Book Review – Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God

For my birthday last year my husband gave me “Missional Motherhood,” by Gloria Furman. Only a month post-partum at the time, I didn’t have much time to read it.  While I slowly made my way through the first half, I was able to read the second half, much quicker (after limiting my television time and using the time that baby girl was asleep, more efficiently).

20180115_121151.jpgWhen my husband brought this home for me, I was excited to read it. I’d worked in the Christian bookstore during my first trimester and saw this book on the shelf. It definitely piqued my interest. Little did I know that this book isn’t only for mothers, but all women who mother or nurture others.

“Mothering is a calling for all women. Every Christian woman is called to the spiritual motherhood of making disciples of all nations,” states Furman. She states that nurturing, or mothering, involves discipling, serving, caregiving, teaching, showing hospitality, and more. I’d never thought of discipling young women in this manner before, but it makes sense. Whenever I’ve taken young women under my wing, I have, in a sense, felt as though I were mothering them.

The first half of Furman’s book talks about the Old Testament of the bible, where motherhood fits into the grand plan of God, and our most important need for a right relationship with God. The second half of the book describes Christ as the Creator, Redeemer, and resurrection life of motherhood; and as every mother’s Prophet, Priest, and King. There is so much truth to unravel in this book that I will probably be writing more posts based on it in the coming weeks.

I highly encourage all of my women readers to pick up a copy of this book for yourselves. God designed us to serve Him in a intentional way, to glorify Him, and make disciples…so, what are we waiting for?

Sister, we have died, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We are not our own. Our children are not our own. Our homes are not our own. Our stuff is not our own. Nothing is our own. It’s all his and for his glory. And that’s the incredible reality we get to wake up to every day. Let’s help each other remember! ~ (Missional Motherhood, p. 185)

Advertisements

Unrealistic Expectations

A day hasn’t gone by this week that I haven’t heard or read something about how people hurt each other, are untrustworthy, or are undeserving of something or other. The reality is…it’s true. Humanity is imperfect. We often do or say things to one another that we may or may not realize hurts the other person. However, not everybody is out to get us. Sometimes we just take things the wrong way. More often than not the other person doesn’t even know that they hurt us!

Most importantly, whether or not the other person meant to hurt us, doesn’t really matter, because as children of the most High, we’re called to love other people…period. It doesn’t matter how badly they treat us, God has called us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and do good to those who hate us (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27). He also tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Galatians 5:14); that means to treat others as we want to be treated, regardless of how they treat us. (We’ve already talked a lot about this in my R-E-S-P-E-C-T post back in July.)

Now, I understand full well that this isn’t always easy. When people hurt us a common desire is to hurt them back, to treat them the way they treated us, or to play the victim and tell the world how we’ve been mistreated. Sometimes we’re spiteful, vindictive, judgmental or cruel; and the world tells us we have a “right” to be. But as believers, we’ve lost our so-called “rights.” When we choose to follow Christ, we choose to give the Holy Spirit full access to every part or our lives, to change us from the inside out (John 3:30). Our behavior and thoughts shouldn’t be the same as the worlds!

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:21-24, NLT)

An example of unrealistic expectations.

What does changing the way you think entail? I know for me, I now recognize the brokenness of humanity. I recognize that people are lost, broken, hurting, and don’t know the truth. Therefore, how can they make good choices, or treat people with love and respect, when they don’t understand or haven’t accepted the love of the Creator? When it comes to people and relationships, our expectations often exceed reality. Meaning, we expect them to be up to par with our personal standards, but that’s unrealistic. While the world may believe that people should “just know” these things, the truth is, humans are selfish at heart, and like I wrote in a previous blog, due to our relativistic culture, we do what seems right in our own eyes. That’s why when Jesus called people to follow Him, He told them to turn away from their selfish ways, deny themselves, and pick up their cross (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23).

This is the world we live in; one in which none of us is perfect and we all fall short (Romans 3:10, 23). But let that not be an excuse to give in to sin and treat others poorly, to complain, or to give up on people altogether, because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us; and through Him we can do all things! Furthermore, we’re made to be in relationship with others, why else would God say loving our neighbors is as equally as important as loving Him? (By the way, you can’t do one without the other.) So, remember, the next time that person cuts you off in traffic, talks about you behind your back, or gives you an attitude, to treat them as you would want to be treated: with grace, mercy, and kindness. And remember to pray for them, in love.

Something to Think About…Bragging on God

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NIV)

There are many things that we brag about…a good grade we got on a school assignment, our children or grandchildren, the standing of our favorite sports team, the new car we just bought…but how often do we find ourselves sharing with others, the peace and joy that comes from knowing God? How often do we “brag” about our relationship with God? How often do we share how He’s moving in our lives, families, church, or city? How often do we “brag” about His “kindness, justice and righteousness”?

If we can brag about all these earthly things, which in the long run, don’t really matter…how come we can’t find the courage to boast about the Creator of the universe and the things He’s doing in our lives, and around the world, every day?

Just something to think about…

Evidence for God: DNA

I came across this article by Frank Turek about DNA that I found to be really interesting and I’ve been dying to share it…

I once read of an atheist on the internet who was complaining that there was not enough evidence to believe in God. When a Christian asked him what kind of evidence he would need to believe, he said he would believe if he looked up right now and saw written in the sky, HEY, ROGER! THIS IS GOD. I CERTAINLY DO EXIST!

The immediacy and specificity of such a message would rule out a skywriter. Roger certainly couldn’t explain it away as a chance collection of cloud material or an unusual cloud formation, nor would he say that, given enough time, the clouds would form that way naturally due to some kind of cloud “evolution.” A message such as this would have to be the product of intelligence. Why? Because natural laws don’t create specific, complex messages. In all our experience, the only forces we see creating specific complex messages are intelligent minds. Natural forces never do it.

That’s why when you’re walking down the beach and you see John loves Mary scribbled in the sand, you know a human being had been there. You don’t assume a crab crawled out of the water and wrote that, or the lapping waves somehow produced the message. Only minds produce messages. This is why archeologists know that the inscriptions they dig up from the ground were made by ancient humans, not natural forces.

Well, it turns out that all life forms contain messages that are far more specified and complex than the message the atheist above says he’d like to see in the sky or any messages found scribbled on beaches or  ancient tablets.

How much more?

The simplest independent life we know about–the amoeba–is a miniature machine of astonishing complexity. Even the ardent Darwinist, Richard Dawkins, admits that the amount of information in this one-celled life form has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of an encyclopedia–that’s 30 volumes x 1,000 in a cell that’s much smaller than a grain of salt. Now, believing that 30,000 books came into existence from non-living chemicals by natural law without any intelligent intervention is like believing  that an entire library resulted from an explosion in a printing shop! I don’t have enough faith to believe that.

This is not a God-of-the-Gaps argument, which is a kind of argument that says God must be the explanation for things we don’t know or understand. We don’t simply lack a natural explanation for the complexity of DNA. Rather, evidence for the complexity of DNA is positive and empirically detectable, and it points to the work of an intelligent Creator. No natural force that can create such a message, especially one 30,000 books long. Messages only come from minds.

In summary, DNA points to a supreme intelligence. This is why Francis Collins, former head of the human genome project, calls DNA the language of God. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding” (Isaiah 40:28).

To paraphrase noted French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal: God never performed a miracle to convince an atheist, because His ordinary works provide sufficient evidence. One of those ordinary works is DNA.

Turek, F. (2009). Evidence for God: DNA. The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, p. 728. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.