Originally posted on perSpectives 12:
Matthew addressed Jewish Christians from their perspective in his gospel. He wrote it during a time of great conflict over their identity after the second temple destruction. Even though they accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they still lived within the Jewish community and followed its traditions while different from Israel. The gospel author sought to reframe their new identity within the Christ community aligned to the nature and character of Jesus, King of Israel. This new identity pertains to contemporary Christians as well.–As Card wrote for this purpose “Jesus, tell me who you are, so I know who I am” (2013, Chapter 1, Section 2, para 8). Since Christ Himself embodied each trait, so too must His servants reflect His identity through their nature as salt of the earth and light to the world. These traits embody servant citizenship in the Kingdom of heaven in their fellowship with God (vertical relationship)…
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Forgiveness is a word I know well. As a woman who moved to a new city 17 years ago the verbal battle in this city was difficult. There are times that I recall words that people said to me that were cruel. A big part of healing is to acknowledge the words and not deny them. There are times that we go to the person, (as God’s word instructs) and other times it is impossible to meet with the person and talk the situation through. We can take it to the next step, and take someone with us, but that does not work either, especially with people who do not believe they harmed anyone with their words, or that they are wrong. What do we do when we did all we can do in a situation? We forgive, because forgiveness is what keeps us out of an emotional prison.
How did verse 35 speak to me today? It speaks to me as a reminder to forgive in the future in the same way that I did in the past. If I do not forgive, I will experience. v. 32-35.
Takes some time and read Matthew 18:21-35 and ask yourself; God are you talking to me?
Originally posted on Life Time Writer:
My life began in a small country home, with 3 sisters and 1 brother. We lived on a dirt road outside of a small city. I married at the age of 17, became a mother to a daughter and son, divorced after 15 years and I am still single today. As I write and look back I treasure my memories from my growing up years and becoming a mother. When we treasure our memories the treasures are memories that are beautiful and those that are painful. Yet, for all of us whether good or bad, they are what shape us into the men and women we are today.
In the last few weeks, I began to feel a restlessness that arrived at unexpected times of my day. This morning as I started my day this restless arrived again. I stopped what I was doing and decided to see if today…
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Recently, I watched a video of a woman being ordained in a denomination that previously rejected, said harsh words, and broke the hearts of many women. I had no idea that watching this video would be the catalyst to cause me to start writing again. The most difficult part of watching this was that the same people who rejected, spoke harsh words, and said, “Nancy, Pastor = man are now licensing women.”
The same men who said, “Nancy no one will hire you, you are a woman.” The same men who made my life miserable are now publicly supporting women. Unfortunately this brings back the memory of the man chasing me in my University parking lot, trying to talk me into stepping out of the University Pastoral Ministry program. There were women who told me to be quiet because they said, I was causing problems and they did not believe women should be allowed to be Pastors. In fact the one who gave me the hardest time is now a Pastor and no longer speaks to me. Today what I write here is part of the story that will be written in my book. I lost everything following this call, in a denomination where I was not accepted. In fact I almost ended up in the street and I am still struggling financially because of what goes on behind the scenes in a city, that many do not know exists.
I don’t regret leaving the denomination, that fought each step I took. Even though they acknowledge their mistakes and publicly acknowledge the women who left them, this does not change the facts. (I am one of the women who left.) When such painful life circumstances surround us we must forgive and we must move on.
In this I write and I cry, because transparency is what God requires of me as the story is shared worldwide. He reminds me as I write, it is not about me, it is about being obedient, even when we are not accepted. It is also about our history together as a denomination, whether it was a good experience or bad. Whether they will admit it or not, I will be forever part of this denominations history.
As I move on, I am setting out to plant a church in a new state. I am sure there will continue to be opposition in the world of church planting. In fact this week I listened to an online conference for church planters. One man was talking about how their network only accepts men and another accepts men and women as church planters. Through the years there is one thing I learned that continues to be a part of my life. I believe the call is called the call, because it is what keeps us following after God and doing what he gives us to do. Even when we experience opposition as a woman and even when those who oppose us change their mind after 23 years of opposition.
Looking back; Three years after receiving Christ at the age of 32, I traveled to the Ukraine. This trip changed my life forever. When I returned the Lord gave me the scripture in Isaiah 6. This passage reminds me that God is the one who calls us and not man. He sets us in places where we will grow strong and serve him. It is in this place where we will see him (Jesus) high and lifted up and not ourselves.
May God give you the strength to serve him where ever you live and whatever the call is that God places on your life.
Have you experienced oppositions as a woman in ministry? Post a comment.
Text format for video below.
This morning I began the promised study on Galatians. I began to read the first chapter in various versions of the bible. Before moving into commentaries and other study guides it is best to spend time in the scripture without additional opinions. For if we are not familiar with the original text it is very easy to take man’s view first and read it back into the bible. Next I moved into reading a commentary from the IVP New Testament series.
As I read through the words written about Galatians chapter 1 I noted the following words. They resonating with my Spirit and I read them a second time and a third and began to meditate on what I was reading.
The experience of grace by faith results in peace, a sense of harmony and completeness in our relationship with God and with one another. To look for grace and peace from any person, organization or activity in the world is to forget that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are the only source of these blessings.
Information found here, go here, press study helps, look for commentary IVP, locate Galatians 1. > https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians%201&version=NIV
Our question for today; Are we looking for others to give us peace in our life? Are we looking for others to make us feel better about our self or our circumstances? Are we expecting our husband, wife, Pastor, or friend to give us what we long for? Or how about movies or games or anything online? Are we looking for peace within technology? Are we hiding from the peace God longs to give? If a person comes to our mind when we ask ourselves these questions, it is a good indicator that we are looking for a man/woman to replace the peace that God desires to give to us.
If we answered with a name of another; It is time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us a makeover in this area of our life.
Ephesians 2:14-18; 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Ephesians 2:14-18 in context > https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+2&version=NIV
Audio available; Listen on this page, iTunes, download, share, embed. Press link below.
(The Relationship Project 2014, Our Priority Relationship, Series from Galatians)
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Today I decided to live my day in quiet contemplation. I thought of my trip to Africa a few years ago and 3 others countries. These trips changed my life forever. In fact they changed the way I listen in the U.S.A. They changed what I see as struggle in comparison to those who complain in the U.S.A.
Today after church I made my way to a local McDonald’s, ordered a coffee and a chicken sandwich and found a quiet corner. I sat with my tablet, paper and pen and wrote a few thoughts on what I will be writing on this week.
A young couple sat next to me and we began a conversation about technology. They left and replaced by a family. We also had an interesting conversation and we laughed together. Their grade school children were having problems imagining what life was like before games and smart phones.
Eventually I packed everything up and wished my new friends a good day and made my way to my car. A young man began to chat with me about the weather. I stopped and we laughed and we chatted. As I drove away I thought of the many people who try to take away my joy in this season of my life. They are the ones who want me to live immersed in their struggles and listen 24/7. They forget that those who lead and listen have feelings too. You see this all began a couple of weeks ago when I was hanging out with friends.
In our conversation these were the words that flowed out of my lips, “I have no life, living here.” As I am reminded of these words tonight, I decided I will not feel guilty for taking a break from listening to others in this city.
This is my season, and I am walking into new relationships with a decision to choose joy. With a focus on my family who I love very much.
Lately as I prepare for podcasts, chats and write there is a change going on. In the last few weeks I prayed over and thought through a place to begin a new challenging series. It is a huge task, but I believe it is one that we must take together.
Beginning next week I will be sharing with you a series taken from 4 books in the New Testament. This journey will be long. Yet, as we take the journey and dig around in each book we will learn about yesterday and apply what we unearth to today. The four books we will be learning from are Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. There is a seriousness going on in the world today. People are looking for hope, direction and a way to get through the turmoil and uncertainty of our times.
Join me as we begin the journey of hope and look at Relationships from Galatians to Colossians. I will be posting each message on this blog as an audio and it will also be available on youtube. To be sure to not miss an audio sign up for my blog. Place your email address in the sign up form on this page. Then each time I post to the blog the page will automatically be sent to you.
It would be great if you would join me!