“Church after the rain,” Frankfurt, Germany

Protestants at 500 Years: The Best-Known Female Reformer

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In this year, which marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, many are focusing on the male reformers. But Germany is also focused on some of the females.  Though quite influential, they are often forgotten. And we can learn much from their lives. I’m thinking of one in particular.

Come back in time with me to about 1499 in what we know today as eastern Germany—then called Saxony. And picture a girl born to a noble family. When she turns five, her mother dies and her father sends her to a cloister.  There she receives a nun’s education.

When she is about 24, she and some of her friends—aware of the reform movement and dissatisfied with their lives in the monastery—seek to flee. Like so many others, they haven’t  taken vows of celibacy due to calling, but due to a parent’s decision (sometimes for reasons of …

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Last Week

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My vote for the best-kept secret of Reformation sites: Torgau.

 

Brass doors with 95 theses on them now stand where a wooden door in Wittenberg once served as the local posting-place where profs left announcements for students (pre-internet, pre-phone, pre-postal service).

 

It was a fab trip. But the guy next to me on the 10-hour flight was hacking, and I think he shared his germs. Ugh. More coming after I recover.…

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Eisenach and Erfurt plus Warburg Castle

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So far I’ve had a whirlwind trip in frigid temps. In seventeen-degree temps yesterday, we walked more than nine miles. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I flew to Frankfurt and caught a train to Eisenach, where friends met me at the train station. On Epiphany, my friend Robin and I toured Eisenach, a picturesque town where Bach was born and baptized, and 200 years earlier Martin Luther sang in the same church as a choirboy. (Elizabeth of Hungary was also married here at age 14.) The Luther house and the Bach museum both had fantastic exhibits that we had pretty much all to ourselves.

In the afternoon, we toured Warburg Castle, where Luther hid out as Squire George and translated the entire New Testament in ten months. He had sparked quite a controversy with his writings.

In the evening, we took a train to Erfurt, where we’re staying in …

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Departing for Germany

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The past month has been a flurry of activity. I visited my mom and sister and her family in Oregon for our third annual Christmas Ships on the Columbia parade. I wrapped up the semester and graded about ten pounds worth of papers. And I hosted a bunch of family for Christmas, which included a day in Waco visiting Magnolia Markets and the Dr Pepper museum. The new year brought more family and packing…for Germany. I depart today on a nine-day press junket in Luther country as a guest of the German National Tourist office. (Please pray for me!) This year will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, commencing on October 31, the day Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg.

I’ll update you here as I’m able. Snow covers the ground where I’m going. I also …

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Spiritual Mothers: A Guest Post

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Today I’m happy to feature Kat Armstrong here as a guest post-er. Kat is a former student and savvy business woman (Baby Bow Tie) who co-founded Polished Ministries, an outreach to young business women. When I read this post she wrote on her own blog, I asked if I could run it again here: 

spiritualmothers

My heart feels like it’s going to burst through my chest. I’ve tried working on other projects this weekend, projects I’m really excited about with looming deadlines, and yet I keep coming back to this keep-me-up-at-night message: We need all Christ-followers intentionally investing in younger generations now.

Maybe it’s the Irish/Latino mix I’ve got in my blood, but I tend to get fired up about lots of things. But make no mistake, this is not your average Kat-plea to see again afresh the gospel of Christ, in general. This is urgent and specific.…

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Giving Tuesday

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Irene longs to go to college to become an accountant.

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Each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we have Giving Tuesday— a global day of generosity to kick off the charitable season.

As you consider the best use of your giving dollars, please consider making a gift to our work with East-West Ministries in East Africa. Your gifts go to taking the gospel to unreached remote tribal areas, supporting widows and orphans (the latter placed in loving homes instead of orphanages), and training new believers in their faith in pre-literate areas.

Here’s a link to the Glahn page with more info. You can find a “donation” link in the upper left corner once you access the page. Thanks!…

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Black Friday: How to Shop Like a Christian

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imgresMy piece on this subject ran on the Pastor Resources site recently: 

The USA is the only place where people express gratitude on Thanksgiving for all the stuff they have and spend the next day shoving people over to get the stuff they don’t. Sadly, Black Friday is only the beginning.

Maybe we won’t fight with another dad for the last pair of Nikes’ Prime Hype DF 2016 sneakers or push over a grandpa to get the Sky Viper V2400. But most of us still fall short of Christlikeness when it’s time to make Christmas purchases. To watch us, people might think we believe ’tis the season to be greedy and grumpy.

So here are some suggestions for how to shop like a Christian:

Decide to make Christ your focus. Pray for wisdom and ask God to help you honor him during this holy season. Set aside ten minutes …

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Thanksgiving: Let’s Actually Give Thanks

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A number of countries set aside one day every year for their people to gather and give thanks. I live in the USA, where we will celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. But no matter where we live, we are called in everything to give thanks (1 Thess. 5:18). So let’s actually take time to do what the day is set aside to encourage—give thanks. That may seem like a no-brainer, but often we’re so caught up in turkey and gravy and pumpkin pie and football and family togetherness and Macy’s parade-watching that we actually forget to give thanks beyond the table blessing.

Here are some prompts to get us started. Even if you lack some of these, you probably have an overwhelming number of them:

Inner wealth

  • Knowledge that you are made in God’s image and therefore have dignity and worth.
  • Recognition that the Father loves you; that Christ came for
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On the Nightstand/In My Kindle
Silence, by Shusaku Endo; Silence and Beauty, by Makoto Fujimura; The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, by C. S. Lewis; The Image of God in an Image Driven Age, ed. by Beth Felker Jones and Jeffrey W. Barbeau; Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, by Lauren Winner.

I post on the Engage blog for women in leadership at Bible.org every other Tuesday.