Sunday, February 27, 2011

Voices of the True Woman Movement ~ Chapter 7

God's Jewels
 Joni Eareckson Tada
     For those of you who don't know who Joni Eareckson Tada is, she is the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian ministry that serves those who are disabled.  If you're interested in finding out more about Joni and Friends, you can go to  Joni's ministry came about through her own difficult experience as a teenager when she had a diving accident in 1967, at the age of 17, which left her a quadriplegic.

Joni Eareckson Tada at Park Street ChurchImage by Rachel Ford James via Flickr
     In this chapter of Voices of the True Woman Movement, Joni discusses how God hammers and chisels away at our own selfishness to mold us more into the likeness of his son, Jesus.  She states that suffering is the "textbook" that God uses to show us who we truly are, which is not always a pretty sight.  Many times, during our suffering and struggles, we respond unbiblically.  This is how we able to see what we're made of and know the truth about ourselves.

     We do, however, have a part to play in the sanctification process, which takes so much time.  Yet resisting what God is trying to accomplish in our hearts by becoming hardened and ignoring the work he is doing in our lives only "prolongs the process."  Our Heavenly Father does know what he's doing when he allows pain and suffering to come into our lives.  He knows what we need so much more than we do and is "bent on conforming us to the image of His Son."  She states, "God cares most, not about making us comfortable, but about teaching us to hate our transgression and to grow up spiritually - to love Him."  I think she'd be someone who knows this better than most people would considering the pain and suffering she's endured.  Our part to play in this - we can't just read God's Word, we must obey it, starting with the small things in our lives.  Changes will come through obedience in the small things. 

     Joni mentions that we should be thankful for God's sovereignty even when we don't understand why he has allowed certain things to happen in our lives.  She goes on to say, "For if He weren't in control, evil would come barreling at us uncontrolled."  This is something I had never given much thought to - that evil would completely overtake us if it wasn't for God controlling it.  

     I'll close with several statements from the end of the chapter.  "The simple formula for all of this is found in I John 2:5, where the Scripture says, 'Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in him.'  This is how we receive our assurance of being 'in Christ' - by watching what happens when God, the Master jeweler, draws up obedience from the souls of women who otherwise would kick back, rebel, and exert independence.  The fruit of the submitted heart is the proof that God is working - and working for our good.  He is committed to do good towards you.  Just remember that His idea of good is to make you more like Jesus.  Both believers and unbelievers deal with ample does of pain, and disappointment.  Why not make certain that these ordeals you must face are fraught with meaning and purpose?  Why not cooperate with what God is doing in your life - preparing you through difficulty and hardship for His beauty to come shining through?  You are being fashioned into a jewel for the crown of your King."

     I'm trusting you're recognizing God's little kisses to you today.  Even the ones that are hard to swallow, the painful ones that God has allowed to come into our lives, should be seen as blessings.  I know that's not always the way I see those things, but if Romans 8:28 is true, I should see them that way.  Be encouraged - God has only good things in store for those who love Him and walk in His ways!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Voices of the True Woman Movement ~ Chapter 6

Home bible study with the help of a bible teac...                         Image via Wikipedia
Choosing Faith in Seasons of Change
by Karen Loritts

     In this chapter of the book, Karen Loritts sheds light on how fear cripples us.  When fear is sweeping through our minds, it also brings along its "evil companions" to draw us away from the Lord even more and push us further into despair.  When fear is central in our minds, we are unable to focus on the Lord. 

     Karen discusses how to confront fear biblically.  She suggests saturating our minds with God's truths so that we won't be overcome by fear.  She mentions focusing on all the great things our Lord has done for His people and knowing He is fully capable of rescuing us from or working out our current situation. 

     Here are six things Karen recommends doing when fear strikes:
  1. Submit (surrender) to God.
  2. Resist the devil (and he will flee from you).
  3. Draw near to God (through His Word and prayer).
  4. Cleanse your hands.
  5. Purify your heart.
  6. Humble yourself.
     Karen's final statement in this chapter: "Let God be God, and fear will eventually bow down to its Conqueror."  All we need to do for that to happen is put our focus on God, not our current circumstances.

Blessings to you!
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Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 5

Hannah giving her son Samuel to the priest/ St...                          Image via Wikipedia
Chapter 5 - A Woman After God's Own Heart
by Janet Parshall

     One question Janet Parshall poses to us as Christian women in this chapter is this:  "Can you accept His will for your life right now, even if it's not what you want?"  I don't know about you but that's a hard question for me to honestly sit and ponder.  It's a struggle to answer, knowing my answer is less than godly.  Yet Hannah, Samuel's mother in the Bible, had a different answer.  

     This chapter caused me to see Hannah in a totally different light than I'd seen her in before.  I never really stopped to think about the huge sacrifice Hannah made.  The courage Hannah had was not of her own human conjuring.  For me, the giving up of any of my children would mean immense pain.  I'm sure Hannah experienced pain but she had the courage to follow through with the commitment she'd made to the Lord before Samuel was even conceived.

     A few quotes from the last portion of this chapter:
  • Hannah's story teaches us what it means to be a true woman of God.  She let go of her own plans.  She knew that God was in charge, not her.  She believed Him enough to say yes even when desperation had caused her to go out of her comfort zone and ask for the unthinkable.
  • Motherhood is actually one of God's refining fires.  The reality of motherhood is that it's a place to learn surrender, letting go, trusting and believing that God is God.
  • True women, like Hannah, trust God enough to believe He has great things planned for the babies He has given us - babies we give back to Him for His use, His kingdom, His glory.
       These are convicting thoughts which made me consider how God's glory is being shown through my own life.  Although Hannah had no idea that her story would last this many generations, she was faithful anyway.  We can learn a lot from her courageous acts.

Trusting you're recognizing God's little kisses to you today!
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Repost - Little Girls Gone Wild

Little Girls Gone Wild: Why Daughters Are Acting Too Sexy, Too Soon

I couldn't help sharing this article as it really challenged me to think. Click the link above to read it yourself.

What are my parenting goals as a Christian? To bring up godly girls who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength, not hotties so that all eyes will be on them! Hope this article challenges you to think about all the many choices that are facing us today as parent!  May we, as Christian moms, have the courage to make the right decisions for our children, not the popular decisions.



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Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 used with permission