• Engage

    Why some leaders fear setting you free

    I've been in a women's Bible study for forty years but until this spring, I've never studied Galatians in a discovery/discussion format. Have you? It's revolutionized my walk with God, and now I know why so few leaders are courageous enough to feed it to women–or anybody for that matter. I think it's because Galatians sets us free from legalism and license to soar liberated in an intended glorious relationship with Jesus–and that scares people who fear losing control over us. Here in a nutshell is what I learned this spring that has freed me permanently from the bonds of legalism and license: In Galatians, Paul presents multiple arguments that…

  • Engage

    Why Thinkers Should Feel More

    Are you a thinker or a feeler? If you’re a thinker like me, is growing into more of a feeler something you might want to be more intentional about? If you’re a feeler, how might you inspire a thinker to grow into more of a feeler? Or is that something we can change?   Before we go any further, what does it means to be a thinker? According to the   …you know you’re a thinker if, when it comes to decision making,…   …you make decisions with your head and want to be fair. …you like to find the basic truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the…

  • Engage

    You Ready to See Your Fixer Upper?

    Who doesn’t love HGTV’s Fixer Upper? My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds go crazy during and after each episode. My girlfriends and I love Joanna and all her decorating tips and ideas. And Chip? Well, he’s hilarious. He inspires Joanna and challenges her in so many ways. What I love about this show, however, has nothing to do with shiplap, farmhouse sinks or color scheme ideas for my home. I love it because Chip and Joanna revitalize dilapidated houses into beautiful homes. I also love it because the show reminds me of what God has done in the life of a believer. We sought something better. As unbelievers, we wanted more—more of…

  • tootle the train
    Engage

    Want It To Go Well With You?

    When our sons were young, one of their favorite Golden Books was Tootle the Train. It was the story of a baby train in school to learn to be a Flyer, but he kept jumping off the track to go play in the meadow. It took all the people in the town working together to convince him that a train needs to “stay on the rails no matter what.” For a short while in the book, Tootle buys into the lie that life can be found in the meadow, racing horses and making daisy chains among the buttercups. But if you’re a train and you go off the rails, you…

  • Engage

    Cleaning Out

    Our latest house project has caused us to do a lot of cleaning, which began with the simple need to empty some drawers and cabinets for painting. Then, we had to deal with dust and debris throughout the house from tearing out a tub and shower tile. Cleaning one area led to organizing it, which affected a related area that needed cleaning and/or organizing.    Frankly, it’s overwhelming because the whole process of doing what seemed like a small renovation led to cleaning out areas long neglected. Instead of getting cleaner, the house was getting worse as day by day we took more stuff out of hiding. But by the…

  • Engage

    What Can Thaw a Frozen Heart?

    Spoiler Alert: there may or may not be spoilers in this blog post. If your family is anything like mine, we are Frozen obsessed. We bought the movie on iTunes just last week and watched a portion if not all of it, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We needed a break as our obsession was getting out of hand. (And by “we”, I mean me and my husband). There are so many aspects of this movie that we LOVE. The fun-loving, persistent, optimistic and full of life nature of Anna. The fun and truthfulness of Olaf. The friendship (and just sheer cuteness) of Sven. The bravery of Kristof. And of course there…

  • Engage

    The IF:Gathering, Nail in the Coffin or a Fresh Awakening?

    Two years ago Sarah Bessey rocked the women's ministry world with her blog, Why We Don't Need "Women's" Ministry (17 thousand likes). Did the IF:Gathering nail the coffin lid down tight or blow that sucker sky high with fresh resurrection power? What would Sarah say?        Well, Sarah, there were no cute cupcake designs and decorating tips, scrapbooking parties or casserole recipes. Instead a parade of diverse nameless leaders opened with unscripted prayers to beseech God to act and empower. They were smart and they were brave and they asked God to use them to change the world. No long introductions full of accolades and sales pitches.                   Unapologetically…

  • Engage

    A Thanksgiving Dare

    Did you know that thanksgiving is another definition for the word Eucharist.  The meal we consume this Thursday can be a gathering that reflects Eucharist living.  Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, explores in poetic prose the power of this simple and biblical concept, gratitude.  Ann discovered the pattern of thanksgiving that runs throughout the scripture.  Not just the challenge to “in everything give thanks” (I Thess. 5:18) but how thanksgiving to God is exampled by so many biblical characters as well by the Jesus himself.  Then a friend challenged Ann with a dare, “Could I write a list of 1000 things that I love. To name 1000 blessings—1000 gifts,…

  • Engage

    Exodus is Shutting Down, But Jesus Isn’t

    Recently, Exodus International announced that it was shutting down. For decades, Exodus was the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality. But in the past few years, it had become a lightning rod for controversy, and the name had accumulated a lot of baggage. They hoped that by shutting down the ministry, the church would step up and do its job of loving and leading people well. They realized that many churches and pastors are still under-educated about those who deal with same-sex attractions, and some are unsafe. But by having a separate ministry to send people to, they haven’t needed to change, and it was easy…

  • Engage

    Don’t Believe Like the Demons Believe!

    One of our pastors shares a favorite story: a young man in Sweden, while trying to get rid of the watermark on his trial software so he could use it illegally, did some online research that led him to a YouTube film clip from our church (Watermark Community Church) making the case for waiting to have sex before marriage. The twenty-something had never heard of such a thing, and while it sounded crazy to him, he continued to watch more clips, which intrigued him further, and he did more research that led him to the conclusion, “Wait a minute, there’s something really different about these people.” So he called the…