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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Sensing Beauty in the World Will Never Save Us (The Necessity of Theology)

Oh, I do believe this final section will be my favorite. Though warned against it, Lewis closes with theology. Why? Though it is true, Lewis says, that we may sense God in beauty, and the world prefers that to theology for it is less work, still, he admonishes: You will never get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music. Don’t misunderstand — I loved it when Julie Andrews sang “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” Indeed — they are. Creation cries out with the glory of God, But if we do not have the Word as well, we will be misguided. Even in this beautiful movie there was some very bad theology. See if you can spot it in this song:   These are going to be valuable weeks, and we are right on […]

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If nothing on this earth can satisfy…Lewis on Hope and Faith

I wait all year for Door County summers: for the beauty and the warmth, for the joy of children and grandchildren coming     and for times on the back porch, talking with friends about things that matter, while the waves lap against the shore. And yet, as blessed as I am, and I know I am, none of these things truly satisfy. This is why: Some of my favorite quotes are in these short but pithy closing chapters of Book 3 of Mere Christianity: words that penetrate my heart and help me live in a world, though echoing of Eden, is still, as Lewis says, “enemy territory.” We’ve had so much joy, but each day is always also dampened by disappointment: sickness, bee stings, jealousy and fighting among the children, 3 trips to Urgent Care in July alone, continual noise […]

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The Great Sin: Mere Christianity

This is the chapter that may shake your world. I’m reading an old tattered copy that has notes and underlinings from my then teenage daughter, Sally. This chapter is particularly full of underlinings, confessions, and determined prayers. Her own testimony is that during all of her childhood she thought Christ chose her because she was such a good girl, but then God opened her eyes to the great sin. This is the chapter that brought Charles Colson to repentance. This is the chapter that led Tom Monaghan, devout Catholic and founder Domino’s Pizza, to stop building his mansion. Tim Keller says his two main mentors have been Jonathan Edwards and C. S. Lewis — and I hear Lewis’s thinking so often in Keller, and will share one such sermon that I believe may have been inspired by this chapter in […]

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C. S. Lewis on Marriage and Forgiveness:

So much has been written on marriage and forgiveness, but Lewis has some fresh ideas, and I’m looking forward to edifying discussions! When he gave his radio address on marriage he thought it might be his most unpopular address, but then he changed his mind when he spoke on forgiveness, saying, this would be the most unpopular subject. Remember, he was speaking to an audience who were experiencing terrible atrocities from the Nazis. Lewis said: Forgiveness is hard, for it means letting someone off the hook who does not deserve to be let off the hook! As Lewis said: I’d like to tell you a story Billy told at my church, The Orchard, recently. Billy was baptized in the lake outside my house two summers ago, after “everything in his head fell to his heart” while mowing the lawn. Billy and […]

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C. S. Lewis and Sexuality

Lewis continues foundational arguments on Christian behavior, and then begins with specific categories, the first being sexuality. It is remarkable how contemporary he is, and yet that should only give us confidence in the principles he has found in God’s Word. Jesus, who is the Word, is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Man nor culture can change God’s standard for sexuality. Because God’s plan for sexuality is true, only harm, monstrous harm, can come from flaunting His boundaries. Remembering that these were radio addresses originally, Lewis does repeat himself, for the benefit of listeners who have just tuned in, and because, as he says: “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” He reminds us that morality, including sexual morality, is not a matter of personal preference, but a design of our Creator. Yet man wants to be sovereign […]

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