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Youth #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Y

Youth appears in the Bible fewer than 100 times, varying with the translation searched. Youth may mean an age range towards the beginning of a person’s life or a young person (especially a young man.) Youth is used in the Bible in several places to set out a length of time – ‘from my youth until now’. It also continues into early adulthood. There are references to the wife of your youth Proverbs 5:18 and the children of one’s youth. Psalm 127:4

The word Young appears many more times, but describes animals as well as people.

Youth does not disqualify anyone from serving God Jeremiah 1:6-7 and 1 Timothy 4:12

The psalmist asks God not to remember the wrong-doings of his youth. Psalm 25:7

The Psalmist has been taught by God and trusted him from his youth. Psalm 71:5 and Psalm 71:17.

Youth is renewed like an eagle’s. Psalm 103:5

There is advice to the young Ecclesiastes 11-12

A young missionary

A young disciple, Timothy was living in Lystra, where his mother was a Jewish disciple. Paul heard about Timothy from believers in Lystra and Iconium (towns in Asia Minor) and wanted to take Timothy with him on his travels. Because Timothy’s father was Greek, Paul decided that Timothy should be circumcised. (Paul’s writings about circumcision do not seem to agree with this decision, which seemed to be to please the local Jews.)

Timothy travelled with Paul, Silas and other companions, who sometimes went ahead of or stayed behind Paul. Luke was sometimes in this group and gives some first-hand accounts in the book of the Acts of the Apostles about the events in places they visited.

After travelling with Paul and learning much from him and his companions, Timothy was sent to Macedonia with Erastus. Paul with his companions, caught up with Timothy after a riot in Ephesus, caused by people, whose livelihoods were threatened if Christianity were to replace the worship of Artemis. The companions were Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Tychicus and Trophimus – men from places Paul had visited in Macedonia and farther east. Luke’s party joined them at Troas, where a remarkable event occurred.

Paul was talking late into the night. He had a lot to say before his planned departure the following day. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window on the third storey. He couldn’t stay awake and fell to the ground. The fall killed him, but Paul went to him and threw his arms around him.

Then Paul announced. ‘He’s alive.’

Paul went on talking until daylight. The young man went home alive and the people were greatly encouraged.

After his adventures with Paul, Timothy became a pastor in Ephesus. He received two letters from Paul encouraging him in his ministry. The first letter was sent from Philippi and the second from Rome three years later. Paul regarded him as a son and warned him not to allow people to disregard him on account of his youth.


The stories may be found in the Acts of the Apostles Acts 16-20
Paul and Timothy wrote to the Corinthians 2 Corinthians 1:1 and the Colossians
Paul’s letters to Timothy are 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy

Timothy is mentioned:
in 1 Corinthians 4:17 Paul was sending him to Corinth
in 1 Corinthians 16:10 Paul recommends Timothy to the Corinthians
in 2 Corinthians 1:19 Paul, Silas and Timothy have preached to the Corinthians

Paul wrote with Timothy to the Philippians and hoped to send Timothy to them soon. Philippians 2:19-22

Timothy had returned from visiting Thessalonica 1 Thessalonians 3:2-6 when Paul, Silas and Timothy wrote to the Thessalonians.

Some of the information in this post was from The Amazing Collection for Women, Big Dream Ministries. 2005/2006

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Xenophobia #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter X

Xenophobia means the fear of strangers. The word does not appear in the Bible. Letter X is always tricky!

However the Bible has plenty to say about strangers, aliens, foreigners, sojourners and Gentiles (non-Jews). The Law given to Moses has rules for the treatment of these people, who may not be worshippers of the Lord. They were to be treated with justice. Exodus 22:21;23:9; Leviticus 19:33,34; Deuteronomy 1:16;10:19;24:1 (Bible Gateway topical)

Ruth and Naomi

In the history of God’s chosen people, they were often strangers themselves, travelling to the Promised Land, exiled or travelling for various reasons. (Letter I and Letter P)

The well-known story of Joseph is set in a time when there was a famine. A later story from the time when Judges ruled begins with a famine.

Naomi and her husband Elimelech lived in Bethlehem with their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion.

Because of the famine, Elimelech and his family went to a country the other side of the Dead Sea – Moab. They settled there, but Elimelech died leaving Naomi with her two sons. Life was very hard for widows in those days. Naomi’s sons married local girls, Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years of living abroad, Mahlon and Kilion also died.

Naomi received word that the Lord had provided food for the people in her original home. She and her daughters-in-law prepared to go to Bethlehem. They all set off together, but Naomi began to wonder what would be in store for her daughters-in-law as foreigners in a place they did not know.

She told them to return to their own mothers and prayed that they would find new husbands. Both Orpah and Ruth declared that they would stay with Naomi, but she argued with them, spelling out the difficulties they would face. Orpah was convinced and returned home, but Ruth promised to stay with Naomi. ‘Where you go I will go. Your God will be my God.’

They continued on their journey until they arrived at Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning. Some of the people in Bethlehem recognised Naomi after all this time. She told them not to call her Naomi (which means pleasant), but Mara (bitter). She blamed God for the change in her circumstances. (Letter N mentions the meaning of names.)

Ruth as a foreigner had the right to glean in the fields, picking up the grain the harvesters had missed. She went out to a field and began to glean. It was a field belonging to one of the relatives of her late father-in-law – a well-to-do man named Boaz. He protected and helped her while she was working in his field even leaving sheaves for her to collect.

Another part of the Law set out that a widow should be married to a close kinsman of her husband and any children would be considered to be from her first marriage.

Boaz was not the closest relative, but acted according to the custom of the time to ascertain that the closer relative did not wish to carry out his duty as a redeemer-kinsman.

Ruth and Boaz were married and Naomi was blessed with a grandson, Obed. Obed grew up and became the father of Jesse, whose youngest son became King David.

Boaz, Obed, Jesse and David all were ancestors of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Thus Jesus was from the House of David. Interestingly Boaz’s mother was Rahab from Jericho. She had helped Joshua’s spies.


The story of Ruth is told in the book of Ruth. It is only four chapters long and well worth reading. Rahab’s story is in Joshua 2 and Joshua 6. The genealogy is in Matthew 1:1-17.

Joseph’s story is in Genesis 37-50.

Two occasions when Jesus met Gentile women are in Matthew 15:21-28 and John 4:1-42

Bobbie Ann Cole (mentioned in my post for Letter V) is also looking at the story of Ruth.

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Word #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter W

Word seems an appropriate choice for W in this series about words from the Bible. Wisdom was an alternative, but Understanding perhaps leads to wisdom.

Words may be written or spoken. Did you know that Jesus Christ is known as The Word (or The Word of God)? At the beginning of the Old Testament we read that God (the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit) spoke everything into existence. Genesis 1-2:3

At the beginning of the Gospel of John in the New Testament we read that The Word was there in the beginning. John 1:1-18 Jesus was and is and evermore will be! The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as Wisdom.

Word appears over 950 times in the NIV translation. Sometimes it is used about ordinary words. Often it is ‘the word of the Lord’ – a prophetic word from the God, who speaks.

‘Sending word’ is used for sending a message. Word can also mean promise, or authority as in Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.’ Genesis 41:44 .

‘The word’ is also used in the New Testament as a shorter way of expressing ‘the Good News about Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God’.

Psalm 119 stands out among the Psalms as being about words. Psalm 119 has a section for each letter of the Hebrew alphabetic rather like an A to Z Challenge! Word (or words) appears about 30 times in this psalm, usually in praise of God’s word.

Moses receives and renews the covenant

The story about Moses in my post for the Letter B mentioned that Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. This happened on the Holy Mountain.

The Ten Commandments were written by the Lord on tablets of stone. Moses was very angry when he came down the mountain and found that the people had turned away from God to worship a golden calf, which they had made. He threw down the tablets and they smashed. Exodus 32:19 The story of how the replacement set of stone tablets came into being is told in Exodus 34: 1-28.

Towards the end of Moses’ life he began to prepare the people and Joshua for a handover of leadership to Joshua. Moses gathered all the people together and read them the whole of the law, which he had received from God. It was very long. Moses had stayed so long on the mountain when he first received it that the people had given up hope of him and of God.

The people responded to sections of the law, replying, ‘Amen’. Let it be so.

There were warnings about the result of breaking the Law and promises about obeying it.
Moses asked the people to ‘choose life’ by obeying the Law. Deuteronomy 30:19


How the Law was given and the episode with the golden calf can be found in Exodus 20-33

The renewal of the covenant is described in Deuteronomy 29-34

Jesus claimed not to have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil them. Matthew 5:17

In John’s gospel Jesus Christ (the Word) is quoted: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ‘ Matthew 4:4

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’
Luke 11:28

Romans 8:26 The Holy Spirit helps us pray with ‘wordless groans’.

1 Peter 1:25 The word of the Lord endures for ever.