Prayer: A Seldom Realized Privilege

king-jesusEach morning, John and I listen to John MacArthur’s Grace To You broadcast. Currently, Grace To You is featuring MacArthur’s most popular Christmas messages that he’s preached over the course of his fifty years of pastoring Grace Community Church. Today’s message focusing on the deity of Christ captured my attention, but not in the way you might expect.

As MacArthur preached on Jesus being the Son of the Most High, and therefore being God Incarnate, I thought about God as the Most High Being. I don’t meditate on the fact that He is the Most High often enough, which usually leads me to regard Him a little more casually than I should.

That casual attitude particularly shows up in my prayer life, I’m sorry to say. Yes, I know the stereotype of Continue reading

False Converts: Evaluating Myself And Others

Untitled-1

 

In general, we probably would do well to avoid trying to determine whether or not someone is a false convert. I feel a temptation lately to analyze one of my friends who exhibits signs that she may not genuinely know the Lord.

For that matter, I sometimes try to figure out if I was really saved as a teenager or if my true conversion occurred in the last 15 years. There’s ample evidence to support both positions.

Over the years I believed a lot of bad doctrine, but over those same years I believed a lot of solid doctrine as well. Over the years I justified some of my sinful behaviors, but over those same years I grieved over other patterns of sin in myself and desired to please the Lord. I have concluded that I can’t evaluate my past spiritual status. I can only say that Continue reading

Singing Christmas Theology

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing has been my favorite Christmas hymn for most of my Christian life. It’s packed full of solid Biblical doctrine ranging from the Incarnation to regeneration, always bringing us back to His glory.

Singing this beloved hymn grows more meaningful each year as I notice new depths of theology in its familiar verses. As a result, I love it even more now than I loved it as a new Christian. I pray that you’ll discover truths about our wonderful Savior every time you sing it too.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday Sampler: December 1 — December 7

penguin-sampler

Protestant thought owes a lot to Augustine. But Augustine didn’t have perfect theology, as Leonardo De Chirico of The Vatican Files demonstrates in this month’s blog post.  170. Totus Christus (The Whole Christ) or Solus Christus (Christ Alone)?  reveals yet another error in Roman Catholicism. It’s a shame that Augustine played such a prominent part in the error this article exposes.

It gets discouraging when we witness to people without seeing anyone come to faith. So Andrew Kerr’s article, It’s all been a waste?, in Gentle Reformation offers wonderful perspective from Isaiah on dealing with a lack of response.

SlimJim writes Bible Contradiction? Should we follow our own hearts? in The Domain for Truth both to teach us proper ways of interpreting God’s Word and to remind us that following our hearts isn’t the wisest course of action. I highly recommend this piece!

Don’t miss The Christmas Ornaments (Part 2)  by Leslie A of Growing 4 Life. A little bit of Christian fiction can be fun, especially after this difficult year of internet squabbling and culture’s increasing rebellion against the Lord. Treat yourself to this gentle story that exalts Jesus Christ and gives some harmless pleasure.

If you want to read a truly excellent examination of how occult practices are seeping into even conservative churches, visit Tulips & Honey Hub to read Through The Narrow — The False & The Deceived: By Tami & Gina. Not many people have noticed this dangerous trend, so I praise God for giving these ladies the courage to write about it. This may be my pick of the week.

Eww! A fairly graphic experience of repairing his toilet gave Eric Davis insight into how we should regard ourselves. Thus Plumbing, Self-Esteem, & the Great Love of God in The Cripplegate. The conclusion reminds us of God’s beauty.

Writing for Gentle Reformation, Jared Olivetti gives some pointers on Guarding Our Words by highlighting a few pertinent Scriptures. I definitely need instruction in this matter. Perhaps everyone does.

So many people have been blogging about the vitriolic arguing on the Internet lately. It’s definitely a problem, I agree. But Tim Bates adds an interesting dimension to the conversation by writing Rebuke, Reprove, Recycle  for Things Above Us this week. He raises points that have pretty much gone unnoticed amid all the pleas for civil discourse.

I don’t share Melissa’s opinion that Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, is a “valuable tool.” It’s based largely on psychology, which almost always encourages self-focus. Interestingly, she writes How We Got the Love Languages Wrong in Your Mom Has A Blog and pretty much proves my point.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Yes, Jesus Ate With Sinners — But Do You Understand Why?

Rainbow HeartThe argument goes that,  since Jesus ate with people that the Pharisees regarded as sinners, He accepted them as they were. As a result, He would embrace those whom conservative Christians supposedly reject today. In particular, He would champion members of the LBGTQ community, and shame on conservative Christians for calling their sexual orientation sinful!

Christians who believe that homosexuality and transgenderism require repentance constantly hear that we should follow Jesus rather than following Bible verses that condemn homosexuality and transgenderism. Jesus, they remind us, hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes, giving us an example to follow. When we dare to speak out against sexual sin — especially those sins under the LBGTQ umbrella — we face enormous censure for evidently failing to be Christlike.

But maybe we ought to look at an instance of Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors. In this episode, Jesus has just called Levi (also known as Matthew) to follow Him. Luke 5:28 plainly says, please notice, that Continue reading

I Don’t Fit In –And I Shouldn’t

Untitled-1

Growing up with a severe disability, I yearned to fit in with the kids in my neighborhood. I gravitated to all the fads and trends of the 1960s, confident that if I wore that accessory or listened to that radio station, everyone would see that I was one of them. And they would accept me.

For the most part, I think I’ve overcome the need for cultural acceptance. I hope I have. After all, owning a blog called The Outspoken TULIP doesn’t exactly scream Continue reading

It’s Just One Of Those Days

Summit of Mount Tam

Although I’ve had an idea for a blog post simmering on the back burner for a few weeks, various considerations convince me to hold off a little longer before writing it. This understanding that I should wait a while is terribly inconvenient at the moment because I can’t think of anything else to write.

Daily blogging has its disadvantages.

As I’ve said several times, days like today make me miss my old blog, which was all about me. Most of the time, I ended up writing about the Lord, but Continue reading