2015

Hope Keeps Us Hungry

And our greatest testimony is found in hunger
Hope Keeps Us Hungry

“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” I don’t want to be a hungry soul just for a season. I want to live hunger. This is what draws me to Him. This is what fills every single bitter circumstance with the opportunity to know Him more. This is what brings me to the sweetness of His presence.

And hope ...

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The Healing Power of Small Groups

We need friendship, and friendship happens on purpose
The Healing Power of Small Groups

As a mental health therapist and pastor, I am frequently shocked at how psychology thinks it’s discovered a mystery of human functioning when all along these “mysteries” are found in Scripture. Case in point: our need for relationships. Writing for Psychology Today, Hara Estroff Marano reports the following:

“Friendship is a lot like food. We ...
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We Are Called to Desire (Part 2)

4 unexpected gifts that come with wanting
We Are Called to Desire (Part 2)

(Read Part 1)

“Desire in the context of faith? Isn't that an oxymoron?”

My friend's reaction to the subject of my recent book, Teach Us to Want, was familiar to me. She was even articulating what had been my own longstanding misconception about desire—that in relation to faith, desire was always foe, never friend.

Her reaction is typical ...

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We Are Called to Desire (Part 1)

4 unfounded fears that come with wanting
We Are Called to Desire (Part 1)

In a book I recently reviewed, the author warned readers about the dangers of human desire, which he seemed to view as an obstacle to Christian obedience. His advice was simple: “Write out all the things that you have wanted from life. Finally, draw a cross over it as a symbol that you are offering it in sacrifice to God, saying, ‘Not my will, but yours be done.’ ...

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Lead Me On: When Downton Abbey Beckons Us to Begin Again

Nothing compares to knowing someone loves you no matter what
Lead Me On: When Downton Abbey Beckons Us to Begin Again

Against a complicated backdrop of lords and ladies and a civilization under reconstruction, Downton Abbey’s plotline still illustrates a simple truth: things haven’t changed much.

As with any time in history, we find a gaggle of mini storylines that spotlight the human condition and characters wrestling with familiar themes.

Like new beginnings.

Enter ...

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Go Ahead and Grin—Church Is Hilarious

Ministry is a lot more fun if you laugh at just about everything.
Go Ahead and Grin—Church Is Hilarious

Somewhere along the line, I decided that it was better to laugh at all the craziness that goes on in churches instead of feel complete and total angst. This state of mind came about after our family’s visit to a friend’s first pastorate. We wrote down careful directions on how to get to his country church. He said there would be a welcome sign at a crossroads ...

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Worship in a Dynamic and Diverse Culture

An interview with Nikki Lerner, Worship Director at Bridgeway Community Church
Worship in a Dynamic and Diverse Culture

Nikki Lerner serves as the Worship Ministry Director at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Maryland, under the leadership of Dr. David Anderson. She has the honor of leading worship for a thriving multicultural congregation of 3500+ people every weekend. In addition to leading worship, Nikki does extensive mentoring for pastors and worship leaders around the country. ...

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Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part Three

Recovering from trauma is possible, necessary, and sometimes very hard.
Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part Three

I thought Rich’s death meant the end of my ministry dreams. He was my husband, and he was my ministry partner, part of every plan I had. I had leaned on his strengths heavily. He dealt with the people issues; I kept everything organized.

Once he was gone, I had no one to defer leadership to. The buck stopped with me. So as much as Rich’s death was the end ...

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Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part Two

Recovering from trauma is possible, necessary, and sometimes very hard.
Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part Two

The days immediately after Rich’s death were a blur. Hospital scans eased doctors’ fears about internal injuries, so they released me. My parents took me home. I looked around my room, feeling hollow until I walked into our closet. His smell, his essence, was all over his clothes. I buried my face in his shirts and cried for a long time.

My practical mother ...

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Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part One

Recovering from trauma is possible, necessary, and sometimes very hard.
Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part One

Millions of predictable seconds will tick by, marking out a lifetime for each of us. Just a handful of moments will stop us short, altering our future so completely that it’s not recognizable as connected to our past. Thirteen years ago, I was confronted by this kind of moment.

I had a happy childhood that was coming to a close when I met Rich Bourke. I was drawn ...

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