Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
Are you wondering if you should be dating a Christian or not? Especially because you’ve met so many Christians guys with such obvious red lights. Or more simply ones you haven’t felt a connection with. And you’ve met some others who are not Christian and you’ve felt like you’ve connected with them so much better. And they are nice and confident and boundaried and “get” you and… There is so much good here to justify trying a relationship with this person. As you are justifying this relationship, here me loud and clear–don’t justify on your own. Bring your team in and let them speak the real truth to you. It is very true that there is chemistry in attraction and you need to pay attention to that also as you brave date. Know also that chemistry or even love does not make a good match. You can be in love with someone and it is still not a good match. I’ll write a blog on that confusing deep thought soon. As a team member for you from afar I want to share this non-negotiable that I am finding true still in my life. I just finished reading a book which […]
When I was a child, I had big dreams, much more unrealistic then my current dreams. I wanted to be on SNL, and I wanted to write screenplays and act in the movies I wrote. Even though I had a speech impediment, I was a determined kid, and I still pursued theater (despite some laughing and joking about it). My dramatic flare and natural comedic sensibilities suited me well for it. Although, one teacher, Mrs. Beardsley, expressed complete surprise about my career longings since I was super shy. I had intense social anxiety in high school (after being bullied in middle school and other traumas) so her concern was understandable. I didn’t realize at the time how relevant her concern was. One way I helped my social anxiety, was from being aloof and unreachable. I kept my head in the clouds, and I preferred being there, and it protected me from rejection. The only time I really came out of my shell, was when I was on stage and then I could transform into anyone I wanted to be. In college, I had a very short time of majoring in theater– I was going the route to study play writing […]
There are two stories that follow each other in Luke chapter 5 that I discovered have a unique Bravester connection to each other. The first story is one of the disciples first experiences with Jesus: One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon (Peter), its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of […]
We have a guest post from someone who’s blog I follow, Dee’s Dating Diary. I asked Dee’s permission to share this wisdom with us here and she said yes. So go ahead and read these brave thoughts and see if they don’t change some of your thinking. Don’t punish yourself with regrets, just move forward. _____________________ There’s a huge problem in dating that needs to be addressed. From the moment a relationship becomes exclusive, or even before this point, many women treat their boyfriends like they are their husbands. Most of the time, you will see women do for their boyfriends what a wife does for her husband and this is not okay. Unless there is a ring on your finger, you should never treat your boyfriend as if he is your husband! Playing Wife Is A Temporary Comfort While “playing house” and “playing wife” may make you feel happier about your relationship because you exhibit that close, committed relationship held by a husband and wife, you don’t have the comfort and security that a marriage provides. While you’re doing so much for your boyfriend to the point that you resemble the role his wife would take on, you’ll be disappointed to learn […]
Speaking first of being stuck. Our one son is approaching 20 years of prison sentence time. That is stuck. But even more so because he has been stuck at a higher level of prison for 18 of those years. Stuck for reasons that I won’t get into here because the “reform” system is too broken. In all that time he has proactively battled to keep his mind, to not lose his identity in a dehumanizing system. It’s been hard and exhausting—on me. Oh, and him too. He credits prayer as a big factor here to get him through. Finally he’s been transferred to a “correctional” institution. He has responsibilities—which means he has freedoms. When someone is sentenced to criminal time what they lose in their freedom is responsibility for their own lives because they weren’t able to handle their own responsibilities for their own life when they had freedom. Freedom always means responsibility. So in this new freedom while still stuck serving time, our son is a rush of emotions and thinking. He is remembering the exact moment when he decided how to “make it” through the system. He is remembering the many little moments when God was near him, […]
As I’ve said in this series, I’m a Matthew version of Holy Week person. In my church we are doing a deep deep dive on Holy Week from Mark’s version. But in my daily Bible reading I ended up in Luke for Holy Week. And this part of Luke gave me a giggle: But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to […]
In my job I work with a lot of teen girls which means body image issues are prevalent. They always have been. It doesn’t matter what decade (and I’ve got nearing 4 decades accumulated of working with teen girls). Yet every decade something new must be hated about our bodies. Now we have the “thigh gap.” “What?” says all of the “old folks.” Thigh gap is too much a part of today’s teen conversations. And how is one to increase their thigh gap when this is yet another feature that relies heavily on DNA. Some thigh-gappers are bow-legged and is that the real answer? #thigh gap is stupid. Unfortunately, body image issues are not just a teen girl problem. Teen boys are also feeling the pressure. Young men are too. And women—no matter how old we grow we still deal with issues of hating our body. Jesus came down and put on this same flesh that we have to give us all a chance. Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, […]
The crucifixion continues. As the body fatigues, cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless pain. With the cramps come the inability to push upward. Air can be drawn into the lungs but cannot be exhaled. Carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs. Hours pass of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from Jesus’ back (from the needless whippings) as it moves up and down the splintered wood. Then something else happens to Jesus’ body. A crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. The compressed heart struggles to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood. So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate […]
Look at this guy. This is who the women are swooning after. At least many of the single women who are watching This is Us. I’ve had this same conversation with so many single women from my many circles of life. Women dig this guy. This is not your stereotypical swoony guy, right? But Toby of This is Us is doing some things that every woman wants in a love for a lifetime. Toby is not perfect (remember him in Season 1 sabotaging Kate and her weight loss goals or pressuring her too much for sex?) but he has pursued Kate well and adores her. This is why we are drawn to him. In the end it turns out that looks don’t matter to women as much as being truly seen and still loved does. Note: If you don’t watch This is Us or you are behind on watching This is Us because it is on your binge list and you haven’t gotten to it yet, there will be small spoiler alerts ahead. If you never want to watch This is Us I believe you will still learn a lot from this post and not be in the dark about […]
The crucifixion continues. Now Jesus’ two legs are nailed together onto the cross with one even larger spike which will equal two scars. All of Jesus’ body weight is now on the nails nailed above his ankles causing excruciating pain which shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. All of the nails are nailed in the location that is designed to put pressure on the median nerves. To relieve the pain in the arms, the criminal—or Jesus–has to push up on his feet which sends a searing pain through the nerves between the metatarsel bones. When hanging, the lungs are unable to work properly because of the pressure. Just to breathe, the criminal—or Jesus–has to try to stand on his nailed feet to get a breath of air. All of the weight of me is also on Jesus. Every time I am violated. Every sin I commit. Me. Because I am pursued and loved anyway because he is love. This all is too much to think about it yet I must. This is what Lent is preparing us for. This ugliness that was my life that is also crucified. I say was knowing that […]
Brenda has been teaching the messages of Bravester for over 25 years. She is available to come to your group event. People have found her vulnerability and storytelling mixed with the Bible to be inspirational and life changing.
“You have had a significant influence on how I view brokenness, forgiveness, and the role God plays through all of that through a very difficult time in my life. Since that year at CRC, I have taken significant steps to getting bitterness out of my heart… You have had a significant impact on my life. I really do not think I would be the woman I am today if it were not for the lessons you taught me. You are a strong instrument of God and his word.” –Sara, former camp counselor and now inner-city missionary
Brenda can be joined by her husband John. They have a back-and-forth dialog that mixes in John’s beautifully written music. John is also available to lead worship for the event.
From Brenda’s 35 years of youth ministry experience, she has become a Brave Dating Coach. She has a lot of good things to say to help her many grown teens be coached into marriage. She is also available to teach on these many good things for your group event.