Sunday, November 29, 2015

Praising God is Theology

What does it mean to praise God?  If you are imagining voices lifted in song, a man sitting alone with a fishing pole meditating and watching the sunrise, or a relieved parent telling everyone about their blessings when they discover their child is indeed cancer-free you are on the right track.  However this is the expression of praise not the source of it. The person who is singing God’s praises is using words that express one of the many amazing things we know about God.  The man who contemplates the sunrise praises God as one who created all and declared it good.  The parent who tells the doctors, the nurses, and everyone in the waiting room how God has blessed her praises God as the one who answers prayers and sustains his people in their darkest moments. 

Last Friday’s post was all about praise-what it does and when we do it.  Imagining ourselves in any of the above situations, it’s easy to imagine praise falling from our lips.  But as we learned last week, the people of God were prepared to praise God not just in those easy moments but in emergencies, in times of fear, and in suffering.  

How can we do that?  By being better theologiansTheology is simply the study of God, and if we are students of God’s heart and his character, then we too are theologians.  

Praising God is theology. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Praise the Lord!

I love Ladies Bible Class.  For nearly a year, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a class that encompasses women who have walked with God for many years, baby Christians and women who are seeking God.  I love the class for the fellowship, the joy of studying the Bible, and because my “students” teach me things all the time. 

For instance, recently I wanted to teach a lesson on the power of prayer.  I pulled out some of my favorite Old Testament prayers for examples.  I had them lined up: Nehemiah’s prayer when he wanted God to help gain the King’s favor to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem; Hezekiah’s prayer when he spread that blasphemous letter from Assyria in front of God and insisted that God uphold his good name; Daniel’s bold prayer with his Hebrew brothers that stopped the murder of the wise men and gave the King the answer he asked for.  I had so many lovely lessons we could learn from these brave prayer warriors. 

When we finished the lesson, I asked them, “What stands out to you about these prayers?”  And they piped up, “Praise. All these prayers start with praise.”  I was stunned by their point.  Think about it.   None of these men were sitting around with nothing better to do, watching a sunrise or contemplating a mountain range.  Daniel was facing his executioner and Hezekiah an enemy army. This is the perfect opportunity to stop and praise God?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Day Cancer Ate My Blog Post

For November, Helene and I wanted to do a few weeks on praise and Thanksgiving.  When I was thinking of what to write, I wanted to go beyond thanking God for our blessings (a good thing to do) and speak about being thankful for our trials (a hard thing to do).  

I had several verses picked out to show that we are indeed supposed to be grateful for everything, including suffering. (Romans 5:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; James 1:2-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 if you are interested) It would have been a scripturally accurate blog post.  And it would have been sterile.  Empty.  I would have been speaking from the Bible with very little personal experience.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Only Happy Wife

This post dates from several years ago but seemed to be a perfect way to end our mini-series on marriage. I am thrilled to share with you that the dear daughter in this story is now our sister in Christ.  

Recently I sat at the kitchen table and had a belly-laugh with my husband.  The two of us are sometimes like conjoined twins.  Except backwards.  Two bodies, one brain with the same bizarre sense of humor.  I could try to explain the joke; it was all about prayer, confession and this book we've been reading, but I assure you it would fall flat. Snorting, I laid my head down on the kitchen table catching a glance of my eldest daughter rolling her eyes at her crazy parents. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Equal Partners

I have two girls, an elementary-aged homeschooler and a teen in public school.  I tell them both (ad nauseum) “Don’t even DATE anyone who doesn’t love Jesus more than you.”  You may believe I am an old stick in the mud, but it is actually the adventure of living with God that has convinced me more than anything else of the wisdom of this idea.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Every Day a Birthday

My husband had a birthday recently.  Since our birthdays are close together, we had gone on one big date in lieu of gifts. (Dates are precious when you have three children!). However, I still wanted his day to special.  Earlier in the week, I made a birthday cake and prepared the custard for homemade ice cream.  On his birthday, I was sure to get up early enough to make his breakfast and get the ice cream freezer going.  I hummed happily as I thought about the homemade manicotti I would make later.  My husband repeated an oft heard (but never true) statement: “Youre too good to me.” I retorted, “Maybe, but I enjoy doing things for you.” Thats when it hit me.

Monday, November 9, 2015

"I am my Beloved's, and His Desire is for Me"

Do not disturbMost of the time, our posts here at Maidservants of Christ are perfectly appropriate for readers of all ages.  But today in our series on marriage, we'll be speaking of the more intimate parts of the marriage relationship.  If your child likes to read over your shoulder, today might be the day to read in your room.  As a follow up to our review of the e-course "Becoming More Sexually Engaged - For Christian wives," here is a reprint of the Make a Difference Monday post on the same topic that first got us in contact with the author of the course. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learning to Say Yes

Every once in a while, we have a post here on Maidservants of Christ that is rated PG-13 for adult situations.  This is one such post.  If you normally let your child read over your shoulder, you might want to save this one for a more private setting.

I was raised a “good girl.” Brought up in church, I got the yearly lessons about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Being a people pleaser and rule follower from the start, I generally followed the guidelines given to me (except the rock and roll part – I couldnt stay away from Elvis!). Like many Christian girls with this background, I took a certain pride in my sexual purity.  I was a virgin until I was married, and Ive only ever been with my husband. I may struggle with other sins, but sexual sin is not a problem!