Some Notable Biblical Women-Lois & Eunice

Biblical Women

Did you know that some estimates say from the dawn of the human race until now there have been roughly 108 billion people? That is a pretty staggering number. But what I find even more staggering is just how few of those people are ultimately remember by history.

So many people who were no doubt pleasant, charming and generally lovely to be around have simply disappeared into the sands of time. Their names lost to us, maybe forever. Those very few names that have remained with us, those people that we feel compelled to still tell stories about are so often giants in the things they have accomplished.

After sharing stories about people who seem larger than life: people like Esther, Naomi, and Miriam I worry that I leave the impression that God only makes use of amazing people. That somehow we are of less value because we won’t likely be called upon to do such amazing things. That is why I am grateful for today’s notable biblical women;

‘I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.’ – Paul (2 Timothy 1:5)

What do we know about Lois and Eunice? Not much. Eunice married an unnamed Greek man and they had a son named Timothy. Lois is Eunice’s mother. She may have also married a Greek man because Eunice is a Greek name. But than again so is ‘Christopher’ and my father is not Greek.

The only other things that we know for sure about Lois and Eunice is that they took their faith seriously, and they wanted to pass on that faith to Timothy. We also know that they did so marvelously. When Paul met Timothy he already had a strong faith, and gifts for leadership he just needed a little coaching to figure out how to use them.

Lois and Eunice didn’t entertain kings, or cross the Red Sea. They simply lived their lives with their faith on display for their family to see. The bible contains this teaching;

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up

Sometimes I worry that we have made the process of passing on faith to complicated. We have professionalized it to the point that to many of us think that the pew is better suited than the kitchen table to reach the next generation. Even if the next generation is sleeping in the room beside ours.

Lois and Eunice remind us that God doesn’t require giant acts of faith to change the world. He simply needs faithful people living faithfully in plain sight. He needs us to influence the people closest to us in simple loving ways.    

Spirited Conversations

I have been, sort of sitting on some news that I find very exciting. Starting around May 17th I am going to be a radio show host!

A face made for radio

Man I really thought I was having a nicer hair day until I saw this picture.

I have been a pretty big fan of talk radio for the better part of 10 years now, so this feels like a dream come true. If you live in the Halifax are you may have noticed that there is a new community radio station broadcasting from Lower Sackville. If you have not bumped into the station yet it is 97.5 FM.

The station will have a diverse mix of music and spoken word programs. The focus will be on local communities and local interests.  I have been invited to host a radio show that focuses on the very board topic of faith and spirituality.

The show will be called ‘Spirited Conversations‘ and it will be divided up into three segments.

Part One- Interviewing a person or group of people about what they do and how it connects with the concepts of faith and spirituality. For example I am looking forward to a conversation with Steve Vernon, a local author who has written among many other things, Uncle Bob’s Red Flannel Bible Camp

Part Two- This is a chance to highlight the work that local faith groups are doing in their communities and around the world. This might be a church, a charity, a synagogue, a mosque, and so on. Any group of people who are organized around the broad concepts of faith or belief. For example I am looking forward to a conversation in the near future with the charity Chalice.

Part Three- We will have a panel discussion about all of the local, national and international news of a religious nature that has bubbled up over the past week. For example a lot of people here in Halifax and all over Canada have been talking about whether it is appropriate or not to have prayer at city hall.   

But I want to do more than just share this news with you. I am hoping to find people who are interested participating in the show. Right now I have a short list of authors, politicians, bloggers, ministers, yoga instructors, scientists, doctors, professors, artists, free thought group leaders, business owners and people who run charities lined up as possible guests in the near future.  

If you think you might interested in taking part in this show at any time, in any of three segments please contact me. Also If you know of anyone who might be interested in participating in this show would you consider sending them this blog and send their contact information my way.

If you think you might be interested, but you’re not sure if you fit into what I have said contact me anyway. Almost everyone I have signed up so far didn’t think they were what I was looking for until we talked for a few minutes.

We all have stories of belief or disbelief to share, I can’t wait to hear yours.

Spirited Conversations

Some Notable Biblical Women- Esther

Biblical Women

Dr Charlotte Whitton was the first female mayor of a major city in Canada, serving from 1951 to 1956 and again from 1960 to 1964. Among other things she is known for this little quip;  “Whatever women must do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” I feel like this saying well defines today’s notable biblical women, Esther.

There are a lot of monarchs in the bible. Many are bad, some are good but none shine quite as brightly as Esther. Esther is hardly depicted as perfect but like most biblical hero’s she does her best to follow God in the midst of very difficult circumstances.

There is no way I can do Esther’s story justice in just a paragraph or two. I really have to encourage you to read the whole thing here. It is a relatively easy read, and shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. Esther’s story has everything we want out of a great novel; love, loss, family, friends, drama and plot twists. Even if you have never once cracked open the bible this story will not disappoint.

For those who didn’t read it allow me to very quickly sum up her story. Esther has found her way into the position of being Queen of Persia. At the same time a man named Haman has become prime minister. Haman in that role has enacted a plot to kill all of the Jews living in Persia. Esther has to choose between staying quiet and being safe or risk exposing herself as Jewish in the hopes of to saving her people.

The man who raised her told her this, ‘Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.’

Esther responded by saying, “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.”

Esther’s story is bigger than this conversation, but this conversation is a major turning point. It is when she takes a step back and says, ‘maybe everything that has happening in my life has lead me to this moment so I can help my people. And even though I don’t know what will happen I will do the right thing.’

It is this moment that endears Esther to so many. Esther pushes us to ask a different question when we are faced with difficult choices. Normally when I am faced with a major decision in my life I find myself asking questions like;

‘Will this choice make me happier?’

‘Will this choice be difficult?’

‘Will this choice make my life better or worse?’

I am not saying these are bad questions to ask. Often these are the questions we do need to ask ourselves. But they are not what Esther seems to have asked herself. Instead she seems to have asked herself;

‘What is the right thing to do?’

I have heard far to many sermons that more or less say, ‘If you do what God wants your life will be better.’ That statement is only sort of true. Ultimately yes I think your life will be better if you follow God’s will. But there is a rather large group of prophets, apostles, and martyrs that will testify that following God may not make your life easier or safer.

Esther reminds us that we have to do the right thing no matter what the cost may be. She had no idea what the outcome of her actions may be, but she knew what the right decision to make was. There will no doubt be times in our lives where we must try to do the right thing, even when it isn’t the easy thing. May we all have Esther’s courage.

Thanks to Veggie Tales I now always picture Esther as a green onion.

Thanks to Veggie Tales I now always picture Esther as a green onion.