Designing Women’s Ministry

The new women’s ministry director invited all adult women to a brainstorming meeting. “We want to help you become the women God is calling you to be,” she explained as she passed out sheets of paper with each phrase of Proverbs 31:10-31 on a separate line. She read the passage, then did a bit of contextualizing to help us re-imagine the language of the Ancient Near East in our suburban experience. For example, the director noted, “She selects wool and flax, and works with eager hands” (vs. 13) co … [Read more...]

2016, You’ve Been A Handful

This year is being dubbed a true annus horribilis (year of disaster) by many. I'll be frank. It hasn't been my favorite for a variety of reasons, both cultural and personal. As it often does, the horribilis has the odor and consistency of fresh bat guano. In other words, it can serve as some Grade A fertilizer.I'm not given to putting together end of year recaps, but it helps to step back a few paces in order to see the growth sprouting from the guano, I thought I'd do a bit of reflection … [Read more...]

“Chrismukkah”: 1 thing to learn, 1 thing to taste

So many people are interested in being more intentional about learning about the Jewish and Christian calendars, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m very happy I can commend a resource that offers a thoughtful historical and devotional overview of each calendar, but also know that many people feel as through attempting to participate will be a pile-on of extra stuff to do (and extra guilt to feel if they can’t do it).Well, every once in a while, the lunar-based Jewish calendar and the so … [Read more...]

Advent: 1 thing to try, 1 thing to taste

So many people are interested in being more intentional about learning about the Jewish and Christian calendars, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m very happy I can commend a resource that offers a thoughtful historical and devotional overview of each calendar, but also know that many people feel as through attempting to participate will be a pile-on of extra stuff to do (and extra guilt to feel if they can’t do it).And there is no time of year when the pile-on of "to do's" hits like an … [Read more...]

Lullaby Playlist

For the last few years, my husband and I have watched our grandsons Gabriel and Lio most Saturday evenings. Until recently, I was their Wednesday evening sitter, too. When our own three children were young, we had a dedicated bedtime routine that included prayer and a reading from a children's devotional book. The 5-year age difference between Gabriel and Lio called for a slightly different approach to goodnight prayers.I began searching out classic, peaceful worship songs and hymns to play … [Read more...]

The Election and the Pentecostal/Charismatics

According to a 2011 Pew Forum survey, there are twice as many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in the world as there are Evangelicals. An earlier Barna survey notes that in the U.S., as many as a quarter of U.S. Christians identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.There is a wide range of practice among these brothers and sister. Some attend Assemblies of God congregations or unaffiliated independent Charismatic churches; others belong to Evangelical, mainline Protestant or Catholic … [Read more...]

You’re just in time…

From my most recent newsletter: I watched this week's election returns with one eye on the TV, the other on my Twitter feed. By 1:30 a.m., I was seeing both screens via double vision. My brain had eclipsed its saturation point.Across the political spectrum, every commentator had one sentiment in common: "This is unprecedented! History is being written tonight."No matter how we voted, I sense most of us agree we have opened the page to a disorienting – unprecedented! – new chapter in our … [Read more...]