3 ways to guard the single women in your life

Yes, yes, yeeeessss.

If all you ever ask a young single is “Soooo when are you going to get a move on and find someone?”, don’t be surprised if they grow up thinking there’s nothing else to the Christian life. Here’s what to do instead.

I can’t remember which pastor said it recently, but I remember the illustration, at least for the most part. It went something like this — if you board a plane in New York, and the pilot sets the plane to fly one degree off course, you might not notice it so much if you were […]

via 3 ways to guard the single women in your life. — Grace for the road

A Rebuke Worse than God’s?

wrathWhen I mess up at work, and my boss calls me on the carpet about it, I’ll feel awful for a week and redouble my efforts to improve my work processes.

When my mistakes affect a coworker or increase their burden, I’ll feel even worse and seek to do them favors.

When my pastor point out an error in ministry, or even just provide advice upon my own prompting on how I could refine a certain area, (by the way, people, do not start walking on eggshells around me because of this post – I need and value correction), I’ll be quite humbled for a while.

And when a friend or family member expresses disappoint in me for whatever reason, an entire fortnight goes in the tank.

But when I sin and only God sees?

Well, something’s different. And not in a way that should be.

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Small Christian Blogs Worth Your Time

If you’re done reading my odd garglings for the week, perhaps you’d like to peruse some other bloggers.

We all could use a little help at the start of our blogging journeys. The following blogs have less than 100 followers, write from the heart, and merit a glance from you voracious spiritual readers.

I’ll probably make this a semi-regular thing, ten blogs at a time. There will be more later, so if you didn’t make it into this one, please don’t hurt me. I have a family. Waiting in the wings. Someday. I hope.

To qualify for these posts, you must:

  • Produce posts that are semi-frequent and long enough to be of substance
  • Show Biblical maturity
  • Have less than 100 WordPress followers
  • Be willing to pay a service fee of $270.39 and a bag of jellybeans. Cash only, please. (I’ve just been informed that this sort of thing is not kosher, so don’t mind the last part.)

Enjoy!

“The Ruminant Scribe” by Linda Mowles

“Helping Abuse Victims Fly through the Chaos” by Tammy Mathison

“Real Moms Don’t Judge, We Just Suggest” by Sheila Qualls

“You Can Trust Him” by Kim Nolywaika

“Kingdom Calling Blog” by kingdomcallingblog

“a different perspective” by William Strickland

“Father’s Service, Son’s Work, Spirit’s Gift” by Gadol Elohai

“Considering the Christian life, the Bible, and the Church” by Pastor Bob Mink

http://bethandjimherring.com by, of course, Beth and Jim Herring

 

“Under HIS Wings” by Loretta Schoen

Irritated by God’s Glory: Adventures in Overthinking Prayer, Part III

I wasn’t planning to make this a series. This should be the final installment. Feel free to read Part 1 and Part 2 if you’re really jonesing for a flying leap down the rabbit hole.

irritated

I used to be really irritated whenever someone mentioned God’s glory.

It took years of reflection, but thanks to God’s kind insight, I figured out why.

Part of the problem was that whenever I heard “glory of God”, I heard distance. Detachment. Dismissal. A far-off God who couldn’t care less about my heart or my issues, who basks in a shower of others’ praises while I toil down here, forgotten, or kinda tolerated. I feared getting lost in the shuffle.

I believe this is actually an enormous conundrum for my generation, one I’d like to talk about eventually – the collision of soli Deo gloria with the masses of millennials wounded by damaged families, abuse, neglect, self-hatred, addiction, and every other ill stemming from being grandchildren of the sixties, and then being told that a Christ-centered gospel means that their struggles are unworthy of attention. (Yes, we hear that. All the time.)

For now, the irony is, that definition of soli Deo gloria doesn’t glorify God. Scripture tells us instead of a gracious, compassionate, and involved God who goes to great lengths to come through, even arranging for trials so that we can learn of his power (2 Cor. 1:9). He is repeatedly described as a healer all through the holy book. It’s no wonder that many of my quiet times with God were unsatisfying and tense; I didn’t have the right image of him. Approaching God without accounting for every aspect of his character is a pointless exercise, and affords him no glory.

This has been a relief. God has reconciled vast territories of my heart to him through these Scriptural discoveries and opened new avenues of worship and intimacy.

But there was a deeper issue.

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The Sufficiency Gospel

“…the most dangerous lies are always subtle distortions of the truth.” It is true that God wants to bless us. It is not true that the health-and-wealth teachers have the right definitions of blessing. Mature Christians are aware of, and shun, their twisted prosperity gospel.

But have you heard of the sufficiency gospel?

Adam Desmond

target-sepia

I’m fairly certain that most of you are familiar with the prosperity gospel.

This evil distortion of the truth tells us that God wants us to be happy, healthy and wealthy, and if we will only name and claim our covenant promises, God is honor-bound to give us our inheritance.

If you’re familiar with the true gospel, you know why this is a distortion of the truth.

God does, in fact, want to bless us. And we do have covenant promises that God will always honor.

As I’ve said before, the most dangerous lies are always subtle distortions of the truth.

But have you heard of the sufficiency gospel?

It is much more subtle than the garish, heavy-handed, gilded lie of prosperity.

If you’re on Facebook, or read any popular Christian writing, I’m guessing you’ve been introduced to the basic concepts.

As with all truly successful lies, its foundation can…

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Well Done, Faithful Single

victory(This post originally debuted last summer, but I’ve picked up a great many followers since then, including not a few singles. I’d like them to hear this. Even if you’ve read this before, I hope it might make for a better-than-usual Monday.)

No preaching today, Christian single.

We’re taking a break from all the well-intentioned talk of God’s plan, trusting him, or anything along the lines of You need to do X before God marries you off. You’ve heard all that. Sometimes I wonder whether the church realizes just how holy your choices have already been.

If you’re single and still pursuing God, still in church, still serving and trusting and living to the fullest right now, I want to say – well done. God is pleased with you. He sees you. You deserve a party. Anyone who stays faithful through the denial of a heart’s desire is deserving of vigorous kudos. Because that’s holiness.

I’m sorry if your circle has failed to tell you this. They mean well. Even if they tell you to be content, find your satisfaction in Jesus, celebrate singleness as a Biblically valid lifestyle, and then turn around and reserve all the parties for newlyweds.

But any chump can get married. All it takes is someone who’s vaguely compatible, a justice of the peace, a slip of paper, and a convenient failure to really think about whether the union is a good idea.

On the other hand, someone who looks at a Savior who keeps saying no, yet still pronounces “I trust him” to the watching world? That’s a rare gem. One who has learned something about that Savior.

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Don’t Ask Why

I offer you a morsel from a blog I just started following. Very good piece about seeking God instead of insisting on the Romans 8:28 explanation. Sometimes our need to seek God is the only reason for our pain.

A Whole Lot of Jesus

You lost your best friend. You spent three years in a terrible relationship. You didn’t get into your dream school. You’ve been unemployed for months and your efforts are only getting you rejection letters. You lost your mom to cancer. You’re struggling. You’re hurting. And you can’t figure out why God would do this to you.

So often we get caught up in trying to understand God’s ways and why He would allow such pain into our lives. We scramble through articles and the Bible, ask people over and over, and cry out to God asking him ‘why’. And when we can’t seem to find an answer we ask why we haven’t seen God in all of this? Where is He? But listen dear heart, don’t worry about why God is doing all of this.

God can turn even the worst situation into good. He can take what’s been…

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