The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

If someone were to ask you what has caused more harm to the Church as a whole, how would you answer? Because I don’t what I would have said a few weeks ago, but then…

During a church meeting a few weeks ago, a member of my church family said: “The existence of denominations and factions within the church is the greatest deception Satan has ever committed against the church.”

I nodded my head in agreement.

I’ve felt that. I’ve known that. I had just never put it into words.

As my friend said this I was immediately reminded of the movie The Usual Suspects and that bastard Keyser Soze. Satan, the Great Illusionist and Perpetual Deceiver, always scheming. Continue reading The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

Friday Findings: Deathbeds, Adoption, and No One at Church

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectThis week’s Friday Findings is a hodge-podge of the weird, kooky, silly, touching, and heartbreaking. Just the way I like it. Enjoy.

These awkward Jesus pictures have been floating around Facebook. If you’ve missed ’em, here ya’ go. You’re welcome.

This might be my favorite finding of the week. It is worthy of its own post and I found it fascinating. There’s not much to say except that we all long for something. Every single one of us–famous or not–is seeking something more, Someone more, whether we are able to articulate that longing or not.

The Top 5 Regrets People Make on Their Deathbeds. This is so poignant. Number 4 spoke to me especially. I am not good at maintaining friendships. It has always been work, but I do not want to carry any regrets. Which one speaks to you?

I really really like Halloween. Not so much the demons and darkness bits, but more so the costumes and the candy. Sorry if you don’t feel the same. And I enjoy a scary novella from time to time (I’m currently reading some H.P. Lovecraft. Know him?). I’ve always enjoyed the creepy, the bizarre, and the morbid. What can I say? So when I found this list of some of the scariest books ever written I smiled.

This story breaks my heart and pisses me off for the sheer fact that any child living in America should never have to do this. I can’t criticize though. I haven’t opened my home to any orphaned children…yet. God used this story to open my heart up even more to the idea.

An Open Letter from Asian American Evangelicals to Stop Being Stereotyped. A thought-provoking and heart-felt plea. “We have imagined and hoped for such a different future for the church, one in which racial harmony would not be an illusion, but a tangible reality.”

What Doesn’t Impress Me–A Message to 20’s and 30’s. Frank again. Bam. And ouch…in a good way.

Why Nobody Wants to God to Church Anymore. I have to say, I very much agree with the author’s reasoning as to why people just don’t want to go to church these days. I sympathize. Heck, I empathize. But the only thing this article did was make me ever more grateful for a church body literally freed from everything on this list.

There you have it. Maybe one of my favorite round-ups ever. What about you? Did anything on the list get you thinking? Got anything good to share with me? WHat have you read, loved, disliked, or rejoiced over this week?

Why My Church Rarely Does “Prayer Requests”

Ah, the prayer request. The quintessential Christian experience–sitting around in a circle, sharing often benign, usually safe, terribly tame “prayer requests” with one another.

They usually sound something like this: “I really need a new job or a pay raise. So pray for that please.” Or “My fiance and I are trying to figure out when to get married. Please pray that God would tell us.”

(Let me also preface this post by stating that I am not anti-prayer request. of course not. I have been apart of many groups, be it Bible studies or women’s groups where prayer requests were a welcome and important part of gathering. But God has also shown me something different…)

It’s funny because after becoming a believer, I just went right along with the whole “prayer request” model. I didn’t know any differently. I certainly didn’t know any better. Why would I? Except that when I look in scripture I see no prayer request like model. Now, I’m not one of those people who says “If it ain’t in the Bible, don’t do it.” Please, no. The Bible isn’t exhaustive because God is an infinite God. I don’t try to squeeze Him into a few hundred pages.

All that to say, just because prayer requests aren’t in there, doesn’t mean scripture says nothing about prayer, in general. It says a lot about prayer in fact. But, don’t worry I’m not about to give you an overview of what the Bible says about prayer (zzzzzzz….).

What I am going to give you, however, is a glimpse into how my church family prays for one another which does not usually include prayer requests. Hopefully, you be encouraged to read about another way to pray. Continue reading Why My Church Rarely Does “Prayer Requests”

Friday Findings: Pleasing God, Don’t Be You, and Sh*%theads

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectYes, I know you can hardly believe it…I’m not only writing, but I’m writing a Friday Findings post. I think it’s been about forever since I wrote one of these suckers.

I’ve missed them. I always read so much rad stuff that I want to share with you guys each week and hopefully I’ll be at it again.

So lets get the party started.

Jamal (and his wife) do it again. If you don’t follow, read, or subscribe to Jamal Jivanjee yet, do it! His blog produces so much conversation, prayer, thought, and revelation in my life. No joke. Jamal often does interviews on his blog. I was honored to do one, in fact. A few weeks ago, he interviewed his wife Brandie and it broke me wide open. Her answers were filled with such wisdom, truth, and beauty. I even shared some of what she said with my church family in our corporate gathering.

Stop Trying to Be You–Jesus. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Sammy is the dude version of me. I love everything he writes. This was no exception. 

What Pleases God. I love the simplicity yet profundity of this post by Frank Viola. Be encouraged by this.

This is Why I Date Shitheads (When I date at All). I hope you’re not easily offended by language and such, because if you aren’t, you can enjoy the witty, pithy, wisdom and hilarity of my friend Chelsea Batten. Chelsea is a real writer, not a blogger like me. She is a master word-slinger and I’m jealous of her craft. Read it and enjoy. 

Have you seen this video yet? I posted this gem on my Modern Reject Facebook page (which you should so totally “Like” so we can be even more of BFF’s). If you missed it there, watch it here. Or watch it again, but grab Kleenex first. Can anyone say “snot-fest?”

And finally, a while ago Google Reader said bye-bye. If you used to subscribe to Modern Reject via RSS and haven’t found a new way to subscribe, here are a few recommendations. I personally have started using Bloglovin’ and I like it so far. You can find me here.

Or if feeds and technology aren’t your thing, you can add me to your inbox. I promise to be short and sweet (mostly). Just type your email address into that nifty little box at the top of the home page. And wait for a surprise from “The King”. Promise, it’s worth it.

Whew. Done.

And I loved every second of it. Get to reading already, but not before you tell me what you’ve been reading, loving, watching, and enjoying lately. Go!

And Then There Was Her…{To My Daughter}

Some people think she looks like me, but I don’t see it. She is her own–a familiar face, but not mine.

Yet, every once in a while, she’ll smile, or throw her head back and laugh, or execute a line with such dramatic flair and grandiose hand gestures that I’m convinced she is me reincarnated.

Her brown skin baked by the sun and long days in the pool. She holds up her arm to mine to compare our brown-ness. We are tied, I say, but her color is a different shade than mine–filled with her daddy, and her own-ness, and tomorrow.

And I wonder what I did to deserve her or know her. I wonder what I did to make her like me, let alone love me, when so many days I’ve failed. Beyond failed. Life ruining mess-ups…or so I think.

Her being my first, left to suffer my parenting mistakes alone. The first born, carrying the burden of my inexperience, my frustration, and my downright ignorance.

But her back, and heart, and spirit are strong. Stronger than I know, and she so often slips quietly and freely into her role as eldest. A position she was literally born to hold and destine to fill. And she fills it with grace and ease. Even when it is hard, she lifts her chin and surprises me.

My little fairy. My forest nymph. My magical child. My enchanting girl. Continue reading And Then There Was Her…{To My Daughter}

Size Doesn’t Matter

(I love me a titillating blog title, don’t you?)

The organic church I am blessed to be a part of has been growing as of late. We have had many guests. Some stay. Some do not. We have also had a few other organic church or house churches visit us.

Some have come just to observe. Some have come to be equipped. Some have come to simply be filled up.

After our “Jesus meeting” one Saturday, I was saying goodbye to a man in his twenties whom the Lord has called to shepherd a flock in a newly forming organic church. While wishing him a goodnight, I told him that Jonathan and I would love to come visit their meeting sometime.

He hesitated for a brief second and said “Well, we are small…nothing like this,” referring to the church body that gathers in my home with upwards of 60 people some weeks.

“Don’t say that,” I told him. “It is not small in God’s eyes.”

He looked at me. “You’re right,” he said quickly, catching his mistake. “It’s not small in God’s eyes. I have to remember that.”

“It has often been that the greatest thing of God has been very small in the eyes of man.” T. Austin Sparks Continue reading Size Doesn’t Matter

The Future of Modern Reject

Let me start by saying “thank you.” Thank you for sticking with me despite my virtual disappearance from this blog. Thank you for being patient with me while I figured out what the heck I’m doing. Thank you for still being willing to read and be a part of this community. You guys are the best. Really. I mean it.

Secondly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for just leaving and not telling you where I was going. To be honest, I didn’t intend on leaving. I took one week off due to busyness. The next week I felt uninspired. The following weeks I was on vacation and then really sick. And before I knew it, over a month had gone by without so much as a “Hey dude, what’s up?” from me. So I’m sorry.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way. Let’s talk. I’ve had some things on my mind and I gotta tell you guys.

Last week, I turned 33. (This, I don’t wanna talk about.) But, every year my birthday rolls around I can’t help but get all reflective and introspective. Which got me thinking about Modern Reject. In doing so, I realized that I have really been lacking motivation, passion, and vision for my writing. Continue reading The Future of Modern Reject

The Invasion of Jesus

I’m an introvert and like any good introvert I avoid people. Well, not avoid people, so much as don’t like people.  I’m kidding. Sorta.

Basically, I need my space…and a lot of it.

And also like any good introvert, I especially dislike meeting new people. I get squirmy (on the inside) and sometimes feel like I’m going to barf (on the outside). I take time to really like people. I might love you right away because Jesus has this thing He does that makes that possible, but the liking part and the trusting part and the open and vulnerable part, that takes time.

Unless of course Jesus is doing something else, which He is known to do. . So when that something else happens, my introversion goes out the window. My heart bursts forth, my arms fling wide open, my spirit smiles because it knows…

…that this person is different. This one, this person, He is calling me towards. Continue reading The Invasion of Jesus

There’s No Such Thing as “Supernatural”

Things are changing around here. Slowly but surely. God is redirecting my words and thus, this blog. Yet despite this, I’ve had a difficult time writing.

But, God keeps nudging me…forward. Except that much of what I used to write is no longer how I want to write, or what I want to write.

I sat the other day looking through my blog post ideas, a seemingly endless list of notes I’ve jotted down. While scrolling my post ideas I  I found a draft titled “Supernatural Everyday.”

It got me thinking. I have to admit, I’ve been surprised by your reactions to my recent posts. I suppose I shouldn’t be. Perhaps I didn’t give you guys enough credit. Perhaps I underestimated you.

For that, I’m sorry.

But, I am thankful that the threshold has been crossed–that door has been flung wide open. Cliche as it is, there’s no going back.

Because what I have come to realize, no, what I’ve come to know, is that there is no such thing as the supernatural.

People either whisper this word or refuse to speak it. The “supernatural”, the spooky-spookiness of God. God the vodoo doctor. God the charlatan. Continue reading There’s No Such Thing as “Supernatural”

Prism Conference and Special Offer

So last week, I announced that I am honored to be a part of Prism Conference, a one-day Spirit-led conference for women by women.

And I want to see YOU there.

If you live in the greater Phoenix area and have considered attending, here’s your chance to attend for a discounted price. I’m excited to offer all Modern Reject readers $5 off the price of admission. Which means you can attend, be filled, equipped, encouraged, and fed some really good food for only 35 bucks.

Here are the deets:

Hop over to this special “Reject” registration page. All the work is done for you and the discount has already been taken off. Oh joy! Just complete the registration process, show up June 29th, and be prepared to get slammed (by the Holy Spirit, of course). The end.

I really hope to see you there. If you registered, please message me or drop me a line so I know, and that way we can make sure to connect at the conference. Can’t wait.

You rock!

P.S. Coupon codes are limited, so be sure to move fast if you’re interested.