Monday, March 31, 2014

Smells Good to God

Porterhouse steaks grilling barbecue grills meatYou love the smell of a good steak?  God does too  #BreakfastChit-Chat.

No, my children haven't driven me completely crazy, although I am convinced I need my own hashtag for weird things my family talks about at meals.  At least this time it wasn't an extended conversation on why superheroes without costumes - the Hulk - are so much cooler than superheroes with costumes - Spiderman (If you dare to disagree you can take it up with the 5 year old.) It's just that sitting around with the dirty dishes still cluttering the table doing our devotionals, we were talking about things that smell good to God.  We stumbled over the idea that sparked the conversation in Philippians.

Friday, March 28, 2014

This World Is Not My Home

One of my favorite series is  Anne of Green Gables.  One of the saddest scenes in the  books is in Anne of the Island (*Spoiler Alert*).  Anne is having one last conversation with her friend Ruby Gillis, who is dying of tuberculosis.  Ruby, who has been denying the inevitability of her death all summer, finally confesses to Anne how afraid she is to die because she knows heaven will not be what she is used to.  Every time I read the book, I cry reading Anne's next thoughts:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Whatsoever Survey

Twice in the last eighteen months I've read a book that I  found phenomenal.  One of them totally changed the way I look at Jesus' last conversation with his disciples (John 12).  The other drove me to prayer as I tried to envision what revival in the Church might look like.  I won't be reviewing either of them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dirty Pigs, Puke Licking Dogs, and Falling Away

When I was a kid and somebody stopped going to church on Wednesdays, then Sunday night, then finally Sunday morning, the grown-ups said they were "falling away."  I remember wondering about it.  Was it an accident, like tripping on the sidewalk? It seemed such a long process that in my child's mind, I imagined them falling endlessly down a rabbit's hole like Alice in Wonderland.  It wasn't until I was much older that I realized that this was nothing more than a euphemism - a polite way to express an unspeakable thing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Alarm Bells in my Heart

95% of our posts here at Maidservants are over topics most Christians can agree on.  This is one of the exceptions.  We welcome all comments, whether you agree or not, but please be kind either way.

I grew up in a congregation that believed that once you were saved, you could NEVER lose that salvation, no matter what you did.  If someone who had been a "Christian" began to live a life of unrepentant sin, well that person must not have been saved in the first place.  A true Christian would not be able to ignore God so fully as to live that way for long.  Despite the arguments I had with people who tried to tell me differently, this was a very comfortable belief to have. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

No Woman is an Island

AgrihanNASANo man is an island.  That's what John Donne said in his famous poem.  Each person is so connected to the whole that the death of anyone diminishes us all.  While I might not go as far as the poet, I certainly agree that our actions have ripples far beyond what we may ever know.  Long before Donne asked for whom the bell tolls, Peter gave the early Christians a reminder about how much our lives can affect others. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


In my daughter's journaling notebook is a section where she's supposed to list all the commands she can find in a particular chapter.  This is a more revealing exercise than you might think.  For example, when's the last time you considered God's command to be sober?

Friday, March 14, 2014


How do you deal with personal Bible study?  Are you Quinn Quiet Time? Do you sit in the morning silence with an afghan, a steaming mug of tea and your well marked Bible?  Or maybe you are Sally Serious Study.  Do you sit at the kitchen table with three translations, two commentaries, your copy of Strongs, a pack of colored pencil and a notebook?  Maybe you are Five-Minute Frances. You only have five minutes in the car before you have to head in to work but you spend it reading a few verses that linger in your mind all day long.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Suffering and Submission

I don't celebrate Lent. For that matter I don't celebrate any holidays in a religious fashion. I have to admit to being more familiar with the casual giving up of chocolate (or some other small thing) than the more serious 40 days of limited fasting.  Nonetheless I find Lent fascinating. It's the only season of the year where people embrace the concept of suffering with Christ, an idea that permeates our New Testament.  Peter urges his diverse group of Asian Christians to accept their suffering not just as one aspect of an unfair world but as a way of following of Christ (1 Peter 2:21).

Friday, March 7, 2014

Jesus is a Rock

Hangershell rock
Jesus is a rock in a weary land
A weary land
A weary land
Jesus is a rock in a weary land
A shelter in the time of storm.

Jesus, you're my firm foundation
I know I can stand secure
Jesus, you're my firm foundation
I put my hope in your Holy Word
I put my hope in your Holy Word

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Re-imagining Church: A Book Review

For the last 8 years I have been a member of a house church, but it's not because of any inherent discontent with our original church family.  We didn't sit down and say to ourselves, "Hmm, we're tired of conventional in-a-building churches; let's try a living-room version instead!"  It's simply what's available where we live, so that's what we do.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pilgrims, Aliens, and Exiles

There are few ideas in the Bible that stand out to me like the call to be like Christ.  We are called to imitate him. Disciples follow their master in life and in death.  Our two God-ordained rituals both join us to Christ .  Baptism echoes Christ in every way.  Not only do we follow him in baptism, but in his death we die to sin and in his life we rise to life anew (Romans 6). In communion we take the very body and blood of our Savior as life into ourselves and our churches (John 6:52-59).  We are imitators of Christ.