Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"Before the foundations of the earth He knew you, and it's not because He looked in some crystal ball, or down the corridors of time and saw you in the future.
The bible never speaks of a crystal ball, and it never speaks of corridors of time or God looking into a book that talks about the future... it never does. It never talks about God looking into the future.
God does not know the future because He's looked ahead and seen it... God knows the future because He's Lord over it, and directs every molecule, every fiber of being, every bit of matter towards the purpose He has ordained.
That is a God my friend.
Not a god who looks into the future and then reacts, not a god who makes choices based on choices of other men He's seen in the future.
A god who is The God and Lord and Author of the future."
Sunday, December 13, 2009
We are amazed at his attitude throughout this entire ordeal. God has truly blessed our family through Gideon.
Secondly, how about baby #6? I am 12 weeks along and things are moving right along! I listen to the baby's heartbeat daily and have my BIG ultrasound scheduled for January 29th. John and I have settled on names...which was quite a hurdle! I am feeling good...though, I'm not sleeping extremely well. I've had a cold and add back aches to that, and you have a tired mommy!
I keep myself busy running around 3+ days a week, with Gideon's therapy and my appt's. Life can get crazy.
We are staying focused this Christmas season....it is not about the busyness, it is not about buying the best gifts...it's about remembering Christ and that this tiny baby that was found in the manger so long ago, was born so that He could die for our sins and make us right before His Father.
What a great time of year it is! I pray that we find ourselves on our knees before God, in thanksgiving and repentance.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Still, my soul be still
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend
Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow
God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone
Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows
Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise As stars appear when day is dimming
Friday, November 20, 2009
The so-called 'tumor' in her neck has shrunk considerably since Tuesday! The doctors are now saying that she does NOT have cancer and that her Lymph Nodes were so enlarged due to a horrible infection.
She is on the road to recovery! She has lost at least 15 pounds in the past few weeks, and I'm sure she will be resting quite a bit, but she is doing so much better!
She will go back again in a couple of weeks...but for now, she is at home and doing better than she has in awhile.
Throughout this trial, God has remained faithful. He could have chosen to give us completely different results, yet, God would still be just as great! We are overwhelmed by His grace....God is to be GLORIFIED in ALL THINGS!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
She is nine years old and is a sweet, sweet girl.
Her parents, Jim and Cindy, watched our children for us while we were in Memphis receiving treatment for Gideon.
Please pray for them. Pray that Katie is comforted by THE GREAT COMFORTER! That Jim and Cindy know how to best care for her...and that trust God all the more.
There are so many suffering....and my heart aches for each one. Pray for our family, that we know the best way to minister and care for those around us.
God will be glorified in this situation....He is the same today as he was yesterday and the day before! He is faithful....and his mercies are new every morning.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We decided to take two days to drive home, and we arrived yesterday!
It was so great to see my other children. Two weeks seemed like way too long for a mommy to be away from her little ones!
We are slowly settling in and await a surprise visit from Gramma and Grampa from Maine! Gideon has kept the secret and when John gets home with the other boys, they will be in for quite a shock!
God has blessed us so greatly, I am often overwhelmed to tears.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sexual Detox I: Pornifying the Marriage Bed
Sexual Detox II: Breaking Free
Sexual Detox III: A Theology of Sex
Sexual Detox IV: Detoxification
Sexual Detox V: Freedom
I was also pleased to see that Aileen, Tim's wife, wrote a 3 part series to women about sex and the false messages associated with it.
False Messages I: What He Really Wants
False Messages II: The Heart of Rejection
False Messages III: Desiring Him
Gideon is much more steady, though he is unable to sit or stand on his own yet. His coordination is getting better, though he is still a bit shaky. His walking is improving, though he can't walk by himself.
He did great yesterday in physical therapy, and is surprising us at each chance he gets!
We are so proud of him. He wants to go home and get better so badly, that he puts forth huge amounts of effort.
His days are brightened by video calls with Gramma and Grampa in Maine.
We are seeing our Gideon peak through more and more, and I have the feeling, once we get home, we are going to have to hold him back from activity for his own safety...and he's going to want to just go go go!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Gideon is making improvements. It's just very slow. He is moving his head around more, speaking a little bit more, and we saw him smile and heard him giggle for the first time since before his surgery.
We continue to see small glimpses of the boy we know. We rejoice over the little things that he is able to do...things that he couldn't do yesterday.
Our God is so very good to us. He has prepared us for such a time as this...and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Here is a video of Gideon's favorite song:
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I am starting to see small glimpses of my boy...and it's so hard to be patient. My greatest fear has been that I will never get back the same boy that went into surgery. But my fear is short lived as I remember the promises in Scripture...and that my God is fully in control of this situation.
I'm not going to put any expectations on my boy. He will come back to me as he is able. He's been through a tramatic experience and healing won't come overnight.
So I sit next to his bed, holding his hand, singing to him...watching him through tears and prayers.
Praise Him all creatures, here below
Praise Him above the heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Friday, November 6, 2009
I spent several minutes singing hymns and praying with my boy. Oh, how I love being used by God to comfort my little boy.
I sang and we prayed together. He closed his eyes so tight when it was time to pray and held my hand as we spoke to our heavenly Father.
He spoke his first words since this morning...which filled me with joy to hear his voice, yet saddened me when he told me "I want to go home."
And we will go home soon, my sweet boy. But always remember....this is not our real home. This home is but a temporary dwelling.
One day, we will meet our Father in Heaven, where we will live forever and ever...
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=2931091755465679030
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
"I shall never be moved."
By your favor, O LORD,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
"What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
O LORD, be my helper!"
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Dr Boop visited us in our room at about 12:45ish and said that they were able to get all of the tumor removed. There was no excess bleeding and there was no need for blood transfusions. He said that he couldn't have asked for a better surgery.
We've been by his bedside for a few hours now. He looks so helpless on the bed...but is recovering well. He is following commands to squeeze hands and moving his legs and feet. He is responsive to his name and to questions and tries to talk, but his throat is probably a little sore.
He was given a shot of morphine around 2ish or so, since he was getting a little agitated due to pain. I'm sure that's not helping with his attentiveness.
His eyes are a little uncoordinated. We spoke to one of the assisting surgeons and he said it was most probably due to a little swelling in his brain from where they removed the tumor. He said that during the surgery, Dr Boop was very careful not to damage anything, and he would be surprised if it were anything but swelling. There are obviously no guarantees, so prayers for the swelling to go down in the next couple of days is appreciated.
He has a slight fever that peaked at 103.3 and they gave him Tylenol and Motrin, and are now administering ice packs to lower his temp....which is working. They were able to give him the Motrin through his mouth and it's a great sign that he can swallow and has no problems with that. Nurse Corrie said that it was very normal for this to happen after surgery, and they would be more concerned for a high temp a few days from now.
Gideon squeezes my hand when I ask him to. He opens his eyes when I call his name. He should be much more awake in the next day or two...I can't wait to really hold my Giddy again.
In the morning, he'll be going in for an MRI and then hopefully, he'll be back in our room.
Continue praying for his healing and recovery.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Doctor Boop said that the surgery will last anywhere from 5-8 hours. Gideon will be moved to ICU and will remain there for about a day. Once he is awake and recovering, he will be brought back to his room.
If he does really well, and is able to walk and move around, we may be released within the week. If he needs more physical therapy, we might be here up to 3 weeks.
God is good, and we take great comfort in His word...that He knows the outcome of the surgery and Gideon's recovery. Pray for us.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Here they are from the past couple of days:
EVENING- Gideon diagnosed with a brain tumor at Johnson City Medical Center; transferred to Knoxville Children's Hospital
MORNING- Consultation with a pediatric neurosurgeon at Knox. Children's hospital. Doctor gives the following speculative diagnosis after a close review of Gideon's CT scan: things look very optimistic. The tumor, while large, appears to be benign and treatable. It located in the cerebellum, on the left side, and is approximately the size of an orange. The doctor anticipates that removal of most or all of the tumor with little complication is probable. Also, it is thought that post-surgical recovery should be minimal.
MIDDAY - Transfer to St. Jude's Hospital is imminent, not due to complications but instead due to both ensure the best possible care for Gideon and also due to the nature of the condition.
Gideon was pretty upset at the thought of moving to another hospital (and not going home), but was cheered up by a visit from the UT Track Team!!
MORNING - Gideon was released from Knoxville's Children's Hospital to be transferred to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN, which is the partner children's hospital to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. After a meeting with the residing pediatric neurosurgeon at Knoxville, Gideon was medically released to ride in the car with his parents rather than by himself in an ambulance.
AFTERNOON - After a successful and comfortable car ride, Gideon and his family arrived at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis at approximately 4:30pm [central time]. Check-in went smoothly and Gideon was placed in his new room within 30 minutes of his arrival. Gideon seems very happy with the nursing and medical staff at Le Bonheur, who are very proactive about his needs and have made him feel extremely comfortable and at ease.
An MRI has been scheduled for tomorrow morning (Nov. 4), and surgery is expected to take place on Friday (Nov. 6).
EVENING - The nursing team attempted to give Gideon an IV. The first attempt was unsuccessful, so a second one was made. It appears, at this point, that the second attempt has been successful. A specialist will be stopping in shortly to evaluate the current IV (that was left in) to make sure that it was successful.
We spoke to Dr Boop and heard similar things to what Dr Harris told us back in Knoxville. Dr Boop is optimistic, yet kept us grounded in possible complications that can arise. This was hard to hear. It was also hard to see the pictures of the MRI.
Please pray as we get help figuring out how to tell Gideon and his brothers about what is about to happen Friday morning.
We are leaning on God so incredibly much right now. Please continue to pray for us.
Things look cautiously optimistic, but they won't know it all until they see the results of the MRI (that he is getting even as I type this), and examine the tumor upon removal.
We have created a Facebook group to keep everyone up to date on what is happening. As much as I would love to be able to keep up my blog, a carepage, facebook, and whatever else...I am just so mentally exhausted, it just isn't possible.
Gideon Jordan - Prayer Needs and Updates
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I couldn't just wait until Monday to go to the Doctor's. God just really laid a huge burden on my heart of concern for my boy. John spoke to a friend who said we should get him seen.
After the CAT scan, they found a tumor on his brain.
Within an hour or so, I was riding in an ambulance 2 hours west of Johnson City, to the Children's Hospital in Knoxville.
We await hearing from the Dr, and he will be getting an MRI this morning.
Please pray. Pray that the other children do well without John or I there right now. Pray for the Doctors that are taking care of my Gideon. Pray for healing. Pray for comfort. Pray that God looks great to everyone we are in contact with. Pray for the baby that I carry....though barely 6 weeks along...in this time of emotion and stress. Pray that whatever the outcome is....that God is glorified in this.
It reminds me of a blog I read last year when a family was going through hard times. God is the same. He was the same last week, before we knew anything was wrong. He was the same last night when we brought him to the hospital. And He is the same today.
Great is Thy Faithfulness....
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Nolan asked me if we could get some pecan wheels. I said sure....then I added...each one of you can pick out whichever box of treats you would like.
Joy was very present on each of my boys faces as they tried to decide which treat to choose. The possibilities are endless. Do I choose swiss cake rolls or Honey Buns? Oatmeal cookies or Fudge Cakes? Confetti Brownies or Boston Creme Cakes?
The pecan wheels ended up staying on the shelf. Nolan chose Fancy Cakes. Gideon ended up with Boston Creme Cakes. Haddon came home with mini chocolate covered donuts. At first, Jamison was excited over the Swiss Cake Rolls, but once he saw the Twinkies....he was so over the Swiss Cake Rolls.
I told the kids they would be able to have one of their treats if they ate all of their lunch.
We had our typical picnic lunch on the floor. You wouldn't believe how easy the clean up is when your children eat on a blanket on the floor! It's one less meal I don't have to sweep up after...I highly recommend you try it!
Anyway....the food was eaten lightning fast and the boxes were brought out for all to enjoy.
You would think that you would want the treat that you picked out. I found that to not be the case.
Yes, Gideon chose his Boston Creme Cakes. Yes, Haddon chose his donuts. Yes, Jamison chose his Twinkies. But Nolan wanted a Twinkie.....or a Tinker...is it a Tinkie? (For the life of him, he could not get a grip on the word Twinkie!)
Jamison had been very excited to get his Twinkie...until he saw Haddon and his mini fudge covered donuts.
The Twinkie was not good enough anymore. He proceeded to shove the entire Twinkie in his mouth while pointing to the donuts. He wanted donuts so badly.
Little did he know that he was not going to get a donut.
Jamison had a mouth full of Twinkie, yet that wasn't good enough. He wasn't enjoying what he had and wanted what he couldn't have. When I told him no, he cried and got upset....even while his mouth remained full of something that he should be savoring.
I saw myself in him.
How often are we like that?
God has so richly blessed us with such wonderful things. We have a house over our heads, food in our bellies, clothes to wear....and even more importantly, we have had our greatest need met through Christ's bloodshed on the cross.
But instead of being content in what we have, we stand at the foot of God, crying and whimpering with a mouth filled with blessing....and want more of something that we don't even need.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
If you have an unmarried daughter, you won’t want to miss the next show. Dr. Voddie Baucham joins us to talk about “What He Must Be...If he’s going to marry my daughter.” It’s encouragement for fathers to become involved in your daughter’s life, and some help and hope for the next generation.
I am so thankful for John Piper and Desiring God Ministries.
Justin Taylor said it best:
I thank God that he has kept John Piper faithful, and I pray that he would continue to do so until Christ returns or Christ calls him home.
Thank you, Lord, for the decisive calling you did in his heart, 30 years ago this evening.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
9. Creativity Movement
8. Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
7. Nation of Yahweh
6. Church of All Worlds
5. Universe People
4. Church of the SubGenius
3. Prince Philip Movement
2. The Church of Euthanasia
These are absurd and very weird. To read more about what they are, check it out here.
Why are they laughing and why would this ever be considered funny?
Here is what Desiring God has said about it:
Click here and listen to the first five minutes of a talk John Piper
gave at an American Counselor’s Conference last month. John Piper opens by
publicly confessing sins and failures that he has wrestled with over the years
and the only response that he receives from the audience is continued laughter.
How odd. Perhaps this is only another example of the spiritual state of
Christianity in America…
But really, is it any wonder that this happened in this very venue? When I looked to see who the other speakers were, it is easy to see how the seriousness of John Piper could easily be lost in the unBiblical integration of Scripture within the confines of so-called 'christian pop psychology'.
I was angered when I heard this and was appalled that those who consider themselves 'christian' would be so flippant and light-hearted about repentence and sin. This shows me a small glimpse into the state of those who integrate psychology and the Bible....and makes me wonder how 'christian' any of it really is.
THIS ARTICLE will also give you a heavy dose of the screwy teachings of Rob Bell.
Here are some quotes from Bell:
"The Bible is a collection of stories that teach us about what it looks like when God is at work through actual people. The Bible has the authority it does only because it contains stories about people interacting with the God who has all authority"-Velvet Elvis, p.65
"...it wasn't until the 300s that what we know as the sixty-six books of the Bible were actually agreed upon as the ‘Bible'. This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that "Scripture alone" is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. So when I affirm the Bible as God's word, in the same breath I have to affirm that when those people voted, God was somehow present, guiding them to do what they did. When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true. In affirming the Bible as inspired, I also have to affirm the Spirit who I believe was inspiring those people to choose those books."-Velvet Elvis, p.68
[The Bible is a] “human product...rather than the product of divine fiat"
- Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today
On heaven and hell:
"When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter--they are all hell on earth. Jesus' desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What's disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about Hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth." - Velvet Elvis, p.148
"Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust. Ours or God's."- Velvet Elvis, p.146
On the Fall:
"I can't find one place in the teachings of Jesus, or the Bible for that matter, where we are to identify ourselves first and foremost as sinners. Now this doesn't mean we don't sin; that's obvious. In the book of James it's written like this: 'We all stumble in many ways.' Once again, the greatest truth of the story of Adam and Eve isn't that it happened, but that it happens." - Velvet Elvis, p. 139
On "Ultimate Reality":
"I don't follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, 'No one comes to the Father except through me', he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God." - Velvet Elvis p. 83
On the Nature of the Atonement:
“So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making."- Velvet Elvis p. 146
On the Virgin Birth:
"What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?But what if, as you study the origin of the word “virgin” you discover that the word “virgin” in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word “virgin” could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being “born of a virgin” also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?"-Velvet Elvis, p. 26
“Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; he is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself. Peter loses faith that he can do what his rabbi is doing. If the rabbi calls you to be his disciple, then he believes that you can actually be like him. As we read the stories of Jesus’ life with his talmidim, his disciples, what do we find frustrates him to no end? When his disciples lose faith in themselves..... Notice how many places in the accounts of Jesus’ life he gets frustrated with his disciples. Because they are incapable? No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short it provokes him to no end. It isn’t their failure that’s the problem, it’s their greatness. They don’t realize what they are capable of....God has an amazingly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I’m learning is that Jesus believes in me....God has faith in me.”-Velvet Elvis, pp. 133-134
For further reading on Rob Bell and his unbiblical positions CLICK HERE…
Friday, September 18, 2009
Should it? Yes.
Why do I let the laundry, sometimes, pile up? Why do I dread doing the dishes? Why do I look at the table after the kids have eaten with such disdain? Why isn't my bed made each and every day?
The list could go on and on. The answer I come up with is that I am so full of selfishness, that I am not reflecting Christ's joy in my daily tasks. I should instead welcome each and every task as an opportunity to minister to my husband and my family...and this can never be done to perfection...so be careful not to let your house and its cleanliness become an idol.
I am always sure to stay on top of the many things that need to be done around the house. But has my attitude been where it should be?
I may not be angry or impatient when I do a given task. But, is my heart really glorifying God in all that I do? Is it my goal to get things done as fast as they can, when I clean, clean, bake, change a diaper, etc...and because I am so rushed to get things done, am I taking the opportunity to be happy and joyful in each and every chore?
The role of wife and mother is one of long hours and list upon list of things yet to be done. It is tiring to keep a house fit for company....to keep children clean and fed, to keep things tidy and to have meals planned out for dinner.
As a mother of five, I find myself to so task oriented and trying to do things as fast as I can (because there is so much that is to be done!)...I forget what my goal is. To glorify God in ALL things...whether I am eating or drinking, or whatever I am doing! (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Let this passage teach us that we must not let any opportunity pass by without using it as a way to show God to our children and our families.
It's not about cooking for the sake of cooking...or cleaning for the sake of cleanliness....It's about JOY.
As you set out each morning to begin your daily routine...pray that the Holy Spirit helps you keep yourself in check. That your role as wife and mother not overwhelm you to the point of sinfulness.
It's not about us, and it's ALL about HIM! Let our lives reflect that in all that we do.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
You can find her here at http://Photography Honestly and also at her http://blog!
Here are a few of the shots of the kids that she recently posted on her blog:
I can't wait to see more!!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Given this biblical theology of sex and marriage [presented in Sex and the Supremacy of Christ], what does a healthy, biblical dating or courting relationship look like in practice?
The attempt to answer that question has brought about a literary flood over the last several years, with different works bearing different levels of usefulness. A few examples include Boundaries in Dating; Boy Meets Girl; I Kissed Dating Goodbye; I Hugged Dating Hello; I Gave Dating a Chance; Her Hand in Marriage; The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right; and Wandering Toward the Altar.
These columns can be divided into two groups. One group generally supports the method of "dating" and attempts to instruct readers to date in a "Christian" way. The other group rejects the current dating method altogether as biblically flawed. It advocates an alternative system, which most describe as "courtship." In my reading, the book on this topic that seems the most sound theologically and practically is called Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris (he is also the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye).
What is the difference between courtship and dating, and is one more biblical than the other? I will provide a working definition of each, describe how the two methods are broadly different, and then recommend why one method is fundamentally more biblical than the other.
Defining Courtship and Dating
Let's begin by defining courtship. Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman's father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate. Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal.
What then is dating? Dating, a more modern approach, begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more- than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Dating may or may not have marriage as its goal.
The Differences Between Courtship and Dating
What are the differences in these two systems? For our purposes, there are three broad differences between what has been called biblical courtship and modern dating.
1. The Difference in Motive
The first difference lies with the man's motive in pursuing the relationship. Biblical courtship has one motive — to find a spouse. A man will court a particular woman because he believes it is possible that he could marry her, and the courtship is the process of discerning whether that belief is correct. To the extent that the Bible addresses premarital relationships at all, it uses the language of men marrying and women being given in marriage (see Matt. 24:38; Luke 20:34-35).
Numbers 30:3-16 talks about a transfer of authority from the father to the husband when a woman leaves her father's house and is united to her husband. The Song of Solomon showcases the meeting, courtship, and marriage of a couple — always with marriage in view. I am not advocating arranged marriages; rather, I am pointing toward the biblical purpose for why young men and women associate with one another. These passages do not argue that marriage should be the direct goal of such relationships so much as they assume it.
Modern dating, on the other hand, need not have marriage as a goal at all. Dating can be recreational. Not only is "dating for fun" acceptable, it is assumed that "practice" and learning by "trial and error" are necessary, even advisable, before finding the person that is just right for you. The fact that individuals will be emotionally and probably physically intimate with many people before settling down with the "right person" is just part of the deal. Yet where is the biblical support for such an approach to marriage? There is none. How many examples of "recreational dating" do we see among God's people in the Bible? Zero. The category of premarital intimacy does not exist, other than in the context of grievous sexual sin.
The motive for dating or courting is marriage. The practical advice I give the singles at our church is, if you cannot happily see yourself as a married man (or woman) in less than one year, then you are not ready to date.
2. The Difference in Mind-set
The second major difference between biblical courtship and modern dating is the mind-set couples have when interacting with one another. What do I mean by that? Modern dating is essentially a selfish endeavor. I do not mean maliciously selfish, as in "I'm going to try to hurt you for my benefit." I mean an oblivious self-centeredness that treats the whole process as ultimately about me. After all, what is the main question everyone asks about dating, falling in love, and getting married? "How do I know if I've found the one?" What is the unspoken ending to that question? "For me." Will this person make me happy? Will this relationship meet my needs? How does she look? What is the chemistry like? Have I done as well as I can do?
I cannot tell you how many men I have counseled who are terrified to commit, worrying that as soon as they do, "something better will come walking around the corner."
Selfishness is not what drives a biblical marriage, and therefore should not be what drives a biblical courtship. Biblical courtship recognizes the general call to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3, NIV). It also recognizes the specific call that Ephesians 5:25 gives men in marriage, where our main role is sacrificial service. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, giving himself up for her. That means loving sacrificially every day. Biblical courtship means that a man does not look for a laundry list of characteristics that comprise his fantasy woman so that his every desire can be fulfilled, but he looks for a godly woman as Scripture defines her — a woman he can love and, yes, be attracted to, but a woman whom he can serve and love as a godly husband.
In other words, modern dating asks, "How can I find the one for me?" while biblical courtship asks, "How can I be the one for her?"
3. The Difference in Methods
Third, and most practically, modern dating and biblical courtship are different in their methods. And this is where the rubber really meets the road. In modern dating, intimacy precedes commitment. In biblical courtship, commitment precedes intimacy.
According to the current school of thought, the best way to figure out whether you want to marry a particular person is to act as if you are married and see if you like it. Spend large amounts of time alone together. Become each other's primary emotional confidantes. Share your deepest secrets and desires. Get to know that person better than anyone else in your life. Grow your physical intimacy and intensity on the same track as your emotional intimacy. What you do and say together is private and is no one else's business, and since the relationship is private, you need not submit to anyone else's authority or be accountable. And if this pseudo-marriage works for both of you, then get married. But if one or both of you do not like how it is going, go ahead and break up even if it means going through something like an emotional and probably physical divorce.
Such is the process of finding "the one," and this can happen with several different people before one finally marries. In the self-centered world of secular dating, we want as much information as possible to ensure that the right decision is being made. And if we can enjoy a little physical or emotional comfort along the way, great.
Clearly, this is not the biblical picture. The process just described is hurtful to the woman that the man purports to care about, not to mention to himself. And it clearly violates the command of 1 Thessalonians 4:6 not to wrong or defraud our sisters in Christ by implying a marriage-level commitment where one does not exist. It will have a damaging effect on the man's marriage and hers, whether they marry each other or not.
In Biblical relationship, commitment precedes intimacy. Within this model, the man should follow the admonition in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 to treat all young women to whom he is not married as sisters, with absolute purity. The man should show leadership and willingness to bear the risk of rejection by defining the nature and the pace of the relationship. He should do this before spending significant time alone with her in order to avoid hurting or confusing her.
He should also seek to ensure that a significant amount of time is spent with other couples or friends rather than alone. The topics, manner, and frequency of conversations should be characterized by the desire to become acquainted with each other more deeply, but not in a way that defrauds each other. There should be no physical intimacy outside the context of marriage, and the couple should seek accountability for the spiritual health and progress of the relationship, as well as for their physical and emotional intimacy.
Within this model, both parties should seek to find out, before God, whether they should be married, and whether they can service and honor God better together than apart. The man should take care not to treat any woman like his wife who is not his wife. Of course he must get to know his courting partner well enough to make a decision on marriage. However, prior to the decision to marry, he should always engage with her emotionally in a way he would be happy for other men to engage with her.
In all these ways, a biblical relationship looks different from a worldly relationship. If this is done well, Christian women will be honored, even as they are pursued. Christian wives will be honored. And God will be glorified.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there. Say "Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup" (NIV Psalm 16:5). Shall we not gladly say "I'll take it, Lord! YES! I'll trust you for everything. Bless the Lord, O my soul!" ~ Elisabeth Elliot, Newsletter Jan-Feb 1994
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
For most Americans, the moral status of the human embryo is a question that seems quite remote. Even as hundreds of thousands of "excess" human embryos are now stored in American fertility clinics and laboratories, to most Americans these frozen embryos are out of sight and out of mind. Thus, one of the most important moral challenges of our day remains largely off the screen of our national discourse. The issue cannot remain out of sight or out of mind for long.
to read more...
Thursday, August 27, 2009
On August 13, McLaren announced on his blog that he would be observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This is not a joke. He writes,
“Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting for spiritual renewal and purification. It commemorates the month during which Muslims believe Mohammed received the Quran through divine revelation, and it calls Muslims to self-control, sacrificial generosity and solidarity with the poor, diligent reading of the Quran, and intensified prayer.
“This year, I, along with a few Christian friends (and perhaps others currently unknown to us will want to join in) will be joining Muslim friends in the fast which begins August 21. We are not doing so in order to become Muslims: we are deeply committed Christians. But as Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them. Just as Jesus, a devout Jew, overcame religious prejudice and learned from a Syrophonecian woman and was inspired by her faith two thousand years ago (Matthew 15:21 ff, Mark 7:24 ff), we seek to learn from our Muslim sisters and brothers today.”
This explanation is so filled with dangerous and damning error, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For starters, one cannot observe Ramadan as a “deeply committed” Christian. Fasting in the Christian tradition is irreducibly Christocentric. It involves praying to the Father of Christ (Mt 6:18) and longing for the return of Christ (Mt 9:15). The meaning and aim of the Muslim fast has nothing to do with Jesus. How can one observe Ramadan in any meaningful sense and do a Christian fast? The answer is that you can’t. If you try, you will end up distorting the Christian fast with syncretistic gobbledy-goop that is no longer recognizably Christian.
I would warn that McLaren is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but he has dropped the ruse.
HT: Denny Burk
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves(C) the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,
"Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him."
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Care for his children's souls was his preeminent concern. In morning devotions he quizzed them on Scripture with questions appropriate to their ages. On Saturday evenings, the beginning of the Sabbath, he taught them the Westminster Shorter Catechism, making sure they understood as well as memorized the answers.
Edwards also believed in not holding back the terrors of hell from his children. 'As innocent as children seem to us,' he wrote, 'if they are out of Christ, they are not so in God's sight, but are young vipers....' At the judgment day unregenerate children would hardly thank their parents for sentimental tenderness that protected them from knowing the true dangers of their estate. Always looking for opportunities to awaken the young to their condition, he had taken the children to view the remains of the Lyman house fire that claimed two girls' lives.
By far the greater burden of childrearing fell to Sarah....On one occasion, when she was out of town in 1748, Jonathan was soon near his wits' end. Children of almost every age needed to be cared for. 'We have been without you,' Jonathan lamented in a letter, 'almost as long as we know how to be!'
Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden, pp. 321-323
John Calvin Mask
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
When I found out that I was going to have a daughter, words could not contain my excitement! I never imagined that any ultrasound tech would ever say to me "It's a girl!"
My impatience to have you only got worse as your due date approached. I wondered if I would ever get to meet you.
When you decided to be 10 days late, I figured something needed to be done...so we forced you out. The eviction date was settled to be August 18th. Once things started, it didn't take much convincing to get you out!
From the moment I saw you, I was in love. There is nothing quite like that moment when the pain is over and there is a new life placed upon your chest.
A girl....I had a girl.
Your brothers were doting on you the very moment they met you. My heart was overflowing with the blessings that God chose to give me.
I love watching you grow and do new things. I love how your face lights up and you begin clapping and nodding, the moment you see me. I love how you follow me around the house and never let me forget that you are closeby. I love how you erupt in laughter when your brothers love on you and kiss you up.
You have started saying please when you want something. You say yes to me when I ask you a question. You cruise around the house, wanting to be like your big brothers.
Your hair curls around your ears in the most adorable way. You get so excited sometimes that your whole body shakes. You raise your arms to me in complete trust when you need something. Oh girlie, may your hugs and kisses never end.
I love you more than I can possible express. You are my little Paysie-girl. The daughter that I pray grows up in faith and Godliness. I promise to raise you up to be the woman that God has called you to be....and I guarantee that I will fail miserably. Just know that the Holy Spirit will lead you...and when mommy fails, God will never fail.
Remember that you are loved and prayed for daily.
The day you were born....
Coming home from the hospital...
2 weeks old....
At your birthday party....
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It is hard to imagine that six years have gone by since I cradled you in my arms for the first time. You came so quickly and surprised us!
We had company over that night. My due date was 3 days earlier, and so far, there was no sign that you might make an appearance! You sure fooled us!
We went to bed around 11pm, and as I laid there, I began to feel the tightness of contractions begin. I got up, being sure not to disturb daddy, and went into the living room to see if labor was starting.
I watched a little tv and went onto the computer, where I timed my contractions. By midnight, they were every 6-9 minutes apart, but weren't too painful yet.
At 12:30am, I decided to wake up daddy and tell him what was going on. He was very excited!! He took a shower and got ready to possibly head to the hospital.
By 1:30, daddy thought he should call our friend Megan to have her head on over to our house. I wasn't even sure this was really 'it', but let him call her anyway. I remember taking a shower, still not sure if this was really labor!
Megan arrived around 1:45am, and we sat on the couch, talking, waiting for the contractions to pick up. We figured that because Nolan's birth took 22 hours, that it would take at least 10 hours until you were born. We were wrong, very wrong!
It was 2:30am, when I stood up and walked over to daddy...and things started to get much more painful. It was as though you got into just the right position and let my body know it! Megan began to get worried when she noticed that it was 3 minutes inbetween contractions. We headed for the door!
We only lived 10 minutes from the hospital, but in mid-August, it was HOT! I made daddy turn off the air conditioning because it was bothering me as I continued having contractions.
We arrived at the hospital at 3am. I was still able to walk, and turned down the wheelchair that was to bring me to my room. But, once the receptionist at the hospital saw me have a contraction, she made sure I was wheeled to Labor and Delivery.
As I was wheeled in, daddy stayed back at reception, since they were having problems with their printer. We thought we would have hours until you arrived, so we weren't worried at all.
The nurses checked to see how far dilated I was at 3:10, and I was at 5cm. I was excited about that, because it seemed to take me forever to get to this point with Nolan. John stuck his head in the room to see how I was, I told him I was at 5cm, and was ready for an epidural. That was an epidural I would never get the chance to have!
By 3:15, the contractions picked up, and they were one on top of the other. John finally arrived back in the room after moving our van, and just stood back, not sure what he was supposed to be doing!
At 3:30, I started to feel nauseaus and told the nurses that I needed to push. They looked skeptical, but checked me anyway....I was dilated to 10cm!!! Needless to say, the doctor wasn't there yet.
I remember the nurses telling me not to push, and pretend to blow a feather. Yeah, right. My body was taking over and was literally pushing you out by itself! The nurses had to keep lowering the heart monitor on you since you kept going lower and lower...it was beyond my control!!
The Doctor showed up at 3:45am, and was told what was going on....he suited up and told me to push!
The nurses had to break my water as you were crowning! I think you could have been born in the bag of water, had they let you.
After one push, I was told to stop and breath as they eased you out. There were no complications and no stitches were needed. I felt great the moment you were born, and had a shower soon after.
You were born at 3:53am.....less than an hour after we arrived at the hospital!
They swaddled you up, and you were laid on my chest. I hadn't even had a chance to put on a hospital gown! You began nursing like a champ and were one of the most beautiful boys (apart from your brothers!) that I had ever seen.
Daddy called up Megan to tell her you were here...and she thought it was a dream because you arrived so fast.
I remember when daddy left the hospital around 6:30am, to get home in time to see Nolan waking up. It was just me and you...all was quiet and calm. I loved on you and held you and was so grateful that God chose me to be your mother.
Gideon David...August 13, 2003...7 pounds 6 ounces...19 inches long
My dear boy, you have grown so much since you turned 5. You are a first grader now! You are able to read a bit and follow along in your hymnal. It has warmed my heart and brought much glory to God, as you have grown in your love for the Gospel.
It wasn't that long ago, that you told me "Mommy, I remember when I didn't love God. But now I do...but I can remember when I didn't." Oh, it brings me so much joy to see your joy that only God can give!! I pray that you continue in your thirst for knowledge of our great God. Though suffering is inevitable, I know you will persevere and become a great man of God.
I love you so much!
The first time I held you...this was right after you were born:
The first week that you were home from the hospital:
You with big brother, Nolan:
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
You see, does this young man pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace and does he do it? If he says yes, then ask yourself with those that call upon the name of the Lord from a pure heart, look at his friends. Look at his friends! Do his friends call upon the name of the Lord with a pure heart? Then, if they do not then know this, there is something wrong with the boy. Birds of a feather flock together. Don't be fooled by romanticism and the deception of this age. Do not be fooled. And don't think sir, that you've done your responsibility just because when the boy pulls up in the parking lot of your house and you're cleaning your gun. Big deal, you've failed at everything else, but you know how to clean a gun. The gun won't scare him. Not at all. Your job is not to scare the suitor, it's to train your children, so that the only suitor they will accept are Godly ones."
--Paul Washer (from his sermon Biblical Manhood pt1)
I am a mother of eight, but it’s not because I am Super Mom. It’s not because I was born with some rare gift that makes me capable of mothering a large family. It’s because this family God has seen fit to give me has shaped and changed me into the person I am today. It’s because God sends challenges and then follows up those challenges with the graces you need to get through them. Always.
I can live this imperfect life with eight imperfect children, not because I am awesome, but because God is.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
On Saturday, I put Paysie down for a nap. Jamison was in the high chair with a snack.
One by one, I had Nolan, Gideon and Haddon, each sneak down the stairs to put their shoes on, and then proceed to get in the van.
Why did we sneak? (you might ask!)
Well, if we had announced we were going, it would have created some weeping and gnashing of poor little Jamison's teeth, since he was NOT going with us!
We proceeded to head out to enjoy a tax-free shopping trip for some back to (home)school items, as well as the dreaded toilet paper purchase.
After all of this, I still haven't told you why it's been so long since I've bought toilet paper....well, my husband used to be able to buy it by the case from his employer. But then he was let-go (or should I say fired...something that I will not go into, but believe me when I say to you that it was all on the up and up and was not his fault!)
The last time I looked into our pantry closet...we were down to 2 rolls. That was last week, so I was pretty confident that we were closing in on having to start using paper towels...that is, if I didn't purchase more!
After a few stores, we get to Sam's Club. At first I wandered around lost, since I have no idea where the tp is. Not only is it because they changed the layout of the store around, but also because I have never needed to know where it is!
I finally find it. I tried calling John to see if it was a good price. I don't know what the going rate of tp is nowadays...what, with inflation and all. But, I couldn't get ahold of him, so I picked the cheapest and hoped that it was a good decision. I don't know about you, but I really don't need to have fluffy pillow top tp...it's not like I'm going to be sleeping on it!
I lug the tp into the cart.
Nolan looks at it and asks me what bath tissue is. I told him it is just another name for tp.
He got a sly look on his face...and replied, "I know what bath tissue is. Let's say you are in the bath tub and then you sneeze. You might say...oh, I need some bath tissue!"
We were all laughing at that one.
I said, "Nolan, you always make me laugh. I am so happy that you are my boy."
To which he said, "Yeah, and I'm so happy that you are my woman."
All in all, it was an enjoyable trip with my boys, even if I had to buy tp.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
If you homeschool and you have children in grades K-6, you can sign them up for the Pizza Hut Book-It program for free and your children can earn a free personal pan pizza every month they reach their reading goals. I fondly remember doing the Book-It program in grade school and now I'm excited to get to do it with my daughter who is in Kindergarten!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Go here...anything $10 or under...and it's yours! FREE!
I end up having to pay .08 cents...that I can pay at my door when it's delivered on Thursday!
GO NOW and SIGN UP!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Measures 66 3/4" x 90". This happy-scrappy (our official title for the
pattern we invented!) was made with new fabrics and freshly laundered when we
brought it home from our quilting lady. The fabrics featured in the
giveaway quilt are from ModGirls, Bellbottom, Basics, Flower Power, Dance With Me, and Pretty Please!
Be sure to head over and sign up!
EDITED TO ADD: You must head over to Marie Madeline Studio to enter the giveaway!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This week, Christians around the world will commemorate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It was at a Maundy Thursday service at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, in 1984, that a four-foot bronze statue of Jesus on the cross was unveiled. But to the shock of the congregation, the image of Christ on the cross was, in fact, an image of Christa. It portrayed Christ as a woman, complete with undraped breasts and rounded hips.
Betty Friedan, the main force behind modern day feminism, predicted that the question of the eighties would be: "Is God HE?" The Christa sculpture was the liberal church's response to the question. And although Evangelical Christians have been much slower to consider female gendered God imagery, the recent phenomenon of the multi-million best-seller, "The Shack," indicates that Evangelicals, too, are succumbing to the feminist pressure to image God in feminine ways. It's a scenario that I predicted almost 25 years ago.
If you haven't read it yet, and are amongst the un-Shacked evangelical minority, here's the story in a nutshell. Mack's youngest daughter Missy is kidnapped and murdered in a remote mountain shack by a serial slime, called the Ladybug Killer. Mack goes through a denial-grief-anger-bitterness cycle until he receives a letter in his mailbox from God who tells him to go back to the shack to confront his point of pain and suffering. When Mack gets to the shack he blacks out and awakens to find himself in a cabin complete with a manifestation of the Godhead. But this is no ordinary Godhead.
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior. --D.A. Carson
Let us learn that God does not intend there to be churches as places for people to make merry and laugh in, as if a comedy were being acted here. But there must be majesty in His Word, by which we may be moved and affected.
As Jay Adams puts it:
The futility of idol worship, as it is pictured in the Scriptures is plain. The foolishness of it is exhibited in places where the same man who carves an idol, then takes the wood left over and burns it in order to warm himself (Isaiah 44:15). Then, having finished his work, he bows down to it, as if it were a god. The “Dagon reference in the website presentation is to the Canaanite fish god that the Lord toppled in Old Testament times. It would be interesting to know something of the reason why, in His providence, God again toppled an image of this particular church in our day.