(The following are mostly spontaneous postings which need editing for better clarity.)

The Grace Perspective
Volume 6
(June/July/August 2008)

August 29, 2008

1) Our prayer for others is not that God would relieve the pain of their brokenness, but that he would enable us to support them for making right choices leading to their renewed strength.

2) Our carnal nature fails to invest for an outcome, then becomes disappointed with the brokenness of those we fail.

3) Addiction is always the result of inappropriate choices to relieve the pain of brokenness. We are disappointed and aggravated with recovery programs that fail to identify unmet needs as the reason (problem) for the brokenness but instead point to personal failure, including inherited disease.

4) We understand personal responsibility, but the greatest need for the healing of those in brokenness is not for them to confess their failure to others, but to have those who have failed them to show up in their lives to confess their self-centeredness and stupidity. Whatever may be said about broken people "making a list of all persons we have harmed, and becoming willing to make amends to them" as an essential step to recovery, Jesus instructed the knucklehead users who did the breaking "to leave your performance at the altar, go first to be reconciled to the one you have failed" (Matthew 5:24).

5) Our greatest need is not to connect to the internet for answers, but in quiet time to Christ through his Word by the Holy Spirit.

6) Legalistic churches identify strict standards for behavior and warn of judgment for failure. The broken flee to feel good churches who have no standards (also, to the barroom party life) in order to escape and to be accepted by everyone. Grace ministry points broken people to God's provisions for enabled choices which establish us in health and holiness.

7) We can research worldly resources or our own human reasoning for answers to our questions about life or be filled with the wisdom of the one who is our "wisdom, righteousness and salvation" (1 Corinthians 1:30) and "the way to the Truth about life" (John 14:6).

8) The grace perspective is benevolent to the emergency needs for Plan B solutions - the same Plan B that is hostile to the grace perspective.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H29

August 28, 2008

1) Our experience to be renewed in Christ is the beginning solution for every need we have for guidance and support. He is our wisdom, righteousness, and supply. We do not say his presence within us is strictly all we need, but that it is our greatest need and the foundation of all else he will guide and support us to have.

2) God's first goal for our life is our personal health which begins with the renewal of his life within us. This means every other prayer, desire, need, and hope we have will be attended to in proper order according to his will for us.

3) We will not immediately have in full measure all that God has for us, but must take time to receive it day to day in increasing increments.

4) Human nature runs from its salvation (God's provisions for health) but fights for its addictions to pleasure, power, and possessions.

5) Religious and worldly systems have programs that promote opportunities in church or para-church work for the most talented performers, but we believe God places into his work only those who are focused first on enabled ministry to self (personal health beginning spiritually), then to their wives and children, friends and family members, and next door neighbors.

6) The first useful typewriter was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1873 (Wiki). But more significantly than that, God gave the power of language and communication to Adam who authored the first alphabet. Also, the Holy Spirit communicated to man the very words of The Scripture which we hold in our hands, and it is on him we rely for our understanding of it.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H28

August 27, 2008

1) We know no one who continues unhappy and broken in health who has 1) remained connected daily to the flow of God's life and 2) taken care not to allow entrance of inappropriate elements and influences into his or her heart and body.

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." - Psalm 101:3

"Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is evil, your body is full of darkness." - Luke 11:34

2) Christ knocks at the door of our hearts (Revelation 3:20) in the person of the Holy Spirit who lives within the spirit. The heart is the soul, which is the mind, emotions, and will (our psychological being), and the will is the door upon which he knocks, and which we open to him. He enters into our hearts to bring healing. This is the dynamic for the redemption of those who receive (Romans 1:16-17).

3) The Holy Spirit calls us from within through his Word 1) to receive the life of Christ and 2) to connect to his provisions for our health. But our carnal nature, the world's system, the powers of darkness, and the angel of light (Satan) call to us from without to receive stimulants for energy, and when our health is broken, to inappropriate drugs for recovery. The one fills us with Christ, the other with demons.

4) Users are addicted to the people they use and, most tragically, to the people who use them. Codependency in relationships is two users addicted to each other.

5) Human love, in health, is an appreciation and enjoyment of another, not neediness and addiction.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H27

August 26, 2008

1) The husband's love for his wife is multi dimensional: The love of God for her (agape), the love of her father for her (phileo), and the romantic love of a husband for her (eros). All of these have foundation in Christ and exists together but are expressed independently and progressively from within and forward in the three relationships.

2) Whatever may be said about the status of a wife's health and happiness and service to others, it will reflect the investment of her husband (1 Corinthians 11:7).

3) The most essential need of every human heart is, not to be valuable, which motivates performance for achievement and recognition, but to experience unconditional value (God's love), which enables choices for health and service to others.

4) We can not be healthy until we hear God in order to receive his guidance and support, but the broken hearted will not hear until they are heard, held, and hugged.

5) We support the need for wives to take care of their health, which will reflect in their appearance, but not to gratuitously use their body or behavior to win their husband's favor. Instead, they should remain discreet.

6) Intimacy and sex should mean the same, but it does not in relationship to a user.

7) The loneliest person is not the single woman, but the married woman living with a user.

8) Our best counsel is: Don't serve a user.

9) Whatever may be said about God giving Eve as a "helpmeet" to Adam (Genesis 2:18), we keep in mind that it was in a context, before the fall of man, which no longer exists.

10) We deeply grieve the message of a national tv preacher which parallels the relationship of a wife to her husband with a slave to his master.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H26

August 25, 2008

1) My business friend provides cheap, inferior supplies and equipment to his employees, but has high expectations for their production and performance. But we rejoice in God who is able to make all grace abound to us so that in all things and at all times, having all we need, we are enabled to abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

2) The bane of the "Purpose (Performance) Driven Life" theology is that driven (versus enabled) people resist confessing weakness or failure which is the first step to fruitfulness.

3) In our fallen state, God has provided that life comes from death. That is the reason man eats only by the sweat of his face to sow (Genesis 3:19). Also, why the seed must die, or it abides alone (John 12:24).

4) In every reconciliation, someone must die - as Jesus died to reconcile us to God (Romans 5:10), and as he gave up himself for the health of his Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:25). In the home, it is the role of the husband and parent to die, and in the church, the role of the pastor.

5) JOY (Jesus first, Others second, You third or last) is a terrible acrostic for guiding the Christian life. The heart of Christ in us will guide us to first focus on our own health, beginning with increased relationship to him, resulting in renewed enablement in our service to others

6) Pain is the result of unmet needs and is exacerbated by wrong choices to cope with it.

7) Recovery from essential unmet needs is not in a party but in a person, Jesus Christ.

8) We consider that God's provisions for health promote life and set us free; while pharmaceutical (for example) provisions for pain relief are addictive and have potential to kill.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H25

August 22, 2008

1) Religious legalism provides no support for health except to try hard, or solutions for recovery except to try harder. It is the failing belief system responsible for the tragic sufferings of unmet needs in the home and church. It is also the first to condemn the emergency choices that broken lives turn to in desperation for pain relief.

2) Also at the center of legalistic bondage is the notion that we are lost to eternal judgment because of our evil behavior, and that by repenting and turning away from it, we are saved to eternal life. But the clear message of grace is that we are reconciled to God by turning away from trusting in our good works to trusting instead in the Blood of Christ, and that we are made holy by trusting, not in our own strength, but in the Life of Christ in us to enable our choices for health.

3) Confession of our fallenness and failure is the beginning step to recovery. But the legalistic notion of trying hard (performance) to be holy or to win God's favor is the leading barrier to this confession. This is how religion stumbles over its self to sabotage its own goals.

4) Confession of our failure is painful only when the only solution we have for doing better is ourselves.

5) The tragic outcome of performing to win favor is not only the inevitable failure, but also the denial of the failure (intolerance to confession) because of the pain.

6) Religious legalism is easy enough to identify. It manifests in intimidation (guilt and fear), interrogation (especially from preachers and parents: "When's the last time you...?" Or, "How much do you...?"), expectation, inspection, and focus on goals and outcomes.

But our growth in grace is manifested by ever-increasing investment, initiative, information, explanation, and encouragement.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H22

August 21, 2008

1) The great barrier to health is the notion that the good outcomes we seek are "blessing" granted from God in response to our performance (including to pray) to win his favor or to pacify him. Also that brokenness is his punishment for our misbehavior. Central to grace concepts, however, is the understanding that health and happiness are the outcome of including God's provisions in our lives, and brokenness is directly or indirectly the outcome of making choices that disregard those provisions.

2) Grace counseling indeed does understand the emergency, life-saving physical and psychological needs of brokenness. But we also understand that God allows pain to turn our hearts to him, and that measures to relieve pain, especially choices which have no healing properties - that also lead to addictions - are barriers to healing.

3) The greatest need of the human heart is the confidence that God is in
relationship to us, not for what we can do for him, but for what we will allow him to do for us, that he is an essential support beneath us, not a demanding authoritarian over us, and that, more than valuable to him because of what we do, we are valued by him because of who he is.

4) Brokenness is always the outcome of commitment to increased performance without commitment to increased preparation. Human nature is driven to impulsively perform in order to win favor, and because of other unmet needs; but the heart of Christ within us moves us to take time each day to be renewed in health in order to be strengthened in our service to others.

5) The Performance of Health and the Performance of Brokenness: We who perform to impress will soon enough be broken, but we who perform out of our health will be fruitful.

6) My pastor friend explains his dressing down in his ministry by insisting he is no longer performing for God. But it is because of our brokenness and weariness of performing, not our health, that we dress down.

7) The Rebel and the Religionist, the Slacker and the Performer are cell mates in bondage and ward mates in broken health, both ending up at the same outcome because of unmet needs for strength.

8) God is not slack in our lives, but has manifested himself to and in us clothed in integrity and beauty. Who he is in us is the strength of our health, enabling us to come also before those we serve, not as slouches and with disrespect, but also clothed in integrity and beauty.

9) It is not the person in health who dresses down, but the performer - who first dressed up, then worn with performance and broken, dresses down.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H21

August 20, 2008

1) After conferring with the commentaries, if all we come away with is the understanding of even the best writers, we will still have reason to wonder if we have heard the Truth.

2) Confessing to God our broken heart and burden for others, even to express our hope and desire for him to meet their needs, is not the same as prayer for them. We have no confidence in prayer for others that is not first for ourselves in behalf of them.

3) Whatever can be identified about the broken behavior of others, it only represents their health status. Imposing legalistic expectations on them in order to change their behavior results in additional brokenness; but ministry to guide and support promotes increased health.

4) Sometimes it is absolutely appropriate to disconnect from ministry resources, including when their service to us is fulfilled, or if the resource to which we are connected is dysfunctional. It is also appropriate for us to terminate serving as a resource to others, including when they have not identified us as a resource which God has established to serve their particular need, or when the door of opportunity is not open to provide influence from the grace perspective.

5) While grace leadership does not push through a closed door to impose guidance and support, it does not cease to knock.

6) When a muscle tears, especially the heart muscle, the regimen to build a stronger muscle cannot really begin until the injured muscle mends. During this period of recovery, when we cannot care for ourselves, the caregiving is provided by others. But the goal of this care is not achievements; rather, it is for healing. This is true also when the tear is psychological, i.e., of the soul (mind, emotions, and will).

7) My pastor friend speaks of pastors in recovery who have been failed by their churches. But the sheep do not fail the shepherd; instead they are failed by the hireling who serves his own needs.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H20

August 19, 2008

1) To Protect and to Serve: When I invited the police officer into my office to report an observed robbery, he appropriately refused the courtesies we offer to counselees to sit and relax, but instead, insisted on a posture that assured he was in control. I thought again to remind husbands that whatever might be said about their need to protect their homes, they are not law enforcement, but that God's call to their lives in the home mostly includes to serve the health and happiness needs of their wife and children.

2) Human love is conditional and very fragile. But God's love (agape), birthed and increased in us daily by the Holy Spirit, has power to support us for serving (investing in) the unmet needs of broken people unconditionally (without expectation for return).

3) The city dump and credit card debt give evidence of users who throw away items they could have maintained. We grieve also the user husband who does not know how to invest for health and healing, but throws away his broken family.

4) Religious (Performance) counseling promotes increased commitment to performing (behavior) in order to win God's favor, also the favor of "authoritarian leadership" in the home and church. Grace counseling, however, guides and supports confession of brokenness and daily connection to God's resources for our healing, beginning with relationship to Christ, for increased strength to serve as a resource in service to others.

5) We don't know all the reasons why Sarah called Abraham "Lord" but know that, in past generations, husbands and wives often called their spouse "Mr." or "Mrs." especially in public. Whatever may be said about all that, this we know: A husband who uses, and a wife who is used, will eventually disrespect each other.

6) The young child misbehaved and was reminded he knew better (meaning he had been told), but, in fact, the child did not know better. Very young children (to age three) do not comprehend their parents' intellectualizing rationale for behavior. Instead they must be taught to respond to their parents' expectations simply because mom and dad say so. But they do understand pathos. A child's most critical need during their formation years is to be held and heard so that, when they are older, they will feel safe to listen to rationale. Parents get it backward when they intellectualize to very young children, then attempt to impose rule over their pained, rebellious older children.

Don Loy Whisnant.The Grace Perspective 8H19

August 18, 2008

1) Injury and bondage to brokenness are always the outcome of attempting to meet a demand greater than the strength we have available to support it.

2) We are not defeated because of the adversity without, but because of our brokenness within. Whatever may be said about flexing our muscles to speak with authority against Satan (From the grace perspective, it's performance!), our greatest need is to be filled with Christ.

3) There must certainly be a religious demon who mockingly invites us to engage in battle with Satan because he knows we are no match for him. But he trembles when we confess our brokenness and take time each day to be renewed in who Christ is within us.

4) The enemy of our souls will call us away from God's provisions for our health, then in our brokenness, drive us in desperation to extremes, either to performance (religion) or to rebellion (self-destruction).

5) The latest hype promoting guaranteed steps to successful Christian living has great appeal to our carnal nature seeking yet another new and improved strategy for winning out over the adversity of Satan, the world, and our own fallen human nature. This so that we can humbly celebrate our heroic achievements in the end zone, hopefully to the applause, approval, maybe even adoration, of the crowd.

6) We do not wait to drink water until we are thirsty (The network tv doctor is wrong!), but because we have included it in our scheduled regimen for health. Nor do we wait to take time to read the Bible until we are hurting or because we have an increased interest or urgency, but for the same calculated reason we exercise, sleep, or drink water - it is a scheduled investment for health.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H18

August 16, 2008

1) The principle of reciprocity is not that God gives back to us as we invest in him, but rather that we give to others out of the strength God invests in us.

2) The reason the sequence for our multidimensional health regimen begins with quiet time to be renewed in relationship to Christ is that he nurtures in us an enduring passion for health and purity and supports us to follow through with making healthy food choices and to exercise.

3) The inventions motivated by the pursuit of relief from the pain of unmet needs are different from those motivated by the pursuit of healing.

4) God will absolutely provide every need we have in perfect timing and to our full satisfaction, but we must take time each day to be renewed in our faith (confidence) to trust him, or we will be impulsive to make choices for our lives that will have a disappointing outcome. Abraham with Hagar was slow to learn this.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (essentially to experience God) and all these things will be added unto you." - Matthew 6:33

5) Holding a glass of water is not the same as drinking it. My friend enjoys embracing the Bible to find comfort, but I encouraged her not to exclude her essential need to read it.

6) According to reports, the 911 operator in our city who sent emergency responders to the wrong address, possibly resulting in a death, had over 2100 pages in her 12 year employment file noting concerns about her abilities, including to focus. Also, my ministry friend bought a set of new tires this week, one of which came off the wheel while driving home, rolled into a wall, and bounced back through his windshield. Hurting people in the manufacturing and service industry put us all at risk.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H16

August 15, 2008

1) Absolutely, a husband needs his wife in the same way he needs food. But it is his role, calling, and opportunity to invest for it.

2) We grieve for the wife whose husband does not understand investing for his needs, but demands and expects his wife to meet them anyway. Also for the church whose pastor holds up a standard for performance without pointing to God's provisions for their strength and enablement.

3) Marriages are free from tension that begin with a right concept of God - that he is not in a power position over us, but in support position beneath us.

4) User husbands whine, cry, and throw temper tantrums when left to invest for their needs. Wives who respond to it teach their husbands how to be users.

5) There are really no physical, psychological, or social disorder in the home, church, or world that could not be corrected by functional parents, husbands, and pastors investing in the health and happiness needs of those they serve.

6) Ministry to invest in one husband, parent, or pastor, to guide and support their growth in grace concepts, far outweighs the value of superficial ministry to thousands.

7) We are not intimidated by what we don't know or understand about the Scripture because we do at least understand the concepts of God's grace and know that all Truth flows from and is consistent with it.

8) Writing to communicate the message of grace to hurting people is not the same as writing to grow readership.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H15

August 14, 2008

1) By the "mercy of God" we mean that disposition true to him from which his grace flows to us. The mercy of God, demonstrated by his grace, means more than to withhold judgment, but to provide enablement for the choices that establish us in health and happiness.

2) Pure ministry is pure investment. The most tragic outcome of superficial choices for pain relief (which disregard provisions for healing) is the addiction to pain relievers. This means, to the pain relief junkie, even investment choices for healing must be fun. But investment is not fun. It is mostly bland and boring. The farmer sowing seed knows this. The athlete in the weight room knows it.

3) Adversity from Satan and the world culture presents a hard challenge to our health. Still, the cause when we fail is not really adversity. Neither is the favor of God in reward of our pious attitudes and behavior the reason we prosper. Rather our health and happiness status is mostly the outcome of the choices we make to include God's provisions for healing in our diet (food choices) and lifestyle (scheduled meals, exercise, rest, etc.).

4) When my ministry friend understands more the message of grace, he will become less mulish to identify to his church, also wife and children, the behavior he and God expects from them.

5) The harshest criticism of failure comes from those who have the highest expectations for behavior, but understand least the concepts of investment for outcomes.

6) We men are users by default of our fallen human nature. Our only hope for deliverance from the bondage of using is through our daily renewal in the likeness of Christ. The transformation from user to investor is not instant, but a long journey.

"A man is the image and glory (reflection) of God's care; also the woman is the glory (reflection) of man's care." - 1 Corinthians 11:7 (GracePoint paraphrase in context )

"We who reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory (from strength to strength)." - 2 Corinthians 3:18

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H14

August 13, 2008

1) Our connection to grace resources for the flow of God's provisions into our lives will support us against the adverse elements that put our health at risk. This is because the cold of darkness has no power against the warmth of light. Still, when we make the deliberate choice to connect to inappropriate resources to ease the pain of our unmet needs, the cold will suck the heat right out of our souls like an open window on a cold day, leaving us with broken health and in greater pain. This is the meaning of Paul's concern in Galatians 5:4 that some had "fallen from grace."

2) A man in our town can be seen walking at a fast pace along a busy road with his arm lifted straight up and his finger pointing to the heavens. He may be delusional that he is number one, or fantasizing he just hit a home run and wants to give God the glory as he rounds the bases. Or, as I suspect, he may be giving testimony to his faith in God, that Christ is the one way to Heaven. Whatever may be said about his boldness, we trust that he is also bearing witness of his relationship to Christ by his life in the presence of his family, friends, and neighbors. A public demonstration to strangers can be an unmet "see me" need, and easy by comparison.

3) The information stored in our minds gained from reading or studying the Bible is not the same as Christ the Living Word living in our hearts. The one is an intellectual accomplishment, the other a spiritual dynamic. To illustrate: We may study to earn a science degree in fitness and nutrition but be in poor health ourselves.

4) Judas knew about Jesus, maybe as well as anyone, but he never connected to experience the life of God flowing through him. And we may know the text of Scripture as a student or scholar, maybe as well as anyone, but not be connected (Revelation 3:20) to experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit to impart the life of Christ.

5) My neighbor said she asked the new minister at her church about his position on grace and works (which is legalism). He replied that he believed in a balance, that it should be considered half and half - never mind that the Scripture says the one cannot exist with the other (Romans 11:6), and that Christ said we can do nothing apart from him (John 15:5).
"...not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that is from God and is by faith." - Philippians 3:9

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H13

August 12, 2008

1) Human nature tends to look at bad behavior, perhaps also the anger of God, as the first cause for illness, and that the solution is to make up with God or to stop the bad behavior. But broken health is not totally the result of irresponsible behavior, and the solution is not really to apologize to God or to stop being naughty. Rather, sickness and disease is mainly the result of the absence of nutrition, and recovery is more the outcome of what we start than what we stop, i.e., more what we begin to include in our diets (food choices) and lifestyle that supports health than what we discontinue that breaks it.

2) A family member says she cannot comprehend well what she reads, except, miraculously, the Bible. She understands it is because the Holy Spirit enables her comprehension of his Word.

3) I remember a pastor friend who also could not comprehend well what he read, including the Bible, so he didn't make sense when attempting to explain his beliefs.

4) A dissertation for formal studies in health and physical fitness would appropriately include a rich bibliography. But not so, really, for a treatise on God, his relationship to us, and his redemptive plan. Also, I would hate to know only about health and fitness what I have learned from a book.

5) I told my ministry friend that the Holy Spirit wrote the Scripture and he will read it to us as we follow along. But he says I base my understanding of Scripture on experience instead of on his particular interpretation learned from his commentaries. In my debate with him, I asked if he knew God loved him. He said he did. I asked how he knew. He said because the Bible said so. I told him I also knew for the same reason, but that I mostly knew because God told me so himself, that it was, for example, the difference in his wife reading a letter from him telling her of his love for her, and his holding her in his arms while reading the words of his love to her personally.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H12

August 11, 2008

1) We receive a rudimentary education that establishes us for our understanding of Truth. Teachers are involved in this formation process as a parent is of a growing child. But at some point, having been established in Christ for our foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), we are increased in our understanding of Truth more exclusively though the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This means the mature pastor has a greater resource for his pulpit ministry than to report from the commentaries in his library, which is pabulum.

"Philip ran up and heard (the eunuch) reading Isaiah (chapter 53 about Christ), and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:30-31

"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God..." - Hebrews 6:1

2) No ministry prospers for redemptive work that is occupied with raising funds or building reputation.

3) You will need to stop, not just slow down, to hear God speak to you through his Word.

4) My ministry friend's mother died this morning at 88. She had gotten up as always and was found sitting on her sofa with her Bible in her lap.

5) Denial is the strongest chain of our bondage to sinfulness. But confession of our fallenness and need for Christ is the beginning of our cleansing and enablement for godliness.

6) Identifying the rules is only a superficial support for living a godly life. Christ in us is our only true hope for manifesting the ways and character of God in a lost world. This is the meaning of Christ's words in John 15:1: "I am the true Vine." This means the pulpit does not need to be preoccupied with preaching to motivate performance, but, instead, with teaching to mentor wise choices for increase in health (growth in grace). This is the greatest need of the church and for our community and nation.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H11

August 8, 2008

1) To "submit" in the context of the wife's relationship to her husband in the organic home does not call her to surrender to his rules but "to give opportunity for his influence." Also, the word "authority" means "freedom to act" and in the context of the organic home references the freedom the husband is given by his wife to invest in her health and happiness. The concept is illustrated by Christ knocking at the door of the church, which is his Bride. He does not impose his influence but knocks waiting for an entrance.

2) The husband wins opportunity to influence his wife's health and happiness by first living out his own commitment to health, then winning her confidence that, to him, her health and happiness is his goal for their relationship.

3) My friend seems to think disease is mostly an unavoidable chance-happening, like being struck by lightening which God sometimes allows to punish us or teach us a lesson, and that healing is possible only as an act of God if we repent to behave better. But God's redemptive plan to support our health is through his provisions (in creation and community, and through Christ) to which we choose to connect.

4) I also grieve my friend's willingness to spend thousands of dollars for the treatment of sick animals while refusing to invest in the essential needs for his own personal health.

5) John the Baptist did not come preaching information reported to him at a conference or in a book, but came as a witness to testify concerning what he had experienced.

"There came a man who was sent from God; his name name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the Light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light." -John 1:6-8

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H08

The User Husband

In grace counseling, whatever the husband identifies about his wife's attitudes and behavior that concerns him, it reveals the unmet needs of his wife for which it is his role in the marriage to be a resource. In a less gentle expression: More than her failures, his complaints (condemnation) reveal his failure to invest, more about him that needs counseling support and attention than about her, and that he is a user.

This we know about the typical User Husband: He
  • Loves his wife in the way he loves pizza, entertainment, etc., i.e., for "what she does" for him.
  • Might fight or even die for his wife (like a druggie for his stuff), but not live for her (to invest in her health).
  • Gives to get - with expectations for a return. Sex is about his needs, not his wife's.
  • Becomes bored, builds a tolerance to the person he uses, so is never really satisfied.
  • Wants his wife to pursue him, including for sex.
  • Takes no ownership for failures (his, hers, or the marriage), but identifies her (the used) as the problem.
  • Has an authoritarian view of God, that he is in a power position over us and that we serve him to keep him happy in order to earn blessings or to stay out of trouble with him.
  • Is controlling, a wanna-be authority (rule maker) in the home.
  • Is in denial that he is a user.
  • Resists, resents, and rejects (sometimes hostile to) the concepts of investment leadership.
  • Is vulnerable to the temptations of unfaithfulness, even pornography.
  • Does not invest in his own life for health.
  • Does not have a daily quiet time for extended Scripture reading, confession of need, and prayer.
  • Has an unhappy, unfulfilled wife with declining health who is in bondage to performing to make her husband happy.
  • Is himself a performer, allowing himself to be used by his "superiors" (in his work and church life) for the advancement of their agenda, including their need to look good.
  • Is an unhappy, frustrated, angry man.
  • Etc.
Men are users by default of our fallen human nature. We have no hope to be investors except as Christ in us (grace) makes it possible. Our deliverance from the bondage of using is a long journey and is supported by our daily renewal in the likeness of Christ.

"A man is the image and glory (reflection) of God's care; also the woman is the glory (reflection) of man's care." - 1 Corinthians 11:7 (GracePoint paraphrase in context)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H07

August 6, 2008

The following are basic statements to represent the concepts of Grace as they relate to the counseling we provide:

1. The judgment of God upon mankind is to be mostly understood in an historical sense, i.e., that in the Garden of Eden, God removed himself (the Light of who he is) from man's presence (from within him) because of Adam's disobedience, which resulted in darkness, and in this darkness, man has made choices that have resulted in his broken health and death consistent with the cause and effect laws which govern creation. This means that we are not under imminent threat for God to throw a knockout punch if we displease him.

"Therefore, just as sin (Gr. hamartia, n. "an inward element producing acts, a governing principle or organized power) entered the world through (because of) one man, and death through sin (because of the darkness), in this way death came (spread) to all men, because (in the darkness) all sinned (Gr. hamartano, v. to miss the mark, to err)." - Romans 5:12

Paraphrased (GracePoint): "Therefore just as darkness entered the world because of one man's trespass, so also death entered as the result of the darkness, and in this way also, death spread to all men because, in the darkness, all men sinned."

2. Simultaneously with his judgment upon mankind (actually, before the beginning of time - 2 Timothy 1:9-10), God made provisions for man's redemption through resources in creation, in community (relationships in home and church), and through Christ (his death and resurrected life - Romans 5:10). These provisions flow freely to every person who chooses to connect to the resources that provide them, and are not withheld in Heaven to be given to those who "please" God or make him smile.

3. God created us not for his enjoyment or to fulfill a missing need he had, but in order to share with us the experience of who he is.

4. God values (Gr. agapao) every person unconditionally, not because of who they are, but because of who he is.

5. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. His Blood shed on the cross is the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam's disobedience.

6. God's redemptive plan (predetermined in eternity) for all who choose to
  • trust in the Blood of Christ for their salvation, is to
  • adopt them into his family as his own,
  • transform them to become like Christ, and
  • give them eternal life. (This is the doctrine of election and predestination.)
7. God has no needs. He is in relationship to us, not for what we can do for him, but for what we will allow him to do for us. He is not in a power position over us, but in a support position beneath us. We do not serve (invest in) God; rather he serves us, and others through us. Christ came into the world, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for our redemption. Christ is the Vine from which the strength for our lives flows. He is the bridegroom to the church and gives himself to us for our health and renewal.

8. We live out of our strengths. If we are not connected to appropriate resources to be renewed in strength, or if the resources to which we are connected are dysfunctional, we suffer unmet needs and are broken. We can not "get over" our brokenness. Either our needs are met or we die.

9. Indeed, we are all victims: Victims of Adam's disobedience, of our fallen human nature, of Satanic and worldly adversity, and of dysfunctional resources for our recovery. But we are not victims without the hope of God's provisions to renew us. Greater are his resources to support us than the adversity of evil to destroy us.

10. In the home, the primary role and duty of the husband, having invested in his own health, is to invest in the health and happiness needs of his wife. The first duty of the wife, having invested in her own health, is to connect to the influence of her husband for her increased health and renewal, then out of her renewed strength, to invest in her home (Proverbs 31:10-31) especially as her husband's partner in service to their children. The first duty of the parents, having invested in their own health, is to invest in the health of their children. God places children in the home, not to meet the happiness needs of their parents, but to have their own health needs met. The first role of the father is to provide his children a healthy dad, a healthy mother, and a safe home. The first role of the mother is to serve her children, to provide them a healthy mother and a safe home. In the church, the role of the pastor is to serve the redemptive needs of its members.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H06

Grace: God's Sovereignty, Also His Provisions of Strength, for Our Safety and Protection

God has made provisions for our protection 1) by enabling us to make wise choices which establish us in health, but also 2) as the result of his sovereign watchcare to allow nothing into our lives that does not serve his redemptive purpose for us.

I. God's Provision of Relationship to Christ for our Spiritual Health and Conditioning

Health begins with who Christ is within us. He is the Source of our value for self, passion for purity, faith, humility, and wisdom which motivate and enable our wise choices.

II. God's Provision of Relationships in the Home and Church for our
Intellectual Health and Conditioning: This is knowledge and information and learned skills.

Emotional Health and Conditioning: This is our sense of acceptance, approval, and well-being.

Our Decision-Making Health and Conditioning: This is a disciplined, strong will, which is the command center and combustion chamber for wise choices.

III. God's Provision of Nutritional Elements in Creation for our Physical Health and Conditioning

The inclusion of these elements into our lives results in
  • a strong immune system,
  • muscular and skeletal strength,
  • flexibility, and
  • endurance.
IV. God's Provision of His Sovereign Care to Guard Against Satan and to Watch Over Our Stumbling

This is the care of a loving Heavenly Father who knows we live in a world of dysfunctional resources and that we are broken. He has provided unseen angels and angels unaware to watch over us. He has also provided obvious angels, which include governments, military forces, and law enforcement (Psalm 91:11; Romans 13:1-6).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H05

August 4, 2008

1) Satan will support the movement that wins thousands to salvation if the theology of that movement leaves its new converts to live in bondage to their unmet needs so that the millions, who look on, see no appeal in their experience, turn away, and are lost.

2) Untold numbers of people are lost to eternal judgment because they are being called to surrender allegiance to Christ, to follow him as their King. We are saved, however, when we trust the blood of Christ as the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam's transgression.

3) My confession is this: I don't care about the lost going to Hell. Not really. Not yet, anyhow. If I did, as Charles Spurgeon spoke about, I would crawl across our town on broken glass to keep people from going there.

4) I am deeply dissatified with my best, so have given up my efforts to produce it. Christ in us in fuller measure is our only hope for health and happiness and fruitfulness in redemptive service to others.

5) Christ is the believer's life. Man can more easily create the fragrances of an orange blossom or honeysuckle than he can reproduce in himself the life of Christ.

6) My business friend continues to invest money to increase sales, but is not motivated to invest time and dollars to improve the product he offers.

7) Indeed, we are high maintenance. Our health will not tolerate otherwise.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H04

His Utmost for My Healing

A year or so ago I was terribly grieved by the Purpose Driven Life concept and made some straightforward comments about it in a newsletter, calling it the Performance Driven Life. While "identifying exceptions" (I call it) is not really what our ministry is about, here goes again:

I dearly love and appreciate James Dobson and Andy Stanley, but they are missing it when speaking on the roles of the husband and wife in the marriage. Their insistence that "the first responsibility of the wife is to her husband" sounds good but it is a hurtful concept rooted in legalism. Central to grace counseling is the understanding

1) that the responsibility of the wife is first to her own health, beginning with her relationship to Christ, secondly to her children, then to the care of her husband and home, and

2) that the responsibility of the man in the home is also first to his own health, beginning with his relationship to Christ, secondly as a husband to support his wife in her first calling (as stated above), then as a father to his children. As a father, his first service to his children is to help assure that their mother is healthy.

While I am on a roll, I will add the following: I had to put down Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" several years ago. I don't have any utmost, and although Christ is indeed all the Bible says he is in Heaven and to Israel during his Kingdom Reign, he is mostly to me here on earth, during this age of grace, the lowly, loving, faithful Servant, Shepherd, and Savior giving himself up to heal and sustain me in my dependence on him. I prefer the title, "His Utmost for My Healing."

I once thought the grace message would be widely welcomed since it was so powerful to be setting me free from so much pain and brokenness rooted in my legalistic bondage. But now I understand that it is not, that feel-good solutions carry the day for most people. In fact, the more we grow in our understanding of the grace message, the more we will be challenged, questioned, and even fought.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8H01

Enabled Righteousness: God's Plan to Establish Us in Health

Microsoft Word has a spelling and grammar feature that weighs my formation of words and sentence structure against a standard. The feature argues with my tendency to sometimes use split infinitives and insists that my passive voice expressions should be reconsidered. When my writing is below standard, the program has a way to quietly identify the failure and to alert me. It also gives me the option to research the rule, ignore it, or change my wording to comply, but not to change the rule.

This weighing of my writing by Word helps illustrate the meaning of the Bible word "worthy" which was used in the Greek marketplace to reference the weight (value) of a product in relationship to a standard. The call of Scripture for us to be worthy of Christ carries this meaning. Legalistic interpretation uses the concept to call for our performance in a measure consistent with the standard of Christ. WWJD is an example. Grace theology, however, understands that God works in us to make us worthy, that is, to enable our Christlikeness.

The term "glorify" (as in to glorify God) means to reflect light and references our radiating the Light of who Christ is within us into the darkness of a fallen world so that the lost can have a glimpse of the ways and character of God. At the core of legalism is the notion that this Light is reflected back to God. The reasoning doesn't make sense since God is the Source of Light and is not himself in darkness. The notion, however, does nicely support the religious concept that God is weighing our performance (attitudes and behavior) in order to test our worthiness of his benevolence to us.

We could understand performance to win God's favor if he had a bag of handouts waiting to be won. But the flow of God's provisions for our redemption to establish us in health (spiritually, psychologically, and physically) began immediately following his judgment upon the human race in the Garden of Eden and is free to all who connect (Romans 5:15-17).

Also, God's righteous judgment against mankind followed immediately after Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:16) and is experienced as the cause and effect of our living in a fallen world disconnected from his provisions for our salvation.

Of course we take care to obey the rules because they lead to health and happiness (Romans 6:12-23; 8:13), but grace theology separates between pious performance in order to make God smile and enabled obedience in response to God's plan to establish us in health (Philippians 2:12-13; 3:7-16).

"...that I may grow in Christ and be rooted in him, not having a righteousness of my own which is through self effort to comply to the rules, but is through faith in Christ - a righteousness from God which is by faith." - Philippians 3:9 (GracePoint paraphrase)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G31/#801

July 30, 2008

1) God demonstrated his power at Pentecost in a miraculous way in order to announce the birth of the Church Age. But the salvation of the lost we see mostly in the early church is not a few persons winning many, but many winning a few.

2) The latest research continues to show that while some power (stimulant energy) drinks may have some benefits, they are dangerous when substituted for sufficient amounts of plain water.

3) The choices we make for health are usually not feel-good experiences. When they are, our performance in service to others will be ineffectual.

4) Good evidence that we understand grace is that we understand nutrition.

5) The opposite of our focus on others is not focus on ourselves, but focus on our need for others to focus on us.

6) A new vehicle is not a symbol of health and success, but an old clean one.

7) An Every-Sucker-Once Strategy for Doing Business to Make Money

Where are the business that dare to provide quality products and services to meet customer needs, that live and die by their commitment in the community to integrity and excellence? We are alert to and warn about profit-focused businesses that produce goods and provide services to a minimal standard, devise a marketing scheme to sucker sell them to the trusting, sometimes impulsive, public, and then hold their breath, hoping few care, long enough for them to make short-term gains before getting out of town or changing names.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G30

July 29, 2008

1) In a recent interview, the well-known Christian celebrity said she was surprised by her recent diagnosis of cancer because she was the one in her family who never got sick and, also, because she exercised. But she missed understanding that exercise is only one leg of a three-legged stool - the other two being diet (food choices) and lifestyle (schedule to work, eat, and sleep).

2) Of course, we are alert to elements (including relationships, behaviors, and "food") which poison us, but health is not really the outcome of the adverse we try to exclude, but the essentials we include.

3) Plan B's Impulsiveness to Impose - But Why We Wait for the Rebellious to Return

The father did not pursue the prodigal son to bring him home from his rebellion. Also, Christ does not push through the closed doors of our lives to impose his provisions for our health and happiness, but rather waits to gain entrance. Yet the Great Shepherd left the "ninety and nine" safe in the fold to find the one lost sheep. These examples support our understanding that God rescues us when we wander away in our simplicity and ignorance, and when we cannot help ourselves back, but he waits for the rebellious to repent and choose life.

4) Without the understanding the Holy Spirit gives, we cannot comprehend "the message of grace in all its truth" (Colossians 1:6). Neither can any man teach it to us (1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 1 John 2:27)). We may recognize the concepts they speak about which the Holy Spirit has already taught us, but if we learned about grace from our favorite authors or speakers, our understanding of it will be limited.

5) People pleasers and investors may look the same at first glance. But the one begrudgingly gives pain relief it cannot afford to those they disrespect in order to win favor (codependence); the other cheerfully gives essential needs for health out of their enablement to those they value without expectation of return (grace ministry).

6) Our fallen nature is impulsive to impose our beliefs on others, also to manipulate or control their behavior - this, because the goal of our carnal relationship to them is disingenuous, i.e., for them to serve our own needs. The heart of Christ in us, however, moves us with compassion to be attentive to serve the needs of others, and is not motivated by our needs.

7) There really is no good side to short-term memory loss, but we do get to hear the same good news over and over again and enjoy it each time, see family and friends frequently as if it were for the first time in a while, and enjoy the hope of promises kept without being disappointed if they are not.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G29

July 28, 2008

1) If pets are people too, does that mean we do not need to win our children to Christ?

2) There are at least two ways to be injured: One is to do nothing; the other is to do something we are not healthy and enabled to do because we do nothing.

3) It is not hard work that will kill us, but hard work that is not enabled.

4) My question is: If we are in relationship to God with the burden to make him smile, does this mean the sheep are in relationship to the shepherd to meet his needs? My minister friend insists that the shepherd is, in fact, supported by the sheep's wool. But he misses the point that sheep do not strive and struggle (perform) to produce wool, but rather do it according to the grace principle of living out of the investment of the Shepherd's love and care for them.

5) We grieve for the church whose pastor burdens them with his need to be a hit, who also teaches them that believers are in relationship to God to make him smile - this, we suspect, as a subtle hint of the relationship he secretly desires and expects for himself.

6) Indeed we do stroke God, but not as religious legalists in order to win his favor, but as recipients of his grace, in the way a nursing child delights in its mother.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G28

Disclaimer for The Grace Perspective

We may lose by not reading the writings of Christian authors, but lose more by not hearing God.

(The Grace Perspective is not copied reports of a favorite writer's experience of God, as helpful as they may be, but the witness of my own experience of God and testimony of his communication to me for my personal healing, usually during my quiet times, also while fitness running, and often during ministry to counsel.)

Of course, we report the advice of professionals for such needs as healthcare, maintenance of our homes and cars, etc, but every Christian has an opportunity to experience God personally and to give their own testimony of him instead of mostly reporting the experiences of others.

Once we have cultivated an appetite for whole foods, and have been detoxified of the poison in stimulant foods, our appetite for junk is diminished.

And once we have experienced the surpassing greatness of hearing from God in our quiet time, we just seem to have a diminished interest in the reporting of others as a substitute.

"Whatever was to my profit I now consider rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of experiencing Christ and the power of his resurrection." - Philippians 3:7-11 (GracePoint paraphrased and condensed)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G25

July 24, 2008

1) Volumes are written to help us identify our human weaknesses. But knowing our problems is not the same as understanding grace solutions. We are served better to be renewed and increased in our experience of Christ each day for healing than to research to have expert knowledge of our fallen condition, but remain in bondage.

2) We benefit from the explanation others give us of God, but our understanding of Truth will be unsurpassed by the communication of it given to us personally in our quiet time through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Human curiosity would have us be interested to know what others know, so much that we miss hearing what God wants us to know.

3) So we take care about quoting the comments of others. If it is not our own personal understanding and conviction of Truth, communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, and lived out in our personal experience of it, then it is not truly a witness and testimony, but rather hearsay. It may also perpetuate error.

4) Reading and studying the Scripture as a textbook is beneficial, but it is not the same as reading in our quiet time to give God opportunity to communicate his Truth, also to call us to him. Confusing the two will make both study and quiet time a disappointing experience, which may give explanation to the report that only 5% of Christians read the Bible every day.

5) We do not perform to attend church or read the Bible in order to impress God or others. God has provided resources to us to which we connect that are functional and powerful for our redemption. We disconnect from all others.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G24

Carrot Juice: Set Free to Talk Straight Up in Truth and Love

I bought my first juicer used from a friend who had it only a few weeks. He said he could not tolerate the vegetable and fruit juices, that they tore up his stomach, although he could tolerate colas, coffee, greasy foods, and sweets.

Straight talk is sort of this way. Healthy people are enabled to talk straight up in love and truth to each other in pursuit of appropriate goals. My vendor friend responds wonderfully when I offer honest feedback to report my concerns with his company's products and services. Others are sometimes offended and react.

When pressing my minister friend's position on a subject or challenging him for a clarification of his statements, he sometimes seems intolerant and reacts as if he feels attacked, so he mostly engages in indirect, evasive, or junk talk, or simply attacks.

We feel condemnation, not really because of what we hear that hurts, but because of what we have not heard by the Holy Spirit through his Word that heals.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G23

Sharing in the Sufferings of Christ

We have opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ when we confess our powerlessness to bear up under the weight of a fallen world and, instead of scheming, striving, and struggling to perform anyhow and somehow, to connect (despite every possible resistance, including time constraints, weather, and our own laziness) to receive from God his multidimensional provisions for our enablement, beginning with Christ, but also including proper diet and exercise. (And we thought "the sufferings of Christ" was our victimization!)

I Can Do It: The Big Deception

The false hope that "I can do it" is the reason our human nature is tempted to begin the work day performing - getting on with our projects or taking on our duties, relying on coffee, colas, and sweets for stimulant energy, also on feel-good sounds from the radio, tv, etc. - the outcome of which is poor performance, wood, hay, and stubble outcomes, and broken health. Grace counseling supports beginning our day with a confession of our fallenness and need for renewal, first mentally and emotionally by the Holy Spirit through his Word, then physically with a high protein breakfast, water or green tea, and at least 30 minutes of conditioning exercise. This is God's redemptive plan to "work in us" his enablement for doing "all things" (Philippians 2:12-13; 4:13).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G22

July 21, 2008

Our deepest health is rooted in our faith (conviction), understanding (theology), and experience of God, that
  • his love for us is unconditional,
  • his interest in every detail of our lives is intense and passionate, and
  • his commitment to our health and happiness is unfailing.
If our understanding of God's relationship to us is that it is essentially about him, i.e., that he created us to make him smile, then we become easy prey, because of our inevitable failure, to the attacks and condemnation of religious legalists, and especially of Satan. These feelings of fear, condemnation, and judgment are at the core of our unwise choices and broken health.

Central to grace counseling is a Scriptural understanding of God's call for us to "glorify" him. The Greek word "doxazo" means "to manifest or reflect the character and ways of God." This is the meaning of Paul's confession in Philippians 1:20: "It is my deepest and most earnest hope and desire that I will not be paled (dimwatted) by fear or failure, but that with all boldness (like a beacon), I will manifest/exhibit through my body the Light of who Christ is (into a dark world), whether in my sufferings or support, or by my life or death" (GracePoint paraphrase). This is also the context for understanding John 15:8, that God is revealed (glorified) by out manifesting who he is into the world.

Somehow religious legalists have turned this to mean that God has a need for his Light to manifest, not into a dark world in order to radiate who he is to the lost and hurting, but back to him as if he is sustained by it (or maybe as the precondition for staying out of trouble with him, or even to earn a handout which they call "blessings").

I recall the troubled teenage girl who confessed she dressed to seduce and acted out because her sense of self worth came from others (the worst of psychological bondage). I recall my own time of legalistic ministry, motivated and compromised by my unhealthy need to be a hit, performing for God and others in hope to establish a sense of self-worth.

So while we can understand the unfortunate need we broken humans have to find our sense of value and significance as it is reflected back to us from the response of others with whom we interact, it is a silly notion that God has that need also.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G21

July 19, 2008

The first The Grace Perspective was posted eight years ago today on July 19, 2000.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G19

July 18, 2008

1) It is not only unscriptural, but also unreasonable, that we can have no regard for our own health, to the point we are sickly and broken, yet pray for God to circumvent our disobedience to give us health anyway: Also, to ask God to heal others with disregard to their neglectful choices.

"How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" - Hebrews 2:3

2) Those for whom we pray may experience the answer to our prayers through our direct personal ministry to give, speak, help, or touch in some meaningful way. Or, indirectly, as we ourselves, being individual parts of the body of Christ, are increased in strength, and in that way, serve organically every member, consistent with the teaching of 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. But there is no Scriptural basis for our prayers for others that does not include as the root of the answer our surrender to the work God does to prepare us as conduits in some way for the flow of his provisions to them.

3) Our hope to get over the burdensome manifestations of our sinful condition will not be to deny them, suppress them, outrun them, or try to perform over top of them, but to be purged of them by the sanctifying process of Christ's Life birthed and nurtured in us daily by the Holy Spirit through his Word (John 15:3; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5).

4) Obedience to God is not jumping around nervously attending to every rule imposed on us by religion, but living in enabled response to the guidelines for health which God has written on our hearts (i.e., which we have as a result of Christ's presence in our heart). This is the context for the following:

"Continue to work out your own healing, for God works in you both to will and to do according to his plan for your recovery and renewal." - Philippians 2:12-13 (GracePoint paraphrase).

"All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." - Philippians 3:15-16 (NIV)

5) We have this evidence to identify God's provisions for our health: They have no contraindications or side effects but, instead, produce healing and energy. Also, healing takes time. Our expectation for God's solutions to work like a pharmaceutical drug will be disappointed.

6) Grace counseling guides and supports quiet connection to Christ (worship) through his Word by the Holy Spirit. The experience of connection itself may be as quiet and bland as spinach leaves or no more emotionally exciting than fitness walking or lifting weights, but the outcome is increased health to set us free from the bondage of our fallen human condition. The result also is our experience of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

7) No one could possible enjoy or be moved by music more than I. (I am of German descent. Germans are music lovers, even, I am told, to the fourth generation, which I am.) Still, we continue to warn that we humans build tolerance to the emotional (just as we do the physical) stimulants we choose for pain relief, that they will not serve to relieve us tomorrow in the same way they do today, but will instead leave us in a deeper, darker place than before. This means we do not need to wonder why we are still in bondage to our brokenness and depression even after reliance on a steady diet of feel-good music and other emotionally charged experiences.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G18

July 17, 2008

1) God indeed does work personally and dynamically through us as vessels of ministry to others, including to communicate Truth, provide food, and even to touch, hold, or embrace. But he does not inhabit images or jewelry, etc. as a resource for the flow of his Life to meet our redemptive needs.

2) It is an appropriate occupation of a ministry's time to receive, count, and manage the funds it receives, but ministry is astray when it is occupied with fundraising.

3) We particularly grieve the poor souls who attend church on Sunday longing to hear a fresh word from God through his servant, but sit instead to listen to performances from the minister's repertoire of favorite sheet sermons. If it is not a performance, then why the applause?

4) Where is the retailer or service provider who is committed to integrity and true value? We have learned that the popular rebate promotions are a scam of sorts. Some retailers have recently been exposed as little more than con artists devising schemes to avoid payment of promised rebates, including to send checks in throw-away, advertisement-looking bulk mail, which has decreased their number of actual payouts to about 50%.

5) While preoccupation with perfection may be a broken health issue, so also is selling out to a minimal standard. The standard of Christ, birthed and nurture in us by the Holy Spirit, is commitment to excellence, not in order to win applause, but because of his passion in us to serve purely and effectually the redemptive needs of others.

6) We are alert to the betrayal of our fallen human nature during financial challenges to cut back on the essentials which support health. This means we are tempted, for example, to eliminate quality vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements in favor of entertainment, etc..

7) Whatever may be said about Fox Cable News' "fair and balance" policy for presenting political views, it seemingly does not apply to solutions for health issues, to wit, its reporting is one-sided in favor of traditional medical practices, including pharmaceuticals, over natural solutions. For just one unfortunate example among many, Dr. (medical expert) advises drinking water only as we are thirsty, but promotes sleeping pills for insomnia with disregard to dehydration as a leading cause.

8) We sometimes invite into our computers more than we ask for when we link to websites looking for legitimate information. Satan, who roams the earth seeking whom he may devour, must have spawned the idea.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G17

July 16, 2008

1) Our hope for Heaven is not in the outcome of doing our best to follow the rules as we are able to determine what they are, but in our union with Christ, which is the standing of all who trust in his blood shed on the cross for us as the only payment God will accept in our behalf to satisfy his judgment against mankind because of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Romans Chapter 5).

2) In our youth we learn from others who report what the Holy Spirit is teaching them. That makes us students. But no one should really attempt to fill the office of a pastor/elder in the church, or to be a teacher of Truth, who is only passing along what he/she is learning from others.

3) Error can enter your mind through entertainment and the door of pride, but Truth enters by the Holy Spirit and his Word through the door of brokenness.

4) My friend says there is a lot of tension in his marriage, that he and his wife seem to argue more than not. I learned in a short conversation that he did not understand his wife's needs, or his role of grace leadership in the organic home to provide them; also, that they manage to survive their marriage by keeping busy, and by staying drunk on entertainment.

5) "I love the Lord" can be a very shallow sentiment. Man may have a pious disposition toward God calculated to get a handout, also a sense of need to please him in order to stay out of trouble with him, but it is impossible to be in awe of God and to desire who he is unless "Christ in us" enables it. The promise in Romans 8:28, that God is working in all things to accomplish his redemptive purpose for those who love him, is to those who respond to his call to be connected to the flow of his provisions, beginning with intimate relationship to Christ through his Word.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G16

July 15, 2008

1) We are alerted to our impulses, that they do not serve us well. Our best evidence of God's Will for us to go is our willingness to also stay.

2) The appropriate resources to which you are connected will assume responsibility for your renewal and health. Dysfunctional resources will not take ownership of your failure but, instead, identify you as the problem.

3) The ability to identify problems without identifying solutions is only criticism. But without the enablement Christ gives, neither one will carry the day.

4) Truth is intolerant to compromise, but never to the rights of error to be heard in the free market of ideas.

5) Truth is simple, so simple that human vanity strives to invent high sounding concepts in order to add significance and credibility, but which take us on a lifelong journey into the wilderness of error.

6) Absolutely, we had rather start poorly but be renewed to finish well than to be a flash that falters without recovery.

7) A professional in the world's system has opportunity to be wealthy, but a minister, called and prepared for redemptive service to others, has opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ.

"As it is written, we face death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered." - Romans 8:26

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G15

July 14, 2008

1) The powers of darkness may be at war against us, but it is not our war to fight. When we do, we lose.

2) Popular "praise and worship" melodies sometimes have it wrong. We may lift our voices to praise God (commend him to others), but we do not really lift our voices to worship God; rather we open our hearts.

3) More than the need to know intellectually how a Christian should behave, or to commit with solemn oath to follow all the rules, grace counseling points to our need to be filled with the presence of Christ in order to have our deepest, inmost needs met (for acceptance, also to be healed of our fears and anger issues and poisoned appetites).

4) We cannot cut out of our lives the evil that contaminates our attitudes and behavior, but only be purged of it by the increased presence of Christ in us for our sanctification.

5) God, by the Holy Spirit through his Word, will birth and nurture in us his passion for purity, and also allow us to experience the hurt and brokenness of our foolish behavior, both in order to influence us to make better choices, but he will not intervene to impose those choices on us with disregard to the free will he has given us.

6) The best chosen words of the most gifted writer or speaker are inadequate to represents the reality of God or Heaven (and should include that disclaimer), so we dare not attempt it, but, instead, guide and support seekers to experience it in increasing measure for themselves during their quiet time for Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship.

7) My friend feels like a worthless victim. Indeed we are all victims, but not worthless victims. Well, maybe we are worthless also, but we are not worthless victims without hope.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G14

Rejoicing and Regret: The Two Sufferings

There is a suffering we call adversity: It is our experience of living under the weight of a fallen world. This is the suffering of rejoicing to which we are called to share in fellowship with Christ. God's purpose for allowing this suffering is to call us into the fullness of relationship with Christ so that we can know him (experience his righteousness) and share in the power of his resurrection which is the dynamic of our sanctification and by which we live in health and happiness and in useful service to others as overcomers (Philippians 3:7-11; Romans 1:17).

"...we are co-heirs with Christ (share in his glory, that is, in his righteousness and resurrection power for our lives), if indeed we share in his sufferings..." - Romans 8:17

There is also a suffering we call brokenness: This is the sufferings of regret and is the result of our attempts to escape the sufferings (adversity) of Christ through inappropriate choices for pain relief, which, in fact, result ultimately in increased pain through broken health, including addictions.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G11

July 10, 2008

1) We have not found it to be true that a person with unmet needs can care for or invest in the needs of others, but only to use them for pain relief.

2) Men are users of women because they are born that way; also, because women tolerate it.

3) When women allow themselves to be used, they can also expect to be increasingly disrespected.

4) We do not counsel wives to perform for their husband in ways calculated (per Plan B marriage counseling) to motivate him to meet her needs. But we do encourage them, as they are growing in their confidence that their husband is beginning to embrace the concepts of grace leadership, to help the ol' boy out occasionally by saying to him those 7 magic words: "I need you, would you help me?"

5) Wives delight to serve the needs of their husband when it has become their confidence that he has given up his self-centered nonsense in order to invest in their health and happiness. But they have tired of the expectation imposed on them by religious tradition to serve a husband who uses them. We understand the women's liberation movement; also, the reason it has been rejected by religious traditionalists who have been served so well by the old system.

6) With due respect to the Plan B experts who insist otherwise, the intensity of romance does not need to leave a marriage after the first year or so. What diminishes is the excitement of lust. Said another way, lost passion is an increase in tolerance to the excitement of using another person to satisfy inappropriate user needs. Men who have been transformed by the heart of Christ to invest in their bride, do not initiate down the path of using, but from day one in the relationship, they invest in her health and happiness needs - which means, rather than her losing value to them, she increases in value. Jesus said, "Where your treasure (investment) is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).

7) This means, also, that a wife can experience her husband in a way that increases her confidence that, in his relationship to her, he is motivated by his passion to serve her health and happiness needs, and that, to him, "it is all about her." The outcome is a romantic response from the wife, reciprocally, in ways more delightful to her husband than he could have hoped for or demanded otherwise. (This is a picture of how God relates to us and of our response to him.)

Don Loy Whisnant / The Grace Perspective 8G10

July 9, 2008

1) We are alert to Evil in cyberspace to infect our computers, then follow to promote its own solutions which take ownership of our lives (bondage) in the same way we are alert to the wiles of Satan, the prince of darkness (sometimes masquerading as an angel of light), who roams throughout the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

2) We do not need to beg and plead for provisions of food or water to do dynamically and effectually in us exactly what God created and provided them to do in order to support our health; we need only to receive them. And we do not need to beg and plead to be filled with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, humility, faith, and impulse control: They are the promised outcome of taking time daily to sit quietly before God with an open Bible for Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship.

3) More hocus-pocus: We have warned that prayer handkerchiefs, crosses, images of saints, etc., and also olive oil, have no value to increase righteousness and holiness in us, or to move God to perform in our lives to meet our needs. And now comes another pricy new hoax to deceive: Religious tv programming is offering a bracelet with "precious stones named in the Bible" in order to increase the faith of those who purchase and wear it.

4) God does not jump around to respond to our demands, including to send rain, but provides faithfully for those who trust him.

5) Hurting people are consumed with their pain; also with whatever is the cheapest, quickest, and most sensationally available promise for pain relief. The concepts of appropriate choices for health is difficult for them to accept: It all sounds like judgment and condemnation. Now we understand the appeal of Outback's slogan, "No rules."

Don Loy Whisnant / The Grace Perspective 8G09

Tv Sermons: A Troubling Source for Hodge Podge

We suspect many are lost (to eternal judgment) because redemption has been presented to them as based upon their surrender to follow an authoritarian Lord and Master (confusing their theology with Old Testament law and the future Kingdom Age rule of Christ on earth). But God's reign and rule in our lives is not imposed. We welcome it in our hearts because of his love and care for us which we have experienced through our relationship to Christ.

Having a few moments recently before leaving out the door, I turned on religious tv to hear, "It is our responsibility to make Jesus known to the world." It got loud applause from the tv crowd, but the pastor's declaration from the pulpit just wasn't true. Rather, it is our calling to experience Christ for sanctification so that he can make himself known through us into the world."

Switching channels, I heard: "How clean does God want us to be? So clean that the Holy Spirit can live in us." Well, no. Tv off!

No Christlike attitude or behavior is possible except "Christ in us" enables it. Instead of calling from the pulpit for us to care about others, to be happy, humble, patient, etc., religious legalists would be more consistent with their performance theology just to say, "Try to act like you care, are happy, humble, etc..."

We should not at all be surprised by what is true about our fallen human condition. Nor do we have much hope by our own strengths to get over it. Our only hope for holiness is the righteousness of Christ imparted and renewed in us by the Holy Spirit. This is the righteousness which is the power (dynamic) of God for our salvation, every aspect of it, to everyone who believes, and for which Paul longed to take hold of (experience) more fully (Romans 1:16-17; Philippians 3:7-14).

Don Loy Whisnant / The Grace Perspective 8G08

July 7, 2008

1) There is a comfort (ease) that is based in the absence of pressure, but also a comfort (enablement) based in the presence of support to endure the pressure. Ease may be considered relief, but it does not result in increased health. Enablement is patient endurance for bearing up under the weight of living in a fallen world.

2) Hurting is an experience; brokenness is an event. God allows us to experience hurt for the purpose of turning our attention to seek appropriate choices for our lives which lead to our recovery. But when we, instead, seek relief from (i.e., to circumvent) the pain in superficial ways, he allows our circumstances to erode into the brokenness which inevitably follows. This brokenness is usually a crisis, an event of life when we either respond to God, or we die.

3) The ongoing debate between conventional and alternative medicines to treat diseases misses the real issue and is a distraction from God's plan for us to include his provisions in our lives in order to prevent diseases.

4) If we trust that when A happens, B will follow, the brain cooperates to send an accommodating signal. This is one of the principles of metaphysics and is a debated therapy for pain relief. Sometimes it is called the placebo effect. But at some point, mind games fail. For example, positive thinking about oxygen or food will not substitute for breathing or eating.

5) My friend insists there is no such thing as false hope, that there is only hope, but hope that is not based in Truth will not turn out well in eternity.

6) I have the option to talk to you about Christ out of my textbook/seminar information about him, or I can be filled with him in increasing measure so that, through a vessel sanctified for his use, he can speak to you about himself.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G07

July 4, 2008

Whatever concerns we have for supporting the war in Iraq, it will not be because of our unwillingness to invest/sacrifice for our nation's security and future.

Our unmet needs and broken health refocuses our attention to relief so that we cannot tolerate the concept of investment in others. This, as much as anything, may be at the root of our resistance to America's costly liberation efforts in Iraq.

Also, some of the resistance to America's involvement in Iraq is disingenuous and runs a little deeper than reported. At the heart of it, as we view it from our understanding of human nature, is our reluctance to take on the weighty responsibility for our own health, preferring instead to be "kept" even at the expense of our freedom. In others words, although we do not want to be oppressed or abused by government, neither are we always willing to take ownership for the responsibilities of living free.

This gives some explanation why sometimes wives will remain in an oppressive relationship with an abusive husband.

Of course a husband may be blessed by his wife's presence in his life, even by her support, usually emotionally during difficult times. But it is not her role in the relationship to be a resource for his support. We have concluded from our counseling interviews that wives tend to take on a support role in relationship to their husband because they "feel sorry for him" (while at the same time wondering why they lose respect for each other). Also, wives sometimes expand their motherly disposition/instinct to include their husband as one of their children. But the most alarming reason wives may surrender to a man's ownership is as payment in return for her security, etc, which is slavery. This is the very slavery from which grace (our relationship to Christ) sets us free.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G04

July 3, 2008

The basic definition we use for "sin" (the act) is "any choice we make to meet our essential needs with disregard to the solutions God has already provided to meet those needs." For an easy example, stealing is sin.

We do not steal for at least 4 reasons:
  • It is illegal. If we are caught, we can go to prison.
  • It violates the rights of others.
  • We have already connected to God's resources for our supply, so our needs are met.
  • The heart of Christ in us sanctifies us so that it is not a temptation
Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G03

July 2, 2008

1) Condemnation of self and others is the default disposition of our fallen human nature. This means love and compassion for self and others is not a human ability, try as we might. Our only hope to be reprogrammed (transformed) is through our renewal of "who Christ is" in us.

2) Prayer for compassion, patience, wisdom, peace, contentment, etc. which we long for, without taking time to be renewed in the likeness of Christ in our quiet time, is the same as praying to be hydrated without drinking water, or to have energy without exercising.

3) We consider all that man writes to be only theory, but embrace as Truth the message we hear from God by the Holy Spirit through his Word.

4) Concepts of grace cannot be grasped through human intellectualizing. We may have some opportunity to give testimony to our understanding of grace as the Holy Spirit makes it known to us through our experience of Christ, but the human mind cannot otherwise comprehend fully God‘s redemptive plan. So we weigh all that we read and hear on the subject of grace against the understanding and experience we are renewed in daily by the Holy Spirit as we take time to sit quietly before him with an open Bible for Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship (connecting).

5) Knowledge (as information) from all sources is stored in our intellect, but faith is conviction of Truth imparted by the Holy Spirit and is our only trusted Source for knowledge. (There is only one faith - Ephesians 4:5.) In the Last Days, according to the prophet Daniel, information on the earth will increase, But Jesus asked, "When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith (Gr. pistis: "conviction of Truth") on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).

6) My neighbor said he began attending a church small group because it had no leader and was a forum for free thought, but that the group disbanded because everyone was intolerant to being wrong. I told him God provides multidimensional resources for our growth, beginning with relationship to Christ and his Word, but also through grace leadership resources in the church, and that he should seek to connect to those resources for his own growth and support, and also in order that he might himself become a grace leadership resource to serve others.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G02

Grace Counseling: More Than Relief from Hurting, A Resource for Healing

The goal of grace counseling is not just relief from the inconvenience of pain but recovery from the devastation of brokenness. It is only in our brokenness that we come to crisis, where we get better or die, where we give up or connect for healing.

Formal counseling methods have been researched and developed that can be "too cute by half" (as we say) for dealing with counseling needs. Some of these methods we support, and may sometimes employ. But mostly our calling is to provide counseling to people who are broken. Brokenness, as we define it, is not the same as hurting. Hurting people seek relief; but broken people seek healing and recovery. Also, hurting people typically are in denial of their fallenness and tend to protect their "drugs" of choice for pain relief, so barricade themselves against Truth. Plan B counselors are trained to navigate these barriers in order to manipulate a change in behavior, but do not identify or address the root problem.

But no barriers remain in brokenness. Broken people are in crisis. They often have worked to exhaustion through the failure and disappointment of Plan B performance counseling and are now desperate. Either they quickly find solutions for recovery, or they die. If and when they turn to God in full confession of their need for help, he directs them to resources such as ours for Plan A guidance and support. We have found that broken people are uniquely ready to listen, so the "too cute by half" dance with them is not needed.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8G01

June 30, 2008

1) My friend said his neighbor was in trouble with her health and finances and asked me to pray for her. I asked him what he was doing to help. He said he did not want to get involved that way.

2) Prayer for the salvation of the lost begins with personal surrender to be renewed daily in the fullness of "who Christ is" for preparation and enablement as a vessel through whom the Holy Spirit communicates the Gospel Message, beginning to our family, friends, and neighbors. In other words, pious prayer for the unsaved around the world that does not involve us in the fulfillment of the prayer, either to go or to send, is foolishness and a waste of time. Also, a wile of Satan.

3) God's call to every person is in the following order: personal health, investment in family, and usefulness in redemptive service to others, beginning with testifying to the good news of God's grace.

4) Vanity preaching from the pulpit (or writing) to report information we labor to learn with the hope that others will be impressed is not the same as anointed (grace enabled) preaching which communicates "the message of grace (taught by the Holy Spirit) in all its Truth" to those we serve.

5) Unless we are taught by the Holy Spirit, we may always be learning but never able to come to the knowledge (experience and understanding) of Truth.

6) Our carnal nature will run from grace until we are broken and have no other place to go. It loves to hate in others what we hate in ourselves, to find fault with others in hopes to neutralize our own self-hatred, and, rather than to know only Christ and learn of him, to feed on portions of error in order to boast in our minds that we are not like others.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F30

June 27, 2008

1) We make a necessary distinction between praise and rejoicing. We rejoice in Christ because of our experience of his presence in our lives to renew, refresh, and restore us. But we praise (commend) him to others concerning that experience. This is not the same as praise in the sense of complimenting God with the hope of reward, that is, to stroke him (to make him smile) in order to stay out of trouble with him or to gain favor. This is how Christian legalists relate to each other, and is the oldest hustle.

2) Legalism fails to understand the Bible term "slave" in the context of our grace relationship to Christ. The Old Testament concept of "slave" is of owned property (sometimes the spoil of war) forced into fearful service to a king, ruler, or authority. In the context of New Testament grace theology, the concept of "slave" is of a vessel, tool, or vehicle surrendered and specially prepared by God for usefulness in humble service to meet the needs of others - also, a free person, volunteer, friend, or family member with total reliance on a loving Father's provisions for enablement.

This enablement is the servant heart of Christ (birthed in us) who himself came, not to be served, but to serve the redemptive needs of others (which included giving up his life as a sin offering). Also, Christ did not serve (give his life for) God because God has no redemptive needs to be served.

3) Scriptural asking in prayer does not exist apart from receiving. This means it is foolishness to ask God for an outcome that does not include receiving his provisions to accomplish the outcome. This is the hocus pocus praying we speak of that seeks relief from painful circumstances (to circumvent the outcome of unwise choices), but does not ask to receive or connect with God's provisions.

4) Indeed, we must wait patiently in faith for God provisions (Romans 8:25), but they endure and we are satisfied longterm. All that we scheme to obtain quickly and impulsively will soon disappoint.

5) Ministry which is guided by formulas learned only from classroom or seminar studies will be superficial. God accomplishes his eternal work (redemption) by the Holy Spirit who produces in us "who Christ is" to enable our mind, motivation, and movement for appropriately and timely interacting with others for ministry in a way that is effectual.

6) Of course we do not really know all that transpired in Heaven leading up to Christ coming to Earth. But we suspect that Christ was fully consumed by the heart of God for a lost and dying creation, and that he could do no other than to give himself up for our redemption. This is the same heart the Holy Spirit births and nurtures in us that effectually moves and enables us for the redemptive work which God does through us in Christ's stead.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F27

June 26, 2008

1) A recent article offers this Plan B advice for "How to Be Bold!": "Pretend you are already bold. Switch places in your mind with somebody who is bold and ask yourself what would they do in your shoes? Imagine how they would act. Or think of a character from a movie or book who's daring and brave. Spend one hour a day or one day a week pretending to be them."

Plan B is hard work. Positive or imagination thinking and other mind games can be therapeutic and may be beneficial for performing (maybe for playing golf), but God has made provisions to impart "who he is" (grace) into our hearts (his love, joy, and peace, for example) so that, as we take time daily in our quiet time to be renewed by the flow of his life into our hearts (this is worship), all that is true about Christ can be increasingly realized in our lives both as we interact with others and in the deportment of our duties.

"Perfect love (who Christ is in us) casts out fear... He who fears is not made perfect in love." - 1 John 4:18

2) God will be faithful to bring into our lives his resources for meeting our essential needs to establish us in health and happiness so that we do not need to connect to worldly options that rob rather than invest.

3) The young pastor said he was mentored that God uses financing (buying on credit) to accomplish his work. The first work of the Church, however, is not building edifices, paying salaries, or developing programs, but rather preaching the Gospel to win the lost, then trusting that every need will be provided through those who are won. The word "added" in Matthew 6:33 concerning our needs is the same word (prostithemi) in Acts 2:47 referencing the new believers being added daily to the church.

4) Of course God's call is effectual to accomplish his redemptive purpose for our lives (health and happiness) but the door of our free will can also be shut against it.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F26

June 25, 2008

1) Health supports us to interact appropriately with others to successfully resolve issues and conflicts.

2) My technician friend explained that interferences in the home or even community could filter our the signal coming into my computer from the Internet Service Provider. But our fallen human condition has no such power to hinder the entrance of God's Life imparted into our hearts.

3) This means, attitudes and dispositions have no power to interfere with grace (the redemptive work of God in our hearts), but grace has power to stand against and to purge from our lives the manifestations of our fallen sinful condition.

4) Also, the Holy Spirit has power to make the grace message known to us in the way that it is relevant to our lives. We do not particularly need high intellectual energies, but only willingness to sit quietly before him with an open Bible in confession of our needs and to trust in his love and care.

5) It is not hard to identify broken behavior in the world, its root cause, or even self-help solutions. But after all the examination, still the bondage and pain of our unmet needs will continue until we experience the redemptive work of Christ to enable our wise choices which establish us in health and happiness.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F25

June 24, 2008

1) If we make pleasing God the basis for our hope of health (blessings), we have no explanation for the early death of some Christians and the long life of some unbelievers except that the laws of nutrition are relatively meaningless.

2) The legalist notion of commitment to God first and family second, followed by church, employment, country, etc., in whatever order, just doesn’t hold up in the light of grace. Our understanding of the grace message and experience of Christ’s heart in us is that God’s commitment is not to himself, but to us, that is, to our personal redemption (health and happiness and enablement in useful service to others, beginning with our family). Otherwise, we are left to believe that God is committed first to himself and to the preservation of his kingdom and calls for us to support his needs (What are his needs again? I forget!), then the needs of family and so on, with only an afterthought for personal health.

3) When we receive a phone call or written message from a loved one declaring their love and support for us, we would expect to stop our busyness to fully focus on the message so that we miss nothing. It is in this way that we open our Bibles in the morning to hear from God, reading his Word, not casually as we might a textbook, magazine, or even devotional, but as a love letter from “the Father of compassion and God of all support” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

4) It is the joy and privilege of resources to serve as vessels whom God uses for the flow of his redemptive work in the world. But we do not confuse the resources in our lives with their Source.

5) We always keep in mind that God is our Source of supply, not the donors who support our ministries, as valuable as they are. Also, we keep in mind that the husband, pastor, and employer are vessels who serve as resources for the flow of God’s provisions to meet our redemptive needs, but that God alone is fully our Source.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F24

June 23, 2008 

1) A fifteen minute quiet time in the morning, instead of an hour, is like taking one bite of food: It will not suffice to support living and serving in a broken world filled with adversity.

2) Our understanding of grace theology gives us reason to believe that, although we will not be the same in Heaven as God is, we will have glorified bodies, the same as the resurrected body of Christ. This means there is no reason to believe we will not eat, exercise, learn, and grow in health (which God, of course, does not do). Also, some of us will make choices in Heaven which will increase us in ways different from others who do not make those same choices. This does not mean, however, that we will have the potential or capacity to make harmful choices. Keep in mind that, in Heaven, this poisoned, broken, addicted fallen human condition we inherited from Adam will be gone. Also gone is Satan and the spirit of antichrist which now opposes us here on earth. Whatever was true about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall gives us some idea what our lives will be in Heaven.

3) We welcome and endorse all the information coming from the healthcare professionals which provides guidance and support for increased health. We only add to it that, unless our health regimen begins with intimate relationship to Christ, then our deepest, most powerful and essential need for health will remain unmet. In Christ we are enriched in every way. There is no other provision on earth through which we can have God’s love, joy, and peace manifested in our hearts and lives.

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed in you (at his Coming but also including at this present time by the Holy Spirit).” - 1 Corinthians 1:7 (parenthetical note added)

4) It is not our calling to report the beliefs and teachings of others, even if we agree and appreciate their message, but only to present the message God gives us daily by the Holy Spirit through his Word. This is the purest ministry.

5) We are at great risk for disappointment when we pursue outcomes. Our only enduring contentment is experienced in sowing seeds of faithful compliance to God’s instructions by the Holy Spirit through his Word leading to our health and happiness, which only he in his own timing makes possible.

6) In our dysfunction we hold on to the past in fear, anger, and resentfulness, but in the strength and health Christ provides, we are enabled to move forward and onward to serve others.

7) We can wander from one religion to another, but when we have experienced grace, there will be no other place to go. Also, we can vary from one program for ministry to another, but when we are presenting Christ to lost sinners, we are fulfilling the first call of Christ for his Church.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F23

June 18, 2008

1) We are not really the person we became the day we were born again, but the person we are renewed to be each day.

2) We may be able to calculate that we can pay one-third less for gas by increasing our gas mileage fifty percent, i.e., instead of paying $4.00 to travel 20 miles, we can travel the same distance for $2.67 if we increase our mpg from 20 to 30. (We can help do this, you know, by stopping the jack rabbit starts and the hurry up stops, also getting rid of the junk in the trunk, and checking the air in the tires.) We may also be able to calculate which is faster, 8 mph or an eight minute mile. But we can not calculate or dissect the Scripture to understand the message of grace in all it's truth. Either the Holy Spirit reveals Truth to us, our we don't get it. I have memorized Romans chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8, but I don't understand the meaning of Scripture because I can quote it, but only if the Holy Spirit has revealed its message to me.

3) Our prayer for (in behalf of) the sick is for our enablement in ministry to them to guide and support them for making appropriate choices, beginning with quiet time to experience Christ the Savior (Healer) leading to their recovery. While the presence, touch, and words of the minister, also family members and friends, may support psychosomatic healing, there is no hocus-pocus power that can be called down upon a person to reverse illness with disregard to their own choices.

The sick are instructed by James (5:14-16) to call for the elders of the church to pray in behalf of them, also to anoint them with oil. But this oil was medicinal. It also represented guidance and support for making wise choices leading to recovery. Again, there is no mystical, hocus-pocus provision taught in the New Testament Scripture (when understood in the context of the grace covenant) that is an escape from the outcome of lifestyle choices which disregard God's provisions for our health and happiness beginning with intimate relationship to Christ.

4) Our unmet needs drive us to get help, but our met needs enable us to give help.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F18

June 17, 2008

1) A recent study noted that a Dutch woman who reached 115 years of age had remained mentally sharp throughout her life and that her brain was healthy when she died. The finding suggested that Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are not inevitable.

The report prompted renewed media discussions to identify the causes of lost brain health. They include, smoking (contributing cause to narrowing of the arteries, called arteriosclerosis), nutritional starvation (including deficiency in omega 3‘s and antioxidants), stress (cortisol interferes with brain function), sedentary lifestyle, and sleeplessness.

So now we understand why we may sometimes be forgetful, especially to recall the names of people and places.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F17

June 16, 2008

1) We can be learning what God is teaching us by the Holy Spirit through his Word, or what others are teaching. If what we are learning is what others think God is teaching them, and if they are mistaken, we perpetuate error if we teach it.

2) We do not fully understand some parts of Scripture, but we are not going to make the mistake of looking to human authors and teachers for the answer rather than to take time to sit quietly before God with an open Bible and trust that he will not fail to reveal to us all we need to know.

3) We don't really know the future of America, the stock market, or business world, but we can know the future of those who trust Christ for their personal salvation. So that is our calling and consuming passion.

4) New (actually, the restart of failed) government programs insist that providing housing for the homeless is the first step to their recovery. But whatever support is laid as a foundation for health that does not begin with a transformed heart, it will not bear up under man's fallen human nature. Christ is the only enduring foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). The house built upon any other will not stand (Matthew 7:24-27).

"But each one should be careful how he builds." - 1 Corinthians 3:10

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F16

June 15, 2008

Tradition will call for children to celebrate their dads today, sort of "dad appreciation day" (you know, like pastor appreciation day), lifting him up a little higher than they are expected to throughout the year. But Fathers' Day can be an opportunity for dads, even older dads as long they have enablement, to be renewed in their understanding and commitment to invest in their families. This means dads buy the gifts, he pays for Sunday dinner. In other words, from the grace perspective, this day is about dads being dads.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F15

June 13, 2008

1) We fell into addiction to outcomes when numbers identified for us our self importance, but are being set free as we increase to understand that we who sow and water are nothing really, but only God who gives the increase. (Why did we boast of what we had as if we had not received it?)

2) Still we suspect from our understanding of Scripture that less than one in four receive the seed we sow. And less than one in ten become sowers of the seed.

3) Transparency and full disclosure can't help but flow up out of our health. We hide only our insecurities of God's faithfulness to accomplish his redemptive purpose in our lives.

4) The evidence of God's will for our future is that it does not distract us from the work of our present.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F12

June 12, 2008

1) We do not offer a performance-based message of hocus-pocus outcomes that ignore God's redemptive provisions for our health and happiness.

2) We grieve to think of the number of souls who may be lost to eternal judgment because they were called to "follow Christ" for salvation. But we are not saved from eternal judgment because we choose to follow Christ; rather, we are saved because we have trusted God's provisions of Christ's death (shed Blood) on the cross as the only payment he will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam's transgression.

3) The life of Christ that shows up through us into a fallen world will meet the same resistance that Jesus met, not from the hurting, but from the religious.

4) The religious world into which Jesus was born was consumed (obsessed to a frenzy) with the burdensome notion of performance to win God's favor for blessings. But the message he brought to the world proclaimed that God had already provided resources to every man for the free flow of his provisions to whomever connected to receive it into their lives, that it was not dammed up in Heaven somewhere waiting for their performance to make him smile. Surely such a message would have been welcomed. And it was to the broken and hurting. But it terrified the religious rulers and was the message that got him killed (so to speak).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F12

June 10, 2008

1) No, the church sign ("Salvation is free, but you must ask for it") comes up short to communicate the message of free salvation. The error comes out of the misconception that we can disregard God's provisions for our redemption (both for regeneration and sanctification), yet still go ahead and ask (request) to have the outcome we desire.

Actually, we are born again when the Holy Spirit places us into spiritual union with Christ, which he does when we trust God's provision of his Blood as the only price he will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam's transgression. Also, we are made holy as we connect (open the door) to receive into our inner being (the soul) the flow of God's provision of his Life resident within our inmost being (the spirit) by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus spoke much about asking, but he meant more than just to inquire about information, or to invite an outcome, or to request a favor. The meaning of asking in the context of prayer for salvation is to call out for help. But this call is rooted in and flows out of our conviction and confession of 1) our need and 2) the adequacy of God's supply.

The grace prayer for salvation:

"Heavenly Father, I am lost and hurting and need your salvation. I believe Christ died for me on the cross at Calvary and that the Blood he shed for me is the only payment you will accept to satisfy your judgment against me because of the guilt of sin I bear. I now turn away from trusting in my church membership or good behavior or anything I can do, to trust wholly and alone in what Christ has already done for me as my only hope for going to Heaven. Thank you for everything you have provided to make my salvation certain. Amen."

2) Can we lose our salvation? Absolutely, but depending on which aspect of salvation we are talking about? We certainly cannot lose our eternal salvation (new birth and justification). But we can miss out experiencing the fullest measure of our sanctification. This is exactly Paul's concern when he grieved the Galatians' "fall from grace."

3) My favorite evangelical theologians insist that, on the basis we have trusted Christ death on the cross for salvation, we can also trust he will be faithful and powerful to live his life in and through us, so that the matter of our health and happiness and enablement for Christian life and service to others is settled by our faith.

But the only matter which is settled by our trusting Christ's death on the cross for us is our eternal salvation. However, the matter of health and happiness and holiness (usefulness in redemptive service to others) is not settled except as we take time daily to connect (abide) for the flow of God‘s provisions of Christ‘s Life into our hearts for renewal and enablement. Grace theology (our understanding of it) distinguishes between our being "in Christ," which assures our eternal salvation, and "Christ in us," which is our hope for sanctification.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F10

June 6, 2008

1) The heart of Christ within us grieves because of broken behavior and performance-based theology, but mostly rejoices in God's provision of his Word and the work of the Holy Spirit to guide us into Truth and to produce in us his righteousness. So, although grace ministry is faithful to identify in love wrong concepts and risky behavior, it mostly holds up, as our greatest need, relationship to Christ who transforms our minds to understand Truth and increases our enablement for wise choices.

2) We can not trust the message of anyone who begins their day connecting to radio, tv, or website ministries, or reading books written by man instead of taking extended time for intimate fellowship with Christ through his Word and prayer.

3) Our immediate experience of God during our quiet time for worship may powerfully and wonderfully impact our minds and emotions for personal healing and growth, but the process of sanctification to transform our living and to equip us in our service to others is a long journey.

4) We grieve the wife who tolerates oppression from her husband because of her religious belief that he is the Godfather in the home and that she must respond to him in the same way she does to her authoritarian God.

5) The teenage girl hanging out with her friends last night boldly wore the bright-colored shirt top that read, "It's all about me." I wanted her to know that to God it is, in fact, all about her, and this so that her life could be enabled to then be all about others.

6) We don't note the difficulty of the work we do in order to identify whether or not it is God's work, except after we have taken time to be renewed in Christ's enablement for it.

7) Of course we give thanks to God for his provisions at mealtime, but asking God to bless (hocus pocus) the food is foolishness. If the food before us is God's provisions for our health, it will do in our bodies what God designed it to do. For example, we do not need to ask God to bless the water we drink or the oxygen we breathe. And to ask God to bless foodless food is wasted time.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F06

June 5, 2008

1) Giving up ownership (control) to God for outcomes is one of the "secrets" to health and happiness, but it is a surrender that is strongly resisted by our human predisposition. So we must be renewed daily in God's enablement to live it out. We can also practice it.
Interestingly, God has given us an opportunity each morning to start the day practicing this response of surrender when we open our Bibles to read the Scripture. This by taking precaution not to impose our intellectual energies or to insert our emotional expectations into our Bible reading in order to generate the experience we think we want or should have.

2) Parents sometimes bring us their children to fix. They are surprised when we identify the child's behavior as the symptom, and the failed system (parenting) as the problem.

Bill Gates recently gave an excellent address to high school students. We took exception only to his statement that: "If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them." But our disagreement comes out of the unique counseling model we use (there are many) which is based in the concept that broken behavior is a symptom of a broken system (in this case, the home being the system).

Central to the counseling we offer is the concept that unmet health needs are at the root of all brokenness, that these needs are biological, psychological (mind, emotions, and will), and spiritual, and that God has established resources in creation (the soil and atmosphere), in community (supportive relationships in the home and church), and especially in Christ for the flow of his provisions to meet those needs.

3) I knew nothing of "Annie Get Your Gun" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" actress/singer/dancer Betty Hutton (1921-2007) until I saw recently a 2000 interview with her on a classic movies channel. Beautiful and enormously talented, she rose quickly to fame in the 1940‘s and 50‘s, then disappeared for 40 years or so, suffering through four marriages, fighting long losing bouts with alcohol and drug addiction, attempting suicide, and ending up as a cook in a soup kitchen where she came to Christ for salvation. Her early public life was glamorous, while in her private life, she suffered horribly the absence of her father who had abandoned the family when she was a child, and then the neglect of her mother who was a bootlegger and alcoholic. It was said by those closest to her that her career was one long fearful, desperate cry for the love she felt she never got at home. The reports of her death in 2007 noted she was buried in a small cemetery in Florida and that her children (three daughters) were not present.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F05

June 4, 2008

1) A recent report acknowledged the phenomenal growth in the membership of mega entertainment (feel-good) churches, but also that the culture of their communities continues in decline.

2) Plan B solutions help only to temporarily manage pain, but cannot establish us in health to deliver us from our bondage and brokenness.

3) The message of grace is resisted, resented, and rejected by our carnal nature because it calls for us to stop and wait, and to give up ownership (control) of our choices and their outcomes to God, which is a fearful scenario for deeply hurting people addicted to pain relief. So the insanity of unwise choices continues.

4) My friend says we never know what disease might hit us, as if sickness is a chance happening, like getting hit with a falling meteorite - an act of God, sort of, over which we have no control. But we understand that sickness is the outcome of our foolish choices, and not so much those that poison our bodies (also mind and emotions), but that disregard the essential elements which God has provided to establish our health, particularly our immune systems.

5) We all learn sooner or later that Satan is the father of lies, his provisions are a lie, and his hype of them is a lie.

6) It is easy enough really to identify foolish, failing choices. They are the ones most promising and appealing to our carnal nature (also the most hyped), but the closer and more present they are in our lives, they prove to be the most disappointing. On the other hand, God's provisions, from afar, are not appealing to our carnal nature. But the more they are included in our lives, the more they are appreciated. It's that simple.

7) This or any website is a poor first place to visit in the early morning. Instead, we need to begin our day with Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship in order to be renewed in our confidence of God's love for us and in the flow of his Life, which is our greatest need.

8) We grieve most the lost eternity of those who reject God's provisions of Christ's blood for their redemption. We grieve also the unmet needs of hurting people, especially women and children. But we rejoice in God's provision of Christ to more than make up the difference.

"For in him you have been enriched in every way." - 1 Corinthians 1:5

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8E04

June 3, 2008

Pious Praying: A Hocus Pocus Hope for Health

Billionaire J.R. Simplot died last week at age 99. He rejected religion on the basis that he was "a fact man."

"If it doesn't add up," he said, "I don't buy it; I don't believe in hocus pocus."

We suspect that Christianity was represented to him as a pious scheme to win favors from a self-absorbed God with total disregard to the cause and effect laws of choices and outcomes consistent with scientific reality (the laws of God which govern his creation). To a person of science, the silly notions sounding from the Christian church must have seemed as nonsensical as a dehydrated person dancing around a bottle of water, performing, pleading, and promising, but taking no time to drink the water.

The overlooked (stumbled over) message of grace is that unmet needs are at the center of all brokenness, that these needs are biological, psychological (mind, emotions, and will), and spiritual, and that God has made sufficient provisions in creation, in community (supportive relationships in the home and church), and especially in Christ to meet these needs ("My grace is sufficient" - 2 Corinthians 12:9).

The message of grace makes common sense.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 8F03

©GracePoint, AGRC. All Rights Reserved

TO TGP Archives