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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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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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Mismatched Dishes and Thanksgiving: The Beauty of Imperfection

It didn’t occur to me until I saw the pictures cropping up on Facebook. Beautiful tables set with sparkling place settings. I glanced back at the picture my husband had snapped and posted. The food looked as good as it had tasted, but sure enough, our table was set with decades-old mismatched dishes. Instead of […]

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When We Are Impatient With God’s Work in Our Lives.

I read Isaiah 1 this morning. It's a powerful passage, one that is often quoted in justice-oriented circles because of it's condemnation of empty religious rituals and insistence that righteousness means helping the oppressed, defending the cause of orphans and fighting for the rights of widows. Good stuff. But, hoo boy. It's kinda dumb to […]

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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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Are you going to live a little more or die a little bit? Joan Chittister on the spirituality of struggle.

My friend Pam and I spoke at a women’s conference in Moose Lake, MN recently, about the “waves of adversity” we all face in our lives. I’ll be posting follow-ups for the next couple weeks, so the women who were there (and anyone who wasn’t!) can continue to chew on and discuss the topic. This […]

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Stillness in the Storm

My friend Pam and I spoke at a women’s conference in Moose Lake, MN recently, about the “waves of adversity” we all face in our lives. I’ll be posting follow-ups for the next couple weeks, so the women who were there (and anyone who wasn’t!) can continue to chew on and discuss the topic. This […]

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Should Christian Women Color Their Hair? On Dissatisfaction, Cultural Conformity, and Battling the Inner Barbie

A couple weeks ago, I had about a foot of hair cut off my head. When you’re the busy mother of four, and have the sort of Hermione-meets-Rapunzel hair that you can almost watch grow, it’s easier to just twist the whole mass up on your head, secure it with industrial-strength hair accessories, and forget […]

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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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Faking It: Why You Should Stop Treating Your Husband Like a Toddler, and ACTUALLY Respect Him.

There’s something I’ve noticed about many popular Christian marriage books and speakers. They don’t seem to have a very high opinion of men. Oh, they think that men should be “in charge.” But often, it is implied that women should just wink and nod knowingly at one another, that although everyone knows women are the […]

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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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“Faithful”: My One Word for 2013

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. So I was thrilled to learn about the One Word movement last year. The idea? “Choose one word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.” My […]

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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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Sexist Gender Roles or (Un)Common Courtesy? Why I Teach My Boys To Hold the Doors Open

Call me old-fashioned. But few things annoy me more than seeing an elderly couple or uncomfortable-looking pregnant woman standing in a crowded lobby while fresh-faced twenty-somethings slouch on the benches, fiddling with their iPhones. *visualize indignant mom-glare* Now, I’m hardly a stickler for manners. I don’t care if my kids put their elbows on the […]

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