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 pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 Since I’ve stumbled onto the truth of what hope is (I have chosen to set goals, my tenacity gives me room to change and revise those goals because deep down I know I’m worthy of having something good happen to me), I’ve loved this verse more and more. It states that God is our source of hope, that we can be filled completely with joy and peace because we trust in him which enables us to find the Plan B. Understanding very well that trusting God also requires vulnerability, which is where the bravery comes in. Do you ever find yourself keeping your hope for “safe things?” Do you see why you do that now? You don’t really trust God so you don’t want to become vulnerable to God and risk that disappointment again. Truth is hope is not nebulous and ethereal gifted to us from God. Hope is something we have a part of when we find our Plan B. Plan A […]
Breaking up is hard to do. There is nothing easy about it because so many emotions are involved. Precious emotions from precious people. Pain is a part of a break up. Not everyone handles pain with bravery or even well. Also the person being dumped deserves your respect. He/she was worthy to spend your time with, make memories with, share emotions with, and is a child of God. But this break is necessary and the right thing to do. Due to so many personal factors involved and my desire to make this actually helpful to you, this won’t be the ‘how to” steps to end the relationship well. There are just too many caveats that are a part of your story and being generic really won’t help you. This is just a random list of helpful points. Really there will be two posts of helpful points because I have so many. One or two points may speak directly to your situation. One or two may be too “elementary” for your situation. But I do believe you will find several to be actually helpful and will also become part of your advice-giving as you walk with your friends through their break […]
You are not the only one who receives good news but grimaces inside because you are waiting “for the other shoe to drop.” Or you start talking yourself down from enjoying something (like a chocolate peanut butter brownie) because you “just know” something terrible is going to happen next. Or you begin to enjoy the joy of the moment but then you talk yourself out of it because you know this joy isn’t real for you. Today I am telling you that you are not the only one who thinks this way. When you start to feel joy, you wish you could feel the joy but instead you are swallowed by the fear that something bad is going to happen. For example, you feel such tenderness (dare I add joy?) for the person you’re falling in love with but you still fast forward in your mind to the day you believe you will get your heart broken. Or you breathe in the smell of your beautiful newborn but your mind also spins crazily as you think of all the tragedies your new child is going to experience in this broken messy world. You are dress rehearsing tragedy so you can […]
This is to the person who recently had to break up with a bad match. I know your heart was involved with this person and it hurts now. Pain is your beginning. Yet it still hurts—a lot. Thankfully you listened to your team and/or listened to yourself and noticed how this was a bad match and made the brave move to break up. You know deep down you are grateful for this decision but it still hurts so much. Yes, it does. Don’t try to numb this pain. Travel through this pain. Pain is a great teacher. But it still hurts. Yes, it does. Or you became the one who was dumped. That is such a harsh word yet it does describe the harsh new reality of your life. And it hurts so much. It really does. Probably the most painful part is the change of pattern your life is now. You’ve had to change your schedule and your expectations. You may have already calculated that change in. But did you consider that your quiet phone would bother you so much? Missing your simple daily text communication reminds you of the pain. You can probably list other small life things […]
Summer camps are designed to make lasting memories. Faith grows from one memory to the next. Think about that in your own life. If you put your faith on a timeline it would follow memorable moments that would define your faith—with the truth also being some of those memorable moments are quite painful. Hence why pain is the beginning. Summer camps often are a part of that timeline—with way more joy than pain. Hence why I love teaching at them. This summer I spoke at a teen camp and we had a very good week together. The last night of camp is always emotional. The emotions of having to leave friends and counselors you’ve bonded with. The emotions of the personal experiences you’ve had encountering God all week. The emotions of realizing that tomorrow you are going home and back to normal—but you’ve changed so much away from that normal. How will the new you fit into the normal? There is a lot of holy tension in that one. At this particular camp, just before the evening session when everyone was doing an organized activity outside, the heavens opened up and it poured rain. Rain at camp is a downer. […]
The core principle of Brave Dating is dating to discover who you are. This requires vulnerability, hence the bravery part. This requires you learning a lot about you, hence the vulnerability part. I will always be here to cheer you on as you grow and discover and make memories and find joy. I invite you into this brave process so you can experience all of this. There is a lot you can do in this process. But there is one thing you cannot control in this process. God. I share why with this inspiration from this blog I read: And Genesis 2 tells us that this is a problem that God is deeply concerned about. This is a problem that God feels very compelled to fix. I mean think about it. God didn’t say to Adam “I see you’re single. Maybe you should use these 12 verses to work on yourself.” Or “Adam, have you ever tried online dating?” Or “Here’s a book on the 12 steps to navigating the single life and landing the bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh of your dreams.” No, God had to get actively involved. God had to cut some things […]
You are beautiful and wonderfully created. I can’t repeat this truth enough. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14. In love God stooped down and created us out of the dust of the ground. God took dust and created value. And with that creation in his hand, he breathed life into us. His breath brought the created value to life. Worthiness is your birthright. You were enough the minute you were born. Yes, you’ve heard that before. You’ve heard that often here. Yet it quite often doesn’t really sink in as truth. We have those tapes running inside our head that says “not enough about this” and “not enough about that” and the comparing of ourselves to others with scarcity being the loudest voice of all. Amazingly I have found some science to back me up. This truth is deeply buried throughout scripture but it is nice to have science confirm something this profound, right? I found this infographic at BusinessInsider.com. Yes, Business Insider. This is science, business, and faith all […]
We have a guest post today from Candra Evans from Abundantly You. When I first read this blog post of hers months ago it deeply resonated with me. Mostly because I see similarities in her story and my story. Mostly because we see dating and singleness in a lot of the same ways. But then this blog came rushing back into my mind when I wrestled through this great and seemingly-ironic truth of how a living a life of contentment is really a part of living brave. On the surface, those two seem like antonyms. But the truth is to live with contentment is to declare “I am enough” as I am letting time do its work to help me meet my goals. That is a brave statement. So I gladly share with you what Candra has learned about finding contentment so she can share her brave story with you. You also can do this, brave one. _______________________ About this time 7 years ago, I was 34 and finally content with the single life. I still wanted very much to be married, but God delivered me from the anxiety of it all. After a few hurtful crushes, dating catastrophes, and years […]
When I say content, I don’t mean lukewarm, wishy-washy, apathetic, indifferent, impassive, or another other uninspiring word like this. I mean content as in deep peace that this (whatever this is) is enough. That I am enough. And this is good. When I say content, I don’t mean to not have goals or to not make plans. I mean content as in I know where my life is golng because I do have goals and I understand that time is also a part of those goals and because I am enough I can allow time to play the part that time is required to play. Blessed are the content, for they shall stop the chaos of striving. Because those who are not content are living their lives out of scarcity. It is scarcity that says to you “you are not enough” so you must strive and strive and strive to get more. It is scarcity that speaks inside your head because of unhealed shame in your life. It is scarcity that is driving you to control your life outcome by trying and trying and trying. We believe incorrectly that the opposite of scarcity is abundance. Thus the continual cycle of […]
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 […]
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.