Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Small Coincidences

It starts with me crawling in bed, curling up with my nightly devotional, On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot. I read my evening's chapter -- a thought provoking piece on pride and judgement. I finish the chapter and before I turn out the lights, I flip the last page to read the title of tomorrow's reading: "Have It Your Way -- Or God's." I turn off the lamp and slide the book onto the box under my bed.

It's the following afternoon, and I'm sitting at my computer, trying unsuccessfully to write. I'm looking for some biographical info about Elisabeth Elliot. I visit her website. The information I want isn't readily available. I see a tab for the daily devotional section, and I decide to take a look. I have recently heard her online devotionals. I lower my eyes to the title of the day's reading: "Have It Your Way -- Or God's."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Living Through Loneliness

All people know what it is to be lonely, but as singles, we are uniquely troubled by loneliness. No matter how many social engagements we attend, no matter how many close friends we have, no matter how great a community we belong to – at the end of the day, we crawl into bed alone.

For many, the pain of loneliness is almost too hard to bear. It can drive people to desperate measures like staying in dead-end or unhealthy relationships because it feels better than the alternative; pretending to be someone you’re not, in order to find approval and love; and attempting to gain affection with money, physical intimacy, or service.

Elisabeth Elliot spent more than 40 years of her life single. In her book Passion and Purity, she gives some advice on dealing with loneliness...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Let the Waters Rise

Another song that's been stuck in my head. The video is all right, but the lyrics really impressed me. We all face a raging sea at times, but we don't have to be afraid.


I will swim in the deep
'Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm
And the calm of the sea...




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Valentine's Day

I've been trying to decide whether or not I should write something all night. It's Valentine's Day, after all. That alone should provide some inspiration, be it cynical or sweet, right?

Indeed.

But before I can get very far, that still small voice in the back of my mind reminds me of the the old adage: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Mum's the word.

Suffice to say, I kind of feel like Charlie Brown.

Monday, February 13, 2012

An Arkansas Breakfast: Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits


Do you know what this means?

Do You Love Your Valentine?

I love you.

The phrase is everywhere this time of year. It’s stamped in bright fonts on shiny red balloons. It’s scribbled in pink frosting on heart-shaped cookies and cupcakes. It’s repeated in a thousand clich├ęs on the covers of greeting cards.
I love you is everywhere. But what does it mean?

In his Love or Die: Christ’s Wake-Up Call to the Church, author and speaker Alexander Strauch writes about our culture’s confusion with the definition of love...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Musings on Seeking First the Kingdom


Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:31-33 ESV

I read the above passage this morning as a part of a devotional regime. I am once again working my way through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Lies Women Believe. As a part of addressing lies women believe about their priorities, I read through several passages that point Christians back to focusing on God above all else.

I have known by heart the familiar verse for many years -- "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." I have sang the old praise chorus since I was a small child.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laura Story's 'Blessings'

I heard this song for the first time early last summer. I'd almost forgotten about it when it came on the radio last week. Our lives are always truly full of blessing, even when it's hard to see.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sara Groves' 'Open My Hands'

A few days ago a friend told me to look up a song -- Sara Groves' "Open My Hands." I read the lyrics and was stunned, as the timing for me was perfect. I'm currently walking through a time of "rain," trying to make sense of a blessing I didn't expect and don't understand. Still, I am reminding myself of the truth recorded in scripture:

Be Brave Enough to Step Back

We must be brave if we want to marry well.

We must be brave when reaching out to new people. We must be brave when investing time in them. We must be brave when we risk our hearts, knowing they can be broken. We must be brave when we prepare to join our lives to another person, trusting we are making the right choice.

And sometimes, we must be brave enough to step back from a relationship...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Love or Die: Alexander Strauch on the Importance of Love

My family ordered a copy of Alexander Strauch's Love or Die: Christ's Wake-Up Call to the Church sometime last summer. The booked arrived promptly via Amazon, found it's way into the living room book basket, and then was packed into a cardboard box marked "Christian living" where it was somewhat forgotten throughout a family move across town. I stumbled across it a couple weeks ago as I was sorting through the book boxes looking for a different title.

I began Love or Die this week, and true to form, Strauch wastes no time challenging the reader to get back to scripture and actually live out the words of Christ. In chapter 2, titled "When a Church Loses Its Love," Strauch answers the question "Why is love so important?" I thought I would pass his words on to whoever might be stopping by my blog.