Thursday, September 18, 2008

Renew Your Strength In the Lord

Grandpa died last week. This has been a very difficult time for us.

On the morning of Grandpa's funeral, I was not sure if I could go on. I had to wake up very early and I had not gotten much sleep since his death. I knew I was going to need strength and lots of it and I felt that I had none.

The Lord immediately sent me to Isaiah 40:28-31:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I thank God for getting me through that day and so many other difficult days.
If you are facing difficult days, pray this passage of Scripture to the Lord and wait for him to help you.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Discipleship in the Church

These thoughts were sparked my a post on the Ezekiel Blog which I found through

My (rather lengthy) thoughts are below:

As a fairly new Christian, I have been frustrated at the lack of discipleship in the church as a whole especially for new believers. For some reason, there seems to be the belief in the church that American believers are uninterested in or unable to learn more about this faith to which we have been called.

The truth is that many of us new believers came to the Lord out of the "New Age" movement and we are tired of fluff. We are ready to learn to learn the weighty truths of Christianity in their wholeness.

On my own, the Lord has led me to learn about church history, historic church creeds, origins of the Bible and various other aspects of Bible study as well as prayer. I was blessed that the Lord led me to Bible-believing preachers online (such as Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, John Piper and others) who little by little, taught me in the ways of the faith.

I agree with you that the focus of the church should be on discipleship. How frustrated I would become as we visited churches and were admonished to evangelize without being given the knowledge, tools or guidance to do so!

My recommendation is that every church, no matter how large or how small, focus on making disciples as we are commanded in the Bible. Instead of just a new member's class, perhaps a book, e-book, website or podcast with all the pertinent information needed to start the journey, including excellent references for further study, be offered to all in the church.

Church members, then, will have to prioritize our lives to make time for learning the faith. I believe that if we were told it were important to do so, more of us would be likely to make our faith the center of our lives instead of an afterthought.

I am sorry to have rambled on but this topic is very near and dear to me.

If you can actually stand any more of my opinion about the importance of studying the word of God, go to my blog at

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Free Memberships Available!

In our last lesson, we learned of our need to put our faith in the foundation, the only sure foundation, Jesus Christ, that we might not be put to shame. (From 1 Peter 2:6)

So we know that we will not be shamed but what will we get for our belief? Does anything await us as believers in the Precious Cornerstone?

Amazingly, the answer is yes. We are promised fellowship with God and a place of honor with the Lord Almighty Himself, Creator of heaven and earth! How exciting as Peter goes on, possibly almost breathless with excitement, to tell us what our rewards in the next verses:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9,10

Mom, could you use some mercy today? Are you stumbling about in darkness? Do you feel that you do not belong, that you are not a part of any "people"? Do you feel disposessed, all on your own, alone?

The good news that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ today, you are in fact part of a chosen people, a living stone that God is using to build his spiritual temple here on earth.

I know what it is like to be in a big group and still feel alone. I know what it is like to walk in darkness. All the years I walked in spiritual darkness, I had recurring nightmares about being trapped in darkness. I even sought professional counseling our of desperation to rid myself of the terrors that often befell me at night.

The dreams only ended after the Lord drew me to himself in his mercy and grace. Once I believed, truly believed in the Creator of Light himself, the darkness was lifted from my life. Sometimes life is dusky, but never the pitch black that it once was.

I am here on this blog today to "proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light." Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ is the only foundation worth standing on and I praise his holy name forever!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is Your Foundation Sure?

So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who trusts will never be dismayed. Is. 28:16

The prophet Isaiah foretold of the coming of one who would provide the basis of and the most important piece for the foundation of the building up of God's people.

Peter tells us in his letter that Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame." 1 Peter 2:6

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is your sure foundation?

A foundation is a wonderful, essential part of the building for the occupants of a house. But for one wandering in the dark, the foundation is a source of injury, pain and suffering. If I do not believe the foundation is there, I will not recognize it even if it is in front of me.

Peter admonishes readers that we must be careful lest we walk along blind, not seeing, not looking and trip over the foundation that was laid down for us.

But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,[b]"[c] 8and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."[d] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 1 Peter 7b, 8

The only way not to stumble dear moms is to know the word of the Lord as spoken through the prophets and believe in it, clinging to it tenaciously, as if your lives depend on it for indeed they do.

No matter how busy we are, we must stay in the word of God, our foundation.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Keep Sin From My Heart

Continuing our discussion on Psalm 119:11 from yesterday, we remember
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The heart in ancient Hebrew writings signified the innermost being of a person. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary the heart refers to "The center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans".

It is significant that we are not only to keep God's word in our head but so much deeper. Head knowledge alone is not enough. We must allow God's word, the living sword, to penetrate our very being. We can not do this on our own. Our only hope is in Jesus himself as we pray to him that his will be done in our lives.

It is surely his will to have us hide his word in our heart. Lift up your desire to be faithful to his word and he will be faithful to answer you.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

The Hidden Word of God

Today's Verse: Psalm 119: 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

God's word tells us how important it is to use his word to help us resist sin. But we can not just have a vague or superficial knowledge of his word. Rather, we are to dig deep, to hide God's word in our innermost being. I want to hide God's word so deeply within me that it can neither be shaken loose nor ripped away by the winds of life or the Enemy who tries to rob me.

I am reminded of the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:5,6 -Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6but(A) when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root,(B) they withered away.

The seeds that were not hidden away in the soil were not safe and snug. They had no protection from the merciless scorching rays of the desert sun. That is the bad news.

Later in the passage, we get the other side of the story. Jesus describes what happens when the word is properly seated and understood by telling us the fate of the seeds that were properly deeply planted and hidden in the soil:
Matthew 13: 8,9 -Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.

The fruit of God's word is obedience that we might not sin against God.

Prayer- Thank you for your mercy Lord and keep me from all temptation and sin. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Motherhood: The Highest Calling?

Amy over at Humble Musings had a very well-written post on the subject of the role of motherhood in the life of the Christian woman. I will add my experiences as I write some thoughts on the issue.

I love being a mom. From the moment I first became pregnant, I knew that I loved being a mom. I read everything that I could about mothering, became a devoted follower of attachment parenting and my role as mother the focus of my life.

At the same time, the Lord began to nudge me, no pull me, closer and closer to Him. I was writing lots of poetry after my first child was born but it became harder and harder to write about anything without mentioning Him. I made a note of this (it is still in my journal) but I continued to struggle to write more secular works that might be more easily accepted in poetry journals.

By the time I had my second baby, the Lord had worked on me enough that I fully gave my life to Him after she was born.

What I have come to see since then, as I have strengthened my walk with him, is that motherhood had become an idol to me. Just as the ancient Israelites worshipped their wooden gods in the high places, so I had let motherhood eclipse my primary role as a child of God, designed from inside out just to glorify Him all the days of my life and into eternity.

Motherhood is indeed a very high calling. God himself ordained at the beginning of the world that mankind live as family units and be fruitful and multiply. We see in the Bible how much Jesus cared for his own mother even as he was dying on the cross.

Many notable mothers are discussed in the Bible.

None of this changes the fact that we are primarily called, all of us, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. We are to first and foremost pursue the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, not the kingdom or calling of motherhood.

The way I have come to see it, some of us are blessed to be called to motherhood as the vehicle through which we are called to glorify him and spread the Gospel.

We would all do well, especially me, to remember to put God first always and all created things, including family, after that.

I become the mother God wants me to be once I completely surrender my life and desires to him.

Lord, I pray that you would help to live for you and only you today. Amen.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How Sweet Are Your Words, Lord

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are your words to my taste. Sweeter than honey to my mouth.

Some things taste great going down and then I am sorry later. Tang and McDonald's milkshakes are two notable examples.

I am so grateful that the word of God is different than that. The word of God, whether through the Bible or prayer, keeps tasting better and better to me.

Honey in the ancient world was often considered valuable. It was the primary sweetener used. The psalmist is therefore comparing the pleasant sweet taste of honey to the pleasantness of meditating on God's word.

When I think of honey, I think of how sticky it is and how it clings to everything it touches. God's word is like this for me. Sometimes, the Lord will lay a particular word, phrase or verse on my heart and I will not be able to rest until I look it up. This happened to me recently with the Hebrew word "chesed".

What a wonderful God to not only reveal his truths to us but he even makes them stick to us that we might remember his commands and not sin against him.

Moms, if today you feel like this does not describe you, that you do not desire to know the truths of God's word more than even the most desirable, most pleasant, most tasty earthly delight, ask him to fill your heart with the longing to hear from him. He will be faithful to answer your prayer. I testify that he faithfully answered my prayer in this area. Hallelujah!
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Worthless Things

Psalm 119:37 says:
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;and give me life in your ways.

Today, more than ever, I make this prayer. Some worthless things that I find myself looking at include:
Worries, other's deeds and misdeeds,the future.

The one thing I would like to remain focused on and keep looking at is the hope that I have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After all, I can not change one thing by worrying.

As the LORD turns my eyes from the worthless things he will give me life in his ways.


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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chesed: Lovingkindness

Last night I felt the urge to look up the Hebrew word "chesed". I knew it was frequently translated as "lovingkindness" but I felt that I wanted to know more.

“Mercy,” “steadfast love,” “compassion,” and “goodness” are other words chesed is translated into. There is no exact English equivalent for the word.

Chesed is considered an attribute of God and is usually found in the Bible in relation to covenants between God and man.

How amazing to think that God regards mere humans in this way ever! Not only to be recipients of his good love and unchanging love but merciful love as we are surely undeserving.

Things like this make me think how wonderful it is to be able to worship our loving Creator.

Psalm 40:11
Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Check out for more on chesed and meditating on the Lord's lovingkindness.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Run in the Ways of the Lord

I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart. Psalm 119:32

Heavenly father, I pray you would enlarge my heart and set my heart free so that I may run swiftly in the way your commandments. Lord, how glorious and exhilarating to not only know the path and the way through your word but to be granted the strength to run in it with joy!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Psalm 119: Ask For Understanding

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Psalm 119:73

I have to always remember to ask for understanding. How much more meaningful my study of the Scriptures is if I ask the Lord to shine his majestic light on all that I read and give me full understanding as he sees fit to suit his divine purposes.

I try to take a few minutes before I begin to read to pray:
Heavenly Father, Speak to me through your word today. Grant me understanding that I might follow all of your commands. Show me the truth in your word and help me to apply it to my life today. Amen

I know that of my own accord, I am very prone to error. I have fairly recently been led astray by not paying careful attention to God's word and not seeking his understanding.

The psalmist knew of our tendency to err and he knows we must ask our creator, the One who knows us better than anyone, to help us to understand as he wants us to understand.

How fortunate we are to serve a loving and caring God whose mercies are new every day.

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Psalm 119: Always Fresh

I am not one who usually cares to re-read a book after I have gone through it once. I get so bored reading what I already read.

How different God's word is for me!

For example, I have been reading and re-reading Psalm 119, the longest Psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, since I answered God's call to become born again.

Each time I read it, I find more and more wonderful truths in it. Even if I only read a part of this 176-line long chapter, God chooses to reveal something else of himself to me. Today, several of the verses spoke directly to me and I wrote down some of my observations.

Sometimes the revelation is encouraging, sometimes it is convicting but I am always filled with hope after an encounter with Psalm 119.

I will be sharing more about Psalm 119 in future posts.

My verse for today is:
Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Psalm 119:73 (ESV)

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Hold On To Hope- Part 3

Have you ever felt discouraged in your role as a mom, wife or child of God? Do you ever look for guidance and instruction in how to best accomplish all the tasks you feel are important? Romans 15:4 tells us that the Scriptures have two very important purposes in our lives.
1. Instruction. We are to learn godliness and holiness through our careful review and dedication to study the holy Scripture.
2.Encouragement. We are to look to the Scriptures to see God's promises, gods faithfulness and God's power to be given hope to persevere.

We have hope! You and I, and all moms in Christ, we have hope. We will experience failures, setbacks and disgrace but we have hope. Our wonderful God, Lord and Savior has not left us stumbling in the dark. He has given us his word. Through his word, he teaches and encourages us.

How very grateful I am to serve such a loving, merciful God!

I am definitely not where I would like to be in my quest to imitate Jesus Christ. Should I just give up and get discouraged?

No! I need to keep learning and looking to God's word to keep me going to the end of my race.

Not only does God give me the instruction that I need but he also provides everything else that I need to run the race with endurance and never give up on pursuing what is right through the grace and sacrifice of Christ.

Paul includes in Chapter 15 at verse 13 a prayer that I would like to leave with all of my readers and listeners today:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hold On To Hope- Part 2

We learned in our last lesson that we are to be as Christ and one to follow his example is to be willing to please my neighbor and therefore to be willing to bear reproach.

What does this have to do with hope?

Psalm 69, which Paul has in view, is ultimately a psalm of hope. Although David has suffered and is suffering, his hope and praise are in the Lord.

In the midst of his disgrace, David's poignant response in Psalm 69 is:
But I am afflicted and in pain, let your salvation O God set me on high!
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.(v. 29,30)
And again,
For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (v. 33,34)

The apostle Paul directs his Roman readers to this Psalm anticipating the difficulties and trials that will be faced by following Christ.
The hope that we have in the salvation of our wonderful Creator and Savior is the only reason for us to persevere in the ways of righteousness to which Paul is directing us.

And how are we reminded to have hope? How are we to be encouraged as we embark on the reproach-filled road of the Cross of Jesus?

God's word, the Scriptures, are our source of hope and encouragement.

Romans 15:4 tells us:
For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of Scriptures we might have hope.

How amazing that Paul writes that the Old Testament Scriptures were written for us in the New Testament church. A careful reading of the New Testament will surely direct us continuously back to the Old Testament for the foundation of the truths found in the New Testament. How reassuring that Paul did not feel the need to "reinvent the wheel"in his teachings to Jesus' followers!
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hold On To Hope

This post is inspired by a John Piper sermon series I recently listened to called "The Fruit of Hope."

Romans 15:4, 5 says:
For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Brief Background on the Book of Romans:

Paul wrote the letter to this letter to the Romans to edify and encourage the Christian church in Rome, the capital of the ruling empire of the time. One of the major themes of Paul's writing is unity under the Gospel message. Weak and strong, Jew and Gentile, Paul reminds his readers to strive to be of one accord that God may be glorified.

Romans Chapter 15 is concerned with the Roman church living as Christ in relation to one another. The chapter reinforces a similar theme in chapter 14. We are first told how Christ would act and therefore what we should then do.
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbors for his good, to build him up.(verses 1,2)

Those are pretty tough commands- at least for me they are. How can I not lose hope in trying to follow this impossible command to put others before myself and not only bear with the failings of the weak but to actually build them up?

All my flesh wants to do is berate the weak and in my pride to brag and boast about my strengths as compared to others. I please myself by being able to boast in my own strengths and by having everything the way I want it. I see this message as being written directly to me especially in relation to my dealings with my husband and children.

Why not focus on pleasing myself? Verse 3 tells us:
For Christ did not please himself...

I am to model myself after Christ.

If I model myself after Christ, what will I get as my earthly reward? What was Christ's reward for not pleasing himself? Reproach. The verse continues:
...but as it is written, 'the reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.'

What is reproach? It is a term that means disgrace or dishonor. This verse quotes Psalm 69:9:
For zeal for your house has consumed me and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

David in Psalm 69 cries out to God about the suffering he has experienced because of following the one true and living God, the God of Israel. He says in verse 7 of Psalm 69:

For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face.

David goes on to say that fasting and repentance, following God's commands, bring on further ridicule from all, from the noblest to the lowest of men.

This puts me in mind of Hannah who was even ridiculed by a priest, Eli, for her fervent prayers to the Lord. Praying with all her heart to the Lord, Hannah was thought to be drunk. Can you imagine even bearing the reproach of your priest for following your heart to cry out to the Lord?

How can you hold on to hope in the face of reproach?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of "Hold on to Hope".

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

How We Got the Bible: Book Review

It has been a while since any book besides the Holy Bible had me so captivated that I could not put it down. I took this book around with me everywhere (even swim team practice!) until I finished it.

The book is "How We Got The Bible: A Visual Journey" by Clinton E. Arnold. What a rich treat!

Until I read this book, I knew very little of the history of the Bible. I was very aware that the precious book, the Bible, had faced destruction throughout most of it's history. I knew that rulers had long tried to keep the Bible out of the hands of common people.

I did not understand how the Bible actually came into being from ancient manuscripts.

"How We Got The Bible" gave me a brief but very interesting and informative view of the history of the English-language Bible.

The large number of photos, interesting sidebars and clear prose made this book quite one of my recent favorites!

With photos of actual manuscripts, paintings of notable figures in the Bible's history and interesting charts and lists, this very easy-to-read guide whetted my appetite to read more on this subject.

I recommend this book for anyone who would like to know more about the origins of the Bible.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Want to Stay Home With KIds?

Here is advice I recently shared with a new mom in a Facebook group for Christian mothers that I recently joined:
Dear Amanda, I know how you feel as I have been in a similar situation. Begin each day in prayer and in Bible reading. I did not realize how important that was until I stopped doing it. Also, persevere and do not give up, no matter how impossible the situation seems. All things are possible through Christ!

If all readers who feel so inclined would pray for Amanda as you read this, I believe that God will hear our prayers.

Thank you.

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Led Astray

When I decided to follow Jesus Christ a few years ago shortly after my second child was born, I could not find any Bible in our house. I knew I had an old Roman Catholic Bible I had used in high school but I could not find it anywhere.

So, I embarked on what I thought was the next best thing. I went to the library and got stacks of books about being a Christian, daily devotionals, and various guides to Christian living.

I was making my way through some of the books when I hit the jackpot: I found a whole cable TV channel (we had cable TV back then) full of nothing but Christian preaching!

This was so exciting! Dynamic and personable preachers, male and female, gave stirring, interesting and even gripping sermons. It was wonderful.

Wow! Being a Christian was going to be even better than I thought. Not only was I going to live eternally with Jesus but even here on earth I was guaranteed freedom from sickness, poverty and unhappiness.

What a relief it was to know that just by meditating on certain Bible verses, training my mind to never FEEL afraid or sick and giving freely of my money for the advancement of God's kingdom, I would live a victorious Christian life.

I started listening to audio sermons and reading books by the engaging preachers I was watching on TV.

Uh-oh. A few problems started creeping up. First of all, my methods were not working. I still got sick sometimes, our financial situation actually worsened and I was very frustrated with my inability to make the whole "Christian thing" work properly for me.

Secondly, I started to feel uncomfortable with my role in my new Christian life. How was it any different from the New Age beliefs and self-help practices I felt God had rescued me from when I turned to him and gave my life to him? I kept wrestling with "If God is in charge, what is my role in all of this?" Finally, one morning on getting into the shower, I begged God to show me if he was supposed to be in control or if I was to take charge.

The Lord answered my prayer by leading me to go and buy a Bible.

I started a reading the Bible.

I was shocked by what I found in the Bible.

What is this? Great men of God like Paul and Stephen suffered tremendously here on earth in very real and physical ways even to the death? Jesus himself was poor? God poured out his blessings on this guy named Job even after he allowed to him suffer? God says that not only does he control the wind and the rain but everything that we say and do? Jesus said that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him?

I was so confused. I needed answers. I went back to the websites and books of the preachers I had come to know and love to try to resolve my crisis.

The facts I learned were very interesting. Job was afflicted because he allowed himself to fear. John the Baptist was beheaded because he did not fully believe in Jesus. Jesus was not poor. God did remove the thorn in Paul's side but most traditional Christians just misinterpret that part of Scripture.

Then a most amazing thing happened. Peace. All my confusion was most suddenly lifted. I had been deceived and God's word is what convinced me of this and convicted me of my sin of rushing headlong into a convenient Christianity.

How I praise God for the power of his Word, the Bible, and his graciousness to rescue me from false teachings and open my eyes to truth.

What a blessed Lord I serve!

Now you understand my burden to help other moms find the Truth for themselves. My prayer is that Moms who are well-versed in biblical Truth may serve as beacons of truth and light for all moms.

I feel blessed that God has entrusted me with part of this task.

Won't you join me?

Please leave comments about what God has done and is doing in your life.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Called to a Ministry?

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Paul reports in the above verses that he has seen good results from his ministry. Is he bragging about this? No. He writes that he can claim competence only through God in sharing the life-giving message of the Gospel.

Although I have felt for some time that God was calling me to share my Bible study with other Moms, I have felt too unqualified to step out and move forward.

As an answer to a prayer the very same day that I prayed it, a godly friend reminded me that it was indeed true: I am not competent for such a high task as sharing the Gospel of Almighty God with others. What was also true, she confided, was that God will supply me with all that I need to do his work. She urged me to never forget my complete dependence on God and all that he sends me.

R.C. Sproul's Reformation Bible has a note that states, "All ability and power in ministry comes from God, not from ourselves."

Lord, I pray that I will daily remember these truths and daily be humbled in your site in complete dependence on you.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Furnishing Moms for the Kingdom of God

From 2 Timothy 3:17- we are told that the Word of God is provided for us so that 'the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.'

What does it mean to be equipped? Some definitions from the original Greek word translated 'equipped' include to finished, completed or furnished.

Furnished? I thought that was an interesting definition so I investigated this term more. The KJV uses the word 'furnished' in it's translation.

Webster's (1828) gives this definition of furnished:
Supplied; garnished; fitted with necessaries.

When I think of furnished, I think of furnishing a house. What does that involve? The owners of a home do not just buy or build the house and leave it empty. They know that if the house is to fully function in it's role of providing shelter and comfort, it must be properly furnished.

The homeowner becomes the furnisher as well and he takes great care not to neglect any small detail in setting up the house to be as useful for living as possible.

Does the house furnish or complete itself? No. The homeowner is the furnisher, the one who supplies just as our Holy Father has supplied us with all that we need to glorify him and accomplish the tasks he has set before us.

Who am I to think that I am not qualified or equipped when my owner, lord and master is the Creator of the Universe? God will give me no task for which he has not fully equipped me. How challenging it is for me to remember this some days!

The word furnish brings in mind to me the sense of "provide". I must look only to god as my provider, the one who completes me through whatever earthly and supernatural means he sees fit.

My prayer: Lord, I just want to rightly handle the truth, your truth as revealed in your Word. Help me to trust you to guide me in this.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Motherhood: The Impossible Task

Many children today are seen as "high needs" or "special needs" children. These are children who are particularly demanding and draining of their caretakers. As I observe godly mothers around me whom God has chosen to bless with these children , I am all at once in awe and afraid. I am in awe at their perseverance and steadfast love of their sometimes-difficult children while I am afraid that I surely do not and could not measure up to be the kind of mothers they are.

The truth is, all kids have needs and meeting their needs in the most perfect way would drain any of us. Some of our kids, though, are frankly easier to ignore and not meet all of their needs than is the case with a high needs child.

So that leaves me thinking: this motherhood thing, this task of providing for what can seem insatiable needs of our children and others around us, is truly impossible to fulfill.

What can I do?

Only one thing: go running into the arms of my Lord and Savior, constantly seek his face and his guidance as I focus first and foremost on not being the best mother but on being the best follower of Christ that I can be.

In humbling myself before the throne of my Lord Jesus, I find the strength to daily walk in the impossible role he has given me.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9 NIV

In admitting my utter dependence on the Lord, I give up accomplishing of my own talents and give everything to him.

In casting my cares upon my Lord, I find freedom from the need to worry about my inadequacies.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Could You Be Perfect?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (KJV)

The KJV uses the word "perfect" in place of "competent. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, perfect in this sense can mean:

Fully informed; completely skilled

Therefore in Christ, through the inspired word of God I can be made perfect!

Monday, July 14, 2008

As Eagles

Photo courtesy of Christian Glitter

Are You Competent?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

The NIV translation leaves out the word "competent" in it's rendering of this verse. Most other versions I read, including the ESV, NASB, HCSB and KJV include another word in front of equipped that implies "competent".

The word competent, as seen here in the ESV rendering, is from the Greek hikanos.

According the Stong's Greek dictionary, the word hikanos means:
competent (as if coming in season), i.e. ample (in amount) or fit (in character)

Let us take a look at the parts of this meaning and get excited about what God's word can do for us!

Coming in season-
I am immediately reminded of our pastor speaking this past Sunday about Queen Esther. She was called by God to save her people, God's covenant people from whom our Lord and Savior would arise, by being made the queen at such a time as that. We too, are called by God to be at this place, at this time, in this marriage and with these children. Studying God's word will make us competent and right in season.

Ample in amount-
Do you have enough? Do you have enough energy, patience, kindness, generosity and wisdom to get through each day? I know that many days I feel I do not. How can I get enough? How can I be amply supplied? Drinking deeply from the well of God's word is the answer.

Fit in character-
Is my character one to be proud of at all times? Do I act like Jesus in all circumstances? Does my character exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Do I have a pure heart and act from a pure heart all day? If I can not answer yes to these questions, I know I need to go back to God's word, the source of all competence.

I have spent a fair amount of time and energy seeking to be competent on my own. Books on parenting, marriage, housekeeping and cooking have occupied by attention for years on end.
Yes, I can learn the mechanics of doing all that God has called me to do as a wife, mother and homemaker. Without the word of God, however, I can never reach the full level of competence at a heart level that I need to be pleasing to God.

Lord, I pray that you would humble me and keep me dependent on only you and your lovely word for my truest source of competence.

The Man of God

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

Who is the "man of God" referred to here? Is the passage referring specifically to men only or does it refer to men in a more general way?

The "man" of this verse is from the Greek anthropos which usually is used to refer to a human being or person.

Other specific Greek words are used to refer to men or husbands.

The "of God" part of this verse is particularly exciting to me. The man or woman of God is one belonging to God, chosen by him and drawn to him through grace and his irresistible pull.

It is amazing that the God of the universe chooses to equip such imperfect beings as us to do his good works.

How grateful I am!

Preschooler's Who Love the Lord

I thought you might enjoy this article that I wrote which was published by Christian Parenting.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Importance of the Old Testament

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

Paul refers to "all Scripture" as being profitable. It struck me as I was reading this that the only Scripture Paul had access to at this time was the Old Testament as much of the New Testament had not yet been written. R.C. Sproul in his study notes on this verse in the Reformation Study Bible states this fact.

Wow! That means that the Old Testament is seriously important. It is tempting at times for me to want to focus on the New Testament writings as more relevant or accessible. How untrue that is!

It is only by understanding God's redemptive plan through history that I am able to fully benefit from God's word. By reading how our Lord's coming was prophesied through history, I understand the purpose of Jesus' ministry.

The verse prior to 2 Timothy 3:16 refers to "...the sacred writings; which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ." How amazing that through the Scriptures of the Old Testament, I can know that Jesus is Lord and have faith in him and trust him for my salvation.

I will read the OT with a deepened perspective of its importance now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Setting the Scene

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

I talked with a friend yesterday about the location of an upcoming Bible study. Neither of us was familiar with the suburb where the study will be held.

I went to Google maps and put in the name of the city and I was given a close-up of the area in which the city is located.

This did not help us at all! We still did not have a sense of how far away the study was because we could not see it in relation to where we live.

This experience reminded me of looking at Scripture quotes out of context and attempting to study them. I added so much depth to my study of God's word when I started taking the time to find out more about the historical context, author and intent of the book of the Bible in which a particular Scripture verse is located.

I would like to give a brief background here on 2 Timothy but I encourage you to more fully explore this on your own with a good commentary or study Bible.

2 Timothy, written by Paul during his second Roman imprisonment, is the last letter written by Paul. Paul is aware that his martyrdom is imminent and he had been abandoned by his friends.

Timothy was a young believer who traveled with Paul as he was establishing churches and was later anointed to be a pastor-teacher in his own right. Timothy was left in Ephesus by Paul and it was there that this letter was sent.

The purpose of the letter is to encourage and support Timothy in his ministry.

The message of the letter is timeless, however, can be applied to believers today as well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Are You Equipped?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (NIV)

I was recently struck by the verses 2Timothy 3:16,17 while reading my children's nightly devotional to them.

Many days, I feel completely ill-equipped to handle the demands of being a wife and mom.

I began to pray and ask the Lord to show me more about how these verses from 2 Timothy can help me.

I heaped up my bed with my concordance, Greek-to-English dictionary, Bible dictionary, Webster's dictionary and thesaurus, my study Bible and my Bible journal and I began to write, read and pray.

Although the Lord has led me to many studies similarly in the past, this time I knew it was to be different.

For now, I have the deepest conviction that I am to be sharing my studies with other moms.

No longer may I hide my light, the light of the love of Jesus in me, under a basket.

I am being called, and I must believe equipped, to share my love of God's word with other weary, confused and hurting moms.

In my first online study, I will taking a close look at what our Lord has to say about his word, the Holy Scriptures, and how that relates to our callings as wives and mothers.

I am no theologian, but I read and listen to the best of them. Of my own accord I am surely not competent to be leading Bible studies. I only do this through Christ who strengthens and equips me with the help and guidance of my husband.

I pray earnestly that anyone participating in these studies with me will be blessed by them as the Lord wills it.

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If you have no idea what this Bible and Lord talk is all about, please e-mail me or leave a comment and I will definitely get back to you soon!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Photo above courtesy of knowhimonline from

Monday, July 7, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #3

Scripture is useful to us in helping us to become Christ-like and glorify God with our lives if we study it diligently.

We learn this from 2 Timothy 3:14-17, the key Scripture for this blog:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew Henry's commentary on this verse summarizes the uses of Scripture for us:
-It makes us wise to salvation through faith
-It is profitable for-- doctrine (teaching)
--reproof (tell of faults)
--correction (guidance)
--instruction in righteousness
-Makes us competent, finished to do God's will (Romans 12:2 -Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-Furnished for every good work

Henry summarizes the passage this way:
Whatever duty we have to do, whatever service is required from us, we may find enough in the Scriptures to furnish us for it.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #2

One great thing about the Bible is that it contains the revelations of the omnipotent, omnipresent God of the universe. How do we know that Scripture is from God?

According to Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, the Bible itself speaks to its wondrous origins. Henry points to:
-the majesty of its style
-the truth, purity and sublimity of the doctrines contained in it
-from the harmony of its several parts
-from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it
-from the accomplishment of many prophecies
-from the uncontrollable miracles

Thank you God for revealing yourself and your truth to me through the Bible.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #1

In reading Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, I came across a beautifully moving and majestic discourse on the wonders of God's word.

I provide some excerpts below:
-Scripture is excellent, given by inspiration of God, God's word, divine revelation.
-The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us.
-The same God that created us capable of knowing also created the way by which we could know him, the Scriptures.

Oh what a mighty God we serve! He has truly thought of everything and will continue to draw us to himself.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #3

Do you wish you knew your Bible better? Have you been asked a tough question by a friend or family member and have a vague idea that the Bible has something to say on the subject but you are not sure how to find what you are looking for when you need it?

The only way to know the Bible is to study the Bible. When I first became a gave my life to Jesus Christ, I wanted to know more about this God who firmly grasped me and set me before himself. I wanted to seek out the ancient wisdom of the Bible to find out how I was to live as a new creation in Christ.

So what did I do? I went to the library and the Christian bookstore and I got stacks of books about how to be a Christian! Although those books were a helpful start, they could not take the place of reading God's word directly through Bible study.

I am grateful that God led me closer to him by his Holy Spirit continually nudging me to move beyond books about the Bible to the Bible itself.

Once I gave myself to his commands, it was amazing how the Lord provided for me! My stepmother gave me here entire Matthew Henry commentary set along with a Bible. I found a Bible dictionary, concordance and handbook at deep discount during a sale at our local Christian bookstore. I found journals to write notes in for $1. The Lord then led me to websites such as with many free Bible study tools.

I wish I could say that I never veered from my course but I did. I would become distracted and busy with other less profitable reading. Me and my family always suffered during those times.

How grateful I am for a long-suffering and patient Lord who is always willing to draw me back to himself though I surely do not deserve it. Oh wonderful, amazing grace!

Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding states:
If we would know the holy Scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did, Acts 17:11. They must not lie by us neglected, and seldom or never looked into.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #2

Bible study for moms is important because we are often the primary caregivers of our young children and we should be steeping them in the word of God. We cannot do this if we ourselves are not drinking daily and deeply from the well of the Bible, God's word.

Most moms would agree that it is important that our children learn to read, add and communicate clearly with others. But what will all that matter if our children do not come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ? If we keep our perspective eternal, we will not forget the importance of biblical teaching for our children.

In ancient Hebrew culture (in contrast to Greco-Roman culture where young boys were often sent away for training), the primary responsibility for training young children in knowledge of the Scriptures was with the mother. As a young boy neared coming of age, that responsibility was usually handed off to the father. Mothers have always had the very important ministry of teaching their children to love the Lord and providing a solid foundation for the faith of their children!
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

God's word makes it clear that the primary responsibility for educating children rests with parents.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6,7

Matthew Henry is his commentary of 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, states:
It is a great happiness to know the holy Scriptures from our childhood; and children should betimes get the knowledge of the Scriptures. The age of children is the learning age; and those who would get true learning must get it out of the Scriptures.

Not just for ourselves but for future generations, let us resolve to study our Bibles each day!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #1

Bible study for moms is important so that we will know with certainty what we believe and why we believe it. This unwavering knowledge is especially important today as women are being targeted with so many "spiritual" solutions to the problems we face everyday.

From Oprah's new "church" to the constant barrage of how not-to-feel-guilty articles and "finding more time for me" suggestions, authors and marketers know that moms are hurting and suffering and often do not know where to turn.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding states
It is a great happiness to know the certainty of the things wherein we have been instructed. Be no longer children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...(Ephesians 4:14)

Moms are a large and powerful segment of American society and as targets of various forms of spirituality masquerading as truth, we must know where we stand and we must stand unmoved.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6: 13-15

Let us commit to study our Bibles daily!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Prayer

Lord, today, may I seek not to be honored but to honor other mothers in my life. Help me to be a better mother undertaking my god-given responsibilities with your joy, faith and hope.

Thank you for choosing me to serve your kingdom. Make me a willing and cheerful servant. Search my heart and remove all wrong motivations. Make my heart pure.

Help me to everything that I do only for your glory and out of love for you, not for my own selfish reasons.

In Jesus' name I pray.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Mom's Prayer

I pray Heavenly Father that you will pour out your Holy Spirit on me and my family.
Continue to show me your ways. Show me how to be faithful in my roles as wife and mother. Clearly delineate for me the tasks I am to do in your service. Help me to manage my time well and do all for your glory.


Monday, February 18, 2008

To My Heavenly Father

Thank you for your wonders
I praise your majesty
The howling wind
The beating rain
All act at your command.

I remember your past faithfulness
O Lord of Lords
Thank you for your deliverance
Thank you for your guidance

Help me to obey
Help me to serve
Help me to love
Help me to be of good cheer.