Jul 8

Friday Funnies

2005 at 6:10 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

This week’s “Friday Funny” comes to us from Anne in Seattle, WA.

Anne’s husband Dave offered to serve her by going to the grocery store. He succeeded in finding all the items on her list except one: “Maxis with Wings.” Dave thought that “Maxis with Wings” must be some sort of chicken product. So he diligently searched the poultry section, scrutinizing all the labels. Unable to find what he was looking for, he finally asked for help from a couple of ladies standing nearby. Between fits of laughter they directed Dave to the feminine products aisle.

Thanks Anne—and Dave—for letting us share this story!

Have a tremendous weekend everyone!

Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle

Jul 8

Still in the Middle

2005 at 11:16 am   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Homemaking

You already know that I’m in the middle of motherhood. Well, I’m also in the middle of moving. Brian and I have been blessed with our first home—a townhouse—and we’ve been moving in stages, all week long.

I shouldn’t be surprised that moving has exposed sinful desires in my heart: specifically, the desire for the “perfect” house. This was revealed through my indecisiveness in making decorating decisions. My husband Brian asked me some helpful questions. I thought that I would share them with you.

1) Are you content and grateful for what God has provided, or are you thinking about the next or better thing you want?

2) What are you more aware of: God’s amazing provision of our current house and furniture, or the material possessions that you don’t have?

3) What purpose do you want your home to serve? Are you more desirous of impressing others with your decorating skill or serving them—and glorifying God—through hospitality?

Through Brian’s questions, God gave me grace to repent from the selfish desires in my heart. And I continue to repent on a daily basis.

God also used my sons to help tear down the idol of a “perfect” house, literally. Liam scratched up my newly painted walls. Owen came behind smearing the scratch with peanut butter and jelly. To top it off, my new laminate floor already has a lovely scratch from dining room to doorway.

I’m in the middle of motherhood, moving, and heart work. God has been good to me. The boundary lines have truly fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6).

Jul 7

He Orders our Steps

2005 at 4:13 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Fear & Anxiety

The phone rang early this morning. It was my daughter informing me that there had been multiple explosions in London’s transport system today. I immediately experienced fear. My husband is in England. He is speaking at a leaders’ conference in Brighton.

My first thoughts were: How close is Brighton to London? Did CJ have plans to go to London today? Maybe the reason I haven’t heard from him is because something is wrong! I tried calling him, but got no answer.

Then I remembered Psalm 37:23—one of today’s take-away verses for meditation from my morning devotions. It reads: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” I had also read Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on this verse, which said: “All [of the Christian’s] course of life is graciously ordained, and in lovingkindness all is fixed. No fickle chance rules us; every step is the subject of divine decree.”

I may not have been able to talk to C.J, but this much I knew: God’s lovingkindness was ordering his steps. How kind of God to give me that promise this morning! It brought instant comfort to my soul.

And C.J. did call. He is safe. I am grateful to God for his loving protection.

However, he said that our friends in the United Kingdom are in need of our prayers. Please pray for safety and peace for all, and for wisdom for the local church pastors, particularly in London. And please join me in asking God to use this tragedy for His glory, the good of His people, and the spread of the gospel.

Jul 6

The Valley of Vision

2005 at 5:58 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Resource Recommendations

My husband gave me a gift this past week that I must tell you about. It is The Valley of Vision on cd. If you are not familiar with this book, here is a brief description:

“The Valley of Vision is a collection of prayers and devotions taken from the writings of spiritual giants like John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Isaac Watts, and Richard Baxter. These men were not only devoted students of the Bible, but men who expressed an enthusiasm for prayer that is inspiring and contagious.”

For years, my own prayer life has been informed and enriched by reading the prayers from The Valley of Vision during my morning devotions. Now, having the audio version enables me to benefit—not just in the mornings—but throughout the day. At this very moment, I have one of the CD’s in my car, one in my kitchen, and one in my bedroom. I know, it’s a little overboard, but it just goes to show how much I am benefiting!

The audio collection comes with seven compact discs, which include six hours of narration. I suggest you put this series on your next birthday wish list. Or if your birthday has passed, add it to your Christmas list. Then you too will be playing it on every CD player you own!

Jul 5

Fighting Fear

2005 at 1:19 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Fear & Anxiety

On Saturday, I had breakfast with two of my close friends. While sipping our hot drinks and eating our bagels, the conversation turned to the struggles we have at times with fear—fear about our children, fear about our blindness to sin, fear about our future….

But that is not how the conversation ended.

We went from confessing our fears to talking about our need to trust God more. Our need to exercise faith. We reminded each other of God’s great faithfulness toward us.

Because fear is not neutral. Fear is sin. And we must fight our fears with faith in God’s character and His precious promises—promises that flow from Christ’s work on the cross.

Here are Biblical promises that impart faith for my fears (along with commentary by Charles Spurgeon):

My children:
“The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.” Psalm 102:28

“[This verse] is full of good cheer to us; we may plead for the Lord’s favor to our offspring…. God does not neglect the children of his servants…Grace is not hereditary, yet God loves to be served by the same family time out of mind…. We may, therefore, not only for our own sakes but also out of love to the church of God, daily pray that our sons and daughters may be saved, and kept by divine grace even unto the end—established before the Lord.”

Charles Spurgeon, Psalms , Series editors, Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), p. 70.

My blindness to sin:
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalm 51:6

“God is teaching [the repentant Christian] truth concerning his nature, which he had not before perceived. The love of the heart, the mystery of its fall, and the way of its purification – this hidden wisdom we must all attain; and it is a great blessing to be able to believe that the Lord will ‘make us know it.’”

My future:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6

“These twin guardian angels will always be with me. Just as when great princes go abroad and must not go unattended, so it is with the believer. Goodness and mercy follow him always – the black days as well as the bright days. Goodness supplies our needs, and mercy blots out our sins.”

Are you tempted to fear today? God has provided numerous promises in His Word. Find a specific promise from which you can derive faith and banish fear.

Here is a promise to get you started:
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

“God makes a perfect work of it. He clears away both our fears and their causes, all of them without exception.”

Previous three quotes taken from Charles Spurgeon, Psalms , Series editors, Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), p.211-212, 91, 132.

Jul 4

Independence Day

2005 at 10:04 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

On July 4 each year, we Americans may pause (perhaps only for a moment) in between barbecues and beach balls and “bombs bursting in air” to think about the men who founded our country. But not, too often, do we think about the women’s role.

In her book, Founding Mothers, Cokie Roberts profiles the women who lived at the center of the American Revolution. “It’s safe to say,” she notes, “that most of the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, fought the Revolution, and formed the government couldn’t have done it without the women.”

Speaking specifically about Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams (one of the most influential founding fathers) she comments, “Not only did John turn to Abigail for information and counsel, she was the person who made it possible for him to do what he did(Cokie Roberts, Founding Mothers (New York, NY: William Morrow, 2004), xvi).

None of us are married to nation founders. However, all of us—married or single—have been created by God to be “helpers.” Equal to man in worth and value, we have, nevertheless, a different role. We have been given a specific, honorable, and challenging task: to “make it possible” for kingdom work to move forward.

Whether as a wife we advise, comfort, encourage, and assist our husband, or as a single woman we help others in the church and reach out to the lost—we are making possible, not just a work of historical significance, but of eternal significance.

So, how can you glorify God by being a helper today? What great work can you carry forward, simply by doing your part?

And finally, consider: What if those dynamic feminine heroes of the revolution had been “liberated” from their “oppressed” helper role (as women supposedly are today)? I wonder if we would even be celebrating Independence Day.

Jul 2

Friday Funnies

2005 at 1:55 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

As we sign off each Friday, we want to send you into the weekend with a smile. Proverbs says, “A joyful heart is good medicine” (17:22).

To inaugurate this weekly post I want to tell you about a conversation between a mom (in our church) and her young daughter. The mom (who will remain anonymous) submitted this story in response to the question, “What is the funniest thing your child has ever said?” Here’s her reply:

“My daughter and I were passing by a well-known lingerie store in the mall. Upon seeing a picture of a model in the window, she turned to me and said: ‘Don’t worry, Mommy, you don’t look anything like that!’”

Have a great weekend!
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle

P.S. If you have a brief (one paragraph) humorous story you’d like to submit for our consideration, please e-mail us by clicking the “Email Me” link on the sidebar.

Jul 1

Andrew’s Favorites

2005 at 4:06 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Resource Recommendations

I thought I’d follow Nicole’s summer reading recommendations (see post dated June 21) with my favorite picks for little people. Brian and I have enjoyed reading these books to our five-year-old son, Andrew. More importantly, they have been valuable tools to introduce the gospel to his young mind.

Ages 2-4
Yhst61680186039017_1852_123277486_1Read Aloud Bible Stories: Volume 1 by Ella K. Lindvall
Amazon.com says that this “Gold Medallion Book Award” and “C.S. Lewis Honor Book” winner is for 4-8 year olds. However, because of the simple language, Andrew could memorize the stories at age two. Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4 are also available.

My_first_book_of_qa_04_1My 1st Book Of Questions and Answers by Carine MacKenzie
Sinclair Ferguson writes that this book is “God-centered, Christ-honoring, Character-building.” What more could I ask for in a book for my children? Also check out My 1st Book Of Memory Verses , My 1st Book Of Bible Prayers , and My First Book of Bible Promises .


Ages 3-5

096637868701thumbzzz_1The Gospel for Children by John B. Leuzarder
This book explains the gospel message in a way that is easy for children to understand.



1581342772The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
“Simple words and striking illustrations unfold the storyline of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation,” is the apt description on the Crossway website.



Ages 5 and up


084991455801_scmzzzzzzz_The Priest With Dirty Clothes
by R.C. Sproul
Andrew really loves this story. He is just beginning to understand its meaning and significance of justification. Also by R.C. Sproul: The King Without a Shadow .



080283619401thumbzzz_1Dangerous Journey
by Oliver Hunkin
This is a tremendous adaptation of the classic Pilgrim’s Progress for little children. However, It will probably be at least a year before Andrew reads this, as the pictures are a little scary.

006447119501thumbzzzThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Of course every child should read this classic series!




I_thelastbattle_coverThe Chronicles of Narnia Drama
Radio Theatre from Focus on the Family



And one music cd for children of all ages…

Pdistore_1853_10709059Awesome God - Andrew sings the songs around the house, and my two-year-old, Liam, is constantly begging me to “play compare” (track 10 “For You are Holy”).


Jun 30

Nephew Prayer

2005 at 7:07 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Prayer

This is a prayer that I adapted from The Valley of Vision which I pray regularly for my four adorable nephews and look forward to praying for my little baby as well…

“Apply Your redemption to their hearts, by justifying their persons, and sanctifying their natures. Teach them to place their happiness in Thee, the blessed God, never seeking life among the dead things of earth, or asking for that which satisfies the deluded; but may they prize the light of Thy smile, implore the joy of Thy salvation, find their heaven in Thee.”

—From prayer entitled “Fourth Day Evening: God All-Sufficient”

Arthur Bennet, ed. Valley of Vision (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975, 2003), p. 392.

Jun 29

February

2005 at 6:09 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Motherhood

I have never been a big fan of the month of February. I know, how can I like one month and not another? But stick with me here. February is just one of those months that seemed to somehow sneak into the line-up. I mean, we have September through November and the leaves are turning and you get to drink apple cider. In December and January we get holidays and days off school and work. March begins to give us hope for spring which arrives with April and May. June, July, and August are full of heat and vacations. What about poor little February? It’s just stuck in between January and March. Someone probably put Valentines Day in there in hopes of helping it along.

A couple of weeks ago, February took on new life for me. February is exactly nine months away. Lord willing, February will be the month in which my first child is born.

I know, I know, time for all of the girlie details. Well, a couple weeks back, I was getting a little suspicious so I decided to go to the grocery store and get one of those pregnancy tests. Of course, at the store, I kept seeing people that I knew so I grabbed a bag of Doritos and hid the test behind the bag so that no one would see. I got home and stared in amazement as the little test had two lines. What an incredible combination of excitement and panic all mixed into one. (You see, the panic comes from many years of being present as my Mom, my aunts, and now my sisters, sit around and reminisce about all of their labor and delivery stories—not helpful for one that faints upon seeing a doctor’s office.) Back to my story. After my Mom reminded me that there was “no way out but through,” I began to plot how I wanted to tell my husband, Mike. This was a Thursday night and Father’s Day was only two days away. It just couldn’t have been more perfect. I decided that after he fell asleep on Saturday night, I would sneak out and decorate his car so that when he left for church on Sunday morning he would be totally surprised. Sure enough, from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning, I could be seen blowing up what seemed like a million balloons, hanging bibs from mirrors, and writing on all of the windows with soap. So I didn’t sleep much that night, but it was worth it. The next morning, Mike headed out the door to church (he goes in pretty early cuz he works at the church) and before I could even pull up the blinds to watch, he ran back in, shocked and totally excited. (You see, he didn’t have any of the panic cuz there is no hospital with needles awaiting him.) It was such a memorable Father’s Day for us both. Mike drove around for days with our decorated car until the rain washed all of the soap off.

I, meanwhile, feel as if I am living a different life. I’m pretending that my belly fat is already the baby showing. I can take naps whenever I want and people just smile at me. I eat everything that the baby wants and I am fervently praying that I don’t get sick!

Each day is an opportunity for me to thank the Lord for the way that He has so richly blessed me, and to acknowledge His sovereign hold upon the little life that is growing inside of me.

I can’t wait for February!

Here are some shots of Mikey and the car…

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