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We like to say, nothing happens by chance.  But clearly in this Book of Ruth we can see a theology of chance threaded throughout the writing.  By chance Ruth comes to the field of Boaz (2:3). There she receives the blessing of grain through the faithfulness of Boaz. By chance Boaz lies down at the end of the heap of grain (3:7). By chance Mr. So-and-So appears at the city gate (4:1) so that Boaz can faithfully settle the issue of redemption to effect blessing upon the widows. Within human luck, then lies divine intentionality.  A faithful God blesses through a faithful people. (David N. Freedman, 1922, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, V. 5)

Direct download: Sermon_2-24-19.mp3
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Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts. If our circumstances change for the better, but we remain the same, then we will become worse. God's purpose in providence is not to make us comfortable, but to make us conformable, "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29).  Christlike character is divine goal for each of His children. (Wiersbe, W. W. 1993).

Direct download: Sermon_2-17-19.mp3
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This is the eight book in the OT, and eight is the number of new beginning.  The events in Ruth take place during the days of the Judges, but what a difference between these two book! Instead of violence and lawlessness, we see tenderness, love, and sacrifice.  It is good to know that there are still good people in bad days, and that God is at work in the "corners of the land" though violence may fill the news. (Wiersbe, W. W. 1993)

Direct download: Sermon_2-10-19.mp3
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There's been a transition in sports from social activism to social service since the apex of social protests in the sixties.  Today's athletes are discouraged from identifying with a progressive or unpopular cause, the way Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Wilma Rudolph, Althea Gibson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Oscar Robertson did in the 1960's  when the civil rights movement was seen a destructive and disruptive.  Their activism helped to bread down barriers and increase pay and open doors for others, including those who hadn't protested. Still, we must not forget that they were strongly discouraged from their activism and harshly rebuked by the powers that be.  (Dyson, Michael Eric, Tears We Cannot Stop- A Sermon to White America, St. Martin Press, New York, NY (2017, Pp. 121, 122))

Direct download: Sermon_2-3-19.mp3
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