Well, it just keeps getting better. Meaning God just keeps, well, being God…
I’m sure that I’ve read the story of the hemorrhaging woman dozens of times. We all know it.
I usually picture her when I read the account, frail and lowly, weak and cast-off. I can see her fighting through the crowd with every last bit of energy she has, certain that if she can just touch the hem of His garment, she will be made well.
I see Jesus, filled with compassion and overflowing with love, look to her after realizing that power had gone out from Him. I see His eyes, full of heartache and grace look upon her and bless her without saying a word.
I’ve sat so many times, staring at my computer screen, feeling like “What’s the point? Who cares anyway? I have nothing to say.” Modern Reject, for all that it is and how much I love it, needs to change. I’ve known it. I’ve resisted it.
But, it’s time. What I write here has to change, because I have been changing. So rapidly. So furiously. I cannot keep up with what the Holy Spirit is doing. I am barely nipping at His heels as He beckons me “Come…”
“Unfiltered.” That was the word my husband heard in bed last night. You should write about this, Nicole. All of it. Unfiltered.
This? I asked. Are you sure? Because, this…this is a lot. Too much. I couldn’t possibly. But I knew he was right. I knew God wanted this written.
Before I begin, I will tell you that I am afraid–afraid of man–fearful that some of you might judge me, call me crazy, disregard my experiences, and move me from the “cool Christian” column to the “weirdo, charismatic, whack-job Christian” one.
But it’s time because nothing else matters right now. What Jesus is doing in my life is what He wants me to write about. It will be different. It will be shocking to some and unbelievable to others.
If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes on Modern Reject, then you know of my great admiration and fondness for a certain Frank Viola. Well, my friend Frank has just released a new book called God’s Favorite Place on Earththat could literally change your relationship with God, help you defeat bitterness, free you from a guilty conscience, and help you overcome fear, doubt and discouragement once and for all. Sound too good to be true? Like some Christian version of a late night infomercial…?
This is a book that will jar you out of your “Christian rut” and give you new eyes for looking at EVERYTHING. It’s a quick, inspiring, and entertaining read. I promise. In fact, God’s Favorite Place on Earth already spoke into my own life in a very specific and profound way.
All that to say, you should buy this book. Buy it now. And me saying that means something because this is the first book I have ever heavily endorsed on this blog.
Here’s the sweetest part: if you get the book between May 1st to May 7th, you will also get 25 FREE GIFTS from 15 different authors including Leonard Sweet, Jeff Goins, Andrew Farley, Steve McVey, DeVern Fromke, Pete Briscoe, Frank Viola himself, and many others. Ahh-maazing, right?
Over 47 Christian leaders have recommended the book, including me.
“God’s Favorite Place on Earth” illuminates the town of Bethany, welcoming us to visit and, in doing so, gain a powerful and irreplaceable picture of our Lord. Viola effortlessly weaves together a compelling narrative with practical wisdom, offering a fresh, imaginative, and exciting new vision of Jesus Christ, while also challenging our thinking to make room for this new revelation of an incredibly intimate and altogether real Christ.”
Nicole Cottrell, blogger at modernreject.com
The premise of the book is simple and 100% Biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany.
The curtain opens with Lazarus, who is now ready to die, telling the incomparable story of Jesus’ interactions with him, Martha, and Mary. God’s Favorite Place on Earth blends drama, devotion, biblical narrative, and first-century history to create a riveting book that you’ll find difficult to put down. Within each narrative, the common struggles Christians face are addressed and answered.
I am inviting you to visit GodsFavoritePlace.com to get hooked up with your 25 FREE GIFTS, read a Sampler of the book, and watch a compelling video trailer. You’ll be happy you did.
P.S. I wasn’t paid or perked in any way for this endorsement. I just genuinely love the book (and Frank Viola) and wanted to share it with you.
Just for kicks, what’s the best book you’ve read lately?
“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…
The New York Times recently wrote an article about the new(ish) phenomenon of folks preferring to watch their T.V. shows in one chunk these days. You know, no more one-episode-a-week-like-the-olden-days. We seem to like choking it all down in one crazy marathon.
I have to admit, I have binged on quite a few T.V shows in my day. My first ever T.V. binge was 24. Come on, you know you love some Kiefer. I had just gotten married and quickly found out I was pregnant too. I had no idea how miserably sick being pregnant can make you. How generally you just feel like you ate 23 tins of sardines, got on a roller coaster, and then were struck with influenza. every.day.
So, in true newlywed/pregnant/twenty-something fashion Jonathan would drag an extra queen sized mattress we happened to have (random, I know) out to the T.V. where we would lay like vegetables and binge on 24.
And it was awesome. Hour after hour of Kiefer, carrying his man bag, hunting down dangerous criminals, never stopping to take a bathroom break or to eat a croissant. Just action. Cheesy, adrenaline pumping, addicting action.
Since our 24 binging days, Jonathan and I have had a few other T.V. marathon obsessions like Breaking Bad and Lost (until we caught up and had to watch it on once a week like everyone else), Mad Men (for a brief minute until I decided it didn’t have one redeeming character), and the epic Friday Night Lights (clear eyes!).
I like a good punch in the face of 13 episodes all at once. What about you?
Have you ever had a T.V. show binge obsession? What is your current fave on T.V.? If you had to choose, movies or. T.V.?
Today, I have the privilege of sharing a very personal and intimate story at Prodigal Magazine. It is a story close to my heart and still tender. So tender, in fact, I almost didn’t want to write it, but felt that it was time.
Here’s a taste:
Once married, I spoke about sex with jaded and jagged words. I hated to call it “love-making” because the inner lies told me it had nothing to do with love. My past sin told me sex was just a physical act to be dabbled in casually and carefree. I could enter into a place of pleasure for brief moments, but only through prayer and petition, when I was able to escape all the lies I had once been told about sex–what it is and what it is not.
My shame and old life wanted to tell me that I was unworthy of a healthy sex life. That, somehow, by not waiting until marriage, I had forfeited the right to enjoy the beauty and splendor of it now.
And for a long time, I believed those lies. For too long, I allowed my past to rob me of my now and present. I let what once was determine what could be. But thankfully, Jesus does not.
Sitting around the table eating dinner with my church family, I told a few of my sisters what my word was and they responded with a collective “Oooohhhh….” Why? Because they know. Because they know me and they know that I have trouble receiving. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me squirm. I feel self-conscious and self-indulgent.
And this is what God has told me in the last few weeks…
I worry a lot about my kids. Well, not so much about them, as much as how I’m doing as a mom.
I am insecure in my mothering abilities. There, I said it…and no, it didn’t feel good to “get it off my chest.” It just sucked. And stung a little.
And, I worry. I worry and wonder if they are learning all the things they need to learn? Are we creating a home where they can grow to be themselves? Am I making God real to them? Are they going to grow up to passionately love Oreos instead of broccoli, just like their mom?
I wonder what God was thinking sometimes–giving me three children to care for. I mean, I did ask for all three of them, but since when does God give me everything I ask for?
And how did I end up homeschooling (at least this year) because man, I am so stinkin’ bad at it. I wonder what the next 10 years will look like and I immediately become exhausted–sorta like the way I feel when my mind tries to comprehend eternity. You know, where your brain hurts and feels like it might explode with thoughts of Forrrevvverrr….
But mostly, I think about what my kids will be like as adults? Will they be capable, full of character, in pursuit of their dreams? And will they inevitably look back and think “Man, mom really sucked sometimes. I wish she had done _____ or been more ______.”Continue reading Hello, I’m an Insecure Mom. Nice to Meet You.
My past does not determine my future. In the economy of God, what I have done does not determine what I will do. Under Jesus Christ, my past holds no power and my future is filled with freedom.
That is what I know. But, what I know and what I believe are two very different things.
I’ve been known to be really good at dishing out advice to others, only to turn around and question whether the same thing holds true for myself.
I can tell a friend all day long, “God is good. He loves you. He is for you.” And I mean it. And I believe it. I could sell that line all day long.
But, as soon as my own difficulty comes, I immediately assume that those same truths don’t apply to me. Intellectually, I know they are true, but emotionally I doubt. Basically, I throw rationale out the window. Oh, and reason, and truth, and wisdom…blah, blah, blah… Continue reading The Biggest Lie I Believe About God