As a single woman, though I’ve been passionate about the topics of sexuality and purity, I’ve had a hard time understanding where I fit in the puzzle. The church is so good at telling single Christians “no, don’t do that” and “wait.” At times it’s felt like I was in a holding area until meeting my future husband and starting our lives together. Through reading this book, I felt like my passions were reignited.
Intimacy in marriage reflects a powerful truth of the gospel - that we are fully known by God, yet deeply loved. Just as the woman caught in adultery in John 7 stands before the Savior fully exposed yet not condemned, each one of His daughters stands before God, fully known but free.
In her book, Love Thy Body, Nancy Pearcey argues that the Bible has a positive sexual ethic because all throughout the Bible, the body is treated as a good part of God's creation.
I wouldn’t use the word bold to describe myself, and I’ve struggled with courage, but I’ve tried to be faithful. I don’t hide the fact I’m a Christian. I’ve been intentional about looking for opportunities to work my faith into my conversations. I’ve prayed for or with people when they are feeling hopeless or weary. I’ve shared the Gospel a few times, and in general have tried to bear good fruit. But, in all my subtle and overt faith-sharing experiences, I’ve never been met with hostility.
This year's Holiday Pop Up Shop includes designs by young, local artists including hand drawn illustrations by Anna Kaiser, younger sister to two of our team members. Anna has attended both of our Across My Heart retreats as a middle school and high school student! She hand drew these limited edition designs with our mission in mind!
Jesus was not unfamiliar with political turmoil, oppression, and war. Israel was under the oppressive rule of Rome when he walked the earth. There were riots, starvation, sickness, and political uprisings. Jesus had firsthand experience with conflict. And yet his purpose on earth was not to bring political peace or an era where the nation of Israel would be free from tyranny. And His purpose was not to passively allow the oppressors to take advantage or exploit him.
When Jesus uses the word “heart” he is referring here to the center of a person’s entire being. This is why at Across My Heart, we talk about holistic purity: purity involving not just physical actions, but a person’s mind, body, and emotions. Blessed are those whose thoughts and actions strive to reflect the purity of God’s nature.
How have you been surviving this crazy season? I have a confession to make … Some days my stress levels are going through the roof. So, if you’ve been in that place, you’re not alone! One of the ways I’ve been working through my stress, that I’ve found particularly helpful, is by going for walks. While walking I’d spend time just talking to God, thanking him for the beautiful day, the gorgeous fall colors, and the soft crisp breeze. It felt like I was going for a walk with a friend and enjoying some quality time together.
I often feel like my relationship with God ends up getting treated the same way my hunger does. After being distracted with other things, I start to feel a little bit of a gurgle that perhaps I am not in tune with God, and so at my leisure, I pick up my Bible and read a verse and/or turn on one worship song. Then I feel all set until the next time I start to feel a little bit out of touch with God and so I’ll go and repeat the cycle, taking just enough time to feel full and move on with my day to day life. Being 100% transparent, this is a very common temptation for me. It’s a cycle I’m way more familiar with then I would prefer to admit.
When we have a conversation about a controversial topic we need to check our own motives and realize that sometimes, holding our tongue is the best strategy of all. Unfortunately, in our explosive culture we are taught to think that the person who is quiet and doesn’t speak up, is a weakling. But meekness isn’t weakness. It’s wisdom.