Relationships

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The Trouble with Harmony

An infestation of fleas in our house. A large, newly identified plantar wart on my foot. A persistent and painful overgrowth of yeast afflicting my seven-week old daughter's mouth and my breast. Welcome to my life last week: invasion of the parasites.

My budding pest situation reminded a friend of the Egyptians' 10 plagues in Exodus when Pharaoh wouldn't give ...

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Passionate Reconciliation

Your goal is to "ignite a passion for reconciliation." What do women in leadership need to understand about this?

Women especially ought to take racial reconciliation seriously because we've got sisters all around the world for whom reconciliation is not an option.

What do you mean?

Wherever there has been violence, war, genocide, and atrocities the men have ...

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Gossips Anonymous

A little while back, I learned a very juicy (and heartbreaking) tidbit of info. While I was dying to follow up with a "Why? What happened?" I didn't. I simply said I'd pray for the people involved but wouldn't talk about it anymore. And although immediately five friends sprang to mind who would LOVE to hear this tidbit, I didn't call or email any ...

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Why Forgiveness Works

I once heard a boy brag about his father locking his mother in a room until she repented for "not being submissive." He was my teammate on a teen mission trip to Venezuela. At 16, already harboring anger toward men, it was not what I needed to hear.

The church has not always championed women, and growing up, I suffered for it. Christian girls were supposed to ...

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Apologies That Work

One thing we as women leaders need to ask ourselves is, Are we to follow traditional models or seek to break new ground? If we're interested in breaking new ground, I think one of the best ways to integrate our instinctive feminine strengths into our leadership is by setting a positive example with by the transparency of our apologies.

Isn't it sad that apologies ...

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Who’s Holding Up Your Arms?

Several years ago, when I was just beginning in ministry, I conducted a workshop at a women's retreat on the doctrine of vocation - and I was petrified. It was the first time I put together a comprehensive teaching session, the first time I delivered more than a 15 minute speech, and the first time I realized the value of having solid people to surround me when in a ...

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Leader-Moms Build Better Dads

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she headed off to school one morning with her hair done up in an arrangement that only vaguely resembled a braid. Actually, at the top it looked almost exactly like a braid. But the hairstyle quickly devolved into a loose semi-tangle with an odd dogleg, like a fairway at Augusta National.

The following morning Jessi asked me to please ...

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Loving Those We Lead

If you stay in ministry long enough, you will get hurt. In our small groups and church serving teams we can easily become close friends with those we lead. When hurt and disappointment inevitably comes, it's tempting to throw in the towel and quit, or at least to withdraw from the ones we are called to shepherd. Toxic cynicism can easily seep into our souls.

After ...

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Marriage vs. Ministry?

When I went into full-time ministry, I feared my children would resent church if I gave too much time or energy to it. I had stayed home for 11 years and when my youngest son Trent was in kindergarten, I decided to move into vocational ministry. I began a leadership role at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago. It was a challenging transition, but surprisingly, ...

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Dinner Table Talk in a Violent World

For many of us involved in ministry and leadership positions, our days are full and our brains are fried by the end of the day, when we return home to re-group with our families. Table talk over dinner is an important place to process the small and large, local and global issues of our day.

Last night at dinner, I started to say grace, and I just couldn't say anything. ...

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