Archive | October, 2011

Words That Have Shaped My Life | True Woman

28 Oct

Words That Have Shaped My Life

Posted on 10.13.11 by Barbara Challies

Solomon’s beautiful proverb tells us that wise words are like “apples of gold in settings of silver.”  I would like to suggest that wise deeds and apt responses to life situations are similarly beautiful. Let me share a few of the words of some of those who have shaped the course of my life, in roughly chronological order. Their grace has become not just my example, but who I am.

John Stott, as he preached in Toronto: “You are here so you can learn the secrets of Christian growth and living. Well, there are no secrets. You read the Bible and you pray.” Revolutionary to my husband and me.

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay at English L’Abri: “Sometimes I realize I haven’t really prayed or read the Bible for a couple of weeks . . .” (And how would you, dear Susan, with your service to all of us?) So this really can happen with a sincere Christian?  Whew! Now I can look God in the eye again.

And back to L’Abri–English L’Abri this time: “There is nothing more than Christ. No higher wisdom. Nothing more.” I finally “got it.” Sola Scriptura, knowing Christ through Scripture alone, became the bedrock of my life.

On to a little side trip we made to Oxford at this time: The porter of Magdalen College: “Yes, I knew CS Lewis. What do I remember about him?  The main thing is how he would always share the food packages he got from America during the days of rationing.” Okay, not his intellect; His character! Always ask the tailors, the grocers, the neighbors . . .

Click here for the rest of the article:   True Woman | Words That Have Shaped My Life.

Advertisements

Compassion Around the Kitchen Table : Mentoring Moments for Christian Women

26 Oct

Compassion Around the Kitchen Table

Posted on October 11, 2011 : Filed under Mentoring, Women of God

“I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light” [Lamentations 3:1-2]

Around the kitchen table is a place of compassion because it is also a place where the consequences and complications of disobedience are revealed.

Read the rest of this short devotion here:  Compassion Around the Kitchen Table : Mentoring Moments for Christian Women.

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II » CBMW

22 Oct

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II

Vivian Hyatt – October 20, 2011

Distinctive Helping

I had to stop here, and consider.  In bringing Eve along as Adam’s helper, God was giving her her own dignity and her own distinction.  Being, with the man, equally created in the image of God, she was yet other, a woman, and she had a realm in which to offer her particular contribution to this glorious, as yet unfallen world, as a woman and a wife.

How was Eve to help her husband?  God had already given Adam his work, and now to the pair of them, a grandiose calling.  The two of them together were to work at subduing the earth.  That, to my astonishment even now, leaps off the page.  How in the world were they supposed to ‘subdue the earth’?  In part, at least, by ruling-together- over ‘every living thing that moves on the earth.’

This is where Eve’s distinction as helper comes in.  It took some careful looking, but the juxtaposition of two major verses told me something about one way Eve was to be a helper.  God gave to Adam-before Eve was created-the privilege and the prohibition: eat everything you want, except for the fruit of that very significant tree.  Following the prohibition, God says, in a conversation within the Trinity, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper…’  None of the animals was suitable for this task, so God made Eve.

Adam’s need to obey and Adam’s need for a helper are directly juxtaposed in these verses.

Does it strike you, as it did me, that God knew the man would need help in obeying?  This is before the fall, remember.  Being given a prohibition implies a choice.  Unfallen man was not to be left alone in this quite serious business of obeying God.  He would need help in ‘subduing’ the earth, even a perfect one.  Likewise, he would need help in subduing his own nature, with its God-given free will, in order to be able to obey God.

Click here to read the rest of the article:  CBMW » One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II.

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I » CBMW

21 Oct

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I

Vivian Hyatt – October 18, 2011

[Editor’s note: Vivian Hyatt and her husband Trent are missionaries to Eastern Europe and Russia with Campus Crusade for Christ.]

I was blind-sided by the ‘gender wars.’  After all, I knew what the Bible said.  Or thought I did.

My attitudes toward marriage were shaped in the context of growing up in what I would (much) later understand to be a traditional Christian home. I watched my father lead in church and in our family.  I took it as the nature of things that my mother was submissive to him, though I never doubted her strength as a person. Neither did I see him ‘lord’ it over her.  In fact, they had, observable to us kids, an affectionate and close relationship, one we admired and wanted to emulate.  Not surprisingly, then, I desired a husband with those same – what I considered to be biblical – beliefs.  When he came along, we set out to have a traditional Christian marriage with headship (his) and submission (mine) fully in place.

After all, we knew what the Bible said.

But then, well into our marriage, my confidence in ‘what the Bible said’ began to be somewhat eroded by voices within and without the traditional church. Views on women’s roles were changing, the voices said. Books questioning the traditional gender roles were put in my hand. Conversations more and more frequently centered on ‘those passages’ which could now be explained by the cultural situation at the time the New Testament was written.  Our society has moved on, the voices maintained, and so should the Church.  Women were strong and gifted and those gifts were going to waste!  The submission of the wife amounted to inequality and could not, therefore, be biblical.

Had I Missed Something?

Click here to read the rest of the Article:  CBMW » One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I.

Hugs and Affirmation

20 Oct

From “Practical Theology for Women”  – Oct 10, 2011

Hugs and Affirmation

I am reminded daily of the interconnected nature of my parenting and my theology. Last week, I was at my wits end trying to figure out how to discipline my younger son, who is not normally the challenging child in our family. He was having a hard week, acting out angrily and then throwing out emotionally charged language at me when disciplined – “I hate you.” “You don’t want to be my mommy.” “You don’t love me.” And even more disturbing – “I don’t like myself.” “I don’t want to be in this world.”

What in the world?! Where was he getting that stuff? The acting out was escalating, along with the emotional verbal aftermath. I brought this burden with me into our mom’s group Bible study last week. As we shared our burdens for our children, one mom told how she had been intentionally affirming and hugging her problem child multiple times a day and the difference that was making in her child’s attitude. I thought, could it really be that simple?! But I felt burdened afterwards that I should do the same with my son.

I knew that giving him extra hugs and affirmation at random times of the day wouldn’t change how I handled his outbursts. I wasn’t going to hug and affirm him if he hit his brother. But I was hoping that if I hugged him and affirmed him when he was behaving, then when the time came to discipline him when he sinned, he would receive it from me without going into his You-hate-me-and-I-hate-myself routine.

Click here to read the rest of this article: �Practical Theology for Women: Hugs and Affirmation.

The Superwoman complex » CBMW

16 Oct

The Superwoman complex

Diane Montgomery

October 7, 2011

Superwoman complex: A woman’s wish to be excellent at all her roles (leader, professional, mother, wife etc.), that very often leads to psychological stress and feeling guilty toward family members or an expectation of being a superwoman that can and should do everything.

I have to confess: if you look this term up in the dictionary, you’ll find my picture right next to it. Guilty as charged. I never realized I fit into this category until just a few weeks ago. I was a little over one month into marriage, taking summer school, making home-cooked meals 3-4 times a week, working out 4-6 times a week, packing my husband’s lunches and mine, working almost 40 hours a week, involved in church ministry, cleaning house, writing papers, reading 200 pages a day for my class, trying to be a friend, daughter, and the perfect wife. I was exhausted by all of this and I don’t even have kids yet! After working 10 hours for my job one Saturday afternoon in a dirty, sandy outdoor concert, I came home and broke down.

Have you ever seen that episode of Saved by the Bell, when Jessie Spano was trying to balance all her life activities and then becomes addicted to caffeine pills to try and succeed at everything? My life was similar to that, minus the drug addiction. At the end of the episode Jessie finally freaks out. She goes from trying to prove she can sing on drugs, to yelling, to finally incoherently balling/mumbling, “No time, there’s never any time!” I think the writers of this show must have looked forward into the future, seen my breakdown and said, “This is great material! Let’s add some pills and we’ll have a great show!” Unfortunately for my husband though, he had to play theencouraging and consoling part of Zach.

Click to read the rest of the article:  CBMW » The Superwoman complex.

Kyria Blog: To Know and Be Known

15 Oct

To Know and Be Known

If we’re so connected why are we so lonely?

 

kids.jpg

When I was a little girl, I loved being with my neighbors—my best friend, Angi, and the three Kahler girls were always around to play while our moms sat together and talked. Later, when we moved, it was the Held girls and several other neighbor families who quickly became our new group of friends. Growing up, our neighborhoods felt like large extended families—we knew each other, we talked, we were friends.

But now, for many of us, the world is different. Despite technological advances like Facebook and Twitter that allow us to network and communicate constantly, we’re an increasingly isolated, anonymous culture. Many of us hardly know our neighbors and have merely peripheral relationships with coworkers. The social landscape in America has become disturbingly bleak.

Christians aren’t immune to this trend; like the culture at large, we often live lonely lives.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Kyria Blog: The Neglected Spiritual Practice

12 Oct

The Neglected Spiritual Practice

Why do we so often forget the importance and power of celebration?

I was a typical new mom, meticulously recording milestones, photographing every possible facial expression and pose, and religiously recording it all in a scrapbook for my bouncing baby boy. That, of course, was baby number one.

Now I glance with guilt at my poor, neglected baby number three. Okay, she’s not actuallyneglected, but in the scrapbook arena all that exists so far is a literal scrap of paper on which I’ve hurriedly scrawled her weight and length from her first four doctors appointments. Yup, that’s it. I’ve let life’s busyness and demands completely shove aside any time for baby-booking.

I share this example because I think it reflects what many of us do in our spiritual lives.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Get on the Same Spiritual Page as Your Spouse

10 Oct

Get on the Same Spiritual Page as Your Spouse

Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, America’s Family Coach
Thursday, October 06, 2011

It’s a bond that can seem mysterious and elusive – but it’s one that is essential to have the marriage that God intended for you. So today we have a question for you: Are you and your mate on the same page spiritually?

It’s relatively easy to understand the emotional intimacy that creates a heart-to-heart bond as well as the physical intimacy that brings a couple together body-to-body. But every couple also needs soul-to-soul closeness. If you want to enjoy the deepest level of connection, you need to develop spiritual intimacy in your relationship.

Bonding spiritually can be a puzzling area for husbands and wives. Even if you both set a goal to grow together spiritually, you may have difficulty deciding how to get there. And if only one of you wants to pursue spiritual depth in your relationship, you will face additional struggles.

But here’s what you need to know: Spiritual intimacy occurs when you as husband and wife surrender your lives and relationship to the Lord. You grow together spiritually when you live out your marriage relationship according to God’s ways and aim to please him in all things.

The sad truth is, most of our world doesn’t understand spiritual intimacy in marriage. And sadly, many Christian couples haven’t grasped this profound truth either. But when husbands and wives truly begin to understand the significance of a marriage of three, their relationships begin to flourish.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Cultivating a Heart to Hear God’s Voice, Christian Women, Faith, Spiritual Life

7 Oct

Cultivating a Heart to Hear God’s Voice

Editor’s Note: Read Part I of this series, God Is Not the Silent Type.

How many times have you sensed a voice telling you to do something but you considered it a distraction? Maybe other times you’ve felt the inkling to do something, but brushed it off as silly or too elemental to be the voice of God.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve had many people, especially young women I’ve been discipling, ask me about how to actually hear or discern the voice of God. We can sometimes think our own hopeful thoughts or our doubtful, misleading thoughts are God’s voice. And there are other times we mistakenly pass off God’s genuine voice as merely our own thoughts.

Some women sit down to read their Bibles and have a myriad of distracting thoughts: I should do the dishes first. I’ve got to remember to call Mom. I wonder what that ache in my shoulder is really about? It’s safe to say these are clearly thoughts from our own human nature that distract us from spending time in God’s Word. Other people I know have frightening thoughts they believe are from God, such as visions that they or loved ones will be injured or killed. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. We also know that the Spirit of God is a Comforter, not one who instills fear. Therefore, we should ask ourselves: Is this thought in the nature of God? Does it sound like something He would say?

Not every “distracting thought” is God’s voice. You would need to ask yourself:

  • Does the thought have anything to do with what I’ve been praying about?
  • Does it sound more like human reasoning or spiritual direction?
  • Is it consistent with the nature of God?
  • Does this thought strengthen me spiritually?
  • Does this thought prevent me from pursuing God’s ways?
%d bloggers like this: