Not only do I type with a headstick, but I drive my power wheelchair with my face. Having a strong neck is crucial to my daily function, particularly as a blogger.
So you can probably guess that the severe neck pain that I’v been feeling since a week ago yesterday has alarmed me and John considerably.
We got Blue Emu last night. I tried my first application this morning, and so far I haven’t had any significant relief. Some reviews said it works immediately, while others said it takes a few days. Still others said it was a complete waste of money. So I’m asking the Lord to let it work for me. So that I can keep working for Him.
Today started off well. Massachusetts General Hospital called bright and early, saving us the trouble of calling to reschedule my procedure Monday. The RIDE is getting a new software program this weekend, so we know taking it into Boston Monday would have been a massive nightmare. Anyway, I got to my computer relatively early, and opened my Bible on eSword.
eSword includes a feature that allows me to keep a prayer list. I know some people equate prayer lists with Rosary beads with their rote petitions, and that danger is certainty present. But I struggle to stay focused in prayer, so my prayer list gives me needed structure. I’ve recently taught myself how to use my list as a guideline while enjoying rich fellowship with the Lord.
So I had a refreshing time of prayer as I prepared to study God’s Word.
Bloggers in general — and discernment bloggers in particular — write to persuade their readers of certain ideas. That’s not wrong, mind you. Writers have used words for thousands of years to convince readers of all sorts of positions. It’s pretty much the entire point of writing and blogging, don’t you think?
As I’ve said probably way too many times, some bloggers who profess to have discernment use their blogs to hurt the reputations of anyone they don’t like. These bloggers want to sway readers to reject people and organizations that actually are within Christian orthodoxy, simply to make themselves appear knowledgeable.
Other discernment bloggers genuinely care about defending the faith and guiding readers toward a Biblical worldview. I pray that I can number myself among discernment bloggers and speakers like Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata, Leslie A, Justin Peters and Todd Friel (just to name a few of the ones I trust and respect). Reputable discernment ministries will always encourage people to open their Bibles and investigate things for themselves.
I know…you expected another edition of Saturday Sampler today. So I’ve started this sixth year of The Outspoken TULIP by disappointing readers who enjoy the selection of other blog posts and fellow bloggers who appreciate the free publicity. Take heart, everyone: Saturday Sampler will return next week with all sorts of goodies for you to explore.
Meanwhile, do you like my new decor? I’m celebrating a milestone in my blogging career, so I thought I’d dress The Outspoken TULIP up in honor of the occasion. You’ll notice a few minor changes around the blog in coming days, such as a switch from the English Standard Version to the New American Standard Bible (my husband and my pastor will be delighted). I’m also going to start using tags in addition to categories to assist readers in find posts that interest them. All this, to celebrate this blog’s fifth birthday!
Earlier this week I noticed an article on Pinterest about five rules that Christian bloggers should never heard break. Actually, none of the rules seemed specific to Christian bloggers — the main thrust seemed to be about growing readership.
Because you, dear readers, apparently exist to make me a famous blogger. Right?
(Please note the sarcasm in that last paragraph.)
Anyway, the first rule mandated reserving personal updates for a blog’s social media page. Personal updates, according to the writer, have a limited shelf-life, and therefore aren’t good for Search Engine Optimization.
And her point made sense. At least it made sense if a blog is first and foremost a business rather than a ministry.
Praise God for bloggers like Elizabeth Prata and Michelle Lesley who tirelessly research popular teachers and warn against the ones who mishandle Scripture. Sometimes we need to identify people and call them out. Early in the development of this blog, I joined them in writing about false teachers who routinely seduce women with their doctrinal errors.
I haven’t entirely abandoned that practice. At times, women need to be told directly that the teacher they follow so adoringly is failing to offer them healthy spiritual food. In such instances, I have absolutely no problem writing articles exposing such teachers.
That said, I believe we think of discernment ministry much too narrowly. Usually people associate discernment exclusively with calling out false teachers, forgetting that true discernment encompasses so much more than simply naming names of evangelical celebrities to avoid.
Fully developed discernment requires the hard work of studying God’s Word and learning its great doctrines.
Normally, professing Christian women chafe at the idea of limiting their teaching ministry to other women and small children. They follow the world in insisting that we have a contribution to make to the whole church, and that our female perspective must be heard. As they see it, the Word of God cannot be fully represented without the female voice.
Where does Scripture ever say such a bizarre thing? If the Word of God is breathed out by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), why would a female perspective be necessary? Shouldn’t we scratch our heads in bewilderment at the suggestion that men need to hear female voices before they can fully understand what the Bible says?
I can’t help wondering if some men — even Reformed men — have started buying into the idea that female voices need to join the conversation. Logging on to my Twitter Notifications today, I found two tweets by Reformed men, proudly proclaiming that they read The Outspoken TULIP.
Firstly, I can deduce that my readers already study the Bible on their own, and therefore don’t need another study to work through. Truth be told, I don’t go through the studies that Michelle Lesley posts each Wednesday for that very reason. When I met her in person three years ago, I explained that reasoning to her, and she graciously understood my position. She says other readers have told her the same thing.
I dearly hope that my readers forego the studies I write for the same reason. I hope each of you spends time going through God’s Word each day, reading and studying it in context. If so, I have absolutely no problem with you skipping my studies.
Really, no one needs my opinion on the death of George Floyd. Nor does anyone need me to comment on the protests that have sprung up around the United States in response to his death. I suppose such a blog post would get plenty of views (and probably a good amount of comments), so I’m not doing myself any favors by deciding to keep my opinions to myself. Most bloggers know that addressing “hot topics” generate more readers.
The Word of God warns against needless controversies and the unnecessary expression of opinions. Chris Hohnholz and Richard Story of Voice Of Reason Radio did a sobering podcast this past weekend explaining the importance of holding our tongues during times like this. They appeal to a wide variety of Scriptures admonishing Christians to be circumspect with our words.
Their podcast prompted me to think about using my blog to remind women that we don’t always have to right the wrongs of our culture. Without argument, our nation (as well as other nations throughout the world) increasingly demonstrate intentional rebellion against the Most High God. But it may not follow that He calls us to avenge every injustice.
Regular readers have undoubtedly noticed a radical difference in the frequency of my blog posts. Gone are Saturday Samplers, and those Bible Studies on Colossians that I’d waited all summer to write have vanished. My schedule of seven articles a week has dwindled to two or three, and I’m recycling graphics more than ever!
While most bloggers enjoy more time to write courtesy of COVID-19, I lay captive Read More »