He Could Have Decimated The Entire System

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.

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Why COVID-19 Hasn’t Given Me More Time To Blog

TypingRegular 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 »

The Displeasure Of Readers Shouldn’t Keep Me From Telling The Truth

Woman Asking FramedOnly two years after graduating from college, I became the editor of my church’s monthly newsletter. It didn’t take long to learn that I couldn’t please everyone all of the time. Writers complained that I was too ruthless in editing their articles, while my assistant editor complained that I was too lenient. No matter what I did, somebody would inevitability be unhappy with me.

I learned to live with the displeasure of others.

As a blogger, I’ve had to draw from that lesson I learned as an editor, particularly because I frequently write about discernment. Usually, the criticism I receive rolls off my back — I pretty much know that Read More »

My Obligatory Post Regarding Covid-19 And Reinventing Wheels

Experience BibleI have a couple reasons for not wanting to blog about Covid-19. Perhaps my most compelling reason is that I honestly don’t think I can bring anything new to the table. Pastors and bloggers have covered every angle that I can think of, including speculations about God’s judgment and the end times that probably shouldn’t be publicly entertained at this point in time.

Such is the nature of evangelical thinking, I suppose.

Yet, having a public blog almost necessitates saying something about the crisis. Why? Because silence would inevitably be misinterpreted as indifference in the demanding sphere of social media, thereby Read More »

Beautiful Writing Should Be More Than Beautiful Writing

John and I, remembering that we met online 22 years ago, celebrated Valentine’s Day by watching You’ve Got Mail. Some time ago, I blogged about how I love the writing in this movie, and Friday night I again found myself wishing that The Outspoken TULIP afforded me the opportunity to write the sort of things that the characters in the story wrote to each other.

I couldn’t resist wondering how I might sneak in an occasional post that centered merely on writing for the sake of writing. Who knows? Some of my readers might enjoy it!

As I searched YouTube for a hymn yesterday, I decided on a contemporary one that I learned through our church. I chose it because of its clear picture of God’s grace in bringing sinners to salvation. But as I reviewed various versions of videos, I was mesmerized by the beautiful writing in this hymn. After watching You’ve Got Mail the night before, perhaps I felt particularly aware of how the hymn writer organized the words. At any rate, I couldn’t help marveling at  the power in the phrases.

The hymn writer did something that the characters in the movie could never have done — he used beautiful writing to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. If I want to write beautifully, may I write beautiful words that draw attention to His grace.

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John And I Need Your Prayers

IMG_3173A couple of weeks ago, I took a vacation from blogging. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable decision — I work hard at blogging, and wanted some time for myself.

Looking back, I question whether such a self-indulgent course of action genuinely honored Christ. That point could probably be debated at some other time, and I tend to doubt that Scripture would exonerate me. Nevertheless, I took a the break, and I can’t undo the past.

But now I have another reason for wishing I hadn’t taken the break. For the next week and a half, my time will (hopefully) be taken up with Read More »

If I Can’t Go To Barbados, I’ll Vacation At Home

TeddyInBarbados

Health issues have made travel unwise for me. I last traveled in 2005, when I visited my home state of California. My mom died nine years later, seeing me only in photos and one Skype conversation. Needless to say, I’m not taking a vacation to Barbados anytime soon.

But I want a break from blogging for a week or so. Not a full break, but a lighter schedule allowing me to do some things just for fun. I’ll still do Saturday Sampler, Sunday hymns and the Monday studies on Colossians, if only to keep your attention. I doubt Read More »

To Call Out False Teachers Or Not Call Out False Teachers — Does It Have To Be One Or The Other?

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Six months ago, I lost a friend as a result of my participation in the Open Letter To Beth Moore. The lady agreed with many of the concerns about Moore, but she believes it’s more productive to teach sound doctrine.

She has a point. As I’ve been saying for a few years now, most of Paul’s epistles confront false teaching by offering the corrective of sound theology. In fact, my primary reason for taking you through Colossians each Monday is to show you how Paul taught discernment without ever naming a false teacher. In studying Scripture, I’ve learned that the apostles very rarely called out false teachers directly.

Furthermore, I’ve seen several self-proclaimed discernment blogs Read More »

Updates For TULIP Readers

Tulip Water

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, John has been hospitalized since Sunday night with intestinal issues, and I have been occupied with writing emails to keep people informed of his condition and my practical needs. All that activity, combined with a lack of sleep, kept me from blogging much.  It also diminished my desire to read other blogs.

Praise the Lord, John is being discharged from the hospital today. Yes, I’m thrilled! As much as I’ve enjoyed the company of the women who helped me in John’s absence, it will be absolutely wonderful to have my husband home! Did I mention that I’m thrilled to pieces?

I’m thrilled to pieces!

Since my life has been so chaotic, however, I’ve decided to take this week off from Saturday Sampler. I know that’s a favorite feature to many of my readers, but I’m just not up for it. I’ll resume it next week.

Ladies, I expect to have a Colossians Bible Study post next Monday, so you might want to prepare by reading Colossians once or twice between now and then. I think we’ll learn a lot from this epistle.

Hey — did I mention that John’s coming home?

Lame Offerings And Representing A Holy God

Flourishes04

Humans are imperfect. We all live with inherent sin natures that we can mortify only through the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, our very humanity places various limitations on us, assuring us that we definitely are not God. So I approach this article wanting you to understand that I know people make mistakes, and that Jesus was the only perfect offering that the Father ever received.

I also realize that the Old Testament requirements for perfect offerings had the ultimate purpose of demonstrating our inability to meet the demands of a holy God. Those required offerings pointed to Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God. We must always view the Old Testament offerings in those primary context.

Having clarified Read More »