I suppose it was survival. A defense mechanism developed as the result of years and years of bullying.
Girls can be mean. Vicious, really. Cruel, even.
I never saw it happening or noticed the moment when I changed. It was a transformation just like anything. A process, that took me from being who I really was to someone I never wanted to be.
The girls you read about in teen novels and who play the villain in teen movies. That was me. I was no caricature, but I was the girl that exists at every high school. I was a product of my environment.
One of the biggest lies told, and re-told by the Church is that in order to serve, individuals must be special in some way. We are told we need a seminary degree, or a counseling degree, or 18 years of experience, or a spouse, or any other number of prerequisites.
We are made to feel inadequate or inferior. We are often told that unless we are preaching from the pulpit, leading worship, or heading up a ministry, we have very little to offer.
Many churches are super-star factories, where people file in just to catch a glimpse of the rock star pastor or worship leader on stage. They then get back in their cars, drive home, and call it a day. This is not church.
More than that, this is not who or what God had in mind for each individual believer. Every one of us has a purpose, a plan, a gift, and role in and for the body.
But, do you know how special (sorry for using the word ‘special,’ it just seems to fit) you really are in the Church? Do you understand the need the Church has for YOU? Here is a list of questions to consider in determining whether or not you are being made to feel needed and necessary in your own church body…Continue reading Church without You
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Have you ever noticed how most Christian clothing is cheesy or lame? Of course you have because it is so obvious. I become visibly embarrassed when I see Christians wearing shirts that say things like “Jesus is my BFF” or “Keep Calm and Pray On.”
Before becoming a Christian, I thought of God as a kind of grand puppeteer. I mean, I didn’t tend to think He was an evil puppet master, but I certainly didn’t think God was intimate, personal, or present.
I imagined Him sitting on His throne in the clouds, judging us from above, interjecting His hand when He decided to do so, but also withdrawing His presence when He willed.
He was a sort of detached heavenly being and Jesus was just a really nice guy who tried to make things better.
Back in July, something remarkable happened, something truly miraculous and I didn’t even stop to take notice.
Somewhere at the end of the month, I glanced at a calendar and realized that I had been blogging for a whole 2 years. While this might not sound impressive, and why should it, I find it amazing.
It’s amazing that somehow, despite not really wanting this, I have it.
It’s amazing to me that anyone shows up to read the words I write when I feel certain some days that they mean nothing.
And it’s amazing that somehow, a few days a week, for two years, I have managed to find something to write about in the first place. Not to mention, having done so while raising babies, battling pain, and surrendering to the ministry God has for me.
I survived the week, in part thanks to you. I also found some great reads this week. Happy Friday Findings…
Funeral Director at Large. The blog of Caleb Wilde, funeral director, is fascinating. His post, The Mourners Bill of Rights, is full of practical wisdom and grace. If you have ever had a loved one die, you will find solace in this post.
Gospel Centered Discipleship. That’s the name of a new book and I have to say, the title caught my attention. I read the forward to the book over at Matt Brown’s blog and I’m hopeful about this one. Here’s a taste: “I have become painfully aware that people tend to drift away from the gospel soon after their conversion and begin to try their hand at sanctification.” Sounds promising, right?
Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat? Allison Vesterfelt went for it and asked the age old question that no man ever wants to hear, but her response is not one you would expect. Which shouldn’t be surprising coming from Allison.
Vertical Church. So, I’m not a big conference type. I mean, I’ll go occasionally (like my trip to Catalyst this October), but usually it’s not my cup of tea. However, I was recently invited to attend the Vertical Church Conference and based on the vision, I can’t wait. Maybe there’s one coming to a town near you…
Go on, Castrate Your Husband. Nikki Weatherford wrote this hilarious, tongue-in-cheeck, and yet truth-filled and wise post about how women can go about castrating their husbands. Does it sound intriguing? It is. Check it out!
A Choice in Your Loss. Often, well-meaning individuals can ask the wrong questions at the wrong time, but God can still provide an answer. Alece Ronzino, shared over at a Deeper Story this week, about how we never really get on “the other side” of a tragic loss. One of my favorite reads of the week, for sure.
Lusting After Food. This is an interesting read about our cultures food porn addiction. I have to say, I might have a beautiful food addiction. It’s all those sexy asparagus stalks and voluptuous heads of broccoli.
So, what caught your eye this week? Anything you care to share? Or heck, how was your week?
I feel like its maybe been a bit heavy this week on Modern Reject, what with me almost dying followed by the whole discussion on judging other’s sins. You know, nice and lighthearted.
I’ve also had a lot of personal junk going on, including ongoing physical pain. Basically, I feel like junk. Oh, and to top off the week, I’ve received some less-than-encouraging emails from a few individuals that inevitably lead to me to question why I write this blog in the first place.
But, let’s put all that aside. That’s what I decided to do and in doing so, I spent far too long on various websites reading completely ridiculous, perhaps even inappropriate, but hilarious stuff. With that in mind, I decided to share a few of the bad church signs I viewed.
I remember the day well. My friend came to me emotionally distraught. She was dating a Godly, cool, funny guy whom she loved very much. She wanted to marry him. She was certain he was the one. But, there was one problem….
This young man’s parents were living in sin. Behind closed doors, they had one of the most abusive, dysfunctional, and broken marriages one could imagine. To their church community, however, they had it all together. They smiled and nodded. Showed up every Sunday. Volunteered for everything. No one around them knew the truth…
…that is except for my sweet friend, who found all of this to be too much when her boyfriend’s parents were asked to teach a marriage class at church. My friend broke.
How could she allow this? How did no one else know? Why was there no one shepherding them?
I felt on edge all week, but didn’t figure this was anything to worry about. I’d also not been feeling well physically, having been racked with migraines and pain throughout my body.
So, come last Friday when I woke up feeling miserable, I was determined to not let the pain or stress win. I fought against the day. Have you ever felt like that? Where you feel as if you are simply spending your physical energy to resist? I was resisting pain, stress, a burdened heart, loneliness, anger, fatigue. I was fighting against an invisible and yet very real enemy.
And in my fight, I decided that I would win which meant doing something that usually makes me feel better: exercising. So I headed to the gym with my kids in tow, for an hour long kick box class. I felt good. I felt strong. I finished well.
But, as we headed to the car, I realized that something wasn’t right. I was suddenly dizzy and breathless. I reached down and touched my chest and felt mildly shocked to find that my heart was racing, not beating, but racing. I had been out of class for some time. My heart shouldn’t have been racing, but that was just the beginning.Continue reading So, I Almost Died…Sorta
Have most young women today ever heard of the word “modesty?” Truly? If you were to stop the average 12 or 13 year-old girl on the street and ask her for a definition of the word “modesty,” what do you think she would say?
I’ll tell you. She’d say, “Huh?”
Looking back, I realize that before even becoming a Christian, I had a certain level of modesty about me. When friends chose to wear more provocative or sexy clothing, I declined. I never really felt comfortable in bikinis and often tried to cover myself.
But, now I know that modesty extends so far beyond what we wear. Modesty isn’t solely about mini-skirts and push-up bras. It is a state of being, a quality one holds. Modesty encompasses more than we assume, but even much of what we assume is wrong.Continue reading Are You a Modest Christian?