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
The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!
Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
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
Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.
Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA
I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.”
Mother of two student attendees
Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls
If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.