Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Influence of Godly Mothers & Grandmothers



As a young believer and a young mother one of the scriptures that had much impact on me was 2 Timothy 1:5:

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
~ 2 Timothy 1:5 ESV


Now that I am a grandmother that verse still draws me to be mindful of continuing to nurture not just the faith of my now adult children, but of my grand babies.  It is a reminder to teach them God's Word at a young age.  The Lord used the influence of Timothy's mother and grandmother in bringing him to a saving faith.  Not only a saving faith but they instructed him in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17).


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Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekend Nuggets - Jesus, Friend of Starbucks Baristas and Patrons, Preparing for Easter, Quiet Fight Between Women, Do You Grieve Over Sin, Essential Oils 101 and Much More!


Jesus, Friend of Starbucks Baristas and Patrons - "The right-wing conservative in me wanted to jump on board the train of derision toward Starbucks for yet another publicity stunt in the politico-culture wars. However, I’m learning to beat down that unwelcomed part of my flesh – you know, the one that screams “BOYCOTT!” every time a pagan institution or business dares to act, well, pagan."

How Are You Preparing for Easter? - "As new covenant believers and in accordance with what the apostle Paul writes in Romans 14:5, we're free to treat these days before Easter as either ordinary or as special. But whether or not we've dedicated ourselves to a particular time of prayer and fasting, it is always a good thing to pursue intimacy with the Man we call Savior, Husband, and Lord."

Do You Grieve Over Sin? - "...Whitney makes a compelling argument that the more spiritually mature you become, the more in tune you are with your sin, and the more you mourn over it. But he anticipates this objection: is it healthy to focus on sin rather than grace? His answer is simple: you need to do both."

The Quiet Fight Between Women: Online Study - I so enjoy Angie and was blessed by her resource Redeeming Childbirth. She is a personal blogging friend and this looks like a great online study.  I encourage you to take the time and watch the video when you get a moment.  

Essential Oils 101: 22 Important Questions and Answers - "I recently sat down, virtually, with a team of Independent Certified Aromatherapists from Plant Therapy, to “pick their brains” on all things essential oils. I asked questions about the basics of essential oils, usage, safety, Plant Therapy’s practices (something I was particularly interested in as a customer), and the future of essential oils. Plant Therapy does not have an affiliate program or representatives selling oils, so this post is not intended to sell oils. Rather, this interview is meant provide education on the topic of essential oils. The aromatherapists of Plant Therapy were sweet enough to take the time to answer my questions."

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(Love and Self-Discipline Part One have been the first two I've gone through so far.)

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"I might preach to you forever. I might borrow the eloquence of Demosthenes or of Cicero, but you will not come unto Christ. I might beg of you on my knees, with tears in my eyes, and show you the horrors of hell and the joys of heaven, the sufficiency of Christ, and your own lost condition, but you would none of you come unto Christ of yourselves unless the Spirit that rested on Christ should draw you. It is true of all men in their natural condition that they will not come unto Christ."~ C. H. Spurgeon




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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

10 Characteristics of Humility


I came across this powerful quote by Charles Spurgeon, "Every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled" and it reminded me how often the Lord has to humble me.  That ugly sin of pride continues to raise its head in my life and I desire to keep killing it.  Wretched man that I am!!  I can understand the issues Paul was struggling with in Romans 7.  By God's grace I need to keep resisting sin's power and control in my life.  

The hope I have is stated in Romans 7:22-25 and it reminds me that because I am redeemed, I can joyfully agree with God's law. I can give thanks to the Lord and I know I will triumph in this struggle against the ugly sin of pride because Jesus Christ is my Deliver.  So I continue to persevere and fight the good fight.

Humility is defined as "a personal quality in which an individual shows dependence on God and respect for other persons" (source).

I desire to strive for the virtue of humility in my life.  The choice I would like to make is to be humble and not to be humbled.  Unfortunately the latter happens more in my life than the former.

How does a person who is humble live differently from one who is prideful? This list is not exhaustive but maybe it will be a start for you to make your own list of areas that you need to be mindful of when we think of how gracious our God is towards us and that we have no right to be prideful in any area of our lives.

Marks of Humble People:

1. They trust in the sovereignty of God.  They see themselves rightly before their Creator and know that God is perfect in all His judgments and don't feel the need to question God. (Romans 9)

2.  They are thankful people.  They give thanks to the Lord in all things.  (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

3.  They are in awe of God's goodness and grace towards them.  We are sinners that were destined and deserving of Hell and our gracious Savior raised us from the dead and gave us new life in Christ. All undeserved.  This is one I need to be mindful of always. (Romans 6:23, Psalm 116:12-19).

4.  They can rejoice with others.  We need to take our eyes off of ourselves because it takes selflessness to truly rejoice with others.  Battling self is the issue we must overcome to rejoice with others (Romans 12:15).

5.  They practice unity based on their salvation.  The reality is we are never going to see eye to eye on everything with everyone.  We are not to set aside doctrinal truth and compromise the Gospel in any way but we are to set aside personal preferences for the sake of unity.  (Ephesians 4:2-3)

6.  They are not wise in their own eyes.  The sin of intellectual pride is ugly.  Adam and Eve thought they knew more than God and that led to disaster.  Leon Morris states it well, “The person who is wise in his own eyes is rarely so in the eyes of other people.” (Proverbs 3:7)

7.  They forgive quickly because they have been forgiven much.  They are mindful of the Gospel and the forgiveness they have received in Christ.  They desire to be peacemakers. (Colossians 3:12-14)

8.  They have a a teachable spirit.  They understand that they don't know everything and can learn much from others by listening.  (2 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 4:7)

9.  They build others up.  If we applied Ephesians 4:29 in our lives there would be much peace in our homes and churches.  "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." ~ Ephesians 4:29

10.  They have servants hearts.  They are washing the feet of the saints.  Loving and serving others is the mark of their lives.  (Galatians 5:13-14).

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How are our lives marked by humility?  What are some areas of pride you struggle with that you can ask the Lord to help you with?  May our hearts be transformed to the the heart of Christ.  Take your sin to the foot of the Cross where Christ humbled Himself for our sake.

There is nothing that will put you in your place, nothing that will correct your distorted view of yourself, nothing that will yank you out of your functional arrogance, or nothing that will take the winds out of the sails of your self-righteousness like standing, without defense, before the awesome glory of God.~ Paul David Tripp


Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
~ Philippians 2:5-11



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Monday, March 16, 2015

Strangely Dim



I have recently been on the road with my husband as he was attending the Shepherds' Conference.  The time has been refreshing as it allows me extra time in the Word and time to catch up on other reading that has been on my list.

Psalm 34:5 has been a verse that I have meditated on and prayed over this past week.

Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.

I have nothing profound to share with you today but an observation from my own life.  It is a simple truth but one that is difficult to be lived out in our homes and churches and communities on a regular basis in our own strength.

As soon as I take my eyes off of Christ and put them on myself, the sins of selfishness, anxiousness and so many others take over my thoughts and actions.
  
When my eyes are on Christ and glorifying Him through my life, my actions and attitudes  reflect Him.  

Do I look to Jesus?  Is His Word hidden in my heart always?  Do I show the unselfish and sacrificial care He did to others––starting in my own home?  Do I continue to kill the sin of selfishness?  

I can't do this in my own strength but only by the abundant grace of God. 

What does it look like to keep my eyes on Jesus throughout the day?  It differs from moment to moment and from day to day for me but here are some examples that may be a help in seeing the weak areas in your life too.

When I am focused on the Lord and His goodness I find myself most content.  

It is hard to be focused on my issues and problems when I am sharing the gospel with a friend.

It is hard to be selfish when I am serving a sick child who needs their mommy.

It is hard to focus on my time being interrupted when my husband needs encouragement in the Lord or just some time with me.

It is hard to have sinful thoughts when I am mediating on God's Word as I go about my chores and tasks for the day.  

We are so easily distracted by lesser things.  May we continue to fix our eyes upon Jesus and His Kingdom and truly the things on earth will grow strangely dim.

The words of a favorite hymn come to mind as I'm writing this post:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Weekend Nuggets - Living Well in a Digital World, Looking Forward to Heaven, Repairing Relationships, Your Pride is Showing, Worldly Saints and Much More!



My husband and I spent last week in sunny Southern California as he was attending the Shepherds' Conference Inerrancy Summit.   I know you're asking me why should I care about the Inerrancy Summit? I'm going to let Tim Challies answer that one:


"Why should you care about the Inerrancy Summit? There are, after all, hundreds of conferences every year, and it can be difficult to distinguish between them. Well, if for no other reason, you should care about this summit because there are almost 5,000 people here this week, most of them church leaders, representing 70 different countries. This is a major event that will influence many people, including current and future leaders. Not only that, but the conference brings together many of today’s most notable Christian leaders to teach, discuss, and affirm one of the most important theological issues: the inerrancy and authority of God’s Word."

You can watch all the seminars on Vimeo here.

You can read summaries of all the sessions here.

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Living Well in a Digital World - "I am thrilled to live in this time, and eager to use all of these new technologies for good. But I know, and you know, that we need to use them well, and to use them for God’s glory."

Leave it to Beaver, Sex and the City and a Woman's Happiness"Do we as a society believe that family is so important that we uphold caring for home and children as the best and most important job a woman might ever have?"

Looking Forward to a Heaven We Can Imagine - "What difference is heaven supposed to make in our lives now? Why do you think many Christians don't look forward to heaven any more? What are some of the biggest misconceptions about heaven?"

Seven Ways We Can Guard and Repair Relationships - "One of the most beautiful scenes in the Bible is between brothers who had been long alienated: 'Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept'  (Genesis 33:4).  God wants that beauty to reappear in every generation, as needed."

Your Pride is Showing - "Pride is such a tricky, sticky little thing.  And, I have a lot of it.  I always have. You see, I learned at a young age to be good.  I was the girl who was known as a goody two shoes in elementary school, and a killjoy in high school.  I was a “super godly girl” in college and a church loving, good-clinging young adult.  I was so proud of myself."


How I Taught My Children to Sit Still and Be Quiet - "Training active youngsters to sit still for select times can be an exasperating and embarrassing experience, but in the podcast, Brook and Israel Wayne share from their personal struggles – and eventual progress – as they sought to gently and consistently lead their children to learn to be pay attention during family Bible time."

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What I'm Listening to


(I have been using the Audible app and truly enjoying listening to audiobooks again.)

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The more I am aware of myself, the less I radiate God's character.  My selfish dims the reflection of HIs glory.  As we gaze at God's glory, we are transformed into His likeness, and we become increasingly compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, loving, faithful and forgiving.  Our homes are transformed into places of grace where the glory of His goodness radiates from the inhabitants.  And make no mistake, this has nothing to do with self-effort.  This is grace-zone living.  
~ Susan Hunt


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