Women of the Scriptures: Good Works

ruthRuth   Ruth 1

The classic Old Testament tale of service. When all the men in her family died and she had no means to support her daughters-in-law, Naomi told Orpah and Ruth to leave her so they could have a chance to remarry. Orpah tearfully left, but Ruth, seeing that Naomi would have no means to take care of herself, decided to stay. Ruth knew that this would mean that she would likely never remarry. She knew she would live in squalor for the rest of her life. She knew that she would be shunned by society for being a Moabitess. But she stayed anyway because she loved Naomi. And as we see later in her story, Ruth is immensely blessed for her act of kindness and charity. God will do the same for us. Perhaps he won’t send us a knight in shining armor, but He will reward us for serving His children.  

 

rahab5Rahab   Joshua 2, James 2:25

Talk about a dramatic story. You are living a less-than-respectable life to support your family. An infamous wandering nation is closing in on the city and two spies decide to stop by your house. You could turn them in and save your own skin, or you could hide them and help them. What a predicament. But Rahab knew that these were good men and that some Supreme Being was with them and their people. Even though there would be dire consequences if she were caught (and she almost was, they knew she had spies in her home), she helped the Jews achieve victory over Jericho. She is a great example to modern-day women of courage and compassion, and also that no matter our background, we can still do the work of the Lord.

Fight for the Good in this World

5aba503fdf77414b8d5b645caa8029d9In the wake of recent events *coughelectioncough*, people everywhere (the left and the right alike) are questioning the future – whether we can break past the rampant hatred in our current society. Honestly, I have, too. Particularly yesterday afternoon.

It had not been a good day. In addition to the negative tone of things happening in the world: I missed an appointment, realized that I had 8+ essays due in the next three weeks on top of all other homework, and lost my favorite button on my backpack. In short, I felt I had a sufficient list of things to whine about. Which is exactly what I did. Continue reading

Things I Learned on My Mission

  • Jesus is sassy.
  • Inspiration from the Spirit is real – trust it will come and don’t over-think it.
  • Faith brings miracles.
  • Remember – people have their agency.
  • How to properly eat an apple.
  • No matter what you do as a missionary, even if it’s not your best, God uses every ounce of your effort for good. Continue reading

Forest Man

photo: Huffington Post

photo: Huffington Post

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“The purpose of life
is to contribute
in some way to
making things better.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“Are we being good ancestors?”
Jonas Salk

 

What would you do to save your home?

One man planted trees. His name is Jadav “Molai” Payeng, and his story is a remarkable one.

His home is in northeast India on Majuli Island. Though Majuli is the largest river island in the world, its position makes it vulnerable to flood waters that recede its shores every year. So vulnerable, in fact, that in the past 100 years, Majuli has lost 70% of its landmass, and at this rate, scientists predict that in the next couple of decades the island could completely disappear.

Rather than sit idly by, waiting for powerful river waters to wash his home away, Payeng planted trees. Continue reading

Don’t Judge, Because You Just Don’t Know

finger-pointing1

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“Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle.”
Philo of Alexandria

Don’t judge what you don’t know, because you just don’t know.

 

I was in the checkout line with my small pile of necessities for dinner-makins plus a large box of Haagen Dazs chocolate almond covered ice cream bars (don’t judge. It was one of those days). The woman in front of me was fussing over her items as the clerk was scanning and carefully bagging her groceries. “No, no, no!” she snapped at the clerk, “I don’t want those things put together.” She hastily took a couple of things out of one bag and put them in another. “I like them like this!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am,” the clerk was patiently accommodating. When her things were organized just-so, she paid the bill and walked out the door.

My turn. Her prickly attitude made me a little more conscious of my favorite clerk. I flashed a warm smile, “Looks like you’re having another busy day!” It was a feeble attempt to undo the bad energy that had just wafted through his checkstand. He smiled, trying to hide his embarrassment.  And just as he was scanning my Haagen Dazs, the lady returned, this time without her bags. Continue reading

Who Is My Neighbor?

The Good Samaritan by Walter Rane

The Good Samaritan  by Walter Rane

“Resolve to be tender
with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving,
and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been
all of these.”
Lloyd Shearer

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
John F. Kennedy

One day while hanging out in a local Starbucks with a mixed group of intellectuals and religious people, Jesus and a Lawyer got into a little neighborly discussion.

A certain lawyer stood up, saying, Master, What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:25

The question was simple and straightforward, but the intention behind the question was not.  It was a trap.  This Lawyer was trying to lure Jesus into a debate.  Jesus wasn’t in the mood for contention, so he turned the tables and answered the Lawyer’s question with a question. Continue reading

Lift

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lend-a-helping-hand

“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

“He is not great who is not greatly good.”
William Shakespeare

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 KJV

The Apostle Paul said those last words to the Ephesians, but they were intended for us as well.  We are created by a great God to do great works.  He invites us to use this life to look out for one another – to serve.

I saw the most honest and inspiring example of this on a video message. Had to share it with you. Continue reading