heart.hope.justice: Sophie McDonald

posted in: hearthopejustice | 1

(Most of you know about heart.hope.justice: a ministry of handlettering prints that support ministries or people or families who care about and are involved in different types of justice ministries.)

Heart.Hope.Justice supports justice ministries and families and persons who love justice for the sake of the gospel.  I’d love for y’all to meet Sophie.  Here is her story: keep reading to find out how you can support her trip and ministry and get yourself a handlettered art piece.

heart hope justice: sophie mcdonald

  1.  Tell us a bit about yourself: My name is Sophie McDonald, I’m 26, I live in Paducah, Kentucky, and I have been mesmerized by the God of the universe.

    His glory is the reason I have breath

    and His Gospel the reason

    I’m no longer who I used to be.

    My passion is for the nations to see and be transformed by the stunning truth of the Gospel, but my heart beats with a fiery desire for young girls and women to see the real source of beauty—Jesus Christ. I am convinced true beauty comes only from a life fully devoted to following Christ and that until God is enough, nothing ever will be. To this Truth I give my tiny vapor of a life.  You can also find me working full time as assistant editor over at RTM Magazine, an interactive Christian web magazine designed for iPads and Android tablets (also available for viewing online)

    2. Why this trip and this team you are with?  Great question. Simple answer: The IMB (International Mission Board) asked me to consider going and God gave complete peace about it. The peace turned into a burden. A burden for the beautiful people in this particular area to hear and know and be radically changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be freed not only from sin slavery but human slavery. 
    Check out some of the stats from the specific area to which we’re going in South Asia:

    • Population: Almost 30 billion
    • Believers: 0.9%
    • 93% unreached by the Gospel (this means they’re dying and going to an eternal hell and have yet to hear of another option)
    • This specific area is listed in the top 10 countries as THE place to practice modern slavery
    • More than 15,000 women are trafficked from this country to another country ANNUALLY and more than 7,500 children are trafficked domestically
    • Approx. 200,000 girls and women are working in brothels here
    • Even believers don’t always know the signs of trafficking or what to watch for to prevent the trafficking of their own children

    I wept the first time I was faced with the reality of those facts. How can we sit back and do nothing? We must go. We’re commanded to. If we don’t, who will?

    Seven of us will be going as part of a Women’s Mission Immersion Team through the IMB and I am thrilled to go under the leadership of my sweet friend Lori McDaniel. Our team will participate in several mission opportunities from discipling national believers in individual and conference settings to praying for and working in areas where women are exploited. This team also has a component of mission training, where we will be learning tools that we can implement both in the States and overseas.

    What’s your bigger picture for this trip?  The big picture is Revelation 7:9-12, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might by to our God forever and ever! Amen.’”We spend our days, we labor across the globe and across the street, with that vision in mind. The bigger picture is to spend our short little lives on this earth in the God-ordained mission of gathering more eternal worshippers for the one true God. We live this day with that Great Day in focus. That’s the bigger picture for this trip; to make disciples who make disciples so that more worshippers are surrounding the throne for all eternity giving Jesus Christ, our suffering Savior, the glory due His name.

What’s some verses that God has used to bring justice ministries into your heart?

Over the past couple of weeks God has really put Psalm 72 on my heart. In that Psalm, which most linguists attribute to Solomon, we find what one theologian called “A glowing description of the reign of Messiah as righteous, universal, beneficent, and perpetual, to which are added a doxology and a postscript.” It is a stunning picture of our Lord in all His breathtaking (literally) holiness and through that we get a glimpse into His heart for hopeless humanity, “For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight” (vss. 12-14). If we are Christ’s representatives on this earth and He, through the Holy Spirit, is to live His life through us, then are we not to do what He does? He loves the poor, the weak, the needy, the outcasts, the rejects, the wretched (all of which we were). We are to do the same, extending the same grace, mercy, kindness and steadfast love we have received from the Giver of all good gifts.

What have you learned about God as you prepare for this trip?

Using a few different mediums, God has exposed in colors more vibrant than ever the essential connection between the local church and His heartbeat for the nations. Vance Pitman said, “When God birthed your church He had the nations on His heart. It was never about you.” And Christopher Wright said, “The church of God does not have a mission in the world. The God of mission has a church in the world.” So in the birth of a church God invites us to join in His kingdom activity, which translates into the command to make disciples of all nations (including our own). So how do we connect what God is doing locally in our church to what God is doing globally? How do we reach the world as well as the people right around us? We study Jesus. And as we’ve been studying Him, I’ve learned more about His “method” seen throughout Scripture of scattering and gathering, of blessing people to be a blessing for others and teaching others so they can in turn teach those around them, all for His global (and eternal) glory, and it has been so humbling and exciting. We have been rescued from our rebellion to share with other traitors the hope of the Gospel that can free them from slavery forever—this is amazing! What a holy and sacred calling God has given His church. A calling that constantly forces our dependence on the Eternal One, for only the Eternal can produce eternal results. Be Thou our vision. 
heart hope justice
So, how can you support Sophie and her team?  By emailing me at kimddavidson @ gmail dot com and telling me you want to order one of these 5×7 prints in mint green (with black lettering).  For 16$ you will be supporting Sophie and her team with 10$ and 6$ will be for shipping/handling and then goes right back toward other justice ministries.
heart.hope.justice

 

Living the Dream in Ministry : Dream Teams (Scott Douglas)

posted in: Books | 0

Dream Teams

I really love books about ministry and sports – two great loves of mine.  So, when Scott Douglas, or should I say Dr. Douglas, a friend of mine from my days in Kentucky, delivered his book – I knew it would be a winner.

Sports analogies, for most guys especially, is an effective way to teach them about most things.  So, Scott starts and continues his sports analogy well, but not overwhelming where those who are not sports fanatics will still enjoy and learn from the book.  It is just a good theme for the book and the title makes sense.

And sports that have teams involved is a good analogy for ministry teams.  Whether you serve in children’s ministry, youth ministry, family ministry, on a pastoral team, music ministry, VBS ministry – you understand, or hopefully should, your team is your most vital tool in succeeding in ministry.  Douglas realizes this throughout his years of ministry experience: “The journey of developing ministry teams that function effectively is driven by a single idea: ministry teams are made of people who have been called by God, have high character, have great skill, and have chemistry with the rest of the team.”  This is a really good summation of what Douglas hopes, and achieves, to cover in this book.

I have been on a ministry team, whether paid staff or volunteer for almost 20 years.  Some experiences were not as good as others, but I could pull from those experiences and compartmentalize the points in this book in how to respond and handle team ministry in the future.

One lesson I learned early on is communication is key with your “lead pastor”.   That was a hard lesson I learned early on in ministry.  That chemistry has to be there with the right team members, but you will have conflict that arises and you need to be humble and willing to deal with that conflict biblically.

Another lesson I have learned in ministry is that chemistry is vital.  Most recently I was part of a family ministry team that excelled in this.  It wasn’t always so and the elders had to deal with that wisely, but the men and women I served with…I also were friends with and still am even though I’m no longer in that city or church.  Each ministry team doesn’t need to be best friends, but if you can go on road trips together or fishing with some of them – you know its a keeper.

Douglas in his books doesn’t bore you with too many statistics like some ministry books do.  He is very practical with his words and you can tell they come from years of both church ministry and seminary education.  He is humble to admit his failings, and shares his triumphs in ministry as well.  I found this book very relatable.  Maybe this would be a good summer read for your ministry staff.

Read This: Give Her Wings

posted in: Books, Uncategorized, Women | 1

Give Her Wings

I feel like the title of the book should be a country song – but I won’t venture there.

This is a more serious book with a serious message, not appropriate for a country song.

Megan Cox has become a friend of mine through another friend, and she has such a heart for ministering to women who have come from situations that no woman would desire.  She shares much of her story in Give Her Wings, and that is one of the reasons that Give Her Wings is such a powerful book.  When women share their story, where God met them, how God brought them new life from death, created a new heart where only death lived, it is a miraculous story.

She shares her story in this book and offers hope and counseling to women who might be struggling in similar situations.  She ministers to women with God’s truth on her lips and understanding in her heart.  This book speaks of that understanding and also can be used as a guide in how to minister to hurting women.

One of the best things I’ve read in this book is the following:

“Speak God’s truth into her life.  She Scriptures that encourage and comfort.  Remind her she is not alone.  Bless her with the Word.  If she heads condemnation, her crisis of faith may very well tip to the wrong direction.” (pg 89)

There is a spot of time that women who are coming out of hurting relationships are open to hearing God’s truth. Relationships can be redeemed by God’s Love and Justice.  He can bring healing.  And it is books like this that offer that Love, hope, and truth to hurting women.

 

What do you do with PAIN?

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Tears and Pain

Life is a sweet journey – for the most part!  I’ve been amazingly graced with a really great life.

But, what do you do when life hands you pain?  As a believer in the sovereign plan of God and also the fact that God does all things good and for our good – this year has been a tough year to stand firm on that.

This past year has handed me a lot of pain.  We are just a year out from one of the most hurtful conversations in my life.  In each of these hurtful conversations I took away good and hard lessons.

Of the hardest conversations in my life, one of those conversations earned distrust.  One of those conversations earned freedom.  And the last of these conversations earned seclusion and doubt and tears.

So, how do you work with pain in your life?

1.  First, I couldn’t blog about it. Blogging is one way I think through what is in my head.  But, when I know others read my blog – there are some things that I can’t talk about on it.  Instead, I chose basically two people in my life to pour out everything to: a pastor’s wife that I knew faced similiar pain in ministry and the other one was my husband.  Both of these people shared wisdom with me and hours, whether on the phone or laying on the couch.  My husband was a champ during the months that followed this initial conversation and the tears each night for literally months on end that would stream down my face.

2.  Know where your trust is?  I used to be a very trusting person.  That was until people in my life that I trusted let me down.  Then, I don’t trust as much.  I really think i’ve come to know that God is the only person I can trust 100% of the time.  He is the only person who has never sinned and can’t sin – so that means he can’t let me down.  And God will never let me down.  At some point, every single person in your life will let you down.  Its a fact of sin nature.  You will let others down.  I will let others down.  But, God stands.

3.  My introvert self became more introverted.  Some people would never mark me as an introvert – but I truly am.  I thrive on quiet time during the day, on my boys taking their naps, on my panera time each week, on my laying in bed with a book or social media time.  I need to recharge.  And part of that being an introvert is usually yourself can’t hurt you.  But, others hurt me.  (and believe me I know I’ve hurt other people).  I’d rather stick with the friends I have who are tremendous and leave it at that.

4.  I’ve let go of things that we must agree on to be friends.  There are only a few BIG things in life that are worth battling over – those mountains you might say.  Don’t let battles rage and hurt fly over the little things.  Really.  You may not see eye to eye with someone and its ok.  Love anyway.

5.  Learning to love.  Reading Ryken’s book this past year and now going through Goff’s Love Does has been a tremendous thought process for me. Loving is hard.  It took MONTHS to even be able to look some people in the eye after this recent hurt.  Loving others is one of the hardest things to do.  Oh, its easy to love people when they are lovable.  But, grace and mercy and a generous love is needed when people are not lovable.

6.  I know some of you who many know me think I always take everything even keeled and am pretty much a laid back person.  But, as my husband will tell you, I am an emotional and passionate person.  Tears flow with friends as they share news of hurt with me.  After last summer, I didn’t think I would ever be able to cry any more tears.

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?” – Psalm 56.8  It gives great comfort to know that the Psalmist was not a stranger to tears.  We see him often bringing his heartfelt and tearful please to the Lord.  This give me great confidence in knowing that I can do the same thing with the same Savior!

7.  But, more tears will come.  This year has been one of one hurt after another.  And I know that pain is a part of life…so we will start the cycle over again.

How do you handle the pain that life deals you?  How do you let God work on your heart with the hope of the Gospel?

Buttercream Cookies and Ministering to Widows

posted in: food | 1

Buttercream cookies

Food is such a way to minister to people.  Especially the lonely.

The widows.  The lonely.  The Shut-ins.  How do we interact with these people on a regular basis?  I have to admit I fail at this miserably – but I desire to get better at it.  One way we did this as a family recently is by taking cookies to some widows on Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to make some cookies and then deliver them.  I knew the boys would bring a smile to their faces (I was right on that account) and cookies are always delicious!

I read some invaluable posts by my friend Brian Croft over at Practical Shepherding.  I won’t re-hash them here, but encourage you to go read these:

How to minister to widows when a holiday is approaching?

How do you minister to widows when a family holiday is coming up?

As a SAHM, how can we minister to widows?

During the Christmas season and winter, how do I shepherd widows?

There are more at his site – just go search widows and you will get many posts to read and implement.  Brian and his wife, Cara, have years of experience living this out – not just writing down ideas.

One way that I’m going to be doing this is by writing letters.  I’ve asked my husband to get a list of the widows in the church and each week I want to write to one widow, pray for her by name, and if the time allows, visit her with my children and husband.  Visiting widows is very out of my comfort zone.  Aging is something that is hard and makes us examine our own mortality and the end of our lives.  It is also hard to know how long to stay, what to say, how to sit there with them if they aren’t coherent, or if they are really sick.  But, Jesus said to go to the sick and minister to the widows.  And I also know from years of experience – ministry is not easy.  But, still needs to be done.

Buttercream Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Delicious cake like cookie with buttercream frosting
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ stick of unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup whole milk with 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ tsp kosher salt
  • Frosting;
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • milk or heavy cream to your consistency likeness
  • 2 drops red food coloring
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Cream wet ingredients.
  3. Spoon onto greased baking sheet to make BIG cookies (should get 8)
  4. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until done.
  5. Let cool
  6. Make buttercream. Pipe unto cookies.
Here is a simple cookie recipe that you can use as you minister to widows in your church.  A plate of cookies is always good.  If for some reason they can’t eat them, they most likely have caretakers and they will enjoy them!

How do you care for the widows in your church or community?  Enjoy the cookies!

Marriage, Ministry and Hospitality

Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.

Jesse Browner

Marriage includes many joys!

One of the highlights of marriage and ministry for my husband is the idea and general enthusiasm I have for hospitality.  He is a very hospitable person – but how “odd” is it for a family from your church to come to lunch at the home of a bachelor?  Even one who keeps his home immaculately and can cook a great meal.  E was grateful for marriage for many reasons but one of them was his increased opportunity to practice hospitality.  I’m all for it.

Most anytime I mention an idea I have to practice hospitality, my husband gives me the thumbs up.  Here are some that we’ve had the joy to do in our home, yes, with an infant, yes, moving to a new town.

1. Write the Word parties: where a group of women come over one night every other month to talk about the word and write out or journal a specific book of the Bible.  All I need is chairs and maybe extra pens.  What is optional: coffee, tea, water, evening goodies.  My husband hangs out with the little mister so I can focus on talking with the women who come over.

2.  Worship Ministry Birthday Parties: My husband is a worship pastor and loves pastoring those in the choir and orchestra.  And I am not a part of his choir, but I do want to be involved in his ministry.  So, each month we pick a night to have the birthday people for that month (and their immediate families) over for a dessert time.  I love to bake – sometimes I get to be creative, sometimes I don’t.  But each month it has been a joy to get to know families – no matter how many birthday people can make it that month.

3.  Men’s Discipleship Groups: Every other week my husband would meet with a group of men from the church to discuscuss a book on church ministry and leadership.  I loved exploring some new breakfasts with this group, but I have to admit this one was the hardest because I experienced first trimester through this one.  Early mornings were rough, but the men were gracious as was my husband.  They survived some weeks on bagels or store bought muffins.  And with this one, much of it could be prepared the night before and ready for Eric to welcome them in the morning.

4.  Hang Out times:  This one I’m sure many of you do anyway.  I love being able to have women in our home during the day while E is at work.  Baby can be sleeping, or other babies can come along and join in on the fun. Especially helpful if you just have something to drink on hand – but that is not necessary either.  Fellowship in your home doesn’t require anything but an open door and a welcome smile.

5.  Sunday Lunches: Our Sundays are long days as you can imagine, but the crockpot comes in handy for this one!  Or you can always pick up a pizza on the way home!  Pick a different single, couple, or family.  This one with my family where it is right now is easy – because right when we get home little mister goes to bed, so he sleeps through almost anything.  The afternoon is cozy and good for conversation.  We don’t do this one a lot because of the hecticness of Sundays, but it is fun when it happens.

6.  Porch Nights: This one is about to start.  We have many single ladies in our church and I love ministering to them, discipling them, and getting to know them.  We have a great porch with plenty of room.  So, we are having a quarterly theme for the single ladies to get together and hang out – no agenda necessary.  We are doing appetizers in August.

This post was meant to be a help to you – to know that you don’t have to have a big house, lots of money, a love for cooking, or home decorating to practice hospitality.  I love opening our home to others.  And God gives us the command to be hospitable to others!  Have fun fulfilling this command!

Counseling with Hope

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

“Hear my voice according to your steadfast love.” – Psalm 119.149a

This verse brought me much hope and rejoicing earlier this week.   But, how do we do this in our counseling of one another.

King David, the Psalmist, had written just verses before about a fervency in prayer – day and night.  In this verse he gives a clue as to why he liked to pray: he knows that God will answer him and hear his voice according to the LOVE and covenantal character of God.  He wouldn’t listen and judge according to our sins.

This should be how we counsel with others.  I’ve never had counseling training, so you may not think I know what I’m talking about, but I’ve been counseling girls (youth, college) and now women in mentoring relationships for about 20 years now.  And I’ve needed counseling before.  When I was in seminary, I can remember a conversation with a girl I’ve discipled through the years (now one of my dearest friends) where both of us had taken a spiritual gifts inventory and both completely failed on the mercy part.  But, years later, after living much more of life, we had grown in that area because of the mercy God had shown on us.

So, here are some tips for counseling, or listening, to others:

1.  Listen.  That doesn’t mean formulating thoughts while they are talking.  This is hard for me, even in marriage, but one I constantly need to work on.

2.  Offer grace and hope.  If we are to be little Christs, and we are often committed to be like God in his nature, than shouldn’t we start there?  That is one of the reasons I love reading Elyse Fitzpatrick’s books on counseling.  The person may be coming to you admitting their sins, or may need their sins pointed out – in a loving way.  Learn to realize the difference or pray that God would show you wisdom in each conversation.

3.  Deal with the sin at hand.  Make sure that confession and repentance and pleasing Christ is the focus and goal of the session.  There is a difference between just saying you are sorry or admitting your wrong and actually confessing it and wanting to repent of it.  Make that the aim.

4.  Center the counseling on our hope.  Every person’s hope is Christ and Christ alone.  If we don’t counsel well, it will hinder some from wanting to know more about Christ or ever finding hope in the Gospel.  They will think they will only find judgment in the Bible and at the cross.  Yes, God is a God of justice but His wrath for believers was covered by Jesus.

If I have had a chance to counsel with you and have not offered you mercy, please forgive me, I am a work in progress too!

Charles Bridges, a pastor of old, “And not less fully is my conviction of his judgment, in dealing wisely and tenderly with me, according to his infallible perception of my need.”

Book Review: Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (D.A. Carson)

posted in: Books | 0

The lives of people teach us how to live today.  This is one of the reasons I think everyone should read history and biographies.

As I was searching through our church’s library one day I came across this book, written by D. A. Carson, about his father.  I love Carson’s writings as does my husband so I knew that reading it would be a blessing to both of us.  And indeed it was.  Carson’s writing style is spot on as it always is and this one is a little less dense as compared to some of this theology books.  It is as personal, reflective, and subjective as it possibly could be being that he was writing about his father.

Here are three things I learned about how to live life by this ordinary pastor named Tom Carson who lived in the country to our north:

1.  He rarely if ever complained.  He didn’t complain about others, he didn’t complain about ministry, he didn’t complain about anything.  What a great testimony to the children and his wife.  he lived Scriptures that talk of no grumbling, do everything without complaining, let your speech be always edifying, etc.  He would pray these “complaints” in his journals to his Father whom he knew and loved.  There he could leave them and knew that God would provide an answer in His timing.  I need to learn to do this.  I need to model this in my own life – even as I was journaling this yesterday.

2.  He struggled with failure.  If you have read Monday’s blog post you might notice a theme here and know why this aspect of this ordinary pastor’s life meant much to me.  He strived in ministry his whole life and there were periods of his life when he saw little fruit.  That would drain him, as he continued to strive for perfectionism.  He would note later in his life about how he had failed his wife in her healthy years and wanted to make up for it.  This was by no means a rejection of the gospel, because he clung to the truth that Jesus would be his entryway into heaven – He had done it all for him on the cross.  It seems as though many famous and not so famous pastors and other ministry leaders struggle with failure and depression.  I don’t know if anyone but the Lord ever knows of a man’s real struggle.  But, how this encouraged me, was to daily encourage my husband, do not be one of the many that may at some point wear on him or beat him down. He needs to hear encouagement from me and find me telling him (and telling myself) to hope in the gospel of Jesus.

3.  I saw the faithfulness of a marriage.  I have never cried so much in reading a book.  The last two chapters I could barely read because there were too many tears.  Carson told of his mom’s failing health of Alzheimer’s disease and how his dad was faithfully by her side.  How he would give up ministry and stay home to bathe, feed, dress, his wife of more than fifty years.  The book recounts his journal articles of hopelessness and failure in the many ways he was serving her (due to his own perfectionism) and how he so missed her when she was gone.  Then Don tells of his own Dad’s passing, how he died about 3 years after his wife, was sick, and unfortunately died alone in a hospital room.  Even though the children had been there and were just going home to rest, they couldn’t get back to the hospital in time.  I think that was the saddest part of the book – to die alone – but Jesus was with him and his children loved him.  He was a great man to them.  And they got a healthy view of what a godly marriage should be.  This of course means more to me now after I am married then it would have before.  I can’t imagine living life without my husband, even though I’ve only known the man a little over a year of my life.  How I survived the previous 33.5 without him I don’t know. God is certainly gracious to me.  And I know that God has only loaned him to me for a while, and that when He takes him (or me) if that happens before Jesus’ return: then, just as HE IS ENOUGH now, God will prove Himself to be all that I need then, too.

I think back to the celebrity pastor panel at T4G this year…and this is how Don Carson ends his book of his Dad’s life:

“Tom Carson never rose very far in denominational structures, but hundreds of people in the Outaouais and beyond testify how much he loved them.  He never wrote a book, but he loved the Book.  He was never wealthy or powerful, but he kept growing as a Christian: yesterday’s grace was never enough.  He was not a farsighted visionary, but he looked forward to eternity.  His journals have many, many entries bathed in tears of contrition, but his children and grandchildren remember his laughter.  Only rarely did he break through his pattern of reserve and speak deeply and intimately with his children, but he modeled Christian virtues to them.  He much preferred to avoid controversy than to stire things up, but his own commitments to historic confessionalism were unyielding, and in ethics he was a man of principle.  His own ecclesiastical circles were rather small and narrow, but his reading was correspondingly large and expansive.  He was not very good at putting people down, except on his prayer list. 

When he died, there were no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mentiona in Parliamnent, not attention paid by the nation.  In his hospital room there was no one by his bedside.  There was only the quiet hiss of oxygen, vainly venting because he had stopped breathing and would never need it again. 

But on the other side all the trumpets sounded.  Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man – he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor – but because he was a forgiven man.  And he heard the voice of Him whom he longed to hear saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.'” (pg 147-148)

This is a good read for anyone who loves biographies, a pastor or ministry worker, a pastor’s wife, or an ordinary Christian who needs to be encouraged by a life of faithfulness and how God rewards His own.

Thank you Dr. Carson for sharing your memoirs of your Dad with readers like me.  They were necessary.

 

Much & Link Love (Nov 1) and November!

posted in: Books, Month, weight loss | 0

Well, thought I might tie these two posts together since November 1 falls on a Monday.

1. Great weekend: the ocean, 31 miles, mahi mahi tacos, and a Gator win!
2. Getting organized and down-sizing.
3. Love seeing old friends: they are rare!
4. Love talking about what God is doing in my life.
5. Love hearing about what God is doing in others’ lives.
6. Thankful for my pastors and their wives.
7. Much to do – hopefully celebrating by the end of the week. Press on!

Link Love:
1. I want to make this now that the weather is getting cooler.

2. She seriously is a great food writer – and I love her books, though I have different one – am asking for some of her’s for Christmas

3. Do you watch Glee? Here are some good reasons NOT to. I’ve only watched 5 minutes of one, and it was one of my un-edifying, make-me-cringe – 5 minutes of my life.

Now for November:
1. Living healthy! That is def on my menu!
2. Ice Skating – not to make a fool out of myself or break anything is always a good goal.
3. Meta – our big youth wknd at PBC – Troy Temple, one of my fave people from SBTS is speaking!
4. Tedd Tripp in town in Apex for a conference. Looking forward to that – live blog coming.
5. Hiking Grandfather Mountain and some girl time with a friend.
6. My third half marathon in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day
7. Parents are in town for that week, be good to get some things done.
8. BABIES! They are coming from different place. I love new babies!
9. A new life class at church – am excited about something new.
10. Writing Writing and more Writing.

Book Review: Come Ye Children (Spurgeon)

posted in: Uncategorized | 3

I wonder what it would be like to watch a video of Charles Spurgeon preaching?  We will never know thanks to the delays of technology – but thankful for the preserving of his words and how he continually spurs us on with his grip and understanding of Scripture and the application of it to the Christian life and ministry.

Come Ye Children is a small book with excerpts from sermons and writings all dealing with leading children to Christ, being parents, or serving in ministry with children.  The three best uses of this book: 1.  Have your children’s ministry team go through it together.  There are 23 short chapters – the longest one may be 6 pages.

2.  Give it to parents who have children – maybe a child dedication present.

3.  Read it and apply it. 

This is where I’ll begin – with that last point.  The only children’s ministry I’ve ever done before taking this current ministry position is VBS or babysitting or childcare.  But, Spurgeon has spurred me on to be more diligent in my task at hand and helped me remember the importance and seriousness of teaching children the Word of God.

Only draw back to reading this: the language.  Of course Charles Spurgeon speaks more in KJV than in the Message…so just persevere.  Have to press on through our chronological snobbery

“Christian children mainly need to be taught the doctrine, precept, and life of the gospel: they require to have Diving truth put before them clearly and forcibly.  Why should the higher doctrines, the doctrines of grace, be kept back from them?  It is ours to make doctrine simple; this is to be a main part of our work.  Whether we teach young Christians truth or not, the devil will be sure to teach them error.” (p 10)

“You cannot feed lambs, or sheep either, unless you are fed yourself.  It is quite right for you to be teaching a great part of the Lord’s Day; but I think a teacher is very unwise who does not come to hear the gospel preached and get a meal for his own soul.  First be fed, and then feed.” (p 30)

“I commend to you the study of instructive books, but above all I commend the study of Christ.  Let Him be your library.  Get near to Jesus.  An hour’s communion with Jesus is the best preparation for teaching either the young or the old.” (p 31)

“We should view everything in this world by the light of redemption, and then we shall view it aright.” (p 69)

“Your Sunday schools are admirable; but what is their purpose if you do not teach the gospel in them?  you get children together and keep them quiet for an hour-and-a-half, and then send them home; but what is the good of it?  It may bring some quiet to their fathers and mothers, and that is, perhaps, why they send them to the school; but all the real good lies in what is taught the children.  The most fundamental truth should be made most prominent; and what is this but the cross.” (p 75)

“Oh, that we were more godly ourselves; that we talked more of godliness, and that we loved godliness better.  none of us ever knew what a Savior Christ was till we knew what an evil thing sin was.  If the Holy Ghost does not teach us the exceeding sinfulness of sin, we shall never know the blessedness of salvation.” (p 89)

I definitely have more favorite quotes from this book – but hopefully this will give you a taste of Spurgeon.

1 2 3