The First Week of Advent: Hope and Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” John 1:1-5.

“He, through Whom time was made, loved us so much He was made in time for us.” Augustine, qtd. in God Above All.

Christ came from outside time to experience its limitations–days that were too short–nights, too long. He suffered in time without relief or reprieve.

It’s hard for us to imagine being outside time. How often every day do we check the clock or wonder how to get to the next task or place on time? We vacillate between wishing for more time and hoping minutes would pass more quickly.

We understand that He placed us in time but did not intend for us to remain in it always.

“. . . He has also set eternity in the human heart . . .” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Since eternity is in our hearts, we squirm under the pressures of time–too much or not enough during our earthly lives.

Even so, Christ calls us contemplate the true meaning of His birth, life, and death. He invites us to respond to His call and so find hope.

“He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: ‘you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all,” Fulton J. Sheen

This exchange requires our time and devotion. In our humanity, in time, with broken hearts, and in our nothingness, we find hope in Him.

This first week of Advent when we ponder hope, hush your waiting heart. Hush your hurrying heart. His all awaits. Welcome, Christmas. Welcome Christ.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Faithfulness, No Matter What

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, . . . and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them.” So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them, Exodus 1:15-20, (NASB).  

It hadn’t always been like that for the Hebrews in Egypt. Joseph had risen in influence and authority. In a time of famine, he brought his father, his brothers, and their families to the land where food was available. Over time, the famine subsided, but Joseph died, and a new Pharoah ascended. Life for the Hebrews in Egypt changed.

Did they notice small changes, little limitations, and growing oppression? Or did life change all at once in one day?

Do we notice the changes around us?

Throughout our lives, era blends into era almost without our noticing. Social mores take on different hues and shades and before we know it, society has taken itself to a new place.

Jake Meador: “In a hedonistic world [during the 1990s to 2010s], hostility to Christianity . . . was mostly centered around Christians being a moral buzzkill. But in our new moralistic world [from the 2010s to today], it’s not simply that Christianity is boring or not fun, but that Christianity is actively harmful because it suggests that there are some types of authentic selves [identities] that are actually bad and should not be privately accepted or publicly expressed.”

This change from a hedonistic era to a moralistic one happened gradually yet arrived more suddenly than we imagined it could.

Our times never stand still. We move forward and backward as a culture, not in a linear fashion. We’ve moved forward, for example, by establishing fairness in workplace laws regarding ethnicity and gender, but backward in other ways, embracing sin, then celebrating it, then insisting on approval for it.

Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, and Louise Perry in their respective books agree that Americans assume societal movement is always progress and always good. As Sax says, in this viewpoint, progress “has a smooth, upward trajectory albeit with a few hiccups.” Such a viewpoint, Perry points out, “encourages us to ignore both the ways in which things may have become worse over time and the advice offered by older generations.

That so many see our faith as not only passe but also “bad” for society is not something Christians can simply ignore. The crucial question becomes: How do we maintain our faith and faith communities in such an environment?

More from Meador: “What will primarily sustain the church in this moment is plain to any student of church history, for it is what has always sustained the church: the grace of God offered to us through the preaching of the Word and the Sacraments, which equip us to live lives of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. What sustained the church then was a quiet confidence in the providence of God, a patient resilience amidst suffering, and a humble reliance on God to give what is needed, in life and death. If we would lean upon those resources, they could sustain us today as well.”

The Hebrew midwives in Egypt knew honoring God was more important than obeying a wrong decree. God blessed them by placing them within families, perhaps providing a measure of safety not otherwise available. For many Hebrews, life got harder–until God sent a rescuer.

Today we wait for our promised rescuer.

And like the midwives of long ago, we must remain faithful until the day.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Taking Sex Seriously: The Case Against the Sexual Revolution by Louise Perry

Sex Must Be Taken Seriously.

Men and Women Are Different.

Some Desires Are Bad.

Loveless Sex Is Not Empowering.

Consent Is Not Enough.

Violence Is Not Love.

People Are Not Products.

Marriage Is Good.

Those are the chapter titles in Louise Perry’s book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century. It’s the kind of information and advice a mother (one who is wise or became so the hard way) would give her daughter to help her understand how to navigate youth and early adulthood with minimal wounds of body and soul.

I write often about the consequences of abortion on all involved. Yet abortion isn’t an isolated wound. It’s one in a series of injuries that often begins with the idea that we need not take sex seriously, that sex is not about commitment, reproduction, and raising the next generation, but that it’s about amusement and recreation and can be devoid of negative consequences.

Perry asserts that women have been deceived into believing that sexual freedom benefits them even while “it so obviously serves male interests.”

Society has further convinced us that men and women are the same, which has led to the idea that women can take care of themselves without extra precautions. Such an approach. Perry argues, often places women in “the perfect environment for the would-be rapist.” There is “cultural pressure,” she says, to reject messages encouraging women to “stick together on nights out, to keep their friends safe.” Cultural pressure doesn’t end there.

Our society has fallen victim to a belief that there are no “bad desires.” This modern tenet presses us to suppress our natural and protective “moral intuition. And not just “disregarding [our inclinations against that which is unnatural] but actively resisting moral intuition” (emphasis Perry’s), such as the need to protect not only ourselves but also our children. We shouldn’t be surprised to see, she says, that after the breakdown of “sexual taboos,” all taboos would be “considered fair game.” Hence we see the assertion that children are capable of sexual desire and consent and the efforts to sexualize children and instill in them the foundational premise that “loveless sex” is harmless.

Not only is “loveless sex” not empowering, but it’s also not all that enjoyable. Perry provides solutions to help us avoid falling victim to a “sexual culture that is fundamentally not geared toward protecting your safety or wellbeing.”

Further, she does an expert job explaining inconsistencies in the jargon and results of the sexual revolution. For example, laws draw arbitrary lines between statutory rape and consensual sex because a girl has reached a particular birthday of consent.

The same girl is abused and assaulted one day and the legal prize of desire the next.

Acknowledging that there “is no other way the law could function,” Perry states that “consent has more layers to it.” That a female has said yes “may do as a legal defence, it is not a convincing moral defence” (sic) (Perry’s emphasis) because consent can be urged, manipulated, or even coerced.

Consent to sex, manipulated or otherwise, can lead to a twisted notion of consent to violence. Women who are “inexperienced or overly trusting” can “confuse jealousy for fidelity and so be drawn to” those who would have them believe that violence is love.”

Sexual manipulation extends itself to prostitution as well. When Perry explains that people are not products, she highlights contradictory, even schizophrenic, efforts in England, on one hand, to legalize prostitution, and on the other, to legally forbid sex for rent, exchanges that have emerged in college towns within the UK.

“The whole point of paid sex is that it must be paid for. It is not mutually desired by both parties — one party is there unwillingly, in exchange for money, or sometimes other goods such as drugs, food or shelter.” Perry argues, among other assertions, that sexi should be done “with” someone else, not “to” someone else (emphasis Perry’s). “Once you permit the idea that people can be products, everything is corroded.”

This book culminates in a final full chapter with a surprising chapter title considering its writer holds an evolutionary viewpoint. “Marriage Is Good” illustrates that we live in “a natural human life cycle,” either dependent on someone else or “giving away some portion of your freedom, which runs counter to what we’re all supposed to want” for the sake of someone else.

Marriage is protection for women and children, not just a ball and chain of patriarchy as many feminists have claimed for decades.

Perry’s Conclusion “Listen to Your Mother” offers advice “I would offer my own daughter” urging readers to trust their moral intuition, learn how to recognize sexually aggressive men, and protect themselves by only having “sex with a man if you think he would make a good father to your children.”

She ends with optimism that women are wising up to the harm the sexual revolution has foisted upon them.

The Case Against the Sexual Revolution is well-researched, well-documented, well-argued, and easy to read. Perry stumbles across biblical principles through study and science although not completely as she supports same-sex marriage.

She avoided any argument of abortion except to say this: “And whatever you think about the ethical status of the foetus, we should all be able to agree that an abortion is not a good thing for a woman to go through, given such medical risks as uterine damage or sepsis, not to mention the emotional consequences, which are not trivial.”

I recommend this book for the evidence she provides in support of much that Christians have argued all along with a minor caveat about a smattering of unsavory language.

The sexual revolution was a lie. Perhaps you knew that from your youth. Perhaps you, as many of us did, learned it the hard way. When an evolutionary-feminist like Louise Perry writes a scholarly book backing up that claim, liberals and conservatives alike would be wise to consult it.

The sexual revolution was a lie.

“It was a lie all along. It’s time, at last, to say so.”

And may her message be heard and heeded far and wide to the healing and wholeness of many.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Not We Ourselves

“Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture,”
Psalm 100: 3 (NIV).

“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” (KJV).

Two different versions of the same verse provide different but not contradictory messages. Some scholars favor the first version; others the second.

“He . . . made us, and we are His”–or–“He . . . made us, and not we ourselves.” The Bibles I most often use for study provide these different versions, but each includes the other in a footnote.

Both provide insight and wisdom. We are His. We do not make ourselves.

A distinctive quality of our times is that people insist on creating versions of themselves, remaking their own identities in the likeness of an image they’ve conceived and propose to give life to.

Proponents of self-creation assert that sexuality is fluid, yet they argue for permanent alterations for those too young to truly know themselves or be able to separate their own desires from those of others.

The more young people hear about transgenderism, the more it grows in popularity–a previously unheard-of phenomenon before it became a topic of pop conversation.

Chantel Hoyt writes, “The cultural phenomenon of transgenderism is growing at an astonishing rate. The number of gender reassignment clinics in the United States has increased from one in 2007 to 50 today. In her book, Irreversible Damage, Abigail Shrier reports that most Western countries have seen a 1,000-5,000 percent increase in teenage females seeking treatment from gender clinics and psychologists—many of whom recommend that these girls socially and physically transition through hormones and sometimes surgery.”

The change in numbers reflects a change in sociology rather than scientific breakthrough.

Who of us would like to be held to an irrevocable decision we made in our teen years–or even earlier? Now many are stuck with the ramifications of such decisions for the rest of their lives.

Years ago, Europe leapt ahead of the US in allowing transgender treatments for the young. Now several countries have wised up and back-pedaled. We should take heed.

Mairead Elordi explains:

“The United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and France have all taken steps recently to pull back on transgender medical treatments for seemingly gender-dysphoric children.

“Sweden has been one of the most progressive nations on transgender health care for decades. Back in 1972, Sweden became the first country to allow transgender people to change their legal gender.

“Last year though, Swedish hospitals halted the use of puberty blockers in five of the country’s six clinics for minors with gender dysphoria. The last clinic only uses puberty blockers in clinical trials. The country now emphasizes psychotherapy for minors with gender dysphoria instead.”

America needs to push on the brakes too.

Attempting to “make ourselves” rejects God’s image within us. Making ourselves rejects the person whom He made us to be–who we authentically are.

The young will not find themselves by looking in the mirror and imaging someone else looking back.

Human beings can only truly find themselves in God–the one who made the image they see in the mirror and knows them completely.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Literacy: A Hard Thing to Do

What appealed to me about his story is that he picked the hard thing to do.

It wasn’t that he had played football at the University of Georgia. Not my team.

It wasn’t that he later played for the New England Patriots. Not my team either.

It was that he found something hard and decided to work at it anyway. And then he did something to encourage others who also find it hard.

Malcolm Mitchell has a Super Bowl ring. But he told CBS News that getting to the big game isn’t his biggest accomplishment. Reading well is. He found reading hard. But he didn’t give up. He just worked harder.

And he didn’t let his image as a star athlete get in his way.

A chance meeting in a Barnes and Noble bookstore enhanced his literary journey. A woman invited him to her book club. It was a club of readers, and he had become a reader.

Nevermind that everyone else in the group was an over forty woman. Malcolm joined anyway.

Malcolm realized when he got to college that his reading skills weren’t what they needed to be for him to succeed as a student. He decided he wouldn’t rest on the laurels of his athletic prowess.

He picked up a book whenever he could.

Then he wrote one. He was still a college student when it was published. The Magician’s Hat encourages young readers to open themselves up to the magic of reading.
Magic?

Malcolm Mitchell would say, yes, reading is magical. Hard too? Yes, sometimes it is.

But maybe that’s how we find magic. We decide to do the hard thing. And the world opens up to us.

Sadly, Americans are reading fewer books, and the current numbers don’t reflect an earlier decline in the number of us who read books of literature. The downward slide in reading has been steady over decades.

Malcolm Mitchell established the Children’s Literacy Foundation to “introduce book ownership to students in households where reading is not a priority and to improve literacy in schools with below grade-level reading skills.” He still writes books.

He didn’t play on any of my football teams, but go, Malcolm. I’m on your team now. Dust may settle on his Super Bowl ring. But magic will be with him for the rest of his days.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

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The Violent Bear It Away

Flannery O’Connor published The Violent Bear It Away in 1960. I read a short story or two by her when I was in college and recently decided to give one of her two novels a try.

O’Connor provides much to ponder in this book that becomes a page-turner the closer you get to the end.

Her characters in this book are among the best devised I’ve ever read.

An old man who is a self-proclaimed prophet is raising his nephew Tarwater to follow in his footsteps.

A worldly-wise cousin wants to draw Tarwater into the “reasonable”, “modern” world of faithlessness.

Tarwater himself is torn between two worlds, wanting to be his own master but having to choose between what he believes his destiny is and a life of self-determination.

O’Connor was a one-of-a-kind author whose texts are satire filled with irony. You won’t read another like it.

This book has dark, but not graphic moments. So dark I couldn’t see how she would redeem them.

But she did.

A fascinating, faith-affirming book–but only if you read to the end.

Photo Cover: The Violent Bear It Away Cover

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Caption My Christmas Card, Please

On a light note:

I like to get an early start on holiday preparations, and I’ve been saving these pictures of my husband Paul and our dog Bindi since last Christmas.

The above picture is for the front of the card. The one below is for the back.

Provide a caption (for both if you like) in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Nancy E. Head

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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The Way to Healing and Wholeness

To heal my wounds, I worshiped myself.
I found the wrong path to healing and only stumbled on my way.
Self-worship became wounds wrapped in chains.
Scars lingered.
Birthmarks for my children,
Who received their own wounds.

We seek our heading on life’s path,
To heal wounds,
To break chains.
Christ is that Way,
The Rock on which chains break,
To make us free.

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When the Sexual Revolution Meets Reality

There’s a scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally in which the curtain comes back for a moment on the ideology of the sexual revolution.

Harry and Sally met upon graduating from college and later became friends. Their challenge became maintaining their male/female relationship without letting it become sexual.

Ultimately, they faltered in that quest. The pair had come to a crossroad, and they couldn’t turn the clock back and pretend it hadn’t happened. At their best friends’ wedding, they had this exchange.

Her: “You want to act like what happened didn’t mean anything.”

Him: “I’m not saying it didn’t mean anything. I’m saying, why does it have to mean everything?”

Her; “Because it does.”

I remember being shocked at that acknowledgment the first time I viewed the movie. Here was Hollywood, the purveyors of free love, explicitly pointing out that sexual encounters are not insignificant.

In her new book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century, Louise Perry tears away the curtain on the “sexual disenchantment” within our culture whose population largely “believes sex means nothing.”

“[We] pretend that this particular act is neither uniquely wonderful nor uniquely violating, . . . [and] there is another kind of cost. . . [which] falls disproportionately on women.”

Perry stakes the ground of her argument somewhere between that of conservatives and liberals, yet her “complaint is focused more against liberals than against conservatives for a very personal reason: I used to believe the liberal narrative.”

She asks why “so many women desire a kind of sexual freedom that so obviously serves male interests? What if our bodies and minds aren’t as malleable as we might like to thinK? What do we lose when we prioritize freedom above all else?”

I first learned about this book from a somewhat negative review. Despite the reviewer’s input, this “feminist” author intrigued me with her willingness to buck the accepted way of thinking in a culture so eager to cancel dissent.

Austin Lamb writing for The American Conservative is the not so intrigued reviewer: “Perry’s book is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.”

His view of her book (which I’ve not finished yet) reminds me of my reading of Aborting America by Dr. Bernard Nathanson when it was newly published in 1979. Nathanson was an atheist whose acquaintance with abortion began with him acquiring an illegal abortion for his girlfriend when he was a student on his way to becoming an OB/Gynecologist.

Nathanson went on to become part of the effort to legalize abortion via his efforts as a member of the NARAL (the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, later the National Abortion Rights Action League). He claimed to have presided over 60,000 abortions as the attending physician (one including his own child) or through his position managing abortion facilities.

He knew how abortion worked.

Aborting America is Nathanson’s account of his journey from urging abortion deregulation to advocating for the unborn. New to a movement accused of wanting to impose religious views on others, Nathanson had come to his pro-life convictions solely on humanitarian grounds. He showed that one could hold such beliefs without a reliance on faith.

A few years ago, I read Nathanson’s final book The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind (1996).

The reference to life in the title is a bit of a play on words. Nathanson had come to the pro-life view first through the technology of ultrasound where he saw the humanity of the unborn.

He became aware that others were praying for him. He began to research Christianity and so realized he carried all the sins of his life.

Through his pro-life journey, Bernard Nathanson gave himself to Christ and thus found new life.

Louise Perry enters the discussion of “sexual freedom” from an atheist perspective with great reliance on evolutionary arguments and more reliance on Christian morality than she realizes.

Like many Christians, Perry doesn’t understand that God’s prohibitions on pre- and extra-marital sex are protective, not just prohibitive.

Perry changed her mind about the “liberal narrative” about sex by working with rape victims. Like Nathanson, she arrived at her new beliefs through humanitarian convictions.

The pro-life movement welcomed Nathanson and prayed for him.

Rather than criticize her work because it stops short of embracing our full convictions, we can congratulate her about her new realizations.

We can welcome her to the discussion and pray her journey leads her to faith.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To Not Live in Fear

Christianity has ebbed in flowed in America since the pilgrims landed. There was ebb; then Awakening. Another ebb, another Awakening. In that second waking time, America freed slaves, prohibited abortion, introduced mandatory education, and enacted child labor laws. We regulated medical care to protect people from untrained quacks. We required employers to take steps to protect employees, steps that often required businesses to lose money.

We weren’t perfect. But we were better than we had been.

World War I came, an ebbing, the Roaring ’20s, more ebbing. Then the Great Depression, a flat line, followed by World War II, a resurgence of faith.

Then the ’60s came with the sexual revolution. And even with the ups and downs of the economy over the years, comfort and ease increased. In the 1980s, Christianity, especially the Christian Right, enjoyed an influence unparalleled since the Second Great Awakening.

Yet another ebbing followed with continued comfort for many and a discouraged malaise for others.

Through the last few decades the sexual revolution escalated. It became the Culture War. It gained intensity, declining into a shouting match. Angry people spewed hate from both sides.

It’s a delicate balance to speak truth and show love. Shouting, name calling, and snarky social media posts are not loving. They don’t make people yearn to have what we have or to be what we are.

If we show love and speak truth and suffer persecution, then we get what Jesus promised us. “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you,” John 15: 18.

If we show love and speak truth and people’s lives are transformed–if there is another awakening, where will we go from there?

Back to our comfort? Or beyond to a new mission?

In his travels to places where Christians aren’t as comfortable as America, pastor and author Francis Chan sees a contrast between the comfortable but angry Christians here and the persecuted but joyful ones in countries hostile to the Gospel.

“[I]n China, believers in the underground church told Chan about the persecution they endure from the government. But what surprised the American pastor was that they had so much joy and were laughing when they told stories of being chased by police and authorities shooting guns to scare them. They thought it was normal to be persecuted and that Christians everywhere suffered like them, explained Chan. The underground Christians in China pointed to Philippians 1:29, which states, ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.’

“Chan shared that in America, Christians change churches over better worship music, service time, or daycare programs. The Chinese Christians laughed at him thinking he was telling a joke because it did not make sense.”

We cannot be a church that is fearful. Fearful that our freedom will dissolve. Fearful we will suffer persecution. Fearful that America will stop being America.

To not live in fear, we must ask ourselves this question: Do we really fear the loss of our freedom or simply the loss of our comfort?

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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