Convinced

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39


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Glimpses of Grace is a Huge Dose of Gospel

Gloria Furman is a dear sister and friend in Christ whose blog and encouragement have been a constant blessing to me. I had the joy of reading Gloria’s new book Glimpses of Grace, and offering this endorsement:

Post image for It’s a Book!

We need gospel fuel to joyfully serve our families, and that’s what Glimpses of Grace provides. Many days I unload a barrage of law upon my family, when what they need from me is grace, encouragement, and reminders of God’s faithfulness. I thank the Lord for using Gloria to point me to the glorious gospel of his grace so that I might extend the same grace to my husband and children. As homemakers we can be smothered by the ordinary, blinded by the mundane, living in a fog of routine and fatigue, unable to see how to clean messy noses or break up sibling squabbles for the glory of God. In Glimpses of Grace Gloria helps to lift the fog by showing us how the gospel can change our perspective as we serve and love our families.

Tim Challies writes an excellent review that begins:

“I am sure that almost every homemaker, every mother, every woman, has experienced the disconnect between what she knows and what she feels, between knowing that her calling is good and the reality that it can be exasperating and so often feels unfulfilling. In Glimpses of Grace Gloria Furman brings the gospel to bear on a woman’s distinct calling and calls her to treasure the gospel in her home.

Read the rest of Tim’s review here.

Encourage your heart by getting the book here.


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Caring for Our Children as Humble Stewards not Anxious Owners

Boy, can I identify with this prayer!

This is re-posted from A Prayer for Parenting and Re-parenting by Grace by Pastor Scotty Smith, who blogs at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Ps. 127:1-3

Heavenly Father, it’s a peace-generating joy and a heart-liberating privilege to address you as the architect and builder of your own house—including the household of faith and our children’s place in your family.

As I look back over the years of my pragmatic parenting, I’m saddened, but I am also gladdened, for you’ve always been faithful to your covenant love, even when I was overbearing and under-believing. The move from parenting by grit to parenting by grace has been a fitful but fruitful journey. Take me deeper; take me further.

You’ve rescued me from parental “laboring in vain”—assuming a burden you never intended parents to bear. Father, only you can reveal the glory and grace of Jesus to our children. Only you can give anyone a new heart. You’ve called us to parent as an act of worship—to parent “as unto you,” not as a way of saving face, making a name for ourselves, or proving our worthiness of your love.

Oh, the arrogant pride of thinking that by my “good parenting” I can take credit for what you alone have graciously done in the lives of my children. Oh, the paralyzing unbelief of assuming that by my “bad parenting” I’ve forever limited what you will be able to accomplish in the future. Oh, the undue pressure our children must feel when we parent more out of our fear and pride than by your love and grace.

Since our children and grandchildren are your inheritance, Father, teach us—teach me, how to care for them as humble stewards, not as anxious owners. Help us to appreciate and celebrate the uniqueness of our children. Should you give them a personality and passion, gifts and callings other than what we would choose for them, give us grace to enjoy, rather than just endure who they are. More than anything else, show us how to parent and grandparent in a way that most powerfully reveals the unsearchable riches of Jesus in the gospel.

Give us quick repentances and observable kindnesses. Restore the years eaten away by the locusts of both co-dependent parenting and non-engaged parenting. Write wonderful stories of redemption and restoration. Convict us quickly and surely when we don’t relate to your covenant children “in line with the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:14 NIV). So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ powerful and faithful name.


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Christians Kindled by the Grace of God

I read this quote and was reminded of how much we need each other in the body of Christ.

“It is an observation that if kindled coals are placed apart they soon go out, but if heaped together they quicken and liven each other, and give a lasting heat. The same will hold true with Christians. If Christians kindled by the grace of God unite, they will quicken and liven each other, but if they separate and keep asunder, it is no marvel if they soon grow cool or tepid.”

–George Whitefield, in George Whitefield: Daily Readings, devotion entry dated April 21, edited by Randall J. Pederson

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)