Archive for May, 2012

Are you not able to get away for this holiday weekend? Well, if you stay or if you go here are some freebies you can hear and read to help encourage your Christian walk while you enjoy your Memorial Day stay/va-cation. Also a couple of contests you can register for.  If you win it will certainly make the weekend more memorable for you. 🙂  Enjoy!

Regardless of your views on “event” evangelism  who doesn’t need a 15-foot bounce castle? (Maybe that’s just the father of four in me talking)  Group is giving one away at the end of this month. Go here to register.

Of course the normal players are involved (Tim Challies and Thom Rainer)  with their Friday giveaway contests  (that on end on Saturday). An added bonus is that Challies is promoting a great book for us to join Reading Classics Together. The book is The Hidden Life of Prayer originally published almost 100 years ago by Scottish pastor David McIntyre .
This holiday weekend would be a great time to get started on this great read. On Challies site you can access a link to a free PDF download and Christian Audio is making it available free with a special code. Click here to take advantage. Simply add the book to your cart and apply the coupon code HLOP12. That will reduce the price to $0.00. Then follow the checkout procedure and you will be all set.

John Piper once said, “God brings books at their appointed times. The Hidden Life of Prayer arrived late but well-timed. This little jewel-strewn tapestry has done for me at 64 what Bounds’ Power Through Prayer did at 34. I could be ashamed that I need inspiration for the highest privilege. But I choose to be thankful.”  HT@Challies

Hymns for the Ascension – Cardiphonia has released a new album of hymns based on the theme of  Christ’s ascension. It’s free for you to download.

Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae’s Church Clothes is available free to download.

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Notes, News, & Views to help equip you  kick-off this holiday weekend.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  is many Christians favorite passage. While it is a great passage it is unfortunate that many well-meaning believers take it out of context. Particularly this time of year as we find it in cards and various places to honor graduates. The passage says:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Delivered by Grace has helped us understanding this passage better and how to apply it in their “Butchered Bible”  series. Give it a read here.

Facebook stayed in the headlines last week with their stock going public. We discussed a few interesting perspectives on it at Equipology here. Over the weekend Facebook Co-Founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrated the stock opening by not only adding billions more to his net worth but also by changing his Facebook status to “Married.” Meanwhile, some interesting research has come out showing that Facebook may be helping to destroy marriages.  80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of divorce cases involving social networking. Smart Money has written an interesting article to try and answer that question of what role Facebook is contributing to wrecking marriages. The article links to other research and resources related to this issue so consider “sharing” it on Facebook.  🙂

From Marriage to Motherhood. Proverbs 31:28-29  instructs us to honor our mothers or the mother of our children by having “her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!” We may do that well on Mother’s Day weekend but how are we doing a honoring and praising them now that we are  a couple of weeks past Mother’s Day? If you are like me you may have already fallen back into a routine of not honoring  these special ladies. Practical Shepherding has helped with the article: What are 10 practical ways to love and serve your wife?

Mothers (particularly those in the middle of raising their children) will be encouraged with the Desiring God article: Are You Mommy Enough? This is part of an ongoing series titled Mommy Wars featuring a handful of articles that Desiring God is posting from various Christian moms. This series is a must read for moms (and dads!). Tim Challies recently warned us of the dangers of Competitive Mothering  in the evangelical world today and how the pressure has increased with the internet the impact of social media.

For your weekend reading here are a few notes, news, & views to help equip you.

Of course the big headline news yesterday was that Facebook stock went public. Many are consumed (and coveting) watching Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth rise (there is a real-time meter to do just that here). While some are left wondering if Facebook will be the next big bubble bust for the Tech world (doubtful) and others talking about the stock being “propped up“; for the rest of us there are many fascinating levels to the Facebook story. One of  the fascinating parts of the story is that of the co-founder himself, Zuckerberg.  Most people who had Facebook or were familiar with it may have never heard of Mark Zuckerberg before the movie The Social Network . While we may never know  the “real Zuckerberg” and we can be certain the movie took some Hollywood liberties with the story he remains the fascinating hoodie wearing billionaire (now approaching a worth nearing 20 billion) that has captured the nation.

The entrance of Facebook to the stock market not only had leading news’ and economic websites’ headlines Friday it also had Twitter ablaze (ironically the other huge social media powerhouse). A few funny or unique tweets:

“I’ll bet Zuckerberg is spending the afternoon calling every girl who turned him down in high school, just to hang up on them.”

“Today, Facebook went public, just as MySpace’s last user went private”@ConanOBrien

“Bono will make more money from his investment in Facebook then from his entire music career” @greenvilleseo

“Far be it from me to question the wisdom of giving a bunch of 25-year-olds everybody’s personal information and billions of dollars”  @ChrchCurmudgeon

Many may scoff at Zuckerberg but Marty Duren has written a few of the takeaways from Zuckerberg’s investor letter.The letter itself is a masterpiece of sorts with Zuckerberg opening it by saying “For years, you’ve wasted your time on Facebook. Now here’s your chance to waste your money on it, too.” It is a short read so check it out. Hugh Whelchel has given a very helpful (and brief) read on thinking about Zuckerberg and the Biblical meaning of success.

Chuck Colson, passed away 0n April 21.  While the mainstream news headlines then was on his involvement with Watergate and the Nixon administration; his memorial service this past Wednesday rightly focused on his lasting legacy of being a “defender of the weak, hugger of lepers, friend of sinners, and Christian intellectual.” Colson had a profound impact on me that I plan to write about at a later date. I hope you are aware of him and have been encouraged and equipped by his valuable contributions to the evangelical world. If not please take time to learn about them here and here.

Here are a couple of links just in case you missed the news that today is the 2nd annual Big Day Out. It is a day designated to get your families OUTSIDE! A scary statistic was recently released from research that says 49% of preschoolers don’t go outside to play. While Psalm 19:1 tells us:

    The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

It seems appropriate to designate a day that we enjoy His creation and encourage others too. This may be especially needed based on the previously noted research and often many things in our lives keep us inside.  A few groups are heavily promoting to get us outside. One is doing this by asking families to take the Let’s Play Pledge.  So go get outside with your families if you can. If weather or other obstacles prevent it try to tomorrow afternoon after you gather to worship the Creator and celebrate His Son, Jesus. Well, I think I’ll go have a picnic with my kids, have a blessed weekend.

Mother’s Day is a beautiful day of recognition as mothers in our country are being honored. As a follower of Christ I am reminded that our wise God made mothers to fulfill one of the most challenging endeavors known to man:

  • Raising up children who would thank, love, and honor their Creator.
  • Loving their husbands in such a manner that brings glory to her heavenly Father.

They are called to do all this with the current lifestyles that permeate through our Western culture that make this at times seem an extremely difficult task. No doubt, such a tall task of motherhood can challenge the faith of the best of Moms. I hope you will take the time to honor your mother and/or the mother of your children and I have included some helps for just that.

If you are a mom reading this then I pray that your children will “rise up and call you blessed.” (Proverbs 31:28)

As a reminder, let us show compassion and consider for some Mothers’ Day doesn’t feel like a celebration. Noel Piper has helped here with her article:  When Mothers Day Isn’t a Celebration.

Of course the Bible shows many accounts of faithful mothers but there is no place quite like Proverbs to see the task examined and exalted:

Proverbs 6:20-22 – My son, keep your father’s command, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching. Always bind them to your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.

Proverbs 23:22-25 – Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. Buy—and do not sell—truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of a righteous son will rejoice greatly, and one who fathers a wise son will delight in him. Let your father and mother have joy, and let her who gave birth to you rejoice

Proverbs 29:15 – A rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a youth left to himself is a disgrace to his mother

Proverbs 31:10-12 – Who can find a capable wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:28-29 – Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!”[1]

Here are some helpful quotes on motherhood:

“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”

John Wesley

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies. A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness. God sends many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts; but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned love’s lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred calling.”

J.R. Miller  in Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894.

“(Mothers), our daughters will be products of their theology. Their knowledge – or lack of knowledge – of who God is and what He has done for them will show up in every attitude, action, and relationship. Their worldview will be determined by their belief system. We must teach our daughters that their value and identity lie in the fact that they are image-bearers of the God of glory. This will protect them from seeking significance in the inconsequential shallowness of self-fulfillment, personal happiness, materialism, or others’ approval. Our daughters must know the wondrous truth that their overarching purpose in life is God’s glory.”

Susan Hunt  Taken from: Biblical Womanhood in the Home by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Crossway, 2002, p. 150.

 “God graciously puts [common] love in the hearts of all mothers. Society is better because of it. But add Christ to that, and you have something far richer. Only a Christian mom can love that child “for Christ’s sake,” and “as unto the Lord.” Only a Christian mom can show her child what it means to be a true believer in Christ. Only a Christian mom can pray effectively for her child. Only a Christian mom can teach her children the truth about Jesus. Only a Christian mom can teach her kids what marriage is all about, even when times are difficult. And only a Christian mom can die as a lover of Christ, contentedly anticipating eternity in the house of her heavenly father.”

Jim Elliff in She Loved It, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.

“Wives are not the only ones instructed to respect their husbands. Children are told to honor their fathers (Ephesians 6:2-3). If you are disrespectful to your husband, your children will likely acquire the same attitude. It will be much more difficult for them to honor their father if you are belittling him and speaking to him in a harsh, sarcastic tone of voice.”

Martha Peace  The Excellent Wife, Focus Publishing Incorporated, p. 114.

“To be a mother is by no means second class. Men may have the authority in the home, but the women have the influence. The mother, more than the father, is the one who molds and shapes those little lives from day one.”

John MacArthur in Successful Christian Parenting, 1998, p. 194.

“She has a more influential and powerful role than any political, military, religious or educational figure. Her words are never fully forgotten. If you were blessed with a good mother, you will enjoy the advantages for the rest of your days. If your mother neglected you and her responsibilities, unfortunately the impact is almost certainly still felt today. Whether it’s good or whether it’s evil, a mother’s impact is permanent. A child’s mother is arguably the most influential figure in their life, giving credence to the old adage: the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

Author Unknown

“Motherhood is not disparaged in biblical teaching; contrary to many in modern society, it is held up as the woman’s highest calling and privilege.”

Andreas Kostenberger
God, Marriage and Family, Crossway, 2004, p. 120.

“What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.”

Henry Ward Beecher

“After years of society belittling the calling of motherhood, something wonderful is happening – something wonderfully counter-cultural! In the midst of the anti-life, anti-motherhood philosophies which pervade the culture, there is a new generation of young ladies emerging whose priorities are not determined by the world’s expectations of them. They have grown up in homes where fathers shepherd them, where children are not merely welcome, but where they are deeply loved. Some of these women have been home educated, which means that many of them have grown up around babies and their mothers. They have learned to see motherhood as a joy and a high calling, because their parents see it that way. And when asked about their future, these girls know their own minds. These are the future mothers of the Church. Young women who are not afraid to say that the goal of all of their education and training is to equip them to pursue the highest calling of womanhood, the office of wife and mother.”

Author Unknown
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Motherhood in America, May 9, 2008, Vision Forum Ministries

[1] Thanks to Thom Rainer for the Proverbs list.