Tag Archives: John Piper

A Time to Embrace

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The conversation is seared into my brain.

We were at the kitchen table eating breakfast with my dad, studying Scripture, and processing how we are prone to see suffering as an inconvenience rather than what it is, love from God, when one of our best friends said,

“[Suffering] actually produces gold and then you level up (1 Peter 1:6-7), like in a video game, so you almost want to go find land mines joyfully and destroy them so we get more of Christ.”

For a couple of years, my constant prayer has been that I would not resist anything that would make me look more like Christ. But Daniel’s words at breakfast opened up a completely new (and convicting) perspective.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 139 – Fighting Fears

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Fear = an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

What is it about fears that so easily ensnares us?

The last six months have brought with it a significant amount of joy, a significant amount of challenges and a significant amount of exposure to pretty much every fear-related thing in my heart. There’s been lots of tearing down, lots of pruning and lots of learning to deal with fear.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 134 – Too long for Twitter, Part Two

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Read part one here.

Here are a handful of quotes exceeding 140 characters that have filled my drafts on Twitter for months.

Annie Proulx: You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.

Justin Holcomb: The cross is the great equalizer: at the foot of the cross, we are all humbled as we grasp the magnitude of our sin and guilt; yet at the cross, the offer of forgiveness is made without bias or favoritism. Because Jesus is Lord of all, His Gospel is available to all.

Yesterday at the True Beauty retreat, a 14 year old taught her peers on the hypostatic union, another taught on Jesus and the people of His day, saying, “He was the Messiah they needed but not the One they wanted.” My heart could burst with joy—these girls get theology. May they get the transformative, grace-induced application as well.

Jonny Ox:
It wasn’t
written
in the Bible
but I like
to imagine
that when God
created Eve
He whispered
into Adam’s ear
and said,
“Let there
be love.”

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Monday Morning Munch No. 128 – Barabbas, Marketing, and a Cry for Rescue

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Then Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a robber.
(John 18:37-40, ESV)

I’ll never forget the first time I learned Barabbas means son of the Father

Son of the Father. The people were literally pleading for a messiah, but they were so blinded by sin and their own ambitions and desires they missed what was right in front of them. They cried out for a Savior all the while the prophesied Messiah was standing a few feet away.

What is our Barabbas?

We all have one. The person, thing, activity or event we try to put the label “messiah” on. We long for redemption, though we can’t always articulate it, and we look for things—anything, really—or people (most of the time the elusive “one”), that will rescue us.

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When Loneliness Hits

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I struggle with vulnerability.

There are a few reasons why that’s the case, but mostly it’s pride and the desire to be seen as better than I really am.

I don’t know who might read this but I’m going to pretend that we’re the oldest and dearest of friends and rip my mask off for you. Even if it hurts.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 109 – Clyde Kilby’s Resolutions for Mental Health

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One of the books I’m reading right now is Taste and See by John Piper. Filled with 140 meditations to help the reader savor the supremacy of God in all of life, Taste and See could be read as a daily “devotional” or accompaniment to your daily reading. Well, I’m not a daily devotional kind of girl so I tend to read five or six of these meditations throughout the day. Regardless of how you read it, the book is worth your time. Filled with short chapters and deep application, Taste and See helps you to do just that.

In one of the chapters, Piper shares 10 resolutions for mental health from one of his professors of english lit at Wheaton College, Clyde Kilby.

On October 22, 1976, Clyde Kilby, who is now with Christ in Heaven, gave an unforgettable lecture. I went to hear him that night because I loved him. He had been one of my professors in English Literature at Wheaton College. He opened my eyes to more of life than I knew could be seen. O, what eyes he had! He was like his hero, C. S. Lewis, in this regard. When he spoke of the tree he saw on the way to class this morning, you wondered why you had been so blind all your life. Since those days in classes with Clyde Kilby, Psalm 19:1 has been central to my life: “The sky is telling the glory of God.”

That night Dr. Kilby had a pastoral heart and a poet’s eye. He pled with us to stop seeking mental health in the mirror of self-analysis, but instead to drink in the remedies of God in nature. He was not naïve. He knew of sin. He knew of the necessity of redemption in Christ. But he would have said that Christ purchased new eyes for us as well as new hearts. His plea was that we stop being unamazed by the strange glory of ordinary things. He ended that lecture in 1976 with a list of resolutions. As a tribute to my teacher and a blessing to your soul, I offer them for your joy. -John Piper

These resolutions are our worth reading everyday, giving them allowance to penetrate our hearts calloused by the busyness and redundancy of daily life.

So, here they are for you. As you read and apply them to your life, taste and see that God is gloriously good.

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Do you judge by appearances?

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Do you judge by appearances?

I’m not talking about sizing up a person based on what they’re wearing or what their hair, face or skin looks like, although that can be included. I’m talking about judging your circumstances based on what you see. 

On Sunday, my pastor/boss/second dad preached a stellar message on this and you (yes, you) need to read/listen to/watch it. You can do all of that here. In the meantime, read his introduction below. I promise there is something in there for you.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 108 – Can you look beyond this moment?

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“God does not put the strings of our hearts in the hands of sinners. He puts them in the hands of Jesus who loves sinners.” -John Piper

Can you look beyond this moment, this person or circumstance that seemingly crushed your heart and see Christ, the Great Sovereign standing there, ruling over all and making you look more like Him through it all?

Nothing happens to us apart from God’s divine plan through His divine will filtered through His divine love.

That means this circumstance, this person, this day comes to us because it’s the absolute best thing for us to see and declare God’s glory, to experience deeper waves of grace and joy and to be made more like Him. As someone once told me, that doesn’t mean every situation is good but that He works every situation for our good.

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CROSSCon 2015 Live Simulcast

The free live simulcast of CROSS 2015 will be shown at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., this Friday, February 27. 

Before the conference, we’ll have a potluck at 5 p.m., so bring some food to share and “attend” this missions conference with us. For a schedule and more details about the conference see below and for questions, contact me at—sophie[at]realtruthmatters[dot]com.

I hope you can make it!

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Wimpy Women in a Wasting World, Part One

“I want to be a strong woman,” someone told me recently.

“Great,” I replied. “What does that mean?”

They detailed how they wanted to be bold, independent and hardworking, while being seen as capable of anything their male counterpart could do.

They wanted to “follow the Lord,” of course, but subconsciously they were conveying they would follow Him only if it didn’t hinder their grand plans and conquests. After all, they wanted to be a strong woman for the Lord.

I proposed to them, as I now propose to you, that perhaps our understanding of being a strong woman is skewed.

Does being a strong woman mean you have to be seen as capable of doing anything a man can do?

Is being strong accurately defined by independence?

 

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