Sunday, July 27, 2008

Want to Stay Home With KIds?

Here is advice I recently shared with a new mom in a Facebook group for Christian mothers that I recently joined:
Dear Amanda, I know how you feel as I have been in a similar situation. Begin each day in prayer and in Bible reading. I did not realize how important that was until I stopped doing it. Also, persevere and do not give up, no matter how impossible the situation seems. All things are possible through Christ!

If all readers who feel so inclined would pray for Amanda as you read this, I believe that God will hear our prayers.

Thank you.

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Led Astray

When I decided to follow Jesus Christ a few years ago shortly after my second child was born, I could not find any Bible in our house. I knew I had an old Roman Catholic Bible I had used in high school but I could not find it anywhere.

So, I embarked on what I thought was the next best thing. I went to the library and got stacks of books about being a Christian, daily devotionals, and various guides to Christian living.

I was making my way through some of the books when I hit the jackpot: I found a whole cable TV channel (we had cable TV back then) full of nothing but Christian preaching!

This was so exciting! Dynamic and personable preachers, male and female, gave stirring, interesting and even gripping sermons. It was wonderful.

Wow! Being a Christian was going to be even better than I thought. Not only was I going to live eternally with Jesus but even here on earth I was guaranteed freedom from sickness, poverty and unhappiness.

What a relief it was to know that just by meditating on certain Bible verses, training my mind to never FEEL afraid or sick and giving freely of my money for the advancement of God's kingdom, I would live a victorious Christian life.

I started listening to audio sermons and reading books by the engaging preachers I was watching on TV.

Uh-oh. A few problems started creeping up. First of all, my methods were not working. I still got sick sometimes, our financial situation actually worsened and I was very frustrated with my inability to make the whole "Christian thing" work properly for me.

Secondly, I started to feel uncomfortable with my role in my new Christian life. How was it any different from the New Age beliefs and self-help practices I felt God had rescued me from when I turned to him and gave my life to him? I kept wrestling with "If God is in charge, what is my role in all of this?" Finally, one morning on getting into the shower, I begged God to show me if he was supposed to be in control or if I was to take charge.

The Lord answered my prayer by leading me to go and buy a Bible.

I started a reading the Bible.

I was shocked by what I found in the Bible.

What is this? Great men of God like Paul and Stephen suffered tremendously here on earth in very real and physical ways even to the death? Jesus himself was poor? God poured out his blessings on this guy named Job even after he allowed to him suffer? God says that not only does he control the wind and the rain but everything that we say and do? Jesus said that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him?

I was so confused. I needed answers. I went back to the websites and books of the preachers I had come to know and love to try to resolve my crisis.

The facts I learned were very interesting. Job was afflicted because he allowed himself to fear. John the Baptist was beheaded because he did not fully believe in Jesus. Jesus was not poor. God did remove the thorn in Paul's side but most traditional Christians just misinterpret that part of Scripture.

Then a most amazing thing happened. Peace. All my confusion was most suddenly lifted. I had been deceived and God's word is what convinced me of this and convicted me of my sin of rushing headlong into a convenient Christianity.

How I praise God for the power of his Word, the Bible, and his graciousness to rescue me from false teachings and open my eyes to truth.

What a blessed Lord I serve!

Now you understand my burden to help other moms find the Truth for themselves. My prayer is that Moms who are well-versed in biblical Truth may serve as beacons of truth and light for all moms.

I feel blessed that God has entrusted me with part of this task.

Won't you join me?

Please leave comments about what God has done and is doing in your life.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Called to a Ministry?

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Paul reports in the above verses that he has seen good results from his ministry. Is he bragging about this? No. He writes that he can claim competence only through God in sharing the life-giving message of the Gospel.

Although I have felt for some time that God was calling me to share my Bible study with other Moms, I have felt too unqualified to step out and move forward.

As an answer to a prayer the very same day that I prayed it, a godly friend reminded me that it was indeed true: I am not competent for such a high task as sharing the Gospel of Almighty God with others. What was also true, she confided, was that God will supply me with all that I need to do his work. She urged me to never forget my complete dependence on God and all that he sends me.

R.C. Sproul's Reformation Bible has a note that states, "All ability and power in ministry comes from God, not from ourselves."

Lord, I pray that I will daily remember these truths and daily be humbled in your site in complete dependence on you.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Furnishing Moms for the Kingdom of God

From 2 Timothy 3:17- we are told that the Word of God is provided for us so that 'the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.'

What does it mean to be equipped? Some definitions from the original Greek word translated 'equipped' include to finished, completed or furnished.

Furnished? I thought that was an interesting definition so I investigated this term more. The KJV uses the word 'furnished' in it's translation.

Webster's (1828) gives this definition of furnished:
Supplied; garnished; fitted with necessaries.

When I think of furnished, I think of furnishing a house. What does that involve? The owners of a home do not just buy or build the house and leave it empty. They know that if the house is to fully function in it's role of providing shelter and comfort, it must be properly furnished.

The homeowner becomes the furnisher as well and he takes great care not to neglect any small detail in setting up the house to be as useful for living as possible.

Does the house furnish or complete itself? No. The homeowner is the furnisher, the one who supplies just as our Holy Father has supplied us with all that we need to glorify him and accomplish the tasks he has set before us.

Who am I to think that I am not qualified or equipped when my owner, lord and master is the Creator of the Universe? God will give me no task for which he has not fully equipped me. How challenging it is for me to remember this some days!

The word furnish brings in mind to me the sense of "provide". I must look only to god as my provider, the one who completes me through whatever earthly and supernatural means he sees fit.

My prayer: Lord, I just want to rightly handle the truth, your truth as revealed in your Word. Help me to trust you to guide me in this.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Motherhood: The Impossible Task

Many children today are seen as "high needs" or "special needs" children. These are children who are particularly demanding and draining of their caretakers. As I observe godly mothers around me whom God has chosen to bless with these children , I am all at once in awe and afraid. I am in awe at their perseverance and steadfast love of their sometimes-difficult children while I am afraid that I surely do not and could not measure up to be the kind of mothers they are.

The truth is, all kids have needs and meeting their needs in the most perfect way would drain any of us. Some of our kids, though, are frankly easier to ignore and not meet all of their needs than is the case with a high needs child.

So that leaves me thinking: this motherhood thing, this task of providing for what can seem insatiable needs of our children and others around us, is truly impossible to fulfill.

What can I do?

Only one thing: go running into the arms of my Lord and Savior, constantly seek his face and his guidance as I focus first and foremost on not being the best mother but on being the best follower of Christ that I can be.

In humbling myself before the throne of my Lord Jesus, I find the strength to daily walk in the impossible role he has given me.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9 NIV

In admitting my utter dependence on the Lord, I give up accomplishing of my own talents and give everything to him.

In casting my cares upon my Lord, I find freedom from the need to worry about my inadequacies.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Could You Be Perfect?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (KJV)

The KJV uses the word "perfect" in place of "competent. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, perfect in this sense can mean:

Fully informed; completely skilled

Therefore in Christ, through the inspired word of God I can be made perfect!

Monday, July 14, 2008

As Eagles

Photo courtesy of Christian Glitter

Are You Competent?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

The NIV translation leaves out the word "competent" in it's rendering of this verse. Most other versions I read, including the ESV, NASB, HCSB and KJV include another word in front of equipped that implies "competent".

The word competent, as seen here in the ESV rendering, is from the Greek hikanos.

According the Stong's Greek dictionary, the word hikanos means:
competent (as if coming in season), i.e. ample (in amount) or fit (in character)

Let us take a look at the parts of this meaning and get excited about what God's word can do for us!

Coming in season-
I am immediately reminded of our pastor speaking this past Sunday about Queen Esther. She was called by God to save her people, God's covenant people from whom our Lord and Savior would arise, by being made the queen at such a time as that. We too, are called by God to be at this place, at this time, in this marriage and with these children. Studying God's word will make us competent and right in season.

Ample in amount-
Do you have enough? Do you have enough energy, patience, kindness, generosity and wisdom to get through each day? I know that many days I feel I do not. How can I get enough? How can I be amply supplied? Drinking deeply from the well of God's word is the answer.

Fit in character-
Is my character one to be proud of at all times? Do I act like Jesus in all circumstances? Does my character exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Do I have a pure heart and act from a pure heart all day? If I can not answer yes to these questions, I know I need to go back to God's word, the source of all competence.

I have spent a fair amount of time and energy seeking to be competent on my own. Books on parenting, marriage, housekeeping and cooking have occupied by attention for years on end.
Yes, I can learn the mechanics of doing all that God has called me to do as a wife, mother and homemaker. Without the word of God, however, I can never reach the full level of competence at a heart level that I need to be pleasing to God.

Lord, I pray that you would humble me and keep me dependent on only you and your lovely word for my truest source of competence.

The Man of God

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

Who is the "man of God" referred to here? Is the passage referring specifically to men only or does it refer to men in a more general way?

The "man" of this verse is from the Greek anthropos which usually is used to refer to a human being or person.

Other specific Greek words are used to refer to men or husbands.

The "of God" part of this verse is particularly exciting to me. The man or woman of God is one belonging to God, chosen by him and drawn to him through grace and his irresistible pull.

It is amazing that the God of the universe chooses to equip such imperfect beings as us to do his good works.

How grateful I am!

Preschooler's Who Love the Lord

I thought you might enjoy this article that I wrote which was published by Christian Parenting.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Importance of the Old Testament

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

Paul refers to "all Scripture" as being profitable. It struck me as I was reading this that the only Scripture Paul had access to at this time was the Old Testament as much of the New Testament had not yet been written. R.C. Sproul in his study notes on this verse in the Reformation Study Bible states this fact.

Wow! That means that the Old Testament is seriously important. It is tempting at times for me to want to focus on the New Testament writings as more relevant or accessible. How untrue that is!

It is only by understanding God's redemptive plan through history that I am able to fully benefit from God's word. By reading how our Lord's coming was prophesied through history, I understand the purpose of Jesus' ministry.

The verse prior to 2 Timothy 3:16 refers to "...the sacred writings; which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ." How amazing that through the Scriptures of the Old Testament, I can know that Jesus is Lord and have faith in him and trust him for my salvation.

I will read the OT with a deepened perspective of its importance now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Setting the Scene

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (ESV)

I talked with a friend yesterday about the location of an upcoming Bible study. Neither of us was familiar with the suburb where the study will be held.

I went to Google maps and put in the name of the city and I was given a close-up of the area in which the city is located.

This did not help us at all! We still did not have a sense of how far away the study was because we could not see it in relation to where we live.

This experience reminded me of looking at Scripture quotes out of context and attempting to study them. I added so much depth to my study of God's word when I started taking the time to find out more about the historical context, author and intent of the book of the Bible in which a particular Scripture verse is located.

I would like to give a brief background here on 2 Timothy but I encourage you to more fully explore this on your own with a good commentary or study Bible.

2 Timothy, written by Paul during his second Roman imprisonment, is the last letter written by Paul. Paul is aware that his martyrdom is imminent and he had been abandoned by his friends.

Timothy was a young believer who traveled with Paul as he was establishing churches and was later anointed to be a pastor-teacher in his own right. Timothy was left in Ephesus by Paul and it was there that this letter was sent.

The purpose of the letter is to encourage and support Timothy in his ministry.

The message of the letter is timeless, however, can be applied to believers today as well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Are You Equipped?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (NIV)

I was recently struck by the verses 2Timothy 3:16,17 while reading my children's nightly devotional to them.

Many days, I feel completely ill-equipped to handle the demands of being a wife and mom.

I began to pray and ask the Lord to show me more about how these verses from 2 Timothy can help me.

I heaped up my bed with my concordance, Greek-to-English dictionary, Bible dictionary, Webster's dictionary and thesaurus, my study Bible and my Bible journal and I began to write, read and pray.

Although the Lord has led me to many studies similarly in the past, this time I knew it was to be different.

For now, I have the deepest conviction that I am to be sharing my studies with other moms.

No longer may I hide my light, the light of the love of Jesus in me, under a basket.

I am being called, and I must believe equipped, to share my love of God's word with other weary, confused and hurting moms.

In my first online study, I will taking a close look at what our Lord has to say about his word, the Holy Scriptures, and how that relates to our callings as wives and mothers.

I am no theologian, but I read and listen to the best of them. Of my own accord I am surely not competent to be leading Bible studies. I only do this through Christ who strengthens and equips me with the help and guidance of my husband.

I pray earnestly that anyone participating in these studies with me will be blessed by them as the Lord wills it.

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If you have no idea what this Bible and Lord talk is all about, please e-mail me or leave a comment and I will definitely get back to you soon!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Photo above courtesy of knowhimonline from

Monday, July 7, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #3

Scripture is useful to us in helping us to become Christ-like and glorify God with our lives if we study it diligently.

We learn this from 2 Timothy 3:14-17, the key Scripture for this blog:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew Henry's commentary on this verse summarizes the uses of Scripture for us:
-It makes us wise to salvation through faith
-It is profitable for-- doctrine (teaching)
--reproof (tell of faults)
--correction (guidance)
--instruction in righteousness
-Makes us competent, finished to do God's will (Romans 12:2 -Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-Furnished for every good work

Henry summarizes the passage this way:
Whatever duty we have to do, whatever service is required from us, we may find enough in the Scriptures to furnish us for it.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #2

One great thing about the Bible is that it contains the revelations of the omnipotent, omnipresent God of the universe. How do we know that Scripture is from God?

According to Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, the Bible itself speaks to its wondrous origins. Henry points to:
-the majesty of its style
-the truth, purity and sublimity of the doctrines contained in it
-from the harmony of its several parts
-from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it
-from the accomplishment of many prophecies
-from the uncontrollable miracles

Thank you God for revealing yourself and your truth to me through the Bible.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

What is So Great About the Bible? #1

In reading Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, I came across a beautifully moving and majestic discourse on the wonders of God's word.

I provide some excerpts below:
-Scripture is excellent, given by inspiration of God, God's word, divine revelation.
-The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us.
-The same God that created us capable of knowing also created the way by which we could know him, the Scriptures.

Oh what a mighty God we serve! He has truly thought of everything and will continue to draw us to himself.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #3

Do you wish you knew your Bible better? Have you been asked a tough question by a friend or family member and have a vague idea that the Bible has something to say on the subject but you are not sure how to find what you are looking for when you need it?

The only way to know the Bible is to study the Bible. When I first became a gave my life to Jesus Christ, I wanted to know more about this God who firmly grasped me and set me before himself. I wanted to seek out the ancient wisdom of the Bible to find out how I was to live as a new creation in Christ.

So what did I do? I went to the library and the Christian bookstore and I got stacks of books about how to be a Christian! Although those books were a helpful start, they could not take the place of reading God's word directly through Bible study.

I am grateful that God led me closer to him by his Holy Spirit continually nudging me to move beyond books about the Bible to the Bible itself.

Once I gave myself to his commands, it was amazing how the Lord provided for me! My stepmother gave me here entire Matthew Henry commentary set along with a Bible. I found a Bible dictionary, concordance and handbook at deep discount during a sale at our local Christian bookstore. I found journals to write notes in for $1. The Lord then led me to websites such as with many free Bible study tools.

I wish I could say that I never veered from my course but I did. I would become distracted and busy with other less profitable reading. Me and my family always suffered during those times.

How grateful I am for a long-suffering and patient Lord who is always willing to draw me back to himself though I surely do not deserve it. Oh wonderful, amazing grace!

Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding states:
If we would know the holy Scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did, Acts 17:11. They must not lie by us neglected, and seldom or never looked into.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #2

Bible study for moms is important because we are often the primary caregivers of our young children and we should be steeping them in the word of God. We cannot do this if we ourselves are not drinking daily and deeply from the well of the Bible, God's word.

Most moms would agree that it is important that our children learn to read, add and communicate clearly with others. But what will all that matter if our children do not come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ? If we keep our perspective eternal, we will not forget the importance of biblical teaching for our children.

In ancient Hebrew culture (in contrast to Greco-Roman culture where young boys were often sent away for training), the primary responsibility for training young children in knowledge of the Scriptures was with the mother. As a young boy neared coming of age, that responsibility was usually handed off to the father. Mothers have always had the very important ministry of teaching their children to love the Lord and providing a solid foundation for the faith of their children!
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

God's word makes it clear that the primary responsibility for educating children rests with parents.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6,7

Matthew Henry is his commentary of 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding, states:
It is a great happiness to know the holy Scriptures from our childhood; and children should betimes get the knowledge of the Scriptures. The age of children is the learning age; and those who would get true learning must get it out of the Scriptures.

Not just for ourselves but for future generations, let us resolve to study our Bibles each day!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why Bible Study for Moms #1

Bible study for moms is important so that we will know with certainty what we believe and why we believe it. This unwavering knowledge is especially important today as women are being targeted with so many "spiritual" solutions to the problems we face everyday.

From Oprah's new "church" to the constant barrage of how not-to-feel-guilty articles and "finding more time for me" suggestions, authors and marketers know that moms are hurting and suffering and often do not know where to turn.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16 and surrounding states
It is a great happiness to know the certainty of the things wherein we have been instructed. Be no longer children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...(Ephesians 4:14)

Moms are a large and powerful segment of American society and as targets of various forms of spirituality masquerading as truth, we must know where we stand and we must stand unmoved.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6: 13-15

Let us commit to study our Bibles daily!

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