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.
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 […]
We are in year 2 of a seven year prison sentence with one of our sons. In year 2 we are seeing an increasingly amount of growth in him! We’ve been through prison sentences with him before but never one this long. But this is what happens when he chose to self-sabotage his life instead of dealing with the shame that has been the voice in his head most of his life. And the secrets that were strangling him. This 7-year sentence from his self-sabotage has cost him quite a bit plus he’s not a young thing anymore to bounce right back into his life. This is his story to share. As he is putting words to the shame and the secrets he is beginning to put truth into his life. He has started to share some peeks of that with John and I, the parents who took him in at age 12. And he has given me permission to share it with you all. Because this is the beginning of how you live a real brave life–to stop allowing the shame to keep your life a secret. What has to happen to one in order for their perspective or […]
When I went looking for my literature paper from 1986 I found this treasure. Remember back in the day when guys would write you letters to express their intentions? No, you don’t. It’s a whole different world now. This is a real letter that I got, dated July 9, 1982. I have the envelope and stamp and everything. Dear Brenda, Hello my love. It’s I, John. What’s up? I hope you haven’t forgotten me already. I would have written sooner but I didn’t want to seem like a pest besides I’ve been working ten-hour shifts at night. I got my second pick (of a job). I couldn’t wait for the other one. I still have a chance to get the other one though. Please forgive me for not writing sooner. I’m not very good at writing letters as you can probably tell. I sure miss you. It’s so hard to be in love with someone you don’t get to see much of. I sure hope you feel serious about our relationship, but if you are not please let me know. I don’t like to be left in the dark about these things. It hurts to hope for something that will […]
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Luke 24:35-40. Jesus showed them his scars. This was real. This was how they—and us—know that Jesus’ resurrection and thus the redemption possibility that we all get is possible. The disciples who scattered at Jesus’ crucifixion (except John) really needed to know that there was a second chance. I often need to know that I have a second chance. How Jesus showed them was showing them his scars. It […]
I know, flirting has a bad connotation. I’m not talking about being a tease. I’m not talking about being that girl who is making herself so obvious—so sadly desperate–at the party and/or Bible study. I’m not talking about that guy who is the first to meet any and every women who are new to that Bible study. I’m not talking about playing the room so you can grab as much attention as you can so you feel better about yourself. I’m talking about flirting which is giving someone some clues to ask you out. Because, listen up people, those cute others need those clues! Some women and some guys need to give clues to those they are interested in. There is risk enough to do the brave thing and ask out that intriguing person who has your eye. It doesn’t matter who you are. There is risk. You can ease that risk just a little bit by giving some clues to that person that it would be okay to ask you out. Or to even talk to you to see if he/she may want to ask you out at some time in the future. That is flirting. I’ve had this […]
What man-made thing is now in heaven? The answer is the scars in Jesus’ hands, feet and side. The five crucifixion scars. After they had nailed him to the cross… Matthew 27:35a. My favorite account of the Holy Week story is found in Matthew. I believe it gives us the most insight into this crazy yet beautiful and tragic story of what happened. Yet Matthew only gave eight words to the nailing of Jesus to the cross–probably because crucifixions were so common back in Matthew’s day. It was Rome’s personal choice of capital punishment for crimes of insurrection against Rome. A person could hang in agony for days for the crime thus serving as a reminder to everyone who witnessed what awaits them if they dare come against the authority of Rome. The crucifixion was designed to be public entertainment—as violent and visibly suffering that it is. Are we also entertained by violence? Should we be entertained by violence? [Tweet “The crucifixion was designed to be public entertainment. Are we also entertained by violence?”] Two thousand years later we have beautified that cross. It adorns beautiful necklaces—often given as a sentimental gift from an important person in your life. These […]
We are in year 2 of a seven year prison sentence with one of our sons. In year 2 we are seeing an increasingly amount of growth in him! We’ve been through prison sentences with him before but never one this long. But this is what happens when he chose to self-sabotage his life instead of dealing with the shame that has been the voice in his head most of his life. And the secrets that were strangling him. This 7-year sentence from his self-sabotage has cost him quite a bit plus he’s not a young thing anymore to bounce right back into his life. This is his story to share. As he is putting words to the shame and the secrets he is beginning to put truth into his life. He has started to share some peeks of that with John and I, the parents who took him in at age 12. And he has given me permission to share it with you all. Because this is the beginning of how you live a real brave life–to stop allowing the shame to keep your life a secret. Nitpicking is at an all time high! For every little thing you […]
Over the weekend John made me a Chicago-style pizza. He promised nearly a year-and-a-half ago to make me one and often forgot that promise. To be fair, I forgot to remind him (maybe nag him) more during that time frame. I got a text from John on February 12 promising to finally get that pizza that week. It didn’t happen until February 25. But it finally happened. Yum. A Chicago-style pizza is labor intensive. So as John finally went to work on it, I got to see the process every step of the way because John gleefully showed me the dough when he first rolled it out. Then when it was rising. Then when he put it in the pizza pan. Then when he put it in the oven. Then when it came out of the oven. You get the idea. I kept saying outloud to him, “Who domesticated you?” This is not the man I married. The man I married coming up on 21 years on March 8 was a professional paintball player and owner of a paintball magazine. That is not domesticated! His previous career before paintball was as a musician–you can stereotype that one correctly. When we […]
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 […]
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.