relationships

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Andrew

Living in someone else's shadow

If you’ve ever felt overlooked, or in someone else’s shadow Andrew might be a helpful person for you to think about. Brother to Peter, friends with James & John, Andrew had unique qualities that weren’t high profile but made him indispensible. Encourageing for those who serve ‘behind the scenes’ and a chance to think about where we get our security from!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: relationships self-esteem gifts

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

Aschah

Speaking up!

Jesus told his disciples, ‘You don’t have because you don’t ask’. But when should we ask & when should we keep quiet? Whether you open your mouth too much, or not enough, Aschah is a good example of someone who asked for the right thing, in the right way at the right time.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: courage relationships money initiative

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

Eunice

A woman of influence

For a woman who only gets two brief mentions in the Bible, Eunice is a woman of great influence. Addressing questions of family, parenting and the faith of our children this study considers the effect of a mother’s faith on her children and the implications of that.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: relationships gifts

Jehosheba

God’s heart for the little ones!

How do you feel about children? Whether we love them & long for our own, or don’t quite know what to do with them; God has strong feelings about kids. Jehosheba; a royal princess in a time of political instability is a great example of courage, generosity and risk taking for the sake of a child that wasn’t hers. Whether you are a mother, wish you were, or don’t know the first thing about changing nappies, this study will help you ponder the question of how God would have his daughters (and sons) view children!

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 9 December 2009

Tags: courage initiative relationships children suffering

John Mark

A man who blew it

John Mark blew it, let his team down, bottled out. This study looks at second chances, how we react to mistakes (both our own & others) what the bible teaches about forgiveness, and the potential God sees even in those who are less than perfect!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: forgiveness relationships integrity gifts

Jonathan

Friends to the end

Jonathan is one of my favourite men of the Old Testament. If they made a film of his story I’m sure someone muscular and dashing would get the part! He’s a proper ‘boy’s own’ action hero, but he’s also a man who is often overshadowed by his great friend King David.

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© Ruth Perrin 2010. Last revised on 16 December 2010

Tags: conflict courage integrity relationships

Leah and Rachel

Not so happy families!

Most of us dream of a happy family. TV adverts show loving parents, laughing children, doting grandparents and bounding pets, the reality is not quite like that for most of us though! Still, that’s not a new thing, ever since Cain killed Abel, brothers and sisters have been fighting. There really is nothing new under the sun... read on: Eastenders meets the Patriarchs!

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 19 November 2009

Tags: relationships conflict self-esteem

Miriam

Why should he get all the credit?

Have you ever felt frustrated with your leaders? Ever been involved in gossip about them? Or maybe you are a leader who finds the criticisms of others painful? The book of exodus and very human actions of Miriam give us food for thought on how to deal with those frustrations.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: leadership relationships forgiveness

Priscilla

Wholehearted partnership

'Marriage doubles or halves your ministry'. Here's one half of a great couple. Priscilla married one of the good guys - and look what they achieved together. But what if you're not half of anything? What if you're single? What if you don't want to be? This team give us a great example of marriage in action - but also help us reflect on our obsession with romance.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 24 August 2009

Tags: gifts leadership relationships

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

Tabitha

An extraordinary, ordinary woman

Jesus said ‘the poor will always be with you’ (Matt 26.11). It’s true, but as Christians how do we start to help those in trouble? Tabitha was a compassionate, generous, inspiring woman – she might just give you some ideas of how to start showing God’s love to those in need.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: money relationships initiative self-esteem gifts

Tamar

The woman who refused to be a Victim

Low self esteem? The victim of bad relationships? Many of us struggle with experiences we’ve had that have crushed our confidence, made us feel useless or worthless. Tamar is a young woman who’d recognise those experiences. She might also inspire us to re-think how we see ourselves, and view our futures.

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© Ruth Perrin -0001. Last revised on 20 February 2009

Tags: courage relationships conflict initiative self-esteem 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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