Entering into His Rest

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to take the holy advice of my Christian friends and find rest in my Savior. It’s proven to be one of most disturbingly painful experiences of my life thus far.

A few months ago, I told the Lord that I wanted to draw closer to him. He said, “OK,” then proceeded to drag down all of my internal supports and kick me onto my face. All of my usual coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s hardships were suddenly rendered null and void. I became incapable of carrying the burdens that I normally carried. Now I struggle to pray for myself, let alone anyone else. The light of joy that had finally begun to blaze in my heart weeks before has flickered and grown dark. Most of the time when I’ve tried to explain to others what’s going on with me, they stare at me like I have three heads. The grief and humiliation has been almost beyond bearing.

If there’s a level of brokenness beyond this, I don’t want to know about it.

The few times that I have been able to pray, I have asked God to help me enter His rest. Up until recently, though, the help didn’t appear to be forthcoming. Finally, in frustration, I asked God, “Will I ever enter your rest?”

He answered, “I don’t know. Will you?” 

I…what?! Continue reading

learning the words: on fire

Here is a guest post I wrote for Defeating the Dragons, an awesome blog I discovered about a week ago. The blog’s author writes about recovering from fundamentalism and spiritual abuse. If you haven’t visited yet, please do!

On the Altar of Sacrifice

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Abraham. He was really old and afraid that he’d die without an heir. But then God gave him a promise: his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. A couple of decades later, Abraham’s son is born–the firstfruits of a great promise.

And then God tells Abraham to do something unthinkable. He is to take his son up on a mountain and sacrifice him to the Lord. We know how the story ends: Abraham goes up to the altar, the Lord stays his hand, a ram gets the knife instead (see Genesis 22).

Atheists like to use this passage as evidence of God’s cruelty, even though Abraham kept his child in the end. But I think this scripture is indicative of something else–of what it means to be, as Romans 12:1 says, a living sacrifice. Continue reading

Show Me Your Glory?

Image: providencecpc.org

Yep, that’s a question mark up there.

I was worshiping in church on Sunday when the worship team started singing “Show Me Your Glory” by Jesus Culture. Here are some of the lyrics:

I see the cloud, I step in

I want to see Your glory as Moses did

Flashes of light and rolls of thunder…

I’m awed by Your beauty, lost in Your eyes

I long to walk in Your presence like Jesus did

Your glory surrounds me and I’m overwhelmed…

Show me Your glory, show me your glory, my God…

I hesitated to join in at first. I long to walk in Your presence like Jesus did… Last I checkedJesus went to the cross. I want to see Your glory as Moses did… And afterwards, he had to put a veil over his face because it was too bright to look at (Exodus 34:29-35). Continue reading

Why Women Worship

The Anointing of Jesus

Today, many Christian writers and pastors lament the lack of men in the church. Despite all the books written on the subject and all the programs designed to draw men into the church, congregations remain stubbornly and overwhelmingly female. Experts estimate that between 55 and 70 percent of churchgoers are women–a statistic that confounds the people who claim that the Bible and church are hateful toward women.

Of course, there are sociological, psychological and other reasons for why so many women are drawn to Christianity. (See “Why are Most Churchgoers Women?” for a scholarly overview of these various reasons.) However, I’d like to provide one simple explanation of why the gospel appeals so strongly to women–perhaps one that hasn’t been explored in much detail. But first we have to go back–way back–to the beginning of history. Continue reading