Here and There (July 20)

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After Domestic Violence, Why Should a Christian Wife Call the Police, Not a Pastor, First?  – “Abused women who are Christians may try to understand their suffering by believing it is “God’s will” or “part of God’s plan for my life.” Yet we believe this runs contrary to the biblical image of a kind, merciful, and loving God who promises to be present to us in our suffering.”

Too “Busy” for God’s Word?  – “There is never an excuse for neglecting your time in prayer, reading of the Word, and personal worship of God. You may not have time for intense academic study, but just as you make time to nourish yourself with physical food, you must take time to nourish your soul as well.”

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle  – “Suffering doesn’t ask if you’re ready. It may come slowly or with a vengeance, but it doesn’t ask permission, and it doesn’t care about convenience. There’s never a good time for your life to be wrecked. But the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” tells me Ihave what it takes. It tells me I can bear whatever comes my way. It tells me God permits trials according to my ability to endure. Think about what this conventional wisdom does: it points people inward.  Yet the Bible points us Godward.”

Here is Truth  – “Genuine change is more than stopping wrong behavior; there must be repentance which includes an understanding that the actions are not glorifying to God; there must be a change in the manner of life that we live. Genuine repentance is accompanied by a desire to obey. We cannot separate thinking from obedience-they are inseparable. ”

4 Really Good Money Questions  – These are 4 great questions that bring biblical wisdom to bear on the way we use our money.

7 Questions Leaders Should Use Often  – “Questions are a powerful tool for every leader. The greatest leaders I know ask lots of questions.”

And 7 Statements Every Leader Needs To Use Often  – “One of the goals of a leader should be to encourage, strengthen and challenge a team to continually improve. Almost as a cheerleader rousing the crowd at a game, the leader uses his or her influence to bring out the best in others.”

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding  – “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship”

One Reason Children Rebel Against Their Parents  – “If we are not modeling the life of Christ to our children (1 Corinthians 11:1), then the chances of them rejecting Christ by the time they become teenagers is exponentially higher than parents who humbly present Christ to their children while they are young.”

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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 & There (March 23)

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Tim Challies encourages us to examine our motives when social media posting involves our own children and to consider What Is Your Exit Plan?  – “The thing is, sooner or later your kids will become their own people, and have their own network of friends and followers. And when this happens they will find that for the past 13 years you have been building their online profile… What kind of profile will they walk into when they are old enough to care?”

How Changing This One Bad Habit Changed Our Home For Good  – I’ve known this to be true in my own life as well…

This article by Mark Altrogge got me to thinking about the Things I Would Do Differently If I Were Raising My Children Again.

Paula Hendricks with some thoughtful points here on the recent Cinderella movie.  “So when you encounter those bullies at school or at home or at work, remember this: You may not have a fairy godmother to rescue you, but you have the living God on your side. This God is pleased—not when you suffer for doing wrong—but for doing right.”

Just for a change of pace, I share an article called The Anti-Bucket List.  “Why put pressure on ourselves to achieve a huge list of things that aren’t that meaningful? Why feel guilty if we’re not pursuing them? Why not let them go?”

Although not a huge fan of Personality-type articles, I found the ideas expressed in Why the Type-A Mom Needs A lot of Kids interesting. She writes, “I’m here to tell you that having more kids has helped soften some of my rough edges. It’s helped me stop thinking I was in control when really God is in control. It’s helped me try my best, but let it go when I mess up. It’s helped me realize that my rewards in heaven aren’t based on how clean the house is or how straight the closets are.”

J.D. Greear  with thoughts on why Our Everyday Obedience is Our Best Witness – “What gives us the power to live in a truly Christian way? Not more religious tasks. They may work for a while, but they’re exhausting if we’re using them to change ourselves. No, as Paul says, the grace of God gives us the power to walk away from sin and choose holiness. It’s not as we try harder that we become more like Christ. It’s as we learn to steep ourselves in the story of what God has done for us, looking upward to the glory of the God who saved us, backward to the price he paid for us, and forward to what he’s making us. “

A comprehensive list here of Bible Study Helps for Busy Moms that anyone will find helpful.

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Here and There (March 11)

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An article well worth the read on The Fellowship of Suffering  – “If you are suffering, your first reaction, especially if you are early on in your suffering, is likely to find others whose suffering reconciled. The estranged couple who worked it out. The cancer patient who recovered. The parents of a rebellious child who saw their child return to the faith. But as your suffering continues, you’ll find a deep treasure in those who have endured without earthly resolution to their pain. Their perseverance will bless you as they know this world is not our home and look to the treasure that lies ahead.”

A Simple Guide to Reading and Applying the Bible with Jesus as the Hero  – “This guide is designed for Sunday school teachers, home Bible study leaders, and the Christian who is trying to be faithful to read and apply the Bible on a consistent basis.”

Parenting Means Wrestling Demons  – “If we go into the work of parenting with a Precious Moments romanticism, it won’t be long before despair sets in. It’s just too hard if we think it’s going to be easy. It’s essential to know, especially when the going gets tough, that we arefighting hell.”

Misty Krasawski brings A Scriptural Perscription for Anxiety  – “Is it possible that at least some of our anxiety is rooted in a failure to humble ourselves?  Might we find a prescription for anxiety in an unlikely place–a position of humility?”

Biblical counsel for depression in this article on Confession Meets Depression from CCEF  – “If you are a big-time confessor of sin when you are depressed—and there are a few of you—then please skip this. But if you are prone to depression, and confession is not high on your list, this might help.”

The last of J.D. Greear’s 4 part series on Everyday Faith:  Young Men, Don’t Murder Your Soul  – “Don’t be bought off by the petty little passions that promise so much and deliver so little. Look to the grace of God, so you can trade them in for real passion and real pleasure.”

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Here and There (January 29)

Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage,
And He will strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Some Points of Interest I found to share today…

A beautiful and sobering look at the remains of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. It is overwhelming to imagine the suffering of the victims there in grip of such evil, both captives and captors. We must never forget! This link is to the long version, but if you prefer the shorter one it can be found here

Theology Nerd – I can relate to this so much! Anyone else? “Hello, my name is Susan and I am a Theology Nerd…”

Set Apart Motherhood  – An interview with author Leslie Ludy on her new book, Set Apart Motherhood. Here is an excerpt: “A lot of moms today are frazzled, stressed, and defeated. Our society says this is normal. My book “Set Apart Motherhood” was written to help moms discover how beautiful and fulfilling motherhood can be when Christ is at the center of it!”

Scripture Typer  – If anyone is looking for a help on memorizing God’s Word, I’ve found this program to be great! I have it on my computer and on my phone. I am truly without excuse…

And since I’m on the subject, here is my other favorite Bible App for daily reading. It is loaded with options and a huge choice of reading plans. You can even connect with others who have reading plans and have it send you reminders. If you want accountability, innumerable choices or just organization, take a look at what they offer. Another way I am without excuse for getting in God’s Word so it can get into ME.

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Here and There (January 26)

Here are some of my picks from here and there as I jump around the web reading today.  Also, I’m including some not so new articles, just because I think they are relevant as we come to the end of our first month of the new year.

 10 Reasons to Read the Bible  – Erin Davis gives some 10 reasons to read your Bible.  Even if it wasn’t a “resolution” you made at the start of the new year, its never too late to jump in.

One to One Bible Reading   – A simple and uncomplicated guide to studying the Bible that is flexible and easily adapted for any size group or even by yourself.  I have been using this personally for a few months and find it works very well.

All Paths Lead to God  – Kevin De Young writes, “All paths lead to God, but only one path will present you before God without fault and with great joy.  Pick a path, any path–it will take you to God. Trust me: you will stand before Him one day. You will meet your Maker. You will see the face of Christ”

Aging Gracefully  -“It is vitally important that we teach our daughters that aging isn’t a death sentence; it’s the result of living. The lines on my face have been carved by hours of laughter and tears. My brow has been furrowed by worry over a sick child, job loss, and death. Stretch marks and scars give testimony to God’s faithfulness. The gray hair hasn’t come yet, but I pray that when it does I will accept it as a crown of glory and not something to be covered up.”

How to Combat the Demonic  – “If you want to fight the demonic, don’t focus on the demons at all; just let Jesus be large in your life.”

The App of God  – Tim Challies on comparing the Bible to an App.

Jesus is Better than Ice Cream – “Here’s the huge, massive, completely life-altering truth we need every day of our lives: Because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross, we can run our race. He makes it happen. He gives us the strength to run. He gives us the grace to set aside our sin. He’s the Prize at the finish line.  So in my daily Christian life—which is a long, grueling marathon, not an easy, breezy sprint—what am I looking unto?”

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