While the kids napped on Saturday afternoon, Mom, Kristin, Janelle, and I had a conference call to plan the Thanksgiving holiday.
We reviewed the menu from last year. I suggested a few changes (as usual) and they vetoed them (as usual)—“Why mess with a good thing?” they ask. Good point. But I still might try to sneak in a new dish (don’t tell!).
We had a friendly argument (as only female members of the same family can) over whether we should play take-two or five hundred after the meal. It ended in a stalemate: two vs. two.
We hoped the weather wouldn’t be cold and rainy—after all, Dad insists we hold the Turkey Bowl, rain or shine, warm or cold, pregnant or not.
As soon as we finished the call, my mind was off and running with all that needed to be done: Get to Michaels before the Christmas decorations overtake the Thanksgiving stuff (I might already be too late)….find a Thanksgiving book for the kid’s story time…. print out Thanksgiving coloring pages….assemble the coupon books...pull out the recipes…make a grocery list….
But on that same phone call (because we never talk about just one thing) Mom reminded us of the story of Mary and Martha, and the importance of sitting at Jesus’ feet. We decided to make it our next series on the blog.
You know the story well:
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. but Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
The holidays might seem like an odd time to talk about sitting and listening. But maybe it’s the most important time. When are we more “distracted with much serving”? When do worldly lights most threaten to obscure our vision of the Greatest Light of all?
So, come with us to Bethany this holiday season. In the midst of all the distractions, let’s sit at Jesus’ feet. And listen.
We first posted this “oldie but goodie” a few years ago, but when Tracey sent it in recently, we couldn’t resist putting it up again.
Have a happy weekend! Nicole for the girls
THE GOOD NAPKINS
This is too good to not share. I think we are the last generation to know what ‘napkins’ are. THE GOOD NAPKINS ... Ahhhhh The joys of having Girls.
My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake). One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping ‘napkins’ in the bathroom. Didn’t they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for ‘special occasions’ (her second mistake).. Now fast forward a few months. It’s Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table (her third mistake). When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter. Next came his wife, who gasped, then, began giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter. Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a ‘special occasion’ Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn’t hang off the edge!! My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter. ‘But, Mom, you said they were for special occasions!!!’
“Women, whose lives are harder, need jokes more than men and make them more often.” Paul Johnson
“Each sphere of life has its own set of restrictions regarding gender roles. In the previous chapter, we saw that the Bible provides certain restrictions for female saints in the sphere of the church. Earlier we saw that the Bible gives principles for women in the sphere of the family as wives and mothers. As we move into the sphere of the public square, we notice that the Bible is much less precise in regulating the roles and activities of women. As we cross the river into this final chapter, I believe the Scriptures speak less dogmatically and provide more liberty to women in their decisions about their roles in the public square (politics, military service, recreation, employment, etc.). Therefore, I will write this chapter in a more flexible tone. Instead of saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ I’ll be saying, ‘Come, let us reason together.’”
We appreciate this chapter as much for what it does not say as for what it does say. Mr. Chanski takes care not to insist on points where Scripture is silent. But he also provides wise, gracious, and reasonable counsel as it relates to a godly woman’s role in various public arenas—politics, the sports field, combat and the workforce. If you are facing decisions related to one or more of these areas, this chapter is well-worth a thoughtful read.
And so we conclude our Womanly Dominion book club study. We hope you’ve benefited from Mr. Chanski’s bold appeal for women to fulfill their God-given calling.
We chose this book—and in fact, we write each post—with one ultimate goal in mind. Long-time readers hopefully know what that is, but it’s best summed up by my husband in this short video clip posted by CBMW. He’s speaking to pastors, but his words apply to us as well.
“To the extent that the church understands and applies biblical manhood and womanhood I believe the church will be strengthened in her role as a pillar and support of the truth of the gospel.”
We warned you from the get-go that this blog would never be cutting edge. (Our new site makes us look more professional than we are.) So it shouldn’t surprise you that it’s taken us four and a half years—but you can finally subscribe to girltalk via email.
To subscribe, click on the RSS button at the top of the page, choose “Get girltalk delivered by email” and follow the directions.
Here are three more worthy winners of the ESV Study Bible…
Kristina nominated her sister:
What a great idea for a contest! My husband and I made a priority of getting ourselves this study Bible when it was published last year… and we both love it! I was just thinking the other day about how my sister in Georgia would benefit from this Bible. She has two babies (13 months and 2 months), she is moving next week, and her husband deploys to Iraq in December. I am so aware that I can’t do much for her, but what she really needs is the strength of God’s Word! I think this Bible would be such a source of hope and help for her in this season.
Rachael entered her sister-in-law:
I would like to enter my sister-in-law Ashley for the ESV Bible. Ashley is married to my brother and she has the sweetest spirit and heart for the Lord. Back in January I joined the 5am club, Ashley always said she could never do that. Well, this summer she read your book “Shopping for Time” and she was hooked. We have made a deal to hold each other accountable in this and periodically we will ask how the other is doing waking up in the morning. She has joined an in-depth Bible study group this year and I know she would benefit from this Bible. I just got one for my birthday in June and she loved looking through it as we talked about all the fun features and notes. I know what a benefit this Bible has been to me and I would love to share this with my sister in Christ.
P.S. I sent in an entry for my sister-in-law, Ashley yesterday but I need to add an additional comment. Ashley just called to tell me that her new dog chewed up her Bible. So, she REALLY does need this Bible now! Thanks.
Emily nominated a young women in the youth group at her church:
My husband Brandon has the privelege of working as youth pastor at Campbell Baptist Church in Windsor, Ontario. I would love for one of the girls in our youth group, Amanda, to receive the ESV Study Bible. Here are a few reasons: First, last year she shared that she takes her Bible with her to her public high school every day. She reads it whenever she has a few free minutes. She has had the opportunity to share her faith with classmates who have asked what she’s doing. The Word of God is very important to her, so this Bible would get a lot of good use! Second, our senior pastor just recently introduced the ESV Study Bible to our congregation during an evening service, with the hopes that one day soon our church will switch to ESV as the version used for teaching/preaching in our services. So, Amanda would be ready for when this happens. Third, it is her birthday on Saturday, so I would like to give it to her as a birthday gift!!! Thank you for doing this.
Really now, y’all know how to make these contests difficult on the judges! I knew as soon as I began to read your entries that we wouldn’t be able to stick with two winners. We decided to pitch in a few more Bibles and (barely) managed to narrow it down to six contestants. We’ll share three winning entries today and three tomorrow. Then you’ll see why it was so hard to choose!
We wish we could award every contestant a Bible to give away. But if your nominee wasn’t chosen, may I encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to provide another way for you to give this precious gift? Our Lord delights in His Word going forth!
And now it’s my distinct privilege to announce our three winners for today…
Cassie nominated her sister:
I would love to be entered into the ESV Study Bible Birthday Giveaway. Without a doubt, I would give this precious gift to my sister, Chelsea. She lost her baby boy at 34 gestational weeks just a few weeks ago. Though she is a very disciplined student of the Word, she has come to find an even more need for Scripture in the past few weeks. She reads night and day as she rests in the reality that He is the only One that can and will sustain her. She would treasure such a gift and without a doubt would fill it with underlining and notes of her own. And knowing her, she would eventually pass it on to someone traveling a similar road, knowing that what the Lord has taught her through His Word would speak to others. She’s just that amazing.
Julie nominated her mother-in-law:
My mother in law became a believer (after 60 years!) and ever since she has been serving and super involved at our church (Calvary Bible Church in Burbank California). She stocks the pews, serves the shut-ins, and is very faithful. She recently tripped in the church parking lot and thankfully she wasn’t hurt but her hardcover study Bible took the brunt of the fall! It completely fell apart but since it was all she had, she tried her best to salvage it. Needless to say… A new study Bible would be a great blessing to her!
Sarah nominated her childhood friend:
My childhood friend of 15 years has expressed great spiritual interest as of this past fall! We both grew up apart from the church and spent much of our time together building our friendship by committing shameful acts and reveling in them. We have each walked the path to destruction, only God saved me in 2005 and my life hasn’t been the same (Praise God!).
For a few years there, neither was our friendship. However, God kept bringing her back into my life. I’ve been praying for her since I became a Christian and had alluded in a few conversations with her that her pursuits of men and drugs were because she was made to pursue God. Her response was always blank. But this fall, God softened her heart and I couldn’t contain my desire to share the gospel with her and the message left us both speechless. Within a few hours after our conversation, she emailed me all these questions she had and we’ve been back and forth ever since!
She’s been reading the Bible like crazy, but some of the study notes she shares with me don’t seem quite right. I’ve been wanting to buy her a Bible, but with our first baby on the way and no insurance, all of our extra earnings are going toward this new little blessing. She expresses delight in the truths of God’s Word, but that there’s much she doesn’t understand. I believe that this ESV Study Bible will be very helpful to her!