I’ve got mail. Lots of mail. Which is awesome. I love hearing from readers and I love responding back. But if you’ve been following me for any length of time or if you’ve sent me an e-mail, social media private message, or blog comment requiring a teaching response from me, you know that finding the time to respond is a struggle for me.
I don’t discuss this frequently (because you’re here for content that will point you to God’s word and edify you in your walk, not to hear about me), but I do my best to keep my life priorities in a biblical order:
1. My personal relationship with Christ
2. Serving and ministering to my husband
3. Serving and ministering to my children
4. Being a faithful, active member of my church
5. Spending time with friends and loved ones
6. Everything else
I think the rightful place for any online ministry I do (blogging and responding to readers) is at #6, or sometimes further down the list if I feel like there’s something more urgent God wants me to attend to at the moment. God has blessed me with a husband and children, and my primary job is to minister to them.
This is the framework I try to work from every morning when I get up and begin to order my day. But, like Paul said, I know the right thing to do, I just don’t always do it. I was talking to my husband about this the other day, and I realized I’ve been blowing it lately. I’ve sinned against my family by not giving them the time they need from me. And that has to stop.
And one of the ways that’s going to stop is that I’m going to cut way back on responding to e-mails, private messages, and blog comments- probably by about 90%. I love y’all and I want to help each and every person who writes to me, but the amount of mail I get is just too overwhelming for me to be able to do that any more.
Also, I will not be responding to (and often, not publishing) blog comments which require more than five minutes of my time to answer. While I love hearing from readers, it is simply taking too much time to engage in long, in depth, or teaching conversations in the comments section of my articles.
However, I do want you to get the answers, information, and help you need, so I’m hoping these pointers will help:
Read my article Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends for helpful information and resources about me and about the blog.
It’s still OK to send me an e-mail. A lot of the stand-alone articles I write are in response to readers’ needs and questions, as well as trends I see in the church and evangelicalism. Even though I probably won’t be able to respond, help me stay aware of things like this by dropping me a quick note with your question and any applicable links. If you have a question you need answered, your best bet is to email me rather than commenting on an article or sending me a private message on social media. Your question may be answered via The Mailbag (see below).
If you send me an email or social media private message with a question or a request for advice, it may be used – with identifying information removed – in a future edition of The Mailbag (see below). If you do not want your email/PM used in a Mailbag article, you must specify this somewhere in your email/PM (with the understanding that your email/PM probably will not be answered, as I’ve mentioned above).
The Mailbag– I run a weekly feature on the blog called The Mailbag, the sole purpose of which is to answer readers’ questions. Keep an eye out to see if the question you’ve sent in has been answered. (As always, your anonymity will be protected.)
Click the hyperlinks. If you’re reading an article and see a word in a different color text that’s underlined when you hover over it, clicking on it will take you to another article or resource that will provide you with more information.
Use the search bar. I get lots of questions that could easily be answered by using the search bar and reading the article(s) I’ve already written on the subject. The search bar is located at the very bottom of every page of the blog.
Use the tabs at the top of the blog. (In the blue menu bar.) I’m often asked about teachers whose names appear under either the “Popular False Teachers” tab or the “Recommended Bible Teachers” tab. You’ll also find my statement of faith and answers to other commonly asked questions.
Read the Welcome & FAQs- Start Here tab. I don’t publish every blog comment or respond to every message. Here’s why, as well as other information I’m often asked about.
Information on false teachers Again, first use the tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the page and the search bar. If you don’t find the person you’re looking for, please ask me. If I get enough inquiries about a particular teacher, ministry, etc., I’ll look into it and put the information in an article. If you need an immediate answer, please click here. These are the guidelines I use when researching teachers. I hope they’ll be helpful to you as you do your research.
Objecting to my warnings against false teachers While I understand how disconcerting it can be to see a warning against a celebrity Bible teacher you happen to love, please don’t waste your time commenting (it won’t be published), messaging, or e-mailing me to lambaste me for doing so. Your objection is not unique, clever, or biblical, and it answered in this article: Answering the Opposition: Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections. Additionally, please don’t attempt to manipulate or guilt me out of writing discernment articles by hand-wringingly telling me how sad, grieved, devastated, depressed, etc., you are to have discovered my blog.
Ask your pastor Or your Sunday School teacher, a trusted, godly friend, etc. Sometimes I receive questions about what to do in a catastrophic life circumstance, major situations at church, and so on. As much as I wish I could help with these things, I’m not equipped to do so via e-mail from thousands of miles away. These are situations in which you need to set up an appointment with your pastor for counseling, talk to one of your elders, or ask a godly friend to help you through. (Sometimes a certified biblical counselor is also an option.) This is just one of the dozens of reasons why it’s crucial to join and be an active member of a doctrinally sound local church. Your pastor, elders, and brothers and sisters in Christ in your church are there to help you. Regretfully, I cannot engage in discipleship or counseling relationships with readers via e-mail.
If you need fellowship I often hear from ladies who say it’s hard to find Christian friends, or discerning friends, to talk to. I totally get that. It’s hard for me, too. The primary solution to that dilemma is to find the most doctrinally sound church you can, get involved, and go about the business of proactively investing in friendships. Have lunch. Go out for coffee. Find another lady to study the Bible or a good book with. Have another couple over for supper. Don’t expect pre-fab friends, make them. Secondarily, there are many excellent Facebook groups where you can discuss theology, personal issues, and make online friends. Here, here, and here are a few I’m familiar with.
I’m sorry I won’t be able to correspond as much from here on out, but please know you have my, and my family’s, thanks for understanding.