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    What’s Your Superpower?

    If you could choose a superpower, which one would it be? When asked this question as an icebreaker, I’ve heard some people say they’d love to fly; others say they would choose mindreading. Some would love to be invisible. But for the believer in Jesus, the idea of having superpowers isn’t a fantasy. It is the reality of being indwelled by God Himself, the source of actual and real supernatural power. And He gives gifts, spiritual gifts, that consist of supernatural enabling. We find the spiritual gifts in four places in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. Consider these spiritual gifts—superpowers,…

  • Disciple making for women's ministry. Evaluate existing ministries. Enhance effective activities. Dissolve less effective activities. Transform the leadership team for disciplemaking. melanienewton.com/disciplemaking
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    Disciplemaking Focus for Women’s Ministry

    Has your ministry team been event-driven with one person overseeing Bible studies, another the retreat, & another the Christmas brunch? Does your current women’s ministry need to have more structure and purpose to what you organize and fund? Do you see the same women involved in your ministry with rarely a new face? If you answered yes to any (or all) of those questions, it is a good time to… enhance your women’s ministry for disciplemaking. What Is Disciplemaking? The terms “discipleship” and “disciplemaking” often get confused. Discipleship typically refers to the normal process for Christians to grow in their faith through Bible studies, prayer, worship, & small groups. It…

  • Put your faith into words. Prepare to Share. Then do it. Helpful ways to prepare to share your faith in daily conversations.
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    Put Your Faith into Words

    Most of us who have been Christians for any length of time have probably heard Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commissions his disciples to make disciples wherever they are. In my heart, I want to do that—to be obedient in sharing about him to others around me who don’t know him yet or don ‘t know him well. But, I often feel so inadequate. You may feel that way, too. A few years ago, I realized that if I was going to get beyond this inadequacy, I would need to work at preparing myself to share about the Lord in daily conversation, ask him for opportunity to introduce him to other…

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    The Best Antidote to Summertime Boredom and Distraction

    Summer gives us an opportunity to slow down. “The livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin,’” and all that. Without so many activities on the calendar we have more time to take trips, watch TV or kick back with friends or a good book. We all need seasons of restoration, but the cultural pull towards having fun and lazing around can make room for boredom and distraction to settle in like a fog. In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, Aslan draws Jill and Scurbb into Narnia to accomplish a special mission: rescue Prince Rillian, the crown prince of Narnia, now missing for over ten years.The great lion gives Jill…

  • Heartprints

    The Right Perspective Makes all the Difference in Evangelism

    Many of us experience fear and trepidation over the thought of sharing Christ with a child. “What if I make it too complicated?” “What if I don’t have all the answers?” Sometimes it’s because we put too much pressure on ourselves to perform, or even think a person’s salvation is our responsibility. Scripture has much to say about keeping a proper perspective in evangelism, including both those involved and what roles they play (cf. John 4:34­–38). Three types of people play a role in evangelism: (1) those who are a part of the harvest––unbelievers, (2) the One who sends out the laborers––God, and (3) the disciples––believers. Unbelievers share several things in…

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    Three.Words.Story

    Maybe the right words to share your faith story in a conversation come naturally to you. Praise God for that verbal gift! I am willing to declare that for most of us (including me), those words just don’t come easily. We don’t know where to start. We don’t know how much to say. We say too much. Frankly, I have not been in a church yet that stressed the importance of being able to share one’s faith story by actually EQUPPING EVERYONE to do it — including frequent opportunities to practice it! Why is that? How many hours do we spend practicing other things? But not this. Not “the word…

  • Heartprints

    Drive-thru Faith

    I used to love to cook. I wish I could say I still do; but somewhere along the way, it’s become a tedious chore. As an “on the go” family, it takes a lot of forethought, time and energy that I just can’t seem to muster some days. That’s when the drive through is my best friends. Not only do I NOT have to plan it, cook it and clean up after it, I don’t even have to leave my car. That, my friends, is the American dream!!    As American’s, we get accused of wanting our whole lives presented to us in this drive through fashion: minimal effort, minimal…

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    In View of Our Neighbors

    Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15, “But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” We usually focus on the “be ready” part — be prepared to answer. But, the assumption is that questions are being asked. That we are living question-stimulating lives in view of our neighbors (those around us wherever we are). Neighbors see something attractive. Neighbors ask why and what. What is a question-stimulating life? Jesus describes it in Matthew 5:16 as being like a light shining—good deeds noticed by those around you (who may be the recipients of your…

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    How inaccurate words hinder our evangelistic efforts with women

    For months Sharon prayed that her co-worker Stephanie might accept her invitation to visit her church. Sharon was sure that if her friend experienced the beauty and depth of their authentic fellowship, she might look deeper and find Jesus. For months Stephanie resisted, giving all kinds of reasons. Church people were phony, judgmental, hierarchical, and too political. But when Stephanie's mother passed away suddenly, she decided to accept Sharon's invitation. Sharon was elated, and during the first part of the service her friend seemed open and interested. She sang; she prayed. But then the pastor read Philippians 4:1: Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy…

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    “What the….?”

    Hell is not a topic Americans spend much time thinking about. The extent of our ponderings on such a place are often relegated to funny quips like this: Sidenote: Cold coffee IS a minor catastrophe. While the subject of hell doesn’t tickle our positive sensibilities, our ancestors in the faith seemed to think it was a worthy topic to keep before their parishioners. I recently visited the famous Duomo in Florence, Italy. After climbing the 400 plus (yep – you read that right) steps en route to the top of the Dome, I was greeted by a stunning fresco that inspired Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel. As I gazed…