Jesus Asks Us To Do It

I don’t claim to be gifted in evangelism. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty lousy at doing it face-to-face. I feel comfortable with just about every other command in Scripture, but I see my shortcomings whenever someone reminds me that God has me here for no other reason than to proclaim the Gospel.

And my pastor issues such reminders in almost every Sunday sermon.

But I praise God for these uncomfortable reminders because I live in a world of lost souls who desperately need to hear that Jesus died for those who would believe in Him. Whether hearing the Gospel leads them to saving faith or confirms their hardness against Him, the Lord asks His servants to declare the message. So as long as I live, I face an unfinished task.

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It’s Inconvenient, This Getting Old Business!

Flourishes03

 

I looked forward to blogging this week, mostly because so many of you gave me such positive feedback on the article I wrote Friday (thanks for your encouragement). At 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning, however, the area that I fractured last December started hurting again. Of course, this week I have to finish some work for my church, so staying in bed to rest that area posed a bit of a problem.

Thankfully I worked things out so that I can finish things this evening and stay in bed the next few days. I believe I’ll feel much better after resting a few days (enjoying Animal Planet and YouTube sermons).

But bedrest means time away from my computer, which in turn means that I will be unable to blog until at least Friday. I’ll also be unable to gather Saturday Sampler links this week. I don’t know if this forced hiatus disappoints any of  you,  but it certainly disappoints me! As much as I love the fur babies on Animal Planet (when you can’t have pets yourself, you take anything you can get), I look forward to digging into God’s Word with you.

Getting older certainly is a nuisance, isn’t it?

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Many Loves, But Only One Excels

Mom once told me that I was the apple of Daddy’s eye. Because he died as I was turning ten, I have very few memories of him. But most of those memories showcase his love for me. After he died, I always had the security of knowing that he didn’t leave me willingly.

My mother loved me passionately, even during times when I rebelled against her and/or doubted her love. (I wasn’t the most lovable daughter to ever live.) A thousand blog posts could never enumerate all the ways she expressed her love for me. What a powerful example of selflessness and dedication!

Throughout my life I’ve had a variety of friends who loved me deeply. How often they gave me rides, fed me meals and/or filled in when my Personal Care Attendants couldn’t come. And how they encouraged my spiritual growth through long conversations and times of prayer together.

Of course, marriage to John has blessed me with a love that has satisfied a deep longing in me. He fills my hunger for romance, but his love doesn’t limit itself to just that. I don’t believe I could possibly find the words to describe either his inexplicable love for me or my joy in having such a godly husband!

I treasure all these earthly loves, knowing that each one reflects the Lord’s infinite love. Yet these reflections look dim in comparison to the love that sent Him to the cross as my Savior. For all eternity, He will envelope me in a love that I will never understand and will never exhaust. But what a joy to spend that eternity worshiping Him for His love!

 

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Saturday Sampler: July 28 — August 3

Blend SamplerSeeing people walk away from Christ hurts. Responding to two high profile men who have publicly done so, Stephen McAlpine exhorts, Let’s Never Outlive Our Love For Jesus. Toward the end, he shares a couple poignant reasons for his passion about this matter.

Leslie A concludes her series on worldliness among Christians with Thinking Beyond the Obvious (Part 5) in her Growing 4 Life blog. This installment focuses on worldliness in our relationships — particularly marriage. Even if you’ve missed the rest of her series, you’ll benefit from this post.

You’ll find wonderful encouragement from Jordan Standridge’s When the One who Led You to Christ Walks Away in The Cripplegate. Steeped in Scripture, this article reminds us where to keep our focus when anyone who has influenced us toward Christ turns from Him.

Blogging about Beth Moore brings no one pleasure — including The End Time author Elizabeth Prata. Sadly, Beth Moore continues to make waves, and those waves have grave consequences. In Listen carefully to what she is saying in this video… Elizabeth demonstrates how Mrs. Moore is subtly moving the SBC in a very dangerous direction.

After reading the above mentioned essay, refresh yourselves with What a day that will be! Elizabeth writes this wonderful post too lift our thoughts back to our ultimate hope.

For something a little more lighthearted,  check out excatholic4christ, where Tom takes us through a few Popular Un-Biblcal Sayings and Adages that float around. Oh, it’s a serious post (don’t get me wrong), but it’s also really fun to read!

We sometimes feel confused by the paradoxes in Scripture. SharaC of Into the Foolishness of God, however, delights in them so much that she writes Enter Your Rest to explore why we should be diligent to rest in the Lord.

I’ve been thinking a lot about humility this past week. So Mike Ratliff’s piece, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time in Possessing the Treasure, encourages me to check my pride. If, like me, you’ve had been week loaded with conflict, don’t neglect this blog post.

Blogging for Things Above Us, Michael Coughlin gives helpful counsel to Christians When Battling the Culture. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!

Injecting a little sanity into the increasingly insane conversation in our culture, Albert Mohler writes Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland, and the Masters Who Control the Language to explore one writer’s attempts to change how we use pronouns to influence society’s approach to gender.

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The Thrill Of Blogging About The Latest Celebrity Apostates

Spring BenchThere’s blood in the water, folks, and bloggers have been circling like sharks. All of us (including yours truly) know that controversy sells, and we can’t wait to boost our stats by picking apart the latest celebrity to defect.

Sometimes the blog posts serve a purpose. For instance, earlier this week I reported on Beth Moore’s compromising remarks about same sex attractions.  I made an effort to move the conversation beyond Beth Moore to examine ways both homosexuals and heterosexuals excuse sexual and romantic lusts, and thankfully many of my readers got my point. Some, however, fixated on Mrs. Moore. Their comments (especially on Twitter) revealed that they Read More »

Throwback Thursday: How Not To Subdue Pink Elephants

Originally posted November 1, 2017:

Pink Elephant

Funny how growing in the Lord and getting Biblical teaching changes the way one views things. A little over twenty years ago I left my position as correspondence counselor for an ex-gay ministry, largely because of my personal circumstances. Sure, a few things about the ministry bothered me a bit, but for the most part I believed in what they did. I accepted no criticism of them from any quarter.

To be clear, I still believe homosexuality violates God’s intent for sexuality. Those who engage in it, even if their engagement never extends beyond fantasy, stand guilty of sin. Furthermore I still believe homosexuality can, like every other sin, be forgiven and forsaken through the blood of Jesus Christ.

 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~~1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV)

Over the passage of twenty years, however, I’ve come to question the wisdom of building an entire ministry around one specific sin rather than around the Lord. When people meet together, and especially when they live together in a residential program, should we really be surprised when they fall back into the very sin that they’re seeking to escape?

A friend once counseled me, when I was single and struggling with desires for marriage, that simply telling myself not to think about marriage would invariably backfire. “It’s like trying not to think about pink elephants,” she said. “The harder you try not to think about pink elephants, the more you think about them.” She was right. Try not to think about pink elephants, and see what happens.

The answer to controlling my fantasies wasn’t in thinking about how sinful my fantasies were. Nor was it in gathering with other single women and talking about the struggles to control our desires for marriage. We thought praying together and asking the Lord for psychological insight into the root causes for our desires would eventually free us from our bondage to romantic fantasies.

We ignored a simple principle from Scripture.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.~~Galatians 5:16-17 (ESV)

Walking by the Spirit means nothing other than filling our minds with God’s Word and ordering our lives in conformity with His teaching. It does require discipline, yes, and admittedly self-denial causes emotional pain. But the more we delight in the Lord, the less we want things that offend Him. Walking by the Spirit isn’t easy,  but it is certainly simple.

The Bible never advises us to surround ourselves with people who struggle with the same sin we do. Instead, it encourages us to look to Christ with a commitment to glorify Him.  In so doing, we really do experience victory over whatever pink elephants we battle.

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