I Don’t Fit In –And I Shouldn’t

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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

Repeated Warnings Need Not Mean Repetition Is Mandated

Big WomanWas the article I wrote last Wednesday unbiblical?

One person who contacted me this weekend adamantly believes it was.

Of course, she initially objected to my harsh tone in the article. And I agree that I sinned in that regard. I admitted it to her, and I wrote an article yesterday dealing with that regard specific sin. As I see it, my harshness indeed did violate God’s Word tremendously, but my sin in that particular area didn’t seem to trouble her all that much.

With that issue resolved, she continued asserting that I had been unbiblical. She insisted my greatest infraction Continue reading

The Value Of Scripture Now And Then

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Maybe I never said it out loud,  and I certainly wouldn’t have let any of my friends hear me say it, but I wanted more than the Bible seemed to offer. Thus I loved hearing supposed prophecies in   church, devoured books on “Christian” psychology and hungered  for God to speak to me personally.

Truthfully, I don’t believe my unspoken dissatisfaction with the Bible was atypical.

Whether evangelicals admit it or not, many of them want something beyond Scripture to guide their decision making or to help them better experience God. Having spent most of my Christian life in that camp, I very much understand that perspective. People who long for something that feels more personal than Scripture often genuinely love the Lord and want to be close to Him.

I believe, however, that Christians in the 16th Century would struggle to understand Continue reading

Sometimes Jesus Gets Lost In Our Service To Our Church

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Each of us (if we’re being obedient) has at least one avenue of ministry. And we cherish that opportunity to serve both the Lord and His church. During my years as a single woman, I enjoyed a variety of ways to serve, ranging from editing the church newsletter to writing and directing drama productions to teaching children in Sunday School.

My ability to serve is a great deal more limited now, but I well remember the busy life of ministry that dominated my younger years.

I also remember realizing at one point that my heavy involvement in ministry had Continue reading

What If There Is No Good Church Near You?

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In response to the article I wrote Monday, a reader from Australia commented that the only churches near her were five Hillsong churches. My heart broke for her, causing me to pray that the Lord will open up something that allows her to enjoy fellowship opportunities and to serve the body of Christ. I ask each of you to join me in praying for her.

As I read her comment, my mind went back to 2014. John and I had just Continue reading

Can A Born Again Christian Do Without Church? (I Think You Know My Answer, But Read This Post Anyway)

Come To ChurchThe short answer is no.

Blogging isn’t conducive to short answers, however, and perhaps a longer answer would be more helpful than simply quoting Hebrews 10:25 as a definitive proof text. While that verse certainly carries all the authority necessary to teach that Christians need to meet regularly with their brothers and sisters in the Lord, looking at other passages can help us develop a fuller understanding of why we need to devote ourselves to a local body of believers.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me admit that John and I can’t attend our church during the winter months due to health concerns. And this past Sunday, the RIDE got us there late and picked us up early, completely depriving us of fellowship opportunities. But (and mark this point) we maintain contact with various people in the congregation, keeping accountable to the pastors and elders. We continue serving the church as best we  can while we’re providentially hindered (to borrow a phrase from Michelle Lesley) from making personal appearances and/or encouraging our church family.

Resisting the temptation to get on my soapbox about Continue reading