Magnifications is a blog of Biblical reflections written by women from the Churches of Christ. I hope you will visit our site often and find wisdom and inspiration for your own spiritual journey. If you are interested in writing for Magnifications please contact Amy. May God be glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus now and forever more.
Amy Bost Henegar (editor, Life, Birth Plans) grew up in Los Angeles and did her undergraduate work at Pepperdine University. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and worked as a hospital chaplain in California and New York City before joining the pastoral staff of the Manhattan Church of Christ in 2001. As the Minister for Family Life and Spiritual formation, she enjoys preaching and teaching, leading retreats and groups, and joining people on journeys of growth and discovery in and toward the love of God.. She is a doctoral student at New York Theological Seminary and she lives in Mount Vernon, New York, with her husband, Matt, and their five children Aidan, Owen, Della, Ike and Marjorie. (www.amybosthenegar.com)
Jane Adams (Jesus Wept) was raised in Alabama and completed her BA in History at Harding University. While at Harding she served as the Spiritual Life Director. She is in the process of earning a Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and is a candidate for ordination in the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) in connection with National City Christian Church. Her theological areas of expertise are public theology, human dignity, and liberation theologies. Jane has worked for No Kid Hungry and the Department of Human Services Center for Faith- Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Thomas, and their rescue dog, Mallard.
Falon Opsahl Barton is a second-year graduate student at Pepperdine University working toward an MA in Religion with an emphasis in Christian Thought. She particularly enjoys eschatology, and she has dedicated her thesis to examining how the Christian vision of new creation should influence present ethics. Falon also has Bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Hispanic Studies from Pepperdine, and hopes to work in a field in which she is able to merge these passions. She currently works as a graduate assistant in Pepperdine's Office of the Chaplain and as a graduate assistant for the student-led media group, Pepperdine Graphic Media. Falon also helps with research for a book on social gospellers of the early twentieth century and works as a freelance editor.
Sara Barton (James: Satirical Cartoonist), the University Chaplain at Pepperdine University, has previously served in the Religion Department at Rochester College and as church planter in Jinja, Uganda. She and her husband, John, have two children, Nate and Brynn. Sara's book, A Woman Called, is available at Amazon.com.
Cheryl Cash (Known, Seventy-five Pounds of Spices, Crazy) serves with her husband and four children in the town of Fort Portal in Western Uganda. She and her husband have lived in Uganda since October of 1995. Cheryl graduated with a BA in Psychology from Lubbock Christian University in 1993. Cheryl has taught all ages through the years in Fort Portal but has focused primarily on women’s and children’s ministries. She has been involved with counseling youth and women, directing and teaching at youth camps, Bible school teacher training and leads the Sunday school ministry for the Fort Portal town church. She has also homeschooled her four Cashlings for the duration of their schooling years. Cheryl adores her children, deeply respects her man and is daily inspired by the Ugandan friends she has been blessed to know and to teach. You can read some of her experiences at www.gentlyled.blogspot.com.
Spring Cooke (Can the Messiah Come from Galilee?, Treasuring Everything) served as a Deacon at the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Culver City, California and is a professor at North Park University in Illinois. She researches and teaches about STEM Methods in elementary schools and the complexities of teaching and learning in urban settings. Dr. Cooke earned her doctorate in Urban Education from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Pepperdine University. Spring is married and the mother of two boys. Spring enjoys reading and painting with her boys and getting outside to hike or sit on the beach.
Tiffany Dahlman (Take the Plunge, Solomon's Porch, In a Little While, By Name, Peace Born Through Shadow) is an Associate Minister at Courtyard Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC. Her acts of service to the church there are predominantly formation related-preaching, teaching, spiritual direction, planning the liturgy, and formation groups. She graduated from York College with degrees in English and Religious Studies, and she spent her twenties teaching English and serving as a missionary, mostly in Southeast Asia. Currently, she is completing a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation. Her passions are her husband and four children, the Gospel of John, form criticism, and helping people achieve balance in their spiritual growth through spiritual disciplines, old and new.
Kelly Edmiston (Turning Point, A Deadly Routine, Summer Camp Hangover) is the Student and Family Minister at the First Colony Church of Christ in Sugar Land, TX. She loves “suburban life” with her husband Ben and two sons Mason and Hunter. Kelly is a passionate leader following God’s call on her life to lead people in a growing relationship with Jesus. Kelly is currently obtaining a Master of Divinity from Abilene Christian University. Find her blogging at brophytwinspeak.com.
A former marketing executive turned boy-mom, Adelle Gabrielson (Hunger Always Wins: Feed Me, By Their Love: The Brutal Truth, The Vitality of Ritual) now spends her days on staff at the Campbell Church of Christ and her evenings trying to keep the peace (and the house from burning down). Adelle speaks regularly about living an authentic, fearless life and blogs at www.AdelleGabrielson.com. Her writing can also be found in publications from LifeWay, DaySpring, and Focus on the Family. A graduate of Pepperdine University, Adelle lives in Northern California with her husband, Gabe, their two sons, an ornery, half-feral cat, and the best dog-of-uncertain-heritage ever, Rufus.
Dawn Gentry (Seen By Many, Known By Few, Take Heart, Casting Crowns) has an M.Div. from Emmanuel Seminary and is an adjunct professor at Milligan College. Dawn is passionate about equipping others for ministry as well as shifting prevailing worldviews about women in ministry. In addition to adjunct teaching at both Milligan College and Nebraska Christian, she enjoys speaking at retreats and workshops on leadership and ministry topics. When she’s not writing papers for grad classes, she blogs at www.dawngentry.com. She and her husband, Harold, have two grown children and a beautiful grandson.
Dana Grubb (Faithfulness) is an author and speaker who is passionate about leading people to a closer walk with Jesus through the study of His Word. Dana has written and published three Bible studies, Changed by Jesus: Lessons Learned from the Women Jesus Touched, and Used by God: Lessons Learned from Women of the Old Testament and her latest book, Called by Christ: Lessons from the Life of Peter. Dana’s books have also been translated into Russian and Ukrainian. She has had the privilege of visiting Eastern Europe to teach and encourage Christians there. Dana is married to Kent and they have two children, Chris and Mikayla. She lives in San Antonio, Texas. To learn more about her books go to www.danagrubb.com.
Hope Hesslen is a senior at Pepperdine University. She is majoring in Public Relations, and is passionate about people and traveling. Outside of the classroom, she lives an active lifestyle, spending her free time on the beach with friends, running, and searching for the best vanilla latte.
Rhesa Higgins (Breath of God) is a spiritual director and experienced retreat leader. She holds a BS from ACU in youth and family ministry and is a graduate of HeartPaths, a program in spiritual formation and direction. She teaches on a regular basis at Highland Oaks Church of Christ and writes occasionally. Rhesa serves as the founding Director for eleven:28 ministries in Dallas, Texas, a ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual lives of ministers. Rhesa also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Abilene Christian University’s Leadership Camps, on the board of Spiritual Ministries Institute, and as a ministry partner with Hope Network. She is married to Chad Higgins, worship minister at Highland Oaks Church of Christ.Together they are raising their three children ages 13,12, and 9. Rhesa loves good coffee, dark chocolate, and most any good book. She blogs at www.eleven28ministries.org.
Lauren Rutland Hightower (My Sheep Know Me, Because He Can Turn Water Into Wine) was born and raised in Sugar Land, TX with her twin sister, Kelsey and older twin siblings Brett and Stephanie. She Graduated from Abilene Christian University in December of '12 with a Bachelor's Degree in Family Studies with concentrations in both Child Development and Ministry. She is the Children's Minister at University Church of Christ in Shreveport, LA and has been there since February of '13. She is also a distance student in Abilene Christian University's Graduate School of Theology. She resides in Haughton, LA with her loving, and supportive husband, Ray and their dog, Gus.
Jessica Knapp (I'm Pregnant, His Glory Was Revealed, Your Cries Have Reached My Ears) is a busy momma trying to understand God's sense of humor. She studied public relations and mathematics at Pepperdine University and went on to earn her doctorate of Mathematics in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. Now days she finds herself volunteering as a youth minister at the Mountain Ave Church of Christ, where knowing math is a useful ministry skill. She is also a student at Harding School of Theology, working towards a certificate in Spiritual Leadership. Jessica loves God, Jesus, teenagers, chocolate, Humpack Whales, SCUBA diving, reading, traveling and cuddling with her 3 small kids.
Micah Lambert (Dying to Live) is a university student currently living and working abroad in Germany. She is majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in German, and hopes to utilize both these passions in her future career. When she manages to find a bit of free time, she can be spotted at a local coffee shop sipping a cappuccino (or two!), reading, or writing for her blog.
D'Esta Love (Radical Acceptance) is co-editor of Leaven Journal, a journal for Christian ministry, and Chaplain Emerita at Pepperdine University where she also taught New Testament and Christian Ministry for the Religion Division. She has an M.Div. from Pepperdine University and has devoted many years to writing, speaking, publishing, and teaching in Churches of Christ.
Karisa Madera (Higher Thoughts, Higher Ways, Two Worlds Collide, Pruned for Growth, Never Alone, Consider it Pure Joy) is a wife and mother of three. She is a student at Liberty University studying Religion and Christian Counseling. She is the secretary at her home church, Central Church of Christ, in Del Rio, Texas. She loves studying the Bible and helping others seek the Lord and understand His word better and how to apply it to their lives.
Summer Morris has been working with children in many capacities over the last 18 years including teaching in preschools, directing children's music programs, and developing and administrating an after school program for community latch key kids. She also taught Bible to 6th, 11th, and 12th graders at Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. She now serves as the Children's Family Minister for North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, Tx. Summer received her B.A. in Biblical Teaching form Amridge University and is currently working on her MDiv with Lipscomb University. She is living into her dream of working in ministry and she loves to facilitate conversation and relationship development with others on ministry journeys. Summer enjoys playing golf, hanging with her family, and meeting at On the Border to discuss ministry life ANYTIME!
Alexandria Oguntula is a junior at Pepperdine University studying political science. She has worked as a member of the Hospitality Crew for the Convocation Program under the Office of the Chaplain for the last two years. She is a life-long member of the Churches of Christ.
Amanda Pittman (One Thing I Do Know, Testimony and Identity) is a Th.D. Candidate in Christian Education and New Testament at Duke University Divinity School. She lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Tim, where she teaches and oversees the adult education ministry at the Cole Mill Road Church of Christ.
Micki Pulleyking (“Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?”) is a teacher and a preacher; she calls the classroom her "sanctuary" and church the "grace of her life". Micki earned her M Div at Harvard in 1988. She was the Co-Minister of the Brookline Church of Christ from 1986-1988 and was ordained to Christian ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples) in 1988. Micki completed a PhD in Philosophy of Religion at Boston University and has been teaching in the Religious Studies Department at Missouri State University since 1994. She continues to love to preach and does so most Sundays. But most of all she loves her family--husband Joey, and two great kids--Spenser and Quinlan.
Holly Racca (Deep Breath, What is Truth, A Birth Announcement) is the Middle School Youth Minister at the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. She has served there she has served since 2013 after getting her Children and Family Ministry degree from Abilene Christian University. She is passionate about God's work in the lives of teens and loves the unique ways that God allows her to serve in his kingdom. She loves spending her free time at coffee shops reading with her husband, Wesley, and playing outside with their two dogs.
Shannon Rains (Planting Seeds, Lost in the Familiar, Called and Waiting, Wealth or Suffering... You Choose) is the Children's and Family Minister at Kingwood Church of Christ. She has been journeying in ministry for over fifteen years. Shannon is currently a D.Min. student at Abilene Christian University and an adjunct instructor at Abilene Christian University and Lubbock Christian University, teaching courses in Children's Ministry and Children's Spiritual Formation. Shannon is married to David and has two children.
Jeanene Reese (It is Never Too Late) is the Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry at Abilene Christian University. She is the author of Bound and Determined: Christian Men and Women in Partnership (ACU Press, 2010) and she is working on a companion book for the spring of 2016, Know No Bounds: Case Studies of Gender Issues in Ministry. She is on the leadership team of the Come Before Winter ministry and serves on the Missionary Support Team for Highland Church of Christ. Jeanene has adult children, two daughters and a son, and four granddaughters.
Elizabeth Smith (Perspective, I Have Seen the Lord) is a journalism professor, adviser and director of Pepperdine Graphic Media at Pepperdine University. Smith is an Associated Press and Emmy award-winning print, web and broadcast journalist. She continues to freelance as a writer and editor. She is also a doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University in education and technology. Her scholarly and professional interests include the intersection of ethics and technology, digital and mobile innovations, and multimedia storytelling. She attends the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles where she works in the adult and children's educational programs. She is married and the mother of two daughters. @tweetinginla
Dana Spivy (The Guest List, Unwilling to See, Because We Seek Each Other) currently serves as the Children`s Minister for Maury Hills Church in Columbia, TN. She`s been meeting her call to ministry by helping families blend spiritual formation into daily living for almost 15 years. Dana is passionate about how God feeds our bodies and souls, and spends her free time in the kitchen baking out her prayers. She blogs about life and bread at www.danaspivy.wordpress.com. You can follow her ministry on Twitter @Paradise_Pier.
LaCanas Y. Tucker (Who Asked for Suffering, On Following Stars and Dreams) earned her BA in Communication from Abilene Christian University. She lives in NYC and works as a communications manager for a Big 4 firm. She is a member of the Manhattan Church of Christ where she sings on the worship team.
Mallorie L. Urban is a senior at Pepperdine University and will soon be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Sociology. She hopes to continue her education by pursuing a Master's in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Mallorie works as the Passive Planning Intern in the Office of Intercultural Affairs at Pepperdine and is the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Veritas Club on campus. She has also edited for Pepperdine's undergraduate research journal, Global Tides, for the past two years.
Alicia Williamson is currently in her last year at Pepperdine University. She is majoring in Religion and minoring in Hispanic Studies, and she plans to use these in her future career. Her hope is to follow in the footsteps of her father, Jack, and brother, Brendin, by pursuing youth ministry. In her free time she likes to play the ukulele and catch up on reading works by C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and N.T. Wright.
Angie Willis (Light of Life), a Texas native, is an Executive Assistant at Amblin Partners in Universal City, California. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Abilene Christian University in 2001. Angie enjoys writing in her free time, and has long admired novelist Anne Lamott’s writing style—real, raw, and vulnerable. You can see more of Angie’s writing on her blog: Waiting With Willis. She lives in West Hollywood, with her husband, Adam, and their persian cat, Lulu. Angie and Adam attend Culver Palms Church of Christ in Culver City, CA.