Back After these Messages…

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.

Do You Know…?

Do you know…

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…?

You CANNOT Be Anything You Want

from the archives

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

Jesus and Vomit

[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

Paying with Post It Notes

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.

As hard as it is, it brings pause for reflection. As believers do we participate in the same type of exchange with God? Continue reading Paying with Post It Notes

Friday Findings: Sex Before Marriage, ‘Born Again Myth,’ and Strangers

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectFriday, 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.

The post of the week I wish I had written from Allison Vesterfelt: The Consequences of Sex Before Marriage. Brilliant and necessary.

Because I’m married to a movie nerd which by osmosis has made me a movie nerd, I present to you The 2,000 Most Important Films of All-Time.

Giving Birth and Dispelling the Evangelical ‘Born Again’ Myth. Heady title? Yes. About one of my favorite-in-your-face-filled-with-Truth-posts-in-a-long-time? Um, absolutely.

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!

How to Turn Your Marriage Around in 10 Days

Having a blog means at a certain point people will start asking if they can send you their books to read and review. I try to avoid book reviews because for one, I find them boring and secondly, I don’t like many of the books sent my way.

However, a few weeks back I received an advanced copy of How to Turn Your Marriage Around in 10 Days by Philip Wagner, Sr. Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles. I started to casually peruse it like usual, expecting just another “marriage miracle” book and I have to say, this book might actually be the real deal.

Turns out, Wagner and his wife have been married 27 years and have counseled couples all over the world. So, it’s no surprise that his book is full of practical, candid, and relatable advice. So much so, that it inspired me to write a post in response.

Now, I don’t need to turn my marriage around in 10 days, but Wagner acknowledges that even if you have a great marriage  there are still valuable lessons within the book’s pages.

My favorite chapter dealt with priorities. As I was reading I found myself saying things like, “Oh, snap” and “Oh, he just went there.” Wager pulls no punches and cuts straight to the point:

Does prioritizing time with friends speak about your spouse’s needs and wants, or yours? Do your checkbook entries reveal money spent growing your relationship, or escaping it? What is the priority of your life?

Now, I don’t know about you, but I strongly believe that where we spend our money is a reflection of our heart. I never thought about actually spending money to grow my marriage, but in reality, that is exactly what Jonathan and I do.

We save to take much-needed-child-free-vacations. We have date night every week and have committed that if ever there was a time when we would need to pay for babysitting (cause’ grandmas are awesome and free) we would. We spend money to prioritize our relationship.

Wagner goes on to say,”“Is your marriage business-centered? Children-centered? Friend-centered? Ministry-centered? Or is your marriage itself the priority?

Often times, Wagner explains, we are afraid to prioritize our marriages for fear that they will become idols. We believe in not neglecting our marriages or not letting them slip down on the list of priorities, but that is not the same as creating a marriage-centered life.

My husband has told me from day one of life together that I would always remain his number one ministry. Our marriage takes precedence over our children, our church, our friendships, our extended family. Some people find this idea uncomfortable or out of order. But, assuming both spouses are living Christ-centered lives, the next and logical priority must be one’s marriage.

My children, family, friends, and church will see a healthy marriage. That is our witness of Christ. In prioritizing our marriage, we are painting for those watching an intricate and powerful portrait of Jesus’ love for His bride. When we consider that some statistics suggest that the average marriage lasts only 7 years, why would we wait to begin cultivating marriage-centered lives?

I appreciated the questions Wagner poses on priorties and I submit them to you, as well:

Think about what takes your attention away from your marriage. Is it your career, money, friends, hobbies, or goals? Is it your ministry or Church? How will you prioritize your relationship? What will you give up in order to have a marriage-centered life?

To learn more about How to Turn Your Marriage Around in 10 Days and hear thoughts from Phillip, visit, like him on Facebook or follow him on twitter@philipwagnerLA.

Are There Degrees of Sin?

I can’t count the number of times I have heard a Christian say something along the lines of, “Well, sin is sin. God sees all sin the same.”

Really? Does He, really? God sees all sin the same?

Do you believe that? Because, I, for one, have a hard time believing that someone stealing a candy bar is the equivalent of murdering an innocent person, in God’s eyes.

The arguement that the two are identical in their weight and nature, “sin is sin,” flies in the face of God’s character. Nowhere in scripture do we see God acting this out. If anything, we see the opposite.

Jesus actually gives us quite a few references to degrees of sin. The following two passages refer specifically to a greater degree of punishment: Continue reading Are There Degrees of Sin?

Technical Difficulties…

My baby, my dear sweet baby, Mac has been displaying some alarming symptoms as of late and as a result, I was unable to finish the post I had planned for today. Of course, now she’s cooperating just fine. Like women, it seems Macs can be finicky.

But, said post will up tomorrow, so never fear. In the meantime, why not go read some oldies but goodies like these:

101 Random Facts about Nicole, The Modern Reject

Why Church is Hard

Easily Offended? Yeah, That’s Me

Theological Ninja or Sucker?

15 Things You Should Tell Your Kids

Who’s Your Pastor? (Hint: It’s Not Who You Think it is)

Friday Findings: The Election, Mockery, And Proof of God

Frieday Findings on Modern Reject

Happy Friday! I’ve had a great week, especially since I celebrated my 7 year wedding anniversary to the man of my dreams. If you’d ever like to spy on us (in a very socially acceptable way) follow me on Instagram @modernreject.

Anyhoo, besides being a fun week celebrating there were also some great reads on the Interwebz. Hope you enjoy and happy weekend. See you Monday!

Did Apple Really Just Screw Over iPad Owners? Pretty much, yeah.

Daughter, Love Your Hips, No Matter the Width from Nikki Weatherford. I wish I had read this as a younger woman.

The Age of Mockery from Daylight Atheism talks about Libya, Islam, and the Muslim definition of “freedom of speech.” Interesting perspective.

Sometimes Truth Arrives in Disguise from Kristin over at Halfway to Normal. A beautiful description of the seemingly mundane, ordinary moments that when we pause long enough to notice hold real beauty.

With the election days away, I had to share this post from Jen Hatmaker. In one fell swoop, Jen systematically attacks the Christian reasons often given for voting Republican or Democrat. I don’t agree with everything she wrote, but I do find it rather brilliant and worth reading. Chew on this, for instance:

“Full allegiance silences our prophetic voice in favor of touting party lines and demands we turn our fellow citizens into enemies for differing viewpoints.”

What’s your condition? How do you cope? Who did you become? A fascinating “psycho-dimensional infographic” that explains how psychotherapy sees you. Healthy? Schizoid? Narcissist? Find out.

18 Things You Didn’t Know Your Slow Cooker Could Make, because I mean, I am a stay home mom after all.

From Nish, The Truth About Going Back to Church. After reading this post, I was overcome with sadness–sadness for what she has experienced and sadness for knowing what could be, but what it seems is not.

My Favorite Read of the Week: From my friend Karen, A Different Kind of Birth (and Proof of God) in which Karen masterfully and beautifully ties the story of her mother’s (very) recent death with the existence of God and new life. You will be so glad you read this. 

P.S. In case you missed my interview from yesterday over at Jamal’s blog, please come visit. The questions were challenging, personal, and so fun to answer. Stop over and add your own questions in the comments. Hope to see you there.