Guest Blogger on Saturday

The purpose of the Iron Porch is to allow a space for women to come share with one another without the fear of reprisal and judgment. It’s a space that Erin and Emily felt God wanted to provide, so that women could encourage and comfort one another.  After prayerful consideration, we would like to encourage potential guest bloggers to submit a post for consideration.  These guest blogs will be posted under ‘fesharp’ rather than ‘Erin’ or ‘Emily.’

On Saturday, we will be posting an entry from a woman who is going to share her heart for the ‘spoiled fruits’  from Hurricane Zeta and how God turns the bad into the good.

Please join us on the porch this Saturday to read the thoughts of Lacie Adams, our guest blogger.

~Emily & Erin

Iron Porch Interview with Khandi Wagner: Christian Women and Race Relations in America

The following is the transcription of an Iron Porch Interview with Khandi Wagner concerning race relations and what Christian women should know.  Khandi is a Christian wife and mother, as well as an Active Duty Airman who is active in her church, her community, and her family.

Khandi, please describe yourself, as you would imagine God describing you.

I believe that at times He would describe me as lost.  I’m a fairly new Christian and often feel like I have no idea how to be a Christian.  He would be proud of me for finding my way back to Him. He would call me a sinful being who is repentant.  I do feel bad about my sin and I try to do the right thing.  I think He would also describe me as hungry for knowledge about Him and His Word.

 Tell us about your testimony.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and I hated it because I never understood the Pastor. The church was corrupt and the Pastor had very sinful behaviors, which caused several members to leave.  The next church I attended I loved, but I wasn’t ready to commit to being a Christian because I identified as a lesbian.

During my college years, I stopped going to church because I was going to school and working full-time.  I thought I had no time for church.  Later I was sexually assaulted in college and partially blamed God.  I couldn’t understand how a God who is so loving could allow this hurt.  No one told me that God was just and loving.

I then got married to my High School sweetheart, who happened to be a girl.  I joined the military and still didn’t go to church.  I wasn’t happy and felt my soul was at unrest.  I was in constant turmoil, which only got worse when my wife decided to transition into a male.  After his medical transition, he brought a woman to the house and cheated on me.  My heart was broken with a hurt I’d never experienced before.  I did not think I would survive the hurt.

At that point, I found God on my back porch as I begged Him to take the hurt and pain.  At that moment, the weight of all my life’s heaviness was taken away.  I knew I needed to find a church and after weeks of church shopping, I was given an invitation to a church called Crosspoint.

It was a strange transition to see casual clothes and a coffee shop, but the music was great and the first message touched my heart.  That first sermon was titled, “Loneliness is a Liar.”  Essentially the pastor stated that the enemy wants you to think that you are the only one with your hurt, sadness, anger, situation, hatred in your heart, but you have to surround yourself with love and those who are good Christians (they will share your weight). Jesus said, lay your problems at my feet. After service, the pastor introduced himself and knew me by name the following week.

A change had happened in my heart.  I no longer was interested in women.  I had a fire inside of me.  It was a hunger to know God and His Word.  I knew then that Jesus was the only love I’d needed my entire life.

In light of the recent conversations being had Nationally about race relations and social injustice, what would you want Christian women, and specifically white Christian women, to know about the discussion?

I would want to remind her that we are all God’s children and that some of His children are hurting right now. I would want her to know that I wish she would read the Bible and really understand it rather than using it to justify current events.  I wish she would understand there is love, sadness, defeat, and immense power right now in America.

White Christian women have an enormous platform that they may not even realize that they have, just based on the color of their skin.  They could spread so much love while spreading the Word.  Because love is the Word.  Because the Bible is love. Because God is love. With that platform, white Christians need to take that love and run with it.

White people have a power that they may not even realize that they possess. For instance, your presence alone can deescalate a situation.  Your presence alone can keep an unnecessary killing form happening.  Your presence alone can get the truth out.  There is an obligation to use your whiteness to help people.  Perhaps it means you could intervene with the police.

What do you find the most challenging when dealing with Christians and racial injustice? 

One of the things I find most difficult is when Christians are selective about what parts of the Bible they use to justify their thoughts or actions. There are examples in the Bible of people fighting for freedom, but there’s an expectation about Christians, especially African American Christians should be passive in fighting for their freedom.

For example, a lot of Christians reference Jesus being non-violent as a way to justify a stance against protesting, looting, or rioting that is currently happening in US cities.  They fail to use examples like Joshua marching around Jericho for 7 days before taking the city.  To some Joshua is an example of protesting for the promised land.  It was violent. It was not passive.

I find it difficult that Christians say “don’t judge” when they fail to realize that God did not say “don’t judge,” but rather He said, “judge righteously.” This means that he’s given us permission to judge those who know the love of Christ.  Therefore, you can’t stand in judgment of the wicked who haven’t accepted the gift of salvation.

What do you find the most rewarding when dealing with Christians and racial injustice?

One of the things I find most rewarding is that Christians seem to be the group of people most willing to listen and amend their preconceived notions about race.  When I give examples of black suppression (need another word?), Christian people seem receptive and are willing to open eyes for Biblical examples. Christians are open to a fresh perspective and it’s rewarding to get them to see something in a new light.

Another thing I find rewarding about recent conversation opportunities is that it’s creating an atmosphere to establish relationships.  These relationships are likely with those who you wouldn’t have previously had conversations or friendships with.

In your opinion, how can Christians help with race relations?

Khandi Graphics

  • Get involved. The time for being passive is over.  White allies are needed in order for there to be equality for all in America.
  • Give a black person a hug.  You have no idea how much this would mean to some people.  We are tired and we need encouragement.
  • Listen to the discussion.  Don’t just hear the words, listen to the struggle, and see it through someone else’s eyes and experiences.
  • Pray for us and with us.  We are in desperate need of uplifting prayers.
  • Educate yourself and those around you.  Do some research on black history, watch documentaries, read books, listen to experts or podcasts.   In today’s climate, social media is GIVING you tons of information…read it!

 Do you feel there is a difference between a person being racist and having a racial bias?

There is a difference, but it’s a fine line.  Racial bias is something everyone has and it could be subconscious.  For instance, you may begin picking up behaviors from others like if a mom grabs purse every time an African American man walks by, then the child begins to identify with that bias even if they don’t understand that they are behaving a certain way.

Racism cross over the line when someone has a closed mind and aren’t open to new experiences in regards to an entire grouping of people.  It’s closed-minded and it festers until it directly begins to impact behavior and thoughts.  This type of behavior is also taught and can be as subtle as a tone or demeanor or as overt as racist comments or violence.

To counteract that racism, people might simply have a conversation, which could lead to an epiphany. Much like when Christians realize that they need to accept Jesus as their Savior.

The Iron Porch is grateful for the time and energy Khandi spent sharing her testimony and her thoughts on race relations.  If you have any further questions for Khandi, please do not hesitate to contact us on the porch!

~Emily & Erin

Khandi Photo

Khandi Wagner and her husband.

Preview of Iron Porch Interview: Christian Women and Race Relations in America

The purpose of the Iron Porch is to allow a space for women to come to share with one another without the fear of reprisal and judgment. It’s a space that we felt God wanted to provide so that women could encourage and comfort one another.  In the past, we’ve encouraged guest bloggers to join us on the Iron Porch.

This week we have the honor of posting an interview on the porch concerning Christian Women and race relations in America.  The guest blogs and this interview are always posted under ‘fesharp’ rather than ‘Erin’ or ‘Emily.’

Please join us on the porch this Saturday to read the thoughts of Khandi Wagner, our 1st interview of 2020.

~Emily & Erin

Khandi Photo

Khandi Wagner and her husband.

Regaining Quiet Time with God During Quarantine: Guest Blogger DeAnna Barber

In 2019 I ended my last day of work at an amazing job on a Friday.  On the following Saturday, I frantically packed up my life to escape the worst and scariest experience of my life; emotionally, verbally and leaning towards a physically abusive husband.  With the help of my family coming to my rescue I moved all my belongings, myself, and my son 200 miles back to my hometown to stay with my parents until I could get us back on our own again.   That Sunday was a blur, as was Monday, which was a holiday, and I began work on Tuesday.  I never took the time to breathe.  I never took time to just be still.  I was afraid to be still.  I was afraid I couldn’t make it through.  I didn’t want to reflect or think.  I wanted it all to disappear.  So I kept very busy all the time from then on.

But keeping so busy caused me to be exhausted and to struggle with setting aside quiet time with God; something that used to be my lifeline.  I never went a day without it before.  But catastrophe hit and I didn’t want to be quiet. I still had my faith and I wasn’t angry at God, I just didn’t want my mind to think about what had happened, what I had escaped, what would have happened if I had stayed or why it ever happened in the first place.  I had so many questions but I chose avoidance.

March of 2020 rolled around and another catastrophe hit which forced me to do nothing but slow down: the Covid-19 pandemic.  I was out of work and quarantined at home for 6 weeks which provided plenty of time to think and be quiet.  So I chose to take that time to rest, breathe, and get back into the groove of my daily quiet time with God.  And although I am still struggling to get back into that groove like I used to be this pandemic has helped me realize how desperately I needed this time to just be quiet, to slow down, reflect, and to enjoy the quality and quantity of time.

God’s word tells us in Psalm 46:10 to be still; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says to rejoice ALWAYS, to pray without ceasing and to give thanks no matter what; 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all our anxieties on Him BECAUSE He cares. His word also offers comfort in Psalm 34: 17-18 that He hears us and delivers us from our troubles and that He is near the brokenhearted; Deuteronomy 31:8 promises that God goes before us and will never leave or forsake us; Isaiah 41:10 says we should not fear because God is with us, He will strengthen and uphold us.  Matthew 6:25-34 is certainly a wonderful set of verses to comfort us and remind us not to worry during this particular time in our world.  Lastly, Hebrews 7:25 states to draw near as well as James 4:8 which adds the promise that He will draw near to us.

I wish I had taken more time to be still and get closer to God this last year because 1) God commands it and desires us to get close to Him and 2) I know it would have helped me heal in a healthier way than I was choosing.  So, despite all the uncertainties of what is to come with Covid-19, I am thankful for the quarantined time I had because I was able to slow down and choose to be obedient and be still and quiet, to listen to God’s commands and to take comfort in His promises.  I allowed one catastrophe to disrupt my quiet time but God used another kind of catastrophe to help me get that quiet time back.


Regaining Quiet Time with God during Quarantine copy

Guest Blogger: DeAnna Barber

The purpose of the Iron Porch is to allow a space for women to come share with one another without the fear of reprisal and judgment. It’s a space that we felt God wanted to provide so that women could encourage and comfort one another.  After prayerful consideration, we have encouraged potential guest bloggers to submit a post for consideration.  These guest blogs are always posted under ‘fesharp’ rather than ‘Erin’ or ‘Emily.’

This week, we will be posting an entry from a sweet sister in Christ who is sharing her heart in trying to regain quiet time with God during quarantine.

Please join us on the porch this Saturday to read the thoughts of DeAnna Barber, our 2nd guest blogger of 2020.

~Emily & Erin


The Gum Machine, Of Course! Guest Blogger: Nancy White

Gumball Machine

With kids at home, this has been a trying time for all of us.  I know I would never be a great stay-at-home-mom or homeschool mom.  Having lots of time with them has given me time to see what the focus of their little lives is.  In a conversation with my 16 year old, he wanted money.  It went a little like this:

Him: Mom, can I have some money?

Me: No, I don’t carry cash.

Him: What, why?  That makes no sense.

Me: It is not new, I never have cash!

Him: Well can I have quarters?

Me: I don’t have quarters.

Him:  How can you not have quarters, that’s impossible!

Me: What would I need quarters for?

Him:  The gum machine…of course!

This made me think about if I am being a good example for my kids when it comes to money.  No, I give them money when they want or need it without question.  I wanted to change my ways immediately!  My youngest, 12, is now in charge of many things in the house to make money.  He will save his money and put it into an account until he has enough to buy what he wants.  And my 16-year-old who has had chores for some time is searching for a job because the chore money is not enough.  His problem is that he wants to spend money as soon as he gets it, whether for the gum machine or a video game.  He doesn’t understand he needs to build savings.

With COVID-19 affecting many aspects of my life, I am using this as a teaching moment for my boys on having savings for emergencies.  The economy is going to take a hard hit and they have been following the news with me and see how it is affecting our neighbors and friends and the community we are living in.

I want both of my boys to understand that being a good steward of money can help them later in life.  In Matthew 6:24 it says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”Nancy2

In light of the COVID-19 slow-down, start some conversations with your children.

Nancy White


Guest Blogger (Nancy White)

The purpose of the Iron Porch is to allow a space for women to come share with one another without the fear of reprisal and judgment. It’s a space that we felt God wanted to provide so that women could encourage and comfort one another.  After prayerful consideration, we have encouraged potential guest bloggers to submit a post for consideration.  These guest blogs are always posted under ‘fesharp’ rather than ‘Erin’ or ‘Emily.’

Tomorrow we will be posting an entry from a sweet sister in Christ who is sharing her heart as a single mother to teens in the midst of a pandemic.

Please join us on the porch this Saturday to read the thoughts of Nancy White, our 1st guest blogger of 2020.

~Emily & Erin

Tight Spaces

Recently, I was scheduled for an MRI of my neck. I am a rather large female with lots of “extra” around my arms, belly, and hips. We all know that MRI machines are not built for those of us with “extra.” On this particular day, at this particular imaging company, I was told to lie on a hard table that was, maybe, large enough to hold ½ of one butt cheek.  The radiology tech placed a sheet over me and told me to cross my arm over my chest as she slid me into the machine. As I am just about to enter the machine she tells me that it will be “real tight going in but will open up a little once you are inside.”

Man! She wasn’t kidding. As I was passing through the opening of this machine I felt as if I were being squeezed back into the womb. My arms were so squished on top of my chest that there was absolutely no wiggle room.  My hips were against the cold hard machine and I felt every fat cell being displaced so that my upper body could enter the machine. Once inside, I quickly realized that the radiology tech wasn’t exactly correct in her assessment of, “it will open up a little once you get inside.” Apparently our definitions of “a little” is quite different.

I tried to relax my arms a little, as my shoulders were surely touching my earlobes. They didn’t move more than a nano-inch. I then recalled how tight it was going into the machine and started getting worried that getting me back out might resemble “birthing” a breech baby since the smallest portion of me was now the only thing sticking out of the machine. I began to imagine coming out of the machine and getting stuck at the shoulders.  That lead to worry that I would get wedged so badly that they would have to call in extra people to witness this event and assist with my removal or, at the very worst, I would be so wedged that the pressure of my arms on my chest would suffocate me before I could be removed.

At that very moment, the radiology tech sweetly asked, “are you ok in there?” To which, I replied, “No, Nope, No, I am not!” She told me to hang on a minute and she would have me out. As my head exited, I felt a huge relief and a heavy burden at the same time.

At that moment I felt like a huge failure. I mean, all I had to do was lie on a skinny table and be uncomfortable for a short time (if you have ever had an MRI you know that the 20 minutes the scan takes seems like the longest 20 minutes of your life), and I FAILED!  I went to the office that had scheduled my MRI and asked if there was a facility that could better accommodate larger individuals. The scheduler set me up at another local facility (I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t originally sent there, as I was obviously fat when the original appointment was made). I was grateful for this second chance. As I returned to my car with a new appointment on my calendar I sat and thought about how uncomfortable of an experience this was.

Aren’t our experiences with God sometimes like this?? There are times when God wants up to be uncomfortable. He squeezes us and applies the pressure until we are certain we can’t take anymore and start screaming, “No, Nope, I can’t do this!” We will do anything in that moment to get to a place that is more comfortable, even if it means running from what God wants of us. Although, scripture has shown us that running never works.

In Jonah, we see a man that God had placed in an uncomfortable situation. He was told to go and do something that Jonah was sure would lead to his death. When Jonah ran from this instruction God placed him in a very tight space, the Lord appointed a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17).  I would imagine being in the belly of a whale would be an extremely uncomfortable place. When Jonah prayed to God from the belly of the whale. He was given a second chance to go and do what God had asked.

I am so thankful for 2nd chances (and sometimes 3rdand 4th). How many times does God ask us to do something and we say “no” because it feels uncomfortable to us? What “whale” does God put into your life to get your attention and let you know that He wasn’t kidding? When God asks us to do uncomfortable things He does not expect us to do it alone. He will equip you with the tools you need to complete the task.

The next time you are placed in a situation where your first instinct is to run, take a moment to pray and reflect instead. God will always provide what we need for the job He asks us to do, you just have to trust Him.

Lacie Adams

Tight Spaces-Graphics



By Dawn Green

Sitting here waiting on my sister to come to get me for an appointment, I’m watching bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds going from flower to flower.  One hummingbird is smaller than the others, maybe a younger bird, maybe a different kind of hummingbird.  He doesn’t know he’s different, he just goes about his business.  He or she gathers and gathers and then flies to the crepe myrtle to rest a while.

My mind is kind of like that little bird.  It goes from one thing to another, sometimes I get work accomplished, sometimes flitting around gets me distracted so the desired task doesn’t get completed.  Maybe the difference between me and that tiny bird is he has one goal, food for survival, rest a little, then go gather again.

I wonder, too, as I watch, is that the hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies all feed off the same flowers.  Do they know to leave a little for someone else?  Not like the human characteristic to get it all for me.  Also, do the plants produce more nectar because the little creatures come back day after day. Of course, there are eventually new flowers during the growing season.  But some flowers remain on the bushes for several days.  I’m no botanist, however, it all works, I’m amazed at the complexity of God’s creation.  How these tiny creatures know all that they know.

As cute as they are, they are also fierce fighters among themselves, like tiny fighter jets, attacking each other over the bird feeder.  But it doesn’t seem like they ever mortally wound one another, just warn and scold and fuss at each other.  One little bird has found a place beneath the feeder where he can watch his food source and defend it, perched upon the halo of a garden angel.  Another is camouflaged in a nearby tree, where he is the same size, shape, and color of the leaves. He’ll wait and watch and then dive bomb the watching hummer.

I wouldn’t have gotten the pleasure of watching these amazing creatures if the Father hadn’t sat me down for a while, healing from pacemaker surgery.  The goal here is to heal and rest a while.  I wish it didn’t take something like this to slow me down to see God at work.  My friends and family have been generous and thoughtful to do my gathering for me.  And I’m grateful that the Father also brought these sweet people into my life.  He also helped me be settled and see that he is all around me, walking with me in this growing season.  Not to be too sappy, but can’t we be the sweet nectar in the life of another?  Serving, caring, providing, and protecting, Just as the Lord has done for us and will continue to do.

He promised, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you”.  He’s definitely all around me.


Hummingbird graphics

Guest Blogger-Dawn Green

The purpose of the Iron Porch is to allow a space for women to come to share with one another without the fear of reprisal and judgment. It’s a space that Erin and I felt God wanted to provide so that women could encourage and comfort one another.  After prayerful consideration, we would like to encourage potential guest bloggers to submit a post for consideration.  These guest blogs will be posted under ‘fesharp’ rather than ‘Erin’ or ‘Emily.’

This weekend, we are pleased to introduce you to Dawn Green, a beautiful mom, wife, friend, and our Sister in Christ.  Her heart for servanthood is seen through her faithful leadership at Isaiah 58 Ministries, as they prepare suitcases for women leaving prison.  Dawn will share her heart for slowing down our busy lives to observe what God is doing all around us.

Please join us on the porch this Saturday to read the thoughts of  Dawn Green, our guest blogger.

~Emily & Erin