*My Top 10 Posts of 2015* (And Some Secrets…Shhh!)

topten

2015 has been quite an exciting year for me!

I am not going to lie though, yesterday I found myself in tears. Here is the thing. When Holy Spirit tells me to do something, I think maybe I move quicker than She does and then I cry about it when She makes me slow down. I want everything to happen NOW and get frustrated when it doesn’t (anyone relate)?

The truth is though, God has ridiculously blessed this little blog of mine in only about one year, with over 500 subscribers, and thousands of followers on social media. Bloggers tell me that is pretty much unheard of. Sarah Bessey, my favorite blogger (sarahbessey.com), told me that she wrote for seven years before anyone began to read to her work. WHAT?! I am certain I would have had an emotional breakdown and quit! 😉

I have also been super blessed to write for some amazing people/organizations. Some of my best work is not even on this blog (Explore My Work Elsewhere).

Do you know when you start a ministry, you don’t make a paycheck no matter how many hours you work? 

But here is the amazing thing about God; He takes care of His kids, doesn’t He? About six months ago, an English major from Canada sent me a message volunteering to edit all of my work for FREE! Also, my old boss from my past church designed and hosts this blog for a crazy low price. Thank you Sharon & Daniel, from the very bottom of my heart.

Also, three people this year gave actual money to this ministry, which I still can’t get over the fact that there are people out there who believe in this ministry so much (that I don’t even personally know) who are willing to donate real money to it. A very special thank you to those folks! If you are excited about this ministry and ONLY if you can afford it, you can donate HERE.

If you are broke as a joke (like me), here are some other tangible ways to support this ministry:

  1. Subscribe to follow this blog (insert Your email below or to the right).
  2. Like my FB page HERE.
  3. Follow me on Twitter HERE.
  4. Share blog posts on FB with your friends and retweet blog posts.
  5. Like and/or comment on blog posts on social media and/or here on the blog.
  6. Pray for me and this ministry. Truly, pray. I covet your prayers!

OK, now for a few secrets that I hope you will pray with me about:

One: I submitted an article to a legitimate Christian magazine and they are “considering” using it. They will decide at the end of January. This is a higher level of writing and I am totally afraid of failing, but I am going for it anyways!

Two: I have been asked to speak in Chicago at a women’s conference at the end of January, which is a humongous deal to me (really, a dream come true). Again, I am totally afraid of failing, but I am going for it anyways!

Three: I don’t talk about it much (because I am totally afraid of failing…haha…a theme for many of us I guess), but my goals for this ministry are much bigger than a blog. Down the road, when I can somehow raise the funds, I want to to start a nonprofit for at-risk girls. The focus will be on loving them in Jesus’ name, helping them find their identity in Christ (which leads to self-confidence), and helping them succeed in school and become college material. I want girls and women to know that the sky’s the limit for them!

I believe love, confidence, and academics are the keys to saving a girl’s life no matter what sort of hell she was born into. There are more aspects to this dream, but I have already shared too many secrets of my heart. Please guard them, my friends. 

Thanks so much for your endless love and support. You have no idea what it means to me! XoXo

***

Enjoy My Top Ten Blog Posts This Past Year

#1 “Why I Predict Complementarians Will Lose this Theological Battle”

We are more educated than we have ever been before.  Perhaps the greatest and most satisfying irony of us not being permitted many platforms in the church is the fact that we are creating our own platforms online, setting ideas on fire, and watching them spread across the global internet while tending to our children and folding the laundry (Read Full Post Here).

#2 “An Appeal to the Assemblies of God Church: Will You Hire More Female Pastors”

I look around at all the local AG churches and I see many male pastors and little to no female pastors (with the exception of children’s pastors and pastor’s wives). I know that the Assemblies of God tradition has a rich heritage of equipping and honoring female ministers, but I fear our denomination has become apathetic about putting our beliefs to practice. My hope is that leaders in the Assemblies of God Church would start being intentional about hiring a female pastor for every male pastor they hire, honing in on equality in a way they have never done (Read Full Post Here).

#3 “Where Does the Bible Say Men are “Wired to Pursue” (Oh wait, it Doesn’t)?”

The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW) continues to claim that God has wired men to be pursuers and that this is their designed gender role, but cannot support such a claim with scripture. Sure, any Bible reader can find a story in the Bible in which a man pursued a woman, but we can also find stories in the Bible in which a woman pursued a man (Read Full Post Here).

#4 “Leave Your Best Behavior Behind”

We want to know if we can walk into the Church and not feel judged within 60 seconds . We need to know if it is OK to be ourselves? If this is a safe place to struggle with our issues? If our gifts will be wanted and used? If we will be considered “good enough” as we are? If our “sins” will be looked down upon because they are different than normal “churchy” sins that are easier to hide? Most of all, we want to know if we will be unconditionally loved and accepted or if we will have to suppress our personalities and hide our flaws to appease judgmental people (Read Full Post Here).

#5 “Letting Go of America Being a Christian Nation”

Due to our trust in mere humans, we have reduced Jesus to a right wing politician or a social justice advocate. Our Savior does not go left or right. He will not fit into our “perfectly” constructed boxes. Jesus is God in the flesh and He does not bend to our kingdom; we bend to His (Read Full Post Here).

#6 “How We Will Defeat Complementarianism”

If we continue to financially support Complementarian churches and volunteer to operate their programs, we are directly supporting and strengthening patriarchy – the very system that is enslaving girls and women all over the world (Read Full Post Here).

#7 “Why Christians Should Kiss Sexual Purity (As We Know It) Goodbye”

I met my now husband in 2007 and fell head over heels fast. It should have been the most blissful time of my life, and many aspects were, but it was also filled with extreme inner turmoil. Almost immediately we began to struggle with “sexual purity” and I became an emotional disaster. All of the guilt, shame, and condemnation that I had swept under the carpet 5 years prior rose to the surface like a whirlwind of uncontrollable dust (Read Full Post Here).

#8 “A Letter to a Strong Willed Little Girl”

Did you know that Jesus made you just the way you are and that He loves your sassy & sweet personality? Some very strict religious leaders will try to convince your parents to break your strong will so you learn how to obey better, but I sure hope they don’t listen. Jesus has great big things for you to do someday and you are going to need to be exactly who God made you to be (Read Full Post Here).

#9 “A New Era of Peace-Making Feminists”

Yet, I have noticed that among women fighting for equality, we lose our influence when our passion turns into rage, bitterness, self-centeredness, and a lack of self-control. We unknowingly turn people away from our cause when our “righteous rebellion” turns into plain old rebellion. When we lose our composure, we get silenced and marginalized all over again, pushing us back, and slowing down our movement (Read Full Post Here).

#10 “What to do With Sexy Female Preachers”

Lies breed shame in telling the truth, which is why many Christian lay women and preachers alike are embarrassed about their sexual needs and desires. If men in the pews cannot even get past our dimples enough for us to teach them about communion or something very unsexy, how will they get past the fact that we have breasts, when talking about sexier topics? The Church continues to receive its sex ed from a male perspective only and then we wonder why there is so much confusion and unbalanced information (Read Full Post Here).

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