Ruth - Week 1: Beauty from Ashes

With Erin Davis, Portia Collins and Gayle Villalba

Naomi’s life seems to be nothing but ashes—at least looking at it from her perspective. But God had a different plan.

About the Speakers

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more …

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Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins serves on the Revive Our Hearts team as the Monthly Partner Specialist and co-host of the weekly videocast, Grounded. Her favorite part of her job is meeting the …

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Gayle Villalba

Gayle Villalba

Gayle serves as a Ministry Representative for Revive Our Hearts and his been on staff for over twenty-five years. She, along with her husband, Ed, facilitate at The Lodge, a …

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Erin Davis: Welcome to the Women of the Bible podcast. Does anybody have the first-day-of-Bible-study jitters?

Gayle Villalba: Oh, I do.

Erin: Really? Does that happen to you in real life? The first time you have a Bible study. I mean, this is real life. The first time we have a new Bible study at my church, I always feel a little nervous. What’s that about?

Gayle: I don’t know.

Erin: I don’t know either. Well, I hope that if you’re listening, you don’t have butterflies in your tummy. I hope you’re just eager to be with us. We are about to jump into the book of Ruth. I wish that they could all introduce themselves to us—they can’t—but we can introduce ourselves to them. And I have a question to get us started.

I want you to tell us your name and how long you’ve been walking with the Lord. We’ll start with you.

Portia Collins: My name is Portia Collins. I have been walking with the Lord—whew—since I was, honestly, since I was a little girl. I say that the Lord gripped me as a child, even though I probably didn’t fully understand until I got into my late teenage/early young adult years.

Erin: So decades.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: You’ve been walking with the Lord for decades.

Portia: Yes, decades.

Erin: All right. Over here? Tell us your name and how long you’ve been walking with the Lord.

Gayle: Oh, my.

Erin: You’re going to win this question!

Gayle: I know! (laughter)

Erin: Give us your name and how long you’ve been walking with the Lord.

Gayle: I’m Gayle Villalba, and I’ve been walking with the Lord since the age of five . . . which is many decades.

Erin: Yes. And I’m Erin Davis, and I gave my life to Jesus at fifteen, and I just turned forty. So somebody do the math for me . . . I don’t do math. But I’ve been walking with the Lord for a couple of decades, too.

And the reason I asked that is because whether you’ve been walking with the Lord for five minutes or five years or fifty years, we all need the Word of God at every step in that journey.

I’m curious. Think back to those early days. For you, it was when you were a little girl; for me, it was when I was a teenager. Think back when you first started reading the Bible. How has your study, or your approach to Scripture, changed over time. Gayle?

Gayle: When I started, I didn’t love it. It was a job. It was something to check off my to-do list because I wanted to do this well, this business of being a Christian. I didn’t really love it. I didn’t really understand the relationship part as I did as I got older.

Erin: I so appreciate that honesty. I imagine that there are women right now sitting in Bible study groups. They’re getting ready to do Ruth, and there’s a woman sitting there going, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t have the time,” or “I don’t know how to study my Bible,” or “I don’t know these women,” or “I don’t know how to do this.”

Gayle: Right.

Erin: So I appreciate your honesty. But I’m glad she’s there. I’m glad she’s listening to us.

Gayle: Yes.

Erin: How about you, Portia? Over time, how would you say your attitude or your approach to Scripture has changed?

Portia: I think in my younger years I had such a disjointed understanding of Scripture. I didn’t see this as one big beautiful picture. 

Erin: Extract a little here, extract a little there.

Portia: Yes. I hated the Old Testament. Didn’t want to read things. Ruth was probably one of the only stories that I wanted …

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