My Testimony

If there were such a thing as a "second conversion," this would sum up mine:

Too many Christians practice the disciplines of the Christian life with the intention of turning God's face toward them and inclining his heart to favor them. They forget that God has loved them with an eternal and infinite love. He turned his face from our sin when he placed that sin on his dying Son, but now he never looks away from us and his heart never ebbs in affection for us. Every act of providence is for our eternal good and flows from his infinite love. Communing with God in prayer, understanding his ways through his Word, and embracing his glory and goodness through Christian fellowship and worship are means by which enabling grace fills our lives. These disciplines of grace are nourishments of the faith that we need in order to act in accord with God's purposes. They do not force or leverage God's hand but enable us to see it, grasp it, and receive the blessings it provides. The Christian disciplines do not earn blessings but guide us into the paths where God's grace has planted his blessings.
In grace-based preaching, the rules do not change; the reasons do. We serve God because we love him, not in order to make him love us. . . .He releases us from the performance treadmill that (falsely) promises to provide holiness through human effort, but the effect on the heart is love that is more constrained to please him.
(Christ-Centered Worship<, by Bryan Chapell. pgs. 248, 242)


Oooh! I want!

Doesn't this look fun? It's a Step2 choo choo train wagon!


Quote of the Day

It's an NRO blog post, and I haven't even read the entire piece, but the metaphor is just funny by itself.

"Truly, these folks have the self-esteem of an abused pit bull."


Quote of the Day

"Some places are characterized by get-to’s and some places are characterized by have-to’s."

Which place is yours?

Yes, I'm Bragging.

It's not often I feel like a gourmet chef these days, for two reasons. 1) I have two children under three. and 2) I have two children under three.

But tonight's dinner was lovely, simple, AND used leftovers. Meet chicken and roasted vegetable crepes with goat cheese alongside spicy roasted chickpeas:

Dancing Metaphors

Some challenges are insurmountable, however grand our intentions. Whoever said "Put your best foot forward" didn't have two left feet.

"For I know that nothing good dwell sin me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out." (Romans 7:18)

It is such a mercy to fall on the grace of Christ. It is sufficient.


I Like This Thought

Doug Wilson has a post up about Lent--or, rather, about fasting in general, but in the context of the upcoming Lenten season. He helpfully defines a proper fast as "foregoing pleasure to make room for joy."


Some Days Just Hit You Like That

This is what happens when you pick up the rice canister by the lid.

I wish I could tell you I had no idea that would happen. . .but I probably should have said that before the first time. . .after which I diligently picked up and washed the whole mess. It's cooked and still sitting in my freezer downstairs.

I carefully swept it up, and Carolyn helped by sweeping (Read: scattering) my neatly-swept pile to the ends of the earth. Or maybe just the kitchen--it was hard to tell. Then she told Daddy what a mess I made.

(In case you're wondering, I threw it away.)

We've started encountering some of the "big" conversations. Carolyn told me very somberly this week that she didn't want to die, or for Mommy, Daddy, or Adrienne to die. Answering these two-year-old concerns is such a challenge to my own faith. You don't really know your doctrine until you've simplified it into words a toddler understands.

Carolyn is growing and learning so quickly that I often feel as if I scarcely know her now. She isn't a baby any more and, though she is in many ways still a toddler, she is more a child every day.

There's something bittersweet about rocking your two-year-old to sleep on the night she first confronts the coming-of-age ritual that is sleep without a pacifier. I relished the sweet baby that still needs her mommy's arms, all the while singing softly and thinking how this night would foster her further independence. What a paradox parenthood is.



One more from the weekend: