Tag Archives: truth

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool

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Last week was rough. The following is a snapshot into my journal last Tuesday.


“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the bones that You have broken rejoice.”
-Psalm 51:7-8

Sometimes it feels like God is cleaning me with steel wool instead of the cotton washcloths I prefer.

As I write this, my heart aches. I’m crying and hurting. I feel broken by longings and unsaid words and independent realities and the delay of good dreams. 

“I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:75-77

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Is God Enough in the Wilderness?

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The last week has felt a lot like what I imagine the wilderness felt like to Moses and the children of Israel.

I’ve ached for relief from the heat and unfamiliar surroundings that are, ironically, becoming achingly familiar (“Didn’t we pass that tree a few months ago?” “Is that the same hill I tripped over last year?” “Do you recognize that brown spot? We must have seen it before. Oh right, we have.”). For forty years they wandered, making lap after lap around the barren land, complaining about their manna and quail, and wishing for what God in His mercy saw fit to withhold.

Well, hello, insight to Sophie’s heart.  

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Not Jesus “the Great”

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Pluralism affirms that every “ism” has its own independent validity and an equal right to our respect. 

It therefore rejects Christian claims to finality and uniqueness, and condemns as sheer arrogance the attempt to convert anybody (let alone everybody) to what it sees as merely our opinions.

How should we respond to the spirit of pluralism? With great humility, I hope, and with no hint of personal superiority. But we must continue to affirm the uniqueness and finality of Jesus Christ. For He is unique in His incarnation (the one and only God-man), unique in His atonement (only He has died for the sins of the world), and unique in His resurrection (only He has conquered death). And since in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in His birth), then bear our sins (in His death), and then triumph over death (in His resurrection), He is uniquely competent to save sinners. Nobody else possesses His qualifications.

So we may talk about Alexander the Great, Charles the Great and Napoleon the Great, but not Jesus the Great. He is not the Great—He is the only. There is nobody like Him. He has no rival and no successor.

-John Stott, The Radical Disciple 

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Stronger than the Strongest Affection

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Hi, my name is Sophie and I like to pretend emotions don’t exist.

Two weeks ago my days were filled with one challenge after another and by Friday night I could feel myself going into an emotional lockdown, attempting to bury every feeling in a Fort Knox-type armory with hopes that they would never surface again.

Welcome to my default setting. I am a master wall-builder. I’m pretty sure that is due to the fact that I’m scared of feelings. Scared of loving people too much and then enduring their rejection or removal from my life. Scared that God will punish me for liking someone. Scared of letting people down (even though it’s inevitable). Scared of doing things wrong. Scared of being seen. Scared of a “yes” because it seems like I only know how to trust God for a “no.”

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How do you make non-cheesy Christian art?

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Andrew Peterson’s heart and ministry. 

The magazine I write for featured AP in the latest edition but the following snippet had to be (regrettably) trimmed, so here it is for your enjoyment and edification. It’s so good. Praise the Lord for His grace to us through Gospel-centered artists like Andrew Peterson.

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Christmas, Martin Luther, and Tim Keller

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There’s a place in one of Martin Luther’s nativity sermons where he asks something like,

“Do know what a stable smells like? You know what that family would have smelled like after the birth when they went out into the city? And if they were standing next to you, how would you have felt about them and regarded them?”

He is saying, I want you to see Christ in the neighbor you tend to despise—in the political party you despise, in the race you despise, in the class of people you despise.

Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else, because Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you. It is telling you that people who are saved are not those who have arisen through their own ability to be what God wants them to be. Salvation comes to those who are willing to admit how weak they are.

-Tim Keller

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Happy Birthday C. S. Lewis! 12 Quotes from The Weight of Glory

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C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite humans and today would have been his 118th birthday. 

My small group girls will come over tonight and we’ll have a birthday party for him and watch David Payne’s An Evening with C. S. Lewis (we won’t watch the exact one linked but it is so good and well worth the time to watch a YouTube video with “antique” graphics) while drinking tea and celebrating the work of God in his life and legacy. Until then, here’s a little blurb I wrote about “Jack” for the November/December RTM Magazine, along with 12 quotes from his famous sermon The Weight of Glory.

We hope it propels you to worship the One who conquered hell for your redemption.

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When God is our Father…

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“When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude.

“Sovereignty is only tyrannical if it is unbounded by goodness; holiness is only terrifying if it is untempered by grace; omniscience is only taunting if it is unaccompanied by mercy; and immutability is only torturous if there is no guarantee of goodwill.”

-Ravi Zacharias

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Monday Morning Munch No. 162 – 7 Quotes on Prayer by Charles Spurgeon

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The following quotes are from Spurgeon on Prayer, a compilation of culled gems from Charles Spurgeon, which I highly recommend it to anyone. 

You must expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph.

If [God] has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it.

A prayerless soul is a Christless soul.

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Okay, Oswald, Okay

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God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with.

If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object.

-Oswald Chambers

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