Mother’s Day Pain for Women… It’s Very Real

My friend Christa wrote this yesterday and I was so impressed I incorporated into my message this morning at Harvest. I hope it will encourage you or someone you know as we close out this Mother’s Day:

Be aware that Mother’s Day can be a very difficult day for many women (women who are single; women who are trying to have children, but can’t get pregnant; women who know they will never have children; women who regret having had an abortion; women who have prodigal children; women who have lost a child to death; etc.). Be empathetic to these situations as you give your Mother’s Day blessings tomorrow. Be cognizant of the fact that, when only those who have physically given birth to children are recognized by way of their standing or being given a rose, it is awkward at best and painful at worst for those women left sitting, who are excluded. I love that our pastor…recognizes the nurturing gifts of all women on Mother’s Day. I find this to be very inclusive, redemptive, and right in line with the fact that some women are called primarily to bear spiritual offspring (Isa 54:1). And to you, my lady friends, for whom pain may threaten to undo you {on Mother’s Day}, the promise of God’s nearness is yours, as one who is broken-hearted! He hears the cry of your heart (Ps 34:18). Hang in there!” – Christa Friel (5/9/15)

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Mark Bertrand on “Reference Bibles” vs. “Reading Bibles”

My friend Mark Bertrand has penned a column about a new niche of Bibles designed specifically for reading sessions. Perhaps you have given this subject little thought in the past. If you are serious about engaging with God’s Word I highly recommend you take the time to read, and think through, his points.

For those of you who are not sure what a “Reference Bible” is, I’ll explain. A reference Bible is one that has other Bible verses listed on the page so that you can easily “cross reference” other Scriptures which are related in subject matter to the verses you are reading. For example, here is a photograph taken of the TBS Westminster Reference Bible (can be purchased HERE):

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As you can see in the picture above, to the left and right of the Bible text itself, there are lists of other Bible verses that relate to the subjects presented in what you are reading. Many Bible readers love to pause and search out these other references to see what else the Bible says on this subject. It is an excellent tool for deeper Bible study.

However, aesthetically, when it comes to design layout, a reference Bible seems to have more in common with a dictionary or encyclopedia than a traditional book that you would read cover-to-cover. Hence, the recent trend toward producing “reading Bibles.”

Compare the image above with the new ESV Reader’s Bible from Crossway (available for purchase HERE):

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It makes for a dramatic difference in your reading experience. I encourage you to read Mark’s take on the impact of the design of the Bible you choose to read.