Friday Findings: Religious Lies, Staying Saved, and Nuclear War

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectHoly wow, what a week. So far, this week is shaping up to be the biggest week on Modern Reject ever, in terms of traffic. There are a few lovely surprises that contributed to this fact.

For starters, I was honored to be included on Church Relevance’s Top 200 Church Blogs list for the second year in a row. I even moved up 7 spots. Yeah baby! I owe you, my readers, a huge virtual hug and kiss. Thank you for being a part of this community and for being a constant encouragement.

Then, the amazing servant of Christ who I am admittedly a little bit of a fan-geek about, Frank Viola, included me  on his Top 10 favorite  Christian Female Bloggers list. I tweeted in response that I can now retire…and it’s true. It’s all downhill from here.

But, beyond both of those honors, this weeks posts on Modern Reject created some of my favorite discussions in quite a while. If you missed Monday and Tuesday’s posts on prophecy, please consider reading them. If you’ve ever had questions about prophecy these posts are for you…and don’t skip reading the comments too.

Finally, I wrote a guest post over at the ever-talented and culturally astute Jr. Forasteros’ blog yesterday. I think it might be one of my favorite posts of all-time and it’s about sex. Please, go show some comment love if you haven’t already.

Phew. Now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s get to those fabulous Friday Finding links… Continue reading Friday Findings: Religious Lies, Staying Saved, and Nuclear War

Sex and the Act of Worship

I didn’t come to Jesus a virgin. Instead, I came to Jesus with far more sexual experience a girl of 16 should have. I also came to Jesus, however, somehow knowing that He didn’t care about any of that. He saw me as a virgin. It was a new day.

So, I suppose on some level, I expected the church to talk about this fact, too. I expected to hear rousing sermons on the gift of sex, ordained by God, pleasing to Him when experienced between man and wife. I expected to hear exactly what it was I was now waiting for, having once had sex, only to give it up in pursuit of Christ.

But, those messages from the church never came. Different ones did, however.

I think a youth pastor once talked about what not to do–how to not let things go too far with your boyfriend–so as to remain a virgin. You know, since virginity was the prize and all. Virginity, it seemed, was what all young Christian people were to aspire to.

Come hang out with me over at Jr. Forasteros’ blog to read more. I hope to see you there.

Is Prophecy for Today?

Phew, okay. Here we go…

Yesterday, I promised that I would tackle the issue of prophecy. Is it for today? If so, how? Many of you had a lot of good questions, some of which had consistent themes. I’ll try to address as many of those questions as I can, but remember, this is just a blog post. Any remaining questions you have, I’ve started a thread on my Facebook page to discuss this very topic–feel free to comment here or there.

As Robert Staniford pointed out in the comments yesterday, Paul exhorted the church in 1 Thessalonians 5:

Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

Sadly, though, much of the American church has done exactly this, despising prophecy today. They’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Of course, there are instances of false prophesy. That’s why Paul encourages the church to carefully examine the words. Further, he tells us to “hold fast” to the good.

So how do we know what’s good? Continue reading Is Prophecy for Today?

The Scariest Word in the Bible

I was trying to remember if I had ever heard the word “prophetic” preached from the pulpit during my first fews years of being a believer. Looking back, I don’t think I had.

I attended a church, as young Christian, that was a bit charismatic (if there is such a thing). Some people spoke in tongues and some people had “words from the Lord.” But no one was walking around calling themselves prophets or their “words from the Lord” prophetic.

Fast forward 8 years and I was attending a Bible church where the pastor admitted from the pulpit that he sorta, kinda, maybe believed in prophecy, but that this congregation would never participate in such things.

Fast forward another few years and I found myself in a wholly prophetic church, where it was not only preached but practiced– A church where hearing from God was the norm, not the other way around.

Having spent a few years in a prophetic community and being a part of one currently, the idea of prophecy has been demystified for me. God has so clearly brought instruction, clarity, and understanding to the idea of prophecy.

I understand (sorta) why people find that word to be so scary. Prophecy. 

There is no other word in scripture I can think of that makes people–all people–quite so uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what your denomination might be, church background, theology, if you’re male or female–almost everyone gets squirmy when the word “prophecy” is thrown around.

It sounds like the end times. Armageddon. Fortune telling. Mysticism. The Unknown.

I’ve felt a pull to write about this topic. To offer the same sort of demystification that was offered to me. So, starting with tomorrow’s post, I’m going to try as best I can in a blog post, to help bring light to a seemingly scary topic for many Christians.

Meaning, I’d like to hear your questions first. Your questions will help shape tomorrow’s post. So, have at it! Ask me anything. Here’s a few questions to get you thinking…

What do you know or have experienced in terms of the prophetic? What would you like to know? Do you find the topic a bit unsettling?

And for fun…what do YOU think is the scariest word in the Bible?

 

Friday Findings: Married Jesus, Self-Hate, and the 90’s

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectIs it just me or has there been a ton of great stuff to read these days? Maybe it’s the fact that Fall has set in and people are feeling inspired. Or maybe it’s that I’m just getting better at finding things I’m really interested in reading.

Either way, there is lots to share on today’s Friday Findings…

Jesus was Married. Didn’t Cha’ Know? Hopefully you’ve seen this headline already. It’s been everywhere. This post from Mark Roberts at Patheos is a great academic and well-reasoned summary of the “married Jesus” question. Also this post from the Huffington Post answers the 5 big questions about Jesus potentially being married.

Water Baptism. You Thought You Knew. This post from Frank Viola blew my mind. I feel like I link to Frank almost every Friday, but that’s because he brings such a balance and understanding of the Word and the Spirit. If you think you know what scripture has to say about water baptism, read this. You may know less than you think.

Read Between the Lines. In true Jamie the Very Worst Missionary fashion, she manages to make me laugh, cry, sigh, and feel encouraged all in one fell swoop. She is amazing. This post is so good.

Can Men and Women Be Friends? I love talking about this age old question. I’ve even written about it before, but I did so from the perspective of a married person. However, Emily Maynard over at Prodigal Magazine did a wonderful job of answering this question from the viewpoint of a single person. I found it to be so honest and relatable…even for a married chick like me.

Be a Coding Geek. This post is a fun and well done infographic on why you should learn to code…at least a little bit. I’ve had to learn a smidge, what with having a blog and all. The arguments for why are pretty interesting.

Interracial Relationships and Self-Hate. I have to admit that it was the rather provocative title of this piece over at BlogHer that caught my attention–Do Interracial Relationships and Self-Hate Go Hand-inHand? All in all it was an interesting read. It certainly got me thinking and that is never a bad thing.

90’s Throwback. If you’re a product of the 90’s (and even if you aren’t) you will enjoy this hilarious homage video to that great decade, via Mashable. Enjoy!

So, do share. What did you read, watch, or write yourself that simply needs to be shared? Lay it on me!

20 Ways to Love Your Wife Better

 

from the archives

Last week, I shared a few ideas on how wives can love their husbands better. Well today, it’s the gentleman’s turn. That’s right fellas.

I know you husbands and even soon-to-be-husbands love your wives, but there are always ways in which we can show even greater love to our spouse.

Some of the things on this list are even things my husband does for me to show me just how much he cares. And I gotta say, I’ve got a great husband. So take heed.

Here are 20 ways to love your wife better… Continue reading 20 Ways to Love Your Wife Better

Raising Kids that Will Love God

As a young Christian, I could never quite understand it. I looked around the other believers I knew and could find no common denominator for why some continued walking with Jesus and others did not.

But, after having walked away from God myself for three years, I now know that it isn’t as difficult as we would like to believe. But, now I am a mom raising children of my own. Unlike me, they will be raised in a “Christian home.” (That phrase makes me cringe. It’s almost like a spiritual death sentence for a lot of kids.)

I can see them now…sitting around a circle with other Christians, sharing their testimony of drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, and the like. They begin with “I was raised in a Christian home.” [insert Jaws music here]. Often times, it’s as if a “Christian home” is the precursor to a life of rebellion and heartache.

Now, as mother myself, I wonder what it is that makes some kids grow up to be Jesus-loving ninjas and leads others to abandon the values of their parents altogether? How do you raise a child who will always chase after God? Continue reading Raising Kids that Will Love God

Friday Findings: Privacy, Pinterest, and Loving Obama

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectSo, you may have noticed that Friday Findings have been a little absent the last few weeks. I apologize, but hopefully now that I have my act together you’ll have lots to read.

There’s so much good stuff to share. I bursting at the seams…not really, but I’m excited. Here we go:

Censoring God. My friend Moe of Beta Christian nails it. If you happen to frequent Christian blogs or you are a Christian blogger, read this!

Is Jesus the Only Way? In his usual brilliant way, Frank Viola, sets out to answer a series of question from skeptics in regards to Christianity. The portion I enjoyed best asks if Jesus is the only way? This is powerful and yet practical stuff. Necessary tools for any believer. Here’s part one to start, as well: There is a God.

College. Forget It. From the blog Christ and Pop Culture is a succinct and well-written blog post after my own heart called, Is College Worth the Money?

Pinterest and Christians. If you are a woman, chances are Pinterest has made you feel bad about yourself at some point. And yet, we keep going back. Nikki Weatherford wrote a great post called The Pinterest Guide to the Christian Life. So good.

I Love Barack Obama. Regardless of your politics (because this has absolutely nothing to do with politics) you need to read this post from Jamal Jivanjee, Why I Love Barack Hussein Obama (An Open Letter to the Saints in America). If you read nothing else, please read this. It exemplifies the Father’s love and could be one of my favorite examples of God’s heart…ever.

A Call for Privacy. From Sarah Markley over at a Deeper Story. She writes: “But we often don’t value people who are wise enough to keep some of their lives private.” This post is filled with truth and addresses our over-sharing, Instagram-loving, Facebook-updating culture.

Jesus Healed Me! Lastly, a video, which I rarely do (but am going to try and do more often actually). I watched this the other night and got choked up. We make it so complicated and it’s not. It’s so simple. God. Jesus. He loves us. He is awesome.

Did you watch the video? I mean, seriously, does it get any better? What did you discover this week that is share-worthy? Let’s hear it!

The Weight of Honesty

I understood why a lot of my friends had a crush on him. He was young, attractive enough, energetic, cool, and somehow made what should have been a boring, if not torturous class, enjoyable.

He had encouraged me to write and write more and write often. He saw past my tough talk and stubbornness and recognized a young 16-year old who, with a little push, could turn a hobby into a passion.

…A few years ago, I ran into Mr. S, as I lovingly referred to him, while we were both seated in a doctor’s office waiting room. I recognized him immediately and, as I started to make my way over to him, I saw his eyes lift and his expression change. He recognized me, too.

But as he spoke, I sensed something unfamiliar. It was sadness. I looked in his eyes and saw that he looked tired. His voice was not the voice I remembered, but was dull and monotone.

Then, I asked about his wife. He answered me and, as he did, I felt the room shift under my feet.

Come hang out with me over at Prodigal Magazine today to read more. I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Breakdancing Jesus

My husband and I have long discussed whether or not Jesus was a funny man. You know, not funny “ha ha” but other kinds of funny. Was he jovial, a jokster, a goof?

Did He like to play pranks on His disciples? Is that really what He was doing when He said John was His fave?

My husband imagines Jesus sitting around a fire late at night, shootin’ the breeze with His disciples. In Jonathan’s imagination, there had to have been some jokes cracked and some gas passed. I mean, there were dudes. Jesus had to laugh at farts and fart jokes because, well, almost all men do, right?

Just last night we were talking about this–Jesus being funny or not–and a few minutes later, I decided to hop over and visit Ragamuffin Soul for some reason. Lo and behold, I saw an image that some would call sacrilegious and others would call downright awesome. A picture like this only comes along once. I saw it and I smiled… Continue reading Breakdancing Jesus