Guest blogger Sarah Joy “Shine” Curtis threw away her purity ring. Spoiler: she gets another one. Why? Read on: When I was sixteen, my dad and I went to Olive Garden and he gave me the ring. It was accompanied by a mini-speech about his heart for me and my future love life. That it all comes down to him wanting the best for me. That … Continue reading Why I Got Rid of My Purity Ring
What does it mean to be Pentecostal? Guest blogger Nicole Ponder has the scoop: I recently took a spiritual giftings test and scored highest in the following three things: Gift of Hospitality Gift of Discernment Gift of Tongues “Yep, okay, those make sense” was my reaction as I read the results. This was not my first giftings test in my thirty-one years. In fact, it was … Continue reading What’s Up With That Pentecostal Girl?
He’s a world-renowned evangelist. Millions of people have become Christians because of him. That should sound inspiring to me. Instead, I sit in the thousand-seater church, picking at a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and mentally consider my dessert options for afterwards. Donuts To Go or an Oreo McFlurry? I know what’s coming: an altar call. I dislike altar calls. I find them confrontational and emotionally-manipulative. (Read more about … Continue reading Give Me Real Christianity
I remember sitting on the Tube, nervously replaying the events of that night in my head. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about sin. Not so much about what it is. I know how the Bible describes someone who sins: “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses … Continue reading What Sin Does to Me
“Twenty years and he wants a divorce.” I freeze. Soap bubbles still running on my hands. The lady leans across the coffee bar with sad, translucent eyes. Seconds ago, she was wincing about how we ran out of kombucha. Now she’s nodding her head, chin propped up by her hand, like, yes, so sad, but she’s telling me how her husband asked for a divorce. … Continue reading Jesus-sizing Coffee
What are you looking for and where are you looking? I am sitting in a conference room, listening and writing notes, at a women’s retreat that I go to with my church every year. We are looking at only one verse. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The … Continue reading Your Service Does Not Matter
I’ve encountered the holier-than-thou attitude in Christian circles more than once. My friend recalls a man in church who once told him: “There are first-class Christians and second-class Christians. First-class Christians are on fire for the Lord. They love Jesus, they come to church every Sunday eager to worship, and they read their Bible a lot. Second-class Christians, well, they just don’t get it. They … Continue reading What Happens When You Judge Me
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Jesus Camp. You may have heard of it before. My siblings and I watched it, joking that we would see how mild our parents actually were, and it proved more thought-provoking than I thought it to be. Jesus Camp (2006) examines evangelical culture in a children’s church camp setting. As someone who grew up in a conservative and evangelical bubble, … Continue reading Have You Ever Been to ‘Jesus Camp’?
“I’m struggling with my faith.” Nothing sounded more annoying to me than those words. And I heard it all the time. From my Christian friends to my fellow churchgoers, from coworkers to pastors. “If you’re struggling with your faith.…” “Are you struggling with your faith?” “Yeah, I’m really struggling with my faith.” I would roll my eyes each time. For one thing, why is it … Continue reading What I Used to Believe
Better hang on to that salvation pretty tightly.* If you’re a Christian who makes it a daily habit to second-guess yourself (guilty wave), you might relate to that panicked feeling of wondering if perhaps, maybe, just maybe, your faith in God is not authentic. Maybe it is, in fact, wobbly. Surface-level. But you don’t realize it. After all, surfacey people don’t know they’re surfacey. Are … Continue reading How To Know If Your Faith is Real