Saturday Sampler: September 8 — September 14

Blend Circles Sampler

Let’s begin with Barry York’s tribute to his dad as he writes The Poker Table for Gentle Reformation. I know it’s not something I typically include in Saturday Sampler, but who says I can’t do things differently once in a while? This story definitely highlights God’s delight in saving the most unlikely people.

What were copybooks? And why would a Christian blog about them? If you’ll visit The End Time, you’ll find that Elizabeth Prata answers these questions as well as pointing us to The ultimate copybook.

None other than John MacArthur speaks out on the Grace to You Blog. He explains the urgency of Craving God’s Word by borrowing the imagery of newborn babies from 1 Peter 2, and he includes valuable insights on how shallow preaching fails to feed believers properly.

Are you genuinely saved? Throwback Thursday ~ Basic Training: The Gospel by Michelle Lesley navigates us through a series of Scriptures and questions to assist us in determining our spiritual standing before the Lord. Even if you think you understand the Gospel, I plead with you to read her article and examine yourselves. I did.

Don and Joy Veinot of Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc blog about “The Things You Know That Ain’t So” as a way of helping us see the illogic of some who oppose Christianity.  They also boost our confidence in the Bible by a quick overview of Bible translation and preservation. My husband loves stuff like this!

Want a second helping of Elizabeth Prata’s wisdom? I don’t blame you! She reprises her essay, Are you drifting toward only wanting your ears tickled? from November 2010, encouraging us to endure sound doctrine.

Being a San Francisco Bay native, I feel saddened and disgusted by the 5 incredible revelations from this week’s abortion hearing in California. Jesse Johnson of The Cripplegate reports these unsavory details in hopes that Planned Parenthood will unwittingly expose themselves, but also as a warning of what could happen if they win the case.

Along similar lines, Denny Burk fills us in on another front of persecution with Florist takes her case to the Supreme Court… again. Look, I understand that nobody particularly enjoys articles of this nature. I certainly prefer other topics. But we need to be aware of the direction of our culture.

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Saturday Sampler: September 1 — September 7

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Leonardo De Chirico of The Vatican Files writes 166. Pope Francis Fears for the Planet, But Where Is the Gospel?  I  guess evangelicals aren’t alone in putting Social Justice issues above the Lord Jesus Christ.

My regular readers know that I really like the articles that Ryan Higginbottom writes for Knowable Word. But I particularly appreciate 3 Poor Reasons to Read the Bible for Ryan’s honesty and his challenge to us. Are you reading God’s Word from selfish motives?

Evangelism certainly can lead to frustration and discouragement, as Jordan Standridge shows us in The Cripplegate‘s He’s Just Blind. Yet he ends with wonderful encouragement to keep witnessing, explaining why we mustn’t lose heart.

How Does a True Christian Act? Using Romans 12 as her template, Leslie A of Growing 4 Life walks us through ways that reveal whether or not Christ has given us a new nature. The girl who witnessed to me back in high school used this same passage to show me my need for salvation.

Want a refreshing devotional Bible Study? Then visit The Domain for Truth and read The 3 C’s of Walking with God by SlimJim.

In Throwback Thursday: Sinatra Saints and Developing Disciples, Michelle Lesley gives us several Scriptures to help us determine the quality of our relationships with the Lord.  It’s a wonderful way to take spiritual inventory.

Logos Talk fails to block quote a passage by medieval mystic Meister Eckhart in K. Scott Oliphint’s essay, Why the Mystery of Our Faith Demands Understanding. Once you figure out that he quotes Eckhart, however, this item dispels false notions about dealing with mystery. Therefore, the effort it requires pays off.

I get tired of Calvinism being characterized as dead orthodoxy. So I praise God for Sinclair Ferguson’s The Essence of the Calvinistic Life on the Ligonier blog. What a joyful description of how Reformed theology affects those of us who embrace it!

Nathan Eshelman  contrasts two 17th Century paintings by the same artist to discuss two seemingly contradictory  verses about wine. Wine Juxtaposed with Wine appears in Gentle Reformation, and is truly fascinating. It also challenges our tendency to take extreme positions regarding the  consumption of wine.

Sometimes discernment ministries too quickly resort to guilt by association. Thankfully, Elizabeth Prata calls for a more balanced approach in How to Do Discernment: Partnering in The End Time.

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70 Years Of God’s Grace — Happy Birthday To My Husband

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August 23, 2019

When we  woke up this morning, I looked at John and fiendishly quipped, “Well, honey, enjoy your last day of your 60s!” Oh, I’m such a loving wife!

Yep, tomorrow will be John’s 70th birthday. That’s a landmark birthday for anybody, I realize, but for John it’s especially a tribute to God’s grace. That being the case, I thought I’d tell you just a few things that the Lord has done to display His grace in John’s life.

Shortly after his 6th birthday, John stood in the bathroom, feeling severe body aches. He still remembers standing on the cold tile floor — a vivid memory because he never stood without Continue reading

Saturday Sampler: August 25 — August 31

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It horrifies me now, but I used to almost buy into the perverted interpretation of Hebrews 2:18 and Hebrews 4:15 that people use to justify same sex attraction. In Did Jesus struggle with his gender and his sexuality? Was he tempted to same sex attraction? Elizabeth Prata of The End Time debunks the myth that same sex attraction is morally neutral.

Being in my mid-60s, I appreciate Tim Challies for challenging me through his article, Gray Hair and a Righteous Life. But really, younger readers need his counsel just as much as we seniors do.

As a contributing writer for Morning by Morning, Chelsea Stanley shares Songs of the Saints: Overcoming Anxiety Moment by Moment as a testimony to God’s grace in using a hymn to keep her mind focused on Him. I think you’ll appreciate her encouragement.

Tom from excatholic4christ takes on some Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical by reminding us what Roman Catholicism actually teaches. His understanding of both Catholic and Protestant doctrine qualify him to address ecumenical sentiments.

For a fascinating read, visit Growing 4 Life, where Leslie A explains How We Are Like the Moon to demonstrate reasons for avoiding worldliness. As usual, she challenges us — and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Complementing the post by Elizabeth Prata that I referenced earlier, Fred Butler of Hip and Thigh writes The Last Temptation of Christ as a rebuttal to the growing acceptance of so-called gay Christians. If Elizabeth’s essay introduced you to the Biblical perspective on homosexual temptation, Fred’s will expand on her presentation. Both articles deserve your time and attention.

In this day of dismantling God-given gender roles, I praise God for courageous men like Allen Nelson IV. His Things Above Us post, Why it’s Not Good for Man to be Alone, beautifully portrays marriage between a man and a woman.

For his weekly contribution to The Cripplegate, Jesse Johnson tackles the latest trend in political correctness by writing Was Jesus a person of color? An immigrant? A Palestinian? Honestly, some of the stuff liberal “Christians” come up with boggles the mind!

Let’s think about these Three ways the prosperity gospel has infected our churches, which Stephen Kneale lists in his blog, Building Jerusalem. Don’t expect this piece to be comfortable reading, but do expect it to help you pray in ways that seek God’s honor and glory. That is why you pray, right?

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Saturday Sampler: August 18 — August 24

BrideGivvenMark Mclntyre’s Attempts at Honesty get very honest as he writes Cowardice masquerading as Grace, expressing a struggle that I know all too well. If you have difficulty with confrontation, you’ll appreciate his exhortation.

Don’t you love it when someone has the courage to tackle difficult questions? For instance, Michelle Lesley takes on a particularly challenging one by writing The Mailbag: Can unforgiveness cause you to lose your salvation? As I said ForRicherForPoorerbefore, I love the way Michelle reasons from the Scriptures.

Not only does Erin Benziger have a tender heart, but even the tragic death of a baby bird can cause her to reflect on God’s care for His creation. Please read His Eye Is On the Sparrow in Do Not Be Surprised.

It’s  been a while since I’ve written anything about the Reformation. Shame on me! Happily, Simonetta Carr, in her article for Place for Truth, tells us about Katherine Parr and Her Role in the English Reformation. Before you protest that history is dull and JohnsRingboring,  why don’t you check this one out? It just might surprise you!

Writing for Morning by Morning, Rachel Campbell posts Songs of the Saints: The Significance of Singing to discuss how we worship the Lord through song. She helps us evaluate not merely what we sing but why we choose songs. Best of all, she reminds us of the eternal significance of singing.

Cutting CakeI haven’t fully vetted Your Mom has a Blog by Melissa Edgington yet, but The Blessing of Heaven as a Near Reality touches me. This sweet musing offers encouragement to adopt an eternal perspective. You don’t even have to wait until you’re old!

Have you ever marveled at The intersection of Sovereignty and free will? In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata discusses two examples of God’s sovereignty in free will choices. I don’t think you’ll expect these particular examples, which is why her essay deserves your attention.

Mr & Mrs K.

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Saturday Sampler: August 11 — August 17

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Drawing from her training and experience in professional journalism, Elizabeth Prata shows us How to detect bias in, sadly, even Christian reporting in The End Time. I see many people who purport to have discernment relying on blogs and news outlets that violate journalistic standards all the time, so I welcome Elizabeth’s thoughtful analysis of the reporting on our Open Letter To Beth Moore. The original signers of the letter and Beth Moore were both misrepresented in these reports.

In The Midwestern Baptist, Pastor Gabe Hughes reflects on the growing apostasy by writing Hillsong Worship Leader Leaves the Faith. He doesn’t really say anything new, but he certainly reminds us of Scripture’s teaching on the matter.

Mark McIntyre of Attempts at Honesty says he’s Weary of the pressure to be “Woke”. So am I. And for pretty much the same reasons that Mark lists.

Adding his voice to the conversation on apostasy, Tim Challies identifies some Missing Elements in Our Discussions about Apostasy that are well worth our attention. He ends on a hopeful note — something rare in most of the articles and podcasts I’ve come across in the last few weeks. Because of this refreshing take on an otherwise depressing topic, I’m enthusiastic about recommending it to you!

I can usually depend on Leslie A to write something Biblical and worthwhile in Growing 4 Life. Standing Strong in a Confusing Christianity proves my point. Don’t miss her practical wisdom on navigating through the spiritual minefield of 21st Century evangelicalism.

Look, look LOOK! My poor husband is a bit baffled at my delighted squealing, but I’m doing verbal cartwheels! Michelle Lesley announces something exciting with Introducing: A Word Fitly Spoken — A Podcast by Michelle Lesley and Amy Spreeman. How can anyone not be excited?

The Ligonier blog posts a short video of the late R.C. Sproul answering the question, Can a Person be 100% Sure of His or Her Salvation? I appreciate his surprising, yet well thought out, response.

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Saturday Sampler: July 28 — August 3

Blend SamplerSeeing people walk away from Christ hurts. Responding to two high profile men who have publicly done so, Stephen McAlpine exhorts, Let’s Never Outlive Our Love For Jesus. Toward the end, he shares a couple poignant reasons for his passion about this matter.

Leslie A concludes her series on worldliness among Christians with Thinking Beyond the Obvious (Part 5) in her Growing 4 Life blog. This installment focuses on worldliness in our relationships — particularly marriage. Even if you’ve missed the rest of her series, you’ll benefit from this post.

You’ll find wonderful encouragement from Jordan Standridge’s When the One who Led You to Christ Walks Away in The Cripplegate. Steeped in Scripture, this article reminds us where to keep our focus when anyone who has influenced us toward Christ turns from Him.

Blogging about Beth Moore brings no one pleasure — including The End Time author Elizabeth Prata. Sadly, Beth Moore continues to make waves, and those waves have grave consequences. In Listen carefully to what she is saying in this video… Elizabeth demonstrates how Mrs. Moore is subtly moving the SBC in a very dangerous direction.

After reading the above mentioned essay, refresh yourselves with What a day that will be! Elizabeth writes this wonderful post too lift our thoughts back to our ultimate hope.

For something a little more lighthearted,  check out excatholic4christ, where Tom takes us through a few Popular Un-Biblcal Sayings and Adages that float around. Oh, it’s a serious post (don’t get me wrong), but it’s also really fun to read!

We sometimes feel confused by the paradoxes in Scripture. SharaC of Into the Foolishness of God, however, delights in them so much that she writes Enter Your Rest to explore why we should be diligent to rest in the Lord.

I’ve been thinking a lot about humility this past week. So Mike Ratliff’s piece, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time in Possessing the Treasure, encourages me to check my pride. If, like me, you’ve had been week loaded with conflict, don’t neglect this blog post.

Blogging for Things Above Us, Michael Coughlin gives helpful counsel to Christians When Battling the Culture. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!

Injecting a little sanity into the increasingly insane conversation in our culture, Albert Mohler writes Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland, and the Masters Who Control the Language to explore one writer’s attempts to change how we use pronouns to influence society’s approach to gender.

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