Loss of certainty in some dearly held convictions proved 2be traumatizing 2me, but tho much was stripped away, Christ appears more glorious!
have we made an “idol” of certainty? at what point do we move from questioning to conviction?
I was askd what convictions hv been stripped away? 1st would be the importance of “believing rightly” vs. trusting God 2grow &preserve me.
Another…my singleness-perpetuating beliefs re what biblical masculine headship should look like. NO man could’v lived up 2my expectations!
I used 2b quite apathetic about the history of certain “heretics” being burned at the stake. Now I find these “church” rulings OFFENSIVE!
Another stripped away conviction: my past love of theological argument 2get 2the “TRUTH!” & now I find such things divisive &OFTEN grievous.
Piggyback 2last – the degree 2which Christians separate from one another over fine points of disagreement now WOUNDS me.
Took me over 30 years of my Christian walk 2realize that verse “Mercy triumphs over judgment” is not just a guideline, but TRUTH 2b LIVED.
YES relationship w/God is necessarily founded on his WORD, but we don’t HEAR his voice only by academic excellence. We hear with our SPIRIT.
Christ was FULL of Grace AND Truth. I’v erred on side of Truth but now that I hv recd Grace, I hv to admit I CANT always “know.”
I once mocked so-called 7/11 songs (same 7 words 11x) – now I realize this musically gets SELF out of way &invites Gods PRESENCE in worship!
I hv “sat in the seat of scoffers” .. it’s 1 thing 2 “bark @ the dogs” .. sometimes harsh words fit. But more often, I was exalting myself.
This is an EXCELLENT examination of faith and art in the context of so-called “Christian movies” .. Well worth the read!
Originally posted on Chrisicisms:
One of the downsides to this otherwise wonderful side job I’ve carved out for myself as a film critic is that people are always asking me what I’ve seen.
On the surface, that sounds very stupid. I write about films primarily because I love to share great movie-going experiences with others. I mentioned this in passing in my review of “Life Itself,” but I’m a big believer in C.S. Lewis’ comment that praise is the culmination of our enjoyment. In his “Reflections on the Psalms,” Lewis wrote:
“We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”
He was writing about worship there, but I think it’s appropriate in the context of anything we love. No one wants to stare at the Grand Canyon by themselves — you want the people you love by your side. When you read…
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Ideals hv their place,but when ur in the thick of learning how 2love some1 in their brokenness, u awaken 2new ways u stand in need of Grace.
Forgiveness and Self-Sacrifice. Two of the grandest themes in human history – authored &executed by the One who himself never needed either.
U can be passionate, pontificate grand themes &preach &profess much Right! ~ but when u SIMPLY DO, u discover all ur knowledge meant little.
U can study &analyze &question &agitate & wonder &aha! &conclude a host of extraordinary truths ~ but until u WALK in them, u know nothing.
If God has clearly told u 2do something – even if ur clumsy &awkward &unclear re how or when – He will bless ur obedience &make it fruitful.
I am a weak plank; Ur strong faith in me wont prevent me from failing u.But there’s a Strong Plank undergirding me; Tho I fail, He will not!
“Remind me that You are mighty AND gentle! Let me always put my trust in You, God; Cultivate my GLAD surrender, and make me HOPE in You!”
To what Scriptures do u flee when ur tempted to despair? How do u “preach the Gospel” to urself? What truths do u speak?
How do u know if u have loved ur own happiness more than God’s glory and Gospel? Examine how u respond when that “happiness” is taken away.
Nothing exposes ur idols faster than their being toppled, leaving u feeling bereft & tempted 2despair. It is then ur MUST flee 2Jesus!
We can unknowingly bring about our own greatest fears; how we speak, even in how we pray, reveals the level of faith in which we’re walking.
There are ununspeakable sorrows the heart can experience, secrets we keep even from ourselves, &only Grace can reach &minister 2us there.
we may dream of accomplishing gr8 things 4many ppl…but what if we wake up 2find God directed us 2 ONE person 2show His everlasting Grace?
despite our dreams of grandeur, we can recognize real “gr8ness” in such stories as a single mom sacrificing everything 2bring up her child.
ministry doesn’t always meet r expectations. a wife’s faithfulness 2her wayward husband, a dad’s self-sacrifice 4family: these=true ministry
What if someone seems 2hav it all 2gether only cuz they’r fearful of DOING things @ which they MIGHT fail…U can’t always control outcome!
u might feel ur walking in victory only cuz u never RISKED anything. What if u heard from God 2step out on water? Do u know u couldn’t fail!
One proof-test 2help expose ur heart-idols (something/someone u love more than God) ~ How devastated would u b if this was snatched away?
examples of surprising heart-idols: ur reputation, comfort, other ppl’s “good” opinion of u, things/ppl 4which u make moral compromises
My health walk is actually RARELY about self-denial; rather..find GOOD alternatives &disciplin myself 2b SATISFIED regrdless of how I “feel”
Make a commitment or make excuses; You can’t have it both ways.
1of2: “Bruises that dont seem 2heal,Scars tattood across her life,Still th suffering cries can only scream so loud,There is One who shares..
2of2: ..her pain,Himself beaten, broken, bloody,Speaking resurrection from the loving hand of God”
“Come2me my darling come2me,Touch the scars here in my hands &feet,Doubt no more my darling,doubt no more,Come w/me,my darling,darling girl”
The “in the moment” uncertainties can never trump the Word you’ve received from the Lord. What he has said, he WILL do.
Its so tempting 2find our value in eyes of another person – espec if we DESIRE that person..This steals from our desire 4, &worth in Christ.
we may want 2 “hear” offense from something a loved one says; it takes great patience+grace not 2jump 2defensive &instead “hear” THEIR hurt.
1 turn of a phrase can unravel everything…SO critical 2make every effort NOT 2take offense 4sake of love-believing-the-best of 1 another.
Some things are better left kept 2oneself – undiscerning small talk invites others 2share opinions, &the Seed they sow isn’t always Good.
A profound &life-changing revelation 2realize the borders of my Soul Garden had fallen into such disrepair. Now TENDING 2it as God intended.
Jesus alone is our Salvation – he SAVES. And even when we’re unfaithful, he remains faithful. Repent &believe! The Kingdom of God is @ hand!
Having the answers is not essential 2living. What is essential is the sense of God’s presence during dark seasons of questioning. RZacharias
We know we’re
#GrowingUp when we’re CONTENT with what we HAVE ….
We know we’re
#GrowingUp when we find we WANT what we NEED ….
Learning to love sacrificially … necessarily entails some sacrifices. ;)
When the Lord writes your story, you know the ending’s gonna be GOOD….
Not so much “new” me as “real” me ;)
if ur right, and this is the Lord’s promise to you, then u won’t have to walk in disobedience to obtain it.
walking by faith ¬ by sight means exactly what it sounds like it means ~ u won’t be able 2SEE the guaranteed desired outcome. only Trust.
doing right (obeying God) doesn’t always bring “happiness” as we usually mean it – but it DOES lead 2PEACE, &true happiness follows peace.
u can be making all the right decisions &still be tempted 2despair; doing right doesn’t always lead 2″happiness” – but happiness IS a GIFT.
one day at a time, live with eternity in view, trusting what God SAYS even when (ESPECIALLY when) ur feelings don’t line up
somtimes LEADING ur feelings vs being LED by ur feelngs means u will hv 2CHOOSE (&find ways) 2endure days that tempt u 2feel like giving up!
trusting God 4deliverance today MAY reveal heart idol of desiring comfort/ease this side of heavn. do u trust 4tomorrow even if today=pain?
relatively easy to walk by “faith” if our lives haven’t faced real struggle. much more difficult to understand God’s grace through pain.
do u think….perhaps what we WANT is of such great importance, that we can NOT speak of it…cuz the wanting of it is itself so fragile….
have i swung from 1 extreme 2the other? from uber legalist (pharisee) 2mega theological liberal? No. But i might finally love GRACE ovr law.
oh yes, call evil “EVIL” &seek justice where necessary ~ BUT our scoffing tone belies our inability 2see the wickednesses of our own hearts.
QUICK2make someone who’s guilty of some evil thing so VERY different from us (!) that we couldnt possibly see our way 2falling like they hv.
I’v found far many more things ought 2b held in my “open hand” rather than my “closed fist” ~ There r “load bearing walls” &walls that move.
so easy&tempting 2feast on the abundance of religious&political commentaries that FLOOD “airwaves” ~ far better 2immerse self in God’s WORD.
even tho we might all be “Christians” together, we hv WILDLY varied convictions; still on this we agree ~ we know God primarily by his WORD.
If we really see the ugliness of the sin nature from which Jesus rescues US, we cannot help but long 4his mercy towards others!
a recovering Everything-is-black-or-white thinker, I’v bn humbled in recent yrs 2see complexity, &spectrum of color, &whole persons.
God teaches us not only 2″love what he loves & hate what he hates” ~ but 2have mercy where he has mercy, 2be patient where he is patient…
4those of us who consider ourselves recovering pharisees ~ how has Christ revealed 2u the truth: “Mercy triumphs over justice”? (James 2:13)
controversies will 4ever be part of our religious &political dialogues..what is more important: the Truth? our Convictions? or our “Rights”?
is our Faith predicated on the zealously affirmed theologies of our favorite famous preachers? or are we hungering 4 & hearing from Christ?
Don’t look to the left or to the right ~ Just WORK THE PLAN, and the results will follow naturally.
The truth? I was willingly trapd by notion I had 2believ rightly about EVERYTHNG &get u 2b same as me. Then GRACE broke thru; CHRIST is all.
The truth? It really doesn’t matter what “they” think. It’s not just ok 2say no, it’s often necessary. (be LED, Prov. 3:4-5)
The truth? Expending ur best effort 2 obtain the “good opinion” of others does NOT make u Adaptable or Flexible…It makes u a Slave.
New mantra, “Sweat is sexy!”
Do u see ur friend, pained &wearied working a plan that seems repeatedly thwarted? Seek God WITH them &encourage them 2keep the END in view!
Whatever our reasons, our human hearts DO vote in tyrants over ourselves, whether a political or a sinful kind. Democracy is NOT our savior.
Amazing what “walls” we are willing to move when for love both of Christ and each other we realize our “legalisms” can really bear no loads.
Feelings are not Faith. MAY be fruit of Faith OR fruit of LACK (ie: fear). Better SAY NOTHING if ur not sure ur being LED by God.
heard today: “Doing your best” is NOT a standard. There is a difference between doing ur best, and doing what IS best.”
“Give me the hottest woman, a woman hotter than you in every way, and she wouldn’t excite me NEARLY as much as you do!”
Giving grace in relationshp means 1st seeing ur NEED 4grace which=humble urself, recognize ur weakness/failings so u can hv patience &peace.
Good rule in dating, fit for marriage too: Do not create expectations/demands (in ur heart/mind) that the other cannot righteously fulfill.
Be honest but loving; u can prevent a fight by identifying ur own emotional weakness &confess up front! – free ur spouse from having 2GUESS!
Obviously no 2marriages are the same. Don’t despair if u’ve no example; take care what voices u invite 2speak counsel. Better 2b prayerful!
Husband, don’t despise ur wife’s emotional needs. But Wife? don’t “demand” all be met by ur husband – look 2Christ &build godly friendships!
Re-read journal 4past months, surprizd at repeat references 2my man’s expressing his affections. I FELT insecure; til I CHOSE 2believe him.
…prick me, and I bleed words…..some things never change. ;)
This past year has been a journey 2learn how 2manage external stressors so I don’t tank my health…really boils down 2…self-control. DOH!
We must be LED by Spirit regarding how & 2WHOM we make our “confessions” .. words are like SEED; will our confession produce LIFE 2hearer?
There is a difference between something that is “secret” and something that is “private” … SECRET = poison. PRIVATE = sacred.
u must grasp what great mercy u have received in order to grasp giving mercy to others
Whose voice am I listening to? Check my emotions 4a telltale sign ~ if I’m “believing a lie” I must combat w/truth!
(1) we obey, we persevere, in spite of how we “feel”, with the HOPE that God will keep his Word …
(2) which though devoid of “feeling” in the sense of comfort, we nevertheless persevere by clinging to conviction that …
(3) [God] WILL deliver, he WILL comfort, he WILL give us peace and BE our peace …. if not today, eventually …
(4) … I’m not sure it’s faith if it isn’t persevering apart from feeling “sure” ….
(5) (i never knew i had made an “idol” out of FEELING sure….)
We don’t ASK the mountain 2move, we don’t use a shovel &start digging. by faith, standing on the WORD, we SPEAK 2the mountain &it will move.
This has been a very challenging year – To anyone who has dropped by and happened to miss me, thank you! and I’m back!
Two BIG changes in the past year – I lost over 130 lbs, and I bought my first house to move closer to family.
I hope to post much more in coming updates of the things the Lord has taught me in both of these journeys, and others. Perhaps the most profound has been in the area of learning where to set and maintain proper “boundaries” in my life, as well as identifying areas where I had set up “strongholds” which ensnared me and led to my imprisonment in my own body – some of these things the Lord was already beginning to work on in me in months before, and you can probably see those themes in previous posts. I should go back and re-read, and perhaps that will inspire additional commentary.
For now, hello. ;) Please stay tuned. ;)