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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 20)

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.


Matthew 20:1-34 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2020:1-34&version=NRSV

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Harvest Update: Summer 2018

July 5, 2018, Volume 3, Issue 2

I AM WOMAN: Photo & Essay Project

Through SH-Images, I am developing a photo and essay book with the goal of sharing a collective story of womanhood. The first phrase of this project spotlights the Black Woman’s experience of womanhood in America. There is an open call for written submissions via Submittable.com. Submitters can live any where in the United States. You must complete a profile on Submittable in order to submit your work for consideration. There is no charge for the profile. The submission fee is $25.

Even though Phrase 1 is about Black Womanhood in America, we are embracing women of all ethnicities who want to participate in this project. Our goal is to develop multiple sister projects based on the themes that emerge from the our conversations with participants.

Women of all ethnicities are welcome to participate in the FREE mini portrait sessions that will be held in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Phoenix and Tucson through August 2018. Though the sessions are open to the public, women are encouraged to register for a time slot on Eventbrite. Each open portrait sessions is scheduled for 2-3 hours. All photographs for this project will be taken by LaShawnda Jones.

For more details, please visit the announcement page.

Free Mini Portrait Sessions

Women of all ethnicities and faiths are welcome to participate in the free photo shoots. However, the first phase of the project is dedicated to capturing, cataloguing and presenting a collective story of experiencing womanhood as a black Woman in America. The portrait session schedule is below. Click a date to reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

NEW YORK CITY

Sunday, July 8, 2018 1:00-4:00pm

Battery Park @ Bowling Green

Theme: Liberty & Water

Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:00-4:00pm

Central Park @ Columbus Circle

Theme: Nature & City Images

Thursday, July 26, 2018  7:00-9:30pm

59th Street @ Columbus Circle

Theme: Night & Subway Images

MILWAUKEE

Thursday, July 12, 2018  7:00-9:30pm

Location: Burke Brise Soleil

Theme: Sunset & Twilight

CHICAGO

Saturday, July 14, 2018  12:00-3:00pm

Location: Cloud Gate (Bean) at Millennium Park

Theme: Old School Glam/A Day in the Park

TUCSON

Saturday, August 18, 2018  8:00-11:00am

Location: TBD

Theme: Desert Refreshment/Renewal

PHOENIX

Saturday, August 25, 2018  8:00-11:00am

Location: TBD

Theme: Grace in the Valley

Please subscribe to https://SH-Images.com for updates.


Desert of Solitude: Refreshed by Grace Trailer


BOOK REVIEWS NEEDED

If you have read, or plan on reading, Desert of Solitude: Refreshed by Grace, please share your thoughts in a review on: Amazon.com, BN.com and Goodreads.com. Reviews are a form of “street cred” in the industry and are EXTREMELY important for indie authors. Additionally they are helpful with future endeavors. Many thanks in advance.

Excerpts from Desert of Solitude

Preface: A Note About Desert of Solitude

Introduction: Wonder-Filled Living

Verdant Valley/Faith Challenges

Love Anyway: Things I Learned During My Harvest

Set Fire to the Rain…

Supporting Multimedia Links

Contents & Themes

Soundtrack & Sermons

Referenced Bible Verses

Video Messages


 

SOULFUL CHICAGO BOOK FAIR

Sunday, July 15, 2018

10:00-8:00pm

Vendor and Presenter

image-9

HARLEM BOOK FAIR

10:00-6:00pm

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Vendor and Presenter


 

FOR SALE: EAST HARLEM CO-OP

(Please share!)

If you, or someone you know, is in the market for a one bedroom, one bath apartment with an attached terrace, please let me know.

My apartment is on the first floor of a twelve story building on 111th Street between Park and Madison Avenues. It faces the back of the building (south) and looks out onto the building’s community terrace, which is enclosed on all sides and has no street access. The terrace attached to the apartment is fenced within a larger community terrace. There are oversized windows in the living/dining area and the bedroom which allows for amazing light throughout the day all year round. These two rooms also have high ceilings (nearly 10 feet) which make the space feel extremely spacious. Wide plank, honey oak floors throughout, except for the tiled kitchen and bathroom.

There is an income limit on the unit, 130% AMI, however there is no asset limit. Board approval is not required, but financial elements will be verified by the management company.  The maintenance fee is low, and should remain affordable (with modest increases) for the next ten years due to special status of the building.

Stats:

Apartment: 750 sq ft, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, wheelchair accessible
Terrace: 150 sq ft (pictured)
Amenities: Laundry, Gym, Bike Storage and Community Room on the same floor.
Trains: 2, 3, 6
Buses: M1, M2, M3, M4


Indie Author, Publisher, Photographer

About LaShawnda Jones

LaShawnda Jones eagerly embraces the process of her personal evolution and the results of her choices. She is the independent author and publisher of Spirit Harvest Publishing Company. She maintains several blogs which focus on spiritual growth, social justice, women and photography. She speaks nationally on self-image, self-esteem, identity in Christ and living the life you envision for yourself. Prior publications are Love & ForgivenessMy God and MeClichés: A Life in Verse and Go, Tell Michelle (State University of New York Press). She holds degrees in Marketing Management and Political Science as well as a MA in International Affairs.

Thanks for reading! All my best,

LaShawnda

Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com

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Haters hate. Keep moving.

There was a time, not too long ago, when others’ jealously and envy of me had me trying to diminish myself by downplaying my accomplishments, ambitions, hopes and dreams. I didn’t want them to think I thought too much of myself or was overreaching or, worst of all, think less of themselves when they compared their lives to mine.

In my early teens and twenties, I developed and relentlessly employed a self-deprecating humor that side-lined me as the butt of my own jokes thereby making me a soft target or a non-threatening frienemy.

When I hit thirty, I consciously stopped caring about other people’s view of me. Or rather I stopped trying to soften their hate, jealously and resentment towards me. After I stopped shielding myself by putting myself down for others, I became angry, incredibly so, and deeply hurt, by the treatment I received from the people I considered to be my family and friends. While I was hiding myself from others, my view of them was also obstructed. It was hard to discern their true intentions towards me, however their low regard of me eventually registers as a painful experience. My thirties was a painful decade with nearly a 100% loss of family and friend relationships. The only relationships that survived the culling were those that were sufficiently distant that intermittent communication brought small spurts of joy.

For a while, I struggled with the true view and value the closest or more constant people in my life have and project of me. Around my forty-first birthday I decided I am going to live my life out loud. I am no longer going to shield my thoughts, hopes and ambitions for my future and my life. That’s not to say I began sharing indiscriminately. I did, however, begin to reach out for assistance to people positioned to help me achieve my goals – people I had friendly, interactive relationships with. As each of these people have turned on me or simply stopped speaking to me, I’ve experienced a bit of astonished anger, less with each situation… and a whole lot more determination with each encounter. I also decided that it’s good to be stunned a bit when I reach out to trusted sources for help and receive their condescension, ridicule, dismissal, or become a target of their attempts at career sabotage. If I were no longer stunned by such behavior, it would mean that I had indeed become the jaded New Yorker I’ve fought so hard against becoming. I want to continue to be shocked by the darkness and hatefulness people harbor and thrust upon the world in their effort to minimize and destroy others.

What I’ve noticed in recent weeks is that the petty folks in my professional environment who may actively be sabotaging my upward mobility or the colleagues who gather and whisper about what I’m doing… they are all in my rear view. I’m not even giving them the effort of looking back. I’m simply moving forward. They don’t want to help. No problem. No one on this earth has control over my life or the things I will accomplish during my time here. Therefore no one person deserves my concern or energy over their rejection of me. That’s their choice. My choice is to keep moving. That said, it’s good to identify those who are against you, especially when they camouflage themselves in your cheering section.

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: 1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Colossians 1

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf.[b] He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,[c] always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom[d] and forgave our sins.

Christ Is Supreme

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see —
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
    which is his body.
He is the beginning,
    supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
    So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Paul’s Work for the Church

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect[g] in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2 Greek faithful brothers.
  2. 1:7 Or he is ministering on your behalf; some manuscripts read he is ministering on our behalf.
  3. 1:11 Or all the patience and endurance you need with joy.
  4. 1:14 Some manuscripts add with his blood.
  5. 1:15 Or He is the firstborn of all creation.
  6. 1:18 Or the firstborn from the dead.
  7. 1:28 Or mature.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission ofTyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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A Chapter a Day: John 1

Source: http://sharingthegoodnews.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/in-the-beginning.jpg
Source: http://sharingthegoodnews.files.wordpress.com

John 1, New Century Version (NCV)

Christ Comes to the World

In the beginning there was the Word.[a] The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered[b] it.

There was a man named John[c] who was sent by God. He came to tell people the truth about the Light so that through him all people could hear about the Light and believe.  John was not the Light, but he came to tell people the truth about the Light. The true Light that gives light to all was coming into the world!

The Word was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world did not know him. He came to the world that was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. They did not become his children in any human way—by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God.

The Word became a human and lived among us. We saw his glory—the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father—and he was full of grace and truth. John tells the truth about him and cries out, saying, “This is the One I told you about: ‘The One who comes after me is greater than I am, because he was living before me.’”

Because he was full of grace and truth, from him we all received one gift after another. The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But God the only Son is very close to the Father,[d]and he has shown us what God is like.

John Tells People About Jesus

Here is the truth John[e] told when the leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”

John spoke freely and did not refuse to answer. He said, “I am not the Christ.”

So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”[f]

He answered, “No, I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”[g] they asked.

He answered, “No.”

Then they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to tell those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John told them in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am the voice of one
calling out in the desert:
‘Make the road straight for the Lord.’” Isaiah 40:3

Some Pharisees who had been sent asked John:  “If you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet, why do you baptize people?”

John answered, “I baptize with water, but there is one here with you that you don’t know about.  He is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie the strings of his sandals.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing people.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look, the Lamb of God,[h] who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I was talking about when I said, ‘A man will come after me, but he is greater than I am, because he was living before me.’ 31 Even I did not know who he was, although I came baptizing with water so that the people of Israel would know who he is.”

Then John said, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven in the form of a dove and rest on him. Until then I did not know who the Christ was. But the God who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and rest on a man; he is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen this happen, and I tell you the truth: This man is the Son of God.”[i]

The First Followers of Jesus

The next day John[j] was there again with two of his followers. When he saw Jesus walking by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”[k]

The two followers heard John say this, so they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following him, he asked, “What are you looking for?”

They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” (“Rabbi” means “Teacher.”)

He answered, “Come and see.” So the two men went with Jesus and saw where he was staying and stayed there with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

One of the two men who followed Jesus after they heard John speak about him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and say to him, “We have found the Messiah.” (“Messiah” means “Christ.”)

Then Andrew took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.” (“Cephas” means “Peter.”[l])

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”

Philip was from the town of Bethsaida, where Andrew and Peter lived. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the man that Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

But Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

Philip answered, “Come and see.”

As Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, “Here is truly an Israelite. There is nothing false in him.”

Nathanael asked, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree, before Philip told you about me.”

Then Nathanael said to Jesus, “Teacher, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Jesus said to Nathanael, “Do you believe simply because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than that.” And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and ‘angels of God going up and coming down’[m] on the Son of Man.”

Footnotes:

a.  1:1 Word The Greek word is “logos,” meaning any kind of communication; it could be translated “message.” Here, it means Christ, because Christ was the way God told people about himself.

b.  1:5 overpowered This can also be translated, “understood.”

c.  1:6 John John the Baptist, who preached to people about Christ’s coming (Matthew 3Luke 3).

d.  1:18 But . . . Father This could be translated, “But the only God is very close to the Father.” Also, some Greek copies read “But the only Son is very close to the Father.”

e.  1:19 John John the Baptist, who preached to people about Christ’s coming (Matthew 3Luke 3).

f.  1:21 Elijah A prophet who spoke for God. He lived hundreds of years before Christ and was expected to return before Christ (Malachi 4:5–6).

g.  1:21 Prophet They probably meant the prophet that God told Moses he would send (Deuteronomy 18:15–19).

h.  1:29 Lamb of God Name for Jesus. Jesus is like the lambs that were offered for a sacrifice to God.

i.  1:34 the Son of God Some Greek copies read “God’s Chosen One.”

j.  1:35 John John the Baptist, who preached to people about Christ’s coming (Matthew 3Luke 3).

k.  1:36 Lamb of God Name for Jesus. Jesus is like the lambs that were offered for a sacrifice to God.

l.  1:42 Peter The Greek name “Peter,” like the Aramaic name “Cephas,” means “rock.”

m. 1:51 ‘angels . . . down’ These words are from Genesis 28:12.

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A Chapter a Day: Ruth 3

wheatRuth 3, NCV

Naomi’s Plan

Then Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, said to her, “My daughter, I must find a suitable home for you, one that will be good for you. Now Boaz, whose young women you worked with, is our close relative.[a] Tonight he will be working at the threshing floor. Wash yourself, put on perfume, change your clothes, and go down to the threshing floor. But don’t let him know you’re there until he has finished his dinner. Watch him so you will know where he lies down to sleep. When he lies down, go and lift the cover off his feet[b] and lie down. He will tell you what you should do.”

Then Ruth answered, “I will do everything you say.”

So Ruth went down to the threshing floor and did all her mother-in-law told her to do. After his evening meal, Boaz felt good and went to sleep lying beside the pile of grain. Ruth went to him quietly and lifted the cover from his feet and lay down.

About midnight Boaz was startled and rolled over. There was a woman lying near his feet! Boaz asked, “Who are you?”

She said, “I am Ruth, your servant girl. Spread your cover over me, because you are a relative who is supposed to take care of me.”[c]

Then Boaz said, “The Lord bless you, my daughter. This act of kindness is greater than the kindness you showed to Naomi in the beginning. You didn’t look for a young man to marry, either rich or poor. Now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do everything you ask, because all the people in our town know you are a good woman. It is true that I am a relative who is to take care of you, but you have a closer relative than I. Stay here tonight, and in the morning we will see if he will take care of you. If he decides to take care of you, that is fine. But if he refuses, I will take care of you myself, as surely as the Lord lives. So stay here until morning.”

So Ruth stayed near his feet until morning but got up while it was still too dark to recognize anyone. Boaz thought, “People in town must not know that the woman came here to the threshing floor.”  So Boaz said to Ruth, “Bring me your shawl and hold it open.”

So Ruth held her shawl open, and Boaz poured six portions of barley into it. Boaz then put it on her head and went back to the city.

When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did you do, my daughter?”

Ruth told Naomi everything that Boaz did for her. She said, “Boaz gave me these six portions of barley, saying, ‘You must not go home without a gift for your mother-in-law.’”

Naomi answered, “Ruth, my daughter, wait here until you see what happens. Boaz will not rest until he has finished doing what he should do today.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:2 close relatives In Bible times the closest relative could marry a widow without children so she could have children. He would care for this family, but they and their property would not belong to him. They would belong to the dead husband.
  2. 3:4 lift . . . feet This showed Ruth was asking him to be her husband.
  3. 3:9 Spread . . . me By this, Ruth was asking Boaz to marry her.
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A Chapter a Day: Ruth 2

wheatRuth 2, NCV

Ruth Meets Boaz

Now Naomi had a rich relative named Boaz, from Elimelech’s family.

One day Ruth, the Moabite, said to Naomi, “I am going to the fields. Maybe someone will be kind enough to let me gather the grain he leaves behind.”

Naomi said, “Go, my daughter.”

So Ruth went to the fields and gathered the grain that the workers cutting the grain had left behind. It just so happened that the field belonged to Boaz, from Elimelech’s family.

Soon Boaz came from Bethlehem and greeted his workers, “The Lord be with you!”

And the workers answered, “May the Lord bless you!”

Then Boaz asked his servant in charge of the workers, “Whose girl is that?”

The servant answered, “She is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please let me follow the workers cutting grain and gather what they leave behind.’ She came and has remained here, from morning until just now. She has stopped only a few moments to rest in the shelter.”

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Don’t go to gather grain for yourself in another field. Don’t even leave this field at all, but continue following closely behind my women workers. Watch to see into which fields they go to cut grain and follow them. I have warned the young men not to bother you. When you are thirsty, you may go and drink from the water jugs that the young men have filled.”

Then Ruth bowed low with her face to the ground and said to him, “I am not an Israelite. Why have you been so kind to notice me?”

Boaz answered her, “I know about all the help you have given your mother-in-law after your husband died. You left your father and mother and your own country to come to a nation where you did not know anyone. May the Lord reward you for all you have done. May your wages be paid in full by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for shelter.”

Then Ruth said, “I hope I can continue to please you, sir. You have said kind and encouraging words to me, your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”

At mealtime Boaz told Ruth, “Come here. Eat some of our bread and dip it in our sauce.”

So Ruth sat down beside the workers. Boaz handed her some roasted grain, and she ate until she was full; she even had some food left over. When Ruth rose and went back to work, Boaz commanded his workers, “Let her gather even around the piles of cut grain. Don’t tell her to go away. In fact, drop some full heads of grain for her from what you have in your hands, and let her gather them. Don’t tell her to stop.”

So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. Then she separated the grain from the chaff, and there was about one-half bushel of barley. Ruth carried the grain into town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also took out the food that was left over from lunch and gave it to Naomi.

Naomi asked her, “Where did you gather all this grain today? Where did you work? Blessed be whoever noticed you!”

Ruth told her mother-in-law whose field she had worked in. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.”

Naomi told her daughter-in-law, “The Lord bless him! He continues to be kind to us—both the living and the dead!” Then Naomi told Ruth, “Boaz is one of our close relatives,[a] one who should take care of us.”

Then Ruth, the Moabite, said, “Boaz also told me, ‘Keep close to my workers until they have finished my whole harvest.’”

But Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “It is better for you to continue working with his women workers. If you work in another field, someone might hurt you.” So Ruth continued working closely with the workers of Boaz, gathering grain until the barley harvest and the wheat harvest were finished. And she continued to live with Naomi, her mother-in-law.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:20 close relatives In Bible times the closest relative could marry a widow without children so she could have children. He would care for this family, but they and their property would not belong to him. They would belong to the dead husband.
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Sermon: WHY THE CHURCH WILL TRIUMPH IN THE DARKEST OF TIMES

By Pastor Teresa Conlon

Click here to listen: http://sermon3a.tscnyc.ws/2013/mp3g/20130922s1.mp3

Key verses (NCV):

Ezra 3:10-11

The builders finished laying the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. Then the priests, dressed in their robes, stood with their trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, stood with their cymbals. They all took their places and praised the Lord just as David king of Israel had said to do. With praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the Lord:

“He is good; his love for Israel continues forever.”

And then all the people shouted loudly, “Praise the Lord! The foundation of his Temple has been laid.”

Ezra 4:1-7

When the enemies of the people of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned captives were building a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders of the families. The enemies said, “Let us help you build, because we are like you and want to worship your God. We have been offering sacrifices to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”

But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the leaders of Israel answered, “You will not help us build a Temple to our God. We will build it ourselves for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us to do.”

Then the people around them tried to discourage the people of Judah by making them afraid to build. Their enemies hired others to delay the building plans during the time Cyrus was king of Persia. And it continued to the time Darius was king of Persia.

When Xerxes first became king, those enemies wrote a letter against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

When Artaxerxes became king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and those with them wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. It was written in the Aramaic language and translated.

Read the letter here and the response: Ezra 4:11-24

Galatians 2:20-21

I was put to death on the cross with Christ, and I do not live anymore—it is Christ who lives in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself to save me. By saying these things I am not going against God’s grace. Just the opposite, if the law could make us right with God, then Christ’s death would be useless.