Posted in discernment, theology

How do I know if I lack spiritual discernment?

By Elizabeth Prata

Whenever anyone in Christian ministry, (writer, author, preacher, etc) mentions so and so is a false teacher, rarely do we receive (or at least, I, receive) questions about why or how. Rarely do I receive a query asking me to lead them through my thinking and how I arrived at that conclusion, using scripture. I do sometimes, and those times are really encouraging.

Instead I usually receive comments like this: it was one comment but she had the whole package of the template of similar comments usually leveled at me in situations like this: Continue reading “How do I know if I lack spiritual discernment?”

Posted in encouragement, theology

There was a THUNK on my windshield…

By Elizabeth Prata

I killed a baby bird. I didn’t mean to. I was actually an innocent bystander. It happened as I was driving up the road, on a divided highway at about 50 mph. The baby brown thrasher was flying low, and hit my windshield. He’d tried to veer at the last minute. He would have made it, too, but instead he hit the corner of my windshield a few inches too late.

For such a small bird his collision made a huge thunk. I glanced in my rear view mirror and he was tumbling wing over wing in the shoulder of the road. Continue reading “There was a THUNK on my windshield…”

Posted in encouragement, theology

Complaining About the Manna

By Elizabeth Prata

You know the story. Yahweh had delivered the Hebrews from slavery. He delivered them using 10 miracles (plagues). He delivered them via parting the Red Sea. He sustained them by giving them water. He sustained them by giving them food. Literally, bread from heaven. (Exodus 16:4, Nehemiah 9:15).

It tasted like “wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31) and “fresh oil.” (Numbers 11:8).

The manna (literal translation, “What is it?” Exodus 16:15) was nutritious, delicious, and since it was from heaven, didn’t have the curse of the ground upon it.

But they grumbled. They didn’t know what it was. They wanted meat. Continue reading “Complaining About the Manna”

Posted in jesus, theology

Jesus drank the waters of fury

By Elizabeth Prata

God rebuked sinful man. His anger was higher than the mountains, deeper than the lowest valley. He covered the planet with His wrath, in the flood.

The waters were high, deep, angry, and overspread all that existed. All. All that water was God’s wrath for sin. He enshrounded the earth with judgment, covering it with water as a garment. (Psalm 104:6). His water was the judgment robe that spread over the earth as a mantle. Continue reading “Jesus drank the waters of fury”

Posted in discernment, theology

Is your ‘check engine’ light on?

By Elizabeth Prata

All humans are sinners. Some are saved by grace, and others aren’t. But all humans have the same mechanism to help restrain sin in their lives: the conscience.

Our conscience is part of a person’s internal rational capacity and is not, as popular lore sometimes suggests, an audience room for the voice of God or of the devil. Conscience is a critical inner awareness that bears witness to the norms and values we recognize and apply. ~Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Conscience

As an unsaved person I’d often wonder why it was that everyone knows not to murder another person. Continue reading “Is your ‘check engine’ light on?”

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: The Music Edition!

By Elizabeth Prata

I don’t know about you, but I love music. Since I converted my tastes run to to Christian music, my favorite is Southern Gospel quartets and hillbilly bluegrass. I enjoy classical, too. If I listen to secular music my tastes run to ’70s artists like Paul Simon and other soft rock. GotQuestions gives some Christian principles on whether or not to listen to secular music.

My mother loved classical music and would put that on first thing while she was making her coffee, and have it on all day I grew up on Beethoven and Mozart, and I’m glad, because I like classical music now too. Continue reading “Prata Potpourri: The Music Edition!”

Posted in discernment, theology

Of Gnats and Camels

By Elizabeth Prata

camel

We see a lot of professing Christians decrying cultural gnats while failing to strain out camels. They are like the Pharisees that Jesus accused in Matthew 23:24, foaming at the mouth with the smaller uncleanliness while ignoring the greater:

You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Both gnats and camels were deemed unclean, (Leviticus 11:4, 23) yet the Pharisees’ excessive focus on gnats to the exclusion of camels is warned against, due to resulting hypocrisy. I found Matthew Henry’s explanation compelling here, beczuse he gives great examples of the difference between a gnat and a camel: Continue reading “Of Gnats and Camels”

Posted in encouragement, theology

The word of God is living

By Elizabeth Prata

To the Christian, the word of God is like a green lawn, undulating, rolling out blade after blade of perfectly manicured grass, thriving and living, each blade a perfect truth to be discovered, examined, applied, praised.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

Underline is mine, it’s what I’m focusing on in this essay. Continue reading “The word of God is living”