Here and There (May 2)

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Why It Is Important To Know Who The Biggest Sinner In The Room Is  – from Rick Thomas: “I have nothing to hide and nothing to protect because I’m a fully free child of God.

Nothing To Fear But Every Single Thing  – “I am not alone. Though I am prone to fear, I walk with women who know my struggles, toward a God who leads us out of fear and into trust.”

Go Forth And Multiply  – “Some women struggle with infertility and post-partum depression, while others fall pregnant instantly, sailing through pregnancy and motherhood. Some women can have multiple children and not be overwhelmed by it all. We are all different. And our families are different. Wise womanhood involves knowing our motivations, our identity, our limitations, our primary function as a wife, and most importantly, that our God is sovereign over the good blessing of children”

The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment  – “Of course, the Gospel is the solution to our propensity to unfaithfulness. When we see with the eyes of faith what God has done for us in Christ we will guard our hearts against a lack of commitment to His work in the church…May God grant that we all diligently labor to find and keep the rare jewel of Christian commitment in our own lives.”

Ask Often, What Does The Bible Say?  – “What’s the most significant issue in your life right now? What major decision is before you? Be sure to ask, “What does the Bible say about this?”

I Can Do All Things  – “But the irony is that, by taking this verse out of context, many people have actually turned it on its head—making it mean the opposite of what it actually means.”

Hyper-Headship And The Scandal Of Domestic Abuse In The Church  – Justin Taylor summarizing an important sermon by Jason Meyer.

God Owes Me Nothing  – “Why do I live like God owes me something? Could it be that I’m really serving myself when I think I’m serving God?”

Embers To Flames  – A Pastor’s perspective on the Baltimore riots. “The root of the problem with the teens that began these riots and the many others who joined in was not, what was outside of them but what was inside of them.  Have you ever considered what man is capable of, when he thinks he can actually get away with it?”

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Here and There (May 1)

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The One Question That Can Also Be An Answer  – “Perhaps you know someone who is struggling. Perhaps you don’t know for sure, but you can sense it. Try the one question that can also be an answer.”

God Moves In A Mysterious Way  – “God Moves” was originally titled “Conflict: Light Shining out of Darkness.” Cowper knew first-hand that life is warfare.

What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart  – “Marriage is hard but it doesn’t have to be impossible.”

Why Do You Talk About Jesus All The Time?  – A visual from Adam4d.

Three Ways To Remember God’s Grace  – “Remembering who God is and who we are is the antidote to grumbling. If we see our world, our lives, and our circumstances through the lens of Jesus’s cross, everything will come into focus. And that clarity of sight will awaken joy in us. It is looking through this lens that we find a deep sense of what it means to be loved by a good and kind heavenly Father.”

Examine our Choices.  – “We make choices in our lives, big and small, each day. Some choices have little effect on us, and other choices can change the trajectory of our whole lives.”

The Crucial Difference Between Condemnation and Conviction  – “What is the difference between condemnation, which is wrong, and conviction of sin, which is good?”

When Your’e A Mom Who Doesn’t Know Where To Start  – “The messy, sometimes painful process of growing and changing and being molded into someone who looks like Christ is so worth it.”

How To Be Productive According To The Bible  – “The Bible contains truth that applies to all of life and has a tremendous amount to say about how we live our lives and work our jobs. The Bible’s view of work and productivity is vastly different from our culture’s view.”

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Here and There (April 20)

“I don’t have a vision except for Jesus Christ. I don’t want to be anything. I don’t want to be a big shot. I don’t want to be important. I don’t want to conquer the world. I just want to be pleasing to God today and that is enough. That is enough. and strive as I might, I haven’t obtained that goal so why should I look for another?”~Paul Washer

Top 5 Ways to Get Through Tough Phases With Preschoolers and Toddlers  – Some great suggestions here (and not just for little ones…).

How to Have a Closer Marriage (Why I Kill Spiders)  – “If you listen long enough, you can tell where people have been hurt, where they are particularly sore and sensitive. To love that person well, you’ve got to accept their vulnerability and protect it.”

Can a “Hint”…Hurt?  – “How are you possibly hinting at sexual sin?”

A review of the book One Last Thing: The Christian Porn Secret.  – “When Tara Faulkner discovers her fiancé’s secret habit, she’s ripped out of her fantasies of the perfect wedding and the happily-ever-after marriage, and faced with the kind of decision she’s never had to face.”

How to Respect a Husband Who Hasn’t Earned It  –  “If you are walking in the flesh – in your self-will – focused on what you do or don’t deserve, then all bets are off. Respecting your husband won’t have a chance. There are enough grievances in marriage to last a lifetime.  Offering this kind of respect is abnormal to our sinful nature because obeying what the Bible says is a matter of walking in the Spirit – something every true believer has the power to do.”

God’s Grace Will Find You  – “The grace of God will find you. No matter where you’ve gone or how far you’ve drifted, nowhere is out of the reach of God’s grace.”

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Here and There (April 17)

“Entitlement fuels complaint. When you think you deserve what you don’t have, you’ll grumble rather than celebrate the grace you’ve been freely given.” Paul David Tripp

Kindle deals: Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper ($4.99); A Shelter in the Storm by Paul Tripp ($2.99); Disability and the Gospel by Michael Beates ($2.99); Suffering and the Goodness of God by Robert Peterson ($4.99); When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($1.99); Caring for a Loved One with Cancer by June Hunt ($1.99); What Happens After I Die? by Michael Rogers ($2.99); Why, O God? by various ($3.99); An Infinite Journey by Andrew Davis ($4.99).

On Hating Sin and Loving Sinners  – “When we hate sin, we should hate ours first.  We should be brought low by it.  It should cause us to bow before a holy God, acknowledging our unworthiness.  And, it should make us rise again with the knowledge that it’s only by God’s grace and mercy that we ever take a right step.  Then, each day, when we have met our own sin and have set out to conquer it in the name of Jesus, we can greet others along the road and love them.  Really love them.  Because we will feel desperate to warn them about what sin really does to the heart and the soul.”

Just in case you’ve ever wondered What Should Christians Do On Sundays  – “Laura Ingalls and her family spent all day Saturday preparing for Sundays. (AndI start feeling convicted.) Saturdays they took baths, ironed their clothes, and made all the food for the next day. Then Sunday morning, they got all dressed up in their finest clothes, did their best hair, to have church, at home. No one else saw. No one else came. They did their (long, boring, even?) worship, and then sat quietly for the remainder of the day, until sundown. Gulp.”

J.D. Greear exploring the question Are You Weak Enough For God To Use You?  – “But weakness forces us to throw ourselves in desperation before God, and that is the only place—and the only posture—in which we can learn the four words that transform our lives: God is always faithful. You and I may never know that God is all we need until he is literally all we have.”

What Would Jesus Wear? Thoughts on fashion and the gospel.

This. Is. The. Day  – “Rejoicing in the day at hand means embracing the sovereign work of a loving God. Otherwise, I’ll be wishing for another day. Feeling bombarded by seemingly random circumstances. And I’ll be far from rejoicing when my head hits the pillow tonight.”

5 Ways the Gospel Transforms Your Work  – A summary of Tim Keller’s teachings about how the gospel impacts our work.

Who Can You “One Another” Today?  -“For example, what if we saw the “one anothers” in Scripture as imperatives (commands from Christ), essential to real Christianity, and not re-categorize them as suggestions, conveniences, and when-you-get-around-to-its?”

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Here and There (April 13)

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Rachel writes from her blog A Mother Far From Home on The Best Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Gotten  – “Start out how you can hold out.”  (I’m saving this one to reread a few times.)

How to Truly Encourage the Spiritual Life of Your Husband  – Some ideas on what a wife can do to encourage her husband.

In her blog, Grace Covers Me takes us In Her Shoes: A Christian Woman Who’s Had an Abortion (Part One)  – “Let us not ever forget that the Church is a redeemed people. Each of us, by the grace of Christ, have been redeemed from our slavery to sin. Among our own, let us not forget, are those who, though made holy and righteous, wrestle with secret shame about the sin they’ve been redeemed from. Let us not forget, so that we might bring the light of grace into the dark and hidden, so that we might speak grace and be a tangible picture of God’s grace toward one another, so shame and condemnation are banished.”

The True Woman blog on the importance of honoring our Mother-in-Laws in Thanks for Raising the Man of My Dreams  – “Your mother-in-law has spent nights and days, months and years loving and shaping your husband. She has put in a lifetime of mothering, fulfilling endless needs, living out the very same call that you now many days find yourself drowning in. Most likely, experience has taught her a thing or two. Don’t allow culture to tell you that she has less value or a lesser place now that you have landed her son.”

Has God Ever Let You Down?  –  “What is your response to disappointment? Do you accept it well? Do you pout and get angry? We are so easily swayed and turn away from God in these moments. Many times we don’t realize it until we have gotten ourselves into such a mess…and then we don’t know where to go. Usually, we complicate matters and go everywhere but to the Lord.”

This paints a picture of Sacrificial Motherhood  – “Growing up I didn’t understand how important it was that my mom embraced the saying she kept hanging in our house. But I experienced it. I experienced her daily giving up her own comfort so I could be comfortable and secure. I received her life-giving care in ways I only know about now that I am on the other side of motherhood. I never heard her complain about lack of free time or sleep. I never heard resentment over her limitations as a mother to four children. I saw joy and felt love. And through it, I saw her live out what it means to have the mind of Christ flow out of her. She was content to sacrifice her time to meet her child’s needs.”

Dannah Gresh explores the question Does Teaching Purity Contradict God’s Grace?  – “But just as you cannot teach modesty without grace, you cannot teach grace without a thick theology of sin. And that requires us to teach guidelines for living such as purity and modesty.”

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Here and There (April 8)

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Notable Kindle deals:  The Christ-Centered Exposition Series ExodusEzra-NehemiahSong of SongsMatthewMarkGalatiansEphesians1&2 ThessaloniansJames1, 2, 3 John ($2.99 each). The Underestimated Gospel by Together for the Gospel ($2.99); The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley ($2.99); Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax ($1.99); Heroes and Monsters by Josh Riebock ($2.99).

How God Defines Success  – Hint: It’s probably not the same way the world does…

Becky Kopitzke writes on the remedy she discovered for all her husband’s annoying habits in When Hubby Leaves His Socks on the Floor.

A powerful article from Rosaria Butterfield on The Dead End of Sexual Sin  – “How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?”

Young Mothers, You Need Friends  – “Unless we’re careful, young moms, we will wake up one day and find that all of those incredibly fulfilling friendships that once overflowed in our pre-baby lives have melted away, gradually and without much fanfare.  We will feel the weird invisible weight of loneliness, and we may even try to force our kids or our parents or our husbands to fill those roles that should be uniquely set aside for dear friends.”

Help Me Face Today  – “The more we recognize fear as sin, combat it with Scripture, and give it over to our Father, the more Christlike we become. Clinging to God’s promises, we repeat them to unwanted thoughts that can put us through a terrible day before our feet ever leave the covers.”

Some reminders on Why We Are Going To Get Up And Do It All Again Tomorrow  – “And we will find strength in remembering that motherhood isn’t our job. It is our joy. It is not our obligation, but it is our opportunity. And these moments that seem unending, will all be over before we know it. You’ve got this, friend. We’re going to make it together.”

Good Friends Bring Friends to Jesus  – “If you believe the truth about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done then, to the extant that you care about your friends and want to see Jesus honored, you will tell them about him. This is what good friends have always done.”

“Our problem is not that we desire happiness. No, our problem is that we continue to foolishly believe that we can attain it apart from him. We think that if we just try hard enough, the next time we’ll get it right (whatever it is) and we’ll be happy. Instead of pushing through to the true source of all joy and happiness, we sinfully believe the false promises of lesser gods.”
― Elyse M. FitzpatrickBecause He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life

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Here and There (April 6)

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Some Notable Kindle Deals:  The Shepherd Leader at Home by Timothy Witmer ($2.99); Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham ($3.99); Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson ($3.99); Marriage and Family by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.99); Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($3.99); Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell ($1.99); The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Finally Free by Heath Lambert ($3.99).

The Silence of God by Andrew Peterson

Illogical Easter  – It doesn’t make sense.  Can it possibly be that easy?

And speaking of Easter, What Difference Does It Make anyway? Take a look…

Left: the Narrative of a Child of Divorce  – Jonathan Edwards (not the puritan) writes on the struggle to make sense of life when a parent leaves.

It is important to Quiet the Fear, Do the Work  – “There is likely some opportunity before us to pursue today. Let’s not be surprised if we don’t want to do it. That’s the nature of real fighting in a real war. Let us be strong and courageous. Quiet the fear. Fight the good fight. Do the work. The Lord our God will be with us wherever we go.”

This article explores Why “I’m Sorry” Isn’t Enough –  Teaching Our Kids The Language Of Forgiveness.

“Did you know that, on average, each of us speaks about twenty-five thousand words daily? My last book didn’t have that many words. A lot of language is flowing out of our mouths every day and having an impact on those around us. But how much of that flow is fulfilling God’s intended purpose for our speech? How much of it reflects pride, rather than a gospel-motivated humility?” ― C.J. MahaneyHumility: True Greatness

“It is impossible to forgive someone if you feel superior to him or her.”  Tim Keller

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