Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Blog Posts That Have Got Me Thinking

Hi friends,

A bit of a different post today, I thought I'd share 5 different blog posts from the past few weeks/months that have sparked some thinking in my mind. The topics addressed in these posts vary greatly but have all stuck with me.

1) "Tight Fist or Open Hand?"
A great post that has brought me so much more freedom in the way that I think about a bunch of things from cleaning to parenting. I rarely comment on posts that I don't personally know the author, but this post got my mind running a million miles a minute and before I knew I, I was typing away in the comment section! :) (Here's what I wrote, it'll make more sense to you if you read the above post first)

"With the purpose of streamlining and organizing my routine, I’ve been talking to friends about cleaning “methods.” Taking a survey of what people do and realizing exactly what you said above. Different methods work better for different people. I can try to implement some things from “E’s method” into mine – but I have to do so, realizing that E’s household/life/family requirements are a different than mine. I find this realization freeing. Even applied to my own family upbringing! If I don’t use my mom’s method for housekeeping…. it’s OKAY!
A talk with my husband a few weeks ago, in which he told me he was overly satisfied with the state of the household and wished that I would sit and enjoy the little moments with our kids, was eye-opening. Along with John 3:17, “Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world (me), but to save it (me) from sin.” (My paraphrase)
I appreciated you bringing to light the relationship between principles and methods – I’ve never looked at it so simply before. The first thing that came to my mind was, “You might need to change your methods in different life stages but separating principles from methods means you can still live by the same standards/values as you assess and change your methods to meet your current situational needs.” Does that make sense?
As I said, I find the whole topic freeing! If your current methods aren’t working – change them! They aren’t the foundation. Don’t idolize the methods when the purpose of both principles and methods is to help you worship Jesus better in your everyday life."

Have you ever shared a struggle with sin with a friend only to have them respond poorly? Did this damage the relationship or place a hamper between you and your friend? This post made me think a lot about how I respond when someone shares a struggle with me. I tend to have the second response she mentions toward friends - offering unconditional support instead of joining my friend in mourning over sin and receiving the comfort that Holy Spirit brings as we realize how much we need the gospel to redeem us (Matt 5:4). The thought process has influenced the way I listen and interact with Brad and my close friends. I want to be a friend who always encourages with the hope of the gospel and never interferes with the Holy Spirit's work of conviction in another believer. 

Warning, this post has some language - so read with caution. (And, I hope you know me well enough to know that I fight for life-long marriage and not marriage that lasts only 15 years) From what I can tell, the author is not writing from a gospel-informed perspective but and although I believe her list is NOT exhaustive (ie. there are no, "stay focused on Jesus," points) I think a lot of her points are right on. Some of them made made me laugh out loud, but I resonated with #1, #8, #15 the most. :) 

4) One Thing Your Daughter Doesn't Need You To Say
Oh my goodness. This post is fabulous. It helped put to words and action-steps what I deeply desire for my kids. I crave honesty with my kids, I crave authenticity. Because I believe that Jesus is enough for me, I believe he is enough for their little hearts and enough for their peers (who may, at first glance - not  be who I want my kids to imitate, but on second thought - they need Jesus as much as I do). 

5) The Next Beth Moore
I loved this post, I think it is spot on for anyone who is involved in ministry to women. But more than the post - I want to point you to Jen Wilkin's bible studies! She has written numerous studies (I've done the one on 1st Peter and am just starting the one on the Sermon on the Mount - HIGHLY recommend both of them!) that leave the student better equipped to read and learn from the Bible on their own. That's what I appreciate about her studies the most, they provide the learner with tools and strategies for studying ANY book of the bible and gleaning truth - from new-believer to veteran Bible-student.  So check out the links on the right hand side of her blog, under the heading "links to bible study workbooks and audio." The workbooks are available for download and are FREE, as are the weekly audio lessons. Gather a group of friends and work though one together! 

Please, I'd love to dialogue with you about any of the above 5 posts and their accompanying thoughts! What do you think? Have you read any posts lately that have sparked your mind into action? Let's chat! 

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