The key is responsible and loving decision-making: Ruth’s loyalty (2:11), her generosity (1:15–17; 2:2, 7) and her willingness to take risks for the sake of righteousness set in motion a chain of beneficial events, while behind the scenes God blesses each step in the developing drama.

You won’t find my opening line in any of the readings today.  Sounds like a DQ bet to find where that came from eh?  Not really, it’s from the introduction to Ruth.  Why you ask?  Today is my 6th child’s birthday – Ruth.  Happy 23rd Birthday Ruth.  Ruth shares this day with two other very important people in my life.  My mother Judy – who is 33 plus a few today and Doc Hoffman, a very close friend of the family (who we met in Decatur, IL).  Doc passed away earlier this year.

Ruth is working on her Masters which will lead to her doctorate in Psychology.  I think.  I do know I must guard what I say and the way I say it around her – she analyzes everything.  Lord knows, just sitting down to Sunday dinner, she could write volumes of case studies based on the myriad of conversations at the table.  Ruth has always been and I believe will always be our gentle soul of the family.  Sarah and I are very proud of her accomplishments to date and are excited for her future.  She has also met a prince of a man in her boyfriend (if they still use that terminology) Paul.  I will have the honor of taking my Ruthie to lunch today and get to celebrate a nice quiet meal with her (and Paul).  One of the most honored quotes comes from the book of Ruth and is heard most often at weddings, which is strange because the oath that Ruth swears is to her mother-in-law and not her husband…

But Ruth said, “Do not press me to go back and abandon you!

Wherever you go I will go,

wherever you lodge I will lodge.

Your people shall be my people

and your God, my God.

Where you die I will die,

and there be buried.

May the LORD do thus to me, and more, if even death separates me from you!”

So to you Ruth, our gentle soul, Happy Birthday.  To you Mom, Happy Birthday.  To you Doc, rest in peace; delight in the light of the Lord.

Do something great for our Lord today – take your child (or children) to lunch and enjoy the gift (or gifts) that the good Lord has blessed you with.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

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