As I have shared in previous posts, I am thrilled to be pregnant and granted the blessing of creating new life, but this journey has also presented me with unexpected challenges. Although I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy physically, I did not expect the bodily changes to impact my self-image the way that they have. This aspect of pregnancy has been a new challenge, but one that has definitely helped me to grow in good and wonderful ways.
I have also written some about The Weirdness of Becoming a Mommy, and how it has influenced my sense of self. Identity change is often hard, and it certainly has been for me. At times, I have wrestled with feeling a loss of self–the loss of who I used to be, the loss of my body, the loss of marriage as I knew it–and I suppose there is a bit of fear and even grief that accompanies those losses. Even in the best circumstances, change is difficult. More Here...
My secretary tapped on my office door inside the First Baptist Church of small town Oklahoma, peeked inside, and said “Mrs. Jones is here to see you.” Then, making sure only I could see her, she rolled her eyes and backed out of the doorway, leaving room for my visitor to slip past her. I invited Mrs. Jones to come into my study and set down while I tried unsuccessfully to suppress a guilty grin.
“God has been speaking to me” she began in an incredibly condescending tone, “and he wants me to tell you that he disapproves of the post-prom party you are planning for the youth group.”
“Really? and exactly what is it he disapproves of?” “Well” she replied, “by having the party start after the prom rather than having it during the prom you are implying that the church feels it is acceptable for young christian men and women to dance together in a lascivious manner.” I attempted to counter by saying that, at least in my own personal experience, it was what happened after the prom that usually got kids in trouble and that to the best of my knowledge no one had ever actually gotten pregnant while on the dance floor. More Here...
I just saw a blog over at Revelife. The post asks, "Do you believe God is hands-off or a puppeteer?" I answered, "Neither. I have seen Him miraculously intervene too many times to think He is "Hands off". And I have seen Him not too many times to think He is "a puppeteer". I don't see why such a complex question should have only two possible answers either. This is how I feel about it." And then I linked them here.
This is something I have heard and thought about deeply. I think it comes back to love. (It is my strong opinion that a lot of people today have no idea what real love is or is all about, but to avoid getting diverted to that topic, let me just say real love always wants what is best for it's object, and is never forced.) So, if God loves us, He could not create us as little robots who have no conception of doing anything other than His Will. Without the freedom to choose for ourselves, it would be the same as brainwashing, or locking us in a cage. I can't conceive of how that would be honest or loving. It certainly wouldn't be genuine. And all that is completely against the nature of God. More Here...
Oh, to be a writer! Sounds like such a noble profession. This profession definitely has to be exciting, expressive, and creative. Or is it? Though the writing profession can be all of these things, it does come with certain worries and woes which are commonly experienced by writing professionals.
1. Deadlines – Professional and personal deadlines can be the bane of the writer’s existence. Most writers have experienced the torment of having a deadline over the head while a blank screen, page, and notebook is before the eyes. A deadline means that there is work, but it also comes with learning the art of controlled creativity. You have to produce your ‘finest’ within a certain time. 2. Debts – Some view a writing career as a ticket to financial security. While the plain truth is that even established writers are not made wealthy from their endeavors. They live like other ‘working’ individuals. Writers, frequently, suffer indignities and hardships for choosing to pursue their goals. Debts are a part of life, while work can sometimes be infrequent for writers. This is one of the major worries of a writer. More Here...
“Christianity isn’t a religion—it’s a relationship.” Would you agree with this statement? Specifically, it’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. This idea is supposed to be the characteristic that distinguishes Christianity from every other religion in the world.
But at times it still seems like a mere religion.
Hebrews 11:6 says God is “a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.” Without going into detail, the last few years of my life have been filled with tragedy and disappointment, especially the last six months. There have been times when I felt close to God, like He was the Abba Father (Rom. 8:15) and friend (John 15:15) He said He was. I was sure He was telling me what to do, and I went and did it. But everything either didn’t improve or it worsened. When I needed God most, He let me down or seemed far away. More Here...
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Sunday was my first Mother’s Day as a mother, and I was really looking forward to it! Ike had planned all sorts of fun things throughout the day, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate the coming arrival of our little boy. I woke up, got ready for church, picked out a pretty spring dress that accentuates my growing baby bump (!), and stepped outside into the gorgeous, sunny day.
We drove to church and I strolled into the sanctuary expecting your typical Mother’s Day message. You know, something about how awesome mothers are. Instead, I sat down to an interview with journalist Nicholas Kristof, and it was the worst Mother’s Day message I’ve ever heard.
It was also one of the most important.
I say the message was terrible because it was. In case you’re unfamiliar with Kristof, he is the author of Half the Sky, which documents the plight of women all across the world. Kristof has witnessed first-hand some of the worst human rights abuses against women, and he has now staked much of his career on advocating for women. More Here...
Below are the notes from my Spark talk at Luminous:
There is a literary term, ekphrasis, which is made up of the Greek words ek and phrasis, which are literally translated “out” and “to speak” respectively. When combined, they form the verb ekphrazien, which means to speak out, or proclaim.
In literature, ekphrasis poetry is writing in response to art.
Beyond literature, we know this conceptually in our own lives.
It’s why musicians are compelled to make music after hearing a great song, a writer picks up their pen after reading an epic tale and a painter picks up their brush after witnessing beauty. More Here...
The Book of Hebrews is the epitome of the Old Testament focused through Gospel lens. Nowhere does this Gospel message come into sharper focus than in these opening three verses of the epistle.
Christ, Christ, CHRIST A couple of years back I taught a Bible study on Hebrews and was especially struck during this prolonged look at that wonderful book with how central Christ is in our salvation. And how that all-importance of Christ in our lives actually crowds out and rids me of cherished notions I used to hold on to as Christian.
Yes, I know that Christian readers might right now just skip over that sentence about Christ being central, as if I was stating the obvious. "Yea, I know all that. And...?" But I am not stating the obvious. I am pointing out the overlooked. I mean that the utter, crucial centrality of Christ in our lives is something that is really neglected today: Many Christians are quite clear on what Christ did on the Cross. They have certainly heard enough sermons. And they are reasonably clear on how Christ will come for His own and take them to Heaven. More Here...