Discernment in Reading

When I walk into the Christian Bookstore I am overwhelmed at all they have to offer. How many books are stocked on their shelves? There are way more than I could ever read, but the truth is, if you ‘re looking for a particular topic they will have it. Books on marriage, mothering, prayer, devotions, dieting, finances, dating, prophecy, faith, God’s will and much more can all be found with varying opinions on each subject! How does a person know which opinion is correct? Which author is going to lead me right?

The correct way to interpret any book is to see if it lines up with Scripture. Does the book agree with the Bible or does it teach some “new thought?” There is nothing new that God has added to His Word, so if there’s a new wrinkle then it’s more than likely erroneous and we need to steer clear of it. Does it teach something about God that is not true? Leave it alone.

We all need to read with discernment – whether it’s a book from the bookstore or an article on-line. Proverbs 14:15 says, The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. We can’t pick up a book or read an article and buy into everything it says just because it’s from so and so (some famous Christian leader), or because we found it at the Christian bookstore; we must read with discernment. This is “looking well to our going.” Ask yourself if it lines up with the Word of God.

I learned recently about a resource where you can read about new books that have been reviewed. This would save you the trouble of buying a book, then finding out it wasn’t biblical. Here’s the link to that website: http://discerningreader.com/ Here’s what the site says about themselves:

Discerning Reader is a site dedicated to promoting good books–books that bring honor to God. At the same time, we hope to help Christians avoid being unduly influenced by books and teachers that are not honoring to God.
We do not seek to be harsh or judgmental. Rather, we seek only to be discerning as we compare books to the written Word of God. We let the words of authors speak for themselves and simply hold the books up to the light of Scripture. In doing so, we are building a database of reviews which we feel cast a discerning light on the books that are found in Christians homes, churches and bookstores.

I love books and love to walk through the stores and look at the new titles and find things that will help me. I’m grateful the Lord gives us encouragement to help us be discerning readers rather than “simple readers that believe every word.”


If there is anything I have a surplus of it is journals. I have always loved to write my thoughts down and I have a sundry places in which I do just that. It began when I was in elementary school. I had a tiny diary with a lock and key. I wrote about things that happened at school, holidays at home and special events in history like when Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon in 1969 and the election of Richard Nixon to the White House.

In high school my writing took a little twist as I also included some creative writing in the form of poetry into my book of thoughts. How interesting it is to read of the events of my life as a teenager (and all the drama that entails!). I can clearly see how the Lord was directing my steps as I graduated from high school then sought His will for the future. If I hadn’t written all that was happening at that time I’m sure my fifty year-old mind would surely have forgotten the details of the God’s provision for my going to Bob Jones. As I went to college I journaled the anxiety of classes, homesickness and again seeking God’s will for the future.

Do you remember when Joshua and the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River? When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight’” (Joshua 4:1-3). Those twelve stones were to be the monument that reminded the people of the way God brought them across the river and delivered them. My journals are my monument, if you will, of God’s faithfulness to me. They remind me of what God has done. That stoney monument was also to be the “story-starter” for the Israelites’ children when they asked what the meaning of the stones was. My journals help me to tell my girls the details of how the Lord brought my husband into my life and how they too can wait on the Lord to do the same for them. I’m reminded of God’s provision in a material way, of the way He’s answered prayers over and over again.

There are many positives of keeping a journal, but the best is the preservation of the memories of God’s work in your life. If you’re not writing these things down you probably won’t remember in the years to come and there will be no way to then pass on that memory to the generation behind you. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or creative, just record events. Its memories will be monumental!

This Little Light of Mine

I love to meander down the aisles at Lowe’s. I enjoy looking at paint chip colors, drawer knobs, light fixtures, appliances, and closet organizers. In the spring and summer I love going out to the garden area to look at all the flowers, plants and yard accessories. The other night we were there and in my meandering I came across the garden lights pictured here. They require no electricity because they are solar powered. It only takes three steps to put them together and pop them into the ground. I wasn’t sure how much light they’d really give off, but I knew they would make a nice accent at the sidewalk near the front door, so I purchased the box containing a set of two (the best part was they were on the clearance rack for $15).

I brought the lights home and did the simple assembly, took them outside and pushed them into the soft soil on either side of the sidewalk leading to the front door. The directions included in the box of lights said to place them in a spot where they’d get a good bit of sun all day. It stated that a rainy day or a shady spot would effect the light given off by the lamps.

Hmmmm….that made me think. I was humming “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” and thinking about my light source – my Heavenly Father. The more time I spend with Him the brighter my light shines. Hurried devotions, busy schedules, sleepy times in the Word without really listening to the Spirit speak to my heart and the light gets awfully dim – it may not shine at all. When I, like Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh, let the cloud of gloom and depression to hang over my head and I don’t think on the Truth (the Word of God) the light doesn’t shine just dimly – it goes completely out. Not only does it effect me, and it certainly does, but it also effects those around me. I have no light to cast on their path when I’m enveloped in my darkness.

I really like those little lanterns I bought at Lowe’s. They wouldn’t guide someone down the Appalachian Trail, but they illumine the steps enough to show you’re at the door. Jesus Christ is the Door. When we’re walking with the Lord, we are showing that Door to others…and isn’t that why we’re left on this earth after we’re saved? Is your light shining today? If not, draw near the Light source. Spend time with your God so your testimony will brighten your own path and also make a light for others to follow.


Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry season is almost here. I thought I’d share my family’s favorite recipe for shortcake. We like it better than the little sponge-type cake. It’s super easy to make and is sugary on the outside and sooo yummy and light on the inside! Note that the recipe calls for no liquid. The eggs and butter bind it together.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 large eggs

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add eggs, stirring until moistened.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly several times to for a ball. (Dough will be grainy). Press into a wax paper-lined 8-inch round cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and peel off wax paper. Cool on wire rack.

Cut into wedges and serve with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.



Champion Modesty

I read a book a couple of years ago that really opened my eyes. It was entitled, For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhan. I would highly recommend it to you . It covers topics about which the author surveyed men. It talks about how important respect is to them, how truly fragile their ego is, why men are clueless sometimes about romance and a couple of other interesting topics. But the one chapter that was an eye-opener to me was entitled, “Keeper of the Visual Rolodex.” This chapter dealt with the fact that men are visual. We may have heard that phrase, but as women it’s hard for us to really comprehend what that means, and what effect it has on men.

Seventy-six of the men that were surveyed said that if a woman with a good figure walks in the room they struggle with not looking at her. They then have a mental picture of her in their mind that can pop up at any moment and they’ll have to deal with the thoughts that accompany the picture. As women we may say, “well, they just need to deal with it.” “That’s disgusting!” They have a problem!” But if we deal with this on a biblical basis we must understand that just as the Lord made women to be “touch orientated” men are sight-orientated. It’s a struggle they deal with every single day.

The society that we live in contributes to the difficulty that men face. The spandex tops, scooped necklines, or necklines with the deep V, are all factors that reveal flesh. Mix that with below waistline jeans and short skirts and the battle is doubled. But it’s not just at the mall that flesh is revealed – it’s also at church. Unthinking women buy a dress or top without checking it out before walking out the door, and they unknowingly bring the immodesty of the world into the sanctuary. It’s not my desire to be a legalist about this; this topic is one of a woman being virtuous and discreet; concerned enough not to cause a man to sin in his heart because of what she is wearing.

Can I encourage you after you have dressed (or better yet, when you’re trying something on in the dressing room) bend over in front of the mirror. Does the dress or top open up and reveal your flesh? Does the neckline reveal cleavage? Does the small of your back show? If so, then either layer another top underneath or don’t wear it.

If we are to help the men around us to be godly, then it’s our responsibility to dress modestly. They struggle enough in the world…let’s not make it difficult at church too. Let’s be women that champion modesty. Be examples of modesty yourself and teach it to your daughters. Let’s not be “fodder for the mental Rolodex just because of how we dress.”


Cherish the Moments

Yesterday my husband and I attended the funeral for Sandra Binney – a woman whose husband has had a huge impact in our lives through his preaching and counseling. Sandra was his dear help meet behind the scenes keeping him organized and put together. She presented a lovely home and surroundings not only for their lives, but for all those that would spend time with Dr. Binney in counseling. For more than forty years they served the Lord faithfully in a very busy schedule of full-time ministry.

The Lord called her home on Sunday and now Dr. Binney is resting in his God, but is honest about the great longing in his heart for her soft touch and for her presence near him in the middle of the night. My heart aches for him today. I know God’s grace will be sufficient, but the grief one endures at the loss of a mate must be overwhelming.

I read in my devotions this week this verse from Psalm 90 – “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” If we really understood how short our time with our spouse is, would we get so irritated at the little annoyances, or would we, in wisdom, let it pass? What other wisdom would be ours if we could glimpse into the future and see that our time as a couple is so very brief? Perhaps we would say “I love you” more often. Angry words would probably be fewer and we wouldn’t think of leaving home without a kiss and hug. I believe we’d listen better and spend more time doing things just for fun.

If you’re single and are waiting for the Lord to being a mate along. Listen to this post from YouTube and the testimony at the end to encourage you to wait on the Lord. If you’re married or have had the privilege of having a godly husband, you can agree with the song this gentleman, Bruce Frye is singing on the song I’m posting here, “I Do.”

Do I believe in miracles? I do.
The Lord has blessed my life with you.
By his grace we’ve both been saved.
This is a union God has made.
Do I believe in miracles? I do!

I thank the Lord for my husband…I do!


The Generation After Them

All in one week I received copies of these old photos. They were both taken nearly fifty years ago. I say nearly because I turned 50 this year and I was three in the picture on the top. The other picture is a photo of my husband’s parents and their nephew and was taken a little more than 50 years ago. As I look at these photos I think about the dreams and ambitions of our parents at that time. Knowing them as I do, I know that it was their earnest desire to have a home and family that would please the Lord. Their prayer was that their children would be saved and then live for the Lord. Praise the Lord, the next generation has done just that. By God’s grace, all their children and grandchildren are walking with the Lord at this time – what a blessing. What a heritage!

As I read this morning in Judges 2 I read about the Israelites that had disobeyed the Lord in not driving out the enemies from the land. They allowed them to live among them and turn their hearts away from their God. Verse 10 says, “And also all that generation were gather unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” It’s not enough to me that I’m saved and my children know the Lord, but also that my grandchildren to come would also trust in Him. When I read that verse this morning my heart cried out, “Oh Lord, don’t let that be said of my girls or their children! Keep them close to you. Help my girls to train their children to love you.” My girls aren’t even married yet, but it’s not too soon to pray for the next generation. I’ve heard preachers say that they won’t consider their parenting effective until they see what their grandchildren do. In other words, if their children pass on the Truths of salvation and sanctification, they will see that their teaching has truly influenced the lives of their children.

I often pray Colossians 1:9-14 for my children; if you have grandchildren pray it for them. God honors His Word and loves to hear it being prayed to Him. When you pray this passage you’re asking the Lord to:
  • fill them with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
  • help your children to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing
  • allow them to be fruitful in every good work
  • help them to increase in the knowledge of God
  • strengthen them with all might by his glorious power
  • give them patience and longsuffering with joyfulness

I pray that years from now when my family looks at our old photos they will be able to rejoice that the generations that followed that “old couple” are still loving and serving the Lord…that is my greatest desire as a mother. What a treasure that would be! It will only come by living it consistently and by much prayer. Lord, help me to faithfully do both.”