It hurts when someone we love is hurting, and we hate that we can’t stop their suffering. We love them, and we wish we could simply dust away their pain, collect it in a dustpan, and chuck it out the door. But we were never meant to do that. Even our most faithful prayers may not make the pain disappear. We were not created to be healers. We are meant to be a part of the body. As a fellow part of the body, I am not meant to fix another. I’m not able. I can’t take away that pain, and to believe I can minimizes their suffering.Read More
A courtroom, a wooden sawmill, and a farm. Those are the images that come to mind as I read Matthew 7:1-6. What do they share in common? They teach brothers and sisters in Christ how to encourage and counsel one another in killing sin. They teach us how to be avoid becoming graceless judges, how to be merciful siblings, and how to dodge vicious dogs and trampling pig.Read More
What’s wrong with self-sufficiency? Why is this a sin? Why should I strive to put off my desire to be self-sufficient? The problem is that we are far from capable of doing it all on our own. Not only were we created for community, we were created as weak and feeble people in need of a truly self-sufficient and all-powerful God. This misplaced desire to be self-sufficient causes a number of problems: legalism, broken community, and idolatry.Read More
In a perfect world, social media would be a place of smiles as we connect with friends and share memories. But we don’t live in a perfect world—we live in a world tangled in the thorns and thistles of sin. And in this world, social media can be a place where anxiety flourishes through comparison, knowledge of the turmoil and terror that surrounds us, envy as we worry why God hasn’t given us what he has given someone else, and anxiously checking stats and “like” counts.Read More
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar place. Perhaps you are a mother facing post-partum depression feeling guilty for her sadness because at least she has a living child. Or a wife trying to cover up her sobs because at least her husband’s cruel words don’t leave bruises. Or a woman hiding her grief over her latest diagnoses because it’s not as bad as that lady in church. And so the comparisons continue, and so suffering is minimized, and so true sorrow is neglected.Read More
Momma, are you afraid that you don’t have it “together enough” to be a mom? Do you already feel like a failure when you see the put-together moms around you? Do you look at their perfectly still children sitting in the pews and feel like giving up? Aside from my fears of throwing up, I have many other reasons to feel like a failure compared to my fellow mom friends. But God is giving me a new hope in him, and teaching me to stop looking around at others and start looking at him.Read More
In the universal church and the local church we are going to come across fellow believers that we clash with. People will annoy us, hurt us, and make us angry. It’s part of living in a sinful world. Thankfully we know that one day in Heaven we will not be faced with such conflict because we will all be finally free from sin. But what do we do in the meantime? We are called to not only love some of our fellow brothers and sisters, but to love each and every one.Read More
I don’t think that break is going to work the miracle of change in your flustered life that you are hoping for. Even though if you take that break, or go on that vacation, or have that self-care day, when you return your life is still going to be the same. There will still be messes to clean. There will still be faulty alarms. Things will happen to irritate us. And the anxiety will still rampage when it all happens.
What we need is not a break, but a heart change. We need to cultivate a gentle spirit.Read More
Looking back as a married woman, I see where I went wrong. The motive I took going into the battle for purity was the same motive that lead me to sin: Selfishness. But even before that, my view of purity was wrong, and that hindered my battle as well.
Maybe you are like me and felt (or feel) totally equipped to fight temptation against sexual immorality. I encourage you to consider with me your definition of what true purity looks like, and to also consider what is truly motivating you in your battle against sexual sin.Read More
Can you recount a similar story? Can you remember the fear that gripped you and the words that never left your tongue? The truth you wanted to speak but didn’t know how to say? I know I have (many times) and I’ve mulled those moments over and over again. God is teaching me that in those moments I need to love my friends more than I fear them, and that I need to learn how to speak truth with gentleness and with the power of Scripture.Read More
Maybe that’s the reality during the honeymoon, and even for a time afterward. Until one day he loses his temper and you have an argument. And his job forces him to leave before you can study the Bible together. And he’d rather scroll through his phone than discuss theology with you. And you never do receive those cute notes you wished for.
As our expectations and dreams are slowly torn to bits and tossed to the wind, we can feel discouraged, angry, hopeless, bitter, and heartbroken. What do we do with these feelings? How do we bring back that love we had at the altar?Read More
I’ve been there. I’ve watched others stride into the circumstances that I so desperately wanted for myself. I’ve watched people receive the things I was sweating and grappling to earn. And I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t rejoice with them, but soaked in the bitter envy. Some of these people were my friends, and though part of me wanted to be happy for them and support them in this new endeavour, I was too ridden with jealousy and sadness to truly celebrate with them.
What about you? Have you sat in that seat before? If you have, I want to show you what God is teaching me about learning to put off jealousy with contentment and trusting him with my current season so that I can humbly celebrate with my friends.Read More
Have you ever felt that heavy burden? A friend has just unloaded her suffering to you, and as you take it in you feel like a deer in the headlights. What do I say? How do I begin to bring truth to this hurt? Maybe you have offered words in the past and instantly regretted them. Or maybe you simply do not understand the pain they are feeling. Perhaps you have never dealt with the issue at hand and have no idea where to start.Read More
At first glance, this passage may look too personal for us to share in or take away from as he discusses his own concerns for these specific churches. But we know that the entire Bible is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Perhaps this passage of Paul’s “wish list” will challenge you and what you desire to see in your local church, and how you go about making it happen.Read More
When we are in the midst of something very personal and specific, we can feel isolated by our pain as we look around and think, “There’s no one who could ever fathom all that I am going through.”
In the midst of your loneliness, I want to offer you the hope God has shown me in first Christ, and also his church.Read More
These fears led me into my own exile. I didn’t dare to have long conversations with friends because my anxiety might come up. I didn’t want to be at church because people were always asking how I was doing. Maybe you are struggling in the same way and wondering, How do I battle raging fears that lead me into isolation?Read More
Our natural tendency is to be defensive when others point out our faults, our failings, our sins, or where we have gone wrong either in thinking or action. However, this is not the godly reaction. We must test ourselves and see if their criticism comes out to be true. This doesn’t mean you must always accept their criticism as true even if it’s not. We must learn to properly discern and handle criticism when it comes.Read More
I hated vulnerability because I had no use for it. Why would I want to display my weaknesses? Why do I want people to know my secrets? They are called secrets for a reason. I’d leave situations where the topic of vulnerability had come up annoyed and agitated. I refused to be vulnerable. Before I was a Christian, I nearly always chose lying over talking about my life.
Since then, I have grown to have a more understanding relationship with vulnerability, however I am still not okay with how much it is emphasized in our culture. In Christian circles, we either have a poor understanding of vulnerability (like me), or we are using it wrongly.Read More
Who is this message for?
Girls/women not yet married. You need to develop the proper motivation for staying pure. If your motivation and hope is set poorly, then you will have a much more difficult time staying pure. Not only that, your heart will not be in the right place before God.
Single women. Even if you are called to singleness, this message is for you. Though you may desire to be single, the temptation to sexual sin can arise. You need to have the right mindset and motivation to stay pure.
Women who will teach those girls. Honestly, I am tired of hearing and reading the message that girls need to stay pure for their future husbands. It’s not the right motivation and it totally leaves out the single women around us. It’s time we taught our girls what the Bible actually says about staying pure.Read More