A Hospital Visit and the Result…

I spent much of yesterday laying in a hospital bed. I started having contractions, which I shouldn’t be having at 25 weeks of pregnancy.

I was never really nervous. I felt peace and knew God would allow everything to be okay…and He did. I did leave the hospital though, feeling ever grateful for the little things in life that we often take for granted:

A spouse who cares for us and serves us. A child who looks at us like we are the coolest thing that ever happened.  A friend’s self-sacrificing act. An unborn child protected by God. A life given in sacrifice.

I find it to be no coincidence either, that as I am feeling overwhelmed with all we have to be thankful for, it also happens to be Memorial Day weekend.

I’ve never understood how mega-retailers and small town shops alike, equate deep discounts and “slashing prices” on refrigerators with honoring those who have given their life in sacrifice. Maybe it’s just me..

Regardless, I am thankful for those who have fallen in the pursuit of freedom and service. I am grateful for the sacrifice made by so many families–sacrifices, that I admit, I am perhaps too selfish to make.

This Memorial Day weekend what are you thankful for? What little thing that often slips your attention is actually worthy of praise? Do you have any fallen soldiers or even veteran’s who you would like to honor? Please do so in the comments.

P.S. I was asked by the too-cool David N. Miles to be a part of his Feature Friday, where he highlights a particular blogger. Woo hoo! Please check it out and leave some comment love.

image props

If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself…

Remember back in middle school when you would play stupid games with your friends and list list out three things you would change about yourself? You also had to list your three favorite physical features.

That’s right, this game was strictly based on appearances. One of my friends would say “Oh my gosh, I like totally hate my ears. Dumbo.” Someone else would say that they like their smile or their feet. Ugh. Just remembering it makes me cringe.

Now, when I think about what I would change, I always examine myself in the spiritual. Sure, I’m already thinking about how I’m going to drop this baby weight, but more so, I want to drop bad habits. I want the Holy Spirit to some in and rip something out of me. Or do I? Continue reading If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself…

Favorite (New) Things

Newness is all around me. My husband and I are in the midst of house church planting…something neither of us has done before. My husband has also been a full-time entrepreneur for the first time in our marriage this last year.

Oh, and we’re having a baby in 3 months. Babies are pretty new.

I have to say though, I like the newness. I love discovering new things and experiencing new things. I’m not just a creature of habit. So, with all things shiny and new in mind, here are 3 new things I have been loving…my Favorite (New) Things… Continue reading Favorite (New) Things

When I Grow Up…

When I grow up I will…

Splurge on: vintage clothing and decor

Understand: quantum physics

Sleep: soundly

Read: the 100 greatest novels and the Wall Street Journal

Own: a Karmann Ghia

Collect: postcards

Eat: full fat everything and chocolate anything

Purchase: medical supplies for third world children

Rent: a villa in Italy every summer

Give: generously and often

Avoid: standing in lines

Destroy: the enemy’s plans

Retain: my childhood memories

Fear: God

Enjoy: my friendships

Laugh: constantly

Resemble: a girl I once knew

Drink: wine and coffee

Grasp: eternity

What will you do when you grow up?

post idea courtesy of Magic Molly

3 Things I Wish I Had Known About Men

Welcome to Wednesday–a day devoted to discussing two of my favorite people: men and women.

I think I know men pretty well (Do I sound like I’m bragging…’cause I am). Women tend to think men are much more complex than they actually are.

Women, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more complicated…or at least we like to pretend we are.

Looking back to when I was younger, however, I wonder how much of a grasp I really had on the opposite sex. I’ve learned a lot since high school and college. Most of those lessons have come the hard way.

What I know about men now, I wish I had known sooner. Here’s 3 things I wish I had known about men, back then… Continue reading 3 Things I Wish I Had Known About Men

My House or Yours

I have been a Christian for about 13 years. Just about every Sunday, I wake up, get in the car, drive to a building, to then sit in a seat, sing, tithe, and listen to a man give a sermon.

The next Sunday, repeat.

Is that church though? Is the typical Sunday morning experience the church that Jesus and His disciples envisioned for Christians?

I believe the model of the church laid out in the book of Acts is the model that God desires for us. I believe God is asking us “My House or yours? Are you wanting My design for the church or man’s design for the church?”

The house church model or organic church model, very closely resembles the Acts church and rivals the standard Sunday morning model in many way:

1. Sunday morning church is a spectator sport where you sit and watch “special” people do “special” things.House church on the other hand, is a participatory sport wherein everyone contributes, making each person important or “special.” Just as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:14 “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” Also in verse 19-20 “If all were a single member,where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”

2. Typical church does not encourage relationship or fellowship. You enter a building, sit in a seat, and maybe have a few minutes before service and after service to connect with people. House churches are designed with relationship in mind. They incorporate fellowship into every gathering, not a few minutes here and there.

3. Some people may not like this but within a house church it is impossible to remain nameless or anonymous. My husband and I started chatting with a couple at a breakfast spot one Sunday morning. Turned out we attended the same church at the time, which was a large 7,000 person church. The wife said “Don’t you just love a church that big? You can just slip in and slip out. No one even notices if you are there or not one Sunday.” My heart fell heavy. Church is not anonymity. Church is intimacy and accountability.

4. Sunday morning church services often make you choose. For instance, would you like to attend the “traditional service at 8:00 a.m.,” the “contemporary service at 10:00 a.m.,” or the “young singles service at 6:00 p.m.,” ? I believe that the church should consist of everyone, young and old, new in the faith and the mature in the faith. House churches encourage all walks of life to be engaged in church life together. That includes singles, marrieds, families, widows, and everything in between.

5. The inclusion of all ages and walks of life within a house church coupled with the house church structure also encourages real discipleship. My husband and I are true believers in the call to disciple others just as Jesus did with His twelve. I believe nothing helps further the growth and maturity of believers like discipleship. House churches help foster discipleship thus fostering qualitative and quantitative growth.

6. House churches are by design viral,  quickly expandable, and easy to reproduce. Traditional churches are built from the ground up and then move vertically, structured with a hierarchy and leaders. House churches expand outward and move horizontally, where by every person is both participating and responsible for the outcome. This difference in direction allows for house churches to quickly and effectively multiply and fosters a sense of ownership among church members.

7. The benefit of quick multiplication is a rather obvious one: More people in a church home, faster. However there is also the added benefit of more rapidly and intentionally affecting a neighborhood or community. Since house churches can spread so quickly they can penetrate an entire neighborhood or community for Christ.

8. And what do you have when an entire community is introduced to a house church movement? True evangelism. (This concept gets me charged up). Essentially house churches say, “Don’t bring people to church…we will bring church to the people.” That I believe is God’s heart.

9. Finally, when you combine these ideas: intimacy, participation, accountability, fellowship, community, and evangelism, you are literally living life together as God called us to do so. That is the image that comes to my mind when I think of how church should be…living life together, in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sharing in our joys, tribulations, and victories. A real family. A true representation of Christ. The blameless and spotless bride.

There is much more to say on the subject of house churches. I could go on and on. I presently attend a traditional Sunday church service, through which I am blessed, encouraged, and admonished. However, I know that the Lord is calling myself and my family to something different. I crave the closeness, community, and vitality that a house church can offer. I long to feel significant, knowing that I, along with every other person, is designed to participate within the body. I am ready for something more than a 2 hour Sunday service. I am ready for God’s House…are you?

Does the house church movement sound appealing or unappealing to you? What do you like about traditional church service? What do you dislike?

Happy Birthday: Modern Reject Turns One

Somehow, this same time last year, I was mapping out how I would start a blog. I came up with the name “Modern Reject” while enjoying some coffee-flavored gelato on date night with my hubster.

He thought it was the perfect name. I agreed. Suddenly, something I had been so resistant, too, was becoming something I was daydreaming about doing. I set to work and began writing 10 posts, so as to have a mini-collection of work on my blog come launch day.

I sent emails to all of my friends and family (including my husband’s friends and family) telling them I was about to start a blog. I prayed…a lot. And, on May 17th of 2010, Modern Reject opened its doors. The last year has been amazing, grueling, torturous, and kick-ass.

Here are my highlights from my first year of blogging…read on and celebrate with me. You are, after all, the reason for the party in the first place…. Continue reading Happy Birthday: Modern Reject Turns One

Jesus and the Steakhouse

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the New York Times profiling a group of young Manhattan Christians engaged in actively turning the East Village into a Jesus-loving neighborhood.

I enjoyed the article, but towards the end of the piece there was a quote from one of the young pastors in the community, passionately explaining to high-schoolers that Satan was out to get them. Satan, he explained, was hell-bent on making them doubt their own self-worth.

I shuttered. I imagined some New York socialite or intellectual from, you guessed it, the East Village reading those words. They would laugh out loud. Satan? The Devil? The Prince of Darkness? What utter and complete nonsense, they must think. I wished secretly that the author of the article hadn’t printed that quote.

Then I was hit with a realization that I didn’t like. Continue reading Jesus and the Steakhouse

Favorite (Retro) Things

I have a bit of a soft spot for anything retro, especially items from the 1950s and 60s. My husband calls me a traditionalist.

Sure, I have a computer, a cell phone, and a Wii, but I would much prefer to travel back to the days when things were simpler. Days when design and form were as important as function and utility. When writing meant clanking a typewriter and people still read newspapers.

So, this Friday, I am sharing some of my Favorite (Retro) Things, nostalgic for the past and the ways things used to be… Continue reading Favorite (Retro) Things