Priscilla

Cast out of her home, and living in a foreign land, she used more than her hands to stitch together a framework. While her fingers worked the seams of tents, her words worked the seams of truth – convincing, training, and raising up a generation of missionaries to continue her plight in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Who was she? Priscilla, Missionary of Jesus.

Contact Rachel:
  • Instagram: instagram.com/wickedorwise
  • Website: wickedorwise.com/contact
  • Email: RachAllene@gmail.com
Merch
  • wickedorwise.com/merch
Articles Quoted:
Scriptures:
  • Acts 18
  • Romans 16
  • 1 Corinthians 16
  • 2 Timothy 4

Behind the Scenes + Outtakes

WE’LL BE BACK ON OCTOBER 2ND!

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Esther – Part 3 // ft. Isabel Rasor

THE SEASON ONE FINALE IS HERE!

The room freezes with baited breath. This young woman has dared enter the forbidden court of the King of Persia. With eyes locked on his, she waits for her fate – will she perish? The courtesans ask each other, “Who does she think she is?” I wish I could have been there to answer them: she’s Esther, the Blood Thirsty Queen of Persia. Tune in for more! 

P.S. Stay tuned to the end for exciting announcements, news about when Wicked or Wise will return, and for that much desired (heh) history lesson on the “Esther: Fact of Fiction” debate.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Esther 5-10
  • Psalm 22
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • John 3:5
  • Acts 2
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Esther – Part 2 // ft. Isabel Rasor

Crowned the Queen of Queens of the mighty Persian Empire, things are looking up for Esther. And they stay that way for five wonderful years, until one day, a wrath consumes an ancient enemy that puts the entire Israelite nation in peril. Welcome to part 2 of the life of Esther, the blood thirsty Queen of Persia. Tune in for more! 

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Esther 4
  • 1 Samuel 15
  • Isaiah 58
  • Psalm 22
  • Acts 1
  • Leviticus
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Esther – Part 1 // ft. Isabel Rasor

Orphaned at a young age, and living a quiet life with a cousin, life was already unkind to her. But you know what they say – things can always get worse! When a mad king makes a terrifying proclamation, she finds herself dragged away from the last of her family, brought to a strange place with thousands of strange women, purified, cleansed, and offered up on a silver platter to that very same king. Still, even as bad as things are, she has the smallest glimmer of hope, and it’s found in the form of an unexpected crown. 

Who is she? Esther, the blood thirsty Queen of Persia. Tune in for more! 

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Esther 1-3
  • Jeremiah 24
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Balaam’s Donkey

Before her stood certain death, behind her a menacing man pushing her to move forward. One beating, two beatings, three… Once known for her regal air, she now stood ragged and desperate for escape. She would be pushed around no longer – it was time to speak up. Who was she? Balaam’s Donkey. 

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Numbers 22-24
  • Deuteronomy 17
  • Judges 5, 16
  • Isaiah 32
  • Job 39
  • 2 Peter 2:15-16
  • Jude 1:11
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Elizabeth – Part 2 // ft. Rachel Conkle

With her growing belly reflecting the growing miracle inside, Elizabeth’s ears are greeted with an unexpected greeting. The surprise turns to awe as Elizabeth realizes it’s more than just a young woman calling hello – it’s the mother of the now come Messiah. All this and more in the second half of Elizabeth’s story.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Luke 1, 3
  • Matthew 3
  • Mark 1
  • John 1, 3
  • The Book of Leviticus
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Elizabeth – Part 1 // ft. Rachel Conkle

Raised to adhere strictly to the laws of God, it was a surprise to all when she came to the end of her childbearing years and still had no child. She must be sinning in secret, right? But if that’s the case, why was God calling her blameless? And why was an angel suddenly interrupting a somber religious ceremony to prophesy the unbelievable to her husband? And why was there a sudden fluttering in a place that had only known emptiness?

Who was this woman? Elizabeth, Mother of Prophecy.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Luke 1
  • The Book of Leviticus
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Eve – Part 2 // ft. Daniel Horn, Thomas Carpenter

With the voice of God demanding answers, Eve and Adam stand huddling in their poorly designed leaf-aprons. They know they’ve messed up, but what will the price for their mistakes be? Is death really waiting for them at the end of this conversation?

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Genesis 1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3
  • 1 Timothy 2:13
  • Romans 5
  • Luke 3
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Given the very theoretical nature of our discussions, I didn’t want to include a lot of sources that may bring up more questions than answers. I’d highly recommend taking your study on Eve straight to the Word itself – there can be no disillusion there!


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Eve – Part 1 // ft. Daniel Horn, Thomas Carpenter

The first breath of human life. The first ears to hear His voice. The first encounter with the wickedness of mankind. The first breaking of a divine covenant. Who was the woman at the heart of this disaster? Eve, the Mother of Humanity.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Genesis 1-5
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Delilah // ft. Tracy Evans

Seductress. Devilish. Wily. These three terms have frequently been used to describe one woman who, for the greed in her heart, turned her home into a place of ambush. Her target? The Hercules of Scripture. Her name? Delilah, the Forbidden Woman.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Judges 16
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Rahab – Part 2 // ft. Hannah Horn

Patience is a virtue, and it may have been the very first one Rahab exercised. While the fear for her life still lingered in the air, much time had passed from her encounter with the Israelite spies. When would they strike? Would she be remembered? The scarlet cord gave her hope, but would it be enough?

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Joshua 2-5
  • Matthew 1
  • Hebrews 11
  • James 2
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Rahab – Part 1 // ft. Hannah Horn

Desperate, outcast, prostitute. Three terms no woman wants to hear, much less earn as titles. But there was a woman who identified as all three, and she refused to let it keep her from becoming a lady of destiny. When God sent an opportunity to her doorstep, she acted with urgency and saved not only herself, but her family, and a very famous lineage. Who was she? Rahab, the heroine harlot.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Scripture References:
  • Joshua 2-5
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Abigail – Part 2 // ft. Isabel Rasor

With a deceased husband lying on the couch, Abigail is sure to be wondering what’s next for her. Would God honor her wisdom that saved an entire household with a second chance at family? Would the dangerous, but actually kinda handsome, outlaw remember his promise?

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
  • 1 Samuel 25, 27, 30; 2 Samuel 2-3; 1 Chronicles 3:1

Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Abigail – Part 1 // ft. Isabel Rasor

Beauty and brains, this woman has it all — thankfully so! Soon after a foolish man makes a hasty decision, she finds herself laying at the feet of a dangerous outlaw, and using both wit and fluttering lashes to save her household. Who is she? Abigail, the Chosen Wife of David.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:

Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Jael // ft. Sarah Carpenter

It’s easy to be a heroine when an entire army is roaring behind you, but what about when you’re feeling alone in your tent, and the enemy is dozing on your couch? Find out what one woman did with one such moment. Today’s episode dives into the life of Jael, heroine of Israel.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:

Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Deborah // ft. Sarah Carpenter

A leader of men, a fierce warrior of Yahweh, a great hero in battle, a… woman? Today’s episode dives into the life of the Mother and Judge of Israel, Deborah.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:

Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

The Wife of Pontius Pilate

Jesus’ followers fell silent, dispersed among the crowd of His violent rejection. Would no one speak up in His defense? To the shock of the world, someone did. Someone with everything to lose and nothing to gain – the Wife of Pontius Pilate.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
  • Matthew 27:19
    • The only Scripture fragment that records her story.
  • Jesus’ Trial is recorded in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Zipporah – Part 2 // ft. Thomas Carpenter

Ditched in the dessert? That’s a bit awkward… but that’s exactly where Zipporah found herself after her husband sent her and their two baby boys home. Oi! At least they’ll have a magical reunion after Moses gets outta Egypt… or will they?

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Zipporah – Part 1 // ft. Thomas Carpenter

The stunning wife of Moses, Zipporah’s life is apparently the basis of a lot of conflict… Who knew? I sure didn’t, but I’m anxious to tell you all about it!

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
Outside Sources:

Outside refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Fun Recommendations:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Jezebel – Part 2 // ft. Faith Richardson

What does the ancient relic, The Woman in the Window, have to do with Jezebel? Well, for one thing, it might finally give us the eerie reason for Jezebel’s rebellious last stand in her own window.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
Outside Sources:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Jezebel – Part 1 // ft. Faith Richardson

The infamous Queen of Israel, Jezebel’s name carries the same weight as the name of Judas. But is she really that wicked?

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.

Favorite Sources + Recommended Reading

Digging deeper via the Bible:
Outside Sources:

Outside” refers to “outside of Scripture” and does not necessarily advise of any Christian/non-Christian bias in the source.

Recommended Reading + Other Fun:

Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Wicked or Wise Introduction

Wicked or Wise is a Podcast that dives deep into the lives of women of the Word. Host Rachel Allene Carpenter is joined by friends and family to discuss the women whose stories are found in the pages of Scripture. Sharing their Biblical accounts with lots of laughs, Rachel pulls from the cultural histories and mythologies surrounding their time to bring these women to life. Some wicked, some wise, all have stories that need to be told.

Have questions, thoughts, or testimonies you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at RachAllene@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @MsRachAllene / @WickedorWise.


Be sure to follow @WickedorWise on Instagram for pop quizzes, unique character art, and more!

Sorting Filing Cabinets.

Just before the pandemic hit, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.

After twenty years, I changed churches.

I’m not going to get into the “big why” that caused me to open myself to the idea of changing, but I’ll say this: God directed my steps and led me to where I am.

I know that I’m in the right church, working alongside the right people, reaching out to the right community. I know that I am being planted, and that roots are growing.

But the process isn’t painless.

As anyone who regularly attends church may know, the people you attend with become an extension of your family. They’re the people you call on in hard times; they’re the people who celebrate with you in easy times.

I’m 25, so I spent the vast majority of my life in one church. The change has been hard.

Still, I know that God has called me to where I’m serving, and the personal call to a city is so beautiful. I now know what it is to choose your home church, to choose a collection of believers and to ask, “Can I join your work in the cause? Can I co-labor with you?”

The dynamics are so very different, from the way worship services are run, to the length of the pastor’s sermon, to the method of taking up the offering. It’s been an adjustment, and I still have more adjusting to do.

But underneath it all, I can feel myself shifting. Yes, underneath all the busyness and to-do’s, there has been a softening of my soul, and it is slowly but firmly settling into a new mold.

A mold that is giving me the desire and courage to become active in life again.

For a long while, I’ve been on the sidelines of my life. Due to numerous circumstances, I became a lazy spectator munching caramel-coping popcorn, casually cheering over a score, and napping as much of the game away as possible. In less allegorical terms: I was ruled by depression, anxiety, and impulsive behaviors that brought me to a very dark place of self-loathing.

Here, in this new home, I find myself confronting the thought-patterns and self-indulgences I had accepted into my life. As God prepares me for the outpouring of His spirit in our city, He is stirring the waters of my soul and a host of debris is rising to the top. I am unable to ignore it.

I have never been good at handling emotional pain. I can be there for a friend, a stranger in an airport, a neighbor on their doorstep, but I have been useless when it comes to my own battles. In typical Type-7 fashion, I’d rather hide from them behind new purchases, drown them out with a TV show or podcast, dose up on travel adventures, and pretend reality is fiction.

Rather than read and absorb the information, process and learn from pain, I’d carefully slide the delicate papers of my life story into a tidy little file, tuck it into the depths of a cabinet, and close the door on it forever — goodbye, sucka!

As it turns out… that approach doesn’t work. Somehow papers tend to wiggle out of their orderly files and end up sitting on the countertop, staring at me, daring me to deal with them. I shove them back into their place, slam the cabinet shut, and turn around to find them miraculously back on the counter and taunting me with their miserable prose.

The truth is, I don’t know how to process the words on my own. I read them. I ache. But relief doesn’t come, so I just give up and bury them again.

But.

I want to reach the city where God has planted me, and I can’t do that if I can’t reach myself.

Myself.

The person buried in the filing cabinets.

Under God’s gentle guidance, I recruited a therapist.

I’ll be honest: I’ve tried therapy several times before with limited success. I think I’ve been through something like four doctors or counselors? But this time seems to be different. It seems to be working.

Perhaps it’s working because I am finally braving what I’ve never before braved: we’re proactively looking into the filing cabinets and reviewing the archives of my life.

Yes, each file brings with it a fresh wave of pain and misery. Our calls find me weeping on the couch, tissues piling on the coffee table. The powerful revelations of self, and the cause of self, leave me winded and bruised.

But the next morning, when the sun rises on our hard work, I find a tiny piece of me has been made new again.

It’s a slow and arduous process, but I am committed to seeing it through.

“I want to be whole again.”

I remember uttering those words in prayer sometime after the start of the new year.

God heard me.

He didn’t do the work suddenly, as I was hoping in that moment of petition.

Instead, He gently beckoned me to a new home, a new calling, a new environment.

Here, He is showing me that in this place, He can love me separate from my story, until I can love me in my story.

He is using this new family to remind me of the talents and gifts that I have also buried in my cabinets; these are gifts of compassion, zeal, and boldness; these are gifts of action.

To access them, I must be willing to risk a few paper cuts. But paper cuts heal.

He is restoring me gradually, for permanency.

And it all began with a broken request in a vulnerable moment.

Where is the Line?

Is it a sin to be entertained by sin?

This is the thought that greeted me as I pulled into the office parking lot this morning.

Here’s the deal:

I started listening to Francis Chan’s book “Erasing Hell” during my drive, and at just over an hour in, I’ve already paused to weep, repent, and mourn the lost several times over.

It’s gut-wrenching, the idea of hell. The idea of an afterlife of eternal damnation. The idea of people we know and love burning alive for… ever.

And now that that question has posed itself in my mind – the idea that I could be one of them.

Yes, Christ is my savior. I have confessed Him, repented, been baptized in His name, and received the Holy Spirit. I do my best to abstain from sin, and repent when I fail (so, like, every few seconds). I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

But…

I also watch TV shows that glorify lust, fornication, greed, shedding of innocent blood, idolatry, disobedience, rebellion… Don’t even get me started on my recent deep-dive into the world of thriller novels.

Some of these actions dancing across my screen are the things God hates and calls an abomination (Proverbs 6:16-19). The rest, Paul said make the committer worthy of death – and he said this while writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:29-32).

This is the blunt truth of it: I am entertained by the very things that send people to hell.

Putting aside the atrocity of laughing at fornication when I know it’s damning a person to hell, what does this mean for my own soul?

“When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’” (Luke 13:25-27, ESV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23, ESV)

To sum it up: you can believe yourself to be a partaker of Christ, and be unknown to Him.

This is why Paul cautioned us so strongly to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

I’ll be honest, right now I’m wondering if my sin-entertainment has Jesus wondering who I am.

“Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light… and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret... Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:7-8, 10-12, 15-16, ESV)

Is watching a show about greed, the murder of innocents, and fornication partaking in the unfruitful works of darkness? (Poldark, Law & Order, The Bachelor/ette)

Is referencing sit-coms speaking of the things they do in secret? (Friends, The Office, Parks & Rec)

Is viewing a Disney princess’s rebellion against her parents making the best use of my time? (.. oh.. um.. all of them?)

Where is the line?

And if God asks me to stop seeking out the line, to stop wondering just how far I can go before I’m sinning…

to give all that entertainment up,

and instead to:

be peculiar and walk away from all forms of darkness (1 Peter 2:9)

start searching for Him with my whole heart (Deuteronomy 4:29)

seek to find how close I can become to Him (Proverbs 8:17)

focus the newfound time on pulling souls out of hell (James 5:20)

Am I willing?

Am I willing.


P.S. I have questions like, “What if there’s a good ending? What if the person finds out they were wrong and decides to live righteously thereafter? What if justice wins out, the marriage is restored, and the teenager decides to keep the baby?”

I don’t know the answer, the line, the stopping point.

I only know that this question of sin-entertainment is weighing heavily on me.

I only know that, at minimum, I will be spending some time overhauling my watch/read list tonight.

And, based on the conviction piercing my heart, I only know that I have some repenting to do.

Beginning again.

I once considered myself a writer. This was in part due to my calling to worship (the act, the words, the life), and in larger part, due to a former blog.

I wrote posts on topics ranging from bringing food to a laundromat, to crying my eyes out after dad left, to coping with invisible illness, to cross-trekking America. I had the time of my life with it.

Still, after several years of growing an audience through misadventures and terrible wordsmithing, I decided it was time to close that chapter. Why? Because I wasn’t the girl who began that blog any longer.

I was a new woman in a new spiritual place, and I was so very afraid to share the words that tumbled through my mind.

The transformation into this new woman came when God took me off the field and placed me securely on the bench.

I must confess: I knew that God wasn’t finished with my work, and that writing was not just a piece, but a critical part of my calling. I knew that He never told me to quit writing or to stop publicly musing. I knew I had something more to say…

But it’s hard to find the courage to write from the bench, a place the world views as disgrace.

In May of 2019, I wrote a final piece called “Goodbye, girl.” In that post, I shared with my readers a glimpse of the changes that had taken place in me.

I’m sure that to many, the post read like a ridiculous and dramatic cry for help. However, I felt nothing more than a sigh of relief when I hit publish for what I intended to be the last time.

I had confessed the change and I could cease feigning that I was invincible. Still, while the confession was brave, it was surrender to fear that had me refusing to share this new woman with the world.

There is something embarrassing about maturing.

The confrontation of my new knowledge with my old behaviors makes me shrivel.

Worse, understanding just how naive I was as that girl, and knowing that others were fully aware of that naivete, makes me want to pull the covers over my head and pretend the world outside my gray-painted walls does not exist.

But it does exist.

And I was created to exist in it.

And called to write about it, to challenge it, and maybe even change it.

So, nine months of fear and frustration and guilt and shame later, I choose to unveil the woman inside.

This is who she is:

This is who I am:

a woman

scarred by the assaults of life

trying desperately to remain soft

sitting on the world-shamed bench

waiting for the call to return to the battlefield

holding a quivering pen over public paper

putting the ending behind me

and beginning again.