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Pinterest is the single biggest influencer of women’s events I’ve ever seen.

The images, ideas, and pins are transforming retreats, getaways, and events with the most beautiful and mod creations.

Say goodbye to 80’s clip art and bad fonts. Pinterest ushers us into a much needed design-upgrade in the church. When guests walk in the front door, what they encounter shouts welcome and echoes quality through handwritten script and stunning hues.

Make no mistake: the centerpiece of the most breathtaking events is always Jesus.

But in our eye-for-design culture, sometimes low-quality design communicates subtle messages like:

Quality doesn’t matter.
This was a list-minute, thrown together event.
We’re out of touch.
We don’t really care.

This spring I’ve had the privilege of being part of events all over the United States and Canada where the design elements communicated:

We care about quality and we care about you.
If we pay attention to the details, how much more does God?
We love this event, we love you, and we want you to know how much God loves you.
You are welcome here. We want you to leave encouraged, refreshed, and more in love with Jesus.

The focus of the themes, the font selection, the creative elements, the artistic expression of teachable take-a-ways, even the food served has been stunning. Even more wowzer, much of it has been created on super skinny budgets thanks to sharable, online creative ideas.

More than the emergence of Pinterest, I believe something deeper is transpiring in the church.

People with God-given creative talents and an eye-for-design are being unleashed to use their gifts in the church.

Teams hosting events are becoming more intentional about identifying the people within their churches gifted in areas of display, décor, and hospitality.

Most of us know the Pinteresty, Etsy-lovin’ people in our midst. These wild creatives are living, breathing gifts to our communities and churches. Their talents are being given the opportunities to shine and enhance events like never before. And we are blessed because of them.

I snapped a few pictures of the fun, fabulous ideas we’ve seen this spring:

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How to NOT Miss Your Moment

Sons of Thunder.

The roaring brothers—James and John—earn their booming name in Luke 9. Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, the city of kings. He sends a messenger ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for His arrival.

The village refuses entrance.

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Are You Being Baited By Fear?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my time studying Scripture, it’s that the stories are never quite what they seem.

The story from Matthew that describes how Jesus and the disciples fed the 5,000 is a story of miracles, of compassion, and even community.

But it’s also a story of our human tendency to act out of fear.

Often fear’s voice shouts louder than faith’s whimper.

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10 Inspiring Images of Defiant Joy

Since the release of the Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, we’ve heard incredible stories of people poking holes in the darkness until it bleeds light. We’ve also been sent photos of people who are living out a defiant joy.

Take a moment to hunt for the hidden joy in each of these 10 photos.

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Three Secrets To Overcoming Your Greatest Fears About Writing

Placing words on paper or screen terrifies me.

Even now.

Even after all these years.

Good writing exposes the soul, not just to us, but to those who pass by.

Critics and connoisseurs, friends and foes, strangers and trolls.

Perhaps you, too, have felt fear surge your spine. Grip your throat. Freeze your fingers. You stare. Blank page. Blank screen. Blank look.

How do you break through the fear of writing? Here are three secrets I’ve learned after many years:
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