Submitted by Sandra Glahn on Tue, 08/13/2019 - 01:00
One of my students, Corinne Samuelson, has spent the summer investigating what’s happening with “widows” in 1 Timothy 5. At first glance, one might think Paul was simply instructing Timothy about how to handle the many hungry older women in the Ephesian church (1:3). But on closer exploration we see a description of what might look like an office. That's a challenging question.
Submitted by Karla Zazueta on Mon, 08/12/2019 - 14:38
A recent leadership conference I attended focused on gratitude. The Chief Executive Officer of the company thought correction in how some members were running their businesses was needed, and therefore spent at least twenty to thirty minutes discussing:
Submitted by Melanie Newton on Fri, 08/09/2019 - 01:00
During a recent Bible Study, I listened as a woman shared about her Christian friend whose godly mother had recently died. This sorrowing woman was grieving and needing comfort. To help with her grief, she drew from something she had heard in the culture—that her mother had now become an angel and was present with her, communicating with her. As we talked about this, looking into what was true or not and how to help someone grieving like that, our discussion encompassed three different issues.
1. Do Christians become angels when they die?
2. Can our loved ones in heaven see what is happening in our lives on earth and communicate with us?
3. When grieving, how do we turn to Jesus for our comfort rather than traditions that make us feel good but draw us away from Him?
Submitted by Amy Leigh Bamberg on Fri, 08/09/2019 - 00:00
Have you seen a cutting horse at work? The masterful way she sorts out a single cow and then maneuvers, step-by-step, to keep it away from the herd? With surpassing wit she leads a spectacular dance of wills.
Submitted by Beth Barron on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 14:00
Some days the world feels aflame.
Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, the news gripped me. People fled out of a mall where I worked during college summers. Police surrounded the area less than one mile from my childhood home where I played hide and seek and marbles. Blood puddled at a store built where I used to trudge through the desert catching lizards and finding rocks. And the gunman—he hailed from the area where I now live. So, this terror feels more personal. And when I hear his actions flowed from racism and anti-immigrant anger, I shake my head at the lies and brokenness behind this horror.
We are embodied souls. Our souls live in a body that touches, tastes, sees, hears, feels, and thinks. Our soul and our flesh are not separate entities. They are intertwined. When someone is at the end of life, we take care of the physical body; however, the soul needs care as well.
Submitted by Sue Bohlin on Tue, 08/06/2019 - 01:00
The 14-year-old daughter of a friend recently responded to her mother's correction with, "Don't judge me, Mom." The same week, a friend of mine asked my opinion on something, and as I was mentally running it through the grid of "what does God say about this in His word," she said, "Now, don't you go judging me!"
Submitted by Lael Arrington on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 22:50
And holds profound lessons for 2020
During these dog days of summer, HBO is offering one week free access—just enough to watch the blockbuster 5-part series (if you didn't see it in May) on the 1986 nuclear plant disaster that spread radiation all across Europe. Extremely well-written, terrific acting and an uncanny replication of 1986 Soviet Union, according to my husband who has taught theology there many times. And, It. Is. Riveting.
The series begins with Valery Legasov, First Deputy Director of the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, recording tapes he will secretly pass on to his fellow scientists. As the lead scientist on the committee to investigate the disaster, he vents his frustration with the core values of Soviet socialism:
“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, we no longer recognize the truth at all. What happens then? All we can do is abandon the truth and content ourselves instead with stories.”
But at Chernobyl, all the socialist State stories hit the wall of reality.
Submitted by Sandra Glahn on Tue, 07/30/2019 - 01:00
What should I know about feminism?
Many evangelicals think of feminism only as a movement in which women are elevated over men. But such is the case in only in a handful of cases. More broadly, a feminist is someone who opposes sexism of any kind, especially under the law.
Often evangelicals understand the general culture’s reference to “equality” as suggesting a unisex interchangeability of men and women—but, feminists usually do acknowledge (many even celebrate) the differences between men and women. They just say those differences don’t translate to a hierarchy in which men have more innate power.
Submitted by Sue Bohlin on Wed, 07/24/2019 - 00:15
Recently, in the same week, I watched two strikingly polar opposite events unfold on my Facebook feed. One was the long-awaited, long-prayed-for birth of a precious baby girl whose daddy had left homosexuality and repented of a gay identity as he pursued intimacy with Christ. After several years of sexual sobriety and spiritual growth, he was actually quite surprised to find himself starting to be attracted to girls.
Submitted by Christen Jacobs on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 21:02
I have come to the fundamental understanding that I am LAZY! I even googled it! I WikiHow’d the title “How to stop being a slob.” While we all joke about being lazy now and then it goes far beyond that. After much denial I am ashamed to say I struggle with the sin of slothfulness or laziness. We're past procrastination. I dream about accomplishing things that I never start. I miss deadlines. I am often late. I have a problem. Waking up is the beginning of my troubles; I am the type of person that sets the alarm 30 minutes early so I can hit the snooze button a dozen times. And don't even get me started about how much wasted time goes into meandering about the rabbit trails of social media.
My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles.
Submitted by Sandra Glahn on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 01:00
Today I'm happy to host as a guest blogger Kat Armstrong, author of the recent book No More Holding Back, which I urge urge urge you to order.
Do you feel like your womanhood and calling to live fully conflict? I used to—because I believed five messages that denied the truth of who God says I am:
1. Women Can’t Be Trusted to Learn and Lead
I once asked a Sunday School teacher, “Can women go to seminary?” My question revealed I thought theological education was reserved for men only. After searching my heart, I’ve come to realize I didn’t think women could be trusted to lead because of Eve’s failures in the garden of Eden. Thank goodness, Jesus’s resurrection secured all women an epic Eden redo. He commissions women to learn and lead.
Submitted by Lael Arrington on Mon, 07/15/2019 - 20:55
If we could sit down for coffee I'd ask some questions...
Walking down the mall last week I saw this large poster in the Sephora makeup retailer window. It was the end of June, gay pride month, and of all the messages I’d seen celebrating LGBT I found it the most riveting.
I continued on to my car, but the poster haunted me. I live in Columbia, South Carolina, not exactly a hotbed of LGBT activism. But here was this poster in our neighborhood mall going beyond asking for acceptance for transgendered people. It went beyond celebration of diversity. It made a strong moral statement: Transgender is beautiful.
Submitted by Melanie Newton on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 01:00
Has God placed something in your heart for you to do? It could be correcting sinful behavior in your own life. It could be serving someone else. It could be speaking up in a situation where a voice with biblical principles needs to be heard. Whatever it is involves two aspects of trusting God. You must trust him as you step forward and do your part. And, you must trust him to do his part in the areas over which you have no control. Those two aspects of trusting God are necessary to act on what God has placed in your heart to do. The book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament provides a beautiful illustration of this for us.
Submitted by Kay Daigle on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 06:52
I just returned home from the funeral of a friend who passed away within days of going into the hospital for surgery. Although it was a serious surgery, nothing like this was expected. Sadly, this isn’t our only funeral this week. On June 30th a private plane carrying two couples and a family of four crashed, and my husband knew two of the men on it. He attended one couple’s funeral today and will go to that of the family of four on Saturday.
Submitted by Beth Barron on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 01:01
God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us—Selah.
That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2 (NASB)
Today famine, war, gang violence, sectarianism, and political power wrench people from their homes. They flee to save their lives or to escape imprisonment or abuse. Hoards of people flood across borders and live among those they once feared or even fought. The U.N. Refugee Agency has documented 68.5 million people displaced worldwide.
Submitted by Sue Bohlin on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 01:00
10 years ago, I wrote this post about lettering names on wooden swords. And 10 years later, that’s on my agenda for today, for a whole new batch of 5th grade boys who weren’t even born yet when I wrote this post!
Submitted by Karla Zazueta on Mon, 07/08/2019 - 01:00
“Fifty percent of our infertility patients end up getting a divorce,” the nurse explained, when I questioned what I thought was a peculiar portion of the hospital’s legal paperwork. At that moment I was surprised to hear the statistic. But with raised eyebrows and a let’s–just–get–on–with–it mentality, I circled the appropriate decision for which one of us would be given custody of our frozen specimens “should divorce occur” and I went on with my day.