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Wrapping Up the Series: Doctrines in the Kitchen

 30.4.11

"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, 
my speech shall distil as the dew, 
as the small rain upon the tender herb, 
and as the showers upon the grass" 
Deut 32: 2




WOW! We did have a wonderful feast, didn't we?

I am grateful for each one of the ladies who contributed to this wonderful banquet.Thank you for all the effort, time and prayers that you invested in your articles. Thank you to my beautiful daughter Annie, to Katie Lloyd and Rachel for their generosity in granting me permission to use many of their beautiful photographs in this series. Thanks to Jules for making our beautiful button.  I am also grateful for each one of you, Readers, who followed along, for those who left comments, and for those who quietly read and pondered. I am grateful for each one of you, I truly am.

We learned so much while reading about so many beautiful doctrines in the Bible. What do we do now with all these?, you may ask, with all these words in my heart? What's next?  Many words you read here were probably new for you, many others challenged you, others gave you hope, and some others, I am sure, made you cry.

Dear friend, the most important thing you can do now is go to the Father. Pray, pray earnestly, that He will draw you to His Word. That you will find your delight in His Word, in the beautiful truths hidden in the Scriptures, and that the Holy Spirit will speak to you clearly and open you eyes to see and your ears to hear.

We all are living in different seasons in our lives, some of us are still homeschooling our children, others are nursing babies and changing diapers, others are enjoying being grandmothers. We are exactly where God, in His divine providence, has us now; and we should be happy and content in that season. Some of us have more time to read more books, but others don't, and that is OK. If you only find time, in this season of your life, to read only one book, let it be, by all means, the Word of God. Let is be your delight day and night, your comfort, your strength, let it change you, abide in it, memorize it, repeat it to your self, to your children. Drink from it, until you thirst no more.

If you are in a season of your life when you have more time to read "big books", and to study, then you are in the perfect moment to invest time in younger women. Help them, teach them, give them godly advice and godly example. Be a blessing to them! Just as you may prepare a nice dish to take to a young mom who has just delivered her third baby; so you can prepare a feast of the Word and teach her while she nurses her baby. Give what you have. Be generous and share with younger mothers what you have been given.

I love doctrine, I love it so much because  for so many years I did not have any structure in my spiritual life and was very easily deceived. Now I face another danger. I can become a woman who knows her doctrine back and forth but doesn't live it with passion. J.C. Ryle says it well,

"Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life.

It is worse than useless; it does positive harm.

Something of 'the image of Christ' must be seen
and observed by others in our private life, and
habits, and character, and doings."

I pray that if you are like me, passionate about sound doctrine, you and I  may be also passionate about living it in our private lives, in our prayer closets, in our our habits, and with our husband and children. May God help us!


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This series ends this weekend, (tomorrow, I invite you to come and read the closing post of this series in which you'll see what is the best response we can have after receiving sound doctrine), and some of you have asked us what's coming next.  Well, we will love to keep communicating with you, and the easiest way will be through our Facebook page. We will keep it updated with good links to different articles, (many of them written by our contributors in the Kitchen), good recipes, book offers, etc...   And God willing, we may cook something new for you in the future! 

Once again, thank you, thank you for you kind response.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Becky


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Some excellent posts that deal with issues concerning: Women, Doctrine, Diapers and Seasons in our lives are these: 

Trisha wrote an excellent and very important article: Even in the Midst of Toys and Dirty Diapers.

Diane, a wise woman and beautiful friend shares these:
Portrait of a Godly Mother

Read more...

Five More Winners in the Kitchen!

I am so happy to announce the four winners of the "big giveaway"! Congratulations to Sandy Dau, Michelle, Merry and Leslie Wiggins. I will contact you soon to send you the book you choose from the resources page. Go over there and start deciding! :)




Monergism Books  generously agreed to giveaway a Systematic Theology (either Grudem's or Horton's) to one of our readers. (All our Facebook friends and those who left a comment on this post entered the drawing.) and it is my joy today to announce our winner:



Congratulations to each one of you, ladies!  And thank you to all who participated, this was fun indeed!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Becky

Read more...

Respecting Our Husbands by Eileen Lawyer

 29.4.11

Eileen Lawyer is a very dear friend to me and a sweet sister in Christ; she has been a beautiful and faithful example to me on how a wife should submit herself to her own husband with love and all due respect. I am grateful to the Lord, for bringing godly women like her on my way.

Thanks for being such a wonderful friend, Eileen!



As I read through the many delightful posts on Becky’s blog, I am filled with great joy that there are so many women across the boundary lines of states and countries, that love the same God that I do. It reminds me, again, that our God is big. He is the God of all creation – of heaven and of earth. Thank you Becky, for asking me to join a fabulous group of ladies who have been blessed with wisdom and knowledge. I pray that this post I write will encourage all of you, as yours have done for me.

Respecting our Husbands

When ladies get together in the kitchen (or anywhere) they like to chat. It is how we get to know one another – how many children we have, where do we attend church, what books we are reading, what our husbands do, and so forth. What we say about our family members is an easy way for others, who may not know them, to get to know them. So what we say about our families (and others), and how we promote them is extremely important. Our words must be chosen carefully. Kindness and love must reign. We do not want to gossip and we do not want to back bite. With this in mind, I would like discuss Respecting Our Husbands.

Two weekends ago, my family and I attended one of the many weddings that will be held this spring. The vows were not surprising, but they were, none the less, very important because through those vows, the world became a witness of the bride and groom’s commitment to each other and to God. The husband was admonished to love his wife and the bride was encouraged to respect her husband. Have you ever thought about the difference in the commands? Husbands are to love; wives are to respect (see Eph. 5).

We all understand that God has wired men and women differently - women enjoy Jane Austin stories, men like explosions. One of the wonderful differences He has created in us, is the fact that men need respect. We know this is true because the Bible tells us to render them respect. But what does respect look like so that it can be rendered? Let us turn to God for our answer.

1 Peter 3:1 says, “Wives, likewise wives, be submissive to your own husbands….” Again, in 1 Peter 3:6 we read, “…As Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord.” Sarah is commended for her obedience to Abraham calling him Lord and master. When we submit to our husband’s authority, that is showing respect. When we praise him to our children, that is showing respect. When we organize our home in a manner that is pleasing to our husbands, that is showing respect. When we defer to him how to educate our children, that is showing respect.

Obedience is one of the outward displays of the respect you have for your husband. And your respect for your husband has greater consequences than you can imagine for in obeying him, you are obeying God. And in obeying God, you are blessed!

When we respect our husbands, others respect our husbands. Look at Psalm 31:23 “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Why is her husband able to sit at the gates with the other elders? Because he is respected by the men of the city. The only way that can happen is if he is respected at home. And that begins with us.

Let’s return to chatting in the kitchen. Chatting refers to light, easy conversation. Conversation refers to words, and words can be both a blessing and a curse. These are ways to show respect for our husbands when we speak about them, or to them: Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone (Pr. 16:24); a gentle answer turns away wrath (Pr.15:1a); the tongue of the wise commends knowledge (Pr. 15:2a); A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones (Pr. 15:30). Therefore, when we respect our husbands with our actions and our words, even to others when our husbands are not around, our attitude will reflect back to us, making us lovely in the eyes of God. Husbands and wives lift each other up with respect and love as God has instructed us to do.

I know there are some husbands out there that many wives feel are not respectable. So, do you only respect them when they deserve it? Is that what God says? No. God gives no qualifiers to his command. He says, “Respect your husbands”. When you don’t, you are telling God that He doesn’t know what He’s talking about. But, how can He not know when he’s God - your Creator, your Savior? Your husband may not be respectable, but I do believe that if you begin to speak to him in a manner that renders respect and act toward him in a manner that brings respect, he will become more respectable than he was. (see 1 Peter 3:1-2). You will be blessed by your obedience.

According to the Apostle Peter, women who submit and obey their husbands are beautiful.


“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”
(1Pe 3:3-6 NIV)

Submitting and obeying is beautifying because obedience to God can only come from a heart that belongs to God. It is He that has made it beautiful. We know that “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mat. 12:34) So if our hearts, which belong to God, are filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and our mouths are praising our husband, what greater blessing can there be?

May you be women loved by God, full of virtue, the greatest admirers of your husbands, and their biggest fans.

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
(Pr.31:11-12) 


Eileen

©Eileen Lawyer

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You can buy today's beautiful photo here.



Don't forget to check the resources' page and sign in for the giveaway at the end of the month 
(I will draw the names of our winners  TODAY!).

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And We Are Raised with Him by Rebecca Stark

 28.4.11

Rebecca Stark is a woman who has challenged many of us to study God's Word. She has invested a great effort into a project of several years, and her arduous study is clearly seen in her project: The Theological Term of the Week.I encourage you to subscribe to her blog, you will be blessed indeed.

Thank you, Rebecca for sharing in the kitchen with us today,  and thank you also for sharing the best recipe for Beer Batter Deep Fried Halibut on your blog.

Katie Lloyd Photography


If you are a believer in Christ, then the good news of Easter brings you wonderful personal benefits. Yes, Christ’s resurrection makes a bold statement to the whole world, declaring to everyone everywhere that Jesus is ruler and judge of all and that he ought to be worshiped. But for believers, the resurrection is more than that, because we are united with Christ in resurrection, and that changes things for us.

For one, the resurrection means that we can look forward to a glorious future. Christ’s present resurrected life is a promise to those who belong to Him that when He returns, they will be brought with Him into the same resurrected life.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (1 Corinthians 15: 20-23 ESV)

Death, says Paul (quoting Isaiah), has “no sting” for the believer. Not that death, both our own and that of our loved ones, doesn’t hurt, because of course it does. But the hurt of death is temporary, like the pain of childbirth. Death ushers in a brand new eternal reality—the reality of resurrected life—and in the end, all our tears will be wiped away and forgotten in the glory of what will be.

I could go on and on about the resurrection life to come, but I won’t. I’ll just say that I am eagerly anticipating my resurrection body. Paul tells us that the kind of body that Christ had when he walked the earth after His resurrection and with which He ascended and now rules from heaven is the same kind of body that we will have when we are raised at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). Our resurrected bodies will be a reproductions of the one the man of heaven has. Just as our identification with Adam brought us perishable bodies, our identification with Christ in his resurrected life will bring us imperishable bodies.

There is a time in our lives, if we are healthy, when our bodies are getting stronger and better.But we all have a turning point when we begin to see from experience that our bodies are perishable. We can’t help but understand that we are dying, little by little, and that our bodies will just keep on withering away for the rest of our lives. I am still strong and healthy, but I’m not what I used to be. I look forward to what call Paul calls a spiritual body, which might sound like something wispy and unsubstantial, but is truly more real—stronger, healthier, and more substantial—than the body I had when I was in my prime. Best of all, my spiritual body will be incapable of any withering. “When I was in my prime” will be a nonsense phrase in the age to come.

We have a future: We will be raised with him. Hooray (or better yet, praise God!) for a future resurrection and imperishable resurrection bodies!

And there’s more. We look forward to being raised with Christ when we enter into the life to come, but there is also a sense in which we have already been raised with Christ.

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…"(Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV)

The resurrected life that comes into completeness at our glorification when we receive our resurrected bodies is already within us. We have been made alive together with Christ and a new sort of life—not resurrected physical life, but resurrected spiritual life—has begun. Our new life is grounded in our union with Christ’s resurrection.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:4-5 ESV)

If you are a believer, you have already begun to live in the realm of the resurrection. This new life you live in the power of the Spirit came to you because you have been united with the risen Christ.

I’ll admit that it doesn’t always feel like I live in the reality of resurrected life. I’m guessing that I’m not alone or Paul wouldn’t have had to write letters urging believers to live lives that are true to their new reality.

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."
(Colossians 3:1-5a ESV)

Here’s what I think this means: If we have been raised with Christ, then our minds and hearts should be where he is, and he’s in heaven. How can we live in our new raised-with-Christ reality if we still love the earthly passions that are in us? Being what we are means that we must put aside the things we once loved and the passions we once followed as the old kind of person we once were. We are called to have new loves, to seek heavenly things, and to live according to the fruit the Spirit produces within us.

Are you a woman who is raised with Christ? Then Paul calls you to “present yoursel[f] to God as[one] who ha[s] been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 ESV).” This, you see, is where the doctrine of our present resurrected life gets practical. Yes, it’s a command, but it’s a command with resurrection power behind it. It’s a command with a reason, and the reason is what fulfills the command. It’s a command, you might say, to go ahead and be what you already are in Christ. It’s a command to live out the truth.

Hooray (and praise God!) for this, too: Resurrection now and the power of the Spirit to live as new women with new lives!

Rebecca

©Rebecca Stark


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You can buy today's beautiful photo here. (Find a discount code on our facebook page)

Don't forget to check the resources' page and sign in for the giveaway at the end of the month 
(We will draw four winners TOMORROW!).
 
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The Doctrine of the Church by Leslie Wiggins

 27.4.11

I love being in the kitchen with so many godly women, all from different backgrounds, living in different countries, each one of us living a different life and in a different season. And it just amazes me to see how God's providence has brought us together to this one place to be encouraged.
Today, I am pleased to introduce you to our host, Leslie Wiggins. Leslie blogs here and she also reviews books at the Discerning Reader.

Leslie, thank you for your willingness to be in the kitchen with us today!

Katie Lloyd Photography


I heard a variation on the joke about all people being a part of a dysfunctional family. One dad said that he was simply doing his part to ensure his son will have something to tell his therapist one day. No family is perfect. But my family of origin, while not the most dysfunctional family in the history of families, suffered (to be totally transparent, we continue to suffer) from some serious dysfunction. 

Here’s the short version of my story: My parents divorced while I was a child. One of the tragedies of their decision was that I only saw my father a few times a year. Mom turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the physical and emotional pain she faced daily. My brother and I fought like cats and dogs. I buried myself in school, extra-curricular activities, friends, and lots of boyfriends. I took advantage of any and every opportunity to be away from home. 

But God, so rich in mercy, when the time came, opened my eyes to apprehend the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus. I had no idea that in addition to grace and faith and forgiveness and a new nature and hope of eternal life I would also be adopted into a new family. 

I learned to relate to God as Father. Because my own father wasn’t a daily presence in my life, relating to God as my father was something that I was eager to do. I can remember evenings spent reading His word, praying for guidance, and talking to him about my life. Some of the most tender lessons centered on knowing that God is the kind of father who promises to never leave nor forsake me, who always keeps his promises, who will never allow any one or any thing separate me from His love. 

My first lesson about church membership came when my mother responded with absolute coldness and seeming indifference to my telling her about my response to the Gospel. After hearing my announcement of new faith and an upcoming baptism, she said, “I was afraid you would come home and say that.” Though I had not read them yet, Jesus’ words “Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,” (Matthew 10:34-35) were true for me.

In tears, I confided in one of my pastors about the broken relationships with my parents. He opened the scriptures to show me Jesus’ promise that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). He reminded me of older men and women who loved and treated me like one of their own, picking me up and taking me home on Sunday mornings and evenings, visiting me when I was sick, and even attending and cheering for me during my numerous sports competitions. He reminded me of the children who looked up to me as to an older sister. He encouraged me to be a good daughter to my mom as long as I lived at home, but also to embrace the family of God. Yes, home life was hard. But God had given me a new family.

“Family” isn’t the only way scripture describes the church. It is also referred to as the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. Each characterization lends itself to a deeper understanding of the relationships within the church and the functions of the church. One of the most important facts to remember is that the church is people. The “called out ones” are not a building. They are not a meeting place. They are not program-providers. They are people united and bound by blood whose sole purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ. 

Paul calls the church Christ’s body. In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul teaches that Jesus is the head and the people of the church are members of his body, “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (1:23; 5:29). A Christian cannot reach the fullness of which Paul speaks in isolation; we need one another. In the same letter, he refers to the church as Christ’s bride (Ephesians 5) and she must be making herself ready (Revelation 19:7-9). One way we do this is by helping one another reach maturity in Christ. We must be building one another up, which reminds me of another image scripture uses to describe the church: the building of God. Peter writes that we are “like living stones…being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). Jesus revealed to John that the Bride will make up a city, New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-10), and that she “has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 19:23). 

God isn’t finished teaching me what it means to be a member of his family. Recently, my faith family observed communion. Before the bread and cups were passed around, we sang a hymn, “Behold the Lamb (Communion Song),” by Keith and Kristyn Getty. (If you haven’t heard it, then you must give it a thoughtful listen. It is one of my favorite hymns now.) I stopped gazing at the table for a moment to look at the faces around me in the sanctuary. Father gently reminded me that this is my family. While I rejoiced in knowing that we will be worshiping the Lord together forever, our Father reminded me that I need them today if we are to continue growing in faith and spreading the gospel. Not only do I need them and their spiritual gifts, but, believe it or not, they need the gifts of God in me. As I lifted up my piece of bread, I gave thanks for Christ’s literal body and his figurative body: his church. I look forward to the day when we are all gathered around our Father’s table. 

 Leslie

©Leslie Wiggins


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You can buy today's beautiful photo here.

Don't forget to check the resources' page and sign in for the giveaway at the end of the month 
(We will draw four winners this coming Friday!).
 
Are you just tuning in? 
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His Saving Grace by Norma

 26.4.11

 My sister Norma is sharing again with us today. I am so grateful for her life, she teaches me as she walks toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Shiloh Photography


The doctrine of the Sovereignty of God is probably the doctrine that has impacted me the most. I learned it as an adult and it has transformed my way of seeing life, Christ, His work, my life, my trials. Every area of my life has been dramatically changed by this doctrine. And with it many other doctrines have become very precious to me.

There are many great books that explain this doctrine with such clarity and grace, that I feel very humbled to write about this, but in my attempt to write about it, I’ll try to explain just the areas where God has dealt and is dealing with me at the moment.

Understanding that God is sovereign, is a beautiful and powerful thing when all your life you thought you had some control over your decisions, future, and even your salvation. Resting on this doctrine, brings rest to my soul as I have learned to trust in God completely. Knowing His character and believing that His will is perfect and does not require me to decide, strips me naked of all pride and the feeling of “I know better” which used to dominate my life. I loved the “power” of having some say in my future and decide myself what was “best” for me in my own eyes. How little I thought of God and how high I thought of myself!

This old doctrine (new to me) came like a rock on my head. It hit me hard and it took me 2 years of tears and study of this doctrine to learn to trust in the Lord and that He is good. Even though I grew thinking that He was good, I still wanted to have my input in all things. Trusting my will better than my Lord’s was my way of living.  Trusting in Him alone and resting in Him, was very hard indeed. But He came to my life and showed me my condition before Him. My view of Him changed from just a friend, to someone indescribable beautiful, bigger and more magnificent than I ever thought of Him, and yet at the same time, closer to me than ever, because I understood how this Incredible Omnipotent (in all the extent of the word) came down from heaven for a sinner like me, and extended mercy with such tenderness ... and still is patient with me, every day.

What a rest to know now, that He is in control, over every aspect of my life. What a comfort to know that my life is in His hands and I need to worry about nothing. That if He wills something it will happen. That no one can resist His precious will. And me, a woman who can’t decide between 2 flavors of ice-cream, thought that I was capable of deciding on my salvation! When I change styles and tastes way too often, when my sins are not conquered and even though I want to do right, I sin. This woman thought to have a better plan than her Creator. But now, God has opened my eyes that I might see... I see clearly that His desires are better than mine. That He makes no mistakes and that I can trust Him. I am still learning to trust Him, I have a long way to go, but I have hope in His work in me. I have hope that He will finish the work and He will not get tired or give up.

My trials and temptations are seen different now. I sin against my Holy God and yet He is merciful to me. And with every trial and temptation, He teaches me more to be like Christ granting me repentance and pain in my heart when I offend Him. Problems, are not just trials, are blessings that my Sovereign Lord, has set before me to mold me and transform my character; to prepare me for Heaven so that I might enjoy Him and find it ALL in Him alone.

Raising my kids, my relationship with my husband, everything has a different perspective now. The Lord Almighty is in control, what should I be afraid?  He does not just know what is going to happen, but has spoken what is to pass to do His will. My husband is a gift from God, given to me as he is and me to him as I am so that we may be changed to be like Christ; this means that complaining had to stop, because I understood by His grace, that I was complaining against God. And instead, my love for my husband has increased because I saw him, not as a rock on my way, but as a beautiful gift from God. My God has stripped me of things that I cling on to for the purpose of His glory. That I may die to myself and that He may increase in me. Some of those things He purged me of, I cherished more than my Lord without knowing it. But He did. And been a jealous God, He was not going to be shared with my vanities. So He purged me and purges me often of all the things I love, so I love Him alone.

I am 7 months pregnant now with a daughter after two godly boys (10 and 12 years old) and having her now in my womb has been a gracious gift from god to us. We, who had “control” over my womb, were stripped from it too. It was an act of trust in God to trust in Him in this. It was such a hard battle for many reasons. It had so many inconveniences and a terrifying fear that God would not save her. But even in that, the Lord has taught us in a loving manner, that HE IS GOOD! That I need to trust in Him even in this, that His will is perfect. And now, every time she moves inside of me, my eyes tear up with the joy of having a little daughter inside me, raising a young woman for Him, raising her to be a godly lady in an ungodly world. Knowing His Sovereignty, helps me rest assured that He is in control over her. And my only job is to obey, as a faithful servant obeys her master.

Oh, how precious doctrine this is! How precious and hard to receive by many. How difficult to die to self and see God as a Creator and owner of my soul. But once the Lord opens the eyes and all of a sudden you can see, it shames you to see how much pride there is in you. Maybe that is why is so hard to receive it. I have so much to learn and to die; to grow and understand; to trust and obey. But by His grace, I know, that He will guide my steps.

Norma.


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Don't forget to check the resources' page and sign in for the giveaway at the end of the month (We will draw the winner this coming Friday!).
Are you just tuning in? 
Read what this series is all about here.

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One More Winner in the Kitchen!

Jules hosted a giveaway in the kitchen last week (Why I Call Him Savior) , and we are very happy to announce our new winner....



Congratulations, dear friend! We pray this book will be a blessing to you as you dig deeper into the Scriptures. (You will hear from Jules very soon!)

If you missed Jules' post be sure to read it, she shared with us about the Limited Atonement, a most important doctrine.

There are more giveaways still open in the kitchen, read all the details here.  We will draw the winners this coming Friday, so be sure to enter your name even today!

We encourage you to follow us on our Facebook page as we will use it to announce all future events, series, giveaways, good links, and recipes!

And our last announcement and an invitation.... 

What about joining a Book Discussion led by a wonderful woman and friend, who is also a contributor in the Kitchen? Her name is Elizabeth DeBarros and she has extended an invitation for us to read together the book, A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering by Michael Horton. Read all the details here; (the discussion starts on May 4)



The kitchen is still open and ready to serve you, so don't miss visiting it this week.


Becky



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Eternal Security by Staci Eastin

 25.4.11

Staci Eastin, a woman who has blessed many women through  her book, The Organized Heart, shares with us today about a wonderful doctrine: Eternal Security.

Staci, thank you for being in the kitchen today, thank you for preparing something that will be indeed a feast for our souls.

Shiloh Photography (used with permission)


As a child, nothing struck fear in my heart like the well-known bedtime prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

If I should die before I wake... I knew from my earliest awareness that there are no guarantees in life. Tragedies may come. And while I had no reason to believe my life was in any danger, I also knew no one could predict the future. Any goodbye had the potential for being one's last.
I also knew I was a sinner. I had been taught that God would forgive our sins and that it was important to repent and seek forgiveness, but in my mind I began to believe that it was the strength and sincerity of my repentance that purchased my forgiveness, not Christ's work on the cross. I ended each day in prayer, listing as many sins as I possibly could, and asking God to forgive "anything I'd forgotten to repent of." I hoped it would be enough, but I wasn't sure. But even at that, I was only covered until I sinned again. I hoped I could make it to heaven, but I wasn't sure that I would. I didn't think anyone could really know for sure.

It wasn't until my college years that I began to understand that it was Christ dying on the cross and rising again that secured my salvation, not my ability (or actually, my inability), to live the Christian life. I remember sitting in my college apartment reading the third chapter in the Gospel of John, specifically John 3:36:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal eternal life; but whoever rejects the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

As I pondered this, my eyes fell to the note in my study Bible: "Eternal life is not only a future hope but the present possession of everyone who believes in Christ."

A present possession. Not a faint hope, not a vague inkling, but a present possession. The pre-requisite for eternal life was believing in the Son. It was not believing in the Son AND not messing up. It was not believing in the Son AND being detailed in daily repentance.

I have since learned that this truth is written all over the pages of the Bible. John 10:27-30, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:37-38, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and 1 Peter 1:3-5 are just a few examples of this glorious truth.

Christ's death on the cross completed the sacrifice needed to purchase my salvation. In fact, Jesus' final words before his death were "It is finished." I can't add to it by doing anything else. Christ paid the penalty for all my sins by his death and resurrection -- not just the sins in the past, but all my future sins as well. In the book, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, Arthur Pink sums it up well:


"It is finished." What was "finished"? The work of atonement. What is the value of that to us? This: to the sinner it is a message of glad tidings. All that a holy God required has been done. Nothing is left for the sinner to add. No works from us are demanded as the price of our salvation. All that is necessary for the sinner is to rest now by faith upon what Christ did. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

Sadly, this glorious truth has been abused by some. Accepting Christ as one's savior assumes that you are striving to live for him, even though your walk with Christ will be marred by continual imperfections and sins. Some, however, have reduced salvation to repeating a set of scripted words or signing a card, only to send the the person off to continue to live however he pleases. This is not the Christian walk outlined in the book of 1 John:

"If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." ~ 1 John 1:6-10

Notice that it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from sin, not some behavior or ritual of ours. While confession is still important, it is not means to God's grace, but a result of it. As John MacArthur says in the MacArthur Study Bible:

"Continual confession of sin is an indication of genuine salvation. While the false teachers would not admit their sin, the genuine Christian admitted and forsook it (Psalm 32:3-5; Proverbs 28:13). The term "confess" means to say the same thing about sin as God does; to acknowledge His perspective about sin."

I think some shy away from the teaching of eternal security for fear that it will be used to justify and excuse sinful behavior. While this would seem to be a logical conclusion, it does not hold true for the genuine believer. When one truly believes, and has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, knowing that the work of salvation is finished spurs one on to genuine love and service like nothing else possibly can. In my own experience, the more I lean on Christ's finished work on the cross, the more joyfully I am able to live for him. In his book, Holiness, J.C. Ryle reflects on this phenomenon:

"A believer who lacks an assured hope will spend much of his time in inward searchings of heart about his own state. Like a nervous, hypochondriacal person, he will be full of his own ailments, his own doubtings and questionings, his own conflicts and corruptions. In short, you will often find he is so taken up with his internal warfare that he has little leisure for other things, and little time to work for God.

But a believer, who has, like Paul, an assured hope, is free from these harassing distractions. He does not vex his soul with doubts about his own pardon and acceptance. He looks at the everlasting covenant sealed with blood, at the finished work, and never-broken word of his Lord and Saviour, and therefore counts his salvation a settled thing. And thus he is able to give an undivided attention to the work of the Lord, and so in the long run to do more."

The Word of God is and infinitely deep well of truth and wisdom. I am daily trying to search its depths, and am continually learning more of God's love and goodness. But understanding that salvation is a gift (Romans 6:23) that is "imperishable, undefiled, and unfading" (1 Peter 1:4) was the first step in a walk of endless joy and learning. I pray that you can know such joy as well.

Staci



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The Resurrection of Our Lord

 24.4.11

Katie Lloyd Photography


"Now after the Sabbath,
toward the dawn of the first day of the week, 
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 
And behold, there was a great earthquake, 
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven 
and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 
And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 
But the angel said to the women, 
“Do not be afraid,
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 
He is not here, 
for he has risen, 
as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay. 
Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, 
and behold, the is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, 
and ran to tell his disciples. 
And behold, Jesus met them and said, 
“Greetings!” 
And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 
Then Jesus said to them, 
“Do not be afraid; 
go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, 
and there they will see me.”" 
Mt 28: 1- 10 (ESV)


"That seems a strange mixture, fear and great joy, awe and delight, doubt and faith; yet the joy was greater than the fear. It was not joy and great fear, but "fear and great joy." Have we never had that mixture -drops of grief, like April showers, and peace and joy, like sunlight from heaven, making a glorious rainbow reminding us of God's covenant of peace?.

A holy fear, mingled with great joy, is one of the sweetest compound we can bring to God's altar; such were the spices these holy women took away from Christ's sepulcher. Fear and joy would both make them run to bring his disciples word. Either of these emotions gives speed to the feet; but when 'fear and great joy' are combined, running is the only pace that accords with the messengers' feelings."

Commentary on Matthew by C.H. Spurgeon


May our Lord revive our hearts today!

Celebrating our Risen Christ with you today.


Becky


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Learning to Count Trials a Joy by Kim Shay

 23.4.11

Kim Shay, a Canadian woman who is an example to me of someone who is passionate about studying the Word of God and digging deep into it, is our host this day. Kim blogs at The Upward Call, and I encourage you to check her blog and subscribe to it. You will be more than once,  challenge to learn.

Kim says: 

"I see the Christian life as a process of sanctifying the ordinary, 
and there is much beauty and blessing in that context."

Shiloh Photography


I love being a mom. I made a decision 21 years ago that I would leave my job and be at home with my children as long as we were able to live on one income. It is a decision I have never regretted. I also loved homeschooling. Those years from 2001-2009 were among the happiest of my parenting life. Our kids were pretty good. They were growing and learning.

Having a prodigal child took me totally by surprise, and when it was our daughter, it was even more of a shock, because we didn't know that underneath that compliant exterior, inside she was churning. We went from having a perfectly good relationship with her to being confused, shattered, and reeling. My heart ached with an ache I had never known before. No mother wants to look into the eyes of her child and see anger and conflict where once there was trust and love. I walked about like a woman in a daze, regularly unable to pray, because uttering it out loud made it seem more real to me. My mind would look back at the good times, and I would find myself suddenly in tears throughout the day (one occasion was in a grocery store much to my embarrassment), wondering where things were going.

The first question that pops up in the head of parents when this happens is, “Where did I go wrong?” It is the plea out of a hurting heart, because when we sit and think about it, taking all of the blame for a wayward child is similar to taking the glory for when he does right. The truth was that I had most definitely taught my child the truth of God's Word. The painful and shocking truth is that solid, Christian families are not immune from having children who stray. Sometimes, growing up in the church is a seedbed of complacency that may not surface until a child is older. Complacency isn't good. It took me a long time to stop asking myself that question, and it was good when I stopped, because that question was not helping. To sit back and catalogue my own shortcomings led only to bitterness and anger. There were times when I was so angry at my child for what was going on that I could barely speak to her; and those times were followed by searing pain in my heart that I would ever feel such anger toward my child. No mother wants to feel anger at her child. We don't; it hurts so much to feel it.

I could feel myself slipping into a depression; I recognized the symptoms, having had a brief bout with it in 1996. I knew that I could not slip into that abyss, so I had to do something. I did what I know best: I studied. Beginning first with reading through the psalms regularly, I also picked up Martyn Lloyd-Jones's book Spiritual Depression. I began to look at my own heart. I began to ask that question which the psalmist asks in Psalm 42:

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you in turmoil within me?

I began to do what Lloyd-Jones suggested: I began to speak to myself about where I was. As I read through the Psalms I was reminded of the precious truth of God's sovereignty. I was reminded that God is faithful to His covenant promises, and despite the fear of the future which gripped me (would she ever return to the Lord, would we ever enjoy fellowship again, would she ever stop living the way she was?), I knew that He held the future in His hands. When we fear for the future, it isn't the circumstances we fear, necessarily; we fear our inability to cope. We fear that we will crash and burn, that we will fade away. My fear was that I would be eaten alive by the grief that I felt. The biggest grief was the loss of fellowship with our daughter; the distance, the alienation. I was so incredibly lonely for her, it tore my heart up daily. But knowing that God is sovereign over the sorrow and the joy released me from that crippling grief. I had to release my daughter to Him as well. There were a number of older women in my life, one in particular who reminded me often that I simply had to trust in God's promises to me. As I released these burdens, I was more able to give myself to other things.

When we have children who wander, it affects the entire family. They tend to hold the rest of us hostage, and I'm sure my boys noticed this. As I began to live in the light of this precious doctrine that God is sovereign over all and knows all and that his steadfast love will never leave me, I was able to set aside my grief. It was not gone, but I could live with it.

I am blessed to say that my daughter is finding her way back. It is still a process; her faith is gaining strength slowly. It is a journey she must make on her own, although never alone. Our children must claim their faith as their own, and not rely on the faith of their parents. She is doing that now. And our fellowship has been restored. She is not the same little girl she was before, but in going through this sovereignly ordained trial, we have all learned much. I have learned of the terrible risk of complacency in teenagers; when we see apathy, we must be ever more diligent in determining where they stand. I have learned that we as parents must be equipped to answer hard questions, because if we don't, someone else will, and we may not like those answers. I have learned that my child's character will not grow apart from trials of her own. To expect a trial-free childhood is to rob the child of valuable learning opportunities. I wouldn't want this to happen again, but I'm thankful for some of the consequences. Sometimes, God must rip things out of our hands if we're not willing to let go of them. And when He does, we must know that He does it for our good.

The gift of being the child of a God who knows all and sees all continues to blow my mind. It continues to comfort me, and it has helped me to accept that trials are a part of his sovereign working. James 1:2-4 reminds us: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know hat the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” It took a while, but eventually, I did count that trial a joy, and it is only through God's grace that I was able to do that.


Kim

©Kim Shay


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Our New Winner is...

Trisha hosted a wonderful giveaway last Saturday, and we are very happy to announce our winner...



Congratulations, Alaine! We will contact you soon.

If you have not read Trisha's post, head over there and read it now, it is entitled Children in the Kitchen: Teaching Doctrine to the Littles.

You can still enter three more giveaways:

Jules is giving away the book The Five Points of Calvinism. The winner will be announced next Tuesday, April 26, so you still have time to read her post and leave a comment there.


Monergism Books has generously agreed to giveaway one Systematic Theology to one of our readers (either Grudem's or Horton's) go here for more details.


And our great giveaway at the end of the month is still open. It doesn't matter if you joined us latter, go to our resources' page (The Pantry) and leave a comment; we want to bless you!


Thank you, dear friends, for joining us in the kitchen this month. It has been beautiful to meet new friends, and learn together.

May God give us grace to grow in the Lord each day,


Becky


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God's Providence in Life by Nancy Wilson

 22.4.11

Many women have influenced my life through the years, but one woman that has made a great impact  on how I live my Christian life in my home, is this wonderful lady, Mrs. Nancy Wilson. I am so grateful for her willingness to be part of this series that has proved to be a blessing to many.


When the glass casserole dish cracks, and half the lasagna falls on the floor on its way from the oven to the kitchen counter just as the guests are arriving, it's good to have a strong confidence in God's Providence over all things. In His good providence, He wanted this to happen. Tonight. Some day it will make a good story. But tonight, with dinner on the floor and guests in the hallway, it seems pretty tragic.

What is God's Providence? It is God's foreordaining of all things, and His care and protection of His creatures in the midst of all that comes to pass. When we trust in God's Providence, we are saying we trust that He is working all things out for our good and His glory. And when we trust in Him in this way, we can rest. And we can know that He ordains all that comes to pass. Sometimes we call an event a wonderful providence. This is usually when we have our prayers answered in a remarkable way. But some events are difficult and painful. These we call a hard providence. But if our theology is biblical, we will know that they are both good because God is the author of all that comes to us.

When we view the world this way, we can interpret all God's ways in a positive light. We know He is good, and we know that He loves us, His children. Therefore, we can walk through trials knowing that it is a wise and loving Father who has ordained this event for us.

Having this view of Providence is very helpful, not only in the kitchen, but in every area. Lasagna on the floor may be a mess, but it is not life-threatening. Cancer is another story. What about that? Is God overseeing even that?

The first time I read All Things for Good by Thomas Watson, I was leading a group of women through the book all together. One of the women in the group had just lost her husband in a snowmobile accident. She had six children, and the youngest was five. When we studied God's Providence together, we had a very close-up view of what a comfort this doctrine is in the midst of hard times.

Sometimes it is easy to see Providence at work in other people's lives, but we may have a difficult time seeing Him in our own circumstances. We can send others encouraging notes about trusting God, but when the trial hits us close to home, it may be more difficult to actually submit to God's Providence. It may be a hard providence. But God gives more grace. Not only is He the God of Providence, but He is also the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

We must learn to interpret God's ways as He intends them .We must never attribute bad motives to God. Circumstances may change, but He never changes. Our lives are His from first to last. And He does all things well.

The Puritans understood this. When they were in the midst of affliction, they tried to be good stewards of the affliction. This takes us back to the lasagna. If we can be a good steward of a kitchen mishap like that, then we can learn to take it to the next level, and learn to receive all God's good providences, whether hard or wonderful, as opportunities to glorify Him.

Nancy.

©Nancy Wilson


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Who is Becky?

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Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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