Here and There (July 9)

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What a Bikini Taught Me About Modesty  –  “Suddenly I realized that my bikini was not advertising my God-given value, but advertising the beauty of my body to a world that would never appreciate it the way God intended…Modesty is humility in action…In every decision we make, we shouldn’t be asking “How far can I go?” or “How much can I get away with?” but “How holy can I be?” 

Dear Girl, You Can’t Shed Shame by Shedding Clothes  – “They say women who cover themselves do so because they lack self confidence; that if they were really free, they would shed those standards and their “modest” clothes along with it.  But the dichotomy they propose is a false one.  Our world sees no shame in nakedness, so they seek to glorify it.  Our God sees glory in nakedness, so He shields it from shame…Shame did not come from modesty. Modesty – the covering – came to deflect shame. God Himself clothed man and woman to shield their beauty from the evil of this world.”

The Gospel Coalition has 20 Quotes from Rosaria Butterfield’s New Book on Sexual Identity  – “The image of me and everyone I love suffering in hell crashed over me like shark-infested waves of a raging sea. Suffering in hell not because we were gay, but because we were proud. We wanted to be autonomous. . . . I counted the costs and I did not like the math.” (23)  “Jesus met sinners at the table, but he did not join them in their choice sins. He sat with them, but he did not sin with them. And we ought not expect Jesus to sin with us today.” (31)

Identity in Relationships  – “Finding identity in your spouse will never work. No sinner can be your mighty fortress; only God can, as the classic hymn reminds us. Perhaps even more importantly: when you look to another person for identity, you’re not loving them; you’re using them to love yourself...Human relationships are unable to provide us with life, contentment, happiness, and joy, so when we ask them to be our source of identity, it’s only a matter of time before they fail us. We can never be reminded of this enough: our identity is only safe in one Person – Jesus Christ!

On Mt. Moriah You Can See the Whole Bible  – “Jesus wrote the last chapter of Moriah. He made this mountain his own. He climbed Mt. Moriah, to enter his Father’s house, time and again. He taught on this mountain. He turned over the tables of the money-changers like a madman on this mountain. On Moriah, he declared, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it.” He spend the last week of his life on this mountain. And he brought this mountain’s story to its peak.  Jesus was not killed in Bethlehem as a baby, or in Galilee or Samaria as an adult. He couldn’t be, for it was necessary for him to die in Jerusalem, where Moriah is. He is the promised Seed of Abraham, the new and better Isaac. He is the promised Son of David, the new and better Solomon. He is the tabernacle and temple of God. And he is the Son who is not spared, but given up for us all. At his death, the angels outside Eden sheathe their swords and welcome us back into the paradise of God. He is the lamb of God, upon the altar of the cross, who transforms Golgotha into Moriah. He is the substitute, by whose sacrifice we are not just spared, but welcomed into the life and family of the Father.”

How and Why to Talk to Your Children About LGBT  – “Our attitude toward gays should be loving because, as we say, “There I would be too if it were not for the grace of God.” Your children should not hear hate or anger from you when you talk about the gay community.  If you do hate them, then your children will either (1) emulate your anger or (2) embrace the gays version of love—a love devoid of biblical conviction. Therefore, your starting point should be a level playing field: there are no righteous people, no not one (Romans 3:10-12).”

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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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Here and There (February 2)

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Quote of the Day from Paul Washer:

“You act like a biblical man today, and I hate to tell you this.
But you act like a biblical man today, don’t expect people to appreciate it.
Some people will hate you.
They’ll just hate you.
Even though you don’t say anything to them to rebuke them.
Again guys, just to start off, being a Christian is more than just simply listening to Christian music, or reading your Bible.
And it’s more than just getting a few doctrines right, and it’s more than witnessing.
It’s literally, every aspect of your life being submitted to Scripture, so that you do stick out like a sore thumb.”~Paul Washer

 

 It All Started With a Bikini  – An article encouraging the use of God’s Word as the filter through which we examine the motives of our heart and the way it is reflected through our actions.  “By spending time in God’s Word, I was able to notice the anger and rebellion that I had carried in my heart for so many years. I saw I was pridefully exalting myself above my friends instead of loving them like Christ does. I learned that I shouldn’t focus my thoughts on spandex or bikinis, but on my own heart being right toward God!”

 

Seven Practical Prayer Tips  – Kim Wagner with some tips that she has found helpful to her in her desire to be consistent in prayer.  You may find some of the suggestions helpful, you may not.  Keep at it until you find your own ways.   In the words of Nike: Just Do It.

 

For Years I Pleaded With God To Make Me Straight, So Why Did My Prayers Go Unanswered?  This article is a little on the long side and the topic is controversial, but if you haven’t been confronted with this issue yet, it is only a matter of time.  This author brings the focus straight to the heart of the issue, which IS the issue of our hearts.  “From what I see in the Bible, God is far more concerned with first fixing our hearts than he is with fixing other things in our lives…Homosexual desire – and all other sinful desire — exists in the hearts of people because worship of God doesn’t. In Adam, we corporately rejected the good rule of God over our lives. And in each of our hearts, we have all individually rejected the good rule of God over our lives. And what has been the result? God has given us over to ourselves. He gave us up to our sinful desire, and has allowed us to revel and further deteriorate in it.”

 

We Need To Stop Saying, “Let Me Know If You Need Anything.  – “Do you know anyone who is hurting or who is going through some  type of suffering right now?  Here are some suggestions on how to show love and be TRULY helpful to them from someone who’s been on there. 

 

Seven Principles of Sabbath Rest  – A list of suggestions to help in fighting the battle of busyness, fatigue and endurance.  I personally struggle in a lot this area and found this a practical read.

 

Our Church sang this song as a congregational recently and sadly, it was unfamiliar to most.  Take a moment and have a listen.  Think on the words.  It is beautiful and heartbreaking.  I was 13 when I first learned it and I’ve never forgotten it.

O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown
How pale thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!
What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
T’was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for Thee.