Struggling with “striving”: When should I strive and when should I rest?

My despair

Back in 1994 when I was studying Leviticus (because it was my wilderness book), I wrote this in the margin at Leviticus chapter 2 (the boldface is added now):

II Peter 1:4 says that we as believers should be “partakers of the divine nature.” This passage shows the priests literally partaking of that which represents the divine nature of our lovely Lord. Then that bread of life becomes a part of us and we are influenced and strengthened by it. In all these ways mentioned, we should be striving to be like Him: the sweet-smelling life, the full anointing by the Holy Spirit, the fellowship of His sufferings. How far, how far I have to go!

Do you hear the wailing in my voice? Continue reading “Struggling with “striving”: When should I strive and when should I rest?”

If you were harmed, does that mean you’ll blame God? And other questions for John MacArthur

John MacArthur a long time ago

John MacArthur recently spoke against social justice as one of the most dangerous current threats to the gospel. There have been three sermons as well as some blog posts, but the quotations in this post here are all taken from sermon #3, which is here. Continue reading “If you were harmed, does that mean you’ll blame God? And other questions for John MacArthur”

No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling

Sometimes I talk with people who want healing and help from the Lord but are hesitant to “dig up the past” or who have counselors who don’t want them to “dig up the past.” For a while now, maybe over a year, I’ve been mulling over that pejorative expression.

“Digging up the past” to me conjures a picture of going to a graveyard to dig up the bones or even the rotting corpse of something that needed to be left underground to decompose the way it’s supposed to. A perverted and possibly very harmful activity. Continue reading “No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling”

Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?”

In the early- to mid-1990s, we sat in our first church small group. (We’d been wanting small groups in our previous independent Baptist church, but the pastor wouldn’t allow them.)

This first one for us was at Bean Blossom Mennonite Church—which I’ve blogged about before, here—the church with the “Strangers Expected” sign over the front door, the church where the entire congregation sang in four-part harmony, the first church I joined where the women wore pants, where I couldn’t possibly bring myself or allow my daughter to do the same, a now-embarrassing memory that maybe I can explore one day in a therapist’s chair. Continue reading “Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?””

Making sense of the church world’s epidemic of abuse

I’m all about making sense of things. If a movie has a gaping plot hole, then no other redeeming qualities can redeem that movie for me. If a song can be interpreted a dozen different ways, then I don’t really want to listen to that song.

Needing to make sense of things is one of my best qualities. It’s also one of my worst qualities. Continue reading “Making sense of the church world’s epidemic of abuse”

Defeat that roaring lion

Blog posts about Scripture studies, I have to acknowledge, don’t get as much action as blog posts about news events . . . or even about wrong teachings.

But there is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures that will help us as we discern what’s true and what’s false in the church world. The quiet hours you spend in the Word as you seek Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit—even if they produce questions you can’t answer right away—will ultimately help you better see who Jesus really is and what God is really doing.

*****

Sometimes when I study a passage of Scripture . . . it reminds me of another . . . and another . . . and then I see how they link together.

The other day I was reminded of a time that happened, when Philippians 2 and First Peter 5 and Psalm 22 all pointed to the same thing, a truth driven home on Passion Week, as I pondered how our Lord Jesus was humbled . . . and then exalted.

And the roaring lion was defeated.

And it’s true for all His children too. Continue reading “Defeat that roaring lion”

“With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael” celebrates thirty years (my first book)

With Daring Faith, the “new”cover

Thirty years ago this month, my first book was published.

I was thirty years old.

An astute observer might notice that was half my life ago.

These days when those who’ve been abused in a Christian context connect with me, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, “Are you the same Rebecca Davis who wrote With Daring Faith? We read that in our homeschool.”

It’s one of those moments of extreme pain and great joy that I get to experience fairly often in my life these days Continue reading ““With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael” celebrates thirty years (my first book)”

An Authority Covering Umbrella of Protection parable, to celebrate the Reformation

While others are spending October celebrating the Five Solas, I want to celebrate umbrellas. Actually, I want to celebrate getting out from under umbrellas.

And for good measure, so the non-initiate can understand my Umbrella Parable, here’s the expanded version of The Umbrella Diagram, for Reformed churches. That is, this diagram came from some inheritors of the Reformation that we’re celebrating this month. Continue reading “An Authority Covering Umbrella of Protection parable, to celebrate the Reformation”