Friendship in the Real World

posted in: Books | 0

Over the past few years with the pick up in social media sites, I fear that more people (mostly women I’m writing about here) are better friends with the people on their social media networks than they are with people in their daily lives.  I am not saying those online friendships are bad, I just want to make the case that they are insufficient.

I would say that the main way I see this dominating the circles I follow are online Bible studies.  Again, I’m not saying these are bad – I’m just saying they are insufficient.  You can only be so real with people you only know through a computer (that’s why I think there are great problems with online dating).  The good thing about these online Bible studies is that you study the Word and you get to know people…but that can’t take the place of real life Bible studies if you have access to good ones.

Neither can these online friendships take the place of real life friends.  Since I’ve traveled a lot and moved a bit since being an adult, I have plenty of my best friends that don’t live in my immediate area.  Social media is definitely a way I keep up with them and know what’s going on in their lives – and they know how they can pray, encourage, and help me along in my sanctification process by loving me and loving the Gospel.

I’ve been reading a surprisingly good book A Friend in Me by Pamela Havey Lau.  It is about friendship – but more importantly, an older generation of women being grace-imparting friends to younger women.  Sounds very much like Titus 2.  I found this book for women to be refreshing because its deeper than most books on friendship.  This has been a convicting read to me in getting to know knew women, continuing relationships with women I already know, pursuing Gospel love with them, encouraging them in whatever stage of life God has them in right now, and even in my parenting and imparting the Gospel to my boys who are so little.

Thankful for this book on friendship, real life friends, and yes, social media where I can keep up with all my friends spread throughout the world.

I received this book from LitFuse in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.

Fear and Faith : a book for every woman

posted in: Books | 3

Fear and Faith

There haven’t been many books I’ve come across, geared toward women, that I think apply to all women.  May be a few by Elyse Fitpatrick, but that’s about it.  Most books for women are geared toward marriage, singleness, motherhood, etc.  This new book from Moody Publishers by Trillia Newbell (who works for the ERLC) is one book that I would highly recommend to every single woman to read.

Why?  Because we all fear.  We may not like to admit we fear – but we all do.  I will post my official review later, but suffice it to say that Trillia states her case and successfully writes about it – and points us to the gospel in all things with this book.  I want to interact personally with this book here.

I don’t think I would ever consider myself a fearful person – until I got married.  I think the closeness to other people brings that out – because there is more a fear of loss.  Before I got married I lived by myself in my own apt, I moved gladly around to different countries, I was actually quite independent – though I did have close relationships.  Now, I hate it when my mister is gone and its just me in the house with my two littles.  I have trouble falling asleep and I have to quote verses to myself in order to calm my heart.

My biggest struggle is fear of man.  I think I’ve known this tendency since I was little – but not until I came more into a relationship with Christ did I fully understand my need for salvation in this area.  A pastor recommended an Ed Welch book for me to read about 10 years ago.  So convicting – but so filled with hope that God has a special plan for our lives so we don’t have to be chained to sin in this area.

That’s what Trillia does in every area!  She lists out many fears that women struggle with ranging from tragedy, the future, to physical appearance and sexual intimacy.  In every single chapter – I was convicted by some of her thoughts (totally based in Scripture backed up by personal experience – not the other way around) – and I was placed gently in the hands of the Almighty who doesn’t want me to fear but wants me to trust completely in Him.

I see this in my marriage a lot.  This idea of us being consumed with the opinions of others (pg 24).  I always want to know what my mister thinks of my outfit, the food I cooked, etc.  I want him to realize that I cleaned this or that and am always looking for his approval.

Right now my mister and I are not in a place of surety – meaning I don’t think we are going to be in this place in life for a long time so we feel kinda in limbo.  So, when I don’t have a vision for the future and don’t know how long it will be till we see that vision – its scary.  This book has taught me that I don’t trust God enough in this area.  I like to be in control.

I read the chapter on appearance (am I pretty enough) the wknd I finally lost all the baby weight.  I was so excited.  I mean my second son just turned 20 months old.  Its been a long time coming.  Newbell reminded me that while I should take care of my body because God desires me to – I shouldn’t focus on my looks to an extreme amount nor should I find my identity in the numbers on the scale.

Giveaway: Moody has graciously said they would give a copy of this book to a reader.  Here is how you enter: what one verse to do you go to when you are fearful?  You can answer in the blog comments or on a social media account of your choice.  Just make sure I know about it.  I will choose a winner on Sunday night.

Trillia – thank you.  This book was very helpful and was restorative to my soul.

Read This: Give Her Wings

posted in: Books, Uncategorized, Women | 1

Give Her Wings

I feel like the title of the book should be a country song – but I won’t venture there.

This is a more serious book with a serious message, not appropriate for a country song.

Megan Cox has become a friend of mine through another friend, and she has such a heart for ministering to women who have come from situations that no woman would desire.  She shares much of her story in Give Her Wings, and that is one of the reasons that Give Her Wings is such a powerful book.  When women share their story, where God met them, how God brought them new life from death, created a new heart where only death lived, it is a miraculous story.

She shares her story in this book and offers hope and counseling to women who might be struggling in similar situations.  She ministers to women with God’s truth on her lips and understanding in her heart.  This book speaks of that understanding and also can be used as a guide in how to minister to hurting women.

One of the best things I’ve read in this book is the following:

“Speak God’s truth into her life.  She Scriptures that encourage and comfort.  Remind her she is not alone.  Bless her with the Word.  If she heads condemnation, her crisis of faith may very well tip to the wrong direction.” (pg 89)

There is a spot of time that women who are coming out of hurting relationships are open to hearing God’s truth. Relationships can be redeemed by God’s Love and Justice.  He can bring healing.  And it is books like this that offer that Love, hope, and truth to hurting women.


Read This: Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin/Crossway)

posted in: Books, Women | 0

Women of the Word

Our days are so full!

As a Mom of two toddlers – and very active boys at that – I know what full days are.  They are fun, encouraging, eventful, demanding, and days filled with laughter.  We are always on the go, exploring new parts of our city or heading out to hang out with some friends or go see Daddy at work, or walk along the river or see animals at the zoo.  I love cherishing times with my sweet boys.

But, something else I highly look forward to is either the days when they sleep in late and I get up to get some time in the Word in early – or their nap times – so I can again get encouraged by being in the Word.

The new(ish) book by Jen Wilkin, who serves at The Village Church in Texas, helps women with their understanding of how to better study – and fall in love with – the Bible (and more importantly, it’s Author).

I’m thankful for Jen’s organization, gospel-driven remarks, personal history with the Word, and imploring her readers to invest their time in the study of the Word – not just the glancing at it as you go along.

One of the hardest chapters for me to impliment on a daily basis if praying and the word.  I love the pray – and have written journals for wives to pray for their husbands, working on a prayer journal for moms to pray for themselves as moms, but really to engage in the word – before, during, and after – by praying.  Usually, I approach the Word quickly and haughtily and just start reading.  I’m thankful that Jen included this in her book.

“Ask him to make his word come alive for you in such a way that you

know him better and see your own needs of him more clearly.

 – Jen Wlkin

If you are looking for a way to learn how to study the book, or need encouragement in how to love the Word – turn to Jen’s book.  It is for women, new believers and the believers who’ve known Jesus a while.


W&BT: Found in Him (Week 1)

posted in: Books, Women & Books Together | 0

Loneliness and the Incarnation

Here we go again, ladies! I’m excited for those of you joining me in on a journey to read and discuss/study through Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book, Found in Him, with me.
What I have found wonderful about this book is it takes the last season: Christmas, the Incarnation, and makes that doctrine come alive in our lives and our relationship with God the rest of the year.
So, let’s embark on this together. Each Monday I’ll post my thoughts on the chapter (this week is the introduction and chapter 1), and then comment, whether here, on fb, or anywhere else.
1. “Everyone struggles with feelings of alienation and isolation.” (pg 17) You always think that when you grow up and get out of high school, you’ll leave feelings of the “first day of school” behind. But…it doesn’t happen that way. You think that when you get married or have a family, that you’ll leave those feelings of isolation behind. But…you don’t.
Elyse has definitely written to people and counseled with ladies who need help handling feelings of loneliness. Lonely can happen at any stage of life and in whatever season of life you are in. Psalm 25.16 is an amazing verse. The Psalmist asks the Lord to turn to him and be gracious for he is lonely. The Lord is gracious in answering: friends, family, love. But most of all – He gives himself.
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”
2. The mystery of the incarnation: we are not alone. We have the God of the Universe. Literally. God sent His Son – the One who was the agent of creation – to earth to become a man. He came so we would NOT be lonely. Do you recognize this? Do you recognize this as an important part of the incarnation. God with us. The Word Became Flesh. Did you take time over the Christmas holidays to experience this wonderful aspect of the Christmas season?
3. Would you say you are stubborn? My husband would probably say there are things that I am stubborn about. But, do we allow the softness and the penitration of the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts? Do you desire to be like the Israelites who wandered in the desert all those years because of their stubborness? Or do you want to be a woman of God who God uses because of your soft heart toward Him and His correction? I hope I know the answer for myself – and for you!
4. Do you often read the OT in light of the NT? Do you read the Creation account and the flood and the psalms and the laments and the history found in the Bible all in light of Jesus and the incarnation and the fact that He died on the cross? The whole Bible reveals Him. I am going through the OT this year learning more about God – and keeping my eyes and heart open to seeing salvation on every page. I challenge you to read through the Scriptures that Elyse has in this book – and read the OT in light of the knowledge of the Resurrection. Oh, how that will radically change your view of the OT.

What did you get out of the Introduction and the first chapter? I look forward to interacting with you and hearing your thoughts on this book.

Marriage, Ministry and Hospitality

Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.

Jesse Browner

Marriage includes many joys!

One of the highlights of marriage and ministry for my husband is the idea and general enthusiasm I have for hospitality.  He is a very hospitable person – but how “odd” is it for a family from your church to come to lunch at the home of a bachelor?  Even one who keeps his home immaculately and can cook a great meal.  E was grateful for marriage for many reasons but one of them was his increased opportunity to practice hospitality.  I’m all for it.

Most anytime I mention an idea I have to practice hospitality, my husband gives me the thumbs up.  Here are some that we’ve had the joy to do in our home, yes, with an infant, yes, moving to a new town.

1. Write the Word parties: where a group of women come over one night every other month to talk about the word and write out or journal a specific book of the Bible.  All I need is chairs and maybe extra pens.  What is optional: coffee, tea, water, evening goodies.  My husband hangs out with the little mister so I can focus on talking with the women who come over.

2.  Worship Ministry Birthday Parties: My husband is a worship pastor and loves pastoring those in the choir and orchestra.  And I am not a part of his choir, but I do want to be involved in his ministry.  So, each month we pick a night to have the birthday people for that month (and their immediate families) over for a dessert time.  I love to bake – sometimes I get to be creative, sometimes I don’t.  But each month it has been a joy to get to know families – no matter how many birthday people can make it that month.

3.  Men’s Discipleship Groups: Every other week my husband would meet with a group of men from the church to discuscuss a book on church ministry and leadership.  I loved exploring some new breakfasts with this group, but I have to admit this one was the hardest because I experienced first trimester through this one.  Early mornings were rough, but the men were gracious as was my husband.  They survived some weeks on bagels or store bought muffins.  And with this one, much of it could be prepared the night before and ready for Eric to welcome them in the morning.

4.  Hang Out times:  This one I’m sure many of you do anyway.  I love being able to have women in our home during the day while E is at work.  Baby can be sleeping, or other babies can come along and join in on the fun. Especially helpful if you just have something to drink on hand – but that is not necessary either.  Fellowship in your home doesn’t require anything but an open door and a welcome smile.

5.  Sunday Lunches: Our Sundays are long days as you can imagine, but the crockpot comes in handy for this one!  Or you can always pick up a pizza on the way home!  Pick a different single, couple, or family.  This one with my family where it is right now is easy – because right when we get home little mister goes to bed, so he sleeps through almost anything.  The afternoon is cozy and good for conversation.  We don’t do this one a lot because of the hecticness of Sundays, but it is fun when it happens.

6.  Porch Nights: This one is about to start.  We have many single ladies in our church and I love ministering to them, discipling them, and getting to know them.  We have a great porch with plenty of room.  So, we are having a quarterly theme for the single ladies to get together and hang out – no agenda necessary.  We are doing appetizers in August.

This post was meant to be a help to you – to know that you don’t have to have a big house, lots of money, a love for cooking, or home decorating to practice hospitality.  I love opening our home to others.  And God gives us the command to be hospitable to others!  Have fun fulfilling this command!

W&BT#1: Name Above All Names (Week 1)

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this week’s first chapter in Alistair Begg’s and Sinclair Ferguson’s new gem of a book on the person of Christ.  It has been a blessing to me and I’ve been learning much from their study and have thrilled at their writing and teaching style.

How these weekly studies will go, for the next 7 weeks, is this:  I hope you will come to each Monday having read the chapter for that week, but if you haven’t, feel free to join in anyway. I guarantee you will get more out of this blog each week if you have read the material.  I won’t walk through the chapter, but more offer my gleanings and what I’ve learned in light of the author’s writings.  In the comment section, you can either comment on what you’ve read in the book, on the blog, or something else you’ve read in pertaining to the subject matter at hand.  Everyone will interact with each other.

Here are some of my reflections on Chapter 1:

1.  Why study Jesus?

“They (the names of Jesus) express the incomparable character of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Reflecting on them better prepares us to respond to the exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon Him, and to meditate on how great He is.” (pg 15)

The study of Jesus greatly enhances our worship.  True worship, if you remember John 4, has to be through Jesus. If you look at the hall of faith in Hebrews 11, they were worshiping the Yawheh God through the future faith in the coming and reign of Jesus. My husband has been reading a Dennis Johnson book in preparation for his DMin class on preaching – the entire book is on how the entire Bible points to Christ.  The Old Testament, New Testament, the 400 years of silence in between.  Jesus has everything to do with our yesterdays, todays, and forevers.  According to Sinclair in another sermon, God is a speaking God – and through the person and work of Jesus is one of the primary ways God chose to speak.

There are many types of religious affiliations in the world, that is an understatement.  However, one distinct person separates true Christian, gospel-centered worship from every other religion in the world: Jesus.  Others have works, ladders, lists, and good deeds, but as a former pastor of mine said, Christianity doesn’t equal DO, it equals DONE.   Does your worship, both daily and on Sunday among other believers, center on the person and work of Jesus?  If not, something is most definitely missing.

This is what gets a lot of us women in trouble on a daily basis.  We are seeking to do everything we need to do: whether our jobs, schooling, motherhood, being a wife, serving others, being a homemaker, etc. in our own strength.  However, knowing Jesus and what He has done for us as believers, and daughters and co-heirs, will enable to us to free our minds from a perfectionist mindset and set our hope and our calling on Him.

2.  Scripture is more than knowledge, it is doing.

As my husband and I studied the book of James for most of 2012, I read weekly or daily the verses about doing the Word of God, not just listening, reading or knowing it (James 1).  This was so convicting.  Often times we ourselves, or others in our presence, will spout Scripture, but often times we fail to do what we know.

As the authors talk about Jesus being the Seed of the Woman, the reason the Seed was needed was because of sin.  And the action of sin in the garden was not listening and obeying the Word of God.  God has spoken very clearly as to what Adam and Eve were to do and not do – however, they both chose to turn away from the spoken word of God and do their own thing.  “The distinctive feature of this tree is what God had said about it.” (p 16).

Sweet friends, how do we fight this battle daily – the battle of our minds?  We fight this battle daily with some of the following (and think for yourself what some of yours might be): putting our hope in status, a clean house, happy kids, a husband, a successful career, etc. (other than putting our hope in Jesus); worrying and being fearful (this only tends to get worse in our sinful nature once we have children); fighting our own battles (wanting to be the justifier instead of waiting for God to act on our behalf), etc.  We need to memorize and act upon the Scriptures that God has so graciously spoken to us.  We only do this by choosing to believe in the Gospel every minute of every day.

3.  Conflict Resolution.

I once had the opportunity to hear Ken Sande speak at Southern Seminary.  A gracious man, he taught his listeners about means of being a peacemaker.  There are some helpful resources on his website, so if you aren’t familiar with his ministry, I would encourage you to “google” him.

We have conflict in our lives (between friends, church members, spouses, children, bosses, family) because of a great conflict that was started in the Garden of Eden.  This ultimate conflict will eternally be won by Jesus, but there are daily ramifications of conflict for us in this world.  “When Christ appeared, he came to undo what the Serpant had done.  By His life and ministry and ultimately through his death and resurrection, he destroyed all the works of the Devil.”  (p 20)

Oh, isn’t this a happy thought?  When there is conflict in our lives, we can rest assured that we know who will be the Victor.  I really don’t know anyone who loves conflict; I certainly don’t.  In our marriage, we strive to resolve conflict as soon as possible.  But this conflict between the Seed of the Woman and Satan has been going on for centuries.  And the outcome is still secure – Jesus wil be victorious.

So dear one, when you find it hard to battle the conflict daily – that battle of sin and of the flesh and of the war that Paul speaks about in Romans 6-7  – please take heart that this is not an eternal battle – but one that Jesus has already won!

4.  There will be pain.

Since everyone knows this…I can move on from this point.  Wait.  As I think about the ladies I know who are doing this book study with us here on the blog – I know their stories (most of them).  I know the pain in their lives – pain today, pain yesterday, knowing that pain will certainly come in the future.  Lost jobs, lost loved ones, unsaved loved ones, difficult family circumstances, family members with lifelong disabilities or illnesses, betrayal of friends, etc. – pain is so real in our lives.

I found much hope in this statement by the authors: “We must not allow ourselves to be tricked into thinking that if things are going well with us, then we can be sure of God’s love.  For life can often seem dark and painful.  Things do not always go well for us.  Rather, we look to the sacrifice of the cross and the demonstration God gave there of His love.  This is the proof I need.  This is the truth I need to hear if the lie is to be dispelled” (p 33).

This last month of my life has been a very hurtful one.  But, I’ve actually had much comfort that has come from friends speaking the Gospel truth into my life – words of hope and life that have dispelled (somewhat, honestly, at this stage in the game) lies.  I’ve had a husband and close friends who point me to what God has said about me in His Word and that has given me much hope.

Ladies – there will be hurt.  There will be pain. But, as the authors of this book and the glorious Bible has said, Jesus gets the victory.  Pain will one day lose all of its sting.  Pain can no longer have the victory if we believe in Jesus.  That is a great HOPE!  In your hurt – where do you find hope?

What have you gained from the book this week?  What was your most applicable takeaway?  What thoughts have you read here that have triggered some new thoughts in your understanding of this truth about Jesus?

Join us next week as we reflect on chapter 2!


W&BT: Name Above All Names

A new month and a new feature on kd316.  As I’ve lived in many places there are many women whom I would love to have the ability to sit down in my living room and study this book together (or any other).  But, that can’t happen.  So, that’s why we have technology right?

Women from all over are going to join up and study Crossway Book’s new release (June 2013) of Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson’s readable, applicable book on Jesus: Name Above All Names.  This has been an outstanding book in my opinion and I’ve been enjoying getting to know Jesus better, getting to know the authors better, and getting to know myself better (as you inevitably will when you study Jesus).

So, join us.  We will be starting on July 15 and the comments will be how we dialogue.  If you don’t necessarily want to comment via the comment section, you can always use facebook or email to dialogue.  But, I’d love to hear your thoughts (whether you are here in Little Rock or halfway around the world).  You have plenty of time to order your book.  The chapters are not long and they are very readable even for the average woman who has never been to seminary or anything. Jump on in!  Everyone needs to learn more about Jesus!

I’ll post the study from each chapter each Monday, starting with chapter 1 on July 15 (so if you have time, please go ahead and read it).

Mirroring Christ in our Hospitality

posted in: life together, Women, Worship | 0


There are probably people we know, men and women, who are amazing at showing hospitality.  There was a lady in our church growing up who was fabulous at this.  She welcomed everyone in the church and was a fabulous cook as well.   My mentor is incredible in this skill as well: cooking, opening her door, opening a bed or place to sleep for guests, praying over her guests, etc.  I learned much of my “activity” of hospitality from them.  Thankful.

Our church’s women’s ministry just had a night of learning about hospitality.  I was not able to go but you can find some of the handouts from the sessions on our women’s blog.  I’ve written much about hospitality, but what does it mean in a more spiritual sense?  Meaning, the hospitality that God shows for us?

An illustration you might understand before I get to Tripp’s quote: Some people you welcome into your home with welcome arms.  You can’t wait to go out of your way for them, sit and talk for hours, invite them into your heart and home.  Others, you tolerate.  You really could have them leave at any time, don’t care if they stay or go.  Really, if you are honest, you wish you could probably just show them the door quickly after dinner was open.  (If you are reading this with dropped jaw in disbelief that anyone could ever have such a thought toward another person – look at your own life.  This is where sanctification comes in.  I’m not perfect.  Spirit is still working).

Well, as Tripp says in his book, Dangerous Calling, Christ doesn’t just tolerate us:

“One of the sweetest blessings of the cross of Jesus Christ is that the curtain of separation has been torn in two. No longer are the holy places open only to the high priest once a year. No, now each of God’s children has been welcomed to come with confidence into God’s presence, and not just once a year.”

“We, with all of our sin, weakness, and failures are welcome to do what should blow our minds. We are not only tolerated by God at a distance; no, we are welcomed into intimate personal communion with the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the creator, the sovereign, the Savior. We, as unholy as we are, are told to go with confidence into his holy presence.”

– Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling, p. 197.

Live welcomed.

Book Review: A Woman’s Wisdom (Brownback)

posted in: Books | 1

Are you ever at a point in your life where you don’t need any wisdom?  I would venture to say the answer is probably “Kim, you are so funny, I always need more wisdom!”  Whether it is in how to live in your relationships, serve in your home or ministry positions, how to get along with your boss, how to parent your children, how to manage conflict which seems to creep up, etc.  There is always room for more wisdom in your life.

The reason I chose Lydia Brownback’s book A Woman’s Wisdom for my Crossway book to review was because my hubs and I are going through James – which some people say is the NT book of Wisdom (matching Proverbs).  This book is definitely that, as her subtitle says “how the book of Proverbs speaks to everything.”

This handy guide to everything in life is chocked full of Scripture that has the power to change and mold your life to what Christ would want it to be – more like Him.  Chapters include such topics as words, financaes, sexuality, friendships and more.  The book of Proverbs (as well as the rest of the Bible) speaks to EVERY area of our life.  I love how Lydia writes directly to women and doesn’t just spout off her own life advice (like so many secular authors do), but points her readers back to the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Here are some fave quotes from it:

“Wisdom is the realization that He is everything.” (pg 23)

“Wise women are governed by the principles of God’s Word, not by their feelings, hormones, or enjoyments.” (pg 28) – I loved this one because it is SO pivotal in my life right now, being in my third trimester and its the middle of the summer!

She helps us guard against pride by saying this: “Each one of us is, in some way, a foolish woman.” (pg 51)

As I had the chance the meet Lydia at the TGCW Conference in June, I found her to be delightful and personable, welcoming conversation by us “normal folk”.  And she has to be into health because she was eating a granola bar! 🙂