Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Ryan and I have been enjoying Thanksgiving here in Greenville, SC, where I spent most of my childhood & college years. It's been great to see my folks and to be free from the pressure of a job... Mom even lets me off of so many of my WIFEly jobs-- I barely am allowed to clean or cook while I'm here!  We ate a big Thanksgiving dinner at my Uncle Steve & Tia Olga's-- my Mom baked the turkey and stuffed mushrooms, Anna did some bruschetta, Nicole made some coffee ice cream to DIE for, I put together a gluten-free pumpkin pie, Uncle Steve made gravy, Heath (my cousin) made mashed potatoes, Derek stole us some cake (long story) and then Tia Olga filled out the rest with apple pie, home made rolls & stuffing (both glutinous and GF), cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. SO YUMMY!! One of Derek's friends- a British citizen- from college came home with him, so we got to be his first experience of Thanksgiving. :) I hope and pray that the things Matt heard will challenge his views on "religion" as a system, and instead embrace Christ through faith. When we went around the table and each said what we were thankful for, he commented that he'd never seen or heard of a family sitting around and sharing spiritual things like that, and that he was thankful for getting to be there. Lord, plant and water those seeds!!

Then I got sick. :( For the first time in a long time...and pretty badly too. I was begging God to keep Ryan healthy, and to let me recover quickly-- I could all-to-well imagine the ride back three to a truck cab... crowded at best, and miserable when sick. I'm feeling better, though, well enough to sit up and participate in conversation at least. :) God's so kind!
We'll be back soon! And we'll be looking for a new car, so if you have one you're wanting to sell, let us know!
-- a very thankful girl

My sister Anna (18), double-fistin' it on the mashed potatoes.  And to think she used to be the SILENT baby of the family! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Help for Married Couples

Click here to download the sessions from the Couples' Retreat which one of my pastors, Ryan Fullerton just did at my former church in Greenville, SC. Pastor Ryan married Ryan & I, and along with his wife Christy did our pre-marital counseling...they still counsel us post-marriage, too. =D The sessions are
1. "Marriage: It's fallen on hard times."
2. "The Grace-Based Marriage: how NOT to apply Ephesians 5"
3. "Sex and Marriage: How to be lovers in dangerous times."

Check them out and pass them on to anyone you'd like!

For those of you who had trouble downloading, I emailed the webmaster, so hopefully you can get them now. If you'd like, Jenny & Leslie, I can give you a CD copy of the 3 mp3s from my computer, or an audio CD of the 3rd one. Just say the word!

Just so I'm clear...

Watching a clip on YouTube made me want to be more familiar with the our nation's "current standing." The video clip aside, I know a LOT about certain issues, the ones that I think matter, and I can give pretty good overall explanations of each candidate or party's position on issues such as health care, environmental issues, personal wealth (taxes, redistribution, etc.), gun-control, educational reform, the War in Iraq, how to handle the much-feared "economic crisis," and oh yeah, abortion (my biggie). But I don't keep up to date on the whos and whens of our politics. It's not totally necessary, I know (so what if I know about them, right? They aren't asking me how to act!). I don't spend my time staying up on the public lives of movie or TV actors, or most that this world deems "public figures," preferring to keep up with the church abroad, especially the persecuted church, and the people with whom I am interacting right NOW, here. But I also don't want to be a hermit!

So, just for my own info, and for yours if you were wanting/lacking it:

-- The Speaker of the House since 2007 has been Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California. (Speaker of the House is second in line of presidential succession)

-- The Senate is a little different, since the VP is the President of the Senate: "The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two US Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively." "The Majority leader customarily serves as the chief representative and "face" of his or her party in Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party." In practice, the Majority Leader presides over the Senate. (from the omniscient wikipedia)

--The Democratic party controls Congress (not often both Congress AND the President are of the same party--see here and here). This has been the case for the past 2 years. Article glorying in that fact here.

-- The 111th Senate will be composed of 56 Democrats, 2 Democrat-leaning independents and 40 Republicans, with two seats still to be determined as of November 19, 2008.
Senate Majority Leader is Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada. Senate Minority Leader is Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (again, from the Great Wiki) .

-- Bill Ayers is a radical left-wing who lives in Chicago, and who has connections with Obama, though it is debated just how deep those ties go. [Side note: I don't get the whole "anti-war terrorism" idea. How can you be violently opposed to war? Isn't that another war right there? "Hey! Stop openly bombing the innocents or I'll secretly bomb you!" That's a vigilante version of most wars themselves!

--Barney Frank is a very-popular US House Representative from Mass. In 1987 he became the first US Representative to come out as openly gay. [side note: I learned today that he partnered with Ron Paul to protect online "gambling rights." Great. I say I like MOST things about Ron the abolition of the income tax, long one of my favorite bones to pick with the Amendments...but not all. Still not convinced on his foreign policy. But I love the man's consistency!]

Thanks to Zogby International for motivating me to make sure I have my names & facts straight. And I am interested to see how this plays out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Deep Quote of the Week

"My" little Katelyn, on the story of Eve's deception and fall:

(eyes large and sad) "She was coveting God!"

Which is exactly right. In eating the fruit, Eve was trying to usurp God's...godness. She wanted to be the judge of what was good, and what was evil-- as I put it to my preschoolers, she wanted to be "the Boss."

Which is what all of my sin is, isn't it?

Our Fall

Since photos are worth thousands of words (and so easy these days), I'll try to capture the highlights in several here, and leave you to peruse the remainder at your leisure on Facebook!
There's been a lot of fellowship, mostly through our church (as it should be): The Bluegrass Jam Session on Halloween @ the Moores' (that's me with their cutie, "Little D"); The Harvest Party in Shelby Park the next day; "Family Dinner" at Maison de La Vie (where Ashlea is Mother Superior), then Book Club there the next day(you've read my thoughts on that); church every Sunday and Wednesday, Care Group at our house every other Sunday, and people from church here to eat with us (I LOVE having a whole house in which to entertain!).
There've been a lot of showers: two baby showers in one day! One for Jenny Montgomery, which Amanda B & I hosted here in the morning; then another for my co-worker Sarah Bebee, which Corrie Ann , Suzanne (two other teachers) & I hosted at our school in the afternoon! There's also been Dana (soon-to-be-Wright)'s wedding shower. I was very proud of my first attempt at a diaper cake-- this one was for Baby Girl Bebee. It was such a pleasure to host the showers, firstly because they were each so encouraging, but secondly because I had such wonderful co-hostesses! It was so cool to watch it all come together! (ps- Jenny posted all the pictures from her shower to a Facebook album, to which I'll later post a link).
There've been a lot of kids-- between Alexis' 5th birthday party (at which Ryan was the Fairy Godfather), Jenna C's 2nd birthday party, keeping the Fullerton foursome one night, my job as a pre-school teacher, and teaching Sunday School, we are surrounded by them. We LOVE them and I could totally write a book just quoting all the things they say.
There's been a lot of Ryan & me-- we used a gift card to PF Chang's for our monthiversary (it was the PERFECT amount!), and have cuddled up many an evening with CS Lewis' Perelandra, or a movie... I can't bring myself to watch the next episode of "NCIS: Season 2" because I know my favorite character will die in it, and I just can't handle it. Once we get past that, we'll keep going. :)
And, let's just be honest... there's been a lot of Jenny & Amanda (their babies in tow, lol). Pretty much every week we all (or just two of us) get together to drink coffee, talk, scrapbook or plan events together. Oh you know you wish you were a fly on the wall!! ;) Praise the Lord for such sisters and friends!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Perspective, Good Strategy

This article (thanks again, Matt) is really encouraging. I have often found it helpful to compare the fight for equal rights for the unborn to the fight for equal rights for the un-white. When you put it in those terms, you can see how horrifically surface-deep the distinction between "baby" and "fetus" are-- merely one of location, just as the other is merely one of melanin. All those with human DNA carry on them the very imprint of God-- we are ALL Image-Bearers, made to reflect His glory, made to rejoice in knowing Him... whatever variation of brown we are, or whatever age (days, weeks, months, years) we are. This article takes another angle with that view, one I find very encouraging, and one I will be praying towards. While of course we can and should be praying for legislation to be enacted (like the ending of slavery) or repealed (like segregation or "Jim Crow" laws), there is a much bigger picture that needs to be seen, and fought. Read it and tell me what you think, all of you who want to end the "tragedy" of abortion. Especially by mothers who are un-informed, misguided or even deliberately deceived.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thankful and Passisonate

The past few days have been mentally exhausting, and grieving for me. I remember why I have always hated politics, even as I get fired up about them. In high school I was on the speech and debate team, and wasn't half bad at either drama or debate (Congressional style), but despite the enjoyment and success I was often frustrated by the end of a tournament.

Why? Partly because I hate hearing things that I consider to be wrong. That can be really funny when I'm actually the wrong one, and it used to get me into trouble all the time as a kid. :) By God's grace I've learned a lot about patience, forbearance, HUMILITY, and just overlooking silly differences. Who cares if they call that color indigo and it's really cerulean, right? Then it's just MY standard we're talking about. But it's not so funny when the issues are huge, as they tend to be in Congressional debates. When we're talking fiscal or even educational policy, I have less difficulty being flexible. But moral issues (and most everything comes back to a moral issue)... those really are hard for me. Why? Because a lot of those issues aren't contradicting me; they're contradicting the Truth of God, as I understand it. I want to "fix" everyone's opinion, correct every flaw in logic or morality. First reason to be thankful: I'm NOT God, and I don't know the answer to everything, and I'm not responsible for everyone! I'm learning to hand a lot of that over to God in prayer... but God's word is crystal-clear about some things, and it weighs so heavy on my heart to see people I love being deceived, whether politically, or spiritually. I've wrestled a lot with fear lately, too; fear over the future, fear over my loved ones' souls, fear over our nation... lots of fear.

We are supposed to be Valient-for-Truth, we are supposed to have unswerving, unshakable integrity. We are supposed to be narrow-minded in one sense when it comes to God's word and will... that does not mix well with "politics." I am still just as passionate about "issues," and following the mandate of God's Word when it comes to ANY area of life (How cool is that-- because Scripture is God-breathed, it is applicable to every area of life, even politics thousands of years later). But I also must stop myself from exchanging politics with the Gospel.

Let me clarify: The Gospel = "good news"= the news that God became a man, lived perfectly on earth, died under the wrath of God according to a pre-made plan, and then rose in victory and power 3 days later, all in order to pay for the sins of all who trust in that death, and that death alone, to save them. All who call on Christ to save them become united to Him, and so get the blessing, smile and inheritance of God that HE alone deserves. Those people are indwelt with the very Spirit of God and are adopted into His family, so of course now they WANT to obey Him and please the One who has not held anything back in love for them. It's pretty all-encompassing. It affects every single facet and moment of your life.

That's the rub for me. Because politics touches so many areas of our daily lives, from how fast we drive to where our tax goes to what our attitude towards immigrants are to where our kids go to school, it is close to the Gospel. So I want to make it perfect; I want to make it into a gospel to my liking. The difference is that it offers no true hope. Sure, it can make life a lot easier or difficult here on earth. It can oppress or set free in many capacities. But it cannot make you have peace with God. It cannot give you hope to get you through anything this fallen world may throw at you. It cannot fix your broken heart. Laws are powerless, really.

So I must channel my passion into the One Thing that DOES save and mend and dictate life, life Eternal: the Gospel. I'm thankful for a True Hope-- the Gospel. I've said a lot about our nation, our president, and our politics. I want to say even more about Jesus Christ. I do want to challenge all of you who are Christians reading these words, wherever or whenever you are: are your political views clearly flowing out of Scriptural principles? You may not see eye to eye with me on how they play out, but are you consciously, prayerfully, making Scripture even the mandate of your political opinions? And are you treating and speaking of your "opponents" gently, respectfully and as you would like to be treated/spoken of? We are to do all things in gentleness and respect, lest we shame the name of our Savior. And the enemy is never the other political opinion; the enemy is the Prince of the World, Satan, who is the Father of Lies. May I stand firm and "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ," first and foremost in my own heart! (2 Cor. 10:5)

The Christians living in Rome under a serious of often- delusional rulers, the Caesars (think Emperor Nero), were told to "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. ...For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." (Rom 13) This is NERO we're talking about. Talk about oppressive, downright insane politics! Yet they are told to honor him, and to view the Roman authorities as agents of God's goodness! I'm thankful for God's sovereignty, and His faithfulness throughout the ages!

Ultimately, we have a King, not a President. We have a Supreme Judge, not a Supreme Court. We have the Laws of God, not those of Congress. Way more demanding... and way more comforting. If we are in Christ, all things work for our good. Even our own death is for our good. And our beloved Ruler will in the end be clearly seen as THE Champion of all time. As much as Obama supporters rejoiced when "their candidate" won, untold thousands times deeper and purer will be the joy that resounds through the heart of His saints when Christ ascends His throne forever. Fix your eyes and feast on THAT!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Very Good Article

Please take the time to read the following article. It is very well-thought-out and expressed; not difficult to read at all. In light of past politics, it is terrifying... if I did not cling to my faith in a good, ultimately Sovereign God, then I would be packing and moving to Greenland right now.

For anyone who is scratching their heads over why the heck I get so passionate about this issue, read the following blog posts(1, 2, 3) by my friend, Matt Foreman, a pastor and preacher in Media, PA.

And lastly, do know that I will honor the Office of President of this nation, regardless of who holds it. I will be praying often that the Lord Jesus would reveal Himself to President Obama, and do what He does whenever He savingly meets someone face to face: completly, radically change his habits, his desires, his fears, and his joys. God can do it! Amen!

"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord ; He turns it wherever He will. " Prov 21:1

More on Little Malachi

Thank you to all who prayed, and are praying. Please KEEP praying!

This bit of news broke my heart: Malachi's birth parents both want Malachi to be with the Michael & Lisa, but in Wednesday's court session their parental rights were taken away. Malachi's birth mother was at the hearing and cried throughout the court session. (Can you imagine being a birth mother, crying because you don't want your child raised by the ones adopting him?)

The judge will be the one to decide whether Michael & Lisa can even attempt to adopt Malachi. If the judge says they cannot try to adopt Malachi, the case will be closed and Malachi will be adopted by the Lesbian couple. If she says they can attempt to adopt him, they will have to wait for another court date about the removal of Malachi from the lesbian couple and his being brought back to them. The one positive thing which happened in the court session was that Malachi's guardian ad litem recommended that Malachi be placed back in a "traditional home" to prevent long-term damage to him. When the judge indicated that she wanted more time to go over the paperwork, she did not give any indication about when she would make her decision known.

The family, including my friends Travis & Jennifer, requests that we continue praying that God would have mercy on Malachi and bring him back to be raised by His people in a God-fearing and faith-based home.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


One of my friend (Travis)'s parents, Michael & Lisa, fostered a baby boy, Malachi, for a year (Malachi is now about a year and a half old). Then about 6 months ago DSS told them they had a couple who wanted to adopt Malachi, so took they baby to be with them. However, DSS virtually lied to Michael and Lisa by giving them the impression that this was a regular married couple when in fact it is a homosexual couple. DSS knew that Michael and Lisa would not approve of a same-sex couple. Michael and Lisa have taken legal measures to have Malachi returned to them so they can adopt him. Today, November 5, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm Michael & Lisa have a hearing at Family Court. Pray that the court will award Malachi to them.

Please stop and pray right now, that God will have mercy on this child, and also on the gay couple who wished to adopt him, that they might meet the only One who can satisfy their souls!

Grieving the Election, Trusting God's Providence

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom 8:38-39

And may God have mercy on our nation...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why I Will Never Vote for ANY Pro-choice Politician (any level)

My reasons...

Firstly because I believe the legalized, systemized killing in cold-blood of thousands of innocents every year is murder, and thererfore have a HUGE problem endorsing anyone who will not work to end it (or at least allow individual states to end it). The Bible is so clear about life beginning at conception. It is equally clear about our responsibility to preserve life-- especially human life, because man is made in the Image of God. "You shall not kill" as everyone knows. Abortion could scarcely be called "loving your neighbor as yourself," now could it?

Secondly, I do not want a man willing to stand for the slaughter of the most defenseless as the head of my government, the chief of my military, or any elected official whose policies will affect me or those I love. The military creed is to defend the weak and fight for the helpless. Abortion does just the opposite, preying not only upon the unborn but upon the scared, hurting and usually confused women whom it promises to help. It doesn't. (Just a few resources, here and here.)1 As a crisis pregnancy counselor I've never met a woman who wasn't hurt in one way or another by an abortion she had, some physically (they are often linked to uterine damage, which itself leads to later sterility), all emotionally, carrying immense guilt and self-hatred. One of the most wonderful things I have ever seen is women with post-abortion-trauma come to find forgiveness for their abortion in Christ as they realize that the murder of their son (or daughter) wasn't the worst crime they've committed: by their sin they've murdered the very Son of God (Jesus in the Cross), and God is willing to forgive them for both...just as He is willing to forgive every sinner rebelling against Him and therefore just as disgusting and wretched in His eyes as a serial muderer.

I wanted to explain why abortion matters so much to me and other Christians. I hope you'll think about it, long and hard. It is especially harmful to black Americans, with a disproportionate amount of abortions terminating black pregnancies than white or Hispanic. Some have called it "Black Genocide." We have an ever-growing number of bi-racial or African-American adopted children in our church, and we rejoice to see them saved from death and raised in loving homes.

If you'd like to think more about this, or if you're wondering if abortion really deserves the front-and-center spotlight many christians give it, this sermon and resulting correspondance from Covenant Life Church (Pastor Josh Harris) may help.

1) one especially striking quote: "As the medical data above reveal, more than three decades of legal abortion have not made the procedure much safer—women are still dying or suffering serious harm. Even Warren Hern, noted abortionist and author of Abortion Practice, a leading medical textbook, writes, "[There are few surgical procedures given so little attention and so underrated in its potential hazard as abortion.""

2) Abortion is actually a way men oppress women, rather than liberating them: "So while "pro-choice" feminists hail abortion as the symbol of women's sexual freedom and equality, the ordinary young woman may find no such liberation when she has sex with her date, thinking, as women are prone to do, that sex will bind the two emotionally. Instead, when he doesn't share the depth of her feelings and then hands her $400 for the abortion when she becomes pregnant, it's not only her heart that's broken. She alone has to live with the possible short-term and long-term medical consequences of the abortion for the rest of her life. For many women, "reproductive freedom" has meant that women continue to negotiate all that comes with reproduction while men enjoy the freedom of sex without consequences." ~Erika Bachiochi

The Election Tomorrow...

Two articles from two men whom I respect:
An Article by Singer-Songwriter Derek Webb- "How Shall We Then Vote?"

A Word from Dr. John Piper, one of my favorite theologians, writers & pastors:

See Romans 2 for an explanation of why Dr. Piper might say "the abortion IS the judgement, the gay-rights activism IS the judgement..."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thoughts from Book Club

At our book club yesterday our discussion centered on the book Wives and Daughters. Two things came up which relate to godly womanhood, particularly in light of the Christian culture in which we now live. Two issues which at time seem to lack balance in our day.

The first is that the "Proverbs 31 woman" is an IDEAL woman-- she never existed, and never will. She's the perfect wife whose traits young men are told to look for in their future wives. That takes a lot of the discouragement and pressure off of us! We are told in Eph 5:22 to submit to our OWN husbands, which means that each wife's godly, good submission will look a little different. We might be embodying some of all the godly traits that the "Prov 31 Woman" personified, and each look different, because we're each married to different guys, and we're each submitting to very-different them.

The second issue was the topic of personal interests in the context of marriage. One of the wives in our book, Mrs. Hamley, is a wonderful wife and mother, yet she is so described:

"He had married a delicate fine London lady; it was one of those perplexing marriages of which one cannot understand the reasons. Yet they were very happy, though possibly Mrs Hamley would not have sunk into the condition of a chronic invalid, if her husband had cared a little more for her various tastes, or allowed her the companionship of those who did. After his marriage he was wont to say he had got all that was worth having out of that crowd of houses they called London. It was a compliment to his wife which he repeated until the year of her death; it charmed her at first, it pleased her up to the last time of her hearing it; but, for all that, she used sometimes to wish that he would recognize the fact that there might still be something worth hearing and seeing in the great city. But he never went there again, and though he did not prohibit her going, yet he showed so little sympathy with her when she came back full of what she had done on her visit that she ceased caring to go. Not but what he was kind and willing in giving his consent, and in furnishing her amply with money. 'There, there, my little woman, take that! Dress yourself up as fine as any on 'em, and buy what you like, for the credit of Hamley of Hamley; and go to the park and the play, and show off with the best on 'em. I shall be glad to see thee back again, I know; but have thy fling while thou art about it.' Then when she came back it was, 'Well, well, it has pleased thee, I suppose, so that's all right. But the very talking about it tires me, I know, and I can't think how you have stood it all. Come out and see how pretty the flowers are looking in the south garden. I've made them sow all the seeds you like; and I went over to Hollingford nursery to buy the cuttings of the plants you admired last year. A breath of fresh air will clear my brain after listening to all this talk about the whirl of London, which is like to have turned me giddy.'

Mrs Hamley was a great reader, and had considerable literary taste. She was gentle and sentimental; tender and good. She gave up her visits to London; she gave up her sociable pleasure in the company of her fellows in education and position. Her husband, [...] loved his wife all the more dearly for her sacrifices for him; but, deprived of all her strong interests, she sank into ill-health; nothing definite; only she never was well."

~Wives and Daughters, Chapter 4, by Elizabeth Gaskell (wonderful read--

That lead to a discussion on wives constantly/willingly sacrificing their own interests, hobbies or friends for the sake of a husband or child's preference, not just in some matters, but in every or most, or even in the ones that are deep-felt. One of my friends, a very godly wife and mother herself, mentioned how her sister had just had to speak to her husband about this-- as the mother of a very young boy (so far the only one) while her husband pastors and pursues his Phd, she was finding little time to read, get out or do anything on her own. She respectfully pointed out to her husband that as their son grew up, he would respect his father as a man, because of his character, and also because of his learning and experience-- her husband is and would become even more of a well-rounded, well-grounded, articulate man. She told him that she wanted her son to also have a mother whom he could respect and relate to as a complete person, a beautiful Imago Dei. I thought that really crystallized the point. A wife devoid of any interests or hobbies that make her unique is not only boring, but not really respectable. At times, it seems, the love of husband and child may lead a wife and mother to hold withold some time or money from her family, and with their blessing use it to edify or enjoy herself. (I mean, come on, what guy sets out to marry a boring woman?)

Even more importantly, it seems the glory of God is at stake. As Eric Liddell (Olympic gold medalist, then missionary to China-- he died there as a martyr) put it, "God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure!" God has made each of us to reflect His Image, and not all of us reflect that in the same way. When we EACH glorify God, we have unity, but not homogenity. Ecclesiastes seems to flesh this out-- over and over the writer comes back to "Remember your Creator, keeping His commands, and as you do, be glad in what God's given you to do, seek joys that please you, because in so doing you are glorifying God." "The glory of God is a man fully alive," Ireneus said. The second half of that quote completes it: "moreover man's life is the vision of God."

Let us be women with eyes full of God, living out our lives FULLY alive and joyful. Let us fully explore each talent, interest or perspective God has given us, with the ultimate goal being for everything to go back to God: for our joy to move us to praise God, and for our sucess to move others to marvel at what God has made. Both of these points to us seemed to be a little bit lacking in many Christian-calls-to-wifehood. As we seek to do our husbands good, and to serve them and our children, we are not called to be cookie-cutter doormats, or insipid smiling servants with no interests of our own. The Lord has not called us to that. He has called us to die to our flesh, yes, but in doing that we are more free than ever to serve Him with and find joy in honing our unique, God-given gifts. We will better be able to use them to serve the church that way, as Rom 12 and 1 Peter 4 call us to do.


Joyful and thankful for His grace, which has redeemed my every joy,


Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Last Word

94. Christians are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hell;
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace.

--Martin Luther's 95 Thesis

"When they [Paul and Barnabus] had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:21-22)

"I [Jesus the Messiah] have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Press on, my friends!

"A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing.../...more happy, but not more secure the glorified spirits in Heaven..." ("A Debtor to Mercy Alone" by Augustus Toplady, vv 1 & 4)