esen

Restoration

Tonight We Remember (A Reflection on the Lord’s Supper)

Dishes pile up, noisy disagreements echo off of toddler-decorated walls, my newsfeed baits and agitates and broadcasts destruction and heartache. I pick yet another wayward lego off the floor as my teeth clench to narrowly avoid lashing out in frustration. Today, it is so easy to forget that tonight, we remember. We remember that… The Lord Jesus, on the night ...

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Jesus’ Secrets to Saving Parents’ Sanity

Being a parent is intimidating. It isn’t just the funhouse of potty-training, bedtime (why won’t they sleep?!), sibling squabbles, schoolwork, table manners, and housework that threaten my sanity…it’s the knowledge that I have to navigate this maze of mirrors while actually teaching them things. Important things. I have to teach them, these four daughters of mine, not just to master basic life ...

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Abide in Christ: What It Looks Like and Why It’s a Must

“Abide” is one of my favorite words. It is a calming, empowering word that communicates surrender and soul rest. Just hearing or reading that little word triggers my mind to slow down and gives me permission to take a deep breath. Abide. Refresh. Let go. Trust. Years ago while I was a church youth camper at the gorgeous Sis Q ...

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3 Keys to Overcoming the Burnout of Serving Others

The burnout grew slowly. It was a general feeling of frustration with my work. As I would drive to work in the darkness of the early morning, I struggled to see the importance of what I was doing. I wanted to quit. For several years, I have worked full-time at a homeless shelter. This kind of service work can be ...

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When All is Not Well With Your Soul

Christian leadership has become a niche topic often characterized by words like “vision”, “big hairy audacious goal”, and “management”. However, this is really only one component of Christian leadership. In order for goals and vision to have life behind them, they must be in partnership with spiritual formation and restoration and a commitment to continually ground oneself in Biblical theology. ...

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Why Jesus Tells Us to Forgive Without Limit

I’m going to let you in on a secret: being a Christian leader is hard. You’re called to influence those around you for the sake of Christ? This is a tall order. Know what else is hard to do? Forgive. It’s hard because sometimes forgiveness is attached to confrontation. These situations are especially hard for those who are introverts at ...

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Supporting Same-Sex Attracted Christians

Alex* wore the pain and shame of same-sex attraction on his face as he shared with me how many years he had cried out for God to simply takes those desires away. Aware of the stigma, it wasn’t something he felt he could talk about in the church, and ultimately, it became easier for Alex to embrace the acceptance of ...

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What Christians Need to Understand About Shame

Shame on you! is something we say to someone who behaves poorly. It’s our response to a person caught red handed and unapologetic. In effect, we’re telling them: “What you’ve done is wrong and you should feel guilt, regret, and humiliation.” In these types of situations, we want the offender to claim guilt so that he or she can take ...

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Why It’s Hard for Me to Sabbath

Sabbath. It’s what “Hakuna Matata” wishes it could really be. No worrying. About anything. For all eternity. And with thousands of years of history it certainly “ain’t no passin’ craze.” It’s why the Friday sunset triggers a welcomed off-switch from the crazy busyness of my life.  No laundry, vacuuming, or making beds. Or fretting about finances. Or checking my work email. Or wiping myself out in the ...

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Why Confession is a Must for Christ-Followers

We’ve all heard the saying: Confession is good for the soul. One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned as a Christian is how true this saying is. Confession is a source of great healing and freedom. All Christians, whether they have official titles or not, have been re-created by Jesus to lead in their daily lives. For the Christian ...

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