This week, I was encouraged in my Christian life,
On reading the word of God - Ally gives a wonderful summary of, and link to, a talk on Psalm 119:1-40 about why we should read the Bible. Pure gold!
Putting the "Christian" in Christian friendship - "To make their welfare of higher interest than our own." A description of Christian friendship by Jonathon Parnell from Romans 15:2.
Don't be afraid to pray whatever it takes - Jon Bloom says, "we should plead for the discipline" that helps us to grow.
and helped in my marriage.
Don't take it from me: Reasons you should not marry an unbeliever - Kathy Keller, wife of Tim Keller, gives some helpful suggestions for counselling Christians who are considering marrying unbelievers.
A picture perfect marriage I, II and III - A great mini-series by Challies on marriage. To husbands: "Do you have that picture in your mind, of your bride, your wife, standing there before the Lord, washed clean of every trace of sin? Fix that in your mind because God calls you to help her get there!" (See also Mutual submission, on Ephesians 5:18-21.)
I read some great answers to serious questions about pornography,
Should I marry a man with pornography struggles? - An excellent answer to a difficult question from Russell Moore - and a great description of godly manhood. HT Challies
You just caught your son in [viewing] porn. What do you do? - A very helpful article by Rick Thomas about what to do if you discover, for example, that your teenage son has been sneaking out of bed to view porn. HT Challies.
and was reminded that life is worth fighting for.
Five things we can do for the unborn - John Piper: "If you could see each little handiwork of God and what it looks like when it is being crushed or poisoned or starved, you would say, this can't be happening! Civilized people do not do this! The children will not be saved and God's work will not be reverenced without an act of sustained sympathetic imagination. Otherwise it is out of sight, out of mind — just like Dachau, Buchenwald, Belsen, and Auschwitz. It just couldn't be happening. And so we act as if it isn't."
The child fashion model with down syndrome - Amazing - and wonderful. By Joe Carter.
The authentic feminism of Melinda Tankard Rice, Sisterhood beware - silencing ideas silences protest, Why being Christian gets you crucified - Three articles defending anti-porn, pro-life activist Melinda Tankard Rice against the abuse she has suffered for her views. HT Nicole
I was inspired by a moving story,
Bittersweet - Amy's post about her sister's lost fight with breast cancer and about our very good God, who answers prayer.
intrigued by a helpful new series,
How to stay Christian in seminary - A new series about how not to end up at theology college less Christ-centred than when you started.
and amused and comforted about my "failures" in memory and motherhood.
Wordsmithy (book review) - "The fact that you can’t remember things doesn’t mean that you haven’t been shaped by them." Well, that's a relief! A quote from Douglas Wilson's Wordsmithy, a book on writing reviewed by Challies.
I get a kind of guilty pleasure from reading about the so-called "failures" of other mums. Not sure if I should! But I identified with these: Amy's A thirsty person shouldn't drink salt water (I loved the bits about the sock drawer and sleeping in school uniform!) and Jenny's If I was a proper mother (I, too, feel great pressure to shop at Aldi and markets - and, instead, guiltily do a one-stop-shop at Coles).
Finally, I was reminded why the cross was necessary.
God, man and the atonement - "When...we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God, and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely ‘hell–deserving sinners’, then and only then does the necessity of the cross appear so obvious that we are astonished we never saw it before." From John Stott's The Cross of Christ, quoted in Of First Importance