When Ideology Trumps Theology

I'm a glutton for punishment. I could have decided to slouch along the sidelines of ministry and watch the many controversies within the church zip past. Perhaps peeking over the pew on occasion and catching a slight breeze off the mini-tornadoes of debate that exist under the umbrella that is American Evangelicalism.

Public prayer, the roles of women, the role of ...

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Leadership and Betrayal

This month I took our four-year-old daughter for her annual checkup. She was scheduled to get two shots that day. I came prepared. My purse was stuffed with lollipops, magic tricks and a whole host of distractions.

The visit went well. At first. The doctor applauded her efforts to write her name and jump on one foot. She pronounced her a healthy, vibrant little girl. ...

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Some 'Thou Shalts' From Synergy

When I was a freshman at Calvin College (closer to 20 years ago than I like to think about) I got mono just before the start of the January interim. Being the conscientious (if babyish) 18-year-old, I asked my dad to call the professor and see if there was anything I could do so I didn't have to drop the "Food and Culture" class I was supposed to take.

The ...

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A Woman's Voice

Voice. It's one of our favorite buzz words.

Unique, fresh, distinct, moving, authentic, powerful, smart. All words used to describe the kinds of voices to which we are drawn—the voices who end up stacked on our nightstands and streaming through our iPods. GFL was created by and for leaders whose pulse quicken at the actualization of leaders who find and use their ...

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Confessions of a Worship Leader

As a worship leader, I'm not always comfortable on stage. I've struggled with this my whole life. Unlike my extroverted husband, I don't like being the life of the party, the one everyone's looking at. I dread the thought of people analyzing whether my skirt matches my tights as I lead them in the worship of our Savior.

To be fair, I'm sure most people ...

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Gospel in the Dirt

We're tempted to put on a mask, but Lenten ashes tell the truth of our condition.
Gospel in the Dirt

One day, my sixth-grade science teacher announced we were about to begin a secret experiment. She immediately got our attention.

The clandestine study was an analysis of house dust. We would get to scrutinize the stuff under microscopes and find out what it contained. Stealthily, we collected dust samples from various locations in our households; the strict secrecy was necessitated ...

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No Questions Asked

You would have thought he was in kindergarten: (Hand waving frantically) "Me! Me! Send me!"

Who was this eager emissary? The prophet Isaiah. His story is told in Isaiah 6.

He had just seen the glory of the Lord, fallen on his face bemoaning his unclean lips—and had those same lips seared by an angel with a hot coal! So when God (Father, Son and Spirit) ...

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Women Telling the Story

Without dispute, women's voices in the local church have incredible significance, as these voices give way to a greater understanding of how women think and experience God and the Christian life. Any dispute generally has to do with the realm where these voices are heard, but for certain both men and women have much to learn about each other and how God is at work through ...

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Modern Mentorship

My cell phone buzzes while I fix my kids lunch:

"omg my prof is telling us bout why Christians are judgmentl and there are many paths to God should I say something?? pls pray for me to b bold"

This is a text message I received from one of my favorite people: a bright-eyed, skinny-jean-wearing college senior named Jes. I think of her as my babysitter. I recently ...

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Juggling Casseroles and a Calling

I preached a sermon several weeks ago. A big one for me. The biggest of my life actually. And while I do my very best not to mess up on a regular basis, we all know that some occasions press a little harder on your nervous system than others. This was one of them. "Just don't screw this up," I kept whispering to myself.

Of course, other, more important thoughts ...

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