The Christian Life

Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast

Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live simulcast is quickly approaching. It is scheduled to air September 12, 2015. Many churches have signed up to participate along with women who will watch from home. If you are one of that number, I invite you to do something as you watch. I invite you to turn the simulcast into a class on discernment. This means, we will use the simulcast to practice the ability to confirm truth and detect error in a Bible message or teaching. Some may feel it is unnecessary to do that with a Beth Moore event since she is so established and well liked as a Bible teacher. I would respond that it is always necessary to be discerning at every event or service where God’s word is taught. It is necessary even when the preacher you’ve sat under for 20 years gets up to preach.

Discernment is so important for our spiritual well-being. It is our Biblical responsibility. (1 John 4:1) The example of the noble-minded Bereans encourages us to do as they did. (Acts 17:10-11) […]

To be Bitter or to be Grateful

Before I return to my series of posts on submitting in everything, I decided to take an opportunity to share something about life and our daughter’s wedding. The sky was blue, the air was warm, and there were smiles everywhere. The happy couple looked amazing. There were a few glitches during the day, something life has taught us to expect; but that was OK. So much of the day was absolutely beautiful; and more importantly, the Lord was magnified and glorified. It was a precious gift to see Rachel and her new husband begin their new life together in such a meaningful way. You may be wondering that if everything went so well, why is bitterness mentioned in the title of this post. How could it have anything to do with such a wonderful day? […]

Learning From the Pens of Dead Men

There is a treasure in the church that I hope you have discovered and are enjoying. I am referring to a large collection of writings by Christian men who no longer walk amongst us. While they were under the sun, they put pen to paper or quill to parchment and produced a body of work that has enriched many Christian lives. I have been and continue to be blessed by these authors, theologians, and pastors and want to highlight them and encourage you to open the chest and dig in if you haven’t yet or keep digging for more if you have. I doubt we will ever see the bottom.

My first glimpse of the treasure came when my husband and I discovered that we had a sizable gap in our knowledge about church history, namely the period of the Reformation. Unable to live with that black hole and filled with curiosity, we began to gather and devour relevant material. […]

Introducing New Feature: Do You Take This Verse?

This post is the launch of a new feature on Chapter 3 Ministries! I’m calling it “Do You Take This Verse?”. The name is a play-on-words that brings together what has been traditionally asked during a marriage ceremony (Do you take this woman/man?) with the idea of living out Bible verses in our marriages. […]

Facing the Challenges of 2015

2015 promises to be a year to remember. This year our oldest is getting married and graduating from college and our youngest is graduating from High School. In case you are wondering, we only have two. :) I have oftentimes affectionately referred to them as “my bookends”. I came up with this years ago because of the way they used to flank me on the couch when we were saying goodbye to their papa whenever he left to photograph a wedding. We have a couch right in front of a picture window that overlooks our driveway. As my husband was heading out, we would all kneel on the couch, with me in the middle, and watch as he got in his van and drove away. We would wave, tell him we loved him in sign language, and then pray for his safe return. I cherish those memories and hold tightly to them as this new year starts. […]

Expressing Thankfulness & The End Time Blog

In the past six and a half years that I have been mostly housebound and ministering online, I have “met” a lot of people. They have been from different cultural backgrounds and have held a variety of beliefs. Whether it was Muslims in Egypt, a humanist in the Netherlands, or a sister in Christ from the Midwest, the Internet has been great for connecting me with people from all over the world. Some individuals that I have met stand out quite clearly in my mind. They made a lasting impression. I know that will be true about a woman I met recently. Her name is Elizabeth Prata. She is the author of The End Time blog. […]

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

The new year will be here soon! It’s not too late to start thinking about whether or not you would like to start a Bible reading plan in 2015. I enjoy plans. They help me to be more regular with my reading.

Not all reading plans are the same. Though many are geared towards reading through the whole Bible in a year, there are more options available. There are some that will extend the reading out for two or three years or shorten it considerably. I once went through the Bible in six months. To be honest, it wasn’t planned. I was pregnant and suffering with “morning” sickness so badly that all I could do was read! Some plans focus on just parts of the Bible like the gospels, the Old or New Testament, or bring you through the same books more than once. Plans can also go through the books in the order they appear in the Bible or go through the Bible in the order that things took place chronologically in history. I prefer the latter. […]

Knowing the Real Thing from the Fake

Counterfeiting is alive and well in America and across the world. The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), an organization dedicated to fighting counterfeiting and safeguarding intellectual property, reports that the Department of Homeland Security confiscated counterfeit goods worth more than $1.7 billion at our borders in Fiscal Year 2013. The coalition also reports that counterfeiting is a major problem worldwide.¹ When I think of counterfeiting, I immediately think of money; but all sorts of goods are also counterfeited including car parts, handbags, watches, and jewelry. I wonder if 3D printing technology will open up a whole new world for counterfeiters. If so, the government and the IACC are going to be quite busy.

Being aware that there are fakes out there can go a long way in protecting us from being taken. This is true not only for consumer products but also for matters of faith. We need to look out for counterfeit Christianity. […]

Powerful Help in Times of Suffering

Suffering is universal. It is experienced by all who live and breathe upon our planet Earth. It cannot be avoided or paid off or scammed. It comes and for some it comes often and brutally. There are many ways to suffer be it emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. I would not dare to choose which is the easiest to deal with, because suffering is very personal. Some of us can handle physical pain better than emotional or vice versa. In my mind, neither the type nor the amount of suffering can be truly weighed by anyone but the person experiencing it. When people apologize for telling me about their troubles in light of my own suffering, I always tell them there’s no need to apologize. Their troubles are troubles to them. They experience whatever sorrow or pain they do in their own being. If they think it’s bad, then I want to be there for them. I don’t minimize any suffering in light of another.

What I do try to do is share what has helped me through my trials with suffering due to chronic pain. […]

The Beauty of God

God is beautiful. His beauty is discernible even though we cannot see him. Nothing compares to him nor is anyone like him. He is holy and good, not in the sense that we are – only to our flawed, finite, human limits – but intrinsically, infinitely, and perfectly. That alone is mind-boggling beauty, but there is more. There’s always more when it comes to God. […]

A song of Truth, a merry heart

The following post is by blog contributor Judy Bourret

“A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine.” So true! And the opposite is true, too,”but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) My heart tends to be merry pretty easily, for which I am thankful. I see blessings and beauty and fun in my daily life most days. There are days, though, when my spirit does feel broken. Life on this planet can be tough, discouraging, and even depressing. I believe 100% that God is in control, […]

A Time to be Silent

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) These familiar words are comforting and give perspective to a lot of situations, many of which are listed in the verses that follow. For example, verse 7 mentions that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. How true is that? That wisdom can save us a lot of trouble. I have found that wisdom practically helpful in the work of apologetics. […]

Doxology: An Eruption of Praise

Can you imagine what it was like to be one of the authors of the books of the Bible, sitting there as an instrument of Almighty God, bringing his word to the world, writing about the power of God or about the promise of eternal life or the incarnation? Is it any wonder that they sometimes erupted in praise? As you read through the scriptures you will find verses that seem to be flow out of the author’s saturation with the goodness and glory of God. They are known as doxologies. […]

A Creative But Inaccurate Message

How important is it to you that your Bible is an accurate translation of the manuscript copies of the Old and New Testament texts? Very? Good. The collective books of the Bible, accurately translated from the manuscript copies of the original inspired texts, are a special revelation from God. In them we learn things we cannot learn from within ourselves or from nature. Though creation reveals aspects of God’s power and nature (Romans 1:20), it does not tell us that there is only one God and that he is triune. […]

The First Room on the Right

Does your church have one of those rooms that are designated for parents to bring their children to when their little ones get a bit rowdy during the service? The church we attended when our children were small had one. My husband and I took turns bringing our little ones there whenever it was necessary. Though we did have many successful Sundays due to consistently laying out our expectations and having practice sessions at home, there were those times when they simply wouldn’t settle down. […]

Background Checks

I’m a skeptic. Always have been. I’ve long had the habit of asking “Where did you hear that?” when someone shares “a fact” that seems suspect. My skepticism sometimes makes me wonder how I ever became a Christian. Well, I know the answer to that question actually. God did it. It wasn’t easy, at least from my perspective; but that’s a story for another time. Right now I’d like to share how my skepticism is valuable in my life as a Christian. […]

What If?

Years ago while heading to church on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning I was mulling over the expression What if. I don’t remember why, but I imagine I was doing so because I had probably just asked it. Those two words can come off my lips all too easily when I anticipate a negative outcome. Thankfully, I have gotten better at not asking that question as often as I used to. God has worked in my heart in many different ways including through something that occurred to me during that ride. […]

What say you, Oh Lord?

There is an endless stream of voices in the world. For better or worse, our modern technology allows us to hear those voices like never before. It has given us access to countless people and opinions. Regardless of the topic, we can find experts or self-proclaimed experts who are more than happy to enlighten us. Question is – who do we listen to? […]

Giving Thanks All Year Long

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. Somehow, even after all these years, that day always feels special. I love the way the house smells when all the food is being prepared. I love relaxing with the family after we are all stuffed. I love the pies! This year Thanksgiving falls on the 26th anniversary of my new birth. It happens every so often that they coincide. It always seems like Thanksgiving is a little bit more special those years. I can’t help but be mindful of the anniversary of my salvation at Thanksgiving even when they’re not on the same day. It is what I am most thankful for. I guess it’s still amazes me that such a wonderful thing happened. […]