Spiritual Growth

Choosing to Go to Church

My husband and I are both natural introverts, which means our ideal form of “rest and relaxation” involves a good book, a hot cup of coffee, and, well . . . nobody else. Okay, that might be an exaggeration—we love our friends and family and have had many times of refreshing fellowship with them! But the truth is that social activities can often be more tiring than relaxing for us and sometimes even hard to look forward to.

Needless to say, it was quite a stretching experience when we moved to another state four years ago and began attending a church with two services and an afternoon potluck (sometimes all three back-to-back!). Add in an hour of Sunday school, a half hour coffee and fellowship break before the main service, and—phew—our weekly “day of rest” felt nothing like rest.

In the midst of a lack of desire to attend all the gatherings and my feelings of social weakness, I noticed something: The families at this church really enjoyed being there. They showed up week after week, toddlers (lots of them!) in tow. They made an effort to be at Sunday school, even if it meant walking in a few minutes late. They hung around after the service to fellowship, even though it was already 1 p.m. and stomachs were beginning to rumble.

The Lord used these observations, along with our dear pastor’s humble and persistent exhortations to make attendance a priority, to begin changing my heart toward Sunday mornings. He began opening my eyes to the fact that corporate worship was just as important, if not more important, than private worship, and that gathering with His people on Sunday morning was a unique experience that could not be had while sitting in a big comfy chair and watching a sermon on YouTube by myself.

You can read the full article on the True Woman blog, here.

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a good word, Spiritual Growth

the small things of holiness

“Holiness is the sum of a million little things–the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little benevolences and little forbearances. Are you trustworthy? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you joyful? Do you love? These qualities, worked out in all the little things of life, determine whether you are blight or blessing to everyone around you, whether you are an ugly spiritual eyesore or growing up into a good-looking Christian.”

– Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness

Horatius Bonar also says it well in God’s Way of Holiness:

“…a holy life is made up of a multitude of small things. It is the little things of the hour, and not the great things of the age, that fill up a life like that of Paul and John, like that of Rutherford, or Brainerd, or Martyn. Little words, not eloquent speeches or sermons, little deeds, not miracles, nor battles, nor one great heroic act or mighty martyrdom, make up the true Christian life.”

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Homemaking, Spiritual Growth

go to bed for the glory of God

In the short four years I have walked through motherhood, I have come to be convinced of one thing: It is always worth the time and effort to go to bed with a clean kitchen. I can imagine few worse early morning greetings than a sticky countertop and a sink full of dishes. (Okay, an empty coffee pot may be worse.)

My very gracious husband has learned that if we have late-night company, I will not be going to bed until the leftovers are put away, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and the extra chairs are taken back downstairs. Of course, there is the occasional exception, such as last night’s family sleepover when ice cream bowls got left in the sink. However, these exceptions are few and far between, and cleaning the kitchen has gained a permanent abode in my evening routine.

Nevertheless, as clean as my kitchen may be at the end of the day, it never changes the fact that a hundred other things remain lingering in my mind, heavy on my heart, and (still) on my to-do list when my head finally hits the pillow.

It’s an honor to be posted on the True Woman blog today! You can read the rest of the article here.

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Motherhood

a boy is born: Owen Ezra’s birth story

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“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”

–– Ecclesiastes 11:5

I had never worked so hard to prepare for an approaching special occasion (perhaps even my wedding day!). With a very busy summer behind me, September had been deemed “Baby Prep Month”—and prep I did. With my estimated due date being September 21st, I had just a few weeks to stock my freezer with meals, rearrange furniture, clean like a madwoman, and get every last duck in order before the big day.

Of course, I wouldn’t have minded if Baby arrived early, especially since I was planning to be in my sister’s wedding on October 3rd! However, the weeks passed by with hardly a painful contraction in sight; and though I was grateful for each additional task I was able to cross off my list, I began to face the reality that my precious little one would likely not be arriving by September 21st. Not that it was much of a surprise—lots of women go a week or even two weeks past their due dates, and give birth to perfectly healthy babies. Nevertheless, I began to grow quite impatient. My sister’s wedding day came and went, and the following Monday, October 5th, I had reached the “two-weeks late” mark. What do we do now?

Continue reading

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a good word, Spiritual Growth

a good word

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”

– Ecclesiastes 7:14, ESV

“In thine adversity consider that thou deserv’st it all; that, hadst thou nothing but adversity, ’twere but thy due; that every moment free from trouble is a mercy. Had the full curse been poured on thee and me, our life were nought but sorrow and vexation.–Consider that God afflicts thee for thy profit, to bring thy sins to mind, and lead thee to the Cross. Believer, God chastens thee in love, to make thee still partaker of His holiness. (Heb. xii. 10.) How oft hast thou forgotten Him! But He forgets not thee, and thus He chastens thee.

Consider, how much thou livest to the world–how little to the Lord. How earthly, sensual, and devilish thy nature! Thy thoughts, how vain! Thy service, how unprofitable! Consider, then, God’s love in chastening thee.–Art thou in sickness, consider thy many days of former health–all undeserved by thee!–In sleepless nights, consider how many nights thou hast slept soundly and sweetly–all undeserved by thee!

Consider Him, who gives thee songs in the night–all undeserved by thee! In poverty, consider how all thy former wants have been supplied, food raiment, lodging, and so many comforts–all undeserved by thee!–Hast thou incurred the loss of sight or hearing, the loss of limbs, or power of using them; consider then, thy former powers; how much enjoyment thou hast had in seeing, hearing, moving, handling–all undeserved by thee! Art thou kept from going to the house of prayer? Are all thy Sabbaths spent at home–it may be on a bed of languishing? Consider how many Sabbaths thou hast spent in full enjoyment of the means of grace–all undeserved by thee!

Consider Jesus, the Fountain of all ordinances; the Bread of life; the Shepherd of the sheep; the Prophet, Priest, and Teacher of His people. Still thou hast Jesus–Lord of the Sabbath, the spring of Sabbath blessings–all undeserved by thee! Thou tried believer, CONSIDER, then, thy light afflictions; they are but for a moment; ordered in wisdom, tenderness, and love. CONSIDER Jesus! what sufferings He endured–all for unworthy thee! Then faint not, nor be weary, but consider the “weight of glory”–glory eternal–glory “far more exceeding” than thy woes–glory, all undeserved by thee! (2 Cor. iv. 17.)”

– George W. Mylne

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