THANKSGIVING WEEK 2018!

 THANKSGIVING IS BEAUTIFUL IN ITS SIMPLICITY, IN HOW BOTH AUTUMN & HARVEST SPEAK ETERNAL TRUTHS, AND IN HOW ITS GREAT HYMNS, FROM THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS SPEAK TO OUR SOULS TRUTH. THESE HYMNS WILL BE OUR FOCUS AS WE TRAVEL THE ROAD TO AND THROUGH THANKSGIVING WEEKEND. Sunday: 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why? 3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend? 4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day? Monday-Tuesday: For The Beauty of The Earth This hymn has long been a favorite of mine, one I sing biking or cross-country skiing through Peninsula Park. I remember singing it on our back porch with Steve as the sun rose over the […]

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31 Days of Thanksgiving (Does it actually save you?)

When I first heard that Ann VosKamp’s One Thousand Gifts  was staying on the New York Time’s bestseller list, I thought: Really? A book on something as elementary as giving thanks?  But this book has helped so many believers recover the practice of thankfulness, including me. It is much deeper than just practicing gratitude. When Ann studied the passage on The Ten Lepers, she was ready to skim, explaining: I read the passage, one I remember from the musty basement of the Knox Presbyterian Church Sunday school. I think I know this one. Jesus restores ten lepers to wholeness. And only one returns to offer any thanks. I remember the moral too, Mrs. Morrison and her glossy red lipstick: “How often do you remember to say thanks?” Yes, I think I know this one. I skim.   Indeed, part of […]

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31 Days of Giving Thanks (With the help of Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?)

This week we are going to allow God’s gift of music to stir our hearts toward thankfulness, for music has power. I see it in prison all the time. They begin to sing with their hearts and minds, and He comes to them. We must do the same, from the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same.   William Cowper wrote: Sometimes a light surprises, the Christian when he sings. It is the Lord who rises, with healing in His wings. Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks) 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason? 3. Was there a time in your life when […]

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31 Days of Giving Thanks (With help from Eugene Peterson)

This is our second week of our “giving thanks journey” leading up to Thanksgiving. Early Monday morning Eugene Peterson went to be with the Lord.   He has blessed so many of us through his writings, particularly his paraphrase of the Bible: The Message. My friend Luci Shaw was close to Peterson, and shared this from his family last Monday: . From the Peterson family update this morning: “The lantern that has been burning brightly on the shore of Flathead Lake all last week—a sentinel witness to the life-light of Eugene H. Peterson—was extinguished today at 6:30 am Mountain Time soon after Eugene took his final breath and commended his spirit to Christ his creator, his beautiful savior, and the forever lover of his soul. “During the previous days, it was apparent that he was navigating the thin and sacred space between […]

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31 Days of Thankfulness (Days 1-6)

It seems almost unbelievable that simply sowing seeds of thankfulness could transform your life, producing abundant joy, peace, and love — but scriptures and studies tell us it is true. Do you want to find out for yourself? Beginning tomorrow we have 31 days leading up to Thanksgiving day. So I challenge you to join us. I’ll have a simple track for those whose time is short but who want to be with us on this journey. And I’ll have some going deeper assignments for those who long to do that. Either way, you will experience beautiful fruit and develop a habit of gratitude, grooming a good path for your feet by Thanksgiving Day. Many of you have done this kind of thing before, some inspired by Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” When she began her simple habit of writing […]

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Election: A Hard Truth

  Romans 9 is one of the hardest chapters in the whole Bible because it explains election, which many believers simply cannot accept. But I cannot, before God, skip Romans 9, which is the culmination of the repeated refrain in Scripture of “You are my people!” and “You are my God!” I know that this is a challenging truth, and I remember struggling with it when I was younger. My husband embraced it first, through the writings of Luther and Jonathan Edwards. It took me longer. I realize now it was because as R. C. Sproul explains in his sermon, I grew up in a pagan land and it was cross-cultural for me. I knew the Bible was the Word of God and talked about predestination and election, but I made it palatable for myself by adopting one of the […]

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MY KING AND MY GOD! (Psalm 5) No matter what life brings…

We’ve been looking at a pattern in Scripture, where God says: You are my people! And His people reply: You are my God! This is the heart attitude we are to have all day long, no matter what life brings. We find it again in one of my favorite psalms: Psalm 5. Things are not going well for David, and he is so troubled he tells God he doesn’t even know how to pray, but He asks God to consider his groaning, to hear his cry for help for He is: My King and My God It reminds me of the scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when the children realize Aslan is a lion, and wonder if He could be “quite safe.” And this is the answer: As you may know, I was in the Texas […]

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When Loved Ones Break your Heart (Psalm 4)

You have loved, but the one whom you loved: a child, a sibling, a parent, a sister, a brother in Christ… has turned on you. Betrayal by loved ones is shocking and heart-breaking. What did David do when his own son turned against him, wanting his throne, plotting murder against his own father? David was hiding in a cave, his heart breaking. What did he do? Psalm 4, a follow up to Psalm 3, shows us. In Psalm 3, he cried out  to “My God.” But this time it is to “my righteous God,” or, as the ESV puts it: “God of my righteousness!” This week Paul Tripp will illumine Psalm 4 with great wisdom. And Sara Groves will prepare out hearts for David’s situation with this: On a personal note, I would love your prayers for this week: Tuesday through Saturday in the […]

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You Are My God — Even Amidst Hurricane Florence

When disaster strikes, where can we go? Only to “Our God.” He will either stop the storm, or be with us in the storm. You will hear stories from two of our bloggers who experienced Hurricane Florence last week. What so often happens in a natural disaster, is that even those who  may not have a vital faith, are brought to their knees to cry out to God for His help, comfort, and peace. Here are firefighters praying outside a home where a mother and infant were killed in Willmington, North Carolina last week. God’s ways our not our ways, but one day, we will understand. Meanwhile, we who are His children can be so thankful he is “Our God.” I sense He is leading us now on an incredible journey and I want to follow Him step by step. […]

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Experience His Presence More Than You Have

If I were to name a common denominator, a desire that the women here all have, it is to experience His presence. This last week I’ve been mediating on a pattern I see in Scripture, so I’m hoping together we can follow this pattern and see if we indeed do experience His presence on a steadier basis than we might have before. I’m not talking about the mountain-top experiences, but the steady stream of peace His Spirt can give: peace like a river. Sunday: The Pattern A few of you will look at this before you go to church, and can try this in church. So first, let us see the pattern. Find it for yourself by looking up just a few of the many times this pattern occurs. 1. What repeated refrain do you see in these passages? A. […]

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WAITING ON THE LORD!

I’m taking a break to wait on the Lord as to what He would have me do next with this blog. But in the meantime, I’d love to continue the fellowship here by suggesting that each day you come on and share: 1: One way God ministered to you through His Word 2. One blessing from yesterday for which you are thankful. Remember George Mueller’s exhortation that “the foremost duty of a Christian at the start of each day is to get his soul happy in the Lord! Also, if you have prayer requests or answers to prayer, put them in italics. I’d love your prayers for me to hear from the Lord about this blog. I so often have run ahead of Him, so I’m trying to slow down [thus this shot of me in a hammock — I couldn’t […]

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FINISHING MERE CHRISTIANITY! WE DID IT!

WE DID IT! WITH THIS LAST WEEK OF SUMMER, WE WILL HAVE COMPLETED MERE CHRISTIANITY. IT MAKES ME WANT TO SING THIS, FROM MY FAIR LADY: You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, And indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it; I doubted you’d do it. But now I must admit it That succeed you did. You should get a medal Or be even made a knight.  WE SHOULD HAVE A FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT!    I want to celebrate this group, who has persevered through what I realize is a very challenging book. I was stirred by your opening testimonies of why you wanted to join in. Chris told of how Mere Christianity impacted her husband, and how he listened to it again through audio as he and his unbelieving sons worked on cars. I […]

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Did C. S. Lewis believe in purgatory?

We’re going to discuss if Lewis believed in purgatory at the end of the week — and I am eager for your views. He says some very controversial things in Chapter 9. But first, a life-changing chapter on the purpose of suffering. So often I have asked: “Why must this child of yours, who loves you, suffer so?” So many of the sisters on the blog seem to be pummeled with one giant wave after another! I ask that they be spared, and He sends another killer wave! I say, “No, no, no — that’s not what I asked for!”     But prayer is not ordering off a menu, asking for what I want, but rather, attempting to align my will with the will of Almighty God. We are in the next to the last week of Mere Christianity, and […]

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Let’s Pretend (Earthly stories that illumine truth)

One evening at Oxford, before C. S. Lewis was converted to Christianity, he had a famous conversation with J. R. R. Tolkein in which Lewis lamented that though he had always loved the myths, that they were “lies, though breathed through silver.” Tolkien told him they were not lies at all, for every story that touches the heart does so because it taps into the true story of Christ, and “steers us, however shakily, to the true harbor.” Indeed, in his chapter called “Let’s Pretend” Lewis uses two “myths.” The first is Beauty and The Beast, showing the power of love to transform a beast into a man.   To see a re-enactment of this life-changing love, here’s a clip from Beauty and the Beast.   Then, here is the life-changing conversation re-enacted between two actors who play Lewis and […]

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How To Change (Mere Christianity)

Theology, or doctrine, matters. It influences our thinking, and our thinking shapes how we live. Let me illustrate. Living close to my daughter Sally the last five years has given me the opportunity to teach Sadie, their firstborn, the first twenty five answers to the questions in the Reformed Catechism for Young Children. (Available online) Sadie lights up with pleasure in being able to answer these questions so perfectly. The third question asks: Why did God make you and all things? Sadie answers: For His own glory. Now I know that much of this she will only understand later, but I see it seeping into her thinking, and that gives me joy. We were reading a book about what we can learn from dogs, for Sadie plays with toys dogs and her own real dog (who must endure much dressing up) […]

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