A couple of Confessions....

A couple of confessions:  First, prompted by a Beth Moore cry for prayer over our world, I committed to pray every day during the month of July….Except I apparently missed that July had started. I blame Summer brain, and I'm not sad about that. However, I will honor my one-month commitment, and I imagine August will be ok with that.  


Second: I wish I were the type of person who nerded out on things like genealogy, but alas….The only time I scoured the bible for names was when I was pregnant. I usually skim at best or skip over altogether the chapters that involve genealogy.


A couple of weeks ago, when I saw the call to a month of prayer for Jesus to just lavish this broken world with His Holiness and love, I committed to read a chapter from Matthew each day to go along with my prayer time. This morning, a day late to the party, imagine how {guilt} inspired I was to read through chapter one--titled: "the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah" with gusto…. I'm so glad I did.


I think the Lord sends little treats when we confess and recommit. Even if to others they seem insignificant. I bet if you look for treats from Heaven, you will find more than you ever dreamed. You just have to look for it intentionally. Mine comes like manna which means "What is it?" It's not always obvious, and I'm not always sure what to do with it, but it catches my eye, and if I don't blow it off, if I walk up and examine it; if I slow down and breathe, ask, ponder, it always tastes like fresh yummy honey.  


"The genealogy of Jesus the Messiah." I am HERE FOR IT, LORD. I won't blow this off the day after July 1 when I'm starting a July commitment. Oh, how He loves me. I give Him my most cheesy big-eyed grin; He knows I'm bored. He knows I need a snack to keep my focus. I don't think He gets mad when we struggle. At least we are trying. I will eventually grow passionate, and it will eventually become easier. 


I went all-in Amanda: Please be impressed that I even stopped and tried to figure out how to pronounce Amminadab, the father of Nashton. Say it out loud. Good luck. Why was his dad, Ram, so mad at him when he picked the name Amminadab?? Whatever. I'm sure they've worked through it. Then Nashton gave birth to a son he named Salmon. Pause….Like the fish?? People are weird. Salmon gave birth to one of my all-time favorite men in the bible: Boaz. The hero of the bible's sweetest love story.  


I remember the day I realized that Boaz's mom was none other than Rahab. Do you remember her? She was the prostitute of Jericho who hid the Jewish spies sent by Joshua to scope out the land God had given them. Her life was spared by hanging a scarlet cord out her window. Her whole family was protected, and after the walls fell, they lived with the Israelite's. (Joshua 2 and 6). This story is a fantastic, feel-good story: she protected the spies;  the Israelite's spared her family's lives and they became the only outsiders who didn't die. In our fairy tale world, shouldn't that be enough? This would be a perfect ending. I wonder if we forget that there were humans like us living with skin on in this story? Can we pause and imagine how the pure, chosen people of God could have viewed this prostitute who was willing to sell out their own people? 

Don't forget; the brave spies stayed at the home of a prostitute. How does that feel? Wives? 


Once, years ago, Brad traveled to Asia on business. 

He finally unplugged the hotel phone during his stay because he was bombarded with calls asking, "You need a girl?" I had to breathe through that. I had to decide if I would be jealous and insecure or if I would be broken for the girls who were trapped in that industry. I was on the other side of the world. He could have done anything he wanted, and I would never have known. But I trust him. I trust his heart and his integrity. He knows who he serves and is surrendered to Jesus. By the end of that trip, God had worked so deeply on my heart that I decided if he ever went back and were in that position again, I would send him with enough money that he could say yes. It may sound weird, but I would want him to be able to take at least one broken girl out for a nice dinner, to ask her about her dreams, to tell her she is valuable and worth so much more than her current situation. I would want him to look at her like she is someone's daughter who has been heinously victimized. I would want him to 'rescue' her, if even just for a moment, and share how Jesus offers to rescue all of us.


That's what the Israelites did for Rahab, and ultimately, that's what Jesus did with her story. His people didn't just let her awkwardly live around them; she lived among them. She caught the heart of a man ironically named Salmon.  A man who was willing to swim against the current and see Rahab for who God created her to be. How wonderful is that??? I LONG to know their story. I want so bad to know about their courtship. We get a glimpse of it through the fruit of their son:  Boaz. The kinsman-redeemer. The man who saw past the foreign accent, the poverty, the differences in Ruth. He saw his bride and his future. He fought for her, and they became part of the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah. Broken people, hand-picked to be part of the DNA of Divine in human form.  


I'm so thankful for a man who would live up to his weird name in ways that would forever give the human race hope for how extravagantly God goes passionately against the current to redeem the ugly in us.  



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