Apr 17
Ashleigh Slater

I never envisioned spending the first day of Easter weekend in the ER, my body racked with flu-like symptoms brought on by a miscarriage in process.

But here I was. 

My husband Ted and I sat in a small waiting room, surrounded not by our three young daughters, but by strangers. All with urgent aliments of their own.

Nothing felt especially good about this Friday. Although I suppose that first Good Friday didn’t seem that great at the time either. It too was one of loss.

Seven hours, an ultrasound, countless nurses, and a doctor later, I entered the...

Apr 14
Jenna DeWitt

Heartbleed – is there a more anxiety-inducing name for an internet security breach?

Recently we found out that since 2012 that little padlock next to the URL in your internet browser might not have been all that safe. That https:// actually didn’t mean every site using “secure browsing” was secure. It’s a complex techie problem so I will leave it to the techies to explain it, but the message anyone could understand from the frantic techie sites was...

Apr 04
Bryan Belknap

I went to see “NOAH” with one question on my mind: how will this film impact youth ministry? Though many Christian leaders are touting the film as a way to “create conversations,” I believe they are not the types of conversations you’re seeking to jump start in your youth group. The film will at best create confusion in your students with a solid faith and at worst harden the hearts of any students who view God as cold, cruel or distant.

While I would recommend that you see the film personally so you can speak knowledgably with students who watch it, I see no upside in taking your...

Mar 31
Bryan Belknap

I was at a concert recently where the man sitting two seats over was talking really loudly to his wife, who sat beside me. After two straight songs of his conversation over the performer (who I’d paid a lot of money to see), I asked him if he would please lower his voice.

While I can’t give you a transcript of our interchange due to his profane vocabulary, I can tell you it culminated with him threatening to kill me.

I was stunned at this man’s shocking overreaction to my reasonable and (in my opinion) polite request. Where on earth is “I will kill you!” the proper response...

Mar 24
Jenna DeWitt

I read an interesting post recently from Benjamin Kerns at Average Youth Ministry about grieving his 20s. The interesting part was that he wasn’t confessing some youthful indiscretion, a wild child college life or scars left from the sharp edges of shattered innocence. It was something much more relatable for me. 

The “older brother” syndrome.

He was referencing the story of the prodigal son. We all know the first part – the part of the younger brother – well...

Mar 20
Bryan Belknap

The wildly popular young adult novel “Divergent” is leaping to the big screen. Teens in a dystopian future must be tested and categorized before joining one of five factions: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Dauntless (brave) and Erudite (intelligent). Once labeled, each person must stick with that faction’s duties the rest of their lives.

When I heard the trilogy’s premise, I immediately thought of spiritual gifts within the church. People often search for their spiritual gift from the list found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, and are then expected to exercise...

Mar 18
Jenna DeWitt

“Being labeled something matters.”

“There are no limits.”

“Dare to be you.”

“I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”  

Ban Bossy

 

These soundbites from Sheryl Sandberg, Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner and others as part of the Ban Bossy campaign mean to promote a positive message for girls. They...

Mar 10
David Sons

You don’t have to be on social media very long to see we are a people who love to be outraged. There are few things more addicting than the heat of fury and the flush of offense. We seemingly long for it as a society. It seems as though we find ourselves consistently on the launch pad of offense waiting for someone to key in the ignition sequence needed to send us screaming into orbit. 

Why are we so quick as a society to hit the “go crazy” button on our tempers? Could it be that in our attempts as a society to entertain ourselves to death...

Mar 03
Bryan Belknap

As Hollywood handed out its highest honor last night, I was struck by how the Church would never single members out for awards.

Or do we?

We all know James’ admonition against giving preferential treatment (James 2:1-13) and Paul’s clear picture of every “body” part, from the pastor to the person cleaning the bathrooms, as being equal and integral to keeping the Bride healthy and expanding God’s Kingdom in the world. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) There’s no question the children of God are spiritually equal in His sight.

But if we’re really honest, I believe we...