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 and There (March 9)

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Christian Hoover shares on her decision to Stop Trying to be “All the Moms”  –  “Trying to be all the moms makes us feel better, until it doesn’t, and then we vow to do more and try harder.”

Ray Ortlund writes on  7 Ways We Can Guard and Repair Relationships.

Abiding in Christ Through Suffering and Loss  –  “So when I became a widow I had a few choices. I could wallow in self-pity, and believe me I struggled with this. Or I could run to the Lord. I could embrace my fears—and I struggled here as well—or I could embrace my Lord. I am happy to say that by his grace, I chose to abide, to rest in Him. I came to Him weary, brokenhearted, and heavy-laden, helpless to do life on my own. And he showered me with love and mercy and comfort and strength to do things I never ever even thought I would have to do.”

The Frangible Heart  – “Every peacemaker I know has had a broken heart. Yet, when hearts break in faith, trusting in the grace of God, we are not destroyed but rather strengthened for the mission at hand. When we trust that God’s grace is sufficient for us in our trials, and His power is made perfect in our human weakness, we can delight in the face of the conflict-related wounds we experience (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When broken, frangible hearts respond in faith, hope, and love proclaiming the beautiful message of God’s love through Christ.”

Find Your Fulfillment in Faithfulness  – Part three of J.D. Greear’s excellent series Everyday Faith.  This one is addressed (for the most part) to young women.  “So if for a time God has assigned you to care for children and establish a home, find your fulfillment in knowing you have been a faithful servant, not in the praise of the world. If Jesus could find fulfillment in washing feet, you can find it in wiping butts for a season, too.”

Anna Marie Cox writes an interesting article on Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian  – “I’m not scared that non-believers will make me feel like an outcast. I’m scared that Christians will.”

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Here and There (March 2)

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Why are Homeschool Kids so Annoying?  – “And that’s why homeschooled kids are so annoying.  Because no one tells them that the way God made them isn’t cool enough.”

When you Meet Trials of Various Kinds  – “1. How I react to the trial reflects what I really care about. 2. The Lord is my only true hope and comfort. 3. The Lord was faithful yesterday, He is faithful today, and He will be faithful tomorrow.”

Three Relationship Rules  – From Ed Welch of CCEF:  “1. If something bothers you, give it to the relationship. “I am struggling with something and I think it would be best for us if we tried to talk about it.” 2. When one person is working, the other person should be working too. 3. If the other person asks you to do something and you can do it right away, then do it right away.”

Dos and Don’ts of Homeschooling to Encourage You  – Tricia Goyer shares some good ideas.

Some Common Misconceptions About Our Relationship With Sin  – Adam4d shares his thoughts regarding sin misconceptions as only he can.

Older Men, Your Best Days Are Not Behind You  –  Part 1 of J.D. Greear’s excellent series Everyday Faith.  I encourage you to read them all, but in case you don’t, I will be sharing them here because I think they are that good.  The focus of this one aims at temptations particular to those men with much of their life behind them.

The Cost of Motherhood  – A beautiful reminder by a new (again) Mom that in motherhood, “God has used little hands and little feet to help me understand that I cannot lose myself enough in the calling He has given me. And it is in the losing that something of worth is truly gained. Motherhood has cost me, but make no mistake, it hasn’t robbed me. It has given more than I could have ever hoped or imagined. It has caused me to look to the Lord and redefine what I value as important. It has changed me and grown me and helped me to value the quiet, unnoticed things.”

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Here and There (February 25)

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.” – Elisabeth Elliot

Meeting God in the Thick of Things  – A reminder here that God is with us right in the middle of everything going on.  “We forget that God is with us. He is near, even when pea soup is scorching on the stove and the baby is screaming for attention.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we do need to withdraw from all the noise of life. We need to carve out crevices for solitude and reflection and prayer. I’m just uncomfortable with a tendency I see in myself to think of retreat as the only way to meet God. I forget that He is in the midst of the fray as well.”

When I Forget to Breathe  – Encouragement for those who have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage.

All I Have is Christ  – Examining our hearts for greed and a battle plan for resistance.  “Christian, we have a greater possession than the Arkenstone. We have a treasure infinitely greater than all the gold in Erebor. His name is Jesus. To be at home with him is our great reward. He is our better possession and abiding one. We are our Beloved’s, and he is ours.  And when he is our Great Possession, dragon-sickness has lost its power, and we are finally freed to possess the kingdom our Father created us to inherit. And even on that day when we finally have it all materially, our greed-free hearts will gladly say, “All I have is Christ.”

Loving Your Husband Before You Get Married  – Single or married, the goals are the same: “Problems in marriage are always the result of self-centeredness. So the time a person spends when he is single should be time spent in preparation for marriage. This is important even if he never gets married. This is because biblical preparation for marriage is nothing more than learning to follow Jesus Christ and love one’s neighbor. In other words, preparation for Christian marriage is basically the same as preparation for Christian living.”

A Plead for Innocence  – A case made here for becoming an expert on what is true…”John MacArthur: “Don’t study false doctrine, don’t study sin, don’t study error, stick with the truth and godly obedience.” It is well and good, I think, to have some familiarity with some of the most common false teachings and false teachers. We do well to know why we are not Mormons or Roman Catholics or why we believe same-sex marriage is wrong. But it can be dangerous to immerse ourselves in false teachings and false teachers. It can be dangerous to assume that we need to have a deep understanding of error in order to hold fast to what is true.”

Jesus Flips the Switch  – A great illustration here:  “Whatever suffering you’re currently experiencing, or whatever suffering comes to you in the future, you can trust that you’re held in the hands of a sovereign King, who knows your suffering, is sovereign over your suffering, is with you (“Emmanuel”) in the midst of your suffering, and has conquered your suffering. He flips the switch, allowing suffering to refine us, not destroy us. And he does so as the sovereign ruler over all things, “the first and the last, who died and came to life” (Revelation 2:8).”

Building Loving Relationships in Your Church Family  – Article from Thankful Homemaker on the messy business that is doing life together in our church family.  “Do you look at those in your church and see them as your family?  If you are in Christ then your brothers and sisters in the faith are your family. Sometimes because they are family we can treat them like our own immediate family members.  We can hold a grudge because they said something we didn’t appreciate.  We can judge them by their words or actions.  We can speak poorly of them to others.  We so often forget they – just like us – our sinners saved by grace who don’t always look or act like their heavenly Father but look and act more like their old selves before new life in Christ.”

Put a Little Love in Your Voice  – “The trouble isn’t necessarily what we say. It’s how we say it.”

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From Adam4d as only he can put it.