Morgan Lee sheds light on the plight of Christian women around the world: “This additional layer of marginalization is so severe that Open Doors is currently working ‘to train leaders in both trauma care and in theology which brings healing and does not further amplify the damage from sexual violence,’ wrote Fisher and Miller. ‘This counter-cultural response is so crucial to both the resiliency and the witness of the church in the midst of persecution that Open Doors is developing a program to systematically address the issue.’”


Laurie Halse Anderson shares her twenty years of experience talking about rape in schools and the culture of ignorance that surrounds it, particularly among boys: “We sit in a quiet corner. The boy, sweating, fidgeting, eyes downcast, tells me his story. Sometimes he tells of a girl, a friend who has been raped. He wants to know the best way to help her because since it happened, she has been cutting herself, skipping school and getting high to avoid the pain. He wants to kill the boy who hurt his friend. He wants to help and doesn’t know how.”Kim Cash Tate writes about the troubling and ultimately sweet relationship between God’s call to serve him and his call to know him: “The nature of David’s calling and the level of his testing bore no resemblance to mine. But a clear sense of calling, a period of waiting, and a crisis of faith — those things I could identify with. Still, I wish I could tell my younger self to stop focusing on my sense of calling, as if that were the main thing. God had been working on the main thing all along — drawing me into a closer walk with himself.”


Kathryn Freeman considers the spiritual responsibility of the Christian’s social and political engagement: “We live in a religiously plural republic, but Christian political engagement should reflect our lives as followers of Christ.  In an increasingly partisan age, it is important to remember we do not wage war as the world does (2 Corinthians 10:3). Our primary task is not political point scoring, crushing our opponents, or angling for personal advantage, our primary task is the Great Commission. As disciples of Christ, our political engagement should should promote truth (2 John 1:4), serve humbly (Ephesians 4:2-3), prioritize the vulnerable (Jeremiah 22:3), be kind and gentle (Galatians 5:22-23), and pursue peace and justice (Matthew 5:9, Isaiah 1:17).”


Laura Hardin articulates some hard-hitting, counter-cultural wisdom on sex in marriage: “Yet no matter what I feel, I can’t deny the wisdom in these verses. God did not give this to us as some arbitrary rule. God created marriage, sex, and its pleasure, and he knows exactly what it takes to cultivate healthy marriages, how to nurture the oneness that points to him and brings us all incredible joy. If I deprive my husband, I not only deprive him, I deprive myself and our marriage as a whole. For marital intimacy is to a healthy marriage what abiding in the Lord is to a healthy, fruit-yielding walk with Christ: absolutely necessary.”


Ayanna reminds us of the true spiritual purpose of water: “Most mornings, I wake up and I am extremely thirsty. The strange thing is, though I love water, I still do not want it. I never want to drink the water that is right next to my bed. I realize this will not make much sense to some, but it is a daily struggle for me. I know the benefits of water. It quenches my thirst. It regulates my body. It is essential for my bodily function. Even with all of these benefits, I still do not want the water.”


Timothy P. Carney takes a look at some of the nuances and implications of the last election for evangelicals: “Economic collapse goes hand in hand with the desiccation of religious institutions. When factories or coal mines close, some portion of the population flees. Still others stop going to church—white Americans are less likely to attend religious services when they are unemployed, sociologist Brad Wilcox reported in a study titled ‘No Money, No Honey, No Church.’ A church built for a few hundred families has trouble maintaining itself when a third of them leave. Absent strong job prospects, fewer adults form families. When people have fewer weddings and christenings, and fewer kids to educate on right and wrong, they go to church less.”


Celebrity insider, Mancow Muller, delivers a fascinating, if rambling, personal account of the downfall of James McDonald, the cult of personality, and the uncertain future of his church: “Will Harvest lift all nondisclosure agreements that employees are forced to sign and let them out of these prisons of silence and allow them to finally tell what actually has gone wrong? When Pastor John Secrest asked for his church back in Naples, why wasn't it given back to him immediately? Isn't that the right thing to do?”