May 16, 2014

Jim Caviezel on Suffering and Serving Christ

Friday's Thought:

You may remember Jim Caviezel from the movie 'The Passion of the Christ.' Here in this video he implores us to take Christ seriously, to join in His sufferings and to lay down our lives for Him. It's an extremely intense interview and will be sure to stir your heart.

May 13, 2014

A Trip to the Bookstore

I recently took a bunch of my books to our local Christian bookstore and traded them in for credit. Then it was time to use that credit and get some great books! I'm excited to get to all of these!

My first pick was a new Bible. I haven't had a new one since I was 17 and I really needed a new one! I've had mine for almost 30 years and I can hardly read the small print anymore. So excited to break in this new one and start underlining!

I also got a couple of novels.

                                                          A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller

This one is of a marriage of convenience that turns to love. I always love these kinds of stories. I think it's because they show marriage as not just some fluffy feel good thing, but as a real lifetime commitment.

                                                        Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White

I've heard so many great things about this series! This is book one. It's set in 1779 and deals with spies and espionage. Sounds exciting!

The last three books are non-fiction.

                                                 Through the Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

I finally found this book and I'm excited to start it soon. It's the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot in the jungles of Ecuador.

                                                            Hard to Believe by John MacArthur

After reading Amy Carmichael, Brother Yun and many other Christians stories, I've come to realize being a Christian is more than just saying we believe. There is a high cost in laying down your life and living in obedience to God.

This book sounds like it deals with this subject and I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

The back states: "There is no user-friendly, seeker-sensitive Gospel. There is only the Truth....The hard truth about Christianity is that the cost is high, but the rewards are priceless: abundant and eternal life that comes only from faithfully following Christ."

And finally,

                                            How Should We Then Live? by Francis A. Schaeffer

I've been wanting to read something from this author, but never seemed to get around to finding one of his books. When I saw this one I was really excited.

It's full of two things I love: History and the Gospel.

The book is broken up into chapters throughout history. Ancient Rome, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance and so forth. It examines how mankind got to this place in history in our thoughts, philosophies and ideas.

I love learning from history and this book sounds like a great read.

Lane T. Dennis says in the forward:

"What then is the answer that Schaeffer offers in response? (to his question; How should we then live?) 

It is commitment to God's Word as truth. It is a compassion for a culture that is lost and dying without the gospel. It is a commitment to the costly practice of truth in the midst of the intellectual, moral, and philosophical battles of our day. It is living in the power and reality of the God who is there, bearing the witness of His truth across the full spectrum of life and culture."

May 9, 2014

One Little Heartbeat at a Time

Friday's Thought:

I've always found this Steven Curtis Chapman song encouraging as a mom. Hope it encourages you this Mother's Day too. : )

                                HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

May 7, 2014

Amy Carmichael and Motherhood

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) is one of my favorite people. A few years ago I'd never heard of her, but through her books and biographies, I've gotten to know a wonderful Godly woman.

Amy never married and never gave birth to a child and yet she was a mother to many in the truest sense of motherhood.

Amy went to India to evangelize, but God had other plans. He brought children into her life who needed a mother. Temple children. Children who were being prostituted to the Hindu gods.

It became overwhelming for Amy at one point and at that time she had a vision. In Elisabeth Elliot's biography of Amy (A Chance to Die) she writes:

"One evening when the full responsibility of the compound rested on Amy, she had what amounted to a vision. The tamarind trees around the bungalow were olive trees, and under them a man knelt alone. She knew it was the Lord, praying there in the garden for the children. 

So the burden was His, not hers.

She need not ask Him to share it with her. He was asking her to share it with Him, to search with Him for the lost lambs. 'Who could have done anything but go into the garden and kneel down beside Him under the olive trees?'

This made me really think.

When we have a burden for someone, we must remember God had it first. We only share in it with Him. He is praying for that loved one who has rejected Him. He is praying for healing in the life of the addict. He is praying for the abused child. And He asks us to kneel down with Him and share in that burden. We are not alone.

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."   Psalm 68:19

Amy felt childcare was beneath her. She came to India to bring people to Christ, not start a daycare! But God saw things differently. She was learning, along with the women working with her:

"...that if the Lord of Glory took a towel and knelt on the floor to wash the dusty feet of His disciples (the job of the lowest slave in an Eastern household), then no work, even the relentless and often messy routine of caring for squalling babies, is demeaning. 

To offer it up to the Lord of Glory transforms it into a holy task.

'Could it be right,' Amy had asked, 'to turn from so much that might be of profit and become just nursemaids?' 

The answer was yes.

It is not the business of the servant to decide which work is great, which is small, which important or unimportant - he is not greater than his master.

'If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider 'not spiritual work' I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary Love,' Amy wrote after many years of such 'unspiritual' work."

God turned Amy into a mother. A loving mother who these children may never had known if she had not submitted in obedience to the Lord.

Are you a mom? Then remember, if you offer your children up to the Lord your mothering becomes a holy task. A task of eternal worth.

*Note - all quotes from Elisabeth Elliot's book 'A Chance to Die.'

Buy it HERE on Amazon

May 2, 2014

The best part...

Friday's Thought:

"The best part of all Christian work is that part which only God sees."

                                                                                      Andrew Bonar