Excerpt 2017-11-07T17:45:27+00:00

Excerpts 1: Highlights, Introduction

“Fools. Liars. Cheaters. Who would expect the likes of these to be invited to the heavenly banquet? But in his parable comparing the kingdom of God to a wedding feast, Jesus tells us that the king invited ‘both good and bad’ (Matthew 22:10). He not only invited people with social standing, but the poor, the disabled, and anybody else his servants could find (see Luke 14:21, 23). Quite an assortment of guests!”

“‘No two snowflakes are alike, and no two people are alike,’ my dad used to say. God loved each one of us into being, unduplicated from the start. Who better understands how our individual assets and, yes, even our liabilities can further his kingdom? God knows all about our weaknesses. He calls us anyway.”

“May we be reassured that God is working in whatever circumstances we find ourselves here and now. Let us reach out to our scriptural mentors for inspiration as the Spirit moves us to join in God’s banquet of love.”          Introduction, pages xiii-xiv

Excerpts 2: Highlights, Chapter 13 – Esther, Orphan Queen

“Because of her beauty, [Esther] was taken to the harem, where massages, beauty treatments and handmaidens were the order of the day. She ultimately married King Ahasuerus and was made queen. Who would have guessed that God would call someone to serve him by spending time in a beauty spa? By God’s plan, Esther became queen, not only for her own good fortune, but also for the good of all Jews throughout the kingdom.”

“The Book of Esther describes how Haman, the king’s right-hand man, was bound to destroy the Jews…. [Because Queen Esther interceded on behalf of her people] Haman and his plan to destroy the Jews both met their end.”

“Most of us are not movers and shakers. That’s OK. Wherever we are, we are part of God’s plan. Those of us who feel as if we can’t make a difference are wrong. Esther’s story is filled with encouragement for us. No matter how it may appear, we are right where we belong at this moment in time.”

“Esther’s story also suggests that there is a time to allow ourselves to be nurtured…. If she had not indulged in the luxury of the spa treatments, Esther would not have been able to play the part God called her to play when the time came. We shouldn’t be afraid to nurture ourselves with some tender loving care when it seems appropriate. It might just make us better able to serve when the time comes.”

Questions: Spending time in a beauty spa placed Esther in a position to be used by God. How can allowing yourself to be nurtured empower you to serve others? Are you comfortable taking some time to nurture yourself or allowing yourself to be nurtured? Why or why not?

Chapter 13: Esther, Orphan Queen, pages 61-64