What You Need When You Need It

So very very true.. Our God is faithful!

Samaritan's Song

Back when I was getting my Ph.D., I had to commute to the university where I both taught and took courses.  The commute was two and a half hours one way, and a great deal of it took place on winding country road in the absolute middle of nowhere.  The odds of hitting a deer were high.  The odds of getting help anywhere nearby were low.

My days were long.  I’d leave early in the morning, drive two and a half hours to school, teach a few courses, sit through a couple of seminars with my peers in the program, keep my scheduled office hours, then commute two and a half hours back home to eat a late-night dinner with my husband…and then do homework.

Recently, my husband and I had the chance to make a small part of that old drive as part of a larger trip.  As…

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Sometimes God’s Grace Weighs Heavy On Me

This is so true, walking the walk is not easy…

Samaritan's Song

Written last night, in an attempt to work out a lot of what I was feeling:

There are moments in my life – and now is one of them – when I want to grab certain fellow believers I know, shake them, and scream, “What in the world is wrong with you?”

I know, at least intellectually, that Christians are merely redeemed sinners serving under the grace of God.  I know that Jesus did not come to serve the healthy but the sick and that, under those auspices, the church is – as the saying goes – more of a hospital than a museum.  I know that.  I do.  I know that the tendency of the human heart is to sin and darkness, and I know that even the best and longest-lived believers fall prey to that weakness.  I know that all our righteousness is like filthy rags.

And yet…

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Why I’d submit to an egalitarian, not complementarian, man. And why complementarianism can never truly value women.

Enough Light

The observations in this post are based on my experience with egalitarian and complementarian men in both face-to-face and online settings. There are exceptions to the following, however the majority of instances fit the pattern.

I have not experienced respect from complementarian men, rather I am patronized by them. My opinions and abilities are not valued or taken seriously. My spouse can attest to this, as he has observed first-hand the condescending treatment. However, egalitarian men have treated me with respect. I’ve actually been overwhelmed by the respect I have been shown. My input has not only been sought out, but valued.

And this got me thinking about an irony. If these egalitarian men believed in unilateral male leadership and female submission (which they don’t), I would actually have no problem submitting to such men and being led by them!

But the complementarian men? Based on their disrespectful and patronizing…

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Stop Assuming Someone Else Will Do It

Samaritan's Song

Yesterday in church, I was seated about three rows behind an elderly man who is a mainstay in the congregation during morning worship.

He walks with a walker and has mobility issues; aides get him in and out of the sanctuary.  Once he sits, he struggles to get back up again, and he can’t shift or move around very easily.  I’ve always admired that in spite of this, I can set my clock by his regular attendance.

As the service got underway, he dropped a small clipboard over the arm of the pew.  I saw it fall; I watched him look over at it, frustrated, and then slowly begin to maneuver his walker in an attempt to bring the clipboard a little closer so that he could pick it up.  Assuming someone else in one of the rows directly behind him would help, I didn’t stir.

And then, as he…

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Only the Blind Man Could See

The Millennial Pastor

John 9:1-41

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (Read the whole passage)

Out of the sun and into the mud.

We have been on journey this lent through various familiar places of Jesus ministry. The wilderness of the desert of temptation. The darkness of Nicodemus’s questions by night. The bright noon day heat of the woman at the well and her isolation. Jesus continues on his journey through the lives of unsuspecting people, moving towards their questions, breaking their walls, and today helping them to see.

This Lenten season has shown us the movement of God towards creation. We have seen that God is beginning a new thing in the identity of Christ, despite the tempter’s wondering if Jesus is…

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Unlearning A Perverted Gospel

Bread for the Bride

There are all kinds of ways to hear the gospel.  We may hear it in a church, from someone speaking on TV or radio, or perhaps by direct conversation with another person.  ‘Faith comes by hearing’ is a maxim drummed in to us from very early in our Christian journey.  We hear, through faith the Spirit enables us to believe, and we cross over that invisible line from unbeliever to believer.  The journey begins.

But what if hearing the gospel and receiving the gospel are not the same thing?  What if the gospel that now makes its way across the airwaves, or is preached from the pulpit, or is conveyed by word of mouth has become so distorted and limited that it bears hardly any resemblance to the pure and measureless gospel delivered by Jesus Christ Himself?

Paul didn’t mince words when challenging the Galatian Christians with this very question.

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It is Time to Stand Tall

It is Time to Stand Tall

Take up the cross and follow Jesus—Not religion

Has the body of Christ in Western society become weak and anemic?  Have we become self centered rather than Christ centered?

When this topic dropped into my spirit…I realized it was time to stop hiding in my comfort zone and again take my place as a member of the body Christ.  Self has a hard time being nailed to a cross but in order to be a true disciple self must be crucified with Christ. We must like Paul say “not I but Christ”.

On social media I read believers shock and despair because other believers in other lands are being killed and tortured for their commitment to Christ.  They despair when our politicians remove Christian standards and beliefs from our public spaces but allow other faiths to have free run.

We are not of this world but we live in it, is the life we are walking reading this is a follower of Jesus Christ, are we the letters he writes for the world to read or do they see something else?

When I see the hatred and hysterics of those opposed to anything to do with Jesus it confirms his WORD just as much as his blessing in our lives.

Mark 10:29-30 (NIV)

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

Yes, when Jesus tells us to take up the cross and follow Him it will cost everything, but in turn we gain so much more if we truly every day decide to be dead in Christ instead of living for self.

It is a manmade gospel that tells us that we will not suffer in this life; anyone who has honestly read the scriptures and the lives of the disciples’ knows that along with the blessing of having a relationship with the living God, that in this world there is persecution.

So far much of what we as believers have suffered here in our Western Societies has more to do with our self-serving iterations of scripture rather than actual living out of scripture, and the life of Christ that flows from the disciple of Jesus whose life is hide in Him.

1 Peter 4:12-16 (NIV)

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Verse 15 indicates that if we suffer because of our soulish behaviour it is our own fault and we need again lay our lives at the foot of the cross, there is shame when our own unchristen like behaviour brings dishonor to the body of Christ.  I do not want to go into examples of this kind of behavior as we are all at one time or other guilty of some form of it, the Holy Spirit if we are honestly open to Him will show you the error and enable your repentance.

  Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This chapter in Matthew is a great place to begin to understand how Jesus wants us to live and what our attitudes will be when our lives are hid in Him. (a big ouch to the flesh)

Today to many ‘Christians’ have no idea what the Bible actually says, and only know what someone has told them it says…we need to read the Bible for ourselves and learn what it really teaches.

Acts 17:10-12 (NIV)

In Berea

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

This I believe is the first step we must take if we are to be salt and light in our world today we must know what Jesus lived and taught!  It is the only way we will be able to stand in this hour fully clothed in the armour of God.(Eph. 6:16-18)

If we continue as a bless me club, and not the living out working of the life of Christ, we will perish without honor, but if we will gird up our lions, take up our cross and crucify self and walk each day the crucified life when real persecution comes and it will, the body of Christ will again be a force to be reckoned with in the earth.