Why Am I Not Married?

July 28, 2010 at 10:45 pm (Recommended reading) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Recently we posted a link to the “No Girl Left Behind” website.  A satirical solution to the “marriage crisis” (which, incidentally, we’ve not witnessed.)  Of course, the answer to the question “Why am I not married?” is not always, “Because you aren’t ready.”  It can also be, simply, the Lord has something else for you to do right now.  But if you’re single and don’t want to be, it may be helpful to consider what “accomplishments” make a women truly marriageable.  In response to the “No Girl Left Behind” website, the Botkin sisters have answered with a few thoughts for those who may be feeling panicked regarding marriage–or simply want to know what an “accomplished” woman should cultivate–and we think their thoughts are worth considering.

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Lust is the Problem

February 19, 2010 at 1:46 am (Purity, The Book Shelf) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
Original Title: Not Even a Hint
Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 2003

Book Type: Christian Living, Purity

Rating: 10 out of 10

Recommended? Absolutely, with parental guidance

Overview: Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, tackles the tough subject of lust in this concise and practical book. Mr. Harris helps his readers to understand the way God has made them as men and women, and how they can fight temptation and seek to live pure lives according to God’s standard. Full of insight and advice, this book is a must read for anyone who struggles with lust, offering encouragement and pointing to God’s word to find strength for the battle.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The only thing really ugly about this book is the subject matter: lust. That may be an uncomfortable subject for some, but it is handled in a very godly manner.

Praises: This book really does help. If taken to heart, it can provide a biblical perspective on lust (and sin in general), as well as give guidance to those willing to put that sin to death. Mr. Harris challenges us to examine our hearts and submit our thoughts in obedience to Christ, with the goal of there being “not even a hint” of sexual immorality in our lives.

Concerns: I liked the original title better. It was a bit more delicate and brought Ephesians 5:3 to mind. That said, this book is excellent no matter what you call it.

Tips for getting the most out of this book: Be prepared for serious heart-searching and confession. Sin is not to be dealt with lightly and this book will challenge you to fight it full-force. Have index cards ready to write out Scriptures to memorize, and journal about your struggles and victories if that helps. Above all, yield to the Holy Spirit’s prompting as He calls you to “put off” your former lusts and “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ.


Buy the book on Amazon.com

Visit Josh Harris’ Blog

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Staying Joyful at Home

May 30, 2009 at 4:11 am (Announcements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

joyful at home

Being at home is one thing.  Being joyful at home is another thing entirely.  Jasmine at Joyfully Home has made it her mission, not only to be joyful at home herself, but to encourage others striving for the same goal.  She just wrapped up an excellent series on the topic that we’d encourage you to check out.  Even though her series is geared toward single young ladies, there’s application for the married homemakers as well!

From the top down ways to stay joyful at home:
Way Number One: Build a strong relationship with your mother.
Way Number Two: Find your sufficiency in the King of Kings.
Way Number Three:  Stay busy and useful in the sphere where the Lord has placed you.
Way Number Four: Learn to be a supportive daughter.
Way Number Five: Learn to accept reproof and filter criticism.
Way Number Six: Don’t be afraid to answer legitimate questions; but don’t let speculation cause you to fear.
Way Number Seven: Get to know your siblings.
Way Number Eight: Find the blessing in difficult circumstances.
Way Number Nine: Be a seed-planter.
Way Number Ten: Contribute to a joyful atmosphere.

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You could be the proud, new owner…

February 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm (Announcements) (, , , , , , )

Of your very own copy of “Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart” by Heather Paulsen.

We’re finally hosting another giveaway! And what can you expect? It’s a book! Fancy that. And a great one.

Check out our review of it, just a few posts back and then leave us a comment on this post to enter! If you’d like a second entry, announce this giveaway on your own blog or website and leave a second comment with a link to your announcement. Entries close February 23, 2009 and we’ll draw a random winner ASAP.  Who knows?  Perhaps this will draw some of the lurkers out of the woodwork.

Enjoy!

Blessings,

lauren-and-abigail-sig1

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A Review for Gospel-Believers

December 11, 2008 at 7:29 am (The Book Shelf) (, , , , , , , , )

Posted by Abigail

A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent

Book Type: Theological meets practical, Christian Living

Rating: 10 out of 10

Recommended? For every believer


Overview:

I was wallowing in a pit of despair one evening, feeling completely helpless, useless and unholy. I’m a self-punisher, so to make up for the lack of results I was seeing in my life and family/discipleship relationships, I gave myself the stern order “Tonight you are going to sit down and read the book of Romans.” Overwhelmed at first by the feeling of being lost, I forced myself on through the end–the glorious end when the gospel comes to life full of hope. And I wept because, once again, I was overwhelmed my my own unworthiness and God’ abundant mercy. The next night I finished “A Gospel Primer”–and read Milton’s recap of the gospel. All his reasons for rehearsing the gospel had been encouraging, but I’d thought I was already doing it on my own. I realized I’d become despairing because my understanding often passed over an important gospel truth–“There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”


Mr. Vincent carefully proves from scripture the need for Christians to hear the gospel. The gospel is a means of salvation, but salvation doesn’t end at justification. Then he provides two gospel narratives–prose and poetry–which clearly and concisely lay out the truth of Jesus’ work on our behalf and the results of justification. He winds up with his own gospel story–how the full gospel set him free from guilt and anxiety regarding his salvation.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

I’ve rarely seen a handbook more thoroughly annotated. Each page is nearly half full of footnotes–all straight scripture to back up Milton’s statements. If a good teacher opens up the scriptures to his readers, then I’d have to call this “good”. And surprisingly, I lost sight of how bad and ugly I am in light of the glory of God’s grace–which is the truly important thing.


Praises:

It’s clear, concise and broken in to brief, easy-to-read portions. The flow is smooth, logical and comfortable. I appreciated the two gospel narratives–as examples that simply proved that retelling needn’t always be the same. In an age where a man-centered gospel has produced deceivers and deceived, Milton brings us back the the gospel truth–the good news is Jesus! For those who truly desire to serve and love God, the truth breaks the bonds of slavery to a law of righteousness, and brings the liberty to be satisfied in Jesus, knowing that, through Him, God is satisfied with us.


Concerns:

Can produce hyper-activity, if you’re of a similar temperament to mine. I walked around singing and bouncing off of furniture the next day. Scripture says good news is like cold water to the thirsty–for me, it’s more like espresso.


Tips for getting the most out of this book:

Read slowly. It’s a small book, but it ought to take you a while. Get out your Bible and backcheck all the references–read them in context. Don’t be afraid to reread. Highlight the parts that speak to your specific struggles so you can come back to them! Pencil in any references you can think of. Read the gospel narratives, read Romans straight through, write your own narratives, pray your own narratives, thank God for the gospel (all of it!) and then share it every chance you get! Not because you have to, or because it will earn you anything, but because it’s the most amazing story in the world!

gospel-primer

Download the PDF from Cornerstone Bible Church (Milton’s home church).

Buy from Cornerstone Bible Church.


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A Review for Treasure Seekers

October 12, 2008 at 7:27 am (The Book Shelf) (, , , , , , , , , )

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

Book Type: Financial, Motivational, Christian Living

Rating: 10 out of 10

Recommended? For everyone who loves Jesus and desires to be a good steward

Overview: Most of us realize the truth of the statement, “You can’t take it with you.”  Few understand the impact of the truth:  “BUT you CAN send it on ahead.”  There’s nothing wrong with storing up treasure–as long as our investment is an eternal one.  From Jesus’ simple command to store up treasure in heaven, Randy takes us through six scriptural principles to guide our giving.  Forget the Old Testament notion of the tithe–as if only ten percent belongs to God!  Randy reminds us that EVERYTHING belongs to God and we are only His managers.  We should understand how our Boss wants us using His money.  God Himself proved Himself to be the greatest giver of all–first giving us life, then giving us His Son, and also giving us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness. God loves a cheerful giver!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

This book is brief, to the point and jam packed with gospel truth.  For me the only bad and ugly I discovered lay in my own heart, riddled with greed.

Praises:

Randy writes about what he knows personally.  After being taken to court over his pro-life literature and being told all his income exceeding a certain amount would go to support pro-choice organizations, he made a radical decision–took a minimum wage job and set up all of his writing profits to go directly to the Lord’s work.  After reading “The Treasure Principle” several years ago, I wrote in my journal, “As children of the King, we are not to live like princes, but to give like princes.”  It’s a challenge!  But the results are enormous joy–and peace in a secure investment.  Paul thanked the Macedonians for their gift, “Not because I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that increases to your account!”  Randy does an excellent job of realigning our financial understanding with scripture.

Concerns:

Rarely do I recommend a book this highly.  No concerns.

Tips for getting the most out of this book:

At a time when the United States is facing a financial crisis, at a record low and politicians are sweating

and debating about ways to bail out Wall Street, we find ourselves reassessing our pocket books.  In the midst of tightening our belts and budgeting, don’t be quick to nip and tuck your giving!  Get out your Bible, get out your bank statements and a pen and paper and check your priorities against God’s Word.  Where is your treasure?  Where is your heart?

Visit Eternal Perspective Ministries, home of Randy Alcorn.

Buy the Treasure Principle at Amazon.com–it’s a worthwhile investment.

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A Review for Chosen Brides

August 18, 2008 at 7:48 pm (The Book Shelf) (, , , , )

His Chosen Bride by Jennifer Lamp (now Neef)

Book Type: Teen/young woman, singleness/relationships, godly living

Rating: 10 out of 10

Recommended? Especially for single girls, age 13 and up

Overview:

At the time of this writing, Jennifer was a single lady approaching thirty, living with her parents and sister and serving women through a ministry called Grace Works. A short time later she began serving a family who had just lost the mother to cancer and wound up stepping in as a new mother and wife—marrying an entire family! In her book Jennifer speaks as a friend, exhorting young women to seize the season of singleness to serve the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:34). She leads through an in-depth look at the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, unveiling the beauty of character and devotion and challenging single women to live out these qualities to delight their Divine Bridegroom.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

Nothing offensive, requiring “maturity” or parental caution. Of course, if you’re like me, you might have preferred something other than a pink cover. 😉

Praises:

Through her humble and friendly style, Jennifer proves herself to be teaching only what she has striven to master. So much more than pat answers, scripture slinging or lofty observations, this book is chock-full of practical advice for applying scripture, inspiring examples of women who have been “His chosen bride” and thought-provoking questions for further study and personal evaluation.

Concerns:

Why would I be concerned about a book that refocuses our hearts on our Divine Lover?

Tips for getting the most out of this book:

Grab your Bible, a pen and a notebook and study the scriptures, scribble evaluations and get involved. There are plenty of activities! When you come to a tough spot, stop and work on implementing what you’re learning. Be sure to check out some of Jennifer’s suggested resources. Challenge yourself to practice the character of the Proverbs 31 woman, diligently working because she “fears the Lord.” Don’t forget, a bride spends time just being with her groom, as well as busily serving Him.

Visit Grace Works

Buy the Book from Amazon

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