Category Archives: holy spirit

Okay, I’m a Feminist

7 Things Strong Women After 50 Do Not Do - Prime Women | An Online Magazine

Years ago, I received an email from someone asking about my views on women in church leadership. There was no context provided for the question, but I assumed it was because this acquaintance knew I’d held positions of leadership for decades, both in the church and in the business world.

Furthermore, I was asked if I considered myself to be a feminist, in a tone that suggested it was blasphemous or something. My eyes narrowed at that point. Take note: If you ever want to get me riled up, go ahead and talk down to me like I’m “just a woman” and you’ll find yourself wishing you hadn’t.

Anyway . . .

How does one go about answering two questions like that? Straight forward and to the point, that’s how.

My view on women in church leadership positions: YES. That about says it. I may elaborate further in another post one day. Do I see myself as a feminist? YES. If I go with the dictionary definition of “feminist”, then that’s what I am.

Feminist: advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Although I absolutely advocate all of the above, I am not a sign-carrying, protest-marching, yell-in-your-face feminist. I don’t have to be obnoxious or offensive to make a point. In considering the rights for women socially, politically, legally, and economically, yes, I believe in equality for all.

But – and there’s always a but, right? – I also believe that many women have simply accepted that they are diminished in the eyes of men even though it may not be true. Now, before you get your pantyhose in a knot (do women even wear those anymore?), hear me out. They see themselves as lesser than men, beneath men, not as smart as men, and not as capable as men. Who told them that? Their fathers, brothers, uncles, bosses, the church, or even their mothers and grandmothers? I don’t know, but it certainly wasn’t God.

And before you start giving me all kinds of scripture references to support the opposite, just understand that the Bible needs to be absorbed considering the time in which it was written. No, I’m not suggesting a re-interpretation of the Word to suit myself. Not at all. Don’t miss the point.

What I want you to see is that your spirit – that place where the Spirit of God dwells – has no gender. He speaks to you exactly the same as He does to anyone else, male or female (and no, there isn’t a third or fourth gender). God’s expectations of you are the same whether you are a man or a woman, and you are valuable to Him and His work regardless of your plumbing. He just loves YOU. And He wants you to love Him back.

I long to see women take their place in Christ – to know who they are in Him and to take on that identity instead of the false identities placed on them by well-meaning husbands or pastors or parents or friends or the world in general. I long to see more women stand up for truth and life. I long to see real women who have fought spiritual battles and won, and who aren’t afraid to call out the fakes. I long to see women who are done with the fluff (see my previous post That I May Know Him) and want to really know Him, to do His will, no matter what the cost. I know some of those women. They have have had revelation of this for years and years, and they live it out. I honour them.

So, does it really matter whether it is a man or a woman preaching in your church? No, not if that person is truly called of God to do so. Is there a problem with a woman in a church leadership position? No, not if that woman has the skill, desire, and support to serve in that role. Is a woman in leadership a feminist? She probably is (refer to definition), and I applaud her for that.

Circling back to the beginning of this post, you might be wondering what happened with the curious soul who asked me such pointed questions. Well, I provided a lot of scripture to present my case and thought I had done a rather good job of making it clear where I stood. When I followed up some months later, the person confessed that they hadn’t even read my response. Oh well.

Bottom line: It’s not about being a female church leader or a feminist or whatever label you want to use. It’s about Jesus and who you are in Him and who He is in you. Embrace it.

I leave you with Paul’s writing, which is my prayer for you.

So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth.  And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. Ephesians 3:14-19 (TPT)

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Filed under Bible, Blogging, Christ, Christian, God, holy spirit, Jesus Christ, Women, Writing

That I May Know Him

A few days ago, I posted the following on Facebook, requesting responses from my friends:

Do you regularly read content written by Christian authors (books – fiction or non-fiction, articles, blogs, etc.)? If so, what do you like about them? What don’t you like? If you do not read Christian authors, why not Can you give examples of authors you like and those you don’t?

The responses I got were not surprising to me but would perhaps be surprising to some Christian writers and publishers.

Most of those who answered the questions said yes, they did read Christian content, although not many had good things to say about Christian fiction, particularly women’s fiction because much of it tends to stereotype women into very traditional roles and thought patterns. I have found this to be true in my own reading. Several authors’ names did come up as exceptions, though.

Of the I-do-read-Christian-content responses, preferences were primarily well-researched non-fiction books and articles. Some of the authors are well-known and others more obscure. There was an almost overwhelming negative response toward the “feel good” books that play on emotions and fail to address and deal with the root of the issues. My friends who no longer read much Christian content have been disillusioned with the shallowness of what’s out there, the poor quality of the writing, or the false perceptions such material leaves with readers.

Now I’ll tell you why I have embarked on this research.

Recently, I was invited to participate in a webinar for Christian writers and bloggers. I was looking forward to it, as most of the writers’ conferences and seminars I’ve attended have not focused on Christian content. I should have skipped this one. Let’s just say that after the webinar I was not compelled to respond to the “rate us” email. There was no option to give a minus rating. It was horrible. Worse than horrible. Not once was the name of Jesus mentioned. Not once did the speakers talk about digging into the Bible for content, answers, or direction. Not once did I hear anyone say that the focus needed to be on God the Father. As a matter of fact, the “best” advice, they said, was to go to a local Christian bookstore, look around at what is offered there, and write that. Because it’s what’s popular. It’s what sells.

Are you kidding me???

Okay, I calmed down a little and then yesterday, I took myself off to a Christian bookstore – the only one within a 100 km radius that hasn’t gone out of business. As a point of reference, I am a former Christian bookstore owner and I know the pain of having to close the doors on a labour of love.

My fact-finding mission at the bookstore uncovered no surprises. The department occupying the greatest amount of floor space was giftware. Yeah, you know. All those cheesy ornaments with Bible verses on them. The next largest area was fiction, most of which looked eerily the same as my own bookstore did twelve years ago – a HUGE number of Amish romances, a good number of mysteries (also romances), and a few really good books by really good authors.

I moved on and turned the corner and my eyes widened. Rows and rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves of Women’s Interest books. Do publishers not know how bad pastel covers look en-masse? I wanted to run away screaming. While I’m certain there were some truly excellent ones in there, anyone would have been hard pressed to find them among the volumes of drivel.

(drivel – childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle)

Seriously. A good 50% of the books even had the smiling face of the author on the cover. Who are we worshipping here? And the titles! Don’t even get me started.

Here’s my point: Where is Jesus? Who is He? What is He for/to you? Why do you follow Him? How can you know Him and the power of His resurrection?

And I continually long to know the wonders of Jesus more fully and to experience the overflowing power of his resurrection working in me. Philippians 3:10 (TPT)

THIS is what we need. To know and experience the living Spirit of God moving through us, in us, around us. To understand what He is to us and for us. THIS is what it means to be alive in Christ.

Anything that does not point you to Jesus should be questioned. That goes for so-called Christian books that offer answers for every life problem – books that make you feel good about yourself and excuse you from having to actually deal with your issues without giving Jesus the liberty to work with you. I’ve read many of the books I’m generalizing about here. I know what’s in them. And for all the money I’ve spent, words I’ve read, and felt justified in my sanctimonious attitude, nothing, NOTHING worked until I let Jesus show me the areas in my life that needed work. He and I are still housecleaning in that regard.

My greatest desire is to write what the Father God puts on my heart. Not what sells the best. Not what makes readers feel good (aka fluff). Not what other people tell me I should write. I believe that when I write what God has burned in my spirit, lives will change, and He will be glorified.

My little Facebook research project is a good indication that there is an audience for authentic writers who truly hear from God and write what He says. So, if you’re one of those, GO!

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Filed under Bible, Blogging, Books, Christ, Christian, God, holy spirit, Jesus Christ, Women, Writing

Powerful Wind

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (WIND) | JESUS WAY 4 YOU

A powerful wind blew through our area last night, leaving wide-spread power outages, downed trees, and property damage in its wake. The sound was deafening at times, like a jet airplane flying at a low altitude directly above our house. Rain poured from the sky in torrents. Visibility was non-existent.

This morning, the sun was shining as a beautiful day began. At first glance, all appeared right with the world. Yet, the evidence of the storm’s effect was there. The wind we could not see had made its presence known in things we could see.

The same thing happens with the Holy Spirit. His role is to glorify the Father and the Son, and to dwell in us – making Him unseen. But like the wind, the Holy Spirit works in unpredictable ways. Even though we can’t control or manipulate Him or make Him to do our bidding or anticipate His next move, we know He is there. We see the evidence of His presence in us and around us. We see the effects of His work in the lives of people who yield to Him.

For the Spirit-wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So it is within the hearts of those who are Spirit-born! John 3:8 (TPT)

Be still.

Allow Him to breathe His life into you. Hear His voice speaking to you, whether that be a gentle breeze or a powerful wind.

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