Gossip Theology

Gossip is the opposite of how the Son speaks to the Father about you. The Trinity talks about you behind your back. And it would be really encouraging if you heard what they said. When they talk about your sin, there is hope and a plan (1 Corinthians 1:21; Philippians 1:6). When they talk about your suffering, there is help and a purpose (James 1:3).

-Read the rest of this excellent post, What Gossip Says About God, over at Desiring God.

Section 4 of the article (Image of God), also intertwines with this problem. If we truly believe that mankind is made in the image of God, and we love and respect Him, we will lovingly respect and look out for the interests of our neighbors. What is on our tongue comes from what is in our hearts. If pride and self worship is in our hearts, it eventually spills out in ugly words.

Preaching to Myself

On this side of Glory, our bodies don’t always function the way they should. Health problems arise and send our chemical balances reeling. It’s days like this, when I feel sad for no reason, like the whole world is against me, when my heart is conflicted and my eyes can’t focus, when my body aches, days like this that it is most important to remember the truth.
  • The Lord is on my side (Psalm 118:7).
  • He is in control of everything (Matthew 10:29-30).
  • God is working all things together for my benefit (Romans 8:28).
  • Nothing, not even my pain and hormones, can separate me from Christ (Romans 8:38-39).
  • In Him I will find comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

And so I plug in my ear-buds and start listening to the Psalms and knowing I will find comfort and peace. I take my pills and praise God for medicine. I praise Him for the Bible, for His Holy Spirit and for the wonderful gifts around me. I thank Him for reminding me to preach to myself, to not trust in myself, but to fully rely on Him.

 

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
-Psalm 42:11

When You’re Tired and Hurt or Answered Prayers 2014 No. 11

I was being careful, tending to my broken foot, my broken body. Hobbling around for weeks. But in a second, weeks of work, days of healing, in one clumsy motion – undone. Ouch! So here I am, laid up in the living-room, icing the fracture and timing when I can take the next dose of pain killers. My body is worn out, my face is puffy and eyes tired.
I feel clumsy and foolish. I need rest. I need healing. I need help.

Lord, God of Israel, You who are most mighty. You who created the world in six days. Who numbers the blades of grass and calls each star by its name. You hear every cricket and cicada chirp, every raindrop fall,  every peal of laughter, every sigh; I know You hear me. You’ve graciously answered my cries before, harken to me and answer now. My bones are vexed and my soul is sore. My thoughts are foggy and my vision dizzy. I want to glorify You, I want to be joyful, I want to be thankful — help me with my unbelief. Give me patience with my children, make me overflow with love and gentleness towards my husband. Give me words to uplift the spirit of the downtrodden and clear eyes to see You. Hasten to pour mercy upon me for Your sake. Be my comfort and my strength that our enemies might be put to shame. In Jesus name I pray to You, knowing that You will answer. Amen.

Sometimes it feels like God takes too long to answer our prayers. Sometimes we wonder if He even heard us in the first place. It can be so easy to lose heart. My work is piling up and my family needs me to be 100%. I’m so sleepy. It occurs to me, I guess I could take a nap right now.  But, it seems so counter-intuitive. I have so much to do so I’m just gonna take a nap. But, then again, Jesus napped (Luke 8:23). “Where is your faith?” He asked (vs. 25).

Sometimes God answers my prayers  through words, sometimes through events, often through immeasurable peace and joy. This time,  He answered by nudging my body to rest.  My toddlers are asleep. My girls occupied with school, overseen by their trustworthy tutor.  I can sleep and that is a gift. That is His answer. So I lay back my chair, elevating my foot and I lean into Christ, confident that He is here now and that He will still be here when I wake. And when I do, and He is, I rejoice. The ache in my foot has dimmed, my eyes and head are clear again and my joy is renewed. I breathe a sigh of relief. I know that this all came from Christ. Knowing I’m not in control, I’m not enough on my own and that I don’t need to be. I am heard and I am loved more than I can understand.

“You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
   for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”-Psalm 4:7-8

Christian,

Remember who are. Remember your name, the name God gave you, and go out with joy, proclaiming His glory as you personally know it. You are the child of the King of Kings, the Almighty: He cherishes you in ways too wonderful to comprehend on this side of Glory. You are the bride of Christ: prepared to walk down the aisle, washed clean and dressed in His glory. Do not focus on your failings, do not doubt His goodness, but dwell on His faithfulness, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:1-2).

Photo Credit: Alain Martinez Photography

 

Gospel Imagery Explosion

Photo: {alittleperspective.com}
 
I was just reading Psalm 30 today: it is an incredible love story. David wrote it for the dedication of the temple. When we dedicate ourselves to God, we leave behind our old lives and are given new identities. When we mean what we say, when we really humble ourselves before Him, we become both His child and His bride — He is the father in the story of the prodigal son; He runs out joyfully meet us with open arms. He forgives us, washes us clean, heals our wounds, adorns us with glory and feeds us only the best. He is Hosea, we are Gomer, but now we can rejoice, for He has made us beautiful.
 
 

 

Hero

“Jesus is your knight in shining armor. He is the love you have been longing for. He is your dream come true. He is your hero. He is Aslan, the Lion of Judah, and the Lamb of God. He is the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Mighty One.

His name is like a kiss and an earthquake. His gaze is on you. He has pledged his love to you and betrothed you to him forever. He is unchangeable, and his love will never fail you.

How do you respond? Love him. Adore him. Worship him.”

Stasi Eldredge in Becoming Myself

What the 9th Commandment Means

1. God’s will is that I never give false testimony against anyone.

2. I twist no one’s words.

3. I do not gossip or slander.

4. I do not join in condemning anyone without a hearing or without a just cause.

5. Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these are devices the devil himself uses, and they would call down on me God’s intense anger.

6. I should love the truth.

7. I should speak the truth candidly.

8. I should openly acknowledge the truth.

9. I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.

Yikes. Count me convicted.

 

Check out Kevin DeYoung’s whole post, The Ninth Commandment is About Much More Than Lying, at TGC.

 

Modesty of the Heart

Here’s a scenario:  You and Jesus have the surfboards strapped to the top of the VW, headed to the swell.  What would you be comfortable wearing in front of Jesus?

Frankly, I think Jesus would be more concerned about the condition of your heart than the size of your swim suit.

If the condition of your heart is one that has gratefully accepted the mercy and grace and love of Christ, you will probably carefully consider your swimwear purchases.  If you are exuding that love, you will not turn a scornful glance onto the unknowing bikini-clad 16 year old.  Strike up a conversation and love that bikini-wearer like Jesus!  Who knows what kind of home life she has.

Love this post from Pearl’s Oysterbed, The Heart of the Bikini Clad

New Adventure

On Monday we started educating our girls at home. We hired a wonderful gal to tutor them and are so thankful for her! Miss Laura is doing a fantastic job and the girls are really enjoying school. This arrangement leaves me ample time to work with my 2 and 3 year old boys during this exciting and busy stage. But then this happened yesterday:

my poor foot

 

Have you ever heard the saying about ballerinas being incredibly clumsy off stage? Well, it is true. I haven’t danced classical ballet in over a decade but the klutz in me thrives on! The x-ray (and pain) indicated a hairline fracture.  I’m seeing it as a prime opportunity to work on being peaceful and joyful in the midst of chaos and pain.

Psalm51:8

In the mean time, I found this post, The Gospel, Boxed Mac & Cheese and Me, by Mandy J Hoffman very encouraging! Check it out!