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    Honoring Spiritual Mothers

    You did it. You survived another Mother’s Day. You’re licking your wounds, but you made it through the day. You plastered a smile on your face and gave a polite nod and shrug of the shoulders in response to the all too familiar question, “When are you going to have a baby?” You, and the other non-moms, successfully pushed back tears and sat staring at the bulletin while a church leader asked all of the mothers in the congregation to stand for applause and recognition. 0

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    Eight Things You Should Know about Gangs in Your Community

    Working to live out our faith in today’s culture can take us way out of our Christian bubble. Last week my preparation to speak on behalf of a ministry to victims of human trafficking landed me in a gang training seminar.    Officer Z, head of gang investigations in Lexington County in South Carolina, shot straight with us about the situation here, and maybe where you live as well.   Lexington is a nice middle-class suburb of Columbia, 80% white, 15% black, 6% hispanic 5% foreign born. The median home value is $144K. 89% have a high school diploma. 39% have a BA or higher. Officer Z gave us a…

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    Reflections of a Female Seminary Professor

    Sipping on coffee, I was sitting in the café of a church in a Dallas suburb where I’d just spoken, when I noticed a man’s military boots in front of me. As I lifted my eyes, I saw the desert fatigues. And then my pupils met his. I knew this man! “Justin!” The soldier standing in front of me was someone I had loved and mentored in my job as a seminary professor. He was one of my artistic geniuses, eating up every word I’d had to say about how to tell a story. I jumped up to greet him. What a wonderful surprise! But what I had assumed was…

  • Heartprints

    Harvesting our Words

      Fall is finally here and with it the harvest. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest.  I remember running to my mom crying, just a little girl hurting inside, crying because of ugly words. I was broken hearted by caustic remarks. My mother, taught me a little rhyme that she had used as a child: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I can’t tell you how many times I used that little taunt. It did make the words stop. But words do hurt and I have the scars to prove it.…

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    A Millennial’s Journey into Women’s Ministry

    When asked to head up a new division of our Women’s Ministry I was terrified that I couldn’t cut it and really, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted anything to do with it.  There’s a stigma out there about Women's Ministry, if you didn’t already know. Young Ladies like myself tend to conjure up ideas of bake sales, and mentor round ups; we tend to think Women's Ministry is stale without substance. So when I was faced with the challenge of leaving Youth Ministry and joining our Women’s team, I was haunted by questions…. Will the ladies expect me to wear stockings? I never wear them! I’m not the…

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    “War Room” Mentoring

    Regardless of your evaluation of the new Christian film "War Room", Clara and Elizabeth paint a beautiful picture of organic mentoring. Personally, I loved the film, maybe because I'm a friend of the leading lady, but also because it illustrates the power of prayer when we get serious. True, the results in the movie often take longer than a few months–usually years. God could have worked through the husband first, and there are no guarantees.  But I've personally seen and experienced prayer changing hearts and lives, including my own. In addition I also noticed an important subtheme: the power of a natural mentoring relationship initiated and guided by prayer. Consider…

  • Heartprints

    God’s Power Tools – #2

    Christianity is more easily caught than taught! Children learn from hearing but they mimic what they see.  In order to truly teach the Word of God we need it to become a living part of who we are. For this to happen we need more time in God’s Word than just our teaching preparation. We need to intimately connect with God through His Word as often as we can. The Bible is God’s second amazing power tool. It’s life changing. It says in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (Net Bible) “You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know . . .  the holy writings,…

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    How mentoring can save your child from walking away from the faith

    One of my greatest fears as a parent was that our children would turn their backs on Jesus when they left our home. A mocking faith-buster professor or sexy siren would steal their hearts and draw them away from their roots. It's a legitimate fear in our post-Christian culture. A 2013 study entitled Five Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church found that 6 in 10 young people who grow up in church drop out in the first decade of adult life–but there's hope. They also found that these stats held true UNLESS the young person enjoyed a close personal friendship with a mentor. God often uses mentoring to keep kids…

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    Lessons on mentoring (and other rebukes) from “The Voice”

    I've never been a fan of reality TV, but after a close friend confided that The Voice was her favorite show, we decided to tune in and give it a one-time try. Shortly we were hooked. And now I'm learning valuable lessons about mentoring from an unexpected source.  As a Christian who just co-authored a book on a new model of mentoring, Organic Mentoring, I was shocked that superstars Adam, Pharrell, Christina, and Blake illustrate  many of the principles we promote. WOW! My categories are rattled!          First, I love the concept of coaching built into the show. I love watching the way the coaches encourage and exhort the contestants.…

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    Why curriculums often shut down mentoring

    In her eye-opening book Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults: Life-Giving Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation, co-author Jana Sundene describes her first attempt at mentoring. “I was guilty of approaching her with an agenda—one that really didn’t have much to do with her—rather than exploring her questions. . .. I was also serving a method. The discipleship book that was placed in my hands became the way to serve her. . .. it hung between us like a film that I could barely see her through, and our discussions fell flat.”      Like Jana, the goal for many older mentors is to teach a Bible study or spiritual curriculum. We love…