So… I saw Bad Moms, and I laughed.

In case you don’t have any clue what movie I am talking about, here is a promo shot:

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First, I’d like to admit right out of the gate I didn’t walk into this movie with naive expectations.  The trailers gave a pretty good indication that there would be some inappropriate humor.  Second, I am not planning on giving away any spoilers.  There were definitely some parts I thought the movie could have lived without, not only for the story line but even in the presentation.  Sometimes it could go too far.  Third, there were some parts of this that were REALLY unrealistic when you are talking about any group of moms.  Lastly, there were also a LOT of truths.

Overall, I laughed and I laughed hard.  At one point I laughed so hard (as I was taking a sip from my straw) that I pushed air through the straw, which caused a small tidal wave in my cup, and that resulted in my drink landing in my eyes.  Which just caused a whole other fit of laughter for myself and those sitting around me.  I laughed until I cried and my stomach hurt.  Yet, there were some moments that I nodded in solidarity.  There were moments that were uncomfortable.  And, yes… as I said before totally unnecessary.

What I want to write about (and I’m up for conversation too) is WHY a movie like this not only resonated with moms but was drawing us in like moths to a flame.

My first thought is probably the most obvious, there is an enormous amount of pressure on moms to be it all, do it all, and do so perfectly.  Whether it is the perfect birthday party, bento box lunches, or simply making it to every school and sport activity… we feel the pressure.  We notice so much of what is around us, like the mom who has the perfect hair and make up in the parent pick up line… when we were struggling to get out of the house with a bra under our pajama shirt.  We see the kids with the perfectly styled hair, accessories, and sparkling white sneakers…. and we just spent the last 40 minutes looking for eyeglasses or a belt.  Other moms dropping their kids off early, and we are 10 minutes late because we had to go back home and pick up the flute that was left behind… or because our darling child took 15 minutes to brush her teeth.

How do these moms do it?  We cast shade in their direction, but really we are asking ourselves… why can’t I do it?

I think there are a number of moms who have run the scenario through their head of just saying no.  No to the requests by the husband, kids, school, coaches, etc.  An opportunity to just walk away from the pressure and enjoy life again.  To make the choice of not being the perfect mom anymore, and instead be the bad mom.

This brings me to my second thought, as you watch the trailers you see a group of women having fun. We are not talking bunko party fundraiser fun, but the kind of fun we had as teenagers  and young single adults.  The fun we had when we didn’t care what others thought, where it was ok to be silly, and there was an expected freedom in the general knowledge we were going to make mistakes and bad choices.  It takes us back to a time when we didn’t have to be an adult, and could just let loose and be free.

With motherhood came some sort of unwritten code of conduct, that we couldn’t be silly anymore.  We began to take everything too seriously, including ourselves.  Let’s face it, books and the advice of television “experts” reinforced this.  Reminding us over and over again that it was time to grow up, put away childish things, and get our heads out of the clouds.  As we did this, many of us sent fun sailing away for good.  We stopped smiling, we stopped laughing, and we stopped being silly.

The movie Bad Moms called out to that free spirit inside of us, that desperately wanted to laugh… and laugh hard.  So, it pulls out all the stops.  The women let loose in a way we couldn’t, and we live vicariously through them.  They say the things that roll through our minds & do the things we secretly wished we could.  (Ok, maybe not all of the things they say and do, but you get the point).

I also believe this appeals to Christian women so deeply because of the bar that is set for our expected behavior.  If other moms are feeling the pressure to be perfect in their every day life, Christian moms understand the additional expectations put on the Christian mom.  To have perfect children that love Jesus, quote the bible, volunteer with the elderly, and gladly donate all their birthday money to the missions fund.  To be women who are serious about the study of the Lord, leading small groups, inviting women over to mentor and pray together, to dress in simple clothes, and be ever diligent in our choices of entertainment.  There is a pressure that all of our time should be so seriously focused on Christ, that we can’t let loose and laugh until our sides hurt.

Confession… I saw the movie on opening night.  It’s taken me almost a month to admit I saw it, because frankly… I expected to be judged for it.  I was worried about what my church friends, my readers that look to me for wisdom, the women or leaders who are reading through my blog trying to decide if I would be the right speaker for their next women’s event… what would these people think of me?

I learned something from the movie though… my eyes were opened to how long it had been since I had laughed so much and so hard.  I realized how seriously I take myself and made the decision not to.  I embraced that silliness is okay and even healthy for my kids to see.  I made the decision that I wanted to laugh more, but with those whom I am the closest to… not a theater full of strangers.  I want that girl posse who has my back, in the most biblical way possible… and who will be silly with me.  Women who know how to laugh, smile, and stop trying to be something that is impossible to attain… perfect.

All of those parts of the movie that I thought were unnecessary, they don’t have to be part of my life.  But the good stuff… I welcome it.  We are all GOOD MOMS despite our imperfections and the times we muck things up… because we are LOVING MOMS.  In the end that is what matters.  The Lord didn’t call us to a life of misery, but of fulfillment and joy as mothers… and laughter.  So much laughter.

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In the Midst of Azusa, Forgiveness Was Found

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First, just in case you don’t know what AZUSA is…. 110 years ago, on Azusa Street a revival began. On the 110th anniversary, many church leaders, congregations, believers, musicians, etc came together to pray for a new revival.  The church is calling out for a third great awakening.

I have never personally witnessed an event of this magnitude, in fact the only revival I have ever attended was a community one held at a local church.  I was in middle school.  There were a LOT of people, but nothing like Azusa on Saturday, April 9 2016.

First, I want to comment on the diversity of those who came to worship together.  I was not their live, but watching online as much as I could throughout the day.  When the camera would pan the audience and the stage, there were so many colors… ages… genders… just, people.  God’s people.  Together.  In one accord.

I found myself brought to tears each time I heard the Word of God spoken, prayers, or songs of Praise… in a language that is not my own.  English. Spanish. Native American. Hebrew. Arabic. Latin…  it was just beautiful.

Second, I want to point to the overall theme of the event… while the church was calling out for revival… they were acknowledging that we have to get ourselves in order before it can.  There was so much emphasis on getting our own houses in order, so that the spirit of revival can be unleashed.

If we want to usher revival in we have to clean our house first. 1Tim3:5 If anyone can’t manage his own family, how can he manage the church

If you look at the great revivals of the past, those who witnessed it would tell you that there were small pockets of revival happening at the same time in various locations.  Small movements that grew into great movements and spread like holy wild-fire!

What was the core issue that Azusa pointed to, that the church needed to get in order?  Unity under Christ.  We’ve been divided too long, doing what seems right to men and our own minds.  We have allowed man’s notions of what is “godly” to divides us against each other.  Denomination vs. denomination.  Christian vs. christian.  In order to unify under Christ, we must begin with forgiveness.

We must get our house in order as a church, to be a vessel of revival into the world. Forgive and seek forgiveness

Division is one of the things that breaks my heart about the current day church.   We have put ourselves first, our way of thinking… interpretation… worshiping… praying… studying… etc.  We hold people to our “standard” of what righteousness looks like and quite often we are incapable of living up to that standard in the first place.  We allow pride to take root, and then we elevate ourselves about other believers because they are not as wise or knowledgeable as we are.  And then we see friendships divide, churches divide, denominations divide.

We watch our family crumble.  Then a bitter root takes hold, because that bitterness helps us justify our choose to separate, judge, and criticize our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We justify our sin of division, when Christ has called us to reconcile to each other and be one body, one church, under Christ.

We wonder why our prayers are not answered, yet we are in active sin while bitterness, pride, and unforgiveness are sewn into our hearts.  We wonder why our ministry isn’t moving forward, when we have become our own stumbling block.  We wonder why God is not blessing us, when we are constantly building up a wall between us and Him.

If you are holding bitterness, a bad word about God’s anointed, anger toward someone, hate… we are in sin.

When we allow that bitterness to take root, we can speak and act terribly about those God calls His children.    We are criticizing God’s creation, the work He is doing in a person, the mission He has put on their heart, and even God himself!  Because, we are created in His image.  This doesn’t exclude the moments when we are holding unforgiveness, bitterness, or critical thoughts about our own selves.

Every time we criticize our sister/brother in Christ, we are being critical of Jesus who lives in them. God help us.

If it goes unchecked and that bitterness takes root, it can make itself a comfy home in our heart and lives, and it will choke out everything good that tries to come into our life. We can become so focused on the root and it’s offshoots… we miss what God is doing around us.  We become wrapped up in it’s vines and become slaves to it, unable to serve God because we are bound to anger and hurt.

Holding unforgiveness in your heart toward someone, you both are slaves in bondage to it. Free your slaves. Jer34:8

We will keep adding to the weight of the baggage we carry, and we will carry that baggage far longer than God would have us.  It will become heavier, slowing down our walk, weighing us down, stealing our energy, our hope, and our future.  We can’t reach the blessing, when we are dragging dead weight behind us.  Eventually it will win, and break you down until you just give up.

What is the baggage you have been carrying for TOO LONG, that is slowing you down & holding you back from blessing?

We are told in the scriptures that if we have an offense between us and our brother, we are to put our offering down and go handle that first.  We are not to bring our offering into the temple until we have reconciled.  So, until then, every offering you make is empty.  Who is it that you need to forgive?  A friend, relative, church… yourself?  Are you carrying the weight of your own sin?  The sin Christ died for, and cast to the depths of the sea… did you fish it back up?  Are you taking it back from the foot of the cross?  Are you saying… “everything but this Lord, this sin is too big for you.”

God help us.

We can’t bring our offering to the table if we are holding a grudge against someone. Who do you need to forgive?

When we are focused so much on our own pain, bitterness, anger, and what we see as unfair… we miss the fact that our world is mourning and crying out in pain.  Instead of crying out on their behalf, we say:  WHAT ABOUT ME?  What about my pain?  What about my situation?  What about my hurt?  Where is my help?  Where is my blessing?

People groups around the earth are crying out in pain, will you cry with them. Will you mourn with them?

We can not unite under Christ when we are too focused on our own selves.  When we are seeking my own needs or blessings first.  The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

If Christ can call out to the Lord to forgive those who stood against him, accused him, crucified him… why can we not say of our oppressors, “Lord… forgive them… they know not what they do.”

We need to get on our knees and pray.

Lord, let there be a sweeping release of forgiveness across the country between all people, unite us seventy-seven times seven!

We need to forgive others, and ourselves.  Our past, is our past. It was washed clean and we need to stop picking that back up.  We need to take that stronghold of shame, and let it go.  We need to believe that we are that new creation in Christ, a new thing… a new work, where we are continuing to grow in our pursuit of holiness.  A good work He continues in us until the day of fruition when we are united with the saints in Heaven.

Lord, free of us of our bondage to sin… our wayward steps… our critical words… and our flesh. Spirit come.

Lord we repent of our attitudes of separation and division, let us reunite under you! Amen.

Lord, set the captives free! Spirit, move us to mourn as one body & move us to unite under Jesus

And, we need to pray as if we are the only ones praying.  We need intercessors who are standing in the gap for those who are too weak to pray, or too broken.  We need intercessors to pray for the lost, the prodigals, the ones who have gone astray.  We need to pray fervently, as if everything depends on our pray.  Then when we are all praying, as if we are the only ones, there is a complete community of intercessors praying on behalf of YOU too.

Pray as if no one else is praying. If we all pray, as if no one else is praying we will all be intercessors.

As forgiveness and healing sweeps across our body, and we unite we become a city on a hill, shining the light of the Son, for the lost to find their way home.  We begin to look different from the world, not because of our dress or the words we speak. Instead we look different because we love differently, we forgive even the unforgivable.  We will not be divided but united under the Truth.  Standing in agreement of His Word, and let by His Spirit instead of our own thoughts and our own flesh.

— John 16:13 —

When the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

In our brokenness HE is magnified because in our healing HE gets the glory.

We must pray that the Holy Spirit will flood our hearts & compel us with your Word, let it pour out of our mouths, a sweet song to a weary world.   So that we can go out and disciple the nations, starting here in our country.  One person, one family, one community at a time.  The mission field is here, in our own back yards.  We still have unreached communities here.  We have missionaries coming INTO the United States in order to preach the gospel!  We must get our house in order, and then we go… we go out beyond our backyards, into the unchurched communities, and then into the world.   Sharing the gospel, baptizing the people, making disciples, and building up leaders to continue the good work.

Lord, send a fire of revival into the hearts of your people. Let us touch the communities around us in a mighty way.

Praise God for what is about to come.

This brings me to my third point, what I took away from Azusa.  I watched church leaders…. catholic, messianic, denominations, cultures/ethnicities… forgive each other.

If others can forgive, so can I.  And, so can you.

#Write31Days Challenge – Post 29 – Very Important Note

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An author and speaker that I follow, Carlos Whittaker, shared a picture similar to the one above on his Facebook page.  I was so taken with the simplicity of the message, I grabbed every Bible I own, and added the same message.

God created the heavens and the earth… Not Gena.

It really couldn’t be any simpler than that.  I didn’t create the world, I didn’t go through six days of ordered creation, nor did I take a day of rest.  I was not there in the beginning.  I didn’t have anything to do with that process.

Yet, humanity continually tries to rewrite history and rewrite His order into a way that makes sense to our own understanding.

His ways are not our ways.  His understanding is not His understanding.

We are a people entirely INCAPABLE of following the will of God (since the day man walked in the Garden of Eden with God), and yet some how we think that gives us the authority to change HIS creation, HIS order, and HIS statutes to fit the world and according to our standards.

In comparison to God, our standards are very low.

In comparison to God, our knowledge is very limited.

In comparison to God, our perspective is very subjective.

Our view of the world, and how we are apart of it, should never be based on how want God to fit into our own reasoning.  Instead, we must put aside our own reasoning, and look to the word of God.

There is nothing new under the sun.  Everything we deal with today, every sin and controversy, has been written about in the scriptures.  Time and culture haven’t changed all that much.  It is man who changes.  The further we get from that direct relationship with God that early Christians knew… the more we want God to fit into our ways & beliefs.  

God is unchanging.  His response to sin and controversy in the scriptures hasn’t changed, because His word is true.  If it was a sin then, it is a sin now.  Period.

The Gospel Coalition National Conference 2015

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78 speakers, 49 workshops, 4 days, 1 gospel.
Hands down the best conference I have ever attended.

There are still some seats left, but they will be going fast in these final days to register.

Click through for more information on how you can attend this amazing conference.

#TGC15

BOOK REVIEW: The Whole Bible in 16 Verses!

Family Christian offered me the opportunity to review the book “The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses” by Chris Bruno.  While Family Christian did gift me the book for the purpose of the review, the opinions in this review are entirely my own. 

16verses

If someone came up to you, and asked if you could summarize the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, could you? What would be the key points you would want to include? What is the most important scriptures that you would want to convey? Those are some tough questions.

However, they are important questions for anyone serving in ministry. If we are teaching children, we need to understand the overall theme of the Bible. If we are leading a ministry or teaching bible studies, we should have a basic grasp of the overarching story line.

If you could only have twenty minutes with someone, to share the structure of God’s Word, there is a lot of text to shuffle through. Everything is important, it is the life breath of God in written word, that allows us to commune with Him. How do you cut anything out?

The good news, you don’t have to. Until you are at a place where you are an expert theologian, someone else has stepped up to the plate to identify the entire story of the bible, in just sixteen verses.

Chris Bruno tackles this task perfectly, but writing a concise and to the point guide through the scriptures that best represent that over all theme of The Word. The chapters are short and easy to tackle, making this book a perfect addition to your morning devotions. His organization of the selected scriptures covers everything from creation, biblical prophesy, fulfillment in Jesus Christ and the end of days, still to come. Bruno also takes care to help guide the new believer, or new Bible reader, on the next steps to take after finishing this book. Bruno points the reader back to the original text, God’s word. This clearly indicates this book is not a replacement for the true word of God, “read this and you’ll have all you need to know”. NO! Instead, Bruno gives us the prompting to learn more on our own and fill those gaps between the sixteen verses.

The chapters are structured in a manner that helps you not just understand the scripture, but how they each fit into the story over all.

If you are a new believer, or wanting to read the bible for the very first time, this is a great book to start with. It is also a great option for evangelism, have a few copies on your bookshelf to share and give away. It’s simple, easy to read and to the point; this book will not overwhelm someone who is encountering God for the very first time.

#FCBlogger

#FamilyChristian

IN REVIEW – The Gospel Coalition National Women’s Conference (Part 1)

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When I shared that I would be attending The Gospel Coalition National Women’s Conference, my friends asked for my notes before I even left.  First of all, this illustrates that my friends know me well.  I am a note taker.  Second, my friends know that my notes are good.  It isn’t because I have a keen ability to key into the important things that are being said.  Not at all.  It’s quite the opposite. I write everything down.  Like, everything.  I came home with well over 100 pages of notes.  There was a distinct moment, about half way through the conference, I realized I may not have bought a large enough notebook.

I do this style of note taking for 3 reasons.

1) I’m generally overwhelmed with information, and I can’t always detect what “the point” is.  Writing it down allows me to reflect on it later, when my head isn’t so clogged with thoughts and information.

2) My memory isn’t as good as it used to me (thank you Hashimotos).  If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it.  Writing it down helps me commit it to memory.  Sometimes the full information, sometimes all my memory catches is a brief synopsis but tags in my head “you wrote that down in the blue notebook from the conference”.   I can almost always find that information I can’t remember.

3)  I believe that God can use the same notes I took today, ten years from now to tell me something else.   I don’t perceive any information as invaluable.  It may not matter or make sense today, but 10 years from now… it very well could.

So, on to the conference notes… that my friends are so eagerly awaiting.  Let me assure you, I am not posting 100+ pages of notes here.  I’m going to give out some highlights, things that jumped out at me when I looked back over the notes.  If anyone would like more specifics, I’m sure we can work something out.  🙂

I am going to also be providing these notes in installments.  So, consider this:  Installment 1:  The Pre-Conference.  I’ll then move onto the Main Conference,The Workshops, and finally my overall review of the conference itself, as a whole.    I’m going to be working on these as I have time.  So I make no promises of the notes being posted on a set schedule.  I may knock out a few in a week, or it may take me a few months.   Also, several of the speakers have their own website and blogs.  I am going to try and link as many as possible, as they are excellent sources of information on a variety of topics. I encourage you to seek them out.  Others may not have blogs or websites, but have written books.  I will do my best to link to pages that list those books, so that you can seek out great reads.

INSTALLMENT ONE:   THE PRE-CONFERENCE – Male and Female, He Created Them

The pre-conference was basically a “bonus” for those of us arriving early.  It wasn’t exactly related to the main conference theme.  But the information was valuable, none the less.  It was broken up into three sessions.   The first was a panel made up of men & women (Don Carson, Tim & Kathy Keller, Kathleen Nielson, John Piper).   The second panel was made up of all women (Trillia Newbell, Kathleen Nielson, Noel Piper, Jenny Salt, Carrie Sandom).  Both panels were handled in question/answer sytle, where the third session was a topical presentation from Don Corson.

First things first, the panel were all in agreement on their “complimentarian” beliefs.  This falls between the idea of “egalitarian” and “patriarchal”.  Big words, I know.  I had to look one of them up during the conference to ensure I knew what they were talking about.  Smart phone, for the win.  Egalitarians, in short, believe that all are created equal, “have equal responsibility to use their gifts and obey their calling to the glory of God; and are called to roles and ministries without regard to class, gender, or race” (wikipedia).  Patriarchals, in short, believe in very distinct gender roles.  They believe “that God has ordained a specific family order, and that this family order must be followed. The husband leads, the wife submits, and the children obey. (patheos.com).  Complimentarian falls somewhere in between.  It agrees with egalitarian beliefs that we are created equal before God to use our gifts as God has called us to, despite class or race.  However, when it comes to gender it bends slightly toward the patriarchal side.  The complimentarian belief is that we are created equal but different.  Equally valued, equally purposed, equally important, equally loved.  Different roles and responsibilities, that compliment one another.  It supports biblical submission, that the man is the head of the household.  However, it doesn’t fall to the extremism that patriarchal Christians can take.  It doesn’t support abuse or even dictatorship in the home.  It doesn’t even imply that certain tasks are for the men, and other for the women.  One of the speakers shared how when his father was away at work, his mother filled the role of his father in his absense.   She would fix things around the house, mow the lawn, discipline and train the children, take care of the finances, etc.  However, upon his father’s return, she would return all of those duties back to him.  He was given back his authority, and frankly she was given a reprieve.

I can relate to this, especially during certain times of the year, when my husband is working 12-14 hour days, 13 days in a row with only a single day off before he starts over again.  Military wives can relate to this when their husbands are away on deployment.  Too often when they return home we can still try and run the roost because we are accustomed to it.  We need the reprieve of handing it back over, and they need it too!  And, it’s good for our children to see that changing of the guard.  He isn’t just a man who pays the bills, he leads the family.

What I also appreciated about these sessions was that all of the speakers had a very clear definition of what “biblical submission” is, and what it isn’t.  This is a subject that can spark a lot of controversy.  Biblical submission is a mutual relationship where the wife submits to her husband’s leadership… not the wife becomes the husbands doormat.  In return the husband loves his wife, like Christ loved the church… by willing sacrifice.  Christ sacrificed his very life for the church, and husbands should be willing to die to self for their wives.  In this mutual relationship of submission and love, we have a wife who has her feelings, wants and desires considered.  She is allowed to voice her opinions to her husband, and he considers them in his decision.  But ultimately the final decision (and accountability  for that decision) rests on his shoulders.  The wife is not cast aside, while her husband runs the home like a dictatorship.  A great line from the women’s panel said “Men often see leadership as authoritarian, but that is wrong.  Leadership is sacrificial”.

Between the panels they related that the idea of husband and wife are wound throughout scripture, from Genesis through Revelation.  They confirmed that while these roles are biblically supported, they are not salvation issues.  However understanding this “equal, but different” complementary relationship will create a ripple effect that impacts how you read scripture.   No one gender is better or worse, but have different gifts by the very nature of their gender.  John Piper referred to his mother as “omni-competent”, clarifying that biblical submission is not competence based.  It’s not about what you CAN do, but what you SHOULD do… what God has called you to do.

This complementary relationship isn’t a “women’s issue” because it is important to the husband, and the children whom it is modeled before.  So while yes, women should be invested in biblical submission from the standpoint of their responsibility … so too, should the husband.  Don Carson very strongly implicated that men do not know enough & should learn more about what REAL biblical headship looks like.

And, what I thought was FANTASTIC about the panel… was that they addressed what this looks like in the life of the single man, or single woman.  If you are not married, there are still applicable lessons here for your relationship with the church.  As a single man, are you stepping up into leadership within your church?  Mentoring?  Leading a study?  Women, are you submitting to the authority of your Pastors (please do not read that in any sort of way that supports abuse of position, or that women should be silent in the church)?  Are you stepping up and mentoring, leading studies, helping with the children’s ministries, etc?

The panel was also very clear that these relationships are not hard lined, but flexible.  We can allow denominational differences to try and say “the way our church does it, is the right way”…. and we can do it personally by saying “the way my family lives this, is the right way”.  But that is simply not true.  This mutual relationship of Biblical Submission (wife) and Biblical Headship (husband) is going to look very different from home to home.  It will not look the same in the home of a deployed soldier and a full time missionary.

Biblical Headship (husband) puts the weight of the burden on the family on his shoulders.  He is accountable before God for every decision he makes for the family.  It’s not a power trip, it is leadership.  He doesn’t rule from over you, he leads from the front lines of the family.

Biblical Submission (wife) is beautiful and she is pleased by his leadership when it is well.  And, while the panels didn’t say this, I’d add in… when he is wrong, God honors her for her obedience to His word and protects the family from his errors and helps them recover.

From the women’s panel, Carrie Sandom referenced that 70’s feminism taught us that we, as women, can do anything a man can do… in fact, even better.  However, God promises us even BETTER when we are in alignment with HIS WORD, HIS DIRECTION, HIS PLAN.  In fact, we are seeing more and more women abandoning feminism and returning to the word because they were lacking satisfaction in the “equality” that feminism brought.

In the Complementarian Christian churches you will not find a woman as Pastor, they believe this is a role God clearly defines for me.  However, they do not discount the role of women as teachers and leaders.  In fact, Completementarian Churches strongly support their women’s ministries, because “the ministry of women to women beautiful and connects in a way men can’t”.  It is within these ministries that God uses our gifts and talents.  This is where our gifts of administration, stewardships, leadership, organizaton, etc all SHINE just as equally as our ability to create, nuture and love.    We have a goal to encourage and shape women, to grow in godliness, understand the gospel, and teach other women and to make these things happen we have to be able to organize and prepare.  Either on our own, or paired up with someone who compliments us.  Where one is weak, the other is strong.

Equality.  Diversity.  Unity.  Order.  – It’s all biblical. Found in the Word.  It’s not a single topic, but woven throughout.

We need to be grounded in the word to fight against the culture that is changing around us.  We need mentors who have wisdom to share.  We need to be studying the word alone, but also with others.  We need to be involved in ministry work, somewhere… somehow.

The ladies panel was very adamant that there should be a role in the body for everyone to serve.  That while yes, some women want recognition, most really just want to feel needed.   They addressed some of the benefits and difficulties of women working in ministry with men, which really supported the idea that we are indeed made equal, but different.  We see things different, process things differently, and respond differently.  I’m going to save some of these bits for a future post.

The women’s panel wrapped up their portion with 3 key things we can do to encourage strong biblical leadership… model it in your marriage, speak respectfully about your church leaders and pray for them & your relationship with them.

Don Carson’s presentation (3rd part of the pre-conference) really deserves it’s own space.  So, I will be writing on that next.  It really goes into detail about “Complimentarianism” with scriptural support.  I am HOPING, that I can save my fingers and your eyes, and that in the next few days they will have the video from the pere-conference on their website.  Then you can watch it for yourself. 🙂