Friday, December 10, 2010

He Will Act



Fret not yourself because of evil doers; 
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass 
and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; 
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord, 
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; 
trust in Him and He will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, 
and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
 over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! 
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. 
For the evildoers shall be cut off, 
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. 

Psalm 37:1-9, ESV

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Martin Luther

I have held many things in my hands,
and lost them all, but whatever I have placed in God's hands,
that I still possess.


image via we heart it

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In your name I will lift up my hands



O God, you are my God;
 earnestly I seek you; 
my soul thirsts for you;
 my flesh faints for you,
 as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, 
beholding your power and glory. 
Because your steadfast love is better than life, 
my lips will praise you. 
So I will bless you as long as I live; 
in your name I will lift up my hands. 
Psalm 63:1-4

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Calvin on the power of music


Excerpt to John Calvin's Preface to the Psalter.

"Moreover, in speaking now of music, 
I understand two parts; namely the letter
or the subject and matter; 
secondly, the song, or the melody. 
It is true that every bad word (as St. Paul has said) 
perverts good manner, 
but when the melody is with it, 
it pierces the heart much more strongly, 
and enters into it; in a like manner as through a funnel, 
the wine is poured into the vessel; 
so also the venom and corruption is 
distilled to the depths of the heart by the melody."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wait on the Lord



Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God,



   the Creator of the ends of the earth.



He does not faint or grow weary;



   his understanding is unsearchable.



He gives power to the faint,



   and to him who has no might he increases strength.



Even youths shall faint and be weary,



   and young men shall fall exhausted;



but they who wait for the LORD 
shall renew their strength;



   they shall mount up with wings like eagles;



they shall run and not be weary;



   they shall walk and not faint.


Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dug Down Deep ~ Joshua Harris






Okay. I found yet another book everyone should read.
Dug Down Deep is Joshua Harris' brand-new book. He basically talks about his journey from not really taking hold of his parents' beliefs about the Christian faith, etc, to claiming them as his own. 

Something he emphasizes in the book is something he calls "humble orthodoxy", which is basically learning doctrine so that you can know more about Jesus Christ. As opposed to getting all knowledgeable about theology so that you can one-up other people. 

We should be learning more about God 
because we love him and we want to be like him.

Makes sense, huh? 

This is another one of those books that I want to just cram into everyones' brain.
So go read it, if you please. ;-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mark Driscoll on Twilight... among other things. ;-)

So I'm not a fan of the Twilight franchise... and this was a really good Mark Driscoll sermon that covers a lot of topics... including the new genre of vampire and occult fiction. I thought it was excellent. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

C.S. Lewis on Love





"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."


~C.S. Lewis, in The Four Loves


I read this book this summer... it was so good, I wanted to just memorize everything in it. It is definitely one I will go back to and read again. C.S. Lewis has such a gift of explaining complicated things in a surprisingly uncomplicated way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beauty


Our pastor preached a sermon on "Beauty in the Bible" on Sunday, which was excellent, and got me thinking about all kinds of stuff. I encourage you to listen to this sermon. 

Download or just listen here.

I have read and heard many thoughts on beauty, but this sermon was just so clear and spot-on. Yesterday I also listened to a sermon by John Piper on why God delights in His creation, which really applied to a lot of what I have been thinking about. 
Let me know your thoughts if you listen to the sermon. 
There will be another post (probably several) on this subject, as my thoughts on the whole thing coagulate. :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

His Rules


This was also on my "20 Books This Summer" list, and I read it a couple weeks ago.
It was different than I was expecting... it wasn't about courtship, really, but more about preparing for marriage--and not in the learn-how-to-sew-and-make bread kind of preparing. 

It is written to both young men and young women, which seems like it would be hard, but they do a really good job...partly because it is written by a guy and a girl.

They had a lot of good things to say about the fact that your relationship with God is the most important thing in preparation for marriage. If Jesus isn't your all-in-all, then you'll try to make your spouse that, which is a recipe for disaster.

I highly recommend the book!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010




A dead thing can go with the stream, 
but only a living thing can go 
against it.

~ G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years ~ Donald Miller


I loved this book. Not only was it a good wakeup call, but it talks about several things that I have been specifically thinking a lot about lately. 

Donald Miller has written several books--his most popular being Blue Like Jazz. I read it a couple weeks ago, after my sister read it and loved it. (Read her review here.) I liked it, but there were definitely things I disagreed with, and although the overall topics were good, they weren't as impacting to me. Mama read it after I did, and she loved it, so she ordered some more of Donald Miller's books, which included this one.

His writing his amazing. I know several people who aren't fans of his rather odd style, but I love it. He says things in very unusual and beautiful ways. I just want to memorize the whole book! :-) Although he has very different theological views, I think almost everything he said in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was dead-on. It does have some content, so it is recommended for older readers. (Maybe 14+).

The gist of the book is this: Each of our lives is a story, and we should make the best story we can out of it. It really tied into what I have been thinking about lately, deliberate living. Consciously thinking about what we are doing, where we are headed, how we are impacting the world by what we do every day.

I get so excited just thinking about the book. I want to read it all over again!

Here's a quote from the book--

"Once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to the meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable tread of wasted time."

I highly recommend the book--it is entertaining, convicting, and just plain amazing.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Corinthians 13



Memorizing this was on my summer goals, and I finished it! I'm also almost half-way through my list of 20 books.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, 
but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, 
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, 
but have not love, 
I gain nothing. 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. 

As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease;
 as for knowledge, it will pass away. 
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, 
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. 
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. 
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; 
but the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"A Man Worth Waiting For" by Jackie Kendall



This book contrasts Boaz, the godly, honorable man from the Bible, with "bozos" (lame guys), and encourages young ladies to hold out for a worthy Boaz instead of a jerk.

There are four parts to the book. Part 1 has three chapters. Chapter 1 is an in-depth study about Boaz from the book of Ruth, chapter 2 assures us that the man worth waiting for is not an extinct ideal, and chapter 3 talks about the characteristics of a bozo.

Part 2 discusses the "essential elements of a man worth waiting for". I thought this was excellent--she wasn't saying he has to be perfect, but rather he has to be striving to be more and more like Jesus. She included lots of comments from men and women that had answered her questionnaire about what they thought the characteristics of an ideal man were. This helped me form my official list. :-)

Part 3 talks about "your role in locating a bozo". Basically, your role is to become a "Ruth"! The last chapter talks about practical ways to guard your heart, grow in godliness, and be content where you are.

I really enjoyed the book, and definitely recommend it! Some of her standards about dating I didn't exactly agree with, so I would read this book at the same time as "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" to get a balanced view. :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Hold Me Jesus"




So I climbed all the way to the top of Mt. St. Helens yesterday.

Anyway, while I was in the car with several friends, we listened to this song, and the chorus was running through my head the whole time we were hiking up the mountain. Especially when I was pushing myself as hard as I could to get to the top.

And then I came home and listened to it and thought that this part was interesting...








"Well, sometimes my life
just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
and my faith just seems so small."


I didn't even notice that line when we were listening to it in the car, and I think it's pretty cool that song was going through my head the whole time I was climbing.


Because that mountain looked so big.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Prayer



Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt His name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:3-4

God gave it to us as a gift, and I think sometimes don't realize what an amazing blessing it is!
It is clear in God's Word that prayer is a vital, effective part of the Christian life.

Personally, I have found that it is very easy to get lazy about, but once I start making a point of praying regularly, I get into the habit and do it automatically through out the day. Like many other things (worship, loving people, reading the Bible), you have to just do it, even when you don't feel like it, and your emotions will catch up eventually. 



And this is the confidence that we have toward Him,
that if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us.
1 John 5:14

Something that I think some people are jumpy about is asking God for "insignificant" things.
It seems that God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts, as long as they aren't contrary to His word, or things that would not be good for us.

I think one of the most important things that God tells us about prayer is that we have to trust Him to answer our prayers--whether it be in the exact way we want Him to, or in another way that is far better. If we're just praying out of duty, assuming that he's not really going to do anything about it, we aren't doing it right!


Confess your trespasses to one another,
and pray for one another, 
that you may be healed.
The effective, fervent prayer
of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy




READ THIS BOOK!

I thought it was very, very good. It delved into a lot of topics that I have thought about, and helped me to cement my opinions and views on several things. One of the main things she emphasized is summarized in this quote from the book:


"If you ever catch yourself "putting off" happiness until you finally get married, or thinking that when you finally meet your spouse all of your dreams will be fulfilled, that's a sign that Christ hasn't fully captured your heart. If Jesus Christ isn't enough right now, then he won't be enough after marriage either. And you'll always be seeking fulfillment from the wrong things--setting your marriage for disillusionment and tension."


This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently-- it has to do with so many issues that young women face, like insecurity, boy-craziness, self-hatred, loneliness, and discontentment. If we make Christ our all-in-all, we won't have the driving desire to be married, have a boyfriend, or flirt with every guy that crosses our path.

Not only will this keep us pure right now, it will save so many problems in marriage. In my post on love, I talked about this a little. When we think one person is all we need in life, we just set ourselves up to have the relationship fail.

She also had some good thoughts on how to be friends with boys without it getting out of hand. There is a post brewing about this topic, too. :-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Goals 2010



Mama and I went to the beach last week for just one night, and amidst lots of eating, being on the beach, and laughing (read more about it here), I got my summer goals written up!

Summer Goals

finish reading the Bible
buy a camera
finish all of my sewing projects
learn to make bread
cook dinner once a week
finish memorizing I Corinthians 13
memorize four more Scripture passages
get 30 followers on both blogs
read 20 books
eat a poptart

There's lots more stuff I have planned to do, but those are my specific goals. It's not a huge list, because I wanted it to be do-able. :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review ~ The Divine Dance


I read this book a couple years ago and it really affected me. In a cleverly metaphorical style that is very fun to read and easy to understand, she teaches girls that instead performing for the world and begging for attention, they should be "dancing" for God alone. 

Every girl wants to be beautiful. She wants to be admired and adored, and too often we morph into whatever we think those in the world around us want us to be. And we never feel fulfilled because God didn't design us to perform for other people, but rather to perform for Him. This is a very important point for girls to grasp, because it is integral to most issues we struggle with.

I recommend this book very strongly. I think it can be helpful to girls from below eleven or twelve, up to married adult women. It would be a good book to read and discuss with your mom. View Shannon Kubiak Primicerio's website here.

Have you read "The Divine Dance"? What did you think?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deliberate Living




de·lib·er·ate 
adj.
1. Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional
2. Arising from or marked by careful consideration: a deliberate decision.
3. Unhurried in action, movement, or manner, as if trying to avoid error.
v.  de·lib·er·at·edde·lib·er·at·ingde·lib·er·ates
v.intr.
1. To think carefully and often slowly, as about a choice to be made.
2. To consult with another or others in a process of reaching a decision.
3. To consider (a matter) carefully and often slowly, as by weighing alternatives.

Deliberate Christian living is something that I have been thinking about recently. What I mean by this is living life consciously and intentionally, instead of rushing through, without set purposes and goals.

I think this is especially applicable to young people, because it is easy to think, as the world tells us, that these years are meant for partying, living it up, and having fun. Have you heard the song "So Young" by the Corrs? Here are a few of the lyrics.

We are taking it easy
Bright and breezy
We are living it up
Just fine and dandy
And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t eat
And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t sleep
It really doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter at all


‘Cause we were so young then
We are so young, so young now
And when tomorrow comes
We’ll just do it all again

This is a good example of our culture's attitude toward youth. Youthful immaturity and irresponsibility is meant to be enjoyed and be extended into your adult life as much as possible. 

However, as Christian young people, we should be using these valuable years to serve God and further His kingdom where we are right now.


I think it is important to be thinking consciously about what we are doing with our time. Instead of just bumming around, getting by, racing through life and not really thinking about anything, we should be making practical, specific goals for this period of life and then deliberately pursuing those goals. 


We shouldn't think that life begins when we get married. Even though it is important to prepare in specific areas for when we have our own families, we should realize that God has work for us to do here and now. 

We should be actively finding ways to serve others, which starts with serving joyfully in our own homes. We should be doing things, not just coasting along. There are many ways to serve others--we should choose ones that will help us grow in areas that we would like to grow. Spending time with another family who has young children is a perfect opportunity to learn from a mother and also to be a servant to others.

What are some specific things you want to accomplish with this time of your life? Deepening certain relationships? Learning more about certain topics? Finishing reading a list of books? Can you make a list of achievable goals for this summer? I'll get a post up in the next couple of days with a list of my personal goals for this summer.

Let your eyes look directly forward, 
and your gaze be straight before you. 
Ponder the path of your feet; then all all your ways will be sure. 
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. 
Proverbs 4:25-27

Monday, May 24, 2010

Media

We have been reading "Worldliness", a book with several chapters written by different authors, about worldliness various areas of life. One of the chapters is entitled "God, My Heart, and the Media", and I thought it was very good and an interesting topic to discuss. 


Christians have drastically different standards regarding media, and most of us tend to think that other peoples' standards that differ from their own are either legalistic, or too liberal. 


I thought that C.J. Mahaney's explanation of legalism was a good one.


"Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience to God. In other words, a legalist is anyone who behaves as if they can earn God's approval and forgiveness through personal performance. "


So, having standards is not the problem in legalism, but rather our motivation. This is a really important point, because otherwise, you can run around screaming, "No standards! Standards are legalistic, and we want our Christian liberties!" 


I think personal standards for movie-viewing are important. It is very easy for us, because we have a ClearPlay filter. I recommend these very strongly, because there are so many movies that are good movies with good messages, but have random offensive things, which if you have a filter, just get edited out and you never even know they are there! You can visit their website HERE.


Language in movies is one the main things that some people don't seem to think is a big deal. ClearPlay is nice for that because when you you're watching a movie, you can't very well skip or mute every single bad word. ClearPlay just edits it out, and while you can still sometimes tell what they are saying by their mouth movement, I think it really helps to not actually hear the word. I think bad language can have an effect on people more than they realize. If you hear that kind of stuff all the time, it's going to be more ready in your mind to just blurt out when you're angry or something. 


One thing that we have needed to be careful about with ClearPlay is that we don't just watch lame movies because there won't be anything bad in them. Some movies are just not worth watching because of a bad message, etc. And, we have to be careful when we recommend movies or say that we loved a movie, because if someone watched it without ClearPlay, they could be horrified!


Any thoughts on legalism connected to media? What are your standards? 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Friday

I just love this song, and it is very appropriate for Good Friday. It is a different perspective on Christ's death, and I think it is very moving.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Biblical Womanhood" by Voddie Baucham



Voddie Baucham is a pastor who I really respect, and I have been blessed by many of his sermons. This video is the first of 8 parts of his sermon on "Biblical Womanhood." 



We sell one of his excellent books here at our website. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Truth About Guys by Chad Eastham


This book is along the same lines as For Young Women Only, but I like how it is just written by a guy for girls. Besides telling girls things they should know about guys, he has a lot of pretty hilarious random facts about guys. 


If you are having a bad day and feel unloved and horrible, he has some really sweet self-esteem boosting stuff you should read. :-) I think most girls are more likely to believe stuff that come from guys, and not only is the author of the book a guy, but he is a young, funny guy.

I really enjoyed his writing style, and it was super fun to read. I definitely recommend it! 





Saturday, March 6, 2010



I ask you and advise you not to want to put your own business before the business of Christ. 

~Bernard of Clairvaux

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Rock


For their rock
is not as our Rock;
our enemies are by themselves.

Deuteronomy 32:31

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review ~ For Young Women Only


This is one of my favorites. It gives a fresh and accurate perspective on a lot of things that girls should know about. It's basically a book all about guys for girls!

The book is based on a survey taken of young men, and it includes the results throughout. So we girls really do get the inside scoop on what is going on inside guys' heads. Some of it I already knew ( I do have three brothers), but a lot of it was really eye-opening.

I thought that the chapter on modesty was especially helpful, because guys are telling us what is hard for them. If you are struggling with your attitude regarding modesty, copy one of the quotes and put it on the wall in your closet! It's easy to think they should just get over it and we shouldn't have to have less fun because of their stupid problems, but this book really is really convicting to that attitude. They are wired differently, and we just can't fully understand the way they think.

Another thing that was really emphasized, was that guys really crave respect. We gals want to be loved, and so we assume that's what they want most too. One of the survey results showed that a much greater percentage of young men would rather be respected than loved. A lot of it can definitely help in relating to any guys, whether it's your dad, guy friends, brothers, or a fiance.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

~Love~


Valentine's Day is this Sunday... so I decided to do a post on love.

Our culture says that romantic love is basically the most important thing... it's all you need, you won't be happy until you have it, etc. Yet it is also portrayed as a very inconstant thing. The majority of songs in many genres are about heartbreak--love that didn't last.

So it's the one thing you need in your life, but yet it is fleeting and inconstant?

Many love stories in songs, movies, and books are between two people who are completely obsessed with only each other. A girl is hopelessly in love with a boy, and she makes him her entire focus in life. He becomes a basically a god in her mind, and she thinks he is all she needs to be happy.

So guess what? When he lets her down, she is devastated because she has been essentially worshiping him. And I'm not saying this can only happen if she thinks he's perfect. You can make someone the focus of your life without thinking they are flawless.

In any kind of friendship, the people involved need to realize that the other person is human and will not always be there for them.

I remember in a Sunday school class several years ago, me and one of my friends were sitting with each other. Our teacher was talking about how every person in our life will let us down at some point, and that only God will always be faithful. Afterward my friend said, "You have never let me down!" Which was very sweet. :-) (She hadn't known me very long, LOL). And I remember thinking, "Not everyone will let me down."

Well... turns out, everyone did. And I'm sure I have let down my friend many times since then.

It seems like many of the love stories that are considered timeless, epic, etc, are really about two very selfish people who want to be together no matter what.

I think often, especially in romantic relationships, people want to be with the other person because it makes them feel good. "I want you because I want feel be comfortable, happy, and cared about." Obviously if both people are thinking in this way, it's not going to work out too well!

I believe the solution to these problems in relationships is realizing the fact that God should be the center of our lives, and our relationship with him will enable us to truly love others and not get things out of proportion. We all have the desire to be loved unconditionally, and unfailing. If we depend on people to give us the perfect love that only God can, we'll just end up bitter and disappointed.


Happy Valentine's Day!