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An open letter from a woman sitting in your service

There’s a road near my house that I call a highway, but considering the expanse of my small town, it’s probably more accurately deemed a road.  I live in a small town with many rivers that both surround and pass through our town. Thus, many destinations can only be traveled to by using one or two roads that go over the river, somewhat limiting the number of paths that can be taken when trying to get around town.

On my path home from work and the college where I minister, I take a road that goes behind the hospital and borders a levy which has recently been raised to prevent flooding with the high rise of the river.  On this very busy road for our small town, road work has created even more traffic, removing an entire lane as they repair some damages. Despite the congestion in this area and the delay, I still find myself taking this route home from work.  Every time I get there and a couple minutes, if not more, are added to my journey home I ask myself why I took this road. Why didn’t I choose to take another way over the river to get home? Why do I keep doing this and keep asking myself why?

But I think I travel taking the same turns and seeing the same sights because I leave work and head for home on autopilot, sometimes not even thinking, driving my car out of habit rather than mindfulness, muscle memory rather than striving to make the best decision.  And I think the Church has responded to women in many of the same ways and I have seen businesses do the same. As the Church, these bodies of people of which I know and love, we have moved forward seeking to glorify God, make disciples, and steward what has been entrusted to us often waking up to face each day in muscle memory rather than mindfulness, charging forward in tradition and familiarity, unfortunately overlooking the important steps to make the best choice.

We have reached a time when more women work outside of the home than ever before, women are more educated than ever before, and women are taking positions of leadership and power in every sphere except in many of our churches.  But we move forward in how we have always operated, forgetting to be sure sermon language accounts for women’s experiences, only using male pronouns in our sermons and prayers, and hosting entire worship experiences, in which, the only time a woman is invited on stage is to sing.

We charge forward in our churches, hosting weekly meetings where important decisions are made and under the table each and every decision maker’s shoes look the same.  No women are invited to the table. One in three homes are fatherless, yet the best answer women are offered in many traditions I am more acquainted with, when pursuing leadership is that their homes are represented by the man in their home who can serve as a deacon or elder.

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We consistently offer inadequate excuses as to why women are asked to serve in the discipleship of children and youth where they serve so faithfully, yet when an individual reaches 18 or older a woman no longer has the authority to teach or disciple them.  I have been told women are too busy focusing on their families to help teach an adult discipleship group. I have been told “we wouldn’t want to get near the line of women discipling men” in groups of predominantly women that men fluctuate in and out of. I have been told the place for this is in women’s ministry, yet many churches still do not have a women’s ministry or if they do, their leader can only reach the “director” level rather than minister level both in compensation and authority.  Furthermore, I have never experienced commentary on Biblical Manhood or discipleship of men to only be reserved for Men’s ministry.

I sit in your services every Sunday.  I listen to your sermons and read your books.  I am a woman in your seminary classes, pursuing equal education and reading the same textbooks.  I attend the same conferences, taking notes under the same speakers. And on Sunday mornings I almost always wait in line to use the restroom, while at ministry conferences I have almost never waited in line for a women’s restroom.

Even in writing this I am hearing messages I have been told.  I have been literally walked through how to “write an e-mail to a man” changing my complete thoughts into bullet points.  I have been groomed on how to carry myself in meetings with men or simply in entering their offices as I walk an unnecessarily delicate line as a woman walking in obedience to God’s calling in my life.

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So as I have been trained in these things, as I have been asked to teach on Sunday morning and stand to the side of the pulpit as to not take away from its sacredness due to my God-given gender, pastors would you do the work of mindfulness rather than traveling through your ministry on autopilot. Here are some bullet points of recommendations:

  • Be mindful of pronouns.

Consider using phrases like “men and women”, “individuals”, or “people” rather than only masculine pronouns in your message and teaching.

  • Include women in your leadership teams.

Hear their perspective on key decisions.  Women comprise over half of Church population, yet are rarely brought to the conference room table.  Look around at the shoes beneath your table and if they ever all look the same, be very concerned. Be sure that the woman who is best suited to contribute based on the matter at hand is brought to the table, not just someone’s wife to claim a woman was in the conversation.  

  •  If you are going to talk about manhood, talk about womanhood.

I have heard countless messages on Biblical masculinity, yet every message I have heard solely on womanhood has taken place in a context of only women.  And if you do preach on womanhood, be sure you run your exegesis of controversial passages by a woman whose theology you trust. If you do not know a woman whose theology you trust, be very concerned.

  •  Interact with women about your messages.

They may be able to offer insight, metaphors, and ideas you could have never come up with yourself.  Be sure this does not only include married women. People are marrying later in life and if your only examples of women are mothers, again many women in your church context will feel underrepresented in your sermon.  To stick to my guns, I shared this post with 5 men whose theology I trust to hear their feedback and perspective which reshaped key parts of my message.

  • Invite women on stage.

As a discipler of girls, each Sunday when no woman is seen reading the Bible, teaching, praying, sharing her testimony, or meaningfully serving in any way, feels extremely defeating when I am charging them to step up and claim their faith with authority.  Girls and newly believing women along with seasoned women of faith need examples of women walking in their faith and they need to see them serving meaningfully in worship experiences.

  • Meet with women.

I remember the first time I really understood that Jesus talked with women and it absolutely transformed my theology.  I have experienced ministers avoiding eye contact with me and creating countless boundaries with women; yet, Jesus creates a safe place to hear from and honor women.  Do not be afraid to meet with women and minister to them. There is an important difference between protecting women with your boundaries and communicating that their presence threatens your reputation. Communicate value by working together to create a forum for connection which protects both of you.


Despite how many times I take the same convenient road to my house and get caught in the same traffic, this does not make me a bad driver.  In the same way, emulating the examples you were given and obeying the instruction you were offered does not make you a bad pastor and minister.  While there are incredible strides to be made in how the Church stewards women, this is not to negate your incredible commitment and duty to the church you shepherd, often making sacrifices so many will never see or know.

But there are steps of mindfulness and inclusion which as we work together can help us more effectively represent and disciple the entirety of the Kingdom.

So let’s get the conversation started and learn together.  Please share your thoughts below!


women's blogMy name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of “Gay Girl, Good God” by Jackie Hill Perry

G I V E A W A Y 

Enter to win a free copy of Gay Girl, Good God!

I had the privilege of hearing Jackie Hill Perry speak this year as she travelled to share with a group of college students I get to do life with.  I was unfamiliar with Jackie and her work but very quickly taken aback by her craft.  She is extremely gifted in creatively wielding words to communicate a beautiful message.  I found this talent to be all the more evident in the pages of her book.  (Hearing her speak though, I was a little distracted by my concern that she would give birth at any second, but we made it through.)

Gay Girl, Good God.  This title captured my attention, knowing Jackie’s story in part, but knowing all the more how often I sit across the table in restaurants and coffee shops from students in my ministry who face a similar battle.  I shared with a friend recently that I am not quite sure why, but I have found myself to be a common confidant for those who are attracted to the same sex.  While this has never been a part of my story, I have found it an incredible honor to hold these precious people’s stories, hearts, wrestlings, fears, and frustrations.  While I hold this privilege, I have also held a lack of resources.  To know me well is to have been recommended a book by me, and I found this topic of Christianity and homosexuality to be limited in its scope of resources and all the more limited in individuals who would speak out about it.  And along came Jackie.

Breaking the mold of other books I had read which took an empirical approach, presenting data and family systems patterns from their research, Perry’s work simply reveals her own story.  She shares with great rawness the realities of same sex attraction, gender identity, body distortion, and sexual assault.  Amidst her rawness, I was consistently taken back by the beauty of her poetic word choice and language, presenting the power of nonfiction with the presentational beauty of a fictional work.

“I found my power to resist sin as feeble as a toddler trying to hold back a hurricane.”

Laced with vivd word pictures and humorous descriptions, Perry’s Gay Girl, Good God illuminates real parts of the balancing act of same sex attraction and Christianity.  She speaks of the fear of leaving the gay community, unsure of a true sense of family and identity she would find elsewhere.  Perry speaks boldly in the direction of Christian culture’s disservice both to same sex attracted individuals and singles as the Church often worships heterosexual marriage more than God and His true calling.  Perry boldly charges the Church to stop ostracizing these people, admit the reality of their struggles, show them community, accept marriage may not be their end goal, and do not let them settle for loneliness.

“I had believed when God looked at me, He was first looking to see a wife and then a disciple.”

Perry reveals in Gay Girl, Good God,  that her earnest conviction is the sinfulness of homosexuality.  Thus, her surrender experience led to her abandoning a homosexual lifestyle and over time eventually marrying a man.  This conviction is one which greatly polarizes evangelicals sometimes leading us to incredible conversations and sometimes to extremely hurtful ones.

No matter one’s view on Christianity and homosexuality, Perry’s presentation of the reality of her experience is not to be overlooked.  Furthermore, her experience of coming to know Christ and eventually entering a heterosexual marriage is not to be the goal for all who experience same-sex attraction.  Many of those individuals, should they choose to forgo a homosexual lifestyle, will enter a life of singleness, of which the Church must rise to the occasion to minister to.

Perry’s work is real, raw, compelling, honest, and a great launching point for the Church to enter significantly more honest conversations regarding same sex attraction, specifically in conservative Christian circles.


dalton-31My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of “Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human” by John Mark Comer

Working in vocational ministry, I often feel like I have heard many of the messages on the purpose of work and rest more times than I can count.  Yet, John Mark Comer, author and pastor in Portland, Oregon deviates from these common messages, offering new insights on key passages in Scripture which reshape a Christian perspective on work and rest.

Many of my students (especially those with a deep passion for nerding out to theology) have told me to check out John Mark Comer and his books.  Upon completing Garden City, I attended Catalyst in Atlanta, GA and was blown away by John Mark Comer’s eloquence, relatability, and immense intelligence.  This work is enlightening, practical, and creatively constructed.

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Comer magnifies the two bookends of Scripture to piece together his thesis on work and rest.  He narrows in on key aspects of the Garden of Eden and God’s original calling and commandment for man and woman. He furthermore explains the concept of the “Garden City” to come or the New Jerusalem and how our lives will take shape in this future Kingdom.  Between the two of the Shalom that was and the Shalom that is to come, Comer offers a Biblical perspective of the role of work and rest in our lives and how we often convolute them.

“In a Genesis shaped worldview, all of life is worship.”

Garden City narrows in on the line we often draw between the “sacred” and the “secular.”  Placing one on a pedestal, demoting the other to menial.  Yet, John Mark Comer juxtaposes this predisposition with the life of Jesus who entered intimately into the secular and mundane in the fullness of the sacredness and glory of God.

“Sometimes a calling is staring us straight in the face.  We just need to make eye contact.”

He furthermore focuses on the idea of vocation and calling, a conversation many Millennials have wrestled with for most of our young adult lives, trying to pinpoint what exactly is our dream and how to go after it, especially when we are grappling with whether or not our dream lines up with God’s dream for our lives.  Comer explains that we, as image bearers of the Creator, are charged with the task of creating culture.  In this, I was taken aback by his relatability offering countless examples of avenues of work which can be worshipful whether its mothering, nursing, fashion design, hospitality, teaching, event planning, or marketing.

“Jesus’ way of living is about a seamless integration of life where the polarization of sacred and secular is gone.  All of our life is full immersion in what Jesus called the Kingdom of God.”

“If Image of God is every person’s job title, then cultural mandate is what we are actually supposed to do.”

Furthermore, Comer offers an unpopular charge to believers on our commandment to rest.  He elevates the role of our humanness and our limitations to remind us to take time to slow, savor, and taste and see that the Lord is good.  He highlights how Jesus modeled such rest and slowness in His life, while carrying in Him the fullness of God.

“Figure out what the work is God gave you to do and learn the art of saying no to good things.”

“Both underwork and overwork rob us of the capacity to enjoy God and His world.”

I highly recommend this read to all believers, specifically those wrestling with calling, work and life balance, or the Biblical call to rest.

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I will disclaim that Comer offers an interesting perspective on the ethics of military combat.  Some may be taken aback by this as I was at first as the daughter of a soldier, but don’t miss the main message at hand.


Thanks for stopping by!

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.57.56 PMMy name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of “Remember God” by Annie F. Downs

Should you stop reading here, just go ahead and order Annie F. Downs’ newest book.  I am a huge fan of Annie F. Downs as you can read in my reviews of her past two books (read more).  I love Annie’s works for her creativity, storytelling nature, sense of humor, admiration of Gilmore Girls, and love of glitter.

But this book.  I mean I wasn’t ready.

Knowing Annie, I knew I would love it.  I knew I would get caught up in her stories that are all too relatable then suddenly find myself wrecked by the profound truth she draws out of them.  I knew I would relate, but I never imagined the depths.

God, are you always kind?

This is the question Annie F. Downs whispers in her heart amidst an extremely dark season.  Interestingly enough, a very dark season that aligned perfectly with the timing of my deepest of griefs.  Remember God walks readers through Annie F. Downs journey of wrestling, questioning, and looking around to find God in the darkest of places, seeking with her whole heart to continue to believe that He is good and kind.

And oh is it honest.

“I’m tired of cliches that are just tweetable enough for me to feel like I can’t be sad about what I’m feeling.”

Amidst her journey of wrestling and darkness, she describes a battle with depression, disordered eating, and singleness with such rawness.

I was able to grab an early access audio version of Remember God, which Annie herself read.  And by read, I mean she wept through a majority of the pages, because this season of fighting to believe that God is kind, was just so real.

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And I get it.  I get it and I know it, and I lived it at the very same time Annie was.  The darkness and emptiness she describes, the wondering if you can even get out of bed the next day, is not a battle Annie faced that I read about, but a real journey of my own, speaking Jesus’ name in the darkness just hoping to believe His name somehow still has power, even when I had been really let down.

Remember God reaches into such darkness and so blessedly meets its readers there without any cliches of “choosing” to cling to any Truth or joy, but real and honest wrestling, hoping, believing, and remembering who He is and who He will be.


Thanks for stopping by!

dalton-31My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of “The Gospel Comes with a House Key” by Rosaria Butterfield

If I am honest this might be the most torn I have ever been on a book review.  I was overjoyed to begin this read, having heard its title as a recommendation from another favorite author.  The title alone sparked my curiosity as I am so deeply passionate about discipleship through hospitality and the calling on our lives to love our neighbors through welcoming them.  Few things bring me more joy than the ability to welcome someone into my home and make them dinner when they are weathering a storm.  Because of this, most of the students I minister to know where I store my spare key.  Many times I have walked into my kitchen or living room to find them full of my people or with one or two asleep on the couch or taking a video interview in my bed.  I love every minute of hosting.  I honestly find creating a nourishing place for people sacred, even worshipful.

Thus, I began the journey of The Gospel Comes with a House Key eager to discover words I would soon have posted in calligraphy on my dining room walls.  The author Rosaria Butterfield’s life and story dramatically changed due to Christian hospitality.  Butterfield served as a college professor at a liberal arts university.  She was a noted advocated in the LGBTQ community as she identified as a lesbian herself.  I am making use of the past tense here as Butterfield’s life dramatically changed upon a couple who invited her into their home.  The hospitality was simple, a meal and conversation; yet, the sacredness, the specialness of someone seeing her, knowing her, and continuing to provide her a place where she was welcomed and loved, changed everything for Butterfield.  Upon experiencing such hospitality, the author came to know Jesus and her life dramatically changed.

Hospitality always includes heads, hands, hearts, messes, and weaknesses.

And I am here for how transformational hospitality can be.

I loved the ways Butterfield challenges believers to walk in obedience by loving their neighbors.  She offers a story in her own neighborhood when her family in North Carolina befriended the neighbor on the street everyone else simply whispered about.  They befriended this neighbor and assumed the best of him, despite each of their neighbor’s warnings that he was not to be trusted.  Upon forming a tight connection, this neighbor was arrested and removed from his home for cooking methamphetamine.

Following his arrest, Butterfield shared that she and her children continued to write this neighbor and his girlfriend.  They mailed packages and pray for them.  Despite his decisions and locations, they were determined to be a good neighbor.

The transition from stranger to neighbor  to family does not take place easily, but over grace, intent, grit, and sacrifice.  The hospitable develop thick skin.

Butterfield explains hospitality does not have to be complicated.  She emphasizes the simplicity of setting up a card table in the carport and placing paper plates in a stack in an effort to make strangers, neighbors and friends.  She explains that practically this includes budgeting for hospitality, purchasing extra groceries, and in her case owning multiple crock-pots (aka speaking my language).  Practicing what Butterfield terms “radically ordinary hospitality” includes making room to host a single friend following eye surgery on a living room couch by buying blackout curtains and filling her prescriptions.  Making room includes making space in her schedule to help pick up a neighbor’s child from soccer practice or feeding another neighbor’s dog.

Hospitality renders our houses hospitals and incubators.

Having been so touched and moved by Christian hospitality in her own story, Butterfield doubles down on the importance of welcoming one whose beliefs and ideas are foreign and making them feel welcomed and valued.  She preaches the importance of making room for someone’s perception and experience incredibly.

Do I have the grace to say little on a subject rather than everything possible?

Stop thinking of conversations with neighbors as hidden evangelical routes.

Have I made myself safe to share the real hardships of your daily living?  Even in a post-Christian world, we can still claim unearned privileges rooted in sentimentality for days gone by.

And if you have read up to this point, you may be thinking, I don’t think Emily Katherine is actually on the fence about this book. I think she actually loves it.

You see if I were Butterfield’s editor, The Gospel Comes with a House Key would have been shaped as the book I reviewed.  Yet, should you flip to the second or third page which list the publisher and editor, my name will not be found.  While I loved certain fruits in the forest of this book, many times I almost stopped and turned away due to the weeds.

When Rosaria Butterfield came to know God through Christian hospitality, her life radically transitioned.  She left her established career in academia along with her homosexual lifestyle.  She was soon married to a Reformed Presbyterian Minister and became a homeschooling mom.  She radically embraced “conservative Christianity” and often claims that title both for herself and her readers throughout the text.

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The author steps away from the topic of hospitality including lengthy discourses in topics such as gender, the Refugee crisis, politics, and church discipline.

Butterfield’s tone is so conservative- literally including the phrase “sacred patriarchy” that when she began sharing her story of her life before Christ I checked back multiple times to be sure she wasn’t sharing someone else’s story.  I was shocked to learn this pastor’s wife in suburban North Carolina who knits by her neighbor’s bed sides during surgery and bakes bread each Saturday for Communion on Sunday came from such a different lifestyle.

Thus, The Gospel Comes with a House Key is a challenging and compelling read, with sections and ideologies I would omit in order to reach a more relevant and diverse audience surrounding an important subject.

But these are my thoughts.  Comment below with yours!


Thanks for stopping by!

H8ULakjvMGHuOo5uritQ9Lrm0KZkxT0ncqFEIMOVNU0My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Collaborative Review of “Sex, Jesus, and The Conversations the Church Forgot” by Mo Isom

This is my first ever collaborative review which I am so excited to share.  Just as I began this read, a friend, mentor, minister, and coworker (?) shared she was reading as well.  We have recently begun meeting together for lunch which make up some of my favorite days.  So we met together to discuss this read and coauthored our review.

But let me start with my manners and first, introduce my friend Erin to you.

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Erin Moniz, M.Div. serves as the Assistant Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries at her alma mater, Berry College.  I first met Erin as a student and have since had the privilege of leading many ministry events and experiences alongside of her working in college ministry.  She has commiserated with and encouraged me in the Master’s of Divinity process while also serving as a safe place when those classes are not always the most welcoming for women.  I recently overheard a student in my kitchen describe Erin stating, “Ya know, she is the most badass minister I know.”  And I’m convinced nothing could describe her better.

Discussing Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot with Erin was a great dialogue as we approached this book both as women raised in the Church, working in ministry, yet one of us married and one of us single, both with different stories and experiences we brought to the literal table we were dining at.  Not to mention, I am an Enneagram 2 and Erin an Enneagram 8, so the balance was extremely beneficial and occasionally ironic.


What we loved about Sex, Jesus, and The Conversations the Church Forgot was its honesty and candidness, specifically bringing into the light that Christian women struggle with pornography, masturbation, and sexual desires in general.  So many “struggles” of sexuality have been gendered as men’s issues in the Church, yet as Isom shares her story she openly reveals these are not only issues guys face and they are temptations girls are facing at extremely young ages.

Furthermore, Isom elaborates on the emphasis of abstinence and purity culture in the Church.  She shares from her own story that she crossed every line imaginable, yet sought to keep her “purity” in tact by only avoiding vaginal penetration.  While some may drop their jaw we just used such words on a blog, this is a common misconception that we have both heard from girls, describing their physical boundaries in dating relationships.  Isom highlights sexual purity is so much more and begins so much sooner, reaching to so many different areas of our lives.

We were thankful that Sex, Jesus, and The Conversations The Church Forgot acknowledged singleness, upholding its value as Scripture describes.  Yet, (Emily Katherine here-) Isom seems to explain singleness from the point of view of chosen singleness, never addressing those of us in a season of singleness that is not chosen or preferred.  She describes a season of singleness when she felt closer to the Lord than ever before and free of so many complications and complexities- yet this is more a chosen fast from dating and her only time of singleness according to her story.  (My single sisters, here’s your trigger warning.)

“We don’t need a partner to assign us value when we feel worthless.  We need a soul reawakened to its worth in our Father’s eyes.”

I, (Erin here-) valued Isom’s explanation that sex in marriage is not a magic thing that comes together just because you followed the rules of purity culture.  While Isom lacks a full emphasis on how a theology of intimacy creates the way for success in marriage, she at least dispels this HUGE myth we are still trying to sell people.

Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations The Church Forgot is a valuable read I have already recommended to mothers, small group leaders, and student ministry workers, specifically those who work with girls.  Yet, Erin and I ended our conversation by summarizing while we are so thankful for this book and the great conversations it has begun, this book is only an appetizer for what we were looking for.

Isom leads openly and honestly with her story throughout the text.  I (Emily Katherine) so valued her rawness and authenticity, yet this story driven nature sometimes led to theological points which drew me to check for her seminary education on the back of the book.  The story driven nature of Isom’s book to me (Erin) somewhat limited the issues that could be addressed by leaving out the narratives of victims of sexual abuse and narrowing the focus to one persons’ story, limiting the Church’s ability to respond with better conversations pertaining to sexuality.  The author takes so much personal responsibility for her struggle with sexual sin that she overlooks affects of her environment and family, perpetuating the Western narrative of private salvation overlooking the fullness of the message of the gospel which openly points to the effects of environment and generational sin, along with the Church’s role in sanctification.  Erin and I also discussed many students we counsel’s stories of sexuality include same sex attraction or wrestling with gender identity which were not even acknowledged as this book focuses on Isom’s story rather than issues of sexuality and Christianity as a whole.

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Erin and I were extremely thankful, Isom aims a few arrows toward purity culture and offers some great examples of how it is falling vastly short in the conversations the Church offers regarding sexuality, especially for girls.  Yet, as Sex, Jesus, and The Conversations the Church Forgot is driven by Isom’s narrative, it lacks in undoing some of the conversations the Church has had regarding sexuality, and providing recommendations of conversations the Church should be having.  Isom explains feeling isolated and alone, trying to fish for her Mom to see how many questions she had, offering a charge to the Church to step up, but between the pages I (Emily Katherine) found Isom less often explaining how the Church can better communicate about sexuality and rather continuing to describe through vivid details of her own story why sex outside of marriage is wrong and damaging.  And if I’m honest, that’s a conversation the Church has overdone.

We need a theology of intimacy.  A healthy and honest theology of gender, sexuality, identity, and a lack of fear of what is appropriate because individuals beginning at early, early ages are being told from every avenue what to believe about these things.  We have to stop separating boys and girls and using clichés, hoping their parents explain more.  Church, we cannot be silent in a sexually saturated culture.

Erin and I are thankful for Mo Isom’s courage to open up this issue and direct our attention to how the Church is or is not addressing sexuality and honored by her rawness in Sex, Jesus, and Conversations the Church Forgot.


FullSizeRenderThanks for stopping by!

My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of Everybody Always, by Bob Goff

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Click to purchase.

I seem to have this funny theme in my life of always running into Bob Goff, but never meeting him.  It’s honestly hilarious at this point the number of times we’ve been in the same room.  A couple years ago I went to lunch at work, and he was also eating lunch there.  This past year, I attended three different conferences in three different states, in which, Bob spoke at all three.  So here’s my faithful pledge next time, I’ll say hi.

I was eager to start Everybody Always as I loved Bob’s first book, Love Does in 2015.  I also loved Maria (Bob’s wife) Goff’s Love Lives Here.  (Read my review here.)  I love listening to audiobooks on long drives or while folding laundry, and when I learned Everybody Always was recorded on Audible by Bob himself, I downloaded right away.

This book focuses on “becoming love.”  And I love that about Bob Goff.  Having crossed paths with him many times, I have been able to see that for him, it’s not about understanding love or having a correct definition of love, it’s about stepping out and becoming.  When I heard him speak at the past couple conferences a line he said got under my skin- not because I disagreed, but because I felt so challenged and compelled.

“Go.  Go and find the people that creep you out the very most and love them.”

I had just read Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness (review here) challenging me to “move in” because people are “hard to hate close up.”  And Bob Goff’s words reminded me of how often I fall short of loving “those people.”

When we draw a bigger circle around us in the world like grace did, God’s loving kindness gives us bigger and newer identities.

I love Bob’s writing style and even have used it as an example at writer’s conferences when some more tenured friends just cannot seem to understand “those Millennials.”  (Funny how sometimes we, ourselves, are the ones people have to walk across the line to love.)  He tells wild and crazy stories that made me laugh, cry, and have chills all over.  Then, he draws connections to the nature and character of God and who He calls us to be packing many heavier punches than I ever thought possible.

Sometimes when we ask God for an answer, He sends us a friend.

Jesus promised to be a voice they could trust.  All they had to do was run toward it.

Bob simplifies what we overcomplicate emphasizing the theme that Jesus never gathered people around Him to agree with Him; instead, He gathered people around Him to go and be like Him.  Bob challenges believers to love bravely, deeply, and to never overlook our own personal transformation in the process.


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Thanks for stopping by!

My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.