May 2015

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Unprepared for the Unchurched

When we’re not ready, new believers slip through the cracks
Unprepared for the Unchurched

It’s true…I have been called naive.

Several years ago when my purse was stolen in broad daylight, we found out the police officer wrote in her report that my husband and I seemed very naive. And you know what? She was right. My husband and I were naive to the invasiveness of that experience. We were unsuspecting people!

What I never expected to discover ...

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Single-Souled Living

Our spiritual allegiance must not be divided
Single-Souled Living

As a woman, when I hear the expression “double-minded,” I chuckle. I wish I had only two things on my mind. When I switch off the alarm in the morning, my brain flashes at least a dozen to-dos. Two would be a piece of cake.

For the past few months I have been spending time in the book of James. I like James; I always have. I like that James is plainspoken ...

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All Things to All People?

We can’t keep everyone happy, and it’s torture to try
All Things to All People?

For several years now, I’ve participated in a private Facebook group for women in theology and biblical studies. The group started with some of my friends from graduate school and now has more than 450 members—professors, grad students, seminarians, and pastors. We ask pedagogical questions like “What readings should I assign in my intro theology class?” ...

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Back to Basics

What I learned from my husband, who trains pastors in third-world countries
Back to Basics

My husband, Brad, was a pastor for 27 years when he resigned his pastorate to train pastors in third-world countries who would otherwise receive little or no training. He mostly goes to areas of Africa that are away from the major cities. In these small villages, a church often is started when someone has a conversion experience and realizes his or her village needs a church. ...

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Before You Open Your Mouth

10 tips for “pre-public speaking”
Before You Open Your Mouth

As a ministry speaker and part of our church’s teaching team, I still fight nerves every time I’m preparing a presentation. So I am constantly on the lookout for public speaking tips. There’s fantastic advice for the speech itself—start with a bang, use your lower register, make eye contact, use a visual aid, end with an application—but in ...

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Lead Me On: When “Dance Moms” Teaches about Trust

God has a much greater mission than demonstrating his greatness
Lead Me On: When “Dance Moms” Teaches about Trust

Sometimes when my family should be Norman Rockwell-ing it with old-fashioned bonding time over a board game, we are instead hovered around an Apple TV episode of “Dance Moms: Season Two.”

It is a car-crash-esque pileup of five moms watching their seven daughters cower before one dance teacher named Abby Lee Miller, who yells sporadically at everyone.

The ...

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Say Goodbye to Leadership Overload

And say hello to the right priorities
Say Goodbye to Leadership Overload

“What you are doing is not good.”

Jethro said it to Moses in Exodus 18. God said it to me at a time when I was experiencing major leadership overload. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself” (Exodus 18:18).

Moses had lived for decades on the back side ...

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