Friday, July 22, 2011

Trifecta of Helpfulness

Three articles written by some dear and wise sisters about expectations, lies, and lust. (click the titles to view the articles in their entirety).

Beth Spraul: You've Got Lies 
"Why does Hollywood know how to make a movie that most women will not only love, but want to own -- and then be willing to watch countless times, sighing or tearing each time at the same sappy endings? Could it be that these movies strike an emotional nerve -- a nerve that longs for the bliss of falling in love with the perfect man or the rush of romance that will replace our emptiness and loneliness?  Whether we realize it or not... films communicate underlying emotional messages to us. What are these messages teaching us about life, love, and romance? Better yet, what do these films teach us about the nature of true masculinity and femininity? Does watching such movies actually affect our understanding of romance or shape how we go about looking for this ideal husband? "

Betsy Hart: Beware Romantic Pornography 
"When you’ve seen one romantic comedy you’ve of course seen them all. There is some level of confusion involving a wonderful woman and an idiotic man. He doesn’t know how romantic he really is until the wonderful woman shows him the way and reveals his fabulous, sensitive, romantic side that was aching to get out all along we find. He so wants to talk about his feelings, just like her best girlfriends! Who knew? Romantic man finally realizes he cannot live without said woman, and pursues her in an ever-so-sensitive if bumbling way. There seems to typically be a fountain involved at some point. Just as sexual pornography twists an understanding for men about real women’s bodies and sexual appetites, so romantic pornography twists the perception for women about real men and how they “ought” to behave toward women, which tends to amount to, well, behaving like a woman. "

Carolyn McCulley: Lust: Not for Men Only 
"For years most churches herded the men off to talk about lust, while gathering the women to discuss modesty. While those are valid and much needed messages, they are incomplete for the culture in which we now live...Sex is God's idea and his good gift to be properly stewarded within his design. For that reason, the church should be the most pro-sex group there is. We have a message of hope and redemption in the morass of sexual confusion. But first we need to help the women who are confused and in our churches right now."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome to Monday

The beautiful and witty Miss RT shared this gem with me and totally made the Monday manageable.
I'm still giggling....
oh the elusivity of productivity....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gentle and Quiet

God has kindly provided me co-workers who are also dear sisters in Christ. We e-mail encouraging passages, thoughts about Scripture, prayer requests, etc a few times a week to help us work unto the Lord and care well for each other. Today, MB sent a poem from Amy Carmichael that was posted on the Girls Gone Wise blog.

1 Peter 3 instructs godly woman to adorn themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit. The source of her beauty comes from her inner-self. When I first read this, I thought I would have to chop off half of my personality in order for my life to be characterized by gentle quietness. However, it is not so much about the volume or quantity of words as it is having a settled and steadfast disposition. When I am confident in Christ, trusting in His sufficiency, I don't clamor to prove my worth. I don't cry out in anxiety. I don't throw a fit to get my way. I don't have to use noise to attract attention. My desire is to point attention away from myself and toward a God who is perfectly beautiful. A woman whose mind and heart are set on Christ, who like the holy women of the past, puts her hope in God, this woman's beauty will speak though a gentle and quiet spirit.

Give Me a Quiet Mind

When winds are blowing, waves are rising, falling
And all the air is full of dust and spray,
When voices like to sea birds' plaintive calling,
Confuse my day,

Then, then I know Thee, Lord of highest heaven.
In newborn need discover Thee, and find
Nought can discomfort him to whom is given
A quiet mind.

When hopes have failed, and heavy sadness crusheth,
And doubt and fear would weave their deadly spell,
Then thought of Thee my troubled spirit husheth,
And all is well.

In midnight hour when weariness ignoreth
Heaven's starry house, and battle wounds are mine,
Then Thy right hand uplifteth and outpoureth
Love's oil and wine.

O blessed Lord, beyond the moment's sorrow
I see above, beneath, before, behind -
Eternal love. Give me today, tomorrow,
A quiet mind.
(From the collected poems of Amy Carmichael)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Smörgåsbord 6.2.11

Hometown pride: Way to get it Grand Rapids

Job searching: I would love to refer someone for this job

King of the Hill: The only time I have seen this show, or will promote watching even a part of this show

T.G.I.F (tomorrow): Every Friday Ligonier sells a handful of resources for just $5

Pour l'amour: I'm going home and packing my bags right now

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

He too was distressed

Isaiah 63:7-9 "I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us - yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to His compassion and many kindnesses. He said, 'surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me;" and so He became their Savior. In all their distresses He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old."

Hebrews 4:14-16 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

C.H. Spurgeon
"God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all pints like as we are...The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and for ever, for He who is the head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar... Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King Himself triumphed after going over, and so shall you." [Morning and Evening, May 31]

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

Thankful to be adopted by the Father of compassion and God of all comfort. No trial we face is one with which  He is unfamiliar. "Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds ye so much dread are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head." [William Cowper, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way"]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Contentment is not a word that characterizes my life. These past few weeks in particular fighting has felt like failing. In God's kindness, He has sent reinforcements to help me fight to believe truth. The words of a sweet sister on a walk home from work, the preaching of a faithful pastor who feeds the flock well, and the writing of a dead Englishman.

Last Sunday MD preached from Psalm 80 - The Believer and Trials.

Sometimes trials come from losing something we had, or not getting something that we want, or having what we do not want. Through these, God is kindly showing us "that we don't have to have all those things we thought we had to have... we just need Him. If we have Him we have enough. He will provide for us everything we have to have." God is "peeling out of our hands things we cherish, things that are blessings from Him as He shows us what we really have to have is Him."

This brought to mind Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

J.C. Ryle said

“Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: ‘He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you except in love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’"

These have been sweet meditations to fuel my fight for contentment and store up trust in God's goodness in the midst of trial - I have all that I need.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Stealing from Tim Challies' format of "A La Carte" postings, here is a smattering of fun found recently around the web-o-sphere. Enjoy

Grammar humor: Grammar nerds are the most hilarious. I really want to adopt alot now.

Living in the District: Freakishly mostly accurate. Still have not managed to save the world yet...

Running melodies: Great little tool that helps you sync your steps to songs.

Arab Spring: A really helpful interactive timeline of protests and unrest in the Middle East beginning Dec 2010

Too stinkin' cute: Winning ad out of 30 children interviewed whose best friend is someone from another ethnic group, helping to breakdown the racial divide between the Malay and the Chinese.