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My Spouse Doesn’t Meet My Needs – “When we have an expectation that a husband or wife fulfill us, we set ourselves up for disappointment, because no human being can satisfy another human being.  To hope that another human can meet our needs is asking too much of anyone.  For only Jesus can meet our needs.  Only Jesus can satisfy us.  Only Jesus can fulfill all our desires.”

The Sentence Against God -“Some people can’t believe God would create a world in which people would suffer so much. Isn’t it more remarkable that God would create a world in which no one would suffer more than he?”

Dead Is Dead – “Without death Easter celebrates a comeback, not a miracle. Without a realization of Jesus’ death Easter celebrates the unexpected rather than the impossible. Without a real death there isn’t a real resurrection. Without a real resurrection there isn’t a real point in being a Christian—no hope, no future, no perfect new creation. So Jesus’ death matters. It cannot be underplayed and can scarcely be overplayed. He spend three days breathless, brain-dead, heart-beatless, and decaying. Then He was alive. And, yes, He died for our sins, to give us life. To give us life after death—like Him.”

The Case for Getting Married Young – I thought this piece was especially interesting because it comes from a nonreligious publication (The Atlantic). One thing of particular note that the author wrote was “Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language, and to the teachable, some lessons just come easier earlier in life.” (H/T)

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross: Story & Download – “Watts’ giftedness for writing hymns, combined with his courage in publishing them, would eventually turn the tide against singing only psalms and set a new standard for Christian worship in the English language. Today Watts is widely recognized as the “Father of English Hymnody.” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” is his greatest hymn.”

Free eBook: Fox’s Book of Martyrs – Get a free Kindle version of the classic book.

From a Symbol of Fear to a Symbol of Faith – “If you want to know the true perspective on the seriousness of sin, however, look to the cross. Look at the extreme nature of the solution to this problem. If sin were ‘no big deal,’ would God have sent His only begotten Son to die a shameful death on a cross to deal with it? And what kind of love is this? What kind of love is displayed when God sends His only begotten Son to die for the sins we commit against Him? This is love of a kind and degree that we can hardly fathom. This is what changed the cross from a symbol of fear to a symbol of faith.

Is it True That “If You Don’t Have a Conversion Story You Don’t Have a Conversion”? – I really appreciated this article, and although I suspect many will disagree with it, I think it adds an important element in the discussion around conversion stories.

Put Down The Cheetos, Read This Post, and Stop Being So Lazy! – “….laziness isn’t defined by mere lack of activity. Laziness is not doing the tasksGod has given you to do. It doesn’t matter whether you fill the void with hours of Star Trek reruns or with answering work-related emails. If it’s not what God has called you to do, then it’s laziness. So you can be perpetually busy and chronically lazy.”

Only 57 Churches Left in Iraq; From 300 in 2003 – “Iraq had 300 churches and 1.4 million Christians in 2003, but now only 57 churches and about half a million Christians remain with members of the minority fleeing Islamist attacks, according to local reports.”

March Madness Explained…Star Wars Style – Just in case you need a laugh this Monday morning, check out this video. I would guess, however, that Star War fans and March Madness fans often fall into two different camps.

The Grand WeaverNotice of full disclosure – I am a fan of Ravi Zacharias. Ever since the first book I read of his, I have been impressed with not only the depths of the truth he communicates, but the thoughtful and linear way in which he does so. I wish I could say that I have read every book he has written, but I haven’t. Yet when I get a chance to read one, I always leave with a deeper appreciation for our Savior and specific ways that I can apply biblical truths to my life.

The Grand Weaver by Zacharias was no exception to this trend. The book’s purpose is to help readers understand that our lives are not accidents; they’re directed and guided by a loving God. As the author states, “We may not fully understand his (God’s) design as it takes shape, but we should not conclude that his design lacks a directing plan” (p. 14). Walking through key components of our lives including our DNA, our disappointments, our will and our worship, Zacharias helps the reader see how God is not only witness to what happens in our lives but He is orchestrating the big and small things alike in order to accomplish His purposes.

In a day and age where people seem intent on discovering their purpose, and when many may start to wonder whether such a purpose exists, Zacharias offers a bilbically-based perspective on how we should consider and answer such monumental questions. Whether you are a college-aged young adult who is faced with the inevitable question of “what’s next” or a middle age individual who is struggling with whether their life is everything it should be, this book will not only offer you insight, it will offer you encouragement. Zacharias persuasively helps the reader understand that there is no single thing that defines what God has designed specifically for you; He is working through everything in your life, even the seemingly disparate parts, to bring about His purpose.

If you are grappling with the questions of whether the threads of your life are “accidentally tangled or intentionally arranged,” consider reading The Grand Weaver. If you aren’t, you likely know someone that is. As you dig in to Dr. Zacharias’ book you will be equipped to not only answer these questions as they pertain to your own life, but you will be better suited to help those you love respond biblically when the questions are put in front of them.

 

 

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Humble Casting – “But what if we didn’t have to wait until we are reminded to start that process? What if a moment of crisis didn’t have to awaken that sense of dependence? What if, instead of waiting in our false sense of power, we instead made it our practice to preemptively cast our cares upon the Lord?” (H/T)

The Audacity of Imitation – “Originality is by far the more the accepted fashion of the day. And the pressure to be original—to be different than, better than, more than—is both constant and intense. It is the modern way of distinguishing oneself after all, whether applying for college or making a pithy tweet. From impressions to possessions to thoughts, being original seems to be everything.” Except for the Christian, our lives should be a life of imitation.

The Antidote to Materialism – “What is the antidote to materialism?  Generosity.  Easily sharing the things we have, and giving money and possessions away reminds us that they are temporal and God-given.” (H/T)

Are You Worried About Your Daily Bread? – “Your heavenly Father did not spare his own Son but gave him up for you. After all that will he now withhold something that you need (Rom. 8:32)? Read God’s word to remind yourself what God is like. He is good! Think on these things.”

When Jesus Makes You Wait in Pain – “Before we know what Jesus is doing, circumstances can look all wrong. And we are tempted to interpret God’s apparent inaction as unloving, when in fact God is loving us in the most profound way he possibly can..”

Learning to Learn – “We should all labor to grow in knowledge, wisdom and truth. For those who strive to learn well, I offer these three bits of advice….”

Is Christianity a Crutch? – “The idea of strength flowing from human powerlessness may seem counter-intuitive in today’s risk-averse culture, but as Simon Guillebaud points out, “Paradoxically, our waving the white flag of submission to God’s right over our lives is the key that unlocks the gate to many future victories in his name.”(9) Nevertheless, as C. S. Lewis observed, people will still choose to cling on to their crutches, even though something much better is being offered to them….”

Faithful in the Waiting – “I know that waiting is good for me and that I can learn much while in the valley. Too often though, when I wait for God to move, answer a prayer, or provide direction, I attempt to push things along. I try to help God make a decision or ensure his will comes to fruition (as though I could). When I face a junction in my life, I tap my wrist, check my watch and then turn down a road without learning if it’s even the path God wants me to take.”

From Rubble to Restoration – “Whether we believe it or not, the substance of God’s love is mercy and grace. He is mercy and grace. He does mercy and grace. He gives mercy and grace. He doesn’t just forgive (mercy). He blesses and bestows favor (grace), enough so that a life completely broken down can be fully rebuilt. It is his response to all repentant, softened hearts.”

Kindle Deal: The Jesus Storybook Bible – I have not read this, but I have read good things about it. It seems like a great resource for young children. And at $1.99 it’s hard to beat the price.

 

 

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Questions for Sleepy & Nominal Christians – What questions would you ask people if you wanted them to consider whether they really know Christ? This post gives a series of heart-convicting questions to consider. (H/T)

A Single Woman’s Perspective on Her Work – Here’s an interesting follow-up to an article I recently shared targeted towards stay-at-home moms and the “mundane” tasks that may consume most of their time. Here’s an interesting take on the same theme of that article from a woman who is single and works outside the home.

The End of the World as We Know It – “The Christian faith is not pursuing the world’s ends the Lord’s ways. It is instead pursuing the Lord. And we find Him amongst the widows and orphans. Indeed when our Lord wanted to show us the goal, what the complete man of God looks like, when He wanted us to see what we are to strive for, what maturity, integrity and success look like, He put a child on His knee.”

Praying for Politicians – “The Bible gives us very clear instructions on how we are to participate in the political process—instructions that, if we followed them today, would make an enormous difference to the politics and government of our countries.” (H/T)

Ten Big, Daily Reminders – “I wake up lost every morning. At least that’s what it feels like. Perhaps something similar is true of you. Somehow during the night I’ve forgotten the big realities about God and the universe and myself and the gospel. I desperately need to steady myself with biblical truth rather than stumbling forward to live from unbelief.”

The Great Commission is Both Obligation and Gift – “While not detracting from the importance of measuring strategies and goals in seeking to fulfill Christ’s commands, we must not lose sight of the fact that far more important than having a plan is relying on a Person.”

Domino’s Founder Gets Contraceptive Mandate Blocked – I’m not a legal scholar but this seems like an important development in regards to the concerns that many organizations have with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and the accompanying contraceptive mandate.

Five Myths About Bible Translation – This post looks at five things people are prone to think regarding how the Bible is translated, and reveals the truth about each of them.

The ‘Work’ of Marriage Revisited – Is marriage supposed to constitute hard work? This post makes the persuasive point that, especially as years and busyness increase. intentionality is required to ensure that the bonds of intimacy deepen. Whether you want to call that work or something else is up to you.

Dying to Myself – “Jesus said we have to die to ourselves to follow him (Mark 8:34-37). Sometimes it’s dramatic. Sometimes it comes at great cost, and sometimes people are encouraged. Most of the time, though, we die to ourselves quite privately. So privately, in fact, that even those closest to us don’t know. We die to ourselves by keeping our mouths shut, forgiving others when they slight us, and moving on.”

Rushing & Pausing – “The bottom line is that oftentimes I create an atmosphere of stress and perceived need when there is none. I’m really feeling like there’s not a positive outcome by insisting that every moment in life serves to make you feel like you’re late for the next one.”

Pursued – Some important lessons from Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well.

King of the Sing-Along – If your church is like a lot of churches, you sung a Chris Tomlin song this last weekend. In fact, as the article notes, “on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing” one of Tomlin’s tunes. Learn more about the man behind this popular worship music. (H/T)

9 Reasons You Can Face Anything – “Motivational glib like that will pack out self-help seminars. But sooner or later, and hopefully sooner, we learn how bankrupt it all is. We are not in charge, and that’s a good thing.”

The “Nones” by Age – This article looks at the rise of the “religious unaffiliated” by age groups. Perhaps the most noteworthy finding – the increase is not just among the young. (H/T)

Nearly Half of All First Births in America Out of Wedlock – This is sad for a number of reasons not the least of which, as the article notes, is the impact on children when this occurs.

How Firm a Foundation Story and Free Download – Tim Challies tells the story behind the hymn “How Firm a Foundation” and offers readers a free download.

What To Do When You Can’t See Straight – “If you want to rejoice in the Lord always and not be anxious about anything then you need to see that the Lord is at hand. There is no better place to be reminded of how the Lord is at hand than through his word the Bible.”

Perfected – Upon seeing your sick mom’s weakened condition, the author observed that it “it did make me think about our relationship with Christ and our current condition as we wait for him to arrive. Like Mom, we are weak, unstable and riddled with pain. But as soon as Christ comes, we will be perfect.”

Consider Yourself – “So then, how do we contend for the one, true faith while striving for peace and unity in the church? At first glance, some might think these two commands are mutually exclusive. However, God’s call to contend for purity and God’s call to strive for peace and unity are fundamentally intertwined.” (H/T)

The New Testament’s Favorite Old Testament Stories – I found this really interesting. It’s a compilation of which Old Testament stories are most often referenced in the New Testament.  The author states, “”The last time I read through the New Testament, I decided it might be fruitful and interesting to keep track of all of the occurrences where the author made reference to narratives in the Old Testament. ” Here are the results of that research.” (H/T)

 

Free eBook: The Soul Winner or How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour by Charles Spurgeon (H/T)

Kindle Deal: The Case for Easter – I haven’t read this book but it seems apropos for the coming celebration of our Savior’s resurrection.  (H/T)

Note To Self: Don’t Forget This – “But according to God’s word, I do have things in common with women all over the world. One big thing we have in common is that we need to be reminded to remember. For our good, God communicates this theme throughout the entirety of the Bible.”

The Gospel: Accept No Substitutes – “It is possible to transmit the gospel in a way that never really gets to the root of the problem. Sometimes we share Jesus in such a way that we simply invite people to receive more of what they already want.”

The Anti-Beatitudes, As Taught By Satan – What if Satan were to prepare his own list of acts and attitudes he would commend? This post takes a shot at what it would look like.

Jesus Is Turning Your Shame into a Showcase of His Grace – “Faith is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and faith is what releases the grace of God in your life (Ephesians 2:8; Luke 8:48). Do you want deliverance from your shame? Come to Jesus believing. Come desperately determined to touch him. And if faith is weak, cry out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) and “increase [my] faith!” (Luke 17:5).”

St. Patrick’s Day – A reminder of the history behind St. Patrick’s Day from the History Channel.

 

 

 

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