Women, Wine & Jesus – Austin

Posted by on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

My voice is gone.  And Steve’s not even here to appreciate a “quiet wife.” What that means is Women, Wine & Jesus – Austin is canceled for tonight. But don’t fret we will discuss “Does God speak?” next week. Going to be a great discussion on how we hear the voice of God. See you next Tuesday...

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Men Keep Showing Up

Posted by on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 in Blog | 11 comments

I sat on a bar and preached the Scriptures. It’s all-good – things in Austin are supposed to be weird. But not this weird – Two men showed up. They walked past the wine bar, took note of the sign on the door “Private party for two hours” then walked on – a few minutes later they circled back. Rene, one of the women at the study, said, “Come on in – it’s a women’s bible study but you can come in and pull up to the bar.”  They did. And they stayed.   After teaching I spoke with one of the guys. Turned out the two men were childhood friends. They had attended Catholic school together. He shared how they are both divorced and were just talking about their faith and felt they should circle back. We closed out the bar tab at 10:00 PM. While signing the bill my son Hunter and I started chatting with the middle-aged couple sitting there. Turned out they were from Canada. The guy works in Austin; she commutes to see him (from Canada). She asked if they could attend our study when she was in town. We said yes. Next morning I met with a woman who attends the study. Turns out she and her boyfriend are doing our study guide lessons together. She asked, “Can he come to the study?” I said yes. As the Greyhound pulled away from the Austin station towards Dallas I wondered, “What does all this mean? Am I supposed to open the studies to men?” I’m waiting for the answer. The following week, while teaching on people pleasing in Dallas, I noticed a man leaning against the wall just outside the door. I’m speaking to the women and at the same time trying to figure out “Do I invite him in?” LISTEN TO WHAT HAPPENED NEXT! http://www.jackiealwaysunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/GUY-SHOWS-UP.mp3 When I finished teaching a woman got up and bolted over to RJ. Turned out her daughter and RJ had been friends way back when. I introduced myself to RJ. We talked about some interesting things then he asked, “Why there were no men in the room?” There was that question again. Through out my years of teaching I’ve been asked this question. And my standard answer has always been – women defer to men when men are in the room. Meaning, conservative evangelical women are taught that men are more “capable of handing the Scriptures” than women. Therefore, when men show up women shut up. I want to ennoble women by helping them find their voice – particularly their theological voice and how it meshes with their everyday life. There’s empowerment in that. But – and here’s...

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Conversation on Submission

Posted by on Monday, Jan 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Oh yes, that dirty little word, SUBMISSION.  It does stir up a lot of emotions, especially for women.  It seems like it has been an easy choice for many to just avoid the discussion and proceed in our relationships, in our churches, and in our marriages in the manner we see fit—what we don’t know won’t hurt us.  Wait a minute—stop to consider how Jesus handled the last teaching moment with his disciples.  His final lesson was what?  He washed the disciples feet and told them,  Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me “Teacher and Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet you also should wash one another’s feet.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17) With this act of foot washing Jesus was not only demonstrating the spiritual need the disciples had for being washed clean, he was demonstrating the attitude they would need to assume as his witnesses and messengers of His resurrection.  In Walvoord and Zuck’s commentary on this passage they note: Foot-washing was needed in Palestine.  The streets were dusty and people wore sandals without socks or stockings.  It was a mark of honor for a host to provide a servant to wash a guest’s feet…  Wives often washed their husbands; feet and children washed their parent’s feet.  Most people, of course, had to wash their own feet. To truly understand the life Jesus has called us to we must understand what it means to be a servant to one another (Galatians 5:13 ) or to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). It is true that Ephesians 5:21 says to submit TO ONE ANOTHER., but has that been our pass to avoid getting on the submission train, because others in our life have not boarded the train before us.  Perhaps the reason we hesitate to board is the fact that submission seems to be discussed only when studying Ephesians, Colossians or 1 Peter when the passages for women or wives to submit to their husbands are covered.  Why does it seem submission is only discussed as a position for women to assume when putting others before yourself is a common theme in the New Testament?  Or it is because the word submission carries with it the idea of a hierarchy or vertical ranking, and for the one called to submit the position in the hierarchy is an inferior or lower one. Please consider joining...

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She Thought It Was My Real Life Story

Posted by on Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Wine, women & Jesus. We gather on Monday or Tuesday nights in wineries around the Dallas metroplex. We hang out, have candid conversations, engage with good Bible teaching, then hang some more. The group is small. The venues are relaxed. The staffs are curious (they have to listen to the preaching too!). The conversations are true. And the wine is good. Every week I walk away amazed at what God is doing in the lives of the women in those wineries. This week was a bit different from the norm. Instead of teaching I performed a monologue called The Bema. It’s a story written by Tim Stevenson about what it might be like when we see Jesus face to face at the judgment seat of Christ.  In the middle of the dialogue there is space to worship through song. Crystal and Tyler led us beautifully through songs that helped our hearts express what our minds were thinking. (I used to serve alongside Crystal in church, I’d forgotten how amazing her voice is – she so took us to the throne.  After I finished we did the usual – we hung out and chatted. That’s when the tall, blonde woman sitting on the couch called me over. I squatted by her and she proceeded to tell me: I’ve been telling people about what a great Bible teacher you are but then I walk in here and you start talking about how you were flying around with angels and I’m thinking “She’s whacked.” I started looking around to see if the other women are thinking what I am thinking – like you’re saying you were taken into the heavenlies – and no one seemed bothered by that. For ten minutes I listened to you thinking “She’s crazy!” “Why doesn’t anyone else thinks she’s crazy?” Finally, I leaned over to my friend and that’s when I learned you were telling a story! I burst out laughing. I’ve taught The Bema all over the United States never has someone mistaken it for my own personal experience. No wonder she thought I was whacked. I am still chuckling about it. Sometimes in the middle of life’s “seriousness” you just have to laugh. However, next time I’ll be sure to be more clear that it is a story. Not my real life story but a fictional story about what it might be like to see Jesus face to face.    ...

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Forgotten God

Posted by on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

We start our Bible studies in wineries next week. To prepare I’m re-reading Francis Chan’s book, Forgotten God. I think my favorite part of the book is chapter 2 where he addresses our fear of talking about the Holy Spirit. Let’s be honest we don’t want to be seen as one of those “weird Christians” nor do we want to live all head and behavior with no intimacy with Christ either. Somewhere in the middle of being weird and stoic is where we need to live. I’m hoping we can have open dialogue about it when we navigate our series “Inhabit.” If you’re thinking of coming to the study you may want to prepare by reading Chan’s book. Below is a quote I’m still pondering. I agree with Chan – I’m not sure I really want to be led by the Spirit. What about you? There have been many times when I’ve tried to lead the Holy Spirit. I’ve wanted to direct Him and tell Him what to do and when to do it. The irony is that the Holy Spirit was given to direct us. Desiring the Holy Spirit means we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. By definition, it’s ridiculous to desire the Holy Spirit for our own purposes. The Spirit is not a passive power that we can wield as we choose. The Spirit of God, a Being who requires that we submit ourselves to be led by Him. Do you really want to be led? Even people who are natural leaders don’t get to lead the Spirit. Everyone is called to be led by Him. I honestly believe most of us – while we might say we want to be led by the Spirit – are actually scared of this reality. I know I am. What would it mean? What if He asks you to give up something you’re not ready to give up? What if He leads you where you don’t want to go? What if he tells you to change jobs? To move? Are you willing to surrender to Him, no matter where He wants to take you? Am I? (Chan, 89-90)...

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