Explore the Scriptures 📖
So, let’s study the narratives of women not only as inspiration for faithful living but also to see God’s work of salvation. Consider the story of Abigail told in 1 Samuel. How does her narrative fit into the biggest story ever told? How can it inspire us, warn us, and point us to Jesus?
Dolce finds in Abigail’s story pointers to the Messiah, pointers to Jesus. She steps in the way of wrath on the behalf of a deeply sinful man. She displays wisdom. In this, she echoes Moses in the past, who offered to step in the way of wrath on behalf of the people of Egypt who just sinned deeply (Exodus 32:32). In this, she echoes the Messiah of the future, who will step in the way of wrath on the behalf of you and me.
Living This Christian Life 🤴👸
The title of this video may say “girls” because it’s from a women’s conference, but this applies to both men and women equally. Finding the line between gossip—a sin—and properly sharing in order to get advice, be sharpened, and grow, can be difficult.
Winger attempts to help us draw that line and give us principles to consider when we want to vent or share information that could hurt someone else if it were shared.
This is completely optional, and everything that is currently free will continue to be free. Thank you for reading The Garden Weekly.
Family Focus 🏡
The statistics on this trend are devastating. Two out of every 3 girls ages 12-18 have been asked to take and share a nude image. One study found that 14% of teens have sent a nude photo or video of themselves, and 24% of teens have admitted to receiving photos. Alarmingly, 1 in 8 teens has said that they have had their photos shared without their consent to others. Given the growing prevalence of this phenomenon, parents need to address the uncomfortable topic of sexting. As awkward as the conversation may be, it is preferable that children learn about this issue from their parents, rather than an anonymous stranger online or from their peers. Parents should help their children understand in an age-appropriate way that the power and freedom afforded by these devices must come with the responsibility to use them well.
These numbers are just astonishing. How many damaged lives have resulted and will result from this kind of sexual harm?
It’s not possible to shield your children from any and all harm. Our world is full of sin and pain, and every person experiences it. But that does not abdicate our responsibility as parents to teach our children to use technology wisely and well, and to protect them as best we can from those who mean them harm while also enabling them the freedom to learn and grow.
This is an incredibly difficult balance for a parent. Waggoner interviews Sean Clifford, the CEO of Canopy, a parental control app about sexting and what parents can do to wisely seek to prevent it.
Listen and Learn 🎧
How does the fear of death drive us? In this interview about his new book, the Apologetics 315 podcast digs into questions about the problem of evil, the promise of heaven, and the fear of death.
Jones explains how people fear death and so they try to create “immortality projects,” sometimes by trying to physically live forever, and sometimes by trying to live forever through their children, getting their name on a building, or otherwise becoming famous enough to symbolically live on.
What does the Christian story have to tell us about death and immortality?
- Immortal: How the Fear of Death Drives Us and What We Can Do About It | Clay Jones 📚 (Affiliate Link)
Read and Reflect 📖
When I was a kid in the seventies, we often sang a song at church events and camps with this lyric:
We are one in the Spirit;
We are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored;
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
I remember thinking it was a bit corny; then as a teenager, I blew it off as clichéd as well as stylistically dated. But looking back now, I can see this lyric is actually quite profound, reflecting in simple words the sophisticated theology of Christian unity.
It’s a strange logic: in Christ, we’re already one, but we’re not yet one, so we must strive to achieve, maintain, or restore our oneness, until we finally attain our perfect, eternal oneness.
How is it that God making us one with Christ will also fuel the Church becoming united? The Bible tells the story of the many becoming one. From the first people, Adam and Eve, we are told that the ideal is for the two to become one (Genesis 2:24). And in Christ, we are one body (1 Corinthians 12:13).
So what do we do until the truth that we are one in Christ? Bloom answers: tenacious grace. He points us to Ephesians 4:1–4:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call. (Ephesians 4:1–4)
This is nothing less than a call to tenacious grace and Calvary love. What happened on Calvary? Death. Voluntary death. Voluntary death for the sake of love. Voluntary death for the sake of love on behalf of those who don’t deserve that kind of love. This is love with rebar in its resolve; this is love with a spine of steel.
Watch and Wonder 📽
What happened on the Mount of Transfiguration? Why were Moses and Elijah the ones who joined Jesus, Peter, James, and John on that mountaintop? This very short video gave me answers to those questions that I had not heard before, but that make a lot of sense.
Best with a Cup of Tea ☕️
In 2009, about a quarter of American high school students said they had “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.” By last year it was up to 44 percent, the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded.
For girls, the rate rose to 57 percent. That means more than half of teenage girls feel persistently sad or hopeless. If you stood a teen from 2009 next to a teen from 2022, what would be the most noticeable difference between them? One of them would be on her phone.
In this episode of Recorded, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra shares the stories of young women who are being shaped by social media and explores what Gen Z thinks, feels, and believes.
Keep Your Mind on Things Above
I will be praying for you this week.
…and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
— Matthew 10:36–37 (CSB)