Do you see how significant this is?

domestic-violence-1Safe Harbor is a local nonprofit here in the upstate of South Carolina, dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse in a variety of ways.

Until recently, those “ways” didn’t include a whole lot of interaction with evangelical and fundamentalist churches. Until recently, when a person coming out of abuse wanted to find a conservative church that was safe, Continue reading

New book on the way: Untwisting Scriptures

I’ve been hiding in a hole lately, working on the manuscript for this book. While I’ve been working on it, I’ve neglected many emails and most of my housekeeping.

But I’m excited to say it’s almost done! I’ll be addressing topics I’ve addressed in blog posts before, but completely reworked, simplified, and expanded. I had to take a hard look at teachings that had been given by respected speakers and writers.


It’s a short book so as not to overwhelm readers, with familiar topics including  Continue reading

Reflections on my fifty-ninth birthday: a tale

“You have said you are Incapable?” He stood tall, looking down on her.

“Yes,” she stammered. “That’s my name.” She pulled a wisp of hair from her eye where it had stuck because of her tears.

He responded simply. “Your new name is Warrior.”

Her eyes darted up to His. Was that kindness she saw there, or was He laughing at her?

“It doesn’t fit,” she replied with a slight shrug and looked down. How could His garment be so white, so shining?

breastplate of righteousnessIt appeared that He hadn’t heard her. From out of somewhere, He produced Continue reading

Bible journaling before Bible journaling was cool

I’ve made references to my Bible journaling in a few of my posts through the years, primarily here and here and here. I even blogged about it for Desiring God. But recently I came across this story written in March of 2000. 


It  was on the choir tour bus during my junior year of college that a young man I greatly admired challenged me about my devotional life.

“I don’t think it’s right,” he said, “to read the Bible just looking for one verse that sticks out for the day, for a shot in the arm, a spiritual vitamin pill. The Bible is God’s Continue reading

Why did David lift his eyes to the hills? A new perspective on an old question.

hills of judea 1Psalm 121:1 says in the King James, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. But David’s help didn’t really come from the hills, of course. Verse 2 says: My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Because of that confusion, later versions changed the punctuation. The ESV says, I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

 That makes it a little clearer, but it doesn’t answer the question. Why did David lift his eyes to the hills? Continue reading

Bitterness in the Bible? It’s not what you thought it was

This post is Part Three of a larger series on the Biblical concept of bitterness. Parts One and Two were published earlier this month, covering the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews and the “gall of bitterness” in Acts.

Update October 2016: The topic of bitterness is addressed at length in the new book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind, which you can read more about here.


griefFar and away the most common use for the Biblical words translated “bitterness” Continue reading

The “gall of bitterness” in Acts — it isn’t resentment

In this series, I’m addressing the concept of bitterness in the Bible, how it is used to shame and blame victims of abuse who are seeking help from their churches.

The first post in this series addressed the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews, explaining how it isn’t unforgiveness, as it’s often presented to be, but is something else instead.

Update October 2016: The topic of bitterness is addressed at length in the new book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind, which you can read more about here.


Continue reading

The “root of bitterness” in Hebrews–it isn’t unforgiveness

 This post is part of a much larger project  exploring the Biblical concept of “bitterness,” looking at all the occurrences of the Hebrew and Greek words as they’re used throughout the Bible.

This is important, because the accusation of “bitterness” is often used to shame and blame and silence victims and survivors of abuse. (I’ve been listening to many sermons and reading articles and books to that effect.)

I believe the Bible makes it clear that bitterness definitely doesn’t always mean what we’ve been led to think it means. Continue reading

Don’t trust your feelings?

In Ephesians 3, Paul prayed that the people he was writing to would know the love of Christ

. . . that surpasses knowledge.

What kind of sense does that make?

The sense comes when you recognize that those two uses of the English word know come from two different Greek words.

The second is the knowing of intellect, like book learning. Paul is saying here that the love of Christ is beyond intellectual grasping.

The first one is the knowing of the senses, the perception, the experience—dare I say it? Continue reading