Recently I received a question from my friend Ana Harris. She said,
When people’s prayers for God to be glorified in my suffering are disconnected from his goodness and love, they start to sound rather cruel, almost like God is using me and taking pleasure in my pain. Does God cause my pain and suffering for his own glory? Why would he need our suffering to get glory for himself? Doesn’t he already possess glory because of who he is?
What is your answer to this? How do we truly glorify God? What is glory anyway?
Continue reading “Is God glorified through our suffering?”
It may feel like voyeurism, reading about it, if you don’t know any of these people.
But as I’ve been saying for some time now, I can be pretty doggone certain that you do know or at least interact with a survivor of sex trafficking, even if you don’t think you do. Because they are all around you.
My primary work is with those who have been sex trafficked in the Christian world. And believe me, there are parallels.
One person or small group of people is/are the traffickers. They may be relatively obscure, as Epstein was.
Others, the wealthy and elites (in my experience, it’s primarily been the wealthy and elites in the Christian world) are the buyers who take advantage of the trafficker’s “services.” (Flying in to the trafficking location is not a problem for the Christian elite.)
There’s a lot to learn about how this all works by reading about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Continue reading “Why the Jeffrey Epstein case matters to Christians”
Erika Smith grew up in an abusive home in which the parents claimed Christianity. She is still a follower of Jesus in spite of the way she and her siblings were treated by her parents and the casual “forgive and forget” dismissal she has received from churches where she has tried to get help. Continue reading “Did I do all I could for my siblings? (guest post by Erika Smith)”
In 2008, the movement calling itself “Biblical patriarchy” was in its heyday.
In 2008, the beautiful Botkin sisters, paragons of the visionary daughterhood espoused by “Biblical patriarchy,” were 20 and 22 years old. Three years earlier, at 17 and 19, they had published their book So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God which went on to influence many impressionable teen girls that their highest calling was to fulfill their father’s every whim. Continue reading ““The Return of the Daughters” meets Rachael Denhollander”
Recently I received a note from a friend, Rochelle Sadie (whose blog about recovering from domestic abuse is here).
The verse that the enemy likes to use against me to guilt trip me is Luke 6:32 when Jesus said “anyone can love someone who is nice to them, but it’s better to love your enemy.” Basically I feel so much condemnation, like I’m taking the easy way out by avoiding my abuser, and God is disappointed in me that I would not seek to “love my enemies” or just try to work around their “shortcomings.”
I wonder – if you might help me understand Jesus’ true intentions with this statement. What is the heart of God regarding our attitude toward our abusers and sometimes toward those who pressure us to return to an abuser and/or a chronically unfaithful man?
Here is my reply. Continue reading “What does “loving your enemies” look like with an abuser?”
I love it when friends of mine find their voices and speak. I love providing them with a safe space to speak about what God has done in their lives. This one is from my friend Ruth.
I’ve not ever been in what is considered formal therapy. Sadly the “biblical counsel” my church leaders and Bible college leaders gave me as a teen almost killed me.
“Never question authority”
I was raised in an environment where authority was absolute. Obedience without question was expected to be given to any “authority” in my life. I learned that they were chosen and ordained by God to communicate God’s plan and design for my life. If any authority figure pointed out anything other than unquestioned obedience on my part, I would be punished.
“Adults do not just sit around making up lies just to create trouble for children.” I heard that time after time. Continue reading “The best counsel I ever received—it’s not what you’d expect (guest post by Ruth Harris)”
Someone asked me,
When the Bible talks about wolves in sheep’s clothing, is that referring to a common occurrence? That in our everyday churches, there would be people there who may be well respected but are there to deceive and destroy?
How does one recognize a vicious wolf, if he looks like a harmless sheep? Continue reading “Are wolves proliferating in the churches?”
It’s actually a beautiful verse.
But sometimes it’s used as a cudgel.
After I had heard two different people refer to this Bible verse as a verb (as a cudgel that had been used against them), I knew it was time to write about it.
Here it is: Continue reading “Have you been Philippians 4:8’d?”
For those who want to do something significant with your lives . . .
For those who want to do hard things, not just for the sake of doing something hard, but for the sake of doing something that will last and will have meaning beyond yourself . . . Continue reading “For those who Don’t want to Waste Your Lives . . .”
What’s wrong with that statement in the title?
Answer . . .
There’s no antecedent for the “it.”
(As a writer, editor, and English teacher, I’m troubled by a missing antecedent because of the ambiguity it creates. And yes, that sentence was a little bit “about me.”)
So I had to do some research to find out what people think the “it” refers to. Turns out different people think it refers to different things. Imagine that. Gotta love ambiguity. Continue reading ““It’s not about you””