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 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


Another Blissful Peak

crazywriterI looked up at the night sky and began to cry with joy. It was a perfect evening, dark and mildly chilly. God was with me. I know because I felt him. My mind was completely at peace, free of worry or regret. For one rare evening, I lived completely in the moment. I felt the night surround me, clearing my mind. No past reflections. No future daydreams. Just that one, delicious slice of here-and-now.

I had been living so wistfully in the sweet past. Constantly dancing around in my memory, passively wishing that those moments would once again become reality. I had given up seeing the future as full of even better possibilities. To me, the peak of my life had already come and gone. But on that one evening, that one beautiful evening, my eyes were finally opened to the blessings lying before me. I finally fell all the way in love with my life as it is right now. I realized that I stand upon another blissful peak. It is different from the one I stood upon before, but of course, because nothing is ever exactly the same twice. But this peak is no lower. The view is not any less gorgeous. Different does not mean inferior.

I am proud of myself. I am calmer and more contented than I was six months ago. I feel less insecure. I am less childish, but still just as childlike. It’s as if all the troubles I endured have sanded me down into a finer, softer work of art. Finally, truly, I feel like those troubles have paid off and subsided.

It is beautiful.


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



Things Go Stale

crazywriterBread. Water. Things become stale over time.  There’s science to back that up–chemical reactions and such. But science can’t explain everything. It can’t explain the gradual deterioration of non-material things.

Take a marriage, for instance. Obviously, I know nothing about it firsthand, but I can make assumptions. Everything starts out wonderfully. Holding hands on long, moonlit walks. Bringing home roses for no reason. Going on drives to nowhere. Hugging on the couch and sharing popcorn while watching a stupid movie. Sex. Laughing at each other’s dumb jokes. Surprise kisses. Somehow, as time wears on, things become like old bread. There’s no more affection or desire. They stop trying to win each other’s hearts; instead, they just bitch about the last piece of meatloaf and how much their jobs suck.

School is another example; this one I can attest to. At the beginning of the year, everything is in order. Pencils are lined up, folders are shiny, homework is turned in right on time. Then things go stale. Papers are shoved at the bottom of backpacks. Every due date is missed. Pencils are broken and collected from the floor. The motivation is gone.

Another–writing stories. At the beginning, inspiration is plentiful. Fingers race across the keyboard until late in the night. Plot lines lie just a daydream away. Characters come alive. Then things go stale. The ideas wither away. Characters breathe their last. Sleep comes quicker. Pages of writing sit in a dusty notebook or a never-used folder on a desktop.

Everything good seems to spoil. Why? Why can’t we hold on to good things? Why is everything so fleeting? It all slips away, and there’s no chemical equation to explain it. All beautiful things just crumble to dust, and there’s nothing we can really do…

is there?


Why Christians Should Kiss Courtship Goodbye

bebraveI have already shared how I never was on the courting bandwagon.  I never read I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  I never taught it in a youth ministry context.  I don’t have a background in this belief to offer a comparative perspective to brave coach

Some of you do.  Hence I pass on this article to give you that comparative perspective.

Why Christians Should Kiss Courtship Goodbye

“I thought we were way past the “Courtship vs. Dating” debates.

“I thought that was old news, that we’d laid to rest the I Kissed Dating Goodbye era and moved on to new topics.

“But apparently, I was wrong. Maybe you’ve noticed, but the Courtship movement has recently received some major attention from both national television and recent entertainment. To be honest, I have no problem with Courtship. I am not putting down the concept of courtship, and I never will. The truth is, different personalities need different approaches to relationships. And for some people, Courtship is what works!

My only problem comes, then, with how “Dating” gets compared to ‘Courtship’ in such a flawed and negative way. As far as the Courtship movement is concerned, saying that you’re in a ‘dating’ relationship is almost like declaring out loud that you’re living in sin.”

Read the rest at


Live Original

bebraveWhat a brave thought.  Live original.  But this thought does not originate with me.  It does with Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame—whom God seems to be granting a special platform.

I work with a lot of teen girls and body image issues are prevalent. They always have been. It doesn’t matter what decade. Yet every decade something new must be hated about our bodies. Now we have the “thigh gap.” “What?” says all of the “old folks.” Thigh gap is too much a part of today’s teen conversations. And how is one to increase their thigh gap when this is yet another feature that relies heavily on DNA. Some thigh-gappers are bow-legged (like Sadie) and is that the real answer? #thigh gap is stupid.

Unfortunately, body image issues are not just a teen girl problem. Teen boys are also feeling the pressure. Young men are too. And women—no matter how old we grow we still deal with issues of hating our body.

Jesus came down and put on this same flesh that we have to give us all a chance. This same imperfect flesh. He wore it proudly and humbly. I doubt Jesus had the broad-shoulders, 6-pack abs, perfect V-shape that haunts men. Continue reading


Just Strangers

crazywriterI lied on a sloping hill and stared up at a dark, starless sky. A few yards up the hill was a large soccer field. Those few yards and a fence were the only things separating me from that field, and thus the players on it. As I listened to the cheering and the blowing of the whistle, I drifted off into a world of speculation. I went home with each of those soccer players. One boy loved orange Gatorade and relaxing in denim bean bag chairs. His parents were divorced. Another had Batman posters in his room, because he loved comic books. Every time he played in a game, he always had a nagging thought that he just wasn’t good enough.

I didn’t want to be on that hill anymore. I wanted to be on the other side of the fence, in the bleachers, under the blinding stadium lights. I wanted to be drinking orange Gatorade and reading Batman comics. I wanted to look into the eyes of each one of those players and tell them that yes, they are enough. I wanted to meet their families, to understand to their hurts, to know them deeply and personally. My heart was filled with loneliness and longing. In an hour, those players would be gone. Back to their denim bean bag chairs. Back to their posters. I would never be on the other side of the fence with them. I would never be able to unravel their needs and speak life into them. They would forever be just soccer players, just faces. Forever strangers, up the hill and behind the fence.