Training in Righteousness
Other places I blog



web stats

Find Me On Twitter

Are you trying to be loveable?

From Tim Lane's book Living Without Worry:

If you are a Christian, do you still worry about past sins? Maybe you acknowledge God's cleansing grace for you in Christ, but you still see the consequences of past sins in the present. If so, the consequences are a reality and should serve as a reminder of the ripple effect of disobedience. But rather than that leading you to anxiety, it should lead to greater resolve to make every effort to flee sin and embrace obedience. But don't forget that you have been forgiven of your past sins. God will not stand in judgment over you due to the fact that Jesus has born his judgment for you, in your place as your substitute.

If you are worried about your past sins, then this is "over-concern." Why? Because Jesus has taken those sins from you. It may be a sign that, deep down, you think you need to make yourself more loveable to God before he will love you; you think you need to earn his acceptance. You are over-loving your own obedience. And this will cause you to run from God completely or live in great anxiety about his opinion of you. Every day becomes another day to run further away or try harder to keep God's judgment far away. No one can bear to live life with that kind of load upon them. You are living only half the story. You are knowing the "woe"; but now you need to see that Jesus took that woe away from you, dealt with it, and now you are free to live as a beloved child of God. Our angst over sin should always drive us to the cross, rather than to worry.


Thankful Thursday

Here we are at the end of May already. Things are green, flowers are blooming, and I am thankful:

... for my mother-in-law, who helped me put together a beautiful pot of flowers for my front step. She's so good at things like that.

... for my husband's wonderful, patient disposition.

... for praying friends.

... for having my daughter home for a couple of days.

... for my youngest son getting a co-op job that he really wanted.

... for my other son's hard work in mixing a CD of his travel team's songs. Can't wait to hear it in full. I've heard pieces, and it's so great.

... for my mother and father's continued good health.

... for the truth that adversity really does reveal who your friends are.

... that my times are in God's hands.


Prayer for a blessing

From the Olney Hymns
On Occasional Subjects
William Cowper, Prayer for a Blessing

Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth
The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.

Grace is a plant, where’er it grows,
Of pure and heav’nly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit;

Ye careless ones, O hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love!
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.

True, you are young, but there’s a stone
Within the youngest breast;
Or half the crimes which you have done
Would rob you of your rest.

For you the public prayer is made,
O! join the public prayer!
For you the secret tear is shed,
O shed yourselves a tear.

We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit’s power to teach;
You cannot be too young to love
That JESUS whom we preach. 


A word to to the journal writers and bloggers

I was recently doing some clean up, and I had cause to open the big cedar chest that belonged to my grandmother, and sits at the end of my bed. I keep mostly momentoes in there; things that belonged to the kids, scrapbooks, some of my own old toys, etc. In there, I also keep a pile of black, hard-backed books. My journals from over the years. I've always written in a journal.

I took a few minuts to flip through a few of them, and I came across one volume that was recorded during a difficult time for our family. As I flipped through its pages, I became increasingly disappointed with some of the things I had said. The tone was bitter. I was quickly overwhelmed with shame, and in very short order that journal was taken from the pile and destroyed. It's not that I'm trying to hide who I was, but honestly, transparency has its limits. Why leave a record of something like that? I wouldn't want my family to read those thoughts. I plan on perusing some of the other journals, too, to ensure that there aren't things that are not worthy of being kept.

For those who write in journals (and for those who blog with a lot of transparency), beware. Every thought does not need to be recorded. Instead of recording negative thoughts, write things that are good. Write about how proud you are of your kids, how much you love your family, the daily provision of God, the joy He gives. I can toss my journals aside in the garbage if I feel like they contain nothing edifying. Sure, pour out your thoughts to God, like the Psalmist did, but write with kindness and grace. Don't be harsh.

And what about our blogs? They require just as much caution and care. Don't say something about your family, your kids, or your husband that you may regret later. Transparency is a highly valued trait these days, but it must be practiced carefully. It's one thing to be transparent; it's another thing to be indiscreet, and when it comes to sharing things about our family, we really need to be careful. 

Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise."

May we write about those things, too, whether it is a black book or a blog.


Watch, remember, seek, and strive

From the Olney Hymns
William Cowper
Hymn 138 

“Write to Sardis, saith the Lord,
And write what He declares;
He whose Spirit, and whose word,
Upholds the seven stars: 
All they works and ways I search,
Find thy zeal and love decayed;
Thou art called a living church,
But thou art cold and dead.

Watch, remember, seek and strive,
Exert thy former pains;
Let thy timely care revive,
And strengthen what remains:
Cleanse thine heart, thy works amend:
Former times to mind recall;
Lest my sudden stroke descend,
And smite thee once for all.

Yet I number now, in thee,
A few that are upright;
These my Father’s face shall see,
And walk with me in white:
When in judgment I appear,
They for mine shall be confessed;
Let my faithful servants hear,
And woe be to the rest.