Growing up in the 1960s, I had exposure to many occult and New Age influences. My mom, although she in some respects had turned away from her Christian Science upbringing, introduced me and my sister to horoscopes, Ouija boards and yoga. The liberal Presbyterian church (PCUSA, of course) encouraged my fascination with occult and paranormal phenomena. On a youth group ski trip the pastor’s daughter read our palms.
Very soon after that ski trip, the Lord graciously brought me to Himself, and within a few months He allowed people to confront my interest in astrology. Over the next few months He helped me renounce other forms of occult and New Age practices.
But readers of my Autobiography With Purpose series will recall that I attended Pentecostal and Charismatic churches for the first 31 years of my Christian life. True, after 18 years the Lord showed me that the sign gifts ceased when the Canon of Scripture was completed, but He let me remain in the church for several more years. Throughout those 31 years, I occasionally observed random incidents that reminded me of my Continue reading
Al Mohler reported on last Thursday’s edition of The Briefing that two characters on a popular PBS children’s program (Arthur) entered into a same sex marriage. All too obviously, the writers developed this storyline for the purpose of normalizing homosexuality. Of course this news troubles me, just as it should trouble you. But it also made me think about our culture’s rapid deterioration.
I entered my teenage years in the mid 1960s. When I was 14 or 15, a neighborhood girl that I used to play with suddenly moved away from her parents’ home. Her parents had tried to Continue reading
Do you pray that the reading and preaching of God’s Word each Sunday morning will speak to you? Hymns certainly allow us to meditate on the Lord’s various attributes, often helping us learn vital doctrines of the faith, and fellowship with other believers usually strengthens us in our walks with Him. But reading and sitting under faithful exposition of Scripture must remain the centerpiece and pinnacle of Sunday corporate worship.
For those of you who manage to read this blog post before you attend worship services this morning, I pray that the hymn I present today will encourage yo to prepare yourselves to hear from God through the reading and preaching of God’s Word. And if you read it later on, may it inspire you to pray for next Sunday’s Scripture reading and sermon.
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Mondays with Michelle Lesley always delight me because she answers questions from her readers with incredible wisdom. In The Mailbag: If someone follows false teachers or teaches false doctrine for a long time, is she saved?, she offers a response that shows godly wisdom.
I like The Cripplegate. But I absolutely love the articles by Jordan Standridge! How Do I Evangelize Someone Who Says They Don’t Trust the Bible? is an excellent example of his brilliance.
Speaking of brilliant, Lisa Spencer of TheoThoughts writes At the end of the day, Christianity trumps white evangelicalism. I like the way this lady thinks.
Australian blogger Stephen McAlpine gives an interesting, sobering and sorely needed perspective by writing Would You Accept More Gospel Hostility If It Also Meant More Gospel Openness? His article both challenges and encourages us in evangelism as McAlpine looks at Western culture. Please don’t neglect it.
Sometimes I believe Elizabeth Prata and I lead parallel thought lives. Lately, the Lord has been convicting me to be more diligent about confessing sin. And just as I’m praying about that conviction, she writes Confess early, confess often in The End Time as a response to Psalm 32.
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The early years of my relationship with John overflowed with euphoria. I can remember sitting at my computer and feeling thrilled when an instant message from him popped up on my screen. The first time I visited, we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other.
The day after our wedding, we sang, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” to each other. We were giddy! People told me that the butterflies would eventually subside. Intellectually, I knew they were right, but my emotions told me a much different story. I simply couldn’t imagine looking at John without feeling butterflies.
I’m not sure when the butterflies flew away. One day I just realized that they had given way to a much more satisfying love. This new love satisfies me even more, for Continue reading
The other Sunday School teacher had taken the rest of our Special Needs class on a short excursion, leaving me with a particularly difficult little boy. His intellectual disability was profound, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was somewhere on the autism spectrum. In 1975, leaving a child alone with a teacher didn’t raise eyebrows, so there we sat for ten minutes.
“I hate you, Debbie,” he declared. I was minoring in Special Education that semester, so I tried reasoning with him the way my professor had taught me. Didn’t work. He repeated his proclamation several times, each time more loudly and eventually adding profanity.
Suddenly I had the thought to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” To my astonishment, the little boy sang with me! The others returned to find the two of us singing and laughing together.
For years I told that story as evidence that Continue reading
Non-Christians do experience a measure of joy; the Lord graciously blesses them with the delights of family and friends.
As an example, many American mothers (regardless of their relationships with Christ) are enjoying special attention today as their children shower them with gifts or make them breakfast in bed. For many, Mother’s Day is a joyful celebration.
Christians, however, have an even deeper joy because Jesus has paid for our sins and given us new life. We see His hand in creation, and rejoice that all His works point back to His glory. Even our ability to love each other ultimately comes from Him.
The Lord is the source of all joy, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Christians merely recognize, by His grace, that joy comes from Him. Consequently, we rejoice all the more as we praise Him for filling us with joy divine!
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