I was hiking with a friend recently and we were in awe of the sights around us. It was breathtaking (even if it was a cloudy day), and it was peaceful. There is something about being out in nature that puts you at ease. There is tranquility and rest, and I always find it rejuvenating, energizing, and fulfilling.
As we walked, my friend and I were discussing spiritual matters. She’s one of the few who seem to understand when I talk. We got to talking about this very topic. I suggested that maybe being out in nature is God’s natural soother, a balm for your soul. Think about it – all of God’s creation is singing His praise, and when you take it in or participate, you are treated! It’s that same feeling I get when I go to church, or a time of praise and worship. Whether I sign along or just take it all in, that experience is renewing.
Here are some pictures from this rejuvenating excursion. Let us with all the earth sing Praise and be renewed in Him!!
Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them. Psalm 69:34
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psa 98:4
Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted Isa 49:13
A little while back, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of this bible for review and I am pleased to be able to offer one of you a copy!
The Life Recovery Bible is today’s #1-selling recovery Bible and is based on the 12-step recovery model. It was created by two of today’s leading recovery experts, David Stoop, Ph.D., and Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed., to lead readers to the source of true healing—God himself.
This bible is full of features for people who are going through either 8- or 12-step recovery programs, including devotions based on the Serenity Prayer. In all, there are more than 50 devotions in this bible and it is one that would benefit any person — no matter if you are involved in a recovery program or not. Everyone has struggles and I think that many of the features of this bible would be helpful to any reader. It’s in the New Living Translation, which is one of my favorites for daily reading. Very easy to understand and engaging for someone who is new to reading scripture.
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Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sistersall over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. – 1 Peter 5:7-9
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A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; Ecc 3:7
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 1Tim 2:11
There is definitely a time for silence in the life of a believer. I think it especially important to get quiet before the Lord and listen to what He has for us. There is so much to learn as we submit ourselves to the Lord with a quietness about us. I had a unpleasant experience just the other day. I was sitting on the back porch with the intent of reading the Word and spending time in prayer. But try as I could, the sounds of daily life around my neighborhood really thwarted my plans. I was greatly disappointed at myself for not being able to focus, but I felt it unproductive to be so hard on myself. There really was a lot of auditory distraction, and how can I be expected to really tune in to the whisper of God in the midst of all that?
Silence seems hard to come by lately. My neighborhood isn’t generally boisterous, but it’s still summer and boys will play basketball. The music will blare a little louder from the block party, and the locusts insist on screaming above it all. Did I mention that I live under the approach path for airplanes preparing to land at the airport? I’m two blocks from a main boulevard, and another few blocks from a busy expressway, and a busy hospital. I hear sirens every day.
Even at night, when the bustle of the day subsides, sounds infringe on my precious silence. The air conditioner. The fans. The dehumidifier. The fridge. Plumbing. Even my dog’s nails clicking on the hardwoods.
Silence has evaded me this summer. I long for it, and I wonder what I might have heard from the Lord in the stillness. I imagine great things, assuming I can quiet my mind when the world around me is silent. Sometimes I wish I lived far from the city…
So tell me, how are you accessing silence? Where do you go? And what does it really feel like?
Over the summer I was given the opportunity to read and review a copy of Voices of the True Woman Movement by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, with contributions by John Piper, Mary Kassian, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Janet Parshall. Don’t worry! This isn’t your average review. Over the next few days I will be going through each chapter and sharing a few of the gems with you.
This book has already been a blessing to me and I’m not done with it yet. I hope that what I share with you here will be encouraging and challenging at the same time. I know that Voices has been just that for me.
* * *
The first chapter of the book is written by a man. Odd, I thought, at first glance. But it’s John Piper and who doesn’t love a word from him?
Okay, I’ll admit it. I haven’t always enjoyed John Piper. But to explain that you have to know a little bit about my background and it’s very touchy-feely, spiritualish, “if you’re not feeling ‘the Spirit,’ then you’re not right with God.” There’s a lot of really bad theology there, but now’s not the time to address it. The point is — feel feel feel. And the vibe I got from Piper was anything but. I was a growing Christian though. At the time, people who focused so much on theology were a real turn off from the faith for me. Why do they spend all their time sitting around talking about the nature of God instead of serving God? That was a regular thought of mine back in the day.
As I grew, I learned. And one of the things I learned is the assumption that Piper brings to the first chapter.
Wimpy theology makes wimpy women. – Piper, 17
Wow. Wimpy? Really?
Yes. What I have learned over the years, and what Piper so aptly points out, is that we must know our God to serve our God.
Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ. – Piper, 19
So true. We are here, our entire purpose is, to display the glory of Christ. How can we do that without really knowing Him?
In this chapter, Piper lays out the plan for married people and singles, showing how each of those roles are created to serve the Lord. He challenges the reader to dive deeper into a relationship with the Father and encourages us wherever we may be in life by letting us know that we have a purpose and explaining in plain language how we can act on it.
Though the singles section no longer applies to me in the same way, I found it to be the most beautiful and the most applicable. All of it is good and there’s no way I could pick just a few lines to represent all that he shares here (so go out and get this book!), but I’ll leave you with some of his closing words. (Emphasis mine)
[Wimpy theology]…is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious. True womanhood is too strategic…Your womanhood — your true womanhood — was made for the glory of Jesus Christ. – Piper, 25
In the spirit of the True Woman Movement, I thought it appropriate to recognize the true women in my life who have drawn me closer to Jesus. Through their Christlike attitudes and actions, I have come to the knowledge of Jesus as my savior and grown more deeply in love with Him! I created a list in my journal a while back of all the people who have impacted my walk, and it is truly fitting, as all the people on this list turned out to be women! Where would I be without the impact of these faithful women?
I will start with Mrs. Poppen and Mrs. King. These two lovely ladies were my pre-school teachers. I went to a Lutheran pre-school, and these women sowed the seed of faith in me at an early age. I didn’t go to church growing up, but they taught me that He’s got the whole world in his hands! Thank you!
Bonnie. Dear sweet, Jesus Freak, Bonnie! We became friends in elementary school. I remember going to her house for a sleepover in middle school. The smell of leather sofas always triggers a memory of that party. It was at this party where I first heard of d.c. Talk – and I was introduced to “Jesus Freak.” I still didn’t get it then either, but the pouring out of faith was a testimony! It was at Bonnie’s church where I first accepted Christ. She took me up to the pastor one Wednesday night, and there I was accepting the Lord! Thank you!
In high school, in addition to Bonnie, were Rachel and Annette. We were the fearsome threesome! Rachel took Annette and I to her Baptist church where I attended youth group and learned what it’s like to really know Jesus! It was a youth leader, Mrs. Radel, that kept me going as her life was a powerful witness of what it meant to be a TRUE Bible-believing Christian! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
College can be a rough time, as young adults face challenges to their faith. I was no different. I swayed back and forth before returning home and attending Roberts Wesleyan. It was here I met Shelly. Shelly! Oh, how I have been blessed by the continuous and deep faith in Jesus she has! While I don’t see her often, Shelly is one of my few Christian friends who really gets me. I have been inspired to grow in my own faith because of her. Thank you!
Last, and certainly not least, is my dear friend Elizabeth. Yes, our dear administrator here at Godly Gals! I believe God destined us to be friends and partners in this ministry! I’ve known her only 6 years, yet I have known her a lifetime! We have so much in common, especially our faith and perspective on the world around us. It is important to have allies, and she is one of my strongest. She has sharpened me and I am stronger in my faith today for it. Thank you!
These are my True Women. Who are yours?
Let me listen to you
Drive me deeper into
your Word, your Love
Keep me safe
Bring me grace
I lay my worries at
Take my stress away
Speak to me
Draw me near
Prepare my heart
Encourage me as I face
May my heart be ready to
face the enemy
I will trust in you
I resolve to serve you better
I will speak with boldness
I will not compromise on
I found this prayer in my journal. I wrote it on August 23, 2005 – Five years to the day. Much of it is still my prayer today.
Many members of Godly Gals have long been fans of Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Revive Our Hearts Ministries. Bless Ms. DeMoss for all that she does to advance the kingdom! (And thank you, Nikkia, for sharing this video with me!)
I’d like to encourage you all to take a look at the True Woman Manifesto and consider signing. It is a collection of statements that this ministry backs completely, and I hope it can be a blessing to you.
Watch for posts this week about what it means to be a woman of God and for more information on The True Woman Movement.
GodlyGals™ is a ministry established in 2002 by young Christian women. We seek to maintain a community for gals seeking to live a more godly lifestyle. This is a place for women, created by women, featuring articles on the Christian faith, devotionals, reviews, reflections, and testimonies