25 May 2018

This 'n' That

The Lord is teaching me patience. He's also teaching me, in interesting ways, how it is that He answers prayer. I'll reserve the details for another time (perhaps), but suffice it to say that, I can unhesitatingly say that if you pray for Him to show you what He's doing, He will. Oh, He may not show you the entire picture, and what He makes clear may still cause things to look a bit muddy to our finite eyes, but He does still answer. Bit by bit, we gain clarity—in His time, not ours.

I was a patient child. An extremely patient child, in fact. I often feel as though I used up all my patience before the age of 12, because I certainly struggle to demonstrate it as an adult! And then I am reminded, and convicted, of the fact that patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and so I pray for more. Unfortunately, God doesn't answer that prayer by *poof!* magically granting me patience. No, instead He ordains circumstances that require patience and, thankfully, has granted me the enabling power of His Holy Spirit to help me through those situations. What a good and patient Father we have! That He would help us grow, even if by baby steps (or so it seems sometimes), to look more and more like His Son, our Savior.

Well, I hope you haven't been impatient for this holiday weekend, but it is finally here, so before you fire up the barbecue, take a few moments to first enjoy your week in review (kind of):

19 May 2018

Equipping Eve: Doctrinally Sound Legalism


Legalism is deadly. It deceives unbelievers into thinking they can earn their salvation, but it can also enslave believers, leading them to add works, not as a condition of salvation, but as a condition of God’s continued favor and love. This type of “doctrinally sound legalism” leads to a dangerous combination of spiritual pride toward others and spiritual weakness in our own walk of faith. We do not sin so that grace may abound—may it never be! Still, we must guard against legalism even within our doctrinally sound churches.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: A Whole New Wardrobe
Equipping Eve: The Discipline of Grace (Part 1)
Equipping Eve: The Discipline of Grace (Part 2)

18 May 2018

This 'n' That

For lack of better material, I thought I'd share my Friday morning with you.

It started early, probably around 4:45 or so, or at least that's my best estimate. That's when my cat began, in vain, to try to wake me. The poor little guy tried for at least an hour before I conceded. When I finally did drag myself out of bed, I felt as though I hadn't slept at all. It's been one of those weeks. Actually, it's been one of those months.

Later, I spotted a "Congratulations!" sign in my neighbor's front yard. Their son is graduating from high school this weekend which makes me feel, well, old. I still remember a couple years ago when he came home driving for the first time and I realized that I had been driving longer than he had been alive.

God certainly has interesting ways of reminding us of our frailty and finiteness. We ought to appreciate these, though, lest we become complacent in our lives. For me, it is a reminder to be busy with the work of His kingdom. Unfortunately, this purpose becomes lost all too easily in the busyness and demands of today's world. When we've just graduated from high school, we anticipate our whole life ahead of us. Then, in a blink, a decade passes, then another, then another, and we wonder where the time has gone and what we've truly done with it. This ought not to be so for Christians, though, for service to Christ is always of eternal value.

So, young or old, press on, friend, and keep your eyes fixed on our great Savior and Lord! And if you pause to take a break today, use that time to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

11 May 2018

This 'n' That

Is it Friday already? Wow, time flies when you're stressed out! Or is that just me?

So, here's my pet peeve of the week: people who mow their lawn, and then leave all the grass clippings lying on their driveway and sidewalk. Really? How hard is it to take a blower or even a broom and finish the job? It just seems counterintuitive, doesn't it? If you want your yard to look nice, then you probably shouldn't have piles of grass strewn across your driveway.

It would be like getting ready for work or church, putting on your outfit, fixing your makeup (sorry, guys, but I come from a lady's perspective), and then leaving your hair a dirty, disheveled, ratty nest. I mean, I do understand that some people do that, but why?

Laziness such as an unkempt lawn may betray a greater shortfall in our lives. If we are too lazy to comb our hair, we no doubt will be too lazy to cultivate our spiritual health through prayer and Bible study. To be clear, I struggle with laziness and procrastination as much as anyone, perhaps even more at times. When I become overwhelmed, for example, I'd much prefer to curl up in a ball and watch a movie than to face the situation or decision head-on. This is where we must turn to the Lord, seek His counsel and His endurance, and strive to finish well, so that He may be glorified, even in the small tasks.

Well, it's another beautiful Friday here. I hope it's lovely where you are, too, and I hope you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

04 May 2018

This 'n' That

Decisions would be so much simpler if we only had a sign!
Decisions, decisions! I hate making decisions, and I am terrible at it. By God's grace, there have been some major decisions in my life that He orchestrated such that they weren't actually decisions at all because the right decision was a no-brainer. But then, there are those choices that are a bit more tricky, and the reality is, you won't know which choice is "right" until you just choose one and move forward. These are the ones that can be truly difficult, particularly if neither choice is sinful, and neither is inherently more godly than the other.

At the end of the day, does God really care about our mundane, day-to-day decisions such as where we live or what car we drive, or even what doctor we see? Well, yes, He does, in the sense that none of these ought to drive us away from fellowship with Him or other believers, or cause us to sin through idolatry or other means. Yet, as Christians, we can take comfort in knowing that God has already perfectly ordained the circumstances in our lives to execute His perfect plan, bring Him glory, and result in our good. It may not make the decisions any easier to resolve, but it at least allows us to rest in the decision once it's been made. Our Father is a good, kind, and gracious Father. Even if He disciplines us, He is good and we are better for it in the long run, because such discipline is designed to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

So, in the words of Kevin DeYoung, if you have a decision to make, just do something!

Now, why don't you take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

27 April 2018

This 'n' That

Trust me, my tea is not this fancy!
As I write this, I am sipping on a mug of Turmeric Glow tea from David's Tea. I love David's Tea. They offer a wide variety of teas, so you can pretty much find one to fit any mood, whether you're feeling relaxed, looking to relax, or are super stressed and need dessert in a cup. I am still unsure about this particular concoction, though. I'm not a big fan of turmeric, though I do love its cousin, ginger. Every time I drink this tea, then, I find myself unable to reach a final conclusion as to exactly how I feel about it. So if you're looking to expand your tea horizons and would like some recommendations, know that I wouldn't heartily recommend this flavor, but would give two thumbs up to several others.

Okay, I realize that most of you don't care about my tea drinking habits. In fact, I hope that none of you actually care about them! The truth is, I was at a loss as to what to write for today's post, so I defaulted to discussing my beverage. Please don't hold it against me. Please come back again next week!

Hopefully I will have some more thought-provoking discussion for you next Friday (time will tell!). Until then, I hope the following links can help redeem this week's less-than-stellar content. Without any further ado, then, please enjoy your week in review (kind of):