Pastor’s wife Lauren Chandler thankful for God’s overarching love

 
Lauren Chandler had good reason to thank God. “Most of my life was pretty charmed,” she says. “I grew up in a home where my parents loved Jesus and each other, loved my brother and me. My life had a natural flow where things just kind of worked out for me.” In 1999, Lauren married Matt Chandler, a passionate young preacher who would become lead pastor of one of the fastest-growing churches in America, The Village Church ...

Amy Hebert: Halloween's bony finger of fear

 
As a mother of four young children I dread the month of October. Life becomes incredibly inconvenient because I cannot even make routine shopping trips without being confronted with "holiday cheer." I'm not referring to the beautiful scenes of fall or the already visible Christmas decorations. It's the bony finger of Halloween that seems to point at me as I round every aisle. Our culture celebrates fear. We have made it cute. We even have entire stores devoted to a ...

Diana Davis: How to show God's love to refugees

 
He's right in front of you in the grocery line. She's the new girl in your child's school classroom. You've read about immigrants or refugees who are moving to your town, but you're not sure what to say or do. What is a correct Christian response to strangers in your community? When we see immigrants as individuals who are dearly loved by God, it's easy to truly care. Your Bible class, women's ministry group or entire church can impact eternity ...

Missions ideas flow from FBW columnist Diana Davis, daughter

 
Long before most people were aware of Diana Davis' "fresh ideas," her daughter witnessed her mom's imagination and creative spark. "Her creativity is what has always made life in our family so much fun!" Autumn Wall said, recalling how her mother was always starting something new or turning an ordinary day into something adventuresome. "For our family, she constantly used her creative ideas to help us understand that serving God is an adventure," Autumn said via email. Davis, whose "Fresh ...

Florida Baptist Children's Homes inspiring Brave Moms

 
As Emma waited for the bus at 6:30 a.m. with her 1-year-old daughter, Isabella, on her lap, she was determined to make up for lost time. She was ready for another day of classes at a local technical school, always believing that each day is another opportunity to better herself. She jotted down a goal, and below it she penned her inspiration: My goal: To get my high school diploma My why: My daughter In June, Emma turned that goal ...

Southern Baptist Women's Ministry Advisory Council conducts survey

 
Fourteen women met for two days in Atlanta to continue their discussion about increasing the participation of women in the Southern Baptist Convention. Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed the Women's Ministry Advisory Council to gather information concerning the involvement of women's ministry leaders and ministry wives in their Southern Baptist churches. With the purpose of involving Southern Baptist women in all areas of convention life, the task force has been at work since January conducting ...

What’s keeping you from using your God-given influence?

 
There she was. Sitting on a beige sofa in my living room. Let's call her Ashley. Ashley had grown up in church and is still a faithful member who serves in the women's ministry. She is a loving wife, mother and career woman. From the outside, she had it all. However, she had a fear stirring within her that she had no influence. She kept saying over and over that she was just a wife and just a mother. I ...

Susie Hawkins: Suffering & endurance

 
Several years ago, our daughter and her husband traveled to California, leaving their 3-year-old Jackson and 18-month-old Julia in our care. Like all grandparents, we were delighted to keep them. One of those mornings, my husband, O.S., took Jackson with him to his office. Jackson sat on his lap, looking over the desk, asking questions. As O.S. was opening his mail, Jackson grabbed a letter opener and somehow the end of it struck his eye. We soon assumed ...

Share Jesus as you go garage sale-ing

 
Nice weather has arrived, and it seems there’s a garage sale on every corner! If you’re a garage sale fanatic and a Christian, here’s a fresh idea you’ll love. These easy tips can turn a garage sale-ing hobby into a simple, effective witness opportunity: Get ready Go to the bank and get lots of $1 bills. Any purchase provides interaction with the seller. Keep church brochures or business cards in your car or ...

Mom finds identity as daughter of the King

 
Celebrating Mother's Day was always a peaceful and joy-filled experience as I grew up in a loving, Christian, two-parent home. I remember working diligently on the obligatory homemade gift projects we were given as schoolchildren in order to present something to my mom that would conjure a smile, thanks and a hug. Mother's Day served as an annual reminder to say "thank you." To be honest, I never thought deeply about the annual celebration until later into my adulthood. I ...

Motherhood: Molding minds, developing potential

 
Being a mother is both demanding and rewarding—it is equivalent to a professional pursuit. Molding minds, healing spirits, nurturing bodies and developing potential—this job can be amazingly productive and rewarding. The results of competent mothering will be passed from generation to generation. For a mother, rearing her children is her mission, life's work, the opportunity for her greatest legacy. You cannot pay a woman to do what mothers do for free. A mother loses much of ...

Women's roles in SBC focus of advisory council

 
A diverse group of 18 women is studying the perspectives and strategies women in Southern Baptist churches bring to the God-given task of fulfilling the Great Commission. They comprise the Women's Ministry Advisory Council appointed by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. The council joins a list of advisory councils Page has appointed to provide insight into the needs, desires and goals of the many groups represented in SBC life. "We are excited about encouraging our ...

Life as a pastor’s wife: 'Why did I sign up for this?'

 
Do you ever wake up in ministry to ask yourself "Why?" "Why did I sign up for this?" If we were all honest with ourselves, we would say that at some point or another, we have asked the "why" questions in ministry. Typically, we come to the answer that we believe God has a plan and purpose for us in this specific ministry (Romans 8:28). Ministry is tough, but being in the will of God makes the reward well worth it. ...

Star-spangled opportunities to shine for Jesus

 
As our country celebrates the Fourth of July, how will you shine for Jesus? Plan ahead to use one of these simple, fresh ideas as an individual, small group or church to show support for elected officials and those assigned to keep peace in your community: • Purchase a nice Bible for your town's mayor, signed with words of prayer and encouragement. • An adult class could sign a thank you and prayer card to be delivered with ...

3 ways to honor mom on Mother's Day

 
As a young mom, I thought Mother's Day should be all about me. Surely I deserved recognition for my never-ending sacrifices as a mom and stepmom to five children, right? However, after driving away from my parents' home not long ago with tears spilling down my cheeks, I sensed God asking me to honor my mom with the time we have left. No longer able to deny that dementia is consuming Mom's every fiber, I must acknowledge this is the ...