Posted in Christianity

parchments

Amazing. I’d never realized…. May the Lord be praised for making His Word so widely available in our present age.

Don't Stop Believing

The late Verlyn Verbrugge’s book, Paul & Money, contains an intriguing discussion of how much money Paul would have needed to write his epistles (p. 100-2). I had never considered this question, and I turned Verlyn’s thoughts into an essay for Our Daily Journey. I commend it and Verlyn’s interesting book to you.

“When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers” (2 Timothy 4:13).

Our digital world makes it difficult to appreciate the value of words. We send each other texts and emails, which we answer and then delete. We might write a letter if we have something important to say, and on special occasions we’ll send a card. If we really want to make an impression, such as with wedding or graduation invitations, we’ll pay extra to put our message in formal…

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Posted in Christianity

Just Sayin — Talmidimblogging

Good dad!

Originally posted on Truth in Palmyra: BaHAHAHA Brilliant! Truth in Palmyra View original post

via Just Sayin — Talmidimblogging

Posted in Christianity

Wounded Hearts and Mangled Souls – an Excerpt

Overheard

Overheard:

“We have to be careful slinging that word ‘abuse’ around too freely, you know. That can become abusive itself. Abuse is a lot rarer than some people make it out to be.”

The following is excerpted from a book I am writing about my experience as a Biblical counselor who seems to have specialized in abuse. I say, “seems to have specialized,” because it wasn’t a primary area for counseling focus I planned, it has just ended up that way. Let me know what you think, hm?

For over twenty-five years, I have sat week in and week out with troubled and hurting people who seek God’s answers to their struggles. I serve the Body of Christ in a number of roles, one of which is as a Biblical counselor.

Before coming to me, most of the people I meet with have gone to pastors and therapists and psychologists…

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Posted in Christianity

An Open Letter to Target: Regarding your New Restroom Policy

Excellent article on a timely subject.

Mary From Martha

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a woman. I am a frequent shopper in your stores. I am first and foremost a mother. Your recent change in policy of who you allow to use each restroom concerns me. You stated in your blog post, “We believe that everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination and treated equally.” and “…you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.” As a business owner, I do understand your right to make a stance as a company. As a parent, I will never understand why you would trade the safety of our women and children for the sake of not hurting  feelings.

I realize that everyone needs to feel accepted, loved, and wanted. I know the struggles of a person struggling to find their identity. I also know that as of September 2012, a Gallup poll showed that approximately 3.4% of Americans identify as

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Posted in Authentic Christianity

Ministering to the Sick – Some Practical Considerations (via Preacher Thoughts)

(I just read this article and was deeply touched by its gentle Christ-centered wisdom. As one who has spent much time in the hospital–both as a patient and with family members–I couldn’t agree more. The article offers excellent advice for any Christian who is ministering to those who are ill. Read and be blessed.)
I came across this little list the other day and thought it might prove helpful for young pastors in particular. Much of this I learned from tagging along with my father-in-law to hospital visits during our summer vacations. But this is the kind of stuff every Christian can do.

Your Demeanor – – You should be humbly confident.
the sick are already struggling to not be anxious, they don’t need you to add to their anxiety
“pray yourself up” before meeting with them; yours is a spiritual work
enter the room slowly, but with a smile that is full of love
don’t let your eyes rivet on tubes and monitors… look into the eyes of the sick or the family that attends them
hospitals are not modest or clean – just deal with it
have some idea of what you are going to say before getting there –> a plan breeds confidence (I like to have a Psalm in mind that I have read over in advance)

Your Speech – – You should get to Christ and the Gospel.
there is lots of time to talk about physical conditions, but not everyone has someone in their lives to remind them of Christ
remember to speak in a calm, conversational, not-too-loud voice (this is where nervousness can kill you – getting too loud or stuttering, etc)
have a specific passage of Scripture to read and comment on
I like to use whatever the Lord has blessed me with recently in my own devotional time
you do not need to read all of a passage
admonish through the Word (e.g. “Here the Psalmist says that God’s voice can still a war or move a city… how glad I am that our Saviour is that strong. He is still that strong and will be for you.”)
keep your admonishment simple, and clear… no need to “preach the whole counsel” today; avoid obscure thoughts or things that do not relate to suffering
don’t shy from asking simple questions that remind them of Jesus
don’t shy away from asking difficult questions. The very ill often want to speak of death, their salvation, heaven, their assurance, etc. Often some of the sweetest fellowship happens when you ask a saint if they are prepared to die.

To continue reading, please go to http://preacherthoughts.blogspot.ca/2016/04/ministering-to-sick-some-practical.html

Posted in Christianity

Not a Marriage Problem

Peace Works Blog

Not a Marriage Problem

“I don’t see the harm in sitting down with the couple to get the whole story.”

“That’s great Chris, but when can we begin marriage counseling?”

“How long before they can move back in together?”

These are just a few examples of the kinds of things I’ve heard over the years from pastors and ministry leaders who have come to me for help and assistance with a case in their ministry involving abuse. Many have been resistant to my recommendations to delay marriage counseling and feel pressure to focus attention on the marriage. The truth is domestic abuse is not a marriage problem, it’s a heart problem. Therefore, marriage-focused solutions may do more harm than good in cases of domestic abuse. Rushing a resolution could prove damaging and even deadly in cases of domestic abuse. While there remains some debate regarding the value of marriage counseling in…

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Posted in abuse, Authentic Christianity

Some thoughts on domestic abuse, complementarianism, patriarchal teachings and the Gospel

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I am a homeschooling mom, a conservative Christian, a woman who believes the Bible teaches that the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. I believe that the Bible teaches that men are to lead our churches. I am also a woman who has been abused by a man who took scriptural teachings and twisted them into something that they were never meant to be. A woman who has often been ignored and even maligned by the church for asking for help and daring to speak out about his abuse. A woman who has been attacked by fellow believers for continuing to believe that Scripture teaches that men are to lead our churches and our homes.

Why, I wonder, can’t we address abuse while upholding Scripture?

Why can’t our leaders follow God all of the way, expressing all of His truth, not just the ones that don’t make them uncomfortable?

Why can’t we uphold the truth on this side of the spectrum while also upholding it on that side of the spectrum also?

For instance…

  • The scriptural truth that God calls men to be the leaders of their homes and of the church shouldn’t devolve into non-scriptural patriarchal teachings that elevate men in ways God never intended. These non-scriptural teachings encourage dominance of men over women and over their families; they also help to set the stage for domestic abuse within some homes while also helping to hide the truth that domestic abuse does exist within some homeschooling families as well as within the church itself.
  • The truth that God hates abuse and oppression of all kinds–including domestic abuse–shouldn’t just belong to the more liberal-minded churches.
  • The truth that God allows divorce in cases of domestic abuse, the truth that Malachi 2: 16 has been twisted into saying something that it was never intended to say, shouldn’t just belong to the liberal churches, either.

If we allow that which Scripture does not we are guilty of adding to God’s Word. If we ignore or teach against those things which God allows because it makes us uncomfortable or because we’ve never done it that way, then we are guilty of subtracting from God’s Word. And, if we are silent about any or all of it when we should speak up, we are aligning ourselves with evil.

There is much evil in the world today. There is also much evil masquerading as good right in our own churches. There is only one cure for man’s sinfulness and that is the pure, undiluted, Gospel–the Gospel neither added to nor taken from. There is likewise only one way to address the plague of domestic abuse within our communities and within our own churches and that is also the pure, undiluted, Gospel. When God’s Word in its beautiful completion and entirety is taught, believed and lived out, the power of evil dwindles, shrivels, and dies.

I’m not asking for churches to focus all of their teaching on domestic abuse. I would stand against that in every way. I’m not asking them to set up everything in their churches to focus on abuse victims; to do so would be to make our churches man-centered rather than Christ-centered–something that is innately evil. What I am asking is that our spiritual leaders teach and embrace all of the teachings of Scripture–even the uncomfortable ones–without twisting them into something evil and vile. Complementarian teachings are, I believe true and beautiful and absolutely based in Scripture. Twist those truths into patriarchal teachings that so many churches now embrace and you have built a breeding place for domestic abuse; ignore them and you are subtracting from Scripture. Take a stand for the sanctity of marriage, teach the truth that marriage is sacred, holy and is meant to be permanent and you are honoring the Lord; twist such teachings into the permanence view of marriage, or ignore the real meaning behind Malachi 2: 16, and you are teaching falsehoods.

Domestic abuse isn’t just your average normal run-of-the-mill type of marital problem. There really aren’t two sides to every single story. When you have two people who won’t get along, who aren’t “in love” with each other anymore, who make each other unhappy or who simply won’t quit arguing, there are two sides–he said, she said–and both are probably, in some way, wrong. In such a case, those involved need to take responsibility for their own actions, stop being selfish, listen, serve one another, and remember and uphold the vow that they made before God. There’s little to no wiggle room in such situations. Such partners probably need counseling, maybe even couples counseling, and they need to decide to love God and each other more than they are loving themselves. However, domestic abuse isn’t the same type of case. In abuse cases, you have one spouse who is trying to control, dominate, wound and destroy the other spouse–there is no room for finding common ground in such an evil environment. If our leaders understand this–while upholding the truth of Scripture in its entirety–then great strides will be made in ministering to abuse victims–and doing so in a way that is Christ-honoring while looking out for the safety of the victims.