Marriage: A Story Shared

"You were so young." That's what most people say when they look at the wedding picture displayed in our living room. And we were young - twenty-three and twenty-two, in a culture where the average age for first marriages is 26.7 years. And to add to that, we had only known each other fourteen months and had never lived in the same state. In hindsight I wonder ...

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Workaholic Faith

When I became a Christian, I knew I'd found my life purpose. I wanted to serve God with my last ounce of strength. I read Christian biographies voraciously and latched onto any report of modern-day Christians who were giving their all to Christ and his kingdom. I often felt that my life was too easy - that I never suffered for Christ as some people did, which to my ...

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How Do I Uncover My Spiritual Gifts?

Notice the things that energize you and seem to come naturally. Remember the quote from the movie Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell explained to his sister why he was postponing his return to the mission field in order to race in the Olympics? "Because when I run, I feel the pleasure of God."

Every spiritual gift gives off clues. Your spiritual gift will cause ...

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What Love’s Got to Do with It

There's a woman across from me on a wooden bench describing her life as a member of a rural agricultural cooperative in northwestern Haiti. It's hot so we're sitting in the shade of an old Brazilian military tarp that has been strung up between two trees. I'm in northwestern Haiti as a photojournalist for Church World Service, to document the stories of ...

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The One Necessary Thing

This coming March, my husband and I will welcome our first child into the world. The past four months have brought surprises around every corner, but none so surprising as the day I discovered the stereotypes that prevail in my own mind about women, mothers, and daughters.

Early one morning, my husband found me sobbing in our living room. He anxiously asked me what was ...

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Leading Like Life is On the Line

One of my favorite recent reads, Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life starts this way: "I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. ?" What's not to love about a book that starts this way? I have to tell you, my life feels like Amy's. While I may certainly have survived against some odds I never knew of or lived ...

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Voting Christian

"I won't tell you how to vote. Just vote Christian," the Midwestern mega-church pastor announced from the pulpit to his flock of thousands.

The year was 2004 and unease had begun to blanket the nation. Questions regarding the "axis of evil" rhetoric were being raised. Many were surprised to learn that other countries considered America itself to ...

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Leading Men at Work

How to lead men in a professional setting: I'll admit I don't have much to say on this topic. It's not because I haven't led men, and it's not because the topic doesn't matter. It's because I don't think a lot needs to be said. When women lead men in their work, gender doesn't have to be an issue.

In general, women with leadership gifts ...

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The Gift of Doubt

The Lord helped me gain, deep within my heart, a greater understanding of his nature. He is good. I know there will be questions and struggles in the future. I don't have all the answers, but I feel better equipped to handle the questions.

Michael Card, in his wonderful book A Sacred Sorrow, says doubts are actually a profound statement of faith because they're ...

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When a Pastor Becomes a Predator

How would you respond to sexual misconduct at church?

One day more than a decade ago, the senior pastor of my church stopped by my house unannounced. I had just had a baby, so I presumed his visit was pastorally motivated, although I was a little thrown off by his sudden appearance at my door. I invited him in, and we made small talk for a while. My baby began to fuss and it soon became apparent that he needed to nurse. My ...

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