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 “rule” is just begging for its own blog post. Because, men, there is gold to be found in you. This rule comes from the list of the rules the Anti-Flirt Club of the 1920s created to protect women from the lounge lizards who would use false intentions for their personal gains. Men, you are more than lounge lizards. Or slick dandified cake eaters. I believe there is gold in you and you are a worthy catch. (Even if you like to eat cake too!) Note: I went to Urban Dictionary to get the real definition of cake eater. I found out that this is personal to me! The definition is “A cake eater actually refers to Edina, MN, saying the people in it are so rich they can have their cake and eat it too. It could also refer to rich white suburban kids in general, too. And BTW- Mighty Ducks was filmed in Minnesota, so he’s probably literally calling that kid a cake-eater from Edina.” Source. I grew up in Minnesota. I know Edina. In my teen years we made fun of Edina while secretly dreaming of dating someone from Edina. John’s best friend lives in Edina now. […]
The ugliness of our past is buried in that dirt. The hurt. The anger. The loss of innocence. The rejection. The fear of inadequacy. The shame. The regrets. The dreams lost to “what if…” But if we don’t do the painful work of digging those things up and go through an intentional “death” experience of facing those negative things, a resurrection can’t happen. The dirt does not allow the flower to grow. Yes, you probably already feel some apprehension about reading this blog. You have done a lot of work to keep your life comfortably numb (this work has exhausted you more than you realize). Or you are used to the roller coaster of disasters in your life and you’ve finally stabilized your life to be safe. You just want to stay in this safe season a bit longer. And I’m asking you to dig through your dirt. Of course, I’m asking you to do a brave thing. Dealing with the bad stuff in the dirt causes two things to happen. First, you will be ridding yourself of the pain and/or sickness you have been carrying around and the effects it is having in your life (besides the exhaustion you’ve […]
No, this is not a club I have started. No way. This is not a brave dating practice. Read It’s Okay to Flirt. And Some Tips to Flirt Wisely. The Anti-Flirt Club was an American club active in Washington, D.C., (where I live) during the early 1920s. The purpose of the club was to protect young women and girls who received unwelcome attention from men in automobiles and on street corners. Source. Over time this has still proven to be a problem, huh women?! This club was complete with its own rules. Oh the cleverness of these rules! Don’t flirt: those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure. Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists—they don’t invite you in to save you a walk. Don’t use your eyes for ogling—they were made for worthier purposes. Don’t go out with men you don’t know—they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match. Don’t wink—a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other. Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers—save them for people you know. Don’t annex all the men you can get—by flirting with many, you may lose out on the one. Don’t fall for the […]
You will have noticed that I continually mention a relationship with God as part of a brave life. Because life is a broken road of faith. It is hard. With God you have a chance to know that you are loved therefore you are worthy and valuable. You were purposed before you understood you were purposed. God has always been for you. Because second, Christian values give you direction to know how to live better and resist temptation. Temptations—with their immediate gratification–are attractive to people with pain and rage. Because third, a Christian perspective is outward-focused vs. a victimhood perspective which is inward-focused. With the love of a God who pursues you it is hard to remain a victim to your life. You desire to overcome. From this basic Bravester truth I’ve created this checklist for you of Biblical truth. This is a bit lengthy even as I cut out so much. Because there is a lot of truth for you. God is for you. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. Psalm 118:7 […]
Opinionated I am! But it is personal to me. I’ve been a youth pastor nearing 37 years. That is a lot of teenagers I have loved. That is a lot of teenagers whom I have walked through broken hearts with. Many of these teenagers I’ve been privileged to walk with them all the way to marriage and even when they started having children. I have grown teens who now have teens as children. We’ve come full circle. I have been a part of healing a lot of broken hearts. One of the aversions many adults have to teens is the part of their development where they experience real emotions for the first time. It’s simply brain development stuff but this means that when they have their hearts broken for the first time it is a major because it has never been broken before. I’ve gone through this first major with so many many teens. I have also had my heart broken over the choices some of these teens have made. I’ve watched teens with a growing faith make decisions in the area of love that changes their innocence and too often their futures forever. Those broken-hearted times have probably shaped […]
You know deep in your soul that God is for you. No matter what the circumstances. You believe vulnerability is necessary. You are willing to do something with no guarantees. You are willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. You are willing to live broken-hearted realizing that the other person’s failings do not define you. You believe that what makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful. You have the courage to be imperfect. Holy tension is uncomfortable but you lean into it waiting for that holy thing to happen. You have connection because you have also chosen authenticity. You are willing to be seen, be vulnerably seen. You are able to make a Plan B when Plan A blows up because you have the tenacity about yourself to know that you are worthy of something good happening to you. You let go of the “supposed to’s.” Even the “supposed to” about how your life turned out. Or how “God is supposed to…” You understand that pain is your beginning. You also know that pain is temporary and will come to end and you will have […]
This #MeToo movement has turned our world upside down. It has definitely turned dating upside down. I say good. The #MeToo movement has revealed the hypocritical truth of the sexual revolution–that women can enjoy casual sex with men who want their bodies but don’t care about their welfare. I am worth more. I find this truth to be sad. And true. Have you ever had this conflict inside of you: Jessica Bennett, the (New York) Times’ recently appointed “gender editor,” has an answer. Bennett readily acknowledges that she and her friends often say “yes when we really mean no” to a sexual encounter to avoid hurting men’s feelings, having to argue or appearing inexperienced. What? You want to avoid hurting a man’s feelings so you give in? You have chosen a man who would argue with you because he may think you are inexperienced? I am worth more. Sex today, Bennett explains, often falls into a “gray zone.” By this she means “that murky gray area of consent: begrudgingly consensual sex, because, you know, you don’t really want to do it but it’s probably easier to just get it over with; lukewarm sex, because you’re kind of ‘meh’ about it; […]
Do you have a relationship with God whom you love and God who breaks your heart? I bravely–not stupidly–do. I have bravely followed the beauty of this God of Maybe and in the process have become my own hero story. I know some people who believe I am stupid for this kind of faith. I can see their faces. On the flipside I also frustrate many Christians who will give me the platitudes of “Look how God worked that out.” Or “God knew what he was doing all along.” Or “Now you get to experience the great blessing of God.” In the depth of my pain this does not soothe me. In the transitional growing season this does not soothe me either. I don’t want to believe in a God who felt distant in the depths of the pain and then gets credit for it when I’ve grown through that painful time. I believe in a God who is feeling every punch my gut is feeling. And I want my friends to recognize that I hung in there despite feeling like God left me behind. My faith is gutty and raw and brave. I hung in there through all of […]
One of my favorite rom-com movies is When Harry Met Sally. There are deeply personal reasons why. Reasons which I’m not ready to share here yet. Because of the date of that movie you can know it has nothing to do with John nor does it involve any baggage I had to work through to marry John. It is just a whole other story that means a lot to me very deeply. When I figure out that part of my life with my brilliant hindsight wisdom I will let you know. This scene. This scene is grippingly sad for us women. Joe didn’t want to marry Sally. Why didn’t he want to marry me? What’s the matter with me? Painful. Then Sally begins to contort herself so the truth doesn’t hurt as much. Hard truth: If someone tells you that he/she has a commitment problem, it is just an excuse for his/her lack of serious interest in you. Or even worse, he/she is totally ignorant of the real problem. You may contort yourself and/or lie to yourself that your boo has baggage from a prior relationship(s) but that has nothing to do with the supposed commitment problem that is blocking […]
So a few weeks ago I shared that the Lord was moving me into an area that was totally out of my comfort zone, but that I was learning to “trust the Shepard” in the process. This story of mine is probably the bravest step I’ve ever taken in my 40 years of life…..or maybe it’s just because the other brave steps I have taken now don’t seem like they were that hard. Maybe in 5 or so years I’ll feel the same about this one, but for now….it seems very BIG! At the end of last year I was introduced to a ministry called Revelation Wellness. “Revelation Wellness® is a non-profit ministry dedicated to educating and inspiring people to live healthy and whole lives in Christ so we can love others well. Revelation Wellness believes that as the body of Christ gets healthy and whole by the power of the love of God, they will be fit for their purpose—to proclaim and show the love of God down the roads less traveled.” While I wasn’t in a place last year to really dive deep into it, it did spark my interest and so the beginning of this year, I […]
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.