Look At What You Say

Psalm 19V14_02Your conduct online, particularly over a long period of time, generally exposes your true nature. I don’t doubt the possibility of hypocrites, just as people in other arenas can effectively hide ugly truths about themselves.  I well remember being speechless for an entire day after learning that a pastor whom I’d deeply respected had been committing adultery even as he preached on the importance of sexual purity.  So okay, some people can maintain a facade for years.

Note, however, that even this pastor eventually got caught.

Regardless of the situation, then, we can pretty much say that most people can’t keep up an act for very long, even online. Sooner or later their blogs, Tweets or Facebook posts will give readers a sense of a person’s true values, temperament or priorities.

If we claim to be Christian women while making angry posts and using unladylike language, we give our readers good reason to question the genuineness of our professions.  I am ashamed to say that I’ve made reckless posts, both on my last blog and on Facebook, that exposed blatant hypocrisy in my life. Some friends who had admired me for many years lost respect for me, as well they should have. My words, rather than reflecting godly attributes, betrayed my selfish anger and pride.

Don’t worry that I’m still browbeating myself for those sinful posts.  Christ has brought me to repentance and has given me the grace to change my attitudes and behavior.  But I tell my story to illustrate the principle that, whether online or in face-to-face interactions, the time always comes when our words open windows to show what really lurks in our hearts.

When the Pharisees accused Jesus of demon possession, He confronted their blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Then He warned them about saying things without first thinking them through:

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~~Matthew 12:33-37 (ESV)

Our tongues and keyboards may initially allow us to fool people (as my hypocritical pastor fooled me), but those same tongues and keyboards,  given enough time, will tell the truth. Consequently, we must constantly submit ourselves to the Lord, desiring that our hearts and minds stay saturated with His values.

I often pray Psalm 19:14, which I’ve quoted in the graphic at the top of this essay. This verse reminds me to  carefully watch what I speak, type and even what I think. I want my thoughts and words to please the Lord.

This verse challenges me to honor the Lord with my thoughts and words, but it also puts the focus on Him. He strengthens me to obey Him with my thoughts and the written or spoken words that my thoughts produce. And when my thoughts and words result in sin, He redeems me because of Christ’s shed blood on the cross.

Dear sisters in Christ, be aware of what you post online. Those words speak volumes about your spiritual condition, both to Christians and to those who seek opportunity to discredit the Lord. You, once you declare yourselves to be Christians, automatically become His representatives. Please make Psalm 19:14 your prayer.

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Beauty Destroyed For A Greater Treasure

IMG_0757So much about life overflows with goodness! My husband rests in the next room, four years after his ordeal with cancer and a heart attack. Yesterday we enjoyed a romantic day exploring the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, taking beautiful photographs  like this one. And now, as I sit at my computer blogging, I hear the songs of birds outside the living room window.

Yet beautiful afternoons like yesterday and today can’t compare with the new heavens and the new earth that will come after the Lord destroys this present universe.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. ~~2 Peter 3:10-13 (ESV)

As I listened to the hope-filled speeches at the Republican National Convention last night,  my emotions tempted me to believe that voting for Donald Trump really could “make America great again.” Doubtless, next week’s Democratic Convention will cause Hillary Clinton’s supporters to experience similar feelings of hope. Our world will get better, we assure ourselves. We’ll make it a beautiful place for our grandchildren.  And for their grandchildren.

Despite all the beauty and promise in this present world, however, the horrible infection of sin permeates it, seeping even into churches that claim to believe the Bible. Instead of fleeing from immorality, we sanction same sex marriage. Instead of running to God’s Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105), we resort to subjective spiritual experiences and “Christian” psychology. Instead of accepting that America compromised whatever Christian principles it may have held with the false teachings of Freemasonry, Deism and whatever it was Jefferson believed, we join with Mormons and Catholics to “restore our nation to it’s Biblical roots.”

We cling to this world. I agree that our present world has pockets of tremendous beauty, such as John and I savored on the Greenway yesterday. This world, however, is beyond repair.The environmentalists may pass all the laws they want in order to protect endangered species and fight global warming, but look back at the text. The Lord, finally unleashing His righteous wrath, promises to consume the entire universe by causing it to  burn itself up. This world that we insist that we can preserve and improve is, in God’s estimation, temporary and destined to burn like rubbish.

One day, the Lord will come bringing judgment, dissolving the universe to replace it with new heavens and a new earth. Holiness will characterize this new realm, and all will worship and adore Jesus without the distractions of sin. How much more beautiful His Kingdom will be than this present creation, which bears the scars of sickness, poverty and sin! In destroying the universe as we know it, the Lord will bring in a restored creation far more beautiful than we can imagine. Best of all, that Kingdom will be permeated with His glorious beauty!

Appreciating the blessings of this life may demonstrate thankfulness to God. And such thankfulness pleases Him. But we err when we invest too much in the here-and-now, forgetting that our treasure lies in spending eternity praising and adoring the Lord Jesus Christ in holiness. How wonderful that we can begin living holy lives now.

 
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Men, Summer And The Prayers Wives Offer

Praying WifeWe got on the bus Tuesday morning, and suddenly I remembered that hot summer weather means scantily clad young women.  As godly as my husband is, and even though he consistently disciplines himself to avert his eyes, he’s still only a man. He has  normal visual responses. God created him that way, and I love the fact that my body can get him excited. I also understand that he, like all heterosexual men, struggles at this time of year. Public transportation makes it very difficult for a man.

I find myself wanting to pull my shawl out of my backpack to cover these girls up. I want to demand that women respect my husband (and respect me) by dressing modestly. But I realize that women on public buses most likely aren’t Christians and probably believe men should be able to look at their revealed bodies without experiencing lustful feelings. To women who reject God’s moral standards, my pleas would be an utter waste of time.

Sadly, I’ve learned that even Christian women resist my suggestions that they cover themselves. It’s hot, they explain, and they’ve “waited all week to wear this adorable backless sundress.” And for some weird reason, I feel guilty for trying to instruct them. They place their own wants above being considerate of their brother in Christ.

It frustrates me. It must frustrate John. Again, John’s not exceptionally horny, and he works very faithfully at  keeping his mind pure. I’m extremely proud of his obedience to the Lord in this area. I just want to help him navigate the onslaught of temptation that summer fashions inevitably cause.

Lately I’ve learned that, although I can’t control how other women dress, I can pray for John when I see them in revealing attire. I pray silently, careful not to call his attention to whatever woman elicits my concern. I’ve learned that talking about it only gives him more occasion to stumble.  I express my appreciation for his  obedience to the Lord in this matter, but I keep my remarks general rather than causing his mind to go back any particular instance.

Ladies, if you’re single, please be aware that how you clothe yourselves affects even the  most godly of men. That tank top with spaghetti straps may well be really cute, but if your bra straps show under those spaghetti straps, you could be triggering thoughts in someone’s husband that he should only have about her. As a wife, I beg you to respect married couples by dressing appropriately.

No, I don’t mean you should wear a burqa, but use common sense. If, when getting dressed, you suspect that your outfit might attract male attention, you probably shouldn’t wear it. If you need advice, ask a few  married women in your church (including the pastor’s wife) for counsel. Your brothers in Christ certainly have the ultimate responsibility to keep their minds pure, but you can help them by dressing modestly and respectfully.

Those of us who are married can help our husbands by praying for them. Our culture crams sexual imagery down their throats constantly as it is,  but summer weather compounds the problem as young women display much more skin than they ought. Our husbands may be extremely godly men, but they need the Holy Spirit to support them through temptation. Our prayers, more than anything else, make an incredible difference as they fight the battle against lust. Let’s be the  helpmeets God created us to be by praying for our husbands.

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In MY Place Condemned He Stood

Can we hear it too often? We are born sinners, and as such we willfully choose to sin continually. We relentlessly violate God’s holy commandments. Consequently every last one of us rightfully deserves eternal condemnation.

We have enormous difficulty believing this truth about ourselves.  Most of us can understand why the Lord would damn an ISIS terrorist, a child molester or a serial killer, but we figure that our sins are inconsequential in comparison.  We ignore the truth that the Lord, rather than comparing us to each other, actually compares us to Himself. Not one of us, at least if we’re honest with ourselves, can dare to hope that we can measure up to His standard of holiness.

But God graciously sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment that we deserve! When we accept the vile truth about ourselves, understanding that we merit only death and hell, we find wonderful relief in His sacrifice. And we marvel at all He voluntary suffered in order to redeem wretches like us. We then come to Him in adoration, astounded by His willingness to take the condemnation belonging to us. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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Saturday Sampler: July 10 -July 16

Rose SamplerPope Francis recently declared that the Protestant Reformation has ended, defending his pronouncement by explaining that Protestants and Catholics now agree on the doctrine of justification. Not so fast, argues Josh Buice. In a post for the Delivered By Grace website, Buice asks Is the Reformation Over?

Elizabeth  Prata of The End Time reminds us in The Purple of Modesty why godly women can’t use summer weather as an excuse.

I recently discovered a wonderful Bible Study website called Knowable Word. I want to introduce it to you through Ryan Higginbottom’s article, You Are Smart Enough to Study the Bible. While you’re there, please check out their other articles and Bible Study resources. I think you’ll find it helpful.

The Canon & Culture website features an insightful piece by John Partin, John Shelton, and Parker Snider that Christians of  all ages really ought to read. Obergefell One Year Later: The Difficult Path for Millennials outlines the sobering implications of last June’s SCOTUS ruling has for Christians, but it also demonstrates the dangers of subjectively. It’s a must-read on both counts.

In response to the terrible violence that has engulfed our country, Jesse Johnson of Cripplegate gives us 4 authoritative truths based on Scripture. Isn’t it good that God’s Word speaks even to this mess?

If the Church is supposed to be the salt of the earth, shouldn’t we be able to prevent the chaos that is overtaking the world? Shouldn’t we be winning more people to Christ and influencing culture?  Michelle Lesley says yes…and no. Her latest blog post, Is It Really All Our Fault? brings us back to the Word of God to examine our responsibility in society.

Sharon Lareau of Chapter 13 Ministries shares A text to my children about discernment and the church, giving us a good reminder that not everything claiming to be Christian really is. She includes several Scriptures reinforcing the importance of discernment.

 
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Hope In A Sober Time

Shadow BibleStill struggling to evaluate my thoughts on the black men who were killed in Minnesota and Louisiana, as well as the police officers who were killed in Dallas, I watched last night’s news of the terrorist attack in Nice and felt numb. How do we absorb all these horrific events?

I didn’t want to blog about Minnesota and Louisiana until more facts became clear. Too often, I’ve made comments on past blogs, Facebook and Twitter before I really understood all angles of whatever situation I happened to opine about. I’d therefore resolved to start holding my metaphorical tongue until I actually developed a decent idea of the matter at hand. Yes, I risk being misunderstood as indifferent to the world around me. But being misjudged beats making misjudgments, as I see it.

Last night’s attack in Nice troubled me, though. While I realize that I need to exercise caution in writing about it, I also keep in mind that such events have spiritual implications. A year ago I launched this very blog, in part, so that I could freely comment on current events from a Biblical perspective. The Obergefell ruling convinced me that, very soon, Bible-believing Christians will be censored. It’s a matter of “speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

Christians must recognize that our world has collectively rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture. The increasing lawlessness we see around us testifies to that rejection.

But rather than wringing our hands helplessly, let’s view these horrible events as reason to  proclaim the Gospel. Human depravity now flaunts itself unapologetically (as I just said), leaving little doubt that everyone has turned away from God. Very much like Israel and Judah at the time of the Babylonian Captivity, Europe and America have rejected our Christian heritage. With that being the case, it may help to consider how the prophet Daniel responded to the sins of his people.

Daniel’s great prayer of confession sounds remarkably like a prayer that Christians ought to pray today:

I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. ~~Daniel 9:4-10 (ESV)

Daniel began his prayer by proclaiming the contrast between God’s gracious nature and the willful disregard of His commandments. Israel and Judah refused to accept God’s authority over them, essentially causing themselves the shame of captivity in Babylon  (I may want to elaborate on that point after the election in November.) Largely, Daniel prayed this prayer to agree with the Lord that Judah had deliberately and persistently thumbed her nose at God’s faithfulness and love.

Notice that despite Judah’s stubborn rejection of God’s Word, Daniel acknowledged the Lord’s capacity to extend mercy and forgiveness. Daniel completely trusted that He would show mercy to His people.

I understand, of course, that the Church is not Israel or Judah, and that the Old Testament is not a series of allegories about the Christian experience.  At the same time, the history of God’s dealings with Israel and Judah gives us insight into His forgiving and compassionate nature. Yes, our culture has sinned against Him just as rebelliously as Judah did. But we have access, as they did, to His mercy and forgiveness. He extends that mercy and forgiveness though the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~~Colossians 1:19-20 (ESV)

After atoning for our sin by dying an excruciating death on the cross, Jesus rose from His grave! His resurrection promises eternal life to those who place their trust in Him.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. ~~1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (ESV)

The forgiveness of sin must be proclaimed to a society that celebrates its own wickedness. The general course of history will continue gravitating toward evil until Jesus returns to judge the earth, so please don’t misunderstand me to suggest that proclaiming the Gospel will produce massive social reform. But as society goes from bad to worse, people need to hear that Jesus offers hope. Please,  my fellow believers, recognize the urgency of making the Gospel known while we still have the liberty to share it!

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Works Prepared –Ephesians 2:1-10

With this post, I conclude my teaching on the Gospel in Ephesians 2:1-10. I pray that the Lord has used this series of Bible Studies to sharpen your understanding and appreciation of the Gospel and the grace Christ bestows on His elect.

So, ladies, we have seen a lot about God’s  grace in taking us from our death in sin to life in the resurrected Christ. To refresh our memories, as well as to examine verse 10 in its proper context, let’s look at our passage one final time.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)

Again, Paul places emphasis on Christ, attributing any good works we perform to God. Strong’s Greek Dictionary says that the  Greek word “poiema” (here rendered “workmanship”) means “a product, that is, fabric (literally or figuratively): – thing that is made, workmanship.”

According to Vincent Word Studies, the Greek construction of the phrase, “we are His workmanship” decidedly refers to God as the active agent. Notice that the  next phrase, “created in Christ Jesus” clarifies the idea that the “workmanship” denotes the new creation He forms at  the time of our conversion (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we consider that, prior to  salvation, our base instincts had locked us into a lifestyle of depravity (remember verses 1-3), we marvel that now God calls us His workmanship.

Further, God creates us as new creatures in Christ so that we can perform good works. Good works, then, follow regeneration rather than cause it. And the Lord has even prepared those good works “beforehand,” which Ephesians 1:4 tells us was “before the foundation of the world.”  A good cross-reference for this idea of predestined works is Romans 8:29-30.

Perhaps Titus 2:11-14 offers the best commentary on Ephesians 2:1-10, especially as it illustrates repentance from the decay described in Ephesians 2:1-3 and to the good works of Ephesians 2:10.  

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. ~~Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

As in Ephesians 2:5 and 8, God’s grace ushers in the gift of repentance (see Acts 11:18). (Incidentally, the phrase, “all people,” means that salvation extends beyond the Jews to all ethnic groups.) In Paul’s words to Titus, we see a clear picture of God’s grace enabling believers to turn from sin because they live in expectation of Christ’s return. Such expectation, of course, arises from the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith always expresses itself in repentance from sin and to holiness.

Ephesians 2:1-10 doesn’t mention the redemption that Jesus secured for us by shedding His blood on the cross (Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:20), but we can’t really talk about grace apart from the cross. Although this study ends at verse 10, Paul does clarify in Ephesians 2:11-13 that Gentiles have access to  God’s promises through Christ’s blood, just as Jews do. What amazing grace! And what Good News!

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Autobiography With Purpose: Sundry Responses To John’s Cancer

10th Anniversary Party By Bob Cobbet 005
Photo by Bob Cobbet — 10th Anniversary Party at Brookville

2012 went well for about three weeks, but then John found blood in his stool. By the end of February, an analoscopy showed that he had colon cancer.

In mid March, he went to Massachusetts General Hospital (where all his doctors are) for a full colonoscopy. Because Polio had already rendered him ventilator dependent much of the time, I questioned whether or not the procedure would kill him. So I felt relieved when I joined him in the recovery room to see him smiling and optimistic about his upcoming surgery.

A girlfriend from Brookville Baptist Church came to the hospital with me. She and I sat with John while we waited for her husband and another man from church to come take him home. As the nurses worked on the discharge papers, my friend and I told him that we’d seen a helicopter landing on a field in Dorchester when we were driving in (John normally gets excited over things like that). To my surprise, he simply said, “Oh wow.”

I looked up at his heart-monitor. It had flatlined.

All sorts of doctors, nurses and medical technicians imaginable swooped into his cubicle, including the surgeon who had performed the colonoscopy and John’s cardiologist. I can’t remember how long it was before I could see him (an hour?), but when I came back to him he was his typical self, trying to entertain everybody.  Understandably, the doctors wanted to keep him overnight for observation.

The next morning I learned that during the night he suffered a heart attack. Had he been anywhere other than Massachusetts General Hospital, he wouldn’t have survived.

The women of Brookville Baptist Church took turns feeding me meals, spending nights and keeping me company during the time John was hospitalized, as did his female cousins. The bleeding from the cancer, made worse by the blood thinners he took until he healed from the heart attack, necessitated frequent transfusions, requiring him to stay at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital. Men from church and the husband of John’s cousin took me to visit him as often as they could. A girlfriend from another church, who had a wheelchair accessible van, also helped out. John’s Personal Care Attendant, as well as my own PCAs, filled in the gaps.

I did recognize the Lord’s faithfulness in meeting my practical needs, but I honestly believed the surgery would kill my husband.  (Little did I know at the time that, because of the bleeding, he would have died by June.) The six weeks between the heart attack and the colon reconstruction surgery brought me intense anxiety and despair.

Having begun to grasp the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, I understood that He had predetermined whether John would live or die on that operating table. Therefore, my prayers wouldn’t change His decision.  Often, I viewed Him as being heartless, and likened my prayers for John to beating my fists against His breastplate.

One morning I started yelling at Him so strongly that my voice seemed to lacerate the lining of my throat. I tearfully told Him that I hated Him for taking my husband away from me.

I remembered a girl in college telling my it was healthy to get mad at God. “He has big shoulders,” she explained, “He can handle our anger.” But that morning, as a raged against Him, I knew very well that my tirade blasphemed His loving and perfect character. Yes, God could handle my wrath, but He still called it sin. That horrible morning, He once again allowed me to see my wretched sin nature.

My girlfriend from church met me at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 15 to sit with me in the waiting room. I know I should have accepted the Bible that she offered to hold for me, but I didn’t know where to read. I had, by then, repented of my anger toward God. This time, I was just too scared. When the surgeon finally called me, I braced myself, fearing that John had gone Home to Jesus.

I’d forgotten that I’d married a stubborn Irishman!

Through the two-and-a-half months of John being away (he came home just before Father’s Day), Brookville Baptist Church supported both of us with prayers and actions. God’s faithfulness contrasted my blasphemy. That August, the church blessed us with a memorable party to celebrate our tenth anniversary. ..an anniversary that John almost missed.

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Am I A Titus 2:3-6 Blogger?

Ladies Study 03Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about the passage in Titus regarding women teaching other women.  I’d like to do an in-depth study on this passage at some point in the near future, as I believe it pertains to what I try to do through this blog. When I looked at these verses and a few commentaries on them, it became all too evident that I just wouldn’t be able to deal with them in a  single blog post.

If you look carefully at this passage, and then apply it to my role as a blogger, you’ll notice that it has some interesting implications and that it raises a question or two.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ~~Titus 2:3-5 (ESV)

To begin with, verse 3 challenges my character and deportment. Obviously, many of my readers, even those I chat with on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, have never met me face-to-face. How do such readers really know that my behavior is reverent? How can readers  in India and New Zealand successfully vet me?

In pondering that question, I thought about Facebook feeds of various acquaintances of mine. Some of these people do great jobs on Sundays of portraying themselves as mature believers, but if I examine their posts over an extended period of time, I start to see their character and values.  They may occasionally post a meme, picture or comment that bucks the overall trend of their posts (just as I do), but for the most part a person can’t sustain an online persona that differs from her true character.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. ~~Matthew 12:34b (ESV)

Since I’ve been posting almost daily in this blog for nearly a year now, I believe readers can judge me fairly accurately. Even those who bitterly hate what I say can determine whether or not my convictions are genuine.  Do I present those convictions in a godly manner, fearing to dishonor the Lord by my words and tones?  Read a number of my posts and evaluate them against the Word of God.  If you read enough of my writing, I believe you’ll know how reverently I behave.

Secondly, verses 4-6 confront us with the crucial question of exactly what I (as an older woman) should be teaching through this blog. As you can see, the bulk of the Titus 2 passage talks about teaching younger women to be good wives, mothers and homemakers. But verse 3 says that we begin by  teaching “what is good.” Can that phrase include teaching sound doctrine?

I appreciate male pastors. I’d never consider attending a church that had women in leadership positions of pastor, elders or teacher of mixed classes. Yet most male pastors don’t really understand how susceptible women are to spiritual deception.  They don’t realize that we need someone to name specific names and explain why these people shouldn’t be followed.  Therefore, older women can help younger women discern false teachers and harmful evangelical trends.  Women, being vulnerable, very much need instruction on these matters, and that instruction isn’t coming from most pulpits.

Does Titus 2:3 give room for Christian women to teach the Bible to other women?  I think so, and I’ve been operating under that assumption for a while.  But I feel convicted that I should study this passage more carefully to make sure that my assumptions line up with the Word of God. This blog must not compromise Scripture, even in teaching Scripture.

P.S. I’m taking tomorrow off to enjoy Boston. See you Wednesday.

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Breathe Thy Spirit Into Every Troubled Breast

Last week again highlighted human depravity. It’s easy, as we watch our world willfully plummet into godless rebellion, to feel despair.

But, my sisters in Christ, remember that we don’t need to collapse under the weight of hopelessness. No matter how greatly sin corrupts our society, we can take refuge in the  love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He gives us comfort through His Holy Spirit, promising that wonderful day when He will rule all of His restored creation in righteousness. As you listen to today’s beautiful hymn, console your hearts with these reassuring truths, resting in His incomparable love.

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