Saturday Sampler: August 18 — August 24

BrideGivvenMark Mclntyre’s Attempts at Honesty get very honest as he writes Cowardice masquerading as Grace, expressing a struggle that I know all too well. If you have difficulty with confrontation, you’ll appreciate his exhortation.

Don’t you love it when someone has the courage to tackle difficult questions? For instance, Michelle Lesley takes on a particularly challenging one by writing The Mailbag: Can unforgiveness cause you to lose your salvation? As I said ForRicherForPoorerbefore, I love the way Michelle reasons from the Scriptures.

Not only does Erin Benziger have a tender heart, but even the tragic death of a baby bird can cause her to reflect on God’s care for His creation. Please read His Eye Is On the Sparrow in Do Not Be Surprised.

It’s  been a while since I’ve written anything about the Reformation. Shame on me! Happily, Simonetta Carr, in her article for Place for Truth, tells us about Katherine Parr and Her Role in the English Reformation. Before you protest that history is dull and JohnsRingboring,  why don’t you check this one out? It just might surprise you!

Writing for Morning by Morning, Rachel Campbell posts Songs of the Saints: The Significance of Singing to discuss how we worship the Lord through song. She helps us evaluate not merely what we sing but why we choose songs. Best of all, she reminds us of the eternal significance of singing.

Cutting CakeI haven’t fully vetted Your Mom has a Blog by Melissa Edgington yet, but The Blessing of Heaven as a Near Reality touches me. This sweet musing offers encouragement to adopt an eternal perspective. You don’t even have to wait until you’re old!

Have you ever marveled at The intersection of Sovereignty and free will? In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata discusses two examples of God’s sovereignty in free will choices. I don’t think you’ll expect these particular examples, which is why her essay deserves your attention.

Mr & Mrs K.

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Flashback Friday: A Wife, Sister And Aunt — But Am I Like The Trinity?

Originally posted January 30, 2018:

Shamrock ShadedThroughout church history, people have attempted to explain the Trinity. Patrick, the 5th Century missionary to Ireland, famously used the shamrock to illustrate how God can be three distinct Persons and yet one Being. Others have likened the Trinity to H2O (water, ice and vapor) or and egg (shell,  white and yoke). There are other analogies, most of which I happily don’t remember.

A friend recently reminded me of an analogy that used to be my favorite. I would explain that, though I’m DebbieLynne in all situations, I am a wife, a sister and an aunt. As such, I have three different roles. Ignore all my other roles (friend, employer, niece, blogger, church member, patient to my doctors and  so on).

Obviously the analogy breaks down very quickly. And it should for a few reasons. Two of those reasons particularly trouble me, and I think they should trouble most Christians who really give serious thought to their implications.

Firstly, my roles as wife, sister and aunt depend on how my husband, sister and nieces are related to me. Apart from John, I would not be a wife. If John dies before I do, I will cease to be a wife. Therefore, my identity as wife relies completely on John rather than being intrinsic to my nature.

Yet the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit exist independently of Their roles in relating to the Church. They have definite roles in bringing about salvation and in sanctifying believers, certainly, and we ought to rejoice in how intimately each Person of the Trinity works in our lives. But if God had never created anything, each Person of the Trinity would still exist in His fullness, not needing us to define Him. My various roles hinge on my relationships with others, but God is Father, Son and Spirit eternally, with or without us.

Secondly, and more importantly, it borders on blasphemy to compare ourselves to the Triune God. I tremble in shame at the thought that I ever did such a presumptuous thing! Although He created us in His likeness, we cannot — and indeed, must not  — consider ourselves models for describing anything about Him. Especially the Holy Trinity!

God commands Christians to reflect His character qualities like love, righteousness, patience and above all holiness. But He never suggested that anything about us could explain His very essence. My roles as wife, sister and aunt in no way demonstrate the astounding mystery of the Holy Trinity, and God never intended them to do so. Again, the very idea creeps dangerously close to blasphemy, in my opinion.

Many non-Christians dare us to defend the doctrine of the Trinity because they view it as illogical. Consequently, we concoct analogies that seem nifty, supposing that we can convince people with our little illustrations. But in truth, the Trinity lies well beyond the grasp of human reason. Instead of presuming to explain God’s triune nature, maybe we should stand in awe of this marvelous mystery.

What Is Spiritual Maturity?

ChildlikeGod calls us to come to Him as little children (Matthew 18:1-4). In one respect, He wants us to maintain childlike humility and dependence on Him throughout our lives. Actually, we can’t escape such dependence on Him because He controls all of life. Those who fancy themselves to be independent of Him may think they’re getting away with their rebellion, but ultimately He controls even their sin to bring about His purposes.

At the same time, Scripture also Continue reading

Riches That We Forget About

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Growing older should have changed my attitude about life on planet Earth. In some ways, it has. As my physical body degenerates, enjoying pleasures like going to Boston and  creating digital artwork demands greater effort, thus diminishing the attachment to those activities. Pretty soon, I’ll have only memories of such things.

In a brief conversation with a friend Sunday, she and I agreed that the Lord probably allows increasing pain as we age to help us loosen our hold on this life. Obviously, there’s no Scripture to support that theory, but it sure encourages me as I age. It makes me confident that I’ll experience God’s kindness as He transitions me from this life to eternity.

But doesn’t the very fact that I need His help in order to release my hold on this life betray the shameful reality that I don’t comprehend the riches of God’s glory? I’ve been thinking about that possibility as a result of my time in the Word of God this morning, wondering if Continue reading

Some Division Adds To Truth. Some Division Multiples Sin. Calculate Wisely

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Certain pockets of the visible church stridently warn that doctrine divides. The implication, of course, is that Christians should minimize doctrine for the sake of preserving unity. Coming from a non-denominational church with predominantly Charismatic leanings, I understand this philosophy.  It sounds so loving and Christlike to overlook differences in the interest of worshiping the Lord.

The New Testament, however, makes it clear that Continue reading

Praying About Twitter?

Head Stick Pics 005Arguably the biggest problem with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is the insulation from face-to-face communication. It always has been easier to say things in writing rather than speaking to someone in person; I get that. Twice, I received romantic rejections from men who wrote letters because they lacked the courage to face me. Writing puts us in control by shielding us from the reactions of others.

As a complication, social media provides a layer of anonymity. We may not have ever met that person we fight with on Twitter, and we may never meet her. So we don’t feel all that bothered if we end up Continue reading

Trusting In The Right Thing

What makes someone a genuine Christian? Good works? Obedience to Scripture’s precepts? Praying “the sinner’s prayer” or making a “decision” to follow Jesus?

When people ask for evidence of our salvation, do we point to how much we pray and study the Bible? Do we tell them about our various ministries within our local churches or our involvement with parachurch organizations? Maybe we mention how we homeschool our children, or how we’ve forsaken sexual sin? Surely each of these things demonstrate our love for the Lord! Right?

Um, not really.

A lot of those behaviors are good, but only as responses to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We aren’t Christians because of anything we do. We’re Christians because He shed His blood to satisfy the wrath of God that actually belongs to us. He redeemed those who trust in His finished work on the cross. His grace, and only His grace, makes us His   children.

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