Friday, October 31, 2008

10/31/08 - My random thoughts

Today in my bible reading, I read this:

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

10/30/08 - Radical Christians

I heard this quote in a sermon by John Piper and it's worth sharing:

"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?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/28/08 - Wake Up People

That phrase has been playing over and over in my head: Wake up people!

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

10/27/08 - God's Word

Have you read through your bible from cover to cover?

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

10/23/08 - Friendships

A good question to ask yourself when you're in relationship is to ask yourself: Is this person drawing me closer to the Lord, or pushing me away from Him?

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

10/22/08 - Honesty

As I type tonight, the entire house is quiet. My boys and my husband are tucked away in bed after a long day of "projects". I didn't think I'd have a chance to blog, but I wanted to take this moment to share what I've been pondering all day.

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

10/21/08 - Pride Test

This is a "Pride Test" from Revive Our Hearts, September 17, 2007:

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

10/20/08 - Fallow Ground

This verse has been one I've been memorizing. When I did a little study on fallow ground, it reminded me of the times of dryness I've had with the Lord. It has spoken to me and I want to share!

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:

-adjective
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.

–noun
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!

10/20/08 - Clarification

I wanted to clarify that Nancy Leigh DeMoss took the donation for True Woman, not Third Wave. She shared how Third Wave raises money and how we are in a battle!

Hope that wasn't too confusing!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10/17/08 - True Woman (Part 7)

So both of my sisters said these True Woman posts have been LONG. (It's okay girls I know you're both busy with babies!)

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: emotionalpurity@yahoo.com

Hey guys...thanks for joining us this week in this overview...we'll be back on my normally blogging next week!

10/16/08 - True Woman (Part 6)

Friday night we heard from Janet Parshall and watched a pre-taped video of Joni Erickson Tada. You can listen to both of there talks HERE!

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

10/15/08 - True Woman (Part 5)

Friday morning's second speaker was Karen Loritts. Karen spent the majority of her talk sharing her personal testimony of how she dealt with a season of life that was gripped by fear and uncertainty. She called it her "emotional meltdown".

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

10/14/08 - True Woman (Part 4)

My prayer is that you are enjoying my "notes" from the conference. I pray you are being blessed by them and maybe even listening to them yourself from the True Woman website!

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?"

10/14/08 - True Woman (Part 3)

Nancy Leigh DeMoss was the second speaker on Thursday night. Her message was: What is a True Woman? (You can listen HERE! Click on Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Thursday talk)

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.

Application:

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:
  • self-centeredness
  • whining
  • complaining
  • bitterness
  • pining
  • resting
  • running from to the will of God

It means saying "yes" to:

  • forgiveness
  • repentance
  • embracing God
  • serving
  • trusting Him with our circumstance
  • finding and fulfilling His purposes for our life

Monday, October 13, 2008

10/13/08 - True Woman (part 2)

As the main session started on Thursday night, Nancy Leigh DeMoss challenged us to a media fast for the entire duration of the conference. What a great idea! No e-mail, no Internet, no TV the entire time we were there.

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

10/12/08 - True Woman (Part 1)

PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE
PART SIX
PART SEVEN

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

10/09/08 - Cleaning out the Sanctuary

Today I am leaving for True Woman 2008. (True Woman Promo Video) I can not even begin to express how excited I am to be going to this conference. God blessed me with this conference when I didn't think it would be possible.

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!

Part One
Part Two

God Bless you and I can't wait to share with you what God teaches me at True Woman!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

10/08/08 - Offended

Are you easily offended? How much does it take for you to feel personally attacked or offended?

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

10/07/08 - ESV Study Bible

I am excited that the ESV Study bible will be released next week. I have mine on order and can't wait to receive it.

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!

*EDIT*
I just found this great video introducing the ESV Study Bible

Monday, October 6, 2008

10/06/08 - Economy

On my personal blog I put a rather lengthy discussion of a Fox News report about the economy. If you're interested, here's the link: Economy for Dummies.

Friday, October 3, 2008

10/03/08 - Fasting

Have you ever fasted before? I mean not eaten a meal or two as spiritual discipline? (Of course you can fast from other things, but most see fasting as not eating.)

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!

***DISCLAIMER****
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

10/02/08 - The Time has Come to Wail

I've been following the 40 days of preparing for the True Woman conference I will be attending next weekend.

On Monday they had this incredible post and I wanted to share!

Wailing Women

Are any of you going to the conference?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

10/01/08 - Waiting

There was this great song: While I'm Waiting, in the movie Fireproof and I wanted to share the song.

I think often we thinking of waiting before marriage, but in Fireproof, we saw that there are seasons of waiting before and after marriage!