One of our family's yearly Christmas traditions is to take the subway downtown and walk past Toronto's Bay Street Christmas windows. Just for fun, I pretend I get to choose which festive scene I would step into for the night if I could.
"Hello, my name is Erin, and my parents are divorced." Sometimes, I feel like I'm a member of a club that I can't get out of, even if I fail to pay my dues. It's the Adult Child of Divorce Club, and there are times when being a member is no picnic.
In a culture completely obsessed with feeling good, we've been raised with the idea that our self-esteem should be fed into. We look to our relationships to satisfy our craving for constant ego strokes. This is not the formula that Jesus modeled or taught.
How do you respond when the sermon doesn't apply to you? Do you check out or roll your eyes? Being a part of the body of Christ means it's not all about you. You are a small and indispensable part of a whole, just like the woman in the pew behind you. She needs you and you need her.
Autism strikes one in eighty-eight children, making it the fastest growing disability in our world today. The statistics make people scratch their heads and debate the cause. But when a child with autism enters your church, it's not about statistics anymore, and a few minor accommodations can make all the difference.
We often sum people up by outward appearance. We easily do this with ethnicity, as well. Unfortunately, our wrong assumptions and cherished preferences can affect the way we treat others, even our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Sometimes the Lord initiates changes in our lives through normal life situations or through trials and challenges. But each of these areas is meant to pry open our hands and allow the Lord to come in and fulfill His purpose through our lives.
Far too many times as a young woman I justified the rude, obnoxious, bluntly honest, criticisms that frequently spewed from my (far-too-often open) mouth. Any bystanders who might happen to be in the vicinity of my diatribes were leveled. I justified my honest jabs with the belief that: The TRUTH must be delivered!
Not much gets in the way of my Thursday night routine. For over a year now, I rush home from work, choose between getting in a quick workout or a few minutes on the couch, and head out the door to get to my small group on time. I've grown to look forward to this night of the week almost more than any other.
Most of us would say we're pro-life, but when it comes down to our daily actions and thoughts, do we really demonstrate how much we value life? Nancy gets to the heart of how we value life in today's blog.
What transforms the holidays into "happy" moments? Beneath the good food, parties, and presents, every heart craves the warmth and security that comes from being with loved ones in a haven of plenty. You need look no further than the Christmas classics to see it's true.
My mother-in-law died on November 4, and I miss her so. She was a radiant, life-giving servant of Christ who loved me—and many others—with all her heart. We walk in mournful joy these days. Now it is my turn to mother our family. Her memory will continue to influence me until I see her again. Here are a few of the biblical life principles she taught me.
If you've ever taken a walk after the sun has set, you know the dark sky and brightly-lit rooms allow you to peek into lives you might never meet otherwise. For the next month on the blog, you can skip the walk. We'll be opening curtains and flipping on lights so you can see into homes and lives of those you've never met. Women like Beth and girls like Chloe who are now walking in freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.
Where there is the love and closeness of family, there is the capacity to hurt others or to be hurt ourselves. It's part of being a family; it's part of being sinful. Do you want peace this holiday season? Here are five things you can do.
The "other side of womanhood" is the season where I've reached a place of maternal barrenness. That is a difficult reality to adjust to. But once I regained my equilibrium, I found in this "other side" season I'm actually able to be fruitful in a sweet, different way than when I was in my child-bearing years. In fact, this can be the most spiritually fruitful season of our lives.
I wonder if any of you are stuck where I was a couple years ago. It may sound silly, but I found myself wondering, Is it sinful to keep asking God for a husband? After all, I’d been seeking that—asking for that—for years, and the door appeared to be sealed shut. God seemed to thwart my plan for marriage at every turn.
A lot has been written in recent decades about finding your spiritual gifts—as though they are hard to detect without lots of inspection. That wasn't the perspective of the early church. In writing about spiritual gifts to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul emphasized three things: the source of the gifts, the purpose of the gifts, and the goal of the gifts. But he seems unconcerned with individuals spending a lot of time identifying their gifts. Here’s why.
"I have three girls ages seven, five, and two. And now I'm watching my nine-year-old niece who is crazy boy crazy. Like she couldn't make a choice of paper color until 'boy A' chose his . . . when she was in preschool! I really want to be able to help so she can not be distracted by the cute boys or men she’s around. Do you have any advice?"
I hear a common complaint about the world of Facebook. It goes something like this: "On Facebook people make their lives look perfect." I also see a common reaction from women in response: a growing trend of women writing prickly posts about this issue.
Do you know someone who struggles with cutting? Self-harm is a common problem--a silent oppression--that quietly invades the church. How can we wisely respond with gospel truth and love to those suffering in silence?
We must cultivate in our sphere of influence—our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches—spiritual daughters who in turn can pass the Truth on. The younger women among us are our sacred trust from our Heavenly Father. Making disciples is not just a nifty idea someone thought up. It is a biblical mandate.
Discipleship isn't about first-class Christians trying to bring second-class Christians up to their level. The most important way you can disciple others is by enjoying Christ yourself in such an irresistible way that your enjoyment becomes contagious.
Porn is the new normal, and this is the sobering refrain I've heard shattered girlfriends repeat: "Every Christian man fails here. I think it's just something we have to understand and accept." Or . . . is it? Catch Pastor John Piper's answer to my question, "Should the present presence of pornography in a man's life be a marriage deal-breaker for single women like me?"
To be honest, the fact that Jesus always seemed to make time for others doesn't always sit well with me. That's because valuing people isn't one of my strong suits. I tend to elevate tasks and schedules and crossing items off of my to-do lists . . .
"Loose lips sink ships." They also have a way of sinking entire families. Don't believe me? Just ask Zeresh or Potiphar's wife or the many wives of Solomon. These were wives who did not hold their tongues. They are wives who whispered unwise words into the ears of their husbands. As a result, they are wives who watched their husbands lose fortunes, favor, and even their lives. Here are their stories . . .
You mean I have to bless that person who is being rude or harsh? I can't give them the "you're an idiot" look? How about that "eye for an eye" principle? That sounds pretty good when my blood starts to boil . . . Nope, Scripture makes a clear case for humility, and it has everything to do with the gospel.
I could have said no. I could have kept my mask of perfection firmly glued on my make-up free face. But the pull of a breakfast I didn't have to cook on dishes I didn't have to wash was too much for me. The result was a steaming pile of pancakes loaded with butter and maple syrup, and a morning of ministry to my heart that filled me back up when I was empty.
Even though my company produced this film, I'm not going to be bashful about promoting this piece. The reason is not for the filmmaking--it is because of the tremendous, God-honoring faith that Ian and Larissa express. I still cry every time I watch it.
I'm not advocating that you call your children and grandchildren and announce you are adding a wing on to your house just for them. But, I do think it is wise for all of us to take note that multigenerational
living, mentoring, and connection is part of God's plan for the family.
What does all this mean for us? What difference do the Cross and the empty tomb make for those who are facing pain or tears or failure? Here are some of the implications of that momentous weekend for people like you and me.
Not long into the message I began to get a little uncomfortable. My discomfort increased as the preacher began a tirade against certain individuals, even referring to them as “idiots.” Years later, I don’t have a clue what his text or his point was, but I can clearly recall this preacher’s critical words.
While no one in their own power can “tame the
tongue,” thankfully, God provides all you need to discipline this unruly
critter! As you cooperate with Him, here are some practical tips to help you tame that unruly tongue.
It’s fine to take all kinds of issues into consideration as you decide on a church home for you and your family. But there are more important issues to keep in mind as you determine where you should worship. Here are a few of the issues I’d put on my list . . .
If you at all enjoy praying or walking, can I encourage you to listen to
this really practical conversation? Or, if you're feeling rather stymied in your prayer life . . . Either way, I think you'll catch a bit of Christ’s heart for the world as you listen to Erin
I had been a Christian for over 20 years, but this was the first time someone had offered to pray for me, and then did so--immediately--out loud and in my hearing, and over the phone! I thought to myself, how bold, how strange, and how wonderful to hear someone praying for me.
Some women are so needy for attention and affirmation that they cling to men like plastic wrap to a piece of raw meat. But women who try to quench their neediness through relationships with men are usually left feeling parched and dry.
I think all birthdays and holidays should be spent together. To me, no present is complete without a mushy card. But Dad’s different. I’m still learning how to communicate love
and respect for him in a way that he understands and desires.
Not only is this birthday a reminder that I’m no spring chicken, it also
has me wondering where the dancing has gone. Life has a way of taking
the dance right out of our hearts. Age seems to inevitably usher stress,
sadness, fear, and anxiety into our lives and those carefree days of
baby bouncing fade quickly away.
You don't have to chart your own course or manipulate your circumstances to fit your expertly designed "master plan." You can take courage and great comfort in the knowledge that your future has been planned by the One who knows you best, loves you most, and has no problem accomplishing His purposes!
If we look closely at Jesus' life, we find an interesting pattern. We know that Jesus spent His time on earth serving others. But have you ever considered how often He ministered when it was inconvenient?
Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? I’m not. Over the years I’ve found the tradition of vowing to change at the start of the New Year to be an exercise in disappointment. Every year my diets fail, my habits stay the same, and my resolutions to do things differently fall flat. Maybe that’s because I’ve been focusing on the wrong things. . . .
While I enjoyed being a young Titus 2 woman (Titus 2:1–5), I entered into the "older woman" role reluctantly. After a while, however, I realized that women were going to watch my life whether I liked it or not, but I could be the Titus 2 woman God designed me to be if I placed my confidence firmly in the Lord.
Almost two years ago, the team at Revive Our Hearts approached me about blogging for a new site, www.LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. I was excited about the opportunity to partner with Revive Our Hearts, but more than a little skeptical about the possibility that any real ministry or mentoring could occur online.
So many times I’ve thought “I don’t want to ever forget this moment.” The look in my son’s eyes as his bride walked down the aisle; my husband’s “welcome home” embrace as I returned from a third-world country; the joy of freedom after years of spiritual bondage; the night I first realized I was loved by the King of kings.
As a young woman preparing for marriage, I kept wondering, Where are all the little old, godly women who can help me get ready for this? . . . That is when I really began to have a burden for training younger women.
Whether it’s waiting for Jon to pick out just the right screws at Menards, riding in the passenger seat as he searches for the perfect parking spot, or just wanting him to do some task differently (a.k.a. “my way”), I can so easily go down the impatience path.
What are you to do when you’ve been taking an aerobics class with this woman for two years, or you’ve been sitting by this person at softball games for an entire season, or you’ve known that family for decades . . . and you can’t remember their names?
Your floors can be sparkling, the windows shining, the aromas wafting, but if you don’t know how to connect with your guest . . . well, it’s a flop! Here are a few simple do’s and dont’s I’ve learned along the way.
The following letter is from my current pastor’s wife, Holly. I love it. I hope it will help you as you seek to support, love, and respect your pastor and his wife as they shoulder the responsibilities and burdens of shepherding the church daily.
As you read this post, set aside your preconceived ideas or prejudices about the Church. Ask God to allow you to see the Church from His perspective and fill you with hope for His purpose in this "Great Mystery!"
True love is not an emotion, although true love carries with it the wonder and delight of pleasurable emotions. True love is not something we "fall in" and "out of." True love is simply the demonstration of God's character.
Just a couple days ago, I was wounded by someone’s words. As I wiped my tears away, I picked up Nancy DeMoss’ four-week devotional booklet titled The Power of Words, and found my perspective changing as I read this . . .
Jesus’ answer just raised more questions for me. Why did He include the second commandment when the man just asked for the greatest commandment? And most of all, what does it mean that all the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments?
"The lies about submission and authority as well as the role of women really wreaked havoc in my marriage. I never imagined that what seemed like normal teenage rebellion and acceptable feminine independence would break my husband’s spirit in the first few years of marriage."