John Charles Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool (1815-1900)
Over the last year, I have loved getting to know a young woman from church. We're in the same profession, which is probably how we started talking, but our friendship has gone far beyond chit-chat about work. Of course, when we are together, we often compare patients or discuss potential diagnoses too, but our friendship has been built on our faith and our difficulties and struggles as we pursue biblical womanhood. We have spent hours talking, praying, reading together as we try to see what the Bible has to say to us and how to live it out. I hope we have been an encouragement and a blessing each other. I know I have grown so much through her friendship and I hope I have been an encourager to her.
I want to particularly pray for her as she, after being abandoned by her husband a few years ago, has now entered a time of courtship with a wonderful sound man. It has been so exciting to see this and I hope I can continue to be there for her, challenging and encouraging her through everything that this next year will bring.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you - that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States of America (1884-1962)
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg, American writer (1878-1967)
Joseph Addison, English politician (1672-1719)
I have to confess that recently I have failed in keeping up with Flylady as much as I would like. I'm now not at home very much since I started a new job so there is not much routine to my life. Thankfully, as Flylady says, "You are never behind - just jump right in where you are!" The house is much more organised and clutter-free thanks to her, but I am just getting away with the bare minimum. Having some proper organisation back would be good, so I will try again! That said, something is better than nothing, as Flylady would tell me!
As for spiritual habits, I think I need to ensure that I read my Bible at the beginning of every day. Sometimes I haven't been leaving enough time in the morning to read my Bible, so have left it to later in the day. Sometimes after a day on call, I don't take the time or have the energy for a proper devotional time. I wrote about getting up early a few months ago, so I need to re-establish that. Can I even aspire to join the 5:00 club?
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
Since starting my Bible study group for young women, I have been so delighted to see how many times other young women have asked to come or said how much they feel something like this is needed.
Certainly, my friend and I started this group because biblical womanhood and the challenge of living it out has been one of the main topics of conversation since we became friends. We have talked for HOURS about it, debating, encouraging each other, praying together, reading the Bible.
Over the next year, by God's grace and mercy, I hope to continue doing this. I have so pleased to see how much the young women are getting out of meeting together, but also because I am learning so much myself about God, the Bible, biblical womanhood and the importance of fellowship and accountability.
I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
George Herbert, English minister and poet (1593-1633)
Isn't that a thought? How much time is wasted? How much I could have achieved? As I work and play, I will try to keep this in mind.They might seem harmless...Not at all. The price is the character that might have been and the competence that would have been. If we were to devote all the time we spend reading random news stories online to reading life-changing, soul-feeding books, how might our relationship with Christ flourish?
If we were to devote all the time we spend watching television to developing our talents in the areas of writing, speaking, musical instruments, filmmaking, painting, sewing, gardening, woodworking, web design, landscaping, computer programming, etc. how much more effective might we be in the Kingdom of God?
About the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, "Why do you stand here idle all day?"
Labels: time/money management
Sadly, I never got to become a princess, or so I thought! It wasn't until I was telling this story to some little girl friends of mine that I realised that I had become a princess! My Father is the King! When I became a Christian, I became part of his family and became a real princess! There is even a crown waiting for me in heaven!
With all this, I was interested to see an article from Crosswalk called When the Princess Is Ready, the Prince Will Appear by Dr David Hawkins. Some of the points were well made, but I have some difficulties with other things he says here.
It was good to be reminded that God's timing might well be different to what I want it to be, that too often women settle rather than waiting for someone who will really challenge and encourage them on to greater faithfulness and godliness, and that the states of my heart before God is the most important thing to be sorted before anything else.
However, I am not sure that I agree when he says that "When the princess is ready, the prince will appear." It sounds like all we need to do is fulfill a checklist of preparation and then our future husband will walk into our lives. It's in the same category as misguided advice I've heard give to single friends that "If you'll only stop thinking about it or accept your singleness, then God will allow you to marry." At best, this is discouraging. At worst, this is unbiblical and harmful.
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.
Elisabeth Elliot, American writer and missionary (1926-)
God also has seemed to close doors for me over this year, sometimes inexplicably. I had hoped to spend some time supporting student ministry, but the funding to allow me to do this was not available. I had hoped to go into research, but the funding there was not available either. A good friend expressed his interest in me, so we began to talk more purposefully about our future and if marriage was part of that. After much prayer and discussion, I knew that this was not the case. While I know it was the correct and right decision, it stills saddens me to consider all that might have been and what now might never be.
There are a couple areas where I can simplify my life: time and possessions. I have been using the Flylady rules, so I have been able to sort things out and have managed to limit the number of belongings I have. Life is happier without a lot of clutter!
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Jim Elliot, American missionary to the Huaorani people (1927-1956)
I have left this question for ages because I just don't know how to answer it! I don't know what is going happen in the next year at all. I need to start applying for a new job again, I want to return to South America where I did a mission trip several years ago, I have to pass my final postgraduate exam, I want to get married, I need to sort out where I am going to live...
Things are very much up in the air and are physically out of my control at the moment. I can't really make any decisions because I don't have any choices to make right now. I am left to ride the waves and to see where I end up!
Thankfully, I can trust in God that he knows all these uncertainties and that nothing is random! Again, I try to wait, while continuing to work where God has put me right now, with expectation and excitement to see what God will do! Perhaps that is my decision then: to trust God in everything!
The lot is cast into the lap,
Labels: consider your ways
How rich are you? >>
I'm the 40,672,690th richest person on earth!
I originally visited this website just for fun but it has really made me think. I had forgotten just where I stood compared to the rest of the world. I had forgotten about the abject poverty that in which most of the world's population. Almost because of their accessibility and exposure on the news or the internet and in books and magazines, I had become desensitised to the plight of billions of people; men, women and children all made in God's image and loved by God.
I find myself horrified at just how far up the scale I am as I sit in the top 0.67% richest people in the world. And what have I done with it? What do I with all this comparative wealth that God has given me? Where is MY treasure?
A friend was involved in a discussion about purity. She was asked, "God shouldn't care about who I want to sleep with. Why isn't he dealing with important issues, like sorting out famine?" The truth, as she pointed out, is that he has sorted out famine! There is more than enough food, money, fresh water, in the world for us all, yet we (and it is we in the West who are to blame for this) have hoarded greedily and kept it from others. Often in these countries, there is then a layer of corruption which prevents the food, which we have so grudgingly given, from getting to people in need.
This has challenged me to urgently consider how and where I spend my money. Just as we are reminded in the parable of the talents, we are to be responsible stewards of the time, gifts and money God has given to us. These are not entrusted to us because of any inherent good in us, but we are called to use them for God's glory and for building up his kingdom. As I sit here typing on a laptop computer, after a tasty dinner in a warm house, with my lights blazing and my washing machine churning away, knowing there is clean water directly into my house, about to have a leisurely hot bath in a room complete with flushable toilet, I pray that I will not let money become an idol for me but that I will use everything I have to God's glory, knowing where my true treasure lies.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
we live in the best of all possible worlds;
and the pessimist fears this is true.
Another article had dropped into my email from Crosswalk. Here Judy Carden writes on Becoming a Godly Wife: Invite Chivalry into Your Marriage. I'm not married (yet, she says hoping!) but I think it has lessons for us all. It first reminded of the great harm that the feminist movement has done to women. Good things have come from it, like the vote and being allowed to own property, but the pendulum has swung too far towards actually denigrating the woman's role as a woman in society. This needs to be seen in the light of God's teaching on manhood and womanhood; that God created men and women in his own image and equals before him, but with different roles and responsibilities. That is how God intended us to be, so we need to work at reclaiming that.
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Unfortunately Site Meter doesn't answer that last question, but I have been able to find out a lot about my readers, like how they ended up here from search engines. Some aren't entirely unexpected ("a woman who fears the Lord", "women after God's own heart", and "women who serve God") and I am glad about that, although it also reminds me of the responsibility of gracious and wise blogging if people come here after searching those things. A few of the more surprising ones are "Debbie Maken" (obviously someone else confused about what to think about her book), "Carolyn Mahaney 7 habits" (when I suppose you could just look at her own website to get them all) and, my favourite, "Divine Drink" where I am the 10th result of 8,170,000!
I love too to see where people have come from. Just a quick glance at my last 100 visitors, they have come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Iran and Iraq! Thank you for stopping by - hope to see you again soon!
Quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.
Wherever the wind takes me, I travel as a visitor.
My first surprising discovery was that marriage was considered to be a solemn and necessary duty and commanded of all Christian men and women for, in the words of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the 'procreation of children' and as 'a remedy against sin'.
"We may be assured that man and woman should and must come together in order to multiply...For it is not a matter of free choice or decision but a natural and necessary thing, that whatever is a man must have a woman and whatever is a woman must have a man...Whenever men try to resist this, it remains irresistable nonetheless."
Martin Luther in "The Estate of Marriage" (1523)
Q138: What are the duties required in the 7th Commandment?
A138: ...marriage by those who have not the gift of continency...
Q139: What are the sins forbidden in the 7th Commandment?
A139: ...prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages...entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage...
Individuals, the church and society at large all had this duty to marry and to encourage the institution of marriage. This was shown in the laws and statutes that laid down the proper conditions for marriage and the value and protection that it commanded. Now we have a situation where marriage is being eroded as outdated and unnecessary and, rather than challenge these views, the church is going along with the rest of society.