August 24, 2018

Contemplative Prayer

Is your prayer mostly a one-sided monologue with God? Is your time filled with words telling God what you want and how you'd like him to act in the world?

Often we aren't ready to ask God for anything until we quiet our mind and rest in His presences, only then do we really know how to pray. Contemplative prayer is prayer in which we still our thoughts and emotions and become aware of God's presence with us. Contemplative prayer is a way of "abiding in Christ" (John 15:4). In contemplative prayer we make space for the Holy Spirit to work in our heart. It need not be a mystical experience and is far more likely to be a calming experience of resting in Christ. Prayer is a w...

August 7, 2018

When the story about Bill Hybels first broke, I didn't want to believe it. Although I'm a vocal advocate for women and trusted some of the voices crying foul, I was committed to thinking the best about Hybels until proven otherwise. For more than two decades, Hybels had inspired me from afar. I trusted and respected him, often praising him as a role model of egalitarian leadership for the evangelical church. I had devoured most of his books, including, "Who You Are When No One's Looking," a title that still sits on my shelf today. I now know Hybels’ answer to that question, at least in part, and to my horror, is nothing of what I would have predicted.

When I read the New York Times article re...

March 13, 2018

Abigail is a remarkable mold-breaking woman of the Bible. We find her story in 1 Samuel 25, where she is introduced as a woman with brains and beauty. Her name means "Father rejoices." In a culture that esteemed sons more than daughters, every time Abigail heard her name she was reminded that she was her father's joy. Knowing that a father's attitude towards his daughter can have a profound impact on her confidence and self-image, one has to wonder if Abigail’s father was instrumental in raising her to become the intelligent and capable woman that she was.

Abigail was married to Nabal, a wealthy landowner with a nasty reputation. David, the soon to be king of Israel, and his band of migh...

May 16, 2017

“Is she the pastor,” a surprised newcomer asked one of our ushers while I stood on the platform giving the morning welcome and prayer.

“She’s one of our pastors,” the usher replied.

Later, when the usher relayed the conversation to me, she was quite surprised and puzzled by the question. I just smiled and chuckled inside. I’m used to being mistaken for the church administrator or the lead pastor’s wife, so I’ve grown accustomed to such questions. It seems we women just don’t fit the mold for Christian pastor and here are three reasons why.

The mold has been intentionally shaped to exclude women. 

Many evangelical denominations have deliberately crafted the pastor as male. They believe God only w...

April 3, 2017

One characteristic common among successful leaders is an optimistic attitude. Whether you’re leading a ministry, business, or a sports team, thinking optimistically will help you to succeed. As Christian leaders, we always have reason to be optimistic and hopeful because our hope is rooted in the power and goodness of God. Romans 4:18 tells us that Abraham’s optimism was grounded in God. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.”

Like Abraham, even when the odds are against us, and it looks impossible, we can have hope because we know God will come through for us. Optimism keeps us moving forward in trying times. It moves us from staying stuck in th...

February 7, 2017

Feminism. It’s a dirty word in the evangelical Church, and recent events in our country have only muddied it more. Claiming to be a Christian and a feminist is like dropping the f-bomb in a prayer meeting. Talk about gender equality, and you’ll probably be well received, but mention the word feminism, and you're likely to be mistaken for a man-bashing, angry woman who devalues family and pushes for abortion on demand.

Few words carry as much baggage in the Church as feminist, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, first wave feminism was birthed by a handful of Christian women in a small Wesleyan Church in New York. At its core, the movement began with the radical notion that women, lik...

December 2, 2016

Jesus said love is the mark of a true disciple (John 13:35) and the highest priority in the Kingdom of God (Matt 22:37-40). As Christians, our love should resemble the motto of Nike because regardless of how others treat us, we're called to “Just do it!” Just love them anyway.

The Bible say, “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16). If God is in us, and God is love, then love should spill over from us to others even when they’re acting unlovable. Yes, it’s hard. No, I don’t always get it right. But I believe it’s the right thing to do and always worth trying. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Mother Teresa.

People are often unreasonab...

October 11, 2016

My life is about to change forever as I anticipate the arrival of my first grandchild any day now. I’m already madly in love with this soon to be named little girl, whom I affectionately call, Princess Awesome.

For months now, our family has laughed and teased and debated one another as we dream about what she’ll be like. Some family members want her to play sports and be athletic. Others predict she’ll be smart, love to read, and always dress in style. Her uncle insists he’s buying her a bow and camouflage and taking her hunting—good luck getting her mama to agree on that one.

While each of us has different dreams for this treasured little lady, we all agree she has tremendous potential. She...

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2018 Jeannette Cochran

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