My Greatest Fear

Okay, okay, I admit it. Christians aren’t suppose to be scared, right? We are supposed to walk around in our perfectly, not scared bodies, shielded by the super-powers of the Holy Spirit.

We are suppose to be like some kind of anti-fear force field–zapping things like phobias and anxieties with a wave of our hand.

But let’s be honest. Most of us aren’t fearless superheroes by any stretch of the imagination. I, for one, have plenty of fears and insecurities.

One fear in particular has always haunted me. It is my dark and looming cloud, my ever-present “what if”, my unavoidable reality.

My greatest fear in life… Continue reading My Greatest Fear

Are You an Amoral or a Moral Christian?

Today’s guest post is from the truth-speaking, always honest, Jesus-loving Ken Hagerman. Ken’s blog is called Rambling with the Barba and I highly recommend it. Hope you enjoy.

I’ve noticed something a little odd lately. I was reading a book and one of the characters was described as a good moral Christian. I was listening to an audio presentation and the guest was introduced as a salt-of-the-Earth type. “She’s a good Christian, moral person” they said. The pairing of the words moral and Christian is popping up a lot. Maybe I’m just naïve. I know I’m a big ole dumb southern male and all, but I thought that morality and Christianity kinda went together. Like, I follow Jesus and therefore I am moral.

Silly me.

When did we cross over into territory where we needed to qualify Christians as moral? Did it happen to coincide with the push for authenticity?

“No sirree, these aren’t your run of the mill Jesus Freaks– They’re moral, too.”

I’m not using this opportunity as a call for legalism. It’s a call for the saturation of the spirit of our name sake, Jesus. Continue reading Are You an Amoral or a Moral Christian?

Friday Findings: Death of Conversation, Gen X-ers, and Criticism

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectFriday is upon us which means it is also Friday Findings–the day I share with you, all of the exciting, revelatory, mind-blowing (or so-so) stuff I found and/or read this week.

Let’s start it off…

The Art of Conversation is Dying. I’ve long worried about the phenomena of the death of real conversation, ever since my anti-Facebook anti-Twitter days. But then I became a blogger. The New York times  raises the issue in The Flight from Conversation, asking whether we are trading genuine conversation for nothing more than connection.

Gen X-ers Unite. I guess I am a Gen X-er, although I’ve never thought of myself as one. I found this interesting article which asks whether the workplace is being reshaped, much in part thanks to Gen X-ers, who see the world differently than generations past.

Stunning Pictures…of Kids. You may have seen some of these photos floating around the Internet. I had, but I hadn’t seen the whole collection of photos by father Jason Lee, who decided to take some of the most original and visually striking (not to mention funny) pictures of his two daughters.

Praying Isn’t Exactly What We Think. My wonderful friend Josh E. Merritt has a blog called Daily Leaps. Josh is without a doubt one of the wisest and most beautiful writers I know…and he’s only 22. He wrote a post about being fully immersed in prayer and how what we tend to think is acceptable prayer, is not all that God is after. I was personally convicted by this piece and hope you enjoy it too.

Get Over Being Criticized. Rachel Held Evans wrote a great post on 10 Tips for Dealing with Online Criticism. Man, I appreciated this post. Rachel gives such wise, grace-filled, yet practical advice. Especially if you’re a blogger, read this one!

20 Something Christians…This is For You. Frank Viola has a one-question survey in his blog just for 20 something Christians. It is a powerful and interesting question. The comments alone are worth reading. If you’re in your 20’s check it out.

Kiss My Facebook Page. If you have a crush on Modern Reject, which I assume you do, ’cause why wouldn’t you…if you have yet to do so, how about planting a big old “Like” on my Facebook page right now? You know you want to and I’ll be ever so thankful.

Okay, where did you find yourself this week? Read anything convicting? Discover something you just have to share? Go on, blow my mind with your awesomeness.

Darkness and Depression

Today, I’m privileged to have an article featured over at Prodigal Magazine. I’m sharing about something very personal–something that I have never even talked about here on Modern Reject.

I’m talking about depression and where the darkness hides…

Here’s a taste:

I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t have the words. I didn’t have the energy to try. What I did have was a constant ache, a swelling emotion that everything wasn’t going to be okay. What I had was the overwhelming feeling that I was drowning, desperately trying to keep my head above water.

Come hang with me over at Prodigal Magazine to keep reading. Hope to see you there…

Ditch Your Dating Checklist

When I was 20 years old, I had it all figured out. Like most people my age, I had a plan–a timeline really–of exactly how things should go and when they should happen.

I, of course, like any good Christian girl, submitted my timeline to God. I passed Him the memo, you know, just so He could stay in the loop.

Here’s what my plan consisted of:

Graduate college at 21. Score my dream job in New York, preferably working for some type of political non-profit, making peanuts, but not caring because I was doing what I loved.  Travel the world (you know with all the money I wasn’t making). Oh, and I was going to be married by 21. That’s right upon turning 21, I would have a ring on my finger and a church booked for the big day.

My husband wasn’t going to be just any man. He was to be a very specific type of man. I had a plan, remember? And with that plan also comes a list. It was the list of qualities, characteristics, and attributes I wanted in my future husband. It was quite the checklist really. It went something like this… Continue reading Ditch Your Dating Checklist

What God Will Never Ask You…

It’s inevitable–we’re all going to die. There, I said it. And now that I’ve started off this post on a happy note…

Since we know we’re going to die, then it goes without saying, we will assuredly stand before God in that lovely little thing called Judgement.

Now, I’m not heaven-minded. I don’t tend to have what they call an “eternal perspective.” I’m pretty much a today-is-the-day-kind- of-girl. But I know that much of what consumes me, what consumes us ad nauseam, is not what the Lord is consumed with. He is consumed with love. Heck, He is an all consuming fire (Hebrew 12:29).

Yet, when we consider these things, and I mean really consider them, perhaps we would think of Judgement a bit differently. When we are standing before God and we are asked to give an account of our life, what will He ask us? I doubt He will pose many questions regarding the things we find so pressing today.

Now, I’m not entirely sure. I’m just taking a guess here, but I’m pretty sure…

God will not ask you… Continue reading What God Will Never Ask You…

Is Your Insecurity Causing You to Sin?

Today, I’m happy to have a guest post for you all from one of my favorite gentleman in the blogosphere, Darrell Vesterfelt. Darrell has appeared on Modern Reject before and I’m so excited to have him back. Enjoy.

I’m really insecure about my weight. I have been my whole life.

There are all kinds of reasons for that. I used to get teased in high school, to start — words so insulting I can’t even list them here. I don’t have the fastest metabolism, to make matters worse.

I have a difficult time staying at a “healthy” weight for my height.

The hardest part isn’t that I feel like I’m fat, although that’s difficult in and of itself. The hardest part is the way that people look at, and talk about, other people who are in my position. I’m not ignorant to it. I’ve thought the same things you think.

Fat people are lazy.
Fat people are stupid.
Fat people get in the way.

I’ve spent my whole life, and a lot of my energy, trying to prove that these things aren’t true about me.

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve done it too. The lies of insecurity run so deep that they have the ability to control our entire reality. If we aren’t careful, insecurity starts to dictate everything we think and do.

How does it do that? What is it that makes insecurity so powerful? Continue reading Is Your Insecurity Causing You to Sin?

Friday Findings: Tired of God, Quitting Blogging, and Choosing Sides

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectThis week was a mixed bag for me–full of highs and a few lows. But God proved once again that He is faithful and stuff. You know, like we know He is, but tend to forget when things get ever so slightly uncomfortable. All that to say, I’m glad the week is almost over, but I’m looking forward to the next.

So here’s what I read and loved this week:

Tired of…God. Matthew Paul Turner wrote a post a few days ago that made me sigh deeply and nod my head in agreement. He’s tired of talking about God and not for the reasons you might suspect. I can empathize with him and have often felt the exact same way.

Blogging Sucks…Sometimes. This week was one of those weeks when I really question why I do this whole blogging thing. I joked on Facebook that I was leaving Modern Reject to start a DIY blog, which created quite a flurry of responses from you all. I was told I could never leave this blog. Ever. So thank you, but to serve as encouragement, Jason Boyett’s post over at ChurchLeaders.com about why Christian blogging ain’t so fun was just what I needed. If you have a blog, I think you will really relate to this post.

Christian Right or the Christian Left? Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in on either side of the Christian right or the Christian left? I have. I’m a bi-racial, homeschooling, tattooed, recycling, organic church leading, wife and mom of 3. Neither the left nor the right knows what to do with me. And let’s not even get started on my theology, which is just as varying and contradictory to both sides.

Well, Frank Viola wrote a post this week called 20 Reasons Why the Christian Right & the Christian Left Won’t Adopt Me. It is one of the best things I have read in a long time. I love this piece and I think Viola so succinctly captures what it is to belong to neither side, but rather to belong to the Family of God.

Porn, Raquel Welch, and the Power of Our Sexual Imagination. This was an interesting post in response to an interview the sex bombshell Raquel Welch recently gave, wherein she criticized porn for preventing people from forming their own ideas about sex and what’s erotic. Here’s a snippet: “Perhaps because women are considered less sexual, less visually stimulated, and less given to indulge our lusts, our sexual desires are not so heavily manipulated. However, we are not free to imagine what is beautiful about ourselves.”

Praying…or Not. Lastly, one of my favorite bloggers, Sammy Adebiyi wrote a great post called Why I Don’t Believe in Prayer. Sound intriguing? It is and it’s gooood. Turns out, according to him, I don’t believe in prayer either.

So there’s my faves from this week. A  lot of good reads. What did you find this week that you’d like to share? Any good blog posts? Your own blog post? Another discovery? Let’s hear it…

The Outsider, Cliques, and My Big Insecurities

So last week, I discovered that Modern Reject was named as one of the Top 200 Ministry Blogs of 2012 by Church Relevance. I’ll be honest, I was way geeked out. I was stoked and honored, albeit a bit confused as to how I ended up on the list.

Then, Kent Shaffer, who writes Church Relevance responded to a bit of controversy as to why there aren’t more women (and less Calvinists) on the list. In his response post, other more prominent female bloggers than myself commented and listed even more prominent female bloggers who they thought should have made the list.

Some of these female bloggers even made their own lists, so as to include more women who they felt were jipped or forgotten. And in all of this, the glow and excitement of seeing my name there on that list started to wane.

I began to feel embarrassed and lame for ever even caring, for feeling a moment of encouragement, for feeling like all of this hard work of blogging was being recognized. I felt stupid and insignificant.

And why? Why had I let the subsequent discussion about female bloggers rob me of my joy? Because I’m not one of those female bloggers. I am, what I’ve always felt I’ve been–an outsider. Continue reading The Outsider, Cliques, and My Big Insecurities

How My Husband Leads…

Besides people writing me to ask about sex in marriage, the other topic people very often write me about is my own marriage. I have had many young people (and some older) express to me gratitude and thanks for writing so candidly about my marriage.

They have told me how reading about my marriage has encouraged them to believe in marriage for themselves and to not give up hope in thinking that God really can bring them an ideal spouse.

Along those lines, however, I often have young women ask me about the whole submission thing. They feel threatened, nervous, and defensive when it comes to discussing the topic. They seem unsure as to how they could possibly submit to a man and allow him to serve as the leader of their home.

Of course, these are two different subject and I am not going to attempt to address either of them today. Sorry. For today’s intents and purposes, I’m simply going to state that in my home, my husband is the head (if today’s comments prove titillating, I may write a separate post asking should husbands lead).

And to those women who question the thought of a man leading their home, I submit to you my very own husband. My husband leads and he leads well. His leading blesses me and our marriage as a whole. Here’s how he does it… Continue reading How My Husband Leads…