In the wake of the grotesque video that just came out (you know – salad, wine, and baby parts for sale), one of the very natural and appropriate responses is to feel totally overwhelmed at the vastness of the problem. It is easy to turn from this to a lot of frantic anger at everyone – the pro-choice people for thinking this was a good idea, your Christian friend who is not wound up enough about it, politicians who maybe could do something but aren’t even trying. I wanted to take a moment though to reflect on another emotion that we need to give voice to. Gratitude. Read More
The story of Christendom is characterized by many saints who stood faithful to their Lord in the midst of trouble. Even Peter, who denied the Lord, went on to suffer courageously for Christ. So let me share one of my favorite passages about persecution, 1 Peter 4:12-14.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”
Here are some things we can take away from this wonderful passage to be encouraged when we see our fellow Christians standing strong in persecution or when we are in the middle of a trial ourselves.
1. We are not to be strangers to trials, and we’re not to think something strange is happening to us when we meet them. Even fiery ones are to be expected. Read More
Given the surprising (and apparently sudden) changes in what our country is now considering to be “moral” government-approved behavior, I thought it was time for a pep talk. Most of you all are probably a lot like me. It hasn’t been difficult to live like a Christian woman even in a culture that has been gradually drifting away from its Christian foundation. But the sudden lurch of this past week’s Supreme Court decision has certainly been a wake-up call.
It may be tempting to worry or fret about what kind of place our grandchildren are going to inherit. This is no longer the country my parents and grandparents grew up in. Far from it! I don’t think I even knew sodomy existed until I was in high-school, and then I could hardly believe it. Seriously?
It’s crucial that Christian women, no matter what our calling, process these things faithfully, with a godly courage. So I’ve come up with a short list of things to keep us focused. And it turns out, these are all the things we are already supposed to be doing. God is always looking for faithfulness, not some new idea of our own.
1. First of all, the Lord God is our Maker and He absolutely controls all His creation. Even the decisions of court justices. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Prov. 21:1). So we can be confident that He is doing this for us, not to us. Read More
Sometimes I really hate reading modesty blog posts and the inevitable ensuing fracas. No, most times I really hate reading them – and it frequently doesn’t matter which side of the issue is being argued. No matter how kind or how rude the original post, no matter if it is an urge to cover up more or loosen up more, everyone seems to take sides, get cranky, feel judged or feel judgey . . . all in all, a real win for Christian charity in all directions.
So with that said, here I go with a modesty blog post. This isn’t about specifics though, so don’t panic – this is just a general observation. Read More
The angels met the women very early on that first resurrection morning at the tomb, and they said, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ And they remembered His words” (Luke 24:5-8).
What a strange kind of greeting: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” And what a great question! We might ask ourselves such a question today: Why are we looking for Jesus in the wrong place? And next the angels say, “Remember?” How often we forget what He has told us!
One of the common ways we look for Jesus in the wrong place is by looking for Him in our feelings. Sometimes I hear women say, “I just don’t feel like Jesus is close.” But He never told us to look for Him in our feelings. He didn’t say to meet Him at the tomb, He said to meet Him in Galilee. If we think we must look for Him in our feelings, we can try to “do” certain things that will generate a spiritual feeling to reassure ourselves. We have not remembered what He told us.
He has told us where to find Him. Remember? He is Risen! We are raised with Him, and He is above, sitting at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1). This is why we “seek those things which are above, where Christ is.” Jesus dwells in us through His word (Col. 3:16) and helps us remember all He has told us. So we “eagerly wait for the Savior” (Phil. 3:20) and look for Him in the Word, in the Supper, and in the weekly celebration of His triumph over the grave. And when we look for Him there, we are obeying what He told us to do.
Women in Church History
Radiant records the triumph of the gospel as faithful women through the ages have faced kings and governors, soldiers and wild beasts, Japanese guards and Muslim raiders, fire, exile, the chopping block, Nazis, cannibals, riots and more. From South America to Europe, from China to Africa to the Wild West, in prisons and in throne rooms, the Christian heroines of Radiant have left a stunning legacy.
“Through these robust and hearty profiles Richard Hannula brings to life forty-six women of faith who helped shape church history. His interest is authentic, his research is solid, and his admiration is genuine.”
–Joel Belz, founder of World Magazine
“Women have made a vital contribution to the growth and progress of the Christian Church from the beginning. Hannula recognizes and celebrates that contribution and rallies the rising generation of Christian women to lives of action, vitality and faithfulness. A great read!”
–Gwen Westerlund, Christian counselor and co-author of Titus 2 Teams: A Mentoring Program for Women
“From the time of Christ’s ministry on earth until the present day, faithful women have left us a legacy of courage, sacrifice, and service in the midst of trials. In this new collection of stories, Richard Hannula has given us a rich resource of encouragement and inspiration.”
–Nancy Wilson, author of True Companion and Praise Her in the Gates
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