Looking for “evidences of grace” in the life of an abuser

A friend described to me how her church did marriage counseling: the married couple had been told to come up with a list of “evidences of grace” that they saw in each other’s lives.

We were to say them out loud in front of each other and the elders meeting with us. They were, after all, constantly reminding us that Scripture called us to “believe the best” of each other, and this exercise was meant to help us do that.

I went first. Wanting them to see that I wasn’t bitter and really did love my husband, I came up with a long list of everything I could think of: Continue reading “Looking for “evidences of grace” in the life of an abuser”

At Thanksgiving, here’s one of the people I’m thankful for

Six years ago when I first began to learn about extreme abuse, when I was first introduced to dissociative identity disorder as something more than a movie plot, when I began to dip my toe into a world of darkness beyond what I had previously ever comprehended, I eventually (after months) asked the Lord—complained to the Lord, actually—“Lord, why is it you want me to learn about this awful stuff? I don’t know any of these people!”

His answer was as clear as if I had heard a voice. “You will meet them. You will know them.”

So because it’s Thanksgiving Day, I’m posting my thanksgiving for the friend who has taught me the most, the one who has provided me with what I call my “practicum from God” and so much more.

In her life I’ve seen God work miracles and bring deliverance. Through her life I’ve seen bravery and perseverance that stand as a stellar example to me. I’m privileged to be by her side as she learns who Jesus Christ really is and what he can do, as she puts the fragmented pieces of her life together, and as she learns who she really was made to be.

I love you, my friend.

 

 

 

The vision of James MacDonald, mega-church pastor who sues bloggers’ wives

Conservative evangelical bloggers are discussing what I believe is a first: a megachurch pastor is suing not only bloggers who are publishing criticisms of him and his work, but the wives of those bloggers, as well as a news reporter who is working on a story about him but hasn’t even published it yet.

So . . . of course I’m intrigued.

The pastor is James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area and head of a church planting enterprise. Continue reading “The vision of James MacDonald, mega-church pastor who sues bloggers’ wives”

What place does “striving” have in sanctification? A response to Heath Lambert

This is Part 3 of 3. You can read Part 1 here. You can read Part 2 here.

Recap

In yesterday’s post, I quoted Heath Lambert as saying that sanctification involves striving and moral effort (trying to be good). My contention, and that of others, is that our sanctification, godliness, holiness, power over sin, and pleasing God are all taken care of in Jesus (His perfect life, death, resurrection, ascension, and seating), and we have no striving to do to accomplish it; we are only to look to Him in faith for all these things to be accomplished.

But Lambert uses several Bible verses to support his point (laid out in Part 2), so it’s important to look at them all. Here they are, with my commentary. Continue reading “What place does “striving” have in sanctification? A response to Heath Lambert”

Reconciling the “resting” and the “striving,” with some thoughts from Heath Lambert

This is Part 2 of 3. In Part 1, I expressed the consternation I had experienced over Scriptures about “resting” and “striving” that seemed like they didn’t fit with each other.

So what do those “resting” verses really mean?

The Lord used several means to help me in my understanding: my Bible studies—especially Galatians, Romans, and Colossians—a sermon, and some key books. Even though I didn’t understand at that time the importance of asking the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the Scriptures, still He had mercy on me.

The resting (in case you had as much trouble getting it as I did) is NOT about becoming a couch potato, lol. Continue reading “Reconciling the “resting” and the “striving,” with some thoughts from Heath Lambert”

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?”

What is real Christianity?

As we do the work of the Lord, in whatever capacity He has called us, to whatever degree He strengthens us, we’ll keep in mind the truth of who He is and who we are and to the life to which He has beckoned us.  We praise Him and look to Him on this day.

 

 

 

 

For my Mother (1927-2018)

 

This post was originally written in February of 2011 (“Mother’s Day in February”), when I thought my mother might not survive. She lived another 7.5 years and passed away last night, October 27, 2018.

*****

The sands of time are sinking . . .

“Mother, you’re in the hospital. You had a stroke. Remember?”

Slow nod, barely perceptible. Eyes closed, a cloud of silver hair on the pillow.

The dawn of heaven breaks . . .

And there she is, at the piano with me, black hair, bright eyes, big smile, cheery voice.  Continue reading “For my Mother (1927-2018)”

Is exposing evildoers a violation of the ninth commandment? a response to Tim Challies (part two)

Recently Tim Challies wrote a two-part blog series about the ninth commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false witness”), what can be seen here and here. Part one of my response was posted yesterday. Today I’m continuing to respond to the questions he asks that he says are prompted by the ninth commandment. Continue reading “Is exposing evildoers a violation of the ninth commandment? a response to Tim Challies (part two)”