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The Excellencies of Christ – humility vs pride, series episode 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ej3pt-d7404c

We live in a world that is driven by pride, self-esteem, personal achievement, and self-focus. Besty and Michelle discuss how pride plays out in the culture and ourselves. Then they take a look at what we can learn from Jesus humility in the Gospel, which turns wretched sinners into saints. 

Gazing at the King

Here I am preparing to study and research for our latest podcast topic and I can’t get my brain to function. It’s not that my brain has stopped working just at this moment, but that I can’t seem to think of anything other than my immediate concerns: my family, their health, my health, our friends and family’s needs (financial and medical). Nothing seems to be able to penetrate my mind apart from COVID19, preparing for COVID19, hiding from COVID19, working around COVID19. Not only that, but I’m stuck in a place of bitterness. Bitterness regarding others’ lack of care and response to this threat. 

My house sits right on a fairly busy road and I see a continuous stream of vehicles before me. I think to myself, “I should be gracious in my assumptions regarding who these people are. Maybe they are getting necessities, maybe they are traveling to and from work, maybe they are delivering goods to those who are more vulnerable than them.” But I know the human heart. I know the vileness, the self-centeredness, the pride, and disregard for others. I know it because I deal, personally, with it and I see it in my response to others during this pandemic. I want to control others and how they respond to this serious situation. I want to fill the internet with so much information that they would wake up and see the consequences of every unnecessary action they take during these days. But I can’t. And I never was meant to.

The importance of human autonomy, the preservation of being held accountable to no one but ourselves, is too entwined within our sinful fallen nature. Not that making decisions is bad, or the ability to make decisions is bad, but that we are fallen humans – sinful humans – and we will make bad decisions. We see this all the way back in the beginning, with the very first sin. The one that plunged our world into death and decay. We are given a decision and can’t look beyond ourselves. We are given decisions and are so nearsighted that we are blind. This is man apart from the Gospel. It will always be man without the intervention of God. 

But with God, we can look beyond ourselves. We can receive the sight we need. But what do we need this sight to see? We need this sight to see the One that is glorious. We need sight to see the One who DOES have control. We need sight to see beyond the sins of others and to the cross of Christ that bore our own sins. 

In this COVID19 pandemic, I have given in to navel gazing, focusing on others’ sins, and being near sighted. But I want to repent from that. Now. I want to repent of being short sighted about this travesty. Not that I will ignore the very real problems that my neighbors and I face, but that I will never stay there. That I wont get trapped in my head, spiraling out of control and retreating into my own mind for safety. I will look at Christ. The One who ordained this virus. The One who knows how others will respond. I will hope in His promise, that he will build his Kingdom until it is complete. That He will soon return and right all wrongs, eliminate all sin (including my own), and will reign forever.

So to stop the navel gazing, the COVID19 news staring, the observing and grumbling of others’ harmful sin, I am going to focus on Christ. Even if it seems ‘simplistic’, or familiar, I’m going to hang on to it – by God’s grace. 

Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to share those looks to our beautiful and faithful Savior. And I pray that you would as well. Let’s hold each other accountable to this. Join me and share what you have learned of God’s character, the Gospel, and the Word.

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!

Psalm 146

In Christ, 

Michelle

The Excellencies of Christ – Virtues episode 1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gsmaw-d6ae64

Join WOTT as they investigate what it means to have qualities spoken of in the 2 Peter chapter 1. This first episode is a primer to understand where virtues come from, their purpose, and how the world understands virtuous characteristics. 

We hope you are in for a casual and fun time, because Betsy and Michelle are worn down from the toilet paper fiasco of COVID19. Have a seat at the table, laugh and learn with us about Christ’s Excellencies!

Head Covering: Revisited

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-i7e56-d58272

In this special revisit episode, Betsy and Michelle reveal a change of heart! What happened?!

The girls open with discussion about the latest feminist video floating around and have a helpful Q&A on head covering.

If you enjoyed this video, make sure to listen to our part one “Headc Covering: Principle or Custom?”

Also make sure to subscribe, like, or rate – and let us know what you think!

Doctrine of Hell Series: Episode 5 – Punishment, Destruction, and Banishment

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-7nh5w-d4eda6

THE FINAL part (5 of 5) of our Hell series is here! Betsy and Michelle discuss the three major components of eternal conscious torment: punishment, destruction, and banishment. How does the picture of these three components illustrate God’s character, sin, and the atonement? And finally, what can believers hope for after this life? We pray that this has been a helpful excursion (it has for us) into this essential doctrine.

If you haven’t listened to our previous episodes covering various positions on the existence of Hell, make sure you listen to those! Our intro episode is a great place to start and this episode wraps it all up, nicely.

 

Make sure to like, rate, comment, and subscribe! Follow us on Instagram @womenofthetable and Facebook @wottable . You can also support us on patreon, linked in our bio. As a patreon supporter you will have access to bonus content, including episode 4 on Purgatory.

Doctrine of Hell Series: Episode 3 – Annihilationism

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-s2be4-d377c6

Do we *really* go to an afterlife when we die? Would a good God *really* inflict an infinite punishment on finite crimes? What about all those times the terms “destroy” and “perish” are used? What’s the harm in believing that God annihilates those who don’t believe, anyway?

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This week, Betsy and Michelle begin Part 3 of the Doctrine of Hell Series on Annihilationism. This one was new for us! We hope that if you are new to these arguments, you will learn something too!

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To stay updated on our latest episodes, make sure to subscribe! Also, if you enjoy our content, please like/rate/review. It is greatly appreciated and we love hearing from you!

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Doctrine of Hell series: Episode 2 – Universalism

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zx9dm-d2cef1

What is universalism? Does everyone actually go to Heaven? Is God unloving for sending one of his own creation to a place of torment? Does adhering to universalism as a position on Hell, affect the other essential doctrines of the faith? What about the Gospel?

Join Michelle and a special guest – her husband, Paul – as they look at universalism, its  implications, and discuss the “faith deconstruction” of one of their favorite YouTubers.

 

If you enjoyed listening. Stay tuned for our next installment of our Hell series, where we take a look at annihilationism. Betsy and Michelle will be reunited after a brief break due to illness.

Make sure to subscribe, like, and review! We appreciate your support and welcome any questions regarding the content of this or any other episode. You can reach us on our instagram page @womenofthetable or at our blog wott.blog

Doctrine of Hell Series: episode 1 – Hell?

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-qzvdm-d1a0a6

This week, Women of the Table begin their first series! This series of episodes will cover the doctrine of Hell. In our introductory episode, Betsy and Michelle discuss: Why talk about Hell? Is Hell an essential Christian doctrine? What are some wrong ways to go about it? We also talk through a few current events from this past week that are quite timely for our current topic. Through our study of this doctrine, we pray you are encouraged to share the Gospel in its entirety, to those in your vicinity.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please share, rate, and subscribe to continue with us on this series.

The Gospel in the Marketplace

This week on Women of the Table we discussed sensationalism. What it means, how it affects our lives, what implications it has on sharing the Gospel, and the like. What this article will touch on are not those things, but how we should respond to these questions: what are we to do now? Are we to ditch social media altogether? Should we never share another article of information with a sensational headline? 

First, I want to remind us all that we have a story that is worthy of all our attention and more sensational (in the good sense of the word) than any fleeting, manipulative, news story could be. We have the Gospel.

Imagine with me for a moment: you’re scrolling through Facebook and something has gone viral! Hundreds of thousands of shares, likes and comments. You see a torture device as the photo and the headline says: only Begotten Son of God crucified by, and for, sinners. Now that is a sensational headline. 

Consider it further, we have a TRUE account that is greater than all the sensational tactics and click-bait articles combined. We have a message that isn’t just for one political party line, a specific nation, a certain type or age – it’s relevant for everyone, because everyone will be held accountable for their rebellion against the Creator and Lord. Everyone needs the Savior to remedy our sin problem.

Now, let’s examine a trustworthy source to find the answers to our previously presented questions:

In a time when God was laying the foundation of His Church, by the Holy Spirit led Apostles and Prophets, we see the Apostle Paul approaching an audience that bears similarities to our own. An audience that had no shortage of gods, philosophies, and new ideas. In Acts 17:16-34 we see Paul disturbed at the idols in Athens, and therefore he goes and reasons with the Jews, the worshipers, and those that were in the marketplace – anyone that happened to be there. What was he reasoning with them about? Verse 18 says, “he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.” Upon hearing these truths they brought him to the Areopagus, where the Areopagus council would discuss religion and philosophy – of which they were the governing body. This led to them hearing the truth of the Gospel, some responding in mockery and some responding in faith.

“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began to mock him, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this topic.” At that, Paul left the Areopagus. But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.” (Acts 17:32-34)

Paul didn’t change his story based on how it would be perceived. He didn’t cower under the Areopagus council’s inquiries. He wasn’t blown back by the pervasive search for the hottest take or newest ideas in Athens. He saw their idol worship and was moved to dialogue. He reasoned and presented the truth of the Gospel.

With this in mind:

1. Should we ditch social media?

When I reread this account of Paul in Athens, I see him approaching the place where ideas are exchanged. The hotbed of ideas and religion and also the place for everyone to gather: the marketplace. While our culture has certainly changed from commonly dialoguing ideas out in the public common areas (because we don’t have public common areas anymore), we can still take this principle and apply it to our culture today. Sadly, but truly, our biggest common area is on social media. We see people plaster their opinions, share what they find important, and even are updated with news on this platform. So, if you are in possession of a social media account, share the Gospel while you have it. Be willing to dialogue with logic, and gentleness, seeking to win souls not arguments. I will also say however, once they started mocking Paul, he left. You don’t have to entertain abuse and there is a block button if you so wish to use it 🙂

I say to use social media as a Gospel opportunity, not to the detriment of personal evangelism – in real life, to a real face. We should be opening our homes and our lives, to those who need the Gospel. As great as social media can be at posting whatever you want – you know from our episode – there is such an overwhelming amount of information, with lots of hype, that many of our attempts to share the truth may be filed away in the reader’s special filing cabinet (the mental trash can). So be welcoming, friendly, and engage with people in real life. Don’t worry if you have a lack in social skills, because social media has dulled us all in that arena.

2. Should we never share another sensational headline?

Now as much as click-bait grinds the gears of any reasonable person, studies have shown that it works. People are going to click on the sensational headline. This is just how the world operates now. While all the media outlets are competing for your attention and your click, you will see more and more sensational headlines. However, Paul writes to the Philippian church something that I think is helpful in answering this question:

“Let your gentleness be apparent to all. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

We know that the Lord is near, so we must be gentle, anxious for nothing, prayerful, and full of thanksgiving. No matter the headline, we can have peace. If you want to share the headline, share it, but don’t forget to share that you have an unfailing hope. Preface your share with a note of thankfulness to God. Be gentle in your sharing and your commentary on a topic. We want to encourage dialogue and reasoning in an age where we have all become keyboard warriors. Once we have opened the door to dialogue, by our kindness, we can truly share the sensational hope we have in Christ. A hope that doesn’t change in circumstance, news story, or with popular culture’s ideas.

I know that this approach to sharing is not the most natural, nor am I the shining example. So, with my own “hot-take” in this article, I say that Christ has given us a hope that won’t stay hidden. He will advance and grow His church. Our small acts of faithfulness can be used by Him.

I pray that as you go about your common places you preach Christ and His resurrection, the need for repentance and faith in Christ alone for right standing before God. 

In Christ,

Michelle

All Aboard the Hype Train!!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8w35j-d0aea8

WOTT’S BEST EPISODE YET! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY!! IT IS LIFE CHANGING AND YOU SIMPLY WON’T BE THE SAME! Just kidding, you will probably remain the same, but tag along with Betsy and Michelle as they discuss the power of sensationalism, how we can become desensitized to truly sensational things, how sensationalism can affect evangelism, and ultimately their disdain for click-bait. CHOO-CHOO!