August 2015

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I Am Not Rocky Balboa

And retreating from a fight doesn’t always mean defeat.
I Am Not Rocky Balboa
Image: MGM Studios, Inc.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Rocky. Who isn’t encouraged to face obstacles head on when watching Rocky stand up to giants bigger, stronger, and faster than him? Of course, Rocky takes many blows, but after each one he rises to fight on—even if his pace slows a little. As I sit in my comfy chair, watching him continue to get back up on his feet, I’m ...

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How to Find Truth in Harsh Feedback

What to do when feedback is off base, unfair, and poorly delivered
How to Find Truth in Harsh Feedback

I have a bad track record for receiving feedback well—at least negative feedback.

Like when my husband told me I was a little harsh when I reminded him he forgot to run the dishwasher. I wasn’t being harsh! I was just being honest!

Or when our realtor commented on the “very bright” paint color in our bedroom that “wasn’t her style.” ...

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Great Leaders Know How to Handle Their Emotions

But that probably doesn’t mean what you think.
Great Leaders Know How to Handle Their Emotions
Image: danielito311/flickr

It’s an odd thing to break into tears while chairing an elder’s meeting.

Before our gathering, I’d done my homework and had all the facts we needed to make decisions. But when we came to an agenda item about staffing, I became overwhelmed by my feelings—care for the staff person involved, worries that I had failed, fear about financial ramifications. ...

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What the Oppressed Can Teach Us About the Bible

The way I read and lead has changed forever.
What the Oppressed Can Teach Us About the Bible
Image: restless_mind/flickr

God is taking me through an exercise in going global—right from my quiet time.

As I read through the Bible, I have a hunch that the lens I read through is just that—mine. So I’ve started seriously evaluating it: What “eyes” am I reading through? How do my culture and experiences shape my interpretations? How would I interpret the Word if ...

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When Stress Threatens Your Leadership

How to get back on track when the pressures of life consume you
When Stress Threatens Your Leadership

Leading while feeling stagnant and sluggish are sure ways to self-destruct in ministry. Attempting to lead others while we’re frustrated, uneasy, and tired will shipwreck our leadership abilities. The problem isn’t just big issues in life, but also the everyday pressures that add up and consume us. This kind of pressure can slowly chisel away at us, weakening ...

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Support for Women Church Planters

How the Exponential Conference made me feel part of a tribe
Support for Women Church Planters
Image: Exponential

Loneliness is one of the greatest challenges church planters face.

Seven Key Issues Church Planters Face, a report prepared by Exponential, begins with these words: “Church planting is hard. Church planting is discouraging. Church planting is lonely. It is not for the faint of heart.”

For a woman church planter, those things are multiplied by ten. I should ...

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Lead Me On: God Doesn’t Want Our Good Behavior

He sees through the tactics we use to make ourselves look good.
Lead Me On: God Doesn’t Want Our Good Behavior

It’s hard to resist the idea that being a believer means being “good.” Sure, the Bible does tell us about how we should live, but it’s more than that.

Which puts us in the awkward position of making clear, cogent points about the Bible without falling back on the pressure to simply “be good”— that’s a different thing altogether. ...

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How I Spent 20 Years in Ministry Without the Bible

I called others to spiritual growth, but I remained unchanged.
How I Spent 20 Years in Ministry Without the Bible

The Bible was big in my home growing up. My spiritual heritage includes an aunt who pitched crusade tents in the middle of the countryside, preached Christ, and planted churches; uncles who pastored and preached; and a grandfather who taught preachers how to dissect the Word and share it with integrity.

My spiritual heritage also includes hypocrites, legalists, and perfectionists. ...

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Don’t Lose Sight of Scripture

How can we follow Christ if we don’t know how he wants to be followed?
Don’t Lose Sight of Scripture

"Help me, Jesus! I need you right now in my time of trouble.”

These are the strong words that fall off our lips as we cry out to our Savior, Jesus Christ, in some of the most trying times. As we are crying out, he is listening to every word we speak, weighing the intentions of our hearts and our ability to endure those moments in life.

Matthew 12:36-37 says, ...

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