Sunday, December 21, 2008

Glory to the New Born King!!!

You shall call His name JESUS. For He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Words from John MacArthur in Truth for Today:

You may skip the genealogy when you read the Christmas story aloud. But don't overlook its message of grace, which after all is the heart of the Christmas story: God in His mercy doing for sinners what they cannot do for themselves...That's why He came--to save His people from their sins. Here's the best part: The same grace that was evident in the genealogy is active today, and the same Jesus is saving His people from their sins. No sin, no matter how heinous, puts sinners beyond His reach!

Isn't that the good news of Christmas?

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas JOY!

Do you desire to meditate on the scriptures of who Jesus is...especially at Christmas when we celebrate His birth? Please go here to view this short movie. It really causes my heart to worship.

Some words from John MacArthur's Truth for Today:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Here's a side to the Christmas story that isn't often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them...Jesus was born to die. Don't think I'm trying to put a damper on Your Christmas spirit--Far from it--For Jesus' death, though devised and carried out by men with evil intentions, was in no sense a tragedy. In fact, it represents the greatest victory ever.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Questioning God

“We cannot remain faithful and question God’s own faithfulness. His love for those who are in Christ is beyond question. His character is a constant and his love never fails. He is not loving and gracious toward believers at one moment, only to turn into a malevolent deity the next. He never changes.

In this light, it would be sin to question . . . whether God really loves us, or if He is really faithful to his promises. This is not the questioning worthy of a believer, but of an unbeliever.”

- Albert Mohler, “Is it Legitimate to Question God?“

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunday's Hymn

For The Beauty Of The Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For thy Church which evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thankful Heart

Approaching us soon is a traditional holiday...Thanksgiving. I have been striving to have a more thankful heart all year...not just in this particular season, but too approach the throne of God with a thankful heart in all seasons of life-everyday. This may include joy filled days where it seems that everything is going as it should or it may include days where my sinful heart has once again caused the pain of sin and those consequences. Thankfulness should be evident in our lives even in the midst of storms and trials...knowing that God is there and loves us so much! I want this kind of thankful heart that only Christ in us can produce. When I meditate on what our Lord has done for us, how can thankfulness not be the theme of my heart each day?

John Macarthur says this about having thankfulness when facing problems in his sermon or study, *The Thankful Prayer*:

Instead of praying to God with doubt or discontentment, the believer is to approach God in a spirit of thanksgiving. That's because God promised not to allow anything into our lives that will be too much for us to bear (1 Cor. 10:13), to work out everything for our good in the end (Rom. 8:28), and "perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish" us in the midst of our suffering (1 Pet. 5:10).

The believer is to know that all difficulties are within God's purpose and to thank Him for His available power and promises. First Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (NIV). In doing so we are to be thankful for His providence, His promise of perfecting us, the glory He will receive from accomplishing His will, and for past mercies that are the promise of future blessings.

Being thankful releases us from fear and worry. The presence of worry could mean a believer doesn't understand who God is or else has a weak faith because of sin in his life. We need to trust every situation to God's sovereign control. If we understand that God will supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19) and that He knows everything about our lives (Ps. 139:3), cares about us (1 Pet. 5:7), has the power for every difficulty (Ps. 62:11), is perfecting us to be like Christ (Phil. 1:6), and that nothing escapes Him (Ps. 147:5), that will lead us to be stable, not anxious.

What a wonderful encouragement!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Contrast to Self Love

John MacArthur, in Truth for Today, states:

Existentialism, the dominant mindset of contemporary psychology, has infiltrated not only our country but also many churches. It implies that every man has the right to do whatever makes them feel good. But wrong thinking like that stems from self-centered pride...In contrast to self love, Scripture says we're to be humble and unselfish, love those who mistreat us, and extend mercy toward those who stumble repeatedly. Those qualities enabled Paul to be content in any circumstances.

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Philippians 4:4

May we all seek to have this kind of true contentment...not based on ourselves or circumstances, but on the One who is deserving of our obedience.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Psalm 119:1-8

Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Be Content

Murmuring, dissatisfaction, discontent

(J. C. Ryle, "Be Content" 1885)

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with such things as you have, because God has said--Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

These words are very simple. A little child might easily understand them. They contain no high doctrine; they involve no deep metaphysical question; and yet, as simple as they are--the duty which these words enjoin on us, is of highest practical importance to all Christians.

Contentment is one of the rarest graces. Like all precious things--it is most uncommon. To practice contentment, is very hard. To talk of contentment in the day of health and prosperity is easy enough; but to be content in the midst of poverty, sickness, trouble, disappointments, and losses--is a state of mind to which very few can attain!

The fallen angels had heaven itself to dwell in, and the immediate presence and favor of God--but they were not content. Adam and Eve had the garden of Eden to live in, with a free grant of everything in it excepting one tree--but they were not content. Ahab had his throne and kingdom, but so long as Naboth's vineyard was not his--he was not content. Haman was the chief favorite of the Persian king--but so long as Mordecai sat at the gate--he was not content.

It is just the same everywhere in the present day. Murmuring, dissatisfaction, discontent with what we have, meet us at every turn. To say, with Jacob, "I have enough," seems flatly contrary to the grain of human nature. To say, "I want more," seems the mother tongue of every child of Adam.

Paul's direction ought to come with power to all our consciences: "Be content with such things as you have," not with such things as you once used to have--not with such things as you hope to have--but with such things as you now have. With such things, whatever they may be--we are to be content. With such a dwelling, such a family, such health, such income, such work, such circumstances as we now have--we are to be content.

Ah! reader, if you would be truly happy--seek it where alone it can be found. Seek it not in money, seek it not in pleasure, nor in friends, nor in learning. Seek it in having a will in perfect harmony with the will of God. Seek it in studying to be content.

You may say, that is fine talking--but how can we be always content in such a world? I answer, that you need to cast away your pride, and know your deserts, in order to be thankful in any condition. If men really knew that they deserve nothing, and are debtors to God's mercy every day--they would soon cease to complain.

Let me tell you why there is so little contentment in the world. The simple answer is, because there is so little grace, and true godliness. Few know their own sin; few feel their desert; and so few are content with such things as they have. Humility, self-knowledge, a clear sight of our own utter vileness and corruption; these are the true roots of contentment.

Let me tell you--what you should do, if you would be content. You must know your own heart, seek God for your portion, take Christ for your Savior, and use God's Word for your daily food. Contentment must be learned at the feet of Jesus Christ. He who has God for his friend, and heaven for his home--can wait for his good things, and be content with little here below.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lord, Help Me to Love...

Elyse Fitzpatrick has the following prayer in her book, Helper By Design. It shows how great our Father's love is for us and how we need His intervention of grace in our hearts to cause us to love as He does. This is my prayer today...may it be yours as well.

Oh Lord, You who loved me when I was unworthy; You who had laid down Your rights as Eternal God and humbled Yourself to become a man and be confined to a fleshly body; You who were rejected by the very ones You came to save; You who suffered humiliation and dreadful pain and separation for my sin that You bore on the cross; You alone know what love is! Help me now, for I see in me a great lack and even an apathy about being like You and loving my husband the way that You do. Please flood me with your love and cause me to love him because of You and to be perpetually consumed by thoughts of You and of Your wonderful wedding day to come. For Your glory and in Your power I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Word For Wednesday-- Proverbs 3:1-11

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

True Love

In Elyse Fitzpatrick's book, Helper By Design,she describes how we are to love one another in our marriages. She states:

I am to love my husband the way that Jesus Christ, who died for me, has loved me. I am to lay down my life for my husband. I am to spend time meditating on the ways the Lord loves me, and then I am to follow in His footsteps. Ephesians 1:3-14 gives us a picture of Christ's love.

1) He blessed me with every spiritual blessing.

2) He chose me before the world was even founded.

3) He called me to holiness and blamelessness.

4) He predestined me to be adopted as His child.

5) The intention of His will was kind.

6) He freely bestowed grace on me through our Beloved.

7) He redeemed me by the shedding of His blood.

8) He forgave my trespasses.

9) He revealed His will and kind intentions to me.

10) He gave me an inheritance in Him.

Elyse Fitzpatrick encourages us by saying this:

What can I say about God's incredible love? This is true love--a love that persistently seeks to do good to the one who is loved. Do I love in the way that He does? Of course not. I can't love exactly like the Lord does because I don't elect people to salvation or redeem them with my shed blood. But I can seek to bless my brother-husband; to stand steadfastly by him in a committed relationship throughout our lives; to encourage him to live a godly life and satisfy God's calling; to accept him with grace and personal sacrifice; to be forgiving and open about my struggles; and to assist him in leaving an inheritance for the kingdom that will live on after us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be Cheerful....

“Be cheerful, Jesus Christ makes you whole.”

“These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters are no sign that God has forsaken you; but they are sent to test you, to see whether you will recall that goodness, which up to now, you have received from Him and if you will live upon Him in your distress. Be cheerful, Jesus Christ makes you whole.”

- John Bunyan, quoted by James W. Bruce in From Grief to Glory (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), 34. (From Of First Importance)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Word For Wednesday

John 4:23-24: But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

True Worship

“To worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’ is first and foremost a way of saying that we must worship God by means of Christ. In him the reality has dawned and the shadows are being swept away (Hebrews 8:13). Christian worship is new covenant worship; it is gospel-inspired worship; it is Christ-centered worship; it is cross-focused worship.”

- D.A. Carson, Worship by the Book (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Zondervan, 2002), 37.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Faithful One

Our Faithful, Unfailing Friend

"Having loved His own who were in the world,
He loved them to the end."
John 13:1

Christ loves unto the uttermost. His love is not worn
out by our faultiness, our dullness, nor even by our
sinning. Christ bears with us in all our sad failings;
and is patient toward all our weakness, infirmity, and
sin. He is our faithful, unfailing friend, though we
give Him but little love--and that little mingled with
doubts, complainings, murmurings, and ingratitude.
Many of us make it hard for Christ to be our friend;
yet He loves unto the end--unto the uttermost!

(J. R. Miller, "The Building of Character" 1894)

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Word For Wednesday

How Majestic Is Your Name/ Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Correct Perspective

“I Remember Two Things”

My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.

—John Newton, quoted in Jonathan Aitken, John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007), 347 From Of First Importance.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Whate'er My God Ordains is Right

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

~Samuel Rodigast, 1676

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


God's Sovereignty

There is no attribute more comforting to His children, than that of God's sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials--they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation--the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands--the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football--as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine, of the sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere, except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne--then His creatures gnash their teeth!

We proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter. Then it is, that we are hissed and execrated; and then it is, that men turn a deaf ear to us--for God on His throne--is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne, whom we trust!

~Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fearing God or Loving the World

I recently learned from Krista Fetterly about a great seminar that Logan Carr did this past February for a group of ladies between the ages 18 and 23. The title is Fearing God or Loving the World. There is also a Q and A. They are both excellent! Since Logan Carr will be at our church for a women's fall conference on September 12-13, I thought many of you ladies would enjoy hearing her on this topic. This would be very good to allow your older teen girls to hear, also.

You can go here for the conference message and here for the Q&A segment.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Give Me Your Heart...

Give Me your Heart

(Arthur W. Pink)

"Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

"My son, give Me your heart." (Proverbs 23:26)

A "willing" heart (Exodus 35:5)--which acts spontaneously and gladly, not out of necessity.

A "perfect" heart (1 Chronicles 29:9)--sincere, genuine, upright.

A "tender" heart (2 Chronicles 34:27)--yielding and pliable, the opposite of hard and stubborn.

A "broken" heart (Psalm 34:18)--sorrowing over all failure and sin.

A "united" heart (Psalm 86:11)--all the affections centered on God.

An "enlarged" heart (Psalm 119:32)--delighting in every part of Scripture, and loving all God's people.

A "sound" heart (Proverbs 14:30)--right in both doctrine and practice.

A "merry" heart (Proverbs 15:15)--rejoicing in the Lord always.

A "pure" heart (Matthew 5:8)--hating all evil.

An "honest and good heart" (Luke 8:15)--free from deceit and hypocrisy, willing to be searched through and through by the Word.

A "single" heart (Ephesians 6:5)--desiring only God's glory.

A "true" heart (Hebrews 10:22)--genuine in all its dealings with God.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." (Proverbs 4:23)

From Grace Gems

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Inexhaustible Gospel

“To grow in your passion for what Jesus has done, increase your understanding of what He has done.

Never be content with your grasp of the gospel. The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than any diamond. Its depths man will never exhaust.”

From CJ Mahaney "The Cross Centered Life".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No One Else Could Do It

CJ Mahaney's book, Living The Cross Centered Life, has many nuggets to meditate on. I recently purchased this at a conference and have been reading through it. It is a wonderful book...many times while reading it I have had to put the book down just to say thank you, Lord for the cross, and what you have done for us. It reminds us of who we are and what God did for us...something we should never get over. CJ Mahaney says this in the chapter on the divine rescue:

No one else could do it. Only Jesus Christ, truly God and fully man, could be our substitute and make this sacrifice. Only Jesus could ever stand in this unique place and position. This One who lived the only perfect life also died a completely unique death as a ransom for our sin. He paid the price you and I owed to the innocent offended party, God our Creator and Judge. Therefore the offended party is appeased. His righteous wrath against our sin is satisfied, having been poured out not upon us, but on Christ. God's holy hostility against us has ended. The divine dilemma is resolved. That's what Christ's death means to God.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Infinite Fullness

"And of His fullness have all we received."
John 1:16

It is Christ alone, who supplies all the
spiritual needs of all believers.

There is an infinite fullness in Jesus Christ.

There is laid up in Jesus, as in a treasury,
a boundless supply of all that any sinner
can need--either in time or eternity.

He is rich in . . .
and redemption.

Out of Christ's fullness, all believers in every age
of the world, have been supplied. Every saint in glory
will at last acknowledge that he is Christ's debtor for
all that he is.

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of John")

Friday, June 20, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day---A Gift of Support and Submission To Our Husbands

Those of us who are married can definitely see God's kindness in our lives through how He has blessed us with husbands who love God and us! No matter what the condition of our marriage, though, as wives, we have a Biblical command to be a blessing to our husbands through our submissive and supportive attitude towards them.

Start now, by affirming to your husband the attributes that you are thankful for. Show him that you support him and submit to his leadership. Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock say something very beneficial and helpful to us all in their book, Designing A Lifestyle That Pleases God:

We should be our husband's greatest cheerleader, confidante, and encourager. We should be quick to affirm him. God has delegated a great responsibility to our husbands--they are called to lead and love as Christ (Ephesians 5:25-29). We should take time daily, weekly, and monthly to affirm his leadership in our lives and home. I would encourage you to identify specific character traits you are thankful for and then take the time to affirm him regularly. Ideas for ways you can affirm your husband include:

1) Write him notes, letters, or cards affirming specific character attributes.

2)Give him gifts representing your love and admiration for him(think of gifts that would have meaning to him--not you.)

3)Complete tasks or "do things" for your husband that communicate your love for him (e.g., running errands or completing chores that are helpful to him).

4) Listen to him. Yes, listening is a great gift to your husband and can be a tool for affirming him. Listen carefully so you can learn your husband's heart. Give him your honest input after you understand his perspective.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An Opportunity to Attend a Women's Conference


An invitation has been extended for the ladies of BCLR to participate (via tele-conference) in a seminar being held at Grace Bible Church in Brandon Florida. The information about the seminar, With The Master Is Fullness Of Joy, can be viewed here and here. Susan Heck is teaching the conference and her bio is included in the attachments.

Capacity in the TES classroom at BCLR is twenty five persons, so the first twenty five women who make a commitment to attend both Friday and Saturday will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. There will be no registration fee. One item to note is the time difference between Brandon and Little Rock with Little Rock being one hour behind Brandon.

This looks like a great opportunity to look at the book of Philippians in a unique manner.

If you have these dates available and wish to attend, send an e-mail to, and the initial 25 ladies to request a spot will be able to participate.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Favorite--Sunday's Hymn

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I like what Elyse Fitzpatrick has to say about patience in Helper By Design.

Patience is the "power to endure without complaint something which is disagreeable." It involves restraint in the expression of one's feelings. Sometimes, I forget God's patience with me as I complain and grouse about how I wish the people I love would change more quickly. In practicing patience, we are reflecting God's character, as His anger at sin was restrained by holy love: "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads to repentance?" (Romans 2:4; also 1 Timothy 1:16)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goodness and Kindness

In her book, Helper By Design, Elyse Fitzpatrick describes how God works in our character, through trials, to make us have evidence of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. "He is applying the harmless flame to our souls to consume our sin and refine our nature." She says this about goodness and kindness:

Goodness--This refers to an uprightness of soul that abhors evil and loves what is good. It is a heart attitude that shows itself "in a zeal for Truth which rebukes, corrects, and chastises, as Christ when He purged the temple". It is a sterner version of kindness. It isn't wimpy, nor is it cross, but it's ready to go to the mat when truth and uprightness are at stake.

Kindness--Kindness is opposed to a harsh, crabby temper. It is easily pleased, "a mildness of temper, calmness of spirit, an unruffled disposition. It sweetens the temper; corrects an irritable disposition; disposes us to make all around as happy as possible." God is the only one who can tame our hearts and make us into women who are known for their kindness. Is your lifestyle marked with good deeds, expressed in grace and tenderness?

This book is written in the context of marriage...Are we women of goodness and kindness in our marriages? Sometimes our harsh crabby temper is seen mostly by our husbands. This is not God's plans for us...He wants us to show *real* kindness to our husbands. Being unkind can be an easy temptation to give into and we must be careful in this area. We must consider that not only is it a fruit (or evidence) of God's spirit working in our lives, it is also a commandment.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Refinement and Restoration

We know that through difficult challenges in life, God is working to refine our make us more and more like Christ and less and less of our old sinful nature. Elyse Fitzpatrick in Helper By Design, says that:
He's remaking our character and restoring the shattered image. The spirit is refining us for His glory. What does the character that He's working in us look like? This work in our lives produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The Christlike character produced in us through both trails and blessings flows forth from our lives as we experience His gentle, though ostensibly bruising touch.

Think about the ways that God is working in your heart to produce godly spirit filled fruit that shows evidence that He is always at make you what He wants you to life...and in your marriage. I am going to be posting a little series on the fruits of the Spirit from Helper By Design, as Elyse Fitzpatrick challenges us to live out the fruits in our marriage and with others.

Self Control--Do you seek to glorify God by longing for a heart restrained by His love? For instance, God has lovingly blessed us with a gift of communication, but we can abuse and be enslaved by it when we give ourselves to outbursts of anger or words that demean His goodness in ours or our husband's lives.

Faithfulness-- Does the faith you assent to inform your life? Do you really believe that God is holy, good, all powerful, and wise? The work of the Spirit in your life is to enable you to live in the light of these beliefs, so that those around us, particularly our husbands, will be encouraged in their faith by our steadfast conduct.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday's Hymn

Corporate worship was so wonderful this morning, as usual. This song has such Christ centered can we not worship with our hearts and all say together: Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Hallelujah, What a Savior!
Lyrics and music by Phillip Bliss
Arranged by Bob Kauflin

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Hallelujah, what a Savior

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood—
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Hallelujah, what a Savior

Guilty, vile and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Hallelujah, what a Savior

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished,” was His cry;
Now in heav’n exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Hallelujah, what a Savior

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Hallelujah, what a Savior

Arrangement copyright 1998 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.

~ J.R. Miller, Homemaking

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What Biblical Submission Is

Some wise words from John Piper....
Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. It’s the disposition to follow a husband’s authority and an inclination to yield to his leadership. It is an attitude that says, “I delight for you to take the initiative in our family. I am glad when you take responsibility for things and lead with love. I don’t flourish in the relationship when you are passive and I have to make sure the family works.”

But submission does not follow a husband into sin. What then does submission say in such a situation? It says, “It grieves me when you venture into sinful acts and want to take me with you. You know I can’t do that. I have no desire to resist you. On the contrary, I flourish most when I can respond joyfully to your lead; but I can’t follow you into sin, as much as I love to honor your leadership in our marriage. Christ is my King.”

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Completely Free

“Completely free of all condemnation”

“Because of the gospel’s power, you can be completely free of all condemnation.

Not mostly free; completely free.

Don’t buy the lie that cultivating condemnation and wallowing in your shame is somehow pleasing to God, or that a constant, low-grade guilt will somehow promote holiness and spiritual maturity.

It’s just the opposite! God is glorified when we believe with all our hearts that those who trust in Christ can never be condemned. It’s only when we receive his free gift of grace and live in the good of total forgiveness that we’re able to turn from old, sinful ways of living and walk in grace-motivated obedience.”

- C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life, 39, 40

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Notice to all you wonderful cooks...and those thinking of a Mother's Day gift:

BCLR Cookbooks are reduced to $10 – great Mother’s Day gift! The BCLR cookbook “O, Taste and See” is available. Five hundred recipes are published in an attractive 3-ring book. The cost is $10 per book. Don’t miss out on your chance to own a copy or give as a gift! Proceeds of this fundraiser will go toward the 2009 Women’s Ministry trip to Broken Arrow Bible Ranch in New Mexico.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday's Hymn

What astonishing mercy and power:
In accord with his pleasure and will
He created each planet, each flower,
Every galaxy, microbe, and hill.
He suspended the planet in space
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.

With despicable self-love and rage,
We rebelled and fell under the curse.
Yet God did not rip out the page
And destroy all who love the perverse.
No, he chose us to make a new race,
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.

Providentially ruling all things
To conform to the end he designed,
He mysteriously governs, and brings
His eternal wise plans into time.
He works out every step, every trace,
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.

Long before the creation began,
He foreknew those he’d ransom in Christ;
Long before time’s cold hour-glass ran,
He ordained the supreme sacrifice.
In the cross he removed our disgrace,
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.

We were blessed in the heavenly realms
Long before being included in Christ.
Since we heard the good news, overwhelmed,
We reach forward to seize Paradise.
We shall see him ourselves, face to face,
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.
To the praise of his glorious grace.

Words by D.A. Carson

Friday, April 25, 2008

Biblical Submsission--What It Isn't

In the same sermon from the previous posts, John Piper has this to say about what Biblical submission is not.

Here are six things it is not based on 1 Peter 3:1-6.

1. Submission does not mean agreeing with everything your husband says. You can see that in verse one: she is a Christian and he is not. He has one set of ideas about ultimate reality. She has another. Peter calls her to be submissive while assuming she will not submit to his view of the most important thing in the world—God. So submission can’t mean submitting to agree with all her husband thinks.

2. Submission does not mean leaving your brain or your will at the wedding altar. It is not the inability or the unwillingness to think for yourself. Here is a woman who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. She thought about it. She assessed the truth claims of Jesus. She apprehended in her heart the beauty and worth of Christ and his work, and she chose him. Her husband heard it also. Otherwise, Peter probably wouldn’t say he “disobeyed the word.” He has heard the word, and he has thought about it. And he has not chosen Christ. She thought for herself and she acted. And Peter does not tell her to retreat from that commitment.

3. Submission does not mean avoiding every effort to change a husband. The whole point of this text is to tell a wife how to “win” her husband. Verse 1 says, “Be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” If you didn’t care about the Bible you might say, “Submission has to mean taking a husband the way he is and not trying to change him.” But if you believe what the Bible says, you conclude that submission, paradoxically, is sometimes a strategy for changing him.

4. Submission does not mean putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. The text clearly teaches that the wife is a follower of Jesus before and above being a follower of her husband. Submission to Jesus relativizes submission to husbands—and governments and employers and parents. When Sarah called Abraham “lord” in verse 6, it was lord with a lowercase l. It’s like “sir” or “m’lord.” And the obedience she rendered is qualified obedience because her supreme allegiance is to the Lord with a capital L.

5. Submission does not mean that a wife gets her personal, spiritual strength primarily through her husband. A good husband should indeed strengthen and build up and sustain his wife. He should be a source of strength. But what this text shows is that when a husband’s spiritual leadership is lacking, a Christian wife is not bereft of strength. Submission does not mean she is dependent on him to supply her strength of faith and virtue and character. The text, in fact, assumes just the opposite. She is summoned to develop depth and strength and character not from her husband but for her husband. Verse five says that her hope is in God in the hope that her husband will join her there.

6. Finally submission does not mean that a wife is to act out of fear. Verse 6b says, “You are her [Sarah’s] children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” In other words, submission is free, not coerced by fear. The Christian woman is a free woman. When she submits to her husband—whether he is a believer or unbeliever—she does it in freedom, not out of fear.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Answer To My Doubts

“I find no balm for a sore conscience, and a troubled heart, like the sight of Jesus dying for me on the accursed tree.

There I see that a full payment has been made for all my enormous debts. The curse of that law which I have broken has come down on One who there suffered in my stead. The demands of that law are all satisfied. Payment has been made for me, even to the uttermost farthing. It will not be required twice over.

Ah! I might sometimes imagine I was too bad to be forgiven. My own heart sometimes whispers that I am too wicked to be saved. But I know in my better moments this is all my foolish unbelief. I read an answer to my doubts in the blood shed on Calvary. I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross.”

- J.C. Ryle, Old Paths

Monday, April 21, 2008

External Adornment

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Another quote from John Piper found in his sermon,The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission:

We know this does not mean that all jewelry and all hair styling is excluded because then all clothing would be excluded as well, because it says, “Don’t let your adorning be external . . . the clothing you wear.” What he means is: Don’t focus your main attention and effort on how you look on the outside; focus it on the beauty that is inside. Exert more effort and be more concerned with inner beauty than outer beauty.

And he is specific in verse 4. When a woman puts her hope in God and not her husband and not in her looks, and when she overcomes fear by the promises of God, this will have an effect on her heart: It will give her an inner tranquility. That’s what Peter means in verse 4 by “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I know God has a lot of work to do in me in this area. Does fear and anxiety capture your thought life at times? John Piper says, from Scripture, that we should be fearless women...ones who hope in God and trust Him completely.

Mature Christian women know that following Christ will mean suffering. But they believe the promises like 1 Peter 3:14, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,” and 1 Peter 4:19, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

That is what Christian women do: They entrust their souls to a faithful Creator. They hope in God. And they triumph over fear.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Holy Women Who Hoped In God....

1 Peter 3:1-7 says:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

John Piper speaks to what Biblical Submission is and what it is not in his sermon,The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission. Here is an excerpt from his sermon that clearly states who our hope is to be in as holy women of God.

The deepest root of Christian womanhood mentioned in this text is hope in God. “Holy women who hoped in God.” A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband, or in getting a husband. She does not put her hope in her looks. She puts her hope in the promises of God. She is described in Proverbs 31:25: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” She laughs at everything the future will bring and might bring, because she hopes in God.

She looks away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and she focuses her attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever he pleases. She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows his promise that he will be with her and help her strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakable root of Christian womanhood. And Peter makes it explicit in verse 5. He is not talking about just any women. He is talking about women with unshakable biblical roots in the sovereign goodness of God—holy women who hope in God.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Are You An Open Nester?

Carolyn McCulley, who works for Sovereign Grace Ministries, recently had this post on her Radical Womanhood blog:
When I was in Charlotte this past weekend, I learned a great phrase coined by my hostess, Jane Connolly. Instead of referring to women with grown children as "empty nesters," she speaks of such women as "open nesters." These women are in a season where they can now be open to new people to care for and new ways for God to use the experience and wisdom they have gleaned from rearing children of their own.

I love both the phrase and the idea! I love the God-centered optimism in that phrase. I love the hint of excitement about what could happen. And I love the flexibility and servant's heart represented in it.

So, to those of you who are open-nesters, how have you used this time? What has God done with your time, wisdom, and availability?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Word For Wednesday

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

Dr.John MacArthur says in Truth For Today:
God regularly and consistently takes all that he allows to happen to Christians, even what seems to them to be the worst things, and turns those events ultimately into blessings. That is divine providence at work...In His providence, the Lord uses "all things", circumstances that are evil and harmful as well as those that are good and helpful, to mold you into the kind of person He wants you to be. When you struggle with life, just remember..."My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness". (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I'm sure that all of us at times have seen God's hand of providence at work in this way in our lives. It is a wonderful thing to look back on our life and see how God did use everything for good and for His perfect plans for us. Sometimes, the times may be difficult and heart wrenching...even these things come from the Lord to make us what He wants us to be...

Charles Spurgeon says this in his sermon on providence:
So there are some events which are specially from the Lord, although it seemeth not so; and this is to us often a great source of consolation. We have said to ourselves, "However did things get into this tangle and snarl?" Look at the professing church at this present moment, what is there about it that can at all cheer the child of God? All things appear dark and complicated; they seem to be built on a quicksand; and that which is superficial, and unsubstantial, and dreamy, and deceptive is everywhere. Still, the Lord liveth, and the rock of our salvation faileth not. As he makes the wrath of man to praise him, so doth he also with the folly and the wickedness of man, and the remainder of both he doth restrain. "The Lord sitteth upon the floods; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever." Hallelujah!

And if we are ever tempted to resist God's plans for us and His ways, Spurgeon gives this bit of wisdom:
Shall the rush by the river resist the north wind? Shall the dust rise up in conflict with the tempest? God is almighty; if that were all, it were enough, for who can stand against his power? But he is also all-wise; and if we were as wise as he is, we should do as he does. Moreover, he is all goodness, and he is ever full of love. Judged of according to the divine understanding, everything that he willeth must be right. Why, then, shall I dare contend against his strength, his wisdom, and his love? It must be useless so to do. Who hath resisted his will? Who could succeed if he did?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Gracious Speech Continued

The Mahaney ladies at the Girl Talk blog have been discussing gracious speech...and since gracious speech has been a recent topic for us, I'd like to recommend their recent posts to read. You can read the first one here. Then read this as the continuing post. I hope these helpful words will encourage our hearts this morning and spur us on to more gracious speech in our homes.

The book,Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, has a poem in it that I think shows how damaging and devastating our ungracious speech can be. I'd like to share it with you.

Only One Childhood
I stopped to watch my little girl
Busy playing in her room.
In one hand was a plastic phone;
In the other a toy broom.

I listened as she was speaking
To her make-believe little friend
And I'll never forget the words she said,
Even though it was pretend.

She said,"Suzie's in the corner
Cuz she's not been very good.
She didn't listen to a word I said
Or do the things she should."

In the corner I saw her baby doll
All dressed in lace and pink.
It was obvious she'd been put there
To sit alone and think.

My daughter continued her "conversation"
As I sat down on the floor.
She said, "I'm all fed up, I just don't know
What to do with her anymore.

"She whines whenever I have to work
And wants to play games,too;
And never lets me do the things
That I just have to do."

"She tries to help me with the dishes,
But her arms just cannot reach
And she doesn't know how to fold the towels
And I don't have time to teach."

I have a lot of work to do
And a big house to keep clean.
I don't have time to sit and play-
Don't you know what I mean?"

And that day I thought a lot about
Making some changes in my life;
As I listened to her innocent words
That cut me like a knife.

I hadn't been paying enough attention
To what I hold most dear.
I'd been caught up in the responsibilities
That increased throughout the year.

But now my attitude has changed
Because, in my heart, I realize
I've seen the world in a different light
Through my little darlings eyes.

So,let the cobwebs have their corners
And the dust bunnies rule the floor,
I'm not going to worry about
Keeping up with them anymore.

I'm going to fill the house with memories
Of a child and her mother
For God grants us only ONE childhood,
And we will never get another.

By Linda Ellis

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Word For Wednesday

Christ's Example of Humility: Philippians 2

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Gracious Speech Again:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Gracious Home--Gracious Speech, Sweet as a Honeycomb

In the book, *Becoming A Woman Who Pleases God*, by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock, graciousness is defined as the attribute of being kindly disposed or showing favor and mercy to someone, usually by a person of superior position and power. Some scriptural examples of this type of graciousness is seen as Potiphar is gracious to Joseph in Genesis 39 and of King Ahasuerus' gracious treatment to Esther in Esther 2:17; 5:2. Of course scripture shows our God as the ultimate gracious One in Psalm 86:15 as it portrays God as "full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and Truth."

God's Word speaks clearly on having gracious speech, which is one way a wise woman should be gracious in her home. The authors of *Becoming A Woman Who Pleases God* list these scriptures as ones to memorize and meditate upon regarding gracious speech.

Proverbs 10:19-20--"When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little."

Proverbs 15:1--"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Proverbs 16:24--"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 17:27--"He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding."

Proverbs 29:20--"Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."

Proverbs 25:11--"Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances."

Psalm 19:14--"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer."

Dr.John MacArthur says this in His sermon on The Excellent Wife:
She guides her family daily in wisdom. I believe the father is to be a teacher in the home. I believe he is the family priest. But I do not believe for one moment that that precludes the reality that it is the mother who day in and day out, hour in and hour out is teaching wisdom to the children. Not formal classes, but instruction in the flow of life, she's the teacher. Men, we may give the formal lessons but day in and day out she's the teacher.

And in what attitude does her teaching come? Proverbs 31,verse 26, "The wisdom of God comes out of her mouth and the law of kindness is on her tongue." The attitude in which she teaches all of this is a dominant attitude of loving kindness. What a challenge. What does that mean? Gracious speech, kind speech, tender speech, pleasing speech, compassionate speech, ministering grace to the hearers, as Paul said, edifying, building up. That which comes out of her mouth is the wisdom of God in tender and compassionate gracious kind words. What a teacher. The greatest teacher because the character of life makes her so believable, because the wisdom of God is true and because the attitude is compassionate and teacher like that. What a portrait. Believe me, women, this is a challenge of a life time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Living In Hope

“Each morning that greets me is full of hope,
not because I am successful at what I am doing,
or because the people near me appreciate me,
or because circumstances are easy,
but because God is and He is my Father.
To look at the morning in any other way
is to believe a lie.

To live in hope is to live in truth;
To live in truth is to bring Him glory;
to bring Him glory in my daily living
is the highest form of worship.”

~Paul David Tripp

Are you living in hope? Who or what is the object of your hope? Is your hope determined by the Truth from God's Word? Does your hope bring God glory today?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweeter, Holier Life

A Sweeter, Holier Life

"Cast all your care upon Him; for He cares
for you." 1 Peter 5:7

A sweeter, holier life we cannot live, than
a life of daily, childlike reliance upon the
providential care of our Heavenly Father.

From: Octavius Winslow, "The Overflowing Cup"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thoughts on Christ Crucified....

John Piper so eloquently says this about Christ crucified:
Christ crucified is therefore both the means and the end of God’s purpose in the universe. Without his work, that end to reveal the fullness of the glory of God for the enjoyment of God’s people would not have happened. And in that very means-work he became the end—the one who forever and ever will be the focus of our worship as we spend eternity seeing and savoring more and more of what he revealed of God when he became a curse for us. Jesus is the end for which the universe was made, and the means that makes that end possible to enjoy.

Spurgeon says in his sermon to encourage believers.
The longer you live, the more powerful will you find the gospel to be; the more deeply Christ-taught you are, the more you live under the constant influence of the Holy Spirit, the more you will know the gospel to be a thing of power, and the more also will you understand it to be a thing of wisdom.

"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."—1 Corinthians 1:23-24.

JC Ryle says this about Christ crucified:
By “Christ crucified,” I mean the doctrine that Christ suffered death on the cross to make atonement for our sins,-that by His death He made a full, perfect, and complete satisfaction to God for the ungodly,-and that through the merits of that death all who believe in Him are forgiven all their sins, however many and great, entirely, and for ever.

He goes on to say this about Christ and His death:
The doctrine of Christ crucified is the foundation of a Church’s prosperity. No Church will ever be honoured in which Christ crucified is not continually lifted up. Nothing whatever can make up for the want of the cross. Without it all things may be done decently and in order; without it there may be splendid ceremonies, beautiful music, gorgeous churches, learned ministers, crowded communion tables, huge collections for the poor; but without the cross no good will be done. Dark hearts will not be enlightened, proud hearts will not be humbled, mourning hearts will not be comforted, fainting hearts will not be cheered. Sermons about the catholic church and an apostolic ministry, sermons about baptism and the Lord’s supper, sermons about unity and schism, sermons about fasts and communion, sermons about fathers and saints,-such sermons will never make up for the absence of sermons about the cross of Christ. They may amuse some, they will feed none.

A gorgeous banqueting room, and splendid gold plate on the table, will never make up to a hungry man for the want of food. Christ crucified is God’s grand ordinance for doing good to men. Whenever a Church keeps back Christ crucified, or puts anything whatever in that foremost place which Christ crucified should always have, from that moment a Church ceases to be useful. Without Christ crucified in her pulpits, a Church is little better than a cumberer of the ground, a dead carcass, a well without water, a barren fig-tree, a sleeping watch­man, a silent trumpet, a dumb witness, an ambassador without terms of peace, a messenger without tidings, a lighthouse without fire, a stumbling-block to weak believers, a comfort to infidels, a hot-bed for formalism, a joy to the devil, and an offence to God.

If you know God and are living for Him, then praise God for His beautiful gospel. What joy we can find in Christ crucified...what sorrow, what gratitude, and what ultimate joy at the same time.

JC Ryle has something very important to say to those who do not know the Lord:
Are you living in any kind of sin? Are you following the course of this world, and neglecting your soul? Hear! I beseech you, what I say to you this day: “Behold the cross of Christ.” See there how Jesus loved you! See there what Jesus suffered to prepare for you a way of salvation! Yes: careless men and women, for you that blood was shed! For you those hands and feet were pierced with nails! for you that body hung in agony on the cross! You are they whom Jesus loved, and for whom He died! Surely that love ought to melt you: surely the thought of the cross should draw you to repentance. Oh, that it might be so this very day! Oh, that you would come at once to that Saviour who died for you and is willing to save! Come and cry to Him with the prayer of faith, and I know that He will listen. Come and lay hold upon the cross, and I know that He will not cast you out. Come and believe on Him who died on the cross, and this very day you shall have eternal life.

His entire sermon can be found here.

Let us all meditate on Christ's suffering and death as we understand that it was all God's beautiful plan for us..."In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10) Our ultimate true worship must be a result of Christ crucified.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Word For Wednesday

Isaiah 53
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

We must all praise God for His indescribable gift of the Lord Jesus Christ to us...through Him we have forgiveness of sins which leads to peace with God and eternal life. May He be praised forever! Have a blessed week meditating on what Christ did for you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Hymn

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Words: Thom­as O. Chis­holm, 1923. Ac­cord­ing to Chis­holm, there were no spe­cial cir­cum­stanc­es which caused its writ­ing—just his ex­per­i­ence and Bi­ble truth. The hymn first ap­peared in Songs of Sal­va­tion and Serv­ice, 1923, com­piled by Wil­liam M. Run­yan. It is the un­of­fi­cial “school hymn” of Moo­dy Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Chi­ca­go, with which Run­yan was as­so­ci­at­ed for a num­ber of years.

William M.Run­yan wrote the mu­sic spe­ci­fic­al­ly for these words; it ap­peared in the 1956 Bap­tist Hymn­al:

This par­ti­cu­lar po­em held such an ap­peal that I prayed most ear­nest­ly that my tune might car­ry its mes­sage in a wor­thy way, and the sub­se­quent his­to­ry of its use in­di­cates that God an­swered prayer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Word For Wednesday

Titus 2:3-5 says:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.

The following excerpt from John MacArthur's sermon,*God's High Calling for Women* is very helpful. He elaborates on Titus 2:3-5 and explains some cultural problems and lies we all are exposed to and tempted to believe.
God has a magnificent and wonderful design for women. It is a design which will fulfill their created purpose, maximize their uniqueness, make them a blessing to the world, and bring fulfillment to their own lives and glory to the name of God. That design is briefly stated there in those two verses. The instruction there is God's design for women--women in the church, so that the church can have a powerful witness, and so that God can be glorified and His Word honored.

There are times and places in human history where this particular section of Scripture would be commonly believed, even in the culture, where there would not be a reaction to any of these things that would be the accepted norms for society; but ours is not such a time, nor is it such a place. In our culture, what is being said in these verses to young women is the very opposite to what young women are being taught. Young women today are being taught to:

"Love whoever they want"
"Farm their children out to somebody else"
"Don't worry about what is sensible"
"Do whatever pleases you"
"Don't worry about being pure"
"Fulfill your physical and lustful desires"
"Don't work at home--work outside the home"
"Don't worry about being kind--you do whatever you want"
"Grab your moment in the sun"
"Take care of you, not somebody else"
"By all means--Don't be subject to your own husband!"

When this comes into the church it, therefore, dishonors the Word of God. I mean, even an unbeliever can read those verses. The most unschooled non-believer can read that the Word of God says young women are, "to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and being subject to their own husbands," And if he can read the Bible and look at the church he can make a very simple conclusion: "You Christians say you believe the Bible--why don't your women live like this?" You see, it brings discredit on the Scripture to say we affirm the Scripture but we live however we like, or worse: we live however the culture (being basically controlled by Satan, the "Prince of the Power of the Air") dictates us to live.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Challenge to Women

John Piper has listed some excellent challenges for women. I thought it was worthy of a way of exhorting us all to keep a Biblical perspective on how we live.

1. That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.
2. That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.
3. That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.
4. That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching. That meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith. And that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.
5. That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God would open to you; and the power of faith and holiness would descend upon you; and your spiritual influence would increase at home and at church and in the world.
6. That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God undergirding all these spiritual processes, that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers and believers of these things.
7. That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.
8. That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.
9. That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.
10. That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children who hope in the triumph of God, sharing with him the teaching and discipline of the children, and giving to the children that special nurturing touch and care that you are uniquely fitted to give.
11. That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God's free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God's business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.
12. That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life's ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God's will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else's chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.
13. That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people's needs.
14. That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.
15. That you see Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women in relation to each other not as arbitrary constraints on freedom but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God's ideal of complementarity. That you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld but by the countless roles offered. That you turn off the TV and Radio and think about...

You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Word for Wednesday

A sermon excerpt from John Piper:
Haven't you all had experiences like I have in which you feel the goodness and faithfulness of God so intensely that you leap in the air and shout and hug your kids or hug somebody and say, "O God, how could I ever doubt you after this? How could I ever again despair of your help?" And then some short time later you find yourself doing just that--discouraged, and feeling no confidence in the goodness and greatness of God. Why? Because we are so prone to forget the evidences of God's goodness which we ourselves have experienced, not to mention the evidences in Scripture.

Isn't that why David preaches to himself:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:1,2).

Soul, do not forget what God has done for you. Instead, soul, do what Asaph does in Psalm 77:11.

I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; Yea I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all Thy work. And muse on Thy mighty deeds. Thy way, O God, is holy. What God is great like our God?

We are called to be telescopes: people who make the greatness of God seem as great as it really is. This is what it means for a Christian to magnify God. But you can't magnify what you haven't seen or what you quickly forget. Therefore, our first task is to see and to remember the greatness and goodness of God. So we pray to God, "Open the eyes of my heart," and we preach to our souls, "Soul, forget not all His benefits!"

Let us think on these words from Scripture today (Psalm 103):
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Let us all bless His Holy Name and magnify the Lord together! Have a wonderful day serving Him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome to the Women's Ministry Blog

How exciting to be beginning on a journey with you ladies as we renew our minds together. The desire for the women's blog is simple...To exhort women to treasure God above all and to equip women to live godly in this world. This can only be done correctly by and through God's Word.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Through this blog you will find many uses of scripture and links to various articles, sermons, and devotionals to help us fulfill our Biblical purpose as women, as well as, book reviews to guide and direct us in our reading. This blog will be a source of information for the women at BCLR to find out what women's ministry events will be coming up in the future. But, most of all, this blog will be one that lives to glorify the Lord in everything that is posted here.

My prayer is that all of you will find a loving, warm, and helpful place here...a place to come when you are weary...a place to come for Biblical answers and encouragement...a place to find the Lord lifted high and glorified above all...a place to renew our minds and engage our hearts in true worship...a place of true joy.

Welcome and may God bless you as you seek to know Him better.