Looking To Jesus, Chapter 8

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

My husband and I have moved our family and household several times—from Germany to Pennsylvania to Florida, back to Pennsylvania, and now to Texas— with the number of our possessions growing or whittling according to the situation. We not only carry about our own belongings, but family heirlooms passed down from previous generations. Facing an imminently empty nest, the thought of which of our treasures we will bequeath to which of our children when we downsize further arises occasionally (usually while de-cluttering a closet or attempting to finally clean the garage). Continue reading

From the Heart

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

Sisters, it was wonderful to get back together this Tuesday and renew our discussion of this excellent little book called Women’s Ministry in the Local Church![1]

It’s usually not a good idea to take a month’s break during the middle of a study. You wonder—will anyone come back, have they moved on to something else, has the momentum been lost? But, praise be to God, that was not the case! Our discussion was rich with enthusiasm, the eyes of our hearts were being enlightened to the beauty of a women’s ministry undergirded by the core foundational truths of gospel, truth, sound doctrine, discipleship, and covenant being worked out through the principles of submission, compassion and community. Stories were shared, the budding of ideas for ways to minister were popping up around the room; you could almost see the Lord working in the hearts of women gathered in the room at 10 and 6 that day! Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 7

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

I spent last weekend in a place I’ve never been, with a great big group of people, most of whom I’ve never met. My husband and I drove for two days from South/Central Texas to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin for a delayed celebration in honor of our youngest daughter’s marriage. A little over a year ago, Erin and Dusty were married in a sweet little wedding chapel in Memphis with only his parents, a couple of siblings, and us to share their day. And yet they each have families and friends with whom they wanted to share their joy, so a great gathering was planned for this summer at Dusty’s Grandparents’ farm. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, interim week 1

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This is the first week of our brief summer break from meeting for book study, but we still want to bring you content to keep the themes of covenant community swirling in your minds and hearts. My home is blessedly full with family this week as we are preparing to send off my oldest son and his wife to their new assignment in Northern California—so far away!—and I’m doing well to spell my name correctly. So, instead of writing the post which is marinating in my heart, I will direct you to an article written by Christina Fox. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 6

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

It’s Summertime here in Texas, which means that school’s out, pools and waterparks are open, and shorts and sandals are standard everyday wear. Of course, being Texas, the shorts and sandals have been in use for several months already. When the sandals come out, it’s pedicure season; the footsies need some sprucing up for their higher visibility; after all, painted toes are part of the accessory package—right? I went for my first pedicure of the season a month ago, and part of the process of getting my feet ready for sandals involved a lot of soaking and special potions and lotions before bringing out the “cheese grater” to tackle my callouses. Continue reading

From The Heart, Chapter 3

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

“Scripture calls us to things that are utterly counterintuitive, utterly countercultural, and demanding in the extreme, but Scripture shows us the Savior and His bride. This glorious sight motivates us to live under God’s authority and to serve Him through the local church, for His glory and our good. Falling in love with Christ means falling in love with His Church.”[1]

The whole process of sanctification is countercultural, when we realize that if we are going to walk worthy of our salvation, we must not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing our mind. We need our affections for Christ to grow so we can loosen our grip on this world. And as our affections for Christ grow, so must our affections for His bride, for together we are members of His body. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 3

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

We’ve all seen them, the posters (or posts) of a lovely scene with a woman throwing her arms wide with abandon, or walking away from the camera with purposeful step, overlaid with a quote meant to inspire, saying something like:

“Sometimes walking away is the only option. Not because you want to make someone miss you, or realize they took you for granted. But because you finally respect yourself enough to know that you deserve better.”

The memes are many. Whatever the specific quote, the message is clear. Don’t trust other people because they will deplete, disappoint, hurt, reject, abandon, or take you for granted. The solution: Keep a cool distance. Protect yourself. Walk away. Continue reading