About Jenny Rae Armstrong

Hi there! I'm Jenny Rae Armstrong, an award-winning freelance writer, full-time ministry student, and mommy to four boisterous boys. I live on black coffee and lots of grace (oh, and my husband's incredible cooking)! I'm glad you stopped by--stay and chat a while!

Author Archive | Jenny Rae Armstrong

Loneliness, Community, and Loving the Common Enemy

I've been reading The Connecting Church by Randy Frazee for one of my classes. It talks about the epidemic of loneliness in the United States, the impact individualism has had on the American psyche, and how strong, cohesive groups, from the Crips to the Amish, the military to the Benedictines, create a sense of true […]

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Going to Jesus Outside the Camp

This post was originally published in March 2009. I'm not a big fan of taking Bible verses (or chapters or books for that matter) out of context, but every once in a while I come across a snippet of scripture that just steals my breath away. Today's was from Hebrews 13:13, in the New Century […]

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Winds of Change: Speaking Up for Women in Ministry

One of the things I love about my denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, is their strong support of women in ministry. Change can be slow, however, and women called to pastoral ministry often find themselves walking a long, difficult path, even in denominations that support them. That's why the ECC's Commission on Biblical Gender Equality […]

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Love Should Never Include Disclaimers: Why Christians Need to Stop Trying to “Fix” People

There was a time when I thought it was my Christian duty to point out anything I thought someone was doing wrong. I called out teachers for being too hard on other kids. If the pastor said something I disagreed with in a sermon, I informed him of it afterward. I made sure people on […]

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Where is the Hope? In Which I am “Peddling Pop Pollyanna Ecclesiology,” and Refuse to Back Down

So, my last post about Christian unity. Most people seemed to like it, but a few took issue with it. This is nothing new. I try to be diplomatic in my writing, and people typically respond with grace. Still, there are always a few detractors, and oftentimes they have good reasons for saying the things […]

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The Gospel is Never at Stake. A Few Words on Orthodoxy, Christian Unity, and Not Being a Big Jerk

I saw a quote from a Christian leader yesterday, one who I respect despite disagreeing with some of his doctrine. It contained the words “At stake is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Whoa, hold up. I’m not a scholar or a theologian, but I can tell you one thing: The gospel of Jesus Christ is […]

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The Best Way to Protect your Daughter is to Teach Her to Protect Herself

The best way to protect your daughter is to teach her to protect herself. I feel like most people know this; that the majority of parents work hard to raise strong, confident daughters who are ready to face whatever life throws at them. And girls, as a result, are thriving. I’ll be honest: there are […]

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Why We Need to #BanBossy. For Real.

Have you heard about the #BanBossy campaign? BanBossy.com states that “When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a 'leader.' Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded 'bossy.' Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading […]

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Reclaiming Eve: How the gospel restores women

Suzanne Burden is a heart sister, a gentle woman who wants to see women thrive, set free to work in God’s kingdom alongside their brothers. I’m thrilled to be posting this short description and Q&A about her new book, Reclaiming Eve. About Reclaiming Eve What started as a ladies’ Bible study in their church led […]

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Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles

What does the gospel make possible for women? Do we have to stay hidden away in the shadow of the curse, as if our silence and subservience could atone for the sin of the first woman’s fall, or are we called to live in the light of the resurrection? I am so excited about my […]

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I am Unikitty, hear me roar! Insights from the Lego Movie

So, Aaron and I took the kids to see the Lego Movie the other day. It was a cute film, full of giggles, snickers, and inside jokes for anyone who has ever played with Legos. But my favorite moment had to be when Princess Unikitty, the precious pink regent of Cloud Cuckoo Land, snapped during […]

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Women, Girls, and the Words Used in Online Dating

So, I clicked on this really intriguing infographic on Facebook, about how the words people use in their online dating profiles impact how many people contact them. While the article attached to this infographic was slightly horrible, the difference between the use of the terms “woman” and “girl” intrigued me. Apparently, men who use the […]

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Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage: Excerpt from a New Book

One of the things I love about Elisabeth Klein Corcoran is her willingness to write honestly about a taboo topic: brokenness in Christian marriages. Like, the kind no amount of praying or pleading or marriage seminars or counseling has seemed to make a dent in. Her new book, Survivingin a Difficult Christian Marriage, released on […]

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What one book do you think every Christian should read? Share your One Book!

So, I’ve been thinking about how to pull off the Seminary Stories series, and I’ve decided to start this way. One of the things that I struggled with the most when I was started feeling the need to dig deeper into what I believed and why was just not knowing where to begin. What books […]

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Ladies, You’re Not Called to be Timid! Nurturing a Spirit of Power, Love and Self-Discipline.

This is a repost from 2012. Enjoy! We were raised to be timid, most of us. In the tiny white churches speckling the countryside, we were taught to be cautious, to be courteous, to be kind and good and avoid even the appearance of evil. Being a good Christian looked like wearing clean, pressed clothes […]

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New Blog Series: Seminary Stories for Thirsty Brains

So, my post on mentoring seems to have hit a nerve. So many women responded, sometimes with tears, about their desire to dive deeper into theology and be encouraged in ministry. Others talked about their decision to throw themselves into leadership or attend seminary to resolve this problem, and even offered to mentor others. Plenty […]

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Why Men Need to Mentor Women. I’m Looking at You, Pastors!

I spent most of my twenties in a state of mind-numbing, hair-pulling, pacing-tiger frustration. I was a smart, God-obsessed young woman who was passionate about ministry and theology, but had no idea what to do with myself. If the Christian blogosphere had existed in its current state, I probably would have taken up permanent residence […]

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Internet Outrage; Or, why we need to refuse to sit in the seat of the scornful.

I haven't been blogging much for the last several months, and there are a few reasons for that. Sure, I've been busy. Between school stuff, interning at my church, and being part of a family whose M.O. resembles pedaling a bicycle downhill fast (we take our share of tumbles, but we get places!), there's always […]

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Married by 14, mother by 15, abandoned by 16, back in 7th grade at 19

After three days of teaching a group of thoughtful, well-spoken teachers and church leaders in Bondo, Kenya, I was impressed. Where was the oppression I thought was supposed to be so prevalent in rural Africa? The women who stood up to talk during the training would have made the average American woman look mousy and […]

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Mismatched Dishes and Thanksgiving: The Beauty of Imperfection

It didn’t occur to me until I saw the pictures cropping up on Facebook. Beautiful tables set with sparkling place settings. I glanced back at the picture my husband had snapped and posted. The food looked as good as it had tasted, but sure enough, our table was set with decades-old mismatched dishes. Instead of […]

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Slavery, Colonialism, and Using the Bible to Keep Women Down.

For me, one of the most disturbing parts of the EFOGE training on gender equality in Bondo, Kenya, was hearing the stereotypes commonly used about women (not that they were using them, but they were discussing them). Women are like animals. Women simply aren't as intelligent or capable as men. Because women are lesser beings, […]

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Opposition to Gender Equality, East and West.

It's interesting, the questions people ask when you start talking about gender equality in a Christian context. Of course, there are the theological questions, important conversations that need to be had about biblical interpretation, ancient cultures, translation and projection, and God's heart for humankind. But then, you crash headlong into people's native culture, where belief […]

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I missed my plane (but made it to Bondo anyway)!

Well, my vlogging expiriment didn't turn out quite the way I expected, since my internet access while I was in Kenya was extrememly limited. (Note to self–purchase international 3G plan for my iPad before next trip!) But that doesn't mean I didn't get a lot of great video. Many of them are up on my […]

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Sin, Pride, and the Problem with Fundamentalism (Or, Why We Should Disband the “Jerks for Jesus” Club)

Yesterday, I read something that broke my heart. A Christian public figure wrote a blog post celebrating actions that clearly “missed the mark” (sin). Worse, the tone was smug and self-righteous. Worse yet, there was really no excuse for this person to do what had been done. There's no excuse for sin, period, but if […]

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Good Morning from Nairobi!

Good morning from Nairobi! I'm not going to have much time to post here during the next week and a half, but I am trying to upload pictures and videos as I go along, and post them on Facebook. If you want to follow my adventures here in Kenya, make sure to subscribe to my […]

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Vegetable Curry at Heathrow Airport

After a (mostly) sleepless flight from Minneapolis to London, a defective electrical adaptor and a phone that was almost out of charge, and assorted techie drama, this was a nice reprieve.   Posted with Blogsy

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Caribou at Terminal 1 (Vlog)

Wherever you go, there you are are. And hopefully a Caribou Coffee, too. I am SO not a night owl!   Posted with Blogsy

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Video: Fuzzy Socks and Airplane Lit for my Flight to Kenya

Hey friends! I'm hoping to do some vlogging while I'm in Kenya to introduce you to some of the folks I meet while I'm there, and figured I'd better test out my technology. My discovery so far? My iPad doesn't like fluorescent lighting, so it's probably best NOT to record while it's pitch black outside. […]

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Suzanne and David Burden: “We have not less submission in our marriage, then, but more of it.”

Today’s Equally Yoked post is from my sweet friend Suzanne Burden. “So I told him I am in a mutually-submissive marriage,” I said, commenting on a response to a fellow-student in my seminary class. My husband pulled the car up to the yellow lines as he prepared to drop me off at the door of […]

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On arguing with experience, grieving the Holy Spirit, and being 5/8ths right.

My pastor is fond of saying “You can't argue with experience.” But some people do. I've been hearing about it a lot lately in Christian circles. The cessationist pastor who accuses charismatics of being heretics who “grieve the Holy Spirit.” The pentecostal who thinks people who don't speak in tongues aren't saved. The academic types […]

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