I know that everyone in the world right now is freaking out about the Doug Philips scandal, and to be honest, the whole thing grosses me out so much that I don’t even want to read about it. And given that I don’t even want to read about it, I’m certainly not going to pull up my socks and start writing about it. But the whole situation has given me some food for thought, and that is on the question of how to raise our daughters so that they don’t fall prey to the manipulations of that kind of man – because those kind of men are found the world over, not merely in patriarchal conservative groups. Is your daughter ever likely to encounter more than three men in the course of her life? Then she will encounter this kind of man. So how do we teach our daughters to be submissive but also strong? To be gracious but also quick to say no?
I have three daughters, all of whom are are now closer to “young lady” than “little girl,” so this isn’t a hypothetical question for me! Here are some of the things that have been bouncing around in my head on this question, in no particular order – things that are very much at the front of my mind as I watch these lovely girls grow up. Continue reading ‘On not being a victim’
When I was a young mom, reading the Bible regularly was always a challenge for me. I went in spurts and starts. I always loved reading the Bible, but not enough to make it happen every day. I remember I used to wonder what it was that hindered me. After all, I made dinner every day even though I didn’t always feel like it. I showered. I brushed my teeth. I did countless other duties day in and day out. Why was Bible reading so hard to fit it? Actually, I made it way too hard on myself and set up ridiculous and unrealistic standards and hurdles.
First of all, I was tempted to stop and analyze my problem. “Why don’t I read my Bible more? I wonder what the problem is?” What I should have done instead was say to myself, “I know! Rather than trying to figure out why I don’t read my Bible more, why don’t I just pick it up and read it right now?” If only I had thought of that back then. Even if I had only read a verse or two, it would have been much better than contemplating the causes of my erratic Bible reading.
Second, I think I was coming to the Bible trying to be a super-Bible-reader. I was going to the Bible looking for a “devotional experience,” and I seldom had one. So I figured that I must not be reading deeply enough or thoughtfully Continue reading ‘Busy Bible Reading’
Jesus said, “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Christ came to bring us spiritual life where there was spiritual death. Not only did He bring life, but He brought life plus. Big-sized life. More life. Life is good, but abundant life is better.
Here I’d like to look at just three aspects of this abundant life: living fully, living completely, and living comfortably.
1. In Christ we can live fully, the way He intended in our creation. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). And in verse 16: “And of His fullness we have received, and grace for grace.” Jesus is full of grace and truth, and we receive his fullness. Do you feel empty? Receive His fullness, grace upon grace.
2. In Christ we can live completely, because we are made complete in Him. “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him…”
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good Continue reading ‘Abundant Life’
Rachel wrote her testimony a few posts back, and I thought it was time to follow her good example.
My parents were good people who raised us four kids to be God-fearing Protestants. Dad had grown up Methodist, and Mom’s family attended the Episcopal Church. We attended church regularly, at least often enough that it was not foreign to me. My folks taught us to pray before dinner and at bedtime. I always believed that Jesus was the Son of God. We had no denominational affiliation because Dad was in the military, so on the air base we attended the Protestant service.
Dad retired from the military, and I started junior-high school in southern Texas. My family attended the Presbyterian Church, and I became actively involved in the youth group and the choir. In fact, I joined the church. During those years I remember going forward at a big revival meeting in a stadium that a friend had taken me to. It was quite an emotional event, and I really thought I had changed. But every day as I looked in the mirror, I was sorry to see the change fading away. But I continued to participate in church activities and youth group retreats. Church became more of a social function than anything else. I had many wonderful friends during those years, and some of them are faithful Christians today.
After high-school graduation we moved to Idaho, and I started college as an English lit major. I never even considered trying to find a church to attend; it just didn’t occur to me. Academics were never as important to me as the social life, but I managed to pull decent grades. I led a very self-centered, egocentric life enjoying my friends and parties, much as I had in high school. However, the 70′s were a time of social upheaval and students in particular were looking for meaning in what they saw as a meaningless world.
I was being fed a message of hopelessness and meaninglessness by my English professors. I remember one in Continue reading ‘Another Testimony’
“I hope to over-hope and over-believe my troubles” (Samuel Rutherford).
Troubles can make a person feel very alone. Does anyone really know how you feel or what you’re up against? The answer is no, no one can really know. Except Jesus, who is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows your troubles, and He walks with you through them. He is the foundation of all our hope. We believe in Him. So when we hope to over-hope, it is not a vague kind of hope that is embroidered on a pillow or painted on a coffee cup with a little picture of a bird. We don’t hope in hope. We hope in God who raises the dead. We don’t believe in belief. We believe in God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. In Him we can over-hope and over-believe our troubles because we know He works it all for our good and His glory. We wait expectantly to see the outcome He has for us in Christ. And this gives us gospel hope.