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Ever since I was a child, I have loved writing. I love crafting good stories and entertaining people with them. Recently, it occurred to me that it might make a fascinating book if I wrote about my experiences as an American living in Britain. It's certainly been fascinating to compare the two cultures firsthand! I decided to make it a fictional book so that I could protect people's privacy. Since I have never published a story before, I thought it would be wise to do some research about the Christian writing industry . I found a website run by an editor in a Christian publishing house, one which publishes for the mainstream evangelical audience and which comprises the bulk of readers and buyers of Christian fiction. This website also features a discussion board, but in talkin... Read more
My husband lovingly calls me a “glass half empty” person. “Sometimes it’s even three-quarters empty,” he told me the other day. (It must have been a particularly rough day—sorry, honey!) It’s true. I crave order and balance, and a world corrupted by sin doesn’t offer much of either. My reactions to gender issues are often of the strong negative quality. I get angry, frustrated, depressed by the way people, including Christians, willingly oppress one another. The fact is, I’ve seen some things that would disturb the most devoted optimist. I was going to list some of them here, but based on your comments on Brandon’s recent post, you don’t need me to convince you that the church can be a downer! When I’m stari... Read more
"I would have enjoyed seminary so much more if it wasn't for the women." So were the words of a minister I was introduced to one day several years ago. Mindy and I were together, and both of us were introduced, but he looked right past her and ignored her "hello." She was invisible. He heard I was a Ph.D. student at a reformed seminary and wanted to know if I was enjoying it. "It's been challenging," I told him. "But I'm learning from the best and I'm enjoying it. Where did you go to seminary?" He told me, then added those words that have stayed with me for years. Of course my curiosity got the best of me. “What was it about the women that ruined seminary for you?” “The questions,” he replied c... Read more
I would like to generate some discussion about how to attract men to CBE. At the conference last summer there was some mention about CBE wanting to do that -- maybe it was even put in terms of a goal -- I can't remember. If any of you have been successful in doing that (signing men up), I'm sure it would be helpful to the organization if you would share it here. Personally, I don't have much hope that it can be done, at least in large numbers, due more to the nature of the way Christianity is practiced than the nature of CBE. Beyond the obvious reason that many do not agree with CBE's mission, a lot of men don't like something even more basic: going to church and other Christian organizations' meetings. In Why Men Hate Going to Church [Thomas Nelson,... Read more
So Peter Parker has his spidey-sense. Trust me—even the Webslinger is envious of my superpower. I have a finely-calibrated justice meter. My mom will confirm that I was born with this ability. As a kid, I wanted to be a judge so I could right all the wrongs of the world, from teenage drug abuse to nepotism in the workplace to sandwiches cut into unequal “halves.” Once I realized that going to law school wouldn’t necessarily keep my brother from getting a bigger helping of lasagna, I decided to open up my career options. Got a theology degree instead. (Which didn’t solve the portion problem either, but after gaining the freshman fifteen, I didn’t care so much about that anymore. And theology turned out to be pretty useful in learning how to use my su... Read more
So Peter Parker has his spidey-sense. Trust me—even the Webslinger is envious of my superpower. I have a finely-calibrated justice meter. My mom will confirm that I was born with this ability. As a kid, I wanted to be a judge so I could right all the wrongs of the world, from teenage drug abuse to nepotism in the workplace to sandwiches cut into unequal “halves.” Once I realized that going to law school wouldn’t necessarily keep my brother from getting a bigger helping of lasagna, I decided to open up my career options. Got a theology degree instead. (Which didn’t solve the portion problem either, but after gaining the freshman fifteen, I didn’t care so much about that anymore. And theology turned out to be pretty useful in learning how to use my su... Read more
As a child I was nurtured on regular doses of science fiction, particularly Star Trek. The original series always found its way onto our television sets. Captain Kirk and his crew regularly averted complete destruction by some clever (or sometimes corny) means. Kirk’s strength was superhuman—a model for men (I thought); he was “a red-blooded American boy,” as one man called him. He was the protector of his ship. When The Wrath of Khan came to the big screen, I remember the surprise of many Trekkers in our congregation to the idea of a woman as captain. There on the big screen stood Kirstie Ally, giving orders to all of her male subordinates. What had become of Starfleet anyway? Don’t they know that women are irrational? “It’s all right,... Read more
Every organization says they want feedback. It helps the leadership to finetune its knowledge of what the members want and may even uncover the next new thing or important next development. Members in organizations like knowing what their colleagues are thinking and experiencing and such communication helps them to develop professionally and may even change opinions. Sometimes communication may bring us up short. Sometimes we may learn more from feedback than we really want to know. Certainly hearing each other's stories and what we're thinking is a good thing, but there is a risk that our pat ideas may get challenged. Blogs are a particularly good tool for giving and getting opinion, but like other technologies, it has its side effects. Email, for example, speeded up lette... Read more

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