It’s what’s for lunch.
“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. ‘The cross of Christ ... is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours….’ ‘The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.’” ~John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p. 326-327
--from the archives
Thanks so much again for answering my mail about the 5 O’Clock Club. Things have been going better. Thanks so much for the phone under the pillow idea. I have also worked on not stepping on the top step of our stairs and that helps a lot too. I have been able to get up and not wake the children this last week.
We’re so glad to hear God is helping your kids to sleep and you to wake up.
But, says Dawn, “I have one remaining problem—how to stay awake during prayer. (I have tried praying aloud—well, in a whisper—but somehow I still fall asleep.) But you have encouraged me to think creatively so I am sure I will find the answer.”
We’ve been there too, and here are a few things we’ve tried—
- Pray while you exercise. Mom used to prop her prayer list up on the treadmill console and pray while she exercised.
- Pray in the shower. From an idea Mom gave me, I printed my prayer list, put it in a sheet protector and taped it to the wall of my shower. I had some of my best prayer times there—although our water bill probably went up!
- Pray on a walk. When Tori was a baby, I would sometimes walk around the block with her in the stroller. This idea doesn’t work with toddlers though.
- Pray as you pace. This might not work with light sleepers in the house, but Janelle gets up and walks around if she feels sleepy during prayer.
- Pray after you wake up. Sometimes it helps me to pray after an activity that really wakes me up—taking a shower, emptying the dishwasher, etc. My husband goes running before his quiet time.
- Pray after coffee (or caffeinated beverage of choice). The 5 O’Clock club runs on coffee.
- Pray before you pray. Ask God for grace to stay awake and pray!
Hope those simple ideas get you started. We’re confident God is eager to help all of us grow in prayer.
The Long View and Heart Tenderizing Words (for moms) by Nancy Wilson
Know a Victim of Sexual Assault? What to Say and Not to Say by Justin and Lindsey Halcomb
Ten Things to Remember after a Summer Mission Trip by Jeff Brewer (HT: Justin Taylor)
The Gospel Coalition’s 2012 National Women’s Conference is for women but not all about women. It’s about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a time to learn more of what Scripture says to us—and to say it to each other. A time to dig deeper into the character of God and his purpose for his people. A time to gather together and share biblical encouragement as sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, and friends.
Several renowned Bible teachers, including three TGC founding members, will explore the theme “Here Is Our God!” by guiding us through the Bible’s unfolding revelation of God to human eyes and hearts. Plenaries will offer exposition of biblical texts in which the Lord shows himself to his people. Seminars will feature women living out the Word, seeing and serving God with transformed and transforming lives. We’ll worship together through music led by Keith and Kristyn Getty.
This time together in Orlando will fix our eyes on Christ, in whom God has shown himself fully, to enable us to see him more clearly and serve him more powerfully.
Kristie Anyabwile // Mindy Belz // Paige Benton Brown // Lydia Brownback // Don Carson // Lauren Chandler // Kathleen Chapell // Miyon Chung // Nancy Leigh DeMoss // Elyse Fitzpatrick // Keri Folmar // Colleen Gallagher // Keith and Kristyn Getty // Nancy Guthrie // Susan Hunt // Mary Kassian // Kathy Keller // Tim Keller // Deborah Lorentsen // Karen Loritts // Carolyn Mahaney // Mary K. Mohler // Kathleen B. Nielson // Jani Ortlund // John Piper // Noel Piper // Jenny Salt // Carrie Sandom // Leeann Stiles // Mary Willson
~John Greenleaf Whittier