Fabulous Finds

Reading Scripture Fixed and Free

Learning from the Bible is undoubtedly good, but when is the last time that you just read it? Not to prepare for a lesson or to discern a principle or to understand theology but merely to rest inside a narrative? To feel the energy between sentences, to let a poem’s emotion wash over you, to feel the horror of Judges 19 and sublimity of Psalm 23? Maybe never. But this is what reading is. It’s approaching a text with the agenda of mere enjoyment.

Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married

If you’re single, Satan is after you. Okay, he’s after all of us, but there are some unique dangers in singleness — especially in unwanted singleness. He loves to deceive and discourage single people in the church and derail our devotion and ministry. But God intends to use you, your faith, your time, and your singleness in radical ways right now, as you are.

Your Womanhood is Not on Hold

The ultimate mark of womanhood is hoping in God, not giving birth or loving a husband, though these are beautiful and God-glorifying privileges. They are just not where we root our identity. Whenever you’re tempted to question your value, always go back to the Bible. Do not listen to the internal voice sure to lead you astray.

Fight for Joy on Valentine’s Day

Fight the bitterness, the loneliness, perhaps even the despair. Fight for joy in the Savior.

Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life

My life looks better on the Internet than it does in real life. Everyone’s life looks better on the internet than it does in real life. The Internet is partial truths—we get to decide what people see and what they don’t. That’s why it’s safer short term. And that’s why it’s much, much more dangerous long term.

The Glory of Plodding

What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church — a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.

The Value of a Tired Soul

If you’ve been in ministry for more than five minutes you know how wearisome it can be. We face the daunting daily task of helping people wrestle through crisis in a way that continues to honor God, even as we ourselves wrestle through crisis. Pastoral care can at times be exhausting. Counseling cases can fall apart. Church members can pass away. Key leaders can abandon the church. Some days I go into the office just plain tired. Tired of late nights and early mornings. Tired of phone calls and texts messages. Tired of loss and heartbreak. Tired of being tired. But I am convinced that for all Christians there is real value in a tired soul.

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For my single friends on Valentines Day

Dear Friends,

Below are some links to articles and videos that have encouraged me over the years. Enjoy, and may the Lord strengthen you to every challenge He brings your way!

Ana Marie

A Challenge to Women

Do You Pray for Him?

Enjoying Where God Has You Now

How can I long to be married without obsessing about it?

Loving Your Husband Before You Get Married

The Single Woman and the Modesty of Personal Restraint

Becoming Esther

Because I am Completely Single

Guys and Touch

How (Not) to Heat Your Veins and Fire Your Brains

My Heart in a Field of Dreams

Set Apart Girl

be grateful to be kept low

“God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety.

When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden.”

— Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, April 5

Source

Christ has opened Paradise

In church this morning, we sang Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.

The phrase that stuck out to me was Christ hath opened paradise. How awesome it is to ponder that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden because of their sin, the garden was securely guarded to prevent any return, and now Christ has removed the barred gate to Paradise once and for all by His death and resurrection for those who repent and believe on Him. What a wonderful Savior He is!

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

— Charles Wesley

Jesus Lives, and So Shall I

Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever:
He, who deigned for me to die,
Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me with the just;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives and reigns supreme;
And, his kingdom still remaining
I shall also be with Him,
Ever living, ever reigning.
God has promised; be it must:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and God extends
Grace to each returning sinner;
Rebels He receives as friends,
And exalts to highest honor.
God is True as He is Just;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and by His grace,
Victory o’er my passions giving,
I will cleanse my heart and ways,
Ever to His glory living.
The weak He raises from the dust;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and I am sure
Naught shall e’er from Jesus sever,
Satan’s wiles, and Satan’s power,
Pain or pleasure– ye shall never!
Christian armor cannot rust;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and death is now
But my entrance into glory
Courage! then, my soul, for thou
Hast a crown of life before thee;
Thou shalt find thy hopes were just–
Jesus is the Christian’s Trust.

– Christian F. Gellert (1715-1769)

The tune (sung in German)