Monday, August 25, 2008

Beth Moore Conference

I don't have tons of time to post (as usual) but the ladies and I from work had a wonderful time at the Beth Moore Conference in San Antonio this past weekend. I was a little skeptical because I tend to shy away from large groups of emotionally charged women. Yes, I'm a woman and yes, I do have emotional moments but I don't like to be submerged in such situations (I'm sort of a tomboy/outdoorsy girl at heart). But it was a delightful weekend. Beth is a wonderful Bible teacher. The praise music was beautiful and powerful and I got to know my sisters in Christ that I work with at SWBTS just a bit better.

This weekend made me think of several things. First, the topic was great. Inheritance. The Bible is laden with talk of inheritance. The main passage of the weekend was Psalm 16:5-6 (though we jumped often to different passages):

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (ESV)

The 8 main points of the weekend were:
1. I am an heir of God. My life is not left to chance.
2. I am an heir of God. I am inheriting a kingdom.
3. I am an heir of God. He is my portion…And I am His.
4. I am an heir of God. The down-payment has been made.
5. I am an heir of God. My boundary lines form a pleasing place.
6. I am an heir of God. The will has been activated.
7. I am an heir of God. I can be secure.
8. I am an heir of God. I have a beautiful inheritance.

A few things that struck me during the weekend (many did but here are a few) are the facts that we're God's "glorious inheritance" and that we need to live in light of that fact. God values us so much so we should live with this in mind, without insecurities or being trapped in sin. Another thing struck me and I'm hesitant to say it here because I believe it could inflame some potentially volatile debate (such statements have in the past).

Okay, here goes: Beth Moore is a more skilled preacher than a great number of men I have heard preach. Let that soak in for a minute before I continue. Being a part of her Bible studies on Friday and Saturday was a blessing. But they weren't merely Bible studies because there were 10,000 women there in a venue where there could be little interaction. She was preaching. She was preaching to women but she was preaching. Beth acknowledges that her calling is to work with women and it is clear that God has gifted her to that capacity. It made me think back over some of the pastors I have had in the past and how she had so much more skill in laying out Scripture than many of them.

So this topic naturally drifts to the topic of women serving as pastors and/or teaching men. This weekend something was reaffirmed in my heart that I have often struggle with (not for myself but just in general). God chooses to use people regardless of their skills or abilities. God chose not to use women as pastors over congregations not because of their lack of ability or their tendency to be easily led astray (crazy boys drawing that from the text) but because of His sovereign choice to use whatever means He sees fit to best glorify Himself. If men argue that God placed them in their positions of authority because of their abilities, they are sorely mistaken. God uses the weak, unwise, and inexperienced to confound those that think are they are strong, wise, and experienced. If anything, maybe this speaks more highly of women (*wink wink*). Honestly though, this weekend helped to reinforce in my life that God chooses to use people because of His power, not their own. His choice to not use women in certain ministerial positions is no indication of a women's worth or ability. He has worked through Beth because He loves her and wants to glorify Himself in the way He has chosen.

Okay, to end on a less heavy note (and please understand that the above rambling hasn't been thoroughly thought out and could be erroneous in some ways), here's a picture from the conference. I'm in the second row, in the middle with an orange shirt on. The ladies who went with me are around me. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I don't have much time to write my thoughts on this article except.....gosh, what a travesty. We value human life so very little. We disregard and throw away the weakest members of our society because they are unwanted. This article is NOT primarily on abortion but on something that everyone can agree is horrible...well, everyone except Obama.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doctrinal Accomodation

I was struck by this quote earlier today:

"I pray that the younger evangelicals who are pondering where to put their energies will learn from history that doctrinal accommodation brings larger audiences in the short run but death and irrelevance in the long run."

Piper's comment above came at the end of a brief summary of an article on the death of Mainline Protestantism in the last thirty years. Joseph Bottum calls this decline the "central historical fact of our time" so I perked up and read Bottum's explanation. The objective of this article is not to point to Christ as savior but it is an interesting article.

Piper's closing remarks in his summary are reaffirming for our ministry in Everman as we try to do things of substance to foster growth in the youth there. Many churches' desires to be relevant to those outside of the church cause them to tolerate compromises in theology. This ultimately leads to their inability to minister to the true needs of the very group they are seeking to reach. According to one of the sources cited by Bottum, "the single best predictor of church participation turned out to be belief—orthodox Christian belief, and especially the teaching that a person can be saved only through Jesus Christ."

Orthodox belief...not well planned, non-threatening, relational family programs or utilization of the latest technology for worship or a focus on the social plights of the day or environmentalism or the economy or politics or even a spurning of "archaic" doctrines to accomodate those less comfortable with church. Belief in Jesus as Lord. Funny, isn't it, that the One who began the church blesses the church when its focus is Him? What else is funny is that when Christ is the center, all those other things are affected: our treatment of the environment, how we spend money, how we "do" church, what we believe about doctrine. Hmmm...

For the summary of the article by John Piper (brief and to the point), click here: Dying Protestantism. For the full length (and I do mean FULL length) article by Joseph Bottum, click here: The Death of Protestant America.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Quick Update from a Horrible Blogger

My lack of time and lack of home Internet connection (Kyle and I figure we have access at work so it's best to not have access to the addictive thing in the house at this time) causes me to be a pitiful blogger. Sorry family and friends. Here's quick update:

Monday: I'm facilitating Ph.D. orientation over at the Riley Center..should be a good time.

Tuesday: Kyle has FedEx on Tuesday nights so that's my night to veg out alone. Lately I've been finishing up the curtains I'm making for the dining room.

Wednesday: we're doing something different to welcome in the new seventh graders coming up to youth...can't remember for the life of me what it is.

Thursday: Paintball (also to welcome in the new youth...kind of like hazing, only in Christian love)! I'm excited but also a little apprehensive about this. Maybe I can play the feeble, delicate little flower part and then surprise them with my wicked bad sniper skills. It usually works when Kyle tries to wrestle me.

: Classes start back up for me (Thursday for Kyle). I'll work a few hours, go to class, work a few more hours and then go to San Antonio with a group of ladies from work for a Beth Moore conference. Should be a fun time. Kyle is having the youth lock-in this night. They'll be playing messy games, having a devotional, going to Group Dynamix to do team-building high ropes stuff, and then playing dodge ball in a nearby gymnasium. I'm sorry I'll be missing out.

Saturday: Kyle will probably be sleeping much of the day and I'll return that night.

We have two retreats in September, one with the upcoming seniors and one with the college and career group. Should be a great time. Kyle is pumped about football season (he's been talking about it starting for over a month). I'm more excited that the average temperature for the month will be below 101 degrees (no lie...that's what our electricity bill said for July).

Rylie is doing well. She's walking well on her leash and still as sweet as ever. She has, though, dug a tremendous pit in the backyard. When I say tremendous I mean several feet long and foot deep that could easily cause someone to break an ankle if they unknowingly stepped into it. That will be one of our projects next spring...grow grass where the weeds were so she can't dig as much!

Oh yeah...and we were phelpsaholics when he was swimming. We're loving the Olympics. Go Team USA!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman Family on Good Morning America 8/6/08

Wonderful interview with an amazing family. You can pause the music at the bottom of the page so you can hear the interview.