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.