The theme for the month of January is "Faithful Hearts in Foreign Places". Daniel, Ruth, Esther, Joseph (son of Jacob), Captain Naaman and his maid-- these are all examples of people who strove to remain loyal to God despite the cost. Aside from Naaman, the persons we will be reading about were not in their homeland, and yet they followed God wholeheartedly. Captain Naaman chose not to follow the gods of his country any longer; instead, he went so far as to request forgiveness for that over which he had no control. God blessed them all for their faithfulness.
Sometimes, we take on the "two Carolines" persona: we behave like angels in certain places, but when elsewhere, nobody can even tell that we belong to God. We need to recognize that there is always someone watching us, and we hurt our witness for Christ when we live double lives. We must be faithful and loyal to God in spite of everything-- no matter where we are, no matter who we think is watching, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how weird we will seem. I do hope and pray that we all will learn the eternal lessons written in the lives of these characters of faith and that we will strive to be like them-- pledging our hearts and lives to God no matter what.