Siesta Summer Bible Study: Gathering Three!

Hey, Siestas! How about this summer Bible study? Is it fabulous or what?? I pray you are getting as much out of Kelly Minter’s “Ruth” as we are. My group of 8 is totally engrossed in it. We can’t get out on time to save our lives but that’s a good problem to have.

It’s time for our third gathering and we will discuss Weeks Three and Four or in the book’s terminology, Sessions Three and Four. As usual, I’m providing you a written version of what I share in the video greeting in case you have trouble playing it. We will have five interactives this time around: two based on Week (or Session) Three, two based on Week (or Session) Four and the final one will tie together both.

Summer Siesta Bible Study – Ruth Session 3 from LPV on Vimeo.

Based on Week (or Session) Three:

1. Turn to p.68 and review the first segment “For Discussion”: Describe a time when you were overcome by a man’s kindness. In keeping with the example of Ruth and Boaz, try to think in terms of an unexpected kindness.

2. Read Ruth 2:19-20 and review the climactic revelation in this Book of the Bible. After you read those two Scriptures, turn to p.85 and review the first couple of sentences of the paragraph in the middle of the page as follows: “It’s interesting that up to this point Naomi knew she had a kinsman-redeemer named Boaz but had no idea Ruth knew him; Ruth knew Boaz but didn’t know he was a kinsman redeemer. Suddenly these two pieces of information collided to potentially change the course of history.” Our divinely ordained collisions may not change the course of human history but they certainly change the course of our own personal history. Can any of you think of a time when God orchestrated an encounter or experience where you (or perhaps both/all parties involved) could say, “Only God could have known”? If so, share it. These would be really cool to hear in your blog comments so consider sharing one of the most meaningful examples.

Based on Week (or Session) Four:
3. Turn to p.95 and, if willing, share your answers to the “Personal Response” section at the very bottom of the page: “Describe a time when you’d done everything you could do and then had to wait for someone else’s response.”

4. Turn to p.108 and review the answer to the question in the middle of the page: “What did Boaz promise to do if the nearer relative chose not to redeem Ruth?” Then, share your responses to the discussion portion just below it where we were challenged to put ourselves in Ruth’s place. What kinds of feelings and thought processes would you have had in her exact situation?

Don’t conclude this portion of the Bible study without one of you reading the final paragraph on p.108 aloud to the rest of the group. (“If Ruth slept at all that night…) Those of you going solo can simply read it again and let it go even deeper.

5. Ask if one person wants to share a brand new insight she’s gained from this study regarding Christ as her Redeemer. (For those of you going solo, consider that I’m asking each of you the question.)

For our next gathering in two weeks, do Weeks (or Sessions) Five and Six. In other words, let’s finish up! And while we’re at it, Sisters, LET’S FINISH STRONG! You will feel such joy in your soul if you’ll see this to the last page. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if just as many women signed in at the end as in the beginning? Let’s make our goal 100%, Sisters!

For those of you joining in on the meals, consider the recipes on pages 88-89. The Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries sounds perfect for summer. Lord, have mercy on us, so does the pie!

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523 Responses to “Siesta Summer Bible Study: Gathering Three!”

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  1. 151
    Candice says:

    Last time the title of my book was “Will He Ever Ask Me to Marry Him?”. I said this as a little bit of a joke. My boyfriend and I have been together 5 years, but we’re still just 21 years old. I have been praying for patience this summer in this area.

    Well just a week later on Friday night, he DID propose to me at the top of a lighthouse in Maine on vacation with his parents! The very next morning I opened up my Ruth Bible Study to session 4- “A Proposal”!

    Even though we had no doubt that we had made the right decision to get married, it was amazing to have God put that extra confirmation in our day!

  2. 152
    Kelli says:

    I haven’t been commenting because I’m a couple of weeks behind, plus we have family visiting from the states and things are pretty crazy, but I just wanted to say how much I am LOVING this study. It’s so perfect for where I am right now.

    Also an update because many of you have said you are praying for our situation. My IVF last month was not successful 🙁 but God has been SOO incredibly good, no awesome, through all of this (not that I should be surprised). My doctor actually called me to let me know she is trying to get me a special rate so we an try one last time. Please pray for us as we continue to follow God’s leading on this path. Pray also for my Mulsim doctor, Dr. Gina, that since we are continuing again that I will have more opportunities to share Jesus with her. Love you ladies!

    • 152.1
      Kathy B says:

      Thank you for the update, Kelli. I’ve been praying for you and wondered how you were. So very sorry. I’m glad that the Lord is showing Himself truly awesome. Will continue to pray for Dr Gina. Hope you’re enjoying family visiting.

  3. 153
    Kim Safina says:

    Kim Safina
    solo
    Central Coast of California

    Amy ~ July 21 3:06 pm

    I can totally relate to your answers & comments!!
    Thank you!
    My precious husband is my Boaz too!

    I am still working on my answers.

    Having such a difficult week!!!!!

    The person dependent on Christ has the amazing ability to maintain a steady ship on a stormy sea.

    Boaz was such an honorable man. How different our world would be if men treated women with this kind of respect.

    • 153.1
      Lynda says:

      Kim~I, too, am on the Central Coast (Monterey)…even though it’s a big area, if you’d like to get together~I’m willing.

      I love your remark about “maintaining a steady ship on a stormy sea”…I’m getting ready to do the High Seas Expedition VBS and I’ve been “knee-deep” in ships and seas. The thrust of the curriculum is exploring the mighty love of God through His Word. Know that during those difficult weeks we ALL have, you only have to go as far as your Bible to get a Word from God who loves you more than you’ll ever know!

      Blessings!
      Lynda

  4. 154
    Noelle says:

    Just another thought:

    I had to laugh at all the commentaries on Ruth 4. The kinsman redeemer’s name was never revealed, and if I’m to understand correctly, the Hebrew calls him “so and so”. All morning, I’ve been wondering what God is trying to reveal to me in the first 6 verses of this chapter.

    The kinsman redeemer, the unnamed one, at first says yes…he will redeem, until he finds out that Ruth is part of the bargain. Then he backs off, leaving Ruth for Boaz. Who is the “near kin” who turned us down? Could it be satan himself? We certainly were kin to him because of our sin. He is the author of sin and we belonged (legally) to him. We had no hope because there was no way we could become “without sin”, so the debt for sin was still owed…and satan had the rule on his side.

    Boaz tricked “so and so” into demanding the land by not telling him that Ruth was part of the bargain. God tricked satan by allowing His Son..our kinsman redeemer…to pay the legal price for our sin. Had satan known that we would be redeemed, he’d have done anything to keep Jesus alive. Satan’s legal hold on us was broken on the cross and we are now His. “So and so’s” legal claim was broken when Boaz would agree to a covenant relationship to Ruth, not just a worldly, fleshly relationship. Jesus did for us what we could not. Boaz did for Ruth what she could not. She had no bargaining power, she had no legal standing, and she had no authority. But, she had Boaz, who saw far beyond what the adversary could see and captured his treasure.

    What an extraordinary picture of Jesus, our kinsman redeemer!

  5. 155
    Loretta says:

    1. Last fall I drove three hours to pick up my daughter from college for fall break. Just as I was nearing the city, I had a blowout on the expressway. The man that came with the tow truck was so kind. I was on the left side of the road, right next to the median. After he towed the car to the exit, he went above and beyond trying to help me find someplace to buy another tire. Remember, I still had to turn around and drive three hours home on one of those small spare tires. I was so thankful that he took extra time with me in trying to locate places to buy tires. I was so moved by his kindness and friendly manner during the whole ordeal.

    2. Also last fall, (later that same month as mentioned above)my mom, who is across the country, suffered cardiac arrest. With the economy and such, I was not able to immediately go and waited to see about her condition. At the end of the first week, my boss had been praying and asking for guidance in my situation. My colleagues donated the funds so I could go and be with my mom. As it worked according to His plans, I was able to be there on the following Monday when my mom had surgery. I was able to spend three weeks with her during her recovery. God’s hand was so evident in all the timing and circumstances. Oh, how awesome He is!!!!!

    3. This relates back to number 2, where I had to wait and see not only about my mom’s condition, but also about an opportunity to be with her.

    4. Feelings would include not only being happy, but also scared, afraid, worried, and nervous.

  6. 156

    I seem to be having a terrible time keeping up with the Bible study this summer! But I did want to comment on the first interactive…a time when I was overcome by a man’s kindness.

    It was in the 80’s, all my children were small, and we were in revival at the small Baptist church we attended. In those days we had both morning and evening services for our summer revival. The ladies in the church took turns “feeding the preacher”. Summer revival was always hard for me. The garden was usually at it’s peak and I had to shuck corn, shell peas, or break beans in the afternoons. But we rarely missed a service because I was the church pianist.
    We live in a small..less than 1200 sq ft…house smack in the middle of our 80 acre farm which is accessed by driving a six-mile stretch of dusty (or muddy) dirt roads. The guest preacher this particular year was the president of a Bible College in KY. A great preacher. I was a little worried about having him out to our humble home for lunch as I knew he was used to much more elegant surroundings. I will never ever forget how he came into our home and treated me like a queen. He complimented the choice of books in my book shelf. He complimented my cooking. He made himself at home. And he made a lasting impression on my heart. He made me feel like I was MORE than I knew myself to be!

    Needing some prayers for a few things that have cropped up this week please.

    God bless you all.

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  7. 157
    Delta Dawn says:

    Dallas, GA-Solo

    1.Glory to God I can think of at least a couple of examples. Most recently, I took my father to pick out some wood as a Father’s Day gift for a project he wanted to do. To make a long story short, the owner, who is a fellow church member and a very gracious man, wound up just giving the wood to my father.

    2. I’m going to veer slightly from the full intent of the question and tell of a very recent encounter God orchestrated involving a fellow Siesta. At our SMTC in Houston, three of us who were all on separate flights had our flights delayed then cancelled trying to get to Atlanta. We decided that we would just stick together in case we had to get a hotel room at least we wouldn’t be alone. We didn’t know one another previously, but while waiting in the airport, one of the Siestas, Silver Sass-aka Ginger, and I got to talking and I saw a volleyball tag on her bag and asked her about it. She too is a coach, one with great credentials and much experience. We finally arrived in Atlanta but not before she missed her connecting flight. She wound us spending the night at my house. (I do not normally invite strangers to sleep at my house.) I later asked her about coming to do a camp for my girls. She graciously agreed, and this week has come back to my house and as given my girls a great volleyball camp. So out of a literal storm, my girls have been blessed by being coached by someone with 20 years of collegiate experience.

    But the coolest part was the fact that she didn’t feel like a stranger. Have you ever bonded with someone and just knew that Jesus was the common denominator? Out of the hundreds of women there, only God could have so divinely orchestrated our paths to intersect so.

    3. There’s nothing like riding in the back of an ambulance with my child to humble me and make me acutely aware that I was out of control. There was not a thing I could do for my child. I felt completely helpless. But God is never out of control.

    4. I can’t imagine that she slept at all. As one who needs to process such events, particularly with my girlfriends, I would imagine that she could have used Naomi at that point for such things like, “Did he really say He would redeem me? Do you think he wants to? Or is he doing it out of obligation? And what did he mean by calling me daughter-twice? What does that mean?”

    Oh, it just hit me- do you think HE slept at all? Were they worried about snoring and having the other one hear?
    Oh, my!

    5. Oh I think the best part is that just like Boaz had a choice, so did Christ. He chose to redeem us knowing all that decision would entail for Him, the physical and emotional suffering and pain and did it any way.

    • 157.1
      Michelle says:

      Loved your post. I try to imagine God “out of control” up there in heaven. Looking for something and not finding it. Tossing around angel feathers and brushing aside clouds. It would never happen, but fun to imagine.

  8. 158
    Gena says:

    Houston,TX – 5 of us (all at the same time!)

    We had a great time in discussion (after a great meal) but did not really follow Beth’s questions. We really camped on the questions Kelly asked about giving from your wealth and giving from your poverty.

    As much as I just wanted to skip over that whole section…the rest of the group really had some great things to say. Melissa just returned froma a mission trip to Nicaragua. She was immersed in true poverty and is still struggling with how to live now without forgetting what that kind of poverty is like. Janis brought up that she was “poor” in mercy. So to give from her poverty of mercy was a real struggle, but she knows God is calling her to be more merciful. Her wealth is in time, and we all can agree that she showers everyone with this abundance. She’s truly a blessing – and got us all really thinking about our wealth/poverty.

    Then Mom’s Ice Cream Dessert. Awesome!

  9. 159
    cindy says:

    Hi Beth,

    I didn’t know the best way to get this to you, so here I am. I wanted to share this before it poofed from my mind. I am working on your bible study, “Living Beyond Yourself” this morning. And, I stopped to write a thanks to God. I pray on paper a lot. Anyway, I thanked him for you because you were “the match that ignited me”.

    I began turning toward God when I became pregnant w/ my first son almost 17 years ago. Ever since then I feel that God has been slowly reeling me in. Picture Him with a fishing pole…. : ). My neighbor’s beautiful example of a woman living a truly Christian life brought me closer still. Then, she invited me to one of your bible studies. The match was lit. The fire continues to burn.

    Thank you for all that you do. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. My gratitude to have found God and Jesus and to have the relationship I do with Him/them/the group? (still figuring how to word that part), however you put it….is a huge part of my life and I love it. I love you for being the match that ignited me.

    I have to say that one of the highlights of your DVD bible studies is seeing your outfits. I’m sorry. It’s true…..

    • 159.1
      Beth says:

      I am blessed beyond measure and astounded once again at the grace of God that He would allow this former pit dweller to be any kind of match for His great Name’s sake. You have touched me deeply. Study on, Cindy! Jesus is so worthy.

  10. 160
    The Bettys says:

    1. There were many comments about fathers, brothers and husbands who regularly perform simple and grand acts of kindness, both for us and strangers. Several specific instances were also shared: Sally was ice skating last winter, really floating around the ice beautifully, until she fell flat on her face! Humiliated, she knew she would be even more embarassed if she tried to get up alone, and out of nowhere this nice man appeared, helped her get up and on her way. Simple act of kindness, extreme gratitude. Julie recounted how, during her husbands long illness when everyone was focused on him, friends stepped in to take care of her. Merit was overwhelmed by two men from her church helping her move – a big job! And Karen was touched by a single-dad who already has a lot on his own plate, but came to her rescue when her husband was out-of-town and she was having car trouble.

    Finally, we all commented on how we knew without a doubt that any one of us could call on any of the husbands for help, and receive it enthusiastically. In fact, a perfect example was Tuesday evening. Two dads were out-of-town so two other dads volunteered to have extra kids so the moms could come to Bible study. One went from 2 to 5 kids and the other went from 3 to 7 kids – enthusiastically! The conversation morphed into how can we as a group, at the end of this study, spread some kindness in our community. We went away with some ideas to pursue and discuss at the next meeting.

    2. One person was kicked out of her high school, and while that distressed her parents it also put her back on a good path and led to her to date her husband. Another woman cited many family moves as being stressful, but the last move which brought her family to our town, removed her husband from a destructive environment and therefore probably saved her marriage. The last person who shared is going through a very difficult time in her life. God recently put in her path two women (at separate times) who have had the same experiences and were able to speak truths to her situation, and show her that there is hope for the future! All of these are examples of those 90 degree turns that result from God’s providence at work – no coincidences!

    3. Merit talked about coming to the point in her marriage where she had done all she could do to save it, and the counselor she & her husband were seeing told her she had to wait to see what her husband would do next. Tough wait.

    4. This discussion was interesting with many twists and turns. Whereas many of us were focusing on the roller-coaster ride Ruth was on, Michelle pointed out that Ruth had received the good news that SOMEONE would redeem her, even if it wasn’t Boaz. In her lowly situation this must have been a relief. Anna’s response was a very personal reaction to the anxiety Ruth must have felt lying there all night, not knowing what her fate would be. She related it to the time when she and her ex-husband found themselves caught up in the confusing situation of constant contact due to co-parenting, serious relationships (they were both engaged to other people) and the realization that they still had strong feelings for each other. Anna’s engagement ended and she realized that the ambiguous situation with her ex was confusing to their daughter, to herself and to his situation. So she finally gave the ultimatum – you’re either ALL IN or ALL OUT. He told her he needed the weekend to “settle it” and on Monday he was ALL IN! They remarried and had two more beautiful daughters, all after the longest weekend of her life! We talked about how God continues working in our lives even when we find ourselves in not the most Godly places – like the threshing floor.

    5. Karen was overwhelmed by the Personal Response on page 78, and that she would be given “fine linen, bright and clean…” of righteousness. This led Anna to share a question that plagues her – Is Christ’s redemption really that simple? Really? I found a beautiful answer to this when reading some of the other blog posts. Tiffany from Anaheim, CA focused on the word want – God WANTS us, He PURSUES us, and yes, because of Christ’s suffering FOR us, His redemption of us is that simple, really.

  11. 161
    Rachel says:

    We had another fun bible study! We had a few ladies missing so we ended up with a group of eight women, one kid, two toddlers, and two babies.

    We had a great discussion on men showing kindness and heard lots of sweet stories. My grandma had a great one about breaking down on an old country road in Texas. She was by herself and had her girls with her…at the time they were 4, 2, and my mom, who was an infant. A mechanic just “happened” to stop and help her. He had to go into the nearest town TWICE to get the parts she needed. He got it all fixed, and sent her on her way…wouldn’t let her pay him. So sweet!

    We also spent a long time discussing how we can pray and pray, but we might just be the answer to what we’re praying for. We loved that concept!

    Great meeting…good food. We tried the chicken/strawberry salad. Yum!

  12. 162
    Jana says:

    1). When I thought of this question my first thoughts were to the first men in my life. My father and my brothers. I’m the youngest with two older brothers so to say I was well protected is an understatement. I remember though the first time my brothers told me I was pretty. I was in high school and was just dressed for church on Sunday morning, but it really meant a lot to me. My dad was always my protector and took care of everything — especially my car.
    2). I have to say that the job I am currently working at I believe God moved in a mighty way for me to get that position. I have never had an experience where the doors just opened and all I had to do was step through. The Lord was so clear that this is where I’m supposed to be.
    3). When I had to wait for someone’s reponse my first thought was when I was in the later years of college. This was a VERY difficult time in my life — I would say THE most difficult. The whole time I felt God was just saying to wait and rest in Him and that was soooo hard!
    4). My thoughts were “Who is this guy? Great! Boaz wants me but he has to let this other guy look at me first. What if I don’t like this other man.”

  13. 163
    Michelle says:

    Solo, Lansing, MI
    1. This may sound trivial but one kindness that has always stuck in my head is when a guy I was dating would -out of nowhere- study my hands and tell me how beautiful they were. He did it often and it always made me feel special. He was the only man who ever took notice of me in any other way than my physical beauty. Even though hands are physical, it’s not the normal part of the body that a man would be interested in. He was so sincere.
    2.God orchestrated my marriage to a man -who at the time, and still today- I thought was the most handsome man on earth and who i would never even get a second glance from. God put my now sister-in-law inside the bank at my teller window for me to talk face to face with when normally she would only go through the drive-thru. We joke today that I must have been the reason she came inside because she NEVER does. The rest is history and I could write a book about it!
    3.I feel like I’ve done everything I can to raise my children as Christ like people. I feel I’ve lost my 16 year old step son. So I am in a time of waiting, to see what God will do with him since there’s nothing more I can do.
    4.I wrote, “Whew! No matter what, I’ll be okay. I hope this other guy is as great as Boaz. If not, I’ll take Boaz for sure!” (I imagine she probably had diarrhea all night.)
    5.Redeemer! Wow, that was the most earth shattering thing I’ve read in this Bible study. When I read the list Kelly provided, my eyes grew big, I held my breath, I sat up in my seat and then I cried. That particular tie in to from the OT to the New Testament blew me away and helped me look at Jesus in an even more awestruck way. I had to share it with my accountability partner immediately.

  14. 164
    Marianne Foriska says:

    Marianne(55),Stasi(41),Teresa(41)
    Saegertown,PA

    1. Stasi talked about her Grampie: when she was little she had wrote with crayon on the wall..grampie didn’t yell at her just went down to the paint store and bought a gal of paint and painted over her art work(lol).
    2.Marianne: In June 2007 I attend a WOF Friday conference. The featured speaker was Beth Moore. I was so taken of her knowledge of the Bible that when I returned home I longed to do a Bible Study of hers. I was telling my sister in law about wanting to do a Beth Moore Bible Study and she said our church (Grace Baptist) is starting “Breaking Free” at their 11AM in Sept(07). I asked if I could come (I was a practicing Catholic at the time)and she said “sure”. I am now a member of Grace Baptist Church
    and known this is all God’s doing:)
    3. We all had family members that we had done everything we could and are waiting for responses.
    4.All 3 of us said we probably would not get any sleep..excited that Boaz would be the kinsman redeemer BUT what if the other kinsman redeemer would marry me just so he could have more land?
    5.Stasi: Always thought of Jesus as someone distant and far away. I know that Jesus is the Son of God. I also know that I am a child of God but never put the two together. Because Jesus and I are both children of God that makes us siblings. A sibling(a brother) is one who knows you,grows up with you,and supports you. Jesus grows with us-knows our hearts- and says “I will die for you anyway”. And when my sister/brother says they will die for me that hit home to me. You would believe a brother who says “You are worth every bit of my sacrifice.”

  15. 165
    andrea t. says:

    1.Siesta Sister 1- Recently I had a co-worker protect me in a situation that could of been uncomfortable. It was totally unexpected and I thanked God for it.
    Siesta Sister 2- Needed to unload hay before rain came and my husband was not home, a guy cousin of mine stop by on the way home from work and offered to unload it before the rain came.
    2.Siesta Sister 1- My daughter is attending college to be a medical assistiant and praying for a job. A nearby Doctors office was expanding and praying for a christian med. assistant. God had put this position in the hearts of both my daugher and the office and the orchestration of her hire at this office was completely God.
    3.Both of us realize this is our lives as Mothers in raising our children. Humanly we do everything we know how to do, but there have been many times we need to be still and know that He is God and we are not!
    4.I’ve done everything I could do, I’ve seen God work before I know He will provide, but….WHO WILL IT BE ????
    5.Siesta Sister 2- Continues to redeem my family from a loss of a child and sibling.
    Siesta Sister 1- Redeems me EVERYDAY. PRAISE THE LORD !

  16. 166
    Darcie Lyon says:

    Sheridan, Wyoming

    1. I was at a conference and we had a gentleman in our group. We had to do everything with this small group. Even eat together. I had no money for the places where they wanted to go. He would just say I will cover it. He was kind and gentle. Yet I kept thinking why doesn’t my husband be like this. Then I remembered that is why I married my husband. He was kind and generous and would do anything for anybody. Like buy someones dinner.

    2. I have had so many. However 5 years ago I wanted to Start Over with my life. I went to a casting call for the television show Starting Over a daytime program that helped women get their lives in order. I so wanted that. As I sat in the audition panel I heard these other women describe there lives. Lives of exotic dancers, codepency, drug addiction, finding one parents and then it was my turn. I just wanted to be a better mom. Thank you Jesus for showing me that I had a life. That was my defining moment in this season of life. Amazing.

    3. well that is easy. When I had issues with my mom I put my boundaries out on the table. I then had to wait for her response. I think you can only be 100% responsible for myself. that’s it.

    4. what I would think or really belive are two different things. I think knowing that Boaz would marry me is incredible and the comfort of knowing that he would be my saving grace would be unimaginable.

    5. The last question is amazing. I have always known the five loaves and two fish. (ok I am breaking out in the song.) It suddenly hit me that if Jesus can supply food to all the hungry he can supply whatever I need. In my head I get that. My heart so not so much. I am tearing up thinking that he is my Redeemer and supplier. That is not easy when I am in financial straights, my pain level is 100% and I know that I have asked for healing again and again and yet I know that my Redeemer has a divine purpose for this season of life. Ruth probably felt that way sometimes too. A foreign land, a mother-in-law and now she has a protector and provider.

    Oh ladies this is such a concept to take in. Still Pondering this message. Anybody else.

  17. 167
    Michelle says:

    Mom and Daughter
    Colorado and Oklahoma
    40s and 20s

    1. We both shared stories of where the men in our lives served us in an unexpected way. We really appreciated them being thoughtful and putting us first by serving us in even the little things.

    2. Mom- She has recently been praying/considering serving with a jail ministry and in the middle of her quiet time one morning, she was reading in 1 Corinthians and after praying specifically for God’s will in this service, she opened her eyes and saw the word “jail” right there in the Word. She found encouragement and affirmation to go ahead and take steps toward that service.
    Daughter- I looked at the big picture of the last few years in Oklahoma. How God brought me here for school and how I’ve stayed because of opportunities He has given me. Right after graduation, I really wanted to go to Kenya with my Grandmother and had to cancel the trip due to unrest where we would be serving. I was heartbroken to say the least, and upset at God for a crushed dream. Instead, I signed up to serve at a summer camp for Jr. High students where I met a youth pastor at a local church. He then in turn, asked me to become a leader for another mission’s trip to Nicaragua the following March. It just amazes me how God orchestrates events in our lives and opens doors where we believe others have closed. So many blessings have come from the Nicaragua trip, and I see how God all along had the big picture in mind… praise Him!

    3. For Mom, she has had a mentoring relationship with a young girl that has been challenging. Mom has continued to pour out and has felt that now is her time to wait for the young girl’s response and dedication.
    My result circumstance is a job hunt… there are only so many resumes and applications you can send out before you have to wait for someone else’s response. I love how you said in the video Beth, “We feel really in control as long as we can still do something. But what happens when there’s nothing you can do or should do, what happens then?” SO TRUE!

    4. Mom had a great answer I hadn’t thought of… Ruth was able to see Boaz’s character as well through this situation. Boaz made sure that he wasn’t going over the other kinsman redeemer’s head but honored the system and went about things the right way.

    5. I really enjoyed seeing the picture painted of God’s love in Ezekiel. Kelly had us turn to Ezekiel on one of the last days, and I loved reading the entire chapter although it was quite an intense picture of Israel as a prostitute. I was able to read that passage and see how we also, hurt the Lord through our sin and betray him over and over for other loves. It was a new picture and passage I had never read before and really hit home for me.

  18. 168
    Michelle says:

    I am so far behind in the study. I was just thinking this morning about how disappointed in myself I am…again. I just started Session/Week 3 this week (y’all are starting week 5)and am doing the study solo here in Virginia. I watch the videos that are posted each week, even though I’m not in the same place as everyone else and Beth made the comment about how wonderful this study is. I agree…..I had to actually stop and ponder the fact that I do wholeheartedly agree with that, yet I still can’t seem to be faithful enough to study daily as I know that I should (and I’m not A.D.D., though I tend to fit that profile here). I normally wouldn’t admit that….I would just double or triple up on the days to try to catch up with everyone and then pretend that everything is alright on my end. That’s why day 2 of week 3 really hit home with me today. It’s about humility and Kelly commented on page 71 that we are mostly taught to embellish our good sides and shroud our areas of struggle by veiling our weaknesses and covering our flaws. So, today, I openly admit that I’m not faithful to reading his Word daily. I don’t have it all together. I struggle with my faithfulness in prayer and Bible study. I let the busyness of daily life come in between me and my God and I’m ashamed of it. I want to be faithful and I keep finding myself promising that I’ll do better and I do… for about 2 weeks and then it it happens again……that daggone wagon is slippery and I just keep sliding right off. So, please pray for me as I struggle to win this battle because I know Satan’s gonna keep oiling my wagon.

    • 168.1
      Twila Baker says:

      Hang in there Michelle. It took me a while too. When I first started really studying the bible back in 2001 and Beth kept talking about making God your first priority and getting up earlier to make sure you had the time I thought I would never get to that point. Now I am lost if I don’t make it a priority. I’m praying for you.

    • 168.2
      Michelle says:

      Whoa! Slow down with the condemnation! You are among many who struggle with the same issues. Believe me, I’ve been where you are. Just keep trying. I’m sure God is more pleased that you keep trying then giving up all together. You seek out that relationship and for that you should be proud! There is no condemnation in Christ. If He’s already forgiven your mishaps, then forgive yourself and know that He’s ready and waiting when you go to Him. No matter if it’s been a week, a month or a year. So glad you opened your heart. One day, you will look back as I have and be one of those people who can raise their hand high (to God) and say “yes” I do read my Bible every day and i love it!!!! Don’t give up on God, He won’t give up on you!

    • 168.3
      Gail says:

      I totally relate to this! I have a daughter who has always been an early riser, so sometimes it is impossible to get up before she does! She can get up as early as 5, and anything before that is just not Godly time for me! I don’t know if this will help you like it did me, but a friend recommended leaving my Bible open on a table or something that I frequently pass by and throughout the day pause and grab another verse to meditate on as you go about your work. We don’t have to always complete an entire chapter. We don’t always have to spend one hour of in depth study. Actually, sometimes it’s been better for me to take smaller bites and chew them slowly! 🙂 And if you can’t keep up with the schedule here, I only hope that you commit to finish it in your own time. Who knows. There might be something on down the road for you that will be just the right timing for this study. Don’t give up! One day at a time! God bless you!
      Gail

  19. 169
    Twila Baker says:

    Fayettevile Ga-Solo
    1.My last man kindness was just recently at a family wedding. The DJ hadn’t played any good romantic slow dance songs so before we left my Husband asked him to play one from the Eagles’ Best of my love. It was quite unexpected because my guy never thinks about stuff like that.
    2.30 years ago I married a man who had 4 young daughters,I was 21. Those girls needed a home and we took them in.I was only married to their Dad for 5yrs but they have been my daughters ever since. They are now in their late 30’s and are awesome women. We recently talked about how God orchestrated me being part of their life way back then.
    3.I am waiting on a very critial reponse right now regarding buying out my business partner. I have done all I can do and am now waiting to see how God works it out.
    4. Just when she thought everyting was going to work out she finds out about the other so in so!She probably didn’t sleep at all wondering if she could care as much for the other kinsman.
    5.I don’t think I’ve had any new insight but more of a confirmation of his redeeming love.

  20. 170
    Lisa says:

    I do pray for you now Michelle. Shame does not come from the Father, only conviction along with the ability to do His will. I pray that He would give you a thirst for His water, that your soul would thirst and pant for Him according to His word.

    Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God ; When shall I come and appear before God ?

  21. 171
    Misty says:

    Small group of 4 in OKC – ages ranging from 30s-60s

    1. For this section I wanted to tell you about one member’s example. Her husband of 30+ years was told over the phone while at work that he had prostate cancer. In a state of shock, he called his wife to tell her and said, “After work I will pick you up and we’ll go straight to the doctor’s office.” Once he hung up, she decided she needed to tell her boss what was going on, though the gravity had not yet set in. She sat down in his office and proceeded to tell him that her husband was just diagnosed with prostate cancer – and then she began to break down. He got up from his desk, shut his office door and knelt down next to this woman and told her that they needed to pray for comfort and peace right then. After he prayed – and she felt she was coming to her senses – she called her husband and they both left work early to visit the doctor instead of waiting until the end of the day. (On a side note: The husband has been cancer-free for nearly 2 years now thanks to quick and aggressive responses and treatment by the doctors involved…God is so good!)

    2. Our FAVORITE story! 🙂 D and her husband E had been divorced for 18 years and had 3 adult daughters. An invitation to dinner at one daughter’s home drastically changed the course of D’s life as she was unaware that her ex-husband was going through a divorce with his current wife and had just moved in with their daughter. D was also going through her second divorce at that same time. She told us that for the entire 18 years that they were divorced, though they remained civil so as to raise up their daughters, she would have said until that very night that there would be no way she would ever entertain the idea of becoming involved with him again. They have been remarried for several years now and have even served together in the mission-field of Mexico. When people ask how long they have been married, D just says, “forever!” 🙂

    3. K delivered a baby 8 weeks early due to hypertension and he was in the NICU for 3 weeks. As you can imagine, they racked up a rather large bill and did all they could to get it taken care of – however after nearly 2 years it remained. They learned that a small oversight kept it from being paid in full by her husband’s company, so after nearly 2 years they no longer have this large medical debt looming over them! Praise God!

    4. This was a wonderful opportunity for discussion – we laughed and we came up with several serious responses as well.

    5. We actually had a couple of shared responses on this from our little group and there are a couple of things that I jotted down that really meant a lot to me: Regardless of the situation, God is our kinsman-redeemer – He ALWAYS wants us!

  22. 172
    Julie in Idaho says:

    Julie
    Idaho – solo

    1) It was during my divorce and I received a letter from a guy friend. Satan was trying to sell me lies of unworthiness and of being unloved. The letter was full of encouragement and support. And the guy who sent me the letter? He’s now my darling husband of 10 years!

    2) During church services one Sunday morning, I felt the Holy Spirit tug on my heart to go forward, but I was too scared to go by myself. Right then, my mom whispered in my ear, asking me if I wanted her to go with me. Only God could have known what was on my heart that morning and how desperately I wanted to take that step of faith. Praise God!

    3) First, when I was dating the guy who is now my husband. I showed interest in him, but needed to wait on him to return the sentiments before we could move ahead into a relationship. Presently, I am experiencing this at work. I am waiting on the Lord to show me what to do (or what He is going to do) to complete the work He has started in this place. Even though I can’t see it, He has a plan and I need to wait on His timing. (Incredibly hard lesson to learn!)

    4) I would have been hopeful that things were about to get better. I would have been worried about the unknown kinsman who might redeem me. The unknown can be very scary. There would have been some excitement at the possibility of Boaz marrying me.

    5) Page 109 said “…Christ waited through a long night before arriving at a place where (He) was able to redeem.” This really spoke to me. Mayb I am in this “long night” (period of my life) that I just have to endure until God’s timing is right for His work to be done in this place where He has put me. (This ties in with answer #3 above.)

  23. 173

    I typed this all up on Wednesday afternoon (we meet Wed. mornings) and tried to “preview” but lost the whole dern thing!

    So here goes again:
    Valley Center, Ks
    9 ladies/ 4 attended and one answered by email

    1. Kris- a man on the AWANA ministry team came and sat with her in downtown Wichita one night at midnight while she waited for AAA to come and change a flat tire

    Phoebe- a perfect stranger stepped between a gang of boys in downtown who were harassing her daughter and their friends. He even walked them to the car and made sure they weren’t followed

    Pat- a doctor she worked with paid for her mission trip to the Dominican Republic

    Kim- a man from her church gave them $10,000 dollars so they could drop the price of their house to sell faster…they are in fulltime ministry and needed to be closer to their new church

    2. “only God could have known”:
    Kim and Phoebe shared about the providential sale and purchase of their houses, Pat shared about getting an encouraging card in the mail at just the right time,

    3. “wait for someone else’s response”
    Kim: still waiting
    Pat: always waiting when it involves her adult children
    Kris: dating her husband
    Phoebe: job interviews

    4. Ruth’s feelings: We thought she would hope the other man didn’t want to redeem her because she didn’t know anything about him and she had already seen Boaz’s kindness and character.

    P.S. Rebecca has a husband who suffered a severe head injury in a motorcycle accident a few years back and expressed that she still is waiting; that she has felt hurt because her prayers for complete healing haven’t happened and that her grief is not a process she goes through and will be done someday but it comes in waves and may never go away or get better

  24. 174
    Shannon Costanzo says:

    Solo, Kissimmee, Florida

    1. Overcome by a man’s kindness: ‘while I was doing the dishes after supper, my husband came from behind me, kissed my neck and patted my butt. He whispered “thank you for dinner, it was yummy.” I was overcome because my ex-husband use to throw corn startch all over the kitchen floor and counter because my gravy was too runny.

    2. Ahh my divine ordained collision.. It’s a great story!
    I was working as an agency nurse in the nursing home. Which meant only when they needed me, they would call me. One of my patient’s wife was high maintance! Seriously! Anyway she started playing match maker. Her son came later on that day to visit. She persisted on getting my number, I wouldn’t take his # because “I do not chase boys!” I said. She replied ” It’s not marriage, Give me your number!” so… I gave her my #.
    So long story, short version… I MET MY HUSBAND IN A NURSING HOME!!! 🙂

    3. I am currently waiting to see if I should get a hysterectomy because of my painful endometriosis.. I am only 33 so this is a tough one. I have had problems getting pregnant but I wait to see if that will happen too.

    4. Ruth must of thought “Please, Please, please God don’t let the other guy pick me!”

    5. From this Bible study I am reminded that God’s plan is betteer than mine. He knows our heart & He wants me at his feet!

    Shannon Costanzo
    Kissimmee, Fl

  25. 175
    Missy June says:

    I’m just exhausted this evening, but wanted to share that we met at my home, enjoyed the curry chicken & couscous. We has sweet discussion time and prayer time…to weary for details tonight.

  26. 176
    Kathy B says:

    Hendersonville, TN girls checking in. Our lovely diverse bunch showed up.

    1. A dear lady shared that her first husband died while she was in her mid-40’s leaving her to raise their teenagers alone. She said that on Sunday mornings a young man from her church would come up to her and just give her a big hug. She shared that she was usually completely desperate for just such physical comfort at that point and that it meant more to her then than any words could have. Now, several decades later, she said it had a profound effect on her.

    3. A darling 18yr old shared that as God led her to make her college choice, finances were slow in following. She said that she realized all her hard work and plans only got her so far, and then she could only wait on God’s timing. She’s not mine so I feel inclined to brag on such insight in one so young.

    4. Projected emotions for Ruth’s night at the threshing floor ran the gamut from anger and frustration, to excitement and curiosity.

    5.New insights on Jesus as Redeemer: I should have taken better notes on the ladies’ answers, but this is several of them combined:
    that God as our Redeemer has always had us as Gentiles in mind. We weren’t just an afterthought, a plan B since Israel was disobedient. We were grafted in right from the get-go, straight into the very Messianic line. And God’s heart has always been tender for the outcast and downtrodden.

    We enjoyed some Banoffi pie without any exploding projectiles or emergency vehicles. And since I cooked and cleaned in the same day, it was a definite stretch of my skill set. Thanks Lord!

    • 176.1
      Luann Pearson says:

      Kathy,

      You commented on my post regarding telling your husband about my Godincidence story…said he grinned at your squeaky voice. Don’t you hate it when that happens!? 🙂 I love that you are from Hendersonville. My older daughter received her BA from Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY and has several friends from Hendersonville! She spent a year after graduation working in Nashville…still loves Tennessee!

      • Kathy B says:

        Thanks, Luann. We both loved your story. And, yes, I hate it when that happens! It’s so hard to sound profound and squeaky at the same time.
        H’ville may be a bit more humid than me and my hair prefer, but the folks here are pure gold, and I’ve been blessed to raise my kids here.

        • rene sandifer says:

          Kath,
          I love the insight shared on point 5…grafted right in from the get-go. No one likes to feel like they were a “runner- up”! Outcast and down-trodden, yep, we serve a GREAT God! : )

  27. 177
    Shelle says:

    Last night we got together for a delicious meal of Fresh Tomato Pasta and Parmesan flatbread on a porch as the sun set. I felt like we were in Italy. We enjoyed sweet fellowship around supper and then moved in for discussion questions.

    One story of unexpected kindness that touched all of us was an man from one of the ladies church that continuously sent little notes of encouragement during her battle with cancer.

    We all saw God’s divinely ordained collisions in our lives and the times of waiting on answers when we had wished they had come yesterday.

    We saw Ruth in possible 2 scenarios–1st-vunerable, out of control, having a crisis of faith when she thought it might not go the way she had planned and 2nd-having a quiet confidence and faith as she seemed to have throughout the story. OR maybe a mixture of the 2.

    My personal insight came from the picture of Ruth being covered by Boaz’s skirt and Kelly’s song-I Lay Down. It reminded me of the daily laying down at the feet of Jesus and trusting Him to cover me with His sheltering wings no matter how the circumstances look. My hope and my peace come from laying down.

    Wonderful evening! God Bless!

  28. 178
    Jan says:

    Bemus Point, NY

    After a dinner of chicken strawberry walnut salad, creamy corn casserole, and frozen peach delight for dessert, our small group of four women discussed the questions you brought to our attention.

    1. Unexpected kindnesses? We remembered times (before cell phones!) when we had been stranded with dysfunctional cars, and the men who had given of themselves to check under the hood, to change tires, or to drive for help. We spoke of the kindnesses our husbands show to neighbors and in unexpected ways to us as well, planning elaborate gifts or trips. And how sometimes a friend, who happens to be a man, can ease the pain of a parent’s impending death just by ministering to the family with his presence.

    2. “Only God could have known.” One of us saw God orchestrate a house sale at a great price, followed by finding the perfect-sized rental house (in a slim market) all within the space of three hours. Another of us met her husband at her own sister’s wedding, where he had been asked to stand in for a groomsman who couldn’t come at the last minute. And a third person detailed how she had met her husband at college, in the science course she was “stuck” in because the course she really wanted was filled. He was the lab assistant for her science class! And the rest is history…

    3. A time of waiting? We talked about stepping back as parents when it is time for children to make their own decisions. One of us prayed for an adult son, who was at loose ends, that he would join the armed forces. On his own, he decided to join up and every obstacle in his path was swept out of the way. A second person in our group talked about waiting for 10 days to find out the pathology report after her two-year-old boy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma and his eye was removed. The diagnosis was not cancer but a rare eye disease; had God intervened as a result of prayer during the wait?

    4. Ruth’s emotions? With pounding heart, quickened breath, and racing mind, Ruth knew that her fate would be determined before the day was over. She had done the unthinkable, the unimaginable, in going to Boaz like this. It was all she could do to remain still and let Boaz sleep…….or WAS he sleeping??

    We agreed that we would have felt like Ruth as well.

    5. One person shared how this study has made her realize that Christ has redeemed her and He isn’t through using her, in spite of her limited resources. She said, “I am remembering that God is my Resource, and He works with whatever I bring Him (my loaves and fishes) even though I don’t feel I have much to give Him.”

  29. 179
    Jane says:

    We had 10 ladies in our group Tuesday night. We had so much good discussion and fellowship, some on topic and some off. But we truly felt that God was laughing right along with us as we giggled – after all, He made us women this way! Here are some of the things we wanted to share:

    1. In response to an unexpected kindness from a man, most of our stories involved our husbands! One sweet one was that Jen was on a “date” with her 6 year old son at Chik-fil-A. As she started to pay, he said, “Wait, Mom, boys are supposed to pay” as he pulled a $20 bill out of his pocket (that daddy had given him, of course, to teach him how to treat a lady 🙂
    2. A bittersweet story was shared that touched all of us in response to the “only God could have known” moment. One of our ladies lost her 2 year old in a tragic accident many years ago. Just two days before he died, he told his mom and dad that he was going to see God. How could they have known that the simple comment he made that was so innocent would provide them with such a comfort that they know their son is with our Lord in Heaven! Only God could have known what they would need!
    3. Our waiting stories involved a lot of waiting on boyfriends (now husbands) to propose (lots of giggles) and also waiting on jobs during times of unemployment.
    4. What things were going through Ruth’s mind during that night – “What if this other guy is 174 years old? Or mean/abusive/ugly?”

    We then enjoyed a wonderful still warm homemade pound cake that one lady’s husband had made for us – with strawberries and Cool Whip – delicious!!!

  30. 180
    Leah says:

    London, Ontario
    Group of 2

    (It would take up a lot of space if I post all ten answers between the two of us. So to make it shorter, it’ll either be B’s or L’s answer for each question.)

    1. B – When I was about 8 or 9 I took swimming lessons. Because I couldn’t wear my hearing aids in the water I was left out a lot and didn’t really understand what was going on. My teacher was a young man, probably still in high school, and he took a lot of extra time with me to include me and to teach me how to swim even outside of class time when he wasn’t being paid for it.

    2. L – When it was time for to move out of my parents’ home & move into my first apartment few years ago. We prayed that I would find a nice neighbourhood, nice apartment, close to work and close to the public transportation, etc. We looked into so many different apartment buildings and guess what happened? Of all the apartments that we looked into and the one that I chose at the end? I didn’t expect that I would be moving into an apartment that the previous tenants who are moving out are the couple who used to go to my church.

    3. B – The first thing that comes to mind is when I’ve applied for something or submitted a paper. For example, my final paper in my master’s program, or applying for a missions trip or a job. I’ve put all the work into it and now I just have to wait and find out whether I’m going to pass my course or get the job, etc.

    4. B – What will happen to me? Is this other man a good man – who will I be yoked with for the rest of my life? Why isn’t God’s answer clearer; why can’t He tell me now what He wants? I’ve put myself out there and He’s not responding.

    5. L – I finally understood what redeemer means. I heard of it all my life but never really taken the time to think about what does redeem means. The example of Boaz and what he is willing to do for Ruth made it clear for me and understood something about something else. I knew Jesus loves me and died for my sins but didn’t realize that He already redeem for me because He knew no one else would claim me and make me His to save from my sins.

  31. 181
    Ginger says:

    Humboldt, Iowa… sixteen lovely ladies ranging in age from teens to eighties.

    1. One siesta told a story about her husband. One day, while in the throws of raising her children, her husband brought home a dress and accessories for her. He asked her to put them on, then he turned her toward the mirror and said, “See how beautiful you look? This is how I see you every day.” She was overcome…

    2. Several siestas had great examples of a time when God orchestrated a situation that could have only been God. Perhaps the best example is one siesta simply asking another to attend a Beth Moore Bible study with her. After joining the first study, she has continued with every study we’ve done and her relationship with Christ is growing more every day.

    3. We talked about job situations and medical situations, but the one that stirred the most conversation was when you’re trying to lead someone to Christ. There comes a point when you realize you’ve done all you can do, and then you just have to give the situation to God and keep praying. Many of us have situations like this, and it was helpful to talk through them and encourage each other.

    4. Ruth was desparate and Boaz was her only hope.

    5. Our sweet elderly siesta told us how she lived a long life of “me” until she finally gave her heart to the Lord. The Lord then saved her through rheumatoid arthritis… isn’t that something? We are so blessed to have her in our group!

  32. 182
    Alexia says:

    Not sure where to put my comments since I am jumping in late. When the Summer Bible Study launched I was knee deep in preparations for my son’s wedding. I did however, do all of my assignements but just could not put them into words as to post them to make sense. So here I am from the start.

    Champaign, IL
    Solo
    Online
    Divorced, mother of 6 (2 of which are married now) 1 grandson-Jackson and a grandaughter-Tinley on the way. I am a labor & delivery nurse. I have done most of the Beth Moore Bible Studies and this is my 2nd Kelly Minter summer study. It’s so incredible how God has given these beautiful women the gift, the art of teaching, writing, ministering to women and love us and God so much!!!

    One Word “BITTERNESS”

    One goal in this study-

    Some circumstances in which I have been a victim (and revisit from time to time) have caused a build-up a plaquing in my heart. I desire to seek God’s direction and pray God will restore the years the locusts have eaten so my HEART CAN BEAT fully again!!!

    I will post the first 2 weeks in the next post so it does not seem too lengthy.

  33. 183
    Alexia says:

    1. Satan has used the pain and the storms in my life to paralyze me. In turn they become a place of comfort, a place of familiarity, a safety zone and creates more problems. Only by the Grace of God and prayer have I been able to turn some of it into blessings. As a labor nurse, I instruct patients to find that spot and push past the pain. Keep focused, Keep moving towards God. I am a work in progress.

    2. I have to admit, I struggle with the weeping backwards. Many of my closet Christian friends have moved away or seem obsolete since my divorce. The abandonment I feel puts me in a place of self pity which results in bitterness. This keeps me stuck and stagnant but not always. (Thank my good Lord). Although it seems to me I have wept backwards. Through crying out to God to hold me and cradle me in His arms,the presense of God, the brokenness and those tears do move me forward.

    3. When does the PAIN stop?

    4. The season I am in is dry. It is an unquenchable thirst for God. The crying out, the waiting makes me anxious. I’m waiting for the tears to flow and harvest the dryness I am experiencing. I am so ready for God to turn my tears and fears into JOY!!! In the midst of abandonment, bitterness, struggling and the fears— Sowing in the Word of God will reap a harvest. I pray as the tears come, I let God lead me forward. I believe in Him!!!

  34. 184
    Jeri Meek says:

    Well… this week proved a bit more challenging for our group. Our discussion was quieter, and required some coaxing. God walked each of us through some hard weeks. Major career decisions, more life valleys, all trusting the One we follow to show us the way. One comment I found profound, “It amazes me how this study applies to me… right now… who knew Ruth would have anything to teach me.” I was jumping up and down inside, as I remember like it was yesterday when I realized how alive and active God’s Word is… written for me right now, yesterday and tomorrow. Praise His beautiful Name, how He works in our trials and triumphs!

  35. 185
    Crystal says:

    1.This one was tough for me as well. I think that it’s hard for me, because of the way I was raised and the attitude my mom had about things, to let guys be kind and do nice things. I have such an independant streak that I’m content taking care of things on my own, so it takes a lot for me to let someone else (man or woman) take care of me. I’m working to let go of that!

    What I did write in my book is that I adore any time a guy – my husband, or otherwise – goes the extra step and does those little things that make me smile…open the car door, carrying something heavy, getting angry FOR me (not at me).

    2. My “WOW” happened a few years ago at our youth retreat at Yolijwa. God had been working on my heart about a lot of things, and it was sort of a crazy time. I think it was the year we had David Burke as our speaker – he totally called me out in front of everyone (which I hated) and began very pointedly asking me questions that NO ONE would have known to ask unless God had a hand in it. I remember being completely overwhelmed when he prayed over me because the words he was saying were so perfect it was unbelievable. I love when God uses other people to speak to us & confirm His plan.

    3.This is my life at work, every day! “Hurry up and wait”..haha. I think right now the thing that comes to mind is starting a family. Matt & I went away for a weekend at the Ritchie’s to pray and seek God’s timeline for expanding our family, and we feel confident that we came away with a specific season in mind. Now it’s waiting for that time to get here, then waiting to see when it actually happens, then if it does, waiting to make sure everything is ok….and waiting for our future son or daughter to actually get here…it’s a lot of waiting.

    4. I loved digging deeper into this section, because my initial response was that I would have felt embarassed, confused, and a little rejected. At the same time, I would have felt hopeful that at least SOMEONE would be my redeemer and Naomi would be taken care of, but nervous about who this other guy was & what he would be like.

    I definitely enjoyed reading Kelly’s perspective, that Boaz’s response really was good news, and not a brush off. He wasn’t just going to marry her if no one else did, he actually WANTED to marry her, but his character demanded that he follow the proper steps. I still think I would have been pretty nervous though…

    5. I’ve learned that Christ WANTS to redeem us – He wants the opportunity to show us grace and mercy and immeasurable kindness, but if we choose our own redeemers or think we can do it ourselves, it doesn’t leave any room for Him to do what He needs & wants to do. I liked what Kelly wrote on pg. 109 too: “Sometimes we are told to quietly lean on our Savior and rest. At other times God calls us to actively wait. But we are always to stay close to our Redeemer.”

  36. 186
    Martha Helen says:

    Martha Helen,
    Brevard, NC
    Solo

    1. It’s kind of a silly example but the first thing that came to mind was when I was beginning a new summer job during college for a wilderness organization. During the very first staff meeting, when we were meeting each other for the first time (and I was so extremely nervous.. this was way out of my comfort zone) I expressed some concerns that I didn’t have a lot of skills necessary to be on staff and one of the cool senior outdoor guys (they all seemed too cool for school) immediately spoke up and reassured me and spoke such kind encouragement over me. His kindness totally surprised and relaxed me and meant the world to me. Who knew that a year later, he would become my husband?! 🙂

    2. This is such a long story but I was raised in a sort of fringe Christian group. Not many people are familiar with it. Though they profess Christ, its legalistic to the extreme and, I have since come to understand, very cultish in nature. My parents left the group when I was maybe 8 or so. But it had a profound (negative) effect on me theologically, partially because my parents were still deeply entrenched in that theology. Anyway, to make a long story short, I grew up so hungry for God and broken by some family dysfunction and didn’t know the way to Him because I only understood that I had to earn it and that churches were evil and not where He was found. At about 18 I began wholeheartedly seeking God in His Word but still struggled with such a mess of questions and bad theology. I was going to go to college at a local state school and was enrolled and so I moved home to NC to go and then found out I had been wait-listed. My parents at the same time ran into a professor from a private Christian college called Montreat that was also local and he encouraged me to apply. They had an outdoor program which I was interested in. I applied and received enough scholoarships/funding to be able to go—it cost no more than the state school would have cost. Words CANNOT express what a huge turn in my life that was. God used Montreat profoundly to change me. I met my best girl friends there. I finally had sound theological teaching that set me free in ways I could never have imagined (often I left class in tears just simply overwhelmed with joy). And I later met my husband there. Years later I found out that my file at that other state school had been mixed up with someone else’s and I had never been wait-listed. Talk about a divinely orchestrated turn of events!

    3. I’m gonna skip this one since I’ve been so long-winded thus far. 🙂

    4. He would redeem her. My role-play as Ruth went as follows: “Why didn’t Naomi tell me about this other nearer relative? Did she know? What have I gotten myself into? Who is this other man and what if he DOES want to redeem me? I don’t even know him, if he’s cruel or kind. But.. Boaz must have already been thinking about doing this to know of this closer relative. If this other man does not want me, I know now that Boaz does.”

    5. I have the hugest lump in my throat as I read the paragraph on p.108 beginning with “if Ruth slept at all..” If you just replace Ruth’s name with your own and Boaz’s name with Christ’s.. that about sums up what has struck me to the core about my own Kinsman-Redeemer. He can redeem me and He WANTS to. The second part of that has been the struggle of my life to believe, and it’s still daily hard. How could He want to? The other HUGE revelation I’ve had thus far was back on p.85-86 where Kelly discusses the larger role of the kinsman-redeemer. It literally floored me. That Christ not only redeems me that I might be in glory with Him. He goes farther than that. He fights to ensure that I receive ALL of my inheritance. He buys me back every time I sell myself away again to bondage. When I have been wronged, He fights for justice on my behalf. Redemption is not just something He did once and for all. It’s something He does for me daily. I have never really grasped that in this way before or seen Him as SO for me. God help me believe something too wonderful to be true!

    • 186.1
      Michelle says:

      Martha Helen, your story sounds like you should write a book of your life and make a movie out of it. I’m so heartwarmed by Jesus’ wooing of you and yours is a shining example of being redeemed. Your testimony should be shared with everyone!

      • Martha Helen says:

        thank you, Michelle. i’ve never thought my story was that extraordinary. 🙂 but i’m so blessed that you would share your kind words with me! thanks.. and i guess, maybe i should share it more often. 🙂

    • 186.2
      Lauren Bates says:

      My Grandmother went to Montreat for a year way back when and loved it… she has such good memories!

  37. 187
    Judy says:

    Going solo–
    1. The unexpected kindness that I recall came as two friends and I were traveling 150 miles from home to catch a plane. (As always, trying to catch a deal!) On the way to the airport, we had a terrible blow-out, miraculously spinning through two lanes of traffic on the interstate without getting hit. (Thank you, Lord!) A young man saw us from the other side, and went to considerable trouble and distance to come to us and put the donut on the car, enabling us to catch our plane. I don’t recall his name, but do remember that he would take no payment for that kindness. He was our Boaz that day.

    2.My dad has Alzheimers and Parkinsons. He has been a dedicated Christian all of his adult life, and was one of the adults that drove us as Youth on the church bus to mission trips and bowling, and all the other places that youth groups need to go.
    A few years ago, it became necessary for him to go to a day program, giving my step-mom much needed respite during the day. As we looked for and chose a program for him, I later discovered that the one we chose was owned by a former member of that youth group, who I had lost touch with. What a blessing that the owner was someone who knew him as a vital, alive, joyful and loving man, instead of the man he had become. Only God could have known and prepared for that miracle, and I thank Him for that.

    3. Too personal… can’t do it in this format

    4. As I think of the culture of the time, and how powerless women were, I am sure that she was excited at the prospect of being redeemed, but fearful of who that redeemer may be. She knew that Boaz was a kind and caring man, but knew nothing of the other man- not even a name. What if he was a tyrant? I am sure, like Kelly, that I would have spent the night reviewing the “What if…”s in my head.

    5.I’d never before seen Boaz as the hero in this story, and love the parrallels to Christ. How like Christ, that Boaz was there loving, waiting for her to ask. All she had to do was take the first step. And he had laid the groundwork– offered the kindnesses and blessings. Thank you, Lord, that You were waiting for me even before I knew who You were.

    I’m loving this study! I always appreciate it when someone (Kelly or Beth) takes a familiar story and makes it new. I will learn one of these days to stop assuming I know these stories that they choose. Thank God that both of you and many more have the talent to write and are willing to share your insights.

  38. 188
    Marilyn says:

    THANKS FOR PICKING THIS BIBLE STUDY……….IT’S WRITTEN IN SUCH A FRESH WAY THAT I FEEL LIKE I DON’T KNOW THE END OF THE STORY. I’M FILLED WITH SUSPENSE WAITING TO SEE HOW IT ALL TURNS OUT. ONTO THE QUESTIONS:

    1. ONE OF THE KINDEST THINGS I CAN REMEMBER A MAN DOING FOR ME WAS :

    14 YEARS AGO MY PASTOR ENCOURAGED ME TO GO ON A MEDICAL MISSION TRIP
    TO BELARUS. IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT SUCH A THING WAS REMOTELY POSSIBLE. I HAD 3 CHILDREN AT HOME, A FULL TIME JOB. BUT GOD WORKED IT ALL OUT AND IT HAPPENED ONLY BECAUSE MY PASTOR, AT THE TIME, ENCOURAGED AND PRAYED FOR ME.

    2. THIS QUESTION IS AN INTERESTING ONE. IF ANYONE HAS NOTICED ME ON THIS BLOG, YOU KNOW THAT I LOST MY 16 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER 11 YEARS AGO. IT HAS BEEN AND REMAINS HUGE IN MY LIFE. I GRIEVED AND CONTINUE TO GRIEVE THE FACT THAT I DON’T HAVE THE GIFT OF HER COMPANY. AT THE 7 YEAR MARK, I FELT THE LORD SAYING THAT 7 IS NUMBER OF COMPLETION AND THAT IT WAS TIME TO STOP GOING DOWN SOME OF THE PAINFUL PATHS I WOULD ALLOW MY MIND TO WANDER AT TIMES. SO, FULL OF DETERMINATION TO EMBRACE THE DAY AND WALK IN OBEDIENCE, MY FRIEND PLANNED A BIRTHDAY TEA PARTY FOR ME, WHICH WAS ALSO ON THE 7TH ANNIVERSARY OF KAITLIN’S DEATH. MY GRANDDAUGHTERS WERE TO BE IN ATTENDANCE AND I WAS GENUINELY LOOKING FWD TO THE TEA PARTY AND DETERMINED TO LOOK FWD TO SEEING KAITLIN AGAIN INSTEAD OF LOOKING BACK AT THE PAINFUL LOSS. I HAD TO WORK THAT MORNING AND ONE OF OUR TERMINAL PATIENTS MOTHER CAME TO ME AND ASKED ME IF I WOULD COME SPEAK WITH HER DAUGHTER. THE DAUGHTER HAD DESCRIBED ME TO HER MOTHER AS ‘THAT WOMAN WHO LOST HER LITTLE GIRL IN A CAR ACCIDENT’. THIS WAS VERY ODD COMING ON THE DAY OF THE 7TH ANNIVERSARY OF KAITLIN’S DEATH AND I TOLD THE MOM THAT IT WAS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THAT DAY AND WE WERE BOTH STRUCK BY THE STRANGENESS OF THE TIMING. TO TRY TO BE A LITTLE MORE BRIEF, THE PATIENT WANTED TO HER MOTHER TO BUY ME A DRESS B/C BASICALLY SHE WAS SAYING THAT SOMEHOW SHE (THE PATIENT) KNEW KAITLIN WANTED ME TO HAVE A DRESS. I REALLY THOUGHT IT WAS SOME TYPE OF DELIRIUM BUT HUMORED HER AND WENT AND PUT ON A PRETTY DRESS FOR THE TEA PARTY AND WENT BACK AND THANKED THE PATIENT FOR IT (TRYING TO GET HER MOM OFF THE HOOK B/C THE DAUGHTER HAD CONTINUED TO INSIST THAT THE MOTHER BUY ME A NEW DRESS) THE PATIENT THEN TOLD ME ‘I DIDN’T DO IT FOR YOU, I DID IT FOR HER (AS SHE LOOKED TOWARD THE CEILING). ” SHE WAS SAYING THAT IT WAS KAITLIN WHO WANTED ME TO HAVE THIS DRESS. I DON’T HAVE A CLUE OF WHAT IT ALL MEANT BUT I WAS, OF COURSE, OVERCOME BY THIS VERY STRANGE EVENT ON THE DAY OF THAT TERRIBLE ANNIVERSARY. I THANKED THE PATIENT AND TOLD HER I WOULD PRAY FOR HER. THE PATIENT DIED 5 DAYS LATER AND TALKING WITH HER MOM AT THE VISITATION, ONE MORE DETAIL CAME OUT THAT HAD NOT BEEN MENTIONED AT THE TIME B/C IT MADE NO SENSE TO THE MOTHER. THE PATIENT HAD WANTED ME SPECIFICALLY TO HAVE ‘A PROM DRESS’…….NOT JUST A DRESS. I WAS HALF WAY HOME FROM THE VISITATION BEFORE IT HIT ME……….KAITLIN WAS BURIED IN HER PROM DRESS. THESE PEOPLE COULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THAT TERRIBLE EVENT. THEY DID NOT KNOW SHE WAS BURIED IN HER PROM DRESS. I STILL DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT ALL MEANS BUT I WAS LEFT FEELING LIKE I HAD BEEN SUPERNATURALLY TOUCHED ON THAT DAY AND THAT GOD WAS AFFIRMING MY EFFORTS TO OBEY AND WALK BEFORE HIM IN JOY AND GLADNESS.

    3. I ALWAYS TRY TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN IN EACH SITUATION AND HAVE LEARNED TO WAIT ON GOD FOR THE REST………..NOT TRYING TO DO HIS PART TOO.

    4.RUTH MUST HAVE BEEN VERY FRIGHTENED THAT THE OTHER KINSMAN REDEEMER WOULD COME FORTH AND CRUSH HER DREAMS ONCE AGAIN.

    5. CHRIST AS MY KINSMAN REDEEEMR IS EVERYTHING TO ME. THERE’S PLENTY HE HAS REDEEMED AND WILL CONTINUE TO REDEEM IN MY LIFE. HE’S PROMISED TO ‘RESTORE WHAT THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN’. THE FACT THAT I HAVE A REDEEMER IS WHAT KEEPS ME GOING. I LOVE THAT YOU RECENTLY SAID (BETH) THAT THERE’S PLENTY OF THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT ARE OF SERIOUS CONCERN BUT YOU CHOOSE TO LAUGH AND ENJOY LIFE AS IT COMES (WORDS TO THAT EFFECT). NONE OF OUR LIVES ARE ANYTHING APPROACHING PERFECT. BUT PRAISE YOU JESUS…………..MY KINSMAN REDEEMER, YOU ARE FOR ME AND COMMITTED TO ME AND HAVE A GOOD PLAN FOR ME FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

  39. 189
    Joan says:

    I am going to join two other women in this study on Ruth. I told them how awesome it is!! They asked if I would not finish here but with them so I will be starting over. Just wanted you to know since I made myself accountable on this site. We still may add our comments – it will just be weekds later!! Lord bless you all as you press on!!

  40. 190
    Patti says:

    What only God could have known –
    In July, 2003 I visited (with my family) the Orlando area for the first time. I had never been to Walt Disney World! I thought WDW (and Universal) were incredible and enjoyed our trip so much. Even after returning home, I didn’t know if we would ever come back (thought it was just a one-time thing). In 2005, my husband began looking for a new job and the only one God gave him was in the Orlando area. We now live less than 15 min. away from WDW. Only God could have known in 2003 that we would be living here today!

    Patti, Kissimmee, FL

  41. 191
    Vanessa says:

    Florence – Greenville, SC – Met in Charleston, SC

    Vanessa was recently praying through a decision to go to Kenya on a mission trip. One of her main concerns was how she would pay for it. A few days after learning about the opportunity, she received an anonymous card with cash. This was confirmation that God would provide. So thankful for the overwhelming kindness of others! On the same note – Boaz’s kindness has challenged us to think of ways we can be overwhelmingly kind to others.

    Meghan is in a time of waiting for an answer. She is praying through a career change and has done everything she can do. Now she just has to wait for a decision to be made.

    Looking forward to finishing strong!

  42. 192
    Gail says:

    Gail in Washington, solo

    1: I will never forget when I was on my way to church and discovered I was out of gas, so had to fill up on the way. It was night, cold, and windy, and a truck driver came over and said, “You have no business out here pumping gas. Let me do that for you.” So I sat there in my warm car, fume free, and he filled it up. Total stranger, and I’m certain he wasn’t trying to impress or anything. I’m not a man magnet! 🙂 It was out of the shear kindness of his heart. Bless him!

    2. After we moved across the country, left friends and family behind, I was overwhelmed with insecurity. New job, new home, new friends, new fellowship. The first Sunday here the pastor that we know and love gave a message on Eternal Security and I felt it was just for me. But I also felt that this pastor who knew me personally and my struggles also knew this was a message I might need to hear so planned it that way. The very next Sunday a visiting minister came who does not know me at all, and delivered the very same message. Eternal Security; Any security placed on things that are not eternal is not actually security at all. It was as if God was saying, “Honey, it’s ME! This is MY message for you!” I can think of others but this one seemed like such a direct message.

    3. hmm. Still waiting.

    4. I would have been a mess. Talk about anxiety. Then I’m afraid I would start second guessing everything, even whether or not Boaz really wanted to fill the position or if he secretly wanted a way out. Oh, I would have been a total wreck.

    5. I am absolutely loving this study. It is impacting me in such a way right now, in this stage of my life. I feel at peace about some of the things I am having to wait on right now, and they had been the source of some anxiety. I have laid down something that was causing bitterness to creep in, and for the first time feel ok about the situation. I have laid down my will over a decision that was needing to be made and rest in the fact that He is the Great Redeemer and His will is so much more perfect than mine. And my personal favorite; He is not only the Savior of my future, but the Redeemer of my past!
    Thank you, Beth and Kelly!
    God bless you both!

  43. 193
    Mary H says:

    Update for our Thursday night meeting in my home in Ardmore, Al. We had a total of 8 ladies. We had two new ladies join us last night. I fixed the recipes on page 62 and 63. Then I made the mom’s ice cream dessert…it was AMAZING!!! I have to say our group was so excited that Beth mentioned one of our lady’s title to her novel…”When can I have carbs again?” She was thrilled! Bless her, the meal that I fix didn’t help her situation and I fear that I tempted her to fall off the carbs wagon.

    To the questions…1. We enjoyed sharing our stories of unexpected kindness from a man…from changing a tire to help in NYC Subway, to taking one to the doctor and having to wait hours in the waiting room.

    2. A sister shared of her move from Louisiana to North Alabama…thinking it would be easy to find a teaching job. She hasn’t found a teaching job, but God put her on a new path with a new type of job. Another sister told of her husband’s job transfer to the Huntsville area and how sad she was that she would be so far from her family, but she gained a new family in Christ when she moved.

    3. My mom shared how she is going through a period where she must wait on someone else’s response. Another sister shared that as her husband begins his road to stem cell how she has no control over the situation. She is also caring for an elderly father and this situation is dependent on so many circumstances that are out of her control.

    4. We enjoyed sharing what we would have thought from…Another kinsman…what does he look like, what is his character!! to Thank goodness he didn’t turn me away!

    5. No one really wanted to share. I pray that at our next meeting the ladies will feel safe to share their personal stories.

    • 193.1
      Lori says:

      We 4 Ladies in Ridgefield just relish this evening together every 2 weeks! We had the grilled chicken and strawberry salad this week with a little bread dipped in vinegar like Ruth and Boaz ate together. It was delicious!

      It was interesting thinking about specific times we have felt overcome by a man’s kindness. Holly remembers as a young girl being overcome by the kindness of an older boy on the school bus! Julie was overwhelmed by an amazing boss she once had and Lori by many of the men at the church who step up to help her do the “manly” tasks around the church – actually not allowing her to do them:)

      The other questions were answered and shared together by the four of us who are basking in God’s faithfulness. He is faithful to protect our family, our pets and to provide all we need for life and godliness – especially great friends.

      The waiting is often times difficult…but it surely helps us to know that it is not because of what we have done, but only thru the power of God that our steps are orchestrated.

      3 1/2 hours later – we are ready to begin the final chapters!

      Blessings to All!

  44. 194

    We have the online study with 150 women, and the comments have been so amazing. I wanted to share these three responses to Question one- because they’re very powerful stories:

    Carla: During my freshman year of college, i was on the step team for my dormitory. The night before the step show, we had a very, very long practice i became upset with the leaders and stormed out of practice. As i walked home the fact that i was walking alone registered as soon as this guy walked out of the library. I was too far and maybe too stubborn to turn back around and wait for my team as we usually walked home together so, i prayed basically that he wasn’t crazy and that he would help me if something happened. The dorm was considered on-campus but, it was actually about 15 minutes off campus by foot and the path home was really dark so, i stayed far enough behind him to run back in case he decided to come after me but close enough for him to hear me if i needed him. long story short, this truck out of nowhere approached me and the driver asked me to come to the car and when i said no, the passenger opened the door as if he’d come get me. The guy ahead called out to me asking if i needed help and as i ran to him the truck sped away. The guy whose name turned out to be James walked me the rest of the way home and though i never saw him again I’m forever grateful that he was there! He was definitely my guardian angel that night!

    Sandi: There are two occasions that I can think of in regards to a man’s generosity. One is when I moved to Tucson, AZ and had two children, one who was severely handicapped. I didn’t have money for my electricity bill and was crying to my friend who lived at my apt complex and telling her that I needed electricity to keep my son’s feeding pump going and his other electrical contraptions that kept him alive! I was so distraught and a man who lived there came up and said that he heard my problem and offered to pay my bill. Normally I would say, ‘Oh, no, thats ok, I’ll be fine’, but I needed this so badly, so I accepted. I couldn’t believe his kindness.
    The other occasion was when I was taking my handicapped son on an airplane. I had him in a wheelchair and was running thru the airport so as not to miss my plane. I was the last to board and of course the wheelchair doesn’t fit down the aisle so I had to disconnect his feeding pump and carry him sideways thru the aisle to get to our seats. He was five feet tall and i am five foot three. So after getting our two bags and my purse and me struggling with my son, I managed (by myself) to get to our seats. I was in the beginnings of a migraine headache and was huffing and puffing and the flt attendant came to me and said that there was a gentleman in first class who wanted to give me his meal and would I accept it. Well, that was the straw that broke the camels back and I started crying. So here I am trying to hold my son up in his seat because he kept leaningnforward to fall out (he couldn’t even hold up his head for any extended length of time) and I’m crying and I have a full shrimp meal while everyone else is having peanuts. I will never forget that day.
    Oh, and the guy that paid my elec bill? Well, we’ve been married now for 17 years!! How about that?

    Karen: I was at the beach and my kids were 4,6 and 7. The tide was coming in and my car was stuck in the sand. I didn’t see anyone around us to help. My 4 year old said Lets pray mommy, I said thats a great idea, so we did and when I opened my eyes, Three very tall men walked over to our car and literally picked the front end of the car up and told me to slowly back up,I did and said thank you and drove off. I looked in my rear view mirror and the men walked the other way. I don’t know where they came from, but I do. My 4 year old daughter Amanda said See mommy God sent his Angels to help us. The hairs on my arms were standing straight up. Wow.

    • 194.1
      Kathy B says:

      Thanks, Christine. Love, Love, Love your stories! I call these “faith builder stories.” My family has several, and when my kids were little they would often ask me to repeat them. Bless you for the spiritual shot in the arm!

  45. 195
    Hollen says:

    OH MY WORD!!! I just got this book! I had no idea this was the study that you all were doing! Oh, yay! LOL Maybe I can catch up somehow. 🙂

  46. 196
    Stephanie says:

    Dear Siestas,
    Your blog comments are so wonderful. I am so blessed when I read them, and I am so loving this beautiful Bible study! God has used it to minister to me greatly.
    I just wanted to share the kindness of a man, whose name I will never know. My husband is in the disaster restoration business and is often gone for weeks to months at a time during hurricane season. Such was the case at this time. We are blessed with four small children. I homeschool the older 3, so when he is gone for an extended period, I must take everyone to the grocery store or anywhere I go (I have no nearby relatives to babysit).
    There I was at SuperWalmart stressed to the max with my 2 year old fussing on and off and trying to make a “basket” with his pacifier into passerby’s carts (unfortunately he is very good at this) while my four year old is crying and demanding highly sugared foods. In the meantime my older 2 keep getting distracted and wandering in different directions. I am praying desperately to make it to the checkout intact with enough food for the week when my two year old shoves an endcap of 24 pack diet cokes as we pass by. The cases break open as they hit the floor, and diet coke cans go flying down the isles at breakneck speed. All I can think of is, “Thank you, Jesus, that none of them broke open and started spraying!”
    Just at that moment, a well dressed business man, over coat flying, came rushing toward me. “Don’t you worry ma’m. I’ve got it! No, no, you don’t need to pick up one can. I got it all taken care of. This is why I was sent here, for this moment. You go on and finish your shopping with your kids.”
    I was floored. Tears flowed as I thanked this man for his kindness and profusely thanked Jesus for sending him my way. I made it to checkout that day with thankfulness in my heart and laughter on my lips as I couldn’t believe such a movie screen comedy could play out so beautifully. Thank you again, Father God. You are awesome and sweet and beautiful, and please bless that man for his kindness even today.

    His blessings to you all today!
    Love,
    Stephanie

  47. 197
    Luanne says:

    ok, i’m caught up and ready to reply!

    1. my husband has continually surprised me with acts of unexpected kindness and i love seeing how our son is following suit with his wife (who is expecting our first grandchild!!). it is just so precious to see a man show such tender kindness to his wife.

    2. our divinely orchestrated moment was our move to florida. i felt God’s leading through the whole thing, with pieces falling into place so easily and wonderfully. but our move down here has moved my sons into such a closer relationship with God and what a blessing that was to see. it’s also where i did my first bible study with beth, Jesus the One and Only, and fell in love with Him for the first time. although i’d been saved since i was a child, i finally understood He wanted to have a relationship with me, not just have me believe in Him! it’s been a fantastic journey over the last 9 years growing closer to God and loving and trusting Him more each day.

    4. if i were in ruth’s place, i think i’d be worried about what kind of man the other kinsman-redeemer was. i knew boaz and his character but who knows what this other man was like. i’d also be thrilled that boaz accepted me!

    5. this study reinforced/reminded me that Christ wanted to be my redeemer. he wasn’t forced into it but did the will of the Father and did it for me! His love for me just overwhelms me!!

  48. 198
    Misty says:

    Misty – Midland TX
    I am going solo, so I didn’t discuss the questions with anyone, so I thought I would just comment on a few things.
    I got my book late, but I have now caught up. Two things from the past two weeks really stood out to me. On page 79 talking about work – “God provides us with the gift of work yet still invites us to do the work.” All the responsibilites that we have as women/wives/moms/etc. somehow I have never really thought about God providing me with the “gift” of work. It truly is for my own good. It has put a different spin on how I see my responsibilies. I shudder to think of who I would be if my life was only filled with the easy things.
    The second thing is from page 104. Proverbs 3:5-6. I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that I have seen/read/thought about/been taught about this verse more than 100 times. However, the day I sat down to do this study, I was using the Holman CSB Bible. Instead of the traditional “lean not” on your own understanding…this one says “do not rely on your own understanding.” This was the same day I found out we were going to have to do some pretty invasive tests on my youngest daughter to figure out the source of several recurring illnesses she has had this year. I have spent the past several weeks guessing at what it could be, researching, etc. This verse stopped me in my tracks. As a parent I am doing what needs to be done as far as prayer, medications, and tests – that is my “work” in this situation. But beyond that, God was so faithful to remind me to basically STOP it. Stop relying on my own understanding. He has flooded me with such peace thru that very familiar verse.

  49. 199
    Ana Cerrato says:

    1. Kindess~ one of the ladies shared that her boss PAID the entire credit card bill. He was NOT a Christian.

    2. Divine Appointments/connections~ one of the ladies shared that when she was 5 she saw a movie/testimony of a pastor that went to share the gospel in NYC in the 1950’s. Many years later she ended up working for him.

    3. Waiting~ all the women are waiting for a transition in work and ministry

    4. Jesus our Redeemer~ feeling like she didn’t belong any where and with anyone…but Jesus taking her in and setting her in family! So loved

    the study and fellowship time has been a blessing!

  50. 200
    Lauren says:

    STUART, FL – going solo!
    (I’m going to do my best on these – I didn’t have very many good examples to answer some of the questions, so I just tried to get close 🙂 )

    1) When I was fresh out of college and newly married, I couldn’t find a writing job (English major!) in Chattanooga where I moved to be with my husband. I started working at the mall, which was fine, but I was getting discouraged about not being able to use everything that I had learned (and that my wonderful parents had paid for). My husband, who was still in school, told one of his professors about me in passing, and that kind professor offered me a job with the small company he owned. He didn’t know me or my qualifications, but he gave me a very interesting job doing marketing and training. Once he got to know me, he asked me to help him edit a book he was working on! I was so grateful for his generosity and his willingness to take a risk just to help me and my husband. It made such a positive difference early in our marriage.

    2) Last fall, when I was doing Beth’s Esther study, we heard the tragic news that a little 5-year-old girl in our community was murdered in her home by a deranged family member on Thanksgiving. I didn’t know her, but hearing that threw me into a tailspin. I kept my poor husband up most of the night that we saw it on the news, just crying and running through “what ifs?” about our own children. I was a wreck. The very next morning, I opened my Esther workbook, and to my great comfort, the lesson that day was about psychological warfare and Satan torturing us by putting ideas and thoughts into our heads. I realized that that was what had happened to me the night before, and it was SUCH a relief to turn it over to God, knowing that I was under attack, but that God could overcome my adversary.

    3) This is one I don’t have a particularly meaningful response for… it seems like this happens to me at work all the time, though! In marketing, I’m always getting things as far as they can go and then handing them off to the technical folks – there’s a lot of anxious waiting involved! (It would help me a lot to learn to relax in the waiting!)

    4) I think Ruth’s relief would’ve been for accomplishing what she came to accomplish – I think about how I feel when I have to have an awkward conversation and I don’t know how the other person’s going to take it. She didn’t have to be anxious about what was going to happen anymore. But if it were me, I don’t think I’d feel relieved for long. I’d start to wonder if Boaz only brought up the other guy because he didn’t really want to redeem me and was hoping the other kinsman-redeemer would. And then, I’d wonder if things were too good to be true and the whole thing was going to backfire – what if the other kinsman-redeemer couldn’t provide for her and Naomi? (Can you tell I’m a worrier? 🙂 ) Once I got tired of all the what ifs, I’d probably allow myself a little fantasy time – imagining what it might be like to be the wife of this noble man and enjoying the comfort of sleeping at the feet of a protector and redeemer.

    5) I loved learning about the historic role of a kinsman-redeemer – a person who kept a family and its property intact when someone suffered misfortune. It made me think how everyone in the world is part of God’s family, and Christ is the one bringing us back into the fold. It’s such a comforting thought to think of the family connection we have in Christ, and it helps me put things in perspective – especially since it’s so easy to be the center of my own universe!

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