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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Saturday Sampler: August 11 — August 17

Flower mask sampler

Drawing from her training and experience in professional journalism, Elizabeth Prata shows us How to detect bias in, sadly, even Christian reporting in The End Time. I see many people who purport to have discernment relying on blogs and news outlets that violate journalistic standards all the time, so I welcome Elizabeth’s thoughtful analysis of the reporting on our Open Letter To Beth Moore. The original signers of the letter and Beth Moore were both misrepresented in these reports.

In The Midwestern Baptist, Pastor Gabe Hughes reflects on the growing apostasy by writing Hillsong Worship Leader Leaves the Faith. He doesn’t really say anything new, but he certainly reminds us of Scripture’s teaching on the matter.

Mark McIntyre of Attempts at Honesty says he’s Weary of the pressure to be “Woke”. So am I. And for pretty much the same reasons that Mark lists.

Adding his voice to the conversation on apostasy, Tim Challies identifies some Missing Elements in Our Discussions about Apostasy that are well worth our attention. He ends on a hopeful note — something rare in most of the articles and podcasts I’ve come across in the last few weeks. Because of this refreshing take on an otherwise depressing topic, I’m enthusiastic about recommending it to you!

I can usually depend on Leslie A to write something Biblical and worthwhile in Growing 4 Life. Standing Strong in a Confusing Christianity proves my point. Don’t miss her practical wisdom on navigating through the spiritual minefield of 21st Century evangelicalism.

Look, look LOOK! My poor husband is a bit baffled at my delighted squealing, but I’m doing verbal cartwheels! Michelle Lesley announces something exciting with Introducing: A Word Fitly Spoken — A Podcast by Michelle Lesley and Amy Spreeman. How can anyone not be excited?

The Ligonier blog posts a short video of the late R.C. Sproul answering the question, Can a Person be 100% Sure of His or Her Salvation? I appreciate his surprising, yet well thought out, response.

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Thoughts From An Old Fogey: Teenagers Are Brighter Than Youth Leaders Think

Teenage Girl04When I tell people (particularly  those engaged in youth ministry) that I spent my high school years attending three Bible Studies a week in which we actually studied the Bible, they often respond by saying kids are different now. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have shortened their attention spans so that they have trouble sitting through a half-hour verse-by-verse exposition of God’s Word. Teens in the 21st Century need games to work off their energy and snacks to look forward to after sitting through a 15-minute topical teaching.

A few years  ago, for instance, a youth group leader from another church told me Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: A Question’s Phrasing

Originally published January 20, 2016:

Faint CrossHow can I glorify the Lord Jesus Christ today? Such a question sounds very pious. But the degree of piety actually depends on the attitude, motivation and emphasis of the  person asking the question.

All too frequently, I find myself asking it this way: “How can  I glorify the Lord?” Underneath that slightly more honest question lurks an even more insidious question. I want to know how I can show off my spirituality by doing something that appears to glorify Him (but actually draws attention to me). Sadly, I know how to frame words so that people can’t see that I use Christ’s glory as a platform to promote myself.

I could, with all truthfulness, say that everybody falls into this same trap. And nobody could argue that point…not if they looked at themselves honestly. All of us suffer with tainted motives steeped in self-centeredness, and it simply does no good to deny that we love to feed our egos. But my mother always said, “The fact that everyone else does it doesn’t make it right.”

Thankfully, Jesus Himself frees me from my sin of hypocrisy. I can’t glorify Him from a pure heart, but He glorifies Himself by forgiving my sin and purifying my heart.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~~1 John 1:9 (ESV)

He then shifts the emphasis back to Himself, where it rightfully belongs. He helps me  rephrase my question, so that I ask, “How can the Lord Jesus Christ glorify Himself though me?”

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