Sisters in Scripture
Before the Ashes Wear Off    02/26/2020
Before the ashes rub this one thing:... Click here to follow through on today's good intentions. Sign up for the online Easter retreat, WITNESSES TO RESURRECTION.

We observe Lent to enter fully into the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection. The reason for Lent is, after all, Easter. This year, commit yourself to meeting and lingering with the Risen Lord throughout the Easter Season. Each of the seven weeks, a different post-Resurrection appearance is highlighted--for the cost of one of those lattes you've given up. 

This is our fifth year to offer WITNESSES TO RESURRECTION.  Each year we are blessed as the circle widens.  If you have participated before, any of those five years, and would like to do so again, then contact me  directly to let me know of your interest and I will personally sign you up without any need to pay the $5.  Also, might I suggest that as an alum who knows the value, you forward this invitation to  a friend who would also appreciate it?  Special group pricing is available to any church community or faith sharing group as well, so please forward and recommend the retreat to any of those in your circle.  (If you are a member of United Lutheran Bella Vista or another participating faith community, please sign up at church and, again, there is no fee for you--thanks.
As in years past, I will gather up names and hold them in prayer throughout the Lenten season in anticipation of the further observance and celebration of Easter.  I will also communicate regularly throughout the Lenten season so that we are already walking companions before we embark on the road to Emmaus.

God bless,
"Whenever you pray, go to your room, close your door, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees what no man sees, will repay you."  Matthew 6:6

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A Valentine Story from Genesis - Ancient Biblical Lovers    2/14/2020

Rachel and Jacob get off to a wildly romantic start. It was here at this same well that Jacob's mother, Rebecca, met the servant who would bring her to Jacob's father, Isaac. Unlike Isaac's emissary, however, Jacob has no rings or bracelets to offer; he has no home to bring a bride. All he has to offer is himself with youth, vigor, virility, and generosity in an sudden outburst of love. "Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of his mother's brother, Laban. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud." (Gen 29:10-11). Apart from the Song of Songs, that kiss is the first and only kiss recorded between a man and a woman in scripture. And what an image is painted of her: "Rachel was graceful and beautiful. Jacob loved Rachel: so he said [to Laban]: "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter, Rachel" (Gen 29:17-18). 

Their love story would become complicated, however, by the deception of Laban resulting in Jacob's marrying both sisters, by fertility issues and jealousy between the sisters. Nonetheless, Jacob loves Rachel til his dying day and Rachel is revered even today as mother to all Israel. 

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