In Defense of Beth Moore, transplanted and still blooming, cinthia milner

In Defense of Beth Moore (and a few other Bible Teachers)

Today, I was encouraged by something Beth Moore wrote. Then I forgot what it was (within like five minutes, geez) so I googled her to see if I could find that statement again. Dear Jesus. People do not like that woman. Or, at least, some don’t. Some probably like her a bit too much judging by their response to those who don’t like her. This was all blog talk. Theology this and that. Big hair this and that. Texas this and that. Southern this and that. Women this and that. She gave up her son…what you’re really going to go there? Turns out Christianity Today isn’t too big on her (well, since they don’t like her!), and some woman in Wisconsin broke up with her.

I will pause here to give thanks to the Lord that He did not see fit to make me Beth Moore. I would kill a couple of people. Or, I’d send my big Texan husband to kill them.

At any rate, I did find Beth Moore’s statement. It was Faith can be work. Love can be labor. And, hope can get long. Amen, Sister.

Some of her haters are theologians who specialize in discrediting everyone but themselves. I’ve done some of her studies, just like I’ve done Bible Study Fellowship and Kay Arthur and Anne Graham Lotz and Kelly Minter and well, all sorts of studies, including Sunday School lessons and extensive note taking during my pastor’s sermons. And while none of them have turned me into a Biblical know-it-all, all of them have encouraged me along the way, which is huge because the way has been hard. Very hard. And, I could use some encouraging. And, that seems to be the real talent of Bible teachers in my life, to point me back to Christ, and his faithfulness, and to encourage me on my journey.

Every year I go with my precious roommate from college to Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove and spend the weekend being taught by Anne Graham Lotz. I’ll be honest. I don’t really remember what she teaches me. But, I come away encouraged, equipped, and believing that I know a God who cares about me. Read that again. I come away knowing that I know a God who cares about me.

That’s what I need to be taught again and again–the Lord Loves Me.

Sometimes, I wonder why, when doing so many Bible studies, that I can’t remember half of what I learned. I think it’s because I am not there to learn something just to make me Bible-smart. I am truly desperate for God. I am listening, not for crazy theological insights, but for God himself to tell me, I love you Cinthia, and I have not forgotten you. I’ll fill in any blank I’m asked too if the Lord will whisper that in my ear.

You see, Jesus better be real, or I am up the proverbial creek. I need the Lord. I need him to show up each day because I am terrified of life without him in it. Sometimes I wonder if I am whacked out to believe in someone I have never seen. And, to be so dependent on that someone. Literally, Jesus is first in my life and my heart not because I am a spiritual guru, but because there is no one or nothing else to compete. I have no husband, or enormous savings account–the two things that would likely keep me pretty independent. Consequences and circumstances have played out that I do life alone, mostly, and that is pretty scary. And, no before you go there, that does not make me prey for Bible teachers. I am pretty discerning and when I hear something that just sounds off, I know it. I don’t agree with every teacher or preacher. I don’t have too for them to encourage me, and remind me that I am loved and remembered by God. I need the reminder as much as I need Nicole C. Mullen, singing at the top of her lungs, that Jesus will move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call. I hope he moves heaven and earth because I can’t.

Today, my pastor talked about trials and suffering, and how we best prepare for them because we will have them. He had us in 1 Peter. And, I don’t remember everything the man said, but I know that, after the sermon, I felt God had spoken to my heart. That he had reminded me, come the inevitable suffering and heartache, that he was there. And boy, do I need to hear that because while Beth Moore may not have it all right, she’s got one thing right. Faith can feel like work, love can be laborious, and hope seem pretty dang long. And, I need the encouragement. So, thanks for taking the time, Beth Moore, to encourage me. It is appreciated.

 

 

Going Minimal, Ready for Wherever God Sends Me (I think, I hope)

I decided on the minimalist approach to my blog design, because that is my life now. Minimal. I’m in transition, and so I travel light.

After spending 20+ years building a life for a family, which meant buying furniture, Christmas decorations (and Thanksgiving, Easter, July 4th decorations…) and outdoor furniture and grills for family cookouts, and suitcases for family vacations, and on and on, I now hear God saying to my spirit, “Keep it light.”

Moving from South Turkey Creek, where I lived over 20 years, was an eye-opener. Not a new one, really. I’ve often wondered if we Americans have too much stuff, but to be the living example of it while emptying out my things from South Turkey Creek was sobering. Why on earth did I have all of that? Was it really necessary? Who knows? I probably thought it would make our home more home and our family more family.

Now, the things in my home would fit into one moving truck, and not the 18 wheeler kind. It is rather refreshing, and I contemplate if I will keep it this way or eventually replace what was left behind with more of the same. Again, who knows?

I don’t hear God suggesting it. In fact, he seems to be saying just the opposite. While others are asking me when I plan to start dating again (as if all I have to do is to accomplish that is stick my head out the door and holler for a man), if I’ve decided where I am going to live (as in permanently), and will I always manage a flower market (after all, it is a blue collar job), I feel God saying I want you ready. Ready for what? I don’t know. But now, I am in a position to go wherever He needs me too, without hindrance of man, house or job. It is pretty exciting.

I’ve always wanted to be used by God for something BIG. I’m probably not even supposed to write that as the Christian motto is often about finding contentment in the least of circumstances. But, there it is. I don’t mean Beth Moore kind of big. I mean small actions that lead to big reactions. I mean everyday things that impact eternity. Like telling someone Jesus loves them and for the first time they believe it. Or quite literally giving someone a cup of water who is thirsty.

I am still looking for a home, but I am beginning to understand that my new home may not look a thing like the last with its cherry paneling, big stone walls and cathedral ceilings. Perhaps it will be a hut in a remote place, or a palace on a cliff, or a brick rancher on a street corner. Wherever it is, I am ready.