One website that I do get access to is Free Rice. While extending your vocabulary, you will donate 20 grains of rice via the United Nations World Food Program for every word you get right.
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
Rudyard Kipling, English author (1865 - 1936)
Moses records this proclamation of God just after the Israelites have made their golden calf (Exodus 32). Moses had chastised the people and pleaded for mercy for them from the Lord. Despite their rebellion, God forgave the Israelites and gave this wonderful promise to his people.
The Lord is completely just in his actions towards his created people (Numbers 14:18) and is jealous for our undivided love and devotion (Exodus 20:5). He will show mercy to those who have turned away from him (Nehemiah 9:17) but now turned back (2 Chronicles 30:9, 1 Samuel 7:3). Despite our rebellion, he shows his grace in drawing us back (Daniel 9:9).
This declaration of God's is repeated so many times, underlining its importance to us, his people, to remember this great truth and promise to us (Numbers 14:18, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2).
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
Labels: scripture memory
I hope you will all forgive me for my sudden and lengthy departure from the blogging world. Quite a few things, some good, some not so good, have been going on - I'll tell you about them all at some point.
Then: I was looking for a job
Now: I got jobs in Scotland, Newcastle and Cambridge and decided to move all the way to the other end of the country to Cambridge. It's been an amazing experience of God's care and plan so I'll definitely speak more about that over the next few weeks.
Then: my best friend was being courted by a wonderful godly man
Now: I went to their wedding a few months ago. It was the best wedding I have ever been to - so focused on God, his grace and his family
Then: my sister was pregnant
Now: my nephew Ruairi was born in August. Photos to follow!
There's a lot more to tell you and I am really looking forward to catching up with you all. I have missed you all in my blogging hiatus. I miss being stirred up by you all and hope that I can be part of encouraging you in my turn.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
The Thinking Blogger Award was started by the thinking blog and has spread around the globe quickly. The rules are simple:
- If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
- Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
- Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote
Can I introduce you to my winners of the Thinking Blogger Award? Please visit them all to have a look around.
- Solo Femininity by Carolyn McCulley - I first read her book, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?, then started reading her blog. She is a wonderfully wise woman who tackles the big issues of being a single woman pursuing biblical womanhood. Her articles will challenge and encourage your thinking.
- Middle Years by Linda - I know she has already been nominated, but I wanted to make sure to share her blog with you. Given that I am a 26 year old Scotswoman, you might not think that a Texan grandmother and I would have much in common. Instead, we have become friends through reading her refreshing and honest posts and because when she says that she will pray for you, you know that she is. I can't tell you how much that has blessed me.
- Small Things by Sherrin - We have many similar ideas on biblical womanhood and the Christian life and when we don't, it provokes some fascinating conversations. She is obviously someone who thinks deeply and carefully.
- John Dekker's Journal - I've enjoyed reading John's insightful blog and his comments here and across friends' blogs. He's a theology student so shares much of his studies with us. I have enjoyed this week's Readings for Holy Week.
- A Gracious Home by Sallie - She's already been nominated too, but I couldn't miss her out given that I can't go shopping without hearing her voice (or how I imagine her voice to be!) saying "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without." On this and many other issues, she has made me think.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
(P.S. If anyone knows why my blog design is misbehaving, with the side bar hiding down at the bottom, can you tell me how to fix it? Thank you!)
Ah! This is the hell that Christ suffered. The ocean of Christ's sufferings is unfathomable...He was forsaken in the [place] of sinners. If you close with him, as your surety, you will never be forsaken..."My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [The answer?] For me - for me.
Robert Murray McCheyne, Scottish minister and evangelist (1813-1843)
On Thursday, I am off to a wedding where a Mr Macdonald will marry a Miss MacDonald. (Note the subtle difference in their names that mean that she will need to change her name!) I am looking forward to a good ceilidh and plenty of kilts!
I will then be found for the rest of the weekend working away in the hospital. The hospital intranet has banned blogs, so I won't be able to post or read, but I can look forward to catching up with you all next week.
Finally, inspired by Lindsay of Enjoy the Journey, I'll leave you with some of the unusual, surprising, and sometimes disturbing searches that have led people here:
- What happened with Aztecs from 1480-1520? - Don't know, I'm afraid!
- phone books of married womens feel singleness - Not quite sure what they were looking for here
- how will I look 13 weeks pregnant? - Probably a little bumpier than you did 13 weeks ago!
- Is Sherrin a scottish name for woman? - I don't think so, but you could ask Sherrin just to be sure.
- keziah and lord death - Who is Lord Death?
- all sorts of coins 1483 - 1546 - I think you are needing John Dekker more than me here!
- websites for elderly people trying to learn piano - Hey, I know I am not getting any younger, but I'm not exactly elderly yet!
- vacation before marriage separate rooms - Definitely a good idea!
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?...For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
I was so delighted when recently she and her boyfriend announced their engagement. This has led on to some interesting chats about biblical womanhood, marriage, singleness and family, so I wanted to share some of the articles we have been discussing to see what you thought. (It might also encourage her to comment here some day - I know she reads this, but has never added a comment before..!)
I always appreciate Carolyn McCulley's writings so enjoyed Faith for the Man He'll Become from Boundless. It's a gentle reminder to us girls that we won't marry the 'perfect man' but that there is a big difference between men aged 25 and men aged 50 in the church so we can't judge them by the same standard. We have a huge part to play in the growing in spiritual maturity of our brothers in Christ and of our (future) husbands, encouraging them and uplifting them in prayer. She writes:
You may see some of the husbands and fathers in your church and think to yourself that you'd like to marry a man just like them. Those are great aspirations to have! But first you may need to talk to their wives.Another Boundless article looks at Deuteronomy 24:5. Jonathan Dodson in First Year Off extends the law that allowed Israelite men not to be sent to war during their first year of marriage to a more general principle of a taking a year off from other responsibilities to "to be happy with his wife". He talks of being careful not to over-commit to work, church or other people when the focus should be developing and deepening the relationship with your spouse.
Why? Because these women didn't marry the husbands they have today. Typically, they married less seasoned men. Thanks to the Holy Spirit's refinements over time, as well as the feminine counsel, influence, and encouragement of these wives, their husbands are different some 20-plus years down the line.
Now take a look at the young men you know. Can you see them with eyes of faith? Like trees in springtime with an impressionistic haze of buds, the potential for growth is strongly evident but it's not yet fully realized.
My friend and I are both busy doctors, so what does this mean practically for us as potential wives? I know I find it difficult enough to keep up-to-date with everything just on my own, so I can't really see me managing this while trying to get used to married life! We discussed this in a previous post, A Helper Fit for Him, and I liked what Sherrin had to say:
I do believe that home and family are to be the priorities, but that will look different for each woman. God has made us finite - and we cannot really "have it all". Something has to give, and we do not want that "something" to be the role of helping our husbands.Our friendship is bound to change over the next year, but we are both committed to maintaining a close sisterly bond. (Thankfully, her fiancé is very understanding and encouraging of the fact that sometimes you just need your girlfriends!) What of my part in their marriage though? Lauren Winner writes about our responsibilities to a friend's marriage in Beyond Being a Bridesmaid:
I will no longer take the responsibility of witnessing marriage vows so lightly, for witnessing a marriage vow is not a frivolous thing. Now, before I attend a wedding, or stand up with a friend, I will consider what I, too, am committing to: a lifetime of support, of sometimes hard words, of prayer, of upholding.When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
This explains why I have never put my full name up here! I am rather proud of the fact that if you Google me, it is only me who comes up! How many of you are there?