Does God Love Women?

International Women’s Day
Does God love women too?

I have been a follower of the teachings of Jesus since I was a child. And like many others, I’ve sat under leaders that taught that the Bible instructs us that women must stay silent. I was allowed to serve but only in certain capacities. If I was allowed to lead, it was usually as a means to complete a task and then I’d be asked to return to my silent state.

This past year when I sat in a Bible class that included teachings that repeated the same three passages of scripture that have been used for centuries to silence half the church, it broke me. Did God make a mistake when he made me? Are his promises for me too? Or just for men?

I woke up at 4 am two days later and in desperation dove into the scriptures. I read commentaries and analysis of particular passages, looked at the context and the original language of the text and I was blown away by how the answers had been there all along.

Women are equal.

Jesus was revolutionary in his treatment of women and the whole of scriptures offer examples of women who were leaders, teachers, apostles, and more. Jesus talked to and taught women, he used women in his parables (which was unheard of), a woman was the first to whom Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah, and women were the first to preach the gospel.

When I watched this video from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, it made me thankful for people who speak this truth well. Happy #internationalwomensday

What Embodiment Really Means

Can we talk a moment about what it means to take seriously the teachings of Jesus?

It means that when we see another human being, we see someone who is made in the image of God-this includes the refugee and the immigrant from over the border, the homeless or the imprisoned.

Taking Jesus seriously means that those who wield power give a voice to those who have not had a voice-the silenced women in much of the church, the unborn who are crying out for the chance to live, the sexually abused children under the care of men who say they speak for God, and those who have lived under racism’s suffocating hand.

Taking Jesus seriously means loving our neighbor as ourselves, which implies that we love who God made us to be and share that love with the person next to us-rejecting body-shaming, comparison-driven culture that celebrates conformity instead of the creative genius in God.

Taking Jesus seriously means that we lift up the shamed and the broken- embracing the poor, the orphan, and the widow.

We must stop spouting ideals that are merely that- thoughts in our head with no real-world impact. When the Bible tells us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, it’s reminding us that love is not just an idea or a feeling. It is with our strength too.

When we put action to the teachings of Jesus, when we respond to who He is in us, we embody Christ. We become the hands and feet of the Savior of the world. His kingdom coming to earth is a real thing, not an abstract concept and He has chosen for us to participate with Him in His freedom mission!

Let’s let our hearts be broken with what breaks his, our hands reaching as he reaches through us, and our purpose be to take Jesus seriously.

In Gratitude on My Birthday

In gratitude on my Birthday

In my mere 35 years on earth I’ve learned that celebration is a necessary part of life.

Some days I celebrate the basic stuff like breathing, hands to hold, ears to hear, and beauty that unfolds in the beat of my heart.

Other days I’m in awe of what I’m privileged to witness- new life, friends supporting friends in the midst of turmoil, the gifts of breakthrough, truth expressed in unique ways, Birthday parties, and unabashed laughter.

Today I’m thanking God for existence and 35 years of breathing. Cheers to another year, the gift of the now, and the hope I hold for the future.

This Is A Woman’s World Too

Jesus and Women

Women, when it seems as if the world is not yours-

Like your voice is drowned out by the masses-

Remember this:

Even though it feels like we live in a man’s world, we don’t.

Men don’t own it even though some may claim it as their territory.

Politicians don’t own it, even though their rhetoric fills our ears and our screens on a daily basis.

This is my Father’s world and when Jesus said that He came to bring Life and bring it to the full, he means for you too.

He came for His sons AND daughters.

Remember that as a citizen of God’s kingdom your voice is valuable.

Your experiences matter. Your pain matters. The light in your story matters.

Go forward in bold humility with the knowledge that you belong to someone greater than any person, circumstance, or politician.

You are His.

In Which I Almost Died

Allison Graber and family

10 years ago today my life was spared and the magnitude of that gift hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. I was in traffic and I remembered.

The loss of a child (at 10 weeks along).

The gift of a future (after losing 2/3 of my blood volume).

But mostly, I was reminded of the necessity of celebration in the heavy, the mundane, and the beautiful. It was how I survived.

First I celebrated being able to walk, then showering by myself.

And when my world expanded again, I began to celebrate hearts that beat, lungs that expand, bowels that work, rain that pours, wind that blows, even on the hard days.

Because of that loss, I hold loosely to those things to which I used to cling.

I’m learning to take each season in stride, recognizing I won’t have it all at once.

I am more gracious to myself when I make mistakes, although I have a long way to go.

And to the person right in front of me, I see you now. You, a traveler like me, may be at a different place in your journey, but that doesn’t mean either of us are better or worse. We are different.

So, today I’m celebrating life lessons from these past ten years, the time with the man who is faithful by my side, and the two little girls who are in existence because my life was spared.

I’m also crying, remembering, and memorializing my little lost one with my tears.

What are you celebrating today?

The Best Gift You Can Give to Yourself

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Presence is the best gift you can give to yourself. Live wholly and thankfully in the season you are in. I firmly believe that’s where joy abounds.

Don’t balk because life is a process. God is not just about the destination. He is all about the journey because that’s where he does His work and His work is beautiful. 

If we disengage from the hard and the heavy, we lose ourselves. When we press in, that’s where riches are found. 

God is the I AM God and although He was there before time and will be when time as we know it ends, He chose you to be in this particular place and season for a reason. He is infinitely present in the here and now and when we join him with our full presence, that’s where intimacy begins.

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Inhale

Did you know that every time you breathe, you inhale 150 million molecules Jesus exhaled while he lived on earth- the very same air he used to teach of his kingdom, to speak of salvation, to predict his resurrection, and to say, “it is finished” on the cross?

So, whenever you need a reminder of the reality of Jesus, simply inhale and exhale and remember that the life-sustaining molecules coursing through your body have divine history. Let his breathe revive you today.

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