#5 & #4 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

I loved writing these two posts and have loved seeing how much people have shared them with their own spouses. It’s encouraging to know husbands and wives are interested in continuing to create and cultivate healthy, respectful, and fun marriages.

20 Ways to Love Your Husband Better

If you’ve been around here before, you probably know that I love, like luuuurve, my husband. Thing is, this shouldn’t be revelatory news. I mean, us wives should love our husbands.

But stuff happens. Life happens. Kids happen. Exhaustion happens. And before we know it, many of those lovey-dovey feelings fade into the background.

We become more like roommates than spouses. More like buddies than lovers. More like co-parents than two people crazy in love.

So what’s a wife to do?

To Keep Reading, Click HERE

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20 Ways to Love Your Husband Better

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.

To Keep Reading, Click HERE

#6 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

I was hesitant to write this post, only because I am always reluctant to write about my personal life. Silly, I know, since the bloggers I personally enjoy and read the most, regularly let readers inside of their lives.

I battle feeling self-indulgent or appearing to be arrogant or haughty. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, which I’ve been accused of doing.

So, when I wrote this post I didn’t feel like it would matter much. And to be honest, when it was posted, it successful in terms of comments, shares, or traffic. But, this little bad boy grew legs and has generated a ton of online search traffic, landing it on the Top 10 of 2012. Looks like people really want to know how to find a spouse after all.

How I Met My Husband

In my time writing here on Modern Reject, one thing that people thank me for more than almost anything else is for talking so openly about my marriage. And more than that, people always thank me for painting a picture of a healthy, fun, rockin’, Christ-centered marriage.

I mean, occasionally I have someone tell me to quit bragging and sounding so prideful because, hey, not every marriage is awesome and I’m just pouring salt on others’ wounds. For this, I apologize, if this is the case. I never want to sound prideful, but truth be told, I am proud of my marriage.

I chose wisely and God hooked me up with an amazing man. Today, I thought I’d share the story of how I actually met my husband. Now, I know some might not be interested, but I also know that others will. I’m sharing this because I love to hear people’s love stories. They inspire me, encourage me, and bring a smile to my face.

I hope the story of how I met my husband does the same.

To Read More, Click HERE

#7 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

This posts stands as the only one I have written about homosexuality. Some of you agreed with me and others thought that I should have come out with a clear and definitive stance on the issue of homosexuality.

And while it may sound like a cop-out, I haven’t felt like I’ve needed to do so. I obviously have an opinion and position on homosexuality, but not one that I’ve felt was necessary to articulate (at least not right now).  This post was what I felt the Spirit leading me to write and so I did.

Homosexuality and Where the Church Has Failed

I feel like I’ve backed myself into a corner. I feel like I’ve created a monster, wherein I casually debate hot-button or controversial issues on this blog, and thus people are expecting me to feed that monster. Truth be told, I don’t want to feed it. I want it to slither back into its cave and leave me alone.

But it’s not going anywhere.

I’ve debated in my mind over and over again about how, and if, I should address the issue of homosexuality and gay-marriage on this blog. I’ve had people write me and ask that I do. I have friends, whom I love, that daily struggle with this issue in personal and profound ways.

My knee-jerk reaction has been to write a divisive, controversial, button-pushing post on the subject, clearly articulating my views, and simultaneously pulverizing the opposition. I felt certain that if I did, it would cause a ruckus, but I felt ready for that response…or so I thought.

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#8 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

Usually, when I sit down to write something, when it’s all said and done I feel okay about it. Not great. Not rad. Just so-so. Rarely, in fact, do I ever finish a post and think to myself “Good one, Nicole.” After writing this post, though, I felt satisfied. Actually, it was probably one of my favorites of this year.

And, it seems, many of you felt the same. So, thank you. [sniffle, tear]

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…

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#9 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

When I wrote this post, I had no idea so many women felt the same. I had no idea that so many women were just as disillusioned and turned off by women’s ministry.

I also found myself convicted, however, in realizing that it is not enough to just complain about something. If I’m going to air grievances and share hurts, I also have to be willing to do something about it and allow God to lead me forward.

Since writing this post, I have watched the Lord heal up old wounds and bring abut new relationships with women that have ofered me new hope. If you once felt I way I did, I pray the same for you.

Why I Don’t Like Women’s Ministry

I have some kind of adverse reaction to all things “womanly,” meaning all things related to women’s ministry. If I take it a step further, I really mean all things Christian and women.

…Things like scrapbooking, play dates, girls night out, quilted Bible covers, any mention of the Proverbs 31 woman, Beth Moore, touchy-feely-ness, emotions, and Christian romance novels. Eek!

Now don’t get me wrong, individually, I have secretly (and even occasionally, publicly) enjoyed many of these things, but that doesn’t change the fact that they also simultaneously make my skin crawl.

For a long time, I used to believe that I was just born a bit of a rebel. I can remember as a child naturally questioning authority. I never just took someone’s word for it.

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#10 of the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts of 2012

As has become my end of year tradition here on Modern Reject, I am taking the last few days of December off to spend time with my friends and family (and to gorge myself on frosted sugar cookies and eggnog, obviously).

But, it has also become tradition to countdown to the new year by sharing the Top 10 Modern Reject Posts–in this case–of 2012. If they are posts you’ve previously read, perhaps you’ll love re-reading them. Or maybe you missed them on the first go around, so here is your chance to catch up.

Either way, I hope you enjoy and I’ll see you back here the first week of January.

God is Good…Blah, Blah, Blah…

The other day, I was relating a story to my husband about something great God had done. “Yeah, and then God did this and then He did that. He healed them. He saved them! It was awesome. You know, God is good. Blah, blah, blah.”

My husband immediately caught my slip and burst out laughing. “God is good. Blah, blah, blah?” he asked.

I hadn’t even realized I’d said it, but I had meant it. I had be re-telling a story about God’s awesomeness, His power, His redemption and I just reduced His goodness to “blah, blah, blah.”

And the thing is, I think I do this more than I’d like to admit–downplaying God’s attributes. But why? Well, isn’t it obvious?

To keep reading, click HERE.

When Evil Wins…

I wanted to have the words…the right words. Words to comfort and give revelation, power and healing.

But they didn’t come.

I wanted to write about suffering and God’s purpose, about evil and overcoming.

But, I didn’t and…I can’t.

I wanted something I read somewhere else to comfort me and encourage me, to remind me of God’s goodness and His sovereignty.

But, I never did. I read words–beautiful words–that offered hope, but did not ease the pain.

I wanted to do something, anything, besides cry and pray, and cry some more.

But, I couldn’t.

But this is what I know…

That even when I can’t feel it, Jesus Christ is still good….

And even when I can’t see it, Jesus Christ is still King.

And I know this, that evil exists–and not in some abstract, untouchable, unknowable way. It exists now. Evil lives and breathes and destroys.

And it kills.

It kills dreams, and futures, marriages, and tomorrows, somedays, and families, innocence, and God’s promises.

Evil, on that day, thwarted God’s plans. Evil won.

But, I know this too…

It’s not over. The story is still being told and still being written.

God has not been subtracted from its telling. No.

He is thick and in the midst of it. He is the one doing the writing from here on out.

And if we allow Him, and we pray His power and purpose into being, and we allow Jesus to gather us up like a hen and her chicks, and we don’t forget the pain and the horror, and we surround ourselves in His beauty, then maybe…

Just maybe…

The story we will tell our children will have a different ending, where death and destruction is not the finale.

Where hope sprang forth and suffering had it’s terrible and glorious way in us. Not wasted. Not in vain. And not without making someone, anyone, more like the shining Son.

And I know this…

Beyond anything else, as sure as anything I have ever believed…

On that day, and beyond…

Jesus wept.

What is the Kingdom of God? Part 2

Let me begin, by stating (once again) that I am not a theologian. Nor, am I a Bible scholar and let’s be honest, this is not an easy subject. I am, however, a follower of Christ and as such, I have the Holy Spirit within me. And after all, it is the Spirit who brings revelation.

So to that end, in some small way, I am not only qualified, but approved to write about the Kingdom of God (As are you, I should point out).

That being said, to understand what the Kingdom of God is, we also have to understand what the Kingdom is not. It is not a mythical place in the clouds. It is not a liberal ideal, wherein society reaches a kind of man-made utopia. It is not the United States. It is not a political system. It is not a universal Church. It is not even Jesus Christ Himself.

So, what is the Kingdom of God?

Continue reading What is the Kingdom of God? Part 2

What is the Kingdom of God? Part 1

I’ve had the idea to wrote about the Kingdom of God since I started blogging, over 2 years ago. The post sat in my que, collecting dust, being passed over again and again for less heady, easier to swallow topics. I would occasionally glance at it, but quickly put it away because I felt tired just thinking about writing it.

But for some reason, in the last few days and weeks, the Lord has been showing me–reminding me really–that the concept of the Kingdom of God, while large in scope, should not feel elusive or overwhelming.

Because God is a God of Light and of revelation. He brings clarity and truth, not confusion. He is accesible and while yes, there are things pertaining to the Lord that will remain a mystery until we see Him face-to-face, I do not believe this is one of them.

Christians throw around the term the “Kingdom of God” quite often, but what do we really mean when we say that? What does scripture mean?

So, tomorrow, I’ll be writing about the Kingdom of God and how I have seen it revealed to me–and the revelation Jesus has brought me.

But, before then, I wanted to know your thoughts. Because like so many things I write, your comments, ideas, perspective, experience, and personal stories help shape and mold my own ideas. You feed me.

And so, I ask you…

What is the Kingdom of God, in your own words? How would you define it? I admit that not so long ago, I couldn’t have answered these questions and so if you find yourself in the same position, please know that it’s okay to say “I don’t know…but I want to find out.”

Quitting Church

None of us are perfect. Not one.

None of us are Christ and few of us are Christ-like. We fail each other. We sin against one another. We forget that we are meant to be a family and not merely a social club or association where we pay our annual dues.

But a real family, defined by its beauty and imperfections–its messiness and its glory.

Yet, families fail us because people fail us. The church fails us, not because it is broken, but because we are broken. Individually, we are broken pieces, often consumed by our dysfunction and our past, our pain and our shame.

Yet, in God’s family we are called chosen, redeemed, perfected, renewed, restored. We are not a soon-to-be or maybe-someday people of God. We are the people of God now. Today. Yesterday and Tomorrow.

The church in all its intended glory and rightful glory–it’s present glory and the glory that is to be revealed–is the body of Jesus Christ. And yet, it is still comprised of people–people like me, who fail, who sin, who forget that we are members of the family of the Most High God. Adopted. Once orphaned, but now named.

And so are they… Continue reading Quitting Church