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.
Confession time. I was debating whether or not to post this, but here it is. As many of my friends and family know, I love animals. LOVE them. Dogs, cats, goats, pigs, rabbits. frogs, lizards, you name it. And yes, even snakes occasionally, lol. But my love for animals is causing a problem…. A deep heart problem. I try to love and care and hurt for people, I really do. It’s something that I have always struggled with because of my love for animals–especially ones that have been abused by people. It’s something that I pray, seek forgiveness, and ask for a change of heart for often. Lately I have seen more and more posts about dogs and cats in particular being beaten, malnourished, or left for dead and my heart breaks for these helpless creatures. I’ve even seen videos of the animal being smacked, punched in the head repeatedly, or shot. And I mean the acts themselves, not just pictures of videos of the aftermath. Towards the animals, I feel nothing but sadness and helplessness as there is nothing I can do for the creature I see being hurt. I cry for these animals being hurt because the person […]
My often-bragged-about, love-of-my-lifetime husband has only given me flowers once. Once in 24 years of knowing him. The once came randomly after about 6 months of knowing each other. More on that later. Thankfully my love language is not gifts. In fact, that love language is barely on my radar. Thankfully my dear husband does fill up my car with gas, does do all of the grocery shopping, and nearly always takes out the garbage (as of late). I consider this romantic. Of course, my love language is acts of service. I know there are men and women out there who love doing the grand gestures. They particularly love doing the grand gestures for first dates. I don’t know if they are in love with the actual planning part, the expressions on the date’s face part, or if they are so in love with feeling like they are in love. Grand gestures on first dates make wonderful memories. Give you wonderful stories. But they do not make a relationship. I do believe you are going on that date in the hopes that there may be a relationship. Grand gestures start your story together off on the wrong path. Often an […]
What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us. Crazy busy is a numbing behavior. For you it is the schedule of your life. Being overextended on your calendar, being crazy busy is how you schedule everything. This is the pace of your life and you validate that this is just the way it is. But does it have to be? I know. You’ve already been “lectured” on this. You live with your guilt. You live with what you wish could be. I’m daring to present a new look at this. Research from Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard has found that “busyness” is an actual way people signal their importance—and that marketers are responding to it. Ugh, marketers have found another way to take advantage of you. “Luxury goods are losing signaling value” as more people can afford them. Talking about a scarcity of time is “a more nuanced way to display (importance) that doesn’t go through conspicuous consumption. It’s implicitly telling you that ‘I am very important, and my human capital is […]
How is it that I haven’t posted a blog since my birthday five months ago!? I am telling you, this year is flying by. My lack of silence is not meaning that there is nothing going on…..On the contrary, there is a lot going on in my heart and I am just waiting for the right moment to let all it’s bravery spill right out and on to this blog. So stay tuned! If you’ve missed Missionary Momma, she’s coming back. But I wanted to share this in hopes it would help someone…… I had a moment of panic the other day. Those moments where worry grips you and you almost feel like you have to throw up. When that happens I used to just almost make myself sick with worry and “what if”, but over the years I’ve learned that when that panic comes, I can feel it, but then take it right to the One who can bring that peace. So when I felt it the other day I was just like, “Okay Lord, I Trust You.” and then I dove into making dinner so that I wouldn’t think about it. Yet it was still there, this feeling […]
Psalm 18 is very personal to me. I remember very distinctly when it became personal. I remember where I was living. I remember what table I was sitting at in my kitchen. I remember being 19 years old. I remember the month. And I remember hurting so much. It was in that pain that I remember stumbling onto this crying prayer in Psalm 18 and understanding (maybe) for the first time how God moves the heavens when me as his child is hurt and cries out. I still love the descriptive way I see my prayers being heard by God as told in Psalm 18:6-15. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. […]
I just finished reading this clever little book, The Training of KX12 by That DanKent. I read it in one day, that is what I mean by little. It is using the literary style very similar to C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters with its correspondence between demons on how they try to mess with people. (Do you realize that The Screwtape Letters was written 76 years ago?!) One clever new twist is this author calls hell The Corporation. Like hell is this large impersonal conglomerate of paperwork and cubicles! So relatable!! I want to share this part from one of the correspondence (or chapters) since everything in the book is set up as if it is a corporation: Truly innovative organizations are disruptive organizations. And when it comes to disruption, you will find The Corporation excels. You see, we must be disruptive or we lose. The simple reason for this: the enemy (God) is the architect of the marketplace. He designed the battlefield upon which we fight. Everything has intended purposes. Night time for sleeping, food for eating, water for drinking, coitus for bonding and procreation. Things like that. Done within the constraints of their intended purpose, these activities […]
I received this message from a guy in my life (who also happens to be a great catch): Mandy and I broke up, so that’s tough. The distance was getting to be too much. Our personalities were different enough that we always had to put a lot of work into our relationship even when we were in the same place, and the distance only exacerbated that. She’s travelling to Russia this fall, and after that wants to live there for a year, and after that wants to do grad school (possibly overseas) and after that….well, yeah. Needless to say, the timing’s not great. But a ten month relationship is not a failure. It’s just hard. I so agree. Just because this relationship ended does not mean that it was a failure. Look at all that he learned about himself. Look at all that he discerned. And notice there are no regrets about getting into this relationship. No regrets to ask forgiveness for. No contorting of himself to keep this relationship going. It ended and it is hard. There were rhythms in his life around Mandy. There was the friendship. There was the extra attention. There was the wonderful knowing that […]
I have raised four wonderful boys, now men. I had no idea what I was doing. They chose me. Noticing their attachment to me I heard God’s direction to say yes. I jumped in. And John married all of us. We were a group package on that wedding day. When it came to raising these boys, the one thing John and I knew together was we had to make their world bigger for them to understand that this Christian life was possible for them. That they could overcome the low standards where they came from. That they belonged in this bigger world. To teach them to not be afraid of frogs and to not be fascinated with guns. To teach them that what the Bible said about them was actually true—for them too. Our idea to make their world bigger was to bring them on mystery trips, to places they never dreamed of going before. We always trusted God (had to!) with our budgeting to make these trips happen because we knew this was one of the best tools we had. On a side note, the “new mom” in me absolutely cherished every picture we took on these mystery trips. […]
Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. –Bob Dylan I choose life. I choose the adventure that life is. That means I cannot control my outcome. Life has some turns and slides. Sometimes those are wild with big ups and big downs. Sometimes they are not. Life can also be slow and steady plodding and that can make me feel uncomfortable (or cranky) at times. Through it all I choose to feel the rain. I am alive. I feel. My heart is full even as it is calloused. Healing rarely comes without pain. I saved this quote from an article that has little to do with brave living. It’s from a doctor about what he had discovered which turns out to be a pretty amazing scientific discovery: With every patient I treat, I hear myself echo the same sentiment: I know this hurts. I’m sorry. It will be over soon. In the emergency department, healing rarely comes without pain. It may be the wrenching of a joint back into place, the lancing of an abscess, or the administering of antibiotics through the business end of a large needle. But with the exception of the few who decide at […]
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Romans 15:13. Someday I’ll do a whole blog series—or sermon series—on the salutations Paul closed his letters with. They always catch me because they feel so personal. Maybe because at times the Bible does not feel personal. I also believe there is a lot of depth in these closing remarks that are too often glossed over. But for now once again I’m back to my favorite one, Romans 15:13. I’ve referenced this one before. And I will again because of these life words of hope, joy, peace, and trust all are a part of a brave life. They are all rolled into one blessing here! May you be completely filled with joy and peace. I wish it were a simple blessing but this is a deep and brave one. To begin let’s start with this oft-quoted verse from James 1:2-3, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Joy in the midst of trials? Joy in the midst of pain? As […]
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.