Months ago, actually it was over a year ago, when I switched to the ESV I began the countdown to the ESV Study Bible.  I purposely bought a smaller, less expensive ESV because I knew when the Study Bible came out I’d want one.  Never-mind that I have since received the Literary Study Bible… twice (don’t ask) and bought another one that was supposed to be my “forever Bible”. 

So back to the countdown.  I have been waiting.  It’s been on backorder since the date was announced. 


and waiting

During that time of waiting, through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we have become acutly aware that we need to make some changes in our spending habits.  One of which is no longer buying things that are on the long list of “wants” and not at all on the short list of “needs”.  A new study Bible – not on the need list – not at all.  But oh so very much on the want list.  Heavy Sigh.  So I dutifully and, yes, joyfully canceled my backorder.  I knew that, like in everything else, God would provide if it was for my good and His glory.  I know it’s a little silly.  While some people are praying for the healing of a loved one, or world peace, I was thanking God that I knew he would provide for me to have a shiny new Bible if He wanted me to have one.  I know – I sound ridiculous.

Well, to make a long story short.  My mother bought me an ESVSB.  It came today.  I know she knew I wanted one.  She also knew I canceled my backorder.  She loves me and wanted to bless me and I am very grateful.  But I know this Bible is not manna from heaven in the traditional sense.  If I had never told her about my big “sacrifice” and she had bought me one anyway, now that would be something.  Oh, and if I had won either of the two “win a free ESVSB” contests I entered…   I’m pathetic, I know.

Don’t misunderstand me – I LOVE this Bible.  This Bible will be a great tool for me and I’m sure will help me in my pursuit of knowing God and His word more.   But to tell the truth I’m a little bit afraid of it. 

For starters, the thing is HUGE.  I love what one brother said when my husband told him about the gift and that I would get the Bible while he got the free online ESVSB that came with it… 

Jenn may get the Bible- but you’ll have to carry it- it’s heavy! You will be a “bearer of The Word” hauling that big ol’ Bible around”

In addition to it’s size, it is really packed full of great information.  I love it.  I can’t wait to sink my theological teeth into it.  But in addition to what God has to teach me from the Word itself, and the scholarship of the great men who worked on the notes and articles,  I know He wants me to learn a little bit more.  Bible gluttony maybe?  Why do I have so many extra Bibles on my shelf when there are people elsewhere who cannot get ONE because they are illegal.  There are lessons of faith to be had.  Did I REALLY trust Him or did I manipulate the situation by letting my loving mother know that I was going without? Is this any different than pouting because I wanted a particular doll when I was six?   And then – the horrifying idea that I was eagerly awaiting the mailman not because I wanted to see him come to know Jesus through my testimony… but because he may have something I wanted in a brown cardboard box. 

I love my new Bible but I think its lessons are going to be painful.  

Ps.  My husband wanted me to add that it has a great “New Bible Smell”.  He’s got issues.

Between Two Worlds: The Answer to Practical Problems Must Involve Robust Doctrine

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A couple of weeks ago I posted on C.J. Mahaney’s sermon titled Don’t Waste Your Humor.  He’s at it again with another sermon at Covenant Life church, called Don’t Waste Your Sports.  Listen and find out how you can glorify God through sports.

This is the latest eNewsletter from 9Marks (also available in PDF). 

Wanted: Kingdom Families

Embedded Portraits: A Theological Vision for Families


Book Review: Family Driven Faith  By Voddie Baucham Jr
Reviewed by Michael Lawrence

Book Review: Practicing Hospitality  By Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock
Reviewed by Adrienne Lawrence

Learning to Multiply

39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 “Don’ts” For Parenting

Favorite Children’s Bibles

Driscoll Devo

Two nights ago we did something that is rare in our house, watched TV.  To tell the truth its not so rare for the grownups to turn on the TV for background noise at night (usually Food Network or HGTV) while we do other tasks but it’s never on during the day.  I think the boys forget there is such a thing, but from time to time we do enjoy a family movie night.  We checked the guide on Sunday night and saw that Animal Planet was showing Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and since we haven’t had a “movie night” in a while we thought it would be nice to cuddle up and watch.  We turned on the TV and there was a commercial for another animal show called Untamed & Uncut.  The show is about shocking real animal behavior and accidents and the scene on the screen was of an Alligator closing his jaw on a his Trainer’s head.  The boys were horrified and asked why people would show this on TV.  Good question!  I explained that seeing that kind of thing can remind people that animals are wild an unpredictable and they shouldn’t do foolish things like stick their heads in Alligators mouths.  My youngest told me that he might have a bad dream now after seeing that so we turned off Animal Planet and put in an Adventures in Odyssey DVD.  Sure enough, later that night my older son woke up from a nightmare about a crazed bunny chasing all of us around the house trying to bite our feet!  We had seen some cute little bunnies in the field at the park on Saturday and somehow the memory of those innocent bunnies was morphed with the angry Alligator in his dreamy 6 year old mind.  It’s amazing how images on a screen can impact us.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Matthew 6:22-23

This past Friday I turned 36 years old, approximately 13,140 days.  That’s a lot of days, how quickly they come and go.  Have you ever numbered your days?  I’ve spent some time reflecting on this and it had a very sobering effect.  How have I spent these days?  How have I wasted them?  How many have been used for my Creator?  What has been done for His kingdom?  There are many days highlighted in my mind for the earthly pleasure or pain that they brought.  In providence they came and shaped my life and I thank God for each one, but in honest reflection I must acknowledge the dreadful fact that so terribly few of these days were truly devoted to Him or of any use for His kingdom.

In a prayer from Moses we read, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:2).  The “so” in this request indicates a response to the previous statements which speak of the might and wrath of the Creator God and our disregard of Him and utter waste of the days He’s given us.  I know this is true of myself and so my echoing of Moses’ prayer is heart felt.  But I also know that because not a day was wasted by Jesus in His 33 years on earth and was spent perfectly glorifying the Father and accomplishing His will, I will not be dealt with in wrath as deserved but in divine love.  By grace I share the reward of His life and receive the credit of His righteousness.  And all the more I pray that God would teach me to number my days that I may get a heart of wisdom.  That I would not waste another of the days He’s given.  Moses went on in his prayer to appeal to God’s steadfast love, to call on God to satisfy us with Himself, to further reveal Himself to us so that we would be glad in Him alone, for His favor to be on us, and for God to establish the work of our hands upon us.  What a great prayer.  How about secretly whispering this before blowing out the candles?  Lord willing may the next 13,000 days be full of His grace and power, and on reflection then may I see a legacy of faith and obedience with some lasting eternal value for His kingdom.  Have you ever numbered your days?

Happy Birthday My Beloved Husband!  Thank you for all you do for us.
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor

We returned late last night from vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Thanks to some very generous friends who lent us their home we were able to enjoy 5 days in a fun and scenic place.  Our schedule was packed and we had a great time exploring the seacoast, finding huge starfish at The Ovens, picking wild blueberries on top of Cadillac Mountain, and taking in the sites and sounds of Acadia National Park.  We were mostly out an about but I knew there would be a couple of afternoons at the house where the boys would be bored and anxious for the next adventure so I surprised them with a vacation gift, their very first archery set.  That’s right, a real bow and arrow (mom loved that) complete with finger guard and quiver.  I also picked up a large foam target from Wal-Mart.  They loved it and did a good job hitting the target (5 feet away) and not each other or me Read the rest of this entry »

I listened to an excellent sermon this week from John Piper called “How the Supremacy of Christ Creates a Radical Christian Sacrifice.”  Piper’s words were gripping and challenging and I think a lot closer to real Christianity then most of what we normally hear.  It’s been on my mind all week and I’ve been praying that God would not let the message slip away but instead press it into my heart.  So timely was this quote I came accross today which touches on some of what I’m being challenged with:

When the prosperous man on a dark but starlit night drives comfortably in his carriage and has the lanterns lighted, aye, then he is safe, he fears no difficulty, he carries his light with him, and it is not dark close around him. But precisely because he has the lanterns lighted, and has a strong light close to him, precisely for this reason, he cannot see the stars. For his lights obscure the stars, which the poor peasant, driving without lights, can see gloriously in the dark but starry night. So those deceived ones live in the temporal existence: either, occupied with the necessities of life, they are too busy to avail themselves of the view, or in their prosperity and good days they have, as it were, lanterns lighted, and close about them everything is so satisfactory, so pleasant, so comfortable—but the view is lacking, the prospect, the view of the stars.

Søren Kierkegaard, The Gospel of Suffering, trans. David and Lillian Swenson (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1948), 123, cited in Vernard Eller, The Simple Life