The Power of Initiative 

The Book of Ruth 

I’m drawn to the initiative of Naomi and Ruth. It reminds me of a difficult time in my early 30’s when I made a challenging transition from church youth ministry into the business world. Despite hard work and diligence, my first couple of years in sales were very lean financially and overall, quite difficult, to say the least. But after a couple of years of failures, I was given a job opportunity by my old college roommate that helped turned our life around. I worked very hard and persevered through a lot of obstacles.

It was during this time in my life when I spent some considerable time setting long range goals and plans for my life. I remember the tension I felt between setting lofty goals in very specific terms and knowing in my heart that I should be willing to surrender to God whatever happened to me. I wanted to be successful very much. But I wanted it to be God’s way, not mine. So, I prayerfully took the initiative and set a very specific long-term plan for my life. Read more

The Plan

Over the Christmas break, while we were in Bulgari visiting my daughter and her family, I worked on a book I am compiling from some of my past writing. For some of the book, I will be using the book of Ruth. The next couple of posts are from Ruth and I thought I’d post them as they pertain to planning and taking initiative to improve one’s life. I thought it would be good as we start the New Year. The key caveat is taking initiative within careful, prayerful introspection. 

The Plan  

The Book of Ruth

She (Ruth) gleaned in the field until evening...Her mother-in-law (Naomi) then said to her, ‘Where did you glean today and where did you work?...the name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.’ Naomi said to Ruth, ‘The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives.’ 

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.’ She said to her, ‘All that you say I will do. 

 The story of Ruth, a Moabite, is a story of redemption and rescue. Ruth needed both; she was in a tough place in life. But she didn’t just wait and whine about her sad state, hoping for someone to rescue her. She took action! More specifically, this posting is a calling to Prayerful Action & Initiative! That is, acting under the careful and prayerful guidance of God. Read more

A Cool Genealogy

I am going to be taking the next several weeks for a summer break. I'll be back later this summer to begin a devotional study of 2 Corinthians.

Please don’t miss today’s summary of Ruth!

Genealogies are usually boring. When reading the Bible, we usually skip or scan right through them. Well, Ruth ends with a genealogy and as I wrote last time, it’s a pretty cool genealogy. It begins with Perez, the son of Judah. By beginning with Perez, Ruth and Boaz are connected all the way back to Abraham. It also states that to Boaz was born Obed, who fathered Jesse and to Jesse was born David. It ends at David as Ruth was most likely written by Samuel during the time of King David. King David was the great grandson of Ruth and Boaz.Read more

Empty to Full

Ruth 4, part 2

Boaz has successfully negotiated the terms of his right to redeem the land of Naomi and to marry Ruth. Boaz fulfills the role of a kinsman redeemer for Naomi financially and to Ruth through marriage. It wasn’t long ago that Naomi returned to her homeland after the deaths of her husband and two sons. Back then she said, “The Lord Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty...the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me.” To Naomi there was no hope, no joy and the future looked bleak. Read more

The Right Thing

Ruth 4

Boaz promised to resolve the issue of redeeming Ruth and he moved on it immediately. Boaz went to the gate of the city, where most business transactions took place, and waited for his close relative. He found his relative and he found ten elders of the city to verify the transaction. The scene is set for a legitimate and legal discussion of redemption.Read more

There’s a Catch

This pic is of my grandson who achieved the rare honor of being teacher of the day!

Ruth 3, part 3

Boaz was thrilled that Ruth came forward and made it known that she desired to marry Boaz and be redeemed. Even though Ruth was a Moabite, a despised people to Israel, Boaz knew that her faith in God was true and her life and character were a testimony of a truly redeemed soul. As such, he was honored to live out the role of a physical redeemer of Ruth and honoring his God who was already her spiritual redeemer. But there was a catch....Read more

A Woman of Excellence

Ruth 3 & Proverbs 31

The village knows Ruth as a woman of excellence. When Ruth made it known to Boaz her desire to be his bride, Boaz replied, “I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” Approximately 120 years later, Ruth’s great grandson, Solomon, writes Proverbs 31, a proverb describing a woman of excellence. Perhaps the legacy of Ruth and her upstanding qualities were passed down generation to generation. This legacy of a Godly woman made its way into Solomon’s writings.Read more

A Special Young Lady

Ruth 3 part 2

When Boaz first met Ruth while she was gleaning in his fields, he blessed her and said, “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge. Little did Boaz know that God would use him to fulfill this prayer toward Ruth.Read more

The Plan

Ruth 3, part 1

Have you ever gone through trials and difficulties in life and it feels like a black cloud is going to be over you forever? Naomi had been going through such a period in her life. Consequently, Ruth never left her side. Ruth put the needs of her mother-in-law before her own. Additionally, Ruth has found favor with Boaz and is working hard to glean and store grain for Naomi and herself for the coming year. Things are looking up.Read more