Building an Arsenal

You gain consciousness just in time for another grenade to explode. Clods of dirt spray your body as you clamber up and straighten your helmet. The smoke begins to dissipate, and you can see enemy lines moving slowly but steadily forward across an open field—straight toward you.

Make no mistake about it: we live in a war zone. Peacetime is coming, but it is not here yet. For now, we engage the enemy with all we’ve got, and when all we’ve got is gone, we maintain our position.

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Perspective Pops

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 43:5)

We all talk to ourselves—it’s the brain’s natural way of processing information, and we’d go crazy if the internal chatter permanently stopped. (And yes, it’s biblical; many psalms read like journal entries of David’s self-talk.) But do you ever get stuck in your own head? When those mental ruts are deep, they can shove you back onto the well-worn path of negativity, fatalism, anger, depression, or anxiety, and it can feel close to impossible to speak sensibly to yourself.

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Maximizing the Meltdown

There you are, in the middle of a quite ordinary day, going about your business. Cue the bad news.

Palms start sweating, heartbeats thunder, thoughts race like they’re competing in a derby.

Whether it’s a regular occurrence or a rare one, we all have meltdowns; the perfect storm of circumstances and emotions is simply part of the human condition, though the darkness dances when we lose our footing. Panic, rage, despair, and confusion crash over us, knocking the air from our lungs. Some people lash out, others retreat. Amid the tempest, though, we aren’t without resources. The cross speaks a better word, even when the winds howl and the churning waters rise. Haven’t you heard? Jesus has a habit of calming storms.

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Heart Cards

This week concludes a coaching/mentoring relationship I’ve been enjoying for the past six months. While I’m sad to see something so beautiful end, I rejoice in what God has done and am expectant about what He has in store next. I’ve learned so much from my sweet leader, and I’d love to pass on one of the most helpful and practical tools she’s introduced me to.

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A Course in Fig Leaf Making

I went to my first training for church planters’ wives last week and have been processing ever since. If you don’t mind, I’d love to share a new tool I picked up that I’ve used several times already: what I call the fig leaf exchange. Let’s set the scene.

Pastor Pete Briscoe says that “religion is a course in fig leaf making.” Genesis 3 can be summed up like this: because Adam and Eve disobey God, they realize that their previously innocent nakedness has become embarrassing. They sew fig leaves together and hide from God until He confronts them. Even after the curse is spoken, God makes them real clothing from an animal and sends them out into the world.

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