Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Hearing him repeat this over and over has been so helpful. After I wrote that last post my morning sickness started to kick in. Thankfully I am not flat on my back like I was with my last pregnancy, but feeling nausea all day long wears on ones attitude and mind set.
I desire contentment even in the midst of sickness. There is much going on in my body right now. By four weeks, my baby has a head, tail, backbone and limb buds - which will eventually become arms and legs. The beginnings of ears and eyes are also visible. Its heart is already beating, and the other organs are forming fast. Yes, a lot is going on and even though I feel like I have the flu (minus the achy body and fever) I will be content knowing that I am hard at work on the inside!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
When you get too busy, what is the first thing that goes?
For me, it's been that quiet bible time in the morning. I hit the floor running in the morning and think, "I'll get to my bible later!"
Does this only happen to me?
We are so easily sidetracked with our quiet time. This week I've gotten to my quiet time, but it's been in the afternoon when I am not as fresh. Thus I feel a little "dry".
Here's to getting right into the word tomorrow when I wake up!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I know I have activities planned 11 of the next 14 days, so the New Year seems far off, but it really isn't!
Most people make some type of New Year's Resolution. Most people break their resolution by the second or third week of the new year. But this coming year I want to challenge you to read through your bible.
Our church has set forth the challenge to read the bible cover to cover in 2009. They are hoping the whole church reads and each Sunday the sermon will cover something we've read that week.
I will be reading the bible cover to cover this year. This will be the third time I've read straight through and I am looking forward to reading again.
There are lots of ways to read through the bible. I've read cover to cover with the help with Bible Pathway, a daily devotional to give you perspective on what you will be reading. I've also read the Chronological Bible, which is a fascinating way to read through.
You could also buy the bible on MP3 or CD's.
Here is an on-line reading schedule to read cover to cover. Or you can read a little bit of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs each day.
If you've never taken the time to read through the bible, make 2009 the year you commit to read the bible cover to cover!
(If you're interested, our pastor has spent the last three Sunday's sharing the importance of reading through the bible. You can listen to past sermons: HERE!)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
With the new administration, democrat run congress and senate, the threat is even more looming that parents will lose rights with their children!
Thankfully God is in control.
Please check out the website: www.ParentalRights.org
Even if you don't have children, support the cause for those of us Christian parents who desire the best for our children and who know that God gave us our children....He didn't give them to the government!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Pure from every fault
Free from sin
Often we think of physical and emotional purity when we hear the word pure, but how does this play out in our relationship with others? How do we have a pure conscience with others?
God has been impressing upon my heart lately the need for me to walk in such a way I never fear "being caught". How does this play out in my life?
Well, I'll be painfully honest. A few months back someone shared something with me. In casual conversation, I shared it with someone else. It involved a family conflict and one party had no idea the other party felt that way.
I knew as soon as I said it, I shouldn't have said it! (Anyone know this awful feeling?!?) The second party told me that they were going to confront the person who originally told me this and I asked that they don't use my name.
After I hung up the phone, my heart was pricked. I felt God say, "Own up to it, Heather. You said it, now pay the consequence of speaking when you should have been silent." Ouch!
So I called right back and told the second party to use my name if they need to. That was not an easy conversation.
Later I called the first party and explained what had happened and asked for forgiveness.
This to me was living my life with a pure conscience before God and man. It meant that I could look at both parties involved and know that, although I should have avoided the gossip, I may the situation right and took ownership of my role. There was great freedom in this honesty.
In the devotional book: Seeking Him, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on page 149 there is this quote: A clear conscience means to have no unconfessed sin between you and God.
As Titus 2 women we are called to live our lives in such a way that we are free from sin. This would include, as Paul shared in Acts 24:16 "So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man"
What are ways we exhibit this type of purity in our relationships with others?
What are some of the roadblocks we run into when having a "clear conscience" with God and man?
Would you like to share a story of how God has called you to have a pure conscience and the outcome of your obedience.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
What sin is clinging closely to you?
We are called to lay aside these weights. They weigh us down. They cling to us! Keep us bogged down with earthly things.
When you're swimming and someone is weighing you down, you can't move freely to swim. It's frustrating to not be fluent in your movement.
That's what sin is in our spiritual life.
How do we get rid of the weighty, clingy sins in our lives?
Look to Jesus! Practically, what does that look like in daily life?
For example if I am working through forgiveness, I get into scripture, I write it on 3x5 cards, and I read it all day long! When I find myself going over the situation in my head, I stop my thoughts dead in their tracks, and I meditate on God's word.
I look to Jesus, or as it says in the NASB, "fixing our eyes on Jesus." I make every effort to put all my energy into Jesus and not whatever sin is weighing me down!
Today if you find yourself with some clingy sin, throw it off, and fix your gaze upon the only One who can make a difference!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll know that we miscarried our first baby, so we ask for your prayers that this baby will be protected and grow healthy. I also would ask that you'd pray that morning sickness would be manageable.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Maybe the idea of an unfulfilled expectation or desire. Maybe the fear of losing someone close to you. Maybe not living up to the expectations of your family. Maybe your past keeps your future in constant state of fear.
We all have fears. But what you do with your fears and how do you respond to fear?
At the very core of fear is lack of trust in God. It's not trusting the goodness of God. It's not trusting that He's got it under control. It's all very basic, but can be hard to walk through.
John Piper said at True Woman: "Wimpy theology makes wimpy women."
If you have a "wimpy" idea of God, lifes curve balls will throw you off track. If you have a "big" idea of God, you'll know it's all under His control!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thanks mom and dad for your commitment to Christ, to each other, and to your family! Here's to many more years!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
When you think of a bulls eye, that first inner ring would be those non-negotiables. Again, I don't believe this list should be long.
The second ring would be some of your top desires in a mate. Things that would be close to non-negotiable, but you would be willing to work with. As you work through your own list, they may include: sexual pure or not addicted to pornography.
Again as you move from your "must haves" (inner circle) to your "I'd love this crazy quality to be in my mate" (outer circle), think about what is really important.
Now, let me say, that my goal in posting these is to just get you thinking. Often when you find yourself in a relationship, you can't think as clearly and it's helpful to have this "list" in your head. You may notice that I believe those non-bendables are on the short list, and those totally bendables on the long list.
Often when people are asked, "What qualities do you want in a mate?" They say, "sense of humor" or "great personality". I want to help move you beyond those to examining deeper issues. Maybe some of you have done this, but my goal is to just be helpful!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
When I was single a couple of my non-negotiables would have included: authentic, real relationship with the living God, he would want to have children and would not have been divorced. These would have been deal breakers.
Without question I would have not married someone who was not solid in their walk with the Lord. Who loved God and His Word above all else!
I would not have married someone who did not want to have children (of course the Lord is in control of that, but would have wanted to have the heart for having children). I also would not have married someone who was divorced.
Thinking through this list before you become emotionally involved can be helpful in sorting through your ideas of what you want and what you can work with! I do think this list doesn't have to be a mile long, if so, you may never get married ;-)
Monday, December 1, 2008
When I think of this quality, kindness comes to mind. Is he is kind and gentle to the women closest to him, or is he disrespectful and rude?
This is yet another quality you can observe without becoming emotionally attached. It's easy to watch how a young man treats his mom from afar. Does he roll his eyes at her? Is he short with her? Does he talk bad about her? Does he disrespect her? Is he pushy with his sister(s)? Is he physically abuse with his sister(s)?
Those three qualities: teachable, hard working, and kind were on the top of my list when looking for a mate and yes, my husband is extremely teachable (more so than me!!), a hard worker, and is kind and gentle with his mom and sister. These were all things I saw in him long before we became "official!"
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The way I would describe a hardworking person is: dedicated, honest at their job, willing to go the extra mile, doesn't look for ways to get out of work, willing to work hard even when the boss is not watching, doesn't complain about work, and is humble in their work ethic.
Life is filled with hard work! God put Adam to work before the fall. Work is part of God's plan for us. Work should not be seen as a curse!
I believe a man should provide for his wife and family and this is why having a hard work ethic is very important. (I understand some of you may not agree with me, but I am a complementarian in roles of men and women, not egalitarian.) I also believe a woman should know the importance of a hard work ethic. If a woman works or is a full time homemaker, life is filled with work, hard work!
Again this is a quality you can observe in someone without becoming emotionally attached to them. It's easy to spot those hardworking people! They are the most enjoyable to work with because you know they are not going to slack on anything!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
There were three qualities that my dad said were essential in looking for a mate. Over the next three blog posts I will share what those are, but for today we'll start with the first one: teachable.
(I will say that these qualities are aside from our future husband's walk with the Lord. That, of course, was the utmost important thing to find in a mate!)
This morning as I was reading the Proverbs of the day, I started with this verse in Proverbs 29:1 "He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing."
I stopped and meditated on this verse. This describes someone who is not teachable and is stuck in their ways. The outcome of not being teachable is quite frightening, to say the least!
What does being teachable look like? For starters, it is a man who is able to take advice or seek out counsel. He doesn't think that there is just one way for something to happen, but is willing to see something from another perspective. He doesn't get easily frustrated when things don't go exactly how he wants them to go.
This is a quality you can observe in someone that you are just friends with. You don't have to become emotionally attached to someone to see if they are teachable or not. This is also a quality to be working on yourself! Because in marriage it is all about being teachable and selfless!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
What was Jesus' example? He didn't hold anything back for himself! He gave, gave, gave, and then gave some more!
Lately, as I ponder the life of Christ, I realize that a Christ-like life, is a life totally poured out. It means not thinking of myself or my comfort at all. It means thinking of others as more important than me.
Practically, I've seen how God has worked this in my life lately. I selfishly want to do something, but in order to think of someone better than myself, I do what would please them. It's tough! It's not a lot of fun, but the pay off is to live before God with a pure heart and a clear conscience!
Let me just say, so there is no confusion, I believe in boundaries. I believe in saying "no" if my husband or family will suffer by me being too busy. However, most of the areas that God challenges me in this area are little acts, not huge time sacrificing!
So this is my goal: live my life poured out for the sake and glory of our Lord and Savior!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Although I believe, in the long run, practicing emotional purity will save you heartache, should this be the number one reason people strive for it in their life? I don't think so.
We don't obey and follow God's call to just avoid pain or hurt. At times God will use our deepest hurts and pain to draw us closer to Him. He will make Himself more alive in our hearts when we're "walking through the valley of the shadow of death".
When I think of some of the greatest lessons I've learned in my walk with God, they haven't come from the happy, rosy moments of life, but the heart breaking and painful moments. It's in times like these that we come face to face with out own humanity, our own sin, and our own fragility.
So don't cling to the concept of emotional purity to just avoid pain. Cling to the concept of purity for the glory of God!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
"I don't think it's right, but who am I to tell someone else not to do it?"
"Don't tell me what to do and I won't tell you what to do."
"Really you should just mind your own business, because it's not your place to judge."
These are a few ways we express moral relativism in our society. We have adopted this attitude that whatever you want to do should be okay and we have no right to impose our biblical standard (truth) on anyone.
I appreciate what John Piper says about relativism: "The claim that there is no one standard for truth and falsehood that is valid for everyone is rooted most deeply in the desire of the fallen human mind to be free from all authority and to enjoy the exaltation of self." (You can read his entire lesson on "The Challenge of Relativism")
To clarify, I am not talking about issues that are non-essential. Christians often fight over whose standard needs to be followed, but I am talking about issues that are essential.
I believe we don't want to say, "This or that is wrong" is because then we open ourselves up to being under the authority of Truth.
We, as Christians, must examine areas where we've allowed ourselves to say, "Well, I don't agree with that and I think the bible clearly says it's wrong, but who am I to say anything about it, after all, if it's good for them, it's good for them. I would never do it, but I can't judge."
How do you believe this mindset has filtered into the church?
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"The wise person is obedient to the Word of the Lord. He chooses to build his life on hearing and doing the will of God. When trials and temptations assault him (as they will), he does not fall. He is secure because his foundation is solid. The foolish person, on the other hand, hears the Word of the Lord but does not act on it. He too is inundated with trouble at times and, having no foundation, he collapses.
Obedience is literally foundational to the Christian life. No obedience, no foundation. Unless we are living in obedience to what God says, we have nothing upon which to build our lives, nothing upon which to rest for assurance, and nothing to rely on when we are tested.
The only reliable means of measuring our love for God is to examine whether we obey Him. We may dress the part, act the part, talking the part of being a Christian, but none of these things proves that we genuinely love God. Obedience is the only way."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We live in a country where we have the freedom of speech, so although I would have voted yes on Prop 8, I believe the movement has the right to protest where they'd like.
But I think a group of protesters went too far at Mount Hope Church in Michigan. Here is an expert from the church's official press release:
"On Sunday, November 9, 2008 at the 11:30 AM services the people of Mount Hope Church were shocked by an unwelcome violent demonstration by a homosexual/transgender anarchist group based in Chicago, IL. The group threw fliers at churchgoers and shouted sentiments such as, “It’s okay to be gay” and “Jesus was a homo” during a Sunday morning service. The Eaton County Sheriff’s office was called and the illegal demonstration ceased."
Can you imagine being at church and be so violated? There were rights and laws broken and I think this is too far!
Just imagine what would happen if a radical pro-life group entered into an abortion clinic yelling, "Abortion is murder" and "You're a murderer" while throwing fliers at scared young women! You'd hear about it on every main media station and there would be jail time for sure!
We as Christians, have the right to have our views and apparently there are pockets of people in the gay movement who have no tolerance for us Christians. They don't just want tolerance, they want complete acceptance.
There is a difference! You can be tolerant of someone, but not have to accept their lifestyle. I recently told a gay friend, "If everyone I hung out with had to agree with all my convictions, I'd have no friends!" We as believers are called to be in the world, not of the world.
This goes along with the latest posts I've made on some of the battles this generation of Christians are up against!
Monday, November 17, 2008
We have microwaves, fast food restaurants, credit cards, cell phones, e-mail, text messages, the Internet, and other modern day conveniences that make waiting for anything nearly extinct.
Actually I heard that K-Mart and Sears have been promoting their lay away program for the holiday season! (There is even a possiblity of more savings with a Sears layway promotional code: SEARS PROMOTIONAL CODE)
Yes, we have collectively realized that all our overspending and not living within our means is finally catching up to us.
The news reports show that we've been overspending for about the past 25 years. So for some of you, you've only known this style of spending and living. But reality has caught up to us in a real eye opening way!
Since we've lost the disciple of waiting, we transfer this to other things. The first thing that comes to my mind is sexual intimacy. Since we're so used to having what we want when we want it, we feel no need to wait for anything.
Learning delayed gratification is not fun! It's down right unpleasant and hard. But the more you practice this lost art of waiting, the "easier" it becomes because you see the downright joy of watching the Lord provide in His perfect timing!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I believe part of our acceptance of crude language, sexually explicit behavior, drunkenness, and a host of other "normally" shameful sins, is because this generation has grown up watching the "Real World" and other reality TV shows that promote this type of behavior. Not only promote, but encourage and glorify shameful, sinful acts!
So how are we as Christians to live?
The pat answer is to say to avoid and don't participate in these activities, but I think it goes beyond that and showing a watching world the joy you can have in the Lord. Often Christians are some of the most depressing people I know.
Imagine if every Christian had such joy it was contagious? Imagine if every married Christian couple had a thriving, happy, fulfilling marriage? Imagine if every Christian teen stood out at their school as a person of integrity, purity, and peace? Imagine if every Christian single displayed the deepest satisfaction in the Lord alone?
Can you only imagine! People would be flocking to our Lord and Savior and happily replace shallow, temporal, sinful activities to pursue the Lord full throttle!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I struggle with these questions myself. How do I honor God by not being critical, yet be a voice when someone is needing an outside perspective? We see in the Word, times when God used a person to bring another person into repentance (I think of King David and the prophet Nathan 2 Samuel 12). So how do we strike a balance in a world that says: What's good for you, is good for you and what's good for me, is good for me!
Many have a view of Christians as being loud, opinionated hypocrites. So before we begin holding others accountable, we have to be sure our lives are being lived for the Lord. Making sure we don't have one foot in the world and the other in God's kingdom. We must make sure that we are living authentic lives before God and others.
Sure we're not perfect, but we must strive towards actively keeping the plank out of our own eye (making sure in doing this pride doesn't creep in!) In keeping our lives pure and holy before God, others will see that and it will bring credit to our name and reputation (remember though it's not about us, but about glorifying God in and with our lives!)
I also believe that if you feel led to confront someone on a sin, you must have a relationship established. When you've taken the time to really get to know someone, it leans credit to being able to speak freely.
Also, remember we have allowed this mindset to creep into our churches. Many come and love the grace message, but refuse to admit we have to preach truth along side that. Christ also struck a perfect balance of grace and truth. As we grow in His likeness, we can ask Him to give us this ability to present grace and truth in a perfect balance.
How do you feel one can strike a good balance in this area?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In saying, "There are no absolutes." Well, that is an absolute! So that's one absolute in just saying that statement...makes no sense, right! It's logically an incorrect statement!
In saying this or adopting this mindset, what your saying is there is no right and wrong. We can justify any behavior if we say there is no truth or absolutes.
How do you feel this mindset or worldview is played out in real life?
Monday, November 10, 2008
This made me sad! It seems that this generation has no moral compass. I sat down with my pen and paper and began writing down some of the things stacked against young Christians and some of the ideas that they have had to fight against!
1) There is no such thing as truth. You can not know what is absolute truth.
2) There are no absolutes. This is related to number 1, but anything goes because there are no absolutes.
3) There are no judgements. Because there is no truth and no absolutes, you do not have the right to judge anyone. Anything goes, therefore you don't have the right to say what is right or wrong. (What's good for me, is good for me, what's good for you, is good for you!)
4) You are to be tolerate of anyone and everything. Again this goes with number 3, but we are to be totally tolerant of anyone's lifestyle choice. Not only tolerate, but accepting. We've lost the idea to peacefully disagree.
5) There are no boundaries. Anything goes! There is no shame in sin and there is no sense of seeking holiness.
6) No delayed gratification. This generation has grown up with e-mail, Internet, text messages...they don't have to wait for anything. If you want it, go get it, without waiting!
7) Creationism is a joke and anyone who believes that there is actually a God who created the earth in 6 days is ignorant and narrow minded.
8) Physical intimacy is not all that important. It doesn't really matter if, when, with whom you are physically intimate with. It's just a physical act and shouldn't be such a big deal.
This week, I am going to break down each of these points. I hope to encourage some of you who may be feeling these worldviews and are frustrated with responding to those in your generation who have bought all of these lies of satan!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I'll confess that I walk through much of my day not pondering the grace that's been extended to me, but I must realize that all my life is possible through God's grace.
I found today's exercise helpful and wanted to share.
"I need God's grace in my life to:
- deal with major disappointment
- be morally pure
- forgive someone who has hurt me deeply
- seek forgiveness from someone I have wronged
- bear chronic physical pain
- repent of a particular sin
- mend a broken relationship
- resist a particular sin
- break off a wrong relationship
- overcome a besetting sin
- meet pressing financial needs
- break a habit
- guard my tongue
- handle loneliness
- love a family member who is hard to love
- deal with the pain of my past
- be faithful to my mate
- deal with guilt and failure of my past
- take specific step of obedience
- honor my parents (or in laws)
- be kind and patient with my kids
- love my wife as Christ loves the church
- accept a particular ministry opportunity
- respect and submit to my husband
- fulfill the ministry He has entrusted to me"
What a great list and I am sure we can add to that.
Thank you God for your amazing grace, may be ever be mindful of it!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Now some of you may feel like the abortion issue is just one issue and there are many facing our nation. Many of you feel like the right man is now firmly in office and although he doesn't agree with my (or your) position on abortion, that he is the man to take us where we need to go.
Let me share, very frankly, why my heart breaks for those babies and why this issue is so important for me. Then I'll share what we can do these next four years.
When I was 10 weeks pregnant with our first baby, I miscarried. It was awful, tragic, and emotionally painful, but the night that our baby died, I held its little body in the palm of my hands. Its hands and feet were formed. I could see its heart, spine, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and all its fingers and toes. We wept as we held our baby and cried out to God for His peace and comfort.
That night, through my emotional and physical pain, my thoughts turned towards the millions of babies who are ripped from their mothers at that same stage. Many are told that before the end of the first trimester that it's not a baby and it's not a big deal to abort that baby at that stage. But as I looked at that perfectly formed tiny body, my heart hurt for all those babies. I became very impassioned about this issue, in a way I had not experienced before.
So last night as the new President was announced, I wept for those babies who have lost their voice for the next four years. I thought of Proverbs 31:8 (Words of a mother to her king): "Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute."
I also began praying fervently for the new President. I pray that the pro-life movement loses NO ground in the next four year and that the mighty hand of God will be moving the hearts of the President, Senate, and Congress. I ask you to join me in prayer for our nation. This is our most powerful weapon and this is what we can do over the next four years!
We can also make sure that the bans and laws in place, stay in place. Learn the name of your congress Representative and your state Senator's. Keep their numbers close by and call anytime this issue presents its self.
May God be glorified!
EDIT* Again after I posted I got a timely e-mail. If you'd like to remember to pray for the new President Elect, you can sign up to pray for him the next 77 days till the inauguration. Click HERE!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
On yet another blog I read: "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
After reading this on a couple of blog, I decided to read the context of this verse this morning. In 2 Chronicles 6 Solomon spends most of the chapter in prayer to God as they dedicate the temple, God's house.
2 Chronicles 7 God responds by consuming the sacrifices, then the temple is dedicated. Then in verse 12 we read that the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and verse 14 is part of what the Lord tells Solomon.
As I think about our nation, I see how far off the mark we are. We abort about 3,000 babies a day. We have a society that has no shame in sin and sexual perversion. The church is filled with people who want grace, but don't couple that with truth. There is corruption on every level of business and government.
Do you think this is the first nation that has strayed so far from God? No, we're not the first, and sadly won't be the last. But God's people can do something about this.
Verse 14 is packed full of action words: humble, pray, seek, and turn. Only then will God hear us from heaven and He has promises for us: forgive and heal.
I take this very personally. I must humble myself, I must pray, I must seek God, and I must turn from my sin in repentance!! Today I've spent most of the day praying. I trust God is fully in control and He will put whom ever He chooses! Whatever He does will be for our good, whether it's a judgement on our nation or a blessing (not that I think any of the candidates is capable of complete blessing on our nation..I guess I should say protection).
May we each turn back fully to God and pray for God's will to be done!
Monday, November 3, 2008
When I was younger I used to be very sarcastic and I was always teasing people. One of my common phrases was, "Oh I am just kidding!"
Until I read these verses in the bible:
Proverbs 27:18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"
When I read that I worked very hard and letting the words that come out of my mouth be true, pure, and pleasing. Not careless and rude...but then brush them off with the all covering, "I am just joking!"
(After I posted this blog, I checked my e-mail and I had this message from Nancy Leigh DeMoss in my in box. It's all about controlling our tongues! How timely!)
Friday, October 31, 2008
James 4: 6b-10 Therefore it says,"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Also, yesterday on two other blogs I read they quoted this verse:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Tuesday's election is important, but even more important, I believe, it is each of us being humble, seeking God, repenting, turning from evil, and then living out those actions!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"We must be Christians. I could use the term radical Christian, but I don't want to give the impression there's any other kind! Normal Christians are radical Christians!"
Are you radical in your faith?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It was from a Super Bowl commercial for Diet Pepsi with ginseng. Here's a link to watch it: Wake Up People.
This post is not to promote a soda I've never even tasted, but to share my thoughts on why this phrase is running through my head.
At times it feels like we live in a society where everyone is mentally and spiritually "asleep". People agree with whatever they see or read, people go with the flow, they don't question anything. We live in a society where we have to all be tolerant of each other, thus many people do not take the time to dig deep into God's Word to find out what He thinks about things.
We have an epidemic of people who do not know how to think. They haven't been taught to question, analyze, think through logically, or process what is going on in the world around them. We have churches filled with people who are more concerned with how to make them happy and comfortable, then to spread the gospel of Christ.
Now I post this to not blame or point fingers, but for us to make sure we're "awake", listening to God, reading His Word, and not being afraid of going against the flow! Wake up to what God says about authority, forgiveness, selfishness, repentance, and humility.
(I sure hope no one takes this personally...this is just my feelings about our society in general! Just watch any news coverage on the election and you'll see the "go with the flow" mentality, not the swim upstream like salmon mentality.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Next year my church is going through the bible. I am very excited to know that each Sunday we'll hear a message on what we've read and I am looking forward to the accountability of knowing that my church family will be on the same page as me in our daily bible reading.
I just recently read this verse in Jeremiah 23:29: Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
If you've not read through the bible, I'd encourage you to make it your New Year Resolution for 2009!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You can even ask this of your friends. Does this person help make me more like Christ, or more unlike Christ?
Just some food for thought.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
In my current devotions I am working through: Seeking Him: Experience the Joy of Personal Revival. I bought it at True Woman two weeks ago. It has proven to be an excellent, challenging workbook! It has been created for a group or individuals...as of now I am working through it alone, but it may be a study I use down the road.
Today I was working through the first day of week three and it's about honesty. So all day I've pondered: honesty.
Are you honest with God?
Are you honest with others?
Are you honest with yourself?
Are you hiding something from your mate or parents?
Do you tell half-truths to avoid unpleasant consequences?
Do you tell a story so that it casts a better light on you?
Have you exposed sins to an accountability partner or have you kept it from them out of fear of embarrassment?
Is there something larking in your past that weighs you down?
Do you use your time honestly at work and school?
Do you engage in talk about others that may not be truthful?
All day I've been thinking through honesty. There's such joy in complete honesty with my husband. We've tackled tough issues and it's always been with honesty and humility.
I remember as a kid watching drama shows on TV. I would think, "If so and so just knew what so and so was thinking or doing, there'd be no tension in the relationship!" It would frustrate me.
Isn't that drama? We imagine that a person is thinking something, thus it creates tension and then there's drama!
I think about a friend who has struggled with being honest about what she is really thinking. This has caused issues in friendships, ministry, and in her marriage. I've watched her challenge herself to speak her mind and I've seen the closeness that can come from being willing to walk through a conflict with a close friend.
So honesty...what do you think about honesty?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This will help us to see areas that we need to identify as issues of pride in our lives.
1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?
2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate or people in your church or people in your workplace, other believers. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than other believers you know?
3. Here’s another one: Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don’t make the same lifestyle choices that you do? Dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards. Think of other believers you know. Do you tend to have a judgmental spirit? Now maybe you don’t think you do. If you wonder on some of these, you may want to go ask somebody who knows you really well, "Do I come across that way, as having a judgmental spirit toward those who have different lifestyle choices than I do?"
4. Here’s another one: Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those faults to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue? We would call it discerning, analytical.
5. Here’s another one: Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate or your pastor or other people in positions of leadership—your kids’ teachers, youth director. Think about the people who are involved in your life, people in leadership. Are you quick to correct or criticize them? To them or to others?
6. Are you proud of the schedule you keep? How disciplined you are? How much you’re able to accomplish? You’re a real producer, a real performer. Is that something that you’re proud of?
7. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others? You always need to have a pat on the back, have someone telling you how well you’re doing or you get discouraged. Are you driven to receive approval from others?
8. Are you argumentative? You have to have the last word. Think about what it’s been like in your home for the last day or two. Proverbs tell us that only by pride comes contention. So where there’s contention . . . “Yes,” you say, “I know. My husband. He’s a proud man. That’s why we have so much contention in our home.” No, it takes more than a proud husband to have contention in a home. It’s a proud husband and, more often than not, a proud wife too. Are you argumentative?
9. Do you generally think that your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way? Think about how you go about cleaning up your kitchen and then your husband comes along and he does it differently. Is your way the right way? It has to be done your way.
10. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit, easily offended? Do you get your feelings hurt easily? This is another one of the evidences of spiritual pride that Jonathan Edwards talked about—people who take offense easily. He said: Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is prone to be often speaking of them . . . humility on the other hand causes a person to be more like his blessed Lord when reviled: quiet, not opening his mouth, but committing himself in silence to Him who judges righteously.
11. How about this one? Are you guilty of pretense. Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is honestly true. Here’s a way to go about seeing if you have that one. Would the people that know you at church be shocked if they were to come and discover what you’re like at home, behind the four walls of your own home?
12. Another one: Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong? Is it hard for you to say, “I was wrong.” Or do you wait for the other person to admit that they were wrong?
13. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? Not just in generalities. We all say I need to be a better woman. I need to love the Lord more. I need to read my Bible more. But when it comes to the specific issues. "I’m in love with food. I’m in love with television. I love entertainment more than I love God." I mean the specifics. Do you have a hard time confessing those?
14. Are you excessively shy? You say, “Shy? That’s proud?” Excessive shyness. What is it? Self-centeredness. What do other people think about me? That can be an evidence, a subtle form of pride.
15. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people that you don’t know at church? Do you stick to your own little group there, hard to reach out to new people? That can be pride.
16. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected? That anger that wells up. What is that? That’s a fruit that grows on the root of pride. Why do we get angry when somebody criticizes us? We may not express it outwardly, but inwardly. Because our pride gets hurt.
17. Are you a perfectionist? Here’s another evidence of pride perhaps in your life. The way you keep your house, the way you do your job, the way you raise your kids. Are you a perfectionist? Everything has to be just perfect and you get impatient and irked with people who aren’t.
18. Do you tend to be controlling of you mate? If you’re not sure, by the way, ask your mate.
19. Do you frequently interrupt people when they’re speaking? The Lord really spoke to me about this as I was working on this list. I realized what I’m saying when I interrupt you when you’re speaking is, what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. It’s pride.
20. Do you often complain about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, church? Complaining. How’s that pride? You think you deserve better. It shouldn’t be happening to me.
21. Do you talk about yourself too much? Are you more concerned about your problems, your needs, your burdens than about other people’s concerns?
22. Do you worry about what others think of you? About your reputation or your family’s reputation. By the way, that’s one thing that motivates a lot of parenting, isn’t it? With mothers, "What are people going to think if my child is this way?" That can be pride.
23. Do you neglect to express gratitude for the little things to God, to your mate, to others. An ungrateful spirit, that’s pride.
24. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word? How’s that pride? Well, I’m saying I can live my life without God. I can manage without Him.
25. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments or your acts of service are not recognized or rewarded? In your home? At your job? In your church?
26. Do you react to rules? And who of us doesn’t? Do you have a hard time being told what to do? Do you have an issue with authority? That’s pride.
27. Do you avoid participating in certain events for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish? Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them? Feel like you just don’t measure up.
28. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don’t think it’s nice enough or you can’t afford to do lavish entertaining?
29. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help? Maybe practical help or spiritual help. You have an independent spirit. I can do this on my own. I won’t let anybody else help me.
30. Here’s a way to measure your pride quotient. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, to a friend, to a co-worker, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”
Monday, October 20, 2008
Hosea 10:12b: break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
Is it time to break up your fallow ground?
First, lets see what fallow ground is. Dictionary.com says fallow as:
1. (of land) plowed and left unseeded for a season or more; uncultivated.
2. not in use; inactive: My creative energies have lain fallow this year.
3.land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons
When Hosea is asking us to break up our fallow ground is saying that at one point we've had a harvest in our heart, we've produced fruit, but now we've let it go and the weeds have grown up, therefore no harvest is produced.
What is the condition of your heart? Have you allowed your heart to stay soft to God?
God wants us to come to Him with a heart willing, open, and pliable!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Sorry! I hope the length of the posts have not deterred you from reading. Today will be the last installment of my overview of True Woman 2008.
Saturday morning there was a panel discussion, which I won't go over, but you can listen to at the True Woman site.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss humbly took a donation for the ministry of True Woman. Before taking the donation she shared this statement from Third Wave Foundation, an organization for the third wave (30 years and younger) of feminists:
"When you donate to the Third Wave Foundation, you support the dynamic and evolving face of the feminist movement. You help sustain future generations of feminists who are engaged in front-line work to create a just world and to build our movement.
Your support goes to young women and transgender activists who are at the forefront of an evolution. Together we are expanding the movement’s traditional fight for gender equity to include race, class and sexual identity. But this groundbreaking work needs more funding and support than ever, so that we can truly unleash our full potential and power.
By giving to Third Wave Foundation, the only national foundation for and by third wave feminists, you are investing in the radical work of young activists and their organizations. We encourage you to take more risks – and a bolder stance – along with us to effect social change."
Yes, my sisters in the Lord, we are up against a battle!
Nancy Leigh DeMoss went on to share the story of Esther. (A cool God story: about a week before I left for the conference I felt lead to read the entire story of Esther. I had not read that story in a long time. When I got to the conference the theme verse was from Esther and then Saturday morning Nancy spent a full 45 minutes sharing how Esther was prepared for such a time as this! God is so cool!)
She shared 6 points from the story of Esther:
1) We are in a battle. There is a earthly drama, which we see. And a heavenly drama, which we don't see.
2) Weapons and tactics of human kingdom are different than the weapons and tactics of God's kingdom. We have fasting, prayer, and complete reliance on God!
3) God has a sovereign, redemptive plan and it will not fail! Nothing can thwart it!
4) Through faith and obedience you can be part of God's place. There's great power of one woman who is filled with the Holy Spirit, saying yes to the Lord, and being courageous! (I want to be this type of woman!)
5) No situation is so desperate that God can not redeem it! Nothing is hopeless with God!
6) Don't judge the outcome of the battle by the way things look now.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss went on to share the True Woman Manifesto...a statement that we would read and sign as the conference closed. It was a powerful way to close the conference as most of the speakers came up to read a part of the manifesto. Then as we got to our personal intent in signing the manifesto, we would say, "Yes, Lord" as Nancy read each of the 15 statements!
Hearing 6000 or so women say, "Yes, Lord!" to living a life in radical obedience to God was, to say the least, a moving and powerful moment.
If you've enjoyed this 7 part series on the True Woman and if you feel that God is asking you to join the movement, please read the manifesto, and sign up on-line. After you sign the manifesto, you can join us in a 30 day True Woman make-over. Please let me know if you've signed the manifesto, you can leave a comment or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey guys...thanks for joining us this week in this overview...we'll be back on my normally blogging next week!
Janet was a very fast talker and was so enjoyable to listen to, I took less than 1/2 page of notes. She talked about motherhood and if you are a stay-at-home mom her talk would be very encouraging!
She shared about her experience as a mother and how God gave her a vision for "taking care of her flock". She went through 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
A couple of her points that struck me:
* If everything is pushed through the grid of His love, which it is, can we trust Him? Can we trust Him with what He has not given us?
* We so easily say, "Oh God we love you." But how we balk at saying, "Oh God I trust you."
Joni is feeling enormous, unexplainable pain, so she was able to join us in person. She made a video and shared about praising God in the midst of suffering. Talk about powerful!
She encouraged us to see disappointments as appointments from God. She explained that we are God's jewels and if she wanted to clean her diamond ring it would have to be scrubbed clean. If we are to shine for God we're going to have to scrubbed.
During our times of suffering we must reflect the glory of God, but His glory will be on His terms and not our terms. Our suffering is God's chisel. We should ask God to purify us, to become like Christ, and hate sin!
No matter what we're experiencing we must think of others ahead of our self. Increase focus on serving others will bring joy!
To see Joni, in a wheelchair for 40 years, share about the glory of God though suffering was powerful and makes my problems and issues seem so small!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
She shared how God began to show her "fear buddies":
1) Distorts reality
2) Victimizes and beats us up
3) Puts undue stress on the body
4) Alienates the truth
5) Immobilizes us
6) Replaces faith
7) Disappoints -it takes more than it gives
8) Makes us afraid of success
9) Fills the heart with despair
10) Steals joy
Karen was a really funny speaker...if you want a good laugh just listen to her talk! She shared how she went into the bathroom and just had a good talk to herself about what was really going on. She said sometimes we need to stop listening to ourselves and start talking to ourselves. We need to speak truth to ourselves about fear, bitterness, anger, and our sins. She said at one point, when she got to the end of herself, she surrendered all her fears to the Lord.
She took us through the passage of James 4: 7-10 and the 6 things we're called to do:
1) Submit to God
2) Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Wear God's armor
3) Draw near to God
4) Cleanse your hands
5) Purify your heart
Do business about your sin. Repent and experience the freedom that comes with repentance.
6) Humble yourself
At this point Nancy Leigh DeMoss called us all to a time of repentance. She was bold in calling us to repentance. She said things like, "If your bitter towards someone in this room you go and ask for forgiveness. If you need to call someone on your cell phone, you go find a signal and make it right. Get on your knees. Go to the prayer room. Confess your sins."
At one point she said, as all our heads were bowed, "Raise your hand if you feel God asking you to do something and your resisting." Then she said, "Now go do something about it!"
It was a powerful time of prayer, confession, repentance, and cleansing! God was working in that place!
If you are feeling like you want to take some time and expose your heart before the Lord, I recommend the "Cleaning out the Sanctuary" post I put up on my blog before I left. It will be a good place to start cleaning out your sins and getting right before out mighty God!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Friday morning we were back to convention center by 7 am, ready to hit the floor running! The morning session again was over three hours of pure teaching, worship, repentance, and fellowship!
Mary Kassian started us off with a message based off her book: The Feminist Mistake. She started by playing: I am Woman from the last 60's. It was a song I was unfamiliar with, but it resonated with women my mom's age (in their 50's).
(Actually as a side note, all of the speakers, beside John Piper, were women in their 50's. It was amazing to see so many older women teaching younger women. I sensed from each one of them that they had walked down the path of life and walked with God through many seasons. They had much to offer. Also, it seems like all of them have a devotional/quiet time "chair". A place where they go to have time with God. I guess as a mom with two young boys my quiet time is any place they are not! ;-) )
Mary started by sharing the history of women in TV and how we got so far off the mark of true biblical womanhood.
The TV programs she highlighted were:
- Leave it to Beaver (The perfect mom with pearls, a dress, freshed baked cookies, and completely satisfaction in her role as a wife and mom)
- Mary Tyler Moore (A young professional woman who didn't need marriage or babies to make her happy)
- Murphy Brown (Not only a professional woman who didn't need marriage, she didn't need a man at all.)
- Ellen Degeneras (I don't need a man to make me happy. I am sexual satisfied completely apart from a man.)
- Friends (You can have casual sex, you need no commitment, as long as you're friends)
- Sex in the City (Stick with your girlfriends. Put the sisterhood first.)
Feminism is a worldview. It's an: ISM.
in 1950 there was a revolution, a complete turn around and during this time there were a few key women spear heading the women's liberation movement.
Betty Friedan was one of these key women who rebel against being a wife and mom. She told women to take charge of their life and that being a wife and mom was to be sub-servant and would bring no lasting joy or peace.
Her motto was: we need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth. We our own own god.
Betty Friedan pulled the trigger for feminism in our nation.
One way that the movement grew is they'd gather women together and begin to talk about how bitter and angry they were towards men who tried to make them second class citizens. They called these groups: Conciseness Raising.
They'd speak bitterness to recall bitterness and they'd speak pain to recall pain. This caused there to be a collective anger among women. The carnage from this movement is unbelievable. We are so broken.
We, women, have been taught to not submit to any external power. But God created us male and female. That is not inconsequential. There is purpose for the two different sexes. We must honor these differences.
When we tell God this can not be so, we take authority into our own hands. We have no right to question God's rights to create us how He desires. (Isa. 45:10-12 Does the clay question the potter?)
We must not overlook or trivialize that God made man and woman different. 1 Corinthians 11:9-12 are very unpopular scriptures these days. Who I am as a woman and how I relate to my husband people should look at say, "Wow, I see Jesus!"
In our society we've stepped away from understand that our only hope for wholeness is to understand we are to live for the glory of God. That we must tune our desire to the right target.
The question that feminists asked was: what will bring women true happiness?
Do we roll the clock back and say it's only being a mom, with a station wagon, and a white picket fence? We were created with needs and desires to make us fall in love with God.
Selfless servant hood living is worth it and only in that God-centered life, will you find happiness.
True woman is starting a counter-cultural revelation and it must start on a personal level. It must start with us each seeking out where we have allowed bitterness and anger to rise up. It starts with us saying, "Yes, Lord what do you want for my life?"
Again these are from my own personal notes:
Her message started in Romans 11:33-36:
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Oh, the depth of the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God:
No matter how far you plummet down, God is even deeper. His riches, wisdom and knowledge never fail, they are limitless and immeasurable! They are foundational, our bedrock.
However deep your problem, challenge or issue is, God is deeper still.
What is so deep? His riches, His wisdom, His knowledge. Knowing that God shall supply all my needs in complete wisdom and knowledge. He knows everything and what to do about it!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
His judgements are His decisions for our life. His ways are unfathomable and uncomprehendingly. He never has an emergency. He knows everything. He foresees everything.
There is no place for fear, criticism, doubt, second guessing God's choices, anger or disputing.
We have to get it into our heads and hearts that He is God and we are not. He is all wise!
We can't know all He is doing.
Nancy quoted John Piper: In every situation and in every circumstance God is always doing a thousand different things you do not see or do not know.
God is at work and He doesn't owe us an explanation, actually He owns us nothing.
For from him and through him and to him are all things
We must have a God-centered worldview and perspective. To resent or resist circumstances is to resent or resist God. Through Him we are sustained, held together. We can't hold anything together.
We live as it's all about us. As it is from us and through us! That leaves us bitter, depressed, angry, proud, and confused.
To him be glory forever
Our response should be to bring Him glory. To put Him in the spotlight and submit to His holy purposes.
1) A True Woman lives a God-centered life:
For His glory, it's not about us. It's about His supreme purposes. It's about having a God-centered purpose and perspective gives us hope.
It's not about us! It's all about Him!
2) A True Woman trusts God:
It's not hard to get it into our heads that we need to trust God, but it's hard to get it into our hearts.
Trust doesn't give into fear, it knows that God is in charge, and that His plan will not be thwarted. In trusting God there is no strife, no fear, no religious control or manipulation.
It's not our place to question God, but humbly bow before His sovereignty.
3) A True Woman says, "Yes, Lord!"
Saying "yes" is accepting the ways of God. It's knowing that your life is not your own. It's intentional living and counter-cultural living. It's asking, "What will please the Lord? What will display His glory?"
Her compass is the Word of God, not the world! She affirms that His purposes for creating male and female are good and wise. She accepts the way God made her.
It means saying "no" to:
- running from to the will of God
It means saying "yes" to:
- embracing God
- trusting Him with our circumstance
- finding and fulfilling His purposes for our life
Monday, October 13, 2008
You know what...I really had no idea about anything outside of those walls of the convention and it was a great way to stay focused.
John Piper began the conference with his talk: The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood (You can listen HERE then click on John Piper)
These are straight from my notes and my mom's notes:
- A woman on her knees sways more in this nation than hundreds of suited, Wall Street jerks!
- Wimpy theology makes wimpy women!" The opposite of a wimpy woman is not a brash, pushy, loud, controlling, uppity, arrogant, amazon. The opposite is a woman who stands strong, perseveres to the end, praising God, without bitterness and anger.
- Wimpy theology does not give a woman a God big enough, strong enough, good enough, wise enough to handle realities of life in a way that enables her to magnify Him, and His Son, all the time. It's plagued with woman-centeredness. There is no granite foundation, steel structure of a great God centered purpose...
- The solid steel structure of God's ultimate purpose in all things..."To display the Glory of God's grace in its highest expression, in His dying, to make a rebellious people, His bride!" Everything exists so that that can happen! Especially...you! He bought the rebellious Bride, by the slaughter of His Son. Unto the praise of the glory of His grace!!!! Rev. 13:8, Ephesians 1:5-6, 25-27.
- When you arrive at the Praise of the Glory of the Grace of God there is nowhere else to "arrive." There is nothing on the other side of that design! You're home, that's it, there is nothing more in the universe to do or to be!
- What does that mean for True Womanhood? It's not wimpy to say that God created the universe, and governs all things to magnify His own grace in the slaughter of His Son for an undeserving people that that people might become His everlastingly happy bride. That's steel, that's granite, there is a place to stand when everything around you gives way! God's grace shines off of our lives when we stand on that granite and steel!
- Masculinity and femininity, manhood and womanhood, belong at the center of God's ultimate purpose...they're not an afterthought of creation, or the cross, not peripheral to the design of what is being said when Jesus dies to magnify the grace of God, they're right there at the center, at Calvary!
-Be done with small thoughts about God's design for Womanhood. We have a curse on human nature called: triviality. It's banality, it's living every day as if TV mattered, here today, gone tomorrow...then eternity, and the things that are unseen matter!! Rise to the significance of what matters in the world.
- You can transform every simple diaper moment, or any other moment, into massive significance if you realize that your womanhood is here, being brought to the very center of the purposes of God in this universe...climaxing when Christ the Husband, bought His Bride.
- Gen. 1:27..."God created man in His own image, male and female, He created them." We make a mistake when we think, God created us that way, then later, He sends his son to die for sinners and created people for himself, then thought, I'd like to make this work so, Oh, look, there's marriage, that might work, I will apply marriage to the meaning of what my Son has achieved...that's not how it happened.
- When God designed in His own eternal mind, humans, male and female, when He thought about that, He had in his mind, already the cross...that's why He made us the way He made us..it wasn't an afterthought. Here is how we know that...Eph. 5:31 Paul quotes Gen. 2:24 Before the fall, the first marriage...v.32, "this mystery is profound"...man leaving, cleaving..."and I am saying it refers to Christ and the church."
- Thousands of years before there was a cross, God said about manhood and womanhood, "this is about the most important event in history, that's why I made them this way!" In marriage and in singleness, displays the most important thing in the universe...my Son, sacrificing His life for His wife!
- True womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of God, the glory of His Son, in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.
- This means that if you try to reduce your womanhood to physical features or biological functions, and then determine your role in life purely on the basis of competencies, you not only miss the point of womanhood, you diminish the Glory of Christ in your own life.
- Your distinctive female personhood is indispensable in God's purpose to display the fullness of His glory. It's not incidental to your personhood, it exists because it's God's designed relationship to the central event in history, the death of His son.
- What does that look like for marriage and singles?
1. Wives submit to your husband...as the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in all things. Marriage is meant to display the covenant keeping love and grace that exists between Christ and his church. That ultimate meaning of headship is no more interchangeable than Christ and the church...men take their ques from Christ as the head, woman as the church, called to admire and stand in allegiance to Christ. Men have the greater burden and responsibility.
- Submission is the divine calling of a married woman to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.
- If we can embrace this truth, as married women, this magnificent truth, that True Womanhood ultimately means our distinctive role in marriage is meant to magnify the glory of God's grace, supremely expressed in the covenant keeping love between Christ and His church we would have a compass with which to navigate through life. It's not a small thing to believe that Ture Womanhood is meant to display the glory of God's grace in the sacrifice of God's son and purification of his bride...living out life in pure joy reverencing Him
- Singleness: brings radical freedom to serve the Lord! Why does God take some out of marriage, when marriage magnifies the covenant keeping love of Christ and the church?
- Since the fall, the natural order is not absolute as in "it's not good for man to be alone"...there is now sin in the world. In this world there are truths about Christ and his kingdom which can be more clearly displayed in manhood/womanhood in singleness. How?
1. A life of Christ exalting singleness bears witness that the family of God grows by regeneration through faith not propagation through sexual intercourse. That's the main family we're about! You magnify Christ in ways no married woman can.
2. Relations in Christ are more precious and permanent than relationships in families.
3. Bears witness that marriage is temporary and gives way in the end to the relationship of Christ and the church. Marriage is not the main thing...it's momentary! A single woman who lives with that final day in view and finds Christ to be here all in all here, says something powerful about her Savior.
- DO NOT WASTE YOUR WOMANHOOD ON WIMPY THEOLOGY.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Oh dear friends, my heart is so full with all that I learned and experienced this weekend at True Woman.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss had a vision for a national conference and this was the first conference of its kind. What an honor to be there. Just amazing!
I am planning on spending this week sharing what I learned and some of the messages of the weekend, but today I want to share about the conference. I want to leave you with a sense of what it felt like to be there.
Just imagine a room with 6,350 women with open hearts towards the Lord. There were women from every state, except Hawaii and Vermont. There were over 100 women from the Dominican Republic. Not only were their over 6,000 women, they shared that more than 3,000 women joined us via a live feed on the Internet!
This conference did not use "emotionalism" to draw you to the heart of God. No hype, no gadgets, no tricks...just pure scripture, pure worship, and hearts open to Him.
Today at church as friends asked me how it was I'd tell them this, "It was amazing. The main sessions lasted three hours and for three hours 6,350 women sat, not moving, just soaking in God's Word." It felt like no one wanted to leave, we just wanted more and more!
So in the course of 48 hours, 12 of those hours (plus two one-hour break out session) were just pure worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship with the Lord. I wonder if those who planned this event felt like, "We're getting these women together for 48 hours, let's spiritually feed them the whole time!" It was great!
Actually Nancy Leigh DeMoss teased us on Saturday when she explained how we need to have forbearance with each other as we move about and wait in line. Then she said to avoid long lines at the bathrooms they were just not going to give us breaks. Then she said, "You think I am kidding." No she wasn't and quite frankly it was fine with most of us women!
The worship leaders were Keith and Kristyn Getty. Their music was pure and lovely. They lead us to the throne of God, which was moving.
Every aspect of this conference was completely God-centered. You felt this covering and protection of God over the women that were there. (Also there was a room full of men praying for us the entire time!) It was clear that every speaker had their heart hooked up to the Father and wanted Him to receive the glory.
In a three hour session we'd start with worship, then have a video or testimony, we move to the first speaker (which was normally 45 minutes to an hour long), then we'd have time to respond. They gave us all kneeling pads and during the moments after a talk, we'd have time to take it to God, pray, process. Then we'd see another video or sing and go right into the second speaker. The speaker would speak and then we'd have prayer, response time. It was nice to not feel rushed or speeding through what God was doing!
Oh I could go on and on, but I'll leave that for later this week! I pray that this series of posts is encouraging to your heart!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I've spent much time in prayer asking God to prepare me for whatever I am to take from the conference.
I will be gone till Saturday and I want to leave you with something for you to do while I am gone!
Leslie Ludy, in her book Authentic Beauty, shared with her readers a "Cleaning out the Sanctuary" processes. I've added the links below for you to print and use for your own personal retreat!
God Bless you and I can't wait to share with you what God teaches me at True Woman!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Human nature is to defend ourselves or be offended easily. I believe we are to caught up in caring what people think of us, so when someone treats us a certain way or criticize us, we tend to be offended.
How different would we allowed comments, looks, and actions to "roll off our backs"?
It's a choice we have. We choose to allow what other's think of us dictate how we function or we choose to allow ourselves to look through God's perspective of us. If we are walking in integrity and walking in faithfulness, then what other's think of us should not have power over us.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Here's John Piper's thoughts on bible translations and why he uses the ESV.
What translation do you use?
My entire life I've used NASB, but have used ESV more in the last two years. (Although I think John and I own four different translations of the bible in our home.) I will be reading through my ESV study bible in 2009. Our church is dedicating 2009 to reading through the bible as a congregation, with sermons based on our weekly reading. I am excited to have this new bible!
I just found this great video introducing the ESV Study Bible
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
I can't recall ever hearing a sermon on the importance of fasting as a spiritual discipline. It's not talked about much in Christian circles and I know Christians who have never practiced the discipline of fasting.
But fasting is close to my heart. I've practiced the discipline of fasting for about 13 years. I've fasted one meal, two meals. I've done a 22 day juice fast for spiritual reasons. I've done partial fasts. I've fasted for breakthroughs in my own life. I've fasted for other people and I've done corporate fasting.
Now in saying this, I am not at all wanting to say, "Oh look at how spiritual Heather is for fasting!" I tell you this as a way of encouragement. Actually, I believe fasting should be a very private matter, between you and only those people who many be effected by you fasting.
Whenever I fast, God does amazing things. I see what controls me. I see what's inside so much clearer! God revels much to me when I fast and I feel so much closer to God when He calls me to fast.
If you have never fasted then I encourage you to pray about if or when you should fast. Look up scriptures on fasting and some of the reasons people fasted in the bible. See what Jesus says about fasting.
There are a couple of great books you can read: A Hunger for God by John Piper (I HIGHLY recommend this book!), and The Celebration of Disciple by Richard Foster.
I would say that if you are looking for a breakthrough in your own life and have not looked into fasting, then pray and ask if God is calling you to fast as a spiritual discipline!
If you feel for medical reasons you are unable to fast from food, then seek God about something else you can fast from (cell phone, computer, TV, video games). I do not recommend fasting for anyone nursing or pregnant, as well as others with medical conditions that require you to eat food a certain number of times per day.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
On Monday they had this incredible post and I wanted to share!
Are any of you going to the conference?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I think often we thinking of waiting before marriage, but in Fireproof, we saw that there are seasons of waiting before and after marriage!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Google reader is an in-box for all the blogs you follow. So you sign up (with a yahoo, google, gmail account) and then you put all the web addresses of your favorite blogs. Then when you check that site, all the recent updates of your blogs come there. It saves TONS of time!
The web address is: www.google.com/reader
Hope this helps!
Monday, September 29, 2008
When I was asked to be apart of this on-line encouragement I shared that to me, a Titus 2 woman is someone who will encourage another woman on a path she's already been down.
As my week to share has approached the place where I've been is spiritually dry...so I invite anyone who has walked down this path to come to the well, where we shall find water and be dry no longer.
What causes us to have these seasons of dryness in our walk with the Lord? As I just recently walked through a short season of dryness, I spent some time asking the Lord to show me what causes this.
The Lord brought a few key things in my life that cause me to dry up spiritually: Loss of focus, satan attacks, busyness, being tired, laziness, demanding relationships, and plain o' excuses.
I stop being faithful with my quiet time. I forget to listen to praise songs. I let other things: TV, phone, music, and computer crowd out my peaceful walk with the Lord. I allow things to consume my thoughts and time that simply do not belong!
Then blame game begins: These kids keep me so busy! Work is too demanding! My husband just requires so much of me and doesn't lift a finger to help! This community project I am involved with is draining all my extra time and energy. This 2008 election is important and I need to dedicate time studying, listening and reading. My church obligations keep me hopping around four nights a week! School work is insane and if I don't get good grades no college will let me in! This drama with my friends is exhausting! I just don't have anyone to do a bible study with and I need someone to help me understand it!
We can even being to have misdirected (but honorable) priorities:
- cleaning house
- reading a book
- watching or listening to political analysis
- having people over
- making a phone call
- sports involvement
- children's extra activities
I have a saying, framed and hanging in my dining room, it reads: Make time for quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud.
So this short (praise the Lord is was rather short this time) season of dryness I've just walked through reminded me of the utmost importance of my quiet time each day, making sure my top priority is the Lord, not allowing anything to get in the way of time with Him.
We come to the well, a place where Jesus has offered us refreshment. We gather with likeminded believers to rest with Him. We seek Him. We lay aside excuses and we beg for Him to come near to us as we draw near to Him.
If you are at a very dry place, I offer you this song: The More I Seek You, by Kari Jobe.
For those of you who have walked through a season of dryness I ask you:
* Have you noticed a pattern of when you find yourself spiritually dry?
* What do you do to move quickly through that season of dryness?
Make sure you leave your link so we can read your answers!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Kirk Cameron, of Growing Pain fame, is the lead actor. I think that as a believer he has been able to impact Hollywood. In a recent interview he explained that he only kisses his wife and so for the movie his wife, of 17 years, came in for the one kiss scene!
Here's a link to the trailer!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I mean if you have to sneak on the Internet at work when your boss isn't around, chances are you shouldn't be on. If you have to hid e-mails from the people closest to you, chances are you shouldn't be having those e-mail conversations. If you have to hid what you eat, chances are you shouldn't be eating it. If you have to hid what you're reading, chances are you shouldn't be reading that book. If you're having a conversation with someone that needs to remain hidden, chances are you shouldn't be saying whatever it is you're saying.
Remember we are walking through our lives for an audience of One!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My emotions would play tricks on me! I'd over analyze everything little thing a guy friend would do! I'd go over and over and over again what he said, what he did, how he looked at me, how he interacted with me, and when I would be with him again (This normally included me trying to figure out how I could make sure we'd spend time together!)
My mind was an ever present emotional roller coaster! Up, down, corkscrew, up, up and whoosh...down again! I felt like all I could do was strap in and hang on!
Then God revealed to me the beauty of emotional purity. The power of the Holy Spirit in my thought life! When I began to practice emotional purity in my life, it freed my mind. I was no longer controlled by my emotions! I got off the roller coaster and stood firmly on God's foundation!
Was I still an emotional woman? Of course!! But my emotions did not control me and I would keep my thoughts captive for Christ. I'd focus on Him and what He wanted for me, which wasn't spending hours upon hours thinking, daydreaming, fantasizing, about guys in my life or the desire for a boyfriend.
God showed me the purity of trusting Him fully with my emotions!
What is your testimony? Where are you on this roller coaster? Are you waiting in line, riding it, wish you were off, or walking on firm foundation of trust?