Friday, September 22, 2006

It's Official!

I am continuing my "Boundless Whimsy" at the Boundless Line. If you love Boundless like I love Boundless, check it out!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

AWOL But Not Forgotten

OK, so for the handful of you who check this blog, I'm sorry I've been AWOL. I have been blogging about Boundless, though, on my personal blog. Check it out!

To whet your appetite:I shared why the article "Single While Active" remained a computer file for nearly a year before I submitted it. My friend Dave wrote an excellent article, (and I commented) about our often lacking motives for evangelism. Then I pointed to a set of articles—one written by me, the other written by John Thomas—designed to clue you in on what the opposite sex is thinking. And finally, I hailed "Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend" as a much-needed response to the question: "How do I know if she's the one?"

If you haven't already checked out these articles, I hope you will. And remember, semi-regular comment on Boundless articles can be found on my personal blog, Suzanne's Second Estate.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home Ownership

Last year I bought a town house. During the four previous years, I had lived in homes with three other single women, splitting rent and saving money. I am a person who tends to be content with my situation and resistent to change, so I was surprised when, in January of last year, I felt a strong nudge from the Lord to consider home ownership.

While living with three other girls had been a blessing, I felt the Lord calling me to have a home I could use for Him. He gave me a strong desire to have a place I could open up for Bible studies, a room I could offer to someone needing refuge and a space where I could feel free to invite someone over at any time. Without overspiritualizing the decision, home ownership was definitely something I felt called to.

That said, I appreciate what Candice Watters had to say in this week's Boundless article, "Single Female Seeking Homeownership, Part 2." Candice points out the fierce independence many young women display in decisions such as buying a house.

Again, I wasn't saying a home is something a single woman should never buy on her own. I know some very Godly single women who own their homes. I am saying that the attitude of extreme independence that characterizes many of the decisions young singles make today — about real estate and lots of other things — is incompatible with Christian marriage.

This article is a good reminder that single women — and everyone, for that matter — should humbly seek the Lord in every decision and not automatically adopt the world's definition of success. Proverbs 20:24 says, "A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" Headstrong independence can have serious consequences. Single women may end up with things they don't really want at the cost of the things God desires for them.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Leaving NA

I'm about to catch the shuttle to the airport. I can't believe the conference is already over. In upcoming weeks and months, I will be writing articles and blogs based on my interviews. In the meantime, read all about the sessions on the New Attitude liveblog. The messages will also be available for download.

Monday, May 29, 2006



I left worship tonight marveling at the bigness of God. Eric Simmons gave a stirring talk on evangelism. "Start the conversation," he challenged. "Sow intentionally in your community."

This weekend the gospel has been brought to the forefront of my heart and mind. It's amazing how rejuvinating that is to my faith. The gospel is so much bigger than the day-to-day stuff. When we live in light of it, we cannot help but be radically different from the world.

On the way back from dinner tonight, a homeless man asked us for money. I didn't have cash and used that as an excuse, as I often do. My friend pulled out a five and asked the man for his story. Finding work has been difficult, he said. He has a family.

"What's your name?" my friend asked.


"May I pray for you, Pete?"


She prayed for God's provision in Pete's life and that Pete would be drawn to God's heart.

Why didn't I think of that?

Evidence of a changed life. Acting against one's fallen or even logical impulses. My friend admitted she doesn't react that way every time. But living in God's grace changes your perspective. For God does not punish us as our sins deserve. How often I forget. Remembering — and extending that mercy to others — is an act of worship.

The People

The past few days at New Attitude have been a whirlwind of interviews, messages and walking miles for a meal. Yesterday I met Ezra. We stood in line together for 45 minutes at Subway. You really get to know someone when you stand in line with them for 45 minutes. Ezra is a college sophomore (for my Clubhouse Jr. staff: he carried the Clubhouse Bible. Yes, I feel old.) Ezra lives in New Jersey and has big plans to pursue International business. He has a heart for other cultures and a love for New York style pizza. Ezra put his sales enthusiasm to use and helped me pass out free music download coupons from Boundless. Also in line was Connie, a teacher. She was the first woman I met near my age. Connie introduced me to Ricky, who works at Covenant Life church and wrote the copy for the New Attitude literature and Web site. Ricky is a journalism student. A conference like this gives everyone common ground. It's exciting because as we share the things we have in common, our passion grows.

The people I have interviewed so far have passion. Eric Simmons has a passion for singles and evangelism. Carolyn McCulley has a passion for hospitality and community (and good perfume). Justin Taylor has a passion for blogging and truth. Bob Kauflin has a passion for worship — not just music but living a life of worship. Mark Dever has a passion for the church. I have gleaned enough insight and wisdom to keep me pondering for months. Each person has offered something new and yet there is a common thread that runs through every conversation — the gospel. I am seeing now more than ever how the gospel is that connecting feature. The fact that each believer has experienced Christ as their substitutionary sacrifice is enough to bond us together in gratefulness and love. Dividing differences among Christians do not arise from the spirit of the gospel. They arise from arrogance. Humility is the key to presenting truth effectively. A passage I have been meditating on recently speaks to this:

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!—Philippians 2:1-8

That kind of says it all. Humility is a priority for each person I've interviewed, and that humility is evidenced in their lives and ministries. Jesus Himself was not arrogant (though he had cause to be!). Who are we then to not also humble ourselves in light of the unfathomable grace we have received?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Humble Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy: the practice of observing established social customs and definitions of appropriateness.

Saturated. That is how I would describe my state of mind having passed through my first 24 hours of New Attitude. I have to admit, I didn't know what I was getting into. The surprises have been both good and challenging. I am an oddity here. I do not attend a Sovereign Grace church, and I am over age 25. I have always loved 1 Timothy 4:12, where Paul encourages the young man to not let people look down on him because he is young. The 2,500 attendees of New Attitude embody a bold answer to that call. There is an urgency here — in everything from worship to witnessing on the plane to conversations with friends — that is so often missing in young people.

Last night, Joshua Harris talked about rediscovering a "humble orthodoxy." He charged us to be a generation that faithfully handles the truth as Paul encourages in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." Instead of viewing the gospel as play dough that we can shape into something new and innovative, Josh encouraged us to view the gospel as a diamond. How can we best hold up God's truth, untarnished, for all to see?

The first step is to live the truth personally. Paul compares believers to vessels in a house (v. 20). Some vessels are set aside for honorable use and some for dishonorable use. The dishonorable vessels are followers of Jesus who continue to dwell in sin. Paul says, "flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace." (v. 22) Though we often think of lust in a sexual context, Josh pointed out that in this context Paul seems to be encouraging Timothy to put aside the arrogant and impulsive attitude of youth.

This was convicting. Our generation is proud. We act as if we have it figured out. We forge ahead without counsel. We bristle at accountability. We reject authority. And yet these are the very things that God uses to cultivate greater righteousness and faith in our lives. Part of faithfully handling the truth, Josh said, is representing the truth with humility. We have not earned the gospel, so we have no reason to be arrogant about it. "We need to be humbled by the truth," he said, "and, in turn, share that truth in humility. Rediscover what has always been true. Embrace a humble orthodoxy."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Venting OK?

I received an e-mail from Jason concerning my article "Venting and Losing." I wanted to call attention to his feedback here. From the e-mail:

I agree with all of your supporting arguments, but they still left me wondering about your central thesis. I try to stand out by refraining from complaining [in public settings]. That was why I felt like venting to friends; being able to admit aloud that I felt overwhelmed and unfairly attacked. Our conversation centered around doing things with the same attitude that I serve God, laying my overwhelming burdens at God's feet and trusting him to help me through, and being grateful and content.

Your article listed lots of helpful attitude checks for people in a complaining mood. Couldn't venting be an opportunity to ask your friends to remind you of those same things? If I just wanted to criticize and wallow in negativity, I would have joined in the daily rant. Instead I turned to Christians that I respect because I wanted some help to have a positive outlook on the situation. It seems like your article could have encouraged venting in a Godly manner instead of condemning it altogether. What do you think?

I think Jason makes a good point and points out a possible aspect of "venting" that I may have overlooked. What do you think? Is venting sometimes OK?