Five Points Blog

Wash Her With the Word

Husbands are called to imitate Jesus in relating to their wives (Ephesians 5:25). We are to provide and protect our wives physically and spiritually. One way in particular that is done is by “the washing of water with the word” (v.26)—bathing your wife in the Word of God.

Pray Scripture for your wife. Leave notecards with passages that would be especially encouraging to her. Make time for her during the day to enjoy uninterrupted time reading the Bible. Equip her to study Scripture well.

There are many ways for husbands to do this. But as you start thinking about a Christmas gift for your bride, I want to encourage you husbands towards two specific options.

First, give her a copy of Jen Wilken’s Women of the Word for Christmas, and then make the time for her to be able to read it and the Bible. Take the kids out of the house on Saturday mornings. Do end-of-the-day chores to free her up. Arrange a “mommy’s helper” to come over during the day. Be intentional about asking her what she’s learning to motivate her to keep reading.

This book will help your wife study the Bible for herself better. And no matter what stage of life your wife is in, she needs the Spirit to stir her soul through his Word.

Second, bless your wife by making arrangements for her to be able to attend a weekly Bible study where she can hone her study skills and connect and pray with other ladies. You can even print up a little certificate to put beneath the tree to let her know you’ve lined up all the details to free her to attend.

One option along these lines is a new women’s Bible study that will be held at Five Points starting January 8. Every Thursday morning from 10-11:30am, I will be applying simple Bible study methods like what Wilken offers in her book to a study of Colossians. Half our time will be spent in the Word, and the other half will be for the ladies to pray, talk specifically about how Colossians applies to their lives, and enjoy each other’s company. Childcare will be provided for a minimal fee ($5/child, $8/two children, $10/family cap) so that even moms with littles can attend.

What other ideas do you have for ways to wash your wife with the water of the Word?

A Visit to Oxford University

Teaching has existed at Oxford, England since the year 1096. Today, Oxford University is the oldest place of learning in the English-speaking world; it has been a school for 918 years. From its early days, Oxford was a center for lively controversy, with scholars involved in religious and political disputes. John Wycliffe, a 14th-century professor, campaigned for a Bible in the vernacular against the wishes of the papacy. During the Reformation in the 16th century, the Anglican churchmen Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake in Oxford. In the late 17th century, the Oxford philosopher John Locke, suspected of treason, was forced to flee the country. The 18th-century professor of geometry, Edmund Halley, predicted the return of the comet that bears his name, and John and Charles Wesley's prayer meetings laid the foundations of the Methodist Society.

It was at this historic wellspring of scholars that C. S. Lewis schooled, graduated, and later taught in its halls. He was the famous Christian apologist who helped steady the courage of the British people during World War II with his weekly radio program of hope and faith; the famous debater of his time who challenged the atheists with well-reasoned arguments for the truthfulness of Christianity; the author of many Christian-focused fiction and non-fiction books widely read today.

I was privileged to be traveling to this place last October to attend a conference on C. S. Lewis knowing full well that I did not comprehend the impact this school and its graduates have had on the world. I left a week later having had my brain crushed under the weight of trying to absorb a fraction of what was shared on Lewis, his life, his views, his faith, his thinking, and the heights of his intellect which call us upward to a God we will never stop knowing more fully. Among the speakers was Dr. Michael Ward, a research fellow at Oxford and author of The Narnia Code.

Each morning Dr. Ward shared a part of his amazing insight into how Lewis loved myth, lore, and stories of medieval literature (Lewis’ academic focus). One story of Lewis’ life that was shared was how before Lewis was a Christian, his friend J.R.R. Tolkien would share the gospel with him. One day as they walked together, Tolkien—remembering Lewis’ love of mythology—said, “What if one of those myths you love were actually true?” Tolkien talked to Lewis of the story of a person who so loved that he gave himself, so that others might live. Lewis knew this story—it was common in the ancient medieval myths. It speaks to a desire for virtue common to all people. This was the turning point in Lewis’ life, the day he began to realize, “What if one of those myths actually happened?”

Lewis went on to lecture and write on medieval literature in a new way. It was no longer mankind’s existential hope in virtue but now a foreshadowing of the true myth. Lewis would write about how we live in a “shadow land” that is only the weakest of images of what is waiting for us. We live now as vapors full of holes, but then we will be solid for the first time. We go to a reality that will not compare to this world, to a glory that has weight.

The mythological story form Lewis uses in his fiction enables us to identify, to feel, to experience more fully the truthfulness of ideas in our world in a way that speaks to our humanness. God makes us both rational and imaginative—by using both we can know God more fully.

Join us for a two-part event, “A Voyage into Narnia,” that will help you understand and appreciate more of C. S. Lewis, his world of Narnia, and how he intended for us to see God by breathing Narnian air. On Wednesday, May 28, Dr. Michael Ward will join us to discuss the imagery of Narnia that C.S. Lewis used to speak to our souls and draw us to God. And on Saturday, May 31, Joe Rigney, professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary and author of Live Like a Narnian, will apply Lewis’ Chronicles to our call to be and make disciples.

Why Do You Want to Be Foster Parents?

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.

Journeying Towards True Womanhood

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.

Dig in Together This Fall

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.

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