Ten Words


summer 2021 blog posts

nature declaring praise

Today as we approach a changing of the seasons when the natural world sheds its summer glory and prepares for its dormant season, I’m pulled back to the opening lines of Psalm 19, a song of David that has guided our Wednesday posts over the summer:

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Remember to Not Forget

Congratulations, Dear Friends! You have now journeyed through the Ten Words, the moral laws from Exodus 20 that God gave His people to guide them through life with Him and with others. My hope is that you’ve concluded this study with a new or refreshed view of the beautiful relationship the God of the universe longs to have with each one of us. As we’ve explored what expansive obedience to the Ten Words looks like, a list of “shall nots” has become a love letter from our God

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Giving Thanks in Lament

As we’ve been studying the final commandment from Exodus 20 and once again reviewing Psalm 19, I’ve been reminded that thankfulness to God is often the antidote we need for covetousness. As we practice gratitude, we pray, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Read more in today’s post…

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Taking Every Thought Captive

Today we’re in Exodus 20:17 for the final charge of the Ten Commandments. Let’s finish strong and spend some concentrated time in the text and in Chapter 10 of “Ten Words to Live By.”

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Truth in a Time of Great Mistrust

We could easily call this season that we’re living in the Time of Great Mistrust. Information dissemination is fraught with falsehoods. Some of it is intentional and some purely because we live in a sin-scarred world where even once-trusted sources can innocently mislead us. Political and religious leaders make poor choices they then attempt to cover up, and when their sin is exposed, we feel violated for placing our confidence in them. As a result, we begin to doubt all the leaders in our lives. We can’t even go to the grocery store without someone looking sideways at us — or us at them. While we might feel that trustworthiness is at an all-time decline, the truth is “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). That’s why God needed to put the ninth commandment on the Tablets of Testimony and why the psalmist David reminds us that the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

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The Truth, the Whole Truth

This week we are in Exodus 20:16 as we look at the importance of a truthful testimony. While we find many verses throughout the Bible admonishing us to not lie, especially in Proverbs, this verse from Exodus is a specific command against speaking mistruths about the people in our lives. Let’s jump right into reviewing the Ten Commandments and then ponder how we speak about other people.

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Acceptable in His Sight

On Wednesdays this summer, we have connected the Ten Commandments with Psalm 19 in which David declared God’s glory and the beauty of His law. He prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (19:14).

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But I Really Wanted It

Dear Jesus, You have told us that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, while You came to earth that all might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10). As we have seen the enemy steal, kill, and destroy in horrific ways, our hearts have broken, and we admit that at times we’ve said, “Well, at least I didn’t steal that.” But we know that we have broken Your eighth command time after time and our sin is just as grievous to You as theirs. As we enter our study this week, open our eyes to see how our own sin has stolen life from others. Guide us in all truth and protect us from the schemes of the enemy, including the distractions that aren’t from You. May we be humble as You sanctify us to reflect You in all we think, say, and do. We love You, Lord.

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God’s Very Good Plan

This week we’re talking about marital faithfulness as we dig into the heart behind the seventh commandment, You shall not commit adultery. Today we’re returning to Psalm 19, which continues to beautifully complement our study of the Ten Commandments.

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Honoring Marriage

In the Hebrew language, God’s seventh word to His people is simply two words, but as we unpack it, we discover that obedience to the heart of this commandment is rarely a simple endeavor. We will each pull out of our study this week different points that speak to our individual stories and challenge how we think about and act to faithfully preserve the covenant of marriage whether currently married or single.

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Permission to Love

So often we think of the Ten Commandments as a list of “thou shalt nots,” but it is so much more than a list of forbidden acts. It is permission to love God and to love His image bearers. In this sixth word, we are invited to unwrap the gift of protecting life physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but in order to genuinely do this, we must ask God to show us where we’ve allowed selfishness to invade the hidden recesses of our hearts. We pray with the psalmist David, “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (Psalm 19:12-13).

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Bringing Life to Others

Welcome to our seventh week in the Ten Commandments! We’re so glad you’re along on this journey with us as we study God’s Law. This week we’re looking at the command forbidding murder and noting how an expansive obedience means we not only refrain from killing but we seek to bring life to others.

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Retreat Coming Soon

The women’s ministry team cordially invites the women of UFC to a fall retreat the weekend of September 24-26 at Aldersgate Retreat Center outside Salem. We have designed the weekend as a sweet pause from the busyness of life to reconnect with our sisters in Christ. Given the times in which we live, we are offering two different options to participate, so all might be comfortable joining us — a weekend ticket and a Saturday ticket.

Find out more…

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A Rewarding Honor

Some might read the fifth commandment, which the apostle Paul reminds us was the first with a promise (Ephesians 6:3), as a form of prosperity theology, the belief that mustering enough faith and/or obedience to God will bring wealth, health, and power. But such a belief would be taking God’s Word out of context. This command paired with the other nine show us a picture of a right relationship with authority and the natural overflow of goodness that comes when wisdom is chosen over folly and surrender over self rule. In Psalm 19, the psalmist David reminds us of the beauty of the law of the Lord and how its very presence in our lives brings great reward.

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Honoring Elders

Happy August, Sweet Friends. This week in our study of the Ten Commandments, we are in Exodus 20:12 — Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. We are praying that you will come away from your time in God’s Word with a fresh, expanded appreciation for this command and the elders in your life.

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This Week

During this first week of August, the women of UFC will be digging into Chapter 5 of Ten Words to Live By to study the fifth commandment found in Exodus 20. Our Coffee and Conversation groups have provided sweet fellowship as we dig into what it means to obey our Heavenly Father. We hope you’ll join us this week!

Please note that we have canceled the August park dates but encourage you to find time each week to connect with other women at UFC whether at a park, at a coffee shop, or in some other setting.

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Preparing to Rest

Our weekly sabbath allows us to refocus on this truth in worship and meditation, to evaluate where we have failed to keep God as the center of our days, and to talk to Him about where He wants to direct us in the week ahead. But if we don’t prepare ahead, our work will likely creep into our Sabbath days, and in the planning, we can find joy in the day.

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Designed for Work, Gifted with Rest

The fourth word provides us with a bridge between the commandments relating to our worship of God and the guidelines for doing life with other image bearers. God reminds His people they were created for work and for rest to worship Him and to provide rest for others.

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Nuggets of Truth

Psalm 19 continues to connect beautifully to our study of the Ten Commandments, and today we’re going to walk through memorizing and studying verse 14.

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Honoring God’s Name

Welcome to the fourth week and the third command in our study of the Ten Commandments. Have you ever quietly discarded a name tag without wearing it when someone spelled your name incorrectly? If you have a unique spelling of your name, you’ve probably at least considered doing this. We want to be known by the correct name — and have it spelled correctly! Our names are part of our identities, so naturally they become a topic of conversation. This week we’re going to discuss names, specifically how we honor the name and character of the Lord.

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Heavens Declare His Glory

Today we’re offering a few ways to pause in God’s created world, even for just a few minutes each day, and allow it to direct our worship to God alone. As we engage our senses in the natural world, we declare, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

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Reflecting His Image

Greetings, Blog Readers. Our Monday posts this summer include several questions related to our journey through Jen Wilkin’s book Ten Words to Live By and Exodus 20:1-17. They are meant to compliment the chapter and as points to discuss with friends, not as a replacement for her excellent questions for reflection. Today we’re digging into Exodus 20:4-6 as we consider the undiminished worship of our Creator God.

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Ever Before Us

Today we’re looking at Psalm 19:10-11, in which the psalmist David compares the things of the world that are valuable and sweet to the law of the LORD. He concludes that God’s ways can never compare to the fleeting pleasures of this world. Today’s post includes some special resources for keeping God’s laws ever before you.

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God is Enough

Welcome to our second week in the Ten Commandments. We got a good start last week with a look at the introduction to Jen Wilkin’s book “Ten Words to Live By” and discussed the beauty found in the law of the Lord. This week we’re excited to discuss the first full chapter — and first commandment. If you haven’t signed up for a conversation group yet, it’s not too late. Now, join us as we Pause, Ponder, and Pray in Exodus 19 and 20 and Colossians 3:5-17.

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Delighting in God’s Word

Some of us may be discovering that we have had a distorted view of the Ten Commandments. So, running alongside Exodus 20:1-17 this summer, we’re going to look at Psalm 19. In this psalm, designed to be sung by a choir, David declares the beauty found in the law of the Lord. We want these verses to restore the beauty of His Word in our minds and hearts that following the law of the Lord may become a joy, not a burden.

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Life-giving Beauty

Editor’s Note: Today we’re officially beginning our study of the Ten Commandments and the first week of groups discussing Exodus 20:1-17 and Jen Wilkin’s book Ten Words to Live By. We have groups meeting Tuesday evenings, Wednesday mornings, Thursday mornings (two options, one with childcare), and Friday mornings (with children for a nature activity). If you haven’t yet registered to join a group, we encourage you to so now via this link. Our Monday posts in the coming weeks will include simple Pause, Ponder, and Pray prompts to supplement the questions in Wilkin’s book, while Wednesdays you’ll find Process and Practice prompts to take you a bit deeper in the text of Exodus 20 and Psalm 19. Each week we will also share audio recordings from Andi Hines (the Ten Commandments on Mondays) and Sara Nelson (Psalm 19 on Wednesdays).

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Rules for Healthy Relationships

Join Jamie Harms at ufcwomen.blog as she introduces us to the importance of rules in relationship (using illustrations from her first year of teaching) and invites us to join the study of the Ten Commandments this summer.

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Ten Words for Littles

As I help prepare blog content and study questions for our summer dive into Wilkin’s book, I have a great hope that my study of the Ten Commandments will overflow to my children and their lasting memories of God’s Law will be sweet. I want them to learn from an early age to delight in God’s Word and His guidelines for a fruitful journey toward eternity with Him. Do you share this desire with me for your children, your grandchildren, and the young ones in your sphere of influence?

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Soaring on His Wings

Join Jaime Sherman at ufcwomen.blog for a podcast/blog post on Exodus 19:4-6, the verses that come just before God gives His people the Ten Commandments, which are known in Hebrew as the Ten Words. At the end of the post, you’ll find a link to register to join a summertime coffee and conversation group on the new book “Ten Words to Live By.”

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