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TGP Volume 12
(January/February/March 2012)

Week 13

Escapes that Help, an Experience That Heals

We can make choices that relieve our tension, entertain us, elevate our moods, and even give us a sense of self-worth (i.e., to help us feel better) – for example, to exercise, engage in sports and hobbies, attend events, enroll in classes, attend church, and maybe even volunteer to help relieve the pain of others. I call these escapes.

These choices are okay for the purpose they serve. But they do not meet our greatest need – which is to experience God’s Life manifesting in us as faith, love, joy, and peace.

The one is a superficial help, the other is a deep and enduring healing. The difference is big.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C30

Saying “Yes” to God’s Provision of Christ: Salvation Made Simple

I suspect many are spiritually and eternally lost to judgment because of their fear that the commitment they would need to make in order to go to Heaven is so demanding that they are disinclined to even think about it, maybe like the commitment they think they would need to make in order to lose weight, build fitness, get a college degree, or restore an old house.

Indeed, the choices we must make that establish us in health call for a lifelong commitment and effort, but the decision we must make in order to go to Heaven is as simple as:

1. Confessing that
  • every person is under penalty of God’s judgment (death/separation from him) because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden,
  • Christ satisfied that judgment by his death on the cross;    
2. Turning away from trusting in anything we think we can do (church membership, benevolence, good works, etc.) in order to satisfy God’s judgment against us;

3. Receiving/trusting in what Christ has already done for us by his death on the cross (in the way a dying person would receive provisions of food and water for his recovery).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten (born to a virgin) Son that whoever believes in (trusts/receives) him (who he is and what he has done for us) shall not perish but have eternal/everlasting life.” – John 3:16

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C29

Denial of Brokenness Rooted in Failed Religious Rule Keeping

Some, if not all, of our brokenness – anger, pride, lusts, fear, etc. - will remain with us/be adverse to us for a lifetime. We generally seek relief from it in one of two ways - either religiously, to suppress it, or redemptively, to be healed from it.

The one is
  • reliance on an effort we make to keep religious rules,
  • driven/motivated by fear, guilt, and ego, which means our hope for change is
  • rooted in our weakness, making it
  • a failed strategy,
with the extended result that, because we have no confidence of a solution (except for ourselves), we deny our brokenness.

The other is

  • reliance upon a work God does,
  • supported by faith (to receive his provisions), which means our hope is
  • rooted in his strength, ensuring the outcome will be
  • successful,

with the extended result that, because we have experienced the healing God gives, we are not reluctant to confess our brokenness.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C28

Dying: God’s Plan for Living

Performance religion, the same as other world systems, identifies championships, awards, size, etc. as the standards for health, and so makes them the goal of their pursuits and efforts.

But what is missed in all that is this: Every good thing God gives comes not through heroic efforts but only through death – which is the reason Christ died on the cross.

Jesus said,

“The seed must die, for if it does not, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

This means, every goal, ambition, and plan of self-will must die with the confession that nothing we can do without Christ, not even with all our might, can produce an outcome that is redemptive or has eternal value (John 15:5), and that, “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C27

Connecting to Divine Resources, Especially to Christ, Experiencing the Realities We Desire

It is absolutely true that we can have a desire for qualities in our lives which are not at all our reality – for example, a desire for health/energy, strength/endurance/flexibility, knowledge, influence, or peace and joy.

The desire (which God puts in our hearts) is, of course, the leading step, but no amount of desire, in and of itself, will result in the quality becoming our reality.

This means, we can earnestly and passionately and with fasting, promises, commitments, and good works, ask God for those qualities, but still not experience their reality in our lives.

That’s because God has ordained that good outcomes in our lives are the result of our connecting and staying connected to his resources - in Creation (the soil and atmosphere), Community (support relationships in the home and church), and especially Christ - through which his provisions flow into our lives to generate and support those desired qualities within us.

This is true especially of Christ because our experience of him is more powerful than all others provisions and resources combined.

Jesus said,

“Apart from me, you can do nothing (that is, without the provisions which flow into you through me from my father, nothing of eternal value will be true about you).”  - John 15:5

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C26

Week 12

Making the Connection: The Missed Concept

It is not enough to say that the provisions which flow from God will heal and renew our lives. That’s because, we are healed and renewed only by our experience of those provisions which flow into our lives.

Again, God’s provisions (food and water, for example) do what they are powerful to do in us, not simply because God has given them so that they are AVAILABLE to us, but because we have received them so that they are PRESENT in us.

This means, we can know, talk, sing, and write about God’s provisions, but we will not experience them for healing and renewal until we respond in faith/obedience to open the door of our hearts and lives daily to receive them, beginning with Christ. 

“We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of (but effectually only to) those who believe (receive).” – 1 Timothy 4:10

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C23

Grace: Beyond Brain Science, God’s Support for Our Being

Different parts of the brain control specific biological as well as mental and emotional functions. The Frontal Lobe controls body movements and expressions, and helps with problem solving. The Occipital Lobe makes possible our recognition of shapes, colors, and objects. The Parietal Lobe interprets the messages it receives from our five senses. The Cerebellum controls our sense of balance and helps us to know if we are standing or sitting. The Brain Stem controls our hearts and lungs and blood pressure. The Thalamus controls growth, body temperature, and sense of thirst. The Temporal Lobe functions to support our understanding of words and is the seat of our short-term memory. It also makes face recognition possible. When a specific area of the Temporal Lobe is disturbed, this otherwise easy ability is lost. One face looks like another.

But at a deeper dimension, an even more essential support for life exists. It is the Life of Christ, birthed by the Holy Spirit into our inmost being (the spirit). When we open the door of our inner being (the heart or soul) to receive the flow of his Life into our minds, emotions, and wills, we are supported for psychological healing and renewal, and then subsequently (or psychosomatically), we are supported for physical healing and renewal. No human ability or power on earth is equal to or can duplicate this support.

“God’s divine nature has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge (experience) of Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:3

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (exist).” – Colossians 1:17

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C22

The Call to “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone”: An Insane Expectation Ending in Injury

Absolutely God will call us out of our comfort zone, but it will be a call into his preparation zone so that we will no longer be uncomfortable.

At the core of every counseling issue I deal with is brokenness - which is the result of attempting to fulfill/live out life’s responsibilities without the support/preparation needed to enable the performance.

By definition, injury is the result of a demand made upon us (including physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and vocationally) that is greater than our strength to meet that demand.

The call for us to charge out of our comfort zone is insane, and is usually made by those who do not understand/appreciate God’s redemptive plan for our healing and support. It is the same as a coach expecting a runner to win a race with disregard for his/her conditioning (“I can do it, why can’t you?” or “Real athletes don’t need water!”).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C21

God’s Call to the Church to Help the Hurting

When the Denver Broncos had the opportunity to sign Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow lost the opportunity he deserved, also promised him, to begin training camp next season as their starting quarterback. But professional football is a business which uses players to win games, so they sometimes get hurt.

But ministry is not a business. So why do we sometimes see churches adopt the professional sports’ business model for the work it does? It’s because their goals (to build something) are the same.

We understand the need for businesses to make money. According to some economic models, this pursuit of profit makes the economy work in a free market. So we really do not expect a for-profit business to invest in the health needs of its customers – at least to make it their stated mission.

But we do expect meeting the health needs of those they serve to be the passion/mission of the church and we are really disappointed when they make organizational growth and success their goal instead.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C20

Grieved: My Favorite Minister Mangles the Message of God’s Mercy

The well-known host of a longtime national radio ministry was passionate to say this week that our only hope for deliverance from the judgment that is due America (because of its national sins -whatever that is!) is the mercy of God.

“Without his mercy,” he said, “we don’t stand a chance.”

He then called the nation to prayer to ask for God to have mercy on America – which was to suggest that God sometimes has mercy, but sometimes does not.

This is a pervading message of the evangelical church and it grieves me deeply. It is the same as saying that God is not inclined to provide care for his creation, but might only if we press upon him earnestly enough, also perform for him to make him happy/smile.

The message of the Bible, however, is that God is and has always been merciful, so much that he has made provisions full and free to meet every human need, and brought those provisions to the very door of every human heart without picking and choosing to whom, and with the promise that whoever will open the door to receive them will be forgiven (healed).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes (receives) him, shall not perish, but have eternal/everlasting life.” – John 3:16

“If any person lacks wisdom (Christ), let him ask God who gives freely to all without finding fault.” – James 1:8

“He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not, along with him, also freely give us all things.” – Romans 8:32

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C19

Week 11

Renewed Resources: The Beginning of How Healing Happens for the Broken

The renewal of broken people can begin only when they choose to connect daily to God’s Resources for the flow of his provisions into their lives. This is because God ordained the law of sowing and reaping to govern outcomes in his creation.

But hold on! Even before broken people make the essential choice to connect so that they can be renewed, something else must happen. It is this: God’s resources must be in place and also functional.

God has done his part. The Life which flows from him to heal us and then to enable us as resources to others has from the beginning been fully availability, true and effectual, free, and faithful.

Left open ended is our response. Jesus promised, “If any man will open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20). We do not know who among our spiritual forefathers was the first “any man” to respond to that call. But someone made the choice to connect to God and his Resources, and into him flowed God’s Life which renewed and enabled him for effectual service as an undershepherd (resource) to another who, in time, supported someone who supported someone who became the resource that supported us.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C16

Grace Ministries: Nonprofits Raised Up by God to Meet Redemptive Needs

Counseling ministries have the option to pursue clients/counselees in the way a for-profit business would pursue customers - that is, to develop an aggressive marketing strategy beyond just announcing its presence in the community that would include promotions and promises (hype) in order to generate a response.

But God raises up (calls and prepares) ministries to meet the redemptive needs of hurting people, and then calls them to it. No promotion is needed. The Holy Spirit takes care of all that. He gives us the message which hurting people need, and then, he gives them the ears to hear it.

This is included in the meaning of

“We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.” – 1 John 4:6

“…the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. “ – John 10:3-4

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C15

Coming to Christ: Called First thru Goodness, Finally thru Groaning

We are called to Christ by the Holy Spirit who communicates Truth to us about our brokenness and need for God.

Our subsequent experience of Christ calls (causes) us to seek/desire a deeper relationship with him. We taste and find that he is indeed good (Psalm 34:8).

That is the meaning of Romans 2:4:

“The goodness of God leads us to repentance.”

When we disregard this communication by the Holy Spirit, God allows us to experience the painful outcome of our unwise choices. It is then, in our suffering, that our hearts are turned toward God to consider his way/plan for our healing.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” – Psalm 119:67

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C14

Experiencing the Energy that Enables Life

Energy/power flows into us from many different sources to influence our choices and enable our performances. Of course,
  • vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, oxygen, and other nutrients found in the soil and atmosphere energize us physically. We are also energized by
  • hormones, elements, and chemicals produced from within the body (adrenaline for an easy example).
  • Alcohol and other drugs and stimulants energize behavior/performance. We are also energized for performance by
  • the mind (information/education) and emotions (expressions of affection, including  hugs and kisses) - that is, temperament strengths.
  • Addictions, fear, guilt, pride, anger, and lusts also drive behavior.
  • In Chinese philosophy, chi is the energy or life force which flows into us from the universe and is present in all living things.
  • From the Scripture we are warned about the powers of darkness, the demonic world, which influence behavior.
Some of these powers energize/influence behaviors and choices which result in good outcomes; others of these powers produce results which are destructive and deadly.

But the power above all powers is God. He is the only eternal, sovereign, omnipotent power, “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), the power that created all life and by which all life is sustained (Colossians 1:16-17), that resurrects to life that which has died (John 5:21), and that heals, helps, and makes us holy and happy (Romans 8:10-11). We rejoice in his power, expressed in and through us by the person of Christ (the Seed of which we are the fruit [John 1:1-3; 15:1-8]).

This is the reason Paul wrote: "I pray that out of his riches in glory he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." - Ephesians 3:1

And why Jesus said: "Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

It was also the reason the Psalmist asked and made this confession: "Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of Heaven and Earth!"

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C13

Glorifying God: The Misunderstood Meaning

To glorify God means to radiate/manifest the Light of “who he is” into an otherwise dark world.

But the young couple sharing their faith on tv recently seemed not to have that understanding. Although facing broken health and other fearful setbacks, they were holding on to their belief that God would "in his own timing come through with a miracle" to recover them.

“Anyway,” they insisted, “it’s not about us, but about God. We want him to be glorified.”

Their belief – that God will do what is just and good if we behave, find ways to serve him, and also give him the credit he is due - seems to be the prevading understanding in the Church about "glorifying God."

But it teaches a view about God that we are in relationship to him the same as servants are to a ruler – that we must strive to serve his needs and win his favor (which is also the way boss-employ relationships typically exist in the workplace).

The heart of Christ grieves that those he came to serve might have the notion they are in relationship to him for the purpose of making him happy.

The clear message of grace is that, while circumstances may come into our lives over which we do not have full control (for example, natural and man-made adversities/disasters), we can have the confidence that God
  • has no unmet needs, emotionally or otherwise,
  • cares deeply about us, is attentive to our needs, and is committed to our health and happiness,
  • is in relationship to us, not for what we can do for him, but for what we will allow him to do for us,
  • has made provisions in the world to support every health need we have, also established resources through which they flow into our lives, right up to the door of our hearts, to which he calls us to connect daily with the promise that they are faithful and true and powerful to recover us
so that, as we look to him/open our hearts to receive his provisions, we will be established in health and happiness according to the law of sowing and reaping (cause and effect, choices and outcomes) which he wisely and lovingly appointed to govern his creation.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C12

Week 10

Providing Support for 1) Experiencing Christ, 2) Growing in Grace, and 3) Service in the Community: God’s Purpose for the Church

God provided the Church and calls believers to it as a support to us for
  • learning about him, ourselves and need for him, and, most essentially, how to experience him through Christ, and
  • growing in competence to serve as salt and light in our community, beginning at home with our family.
The church is both organic and organizational.

We become members of the organic church by virtue of our spiritual baptism (immersion) into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:3) when we receive (say “I do” to) God’s Gift of Christ (his Blood/death on the cross) as his provision for our going to Heaven (justification).

We become members of the organized church (ceremonialized by water baptism) when we receive (say “I do” to) God’s provision (gift) of pastors/teachers to support us for attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (sanctification - that is, holiness and usefulness in service to others).

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-13

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C09

Because of Brokenness, the Sometimes Need to Support Resources

We do not forgive (heal) God; instead, he forgives (heals) us. And, if we use this concept to model our relationship to those we serve, it means it is not their role to forgive us, but ours to forgive them.

Also, God does not submit to us, but we submit to him. Again, if we use this concept as a model for our relationship to those we serve, it means we do not submit to them, but they to us.

But wait a minute! God calls us to forgive one another, also to submit to one another (Matthew 18:35; Ephesians 5:21). What is the explanation for that?

It is this:

1. God provides instructions to the children in the family to guide their relationship with each other.

“As dearly loved children, live a life of love.” - Ephesians 5:1-2

2. Unlike God, we are broken and need of forgiveness. (God does not need forgiveness because he is not broken). This means, while it is God’s plan for leadership/resources in the home and church (parents, husbands, and pastors) to experience healing through Christ so that we are enabled/increased as “fountain heads” to invest in the healing needs of those we serve, the reality is, to whatever measure we remain in our brokenness (are not enabled), we sometimes need the support of each other.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C08

Rejoicing in God’s Support: Motivation for Reading The Scripture

We can read The Scriptures as an instruction manual (which it is) and be motivated by fear (also guilt and ego) to comply with its rules - with the result that, in time, we will be discouraged, disillusioned, and resentful - also, worn out.

Or, we can read The Scripture motivated by our experience of Christ's love in us (for God [his Will and Way], ourselves, and others) to live according to its direction – and rejoice in the support it provides us.

This is in the same way that, on the one hand, lowly subjects might comply with the demands of a tyrant, motivated by fear, or that, on the other hand, confident children might respond to supportive parents, motivated by their experience of the love of Christ for them.

"Be followers of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, (that is,) live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us..." - Ephesians 5:1-2

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C07

The Most Essential Provision and Effectual Power for Healing: Our Experience of Christ

Absolutely God heals. He has made provisions for our healing
  • in the soil and atmosphere and also
  • through support relationships in the home and church. And even more powerfully, he has made provisions for our healing
  • through our experience of the Person of Christ.
That means, water is God’s provision for our healing. So is food and oxygen. By their presence in our lives, we are organically (according to the law of sowing and reaping/cause and effect) supported and increased in health. Also, our need for information, affection, and decision-making is met by the presence/support of leadership people in our lives.

But Christ’s Life (the power by which the worlds were created and are sustained), birthed and nurtured in us, is powerful to support our healing infinitely more than all other provisions.

“For… all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” - Colossians 1:16-17

To make the point, we sometimes say that, if our support need was 100 miles deep, 99 of those miles would be our daily experience of Christ.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C06

The Healing of Our Hearts: God’s Primary Purpose for His Presence in Our Lives

“Divine Healers’ (as they are sometimes called) call the sick to healing for their bodies through a “touch” from God. And although it is God’s will for us to be physically well (This we know because he made provisions for it!), his foremost purpose for “touching” our lives (that is, for us to experience him) is not physical healing. Rather, it is for the healing of our minds, emotions, and will (the soul, heart, psychological being). That’s why Paul wrote,

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Considering (if the studies are correct) that 90 plus percent of physical illness is psychosomatic (caused by mental and emotional disorders), God’s purpose/plan for our healing to begin with the healing our hearts reveals his wisdom, and we are in awe.

So while our experience of God’s Life entering/flowing into us has power to give life to our mortal bodies…

(“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through this Spirit who lives in you.” – Romans 8:11)

…the explanation for how it happens is that the application/impartation of his Life to accomplish our healing is first to our souls.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C05

Week 9

Getting it Right About Giving to Resources

It is no more appropriate for church leaders to ask those it serves to support the financial needs of the church than it is for parents to ask children to support the financial needs of the home. Or, for God to ask his children to upkeep Heaven.

This means, Scriptural giving
  • flows from God through human resources as a service to hurting/broken persons to meet their redemptive needs,
  • is the service of leaders – of those God has healed and made competent for ministry to others (i.e., GIVING IS FOR LEADERS), and
  • (the support given) is received in humility by hurting persons who 1) have been called by God to the resources which give and who, in turn, out of the support they receive, 2) serve as conduits for the flow of support into the lives of those they are called to serve.
"To each one of us grace has been given... It was he who gave... so that the body of Christ may be built up... attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" - Ephesians 4:11-13.


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C02

Growing in Response to God’s Resources

No, we are not called to support our resources. I grieve because of the burden ministries place on those they are called to serve - that, instead of serving them, they depend on them for their support.

Rather, we are called to connect to our resources, beginning with Christ who reveals to us
  • our brokenness and need for healing and
  • the availability and faithfulness of God’s resources through which his provisions flow into our lives to support our healing.
This means that, while support for God’s resources is not our responsibility, we, by merit of our experience of their support for us, grow in our appreciation/value/respect/ honor/awe of them, so that we,
  • first and foremost, increasingly give them an open-door opportunity for influence in our lives, but also
  • take reasonable care to protect them - not in the sense we fight for them, but that we do not destroy them ourselves (blow up the well, I call it), and
  • commend them to others (which is the meaning of the word “praise”).
“The elders who manage/invest well (provide support leadership) are to be highly valued, especially their preaching and teaching.” – 1 Timothy 5:17 (GracePoint paraphrased and amplified)


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C01

Schedule: Support for Shutting Out Sickness

Schedule shuts the door to depression – also to addictions, unhappiness, and broken behavior.

Actually, it is not really the schedule, but the response we make to God’s plan which schedule supports.

As explanation: Depression is a symptom. That means it is not really the problem but the result of the problem - the problem being not what’s present in our lives that's adverse, but what’s missing that's supportive and healing.

That being true, when we receive into our lives God’s provisions (light, for example), darkness cannot exist. Hunger, thirst, loneliness, discouragement, anxiety, guilt, fear, and sickness cannot prevail against God’s provisions for health.

Even biological causes for psychological pain has roots in unmet needs, maybe generationally to some measure (results of unwise health decisions made by the parents visited upon later generations).

But the solution is always to identify the pain, trace it to the unmet need (problem), include God’s provisions in creation (the soil and atmosphere), community (support leadership in the home and church), and especially intimacy with Christ.

“For you were once (in) darkness, but now you are (have) light in the Lord. Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.” – Ephesians 5:8-9

“God’s divine nature has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge (experience) of Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:3

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B29

Our Experience of Christ to Enable Essential Choices: The Start-Up Strategy for Success

Success is defined as the achievement of a goal - not automatic, but the result of implementing a plan. Volumes are written and counseling is abundant to help identify the plan and to support compliance to it.

This support for identifying and implementing a “plan for success” is the help counselees think they need most. But it is not! Rather, it is support for compliance to a plan that increases them in health.

For example, more than the need an athlete has for a winning strategy on performance day is the need for conditioning/ preparation to enable the performance.

Again, this is the support need counselees are sometimes least responsive to.

But in the same way water (drinking it) is indispensable to enable/energize performance, so also is our experience of the Living Water indispensible to enable the choices we must make which result in achieving our goals, especially in service to others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B28

Goodness: The Grace Disposition Toward Those Who Disagree

Of course, we grieve and are sometimes even a bit irritated with teaching that does not seem to be supported by our understanding of grace. But elitist pride and condemnation of those who do not hold our beliefs are among the surest signs that we have not ourselves come to Truth. While Truth has no tolerance for error, it nonetheless does not fear error to the extent that it is unkind.

Rather, it is our confidence that Truth is powerful and will always triumph (except when it is not heard), so much that we are willing to coexists peaceably with opposing views.

Condemning to hell those who do not agree with us, calling them “liars” and such, means we forfeit our best evidence (Love) that what we hold to is Truth.

Jesus said, “Love (agape) your enemies; do good to them” (Luke 6:35). By this he was calling us to invest in the redemptive needs of those who oppose us (not the same as receiving from them), beginning with investing in ourselves.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B27

Week 8

The Abundant Life: The Confident Expectation of Everyone Who Experiences Christ

The abundant life Christ promised/offered is not great wealth, travel to exotic places, exciting entertainment, fame, etc., because those things do not guarantee happiness and contentment.

Instead, it is a life continually renewed to fuller measure each day with God’s provisions for our healing so that, not only does our brokenness not manifest to define our lives, but we are made holy and useful to God for redemptive service to others.

This means…

We are materially supported – that is, we have no lack of essential food and shelter, or necessary funds to purchase them.

We are healthy in body (free from disease but also abounding in energy, strength, flexibility, and endurance).

We are healthy psychologically (mind, emotions, and will) – that is, we have family and friends to support our need for information, affection, and decision making.

Most essentially (by merit of our experience of “who Christ is” in us to renew us daily through quiet-time worship), we are being continually increased to fuller measure with God’s love (his value in us for him, ourselves, and others), joy (our experience of forgiveness), peace (our experience of nothing owed), longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness/giving (his heart for others), humility (concerning our needs), faith (confidence concerning who God is, our need for him, who we are, where we came from, the reason we were born, and where we are going), and temperance (the character of Christ to support our compliance to God’s plan for our healing).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B24

Called to Experience Christ: Our Only Hope to Hear Truth

Information ABOUT the Scripture can be taught and understood APART from the work of the Holy Spirit (to communicate Truth or to illumine our minds). That’s because man has human capacity for comprehending facts and even complex concepts.

But Divine Truth (information and concepts as God knows and understands them) is unknowable* to us until the Holy Spirit intervenes through the Scripture to make it so.

(*This is in the same way members of the plant and animal kingdoms can instinctively respond to sounds but cannot cognitively comprehend human concepts or communicate grammatically.)

So grace ministry calls counselees first to reading the Scripture (in order) to hear God (in order) to experience Christ. Without this experience of Christ, nothing can be taught except what can be understood by the carnal/natural mind.

This I suspect/grieve is the usual experience for teaching ministry in the performance church.

“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (perceived).” - 1 Corinthians 2:14

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B23

Reviewing God’s Goal for Resources

We will be disappointed with others in our service to them when our goal for the relationship is not their health but our personal happiness – that's because their response to us today will not make us happy the same way tomorrow (the tolerance/boredom factor).

However, “who Christ is” in us transforms us so that our relationship to others is not about us, but about them.

Also, we will be disappointed when the goal for our relationship with our resources is not our health, but our happiness.

God is not foremost in our lives to meet our happiness needs, but to support the choices we must make which establish us in health, and he calls us to connect to him (and his resources) to receive that support.


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B22

Worldly Entertainment: Enemy of Christian Values

We complain because the entertainment world (tv and movie industry) produces fare that offends/grieves us who have been renewed to holiness by our experience of Christ.

But rather than taking action to bring about change, we do better to just turn the mess off.

That’s because, those who write and produce the entertainment have a different set of values than we do. They do not value God (his provisions for health), themselves or others (their redemptive needs), so they do not produce entertainment that supports our values but that feeds the appetites of people who share theirs.

“The sinful mind is hostile to God." - Romans 8:7

I will set no vile thing before my eyes. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.” – Psalm 101:3

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B21

Fussing About Missed Appreciation for The Bible

I am still curious that my Microsoft Words program wants to auto correct tv with TV. What’s up with that? What is a Tele Vision? Or is TV a state or country? Or college degree? Or an acronym for a company? Why then not elevate measures to TSP or IN or FT or MB/GB or MG/MCG? 

I am also curious/don’t get it why believers small cap “bible” when referring to The Bible. A bible by definition is a book that is considered an authority on a particular subject. The Bible, of course, is a bible, but it is also the title of a bible – the same as Webster’s Dictionary is the title of a dictionary. The world has lots of moms and dads, but we have only one we call Mom and Dad.

The Bible does not need my defense, but I sure do love it, and fuss when it is devalued.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B20

Week 7

Experiencing Christ: Support for Confidence Concerning God’s Existence

Every believer is subject to wavering in confidence concerning God’s existence. That is, unless the Holy Spirit has communicated that Truth to us through the Scripture (which is not the same as hearing information about God’s existence reported to us by man – including from the pulpit.) It is this communication (sowing of the Seed) by the Holy Spirit into us that births faith (conviction) in us concerning Truth - which is the meaning of

“Faith comes by hearing (Truth communicated by the Holy Spirit), and hearing by the Word of God.” – Romans 10:17

Again, the Truth/Word/Seed is sown into our minds by the Holy Spirit with the result that it produces faith (conviction) concerning Truth.

But we also have an even deeper, more powerful support for our confidence concerning God’s existence: It is our experience of Christ which we have when we open the door of our hearts (mind, emotions, and will) to receive the flow of “who he is” into us during our quiet time worship.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man will open the door, I will come in to him." - Revelation 3:20

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B17

Denying the Reality of Aging, Accepting the Reality of Dying

For Christmas, family members gave me Billy Graham’s book, Heading Home, which he wrote last year at the age of 92. I suspect the gift was motivated by my appreciation for Billy Graham, but also suspect my age (63) had something to do with it. While I am not conscious of too much decline in my health and fitness (strength, endurance, and flexibility) since I was in my 30’s - 40's, I know I will not live forever or enjoy my current health levels on the day I die (that is, unless I die soon/suddenly). And while I may be in denial of my aging, I do not deny that one day I will, in fact, die - a reality I am forced to confess when I consider that, on the day I was born, people were living who are in Heaven today, and I will be Heaven when babies who are being born today are the age I am now (that is unless I live to be 126).

DonLoy Whisnant/Journey Notes 12A02/The Grace Perspective 12B16

The Role of Grace Resources to Support Health, and of Service to Support Happiness

We will be disappointed if happiness is the goal for our relationship to grace leadership (parents, husbands, and pastors). That’s because
  • grace resources (in the home and church) exist to meet health needs, not happiness needs, and
  • happiness is the result of our enabled service to others.
(Again:) The goal/role/mission of grace resources is to support us for making choices which result in health, and our experience of happiness is only incidental to our service to others which is supported by our health.


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B15

Grace Giving: Support for Meeting Redemptive Needs, Not Payment for Goods or Services

Good people insist on making payment for the services provided by our counseling. That’s because, in the kingdoms of the world, payment for material goods and services is the normal, willing, and happy expression of moral health. Honesty and integrity can not tolerate theft or nonpayment.

However, in the Kingdom of God (the Body of Christ), the support (giving) of grace resources to meet the redemptive needs of others (the only Scriptural giving) is free, so cannot be purchased - or it's not a gift. It is the normal, willing, and happy expression of Christ living his Life/doing his work in and through us.

This means, giving does not flow from the served to the serving resource, but from the serving resource to the served. Jesus said he "did not come to be served, but to serve" (Matthew 20:28). 

Also, receiving support that meets our personal redemptive needs is the normal, willing, and happy expression of humility. Pride denies the need for redemption, resists/rejects/resents support offered for it, and insists, instead, on making payment as for material goods and services.

“You thought you could buy the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:20)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B14


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B14

Support for Covenant Connection to Christ: The Starting Goal of Grace Counseling

The goal of grace counseling includes, of course, to relieve pain/symptoms, reduce tension, and resolve conflicts in relationships, but its leading goal is to support counselees for making choices which result in their personal healing.

These choices begin with taking time each day to
  • read the Scripture (in order to)
  • hear God communicate to them Truth regarding their brokenness and need for him - leading to conviction, change of mind, confession, conversion, and calling out to receive his provisions, beginning with Christ's Blood and Resurrected Life (in order to)
  • experience God in quiet-time worship - leading to enablement for making the essential choices (for diet, exercise, and covenant connection to investment leadership in the home, church, and especially Christ) that support physical and psychological health (in order to)
  • manifest the Life of Christ into the world, especially in redemptive service to others, beginning at home.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B13


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B13

Week 6

Grace and Forgiveness Understood from The Grace Perspective

God’s grace and forgiveness are among the most meaningful terms we use to teach the grace message. The performance message, however, (mis)defines "grace" to mean God’s kindness to overlook our foolish choices, maybe because we are ignorant, weak, or foolish (if not rebellious), or maybe just because he is a softy, and "forgiveness" to mean God is letting us off the hook for our misbehavior (but just this one more time).

The grace of God, however, is his provisions to meet our redemptive needs, beginning with the Blood and Life of Christ for our salvation (Heaven and holiness), but including also all that he provides in Creation (the soil and atmosphere) to meet our biological needs and in Community (the home and church) to meet our psychological needs (for information, affection, and decision making).

The word forgiveness means “removal.” It is God’s removal of his judgment against us (separation from him) because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, and also the removal of the darkness/brokenness into which we (the human race) fell as a result.

This forgiveness is based upon our choices to include daily in our lives God’s provisions in Creation and Community (so that we can be recovered to health), but most essentially, upon our trusting in/receiving God’s provision of Christ’s Blood/Death on the cross for us as the only payment he will accept to satisfy his judgment against us (so that we can go to Heaven), and also of Christ’s Resurrected Life in us (so that we can be holy/useful in service to others).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B10

Faithfully and Freely Provided, Finding Freedom in Relationship to Grace Resources

God gave the church as a support resource to meet the redemptive needs of a hurting world. He did not create man for the church (to support it), but the church for man (the same as he created the home for man).

We do not sign up for God’s help as we would a program or class. There is no registration or fee or mandate. God serves us as the Great Provider/Healer. We come to him only as we are called to him through faith (conviction), repentance (change of mind) and confession concerning our needs, awe of him, love/value for his provisions, and response to receive his offer of support.

In early life we are called to him by our experience of his goodness (“The goodness of God leads you to repentance” - Romans 2:4) and, in later life, by our experience of brokenness.

This means, God establishes/enables his resources in the world, makes them accessible to the lost and hurting, reports the fact (good news) by the Holy Spirit through The Scripture, through whom also he convinces us of his love, faithfulness, and power to save.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B09

Defining Sin: Choices That Disregard God’s Provisions and the Reason Our Needs Are Not Met

God absolutely provides every need of every person without fail, waver, or exception (without regard to disposition or behavior). This means, he does not provide the needs of some who make him smile but not of others because they misbehave. It means also that, if we do not have our needs met, it is not because God did not provide them.

That’s because: God’s provision of our needs and our experience of having them met are not the same. For example, God provided water, but our need for hydration is not met until we drink it.

We can express appreciation to God all day for his provision of water, and plead earnestly with him to meet our hydration needs, but they will not be met for the reason alone that God provided water, but only because we choose to drink it.

Man is not lost, and we are not broken because God’s provisions are limited, but because of sin (making choices to meet our needs with disregard to God’s provisions to meet those needs.)

”If any of you lacks wisdom (who Christ is – 1 Corinthians 1:30), he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe (receive) and not doubt (reject)... that man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.” – James 1:5-7

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your sins have separated you from your God (his provisions).” – Isaiah 59:1-2

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B08

The Call to Write Consistent With Confidence in Grace Concepts

I do not know exactly who the readership is for The Grace Perspective. Of course, I may wonder occasionally, but I write with the confidence that
  • writers are vessels God calls to the tasks and enables them for it, through whom he ministers to hurting persons without us needing to over think who exactly they may be, also that
  • the message will be helpful to whomever God sends/intends it - even into the next generation.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B07

The Call of Grace to Health and Holiness, a Stand Alone Counseling Support for Success

Counseling support offered by performance-based Christianity (Plan B) promotes compliance to rules, determination, commitment, trying harder, accountability, and positive thinking/believing in self and others.

The grace message (Plan A) gives due to all that but calls us first and foremost to confession, surrender, waiting, and trusting to include God’s provisions in our lives which enable us for the performance – a message which is mocked by religionists.

“How long will you mock my glory (the source of my strength)?” - Psalm 4:2

Also, the Plan B support formula for religious life is the same as for success in the business world and the sports world. But the grace message stands alone to call us away from dependence upon heroic self effort (performance) to dependence upon the work Christ does in, for, and through us.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B06

Week 5

Prayer at Meals: Understanding Words In Order to Grow in Grace

Meal times are a wonderful opportunity for us to confess our confidence in God’s goodness, also to give ourselves again to him for use in his service to others, and to receive afresh his provisions which enable us.

Actually, this defines exactly the meaning of the word thanksgiving. But I do not use the expression “giving thanks” at meals because of how it is typically understood - that it means to thank God for our food and all his blessings in the sense of expressing appreciation to him because he deserves it, and also because it is the polite thing to do.

What get’s lost in that notion, however, is that thanksgiving means to give ourselves to the Provider of our needs, motivated by our confidence in his commitment to our health.

(Again) It identifies that disposition of our hearts toward God which motivates us to open the door to receive his provisions, including the food before us, but especially his Son, and to say “Come in!” This means, the action and the attitude that motivates it are essentially the same.

As it is typically understood, praying at meals for God to “bless this food” means asking him to make the food nutritious (“…we pray you will make this food nourishing to our bodies”). But we do not need to ask God to do what he has already done, or to do what he does not do. Prayer (in the sense of “asking God”) does absolutely nothing to change the food before us so that it is mystically changed to be different than it is. If it is not nutritious, asking God to bless the food won’t change it so that it becomes nutritious.

(More appropriately we might pray, “Dear God, help me to know which food choices support my health and then to know how to prepare them - not to cook the life out of them or load them with sugar - so that they are nourishing.”)

I can't get my understanding around what the expression “saying grace” could possibly mean (“Don, would you say grace?” or “Kids, don’t eat until we say grace!”). It frustrates my need for words and expressions to mean something, and also an example of the reason for the superficial understanding of Truth in the Church (because the teaching is not rooted in clearly defined words).

Someone said that as a child he sang “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own.” As a child, I sang “In the swing, bye and bye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” As a child my son ended “How Great Thou Art” with “O break my heart!”

So we do those things as children. But in order to grow, we must learn the meaning of words so that our experience of God is not just a thought but a reality.

At meals, I typically pray, “Heavenly Father, we receive (thank you for) this meal with the confidence (faith) you have provided it (as you have all our needs), and that it will be nourishing to our bodies to support/enable us in our service to others in Jesus’ name (according to your redemptive purpose). Amen.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B03

When Couples Hold Hands: What it Might Mean in a Healthy Culture

When we see couples holding hands in public, we tend to think they must be dating, the same as we may think couples who do not hold hands must be married.

But wait a minute! Isn't that backward?

In a purer/healthier world, wouldn't dating couples save their expressions of affection until marriage, and married couples be so in love that, if we saw a couple holding hands, hugging, etc., we would think they must be married, not that they must be dating?

Add to this the consideration that (speaking for most, if not all, guys), men are users - which means touching a woman is taking and that, in time, we lose interest in touching people we use.  It's the default affliction of our broken human nature.

Our experience of Christ, however, transforms us so that touching is investing. Holding her hand becomes about her needs. And as we are renewed and increased daily by the heart of Christ in us for others, our touching to invest extends for a lifetime.  

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B02

Their Gain at Our Expense: Exposing the Goal of Users

Users pursue relationship with us, not because of an interest in our health and happiness, but for their own gain. The “tell” is usually the following:

1. Smooth-as-butter words/tone
2. The misrepresentation of facts
3. Manipulation (especially of our time and emotions)
4. Pressure (through appeal to guilt, fear, and ego)
5. Expectation of return (payment)

“For such people are not serving others, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of the innocent/unsuspecting.” – Romans 16:18

“His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.” – Psalm 55:21

“…their flattering lips speak with deception.” – Psalm 12:2

Those interested in our gain make wise choices for themselves so that they come to their own health, and then give themselves to God (and to the resources he brings into their lives) for the purpose of him working through them/using them as vessels to provide redemptive service/support to others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B01

Scheduling Appointments: Reviewing Guidelines for Counseling in a Grace Renewal Church

Guidelines for scheduling the counseling provided by a grace renewal ministry are different from those of outreach ministries. Maybe a fire station versus a retail business or even a for-profit doctor’s office is a good example. Emergency services take care to be competent but are not aggressive to build a clientele. For this reason, grace counseling does not attempt to schedule counselees for advanced phase or long-term counseling - no more than a fire chief would schedule services to fight fires.

But we are ready when counselees identify their needs (by the Holy Spirit) and our counseling as the resource to which God is calling them for support.

Counselees are usually very willing to come when scheduled, but their response to the support offered by grace counseling (intimacy with Christ which is a hard sell to begin with) is more appropriate and meaningful when they are in confession of their brokenness and need (that they are on fire) and have a sense of urgency sufficient to motivate them to seek support.

Of course, these principles are not the same as guide scheduling for teaching ministry – to which members are scheduled by covenant.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A31 

Identifying Highly Individualized Health Needs, Trusting God to Guide Our Choices

Jackie, in her bantering mood, emailed to say that, if walking were healthy, postman would be immortal, also that rabbits run and hop but live 15 years, and that tortoises don’t run but can live 450 years.

Actually, though, there are those who strongly support much less exercise - both for frequency and intensity. Also, I heard Jordan Rubin suggest we should consider eating one or two larger meals a day rather than more, smaller meals. So, good people seem to have different opinions. I am convinced our needs for physical health are more individualized (like our temperament needs) than we think (per Dr Mercola's nutritional typing), and that the Holy Spirit supports/guides us for making the appropriate choices.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." - Psalm 32:8

That is the reason I try to remember never to prescribe, but only to report findings from the different studies by third party sources or to share which choices seem to work for me personally.

However, with regard to our need for justification and sanctification, Christ alone is the solution. Right?

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A30

Week 4

Supported by the Holy Spirit for Knowing How to Help: The Four Sometimes of Counseling

Counselees who are deeply hurting have an ear for our message more than others, but also, sometimes their experience of pain can be so deep that they can hear nothing, so we attempt to find ways to support them in the moment, for the purpose of saving their lives, usually by just listening, sometimes holding them - if not physically, we hold them with our hearts.

But we take care about this. God has a purpose for allowing pain, so we do not over-minister (taking from the expression over-parent). Sometimes a counselee’s goal is not healing but superficial pain relief, and when it is met, they leave.

God knows the need, and he enables those of us he uses to provide appropriate support for healing, so that it is effectual. Sometimes it may appear the grace counselor is cold, and he may be, but it also may be that he is giving opportunity for counselees to experience the pain that calls them into intimacy with Christ, who is their greatest need and hope for recovery.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A27

Making Hard Choices for Meals Motivated by Strong Mental Commitment to Health Measured by Common Sense 

I like recipes/formulas/plans/strategies for reaching health goals, also program goals - but don't like meal/food preparation. I envy people who do. So I just toss what I have into the VitaMix. Sometimes I remember to add this or that which someone recommended, but I don't know what I am doing. But if it supports my health, I don't get hung up over taste. Although I prefer food to taste good, if it doesn't, I eat it with the same mentality I run. I just do it.

Today I loaded my VitaMix with spinach, carrots, cucumber, green pepper, an apple, celery, onions, frozen peas, craisins, walnuts, mustard, olive oil, Bragg Vinegar, Bragg Liquid Aminos, and pepper, and then processed it to a smooth consistency. The yellow/green result was the best tasting so far of my many attempts, but still needs work. Maybe I am missing tomato, avocado, broccoli, and garlic/other seasonings. Really, though, the taste is only secondary. My strong mental commitment to good health means nutrition has highest priority so that taste is a secondary value. My mind opens my mouth and I eat it, albeit maybe not always with a smile. (For a beverage, I drink the rinse water.) 

This is true also of exercise and other wise lifestyle choices. Weather conditions and other conveniences are secondary, so I have a history of running in all kinds of weather, even a few times on ice (which is highly not recommended).

But most choices I make for health are delightful. I love to sleep, mow lawns/fields, read, and eat. Steak and/or Seafood, sauteed vegetables, baked potato, and green salad may be my favorite meal. I also love Thanksgiving/Christmas turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, green peas, cooked carrots, deviled eggs, lime salad, and baked sweet potatoes (which also makes a great dessert). And absolutely anything my wife prepares.

And then, I make other food choices (guessing about 20%) which are not quite as supportive of health as others (in the same way we make recreational choices which are more about fun than health). For example, I enjoy philly cheesesteaks with mushrooms, Brunswick stew, fried chicken, Buffalo wings, calzones, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, chili, chimachangas, tacos, bacon and eggs, pork chops, apple pie and ice cream, coffee, tea, and diet coke (diluted with water, but still not recommended).     

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A26

Superficial Support for Christian Living a Leading Cause for Brokenness and Burnout

The Life of Christ renewed in us daily supports/enables us for every appropriate service to others, including giving.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge (experience) of Christ." - 2 Peter 1:3

"God is able to make all grace abound to you so that, in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

"Christ in you, (your) hope of glory (manifesting the ways and character of God)." - Colossians 1:27

This is the message of the New Covenant and should be the prominent message of the Church. When it is not, or when it is not embraced and experienced by its members, the needed enablement for their Christian living will be missing, leaving church leaders strategizing to otherwise motivate it (through guilt, fear, and ego) by identifying religious rules and God’s expectations.

Churches may get some mileage from this strategy, but it won’t be long-term, resulting ultimately and instead in brokenness, bondage, and burnout.

“Come to me all you who are broken and burned out and I will give you recovery through renewal.” – Matthew 11:28 (GracePoint paraphrased).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A25

Brokenness and Burnout: The High Cost of Trying to Win God’s Favor

My dear former mentor/pastor/employer said this week on radio that he had set his mind on winning the favor of God at any cost. It was this performance-based message that was at the root of my failed health and ministry years ago.

The message of grace is, we do not need to win God’s favor because we already have it, so much that he gave his only Son (along with every other essential provision - Romans 8:32) to make possible our healing and going to Heaven. And he has brought these provisions to the very door of our hearts, so that anyone who opens the door to receive them into their lives will experience the benefits they provide.

Indeed, there is a cost for attempting to win favor we do not understand we already have. It is brokenness and burnout, discouragement and death.

“When we were still powerless (to win his favor), Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6

“God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans 5:8

”He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39

“For what the law (performance to obey the rules) was powerless to do because of the weakness of the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.” – Romans 8:3

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A24

Missing in the Cold What God Gives in the Heat: The Grace Dynamic for Hearing and Communicating Truth

Truth God gives in the warmth cannot be understood in the cold.

Every grace minister experiences the adversity of Satan and the world, also of his human nature, to oppose the message God gives him. The opposition comes in the receiving, and also in the sowing, but it often comes most brutally and severely in the reviewing of the message – that is, in considering the worth of the seed after it has been sown.

But the message/seed God gives is not a matter for too much concern for the messenger. That’s because, the message is not his, neither is the responsibility and enablement for the communication of it, but God’s. Otherwise: Although he may rejoice in the message as God is giving it, and be conscious of the presence of Christ in him to communicate it, in the afterthought, when he thinks he might want to review in the cold what God has given him in the warmth, the message may seem disappointingly foolish and laughable, the same as to others whose ears are too dull and carnal to hear Truth, so that he is embarrassed, sometimes maybe even horrified with what he wrote.

That is, until he is renewed. Then, he rejoices again for the redeeming value of the Truth God gives and his faithfulness to communicate it – with this confidence, it will be effectual to those for whom God intends it.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A23

Week 3

Satisfied on Earth, Set for Heaven: The Grace Sentiment

30 years ago, there may have been a place on earth I would have been excited about going to see, but can’t think of one today. I am excited only about going to Heaven. So I told Carole that when I leave this life she should not think I might be disappointed about missing experiences here, because I will be elated to be in Heaven. This, of course, with the exception of my home, which is Heaven on earth to me.

I think I understand Paul’s sentiments when he said he was torn between two desires, one to go to Heaven and the other to continue ministry here (Philippians 1:23).

Overall, my life has been good and I have wonderful memories since early childhood. Especially has the last 23 years been good, and even better since February 4, 2004 when I began fulltime with GracePoint (which we started Easter Sunday, 2002).

So while I am not planning to get in line for the next transport to Heaven, no one will ever be more excited about being there than I.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A20 

Giving to GracePoint Consistent with Grace Concepts

GracePoint does not charge for its services or ask for donations. Support comes mostly from the giving by its leadership. It comes also through members who have phrased/are phasing through the program and are learning to give, not as payment for services or to express appreciation to God or GracePoint, but with hilarity (rejoicing) out of their healing and as one of the ways they live out God’s call for them to serve (invest in) others.  

(The Message of Grace is, we do not give in order to get healthy, but because we are healthy, and that Scriptural giving is an enabled service to others. To give otherwise is an example of performance-based Christianity or legalism.) 

This service to (investment in) others may be direct from pocket. Or it may be through GracePoint as a proxy. Each person must come to his/her own conviction and peace about the matter.

(Using our testimony as an example, Carole and I invest in others, mostly through GracePoint. But we also give directly to individuals as God enables and guides us. Also, we don't insist on giving to GracePoint. Sometimes we think that, if we could discover another ministry that embraced the concepts of grace as we understand them, and which was better equipped, we would be motivated to pull up stakes and pour our support into that ministry.)

We have never worried about support. At the outset of this ministry on Easter Sunday 2002, we embraced the following promise to guide GracePoint's financial policy:

"God is able to make all grace (support) abound to you so that, in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good (redemptive) work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8  

Our budget is very small. But no purpose of God for GracePoint has ever been missed because of a lack of support. When the need has been present, so has the funds. 


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A19

Performance Ministry Motivated by Missed Wanna-Be Needs

The story is told (for illustration) about a young man who copied pictures of himself to post around town because of his need to be seen. I thought of him when I saw on YouTube a guy who videoed himself. He had nothing to say but only practiced  smiling, laughing, frowning, nodding his head, winking, etc.. I got the idea he may have just needed to be seen.

I suspect there is some of that in all of us – that is, we have a sense people are looking at us, maybe because we look at them, so we comb/fix our hair, dress up a little, and check ourselves in the mirror. The extreme of that (a mental illness) shows up sometimes in those who think the whole world is talking about them, or looking at them, or listening to them (even their thoughts). So they stand on the corner or walk through the house talking to/acting out for their vast unseen audience.

Others can be seen on YouTube who dance, sing, and express earnest opinions ("Do you want to know what I think?"). The performances are bad, but they don’t seem to think so, or care. I saw on local religious tv recently a program so horribly produced that little of it could be understood. Communicating a message just could not have been the goal! And if not, it must have been something to do with the need of some poor soul to be seen, maybe to be a star.

I remember also a man who must have won a lottery, because he bought time on tv stations in several states to air his Bible teaching, although he had painfully little to say that made sense. Even after a year, there was no indication anyone much viewed his program, but he continued to spend his money because of (I suspect) his wanna-he needs. At first, I considered he was sincere about his message, but concluded that he far more hurt the cause of Christ than helped.

A totally different scenario would be those who have been recovered from brokenness, called and prepared by God (sometimes for a very long period of time) to communicate a message, who then give themselves (sometimes reluctantly) as vessels to God for his use (or not), timely and according to the need as he determines it. They may minister only to their families, or next-door neighbors, or friends - few or many, it does not matter. But they do it because they are compelled by the Heart of Christ in them for the redemptive needs of others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A18

Schedule: Shutting the Door to Spontaneity

The experts insist we should make choices for exercise that we enjoy, because we won’t do longterm what we don’t enjoy. The part about not doing longterm what we do not enjoy is correct. But choosing exercises only because we enjoy them is a non-solution.

I enjoy my runs, but I take care that it is not the reason I run. That’s because, the more the element of enjoyment is the motivation factor for the choices we make for health, the greater the likelihood we will stop doing them - for this reason: What we do today because it is fun will not be fun in the same way tomorrow, or the next day. In fact, in time, the choices we once enjoyed will become boring. So choosing exercises because they are fun is not the answer.

But if we make choices for health because they are a scheduled part of a program we have submitted to, our regimen will never change - because the program/schedule never changes. It is in this way a program schedule shuts the door to wimping out because it is too cold or we are too tired (or the choice doesn’t taste or feel good).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A17

Meaning of the Bible Word 'Believe' Mostly Missed by the World

A very common use of the word believe is "to think positive about self, others, and outcomes.”

Sometimes athletes embrace this understanding of believe. (Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos might be an example!) And with some occasional benefit! That’s because, positive thinking about outcomes helps support the emotions and will against discouragement/quitting. Also, visualizing desired outcomes (imagery) has a psychosomatic influence on how things turn out. For example, positive thinking (I am told) is a helpful strategy for prize fighting ("I can't be hurt!") and bull riding ("I can do this!").

When this understanding is transferred to/imposed on the Scripture, the word means to think positive toward God – for example, that he will/might “bless us” if we discipline our thoughts to think positive (suppress negative thoughts/ doubts) about an outcome we want.

But in the sense of John 3:16, the word believe means "to trust, receive.” More literally, it means “to live/act like it is true.” For example, to believe a chair will support my weight means I sit in it. However positive my thoughts may be, until I sit in the chair, it cannot be said that I believe.

A Scriptural use of the word believe is also in the sense of trusting in a process or plan. For example, athletes learn to believe/trust in their training, and in their game plan. Also, the best golfers learn to believe/trust in their swing.

We can also believe/trust in God's promises and provisions

To believe in Christ as Savior means to trust wholly and alone in the provision of his death on the cross as the only payment God will accept to satisfied his judgment against us (because of Adam’s disobedience).

To believe God for good outcomes (including for healing/health and happiness) means to include in our lives the provisions he has given (in creation, community, and Christ) which support those outcomes in a way that is consistent with the law of sowing and reaping (cause and effect) which God ordained to govern his creation.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A16

Week 2

Support for the Deeply Broken: The Mission of Grace Ministry

The mission of grace renewal church/ministry is to provide information support for the message of grace (that God has made provisions to meet our health and happiness needs), and to call deeply hurting persons to consider it - with the hope, of course, that they will receive and be supported by it. This means, its mission is not primarily to meet social or entertainment needs, different from the evangelical/outreach/purpose (performance) driven church which represents/promotes itself in that way in order to attract the unchurched (putting it in competition with the world).

(Again) This means the grace renewal church exists to provide, not superficial pain relief, but support leading to healing for the deeply troubled whom God calls to it when they have come to the end of their search for help elsewhere (sometimes making for a very small clientele).

Also, the grace minister (husband, parent, and pastor) is motivated, not by personal unmet needs to be significant in the lives of others (too often true, it seems sometimes, of the performance-driven minister and a judgment I make out of my own affliction), but by the heart of Christ within him/her for others, and also by the deep confidence and certainty God has called and enabled him/her for the responsibility.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A13 

Essential Needs: Indispensable to Existence but not Inherent so must be Included

We carefully weigh the redemptive value of every (every) action/venture - that is, to consider whether or not it supports health, especially of the heart/soul (mind, emotions, and will), but including also of the body, finances, and relationships.

The question we ask before making a choice is “Why?” If the answer is not “Because it is redemptive, at least in some measure,” we do well not to choose that action.

“At least in some measure” means the action has some component to it that supports health – and that, although it may not be redemptive in every part, no part of it is destructive. That is, except in the sense when it crowds out the choices that are best - which leaves us at risk. 

We consider every function and meeting of the church in this way - that is, do they serve to help meet redemptive needs? And to what measure?

Churches, of course, have the opportunity to support essential health needs, including for interaction with others, encouragement, and involvement in service programs. (Sometimes maybe also to meet social/entertainment needs, although these are not at all essential to its mission - in the same sense they are not essential to the mission of a hospital, classroom, or factory.)

The most critical service of the church, however, is to provide essential information (to teach Truth), call hurting persons to it, and support them for incorporating it into their living.

Essential information (Truth) means it is “indispensible.” It also means it is “not inherent" to our fallen human nature (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). To borrow from nutritional science for an illustration, an essential element means the body does not produce it, so must be met through the choices we make for diet (food), exercise, lifestyle, and supplementation.

Essential Truth, then, means, unless the Holy Spirit provides it, the need is not met.

Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all Truth.” – John 16:13

And, in the same way we must choose to include nutritional values which support health, we must also open the door of our hearts to receive the flow of Truth (the Mind of Christ – John 14:7) into us by the Holy Spirit.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A12

Support for Choices That Lead to Health: The Start of Counseling That Leads to Happiness

Counselees are typically focused on their mental and emotional pain and seek hurry-up steps and strategies for relief. Grace counseling, however, focuses on the problem - which is unmet health needs.

That means, our counseling does not begin (except for emergency needs) with identifying/prescribing behavioral or mental exercises (therapies) which might temporarily relieve some of the pain/unhappiness, or with teaching communication skills which might help to temporarily reduce some of the tension in a struggling relationship (as a simple example, for a husband to give his wife roses or candy).

Instead, we support counselees for scheduling wise choices that increase them in personal health, beginning with taking time each day for Scripture reading, confession of brokenness and need for God, and quiet-time worship in order to experience Christ.

Having accomplished that goal (personal health), we are enthusiastic to support counselees for making the follow-up choices (redemptive service to others) that results in the happiness they seek (subject for another day). 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A11

Giving to Support Organizational Growth: The Membership Expectation of the Performance Church

Membership in the performance church is entered into through commitment (covenant) to give (time, talents, and especially tithes) – so that, if you are hurting and cannot give, you may attend but not have favor.

Contrasting that, membership in a grace renewal church is entered into through covenant to receive - the same as if you were entering a healthcare program. The program is not about what you can do for it (to increase its size or status), but what you will give it opportunity to do for you (to provide support for your healing). This is the meaning (in the organic context) of the Bible words "honor, submit, and obedience."


DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A10

Living the Christian Life: Enabled by our Experience of Christ

Performance-based Christianity (legalism) assigns qualities and behaviors to Christians that are, in fact, true only about God and are not at all human abilities. For a few of many examples, man cannot love (unconditionally value/invest), forgive, rejoice, grieve, suffer long, believe, or endure – although he may research to learn what those qualities and behaviors look like so that he can mimic them for a fleeting moment.

Man does have the ability, however, to hate, condemn, and use.

Our only hope to do otherwise is for Christ to live his Life in and through us – which he does increasingly by the Holy Spirit as we take time each day for Scripture reading (in order to hear God communicate Truth), confession of brokenness and need, and quiet-time worship (in order to experience God).

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A09

Week 1

Grace: Flowing from the Resource, Rain Support to Renew Staff

I recall the appreciation I expressed in my earlier ministry to the volunteers and staff members who worked hard to support my heroic performances in the community. Generally, I would write notes or say something like, “Thank you for your hard work and for your love and support to me and my family. May God bless you!”

But workers and staff are not called to love and support church leaders; rather, church leaders are called to love and support workers and staff through whom the work of the ministry is conducted in the community.

This principle seems to be illustrated in creation (nature) by the water cycle.

The ocean is the earth’s largest reservoir of water (71%). God calls the water supply upward (evaporation) to form clouds (condensation), sends the winds and lightnings to precipitate water (precipitation) over the land so that the earth is renewed. Some rain becomes groundwater, but most finds its way through streams and rivers back to the ocean (the resource).

“He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain, and brings forth the wind from his storehouse.” – Psalm 135:7

“It is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone.´- Zechariah 10:1

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A06

How to Go to Heaven: The Five Steps to Salvation

In our counseling, we use five words to help teach God’s Plan for How to Go to Heaven.

1. Conviction

The Greek word is “pistis” and means “faith.”

"For by grace are you saved through faith (conviction)." – Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith is Conviction concerning Truth - especially about God, Christ, and ourselves.

It is the work/fruit of the Holy Spirit. He speaks (sows the Seed of) God’s Word into our hearts (minds) which produces faith in us. (Romans 10:17; Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 5:22).

2. Change of Mind (Repentance)

Repentance is often defined as "being sorry for our sins" and "turning from our sins," but repentance (Gr. metanoia) means "Change of Mind."

Repentance is also the work of the Holy Spirit.

"God has given repentance that leads to life." - Acts 11:18

The Holy Spirit first convinces us (Faith/Conviction) concerning Truth (about God, Christ, and ourselves), and by merit of that, our minds are changed (Repentance).

3. Confession

Confession means "to be in agreement." It is what we do!

We have been convicted (faith) by the Holy Spirit concerning Truth, our minds have been changed (repentance), and now we confess, "I am in agreement."

4. Conversion

Conversion (Gr. strepho) means "to turn around, to reverse course." It is a 180-degree turn, an “about-face."

"Jesus said, 'Truly (Gr. amen) I say to you, except you be converted and become as little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'" - Matthew 18:3

5. Call

Call means essentially the same as "receiving." It is the same as saying, “Come in!”

“Everyone who calls upon (receives) the name of the Lord (who he is) shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13

So, the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Scripture which 1) produces faith in us and 2) changes our minds concerning who we are, who God is, and about Christ, and as a result, we 3) confess what he says is true, 4) turn away from trusting in what we think we can do (good works) to earn salvation, to trusting instead in what Christ has already done for us by his death and resurrection, and then 5) call out to God to receive Christ into our lives.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A05

Understanding Grace Enabled Leadership (a Review)

For review, four words support our understanding of grace enabled leadership.


That is, God’s love (agape).

(Human love is defined as an affinity for a person, thing, or experience that meets superficial needs. The old Toyota slogan, “I love what you do for me” illustrates human love. It is a conditional love based on the performance of the provider.)

God’s love, however, means to “unconditionally value.” It is his value for all mankind based upon who he is and not upon what we do. His love birthed and nurtured in us enables us to unconditionally value
  • God’s provisions for us in creation, community, and especially the Blood and resurrected Life of Christ (so that we receive them),
  • ourselves (so that we invest in our health), and
  • others (so that we invest in them what we have received).
God’s love in us enables our relationship to those we serve to be about them, (what we can do for them) and not about our needs (what they can do for us).


Grace enabled leadership listens before it speaks – to God and also to others.

This means, we take extended quiet time daily to read the Scripture in order to hear from God. It also listens to those it serves. Grace parenting takes time each day to ask children, “What is it you want me to know?”


Grace leadership is enabled by the Life which flows into us through the Vine (John 15:1-8) consistent with God’s law of sowing and reaping. This means, we can reap (know) only what we sow (invest for), but also, we can sow into others only the information we have reaped (learned).


Grace leadership identifies the road that leads to health, and then blazes the trail for others to follow. This means husbands, parents, and pastors are always in place, prepared, and punctual (on time) in the performance of their service to others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A04

Sincere Praying Not a Substitute for Preparation: Strategy Support for Tebow

I am happy for the favorable outcomes Tim Tebow and the Broncos have had, and hurt for them when they are disappointed. Any success they have, however, will not be the result of Tim’s earnest praying during the game. Rather, it will be the outcome of their hard work to prepare during the week, actually, throughout their lives. On game day, the score will be consistent with God’s law of sowing and reaping which he ordained to govern his creation. No amount of earnest pleading, even with bitter tears, will alter that outcome.

Remember Esau?

“You know that after he made poor choices for his future, on the day when he wanted his father's blessing (inheritance), he was rejected. It was too late for repentance (a change of mind/values leading to wise choices), even though he begged with bitter tears.” – Hebrew 12:17

For this reason, I think I would enjoy (be inspired) more paying to watch the conditioning workouts during the week of preparation than the performance on game day.

See Tebow

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A03

Your Health and Happiness, What Hurts, What Helps: God in the New Year Intensely Interested in You

Absolutely we can predict with certainty that our lives in the New Year will be consistent with the law of sowing and reaping, according to God’s promises which do not fail – that the outcomes produced by the investments we made in the old year will produce those same outcomes in the New Year.

We can also predict for the New Year that it will include some experiences/changes/outcomes over which we have little or no control – for example, weather events (except to pick our climate), direction of government (except to vote), status of employment (except to work hard), etc..

Regardless, we can know that God will continue to be God - intensely interested in every detail of our lives (what hurts) and passionately committed to providing for our health and happiness (what helps).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A01

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