The Homeless Veteran: Guest Post by Bobby Hegedish

Engaging with homeless people I encounter has become a joy and a passion for me.  My friend Bobby Hegedish has discovered a similar calling. I think you will love his story of a homeless veteran. Orlando (although a city like Cleveland where I call home) has a much different vibe than most of the cities I have been to. Ethnic, cultural and economical diversity paint the town colors that make it known as “The City Beautiful.” I don’t usually find myself walking the streets of downtown Orlando past 11:00 PM. However, walking the streets recently to where my parked car was located gave me a sense of being small. Surrounded by skyscrapers and people, from wanderers to third-shift workers, I had a sense of being invisible. But in a moment of discrete observation and contemplation, the city around me became like a scene from a good documentary. What happened next would have made a great scene in such a film. Muttered words I could barely understand came from a man passing by on my right, head to the ground and papers in hand. From when I was a child, I have had a particular burden for those who had less and the homeless. Regardless of how they got there, it was their reality. Yet in small suburban Cleveland growing up, there weren’t many people with those situations to interact with. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Stopping in my tracks, I turned to the man in a split-second decision to attempt a conversation with him. I’ve tried many ways of serving the poor throughout the past several years: giving money or food, taking them out to eat, giving rides, and even a place to stay. These have been exercises as well as tests of faith for me. However, it is so easy to dismiss and project critical, judgmental thoughts onto folks like this man, who I found out was named David. These initial heart-level responses are inherent: external circumstances which trigger pre-disposed responses. Call it “flight Read more

Write the Vision: Guest Post by Stacey Thacker

  “And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” (Habakkuk 2:2) A couple of years ago I found a kindred heart on the pages of God’s Word. His name was Habakkuk. He has a tiny three-chapter book in the Old Testament with his name on it. Maybe I liked him immediately because he wrestled with God. Or perhaps it was because of something God told Habakkuk to do, even though he was feeling fresh out of amazing like me. “What did God tell Habakkuk to do? He told the prophet to pick up the chisel and write the vision on a tablet. God also told him how to do it. The phrase “keep it simple.” Now consider that God had to tell farmer-turned-prophet Habakkuk to keep his message simple. He didn’t have a hashtag, images purchased from iStock, or even colored pens to make his message extra special. He didn’t have a Journaling Bible or a You-Tube video. He had a simple message written on tablets of stone, and God said, “Hey, Habakkuk, just write what you saw. Nothing less. Nothing more.” When God speaks we don’t need to dress it up or make it fancy. His Word, his vision, his instructions are enough. God told Habakkuk to write it down. And he did. I know what you may be thinking: “But I’m not a writer. I failed writing in college. I avoid writing grocery lists. This doesn’t apply to me.” Before you move on, though, let me just put this out there for you to consider: Habakkuk was a farmer. Peter was a fisherman. David was a shepherd. Matthew was a tax collector. James was a carpenter. I am a mom. Write the vision on people's hearts. You don’t have to identify as a writer to write down faith-affirming words inspired by God. You simply have to be willing. And whether anyone sees your words or you tuck them away in a journal like I did for years, your words matter because your soul matters. Writing is indeed clarifying soul work. And isn’t that what we need Read more

Our Loving Bitmojis--Just in Time for Valentine's

We would know we love each other if we never said the words because of the little things we do daily to demonstrate Read more

Lingering in the Word of God Brings Transformation

This is the third post from my word for the year—linger. What does a true follower of Jesus look like and live like? I ask that question often, especially as I read—and linger--in the Word God. Today I was in Romans 12—which is abounding with words that unveil the beautiful, character-growing transformation that God has promised to do in our lives. A Living Sacrifice The chapter is brimming with instructions to encourage us to surrender to God’s labor of love in our lives. So we will take a brief look at just verses 1-2, and hopefully continue through the chapter in later posts. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, NLT) Paul is addressing you and me as well as the believers in Rome: brothers and sisters—all of us! What he wants to say to us is so vital and essential that he pleads with us. Because of all God has done for us, he reasons, we must give our bodies to God. This giving of ourselves is no small matter—we are to give ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice. A living sacrifice? Clearly something different than the sacrifices of animals. What does it mean to be a living sacrifice? (Here’s a hint: We will find out what that looks like as we encounter the verses that follow in the rest of the chapter.) And a holy sacrifice? Me? You? Holy? Only because we have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus. And acceptable to God? Again, only because we have been bought by Jesus’ death on the cross. How does our Father receive our very personal sacrifices? As worship. Perhaps this giving of our living selves is Read more

Hidden Figures - the work and worth of women at Tim Fall

  For years I have been an advocate for the staff women in our ministry, seeking greater opportunities for them to use their gifts. In more recent years my friend and acquaintance circle has expanded to embrace many women of color. So it's no surprise that I loved Hidden Figures. It is a beautiful story of overcoming prejudice and discrimination to accomplish great things.  And I am grateful that Tim Fall invited me to write a personal reflection on the movie. I hope this "review" will get you up and on your way to see it.. Here's a taste, then head on over to Tim's blog, Just One Train Wreck After Another, to keep reading.   My stomach knotted. Already? Would there be trouble even in the opening scene? Three young black women on their way to work at NASA in the early 1960s stalled on the side of a country road. As the “mechanical one” worked to fix the problem, a police officer pulled up behind them. Cheerfulness turned to confrontation. My whole body tensed as I remembered such encounters in books I had read, in movies I had seen, in stories my friends had related. Gratefully “working at NASA” rescued them and the officer escorted them to their jobs. I attended the showing of Hidden Figures with the global leaders of Cru. It’s become tradition at the annual Executive Team retreat to take a break and attend a current significant movie. I asked why Hidden Figures was chosen, though there were other important films available in the same theater.... Keep reading: https://timfall.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/hidden-figures-the-work-and-worth-of-women/ What about you?  What emotions did this stir? c2017 Judy Read more

Guest posts

Write the Vision: Guest Post by Stacey Thacker

Write the Vision

 

“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” (Habakkuk 2:2)

A couple of years ago I found a kindred heart on the pages of God’s Word. His name was Habakkuk. He has a tiny three-chapter book in the Old Testament with his name on it. Maybe I liked him immediately because he wrestled with God. Or perhaps it was because of something God told Habakkuk to do, even though he was feeling fresh out of amazing like me.

“What did God tell Habakkuk to do? He told the prophet to pick up the chisel and write the vision on a tablet. God also told him how to do it. The phrase “keep it simple.”

Now consider that God had to tell farmer-turned-prophet Habakkuk to keep his message simple. He didn’t have a hashtag, images purchased from iStock, or even colored pens to make his message extra special. He didn’t have a Journaling Bible or a You-Tube video.

He had a simple message written on tablets of stone, and God said, “Hey, Habakkuk, just write what you saw. Nothing less. Nothing more.” When God speaks we don’t need to dress it up or make it fancy. His Word, his vision, his instructions are enough.

God told Habakkuk to write it down. And he did.

I know what you may be thinking: “But I’m not a writer. I failed writing in college. I avoid writing grocery lists. This doesn’t apply to me.” Before you move on, though, let me just put this out there for you to consider:

  • Habakkuk was a farmer.
  • Peter was a fisherman.
  • David was a shepherd.
  • Matthew was a tax collector.
  • James was a carpenter.
  • I am a mom.

Write the vision on people’s hearts.

You don’t have to identify as a writer to write down faith-affirming words inspired by God.

You simply have to be willing. And whether anyone sees your words or you tuck them away in a journal like I did for years, your words matter because your soul matters. Writing is indeed clarifying soul work. And isn’t that what we need most when we are fresh out of amazing?

Maybe you think this is fine for word-loving girls, but you still do not consider yourself a writer. Perhaps even keeping a private journal has no appeal to you. I have had times in my life when my journal sits unused and gathers dust. I get the “no appeal.” I really do. But guess what? Friend, we are the actual living letters other people are reading.

The apostle Paul said it in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (The Voice):

You are our letter, every word burned onto our hearts to be read by everyone. You are the living letter of the Anointed One, the Liberating King, nurtured by us and inscribed, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God—a letter too passionate to be chiseled onto stone tablets, but emblazoned upon the human heart.

We open our heart and from the beginning God begins to mark it with his holy pen. He writes Christ on it, telling those who read our lives that we are his. God doesn’t write on stone tablets anymore. He writes on human hearts that live and breathe and have their being in him.

And as we go about our day, our hearts bump into the hearts of others, and we write a message on their hearts as well. When we write God’s grace words, we build up, love, and encourage the people we encounter.

It gives me pause to think of the hearts I have written on today. What mark did I leave? Have I left a God word there for others to read? Will my marks on their hearts point others to Him? The most powerful place to write God’s truth is on the tablet of someone’s heart. We have to treat this responsibility with great care.

As a writer, I often think about the effect of words.

But I hope after considering it, you understand that you are a writer too. It is tempting when we are fresh out of amazing to only write messages of discouragement and discontent on the hearts of others. But sharing the gospel is simply writing Jesus on the heart of everyone we encounter. When we do that, people will not say, “She is amazing!” They will say, “Wow! Her God is good.”

Your words, if chosen carefully, can land in the soft places of people’s hearts and point them to Jesus. I’m overwhelmed by this opportunity he so freely gives.

It is truly sacred space. “

(Adapted from Fresh Out of Amazing: Opening Your Heart to God’s Unexpected Invitation)

Stacey_716-0Stacey Thacker is a wife and the mother of four girls. Creator of the popular blog Mothers of Daughters, she is a writer and speaker who loves God’s Word. Her passion is to connect with women and encourage them in their walks with God. Her books include Hope for the Weary Mom, the Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional: A 40 Day Journey (co-written with Brooke McGlothlin) and Fresh Out of Amazing. You can find her blogging at staceythacker.com and hanging out on Instagram and Twitter @staceythacker, usually with a cup of coffee in her hand.

 

 




Posted on by JudyDouglass in Guest posts 5 Comments

Cru Inner City: A Heart for the Poor by John Sather

This past weekend I had the privilege of participating in a Christmas in New York gathering for friends of Cru Inner City.  We saw some of the realities of life in the inner city and heard stories of help and hope. I was especially moved by this message from John Sather, co-national director of this ministry to the poor and marginalized.  This truly expresses the heart of God. You will want to watch the Brennan Manning video at the end–I believe this helps us grasp the heart of Christmas.

Friends at the Cru Inner City warehouse

Packing homeless care kits: blanket, hats, gloves, scarfs, toiletries, health protein bars, booklet that tells all the social services they can go to for help.

  • Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Matthew 25:40 – “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
  • Jeremiah 22: 16 – “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the Lord.”
  • Isaiah 61:1 –The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”
  • Psalm 35:10 – “All my bones shall say,“O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

“Passionate Concern”

Isaiah 58:1-12

Pastor John Piper states, “The point of Isaiah 58 is this: Piety that does not produce a passion for God-exalting social justice and practical mercy is worthless. Or to put it positively: God promises that we will break forth like the dawn if our piety produces a passion for social justice and practical mercy.”

The core of our belief must be the gospel and especially when it comes to doing biblical justice ministry: Pastor Tim Keller states so well: “The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself or less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”

Prayer before packing

Read Isaiah 58:1-12. In these passages there are five basic human needs that God is passionately concerned about for every person. These reflect the mission, vision and values of Cru® Inner City:

1.The need for freedom from bondage and oppression.

Four times in verse 6 and once in verse 9 the writer comments on this. Verse 6: “Loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the straps of the yoke, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke.” Verse 9b: “Take away the yoke from your midst.”

How can the inner workings of the heart be changed from a dynamic of fear and anger and control to that of love, joy, freedom and gratitude? Here is how. We need to be moved by the sight of what it cost to bring us home. The key difference between a Pharisee and a believer in Jesus is inner-heart motivation. Pharisees are being good but out of a fear-fueled need to control God. They don’t really trust him or love him. To them God is an exacting boss, not a loving father. Christians, on the other hand, have seen something that has transformed their hearts toward God so they can finally love and rest in the Father.”— Pastor Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God

2. The need for food.

Verse 7a: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?”

3. The need for housing.

Verse 7b: “[Is it not] to bring the homeless poor into your house?”

4. The need for clothing.

Verse 7c: “[Is not this the fast I choose:] When you see the naked, to cover him?

5. The need for respect.

Verse 9b: “Take away . . . the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness.” In other words, stop accusing unjustly and belittling and exploiting.

The God of the Bible (found in Christ alone) is present with the poor, the hungry, the broken, the disabled, the mentally ill, the aging, the marginalized and the powerless.

When our focus is on being in control, obsessed with success, having influence at any cost, grabbing for power and angry when things don’t go our way, do we really know God? When we know Him, have been transformed by His grace, we naturally move towards those who are truly like ourselves: those experiencing brokenness, loneliness and struggling with human need. Pastor John Piper said “I love it when the church moves towards needs not comfort.”

For us to carry out God’s Great Command to love our neighbor, we need to stay close to those who are small, vulnerable and weak, caring about their needs.

folding blankets

 

making new friends

Isaiah preaches biblical justice to the people of God simply and profoundly, so our piety, our love for God should produce a passion for biblical justice and practical mercy…because we WANT TO not have to...

  • When we discover His grace and mercy, at the foot of the Cross, we can truly rejoice and experience the love of Jesus because we will want that for others too!
  • Tim Keller says “…when justice for the poor is connected not to guilt but to grace and to the gospel, this “pushes the button” down deep in believers’ souls, and they begin to wake up–” Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just

All the rest of this text of Isaiah is a promise about the good things that happen in our lives when we give ourselves away to others in the cause of justice and mercy. And we know from the fulfillment of this prophecy (in Jesus) that this does not mean we earn God’s blessings. God himself, through Christ, purchases them for us at the cross and empowers us to fulfill the conditions for them.

Verse 8: “If you give yourself away to bring justice and mercy in the world, instead of just living for your own comforts….

“…Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’.” [He continues in the middle of verse 10:] “then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”

Brennan Manning has produced a powerful short video on Compassion 

What about you? How is God growing your heart of compassion?

john-satherJohn Sather is the co-national director of Cru Inner City, seeking comprehensive Biblical Justice thru the local church. He and his wife, Chris, live in Minneapolis/St. Paul. You can find him on Facebook  and Twitter.




Posted on by JudyDouglass in Guest posts, True Followers Leave a comment

Kingdom Women: Catherine of Aragon-Despite All Odds by Jamie Rohrbaugh

Throughout the this year I will post an ongoing series on Kingdom Women—women God has used and is using in His great Kingdom endeavor.  We will meet these women in God’s Word, in the early church, in the dark  ages, in the past great missionary efforts and among today’s true followers of Jesus.  Jamie introduces us to Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England.

Catherine of Aragon

What’s your definition of a Kingdom woman?

Mine is: “A woman who knows where she fits in God’s divine plan, and does everything she can to carry out God’s purpose for her life with her whole heart.” Those are tall orders, but they are not too hard for us! When God shows us our role in His Kingdom strategy, He also empowers us to fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

Though she lived centuries ago, Catherine of Aragon (the first wife of English despot King Henry VIII) was a Kingdom woman whose life deserves examination. Against all odds, she was a faithful steward of God’s call on her life.

Catherine (b. 1485) was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (the same monarchs who financed Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas). In 1501, she was married to Prince Arthur of England, but he died soon thereafter without consummating their marriage. In an effort to ally the kingdoms of Spain and England, Henry VIII married Catherine himself in 1509.[1]

Catherine’s life was filled with difficulty. However, she rose valiantly to each occasion. For example:

1. She never fully mastered the English language.

However, she won the hearts of the English people anyway through tireless advocacy for education (including for women), humanitarian relief for the poor, and her legendary piety.

2. She was sometimes forced to rule England alone.

King Henry travelled frequently, waging futile wars in France in an effort to gain prestige and enhance his own reputation. While he was away, however, Catherine proved herself an excellent ruler.

As Queen Regent, Catherine led the English nation through its own time of war. She personally guided the nation through the invasion of James IV of Scotland. When English troops crushed James at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513, Catherine sent the bloody coat of the defeated Scottish king to Henry in France, suggesting that he use it as his battle standard.[2] Though it was highly unusual for a woman of that time to rule over men, she did so without fear.

3. Her husband, Henry VIII, was an infamous womanizer and worshipper of self.

However, Catherine steadfastly fasted and prayed for his salvation throughout her entire life.

Nowhere in Catherine’s life do we see the strength of her character more than in the way she handled Henry VIII’s “Great Matter:”

Despite her keen leadership skills and her popularity with the English people, Queen Catherine lost favor with Henry after 18 years of marriage. Henry’s main goal was to produce a male heir, and Catherine had not borne a son who had lived.

Henry was willing to pay any price for a son who could inherit his throne. In 1527, Henry began petitioning the Pope for his marriage to Catherine to be annulled. (He claimed that his marriage was cursed since she had been the wife of his brother.)

Henry’s pleas fell on deaf ears in Rome, so Henry pushed harder. The king’s advisors “suggested” to Catherine that she should abdicate the throne and become a nun, which would absolve her of her marriage vows—and free Henry to wed his new love, Anne Boleyn. Catherine refused the convent, stating emphatically that God had called her to be Queen of England, not a nun.

Since Catherine refused to cooperate with him, Henry waged all-out war on her. He began to claim that Catherine was not a virgin when they were married, but Catherine insisted she was. The “he-said, she-said” argument got nowhere with the Pope. Henry then ordered his henchman, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, to secure the annulment. Wolsey called a church trial in England, where the religious officers attending would be likely to vote for Henry since they feared for their lives.

When Catherine, ever the regal Queen, entered that court hearing in 1529, she prostrated herself before the King’s feet. Then, though she spoke from a position of humility, she bravely challenged Henry to remember righteousness and justice, to admit that she was a virgin at their marriage and that their marriage was holy before God, and to abandon his sin. She then rose and left the room with dignity. The guard stomped his staff on the stone floor and cried, “Catherine of Aragon! Return to the court!” … but she would not. Henry’s sin was his own, and she would not be his pawn.[3]

Henry eventually won his annulment by bypassing the Church of Rome completely. Around winter of 1531, he banished Catherine to live out her days in a series of isolated, damp, dilapidated castles.[4] In 1533—after Henry had already married Anne Boleyn—Henry’s newest church henchman granted him a divorce from Catherine. Catherine of Aragon lived only a few more years, finally passing away of suspected cancer in 1536.[5]

Catherine’s story ended tragically, but she remained true to her call all her life in spite of the horrible circumstances she endured. Even after Henry disposed of her, Catherine remained convicted that her call was to be Henry’s wife and Queen of England. She continued to conduct herself accordingly. She forgave Henry for his sins against her, and even continued to fast and pray for his soul. Poignantly, Catherine’s last letter to Henry was signed “Catherine the Queen.”[6]

Catherine’s fate was sad, and some may think that she was hopelessly delusional. However, I believe she was a true Kingdom woman. Catherine knew her place in history. She knew that God had called her to be Queen of England. She functioned as an anointed ruler and wife until circumstances beyond her control prevented her from doing so.

This Kingdom woman endured hardships that no mortal should have to endure. Nevertheless, she did so with grace and strength of character. She remained true to God and did what she could all her days.

In my opinion, that makes Catherine of Aragon a heroine and a true Kingdom woman.

What characteristics do you admire in Catherine’s story?

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/catherine_of_aragon

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Flodden

[3] http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/madness-of-henry-viii/

[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/catherine_of_aragon

[5] http://www.pbs.org/wnet/sixwives/meet/ca_handbook_fate.html

[6] http://englishhistory.net/tudor/letter5.html

Jamie RohrbaughJamie Rohrbaugh is a writer, Bible teacher, and unlikely worship leader from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her passion is to see “on earth as it is in heaven” become reality in every Christian’s life. She blogs at www.FromHisPresence.com to encourage and equip people to become spiritual fathers and mothers, function in their gifts, and live a lifestyle of personal revival. Jamie holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and a Master’s in Biblical Studies from Berea Seminary. She is married to Bruce, and together they have one cat.

You can find Jamie on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FromHisPresence and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FromHisPresence.




Posted on by JudyDouglass in Guest posts, Kingdom Women 5 Comments

Dare Mighty Things: Your Life Matters Guest Post by Halee Gray Scott

Dare Mighty ThingsI’ve had the privilege of meeting Dr. Halee Gray Scott in several venues: Synergy Women’s Network, Redbud Writers Guild, Christian Leadership Alliance.  I love that she’s from Texas, that she’s brave and intelligent and articulate.  And I love the book she has written: Dare Mighty Things.  She has kindly shared an excerpt from the book below.

Christian women have been shamed into a corner. Many have bought the lie that they are the second sex — they do not matter and they are not gifted, at least not in the ways that matter most. They got the message that they need to limit their horizons, temper their ambitions. They are leaving. Research shows not only are there less women in church, there are less women going to seminary. Women’s advancement in leadership has altogether stalled, right along with the wage gap. Women, especially Millennial women, see this lack of progress and start to wonder if leadership is even worth it. So they look for “the good life” elsewhere. As the French say, “Ça ne vaut pas la peine.” It is not worth the pain.

It isn’t enough for me to simply tell you the stories of Christian women who are daring mighty things and outline the challenges you will face, so let me tell you this:

Your life matters. We can learn from our ancestors, from Christian women who dared mighty things and brought about massive cultural reform. It was not too long ago that women in the nineteenth century, women with far more limitations than we have today, worked to abolish slavery, alcoholism, poverty, illiteracy. They created legislation to prevent women from being sexually exploited by men, built homes to keep them safe, and provided aid to immigrants.

You are gifted and called. The Lord can do more than you can possibly imagine through your life.

You are needed. The same problems that confronted the women of the nineteenth century confront us today. Women are still exploited by men. Slavery is not abolished for all. Fifteen million children go to bed hungry every night in America alone.  We can find the good life by daring mighty things, by overcoming our personal challenges in order to make a good life for others.

God is working through Christian women. The first challenge for most Christian women? Believing you are a leader at all. Believing you have gifts. Believing that God wants to use your life as a force for good. Not every woman is called to be a pastor, a minister, or a CEO of a non-profit. Some women are called to lead in other ways—leading an at-home Bible study, starting a food pantry at their church — but these women are leaders, too, and their contributions have been minimized for far too long.

Sometimes the mightiest thing you can do is to do that which seems very small—dare to dream big dreams. Dare to believe that you can make a difference. Dare to believe that overcoming obstacles and facing challenges is worthwhile. Women have overcome them before; all you have to do is dare to believe that you can too. That is where you start.

Dare Mighty Things Trailer:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LfJLRKOBOs[/youtube]

Halee ScottHalee Gray Scott, PhD, is an author, independent social researcher. She teaches seminary courses in spiritual formation, theology, and leadership. Her writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Christian Education Journal, Real Clear Religion, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Outcomes. Her book, Dare Mighty Things: Mapping the Challenges of Leadership for Christian Women (2014) aims to help Christian women thrive in life and ministry. She lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband, Paul, and their two daughters, Ellie and Viv. When she’s not writing or teaching, she is usually randomly Googling, baking challah bread, or climbing mountains. Halee blogs at www.hgscott.com. Follow her on Twitter at @hgscottSoli deo gloria.




Posted on by JudyDouglass in Becoming Kindling, Guest posts 4 Comments

How We Got Here: Live Alive Guest Post by Jordan Stroman

Jordan Stroman is a remarkable young woman of great tenacity and courage.  God has given her and her amazing friends a big vision.  You can read about it here–reprinted from her Live Alive blog.

Live Alive friends

Live Alive is the result of one unforgettable journey, some fierce dreamers and a whole lot of espresso.

Within me, there has always been a dream to explore new lands and to see new skies. Because traveling isn’t convenient when you come with a 400-lb electric wheelchair, assistive breathing equipment, and a plethora of other necessary gadgets, I harbored a fear of the unknown. Could I actually do this? The fear was keeping me from jumping in.

In the spring of this year, a group of us chose to say no fear, to embrace the unknown and to step into risk for the sake of adventure. Each of us had valid reasons to walk away from this opportunity: we were dealing with sicknesses, injuries, and financial burdens. It would have been easy to back out of our plans and stay home, but something told us to press in, to climb the mountain because the view from the summit was going to be spectacular. And it was.

On February 28, we left Orlando and flew across the country to San Diego, CA. This five-day journey of new experiences, unexpected surprises and new friendships has forever changed our lives and refocused our hearts on what is most important.

Our leap of faith to the West Coast taught us that life is so full of beautiful opportunity and that fear will do all it can to latch on and pull us down. This journey taught us that incredible things have room to take place when you push through fear and step into the risk of discomfort. We learned that we were created to dream and to tenaciously seek making those dreams a reality. When we pursue the dreams that are inside of us and live into those things that fill us with life and meaning, the world will begin to change.

This is where Live Alive was born: out of a desire to share these discoveries with the world.

jordan stromanFrom Jordan: In my 23 years of life, I have learned a lot about challenge and pain and deeply profound love. Born with an undiagnosed degenerative muscle disease, I have experienced the loss of most of the major functions of my body. This daily reality has given me a perspective that I am eternally grateful for and a deeply rooted desire to shatter preconceived notions. I am passionate about helping others to see the beautiful opportunity that is before them and to embrace their dreams with courage and vulnerability. This life is a gift of adventure and I’m grateful to be on the journey. (Follow Jordan on Twitter and Insta @jordeybug).

You can learn more about Live Alive at the Facebook Page.

In the photo above:  Jordan Stroman; l to r: Chris DiDonna, Sam Veatch, Lyss Aviles, Georginia Hurge




Posted on by JudyDouglass in Becoming Kindling, Guest posts Leave a comment
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 16 17   Next »