Whose Mission Is It Anyway?

I’ve been a tad obsessed with gender conversations and a Christian worldview over the past year. This has started for a variety of reasons and continued because a lot what I keep reading online (even from Christians that I respect and mostly agree with) was not meshing with what I was finding in the Bible.

I think we should tell God’s story. I think we should live God’s story. Do I have the corner on truth on this topic? Absolutely not. Am I going to God’s Word asking to know His heart? Absolutely. I hope this is something I grow in for the rest of my life.

However, I kept bumping up against this theme of women being subordinate (actual word a prominent theologian repeatedly uses about women) or secondary or servants. Or a theme of hierarchal marriages where the woman is beneath or under or less than her husband. (I’m just going to skip the theological issues with that umbrella model.) Or a theme of women only being equipped for a very tiny portion of life. I couldn’t figure out where this came from. Now I know where it comes from (we’ve discussed it on multiple podcast episodes) but I also realized that part of the story is actually missing.

The 100 Day Project: cultivating joy in a life that needs grit

In last week’s Sunday email, I shared that I have been going through life with a lot of determination but lacking some of my usual enthusiasm. The Christian life is represented as a battle but Jesus also promises us joy. We don’t have to stay in the camp of only one: balance in all things.

My word for this year is “warrior.” I want to think about the fact that we are in a battle, that the first woman’s defining word “ezer” is a battle word, that we are called to put on the armor of God before walking into life.  But I want to live with joy in the midst of that (John 15:11, 16:33, Philippians 4:4, 1 John 1:4).

The 100 Day Project starts tomorrow and I’ve been contemplating what to do for almost a month. I participated last year with an Instagram series on motherhood that I still occasionally post to. This year I’m going to do another social media project, just one that’s much more outside of my comfort zone.

Going into Battle: Monday is a Good Day

There are certain things about life I don’t particularly enjoy. Oh, you want a list? Ok. Babies not sleeping through the night. Having the contents of an entire room in the hallway. A pile of laundry in the boys’ room waiting to be folded. Crumbs under the table. Runny noses.

Guess what? Every single one of those is a current reality in our house. We’ve been sick. We’re swapping rooms (and it will be grand when it’s done). There are always crumbs underfoot and piles of laundry waiting.

Those things cannot be the deciding factors in whether or not I have a good day. If those things decide, my whole life will consist of bad days. I can’t get rid of any of those things, at least not permanently. Instead I have to decide what makes a good day.

Leave It All on the Court: My Current Approach to Life

There were buzzers sounding and whistles blowing all over the gym. At least two other volleyball games were going on and two basketball games were being played on the other side of the gym and we were gathered in a smelly huddle, arms around each other’s shoulders. Our head coach looked at the girls as the timeout ticked away and he said, “This is it. You’ve got nothing to lose. Leave it all on the court.”

State tournament was the finale of what we’ve said all year. Leave it all on the court. Don’t show up half-hearted. Show up or go home. Any variation of this idea will do: don’t hold anything back.

It’s really hard to turn that on and off.  You either turn it on for whatever you’re doing or you don’t know how to turn it on when you want it. It’s got to be something you impress into yourself. It has to become part of who you are.

What We Can’t Say About Birth

I don’t make a point of calling people out when I don’t agree with them. Keep scrolling is my internet motto usually. But when Phylicia and I were researching for a podcast episode, I happened upon this article on The Gospel Coalition’s website written by Gloria Furman.

Let me say first that I like some stuff that the Gospel Coalition is doing. I have read some by Gloria Furman and I enjoy her writing. I am truly not trying to hate on either. But I do not agree with a lot of this article and I hate that this is the information on the internet about birth and Christians.

Overall themes in the Bible

We can’t take one verse and build our whole theology on it. We can make the Bible say literally anything we want that way. I can read this verse (Genesis 3:16) and definitely see why we think that God is punishing/judging/whatever-word-you-want-to-use woman with pain while they are giving birth. But there are major theological arguments with that viewpoint when we look at the whole narrative of the Bible. (Also, Phylicia and I talk a little about the context of that passage in the podcast episode.)

There is no curse on women. (Furman didn’t say that but a lot of Christian sources do.) God destroys what He curses; instead He offers redemption to man and woman. He specifically says that He cursed the enemy and the ground and they will both be destroyed. Read the story about Achan and Jericho; cursed things were set apart to the Lord for destruction. (Please don’t take my word on this; study it out for yourself. Do a Bible search on curses and read them. It won’t take you that long).

When Social Injustice Finds You on Twitter

Earlier this week on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I shared a Jennie Allen quote on the podcast Instagram. I resonated with that quote because I try to live it out every single day. All day long I saw quotes by MLK Jr. and it crossed my mind that people might think that I don’t care about racial reconciliation.

Ten years ago I would have sworn that this wasn’t an issue. It would have been 2007. Of course we don’t judge people based on their race or their gender, especially not as Christians. Call that lives-under-a-rock Lisa.

Fast forward to 2017 and these injustices are gaining a spotlight in the media. We hear and see things about how people of color or women are treated that should disturb us all in ways that reach beyond a few clicks on social media.

How to Know If You Need Your Bible

I’ve been studying Colossians lately and in the end of chapter 1, we’re told how we become “holy and blameless and above reproach.” That sounds like a good, spiritual thing to want, right? How do we get that way? “If you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast.” When I read that word “steadfast,” I immediately thought of James 1:2-4.

I’ve found that God always has different ideas of what’s good than I do. I would like to be steadfast by doing easy stuff.  But no. Brace yourself as we read how we grow. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  (Get your Bible and read the next few verses about stability as well.)

We grow by going through hard stuff. But if we’re going to withstand hard things, we need roots. We have to be rooted in Christ. We have to know that His truth says it’s worth running after Him even with the hard things.