Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Catching Your Balance December 23, 2008

Filed under: applications,introductions — womenembracingfaith @ 5:20 am
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Let me introduce…Roy Hargrave.
Our cultural pressures this time of year can really take a spiritual toll. I just can’t seem to get those cards and pictures done!  And I really am bad at bows, papers, and ribbons, not to mention decorating cookies!!  But, I keep trying….

Cultural pressures should not be about “measuring up.” It is not even about feeling burdened or guilty. It is all about spiritual balance. Maintaining yours. It is achieving that balance between your responsibilities and God’s work in your life.

For example, we all should want to send our children into life equipped with useful life and Bible tools while looking to Jesus Christ as their only hope for righteousness and forgiveness. Yet, you can not even make him thirsty for the living God. You can attempt to put Bible skills in his hand. That’s about all.  Even that can become an overwhelming task in our culture and during this time of year. Any of this can cause you to slip.

If you start to turn examples of the “best” way to live the Christian life or to raise your kids (or celebrate Christmas) into a rule of life, breathe deeply, stretch, and meditate on how you have been favored with the Holy Spirit to guide you in these times and in this culture. That is the balance process. You do not have to be Abigail Adams, or Martha Washington, or Mary Lee or anyone else.   Rely on Jesus’s words,

‘He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,

out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But

this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those

believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was

not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:38-39).

He has been given now.  To get back in balance, look to your own heart. Refresh your memory of the Ten Commandments in both outward acts and inward attitudes. Perhaps you need to look at the Shorter Catechism or Thomas Watson’s Ten Commandments or Roy Hargrave on the web (www.graceworx.com).

Wholeheartedly turn from the sins you see there and embrace your Savior’s own righteousness, knowing His perfect obedience has made you acceptable to God. Remember the ministry of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ and to enlighten the mind–even your teen’s. Then, rely on His grace anew for this overwhelming task of sticking by a teenager as they build their own spiritual house.


True Christian balance is all about the help it gives us to really experience God shining His face upon us, giving grace and power..favor..the warmth of His presence.  No matter our cultural pressures.

It really doesn’t matter if my bows don’t turn out right.


Summer Reading June 2, 2008

Filed under: Church History — womenembracingfaith @ 5:46 pm
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Myanmar has been in the news a lot lately. Democracy, ethnic minority rights, and Christian practice has been repressed by the military controlled government. Christians face restrictions on witnessing, job opportunities, and literature distribution. It is hard for them to bring in literature from out of the country.

America’s first foreign missionary couple went to this area (then called Burma) in 1813. Ann Judson kept a journal which was published shortly after her death at thirty-seven in 1826. Her journal influenced an entire generation of Protestant women in America. It gives us an intimate glimpse into her spiritual experiences during great trials and suffering. Using an 1830 copy of the journal, Sharon James has written a biography which shows that what Ann experienced in her relationship with God was always based on scripture and was like those experiences recorded by other Christians during times of revival. My Heart in His Hands reminds us that God never changes–our hearts are also in His hands.  Your own felt experiences might be stimulated by this example of what revival feels like as well as to see Ann’s endurance through much hardship.  Ann’s husband stayed in Burma and carefully translated the Bible into Burmese while working to plant churches.  Order the book at http://www.cvbbs.com (Sharon James, My Heart in His Hands (Evangelical Press, 1998).