16 November 2018

This 'n' That

Last night, I watched my Green Bay Packers lose against the Seattle Seahawks. Then, about 30 minutes later, I lost my power. And not just with a quick flicker of the lights. No, there were three (I think) sky-illuminating booms that caused the lights to flicker, flash, and die. I never did figure out the reason or source of those flashes and booms. No, it wasn't lightning.

The night before and all yesterday morning, the clouds that have lingered all week finally dropped lots of ice on us. That was followed by rain, and then a really lovely snowfall (snow!). There wasn't much accumulation, but it was enough to help justify the fact that I'm already listening to Christmas music. As it turns out, earlier in the day, many people in the area had lost power due to the ice. We had been fortunate. Until, apparently, late at night. After the power went poof I checked the outage map on the power company's website. Latest restoration: 11:59 pm on 17 November. Excuse me? I knew that they were calling for people to go without power into the weekend, but that was those people. This was affecting me.

November 17, that's Saturday. This was Thursday night. I immediately thought of all the problems this would cause: my cell phone has been struggling to live for months and can't hold a charge, so, um, no contact with the outside world; no shower until Saturday, a reality that nobody should have to experience; no way to cook anything; no way to work on Friday (okay, maybe that one wasn't so bad); and oh yeah, no heat with freezing temperatures. An adventure for sure.

I fell asleep some time after midnight and awoke again when, blessedly, the power came back on. I have no idea how or why our power was restored so quickly, but I am very thankful. (I'm also a little paranoid, waiting for it turn off again!) When things like this happen, I first consider how spoiled we are here in America, and then I consider how much exponentially worse conditions will be during the time of the Tribulation. I considered the same thing many times over the past week, seeing so many horrifying videos of the fires in California. Those are nothing compared to the destruction described in the book of Revelation. It all makes me very thankful for God's promise to collect His Church before that time (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), and makes me all the more zealous to proclaim the saving gospel of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Well, if I hadn't had power this morning, you wouldn't be reading this right now, so settle in an enjoy your week in review (kind of):

13 November 2018

Sibling Status Means Something

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. (1 Corinthians 12:14-18)
The image of the body of Christ as a body is essential to our understanding of the Church. Some members function as hands, others are feet, still others work behind the scenes, yet are nonetheless vital organs to this precious organism. Yet, the body of Christ is not just a body. It is more than just a collection of saints working together to glorify God and Christ. It is a family. We are brothers and sisters with one another, and with Christ.

11 November 2018

Sunday Morning Praise

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Equipping Eve: Not Seen, But Heard


Remember “Doubting Thomas,” who insisted on seeing the resurrected Christ before believing that He was alive? When Jesus appeared to Thomas, He said to him, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” We love Christ even though we haven’t seen Him, but we can still know what He looks like by studying His marvelous attributes as found in the Bible. Join Erin for an all-too-quick glimpse at who our Savior really is.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

09 November 2018

This 'n' That

I went to the store last night to get cough drops. Did you know that some cough drops require you to be 18 years old to purchase them? I guess they don't want anybody going overboard on menthol. Anyway, on my way to the register, I spotted a display with new toys for Christmas. Consider this your friendly warning that Yellies are a thing.

What are Yellies? As near as I can tell, it's a plush, spider-like toy that is voice- and sound-activated. The tagline on the display was, "The louder you yell, the faster they go!" So they encourage your children to yell needlessly...and loudly. I realize that nobody asked me, but it's my blog and I'll say what I want: this might possibly be the dumbest toy I've ever seen. Any parent who purchases one of these for their child(ren) deserves every moment of headache that results from the constant yelling.


It seems to me that yelling is a much more common occurrence now than it was in years past. When I was a child, we didn't scream and holler when we played. Okay, maybe occasionally, but usually due to particular circumstances. Nowadays, if children are playing, they're yelling. Why? Why all the noise? You can't walk through a store without hearing a child scream, not because they are injured, but because they didn't get something they wanted. What astonishes me is the way most parents just ignore it and let the child continue making a scene. It's almost as if they don't hear it. Perhaps they're just immune to it since their children are screaming at home, too. Either that or they've gone deaf from all the clamor.

So as not to seem that I'm simply venting an opinion about children screaming unnecessarily, here's my point: all that noise simply creates and contributes to chaos. Our world is growing increasingly chaotic, so why would we encourage our children to participate in this by purchasing a toy that promotes needless yelling? It doesn't make sense, just like so many other things in the world today. Our God is not a God of chaos, He is a God of order. As His children, we should seek to emulate Him, and that includes the way we raise our children.

Okay, before you run out and purchase your own Yellie, pause for a few quiet moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

02 November 2018

This 'n' That

This seemed like the quintessential "November"
picture.
Wow, can you believe it's November already? November means lots of things: more fall colors and increasingly bare trees, increased stress levels as the holidays approach, more sickness, more layers, and, for those of us whose football team isn't having the best season, increased anxiety about the post-season.

Did you notice a theme in that list? Looks like lots of "increase"! Just writing that list made me think of a familiar Bible verse:
He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30)
Pastor S. Lewis Johnson once said that these seven words were "extremely important to understanding the source of joy." Firstly, we must know, understand, and acknowledge Jesus' place: He must increase. Then we must necessarily know our place: we must decrease.

This is indeed an important call to pastors, for those who elevate themselves, whether blatantly or subtly, deny their flock the joy of seeing Christ. This verse is also a call to each and every Christian, though. Our truest joy is found when Christ is exalted and when He is first in our focus, is it not? I'll let Johnson sum this up:
There is a logic here because as he increases necessarily I decrease. For the more I am occupied with him, like the red oaks in the spring when the sap begins to rise in those red oaks, those dead leaves that have been hanging onto the tree all through winter finally begin to fall off. And the manifestations of the old life leave as the sap of the new life in Christ becomes predominant in the life of a Christian occupying with him. (Source)
Okay, with that, there doesn't seem to be a point in making you wait any longer for your week in review (kind of):

26 October 2018

This 'n' That

Is it just me, or do Christians talk about trials a lot? I mean, a lot. Don't misunderstand, I know that we all go through trials, sometimes very lengthy and draining trials (oh boy, do I know about this!), but this topic really seems to dominate a great many books, articles, and even sermons. What is that about?

It's true, God never promised us a rose garden, and Christians often seem to endure more than the unsaved (even David asked, "why do the wicked prosper?"), but why do we tend to dwell on this so much?
Bubbles make every bad day better.

From my perspective and experience, when we belabor the point about trials specifically, we do the exact opposite of what we're attempting to do. We say high and lofty things about the sovereignty of God, etc., but by focusing on the reality of trials ad nauseum, we ultimately end up looking at ourselves instead of Christ. When a sermon goes on and on and on and on about trials, we become absorbed in looking at our own situation rather than to the One we claim to serve.

That's the problem as I see it, but I think there's a very simple solution: look to Christ. And I don't mean ordering people to look to Him while you preach your sermon (or write your book) about trials. I mean, simply preach and teach Christ. Point people to the person of Christ by studying the Gospels. Focus on His nature and characteristics, rather than tossing Him in as a point of law while you lament your circumstances. When our main focus is Jesus, the trials don't disappear, but they begin to pale in light of the Savior we serve and what He has promised us.

But then, what do I know? Who am I to be telling the educated ones how to teach and write? All I know is, when a Christian is becoming spiritually, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from being beaten down by a constant inward focus on the "woe is me-ness" of trials as perpetuated by lauded teachers, they eventually realize they need to look elsewhere for relief. Thankfully, there is a healing balm found right there in the pages of Scripture, and in the One who is the Living Word.

Well, around here it is a gloomy and rainy day, which is perfect weather for brewing a cup of tea and relaxing with your week in review (kind of):

20 October 2018

This 'n' That (on Saturday)

This llama has nothing to do with this post.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times that I've had to delay your week in review, so I'm grateful for your patience! It wasn't in the plans for this post to be delayed, but yesterday kind of slipped away from me. Nevertheless, I still have a great roundup of links for you, and didn't want to leave you hanging for a whole week. The problem is, now I can't remember what I planned to write for this introduction. So, instead I'll just share some early Saturday morning musings.

I just made out my weekend to-do list, and, like every week, it includes such fun-filled activities as "do laundry" and "vacuum." Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to Saturday so much if all it means is doing chores! And while I'm rambling about nothing in particular, I've come to realize that every time I write the word "vacuum," I wonder about that double "u." Where did that come from? Whose idea was it?

That's where Google, the all-knowing search engine, comes in. Apparently "vacuum" is from the Latin word "vacuus," which means "empty." Now you know (unless you took Latin in high school, in which case you may have already known and were judging me for my ignorance).

Speaking of words and language, I'm reminded of an interesting book I read in my first year of grad school. Scripture as Communication by Jeannine Brown is a thought-provoking introduction into biblical hermeneutics, and really challenges the reader to consider the very nature of the communicative act, and how that relates to our view and understanding of God's Word.

Anyway, perhaps I'll write more about that at another time. For now, you've been offered a glimpse into the tangential way my mind works (from to-do list, to Latin origins, to books read long ago), and I apologize for that. I think now may be a good time for me to be quiet and let you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

12 October 2018

This 'n' That

Fall has officially arrived. I'm busting out my hand warmers to keep my digits warm while I type at work, and I'm dangerously close to buying some of those microwaveable slippers to keep my toes toasty during the day (I work from home, so slippers are allowed). I actually really like fall, but the cooler temperatures do require a little more daily maintenance to keep me warm.

I don't expect that the fall colors will be overly stunning this year, though, at least not in my area. Our summer was just too...strange. No matter, because soon it will be even colder, drearier, and icy, and I'll be longing for spring, allergies and all. Still, with every change of the seasons I am reminded of our Creator's magnificent power, providence, and sovereignty. He controls the changing of the seasons, even as He has ordained all things that come to pass.

So, while I go searching for some gloves, why don't you grab a mug of something pumpkin-flavored and sit back to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

06 October 2018

Equipping Eve: The Promises of God: God's Promised Seed


Our God keeps His promises, and no doubt the greatest of these promises is found in Genesis 3:15. Get your page-turning fingers ready, ladies, because we’re about to dig into the biblical text to find out more about God’s promised Seed!

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

05 October 2018

This 'n' That

Fall means pie (yay!), and lots of it! Unfortunately, the temperatures around here have been so warm, it's difficult to get in the pie-making, or even the pie-eating mood. And pumpkin flavored treats? I've only been able to delve into some pumpkin cookies, and even that feels odd with the thermometer hovering around 80 degrees.

Nevertheless, it's apple season and my favorite dessert by far is apple pie. Something that has always perplexed me, though, is the fact that so many people use Granny Smith apples for their apple pie. Why? Haven't you ever noticed that it is fairly tasteless and, if it does have a taste, it's sour? My friend, if you are making your pies with Granny Smith apples, you are doing it wrong. Get in the car, go to the store (or orchard, if you have one nearby) and search out Jonathan apples. Now those are pie apples! Can't find Jonathans by you? I can sympathize, I've been there. There are alternatives, though none will be quite as tasty. And whatever you do, don't ruin the world's most delicious dessert with those overused Granny Smiths!

I don't know about you, but I am very thankful that the fruit from Genesis 3 was not an apple. Apples are delicious (even if they don't all make good pie), and their reputation deserves to be as flawless as their taste!

Okay, now that I've offended everyone whose grandmother used Granny Smiths in her apple pie, let's turn to the matter at hand. Grab a slice of pie, a cup of tea, and settle in to enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • I can't even fathom paying only $1756 for a car. Nor can I imagine paying $1 million for that car today. It sure would be a lot of fun to drive, though!
  • It's October, which means it's time for articles about Martin Luther.
  • This is why I sometimes wear gloves inside.
  • Interesting look into the past.
  • This is why certain things trigger in our brains as being adorable.
  • Speaking of, here's your weekly (though slightly less orthodox than usual) dose of adorable.
  • Aw, I hope this puppy finds a good home!
Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue but of the life. —John Calvin

28 September 2018

This 'n' That

Wow, I cannot believe that it is nearly October! The month of September has absolutely zoomed past, and I don't even remember how it was spent! Oh well, such is the busyness of life.

Around here, it is finally starting to feel like fall, and this morning's chilly temperatures were no exception. We also had quite a bit of fog here this morning and as I stepped outside to fill the bird feeders and realized that I could barely see to the back of the yard, I happened to think of this verse:
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Just as I could not see far beyond the trees due to the thick mist that essentially covered my eyes, so too can we not fully see our Lord in all of His glory. We are incapable of sufficiently comprehending all that He is and all that He does. There is still so much about this world and our lives that we do not understand. Yes, we have His Word. Says Spurgeon, "The revelation of God is ample and profound, but our understanding is weak and shallow." Yes, we have the gracious illumination of the Holy Spirit, but it is not until He takes us to glory that we will fully see Him and fully know Him. What a wondrous day that will be! What a thing to look forward to!

But, today is still today and we are still here in this fog-filled world, so you may as well make the best of it by enjoying your week in review (kind of):

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):