Year-End Confessions: Back from the Ashes

 

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(c) April Kelsey

Hello, Dear Readers.

As you can probably tell from the (in)frequency of my posting, 2016 has been a tough year, and I’ve been fairly quiet about it. I thought it was time to let you know what I’ve been up to and what has changed for me.

I started 2016 in the grip of grief. I had recently said goodbye to someone who meant a great deal to me, and there was no getting over it quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever grieved so long or so hard. Basically, I cried off and on from January to August. I was also diagnosed with a deformed vertebrae in my lower back and spent most of the summer in physical therapy. My mother-in-law lived with me from May to October to help with my kids. Continue reading

It’s Time! No More!

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From Wikipedia Commons

We live in tumultuous times; that is certain. Truly, this is the end of days. I have watched with increasing alarm as our society has fallen further and further away from the truths of scripture. For too long, I have remained silent, quietly praying that God would turn the hearts of the children back to their fathers, but alas: I cannot remain silent anymore. Unless we take swift and serious action against the moral decay in our society, God’s ultimate judgment will fall upon America.

There is one issue in particular that I believe is contributing to the division and downfall of our society, and it’s time Christians drew a line in the sand and said, “No more!” We must gather our resolve and oppose this depravity that stands in direct opposition to God’s Word. We must speak the truth in love to those who engage in this sin and to those who tolerate it.

This sin now surrounds us daily. It has crept into our media, our homes, our schools and—yes—even our churches. This abomination that was once despised and practiced in secret is, once again, flaunted in the open. I’m talking, of course, about.. Continue reading

I Have Not Obeyed

Hello, dear readers. I hope you are well.

I have a confession. A couple of months ago, I felt God calling me to a season of deep rest. And I have needed it. This has been a very difficult year. I have experienced a great deal of stress and battled chronic pain. My emotional reserves are entirely depleted.

But I knew what deep rest required: a sabbatical from blogging. I didn’t want to do it. I love interacting with the community I’ve built here. I love it when my words resonate with others and they write to tell me how much something I wrote helped them. And I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled a lot this year with envy. There are other wonderful bloggers out there, who have more time than I do, who can post twice a week and, therefore, have a larger readership, more exposure, and more opportunities to speak or guest post on other blogs. I want those things, too. And I know the cost involved in taking time off.

I also know that the moment I hit ‘publish’ on this post, I’ll likely be flooded with a hundred topics to write on.

But it’s past time to obey.

I need rest. I need to breathe and sleep and meditate and pray and read. I need to do art. I need to nurture myself. But most of all, I need to press my ear to the silence and find the heartbeat of God. I need to be carried for a while. I have no grand words of wisdom, prophetic insight, or spiritual instruction. I’m just an empty, broken vessel waiting for some glue.

If you feel inclined to pray for me, please do.

I’m hoping I’ll be back to some light blogging by November 1. I’ll keep you updated on my return. If I feel up to it, I may republish some older posts to keep the blog going. In the meantime, please be blessed and take care.

P.S. I love you all. Please forgive me if I haven’t answered your email.

Thinking About Community

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Image found at nesta.org.uk

In the past few months, I’ve come to a realization about the United States: We’re a culture of obsessive bean counters. For example, consider how most church denominations measure successful ministries. Number of baptisms. People in pews. Amount of tithes and offering. There are now church consultants who will show up to your Sunday meeting place and tell your pastor how he (or she) can get more visitors in the door. They talk about marketing, events, branding, website SEO–terms more commonly heard in the corporate offices of Apple and McDonald’s.

Rarely do we realize how much corporate culture affects our thinking and worldview. But it does. It permeates everything–including how we view ourselves and how we live our lives. Continue reading

When Con Men Use the Bible to Sell Evil

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“Snake oil” medicine bottles. From Wikipedia.

It’s been interesting watching the presidential election unfold in the U.S. It is truly revealing the hearts and intentions of those who claim to follow Christ.

For example, I’ve seen articles and videos from so-called prophets and church leaders insisting that Christians should vote for a certain orange-tinted candidate. And not just insist, but actually shame those who have declared they cannot vote for such a person. A few days ago, I read an article by one gentleman who says Christians who dare oppose said candidate for moral reasons are Pharisees…just like the people who crucified Jesus.

Really?!

Continue reading