Escape the Day of the Lord So You Might Live for the Day of the Lord

Our church gathers for corporate worship on Friday mornings. We read God’s Word, pray God’s Word, sing in accordance with God’s Word, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and my husband (or another elder) preaches God’s Word. That much about Friday mornings is generally predictable. 

Friday afternoons vary. Sometimes we have a church potluck, member meeting, baptism, lunch together in the food court nearby, or some other activity. Sometimes I announce that the afternoon will be set apart for a “family-wide nap,” and the only other family member who agrees with me is the toddler. (A mom can hope for 100% participation someday, right?)

It was about 40 degrees Celsius this afternoon, so the kids built their own indoor playground out of couch cushions and blankets. Dave was in a coffeeshop nearby conducting some “member chats” with prospective church members along with some other elders and staff. Tonight he will be at an appreciation banquet for the children’s ministry volunteers. Today is kind of a sampling of an “ordinary” Friday for this pastor’s wife.

While the kids gathered pillows and cushions from every room in our flat, I listened to Mark Dever’s plenary session from the TGC conference on “The Day of the Lord.” That Day is not just any ordinary day, because it is the Day to which we are all headed. Dever explained how the secular mind does not expect this Day, because this life (to them) is all there is:

While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 1 Thess. 5:3

The description of this terrifying condition gave me chills. I’ve experienced those kinds of labor pains. In that particular instance I was very much aware that I could not escape. There was nothing I could do. I was in shock. I could barely speak-- much less move or help myself.

This truth should move us to pity to think that people we know will have no escape from the wrath of God. It should move our feet-- to the living room, across the street, to the other side of the world-- and it should move our lips to speak of our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:11-14). We should also “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 5:4). I pray God would move in my heart in such a way that my feet follow his lead and my mouth would overflow with the gospel that I treasure in my heart. 

In his talk, Dever mentioned two questions we could chat about with a friend:

  1. Why do you do the things you do? 
  2. What hope is moving you?

Those are useful questions to help us “be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). And they’re important questions because we all need encouragement to live in light of eternity. We have obtained salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have the privilege of living with him both now and thirty zillion years from now.

Only Jesus has provided a way to escape God’s wrath on that Day. And because we have obtained salvation through him we can say, “There is peace and security," and long for that Day when he returns.

***All of the media from the TGC national conference is available. This is the kind of content that is going to take you months to listen to/watch-- and a lifetime to live out and enjoy!***

Passed Over

Can it be that we should gain an interest in the Savior's blood?

My friend Caroline Cobb co-wrote this song with Sean Carter to tell the story.

Caroline's album, "The Blood + the Breath," was gifted to me by a friend, and is now one of the few albums that I share with others saying, "You need to listen to this." I love to listen to it from the beginning to the end, as Caroline beautifully sings the story of redemptive history.

Ministry as a Minister's Wife

I'm often asked by other pastor's wives, missionary wives, and elder's wives what they ought to do about using their gifts. In sum, I turn the questions back to them and ask: "Tell me about where has God placed you." And here's my 2-minute answer:

Check out the hashtag #PastorsWifeAppreciation and to find more resources to encourage the ministry wives in your life!

Faith that consents to your children's earthly loss

I remember when this engagement proposal "went viral" among my friends after John Piper wrote these reflections on the life of Adoniram Judson.

Only a rock-steady hope in future grace can steady your hand to write a proposal letter like this one. And to respond to a request like this one. A young, twenty-something Adoniram Judson wrote these words to John Hasseltine, the father of his beloved Ann. In case you're not one for suspense... Dad consented and said that he would let his daughter decide. And she said yes. 

I marvel at their faith and the God whom they all trusted. And, as all marveling tends to lead us to do, I reflected on my own heart. Would I, like Mr Hasseltine, reject my tendency to hover over my children in unhelpful ways and times, entrusting them to the Lord? Would I, like Mrs Hasseltine, affirm the songs my children sing of a God who is "so big, so strong, and so mighty" and shake off the fears that try to grip this mother's heart? Would I, like Judson's parents, raise my children to look to the God who raises the dead and acts for those who wait for him? Would I, like Ann Judson, plant my feet firmly in the Bible-- that burgeoning treasure chest full of God's unshakeable promises-- when faced with the prospect of certain earthly danger? As a mother, would I (do I) have faith to consent to my children's earthly loss in light of eternal gain? I pray that I would.

You can read more of Adoniram and Ann's story in the exquisite biography: To the Golden Shore.

Food that Mom AND Kids Will Love

I recently had the delightful privilege of recording some podcasts with UP, the podcast of Union (a ministry of WEST in South Wales).

They asked me several questions on the nature of motherhood and Christianity, and how the two topics intersect. One of my favorite questions was this: 

How Do You Teach Your Children and Stay Spiritually Healthy Yourself?

Here's how I answered the question:

Mom Enough - a new book from Desiring God

I don't have time for fake hope.

And if you're a busy mom like me, odds are you don't have time either.

Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother's Heart and Hope is a new book out from Desiring God aimed at encouraging moms with timeless, anchoring truth. You can download it from the DG website for free, or buy a paperback copy on Amazon.

What makes this book unique is not only the content, but the diversity of contributing writers: Rachel Jankovic, Rachel Pieh Jones, Christine Hoover, Carolyn McCulley, Trillia Newbell, Christina Fox, and yours truly.

Even the table of contents is chock-full of genuine hope:

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
1. Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)
2. Motherhood Is a Mission Field
3. Motherhood Is Application
4. How Eternity Shapes Our Mundane
5. Desperate, Breathless, Dependent Parenting
6. Are You Mom Enough?
7. The End of the Mommy Wars
8. Mommy Wars in the Local Church: A Parable
9. Mommy Wars Are Spiritual Wars
10. A Pregnant Woman’s Defense Against the Schemes of the Devil
11. The Everyday Question of Motherhood
12. A Treasure Greater Than Our Homes
13. Femininity: June Cleaver, Clair Huxtable, or the Valiant Woman?
14. The Amazing Calling of Motherhood
15. Grace Greater Than All Our Worries
16. The Most Frightening Prayer I Could Pray for My Children
17. It’s Good to Be a Jar of Clay
18. The Real Life of the Pro-Life Home
19. A Tantrum for My Transformation
20. Kissing the Wave
21. A Prayer for the Worried Mom’s Heart
22. Our Children for Our Joy
23. The Idols of a Mother’s Heart
24. Missional Motherhood