Thursday, July 23, 2015

Heartfelt Thanks

I want to thank all of you who have faithfully followed this blog over the past nine years. Your support has encouraged me tremendously, and I pray that each of you has seen the Lord more clearly as a result of my posts.

Please consider joining me at The Outspoken TULIP (, where I'd be delighted to have your company. And once again, thank you so very much for taking time to read The Things That Come Out Of My Head.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Moving My Blog To A TULIP Garden

I've made the decision to leave Blogger and begin a new blog on WordPress. For an explanation, please visit The Outspoken TULIP (, and bookmark it. For those who link to me on your blogrolls, please update your rolls to reflect this change. Meet me among the tulips!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Sober Time

Yes, we're grieved that five Supreme Court justices had the hubris to redefine  marriage. Certainly, we're sickened that Planned Parenthood sells body parts of the babies they abort. Most assuredly, we see that the nuclear arms deal with Iran promises disaster for Israel. And no amount of political action can reverse western civilization's obvious determination to rebel against God to the point of self-destruction.

But rather than wringing our hands helplessly, let's view these horrible events as reason to  proclaim the Gospel. Human depravity now flaunts itself unapologetically, leaving little doubt that everyone has turned away from God. Very much like Israel and Judah at the time of the Babylonian Captivity, Europe and America have rejected our Christian heritage. Daniel's great prayer of confession sounds remarkably like a prayer that Christians ought to pray today:
I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. ~~Daniel 9:4-10 (ESV)
Notice that despite Israel's stubborn rejection of God's Word, Daniel acknowledged the Lord's capacity to extend mercy and forgiveness. He extends that mercy and forgiveness though the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~~Colossians 1:19-20 (ESV)
After atoning for our sin by dying an excruciating death on the cross, Jesus rose from His grave! His resurrection promises eternal life to those who place their trust in Him.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. ~~1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (ESV) 
The forgiveness of sin must be proclaimed to a society that celebrates its own wickedness. The general course of history will continue gravitating toward evil until Jesus returns to judge the earth, so please don't misunderstand me to suggest that proclaiming the Gospel will produce massive social reform. But as society goes from bad to worse, people need to hear that Jesus offers hope. Please,  my fellow believers, recognize the urgency of making the Gospel known while we still have the liberty to share it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Backward Evaluations

Sunday, I listened to the audio, "Why Is Homosexuality Wrong?" from Truth Community Church's The Bible And Homosexuality conference this past weekend. (Psst, Erin--please put up the rest of the links.) During this second session, Pastor Don Green made a statement that hit at the heart of why I devote so much attention to various issues that have infected 21st Century evangelicals.
We evaluate homosexuality in light of God's Word. We do not judge Scripture by public opinion on homosexuality.
As an increasing number of evangelicals embrace homosexuality and same sex marriage as good things, we see them manipulating God's Word through the lens of worldly values. Sadly, they make similar compromises concerning a wide variety of other issues. So, although I believe I should continue addressing the matter of homosexuality from time to time, I want to zoom out to the larger problem of evangelicals losing their conviction regarding the Bible's authority.

The evangelical church has been influenced by the Charismatic movement, which (despite their  claims to the contrary) routinely interprets Scripture by subjective experience. I can make this accusation because I was a practicing Charismatic for 20 years and I remained in a Charismatic  church for 12 years after that. I spent the next 12 years in a Baptist church, watching it slide into pragmatism and again interpret God's precious Word to fit its seeker sensitive agenda.

Personal friends have defended false teachers like Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore, not with Scripture, but with comments about the popularity of these teachers and/or how these teachers "helped" them. Like Charismatics, my Baptist friends (in the church we left last year, not our current Baptist church) downplayed a Scriptural evaluation of these teachers in favor of personal opinion.

I hasten to add that a number of these friends, in  both churches, are genuinely saved, as I was during  my years with them. Furthermore, very few people in either church would affirm homosexuality as being acceptable Christian conduct. My point, however, remains that evangelicals generally judge Scripture on the basis of personal experience and/or peer pressure rather than relying on it as the basis for evaluating every area of life.

Dear fellow believers, I implore you to  keep God's Word as your standard for every area of life. Let the following counsel of the apostle Paul, written  mere days before his death, sink deep into your hearts:
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. ~~2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Luxury Of Limiting God

Most professing Christians would affirm, without hesitation, belief in God's control over every aspect of His creation. Yet a Twitter post I read early last week, followed by a completely unrelated conversation at church yesterday, caused me to question the average believer's faith in His sovereignty. Certainly, my own struggle with the sin of worry betrays that I have difficulty trusting His ability (or at least His willingness) to manage situations.

As American Christians approach a time of overt persecution, we desperately need to understand that God maintains complete control. We see our culture's moral disintegration, and quite rightly grieve that sin seems to reign so defiantly. Although grief is indeed an appropriate emotional response, however, that grief must  never degenerate into despair. The same Lord that purified Israel and Judah by means of the Babylonian Captivity has His purposes for His Church through the impending opposition knocking on our door.

More than ever, Christians will need an understanding of God's sovereignty. Let's start with me. I can no longer afford the luxury of thinking that human will has the power to restrict His activity or dismantle His plan. Contrary to popular evangelical thinking, the Lord is not a Gentleman. If He does abandon us to our own rebellion against Him, He does so in order to bring about His great plan.
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,
“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
    and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” ~~Romans 9:14-26 (ESV)
We all too frequently regard circumstances as the whole story, neglecting the fact that God is orchestrating a much bigger picture. We forget that He not only has an eternal plan to display His glory, but He controls all the moving parts that bring that plan to fruition. Yes, He will judge sin, bringing all His wrath against everything that dares to shake a fist at Him, but even that terrible judgment will  magnify His glory.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Faithful Father

At my age, I really should know better than to fall into the sin of worry. Each time I worry, I forget God's sovereignty and consequently malign His character. Looking at it from that perspective plunges me into an attitude of confession and repentance for dishonoring my Heavenly Father.

Because God brought me to new birth when His Spirit gave me faith in Jesus as my Savior, He blesses me with the privilege of calling Him "Father." As my Father, He assumes full responsibility for my care and well-being. Therefore, He constantly demonstrates His faithfulness, thereby revealing the absurdity of  my tendency to worry.

Each morning, I begin my time alone with God adoring Him for being my faithful Father. Slowly, He really is giving me victory over the sin of worry as I remember the beloved hymn that I've chosen to feature today. This hymn sets my mind on His faithfulness as the Father Who chose to make me His daughter.


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