faith

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Anna

In it for the long haul!

Do you feel positive about your life – or have you been disappointed by the shape it’s taken? If you feel that you’ve taken a battering and wonder where God is in that, or how to hold on to him, Anna is a great example of someone who worked that out.  If you want someone to inspire you to keep going, through thick and thin then this woman might be just what you need.

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© Ruth Perrin 2010. Last revised on 26 January 2010

Tags: faith integrity relationships suffering

Barak

Do I have to do it all by myself?

Has God ever asked you to do something you were afraid of? Do you find it easier to rely on other people than on God? This man’s story might give you some things to think about.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: leadership faith courage gifts

Boaz

The Romantic hero of the Bible?  An Old Testament Mr Darcy? Boaz is one of the good guys but he’s not someone we might immediately identify as ‘heroic’. He wasn’t a soldier, a king or a prophet – he was just an honourable guy, who feared God and kept the law. Not dramatic, but a mighty man of God none the less.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 17 December 2009

Tags: courage faith integrity money relationships

Elijah

The God of Encouragement

A mighty man of God, hero of the Old Testament – who reaches the end of himself. An encouragement for those of us who run out of energy, hope and courage – this is the very human story of a man who just couldn’t cope anymore and how God met him in that place.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: courage faith suffering conflict

Esther

God in Control

‘If I die, I die!’ The words of a young woman trapped in the court of a Babylonian dictator. Esther is inspiring for anyone who finds themselves trying to follow God in situations beyond their control. If you feel in need some courage – Esther’s your girl!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: courage faith integrity initiative

Gideon

Hidden potential to lead

Do you ever doubt God? Or yourself? Do you wonder what on earth is going on with your life? Gideon lived in a time when his whole nation was asking the question - ‘What is God playing at?’ God’s answer was to take Gideon on a journey, to discover both God and his own role in being part of the solution. This study, looking at the beginning of Gideon’s journey with God might give you some food for thought on those questions you have.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: leadership self-esteem faith gifts

Huldah

A Reputation worth having!

What do you think your reputation is? What would you like it to be? Who do you go to for advice when you’re in a dilemma? What sort of help do you seek out? Huldah is a relatively unknown prophetess from times of great trouble in Judah. She offered wise, godly, honest council to those who needed help. She offers us an example of how to ‘speak the truth in love’, rather than speak the truth unkindly, or avoid the truth rather than cause offense. Take a look, see how she might inspire you!

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 20 February 2009

Tags: courage faith gifts integrity leadership

Joanna

Passing on her blessings

In a time of Credit crunch, where money is a touchy subject, and yet where so much of the world has always had so little; how can we - as God's children - respond? Joanna was a lady transformed by meeting Jesus, who provides us with a great example of just that - how to partner with Jesus & use our money wisely. Take a look.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 18 September 2009

Tags: faith gifts initiative money

Jonah

A patient, merciful God

Here’s a man who didn’t like the job God gave him – but thorough a long and humbling journey discovered who God really was. Many of us can empathise with Jonah – but it would be great to learn from his mistakes rather than have to make them ourselves!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: forgiveness courage faith gifts

Joseph

Life is a roller coaster!’ So said Westlife, Joseph would probably agree. If yours feels like that sometimes too, it might be worth considering his story ( It’s not just about technicolour dreamcoats you know!)

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 20 February 2009

Tags: faith forgiveness integrity leadership suffering

Junia

Have you ever felt overlooked? Taken for granted? Are there times when it seems like no one notices or cares what you do? Do you sometimes feel like the odd one out – a woman in a man’s world maybe? Meet Junia, and her husband Andronicas – the forgotten apostle, a woman worth reflecting on.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 27 November 2009

Tags: leadership initiative courage gifts self-esteem faith

Lot

It was all going so well...

Lot started out with real potential and opportunity - never mind great wealth! But in contrast to his uncle Abram he struggled to trust God, often took the easy option and put his faith in human strength. His is not a happy story but it is a powerful warning for us to keep our eyes fixed on the God and not get drawn into finding our security in other places!

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© Ruth Perrin 2015. Last revised on 21 September 2015

Tags: courage initiative faith

Naaman’s Slave girl

A Nameless Girl with Remarkable Faith

How can we hold on to God when everything is going wrong? How can we genuinely sing, ‘When the darkness closes in, still I will say ‘blessed be the name of the Lord’’? Here’s a little girl who might inspire us in what it means to follow God when we are in a dark place personally!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: courage faith integrity suffering

Obadiah

Facing your fears

Has God ever asked you to take a risk for him? Did you do it, or was it too daunting a prospect? Do you face risking people’s disapproval if they knew about your faith? Do you feel like you’ve already done your share, made enough sacrifices? Obadiah would sympathise with those sentiments – but God had one more challenge for him. How he dealt with it might help us deal with our anxieties about following God too.

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© Ruth Perrin 2010. Last revised on 11 February 2010

Tags: courage faith

Rhoda

Ditzy or Delighted?

When things are tough what is your response? Do you really think prayer makes any difference? Is your faith something that gives you hope, joy even? In a terrible situation - literally life and death - Rhoda finds a joy that's infectious. Perhaps you could do with considering her?

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 15 October 2009

Tags: faith

Ruth

A God of generosity

In the middle of a dark time in Israel’s history one story shines out, little people who obey God and are honoured by him. It may be the ‘chick lit’ of the Bible, but the book of Ruth has lessons for us all ( Both men & women!) about what courage and integrity mean.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: courage faith relationships money integrity suffering

Saul

What will everyone think of me?

The first anointed King of Israel, a man chosen by God to lead yet someone who was far more worried about courting popularity than obeying God, always asking ‘what will everyone think of me?’ If that’s a challenge you face take a look at Saul’s story – see if there’s anything you could learn!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: leadership self-esteem faith integrity

The Shunammite Woman

Faith and Disappointment

How do people grow in faith? What about when things don’t work out the way we hoped? A woman from the distant past, from a place called Shunem might give us some pointers.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 11 November 2009

Tags: faith initiative money suffering

Cloud of Witnesses is a series of Bible studies on the men and women of scripture. You'll find everyone from Gideon and Andrew through to Tamar and Tabitha.

For ideas on how to use these studies most effectively, click here

Ruth Perrin, the author, is on staff at King's Church Durham and holds an MA in Theology and Ministry.

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