Showing posts from 2022

What Do You See?

Sometimes, the hardest portions of Scripture to study are the ones we've had memorized since childhood.  Once you see a passage a certain way, it's nearly impossible to see it any other way.  Nearly.  For example, when I read about Jesus teaching in the temple, in my mind, I see a stage and an audience. Never mind that the priests hated Jesus and wanted Him silent and dead.  Even though the last thing Jesus would have been granted in His time was a platform, that's still what I see.   When I read about Paul speaking to the church, or letters being read to the church, in my mind, I see buildings with carpeted altars and rows of chairs.  Never mind that the early church met in homes until a politician declared it some other way a couple of hundred years after the birth of our ekklesia.  Even though there is no such thing as a brick and mortar Christian church in Scripture, that's still what I see.   When I read about a tithe or giving, I see plates and buckets being passe

Stand Firm

 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.   TRUTH.  Imagine for a moment that your everyday clothing consisted of a shapeless dress called a tunic.  That one piece of fabric was responsible for covering your entire body and it hung to your knees.  If you were a Jewish man in the first century, this was what you put on every single day.  And if you had to work, or run to take care of an emergency, or Lord forbid, have to protect your home, your family or your country, you would pull up the length of your tunic and tuck it into your girdle.  If you were a laborer, you would tuck tools alongside your tunic into your girdle.  By doing this, you were "girding your loins," or getting ready for work or battle.   Gird your loins with truth.  Get ready for work with truth.  Get ready for battle with truth.  STAND FIRM therefore, BECAUSE YOU HAVE PREPARED YOURSELF WITH TRUTH.  If you study the rest of the Scriptures associated with this action in Ephesians 6, you'

Grace and PEACE

 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Picking up where we left off...  Have you ever noticed how we, as Christians, will take one solitary verse in Scripture and believe it so deeply that we build entire denominations around it, name our churches after it and teach it a dozen times a year to anyone who will listen?  Have you also ever wondered why there are verses that repeat the same theme, almost word for word, literally dozens of times in our Scriptures and we never use them?  Never teach them?  Never see them on bumper stickers or use them to name our programs or have them at the heads of our websites?  Such is the dilemma of this phrase that was once used every time one believer in Jesus' ability to save met another, and now is rarely used at all. In all my study of the New Testament, I’ve never seen a phrase used more frequently than “Grace and peace to you.”  What is this strange greeting that our apostles and early believers used so often?

GRACE and Peace

Grace and peace to you in the name of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.   If you are a truster of the finished work of our Christ Jesus:  GRACE to you from God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  Grace!  Relax and trust Jesus today!  GRACE!  It’s not up to you to earn your own righteousness!  GRACE!  Your life is hidden with Jesus and one day, because of His grace, you and He will be revealed i n perfect glory.  GRACE.  You desperately needed a Savior because you were never going to be good enough and Jesus was everything you needed!  GRACE.   Ever wonder why we struggle so much to wrap our minds and hearts around the gospel of perfect grace?  Perhaps because we are so busy teaching each other everything else while the example set before us was to share the simple gospel with every believer every single day.  We've reserved the gospel for the "lost" and we're losing our faith because of it.  GRACE.   Have you ever noticed how we, as Christians, will take on

"It's Going to be Okay."

 The older I get, the more I realize how much it means to me when my husband tells me, "It's going to be okay."  Other people can try to reassure me, but when the world spins out of control, I find myself holding my breath until he can get home to put my heart at ease.  I need his words so badly, that I rarely even tell other people when I'm anxious because they really can't do much to give me peace.  But he can.   In thirty years of loving Tim Taylor, I've come to be certain that when he says, "It's going to be okay," then it's either going to be okay or he's going to make it okay.  Knowing him, trusting him, watching him, growing with him, seeing him come through time after time after time has made me sure that his, "It's going to be okay" is worth believing.  This week has been one from absolute hell.  People I love are hurting so badly.  Saints that I adore are feeling like failures.  My own life is scattered with detail

What's Forever For?

So what's the glory in living? Doesn't anybody ever stay together anymore? And if love never lasts forever Tell me what's forever for? It's Valentine's Day. I am a sucker for all things romance. I love happily ever after. I'm still in love with the only guy I've ever been in love with. I like today. This morning, I told Spotify to sing me all the 90's Country love songs it could find. I smiled scrolling through husbands honoring wives and wives gushing over husbands on Facebook. My sweetie sent me sweet songs all day. It was lovely. But more than that... I talked to my sister today and we got on the subject of telling each other the Gospel all the time. We talked about how it's hard to pretend to love anybody at all if the Gospel of the finished work of our Christ isn't the main topic of regular conversation. We talked about love and religion and stress and fear and missing the mark and how important the actual Gospel is to our everyday relations

The Gospel for the Religious

What will you say when you stand before the judgment seat of God?   For all of my life, when I envisioned this scenario, I unwittingly stood before God as condemned as any human has ever been.   I hate Satan.  I'm terrified of Hell.  I love church.  I am great at ministry.  I can teach any material you hand me to anyone who will listen.  I've said all the prayers.  I've put in all the time.  I've cried all the shameful tears.  I've been on the mission trips, rocked the babies, paid the tithes, held hands of the hurting, wept with the addicts, followed the leaders, read the Bible, bought the books, done the work.   But, my trust was not in the Lord Jesus.   In my mind, for all my life, if given the opportunity to tell God why I deserved to be in Heaven with Him, I would have started every sentence with "I..."   I am a Christian.   I trusted Jesus with my salvation.  I gave my heart to Jesus.  I asked Jesus to come into my heart.   I went to church.