Here and There (July 20)

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After Domestic Violence, Why Should a Christian Wife Call the Police, Not a Pastor, First?  – “Abused women who are Christians may try to understand their suffering by believing it is “God’s will” or “part of God’s plan for my life.” Yet we believe this runs contrary to the biblical image of a kind, merciful, and loving God who promises to be present to us in our suffering.”

Too “Busy” for God’s Word?  – “There is never an excuse for neglecting your time in prayer, reading of the Word, and personal worship of God. You may not have time for intense academic study, but just as you make time to nourish yourself with physical food, you must take time to nourish your soul as well.”

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle  – “Suffering doesn’t ask if you’re ready. It may come slowly or with a vengeance, but it doesn’t ask permission, and it doesn’t care about convenience. There’s never a good time for your life to be wrecked. But the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” tells me Ihave what it takes. It tells me I can bear whatever comes my way. It tells me God permits trials according to my ability to endure. Think about what this conventional wisdom does: it points people inward.  Yet the Bible points us Godward.”

Here is Truth  – “Genuine change is more than stopping wrong behavior; there must be repentance which includes an understanding that the actions are not glorifying to God; there must be a change in the manner of life that we live. Genuine repentance is accompanied by a desire to obey. We cannot separate thinking from obedience-they are inseparable. ”

4 Really Good Money Questions  – These are 4 great questions that bring biblical wisdom to bear on the way we use our money.

7 Questions Leaders Should Use Often  – “Questions are a powerful tool for every leader. The greatest leaders I know ask lots of questions.”

And 7 Statements Every Leader Needs To Use Often  – “One of the goals of a leader should be to encourage, strengthen and challenge a team to continually improve. Almost as a cheerleader rousing the crowd at a game, the leader uses his or her influence to bring out the best in others.”

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding  – “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship”

One Reason Children Rebel Against Their Parents  – “If we are not modeling the life of Christ to our children (1 Corinthians 11:1), then the chances of them rejecting Christ by the time they become teenagers is exponentially higher than parents who humbly present Christ to their children while they are young.”

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Here and There (February 19)

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Women, Stop Submitting to Men?  – An interesting article by Russel D. Moore on a controversial topic.

Some links relevant to the unmarried:

20 Lessons on Dating & Love  – Samantha Loucks with some thoughtful suggestions.

Waiting for a Christ Built Man  – Leslie Ludy writes, “All too many young women lower their standards out of desperation – thinking that if they don’t snag the one guy who seems at least somewhat better than the rest, they will end up alone.  But this attitude demonstrates a lack of trust in God’s love for you and perfect plan for your life.  If you give Him the pen and allow Him to script your story, you don’t need to strive or manipulate in order to make a romance happen – He will bring the perfect guy into your life in His own perfect time and way.”

My Ugly Expectations for My Boyfriend  – Paula Hendricks over at liesyoungwomenbelieve.com shares, “As I looked at them, I realized how much culture had informed my expectations rather than God’s Word.”

And some items of interest for those of us in the trenches of parenting:

Stress is a Family KillJoy  – Jennifer Smith reminds us, “We need to be willing to reduce our stress with intentional efforts, including going to God through prayer before things escalate.”

What’s Wrong with Controlling our Children?  – Ever wondered?  Christy Halsell points out the difference between controlling our children and guiding them. “When my children didn’t do what I thought they should be doing, my mindset was that I had to make them do it.  I wish I knew then what I know now.  God doesn’t control me.   He doesn’t make me do what He thinks I should do.  Yes, I have consequences when I go too far in the wrong direction, but God doesn’t level those consequences at me with vengeance and disappointment.  He gives me consequences in love, understanding my bent for doing the things that aren’t for my best.  Love.  Understanding.  Those are characteristics I was lacking in my need to control my children.”

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“Grace” by Laura Story

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me
And hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.
[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.
“At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged,
Knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You.
And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.
[Chorus:]
As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.
[Chorus:]