Women Who Minister

Yesterday I attended the #SheLeads Conference held at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena (or PazNaz). Two of my Theology teachers were attending who have had a tremendous influence on me so I decided to go.

One professor is Dr. Kara Lyons-Pardue. She is in her mid-30s and reads Greek as a first language. She received her PhD from Princeton and I have to say she is nothing short of kind, welcoming and the most non-judgmental person I have ever met. I remember my first day of class as a Master of Ministry student scared to death to be a woman learning with men (some of them pastors). My fundamental church background taught me well about a woman’s place and this step of attending school challenged me greatly. On the first day of class, I was shocked when female Professor Lyons-Pardue walks into the classroom with her belly beautifully 8 months pregnant. Not only was her belly adorable but her confidence and intelligence seemed to lift me right above my fears of advanced learning with religious men. I still remember many of her sentences and she still remembers me crying in class as I described a horrific, painful experience from a pastor in North San Diego County.

In time, I then met Dr. Rebecca Laird. She was the first woman I had met who was an ordained minister in addition to a Theology Professor. Rebecca changed my life by her counsel, her confidence and her experience. She looked at me and said something to the effect of, “The church world is like a big ocean. You need to learn where you fit in the ocean. You are a woman evangelist and you’re presently trying to swim in cement.”

Through the years of learning at Point Loma Nazarene University and now at Nazarene Theological Seminary, I have lost the chip on my shoulder. I don’t need to defend the gifts and callings God has given me. The education has allowed me and my female peers to grow and thrive without apologizing.

Well, I say all that to talk about yesterday’s #SheLeads Conference. It was the first time I sat in a room with female senior pastors, a female president of a Theology School and so many young female college students pursuing a career in ministry. Amazing! Could it be that we are entering a time of androgyny—a world without gender limits? Could it be that the Pentecost Anointing to both men and women is now being released? Could it be that God who pours out His Spirit on both young men and women is now opening up the flood gates to bring women into true leadership and ministerial roles? I kept thinking of Acts 10 with Cornelius’ family being anointed in the Holy Spirit by Peter. It took time for the Jewish-Christians to accept Gentiles becoming Christians but in God’s timing and in His way, the Church embraced the goodness of God to extend salvation to all.

As a woman who ministers  (Daily Disciples) and as a woman chaplain ministering, I can say there are a few things about women ministers that we all have in common:

  1. We have no doubt that we are called by God and we have a firm conviction to be faithful to Him.
  2. Our first desire is to please God, despite the words and opinions of others.
  3. We do not want to be men. God made us as women and we are happily female.
  4. We are being obedient to God, not rebellious to the church culture.
  5. If we have children, we love and care deeply for them. God did not have us choose between our children and His will. It was His will for us to have children within His calling. As a result, God works with us and through us to mother our children.
  6. Pastors are shepherds. There are both male and female shepherds in the Bible. The body of Christ is not complete without having both male and female pastors.
  7. We needed to learn how to wrestle the demons back to hell while living in the wilderness to fulfill our calling with grace and peace. We know that Christianity is the only religion that places women upon an equal platform with men, as initiated by Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s #SheLeads Conference is summed up best by a testimony I read in Phoebe Palmer’s book, “Promise of the Father” written in 1859:

“Soon after this another preacher came to…desire I would give over speaking and praying in public, to which I replied, ‘I will, if you will answer for me at the day of judgment for the one talent God hath given me;’ but he went away saying, ‘That I cannot do.” And she responded, “I counted the cost, but concluded to obey God rather than man. I valued the having my name among God’s people, but I thought more highly of its being enrolled in the book of life.”

For women who minister and women ministers, we stand before God alone someday and we will give an account for the gifts and calling He placed upon us on this earth. Isn’t it time to stop asking God why He called you and to start asking God how to fulfill His call for you? Let’s step out together and turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ. Let’s continue to bear fruit for His glory. Let’s continue to pray that someday we may hear from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And pray for me…Bobbye has asked me frequently to teach women how to teach the Bible and how to be leaders and speakers. I believe it’s time to start organizing a conference to embolden and encourage my sisters to be about our Father’s business! If interested, let me know.img_0958

–TL Adamson

 

 

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The Difference between Men & Women in Broken Relationships

Bobbye and I asked a friend of ours to be interviewed on our daily radio show. Her name is Donna Scott and she is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Today she came to our office for the recordings. Even though we know Donna, her kindness and sensitivity to share in her clients’ pain and then to wisely and calmly provide counsel to those in broken relationships amaze us. God is using her and mightily moving through her to repair broken hearts and mend broken relationships.

On a side bar conversation, I asked her what the biggest difference is between men and women when struggling in their relationship? Her answer may surprise you…

“When people come in to get healing help for relationship wounds, I notice a difference between the types of injuries found in men versus women in their moments of brokenness. As I counsel men, they generally tend to intellectualize their pain through interpreting life events. They typically sense that no matter what they do, it is not ‘good enough.‘ These feelings frequently create a sense of helplessness and futility. Unfortunately, it is usually manifested as anger or indifference to their partner. Women, on the other hand, are likely to experience their emotional hurt as ‘I’m not worth fighting for.’ This hurt results in lowering her sense of worth and security in the relationship. Her pain is sometimes displayed as anger or nagging. Neither understand that they actually have the same need in common; It is the longing to love and be loved by the one who matters most.”

We all want to be loved. We may not be very good at communicating how we want to be loved and we might not be very good at explaining why we are acting out or withdrawing but the bottom answer is the same.. to be loved. “For God so loved…” and because “God first loved us” we can love. I am certainly thankful our relationship with God is based on His love.

Donna Scott’s contact information is http://www.DonnaScottTherapist.com or (619) 500-4653. Calling her may be your first step in learning how to express love and how to receive love from God, others and yourself.

Thank you Donna for sharing your heart with us today and loving others through God’s gift of counseling.

The National Network of Youth Ministries

Tonilee and I have had the privilege over the past several years to work with and assist numerous organizations in the areas of marketing, business development, social media and branding. Non Profits, especially ministries, have one major common cause…serving the Lord through serving others. After spending some quality time with the executive leadership team at the National Network of Youth Ministries, their levels and networks of service are nothing short of phenomenal. But, you or the average person may not be aware of just how much they have done over the years and how many youth ministries they have either influenced or helped start. You may not even know who they are. It’s time.

Here is a snippet of what I discovered about the National Network of Youth Ministries

  • Is the longest running youth ministry network in the country, founded in 1981
  • Created the platform, modeled internationally by youth networks existing today
  • Works with and serves over 750 Youth Leader Networks throughout the United States
  • Has cultivated National and Regional Partnerships with hundreds of denominations and ministry organizations
  • Was Instrumental in launching “See You at the Pole” on a National and Global Level with over 1 Million youth participating
  • Is an ongoing Catalysts/Sponsors for National Conferences representing numerous youth initiatives
  • Convened the original meeting for the Youth Missions Network
  • Created http://www.MentorYouth.com, recruiting mentors for America’s youth, in collaboration with the US Department of Justice
  • Founded “Campus Alliance” –Every Student Every School
  • Host Annual Meeting for Youth Ministry Executive Council (YMAC)
  • Are Active Partners with the Youth Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance
  • Are Youth Ministry Representatives for the National Association of Evangelicals and the Mission America Coalition

Our youth workers, leaders, students, parents, and communities across the United States need to know about the National Network of Youth Ministries and how to support them. Personally, I’ve never met such humble, giving men and women who would rather remain in the background, behind the scenes than boasts about their accomplishments. So, I am going to boast on their behalf and encourage you to check them out. They need our support and prayers to keep up their global mission of connecting youth leaders through the most integrated and interactive networking platform that exist today in youth ministry. That’s NNYM…learn more about them, get involved and reach out in support. Visit www.YouthWorkers.net for more information.

Authored by Bobbye Brooks

Mary, Jesus’ Mother

Pastor Norm Shoemaker gave a remarkable devotional one morning last week. He proposed that if the birth of the church was at Pentecost, then the conception of the church was at the cross of Christ. In John 19:26-27, the Scriptures say, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’  and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’  From that time on, this disciples took her into his home. At that moment, was it the conception of the church as the blood relationships (which are thicker than water) will now be brought together through the blood of Christ? As a result of Jesus Christ death on the cross and resurrection to life, those of us who believe have eternal relationships in the family of God. It is the blood of Christ that is also thicker than water and saves, sanctifies and seals us for eternity. Jesus introduced a new kind of family during His earthly ministry when He said in Mark 3:33-35, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Jesus is profamily. Just like we cannot pick our earthly family, we cannot pick our heavenly family. Did the family of God start at the Cross with the uniting of mother Mary and John? What do you think? Continue reading “Mary, Jesus’ Mother”

Life After Death

My friend’s husband passed away a few months ago. My friend has now found herself with a new identity of becoming a widow. The Lord asks us to take care of widows and orphans frequently in the Bible so I do feel an added obligation to listen intently and meet their needs.

My friend was talking out loud. There were times of definite grief in her words and then she would try to gain some strength to make plans. I was driving so it was easy to remain quiet as she cycled through these out loud thoughts until she said something that immediately broke my silence.

Her words, “Well, I am 53 and getting older. It’s ok to be a widow. I do not have much longer to live either. I will just be around for my kids until it’s my time to join him.”

I turned my head towards her and said, “You could have another 35 strong years! Age is not a factor in treating cancer or having heart surgery.  My husband did heart surgery on a patient who was 98 years old and the patient did fine. Age is not a factor in determining what you can and cannot do!”

God called Moses into full-time, hard-core ministry at 80 and then He called Joshua at the same age. Who are we to say that we have reached an age to maintain status quo?  Until the Lord returns or we literally go to Him, there is work on this earth to do, discover and explore.

I told my friend, “You need to get into an exercise class, take up a hobby, volunteer at something that fills your heart, become involved with a mission that focuses your prayers. Move, shift gears, be willing to change.”

If we want to admit it or not, there are certain circumstances in life that causes change. We need to embrace the change in honor of the Lord. Keep the faith and push forward.

I think that is why Jesus told us that the death of a spouse frees the remaining spouse. It is much easier to take on the loved-one’s death than to live without the loved-one.

As a former ICU nurse, I have had to deal with life and death issues a lot. Despite our belief system, all of us struggle with sickness, disease, stress disorders, aging bodies and eventually death.  We pray for healing to the day we die because it brings rays of hope. Let’s make every day count instead of counting down every day. Let’s live our lives to the fullest, giving God the glory for the fullest of His faithfulness in giving us one more day. The term “life after death” is true in many aspects.

Busyness in His Business

The more I look around, the more I discover that people are struggling. When there is no margin in our lives, we have no ability to cope with broken cars, crying kids or sick pets. We are crying for more time, better organizational skills and support but if we miraculously had the ability to schedule spare time, how would we fill it?

I really believe that people like to be busy. Busyness looks like productivity and it makes us feel needed. But I also believe when we get to the point of accepting God as sovereign, we make time for Him to move in everything and to move us to serve Him anywhere.  Keeping Him in perspective gives us the perspective to be absolutely productive and useful in our margin-less lives. It is not about the crises anymore but about how the Lord can move through them to give each thing purpose.

Personally, I do not want extra time on my hands. When I find myself maxed out, I pray. When I find myself too tired to think, I pray. When I find myself too full from dinner to move, I pray. Prayer gives me the cushion I need to get a Sovereign perspective. When I need encouragement, I purposely schedule in Bible reading. Only the Word of God gives me the encouragement to keep going. (Romans 15:4)

The rationalizations, justifications and excuses keep us from growing, developing and making a difference. I want a blessed life. No, I want an abundantly blessed life. But I want that blessed life to be defined by the Lord.  Basically I want more of the Lord in every aspect of life, regardless of how He wants to use me and for whom.

Our Media Company is growing like crazy and I have people ask me all the time, how do you do it all? If I was not doing all of this, I would certainly be busy with something else but I have learned that I want to be where the Lord is blessing…He is choosing to bless this.  I have spent prior days being busy doing shopping, laundry, vacation planning and house decorating.  I noticed in that season of life, I spent my energy in the things that were a continued extension of me. I love my family so to be busy with their things kept me loving and serving the things I already love. I do not need to be spirit led or depend on the Lord to love those who love me back.  (And, realistically, I always make time to do these things because they naturally have my heart). However, adding a responsibility that helps to serve those outside my heart’s desire has allowed me to grow and love in a completely different way.

God is sovereign. He can do what He wants and He can bless whom He wants. Regardless of what others think I need to be doing or who they want me to be, I choose to follow the Lord. Allowing the Lord to have free reign in my overly scheduled day has given me a peace and a joy that has truly bless me. It really did come by reprioritizing the busyness.  “Busyness in His Business.” We can remain busy but are we really about His business or our own?