Tuesday, April 29, 2008


My thoughts were all over the place during John Piper's sermon at Together for the Gospel. He gave me a lot to think about. To be honest, it was kind of surreal sitting under his teaching after having listened to so many of sermons and lectures online and reading his work. For the fullest benefit of his sermon, or any of the messages from the conference, visit the Sovereign Grace website.

As I looked over the notes that I took during Piper's message, I realized that I had been very moved by some of his lesser points. These were not the central issues of his sermon, but were still very good to hear and meditate upon. My thanks to Mr. Piper for these thought-provoking questions and ideas:

1. What creates radical Christian sacrifice?
2. Does prosperity actually influence non-believers? Remember that people can earn prosperity through other means than Christ making him just another ticket to success. When the show starts, you throw the ticket away.
3. The charge to women to become sages of the church. Many of our young women in church are without the mentors that they crave. We must take it upon ourselves to become theologically sound, educated, caring, sacrificing examples for the Christian women who will one day be in need of us.

If you asked my husband, he probably had much different thoughts about Piper's message. In his usual way, he preached a sound sermon and pointed all of us to the Supremecy of Christ, which is wonderful to think on. The thoughts above, were striking to me above and beyond this heart of the message.

Monday, April 21, 2008

T4G Part I

Let me begin by thanking God for C.J. Mahaney and for his incredible example of humility and service to others. I know that this message on Phillipians 1:3-8 was addressed primarily to pastors, but it was very impactful for me, a pastor's wife and a Christian who, like any other, struggles with pride. As it began, he asked the question, "Is the distinctive of joy present in your life?" He challenged us to consider if our spouses or co-workers would describe us as joyful. I have to admit, that I do not think that joy has been a characteristic of mine lately. Mahaney reminded us that Paul, the most joyful of pastors, had unspeakable amounts of responsiblity, and challenged us to consider the three dominant characteristics of this man who served with such gladness.
1. Gratefulness - How powerful it was when this message reminded us that gratefulness is a response to God's saving activity on earth! Without this, we will be vulnerable to complaining, which is a serious sin. God is not indifferent to complaining, as Mahaney showed us in Numbers 11. This trait has pride as its root and reflects a lack of humility. I appreciate how simply he put it - "complaining is saying to God in heaven that you see no reason for this." This reminded me that God has ordained our small and large situations and I have been addressing the urge to complain in my own life with a new desire to cultivate gratefulness.
2. Faith for the Future - This message showed us how Paul found strength in the faithfulness of God. "Our confidence is not as strong in our comfort as Paul's was in prison." What a powerful statement! Thanks to C.J. Mahaney for reminding us that the difficulty in our lives can be found in ourselves, not in the work. It is so easy to think that we cannot do it, and we are right! He charged us to remember that our confidence is in the One who began a good work in us.
3. Affection for Others - This characteristic of Paul is not one that I had considered. The sermon showed us from scripture that affection permeated Paul's ministry, and that it was rooted in grace. As I have gone through this last week, I have been challenged by this sermon to contemplate the love of Christ for the people we serve and to remember that He obtained them with His blood.

With these points Mahaney concluded his sermon, and I was impressed by the structure and theological spine of the message. I am so thankful to have heard this sermon, and that through it the Lord has awakened a desire for humility in my life. As I pastor's wife, I realize how much work, prayer, and love goes into a sermon that you prepare for God's people. Rest assured that the Spirit has done His work with this message.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


The Together for the Gospel Conference ended on Thursday. I am still gathering my thoughts and reflections as I prepare to post the notes on these sessions. I have come away with a lot to think about and I can truly say that this conference will mark a changing time in my life. I was challenged by C.J. Mahaney’s humility and joy, Mark Dever’s charge to keep the Gospel pure and simple, John Piper’s urging for women to become sages of the church, and so much more.
By God’s grace, these sermons and the books that we received at the conference have already started to change my mind and heart. Many, many times I have been challenged to stop complaining, to take confidence in God’s promises, to mortify the pride in my life, but I have not succeeded in these things. I was urged this week, by these men, to strive for holiness in a new way. I recognize more fully that it is only through humble dependence on God that any strides can be made to come closer to Him. But He has made this promise. “Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.”
I am very overwhelmed by the experience and by how God used these men to address issues in my own life. I pray that it was the same for the 5,500 other people in attendance.
As I was preparing to relay my notes on this blog, I made the decision to post them in the form of a letter to each of the speakers. I am doing this for two reasons:
After each sermon of the conference, there was a panel discussion addressing questions, suggestions, and praise to God and the speaker. I became comfortable with this format and am using this blog to put in my thoughts as if I were part of it.
I think it will be easy to read, and may encourage anyone who reads the notes to download these or other sermons given by these gifted pastors.
Therefore, I will post each letter individually with my own thoughts and reflections on what I heard and what I hope to remember well from each session, including the panels. I hope that even in this obscure forum, God’s truth will continue to be clearly communicated.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring Break 2008

We are in Mississippi this week! Ben is preaching in Mendenhall and working on his final big paper of the semester. We have enjoyed some beautiful weather here and it has been wonderful to see our family, friends, and church members again. It is hard to believe that babies can grow so fast!
When we return to Louisville, I will have just six weeks left in this school year, and Ben will have about 3 weeks until the end of his first semester in the doctoral program. He is going to wrap up classwork, preach once in Indiana, and prepare for doing his cousin's wedding in June.

I am planning to teach some Poe to my 10th graders. That should be an adventure!