Thursday, May 28, 2009

Contemplate & Consider Vol. 9

From Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce A. Ware. Copyright 2009. Crossway Books. Page 79.

God is more concerned with our character than with our comfort, with our holiness rather than our happiness.

Consider two passages that help us see this. James says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4). And in a similar way Paul tells believers to "rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5). Only because God plans for our good through suffering can we live with hope even through we experience pain. Knowing that God uses suffering to help us grow gives us the faith to accept our suffering. Suffering should be seen, then, as part of the good purposes of God in our lives to bring about our good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Joey Update Vol. 13

Hey everybody! Much has happened in the past month. Here's a brief summary:
I was in AMS doing one of three things. I took some little break, I helped
in teaching and I also learned a bunch of computer stuff. I've run the gamut
of experience it seems. I did take some pictures of some of my excursions,
but I'll have to see about putting them up some other time.

While there in AMS I heard news that fighting had begun in my country. This
was made more clear when the team here moved from the town to the capital,
which they would only do if the situation warranted it. I said some prayers
for a clearing of the situation and soon after it began, it ended! It was
not as bad as it might have been, all fighting contained and stopped out
east of our town. Praise Him it was no worse and praise Him again that now
it is quiet again.

Since I arrived back on Sunday, I was in preparation to hit the ground
running and still am. We have some ambitious goals to reach in the next
weeks and months. This might be helped because we have no more travel plans
for 5 months, so that means we stay put to get down to business.

I've missed being away; a month is a long time to be away from people and
places you've grown to love. I am glad I am back. While in AMS I listened to
some recorded stories from N. speakers as part of training and it made me
miss them all the more. Well, now I'm back and look forward to getting this
project work properly started. From here on it, language learning is not our
chief goal (though it will of course continue) but to get stories crafted
and recorded. The first to come this week. Here's our rough schedule:

By 8 weeks from now, we want to have 5 stories crafted, recorded and tested
multiple times.

By 12 weeks, we want to have our first house group meeting regularly
together and functioning like a normal house (hur(h.

By 4 months from now, 10 to 12 stories finished crafting, recording and
testing widely and ready.

By 6 months, we want the first house group to have started another group to
start the multiplying groups.

Ambitious goals I know, but that's how they stand. As you can imagine,
p'ayer is of utmost importance to us and our work.

-My time in AMS was a good well-rounded experience of resting, teaching and
-The fighting has calmed down and now everything is quiet here- Big Praise!
-My language is coming back, albeit slowly.

-For lang. to return and continue strong
-For these above goals, right now for the first story and after for the next
-For great wisdom in choosing and crafting the stories in such a way that
they reach the people's hearts
-Continue building and enriching the relationships we have with the people.

Thanks for bearing with my silences. And thanks always for your p'ayers! I
hope to report excellent news in my next update. Think s@lvations.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disciplines for Life

Let me recommend Sovereign Grace's "Disciplines for Life" study. We are working through this study on Wednesday nights. It can be downloaded for free here.

Excellent writing and relevant application. Take some time, read it, and let the Spirit do His work in your life!

"Missing Link" Found?

Saw an article earlier this week on about a "new" fossil that is supposedly the missing link that everyone has been so eager to find. Here's a response...

Nothing about this fossil indicates that it was a human ancestor. Rather, it is a remarkably well-preserved lemur-like creature, looking nothing like an “apeman.” Besides, why would a fossil found 25 years ago suddenly become a media sensation? Only because of a major PR push by the financial backers of a new book and television documentary about the fossil. Yet even the peer reviewers of the scientific paper on the fossil asked that the human origins hype be removed. For a full exposé, visit

Original story on "missing link"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From the CBMW Blog

Thoughts for Women on Modesty

Betty Dodge
May 12, 2009

Betty Dodge is Coordinator for Family Life at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This article was written for the Bethlehem Star newsletter at We post it here with our thanks and her permission.

Imperishable Beauty
Women want to be thought of as beautiful. A little girl wants to know her daddy delights inher. A wife wants to know her husband is pleased with her. God has put in women a desire to be a joy to him and a blessing to the men in her life. But our sinful hearts twist this God-given desire into an ugly caricature of his original design and plan for us. Instead of seeking to be a joy to God, we go about trying to entice man. Proverbs 11:22 says it best-a woman's fleshly attempts to be noticed and desirable make her look like a pig with a gold ring in her nose.

Ouch! The truth compels us to come to Christ for cleansing and transformation. His desire for women is the "hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" deemed very precious in God's sight. Not just precious to God, but very precious in God's sight. Eternal beauty in a woman is hidden from human view, but God sees it and delights in her.

Put on Christ
The transformation begins by embracing Jesus Christ as our Lord and then experiencing growth in the mercies of God as we "put on Christ" every day (Romans 13:14). There is only one place in the Gospel accounts where Jesus talks specifically about something you should take from him and wear. This text also is the only place in the Gospels where he gives a self-description of his character:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30, NASB).

Sharing the yoke with Jesus brings us close to him, lightens our load, and teaches us his gentleness and humility of heart-the very qualities we are to cultivate as holy women of God. Have you come to Jesus and put on his yoke? Have you put on Christ?

Look to Holy Women
In 1 Peter 3, temporal things like the clothes we wear and the jewelry and accessories we puton are surprisingly linked to holiness and hope. "The holy women who hoped in God" were women set apart by God according to his sovereign will and glorious plan, who adorned themselves with imperishable beauty and good works (1 Timothy 2:9-10). They were modest, discreet women-Sarah, Abigail, Ruth, Mary, and Elizabeth. They hoped in God, not man. They were women of the promise-the reality of their hope fulfilled in Christ. Their qualities of obedience, bravery, gentleness, and humility sparkle and shine beneath God's penetrating gaze. Strength, dignity and confidence in God's promises clothe these holy women who fear the Lord (Proverbs 31:25). Certainly, they were not perfect, but their hope in God did a sanctifying work in their hearts.

The Hope Within

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Holy women sanctify Christ as holy in their hearts. The "hidden person of a gentle and quiet spirit" is concealed, but their hope in him becomes obvious to others. Outward appearance is representative of the hope within. (We are the bride of Christ.) Holy women fearlessly and respectfully speak the gospel with anyone who asks them about that hope. Our hope in God should be on display in good works done in gentleness and humility-so much so that people ask us about it. Immodesty and preoccupation with outward appearance will darken and even conceal from others the hope of the gospel in us. God has not told us where our hemline or neckline should be, but we are given a calling with that grace: Let the gospel shine, clothe yourself in strength and dignity, adorn yourself with good works, rise to the holy standard of gentleness and humility set by God for women who belong to Christ-the standard for women who are imperishably beautiful to him.

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