(I was asked to give my testimony at our monthly Ladies Fellowship meeting.)
In the sense that we have come to think of testimonies, I do not have one. I can honestly say that I do not remember a time when I did not know God.
I do remember when I actually prayed with my mom – I was lying in bed in my little pink bedroom that was in our tiny blue house right here in Moscow. I was afraid of the dark and she told me not to be afraid because God was everywhere. I said He was in my heart too, and she said no He wasn’t, and I prayed on the spot. I was three when that happened – but I am fairly certain that I already loved the Lord and that was just when I made it “official.” Continue reading ‘My Testimony’
James tells us not to be on friendly terms with the world: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (4:4). It is as though he is saying, “Don’t you get this? Don’t you know this yet?” He goes on to finish the verse: “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
He is not being very diplomatic here. He is not trying to strike a bargain between God and the world so that we can be chummy with the world and still be on good terms with God. It’s all or nothing. We have to think of this as a war. The world is the enemy. If we are consorting with the enemy and wearing its uniform, then God is against us. If we are friends with God and wearing His uniform, the world is against us. Which way do we want it?
The Apostle John tells us the same thing: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
So here we are living in the world, which is just where God wants us, and the world’s apostles and evangelists are forever preaching and pushing their agenda on us. Are we listening to them? Are we a captive audience? Are we being “conformed to this world” or are we being “transformed by the renewing” of our mind (Rom. 12.2)?
When we are suffering in a difficult situation, or working through a trial, or tempted by a besetting sin, one of the first things that we think is how alone we feel. We feel alone because we are the only person we know who is struggling with depression. We feel lonely because we don’t see other people dealing with chronic illness. We feel lonely because we want people to be right beside us as we work through something. And the easiest thing in the world is to blame the rest of the church for not knowing. For not understanding how we feel. For not struggling the same struggle with us. For saying things that were unfeeling. Do they not love us? Continue reading ‘Fight for Us’
I must have learned the little song about “The wise man built his house upon the rock…” (complete with hand motions) way back in my Sunday school days. It’s so familiar that we can (at least I can) miss some very important details. It comes at the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Let me repeat the text here for reference:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The first thing to notice is that Jesus is using this metaphor of the two houses to describe two kinds of people: those who hear Him and do what He says, and those who hear Him and and do not do what He says. Our first question ought to be, “Hear Him say what?” Since this passage comes at the end of His Sermon on the Mount, it is safe to say it applies to the whole thing. If we hear the words of His sermon and do them, we are building a rock-solid house. If we hear the words and brush them off, we are putting ourselves in a mighty dangerous position. Continue reading ‘Two Houses’
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her
So today is Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write a little something on the topic of married love. That time when you were first falling in love was a very heady time. Chances are good that if you are a few years out from that, and have kids, and life has somewhat eclipsed your romance, that you are not currently in a phase where your husband calling you makes your heart race. In fact, you may even answer the phone with a complaint about your day, a comment about something he forgot to do, or just something incredibly mundane. Truthfully, things could be at a point where you are seeing him as an extra chore on your list. Maybe when you see your husband you see the things you wish he was doing, a life you wish you had, or a long list of failed expectations.