I Thought I Was Good at Communicating... And Then I Got Married
This is a great post from my sweet friend Chelsea from Go Giver Collective.
Women of the Word
My current read, and I love it! Such an excellent little book about how the study the Bible. If you struggle with reading the Bible or feel like you don't know how to ready the Bible, this is a good place to start as well as this book. Review of the book to follow.
Make a DIY Wall Hanging: Start with a Mop
This post by the Nester is genius, and made me want to make a wall hanging out of materials I have laying around.
The Most Important Ingredient to Improve Your Marriage
I'm not even married yet, and this post was encouraging and helpful.
So many of you know that I studied film, but the area of my studies that I loved the most was alternative filmmaking and animation. I'm so tickled by this animated series called Theo Presents, which is where Theo presents theology in helpful ways that even children can understand.
I was sitting in Starbucks the other day chatting with a friend when a song came on over the store's sound system. It was a song that I had heard a few weeks ago, and the melody was catchy, but I hadn't caught enough of the lyrics previously to look it up. After my friend-date, I went home, found it on Spotify, and shamelessly danced to it in my kitchen on repeat while making stir fry.
The song is Lay It All On Me by Rudimental featuring Ed Sheeran.
After probably the tenth time I listened to it, I realized why I liked it so much. I've heard the lyrics before but from someone far different from Ed Sheeran.
Before I go on, feel free to play the song below and read over the lyrics.
Ed Sheeran makes a lot of promises in this song. Ultimately he promises that any burdens, concerns, or insecurities the girl (I'm assuming he's singing to a girl) finds herself in, she can lay it all on Ed Sheeran, and he will carry her burdens. But these are promises that Ed Sheeran nor any other human will be able to fulfill perfectly. However, there is someone that made the same promises over 2000 years ago and still keeps those promises to this day. Let's take a look at a few of them:
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Now these are bold promises, just like Ed Sheeran's. The difference is that Jesus Christ made these promises and he fulfills them perfectly.
We can lay all of our cares, concerns, worries, and burdens on Jesus because he loves us and has already carried us. Every sin (which includes worries and anxieties) was laid on Jesus on the cross (Isaiah 53:6). When he resurrected, he overcame death, our sins, burdens, worries, anxieties, and the world! He's the only one we can lay everything on and trust that he will always be victorious and carry us through the good and the bad.
We can't carry everything ourselves. Our burdens are too much for us to bear alone. That's what makes this song so popular. We know that we can't do it, that's why we love songs about a man offering to carry all of a woman's burdens. So when you're going through trials, suffering, or have worries, concerns and cares, who do you lay it all on? Yourself? Your loved ones? Or on Christ?
While Christians are called to bear each others burdens (Galatians 6), we can't do it perfectly nor should we expect to, but there is one that can and will always carry our burdens completely and perfectly. And the next time you listen to "Lay It All On Me" or need to cast all of your burdens on someone, I hope you remember him.
What's the Most Neglected Spiritual Discipline?
A short interview - but this is a spiritual discipline I neglect but has brought great joy when I've utilized it.
Four Things That Could Be Hurting Your Marriage This Year
I'm not even married yet and I thought this article was helpful.
What's Best Next
My current read, and I'm not done yet, but I highly recommend it so far.
We Lost a Child and Gained Something Greater
"Here is the story of how we lost a daughter, and gained so much more."
When Your Goodness Goes Splat
I can't even jump two feet.
This book wasn't what I thought.
I expected to read this book and not learn anything new. I was wrong, and humbled.
I read Jefferson Bethke's first book, Jesus > Religion, in college and found that it met a need that I had at that time, namely seeing that a relationship with Jesus is greater than following man-made religious traditions.
I found that this book was similar. It met a need, seeing that the story God is writing is so much greater and beautiful than I could ever imagine.
To start off this review, I enjoy and appreciate Jefferson Bethke's work as a whole: his books, vlogs, and spoken word videos. I even follow him and his wife on Instagram. So when this book first came out, I was interested in checking it out, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I had planned on waiting a bit to read it, but Book Look Bloggers offered a chance for me to receive the book for free in exchange for a review. Free books? By an artist I enjoy? Sign me up!
I flew through this book, but found that it really challenged me to think about things from Scripture I had never thought about before, like the implications of Jesus being King and Lord and what it means that God's Kingdom has come.
Each chapter offered an aspect of something in Scripture and how we often lose the significance of it through nominal Christianity. Jefferson Bethke doesn't make any new claims in his book. He simply opens up Scripture and points out things that are easy to miss, like the significance of the Sabbath, the temple, and many other things and how these things impact our overall view of God's story.
My only criticism of this book is that each chapter feels like its own thought, and Bethke struggled in relating each chapter back to his main point. While the main point is clear, namely that Christianity is not what we think, I would have liked to see each chapter related back to that main point in a more clear and concise way.
This is a book though that I would recommend to many. It isn't a deep theological read, but it's a nice appetizer to even richer theology, depth, and meaning of the full Biblical narrative.
If you're interested in learning more about the book, check out the It's Not What You Think book website here.
Some encouraging, challenging, and hopefully helpful links...
Gluttony: Gospel Reflections for Foodies & Comfort Eaters
I found this post super encouraging in the midst of a season of the year that often leads to gluttony.
The Dior Woman and True Freedom
True freedom looks different than what our culture tells women.
Tim Challies shared this on his blog, but the post boils down to the one resolution we should always have.
The Most Influential Person of All Time
Post from David Kieffer's blog - can you guess who it is?
Strong Love by Jon Thurlow
A song my fiancé introduced me to that some of you might like as well.
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear