The Moment You Crumble On The Bathroom Floor

Posted by on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

A sister in Christ wrote this out of deep pain. She’d been holding it in for a long time but now it came rushing out. Poetry. Pain. Some of you will understand – others will not. I do. And I want her cry to be heard. Church please hear.   That moment when you find yourself crumpled on your bathroom floor. A puddle of tears and confusion. What is wrong with me? Deep wounds emerge for triage and you realize the truths you’ve been able to push down, to sooth, until now. This desire seems big and hairy and its spitting the pacifiers across the room. Why don’t you want me Jesus? Why can’t I have a seat at the table? Is it true? Am I not good enough? Here’s the rub: I have a deep grief that women are not valid in the church. Valued. Maybe. As long as they stay in their place. Sure there are exceptions of leaders, teachers, preachers. But why not me? I get it, there really are singers that should have never made it to American Idol auditions on broadcast television. And I’m embarrassed to even admit: I want to try. Maybe I’m delusional. Or prideful. What if I had been allowed? What if in my preaching class in 1997, what if it wasn’t just condescension? What if they took me seriously? What if I took myself seriously? But I didn’t. I said this: “I know, I know, it won’t happen. But thanks for having me guys. You wrote really nice comments on my sermon eval.” And tolerance is not the same as embracing. Being nice isn’t empowering. I settled. It’s like the abuser that abuses subtly. And that time you almost wish he would just go ahead and punch you so you knew it was real. Not just some figment of your imagination. I keep finding myself with the nagging…is it real? Is it real that my church heritage that I love excludes me? Is it real that I want this? Am I actually called? You know Lord, it would be so so much easier if you literally would write me a letter of recommendation that I could pull out and show: I hereby declare that this woman has my recommendation to preach my Gospel in church on a Sunday. I can hear your thoughts, “But the Bible says…” Yeah, I know. I just wonder…do we really know what the Bible says? You might be thinking, “Go preach the Gospel where you can—it doesn’t have to be at church!” Yep, I do…to my kids, my husband, my friends, neighbors. And I love it. But maybe, maybe I’m allowed to preach to my...

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What Now? That’s the Question on Their Minds

Posted by on Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I am tired, I am full, I am amazed. We have just completed the Lime Green Tour and since you are one of the 626 women and men who attended our Lime Green discussions and or helped fund its publication, we wanted to update you on the impact and influence of those gatherings. We went to LA, Houston, Dallas and Austin (3x) Grand Rapids MI, and South Bend Indiana. We sold over 1200 books several to pastors shepherding more than 12,000 congregants. That’s why I am tired. However, it’s the sense of God’s moving that has me amazed! Permit me to tell you just a few from these last three months. My husband and I were invited to the home of a mega church leader where he shared that his church has been in a year-long discussion on the “women’s issue”. They had spent a year learning the 42 reasons the word “authority” in 1 Timothy 2 means this or that. The 62 reasons head cover means this or that. (Yes, I’m being a bit over the top.) But it was the sharing of a real woman’s story (mine in Lime Green) that put skin on all that diligent and important study. It tipped the scale. Now they are about to announce a shift in their Church’s position on women in the church. A shift that will rock through the evangelical mega church in their sphere of influence. A woman who attended a discussion in Austin gave Lime Green to her pastor and invited him to host a church wide Lime Green discussion. Another woman in Austin emailed that she saw the book on her pastor’s desk (and he was reading it). Discussions were happening in the hallways. Another woman purchased several books in hopes to host a discussion with her senior pastor and others within her large church community.  A senior pastor of a church of 500 shared his staff was writing bylaws and wanted to know where I could direct him towards resources on the role of women. Another woman, who serves on a city-wide ministry, asked “How we can get more women to the table” in business, civic and church settings – she sees women in a new light now in all those arenas. Sandy, a leader in a nation wide ministry, called to see how The Marcella Project could train her female leaders to preach. She said the women leaders go without much training and rarely get promoted into the higher levels of the ministry and yet are expected to communicate the gospel with excellence. How can we help? Another question we are addressing. In Houston home over 20 women leaders of a multi- site...

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Criteria for Working Women During WWII

Posted by on Saturday, Sep 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s an article from a July 1943 issue of Transportation magazine, an article written for male supervisors of women who were flooding into the workforce during World War II. Here are some of the suggestions on how to “select the most efficient women available and use them to the best advantage”: “Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. They’re less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard. “When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home before. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting and are inclined to be fussy and cantankerous. “General experience indicates that ‘husky’ girls—those who are just a little on the heavy side—are more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters. “Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination for female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. “Give the female a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instruction…Women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but they lack initiative in finding work. “Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day. “Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy.”...

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Swinging M-16’s

Posted by on Tuesday, Aug 11, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

My love for Israel goes beyond my love of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, studying there and walking where Jesus walked was out of this world, but my love for Israel also encompasses some shallow reasons as well. Like: They have great food and wine. The people are passionate. Everyone is up on current events in the world (theirs, ours, and others). The women have curly hair and they carry guns. Israel is one of the few countries with a mandatory military service for men and women. At age 18 young men and women must serve in the military for a year. During my study there it was commonplace to see a group young adults walking in the square chatting and giggling like high schoolers while M 16s slung from their shoulders. Israel is a small country with enemies on their borders. They are very aware that those enemies wish Israel didn’t exist. Because the threat is so eminent they live in a constant state of readiness. Everyone. In Genesis 1 & 2 we read where God created two load bearing walls to govern the world: Loadbearing wall #1: God and man Loadbearing wall #2: Man and woman In Genesis 3 Satan takes one big blow and wipes out both load bearing walls at once. And he has warred to keep those walls from being rebuilt ever since. I think it’s why we see such depravity against our Holy Creator and such enmity between man and woman. We are at war. But I don’t think we know that. Or at least we don’t live like we know it because if we did both men and women would be carrying M 16s on their shoulders (metaphorically speaking.) 1 Peter 5:8 warns, Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Instead of being alert, we live like sluggards that do not plow in Autumn (Proverbs 20:4 I’ve been reading up on the history of women’s roles in America. What I concluded is when we, as a nation, realize we are at war, we loosen the roles because we need all hands on deck. We can’t afford to have one gender sidelined. For example, in early colonialism life was extremely hard (disease, Indians, crop failure, harsh winters, and then the Revolutionary War!) During this battle, roles were loosened (until we won against the Brits – then they tightened again.) During the “battle” it wasn’t abnormal to have a woman act as “deputy husbands.” They would shoulder the male duties such as planting corn and managing the external affairs of the family. Women ran taverns and saw mills. They...

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Why Do We Do That To Each Other?

Posted by on Friday, Jul 31, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The question at the table: “When was a time that a woman greatly ministered to you?” Dieula spoke up; it was when she walked into the back of the room of our women’s bible study and I was preaching. Immediately her mind started racing, “Uh no! This is not right. She’s not supposed to do that! That’s what men do. And her hair, it’s wild.” Dieula grew up in the Haitian church where women did not teach Scripture; that was a man’s role. But that night in the back of the room while she silently rebuked she also experienced confusion. She was fighting something in herself. Suddenly, there was a glimmer of hope. Could it be? Is it possible? Perhaps, just perhaps a woman could do that? A follow up question: “Why do women do that to each other?” It’s a legitimate question. Why do women put up obstacles for other women who move into positions of public power or responsibility? The answer requires more than can be addressed in a blog but I want to offer up a few ideas here. Hopefully, with deeper understanding, we can become women who are “for one another” rather than against. Stephen Boyd’s book, The Men We Long To Be, sheds light on the issue of oppression by one group for the perceived benefit of another; alas women putting obstacles in front of other women. As you read his comment consider how we communicate what it means to be the ideal biblical woman. Consider how that definition determines who’s in and who’s out. “What happens in an oppressive situation is that victims are often forced to internalize a false, or distorted, view of themselves as a coping mechanism … the problem is that they then collude in the perpetuation of their own oppression, because they come to believe that it is justified… “(Boyd, 84) This is why victims of childhood sexual abuse can become perpetrators, and women who’ve been prostituted can become brothel owners. One reason women put obstacles in front of other women in the Christian community is because they themselves have had to internalize their unjust exclusion from ministry (or some other area of life work). A few years ago I was asked to teach at a woman’s conference in California. I was surprised to get a scathing e-mail from one of the pastors’ wives. This woman let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she didn’t approve of my working while I still had children (three older teenagers) at home. She, too, could be teaching around the country, but she had set those opportunities aside in order to raise her children, because staying home — not working — was the Biblical...

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