Motherhood & Sanctity

Motherhood, with its joy and toil, is a useful instrument in God's hand for our sanctification. And yet the Word of God remains the primary means of God's work in us (John 17:17).  

A Mother's Day Lesson from Monica, Mother of Augustine

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.

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How a Vomiting Child Taught Me a Lesson on Good Friday

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).

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Friends, Don't Skip Bible Genealogies!

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.

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Not Home Yet: Finding Solidarity as Sojourners

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 either

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I Don’t Want to Waste My Life.​

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).

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Christmas Helps Me with My Shame

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).

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Ava DuVernay’s 13th Explores the Troubling Roots of Mass Incarceration

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.

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Secondary Infertility: Trusting God when Pregnancy Stops

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:

 

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Human-Aminal Chimeras: Kramer’s Pigman Might Be Coming to a Lab Near You

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. 

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A Donald Trump Presidency and John 18

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.

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Evangelism, What do I say? - A Summary of the Gospel of Christ

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!

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Finding Our Hopefuls When Caught by Giant Despair

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

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Do racial issues really “disappear” because of the Gospel? A response to John MacArthur.

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 Culture

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Happy Single Parent Day: The Dynamics of Parenting Alone

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.

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