Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ruth rang a bell

3:36 p.m. Today's project was to attend a  women's ministry event at Sandals Church in Riverside, a gift from my daughter Heather who attends and is active there. She also treated her mother-in-law Kathleen to this special time. The Rev. Billy Graham's daughter, Ruth Bell Graham, was our featured speaker for this dynamic morning.

And I do not use the term "dynamic" lightly, considering the Greek word dunamis from which this word was derived! The word "dynamite" is also a member of this word family. The term dunamis was used to described the coming of Holy Spirit power in flames of fire on the heads of Jesus' disciples in the Upper Room after our Lord's return to heaven.  Acts 2:1-4 describes this day:

When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The Holy Spirit fell with power on our gathering today. Ruth spoke of the pain in many women's lives, and reminded us that in Genesis, that as the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters, He created life, and order out of chaos. And as the powerful testimonies of local women were played on the screens, we saw living proof that God is still creating order out of chaos!

As Ruth taught the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke Chapter 15, she wove each of us into the story--which person were we? Her spellbinding testimony of marital betrayal and then falling into sin herself, showed us the unconditional love of our heavenly Father through the complete and compassionate forgiveness of the prodigal upon his return home. Her parents' welcome was unequivocal when she returned as well. came home, too. As we saw and read the testimonies of women who had experienced God's healing, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, for certain, of the ways in which I need just come to Him for healing, forgiveness, and direction. Over 900 women were comforted with God's love.

In some moments of silence, each woman wrote what she knows that needs to be brought to God; on the other side, to write the answered prayer! On the back of my card, I wrote what it would look like not to dread the future with Steve's disease. So the Lord gave me a picture of the virtuous woman, clothed with courage and confidence acquired from preparation and hard work for her family, Proverbs 31:21 (NLT):

She is not afraid of winter for her household, for all of her family has warm clothes.

Lord, that I might be clothed in You, with confidence and trust in You alone, that you will meet and surpass every need that I bring to you, as well as needs I don't even know I have! In Jesus' name, Amen.

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