Friday, April 27, 2007

Psalm One

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.


He is like a tree planted by streams of water...

...which yields its fruit in season...

...and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.


All photos are copyrighted by Kristin Braun

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Crowning Glory of the Creation of God

"Who am I? Secular humanism says I am the result of random processes. Christian theism says I am the crowning glory of the Creation of God. Christian theism says He knit me together in my mother's womb. Christian theism says I am no accident, I am no result of random processes. ...whether I am tall and beautiful or whether I am small and not-so-handsome, whether my body functions perfectly or I am deformed severely, I am the crowning glory of the Creation of God, and as a result I have inherent dignity, and inherent worth and inherent value. "
-Voddie Baucham

I am sure there were many pearls of wisdom at this past year's Desiring God conference, but the message titled The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Post-Modern World by Voddie Baucham hit home with me.

Don't let the title throw you; it's a very understandable yet profound message concerning the conflict between Christian and humanist worldviews. Click here to download the free mp3 graciously provided by Desiring God.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Ignition

What turns a quirky fashion statement into a fad? And what transforms a fad into something timeless? What causes a book to reach the bestseller’s list, while other equally well-written books gather dust on library shelves? From feminism to yoga, activities and ideals once held only by fringe radicals have become the norm. We all would like to know: Why and how?

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, attempts to answer these questions. Gladwell writes of the Hush Puppies, once a little-known shoe brand that inexplicably gained worldwide recognition:

In the case of the Hush Puppies, the great mystery is how those shoes went from something worn by a few fashion-forward downtown Manhattan hipsters to being sold in malls across the country. What was the connection between the East Village and Middle America? The Law of the Few says the answer is that one of these exceptional people found out about the trend, and through social connections and energy and enthusiasm and personality spread the word about Hush Puppies.

What caused the Hush Puppy fad? According to Gladwell, it was surprisingly simple: a small number of people actively spread the word.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, a new wave of feminism swept over America. This wasn’t your grandmother’s “Votes for Women” campaign. This movement threw orthodoxy out the window. Men were labeled “oppressors” and feminism became known as the “women’s liberation movement.” The movement redefined womanhood and pushed Biblical perspective into the shadows. It was unconventional and extreme--and it transformed North America.

Yet, like the Hush Puppies’ rise to stardom, the feminist movement’s success was not due to political action or protest marches. Its success can be traced to a group of people who simply spread the word.

In 1968, film editor and feminist Kathie Sarachild brought a new strategy to light. The best way to promote feminism, she found, was to form “consciousness-raising groups.” Small groups women would gather together for annual meetings in which they would each share experiences of “oppression” and discuss common difficulties they faced. One scholar noted, “Feminists agreed that consciousness-raising, or ‘speaking bitterness,’ was the most potent, effective tool in the mobilization of the feminist movement.” (Mary Kassian, The Feminist Mistake)

This should be no surprise. In Proverbs 12:18, Solomon speaks of the tongue’s power: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Here, Solomon ranks words with an instrument of war. What more piercing weapon exists than the tongue? When it has taken thousands of soldiers to change cities into minefields, fewer words have changed the face of empires.

Yet there is one factor that pulls an ideology into popularity which researchers often miss; ultimately all is controlled to the One causes mouths to open and shut. He is the One who allows a movement (however temporarily) to ignite or fade into the footnotes of history.

While feminism may be a dominant philosophy of our time, in the end “…the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will.” (Daniel 4:32) Perhaps I may live to see this ideology discarded as a new “ism” claims the spotlight, but at the closing of the day, His Word will prevail.

What ignites a dream into a movement, and a movement into a revolution? Feminist researcher Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” I would add that all changes have occurred only because God allowed them---and He always has the last word.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Charles Spurgeon Devotional

"The precious blood of Christ" -1 Peter 1:19

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its later action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious", unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

-Charles Spurgeon, "The Precious Blood of Christ", April 16

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Regenerate Our Culture: Essay Contest


Anyone want an iPod Nano? Of course, we all do. But here's your chance to get one for free. All you have to do is enter the essay contest that's being hosted by Regenerate Our Culture. The topic for the essay is...

In Regenerate Our Culture's mission statement, it says we are trying to “regenerat[e] our nation's worldview away from the post-modernism holding it and back to the Christian worldview it was first built on. It can't be denied that many in our nation have turned away from God in politics, religion, and their everyday lives. Our vision is to help bring about a positive change in these three important areas...”

What does this mean in real life? How can you live a regenerating life that will impact our culture for Christ?

We are accepting essays from teens 12-18 from now until May 10, 2007 (closing on 10:00 pm EST). For more details, click here.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Reflections

As I stood looking out the kitchen window, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. It's the day before Easter and it's...snowing! And not just a dusting, but large puffy flakes. Every Easter, I earnestly hope that the day will be filled with glorious sunshine and delightful temperatures to match my inward feelings of happiness and thankfulness that Jesus rose from the dead. Alas, what I want and wish for doesn't always happen. With the gently falling snow comes a sober reminder. Psalm 51:7 says,
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
The Old Testament records the animal sacrifices required of the Israelites to atone for their sins - a spotless lamb. But because of the Father's love for us, He sent His one and only Son to die for us. He died once for all - for the righteous and unrighteous. The Father's spotless lamb washes away the sins of the world and for those that believe the promise of Eternal life.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
~An excerpt from
In Christ Alone~

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Motherhood by Degrees

I recently came across an archived article by Tim Bayly: Marriage, student debt, and motherhood. He recounts the story of his personal friend, Mrs. Cuffey, who gave up a prestigious graduate degree from Harvard to stay home to support her husband and raise her children. Mr. Bayly asks,
Was this a waste of good intellectual talent? Would those children have been better off—even intellectually—had Mrs. Cuffey completed her graduate work and been awarded the terminal degree?

If we teach our daughters the high calling of motherhood and they take that calling on as their own, it will often lead them to make decisions similar to the one Mrs. Cuffey made. In such cases, certainly their own parents, but also the people of God, must be prepared to provide them fulsome support for any steps they take to decrease, that their husbands and children may increase, especially when those decisions close doors behind which lie prestigious honors and large financial rewards.
Mr. Bayly also shares a quote from Dorothy Patterson's book, Where's mom: The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective:
Homemaking, if pursued with energy, imagination, and skills, has as much challenge and opportunity, success and failure, growth and expansion, perks and incentives as any corporation, plus something no other position offers—working for people you love most and want to please the most…. Homemaking—being a full-time wife and mother—is not oppressive restraint of intellectual prowess for the community, but a release of wise instruction to your own household; it is …the multiplication of a mother’s legacy to the generations to come and the generous bestowal of all God meant a mother to give to those entrusted to her care.
This is quite a long article that not only covers this topic, but many other related to the choice between college and motherhood. Take peek and come back here to let us know what you think.

(Hat tip: Icky at The Homeschooling Revolution)

Update: Here's an encouraging article on the historical importance of homeschooling mothers from John Glenn Reynolds.

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Kristin, Hannah & Lindsey

A blog by three young ladies who have a desire to serve the Lord and encourage other young women around them.

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