Preaching The Gospel To Myself As I Pray

I don’t know where people get the idea that those of us with physical disabilities are especially proficient in prayer. I definitely struggle in that spiritual discipline, quite frankly. Thankfully, E-Sword, the free Bible software that I use, includes a feature that helps me organize my prayer life.

So this past year I’ve been taking time during my daily prayers to thank the Lord for saving me. In so doing, I have developed the practice of thanking each Person of the Trinity for His specific role in bringing me to that salvation. Prayers along those lines has both heightened my awareness that my salvation comes completely from God and deepened my love for the Trinity.

Writing about aspects of my prayer life makes me nervous, fearing that I come across as boastful. Believe me, I’m all too aware that I have a very long way to go before I could consider my prayer life to be exemplary! In writing this article, I most assuredly don’t mean to hold myself up as a standard to follow.

Rather, I write this article in hopes that I might honor the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while demonstrating how each of Them has worked to save me from the due penalty of my sins. Although time doesn’t allow me to give you all the Scriptures substantiating my points, perhaps this little blog post might encourage you to study the matter for yourself.

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A Song To Make Us Think

As a teenager, I liked the music of B.J. Thomas — especially “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” So I praised the Lord when, somewhere around 1979, he made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. I bought both of his Christian albums and wore out my cassette player by playing them.

Monday John put “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” on YouTube in honor of the weather. I then asked him to search for Thomas’ Christian songs (he had no idea that B.J. Thomas had recorded Christian songs), and we were pleasantly surprised that YouTube had quite a number of them.

Of course they were simplistic and a tad smaltzy. Most popular Christian music during that time period was. But John and I listened to several songs, hoping B.J. Thomas had a genuine conversion.

One song captured my attention.

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Thanksgiving For God Himself

Typically on the Sunday before Thanksgiving I post a hymn emphasizing giving thanks. That’s something readers expect from Christian bloggers who post Sunday hymns. And it’s by all means a perfectly reasonable expectation.

But 2020 has been anything but a typical year, and I want to look at this holiday from a slightly different perspective. Instead of emphasizing thankfulness in and of itself, I’ve selected a hymn that centers on the One Who deserves our thanks — not for what He gives us, but for Who He is.

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A Brief Update

After some phone conversations with the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office, we suspect that I’ve been suffering from acid reflux due to a hernia in my diaphragm. I’ll get examined Wednesday.

The metallic taste of nearly everything I eat plus the queasiness in my stomach has, as you might expect, greatly diminished my appetite. In turn, the lack of nutrition has made me very tired. Thus, writing blog posts (particularly the type of posts I want to write at this point in time) isn’t too probable.

I may try writing a post over the course of a few days. I prefer writing all in one sitting, but perhaps I need to learn new ways.

My greatest fear is hernia surgery. Hospitalization is always scary for me due to my speech defect. Now with COVID I fear being without someone to advocate for me.

I’d appreciate your prayers. I have no idea what God is doing. I only know I miss blogging.

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Speaking The Truth In Love Doesn’t Mean People Will Feel The Love

Quite often, you’ll hear Christians quote the phrase, “speaking the truth in love” (a phrase from Ephesians 4:15), as if it was a fully fledged point of doctrine. Moreover, you’ll hear them emphasize love, almost as if it truth holds little consequence. By implication, love requires us to make truth palatable, even if it means changing truth or covering it up.

In the early 21st Century, love demands that we never hurt someone’s feelings.

And that’s where discernment bloggers (even the legitimate ones) get in trouble. We call out false teachers and/or identify unbiblical practices, trying our best to be charitable. And even when we manage to be charitable enough that some people accuse us of fence sitting, we still have readers calling us self-righteous and arrogant. According to most people, speaking the truth is the antithesis of speaking in love.

Maybe we should look at Ephesians 4:15 in its context to see what the apostle Paul meant.

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Saturday Sampler: September 13 — September 19

Regular readers know I really like the things Ryan Higginbottom writes for Knowable Word. His post this week, Bible Study is Painful, has a surprising honesty that will encourage even the most reluctant Bible student. Oh c’mon — you know I’ve got you interested!

As Leslie A of Growing 4 Life acknowledges, 2020 has been a very rough year. How We Shouldn’t Be (and Should Be) Changed in 2020 (PART 1) lists some interesting ways that Christians shouldn’t allow the craziness of this year to affect us.

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you were Losing Discernment, pick up Servants of Grace News to see what James Williams advises. I think his article will help you understand what Biblical discernment really is and how to cultivate it.

In this current climate of thinking that every issue is of first importance, articles like Now We Can’t Even Watch Football by Melissa of Your Mom Has a Blog is wonderfully refreshing, This is one you really don’t want to miss.

Writing for Gentle Reformation, Jared Olivetti explains The Promise of Holiness and the most effective motivation for being holy. You’ll be surprised and encouraged by his perspective.

Some essays are short and sweet, while still proclaiming a powerful and convicting message. Elizabeth Prata writes Giving Grace in The End Time as one such essay. Boy, do Christians (especially those of us who use Twitter) need the reminder that Elizabeth offers!

Michelle Lesley brings back Unforbidden Fruit: 3 Ways Women MUST Lead and Teach the Church as a reminder of various ways the Lord has called women to minister. Although God’s Word makes it clear that women are not to have authority over men within the church setting, Michelle shows us ways that God actually has called us to serve..

I Couldn’t Have Paid Anything

Most of us have no idea of how extensive our sin is. Personally, I can understand it only by realizing that erasing it required nothing less than the innocent blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But I do know that I have absolutely no resources with which to atone for my sin. Any good that I might have done could never outweigh the ways that I have offended the thrice holy God. My debt towards Him is just too formidable.

Thankfully, Jesus is a merciful God Who took my debt upon Himself. He graciously paid the entire price of my sin, leaving me free to worship God with a clear conscience. Throughout eternity, I will praise Him for paying a debt that I never could have paid.

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Equally Preliminary Thoughts On Feminism

As demonstrated in my last blog post, I question some of the tenets of the Patriarchy Movement. Sadly, in this era of polarization, the assumption is that so much as questioning patriarchy means an embrace of feminism.

I think that’s a false dichotomy.

My husband will be the first to tell you that I’m far from being a feminist. True, I struggle to submit to him as well as I should. But even in confessing my struggles in submission, I agree with Scripture that my responsibility as a wife is to submit to John’s authority as my husband.

At our wedding, we chose Ephesians 5:22-33 as our Scripture reading:

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Throwback Thursday: Missing The Reason That I Long For Heaven

Originally published September 6, 2016:

temple

Many evangelicals assume that my eagerness for heaven stems from a desire to escape my disability. I understand their assumption. After all, Cerebral Palsy (especially such a severe case) imposes multiple restrictions on me, and those restrictions often carry a variety of subtexts. So of course one would conclude that the promise of a new body, free of the limitations currently thrust on me, holds a significant appeal for me.

In one sense, it does. But only when I view heaven in terms of how it will benefit me. And as I grow in understanding doctrine, I become increasingly convinced that most professing Christians hold an inverted view of heaven and its purposes.

Somewhere in my past, a friend posited the idea that heaven would be different for each of us, according to our interests, tastes and desires. Using her paradigm, heaven for me would be a giant art  museum filled with works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Monet, Sargent and Rockwell. With cheesecake for meals. Her heaven would be stables of magnificent horses for her to ride and sturdy oak trees for her to climb.

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Keys To Discernment: Reconciled And Immovable

Every December we sing “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. The familiar lines slide easily from our mouths — usually so easily that we barely give them serious thought.

“God and sinners reconciled” is one such line. How often do we reflect on the truth that Jesus, Who is God in human flesh, brought reconciliation between us and the Father? For that matter, how often do we reflect on the truth that we actually needed to be reconciled to the Father?

Colossians 1:21-23 helps us understand the necessity of reconciliation, as well as the wonderful effects of that reconciliation. In so doing, it also refutes errors that make people think they can accomplish reconciliation through their own efforts. As a cherry on top, it also assures believers that this reconciliation is permanent. Let’s look at this passage for a moment, and then talk about it.

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