About Me

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I'm a wife, a mom, a singer/songwriter, an author, a public speaker, an abolitionist, an encourager & freedom coach, a seminary student, a worship leader, a lover of life and joy, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Article: "When The Darkness Closes In"

I was really touched and challenged by the following article written by Mike Ensley, a friend of mine who also write for Boundless, called "When The Darkness Closes In".

The title of the article is a line from the Matt Redman son, "Blessed Be Your Name". I have a love/hate relationship with this song. Don't get me wrong; it's an amazing song. But it's also a challenging one, and since the miscarriage, I cannot sing it without breaking into tears. The Scripture that much of the song is based on is the one that was running through my head as I waited to find out if I was really having a miscarriage. It is Job's words that he said after being informed he had lost almost everything, included all of his children: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."

The article is about many things, including depression - something I've struggled with on & off for my whole life. You should really go read it. Here's a quote.
Depression affects people in unique ways. In times when I'm hit by something much more potent than "the blues," it manifests in a sort of social anxiety. I'll get claustrophobic in a place like a movie theater, a mall — or church. There's no real reason, no specific dread that occupies my mind; only the same emotion as if there were. I crave nothing but quiet and solitude. The experience is hard to describe, other than to say it can be very uncomfortable and even disheartening.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Boston Exodus Training and the Protestors

Earlier this week, Alive in Christ (the ministry I direct), Park Street Church (the church that hosts the ministry) and Exodus International (the organization of which Alive in Christ is a member) hosted a Boston training event for pastors, ministry leaders, seminary students, educators, and counselors on how to respond to the issue of homosexuality with biblical truth and compassion.

We knew there was a protest scheduled during the day, with well-known speakers and gay activists attending, such as Wayne Besen and Arlene Isaacson. We had several protesters come to the meeting and stand up in the middle of speaking sessions to "demonstrate"; I'll spare you the details :)

One side of the room we were meeting in is completely covered in windows. Outside the windows is a historic cemetery that tourists walk through. A group of probably 20-30 protesters came up to the windows to scream loudly at us through a bullhorn and try and take pictures of the attendees. They shouted some mantras, such as "Exodus, Exodus, Quack, Quack, Quack! You can't change gays; that's a fact!" and "Ex-gay, no way! Don't believe a word they say!" It's fairly clear from those two statements that they really have no idea what we were talking about in the training or the even the mission of Exodus. That is even more clear if you watch some of the footage of the continued protest and the words of the speakers.

As I was thinking about the anti-Exodus protesters leading up to the conference, I realized they are sort of missing the point. The problem in their minds is Exodus; if they could shut Exodus down somehow, the problem is solved. But Exodus didn't form for the sake of Exodus; Exodus was created because people all over the United States were seeking out this type of ministry. People were not satisfied with the label of "born gay" that was slapped on them.

The protesters need to realize that shutting down Exodus will not change the need - the need in people's heart for a different answer, for a different life. They may not experience that need, but that will not change the fact that thousands of others, like myself, desired to be obedient to what we saw in God's Word and what we felt He was calling us to do. And when we were willing to surrender that area of our lives to God, when we were willing to do whatever it would take to walk in obedience to Him, what He gave us in return was far better than anything we could ever have imagined.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Speaking at Park Street on Sunday

I just found out on Wednesday that the ministry I direct is having its "ministry moment" on Sunday, at all 4 services at Park Street. That means I have a 3 minute window to speak and share our heart :) I am currently in California as you know, visiting family, and will be returning to Boston at 5:30 AM on Sunday morning, having flown all night with a toddler who doesn't sleep well on planes. For those who pray, please pray that our flight goes as planned, and that I can get to the church on time! I'd be so bummed to miss this opportunity, as we've been trying to schedule it for 2 years.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Being Literal

I recently got a book from the library that an acquaintance recommended. She didn't recommend it for the parenting advice, but more for the thoughts on having children, birth control, marriage, etc. I was really enjoying the book until I came upon the section on training a child. The book's author advised not to listen to any of the parenting experts & didn't offer much counsel of her own, but she did share a couple of readers' stories which promptly made me lose my interest in the book due to some of their "training methods". When I asked my acquaintance about it, she said she didn't really listen to the parenting advice, but simply absorbed wisdom from the other topics of interest in this author's books.

I have only recently realized how literal I am. I am very, very literal. And I really struggle with reading a book and accepting any of its advice when I strongly disagree with certain aspects of it.

This hit home again recently when one of the blogs I read referenced a teaching by someone I know vaguely, but have heard a lot about from people who do know him. I know this person is not a person of integrity, and therefore, I couldn't really absorb the teaching. This same issue has come up before in ministry circles. I'm not able to quote authors in my talks or articles who I know disagree with the fundamental premise of why I do the type of ministry that I do. Others can easily quote those whom they may disagree with on certain topics, even if those topics are the core of their ministry, because they simply figure they will not agree with everyone on everything.

To my other literal readers - are you like this? Or are you able to take what you like & leave the rest, as the 12 steps would say? To my less literal readers - are you able to sort of separate the things you agree & disagree with? One of my campus ministry leaders I know always said not to dismiss truth simply because of its source. Generally, I think that's good advice, but sometimes, I have a really hard time separating any "truth" I might be able to absorb from its source if that source has foundations I strongly disagree with.