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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Thoughts From An Old Fogey: Teenagers Are Brighter Than Youth Leaders Think

Teenage Girl04When I tell people (particularly  those engaged in youth ministry) that I spent my high school years attending three Bible Studies a week in which we actually studied the Bible, they often respond by saying kids are different now. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have shortened their attention spans so that they have trouble sitting through a half-hour verse-by-verse exposition of God’s Word. Teens in the 21st Century need games to work off their energy and snacks to look forward to after sitting through a 15-minute topical teaching.

A few years  ago, for instance, a youth group leader from another church told me Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: A Question’s Phrasing

Originally published January 20, 2016:

Faint CrossHow can I glorify the Lord Jesus Christ today? Such a question sounds very pious. But the degree of piety actually depends on the attitude, motivation and emphasis of the  person asking the question.

All too frequently, I find myself asking it this way: “How can  I glorify the Lord?” Underneath that slightly more honest question lurks an even more insidious question. I want to know how I can show off my spirituality by doing something that appears to glorify Him (but actually draws attention to me). Sadly, I know how to frame words so that people can’t see that I use Christ’s glory as a platform to promote myself.

I could, with all truthfulness, say that everybody falls into this same trap. And nobody could argue that point…not if they looked at themselves honestly. All of us suffer with tainted motives steeped in self-centeredness, and it simply does no good to deny that we love to feed our egos. But my mother always said, “The fact that everyone else does it doesn’t make it right.”

Thankfully, Jesus Himself frees me from my sin of hypocrisy. I can’t glorify Him from a pure heart, but He glorifies Himself by forgiving my sin and purifying my heart.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~~1 John 1:9 (ESV)

He then shifts the emphasis back to Himself, where it rightfully belongs. He helps me  rephrase my question, so that I ask, “How can the Lord Jesus Christ glorify Himself though me?”

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Luxurious Bible Study? Oh Yeah!

Bubble BibleWhen I hear the word “luxuriate,”  I generally envision a nice long bubble bath in a jacuzzi. Preferably by candlelight.  Chocolate and/or cheesecake should definitely be involved. Maybe even some soft music in the background, Hey: an old lady can dream, can’t she?

But I woke up this morning knowing that I would luxuriate in my favorite passage in all of God’s Word. I’ve been working through Paul’s letter to Continue reading

Apostasy Is The Hot Topic Now, But Should It Be?

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Last week it was Josh Harris. This week it’s Marty Sampson. Next week it could be another high profile Christian, or it could be someone you know personally. But someone somewhere will turn away from the faith, openly declaring that he or she no longer believes Christian teaching.

A number of solid believers have used blogs and podcasts to comment on these two most recent cases of apostasy, and they’ve all made some valuable points. Indeed, Scripture addresses the topic quite forcefully, particularly in the book of Hebrews. The author of that book wrote it as a response to professing Christians who reverted back to Judaism, warning them against neglecting their salvation. So the Word of God definitely sets a precedent for talking about apostasy. Therefore I appreciate the willingness of people to use current events to discuss the matter.

I worry, though, about this issue becoming too dominate in our thinking. In a perverse sort of way, it Continue reading

The Local Church: Our Primary Priority For Serving The Lord

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As a Christian blogger, I spend a lot of time ministering to you — readers that I will only meet in heaven. The nature of my disability combined with my abilities as a writer make this ministry the most reasonable way for me to serve the Lord, and I praise Him for using me in this manner. If He draws you closer to Himself through what I write, all glory be to Him! What a privilege to honor Him simply by tapping on a keyboard and filling a computer screen.

I’m thankful for my pastor, elders and church family that affirm my blogging ministry and cheer me on each Sunday. And I hope that, second to honoring Christ, I represent First Baptist Church Weymouth Massachusetts well. The Outspoken TULIP isn’t an official ministry of the church, but I see many people I dearly hope that it serves as a representative of it.

In the past year, the Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to serve Him more directly through a ministry in this church. It’s a behind the scenes job, and very few people even know I do it. The obscurity, quite honestly, is the part I most Continue reading

Jesus Asks Us To Do It

I don’t claim to be gifted in evangelism. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty lousy at doing it face-to-face. I feel comfortable with just about every other command in Scripture, but I see my shortcomings whenever someone reminds me that God has me here for no other reason than to proclaim the Gospel.

And my pastor issues such reminders in almost every Sunday sermon.

But I praise God for these uncomfortable reminders because I live in a world of lost souls who desperately need to hear that Jesus died for those who would believe in Him. Whether hearing the Gospel leads them to saving faith or confirms their hardness against Him, the Lord asks His servants to declare the message. So as long as I live, I face an unfinished task.

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