If the Lord used Augustine in the theological awakening of Martin Luther, then God used Monica’s prayers in the conversion of Augustine, her son! Monica’s influential role in the life and conversion of her renowned son has brought her name before many congregations, particularly on Mother’s Day. It’s my pleasure today to celebrate this mom and her commitment to relentless prayer. Below, please find a brief history on Monica. With it comes three lessons we can glean from her example.Read More
Sisters, whether you work at-home with small and needy children or serve a mission outside the house, whether you are married or single, whatever your calling, your labor (even the most mundane task) matters to God. This Good Friday, remember that the Father gave Jesus the worst Job of all. So “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” of your salvation (Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).Read More
Albert was a former slave, pastor’s wife, mother, teacher, writer and archivist of slave history. She’s said to have “chronicled two-hundred-fifty years of African American history.” Albert served as a mouthpiece for numerous ex-slaves in the era of Reconstruction. Her book, The House of Bondage, tells their stories as a challenge to the narrative of “paternalistic Christian slave owners [who] cared for, fed, and employed uneducated, untrained blacks.” In addition, Albert writes in praise of the God who triumphed gloriously over the evils of chattel slavery.
Octavia Albert was a gospel thinker, and a woman with “harvest dirt” beneath her feet.Read More
As we read Matthew’s genealogy, we can rejoice that ours is a God who keeps His promises. If Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament promises, then sisters we can be confident that He is the firstfruits of a full and glorious eternal kingdom to come (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). Read of Him in Matthew 1:1-17 and enjoy.Read More
Christianity Today has published The Blessed Way, a 30-day reading plan through the Sermon on the Mount. The devotional is written by 30 Christian women and I'm VERY thankful to be one of these women!Read More
Christians are exiles who, if nothing else, ought to understand what it feels like to be far from home, and to sympathize with and support those whose physical circumstance embodies our own spiritual condition. Believers might debate the right balance between compassion for displaced image bearers and sound national security, but in so doing, we must hold firmly in mind our own status as strangers. America, it turns out, is not where we belong eitherRead More
Elizabeth Keckley was many things in her lifetime--a slave, a mother, a dressmaker, a free business owner, a White House regular, a companion of Mary Lincoln, and a Christian. Her book, Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, spins a tale of tribulations and perseverance.
It’s been said that “the greatest miracle of the Reformation is that enslaved Africans...imprisoned in a foreign land and surrounded by hostile wilderness, heard with clarity the learned oracles of Christ, [and] were spiritually set free.” If the black church is a miracle, then Keckley’s life is a beautiful example of how slavery could never overcome the enduring faith of those redeemed by God in Christ.Read More
If my husband and I reduce the Gospel to mere obedience, we tempt our natural “law-keeper” with the false gospel of moralism. She could easily “act” like a church-going Christian without true repentance of sin and trust in Christ’s active obedience on her behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our prayer for her is salvation, not just "good behavior." A saving faith in Christ is far more than being “a good person” who treats others well and believes there’s a God.
On the other hand, if we excuse (and even praise) the bold autonomy of our youngest as “budding leadership,” we dangle the false gospel of self-fulfillment in her eyes and encourage a “best life now” mentality. We love her determination and cleverness...but we want more for her than that. Our prayer is for godly wisdom and boldness that comes from the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).Read More
Today is my birthday. I’m 35. I woke up this morning with a blog post on my mind; not a new one to write but one written four years ago on my 31st birthday. That post is below. I read it this morning and it encouraged me to pray for the grace to persevere. I want to run as though to win the prize...I don't want to waste my life (1 Corinthians 9:24).Read More
God’s words in Genesis 3:15 were rushing to fulfillment. A Second Adam was coming to crush the head of sin and the serpent and bring eternal life (Romans 5:18). God was sending the Seed of the woman! And lowly Mary would be that woman.Read More
As I read the story of Christ’s birth, I wonder: what “looks” did Mary endure when “found” to be with child in Matthew 1:18? Did her cheeks burn under the gaze of Nazareth? Did she suffer shame at the eyes of a doubting Joseph (Matthew 1:19)?
It’s amazing to consider that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” and under the ignominy of a curious pregnancy (Galatians 4:4).Read More
Mark Twain’s ability to make sweeping social commentary through unassuming characters is on display throughout his classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The novel’s protagonist, Huck, assists a runaway slave named Jim without much abolitionist thought. Huck has no issues with the institution of slavery and maintains his cultural assumptions of slaves even as he helps one escape.
Nevertheless, Huck’s conscience suffers at times from his collaboration with Jim. In one instance, he finds Jim moaning to himself. He doesn’t wonder why -- he knows Jim misses his wife and children. Still, Huck tells the reader, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for ther’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so.”
That scene always moves me. Jim, who runs away to escape being sold from his family, thinks of them and mourns. His pipe dream in freedom was to work for the purchase of his loved ones. But at this point in the book, the journey seems dubious and his hope fades. Huck notices his grief and marvels at a black man longing for his family in the same way a white person might -- and deems it unnatural.
Full article at Christ and Pop Culture.Read More
My husband and I are the thankful parents of two precious daughters. We would be grateful for a third child and have prayed for over two years for this gift without conception.
I’m technically infertile with what is known as secondary infertility. Here, a couple that has already produced, at least one child, will suddenly face difficulty conceiving another. In most cases, couples are considered infertile after a year of trying without conception.
Both motherhood and the desire for more children have proved useful instruments in God’s hands, dissecting and revealing my heart. As I kneel today to pray for a third child, here are three truths that resound:
The National Institutes of Health is looking to fund research that infuses human stem cells into early animal embryos, creating a human-animal organism known as a chimera, a being composed of two or more genetically distinct species. The decision prompts many questions: for one, "what are we doing by mixing the traits of two species? What makes us human? Is it having 51 percent human cells?"
We cannot be unsure regarding the question of humanity. God distinguishes man and woman from all creation with the gift of His image. And it is the weight of that gift that defines our distinct dignity as human beings. How then do we engage with the possibility of part-human, part-animal lifeforms?
I'm grateful to tackle this topic at Christ and Pop Culture. And I'm always grateful for your read and thoughts.Read More
The cross of Jesus stands unmoved today and will not be shaken on January 20th. That cross is my confidence. Whatever a Trump presidency might bring, God still works all things according to the council of His own will (Ephesians 1:11). And if God ordered the affairs of cunning leaders in the first century for the sake of our salvation than He is able to order the events of any government to fulfill His good and ultimate purposes.Read More
To evangelize is to share the message of the gospel. Our acts of service and mercy glorify God and are encouraged by Scripture (see James 1:27). Yet simply serving another is not evangelism. Evangelism requires words. It necessitates a message. And in truth, many of us do not always know what to say. What is the gospel? How does the Bible define it? Let’s look now at the below four-point-summary; I hope the following proves helpful as we seek to faithfully share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others!Read More
It’s fascinating here to consider Gethsemane. Jesus’ soul was sorrowful to the point of death. He retreats—but not alone. He takes three friends with Him, and His request is that they remain awake and pray with Him. If the sinless Savior desired community in a time of suffering, how much more do we need friends? And surely this includes our pastors, elders, small group leaders, and those we tend to elevate and distance as more spiritual.
As a member of a church staff and a teacher of women, I have never stayed in Doubting Castle (to say so would be to minimize the torture of those who have), but I have strolled its grounds. I have known sudden and unexpected sadness, and my heart has pounded from the ache of anxiety. In these moments, I long for my Hopeful, a fellow pilgrim who will love me at my best and at my worst. A friend with whom I can be vulnerable and weak and not fear, because their love for me rests on the work of Someone greater than I. I’m thankful to share this level of candor with my husband but my soul yearns for more. I’m praying for friends who will receive me in my imperfection, knowing that another Person has been perfect on my behalf.
Read full article at Christ and Pop Culture.Read More
MacArthur is valiant for the truth. As a younger preacher, he was among the 334 evangelical leaders who gathered in Chicago in 1978 to formulate the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Just a decade into his pastorate, MacArthur joined luminaries including J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and R. C. Sproul to defend Biblical inerrancy against liberalism’s assaults. Since then, he has remained steadfastly orthodox in his passion for the Scriptures. I’m thankful to say that my own theological formation has benefited greatly from his confident preaching.
So when The Master’s Seminary — of which MacArthur is president — released a YouTube video titled “Racism and Black Lives Matter” on July 8, 2016, I expected a strong application of the Gospel to today’s polarizing racial issues. What I heard instead was disappointing.
Read the full article at Christ and Pop CultureRead More
My mother and father never married. I spent the first seven years of my life with my aunt, a single mother. I’ll spare you the details of my story and will simply say that I know what it’s like to yearn for a parent. I’ve tasted the bitterness that often hangs around a broken home. I’ve lingered near a weary mother, wishing I could share the load.Read More