Posts Tagged ‘women’

$money$

March 20, 2009

Lately the Holy Spirit has been convicting me about money.  Money and capitalism.  Money, capitalism, and materialism.  I read Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution a little while back and it really caused me to think about the part that I play in the systems this country and world run on.  The systems idea is from Brian McLaren’s book Everything Must Change.  Brian talks about the Security System, Prosperity System, and the Equity System.  He talks about how they are broken and even more than that, suicidal.  These books have led me to ask the following questions of myself:

  • How much money is stored up in my pantry in order to ensure I am provided for?
  • Even if I am faithful in tithing because it is a good starting point have I landed there with the belief that the other 90% is mine to spend as I wish? 
  • What am I doing with that 90%?
  • While I cognitively know that buying things will not fulfill my desires for peace, security, and fulfillment in what ways do I do that very thing?
  • What have I bought that has been produced by beautiful people all across the globe, mostly women and children, who are not compensated justly for their wages? 
  • Am I clothed at the expense of others being naked?
  • Am I content with enough or do I live under the capitalist manifesto of “more, more, more”?
  • This product is cheap for me but at whose cost?
  • Will I trust in deadbolts and car alarms or the Lord my God? (“Some trust in chariots and some in horses…”)
  • Do I allow God to define me or do I allow myself to be defined in terms of how industrious and efficient I am?
  • Why do we teach our children to not hit each other to resolve problems and then go to war because another country does something we don’t like?
  • Why do we arm the rest of the world so we can “protect” ourselves?
  • Is there hope that we can live another way?

The list could go on and on and on…

I am remorseful that I have contributed so much to the poverty and dehumanization of so many.  All for “the best deal.”  Yeah…if the best deal means I save $5 but thousands of people are enslaved to get it to me.  That doesn’t sound like the best deal to me.

Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner.

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Another First for the Nation

January 13, 2009
Yesterday I found out a woman, Rev. Sharon Watkins, will preach the inaugural sermon.  And I got pretty excited about it!  So excited in fact that I sent a couple friends a text message, sent an e-mail to a few others, and posted it on my Facebook and Twitter.  For those of you who have read this blog from the beginning, you already know about my journey into ministry thus far and can probably understand why this would be so exciting for me.  For those of you who don’t, I will provide a short summary:

1. Brought up in an agnostic home.
2. Became a Christian at 14.
3. Spent the first 12 years of my life as a Christian in traditions that did not allow women to preach or be in leadership over men.
4. Spent 4 years in the Navy where I questions everything but my salvation.
5. With the help of a few friends and after much reading, I began to discern God’s call on my life and understand I could be faithful to scripture and answer the call God has on my life.
6. Started seminary and began the official process for ordination in my denomination [PC(USA)]

Franklin Circle Church

Photo by: Franklin Circle Church

It’s been a rocky road.  Though I have been supported by many friends and members of my family, I have also been called a backsliding Christian.  I have received a letter of concern for my spiritual well being that included a claim that my actions are hypocritical and in direct contradiction with the Bible.  And I have probably been avoided by others.  All that to say that reading this article made me hopeful.  Hopeful that one day I won’t receive scorn and judgement from my brothers and sisters for answering the call of God on my life to use the gifts God has given me to preach, teach, and pastor.  Hopeful that even if people disagree with me they will be able to see that I am attempting to honor God with my whole being.  And it makes me thankful that President-elect Obama and his staff are attempting to start things afresh instead of following the same actions of those before him just becausse “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  And it’s nice that they aren’t afraid to do things that have never been done before for fear of how it will affect approval ratings.  It will be nice to see a woman in the pulpit on that special day.  And as an aside, it will nice to see Bishop Robinson there as well.  I pray that all who are participating in this wonderful event will speak of hope in such a way that people will not place theirs in any one person, government, or nation, but in our gracious and loving God.

And I didn’t even die!

November 21, 2008

[Edited on 11/22/08 @2:26am – The preface for this post is that things were not what they seemed!  Please read the comments for the whole story!]

So as you can see by my last post, the Operations Christmas Child shoebox collection at my church went well.  Last night we transported all the boxes to a collection site in the area.  It was at a pretty large Baptist church in the area that shall remain nameless.  We arrived with three vehicles and a few women from the church came out to meet us.  They asked us about how many boxes and then one lady asked, “What church are you from?”  I responded and she said – no joke – “Oh!  I came and spoke there last year!  And I didn’t even die!”  My internal dialog went something like, “Did she really just say that?  She couldn’t have said that.  She really did just say that.”  Thankfully I was walking away from her already when she said it so I got to keep walking and didn’t really have to say anything in response but I did make an awkward laugh as I was trying to process what she had just said.  Apparently she thought God was going to strike her dead for speaking in church.  I wonder how she would have felt if she realized I was answering a call to ministry.

And so I am left baffled and yet understand completely the rhetoric that this woman ascribes to.  I am discouraged and yet encouraged at the same time.  Overall it really saddens me though.  It saddens me that there are so many folks who cram Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit in boxes they don’t belong in.  It saddens me that they cannot share communion with their fellow brothers and sisters.  And I don’t just mean bread an wine…I mean communion in it’s fullest sense of coming together as the body of Christ.  There are so many walls built up around fundamentalists.  *sigh*

Lord, hear my prayer.

Sincere Concern

November 13, 2008

I received the following message on Facebook today.  I am glad he wrote since he is communicating sincere concern for my spiritual well being.  And I am thankful that though he is concerned, he is not yet judging me.  I admit I say “yet” because I feel the judgement will be forthcoming when I answer. 

Please pray with me that I will answer him in a loving way and that I will be able to communicate my understanding of women in ministry in a way that he might acknowledge the possibility that his understanding is lacking.  And may each word reflect the fact that mine is as well.

Sara,

I have to ask you a question, because I know you have been a great sister to me over the years and hopefully I have been a good brother to you. I have been meaning to write you for awhile but kept putting it off. I am very concerned about the path you are on with seeking to preach to God’s people. How have you justified preaching to men biblically?

I believe God has put a strong passion in your heart for truth and have always appreciated it, but to ignore the bible, and then to preach from the bible is hypocritical. I know your heart, which is why I can write this and know that you will not be too defensive. Please help me understand what you are thinking?

In Christ,
Concerned Brother

Just so you know, I’m not freaking out about all this but it is discouraging and disheartening.  I think maybe that communicating that discouragement to others will keep me from getting militant and defensive.  I think it will keep me humble.  The call that God has on my life is God’s.  I can say it is “my call” only because God has “given” it to me.  But in a very real way it is God’s call which means I don’t need to fight for it.  I need only live it out.

The Elusive Female Generic Pronoun

October 14, 2008

So my friend Heather is taking a Language and Gender class right now.  She wrote an essay for this class that she has posted on her blog.  It is great.  You have to read it in the voice of a British Nature Show Host.  : )

*Click here –> The Elusive Female Generic Pronoun <– Click here*

The search continues…

Photo by: MikeBaird