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.
This is after the coffee date or after several coffee dates. When you are ready to take this person you are getting to know on a date, don’t make it a dinner and movie date. How hum drum. How stereotypical. Maybe even boring. Let your creativity shine. Why? Women will remember these dates. Women will remember you. Women will be curious about you. Women will think that you have something different about you. All of this is true about you if you continue to be yourself on these dates and continue to let the process of dating teach you about who you really are in relationships. Find situations where you can experience interesting things together and learn what it is like to be with someone new. Some tips in planning of these creative dates: I’m writing this to the guy because we as women do like you to plan a date. It shows initiative. It shows your interest. You are looking at making memories together—often fun. These memories made will be the foundation of your relationship—if there is to be a relationship. You will find that these early dates will be the stories you tell again and again—if there is […]
I love teenagers. I love their vibe, their potential, their abilities, their hope. I am a youth pastor through-and-through and will always continue to be. This is why I’ve been one for 35 years. That means I was “doing” youth ministry in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and now and in the future. This also means the way I “did” youth ministry in the 1980s is not how I “did” youth ministry in the 1990s and beyond. (This also means I have found a way to do youth ministry that works for the long haul—experience, time, and research taught me–that I am very opinionated about and am broken about how many churches “do” youth ministry so poorly.) This also means I whined about how I did youth ministry in the 1980s and mocked how others did youth ministry in the 1990s and beyond. There is a lot of mocking humor and whining about the youth ministry of the 1990s. The blogs about it are numerous and the books are interesting. Whatever format it is expressed, pain is laced throughout. Even when mocking humor is used about that powerful decade of youth ministry, you can read the pain between the words. And […]
The core principle of Brave Dating is dating to discover who you are. My beautiful participant who has allowed her story to be shared these past weeks has learned a lot about herself. A lot. And it has been good. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been without pain. Or disappointment. Vulnerability is involved. Vulnerability is a necessity. But it has been worth it. This led her to write up her standards of what she expects in a growing relationship. These are the boundaries she is putting around herself. There is a little vanity in these boundaries. The ones who will date her are going to know exactly who she is. Overall- these don’t have to be apparent on date one but must be there in order of official relationship status. 1. He is Christlike, he is a spiritual leader. 2. He is a gentleman. 3. He must be intelligent and more importantly intellectually stimulating. Coffee & Date One: 1. He asks me, he plans, and he give notice (3days), he pays. 2. He is brave. 3. He is respectful. 4. Date one – if it went well a good night kiss on the front porch. 5. He has a job. […]
If you missed parts 1-8, you can find them here: http://bravester.com/author/worship_fermata/ Question #9 Are we missing connections with teens because the dumb-down versions we play of the songs in their iPods sound nothing like the originals? This is an interesting question for me. I’ve been to worship services where the band played note-for-note versions of the latest, greatest worship songs and I’ve been to others where I could barely recognize the song that was being played. I’m not a huge fan of either of these approaches (I prefer somewhere in the middle) but what I’m talking about with this question is something a little different. I’m talking about how we sometimes simplify the “music” to the point that it’s not really even the same song. We’re singing the melody but that’s where the similarity to the original song ends. I’m thinking of songs like Bethel Music’s You Make Me Brave or David Crowder’s Oh Praise Him. These big arrangement, large band songs are really difficult to sing/play in churches simply because of the number of instruments, the mix and to a degree, the quality of the musicians in the original recordings. But we sing them anyway. In the end the […]
Your Story is user-submitted honest stories from readers who have decided to live a brave life. Send your story to us: http://bravester.com/contact-us-2/ There comes a moment in life when one must make a choice to either accept their pain and move forward or to let the pain consume them. I have reached this point on many occasions and still each time I chose to take the wrong path. For a long time I let the pain of life consume me, I lived in the hurt and the pain constantly letting it cloud everything I did. Letting the pain make my decisions. However, there came a point when this was not enough–when the pain was too much to bear. So instead I boxed it up behind walls of food and control and through shear force of will. I built myself a cage for my demons, a box for my pain, and a mask for my face. Telling myself one day it would just go away and I could be happy again. That way no one would know that even though on the inside I was slowly dying, to my friends and more importantly my family, I looked better. I became what […]
While writing Slightly Braver, I began wandering through an old file filled with former writings. This one sounded so very Bravester, yet it was written in 2002 for Wild Frontier, a youth ministry resource I led for 25 years. I believe Bravester has always been in me. Anyway for nostalgic sake and because there is some very good stuff in here, I give you The Keeper of the Questions. ________________________ Q: My mom and dad are divorcing and I am in the middle. What am I to do? A: Ask Jesus to lead you. He is there for you. Q: Why does the Bible say this here and this there? A: God gave us His word. He will reveal it to you. Q: How could this disaster come into my life? I’ve been serving God diligently. A: God knows what He is doing. It is all a part of a greater plan. These may be good answers but they also feel like “pat” answers.” They really don’t touch the depth of the hurt. They may even feel more like a cheap bandage that when it falls off leaves an even deeper wound. So how do we live with these questions […]
Women, it’s okay to have a little vanity. You are a worthy match for anyone. Worthy! But all too often we get enraptured by the false attention unworthy men give us. I get it. Any attention feels good. Like what suckered this lovely woman. If you can add a little vanity to that attention that you receive, you will better be able to enjoy the attention and discern what is false attention. There is something about that word vanity which connotes that we should not be vain. That this is a bad word to be. Maybe because it is used to so often negatively in Ecclesiastes and thus gets inserted into sermons as a negative word. Or maybe because Dictionary.com defines it as “excessive pride.” But for years I’ve been using it positively. It is that something inside of me that says “I am worth it so I will decide to…” This is not excessive. I am worth it so I will decide to…that is a little vanity. Click To Tweet I remember the first time I gave this advice to a young lady. She was a wayward grown teen caught up in a promiscuous lifestyle. We were meeting for […]
Hello Everyone! Well this post is coming to you from the USA side as we made it home from Botswana safe and sound about 10 days ago! I am also posting via my new laptop which means that you’ll be hearing more from me as I actually have a laptop that types in “real time” instead of about 20 seconds behind me. (Thanks Brenda and John!!) Coming back to the US always gives a certain level of culture shock and re-entry. I thought it might be fun to let you know what I’ve observed so far in my 10 days at home….. Customer Service…….. If you ever have lived overseas, you’ll give me a huge “Amen” on this one. I bought a package of panties for Piper that was too small. I had opened the packet not so nicely before I realized this. I thought I was doomed, but Kev reminded me where we are. I took them back to Target and the lady didn’t even bat an eye as I gave my reason. She just handed me a merchandise credit before I was even done with my “reason”. What? I went into Starbucks and asked if my beloved Pumpkin […]
I received that closing from a 15-year old great young man after speaking at his summer Bible camp. He thanked me in the note but his close spoke right to my heart. He is now slightly braver. I am too. You may have noticed on here that I am not a finished project. Not much about my life is all wrapped up with a pretty bow on it. Nor will I present that false image of myself to you. I am continuing to wrestle my faith. I am every day slightly braver (at least most days…I do have some days…) I wonder if you readers tire of hearing of pain and struggle and just want to get to the God-glorifying praiseworthy ending? Early in my ministry I was (and still am) heavily influenced by a book, Real Christians Don’t Dance by John Fischer. From the inspiration from that book, I wrote this for my youth ministry resource blog circa 1992: There is this image that I constantly wrestle with. One I feel thrust upon me whether I want it or not. It is this image of having to be squeaky-clean, confident in God and self, knows the Word of God […]
I was impressed then unimpressed all in the matter of a few days. One of the women I’m coaching was asked out by someone she sees at work weekly. This is why I was impressed. The guy asked her out and made it clear why he was asking her out. He gave her his phone number so the ball would be in her court. Bold and impressive. So she did call him a day later after work. They have had some long conversations on the phone. Actual conversations, not text conversations. But this is also where it went awry. Before they even had their first coffee date, he was talking like they were already in a relationship. Plus he was pressuring her to allow him to stop by “just for 5 minutes so I can give you a hug” every day. It is one thing to chat and get to know a person before a coffee date. It is another thing to presuppose you are in a relationship before there is even a coffee date. Before there was even a coffee date, he also said the “romantic words” “you complete me.” Too much. Much too much. The weekend came and […]
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.