“…they were written down for our instruction…”

My reading through the Bible has recently taken me through 1 Samuel and some corresponding Psalms. I have been struck (not for the first time) by David’s trust in God and the resulting obedience, even while his life was threatened by Saul. David refuses to kill Saul when he has the chance, and I can’t say that I would have done the same.

Consider David’s thoughts in Psalm 34:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

He acknowledges how his God delivers those who cry out to him, and he has actual experience with this. These words are pouring out of a soul that knows and loves God. He’s a refugee; God is his refuge.

And yet, this David is the same man we know will go on to seek another man’s wife with such fervor that he has the man killed to get what he wants. Clearly, something changed. At some point he began to believe that he did lack something (someone) that God had not provided.

I now have to preach to myself:  Anne, take heed lest you fall. I’m not sure I have the faith David showed when he did not take the opportunity to kill Saul in the cave, but I am reminded that I have ability to fall from what faith I DO have. I, too, have tasted the goodness of the Lord and seen His provision over and over again. Yet, I forget.

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
~~Corinthians 10:11-13

I am thankful for God’s Word and my access to it. I’m thankful that it is living and active. And I’m thankful that He is faithful.

 

“…since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world …”

mere christianityApropos of just about everything these days, here is C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters. Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health provided you want other things more — food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilization as long as civilization is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more.

“…God will make us good because He loves us…”

mere christianityFrom C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

As long as the natural life is in your body, it will do a lot towards repairing that body. Cut it, and up to a point it will heal, as a dead body would not. A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble — because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out.

That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or — if they think there is not — at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

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(belated) September reading

Please excuse the blogging pause; it was entirely unintentional. October caught me by surprise, and it hasn’t really let up until today.

September:

  1. I Am Watching You – Teresa Driscoll
  2. To Dance With the White Dog – Terry Kay
  3. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  5. Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
  6. Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life – Gretchen Rubin

I read mostly fiction in September, and most of it was mediocre, at best. To Dance With the White Dog was Thomasville’s One Book this year, so our office read it together. It’s not my usual genre, but it was sweet and southern. Little Fires Everywhere was definitely the best of my September bunch. There were lots of practical tips in Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home, and I’ll likely continue to read more of her books.

What are you reading?

 

random thoughts

~ I finally arranged the books on my living room shelves by color. I like it.

books-by-color

~ Dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Oh my.

~ Things I don’t care about:

  1. DC or Marvel comics or the movies inspired by them.
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. the NFL

~ Am I the only one who hates to find that the “article” you clicked on is really a video? That annoys me to no end — especially when it’s autoplay.

~ I should not have chips in my house. Ever.

Random thoughts, random photos:

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parischair

That’s it, y’all. Care to share any of your random thoughts?

“We listen every day to the voices of the culture around us…”

johnFrom John (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary) by R.C. Sproul:

All of us, even the most pious Christians among us, are overwhelmingly influenced by the cultural customs and conventions of the societies in which we live. It starts in school, where popularity means “being with it,” that is, being in line with the morality of the society, even if that morality includes things of which God does not approve. That’s what our innate struggle with sin is all about. We listen every day to the voices of the culture around us that tell us what’s politically correct and what isn’t, what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. Then, for a few minutes on Sunday morning, we hear the law of God. We know they don’t match up, but unless or until the Holy Spirit takes the law and pierces our souls with it and convicts us of sin, we don’t really pay attention to it.

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monday miscellany

From ’round the web:

~ I loved this interview with Cadence, my knitting guru and friend — on opening a business post 50.

~ Lemon Chicken Breasts from Barefoot Contessa – but I’ll use thighs when I make this.

~ What makes people like (and dislike) their doctors? My favorite doctors are the ones who acknowledge that I’m a person and don’t dismiss me or condescend. These are hard to find, in my experience.

~ An open letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is really good.

~ Who is the subject of your Bible study?

Happy Monday!

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monday miscellany

From here and there:

~ Today, more than ever, read beyond the headlines.

~ I’m really baffled that anyone thought this needed to be said – Are Smart, Educated Women Still Called to the Church Nursery? When my children needed nursery care, my husband was often deployed, and those couple of hours they were tended to while I worshiped were essential to me spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. So after my children were older, I counted it a privilege to return the favor to other parents. Never once have I thought it was a waste of my time, energy, or talents. It was simply a way to serve others, and I knew from experience that it was a real service.

~ 10 reasons why knitting is good for your health

~ Remembering 9/11 will surely take a back seat today in Florida as Hurricane Irma plows up the peninsula, but here’s an article I’ve shared before – We’re the Only Plane in the Sky

As I prepare this post (on Sunday), we’re awaiting Hurricane Irma’s arrival later today. I’m setting this to post automatically in the event we lose power.

I’m sure it won’t be for many, but Happy Monday to the rest of you!

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august reading

My shoulder and neck issues are improving thanks to physical therapy and daily exercises, and that means that my sleep has improved. And that means that I haven’t read as much lately.

August:

  1. The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance  – Ben Sasse
  2. Moral Defense (Samantha Brinkman Book 2) – Marcia Clark
  3. Dot Journaling – A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together – Rachel Wilkerson Miller
  4. The Judgment of Richard Richter – Igor Štiks

The Sasse book (loaned to me by my son) was one in which I found myself often nodding in agreement. I’ve been bogged down in a couple of other books and picked up Marcia Clark’s as a quick diversion. I took a dot journaling class and read Miller’s book after that — it was a quick read that I’ll refer to again as I refine my bullet journaling. The Judgment of Richard Richter was a Kindle First book for August, so it was free. I’m pretty lukewarm about that one.

What are you reading and recommending these days?

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