Mary Go Round

Anita stunned the room!

We’ve  held a couple of round tables in our home on the topic of men and women working together as co-equals in the Kingdom. One of the subjects we tackle is justice for women around the world. At the end of a discussion on justice  a couple of weeks ago, Anita Scott, a school teacher who is having a profound impact in an inner city school in  Dallas asked:

“Can I read you a poem I wrote?”

Of course! We were delighted to have her contribution.

She then delivered this amazing poem about girls and sex trafficking and social justice. You could have heard a pin drop. We were stunned. Then a buzz of conversation broke out.

We all encouraged her she had to do more with this poem. Thankfully she has a very talented brother who has created a video.

Here it is: Mary Go Round by Anita Scott. Thanks, Anita! I pray this poem touches hearts and challenges many!

Both male and female

Floyd McClung has reached out to the women God brought across his path and championed them in their callings. For more than 20 years, he and his wife, Sally, have discipled women who are now making a difference in the nations. Floyd contributed a chapter to The Black Swan Effect: A response to gender hierarchy in the church. Here’s a quote from the chapter.

To be clear, I believe leaders can be both male and female. Obviously the church body is comprised of both genders. And certainly, martyrs have been both male and female. Missionaries are both male and female.

But it is important to be more specific, lest we overlook the obvious: both women and men have impacted nations for God because both genders are called by God and both are given leadership gifts.

I believe leadership in the church is not meant to be gender-specific because, at its core, leadership is about service. It is not about an office or position. Leaders don’t serve in order to be leaders; they serve because that’s what leaders do. Leaders serve. Period. When we abandon a hierarchical, worldly view of leadership and consider it from this perspective, we can see that both woman and men can, and already do, use their gifts to serve–that is, lead.

The church worldwide has been shaped, led , and taught by both men and women– starting in the home, and moving into every sphere of church and public life.

SwanJacketfinal

How tame is our God?

How tame is our God? Consider this quote from AW Tozer:

The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost show us God as He is, we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight. (Gems from Tozer)

  • How domesticated is the God we worship?
  • Do we confine  him within our evangelical boxes?
  • Do we ask him to color within the lines we create for him?
  • Are our expectations of him limited by a narrow theology?

Or is he allowed to surprise and astonish us?

“Aslan is not a tame lion.”

Aslan lion

Photo Credit: t i g via Compfight cc

God’s love language

I sometimes wake in the night, and if I can’t get back to sleep, I get up to pray. It’s become a habit I’ve learned to appreciate. We have a long hallway in our house, and I love to walk up and down that hallway seeking the Lord.

Yesterday morning, in the early hours, I began my time with God, as I usually do, in worship and praise. I found myself pondering the question, how do I show God how much I love him? What is his love language?

Which took me to in my thinking to the book,The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D Chapman. The five love languages Gary describes are different ways that people best experience love, especially from their spouses. The five he focuses on are

  • words of affirmation
  • quality time
  • gifts
  • acts of service
  • physical touch.

As I began pondering and praying, I found myself thinking that, with the obvious exception of physical touch, all these are ways we can express our love to God.

Words of affirmation: God loves to receive our praise and worship. It even says that he inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3).

Quality time: our lives are so busy that it’s easy to neglect spending time in God’s presence. Or perhaps more relevant, how do we, (like Brother Lawrence) learn to experience his presence even in the mundane busyness of life.

Gifts: Although it includes finances, I don’t think this is the primary way we give to God. We give him our lives, becoming a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). He’s delighted when our lives bear fruit–and this includes the fruit of others becoming followers of Jesus.

Acts of service: It sometimes gets overlooked because we cannot earn our salvation, but God delights in our service for him–as we lay down our lives to help others. Just yesterday, thinking about acts of service being a way to express my love for him helped me to perform an act of service that I usually prefer to avoid.

I know that this doesn’t begin to touch on other ways we can love God like obedience and the quality of our character, but I found it a helpful concept.

What do you think?

heart

Photo Credit: qthomasbower via Compfight cc

Procter and Gamble gets it right

This awesome ad from Procter and Gamble is very thought provoking, especially for those of us who believe God doesn’t place limits on women. Check it out. It will only take three minutes.

What can we learn from this?

What are the implications of its message for men and women in the church?

Five basic tenets

Pro-slavery advocates of the 18th and 19th centuries used five basic tenets based on the Bible to express the heart of their argument:

slavery

  1. God established slavery and there are numerous examples through the Old Testament
  2. Righteous people practiced it
  3. The moral law allowed for it
  4. Jesus accepted it
  5. The apostles upheld it.

For those of us who believe that women should not be limited by their gender, these arguments sound eerily familiar. In fact, there is more to defend the practice of slavery in the Bible than there is to limit the role of women.

The abolitionists also used the Bible to express their convictions. They said that although the Bible described slavery, abolition best expressed the overall emphasis of the Scriptures, and especially the teachings of Jesus.

When we examine the tenor and trend of the Bible concerning women, there is equally compelling evidence that the traditional approach that subordinates women does not line up with the heart of God.

Because of your gender…

Would you want to become a Christian if you were told that your role in church would be limited, solely because of your gender?

That because of your gender, you would never be allowed to teach or to lead in any strategic way.

That because of your gender, you would be expected to wait for others to initiate?

I think that many people view the church as archaic/medieval because of its traditional views of a woman’s role. Paul said he became all things to all people that by all means he might save some. (See 1 Corinthians 9:19-23) I think he would be appalled that something he wrote might be a barrier to people becoming followers of Jesus.

Just sayin’…