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.
I’ve been a woman in ministry since 1981. It started with wanting to date a guy who owned a Corvette who was also a Christian who attended this other church. Somehow someway leadership saw something in me (that guy did too, at least for a couple of months!) and gave me responsibilities which it turns out I loved. Eventually I left that church and those people (sigh) to get my education as a minister and I worked at churches throughout that education and have ever since. I have no other work identity than as a pastor. I have hardly any adult memories that are separate from this identity as a pastor. This is who I am. Who I was created by God to be. Still. Amazingly somehow the Men of the Church have never stopped me from being who I am. I do remember some rude men. I had a few who thought a sit down was needed with me. But they were outside my sphere of influence so that sit down was just miserably uncomfortable. One of my professors of theology literally told me, as I sat across his large desk, that my best path to be in full-time […]
This blog from May 8, 2017, is a popular one plus it is one I have sent to people I am counseling again and again and again. To me it is foundational to help people make a change of direction in their lives. And it’s full of truth! Such as you area not what your brain regurgitates! For the New Year I received this email from an email subscription to Science in Congregations, associated with Fuller Theological Seminary. As a pastor, I am actively trying to bridge all of the new science discoveries to the Bible and to our lives. It is simply fascinating even as I find so much of it over my head. Science and math are definite weaknesses of mine. I received this email December 27, 2018, and promptly sent it to my two sons who are in prison. The reason why is obvious. Rewire Your Brain in 2019 We’re all smitten with self-improvement, particularly as we head into a new year. As we wrap up the holiday season, many of us are contemplating not just how to drop those few extra pounds we gained, but perhaps make even more substantial changes. And that goes for churches […]
This is stuff that that relative won’t tell you. (Hopefully that relative is not your mother.) This is stuff that you won’t hear preached at your church. This is stuff that hopefully you and your team have been talking about. This stuff is true. You get to live your life to the full now. You get to live your life. All along the way God is molding you through it which is making you attractive to the spouse you’ve not met yet. To wait for that love for a lifetime will be a brave ride. Oh the stories you will have to tell about that brave ride! Your stories will amaze people, maybe even that special one you could meet along the way. When you meet that one, would you rather when asked about the story of your life say, “Oh…same old, same old…”? Or be the one who’s full of stories and involvement? Let’s turn that question around. When you meet someone and he/she has “…same old, same old…” stories or shares how stuck they are in their lives, would you be excited to go out with him/her? Or would you rather go out with the one who is […]
I’m reading Dr. Brene’ Brown’s newest book, Dare to Lead. Duh that I am. I am a big fan. In the introduction Dr. Brown lays it out for us: If you choose courage, you will absolutely know failure, disappointment, setback and even heartbreak. …That’s why it’s so rare. –Dr. Brene’ Brown, Dare to Lead, p. xviii You’ve been goalsetting for 2019? You’ve been making some brave goals. Then your 2019 will also know failure, disappointment, setback, and heartbreak. Welcome to the brave life. Because even with those painful words (and experiences), you will never feel more alive. A couple weeks ago a brave lady, Jessica, I know shared her story on Your Story. For the past seven years she has sought discernment and picked a word for her goal of the new year. The words she has picked are strong words. Her word for this year is Prepare. I’ve loved to see how other women have been inspired by this and are picking their own words for 2019. Each word has varied so much from the others that I have to believe each one is Holy Spirit inspired and each one of these women will grow in the areas their […]
This year I’m using God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas as my daily Advent devotional. It’s taken from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was a German pastor and theologian who lived, wrote, and ministered during the build up to World War II. After the Nazi government took control of the state church in Germany, Bonhoeffer operated an illegal seminary to train pastors in the Confessing Church movement that opposed the Nazification of the German church. He later took part in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The plot was ultimately unsuccessful, he was imprisoned for his role within the conspiracy, and was executed in a Concentration Camp. One of the devotions stopped me short as I read it. Part of the devotion said this: Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied more those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are people who carry restlessness around with them and people who look up with reverence to the greatest in the world. Thus Advent can be celebrated only by those whose souls give them no peace, who know that they are poor and incomplete, and who sense something of the […]
THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This meme comes from a Facebook page called the Adult Side of Tumblr.) It’s so, so heartbreaking how true this is. I wish judgment didn’t exist but unfortunately it does. What a sad world we live in. We can’t do or say or like or wear or have anything without being criticized. We can never win in this world; someone is always unhappy with us and our decisions. But then again, we weren’t put here to please people, only our King, Jesus. Please know that you are loved and appreciated!! You are valid and heard. You matter. Keep wearing that shirt or listening to that music or going to that place!! Above all, ignore the judgment and criticism and jealousy and the hatred AND. KEEP. BEING. YOU. You are a beautiful and beloved human. P.S. what I wrote applies to both the male and female population, of all ages (^: Your worth does not come from anything of this world. I cannot stress this enough. And I know you’ve heard this so many times that you just don’t even bother to register what the meaning of those words mean anymore. You hear the words “worth” or “more than enough” […]
Those of you who have been following my blogs know that “Choose Joy” is a phrase that is so special to me. I remember several years ago asking the Lord to help me understand what “choosing joy in all circumstances looks like. (On a side note, that’s sorta like praying for patience….He’ll put you right in the thick of it to show you. 🙂) Just when I thought I had this “joy in all circumstances” figured out…..He would show me another layer. I am convinced that till I meet Him in Glory, that He’ll keep showing me what it means…….and that’s okay because it’s wrecked me in the best possible way. Just because Christmas is a time to be joyful, doesn’t always mean we are……because life can be hard. Maybe you’re like I was two years ago, walking through a season of saying goodbye to someone so special to you, you didn’t think you would ever be able to breathe again. Or maybe you’re walking through a season of life where you just don’t understand or even care anymore. Joy isn’t like happiness….you have to fight for your joy, because it comes from a much deeper place inside of us. Today my […]
Do you realize that Jesus was always eating? Then there is this profoundly beautiful thought wrapped up in food: “At the Last Supper Jesus tells his disciples to eat in remembrance of him. Of all the things he could’ve chosen to be done ‘in remembrance’ of him, Jesus chose a meal. He could have asked his followers to do something impressive or mystical—climb a mountain, fast for forty days, or have a trippy sweat lodge ceremony—but instead he picks the most ordinary of acts, eating, through which to be present to his people.” –Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary, p. 63 I love eating food. Do you realize Jesus chose to eat his last meal with someone who would betray him? Here we are in the Christmas season. You are about to share meals with people who will betray you. Who have betrayed you. Who show their love conditionally and maybe have great joy in powering over you. Who will say that one thing which will start up that rotation of shame voices in your head…again. Who will trigger every insecurity you have ever conquered. Jesus is with you in those meals. You are about to eat some beautiful […]
Generic tech advice STINKS! “You just need to play with it. Try things out. Explore all the buttons and options till you figure the program out.” or “Oh it’s easy, all you have to do is, . . . (insert something I’ve tried a half dozen times already and didn’t work)” Ummm, yeah. . . 6 weeks later and I’m frustrated to the point where I’m snapping at my wife and kids, making glacially slow progress, and I’m on the verge of smashing my computer in a fit of pure rage. “Jesus, forget the wheel, take the **** computer!” Living in Botswana with unreliable internet means that we often find ourselves behind the times. In an effort to get ourselves and our ministry up to speed, I have been trying to update our Facebook group, (Wild Acacia), create a new website, set up online updates, online giving options, a blog, and linking all those things to each other. It has NOT been going smoothly. The most frustrating part of the whole process is knowing that what is currently taking me weeks could be done in a few hours if I could just get a few critical questions answered in a […]
What’s wrong with me? Is there something in me I need to fix? Is there something about my type I need to figure out? Am I attracted to the wrong types? Am I afraid of intimacy? If you just stop looking you’ll find the person? How do I do that? Engage with life and pursue your dreams. If you pursue your dreams you will meet the right person. Then you both can pursue God and make the triangle. If you are both looking at God you will run into each other because you are both pursuing God together. You are attractive to people with chemistry you are familiar with but it is not necessarily good for you so there is this problem that you know you are not going to be with them but there is this attraction to the wrong people so let’s reframe what your context of people you like. So now you are dating new people and the new person is supposed to be this different person I’m attracted to but this new person is not interesting to me. I’m not connecting. I’m bored. I miss dating the disasters but at least I’m interested—before everything blows up. […]
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.