A Question About Discernment and Discipline


“What if the “desire to excel” isn’t the motivation in allowing sinners into the church? We invite our unsaved friends (worldlings) to church and hope they repent. Sometimes that takes a long time! Is this intervening or being missional? I understand your point that Believers aren’t to live in continual sin but am foggy about what we do with the sin saturated culture around us. Do we draw away or let them draw near?”

My Response:

“Great question/comment.  Jesus made it clear, with the salt & light analogy that we will be distinctive and visible. We need to learn to accentuate and use that distinctiveness, with talent and forethought. All available effort should be used.

The issue of believers in habitual, continual sin should be approached as ‘church discipline’. This falls on people who we call pastors and elders. 1 Cor. 5 gives this oversight a template to follow. It is a sticky thing to judge someone. When we have to, we don’t want to. (Unless the person is a ‘control freak’.)

The issue of sin in the church is interesting. To have water outside a boat is a good thing, but to have water in the boat is decidedly worse. We are to preserve our distinctiveness, without diminishing our witness. It’s like we are a flock of lambs living in a pigpen. By their very nature the are different. One has a sheep nature, the other a pig’s. There will be at times confusion. But the sheep don’t belong.

To sum it up, there is church discipline for believers, that really needs to be in place. But we are missional people. The world is very much like a pigpen. But I say, let them come in and let the Holy Spirit touch them.”


This was a recent post and follow-up comment for “Through the Sheep Dip”, posted on September 28, 2010.  The link is located at:  http://brokenbelievers.com/2010/09/28/through-the-sheep-dip/

Sunday Funnies: Chocolate

Chocolate Understood: Funny Quotes

In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who has sworn off fudge and chocolate.

I never met a piece of chocolate I didn’t like.

Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies. – John Tullius

I am not overweight. I am chocolate enriched.

There is no chocolate anonymous because no one wants to quit.

If at first you don’t succeed, have a chocolate.

If I must die let it be death by chocolate.

For some there’s therapy for the rest of us there’s chocolate.


In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips.

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment.

There’s more to life than chocolate, but not right now.

Chocolate doesn’t make the world go around … but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile!

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! – Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)

Exercise is a dirty word… Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.


The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink (cocoa) permits a man to walk for a whole day without food. – Montezuma, Aztec Emperor (c. 1480-1520)

 Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces. – Judith Viorst





Thinking Without My “Tin Foil Hat”

As we think of mental illness beginning, an immediate question arises:  what is “serious” mental illness, and how is it different from “regular” mental illness? Some may even ask if there is any difference .  We must educate ourselves, through our community, and knowledgeable Christian leadership, to serve the broken that are in our midst.  This figure includes a wide variety of disorders,
  • Severe mental illnesses affect 5.4 percent of adults,
  • Such statistics only begin to capture the level of pain.


From the Surgeon General’s report on mental illness, we read that a staggering “22 to 23 percent of the U.S. adult population—or 44 million people—have diagnosable mental disorders” ranging mild to severe, according to this report.  And this disruption is in individuals, families, and communities for which mental illness is responsible.

One person wrote of the broad reach of mental illness:

“I have a thousand faces, and I am found in all races. Sometimes rich, sometimes poor, sometimes young, sometimes old. I am a person with the disabling pain of a broken brain.”

We must find an acceptable form of drivenness if we are going to find our way to those who are quite frankly, very definitely lost.  Your support of Brokenbelievers.com through your prayers and encouragement goes along way.

Sunday Funnies: Children’s Letters to God

We love our children (those little angels!) and really do see them as a gift from God to us.  They are part of the reason why we take our meds, stay sober and deal with our depression.

Below are examples of children writing their letter to God.  All of them are significant, and we see through their innocent questions to understand the heart.

  • Dear God, In Sunday School they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation? — Jane
  • Dear God, I think about You sometimes even when I’m not praying. — Elliot
  • Dear God, Did You really mean “do unto others as they do unto you?” Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother. — Darla
  • Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. — Margret
  • Dear God, I read the Bible. What does “begat” mean? Nobody will tell me. — Love, Allison
  • Dear God, Are you really invisible or is that a trick? — Lucy
  • Dear God, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? — Anita
  • Dear God, Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? — Norma
  • Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You just keep the ones You have now? — Jane
  • Dear God, Who draws the lines around countries? — Nan
  • Dear God, The bad people laughed at Noah — “You made an ark on dry land you fool”. But he was smart, he stuck with You. That’s what I would do. — Eddie
  • Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? — Neil
  • Dear God, What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything. — Jane
  • Dear God, Thank You for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. — Joyce
  • Dear God, Why is Sunday School on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest. — Tom L.
  • Dear God, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look it up. — Bruce
  • Dear God, If we come back as something — please don’t let me be Jennifer Horton because I hate her. — Denise
  • Dear God, My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha ha. — Danny
  • Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. — Larry
  • Dear God, I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over. — Sam
  • Dear God, You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways. — Dean
  • Dear God, I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. — Nan
  • Dear God, Of all the people who work for You, I like Noah and David the best. — Rob
  • Dear God, My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they? — Marsha
  • Dear God, If You watch me in Church Sunday. I’ll show You my new shoes. — Mickey D.
  • Dear God, I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. — Love, Chri
  • Dear God, We read Thomas Edison made light. But in school they said You did it. So, I bet he stoled Your idea. — Sincerely, Donna
  • Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want You to know but I am not just saying that because You are God already. — Charles

Almighty Father

“Almighty Father, Son and Holy Ghost, eternal and ever blessed gracious God; to me the least of saints, to me allow that I should keep a door in paradise.   That I may keep the smallest door, the furthermost, the darkest, coldest door, the door which is the least used, the stiffest door.  If it so be but in thine house, O God, if so be that I can see thy glory even afar, and hear thy voice, O God, and know that I am with thee, thee O God.”

A Prayer of St. Columba, 521-597 AD


Bryan’s Note

We must travel some distance, before something like this will cling to our hearts.  Columba’s journey to the presence of Jesus most certainly gave him a perspective that enabled him to pray with this intensity and this humility.  We cannot dissuade ourselves of his effort and his overwhelming desire to be near Him.  We can only watch, and mark the zeal which took his heart and soul into the burning presence of His presence.  Columba becomes a guide of what is possible and what is to be sought.  We must become (if we are in pursuit) a people radically changed by the reality of His presence.



Sunday Funnies: Two Stories

Sunday Funnies:  Two Stories


Chocolate Chip Cookies

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from his bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of his bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen.

Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in Heaven: there, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it Heaven? Or, was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wonderous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged, withered and shaking hand made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. “Stay out of those“, she said, “they’re for the funeral.”


A Dying Preacher

An old preacher was dying. He sent a message for his banker and his lawyer, both church members, to come to his home.

When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room the preacher held out his hands and motioned for them to sit, one on each side of his bed. The preacher grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled and stared at the ceiling. For a time, no one said anything.

Both the banker and the lawyer were touched and flattered that the preacher would ask them to be with him during his final moments. They were also puzzled; the preacher had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them. They both remembered his many long, uncomfortable sermons about greed, covetousness and avaricious behavior that made them squirm in their seats.

Finally, the banker said, “Preacher, why did you ask us to come?” The old preacher mustered up his strength, then said weakly,  “Jesus died between two thieves … and that’s how I want to go.”


Photo: The Power of Unity

Photo:  The Power of Unity

When we come together, we receive from a shared strength, common to every believer.  Connected, we are resilient and strong, and it takes a very great deal to incapacitate us.  It seems that we are organically linked as believers, and that there exists a connection through the work and personality of the Holy Spirit.

That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.  (Romans 12:5)

We must grip the reality that each one has a connection to Jesus AND a connection to each other.  It is not necessarily physical, but it is a real spiritual connection, like plugging into the wall socket.