27 February 2009

Book Winner: Amy

Congratulations to Amy!
You won the free copy of Leading Women Who Wound.

From reading everyone's comments, this is a very timely book. Many of you are entering into ministry, in the midst of a conflict (be it large or small), or can think back on a time when a conflict was not resolved well. Some of us can probably think back to a time when we were that wounding woman.

The more I read this book, the more I realize how mysterious and multi-layered the human psyche really is. Women take conflict personally, don't we? (In very broad strokes) if a friend criticizes a decision we've made, our tendency is to view that as a criticism of our entire being: our marriage, our fashion sense, our parenting skills, our political views, the kind of car we drive, our intelligence, even our theology. As Kelley and Sue put it, "Your rejections extends to the depths of who I am."

Conflict is not a bad thing. (Eeek! Did I just write that?) It's firstly, unavoidable and secondly, often paves the way for real growth and bonding within ministry relationships. Jesus doesn't want us to be discouraged by conflict and has given us clear instructions about overcoming damaging conflict. He expected stormy seas. So should we.

All of that is to say that I really wish I had free copies of this book to send to each of you. Sue and Kelley have gathered an invaluable resource of insight and experience in their books about women's ministry. Please do yourself and your ministry a favor and invest in this book.*

Amy, send me your mailing address and I'll put your copy of Leading Women Who Wound in the mail ASAP.

* I also highly recommend Sue and Kelley's first book, New Doors in Ministry to Women. This is a foundational book for women's ministry. I've loaned my copy out many times, and put one in the hands of each woman on the leadership board of our church. It's a great book to discuss as a group while you're praying for vision and setting goals for your women's minsitry. And if you've got conflict in your midst, New Doors might provide you insight into aspects of ministry you'd not considered before.

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22 February 2009

Invitation: SoulPerSuit doing Java with the Judges

SoulPerSuit is hitting the books and art supplies again this spring!
SPS logo

Through the months of March, April and May, we'll be hosting a group venturing through the book of Judges using, Java with the Judges, from the Coffee Cup Bible Study Series, by Sandra Glahn.
Java With the Judges: A Coffee Cup Bible Study

I sure would love it if you'd join us. All you need is a Bible, your imagination, a copy of Java with the Judges, and Internet access.
We'll be hosting the Judges SPS group in the blogosphere again (it seemed to work really well when we did it over Christmas so we're going to take another crack at it), BUT you do not need to have your own blog to participate. If you don't write to a blog, don't let that stop you; SoulPerBlog serves as a quasi-art studio/coffee house/bean bag laden discussion room. We'll brew up some cyber cafe mochas and green tea over there so everyone can enjoy the dialogue in the comments section.

Get your Java with the Judges book here (and get it quick 'cause we're kicking off March 3):
BooksChristian.com (<< cheapest I've seen it)

And stop by SoulPerBlog to let us know to fluff up a bean bag for you!

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19 February 2009

Leading Women Who Wound

Leading Women Who Wound: Strategies For Effective Ministry

My friend, Kelley Mathews, has co-authored a book that I think you'd like to know about. It's called, Leading Women Who Wound, and again, she teamed up with Sue Edwards for this one. What a great writing team they make. I have every book these two women have written (which amounts to a tidy little library by now) because they focus on a topic near to my heart-- ministering to women.

This newest book deals with the tough subject of women in ministry who don't interact with one another in godly ways. Setting the groundwork early on, Edwards and Mathews write, "The flesh is real-- even in Christians. We don't talk about these inner tensions because Christian women are supposed to be nice... As we mature spiritually, we learn to overcome, to celebrate with others, and to shackle our dark side. But everyone is at a different place in the process-- and emotionally immature and diseased women act out of their flesh. Expect it. To think otherwise is naive."

Using Jesus and the Apostle Paul as examples of ministers who often experienced conflict, these gals let us know we are in good company when we, too, get rubbed the wrong way, or worse. Sometimes much worse.

From criticism, to personal attacks, to church politics, Leading Women Who Wound discusses some of our motivations in female conflict, how to prepare to encounter conflict, how to spot wounding women, how to disarm the situation, how to love women, and how to make Biblical peace with a sister (not just brushing things under the rug, but moving the relationship to a new level). This is a good book!

Guess what: Kelley sent me an extra copy! If you lead a MOPS group, a women's Bible Study or a small group, if you'd like to gift your women's pastor with a useful book, if you're earning a counseling or seminary degree, if you just plain love women and want to see them grow in the image of Jesus, then leave your name in the comments section and I'll draw a winner on Friday, Feb 27th. Then you, too, can begin your own tidy little library of Edwards and Mathews books.*

* Be sure to visit their ministry website for loads of good resources, New Doors: Equipping Women for Biblical Leadership

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13 February 2009

Two Things

The first, just a funny exchange that's kept me laughing all afternoon.

The kids and I were outside enjoying a post-winter, pre-spring day today. After we'd walked the perimeter of our yard and picked up armloads of branches blown down by the windstorms, pulled up all the dead roots of last year's vegetable garden, plotted homes for our spinach and sweet pea seeds, played a few games of tag, pushed each other on the swing, walked to the mailbox, had a scooter race, and stirred the compost, some of us got the great idea to play frisbee.

Youngest daughter dug the frisbee out of the toy bin, oldest sister took a position, I paced off a good tossing distance and called over my shoulder to the middle girl, "Hey Babe, wanna come play frisbee with us?"

"Uh, no, not really. I can't. I have an appointment. With some mud."

Oh, then. By all means. :)


The other thing is a great discussion question Sandi asks over on SoulPerBlog. I don't know exactly why, but I love things like this.
Old stuff. Stories. Stories about old stuff. Old stuff you have and the stories you know. Stuff you know about old stories. Stories and old stuff.
Yep, I love it all. And I'd sure be interested to read your answer, so I'm inviting you to head over there and write something. You might have an interesting story amongst your old stuff.

appointments with mud must be kept at all cost

09 February 2009

Divine: The Sprite

Meet the culprit in the Broken Santa incident.

She's turning 5 years old today.

I love her dearly. So dearly.

Today, I reflect that the joy and delight she brings to our home far outshines a paltry Superglue-repaired salt dough Santa (or any other thing I think I care about).

His face glows jaundiced with primary school tempera paints.

Her face glows with sprightliness.

I think we shall indeed live happily ever after- despite what breaks among us;
this Sprite, the Broken Santa and me.

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05 February 2009

Sleepy and Brave, but NOT Fair

Our family is prepping to launch into a unit study on Kings and Queens, so we've been quite dreamy and enamored with all things medieval.

Tonight, I waxed chivalrous, kissed my daughter, and beseeched the fair maiden sweet slumber.

Her response:

"I'm not a fair maiden. I'm Joan of Arc!"


02 February 2009

SoulPerSuit Mini-group

SoulPerSuit is starting it's next theme, running the entire month of February.
January was dedicated to examining the idea of "decay." Now it's time to dip our toes in to the "divine."

I invite you to come and join us. Poetry, knitting, calligraphy, claymation, music videos, playing card art... it's all welcome in the creative hopper. Let's offer ourselves to the molding hand of God and see what comes out!

Details are over at SoulPerBlog.

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