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    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…

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    Time to Blow Things Up

    I do not like change. Unless, of course, it is something I initiate.  For the most part, I am most comfortable when a certain ministry in which I am actively involved (MOPS, Bible study, small group) continues on year after year just the same. Well, maybe a few tweaks here and there, but essentially the same. One of my favorite ministry activities is getting blown up this fall. It feels very weird not to have it the same. But, it is the right thing to do. It was time to blow things up! Operation Kaboom! That is what Heather Zempel calls it in her book, Community Is Messy.  In fact,…

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    Hail, Mary

    Our new church home has plunged into the pages of Luke, so yesterday we had a bit of Christmas in July with the Annunciation and Mary’s magnificent response.   I’ve written on Mary before but she’s worth coming round to again and again.   Her life is a beautiful melody full of rapturous high notes but written in a dark, minor key.     And it's an important reminder for me right now. My husband and I have just moved our family across several states to follow God’s call to a new church, and I suppose I had unspoken expectations of how he would reward our obedience.  Mistake.  Our domestic…