Apr 18

Two Early Summer Reads

2013 at 11:36 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Resource Recommendations

With warmer weather on the way I start anticipating one of my favorite outdoor activities—reading. On summer evenings, Steve and I love to sit in our old and uncomfortable deck chairs on our little back porch and read together for an hour or so while the sun sets. I can hardly wait for those days to come and I’m already thinking about what books I want to read this summer. Here are two new books that I highly recommend you put on your summer reading list, from two great friends and outstanding authors:

Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God by Bobby Jamieson

I have already read most of this book and love it! Easy to read, insightful, and just plain helpful. Not only does Jamieson help us think rightly about doctrine but shows us how it works out in the life of our local church.

“Scripture is for sound doctrine, sound doctrine is for real life, and real life is for real church growth. So says Jamieson, and he hits the nail on the head brilliantly every time.”

—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College

“Think doctrine is at least impractical—at worst, loveless? Give this author a few minutes to help you reconsider this. Well-written, precise, provocative, and practical—Jamieson has produced a jewel.”

—Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith by Jon Bloom

No one I’ve ever read brings biblical stories to life with such beauty and accuracy. I love to read what Jon Bloom writes each Friday at Desiring God and I save and reread his articles often. Eager to slowly make my way through this book.

“Forgetfulness and familiarity. Faith is often plagued by these twin faults. We easily forget what we know about who God is and what he’s done for us in Jesus Christ. When we turn to Scripture for help, our familiarity dulls the wonder in the splendid story of God’s mercy to mere men. We need to be reminded of the old stories of Scripture, that they might irrigate our parched souls and ignite our faith. In Not By Sight, my friend Jon Bloom shatters our familiarity with the Bible by helping us see afresh how the drama of Scripture unfolds in the gritty reality of human experience and how those stores are infused with grace as they fit into the greatest story: God’s plan to save sinners by his Son. Do you need to be reminded of what you already know? Do you need to be shaken from your familiarity? Jon’s fresh tellings of the old tales will help you recover surprise and delight in the stories of Scripture.”

—C.J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville

Apr 15

Washing the Feet of the Saints

2013 at 9:23 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

“Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:9-10

Washing the feet of the saints. How do I perform this good work? All of the other good works in this verse seem realistic and doable; but bathing a fellow-Christian’s dirty, smelly feet seems a little outlandish.

Actually, it’s really not all that peculiar. And most likely we are carrying out this good work already. All we need is an explanation of what foot-washing really means in order to know if we are fulfilling this task.

This is where biblical commentators can help us out, and Pastor John MacArthur does just that in his commentary on First Timothy (p. 208). He provides both the context and clarification for a widow having “washed the feet of the saints:”

That menial task was the duty of slaves. Since the roads were either dusty or muddy, guests entering a house had their feet washed. Paul does not necessarily mean that she actually did that herself each time. The menial task of washing the feet spoke metaphorically of humility (Jn. 13:5-17). The requirement, then, stresses that a widow have a humble servant’s heart. She gives her life in lowly service to those in need.

So, we see that “washing the feet of the saints” is a willingness to give ourselves to any menial task that would serve another Christian in need. That’s the idea behind this particular good work. It involves doing the humblest, most menial, and sometimes even downright dirty tasks in service of others. It could be making a bed for a person who is ill or scrubbing toilets for a woman with an extra-heavy workload, or changing a diaper to help out a mother with small children.

We should never think we are above doing these “foot-washing” kind of jobs. Neither should we underestimate their significance. Even the grubbiest of tasks are holy, if done for the glory of Jesus Christ. After all, didn’t our Savior Himself stoop to wash the feet of his disciples? We should consider it an honor to do dirty jobs for Him.

*From the archives

Apr 11

Mother’s Day Contest and Sale

2013 at 6:35 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under 52home | Motherhood

With Mother’s Day fast approaching we want to run a little contest. We want to learn from your mother’s creativity and wisdom, and honor her in the process. So contact us and tell us one of two things – your favorite memory of your mother or the most helpful advice you ever received from your mom. Send us your reply by next Friday, April 19, and we’ll choose a winner who will receive a 52home picture of your choice—as a gift for your mom (or for you!).

Speaking of 52home, the annual Mother’s Day Sale is on through May 1st. Just enter the code MOM at checkout to receive a ten percent discount on your entire order.