Motherhood Makes Us Good Leaders

Posted by on Sunday, May 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently the Alliance For Greater Works hosted a day long event honoring eight women leaders doing greater good in Texas. Those eight – well, they are no slackers. At the table was T.J. Johnson, Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Michele Bobadilla, Senior Associate VP for Outreach Services & Community Engagement, Assistant Provost for Hispanic Student Success at The University of Texas at Arlington, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation – just to name a few. For an hour they shared their wisdom. A moderator asked all kinds of questions. But one in particular caught my attention. Do you think women make better leaders than men? Hum… I’m not a fan of that question. I get a bit nervous whenever we elevate one gender above the other regardless if it’s man over woman or woman over man. I need my brothers – desperately. And I think they need me. Blessed alliance. But I digress. Their collective answer? Yes. Why? “Because women bring both their heart and mind to the table.” I couldn’t get past the statement. Really? Men don’t bring their heart to the table? All I could think of was, “What does that say about how we’ve asked men to kill their hearts?” Cause men reflect God’s image. God has a heart so men have hearts. What happened? Why don’t, won’t or can’t men bring their heart to the table? Makes me question how we are raising our boys. But I digress. They continued with the discussion about how investing in women brings positive social change to society. They quoted the World Bank which stated that women are the best investment for an economy. Hilary Clinton said women are our best foreign policy. And yet, as crucial as women are for positive social change only 17% of women hold top leadership positions. Again my mind wondered how that truth impacts us on all kinds of levels? (Social, theological, economical, spiritual, relational, financial) But again I digress. The conversation continued: What in particular makes women better leaders. Women make better leaders because they are: Listeners. Collaborative. Authentic. Serving (even to their own detirment). They find the best in others. They take into account all of the stakeholders. Cheerleader. At this point I could feel myself wanting to shout, “That’s not leadership that’s followship! And right on the heels of that I almost blurted out that’s not leadership – THAT’S MOTHERHOOD!” Isn’t it? Listener. That’s an understatement. My mom tells the story of my talking all the way to another town and back without taking a breath. She’s not kidding. Cheerleader. I remember her picking me up at a high school basketball...

Read More

Homosexuality & The Fear of The Body

Posted by on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

There’s a whole lot of look over the Supreme Courts decisions on same-sex marriage. Lot’s of rhetoric on both sides. But what’s most interesting (and discouraging) is the fear Christians feel in voicing support for gay marriage or homosexuality as a choice (not sin). Why do we fear one another when we differ on interpretation or practice? I have to tell you if I weren’t careful on keeping my eye on Jesus I could get very disillusioned with Christianity (not Christ but us!) As relate to Anne Lamott’s sentiments when she quit Christianity in the Name of Christ: “My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.” Today I read this post of which much resonated with my soul. Would love for you to read it and share your response, nicely! I love gay people and I love Christians, I choose all.  I particularly love the paragraph where she said, “The point is – if you’re hungry – you are all welcome at my table. None of you is less welcome than the other. This place is a banquet table for gays and straights and prudes and hoochies and cheerleaders and tuba players and pharisees and alpha moms and slacker moms and tax collectors and fishermen and choir girls and heathens. It’s a banquet table where people who are different can come together and share a meal and maybe not change each other’s minds, but possibly soften each other’s hearts.” The idea of offering a seat at table – that breaking bread and drinking wine might soften our hearts – Yes, Yes, Yes. My friend, Meredith Wheeler, wrote something similar: “With the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage there has been hateful rhetoric on both sides. The decision is for discussion another day. I was reminded of it, however, when reading Ephesians 3:6 and Paul speaks if the gospel.He says, “this mystery (that is the gospel) is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Paul says the mystery of the gospel, the stunner, the counter-culture message, the prejudice breaker is that those we regard as least likely candidates for the love and mercy of God are in fact every bit as precious to God as we are. They are deemed precious. Those we...

Read More

Homosexuality: How Then Shall We Live?

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

When it comes to the debate on homosexuality I’m asking, “How now shall I live?” How do I live with my brothers & sisters with whom I disagree? (I’m not sharing with which whom I disagree!) How then shall I live is an important question. And it’s personal. I’ve experienced the wrath of a disagreeing evangelical community. It anit pretty. In 2008 I was invited by my elders to preach in the pulpit. I’m in process of writing a book about my experience. There was lots of good & there was hurtful, downright ugly, sinful words and actions done … all in the name of “being biblical.” That’s when I decided I needed to learn “how then shall I live?” Rick Warren recently said, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” January 24th we will host a salon on homosexuality. It’s crucial we study the Scriptures … from a variety of sides … ask the Spirit for guidance … look to tradition for wisdom … but when all is said and done we must answer the question, “How now shall we live?” How we answer THAT question will determine how the world sees...

Read More

Jesus Isn’t As Picky As Me

Posted by on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

A few weeks back I went with my mom to her small Presbyterian church in upstate NY. Her church couldn’t be more opposite from the one I served at in Texas. The church I worked had bands, recording studios, full choirs, several pastors, huge buildings and even an indoor play area. For years our staff spent every Monday planning, in detail, every move of the upcoming Sunday services.  I loved my church. None of that exists in my mom’s church. There things are simple, very simple. Nothing fancy. Nothing flashy. I highly doubt they have a team that spends hours and lots of man power to plan their upcoming Sunday services.  But God is there.  I think what I most love is how they know each other. Pretense goes out the window when you have known each other since childhood. I love when the pastor asks for prayers of the people. We used to read ours from a list of prayers gathered during the week. She just walks the aisle addressing each person by name. She knows them.  So does everyone else.  I’m so thankful Jesus isn’t found in only one kind of church. He is wherever his people are gathered whether in a small church, house, a bar, or a mega church in Dallas. Jesus shows up where we are. I’m grateful he’s not as judgmental and picky as I am. Below is a prayer we prayed at my mom’s church. Read slowly. Breath it in. Regardless of where you are … speak to your Jesus. God of all ages and of every generation, whose wisdom extends beyond the horizon and whose care reaches the farthest depths of the sea, we give thanks that we abide in the shelter of your encompassing love. We hear how nothing — not even death itself – can separate us from resting eternally in your presence. We give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, how he arose victorious from the fetters of that ultimate bondage and now prepares a place for us by your side. We pray, O God, that you will remove from us any encumbrances that keep us from realizing our destiny. Remove the scales from our eyes so that we can see clearly what you would have us do. Help us to put our trust in Christ, who alone can keep us from falling by the wayside of self-deception, materialism*, false pride, or boredom. Let our faltering steps be strengthened by his willingness to suffer defeat on our behalf, so that we can — from now on** — walk boldly in his name. Cleanse us of whatever foolishness causes us daily to betray him. When we expect him...

Read More

When I’m in the Dark

Posted by on Monday, Jan 30, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Last year an event happened that altered my life and the life of my family. You know, the kind of event where one moment you’re moving full speed ahead in one direction … then suddenly (and it is sudden) … something happens: illness, divorce, death, loss of a job … and it completely changes the course of your life. These are the times life does a 180 on us. I find it a bit disorienting and unsettling, don’t you? Last year, life did a 180 on me and I’m still trying to get my balance – to be able to orient myself to a new life, a whole new way of living … and changing … and accepting. It was a Sunday. I was sitting in a service at All Saints Church. Psalm 139 was read aloud. I’ve read Psalm 139 a million times. Okay, so maybe not a million times … but a lot! We get to verse 12 where it says, “…even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (NIV) And suddenly the Spirit said, “Stop listening to the Preacher and let’s talk about that.” So, I bowed my head and pictured the scene. And I realized I felt like my life was in the dark. I mean dark – pitch dark. I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know where to go. The ground below was rocky. I was afraid. Ever feel like that? Well … there I was telling Jesus this was where I was at. And that’s when, through his Word and Spirit, He spoke to my soul. “Jackie, it’s dark to you but not to me. I am the Light. Grab my hand and I will lead you out of here.” There I was, grabbing his outreached hand and stumbling as he gently tugged me forward. I couldn’t see much – just this faint light ahead. I kept my eyes on him, slowly moving forward, still feeling unsteady … but now with hope … that someone greater than me was helping me out of there. Later, I thought about this encounter with God. It reminded me of the time I took my children to Mount Sinai. I wanted to go where Moses got the Ten Commandments. Mount Sinai is out in the middle of the desert. I mean desert … like I had never seen before. Talk about rocks and sand and dirt! That was it, no greenery anywhere. No animals. It was desolate … with a few Bedouins here and there. We arrived in a little town developed solely around those, who like me, wanted to climb this...

Read More