There’s an old riddle I’ve heard circulated in Christian circles for years. It asks, “Can you serve God without serving people?”
Toss on your philosopher’s cap and you can debate this question ‘til your brain goes numb. But since I kind of like my brain to operate at full capacity, I prefer to take a shortcut through Scripture.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34–35, NLT).
Recently one of my Bible study groups discussed what it means to be committed to one another. How much time should we spend together? What does it look like to speak the truth in love? In today’s pandemic culture, how do we apply the Bible’s admonishment to “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)?
I had planned to make the focus of this blog post about how to maximize your summer hopes and dreams as an all-star mom, but I have never felt so ill-prepared and unenthused as I do heading into summer this year.
Family life has taken on a whole new dimension lately, thanks to a pandemic that’s keeping most of us in close quarters. If you lacked quality family time before, you might be experiencing an uncomfortable abundance of it these past few weeks. So with moms and dads working from home, surrounded by small co-workers who demand peanut butter sandwiches and assistance with virtual math, how in the world is a married couple supposed to find a moment’s rest—together?
Thank you to the over 500 women who attended Encounter: A Weekend for Women in February! While we know that Lisa-Jo Baker’s stories and encouragement in friendship are still fresh in your mind, we hope everything learned at Encounter helps cultivate friendships for years to come.
Here are a few reflections from women who attended Encounter 2020:
I have a new approach to parenting. It’s called shut up and listen.
Last week on the drive to school, my seventh-grader was expressing her frustration with a particular class and what she viewed as an injustice in the way the students were being treated. I heard her concerns—my heart ached for her concerns—but then of course, I did what a “good” mom does in this situation.
No, parenting does not render you incapable of doing math. However, in parenting a+b rarely equals c…but I think every new mom and dad believe that it will. Somewhere along the way we convince ourselves that if we send our kids to the right schools, only listen to Christian music, pray before bed, read the Bible every day, send our kids to Sunday school AND AWANA, and later youth group, then we will have a happy, healthy, well adjusted kid who will never question their faith.
Alliance PM, Appleton Alliance’s young adult ministry, recently celebrated its third summer of being a community where young adults in the Fox Cities meet together, learn more about God, and create authentic friendships over coffee and smores. As the slogan states, Alliance PM is a place where young adults are “In It Together”.
Are you or someone you know interested in learning more about Alliance PM? Anna Anvelink and Andrea Pennings who help organize weekly Alliance PM events share their experiences and what a typical Alliance PM event is like.
This week our women's team wanted to share a post from one of our favorite Christian blog sources, Desiring God. In this post, Michele Morin shares her own experiences with parenting and her desire to be putting Christ on display through how she loves her children. Check out a snippet below, and see the whole article here.
When you think of your retirement years, what comes to mind? Do you think, “I’ll finally have time to catch-up on those projects around the house I’ve been putting off for years?” Or maybe, “I’ll be able to travel and see places I’ve been dreaming about my whole life?”
All those plans are a worthwhile reward for someone who has worked hard as a wife, mother, and employee, but along with those plans consider Titus 2, which says that older women are to teach the younger women and set an example for them.
You may think that sounds like work, and it is, but nowhere in Scripture does it say that we are to retire from working for God’s Kingdom.
What then does this mean for women who are in or approaching retirement years? What does working for God look like in this stage of life?
I am nearing the 3-year mark in my marriage. For many, I would still be classified in the “newlywed” years. While admittedly naïve to the way marriage will look in the coming future, I have been blessed with many couples in my life that have shown me how to enjoy this thing called marriage. In a society where marriage is becoming less glorified and even avoided, these few have broken through the noise by stating that “marriage keeps getting better.” As a Christian I want to see marriage through these lenses. The one God called me to reflect; a story of the Bride of Christ and the Church.
For lots of us moms, summer time is cranky time. So I thought we could all benefit from a list of my top 10 tips for becoming a kinder, gentler, sun-shiny mother. You know, the kind who enjoys her kids more than she scolds them. It really is possible! Here’s how.
Welcome to Finding God Fridays. This weekly series is filled with amazing testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of believers and some of the lessons He has taught me on this crazy journey called life. This week my sister in Christ, Mandy Nackers, and I celebrate womanhood and some of the unique and beautiful purposes God had when He created Eve. God has created us in His image carefully but differently than men, and those differences are wonderful and beautiful. Join us we discuss just a few aspects of God’s perfect design: our desire for relationships, our need to cultivate an environment for growth, and our responsibility as first responders.
God’s love is unconditional. Insert yawn here. We have heard that a thousand and one times as the words to Jesus Loves Me were etched into our young minds before most of us were old enough to form full sentences.
We nod our heads, throw out a quick “amen” and carry on with our day.
It’s old news even to a newer believer. I mean, of course God loves me and of course it’s a no-matter-what kind of deal. Unconditional, affection without any limitations. And I claim this unfathomably deep love from God to little old me.
On an hourly basis I probably check my phone a dozen times or more. Email, texts, weather, photos, Facebook, Instagram, Voxer, Lord help me!—these are the weeds that vie for my attention at the same time my children are flipping cartwheels in the grass.
Technology itself is not the devil. I firmly believe Christians have a responsibility to use it for good. But as a work-from-home mom, it’s dangerously easy to let work time leak into family time. And then I start looking at my loved ones as the distraction, rather than the other way around.
Fact is, it’s impossible to bless someone you’re ignoring.
Many of us put on a good face, but in truth we’re broken and bleeding all over the place. Behind our smiles we battle sadness, insecurity, fear, guilt, mom-shame, negative thoughts, and overcommitment. We feel unloved, unfit, undervalued, and unknown.
How do we cope with all this negativity? Self-love could be the cure.
Chances are very high that my neighbors have seen me in my underwear. In my defense, I was born and raised just outside of town. When I told people where I lived, it was often met with “Oh, out there” as though it was out in the middle of nowhere. Privacy was not something we had to give much thought to and that habit of closing the blinds (which I obviously never learned) continues to be a tricky task for me to remember now that I find myself living smack dab in the middle of the city. (Sorry neighbors!)
If you are a parent, then you have been there. That dreaded moment when your sweet little blessing from above decides to display their independence in public places.
We were on the last of our errands, I had just filled his belly with mall yumminess and set the expectation that we would not be getting treats or trinkets from the dollar section. We were not even past the entrance mats when he hit the dirt. “I want a pretzel!”
Now, this was not my first rodeo. Unfortunately, it was the norm for a while as he struggled to find his place in the world. And today was no different, except we were only shopping for this one item and my car was on the other side of the mall. But this tantrum was not the part of this story that stuck in my head. It was the reaction I received from strangers.
A recent shift in American culture has now made it more appealing to be single. In fact, there are now slightly more people staying single than getting married. But for those of you still searching for your soul mate, this post is for you.
While the waiting game can be long and tedious, it’s important to have realistic expectationsabout what you’re waiting for. I feel many are searching for their soul mate and dreaming of their fairy tale wedding without a real understanding of what marriage entails.
So for all my single friends out there, keep this advice in mind when you’re searching for Mr. Right:
1. Marriage is a blessing, not the blessing. There is a difference. Getting married and having a family is not the universal Plan A and those who miss out on it are somehow fated to live out Plan B. God’s plan for each person is unique and one shoe does not fit all. We were all single at one time and some will choose to stay that way. And that’s not a bad thing.