Doxology in Art?

I came across this today via Owen Strachan’s blog, One of the hardest things for me to let go of after coming to Christ  was my music collection. I love music in many forms, but have really struggled with appreciating mainstream Christian artists and their music.

So for those of you who may be interested here are a few links to some great music and even better some of these are available for free downloads. Hooray!

Josh Garrels

Humble Beast

Also, if anyone had other artists in mind that they think I would appreciate I would love to hear about them!

“A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.”
― Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible

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16 Ways Biblically to find a wife…

I was listening to a sermon series recently from Rick Holland of Grace Community Church about a Roadmap for Righteous Relationships, which can be found here if you are interested, and he had read these off and I thought they were pretty entertaining. The Gospel Coalition had also posted this today and thought they would be worth sharing as well

1) Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 21:11-13)

2) “Lay hold on” a virgin who is not betrothed to another man, and “know” her, but afterwards pay her father a sum of money. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 22:28-29)

3) Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)

4) Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.–Moses (Ex. 2:16-21)

5) Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal.–Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

6) Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife.–Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)

7) Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib.–Adam (Gen. 2:19-24)

8) Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That’s right. Fourteen years of toil for a wife.–Jacob (Gen. 29:15-30)

9) Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife.–David (1 Sam. 18:27)

10) Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you’ll definitely find someone.–Cain (Gen. 4:16-17)

11) Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest.–Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)

12) When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, “I have seen a woman; now get her for me.” If your parents question your decision, simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.”–Samson (Judges 14:1-3)

13) Kill any husband and take HIS wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though.)–David (2 Sam. 11)

14) Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!)–Onan and Boaz (Deut. or Lev., example in Ruth)

15) Don’t be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity.–Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

16) A wife?–Paul (1st Corinthians, chapter 7)

Just an FYI, these are descriptive, not prescriptive and surely this list was meant to evoke some humor, I wouldn’t recommend them personally.  

A Resolution… To Bloom Where I am Planted

Thank you my dear friend for reminding me of this often! You know who you are! I have thought for years that I was in control of my life, and don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to this, But God is sovereign!
Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established… Well I think I may have misunderstood this somewhere… I often found myself busy trying to manipulate circumstances and creating happenstance. I did these things selfishly not thinking of the detriment it brought to the little one who’s heart I’m responsible for shepherding.
Okay, bear with me, this needs a little backstory… But first a preface…

I’ve struggled for a while with whether or not I should write about my own singleness, I’ve feared that somehow that would cement my future and I would forever be that woman who wanted to marry but instead gets to write about all that singleness has taught her over the MANY years.
First of all, So be it! I should count it joy to be sanctified regardless of the means. He has secured my future and that is what is most important. Secondly, I am not and will never be alone. I belong to a wonderful body of like minded believers and my chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

So back to the short trip down memory lane…

I’ve spent the last few years in complete discontentment over my lot in life.
I have not chosen to bloom where I’ve been planted, Instead I’ve been exposing my roots to the elements and have finally been drug off by some stray dog to some abandoned field where I’ve just withered to nothing. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but you get my point, maybe?

I’ve put myself in harms way and in doing so have abandoned the role God has intended for me. I mean, sure I’ve cared for and nurtured and provided for my daughter, that is not the issue, but I’ve failed to use this time to shape her in His ways. I’ve not made study and devotion and service a priority in my life or hers. In attempts to put myself out there and get noticed, I’ve neglected her.

So I have resolved to spend less time out and about and more time at home, with her, and being more intentional with the time we have together.

I’ve not trusted God to establish my steps, I’ve not trusted His ways to be best, I’ve not trusted Him, period.
I don’t need to frolic about drawing attention to myself, I’m pretty sure Proverbs talks about a woman like this, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be compared to her. That’s not fostering a meek and gentle spirt. That’s definitely not blooming where I’m planted. If God intends to marry me off one day, He will. He will bring it about, and he will give that man the boldness to go out of his way to make his intentions known. I don’t need to parade around to make it merely a matter of convenience.

Instead I, by God’s grace will be like that tree, firmly planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. I will let His word be a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path. I will be satisfied in the morning with His steadfast love, I will rejoice and be glad all of my days!

I ask you my dear friends, when my countenance has fallen, and I believe the lies of this world, that you would remind me of this and that you would direct me to repentance, and that you would speak boldly the truths I need to hear. Let this be my resolution, and by God’s grace, may others help me to hold to it.

The Jerk.

Nope, I’m not talking about Steve Martin, I’m talking about me. I was meeting with a dear friend the other day and we were discussing the fact that I struggle with loving others. I think it’s safe to say that I am not alone in this matter. Its so incredibly easy to get caught up in the focus of me. I don’t know what presides most, Pride, Discontentment, Envy, I don’t know take you’re pick, they’re probably all there.
So how do you stop being a jerk?
Well I don’t know if I’ll ever stop being a jerk, but by God’s grace he’s changing my heart. This dear friend of mine took me straight to Titus 3, I couldn’t even read it aloud it was so convicting…

[3:1] Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, [2] to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. [3] For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. [4] But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, [5] he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, [6] whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, [7] so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. [8] The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
(Titus 3:1-8 ESV)

This is TRUSTWORTHY!! Yet I am so quick to forget it! It so ties in to so much I’m learning and growing in lately. The importance of one another and the body of Christ is so crucial. You CANNOT do it on your own, and you don’t have to, So why keep letting your pride convince you otherwise?

Just something to ponder… Something that has been heavy on my heart lately.

A Plea…

I am a single mother, but that is not what defines me. I am first a woman, a created child of God. I wandered for years, questioning and wrestling with the emptiness of my choices and to bluntly argue against the cliche, I did wander, and I was lost.
I sought momentary pleasure in the seedy underbelly of sin, and was left more empty each and every time. In sin I conceived a child, a pure and wonderful gift. For a few years I was still wandering, I was quite literally the living dead, only I wasn’t after brains. Sadly if anything I steered clear of brains. (Haha, a little chuckle there? Maybe? Nothing? Bueller?)

It was not until my daughter was 3 that Christ began transforming my heart. I failed her as a parent in those early years, I was obviously not instructing her in the ways of the Lord. I was so much more focused on myself, and even after Christ began his work in me, that has still been the case a lot of the time. But recently I have been so convicted that my role as her sole parent is more crucial then ever. The damage I can cause her is monumental!

I always thought by now I would have married, and have focused so much more on that then on, as a good friend has said to me, blooming where I’m planted. I’ve been living in Future Lala Land, and not willingly accepting my responsibility because, well frankly, I’ve not been content with it.
But let this be a plea to you single parents out there, that is if anyone actually ever reads this, that you cannot focus on tomorrow. The bible says we do not know what our lives will be like tomorrow. But instead, today, start instructing your child in the ways of the Lord, for their souls are at risk. Stop focusing on the things that will be eaten by moth and destroyed by rust. Stop seeking after the momentary pleasure that got you where you are. Instead invest what you have now in to their precious little hearts. It’s not easy, and there will be battles along the way, but don’t give up.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and the glory that is to be revealed to us, invest in it. Those are the things that will be added unto you, and that is a promise you can hang your hat on.

Something’s Got A Hold On Me…

Recently I have had my whole world shaken up. It’s been a great thing, don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to complain, but it’s been quite the ride.
My unbelief has been exposed and I’ve had the opportunity to step back and take it all in. When things are stripped away and bitterness resides, you know that God wasn’t first in your heart. You were holding on to something fledgling instead as if it was all there was.
Still, God is patient and although I fail miserably over and over, he still calls me, he still tugs on my heart and chips away the stone.
He’s revealed to me that I was not looking at the world through the lens of eternity.
My actions now have a great impact. The things I watch, the music I listen to, the people I spend my time with, the things I daydream about. They effect the choices I make, they effect the way I lead my daughter, and so often I fail to take that perspective, and yet God is faithful in His promise to complete the work that He has started in me.
I sometimes believe the lies. I believe that this is all there is and I get frustrated by the things and the events going on around me, I stoke the green eyed monster of envy and question God’s motives.
Instead of resting in the promises of God, which I know to be true, I believe that my desires here and now are more then the glory that is to be revealed to me.
But like I said, recently with the changes in my life God has used it for good. He has shaken the comforts off my back, and the burdens that come along with them and placed them on the yoke Christ carries. In my weakness he has been made strong, and that is something you can rest in.

 

Victory!

Success, as the world would view it, is really empty. I recently left my job of 5 years to move on to better things.
No, I’m not making more money.
No, I don’t have more power.
No, I don’t have a fancy title.
However, I couldn’t be more thankful.
This morning I awoke after a great night’s rest. I made breakfast, I prayed, I read my bible, I got to homeschool my daughter, I got to drop my daughter off with a wonderful family while I went to work, and then I got to go home. It was a pretty awesome day, and Lord willing, I get to do it all over again tomorrow.
May not sound that exciting, but let me assure you it is, it’s a prayer answered, and how could you go wrong with that?
We never know the path God has us on, until we are on it, and even then only He really knows.
Sometimes we get dealt some low blows, but we can rest in Romans 8:28. As a good friend often reminds me, it’s not about the circumstances. It’s about the glory of God.
Amen Sista, AMEN!