DianneBarkerDianne Barker here with encouragement for your hard place. Yes, I saw you there…stooped under that load and stumbling. I noticed the tears, too, and heard your heart’s cry. Why is life so complicated? Read More →

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DianneBarkerDianne Barker here with encouragement.

“When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, ‘You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over’” (Joshua 13:1 NIV). The Amplified Bible notes he was over 100 at this time.

You might wonder why I find this verse encouraging. Read More →

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blues faces

Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique; practical pointers, encouragement, and such. I hope this helps you on the writing journey.

Some people call it writer’s block. I call it writer blues. You just can’t face that writing project today, or tomorrow, or next week.  Or you can’t think of a stunning idea. But a deadline looms, and you need a boost. A host of suggestions can help you get unstuck. But rather than overload your brain and schedule, I’m offering a few that work for me.

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0099_MillerHello! It’s Kathy Collard Miller from the Southern Californian desert in the Palm Springs area.

From Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30, we learn about the Syrophoenician woman who truly represents a prayer warrior. Her request is dire for her and her daughter. What’s amazing is she is a Gentile. In this account, Jesus goes to the region of Tyre and Sidon, on the Mediterranean coast. This is the only time Scripture indicates Jesus left the land of Israel. Just as he had to go through Samaria to meet the needy woman at the well, so he needs to leave his country to meet this needy woman. How gracious of him!

In Mark’s gospel account, this woman is identified as a Greek, born in Syrian Phoencia. The cities of Sidon and Tyre are in that area, which is northwest of Galilee.
The apostle Matthew, when he writes his gospel, describes her as a Canaanite, which is true. But by using that word instead of something general like “Gentile,” he is emphasizing the significance of what Jesus does for her. She isn’t just a Gentile, but comes from a long history of her people, the Canaanites, being despised by Jews.

The Canaanites of Jesus’ day are descendants of the Canaanites in Joshua’s day—the same people God had commanded to be wiped out. But because of the disobedience of the Israelite invading army, some survived. Survivors, like this Gentile woman, are despised because they represent the Jewish race’s history of disobedience. Plus, Canaanites are considered “unclean.” There are many reasons this woman had no right or invitation to engage Rabbi Jesus. However, her desperation and her faith compelled her. We can only imagine how she originally heard about him.

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By Dianne BarkerDianneBarker

Dianne Barker here to extend a welcome. You’ve been tapped for membership in an elite group, The Waiting Club. I’m a long-time member myself, and I’d love to show you around. You’ll recognize familiar names.

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