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FYI about this week’s blog schedule…

Hi ladies! Just wanted to give y’all a little heads up on the blog schedule this week.

Normally, I schedule my blog posts to publish at 5 a.m. (CST), Monday – Friday. But this week, I’m going to be posting the video sessions for the Open Hearts in a Closed World conference every day, and that doesn’t start until 8:30 a.m. (CST).

So, long story short, if you subscribe to the blog, and you’re used to seeing your daily blog post email at 5 a.m., don’t worry when you don’t see it at that time this week. This week’s blog posts of the conference sessions will publish between 8-8:30 a.m. (CST).

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The Word on Wednesdays

Hi ladies! I hope you’ve been enjoying The Word on Wednesday Bible study lessons and resources, and that you’re looking forward to our new study as much as I am.

I’ve been taking a break on Wednesdays getting ready for our new study. I hope you’ll enjoy it and that it will edify you as you seek to grow in Christ and His Word. (The picture above does not mean we will be studying James. :0)

Unless Providentially hindered, I hope to announce the new study in the next few weeks. Stay tuned, and keep an eye on the blog on Wednesdays.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting some articles from the archives that I think you’ll find helpful as we make our way toward our next study. Here is this week’s article:

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday is Bible study day here on the blog. In my Wednesday’s Word Bible study series you’ll find miscellaneous, one lesson Bible studies from each book of the Bible. One chapter of Scripture followed by study questions. This sampler series demonstrates that there’s nothing to be afraid of when approaching those “lesser known” books and that every book of the Bible is valuable and worth studying.

Wednesday’s Word ~ Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether… Continue reading…

Testimony Tuesday, Uncategorized

Testimony Tuesday: An Anonymous Sister’s Story

Anonymous’ Story

I certainly never expected that I would fall into the trap of false teaching. I was raised in a Christian home with loving parents who took me to church, taught me Christian values, and even sacrificed to send me to a Christian school where I learned the Bible and practiced spiritual disciplines daily. I made the decision to follow Christ for myself at age 15 and never really went through the rebellious teenager stage. I have memorized Scripture and would estimate that I know probably 75% of the events that take place in the Bible. I married a Christ-following man after college and have continued to seek after the Lord and attend Bible-believing churches in the years since we have been married. I would have told you that there was no way I could have fallen into deception as far as what the Bible taught! And I would have been very wrong. Let me briefly tell you our story of becoming parents.

I would have told you that there was no way I could have fallen into deception…

My husband and I felt God’s leading to start the process to become foster parents as fresh, young 26-year-olds who had never been in the role of “Mom and Dad” before. We had the willingness to parent kids from hard places, but very little experience.

As we embarked on the journey of being parents to our first little one, we realized that not only did we have an instant toddler, walking, talking, running…(away from us in parking lots), we did not have the bonds that most parents and toddlers have who were biologically stitched together. We were getting a trial-by-fire introduction to parenting, and as most parents do, we needed some wisdom from those who had gone before us.

Through our church and social media pages, we kept hearing about taking classes which help parents raise kids who have come from traumatic situations. We signed up and took a class over the course of six weeks. The classes we attended and books we read were full of good ideas. They equipped us with different strategies to engage children of all ages to exercise self-control and practice calmness and thoughtfulness. The idea was that, over time, greater depths of discipline could be achieved as the child learned to operate inside a foundation built on trust and love for their parents- something that newborn babies all the way up to teenagers may not have experienced in their birth families.

The classes helped us understand brain physiology and develop empathy and compassion for what trauma and abuse can do to a person and how to be more patient in training our children who are in foster care. The classes in and of themselves were helpful and gave us some tools to address the behaviors and needs of our children that we hadn’t considered before.

Since we found the class to be helpful, I began to surround myself with other trauma-focused women through church, friendships, social media, podcasts, etc. I loved my life as a foster mom and was eager to glean wisdom from these older, wiser ladies that had a lot to say about raising children from traumatic situations. This is where the problems began.

These older, “wiser” women, all of whom attended Bible-believing churches, many of whom were even pastors’ wives, never said anything to me about the Bible, other than to tell me that this way of parenting aligned to the Gospel. They never pointed me to the Scriptures or encouraged me to hold my children accountable for their sin. They never reminded me that only God could heal my children from their past abuse. They only pointed me to the “religion” of trauma-based parenting and its ideologies.

They never pointed me to the Scriptures…

Admittedly, I even pushed my husband into these ideologies as we tried to bring a unified approach to parenting in this way, as was the case for most of the couples that I had contact with over the years who were also in these circles. These ideologies were not explicitly taught but were intrinsic to the conversations, the memes, and the discussions on podcasts, social media pages, and during Mom’s Coffee Night. Here are four of the most common ideas that I observed creeping into the minds and hearts of the women involved:

  1. You aren’t modeling God’s love and grace if you are unyielding in your expectations for your child’s behavior.
  2. Kids misbehave because of the trauma they have experienced, and if they could make a better choice, they would. Therefore they don’t because they physiologically can’t.
  3. If you don’t subscribe to and practice nearly everything produced by these parenting programs, you are not helping your child heal from their trauma (and might be making it worse).
  4. You should identify your own “triggers” from childhood that might be causing you to take offense to your child’s wrong behaviors (you may never have known you had any triggers- getting counseling will “reveal” these to you.)

As you can see, these ideas are not without spiritual implications. What started out as the desire to teach and train my children in a way that is conducive to reshaping their past experiences, quickly morphed into an expected lifestyle. Those pushing these ideologies employ a worldview which blames the parents’ hidden character flaws for a child’s misbehavior, places the weight of mental and emotional healing on the parents’ discipline efforts, and absolves kids almost completely of their sin simply because of their circumstances in life.

Though my husband and I didn’t immerse ourselves fully in the practices that these “leaders” were pushing, as we continued to foster and eventually adopt, we regularly felt defeated in our attempts to parent the way we heard others in these circles were parenting. I tried to keep a mental checklist of what to do and what not to do based on the social media posts and heartfelt stories that I saw from those I thought were doing it “the right way.” I berated my husband when he didn’t handle something “right”, and beat myself up and felt like a terrible mother when I reverted back to the “less loving and gracious” way of parenting (which I did regularly).

Our kids didn’t seem to really care about any of the non-punitive consequences that we attempted to enforce, and actually responded better to the way we were told not to parent, though we felt guilty for reverting back into some of these tendencies. We weren’t seeing the results we wanted to and ultimately we felt powerless as parents.

Over the next couple of years, we started seeing that what we had considered to be resources, encouragement, and even discipleship were actually just lies. We unsubscribed from the social media, the podcasts, the church classes, etc. and ultimately unsubscribed our family from the ideologies making us weak, ineffective parents producing weak, excuse-filled children.

We have now been foster and adoptive parents for several years and have had over a dozen children in and out of our home, adopting several of them. Our children are very happy, healthy, and successful at home and school and love the Lord. My husband and I argue less about
the right way to handle something, we are more confident as parents, and we are able to delight in our kids instead of wondering if we’re worsening their trauma.

I am forever thankful to the faithfulness of God to eventually help us see that we had strayed from what He says is the right way to view misbehavior and the discipline of our children. Now, it is my mission to make sure that other moms, whether they are foster and adoptive moms or not, see parenting programs for what they can be: God-given resources to equip us to be godly parents, and what they are never to be: the indoctrination of a different worldview, seeing children as inherently sinless or as a product of their circumstances who want to do the right thing but can’t.

I am forever thankful to the faithfulness of God…

Let me be clear, the reason that I fell into this pattern of wrong thinking was not because I didn’t know that the Bible said anything raising children. It is because I subconsciously did not consider Scripture to be the only valuable resource out there and I mistakenly placed my trust in the advice of women who marketed themselves as Gospel-centered trauma experts. Turns out their approach was very light on the Gospel.

When I started to really believe that Scripture was solely sufficient for all issues in life, I understood that what I had been following were very covert lies. And I began to see everything outside of Scripture as either deception or a resource that is only useful if you are using it within the bounds of what God says in Scripture.

Ladies, if you haven’t recently read 2 Timothy 3, stop right now and go read it. In it, Paul has a lot to say about how people will think and behave in the last days. It warns women to not fall prey to people who “have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power.” It tells us to stay away from those who “creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” Paul says that people who do this “will not get very far, for their foolishness will be plain to all.”

Second Timothy 3 also calls Christ-followers to “continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” It reminds us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

When we are vulnerable to believe anything that we see from leaders that claim to be Christians, without examining what they’re saying against the whole Word of God, we are these weak women. We want what is best for our children, but we are sinful because we are not trusting God with their healing or to guide us to appropriate discipline through the study of His Word and the knowledge He allows us to have through others who have gone before us.

Instead of taking useful strategies, thanking God, and applying them to what He has already told us to do, we are led astray by the leaders who have created entire movements based on a few good principles, turning instead to their social media pages, to their classes and teachings. We feel that we can never know enough about how to help our children because we do not believe that God’s system of discipline and instruction is sufficient. And as a result, our children are also carried away by excuses, in searching for what will make them whole. We have spent our lives looking for the solution to their trauma and as a result we have trained ourselves and our kids that God is not it.

In fact, God is the one who teaches us through His infallible Word that He is the solution for every circumstance that belies us. His Word is helpful for teaching and correcting our kids, for training our entire family in the way of righteousness, and to equip us for every good work, including raising our kids.

Our children can be complete by knowing God, knowing His Word and coming to salvation through Him. Any resources God brings to us from other humans, is simply that. A resource. Not a way of life. Not a worldview. Not a religion.

We have all we need in Christ.


Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His Word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Contact me, or comment below. Your testimony can be as brief as a few sentences or as long as 1500 words. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!

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The Word on Wednesdays

Hi ladies! I hope you enjoyed our most recent Bible study, The Sermon on the Mount.

I’m going to take a little break before starting our next study, so for the next several Wednesdays, you’ve got some options:

📖 You can finish up The Sermon on the Mount or any of my other studies you’re currently working on.

📖 You can choose a book(s) of the Bible to work through on your own.

📖 You can choose one of my studies to work through at the Bible Studies tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. (I would choose one of the shorter ones, like Colossians or Ruth rather than one of the longer ones if you’re only trying to fill the space between now and the beginning of our next study.)

📖 You can follow along with the sampling of “re-run” lessons and resources I’ll be posting here on the blog each week.

And speaking of re-runs, here’s the first one!

Did you miss Bible Reading Plans for the New Year – 2021 when I posted it last December? Or maybe you’re new to the blog since then? There are all kinds of Bible reading plans here, including some that are only a few days or weeks in length.

If you’re just looking for a plan that fills the time between now and the beginning of our next study, #5, #12, #18, or #20 might be a good choice. Also be sure to check the links under Need more suggestions? for shorter plans. Or, you might wish to modify or just do part of, one of the longer plans. Go exploring and choose the plan that works best for you!

You can always find the link to the current year’s “Bible Reading Plans for the New Year” at the “Bible Studies” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Want to take a guess on which book of the Bible we’ll be studying next? Comment below!

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Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends

I try to run this article every so often to orient new followers (and old friends who haven’t yet explored all the nooks and crannies of the blog) to the various features and information available here. I hope you’ll find these resources helpful.

Welcome Tab If you haven’t had a chance to read the Welcome & FAQs- Start Here tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, it’s a good way to get acclimated to the blog quickly. You’ll learn some fast facts about me, my comment and e-mail policies, and more.

Comments, E-mails, Social Media Messages If you’ve sent me an e-mail, submitted a comment on one of my articles, or sent me a private message on social media and I haven’t responded to the message or published the comment, this is why: E-mail, Messages, and Blog Comments Policy (Plus additional helpful information) (A little note to those who have submitted a church for inclusion on my “Reader Recommended Churches” list in the past few weeks: Thank you so much for your patience. I promise I haven’t been ignoring you, I’ve just been swamped lately, and it does take a bit of time for me to vet them. You’re at the top of my “to do” list.)

The search bar is your friend. If you want to know my take on something or whether I’ve written on a particular person or topic, the search bar is the best place to start and much faster than e-mailing or messaging me. The search bar is located at the very bottom of every blog page. 

The tabs at the top are your friends, too. The tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the blog are designed to provide quick information to many of the questions I’m most frequently asked.

“What do you think of Teacher X?” Probably the largest volume of questions I get is readers wanting to know my take on particular teachers and ministries. I would love to be able to respond immediately to each one, but it takes a tremendous amount of time to research these folks. Because I know you need answers right away, and because every Christian should know how to research teachers for herself (you should never just blindly take anyone’s word {including mine} that someone is a false teacher), if you can’t find the information you’re looking for on a certain teacher at the Popular False Teachers & Unbiblical Trends tab at the top of this page or by using the search bar, I’ve written this article to help you research teachers for yourself: Is She a False Teacher? 7 Steps to Figuring it Out on Your Own.

“Discernment is for doody-heads!” I understand it’s not easy to be told that a pastor/teacher/author you’ve grown to love is a false teacher. I’ve been in that position myself. But Christians are people of the Book. That means we measure everything by Scripture, not by our personal preferences, feelings, or opinions. I’ve written numerous articles on teachers and ministries which can be found under the Popular False Teachers & Unbiblical Trends tab (and, just a few of the many awesome teachers out there are under the Recommended Bible Teachers tab). I don’t warn against false teachers because I’m a hater. I do it because it’s Scriptural and because I love the Christian women who are being victimized – often without even knowing it – by false teachers. I tend to hear the same objections to my discernment articles over and over and over again. Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections answers, from Scripture, the objections people raise to my discernment articles. (I don’t answer e-mails or publish comments that are answered by this article.)

Church Ladies Complementarianism can be difficult to navigate in a feminist world and an increasingly feminist church. You might find my Rock Your Role article series helpful, since it deals with the Scriptures governing women’s roles in the church. I keep Rock Your Role FAQs updated, so long time readers might be interested in giving that one a re-read.

Searching for a new church? It can be really hard to find a doctrinally sound church these days, and I’d like to do everything I can to help. Check out the Searching for a new church? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. You’ll find tons of resources on what to look for in a good church, several church search engines, and churches recommended by readers.

Podcast Need something to listen to? Amy Spreeman and I have a weekly podcast called A Word Fitly SpokenClick the Podcast tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page to check it out.

Conferences/Events Want to see if I’ll be speaking at an event near you? Check out the Calendar of Events at my Speaking Engagements tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page for more information.

Speaking Engagements/Podcasts I’d love to come speak at your Christian women’s conference, to the ladies of your church, or on your Christian podcast. Check out my Speaking Engagements tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page for more information. I’ve got lots of open slots on my 2022 calendar, so check it out and drop me an e-mail.

Financial Support I don’t receive any income or compensation from blogging. But if you or your family have been blessed by my work and you’d like to be a blessing to me and my family in return on an ongoing, occasional, or one time basis, please click here.