The church should model integrity, honoring men and women equally.
Earnest repentance and intentional reform would have a ripple effect
throughout our culture. The world's reforms will never do the job
because they aren't capable of changing the hearts of men.
How can we hang back when we have the answer to the injustices in
society? How can we remain insecure and divided among ourselves,
elevating men and devaluing women when we know Christ's view of us?
God may ask us to risk hurt in order to model vulnerability and our
commitment to a higher call. How tragic if we instead build walls around
our hearts, keeping at a distance the very people to whom God desires
As we reflect on women's roles in our churches and ministries, let's
encourage reform. Let's have the courage to bring continuing change
within the church.
And if we have spent our lives playing "second fiddle" when the quality
of our work should have placed us in a lead position, let's forgive and
go on in obedience to the Maestro. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him and
our ears attuned to the words He whispers to us, we will become
instruments for His glory. read more
Friends are like buttons on an elevator--they can take you up or bring you down. Surround yourself with people who are like the person you want to become because you become like those with whom you surround yourself.
After elementary school, we moved to Sacramento, California, where I attended junior high school. Then we moved again while I was in high school. I was desperate for friends. I never gave a thought to who those friends were or what they acted like. read more
GOD IS MOVING WOMEN TO THE FOREFRONT IN EVERY AREA OF LEADERSHIP. MANY OF THEM ARE BEING EQUIPPED AND EMPOWERED THROUGH THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER WOMEN.
Isn't it exciting to see how God is using women in our day? In greater and greater numbers, He is releasing us into anointed service and ministry. What is even more exciting is that we are being nurtured and empowered through our relationships with one another.
The Lord is helping many of us to form strategic friendships and mentoring relationships. In place of intimidation, He is building intimacy. In place of competition, He is showing us the joy of companionship. As we become transparent with one another, we are learning how to minister to God's people from hearts that have been bonded together in trust and confidence. read more
I was a long-awaited first child. My temperament was extremely compliant from day one. My sister, Bridgett, on the other hand, pushed every limit from the time she was an infant. And we have her grouchy-, swollen-faced childhood pictures to prove it.
From the time she was in diapers, it didn't matter what my folks wanted her to do, Bridgett challenged them. My poor, longsuffering mother would have to go to war just to get Bridgett's hair combed. Usually, while the battle raged, I was sitting perfectly still somewhere, immaculately dressed and meticulously coiffed.
During junior high and high school, Bridgett continued to chart her course, attempting to be her own person, not a younger version of me. Imagine! My parents often wondered, “How could two sisters be so different?” I wondered too. After all, wasn't she supposed to be just like me? read more
We need deep associations with others, but often the challenges seem to outweigh the rewards. Here's how you can make healthy connections.
Each of us lives out our lives through a series of relationships. From our parents, to childhood friends, to our first love, our major milestones are framed by memories of our relationships along the way. We remember those who were present or influential at each stage of our lives and, no doubt, we also remember those who were not there to cheer us along.
What is it that makes some relationships thrive and stand through tests, while others falter and fail? I believe the keys to bettering and sustaining healthy relationships are to have a firm foundation in God, and to learn to communicate. read more
AMERICA WAS CALLED TO BE A HAVEN OF LIBERTY FOR ALL RACES. IT'S TIME TO TOPPLE EVERY STRONGHOLD OF RACISM.
In the Library of Congress there hangs a painting called The Dawn of the Millennium. It is one of the most amazing paintings I have ever seen.
In the center of the work is an altar mounted on a hill representative of the lush landscape of America. Standing around the altar, which glows with the glory of God, are ministers from every Christian denomination. read more
During the time preceding the recent election many Christians realized just how far away from its Christian foundations our culture has strayed. Though we can't single-handedly reverse the ungodly trends, believers can have an impact by living according to God's principles and carrying Christ to a lost world, one person at a time.
Jesus said that we are "'the salt of the earth'" (Matt. 5:13, NIV). In New Testament days, salt was used primarily as a preservative rather than simply a flavor enhancer. Preserving our nation's Christian heritage won't be easy, but we will succeed if we all do our part.
How can you make a difference? Start with the circle of family and friends right around you.
THERE'S NOTHING SILLY ABOUT IT. GEESE COOPERATE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN A WAY THAT OFTEN PUTS HUMANS TO SHAME.
We in the body of Christ like to use metaphors. A metaphor is a comparison that enhances our understanding of a subject. Lately, for example, we've heard a lot of talk in the church about bees. The cooperation and exchange between different streams in the body of Christ has been compared to the cross-pollination produced by bees, resulting in greater fruitfulness and harvest.
Years ago we went through a sheep phase, when it seemed as if everyone was talking about the church's likeness to a herd of sheep. We learned a great deal about sheep--and about the church--in those days. And we found out that when Jesus likened us to sheep, it was not necessarily a compliment!
When a woman is planning to be married, she generally spends months preparing for the wedding ceremony. She shops for a wedding dress, chooses outfits for her attendants, orders flowers, addresses and mails out invitations, secures a location for the reception, engages a photographer and musicians, schedules a church and a clergyman, and does scores of other related, time-consuming tasks, all to ensure that the service itself will be a memorable occasion and a fit beginning for her new life--a life she has yearned for and dreamed about for a long time.
What some of us don't realize is that whether we have ever planned, or will ever plan, a wedding in the natural, we are preparing for a marriage in eternity with the Lamb of God.
God's plan for us is that we become the bride of Christ. According to Anna Rountree, author of The Heavens Opened (Creation House), this plan is much like an arranged marriage. At the point of our new birth, our future spiritual marriage is set up in heaven somewhat as arranged marriages are here on Earth. It is essential that we keep this vision before us throughout our lives so that every decision we make will serve the end of preparing us for our destined role.
If you were once in the river of God but have gotten out, you can go back. Here's how.
Stephen Thompson played defensive tackle for the New York Jets during the heyday of Joe Namath. He even has a Super Bowl ring and flashes it occasionally if someone tries to intimidate him. But tackling the problem of staying in the river of God--the current flow of His Spirit-- proved to be an even greater challenge than tackling football superstars.
After his days as a pro football player Stephen and his wife, Starla, entered the ministry. He became pastor of a church near Seattle in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a Pentecostal denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, the famous woman evangelist of the early 1900s. The denomination's Pentecostal roots, however, did not seem to prepare the members of Stephen's church for the current move of the Spirit. read more