I Said It.

Posted by on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 in Blog | 84 comments

I’ve taught for over a decade. I’ve weaved my story into the teaching, but I’ve never sat and spoken solely about my life story. The focus was never just me. But the woman who hired me to teach insisted. I was to speak about my story – for an hour! That’s when I realized I fear telling parts of my story because I may be hurt. See, I’m a female preacher. That’s part of my story, a woman preaching, sometimes on a Sunday in front of the whole church, but most often in smaller arenas in front of women. That’s part of my story. It’s a part I’ve rarely said publically, especially to women I’m not familiar with or who aren’t familiar with me. The women’s issue is a heated issue. So I don’t share it. But this woman insisted. So I did. I did because I could tell she had been in prayer about this and felt confident that it was what God wanted for this specific retreat. So I said it. I shared how our church went through a year and a half long process to decide whether or not women could preach from the pulpit. I shared how I was thrown in the middle of that debate and my face became the poster child for our “church going liberal.” I shared how it hurt. It hurt to have friends leave and men refuse to shake my hand and … it hurt. Whew. I did it. I got through it, and no one walked out. It’s all good. So I thought, but at the end of the day a woman in the audience asked, “What is the prayer you’ve been praying for the women of our generation? Where do you see God moving the most on His women?” There I was again, about to put myself back on the chopping block. I took in a deep breath, and I said it. I believe God is moving, globally, to address the issue of gender injustice. Whether it’s covert gender injustice like what’s in the American church or overt gender injustice like what we see around the globe, God is on it. He’s calling out what’s happening to his women and girls around the world. I used to think this issue was a “women’s issue,” but now I realize it’s a Gospel issue. Jesus died to bring a way back to Shalom living. Shalom means to flourish in every human way possible (spiritually, relationally, emotionally, physically…), to be whole in every way. And whenever we see women (and men) being oppressed in any way, shape, or form, we hear Jesus cry out on the cross, “I’m offended.” What we...

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In A Sentence

Posted by on Friday, Feb 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Ponder this statement. No seriously, take some time and noodle on it. What does it mean? I can’t be human apart from you.  I can’t be human apart from you. I can’t be human apart from you. I can’t be human apart from...

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Is God Unfaithful?

Posted by on Friday, Oct 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m not going to say much but rather push you to this article written by Peter Enns’ posted on Pathos. Peter said some things I’ve thought (and felt) but couldn’t articulate. I’ve pastored long enough, worked in a church long enough to know the one thing we DON’T know how to do is lament. Not as individuals, families or communities of faith. Here’s a few excerpts. I hope it entices you enough to click on the link and read the whole article.   Like Psalm 44. Israel is in some national crisis. The people expected God to show up and help, but he didn’t. The psalmist mentions how they have always put their trust in God, but now God has, “rejected us and abased us”… “you have made us like sheep for slaughter”… “sold your people for a trifle”… “made us a taunt…a byword…a laughingstock” Thanks a lot. All this has happened, even though “we have not forgotten you, or been false to your covenant.” So, God, here’s an idea: “Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord. Awake, do not cast us off forever.” Translation: “God,  you’re asleep at the switch, it’s your fault, don’t even try to blame this on us.” Enns continues to expound on Brueggeamann’s teaching… What can we learn from this? Here is what Brueggemann said:  “Churches should be the most honest place in town, not the happiest place in town.” Maybe we have lost the “art of lament,” where complaining to God is part of the deal. Maybe, rather than playing church and make-believe, a vital dimension of the spiritual journey is giving God an earful now and then. Maybe God can handle it. Maybe God likes it, because it means we are being real and not fake. Maybe if you’re angry with God now and then, you’re normal. Maybe that’s part of being the people of God. Enn’s thoughts and Brueggeamann’s teachings beg for our interaction. Take time to read the article then noodle on what you read. When’s the last time you were taught, trained, or even witnessed someone lament (a biblical lament!) When’s the last time you’ve participated in a lament church service. (I’m not talking about a funeral but a time when we as God’s people cry out in agony wondering where He is and if He’s faithful.) When’s the last time we spent time as a people lamenting over loss: a physical death, a relational death, a dream that died, a financial death, a groaning for us and our loved ones who grieve and or quench the Spirit? You get the point. Where’s the lament? It’s in the Bible. Why isn’t it a part of our Christian expression of the Christian...

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The Table

Posted by on Monday, Oct 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

  My friend Jenny posted the following blog about our table. It was deeply moving and encouraging. I’ve quoted the end of Jenny’s blog below to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to pull up to the table. http://www.jennysimmons.com/2013/10/16/the-table/   Join women all over the world on February 7-8, for a little experiment called the If: Gathering. At the heart of this gathering are women like me who found that we were all desperate for a table. Desperate for people at the table. Desperate for deep, authentic community. The kind that Jesus modeled. And so it’s here. A movement of women encouraging each other to take a seat at the table- come as you are. No, really. Come just as you are. And join us. Invite a handful of other women to your house, a cabin, a church building, a Winnebago, a mountaintop- wherever. And be brave. For two days- be open, and honest and brave. Stream the If: Gathering around your table. We will pray together, worship together, have communion together. It will be low-key and laid back. A chance for you to seek out women in your own hometown who just need to be invited to a table. A chance to dream big and drink deeply. Curious? Desperate? Ready? Come to the table- you are wanted.  A word from If: Gathering founder, Jennie Allen. – See more at: http://www.jennysimmons.com/2013/10/16/the-table/#sthash.MR3xMgWx.dpuf Also take a look at what happens when young ones grow up around the...

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Who Would You Blink In?

Posted by on Monday, Oct 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Several nights out of the week Steve and I gather with our friends to share a meal. Sometimes after dinner we sit outside, drink wine and discuss life stuff. Recently we’ve all been reading Falling Upward. It’s typical for sections of the book to be read by one person or another as we discuss our findings, thoughts, questions and ah ha moments. Steve and I love to share our lives with others around food, wine and conversation. And we love to ask thought-provoking questions to one another and our family group.  Last night several of us were discussing what we want to give ourselves to in our second half of life. What is important to us? Who do we want to do life with? Where do we want to do life? (Those kinds of things.) That conversation was followed up with asking, “If you could blink someone in to be here with us tonight who would it be?” Who would we want in this discussion with us? So let’s say last night you were sitting in our back yard and you were asked that question. Who would you blink in? And why? P.S. The one caveat is you have to know the person (or people) to some degree....

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