There are some people who put words on paper and call themselves writers.
Then there are others who are actually real writers. They were born that way.
Some people are professional speakers – polished, poised, rehearsed.
Others are teachers – real, vulnerable, authentic.
Some people are church-goers.
Others are real followers of Jesus Christ.
Jen Hatmaker is a real writer whose words light up a page in a way that nearly sets it on fire. Would-be writers read her blogs and books in hopes of learning how to string a phrase together the way she does. Every message she delivers – in print or from a platform – drips with a wisdom that can only be garnered in the well-worn trenches of living well. She doesn’t speak – she teaches out of the depths of experience.
Jen has lived well.
She has made choices, some of them hard and unpopular, that have set her apart from the sparkly, polished world of Christian business and put her in the all too rare category of authenticity that thousands are drawn to. She’s a Jesus follower, plain and simple. She’s not interested in pleasing or impressing.
She’s a relief. A breath of fresh air.
I like her.
I like her eagerness to live a life that honors God in a simplistically, bold way that rubs off on you. It’s contagious I tell you. Down-right catchy.
Best of all, she not afraid of carbs. She’ll eat a plate full of migas for breakfast with me and not blink an eye. That a girl.
Ya’ll enjoy 🙂
When we tricked our best friends into starting a church with us, we bought houses on the same street in south Austin and launched a neighborhood domination campaign. We were simply determined to love our neighbors and force them to love us win them over.
This was our premise: what if we loved our neighbors by…um…actually loving them? What if we spent real time and energy on them? What if we were fun? What if we set aside agendas and simply lived the gospel our in our ‘hood? What if we practiced patience and longevity, trusting the Holy Spirit to do what He does?
In a culture where the church is losing ground daily, relationally investing in people is the key to bridging the gap. Rather than imagining church attendance as the bulls-eye, it’s time to consider ourselves missionaries, sent as representatives of the kingdom to our neighborhoods and communities and cities. It is through our sustained presence and proximity that we are able to win a hearing for the gospel again.
One of the easiest gatherings was a neighborhood book club hosted in my home. (Christian women have long enjoyed book clubs, but we normally do them together.) We decided to use this as a connecting point with our unchurched and dechurched neighbors, and let me tell you: no hay problema. Food? Drinks? Great books? A bunch of women with no kids? I don’t think a single neighbor said no.
As it is with any gathering of women, conversation always took a thousand turns. In no time, we found ourselves in deep territory with one another, sharing far more than our literary opinions. Those evenings around my living room turned into genuine friendships, spiritual conversations, and true community.
And the upside was, every time I booted my hubby and kids out and spent all day cooking delicious food not for them, I got to say, “Babe, it’s for Jesus.”