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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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My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church


Mar 30 2016
I came to see special needs families as an unreached people group.
My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church

Editor’s note: National Autism Awareness Month is coming up in April. More than 3.5 million Americans live with autism spectrum disorder, whose symptoms vary widely from case to case. In light of the growing prevalence of autism, parents and church leaders are speaking ...

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Q+A: Darlene Zschech, the ‘Mama Bear’ of Worship Music


Mar 29 2016
The former Hillsong leader talks about the industry 20 years after ‘Shout to the Lord’
Q+A: Darlene Zschech, the ‘Mama Bear’ of Worship Music
Darlene Zschech / Facebook

If you’ve sung along to Hillsong Music on the radio, at a conference, or at church, you partly have Darlene Zschech to thank.

During her decade-plus tenure as the worship pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, she wrote, produced, and sang more than 80 worship songs on more ...

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The Curse of Our Shame


Mar 25 2016
Humiliation leads to the Cross.
The Curse of Our Shame
_Pek_ / Flickr

We’ve all been there. It was 7 a.m., and we were out of milk. I threw on some sweats, tied my hair in a knot, and swished some water in my mouth before running to the store. No need to fuss with makeup, or even fresh breath, I’d only be gone for five minutes.

I inevitably ...

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From Dumpster Diving to the American Dream


Mar 21 2016
How do upwardly mobile Christians follow a downwardly mobile God?
From Dumpster Diving to the American Dream
Cameron Parkins / Flickr

My husband and I are unintentionally living our version of the American dream.

Our home and family probably look normal to everyone else, but it’s far from what I imagined back in college. As part of a “Claiborne-again” intentional community that eschewed individualism ...

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A Toast to My Journey with Wine


Mar 17 2016
Calling for a more moderate discussion about moderate drinking.
A Toast to My Journey with Wine
Andrea Henk / Flickr

While my high school peers gulped down cheap beer from their parents’ basement stashes, I was wearing WWJD bracelets and silently judging them.

My youth group era eschewed anything “lukewarm,” instead opting for extremes. (Or, as we said in the ‘90s, eXtreme!) ...

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My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church

I came to see special needs families as an unreached people group.

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