Oh man, after an almost two week hiatus, I was back this week and it felt guuud. I missed things around here, like you. Yeah, you.
I was also internet-less because I was computer-less so I wasn’t able to keep up with all of my favorite blogs. Today, however, I’m making up for it. I hope you enjoy this week’s Friday Findings because they are juicy and delicious…
This is the stuff that breaks my heart–when Christians have a bad name.
Have you ever had questions about what it means to be “baptized in the Holy Spirit?” This 4 part series from Frank Viola pretty much blew my mind and radically challenged my thinking and understanding of this idea.
Why Rachel Held Evans Won’t Change Christianity from Daylight Atheism. I pretty much disagree with the arguments made regarding the why and how of patriarchy in Christianity–in this case, primarily Catholicism (but I do agree that no, Rachel Held Evans isn’t going to change Christianity). A good read whether you agree or disagree.
Read of the Week: Lately, I’ve been questioning the effectiveness of my prayers. I feel as though I pray for myself and…nada, zip, zilch. My totally amazing and faithful friends have assured me that this is not the case–that my prayers hold power and authority. All that to say, this post from Bianca Juarez this week was such a needed reminder. I was convicted and inspired.
Okay, your turn. Share away. I mean, don’t share too much so that you’re all creepy and uber-open ’cause no one likes that (I mean, I do, but you know). Just tell me what you read, or loved, or loathed this week.
Over the last year, I’ve had numerous husbands email me and share with me their heartbreaking, if not tragic, sex life stories. They explain how their wives, who were once willing to engage in sex 2-3 times a week have now become completely closed off, never wanting any type of physical interaction.
They tell me how much they love their wives, how attractive they still find her, how much they long to please her–be it emotionally or physically.
Some of these confessions are so raw, wounds so gaping, that I cry as I read them. Some are so personal and candid that I cannot read on and I pass them along to my husband and ask that he be the one to respond.
But, in all, I’m left feeling the sadness of their stories weigh upon my heart. How is it that two people who once felt the hope and promise of love–including sexual love– now live a sexless, passionless existence?
How do you get from one to the other? From a well-spring to a dried-up well? From a spiritual joining to an almost systematic dividing?
Of course, it is not just men who have written me expressing their pain and loss. Women write too (albeit far less) and share about their husbands lack of a sex drive, his disinterest in them physically, his addiction to pornography, or his excuses about being “too tired.”
We’ve all heard someone we know, when asked about where they are attending church, respond with something like, “Well, I’m church shopping. You know, just looking…”
We nod our heads in agreement or in sympathy, having once perhaps been in the same situation–visting church after church, Sunday after Sunday, often left feeling defeated or discouraged.
Some people, dare I say, even use the phrase “church shopping” as an excuse to linger churchless and out of community. It’s the acceptable way of saying, “I don’t feel like being part of a church right now.”
A few months back, I had a similar exchange with someone and, as I replayed the conversation in my mind, I got a little angry. I realized, I don’t think we are supposed to church shop. Ever, in fact. Continue reading Stop Church Shopping
I know a girl in her mid-twenties who was raised by a single mom and grew up without knowing her father.
For many of us who grow up fatherless or with strained father relationships, we experience great loss, as a result. Thankfully, this girl met Christ at any early age, yet she always longed for an earthly father to love her, not just her Father in Heaven.
When this particular girl was a few years older, she met a husband and wife in the their forties who began to show God’s love to her, counsel her, pray with her, and treat her like their own.
So, I mentioned the other day that my precious Mac didn’t like me anymore. In fact, she quit…as in quit working. Turns out, my harddrive went kaput. And can I just say that it is quite difficult to be a blogger without a computer.
I’m actually typing this on my husband’s computer, which I have been sneakily stealing from him each evening in a desperate attempt to keep up. Sad to say, it isn’t exactly working.
I feel so disconnected (pun intended), but have realized just how much time I spend on-line. Which, has led me to enjoy my time away from the screen, connecting more with my kids, friends, and of course, the Lord.
Hopefully, my little baby will be back in my hands in a few short days–fixed and ready to go. Until then, thank you for being patient with me while I am computer-less. Some days I might be around and others, maybe not so much, but know this…[insert Schwarzenegger] I’ll be back.
You are forgiven…completely? Not-sorta-kinda-maybe-forgiven. Not partially, slightly forgiven, but completely forgiven. God does not remember your sin. He has forgotten them. Forever.
Do you know…
You are not a broken adult whom God has patched up and pieced back together? No. You are altogether new..a new creation breathed into being from nothingness. You are not a remodel, you are a reconstruction–the former demolished and the new rebuilt on the foundation of Jesus Christ? Continue reading Do You Know…?
My generation grew up with the belief that we could accomplish great things, realize any dream, and actually be anything we want. Well, the former two might be true, but I would argue that the latter is actually a lie.
It sounds nice. It tickles the ears. It feels good to say it. While you can be a lot of things, including a new creation, you cannot be anything your heart so desires.
While the notion of telling children that they can be anything sounds wonderful, it actually does more harm. My generation heard some of that message, but more and more children today are being bombarded with the “you can achieve all things” mantra. Kids today grow up honestly believing that they are bound by nothing, including performance (or lack thereof), skill set, intellect, hard work, or perseverance. Continue reading You CANNOT Be Anything You Want
[from the archives] My kids were sick with the stomach flu (again) this week and this post came to mind. I thought it was worth re-sharing.
My kids had the stomach flu last week, meaning there was lots of vomiting…everywhere…for days. This is never fun as a parent. Never.
Once the sickness subsided and life began to return to normal, I curled up in my bed and began reading some more of Crazy Love, Francis Chan’s book, which I am currently making my way through.
And what do I begin to read, but a whole chapter dedicated to defining exactly what a lukewarm person looks like. Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I got squirmy. “Yeah, that’s me,” I thought to myself. “Yup, I do that,” or “No, I don’t, but I should.”
While reading, my week of cleaning up vomit came full circle. I was struck with an image of Christ, bent over, racked with grief and pain, vomiting…violently vomiting. What was He vomiting up? …Me.Continue reading Jesus and Vomit
Today’s guest post is from Chris Lautsbaugh, who writes the grace-filled and encouraging blog No Superheroes. Chris pours out grace in all that he writes, as he knows the freedom grace offers us to move away from thinking we need to be superheroes, and instead allowing us to be true followers of Christ. I’m so excited to introduce Chris and his blog to you and I hope you enjoy!
My wife and I recently found our house decorated with Post It Notes. Our son, Garett, had written “I Love You’ on the notes and attached them to mirrors, televisions, even in the toilet. We were so touched by our seven-year old’s tender heart.
My wife commented to him about it, thanking him. His response brought a sickening feeling to our stomach’s.
“I am paying you back for all the bad things I have done.”
This of course began a process of explaining our love was not based on his deeds and our forgiveness was already present.
It’s so hard when we see a performance mentality in our children, be it with Post It Notes or attempting to earn our favor with a perfect report card.
Friday, sweet Friday…where have you been all my life?
Time to share my picks of the week. Behold the awesomeness…
Strangers, Sweaty Palms, and Selfish Sinners [The story of holding that strange man’s hand] | from Carlos Whitaker. Come on, I know you’re curious.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about what it takes to become an author (don’t get any ideas…I’m just reading up) and no wonder while most people believe they have a book in them, never do anything about it. The ever-impressive Michael Hyatt tells first-time authors how to get it right.
Donate to Sandy. I’ll admit, I rarely feel compelled to “donate” to various charity organizations. Maybe I’m a cynic or lazy or cheap (all of the above is certainly a possibility too). But, something about the Superstorm Sandy had me deep in prayer and crying out for my fellow citizens. As a result, I’m giving to The Salvation Army because they rock. Would you consider giving too? If not to them, then somewhere else…
My Pick of the Week: I like really good Christian music. Sadly, it is hard to find really good Christian music. Then CXVI appeared as an ad on my blog. Naturally, I clicked through and lo and behold, they are amazing. CXVI is a project dedicated to bringing back hymns because as they explain, hymns are “some of the richest, most meaningful, and moving pieces of music ever written.” Please support these musicians. You can download 9 free songs by clicking on the ad on my homepage or buy a whole lot more for only $6.99 (P.S. while yes, they’re advertising on MR, they did not pay or perk me to say this. I genuinely like their music and wanted to share).
So, got anything to share with me? I know you do. Let’s have it. Also, out of curiosity, are you following the Presidential election? Any predictions? Only 4 more days!