So the apostle Peter has this dream, and God shows Peter these animals that the Old Testament law said he couldn’t eat. And then God says, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” This is God’s way of saying that there are about to be lots of changes, between Judaism and Christianity. But I just want to…
Let’s do a little experiment, okay? I’m going to ask you a question in just a second, and in your head I want you to try and answer it immediately, before you have a chance to think about it. In other words, I want you to simply read the question and…
princessaguzie asked: Hey Unka Glen. I first wanna thank you for everything you’ve done for me and others. I have a problem, I’m in my senior year and it’s one of the best years I’ve had educationally, but worst year spiritually. I feel like the Prodigal Son times 100. I have a fear of…
“Everyone wants to know what it feels like to be irresistible - meanwhile, Jesus would tear back the sky, move heaven and earth and lay down His very life just to be with you. In other words, that feeling you’re dying to experience? You’re living it right now! Just open up your arms and feel it.”—Lee Younger (via jedbrewer)
ohhowheloveus asked: So. You know there’s a hard time coming up in your life. Maybe you’re already in it. Death, money problems, sickness, what have you. You know someday things will get easier, whether you see the light at the end of the tunnel or not. My question is, is, how can we…
Why is it that some folks never seem to make it past a certain point spiritually? Why do some Christians wind up doing things they never would have dreamed? Why is it that some folks get into situations that are so emotionally debilitating and spiritually stifling that it seems like the only…
squarespecs asked: Hi Unka Glen! I came across this website about Bible contradictions and wondered if what they claim as such are true. At first glance, it seems logically correct, but my heart is not at ease. So I tried googling about explanations regarding these contradictions and it…
How fragile and beautiful and strong humans can be, when bone strikes bone and hearts beat altogether too quickly, and we muse at how quickly our brains take us back to the places we thought we’d left behind.
How can I tell what God wants me to do? I never make any big decision without praying about it first, but most of the time I feel like God doesn’t give me a clear answer. I don’t want to date just anyone, but I don’t know how to tell if the guy I like is the…
thatgeekfromcollege asked: I know that praying is a vital part of my walk with Christ so here it is. I don’t like how I pray, it seems that I’m saying the same things but with different chronological order. I feel like I’m not maximizing my alone time with Jesus. I’m rambling. So my…
Your insecurities are arguments with God. He is telling you that you are loved and forgiven, but your insecurities are trying to convince Him of how bad your sins are. He is telling you of the wonderful things He is going to have you do for Him, and your insecurities are trying to keep up with whispers about how He must be thinking of someone else: one of those superspiritual people with no doubts or secrets.
Here is the good news: you aren’t the first one with these kinds of battles, scripture is full of them-(Abraham, David, Mary). And the best news, God is going to win those arguments in the end, He always does.
God is the wind and we are the houses. We may try and close the wind out but there are times when we can still see and/or hear it at work. Then there are the times when it just cannot be ignored, like during a tornado for example. And sometimes God still finds his way into our shuttered, bolted down lives when we least expect it. And sometimes it takes us being broken enough that God can come in easily and fill our broken down, beat up, shattered, battered, hurting lives with His amazing presence and unfathomable love.
thatgeekfromcollege asked: I just recently found your blog, and it’s awesome. And to cherish this moment further, I just need to ask one question. Is it possible to be a Christian and be an evolutionist? I’m not saying that I am but I just recently studied evolution during my spare time,…
Making Hats and Messing Up-(Happened on 12/20/11 written on 12/22/11)
by Emily Chermak
So, I started making a hat the other day and I’m doing it on this circular thing with yarn. The way you make the hat is really pretty simple so far (I have yet to finish the hat so I can’t speak for that part quite yet.) You have a certain method and pattern that you follow. However, I managed to mess it up. And because of my one seemingly little mistake I wasted time, had to backtrack, and got frustrated.
How often does this happen to us in life?? I mean, God has a pattern laid out for us in the Bible does He not? (That one prooobably isn’t as simple- but still!) However, we’re fallen, sinful human beings with free will: a combination that is likely to produce a few mistakes. And if we would just follow God’s pattern for our lives we would be so much better off. (Not that any of us can be perfect but so often don’t we want to do things “our way”?….Because clearly we know better than the One who created us, and, oh yeah, everything else! Not so much… Or do things the world’s way? Because that seems like it’s working well for people. Not so much…) God gave us the Bible for a reason. And yes, it’s about relationship not rules and regulations but that doesn’t mean to keep on sinning. If you read the Bible then you’re probably not going to come across a verse that says something like: you’re forgiven so sin away! (John 14:15 says: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.) Also, Romans 6 (see below) We’re supposed to be dead to sin!
But anyhoo, back to the hats and messing up and such. We’re going to make mistakes. But we’re blessed enough to have a God who loves us more than we can imagine and who’s patient and wants His best for us. And even when we make mistakes and get backtracked He can still work in that and make good come out of that. We deserve hell but God gives us so much more- including the freedom to mess up without fear of losing His love. (Not that this is an excuse to sin, mind you.)
So, even if the mistakes you’ve made have set you back and are frustrating you and seem impossible to get untangled please, don’t lose hope. God is bigger than your battles, your problems, your mistakes, and your best tries and efforts. God wins. There is already victory in Jesus. Who the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:34-36: 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.) Turn to God. Let Him heal you and lead you as the light unto your path….He can make good out of mistakes and no mistake is too big. And no person is too hard for God to love.
New International Version (NIV)
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here I am. It’s raining….Well, more like pouring….And add in some frozen rain and hail pelting me in the head. Sounds like a pleasure cruise right? Note the sarcasm. But anyhoo, back to my point. (Us humans and our silly distracting rambles, deviating us from our original course….And now I’m rambling about rambling, oh the irony!) So, it’s raining. I’m standing in it. Being pelted….in the head. At least the rain hides the tears coming out of my eyes. That happens sometimes.
Well, I might as well not just stand here (as productive as that clearly is not). And forward motion of some kind is better than no motion right? But what if your motion is backtracking? Food for thought I suppose. Well, off I go. Everyone has to make a first step. That’s the way things work. No matter how long the journey there is always a first step. And this is mine.
Trudging through the forest, mud squishing beneath my holey, torn up converse shoes, I continue to get pelted by ice and drenched by the freezing rain pouring mercilessly down upon me. I have a rain poncho in my worn out, torn up, falling apart bag on my back., a bag that seems heavier at times than others. The poncho doesn’t even really belong in my bag of baggage, but sometimes it ends up there. I pull it out sometimes, and I talk about it a lot, but a lot of times it stays with the baggage. It’s a nice poncho too….Oh, well- surely I can find something better.
So on through the dense forest I go, trudging along. Some steps are easier than others, while some are a bit more tricky, but thus is life. No one ever promised it would be a cake walk. Apparently it’s a mud walk. Hey, look, I can still have humor in a time like this. Hoorah. The rain is still pelting me, I’m even starting to get used to it a bit. I think about the poncho but leave it hidden away with all my baggage. It’s not what I want right now and surely I can find something better.
Up ahead I see some denser branches….They seem like a possible good idea. Maybe they can offer me the protection I seek from the storm. I crawl under them, getting a bit scratched up and bruised as I go, but counting it as costs of what I think I’m gaining. I finally get under the branches which are comforting and offer seeming protection for a moment. The distraction of them helps a little too. But the storm is still raging around me and the branches are nowhere near the protection I need. And as I sit here they’re poking me and scratching me and I realize that perhaps this isn’t such a good idea after all. But I’m stupid sometimes and prideful, and even to myself and to whoever else it may concern, I don’t want to admit I’m wrong or made a bad choice. However, something nudges me onward and finally I crawl my way out (which hurts and batters me much more than going in did), and I’m back in the rain again.
Well, good going smarty pants! That was a great plan! Not! (The evil little voice in my head is quick to remind me of all things negative.) “Oh, shut up.” I say to the nasty voice. Trudging onward, the mud now filling up my abused, battered converse, I see a cave up ahead. Perfect! I try to run towards the cave, but my batterings from the branches hinder me and remind me of the pain of past attempts at protection. This pain slows me down, but only a bit. I trip and flounder and stumble my way through the mud and storm and finally make it to the cave.
I crawl inside as quickly as I can, ignoring as much as possible the pain from the sharp rocks and my cold limbs bumping here and there. After all, the pain won’t matter once I’ve found the protection I want right? (Wrong.) As I get into the cave I gingerly sit down, sore from my past mistakes. I think things are going okay. Then I hear a growling. I slowly turn my head towards the dark of the deeper part of my thought to be protection, and can barely make out eyes staring back at me. I don’t want to believe it. My pride and longing and desire for protection and security so strong that I sit, risking getting eaten over doing the right thing and leaving the cave. I see a figure start to move closer in the darkness. It moves closer and closer and closer until finally I get up and get out of the cave. Again, this was more painful than entering.
So here I am again, in the rain, more disappointed and hurt and upset and scarred then when I entered this seemingly God forsaken hell of a forest. The storm is getting worse too. Harder rain and hail, (who knew that was even possible! Insert eye roll here) louder thunder, brighter flashes of lightning (that act only to show me how lost in this mess I really am.) How much worse can things get? The wind picks up. A lot. Of course! Ugh. Well, standing here thinking about how much this sucks isn’t getting me anywhere so on I go.
Trudge, trudge, trudge, through the mud, mud, mud, feeling like crud, crud, cru-holy crap! A cabin! Is that really a cabin I see up ahead! Finally! Real shelter, real protection, real comfort! How amazing! As I get closer I see it’s somewhat of a fixer-upper. It’s nowhere near perfect but it’s so much better than what I had previously tried, even if the roof leaked and the door was off it’s hinges a bit and it needed work. It was still an improvement and that made it okay right?
I walk up to the cabin. I’m somewhat hesitant because I’ve been burned in the past and getting hurt and things not going according to plan tend to make a person a bit jaded. I’m sick of getting hurt. But surely this time will be different right? Again my mind wanders to the poncho in my bag. Nah, clearly this is better. It feels right! Even if I can’t stay long, even a bit of time is worth it right? So, onward I go, towards what seems like at least a semi-decent idea. Not a perfect idea mind you, but perhaps seemingly better than those of the past.
I walk up to the crooked door and make my way in. I get a couple scratches and bumps but the entering is somewhat easier this time. As I’m walking through this far from perfect little cabin I grow more attached to it with each step. Sure, there are problems but it offers me some comfort and protection from the storm (or so it seems) and it has some things about it that I really like. I’m enjoying my time here so much, even with the issues that spring up while I make my way through this little hut.
Before I know it it’s time to leave. I have other places to go, plans that were made that I’m making my way to. As time draws nearer to metaphorical Cinderella midnight I bid my prince goodbyes. Although it will be hard to leave I make the decision to do so anyway. As I step out of the cabin I’ve grown so fond of and created memories with in such a short time, I slip and the lower part of one of my pant leg becomes entangled with the porch. I twist my ankle and cry out in agony.
WHY!? Aren’t I on the way to where I’m supposed to be going? Doing now what I’m supposed to be doing? Sure, I may have made some wrong choices….Do I regret them? Not so much, but they’re done with. Why am I stuck here!? WHY!? Why does everything have to be so hard all the time!? Where’s the sunshine? And the nice little forest creatures? And the pretty woodland path? Huh? Where are they!? I didn’t ask for this storm or the one before that or the one before that, etc! Why do some people get it so easy while I’m stuck in a storm, on the porch of a cabin I can’t keep, with a twisted ankle and unbearable pain, not able to move forward or go back or anything. I’m just stuck here. Why!?
After my rant I realize that although my ankle hurts like crazy I can still walk on it (even though it’s going to hurt for quite a while.) I also realize I can get free from this porch I’m currently stuck on. However, it’s going to involve ripping my favorite pair of pants even more. I’m not super fond of this idea, but sometimes we have to make tougher choices. I reach down and tear the portion of my pant leg attached to the porch away from the rest of my pants. Like gouging out an eye, painful but freeing. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic over pants but just go with it.) It’s not the easiest thing ever- the pants are really attached, the fabric woven together and now practically woven together with the mess of a porch.
I get myself freed and gently, slowly stand up. My ankle hurts. A lot… Who would’ve thought that after all I’d been through this would be the hardest place to get out of? But, on second thought it makes sense. The more attached you are to something that shouldn’t be in your life, the harder it is to be truly free from it. But live and (hopefully) learn. I start to walk away from the cabin, but it’s hard and part of me really just wants to go back and stay there. I could live there at least semi-happily. It would take lots of work and I might be settling when I could have better….But maybe it would all work out okay? Did I really believe that though? Better keep moving forward.
With my new injury I realize how heavy the bag I’m carrying is. My mind goes back to the poncho. Speaking of living and learning… I set down my heavy bag full of all my baggage and right on top, as if waiting for me, is my poncho. Why have I been trying so hard to find elsewhere what I’ve had right here? This poncho is more than enough to shield me from the storm and offer me warmth and protection and security. Yet, I kept looking for protection elsewhere. Like a girl looking for love in all the wrong places I was insane (insanity being repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.)
I put my poncho on and sure enough it’s exactly what I need. It makes me wonder what I was doing wasting my time…Silly, silly girl. So easily distracted and so convinced I know best. I don’t know a whole lot in the big scheme of things to be honest. Not that I’m an idiot, there’s just so much that we don’t and can’t understand. After putting on the poncho I realize that, although the storm is still raging around me, I can see just a hint of a rainbow, waiting for the storm to reach it’s end before I can see it in its entirety and full beauty. But the glimpse is enough to get me going again.
I go to pick up my baggage and realize how heavy it all is. It also makes my ankle ache a bit more just thinking about carrying it. I pause for a moment and think over what’s stored up in there. The thoughts stir my emotions but also bring the realization that I don’t need to carry that load anymore. I leave the baggage behind and move forward. I’m battered, and bruised, broken and limping, but I am moving forward. I’m not out of the forest yet, but I’m on my way. I don’t have all the answers, not even close, but each day is a new day. And in some way can’t each step be considered a first step? So step by step I will continue on. It may be storming but that doesn’t mean I can’t carry on and learn to dance in the rain. It’s raining….Well, more like pouring. But here I am. And God is good.
(Stop looking where you won’t find- God is your poncho- God is more than enough.)
Anonymous asked: So there’s this guy. We were best friends, and he has a girlfriend. He stayed at our college campus for the summer, and I went up and stayed with some (female) friends for a visit and hung out with him. Long story short, he cheated on his girlfriend with me. I could go on and…
amethystandash asked: How do I move past disappointment with God? I’ve never felt being a christian has ever been simple. In honesty it feels like a big game, like a secret that God expects me to know the answer to. How do I believe God is a Healer when he didn’t Heal, Comforter when I…
“Jesus was born in a filthy stable in a podunk town, in a time before advanced medicine; because that is where he promised to be born. What makes you think that your heart is so messed up that it would drive Him to forsake His promise to live in it?”—Matt King (mattkinger.tumblr.com)
Frequently I get asked about how to respond when someone tells you about sexual abuse that they’ve gone through. The severity of the situation certainly makes it clear that you can’t toss out the usual Christian catch phrases. A situation that requires delicacy, yet bold action, and yet precision…