When I got to the chapter on homosexuality, I skipped right over it.
I was dead scared.
I left it till the end. Like, the very end — right before the book was due.
Our daughter saved the day.
“Mom, Nana and Papa took me to church and we heard the most AMAZING message on homosexuality. You and Dad have to listen to it.”
So we did.
Caleb Kaltenbach, author of Messy Grace, was the speaker that day. Caleb, a pastor of a large church now, was raised by two gay parents. They divorced when he was young, and his mother and her companion raised Caleb for his growing-up years. He attended many a gay-pride parade and experienced first-hand what it was like to be the object of hateful people.
Then one day he met the real Jesus. The one who offers you living water before he brings up the messy parts of your life.
Then, in gentle and non-condemning ways, he points out the truth. Hushed tones of love make truth easy to hear when we are willing to listen.
I read Messy Grace in a day. Caleb says we have to face our culture with truth and grace, and he helped me do that. Because if we say nothing, the culture will teach our kids what’s true. And if we say something in tones of condemnation, they will learn to turn away at the sound of our voice.
Caleb’s story is in my new book.
When I was done with it, I asked him if he’d read 21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe About Sex — because he has a daughter and he’s a pastor, and he knows this subject like he knows the tapestry of his life. (And to make sure I did this whole thing right — because I’d have hell to pay if I didn’t, right?!)
He said yes, he’d read it.
I asked him to provide an endorsement.
He sent me five endorsements. Here’s two:
While God created sex as a beautiful gift, many misuse this gift and hurt others in the process. In an age where it seems like “anything goes” few are discussing this important topic! For such a time as this, Jennifer Strickland delivers an indispensable resource with fresh insight that builds an appreciation of God’s plan for intimacy. I plan on recommending this book to both women and men alike.
No matter who you are — this book is for you. Be prepared to be challenged. Get ready to look at passages in new light. Open your heart and mind as you read the stories. This book could change you, it may heal you, it could save your marriage, and it may even prepare you before you get married. Make no mistake, this book is a game changer.
— Caleb Kaltenbach, Lead Pastor of Discovery Church and author of Messy Grace
Writing the book, and talking with our daughter, has changed me. I’ve realized where my voice has sounded snappy and brash, and I’ve learned how truth is only heard in tones of love.
I keep saying it — I started out writing a book about sex, and in the end, it was about love. Love that believes and hopes and trusts and endures — love that is patient and kind and keeps no record of wrongs.
What does your voice sound like?
Open His Word today. If you want to hear the sound of His voice — the way he brought truth to life, how Jesus invited people into the endless life, always offering Himself as the true source of fulfillment first — then look for the red letter.
p.s. you can pre-order the book at 21Myths.com. (and if you write a review, send it to me and I’ll put a free gift for you in the mail!)
p.p.s. we have a few spots left on our Crazy Brave Street Team — a growing group of people who want to share God’s design for sex, love, and marriage. For more info, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”