The wait-a-bit tree by Quintin Abrams
In Southern Africa there is a tree, actually more like a bush than a tree that is called the wait-a-bit-tree. It is called this because if you walk too near it, it has thorns all over its branches that latch on to your skin. It’s awful, as you have to unhook those thorns trying not to rip your flesh. So, one has to wait a bit to get untangled.
I am reminded of a scripture which says (Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Created For His Glory by Glen Scrivener
God creates from fullness not need. His glory is not about demanding but giving. From the Father’s eternal begetting of the Son comes the logic of creation’s in-time manufacture. Creation is not the first time God has to relate to another. Instead, creation finds its origin in His already-outgoing nature.
Hearing One Side Of A Story by Frank Viola
I remember it well. A zealous but naïve follower of Jesus in my mid-20s. That was me.
One of my friends had been part of the church to which I belonged. He had recently moved to another city and joined another group. He called me on the phone from the other state to unload. He told me how he had been mistreated by this other group. And he singled-out one particular person who was (according to him) the source of his pain.
As I listened to him vent, my blood began to boil. I was angry at this group . . . and I was angry at the particular person who mistreated my friend.
The Art of Being a Jerk Online by Frank Viola
Jerk: Slang . a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.” Not a cuss word. Source.
According to recent studies (you know, the same ones that show that research is known to cause cancer in rats), if two Christians disagree with one another online for more than three consecutive days, there is a 97.3% chance that one of them will end up calling the other a “child of Satan” or a near-equivalent.
With that in mind, here are nine sure-fire ways to perfect the art of being a jerk online…
These two posts by Frank Viola have been used to highlight how I have recently been seeking out gossip and scandal online. It’s no real secret that there is some controversy about spiritual abuse circling some reformed charismatic church groups in the USA. While I’m not criticising those who are sharing their stories of what they endured at the hands of some believers, reading these two blog posts I realised that I have sought out gossip about these groups that I was already a bit suspicious of.
Everything I was reading confirmed what I’d already been thinking about these groups, so I uncritically accepted the reports and built up an unholy sense of self-righteous satisfaction in seeing these people exposed. I remain convinced that these stories coming out now are a part of the Lord’s discipline and refining of His body, but I have never suffered at the hands of those being talked about and it was simply wrong for me to indulge in deliberately dwelling on the stories and assassinating my brothers in my heart.
Thankfully, I didn’t indulge in posting about these directly. I feel a huge sense of relief that I read these posts before giving in to the temptation to do so!
Hebrews 10:26 by Escape To Reality
I get asked more questions on Hebrews 10:26 than any other verse in the Bible. Evidently, this is a verse that troubles many Christians:
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left (Heb 10:26)
Wow! That looks scary! Let’s take a quick survey. Please put your hand up if you have lived a sinless life since accepting Jesus as your Savior. Hmmm. I don’t see any hands. I have been saved for decades and – if I’m honest with you – I cannot say my performance has been flawless throughout that period. I’m pretty sure I sinned this one time back in 1987…
Ha! It’s easy for me to make jokes. I’ve been set free. I no longer mine at the pits of religion with condemnation. I’m drawing from the wells of salvation with joy!