Here and There (July 16)

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Marriage, Infidelity, and Ministry  – “No minister of the gospel ever committed adultery without being involved inappropriately with another person, and without having lustful desires precede that involvement. Adultery is the last stop on a long line of faithlessness. This sobering and painful reality points us to a very helpful strategy in our fight for purity. If we want to maximize our effectiveness in this battle we must be committed to waging the war as early as possible. An effective fight against adultery requires a fight against the kind of impurity that leads to it, and that requires a fight against the covetous desires of our hearts that lead to that. We are on the winning side of the struggle when we are depending on God’s grace to squash every covetous sexual desire long before it manifests in impurity and sexual immorality.”

To The Wife Who’s Husband Works Long Hours  – “Most importantly, pray together. Put God first so neither of you end up putting yourselves first.”

3 Truths to Move from Discontentment to Contentment  – “How do we fight to put on contentment and put off discontentment? We fight to grow in contentment, and kill discontent, by knowing and trusting that God is sovereignly working what is best, right, and good in our life because He is perfect in wisdom, knowledge, goodness, and love.”

Ten Tips to Kill Your Marriage  – “If you can’t embrace losing, as in being second in your marriage, then you will be the biggest loser of all (Ephesians 5:21). Not only will you go down swinging, but you will take your marriage down with you.”

What to do with-after a Stupid Promise to God?  – “God would rather forgive an empty promise in a maturing child than the offensive action of a wayward child still embracing their folly. God is more glorified through forgiving us for making-breaking stupid promises than he is through us keeping stupid promises and misrepresenting what it means to have “great faith” to the world.”

Four Characteristics of Legalism  – “Legalism is something we all lean toward in one way or another. Humanity has been plagued by this from the very beginning as we see in Job’s friends. Why is this? Well, we like to have everything under control. We don’t like risk. We don’t like it when things get uncomfortable. And showing grace, to ourselves and others, takes the ball out of our court. Rule, laws, and lists of requirements are so much easier than grace and freedom.”

Pascal’s Wager: Misleading, But Challenging  – “According to the Scriptures, that kind of choice is not saving faith. It is a purely natural thing, not a supernatural thing. We are drawn to something we do not know, assuming an extension of the happiness we have here. But saving faith is not like that. It is rooted in the sight and foretaste of happiness in supernatural things — God himself. According to the Scriptures, living faith is created in the dead soul by the miracle of new birth. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” (1 John 5:1). That’s how the faith happens.”

Lessons for Young Men  – “Our world desperately needs men. Real men. Manly men. Godly men. Holy men. Courageous men. Men who fear no one because they fear their God more. Our culture despises true, biblical manhood. What our young people today who grow up in American society will not learn on their own, from their friends, from Hollywood, or simply by observing the way of culture is how to be a real, godly, courageous, man of God.”

Letter to Teens Unboxing Their First Smartphone  – “The way you use your technology reveals your heart.”

Guidance On How To Be A Man  – “My answer, and maybe yours as well, is that I so often forget who I am in Christ. Thousands of time a day, the world says to me “Be like this! Be like that!”, but never “Live out your life in Christ!”

Gospel-Centered Husbandship: Changing the Game by Changing Our Home  – “The opposite of a gospel-centered husband, I think, is a comfortable husband.”

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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 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 & There (March 18)

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From Lesbianism to Complementarianism  – One woman’s story of the transformation that occurred when she met the Savior.

The Introverted Pastor’s Wife  – Christine Hoover shares her thoughts on working with the way God made us.  She is writing from the perspective of a Pastor’s wife, but there are lots of take aways for everyone.

Am I Invisible Here or What?  –  Becky Kopitzke reminding us Moms that “You are not invisible. You are doing the work, day in and day out. Your children see it. They feel it. They know it, whether they can wrap words around it or not. And it’s this kind of loving home you’ve created that makes them feel safe enough to test your patience in the first place.”

An article pointing out 10 Ways to Show Respect to Your Children  – “Respect is one of those things that is more caught than taught.  It is much easier to model it than it is to verbalize to a child what it actually is. And I never, ever, ever do this perfectly.  Daily I fail, but it is where the Lord has pierced my heart lately.”

Here’s a challenge and a look at 5 Things People Blame the Church…and Shouldn’t –  “Here’s the challenge: Be part of the solution. And the solution is not to walk away or be endlessly critical.”

Mark Altrogge writes on How to be Happy When Someone Leaves Your Church  –  “Over the years, Jesus somehow got it through my thick skull that – amazingly, as it says in the Bible – there is ONE church. One body, one Spirit, one faith.”

4 Practical Characteristics of Christian Legalism  – “Legalism is something we all lean toward in one way or another. Humanity has been plagued by this from the very beginning as we see in Job’s friends. Why is this? Well, we like to have everything under control. We don’t like risk. We don’t like it when things get uncomfortable. And showing grace, to ourselves and others, takes the ball out of our court. Rule, laws, and lists of requirements are so much easier than grace and freedom.”

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