I'm Shawna and I'm trying to walk in the way of Jesus each day by grace.  I'm a wife, mom, pastor, writer, speaker and coffee addict.  I blog about faith, church, theology, parenthood and the beautiful mess of life enlivened by the Spirit.  I love watching God breathe new life into the holy words of Christian Scripture.  That's why I teach in a Bible study series called Breathe.  My B.A. in Philosophy and Theology is from Point Loma Nazarene University and my Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary.

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  • Yes and No

    Yes and No

    Making Space for Grace November 25, 2016 Shawna Songer Gaines
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Parenthood, Liturgy, Worship
    As Christians we want to say yes to God's grace. But with every yes there is a no. If we don't choose carefully what that no is, our careless yes will choose it for us.
  • Nov11Wed

    Table Manners

    November 11, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Worship

    It’s always a bit of adjustment eating at a new table, where you don’t know the etiquette. Even more so at The Table to which Christians have been invited to share in one meal for thousands of years. You’d think we would have a better grasp on the table manners.

    One of the great joys of this strange season my family is in, worshiping in a different church nearly every Sunday, is that we get to gather around the Lord’s Table with so many different congregations. Each table bears the unique marks of the Word that became flesh. No two invitations to communion have been the same. In one way this is a wonderful testimony to the incarnation of Christ and contextual nature of worship. In another, these differences speak to a discontinuity and confusion in our worship practices, which can make the invitation to this meal less than hospitable.

    But we have been given some wonderful table manners, if you will, that help us come together around the Lord’s Table and be filled with the gift of Christ who is our peace! 

  • Sep5Sat

    How (NOT) to Church Shop

    September 5, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Liturgy, Worship, Mission
    For the first time in my life, I find myself in a new city at a different church every Sunday, comparing notes with Tim on the drive home, opening our gift bag and finding room on the shelf for one more coffee mug. And it is killing us.

    There must be a faithful way to land at a new church when life circumstances require it, without becoming a consumer and turning worship into any other gadget on the shelf advertised to make your life better. Since I have been thinking and praying about this quite a lot, I wanted to share three models of church life that help think differently about “shopping around.”
  • Moms are servants. Some days we feel like slaves. But we serve with a love that supersedes all the boogers and diapers and whining and sleep deprivation. We serve the minute our eyes open in the morning until they shut for a precious few hours at night. We have to serve. (Literally, we could be arrested for child endangerment.) But that's not why we serve. No one has to mandate or legislate or regulate our care for our children because we do care for them, and so very deeply.

    Serving our children is hard work but we love it.

    Shouldn't this be a reflection of our service to Christ? To serve with joy and love even when it is hard? To be thinking of others the minute our eyes open until they close at the end of the day? To see the ugliest and poorest with the doting eyes a mother has for her child?

  • My pastor friends ask, "How can you work with another co-pastor?" My married friends ask, "How can work with your spouse?" To be honest, there was a time when my answer would have been, "I don't know and I don't wanna."

    But over the last three years I feel like we have learned so much and grown so much. So if you are asking either of these two questions, here are 5 things that have helped us survive and even thrive as co-pastors and as a couple.
  • Jan1Thu

    The Practice of Loving the Church

    January 1, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Worship, Young Adults

    Love is not a feeling - I hope you've heard that before. I think we get this when it comes to marriage or relationships in general. We love one another through serving, giving, putting the other before ourselves... you know, easy stuff like that (sarcasm intended). But what about loving our churches?

    Most of us have gone through seasons with our church where, in the immortal words of The Righteous Brothers, "You've lost that lovin' feeling." I don't mean to make light of this. It's no small thing when you have been hurt, betrayed, or forgotten by the people of God. And while there are circumstances in which church relationships have become abusive and need to be discontinued for the health of all parties, more often than not people slowly fall out of love with their church, not because of one thing but because of the many unspoken things that pile up and collect dust on our shelf of discontent.

  • Dec22Mon

    All I Want For Christmas is a Pastor's Wife

    December 22, 2014
    Filed Under:
    Church, Parenthood, Worship
    Advent is a season of expectancy. But the expectations of holiday fever often overshadow the expectancy of the savior.
  • Nov26Wed

    The Only Voice I Have

    November 26, 2014
    Filed Under:
    Church, Politics, Faith, Theology, Social Justice, Worship, Preaching
    As a white evangelical, it is hard to know what to do and say at a time like this. Even the call to listen is racked with one big problem: my ears are white. Even in my listening I know I'm not hearing what my black brothers and sisters are really saying.
  • Nov17Mon

    Daniel's Fast

    November 17, 2014
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Liturgy, Worship, Preaching

    There is something about the apocalyptic nature of Daniel that begs you to lose yourself in it's prose and poetry. So, I have given in to his allure and decided to take this relationship to the next level. This morning I began the Daniel fast.

  • Sep5Fri


    September 5, 2014
    Filed Under:
    Faith, Worship, Preaching
    There have been times in my life I can only describe as wilderness seasons. But the promise of God is not to protect us from the wilderness. It's in the wilderness that God protects the promise.