June 2014

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What Did I Expect?

Sometimes ministry feels like one long struggle toward compassion and forgiveness

He didn't say, "Take up your sofa, the really light comfy one, and follow me." He also didn't say, "Click 'like' and follow my entertaining tweets from the comfort of your own home." Just like he didn't say, "Here's an Instagram of a dead person I raised. Share if you think I'm awesome."

My Jesus is not virtual. I sometimes wish he was. I could be all up to date with his stuff ...

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The Strong Power in Every Woman

Reclaiming Eve's place in history means claiming our own
The Strong Power in Every Woman

Hot tears splashed down my cheeks as my new husband stared at me in confusion. I had been studying the creation story when I stumbled across the strong Hebrew word God used when creating Eve: the ezer. In that moment, God's intentions leapt off of the printed page and started a revolution in my heart. I never would have guessed how highly God thinks of his daughters. I ...

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Lead Me On: When Doubt Dominates

When we express our doubts, we’re in faithful company

Fish sticker on the car bumper? Check.

Kid who can buzz in with "begotten!" for VBS Bible relay? Check.

Woman who should know better but still, sometimes, just a little, wonders? About, um, God?

Check.

There. I said it.

I'm just mentioning it for a friend. Not for me. That would be ridiculous.

I do not doubt! Geesh. Sometimes, however, on occasion, when things are confusing, I might ...

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Have a Caleb Spirit

Sometimes following God means being a really bad politician

"Politics is a fact of life," the leader said. He meant, "Politics is a fact of life in this church-related structure." He added, "Maybe you need to be more of a politician."

A few days later, Henry Blackaby stood before us, addressing a chapel service. "We don't need politicians in the church," he said. "We need statesmen."

To see how a statesman thinks and acts, look at Caleb. ...

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Love to the Sound Guys

Top 11 reasons you appreciate your audio techs

Here at GFL, we love our congregations' sound guys and gals (henceforth, simply the gender-unneutral Sound Guy.) If we're preachers, they help us bear the word to listening ears. If we're children's ministers, they help us to amplify little voices.

Basically, without them, we'd be lost.

When we asked you, our readers, to share your own ministry leadership bloopers, we heard ...

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What Feeds Your Soul?

4 ways to redefine work as creativity instead of achievement

I didn't understand why I was having panic attacks.

Writing a book wasn't easy, but I was writing a Bible study guide to explore the topic of rest. If there was anything I knew how to do, it was unpacking Scripture.

Yet here I was lying on my bed, unable to sleep, my brain muddled with worries. I found it difficult to breathe, a tightness clamped around my chest. If I dozed, ...

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The Church Should Be a Hospital

We are called to be a place of healing, not a place of hurt.

I remember hearing when I was a little girl that church was a "hospital." It was a place for people who were sick and for those who needed healing. I believe this concept was adapted from Jesus' words recorded in the book of Luke: "Jesus answered them, 'Healthy people don't need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those ...

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Restoring Fallen Leaders

What a healing response produces

By all measures, Tom* was an A-list pastor. He had charisma, humor, and huge musical skills, and he grew the start-up church into a robust congregation. Around year 8, a few of us began to notice subtle changes. Tom's sermons got a bit flat and curiously unreflective. He then became controlling, in one instance telling my husband that he was not allowed to get mad at him. ...

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