Friday, August 10, 2012

online meanderings: singleness, suffering, the shortness of life, and more

Quotes of the week
For most of us, time does its weary work and bears us away unremembered, except for a few scraps of other peoples' remembrances for a generation or two...Yet at the bottom of each gravestone is inscribed the grace - the truth that really matters ultimately - the one to remember in all of the littlest, seemingly unseen moments: Known unto God. Cath

Sin promises to be your friend...Sin asks you to give just a little bit more of yourself to it every time. Just a bit more. Just a bit more after that. But over time sin comes to own you. It comes to know everything there is to know about you. And then it stabs you in the back and laughs with glee as you are left sputtering and humiliated and destroyed....That’s the kind of friend it is...Sin is the friend who is so much worse than any enemy. Challies

We can think it’s a mark of spiritual sensitivity to consider everything we do as morally suspect. But this is not the way the Bible thinks about righteousness. . . . For those who have been made right with God by grace alone through faith alone and therefore have been adopted into God’s family, many of our righteous deeds are not only not filthy in God’s eyes, they are exceedingly sweet, precious, and pleasing to him. Kevin DeYoung

Top 5 posts
The S word: Some thoughts on singleness - A wonderful article on singleness by Valorie Ting.

This I know - "Persecution, disease, war, disability, disaster, freak accident, assault — all are alike in this: Satan aims to destroy your faith, but God aims to strengthen it."  Jonathon Parnell quoted by Meredith.

Dear stay-at-home mum - Encouragement from the gospel. So very welcome! Trevin Wax.

Your emotions are a gauge not a guide - "The pattern of your emotions (not every caffeine-induced or sleep-deprived one!) will give you a reading on where your hope is because they are wired into what you believe and value — and how much." Jon Bloom.

Teenage spirituality - Why teens lose their faith, and how to help them: "The teenage years are about finding something, or someone to love." Michael Jensen.

A book to read 
How good is good enough? - "An all-too-common misconception of the Christian life: the thinking that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfeit God’s blessings in our daily lives by our performance." With this great quote, Challies begins to work through Jerry Bridge's brilliant book "The discipline of grace". You might like to read it with him. 

And 5 more great posts.
Feelings and actions and actions and feelings - When you don't feel as you should, act what you don't feel. Feelings often follow. Michael Kelley.

When hospitality and hell-fire kiss - Hospitality: a great help to sharing our faith. John Starke HT Vitamin Z.

Where seldom is heard an encouraging word - Aussie gold (or the lack of it) and the Aussie response. A great post from Dave McDonald. HT David McKay.

The sacred has absorbed the secular - The work we do, we do for Christ. Spurgeon quoted by Tony Reinke.

The benefits of reading the Bible in chronological order - I'd love to try this Bible reading plan - perhaps when I've finished my current one. Meredith.

Goldsworthy on prayer 
Read the psalms on your knees - and all the prayers of Scripture.

Discipline, routine and the quiet time - "The quiet time can become a legalistic requirement....On the other hand, the person who makes a habit of chaotic indiscipline needs to take this matter in hand..."

Teaching children to pray - "Children will most readily learn the ‘art’ of praying by listening to their parents or other adults praying. It is therefore important for us to be consciously modelling a biblical mode of prayer for our children." Graeme Goldsworthy from Sandy Grant.

For women
Are chick flicks emotional 'porn' for women? - An interesting and helpful discussion. Laura Leonard.

50 Shades of Grey - A helpful post about women and porn - but for a solution, I'd read Chester's "Captured by a better vision". Emily interviews Challies.

For dads, mums and homemakers
Marriage with older kids - We're finding this too: as kids get older, evenings vanish. Where's our us-time? Some helpful ideas from Jenny here.

Motherhood and the mission to the moon - "We can’t mother intermittently." Work, ministry, Facebook, Twitter: don't let anything distract you from the task of mothering. Carolyn Mahaney HT Susie.

On never being done - "I try to balance the roles of homemaker and housekeeper." On loving the people in your house more than the house. Lizzie Jank.

Three attitudes that can lead to ministry burnout - "Did you read over toil and struggling, and skip right to powerfully works within me? Jesus works his power in us within the context of tiring, resistance-laden work."  Eric McKiddie.

What I've learned along the way - For those who preach and those who listen to them and love them: Challies writes about the trials and joys of preaching.

Four rules for preachers - "Never allow yourself to feel equal to your work." It's a principle for preachers; but I think it's a good one for the rest of us too. Gordon Cheng.

Ministry to university students is getting better - The joys and benefits of ministering to uni students (and why my husband and I do this ministry). Phillip Jensen.

Whiter than snow by Paul Tripp - This book just arrived in my letterbox. It looks like Ali and I might be reading this side by side.

Bible Bites - I like the look of these family devotions from The Good Book Company, reviewed by Wendy.

For fun
Poetry and emotional intelligence - "What use is poetry?..." Norman MacCaig quoted by Ali.

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