1 Samuel 1 – How to Start a Great Story

The Wizard of Oz is a great story full of heroes and villains, fear and hope, trickery and bravery. Yet, it starts in simple black and white; with a plain and simple Kansas farm girl who has a dream.

Likewise, the book of 1 Samuel is a story of heroes and villains, trickery and bravery, fear and hope. It tells of the beginnings of one of the greatest kings and kingdoms of history, but it starts in chapter one with a simple woman named Hannah from the hill country of Ephraim who longs to have a child.

It might seem that Hannah wants a child to compete with her husband’s other wife, Peninnah. But that’s not the case, since Hannah had only one child and Peninnah had many.

It might also seem as if Hannah wants a child to win her husband’s favor. But that’s not the case, since v.5 tells us that she already had her husband’s favor.

So what was Hannah’s desire for a child all about?

In Hannah’s time, the inability to have children was believed to be a sign of God’s disfavor or abandonment. Hannah’s desire for a child was a longing for God’s favor. That’s why, when God answers Hanna’s longing for a child, Hannah gives the child back to God in gratitude.

All the wonderful stories found in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel…the forming of a mighty kingdom for God and the regal splendor of the golden age of the Children of Israel…are all founded on a simple woman from the hill country of Ephraim who prayed and asked God to be merciful to her and show her that He cared.

This is how you start a great story, a great book, a great movie, or a great life.

What If We Built Our Marriage On Pooh?

Winnie the Pooh is a classic in children’s literature. As young children, we listened to adults read the great adventures of Pooh and his friends. As older children, we sat transfixed in front of a screen as Walt Disney made those adventures come to life. Then, as parents, we read those same adventures to our children.

But we rarely inject these stories into our marriage. What if the stories of Winnie the Pooh have something to say to our marriage? What if we built our marriage on Pooh?

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What Does a Ham Have to Do With Marriage?

At the beginning of every year, we look at things we can do to make the new year better. But when it comes to marriage, what you do now will not only effect the new year, but generations to come.

There’s a story about a young wife who always cut off the end of the ham before she baked it. When her husband asked why she did this, she responded, “I don’t know. My mom always did it.” This made the husband curious, so he went to his mother-in-law and asked her why she cut off the end of a ham before baking it. His mother-in-law replied, “I don’t know. It’s something my mother always did when baking a ham.” The mystery went unresolved for some time, until one day the young couple were visiting the wife’s grandmother.

Read moreWhat Does a Ham Have to Do With Marriage?