Jun 21

Gospel Hope in Suffering and Disability

2011 at 3:28 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

A few weeks ago, John Piper preached a powerful sermon on the suffering of children with disabilities: “Why Was This Child Born Blind?”:

The issue may be autism or Down syndrome or FASD or spina bifida or blindness or any number of rare and unpronounceable conditions—each has its own peculiar sorrows, its own peculiar way of turning decades into what you never dreamed or planned they would be. Married life isn’t what you thought it would be. Everything is irrevocably changed, and life will never be the same again. And you were not asked.

What would I do as a pastor if I had to face these things—these children, these parents—with a Bible that said nothing about it? What if all I could do is think up ideas on my own about suffering and disability? What if all I had was human opinions? I thank God that this is not our condition. The Bible is permeated with suffering and sorrow. This is one of the things that make it so believable. It is filled with things that God has said and done to shed light on these sufferings and sorrows.

You can listen to the entire sermon online or read the transcript.

The Desiring God blog followed this with sermon with several amazing testimonies of grace. First, John Piper’s three-part interview with John Knight, followed by the story of Greg and Kim Lucas and their son:

Please take time to watch, listen, read, and worship.

Jun 20

Differences Are Important

2011 at 9:34 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

“When you say there is no difference between men and women, you hurt, more than anyone, women,” laments Kevin DeYoung in his recent message at the NEXT Conference, “Who Am I? Humanity in the Eyes of the World and the Christian.”

Kevin spent fifteen minutes of his hour-long talk contrasting God’s view of gender with the cultural view that there is no difference between men and women, and the accompanying dangers of such faulty thinking. “I hope you see how patently unbiblical this is” he said. “God made them, in the beginning, male and female. And we see already in Genesis, before The Fall, that there were distinct yet complementary roles for men and women.”

The entire message is packed full of biblical insight, clear cultural analysis, and humor. We highly recommend you listen and learn.

(And for all of you moms with young kids, don’t despair for want of an hour. Break it into seven ten-minute segments and you’ll be finished by the end of the week!)

Jun 17

Friday Funnies

2011 at 10:31 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

Steve and I have been great friends with Gary and his wife Dawn for several years now. Recently, they watched their four young grandkids for a week which inspired Gary to compose the following top ten list:

You Know You’ve Been Watching Your Grandkids a Long Time When…

1. The soap dispenser has more water in it than soap.

2. When you go into the pantry in the morning, the cereal boxes are all opened and there are crumbs on the floor.

3. Your house looks like the Caterpillar Room in Toy Story 3

4. You begin to believe that their mom really does allow them to watch Star Wars every day.

5. You’ve broken up more fights than the United Nations.

6. You don’t panic when your grandson announces that he just finished off the chocolate milk from the Red Robin glass that has been sitting in a hot car for over 24 hours.

7. Nobody can find the TV remote, the DVD remote, or half the Wii remotes.

8. You wonder why you ask who did it, because you know everone’s answer will obviously be, “Not me”.

9. They have more loop-holes in your instructions than a legal firm could find.

10. When someone asks them, “Who is looking forward to seeing Mommy and Daddy tomorrow?”, your hand is the first one in the air.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and grandfathers—especially to CJ, Brian, Steve and Mike!

the girltalkers

Jun 16

Mission Motherhood

2011 at 9:02 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood

Rachel Jankovic—a wife and mother of five little ones—has a must-read post for mothers at the Desiring God blog today:

If you are a Christian woman who loves the Lord, the gospel is important to you. It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the Church.

There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.

My fellow moms, we need to read and re-read articles like this every week to help us keep the gospel in view. Read the whole thing here.

Jun 15

Father’s Day Gifts

2011 at 1:47 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement

We asked Dad for a few ideas for all you last-minute shoppers…

Dad’s number one choice:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand


(check out video clips of this story’s hero, Louis Zamperini)

Stan Musial: An American Life

by George Vecsey


Manunt:The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer

by James L. Swanson


Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse

by James L. Swanson


Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

by Ben Macintyre


Jun 15

The Secret of Fulfillment

2011 at 12:13 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood

Recently, at the end of a conference session where CJ and I fielded questions, a woman approached me with a query of her own: “So what do you do on the side?” she inquired.

“On the side?” I echoed, not fully comprehending her question.

“What do you do for personal fulfillment?” she sought to clarify. “You see I’m happy my husband has his ministry because that provides him with personal fulfillment. But I pursue my own hobbies because they provide personal fulfillment for me. So,” she repeated again, “What do you do?”

I was unprepared for her question. And I’m sure my answer was insufficient. (How often I have an eloquent answer after the conversation is over!) If I had it to do over again, I’d tell her about Dorothy.

Dorothy was a woman who knew the secret of true “personal fulfillment.” A single mom whose husband left her with a son to raise, Dorothy didn’t spend time worrying about herself. Instead, she was always serving and caring for others. I knew her because she was my Sunday School teacher. And Dorothy was one of the most joyful women I knew.

At my bridal shower everyone wrote down a piece of advice on a slip of paper. I only remember one, and it was Dorothy’s. Her secret to a fulfilled life? “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

Our culture is constantly telling us to find our life; that we’re the center of our world, and as such, we need to take care of “me” first.

But when I’m the center of my world, my world becomes very small—because I’m the only person in it. When I try to find fulfillment in anything besides loving Christ and serving Him, I will only end up more frustrated and completely unfulfilled.

Now, don’t misunderstand. I think we as women should express our creativity, and even more importantly get sufficient rest. But the purpose of creativity should be to glorify God with our gifts, not to find “personal fulfillment,” and the goal of rest should be to strengthen us for service.

If we want “personal fulfillment” as women, we must not follow our culture’s prescription. Rather, we must lose our life for Christ’s sake. Then, amazingly, we’ll find that our world expands. We’ll know the thrill of seeing the fruit of our sacrificial service in the lives of those around us. So for true “personal fulfillment,” let’s follow Dorothy’s example as she followed Christ.

—from the archives