If you’ve listened to Dave Ramsey at all, you’ve heard it as a response to “How are you?”
If you listen to country gospel, you might have heard it as a song.
If you’ve been looking, you’ve seen it in blog posts (and more blog posts) and maybe even on T shirts.
If you’ve sat under C.J. Mahaney or any of his disciples, you’ve heard it in sermons and greetings at church.
It sounds like a cute catch phrase. To some people it sounds humble.
And Biblical. Continue reading ““Better than I deserve””
Here’s something we taught our children from the time they were old enough to understand:
Sometimes the worst punishment a person can get is what he wants.
I remmeber how astonished our children were with that teaching. It took much discussion for them to even begin to grasp it.
And of course our Biblical example was the Israelites, who turned from God and got what they wanted—lots and lots of quail. So much that it came out of their noses, as Numbers 11 so colorfully describes. Continue reading “Will God send leanness to your soul?”
It’s common for preachers and Christian writers to tell us, “When you listen to this sin being described, don’t think about anybody else; just think about yourself and search your own soul.”
Many Christians, well-meaning and good-hearted, very much take that admonition to heart and do their best never to apply any Scriptural finger-pointing to anyone around them.
That’s because frankly it’s a little scary and perhaps condemning, to think, “When you point the finger at someone else, you have three fingers pointing back at you.” Continue reading “Three fingers pointing back at you”
When Helena Knowlton of Confusion to Clarity first began talking to me about fear in the cult she came out of, I knew I wanted to write about fear. But since I wanted to have a better grasp of the concept, I spent time studying fear in the Bible. (This study covers only the New Testament. I want to do the Old Testament eventually, to cover all the excellent Scriptures there.)
So, it may not come as a surprise, but there’s more than one kind of fear. Continue reading “Is your fear sinful . . . or actually pleasing to God?”
That error in the title—did it make you wince? Take a minute to focus on it in all its awfulness, that apostrophe that shouldn’t be there.
That’s the way I felt the entire time I was reading this book over the Thanksgiving break I spent at a friend’s house when I was 19. Here is the exact cover. Continue reading “Faith in All It’s Splendor”
In March I was privileged to speak at the Awaken Network’s conference on abuse. My topic was Biblical bitterness, showing how in the Bible “bitterness” refers to one who has been poisoned and is grieving, and “bitterness” also refers to one who is doing the poisoning. Both are called “bitter,” but only one is sinful.
Megan Cox of Give Her Wings (with whom I also did a recent interview on this subject) said, “This is such good news.” Finding out that the Scriptures teach something different from the heavy burden of guilt and shame that church people often lay on the backs of the oppressed—well, that really is good news.
You can view that talk here:
Inspired by Andre Henry’s powerful post “To All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep,” I wrote about the impact of losing friendships in the Christian community.
All of us have a journey that brought us to where we are today. Many of us left a wake of blood and tears, people we had to leave behind, or who left us. I want you to think for a moment about each of those people. If there was one person you could have back—if abuse and mistreatment were not a factor—who would it be?
This is written to those in my life. Continue reading “To All the Christian Friends I Could Not Keep (guest post by Ryan Ashton)”
It was all the way last Monday when this Christian Post article (which you can see here) was posted, which is light years in the world of blogging, but I’ve always been light years behind, so here we are.
The article is worth reading in its entirety as a good example of the accusations used by those who tell us not to accuse. (FWIW, I don’t believe in name calling unless it’s warranted, like what Jesus did to the Pharisees.) Greg Gordon, the author of the article in question, makes accusations like these:
Like feeding fresh bloody fish to a group of swarming sharks, the frenzy ensues as web links are made and a new viral news article is born at the great expense of the character of a Christian leader as well as the testimony of Christ.
We never pray or fast for these individuals, we simply feed on their demise for our daily entertainment.
Continue reading “Those “renegade bloggers” in the Christian Post”
These bloggers consider themselves judge, jury, and executioner at the same time.
Do you ever feel, when you watch a movie, that there was an underlying reason for it, maybe a bit of propaganda, so to speak, that it wanted to promote? It may be only a small part of the movie, but it makes a profound impact. (An example that come readily to mind is a 1944 drama about the life of Woodrow Wilson, the purpose of which seemed to me to focus on the death of Wilson’s dream, the League of Nations, in order to push American viewers to become more willing to enter the United Nations.)
I could be wrong, but that’s the way I felt when I listened to this sermon by Michael Vanlaningham from March 31stat Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area. It seemed to me that the underlying reason, the bit of propaganda, began at about minute 25 when he began to focus on forgiveness. Continue reading “That forgiveness talk at Harvest Bible Chapel”