Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day

The circling year again brings round
This proud Memorial Day,
With mingled joy and grief profound,
We deck with wreaths the sacred mound,
Where patriot soldiers lay.

Tis meet that we this honor show,
And pledge this day anew,
Our fadeless faith, that all may know
How strong this faith will ever grow,
In loyal hearts and true.

Our land so broad, so grand, so free,
Pays homage to the band,
Who fought and bled, and died that We
An Undivided nation be,
The peer of any land.

Pile granite to the vaulted skies;
Carve words of deathless fame;
Let marble monuments arise
Where’er the soldier-patriot lies,
In honor of his name.

~ Z. F. Riley

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Laudable Linkage

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Here’s a short but profitable list of reads discovered this week:

Can We Really Be Free From Fear? HT to nikkipolani. “The secret to our emancipation from enslavement to our excessive fears is a fear transfer. We need to stop fearing other things more than Jesus.” “For the Christian, every storm serves the Lord Jesus and demonstrates some aspect of his sovereign power.”

Domestic Abuse: A Victim’s Story. This is far more common than realized, in homes where you’d least expect it. If you need help or know someone who does, or suspect someone does, please read this.

Seven Lies We Tell Unmarried Women, HT to True Woman.

Speak Life: How to Deal When Your Children Fight.

Royalty-free images and copyright violations. This was from a Facebook post about a blogger who had gotten in trouble for using a photo she found on the Internet without permission. This article was linked and gives clear definitions about the different kinds of licenses, sources for free photos, etc.

5 Kid-friendly Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day, HT to The Story Warren.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Laura shared some great ways to celebrate as well and included this helpful graphic:

Happy Saturday!

 

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Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This week, thankfully, had no major off days or bad days as the last couple of weeks have had. In fact, all around it has been a pretty good week. Here are the best parts:

1. Lunch with Melanie, my blog friend who moved to TN and became a real-life friend. 🙂  We met at Cracker Barrel this time. The food was wonderful and the fellowship even better. Before we moved here, I used to get together with friends for lunch pretty often, and haven’t really done that here. I didn’t realize how much I missed and needed it until these last couple of lunches with Melanie. We’re already planning our next excursion. 🙂

2. Ladies Brunch at our church. The theme was “Oaks of Righteousness” from Isaiah 61:3: “To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (NASB). The decorations, speaker, food, and fellowship were all a blessing. I’m borrowing a couple of photos from their Facebook page since I didn’t think to take any.

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I thought the centerpieces were especially pretty. The wood came from the church property and the flowers were donated by a local florist.

For our activity/favor, we got to choose three different herbs to plant in little containers painted in chalk paint so we could write the name of the plant on them. I’ve got mine on the windowsill right now until I decide where to put them: basil, chives, and rosemary. I have never worked with fresh herbs before, so this will be a learning experience.

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3. A surprise lunch visit. Mittu texted me Wednesday to ask if she, Jason, and Timothy could bring Chick-Fil-A over for lunch and visit for a while. Sure!

4. Days at home. I consider running errands a ministry to my family, or part of my job in the distribution of necessary tasks involved in having a home and family. If I can get things done in the day time, then my husband doesn’t have to spend time doing them after long days at work, and I’m available if we do anything on the weekend instead of having to run around. And it’s nice to get out of the house some. 🙂 But some weeks, it seems like I am out almost every morning, and then I feel overloaded and don’t get things done at home. Except for a quick run to the drugstore one day, somehow this week I made it to Thursday before needing to make a major grocery expedition. It felt marvelous! And I don’t think I’ll need to run any other errands this week.

5. A mini closet project. Part of that time at home allowed for something I had been itching to do for a while now. My whole closet didn’t need cleaning or organizing, but I had some clutter in there to take care of. When I buy something online or in town, I keep the packaging for a while in case I need to return anything, so I had that kind of stuff accumulating for months, plus a wedding present to package. I had taken the heaviest of my winter things out earlier, but took the rest out at this time and got rid of one dress that was in no condition to wear again. I often vacuum the walk-in part of the closet, but this time I vacuumed under all the clothes, straightened the shoes, dusted the ones I hadn’t worn in a while. It felt good to get all that done.

Bonus: We had thunderstorms in the forecast for much of this week, but thankfully didn’t get any. We had some heavy rain one day and a bit more scattered throughout the week, with some overcast skies, but that was it. Thunderstorms always make me a little nervous about falling trees and power outages, so I was very happy not to have any. 🙂 We have more in the forecast for next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Have a great Friday!

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Book Review: Eight Women of Faith

8 Women of FaithEight Women of Faith by Michael A. G. Haykin is a series of essays about different women of faith between 1537 and 1826 and how they ministered to the church in their time. Karen Swallow Prior asserts in her forward to the book that we tend to focus on the one thing that women cannot do* and even use that to suppress them in other ways, instead of celebrating and encouraging the many things they can do, and this book is an attempt to highlight a few of the many ways women can be used by God.

After a brief introduction of an abbreviated history of thought on what women were and were not allowed to do in the church and a bit of background into how the book came about, Haykin proceeds with his essays. The eight women he discusses are:

Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554). The author details how Jane came to saving faith in Christ and the series of events in which Jane became queen for nine days (at her family and others’ direction, not her own ambition) until her disinherited cousin, Mary (of Bloody Mary fame) “marched on London with an army” (p. 26) and almost everyone turned to her, even those who had previously supported Jane. Jane was arrested and imprisoned, and Mary, a “die-hard Catholic,” sent one of her “most able chaplains” seasoned in debate (p. 21) to convert Jane to Catholicism. There are several pages of Jane’s record of the conversation, and it’s amazing that a teenager could be so firm in her faith and so ably answer this man from Scripture. My favorite part from this chapter is from a note Jane wrote shortly before she died to her sister:

I have here sent you, good sister Katherine, a book, which, although it be not outwardly trimmed with gold, yet inwardly it is more worth than precious stones. It is the book, dear sister, of the Law of the Lord. It is his testament and last will, which he bequeathed to us wretches, which shall lead you to the path of eternal joy. And if you with a good mind read it, and with an earnest desire follow it, it shall bring you to an immortal and everlasting life. It will teach you to live and learn you to die (p. 33).

Margaret Baxter (1636-1681) was the wife of esteemed Puritan pastor and writer Richard Baxter. In this chapter the author gives a brief history of opinions on marriage from early Christians through the Puritans. He gives some background information on both Richard and Margaret and how they came to trust in Christ and to marry. They were vastly different, in age, finances, and personality, and she struggled with anxiety after almost having died four times and witnessed a number of atrocities. But they appreciated each other’s gifts. He “freely admitted that Margaret was better than he at solving problems relating to financial and civil affairs” and “practical issues of the Christian life” (p. 48). A couple of favorite quotes of Baxter’s:

My dear wife did look for more good in me than she found, especially lately in my weakness and decay. We are all like pictures that must not be looked at too near. They that come near us find more faults and badness in us than others at a distance know.

When husband and wife take pleasure in each other, it uniteth them in duty, it helpeth them with ease to do their work, and bear their burdens; and it is not the least part of the comfort of the married state (p. 51).

Anne Dutton (1692-1765) was a Calvinistic Baptist writer even though that profession was not encouraged for women at the time. She wrote “tracts and treatises,…sacred correspondence, and poems” and corresponded regularly with George Whitfield and Selina Hastings, the Countess of Huntingdon, and others (p. 57). The Puritans “splintered into three major groups: the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, and the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists” (p. 57), and Anne spent a lot of writing defending her beliefs, critiquing others’ teaching, and weighing in on controversies of the day.

Sarah Edwards (1710-1758) was the wife of Jonathan Edwards, leading figure in the “Great Awakening.” After very little biographical information, the author spends much of the chapter on Edwards’ writing about his wife “as a model of a Spirit-filled person” as opposed to some of the fanaticism and excesses of the day (p. 68).

Anne Steele (1717-1778) also came from a Calvinistic Baptist family, remained single on purpose, and wrote several hymns, and was known as “the Baptist equivalent of Isaac Watts” (p. 81).

Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) was the third daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, and the author concentrates her chapter on her writings about friendship.

Ann Judson (1789-1826) and her husband Adoniram were America’s first missionaries. The author tells of her own conversion, Adoniram’s proposal, which not only included marriage but also life as missionaries in Asia, the voyage there, the struggles learning the language, and their first few years.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is, as I’m sure everyone knows, one of England’s most famous and most beloved novelists. A line in the notes and references at the end of the book says that “Religion to her was a private matter: to discuss it in a novel would have been a breach of good taste” (p. 148). But from her letters and what she does say in her novels, and especially a prayer she wrote, the author brings out strands of her beliefs.

My thoughts:

I was actually fairly frustrated with this book, but the primary reason for that was my own fault. I was expecting it to be more biographical, like When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up, which I read recently. So I was dismayed to find out that the chapters were essays. They did, however, contain a good bit of biographical information.

My secondary frustration had to do with Haykin’s choices of what he put in and left out. Granted, when you’re writing just a few pages of a life about which books have been written, you can’t include everything, and different authors would make different decisions about what to emphasize. Ann Judson and Sarah Edwards were the two with whom I was most familiar, having read a number of biographies of Ann in particular (I wrote about Ann here and Sarah here and here). The great bulk of the most interesting part of Ann’s life was summarized in the last paragraph of the chapter. The author spent a great deal of time on Adoniram and Ann’s study concerning infant baptism (paedobaptism). They came from a tradition of infant baptism, and as they studied, they began to question it, studied some more, and eventually came out on the side of believer’s baptism, being baptized after one has made a profession of faith. This incident is important for a number of reasons. It shows their character and concern for truth and fidelity to Scripture (which was the main theme of the chapter). They had not wanted to make this change: Ann “felt afraid [Adoniram] would become a Baptist, and frequently urged the unhappy consequences if he should. But he said his duty compelled him to satisfy his own mind, and embrace those sentiments which appeared most concordant with Scripture” (p. 108). Once it became clear to both of them, they felt they had no choice but to make it known and deal with the consequences, which included leaving the mission board that had just formed in order to send them out, seeking Baptist support, facing the dismay and even anger of their friends and colleagues. So, yes, for all those reasons this was important. But if you’re writing 14 pages of a person’s life, do you want to spend 5 pages on this? A good page and a half or so was spent on listing the books the Judsons studied on this issue and telling us about the authors: in my mind, these books and authors could have been a footnote or end note with much less detail.

But aside from that, the book does share a lot of good information about these women and does meet its purpose in showing a variety of ways in which women have used their gifts to minister to others. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Lady Jane Grey. I knew her basic story and had read a fictional account of her life, but I appreciated learning more about her. I felt this chapter was the best written in the book, with a good blend of historical and biographical detail. I had read a magazine article on Margaret Baxter which made me want to read more about her, so I as glad to find more here. I had not heard on Anne Steele or Anne Dutton before. One of the main reasons I got this book, besides liking biographies and seeing it recommended by other bloggers I respect, was to find out more about Jane Austen’s faith. I had deduced that she was God-fearing in the sense that most of society in England was in those days, but I had wondered about her personal faith. I was a little disappointed in that there is just not much information available, especially with her feeling it was a private matter, and it’s not entirely certain that the lengthy prayer that was shared was hers. But I enjoyed the author’s tracing the way she dealt with preachers in her books.

So…mixed emotions about this book. There were parts I did enjoy and learned from, but I don’t think I will be seeking out any more books by Haykin any time soon.

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* I know that there are a variety of opinions among my readers concerning what women can and can’t do in the church, but I would ask that you not make this post a place for that debate. I shared my own views here.

(Sharing with Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books)

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The Bible and Slavery

Perhaps you’ve been troubled, as I have, by wondering why the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery outright. Over the years I’ve come across several thoughts and quotes that have helped me in my own understanding of it.

I found that the Bible actually does condemn kidnapping and selling people: “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death,” Exodus 21:16. “Enslavers” (in the ESV, “menstealers” in the KJV), defined by BibleGateway.com as “those who take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery,” were listed alongside liars and immoral people as sinners in 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

The main type of slavery mentioned in the Old Testament came about because of a debt that could not be paid in any other way, something like an indentured servant (which makes more sense than a debtor’s prison, where there is no hope of paying off the debt). In the MacArthur Study Bible notes for 1 Kings 9:21-22, John MacArthur says “The law did not allow Israelites to make fellow-Israelites slaves against their will (Ex. 21:2-11; Lev. 25:44-46; Deut. 15:12-18.)” But people could offer themselves as slaves to pay a debt. Slaves were to be released after 7 years (Deuteronomy 15:12): they weren’t ruined for life. They were not to be sent away empty-handed when they were released: they were to be supplied “liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him” (verses 13-14). Masters were told, ‘You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today” (verse 15).

There were also cases of slavery by one nation conquering another, and there were differences in dealing with slaves from other cultures. One source I read said that when one nation conquered another in those times, the conquered citizens were either killed or enslaved. Thankfully that is no longer the case for the most part, although there are areas of the world where it still is.

Slavery in the NT is usually this latter type. In Be Complete (Colossians): Become the Whole Person God Intends You to Be, Wiersbe says:

Slavery was an established institution in Paul’s day. There were sixty million people in the Roman Empire, and many of them were well-educated people who carried great responsibilities in the homes of the wealthy. In many homes, the slaves helped to educate and discipline the children.

Why didn’t the church of that day openly oppose slavery and seek to destroy it? For one thing, the church was a minority group that had no political power to change an institution that was built into the social order. Paul was careful to instruct Christian slaves to secure their freedom if they could (1 Cor. 7: 21), but he did not advocate rebellion or the overthrow of the existing order.

Something should be noted: The purpose of the early church was to spread the gospel and win souls, not to get involved in social action. Had the first Christians been branded as an anti-government sect, they would have been greatly hindered in their soul winning and their church expansion. While it is good and right for Christians to get involved in the promotion of honesty and morality in government and society, this concern must never replace the mandate to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16: 15).

He shares how Christian masters and slaves were being instructed to treat each other in the epistles was a radical departure from the way things were in the Roman world at that time. He goes on to say:

The gospel did not immediately destroy slavery, but it did gradually change the relationship between slave and master. Social standards and pressures disagreed with Christian ideals, but the Christian master was to practice those ideals just the same. He was to treat his slave like a person and like a brother in Christ (Gal. 3: 28). He was not to mistreat him; he was to deal with his slave justly and fairly. After all, the Christian slave was a free man in the Lord, and the master was a slave to Christ (1 Cor. 7: 22). In the same way, our social and physical relationships must always be governed by our spiritual relationships.

Similarly, in the introductory notes for Philemon in the MacArthur Study Bible, John MacArthur says:

The NT nowhere directly attacks slavery; had it done so, the resulting slave insurrection would have been brutally suppressed and the message of the gospel hopelessly confused with that of social reform. Instead, Christianity undermined the evils of slavery by changing the hearts of slaves and masters. By stressing the spiritual equality of master and slave (v. 16; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1-2), the Bible did away with slavery’s abuses.

At least, it did away with them in instruction: it condemned mistreatment of other people in general with specific instruction on how slaves and masters were to treat each other, which rose above the standard of the times. But it took many years for the system to change. Some thoughts in regard to that:

1. God does not generally deal with everyone’s sins all at once, individually or as a people. I remember a few years after I became a Christian feeling convicted over something that I would not have thought twice about in my earlier life and being glad that God didn’t show me everything that was wrong right off the bat. That would have been so overwhelming. But as I read more of the Bible and sat under good teaching, I grew in Him, and then became more aware of things that didn’t please Him that I needed to confess and forsake. In the Bible there are things pointed out as sin in Exodus that aren’t mentioned in Genesis. Polygamy was tolerated for a time, though it was not how God designed marriage, and specific instruction was given later. In the gospels, Jesus goes beyond the mere letter of the law (thou shalt nor commit adultery) to the inner workings of the heart (if you look lustfully, you’re guilty. Matthew 5:27-28). As people have had more history and received more light, they’re more responsible.

2. God redeems people, not institutions. A former pastor said this about a different modern-day situation, but it applies here as well. As Warren Wiersbe put it in Be Faithful  (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon): It’s Always Too Soon to Quit!:

Was Paul hinting in Philemon 21 that Philemon should do even more and free Onesimus? For that matter, why did he not come right out and condemn slavery? This letter certainly would have been the ideal place to do it. Paul did not “condemn” slavery in this letter or in any of his letters, though he often had a word of admonition for slaves and their masters (Eph. 6:5–9; Col. 3:22—4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1–2; Titus 2:9–10). In fact, he encouraged Christian slaves to obtain their freedom if they could (1 Cor. 7:21–24).

During the American Civil War, both sides used the same Bible to “prove” their cases for or against slavery. One of the popular arguments was, “If slavery is so wrong, why did Jesus and the apostles say nothing against it? Paul gave instructions to regulate slavery, but he did not condemn it.” One of the best explanations was given by Alexander Maclaren in his commentary on Colossians in The Expositor’s Bible (Eerdmans, 1940; vol. VI, 301):

First, the message of Christianity is primarily to individuals, and only secondarily to society. It leaves the units whom it has influenced to influence the mass. Second, it acts on spiritual and moral sentiment, and only afterwards and consequently on deeds or institutions. Third, it hates violence, and trusts wholly to enlightened conscience. So it meddles directly with no political or social arrangements, but lays down principles which will profoundly affect these, and leaves them to soak into the general mind.

Had the early Christians begun an open crusade against slavery, they would have been crushed by the opposition, and the message of the gospel would have become confused with a social and political program. Think of how difficult it was for people to overcome slavery in England and America, and those two nations had general education and the Christian religion to help prepare the way. Think also of the struggles in the modern Civil Rights movement even within the church. If the battle for freedom was difficult to win in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, what would the struggle have been like back in the first century?

3. God often works from the inside out. Some of the quotes above touch on this concept, but in addition, in Be Faithful, Wiersbe says, “Christians in the Roman Empire could not work through local democratic political structures as we can today, so they really had no political power to bring about change. The change had to come from within, even though it took centuries for slavery to end.”

It does seem that, long before the Civil War, people in general and Christians in particular should have realized the problems with slavery and certainly should have realized that just because slavery was in the Bible doesn’t mean it was an example we should follow. There are examples not to follow in the Bible as well as examples to follow. Someone once said that the “Golden Rule” alone, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31), should have been enough to stop people from having slaves.

In the Civil War era, and likely before, some people used passages in the Bible about slaves being beaten as justification for their mistreatment of slaves (Solomon Northup tells of a situation like this in Twelve Years a Slave). But I think by and large those passages are just expressing what would happen in those days to disobedient slaves rather than justifying slavery and beatings. To pick out isolated verses to justify slavery as it was before the Civil War is to misuse the Bible: reading the whole Bible and reading in context within the big picture would avoid that problem.

Northup also said of one kind, Christian master, whom some might wonder at having had slaves, “The influences and associations that had always surrounded him, blinded him to the inherent wrong at the bottom of the system of slavery. He never doubted the moral right of one man holding another in subjection. Looking through the same medium with his fathers before him, he saw things in the same light. Brought up under other circumstances and other influences, his notions would undoubtedly have been different.” Booker T. Washington said something similar in Up From Slavery, not excusing slavery, but understanding that the economic system and years of history had masters firmly enmeshed in the system.

Thankfully God raised up people like William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln and others who worked against slavery until it was finally broken, at least in England and America. Unfortunately it still goes on in other areas, and even in our country people enslave others in other forms, like the horrible sex trafficking trade. I have no idea how to help, but Scripture encourages us to:

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7

Before I leave this subject, there is one more aspect I must consider. Throughout the Bible, our relationship with God is described in various aspects: father/child; shepherd/sheep; groom/bride; king/subjects, and others. I wrote more on this here. One of those aspects is a master and slave or bondservant. Some have said that because we’re God’s children, we’re no longer slaves, and there is a sense in which that is true. But all through the New Testament, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, who very much preached our sonship in Christ, also called themselves servants. Jesus Himself was called a servant and took on a servant’s duty when he washed the disciples’ feet, even though He was the Son of God (Philippians 2:5-8).

In the Old Testament, there was provision for a situation in which a servant who was due for his freedom but wanted to stay with his master because he loved him could be bound to his master forever. I think this is one picture of our relationship with Christ. He doesn’t forcefully snatch us up or forcibly make us obey Him. He wants us willingly to yield ourselves to Him out of love for Him and acknowledgement of Who He is. It is an atrocity for any man to think he has a right to own anyone else, but God does “own” us, because He created us and because He paid the price for our sin. But He wants us to yield ourselves in complete trust and obedience to Him. And He wants us to serve others in love (Galatians 5:13). We were “servants of sin” before believing in Christ; now He wants us to become “servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

Studying out what the Bible says about our servanthood would probably take another blog post, but it involves realizing that He is Lord, that He takes care of all our needs, that we owe all to Him, that we really have no rights apart from Him, that He deserves our all.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.John 12:26

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:24-25.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:15-16.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Some other good sources on this issue:

Does the Bible Allow For Slavery?
Why Was Slavery Allowed in the Old Testament?
Why Was Slavery Allowed in the New Testament?
A Bondservant of Jesus from My Utmost For His Highest

(Sharing with Inspire me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Testimony Tuesday, Tell His Story), Woman to Woman Word-Filled Wednesday, Faith on Fire)

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Laudable Linkage

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I don’t usually do these two Saturdays in a row, but I came across a lot of good reading this week.

When Control-Craving Hearts Get Angry.

Why We Don’t Need to Fear the Moment of Our Death, HT to Challies.

Embrace the Life You Have.

In Defense of the Unspoken Prayer Request.

Which Bible Woman Are You Like?

Advance in Favor. Sometimes an “I don’t care what people think” attitude helps when standing for right and truth when others are not. But the Bible says Jesus increased in favor with God and man. I appreciated this article on what that means.

Don’t Hide Those Grey Hairs.

Infuse Your In-law Relationships With Grace and Love. I am happy to have good relationships with both my mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

If I have Enough Faith, Will God Heal Me?

At the bottom of the above link is this video, worth the 12+ minutes to listen:

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Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This week didn’t start off so well, with me forgetting that my mother-in-law’s caregiver had an appointment, and I scheduled  a lunch with a friend for then and had to reschedule it; forgetting that we’d scheduled the hairdresser to come for my m-i-l on Monday; forgetting that the nurse was coming on Tuesday, even though she’s been coming on Tuesdays regularly for months now; forgetting to take care of the bathroom after my m-i-l’s shower (I usually put the ramp back against the wall, mop up the floor, and replace the bath mats while our caregiver and the bath aide take her back to her room and get her dressed) so that our caregiver had to do it; putting my container of ramen soup on the end table and spilling it all over, dousing a remote control (I put it in a bag of rice just to be safe, but it ended up ok), and dropping a dozen eggs on the grocery store floor after paying for them (thankfully only two broke, but I had to rinse off all the rest). I don’t know why I was so “off” for a couple of days! But thankfully the rest of the week went much better. Here are the best parts of it:

1. Mother’s Day. I took some time to think about special moms in my own life, and my family always does a great job making it a special day for me. Jim grilled his wonderful teriyaki chicken and Jason and Mittu made salad, potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls, and  chocolate pretzel pie and banana cream pie.

Everything wasn’t on the table yet in this photo, but I love that cute little guy at the end helping himself to a roll. 🙂

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My daughter-in-law picked out pretty plates for the meal and dessert, all disposable for easy cleanup:

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Wishing Jim’s Mom Happy Mother’s Day:

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I received some lovely gifts and cards as well. I am blessed. 🙂

2. Timothy shucking corn for the first time was absolutely adorable. He was so excited to help, and when he pulled the leaves back, he exclaimed, “There’s CORN in there!”

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When he tried to eat corn on the cob for the first time, he noted, “It’s stuck.” He gave up after a bit, but made a good try.

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3. Movie night with my husband. After everyone left on Mother’s Day and Jesse went back to his room, Jim and I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon, and later that evening rented and watched the movie Hidden Figures. It was SO good! (Warning: there’s just a bit of bad language, most near the beginning). It’s the true story of three African-American women who worked with calculations involved in the first manned space flights (a good article on them is here).

4. A new desk chair. Last week my desk chair suddenly broke. It had probably been on the verge, unnoticed, for a long time. My new one is even more comfortable.

5. Printable art. A lot of places online offer free frameable printable decorated Scripture verses, and for a Mother’s Day gift for the ladies at our church, our pastor’s wife printed out several she had found. This was the one I chose. It fits perfectly on my little entry table.

Happy Friday!

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