What 3 Words Describe Your Church?

Yesterday, I posed this question on Facebook: If you had to describe your church in 3 words what would you say?

I decided to answer the question too. I thought for a minute and then completely cheated and used two hyphenated words for a grand total of 5 words. I said:

My church: Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, and family.

But, if I have to play fair and really only use 3 words, I would say the 3 words that best decribe my church would be: Continue reading What 3 Words Describe Your Church?

Bad Church Signs…Just Because

I feel like its maybe been a bit heavy this week on Modern Reject, what with me almost dying followed by the whole discussion on judging other’s sins. You know, nice and lighthearted.

I’ve also had a lot of personal junk going on, including ongoing physical pain. Basically, I feel like junk. Oh, and to top off the week, I’ve received some less-than-encouraging emails from a few individuals that inevitably lead to me to question why I write this blog in the first place.

But, let’s put all that aside. That’s what I decided to do and in doing so, I spent far too long on various websites reading completely ridiculous, perhaps even inappropriate, but hilarious stuff. With that in mind, I decided to share a few of the bad church signs I viewed.

If you’ve seen any of these before, I apologize. But, hopefully they will just make you chuckle…that’s what I needed anyway. Continue reading Bad Church Signs…Just Because

My Favorite Posts You Haven’t Read

Sex sells. So does raising titillating and often uncomfortable questions it seems. At least, those are some of the things that “sell” on this blog.

A little while ago, I shared the Top 10 Posts of 2012 (So Far). The posts that comprised that list were a bit of a surprise to me. Sure, some are a given, but it seems that almost every time I write a post that I absolutely, completely love and feel proud of–only a few of you read it.

My favorites posts get less action and the posts that I am undoubtedly unsure of and feel insecure about usually do well. Go figure.

But, with all that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of My Favorite Posts You Haven’t Read (maybe you have read these because you are a hardcore “reject” and for that I thank you). I’m going all the way back to the archives from two years ago when I started this baby.

Here they are, in no particular order: Continue reading My Favorite Posts You Haven’t Read

Top 10 Ways to Not Be a Jerk

I’m just finishing up a little vacation with my family and as a result today’s post is from the archives. I hope you don’t mind and I hope you enjoy. P.S. If you want to be a total stalker (shhh, I won’t tell) find me on Instagram as “Modernreject” to see my vacation pics.

I’ve been a bit of a jerk lately. I mean, you may not have noticed. People around me may not have noticed much, but I have. And God has certainly noticed.

My jerkiness has been manifesting itself as pride. Ugh. I hate that word: pride. It is a word that haunts me. Before knowing Christ I was extremely prideful and not in that cocky semi-attractive way. I was prideful in that don’t even think about telling me what to do because I already know it all kind of way.

God has definitely broken me (like a wild stallion) of much of my pride. But, every once in a while, if I’m not careful, it starts to creep back up and finds its way into my relationship with the Lord. He has been patient with me, more than I deserve. I have realized I have been a bit of a jerk recently to those around me and especially to God, thanks to that unattractive yet persistent pride of mine.

Oh, pride is ugly. It is a turn-off. It can even control you but, here are some ways to not let pride take over. Here are 10 ways to not be a jerk: Continue reading Top 10 Ways to Not Be a Jerk

Top 10 Posts of 2012…So Far

Did you realize that we are almost halfway through the year? 2012 seems to be flying by, and yet there is still so much more I’m hoping to accomplish this year.

As for blogging, this year has been the best yet (which makes sense since this is my second year of blogging). With that being said, I thought I’d steal borrow a post idea from Frank Viola, and share with you the 10 most popular posts of 2012…so far.

In no particular order, here are the 10 posts you have loved the most, shared the most, and I assume, enjoyed the most this year:

1. In Hot Pursuit: Should Men or Women Pursue? This one is funny to me because at the time, this post was sort of a flop. But, it has had some strong search activity. Looks like lots of people are searching for the answer to this question.

2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Sex Life. People always like reading about sex. Go figure.

3. Why I Don’t Like Women’s Ministry. A very personal post that caught fire.

4. Mark Driscoll is My New Best Friend Some people disagreed with this one and that’s okay. The discussion in the comments is really great.

5. 20 Ways to Love Your Husband Better Both this post and its counter-part (#6) are still going strong. Just like sex, people love reading about ways to improve their marriages.

6. 20 Ways to Love Your Wife Better

7. Homosexuality and Where the Church Has Failed

8. Confession: I Didn’t Wait Til Marriage

9. What God Will Never Ask You. Perhaps one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written. It is one of my husbands favorites too.

10. How My Husband Leads. This post had impact on many men and women, which blessed me.

Did you happen to read any of these? Do you have a favorite from the list? Or is there another post that comes to mind? What would YOU like to see me write more of in the future?

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…

God will not ask you… Continue reading What God Will Never Ask You…

30 Things You Never Want to Hear Your Significant Other Say

It’s the first Wednesday of the new year, which means today I’m writing about my two favorite people: Men and Women. The blogosphere is all abuzz with the new Mark Driscoll book, Real Marriage. I thought I ‘d respond to some of the critics and supporters of the book, but alas, I decided to write something fun instead.

The following is a list of things you never want to hear your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse say to you. We’ve all heard them too–the lame line that lingered in our minds. The mortifying comment we never shared with another soul. Perhaps you’ve even said some of these yourself. Disclaimer: Some of these comments are marriage specific, i.e. they deal with sex, so hopefully your boyfriend or girlfriend wouldn’t be saying those things to you in the first place.

So let the unsavory, rude, embarrassing, and plain old selfish comments begin: Continue reading 30 Things You Never Want to Hear Your Significant Other Say

#1 of 2011: God WILL Give You More than You Can Handle

I had no idea how many people search for the phrase “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” when I wrote this post. All I knew was the idea that God didn’t give us too much was a lie. And a big fat one at that.

I wasn’t trying to encourage people in their struggles, so much as remind them that God does not protect us from struggles. There is no glass ceiling on suffering. My hope in writing this post was to tell believers that we aren’t meant to carry all of our burdens alone, but more so, that no where in the Bible does this whole “God not giving you more than you can handle” thing exist. We made it up to feel better about our problems, I’m sure.

But truth is more powerful than the most sophisticated lie. Truth brings light. His Light brings clarity and comfort, peace and provision…and there is nothing He can’t “handle.”


God WILL Give You More than You Can Handle

I don’t remember the first time I heard the phrase “God will never give you more than you can handle,” I just know that, at some point, it became a Christian-ism for me. I felt comforted knowing that God would never allow anything to happen that I could not “handle,” whatever that meant. I’d always be okay. Things would never be so terrible, as to crush me.

I remember quite a few years ago even writing those words to a Jewish friend of mine who was going through a difficult time. I felt like it was in the Bible. It seemed like it should be in the Bible. It sounded scripture-y. I didn’t actually check to see if it was in the Bible however.

But then I got knocked up side the head with the truth. Last week I wrote the post, You CANNOT Be Anything You Want, which was part one in my latest series, Don’t Believe the Lie. You see, that whole “God won’t give you more than you can handle” business is a lie, as well. A nice, big, fat one, too. Oh, how Satan has twisted that one and we’ve bought it.

The truth is, the Bible doesn’t talk about giving or not giving us more than we can handle.

The verse that Christians so often confuse with this phrase is 1Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The key word here is “temptation.” We are promised here by the apostle Paul that God will not allow us to be “tempted beyond our ability.” Temptation is very different from the vast, exhaustive list in life of anything that could happen to us. God doesn’t say He won’t give us what we can’t handle. He says we won’t be tempted beyond our ability.

What is our ability? Well the second half of the verse, I think, helps answer that question: “but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Our ability is tied to the way of escape. We are offered an exit door with every temptation. It is through that exit door, in part, that we receive the ability to resist the temptation. We cannot endure a temptation unless we escape it. Our ability is also measured by our maturity in Christ and our reliance upon the Holy Spirit, among other things.

God certainly does allow us to experience more than we can handle, though. Jesus was given more than He could humanly “handle.” He was beaten and crucified to death. He died without sin, however, because while He was tempted, He knew the way of escape.

I heard Beth Moore discuss this topic once. She referred to a parent losing a child. She told the story of a woman she knew who had watched 6 of her babies die, one after another. Years later she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that essentially killed each of her children.

Was this woman’s loss enough for her to “handle?”  We say, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,”,  and we lie to ourselves. Was burying 6 infants more than this woman could handle? I think so. She reportedly fell into a dark and consuming depression. She couldn’t handle it. She wasn’t meant to handle it. Years later, Beth Moore saw this woman, after losing her own foster child. The two women wept together over the loss of their children. They could not handle the pain alone. We are not meant to either.

God will inevitably allow us to experience more than we can handle in perhaps the death of a parent, or a spouse. Perhaps it is watching a life-long dream wither away. Soldiers who have watched their friends die in combat. Mental illness, depression, disease. Or even the realization that you have been wasting your life and have nothing to show for it. Any of these things might be more than we can handle and that’s the point.

Christianity is not the guarantee of an easy life, but the abundant life. It makes us uncomfortable to think about suffering loss and God allowing that loss. Don’t get me started on Job. It wrecks me. God wants us to cling to Him, though, to hold onto Him for dear life sometimes, because, without Him, we would drift away into nothingness. We will suffer greatly, at some time in our life, and it is because of our  sufferings and through our sufferings that we can become more like Jesus. Paul wrote, for example:

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Philippians 3:10

I want to know Christ and, if sharing in His sufferings is one way, then so be it. I accept the idea that God will, perhaps at more than one point in my life, allow me to experience such pain and loss that I will be broken under the weight of it. Then I can look to my Lord, the lover of my soul, and cry out to Him, knowing He is the only One who can save me. (And if I forget, I have this blog post to come back to at that point.)

I do not want to buy into the lie any longer of naively believing that there is some magic limit or glass ceiling on suffering. There isn’t, and we demean the power of Christ’s sufferings when we assume there is.

Have you falsely believed this lie, like I once did? Do you think Christians suffer for believing this lie, and if so, how and why?


#2 of 2011: Why Do You Believe in God?

I sort of thought of this post as a throw away when I wrote it. It didn’t seem especially profound, deep, or intellectual. It was just me expressing the feelings and experiences that have led me to believe in God.

Somewhere along the way, this here post made its way onto Reddit where it created a wave of conversation and discussion. Suddenly, thousands of people were reading this post. So much for what I thought was a throw away. It goes to show that you can never predict what people will want to read. You can only write for yourself and hope others will come along too.

As an aside, a few atheists commented on the original post too, wanting to debate God’s existence. To be clear, this post is for people who already believe God exists. It is an opportunity to state why you know His presence in your own life…nothing more, nothing less.


Why Do You Believe in God?

Growing up, the idea of God was presented as a possibility. God, the man upstairs as it were, was at least an option of the table for me as a child. Granted, He was not Jesus Christ, the Messiah, but He was at least mentioned.

Years later, when I finally did meet Christ, I believe I was much more open to saying “yes” because at the very least, I believed in a God, if not the God.

Ironically, now that I am devoted to Jesus Christ, my family wonders why–how. Why have I become a “Christian” (often said as a dirty word). Why do I believe so wholeheartedly and completely in God?

This question is a lot trickier than it appears. I’d like to give some simple, succinct, yet powerful answer, but the truth is…I can’t. The answer is so much more….

Instead of answering the question of why I believe in God, in part, comes down to a series of events and the subsequent emotions associated with those events.

Here’s what I mean: God saves. I feel secure. God protects. I feel safe. God redeems. I feel hope. God gives. I feel humbled. And so on and so on…

My belief that God is real and alive and living in me, is not a guessing game, but rather me acknowledging who He is and what He has done for me. I can look back over my life and plainly see when and where God has stepped in, directed, prompted, challenged, or encouraged me.

Not only can I see Him working in my life, but I can also feel Him. Now this is where my unbelieving family gets even more skeptical. Feel Him? Yes. Feel His presence.

Sure, it sounds nebulous. It even sounds a bit irrational and kooky, but anyone who truly loves Jesus knows what it is to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Once it is experienced it cannot be mistaken. It cannot be faked or forgotten…and it certainly cannot be forfeited. You will always want more.

In knowing God, I also know that one of the strongest pieces of evidence that He is real and working on me is because of well, me. I am not who I used to be. I am a new creation. I don’t say this casually or flippantly, just throwing about a cliche scriptural reference.

I am a new creation. I am so far removed from who I used to be and who I thought I was that it can only point to belief in God. I’m not sure if people change on their own. I don’t think they really do. There has to be a catalyst and mine was Jesus Christ.

Lastly, as my faith has grown and matured and my eyes have been opened, I see more and more evidence for the existence of God all around. From the vastness of the stars, to the raging oceans, to the dense forest, to the profound love of my husband, to the sound of my children’s laughter, to watching my belly swell with life and feeling that life move inside of me–only to be born through what can only be described as a miracle…

I see God everywhere. The evidence of His hand is unmistakable. Yet, I will just continue to pray for those who have yet to have their eyes opened.

Why do you believe in God? Is it factual, faith, emotion, all of the above? What did you believe about God before knowing Him?

#3 of 2011: Have Sex…Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Today’s post on the 2011 countdown, while one of the most read of the year, has also proven to be the most controversial to make the list. The reason? It seems that people regard my advice for wives to say “yes” to sex more as the equivalent to endorsing rape. I kid you not.

Some time ago, this post made its way on to a number of athesits blogs. I happen to read the comments on these particular blogs and people legititametly said I was promoting the act of rape against women. Astonishing.

Really, this post is all about encouraging women to engage in marital sex more, even when conditions aren’t right or they are tired because in doing so, you will bless your husband and your marriage. If you’re interested, read the comments on the original post too. They are passionate, in both support and opposition.


Have Sex…Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Having sex in marriage is important. Necessary. Crucial.

Women need sex to feel emotionally connected. Men need sex to feel loved and desirable.

But as most married women will tell you, marriage sure slows down the frequency of sex and sexual mood. Whether it be long work days, stress, children, or other daily distraction–a woman’s sexual impulse can be sucked right out.

All too often in marriage, women find themselves saying “no” to sex much more than “yes.” There is even the mythical male who turns down sex with his wife… a very rare breed, indeed.

I have heard it said before that women should just go ahead and have sex, even when they don’t feel like it. I agree with that sentiment and here’s why:

I know some people might think this idea sounds downright archaic and misogynistic. But, here I am–a modern woman–telling other women to just get busy, even when the urge isn’t there.

Reason being, marriage convinced me of the male need for sex. Dennis Prager has discussed this topic on his radio show quite frequently. He refers to women pulling the old famous sex shutdown line: “I don’t feel like it.” His response to that excuse makes me smile. To paraphrase him:

In life there are countless things we have to do each day, even though we “don’t feel like it.” We go to work, pay our bills, call that one annoying guy, get to bed at a reasonable hour, even though we don’t necessarily feel like it. Why should sex be any different?

Women have somehow hijacked sex and planted this notion in their minds that sex is always suppose to be romantic, or glamorous, or that they must be totally 100% “in the mood” in order to have it. If these prerequisites aren’t met, well then, no sex.

I took a pre-marriage class with my husband and one of the week’s topics was sex in marriage. A sex expert (such a cool job title by the way) and counselor taught us that, on average, men need sex 2 to 3 times per week–not want sex twice a week, but actually need sex (you’re welcome gentlemen. I’m spreading the word).

For men, sex is a stress release, a wanted distraction from their busy lives and responsibilities. It is also how they feel loved from their wives, which, if you ask me, is sorta important.

On day 13 of turning down your husband, men don’t only feel pent-up stress, but they also begin to feel unloved and undesirable.

My friend Carrington just wrote a post challenging women to say “yes” to sex more. I have practiced this and, let me just tell you that it makes a difference in my marriage. The hubster and I have better quality and more frequent sex now than ever (too much detail? Sorry, hope you’re not blushing).

If I’m not up for being intimate in that exact moment–usually 11:00 o’clock at night after a day of being covered in toddler slime, then I will reschedule for another time. Which is a reminder to men–timing is important. Don’t ask her at the end of a very long, tiring day. Ask her when she feels most in the mood, when the iron is hot, so to speak. For more tips, gentlemen, on improving your sex life, check out this post.

Ladies, commit to trying to say “yes” at least three times in a row. Set the mood. Take a shower. Pray. Lock yourself in the bathroom for 10 minutes away from little ones (I highly recommend this one). Do whatever you need to do to say “yes.”

The more I go ahead and have sex, even when I don’t feel in the mood, the more God has actually blessed our sex life. And guess what, when I say “yes” more, I’m much more apt to get “in the mood” faster, too. In fact, I have the “I’m not in the mood” thought run through my mind rarely these days.

So, when he asks, pounce on him. Or heck, don’t wait for him to ask… pounce first, ask questions later.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you think women should say “yes” even when they might not be in the mood? Have you practiced this?  What has made a difference in your married sex life?