About Be Brave

Brenda Seefeldt began life in youth ministry in 1981. That is before the internet, YouTube, texting and even before PowerPoint. (But it was after flannel boards.) Brenda has written and shared much of what she has learned through the resource of Wild Frontier and in many youth ministry publications as she continues on in youth ministry. Brenda is a brave one. She stutters yet is a national speaker. She loves teaching so much she’s also been a substitute teacher for over 20 years. She’s brave enough to enter any classroom at a middle school. She also simply loves teaching groups, whether they are teens or adults. Due to the many years of youth ministry, Brenda has “coached” many grown teens in dating. She finds herself very opinionated on that with lots to share. Brenda loves her God-given family–four sons and 4 grandchildren. They are God-given, not birthed. That alone is a brave story, one she tells here and there as the story really belongs to her sons.

5 Reasons Why the Church Should Embrace Science

bebraveI apologize for my insightful absence here. I could blame the summer schedule but it has more to do with transition and about my son being named “Prince William County Fugitive of the Week.” I’m not yet ready to talk about that here but your prayers sure are appreciated.

So as a distraction I’m linking this great Relevant article. I do this because this is some brave Wild Frontier thinking that I love (though I wish it wasn’t so brave) and because one of my favorite teens in my 34 years of youth ministry is certainly going to be a man of great science as well as a man of faith. I am one of his biggest cheerleaders as he studies things I do not care to even try to understand. I just know from the bottom of my soul that Ian is a man of science destiny to the glory of God.

By the way, Ian is the brother of our blogger Dauntlessly Cautious. I’m so honored to be a part of this family!!

I also have a brother who holds a doctorate in meteorology.  Another man of science I love.

Go science! Go God! Go together because God is the creator of science and it reflects Him in every bit of it.

And with all that is going on, it is good to know that God holds all things in the palm of his hands and science leads us to proving this over and over again.


Be brave.


New Dating Rule – You Cannot Have a Girlfriend if You Don’t Pack Underwear for Camp

Summer campbebraves are done for me. I love this part of my life so this is always a sleepy (I may be the oldest camp speaker out there!) and sad time of transition for me.

My camp theme for this summer was received well—very well by some of the faces I saw as I taught and faces I saw as we talked. May these wonderful teens not contort Jesus into something false just to make sense of a temporary situation and may these wonderful teens not contort themselves to find love—often a temporary love.

During a staff meeting at one camp I was given brief overviews of the campers. One cabin staff of young teen boys said that only one of the boys in the cabin mentioned having a girlfriend. The rest of the boys seemed to still be at that awkward yet wonderful boys stage. But it was this same boy who also opened up his suitcase to unpack and to his horror realized he forgot to pack underwear for the week. So we made a new rule for dating: You cannot have a girlfriend if you don’t pack underwear for camp.

This rule could “teach” in so many ways.


Pondering the Selfie Stick

bebraveThe selfie stick gives us yet another reason to remove ourselves from people-to-people contact. Now we don’t have to ask that stranger to take that photo of us.


We have never before been so socially-exposed without having contact with real people.


God Using People to Heal People is Plan A

bebraveApologies upfront. I have no idea which book I copied this excerpt from. I know I’ve had it for several years as something I read in a quiet time from time-to-time. It is such an upside-down Wild Frontier thought that is eye-opening.

“One day, sometime later and after going into counseling myself, I realized my depression and my feelings of emptiness were gone. I actually felt good about life and about me. As I examined my feelings, I discovered I was both happy and disappointed. God had changed my life. My life had taken a 180-degree turn. But God had not healed me when I had sought healing. He had no supernaturally ‘zapped’ me. God’s supernatural zapping seemed like Plan A to me. As I talked about this disappointment, people told me the same thing over and over again: ‘But God uses people too.’

“I hated hearing that phrase. I had wanted God to touch my depression instantaneously and heal me. Instead, he used people to help me. I came to call this God’s Plan B. I thought that when God supernaturally intervened and healed, it was Plan A. And this was true spiritual healing. When God used people to heal, it was the ‘inferior,’ although effective, Plan B. I accepted that I was one of those people who got Plan B. So there I was, grateful and somewhat disappointed at my grade B healing. It was good, but felt more like sitting in the bleachers than in the box seats.

“Then, one day I made a discovery in Scripture that changed my way of viewing Plan B: ‘From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’ (Ephesians 4:16)

“I could not believe it. I read the verse again. Not only was it true that ‘God uses people too,’ but this was not Plan B or second rate at all! In fact, people helping people was Plan A! The Bible said so. Not only that, but it was not just people doing it. It was God himself! God was working directly through people when they were helping me. So Plan B was the original Plan A after all.”

God’s plan is to use people for healings—every kind of healing. God’s plan for us has always been for it to be through the Church and the people who make up the Church. I find such people in my church, specifically that small group I’ve chosen to be vulnerable with. These people walk with me through everything—whether it is emotional, spiritual or even physical as I meet with doctors (who are people) to seek healing. I must be involved in a church so I can receive healing. Continue reading


Long Live the Dating Culture (Screw the Hookup Culture!)

bebraveAccording to new research from YPulse, half of you are actually dating. From what you hear is that everyone in the late teens and early 20s only hookup these days. This is not true.

The research found out that 50 percent of 13- to 32-year-olds have been on a formal date. The dating coachresearch also found out that the majority of those in a relationship met their significant other in an old-fashioned way: 32% met at school; 22% through mutual friends/family; 9% met at work. People are meeting each other, finding interest in each other and asking each other out.


Sadly, hooking up is a real thing too. It is happening. But it’s not happening as much as all the pontificators say it is. Also true is that sexting is a thing—34% say they have sexted, and 15% say they have “naughty Snapchatted”. But the research also found that the majority want stability in their romance, with 75 percent saying they want to be in a long-term committed relationship. 75 percent.   Continue reading


First Date Jitters Are Good


Be Brave

If I hear one more time that “I felt so comfortable on this first date…I didn’t have any anxiety at all…”

dating coach

Dating coach

Then I’m going to tell you that you just dated the same type of man or woman you’ve always dated. And since you are still dating and still dating the same type of person, this one is not going to work out either.

First date jitters are good. You should be jittery, have butterflies in your stomach, and have sweaty palms for a first date. You are about to meet a new person whom God has created. A new person who has drawn your interest probably because he/she is worth that interest. This is exciting. This is being vulnerable. This requires bravery. You should be jittery.

You should be jittery for several dates worth. Because hopefully you are on this journey of discovering who this new person is—and discovering who you are in the process. This is exciting. This is being vulnerable. This requires bravery. Being jittery should be embraced for as long as you can—because you are being discovered in the process.

If you don’t have first date jitters then you have either dated the same kind of person yet again or you have chosen to live numb. Both are not good.

Be brave with your jitters.


A Prayer About Trusting Jesus in Transitions

bebraveThe prayer for June 9 from a fave book, Everyday Prayers:  365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Life:

“Dear Jesus, in the morning, at midday, in the afternoon, and throughout the night, keep on bringing us word f your unfailing love.  That’s all we need; that’s all we really need.  By the Holy Spirit, incessantly gossip the gospel in our inmost ear (love that!).  Wrap the good news of your boundless, endless affections around our hearts tighter and tighter and tighter. Permeate every bit of our being with your fresh mercies, steadfast love, and transforming grace, for we have put our trust in you.

“Jesus, it’s the assurance of our unfailing love that enables us to trust you with the transitions we go through in life and the uncertainties about the future.  Change is never easy.  Change makes us feel vulnerable (a word I use often), fearful, and insecure.  We get tempted, once again, to be our own savior.  Spare us that misery, Jesus; spare us and those we love.  Don’t let us go there, even for a moment.  May your Word dwell in us richly, your peace rule in us powerfully, and our glory be our main passion and delight.

“We’ve entrusted our lives to you, Jesus, because you alone are trustworthy.  We’ve given you our sins, wounds, brokenness, and weakness.  Now, in fresh surrender, we give you our planning for the next season of our lives.  Show us the way we should go through our transitions–transitions of age and stage, career and calling, health and finances, relationships and ministries.  Write stories of redemption beyond our wildest dreams and hopes.  It’s all about you, Jesus–not us, you. Continue reading


Brave Dating Practices Shouldn’t Ruin a Reputation

bebraveBrave dating is dating to discover who you are. The result of this learning process will then lead you to a good match to give you that love for a lifetime you desire. This takes practice which means doing some practices which means doing some dating. Because vulnerability is involved, you must approach this process with bravery.dating coach

To discover who you are so you can find a good match you may need to date. Maybe a lot. Because you may need to date a lot should not mean you have a bad reputation.

Why do those with small-minds think that if someone dates a lot that this person is “bad?” Yes, I name-called there. It is also a truthful description.

I’ve heard the comments. “She’s just a tease.” “She doesn’t take anyone seriously.” “He’s led her on.”

These comments get made because there is an element of truth to them. There are people like this. But—and I will declare this as loud as I can—those who are trying the brave dating practices are not those people. They are being vulnerable by giving honorable people a shot. They are not just sticking with “their type” but are wondering if that honorable person who is not immediately their type could be a good match.

I’ve overheard these comments (because no one would make them in my presence because I would respond). “You asked her out…good…when is the wedding?” One date leads to a wedding? Is that healthy? If that one date didn’t really work out (or the next five), it simply didn’t work out. It’s that simple. No one led someone on. Two people took a risk. Two people made themselves vulnerable. And it didn’t work out. Better to try and take that chance, I say. Others say that someone has a bad reputation. Stop it.

One date or a couple of dates does not make a match. One has to have these couple of dates to know that it is not a match. Isn’t there more harm by staying with someone because you have had a couple of dates because you need to stay with this one because there have been a couple of dates? Isn’t it the braver person to realize that a match is not a match after a couple of dates by ending that part of the relationship at that time?

But instead we get cheap malicious comments. And couples who shouldn’t really be together but are now too emotionally-involved to get out of the relationship in good health.  (There is a future blog post in this.)   Continue reading


The I in “I Do”

bebraveThose dreamy words of “I do” are made up of two words. Duh. I’m sure there is a good blog in there about the word “do” when it comes to marriage. But there also is about the word “I”. To say “I do” you have to know who I is. Duh.

Yet too many people miss this duh thought. Too dating coachmany have contorted themselves to find out if they are loveable. They have no idea who they are as they say “I do.”

I have an idea. Take yourself out on a date. You. Just you.

Find a beautiful, romantic quiet restaurant. Order fancy. Enjoy the ambience. In that ambience, answer these questions. Journal your answers. You may need to order dessert also to get through all of these. Go ahead and do it. You may also need to get coffee someplace. Go ahead and do that also. Try to do this all in one long reflective night.

Honestly ask yourself these questions:

  1. How are my relationships with my family members?Do any of those relationships need healing, forgiveness, or confrontation?
  2. What are the positive values and traits I have learned from my family of origin? What are the negative ones?
  3. What in my past has shaped me in a harmful way?
  4. What are some words that describe me?
  5. How do I feel about my body?
  6. What habits in my life are harmful or unhealthy?
  7. How do I approach my interactions with others?
  8. What situations make me feel the most defensive? Angry? Stressed?
  9. What things do I think about the most? What things do I talk about the most?
  10. Am I more of a listener or a talker? Do I need to work on either area?
  11. What are some things I hope to accomplish? Am I on the right track? If not, what is holding me back?
  12. What is on my bucket list?
  13. How would I describe my spiritual life and personal relationship with God?
  14. How have I grown spiritually over the past year? What has kept me from growing?
  15. In what ways do I communicate with God?
  16. What spiritual disciplines do I need to improve on?
  17. In what areas of my life do I need God’s forgiveness?
  18. In what areas of my life do I need to forgive yourself?

Continue reading


The Dumbing-Down of Bravery

bebraveOf course, the title caught my attention.  The opening paragraph raised my ire.

“THIS WAS NOT BRAVE, declared fashion blogger Jessica Kane, as she posted a photo of herself in a swimsuit. “I’ve been told how brave I am for not having a coverup,” she said, “but going without a wrap would only take bravery if I cared what others thought of me, but I don’t.”

The second paragraph made me shout “amen.”

“Kane added, “Things that DO take bravery? A family battling tragic illness, a mother trying to beat addiction, a person trying to break free of domestic violence, reaching out for help when you have already planned your suicide and feel like you can’t breath one more day. THAT is brave.”

So please read the entire thing.  There will be no dumbed-down bravery on this site.

The Dumbing-Down of Bravery