October 2009

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Life, Doctrine and Women's Ministry

Whether through books, Bible studies, retreats, or conferences, a central focus of women's ministry has been on the practical dimensions of Christian living, either presupposing the theological understanding of the audience—which isn't always wrong to do—or simply neglecting to ground the practical in a richer theological framework.

Of course, I'm ...

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Journeys into Leadership

The other weekend I ran into a guy (literally) who had stopped short to turn around as we followed the masses out of a church sanctuary. "Sorry," he said, looking disheartened and eying the crowd. "I was supposed to have a group following me."

"No problem," I laughed. "'Nobody behind me' is the story of my life….." ...

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The High Cost of Cheap

I love a bargain. Whether I'm buying clothing, groceries, or other supplies, I enjoy knowing I got a deal. I can even dress it up in spiritual clothes, claiming I'm being a "good steward" of my resources by being thrifty.

Unfortunately, cheap sometimes has a hidden price tag. The prices of certain goods—from soccer balls to candy bars—are ...

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Women: Mission Critical

Each of us wants to believe that we matter. That we have something to offer. That our contributions to building God's kingdom are needed and valuable.

But as I travel the world speaking to women in ministry, I have found a substantial obstacle to seeing that happen. One might think the biggest barrier would be convincing men that women are needed for this assignment, ...

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Electronic Anonymity

Have you ever tried to navigate a sticky relationship via computer? Perhaps a disagreement with a friend or a dicey situation at work? You sit down, the desk chair creaks a bit, your fingers start flying. At first you type out of fear or with a good streak of indignation. The keys are clicking fast and hard. You stop, re-read it. Too harsh. Backspace, backspace, backspace. ...

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Shepherd Lessons

In researching for Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, & Wild Honey, I spent time with a shepherdess named Lynne in Oregon. During my time in wet fields among the flock, I opened the Scriptures and asked Lynne how she read particularly passages not as a theologian but in light of taking care of her flock. Her answers changed the way I read and understand ...

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Youth Ministry Myths—the Full Interview

Learning to Learn the Language of the Liberal City

Today we're chatting with Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary's Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture. Here this wise guide reveals who lasts in youth ministry, why a youth group might not be necessary, and the particular challenges women face in youth ministry.

Kenda, we'd love to hear about your calling to write and teach. How did you discern it? How has the ...

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Disarming for Jesus

I have a confession to make. I like pop music.

And not just the Miley Cyrus, High School Musical flavor. I like the beat thumping, chorus humming, and—dare I say it—booty-shaking kind. There it is. I am a woman in my early 30s, with three children and a minivan. I run a Christian counseling practice and a women's ministry. People look to me for soul direction ...

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Going Deeper in Relationships

All I wanted was a friend. A best friend. My family had just moved from Northern Maine to suburban Philadelphia after my 5th birthday. Friends, I thought, I‘d finally have friends. Who doesn't want a best friend, or long for a lifelong friend? You know, the kind you make in kindergarten who stays loyal and true for a lifetime.

I don't know about you, but ...

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The Joy of Communion

Every night, I ask my two-year-old son a question: What should we thank God for today? In the months we have engaged in this practice, Quinn's thanksgivings have included noodles, his friend Lily and raisins.

One night during Lent, perched on my lap in the dark of his room, Quinn returned my question with one of his own: "I eat Christ?"

I was sure I had ...

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