Posted in theology

Announcing: The End Time Blog Podcast!

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m not a huge fan of podcasts myself. I prefer to read than listen. That’s the autism speaking. I’m extremely sensitive to sounds or anything auditory. But I recognize that many people are too busy to sit down and read edifying material, but they do have time when they exercise, drive, fold laundry, etc. My goal with my social media is to get as much biblical content in front of women as possible, and if listening is the way to get it there, then I’ll do what it takes. Including broadcasting a podcast.

WordPress hosts my blog. WordPress has recently joined with Anchor FM. Anchor powers 80% of new material on Spotify. Anchor has made it incredibly easy to record a podcast right from my written WordPress blog. So I jumped.

Continue reading “Announcing: The End Time Blog Podcast!”
Posted in encouragement, theology

So now, I’m boasting

We finally went back to work on Monday! Yay! I work in a public elementary school, so that means I’m looking forward to seeing the kids. They will be arriving in a few days.

We are taking this time to learn new procedures and guidelines for keeping the kids and staff safe during this COVID epidemic. The guidelines are in alignment with CDC and are just tremendous for the best safety.

Many different people face different kinds of challenges amid this epidemic. Here’s mine. As Harvard Medical School explains, Continue reading “So now, I’m boasting”

Posted in theology

Confession: My Rotten Attitude

By Elizabeth Prata

‘Eve! You shouldn’t have focused on what you can’t have! You should have focused on what bounty was available to you!’

Sure, that one is easy to spot.

I have food allergies. A lot of them. As I’ve gotten older they have crept in and gotten worse. A near family member is a celiac, and I have had to face a growing intolerance for gluten myself. I have an intolerance with dairy. I have to go on a low FODMAP diet, where certain foods from all food groups, varied and disparate, affect me terribly. It makes sense to go low carb at this stage of my life for heart health reasons. I dislike the texture of most meat.

It’s normal for people on the autism spectrum to have food issues, and I’m no exception. I was disappointed this past summer when I learned the FODMAP issue. These are foods that my body can’t absorb. It’s not just the usual suspects, sugar or carbs, but anything from onions to apples, blackberries to split peas, cauliflower or honey. Blueberries are OK but not more than 10, grapes are OK but not more than 17. And so on.


I sighed to myself and said often, “I can never have a bagel with lox again. No pizza. Muffins, bread, rolls, spaghetti. No rice, no peaches (I live in the Peach State!). No blackberries – which are my favorite.

Then our church watched American Gospel: Christ Alone. In it, a family is given extended interview time. The wife has serious medical issues. As her issues devolved, she was diagnosed with a condition that forced her to bypass her stomach and inject liquid foods straight into her intestine. She can ever eat again.

Never. Eat. Anything. No food passes her mouth. Ever.


I will not complain or sigh or mourn my limited diet. I HAVE a diet. I have, by God’s grace, many items I still enjoy. I love fruits and veggies and there are many of them I still can eat. As for the gluten, there are ever more choices on the shelves for substitutes, which others in my family did not have when they were diagnosed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. So I have that grace as well.

I must look at what I CAN eat, not the forbidden fruit hanging on the tree. Why focus on the forbidden fruit and not the allowable fruit. Duh. I have seen Eve and she is me.

By comparison, the garden of God’s delights is large, and it contains not only food, but many joys and comforts. I need to look at those and not at what I can’t have.

Because He really has given me everything.

Posted in reading, theology

2020 Christian Reading Challenge: My Big, Fat Book List!

By Elizabeth Prata

I love to read. But as much as I love it, my fleshly sinful nature will rear up to divert me from any wholesome activity, even one I love. My eyes tire more quickly too as I’ve gotten older so I struggle against the pull to just watch TV. I motivate myself to maintain this important habit in a number of ways. One of them is doing Tim Challies’ Christian Reading Challenge for 2020. He sets out a four-tiered list of themes to match with books you choose. You also choose the pace at which you want to read them. I chose Avid Level, reading 1 book every two weeks. His list is below. You can see the themes. Continue reading “2020 Christian Reading Challenge: My Big, Fat Book List!”

Posted in reading, theology

Challies Reading Challenge 2019: How did I do?

By Elizabeth Prata

Since it’s year-end and I’m concluding the Challies Christian Reading Challenge, the next couple of days will be about books and bookish things. I already wrote about a Bible Reading Plan.

I like a challenge. I like to have goals. I need them in order to stay on track and be productive. I like Reagan Rose’s Redeeming Productivity blog and podcasts, “A Christian Approach to Getting Stuff Done”. Otherwise I’d melt into a puddle of TV-watching couch potato with a melting brain to match! I recommend Rose’s blog and podcast, they’re great.

Here’s my reading progress for 2019, as I get ready for another Christian Reading Challenge for 2020: Continue reading “Challies Reading Challenge 2019: How did I do?”

Posted in love, theology

What is love?

By Elizabeth Prata

I don’t like writing about myself and I never talk about my internal emotions and thoughts. I’d really rather die than talk about what’s going on inside me. But I have to this time, because it’s about Jesus.

As a woman who grew up in a difficult circumstance, I learned to rely only on myself and to be strongly independent and self-sufficient, and have been so for 50 years (since I was 8). Yet when I was given the grace of salvation 15 years ago, I learned also that the Lord wants me to share my burdens and to interlock in mutual submission with others in caring relationships. I don’t know how to do this, it’s literally beyond my life experience and my emotional capacity. But with God all things are possible.

I am learning His lessons about trusting Him in sharing burdens and loving others- as well as accepting love from others. My prayers are being answered day by day, His glory is being shown- through all of my different families- Twitter tweeps, School family, Church body in a huge and impactful way.

Life before salvation and outside of church, was a bewildering swirl of relationships between others…not knowing how to break in or even particularly wanting to:

I still have difficulty with socializing and developing or maintaining relationships. It’s not a matter of trying harder or willpower or shyness. It’s irritating when people try to sympathize by saying “I’m shy too” when it’s literally a matter of different brain wiring, and not behavior modification. I know they are trying to be nice, but it’s a totally wrong thing to say.

Though my brain is made differently, nothing is too difficult for God. Through the incessant work of the Holy Spirit, like water eventually wears through stone, the glory of God that is shown through my friends, after 5 decades and a loving set of families the Lord has given me, we have this:

I still don’t know the “how” of it. But I can feel the love. I love you back.

The important thing is to keep persevering.

Further Resources:

RC Sproul lectures: Love

19 Secrets Autistic People…(what not to say)

14 Things not to say to an Autistic Person (I’ve actually had someone say #11 to my face, except it was phrased more rudely)

Love for the Long Haul: The Autism Pastor

Posted in book review, theology

Book Review Shots: Updates on books read and to-read

By Elizabeth Prata

Time for a reading update!

I am on summer break from my job in an elementary school. I’m a teacher’s aide, now called “para-professional.” I enjoy summer break enormously and one of the ways I try to ‘redem the time’ is to catch up on some quality reading.

I set aside a bunch of books to read, and a schedule to read them in. Here’s the list of books and my short reviews of each.

  • Bible
  • Biblical Doctrine, John MacArthur et al
  • Competing Spectacles, Tony Reinke
  • Her Husband’s Crown, Sara Leone
  • Idols of a Mother’s Heart, Christina Fox
  • In a Different Key: Story of Autism, John Donovan
  • Internet Inferno, John Michael Beasley
  • It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis
  • Life of David, RC Sproul (lectures)
  • Lit!, Tony Reinke
  • Margaret Paton Letters from South Seas, Margaret Paton
  • Phantom Rickshaw & Other Eerie Stories, Rudyard Kipling
  • Selina Countess of Huntingdon, Faith Cook
  • The Believer’s Joy, Robert M’Cheyne
  • Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennet, Ed
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

I have added a few books to my original list:

Empty Nest, What’s Next by Michele Howe
Mayflower by Nathanial Philbrick
Life of Moses by James Boice

I decided to read Internet Inferno again even though I finished it, it’s THAT GOOD.
Books I’ve finished:

I mentioned that Beasley’s Internet Inferno is good. He applies the warnings and commands of James about the tongue to our practices and behavior online. Very clear writing and excellent application of the verses. Highly recommended.

The Phantom ‘Rickshaw & other Eerie Tales, is a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1888. I always try to include a literary classic in my summer list, and this book was it. I’d found it in a vintage store for $1 and was delighted to try a Kipling. #TrueConfession: I’ve never read The Jungle Book or any other Kipling.

Kipling is no doubt a literary giant and a master storyteller. He is so good in fact, that this eerie set of stories made me highly uncomfortable and creeped me out. I stopped reading the book at the story about the living dead, it was vivid and put pictures in my mind I didn’t want to carry with me. However, the stories are well-done so if you’re less sensitive than me I recommend the book. It’s little known so you might have difficulty finding it.

It Can’t Happen Here is a Sinclair Lewis political novel written in 1935. It’s about just how easily a representative democracy (ours) can become a dictatorship. Last summer I’d read Lewis’ Elmer Gantry, (1927) which turned out to be the best book I ever read on religious hypocrisy. Talk about chilling, Kipling has nothing on creeping you out. Lewis definitively captured the emptiness and evil of a Christ-less convert turned celebrity pastor. The book was long and a bit of a slog, but I kept with it and I was glad I did. The book still haunts me.

It Can’t Happen Here is also a slog, but try as I might I couldn’t get through it. Lewis’ language is terrific, his turns of phrase and word pictures are unmatched. It’s just that there is so much of it. The story slows down and suffers because it seems Lewis was more entranced with his artful turns of phrase than just telling a good story. Gantry was a masterpiece, Happen Here, sadly, isn’t. I took it off my ‘currently reading shelf.’ Maybe next year.

FMI on 4 Lewis books that are better than It Can’t Happen Here

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2018) was a ‘can’t put down book’. It’s everything a well-written, gripping, emotional novel should be. I raced through it. When I wasn’t reading it, I wished I was. Recommended.

I reviewed Her Husband’s Crown earlier this summer. It was just a 42 page book, a small pamphlet really. It’s a practical bundle of advice aimed at pastors’ wives but applicable to any women who is a member of a church. Recommended.

My Bible reading right now is through Proverbs, which, being wisdom books, coincide nicely with Lit!, Competing Spectacles, and Internet Inferno.

Ladies, don’t feel bad about reading books, even novels. Sometimes I get a twinge, thinking that if I have this time shouldn’t I devote it totally to the Lord, and read only the Bible and theological books. Are novels, or even historical fiction, taking away time I could better redeem? Tony Reinke in Lit! answers that. And because I agree with him, lol, I’ll post his bullet points here.

  • Fictional literature can help us explore abstract human experiences
  • Fictional literature can deepen our appreciation for concrete human experience
  • Fictional literature expands our range of experiences
  • Fictional literature provides beauty and creativity to be enjoyed

In Owens’ Crawdads book I thoroughly enjoyed her atmospheric descriptions of the Low Country, the marshes, estuary, and ocean of South Carolina, and the lushness of her language. The scenery reminded me of a fond memory I have of anchoring our sailboat in the Georgia marshes and hearing the rushes shake as the tide turned, and the owls hooting under the moonlight.

As for the remaining books on my list that I’ve begun already, I am enjoying them to greater and lesser degrees. I grade them all from a B to A+. More to come as I progress through each book.

Happy Summer Reading!

summer reading

Posted in summer reading, theology

2019 Summer Reading Schedule: My most ambitious ever?

By Elizabeth Prata

I work in education as a teacher’s aide. That means I get summers off. At this stage of my life I enjoy the time off more than the money. Yes, I get paid through the summer, but it’s pro-rated. I live for 12 months on a 9-month salary. They just stretch it out. Which means I really stretch it out.

But as I said, the time is important to me. I live frugally and simply. I have all I need. I’ve been blessed to have had many experiences in my life that would cover many lifetimes. So I have zero to complain about. I have all I need and more.

As a single person I am ever mindful of Paul’s admonition to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16) and to remain anxious for things of the Lord since I have no husband and I am not anxious for things of the world-

And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:34-35).

I have an opportunity to secure my undivided attention to the Lord. Yay!

But I’m lazy. Waaah.

Given half a chance, I’ll secure my undivided attention upon myself.

More than one school vacation or summer break has gone by, both before and after becoming a Christian, where I had grand plans for home or garden improvement projects, or craft projects, or reading through my piles of books, and none of it got done.

A few years ago I put two and two together and finally acknowledged that I’m on the autism spectrum. Autistic people typically have a poor sense of time and difficulties with time management (because executive function is impaired). At school I’ve got an excellent sense of time because the day is broken into segments to the minute. My day is neatly prescribed for me.

But like in tug of war, if you let go of the rope you tumble, when the school year ends and I’ve let go of the rope, I’m in free fall. Time here in this life on earth is a finite product, a discrete thing. In May I think I have all the time in the world to start reading and then suddenly it’s July 30 and I have to go back to work. All I’d accomplished is navel gazing.

Is that why the Lord made me a single person? I think not.

Anyway, I created a schedule. I replicated my days and weeks at school by making them segmented. I piled up the books I want to read, divided the pages into number of pages to read weekly, interspersed Bible reading and devotionals, and voila, I have something tangible to keep me on track.

I’m not rigid about it, it’s a tool, not a ball and chain.

This year’s schedule is a lot more ambitious than last year’s. Last year I read 8 books along with my personal Bible reading, Dr Abner Chou theology lectures, and Systematic Theology lessons.

This year I topped out at 14 books, personal Bible reading, devotional reading, systematic theology reading, and lectures from Ligonier (to be decided). I’m almost done with Sproul’s lectures on Life of David so I’ll buy another series this Friday at teh Ligonier $5 sale. They are usually 24 minutes long and there are about 9 to 12 lectures in the series on average.

I stalled out on my annual Bible Reading plan, but I’m looking forward to resuming. It’s organized by chronological authorship, earliest book to the latest book.

I do not have any trips planned. My cats are sick and need to go to the vet, so the timing is a blessing in that I can staying close to home to watch them, or get an appointment at any time of day.

For other hobbies, I bought a set of watercolor markers at school from the pop up shop, so I’ll do some crafting. Evenings I’ll be read-ed out, lol, so movies or TV for me. I will make a photo expedition or two, but gracious sakes, the temps have suddenly shot up to the upper 90s all of a sudden and are predicted to be that way for this week and next. This is unusual. I hope it cools down some so I can pound the pavement at the Golden Hour to get some cityscapes. I’m not THAT dedicated to my photography hobby to go to the city in hundred degree weather just to amble around and get pictures.

Here are some ideas for inspiration on a 365 photo series (A Photo a Day). I did a picture a day last year, testing my creativity to snap something just from around and within my very tiny environs here in the apartment and the yard. I might make a theme this year. Maybe “Metal.”

I’m not tied to the reading schedule, as I said, it’s a tool to help me make sure I’m doing the most for the Lord I can do. So, if something comes along in terms of fellowship, I’ll take it. Otherwise, I refuse to be a slug! Saturday and Sunday of the first two days of summer vacation are booked. Saturday is a wedding and Sunday is church and then I’ll start the Reading program on Monday. Monday is a good day to start things, isn’t it? 😉

books summer
The one on top is Kipling’s Stories, the slim one you can’t see under Competing Spectacles is
Her Husband’s Crown, just 48 pages. A pamphlet, really.

books list

books schedule chart

The books at home on the bookshelf next to my kitchen table. Too ambitious? We’ll see

VoV is Valley of Vision
II is Internet Inferno
Com is Competing Spectacles
Key is In a Different Key: The Story of Autism


Posted in theology

Why Write?

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m a writer. It’s not my profession, though I’ve tried. I can’t live off my writing. I write on the side. I have a job I love, that not-coincidentally affords me time to ponder, percolate, and write. I’ve kept a blog every day for 10+ years, and another personal blog on and off for 13 years.

I’m not introspective. Being on the Autism Spectrum, I am not adept at looking internally and understanding what I feel or why I feel it. I have never written in a journal or a diary. I don’t even journal my thoughts about my Bible reading after I became a Christian.

Rather, I chronicle.

Before I learned I was on the Spectrum, I’d obsessively chronicle everything that happens, looking for reasons as to why things happen. I’d hope that a pattern would emerge, so I could understand the cycle of life here on earth. I looked for meaning to it all.

I didn’t find it.

Being a journalist, I’d investigate, interview, and again, chronicle events so that the readers would know what was happening in their town. They’d learn who the people were and what they did the things that were going on, so then, maybe they would learn the meaning of it all, and in turn tell me.

It didn’t happen.

After I was saved by faith in Christ, I understood the meaning of life. So writing didn’t have to perform that function for me any more. But I still needed to process the world by writing. I’d become so used to chronicling everything, and writing down questions to be followed up on later, I transferred that habit to my blogging. I’ve written 4,788 essays. This one when I hit the publish button will be the 4,789th. That’s a lot of words.

Social media in many of its forms offer an opportunity to extol the virtues of Christ and to exhort others (and by immediate extension, myself) to holy living. I can and do warn, encourage, think, promote Him, and explore verses. It’s great. I mean, it’s great for me, I hope for others, too.

Now comes this essay by Andreas Kostenberger called “Reflections on Writing: Why Write?

It’s so good!

“Writing can be a strategic stewardship.”

Kostenberger continues with talking about passionate persuasion, making a contribution, etc. It’s aimed at seminarians and those who plan to pursue a writing career, or at least, plan to author a book or contribute to the scholarly canon.  But I thought it was a good article and food for thought for any blogger.

I try to say something that adds to the general Christian discussion, edifies women, and doesn’t hinder or confuse. The Lord gives talents and abilities as well as the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts. I have written since I was a child, making lists, notes, observations,  snippets of lyrics or poems that struck my fancy- and I’ve continued to this day at age 58.

Putting that God-given ability to use for His glory, shepherding it and using it for His purposes is very sweet. Any talent or ability that God has endowed you with can and should be turned into a stewardship that strategically promotes His good name. Carpentry, music, maths, speaking, decision-making, researching, graphics, foreign language…any talent can be used for Him. Keep doing it, see where it leads you, organically.

When I was young, there were no blogs. But I wrote for the school newsletter. When I was a young adult there were no blogs, no self-publishing platforms, but I wrote for academia. When I was an older adult, there were no blogs, but I wrote for a newspaper. The Lord was propelling me toward that vertex where suddenly I’d be saved AND there would be a self-publishing platform on which to write about Him. And so it was.

Why write? To proclaim Christ. Why employ any talent one possesses? To proclaim Christ.



Posted in theology

Dudette, where’s your gravitas?

By Elizabeth Prata

Last week I asked Do You Like or Dislike Podcasts? I’d admitted that my toleration level for any and all auditory stimuli is low, due to my autism. Therefore if I’m going to listen to something I’d rather it be a sermon or soft classical music (very calming).

The title question is a paraphrase from a Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood article which asked the men “Dude, Where’s Your Gravitas?

Gravitas is a Latin word meaning dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner. Bible teachers, speakers, and podcasters are handling the word of God. They are conveying or teaching doctrines or concepts related to theology and its application to Christian living.

Sadly, many podcasts by both men and woman sink into silly behavior from the podcaster, especially when there are two or more hosts, or a host and a guest. There’s so much giggling, laughing, and off-topic, random chats that I usually reach my limit within just a few minutes, and turn it off or move the dial to something more productive. I also think it’s asking a lot of the podcaster to expect busy moms and outside the home working women to devote their limited time listening to their tee-heeing and non-productive repartee.

Quite often when I publish an essay regarding false doctrine brought by a false teacher, I receive angry comments and emails telling me to ‘judge not’ and the like. But strangely, the angrier emails and comments I receive come when I publish an essay urging women to behave biblically. My, how so many women resent being urged to behave like biblical women!

But the Bible demands certain behavior from all of the faithful in every age group. We women, we are told to be a graceful pillar

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; (Psalm 144:12).

Pillars, ladies, Not a braying donkey.


A friend sent me a link to an Elisabeth Elliot talk on Youtube. Elliot (1926-2015) was a missionary along with her husband to the unreached group the Auca of eastern Ecuador. After what seemed a successful first few contacts, the Auca massacred her husband and four other missionaries with him. Elliot remained in Ecuador after her husband’s death for two years as missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband. She remained in Ecuador overall until 1963.

Elliot was a popular speaker and author. Many of her talks to women about wifelihood or missionary life were recorded, as the one my friend sent.

Something one notices immediately upon listening to Elliot is her demeanor. She speaks slowly, carefully, soberly. (Titus 2:3,5). I think of someone like Beth Moore, where her speech patterns are so frenetic that when Chris Rosebrough introduces a segment about her he plays “Flight of the Bumblebee”. Or Christine Caine, who, at Passion 2019, yelled a lot and never stopped striding around the stage (in a track suit). A Bible teacher’s demeanor like Elisabeth’s will cause one to stop, listen, and take what is said more seriously because of the gravitas inherent in the woman. She spoke of heavenly things with respect for heaven.

The following is from Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, it says of gravitas in men (change the pronoun to woman)-

“That is a man of gravitas. There is a solemn weight to the way he carries himself. He believes in truth. He walks in love, joy, passion, and conviction. There’s an undeniable winsome seriousness evident in his character, his words, his thoughts, and his motivations.”

The Bible says of women,
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5).

From Strong’s,


  • reverent in Titus 2:3- means, befitting men, places, actions, or things sacred to God, reverent
  • self-controlled in Titus 3:5- sṓphrōn (“acting in God’s definition of balance”) makes someone genuinely temperate, i.e. well-balanced from God’s perspective. True balance is not “one-size-fits-all” nor is it blandly static. This root then reflects living in God-defined balance.
  • The root is the root of “diaphram,” the inner organ (muscle) that regulates physical life, controlling breathing and heart beat.
  • The whole word-family comes from sōos “safe” and phrēn “what regulates life”, which is the root of the English term “diaphram”.
  • Example: An opera singer controls the length (quality) of their tones by their diaphragm which even controls the ability to breathe and moderates heartbeat. Hence it regulates (“brings safety”) to the body, keeping it properly controlled.

A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches. (Proverbs 11:16)

The word honor as used in the Proverb here means ‘of a woman’. It’s used elsewhere to indicate- a doe (Nahum 3:4); a precious stone (Proverbs 5:19); of ornaments (Proverbs 17:8; Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 4:9; Proverbs 3:22.) Source, Strong’s.

One thing that Phil Johnson and Todd Friel remarked upon when discussing a “teaching” clip from Beth Moore was that her demeanor strayed from teaching the Bible with reverence and gravitas, to performance as a stand-up comedian. Dear sister, speaker, podcaster, ladies, if we are blessed with the gift of teaching and undertake that endeavor, do we want to point to ourselves in performance, or do we revere the subject matter enough to speak about our subject with not only skill and clear doctrine, but reverence and self-control?

If women are going to teach on Bible subjects, shouldn’t we act like the Bible says to act?

Just some thoughts. Let me know what you think.


Further reading/listening

Podcast by The Thankful Homemaker: Cultivating Self-Control. Contains good thoughts on approaching Christian life and holy things with reverence, which includes self-control.

Equipping Eve by Erin Benziger is a good podcast for content, and also to demonstrate a woman with gravitas in handling the subject matter well.

Michelle Lesley is a Christian blogger, speaker, teacher, and vlogger. She projects a demeanor of joy without silliness. Both the theological content and her speaking style are, in my opinion reverent, and self-controlled. Check out her Youtube channel here