22 September 2018

Equipping Eve: Salvation in the Old Testament


All those sacrifices…all that blood! Wow, it really must have been difficult for Old Testament believers to get saved and stay saved! Wait a minute…let’s back up and see what the Bible has to say about salvation in the Old Testament.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Additional Resources
Churchgoers Stick Around for Theology, Not Music or Preachers 
An Introduction to Christ in the Old Testament

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: The Cross of Christ
Equipping Eve: Doctrinally Sound Legalism
Equipping Eve: Hopeology

21 September 2018

This 'n' That

The dentist always asks me if I can open a bit wider. And
everybody says I have a big mouth!
Have you ever bitten your tongue? It hurts! Now, have you ever bitten your tongue while it was numb, for instance, if you were at the dentist? I have. When this happens, the novocaine acts as both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it prevents you from feeling that initial painful chomp. It's a curse because once it wears off, wow, does your mouth hurt! In addition to the sheer pain you're experiencing, you suddenly realize just how much you actually use your tongue, and what a necessary member of your body it is.

There are a few routes we can go with this illustration, but I'm just going to select one. Sometimes we sin without pain. We sin, we know we have sinned, we feel guilty and repentant about our sin, but beyond that we may not see immediate effects of our sin. When I bit my tongue under the effects of novocaine, I didn't feel a thing, I only heard the crunch. It wasn't until I could look in a mirror and see the aesthetic effects that I was able to be mindful of how carefully I must chew until the numbness wore off. And it wasn't until the numbness wore off that I was fully aware of the painful effects of my action.

Depending on the sin, it may be years before we see the true consequences of what we've done. That is why it is essential for us as Christians to be in an ever-repentant state of mind, so that we do not slip into the deceitful, numbing ease of sin. That is also why it is a blessing that God, in His goodness and grace, allows us to see in ourselves both how we have grown spiritually, and where we may still be immature. What Christian cannot say that she becomes more aware of her sin as she grows in Christ? This is because, as He grows us into maturity and more into His likeness, we become keenly aware of how unChristlike we are, and how dependent we are on Him and His grace. And yet He continues to sanctify us by the enabling power of His Holy Spirit. He does not leave us to pull up our own spiritual bootstraps and fix ourselves. Best of all, when we do sin, which we inevitably will daily, through His Word He reminds us that we are already forgiven.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If we have been saved, we have already been justified before God in Christ. We confess and repent of our sins in time that we may reap the benefits of His forgiveness and continue in sanctification, growing in the grace and the knowledge of the Son.

That's all very good news, isn't it? I think it is!

I'm a little short on links this week because I'm weary of hearing about social justice and politics and would prefer that we all go back to what matters: God's Word. So with that, why don't you grab a snack (and watch your tongue while you chew it!) and enjoy your abbreviated week in review (kind of):

14 September 2018

This 'n' That

Hurricane Florence as seen from the space station.
Credit: NASA; Source: Space.com
I do hope you are all remembering to pray for those in the path of Hurricane Florence. When we see such seemingly uncontrollable—yet divinely controlled—strength, it ought to cause us to reassess our priorities. Not only from the standpoint of, "If you were at risk of losing your house and everything in it, what would you save?" but for those of us resting on the outskirts of the storm, perhaps we need to re-evaluate how it is we are spending our time as well. It seems to me that a phenomenon such as Florence ought to cause us to set aside our "social" squabbles and instead be diligent to be in prayer and the proclamation of the gospel. But then, nobody asked me.

So while I do have a roundup for you this week, and some of it may be lighthearted, please know that those who are affected by, or are going to be affected by, Hurricane Florence, are in my prayers and thoughts. With that, here's your inconsequential week in review (kind of):

09 September 2018

A Hymn No Man Can Mimic

I love the sound of rain. It's steadiness is soothing to me, and I appreciate how it seems to overwhelm all other noise. Yet, over the past 24 hours, we have received an extraordinary amount of rain, due to Tropical Storm Gordon making its way across the map. The temperatures have dropped and the flash flood warnings have been issued in abundance. And while the incessant rainfall offers a valid excuse for staying inside with a cup of tea and a book, such a lengthy duration of precipitation tends to leave one feeling as though the world may not ever return to "normal." As much as I appreciate those drizzling drops, when they fail to ever stop, you start to miss the other sounds of the world around you.

Then, as I poured my coffee this morning, I realized that the rain had momentarily ceased. While it would no doubt begin again soon, for a few sweet minutes, the early morning sounds that I so enjoy were no longer overcome by the steady patter of the rain. I heard a bird singing sweetly in the trees at the back of the yard. The extra weight of the water upon the leaves clearly did not bother him, nor did the sudden drop in temperature. He was singing his dulcet song this Sunday morning, a hymn that no man can ever mimic.

I stepped outside to hear him more clearly, and to delight in his melody before the blue jays joined in with their not-so-symphonic cries. The air was crisp—something so foreign to us with the oppressive humidity of recent weeks—and the morning was still as it awaited the inevitable resurgence of moisture. Brief though it was, it was one of the most peaceful moments I've been granted in months, and for that I am thankful. Thankful for the reminder of God's care for even the smallest of His creatures (Matthew 6:26), and grateful to be blessed with such a sweet Sunday morning song.

The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. (Psalm 104:12, NIV)

May our praise be to God as sincere, sweet, and trusting as the tones of this small bird.

Sunday Morning Praise

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

08 September 2018

Equipping Eve: The Fruit of God's Faithfulness


God is faithful. It’s easy for us to give lip service to this, because we intellectually know it to be true, but sometimes it helps to reflect on real, living examples of how God has exercised His faithfulness to His people. That’s when our Lord stops being an unreachable entity in the sky, and starts being the personal Shepherd that He is.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening 
Equipping Eve: Unshakeable Joy
Equipping Eve: The Cross of Christ
Equipping Eve: Life Verses and Labyrinths

07 September 2018

This 'n' That

Any time my family traveled to the beach when I was young, one of my primary goals was to find a large conch shell so I could take the ocean home. You know what I mean; the phenomenon of holding a shell to your ear and hearing the waves is one that fascinated me as a child, especially since that sound traveled back home to the midwest with me.

Of course, as I grew older, I came to understand that it wasn't really the ocean I was hearing in that shell. But what was it, then?
The most likely explanation for the wave-like noise is ambient noise from around you. The seashell that you are holding just slightly above your ear captures this noise, which resonates inside the shell. The size and shape of the shell therefore has some effect on the sound you hear. Different shells sound different because different shells accentuate different frequencies. You don't even need the seashell to hear the noise. You can produce the same "ocean" sound using an empty cup or even by cupping your hand over your ear. (Source)
I know, it kind of bursts that childhood bubble, doesn't it? Even though we're all grown up now though, stop and think about that explanation above. Did that just happen by chance? Did those sound waves (no pun intended) just poof! appear out of nowhere millions of years after the alleged Big Bang?

No, they did not. And those shells, which once housed a living creature, did not evolve, mutate, or morph from a blob of goo. And that sand that squishes between your toes while your searching for those shells? Yeah, that didn't just appear out of nowhere either. God put it there (Jeremiah 5:22), and while we can never count each grain of sand, I daresay that God knows exactly how many He created.

Great, now I want to go to the beach! Oh well, while I resign myself to another hot, humid, and apparently rainy weekend, why don't you relax with your week in review (kind of):

02 September 2018

31 August 2018

This 'n' That

Lately, I've had a lot of opportunities to bite my electronic tongue. It seems as though I'm living and reliving Proverbs 13:3 in nearly every area of my life: on social media, in text message conversations, and at work. Yes, if my electronic tongue were real, it would be quite bloody by now!

I've studied the book of James a couple of times over the years, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels more than a pinch of conviction when arriving at the third chapter. Let's face it, because the tongue can be used to bite, sometimes we must bite our tongue. Often, this may not even be due to a desire to deliver scathing or unfavorable remarks, but simply to offer an opinion—an opinion that isn't actually necessary.

This is where godly wisdom comes in. Sometimes we may have something perfectly worthwhile to say...but to say it at a particular time or place isn't wise. Guarding our mouth means more than just refraining from speaking in haste or anger or irritation, it means knowing when and where to speak, to opine, to admonish.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)
Well, now that I've spoken about speaking, I'll be quiet and let you enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • A great reminder that we must keep our mind on more than our immediate circumstances.
  • Savor the everyday blessings.
  • Some interesting insight into the man who is sixth in line for the throne of England.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Life under the Son.
  • This is cool even if Legos and cars aren't your thing.
  • Duh. Now, if only the powers that be in those chilly office environments would realize this!
God’s wisdom in creation amazes the eye. His wisdom in providence astonishes the mind. But his wisdom in redemption awes us and it leaves us lost in wonder, love, and praise. It is centered in Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God. —S. Lewis Johnson

24 August 2018

This 'n' That

Whenever I see a particularly beautiful sunrise or sunset, I become acutely aware of our Creator, His goodness, His beauty, and, well, His creativity! I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys His handiwork, but no matter how many lovely sunrises I see, I never cease to be amazed at the distinctness of each one. No matter how many gorgeous sunsets I witness (and when I lived in Malibu I saw plenty), I still cannot capture the hues with my camera, no matter how fantastic that device claims to be.

Now, I know you're expecting me to go to Psalm 19:1 here, but that's actually not the verse that strikes me in these times.
Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the LORD is to be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens. (Psalm 113:1-4)
I think it's the third verse of Psalm 113 that is most convicting here. Yes, the Lord should be praised from sunrise to sunset; He should be praised always! Yet, I fail. Miserably. Daily. I'm going to take a chance and say that you fail, too. Miserably. Daily. But why?

It's frustrating to realize that, in our fallenness, we fail in this intensely important task. We get caught up in the worries and the busyness of life and we do not take time to stop, breathe, and praise the Lord for the day He has given us. We're too busy complaining about all that's gone wrong to thank Him for giving us breath, and to thank Him for saving us in spite of our sinfulness. Goodness, I venture to say that many of us are too busy to even see the sunrise or sunset, let alone to take time to praise their Painter!

Thankfully, God forgives even this failure, but let's pray that He would increase the praise on our lips. After all, no one is more worthy!

Okay, if the sun is setting as you read this, step outside and enjoy it, praise God, and then come back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

17 August 2018

This 'n' That

It's raining. It's been raining. It's humid. It's been humid. All. Summer. Long (the humidity, not the rain). The air outside is so thick, you can barely breathe. Even though the sun isn't shining, today you can step outside and quickly break into a sweat just because the heavy, stagnant air isn't moving. Fun times.

Less-than-desirable weather, be it too hot, too cold, too dry, or too wet, often makes me ponder our eternal home. I don't know about you, but I cannot fathom what it will be like to see Jesus, or what exactly our "mansion" (John 14:2) will look like. I can't imagine the brilliance of the New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21. And since I cannot fully grasp these things in my brain, I ask lesser, though still unanswerable, questions. Will there be seasons in eternity? Will there be snow without the bitter, breath-stealing cold? I cannot wait to find out! I do know one thing is true: there will be no stifling humidity in heaven. I mean, that's just a given because nobody enjoys that.

Well, while I go ponder the heavenly thermostat, why don't you hunker down inside, away from the rain (if it's raining by you), or settle into your chaise lounge with an iced tea (if it's warm and sunny by you) and take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

10 August 2018

This 'n' That

There are bugs in the grass. Get it?
Earlier this week, after finishing an evening walk, I wandered over to my “garden” (okay, it’s a couple of raised garden beds on the side of the house. I live in the suburbs, so I have to improvise) to pick some peppers and cucumbers, and check on the progress of the zucchini. I wasn’t in the grass even five minutes before my legs were covered with mosquito bites. That’s me, the human mosquito banquet! The next morning, I brought in the paper and read the front page headline, which said that mosquitos in my county have tested positive for West Nile virus. Yippee.

Thankfully, most people don’t actually experience symptoms of West Nile. I know, it kind of makes you wonder why they make such a big deal out of it, doesn’t it? I suppose because, if you do get a severe case, it can be pretty bad. No matter, because I think I've already had it (yay for immunity). I’m far more concerned with more practical matters right now, like how many tubes of cortisone cream I’m going to go through before the end of the season!

So, what is the big theological point here? Simple. Mosquitoes are evil. They have been vomited out of the very pit of Hell. They have no redeemable purpose on this planet. If they do, I’m sure I’ll learn of it someday in glory. In the meantime, I think I’ll just stay inside until fall arrives.

What do you do when you’re trapped inside your house, surrounded by blood-sucking monsters buzzing around your yard? The answer to that is also simple: you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

03 August 2018

This 'n' That

Yeah, I don't get it either, but somebody
thought this picture was a good idea.
It's hard to believe summer is speeding by so fast. Did you know that it's already August? It's curious to me how, even as an adult, I tend to view the summer months as a time of rest. As a child, teenager, and young adult, this makes sense because we're granted a "summer vacation" between school years. Not so much as an adult (unless you're one of those who chose education for a career. Kudos to you for thinking ahead on that one!). Once you land that much anticipated first job post-college, it's all over. Say hello to 40 hour work weeks all year long (if you're lucky, that is. Most of us are probably more familiar with 50+ hour weeks). Still, there is something about summer that makes us a bit more relaxed and ready to take some time to step away from the busyness of our lives.

That's why it can be so discouraging when circumstances arise to "ruin" our summer relaxation plans. I venture to say this happens to most of us at one time or another. What we remember in those moments is that God is sovereign over the circumstance and that, just as the seasons turn from one to another, so too do each one of us endure seasons of waiting in the valley, seasons of climbing the mountain, and seasons of reaching the peak. To everything, there is a season, right (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and cue The Byrds)? And when that season has ended, we will look back and see God's gracious hand of provision, providence, and protection through it all, whether it was a time of trial or a time of joy.

So, before this season of summer turns away, let's take the opportunity to sip a few more glasses of iced tea and relax in the sun. Hey, that sounds like a great accompaniment to your week in review (kind of):

27 July 2018

This 'n' That

Does anyone else tend to overthink things? I mean, really overthink things? I have a tendency to do this, at least with major circumstances. Sometimes this is good, because I find I've thought of a situation from every angle, so I'm prepared for whatever might come. Many times, though, it brings me close to a point of immobility, particularly when there appears to be no good decision or outcome. That's when God graciously jumps in (even though He was actively there all the time) and shows me again that He is sovereign over all things. I am very thankful for His patience with me!

There is one thing, however, that we can never overthink, and that is God Himself. This is because He is immeasurable and we can never exhaust our study of Him. Thankfully, He has clearly and fully revealed Himself in His Word and so, though He is immense, He is not unreachable or unknowable. He is high and lofty, yes, but He is also personal and near to His children. May we pray that we would be more aware of His hand in our lives, even in times that seem mundane, or in situations that we think the Creator would deem trivial. He will answer that prayer, and no doubt it will bring us to our knees in praise and thanks to Him who so deliberately cares for His own.

Well, as the summer starts to wind down, I hope you'll set aside some time this weekend to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

23 July 2018

A Life Exhausted for Jesus


The Lord does not promise us a long life. Nor does He promise us a life free from trials. What He does promise His children is a life of abundance (John 10:10), both on this fallen earth, and exponentially more in the next life.

Our abundant life in this temporal realm may not be marked by riches, fame, or ease, but, for those who belong to Him, there is joy in the mundane, and even joy in the trials. We Christians have this joy because of the eternal inheritance that is ours in Jesus Christ.

It seems we often fail to fully experience and appreciate this joy, though. The trials of life, the daily meanderings through this sinful, fallen world, are quick to strip us of our eternal focus. This is why we pray that God, through the enabling power of His Holy Spirit, would strengthen and quicken us for His service while we are here on this earth. It quickly becomes difficult to lose sight of the joy that is ours in Christ when we're busy with His work!

This work for Christ's kingdom does not need to be particularly "radical." It does not require moving to a remote, unknown land, or living on the streets of the inner city. It does not necessitate extreme fasting or 24-hour service in a church building. We serve Christ well when we serve Him within the circumstances in which He has sovereignly placed us. We serve Him among our families, in our workplace, and in our classrooms. We serve Him as we shop or tend to daily duties in the world. We serve Him well by reflecting His grace and joy even when we are enduring an unthinkable tribulation.

20 July 2018

This 'n' That

So, it's 6:00 pm on Friday and I am just now writing this post. For comparison, I usually draft This 'n' That on Thursday, then make minor tweaks Friday morning before scheduling it to publish in the early afternoon. That didn't happen this week (obviously). It's just been one of those weeks, though I feel like I say (or at least think) that a lot.

About an hour ago, I tweeted out that I was still at work and the post would be late. The wonderful thing is, I work from home, so when I'm done with work, all I have to do is turn on my personal computer and start writing with no commute or crazy coworkers to come in between. I'm really thankful for that luxury, especially in times like this, but thanks for your patience nonetheless.

I had plenty of ideas for this post throughout the week, but unfortunately didn't write any of them down and have now forgotten them (getting old I guess!). No matter, because at this point, your Friday is almost gone anyway, but don't dismay! In my part of the country, this evening is filled with thunderstorms and general droopiness, so it's the perfect excuse to stay inside, curl up with a cup of tea, and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

13 July 2018

This 'n' That

There are nights when I turn off my lights, ready to drift into (hopefully) sound sleep, and I realize that my room is still bright, awash with the glow of the moon. Other nights, I awaken in the wee hours of the morning wondering who is shining a flashlight in my face, only to recognize that another beautiful, full moon is beaming through the panes and the blinds.

Thankfully, the light doesn’t keep me awake, and I almost welcome the heavenly radiance. Night can be a time when our trials overwhelm us, when the “what-ifs” can dominate our waking and sleeping thoughts, and when regrets or doubts seem to gain the most traction in our tired minds. Waking to find my room gleaming with the moon’s brightness reminds me that I serve—and indeed am a daughter of by gracious adoption—the One who Himself is light!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
Even the blackest night is pierced by the light of the moon and the stars. And, at the risk of overusing a tired analogy, even in the darkest moments of our lives, the light of Christ shines through. Further still, the brightness of His beams reminds us even in the joyful times that He is sovereign and that He watches over and cares for His own.

God is transcendent, high, and lofty, yet personal and near to His children. He is not disconnected from our lives. He is indeed the Light.

Well, it looks like tonight we'll have a new moon, a supermoon, in fact, though it sounds like there won't be much for us to see. Regardless of what the night brings, I hope you’ll take a few moments today to relax and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

06 July 2018

This 'n' That

When I sat down yesterday to draft this post, I didn't know what to write. Honestly, it's not been a great week and I'm dreading what today will bring. Some of you may know the details, most of you probably do not. It's been a very stressful few months and just as I was anticipating some things easing up, another shoe dropped. Still, God, in His amazing goodness, offered great encouragement yesterday. As I anticipate today, I am thankful for yesterday which, in the context of this week, was a really good day.

When things blindside us, it's really easy to ask, "Why?" I've done it a lot this week, even knowing the foolishness of doing so. In the end, though, the "why?" doesn't really matter. What does matter is, "How? How am I going to get through this?" and there's only one answer to that: God. He wasn't blindsided and His grace and strength are sufficient to carry us through whatever path He has sovereignly ordained for us to travel.

Once we've established the "how?" we must quickly move on to, "What next?" lest we become paralyzed by our circumstances. This is where I'm thankful for the way God has wired our bodies. The shock and numbness that we can sometimes experience in times of trial are indeed gracious mechanisms granted us by the Lord. It allows us to plow through or jump over each hurdle, make difficult decisions, and even appear strong when inside we feel like a sobbing, helpless child. And we cannot move forward with that "what next?" without prayer. Over the past few days, I've wondered how this circumstance is supposed to help my prayer life, because I find myself unable to pray and not knowing what to say. But God knows that.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
That's a good and gracious God. And in the end, things could always be worse!

So, friends, if you're so inclined, I'd appreciate your prayers in the coming days. In the meantime, it helps to focus on other things, so I've still gathered a few links for you. As we greet this first Friday in July, I hope you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

29 June 2018

This 'n' That

My apologies for the late posting of this week's roundup. It's just been one of those weeks, and today has been one of those days! Is it just me, or does it seem like we have more and more of "those weeks" and "those days"? Oh well, I suppose it just keeps our eyes fixed heavenward!

I'll keep the introduction short this week for two reasons: (1) I've already made you wait long enough, and (2) I don't have much more to say! So grab a tall glass of iced tea, sit back, and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

22 June 2018

This 'n' That

I also drove a yellow Beetle for a time,
but the green one was better!
I used to drive a green Volkswagen Beetle. I loved that car. I mean, is there any better mode of transportation for a girl in high school? No, there isn't, or at least, there wasn't all those years ago when that girl was me. And that flower vase by the steering wheel? Oh yeah, I used it.  The best part? As a birthday present one year, my brother gifted me a personalized license plate (we lived in a state where you only had to pay the fee for a vanity plate one time, so it was really a fantastic gift). Did I mention I loved that car?

Sometimes I wish I still had that green Beetle but, like most things from my youth, it is long gone. I have a much more practical car now which, like many other things in life, is reflective of the maturing process. Over time we all mature physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Remember when you were first saved? I daresay you knew little of the doctrines of grace, and probably could not adequately articulate the marvelous grace of propitiation, justification, sanctification, adoption, or other theological beauties. All you knew was that you who were once dead in sin were now alive in Christ. You, once destined for damnation, were now heaven-bound because of the sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection of your Savior.

The maturing process never stops. In this life, we'll continue to mature physically and emotionally and, Lord willing, spiritually. It's all part of the process as we prepare to one day step from this life into the next. And while aging in this life is not often fun, what a joy it is to see our spiritual selves mature. Praise God for His sanctifying Spirit and HIs transforming Word!

Well, summer is officially here, so grab a glass of iced tea and sit back while you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

19 June 2018

Happy Birthday to Two Faithful Preachers

Though a version of this post was originally published five years ago, it is undeniably still relevant today. Birthdays don't change, after all!

Today, two prominent preachers in the history of the Church celebrate their earthly birthdays. One of them has long gone to glory with his Savior, while the other faithfully continues his call and commission to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2).

15 June 2018

This 'n' That

Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel.

Now Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel, of which 2,000 were with Saul in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent away the rest of the people, each to his tent. Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” All Israel heard the news that Saul had smitten the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines. The people were then summoned to Saul at Gilgal.
Now the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and people like the sand which is on the seashore in abundance; and they came up and camped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were hard-pressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits. Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:1-14)
Saul was impatient, putting it mildly, and it cost him dearly.

I don't know about you, but I can be fairly impatient at times, about big and small things. My impatience has never cost me so much as it did Saul, but it's unbecoming nonetheless. And while I believe it is possible for us to be antsy for a resolution without actively sinning, ultimately, our impatience betrays a bigger issue, namely lack of trust in God. Once we are at this point, we are most certainly in disobedience.

God is sovereign over all things. This means that, not only are circumstances ordained by Him, so also is the timing of those circumstances. Since God is perfect and good, His timing is perfect and good and far better than whatever we could design (cf. Isaiah 55:9). Better still, His outcomes are always for the good of His children and for His glory, no matter whether they bring sorrow or joy (both of which are temporary anyway). So, when I find myself growing impatient, I find myself subsequently turning to Christ (see how He's already worked that out for my good and His glory?), for it is when my eyes are turned away from myself and my circumstances and are instead fixed on Him that I find that peace and joy prevail, regardless of the outcome, or lack thereof, of my situation.

Still, I know that most of you have probably been growing a little impatient for your weekly roundup (who wouldn't?!), so I hope that you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

08 June 2018

This 'n' That

In the context of a conversation this week, I found myself saying, "that's because God's faithfulness isn't dependent on our obedience." Then I found myself saying silently, "Amen, and thank you, Lord."

Later that same day, I was listening to a sermon on Esther, and was struck by the demonstration of God's faithfulness in spite of Israel's disobedience . Indeed, is that not a recurring theme throughout the Old Testament? And what grace to know that He will still fulfill His promises to His people!

God's faithfulness astounds me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can—and does—look back on her life and see His guiding and protecting hand in even the most minor, seemingly insignificant situations. I'm also confident that I'm not alone when I confess that reflection on this reality is deeply convicting. Why should God be so faithful to me when I fail Him so consistently? Friends, this is our amazing, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, faithful God. What a privilege it is to serve Him. His lovingkindness certainly spurs our desire to grow in sanctification so that we may serve Him well. And just think, someday we will no longer have to grieve over our lack of faithfulness, or our lack of trust in His, when we are with Him forever!

I hope that brings some encouraging thoughts to fill your day and take you into your weekend as you set out to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

02 June 2018

Equipping Eve: Who Sanctifies?


Sanctification is a lifelong process that begins at the moment of salvation and will not end until we are called home to glory. As new creatures in Christ, renewed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we are called to live lives of holiness. As Christians, we must be active in our sanctification, seeking to please God, choose righteousness, and mortify sin. But we are not called to do this alone. Christ does not save us and then leave us to pursue and achieve sanctification on our own. Let us never forget the precious gift of the Holy Spirit, who indwells us and enables us to pursue the things of Christ and live in a way that honors Him!

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

01 June 2018

This 'n' That

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to take a walk in the evening after work. It's a nice way to calm down and clear my mind of the nonsense that has consumed the day. Yesterday, I was looking forward to an early walk. I sat down to tie up some loose ends at work before logging off, and noticed after just a few minutes that the room was suddenly much darker. Suddenly, the whole house was creaking. I looked outside and my neighbor's tree was practically bent over sideways. Yes, a storm was a brewin'!

Grabbing my phone, I opened the weather app (what did we do before technology?). Sure, I knew a storm was coming, but would there be a tornado risk? Thankfully, there was only a severe storm warning issued, which was certainly bad enough considering the high winds and risk of hail. "Change of plans," I thought, "no walk tonight."

The sky had darkened so quickly and the winds had appeared out of nowhere, that it served as such a vivid reminder of God's sovereignty over all things. "Who is this, that even the wind obeys Him?" the disciples asked (Matthew 8:27). Yes, even the stormy wind fulfills His word (Psalm 148:8).

Even more amazing is that this powerful God is our Father, if indeed we belong to Him. So the One who commands the wind, hail, and lightning, is also the One to whom we cry out in times of distress, worry, and even joy. The reality of our God's greatness never ceases to leave me awestruck. It makes me thankful for the storms, both literal and figurative, for I know that they are only one more way that He may—and will—display His glory.

Well, the storm is nowhere to be seen now, so it seems like a good time to relax and enjoy the week in review (kind of):

28 May 2018

Memorial Poppies


May 25 was National Poppy Day here in the US. Perhaps you noticed some veterans in your grocery store this weekend, handing out little paper poppies. If you didn't, you either did not notice them, or they simply weren't there because, as has happened in some communities, they weren't allowed to hand out poppies. I fear both of these scenarios are due to a lack of knowledge of and appreciation for our history.

As a child, I remember approaching the veterans and receiving a little red poppy. I'm sure my mother had given me a dollar to put in their bucket as well, but I loved that little poppy and looked forward to seeing those men and their poppies every year. As an adult, in one city where I lived, the veterans would stand on the street corners with their poppies. I would pull up on my way to work and get my annual poppy.

The poppy means something, and the fact that we overlook this day, and that our children are completely ignorant of it, is a  terribly sad commentary.

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):

24 April 2018

Equipping Eve: A Whole New Wardrobe


Ladies, we like to be well dressed, don’t we? And while we certainly don’t want to neglect our outward appearance, we know that Scripture emphasizes the greater importance of our spiritual adornment. When Christ saves us, we are given, in essence, a whole new wardrobe. The best part? This is one wardrobe that will never go out of style!

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: The Incomparable Christ
Equipping Eve: God Never Promised Us a Rose Garden
Equipping Eve: Exposition for Women and Productive Boredom

20 April 2018

This 'n' That

We all sing or maybe even dance when we think nobody is watching. Come on, admit it. At some point in your life, you've sung in the shower, or while driving, or even busted a move in what you thought was an empty grocery aisle (listen, in my defense, I was only 9 years old!). Hey, this lady felt free to dance while waiting at the bus stop!

Those of us who are hopelessly tone deaf have to be even more careful about when and where we decide to exercise our vocal cords. But then, there are always those who just don't care. They're so confident (or conceited) that they relish the idea that others around them are gaping in awe at their most likely lack of singing ability. These people are the type who FaceTime their like-minded friends while sitting at a stoplight and, together, sing songs like Abba's Super Trouper at the top of their lungs.


Yep, I witnessed it. I only wish I could have recorded it to share, but trying to record and pay attention to the road don't mix. Unless, of course, you are this young lady. Apparently she was able to deftly utilize her driving, singing, and recording skills simultaneously. Yes, friends, these are the people with whom we are sharing the road. Drive carefully. Sing softly. And please, if you're going to sing out loud, select a better song!

Great, now that song is stuck in my head. Oh well, better than one of those frustratingly awful 7-11 "praise and worship" songs, I guess. While I go try to knock it out of my brain, why don't you relax and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

13 April 2018

This 'n' That

The evangelical conference world has certainly given us plenty to talk about this week, hasn't it? (If you don't know what I'm referring to, don't worry about it, and consider yourself fortunate).

I've no desire to engage the social gospel issue currently at hand. I'd just be adding more murmurs to the already maddening noise, and there's simply no point in that. I would simply encourage all of us to engage this topic, and others, biblically, and to test anybody else's engagement of it against scripture. That means testing a man's hot-button issue-based sermon against the Word, and determining whether it divides that Word properly.

It amazes me how Christians so easily forget and fail to keep the main thing the main thing. We mirror the world in this, ready to jump on the latest bandwagon and blow that trumpet until folks are finally tired of hearing about it and we move onto something else. Funny how we voice our frustrations when the world does this, but are totally blind to our own guilt in this matter. Worst of all, the divisions among Christians do not go unnoticed by the world, and when we fail to display the unity that we are to share in Christ, we injure our witness.

That's why we must keep the main thing, or rather, the main Person, front and center: Christ. We must keep the gospel—the true gospel—at the heart of all our speech and behavior. It's astonishing, really, how difficult that can be in this world of constant political, material, and social distractions. May God help us keep our focus.

Speaking of distractions, I have another list of them for you today! So why not take a few minutes this weekend to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

06 April 2018

This 'n' That

Tis the season, around here anyway, for schizophrenic weather. The week began chilly, then temperatures soared to near 80 degrees on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that lovely reprieve from winter was bookended by severe thunderstorms in the morning and evening, as well as a tornado watch. Wednesday found us bundled back up and watching a few flurries float around. Now, we are waiting to see if accumulating snow will actually arrive overnight as currently predicted. It's always at this time of year that I ask, "Remind me again why I ever left Southern California?"

I actually do appreciate the change of seasons, though. They provide a tangible, recurrent illustration of watching something move from death to life...and only God can do that. As unpredictable as the seasons (or at least spring) may seem to man, they are perfectly designed and timed by the Creator Himself. And when it is time for new life to emerge from the ground, it will, just as God commands.

Likewise, when it is time for a man or woman to be born again, to be granted new life in Christ, it will happen, just as God commands. Some may wonder or even lament that they were not saved earlier in life, and the sentiment is understood, but the reality is that they did not come to saving faith in Christ one moment too soon or too late for God's plan. That truth, friends, is mind blowing and praise eliciting.

Thank God for His power over the seasons and, even more, thank God that salvation is wholly His work.

Okay, while I go try and find my scarf, gloves, and boots (guess I put them away too early), why don't you cozy up with a cup of tea (or coffee or hot chocolate or milk or water or whatever) and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

01 April 2018

He Is Not Here


Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

(John 20:1-18)

Alleluia, He is risen!

Resurrection Sunday Morning Praise

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

31 March 2018

The Original Plan


Saturday. The day between Christ’s death and, for all the disciples knew, merely the next day.

Still not understanding all that Jesus had prophesied about His resurrection, His earliest followers no doubt felt a measure of great despair on that Saturday. We can conclude this from the actions of the women, who hurried to the tomb early the next morning to properly prepare Christ’s body:
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" 
(Mark 16:1-3)
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. (Luke 24:1)

30 March 2018

This 'n' That

Oh yeah, this is totally what I do when it rains.
Well, "spring" arrived last week. Yes, the daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing...and in many places in the midwest it's 45 degrees and raining. The pitter-patter of the rain on the roof is enough to lull you to sleep for days, and the overwhelming amount of rain has caused those lovely daffodils to bend low, as if they've given up on life.

Oh well, such is life on this earth! The changing seasons, the rain, clouds, and sun, all remind that there is a Creator who is sovereign over all these things.
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!

Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!

Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!

Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.

He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away. (Psalm 148:1-6)
This same Creator was sovereign over the events of Christ's death and resurrection, upon which we reflect this weekend. Let us take comfort in knowing that this is our God—One who has ordained all things that come to pass, One who is surprised by nothing, and One who is working all things for His ultimate glory.

If your weather report is like mine, then you likely won't be venturing far today, so why not use the opportunity to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

26 March 2018

Whose Church?


There is a disturbing tendency rampant in Christianity. While it may not always be deliberate, it is nevertheless worrisome and, if one is boldly honest, potentially even damaging.
I attend [insert pastor’s name here]’s church.
What?
Yes, he attended such-and-such seminary and/or was/is affiliated with thus-and-so ministry.
Hopefully the reader sees the problem with the above scenario. Further, hopefully the reader is not blind—whether willfully or ignorantly—to the truthful reality that such conversations actually do occur.

It is acceptable to like, appreciate, encourage, and even praise our pastors. They have been called to preach the Word, to proclaim the gospel of Christ, and to teach the whole truth of Scripture without compromise. That is not a simple job. It does not come without spiritual warfare, fatigue, and times of doubt. If our pastor is faithful to Christ and to His Word, we ought to joyfully share that with those who are inquiring about the body of believers with whom we worship and serve.

24 March 2018

Equipping Eve: The Incomparable Christ


Who is Jesus Christ? He is the image of the invisible God. He is the Creator. He is God incarnate. He is the head of the Church. He is the Savior. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is incomparable.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Additional Resource
Introduction to Colossians (sermon by Pastor Bill Vine)

23 March 2018

This 'n' That

There is a squirrel that's been coming to the feeder in my backyard that has lost his tail. The poor little thing! With the many unpleasant members of wildlife that roam around here, I suspect he was attacked by something, whether it was a hawk that didn't properly latch onto its prey or the neighbor's cat failing to fully immobilize his victim, or a mangy coyote, this poor little squirrel has been left with only a red nub.

Watching this squirrel maneuver through the woods is interesting. He seems to hop, rather than scurry as his squirrel counterparts do. He obviously cannot climb trees or leap from branch to branch. I have no idea how long he has been this way, but it's incredible to see him function. It also makes me a bit sad. When God designed squirrels, He clearly had a reason for every detail, including their bushy tails.
A squirrel’s tail is much more than a fashion accessory. It serves 3 main functions that enable the squirrel to survive: protection, balance and communication. (Source)
This furry, tail-less rodent has no way to protect himself from the elements or to communicate with others. How long will he survive like this? Only the Lord knows, but watching him reminds me of our God's great creativity and deliberate intent in creation. We did not evolve from primordial goo, and apes are not our ancestors. Every muscle, joint, and eyelash has a purpose and indeed, God knows even the number of hairs on our head. What an incredible, amazing God He is, and what an immeasurable privilege it is to serve the One who designed and created us!

Okay, while I grab my binoculars to get another look at Tail-less Tommy, why don't you grab something sweet to munch on while you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

16 March 2018

This 'n' That

No, this isn't the picture.
In my house hangs a picture of a flute. I found it years ago at an art show in Chicago. I originally bought this picture for two primary reasons. First, it was drawn in pastels, a medium that has always held the fascination of this artistically deficient blogger. I remember wanting to learn to draw with pastels as a young teenager. Suffice it to say that, if you don't have artistic talent, it doesn't matter what tool is in your hand, you still can't draw! I also purchased this picture because I once played the flute (I think I actually did that well, in spite of my tone deafness) and always love to hear flute music. It's one of my favorite instruments.

I don't play the flute anymore (though I admit that I wish I did and I have picked it up a few times over the years), but this picture remains on my wall as a reminder. It reminds me of junior high days gone by, when life, which seemed so overwhelming and complicated at the time, was actually quite simple and enjoyable. It reminds me of the beauty and complexity of music, and what a great gift it is from our gracious Heavenly Father. It reminds me that not everything will come naturally or easily. Some things take practice, and some things take time to work themselves out. In the end, with perseverance, all the notes and scales come together into a beautiful masterpiece.

In an odd way, this picture reminds me of Romans 8:28.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Now, when we fallen humans try to execute our musical masterpieces called life, we stumble and we hit bad notes (to put it mildly). What a blessed comfort it is, though, to know that even those sour notes are being used by our God—indeed, they were even written by Him into the score—to bring things together for His glory and our good. What a remarkable God we serve!

Well, while I ponder whether I should pull out my flute and try to remember my scales, why don't you be thankful you are out of earshot as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

12 March 2018

Equipping Eve: Hopeology


John MacArthur has said, “Life without hope is bleak.” He’s right. The reality is, Christians are the only ones who know what true hope is because Christians are the only ones who know the One who is the source of true hope, Jesus Christ.


Additional Resource