Word-Filled Women’s Ministry

WFWM     There used to be this feeling of uneasiness wash over me when I heard the phrase ‘Women’s Ministry’, because what I was accustomed to was very fluffy and completely lacking depth. Opinions I have heard range from, “women don’t need to study the word because the men in our lives (Husband, Pastors etc.) do and they relay the Bible to us”; to the often heard, “Theology and deep Bible knowledge is too hard for us so we just aren’t going to go there.” Well, I feel we’ve lost something big as women if we expect others to work out our salvation for us:

2Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. -Phillipians 2:12-13

and we also can deduce that through His Word is how we are working out our salvation, because the fear and trembling that Phillipians speaks of is the beginning of wisdom:

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. – Proverbs 9:10

 

So, we, as Women are not excused, nor shall we be, from study and archaeology of the word. We don’t need and many of us don’t want Women’s Ministry bereft of the Gospel. But many Women’s Ministries are paper tigers of what they should be. Women are left with groups that may soothe their emotions and their egos but do not address the brokenness in their hearts. This isn’t acceptable.

 

Now, many years later, I do not shudder at the term “Women’s Ministry” because I am involved in a lovely Women’s Ministry that uses the Word as a Basis for everything. As we were forming this brand new Women’s Ministry for our church, we looked at a lot of resources, books and articles and plans and also thoughts from successful Women’s Ministries. Our main goal was to make this ministry as Gospel-Centered as possible. We knew that a Women’s Ministry without the Word, without the transforming Gospel, is nothing more than a social club aimed to put band-aids on brokenness but never set the bones. Our hearts deeply longed for a Women’s Ministry where we could live and learn the Gospel together. So, one resource we immediately were drawn to was Word-Filled Women’s Ministry, among others.

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I encourage all involved in a Women’s Ministry or are in the planning stages to please read Word-Filled Women’s Ministry by Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson for two reasons:

 

  1. It is Biblical.
  2. It is Practical.

 

          Firstly, It is Biblical and much needed:

“If we are thinking about Word-based ministry, that opens up for people the big story of the Scriptures with Jesus at the center, so that they can understand the stories of their own lives as centered in the story and the Glory of Jesus.” -Word-Filled Women’s Ministry

Women’s Ministry without the Gospel is meaningless.  We cannot possibly now how to live out the Gospel if we have never learned the Gospel:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

This is why when making plans for the Women’s Ministry at Crawford Ave. we wanted to make sure that we were making the Word primary and also providing opportunities for Women to learn the word and grow in that. For us it looks like bible studies and Women’s Leadership Training (teaching Women how to serve well) and various other opportunities to saturate in the Gospel.

Secondly, this book displays practical applications of the scriptures. Our goal in formulating a Women’s Ministry was not only to allow for space and intent to learn the Gospel but to instill ways we can practically serve the church and others. Whether through immediate needs like mercy meals or diapers for Mothers, prayer when needed and encouragement or through for longer end goals of the mentoring of young women, coming beside others through long-term crisis or training Women to serve in the church.  We cannot have the learning without the living.

“Just like every ministry in the church, women’s ministries must guard the good deposit and keep the gospel of first import. The gospel should be the bright red thread that runs through all teaching, hospitality, and fellowship. This thread not only should stand out and decorate every church activity and good work but should hold everything together. Without it, ministry falls apart and becomes fruitless.” -Word-Filled Women’s Ministry

So, part of our goals in planning for a Women’s Ministry was to encourage fruitful ministry  and to guard against fruitlessness. We then have to ask ourselves, does this specific permeation of Women’s Ministry seek to advance the Gospel or bear it’s fruit. In some cases, it does not, and you must choose wisdom and throw it in the fire.

17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. -Matthew 7:17-20

 

We will periodically assess the health of our ministry to make sure living and learning and fruitfulness is actually happening. I am thankful for the wisdom that we gleaned from Word-Filled Women’s Ministry and believe it is an excellent read for those that desire a rich Women’s Ministry that teaches Women to love and serve the church.

You can purchase Word-Filled Women’s Ministry through Crossway and online

 

 

 

 

God Made All Of Me

Talking to our kids about certain issues such as our bodies, what is appropriate and what is not and what God has designed for his children, can be difficult. We have increased conversations in our home about growing, changing bodies, appropriate touch and intimacy because of my oldest who is almost as tall as me now. I actually measured her yesterday and she is two inches from five feet, at 8 years old.

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Dream within a Dream


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A Dream Within a Dream
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

This is my piece for a group Art Show inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. The elements used are encaustic medium (wax + resin), oil pastel, paper, encaustic paint, photograph, plastic and spray paint. I have been doing a lot of experimentation in encaustic and I am thrilled in the process which is a very visceral and deliberate yet suprising ,still, process because of how the elements change on their own and you can expect varied outcomes from the same application. I hope to explore it more. Join Kenny and I, we will both have pieces on the show, for the Edgar Allan Poe art show: https://www.facebook.com/events/1132736970088374/

Faithmapping

Most of us emphasize one aspect of Christianity over another. Competing voices tell us that the Christian life is all about this or that: missions, discipleship, worship, the cross, or the kingdom. It’s as if we are navigating the Christian life with fragments of a map—bits and pieces of the good news—rather than the whole picture. If we put those map fragments together, we discover a beautiful, coherent picture. Faithmapping invites Christians to see that map, exploring a whole gospel that forms a whole church who carries that glorious news to the whole world. 

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Created to Create

We are created to create. In the beginning God made all things, and he created Man from the dust from the ground. We are the image-bearers of a Creator God thus we bear his image in creating in our own limited capacities.

In my mind it is an obvious extension.

Somehow, though, the creation of art has caused a lot of confusion over the years in Christian circles:

What is the place of art in the Christian life? Is art- especially the fine arts- simply a way to bring worldliness in through the back door? What about sculpture or drama, music or painting? Do these have any place in the Christian life? Shouldn’t a Christian focus his gaze steadily on “religious things” alone and forget about art and culture?…

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Accidental Feminist

At one point in my life I may have fallen into identifying with Feminism and not really knowing it and some of that may still remain. Not the “bra burning”, anti-men feminism but the more subtle “rights for women” feminism, the Susan B. Anthony’s of the world. I still love Susan B. Anthony, I still identify with her a lot but the problem when as a believer I allow my identity to be something other than the Gospel. See, in my personal opinion Feminism is not the cause of all of society’s ills, like some would have you believe. Sin is. And, I believe that Feminism in all it’s permeations is one way the world tries to put bandages on brokenness, but maybe Feminism’s ideas of brokenness are skewed too by their ideas of right and wrong, it’s a moral imperative based on a sliver of knowledge based on dim glasses. So, along the way things go all topsy-turvy. We do not need feminism to be the gauge for what is wrong and right in the world. We have God for that.

The book Accidental Feminist is a really good read for anyone that struggles with “adopting and incorporating what the world has to say about women instead of what God has to say about women in Scripture.” At first I struggled reading it because I am an accidental feminist and God is dealing with me slowly through these areas of my life. It was a good book in that it had me questioning whether I could really trust God’s authority in all aspects of my life. It’s just the beginning of Christ dealing with my intimate heart matters of submission and identity and more. Courtney Reissig addresses all of these things and I encourage you to read the book and allow it to challenge you likewise.

Feminism ultimately exists because sin exists—male sin and female sin. As Christians, we have a better answer. We don’t need to go back to a 19th and 20th century movement to put our stake in the ground for equality. We simply need to go back to Genesis 1. What many don’t understand about the beginnings of feminism is that it wasn’t just about basic equal rights; for some feminists, it was also about reimagining God and his Word. The belief that God’s Word couldn’t be trusted started the slow erosion that has led us to the feminism of today. Because my generation has grown up in a feminist world, we need fresh eyes to see how this ideology, while laced with good results, is actually damaging to our view of God and his Word. – Courtney Reissig in an interview with Crossway

This book was a complimentary copy from Crossway.


 

You can purchase Mrs. Reissig’s book from Crossway. Additionally, here is a post to help if you wonder if you are an Accidental Feminist: 6 Signs You Might Be an Accidental Feminist. 

 

Crowned Giveaway

My friend and writer, Melissa Deming of Hive Resources, is giving away a sweet bundle for a discipleship group. Maybe, your Discipleship group. Go enter.

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I am a bit partial, ;), because I designed the book and love how it turned out. I am going to share about the process here in a future post. I am looking forward to seeing the book live in the wild now.

crownedmockuplarge Check it out, Melissa Deming is an author that loves the word and writing and teaching it well. I am thankful for her, excited for her new book and happy I was able to work on this project.

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