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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coming In July - a Proverb a Day!

Start reading through Proverbs in July!  We will post !

If you are at the Fireworks in Freeburg Sunday, stop by the Faith Family Resource Center booth for Kid-Friendly FUN!  See you there!

Happy Last Day of June! Let's Finish Ruth !

As we are on the last day of June, we wanted to share some last thoughts on RUTH! Be sure to read through the Book of Ruth !

After our Brunch and Ruth Bible Study Saturday, Deb made a good point about Naomi and Eliminech:

When there was famine, Eliminech chose to leave the promised land of Bethlehem to travel to Moab. He forgot to trust God when he left for Moab. He may have known he was going against God's will, but he was desperate.

The consequences were disastrous. After many years and many losses (all the men died!) Naomi probably knew that she needed to "return" to God in more than one way. She needed to return to the promised land. She needed to get back to GOD.

We can learn from this. Perhaps we have found ourself in a "place" that is far away from God (maybe not physically, but emotionally). We did not trust Him and we left His care.

Maybe we don't have to travel physically back to God, like Naomi, but perhaps we need to pull up stakes in our muddied life and return to God mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

This may not be easy. Like Naomi, we may experience some remorse, pain and doubt (remember Naomi changed her name and grieved when she got home to Bethlehem) BUT..............................

God works all things for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28)!!!!!!!

We don't have to "fix" things -- we just have to get out of our sin and bring our brokeness to God.

In HIS timing....He will fix things. (Ruth and Naomi had to go through a process)

If you're with Naomi, somewhere in the foreign land of sin and temptation -- leave that sin and come into God's presence.

Sit there at the feet of your Savior, asking for forgiveness and committing your life to Christ....HE will provide according to HIS will!


Every day in July, read a Proverb a Day and check out!



Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Bored!

Keep the kids busy this summer!

*All materials may be checked out from Faith Baptist Family Resource Center. VBS will also be held at Faith Baptist July 11 - 15. Leave a message at 539-3434. Be sure to leave your name and number and request. We will call you back!

There are so many fun things to do with children this summer!

If you're taking a long trip, consider “Adventures in Odyssey” CDs to help pass the time. These wonderful stories will take you to the town of Odyssey, where Whit, Connie, Eugene, and a whole cast of characters teach your kids values that will last a lifetime!

-Introduce older children and teens to the “Left Behind” Series, which is available on VHS, Cassette Tapes and in Book form. This series weaves a suspenseful tale that captures your imagination! Faith Family Resource Center has “Left Behind” Kids and Adult versions.

If you want to escape to the beach, but can’t afford the travel, check out “Soul Surfer,” the inspiring true story about Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was bitten off by a shark in a surfing accident.

Publishers Weekly says, “Hamilton’s optimism, determination and resilience…are undeniably impressive and uplifting.” If your kids are complaining -- here is a humbling story of FAITH, FAMILY and fighting to get back on the board!

Check out “The Big Book of Family Fun!” This is an activity book the whole family will love! Here are examples of topics:

___Fun in the Sun ___Boredom Busters ___Whistle While You Work ___Crafty Kids ___Creative Recycling ___Family Togetherness ___Kitchen Capers ___Traveling Fun

Don’t forget to include God in your summer. Send your kids to VBS and Christian Camps. The impact can be amazing!

Faith Baptist Church will host VBS July 11 - 15 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call Kirsten Bergkoetter and leave a message to register: 539-0158 or

No boredom allowed this summer! Get in touch with the Faith Baptist Family Resource Center today, 539-3434!

Family Fun This Summer!

Nothing is better than having some down time with your children in the summer. Here are some ideas to make your summer a time of spiritual growth for everyone:

If your children must stay with a sitter (or if YOU are the sitter!) , you can use Christian materials to fill the day with Bible teaching and fun! The Family Resource Center at Faith Baptist Church has LOT’S of clever Christian games, activities and Bible Studies for children.

Call 539-3434 and leave a message that you want some Bible Fun Activities for your children. Leave your phone number! We’ll call you back!

All Faith Family Resource Center materials are based in VBS themes and include clever plays, games, snacks, stories and crafts tied to Bible verses. We also have teen ideas. All are great activities to fill a summer day.

If you want to create your own Bible Study, how about discussing a Proverb a day? In one month, you can complete the Book of Proverbs.

Read a Proverb a day and discuss it with your child. It’s believed God used Solomon to write most of this book to teach people discipline and how to live a good life-great lessons for kids!

Make a chart of the Proverb Chapters and let the kids mark or sticker them off as you discuss them.

Make charts which list the qualities of a wise man verses a fool according to the Book of Proverbs. For example, Humility vs. Pride, Honesty vs. Dishonesty, Hard Work vs. Laziness

Draw pictures to illustrate the verses, or put on a play! You are only limited by your imagination!

Here are some great books available in the Faith Family Resource Center to help you have fun with your kids this summer:

Let’s Hide the Word and Let’s Make a Memory -- books about making Bible teachings a special part of your child’s life. Secret Keeper Girl -- Tips on helping your preteen daughter prepare for adolescence God’s Way. Keeping the Family Together…When The World is Falling Apart -- Resources on raising a solid family.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Happy Ending of RUTH!

Hooray hooray -- Boaz saves the day!  Ruth Chapter 4 tells us that Boaz is able to announce at the public gate that HE will redeem Ruth by marrying her.

This is the happy ending we have been waiting for, and Boaz has to do this right. 
First, he checks with the first kinsman redeemer to see if it's OK to marry Ruth.  (Ruth 4: 1-6)

NEXT, Boaz goes to the GATE (place for official business) to talk to the elders about this.  (Ruth 4:1-12)

FINALLY, he announces in front of EVERYONE that Ruth is REDEEMED (Ruth 4:9,10)

(Redemption: process by which owner pays servant’s debt)

This is a Happy Ending for Ruth AND Naomi (Ruth 4: 13 - 17)

Ruth and Boaz are married and, what do you know??? A Baby Boy is born: Obed (Ruth 4: 17)

Guess what?  Obed is the grandfather of King David, a direct Ancestor of Jesus!  RUTH is in Jesus' lineage - read Matt 1:1 !

Naomi is also rewarded for her part in God’s PLAN, even though she played a supporting role. Do you play a supporting role in God's big plan?  YOU, too, will be rewarded!

Bottom line on the Book of Ruth??? You never know how God will work things out (Romans 8:28).

No matter who you are, YOU should :



Sleep at the feet of the MASTER!

              Key Verse: Ruth 1:16 -17

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chapter 3 - The Book of Ruth!

Ruth 3 is fascinating!  Naomi is planning (God is her guide).  Widowed women in Bible times have no means to live.  They count on the charity of others.

HOWEVER -- They may establish a home again IF a relative of their husband marries them. 

Guess what?  Boaz is a relative!!!  Naomi is only thinking of her precious Ruth.  She wants her to be provided for. 

Naomi instructs Ruth on how to humbly present herself to Boaz.

What a show of integrity!  Boaz is not only enchanted by Ruth, he respects her so much!  This is a true romantic interlude!

Boaz protects Ruth - physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He wants to do things God's way .

He begins the process to become the kinsman redeemer for Ruth.  BUT - because Boaz has so much integrity -- He will not proceed until he checks things out with another male relative who is first in line for Ruth. Again, Boaz wants to do things right, even if it involves sacrifice of someone he loves.

WHAT will happen?  Will the other guy want Ruth?  Will Boaz propose?  What is this a picture of?

Stay tuned and find out!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book of Ruth -- Chapter 2

Back again....Chapter 2 of Ruth!

Ruth and Naomi have come home to Bethlehem.  What in the world are they going to eat?

Ruth is industrious and suggests she go into a field and ask permission to pick up the leftovers after the harvesters.  She can make bread with this.

This was a common practice in Bible times -- the poor were allowed to glean from the fields.

ENTER:  Boaz.  Ruth happens to choose Boaz' field.  That is sooooooooo God!

Boaz just happens to be a relative of Naomi.  Remember that -- it's important later.

Boaz notices Ruth.  I think it is love at first sight.  Boaz invites Ruth to continue to work in his fields. He invites her to eat and follow along each day.

Ruth is so humble!  She bows to the ground and asks why she has been given so much favor.

Her reputation proceeds her.  Boaz has heard about her kindness to Naomi.  He is impressed. 

"Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Ruth tells Naomi about Boaz.  Naomi is excited as she says:

“The LORD bless him! He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”

WHAT is a guardian-redeemer (or, as some Bibles say, kinsman-redeemer)?  This is a relative who pays a debt the other is unable to pay.

STOP RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you see some parallels being drawn here?

Let's follow Ruth's footsteps:

1.  Follow God without question
2.  Leave a foreign "homeland" of security and move to the PROMISE land gifted from God
3.  Humbly bow before your benefactor, admitting you are a foreigner and unworthy of notice.
4.  Discover someone who has the ability to pay a debt you can never repay. 

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE????   Read Chapter 3 and find out!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rumbling through the Book of Ruth!

Let's take a look at the Book of Ruth, a wonderful story of love, commitment, faith and redemption! 

Why should we read Ruth?    Because there are so many lessons to learn!  Click here to start reading:

Let's start with Chapter One -- This REALLY sets the stage with drama.

First of all, a mistake is made.

Naomi and her husband,  Elimelek, forget to trust God.  There's a drought.  God promises to provide, but this duo bale out.  Time to look for something more in Moab -- Exit the family from Bethlehem (remember that town ???)

There may be food in Moab -- even wives for Naomi's sons -- but there is also death.  Pretty soon, Naomi is a widow.  Good thing the boys are there, and their wives, Ruth and Orpah.  Death comes again.

Yikes!  All is lost!  The boys are gone.  The daughters-in-law are told by Naomi to go home and find new husbands.  Naomi is headed Bethlehem (there's that town again!)

Enter -- Ruth and a very beautiful passage in the Bible.  You may recognize it from the song.  It's even sung at weddings!

It's pretty cool these words were written about a mother-in-law!  May I be so blessed!

"But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her." -- Ruth 1:16-18

Ruth was brave.  Ruth was loyal.  Ruth was faithful.  Ruth was ready to follow her mother-in-law away from her own home and family.  Most importantly, Ruth was committed to the one true God.  She'd follow Him anywhere!  

So... away they go -- back to Bethlehem (there is that name again!) 

Unfortunately, Ruth immediately has a challenge in dealing with a mom-in-law who is depressed.  This grieving woman might have been a handful, but Ruth was dedicated!  (Did I mention Ruth was in love with God?) 

What's going to happen next?
What's the big deal about Bethlehem?
Will Mara pull herself out of her doldrums?
Will Ruth get homesick?

Tune in we go back to Bethlehem with the girls!!!!

Saying Goodbye to Lisa

Gosh, it's been a long time!  Sorry I have not written in so long.  Life...and Death happen.   I took some time to say goodbye to my dear friend Lisa who slipped the bonds of cancer on this earth to dance with Jesus.  Lisa was 51 years old.

Following is an article I wrote about Lisa in the paper in 2008.  She was a remarkable lady.  If you would like a copy of "Lisa's Lessons"  call Faith Family Resource Center at 618-539-3434.  We will be happy to send you a copy! 

Don’t Forget Lisa’s Lesson

___Don’t waste a day


___Look for God’s Blessings

___See the positive

___Don’t be a victim

___Don’t forget to say thanks

___Tell people you love them

___Spend time with God

Writer’s note: In Dec. 2008 I wrote the following article called “Lisa’s Lesson.” Last Wednesday, after several years of living in spite of cancer, Lisa left us.

I know she has just slipped away to a better place, because she told me in that first interview she trusted Jesus with her life. She knew He would take her to Heaven.

What a great and wonderful thing. My prayer is that everyone who reads this article has that same assurance of following Jesus to Heaven. When we give our lives to Him, we know we can truly say to Lisa, “See you later.”

Lisa's Lesson

I was speechless when I found out Lisa had cancer. It was one of those moments your mind is racing with an echoing, "WHY, WHY, WHY?"

God and Lisa settled my mind. It was useless to wrestle with anxious questions. It was better to move forward with a new perspective.

One blessed day, I sat with Lisa in her cozy kitchen. We prayed and talked. I began to understand this would be an important journey for Lisa. God also let me know, no matter what happened, Lisa would be OK at journey's end.

I had something to learn from my God and my friend. Today, I share what Lisa has taught me. Today, I share Lisa's Lesson.

I asked Lisa how her perspective on life has changed since her diagnosis.

"Things that once seemed important are not. It doesn't matter if the bed is made or supper's ready at the right time, or even if the laundry is done.

"My priority is getting that hug and kiss before the girls or my husband leave for the day. I also make sure I tell my family I love them.

"I thank them for the things they've done for me, those things I may have taken for granted in the past. My family has been a God send.

"I've learned not to sweat the little things. Each day is precious time God has given me, not to be wasted."

"We can't predict what will happen to us," Lisa said. We often can't control our circumstances, but we can control our response to those circumstances.

"I need to live my life to its fullest, not letting my illness control my life."

"God's blessings are found everywhere," Lisa told me. "We just need to open our eyes to them. Worrying does absolutely no good and wastes precious time."

I asked Lisa if her relationship with God has changed since her diagnosis.

"I feel much closer to God. I’m reminded God gave His only son so we could be forgiven and saved, and have eternal life," Lisa said. "I have more faith in Him and know He's been with me throughout this difficult time. He won't burden me with more than I can handle."

As Lisa spoke about her special closeness with her Savior, she reminded me not to take anything for granted.

"I pray more often," Lisa told me. I read the Bible more often. I see God's messages and signs everywhere and I thank God more often for the blessings He has given me."

Lisa went on to give this message to anyone who is struggling.

"Know that God is with you every step of the way," Lisa said. "He will not let you down. Don't let something like an illness define your life. God has His reasons, whether we understand them or not.

"Instead of the, 'Why me?' attitude, realize there is a reason God has chosen you take this path," Lisa said. "Take what may seem like a negative and find the positive."

Lisa said her eyes have been opened to many blessings since her illness.

"My eyes have been so much wider open to the daily blessings God provides,"she said.

"The support of this community has been amazing," Lisa said. "From dear friends and family to total strangers, the outpouring of support, love and prayers has been a true gift from God that has helped me through this new chapter in my life."

Thanks for the Life Lesson, my sweet, precious Lisa. Somehow, I feel I see you today.

You’re beside the sparkling River of Life. You’re hiking on the bright, Son-lit trail. You turn to face us with a smile that fills your face. Your eyes are sparkling with delight. You pause and wave, just there on the other side.

See you later, Lisa.