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.
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. I often found myself trying to impress by appearing to be righteous, […]
I’ve been working with teenagers for nearly 36 years now. This means I’ve been involved in a lot of dating relationships. This doesn’t end when a teen turns 18 either. I’m honored to be in that circle of voices they come to. The following is a real conversation between me and a grown teen. We texted this whole conversation because isn’t that what you do these days? I didn’t do that with them back in the 1980s but I do now. I have permission to share this. I recognize that your pain is real. You will identify with that. But also recognize that pain is your beginning. Her: This has been a very hard week. I’m going to compare this break up with quitting smoking. There were times it was easy and I would think “wow I should have done this a long time ago.” There were other times I felt like I was dying and I would give anything just to have one more cigarette or in this case just to see his face or hear his voice or have him hold me one more time…even though I know the habit was killing me I would have given anything […]
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. I believe wholeheartedly that God redeems every bit of our pain. Job’s […]
I was counseling a young man about his pending marriage. His reasons for marriage were all based on fear. He was threatened often that he would lose his daughter if he didn’t marry her. He knew he didn’t love her but he didn’t want his daughter growing up without him. In my counsel for him 1 John 4:18 was never more clear to me. That oft-repeated verse is There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. It was so clear to me that she did not love him because fear was at the root of the forced marriage. And certainly he did not love her. He couldn’t because fear was making the decision for him. There can be no fear in love–even though there is risk in love. Love actually is a force that propels you to live bravely. There is a freedom in love too. You are free to try and fail because love will not change. But you have changed. You have changed who you are to hang on to this one you claim you love so much. […]
Life in the world is overwhelming lately. It feels like all we can do to get through is to pray. Or let fear try to control our lives—which wrecks our brains and does the world no good and makes you lonely (must read this blog to make sense of that bold statement). But prayer does not seem like enough. Folks, it is. We need you to enter into this lifelong practice of prayer, calling upon a supernatural Higher Power to make sense of this crazy and fear-filled world. This is a lifelong practice because the answers come in the long term. Prayer is an act of dependence. And this may be the rub. Who likes being dependent? There has got to be something more I can do. Prayer feels like it is not enough. Prayer can make you feel like you are not enough in this big and fear-filled world. Prayer exposes vulnerability in us. We’d rather numb that somehow. Unless you are this person. The one who busily prays for everyone and everybody, even forwarding prayer requests from strangers and unverified prayer requests. It’s your way to do something while at the same time you are still numbing yourself […]
Which event of the recent weeks has caused you to seriously plan how to run for the hills and hide? For me I hear myself saying that I’m grabbing the grandkids and running for the hills to hide and praying “Come, Jesus come.” Fear is a constant now just beneath the surface. This is not a good way to live but how do you live when just going to a country music festival becomes something to fear? We’ve crossed over a line here. So we need to find a new way to live. Because fear cannot rule my life. Fear lies so you start to believe that fear itself will keep you safe and will prevent bad things from happening. You use this fear to try to help you gain some control over your life. When it is really fear that is controlling you. Of course I’m reading the new Brene’ Brown book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. It is an amazingly timely book on our polarized and fear-filled world we now live in, again based on research like her other findings. I read this “coincidentally” the day after the Las […]
Good morning, Jesus. I feel the dread of the day already. Already I am behind. Already I feel unloved. Already I feel like I’m not enough. Help me get out of bed. Then help me remember the truth. I declare Psalm 138:8 , The Lord will work out his plans for my life–for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. I am not abandoned. I am made with purpose. I am enough. I can get out of bed. I can remind myself of this truth over and over again. I vow to repeat this truth to myself throughout the day. I was rejected. That is my past but it is not part of my future. I was hurt. That is my past but it is not part of my future. I was left out. That is my past but it is not part of my future. I was brokenhearted. That is my past but it is not part of my future. I was abandoned. That is my past but it is not part of my future. I choose to lead my brain with your truth. I decide today to live from the abundant […]
Have you ever had a concept in your head and all your life you thought about it a certain way and then one day, someone suggests a different perspective and your whole world is rocked? Well, I just had this kind of experience. In Hebrews 11 and 12, the author is re-capping the stories of Old Testament heroes: Abel. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses’s parents, Moses himself, the Israelite’s, Rahab. After listing all these people and summarizes their stories, he goes on to list several more people that he just does not have the time to talk about: Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. All of these people and all of these amazingly fantastic stories of what their faith had done. Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, served justice, gained what was promised. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, had their weaknesses turned to strengths, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories […]
I was listening to this interview yesterday with author, Margaret Feinberg. She has written many Bravester-type of books. In this interview she said this, studies have shown that 70 percent of Americans believe they have a book in them. 70%!!!! I believe when it comes to Christians that number probably goes up even higher because of our personal walk with Jesus, the journey that this is which includes the pain that turns out to be a beginning. You’ve experienced trauma, loss, and pain. In the hard process of finding the healing through Christ–because you have sought supernatural intervention–you want to share that story. You know you have a story to share. You have found a way through and you desire to share that to others so they can find a way through. Do you have this story to share? Maybe you are not ready to write a book. But you do want to start by sharing your story and the great life-giving truth you have found while living through it. We have a place for you to do that here called Your Story. Your Story is user-submitted honest stories from readers who have decided to live a brave life. They have […]
My husband and I are embarking on a new and exciting journey- Buying our first house! Currently, we live in a tiny one bedroom, one bathroom detached apartment. Everyone in our town and our church calls our place the “The Little House” and that description is 100% accurate. A brief history of The Little House: I believe the original “Main House” and “Little House” were built somewhere close to 200 years ago. I assume this because of the layout of the main house and the foundation of both houses. The little house was originally built as a chicken coop and eventually was turned into a house. Pretty cool, huh? This little house is made up of one bedroom, one bathroom (that didn’t work), one closet, a kitchen/dinning room, and a living room: a total of about 400 square feet!.. And that’s being generous. When I was single and my only roommate was my dog, this house was perfect! It had everything I needed- except a working bathroom. But using the renting family’s upstairs bathroom and the laundry room in the main house lead to a pretty amazing relationship with them. Anyway- It was all I needed. But now that Bubba […]
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.