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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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Love Should Never Include Disclaimers: Why Christians Need to Stop Trying to “Fix” People

There was a time when I thought it was my Christian duty to point out anything I thought someone was doing wrong. I called out teachers for being too hard on other kids. If the pastor said something I disagreed with in a sermon, I informed him of it afterward. I made sure people on […]

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Where is the Hope? In Which I am “Peddling Pop Pollyanna Ecclesiology,” and Refuse to Back Down

So, my last post about Christian unity. Most people seemed to like it, but a few took issue with it. This is nothing new. I try to be diplomatic in my writing, and people typically respond with grace. Still, there are always a few detractors, and oftentimes they have good reasons for saying the things […]

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Why We Need to #BanBossy. For Real.

Have you heard about the #BanBossy campaign? states that “When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a 'leader.' Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded 'bossy.' Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading […]

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Reclaiming Eve: How the gospel restores women

Suzanne Burden is a heart sister, a gentle woman who wants to see women thrive, set free to work in God’s kingdom alongside their brothers. I’m thrilled to be posting this short description and Q&A about her new book, Reclaiming Eve. About Reclaiming Eve What started as a ladies’ Bible study in their church led […]

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Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles

What does the gospel make possible for women? Do we have to stay hidden away in the shadow of the curse, as if our silence and subservience could atone for the sin of the first woman’s fall, or are we called to live in the light of the resurrection? I am so excited about my […]

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I am Unikitty, hear me roar! Insights from the Lego Movie

So, Aaron and I took the kids to see the Lego Movie the other day. It was a cute film, full of giggles, snickers, and inside jokes for anyone who has ever played with Legos. But my favorite moment had to be when Princess Unikitty, the precious pink regent of Cloud Cuckoo Land, snapped during […]

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Ladies, You’re Not Called to be Timid! Nurturing a Spirit of Power, Love and Self-Discipline.

This is a repost from 2012. Enjoy! We were raised to be timid, most of us. In the tiny white churches speckling the countryside, we were taught to be cautious, to be courteous, to be kind and good and avoid even the appearance of evil. Being a good Christian looked like wearing clean, pressed clothes […]

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Married by 14, mother by 15, abandoned by 16, back in 7th grade at 19

After three days of teaching a group of thoughtful, well-spoken teachers and church leaders in Bondo, Kenya, I was impressed. Where was the oppression I thought was supposed to be so prevalent in rural Africa? The women who stood up to talk during the training would have made the average American woman look mousy and […]

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On arguing with experience, grieving the Holy Spirit, and being 5/8ths right.

My pastor is fond of saying “You can't argue with experience.” But some people do. I've been hearing about it a lot lately in Christian circles. The cessationist pastor who accuses charismatics of being heretics who “grieve the Holy Spirit.” The pentecostal who thinks people who don't speak in tongues aren't saved. The academic types […]

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Divorce in the Church: “I literally asked Jesus to end my life because, in my mind, I could not end my marriage.”

Divorce is one of those topics we don’t really like to talk about in church. We all know people who have been wounded by divorce, and we all know people who have been wounded by staying in an unhealthy marriage. We know that the Bible speaks against divorce, yet we also know that God allowed […]

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“Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”: Lament as an Act of Worship

Here’s the last post from my friend Pam on dealing with the “waves of adversity” in our lives. I am becoming an avid cyclist, some would describe me as a obsessive cyclist, but I enjoy cycling and participating in road races. It’s a newer passion and I find myself being coached and encouraged by those […]

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Who is in Your Community? The Importance of Seeking Mentors.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I don’t remember where I heard that nugget of pop psychology, and I don’t fully subscribe to it, but the words stuck with me. I was heading into a season of change and transition: the youngest of my four children had […]

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How Do You Preach the Gospel and Breastfeed? Adventures of a Female Evangelist

I’m thrilled to be featuring a guest post from Jessica Fick, who I met last week on Twitter and promptly fell in love with. (The fact that she happened to be in Wisconsin right then for an evangelistic crusade at UW-River Falls didn’t hurt, either–the photos in this post are from that.) Enjoy!  I pulled […]

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Why We Need More Women In Ministry: My Article for RELEVANT

The church has always relied heavily on the contributions of women, from the female disciples who traveled with Jesus and funded His ministry out of their own means to the nameless grandmother who showed up early to brew the coffee you swigged down before church last week. But women are growing increasingly disenchanted with the […]

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Mary Means “Rebellion”: Jesus and His Band of Rebellious Women

When I was little, my mom used to act out Bible stories with me. My favorite, always, was Mary Magdelene finding Jesus in the garden. I would be Mary, kneeling in front of the tomb (our wood stove) in the little flannel bathrobe my mom had sewn for me, pretending to cry. My mom would […]

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John Piper, Women in Combat, and How Gender Roles Fall Short of the Glory of Humankind

Co-Ed Combat and Cultural Cowardice, an article written by John Piper in 2007, has resurfaced in light of the U.S. military’s decision to let women serve in combat. I’m posting part of it here not because I want to pick a fight with Piper (please see my comments policy), or discuss women in combat (I […]

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When Courage Means Picking Up a Guitar

Today, I picked up a guitar, and let my husband teach me four chords. It was a momentous occassion. You’ve got to understand. I have a HISTORY with guitars. Both of my parents play guitar. In the seventies, they had a folk rock band, and I would fall asleep (or not) to the sound of […]

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Watch Your Mouth! My Commitment to Mercy, and New Comments Policy.

The internet can be a brutal place. Some days, the Christian blogosphere feels more like the Roman Colosseum than Athen’s Mars Hill, a gladiatorial circus where Christian Soldiers wield sharp words against their brothers and sisters in Christ, pitting the strength of their platforms to character assassination. I’m quite certain Satan (whose very name means […]

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Fight Back Against a Culture of Violence: Crank Up the Light!

Like most Americans, I spent Friday alternately weeping, hugging my children, and wanting to kick someone in the ribs. I have nothing to say about this tragedy right now. So I won’t. I do, however, want to say something about the “kick someone in the ribs” reflex. When tragedy strikes, we naturally want to find […]

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Good Christian Fears: Is Fear Crippling Your Walk With Christ?

I’ve never considered myself a fearful person. But recently, I’ve been discovering just how much my deeply-buried fears and anxieties have influenced and continued to influence my life. These aren’t conscious thoughts, or even things that I initially recognized as fear. But as I reflected on the decisions I’ve made and the things I’ve written […]

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Women, Theology, and the Evangelical Gender Ghetto

James W. McCarty III has written a great post about the absence of female voices in the theological blogosphere. (His title is pretty awesome, too: Stop, Collaborate and Listen :-D) His conclusions are applicable to just about every area of life and ministry: Listen to women. And listen in a way in which you can […]

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Have You Been Nurturing a Spirit of Timidity? Why We Should Kick Our Polite Cowardice in the Teeth.

We were raised to be timid, most of us. In the tiny white churches speckling the countryside, we were taught to be cautious, to be courteous, to be kind and good and avoid even the appearance of evil. Being a good Christian looked like wearing clean, pressed clothes to Sunday School, like going to grandma’s […]

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