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Showing posts with the label faith

"Breaking Free" From Beth Moore, And Women In The Church

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But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
-- 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (ESV)
Women, you are a treasure.

That verse isn't talking about just women, obviously, but there are times where women in the church feel like, as a jar of clay, they are getting broken to bits not by God but by man.

In recent months, I've started the process of writing another book. This will be my third, and will be tentatively about my experiences blogging for twenty years, the stories that arose from that experience, and so on. Part of that will be about theoblogging (faith blogging), which unfortunately contains some of the ugliest stories and experiences of the lot.

In preparing and researching for this book, I've been reading books (many about women and the church, as that is a key issue in th…

A visit to the Ark Encounter.

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Last fall I went to the Ark Encounter with a friend and my parents. We drove, and my parents had many hilarious photos taken of them by me. They are very patient and, by the time we arrived at the Ark Encounter, probably had a lot of personal compassion for what it would be like to be stuck with your family in a confined space for extended periods of time.

My poor parents. I mean, if you could see the photos...I took photos of them falling asleep in the car, falling asleep in the planetarium, falling asleep in the hotel lobby... Here's a photo of a photo. I'm that bad.



It was a fantastic trip with a variety of stops and adventures (including a glorious trivia tournament win on a ferry across Lake Michigan), but I want to talk about the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter in this post. Each section below is a discussion of some of the different issues and reactions I have heard from people regarding these two attractions.


World Class Is Not A Lie
The Ark Encounter is often d…

Love is not God.

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God is love, but love is not God.

I'd read that statement in several places in recent months, regarding how so much that the Bible says is sin is dismissed today under the guise of "love." Perhaps the mathematician in us broke down "God is love" as an equation, with God and love on the sides of an equal sign, being of the same value. This is not the case, especially since our human version of "love" is so far from what God considers love.

This isn't just semantics. This is crucial, because love has become an idol.

We've turned some pablum version of love into a god. We take our feeble versions of human love (mostly eros, in this day and age, with little agape or philia) and justify all kinds of behavior by saying "if God is love, how can this love be wrong?", or "love is love," a truly stupid mathematical statement if I've ever seen one.

As with any topic of debate, how are you defining this self-equating love? Sexual? …

Strike two, and you're out. At least on social media.

My blog readers from years past know of my foray into the world of TheoBlogging. It got pretty ugly. Knowing how awful it got only makes how bad it is now all that much more impressive (in a negative way).

I'd started this blog post a while back, and had tossed a link in it to a Facebook post. I can't see that post now, so I don't know if it exists and I'm blocked, or what. I don't remember what it was about, or why I saw fit to start a bare draft and include that. Clearly, something explosive was said. The original title of this post was "A faith blogger goes ballistic on social media" and that sure sounds click-worthy.

A couple of random statements, then.

First, there have been few things as disappointing as reading the social media accounts of the Christian authors (and even bloggers). There are books I own that were a real blessing, only to discover the author is a bit of an ass on Twitter. Super disappointing.

Let's be honest. I was an ass on Twi…

Think about such things, even if Carson Wentz plays for the Eagles.

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -- Philippians 4:8

I learned that verse at church, when I was a little girl. It was part of Missionettes, the A/G girl's ministries organization. It was our theme verse, and we repeated it before every meeting each week. It was drilled into our head: think about these things, and not the opposites, because where your mind dwells, there you will walk with your life.

What if we did something crazy and just took the Bible at its word? What if we didn't think it was just a big mean bunch of no-fun requests and instead, tried it and got a taste for what life was like without all the mental and emotional trash that comes from dwelling on "gritty" entertainment and living out bad decisions that seem legit after eating a diet of garbage?

You'll probably laugh, b…

Why it's good for you to clean toilets.

Kill your pride as soon as you can.

Don’t ever be too good for any job.
An acquaintance of mine left a job over the feeling that she wasn’t given the proper respect that her education deserved. She would tell me that she was certain the management was jealous and felt threatened, and so she left on very bad terms only to discover she couldn’t find another job.
The idea that she was above certain kinds of jobs made it difficult to find employment. She continues to take college classes and spends money after money on more education, believing that she will, at some point, be guaranteed a high-wage job because more education is the ticket to wealth and what she is worth.
I want to tell her the truth.
She needs to get a job cleaning toilets, ASAP.
She needs to stop racking up student loan debt.
She needs to learn to live on less, in her finances and her pride, and in her opinion of herself.
I can’t say I loved most of my jobs. Nigh shifts at the post office loading dock, working in a kitc…

Being someone of no reputation.

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Philippians 2:7 tells me that Jesus was a man of no reputation, of no consequence.

I have thyme. In my continual search for a 26-hour day or a secret trick to manage my time better, I forget that out on the back deck (in the flower pots I never got around to cleaning out and putting away for the winter) sits thyme. All the other herbs are dead, but the thyme, with its woody and hearty stem system, partly buried beneath this fall’s cottonwood leaves and now an insulating layer of snow, has managed to keep going into December. I can still pick the leaves and use them in cooking.

Thyme is a small herb, rather unspectacular and nowhere near as heady and delicious as basil. Basil grows tall with lush leaves that spread out and curve under. But basil is also the first to take a hit in the cold, the drought, the anything-less-than-perfect. Thyme chugs on, quietly, low, runners dropping into the soil and digging in.

A friend had shared an article from a magazine with me, pointing out a quote …

Not every day.

So this might be heaven, telling the dental hygienist that you don't floss every day, telling the chiropractor that you don't do the three pages of stretches every day or the neck roll every other day, telling the dietitian that you don't start every day with warm lemon water and take a pro-biotic and a fish oil pill, telling your doctor that you don't get vigorous exercise every day...

...the day is so full of ways I should be taking care of my physical body for optimal health that I fear I'm going to live quite long in this joyless state of concerned maintenance. Ever step or non-step, ever fork of food or skipped meal, every moment seated or walking -- they all come with a price tag of pride or guilt. There is no agnostic eating or moving these days; it's all quite religious in one form or another.

It is hard to be still and know that He is God, to rest in his presence, to meditate on His word, when my FitBit keeps sending me cheerful reminders on my wrist t…

When wind fans the flames in your head.

I don't know if this is the case for anyone else, but there are days when it feels like my head is on fire. It is bursting with so many things.

Ideas.

Things almost forgotten that I'm trying to desperately to remember.

Things I've freshly forgotten that have left just enough of a wake that I know they were there a moment ago.

Things that are hidden but are throwing out peripheral information to hint at what they are without actually revealing themselves.

To do lists.

The long and winding tail of philosophical crises that have stretched for years, unanswered, thoroughly chewed on, not going anywhere.

Information pollution, such as advertisements or social media drama.

Desperate prayers.

Replaying incidents and moments annoyed that I came up with the perfect response an hour after the fact.

And so on.

So all of that is in there, buzzing around like gnats trapped in white noise. My friends have had the patience, on occasion, to wait for me to finish frantic scribbling in the …