March 22, 2011

Hello, Friend & My March Nightstand

March has indeed come in like a lion, full of sharp teeth and loud roars. I have needed some quiet and safety, away from the glare of the screen and words written for all the world to see (though there are few in the world who actually do see them).  There are too many words I cannot write.  They crowd out the ones that might find their way into this space. And so I have been silent.

The thoughts shared on this post were wonderful and so much more worthy than my lack of response demonstrates. I did intend to write a follow up post, and have some other discussion questions in mind. They will keep while I rest for a while.

Here are some things I'm pondering:

~What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics - to better understand and defend my faith

~This Is Why You're Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever): Eat More, Cheat More, Lose More--and Keep the Weight Off - to make some much, much needed change

~Nine Marks of a Healthy Church - because we should all be a part of a healthy church

~Loving the Church: God's People Flourishing in God's Family - to learn to love more

~Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter - to sharpen my focus during this season

I'll be back soon to participate in the blog tour for The Mountains Bow Down.  Until then, you can see what others are reading over at 5 Minutes for Books.

What's On Your Nightstand

March 7, 2011

March Musings - #1

Next week, I celebrate another year of life. I think back when I was the same age as my girl, how I had my life planned and knew all there was to know about...well, everything. I look at her now, tell her I know exactly how it feels to be 12. I wonder if, when I look away, she rolls her eyes the same way I did when my own mother spoke those very words.

And I wonder if she thinks she has it all figured out, the way her mama did. I shake my head at my own naivete, to think I had all the answers. The longer I live, the fewer answers I have.

There are also more questions. I've decided to pose some here throughout the month of March. I'm issuing an invitation to an open forum discussion, reserving the right to moderate comments that do not speak to to the topic and/or show respect for other commenters.

Please remember that I may have an answer in mind, but I do not suppose it to be 100% correct. I am genuinely interested in your input. I'll come back to share my own thoughts in a follow-up post. I hope we can all learn together.

Here is the first question(s):

What are the qualifications to classify something as Bible study (speaking to the material, gathering, or both)?

March 3, 2011

Around the House: March

March is an in-between month. It comes with mixed emotions. I reconcile myself to the inconsistent temperatures, the spring allergies, and the growing older that March brings.

I look for reasons to rejoice.

~Spring Break.

~A weekend visit with dear friends refreshes us.

~The mailbox will soon be bulging with seeds. We are planning our biggest garden yet.

~A box of books will also be arriving, including Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter.

~In the meantime, it's still cool enough to snuggle in under a quilt and read Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

~My husband declares that he can't put down a book he's reading. I can't help but smile at those strange words coming from his lips.

~Studying Philippians with sisters in Christ. It humbles, convicts, and makes me even more thankful for grace.

~Piano notes string together to become beautiful songs. I thank God for the gift He's given my girl.

~We read the Gospels after dinner, prepare our hearts for the Easter season.

~In the midst of some heavy complications and heartbreaks, God is pouring out His love. He is using some extremely difficult circumstances to teach, sharpen, and convict. He is breaking me. I remind myself to Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:1-3, ESV)

~I determine to celebrate the life inside the boundary lines God has placed around me, rather than constantly seeking to go outside of them. Not content to just stay inside those lines, I'm renewing my quest to find margin. I'm giving a lot of thought to the overload in my life, including my online presence. What that means for this space, I'm not quite sure. I am sure that some changes are in order, and I'm praying for His grace to make them.