Monday, January 30, 2012


I know I'm going to sound old and prudish, but bear with me. I have noticed a strange and disturbing trend in recent years - or maybe it's been out there longer but I was too deep in diapers and sippy cups to notice when our world made a dynamic shift.

The trend is sex so casual it's not even as significant as buying a pair of shoes, with participants that seem to get younger and younger. I guess since my son is 13 years old and will be in high school next year, my observational skills have sharpened lately and I've begun to observe the youth in our culture.

I'll be honest - I don't watch much television. I have two shows I watch on Sunday evening, but otherwise, I hardly turn on the television set. Nevertheless, I don't consider myself terribly naive when it comes to the human propensity to ditch propriety and do what feels good. I am also aware that it is more uncommon to find a young person NOT having sex than the other way around.

Even though I'll be 40 in a little over a year, I do remember what it was like when I was a teenager. But things have changed. It's no longer couples that are engaging in intimate relationships. Now it is hook-ups and sex parties where young girls wear bracelets indicating their, um, shall we say, menu of options.

I recently learned that parties featuring young women wearing these bracelets take place on a nightly basis on some college campuses. Strangers - people who are meeting for the first time ever - casually go in back rooms, come back out and choose other people to go into those rooms again.

When did young girls come to view themselves, their bodies, their health, their emotions as worthless? At what point in our culture did young girls get the message that their sensuality and appeal to the opposite sex was their main source of significance and worth? How did we let our girls down so spectacularly that many seem to think the only way to be important or have worth is to have a guy or be attractive to guys? At what point did society flip so much that now it is young men that are being pressured and pursued by young women?

It's a disturbing trend, but it's also strange. Why is that? Because we are also in a time of "girl power." There has never been a time in history that females of all ages have as many opportunities and advantages. Do you realize only 100 years ago, women couldn't vote or couldn't buy land? Only 50 years ago, a woman couldn't get a credit card in her name only. It had to have her husband's name on there. There were hardly any girls playing organized sports either up until really the 1970's.

And yet, more opportunities, more education, more advantages has not translated into young girls and women who respect themselves, their bodies and their emotions more. Instead, I can't take my sons to the mall without them having to cover their eyes - either from the 6 foot tall boobs in the Victoria Secret window ad or from the clerk whose cups overfloweth. (do companies not have dress codes at all anymore??)

I'd like to think this is the world out there, but the truth is, Sunday morning can get dicey too. I know I have boys, but I am truly shocked at times in the outfits some girls/women come to church in. Apparently, loving a brother in Christ doesn't include covering up so as not to be a stumbling block to him.

I was reading in II Timothy the other day and came across these verses 2 Timothy 3:5-7, "holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come ot the knowledge of the truth."

That's us these days - we have a lot of learning but not much truthful knowledge. Lest you think I am condemning these girls - to be honest, it breaks my heart. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. I want to tell them God created them. They are loved and cherished and the apple of God's eye. He is the person who will give them true significance and true worth - not the shifting ideas of being attractive and sensual. I want to shout for them to respect themselves enough to not display their bodies in immodest clothing or throw away not just their virginity but their souls for casual sex that will only make them feel MORE insignificant and worthless.

As Paul said, I want them to know the height and depth and breadth of Christ's love for them.

~ blessings, Bronte

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Those of you who know me are probably in shock since I ALWAYS have something to say! lol But I've popped on here a few times in the last few days,stared at the blank screen, and I have come up with nothing. Nada. Zip. Nothing.

Maybe it is the multiple deadlines hanging over my head or the knowledge that I don't have enough information for the next religion page. I'm doing a three-part series on church architecture.

I love old things. I really do. I love history and poking around old buildings and houses. They just feel differently for some reason. I like to close my eyes and imagine what it was like at that place 100 or more years ago.

BUT, I don't know anything about architecture really - except I seem to have a penchant for the pointy kind. I like things with lots of gables and A-shaped roof lines. Other than that, I know nothing.

Now I have to write three articles on it. Because a lot of the things I'm looking for are quite old or in small places, I have to visit museums and historical societies that are open at, well, odd hours. I drove to the neighboring small village (town?) of Gomer, only to find out that it isn't the fourth Sunday of the month - it's the FIFTH and since they are only open on the second and fourth Sunday of the month the tiny museum was firmly closed. However, all the key people I would need to talk to - their phone numbers were listed on the door. Gotta love small towns!

This newspaper job has been like this lately - I've been feeling like I'm out in the deep end of the lake and can barely swim. The shoreline (my deadline) seems really far away and I can only doggy paddle slowly toward it. My feet can't touch bottom and my head is barely above the water line. It's not very comfortable. At all!

I look at my list of to dos for my various jobs, and I look at the things I need to get together to figure out new jobs and I just feel like I will never make it to dry land - that I will be paddling mid-lake forever, never able to touch bottom, but trying desperately to keep my head above the water line.

For the past year, I've juggled a lot of balls. The problem is not the juggling. The problem is I can never set any of the balls down.

The thing I'm learning in all of this is that I might be weak, but God is strong. Just last week, I was feeling very overwhelmed and worried that I wouldn't get things done because I had to wait on other people in order to do my job. I hate that because that means it is completely out of my control. I just have to wait patiently and I'm really not all that patient, to be honest. I got myself worked into a tizzy. You know what though? It all worked out.

It all worked out even AFTER the head photo guy called to tell me that the pictures - the ones for the NEXT DAY'S STORY - had been on the computer that had been stolen. Guess what? The story made it into the paper - the pictures got taken somehow. It all worked out in the end.

When I was whining to my husband last week about how stressed out I was, he kindly and patiently did the whole "there,there," thing and then said, "I understand why you are stressing, but everything seems to always work out. You probably need to not worry so much."

Ah, wise words but so much easier to say than to do, for me anyway. I have been praying about another job to open up, but I've also been praying that whatever God wants for me is fine, too. I will go wherever He wants me to go. That also means I'll stay right where I am if that is what He wants - even though it is stressful, even though I feel ill-equipped, even though I never seem to be quite caught up.

The bottom line is God has placed me here, and until He moves me on, I can trust He will supply me with what I need to get the job done. In my weakness and feelings of being overwhelmed, God continually shows me that it isn't about me anyway. It is about His strength and His glory being seen through my very human frailities.

After all, difficult circumstances are an opportunity to show God's glory through ordinary people.

Well, I guess I did have something to say after all. :)
~ Blessings, Bronte

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have a 13 year old son. He's always hungry. Always. We had dinner before his basketball game tonight - grilled cheese, fruit and some pretzels. After the game, we stopped at McDonalds (yes, I realize it isn't really food but we went with friends). He had a double cheeseburger and a McChicken sandwich.

We got home and he wanted to cook up a stack of waffles. After convincing him he should have an apple and some more pretzels instead, he then wanted to make an english muffin with peanut butter and jelly. He's now sitting at the table eating a big square of homemade granola bar.

What can I say? He's growing. So, we just keep shoveling in the food, (and I cut a lot of coupons and look for sales). I remember when it was a huge victory when he ate a little bit of everything on his plate - those days are long gone though.

Because he is growing, his body needs fuel. Because he is extremely active, it means he needs even more fuel. So, like any good parent, I try to make sure he has good food (McDonald's notwithstanding tonight) so that what he puts in his body is helping his growing body and giving him energy for his activities.

Of course, you knew I'd turn this into some kind of spiritual metaphor didn't you? If you didn't, well, I am. As I watch Brock's seemingly insatiable appetite, I wonder about my own appetites. What am I hungry for? (besides food)

In Psalms, David says "As the deer pants after water, so my soul longs after you." I love Psalms 27 because in it David says something quite interesting. He says that the thing he desires the most, more than anything in verse 4: "One thing I have asked from teh Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple."

Of all the things David could ask for, the thing he wanted the most was to be in the God's presence. It makes me wonder what is the thing I most want? Is it God or the things He can give me? Sometimes, it is easy for me to start focusing on what God is doing rather than just who HE is, but when I fill myself up with HIM, that is when growth happens and I have the fuel to be active for Him.

God IS the rewarder of those who seek Him with all their hearts, and the reward is, well, HIM!

So, what are you hungry for?
~ Blessings, Bronte

Friday, January 20, 2012


I recently ran out of my deodorant. I know - you are on pins and needles to see how this story turns out. lol I use this all natural stuff called Tom's of Maine (apparently they are more all natural up there) because I had been using Secret and it was, well, making my armpits red and itchy. Not pleasant at all.

Because it doesn't take much to make me happy, I was thrilled that packaged along with my new Tom's of Maine deodorant was a small bar of all natural soap. This was particularly serendipitous because my soap was at that sliver stage - you don't want to throw it away but it's difficult to use because it's so small and fragile. So - happiness all around!

That night, before I took my shower, I got that small bar of soap out. I took a deep whiff and was instantly transported back to my grandparent's house - way back before she came to live with us. Since my Grandpa died when I was five years old, these were memories from my toddler and preschool years.

Isn't it interesting how smells can bring back such clear memories. Like most people, I tend to rely on my senses of sight and hearing, but the sense of smell is very visceral. It can conjure up the past like a movie projector sometimes. That was the case with this tiny bar of Tom's of Maine soap.

The soap had the same scent that my Granny's long ago soap had - I have no idea what kind of soap that was - maybe Dial?? I remember a gleaming bathroom with my Grandfather's shaving mug on the lip of the sink. I remember big, fluffy white towels with gold edging that seemed the height of luxury to me.

Wandering out of the bathroom, I remember the kitchen with it's bottle green carpet in squares with the black and gold design in it. I remember the wood door with it's multiple panes of glass that led to the backyard - the wood was always gleaming and golden in my memory. For some reason, I'm sure it is just my imagination supplying this detail, there always seem to be squirrels or rabbits in view from it's windows.

I remember their den with its olive green leather couch and big plaid recliner - the small tv that sat on a tv stand and the funky floor lamp.

Mostly I remember the feelings I had at my grandparents house - joyful and safe and loved. My Grandfather and I had a special bond. I adored him and I believe the feeling was mutual. My mom and Granny went to have their hair done every week at Zena's. While the multi-colored peppermints on the coffee table were of interest, mostly I didn't want to go because it was bbooorrriinnnggg to my younger self. My Grandpa would often let me stay with him instead. "Saved you again, Roscoe," he'd say with that big laugh he had.

He had a big garden at the back of his yard, and I believe my love of plants and the desire to have my own patch of plants comes from those early days of walking with him up and down the rows.

He always had a smile for me, and he was just fun. I remember my Granny was always bustling around - busy making homemade chicken soup or her to-die-for spaghetti sauce. Even after she came to live with us, she was always busy working - ironing, washing - she was a woman who worked hard. But my Grandpa always had time for some fun or games.

Both of them are gone now. My Grandpa died the spring after I turned five years old. It took me a whole year to really, truly believe he wasn't coming back. I remember being in first grade and sobbing into my pillow one night when it truly hit home that he was gone for good.

My Granny passed away in 2007 which is five years ago already. It was in March and the rest of that month is a blur in my mind. She had been a part of my life forever, and it was hard to know she wasn't there anymore. But, at almost 95 years old, she was ready to go home. I like to think of them in heaven together again. My Granny was a somewhat serious woman, but I remember my Grandpa always being able to coax a smile out of her and get her to put aside her work for a moment of play.

Memories spring up from the strangest things. Revisiting my grandparents home was an unexpected blessing and it all came from a Tom's from Maine miniature bar of soap. Who knew?

~ Blessings, Bronte

Monday, January 16, 2012


Don't you wish God would just email you what He wants you to do or perhaps leave a voice mail? It would be so much easier. My path the past couple years has been rather twisty and poorly lit.

To be honest, a lot of times I only have light for the very next step and the dark unknown yawns before me with all of its questions and wonderings. I've learned to be okay with that - it doesn't mean I like it though. I'd really rathr God handed me a divine GPS system that laid out my route, complete with detours and rest stops highlighted for me.

But God doesn't work like that - at least in my life.

I have another job opportunity presented to me, and thus, another interview. To be completely honest, I'm tired of continuing to walk through doors that slam in my face, but I know that this is a process wherein God is narrowing my choices down so I am still on the right path - His path.

The good thing is, I've learned an awful lot about the intervewing process. (it had been literally over a decade since I'd been on a formal interview when I went to my first job interview last fall) I've learned about patience and about doing my best and leaving the results in God's hands. I've learned the truth that I am truly NOT in control of much of anything, despite my delusions otherwise. And I've learned to not only be okay in that, but to rest in that as well.

After all, while I don't know what my future holds, I know God holds my future. That is a restful thought because I also know that God is good. He is my loving Father who wants what is best for me (even when I may not agree about what constitutes "best"). He knows my future and has plans to prosper and not harm me.

Mostly, I've been learning (and am still in the process of learning) that circumstances are just litter along the path God has for me. I can let them trip me up or I can pick them up and carry them with me, letting them weigh me down. The other option is I can choose to let God take care of my path, and therefore all those pesky circumstances, for me.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; Bless the Lord and forget not all of His benefits." God is the best insurance plan around because He truly does offer the best benefits!

~ Blessings, Bronte

Saturday, January 14, 2012


We had our first real snow Thursday night into Friday. Of course, that constituted about two inches of snow. Unlike my dear husband, who informed me he was already over winter, I was excited. I love winter and I love snow - granted, maybe I'd feel differently if I was responsible for shoveling it. lol

Today, I took my dog for a long walk. Yesterday, it was even too cold for me to walk the dog. Once it gets under about 16 degrees, I'm done. I laced up my boots, bundled up and headed out the door.

Kipper loves snow too. (he is the perfect dog for me!) He was having the best time kicking up his heels and snuffling his long nose into the fluff for scents and just for fun, I think. :)

The thing I notice about the world when it snows is everything seems muffled. It's like everything is wrapped in wool batting and there is a hush laid over regular life. I'm not sure if this is my imagination or some kind of atmospheric thing, but I notice it every time I go out after a big snowfall.

As I walked up the curve, I stopped to lean over the rail and look into the small sewer drainage ditchy thingy - not sure what you call it, but there is a small stream of water that runs through there. I noticed earlier this fall that there are little schools of fish in that bit of water.

The first time I saw them, I about fell over the rail in my surprise and excitement (and yes, it does not take a whole lot to entertain me!). At first, I thought it was the trick of the light, but no, there were the tiny silvery fish, maybe a half to one inch long, darting along the vegetation at the bottom of the water. I was enchanted, to be honest.

I was impressed that life had found a way to persist despite the less than stellar environment it found itself in. It brought to mind a picture I once saw of a small, bent and twisted tree that was clinging to a rock on the side of a granite sided mountain. It was hanging from what looked like pure rock, the only green thing in a vast landscape of grey rock. Apparently, there was a small sliver of soil for it to push its roots into, and so it lived.

So, today, when I walked by the creek thing, I peered over the rail. I thought surely the fish would not survive the very cold temperatures in the very shallow depth of water. I stared for a long time, but then I saw it - a flash of silver darting at the bottom.

It was somehow very uplifting to see life persist despite the circumstances. Over and over again, I marvel at the many lessons and pictures God presents to us in the natural world.

"The heavens declare Your handiwork"... Ain't that the truth?

~ Blessings, Bronte

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today, I killed a man and tranquilized a tiger. Please don't call 911. I only did it on paper. I am excited to say that I have 1000 words on my WIP (work in progress for those who don't know the lingo).

The first day of a new resolution is easy. You are excited. You are determined. The second day - not so much. To be completely honest, I didn't feel like putting in my hour of writing today. It's rainy and dreary outside. I was tired. My eyes popped open about 6:20 a.m. and I laid there thinking up excuses to sleep in a little longer. I could get started later. I could write later in the day. But I recognized them for what they were - excuses.

So I hauled myself out of bed, stuck my glasses on my face and padded down to the other end of the house to put in my 30 minutes of exercise. Then I ran kids to school. When I got home and sat down in front of my computer, my brain felt like it was wrapped in cotton wool and I longed to crawl back into my warm bed and have a little nap. (sleeping is one of my favorite pastimes after all)

But I knew if I did that, if I gave up today, I would be defeated. I would, in a word, be disobedient. So I poured my cup of coffee and spent 15 minutes warming up my creative muscles with some free writing by hand. I know it is terribly old fashioned of me, but I do still like to write by hand. There is something about the feel of the pen moving across paper that inspires the creative in me. But I digress.

Then I opened up a word document and started to write. I finished one page and felt the urge to stop but I pushed on. My time limit was not up. I ended up with 1000 words of what is now my WIP - a zoo-based mystery that has been rolling around in my head for over a year now.

And it felt really good. You know how you feel when you get out of a car after a long trip and you stretch? That was the feeling I got from yesterday and today's writing sessions.

I have felt, for the past couple years, smothered by circumstances. They just seemed to tumble on top of me one after another, until I felt suffocated. However, an interesting thing has happened when I have obeyed God and started elbowing a space for my writing out my day - I can breathe. I feel alive. I feel joyful. I feel fearless. I certainly feel intentional.

That feeling stayed with me all day yesterday. There was a rather nasty surprise in my mailbox that I wasn't expecting in the afternoon. It seemed rather dire at the moment, but I read it and then took a nap. I knew God would handle it. He promised to. My only job was to obey and then leave rest up to God. I still felt alive, joyful and fearless. The beauty of obedience is the blessing it brings into our lives in the most unexpected ways.

As I finished my Bible study this morning, the verses Priscilla Shirer had us read in Ephesians brought tears to my eyes. They were so full of life for the believer. I'm going to leave them here with you, so that you can enjoy them too.

"For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to His riches of His glory, to be strengthened by the power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breatdth and length and heighth and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21

God is not stingy. He does not give us just enough. He gives lavishly and abundantly more than we can ask. We just have to obey and follow Him.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It was on the radio. It was in sermons. It was in my Bible study. Everywhere I turned, I felt God was trying to tell me something. Over the past year, I've felt very frustrated over the fact that I've been sooooooooooo busy with various jobs and responsibilities that my personal writing - the writing I feel called to - has been pushed to the side.

I'm not sure why this writing always gets the lowest priority, but maybe it's the urgent seeming more pressing than the truly important. I mean how many times have you elected to clean the bathroom rather than just hang out with your child? Yeah - me too.

Or maybe it's because I think of it is as something for me and that usually gets stuck on the back burner. Whatever the reason, I was whining about it and feeling just a tad sorry for myself. "I would do that but when do I have time? I feel so stressed, how can I possibly focus enough?"

It was while watching Priscilla Shirer that God really drove home to me that I was making excuses. I was listening to her and thinking - How awesome would it be to speak to thousands of women and impact their lives for God? How awesome would it be to write the Bible study I've been working on for over a year and share my passion for the treasures of God's Word to a bigger audience?

Over the past year, I've tried to make my calling, my dream small and manageable - something that doesn't require me to be uncomfortable in any way. I've told myself that it didn't matter if my audience was the 10-15 women in my Sunday school class - if they were the only ones I taught, that would be fine. Please don't get me wrong - those women are very important. Each one is precious to God and as the teacher, I have a responsibility to share truth with them, to pray for them and to love them. However, they became an excuse - "See, God? I am doing something for you. I'm teaching. I'm sharing your Word."

The thing is, without sacrifice and self-discipline, I can't realize my calling. Why in the world did I think my dreams would come to fruition with no sacrifice, no discomfort on my part? Why did I think that things would just neatly fall into place - as if my husband and I would somehow become independently wealthy and I could stay home and write at my leisure? How many people actually have that luxury - to not have to work at all? Not many these days and certainly not me!

I was frustrated and, to be honest, just a little bit annoyed, that God would call me to something that seemed impossible to achieve. It seemed just a tiny bit unkind. I wrestled with it in my mind because I KNOW God is good so what gives?

The truth is God was still calling me, but I was going to have to sacrifice and experience some discomfort to follow through on that calling.

God has used a couple of verses these past few weeks when He's been trying to get my attention.

"The first one is, "Therefore,to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

In other words, I know what God wants me to do and I'm making excuses not to do it - that's disobedience, plain and simple. Ouch!

The second verse is "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, this he will also reap." Gal. 6:7

So far, I've reaped exactly what I've sowed in this writing business - nothing. Why? Because I have not put the time in to hone my craft, to practice, to actually write. To be a writer you have to... wait for it... WRITE.

You may be thinking, "So write all ready!" The thing is, I have two regular part time jobs, and I also have two variable part time jobs. I work most of the day and do my housekeeping things like cleaning, laundry, etc. Then most weekday evenings, I work at Sylvan. Weekends I spend time with my family because I don't get to do much of that during the week. One of my jobs IS writing - for the newspaper. While I enjoy that, it is not the same as my calling.

What God has impressed on me is that in order to do this, to follow what He's asked of me, I'm going to have to get up early. Now some of you may wonder what in the world is the big deal about that? Well, first of all, to say I am NOT a morning person is a gross understatement. Not only do I HATE getting up early, but I also HATE going to bed early which is really a necessity for me since I also happen to need a good eight hours of sleep to function.

I'm also very slow moving in the morning. I workout and have my quiet time in the morning, so by the time I add in all that, I have to get up quite early - for me anyway.

However, I have made a commitment to God to get up at least a half hour to an hour earlier each morning and use that time to write. I know God will bless my obedience because He promises to do so.

I can't explain all the circumstances in our lives in the past 18 months. It's been a bit of a wild ride. I don't know what God is doing and where He is taking us, but I DO know what He has called me to. That hasn't changed, so I can start there. But that's the thing. I have to actually START. I can't just sit around and wait for hours of uninterrupted writing time to fall into my lap. I can't wait until we have a brand new computer because that would make things easier. I have to get up and put the time in.

My intention was to do this, starting on Monday. Monday my alarm did not go off. Yesterday was more of the same. Today, I staggered out of bed at 6:30 a.m. (I know that isn't early to some of you early birds but it is to me). My goal is to gradually move that time back until 5:30 a.m. (I shudder even writing that).

I want to be faithful in following what God has for me. I want to be fearless and joyful while doing it. I want to be intentional.

What is God calling you to do that you've been making excuses about? If you know to do it and don't, it's sin no matter how you try to whitewash it. Just so you know, that stepped on my toes, too.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I've started this blog post several times and wasn't exactly sure how to word it. I believe in being real and not shoving things under the rug; however, I think discretion is important too. So, I guess I'll leave it at if you know me in real life, you are aware of what I am talking about. If you don't know me in real life, you can just pray for healing and restoration for some folks who are in dire need of it.

It seems to be the in vogue thing lately in Christian circles to "not judge." The verse that states "judge not lest you be judged" has been twisted to mean, apparently, that believers can't call a sin a sin because - gasp- I could be judging someone. It's been made out to mean that since we all sin, nobody can point out sin or the fact someone is quickly traveling the road that way to anyone else.

However, the Bible is pretty plain on this topic -we are to recognize sin and call it what it is - not an issue or a problem or just ignore it all together. I've been reading the books of Paul and I am struck by the fact that we really should care more about each other than we do.

There is this fear of trespassing on someone else's business that keeps us silent when we should speak up. I'm not talking about people running around being busybodies and sticking their noses into what is truly not their business. But if we see a brother or sister that is starting down that path that we KNOW if wrong, if we truly love them in the Lord, shouldn't we say something?

I have read from II Corinthians through II Thessalonians in the past month, and in every book, it is abundantly clear that Paul cares deeply for the believers at these various churches. He cares about their welfare and he cares about their spiritual growth. He writes with a lot of tenderness, but he also is not afraid to speak a little truth into these believers' lives either.

Paul also cares how the believers are getting along with each other. Over and over again, he speaks of unity among th believers and gives specific ways to achieve that. Specifically in Colossians 3:12-16 tells believers to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; to bear with each other. In verse 16 i says to "with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another..."

This leads me to the fact of people, particularly people we respect, that fall into agregious sin. It really isn't helpful to say, well, no sin is worse than another. While any sin will keep you from heaven and any sin seperates you from God, that doesn't mean that all sins have the same level of consequences. I'm sure David sinned on numerous occasions before the whole debacle with Bathsheba. However, God did not send a prophet to him to point out his sin and lack of repentence until that time.

Certain sins have greater and farther reaching consequences. It's just a fact of life. The more influence you have, the farther those consequences ripple out, too.

However, calling out sin and admonishing a brother or sister in Christ is not about just pointing out sin. The whole point is restoration and reconciliation.

If I saw you had run your car into the ditch, I wouldn't come up and start lecturing you on your driving and how I was a much better driver than you were. Neither would I drive by because I feared that you would feel I was judging your driving if I stopped to help. No - I would pull over and do the dirty work of helping you up and out of the ditch. There would be repair work to be done to set you and your car back on the road, but that would be the goal.

Paul also warns the person trying to help a fellow believer to have a look in his or her own heart. "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." Galatians 6:1

But this doesn't mean that we are to shirk our responsibility in caring for each other because in the very next verse it says, "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."

Clearly, we have a responsibility to care enough to encourage, admonish,exhort and even keep each other accountable each other along this journey.

Of course, then we have to be willing to restore someone to fellowship. Scripture says that God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. That means I can't continually cast up someone's sins after they have repented. God forgave them and wiped the slate clean. Who am I to do any less?

The person who falls spectacularly will probably beat themselves up enough for everyone, but again, Paul's letters to New Testament believers state that Godly sorrow brings repentance, and repentence brings restoration. On the other hand, worldly sorrow just results in death - maybe not in the body but in the spirit and emotions. I'm sure you've seen that played out more than once.

My point in all of this is that maybe some of the spectacular falls from grace we've seen of prominent Christians would not have happened if those close to that person had cared enough to take the risk of speaking into that person's life. If I am headed on a one way path to disaster, I certainly hope someone cares enough about me to step into my path. Even I wasn't very happy about it at the time, I'm sure I would thank you later!

~ Blessings, Bronte