Janice Eicholtz | @janjanmom
The other day as I was out and about, I overheard a snippet of conversation. It was a grown-up asking a teenager what his mom did for a living. "She doesn't work outside the home," the teen replied. "So, she just stays at home," stated, matter-of-factly, was the reply. I won't tell you the gender of the person who said it. I won't tell you how deeply it rocked my faith in people. I won't even go into great detail about how quickly I bristled and how my eyes rolled. Instead, I will relay a little bit about the years when I "just stayed home".
My parents divorced when I was three, so I did not get to experience life with my mom being a full-time homemaker. BUT, it was pretty common in those days for men to be about making a living and women to be about making a home. In fact, modern day society often chuckles at the antiquated and stereotypical magazine articles and advertisements directed at women from that era. I hate that. Feminism should include the freedom to be a full-time mom. It should be a choice that is valued, not ridiculed. The choice to be a working mom should also be valued. There is no right or wrong-both choices come with their own perks, right along with the choice to not have children (and-gasp-sometimes, still be a homemaker!). Women need to lavish support and hold the judgment towards other women! We are all in this game of life together. Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to encourage one another DAILY lest we become hardened by sin's deceit.
Joseph Brazil | @blackdog575
You’d probably agree being a believer in Christ comes with its share of difficulties. Although we are in the world and meant to be separate from its influence, our human nature constantly reminds us of the lifestyles we mean to steer away from. What happens, then, when the weight of God’s calling grows too heavy to bear? What’s your first reaction when you look around and see the world passing you by as you toil away at what you know God has imparted upon you?
It can be taxing at times. Even life-threatening. Just ask Paul and his sidekick Silas.
Ellen Martin | @ellenmartin03
Have you ever felt judged when you walked into a church? Let’s get more real: Have you ever judged someone either in or out of church?
I have been judged.
And I am guilty of judging others.
Unfortunately I think it’s safe to say that most people have both judged and been judged. Judgement in church is a huge problem. As a teen, one of the reasons that I stopped going to youth group was because I felt that I wasn’t “good enough” to be with the other people there. My heart breaks for those who feel judged in church on a regular basis because they aren’t “good enough” in the congregation’s eyes. In a way, no one is “good enough”. No one deserves the grace of God. Despite this, Jesus died for everyone.
Let’s be real with each other. We are all sinners. We all need Jesus’ forgiveness. Should we dwell on our past mistakes? No, we need to grab hold of the new creation Christ makes us. Should we recognize that we all need grace and forgiveness? Yes.
Kevin Welborn | @theKevinWelborn
I was experiencing “writer’s block” ninety seconds before I wrote this sentence. Every time that I compose an article for The Back Row, I want it to be perfect. I want it to be perfect, not because I am compulsive, but because I want you to think it is the best one ever written. “Shakespearean” I believe was the term used about my last article as reviewed by a prolific writer with unmatched credentials who I cannot quote for the fear of belittling the masses.
Okay, obviously no one has ever considered anything I have ever written to be “Shakespearean.” But, what if someone did? Somewhere on Earth somebody thought that I wrote something so powerful and majestic that they were filled with an overriding impulse to describe my words with such lofty praise!!!
I would be ecstatic. I would never forget it. I would have t-shirts made and a photo of that statement in my wallet next to pictures of my kids. I would run for President and that would be my whole marketing scheme: Kevin Welborn, a Shakespearean talent. Vote Welborn in 2016!
Cipraino Martinez | @ciprianom79
If you are anything like me, you are constantly watching what the weather is going to be like for the days to come. God has given us many different forms of weather -- sunny, overcast, rainy, snowy... Some of us get excited over different types of weather and some of us get discouraged. It’s all a matter of preference, I guess. But how many people do you know that get excited over a storm? The people I had the chance to ask would prefer not to be in a storm at all. As a matter of fact, they would like to tell the storm to just go around so it doesn't ever bother them. This is unrealistic, we can’t control a storm even on our best days.
Storms are imminent and will appear in our lives. Some storms will be small while others will seem unbearable and no matter how hard we try physically, we will not be able to control the course of these storms. There will be times that we run from these storms and other times we will just bunker down and face it the best we know how.
The best protection I have found from the storms in my life is what I put my hope into.
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
I still remember the day a few years ago when I burned my finger really badly.
You see, we were in a rush, because my wife had to go back to a baby shower soon and we had a semi-elaborate meal planned, so I was cooking up a storm.
We have several spatulas, but one of them has a metal handle. I rarely use that one, so I got in the habit of just resting the spatula on the skillet for a moment with the plastic ones. Well, because I was trying to cook a couple things at once, I didn’t think about it when I sat the metal one on the skillet.
By the time I picked it back up, it was white hot. Burned a huge patch on the top portion of my inner index finger. Hurt like death. I was literally crying involuntarily. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME! THAT THING HURT! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CRYING WHEN IT HURTS!
Anyway, I spent the rest of my day wrapping it in a frozen towel, then airing it out until it hurt again, then putting it back on the frozen wet towel. Off and on, off and on.
So, now I have this zombie finger where most of my finger print is bright red, surrounded by normal flesh.
I wore a Band-Aid over it during the day when I’m at work, since I had to use it to type and write and everything ever (did I mention it was my right-handed index finger, on my dominant hand… it’s like the most important finger I have!).
Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
For anyone who has read my testimony, or been following closely my life in the blogging world; you’ll know a very special day is approaching in my life. A day that may bring back some pain, but today I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can celebrate. In just a few sort weeks, my husband and I will reach the one-year mark from the day he walked out of our home and declared our marriage was over.