Vulnerability and Salvation

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

-1 John 1:8-10

As I consider the place of vulnerability in God’s design, I think salvation comes through it.

No, salvation is not through vulnerability in the same way that it is through faith. The Bible clearly teaches:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

-Ephesians 2:8

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Idolatrous Bookworms: We’ve Identified Ourselves. Now What?

Last week, I shared 7 signs that you or I have taken our reading habits to the point of idolatry. Needless to say, it was a weighty topic. One reader described it as sobering. It had the same effect on me as I wrote it.

By my own reasoning, I’m an idolator. That’s someone who reveres or delights in something more than God.

I’ll go ahead and admit that this whole idol thing isn’t new to me. For years I’ve known and regretted that I tend to love certain people and things more deeply and freely than I love God.

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#7 Subtle Symptoms of the Idolatrous Bookworm

I started a book again!

I hadn’t read a paperback in months and I felt guilty. Of all people, writers are meant to read.

But this past Tuesday, I finally picked up a new novel, River of Grace.

I savored it from the beginning. The pleasure of reading returned to me like a neglected friend. I rediscovered the urge to read in every spare moment, the bittersweet (mostly sweet) guilt of reading past my bedtime, the adrenaline rush when I thought about the next chance I would get to crack open the cover, the secret relief when I got stranded somewhere because of the rain and… oh well. *Sigh* I guess I’ll just have to read as I wait it out, even though there were a dozen more import things I should be doing.

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Do we Understand “Sovereign”? (When Things Go Wrong – Part Two)

In May, I posted a small excerpt from Isolated (here). I took the liberty to pick apart a certain attitude maintained by the featured character. It’s the idea that God should have done this or He should have done that or the next thing because we deserve it. It’s the idea behind common questions: “Shouldn’t an all-loving, all-powerful God have done such-and-such?”

I propose this is an attitude we have all faced or will all face to varying degrees. Yes, you and yes, me.

All it takes is one thing to go wrong. One thing. Then we start to question God.

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Isolated Moodboard

Yesterday evening I was on my computer a little later than usual. I was preparing a storyboard/moodboard for Isolated to share in my June newsletter.

This is just a modest, little heads-up to make you aware of it. You’re very welcome to join the few others who receive my newsletters. They’re a small group, but I like to give them special treats when I can. 😉

If the moodboard is your main incentive, consider joining sooner rather than later. I plan to send the June newsletter within the next couple of days. If you sign up too late, you can contact me and I’ll try to get that to you separately.

So without further ado, here’s a link if you would like to receive my monthly newsletters:

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Turn up the Light: Sanctification

One of my favorite words to describe content, a service, a product… basically anything is “comprehensive.” It tells me that the subject is good quality and that the creator or curator has put time and effort into even the details.

It’s the difference between a complete and thorough job and one that kind of, sort of makes a bit of a difference.

That’s how I’ve come to think of vulnerability in terms of how it relates to God making us more like Jesus. The more vulnerable we get, the more we put ourselves at God’s disposal to be conformed to the image of His Son. Here’s the illustration I have in my mind:

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Author Interview: Kellyn Roth

Okay, readers. Here’s a post especially for you bookworms.

Author Kellyn Roth is about to re-release and release (respectively) books #1 and #2 in her Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. When I say “about to”, I mean book #2 officially releases tomorrow, while book #1 is actually already available as of a few days ago.

This post is her “visit” to my blog as part of her blog tour. Whether you’ve been following Kellyn’s tour, or are hearing about her for the first time, I invite you to get to know her and her books through the interview below.

(Stick until the end for book covers, blurbs, links to Amazon and Goodreads, and even a giveaway.)

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Change the Way You Compare

We don’t usually think we’re evil people. You and I don’t tend to feel we’ve done anything outrageous. It may be that we’ve said some mean things to our siblings, but by the end of the day, we remind them that we love them. And while we may have failed to keep some promises, we did drive ourselves to exhaustion trying.

This is a really common argument. I was struck by it once again when I read a message online. Someone said something to the extent that if hell exists, it is reserved only for truly evil people. As I read it, it seemed to me like the emphasis was on the unspoken “not you and me.”

This mindset that you and I are essentially good – that we don’t deserve anything so severe as eternal punishment in hell – comes from comparing ourselves to each other.

On the scale of human virtue, we are so far above Hitler, terrorists, and human traffickers that “comparing” hardly seems like the right term. It’s a no-brainer; of course we’re good! We’re practically innocent!

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Seeking Revival

A new post in my vulnerability series is due. And yet, I came to today and knew I couldn’t write it.

I’ve had a rough time recently. First I came to the realization that I can’t live up to everyone’s expectations or meet every need I see. The most succinct way I can think to put it is that I reached then end of myself.

When I came to that conclusion, I thought, “It’s okay, I’ll just go to God for strength. He promises to give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak.”

But by this point, my spiritual life felt like a wilderness. I would wake up to spend time with Him in the morning – no earlier than usual – and yet I would desire nothing but to doze back off and sleep another hour or three. I would come to passages that have breathed life into me over and over, and only see letters. I would try to feel them, but I couldn’t.

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