Archives For Giveaway

Let me introduce you to my friend, Emily. Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. Follow Emily on Twitter or Facebook.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Emily and Solange

by Emily T. Wierenga

I didn’t know I was praying.

All I knew was I was hungry. Sobbing into my pillow with my skin pulled tight across my rib cage begging the cotton, which smelled like the wind—because Mum hung our sheets on the clothes line strung across the skies of northern Ontario—to be normal.

No, I thought prayer was what I did at the very end of the night, in those final moments before falling into a sleep bloated with dreams of chocolate and sandwiches and cakes.

The long rote of a thing this preacher’s kid did which begged God not to send her relatives and friends to hell. It was a detailed list of names, and if I missed one it felt as though they were damned. And I put it off until the very end because this nine-year-old didn’t know God was love. She just knew life was as hard as the wooden church pews she sat on each Sunday morning.

But when the nurses told me at thirteen that I was a miracle; when they looked at this hypothermic girl whose braces showed through her teeth, whose hair was falling out in clumps, when they said Someone out there loved me, I knew then those nights of begging had been some kind of letter-writing to the sky. Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Carol. Carol Kent's love for the Lord and her passion for equipping, encouraging, and empowering people to live for things that matter shines through. Her readers are irresistibly drawn to see God’s astonishing “grace places” in the middle of their roadblocks. A sought-after speaker and teacher, Carol is the author of many books including her latest, Unquenchable. Carol and her husband live in Tampa, Florida. I had the privledge of meeting Carol at an Extraordinary Women event this spring.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Does prayer work?

by Carol Kent

As a teenager I wanted to live for something that would outlast my life.

I remember saying, “God, I’ll do anything for you.” After I graduated from college and got married, I began a home Bible study. A couple of years later I was directing women’s ministries in a large church, followed by an opportunity to teach a city-wide Bible Study Fellowship class.

But in the middle of saying, “Yes” to a speaking ministry, I was stopped in my tracks when my only child, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was arrested for a serious crime. Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Micha. Micha (pronounced "MY-cah") Boyett is a blogger, writer, and sometimes poet. She shares her story of rediscovering the simplicity of prayer in her recently released memoir Found: A Story Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer. Boyett and her husband live in San Francisco with their two boys. Follow Micha on Facebook and Twitter.

Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Prayer is an invitation to lift our souls to the God-Already-Here. by Micha Boyett

As a girl, I learned to thrive in my church culture. I was sweet, a hard worker, the sort of second grader the grown-ups asked to pray out loud. I was the kid who racked up the most gold stars on the class chart.

I knew the rules for pleasing God.

Continue Reading...

Running on Empty? 5 Ways to Walk with Grace When You Have None

We’ve all encountered those moments in ministry and life when we feel spent, empty, with nothing else to give.

Maybe lived on exhaust one gasp too long. Maybe burning the candle on both ends and in the middle wasn’t such a great idea. Maybe a series of sleepless nights got the best of us.

Whatever the cause, we have nothing left to give and for just a few more hours—whether it’s a Sunday service, a Wednesday night gathering, or the conference that still has a day to wrap up—we must hang on.

But to what? Continue Reading...

4 Powerful Ways to Fight with Joy Today

People fight adversity with many tools. Anger. Sadness. Denial. Frustration.

But my weapon of choice for this fight is joy.

I’ve been trying to fight with laughter and happiness and levity and winsomeness and mirth and gladness and gratefulness. Some days I fare far better than others. But I’m still continuing the fight.

Will you join me? Will you choose to fight with joy no matter your circumstance or adversity?

Here are 4 powerful ways to fight with joy today: Continue Reading...