I just wanted to blog about something that I was thinking about this morning. Back in the day, older saints would testify in church service something like, “Tears are a language that God understands” or “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” whenever they were experienced difficult times. Judging by my Facebook news feed, those ways of thinking aren’t popular nowadays…
Needless to say, I truly am rejoicing that her husband was healed, but what bothered me about her post was the part “I almost let myself get scared!” Dear people, it’s OKAY to be scared! Something like a diagnosis of cancer IS scary! I’m not saying we should let fear overtake us and forget about trusting God, and maybe that’s what Erica Campbell meant, but faith is more than what I’ve heard some Christians doing – painting a smile on when they’re crumbling inside. Faith in the Lord and trusting Him daily is far deeper than merely saying positive things. I think that this is in part what makes it difficult for Christian brothers and sisters to seek help when they are experiencing depression, grief and other problems. I recall one instance when someone in church said that “depression is a spirit”. How discouraging and untrue! The need for biblical understanding is obvious and urgent.
I’m glad that God is big enough to hear and understand our cries. He can identify with us because He became one of us. He suffered, and so demonstrated to us that He understands our suffering. Jesus is the man of sorrows, the scripture tells us that He is acquainted with grief. We don’t need to front with Him, and we shouldn’t have to front with each other.
I love the song “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” . The words are so true for me, I NEED to walk much more closely with my Saviour.
I am also a fan of Ella Fitzgerald’s wonderful voice. So have a listen to her singing it – enjoy and have a blessed Lord’s day :)
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
I just wanted to share this book I came across some time ago as a free download on an app many moons ago. It’s The Duties of Parents by JC Ryle. There’s a lot of good common sense and wisdom to be found here. Two notable quotes for me:
Love is one grand secret of successful training. Anger and harshness may frighten, but they will not persuade the child that you are right; and if he sees you often out of temper, you will soon cease to have his respect. A father who speaks to his son as Saul did to Jonathan (1 Sam. xx. 30), need not expect to retain his influence over that son’s mind. Try hard to keep up a hold on your child’s affections. It is a dangerous thing to make your children afraid of you. (emphasis mine)
Some parents and nurses have a way of saying, “Naughty child,” to a boy or girl on every slight occasion, and often without good cause. It is a very foolish habit. Words of blame should never be used without real reason.
I’ve read this a few times now and I find it such a good source of advice, and as with many parenting books, humbling too! Unlike many parenting books though, I didn’t feel hopeless after reading it, I just want to strive to do better each day for them, holistically. Check it out, just search with your favourite search engine and lots of free copies in different formats should show up.
The topic of modesty provokes a lot of impassioned discussion, both online and offline. This Bible verse is perhaps the most commonly cited one:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. (1 Timothy 2:9 KJV)
How come I rarely hear anything said about the “costly array” bit? I’m sure someone somewhere has, but I’ve more often heard this text mentioned in terms of covering up the flesh, and occasionally some Christians eschewing jewellery and back in the day some would forego braiding hair. But obviously expensive clothing, not so much.
As I was drinking my cup of tea this morning, I wondered; how come when women talk about what a “real woman” is, it’s often about “curves” versus “skinny/bony” women (as a former so-called skinny girl – a pet peeve of mine!). Yet when people talk about what a “real man” is, it’s not based on physical criteria alone.
Sometimes I think the gender in such discussions is irrelevant. It’s far more interesting to me to think about what makes someone a mature, functional human being…
Well what can I say? Truthfully, I forgot my username and log-in details, and I’ve been much more pressed for time. However, I realise that I don’t need to write stuff of epic proportions, so I’ll endeavour to post a bit more often than twice a year.
First of all let me say I don’t have any vendetta or anything like that with Kirk Franklin. I enjoyed some of his music, I appreciate his openness regarding his past sins and failures. However, the above video is symptomatic of a common way of thinking nowadays.
Anytime you voice an opinion about something, especially if it’s touching a moral issue, or a hot potato topic, the chorus of “judge not!” is quickly cried. Matthew 7:1-5 must be one of the most misconstrued verses in the Bible. Here, Jesus was talking about hypocritical judgment, i.e. berating someone for a sin when doing the very same thing or even worse.
The Bible says we can and indeed should, judge righteous judgement:
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)
Mr Franklin says he doesn’t want to bash anyone. That’s cool, I agree. But being frank about what is indeed plain wrong, (Kanye West’s alleged/rumoured album title) is not hypocritical nor unloving. Quite the contrary. Here’s the deal. While God is good, and love, He is holy and apart from being in Christ we face His eternal wrath. Why then must we not warn others about the peril they face?
I won’t even go into his problematic example of the woman at the well (John 4). My last point though is about how he mostly gave his opinion. As Christians, we ought to try to give an answer based on the Word. That doesn’t mean we become automatons, rather, our reasoning is to be subject to the Word. We ought to ask to think, “Well, what does the Bible say about this?” in order to frame our response, as unpalatable as it may be to the hearer. We are to speak to speak the truth in love and with grace, and to see things with a biblical worldview. Is that being taught enough in our churches? I fear not.