Learning Curves

If my life had a theme for 2009 it was this: Learning curves. Specifically, learning curves of the steep and tricky, zippy, herky-jerky type. Though this theme wouldn't have occurred to me if it weren't for the sales guy at the Apple store yesterday. I had gone because the screen of my current laptop is sporting a nice crack that allows me to see only the top two-thirds ...

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Justice in Real Life

My life gets crazy. I'm a mom. I have diapers to change, groceries to buy, and lunches to make. I'm a writer, a speaker and a church leader. I have things to write, talks to give, and issues to raise. Between keeping up with the kids, paying the bills, and following my calling, most days I'm happy if I can squeeze in the luxurious "me moment" of a ...

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Lead Like...the Amish?

A month or so ago, Suzanne Woods Fisher sent me a copy of her new book, Amish Peace, with a note that said, "The chapter called ‘For the Good of the Community' might have some leadership applications for GFL."

Although I was a bit skeptical on what a book about the Amish and peace might have to say about women in ministry leadership, since I' love Suzanne's ...

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Easily Distracted

My eight-year-old daughter and I share a fault: we are both easily distracted. While on her way to washing her hands, it's not unusual for her to get interested in something she passes along the way to the bathroom. She pauses, engages, and forgets to wash her hands. Her curiosity and wonder often account for her distracted-ness.

The reason behind my ability to be ...

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Unconditional Love

As Christians we're commanded to love our neighbors, our enemies, and—as leaders—the people we're called to lead and minister to. But what does this look like when we're not exactly loved in return?

By definition, of course, godly, unconditional love doesn't require love in return. I know that. God loved me first—long before I loved Him, ...

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What Would Mary Blog?

When I started my consulting business, I did the obvious thing: I put up a website describing my services. Pretty standard fare. I recall a colleague calling a website an "authenticator" for a small business: you don't have one, you don't look legit.

Five years later I'm noticing that keeping a blog is becoming a kind of authenticator – implying ...

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Finding God in the Chatter

Last Friday evening, a casual outdoor party in my neighborhood culminated with a half-dozen girls sprawled across my living room. As they compared splits and talked about the upcoming school year, I held skinny feet in the air as each attempted the perfect handstand. I remarked to the gaggle that I thought I could still break out a split if not for the dress I was wearing. ...

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What We're Asked to Change

During a recent breakfast meeting, an apparently well-meaning supporter of my husband's campaign for State Representative told him that he really should've changed his name "like the Jews used to do" if he's serious about politics. It's a racist world, the man said, and people just won't want to vote for a Rafael Rivadeneira. Too Latin.

My ...

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Advent Redux

I've spent much of this week thinking about Advent–-as I've brainstormed some ideas for an upcoming Advent service at my church. I had it in my head–and in fact had it partly written on paper–to write a piece on Advent. But every time I thought of GFL and Advent, my mind went back to a post written by Bonnie McMaken last year.

It was so good–-and ...

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Jesus in the World of Worthless Daughters

"Thank you, Mother, for raising a worthless daughter."

These words , part of a lament of a bride going to meet her husband for the first time, summed up the experience of women in China in the 1800's, according to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. In this book Lisa See brings to light the reality of life for a female in that society: No value, no rights, raised ...

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