Day 21: Will I {give} my sandal in pledge?

“Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”  

Now in those days it, was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction.  {give}

So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.”  Ruth 4:6-8

{Give} – as in a pledge.

I have been fascinated by this portion of the story for some time.  The idea of taking off a sandal to give to another as a guarantee – an attesting to of the agreement made.  The man giving away a sandal from his own foot was the same as a signed and notarized contract in our modern times.

I had no idea when I started this 31-day journey through Ruth, today’s word would be {give} and would align perfectly with the nearer redeemer giving away his first rights to buy the land and all of Elimelech’s property (including the widow, Ruth) from Naomi.

But God knew.  He’s been leading me and teaching me all through this journey, pulling out truth from which I am able to glean wisdom for my own life.  I am abundantly grateful for this season of questioning my way through with Holy Spirit as my teacher in the word of God.

If I breeze through Ruth chapter 4 with my modern westerner mindset it is easy for me to miss the significance of the transaction and the pledge.  Though I am definitely journeying through a famine season, spiritually and even physically, I can not relate to the great cost of giving a sandal away.  It’s no big deal for me to drive a mile from my house to the nearest Dollar Tree and buy a new pair of sandals.give in pledge

Not so for the men of Bethlehem of Judah in the time of the Judges.  Giving a sandal away was surely a big deal.  A sandal was costly as it must have cost an animal’s hide.  And sandals were extremely important for people whose feet were their primary mode of transportation through a desert.  Clearly, the giving of a sandal cost the man of first rights something of significance.

Additionally, it’s interesting to me the nearer redeemer, the man with the first rights to the property, is the one who gave his sandal away.  In essence, the man paid publicly something of significant value to give away his rights.  Am I the only one or does that sound a bit counter-culture?

It does sound a whole lot like Jesus though, doesn’t it?  Jesus who paid with His life and gave up His rights as God through whom all things were created and live and breathe and through Whom we have our being?

Ponders:

  • I think I am going to need to chew on this truth for awhile… much longer than a five-minute free write.  How about you?
  • I am reminded of these words of King David in 1 Chronicles 21:24:

“No, I insist on buying it for the full price.  I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!”

  • Is there something Holy Spirit is stirring in you, as He is certainly stirring in me with regards to giving up first rights?
    • with regards to giving something away which is costly?
  • Will you ask the Lord and journal your conversation with Him regarding the cost of making a pledge?
  • I wonder if you will share something you have gleaned from God’s Word here…

Eyes on Jesus…you’re Shining!

~Lisa

Saturday Share: Kylie Fronzak – Eternal Survivor

Saturday Share coffee

Welcome to Saturday Share!  Today it is my absolute delight to introduce you to Kylie Fronzak, a 24-year-old ball of fire, Jesus follower, 2nd-year middle school teacher and cancer survivor.

I met Kylie a little more than a year ago as she joined the Trickum Middle School team of amazing teachers, and from the first, I knew she was something special.  Every conversation with her was positive and filled with enthusiasm and encouragement.

Additionally, she is one of my two favorite Secret Santas of all time!

Sometime around the Thanksgiving break, Kylie’s voice was all but gone.  I figured as a new teacher she was straining her vocal chords.  In fact, all of Kylie’s motherly co-workers encouraged her to rest her voice over the long December break.  I think we were all confident she would be fine.  She simply needed rest.

Unable to regain her normal speaking voice during the 2nd semester, we learned Kylie was seeking medical attention for her vocal chords.  Undaunted by her limited voice, Kylie was determined to make a difference for every one of her students.  Without a commanding voice, creative teaching techniques were her strength and keys to success.

Not completely confident of her response, I asked Kylie if we could join hands and hearts in prayer for her complete healing in Jesus’ name.  Her “yes” is one of my highlights of the last school year.

Prior to disbursing for summer, none of us had any idea Kylie’s path would prove such an uphill climb.  This is why I am as thrilled as anyone to read Kylie’s eternal survivor story in her own words…
Kylie challenge accepted

One word. Six letters.

On June 13th, 2017, I heard the words that no person wants to hear. Cancer. A simple operation to remove a cyst from my vocal cords was sent to pathology with a less than 1% chance it was cancerous so of course, I thought the best. This was the first day of many that I cried and asked God the typical sick person question, “why me”?

I was this 23-year-old who just finished her first year of teaching and was looking forward to a summer filled with adventure. Not only was I looking forward to summer, but I had just recently discovered my drive for Christ. I had always believed in God but never understood what that fully meant. Earlier in the year, I had finally begun diving deeper into my faith. I was going to church, reading the Bible, praying daily, and would rock out to some good ole’ Christian music in my car.

Back to the sick girl stuff.

After I was diagnosed with throat cancer, I was extremely confused and began to question everything. Why would God lead me to college to become a teacher, then take away my voice during my first year, and then give me cancer?! I never told anyone I had these thoughts, but I felt extremely alone, scared and perplexed. I never stopped going to church on Sundays nor did I ever stop praying for God to heal me and give me the strength to survive this awful disease.

The most amazing part of this entire journey you ask?

Well, that comes in three parts.

Part one: The number of people who responded to the awful news of my latest diagnosis. The messages I received from people, people who I didn’t even know, reaching out to me to let me know I was not alone and they were praying for me. I had never heard those words before, “I am praying for you”. And to hear that every single day for the six weeks of radiation and the recovery afterward, was the most glorifying part of my journey. I had so many people depending on me to fight, be strong, and get my strength back. I truly believe in the power of prayer and the support and prayers I received were more than I could ever have asked for.Kylie challenge accepted 2

Part two: I returned back to the classroom on September 1st.

Was I feeling 100%?

Absolutely not.

I remember waking up extremely nauseous and scared because I wasn’t sure that I was ready. When I saw my first group of 7th graders, everything changed. I truly believe that God was with me that day and each smiling face I saw, reassured me I could totally do this. By the end of that first day back, I wasn’t feeling sick anymore. I was tired but the best kind of tired because I had just completed my first day back after only three weeks of rest after getting all my good cells “fried” out of my body. My doctors told me it would take months to recover from what I went through. I knew God wouldn’t keep me away from meeting my new students and he did not let me down.

Part three:  The moment I realized I need to stop asking God, “why”, and start asking how I can use this experience and turn it into something positive. When I was going through radiation and the recovery process, I was constantly wishing I had someone to talk to who was my age and knew exactly what I was going through. Considering I was the youngest throat cancer patient my doctors had seen, I knew that I would have to rely on posts from the internet. The problem being, all of the posts were extremely negative, the people posting were twice or three times my age, and well, let’s just say I always instantly regretted the questions I was seeking. With that being said, after many prayers and seeking answers, I realized that my calling right now is to help kids, teenagers and young adults who are battling an illness, especially cancer.Kylie at school

So what now?

I have already been in touch with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and will be making weekly trips to visit kids and their families. I plan to share my story, but only the positives and how the power of prayer pulled me through till the end. I am a teacher, coach, daughter, sister, friend, a believer in Christ and now, I can say that I’m a 24-year-old cancer survivor and that’s pretty amazing. My relationship with God is what got me through this past summer and my relationship will continue to grow as God helps me touch the lives of others.

NOTE:  If you would like to contact Kylie to hear more of her story, find her on Facebook  She’s asking God to open doors and give her the opportunity to encourage others on the cancer road she (and Jesus holding her hand) has already traveled.  Additionally, I hope you’ll encourage Kylie by leaving your life-giving comments below.  Feel free to share your story with us.  We’d love to pray for and with you in mutual love and encouragement.