Why I Haven’t Been Writing…

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

I don’t remember a time without pain. It seems that pain has always known me, having found me so young, so soon. Now, I’m not talking about the suffering most of us experience in life–loss, heartache, betrayal and the like (although I have known each of these, as well).

It’s not the pain of life I’m talking about, however. It is physical pain, the searing hurt that shocks your nerves and dulls all other senses. The kind of pain that leaves you unable to speak, dream, or even love for a time because how could you…how can you love as fully as you’d like when your body is not your own? When it has been taken hostage by an enemy.

Pain so real and so unwelcome that you live life as a muted version of yourself–lifeless, colorless, often hopeless.

A little over a month ago, I awoke to the familiar pain I have known since childhood. I have always had migraines, my weekly companion, but this particular morning I awoke to something much more fierce and unforgiving. Continue reading Why I Haven’t Been Writing…

Your Bag of Stinking Sin

Did you know that you don’t actually own your sin anymore? Jesus does. It’s not yours.

If I walked into a store and you were selling a bag of manure and I bought it from you, well, that manure would be mine. That bag of sh*t, literally. And for no reason would you attempt to buy back that bag of crap. Why would you? For what purpose? To once again have it strapped to your back, reeking and soiled, putrid and profane…

Because, I now own it–bought and paid. I can do with it what I please and you can no longer make any claims over the bag’s contents.

But what we so often do, is let Jesus buy our bag of manure–our sin, our past, our shame, our regret–and then we secretly act as though we still own it. Continue reading Your Bag of Stinking Sin

Our Ugly Jesus

When you imagine Jesus, what do you see? A man with a lovely shining face, long flowing hair, and a winning smile? Is your Jesus sun-kissed and bronzed, not quite Middle-Eastern and not quite Caucasian? A perfectly handsome, approachable, and even Western looking man?

We’ve all seen the paintings that hang on church walls and in elderly ladies homes–Jesus in His traditional white robe, surrounded by lambs and children, whilst His long dark hair blows softly in the wind.

But, is this really Jesus?

Was the Son of Man really a mix of a Ken doll and Romeo? Probably not. Many Bible scholars actually believe (and not that they are always right) Jesus was, in fact, ugly.

Yes…our ugly Savior. And so what if He was ugly, what does that matter?

Actually, it matters a lot… Continue reading Our Ugly Jesus

Friday Findings: Suicide, Body Image, and Not Being Ashamed

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectHoly crap, you guys…did you realize that it has been over 3 months since I’ve written a Friday Findings post? Of course you didn’t. I didn’t either. But, their baaaaacckkkk….

[Time to get excited.] Let’s pretend it’s Friday, shall we? I’m a little excited myself.

So, in honor of the newly resurrected Friday Findings, I’m switching things up a bit. Yes, you’ll still find the usual amazing, poignant, and yet simultaneously trivial links to the random stuff I like. But I will also be adding a few extra goodies:

From now on, each Friday I’ll be sharing with you my Favorite Blog Comment of the Week and Tweet of the Week. That means if you leave some uproarious, or deeply touching, or painfully brilliant comment on the blog, I’ll share it here on Friday Findings. I’ll also send you a virtual hug and fist pump. Score! Same goes for the best tweet of the week.

Which means if you don’t comment on MR or follow me on Twitter, you can’t win. And yes, it’s a contest. And yes, you know you want to win. So get on it.

Now onto the links and stuff:

Did this really happen? I cannot imagine the terror, but I can imagine it making a suh-weet Hollywood flick staring Ryan Gosling.

Oh, Frank. You can do no wrong. And this series on rethinking spiritual gifts is about as good as it gets. Read it and be challenged.

This is an oldie, but goodie from Carlos Whitaker about “professional church people.” My thoughts exactly.

My friend Arianne recently launched her exquisite beauty of a new site called Mabel + Riv. It is just about the prettiest thing around and not only that, it is filled with the depth, richness, and perfection of Arianne’s words. Go now and be happy you did.

I almost committed suicide, but…A reminder (for me mostly) that God can use any person, any church, anything to offer hope.

Brilliance and one of the best articles I’ve ever read about women and body image issues.

All writers lie and they are especially good at lying to themselves.

How to overcome a creative block, from Alice Bradley, one of the funniest and wittiest writers around.

My Favorite Read of the Week: from Rachel Held Evans and happens to be my favorite thing she has ever written. Truly.

Comment of the Week: From Gunnar “This was epically awesome.” Well, thank you.

Tweet of the Week: Didn’t really have one, so get on it already.

And a super big thanks for helping Modern Reject land on the Church Relevance Top 200 Ministry Blogs list for the 3rd time in a row! You rock!

Whatcha got to share with me?

My Expectation-Free Marriage

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of women about expectations in marriage. Some were married, a few were engaged, but most were single.

I had to admit to them that I had very few expectations when I got married. I had never been the girl who dreamed about being a wife or having a husband. I knew what marriage looked like when I was growing up and was certain I wanted no part.

So, I imagine that when it came time for me to say “I do,” I had been so set free by God from my former ideas about matrimony that I was essentially a clean slate. Can you imagine? A bride with no expectations?

Well, it should go without saying that being an expectation-free wife had a huge impact on my marriage and not in the way you might think. Continue reading My Expectation-Free Marriage

What Would You Do if Your Church Building Was Gone?

If the Church could do nothing, but only one thing to survive, I would suggest that discipleship would be it. Discipleship–disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples–is, I believe, the primary vehicle through which God desires to win men.

Our Jesus discipled from the onset of His ministry. He didn’t only disciple His core 12 that we know so well, but He discipled many others along the way. Jesus knew and understood the importance of empowering the individual believer to be equipped to lead others to Himself.

He knew that He was leaving and that the Church would need to grow, through individual men and the Holy Spirit. But, today however, so many of us rely on our church buildings, pastors, programs, services, and the like to “empower” us to make disciples.

Here is the fundamental question: If your church building were stripped away and your pastor quit preaching from the pulpit, would YOU be able to lead, teach, and bring others to the Lord?

Francis Chan on Politics from Nate Hanson on Vimeo.

 Please share your thoughts on the question I posed above, as well as responses to this video. Do you make disciples? Would you be prepared to do so if the church as we know it changed dramatically?