That Time I Tried to Be Like George Mueller: Reflections on My 64th Birthday

Many thanks to those of you who met my birthday deadline for giving feedback on the first half of my new book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind: Book 3 Your Words, Your Emotions. 

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“You have to get up and eat something. You can’t go on like this.” Continue reading “That Time I Tried to Be Like George Mueller: Reflections on My 64th Birthday”

What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “Turn the Other Cheek”?

Last week I took a writing retreat to work on my third Untwisting Scriptures book,  tentatively subtitled “Your Words, Your Emotions.” It will address  good stuff like gossip and slander, and anger and fear and shame. My hope is for it to be out before the end of 2021!

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One of the “Untwisting Scriptures” topics I’m known for tackling is the topic of giving up or yielding your rights. That’s the discussion in the first few chapters of the first Untwisting Scriptures book, and it was the topic the first time I was invited to speak at an abuse conference.

One of the apparently audacious assertions I make about rights—besides the assertion that it’s basically impossible for us to give up our rights—is that Jesus never gave up His rights. Continue reading “What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “Turn the Other Cheek”?”

When Does Sin Become Idolatry? A New Perspective on an Old Question

Last week I reposted (on my Rebecca Davis—Untwisting Scriptures Facebook page) my four-year old “Idol Factory” post, and again I received several heartfelt responses, both publicly and privately.

A reminder that this pernicious teaching is still actively tormenting upright Jesus-followers who love God. Continue reading “When Does Sin Become Idolatry? A New Perspective on an Old Question”

Did the Bereans Think Paul Was a Charlatan?

I’ve heard sermons extolling the Bereans for searching the Scriptures, but it’s a rare preacher indeed who will urge his listeners to themselves search the Scriptures to see if what he is teaching them is true.

When I’ve heard it, it’s often been about fact-checking him on details.

But when Acts 17:11 describes the Bereans searching the Scriptures, it wasn’t about fact-checking Paul. It wasn’t about looking at just one or two proof texts. Continue reading “Did the Bereans Think Paul Was a Charlatan?”

If Someone Offends Me, Should I Not Talk About It?

(aka, “Don’t Gossip about Offenses”)

The “Someone Offends Me” Chart

Some time ago, the Victory Today Facebook page posted someone’s Bible study notes without context. As of this writing, 2.5 years later, it has been reposted (Shared) 88 THOUSAND times.

The original author said that in her original context, she was only talking about small things, and she was sorry this was shared without her context. So with that disclaimer I’ll proceed, because Victory Today gave only this chart, and this is the only context that 88,000 people had for reposting it. Continue reading “If Someone Offends Me, Should I Not Talk About It?”

“If you can’t say something nice” . . . in Colossians 4:6

Colossians 4:6 says,

“Let your speech always be gracious [or in some versions, ‘with grace’ or ‘full of grace’], seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

This is one of the many Scriptures used to teach us to “speak sweet.” When I researched it, I found article after article telling us that having “gracious” speech, or speech that is “full of grace” means speaking in a kind and inoffensive way to and about everyone.

And to those writers, “seasoned with salt” means “pleasant tasting.” Again, inoffensive, causing no waves, just pleasant and smiling and plastic no matter what.

And for my non-American readers, here’s the rest of that old adage:

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Continue reading ““If you can’t say something nice” . . . in Colossians 4:6”

Yes, We Really Do Have Authority in Jesus Christ

In May I recorded the audiobook for the second Untwisting Scriptures book, focusing on Patriarchy and Authority.

I’m happy to say that the producer is a professional sound engineer who has done audio work for Julie Roys, Dr. Diane Langberg, and other advocates.

It should be available within a few days, I hope!

I’ve mentioned before that most of the chapters of this book were blog posts before they were edited into chapters, going all the way back to 2013. But a few of them were written brand new for the book.

One of those new ones was chapter 18, “The Authority We Have in Jesus Christ.” A day or two ago as I was listening to the optimized version of this chapter, I thought, “Hmmm, this information is so important, I should probably make it available free of charge to those who for one reason or another won’t or can’t buy the book.” Continue reading “Yes, We Really Do Have Authority in Jesus Christ”

The Parable of the Talents, for a Fearful Abuse Survivor

Dear friend~

In our correspondence, you referred to the parable of the talents as a story of a person being punished “because he feared the master’s severity.  It was not about the cleverness of investing but about how he viewed the owner/master,” you said. “I hate it… but that’s soo me. And I know it displeases Him. Because if I BELIEVED in my heart what my head and you tell me of Him, I wouldn’t be feeling this. So I don’t. And it feels like I can’t.” Continue reading “The Parable of the Talents, for a Fearful Abuse Survivor”

How to Come Out of a Cult and Find Jesus 

 

I met Emily Elizabeth Anderson in January of this year, when she told me she had appreciated my Untwisting Scriptures books and asked to interview me on her blog, Thriving Forward. (You can find that interview here.)

I knew she had come out of the Bill Gothard cult (Advanced Training Institute, ATI), I knew she was now free from it, and I knew she loved Jesus. (A rare combination, it seems, for young people who grew up Gothard.)

But it was when I heard her being interviewed in a Called to Peace Ministries Facebook Live that I heard that story. I asked her to share more with me about it, and she sent me her testimony.

The thing is, my friends. The thing is, I was sure that the people who leave cults and also leave Jesus don’t really know who He is. I figured they couldn’t have really found out who He is, clear through, as He’s presented in the gospels.

And Emily confirmed these suspicions. Continue reading “How to Come Out of a Cult and Find Jesus “