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For the Discovery and Recovery of Biblical Womanhood



Updated: 2017-07-04T15:45:45.738+01:00

 



10 Questions for Pastors' Wives: Mae Milton

2009-09-17T19:25:48.274+01:00

After a bit of a break we have another contribution to our series "Ten Questions for Pastors' Wives". This time the questions are answered by Mae Milton, the wife of Dr Michael Milton who is the President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Mae and Dr Milton have been in pastoral ministry for many years and prior to them coming to Charlotte, Dr Milton was Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.1. What do you think is your most important responsibility as a pastor's wife?The most important responsibility as a pastor's wife is to be my husband's chief supporter. To make our home a place of respite for him, a place where he can come and leave all the pressures of the pastorate behind. There are practical ways to do this.2. Is there anything that you think is not part of your role that others may assume is?Others may assume that they get a "two for one" deal. That is you will teach a Bible study, play the piano, be in the choir, teach the children, lead the women's group. etc... But, none of that may be your role. You are your husband's wife and if you have children, a mother. You don't have to do any of those things. You may be gifted in an area and enjoy doing certain things, but you are a wife and mother first to your family. Do what you enjoy and are good doing. I recommend not being the leader of any group. This sometimes sets you up for unnecessary criticism. In church planting, this may be necessary in the beginning, however. 3. What boundaries have you established in order to protect your marriage and family life?Protecting your husband's day off is very important. You may have to leave the house on those days or turning the phone to OFF..and not answering for any reason. Some pastors even have a separate line that they give out to only family and close friends to call. Also, people may try to use you to get their message to your husband. Sometimes you can listen and not carry it on to him. Or, you can kindly tell them if they have a suggestion they call the office to make an appointment with him to discuss the matter. That your home is so busy that you don't want to be responsible for church matters. Also, if they call you up trying the same thing, just refer them to the office. Most of the times I never told my husband.4. How do you apply Galatians 6:2 (“Carry each other's burdens”) when facing difficulties or frustrations in ministry?If you have a friend in the ministry, you can call them to pray. Even family can pray when difficulties arise.5. Where do you and your husband find your own pastoral care?If there are other pastors on staff, you usually have someone with which to talk. Sometimes we have had other pastors in other churches to go talk with. Who have been able to pray with us and for us.6. How do you deal with criticism of you or your husband?This is very difficult. Everyone, I think, deals with criticism differently. I personally try to pray through it. If I know I have to see that person, I try to avoid them until I have gotten calmed down, if I am really upset. I usually act as if I know nothing is going on. Just keep smiling. If someone would ask me if I had heard this, that or the other, I would usually smile as say I have no idea what is going on. Most of the time, that is the truth. Or if there is some criticism of myself, I would just say "I will take it to the Lord and see if there is some merit to it and will make adjustment if necessary. Thanks."7. What is the greatest blessing and what the greatest burden of being a pastor's wife?People are the greatest blessing. Instant friends, people who love you, people to take care, and support you. They become your family. The greatest burden are also people as some will hurt you, talk about you, use you, take advantage of you and let you down.9. What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new pastor's wife?Be yourself. If you love to cook, feed people in your home. If you love children, work with them. Old people, work with them. Use the gi[...]



Phatfish - In Jesus

2009-09-03T02:26:32.503+01:00

(image) So it's September. Where did August go? Posting has been a pretty rare event around here lately as Nicki has just moved to Northern Ireland and I've just started homeschooling, so spare time for us has been rare. I did manage to make it to the gym tonight though and was listening to In Jesus, the latest Phatfish album on my MP3 player.

As with their other recent albums the thing that stands out for me is the quality of the lyrics. There is hardly a word wasted, and all of them are theologically rich. One of my favourites on this album is No one like our God:
The Sun it torches the sky
A distant star bursts to life
Behind it all, there You are,
Sustaining
The raindrops water the earth
And then the harvest gives birth
Behind it all you remain,
Sustaining
Fall on your knees, there is no one like our God
Worship the Lord, King of Kings

This album definitely has a more rocky feel to it than their last and they have recruited a couple of extra guitarists, but I liked the sound. If you want to check out some samples to see if it is your cup of tea you can do that here. All I can say is that it made my workout session much more uplifting than it usually is! And they will even mail it to the USA...



Colin and Nicki are moving on

2009-07-26T01:31:51.272+01:00

Sunday 26th July is a special day for a few reasons. My husband and I will be joining Uptown Church in Charlotte, which is only the second church I have regularly attended in my life. For over thirty years before that I attended, and since the age of eighteen, was a member of, Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. And speaking of Charlotte Chapel, on Sunday morning, Colin Adams (Nicki's husband) will preach his last sermon there before moving to Northern Ireland to become pastor of Ballymoney Baptist Church.

(image) I was thinking about Colin and Nicki, and how much they will be missed in Edinburgh. Colin is an extremely gifted preacher and I have been challenged many times under his ministry. I was thinking which of Colin's sermons stands out most in my mind and the one that I immediately thought of was a sermon on Psalm 16 which was entitled "Take refuge in God". You can listen to it here - it will be well worth your time.

Nicki has been such a great example of biblical womanhood, and has been a mentor to many women (even setting at least one of them up with their future husband!). She has also been tireless in offering hospitality to other people of all ages. She is a devoted Mum and a inspiration to me as I struggle with the daily reality of life with small children. I certainly miss our weekly coffee dates at the soft play centre!

They will be missed in Edinburgh, but as a new chapter opens for them, I am sure that God will use them in their new church. And life is like that. With each new opportunity God brings, there will be sadness at what we leave behind. Yet God is sovereign and will use our new situation to mould us and conform us to the likeness of Christ. Our surroundings may change, but our God does not.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23



Prayers from home

2009-06-17T21:56:59.652+01:00

(image) I am currently reading through Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson and I am finding it extraordinarily helpful. Sally Clarkson and her husband run an established ministry for home-schooling families and, although this book is directed at home-schooling mums, it has a lot to say to those just need encouragement in their mothering, whether or not they home school.

She splits the book into the four seasons namely, Spring, season of renewal; Summer, season of response; Fall, season of resolve; Winter, season of reflection. She takes each in turn and offers wise counsel on such things as finding joy in our children and where God has placed us, bringing our desires into line with God's will, building our house, discipling our children. She uses examples from her experience of raising four children and writes like a good friend or older sister.

One chapter I found especially helpful was on the importance of praying for our children. How easy it is to be anxious about how our kids will turn out, whether they will love God and know to do the right thing, worrying about if we are doing enough to make this happen. Instead we should divert our energies from worry into prayer: not only is this the most important thing we can do for our children, but God will use it to bring us peace. Sally writes:
The more time I spend with my Father in prayer, the better prepared I will be to help my children. And even more important, the more I can rest in the Lord knowing, by faith, that my children are in his hands. When I can trust in God's providence, draw on his grace, join in the spiritual battle through prayer, and praise his name, all the other things I do as a mother seem to pale in significance. The more I grow as a mother, the more I grow convinced that the most important impact I will ever have on my children will be through my prayers for them.

Sometimes I feel like I have fallen to my knees out of exhaustion, tiredness, or frustration. But no matter what has brought me to my knees, that is right where God wants me. It is only from being on my knees in prayer that I will have the strength and assurance to stand up and keep going as a mother. The battle belongs to the Lord. Amen!
I whole-heartedly recommend this book. Whether you happen to be home-schooling or not, it will encourage you in your motherhood mission.



The Blue Ridge Mountains

2009-06-11T02:05:40.695+01:00

(image)
You light up the heavens with just one word,
You measure the mountains in Your hand;
Yet You treasure the broken and make them whole,
You crown us with Your love

Lord You are an Amazing God

(From Lord You are an Amazing God by Phatfish, on the album Guaranteed)



From Jeremiah Burroughs

2009-05-31T19:31:46.182+01:00

(image) A great quote from The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (which I'm slowly making my way through!), for when we are struggling for contentment in the circumstances God has put us in:
The difference between what a godly man has and a wicked man, is this: a godly man is as a child in an inn, an inn-keeper has his child in the house, and provides his diet, and lodging, and what is needful for him. Now a stranger comes, and he has dinner and supper provided, and lodging, but the stranger must pay for everything. It may be that the child's fare is meaner than the fare of the stranger; the stranger has boiled and roast and baked, but he must pay for it, there must come a reckoning for it. Just so it is: many of God's people have only mean fare, but God as a Father provides it, and it is free of cost, they need not pay for what they have, it is paid for before; but the wicked in all their pomp, and pride, and finery: they have what they ask for, but there must come a reckoning for everything, they must pay for all at the conclusion, and is it not better to have a little free of cost, than to have to pay for everything? Grace shows a man that what he has, he has free of cost, from God as from a Father, and therefore it must needs be very sweet.



10 Questions for Pastors' Wives

2009-05-26T12:13:19.086+01:00

Today we continue with our series 10 Questions for Pastors' Wives interviewing Alison Hamilton. Alison is married to Scott Hamilton who is senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, a new church plant in Glasgow, Scotland. 1. What do you think is your most important responsibility as a pastor's wife?To be a good wife - to love and submit to our husbands and therefore to God. Ephesians 5v22-242. Is there anything that you think is not part of your role that others may assume is?Can't think of anything specifically that people have assumed that is part of my role!3. What boundaries have you established in order to protect your marriage and family life?I think this has been more relevant for Scott - he tries to make sure that we are in together one evening, he would be fairly clear that people don't think they can just pop in anytime they fancy to our house. I Probably need to make sure I watch my tongue - not to be grumbling and complaining about Scott.... not that I ever would!! - It is not a helpful or Godly example to set.4. How do you apply Galatians 6:2 ("Carry each other's burdens") when facing difficulties or frustrations in ministry?In prayer and encouragement from God's word.5. Where do you and your husband find your own pastoral care?From other pastors and their wives who are friends.6. How do you deal with criticism of you or your husband?We need to exam the criticism for a grain of truth, then hand it over to the Lord recognising that he is control of all things and that he probably wants to grow me in my understanding of his love and forgiveness which he expects me to mirror in return to the source of the criticism even if it is untrue or unfair.7. What is the greatest blessing and what the greatest burden of being a pastor's wife?Seeing people grow in their walks with the Lord, especially my husband, and the encouragement that is. Greatest burden - frustration of seeing people make unwise choices and the effects that they can have on others.8. Are there any books you would recommend that you've found particularly helpful as a pastor’s wife?I don't think I've ever actually read a book about being a pastors wife - but as I think the most important thing about being a pastors wife is being a good and godly wife - some helpful marriage books are- Love that Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci and When sinners say I do by Dave Harvey.9. What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new pastor's wife?Someone said to me and a bunch of pastors and wives recently that we should make sure that our marriages are the best in the church - so invest in your marriage - recognise that you are both sinners but have a great Saviour, that submission, forgiveness and humility are God's way and although difficult at times and certainly not cultural responses - due to the pride in our hearts will bring God's peace. That God is always sovereign and in control - even when things seem like they are spiraling out of control and that God's ways are not being honoured - he has his plans and purposes in all situations which are far more complex than we can ever understand or see.10. How can the other women in a congregation best support you practically and in prayer?By being in a healthy discipling, accountable relationships with some of them. That they would encourage me in my walk with the Lord to know love God more to pray 2 Thessalonians 1 v 11-12, also in my marriage - to love and serve my husband and family.[...]



10 Questions for Pastors' Wives

2009-05-18T02:34:13.394+01:00

A little while back, Nicki's husband Colin had a series on his blog called "10 Questions for Expositors". We have unashamedly stolen his idea and have sent a set of questions to a number of pastors' wives. The aim of this is to inspire and encourage women who are married to a pastor or to a seminary student. Also we want to give other women an insight into the challenges that pastors' wives face so we can better encourage and pray for those in leadership.So let's start things off with our first pastor's wife! My dear friend Melissa ministers along side her husband Mike, who is Associate Pastor at Uptown Church, Charlotte, NC. Here are her responses:1. What do you think is your most important responsibility as a pastor's wife?Truthfully, my most important responsibility is to abide in Christ, keeping Him always first in my heart.2. Is there anything that you think is not part of your role that others may assume is?Hopefully, they don’t want me to sing! : ) The reality is that I can never be all things to all people. Whenever people expect you to fill all their needs (what can only be done in Christ), ultimately you will fail. That has been a tough lesson for me – letting go of what other people think I should be doing and do what Christ has called me to do. Also, learning to value people’s insight, but let go of their opinions.3. What boundaries have you established in order to protect your marriage and family life?The first: daily time with the Lord. If this boundary is established, I really believe all the other boundaries will fall into place.The second boundary: all commitments should be done for God’s glory, not man’s approval. There is always more ministry to be done. We should labor with all diligence, but for God’s glory, not our own.4. How do you apply Galatians 6:2 ("Carry each other's burdens") when facing difficulties or frustrations in ministry?My husband is my best friend. When I’m frustrated, he listens. When he’s frustrated, I listen. Also, in the listening trying to speak the truth lovingly. Giving calm advice to one another that encourages peace within the body.5. Where do you and your husband find your own pastoral care?This has been difficult for us at times. What I can say with all truthfulness is that God provides the care we need, just when we need it. It has come from people in our church, books we have read, sermons on line… He provides in a variety of ways.6. How do you deal with criticism of you or your husband?I attempt to deal with it patiently and lovingly. Many criticisms are misunderstandings, so I try to listen to what they are saying. For other criticisms, it is always good to be open to our need to change, as well as the fact that our husbands are not perfect.7. What is the greatest blessing and what the greatest burden of being a pastor's wife?Greatest blessing – getting to spend our lives building Christ’s kingdom. It really is an honor to get to do the work of the gospel full time.Greatest challenge – loneliness… not from being with people, but from being understood by people. It is a very different life from most of my friends, so at times I feel the loneliness of that.8. Are there any books you would recommend that you've found particularly helpful as a pastor’s wife?True Woman, Susan Hunt; When Life & Belief Collide, Carolyn James; Anything by Elisabeth Elliot; Suffering & the Sovereignty of God, Various Authors, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor.9. What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new pastor's wife?You can only minister to others what you know to be true yourself. Know the Lord.10. How can the other women in a congregation best support you practically and in prayer?Praying for our marriage and children. Praying that the Lord would keep us from temptation and allow us to live lives set apart that bring Him glory. P[...]



Audio for Pastor's Wives

2009-04-28T11:27:18.580+01:00

Recently at the 2009 Sovereign Grace Pastor's Conference two seminars were given for pastor's wives that are worth listening to.



More about prayer...

2009-04-27T02:33:34.470+01:00

Yet it is not an easy thing to pray. There is a price to be paid, a price of curbed freedom, of resolute concentration, of agonizing supplication. Prayer is the acid test of devotion. To stay in the presence of God and to wait upon him, bearing your soul to His searching gaze, costs everything. The one who prays must be transformed. Prayer must make him holier, purer, more Christ-like. Prayer is a purifying medium.
Colin Peckham, from Sounds from Heaven, The Revival on the Isle of Lewis 1949-1952.



If God Already Knows, Why Pray?

2009-04-08T02:41:54.929+01:00

(image) It's not often these days that I have a "eureka moment" but recently it happened to me while I was reading a book about prayer. You probably know the feeling; you read something and suddenly something previously obtuse becomes crystal-clear. Now I've read a few books on prayer in my time, and some of them were quite good. But If God Already Knows Why Pray by Douglas Kelly is definitely the one of the best.

It is written in a very readable style, full of excellent illustrations and helpful stories. Dr Kelly follows the structure of the Lord's prayer and answers the question he poses in the book's title. He first deals with "If God already knows" under the headings of "Prayer depends on who God is", "Prayer and the praise of God" and "Prayer and the purposes of God". The next section deals with the "why pray", because "Prayer changes us" and "Prayer changes others". Part 3 then talks about "Our problems and God's solutions", discussing "The challenge to persevere", "Wrestling in prayer" and "When God appears to say no".

The section I found most helpful (and the source of my personal revelation!) discussed the divine initiative in prayer. Dr Kelly explains how
"God has specifically chosen to use the prayers of His saints (which they base on His written word) for His name to be glorified and His will to be done."
I believed this to be true in my head, but this did not energise me when it actually came down to the praying. Dr Kelly goes on to explain how
"effective prayers start in heaven and are sent down to us by God himself"
and after reading this section I really started to understand what this means.
"The risen Christ is interceding for us in heaven (Hebrews 7:24-28). The Spirit is there with Him, because the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are always together. And that same Spirit 'also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered' (Romans 8:26).

The Spirit leaves the throne where Jesus is praying and comes down into the believer's heart where he begins to re-echo the intercessions of Jesus. It is as though the Holy Spirit places a mirror inside our hearts and turns it in such a direction that it reflects back to heaven the deepest desires of the interceding Christ."
Eureka! Well, for me at least. If you feel you need some insights to fire up your prayer life, then read this book. Be warned, your prayers may never be the same again.



Modesty

2009-04-04T12:08:38.182+01:00

I've just discovered a new webzine over at Next . This month particularly has a worthwhile read in Lydia Brownback's article, The Single Woman and the Modesty of Personal Restraint:
As the spring season blooms, talk about modesty heats up in Christian conversation as fast as the weather. Bloggers, radio hosts, and the rest of us lament the shorter hemlines, deeper necklines, exposed bellies, and bare bottoms in thong bikinis at the neighborhood swim club. But immodesty deals with a lot more than revealing too much skin. We are just as prone—if not more so—to overexpose what’s under our skin. Revealing too much about ourselves is immodest too. When Peter painted his picture of godly womanhood, it included outward modesty—how we handle “the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing”—but it also included the modesty of personal restraint—“a gentle and quiet spirit,” which, he said, is very precious in God’s sight (1 Pet. 3:4).
Read on here. You'll also find further resources on the Next site with a bunch of conference messages from over the years on various subjects and from top notch speakers.



Bible Overview

2009-04-03T13:36:50.616+01:00

If you're looking for some good bible overview sermons I'd thoroughly recommend these ones by Mark Dever from Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Go on, pick a book and start listening.



He saw the first time

2009-04-01T00:50:30.089+01:00

(image) I all too easily get discouraged when a task I have just completed soon needs to be done again. The washing, the dirty dishes, meals; I'm sure you can add your own list. So I found this quote from Helen Roseveare very helpful. She is describing her time at WEC mission headquarters, where she went in preparation for going to the Congo as a mission doctor.
I was told to go and wash the cement floor of the toilets and bathroom on the women candidate's floor. I found a bucket and a brush, and set to...I scrubbed out the first toilet and started on the second. A candidate entered the first with muddy shoes. The floor was still wet. When she left, I returned and did the first again. Meanwhile, someone else entered the second. This continued for some little time with a rising sense of frustration. I'd never get them clean! I'd fail, my very first day in training, to achieve the task I was set. Tears pricked at my eyes. I scrubbed on, muttering, 'Devil, get out of here! Devil, get out of here!'

Someone came in, and standing still a moment watching me, heard my muttered comments. She laughed and startled me. 'Now I understand why our cakes are all burnt today!' she exclaimed. 'We're in the kitchen underneath, and you're sending the devil down to us!' She left amused. But there was another quiet spectator, Elizabeth, who was in charge of the candidates and who had given me this task. After a short pause, she gently asked me why I was so upset. I explained the cause of my frustration. 'For whom are you scrubbing this floor?' she replied. 'Why for you, of course; you sent me here.' I've never forgotten her answer. 'No, my dear. If you are doing it for me, you may as well go home. You'll never satisfy me. You're doing it for the Lord, and He saw the first time you cleaned it. That now is tomorrow's dirt.'

From Give Me This Mountain by Helen Roseveare.



Different by Design 2009

2009-03-30T15:44:43.865+01:00

The Different by Design conference this year at Bethlehem Baptist Church featured a favourite of mine, Don Carson. He spoke on 1 Timothy 2 and here are his two messages.



What Makes for a Strong Women's Ministry?

2009-03-14T13:58:00.156+00:00

This is the recent question posed over at CBMW. Brent Nelson writes:

Recently Sarah Flashing wrote an article asking, "Does ‘complementarian' equal anemic women's ministry?" Her answer was: yes, usually, but it needn't. After a brief anecdote regarding a conversation with a young woman on her bus-ride home, Flashing concludes,

"Holding to a complementarian view of the church and family does not necessitate that women's ministries focus primarily on social activities, discussions how to feed their families, or fill in the blank bible studies. There is room for young women...who want to bring solid methods of biblical interpretation and theological reflection to women's lives, and we can talk about more theological topics than just biblical womanhood, though we should certainly talk about that as well."

I applaud the direction Flashing takes in the article, save for a subtle contrast that could bode poorly. There wafts an air of chronological snobbery (to echo C.S. Lewis): "These are women who want to fulfill the Titus 2 mandate, to mentor and ministry to other women, who wan to play a significant role in Christian education, but also want to escape the culture of women's ministry that they inherited from their grandmothers."

There's a danger lurking here. First, what is it about their grandmothers' culture of women's ministry that must be escaped from just because it was two generations back? One could argue that since every generation must admit to its blind-spots, past generations could illumine our current blind-spots at least as well as we can illumine theirs.

Yet a second danger seems even more risky. Are those who reject their grandmothers' kind of women's ministry sure of what they reject? It is well that the Titus 2:3-5 mandate drives the current aims, but was it not held high 50 years ago by our godly grandmothers? Indeed, some who led women's ministries in the 1950's may have lived the scriptural ideals of ‘self-control, purity, working in the home and submission to their own husbands' far better than some today.

Those women who mean to glorify God by seeking to become theologically robust, spiritually sagacious, steadily joyful, biblically-surrendered and steeled in their faith dare not neglect the help available to them from Christians past.

Read further for Brent's book recommendation on how women can lead women.




Free Proclamation Trust Audio

2009-03-07T09:28:08.114+00:00

Unashamed Workman has linked to some free Proclamation Trust audio, including messages from Piper, Carson, Keller, Lucas, Jensen and Milne. What he failed to highlight ladies were a couple of messages for women! Here they are:

Spring Ministry Wives Conference 2008

Women in Ministry 2008
Women in Ministry 2009

Although the audio is free, you do need to register.



Sustaining Grace

2009-03-06T19:25:10.445+00:00

"Not grace to bar what is not bliss,
Nor flight from all distress, but this;
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then, in the darkness is there to sustain."

John Piper - New Horizon, NI 2006



Easy-peasy oat crunchies

2009-02-28T18:47:28.681+00:00

Now that I am at home full time I have re-discovered my copy of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. This book tells you how to boil an egg properly (and I found I've been doing it wrong all these years!) and it also contains a recipe for oat crunchies which I made for the first time the other day. Very easy and very nice! Here is my slightly amended version:

Ingredients(image)
110g (1.5 cups) oats
75g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
110g (1 stick) margarine or butter

Preheat oven to 375oF, 190oC or gas mark 5.
Grease a 9x9 inch cake or brownie tin.

Put the oats and sugar in a bowl and mix together well. Gently melt the butter being careful not to let it brown. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and mix well. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and press down evenly with your hand (the crunchies will be quite thin).

Bake for 15 minutes until they are pale golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into 12 portions with a spatula while still warm. Leave in the tin until cold and crisp then store in an airtight tin.



Much more, remember, not much less

2009-02-16T00:31:30.270+00:00

From Daily Secrets of the Christian Life , a devotional from the writings of Hannah Whitehall Smith, brought together by Ann Spangler:

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matt 6:30

How often have we marvelled at the orderly working of the universe, and have admired the great Power that made it and now controls it. But we have, none of us, I suppose, ever felt it necessary to take the burden of the universe upon our own shoulders. We have trusted the creator to manage it all without our help.

Even where we have fully recognised that the universe is completely in God's care, we have failed to see that we are also there, and have never dreamed that it could be true that "much more" than he cares for the universe will he care for us. We have burdened ourselves with the care of ourselves. In our unbelief, we think that we are of "much less" value than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field. Man is so puny, so insignificant, of so little account when compared to the great, wide universe. What is he, we ask, that God should care for him? Yet God declares that he does care for him and that he even cares for him much more than he cares for the universe. Much more, remember, not much less. Every thought of anxiety about ourselves must be immediately crushed with the reflection that, since we are not so foolish as to become anxious about the universe, we must not be so more foolish as to become anxious about ourselves.



Why Falling in Love Isn't Enough

2009-02-14T07:55:38.469+00:00

From my husband at Unashamed Workman:

"Tomorrow night I have an unusual opportunity. I’m speaking to married couples about cultivating their marriages, prior to them heading out for Valentine’s meals across the city.

My short talk will mention John Wesley, who this week in 1751 literally ‘fell in love’ with his wife to be, Molly (read about the remarkable outcome of his painful slip on London bridge here).

As infamously known, however, Wesley’s marriage did not build upon its initial promise. One certain cause was John’s unwillingness to travel ‘one less day or one less mile’ simply because he was now in a married state. He did not invest in his marriage. As I will put it tomorrow night:

John Wesley learned the hard way that you can ‘fall’ into marriage, but you can’t slip and trip into a good one. That takes care and consideration; it takes labour and learning. Such a marriage is neither light, frothy or easy. But it if we do it God’s way – with loving intentionality – it is lasting."




Ballymoney is Calling

2009-02-11T21:34:56.204+00:00

It's been a bittersweet week in our house as my husband and I announced to our church in Edinburgh, that Colin has accepted a call to Pastor Ballymoney Baptist Church in Northern Ireland.

For the past 6 years it has been more than our privilege to serve and fellowship with God's people in Charlotte Chapel. Not only that, we have benefited so much from this local church that it is with a heavy heart that we will go. But the Lord's hand is upon our lives, upon Charlotte Chapel and upon Ballymoney Baptist Church and we pray that he will work out his purposes among his people, bringing glory to his name in these places.

(image) Here are some things that I am thankful for:

1. 200 years of faithful Gospel witness in Charlotte Chapel

2. 23 years of faithful Gospel witness in Ballymoney Baptist Church

3. 200 years of faithful expository preaching in Charlotte Chapel

4. 23 years of faithful expository preaching in Ballymoney Baptist Church

5. For many a godly example in Charlotte Chapel that I have sought to follow

6. For many a godly example in Ballymoney I hope to follow

7. For God's grace to serve in Charlotte Chapel

8. For continued grace to serve in Ballymoney

9. For the love, care & fellowship of many dear brothers & sisters in Charlotte Chapel

10. For the love, care & fellowship already felt from Ballymoney



Encouraging Words from Mrs Spurgeon

2009-02-10T10:20:18.098+00:00

When my soul is tossed on the rough waves of the troubled sea of this life, if I can but cast out the anchor of hope into the depths of God's blessed will, it holds fast at once and the winds and the waves are rebuked...

God's plans and purposes for me, and for you, dear reader, were all made and determined on from the beginning; and as they are worked out day by day in our lives, how wise should we be if, with joyful certainty, we accepted each unfolding of his will as a proof of his faithfulness and love! When once I, as a believer, can say from my heart, 'This is the will of God concerning me', it matters not what the 'this' is - whether it be a small domestic worry, or the severance of the dearest earthly ties - the fact that it is his most blessed will, takes all the fierce sting out of the trouble, and leaves it powerless to hurt or hinder the peace of my soul.
Susannah Spurgeon, Free Grace & Dying Love



Q & A on Singleness

2009-02-08T16:00:12.532+00:00

  • How is singleness better than marriage?
  • How can singles help foster a relational culture at church?
  • How do I deal with the intense longing to be married?
  • What are the trials unique to singleness, and how do you recommend combating them?
  • What would you say to someone who thinks their sexual sin has disqualified them from ministry?
  • What do you think about masturbation?
  • Is it OK for a single woman to pursue a career?
For the answers to these questions listen here.



One for the Guys

2009-01-29T11:23:31.520+00:00

6 Ways to Meets Your Wife's Need for Affection is a short, helpful article from Crosswalk - one for our guy readers and one to pass on to our husbands.

1. Touch her arm or knee when you talk with her. Your gentle touch communicates, “I’m here. You’re not alone. I enjoy you. I’ll take care of you.”

2. Make an effort to spend time alone together – go out for dinner, for a walk, or out for coffee. Show her (and others) that you enjoy the intimacy of being alone with her.

3. Grab her hand and hold it when you’re out in public.

4. Give her a kiss and a hug when you leave and return home.

5. Don’t see every complaint as an attack. Women think as long as they feel the marriage is working, they can talk about it. On the other hand, most men feel the relationship isn’t working if they have to talk about it. Allow her to express what’s on her mind.

6. Recognize her strong emotions as exclamation marks. When she is upset, angry, or frustrated, realize that these emotions are her way of letting you know how much the issue at hand matters to her.

Read the rest of the article here.