I’m very pleased to announce that my mother, after much nagging from me, has started a blog! We got this blog set up a few months ago before we got the boys and then life got too busy to actually do anything with it. Hopefully she will be posting regularly and I’m so excited to read her blog! She has impacted my life so greatly with her parenting, wisdom, and friendship and I hope that you all will benifit from her as well. So go over to Radical Womanhood and be sure to leave a comment and encourage her to keep blogging! God bless you all.
Monthly Archives: April 2009
Hello everyone! Over at my other blog Imperishable Beauty, we are starting out a new feature with my mom and Abigail’s mom (Mrs. Kraft) entitled Pearls of Wisdom. They will be answering two questions a month each and it will be a great way for them to impart their knowledge and wisdom with our readers. These are two godly and wonderful women, both of whom I admire and look up to so I am very excited for this endeavor. So if any of you, especially you girls, have any questions that you would like an answer to from two wise women, go on over to the blog and ask away!
About a year ago around this time I was reading a wonderful book entitled “Rachel’s Tears”, the story of Rachel Scott who was killed in the Columbine school shootings for her faith ten years ago yesterday. Her story has made a big impact in my life and I consider her one of my heros. She lived out her faith in very practicle ways and she was devoted to being the hands and feet of Christ. She showed Christ’s love through befriending the friendless. When she was violently gunned down by two guys that she had actually been praying for, the last thing anyone said to her was “do you still believe in your God now?”
Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the Columbine shooting. A year ago on April 20th I wrote a poem about Rachel on the ninth anniversary of her death. It was one of the first poems I wrote that wasn’t for school or that had a real message to it. So while it wasn’t very good, I wanted to share it with you and also encourage you to look into Rachel’s story more. Also go check our Rachel’s Challenge also the ministry set up in her memory. Without further ado, here is my poem:
Was it a life wasted?
A like only tasted?
She was so young,
A life only begun.
Yet she was so ready
Unlike so many.
Always she’ll be,
Yes, that is a tragedy.
Yet she served as a witness,
to the faithless.
Her prayers came true,
He used her as a tool
And as our tears fall
We remember she is with God.
It was not a life wasted,
Though only tasted.
She was only passing through.
This summer and spring there are a multitude of fantastic conferences that I’m so excited about! Even though I sadly can not attend any of them, I know that God is going to do some amazing thing through these conferences. All the conferences I want to share with you are put on by fantastic people! I have had some form of contact with at least one person running each conference. So without further ado, here are the conferences to look into:
- NEXT (formerly New Attitude): This year’s conference is on the person and work of Jesus Christ and it looks amazing! With speakers such as Joshua Harris, C.J. Mahaney, Sinclair Ferguson, D.A. Carson, and Kevin DeYoung. Worship is also lead by Bob Kauflin. If you are attending this conference you are in for a real treat! (There is also a breakout session with Carolyn McCulley on Radical Womanhood!!!)
- Do Hard Things tour: I went to this conference last year and it was great! Also for all of you that have not read Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris or haven’t checked out The Rebelution as a whole, be sure to check it out.
- Set Apart Girl: For those of you who don’t know, Leslie Ludy is one of my favorite authors and a personal hero of mine. She is doing a full blown conference this summer and it looks absolutely like the best thing out there! The material in geared towards 18+ but those girls about 15+ that are passionate about being set apart for Christ. Anyone in Colorado or that can get there should definetly go!
- Beauty From the Heart: I’ve been reading this blog for a few months and I love the message and the two teen girls behind the blog and conference! I really wanted there to be a conference close by but sadly the closest is about 1,000 miles away. If you are able to attend this conference then you need to go! (Also, Hannah Farver’s (one of the authors) brother got into a horrible ATV accident a few months ago and needs a ton of prayer. You can check out the story on the blog.)
- The Gospel Coalition: This conference is coming up next weekend I believe. With names like D.A. Carson, John Piper, Mark Driscol, and Ligon Duncan as some of the main speakers and Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney as two of the workshop speakers. Just some of the books that they are giving away to those attending are worth going for!
Tell me if you have any great conferences that you would like to share! Again, all of these look fantastic and I am confident in all of the people leading these to have sound Biblical doctrine and message. If you can attend any of these then you should definetely take advantage of that.
I have never even pretended to be organized and have never acknowledged myself as diligent, diligence has been a lifelong struggle for me. I am that crazy, go-with-the-flow, hippie, free spirited girl that is constantly getting distracted by everything under the sun. But a sluggard? The name sounds so harsh and mean… me? A Sluggard? Isn’t that the guy that wont even bring his food to his mouth(Proverbs 19:24), I mean, I may have my lazy times but I can sure put that chocolate into my mouth! And who would ever want to be anything that sounds like a slug? Not me, that’s for sure.
The dictionary describes a sluggard as someone who is habitually lazy. How often does that describe most of Americans in the 21st century? How often does that describe ourselves? When looking into my own life I see that far too often I have the character traits of a sluggard. I decided to take a little study of the sluggard as the Bible describes him, these are the “qualifications”:
- He/she sleeps instead of works: (Proverbs 6:6-11 and 26:14) Sleeping isn’t a bad thing. C.J. Mahaney talks about sleep being a way to keep us humble. Our bodies need sleep and we can not function without it. But when we are lazy about our sleeping is when it becomes sluggardly. Are we sleeping, relaxing, or resting when there is work that needs to be done? If so the Bible says that we will end up poor and in want.
- He/she craves and does not receive: (Proverbs 13:4) Obviously some cravings (especially sinful ones) we shouldn’t receive, but here it’s talking about wanting things in general. It says that the sluggard is always in want but he never gets anything. Why is this? Because he doesn’t work for it. He sees something he wants but instead of working for it and pursuing it like the diligent man, he doesn’t do anything and therefor does not get anything.
- He/she starts something and does not finish: (Proverbs 19:24 and 26:15) I think that this is what the Bible is saying when they say that he buries his hand in the dish but doesn’t put the food in his mouth. We have the thinking part of ideas and plans, the relatively easy part, and maybe even start it, but we do not press on as to actually finish what we started. (This has been a lifelong struggle for me. From craft projects, writing projects, school stuff, ministry ideas, and all sorts of things; I have had a hard time finishing what I’ve started.)
- He/she doesn’t realize the theory of “consequences”: (Proverbs 20:4 and 21:25) This is similar to point two. He/she does not understand that if they work they do not get food or anything else they desire. In our world of easy entitlements most people think that they deserve all the blessings in life without any (or little) of the work. In truth, if you don’t work hard for something, you may still get it but it wont be as rewarding. Also, if you have something and don’t work to keep it, you will most likely lose it.
- He/she has lame excuses: (Proverbs 26:13) He cries out that some lion is at the gait and makes it an excuse for being lazy and unproductive. Instead of facing the challenges he faces and getting past them, or even if they can’t be solved, working around them, he does not. Instead he puts things off in order to be lazy or even just for comfort’s sake.
These are some of the main points I’ve found in Proverbs that mention those that are slothful, lazy, and the sluggard. When looking at these qualifications and looking at my own life, I see far too many resemblances and it frightens me. I want to be the wise woman who is diligent and serves the Lord with ferocity but who I see when I look at my heart and lifestyle is a slothful fool. And that is who I am by myself. I myself am a loathsome, pitiful person not worthy of anything. But God decided to come and give me worth and He desires me to become that wise and diligent woman who can serve Him faithfully. My tool for this task: the very blood of Christ.
So right now I’m working on attacking the sluggard within my soul for the purpose of serving and glorifying God better. When sharing a big dream I had with my dad a few months ago he pointed me back to the fact that if I want to do that someday I have to start working towards that now in the little ways like school. I am reminded of the story of the servants who were faithful with little and were shown to be faithful over much. I do not want to be that slothful and lazy servant but I want to hear from my Savior that I have served Him well.
In the next few weeks or so I’ll try to keep you updated about my journey with this as I try to restructure my life to no longer include the sluggard inside. Hopefully this will provide me with accountability as well. How about you that ? Do you see the character qualities of a sluggard in your life? What are you going to do about it? Any ideas and advice from those of you who have attacked this enemy in the past and conquered it?
Today, Good Friday, I have had a lot of different songs running through my head. Songs reflecting that wonderful cross where blood was shed and my soul was saved. Songs like “In Christ Alone”, “How Beautiful the Blood”, “Above All”, “Glories of Calvary”, “The Wonderful Cross”, and especially “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”. The songs fits perfectly as we meditate on the amazing grace of Jesus and all He has done for us.
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
“Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53 is one of my all time favorite chapter in the entire Bible. This vibrant phrophesy about the coming Massiah who will taken on the wrath of God and the sin of the world in order to reconsile men to Christ is beautiful. I could read this chapter a million times, over and over again. I especially love the verses I mentioned above, they show how Jesus took on our sins. To think that Jesus, who was perfect and holy, took on all our aweful wrong doings is so horendeous and it’s beyond our understanding. Yesterday I found a brilliant fiction article published by Next (formerly known as New Attitude) Webzine on Jesus’ death and His taking on of our sins. You can read the whole thing here but this is my favorite part:
“The Father speaks: “Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory? You are self-sufficient and self-righteous—consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious. You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you. You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip. You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer. You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill you mind with vulgarity. You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your homosexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden. With all your heart you love perverse pleasure. You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart. You kill babies for your convenience. You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy. You persecute my people. You love money and prestige and honor. You put on a cloak of outward piety, but inside you are filled with dead men’s bones—you hypocrite! You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world. You covet and can’t have so you murder. You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness. You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin. You are never slow to speak. And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment. Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is a fountain of condemnation and guilt and obscene talk. You are a false prophet leading people astray. You mock your parents. You have no self-control. You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions. You’re a drunkard and a thief. You’re an anxious coward. You do not trust me. You blaspheme against me. You are an unsubmissive wife. And you are a lazy, disengage husband. You file for divorce and crush the parable of my love for the church. You’re a pimp and a drug dealer. You practice divination and worship demons. The list of your sins goes on and on and on and on. And I hate these things inside of you. I’m filled with disgust, and indignation for your sin consumes me. Now, drink my cup! “
Isn’t it sobering that Jesus, who knew no sin, became our sin in order to make a sacrifice for our sins?! This is the Jesus that deserves our praise, honor, glory, love, devotion, servitude, and adoration forever! So amazing this is! We all are guilty of many of those things listed, yet God no longer looks at us and sees these sins because Jesus came and took these sins from our shoulders and onto His. What wondrous news is that! We have such a great and wonderful God that would come down in flesh and bare our sins!
I was sitting down to have a snack and my mom was watching TV and we found a show on the History Channel about Crucifixion. The horrors of crucifixion are gut wrenching and horrid and to think that this was how my precious Jesus died, and He died for me! It was my sins that held Him there and my sins that brought Him to His death. I deserved that cross. I deserved that death. But Jesus took it for me. He bled on that cross so that I could have life, so that I could live, so that I could be forgiven. What wondrous love that is!!! Amazing! When thinking of this, a hymn popped into my head, “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed”. Here are the beautiful lyrics to it:
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.
Here is my poetry for this month. I wrote this in early March after being inspired by this article by Leslie Ludy (Note: this article is very blunt about sexual sins in men so use discretion before reading.) May God bless you all and I have some posts that are formulating in my mind right now so come back soon! (Also, I’m horrible at naming poems and such so if you have any ideas let me know!)
They shout us lies
Telling us to compromise
“Freedom in Christ” they proclaim
And so trample His perfect name
Don’t they know we are to sin no more?
If they do the don’t care and after their gods they whore
They say that to Him they belong
But yet they worship their own gods
The flattery from pagan
Is joy in their hearts
Their selfish desires
Do not want to part
The horrible perversion
They bring to the holy place
The have totally forgotten
The true meaning of grace.
Yahweh has called us
We must obey
To live different than this fallen world
To live holy everyday.
God’s standards are high
For those whom with Him identify
If He has saved us from the pits of hell
Let us rise up and serve Him well
If we are set apart spirit and soul
Then He can begin to make us whole.
“Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” was the loud shout from the people as Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey. The had made a path for their king with their cloaks and others were waving palm branches in the air. I’m sure that the thoughts of many minds in the crowd were thinking, “finally we have our Messiah! Freedom from the Romans is here!” Israel had waited so long, God had been silent and nation after nation had taken over the country. They had hoped and prayed for a king, and now, with everything Jesus had done, this must be the king that would bring them out from under oppression.
Little did he know that in a matter of days this great and mighty king would be hanging lifeless on a bloody Roman cross. That this king would suffer and die for our sins. That He would endure God’s pure wrath that was supposed to be ours. Jesus didn’t come as a political king and redeemer like the Jews thought he would. Jesus came to die and His kingdom was not on earth, it was in heaven.
Jesus was different than all other kings that ever walked the earth. He didn’t seek His own power, pleasure, and luxury but He left His throne up in heaven to humble himself, become a man, and to die. He knew that His glory and His kingdom was heavenly, one that could never be destroyed. Here are a few of the great verses about the kingdom of God.
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;” (Psalms 45:6)
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” (Psalms 145:13)
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” (Col 1:13)
I love that last one. We are no longer under the kingdom of darkness but we are now in the glorious kingdom of Jesus! Isn’t that amazing to think about?! Jesus may not of come as a political saviour or an earthly king, but He is the king of Kings and lord of Lords and He will come again and victoriously reign over the entire earth.
On a different note, I’m sorry for my lack of posting. I’ve had a super busy week and I got sick on top of it! I was hoping to be posting more for my Easter series but it hasn’t worked out that way. I will try to post more in the upcoming week though. Remember that tomorrow is the monthly poetry and I’m looking forward to that! I need to get my poetry written! God bless you guys and I’ll post again tomorrow!