Saturday Sampler: June 21 — June 27

Discussing The Surprising Transformation of the Disciples of Jesus for Knowable Word, Ryan Higginbottom takes us through the final chapter of Luke’s gospel. He concludes with an encouraging practical application.

Are you “just” a wife and mother? I know society pressures you to want more for yourself. Elizabeth Prata understands that pressure, and she also understands how that pressure can lead us into the sin of discontentment. She writes Womanly contentment vs. discontentment, advice from 1896 in The End Time to draw us back to a Biblical perspective.

I still consider myself a discernment blogger, but I agree with Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised on her Lessons Learned: On Speech and Tone. I’ve been praying about my own tone in blogging when I call out false teachers, so this article gives me some guidance on how to accomplish that attitude. My only concern is that we must allow for people who have more passionate temperaments — Martin Luther, for example. All the same, Erin makes some important points that we shouldn’t easily dismiss.

Interestingly, Jordan Standridge writes Why You Should Never Take the Mass in a post for The Cripplegate that he himself describes as strongly worded. In this instance, strong words are most appropriate; taking the Roman Catholic mass has serious implications that Biblical Christians need to understand.

I always come to Growing 4 Life with confidence that Leslie A will dispense sound, Biblical wisdom. For one of the finest examples of this wisdom, check out If I Shout Louder Than You, Does That Mean I’m Right? Her thoughts are greatly needed as we face the chaos of 2020.

On January 11, 2019 I was laid up with hairline fractures in my lower vertebrae, so I missed 6 Ways Your Credibility is Crushed When You Defend a False Teacher by Michelle Lesley. I’m glad a loss of power in her area kept her from writing a new article and forced her to share this one again! Please make it a priority — it’s really that important!

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Saturday Sampler: June 14 — June 20

People have a lot of misconceptions about Calvinists. Tim Challies demonstrates why some of us reinforce The One About Calvinism and Evangelism through our disobedient behavior. He encourages us to practice what we preach.

Elizabeth Prata reminds readers of The End Time You’re not wonderful in an effort to correct popular evangelical teachings. Oh how we need more people to stand up for the truth as boldly as she does!

Some of you may object to God Doesn’t Listen to Them by Jordan Standridge, which he contributes to The Cripplegate this week. Please read it anyway. And test it against Scripture. You might find that Standridge has a Biblical foundation for what he says.

Leslie A asks Christian, Why Are You Joining the World? Her Growing 4 Life blog often challenges worldliness in believers, and this latest piece is a timely addition to her body of work.

The Grace to You blog reprises One Race, One Remedy by Darrell B. Harrison and Cameron Buettel, which first appeared on the blog on May 9, 2019. Their remarks take us back to God’s Word, which is always the best place to find answers.

Over on Into the Foolishness of God, SharaC reminds us that The Gospel Isn’t Patronizing as she analyzes the evangelical response to the current political climate. I applaud her courage to stand against efforts to modify Christianity.

For a refresher on Discerning false teachers, visit Femina Sola Gratia Theology for excellent guidelines from Anna Wood. You might want to bookmark it as a reference tool.

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Saturday Sampler: June 7 — June 13

You’ll like Ryan Higginbottom’s article for Knowable Word this week, I think. Context Matters: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear not only explains a difficult (and often misused) verse, but it encourages those of us who struggle with assurance of salvation. If you’d like to read something that builds your confidence, this will certainly fit the bill.

Looking at recent events, Clint Archer of The Cripplegate uses God’s Word to show us Why Looters Loot during riots. I don’t think many people have this understanding (I certainly didn’t), but once you read his post, it seems obvious.

It’s a popular notion that God is the God of second chances. But Lessons Learned: You Don’t Always Get a Second Chance by Erin Benziger questions that idea, using an example from Scripture to substantiate her premise. She’s currently writing a series on lessons she’s learned in her blog, Do Not Be Surprised.

Each of the guys who blog for The Cripplegate is worth reading, but I especially like the stuff by Jordan Standridge. This week he issues A Plea to Christians who Protest that contains rather unexpected counsel. Unexpected, but highly important!

With compelling honesty, Elizabeth Prata writes My silly reluctance to read the Bible in The End Time. Don’t mistake her essay for a cathartic exercise on her part, though. She makes a point that works to encourage and benefit all of us.

Three Things Christians need for Social Media Today by SlimJim of The Domain for Truth is just a few short paragraphs long, but those few short paragraphs say quite a lot.

SlimJim also writes Officer Chauvin and the belief that morals are up to the individual as a challenge to postmodern thinking. He asks insightful questions that maybe more of us should ask in our evangelistic conversations with unbelievers.

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Saturday Sampler: May 24 – May 30

In her Sunday series for The End Time, Elizabeth Prata turns to one of the pre-Reformers. Her post, Sunday Martyr Moment: John Huss, ‘The goose is cooked”, reminds us how costly — and how necessary — it is to firmly stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s hear it for Michelle Lesley and her continued ability to combine common sense with Scriptural direction! She presents The Mailbag: Why no COVID weigh-in? with grace and strength, guiding her readers to respond Biblically. Her reasons for not blogging about this topic pretty much resemble my own.

Jordan Standridge reflects on The Dumbest Conspiracy Theory in History for The Cripplegate this week. His appeal to sound reason only supports the reliability of Scripture.

I appreciate Leslie A for using Growing 4 Life to help me examine myself before the Lord. Swimming Up a Waterfall provides another such opportunity. If you want to do some spiritual inventory, this blog post is for you!

This second essay by Elizabeth Prata may be difficult for some of you to read. It’s the 1960s all over again. I hated the ’60s demands our attention though, perhaps precisely because Elizabeth says difficult things that we need to hear. She also reminds us of the hope we have as Christians.

J.K. Wall shows us that We Are All Exiles Now in his article for Gentle Reformation. His devotional raises some interesting ideas that you may want to ponder.

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Saturday Sampler May 18 — May 30

Not that I recommend the practice of women attending seminary, but I certainly approve of women reading and studying theology  on our own. Kim Shay of Out of the Ordinary reviews a book she read for one of her seminary classes, and I believe her review merits attention. Please read The Theocentric Nature of Revelation with your focus on the message itself. I pray more and more Christians will understand the book of Revelation from this perspective.

I definitely wholeheartedly recommend Growing 4 Life, the blog by Leslie A. Her  observations on The Nature of the Promises of God convict me, even as they encourage me and remind me to take a broader view of the Lord’s purposes in His promises. Don’t neglect this article.

Using her autism as an introduction, Elizabeth Prata writes Faces: Fallen, and angelic in The End Time to remind us how powerfully our faces reveal our hearts. Elizabeth’s writing gets more beautiful all the time, and this essay provides a particular example of that beauty. It also challenges me to watch my heart, lest my sin disfigure my face.

Being over 65, I eagerly read How Senior Adults Can Love the Church During COVID-19. Melissa in Your Mom Has a Blog. She does understand the frustrations I feel as people of my generation don’t get to enjoy the new freedoms afforded to the rest of the country, but she wonderfully explains how we can show love to the rest of the church by adhering to the restrictions placed on us.

Jesse Johnson exposes The real problem with Be Kind, Please Rewind theology for The Cripplegate in order to examine a fundamental problem with objecting to the doctrine of election. Before you dismiss his article as dry and academic, why don’t you give it a chance? It could be that — like me — you’ve never looked at this particular angle.

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Saturday Sampler: May 10 –May 16

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In Knowable Word, Ryan Higginbottom explains why We Need Humility to Study the Bible. He raises some points that I’ve never considered. Why don’t you see if he says anything that surprises you?

COVID-19 frustrates all of us, I think. Bryan Schneider provides helpful insight into our frustrations by writing Covid-19 and Biblical Balance for Gentle Reformation. No matter which side of the debate on the lockdown you’ve adopted, his article will challenge you to think Biblically.

What would Saturday Sampler be without a link to a post by Leslie A? This week in Growing 4 Life, she demonstrates that Attacking Messengers, Crucifying Dissenters, and Belittling Questioners has no place in Christian conversation on social media. I’ve been guilty of some of the behaviors  she discusses. Have you?

In TBT – A Second Opinion Tim Ferrera of Discerning Dad notes how eagerly we embrace what we want to hear, and yet how quickly we question anything that doesn’t appeal to us. I think his post deserves our attention and consideration. What’s your opinion?

Don’t miss Without Apology: 7 Reasons Not to Be Ashamed of the Hard Parts of the Gospel by Michelle Lesley. I love the way she encourages us to trust even the parts of Scripture that seem offensive to 21st Century sensibilities.

What Saturday Sampler would be complete without a post by Elizabeth Prata?  In  The End Time she writes Encouragement, Listen! Ladies, if ever we needed this message, it’s most definitely now!

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Saturday Sampler: February 23 — February 29

Fish SamplerAlthough written specifically to church leaders, Mark McIntyre’s On Selective Denouncement in Attempts at Honesty applies to any Christian who openly stands against sin in others. I’ve been thinking along similar lines recently, though Mark has a take on the matter that hadn’t quite occurred to me (probably because I’ve been too lazy to remove this log from my own eye).

We can all feel intimidated when it comes to evangelism. Jordan Standridge’s article for The Cripplegate, Don’t Mess with the Message, helps brace us against that intimidation.  I greatly appreciate his Scriptural and practical encouragement.

Is it Time for a Change regarding your relationship with God’s Word?  Leslie A of Growing 4 Life issues a few challenges, including an unexpected one to those of us who really do spend time digging in to our Bibles. I always appreciate Leslie’s boldness to write things that make us examine ourselves.

John and I have been going through a few struggles. Actually, we’ve been having struggles for a couple years with relatively few breaks. So I appreciate Michelle Lesley for running Throwback Thursday ~ God’s Good Purposes in Suffering this week. As usual, she derives her principles from Scripture and helps us look to the Lord.

HT to Erin Benziger for sharing A Bad Kind of Discernment by Lara d’Endtremont on Twitter. Lara balances the abuses in sometimes self-proclaimed discernment ministries with the importance of exercising discernment out of genuine compassion for false teachers and the people they deceive. I can’t overemphasize the importance of this blog post!

I apologize for the brevity of today’s Sampler. I went to the emergency  room yesterday with the severe back pain, and found that I have injured a muscle in my back. I am not ready to do extensive typing, so there will be no Sunday hymn tomorrow and no Bible study on Monday. Hopefully by Tuesday I can post something. Thank you for understanding.


Saturday Sampler: February 16 — February 22

Untitled-1Amy Spreeman posted The State of the Conservative Christian Union from on Facebook this week,  and I appreciate the way Mr. Howard explains the various parties under the Reformed umbrella. I bookmarked this article to my browser, and I recommend that you do the same.

Please read the Testimony from an ex-Beth Moore follower: Lessons about Jesus, But not Jesus Himself that Elizabeth Prata shares on The End Time. If any of you still don’t understand why we warn against Beth Moore so often, this testimony and Elizabeth’s subsequent comments should supply insight into our serious concerns about this popular false teacher.  This testimony demonstrates why she is so harmful.

Like Michelle Lesley, I’m tremendously troubled and concerned about the Southern Baptist Convention. If I wasn’t physically disabled, I’d be begging my pastors and elders to send me as a Messenger to Orlando this June. If you belong to an SBC church, read Arrive Prepared: Resources for Messengers to the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Pray about attending as a Messenger. If, like me, you can’t attend, please pray for our denomination.

Over on The Tulips & Honey Hub, Gina Cook writes Through the Narrow: Accountability to encourage us about receiving correction. She makes important observations that challenge our pride — always a good thing.

If you really want to read something scandalous, go to Parking Space 23 and see what John Chester preached to elicit The Great Gasp from his congregation. This scandal is every bit as serious as calling out false teachers, and may actually explain why evangelicals embrace false teachers in the first place.

L. Dorman, contributing to Conservative Resurgence: Voices, writes Women Preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention: But Wait, There’s Moore (Part 2) as a clear example of the eroding fidelity to Scripture threatening the SBC. And those of you who aren’t in SBC churches should pay attention. This sort of compromise could easily infiltrate your churches too.

As someone who struggles with the sin of anger, I appreciate Melissa of Your Mom Has a Blog for encouraging her readers to Surrender Your Right to be Angry with Your Spouse. I would add, however, that her counsel applies to other relationships as well. Singles, God also holds you accountable for your anger towards those who wrong you.

Writing for Reformation 21, William Boekestein authors Join or Die? to emphasis the necessity of belonging to a local church body.

HT to Erin Benziger for leading me to Learning to Be Careful with the Name “False Teacher”by Lara d’Endtremont. Writing for Women Encouraged, this blog post brings needed balance to the world of discernment ministry — a world that can ironically lack a lot of discernment.

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Saturday Sampler: February 9 — February 15

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, Mike Ratliff encourages us to maintain Sanctified Minds and Bodies in his blog, Possessing the Treasure.  It saddens me that some professing Christians buy into the lie that God doesn’t enforce His prohibition against sexual license.

According to Leslie A of Growing 4 Life, the tsunami of apostasy has hit. Her View from a Palm Tree is discouraging on the one hand. On the other hand, it gives wonderful encouragement to weary Christians. Please make her blog post a high priority on your reading list.

In a post for 9 Marks, Ed Moore lists 10 Flavors of Works-Based Salvation for us to ponder.  Some of these pitfalls ensnare evangelicals (who really ought to know better). Are you trusting in any of these subtle ways of ensuring that God will accept you? HT to Tim Challies for highlighting this piece.

I’m including a second item by Mike Ratliff because it reinforces some of the thoughts I’ve been having this week. The Throne in Heaven, the Scroll, and the Lamb accentuates God’s holiness in light of eschatology. You might want to take a look at this one.

You’ll enjoy Elizabeth Prata’s thoughts in The End Time on The Amazing Natural World that God created. Since giraffes are my favorite animals, I particularly love her section on how the construction of their necks defies evolution. The entire piece is absolutely magnificent — well worth your attention.

Bucking the pressure to  bad-mouth social media, Throwback Thursday ~ 9 Ways Social Media is a Blessing to Believers by Michelle Lesley discusses the upside of online activity. Having met my husband online, I firmly agree with Michelle that social media is merely a tool. Read her blog post to discover how we can use this tool to glorify God.

Writing for Knowable Word, Peter Krol always helps us understand how Scripture fits together. His article, Context Matters: Always Prepared to Make a Defense, examines a verse that discernment and apologetics bloggers often cite as a mission statement. Is that a legitimate application? You’ll only find out by reading Krol’s post.

Justin Bullington writes The Ugly Business Of Politics And The Trinitarian Hope of Romans 1:1-6 for Things Above Us as a reminder of where our focus needs to stay during this election season. His refreshing perspective shouldn’t escape your notice.

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Saturday Sampler: February 2 — February 8

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For A few thoughts on discernment, you might head over to The End Time to see insights by Elizabeth Prata. Drawing from her experience as an investigative journalist, Elizabeth helps us understand the ferocious pushback she receives from the followers of false teachers.

What does an episode of The Crown have to do with the death of Kobe Bryant? SharaC of Into the Foolishness of God writes Moondust as a thoughtful meditation on the disappointing consequences of hero worship.

I’m with Michelle Lesley. Should we presume that our worship services are about Attracting God? Read her Scriptural response to this popular approach to church services.

Leslie A asks a provocative question: Did You Know Jesus Was Intolerant? Most people would sputter at the very thought! But Leslie A’s Growing 4 Life blog cares more about truth than about catering to popular opinion. Take a look at the Lord’s intolerance and see whether or not you tolerate too much.

Go over to Delivered by Grace, where Josh Buice explains Why Asking Women to Preach is Spiritual Abuse. I don’t recall seeing this particular aspect of the discussion before, but it’s worth considering.

The trouble with Elizabeth Prata is that she writes so much good stuff that it’s often impossible to have only one essay a week in Saturday Sampler. Is Christianity a relationship or a religion? demands a place in this week’s Sampler. Yeah, it’s really that good!

Sadly, the political climate in Australia isn’t very different than the political climate in the United States of America when it comes to LBGTQ issues. Stephen MacAlpine posts Christians: Do your beliefs make you unsafe to be foster parents? in order to alert us to the sticky implications of society’s push to have universal approval of sexual sin. MacAlpine raises some uncomfortable points — points that Christians can’t afford to ignore.

In his weekly contribution to The Cripplegate, Jesse Johnson writes Why Study Esther as a testimony to God’s sovereignty. See how this real life Cinderella story teaches us to trust the Lord’s involvement in our lives.

Melissa makes some intriguing observations about The Death of Decency in the American Mind that you might want to consider. No, I won’t give you any hints as to what her observations are — I want you to read it for yourselves. You’ll find her writing at Your Mom Has A Blog.

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