A Time to Decide

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Understanding the Wounded Heart | Dr. Marcus Warner

In this five-part video series, Dr. Marcus Warner shows how hearts can be wounded—and how they can heal!

Session 1: The Core Model

Session 2: Building Joy

Session 3: Taking Thoughts Captive

Session 4: Forgiveness

Session 5: Listening Prayer

For more information about Dr. Warner and Deeper Walk International, visit deeperwalkinternational.org and check out Dr. Warner’s book Understanding the Wounded Heart!

Father Said

You are not your own preserver;
You are not your own keeper.
Look to me; I will supply.
I’m not a man that I should lie.
Have not I told you in my word,
I would feed the little bird?
You by far are more to me,
Than any little bird could be.
So do yourself a real big favor:
Count on me and do not waver.
Forget the things that are behind,
Mistakes you made when you were blind.
Remember: I have set you free,
So don’t look back, but stick with me.

Margarett Inez Bates

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”

Matthew 6:3, KJV

“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”

Numbers 23:19, KJV

“…[T]his one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13, KJV

Christian philosopher, Bible teacher, author, and prolific poet, Margarett Inez Bates is a graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. Actively involved in Christian service for over forty years, she currently resides in her hometown, Kokomo, Indiana. Margarett has published two books: Poetical Insights: Lifting Up a Standard, and Poetical Insights Vol. 2: A Closer Look. You can read more of her work at Kokomo Poet.

True Womanhood | Tara Sun

“When did ‘helper become a negative word? …

God made women to specifically strengthen and encourage their husbands, strengthen and encourage men, in a way [a] man could never [do]. And that’s so stinkin’ special. Adam didn’t need someone exactly like himself…

We need to trust that God’s word is so beautiful and so, so right for our lives. It’s about believing that God made man and woman for a specific purpose, and that their purposes, although they may not be the same, they’re both so equally important to God and to His kingdom…

We as daughters and sons of the King should be moving toward the same goal, of glorifying God in our bodies. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Whatever we’re doing, give the glory to God.

Tara Sun

Passages to Study

  • Proverbs 31
  • Titus 2
  • Genesis 1-2
  • 1 Peter 3
  • Ephesians 5:21-33

Check out more of Tara’s videos on YouTube!

FANTASTIC: Leftist Media Unintentionally Airs Beautiful Pro-Life Message

“NBC allows a wonderful pro-life message of adoption, race relations, and the value of human life to air, which completely undercuts the left-wing narrative.”

Michael Knowles

Watch the full episode here: https://bit.ly/2WLdN0P
Watch full episodes of The Michael Knowles Show here: http://bit.ly/2YOOeev

Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.”

Jesus, John 8:34, NASB

“The point of modern propaganda is not only to misinform or push an agenda, it is to exhaust your critical thinking so as to annihilate truth.”

Kasparov

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

Jesus, John 8:32, NASB

For details about this sermon and for related resources, visit Pastor MacArthur’s website: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/TM19-1

You can also follow him on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gracetoyou
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gracetoyou
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gracetoyou

Thy Will Be Done

“There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He [God] wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them. Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy’s will. What the Enemy means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him – the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say ‘Thy will be done, and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided.”

Senior Demon Screwtape to Junior Demon Wormwood, C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Many thanks to the C.S. Lewis Foundation for sharing this quote!

Trust Me on This

“He who trusts in himself is a fool.”

Proverbs 28:26

“…the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 9:33 (footnote to Isaiah 8:14, 28:16)

Rarely does a sermon, Bible lesson, or a daily devotional not mention some iteration, backstory, or combination of the notion of trusting in Jesus completely while not trusting in ourselves at all.

This is pervasive, standard issue, Christian advice. With Christ living in our own individual Christian hearts, we hope Jesus will help us to shine His light of love, caring, and compassion out into the external world. I can’t help but notice, though, that His bright light also shines into all my own internal darkness. And further, that while His holy light shining into my soul illuminates my sin and error, it doesn’t automatically fix them.

I doubt I’m alone in that observation.

Non-believers in Christ, quasi-believers in Christ, errant believers in Christ, and atheists against any notion of God have the same problem but don’t realize it. Our human default mode – also a sure sign of our fallenness – is that we are ordained to trust ourselves first: “I believe in me.” Then, once we are rich, smart, good looking, and healthy, we feel competent to demand of God why He allows adversity and injustice: “You, God, can fix everything. That’s what the Bible says. So … fix it.”

In my experience, the folks who least understand the Bible and Jesus are often the quickest to blame God for their troubles, trusting Him as nothing more than a temporal Mr. Fix-It. This isn’t a case of a broken light switch; it is a case of blindness to God’s love, truth, goodness, and ultimate mission of Jesus Christ on earth: God’s glory.

Developing the faith to outsource trust onto something we know but can’t see is a sign of a mature Christian. Thinking that the grasp and surety of my faith are a function of my ability to put my trust “in” myself and my intellect presents a contradiction of a fairly high and eternally damaging magnitude: We think we are the light. No. 

Christians spend all this time talking about how much they trust Jesus as their savior, and spend almost as much time worrying about whether they are really saved. I believe this is the manifestation of the tension we feel between the light of Christ shining outwardly vs. inwardly: of His true worthiness vs. our true unworthiness. 

It’s also a telling gauge of trust: What’s harder to trust than that Jesus would save even a sinner like me? Being Jesus’s light out into the world while dealing with, addressing, and feeling the shame of what that light makes us see within ourselves seems, at the very least, a bit of a stretch. Yet, it is the most profound dynamic of hope:

Peace, trust, and deep faith come upon us when we realize it’s all the same light.

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) figures our fallenness is all the same; it’s just easier to judge the world’s than our own. Good tip: read the surrounding context in the Bible verses listed up top. “Fool” and “shame” describe permanent, not temporary afflictions. May we endeavor to be neither in the New Year. For more of Walters’ columns, see commonchristianity.blogspot.com. For his books, see www.lulu.com/spotlight/CommonChristianity.

Jericho | Andrew Ripp

“I’ve stacking up the years I spent trading punches with the enemy
Built myself a double thick stone tower of lies, higher than the eye could see
Trapped in my flesh & bone
Crying out to You Lord, I’m desperate
Love, come rattle this cage and set me free

“All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down
Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down
Come down

“Truth was crashing through the pride and the blame
Cutting straight to the heart of me
Long before I ever called your name
You were fighting for my victory
Carved in Your flesh and bone
The wounds that have said my souls forgiven
Oh now I can feel the darkness trembling

“Rebuild me from the ground up
All I wanna see is You
Terrify the lies with truth”

Andrew Ripp