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Showing posts from May, 2011

Quotations: Who Is Loved

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"They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on Him…she has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in their affection…you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being.  She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great Being has manifested Himself to her mind.  She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure...She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her."

~ Jonathan Edwards
written on the front page of a …

Conversations: Edition Twenty Five

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Continuing our weekly conversations...


The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join our conversations two ways:

1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer to your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.

This week's question...

In light of Monday's article by Jessina, what does "Christ increasing, myself decreasing" look like in your life practically?

Quotations: exalt Somebody

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Increasing and Decreasing

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I have been thinking a lot about increasing and decreasing lately—in math terms as I prepare for an upcoming test, but also in a different way. In John 3:30, John the Baptist says that “[Christ] must increase, but I must decrease.”

This verse conveys an inverse proportion. It is clear that when Christ-likeness increases in us, self must decrease. One is always moving up, the other moving down. If self increases, Christ decreases. If self decreases, Christ increases.

I wonder what this looks like—Christ increasing, myself decreasing. I envision it something like this:

When self decreases, so do all of my selfish desires and wants. I think of the prayer John Baille writes in A Diary of Private Prayer: “O God, give me grace today to think, not of what I can get, but of what I can give.” This is a picture of self becoming less, of our putting aside our desires to love Christ and serve others, to consume ourselves with giving rather than getting.

Likewise, when Christ increases, so does o…

Friday Footprints

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Today I stumbled upon an article "Teach Your Daughters Wailing" and the title caught my attention, so I checked it out.  Ann Dunagan writes, "As Christian women (of all ages), we need to allow ourselves to see the big needs of this world, especially those that concern women, and girls, and children . . . like teenage pregnancy, abortion, pornography, the plight of orphan children, child slavery, human trafficking (especially of young girls), hurting and broken hearts, neglected children, and so many unsaved women and lost children who desperately need the love of Jesus.


Many of these are feminine needs that should “pull” on the God-given “nurturing” and life-giving hearts of our daughters. In this next generation, it’s going to take a mighty army of godly daring daughters to minister to these needs..."

Read all of Ann's article here.  What do you think?

Til next week, Joanna, Jessina, & Megan

Conversations: Edition Twenty Four

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Continuing our weekly conversations...

The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join our conversations two ways:

1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer to your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.

This week's question...

What are your plans for the summer?  How are you going to serve the Lord in your free time?

Quotations: At Any Cost

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Note: Betty and John were married in China and served there as missionaries. In 1934, with less than a year of ministry in the country, both were murdered by Communist Chinese soldiers. Their three month old baby was hidden and miraculously survived. The Stam's unwavering faith in Jesus Christ has inspired many to follow in their footsteps and live for Him.

Where are Your Eyes?

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I woke up this morning to a text from my friend Rachel. "Keep looking up, Meg!" she encouraged me.

Keep looking up. What does that mean?

It's our shorthand for talking about where the eyes of our hearts are. Are they fixed on Jesus, on the Cross (which puts everything back into perspective), on the glorious hope we have? Or are they focused on myself: my problems and victories and disappointments?

Do you remember the story of Peter walking on waves? The disciples are in a boat, and Jesus comes towards them, walking on the water. They're terrified, He tells them not to fear, that it's Him and not a ghost, and Peter responds with, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water."
Jesus says simply, "Come." And Peter does. He steps out of the boat. He looks at Jesus. He walks on water.

And then, he starts to sink. Why? He took his eyes off of Jesus, and started looking down at the waves (maybe marveling at himself for walking on them)…

Friday Footprints

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{Due to some technical issues from Blogger.com, we weren't able to post for several days, but we're back now, thankfully!}


Over at GirlTalk, Nicole posted a question on beauty:
Do you think the Bible's approach to beauty is primarily positive or negative? Why?
So head on over and help the GirlTalkers as they write their book on beauty God's way. If they use your response in their book, you'll receive an autographed copy - for free!


Have a blessed, joy-filled weekend!
Joanna, Jessina, & Megan

The Gift of Being Vulnerable

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"This is really hard for me to talk about," my Bible study leader said of a particularly deep and painful struggle. "But I want you girls to feel comfortable being vulnerable with me and each other. So of course that means I have to be vulnerable with you."

The girls in that college study and I have known each other deeply for two years now. We've shared so much. But that night, more tears spilled. More secrets were confessed. Struggles and heartache, suicide and body image - we covered a lot that night, when we felt again the freedom to be real and vulnerable. It was a healing place to be.

Vulnerability is scary. Getting past the chitchat and small talk to the how are you really? - and then honestly answering that question ("Well, I feel like my heart just got run over by a truck, but thanks for asking!") - there's no denying that's scary.

We're people pleasers. We want to be accepted, liked. We try to put on a facade to match everyone e…

Quotations: What a Godly Guy Wants (In a Wife)

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"He does not want a girl who trifles with Christianity. He wants a woman who is radically given to Christ. He does not want a girl who prays tepid, lukewarm prayers. He wants a woman who lives in defiance of the powers of Hell.
He does not want a girl who is self-adorning with the latest fashions and trends. He wants a woman who is adorned with the inner jewelry of Christ-given holiness. He does not want a girl who dishonors and belittles her parents. He wants a woman who honors the authorities God has placed in her life and serves them with charity and gladness.
He does not want a girl whose Bible is an accessory to her wardrobe. He wants a woman whose hunger and thirst is to know the Lord, and who diligently feasts upon His Word. He does not want a girl whose tongue is a deceptive weapon of selfishness.
He wants a woman whose words drip with the honey of the name of Jesus..." ~ by an anonymous guy
"What a Godly Guy Wants (In a Wife)"
March/April 2011 issue of S…

only a pair of shoes

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I was in a flutter of hurry. With only ten days to spend in Romania, I wanted every second to count - I wanted to be very productive. I flew back and forth, getting the correct shoe sizes for the villagers. We had a huge line of people waiting and I had to hurry!

Suddenly I noticed that a young Roma (Gypsy) boy had come up to me and was jabbering away in Romanian. I stopped what I was doing and looked at him. Tears pooled in his dark eyes. I called for our translator, wondering what he was so discouraged about.

My translator listened for a minute and then announced, "He wants a pair of shoes."

I smiled. We had hundreds of villagers anxiously waiting in line for a new pair of shoes and socks. Some of the old grandmothers were actually fighting for a spot in line. Of course the boy wanted a pair - everyone did!

My translator continued, "He really wants some shoes, because he doesn't own a single pair."

I halted, my brain whirling. Although quite poor, almost all…

Friday Footprints

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With Mother's Day approaching fast (Sunday!), I found this letter by Erica Sunshine Owen a sweet and moving dedication to her mother. Go check it out and then write your own mom a letter from your heart, thanking her for all the years she's sacrificed, loved, nurtured, and served you!


In His love,
Joanna, Jessina, and Megan

Quotations: doubt not His grace

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O child of suffering, be thou patient;

God has not passed thee over in His providence.
He who is the feeder of sparrows,
will also furnish you with what you need.

Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever.
Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble,
and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.

There is One who careth for you.
His eye is fixed on you,
His heart beats with pity for your woe,
and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help.

The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy.
The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning.
He, if thou art one of His family,
will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart.

Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation,
but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.

What a serene and quiet life might you lead
if you would leave providing to the God of providence!
With a little oil in the cruse,
and a handful of meal in the barrel,
Elijah outlived the famin…