Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Peace, Worrying, Reading, Building, Crafting, and More

By Elizabeth Prata

We have a few weeks to go before we’re sprung and can go out to the world again. The President of the United States called a state of national emergency, and we are told by executive order here in Georgia to stay at home. We are not to go out except for necessary trips, and when we do, we are told to stay 6 feet apart from each other and to wear a face mask. This is due to the global pandemic COVID-19, which has struck almost all nations on earth after originating fin and escaping from China. Our school has been cancelled for the rest of the year and non-essential businesses are closed. We may not gather in person for church.

I wonder in ten years as I look back on this essay what I will think or feel. It is all so surreal right now, will seem to be a bad dream to me in the future? Something I look back on from heaven because I’ve died from the pandemic, natural causes, or have been raptured? Time will tell what God is doing through this, but we know for sure that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose“. (Romans 8:28). Try changing “What is happening to me?” to “What is God doing? I can’t wait to see!”

Meanwhile, how many photographs can I take of the yard? The forced sheltering in place has sure stretched my creativity on shooting the same scenes over and over! How many books can I read? Should I worry that my reading list has turned grim?

Love in the Time of Cholera
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Great Influenza
A Journal of the Plague Year
The Stand
The Bell Jar

Just kidding! Just kidding!! I’m actually reading Contagious Christian Living by Joel Beeke, Man Overboard! Jonah, by Sinclair Ferguson, and the biographical novel The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams.

This is a time where if you have been fed a diet of cotton candy, you are discovering about now that you have nothing to stand on. Has what you wrapped yourself with melted away at the first sign of trouble? If you have been fed a diet of meat and as everything is stripped away you see you are standing on the Rock, you are in good shape.

I hope you are doing well, staying healthy and sane in this topsy-turvy world. Here are a few links to peruse for your consideration-

Always keep in mind the bigger picture:
The Promise of Peace in a Troubled World

We can be thankful in the providence of God to be living in a time when that [global deaths via black plague] doesn’t happen. And what we face now would be considered in comparison to that a very minor concern. And yet, because you have an entire world of people cut off from any eternal hope, everything becomes fearful to them. For those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, who have no true hope after death, it’s reasonable to fear, it’s reasonable to be concerned about death and because they face, as we know, divine judgment and eternal punishment.

What elements of the Gospel are important when we share? Here is 9Marks with a short list

Why Can’t I stop Worrying? 

The toilet paper shortage…We’re all at home, that’s why!

RedeemTV, A ministry of Christian History Institute and Vision Video, has clean programs for your viewing. Free for now.

Darryl Dash has a point, we need more than tips if we’re going to make it through the next weeks. We need meat.

Ruth Clemence says ‘I am not stuck at home, I am safe at home.’ As a stay-at-home mom her routine hasn’t changed much, she shares 9 Truths that Quiet My Soul in Quarantine

Tim Challies shares how to Build Your Home Theological Library. I know I’ve found that during this downtime in the lockdown I have ‘shopped’ my own shelves and enjoyed reading books that I have wanted to read for a long time. I also have a stack ready to share with friends as they run out (and come get them from a safe social distance)

Do you craft? Kathryn in Do It On a Dime has some tips for crafting from your at-home stash

There is one swear in this short video. Wives will immediately understand this video! I hope you laugh.

 

Posted in potpourri, theology

Potpourri: From Ordinary Father and Ordinary Family to Giant Fancy Things.

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s March already! How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? LOL. I didn’t make any but I admit that though I printed out Challies’ Reading Challenge and picked the Avid level (4 books/month) I have not read as many books as I’d planned. I am disappointed in myself. I will do better this month. So far I’ve read “Behind a Frowning Providence”, “Just Do Something”, and “From Death to Life” as well as several stories in my “Fireside Book of Dog Stories” and being halfway through an Agatha Christie mystery.

March seems to be coming in like a lion. We have received so much rain in February (and January too) that it broke records. More record breaking rain is on the way for the first week of March. Continue reading “Potpourri: From Ordinary Father and Ordinary Family to Giant Fancy Things.”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: archaeological discoveries, riding a camel, lost gift certificate, how to open a book, more

By Elizabeth Prata

I went on an archaeological dig once. It was in Tuscany, Italy. We were trying to find structures that would help date the land and buildings of this particular property. Its owner, an Italian Count, was hoping it would date back to Charlemagne. It turned out I made a significant discovery, one they hadn’t expected! They became soooo excited when the structure I was digging became known once again to the light of day. What did I discover? What was so exciting? A latrine! Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: archaeological discoveries, riding a camel, lost gift certificate, how to open a book, more”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Diapers & Doxology, Gilley reviews Girl, What if that couple shows up? and more

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s January, a time of year I’d not enjoyed in the past, when I was living in Maine. It’s cold, frigid, dangerously cold, and snowy. And icy. And cold. Did I say cold? Here in Georgia a cold day is temps in the upper 40s and that only lasts a few days. Then it’s warm again.

I will love New Jerusalem when the temperature will always be perfect and nothing coming from the sky will hinder, annoy, or destroy. As it is, my view in my yard is pretty good for a January day: Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: Diapers & Doxology, Gilley reviews Girl, What if that couple shows up? and more”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Christ-honoring AM routine, the First Seminary, Power of a Word, Sad Love Songs, more

By Elizabeth Prata

daily murray

My cat. Don’t let the sweetness fool you, he is running around like a nut yelling his head off. I’ll miss him as I head back to school this morning. Many of us are returning to our regular routines after the holidays. We say, well, ‘back to real life!’ but the real life we have is hid in Christ. The real life we have is in heaven as citizens of the kingdom of eternity. The real life we have is in His grace saved by faith, a wonder and a joy. The real life we have is eternal, begun now, but continued at death.

Have a great day everyone! Enjoy these links I’ve rounded up for you. Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: Christ-honoring AM routine, the First Seminary, Power of a Word, Sad Love Songs, more”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Thanksgiving treats, Sleep, Sharing the Gospel, more

By Elizabeth Prata

thanksgiving

Advent season is here. With Thanksgiving next week and the weather getting colder, the Christmas decorations are starting to peek out. I plan to put up mine on Thanksgiving night. I don’t have many, the apartment is small and the cat is too interested. A few years ago he ate the bow on one of them and the next year the pine cone off another. But I’ll put up lights or battery candles in each window, for sure, so people driving by will enjoy the glow. Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: Thanksgiving treats, Sleep, Sharing the Gospel, more”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Sleepovers, Singleness, Women moms/eva teachers, Church voting, Saints, more

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s November today. 11/12’s of the year 2019…poof, gone. Wow. Time passes quickly on earth. I often wonder what it will be like to watch the Great White Throne Judgment where every unsaved person who ever lived will stand on front of Jesus and make account for their life. That’s a lot of people. Will it go by in a flash, since we believers will be in glorified bodies by then? Will we even notice ‘time’ passing? One day is like a thousand years or a thousand years is like a day- to the Lord. Will it be like that for us?
Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: Sleepovers, Singleness, Women moms/eva teachers, Church voting, Saints, more”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: My friend is reading a bad book, Does God do miracles anymore? Depression, a painful weaning, more

By Elizabeth Prata

I love the ladies who change out their home decor to match the season. Lots of women at this moment are swapping out their beach themed front door wreath for a fall leaves or pumpkin decoration, laying tablecloths with harvest colors, and mulling over whether to put together a cornucopia as they stow away their jar of shells and dried starfish. I really love when ladies decorate.

It’s not my thing, though. I am of the mind where when I move in to a place, I look at the empty room. I decide in practical fashion its highest and best use considering the plug locations, windows, light, and size of my furniture. I set it up, and it stays like that forever.

This is the extent of my decor: I set up a table fan in the summer and I take it down when fall comes and put the tissues in its place. See, there are two seasons at my house; hot, and cold & flu season. To be honest though, I cry when I read the Bible, pray, and watch sad movies. I go through a lot of tissues.

I’m excited the fall season is here in Georgia, my adopted home state. It’s been cooler during the day and delightful at night. The AC is off. We are predicted to have a few more days of temps in the upper 90s but those will fade away soon enough. The heat is sputtering out now. The worst is over.

I’m even more excited at my adopted home country and its imminent appearing to my tired-of-this-world eyes. But until then, the Lord’s will be done, and may the seasons change smoothly.

Here are a few items I found interesting this week.

Mike Riccardi at The Master’s Seminary asks Can I Adapt the Gospel Message to Make Evangelism Easier?

My friend Savannah Rae writes wonderfully about a painful weaning

Shona Murray, wife of biblical counselor David Murray says she never understood depression and burnout until it happened to her.

God still performs miracles. Josh Buice explains that adherents to Reformed Doctrines believe this and why it’s often a spurious charge that we don’t.

I don’t have a smartphone. I only bought a flip phone recently for safety because I drive an old car that sometimes breaks down. Like the only person sober at the table watching friends slowly get drunk, I see smartphones as a sad trickster. Here US photographer Eric Pickersgill has created “Removed,” a series of photos of people holding phantom phones that have been removed from their hands to show us how disconnected we really are nowadays. Also of interest, Tony Reinke’s book 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You.

I always wonder how to broach the subject to a friend who is reading a bad book. Here Rick Thomas addresses this in a clear and helpful way. How to Respond to Bad Books and Those Who Love Them

Al Mohler explains that Jesus did descend into hell, and explains from scripture, and tells why the statement is included in The Apostle’s Creed. 3-min video. He Descended into Hell.

 

“Keep the positivity coming my way. I need as much as I can get.”

This lady is someone of whom I am unaware, but a Facebook friend posted this 9-minute video of a woman on Youtube whose channel was about makeup and fashion. She is a British lady who in recent days discovered that she has a terminal brain tumor and only a short time to live. Her video is titled My Final Farewell”. She does not appear to be saved, and it’s a video of her final goodbye to her subscribers.

I can’t hide it anymore. If any of you see me out and about, I won’t be my glamorous self. At the end of the day, the glamour, the makeup, all of that…doesn’t matter anymore.”

Heartbreaking to discover that your life’s passion was only striving after wind. At the end of the day what DOES matter? This woman appears not to know. We know. THE GOSPEL. Salvation from God’s wrath and eternal life in glory with the Glorious One, Jesus Christ. As you go about the day, remember what really matters.

gospel green wood background

Posted in potpourri, theology

Ladies, a few more resources; new ones and reminders of established ones

By Elizabeth Prata

Laura and Sue have a blog at https://ordinarylifedivinetruth.wordpress.com. I became aware of it when Laura sent me a note through the Contact sheet on this blog. Their latest blog essay recounts a conversation they’d had with Lysa TerKeurst regarding some of Lysa’s concerning teachings and behavior. It was well written and sensitive, laced with grace.

These ladies are also concerned with false teachers of women and have other series describing issues with the various ones populating our Christian landscape. They also have written several series on the topics of Counseling/Abuse, Discipleship, Popular Christian Movies, and more.

Michelle Lesley and Amy Spreeman have started a podcast. It is called A Word Fitly Spoken, from the verse from Proverbs 25:11, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Their podcast is on various platforms now. https://awordfitlyspoken.life/

Savannah Rae is a 21-year-old college graduate from our church. She started a blog called Vogue and Valor and writes very well. She recently made a decision to work at Echo in Ft. Myers FL as a way to care for those less fortunate, through her faith in Jesus. I’m so proud of her. I’m proud also of the other young men and women from our church who have made decisions and recently departed as faithful milkweed seeds to spread the Gospel through various organizations and means. When the elders founded the church almost 4 years ago they were prayerful about it being a raising-up-and-sending church, deeply focusing on missions. The Lord has been bountiful in aiding us, His flawed human beings, to accomplish this. May His name be glorified.

Here is a good reminder of some recommended resources that are still strong-

Equipping Eve, podcast by Erin. Latest edition, Episode 96: Faithfulness in the Little Things

The Master’s Seminary Church Search finds churches in your area pastored by or founded by TMS grads.

Alistair Begg, sermons at Truth For Life, aimed at practical Christian living.

Samuel D. James is an excellent writer. He posts thought provoking material on Christian life, culture and other topics at his blog, Letter & Liturgy. His, along with curated guest posts, are a worthwhile read. I liked this one from Caleb Wait, who as a young dad going through seminary looking for ways to save time, discovered that “productivity lit” is generally aimed at the unmarried and/or childless audience- but came up with some tips and aids on his own.

Ken Puls Music has a series on Notes & Commentary on Pilgrim’s Progress. I love the book Pilgrim’s Progress. I need the notes though. Lots of material online offer notes & commentary on this wonderful book. Here is a good series that I enjoyed. Part 1 here.

watkinsville 1.jpg

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Angels, Spiritual Warfare, Lake of Fire, Apostasy, Moms, more

By Elizabeth Prata

Included in this edition of Prata Potpourri are some things that either aren’t talked about enough (Lake of Fire) or are talked about so much that the wackadoodles have gotten a-hold of the issue and twisted it beyond all recognition (angels, spiritual warfare). Here are some credible links to these and other topics.

Jim Osman and Justin Peters’ video series on Spiritual Warfare is excellent. Here is the 8-part series-

Show 1 of 8: Justin Peters & Jim Osman on the: Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture as it relates to Biblical Spiritual Warfare. Justin Peters interviews Pastor & Author Jim Osman on the subject of Spiritual Warfare and Jim’s book: “Truth or Territory: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare”. Some examples of False Teaching on Spiritual Warfare are briefly discussed as well as some False Teachers are named. These issues will be discussed in greater detail in coming episodes. Jim Osman starts this series off by giving viewers a brief Testimony of how the LORD changed his thinking on this very important subject, then both Justin & Jim introduce viewers to the topic of the Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture which is briefly defined and defended from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:3-4.

Show 1: Spiritual Warfare & Sufficiency of Scripture
Show 2: Spiritual Warfare: Truth or Territory
Show 3: Carnal Weapons: Hedges & Hexes
Show 4: Carnal Weapons: Binding & Rebuking
Show 5: Carnal Weapons: Spiritual Mapping
Show 6: Demon Possession & Sanctification
Show 7: Authority & Exorcisms
Show 8: Armor Of God: Spiritual Warfare – Ephesians 6

There have been some high-profile people proclaiming their abandonment of the faith this week. There have subsequently been a lot of response articles of various kinds. Here are two:

What to Do When Professing Christians Leave the Faith: Reflections on Joshua Harris and Perseverance

What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?

Are you surprised when you come across so-called Christians who claim to be followers of Jesus, but never ‘follow’ Him into a church? They say that attending church isn’t necessary to be a fully devoted Christian? I am. I am actually shocked when I deal with this among professing Christians. And it’s spreading.

Here is Derek Thomas with an essay about Loving the Church, For Better or Worse

What DOES the Bible say about angels, anyway? I love the thought of angels and I study Angelology (from credible sources). Here are two credible sources on a teaching about angels you might enjoy.

TableTalk Magazine: What does the Bible say about Angels? First in a series. I love angels and learning about them.

John MacArthur has a series on angels, called God’s Invisible Army. Here is part 1
Here is part 2

From Founders, something for Moms. Moms, you have a hard job and often it’s lonely. Hope this encourages you- Eight Lies Moms Believe.

From Media Gratiae: The newly released trailer of Puritan. Documentary coming soon, this summer they say!

From Nate Pickowitz, new book. If you’re interested in the American Puritans, this is a good one to pick up- John Cotton: Patriarch of New England

From Ligonier: The Final State of the Unbeliever. This will happen. Pray evangelistically and frequently! Romans 10:1 says, Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.

angel verse 1