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Lay Down the Shame, and Embrace Jesus’ Sufficiency

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Shame is a powerful thing that we don’t talk about a whole lot in the church. While it’s really important to be able to acknowledge and confess our sins, allowing God to deal with our shortcomings, it’s not unusual for healthy conviction to metastasize into this debilitating shame that keeps us cowering in the corner, […]

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What seed has God planted in your soul?

  All throughout scripture, the themes of a barrenness, pregnancy, and childbirth point us toward larger spiritual realities. This sermon is about Mary, the mother of Jesus, but it is about you, too. The Holy Spirit is still at work, stirring new life in the barren spaces of our souls. But like Mary, we have to accept […]

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Wilderness: The Place Between Breaking Free and Breaking Through

  Time spent in the wilderness is not comfortable. In the wilderness, we feel isolated, vulnerable, and unfruitful. It can be a place of great grief and suffering. But the wilderness is also a place where we meet God, and learn to rely on him and him alone. It is a place where we begin […]

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Exciting News from Tanzania!

I got more exciting news about the Called Out curriculum that I wrote today! Eliya and Consoler, who serve in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, shared that Called Out, CBE’s youth curriculum, is being considered for public secondary schools… Tanzania’s Youth Patron, who supervises children’s Christian education, recommended Called Out to their multi-denominational Christian Council. Soon, they will vote […]

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When God is Not Your Enemy

Sometimes, when there’s a lot to be done and life seems overwhelming, I wonder if the work I am putting in is worth the cost (which, I will not lie, is high at times). And then, by the grace of God, I get emails quoting teenage girls from East Africa: “Ever since, I knew that […]

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“Church, someone is coming after our family.”

I don’t have nightmares often, but last night I woke up with a start, knowing there was no way I was going back to sleep for a while. I grabbed my laptop and decided I’d catch up on what was happening with my online friends, since I’d spent the past two days in cars or […]

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I’m Stupid About Racism. Are You?

I have a confession to make. I am stupid about racism. I will blame my unusual childhood. I lived in an almost entirely white community (the same one I live in now, in fact) until I was 7. The only black people I knew were my uncle and cousin. Then my family moved to Liberia, […]

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On Broken Bodies: Christ’s and Ours

I came across this thought-provoking video featuring Claire Wimbush, an Episcopal priest who was born with spastic cerebral palsy, as I was perusing the Clergy Health Initiative. This is a gorgeous must-watch. “And when we set up for ourselves ideals that are the wrong ideals — that we simply can’t reach — if we can’t […]

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If Only: Regret and the Real Nature of Church Growth

Got regret? Today’s guest post is from my wise friend Michelle Van Loon, whose new book, If Only, focuses on the taboo topic of regret, and how in Jesus “past regrets can be transformed into present wisdom and a flourishing, free future.” Seriously. You are going to want a copy of this book.  My friend […]

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Jesus, the Canaanite Woman, and Caring for Marginalized People

Today’s guest post is from Dominique DuBois Gilliard, a graduate of North Park Theological Seminary where he also served as an adjunct professor, and comes via the ECC’s Commission on Gender Equality’s blog. How does one best care for marginalized people, those who have been isolated from community, stigmatized by society, and even neglected or […]

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Who is Standing Up for Women? An Exercise in Looking for the Helpers.

Last night was one of those nights when it feels hard to breathe; when you want to rage and cry and fight and scream and sob. Nothing was wrong in my little circle, but make no mistake, things were, and are, very, very wrong. For the past week my newsfeeds have been lit up with […]

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In Remembrance of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86, and this world has lost a beautiful, courageous soul. But not forever. Here she is in her own words: You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Thanks […]

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#YesAllWomen. The girl who cried wolf, and other myths.

The #YesAllWomen hashtag, where women share their stories about the everyday harassment they endure and worse, is trending on Twitter. You should absolutely check it out. This is a repost from 2011, minus the first paragraph referencing an old news event. Sexual harassment is very, very real, and Christians need to find ways to deal […]

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Jesus, Paul, and Women in the New Testament: The Women In Ministry Sermon Series.

How did Jesus view women, and just how radical was his treatment of them in his society? What did it mean that Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet,” and what’s with those women who traveled with Jesus and the Twelve? Who was Junia, what did Phoebe have to do with the Book of Romans, and was Priscilla […]

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Loneliness, Community, and Loving the Common Enemy

I've been reading The Connecting Church by Randy Frazee for one of my classes. It talks about the epidemic of loneliness in the United States, the impact individualism has had on the American psyche, and how strong, cohesive groups, from the Crips to the Amish, the military to the Benedictines, create a sense of true […]

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