Here and There (May 13)

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Kindle Deals:   The Next Story by Tim Challies ($1.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($2.99); Jesus and the Gospels by Craig Blomberg ($4.99); The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis ($1.99) Warren Wiersbe books: Be Mature (James); Be Joyful (Philippians)

Singles: Distinguishing Between Good and Great  – “Remember: the first step to building a great marriage is often breaking off a mediocre dating relationship. It doesn’t have to be tragic or miserable, just mediocre. If you keep hanging on to “almost good enough” you may never find “great enough that I never want to lose it.”

10 Ways to Enjoy Your Child Today  – “The older generation tells us with love:“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. It passes before you know it. Savor it now. It’s your one chance.”And we politely while somewhat annoyed respond: “Yes, I know. I know. I hear that a lot. And I want to. I really do. That’s why I had kids. To enjoy them. But the days, they just fly by. And before I know it, they are another day older. Meanwhile I still haven’t brushed my teeth. Or hair. So savoring them. Well, it’s harder than you know.”

Drinking It Straight  –  The Word of God compared to Coffee.  “The problem all along was that people had diluted the coffee, or added something to it, thinking that this would make it more enjoyable. When they added to it, they changed it entirely, so that it wasn’t really coffee anymore.”

Exposed By My Children For What I Really Look Like  – No matter what my mom weighed or wore, I always thought she was the most beautiful lady ever…

The Problem With Mother’s Day  – ” Don’t forget the reality of your situation on Mother’s Day, whatever it may be:  God is sovereign.  He is good. And, we can trust Him.”

For When You Have Nothing Left To Give  – “If your faith is shattered, your supply line is down and you’ve no way to access the provisions He’s providing. If your faith is weak today and you have nothing left to give, I encourage you to sit awhile with God’s word.”

I Looked For Love In Your Eyes  – A heartbreaking look at the devastation pornography causes.  A must read for anyone who may be inclined to think it’s “no big deal”.

When Trials Steal Your Joy  – “For the Christian, struggles are not meaningless. God has greater designs that we cannot always see or understand, but we can choose to see His goodness in them. We don’t have to like our circumstances, but we do have to trust that God is loving us in them.”

How Do I Know I’m a Christian?  – “Do you love God?  Do you love his commands?  Do you love his people?  If you don’t, it’s a sign you have death.  If you do, it’s sign that you have life. And that means confidence instead of condemnation.”

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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 (February 16)

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Kindle Deal highlighted:  Crushed  by Jessie Minassian $.99

Dear Mom Who Refuses to Rest  – “If you’re tired, it’s a good indication that you’ve neglected rest…and resting in Him.”

Changing Fools  – “It’s true of you today, and it’ll always be true of you until glory – your heart is susceptible to foolishness. But you also need to remember this: there is no foolishness too reckless for grace’s wisdom.”

Are You Satisfied in Jesus?  – “Imagine losing all contact with those you love. No opportunity to see your husband or friends or children, or even to hear their voices over the phone. Imagine being completely by yourself, twenty-four hours a day.  Would Jesus be enough to satisfy you?”

Contentment is Like a Discomobile  – A video (05:47) by Jessie Minassian from LifeLoveandGod.com  that explores the question: “A “content” single girl doesn’t long for a relationship on Valentine’s Day . . . does she?”

Would Everybody Please Leave Me Alone?  – “Jesus withdrew because he knew his first job was to fuel his soul by connecting with his Father—alone. He couldn’t pour out what he hadn’t first been given from God.”

10 Articles on Pornography  – A Tim Challies collection of important articles.

The Most Glorious Cure  – Do you ever think about what mark you will leave on this world when you are gone?  I do.  Here is a moving tribute to a young man who used his limited time here wisely.  “Elliott fought the good fight. He finished the race. The last time I spoke to him–a few days before he passed away–he talked about caring for his dear wife and longing for heaven. I asked him what song we could sing. He said, “In Christ Alone.” Very fitting. That’s how he lived, and that was the comfort in which he died.”

10 Scriptures for Everyday Encouragement  – 10 Scripture Verses from Creative Home Keeper that can be printed out for encouragement and reminders throughout the day.

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In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Here and There (February 13)

“I want to think that my biggest problem in life is the evil world that surrounds me, when in reality, my biggest problem in life is the evil heart that exists inside of me.”  Paul David Tripp
No Grey Area;  I’m Still Not Reading (or Watching) Fifty Shades  – The soon to be released movie 50 Shades of Grey has created a huge cultural conversation.  I will not attempt to re-say what has already been said by those more qualified, but will simply add my voice by agreeing and sharing their words.  When it comes to the damage that pornography and erotica brings in all its forms, the warnings cannot be said too loudly or too frequently or from enough sources: DON’T GO THERE.  Just don’t.
Valentine’s Day Hopes  – “God is for you. He is working for your good on this Valentine’s Day.”
Remembering the Unquantifiable Love of God  – “So this Valentine’s Day, as the world keeps a tally of love, may we never forget that God’s love for us is greater than anything we can imagine. It is greater than googolplex and more than the stars in the sky. It is immeasurable, steadfast, and permanent. And that same amazing love has been given to us to extend it to others. May we give that love, without keeping score, knowing that God’s love for us keeps no record, because in Jesus, our debts have been marked: “paid in full.”
I Know God Loves Me, But Does He Like Me?  – Mark Altrogge answers the question.

23 Things That Love Is  – “With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, here’s a gospel-centered reminder about how to love. But, you don’t have to be romantically in love to find this list practical. Every healthy relationship requires love and sacrifice, so if you’re a parent, child, sibling, neighbor, pastor, or co-worker, this list is for you.”

Sexual Desire and the Single Girl  – “During those long years of singleness, this is where the rubber met the road: Would I listen to my passions, or would I listen to His promises?”
Are You a Spiritual Baby?  – You might just be a spiritual baby if…
I Was Born Weak  – “Weak faith is a lot like a weak muscle. Faith begins weak and it remains weak when it is not exercised. God calls us to live by faith and calls us to use our faith—our faith in him and in his promises. But so often our faith remains weak because it remains unused.”
Contentment is a Choice  – Ruth Soukup at The Better Mom encourages us to ask ourselves the question, “When will I be satisfied?”
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How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom