Dark seasons come in all different shapes and sizes. As unique people we tend to cope in different ways, both good and bad. We tend to struggle at different times of the day or week. If you’re like me, I’ve long expected dark seasons to pass quicker than they actually do. I want to learn the lesson, grow in whatever it is, get over whatever the ailment and move on, and quickly. But God doesn’t work my way.
Friendships can be like those leaves. Sometimes they end just when we begin to believe they might really last forever. An ended friendship can be a deeply painful loss causing real grief.
Submission has become an ugly word; a synonym for domestic violence; a moniker for smothering women in the church. It’s become a hated word because the relationship between authority and submitter has been portrayed as superior to inferior.
Certain that true community and growth were only possible through unflinching vulnerability, I committed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I shared all the gory details of my past and present struggles, heaping burdens upon willing listeners while remaining a safe distance from their attempts to speak truth into my life.
Is it true? Can I expect God to heal me? Should we expect him to solve our dilemmas? To fix broken circumstances? To mend fractured relationships? And what does it mean for us when our hurts persist?
Dying to self is painful, but dying in miserable sin is way worse.
Singleness is often written with a slant that assumes a single person’s life must be hard, but the Bible teaches that singleness can actually be a good thing.
Girls can be placed in an awkward position when they are asked out. How should a girl turn down a guy? Can a woman serve her brother in Christ who goes out on a limb to ask her out on a date? The apostle Paul tells us that whether we eat or drink, we should do everything to the glory of God. This does not exclude the moment when a girl is faced with the decision to say no to a pursuer
We are talkers. Our talking isn’t just a way we pass the time. There is much more going on with our desire to speak. Part of the reason we speak compulsively is an attempt to rule and subdue the earth, because we image a God of spoken power.
When we, as kids, would complain to my dad about how mom wasn’t letting us have the sleepover we asked for, or when I entered that phase of life in college in which I felt I knew everything and she knew little, he would slowly say, “That’s my bride you’re talking about.”
A very common piece of advice, or warning, I have received is that my closest friends should not be in our church. I have been told it’s impossible to have close friendships with church members, warned I will get burned, and told to find another outlet for community in order to protect myself and my family from negative experiences.
Sometimes I like to think about how exhausted Jesus must have felt as whole towns followed him around (Mk 1:33). I like to think about this mainly because while I don’t have whole towns following me around, sometimes having chatty little children feels like it.
I’ve been in church my whole life. I’m grateful for that, but I’m also not.
Who wouldn’t want to convert in order to marry the person they are crazy about? Who wouldn’t want to say “yes" to Jesus in order for their significant other to say “yes” to them?
I fully understand that my children only have one mother, and that’s me. It is my job to anticipate their needs and help them grow into mature adults. That is why there is hands down absolutely nothing else in this world I want my girls to know more than the fact that I love Jesus and that their parents desire to give their lives for Him. But the way they know that is by watching us actually DO that.
As a disciple-maker I am pointing women to something and someone greater than myself. In return, I get the distinct privilege of watching people become greater than me. Not only that, I get to become greater than me. As I experience God's redemption in beautiful and shocking ways, I become more like Christ as I strive with my disciples towards holiness. This is Christian discipleship.
My miscarriages matter, but God’s goodness still reigns. And how do those things coincide? That’s really where I set out to understand – how is it that I feel like a walking coffin now but God is still perfect in His goodness. How do those two things work out? And that’s really what I had to figure out in my own heart.
If I’m a terrible parent, I’ll have terrible children. If I’m a horrible wife, my marriage suffers. If I don’t teach my bible courses well, these women could walk away not knowing the gospel. If I counsel someone poorly, they could miss the healing of God. If I don’t organize a meal plan, my family could be eating PB&J all week. If I don’t budget well, we’ll go into debt. All real scenarios, all real consequences. The fear however, is lodged in the idea that if the worse case scenarios happens and I drop the ball, the consequence is going to give me a result that I don’t want.
If you have a family or are engaged in a community of people, it doesn’t take long to find someone dealing with addiction. Whether it is a member of your family, small group participant or a member of a congregation, there is someone near you who is struggling.
What do you do when someone you love has an addiction?