Tag Archives: faith

Reason #ILostCount - I'm not going back"I'm not going back" is a refrain at our house, and we have reasons...we usually make up a number (reason #848) but I just lost count.

And I'm not going back.

My daddy died last week and  I know that he's with Jesus.  I heard another refrain:  If you want to see Jesus, you need to be holy.

Here's the thing - if you're holy enough to get yourself into heaven - raise your hand.

I'm not.

I'm not holy enough - far, far from it.  To paraphrase Mark Driscoll - this kind of teaching leads to either pride or despair.  Pride (I got this) or despair (I can't do this.)

Reason #ILostCount

When Dad got to heaven, I know that he lived his life in faith in Christ.  He never pointed at his works; he pointed to Jesus and the cross.

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 ESV)

What is "law?"  Law (simple explanation) is God's character codified.  In the law, we learn God's character, and His standard for holiness.  God is perfect and His law is perfect.

We are not and we cannot be, this side of the grave.

Since we are not perfect, how do we see Jesus?  How are we justified?

We are justified by faith, and not by works.

Yes, sanctification is a thing and for a person who is justified by faith, that faith will be evidenced by sanctification.

I asked a Sunday School student - do you do your chores because you are part of your family?  Or do you do your chores in order to become part of your family?

Do we obey the law because we belong to Christ?  Or do we obey the law in order to belong to Christ?

The difference is worth an eternity.

One of the "Solas" of the Reformation, - "by grace alone."

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9, ESV)

Grace is the beginning of faith, it's the means of salvation

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:6)

Works avail nothing - grace brings about works, not the other way around.  Grace cannot be earned.

My pastor put it:

Jesus got what we deserved...so that we could get what HE deserved.

If we are doing it, it's not grace.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (1 Peter 3:18)


I determine to blog a certain number of times per week, or per month.

Here we go again.

Usually, I make a sort of rough "schedule" so that I have a target topic for the day.

Here we go again.

In the past, this is been a "life blog" - including family, theology, life, work, diet, exercise, pretty much everything.

I'm a Reformed woman, that can be the focus of my blog...that's a good thing.  Faith informs all parts of my life, all parts of my life that are informed by faith can be written about, as informed by faith, right?

I'm narrowing it down...but there will still be "life" stuff.  Blogging helps me work through things - I think I'm determined to work through a couple of theological issues that don't worry me a whole lot, but I'd like to understand them, so that will be a topic.

I'm moving into a different stage of life and my online presence will also be a little different, with a different "area" that I'm active in.  That's a good thing.

I've been moderator on a specific topic forum that has taken up time, time I'm planning on spending blogging...that's a good thing.

I'm going through a devotional of prayers, "Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith"and yesterday's really struck me.

My thoughts first, then the devotional.


I work with the "least of these."  Yet, every single one of these people, the non-verbal, the violent, the kids who can't count to...two.

Every.  Single. One of these has made a contribution to my life!  From the one who can make me smile on a very dark day, to the one who only sees the positive in life...from a wheelchair.

It struck me that Paul described Onesimus as "formerly useless." - what made him useless?  and then...being with Paul, he's useful to both Paul and Philemon.

It was only serving Jesus, through Paul, that made Onesimus useful.  No matter who we are serving, who we are teaching, who we ARE...if it's in service to the King, we are useful.



A Prayer about Formerly “Useless” People

Accordingly, although I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you— I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) (Philem. 8– 11)


Dear Jesus, what a great story these few verses tell— the story of how one man’s “useless” slave became another man’s beloved son. Stories like this make the gospel so beautiful and believable. I see myself in this story, both as Onesimus and as Philemon.

Jesus, thank you for not giving up on me, for coming after me when I was running away from you as fast as I could, just like Onesimus ran from Philemon.Overtly and covertly, I did everything I could to avoid you and ignore you, but you found me, you bound me to your heart through the cords of the gospel, and slowly but surely, you’re changing me. The journey from slavery to sonship hasn’t always been easy.

Jesus, I also know what it’s like to be Philemon. I’ve been failed and I’ve been hurt. I’ve been betrayed and suffered loss. But forgive me for labeling anyone as useless. Paul saw something in Onesimus that Philemon didn’t see. Jesus, you saw something in me that no one else saw. Please give me your gospel eyes to see what you see in others: broken people just like me.

Who have I branded “useless,” with either my actual words or unspoken words? Who have I written off? Who have I renamed “failure,”“worthless,”“you’ll never amount to anything,” “never to be trusted again”?

I know you’re calling me to be wise, but I also know you’re calling me to love others as you love me. None of us is beyond the need of your grace and none of us is beyond the reach of your grace. I pray in your chain-breaking name. Amen.

Smith, Scotty (2011-09-01). Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (Kindle Locations 1059-1076). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Christian who is politically conservative?
Christian who is theologically conservative?

My Political Views
I am a right social moderate
Right: 3.54, Authoritarian: 0.54

Political Spectrum Quiz

I am, first and foremost, Christian.

Theologically, I am 100% Reformed.

Based on the chart here, I'm a theological conservative, but on others, I miss the mark on 7-day creationism.

I find it interesting the (generally and broadly) those who fall mostly in the "liberal" description are not willing to identify with that descriptor.

But if a person who fall into the "conservative" side gets called "conservative, their reply is more likely to be "thank you."

I started this post a few days ago, and honestly don't remember where I was going with it.

Probably because I do post on theology and I do post on politics.

For me, "conservative" is a handy way to let folks know up front what mind set I'm working from.

Here's the thing...Hobby Lobby isn't asking to be exempted from providing birth control pills for their employees.

They're asking to not be forced to provide aborticients (morning after pill, "Plan B", Ella.)

Unlike a lot of (union) companies who have asked for waiver/exemptions from the whole thing, Hobby Lobby is asking that they not be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs.

So...let's at least shoot for a little bit of intellectual honesty.

Another thing...

Co-pays. I pay a co-pay for all (ALL) of my medications. My dad pays co-pays for his insulin, heart medication, etc. co-pays will continue for thyroid meds, heart meds, pain meds, cancer meds, diabetes meds.

And liberals have their undergarments bunched up because they don't even want a co-pay for birth control!?!?

$20.00 co-pay for a life-saving drug...
$00.00 co-pay for a life-preventing drug.

They are truly more interested in preventing a life, than saving one.

And yet another

"Preventing" access to birth control...

Seriously. Do they really think that women are so helpless and dumb that if somebody else doesn't pay for their $9-$15 a month prescription, that they (women) can't figure out how to "access" it?

If women can figure out how to buy groceries, vitamins, panty hose...I'm pretty sure they can figure out how to access birth control pills.

Oh, my...this has been around a while...I'll add some to the end of it.

1 John 3:1-3: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Ephesians 1:5 ...he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

Mark 10:15 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Our sermon on Sunday was on the passage in Mark and the person who spoke gave examples of what that might  mean.

Children are not by nature clean beings.  My daddy always says, "a boy is a noise with dirt on it."  On that day, when Jesus was speaking...nobody was clean.  They had traveled on the dusty roads and had been sitting in the hot sun all day.

When we come to the Father, we come to him as broken and messy children.  We may not have a clue where we're going, but like a child, the Father just picks us up and puts us where we should be.

We bring nothing with us.

Job 1:20 "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.

We don't bring our works, our faith, our love.  All that we have, the Father has given.



INDIANOLA, Iowa – Texas Gov. Rick Perry clarified his newly transformed position on abortion today, stating that the life of the mother is the only exception in which he’d support abortion.

He's being criticized by liberal bloggers for this "flip flop" - but if any of us are so set in our ways that we cannot shift our views after an interaction with another person who can make a good case for changing...well, ask if the same liberal blogger would have called it a "flip flop" if the flip and flopped in the pro-abortion direction?

I'm going to use words that I have used.

The circumstances of a person's conception does not dictate the worth of their humanity.

Even so, for the woman who finds herself in that circumstance, I can see why she would consider abortion a viable alternative to life.  Personal conviction may not need to dictate public policy.  Sometimes it does, but in the case of rape and/or incest...EGR.


"A Christian is one who make it easier for other people to believe in God."

I believe that a Christian is a person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation and eternal life.

Is "making it easier for other people to believe" part of the mission?  In a way, yes.  But in a big way, no.

It's my job to preach the gospel.  It's the job of the Holy Spirit to regenerate the heart and draw people to the Father.  So, in a way, the preaching of the gospel IS helping others to believe.

But I suspect what is meant by "make it easier for other people to believe" is really

"make the gospel so non-threatening to the lifestyle of sinners that it becomes meaningless to save, but people can go on believing that they're okay because nobody ever made it clear that they weren't."

There is a cost to believing, and we are to count the cost.  If we make the gospel "easy," when life isn't, faith is shallow.



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"Well, dear friends, you know that some men can do to the glory of God what to other men would be sin. And notwithstanding what brother Pentecost has said, I intend to smoke a good cigar to the glory of God before I go to bed to-night.

"If anybody can show me in the Bible the command, 'Thou shalt not smoke,' I am ready to keep it; but I haven't found it yet. I find ten commandments, and it's as much as I can do to keep them; and I've no desire to make them into eleven or twelve.

"The fact is, I have been speaking to you about real sins, not about listening to mere quibbles and scruples. At the same time, I know that what a man believes to be sin becomes a sin to him, and he must give it up. 'Whatsoever is not of faith is sin' [Rom. 14:23], and that is the real point of what my brother Pentecost has been saying.

"Why, a man may think it a sin to have his boots blacked. Well, then, let him give it up, and have them whitewashed. I wish to say that I'm not ashamed of anything whatever that I do, and I don't feel that smoking makes me ashamed, and therefore I mean to smoke to the glory of God."

HT:  Gospel-Driven Church