Jesus entered our world and partook of the inheritance we had secured through sin, so that one day we could partake of the glorious inheritance he would secure for us through his sacrificial death on the cross (1 Peter 1:3-4). He did this to defeat humanity's ancient enemies, sin and death. God promised this very solution to Adam and Eve after they rebelled: though Eve would suffer the curse of painful and difficult childrearing (something starkly illustrated in miscarriage), it would be through childbearing that the rescuer would come. It would be through Adam and Eve's offspring that Satan, and his reign of death would finally be defeated (Genesis 3:15)...
The incarnation offers beautiful hope for the woman who has miscarried. The death of a baby within the womb is a painful reminder--if not one of the most fundamental expressions--of death's curse over humanity. The good news is that Jesus came to reverse exactly that curse. Mankind was created to multiply and to fill the earth, subduing and caring for it as God's regents, but humanity struggles to fulfill this basic function. Husbands and wives groan under this devastating reality as they watch their precious offspring die even before they are born. Many of our children return to the dust before we do, forcing us to observe helplessly the tragic wages of sin. Read More
Over the past several years there has been a growing awareness of a quiet sickness plaguing the church. It is quiet because it has the outward appearance of godliness and spiritual growth, and it is a sickness because it leads to spiritual exhaustion at its best and spiritual death at its very worst. It’s an extremely cruel enemy because it deceives people into feel good about their spiritual walks at one moment, and causes them to feel completely defeated by their indwelling sin and failures when they are inevitably revealed in the next.
What great foe am I referring to? The temptation toward legalism and moralism in the Christian life. Christine Hoover refers to it as the “goodness gospel,” and says that when she lived under it, she “appeared to be a good Christian,” on the outside, but on the inside, “felt unlovable and was riddled with guilt about [her] inability to please God.” As an adherent to this false gospel, Christine “sought joy, peace, and love through being good, and instead found [herself] miserably enslaved to [her] own unattainable standards.” Perhaps you can relate?
To be sure, many of us have found ourselves in a similar spiritual maze. We know that in and of ourselves, it is impossible to please God, and yet we so often faultily feel as though pleasing God is all up to us. This type of do-it-yourself Christianity has been the subject of many blog articles and books in recent years as the church seeks to reorient itself to the concept of grace-empowered Christianity. That is to say, enjoying the powerful work of God’s grace in a believer’s sanctification, and not just in their initial salvation. We have been inundated with calls to rest in the indicative realities of the Bible (what Christ has done for us), and to allow that sweet, gospel knowledge to produce the sanctification and holiness that we all so desperately desire. Read More
The stack of books on my nightstand inches higher everyday. Some were recommended and loaned by friends, some borrowed from the library, and some sit caked in dust because I’ve put off reading them for so long. The majority of the stack, however, have scraps of paper jutting out from their pages–evidence that I’ve started reading them but never quite finished. They remain on my nightstand because I have this thing about finishing books: I want to give each book a fair shake, and reading just the first few chapters isn’t a fair shake in my opinion. The first few chapters don’t tell the whole story.
I suppose I have this thing about whole stories, because although I became a Christian when I was eight, for the 20 years that followed I only knew the first half of the gospel story. I knew that I was a sinner, and I knew that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive me of that sin when I confessed Him as my Savior, but I didn’t know how this act of death and resurrection affected my life after my initial salvation. I hated that I continued to sin, that I failed God, that I couldn’t be good enough to prove my worth for what He’d done for me. I knew He loved me at the cross, but I felt certain He couldn’t love me in my ever-present state of failure and weakness. So I repeatedly cycled around to the first half of the story–the part that told me I was a sinner–and then, wallowing in that truth, tried desperately to make up for my imperfections with good behavior.
I thought that was the whole story: saved by grace, sanctified by self-effort. But one day God began showing me through His Word that there is a second half to the gospel story–the part about life after salvation–and what He showed me changed everything. Read More
Romans 8:28 tells us that "for those who love God all things work together for good." For the woman who has miscarried, these words can feel like a terrible cosmic joke. Can losing your baby really, truly be used by God for your good? This is one of the difficult truths of scripture that I attempt to answer in my book, Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb, and I did so with much fear and trembling. For truly, one of the last things a woman who just experienced the death of her baby wants to hear is that God allowed it to happen for her good.
And yet, this difficult and biblical truth is one of the most encouraging and beautiful of all realities for a woman when she miscarries. The knowledge that her pregnancy was not wasted--that it has eternal worth and purpose--can lift her mourning soul from the depths of futility to the heights of gospel hope.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter, "Hard Frosts and Spring's Flowers," in which I explain some of the ways a woman who miscarries can expect to see spiritual good in her loss: Read More
About this time last year, I began a very special project with Cruciform Press that I have yet to make public. In fact, aside from some close friends and family, there are few people who know that I've spent every free moment I could muster over the past year writing a book. The time has come, however, to reveal my little secret and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you!
In the first week of March, a book I've written on the topic of miscarriage called Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb will be published!
As many of you know, I have experienced two heartbreaking miscarriages. The first was at eight weeks into a pregnancy and the second was a late miscarriage at seventeen weeks. As I walked through these horrific trials, two things became increasingly clear to me: Read More
During a recent family get-together, I was sitting in my grandmother’s guest room rocking my baby girl in silence. As I swayed gently in a rocking chair, admiring my sweet Roseveare, my mind flipped through the many memories I have of nights spent within that room's four walls. Much about the room has changed since my childhood, but the feelings of comfort that have so long characterized my grandmother’s home were just as potent that night as they were decades ago.
A particularly memory rose to the top of this marvelous flood of nostalgia. I remembered sitting on the once plush, white carpet before me as a young girl painting my nails a bright red. As little girls are prone to do, I accidentally spilled the bottle of nail polish. The glaringly red hue seeped into my grandparent’s carpet and great tears of fear began to seep from my eyes. I tried desperately to get as much of the polish out of the carpet’s fibers myself, but it was of no use.
Through great sobs of fear, I explained to my grandmother what had happened. Of course I felt terrible about what I had done, but more than anything my little girl heart was so afraid of her being mad at me for messing up her floor. After all, she was a particularly neat and tidy grandmother.
In my fear, I forgot who my grandmother was. I worried that she would be angry with me and that her opinion of me would be forever altered due to this accident. I didn’t trust that she loved me infinitely more than her white carpet. Read More
In the past two posts I've shown you how Logos works and some of my favorite features that it has to offer. Today, I want to set out to answer the question I've been posing all along: Is this product right for the average woman?
At the outset it must be admitted that every single Christian will benefit from the resources available to them in Logos. It is definitely worth its hefty price tag and has the potential to enrich the Bible study of everyone from teenagers to grandparents to businessmen and women to the stay-at-home mom. In this way Logos is for everybody.
But, before making such a great investment, it would be wise to take a few things into consideration: Read More
Yesterday I began a series of three posts in my attempt to review Logos Bible Software. In yesterday's post I gave a brief explanation of what Logos is. Today I will share with you some of my favorite features that Logos has to offer. Tomorrow, I will give you my unbiased opinion on the product.
Is Logos for the average woman? Well, that depends on how you define average. For the purposes of these reviews I am viewing the average woman as myself - a Christian woman who hasn't been to seminary, who doesn't know Greek and Hebrew, but who loves the Word of God and who desperately wants to do all she can to know her Savior more by studying it. That's the average (and yet not-so-average) woman I am referring to. And she would most definitely find this product appealing!
Let's take a minute to look at some of the features I found extremely helpful as I used it alongside my usual study of the Word. Read More
Have you ever heard of Logos Bible Software? Being the wife of a church planter, and former seminarian, the name "Logos" is very familiar to me. My husband has long dreamt of the day when he would be able to draw upon the vast amount of resources available within the Logos system for Bible study and sermon preparation, but the hefty price tag has thus far kept him from giving in to those (admittedly noble) desires.
I must admit that I myself have been tempted to break the budget as I've seen Logos demonstrated at various conferences. But being the physical book snob that I am, the idea of investing so heavily in digital commentaries, books, and other resources turned me off. I prefer my Calvin, Spurgeon, and Luther to line our book shelves, not be hidden away in some virtual "cloud."
When I was asked to review Logos Bible Software I readily acquiesced. True, my husband would have had some very strong words for me if I had declined, but more than anything I was interested in seeing how the average woman would benefit from this resource. Would she find it worth the price tag? Is this just a product for seminarians, professors, pastors, and authors or could it be useful to the average Joe who simply desires to be an ardent student of God's Word?
That is the goal of my review which I will break up into three separate posts: What is Logos Bible Software and How Does it Work? (Today's post); My Favorite Features in Logos 6; and My Thoughts on Logos Bible Software. Read More
Devotional books are a popular resource among women who desire to draw nearer to the Lord on a daily basis, but often these books are lacking in theological content, focusing more on the emotional aspects of women's faith. What can result is a daily reading that leaves you feeling really good about life, but has ultimately done little to enlarge your view of God, his redemptive plan for humanity, and where you fit into that plan.
But what if you could combine the emotional and helpful resource of a devotional with the very Word of God? And what if you could focus the devotional content on theologically rich topics that gave you a greater vision for God's glorious gospel as it has been revealed throughout scripture? And what if this resource pulled on some of the most respected and faithful authors available to make it all possible? Well then, you would have the new ESV Women's Devotional Bible... Read More