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Updated: 2018-03-06T13:55:19.839-06:00

 



Blogging News

2013-03-19T07:02:44.703-05:00

This is a public service announcement: If all goes well (barring me breaking my blog or other such Internet-related catastrophes), I will be moving my blog back to Wordpress. You are currently reading this via my blogger blog. The "lisaspence.com" domain will soon transfer you to Wordpress.

Or, so I hope.

*fingers crossed*

For those of you receiving posts via email, as well as those of you who aren't but would like to, you will need to create an email subscription on my Wordpress blog. Click here and you will see an option to the right to sign up to receive new posts in your email inbox.

And, for more tech-y type pointers, if you're a Google reader user dismayed by the recent announcement that it will cease to exist come July, you might want to try out feedly. I recently transferred my reader subscriptions and it took like a second and a half. Maybe.

I'm also on Twitter and Facebook if, you know, you just can't get enough of my confessions and conundrums, such as they are. Those subscription options are also in the right sidebar.

Well, here goes nothing! I hope to see you over at Wordpress at lisaspence.com!




God heard, God remembered, God saw, and God knew

2013-03-18T08:14:46.829-05:00

One Tuesday several weeks ago I had lunch with three friends and one very precocious three-year old. These are friendships newly formed by virtue of the Bible study I teach; hence our conversation swung across a wide spectrum of topics.We attend different churches and at one point we began to discuss our church experiences, where we are as well as where we've been. One of us (me) is in a church split-turned-plant. One is on the staying end of a split and one had her own story of damaged reputation and mischaracterized motivations. Here's a newsflash for you: church can be messy business, no doubt about it.I thought later about the lesson I had taught that very morning about the slavery the people of Israel endured prior to the miracle of the Exodus. I thought of the four hundred years they waited and watched and suffered and (surely) wondered and doubted. I remember my own seasons, both church-related and not, that though I did not suffer cruel bondage nor the horror of infanticide as the Israelites did, I too despaired of the Lord's faithfulness. To my limited understanding, He seemed distant and unwilling to act. As my waiting grew long, my doubts loomed large.Exodus 2:23-25 tells us where God was during the Israelite's affliction and what He was doing:During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.What a comfort to the weary and the waiting! God hears, God remembers, God sees, and God knows. This passage reminds me yet again that my salvation is wholly a work of God. I am as unable to save myself from my sin and my doubt as the Israelites were to rescue themselves from the cruel oppression of the Egyptians. God must--and does--accomplish it.He saved the nation of Israel through a mighty display of His power. Two million slaves just walk away from their oppressors? Not to mention the parting of the Red Sea, manna every morning, and water from a rock! Amazing. Incredible. A miracle.Even greater is the salvation, the rescue, the exodus, accomplished by Jesus Christ. Through the life, death and resurrection of His Son God saved His children from the bondage to sin and death. We who belong to Christ are free and if the Son has set us free we are free indeed!Hebrews tells us that Moses, this great deliverer, this leader and shepherd of the people of God, the Lord's instrument to accomplish so great an exodus, considered the reproach of Christ of greater wealth than all the treasure of Egypt because he was looking to the reward (Heb. 11:24-26). This both convicts and shames me. My friends and I, we have all borne reproach in one way or another, and I do not speak merely in terms of church stuff. Any one of us who confess faith in Christ has endured seasons of darkness and doubt. I cannot speak for my friends but I do know that sometimes I endured it well because I had seen the salvation of the Lord and I valued the treasure of Christ as far greater. Other times, however, I didn't look to the reward at all, looking instead to my self-justified resentment and bitterness.The Lord is faithful to save! I was enslaved to the cruel taskmaster of sin but Jesus set me free! He is my reward, the great Treasure of this life and the next. Nothing compares to Him! He hears, He sees, He knows...and He rescues. What hope is ours! What joy! What grace!Despite the differing details of our experiences, my friends and I all shared a common testimony: the Lord was faithful beyond our imagining. We have seen the salvation of the Lord and we rejoice in it. We placed our trust, our reputation, our reproach on Christ and He did not disappoint. God heard, God remembered, God saw, and God knew.[...]



Sunday Prayer: Truth in Jesus

2013-03-17T06:00:02.072-05:00

From The Valley of Vision,
LIFE-GIVING GOD,
Quicken me to call upon thy name,
for my mind is ignorant,
my thoughts vagrant,
my affections earthly,
my heart unbelieving,
and only thy Spirit can help my infirmities.

I approach thee as Father and Friend,
my portion forever,
my exceeding joy,
my strength of heart.

I believe in thee as the God of nature,
the ordainer of providence,
the sender of Jesus my Saviour.

My guilty fears discourage an approach to thee,
but I praise thee for the blessed news
that Jesus reconciles thee to me.

May the truth that is in him illuminate in me all that is dark,
establish in me all that is wavering,
comfort in me all that is wretched,
accomplish in me all that is of thy goodness,
and glorify in me the name of Jesus.

I pass through a vale of tears
but bless thee for the opening gate of glory at its end.
Enable me to realize as mine the better, heavenly country.
Prepare me for every part of my pilgrimage.
Uphold my steps by thy Word.
Let no iniquity dominate me.

Teach me that Christ cannot be the way if I am the end,
that he cannot be Redeemer if I am my own saviour,
that there can be no true union with him
while the creature has my heart,
that faith accepts him as Redeemer and Lord or not at all.




Status Report, March (or, In Which the Blog Lives to See Another Day)

2013-03-15T11:01:52.271-05:00

Sitting...at the dining room table.

Drinking...coffee, black.

Loving...the sunshine streaming in my (still) treatment-less windows. Y'all know I love fall and winter both, very much so, but I have to tell you there is that part of me that is ready for spring, believe or not.

Resurrecting...the blog, at least for this one post.

Wondering...how long this blogging spurt will last. And, yes, when your blog has been dark for a couple of months, one post does indeed count as a spurt!

Ignoring...the mound of laundry needing to be folded and the messy and dirty house that surrounds me in order to instead report my status, such as it is. You can thank me in the comments. Or maybe it is I that should thank you. Who wants to clean anyway?

Thinking...of returning to wordpress. Any opinions out there as to the benefit of blogger over wordpress or vice versa? Really, my possible move has more to do with me wanting a new look to the blog and finding the free wordpress options to be more appealing. I'm sure there are other, better reasons but I'm just keeping it real. I'll let you know here in this space of any upcoming transfers should they occur so stay tuned.

Realizing...the irony of not having blogged in ages and yet worrying over the site's appearance.

Posting...every other Friday at Out of the Ordinary so it's not like I haven't been writing at all. I have a post over there today in fact. Click over and let me know what you think about the gospel and the world at our doorstep.

Wrapping up...our twenty weeks of seeing Jesus in the Old Testament this Tuesday in the Bible study I teach. It's been a great journey but I have to be honest and say it's also been the most challenging course(s) I've taught. We will spend the remaining weeks of our spring session in the gospel of John looking at Jesus' "I am" statements. I'm pretty excited about it.

Enjoying...having my college student home this week for spring break. All my men under one roof? Yes and amen.

Wrestling...with the freedom of grace and the truth that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. If the Spirit of God has set me free, I am free indeed! I want to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus and to grasp how deep and wide and high is the love of God, that love that is demonstrated in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died. What joy is mine! What forgiveness! What grace!

Wishing...you all a happy Friday!



Thankfulness on Thursday

2013-01-24T11:39:34.381-06:00


I am joining other bloggers who devote space on their site each Thursday to gratefully acknowledge the Lord's providences and blessings of the past week. Today I thank the Lord for...

The kingdom ministry of our local crisis pregnancy center. Without disclosing too many details, I will tell you that one of my colleagues has been ministering to a young teenage client and through the course of their relationship my fellow volunteer had the opportunity to share the gospel. Yesterday this young girl placed her faith in Christ! Glory to God! I am grateful for the gospel work we are engaged in and I thank the Lord for His saving grace and for the bold compassion of my fellow volunteers. The Lord is good and He is faithful and He is mighty to save!

The privilege of teaching Bible study. I am thankful too for the women who attend, for their eagerness to learn and for their passion for the things of the Lord. The Lord's grace humbles me.

God's Word

Google Calendar

Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Caramel

My husband. He loves me (still) and he is so good to me. I don't deserve him.

The completion of my dining room painting project. I've yet to install the window treatments; my mom had some vintage curtain panels we (she) are adapting for my windows. I can't wait!

Sunshine

What are you thankful for today?

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; 
 I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 
I will be glad and exult in you; 
 I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
~ Psalm 9:1-2



Reading Reflection: The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

2013-01-23T09:23:11.776-06:00

I recently finished reading The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. It's a book that's generating a lot of buzz and for good reason. It is well-written, beautifully so, thought-provoking, and compelling: all that a good book ought to be. And I liked it. Very much so. Though, like nearly every other review I've read, I don't agree with the author on all points, I highly recommend it.I will be honest though and admit that the book left me a little unsettled. The account of her conversion is nothing short of amazing and I love that the author describes herself as an unlikely convert. Truly we are all unlikely converts, dead as we are in our sins and transgressions, children of wrath, hating the things of the Lord. Yet, coming to Christ out of the radical feminist lifestyle Rosaria not merely embraced but loved and enjoyed, it is, as I said, amazing. She describes her conversion as a train wreck--a complicated and comprehensive chaos--and I like that. How neatly we attempt to wrap our conversion stories into tidy little packages with happy-clappy endings. Of course, Rosaria enjoys a happy ending but it was not without a total transformation of her entire life: professional, personal, spiritual. Becoming a Christian wasn't a slightly embarrassing dint to her reputation; her Christianity meant a loss of everything that was familiar.This isn't the part that unsettles me. Quite the opposite. I love reading testimony of the power of God to save! There is no one beyond His reach! I was also challenged by the extent of Rosaria's sacrifice of her old life. Christ is worth it all, I realized yet again, and I rejoiced in His worthiness as I was convicted to count the cost. I also enjoyed reading of her philosophical wrestling with the gospel and I couldn't help but wonder why I'm not having those same sorts of conversations.At the conclusion of the book, Rosaria devotes the last several pages to her current life as pastor's wife, mom, homeschooler, and foster parent. These accounts are happily written and beautifully expressed but, just keeping it real, I felt at times as though she were giving me her resume. This is where I am unsettled. Do I feel so because I sense conviction over my lack of hospitality, for example? I am sure that she shares about her family life in order to demonstrate the redemption the Lord has accomplished for His glory. So why my twinge of dismay when she tells of her five year old's academic prowess or of the countless college students she ministers to or of the various foster children they have cared for? Am I really so petty?I was talking about this with a friend of mine who had recently read a missionary's autobiography and was feeling much the same sort of vague unsettling. We agreed that though we must be sensitive to the conviction of the Spirit--and there is much for me to be convicted about, believe you me--we must also remember we are different, with different strengths, different vocations, different gifts, different spheres of influence. How easily we, women in particular, fall prey to the trap of comparison! And how easily that comparison leads to either discontent or self-loathing. Let us instead be true to the call of the gospel in our lives and not to another's example.Not all examples are poor ones and not all comparison is detrimental. I do need to cultivate hospitality and, though I may not need to emulate it on all points, Rosaria's example is a good one in that regard. We must be both discerning and humble as we seek to follow the Lord and love our neighbor in whatever our current life's vocation may be. We are all unlikely converts and we all have opportunity aplenty to proclaim the gospel. May we be found faithful, giving glory to God in all that we do.[...]



Favorite reads of 2012

2013-01-03T08:49:35.281-06:00

I am rather haphazard in my reading choices. So much of what I choose to read is a product of whim and availability. What do I feel like reading? What appeals? Do I have the book on hand? Can I check it out of my local library? Didn't I just make an amazon order? Because of this rather arbitrary and random approach I am impressed by those of you who craft your reading goals--sometimes a whole year's worth--with a great deal of thought and organization. However, after reading so many of your great "favorite book" lists that mark year end blogging, I may reconsider my selection methods!Because my reading is admittedly haphazard, I find my personal end-of-year list of favorite books to be somewhat eclectic. That being said, here, in no particular order, are some of the books I most enjoyed this past year...Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony ReinkeA book on reading books? Yes, indeed! Whether you are a prolific or an occasional reader you will enjoy this look at the theology of books and reading. I love books that encourage a love of books and Tony's does exactly that.Ellen Foster by Kaye GibbonsI attempted to read Faulkner earlier this year and upon giving up I tweeted the observation that all Southern stories are sad. In the ensuing twitter conversation, Boomama recommended I read Ellen Foster. I did and I loved it. I've since read other titles by Gibbons but Ellen is her best of what I've read. Boomama said she finished reading it with a "big ol' ugly cry," a fitting response to a beautifully written Southern story.Gospel Wakefulness by Jared WilsonWhat is gospel wakefulness? It is being utterly captivated and astonished by the good news of forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ. This book explores that concept by addressing the true gospel as well as brokenness, hyperspirituality, depression, gospel-driven sanctification and the gospel-driven church. How I want to be awakened to the glories of God in Christ and to live my life as a testimony of astonishment and this book encourages me to that end.The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World by Melissa KrugerThis book will SO get in your business, but in the best possible way! In fact my effusion for this book was so pronounced that I was recommending it to every person I saw in the vicinity of the Christian Focus table at The Gospel Coalition's Women's Conference. In fact the woman working the table suggested I work the crowd like a town crier carrying stacks of the book and extolling its merits for all to hear. She was joking, of course, and perhaps maybe even poking a little fun at me but don't think I didn't consider it. Read my more thorough review here.Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan PatonThere are passages of this book so beautifully and heartrendingly expressed that they brought tears to my eyes. It's a story about South Africa, apartheid, and poverty but it is also a story of fathers and sons, of love and grace, and of faith and friendship. Read it. I think you'll be glad you did.The Road by Cormac McCarthyWhile I cannot admit to this book being a favorite in terms of sheer enjoyment, I will say that this is a book I will not easily forget. It is haunting and gripping, a grim book about desperation and survival. Despite such a sober description I will also say that I could not put it down. I read it in essentially one sitting! McCarthy writes with the sort of staccato prose that carries the reader along in the heart of the man's (the unnamed protagonist of the book) struggle. At one point in the book I found myself holding my breath! It is a book deeply felt and heartbreakingly somber.David Copperfield by Charles DickensLast year's surprising favorite was Bleak House so it seems only right that Charles Dickens earns another berth in the favorites list, this time with David Copperfield. I thoroughly enjoyed this semi-autobiographical,[...]



Status Report, January

2013-01-02T13:18:36.450-06:00

Sitting...at the breakfast room table.

Eating...Chick Fil A. Yum. I love the chicken strips with Chick Fil A sauce!

Resuming...real life post-Christmas and New Year's and finding it's not so easy. Much coffee has been (and will continue to be) consumed.

Beginning...my first day back to the real world by taking my Suburban to the shop = no fun.

Thankful...for the break and the time spent with family as well as the celebration of the advent of my Savior and the gift of new beginnings and new years.

Planning...some projects around the house. I hope to paint my dining room next week but the first step therein involves stripping wallpaper border, a task not so difficult in itself but this is that paintable embossed border that's been painted at least twice. I fear some frustration lies in my near future.

Thinking...about having the kitchen cabinets painted. Yes, it does sound as if I'm becoming something of a decorator despite myself. I will say though that merely having the thoughts does not necessarily translate into actual accomplishment.

Preparing...for Bible study which resumes on the 15th. We will be studying more of the Old Testament, using Nancy Guthrie's The Lamb of God. I am very excited!

Hoping...to see a rejuvenation of both the blog and my writing life. No promises and no expectations however!

Taking...down the Christmas decorations, such as they were, later this afternoon. It's always a welcome albeit somewhat sad task.

Posting...a list of my favorite reads of 2012 later this week. I know, I know, that is so last year but I figure better late than never!

Resolving...nothing this New Year but to know Jesus and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Each turn of the calendar from one year to the next seems to remind me of both my insufficiencies and my inability to conquer them on my own. How I need grace! And how gracious the Lord is to provide!

Wishing...you all a blessed and happy New Year full of the hope and joy of Jesus! He is better than life!



Sunday Prayer: The Gift of Gifts

2012-12-23T07:00:00.848-06:00

From The Valley of Vision,
O SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders;
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.

In him Thou has given me so much that heaven can give no more.



Please, Lord, have mercy

2012-12-20T15:06:12.982-06:00

I know that past experience would lead one to think otherwise but, really, I had no intention of the blog going dark for a couple of weeks such as it has. I had a couple of posts rattling around in my mind as well as the usual end-of-the-year retrospectives (favorite books read, favorite posts written, you get the idea).

And then the events of Connecticut. Like you I found myself speechless with grief. Who can write of such trivia in the wake of unimaginable tragedy? Any observation or wisdom I could hope to offer here on the blog seemed empty and trite and, frankly, beyond my capacity to articulate.

I had quit watching the news after the Presidential election. It wasn't a conscious decision on my part; in fact it was several days, a week maybe, after the election that I realized that, after several months of nearly constant news consumption, I had quit. Cold turkey. The next time I turned on the TV to deliberately watch the news was last Friday, December 14. My youngest son's birthday.

My oldest son came in from work and asked if I had heard what had happened at a school in Connecticut. I had some rather vague knowledge of a shooting. Despite my teetotaler stance in regard to intentional news consumption I wasn't totally ignorant of all that was happening in the world. There is, after all, Twitter.

I could only watch for twenty minutes. My heart was broken. I didn't want any more details; what I knew was enough.

We celebrated my son's birthday. We went to a Christmas party. We watched a basketball game. We discussed the tragedy, some, and I said that death was too good for that shooter. I didn't mean it, not really, because I believe the Bible and I believe in the judgment of the Lord. All that we do will be weighed before the holy God of the universe and upon his death the perpetuator of this horrible, horrible crime was ushered into eternity where he met his reward. Justice is served and it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

We don't speak much, in church or outside, of judgment and wrath and justice. It affronts our cherished notion of a God of love. What kind of love is it, though, that punishes no wrong? The good news is that because of His great love, God Himself satisfies His anger. He Himself bears the wrath of His justice for those who belong to Him as His children. It is a fearsome thing, yes, to consider the just consequence to sin and yet Jesus suffered in our place. The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all!

Like you, my grief over the events in Connecticut wells up in prayer. I find myself begging over and over, "Lord, have mercy, please, oh Lord, have mercy." This sort of tragedy reminds us in stark, dreadful clarity that our world is broken and we are a broken people. We need saving. We need a Savior. The gospel proclaims that God Himself sent forth a rescue mission by sending His Son to save us from our sins.

Justice will be served. The price will be paid. We can find comfort--strange as it may seem to us--in the justice of a holy God who will not tolerate evil. He will not. He cannot. There are two options before every one of us: Repent of your sin and believe that the Lord will save you because Jesus bore the consequence of your sin as He died on the cross. Or, if you will not, know that a fearsome and horrible destiny awaits: an eternity in hell, a place of anguish and unimaginable torment.

May the Lord grant mercy and sustaining strength to those suffering loss and pain and an unbearable weight of grief, to the family members and the teachers and the school administrators, to the law enforcement officials and the first responders. May His grace abound to all.

Please, Lord, have mercy. We need You so.



Jesus in our ordinary

2012-12-07T10:31:02.690-06:00

I'm writing about dust and tv remotes and my grandmother's nativity at Out of the Ordinary today. I hope you'll click over; we've devoted our last several posts to Advent and the celebration of God's indescribable gift of His Son Jesus.




Thursdays

2012-12-06T12:56:36.113-06:00

I love Thursdays. It is my day to be home, to catch up on housework and laundry, to rest and read and think, to take life at a slower pace at least for a day or part of a day. Mondays I spend grocery shopping and cramming preparing for Bible study. Tuesdays I teach Bible study and go to lunch with the group and generally make yet another grocery store run for whatever it is I forgot on Monday. Wednesdays I am at the crisis pregnancy center. Plus we have basketball every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings with church on Wednesday evening so on Thursdays I take a few hours to slow down, I take a deep breath, I recover and rejuvenate, I catch up, I (at least make the attempt to) take care of the homefront.

I remarked to someone this week that I am in my heart of hearts a case study in introversion. The person to whom I was talking chuckled a little in disbelief but it's true. Friends and fun, two things I value and enjoy, don't come easily to me and quite frankly wear me out. Hermit-hood is my default.

I am particularly tired today, a good kind of tired, the kind of tired that comes from an overflow of both friends and fun and a generous dose of gratitude for each. Our last session of Bible study for this fall was Tuesday. Despite my aforementioned unqualified introverted status, I love teaching Bible study. I love it. I love the studying and the preparation and the learning and the wrestling, yes indeed, but, for me, my passion finds final, full expression in the outpouring, the teaching, the telling. It's the strangest thing, someone like me who would really much prefer the anonymity of the back row, assuming the teacher's chair and liking it, wanting it, needing it even.

And so another session of Bible study comes to a close and I am my usual sappy self. Longtime readers of the blog know well my effusion of gratitude and humility at the end of a study. My teaching is a compulsion and that my friends and fellow Bible students would come alongside me for the journey is the Lord's grace to me, grace in such abundance that I am overcome. In a good way.

And Tuesday night was our church's annual ladies' Christmas party. We had a great time! I love those women, my friends, my sisters in the Lord, godly women who love each other well. I love celebrating our Savior's advent together with great food, good fellowship and fun gifts and games.

So with such a week of study and preparation and release and celebration, I am moving slowly in my introverted induced fatigue but I am also savoring the goodness and grace of my good and gracious God who gives me good gifts of friends and fun and both in such abundance. I am grateful, I am humbled, I am tired. But in a good way.



Internet-borne myopia

2012-12-04T14:09:45.555-06:00

Last Wednesday night at church the subject of Rachel Held Evans' new book came up. Of the 15 or so present only two of us were familiar if not with the book itself certainly with the brouhaha surrounding it, those two being me and my pastor. In fact, no one else there even knew who RHE is, which to some may be a somewhat surprising truth given the multitude of blog posts and twitter updates dedicated to either affection or disdain for her and her book, depending of course on one's perspective. Love her or hate her, RHE is a lightning rod, no two ways about it.I would suspect that most of my readers here at the blog are also unaware both of the aforementioned book as well as of the kind of controversies and quarrels that seem to mark much of social media. You may not realize this, but bloggers as a whole can be a pretty opinionated bunch, which, depending on the blogger you're referring to, could be the understatement of the year. I learned the hard way how sharply such opinions can be expressed. I was a total newbie, a novice of the blog world, and as such completely ignorant of the types of hot button issues that incite a blogger throw down. It was an innocent question I posted, a request for clarification, that resulted in a maelstrom of conflict and controversy in the comment thread. I quickly retreated, waiting several months before I even dared to return to visit that particular site. I have yet to post another comment there.I've often thought about that experience, and other internet-borne explosions of criticism and controversy and though I remain perplexed as to why fellow believers choose to treat each other with such open disdain, whatever the subject at hand, I find it comforting that there are those out there like my fellow churchgoers, believers, lovers of the Lord Jesus, who have no idea what it is we're all worked up about. In other words, this internet world, important though it may be, is only a small part of the picture.How myopic our perspective can become! We spend our days compulsively checking twitter and Facebook on our smart phones, drafting witty replies and pithy posts. We formulate arguments, we draw lines in the sand, we elevate sarcasm and derision to an art form, all in the name of the defense of truth. And woe to the blogger who stumbles into one such provocation, however innocently or inadvertently.Hear me: I am not saying we are not to engage in any sort of debate or dispute, on the internet or otherwise. It is right and good to engage each other in the pursuit of truth. Sometimes we will disagree, of course we will. I am speaking instead to our tendency to forget that some people, a lot of people, most of the people we are in contact with on a day-to-day basis, haven't the foggiest what we're talking about. This corner of the internet is a small one and it is even smaller in comparison to the real, non-virtual worldIn my more cynical moments I often wonder what might happen if those among us who spend their days fighting the presumed internet wars, moving from one controversy to another, taking their snark and shrill outrage from website to website, what if for each battle, each comment, each blog post, each argument, they unplugged the computer, walked out the door and shared the gospel with someone, someone in flesh and blood, in face to face conversation? Are our perspectives so skewed we can only see our computer screen and not the world beyond? I am asking myself this question. Which is more pressing on my mind and affection: the latest internet drama or my unsaved neighbor?I am thankful for blogging and for the encouragement and friendship I find here among godly, like-minded women. Lord willing, I will be here engaging and blogging and thi[...]



Status Report, December

2012-12-03T09:14:00.275-06:00

Sitting...at my dining room table.Drinking...coffee, black.Sending...an email to my bible study group about our last lesson in the morning for this fall. I am always a little sappy at the close of a session of Bible study. I suppose it's kind of like labor: so much work but so much joy. The Lord has been so good to us!Planning...to follow The Promised One that we studied this fall with Nancy Guthrie's next book in the series, The Lamb of God, beginning in January. Seeing Jesus in Genesis was pretty intense (in the best sort of way); how much more so will be seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy?Reading...The Lamb of God in preparation for the winter/spring session of Bible study. I'm also reading Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside (very good) and a book we used in Sunday school at my church, How People Change (also good). In my morning devotional readings, I'm using Desiring God's free Advent book, Good News of Great Joy.Hoping...to find a great fiction read today at the library. I spent more-time-than-I-care-to-admit-to-you on the internet last night reading book reviews and recommendations and checking them against my libraries' online catalogs. Yes, I made my list and I checked it twice and I freely admit my book nerd status. No shame.Keeping...my Christmas decorating to a minimum this year. I put up my two trees (go, me) and hung a wreath on the door and that's about it. When I confessed my minimist approach to a friend, my husband and boys both remarked that that's all I usually do, thus revealing their ignorance both of my previous decorating efforts and of the large box of Christmas knick knacks that I returned to the garage for storage. Men.Shopping...for gifts nearly done. Let me just proclaim once again my love of the internet and amazon.Partying...tomorrow night with my church girlfriends. We always have a great time! For our gift exchange this year we are to each bring a "favorite thing." So many favorite things I could bring! I think it'll be a lot of fun seeing what each friend deems her favorite thing.Anticipating...my oldest boy being home from college for a whole month! A whole month of seeing him every day!Wondering...how in the world is it that my third son will be 15 in a couple of weeks, followed three days later by my baby turning 13. For those of you keeping up that means four teenagers. Four. Have I mentioned how time flies?Praying...for a joyous Christ-filled Christmas celebration for you and for me. May we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Christ-child, our Savior, Redeemer and Lord. Let us rejoice in Him and His life, death, and resurrection that accomplished for us "peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."Merry Christmas, friends!The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14[...]



Reading Reflection: The Screwtape Letters

2012-11-30T09:29:46.266-06:00

Some of my church girlfriends and I have a book club of sorts, meaning we all read a book and get together and eat and talk about what we liked (or didn't) about that month's selection. It's all rather relaxed and laid back and we have a great time discussing a wide variety of books across different genres.This past Monday we discussed C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. I was the only one who had finished the book but that didn't limit our discussion, and, besides, one of the main tenets of our club is that there's book club grace.Like a lot of people, The Screwtape Letters is a book I'd started various times over the years but never actually completed, at least not until I was responsible for facilitating the aforementioned book club discussion! It turns out it wasn't at all what I'd expected.The Screwtape Letters is, as its title suggests, an epistolary novel comprised of letters from the demon Screwtape to his protege, his nephew Wormwood. Remembering the popularity of Frank Peretti's novels in the 80's and the fascination that emerged regarding angelic and demonic activity, I expected something of the same. And, yes, of course, demons are the main characters in Lewis' story; Wormwood's "patient", the human he is attempting to influence for evil, isn't even named. What struck me most, however, was not demonic method and influence but rather human weakness--specifically my weakness. This is, I suspect, Lewis's intent: to expose our human frailty by imagining how a couple of demons might exploit it.As a work of fiction The Screwtape Letters didn't exactly draw me in. But as a commentary on my susceptibility to doubt and distraction, it moved me to both encouragement and conviction. I marked several passages to highlight during our book club discussion, including the following (Keep in mind that in Screwtape's world the "Enemy" is God.) :On perseverance...Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.On obedience and the will...The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilising the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.On "Christianity And"...If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring. Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing.On the middle years...The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes, the quiet despair (hardly felt as pain) of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives, and the inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it--all this provides admirable opport[...]



Beginning again

2012-11-29T10:41:48.203-06:00

So, here's a question: how does one climb back onto the blogging bandwagon after so many weeks (nay, months) of little to no (mostly no) posting? Yesterday I sat down at the computer with every intention of writing a pseudo post such as this but instead logged into my old wordpress account and spent an hour browsing the various theme options.

Note to self: that is how NOT to climb back onto the blogging bandwagon, as is obvious.

I suppose the answer to my question is the same as for any other endeavor: one begins again by, well, beginning again. In other words, just do it. Put the fingers to keyboard and write something, anything, already.

And so I attempt to begin again.



Status Report, November

2012-11-01T10:14:31.190-05:00

Sitting...on the sofa with my dog Darcy. She's become quite the couch potato these chilly mornings.Loving...these chilly mornings.Drinking...coffee, black.Pondering...this from Elyse Fitzpatrick's devotional Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time:The key to a godly life is not more and more self-generated effort. Instead, Jesus is saying, "Love me and your obedience will flow naturally from that love." The secret to obedience isn't formulaic steps found in a self-help book. It is a relentless pursuit of love for him. How then do I cultivate the sincerity of love that motivates obedience? By focusing more intently on his love for me than on my love for him, more on his obedience than mine, more on his faithfulness than mine, more on his strengths than mine.Reading...Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything by Anonymous. I received an advance reader's copy from one of the booths at The Gospel Coalition's Women's Conference but hadn't read it because, just being honest here, but I thought the whole obscurity/anonymous deal was a little gimmicky. But then a friend I respect and admire recommended it and told me it would totally get in my business and, well, she was right. I read this just a few minutes ago and think it apropos for moms and bloggers and bible teachers and, well, you get the idea...Instead of spending our days struggling for significance, living under the shame of failure, and watching what temporary significance we do achieve fade away, Christ offers His significant life to us all. We cannot earn it; we simply receive it by faith. He is our significance.Yes and amen.Also reading...Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin and looking forward to the release of the movie based upon it. Actually, for one who rarely goes to the movies, there are several upcoming releases I am eager to see: Lincoln, The Hobbit, and Les Miserables. Anticipating...the start of basketball season.Thinking...about community and grace and conflict and the necessity of loving honestly and communicating humbly.Wondering...yet again about the future of this blog. I know, I know, I'm a broken record (yada yada yada) and yet for all my waffling and wondering I seem to end up limping along with the occasional post here and there. It's almost time to renew my domain registration which makes me wonder (for the thousandth if not the millionth time) if it's a worthy investment!Considering...a personal blog challenge similar to my 21 days of blogging "Something, Anything". Maybe a month of thankfulness? Anyone willing to take up a similar challenge or have any better ideas for easing back into the blogging routine?Thankful...for so many undeserved blessings this Thanksgiving month: my husband and children and family, my dog (yeah, really), my home, my church, my friends, the privilege of teaching Bible study, the ministry of our crisis pregnancy center, the grace and mercy of my God, the salvation I have in Christ. Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.Humbled...by a sweet email I received yesterday from one of the ladies in the Bible study I am teaching. Though I learned a long time ago not to seek it out nor to define myself by it, I am so very grateful for words of support and encouragement. It is good to boast together in the faithfulness of our God for He alone is worthy!Needing...to get up from the computer (and the sofa) and get some work done. First up on the To-Do list: cleaning out the refrigerator. Oh, the glamour of the life of a stay at home mom! Thankfully, Christ is my signi[...]



Happy Reformation Day!

2012-10-31T08:31:51.475-05:00

Yesterday I taught Bible study. Each Tuesday as we immerse ourselves in the pages of Genesis, using Nancy Guthrie's book The Promised One as our guide, we are exalting in God's glorious plan to redeem a people for Himself and His own glory through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. Every week--in a study of Genesis, yes and amen--we declare the amazing truth of gospel grace: that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone.A few hundred years ago this sort of proclamation could have resulted in a call to recant at the very least, perhaps even trial and execution, often by means of burning at the stake. Indeed the privilege to preach the truth of Christ's righteousness granted to us by no other means but the Lord's favor--justification by faith--is one purchased for us through the blood of many martyrs for the faith.Church history is, sadly, something I know little about. I was never taught--or, perhaps it is better said that I never learned--the rich legacy of those saints who fought the good fight before me and for me.Today will be celebrated by trick or treating and other various fall-ish activities. But October 31 is tremendously important for those of us who love the gospel, who know themselves debtors to grace, who preach and teach Jesus, and who study His Word in a language we know and understand. It is Reformation Day, the date that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenburg Door.Below is a re-posting from October 31 of last year. I offer it yet again in the hopes that, like mine, your heart will be stirred by the realization that many of the blessings and privileges we know have come to us through the faithful lives--and deaths--of the Reformers.In addition to the links and resources I list below, here are a couple more that will serve to pique your interest in the Reformation:A free biography of Martin Luther available for download from Desiring GodReformation Readings for Kids from Christian FocusHappy Reformation Day!********From October 2011...From the time I was a girl, I have been taught that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. I've read and studied God's Word using numerous Bibles over the years, from the children's Living Bible I received in Sunday school as a child to the ESV study Bible I currently use. It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered these are privileges granted to me through the Reformation.October 31 is, to most of us, Halloween. It is also the date that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg in 1517. What does a monk and a long list of grievances against the Catholic church and its sale of indulgences have to do with me today? For those of us who joyfully and humbly exalt in justification by grace through faith, everything. Luther's assertion that God's righteousness is imputed to us through the work of Christ was so radical that he was called to recant or face execution, to which Luther replied,"Unless I am convinced by sacred Scripture or by evident reason, I cannot recant, for my conscience is held captive by the Word of God, and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.” An uproar ensued and surely Luther would have been killed if not for his friends staging a kidnapping. Thus the Reformation began.Not only that, but did you know that many Reformers died cruel and horrible deaths because they believed the Bible ought to be available to the common man in his own language? Consider that next time you open the Word and read it in language you understand.We owe a great debt[...]



The Friday Favorite I Forgot and the Fear of the Lord

2012-10-29T16:10:27.662-05:00

So, last Friday, when I marked my return to blogging (such as it may or may not be) with a pseudo-post about the sorts of activities I've been enjoying apart from, you know, blogging, I neglected to mention teaching Bible study. In fact, Bible study--not only the teaching but the study and the preparation and the anticipation and the thinking about and the worrying over--all that probably takes up as much time as those five activities combined and yet somehow I forget to mention it? When I realized I had overlooked this huge part of life as I know it I was so embarrassed--isn't that crazy? I suppose that is what happens when one attempts to revive her blog with a post written in fifteen minutes flat.So, yes, I am teaching Bible study and, despite my failure to list it as such, it is a non blogging activity that I enjoy. Actually, that's not entirely the truth of it. I do enjoy teaching, tremendously so. I can't avoid the teacher's chair if I tried and sometimes I have, tried to avoid it that is, but to no avail. I am compelled. However, my passion is not always so singularly felt.A couple of weeks ago my friend, a first time participant in a study I've facilitated, remarked on her observation of my joy in teaching. "Don't you just love it?" she asked, answering her own question, "I can tell you do." I answered in the affirmative--because I do love it and need it and crave it and enjoy it--but I had to admit that as much as I love it I also sometimes dread it, particularly on a Tuesday morning about an hour out from the start of class when I find myself wavering between excited anticipation, grateful humility, and full blown panic coupled with a slight touch of nausea.I remember when I used to teach with the zeal of the confident (and dare I say the ignorant?). I was so sure of myself and sure of my "calling" and sure of the blessings inherent in the pursuit of God through His Word that there was little room for the aforementioned panic and nausea. How I loved the Lord and the Word! I still do, yes, even more so, but my fervor is now tempered by fear.It's true: even at the ripe old age of 44 the fight against insecurity wages on. I mean, hello, a room of twenty-plus women waiting on me to teach? Me without a single hour of formal theological training nor even the first speech communication class? Me, an ordinary mom, an introvert of introverts, a hermit more comfortable in a room full of books than a room full of women?I'm insecure, yes, indeed, and part of that insecurity is borne of a self-focus that convinces me I can't and shouldn't. Funny thing is, those same fears rightly channeled prompt an even greater fear: the fear of the Lord. How small I am before Him and how silly my pretensions to teach His Word in and of my own skill and winsomeness! Who am I, indeed? More than an ordinary, introverted mom I am a sinner, not merely inadequate to the task but wholly and completely unworthy on my own merit. To teach the Word of God is a fearsome thing and the more I study the Bible, the more I know of the holiness and righteousness of the Lord, the more I see my own sin and inadquacy, the more I shudder before the responsibility of teaching.I shudder, it's true, but then I step up to the podium and I open my mouth and I know yet again the Lord's grace and faithfulness. I cannot and ought not and (please, Lord) will not apart from His provision. I see my inadequacy to the point I sometimes want to run and hide but in that weakness I know His strength! He is faithful!Every week before we beg[...]



Friday Fave Five: The Not-Blogging Edition

2012-10-26T09:57:41.084-05:00

Well, well, well. My last post here was way back in the middle of September, which is most likely the longest hiatus I've taken in my six or so years of blogging. In fact, not only have I been not-blogging, some days I haven't even opened the laptop, can you believe it? So what have I been doing? Here are five of my favorite not-blogging pastimes of late...1. Watching football. I love football and I love football season. My youngest son played for the 7th grade team so we've spent our Tuesdays cheering him on. My third son plays the trombone in the high school band so we've enjoyed watching him perform on Friday nights at the varsity games. Incidentally, not only do we enjoy watching him doing something he enjoys so much but the show itself is really quite entertaining what with smoke and a large video screen not to mention the music of Bon Jovi. We also have been going down to my son's college for those games on Saturdays which is a double bonus: football and seeing my boy, one of which I enjoy far more than the other!2. Enjoying beautiful fall days. I love fall, as you well know; the leaves turning, the cooler temperatures, the boots and jeans and sweaters, all are a joy to me.3. Taking walks with my dog Darcy. I've mentioned to you before her insistence bordering on harassment! If I'm honest, there are those days when I'd much rather sit on the sofa and brood rather than go walk around the block but she refuses me the indulgence, proving yet again that she is good for me, body and soul.4. Reading. I've been devouring books, mostly fiction, some good, some not as much. Right now I'm reading (the non fiction book) Team of Rivals and find the contrast between the presidential politics of 1860 and that of our current election season to be quite intriguing. And Lincoln himself is such a compelling figure.5. Writing at Out of the Ordinary. I haven't completely fallen off the blog wagon, not yet anyway. I post every other Friday over at our group blog and have a post up today as a matter of fact. The accountability of an assigned posting day is good for me, as is the iron-sharpening-iron benefit of partnering with wise and godly women. I know I've said it before but I feel as if I've been asked to sit at the grown up's table because those ladies I'm blogging with are smart and mature in the faith and write with integrity and wisdom.So, there you go, some of the things I've been doing whilst not-blogging! Does this mark a return to more regular posting? Who can know? This fall has marked a strange stage of transition for me. I am grateful for the above blessings and for the grace of the Lord, the giver of all good things. Blessings like these, and many, many more, far too many to count or list here, all serve to point me to the greater joy I have in Jesus!Check out more Friday Favorites at Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story![...]



Out of the Ordinary

2012-09-14T08:41:59.109-05:00

So why "Out of the Ordinary" as a name for a blog? And what in the world does it have to do with the tagline "Solid Theology Building Solid Women"? I attempt to give my take on these questions today in my first post at our new group blog. Check it out here!





Thankfulness on Thursday

2012-09-13T16:51:18.847-05:00

I am joining other bloggers who devote space on their site each Thursday to gratefully acknowledge the Lord's providences and blessings of the past week. 

Today I thank the Lord for...

The birthday of two of my favorite guys, my husband and my second son. Yes, they share a birthday; how cool is that? I am grateful for them both and I love them so!

A joint birthday celebration with friends

And, in keeping with the birthday theme, my dog Darcy and her assumed birthday on Monday (we don't know her actual birthdate but my friend who has her brother has determined it to be September 10 and so it is)

The start of a new session of Bible study and the 25 or so ladies that attended Tuesday

Friends who email and text to tell me they are praying for me and want to know, really, how it went

Friends who express confidence in the Lord's gracious provision when I teach and tell me so both before and after Bible study

The Word of God that is living and active and powerful and sufficient

Text conversations with kindred spirits about everything from books to melancholy funks

Really good books

Cooler temperatures and beautiful fall weather, not to mention football season. Have I mentioned fall is my favorite?

Mornings out on the porch

The smell of bread baking in my bread machine

The warm welcome of our new group blog Out of the Ordinary. Watch for my inaugural post tomorrow!

What are you thankful for this week?


I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; 
 I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 
I will be glad and exult in you; 
 I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
~ Psalm 9:1-2




He is all my righteousness

2012-09-06T11:52:19.162-05:00

It wasn't all that long ago. I was a young mom, a Bible teacher, a believer in the grace of God that saved me from the wrath of God against sinners. In fact, I was reading a book about that very thing, grace, and when I turned the last page and shut the book I thought to myself, "That can't be right."Which is, as I think on it, the response of every true legalist to the message of God's free favor. Who once remarked that true gospel grace hasn't been preached unless accompanied by the charge of the heresy of antinomianism (lawlessness)?I had grown up loving the Lord Jesus and wanting so very badly to belong to Him. I knew my sinfulness and my wickedness; I knew it so well that I prayed the so-called sinner's prayer many times, desperately pleading, begging the Lord to save me. However much I had misunderstood grace I did know two things well: that I was a sinner and that Jesus saves sinners like me.I remember as a girl attending a revival service at my church. The evangelist was adamant about the need for repentance and I suppose he must have been rather insistent that genuine repentance would be marked by a public admission. I had fallen under conviction (again!) and prayed alongside his prompts for the Lord to save me (again!) but hesitated to walk the aisle. I worried and I fretted in the days following. In fact I earnestly feared for my soul. I contemplated sending him a letter--if only I had his address!--telling him of my decision to repent (again!) and follow Christ, thinking that such an admission perhaps would serve to assuage my anxiety and grant me peace about my eternal security in Christ. I believed, wrongly, that my acceptance before God depended on what I--and the evangelist--did or didn't do.This makes me sad and yet it is a fitting picture of much of my spiritual journey. I loved Jesus, I wanted to be His and He to be mine, I knew I was a sinner and I could never be good enough, and yet try as I might I could never be "good" and thus I remained convinced my persistent failure and sin kept me from the Lord I loved so. I could find no security, eternal or otherwise, only a vicious cycle of trying harder to do better and be better.So I'm sitting on the patio in the back yard reading a book about grace. Not because I thought it a message I necessarily needed to hear or heed but because a bible teacher I admired quoted this particular author and this particular book. I certainly wasn't expecting my understanding of the gospel to be shattered! Yet...when I read that there was nothing I could do to make Jesus love me more nor anything I could do to make him love me less I protested. My entire life was comprised of a subtle and not-so-subtle system of weights and balances, good and bad, right and wrong, and now it doesn't matter? What about quiet times and church attendance and not drinking and avoiding "R" movies? All meaningless? That can't be right!We legalists, we moralists, we worry so about those who may take advantage of the gift. If we teach grace, if we preach grace, if we live grace, then won't we become antinomians? Would we not continue in sin, doing all that we want, whatever we want, because grace abounds?May it never be, Paul says quite emphatically in Romans 6. Grace is not license to sin; grace sets me free from sin! Because of grace, I am no longer dead but alive and sin has no dominion over me; instead I am a slave to righteousness! I cannot earn His favor but I cannot lose it either.[...]



Status Report, September

2012-09-05T19:21:36.560-05:00

Sitting...at my dining room table.

Drinking...iced tea, sweet.

Celebrating...forty-four years of life plus one day. Yes, yesterday was my birthday and I spent it in the pages of a book, one I began reading in the morning and finished up by afternoon. After a weekend of visiting family and celebrating in grand style with suppers out and gifts and cake with candles, it was nice to spend the day reading and not much else. I did close out my day at a middle school football game with  supper after with some of my favorite guys.

Paying...for my day of lazy leisure yesterday with a crazy day of errands and such today.

Launching...our new blog today! Click over to Out of the Ordinary and see what we're about. Plus there's a book giveaway!

Beginning...a new session of Bible study on Tuesday and terribly nervous about it! It will be slightly different in format and group. I am so excited but so very overwhelmed and quite convinced I'm way, way out of my league. Which is true and thus should serve to keep me humble and desperate for the Spirit's power and provision.

Enjoying...the hints of fall that are beginning to show themselves, not in the temperatures so much but in football games and other fall-ish fun.

Loving...fall the best, a fact I think I've mentioned a time or twenty here on the blog.

Cleaning...house. Or, not. Not at all, if truth be told. I need to be.

Anticipating...my blog friend Aimee's upcoming book Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary. Could there be a subject nearer to my own heart? I am so excited!

Looking...for that really, really good fiction read. You might (or might not) be surprised at the minutes I've invested in reading amazon reviews and searching the local libraries' online card catalogs.

Attempting...to convince myself that in those instances the library fails me e-books are then preferable particularly for fiction (especially if you could see the crowded nature of my bookshelves) but I have trouble paying upwards of $10 for a digital book. Am I cheap?

Missing...my oldest boy but thankful he's learning and making friends and getting involved.

Praying...for the Lord to show Himself faithful and sufficient in a very specific way in a very specific situation. I am so grateful He invites His people to come boldly before His throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. He is good! He is sovereign! He hears! He knows! He answers!

Happy September, friends!



What's On My Nightstand

2012-08-29T08:49:04.176-05:00

Here's a look at what I'm reading this month...Thanks to a recommendation by Sarah of Library Hospital, I recently finished reading The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy this story of an American heiress marrying an impoverished English manor lord. I thought it a charming and delightful if improbably titled novel.Last night I finished The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. Um...let's just say it's an odd book. Very strange indeed. I think maybe I enjoyed it? To be honest, I'm not sure. Have any of you read it? What did you think?I am currently reading The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament by Edmund Clowney in preparation for Bible study this fall and also because I find it interesting.I'm also begun reading A Woman's Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything by Lydia Brownback. I picked this one up at The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference and what I've read so far I really like. My friend Jessalyn at Desiring Virtue has chosen this title for her September bookclub.Speaking of bookclub, some of my blog friends are reading Small Wonder: Essays by Barbara Kingsolver. I pretty much stink at online bookclubs so I haven't decided if I'll join the fun or not. I may grab the book from the library just so I can eavesdrop on their discussion with some degree of intelligence. :)Some books I'm looking forward to reading, should the library inventory and/or book budget allow, includeOpening Moves: The Bowers Files  by Steven James. I'm a big fan of the Patrick Bowers series.The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Aren't we all excited about this one?So what are you reading this month? Have you read anything particularly good lately? I'm always on the lookout for recommendations, particularly for that exceptionally good fiction read.Check out more Nightstand lists at 5 Minutes for Books![...]