The Cure for Shame

Reformation 21
September 2014

Think about Adam and Eve in the garden. They did the one thing God had commanded them not to do, and ate of the one tree amongst all the other trees that were full of good fruit. Everything up until this point had been good, good, good. Suddenly they realized that something was wrong with them. They were naked. Instead of taking their shame to God, they covered themselves and hid. We’ve been doing the same thing ever since, desperately trying to cover our shame, to hide it from one another. That’s why researcher and writer Brené Brown likes to say that, “Shame only needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgment.” Sadly the church often follows society in offering shame-ladened people all three.

Read the rest HERE.

How to (and how NOT to) Help Someone Battling Cancer

SBC Voices
July 19, 2014

Reflecting on our past and present experience with cancer, we have been blessed to have family, friends and a church family who have been wonderfully supportive. Quite often, people want to know how they can help and encourage someone going through the experience of cancer or other medical related trials. I hope that you will find this list useful as you minister to others. Here are a few things I found to be helpful and not so helpful in our journey:

Helpful: Encouraging me to trust God through our trial

More Helpful: Sharing your experience of God’s grace in your time of need and the assurance that God will be with me as well

Not Helpful: Telling me about all the people you know who also have/had cancer

Definitely Avoid: Telling me about the people you know who died from cancer

Read the rest HERE.

Facing Brokenness as an Act of Faith

brokenness

Facing our brokenness is a breathtaking act of faith in the living God; refusal to face our brokenness is a tragic denial of his existence, power, and goodness. Because the denial of painful reality comes so naturally, it is rarely labeled as sinful. Nor do we recognize how much it dishonors the God who loves […]

“In your Bible reading, an author will often compare two things. It’s important to stop and study everything you learn about how those two things are similar and different. In this lab, Pastor John looks at our slavery to sin and freedom in Christ.”

By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Explaining Domestic Abuse to Children

A Cry For Justice
October 15, 2014

Once upon a time there was a home that had a dog and some other pets: a rabbit, some cats, and some hamsters. It seemed like the dog got along fairly well with most of the animals and with the people, although he did get into bad moods and growled at them for no good reason. On his good days, he’d wag his tail and play with the cats and hamsters and they ran around and had fun together. However, the dog had a thing about the rabbit. He thought rabbits were wimps and he thought it was funny to growl at the rabbit and chase him and see him scared.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Here’s a little story you can tell children to explain this complex situation. Read the rest of the story HERE.

Where is God When I Feel Shame?

I was wearing work out pants and a sweatshirt, and I was having a bad hair day. Pony tail and stringy bangs. While keeping my head low and browsing their sale racks I analyzed my thoughts. Do you ever do that? Listen – really listen – to the messages you’re telling yourself? Here’s what I heard:

Pastor John introduces a new series focused on Romans 8. First, he spends a couple minutes helping you make the most of Look at the Book. Then, he gives you seven reasons why Romans 8 is the greatest chapter in all the Bible.

By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Submission and the Mutual Lust for Autonomy

Practical Theology for Women
October 6, 2014

The problem with interpreting Genesis 3:16 to teach that women more than men have a desire to control is not that women don’t often act independently of God, but that, first, that’s not what this verse is saying, and two, men struggle with such lust for autonomy as much if not more than women. But who gets rebuked for rebellion in most modern Christian dialogue? Who gets instructed to obey their authorities? Have you heard an argument for submission lately that doesn’t focus on wives to husbands, kids to parents, or church members to elders? In my little neck of the woods, discussions on submission get aimed at these groups. Period. Today, I want to talk about our mutual lust for autonomy and the widespread need in the Body of Christ for submission that transcends gender. Who, oh husband, parent, pastor, or judge, are YOU submitted to? Who can tell you NO?

Read the rest of this article by Wendy Alsup HERE.