The Body of Christ Needs Women. Women Who Go Forth and Go Out.

“But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12:25-27.

And then begins the most famous chapter ever written on Love…

And it is probably not a coincidence that an exposition on the Body of Christ is followed by a call to radical, true Love.

And if it is true that when one part suffers all the parts suffer, then our words and our actions and treatments ought to be slung over our shoulders with all the respect of an honorable weight…to be carried inside the walls of The Church, up onto its platforms, and out of our lips, God help us. Like a solider knows the sacredness of self-sacrifice and duty and this is why he must carry himself so. Because a weight is not the same as a burden.

And when God speaks and moves in hearts that open, He cannot be quenched. Because Holy Fire is not tamed. Because Holy Spirit Fire fell and still falls on even the most unlikely. Praise be!

It first Fell in a home, a room, a space.

And immediately it burst through the doors out into The World because it was impossible to keep those Fire-Flames still inside those walls.

And what happened inside a Home kept right on happening and it’s been happening for two thousand years still. Falling untamed. Falling and bursting.

And the point of Home is not to stay there, because Jesus calls us to go out and go forth…even if that means going out to bring others in. Like how we go out to bring others home to their True Home.

Making disciples means meeting people where they are.

Making disciples means going forth…

Thank God, Esther did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and saved a nation.

Thank God, Jael did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and defeated an army.

Thank God, The Women did not “go home”. Instead they witnessed the supernaturally healed body of Jesus Christ, and they ran full of joy to tell the story…

Thank God, Corrie Ten Boom did not “go home”. Instead she went forth, boldly proclaimed the Living-Word of Forgiveness and challenging the healing of those who have endured unspeakable hate. And the healing of those who caused it.

Thank God, Catherine Booth did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and helped to found one of the most established charities in the history of the world: The Salvation Army.

Thank God, Mother Theresa did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and made her home with the least of these and loved the forgotten in a way that only a Mother can. Wrapping her arms around the filthy, the lonely, wrapping her arms around entire city blocks and nations and decades of forgotten souls.

Thank God, Christine Caine did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and founded the largest anti-human-trafficking non-profit in the world and rescued men and women in a way that only one who suffered through years of sexual abuse can.

Thank God for the artists, the singers and dancers, the missionary women who boldly proclaim the Gospel. Some alongside their Lovers, their Husbands. Some alone, because God called them alone. The Pastors who go forth and weep with the lost and hold the broken and show the face of Jesus by being his hands that hold their faces and their bodies.

And I agree with Ann Voskamp when she says, “this is not about whether women should preach to men or have authority over men — this is ultimately about God clearly calling women to be co-labourers in the Kingdom, to preach the Gospel in everything they do, to be mothers of the faith.”

God calls women to do Mighty and Holy work, and it is when The Body of Christ is fully at work that we best portray the Glory and Goodness of the Gospel.

Because Pastoring a life is more than a title and the recognition of being “on staff” or “paid”.

And platforms are given, and we have the opportunity and the honor to Bear Witness to the Power of the Gospel. Not to shame and belittle The Body of Christ.

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And they will know we are Christians by our love for one another…

But either way, that Holy Fire will never stop falling…

You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

If God has called you to it. Do it.

Continue reading You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

6 Thoughts on Young Shooters

It’s been a few days since the school shooting in Florida. The images are heart-wrenching. And honestly, I’ve barely followed the story. But I can feel the heaviness in the air and the weight of all the choices made that day and how they still linger.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions about young shooters (and just mass shootings in general)…and they should. People should think about the world and process the state of the broken and hurting in the country. Moments like this force us to ponder…

Here are my thoughts on the school shooting, but also just on young shooters specifically.

1. Hurting People Hurt People. No matter what, behind every abuser or killer there is a mountain of hurt and pain. When all that goes unseen, when entire generations overlook the broken, when ADULTS overlook the YOUNG…there is no where else for teens to turn but to hate. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Remember? We learned this once, didn’t we?

Here is my question to you….how are YOU loving young people and teens and the broken and the overlooked? When is the last time you stooped to enter someone else’s world?

If your answer is never or rarely can I say with all the love in me that you are part of the problem.

2. Policies and Laws have never been all that great at keeping abusers from harming others; people are changed when other people invest in them. Believe me when I say, that I have seen firsthand how “effective” laws are at keeping victims safe. Believe me when I say that ADULTS really don’t want to hear about abuse…not really…because then you’d have to do something about it. You’d have to face it.

Here is my question to you…do you even SPEAK to young people at all? Do you invest in the lives of the young? Do you offer financial assistance to programs and churches and missionaries who are in the thick and in the mud and in the unbelievable darkness of the lives of teens?

You can walk into just about any youth group in America and there will be stories of rape, of physical abuse, of depression, of teen suicide, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and self-harm. It’s not new or shocking. You’ve just never looked.

3. Depression and stress are absolutely RAMPANT amongst teens. After five years of walking alongside youth in our community, and several years of Young Adult Ministry, and nearly eight years of consistent involvement in our church…I can tell you with confidence that depression is an enormous burden that many, many carry. If we struggle as adults and moms and spouses…how much more so must teens struggle?

No one can or should do life alone. Including you. Including them.

4. The church is on the front lines. If you’ve never been involved in church, this will seem odd to you. But the church has been, and is still, on the front lines of the battle for our teens.

In our small community alone, there are thousands of Christians who support, volunteer, and encourage youth. We still need more. We still need YOU!

Churches often have the gift of accomplishing much with little. Help a church in your community accomplish MORE!

But also know that the most impactful relationships are the ones forged in the day to day, over lunch, and alongside the ups and downs of life.

5. When you minister to broken hearts, your heart WILL be broken. My husband and I have cried for the youth in our church so many times. Our hearts hurt and ache when we see a student give up and start believing the lies that are literally dumped on them by our culture. When you love someone, you offer your whole heart to them. You cheer them on. You cry with them. Be that for someone.

6. This is absolutely a parenting issue. And love starts at home. Healthy homes do not produce hate and violence. And there might be very differing levels of parental responsibility case by case. But there is always an element of parental influence.

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You don’t have to be a pastor to make a world of difference. Just step outside your comfort zone and love on a kid with all your heart. And you will see the world change.