I was chatting with a friend the other day about abortion- specifically those videos that go around on Facebook. She was feeling tremendously frustrated because while these videos will make all of us cry and feel angry, they seem to make pro-choice people simply dig their heels in. The complete blindness to the obvious personhood of babies can be horrifyingly frustrating. Knowing that she and I are not the only two Christian women who find this whole issue overwhelming and frustrating, I thought I’d share with you all some of the things that have helped me process it.
First of all, and this can not be overemphasized, the whole discussion is not about arguments. The world does not need one really good argument, but it really does need good news. They do not need new evidence for the personhood of the unborn, they need new hearts. They do not need to see the baby as it is, they need to not be blinded by sin. So while it is not pointless to be sharing these things – the reason that it is important is because it is important to be declaring the Gospel. One part of the Gospel is the reality and depth of our sin. One part of the Gospel is the freedom of forgiveness. One part of the Gospel is transformation of darkness to light, hopelessness to hope, sorrow to laughter, filth to righteousness. So in as much as these things are declaring some part or all of this – they are a Gospel declaration and well worth doing. And they may very well fall on deaf ears – but it isn’t an intellectual argument. The argument isn’t for the ears, it is asking God to move in hearts. God tells us to declare His word, His gospel, His son – and when we do He uses that on the hearts of those who hear. It is His ordained means of saving people, and it is different than the means we would have chosen. Continue reading ‘Let it Rise.’
Have you ever noticed that when people self-describe they’re almost universally wrong?
Well ok, perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic with “almost universally.” Suppose we re-phrase that into something a little less off-puttingly negative. I’m going to take another stab at it, and this time I’ll be much more encouraging and optimistic.
Have you ever noticed that when people self-describe they’re very often wrong? (I think that was much more delicately and tactfully phrased.)
I don’t mean when people say things like, “I just finished reading a book on gardening,” (which I did, coincidentally) or “I cleaned the bathroom today,” (which I ought to have), but more when they say things like, “I’m just a really ___________ kind of person.”
This can manifest itself in anyone from the marriage counselor who’s had 4 divorces (“Seriously! I’m an expert on this! Let me offer you some life-coaching!”) down to the lovely and well-meaning woman who always brings that rather revolting casserole to church potlucks because she’s convinced that it’s her specialty. (“I just knew that everyone would be so disappointed if I didn’t bring my famous Nevada Pie with extra kidney beans!”) And then of course everyone at the potluck takes a helping because no one wants to hurt her feelings, and mothers plop a serving onto their offended childrens’ plates while shooting them That Warning Look . . . and the poor deluded woman goes home perfectly satisfied in the knowledge that her Nevada Pie is treasured and loved.
I’ll never forget the man who announced that he was the “musically gifted brother” in the congregation, Continue reading ‘Curlers (and stuff)’
If you have seen much or any of my writing, I think you know that I am no stranger to messes. My children are specialists. I told my husband recently that I think I need a ref’s shirt and a whistle because that seems to be my main job these days. Throwing penalty flags for dress-ups on the stairs. Trying to stop myself from just clearing the table, wiping up the milk, picking up socks, and trying to actually track down the child responsible so that they might learn the rules of play.
But sometimes I think that the emphasis I put on dealing joyfully with mess and mayhem may lead people to believe that I just dig dust bunnies and static-filled sweatpants. And I don’t. But I guess I would rather people erroneously think that of me than have me glue a veneer of togetherness on my very real and gritty lifestyle, and then talk about how everyone should be joyful. I could, in theory, take a picture of a clean, light-filled place in my house and make it seem like we never have finger smudges and random bloody noses. Maybe I could make it look like my three-year-old never shows up in inside-out tights as pants and like I never let that happen for two hours before I find her jeans. If this is what women are looking for, there are whole worlds on Pinterest devoted to this, and they certainly don’t need me to provide it. And since the real message that I care about is joy and faithfulness, I think it would be counterproductive to try to make it look like I always have the perfect circumstances for that kind of joy. Well I don’t, and neither do you. Continue reading ‘Joy Farmers’
Back when I was in high school my Dad became convicted that we should be honoring the Lord’s Day more than we had been. Having grown out of a Jesus people kind of church that met in the parks sometimes, we were growing into Christian traditions that were much older and unfamiliar, and often seemed painfully stuffy.
It was true that Scripture clearly said the Sabbath was for rest. Of course we all had visions of Little House on the Prairie and very serious times past. It seemed to us that the only people who would be Sabbatarian were people who would wear horsehair shirts, scowl at children, administer discipline for laughter (as well as most other things), eat only boiled food, have no fun, and probably cause routine church splits about whether the bulletins should be tri-folded to reflect the Trinity or not.
In the midst of some angsty discussions around the dinner table Dad pointed out something that has stuck with me all this time “But what about homework, Dad? Are you saying that I’m not allowed to do homework on Sunday??!” He responded that it wasn’t that we didn’t get to work, it was that we got to not. It was hard to ignore this. I am not normally chafing at the bit to do homework, yet tell me that I may not and my desperation to do it becomes unbearable. Continue reading ‘Sabbath Hearts’
I often speak with women who want to be involved in “service” of some kind, and they wonder what they should do and how to find it. This is a good and godly impulse; in fact, it is a God-given impulse that identifies us as His very own. Paul tells us in Titus that we were made for good works for God “…gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (2:14).
We are God’s own special people. This is a tremendous fact. He has redeemed us from sin, He has cleansed us from sin, and He has made us His very own. He redeemed us from all the bad works we were doing (lawless deeds) and now as “His own special people” we are eager and hungry for good ones.
Later in Titus 3:8, Paul says “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.” And in 3:14 we have it repeated: “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”
We can gather several things about good works from these two passages. First of all, we are to learn to do good works. That means we are Continue reading ‘Zealous for Good Works’
“A man’s contentment is in his mind, not in the extent of his possessions. Alexander the Great, with all the world at his feet, cries for another world to conquer.”
“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”
“I have heard of some good old woman in a cottage, who had nothing but a piece of bread and a little water. Lifting up her hands, she said as a blessing, ‘What! All this, and Christ too?’”
“No heart of a child of God will ever be satisfied with an object or person short of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is room for wife and children, there is room for friend and acquaintance, and all the more room in one’s heart because Christ is there. But neither wife nor children, nor friends nor kinsfolk can ever fill the believer’s heart. He must have Christ Jesus. There is no rest for him elsewhere.”