November 2013

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A Master Class in Grief

When I lost my mother, I learned a lot about how to (and how not to) comfort grieving people

Losing our parents is an inevitability. If it hasn't happened to you already, it will. It's how life works.

Perhaps I should reframe that. We don't "lose" them; they pass away, depart this life, go on ahead, are called home, are promoted to Glory, are no longer with us. Oh, so many ways of not saying it. They die.

At least, their physical bodies cease functioning and life ...

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Healing Wounds from Sexual Violence

There’s power in men and women working together

The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) posters hanging all over Ryerson University's campus caught 17-year-old Miranda Hassell's eye. "Make up…or concealer for bruises?" read the text on one poster, images of a compact and a brush.

Started by men for men in the 1980s, WRC works to engage men in ending men's violence against women, while inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves. ...

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How Should the Church Handle Adultery?

God’s mercy provides a way out…do we?

Have you been marred by the sin of adultery? Has your heart ever ached for a friend's or relative's marriage that has been battered by adultery? The church has ways to handle adultery, but do we handle it as Jesus did? Have you seen the church mishandle people affected by adultery? How do we extend mercy for such a despicable sin that disrupts so many marriages, homes, children, ...

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One Way the Church Can Welcome LGBT People

How our communities might foster love instead of loneliness

In the last few years, we have seen a remarkable shift in church culture's attitude regarding the LGBT community. Churches are wanting to be open and welcoming to these folks. In my opinion, the struggle churches and Christians have is not with "loving the sinner," as it's been said, but with how far that love goes without compromising Scripture.

The greatest tension in the ...

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Ladies, Beware!

Protect yourself from ministry predators

It all started my freshman year of college. It was my first time away from home, and I was excited. I was eager to meet new people and explore the world. I came from a small town, so with great excitement also came naïveté.

I volunteered that fall during campaign season to make some extra money; that's when I met Pastor Brown.* He seemed to be such a godly man. He invited ...

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When Men Misinterpret Pastoral Care

All our interactions should be marked by love—plus caution and wisdom

They met at a professional conference. Valerie was a young pastor, and Charlie was a recent college graduate interning with a campus ministry organization. He mentioned that he was discerning a call to ministry, so Valerie engaged him in a conversation about his vocation. He asked her some questions about seminary. And then he invited her out for ice cream after the conference. ...

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The Ministry of Passion in Marriage

I learned to put my sex life before church life

How many women do you know who are serving in the church, on the board of their children's Christian school, at the local mission serving food, sponsoring prayer meetings—doing mighty kingdom work for the Lord—all while neglecting their husbands, who are at home waiting to make love? Yes, make love—the anomaly of countless marriages.

I know of several women who epitomize this ...

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Embracing Gay People at Church

Sometimes Christians have trouble acting as we say we will

Norman approached my husband, Brad, who spoke at an interdenominational Good Friday service. Brad learned that Norman had been involved heavily in the gay lifestyle and was now suffering from AIDS. In further conversations, Brad found out that Norman's mother was a Christian and had been praying that he would come to Christ before he died. He did.

Never was a man more radically ...

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