Women Teaching Women

femina_seminarWhen I was just out of college, I became an associate staff member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and one of the duties I had was leading or co-leading small group Bible studies on campus or at conferences. I was also involved in a local ministry and was doing similar work with them.

One of the things I kept bumping into during those days was 1 Timothy 2:12, “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” If that’s what the Bible says so clearly, why, I wondered, did my boss continue to put me in positions where I was teaching Bible to men? When I asked him, the answer was that he was in authority over me, and he was asking me to do this, so it was okay. Hmmm. Certainly I was not “in authority” over the men in my Bible studies, but I was teaching them all right. In fact, once I arrived to “co-lead” a study with a young man, only to find that not only had he not prepared, but the only ones who came that night were guys. That’s when I quit. Enough of this!

Being still a young believer (having been converted in college), I deferred to those older and wiser put over me, but I still continued to question this. Finally, I asked my future husband what he thought of it, and it was the first time I got a straight answer. Needless to say, it was quite refreshing! And, it wasn’t too long after this that my boss saw my point.

Okay, why the long buildup of personal story? What am I getting to?
A couple of Femina readers have asked in the comments why our Grace Agenda conference on “Marriage Militant” is not featuring women speakers (specifically, Continue reading ‘Women Teaching Women’

Heavy Lifting

It struck me the other day how much lifting up we see in the Scriptures. We are to lift up our prayers, our hands, our eyes, our voices, our hearts, and our souls to the Lord.

Lifting is a great image. It is always pointed upward, above us. We are to lift up our heads, lift up our eyes and look up to our Creator God, raising our thoughts and hearts to a higher place.

Why do we need to do so much lifting? Because we don’t have to do anything to get pulled down by the gravity of life’s distractions. We get ourselves focused on the world’s troubles or our own troubles, and we need to lift up our eyes. “I  lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121: 1-2).

This may seem obvious, but lifting is something we do. It is not passive, but active. “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (James 12:12). Lifting requires strength and faith. It may require courage. You may not feel like lifting anything. But lifting won’t happen by itself. In other words, we have to exert ourselves. Picking up your mind and setting it on things above, that is what lifting is. It seems like lifting is a pretty big part of the Christian life, so we need to get practicing.

God is the one who does the actual heavy lifting. But we are still active in this process because we call out to Him and He lifts us up. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10). This humbling is essential. When we humble ourselves, we get low. We call out to our God, and He remembers us and lifts us up, just like a mother lifts up her child and carries him.

“The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num. 6:26). When He lifts us up, we quit fussing and rest. And when we rest in Him, we will be lifting up hearts and hands and voices all the more.

Build Yourselves Up

The Christian life is simple, but it is not easy. God’s directions to us are not complicated or unclear, but we often encounter hard things. Following Christ is not like floating on an inner tube down a lazy river. In fact, drifting can be  dangerous. The Christian life requires attentiveness and diligence, perseverance and faith. It is challenging and rewarding in the very best and truest sense.

We sometimes forget that we are the ones responsible for “how we are doing” in the Lord.  Consider these verses (20-21) in Jude:

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Notice our responsibility here. We are to build ourselves up in our faith. We are to keep ourselves in the love of God. Continue reading ‘Build Yourselves Up’

Grace Agenda in March

femina_seminarThis year’s Grace Agenda is coming soon in March, and to make it easier for you to attend, all admission costs have been waived! The topic for this year’s conference, as you can see below, is Marriage Militant. On Friday we Femina girls will be hosting a pre-conference event on the topic “A Woman’s Worth.” We’ll be speaking on four different aspects of our calling to be worthy women: Courage (by Rachel), Loyalty (Heather), Contentment (Nancy), and Faithfulness (Bekah). If you attend the femina pre-conference, you’ll be invited to join us in a complimentary luncheon. We’d love to see you all come, of course, and we would appreciate your prayers as we prepare to host this event. You can get all the details here. Even though it is free, be sure to register.

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Fabric Design Class!

 

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Happy New Year everyone! I should have posted this ages ago, but somehow things have been a bit on the hectic end of late! I am going to be offering a 9 week online class teaching basic fabric design, starting January 15. The class will be one hour per week, and unlike the class I taught for Canon last year, this is going to be nothing but basic, introductory fabric design. You can read more about what we’ll be doing and get all the details here and I would just add that even though the class can earn you high school credit (how cool is that?!) it would be entirely appropriate for ladies older than high school! Anyway – I’d love to see you in the class, so get on over there and sign up!

Christmas Hands

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Last week we had our annual Christmas party for the ladies’ fellowship in our church. Many volunteered to be table hostesses, which meant they brought a Christmas centerpiece and table settings for a table of nine. I have no idea how many tables we jammed into the room we rented, but my guess was at least twelve or fifteen, and each one was decorated so entirely differently, reflecting the culture and joy of each hostess.

Then everyone brought an appetizer to share, so we had five or six long tables spread with all kinds of delicious and beautiful appetizers. It was fabulous! We ate, we sang Christmas carols, we visited, and we listened to three lovely speakers.

But here’s what struck me. With the room full of over one hundred women, I thought we should have all lifted up our hands to view the tremendous force for good represented in that room. These are the hands that are going to make Christmas “happen” for hundreds of people. These are the hands that will shop, cook, make lists, buy, wrap, bake, decorate, stuff, give, and stay up way too late doing it all. These are the hands that will sew and stamp and Continue reading ‘Christmas Hands’