Here and There (May 11)

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Kindle deals: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($1.99); Forever Mom by Mary Ostyn ($1.99); Crazy BusyTaking God at His Word, and The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung ($2.99 each); Don’t Call It a Comebackby Kevin DeYoung and me and others ($2.99); One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian ($1.99); Jesus or Nothing by Dan DeWitt ($2.99)

Some Hard Questions For Mothers  – “Is my role as a mother more about my need to be needed than raising children to maturity and independence?” “Do I fear not being needed by those under my care?” “Am I using my role as a mother to fill voids left by past hurts?”

Either “OK” or “Thank You”  – Everyday life and the Father’s will.  “We Christian Hedonists believe that God is most glorified in us when we’re most satisfied in him. We’ll highlight this truth in our books. We’ll tweet about it all day long. We’ll sing about it on Sunday mornings. But then things don’t go our way…”

God’s Bigger Than My Cancer  –  Learning lament and joy in darkness.  “Cancer changes your perception of life. Each day comes to us as a gift from the gracious hand of God — whether it is the last day of a short life or the first day of a long and healthy life. But living into the reality that each day is a gift also involves coming to recognize a stark, biblical truth that is deeply countercultural: God is not our debtor.”

Dear Mom Who Secretly Dreads Mother’s Day  – “This day is ultimately not about you, or your mothering, or the mothers in your life. It’s about the story Jesus is choosing to write through the picture of motherhood in and around your life. And that’s worth celebrating…and He certainly isn’t through with you yet.”

Mom!  – A short film about you and your mom.

Don’t Let Pride Steal Your Joy  – “In thinking ourselves far greater than really we are, we see truly great things far smaller than they really are. The lie of pride becomes a damned lie when we see God as smaller, and less important than he is. And in trying to make truly great things subservient to our false supremacy, pride shrinks our capacity to experience joy and wonder. In seeking to be gods and goddesses, we learn to only value what magnifies our glory or satisfies our appetites. We yawn at the Grand Canyon and fawn at the mirror.”

When God Closes The Womb  – Being childless on Mother’s Day.  “When God closes the womb He has other things in store. It isn’t about being mean or punishing me for past sin, it is because of His great Love for me… The big question for me has and continues to be “Is God Enough?”

On The Path To The Cancer Ward  – “I’ve discovered that grief travels in three directions: past, present, and future. The trauma of what we’ve gone through; the struggle to accept our changed lives; the fearful anticipation of what is to come. Sadness is a backpack of rocks you carry: you forget for a while, stop and enjoy the view, but always it’s there, some days too heavy to bear…Humble yourself under God’s hand. Cast your fears on him. Resist Satan’s attempts to undermine your faith. Remember you’re not alone. Remember this is just for a little while. Remember God will lift you up and restore you and make you strong.”

Wise words To The Sons And Daughters Of Divorce  – “I don’t think I have found more help in my own journey of healing than in seeking help from others who have walked the same paths — who have had to do the hard work of finding Christ through the weeds of having divorced parents. Look for other sons and daughters — of God, and of divorced parents — and walk with them.  You are not pathetic. You are not alone. You deserve to be deeply loved, and you are deeply loved by God. He will carry and keep you.”

Loving Difficult People  – “So when that child has you on the brink of tears, or you’ve just received a harsh and critical email about your ministry, or you’re confronted with that extended family member who drives you up the wall, ask God for grace not to run away, but to keep engaging in love that hard-to-love person. God will be honored and our hearts will find deeper satisfaction as we seek to love people just as Christ loved us when we were his enemies.”

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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 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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