Jul 3

Rachel Barkey

2009 at 9:11 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Suffering

A friend of the family let us know that Rachel Barkey passed away yesterday morning. Please pray for her husband, Neil, and their two children and their extended families. If you have not yet watched Rachel’s video testimony of her battle with terminal cancer, we would strongly urge you to do so today.

We rejoice that Rachel is now in glory, free from pain and worshipping our Savior. For us here at girltalk, and we know, for many of you as well, she will always be a profound example of steadfast faith in Jesus Christ.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15

Jul 2

Feminine Appeal

2009 at 5:21 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

“Our behavior has the potential to discredit the gospel,” Mom cautioned us on Tuesday. But that’s not all: our behavior can actually commend the gospel! Here Mom closes her opening chapter in Feminine Appeal and here we will conclude our series as well:

“As [Titus 2] verse 10 says, we can ‘adorn’ the gospel with our lives. To ‘adorn’ means to put something beautiful or attractive on display—like placing a flawless gemstone in a setting that uniquely shows off its brilliance. The gospel is like the most valuable of jewels. It is the pearl of great price.

Make no mistake, by adorning the gospel, we are not enhancing or improving it. The gospel cannot be improved! But by cultivating the feminine qualities listed in Titus 2, we can present the gospel as attractive, impressive, and pleasing to a watching world.

Several years ago while we were on a family outing, a gentlemen approached my husband and said, “Sir, I’ve been observing you for some time, and I have never seen a family relate like yours. How do you do it?”

My husband and I and our children had simply been enjoying one another’s company—laughing together and showing affection. But what was ordinary interaction between our family members was curiously attractive to this stranger. Our behavior provided C.J. the opportunity to share the gospel with him. My husband explained that we are simply a family of sinners—but sinners whose lives have been transformed by the power of the gospel. And that was the reason for the difference this man observed.

Although we might not always be aware, people are watching our lives. If we exhibit the qualities from Titus 2 such as love for our families or purity or kindness, we are promoting the gospel. And the unbelievers who see us—be they family member, friend, neighbor, or stranger—may actually be drawn to the gospel by the way we live. How extraordinary!

The climax of Titus 2 announces that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” It heralds the news of “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness” (vv. 11-14).

The seven feminine virtues [of Titus 2] are not an end in themselves. They point to the transforming effect of the gospel in the lives of women—women who have turned from their sins and trusted in the Savior, women whose sins have been forgiven and whose hearts have been changed.

Can you conceive of anything that sets forth the beauty of the gospel jewel more brilliantly than the godly behavior of those who have received it? Consider the loveliness of a woman who passionately adores her husband, who tenderly cherishes her children, who creates a warm and peaceful home, who exemplifies purity, self-control, and kindness in her character and who gladly submits to her husband’s leadership—for all the days God grants her life. I dare say there are few things that display the gospel jewel with greater elegance. This is true feminine appeal.

Why do we blog about biblical womanhood? We want to give those who oppose God’s Word nothing evil to say about us. But more than that, we want to do our measly bit, together with you, to commend the “grace of God [that] has appeared, giving salvation for all people” (Tit. 2:11).

Jul 1

A Wedding Story

2009 at 4:49 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

Our second winner of the “Crazy Wedding Story” contest is Sarah. This is one of the most memorable wedding stories we’ve ever heard! (Send us your address and book choice, Sarah!)

My Husband, Matt, and I planned on getting married in our Church in Lodi, Ca on May 11th of 2007. In Northern California, May is a beautiful time to get married, and boy were we excited! We had a guest list of about 250 people. We absolutely could not wait!

After a 10 month engagement (10 months is too long!!), the day was fast approaching. I scrambled to finish all of the last-minute details. I had spent hours, and hours on a slide-show that went through our childhood years, and through our engagement. I had procrastinated a bit, and the night before was trying desperately to burn it to DVD…. When suddenly my computer crashed. I freaked out, and started call every friend I had that knew anything about computers. Sadly, my slide-show was lost forever, and my hard drive fried.

That night I couldn’t sleep, and was feeling sick. Friends told me that I had “Wedding Jitters”. I figured they were right. I got up the morning of our wedding, and crawled to the bathroom. I was running a 103 degree temperature, and was throwing up. This was not the wedding morning I had had pictured. My bridesmaids and I planned on getting our hair done in Sacramento (a 45 minute drive from our town) and having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory before our 7:30pm wedding. So I stayed in bed as long as I could, drinking tea, and praying.

I was finally feeling better, and met my Bridesmaids at the church. We drove to Sacramento. I still felt sick, but thought I would be ok. So we got to the hair salon in Downtown Sacramento, and everything is going well, and my bridesmaids were looking beautiful, minus one that was running late. That’s when I noticed a large group of people around the building next door, followed by about 20 police cars. One of the women from the salon went over to ask what was going on. We just happened to be next to a federal building that had received a suspicious package. The entire block was shut down, and they weren’t allowing people to leave—or to come in, as my late bridesmaid found out the hard way.

I panic, and start to feel sick again. I remember thinking “This can not be happening!”. I called my Fiance, and told him what was happening. He turned on the news, and the story was on every local channel. I knew then that this was a big deal. After spending hours trapped in the salon, panicking, and getting sick, I went outside to talk to a police officer. we had about 2 1/2 hours until our wedding, and were 45 minutes away from the church, and my bridesmaids were starving. So as I started to talk, my voice started cracking, and before I knew it I was bawling to this police officer that I was going to miss my wedding. He ever-so-graciously made a few calls, and had my bridal party and I escorted out. Praise God! Though I did feel like quite a “Bridezilla” after my little melt-down!

We stop and my bridesmaids grab a quick bite to eat, and head back to the church to get ready. As we’re driving back, I get a call from my Fiance. “Um, I’m at the barber, and my car won’t start”. Thank goodness one of his Groomsmen just happened to be a few blocks away, and jump started his car… whew!

The wedding was beautiful. Everything I dreamed of, and our Pastor joked about “the wedding that almost never came to be” (referring to the bomb scare), and everyone had a nice laugh. We stayed at the church to finish our pictures, and were the last ones to leave. We were driving to the reception in my Father-in-law’s 1977 Corvette. We got in and it wouldn’t start. Matt and I couldn’t help but laugh! It had been a crazy day… We tried calling everyone, but they had turned their cell phones off for the wedding. Finally, one of our attendants called us, and asked where we were. They came and picked us up… we were an hour late to our own reception!

The reception was lovely. A dessert bar, with chocolate fountain. I was still feeling sick, and so I didn’t get to eat anything, but I was ok with that! We left the reception, and got to the nicest hotel in Lodi, which was a gift from my in-laws. There had been a mix-up, and they didn’t have a room for us. The hotel worked it out, and after two hours of waiting(!), we were in our room, and we were both starving to death. We drove to Jack In The Box, got food, and headed back to the hotel. We ate, and fell asleep… ha ha. Definitely not what we had imagined! I made a visit to the ER before we left for our Honeymoon, and it turned out I had a double ear infection…

It’s been two years, and we laugh about the day all the time! I must say, it took me a while to be able to laugh… We’re just glad to be married, and couldn’t be happier! Although one day I would like to renew my vows, on a beach, and far away from any government buildings.