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.
Read this also or first? Maybe you can laugh a bit at these real awkward moments. Maybe? Too many other Christians see marriage as the ultimate goal for your life. I’ve written about that stupidity here. I can call it stupid but it doesn’t make it less real. It is real. What you are feeling is real. And here you are trying to live your life uncompromised for God and using this time as a single wisely in all areas of your life (you are, right?) but this is the constant message around you. That is tension. It becomes holy tension when you face the discomfort they are putting on you and continue to live your life to the full bravely following after Jesus. Now. Meanwhile looking around for who is keeping up with you. It doesn’t mean you have to like this though. There is holy tension because there are times when you are lonely. This is real. And this is okay. Something is not wrong with you because you are lonely at times. There is this “thing” out there that implies that loneliness is not a correct emotion to have. For many reasons to admit that you […]
The only one who can really understand why someone stays in an abusive relationship is the person it is happening to. It is VERY frustrating for the friends and family members who can see this happening plain as day, but when you are IN it, you have no idea how bad it is. You have this dream/desire of what you planned for your life, you have a vision of this great man that you are with, that has some problems, but you think doesn’t everyone?? You over accentuate all of the good qualities of this guy, “he can be so sweet…we have a good time when we’re together…most of the time it’s great…he loves our child(ren)…he really does want the best for us…he LOVES me and he wants to be with me.” You are with this guy in mind, body and spirit, but he might only be in your mind. He might not actually exist, or he exists in the man you are with but only part of the time. All you know is what you know. You do everything you can to make him happy, to keep the relationship together. You think you know what he wants and you […]
For Lent the staff at my church are reading Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is how my first reading on Ash Valentine’s Day went: I wake slowly. Even when the day demands I rally quickly—when my kids leap on top of me with sharp elbows or my alarm blares—I lie still for the first few seconds of the day, stunned, orienting, thoughts dulled. Then comes, slowly, the dawning of plans to make and goals for the day. But in those first delicate seconds, the bleary-eyed pause of waking, before the tasks begin, before I get on my game, I’m greeted again with the truth of who I am in my most basic self. Whether we’re children or heads of state, we sit in our pajamas for a moment, yawning with messy hair and bad breath, unproductive, groping toward the day. Soon we’ll get buttoned up into our identities: mothers, business people, students, friends, citizens. We’ll spend our day conservative or liberal, rich or poor, earnest or cynical, fun-loving or serious. But as we first emerge from sleep, we are nothing but human, unimpressive, vulnerable, newly born into the day, blinking as […]
I know this great guy. He used to be a camp counselor at a camp I regularly speak at. He’s just announced that he’s going to run as a state representative to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. If elected he’ll be the third youngest person ever sworn in. When he personally told me he was going to run he laid out how the opportunity presented itself and then told me, “So I leaned into the tension as you once told me and here we are!” Yesterday our Missionary Momma Sarah celebrated her 40th birthday and shared part of her story of her great adventure she’s been on since since felt the tension. Sarah’s husband Kevin was at one time a teenager in my youth group. He was always that one who questioned everything and didn’t back down from a challenge. He loved/loves the challenge of following God! Including his pursuit of Sarah. I remember when he first brought her home to meet everyone. I fell in love with her instantly. What a match those two are. I wrote this blog on Tuesday dedicated to the brave single women I know who are living their lives to the full with uncompromised souls […]
So today marks a big day in the life of Missionary Momma! I turn the big 40! Really, how in the heck did that happen? I remember specifically when my parents turned 40 and it sure didn’t feel like that long ago and also, I remember feeling like 40 was OLD. Now though 40 is not old, although my kids share my same view point as a kid…..”Wow, mom and dad are OLD!” Anyway, a few days ago I was preparing my kids school lunches and this song by Steven Curtis Chapman came on called “Great Adventure”. I think I actually laughed out loud (or LOL for you younger peeps) as I hadn’t heard that song in FOREVER! Here’s an updated version of this song……although big nod to the orginal 90’s version of the song when SCC had some serious hair! Music has always had a way of marking moments in my life and this song I remember so clearly dancing to in a hotel reception room when I was 16 years old. I had just attended an Aquire the Fire with some close friends. (That was almost 25 years ago!! What?!) My life was forever changed at the moment […]
(This is dedicated to all the brave single women I know who are living their lives to the full with uncompromised souls even as they wish to be married.) Holy tension is a part of life that we talk a lot about here at Bravester. Holy tension defined is the discomfort of being stuck in between but knowing that if you can make a brave vulnerable decision (or many brave vulnerable decisions) something holy is going to happen. This is a regular part of brave living. The easier thing to do is to move out of the discomfort of this. Maybe even using your numbing behavior of choice so you don’t have to face change or face those “what if” thoughts. Holy tension is always that “ugh in your stomach” that you don’t want to feel but if you are trying to live a braver life you will lean into because you trust that something holy is about to happen. Like maybe that needed change in your life. When you are single it seems like this discomfort is heightened. It feels like the process of brave dating is full of these discerning types of moments when you are a continual […]
We believe in dating. We believe in dating that does not have the single focus of leading to marriage but leads to discovering who you are so you can find the match for you. We believe in: “Live your life to the full bravely following after Jesus. Now. As you are living bravely, who is keeping up with you? That is the match for you.” Which means we have brave dating practices that we believe in. This blog is just putting our core brave dating practices in one location to get you started. We have so many good blogs to choose from! But these are the core. Date with a Team Placing Yourself in Good Situations Maybe Coffee is Just Coffee (And Not Your Love of a Lifetime) Brave Dating Practice: Do Not Limit Yourself to a Type You Can Be One of Those Known as “Hard to Get” Boundaries Are Attractive—As in They Really Do Attract Others The Vulnerability in Dating Women, It’s Okay to Have a Little Vanity (You Too, Guys) Brave Dating Practice: Commit Yourself to a Local Church Say “Yes” to the Spontaneous Trusting the Promiser I must also mention this book–which I did not write–but […]
“Being strong means you avenge any wrong done to you. If someone hits you or pushes you, you have to push back harder. You don’t just let things go, because if you do, people won’t stop pushing and taking until there’s nothing left of you.” That is a quote from this book Convicted: A Crooked Cop, An Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship. This is how too many people think it takes to live to just stay ahead. Is there another way? Is there a better way? Of course there is the Jesus way but is that practical? Can you live in this real broken world practicing the Jesus way? Colossians 3:1-15 is a beautiful and practical section of scripture. Lots of practicalities of how to live this brave life of faith, this Jesus way. We just wrestled through this section of scripture yesterday in my church. It starts out in vv. 1-4 with this good life practice: Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of […]
February is beginning but I’m afraid all things Valentine’s has begun long before February 1. Wonderful single people, I’m sorry that the world is putting you through this. It’s a stupid holiday. Much has been written on how a liturgical celebration to honor martyrs named Valentine became this stupid holiday. Google for that research. We can “thank” Hallmark. We can “thank” the flower industry. We can “thank” the diamond industry. Do you notice how every one of those want to make money off of you? As well as the restaurant industry and the clothing industry who want to take your dollars so YOU can have a special Valentine’s Day. The special Valentine’s Day that is really desired is the profits. None of those things sound like a liturgical celebration. Yet so many of you, readers, won’t participate in Valentine’s Day. You are single and will be missing out on this day yet again. Saving money does not really make you feel any better. And you hate reading that statement “you are single,” right? I hate that you hate that and I really want you to embrace this time of your life. For now I want to declare, “I get it.” […]
I just finished reading a painful autobiography. It is the story of an African American man who was set up by the police and the police officer who set him up. The title is Convicted: A Crooked Cop, An Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship. Forgiveness is the brave part of this story—as forgiveness is. It takes another level of bravery to forgive. There will be some deep thoughts coming in future blogs from this powerful core of their story. But first this. We’ve been talking lately about the lies we accept about ourselves and the hard decisions that are needed to change our direction, to get on the right path. Each chapter of this book is back-and-forth with the police officer and the African American man. The police officer openly shared how easily it is to fix cases, be over-aggressive, plant evidence, etc–and justify it all when you are a police officer. Everything that #blacklivesmatters has been making public is in this story. All the stuff John and I have known firsthand because of the boys we have raised is in this story. Our justice system is broken, no matter what Facebook meme you read. […]
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.