Story Team Weekly: Floored

“God, why did you let me go through this?” Malayia cried out through tears, lying facedown on the floor of her dorm room. “Why have you forgotten about me?” The weight Malayia had carried all semester was too heavy for her to bear. She’d reached her breaking point.Malayia grew up in Beaumont, Texas and dreamed of attending the University of Texas at Austin (UT). After graduating third in her high school class, she became the first person in her family to attend college. She came to UT planni … [Read more...]

Story Team Weekly: Enslaved to Drugs

It was late, and 21-year-old Alex Scaro didn’t think anyone would be awake to find him strung out in his room. But then Alex’s father opened the door to find him in a haze—and bags of heroin strewn about him on the bed.“I remember that my father referred to me as the cancer of our family,” Alex remembers. “He said I needed to be cut out and removed because I was affecting everyone else’s well-being.”He was a far cry from the all-American boy he’d been just a year before. Alex had grown up … [Read more...]

Story Team Weekly: An Identity in Christ Alone

“I looked for my identity in so many different places.”Joseph remembers being called gay for the first time when he was 13—at a church camp. “It was a devastating experience,” he remembers. Then, as before, he channeled his pain into playing the violin, a God-given talent he’d long nurtured, but “I never found my identity in Christ,” he says now. “I looked for my identity in so many different places.”Though raised in a Christian home, Joseph always had a strained relationship with believe … [Read more...]

WWUTT: God Is Love?

1 John 4:16 says, “God is love.” Isn't that beautiful? God is love. He's not just loving, God IS love. So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16) So, if God is love, what does that make you?Well, you are evil. Genesis 8:21 says, “The intention of man's heart is evil from his youth.”Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who ca … [Read more...]

Story Team Weekly: Fiercely Loved

“I was basically like a sex slave and a mistress for him.”After being exposed to pornography at a young age, Lorraine found herself wanting to live a life of worldly pleasure. For years she tried to find her fulfillment in sex and in men. Desperate for real love, Lorraine quit college in order to have an affair with a man in Sweden for several months. When that relationship painfully ended, Lorraine was left at her breaking point, searching for a way out.This is her story: “I remember di … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: Is It Sinful to Be Pregnant Before Marriage?

Here is a sensitive question we get not infrequently in the inbox, and this time it comes from a nameless female listener, who simply asks this: “Pastor John, is it a sin to be pregnant before marriage?” How do you go about answering such a sensitive question? One way to reframe this question would be to ask: Are the effects of sin, sin? But when I thought that, I thought: No. Even that is not precise enough, is it? Because pregnancy before or outside of a marriage covenant may be owing to a wom … [Read more...]