would both remain pure.
Before this event, she had shown her female relative (Naomi) love, respect and care. (She had been gathering wheat to make and sell bread to buy food for meals.) During this event, she was showing a distant male relative pure love and respect. The most distant relative I can think on personally at the moment, are my cousins.
Again, I mean nothing against them as well, but there is absolutely no way on earth that I could muster up enough humility to not only uncover my cousin's feet after a long day of work, but spend all the horrible hours in the night sleeping at his stinky, sweaty, disgusting feet. I have asked my husband to shower after ONE DAY of mowing the lawn for a few hours. I cannot fathom SLEEPING by the feet of my cousin who has gone who knows how many days/weeks without a bath.
This is a great lesson of pure humility and self-sacrifice. God says in Proverbs 22:4 that "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life." With just this scripture, and just this one biblical example, we are shown ways that humility is to be revered and longed for in our lives. Not to gain a husband, as in the story of Ruth, for he first noticed her meek and humble spirit of service, but humility as a means of service towards others.
-- I know of a few friends who don't respect Ruth, and aside from my thoughts on the issue, whatever you think or believe, please only focus on the humility I see in this example --
By the way, not skipping the topic, the book also shared how in that place and time, this action Ruth gave toward Boaz could be considered a honest-to-goodness marriage proposal.
This guest post was written by Sarah Tate - a young wife and mother. Sarah and her husband are the proud parents of a 1 year old son, and are expecting their second child in December.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
|by Tim Sweetman|
This Boundless article first appeared in March 2009.
I couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking as he pulled out his iPhone and took advantage of a new Facebook application — right in the middle of the sermon.
It was then that I realized the narcissistic machine that is Facebook.
Shifting uncomfortably in my chair, I found myself desiring to do the same. I shuddered. Have I really come to this place where I'm more concerned about what's taking place on Facebook than what's going on in this church service? More concerned about a self-serving social networking site than this Bible on my lap?
Later on that evening, I thought more about my internal battle between Facebook and my Bible. I understand that one of my desires as a Christian should be to know God more deeply; the reality is that I spend very little time actually getting to know Him. Too often, my hours are spent pursuing other human beings through convenient electronic means like Facebook. My life can quickly become all about striving to know my buddies better than my Lord.
I struggled with this very battle just yesterday. I woke up early to prepare for an 8:30 a.m. class. The two weeks prior I had spent each morning reading and studying my Bible. But on this day, the first places I went were my blog, Facebook and my e-mail. As the day progressed, I found myself talking to people more through technology than face-to-face. After a few weeks I was losing focus on my goals in life, and focusing on things like my status updates and friends online.
I sit down to finish my paper for class. But instead of opening Word, I open up Firefox, type in the Web address, and check Facebook. Then refresh the page. Then open Word. Then switch back to Gmail. Honestly, my technology can be exhausting.
The signs are everywhere. And I'm growing utterly disgusted with myself. What is wrong with me?
It's not my intention to write a 1,200-word article encouraging others to give up Facebook, social networking, or the Internet. I plan to continue updating my status with random trivialities such as "Tim is attempting to write ... Tim just ate bread with mold ... Tim is heading to the basketball game" and the like. I'm still going to post notes, write on walls, and chat with friends.
But if all of this continues at the expense of getting to know God better, I want to throw it all out. All of it. Drastic, yes, but I've got to be willing to do whatever it takes.
Control and Human Interest
I see two issues at play in the realm of social networking and technology. One is lack of self-control. I should be writing a paper, but I'm online; I should be reading God's Word, but I'm online. The other is a little harder to perceive. It's a notion that holds the words of mere humans as much more interesting to follow than God's Word; the lives of mere humans as much more fun to get to know than God Himself.
Essentially Facebook is just one more thing that has shown me how easily I can lose interest in God's Word, the Bible. The words of J.I Packer come to mind:
If I take the newspaper out and insert Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, e-mail andIM ... I likewise "remain a fool." Perhaps even a bigger fool who wastes not just 30 minutes, but hours upon hours a day pouring himself into an often self-serving and ultimately temporary tool.
What puts this whole issue into perspective for me is something I read by Donald Whitney:
I check things like Facebook every day. But do I read my Bible every day? I have to respond with embarrassment and a sinking heart that too often I do not.
Honestly, I don't think I understand the gravity of my distain of daily time with God. It's not an issue of salvation, of course, but I do think that it's essential to my spiritual health and growth. The thing is, I can spend hours upon hours on the internet browsing Facebook or messing with my electronic devices; I find it absolutely disgusting when this takes the place of God.
What is my true priority in life? I need a serious wake-up call.
How Essential Is It?
I've wondered how important reading the Bible daily really is. Is it just some capricious rule that the Church made up? Or does Scripture convey that we need to cherish God's Word by reading it daily?
Many times I'll fall into a rut of not taking the Word of God seriously. What does it take to pound it into my thick skull that, if I want to get to know God better (which I claim), I need to head straight to the words He's given me (which I often don't do).
Paul instructs Timothy:
Scripture is not only profitable for me, but it's absolutely essential in order to be competent and to live my life well. Within those sacred pages I find everything that God has deemed necessary to tell me. There is so much depth and wisdom within those pages. Yet I somehow buy into the lie that the Bible is just boring and not worth my time. How would my life look if I poured myself into the pages of my Bible instead of pouring myself into the pages of Facebook? Radically different, I think.
I struggle with what to write for my status update; how often do I struggle with the great depths of God?
And I'm reminded of my friend checking up on Facebook during the sermon. I don't want to just single him out. I know I've been in the place where I've allowed the things of this world — and online community is too often a mere "thing of this world" — to form habits in my life that push all other things aside, including the attention that should be focused on God and His Word.
You know what? I think I'm finally ready to change that. Today. I think I'm finally ready to take some time away from the ultimately unsatisfying sterility of the Web, to examine the real needs of my heart, and to dive into the invigorating depths of the Word of God.