Thursday, February 6, 2014


After an age, here's some post-age! (Or rather, a half post, since this is mostly link-age!) I hope you're all doing amazingly well! At the moment, I'm downing coconut-doused coffee while scratching out an actual post... (*this is the point where I smile sheepishly*) It's rough-age, right now. So, until then, maybe you'd like to for-age through some of this stuff.

Why We Need Pastor with Big Hearts by John Knight.
--I'm not a seminarian. Or a pastor. Or a guy. But I thoroughly enjoyed this article, because there's some really applicable truth therein. My favorite quote? "...the intellectual activities of seminary can turn a heart away from intimacy with God if academic achievement becomes more important than knowing God." In my life, do I study the Bible in order to know Christ more, or in order write out a mental certificate of achievement? Convicted!

Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors --I HIGHLY recommend seeing this one-minute clip by Voddie Baucham, promoting his book of the same title. "Joseph" is one of the best things I've ever read. Epicness.

His Sign Post --the pretty stellar web ministry of House of Prayer church in Brooklyn. This isn't an article-specific link; but I've been blessed through Pastor Beck's heart for the Word, and it's a great place to peruse!

I'd like to say that the climes have rav-aged snow over here...but alas. Nothing quite so lovely. (If our weather isn't nippy, it bites.) Those of you in more wintry areas were evidently endowed with a cour-age my Texan blood didn't receive!

You might have noticed the really annoying (and incorrect!) hyphenating going on in some of these words! (It was painful for me to type, I promise!) They're actually a tip on what I'm hoping to drop in here sometime. :)

Hope your week is as lovely as can be man-aged!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

good stuff

I love New Year's since it's usually just our family huddled against the Texas cold (y'know, this 60 degree weather!) playing Scrabble. But I have trouble adjusting to all of the switches that come with it. For the past year, I've been continually dating things as a-year-that-isn't-2013. And just as today seemed to be humming along well, I was knocked with a new gasp--it's 2014. A whole new year to adjust to! Yikes!

C.S. Lewis once noted that many of our troubles in "getting used to time" are reminders that we really don't belong to this realm. I love that. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:11; "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."

With that said, I thought it would be fun to jot down some of my favorite reading-scourings from this year. (More fun for me, really, since I love links! And hence the title of this post.)

Delighting in Delight by Tim Challies. Completely precious reminder of gratefully receiving grace!

The Gospel vs Moralism by Tim Keller. Totally convicting. I suppose the main thrust-audience would be designated teachers of the Word, but I found it useful as well. Awesomeness!

Comparisons and the Body of Christ by Rachel Sue. One of the most encouraging things I've read all year! Great thoughts on 1Corinthians 12.

In the Shadow of the Son by Michelle Lesley. This is masterful. I can't say too much, because it would spoil what is an amazing look at Scripture. As my sister once said, "The Bible is the only book truly without plot holes!"

Is It Real? by John MacArthur. This was an interesting look at proofs that "follow" salvation, out of 1John.

(I feel rather bad for not putting these in any sort of order! Oh, well!) Hope that your new year's celebration is completely wonderful as the time travelling goes on! May He be your Vision today and ever and always!

Now, I'm off to go wrestle with the calendar. Where did Monday go?!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


The Sunday school class I usually attend was cancelled this week; so I jumped over to the younger class instead. And it was so cool to sit in on their discussion of God's glory--from Exodus, to 2Corinthians 3! With Psalm 19 in mind, our youth pastor asked the huddle of students, "When you're on a mountain, do you think about how big you are?" When you stand in the ocean, are you impressed with your own vastness? When we look at a sunset, are we fixated on how beautiful we are? No. Because even the heavens declare the glory of God..."

Matthew Christian Harding thrusts a similar thought (from Job) into his fairy tale, The Peleg Chronicles, saying, "If God can play with the most powerful dragons [leviathan] as if they were a little bird, and yet they are so fierce to us, then how can we be prideful before our God? He has said about Himself 'who then is able to stand before me? Who has preceded me? Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.' So, I think it is very loving of Him to help us see how insignificant we are by creating such fearsome beasts, so that we might humbly reach out to accept his grace, mercy, and love."

I love that! What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You visit him? It's amazing, isn't it, that you can stretch through the Bible for ages and still find more about God's glory?!

Hope your week is above-lovely, whatever it finds you doing! (I also hope you'll forgive the excess of italics in this ramble!) Christmas has somehow appeared on my calendar, which is strange since I'm mentally still in November...but may your rest-of-advent be joyous, considering Jesus, humble as Man, even unto the cross. Praise God; it's amazingly, wonderfully, glorious!

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth. --Psalm 115:1 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I remember once reading a book that said something like, "men say they love the cold because they have conquered it." This is what popped into my mind as I wrapped myself in a very sacred (as in holey) jacket and huddled to pound out a post. Here in my corner of Texas, cold is always wet. (Hence, water is leaking through the window-seal.) But this is some of my favorite weather--especially for reading, a lot of which I need to do! (It's also good weather for sneezing. "Hatch-shew!"--typing that felt very King-Jamesian!)

So, between the tissues, I shall here slap down bits of what I'm digging through.

"Perhaps in a fallen world the social problem can in fact never be solved and we must take more seriously--what all Christians admit in theory--that our home is elsewhere." --C.S. Lewis

"I naturally loathe nearly all hymns...the charwoman in the next pew who revels in them, teach[es] me that good taste in poetry or music are not necessary to salvation." --C.S. Lewis

"...the notion that everyone would like Christianity to be true, and that therefore all atheists are brave men who have accepted the defeat of their deepest desires, is simply impudent nonsense. Do you think people like Stalin, Hitler, Haldane, Stapledon...would be pleased on waking up one morning to find that they were not their own masters, that they had a Master and a Judge, that there was nothing ever in the deepest recesses of their thoughts about which they could say to Him 'Keep out. Private. This is my business'?" -C.S. Lewis

"Notice how we are perpetually surprised at Time...why? Unless, indeed, there is something in us which is not temporal." --C.S. Lewis

"Ninevah was a pagan city in a completely pagan nation...It had been rebellious for as long as it had been in existence. But God, out of his compassion for the lost and rebellious, kept at it until they repented. This evil culture was on God's radar. Their rebellion did not close the door to God's mercy. You can't say it too often: God is never pro-sin or pro-rebellion, and we shouldn't be either. But sin and rebellion are man's natural condition--so God is pro-redemption. We should be too...Yes, God's wrath is stored up toward the unrighteous...yet at the same time, God can show mercy and favor towards rebellious people. Sodom was destroyed, but Ninevah was won over by God's compassion and repented. We never know exactly how things will turn out. But God does." --Curtis Allen

"God no longer intends for his people to be physically separate from the nations. Instead, we should go everywhere in the world and preach the message of salvation...Rather than structuring our lives around avoiding pollution from unbelievers, we are called to be engaged actively and personally with those who do not know Christ...Our participation in local churches is not so we can become better isolationists. Rather, it is intended in no small part to strengthen and equip us for a lifestyle of outreach." --Curtis Allen

"[Richard] Lovelace takes the position that as long as Christians are careful not to become morally compromised (which would dishonor God and taint our witness), we ought to be actively engaged with the unbelieving cultures we live in or are sent into. The most popular Christian phrase echoing this perspective, 'to be in the world, not of the world," is adapted from one of Jesus' prayers recorded in John 14...a more accurate and positive way to summarize the intent of Jesus' prayer is to say that while we are not of the world, we are nevertheless sent into the world." --Curtis Allen

It's dripping outdoors, and steaming soup in the kitchen. I believe I will turn myself unto Galatians...or maybe 2Timothy. (Both are lovely!) A very splendid evening to you, especially those with snow!

And if your nose is wrinkling like mine...Bless you in advance!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bible Bee

Decently, I should apologize for seemingly forgetting about this blog for...over a year. But I'm too excited to be formal, and I'm afraid it wasn't that I seemed to "forget about this blog." It's that I did. Anyhow, with that awkwardness out of the way, I hope anyone reading this is doing splendidly!

Things in my rather dusty corner of the world have been busy, but totally lovely. Since June, God allowed me to be in the Word daily through the Bible Bee. Those months of study were sometimes overwhelming...sometimes terrifying. But they were so incredibly rich! And I'll try to explain, but I dunno if my bouncing keyboard will even touch the edges of this joy!

Bible Bee isn't an event where you spell "Corinthians" and "sunoikodomeo." Really, it's far, far, far more than a contest! Starting on June 1st, participants open their Bibles to an assigned book, and open their "boxes" (of pre-ordered summer study supplies, received through registration with the Bee) to find their Sword Study (a book teaching you how to inductively study the Bible) and memory verse passages. (I just spit out a lot of wordiness-and-parenthetical-note-stuff there-and-here!) For example: this summer, the assigned book was 1John. Students interviewed and examined and applied the book bit-by-glorious-bit, helped by the wonderful Sword Study the same time, memorizing around 60 Bible verses--which further illumined their understanding of 1John. It was an incredible crash course. And commitment-wise? It takes only 20 minutes a day to go through a lesson.

[My writing is potentially confusing and caffeine-ridden. So I'd totally recommend checking out these official sites:
On the Sword Study--Sword Study
On the Bible Bee--Bible Bee]

The amazing part of a Bible Bee summer is the reminder that you aren't simply turning on "rote" and packing information. Studying the Bible is not like poring over a dry textbook. That's because God's Word is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12).

Summer study winds up with a local contest...which is an amazing thing!  Students are tested over their memory passages, and their knowledge of the given Bible book (example: 1John). Scores will be tallied to determine who will be invited to the National competition.
But the best part of this local level is the fellowship. We've acquired knowledge together (even if in separate homes/towns/churches), and the common ground is incredible! John 17:3 comes to mind: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. That's the knowledge that counts.

There's so much I could talk about here. Because you're likely one of my relatives, you've read thus far with wonderful patience--so thanks! I could go on about Nationals, but I feel like that merits another post. (Given I still remember this blog!)

But here's what I want to get down: why do I so love Bible Bee? Why is this Bible study so important to me?
There's two huge reasons. The first is that the proof of my love for Jesus is in obeying Him--If you love Me, keep My commandments! (John 14:15)
How can I possibly obey a perfect, holy God? Through my efforts and strivings to "be good"--when only God is perfectly, inherently, essentially "good"? (Mark 10:18)
Psalm 119:32 puts things well, I think. I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart. "You make my heart wide. You broaden it." Some versions take this as "You broaden my understanding." 
I can go in that way of obedience because God, Who is open-handed, is the One Who widens my heart. He's the one Who gives wisdom (James 1:5). I need Him to open up the Scriptures (1Cor 2:14, Luke 24:45). Because of what God has done, I don't have to stumble around without a clue of what He wants from me. His commandments aren't burdensome (1John 5:3). The course of obedience can be run through, with sureness (1Corinthians 9:24-27).
But how can we know God without knowing the Truth...His Word (John 17:17)? Psalm 1:1-2 tells of the blessing of the man who delights and constantly meditates on God's Word. And that makes it abundantly clear that we have to be in the Word.

To cap off this first reason: Bible Bee gets one into the Word, so by knowing it better, we can know the Living Word, Jesus, better. We can know His commandments...and obey.

Reason Number 2 is that I've seen through Bible Bee how getting into the Word--and receiving the knowledge of Jesus therein--transforms. I was born into a heritage of works-based religion. And I dearly loved that identity. I was proud of my self-sustained righteousness, of my inward-collectedness. I had things spiritually tied with a bow! The Bible probably had some neat bits. I'd flipped through the first pages of Genesis, maybe gagged at a randomly-opened Old Testament battle. Oh, and John 3:16? I knew that much. Existence was secure. Just as well-founded as the dust-laden, pink-covered children's Bible on my shelf--the only one in my possession.
In 2010, a couple of friends told me about this thing called Bible Bee. It sounded worth a shot--I had nothing to do that summer, and it sounded more interesting than reading over the dictionary. I registered late, and sometime in June my study supplies came in. The book of focus was Colossians.
And in four chapters, the world turned upside down (Acts 17:6). I met something totally new--the preeminence of Christ. I'd "seen Him" in pictures. Here He was in record--above everything. Here was the Master and Maker of creation! 
And something else became evident. I was not the quintessential goody-two-shoes. I wasn't good at all. Because if the Bible was true, then there was only One Perfect Man, ever. And we killed Him. He gave Himself up when He bore my sin. 
If I had no real knowledge of God's law, I had knowledge in conscience (Romans 2, 3). God's wrath was on me. I had attempted to bribe Him with stuff I did! I had assumed that He could be blinded, satiated by my donating to Salvation Army or throwing pennies into relief funds. The God of gods and Lord of lords doesn't show partiality, and He doesn't take bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17-22). My "good deeds" were like rags waved in the Creator's face, attempting to gain His favor (Isaiah 64:5-7). "Paying" my way to heaven with works was not getting me into the Wedding. There was only one sure dowry of a self-motored left me a hellbound sinner with a neat resume.
Jesus was perfect--I was wretched. And this amazing thing that we'd all heard of became real. God sends the Son. And Jesus, obedient to the Father, is the gift given to satisfy God's righteous judgment (1John 4:10). He dies. And by God's power, He rises (Ephesians 1:15-20). The tomb is empty. Death's power is empty. Because of Jesus, Satan's hold over me is empty (Hebrews 2:14-15).
In one summer, God brought the truth of the Gospel into my life. In one summer, salvation wasn't a rumor--it became founded in the Author, the Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12). Out of one summer, my family and I came to know Christ--from getting into the Bible.

That's why I love the Bible Bee.  It's about more than memory. It's about more than trophies. Even if my name isn't engraved on a slab of glass, the solid foundation of God stands (2Timothy 2:19). It's about studying to realize who Jesus is through the testimony of the Book...because in believing, we have life in His name (John 20:29-31). What cause for rejoicing!
So why not get into the Word, now? And if you skipped checking out those above links earlier--you should check them out! Awesomeness!

While you're at it, why not think about this best-of-all-news called the Gospel? 

On the Gospel--Are You Good Enough?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I have nothing to say, you can consider this an empty post...("empty" should be figurative, I suppose, since there is "something" filling the post...although that "something" is nonsense...)

I think I have far too much fun with ellipses...I always loved them--three little dots in a row, perfect for drawing off my lisping thoughts...but after I discovered that they have a name--well, what more needs to be said?..Anything with a name is precious...

It turns out that my foreign language skills put the "rude" in rudimentary...(note ellipses)
I've trickled through in school. But I've never stretched myself into a language. And so, I wind up with only a few vocabulary pebbles, and very weak accents...

A case in point...

Young relative: "Kaitlin, say something in Latin!"
Kaitlin (mumbling): "Salve...quid agis..."
Yr (wonderingly): "Soggy squid? That's Latin?"

Many blessings your way...

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5