Don’t Feed the Bears

Don’t Feed the Bears

My husband and I settled in on the couch and began to search for something interesting to watch together as we ate dinner (on TV trays). Yes, we are those people. Andy’s notorious for picking obscure historic films about sports or even conspiracy theory documentaries about Big Foot, all the while acting shocked when I’m not interested. Side note: we had to put the kibosh on watching conspiracy theory documentaries because I began to tell people that the moon landing was staged, but I digress. Nowadays we usually park the remote around outdoor survival or clean comedy. Landing on one of the four thousand programs about surviving in the Alaskan wilderness, I took a bite of my grocery store bought chicken leg, and gave the new program a go. The camera followed a few individuals as they hunted, gathered, and conquered the untamed land. We debated if it was “dinner worthy” entertainment, when a woman began to describe her life in the bush. She was recovering from surgery in a local hotel before heading back onto her remote property. My stomach began to turn and then my heart grew heavy as she described surviving bear attacks and falls on her property, only to lay there hoping she would live. She fought back tears as she explained what it was like to wonder if she was going to die alone before anyone could find you. This woman lives on her own in the Alaskan wilderness. Her closest neighbors are 300 miles away. A mix of emotions washed over her as she told her story of independence and fear of death....
Jesus & the Prostitute

Jesus & the Prostitute

As I begin to unpack my thoughts regarding how church leaders can best care for the hearts of those who may or may not consider themselves gay Christians or in the LGBTQ community, I have to admit that writing about the subject is weighty. I have friends in so many different arenas, people that I admire and care about, so I want to enter into the discussion with sensitivity. Nevertheless, I write about this because of the increasing number of friends and acquaintances who are rallying behind the idea that the gospel tells us to support the gay community at any measure–that the gospel of love is to truly accept sexual orientation, regardless of what that looks like. In other words, many are believing that the church is evolving as the culture around it embraces a growing acceptance of the diverse LGBTQ community. And while I would agree that our methods of outreach towards a culture involving sexual identity are changing, I do not believe that the church is evolving into an age of “enlightenment” where there are no established safeguards or truth that are based in scripture. For weeks now I’ve camped around the story of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet...
Everlasting Freedom

Everlasting Freedom

Hopelessness kills freedom. When you are bound by something you feel powerless to overcome, hopelessness is not far from you. I can think of countless times I sat with hopelessness and tried to throw sticks at it, to shoo it away with my attempts to reason with myself. “I can try harder and with more concentration this time,” I would tell myself, yet I would still fall into the same patterns and end up back at the starting point. Like a prisoner determined to pull my arms free from my chains, the harder I tried, the more bruised and bloodied I became. I denied the truth: I had bowed to another. I had become imprisoned. I was not free. The last time I watched pornography I was in one of the most epic “dark nights of the soul” times of my life. Imagine losing almost everything that you hold as dear and safe, then triple that. Actually, centuple it. That’s a word. I promise. It was during this time that I decided I couldn’t continue to deal with life in this way, and I knew that God was able to free me from this sin pattern. If I was going to believe that Jesus existed, died on a cross, rose again, and is available to speak to me daily, I had to believe His promise that I could be free. I had to come to the end of myself. I had to stop pulling my arms out of the socket doing things my way. There were moments during this time when I experienced His presence in a powerful way,...
A Problem We Can’t Ignore

A Problem We Can’t Ignore

Disclaimer: In the next few blogs I will be addressing the subject of pornography. If you tend to faint or swoon at the subject I advise getting a pack of smelling salts before moving forward. Removing the stigma around addressing pornography and sexual wholeness is at the heart of what my husband and I are all about. We both know that the first step toward breaking free is speaking to a supportive community of believers.  It’s how you start to own the problem. Unfortunately, in our current church culture, starting a conversation about the use of pornography–for women especially–is close to impossible. There’s no room for it. I often try to imagine opportunities in which to creatively breach the subject. Maybe that time in between worship songs when we take a moment to greet each other. “Hi, good to see you. My name is Liz. Do you continually look for NC-17 movies on Netflix?” Or perhaps during our next after-church potluck: “These hotdogs are delicious. Can you pass me the mustard? Do you continually erase your computer history?” Or maybe during the next friendly basketball game in the church parking lot: “Ok, I’ll be on the skins team. By the way, how much skin did you see over the weekend?” Obviously, corporate group settings are not the best route in beginning private conversations (although I hope that one day they can be), yet creating a culture where people don’t run from their sin depends on a few things. Get Educated: This is for all of us. Do you know why pornography is harmful? Do you understand what the Bible...