30 March 2015

To Him Who Is Able

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20–21)

Further Reading

27 March 2015

This 'n' That

Warning: this week's This 'n' That is going to be slim. In fact, you almost were forced to go without any weekly review. Why? Early mornings, late nights, and full days make this blogger unable to even look at what is going on in the world beyond her personal realm. Some days, I feel a little like this:

Yes, those of us who grew up with Saved By the Bell on Saturday mornings are laughing as we remember that weird episode. Don't worry, I can promise that it won't evolve into this:

Oh, admit it, that is a classic moment in television history.

So I apologize for the brevity of the post, but hope that this will keep you satisfied at least until next week. So with that, take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

21 March 2015

Weekend Reflection: Psalm 145

Photo Credit: Unsplash
I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145)

Further Reading
Why Would We Not Give Him Thanks?
Just One Bite
Consciousness and Conviction of Sin

20 March 2015

This 'n' That

The name of the church has been
airbrushed to protect the guilty.
Ah, Friday. Where have you been all week? You took forever to get here. Well, maybe not forever. But at least seven days. It was worth the wait, though.

Yes, I know, I know—the blog is once again eerily silent throughout the week. At this point, I cannot make any promises as to when that will change, but it will change. Someday. Just not tomorrow. And probably not the next day. I anticipate a few more months with only sporadic posts while I finish up school, but rejoice with me that the end is near. And here's a teaser for something anticipated in the near future: I have an article in the queue that I wrote nearly a year ago. For one reason or another I've been sitting on it all this time, but it is coming sooner rather than later. And it is rather lengthy, so hopefully it will help make up for the silence.

Well, it has been another busy and slightly stressful week, but that's okay. Why? Because I started the week by receiving the gift pictured here. That's right, I am unique (actually, lots of people may agree with that, though they might not define 'unique' favorably), and Jesus loves me. And yes, that cheerful little message is written on a rubber-grip jar opener. Now every time I open a new jar of pickles or olives I will be encouraged by this Joel Osteen-esque trinket. So thank you for the gift, small and painfully-awkward church that I visited this week. I'll never forget you. I will try, but I fear I will not be successful.

You know, if it weren't so early in the morning, I might be craving pickles right now. Instead, I'm craving coffee, so while I go pour another cup, why don't you take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

14 March 2015

Equipping Eve: Christless Checklists and Holiness (Part 1)

It seems at times that some women’s Bible study resources are nothing more than checklists of the do’s and don’ts to being the perfect, biblical wife and mother. But, what good is a ‘biblical’ checklist if it is devoid of Christ? Also: what does it look like to grow in grace and holiness?

Click here to listen to the latest episode of Equipping Eve.

Click here for a list of Scripture references and other resources used in this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening/Reading

13 March 2015

This 'n' That

Coordinating this photo probably took lots
of communication.
As far as I am concerned, communication is essential in all relationships, whether business or personal. We've all seen projects at our place of business become more conflated and confusing simply because team members failed to properly communicate. And of course, it is probably sadly safe to say that we all have experienced, or witnessed firsthand, a broken personal relationship due to a failure to communicate. Well, our relationship with our Creator, Lord and Savior is no different.

Don't worry, I haven't gone charismatic.

God speaks to us in His Word. Want to hear directly from God? Open the Bible and read it. It is the Word of God and, oh, how we love that precious Word! But you also need to be speaking to God through prayer. Brothers and sisters, do not neglect this privilege that is yours in Christ (Phil 4:6; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:17). A communication breakdown due to lack of Scripture reading/study or lack of prayer will most certainly lead to lackadaisical spiritual lives and stunted spiritual growth. Do not let that happen.

Also, do not let anyone try to tell you that God is speaking to them specifically and directly outside of the Bible. I don't care if they whip out their holy, anointed walkie-talkie, or if they claim God speaks to them while they're exercising on the elliptical. Rest assured—they are not hearing from God. However, even though God didn't tell me to tell you this, I hope you'll happily heed these next words: grab a comfy place right now as you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • "Our souls have taste buds, just like our tongues, and we can train the soul-buds by exercising the tongue-buds." I don't understand The Gospel Coalition's weird obsession with food analogies lately. First, gospel cupcakes and now 'soul-buds' and honey? Their bizarre dessert theology is giving me cavities.
  • That being said, I actually really appreciated this article (though not everything in it made me jump for joy) over at TGC explaining 3 reasons why women need good theology.
  • While I don't agree with everything the author says in this article, I do think all of these "Christian" phrases need to go. They're pointless and they make Christians sound, well, for lack of a better word, silly.
  • I haven't yet had a chance to listen to Sproul's message from the Shepherd's Conference, but I heard a bit of scuttling about it. Anyway, Fred Butler suggested this as a helpful refutation.
  • Are we sure those are teenagers? And you thought everything in the 40s was squeaky clean. Just look at that cheek-to-cheek dancing.
  • Hope I can read this book…you know, someday.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I don't even know what to do with this.
  • I already wrote my check.
  • This is a good link for the ladies reading, and somewhat goes along with a thought I shared on Facebook earlier this week.
  • Not that anyone is surprised, but Christianity Today posted something that is kind of appalling.
  • I agree with much of this call to retire the so-called 'worship leader'.

12 March 2015

Radio Interview: Fire Away!

I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to Landon Chapman of Entreating Favor ministries for allowing me to join him on the most recent episode of his podcast, Fire Away! We discussed women's ministries, Beth Moore, and a host of other topics. I hope you'll give it a listen!

Click here to listen to the 12 March 2015 episode of Fire Away!

Additional Radio Interviews
Ladies, Pull Up a Chair and Join Us at Naomi's Table (Erin's First Interview with Naomi's Table)
Naomi's Table: Discussing Dangerous Claims of Direct Revelation
Ladies, Join Us at Naomi's Table
Introducing: Equipping Eve (Interview with No Compromise Radio)

Seek the Lord While You Are Young

Experience tells me that people’s hearts are seldom changed if they are not changed when young. Seldom indeed are men converted when they are old. Habits have deep roots. Once sin is allowed to settle in your heart, it will not be turned out at your bidding. Custom becomes second nature, and its chains are not easily broken.

J.C. Ryle
The prophet has well said, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). Habits are like stones rolling down hill — the further they roll, the faster and more ungovernable is their course.

Habits, like trees, are strengthened by age. A boy may bend an oak when it is a sapling — a hundred men cannot root it up, when it is a full grown tree.

They grow with our growth, and strengthen with our strength. Custom is the nurse of sin. Every fresh act of sin lessens fear and remorse, hardens our hearts, blunts the edge of our conscience, and increases our evil inclination.

Young ones, you may fancy I am laying too much stress on this point. If you had seen old men, as I have, on the brink of the grave, without any feelings, seared, callous, dead, cold, hard as stone — you would not think so.

You cannot stand still in your souls. Habits of good or evil are daily strengthening in your hearts. Every day you are either getting nearer to God, or further off. Every year that you continue unrepentant, the wall of division between you and heaven becomes higher and thicker, and the gulf to be crossed deeper and broader.

Oh, dread the hardening effect of constant lingering in sin! Now is the accepted time. See that your decision not be put off until the winter of your days. If you do not seek the Lord when young, the strength of habit is such that you will probably never seek Him at all.

I fear this, and therefore I exhort you

—J. C. Ryle

HT: Truth Community Church

Further Reading
Dedicated Pastors Produce Discerning Sheep
Resting in the Immutability of God
You Cannot Sneak Into Heaven Without a Cross

08 March 2015

06 March 2015

This 'n' That

photo: Get Plugged In
photopin (license) 
If I'm not mistaken, I think I may have set a personal record over the past 12 months for self-inflicted injuries. I'm always stubbing toes or hitting knees. This year I also managed to perform one of those banana peel-esque falls (those aren't just for cartoons, in case you were wondering), landing squarely on my back. A few months later I gave myself an apparent concussion with the car door (don't ask). And earlier this week I somehow managed to electrocute myself. Only mildly though. As far as I know, no major damage was sustained, and it provided some fairly entertaining Twitter conversations.

So, what is the moral of the story? God has designed us as really incredible, sturdy creatures, and that is amazing. It's also amazing that He not only puts up with those of us who are physical and sometimes emotional klutzes, but that He actually uses us to work out His purposes here on Earth. What a good and gracious God we serve, amen? We are so undeserving.

I hope you've all stayed safe and pain-free this week. It's Friday now, so sit back, relax, and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Some interesting facts about the yawn.
  • Nature is weird and fascinating.
  • More on Andy Stanley.
  • I haven't yet watched this debate between J.D. Hall and theonomist Joel McDurmon, but I'm anxious to see it.
  • This made me think of this. Yep, that's going to be in your head the rest of the weekend. You're welcome.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • To Christine Caine, I would say: It takes a very brash woman to teach men at all, considering it's expressly forbidden in the Bible. Repent, trust in and obey the Christ you claim to serve.
  • Um, wow. This is just a really bad idea. 
  • Yeah, I have to agree with the court on this one.
  • Here's a great sermon by Phil Johnson from Psalm 19 on the superiority of Scripture.
  • "Does an unregenerate man bear a spark of the divine that draws him to a relationship with God, or is he utterly lost in the total depravity of his sin nature?"
  • Spelling skills are not required to protest the Shepherd's Conference.
  • Thanks to Stephen M. for sharing this with me. Kevin DeYoung explains why Christians do not love the world:

03 March 2015

Shepherds' Conference 2015

Today marks the beginning of the 2015 Shepherds' Conference, hosted by Grace Community Church. This year's conference serves as a summit on the inerrancy of the Word of God.

I encourage you to pray for the speakers and attendees. I also encourage you to take advantage of the free live stream that is being offered. May God and His Word be highly exalted.