Boiling Passion: A Movement of the Spirit

Posted by on Friday, Sep 18, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

There have been several times in life when God boldly spoke to me about the work he had for me to do. There was the time I heard over and over and over again. PREACH THE WORD. PREACH THE WORD, PREACH THE WORD. Yes, loud like that. Not audibly, but loud in the bowls of my soul. (He keep speaking 2 Timothy 4:2) So I put a stake in the ground. I would preach.  I would let go of other things and focus on preaching his Word. You could say that was God hemming me in. (Psalm 139) “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:2) The next time was when God let me know I would be preaching from the pulpit. I distinctly remember when he brought it up. It literally made me gasp. I didn’t want to do it. I was hoping it wasn’t him speaking, that I had misheard or something. But no. It was him. And he was clear.  There was a movement of his Spirit to elevate his women and girls and my preaching from the pulpit was a small part of that movement. It’s been almost a decade since that last “call” and I’m hearing God boldly speak again. It happens in multiple ways, it’s like he keeps saying the same thing to me from different directions, just in case I want to dismiss it or ignore it. He won’t let me. For example, I was listening to Eugene Cho speak on women and he read from Exodus 3 and my spirit was quickened. I heard the Spirit whisper, “set my women (and men) free from bondage.” He’s been speaking for several years but now he’s heating things up. He’s asking me to be all in. Go the mile. Put a stake in the ground. How do I know? Because my insides are boiling again. It’s this passion thing that wakes me up, pushes me during the day, it almost makes me feel like I can’t stop until his work is done – whatever and whenever that is. Exodus 3. God hears the cry of his people. He sees their oppression. Set them free. Set them free. Set them free. Lime Green is the beginning of what he’s wanting to talk about to his Church. Men and women are in bondage to the spoken and unspoken messages about manhood and womanhood. It’s keeping us from being unapologetically who God made us to be and it’s keeping the Blessed Alliance (men and women) from working together for God’s Kingdom. One of the things I hear God...

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A Lime Green Kind of Day

Posted by on Thursday, Sep 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Lime Green discussion in Austin We’ve created a church culture where fear of moral failure trumps men and women serving as the Blessed Alliance. Does the Scripture support our danger/romance narrative? Is there another option? It’s time we go back to Scripture to find out. George W. Truett Theological Seminary – Dean Still Dean Still is a new testament scholar who gave me an hour of his time to discuss women and men in the Church. I was pleasantly surprised to find this Baptist seminary leader is an advocate for the Blessed Alliance.  Just a reminder that there’s a movement of the Spirit happening in all corners of God’s globe. A detour from work. We stop at the Waco Mammoth National museum Podcast with Vintage Faith – Grand Rapids Back to work. We pull the car off the highway to do a Skype interview with Jeremy of Vintage Faith. Even though my vocation is centers around speaking I have found podcast interviews challenging. Trying to be at ease and learning how to speak in sound bites has been hard. We get back on highway 35 towards Dallas. I make several calls to women ministers who need an ear to help them process. Finally home. Fish tacos for dinner. Tired but extremely grateful for the days work God has given me to...

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Living In The Circle

Posted by on Monday, Dec 1, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

Like most working moms, my every minute was accounted for. Over those years I grabbed any advice that might achieve that allusive balance between work and family. It was the advice from a woman – Jill Briscoe – a preacher, wife, mother, grandmother, author, radio host, etc., that ended my chase. In my Christian circle I learned priorities go as such: God, Husband, Kids, Work. A list. But Jill spoke of a circle. “Every morning I wake and ask Jesus ‘Which family today, Lord?’” she says. There are ah-ha moments in life and this was one of them. I got out a napkin and drew a circle—more like a spoke wheel with God in the center and everyone else on a spoke. It made sense. It meant reliance on Jesus every day—all day. And when I thought about it, we really don’t live the list. Who puts their husband first when their kid is upstairs puking all night long? Over the years Jesus would say, “Go. Preach the Word” which meant missing the kids sports games, school plays and or school Christmas parties. That advice – “which family?”- was an anchor in those times. I’ve been living in a circle sense. Now my kids are grown and out of the home but there are still times I ask -“Which family today Lord?” Sunday at 8:50 I found myself asking. I was headed on a three-week trip to East Africa. While there I would research four East African organizations that transformed the view of women and girls in their communities. My question for them was what, if any, were the contributing factors for their success? My suitcase was packed. My backpack ready. Errands completed. Christmas prep done. Doggy care finalized. At 6:25 PM I would load a plane from Dallas to London – London to Uganda. But there was a text that came in the middle of the night. It was from one of my children. There had been a rupture in their life. He’s old enough and mature enough to handle it. (Sometimes we mother’s don’t let our kids grow up.) But I couldn’t settle. Something was nagging me. Maybe it was all those times I had missed and I didn’t want to miss again. Maybe it was just a mother’s ache for her child. A professor once said he believed Genesis 3:16 – I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. – meant a mother’s ache for her kids would be till death do her part. Not sure if his translation is correct but I do know it’s true in real life. Or – maybe the nagging within was from the...

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Young, Single & Her Faith (Part 1)

Posted by on Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 in Blog | 3 comments

I’ve been wondering what’s on young single (Christian) women’s minds. I wanted to know how they felt about marriage, work, gender issues, homosexuality, politics and their future dreams. I asked Stacey, a young professional woman living in Dallas to write a few blogs to help us know  what’s on young women’s mind. (Part 1, tune in Thursday for Part 2).  I’d like to think that their questions are deeply influenced by being located in the still culturally distinct South, from which their experiences are derived. However, it doesn’t render the question any less impactful or soul-searching. The first time years ago was a fluke – a joke to tell others. The second and third instance made me question if I were behaving in some odd way. What else could have triggered these inquiries? I am referring to the “L” question – as in, “Are you a lesbian?” or “Are you even interested in guys?” This is most often followed by, “Then why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Let me tell you, folks, this is a tough one. Initially it’s funny, then maddening. Apparently being picky (perhaps too much so), not wanting to date just to have something to do, and working long hours aren’t sufficient reasons. For what it’s worth, in all three instances, I was asked by men, including one whom I’ve made it clear to that we are only friends. It may be doubtful that this is a common occurrence for readers of the Marcella blog, but I believe there is at least one common denominator to this question that affects us all – identity. Rather than basing my identity on some guy and/or kids, I resort to equally “bridge to nowhere” items, such as my appearance and work performance. It is the worst kind of rollercoaster, because there is a better way to live this life. Instead our identity is found in Christ, where we are unified: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As it pertains to my identity in Christ, I am nowhere near ready for solid foods (1 Corinthians 3:2). I need to claim this truth daily. Perhaps you should do the same, beginning with today. Signed,...

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Flowers Are My Soul Language

Posted by on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

“During the Victorian era the language of flowers was as important to people as being “well dressed.” For example, the recognizable scent of a particular flower, plant or perhaps a scented handkerchief sent its own unique message. Flowers adorned almost everything… hair, clothing, jewelry, gowns, men’s lapels, home décor and china, and stationery, to name a few… Flowers would convey messages of love or dislike depending upon which ones were given, their sizes how they were held, or also grouped together. They had a silent meaning of their very own, and could “say” what was not dared to be spoken. Even the manner in which flowers were sent had a special meaning… “(read full article here) Flowers are the language of the soul – at least of my soul. Over the past several weeks I’ve been staying at my mom’s in upstate NY. I love sitting in the breeze way – working – writing my book. I love it because of the flowers that surround me. I spent my life working in my parents greenhouses. I grew up around dark purples, bright reds and fuchsia pink geraniums. I didn’t know it then but my cellular DNA was being wired to breath better when among such beauty. A few weeks ago Steve and I went to Portsmouth New Hampshire – what I loved most was the landscaping. Every house was lavished with hydrangeas, holly hocks, and green and white hostas. The flowers and shrubs looked wild – so unlike the well manicured lawns in Dallas. Again I felt my soul breath lighter. I was meant to be where flowers, trees, shrubs grow wild, untrimmed, flopping over one another like they are dancing and laughing in the sun. Sometimes when I have been away from the beauty of it I forget how much it makes me come alive. Flowers, trees and shrubs are my souls language – beauty in the breeze way, sacredness in the dirt, creativity bursting, it speaks to me. I’m so grateful for the view in mom’s...

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