Mar 21

Prepare Your Heart For Holy Week

2013 at 1:46 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Resource Recommendations | Homemaking | Holidays

Speaking of pastors, the men who serve our church, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, have provided us with some wonderful encouragement and resources to prepare our hearts for Easter. We hope these resources serve you as well:

Holy Week Suggestions and Resources

If you take a survey among Christians and Non-Christians on what is the most important holiday for the Christian, the majority will affirm that it is Easter. But have you ever had the feeling that you just didn’t properly celebrate Easter because you let it sneak up on you? In more liturgical traditions, this hasn’t always been the case. For the last 1700 years many parts of the church have given attention to what’s called “Holy Week”. This is the week dedicated to remembering the last week of Jesus’ life, from Palm Sunday to Maunday Thursday to Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday.

We want to encourage you to not let Easter sneak up on you this year. To that end, here are some suggestions for Holy Week, along with a few resources to assist you:

Read the events of Holy Week in the gospels.

The most important way to prepare ourselves for Easter is through reading and meditating on Scripture. lists the events of Jesus’ final week along with the gospel texts that record them. This is ideal for helping one read through the relevant gospel passages during Holy Week.

Read the entire post…

Mar 20

Caution: Don’t Neglect Your Pastor’s Preaching

2013 at 9:53 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Church Life

Our first caution may surprise or confuse you; it may seem irrelevant or uninteresting. But it isn’t a paid political announcement. No pastors asked us to drum up support for their weekly sermons.

Danger Ahead - Timely Cautions

We put out this caution flag because we believe that the greatest need for Christian women today (and in every day and age) is to be women of the Word.

That is why, since starting girltalk, we’ve stressed the importance of faithfully reading God’s Word and applying it to our lives. The Five O’Clock Club exists for this reason—to encourage women to do whatever it takes to make time daily to read God’s Word and pray (Deut. 8:3b).

That is also why we frequently recommend content from the Sunday sermon at our church. Not because it’s Monday and we have nothing new to say, but because we want to show that our blog has a context: Everything we write is grounded in, guided by, and flows out of the preaching ministry of our local church pastors.

You see, we believe that God is a speaking God (Gen. 1, Is. 55:10-11), that He has spoken to us through His Word, the Bible (Ps. 19, 2 Tim. 3:16-17), and that God has called and gifted certain men to preach and lead the church through the proclamation of that Word (Acts 6:4, 1 Tim. 1:13).

Do we want to hear God?

“God’s standard way of securing and maintaining His person-to-person communication with us, His human creatures, is through the agency of persons whom He sends to us as His messengers…Such were the prophets and apostles, and such supremely was Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son…That is the succession in which preachers today are called to stand.” ~J.I. Packer

Preachers are messengers from God. Not infallible, but called. Called to deliver God’s Word to God’s people. So if we are to be women of the Word, we must be devoted to our pastor’s teaching (Acts 2:42, Rom 10:14-17).

Through the proclamation of God’s Word, we hear God speaking to us. We are convicted of sin and called to worship. We are instructed and encouraged. Together, we behold the cross.

Since the preaching of God’s Word is so profound, we need to ask ourselves: Are we in danger of neglecting our pastor’s preaching?

Mar 19

Danger Ahead: Timely Cautions

2013 at 10:31 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre

The beautifully illustrated children’s version of Pilgrim’s Progress is aptly named “Dangerous Journey.” And so is the Christian life. “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come” wrote John Newton, looking back on his life. Sometimes these dangers come in the form of active threats, persecution, and trial. But dangers also come disguised as easier, more effective, or more exciting paths; in the end, though, they are anything but.

In John Bunyan’s original Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful are brought by the shepherds to the mountain called “Caution” where they are shown men wandering aimlessly in a meadow. When Christian asked the shepherds the meaning of this sight he was told, “Because the right way was rough in that place, they chose to go out of it into that meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair.”

That is often how it goes, isn’t it? “Because the right way was rough in that place” and the meadow seemed so close and lush, we wander. So as Christian women today, what dangers should we be on the lookout for? Where are we tempted to wander from the straight and narrow way of God’s Word?

Danger Ahead - Timely Cautions

Up next here at girl talk, we want to do a short series addressing some potential “dangers”—not those of persecution or trial, but of the more subtle kind. Specifically ways in which we may be tempted, through the “rough places” of cultural pressures and our wayward hearts to neglect the clear teaching of Scripture.

We present these cautions to our own souls first, and only then offer them to you as fellow travelers. Even as we have discussed them amongst ourselves I have found myself convicted afresh, sobered by how easily I drift.

Now I know, “Timely Cautions” may not seem like a very cheery subject, but avoiding danger is about finding the path of life, a path that shines brighter and brighter until full day (Pr. 4:18).

Mar 18

A Single Woman’s Perspective on Her Work

2013 at 11:17 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Melissa is a dear friend and one of the people who joined us on our church-planting venture here in Louisville. She is a joyful servant, a godly example, and a huge blessing to everyone in our church. After we posted last week on homemaking she sent us the following thoughts on how the post encouraged her as a single woman. We thought all our readers would be encouraged by Melissa’s joyful eagerness to glorify God in her daily tasks:

“Homemaking is a vocation often filled with mundane tasks and repetitive chores, most of which are performed in obscurity. It demands a colossal amount of serving and sacrifice. Sometimes between scrubbing toilets and laundering dirty clothes, we can lose sight of the significance of our calling. We look around and perceive everyone engaged in meaningful work. Everyone, that is, except us. And our vision for working at home begins to flag.”

Reading these words, I was struck with a revelation. I too can feel like this at times in my job as an assistant. Copies and more copies. Endless pots of coffee brewed. Phone calls. Filing receipts. While I have my share of exciting projects, I spend most of each day attending to needs that arise, handing details behind the scenes. Repetitive tasks. In the natural, mundane things. Lunch runs, filling the candy bowl on my desk, sending that one hundredth reminder email of the day. I’ve often said when people ask what I do each day at work “Well a lot of it’s the ‘mom factor’.” And you know what? By God’s grace, I absolutely love what He’s called me to. When I have my eyes on Him. For I know that this job as “helper” to the folks around me is making a difference for eternity. I often reflect on the fact that God has given me the joy of being able to practically cultivate skills I will one day need as a wife and mom. I get to apply the principle of helping those around me and orienting myself to their needs each and every day. This is no small thing! God is calling me to care for the precious souls around me each and every day. What a humbling calling. What a high privilege.

Carolyn wrote in the blog post I referred to earlier that:

”[O]ur homes can exude warmth and provide refreshment for all who walk through their doors. They should be pleasant havens…sanctuaries where we offer care and hospitality to other Christians…While we long for our heavenly home, let’s strive to make our earthly home a place of peace, order, joy, and laughter. And let’s make this our prayer: “Lord help me to build the kind of home where all who enter find it ‘impossible to keep from thinking of God.’”

And that’s my prayer for my office. A place where all who enter are refreshed, encouraged, pointed afresh to our great God. So while the mundane tasks abound and tomorrow will find me buried in emails, spreadsheets, brewing tea and coffee, and more, I want my desk to be a place where ministry happens. Where the mundane becomes monumental, because of who it is all for. Serving and loving others because Christ first loved me and gave himself up for me.

Mundane? I don’t think so.