CHAPLAN'S CORNER

Each season, we will be looking at the life of a character in the Bible. We will examine their strength's and weaknesses, as well as their struggles and breakthroughs. Many of these character "sketches" will be taken from the "LIFE APPLICATION BIBLE",  a Bible I highly recommend to all my Fibro Friends ! The character sketches and the footnotes are a royal treasure and are pact with wisdom! If you don't have one of these Bibles, you can visit any Christian bookstore and buy one. Now lets  view this season's character sketch below.........

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NAOMI AND RUTH

   ruth

 

God brought great blessings out of Naomi's tragedy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her story, it can be found in the Old Testament in the book of Ruth. The story of Naomi takes place about 1200 B.C. in the land of Israel and Moab. Naomi left Israel married and secure, but returned widowed and poor. Although she felt bitter and disappointed, she did not let bitterness blind her to the positive opportunities that layed before her. Naomi did not loose sight of the tremendous resources she had in her realtionship with Ruth and with God. When we face bitter times, God welcomes our honest prayers, and we must be careful not to overlook the love, strength, and resources that he provides in these relationships. We need to be like Naomi and not turn our backs on God when tragedy strikes. Don't ask, "How can God allow this to happen to me?", but rather, "Help me Lord, to bring something good out of this horrible situation". It might surprise you when God responds to this request, and begins to take the "pieces" of what's left of your life, and build something that is even GREATER than before......
      Naomi became overwhelmed by her hardship and blinded to the bigger picture...The bigger picture was that God had chosen her in the midst of her suffering, to become the vessel to bring Ruth and Boaz together. The union of this couple would bring forth the descendants of King David, King Solomon, and Jesus Christ. Perhaps some of our prayers should  be about asking God to give us an "awareness" of the bigger picture, rather than fixing our immediate situation. God can use you, like Naomi, to bring family and friends together and to Him. He can use you to bring forth answers to those who are in pain and suffering this very hour. Below is an interesting story that reminds me a bit of the life of Naomi. It is called, "Everything I need to know about life, I learned from a Jigsaw Puzzle"..................

 

EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM A JIGSAW PUZZLE

 

1. Don't force a fit--if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.

2. When things aren't going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.

3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.

4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.

5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later (see #4).

6. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook. Refer to the Creator's guidebook often.

7. Variety is the spice of life. It's the different colors and patterns that make the puzzle interesting.

8. Working together with friends and family makes any task fun.

9. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.

10. Don't be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are surprising.

11. Take time often to celebrate your successes (even little ones).

12. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can't be rushed.

13. When you finally reach the last piece, don't be sad. Rejoice in the masterpiece you've made and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

By Jacquie Sewell

 

 







RUTH

 

To some, the book of Ruth may be just a nice story about a girl who got lucky. But in reality, the whole series of events recorded in Ruth were part of God's preperations for the birth of King David and for Jesus Christ.. Just as Ruth was unaware of this larger purpose in her life, we will never know the full purpose and importance of our lives until we are able to look back on the whole picture from the perspective of eternity. We must make our choices with God's eternal values in mind. Because of Ruth's faithful obedience, her life and legacy carried great significance even though she couldn't see the end result. Live in faithfulness to God, knowing that the significance of your life will extend beyond your lifetime.....
      Though Ruth may not have always recognized God's guidance in her life, he had been with her every step of the way. She went to glean and "just happened" to end up in a field owned by Boaz who "just happened" to be a close relative. This was more than mere coincidence. As you go about your daily tasks, God is working in your life in ways you may not even notice. We must not close the door on what God can do. For the believer, events do not occur by luck or coincidence. We have faith that God is directing our lives for his purpose.
      Ruth, like Naomi, arrived in Israel poor and widowed. The future certainly did not look bright, but rather bleak. Ruth found herself within a foreign land with little means of supporting herself.... But Ruth listened to Naomi and choose to "glean" in the fields. Had she considered herself too proud or embarrassed to glean, she would have missed the opportunity of meeting Boaz, changing her life, and becoming the ancestor of a King and the Messiah.  Imagine what Ruth's life would have been like had she ignored her mother-in-law. God may be placing some opportunities before you today. We should never be to proud or to embarrassed to walk through doors God is opening for us. 
       Ruth's task of gleaning, though menial, and perhaps degrading, was done faithfully. What is your attitude when the task you have been given is not up to your true potential? The task at hand may be all we can do, or it may be the work God wants us to do. Or, as in Ruth's case, it may be a test of our character that can open up new doors of opportunity for us.

 





" RELINQUISHING YOUR WANTS "


 

A number of years ago, I stumbled into a Christian Health Food Store in Poway, California. I was very angry and at the end of my rope concerning fibromyalgia. I began to cry in front of the owner, and I just seemed to "loose" it at that moment in time. The owner recommended some products, but really emphasized a particular book that I should read. It was a book written by Catherine Marshall. Oddly, I can't remember the name of the book (Possibly: "Something More" or "Beyond Ourselves"), but I remember a particular chapter that dealt with "RELINQUISHING YOUR WANTS". Catharine herself had gone through a terrible illness that left her bedfast for almost 3 years. At the end of the 3 years, she came to a conclusion: She was focusing on the wrong thing. She wanted to be healed, so she could serve God, but what she realized was that she needed to make a committment to serve God whether she was healed or not. She realized that she needed to focus on serving God and the people around her day by day, whether it was through a body that was whole or broken. Obviously, she was very limited in what she could do, but she could smile and she could listen to people who came to talk to her. There seemed to be a great relief that overtook her being, when she stopped wanting or demanding healing or answers. Amazingly, Catharine was completely healed and spent many years in vigourous health doing the Lord's work.

 

What I learned from this chapter was simply this: We all have "wants". Some of our "wants" are legitimate, but when we focus too much on any "want", it can become a "lust".. Yes, we can want something like "healing"...something good and legitimate, but the "want" can develope into a "demanding want" (lust). When we are at this stage where we are "demanding our want", ANGER is not far away......In fact,, there is a direct correlation between "WANT" AND "ANGER".... ANGER is often the "TIP OF THE ICE BERG", with a 'TON OF WANT" below it or behind it. The way to get rid of the anger, is by "relinquishing your want". Sometimes we are angry and we don't even know why ! We have to stop and ask ourselves, what is the "want" BEHIND the "anger". Identifying the "want" can be very freeing. We may want someone to say something or do something, and they aren't saying it or doing it ! We have to just place that person in God's hands and ask God to direct them...and then we need to move on and focus on other things. Take your "wants" and place them in God's hands. Decide to follow and serve God, whether all your "want's" are fulfilled or not. You probably will be surprised at what God does....

One thing I have noticed in my Christian life....There are people who will serve and follow God as long as God gives them what they "want". This group of people usually end up very mad and angry, and loose all of their "character". Then there are those who will follow God, regardless of whether God gives them what they want.. This group of people seem to be filled with contentment, peace, and inner happiness, even when all of their ducks are not in a row. I've found life is much more enjoyable when we learn to reflect God's love and character, regardless of whether all our 'wants' are fulfilled. Just remember, "It's not the end of the world", if we don't get everything we want. Focus on what is left, and be thankful for it. God can always bring "more" out of thankfulness, rather than bitterness, anger, and ungratefullness.

 

 

 


"MOTHER THERESA'S MOTTO"  


 

theresa

 

"ANYWAY"

 

People are unreasonable, illogical, self-centered..........................Love them anyway.

 

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives..........................Do good anyway.

 

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies...........................Be successful anyway.

 

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow,...........................Do good anyway.

 

Honesty and frankeness will make you vulnerable..........................Be honest and frank anyway.

 

People love underdogs but follow only top dogs..........................Follow some underdog anyway.

 

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight........................Build anyway.

 

People really need help but may attack you if you try to help........................Help people anyway.

 

If you give the world the best you have, you may get kicked in the teeth..........But give the world the best you have........ ANYWAY.


 

 


"JOB"


 

Children never tire of asking "Why?" Yet the question produces a bitter taste the older we get. Children wonder about everything: Adults wonder about suffering. We notice that the world seems to run by a system of "cause and effect", yet there are some effects for which we can't find a clear cause, and some causes that don't lead to expected effects.

We would expect Job's wealth and family to give him a very happy life and, for awhile,it does. But the loss and pain that he experienced shocks us. The first two chapters of his story are more than we can bear. To those quick to ask "Why?" at the smallest misfortune, Job's faithfulness seems incredible. But even Job had something to learn. We can learn with him.

Our age of "instant" everything has caused us to lose the ability to wait. We expect to learn patience instantly and in our hurry, we miss the contradiction. Of all that we want now, relief from pain is at the top of the list. We want an instant cure for everything from toothaches to heartbreaks.

Although some pains have been cured, we still live in a world where many people suffer. Job was not expecting instant answers for the intense emotional and physical pain he endured. But in the end, what broke Job's patience was not suffering - rather, it was not knowing "Why" he suffered.

When Job expressed his frustration, his friends were ready with their answers. They believed that the law of "cause and effect" applied to all people's experiences.. Their view of life boiled down to: Good things happen to good people,and bad things happen to bad people. Because of this, they felt thier role was to help Job admit to the bad thing he had done which was causing his suffering.

Job actually looked at life almost the same way as his friends. What he couldn't understand was why he was suffering so much, when he was sure he had done nothing to deserve such punishment. The last friend, Elihu, did offer another explanation for the pain by pointing out that God may be allowing it to purify Job. But this is only partly helpful. When God finally spoke, he didn't offer Job an answer. Instead, he drove home the point that it is better to "KNOW GOD" than to "KNOW ANSWERS".

Often we suffer consequences for bad decisions and actions. Job's willingness to repent and confess known wrongs is a good guideline for all of us. Sometimes suffering shapes us for special services for others. Sometimes suffering is an attack from Satan on our lives. And sometimes we don't know why we suffer. At those times, are we willing to trust God in spite of unanswered questions?

 

STRENGTHS AND ACCOMPLISHEMENTS:

 

WAS A MAN OF FAITH, PATIENCE, AND ENDURANCE

WAS KNOWN AS A GENEROUS AND CARING PERSON

WAS VERY WEALTHY

 

WEAKNESS AND MISTAKE:

 

ALLOWED HIS SUFFERING TO OVERWHELM HIM AND MAKE HIM QUESTION GOD.

 

LESSONS FROM HIS LIFE:

 

KNOWING GOD IS BETTER THAN KNOWING ANSWERS

GOD IS NOT ARBITRARY OR UNCARING

PAIN IS NOT ALWAYS PUNISHMENT

 

 

KEY VERSE:

 

"FOR EXAMPLES OF PATIENCE IN SUFFERING, LOOK AT THE LORD'S PROPHETS. WE KNOW HOW HAPPY THEY ARE NOW BECAUSE THEY STAYED TRUE TO HIM THEN, EVEN THOUGH THEY SUFFERED GREATLY FOR IT. JOB IS AN EXAMPLE OF A MAN WHO CONTINUED TO TRUST THE LORD IN SORROW: FROM IS EXPERIENCES WE CAN SEE HOW THE LORD'S PLAN FINALLY ENDED IN GOOD, FOR HE IS FULL OF TENDERNESS AND MERCY." (JAMES 5:10.11)

 

(*IN THE END, THE LORD RESTORED DOUBLE TO ALL THAT JOB HAD LOST)