Tag Archives: home

Book Review: “Glimpses of Grace” by Gloria Furman

I love to read. Always have. Over the years, I’ve had a handful of books that have risen to the top of my list to “Must Read” status. Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman is definitely one of those books! It is probably one of the best books I’ve read in the last 10 years!

Gloria has a personal style that lets you know she’s been there–in the trenches with kids and cross-cultural ministry, serving her husband who pastors while struggling with a debilitating condition, keeping a home and keeping up with writing books and blogging.

Glimpses is full of encouragement from real-life illustrations and Gospel-centered, soul-refreshing, rich, theological concepts. Glimpses is full of Scripture and quotes that reflect Truth and Hope. Gloria doesn’t see herself as a super-mom, but rather a woman with a powerful Savior! She talks about glorifying God in the mundane–where, if we’re honest, the majority of our lives fall. God uses these simple, everyday things to communicate Truth to our hearts. From doing dishes to sweeping up sand again and again, God showed her to see her own dirt and sin that needs repeated repentance and to rejoice in His faithful forgiveness and unrelenting grace.

Here’s a glimpse into Glimpses from the author herself:

And some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Because God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory, our faith and hope are in God (1 Pet. 1:21), not in our ever-changing circumstances or in the comforts of our homes and meticulously planned routines” (21).

“Even in my darkest doubts, when I do the same thing again the next day, my hope is still built on the righteousness of Christ. The gospel keeps me relating to God on the basis of Jesus’s perfections, not on the illusions of my religious achievements. God strengthens me and protects me according to his faithfulness, not mine (2 Thess. 3:3). So I can scrub dried blueberry bits as unto the Lord as my heart is satisfied in God because his kindness to me in Christ leads me to repentance again and again” (33).

“Christianity is not a how-to manual for having a nice life. … Jesus’s work on the cross means more for you than an example for good living. The Bible is God’s story of how he redeems a people he has chosen to worship him for all eternity. …In the end, the good-life formula will not bring you to God and save you from your sins. Only Jesus does this through the gospel. In its worst work, the good-life formula can help create a delusion that because you are living in a Christian-like manner, you must be pleasing to God. In reality, your righteousness may be like that of the Pharisees, whom Jesus described as whitewashed tombs with dead men’s bones inside. In this way, the good-life formula is an offspring of self-justification” (45).

“The source of our faith, hope, love, joy, and gospel-grounded optimism is God himself and not our stuff or our circumstances” (59).

“…the point in forgiving one another is not just about the act of forgiving–it is the aim or goal that forgiveness seeks, which is reconciliation with God. … The forgiveness of our sins is a gift of grace, but it’s not ‘the’ gift. ‘The’ gift God offers us through Jesus’s work on the cross is everlasting fellowship with a holy God” (60).

“Whatever the ‘this’ that you desperately feel you can’t do anymore, it’s ultimately not about your circumstances. It’s about peace with God. And God has provided a way for you to have that peace that dominates any and all circumstances, regardless of how difficult they are” (78).

“Self-righteousness comes from within us and leads us to worship ourselves. Grace comes from God and leads us to worship him” (80).

“The gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.” -Milton Vincent (qtd., 84).

“When we minimize the offensiveness of our sin, we are attempting to diminish the holiness of God” (101).

“Our hearts cannot be the end-all authorities on truth. Only God can claim that right. Sometimes we really need to wrestle our hearts into submission to God’s truth” (124).

“We see glimpses of God’s grace in our homes when we cherish God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The solution to our problems in the home and the impetus for our enjoyment of life in the home is fellowship with God through Christ Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the cross” (180).

Advertisements

Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours!

Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 3.41.28 PM

 

Ups and Downs of Selling a Home

Our house has been on the market for nearly a year now. We had one offer back in February, but the buyers weren’t pre-approved and were asking a little lower than we could go. At the end of August, our contract with our realtor was ending, and we were planning on taking the house off the market for a couple of months until trying again in January or February. However, on the last day of our contract we got a call for a showing. We had hardly any interest all summer, so we said, “Sure. Why not?!” We extended our contract for a week to give that showing a chance to respond. But they were just starting the house hunting process.

Then, on the last day of the extended contract, we got another call for a new potential buyer. The husband came and looked at our house on Wednesday; he said that he had looked at over 200 homes and ours was one of two homes he was going to have his wife look at it. She came and looked on Sunday and really liked it. Their realtor said we were at the top of their list. We were really excited because we have an opportunity to house-sit for a couple that’s working out of town (and only pay utilities)! We thought, “This will be great when Bryan goes back to school for nursing! We might even be able to save a bit and pay for his education without a loan!”

Then they decided to look at a few more homes, “just to make sure.” Talk about nerve-racking. We prayed and prayed, and asked others to pray. They looked at several more homes and we were still #1, (inner sigh of relief) but (inner gasp) there was one more home they wanted to look at it and couldn’t see until Thursday. So, they looked at that home and ours one more time on Thursday night. They spent an hour and a half at our home on the THIRD showing, and we thought for sure we would have an offer in the morning.

We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, at noon, our realtor called. He had just gotten off the phone with the other realtor, and after ALL that, they chose the OTHER house! Needless to say, I was disappointed.

At the same time, I know that we serve a sovereign God who is in complete control. I’m not sure why He allowed us to get our hopes up, or even have this couple be interested if they weren’t going to buy it, but He did. So, now we have to decide if we go ahead and take it off the market for a while, if we leave it on the market, or if we switch tracks and try the For Sale By Owner path.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone looking for an adorable 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in a quite neighborhood in Taylors, SC, with great neighbors, send them our way! Currently listed at $125,900. It’s Move-in-Ready, at a great location, dining room, den, new carpet, fresh paint, newer roof, newer heat pump, great floor plan, low maintenance, approximately 1550 sq. ft., plus rocking chair front porch, screened in back porch, fenced yard, 0.3 acre corner lot, cul de sac! Make us an offer!