As Christians take to the interwebs warning of this deception and that false teacher, discernment becomes more pressing. And yet… it’s not just the false teaching we need to be discerning about. It’s the people WARNING against false teaching. Yes: we need to be able to recognize the difference between true discernment and fear-led immaturity. Many of the very people talking about “discernment” are in the latter camp.
My hands shook as I poured a glass of tea and my voice trembled when I spoke: “So… in my marriage…” I almost choked on the words, launched into a circle of women I barely knew. Women older than me, married ten, fifteen, thirty years to my three. Women whose marriages looked happy and beautiful and good.
I have followed Mike Winger for years now and am constantly blessed by his dedication to truth and his gracious way in presenting it. Recently, Pastor Mike has been working on a scholarly project regarding Brian Simmons’ Passion Translation, inviting Old Testament and New Testament scholars to speak to the book and its usage of Hebrew and Greek.
As I limited my time on technology and social media last year, I found myself drawn toward email for keeping up with friends and the world. Isn’t it funny how email was the first “big thing” and it’s still here?? I’ve found that reading longform newsletters and blog posts is much more refreshing than the 15-second hits of Instagram and Facebook. There’s more room for explanation and context, more room to sit and read instead of tapping through.
I can’t forget the time I held an “Ask Anything Monday” on Instagram and someone asked me for my five favorite parenting books. I answered honestly: I don’t have five! I barely read any. My kids are ages 5, 3, and 4 months at the time of writing and I’ve read two ?? parenting books so far. Honestly, I find most parenting books either behavior-focused or too lenient and child-centric. I don’t like labels (gentle parenting? So anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that model… isn’t gentle? No thanks!) and I’m very selective about who I listen to regarding parenting. That leaves me with not many options.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Would you believe I spent most of my life thinking of this day only in terms of retail sales and ski resort blackout dates? I knew who MLK was (sort of) and what he did (a little) and I knew his actions were significant for black men and women. But I’m not black, so I paid little attention.
A few months ago (in the heart of 2020) I received a rush of questions regarding “the Esther anointing” – a particular anointing of God on women to bring the power and transformation of God’s kingdom to political and social spheres. This phrase was new to me and I could not find much regarding its origins. Eventually I was clued into the book from which the phrase was taken: The Esther Anointing by Michelle McClain-Walters.
If we believe God sovereign only when our candidate is in power, we do not believe God is sovereign at all.
Since reading The Tech Wise Family by Andy Crouch a few years ago, I’ve worked hard to create boundaries with my phone, laptop and TV. Though we aren’t anywhere near as strict as the Crouch family, we do endeavor to have tech boundaries in place. The quarantine of 2020, however, really did a number on our family culture. I don’t regret the increase in family TV time (we probably watched five seasons of Forged in Fire and the Great British Baking Show, each, plus other favorites) but going into the new year and a new school semester for the girls we need to get back to our boundaries.
I’m writing this at the turn of the new year, when many of us begin thinking about a Bible reading plan for the next twelve months. I personally use the last week of December to plan my study focus for the next year along with my annual goals. However, there is no bad time to choose a reading plan! You don’t need a new year to adapt your study, and you can quit a reading plan that isn’t serving you anytime. Read that again!