I haven’t always lived this way, and I can’t honestly say I always live this way now. Daily I choose between the pressure of my ever-expanding lists and the quietness of the moment in front of me. I fully recognize I am one of many voices (most much more eloquent than I) talking about a slower, sweeter, Sabbath-based life. Indulge me being one more.
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Christian Life & Theology
“Life is a series of seasons.” This phrase from Susan Yates, who I’ve had the privilege of befriending through an annual writing retreat remains in my mind each time I have to adjust the way we teach our kids. As homeschoolers we grasp the need for flexibility on an academic scale, but changing with the seasons applies to discipleship, too. Last fall we were about to welcome our third child into the family, were three months self employed, and were in the middle of the Covid pandemic. This fall is different and presents challenges of its own.
It’s that time again you, guys. Time for another Ask Anything theology episode! I low-key love these episodes so much… because I love anything that’s rapid fire and I can get through a lot at once! Which is probably saying a little bit about my personality – I feel you get more bang for your buck because you’re getting multiple topics in short, little snippets each episode. You feel me?
For the past five and a half years we’ve been actively teaching our kids (at the time of writing, ages almost 6, 4, and 1) to sit through church. When this is mentioned, I’m inevitably asked a series of questions:
“Do you not like Sunday school?”
“Don’t you want a break?”
“Why would you do that?”
“Aren’t you afraid of what people think about your kids staying in adult service?”
A few weeks ago I answered questions about hospitality on Instagram. The questions and my answers were not saved, so I am sharing some of what I said here in a blog post for permanent reference! The topic of hospitality is near and dear to my heart. I truly believe it is both a lost art and a gospel mandate; people are most comfortable opening up their hearts and lives in context of a home. Further, most Christians know they should share and live their faith in community, but because hospitality is not prioritized, this faith-sharing never actually happens.
My struggle with PPA after Ivan’s birth was much worse than it was with either of my girls. It came at night in waves. Just as I was about to go to sleep, I would have intrusive thoughts about Ivan suffocating. Or my girls running into the road. Of me falling down the stairs with the baby in my arms. I would wake up gasping and crying as Josh reached out to calm me, holding my head and praying me back to sleep.
In this long awaited episode – a transcription of my Discernment 101 classes – I break down some of the essential pieces for discerning through Christian content online, in books, and in conversations using Albert Mohler’s theological triage method and my own hacks for determining theological bias.
Francis Schaeffer is credited with saying, “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” There is something monstrous about a gospel obscured with condescension. There is a bitter aftertaste to cancel-culture Christianity. And yet… how do we know when something should genuinely be rejected as heretical or heterodox? There are guiding principles to Christianity, truths defended and held for thousands of years. These are not to be lightly taken. Can we hold to biblical orthodoxy without losing our hearts?
I was the graceless Christian. I remember well the inner criticism, the judgmental eye, the pride harbored in my heart. It’s never far enough away for me to become careless about it. I’ve grown in my understanding for and appreciation of grace, and each day I walk more in victory. But I remember who I could be without Him. Years into this walk with Christ I’ve grown to deeply appreciate clarity on core doctrine and graciousness for second and third tier issues. Knowing which is which is fundamental, in my opinion, to spiritual maturity.
A few years ago I first saw an infographic running around Facebook about Easter and its “pagan origins”. I was intrigued by this accusation. I knew that it often came from Messianic and Hebraic Roots communities, but since I try to entertain other views, I did some serious digging.