Sunday, February 28, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
I wish we all came with signs on our backs that said “Construction Zone: Work in progress. Please be patient and pardon my dust.” If we did, I think the world would be a nicer place because we’d all be a little more kind, gentle, gracious, and forgiving with others and with ourselves.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
It’s being vulnerable, taking a risk with our hearts . . . sometimes winning, sometimes losing.
It’s leaning on others and opening ourselves up to them, to trust, to hope. Sometimes finding support and acceptance and help, being caught before we hit the ground. And sometimes being let down and battered, falling flat on our faces when others pull back and fail to catch us.
Sometimes, it’s just a minor annoyance, a pain that we absorb with relative ease, realizing that we are better for it. And sometimes, it’s more pain than we can bear, feeling like we’ll never be whole again, wanting to curl up in a ball in a dark, lonely corner and fall asleep forever.
Being broken hurts!
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
64. I had a small panic attack three days ago (May 30, 2016. But it’s posted in February because I wanted the blog to end there.). It’s the first one I’ve ever had and I don’t plan on ever having another one. [I also once had a minor nervous breakdown during my parents’ very messy divorce. It was so bad that the only way I could start breathing and stop crying was to flee from everything, to jump in the car with my husband and two kids and run away to the middle of nowhere for a little while.]
Monday, February 15, 2016
So if you want to discover the delicious power, delightful self-abuse, and ultra-fun finger-pointing that come with bitterness, this is what you have been looking for:
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Of course, the word depression doesn’t appear in the Bible, so this issue requires some conjecture, some outside-the-box thinking. But my first reaction to this question was: “Calling it a sin isn’t going to help anyone who is struggling with it. You can’t just say, ‘You are sinning and you need to stop it,’ and expect that someone is going to be able to go, “Oh, you’re right. I’ll stop being depressed and start feeling joyful.’”
It doesn’t happen that way. And it may actually be more harmful to talk like that. In some ways, I think calling depression a sin is irresponsible. It will only add to the pain and self-loathing someone feels instead of helping at all. And it will make them want to pull back and suffer in silence.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
So in this post, I want to specifically look at how the book of Romans supports the idea that God lets us decide to choose or reject His offer of salvation, choose or reject eternal life. The responsibility lies with us. God does not pre-decide it for us.
But why should this issue matter to us? To Christians who have already decided to put our faith in the Lord?
It might not matter much for those of us who already believe, but you can bet-your-bottom-dollar that it matters to unbelievers and to seekers, to those who are wondering what kind of God we believe in. Is He really as loving and willing to forgive as we say He is, if He has pre-decided that certain people will go to hell? Is forgiveness really available to all? Did Jesus’ death cover everyone’s sins? Is there really a need to evangelize and to make a decision about Him if we don’t even really have the right to decide or make a choice?
This is why this issue has been so important to me to figure out. What we believe about this places God, His love, His forgiveness, His grace, Jesus’ sacrificial death, our personal responsibility, etc. in a very different light. And we cannot have real answers for the doubters and the seeker’s questions if we aren’t even sure what we believe about it.
Imagine that I walk into your church and say, “I am taking a group of people on a mission trip with me. We are leaving sometime soon, and you have to decide which group you’ll be part of: the one that goes or the rest that stay behind. I have a destination picked out, a way to get there, I’ve already paid the price to take a group with me, and I’m now asking for those who want to go. It’s up to you if you want to come or be left behind. And if you do not deliberately choose to come with me, you will be left behind.” This, in essence, is the way I view the whole “predestination or free-will” debate.
This debate has to do with the idea of whether we have the ability to choose salvation or if God has already made this decision for us in the very beginning. Are we simply puppets acting out pre-determined roles? Or do we have a real choice in the matter?
I think it falls somewhere in the middle, that we have free-will and that God has a predetermined plan already set up.
Monday, February 1, 2016
But look it up online and you'll see that it's not that cut-and-dried. It's not as "predestination" as it sounds.
First off, it's important to not take it out of context or separate it from the rest of Scripture. If you do, then it could definitely sound like God predetermined that specific unbelievers would obtain eternal life. But we need to look at it in context and in relation to the rest of Scripture.