See Jen's Blog

20
Jun

repost: 11 rejected VBS themes

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God’s Great Creation and How You’re Ruining It

It’s Only Grape Juice: Sharing the Truth with Your Catholic Friends

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Let’s Clean the Church

God Can Do Anything—So Pray Away Your Peanut Allergy!

Heaven is for Rizzle: Rapping through the Psalms

Journeys with Job

jabVaccination Station! Just Get Your Measles Shot Already

Talking in Tongues by Tuesday

A Warrior After God’s Own Heart: Re-creating the Battles of David*

Jesus Loves You, But He …

13
Jun

a milestone for Miles

I originally created this video last September when Miles turned 18, but only shared it via Facebook. Today it returns with the blog treatment because tomorrow Miles, unbelievably, graduates from high school!

My memories with Miles go back to 2010. He was a sweet, funny sixth grader who stood only 5′ tall and whose voice hadn’t changed. (Update: he’s now a giant.)  Of course, Matt’s memories go back to 1998 when Miles was a sweet, squishy baby with the whole world ahead.

The whole world is still there, Miles, just waiting for you to make your mark. We love you and we’re proud of you.

 

 

6
Jun

“social” event

My latest editorial in Christian Standard:

Gather any group of people over age 40 and you’ll hear frustration about how much time younger people spend on their phones. “I’m at a restaurant watching a couple,” a friend told me recently. “They are obviously on a date, and yet they are both staring at their phones instead of talking to each other.”

The friend texted me this information from her own phone.

It’s true that smartphone use is out of control for many of us. One …

30
May

repost: follow the Leader

I’d read the back of a soup can if Joel Stein wrote it, so as I studiously scrolled through my blog reader this weekend, trawling through posts from the Harvard Business Review that I subscribe to out of some vague feeling that I should, the one he wrote caught my attention. (Surprisingly, “History Rhymes in the Greek Debt Crisis” did not.)

Titled “Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership,” the article is typically hilarious Stein, this time talking about the research he …

23
May

dads are single too

Today Matt is on the blog, with an article in this month’s Christian Standard that I wanted to share with my own readers. Does your church consider single dads as much as they do single moms?

“Please raise your hand if you can name three single moms in your congregation,” I said while co-leading a workshop at the 2015 North American Christian Convention. Many hands proudly shot up. Most of us can easily rattle off the names of three or four single mothers. Many can …

17
May

buzzing off


In a few weeks, my final “Buzz” column will appear in Christian Standard.
I’ve been writing the column since 2003 or 2004, so long that I can’t remember and also can’t double-check because the first editions are on a laptop under my bed that no longer works.

Beginning in July, the new owners and new publisher of the magazine will re-launch with a new slate of columnists. Very few of us have been invited to keep writing, in fact. I’m not surprised by this, but I am a little saddened. For …

11
May

the third conversion

My latest editorial in Christian Standard:

It was offering time, and the father sitting in front of me handed his 3-year-old son a dollar bill. The boy happily placed the money in the basket as it passed by, and then resumed working on the important task of covering his entire bulletin with green crayon scribbles.

While it was a nice moment, I distinctly remember thinking, “Sure, it’s easy to give someone else’s money.” But the truth is, I find it quite difficult to part with cash from Someone …

3
May

becoming curious – an interview with Casey Tygrett

It happened again last month. I was in a Bible study and the leader was posing some challenging questions about how to apply the concepts presented in that week’s lesson – how to choose joy in our daily lives and how to face real struggles along the way. “Trust God,” one person said. “You have to pray,” said another. The conversation faltered and we went on to another topic.

Jesus didn’t require these pat answers. In fact, he discouraged them, challenging the skeptical and searching people he encountered with profound conversations …

18
Apr

sharing your stories

A few weeks ago, I was working on a sermon about the Holy Spirit and asked the Facebook hive mind for help with one of my points. My buddy Chris, a pastor in
Virginia
, offered to share both a completed sermon he’d recently written as well as his entire Evernote notebook of sermon illustrations. Although I didn’t use any of his sermon (mine ended up going another direction), I have used a few of his illustrations for a different sermon I co-preached with Matt as well as some small group curriculum I wrote.


Slow clap for my awesome friend Chris.

When he shared his …

11
Apr

coming near

My latest editorial in Christian Standard:

One of the most commonly quoted verses from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” Bible is John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” This metaphor for the incarnation is referenced so often because, like all good poetic language, it succinctly describes a profound truth: Jesus not only came to earth to be with us, he came to be one of us.

Following Jesus means following his example and “incarnating” the gospel in our own neighborhoods. Sometimes this means tutoring children …