Pondering Luke 5:4-6

Posted by on Monday, Sep 29, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Ponderings (Luke 5:4-6) 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish. 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! The nets Simon Peter used, one theologian suggests, were “trammel nets.” These nets were “made of linen, visible to the fish during the day.” So they were used only at night, and required two to four men to handle, and were washed every morning. This theologian makes the point that the details of this story are therefore precisely realistic. Beyond that, he makes the point that what Jesus was asking Peter to do was more unusual that we have understood. The fish would be able to see the nets during the day and would avoid the net. So “this identification underscores the miraculous nature of the catch.” (Green 232) If I had been Peter, and Jesus had asked me to put my linen nets into the water during the day, I wouldn’t have done so. My logical brain would have kicked in and said it was foolishness. And why is this? Somewhere along the way, I have ceased to believe that Jesus does the impossible. In all of my “logical” education about God, my faith itself had become “logical,” or mature. Yet how have I forgotten that faith itself actually defies logic? Faith itself is belief in the supernatural, in that which cannot be known or proven. How did I begin many years ago with this defying-logic type of faith only to end up here – where I would not putd my nets down into the water with Peter? When I was younger, I (perhaps naively) expected Jesus to do miracles. I remember taking with a friend, and she shared with me that she wanted to take her family to Ireland so that they could see their extended family. She told me that they could not afford the trip. Without a thought, I responded, “Have you asked Jesus about it?” She had not, for she did not know that she could ask the Father for these types of things. “Why not?” I wondered. “I’m a parent and I love to give my kids things beyond their needs.” Not that God owes us that, but he can choose to say no, and he is our Father, and if I, as a parent, feel this way, how much more must God? And Jesus says this very thing quite explicitly, does he not? In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says,...

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Church Please Hear Her, Part 2

Posted by on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 in Blog | 5 comments

Continued from Tuesday’s blog… Since getting married and becoming a parent, there have been new tensions that I have experienced within the church. Of course, all moms experience the guilt of whether they are spending enough time with their families. However, as a working outside of the home mom in evangelical America, there are subtle messages that make “belonging” even more difficult. I remember hearing a sermon right after my son was born, where the pastor stated that he didn’t know how a mother could reconcile working outside the home with scripture. This astounded me as he was a young pastor of a church plant, and it sounded like he was talking from a 1950s perspective. When my husband approached the pastor about these comments, he stated he didn’t understand why any mother would “choose” to work. This frustrated me because although I do “choose” to work, I do so because I feel that my job has meaning beyond the sphere of my job description. I work with marginalized people, the homeless, abused children, and victims of sex trafficking, and my job allows me to help others in a way I could never do if I was at home. I also feel that it gives me perspective and keeps me from isolating from the world, which would be very easy if I surrounded my life with only “mom duties.” As a parent, I believed I would be able to connect better with other parents in our church, but that was hard because all the activities for moms were held during the weekday, when working moms couldn’t attend. Although I’m certain those activities were planned based on the number that can attend, it still excludes those with different situations. Another factor that has compounded the tension I have felt within the church has been the rise of the doctrine of complementarianism in many churches. I noticed this a few years back, but the extremism that some take this to has been troubling. These churches take a strong, vocal, stance on the roles of men and women in the church, although the focus seems primarily on women. I have seen this through churches writing new doctrinal statements on whether a woman can teach a class or an online uproar about a female speaking at a conference. Many women’s retreats and conferences have in many ways almost “idolized” motherhood above all and forgotten about any other potential or purpose we might have. It saddens me because it not only it brings me back to the fundamentalism that I grew up in, but it also alienates the gospel from the majority of women in the world. If churches limit the roles in which women can...

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Church Please Hear Her, Part 1

Posted by on Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

When Jackie asked me to write a post for her blog, I was a tad baffled on what to write. I love reading and talking about women’s issues and social justice, but sharing my own personal experience makes me a little nervous. I don’t have some great journey of faith or a strong theological stance on gender roles in the church, but what I do know is that I have always struggled to find a place within mainstream evangelicalism. Stating that aloud sounds weird, as I have largely grown up in church. Many of my childhood memories were surrounded by church activities. I went to a private Christian school through high school and for a brief time attended a religious based university. I can quote a hundred Bible verses and sing you a thousand ridiculous Sunday school songs like “Father Abraham”. I am a white, 32 year old female who currently lives in the suburbs of the DFW metroplex, with a husband (who has a divinity degree) my 3 year old son, and baby #2 due in October. Although most of these qualities would seem to be qualities of the perfect American Bible Belt Christian, I have struggled in finding a church where I could belong. The reason for this stems from my experiences in church and the messages I heard there about being a woman. I grew up in a small Midwestern town and attended the local Baptist church from the time I was a toddler. As I grew up, the church became more fundamentalist and by the time I was in junior high, had some rigid views on gender. I remember being sent home by the youth minister because my shorts were too short for a youth activity. (They didn’t cover my knees entirely) I also remember that although the girls always outnumbered the boys in participation in youth group, only the boys were picked for leadership roles. The girls of course weren’t discouraged from church but most of the teaching I heard during this time, had nothing to do with a personal faith and more to do with cultural issues, such as modesty, abstaining from sex, and not listening to the evils of rock music. It seemed that the overall message given to young girls was to be a nice Christian girl, find a nice Christian boy to marry, have children, and end up teaching Sunday School (of course only to children). This kind of mentality really bothered me even at that age, and I began to resent Christianity and anyone associated with it. I started researching feminism and telling people I would never marry because that seemed the perfect way to rebel. However, I still wasn’t...

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Update On My Next School Endeavor

Posted by on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

I few months back I shared with you that I’m going back to school. I don’t need another degree but I do need knowledge and connections. As I’ve stated before I’m asking the question, “How can the Gospel assist in bringing social change to areas where gender injustice exists.” In order to answer the question I need both a theological lens (of which I have) and a gender lens (which I don’t have.) So, I’m going back to school to attain a gender justice/social change lens. I’m also hoping by putting myself in this field I will make connections with other organizations and NGO’s fighting for the ennobling of women. I asked you to vote on which school you would pick. Some chose Dublin because it was an international experience, others American University because of its strategic location but most of you voted for SMU (because it keeps me local :). I appreciate the love. Since so many of you have inquired I thought I’d give an update. I have been accepted to SMU and will hear from AU in the upcoming weeks. I decided to drop my application to Dublin – Steve and I decided we weren’t up for the cold. I’ve been quiet about it because I want to give Jesus time to tell me rather than me tell him. So that’s where I am for now. I will keep you posted. Thanks for caring. Oh yeah, I’m heading to the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C. and hope to bump into some other men and women interested in gender justice. Pray I would be alert to what God is doing and able to connect with others.  ...

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