Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jack's Struggle

He hadn't really known better. His father and older brothers were alcoholics. Jack was practically raised in a bar. Once, his father approached him sternly. “If I ever catch you drinking, I'll beat you.” Jack grimaced at the thick smell of alcohol on his father's breath. He hadn't felt like a fight, so he uttered an insincere “yes sir.” Despite his dad's gruff warning, it was clear that Physical Impulse was the king of the household.

Therefore, when Jack downed that first shot of hard liquor at his friend's house at the age of twelve, he hardly thought a thing of it. The other guys were laughing at the way his eyes watered when the liquid seared his throat. A few of them were already quite intoxicated. Someone offered him another. He hesitated slightly, then threw caution to the wind. He was wasted by the time the neighbors called the police.

Needless to say, alcohol became Jack's choice vehicle for a pleasurable escape. It was a fixture at every party he attended, his lonely companion after every hard day at work. In fact, keeping the fridge stocked and bar tab paid were two of the major reasons that he even bothered to hold down a job.

Everything changed that afternoon on the bus. His head was still pounding from the remnants of a bad hangover. The older man sitting next to him noticed Jack drumming his fingers.

“Nervous?” The stranger asked.

“Late.” Jack muttered, before wincing. “And late night.”

The older man smiled sympathetically. “Mike Hussel,” he introduced himself, offering a handshake.

Jack accepted and settled in for a conversation. Before long, Jack was explaining some of the difficult situations that plagued his life. Mike listened carefully and then began to ask some uncomfortable questions. Jack wanted very badly to end the discussion, but something stronger compelled him to keep talking. That Something was the Holy Spirit. Mike got off the bus when Jack did, and the conversation continued in a diner. Six hours later, Jack was converted.

Naturally, Mike invited Jack to visit his church. Jack became a regular attendant. The Spirit's work in his heart was evident by his enthusiasm and humble brokenness. Mike met with Jack weekly at the same diner where he'd first come to believe, to disciple him and provide encouraging fellowship.

One Sunday morning, Jack was startled by a Scripture that the pastor was reading. “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” The pastor continued without pause, but Jack was no longer following the sermon. The same heavy guilt that had shadowed his heart at his conversion only a few short weeks before had settled over him again. His throat tightened as he considered the six-pack cooler that he carried in his car at all times. Church, work and the meetings with Mike had kept him from having time to attend any parties, but a crises at work the previous week had driven him back his stool at the bar. His newfound faith caused him to be more careful of his life and others'—so he'd patted himself on the back for walking home once he was drunk, and then walking back for his car in the morning. But now, sitting in the pew with the pastor's words ringing in his ears, the momentary conviction he'd had when ordering that second drink came back to mind. “...nor drunkards...shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” Tears stung the back of his eyes, tears he allowed to run freely during the musical worship which followed the sermon. Jack knelt at the altar. “God help me.

After a long talk with Mike in the church parking lot, Jack returned home. His spirit inflamed with righteous urgency, he raided the cabinets in his apartment for alcoholic beverages and emptied every bottle in his sink. His friends could call him radical if they wanted—he didn't care. Jack refused to be a drunkard any longer: he'd been bought with a price, and his body was no longer his own.

The next several weeks were miserable for Jack as he struggled to overcome his addiction. He changed his route home from work to avoid driving by his favorite bar and often had to change the channel on the television to avoid seeing commercials that made his mouth water. The invisible chains of alcoholism were suffocating in their pull. One afternoon, he lost his temper at the office. In his frustration, he took the old route back to his apartment. He did a double-take when he drove past the bar. The inward battle ended with a u-turn, and the next day began with a flood of remorse. He poured out his heart in brokenness to Mike that evening at the diner, and they prayed together. Jack fell asleep that night at peace with God, but little did he know that his struggle was only about to intensify.

The following Sunday, Jack was invited to a church fellowship potluck at the pastor's house. Although a little nervous, Jack was very pleased to accept the invitation. Once he'd started turning down invitations to parties where alcohol would be present, his social life had pretty much dwindled down to just Mike. He thought the potluck would be a great opportunity to really start getting to know the folks in his church. Perhaps he'd even be invited to one of the Bible studies he'd kept hearing being mentioned by different members of the congregation. “It's almost like a safe party,” Jack thought to himself as he carefully avoided the alcoholic section of the beverage aisle and grabbed a few sodas to bring along as his contribution.

He was greeted at the door by the pastor's daughter who was all smiles to see him. “Please, come in and make yourself at home!” She welcomed him, immediately taking his grocery bag and handing him a plastic cup. Jack suddenly blushed and refused the drink sheepishly. A flash of confusion dampened the young lady's smile and she pointed him to the living room where the men were seated. He nodded gratefully and scoped out a somewhat secluded seat in the corner. He didn't see Mike anywhere.

As he chatted with a couple of the men, Jack tried to shake the embarrassment that clung to him from that initial meeting with the pastor's daughter. “It was nothing.” He scolded himself. “Just avoid it and enjoy yourself.”

He'd finally relaxed a little when he heard a feminine voice address him. He looked up to see the most beautiful woman at church standing before him. Mike had told him that Stacy was single.

“Thirsty?” She asked, smiling.

He fought another blush as he took the glass she offered him. She didn't try to make small talk for very long before she went back to the kitchen, seeming a little offended by his discomfort. He couldn't help the sigh of relief that escaped his lips, as he set the untasted drink on the far end the little table beside his chair.

The pastor stood to bless the meal. Jack bowed his head in earnest, begging the Lord to give him strength in the face of temptation. The doors to the kitchen and dining area were opened wide, and the pastor touched Jack's shoulder. “Guests first!”

Jack felt a little nervous as he approached the beverages. The ladies were swarming the area, filling cups with ice and mixing tall pitchers. Jack took his time writing his name on his cup, his eyes searching the beverage table. He obviously must avoid the coolers, he calculated, serving himself from an innocent-looking punchbowl. He didn't make it to the food table before he was looking around desperately.

“Need something?” A teenage girl asked him kindly, looking a little concerned.

His eyes fell. How could he explain? “Um, I can't—uh.” He pointed to the cup in his hand.

“Oh. Here.” She took a step back, revealing the kitchen sink behind her. “But don't drink the tap water.” She warned before turning away.

He emptied and rinsed his cup, mortified at the display he must be making. He made his way back to the table, filled his cup from the water pitcher and determinedly marched ahead to make his food selections. Once settled at a table, he absentmindedly reached for his water. The odor stopped him before the liquid reached his lips. Tensing, he lowered his cup to the table. “The water is spiked, too?!” He stared at the tablecloth, bewildered.

A lady who was seated nearby noticed Jack's expression. “Can I get you anything?”

Jack shook his thoughts and smiled weakly, trying to think of how to answer. “Do you know where the sodas are?”

“There are a few different types of coke cocktails in the kitchen.” She suggested. “Just tell me what you like best, and I'd be delighted to get it for you.”

Jack felt sick. “No thanks,” he answered, returning to his meal. He left the party early, upset with himself and feeling a little disturbed. He was never so thankful to get back to the safety of his apartment. He collapsed on his couch, exhausted, with his Bible on his lap. He knew the football game would be on, but he didn't reach for the remote. He was not interested in being offered another drink.

Mike called the next morning to let Jack know he'd be out-of-state for several weeks and encouraged him to keep going to church and getting to know his brothers and sisters in Christ. “You're welcome to call me if the temptation feels unbearable, but don't forget God's promise that with every temptation, He provides a means for escaping sin.”

A couple of weeks later, Jack was offered more invitations at church. He dubiously accepted them all. Any hopes he had that the next fellowship might be different were usually dashed the moment he made it to the front door, and was traditionally greeted by one smiling lady after another—each offering an alcoholic beverage.

He felt his resistance wearing low, and was tired of leaving every home parched because there was not a single nonalcoholic beverage available. He knew what would happen if he started drinking again. Was there something wrong with him? All of these Christians drank and drank, around the clock, and didn't even seem bothered by it. Perhaps they all had a very high alcohol tolerance and moderation was natural for them. He knew that some of the fellowships would get rowdy towards the end, and a handful of the younger guys had gotten into trouble for drunk driving. But maybe most of the congregation was simply much more spiritual than he was? How could he tell these stronger brethren of his struggles? Would they not look down on him for being the drunkard that Scripture condemns?

After the service one morning, Jack was leaning against a column, watching the scene taking place in the field just beyond the parking lot. Stacy was playing with a group of children, causing them to shriek with laughter at her silly antics. The sun seemed to shimmer through her curls which tumbled over her shoulders when she fell to her knees to scoop up a little one with tickles.

“Jack.” The deep voice of Stacy's brother from behind startled him. Jack's attempt to casually redirect his stare was humorously obvious. He was relieved, though somewhat embarrassed, to find that Stacy's brother was grinning. “Jack, how would you like to come to our Bible study Tuesday evening?”

Jack tried to hide his excitement. “I'll be there.”

The worries that had typically begun to trouble him as he got ready to visit a church member's home were smothered by his elation at the idea of being near Stacy for the entire evening. He arrived at their house early, imagining himself standing on that same porch in the future, holding a bouquet of flowers.

Stacy answered the door. “Hey, Jack.” Her smile was marvelous. “Want a drink?”

Jack couldn't believe his ears. He swallowed and forced himself to keep his cool composure. “Sure, thanks.” He answered, taking the beer.

“Let's go to the kitchen.” She offered. “The rest of the study group won't be here for another hour.”

Jack checked his watch and stammered an apology. Stacy laughed and ushered him to the table. “My parents are actually out on a date tonight, and my brother just left for a last-minute trip to the store. But we could just hang out here and talk if you want.”

Jack didn't know how he scored so well, but was more than happy to get to know her a little better. However, the cold bottle in his hand was a major distraction.

Finally, Stacy cocked her head. “Don't you like beer?”

Jack didn't know how to respond, but he had no idea how to rescue himself from the situation without making a complete fool out of himself—again.

“Oh, oh yeah. This is fine.”

The expectancy in Stacy's face crumbled Jack's resolve. He had to take a sip, or she wouldn't believe him. He did not want to replay that awkward scene from the first fellowship meal. Swallowing his trepidation, Jack gave in.

That first sip was sweet relief after months of resistance. Stacy mixed herself a drink as they carried on a lively conversation. Stacy didn't refill her own glass, but offered Jack another beer once his bottle was empty. He was enjoying himself far too much to decline. Stacy seemed very pleased as she fished it out of the cooler. Conviction came with every sip, for Jack, but he kept shoving it down and focusing on the wonderful conversation he was having with this wonderful girl.

By the time Stacy's brother barged in the kitchen door with an armful of groceries, Jack knew he'd drank too much. He excused himself, saying that he suddenly remembered an appointment he had. Stacy seemed a little sad to see him go, but said she'd walk him to the car.

“No, I'm okay. You know, I'm great.” He answered quickly, grabbing his keys. He knew that if she came alone with him at this point, he might do something he'd regret. “I'll see you Sunday.” He had enough control to avoid slurring his words, but he scolded himself for stumbling a little on the way out to his car. Stacy's brother could not find out that Jack had been getting drunk while he was alone with his sister. Jack now felt powerless to fight this battle that seemed to stretch out endlessly before him. One his way home, he stopped by the liquor store. There was no peace to be found anyway: he might as well be satisfied.

Mike called Jack the first day he made it back to town, and asked to meet him at the diner. He noticed the conviction that was eating at Jack as soon as they sat down.

“What's troubling you, son?”

“I'm drinking again.” Jack confessed bluntly. “I can't control myself.”

Mike's brow pinched in concern. “Are you still praying and reading your Bible?”

“I'm trying,” Jack answered angrily, “but I feel so... so distant from God! I can't resist the sin that He hates—”

“There is always an escape with every temptation.” Mike gently interrupted.

“Where?!” Jack finally exclaimed, a clenched fist landing hard on the table. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. “I'm sorry, Mike. The temptation is just everywhere. I tried not driving by the temptation and emptying my cabinets of the temptation; I hardly watch television anymore and didn't even RSVP for the company party because I knew there'd be a wet bar—but, Mike, I'm drowning in temptation during church fellowship! I can't get away from it, even at the Bible studies. Every where I turn, someone is offering me a drink. Then when Stacy...” Jack trailed off, his shoulders falling at the recollection. “And now they're even serving alcohol in the building, before and after services.” He stared off for a moment, feeling awful. “I just—I just thought things might be different at church. Safe or something. I'm sorry. I must sound pathetic.”

Mike held up a hand. “No, Jack, I apologize.” He blew his breath and sat back, rubbing his jaw. “Jack, I understand you perfectly. Too perfectly. I'm not so 'spiritual' that having alcohol around all the time doesn't ever present itself as a temptation. In fact, I'm drawn to my pastor's home during my weakest moments—and even there, it's always present, beckoning me to drop my guard for just a moment. I struggled with alcohol too, when I was a kid. Real bad. The Lord delivered me from my alcoholism, and I remember finding a 'safe haven' with church folks. But, as you can see, times have changed.

“Don't get me wrong: this is a great congregation. They love each other, bear one another's burdens and are always delighted to talk about things of the Lord. You need to be in church, Jack, and around fine Christians like these. But these folks embrace what they believe to be their 'Christian liberty.' They rightly understand that there is nothing inherently evil about alcohol. You do understand that, right Jack? Sin comes from within a person—it's not found in any material substance. Alcohol is a gift from God and very useful for many things like sanitation and medicinal purposes. There's a debate in the church over whether or not God intends it to be enjoyed as a pleasurable beverage. I believe Scripture teaches that wine and strong drink can lawfully be enjoyed in the right place, at the right time, and in moderation. As you can see, this congregation also believes that alcohol consumption is lawful—but there's a real lack of boundaries, and thus, that one very distracting element to our fellowship. I'm often embarrassed to bring my struggling young friends along to Bible studies for that exact reason. That's why I'd never invited you before.”

Jack listened, feeling defeated. He'd hoped that somehow, once Mike was home, he'd be able to give Jack an easy solution. But Mike seemed as hopeless about the situation as Jack felt. “Can't you talk to someone?” Jack managed, pushing a salt packet across his plate with a fork.

“I tried, Jack. It's just... it's an uncomfortable topic of conversation. The women, they're the ones that insist on serving alcohol at every event. Every time a husband or father confronts them, they answer from a list of catch-phrases. They bring up Christian liberty. They demand to know who's struggling with it—as if such a weakness is pathetic or alarming. They claim that hosting dry parties is like a crutch for weaker brethren who just need to get over their addiction and learn to fight their sinful urges. When the word 'temptation' is brought up, they just say that those people shouldn't drink or just shouldn't come. I'm sorry Jack. I could try helping you find another church, but you'll run into the same problem most anywhere else. And this really is a great congregation...”

“So what can we do?” Jack dropped his fork in frustration, sitting back with crossed arms.

Mike thought for a moment before blowing out a hard breath. “We keep our heads down and just keep praying for mercy.”


What is your judgment on the congregation in this story? Is Jack really “pathetic” for struggling in the face of so much temptation? Or should the church provide a “safe haven”, bearing with the weaknesses of her members, endeavoring to encourage them towards faithfulness instead of carelessly dropping stumbling blocks in their path?

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” Romans 14:13

“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” Romans 14:21

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” Romans 15:1,2

“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” 1 Corinthians 8:13

“Then He said unto the disciples, 'It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:1,2

The verdict is clear.

Of course, this story might sound a bit bizarre. Indeed, I know no congregation that is so forthcoming about their enjoyment of alcohol that they serve no other beverage, even going so far as to spike the water. (Ew?) But this story is merely an analogy. In reality, while Jack the Repentant Alcoholic would find a blessed oasis in every congregation that I know, Jack the Repentant Adulterer (Matthew 5:28) would not.

That's what this story is really about. Modesty.

Picture it now. Instead of being greeted at the door by a smiling pastor's daughter holding a solo cup of moonshine, her shirt is unbuttoned to reveal a lot of skin upon which the sun shouldn't shine. The kitchen is swarming with ladies, not who are mixing tantalizing drinks, but instead who are sporting tantalizing curves. The girl he intends to marry attracts him with her radiant character, but then entices him to crack under the pressure of trying to please her, and he allows himself to drop his guard and lust after everything she's showing him prematurely. Even a 'cold cup of water' in the form of encouragement often comes with the temptation to let his eyes linger, his mind engage, his flesh react. For this Jack, the battle rages at the potlucks, kids' parties, Bible studies—he can't even find rest on the Lord's Day!

This. Is. Tragic.

Fact: Just like there is nothing inherently evil about alcohol, there is nothing inherently evil about any part of the human body. God placed Adam and Eve in the garden without a stitch of clothing, and proclaimed His creation to be “very good.” Man is a fallen creature, but Christ rose again in the flesh, triumphing over the material as well as the spiritual. By His grace, a woman's body can be displayed and enjoyed lawfully—but it must be done lawfully.

Fact: Just like alcohol has a lawful purpose (hold the debate—this article really isn't about alcohol), so a woman's unclothed beauty has a lawful purpose. Just as alcohol can lawfully be consumed (I said hold it!) in moderation, a man can enjoy unclothed beauty only inside a covenant relationship with his wife. Just as there is a time and place for alcohol (Presbys, read: probably not when greeting a new convert at the door. Baptists, I can feel that many of you are about to explode at request to “hold it.” My sincerest apologies.), there is a time and place for unclothed beauty.

Fact: Just like alcoholic consumption should be avoided when weaker brethren are known to be present, unclothed beauty should be avoided when any brethren are known to be present. Yes, I realize I'm being redundant.

Fact: Christian women in America, by and large, seem lost on the previous point. That's why I'm being redundant. I understand that newly converted ladies must be discipled. But there are many, many ladies who know better and yet push the line (or erase it) anyway. This includes myself.

Fact: Just as there are many Christians who have history of alcoholism, there are many Christian men who have a history of pornography. Every Christian man has probably struggled with resisting double-takes at least once in his life—and these guys rarely get to leave the battleground.

Fact: Unlike alcoholism, lust is a struggle for all men.

Fact: Unlike alcohol, immodesty is something that few American men can realistically avoid (and those guys are probably living in a secluded cabin in the woods somewhere). Sadly, this includes Christian fellowship.

Fact: Unlike alcohol, low doses of unclothed beauty affect men in powerful ways. A drop of alcohol won't make a man drunk even if he wanted it to, but even a hint of a woman's form can solicit a lustful response from an unguarded man. Sisters, are you wisely cautious of alcohol, knowing that it's dragged down even the greatest of men into a pit of groveling foolishness? Your body is potentially more fatal than even the bottle, and you are responsible for the way that you are dressed.

Fact: Paul didn't think that becoming a vegetarian in order to avoid cause someone to stumble was giving the weaker brother a crutch (1 Corinthians 8:13). Would he think, then, that Christian women whom are striving to dress in a manner that wouldn't cause their brethren to stumble are giving their brothers a crutch? Eating meat isn't even a sin: dressing immodestly is.

Fact: Girls have a hard time seeing the way that men do. However, men are willing to give their advice to their female family members when they know that the girl won't retaliate defensively. Ask your father and brothers about your clothing. If you approach them in sincere, godly humility, they'll help you understand what causes a guy to stumble. You can also get inside the minds of over 1,600 Christian guys by checking out the Rebelution Modesty Survey

Fact: Our brothers in Christ are overwhelmingly appreciative of our attempts to dress modestly for their sakes: To My Sisters in Christ—From a Grateful Young Man & A New Kind of Modesty  

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel...” 1 Timothy 2:9

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Timothy 2:9,10

Quite obviously, we live in a sexually irresponsible culture. What doesn't seem to be so obvious to many young ladies is the fact that the church is primarily responsible for said culture. No, we aren't walking around like Victoria's Secret models. (Well, unless we're within 100 yards of water.) But, unhappily, most of us seem to be spending a lot more time finding ways to reveal our figure “without crossing the line” than we are trying to love and edify the brothers we have who might be struggling.

Why? Why do we do this? Why would we insist on using our Christian liberty as a license to sin by dressing immodestly, to the point of making every struggling Jack we know miserable? How can we demand that he look us in the eyes when everything below neck level is competing for his attention? How can we ignore the fact that he spends almost every moment when out and about, striving hard to fight images that jump at him from screens and advertisements, adverting his eyes from the strange women that invade his view—only to come to church fellowship and face the same battles all over again, only this time surrounding the girls with whom he would really like to just befriend? Our brothers in Christ, these valiant warriors of the faith who are rising up to defend us from the dragons of the world. Can't we be there to give them a cup of cold water without “spiking” it?

Don't we love them enough for that?


And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him,

There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan,

As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

And Nathan said to David,

Thou art the man.

~ 2 Samuel 1:1–7a ~

[[To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.]]

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.”

~ Psalms 51:1–4 ~

For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation.”

~ Psalms 149:4 ~

~ Grab This Post ~
Jack's Struggle

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  1. Shelby, this is dead on. Just...dead on. Thank you so much for writing this. I hope that all of the girls who read this post take it to heart, because you've hit the nail quite squarely on the head here. Several dozen times, actually.

    Let me say this as a young man who's dead serious about purity:
    Please, girls, please, don't exploit our weaknesses to fulfill your own desires for attention. It's a whole lot easier for a man to fight the battles of Christ's kingdom when he's not besieged by distracting temptations every single waking hour. It seems that we're at war every waking hour when we're out and about, and even though we are promised that we will win the war...sometimes even a hero loses a battle. And when a man loses this battle, the shame cuts deep and wounds his courage, making him feel so unfit for the fight.

    We are not powerless against temptation, and if we fall we have no excuse for ourselves, just as Jack had no excuse for drinking too much. Defeat is not inevitable. But we appreciate it so much when the local church is a place to be refreshed and re-armed for the fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil, rather than being the place of greatest vulnerability. And let me also tell you that when you set a picture of noble, modest feminine godliness before your brothers in the Lord, you brighten our lives and help us keep clean minds. To those of you who do, thank you, a thousand times thank you. It does such good things for a man's soul to be able to be surrounded by images of what a Godly woman is supposed to be. You refresh us and remind us that it really is worth it to go through all the trouble of keeping up our defenses against the moral degradation that's constantly trying to drag us down in the dirt.

    1. Thank you so much for your exhortations, Andrew.

  2. All I can say is AMEN!

    ♥Love you, Shel. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

  3. Thank you very much for writing this!! I am finding a lack of words to say in light of Andy expressing them exactly, but in a much more eloquent way.

  4. *didn't explode - or even get that close, really*


    This post is amazing, Shelby. Thank you for the encouraging reminder of a part of the reason it is all worthwhile. I loved it (and I love you, too).

    1. Hee. **totally knew KGG was gonna say something like that** ;)

      Thanks, sis. <3

  5. Well, this was just wonderful! Thank you so much. :)

    1. Thank you for reading, Rachel!

      P.S. Your photography is *incredible*.

    2. Thank you! To God be the glory. :)
      Proverbs 3:5-6 <3

  6. Amen! Amen! Amen! What a great analogy! Please, ladies, hear this and take it to heart!

  7. I thought it was a great story, but then I lost all interest in it when you started singling out "Presbys" and Baptists. What? Why? Shame on you for finger-pointing. I won't be back.

    1. Aw, that was only meant to be a gentle tease, Elise!

      I was raised Baptist, regularly visit a Baptist church, and meet with Presbyterians. Many of my best friends identify with both denominations (with many other friends who are all over the board). There's no finger-pointing here, I assure you. =)

    2. As a Presby, I got only the gentlest of teases. We had Jack Daniel's flavored barbeque sauce (non-alcoholic, but we kids were convinced it was spiked ) at family night supper, though... ;-) [This is Rachel Aguilar, btw, I don't have any of the accounts required for comment]

  8. Shelby, since, Andy pretty much already covered all what I was gonna say, I'll just say thank you :)

  9. Thanks for the analogy! So true! Please take heed ladies!

  10. Howdy. I came acrossed y'alls blog via the Sons Of The Remnant. I am blessed beyond measure to find that there are at least a few young folks in this world who care about the Word of the Lord and holy living. 'Jack's Struggle' is simply spectacular, both from a literary viewpoint and more importantly from a scriptural viewpoint. Thank y'all so very much and God bless.