Even when laundry piles up, what you do matters to God

Shiloh Jones | The Christian Chronicle

March 2017

Have you ever felt insignificant, powerless, tired, under-caffeinated, under-appreciated or discouraged?

Lea Ann Garfias. “Rocking Ordinary: Holding It Together with Extraordinary Grace.” New Leaf Press, 2016. 192 pages. $12.99

If so then “Rocking Ordinary: Holding It Together with Extraordinary Grace” is for you. Lea Ann Garfias, features editor for Home School Enrichment magazine, writes with honesty, humor and insight in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly spying on my life and the lives of my girlfriends.

The book is aimed at women in their 20s to 40s, regardless of their family or career situations. “Rocking Ordinary” will make you laugh as Garfias encourages you that you matter, that what you do matters and that you make a difference even when laundry is piling up, dishes are dirty, kids are crying and you haven’t had coffee yet. This book will help you to breathe a sigh of relief that these struggles do not define you.

I have a full-time job in the challenging social services field, am the wife of a minister and have two very strong-willed (stubborn) young daughters. My life feels like a to-do list, and when I go to bed, it’s easy to think about what I perceive as failures instead of focusing on victories.

Shiloh Jones | What we’re reading

Reading Garfias’ book helped me more clearly see that loving my family well, striving for compassion and not comparison with friends and serving where I am is a noble and worthwhile calling.

“God uses ordinary lives in extraordinary ways if we have the courage and the faith to simply obey wherever we are,” Garfias writes.

We can all rock at ordinary. We can make an extraordinary difference right where we are, once we are able to look above the piles of laundry, past the fussy children or work stress and into the truth that God shows us.

Read this book and buy copies for your girlfriends and family members who also need this powerful reminder. A leader guide is available for small-group study.

SHILOH JONES is a social worker in Denver, where her husband, Josh, serves as youth minister for the University Church of Christ.

WHAT ARE YOU READING? Share your thoughts on the books, music and films that influence or impact your faith. Send your suggestions to erik@christianchronicle.org.



“Introduction About Truth” is part 1 of a 6 part study in Searching For Truth

Truth is a most precious thing.

In our world, everyone is searching for something. If you are searching for answers to questions regarding God, Jesus, hope, happiness, faith, life after death, good and evil, the church, the Bible, God’s plan for you, or Jesus’ love for you, the answers to these can be found in this series of programs.

Please view the first program which is 15-minutes in length, then you will be able to decide whether to watch the additional 5 programs that are designed to help you find the answers to these questions.

Did you know that on the average, 107 people die every minute? That’s a staggering number. As much as we might like to go on living, all of us will face death. But what happens to us when we die? Does life after death exist? If so, what kind of life? Does heaven exist? Does hell exist? And if so, what will happen to you when you die? More important, will it matter what you believed or how you lived in this life?


“Introduction About Truth” is part 1 of a 6 part study in Searching For Truth.

We will be posting new parts 1 to 2 times per week in this blog. View all of the study at http://www.SearchingForTruth.org

Make Your Salvation Sure – Therman Hodge


How sad it is that so many baptized believers never feel secure in their salvation. Some Christians go through life never really knowing whether they will go to hell or heaven. However, one needs to make his or her “calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:11).

The word “calling” is from the Greek word klesis, which means “a call, calling, invitation.” The Greek word for “election” is ekloge, which means “election, choice, the act of picking out, choosing.” “Calling and election” is God’s call and choice of you (Matthew 22:14; 1 Corinthians 1:9; James 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). The Christian can make sure of his salvation by diligent work.

Christians have the assurance of the faith. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV). This “assurance” is “forever” (Isaiah 32:17). “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end” (Hebrews 6:11). Christian hearts are assured before Jesus Christ (1 John 3:19). “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

How can we know that we have assurance of salvation? Peter wrote, “If you will do these things you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10). If you do these things? What things? If we incorporate the Christian graces into our lives, we will never fall (2 Peter 1:5-7). We must possess those qualities and be growing in them (2 Peter 1:8).

A glorious entrance awaits the faithful child of God. What is the end of a life of growing in these Christian graces? The Christian will be richly supplied with an entrance into the eternal kingdom (Romans 6:22; 2 Timothy 2:10-12; 1 Peter 1:3-9). Heaven is the reward of a life given to growing in the Christian graces.

When this life is over and each of us stands in the presence of the blessed Lord, will we hear the thrilling words, “Well done good and faithful servant… enter into the joys of your Lord… Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:21, 34)? Will we be clothed in the beauty of Christ Himself to live throughout eternity in perfect happiness and joy?








Be a Christian Anyway! Brett Petrillo

Has life been tough? Does it felt like the world is set against you? Be a Christian anyway (James 1:2-4).

Or, has life been full of sunshine? Have good things been lining up for you? Be a Christian anyway (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14).

Has sorrow been seeking you out? Has the heavy burden of poverty been placed on your shoulders? Be a Christian anyway (Matthew 11:28).

Or, perhaps it’s been a time of joy? Has prosperity been overflowing for you? Be a Christian anyway (Matthew 6:19-21).

Has someone gossiped, slandered or spoke evil against you? Has someone done you wrong or betrayed your trust? Be a Christian anyway (Matthew 5:11-12).

Or, have people been kind, tender and loving? Have they been paying compliments and giving encouragement? Be a Christian anyway (Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 3:13).

Does it feel like you’re one of the few still following God? Does it seem like evil is winning? Be a Christian anyway (1 John 4:4).

Or, have you been encouraged with those working hard for the Lord? Are you seeing people standing out for Him like never before? Be a Christian anyway (Philippians 2:12-13).

Are you fearful or hopeful about the direction of our country? Are you mad or joyful, sad or happy with the election results? Be a Christian anyway (Romans 13:1-7).

Whether good or bad comes our way, whether poverty or prosperity, whether troubling times or tremendous times, no matter what comes, we know what to do. Be a Christian anyway!