Women!

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Image from the Mel Gibson Movie, The Passion of the Christ

It has come to my attention that there  are some denominations who do not believe women should be in leadership roles in the church. This varies from being a pastor to teaching anyone who may be of the male gender. So, though you may disagree with me, I am going to share scripture where a woman was used by the Lord.

John 4: The woman at the well.

Here we see Jesus rest at a well to get a drink of water. So we think. But, he had a plan. He wanted to redeem a woman. First thing we notice..He,being a man, was talking to a woman. This was frowned upon. Woman were considered the lesser of the two. Almost like a piece of property. Second, we see He is teaching her things. I know we read that men should teach men and women teach women. Yet, here Jesus is teaching her about “living water”. Thirdly, we see that Not only was she a woman but she was also a gentile. Gentiles and Jews did not associate with one anther. In fact,  they were considered enemies. 

He is breaking all kinds of rule and taboos.  Scandalous indeed. But, that is what Jesus did. Showing us all that God speaks to us all. That God loves us all. That He will use whoever is willing. 

What does this woman do after she speaks with Jesus? She runs off and tells everyone about all the things He told her. The people listened to this gentile woman and they what?

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” John 4:39 

She became an evangelist!

Here is a question I’d like to ask, If you have the cure to cancer are you going to keep it to yourself? Are you going to keep the secret until someone asks you about it? Or are you going to tell as many as possible because you want all to have the cure!? This woman had the cure to all her “ailments,” all her worries, all her suffering! So she couldn’t keep it to herself. She was freed and wanted others to feel this freedom too! That is what God does in us when we reveals himself to us. We can’t keep it in. Whether we are a male or female! So if God saves a man and he saves a woman, He can use a man and he can use a woman to spread his message of Hope. Remember we plant the seeds… He grows it.

“SURE, God can use women, that doesn’t mean ordained ministry.” I had someone say that to me. Curious, Was the disciples ordained? Was Moses?  Was John the Baptist? Was Miriam? Was Phoebe?  Was Deborah? I think you see my point. These were people that God spoke to and called them to be a voice or a leader to His people. He equipped them and qualified them. Joel prophesied:

“And it shall come to pass afterward,
    that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29

Later in Acts 2:17-18, Peter explains what is happening when these men and women spoke in different languages. Prophesy was being fulfilled with what had transpired in the upper room. Remember there was 120 gathered. Men and….women! Because that is who God was going to use. He did not distinguish genders or age or rank.

So then it brings us to another question: Can women teach men?

Many of us who are married may say, “no!” or “yes”. Depending on if her husband loves and respects her and treats her as his helper and partner. Though men can be stubborn(so can women) as well as prideful. And no matter if you are a woman or a man they will never “learn” from anyone. Think about all the schools in our world. Many of the teachers are …women!

But, scripturaly we see that 1 Timothy 2:11-12, Paul is telling those in Ephesus what he “preferred” women do not teach because they were the ones that were deceived.Maybe he was addressing an issue in Ephesus? Or was he speaking from God on this matter?

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well” Romans 16:1-3

Was Pheobe a leader? Perhaps. But notice how Paul asks those there to “help her in whatever she may need from you“. She was in charge of or had leadership there in the church at Cenchreae. Notice we also calls his fellow workers in Christ were Prisca and Aquila. Women!

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion,[b] help these women, who have labored[c] side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3

Here again, “help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together“. So Paul is saying here that these women did the work that Paul did. Wait what!? sure he was in charge over them. But they did the same things? Interesting huh?!

Then there are these women:

Old Testament

  • Miriam
  • Deborah
  • Huldah
  • Noadiah
  • Isaiah’s Wife

New Testament

  • Anna
  • The Daughters of Phillip
    There were other women in scripture who prophesied:
  • Rachel (Gen. 30:24),
  • Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-10),
  • Abigail (1 Samuel 25:29-31),
  • Elisabeth (Luke 1:41-45),
  • and Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55). (Special thanks to a woman of faith who contributed this. C. Hodge Tucker)

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If a woman is trained in the ways of the Lord, if she is led by the Holy Spirit, if she is held accountable for her actions/teachings…she could be used as a leader or preacher. Just like a man can.

God can do anything! He can use anyone! Anyone that is willing.

 

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Who should I vote for?

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Christian Americans are stuck between a rock and a hard place this election cycle. We have two candidates, in which many feel, are both evil. I am just being honest. Many of the people I talk to, do not like either. But, many are willing to vote for the “lesser of two evils”. by the way, I have grown to hate that phrase as well as, “A vote for _______ is a vote for _____” ….REALLY!?

So what is a Christian to do? Should we vote for the lesser? What would Jesus do? I am going to break it down in the easiest of ways. Mainly, because I am an average stay at home mom, with little college education, and I just want to make it plain and simple so to not complicate things.

I am going to come at you in a simple and semi short answer of who we should vote for. First, I will respond, as best as I can, from a concerned American perspective. Then I will respond from the Christians perspective.

I just want to establish that I am not telling you who to vote for. Though it does seem to imply I am leaning more one direction than the other. Which to warn you, I am a Christian first, then a Conservative. So I am influenced by the two.

American answer

Let us look quickly at the records of the two. Both are liars, deceivers, frauds, and cheats. But is this something that would make a good president? I know no one is perfect. We have a history of bad leaders. But we want change. We were promised “change” with President Obama, and we got it. But it was to our destruction. The world doesn’t view us as they once did. So to vote in a leader that is just as “transparent” as our current POTUS, well, neither would or should get the vote.

As we watch Trump over the course of the year we have seen that there has been some (very little) change. He said, that he has talked with widows and people who are out of a job, and that during that course it has had an affect on him. While Clinton is continually denying she did anything wrong with Benghazi, the email scandal seems…well, a shady, we see her looking sick and yet she says she is fine. Sure they both have shady past. But one is trying to get past that, the other is continuing to lie.

I do see that Trump wants to make America better. Meanwhile, Clinton continues to divide us on all levels. Equal rights and opportunities is a great thing! But, when she supports groups that “hate” our country, I find it difficult to support her. Also, she supports groups that want to have more rights than everyone else…there is nothing “equal” about them and their agenda. Clinton has not made it a secret that she wants to “carry on” what her former boss has established. What I have seen come out of the current administration is division. Our country gets more and more divided. And Clinton seems to further that along with her rhetoric and support for these groups.

I know Trump has said things and done things that would make him, has made him, a laughing stalk. He has said hurtful things. He can be crude. But what politician hasn’t in any election cycle. After all he didn’t become one of the richest men in our country be negotiating with kind warm fuzzy words. And America is eating that up. We want someone who will stop being politically correct. Someone who will just say it like it is. I am not saying that is  a good thing for the future leader of the free world. But, we also do not want a weak leader.

Our country is in debt. Big time! That is no secret. Here we see a man, who is more than qualified to lead us out of that. Sure, he went bankrupt a few times, but he learned from it. And is one of the richest men in our country. Also, what candidate would say, “I won’t take even one dollar” when referring to presidential salary when elected? (click- Article on Trumps statement) Here, we feel that, he would rather fix America first, financially, than take from her.

I could go on. However, I just wanted to highlight a few things here. So, we move on.

Christian answer

As a Christian we cannot worry who becomes the leader of the United States. As a Christian, we DO want someone that represents us, or at least as close as possibly, our morals and values. We want someone, who will help the widow, the orphan, the sick, and who will protect innocent life.  So they MUST be against abortion. Someone who will NOT attack Christians values.  A POTUS, that which will care for the needs of others. THIS is how America became great!

We, as Christians, want someone who is wise and puts godly council about him/her. We know this is the best thing to do in leading the country.  Because if there is godly council, then that means they will go before the Lord for wisdom.  They will seek God and pray for this country.

We want a POTUS who will support Israel. Why? God choose Israel for reasons that I do not have time to share here. But, in this he told Abram, also known as Abraham, that He would bless his descendants and all those who blessed him.

“Now the Lord said[a] to Abram, “Go from your country[b] and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

This is one way we can make America better, if we bless Israel. I don’t know about you but that seems like a pretty easy way to be blessed.

Conclusion

I know there is so much more to talk about. But I do want to keep it simple. What are you first, An American or a Christian? I know most of the people who may read this will be Christians. So that is why I wanted to address this. We are a Christian first. If we see that the candidate is not representing us then our rights will be taken away.

I know we are gearing up for the end times. Things WILL get worse for us Christians. However, we cannot be thinking that when we vote. Vote as you would if God wasn’t coming back soon. Vote with your morals, values, and faith.

If you did a quick research on when America was at its greatest, you would see it was when God was worshiped in our country or when kids still prayed in school. God was our foundation when this country was founded.

Yet, Satan and his liberal minions have been chiseling at the foundation for years.  Today we see the evidence of that in our country. That is why we cannot vote for more of this kind of thinking.

We have to vote for someone who will seek God and has godly council. Who will try, to the best of their ability, to Keep God in our country.

But, when we see America fall, DON’T LOSE HEART! Stand firm in your faith. God is our keeper and our strong tower. We will have to endure hardship, but God is with us!

Who am I? Identity Crisis

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We have all asked this question. Maybe it leads to other questions like: Who do I want to be? What is my purpose? Why was I made? Will I ever be something? What is Gods will for me life?

Knowing who created us.

Have you ever met someone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ? They seem confident in themselves. They have a mission. A purpose. Why? Because they know their creator.

We do have a creator.In Psalm 139:13-16 it says:

“For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.”

If He created us, does He not have a plan for us? After all, every other thing in the universe has a purpose for why it is created.

Take a look at the moon. Sure the moon gives light at night, is used for marking seasons, but it controls the tide as well. If the small gravitational pull of the moon did not pull on the oceans tide do you know what would happen? It is because of the slight pull of the moon that causes the Earth to bulge a bit. Causing the Earth to rotate at a certain speed. So, not having a tide would not matter,(that much) if the moon was gone, but we would have shorter days.

“The movement of the bulge of tidal water across the oceans and its attraction to the Moon acts as a brake on the Earth’s rotation. Slowly but surely the length of a day is increasing.”

– Kaare Aksnes

Eventually, the Earth would speed up, ever slightly, and our days would be shorten. What would we do without the moon? (click for more info)

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God has made everything for a reason and a purpose. So why do you think He doesn’t have a plan for you?

How unique we are compared to all creation too!

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Our Purpose then?

Proverbs 12:22

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

What is being said here is when we seek God we will discover His plan for us. Do not let the world tell you who you are. They were not the ones that made you unique. With that color hair, that personality, that height etc.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Until we discover what God has made us for, and even after, we are told to “rejoice”, “pray”, “give thanks” no matter what. Here is a goal more people need to do anyways. How the world would be different if they did.

Isaiah 43:1-6

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. …

God is unchanging. I know that His word stand through the test of time. If He made these statements to the people way back then, and allowed them to remain today, would He not mean for us to apply them to us today?

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“But, I want to be/look like…”

The world likes to tell us who we are. And if we do not measure up then we are left feeling sad, lonely, depressed, worst off than before. EMPTY! Today, many struggle knowing who they are. They try to physically change themselves to be something entirely different than what God had planned.
Satan, the author of deception and confusion, is always saying that we will “be better”, if we don’t follow Gods plans for us.  He will whisper, “you can do it our own way” or that we can change what God has made.
We feel that what God has made was not “good enough.” I have been there. Many have. But think about this,in the book of Job, God is telling Job all the things He has made. And He says to him (paraphrased) “How can you question what I have made or done?” After a couple chapters of God proving how great He is, (And God is great!) Job is humbled and says:
Job 42:3
“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

God is not some distant God who doesn’t care about us. He wants to be apart of our daily lives. Every moment. He tells us He is an all-sufficient (more than enough) God.

Our shelter, refuge and hiding place (Psalm 91)
• The one who comforts us (2 Corinthians 1:3)
• Our healer (Psalm 103:3)
• The source of wisdom (James 1:5)So if we know our Creator we will know who we are. Because He give us purpose, He gives us confidence, He heals our broken fallen nature, He gives us hope.  In Him, we are satisfied. We do not longer for the things of the world or trying to “please man”.  If our inward being is made whole, than we will look at our outward being as specially made.

God has prepared

We will not know what God has planned unless we seek Him.“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9 That means, to me, that it is a life of amazing things…well definitely, amazing things to come. But, also, if we are walking in His ways we will experience amazing things here in this lifetime too.

John 15:9-11

“Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

The Maker guarantees His work. No mistakes when He made you! He has plan and purpose for you. If we do what He has called us to do: “Abide” in Him, seek Him, … then you will be/feel full and complete!

Psalms 16:11

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalms 107:9

“For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things”

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