8
Apr

new to you friday–how to stop worrying

Be someone other than Jennifer Taylor.

Kidding, of course, although this is a good first step since I have completely mastered worrying and could compete at a Worry Olympics with other champions.

It began early.

Jen, age 5: (holding paper and crayons, sobbing): Mom, I can’t make my fours right. I make them backwards. (More sobbing.) Mrs. Pence makes her fours the right way and I can’t do it!

(Mrs. Pence was my kindergarten teacher, a lovely lady who introduced me to turnips and wrote a poem about me that had nothing to do with turnips before retiring the next year. But I …

27
Aug

new to you friday–men, man up

A few weeks ago, a guy I’m friends with said two things that made me smile.

The first—“I thought about dating you, but decided it wouldn’t work because I’ve been reading your blog and you’re too Christian”—because that deserves a trophy for Back-handed Compliment Of The Year.

And the second—“You need a strong guy, and there aren’t many strong Christian guys”—because it made me think of this post.

Let’s make up a statistic and see if we can get it to go viral. How about, “If you are a single Christian woman over 30, you are 64% more likely to get hit …

15
Jun

what’s saving you?

In her memoir Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor writes,

Many years ago now, when I was invited to speak at a church gathering, my host said, “Tell us what is saving your life now.” It was such a good question that I have made a practice of asking others to answer it even as I continue to answer it myself. Salvation is so much more than many of its proponents would have us believe. In the Bible, human beings experience God’s salvation when peace ends war, when food follows famine, when health supplants sickness and freedom trumps oppression. Salvation …

13
Apr

how to stop worrying

Be someone other than Jennifer Taylor.

Kidding, of course, although this is a good first step since I have completely mastered worrying and could compete at a Worry Olympics with other champions.

It began early.

Jen, age 5: (holding paper and crayons, sobbing): Mom, I can’t make my fours right. I make them backwards. (More sobbing.) Mrs. Pence makes her fours the right way and I can’t do it!

(Mrs. Pence was my kindergarten teacher, a lovely lady who introduced me to turnips and wrote a poem about me that had nothing to do with turnips before retiring the next year. But I …

19
Apr

happy blogiversery

Today marks three years for this blog! (And tomorrow involves a birthday with more threes…….heaven help us.) Here’s a look back…..

Ten of the posts I like best, for one reason or another:

Do we really want a country of McChurches?

The story is bigger than our short-term happiness.

Can Christians drink?

A Holiday Tip.

“Leadership” means dealing with reality—including conflict.

eHarmony: I’m not a fan.

If you must read “The Shack“……

On preaching politics from the pulpit….

Why I’d rather work for men.

An open letter to Tim Keller.

Ten of the posts that received the most feedback, on or off-line:

Apparently …

12
Aug

buy the book

Today I received this email:

Jennifer,

I was brokenhearted last night at our small group Bible study when my friend poured out her heart and tears concerning the drain she feels because she has trouble drawing lines between her job as the church secretary, her personal (“off the clock”) ministry to the church, and her responsibilities of home and husband. Her struggle is amplified because, even as a relatively new Christian, she can identify the gap between the Biblical counsel of the church leaders and the reality of their own lives. I feel my advice to her was helpful but painfully inadequate. I am having a terrible time finding …

23
Feb

This morning I spent some time talking to a staff member from Higher Ministries, a non-profit organization that reaches out to pastors and churches in crisis. During our conversation, Tony made an interesting observation: “Guys leave Bible college or seminary full of knowledge in theology but without adequate training in leadership and conflict management skills.”

I am continually astounded at the number of leaders I know who are unable to have the difficult conversation or who, like Michael Scott in The Office, equate leadership with being everyone’s friend. It causes so many problems and solves so few.

Henry Cloud talks about this in his book Integrity: The Courage to …

13
Jan

More input needed

Yesterday I was asked to coordinate/produce four services for a new leadership training event at The Local Megachurch (as my friend and fellow blogger Jan calls it). “The LAB” includes three days of special speakers (including Boundaries author Henry Cloud) and over 40 workshops on everything from small groups to social justice. It should be a good time.

However, my focus will be on the four services that bring the whole group of (hopefully) 800-1,000 people together in worship and learning. These times need to include Moments (you know what I mean), funny and/or meaningful videos, unusual and creative plays on the “lab” theme (perhaps a local chemistry teacher …

28
Aug

At dinner with some friends this weekend, one of them described the guy she’d just started dating. He was raised in a Christian home but no longer attends church or “practices” any faith. My friend likes him and plans to see him again but she’s also approaching it casually; she realizes his lack of faith is a major issue.

Whether or not she should date a non-Christian at all is a whole other discussion. In his book How to Find a Date Worth Keeping, Henry Cloud asserts that dating unbelievers is fine if you approach it as a way to make new friends, have fun, and grow as a person. As …