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Blessed Are the Agnostics


May 19 2016
How I learned to see my unbelieving husband through God’s eyes.
Blessed Are the Agnostics
Christopher Michel/Wikimedia

I sat in the high bleachers, my lower back aching. I was listening to the final keynote speaker at a conference, so far back in the nosebleed seats that I had to squint to make out the tall, tattooed pastor standing on the stage. I shifted in my seat, listless and ready to stretch, ...

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Public Displays of Christian Affection


May 16 2016
Why we shouldn’t be turned off by healthy touch.
Public Displays of Christian Affection
City Tree / Flickr

She drew small circles on his back with her manicured nails. He sat up straighter and leaned forward. I averted my eyes and kept on singing about a God who satisfies all my deepest longings while feeling like a fraud of a worshipper: the single girl who longed for the kind of ...

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Christian Counseling in Limbo


May 13 2016
Allegations against Mercy Multiplied reveal the range of faith-based approaches to mental health.
Christian Counseling in Limbo
Shutterstock

Late last month, Slate published an article by Jennifer Miller investigating Mercy Multiplied, a Christian recovery ministry accused of hurting some of the young women it sought to help. Tracing the stories of more than a dozen former residents, Miller depicted a program that ...

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Seminary Is Not About Me


May 11 2016
What I learned from Bible students in Rwanda.
Seminary Is Not About Me
Flickr

As we walked across the lush, manicured campus, I was calculating what time it was back at home on the West Coast. It was my third day in Kigali, Rwanda. I had come halfway around the world with a group of photographers to interview Pastor Charles Buregeya Mugisha, founder of ...

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Why Childhood Shame Is So Hard to Get Rid Of


May 9 2016
Christine Caine: Hurt people hurt people, but helped people help people.
Why Childhood Shame Is So Hard to Get Rid Of
Christine Caine

The physical heart muscle, fed by arteries, pumps and regulates the blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. If we exercise that muscle through cardiovascular workouts and feed it healthy nutrients, it grows stronger. But let it languish and feed it ...

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My Toddler Survived Brain Cancer—Here’s What I Learned


Apr 27 2016
7 things you should know, from a mom who’s been there
My Toddler Survived Brain Cancer—Here’s What I Learned
Tracy Rees / Used with Permission

Cancer is an incapacitating, nasty thing. It strikes without reason and affects every race, ethnicity, and gender. As adults, we often make our peace with the knowledge that cancer and other suffering is part of our world. But what if it’s a child? What if it’s a ...

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Don’t Just Pray Alone


Apr 25 2016
The world is desperate for people to pray with.
Don’t Just Pray Alone
Shutterstock

Would you pay someone to pray for you?

Beginning in 2011, the Christian Prayer Center charged people between $9 and $35 to submit a prayer request, promising (fraudulently) that Prayer Center staff would intercede for their need before God. In the center’s four years of ...

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Your Calling Isn’t Just Between You and God


Apr 12 2016
How community discernment can help women recognize their gifts.
Your Calling Isn’t Just Between You and God
Shutterstock

“Fair warning: I’m not a preacher; I’m a writer.”

That’s what I used tell crowds and congregations as I stood up with microphone in one hand and my Bible in the other. For most of my life, I self-selected my calling as exclusively in the realm of ...

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Put Down the Church Attendance Scorecard


Apr 11 2016
Shame and peer pressure don’t lead to healthy discipleship.
Put Down the Church Attendance Scorecard
benjammin_canosalsa / Flickr

Church leaders are bound to remark about attendance. Maybe your pastor emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the Sunday gathering. Maybe the announcements about small groups stress how true commitment to the church means attending Wednesday night gatherings and dedicating ...

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We Need Mentors in Our Spiritual Lives, Too


Apr 8 2016
Diverse relationships within the church help teach and train.
We Need Mentors in Our Spiritual Lives, Too
Shutterstock

The first time I stepped onto her porch, it was a sweltering hot summer day in Maryland. I’d been encouraged to visit the woman who lived in this house because she was offering a Bible study for young women, and that’s exactly what I needed. Although I’d been ...

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Blessed Are the Agnostics

How I learned to see my unbelieving husband through God’s eyes.

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