Excerpt, When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

Question: Where do women belong in the twenty-first-century church?
Answer: Wherever God places them.

God has carved out places for every one of his daughters in his church, and he wants us to occupy the places he chose for us. Whatever spiritual gift or gifts you were given, you were given for a reason and a purpose, and he wants you to use it for the purpose he chose for you. He does not want you to hide it. If you choose to hide your gift(s), God is displeased. In his book The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren states “You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be someone else. You only bring him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

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The following excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough has been on my mind a lot the last several days. I don’t know why. Maybe someone needs to read it, so I decided to share it. Here it is:

When an individual gives his or her life to God, that individual becomes part of God’s family. The Holy Spirit then comes to live inside that believer and endows him or her with spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift is an ability or talent that is given to an individual by God when he or she becomes part of God’s family. The Apostle Paul discussed spiritual gifts in his letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians), his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 12), and his letter to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 4).

 Important Point: There is no reference in any of Paul’s letters to gifts being distributed according to gender.

As I walked with Jesus I gradually came to the realization that I had been given the spiritual gift of leadership… As I tried to live out the purpose God had called me to, using the gifts he gave me, I ran into intense opposition. I crashed right into the stained glass ceiling. I was told that I was controlling (a bad thing) and that I was too strong of a leader (another bad thing)…I studied the difference between controlling and leading. I studied the difference between leading and managing.  I studied the difference between anointing and ordination. I read books on gender equality in the Church, and I studied the lives of women in the bible. As a result of all this I came to the unshakable conclusion that God is color blind and gender blind. He does not distribute gifts and assign purposes based on race or gender.

… as we grow into the people God created us to be, we become comfortable in our own skin. When we are comfortable in our own skin, we are able to unreservedly allow the people around us to be comfortable in their skin, to be who they are, who God created them to be. When we are not comfortable in our own skin, we often try to control our external circumstances and the people in our life in an effort to achieve that comfort. In her book Men and Women in the Church, Sarah Sumner, a noted author, international speaker, and dean of A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary, describes a time when she was impacted by people around her who were not comfortable in their own skins. “When I was a student at Trinity, one of my professors called me into his office and said to me in a warm, fatherly tone, ‘Sarah, do not show the full color of your plume; it will intimidate the men.’ She further stated ‘… every Christian woman is told not to lead too much.’”[i]

As I look back at the times I was told I was too strong of a leader and think about the people who told me this, I now understand that they were not comfortable in their own skins. If they were, they would not have been so threatened by me growing into the person and the leader God had anointed me to be.

[i] Sarah Sumner, Men And Women In The Church (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003) pp. 26-27

I am still in the zone, working on my manuscript. It is taking shape. Order is emerging out of chaos. I knew this would happen if I trusted the process. I did, and I am now reaping the benefits.

Excerpt:
I am a Christ follower. As such, I attempt to pattern my life on the life of Jesus Christ.
The particular words of Jesus that I value and use as a plumb line for my life are the words which comprise his most famous sermon, The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 – 7:29). There are two things that stand out for me about this sermon. The first is that he does not mention anything about race, gender or social class. The second is that he tells us, his followers, to be a light in the world. “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5: 14-15).

Jesus wants his followers (individual, congregational, and denominational) to be bright shining lights in the world. His church is not supposed to be a reflection of the world, it is supposed to be a light which shines bright enough to stand out in the world, to be set apart as different and wonderful. It is supposed to be so different and so wonderful, as a matter of fact, that it will draw people to it who will ask what makes it so different.

The Church failed women by erecting a stained glass ceiling which mirrored the glass ceiling in the world, rather than following the example set by Jesus and the Apostle Paul.

Well, it’s another day. I’ve been trying to put together a post to address the issue I ended my last post with, i.e. “AND, don’t get me started on refusing to allow someone to operate in their spiritual gifts and fulfill their God-given purpose because of their gender. That’s for another day.” There is so much to say that I’ve been having difficulty limiting it. I decided to share the following excerpts from When the Glass Ceiling is Stained. If you’re interested in learning more you’ll have to get the book. Here’s the link: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=Mary+Detweiler

Throughout the Old Testament men treated women as property. Women were identified by the men in whose household they lived (the daughter of so and so, the wife of so and so). They were bought, sold, traded, and given away, just like other property the men owned. Women had no say over their own destinies. They were seen by men to have no inherent value.

Women in the New Testament were viewed by men and treated by men in the same way as they had been in the Old Testament. Jesus, however, did not see women as property and did not treat them as such. “Jesus affirmed the equality of women in the midst of a culture that denied them basic human rights. He called them to be His disciples during a time when religious leaders taught that it was disgraceful even to teach a woman” (J. Lee Grady, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women). “To think of women as disciples in training for leadership violated Jewish custom, but Jesus broke the mold in His relationships with women” (Sue Poorman Richards and Lawrence O. Richards, Women of the Bible).

The Apostle Paul, following the example Jesus and his disciples set, also saw women as equal partners in ministry and treated them as such… If this is indeed the case then how did it happen that it has primarily been Paul’s words that have been used to put and keep women in subservient roles in relation to men, and have kept women out of pulpits and senior leadership roles in the church? The answer lies in discrepancies between the Greek words Paul used in his letters and the English words that were used in the translation of his letters.

Another factor that was at play in why the discrepancies happened between the Greek words Paul used in his letters and the English words that were used in the translation of his letters was the lens we each view reality through.

All of us view reality through a lens comprised of our values and our beliefs about ourselves and our world. These values and beliefs have their roots in what we were taught and what we experienced in the family and culture we grew up in. The same was true for the individuals who translated Paul’s letters.