Five Points Blog
- Jennifer Darawi
- Oct 01, 2013
This question is often addressed to my husband, Makarios, or me, as we are in the process of becoming licensed as foster parents. While the reasons are many, the most compelling is a biblical one. There are many Bible passages that command God’s people to care for the widow and the orphan, which reveals God’s compassion for them.
However, Matthew 25:31-46 is most meaningful to me. Jesus tells us about how at the end of time, the King will come and separate the people into two groups. Those who are welcomed into the kingdom are those who served the King. He says, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me” (vv.35-36). The righteous people ask when they did those things for Jesus, so he replies, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (v.40).
When a family fosters or adopts a child, they are able to do all of these things Jesus spoke about for one of the least of these. They provide food and drink and clothes, they invite in a stranger, take care of their illnesses—be it mental, physical, or psychological—and set them free from their personal prisons.
The Holy Spirit comforted me with verse 40 when I was feeling inadequate as a parent. God reminded me that whatever I do for a child, I do for him. My weak attempts to parent well, when done for the Lord, can be used by his grace to bless the child. Whether we have the privilege of fostering or adopting one child or more, for days or weeks or a lifetime, it will be in obedience to God’s Word.
We want to foster so that we can serve the children that are least wanted by most of society and to ultimately serve King Jesus.
This guest post was written by Jennifer Darawi, a Five Points member and mother of three.
- Kit Ilenich
- Sep 07, 2012
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has said, “Today, more than ever I believe that now is the time for 'true women' to …
- Discover and embrace God’s created design and mission for their lives;
- Reflect the beauty and heart of Christ to our world;
- Be intentional about passing the baton of Truth on to the next generation; and
- Pray earnestly for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in our families, churches, nation, and world."
Personally I couldn’t agree more. In a world that rejects God’s unique design for womanhood, I am thankful for the opportunity to hear women like Nancy, Mary Kassian, Joni Eareckson Tada, and others teach, encourage, and equip women at the True Woman '12 Conference in Indianapolis (Sept. 20-22).
There, we will worship our heavenly Father, be challenged to grow in our understanding of what it means to be a “true woman,” and gather with others who embrace and display the various facets of feminine godliness from across the globe. This is truly a unique chance to be refreshed and revitalized in our walk as women worthy of the calling of Christ.
If you're interested or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Now is the time to join the journey to true womanhood.
- Brett Toney
- Aug 25, 2012
Fall is just around the corner and I am excited for the many different classes that will be starting up on September 9. Let me highlight for you some of the opportunities you will have to connect with others in digging into God's word.
We will continue with a full spread of Bible Study Hour classes for adults. Pastor JJ will be teaching a class called "God Saves: Studies in Jonah & Hosea" (Room I/J), highlighting how these often-obscured prophets clearly anticipate Christ. One of our elders, Mike Houston, will continue to partner with Eric Leiendecker in leading the College & Career class through the Letter to the Colossians (Room A). Another elder, Dick Mills, will be teaching an expositional or topical study in the Sanctuary. Cindy Verner will continue teaching the women's class in the Gospel of John (Room D). And I will have the privilege of walking through redemptive history, looking at how God is working to establish his people in his place with his presence by creating his kingdom through a covenant (Room C).
And while we will mainly focus on the deep truths of God’s word on Sunday mornings, we will consider how those truths impact our daily lives at our Evening Family Gatherings. Pastor Brent will be teaching a class titled, "Marriage: A Marvelous Mystery" (Sanctuary). Elder Mark Kakkuri will teach "Apologetics to the Glory of God" (Rooms I & J), and Ken Whitely will be teaching the class "The Fruitful Credit of Faithful Finances" (Rooms C & D).
And of course, classes for children and students will be held during the same times as well.
Consider joining us as we pursue joy in Christ alone through the study and application of his word together.
- Dave Houston
- May 22, 2012
Here are some additional quotes from Jodi Ware's talk on contentment this past weekend.
“[One of the marks of Christian maturity which a believer should seek is] an acquiescence in the Lord’s will founded in a persuasion of his wisdom, holiness, sovereignty, and goodness . . . So far as we attain to this, we are secure from disappointment. Our own limited views, and short-sighted purposes and desires, may be, and will be, often over-ruled; but then our main and leading desire, that the will of the Lord may be done, must be accomplished. How highly does it become us, both as creatures and as sinners, to submit to the appointments of our Maker! And how necessary is it to our peace! This great attainment is too often unthought of, and over-looked; we are prone to fix our attention upon the second causes and immediate instruments of events; forgetting that whatever befalls us is according to his purpose, and therefore must be right and seasonable in itself, and shall in the issue be productive of good. From hence arise impatience, resentment, and secret repinings [i.e., complainings] which are not only sinful, but tormenting; whereas, if all things are in his hand, if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction of his providence and purpose; and if he has a wise, holy, and gracious end in view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient;--then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as he leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue . . . How happy are they who can resign all to him, see his hand in every dispensation, and believe that he chooses better for them than they possibly could for themselves.”
From Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1960), 137.
[Regarding lust of the flesh]
It is to be gluttonous in food; effeminate in luxury; slavish in pleasure; lustful
and lax in morals; selfish in the use of possessions; regardless of all the spiritual
values; extravagant in the gratification of material desires. The flesh’s desire is
regardless of the commandments of God, the judgment of God, the standards of
God and the very existence of God.”
William Barclay, The Letters of John and Jude (Westminster John Knox, 3rd ed., 2002), 57.
“If you’re willing to sin to obtain your goal or if you sin when you don’t get what you want, then your desire has taken God’s place and you’re functioning as an idolater.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Idols of the Heart, (Phillipsburg, NJ, P&R, 2001), 25.
“The problem with using life’s little pleasures as life’s big escapes is that before long we come to depend on those pleasures. . . . When we turn life’s little pleasures into remedies for life’s troubles, we are setting up idols in our hearts, which actually push God aside . . . All idols are governed by the law of diminishing returns. The more we seek solace in our escape of choice, the farther from God we take ourselves and the more miserable we get.”
Lydia Brownback, Contentment (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 52-53.
[This volume is one of several excellent “on-the-go devotionals” by this author.]
“The lust of the eyes is ‘the tendency to be captivated by the outward show of things, without enquiring into their real value.’”
(C.H. Dodd, quoted in Barclay,) 58.
“. . . the cravings of the human heart can be changed . . . God would have us long for Him instead. To make us truly human God must change what we want, for we must learn to want the things Jesus wanted . . . The human life is a great paradox. Those who die to self, find self . . . If I crave happiness, I will receive misery. If I crave to be loved, I will receive rejection. If I crave significance, I will receive futility. If I crave control, I will receive chaos. If I crave reputation, I will receive humiliation. But if I long for God and His wisdom, I will receive God and His wisdom. Along the way, sooner or later, I will also receive happiness, love, meaning, order and glory.”
David Powlison, Dynamics of Biblical Change (Journal of Biblical Counseling).
Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.
Prayer of Betty Stam, martyred missionary in China
E. B. Pusey, a 19th-century church leader. Listen to these resolutions:
1) Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even of the weather.
2) Never picture thyself under any circumstances in which thou art not.
3) Never compare thine own lot with that of another.
4) Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself.
5) Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God’s, not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. “The Lord will provide.”
Quoted in Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart (NavPress, Colorado Springs: 1998)
“If we do not have what we desire, we have more than we deserve.”
Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment (Soli Deo Gloria, 2nd edition, 2001), 121.
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness,
between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.
Who made me to differ, but thee?
for I was no more ready to receive Christ than were others;
I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me,
or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.
O that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner!
such high advancement be for an unfruitful person!
such joys for so vile a rebel!
(Valley of Vision, p. 12-13)
“Death begins a wicked man’s hell, but it puts an end to a godly man’s hell.”
Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment (Soli Deo Gloria, 2nd edition, 2001), 96.
“We came in with nothing, we will leave with nothing, and anything we get in between is fleeting and temporary. If we would just view our lives from this perspective, our capacity for joy would enlarge. Contentment would become much more than an occasional mood; it would characterize our entire life.”
(Lydia Brownback, Contentment, p. 107)
- Nancy Specht
- Apr 19, 2012
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19-20
True contentment seems to be an elusive character trait. Do you know anyone who is truly content? Are you? If you are like many, your contentment is most likely dependent on your circumstances. When life is going “your way” you’re content, when it isn’t, then you are not so content. You are not alone in this phenomenon! Yet, this is not the way it is supposed to be for women who seek to “pursue their joy in Christ alone”! What does God say about our being content in His Word? Can we really learn to be content, no matter what?
To help us answer these questions, the FPCC Women’s Ministry Team is excited to have Jodi Ware coming to explore the foundations of true biblical contentment. Every teen girl and woman is invited to come and be challenged by Jodi to embrace God’s provision regardless of our circumstances. We can learn to be content because our God is a Bountiful Provider!
Jodi is the wife of Dr. Bruce Ware, a professor of theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. She is involved with the music ministry and women’s ministry at their church, Clifton Baptist, in Louisville. Jodi also works with the Seminary Wives Institute as a registrar and teacher, and the Facility Wives at Southern. She loves walking, reading, playing the piano, and meeting one-on-one with women, engaging in “conversational ministry.”
This will be a relaxing and casual morning with great teaching, wonderful fellowship, light refreshments and a book table specific to our topic. Tickets will be available after the Worship Service and from the church office for $3 per person or $5 per family. We look forward to seeing you for this great morning of encouragement!
Check the event page for more information.