Picture Perfect Christian Expectations

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

The Pastor certainly wasn’t friendly or cheerful. Didn’t look me in the eye, or even notice me when I walked by – though I was the only person in the entire open lobby! It wasn’t what I expected from someone in leadership. It was a Southern Baptist Church, but they turned the lights low, didn’t sing any hymns, and baptized people in Tshirts rather than robes. It wasn’t what I expected from that denomination. Her spiked heels, brightly dyed hair and perfect makeup seemed over the top, and yet, she skillfully delivered Biblical truth with such love and passion that the room full of teen girls was captivated the entire hour. It wasn’t what I expected from someone so put-together as her. The small church nestled in the heart of town seemed so conservative with their hymns, choir, and organ. Yet their old fashioned ways were set aside to allow a woman to teach Sunday School. It wasn’t what I expected to encounter there. The teacher wore jeans and a Tshirt on the stage, knowing the program would be televised, and he even used questionable language that could be considered cursing, and yet the glory of God filled that church … Read More

When You’ve Fallen Out Of Love

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Redemption, TrialsLeave a Comment

No one ever plans to fall out of love. It’s just one of those things that happen gradually, over the course of time. Maybe you stop putting in the effort you used to, or have been hurt along the way, and by the time you realize that things have changed it, it seems impossible to get things back to the way they used to be. Realizing you’ve fallen out of love can be a painful, and sobering realization, but it’s not to late to turn things around.   When love is new, you don’t care who’s watching your interactions. Your admiration for one another is obvious to everyone around you. The sound of your loved ones name, is on your lips as often as you exhale, and spending time together is something you just can’t do often enough. Every waking moment, of every single day, doesn’t feel like enough time with one another, and late nights followed by early mornings become a part of your new routine. Every midday yawn is worth being with the one you love.   When you’re newly in love, you willingly and eagerly go out of your way to show you care for each other. … Read More

Handling Church-Hurt

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

I didn’t know it, but I had an idol…something I worshiped more than Jesus. It was something Jesus created to represent himself, but I elevated it too much. I only discovered this idol when it came crashing down, revealing its ugly underbelly. This idol was church. Some of you are appalled that I called Christ’s body an idol. Others are nodding their heads in agreement. Still others have been so wounded by the church that you never want to go back. I get it. All of it. I thought that serving the church was equal to serving God. (And it can be.) But I substituted service for time at Jesus’ feet. I thought that pastors and church volunteers were ALL earnestly trying to please Jesus. Unfortunately, there are a few who seek nothing but personal kingdom-building. This handful tends to be the most visible, ruining it for the rest who genuinely want to serve. And then we were hurt at the hands of three different churches in three different states. When we didn’t fit a tradition of theirs, we felt their wrath as though we had violated a command of God himself. The traditions ranged from clothing and personality type … Read More

Where Are The Houses Of Prayer?

Jen CudmoreFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

They stood in a circle, about 40 of them, in the center of the parking lot. United, hands clasped with their neighbor and heads bowed, they prayed. No fear. No shame. No wavering. As I drove by, tears stung the back of my eyes. Emotions assailed me. I was thrilled to witness such an incredible sight, so many people openly gathering before the throne of the Most High God! And yet I felt sad that such a sight is so rare. I could not recall the last time I had been involved in a prayer circle like that! And I wondered if God’s reaction was a little like mine. I thought back to a question that’s been heavy on my heart for several months: Why don’t more churches gather for prayer and fasting? When I was young, every once in a while our little church met just to pray. As I grew older, I noticed that some churches had regular prayer meetings, and some didn’t. I never thought much about it until I came across this scripture: “And as [Jesus] taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” … Read More