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March  2014

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Poetry of the Penitent Heart


Apr 2 2014
The groundbreaking writer Anne Vaughan Lock worshipped with her pen.
Poetry of the Penitent Heart
joelmontes / Flickr

Editor's note: Today's post continues our Women's History Month series (yes, even though March is over), connecting our contemporary efforts for justice with the evangelical women who came before us.

Sometimes books will tell us stories about ...

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Aged Out of Church


Apr 1 2014
Even in our congregations, midlife has become a joke.
Aged Out of Church
laruth / Flickr

Ask anyone who's hit midlife, and they'll tell you: this stage is no joke for us.

The emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational shifts that occur at midlife can lead to disconnection from old social networks and a profound sense of loneliness, ...

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When Parenting Gets Lost in the Details


Mar 31 2014
In a wave of books for modern moms, Gloria Furman’s gospel meditations offer a simple goal.
When Parenting Gets Lost in the Details
Jesse757 / Flickr

Is parenting more than the sum of 18 years worth of peanut butter sandwiches and thrice-weekly soccer practice? Often, for parents deep in the trenches of grass-stains and sibling conflicts, the ultimate goal of parenting gets buried under the details.

Last ...

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Marriage in the Age of 'Conscious Uncoupling'


Mar 28 2014
Five things Gwyneth Paltrow's announcement gets wrong about relationships.
Marriage in the Age of 'Conscious Uncoupling'

The Interwebs don't need more snark about Gwyneth Paltrow, so I almost hesitate to weigh in on her "Conscious Uncoupling" announcement.

Almost.

I'm mindful that Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin are, in fact, real people who are in distress ...

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God Used Me to Stop a School Shooter


Mar 27 2014
Antoinette Tuff, the steady voice who famously talked down an armed intruder, speaks out about her faith.
God Used Me to Stop a School Shooter
Mike Haberman

The morning I read over the transcript from my interview with Antoinette Tuff—the woman who famously talked down a would-be school shooter in Atlanta—I got an email from my kids' school. The schools had been placed on "soft" lockdown. ...

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Freed for Evangelism: The Story of Former Slave Amanda Berry Smith


Mar 26 2014
God uses us even when we lack confidence in our influence.
Freed for Evangelism: The Story of Former Slave Amanda Berry Smith
Jonathan Critcher for "When Others Shuddered"

Editor's note: Today's post continues our Women's History Month series, connecting our contemporary efforts for justice with the evangelical women who came before us. We will feature "women of character, courage, and commitment" each Wednesday ...

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The View from the Religious Middle


Mar 25 2014
How can we oppose injustice without acting like the sky is falling?
The View from the Religious Middle
Nathan Hoskins / DVIDSHUB

Outside the University Union Building at the University of North Texas, a small stone marked one of six "free speech areas" on campus. In the early 2000s, when I was a student there, these designated areas were used mostly by Christians to proclaim ...

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What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent


Mar 24 2014
A reflection on fasting from my reflection.
What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent
malomalverde / Flickr

I haven't looked in a mirror since March 5, the day my pastor thumbed a black ashen cross on my forehead. I won't look at myself again until the trumpets sound under my country church steeple on Easter morning. I gave up my reflection for Lent because ...

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Three Ways Catholic Tradition Bolstered My Protestant Faith


Mar 21 2014
When a Swedish pastor’s conversion made recent news, I remembered my own draw to the church.
Three Ways Catholic Tradition Bolstered My Protestant Faith
Nick Page / Flickr

Ulf Ekman, the pastor of a prominent megachurch in Sweden, recently announced his conversion to Catholicism. Some Protestants responded to the news with the kind of intrigue and betrayal we might expect when a man defects from his country. Others of us were ...

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The Gospel of Interracial Marriage


Mar 20 2014
How unity in Christ should overcome our segregated pews and segregated dating lives.
The Gospel of Interracial Marriage
johnhopephotography / Flickr

For years, research has shown us "segregated churches breed segregated lives."

Part of me wants to reply, Oh, you don't say? What an obvious conclusion. If we segregate ourselves in our most intimate scenarios like church, we likely do the same ...

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The Most Influential Reformer You've Never Heard of


Mar 19 2014
Hannah More shows us what happens when Christians focus on world-changing instead of in-fighting.
The Most Influential Reformer You've Never Heard of

Editor's note: Today's post continues our Women's History Month series, connecting our contemporary efforts for justice with the evangelical women who came before us. We will feature "women of character, courage, and commitment" each Wednesday ...

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How I Stopped Being a Happiness Skeptic


Mar 18 2014
Even our fleeting moments of bliss are worth celebrating.
How I Stopped Being a Happiness Skeptic
Photo The Berto / Flickr

I confess: I only initially cared about the United Nation's International Day of Happiness—coming up on Thursday of this week—because the UN picked a pit bull as the "face" of the day for their commemorative stamps and brochure.

Any ...

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When a Stay-At-Home Mom Needs Hired Help


Mar 17 2014
Three kids, no job, and a nanny: Choosing humility instead of doing it all.
When a Stay-At-Home Mom Needs Hired Help
TownePost Network / Flickr

My name is Marie, and I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids.

And hired help.

Months before the birth of our twins, my husband and I decided we would hire someone to help me care for the kids and manage our home. We knew everyone would be happier for ...

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Does God Wish Adam Lanza Had Never Been Born?


Mar 14 2014
After his father’s recent remarks, Christians are challenged to remember the value of every life.
Does God Wish Adam Lanza Had Never Been Born?
Western Connecticut State University /Handout via Reuters

We all watched the news in horror on December 14, 2012 as details emerged about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The man who unleashed his fury on innocent schoolchildren and the people who taught and protected them was soon identified ...

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Enough About the B-Word


Mar 13 2014
Sorry Beyonce and Sheryl Sandberg, we’ve got bigger problems than “bossy.”
Enough About the B-Word
World Economic Forum

It's the latest campaign spearheaded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, but this one doesn't have anything to do with which direction you're leaning. Instead, she—along with Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, and others—want us to ban bossy:

When ...
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