20 January 2010
to assist you in nonchalantly building a friendship with a godly Christian
woman. I'm serious, men! If you're mature enough to pursue marriage, Facebook
should be "Courtbook" for you. Don't just sit there, get on the ball and go
"poke" a godly girl." - Joshua Harris
I stumbled across this quote from Josh Harris today on a friend's Facebook account. (To read the quote in context, see here). At first the quote struck me as hilarious as I have several friends where Facebook played a significant role in their relationships. After a good laugh, I started to consider the implications of such a statement. Should we use Facebook be viewed as a viable tool in our search for godly spouses?
Before preceding any further, my clarifications would be: 1. You have already met the person or 2. You have a mutual friend. Though it would certainly be possible, I don't think I could be as comfortable if it was someone I had never met, didn't have any mutually friends, etc. etc.
What would be the pros and cons of such a use of Facebook? As with any form of electronic communication, there is a degree of accountability that is lost. It is all too easy to say things in writing that we would think twice about before saying aloud. But then, we also have the option of thinking twice before mentioning something. It can also be, as Josh Harris says, a "nonchalant" (or perhaps impersonal) way to get to know someone. You can get to know them on a casual level without commitment - which can certainly be taken advantage of in both a good way and bad.
Sometimes it's just easier to talk with someone online before you approach them in person. I know that it has been the case for me. I feel more comfortable talking to someone in person once I have know some of their likes/dislikes and interests. Maybe it's just because I've experienced that awkward silence where no one can think of anyone to say, one too many times. If I know at least one thing the other person is passionate about, I can then use that to draw them out of their shell. Otherwise I tend to fail miserably as a conversationalist when the only answer I receive is "yes" and "no". I view being friends with someone on Facebook as a conversational aide that I can draw on during those awkward pauses.
Charles Dickens stated it well when he said, "Electric communication, will never be a substitute, for the face of someone who with their soul, encourages another person to be brave and true.". I would agree with Josh Harris on this one, we can - and perhaps should - utilize Facebook as a springboard to find a godly spouse. Only keep in mind that important little word - springboard. It is a starting place to push you in the right direction. Feel like this person is someone you could love/respect? Move on to the next step. Meet their family (if you haven't done so already). Watch them in real-life situations to get a feel for their true character - not simply that which they can present through their writing. Facebook can be a means to an end, but not the only means that should be used to accomplish that end.
There's some of my musings on the topic. May they amuse you, if nothing else. :-)
Certainly the most important book we read is the Bible. It is the basis and groundwork that affects every area of our lives. We ought to be spending time daily in His word. My favorite bible reading plan is Prof. Horner's Bible-Reading System. Though I don't always make it through each list every day, at least reading a Psalm, Proverb and New Testament reading is a great place to start.
To enhance our understanding of the scriptures, help us understand what we believe and why believe it, to encourage us in our walk with Yahweh, to teach out how to live out our faith, there ought to be a selection on theology or doctrine. The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, The Heidelberg Catechism, and The Discipline of Grace are all books I'm reading that fall into this category. I tend to spend a lot of time on this genre, as you can tell!
Another genre, which of late I've sadly neglected, is that of good Christian biographies. I've started reading a biography of Jim Elliot, and Hudson and Maria: Pioneers in China. Reading biographies of Christian heroes gives us a glimpse of how our faith is to be lived out. Reading missionary biographies gives us that heart for missions, a desire to see His word spread throughout all the nations.
It certainly does not mean that we can not read other genres. There are many other excellent non-fiction books that do not quite fall either category. Personally, I'm reading: What He Must Be...If He Wants To Marry My Daughter, The 5000 Year Leap, Feminine Appeal. As for fiction, I have not spent very much time there in the past couple of years. Mostly it is because of all the great non-fiction books I have been spending time with, I have nothing against the genre itself. I am determine to finally plow through Les Miserables this year, it is probably the toughest read I've had yet, and then I plan to explore some more well-written fiction books.
Biographies and theology/doctrinal books are, in my view, the most important books that we should be reading (outside of the Bible). They work together to give us deeper understand of Yahweh's word, and then seeing how that has been lived out in the lives of those who have gone before us. Hopefully this will inspire you to start reading more from both of these genres!
18 January 2010
16 January 2010
Pastor Carl Robbins - Key note speaker
Dr. John Eidsmoe - perennial favorite from CWSC
Mr. James Nickel - author of "Mathematics: Is God Silent?"
Gary DeMar - president of American Vision
Joel Belz - founder of World Magazine (speaking on Christian Journalism).
See you there!
14 January 2010
Home is a comfort
And home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever-full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides
And being at home
Should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared
Just for you
And I think my home
Is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you
Home is where someone is waiting and loving
And happy to see you again
That half of your heart
That somebody else treasures
The one who's you forever-friend
But it seems that He's told me
The life that He's showing me
Is a life mostly spent on the road
And when the world's empty charm
Has done all of its harm
I know that His love waits for me in your arms
- Home, Michael Card
What is home? It is the place for which we long, a place of familiar sights and sounds. It isn't the walls or windows or doors that endear home to us, but the memories and the loved ones who live there. Whether consciously or not, I think that in our minds that home is first and foremost our shelter, the place in which we can find refuge. What does a man look forward to after a day spent in the world? For the comfort and familiarity of home. Michael Card, the best contemporary lyricist out there, has drawn a beautiful picture of home in his song "Home". As marriage is an earthly picture of the relationship between Christ and his bride the church, home is our earthly picture of heaven. Just as home can be anywhere as long as our loved ones are there, we aren't looking forward to a particular location to spend eternity, but we are looking forward to heaven because it is the place where we will spend eternity with our Savior, praising Him with fellow believers. It is there that a place is prepared for us and where we will find that which is most dear and familiar to us. As we enjoy home comforts, and long for home when away, may it remind us of that eternal dwelling that is waiting for us.
Hopefully you'll enjoy my musings on home, brought on by a couple of hospital stays that took me away from that blessed refuge. :-)
13 January 2010
Anyone who has spent any amount of time around children know just how many questions they can ask about anything and everything. One of my younger brothers in particular is especially talented at coming up with the most intriguing questions (for example - before the fall, could Adam and Eve hold their breath under water for a really long time, since they wouldn't be able to drown?). When he starting asking questions about Jonah, it brought to mind some of my previous readings; mainly, the debate between whether Jonah died in the fish and was resurrected, or if he was miraculously kept alive for the three days and three nights.
From all the major commentaries I've read (Spurgeon, MacArthur, Gill, Henry) it appears to be assumed that Jonah was kept alive, though they do not particularly address the possibility of his death. In my own readings of the text, I can see how it can be interpreted either way. While I believe Jonah was kept alive while in the whale, I am open to the possibility that perhaps Jonah died and was resurrected. Some of it lies in whether you are interpreting certain parts figuratively or literally. Was Jonah actually in Sheol? Do the bars of the earth closing about him mean death? What is the relation between Jesus' death and burial, and Jonah being in the belly of a great fish? Is there a strong indication either way, concerning whether he was dead or alive? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered before one can definitively go either way. I have discovered that this debate doesn't appear to be very widely know, but if you have an opinion on the matter I want to hear from you. Comment and let me know your thoughts!
09 January 2010
"What Does the Bible Say About Facebook?"
06 January 2010
Question 27: What dost thou understand by the providence of God?
Answer: The almighty and everywhere present power of God, whereby as it were by His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth, with all creatures, and so governs them, that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.
Question 28: What does it profit us to know that God has created and by His providence still upholds all things?
Answer: That we may be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and for what is future have good confidence in our faithful God and Father, that no creature shall separate us from His love, since all creatures are so in His hand that without His will they cannot so much as move.
In Yahweh's Care,
02 January 2010
College has never been a big deal for me. Well, except when someone asks me where I go to college. It would be nice to avoid the look and tone of those who don't comprehend my choices, but there is something more important than acceptance that I am accomplishing at home.
Right now I am building relationships. Mainly it is with my family, but now is the time when the foundation for lifelong friendships - with family or otherwise - are built. I am able to spend much more time with my family than I would if I was in school or working. I have time to listen to a problem one of my younger brothers has and give him advice to help him solve it. I can teach my little sisters how to be godly women as they grow. I hope and pray that the time I spend now with my younger siblings with be a start to close, life-long friendships with them. Looking at my two younger sisters and realizing that, when they are my age, I'll be forty... it can be a tad bit shocking and a little intimidating. I am enjoying the time I have with them now because I don't how long it may be before I have a family of my own to look after. The frightening part is being conscience of the fact that I will be a role model to my little sisters as they follow in my footsteps.
I don't stay away from college because I don't want to study. Quite the contrary. I believe it is most essential for young people to strengthen and build their relationship with Christ. Now is the time to be studying God's word, to be laying a strong foundation on which to build in future years. Once marriage and children enter into the picture, many more obstacles will be there for things as simple as a regular quite time. I'm not saying that you can't mature once you get married, but that it is important to strive for a high level of maturity while you have more freedom to do so, and less distractions, because it will only get harder to do so in the future.
Now is the time to work on spiritual disciplines. Discover the treasures of Yahweh's Word. Hide them in your heart. Devote time to prayer. Learn theology. Know what you believe and why you believe it. It may just be me and my personality type, but I want to be able to know what I personally believe and why I believe it - not just because I was raised that way or because that's what someone told me. I want to be able to take a stance on core issues, such as baptism. It certainly makes it easier when looking for a spouse to know whether you would be able to marry a Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, or Presbyterian! Perhaps some would rather keep their options open. I, on the other hand, tend to be particular and probably tend to set a higher bar than most. I am persuaded that there are certain issues - not all, mind you - that there should be complete agreement on before marriage in the area of theology, if nothing else.
My favorite part about being a stay at home daughter is doing what I love best, and what I hope to spend the rest of my earthly days doing. Holding babies. Teaching toddlers. Encouraging others. Cooking and baking. Opening my home to friends, family, and strangers. Just enjoying life. It's certainly not all daisies and roses, and some days are more difficult than others. To stay at home isn't for the weak or lazy! ;-) However, even in the midst of difficulties and hardships, the peaceful sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and joy comes. I am doing what my Creator made me to do - serving Him in the circumstances in which he places me.