July 2012

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Spiritual Welcome

Opening my heart to God

Not long ago I suffered a tremendous loss. The circumstances were complicated and relationships were broken. In the midst of all the pain, I noticed my heart felt like it was stuck full of pins and needles. It was a physical sensation in my chest. My heart felt small, tight, and hard like a pincushion.

I am not someone who spends much time noticing how my body feels—let alone ...

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Mentoring and Multiplying

Identifying, training, and equipping leaders

After many lessons learned from teaching the Bible for 10 years and having successfully launched a women's small group ministry at our former church, I wanted to take time to pray and research before launching a women's mentoring ministry. After reading a few articles and researching online, I read Regi Campbell's book Mentor Like Jesus, in which he presents Jesus as the world's ...

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Godly Decision Making

We must understand the dynamics of discernment

At some point we are faced with a decision that requires us to make a choice in which we are aware of our desire to discern the will of God in the matter. Now we discover that discernment is also a spiritual practice that does what all spiritual disciplines do: it offers us a concrete way of opening to the activity of God beyond what we can do for ourselves.

While it is beyond ...

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Who Wants Mentoring?

Counting the cost of following Jesus Christ

After teaching Bible study for more than 10 years, I noticed that the Christian women who attended often did not live any differently than the women who never cracked open a Bible. I struggled while trying to figure out the disconnection between what the women claimed to know in contrast with their daily life choices. After careful study of Scripture, observations within the ...

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I’m Not Controlling

I just like my latte extra hot

When I go into Starbucks, I want my order to be just right. I prefer that my latte be made with one percent milk, two shots of espresso, and two shots of vanilla. I like it low foam and extra hot. But that's a little what you might call high maintenance, so I restrain myself from asking for all five at once!

The same invisible force that nudges me to test the barista's memory—and ...

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We Are All Theologians

When life is tough, we need more than just sweet thoughts about God.

Do you think of yourself as a theologian? When we hear the word theologian, we often we picture some older intellectual man—a professional academic sitting behind a desk piled with thick books in ancient languages. And there certainly are professional theologians who fit this description, busily teaching at seminaries and writing books. But theologian is a label that belongs ...

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Tiresome, Taxing, and Toxic Situations in Ministry

To deal with trouble, determine what kind of circumstances you are in

Maybe you've heard the common expression, "church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints." If you got into ministry thinking that the church is a utopia inhabited by "good Christian people" and free of inappropriate sexual relationships, addictions, and embezzlement, we hate to be the ones to tell you, but it's not. If we take sin seriously, we know that the church ...

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Olympic Glory, Wildfire, and Brave

Three recent events that matter to your ministry

To God Be the Olympic Glory

It's July, which means we now have less than a month until the 2012 Olympic Games begin in London. The quadrennial celebration of sport and global goodwill kicks off three weeks of swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and team handball on July 27th with an opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame).

Among the female ...

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Everybody’s Friend, Nobody’s Leader

Women and Relational Leadership

Sharon and Tracy had worked extremely well together for many years. Both were surprised when Sharon was promoted, effectively leaving Tracy under her supervision. Sharon didn't notice the initial subtle changes to the relationship, she was just so pleased about the promotion and the opportunity to try out her ideas. So it took her a while to recognise the signs of aloofness ...

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