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Contentment is not a boring virtue, it is a miracle and a mystery.
We tend to think being "stressed out" is a normal state of affairs, and that contentment means sitting back and just bottling things up. For the Christian, however, contentment is something we must apply, work at, and make our own in every circumstance because anxiety and frustration are not neutral behaviors.
It is certainly easier to go with our natural impulses when times are very hard or even just "annoying," but contentment is an important part of our Christian life. Even the apostle Paul had to "learn" contentment. So we shouldn't wonder why we're still in spiritual kindergarten—repeating the same lessons over and over again—if we haven't given ourselves to study contentment. Thankfully, every test God gives on contentment is open book (even the pop quizzes!).
In Learning Contentment , Nancy Wilson looks to the Bible and Puritans like Jeremiah Burroughs, Samuel Rutherford, Thomas Watson, and Charles Spurgeon to help us develop the practical, spiritual strength and the perspective that comes from contentment's deep satisfaction with the will of God. This encouraging little book follows after Nancy Wilson's Virtuous: A Study for Ladies of Every Age . Learning Contentment includes concise explanations, application questions and assignments that will involve and challenge everyone, and lots of biblical wisdom for individuals and groups.
Do you understand why trials, large or small, are all tools in the hand of an all-merciful, loving Father?
"It's true that this book is about me. (It's hard to avoid that when writing stories from my own life.) But this is also a book about trials big and small—about cancer, about suffering, about death—and especially about the temptation to fear. Sounds like a real downer, I know. But let me assure you that, while these frightful things are the reason for this book, none of them is the point of this book. The real point is God Himself and the comfort that His fearful and afflicted children can find only by trusting Him." -Hannah K. Grieser, from the Preface
The Clouds Ye So Much Dread is a beautiful blend of memoir, theology, meditation, and storytelling. Each of these chapters—from dreading the birth of her first child, to living in unfamiliar and dangerous places, to facing the news that her son had been diagnosed with cancer—describes the stories through which Hannah K. Grieser has come to see that hard or uncertain circumstances, rather than being cause for doubt and dread, can instead become the unasked-for means that our loving Father uses to turn us toward Him and to show us His faithfulness.
Told in Hannah's graceful yet punchy prose, the reflections in this powerful book will challenge readers to revisit their own hard times and see how God can take the storms that we most fear and turn them into downpours of blessings.
If "who am I?" is the question you're asking, Rachel Jankovic doesn't want you to "find yourself" or "follow your heart."
Those lies are nothing to the confidence, freedom, and clarity of purpose that come with knowing what is actually essential about you. And the answer to that question is at once less and more than what you are hoping for. Christians love the idea that self-expression is the essence of a beautiful person, but that's a lie, too.
With trademark humor and no nonsense practicality, Rachel Jankovic explains the fake story of the self, starting with the inventions of a supremely ugly man named Sartre (rhymes with "blart"). And we — men and women, young and old — have bought his lie of the "best self," with terrible results.
Thankfully, that's not the end of our story. You Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal with It takes the identity question into the nitty gritty details of everyday life. Here's the first clue: Stop looking inside yourself, and start planting flags of everyday faithfulness. In Christianity, the self is always a tool and never a destination.
What is a Christian woman's role? In this powerful book by Rebekah Merkle we see that, no matter what they are doing, women are made for glory.
The swooning Victorian ladies and the 1950s housewives genuinely needed to be liberated. That much is indisputable. So, First-Wave feminists held rallies for women's suffrage. Second-Wave feminists marched for Prohibition, jobs, and abortion. Today, Third-Wave feminists stand firmly for nobody's quite sure what. But modern women—who use psychotherapeutic antidepressants at a rate never before seen in history—need liberating now more than ever.
The truth is, feminists don't know what liberation is. They have led us into a very boring dead end. Eve in Exile sets aside all stereotypes of mid-century housewives, of China-doll femininity, of Victorians fainting, of women not allowed to think for themselves or talk to the men about anything interesting or important.
Eve in Exile dismisses the pencil-skirted and stiletto-heeled executives of TV, the outspoken feminists freed from all that hinders them, the brave career women in charge of their own destinies. Once those fictionalized stereotypes are out of the way—whether they're things that make you gag or things you think look pretty fun—Christians can focus on real women. What did God make real women for?
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