The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012

posted in: Women | 0

3000+ women.  Two hands of great speakers including: D. A. Carson, John Piper, Tim Keller, Elyse Fitzpatrick and many more.  Friends piled in a mini-van for a ten-hour ride down two interstates.  One camera.

That’s what I’ll be doing the next three days in Orlando, FL.  I’m honored to be one of the conference photographers and can’t wait to capture this event.  My friend, Bekah, will be live-blogging the main sessions for me to post here on the site.  I’m grateful for her. 

Yes, you might think I’m crazy for tackling this at 28 weeks pregnant, but when else am I going to do it?  I’m looking forward to being challenged by the Word, engageed in corporate worship by Keith and Kristyn Getty, and seeing my parents too (who are gracioulsy putting up 6 women in their home and feeding us).

So, come back frequently this wknd and catch the liveblogs and each morning as I’ll post some of fave photos for the day.  And if you are at the conference – contact me via text (on facebook) or twitter – @kd316 and at least say hi to me!


Dan(vers) in Real Life (Part 2)

posted in: Bible, Women | 1

Continuing on our discussion of the Danvers Statement from yesterday, we finish off with Affirmations 6-10.  I hope these have been an encouragement to you and not another list of rules to follow.  Sometimes it is difficult to know how to apply Scripture to our lives when sin has marred the world we live in.  Thank God that He is redeeming all of creation for His glory!

6.  Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse, both in the family and in the church. (Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Cor 11:2-16)

The death of Christ on the cross is available for all who believe (and if they believe they will be the elect of God).  God knows those whom He has saved – both male and female.  Males don’t have an easier time being saved.  We are all on equal footing: sinners in need of a Savior.  While we are equal in that rite, there are some standards and roles that God set up before the foundation of the world, that now that sin has entered the picture, these roles are more difficult to adhere to – but nevertheless, we are told to adhere to them.  Husbands and wives have equal partnership but different roles in the home.  Elders and roles in the church that require biblical teaching of men needs to be reserved only for men.  God has a great purpose in this.  We would find great joy in the beauty of submission in these areas.

7.  In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission – domestic, religious, or civil – ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin. (Daniel 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1-2)

This definitely was seen with the DOMA voting that occurred in NC recently.  Many politicians and even many Christians Iwere agreeing with the government in their allowance of homosexual and lesbian marriages.  There were so many issues that were included in this.  My thought process started out as one thing, moved to another, and then voting day came and went.  We do not live in a theocracy.  Even though truth is truth, we can’t expect non-Christians to want to adhere to the same biblical truth that we obey and live under.  So, even if we passed a lot (which NC did) that marriage is between one man and one woman, it is only one state – any couple can just choose to up and move to another state.  As Christians, we have a different standard in life than non-Christians.  Non-Christians will be under the wrath of God at judgment day.  We have been freed from the wrath of God because of the blood of Jesus.  But we can’t impose biblical standards on those that don’t believe Christ is the only way to heaven.   But, we must live according to the Bible.  And that goes for every area of our lives: home, church, gender roles, etc.

8.  In both men and women a heartfelt call to ministry should never be used to set aside biblical criteria for particular ministries. (1 Tim 2:11-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)

Earlier on in my life I struggled with this one, primarily because I hadn’t been taught any better.  When I was in college, I was assistant to our youth pastor at a church (whom I loved and learned a lot from and loved being in ministry with those girls and families). I was encouraged to go to a certain seminary because the seminary I wanted to attend put too many restraints on women.  When I started being taught what the Bible had to say about roles within the church, I learned more about women could do and what women couldn’t do.  These mandates are not set up for our punishment, but for our good, for us to thrive under God’s authority.  When women will come to me saying they are being led of God to be a pastor, I honestly have to suppress a laugh (which is sinful), but then I’m hurt that they don’t see the laws of God as beautiful.  I want them to open their eyes and see God’s beauty.  What this is saying is not that women have nothing to say to men or they don’t have the ability to teach, it is just saying God’s way is His way and it is the best for our good and His glory in the church, our families, and the world.

9.  With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stress and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world. (1 Cor 12:7-21)

Some people ask this question: can a women lead a man to Christ.  By all means, yes.  That is declaring the truths of salvation.  Whether you are sitting on a bus, waiting at a terminal or hospital, sharing with your husband – this isn’t haven’t Scriptural authority over a man in a church’s teaching role.  There are many ministries: orphanages, nursing, sex trafficking freedom, etc that women can do and have such a great impact in this world.  Why some women understand that the only way they can have an impact for the kingdom is by preaching to men/leading worship to men is beyond me?  There is so much more out there.  Women can have a huge impact for the gospel in many arenas that men can’t.  Think of Muslim cultures.  Men and women don’t talk to each other.  How else will these lost women hear the gospel if women don’t share it with them?

10.  We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.

This has definitely been the case.  Look at: single-parent homes, divorce rate both in and outside the church, the feminization of the church, lack of men’s involvement in local churches, gay marriages and lifestyles on the rise.

The Danvers Statement was written 25 years ago.  Men and women have been upholding it by the grace of God ever since.  Will you strive to live by the laws and beautiful truths found in God’s Word, or will you demand your own way.  Self-enslavement is worse than God-enslavement (taken from Amy Spiegel’s new book, Letting Go of Perfect).

Go in peace and grace.

Dan(vers) in Real Life (part 1)

posted in: Uncategorized, Women | 1

This past Sunday a new “Sunday School” class started at my church on biblical manhood and womanhood.  One of the elders who is teaching the class introduced everyone to the Danvers Statement.  You may be wondering what the Danvers Statement is and what in the world it has to do with your life.  You can read it here:

Since biblical gender roles is something I have been passionate about since somtime in college, I thought I would take this time to walk through the Danvers Statement.  Not for theological purposes, because Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem do such a thorough job of defining terms and basing them on biblical passages.  But, for women in the pew, who didn’t go to seminary, or those who did go to seminary or teach even – how do we put these 10 principles into practice.

1.  Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18)

These verses and this statement (made in 1987) were made long before the political battlew over the definition of marriage.  Our base for politics should be the word of God.  Since the Word of God is the very breath of God, therefore perfect and never changing (2 Tim 3:16-17, Psalm 19), it should determine our decisions on every matter of life and politics.

The joke heard for decades now is “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”  I think that is a crude way of saying the truth.  God had a permanent purpose and grand design in how He perfectly created and placed Adam and Eve in the garden.  Adam and Eve, and all peoples procreated from them for all the generations to come, bear the image of God (imago dei) and should be treated as worthy of that.  Each person bears the image of God, even those who disagree with us or treat us badly.  Something inherent in their very being shows us God.  He is the masterful Creator.

I like the word distinct in this first affirmation.  I can’t play the role my husband has, either sexually or emotionally, in our marriage.  I can’t play the role my pastors and elders have in the church I attend.  God set measures in place that we are to abide by and obey for our good and His glory.  But, we also have distinct roles and priviliges that men don’t – simply because we are women.  What a unique pleasure it is to always feel Baby Campbell kicking in me.  My husband can feel him if he is kicking or see him when he makes my belly move, but he can’t feel him all the time.  That is something unique that God has designed just for women.

2.  Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart. (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14)

Two essential parts of this affirmation: when these distinctions came to be and how that should influence me today.

God is eternal and all of His Words are eternal.  They never change.  The principles of biblical gender were set in place when God first created Adam and Eve, he didn’t wait until after sin occurred in the Garden to set these principles in place.  These distinctions, both in function and person, were foundational from the very beginning.  Sin only makes living these distinctions out difficult.

There are many times when I try to urge my husband to make a decision or try to lead in our relationship.  There are many times when I feel more qualified to teach a class at church because there is lack of strong male authority and teaching ability.  But, as often as these thoughts or actions occur in me, the Spirit checks my Spirit with His and with the Word.  There is an eagerness (praise the Lord) in me to confess those thoughts, pray for strength, and repent of any actions I might have done.  If we walk in step with the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Oh, the flesh is so strong in women, especially Christian women when we are at daily war with the one who wants his way in our life versus the One who paid the price for our souls.  Stand firm – resist the devil and he will flee from you!

3.  Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God as part of the created order, and was not the result of sin.  (Genesis 3:1-13, and Scriptures listed in 2.)

I love this design of marriage.  I always knew I wanted this in a marriage, but never found someone who was willing to take his rightful place and lead with humility and servanthood (like Jesus) in a marraige.  Being both bold and pursuing, and loving and gently.  My God has been very gracious to me in my marriage.  My husband lives out biblical headship and Christ-like servanthood and meekness to me every day.  He prays for me, leads our marriage, is gentle with me when I need correcting, and meek in his leadership.  This design is for all married men.  Men, don’t give this authority up – neither lord it over your wives.  Jesus lead with meekness and authority.  He was gentle.  He wasn’t effeminate or a tyrant.  He was perfect.  Women, if you see your husbands or your Christian brothers not living this way (or for single brothers, not seeing these qualities in them), pray for them.  I repeatedly didn’t do this service for them, but instead I complained and belittled them, saying there were no good single men left.  That was one of my biggest regrets of my single life.  We are called to encourage our brothers and husbands, not belitlttle them.  Those actions of belittling is the result of sin, not how God wanted us to live.

4.  The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (in the home and in the church) – for further explanation of this affirmation, see the link above) (Genesis 3:1-7, 12, 16)

Oh, how I hate sin.  Sin permeates every aspect of our lives.  Women want to lead in the homes and in the churches.  Men either are patriachal authoritarians or weak spineless shells of real men.  Many of our churches are filled with women who want men to step up and lead and few men who will take their place and lead.  (I see this a lot in the music ministry of churches – where our choirs and orchestras are filled with mostly women, but our praise teams and bands are “cooler” now and include more men – haven’t figured out that one yet).  Women: if you struggle with wanting to lead: pray for the desire to humbly follow your husband’s leadership and pray for him that he will lead humbly and sacrificially.  Men, pray for strength to stand in the position of authority in humility and servanthood that God created you to be in.

5.  Both the Old and New Testaments manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18, Gal 3:28) and affirm the principles of male headship in the family and the covenant community (Genesis 2:18, Eph 5:21-33, 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Some believers only want to take some of God’s Word or take verses out of context.  God saw to it that the the Word was kept for us to read – all of it ordained by Him and kept by Him.  It is perfect.  All of it.  Men and women are equal in that we both stand level at the cross – we are both sinners and in equal need of a Savior.  Men aren’t more worthy of salvation nor do their possess more of God or display God better solely because they are male.

This is the sticky part for some people: God’s entire Word sets up the standards for both the home and church. In God’s Word: it says that men are to be in leadership positions of teaching and authority in our churches not women.  I believe this also goes for worship leading because worship leading is an authority of the Word of God and you are leading and teaching others as you direct the worship of the entire congregation.  Song leading or directing a choir is something different, and then I would lean toward a championing of male leadership by way of example, not by Scriptural authority.  This also has nothing to do with skill level.  I’m sure there are women out there who can teach better than some of the pastors who stand in their pulpits and can sing better/play better than their worship pastors.  Often when sitting in a co-ed SS class I get frustrated because of the depth, or lack thereof, of the teaching.  But my role is not to teach…my role is to submit and learn and pray for growth.

This will be continued tomorrow, affirmations 6-10.  How do you apply these truths to your life, both in the home and church?  What are some ways you see Christians failing to live out these commandments and patterns that God has set up for His children to follow?

Be encouraged.  We need the Gospel daily to live these out.  Rest in Him.  Pursue Him.


How Many Shades?

posted in: Books, Uncategorized, Women | 4

Bandwagons.  I don’t like them – ask my husband.  So, I haven’t read any of the Twilight, Harry Potter, or Hunger Games series.  So, when a friend asked me to write a blog post about 50 Shades of Grey, I said, “sure!”.   I haven’t read Mary Kassian’s thoughts on this yet – but will get to it after I write my own thoughts.

I didn’t even know what I was looking for in the store, but I found it right away in my local Target store.  I was truly appalled at the few bits that I read while I leaned against the store counter.  I then made my way to the nearest Barnes and Noble to gather the trilogy in my hands and write this post.

I was really thinking about putting in some of those snippets but I will refrain – if I don’t want women to be reading this book, I don’t need to allow you to read it on this blog.  And, I really don’t need to read those snippets again.

Here is some of the back of the book:

“When the couple embarks on a daring passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.”

Classification: Erotic Romance – Mature Audience

The tag line at the bottom: “Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”  Really…

Obsess you: There should only be one obsession in you life if you are a believer: Christ.

Possess you: The Bible I read already declares us to be possessions of Someone: Christ.  He bought us with His own blood and sanctifies us.  Women: this book will not aid your sanctification process.

Stay with you Forever: That is the unfortunate part.  I can’t erase what I read in this book, I can’t go back to before I read it.  It will stay with me forever.  It is damaging.  Don’t do it.

In this book these is sex, reversed gender roles, obsession, unbiblical habits that are brought out on every page, envy, anger, lust, need I go on?

So…this one is pretty easy.  Don’t read it.  I don’t know what good could come out of it.  Since I’ve been married, what I put in my mind has changed.  Before I could watch chick flicks or read Sweet Valley High (in high school) and Christian romance novels.  But, honestly, now I can’t. I love my husband too much.  I don’t want to bring any outside thoughts into our bedroom.  I trust him too much to do that to him.  He should be the one I fanticize about – not anyone in a book or on a TV screen.  (Note: some friends might know that I loved the Mentalist – mainly because of Simon Baker – I don’t watch the show anymore for this very reason.)

How do you guard your mind and thoughts and engage the culture at the same time?  What do you do with non-Christian books that invade culture?  Well, whether its with Sci-Fi, teen romance that is all the rage – really, adult women falling in love with vampires – how do you keep your thoughts pure?

I seldom just say NO to cultural phenomenons.  I want to judge for myself.  And with some reads or movies I think you can engage them with a biblical worldview and your watching of it will not do any harm.  But, there are some that won’t do any good.

One song from the early 90s I often sing (just because its stuck in my head) is “Free your mind, and the rest will follow.”  I know that song doesn’t have really much to do with what we are talking about today – but the problem remains.  If we “free our mind” from God’s laws and mandates that are made for our good – then pretty  soon the rest will follow: our heart and then our actions.

Here is some of the best of what the Bible has to say about this:

Proverbs 4:23-27: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”

Ladies: keep your eyes, feet, mind, and bodies pure.  50 Shades will not enable you to do that.

Are We Too Independent?

posted in: Uncategorized, Women | 0

With all this political talk this week – that I am sure will continue and clog up social media from now until the end of January 2013 – don’t worry – this post has nothing to do with politics.

One of my sin problems I dealt with as I got older and remained single was my pride in my independence.  I would say all the time “I love being single!  I can come and go whenever I want, spend my money, cook whatever I want, etc.  I worried about me.”  I was so independent.  That is actually one of the things that people in my life told me would be the hardest for me and would make marriage very hard: my independent spirit.  I won’t say that the transition to married life and being in close relationship with someone else, especially my spiritual head, leader of our home, hasn’t been tough some days – but God has been very gracious.

One way I see that I still need work is when I am trying to solve problems, fix things, live the “spiritual” life on my own.  I can be dependent on my sweet (yet human) husband, but I find far too often I live  my life independent of God.  I got this reality check when I met a sweet, decade+ friend for breakfast recently.  She is also a pastor’s wife; so there are similar struggles with life in the ministry and marriage.  I slid into the booth at Panera, looked at her, and said, “Ok, I need some honest wisdom.  How did you do ____________?” 

This was her answer: “I prayed.  Some days all I could do was sit on the couch with my Bible and read.  I had to depend on God.”  That was definitely my takeaway from that time with her and I’m thankful that God used the Spirit in her life and her experience to convict me of sin in my own heart.

So, as I’ve been thinking about what this might look like as I continue going down this road of marriage and the Christian life, here are some thoughts:

1.  God is most glorified in us when we are most dependent on Him. Yes, I stole the title from this blog post from the Resurgence.  So good!  Please read it.  God wants to be glorified in our lives and will be when we place all of our hope and trust and dependence on Him.

2.  I can’t make it every day without Him.  I am realizing that with my new role as a mother of a little boy and a wife to an amazing, godly man – that I can’t just live life on my own.  I need God to direct my words, be in my actions every day, force me to put a smile on my face when I may not feel like it, worship even when there is “pain in the offering”, be steadily rejoicing and counting the trials as joy (James 1). 

3.  God is good and can be fully leaned on.  E will not always be there for me.  I am going to the mountains for 4 days with a friend in 2 weeks and I can’t bear the thought of being without my hubs for that long.  Thank goodness for cell phones and facetime.  I don’t look forward to not being able to wake up with him in the morning or talk about our days at the time when we crawl into bed.  But, without E with me, God will still be with me.  He is always with me.  He is dependable.  The Psalmists talked about this often and I love reading these when I am tempted to lean on anything but God:

            Psalm 66:5   Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

            Psalm 59:9-10a    O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.  My God in his steadfast love will meet me.  

As single women – don’t get too stuck in your independence that you are afraid to trust your heart to the one kind, gentle, masculine man that loves Jesus and that God has created for you.  Wives, don’t fully depend on your husband for everything you need and forget God.  I’ve learned (am learning) both.  God is gracious.

Prayer Journaling for Your Husband and Children

posted in: Bible, marriage, mothering, Women | 2

“So train the young women to love their husbands and children.” – (Titus 2:4 ESV)

I learned this very well from my mentor, Phyllis, through the years as I’ve watched her diligently and passionately pray for her husband and children, and their spouses, and now her grandchildren.  As I’ve started my own for my husband, and now my Baby Boy Campbell coming in September, I wanted to share some thoughts and how-tos that I’ve learned from her over the almost 20 years of knowing her.

1.  Get paper.  I remember after my second date with my husband, I went to B&N later that night and got a moleskin notebook and started journaling and praying for him, knowing one day I would give it to him at our wedding.  And I did.  He is reading through it now.  But, really, ladies…you don’t need a moleskin or fancy notebook.  You can use a journaling Bible (like this one from Crossway) and journal through your reading in there or just grab some loose-leaf paper and stick it in a folder (like we did back in high school, before everything needed to be turned through a computer).  The paper doesn’t matter, the action does.

2.  Get a pen/pencil/crayon.  I have tried to steer away from pens that will bleed through the pages of my moleskin (almost done with #2 right now) but sometimes a bleed pen is the only one around.  I would also challenge you to get a real pen and paper (not a computer) because you’ll be able to cherish these notebooks for years to come and your children and husband can read them as well!  I know we are a techno world now, but I truly believe that some things are better hand-written.

3.  Get a Bible.  One of the MUSTS for this type of praying is that you pray Scripture over your spouse/children.  What Phyllis taught me is that I don’t need books or even to be really creative, I just need God’s Word.  She trusts in its sufficiency, and so do I.  You don’t have to start a new reading  plan – just read.  If you want to, start with the Psalms, or one of Paul’s epistles or (gasp!) even the book of Deuteronomy.  Pray these Scriptures for your husband/children.  Here is an example from Psalm 112:

   Praise the LORD!
 Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
  who greatly delights in his commandments!
 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
  the generation of the upright will be blessed.
 Wealth and riches are in his house,
  and his righteousness endures forever.
 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
  he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
  who conducts his affairs with justice.
 For the righteous will never be moved;
  he will be remembered forever.
 He is not afraid of bad news;
  his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
  until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
(Psalm 112:1-8 ESV)

“Father, I praise you and thank you that you have given me a Psalm 112 husband.  Thank you for answering that prayer.  I thank you that E fears you more than he fears man and that he takes great delight in your word each morning, even as we are going through James this year as a couple.  I pray that our children, even this little one in my tummy right now, will be blessed to follow and know you and dwell richly and mightily in the land as they seek you wholeheartedly because of your grace and the display of faithfulness of their earthly Father (all because of grace).  Thank you for allowing my E to show me grace and mercy when I fail, and fail miserably at times.  Thank you also that he pursues you and righteousness.  Continue to weigh in his heart and his actions so that they might please you.  I praise YOU that E is a generous man who does not hoard the money that you have blessed us with but wants our giving and our home to be a place of blessing for others.  May we continue to live in that way.  I pray Lord, that even in difficult times, that you would make his heart strong and firm in you – knowing that you never change and that you will lead him in righteousness (Psalm 23).  Do not let him coward and be afraid, but be bold and know that you are God until the day that you make him triumph over his enemies for the glory of God in the world.”

And you can take the same chapter and pray it for your children, as I will for baby Campbell.

4.  Pray.  I know this may seem like the easiest one to do, and I do pray for E all the time and pray for baby Campbell as well (honestly mostly in the shower), but do this.  I remember living for a time with my mentor and her family.  I remember waking up early in the morning and walking downstairs, and Phyllis had already been there for hours praying and reading for her soul and the soul of her family.  This was such a testimony to me.  I fail in this so much.  I need more grace to make it happen and to make it a glorious habit.

5.  Save.  Save your journals.  I will save mine.  Got an email from Phyllis this morning even that she has bookshelves and a chest full of these journals.  What a legacy for your children and spouse as they see a wife/mother who first loved Jesus then prayed and loved them as well all the days of her life. 

6.  Side note: I sometimes read these journals to E as a way to encourage him.  I let him read the first one (I gave it to him before our wedding).  I use it as part journal of our marriage too.  So for part of the journal I’m talking to God and part of it I’m talking to E, or baby Campbell in his.  I’ve already seen how encouraging this can be and how much fruit can be harvested from this daily duty of delight (see John Piper). 

PS…You can definitely read through books and pray those for your husband or children.  I remember reading through A Guide to Biblical Manhood written by SBTS profs Dan Dumas and Randy Stinson and praying through those traits for E before we got married.  By all means, use other things, but let Scripture be your guiding principle!

May I encourage you to begin today to be a wife and/or mother who lives by prayer and the Word of God.  We fail miserably without them both.  Thankful the Holy Spirit works His Word in us and shapes and fashions us according to His Plan and for His glory!

Phyllis – thank you for praying for Billy, Jeremy/Katie, Jill/Matt and all your beautiful grandchildren – and for me.  You have truly been a Scriptural blessing in my life and continue to be so!  Proverbs 31 by grace, you are!   And if you have anything you would like to add Phyllis, please add it in the comments: I still have much to learn!



posted in: Women | 0

What I want to do with this blog post: encourage those who encourage me.  Help you to see that there are many ways out there to be a P31 woman – not just in our typical run of the mill ways.

What I don’t want to do with this blog post: give all the glory to these people (because none of these people would say their lives are about them) and also not to give the rest of us a “busyness” mentality or that we have failed if we don’t do some of these things.  This is the one my husband has to remind me of often and where I struggle with the most.  As a friend of mine says, “Here’s what I don’t do so that I can do what I do.”

Here’s what to do with this post: be encouraged.  Especially with the new year coming quickly – pray about areas of growth or new goals for your life.  Pray with wise women around you.  If you are married: seek your husband’s advice and counsel on this, as well as asking other women.

So, here we go (and these are in no particular order)

Women who INSPIRE me and why:

Leah Finn: because she loves her family and seeks to serve them above doing anything else.  In doing this: she is ultra creative and crafty.  But, even besides this she is hospitable and giving.  Finn definitely married himself a P31 woman.  And she is so real with me and never lets on that she has everything together.  She desperately knows her need for the Gospel!

Janel Blanchard/Rebecca Horton:  These two girls I met when they were both students at Carolina (THE Carolina).  Now, one is in Chicago and one is in Savannah.  These are my two that challenge me to engage the world, engage the lost in the art/culture/theology/thiking world.  They do so with not knowing all the answers, but trusting that God will use the gifts He has given each of them to make a difference in the world for Him!  I love these girls.

Karisse Schilling: A friend from college.  She has beaten death – meaning God has shown her great mercy in sparing her life from bouts with cancer over several years, almost a decade probably.  She faces death head on, she believes God for BIG things.  She teaches me to live life to the fullest, live out the Gospel to the hurting, and ask God for BIG GIGANTIC THINGS.  I need to pray more like this.  I think I’m afraid that I’ll get my heart so set on the answer that if I don’t get it – I’ll be hurt.  That is wrong for two reasons: DOUBT and putting my hope and trust in the gift rather than the Giver.

Laura Williams:  She is maybe the craftiest person I know with doing things with her hands: she cooks wonderfully, is known for her brilliant creative cards that are featured in so many of the card making books out there (that you find at Michael’s and places like that).  She loves her family as well.  She has two young boys and she is skilled at art and photography and uses those skills to make their lives more fun. Eric – you got a great wife!

Christi Davis: My pastor’s wife and friend.  She is a mother to five ranging from college age to kindergarten (about).  She is concerned about her husband, her family, and her home.  That is her primary domain.  But, she opens her mouth and she speaks in wisdom and kindness (see Proverbs 31).  I’m so grateful to have her in my life and I look forward to all that God will show me through her.

I could go on – but these are the ones I wanted to mention today.  I’m challenged by these women to:

Live out the gospel and their need of it.

Engage the world around them.

Know their primary domain and be ecstatic about that – and do it well

Use the creative gifts that God has given them and enjoy it

Pray Big!


Play Your Position – Mark Chanski

posted in: Books, Women | 2

A retired soccer coach talks to women.  It was a pep talk, a halftime hoorah speech.

Mark Chanski spoke last night at Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC.  I went to hear him after reading some of both of his books, Manly Dominion and Womanly Dominion during my years at SBTS.  I also wanted to go because I’ve recently been married so I wanted to be encouraged in my now-role as wife and helpmeet.

Mark Chanski is a husband, father, and pastor in Holland, MI.  He writes from three decades worth of husband-experience and shares his discernments from God’s Word in both of his books. 

1.  Play Your Position

2.  Win It!

Those were both of his exhortations to us ladies (ranging from 11-80ish).  (Side note: I was very thankful to see females from every age group.  True Titus 2 living!)  Pastor Mark would spend the next 45 minutes broadening his meaning of these two coach’s screams.

Womanly Dominion Culturally Challenged.

The Word of God is true and unchanging, living and active.  So, why would we think God’s commands and prescriptions for us as females would not come under attack by a world that doesn’t consider truth to be absolute?  The serpent under-minded God’s spoken word in Genesis when he confronted Eve’s understanding of God’s goodness.  The serpent still undermines God’s truth today.  But, God’s Word stands firm and will never fail.

The culture around us wants to challenge our personal intensity.  No matter the age – we will be bombarded with problems in this area:

In high school, we will be challenge by either extreme: set our minds and focus on the best GPA possible (at the cost of all other objectives) or to slouch and not do our best.  We will be tempted to not pursue callings and gifts that we have because the world will tell us that they are not a worthy cause.

In college, we may be tempted by a professor to pursue a PhD (which is not evil in its own merit) to the dismissal of marriage, which is obviously a patriachal institution.

As single women, we will be tempted to go forward in relationships that aren’t pleasing to the Lord or to be the pursuer in relationships – not willing to wait on God’s perfect timing in His giving us all good gifts (Romans 8:32).

As married women, we will be tempted to run hard after everything we can, forgetting we are called to be a helper suitable to our mates, a wife of a husband.  We will be tempted to have our homes live up to the latest Pinterest home or Pottery Barn catalogue. 

Chanski encouraged us no matter the assignment in life – to be tough minded, sober-minded in that and fulfill our assignment with excellence.

We will also hear the world questioning the positional authority God has given to us.  We need to be firm where God has assigned us and not let the world and all of its lies lead us astray.  God has called each of us to where we are.  It might change (like mine just did, more on that later), but God never changes.  Listen for His voice.

Womanly Dominion Scripturally Expounded.  Mark stayed in two verses for the evening: Genesis 1:27-28. 

Domination.  Since we have been created in the image of God, that is a given statement, we are to be like him.  In these verses, we are to be like him in our “bringing into bondage” the earth.  Subdue the earth, work the earth.  Before God spoke the world into creation – the earth was without form and void.  Since creation, it has order and design.  We are to not let our “given assignments” be chaotic or out of control.  That is not how we are to be like God, mirroring and imaging our Creator.

Procreation.  Through childbearing – we women (men can’t have babies, deliver babies – though we need them in the process) – we get to participate in salvation.  We get to have children that will help populate the earth who will be part of the throng around the throne from every tribe, tongue, and nation.  After the Fall, Eve’s “punishment” came in the form of pain during childbearing.  I was reading this morning that even though there is pain, motherhood is still worth it (and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity one day).  In the focal verses: we are giving the command and sacred focus on filling the earth.  What questions does that raise?  How many childrend should one couple have?  Should you/must you adopt?  What about sexual protection from pregnancy or medical help to seek out infertitlity.  This one verse touches on so many familial and birth ethics in today’s society.

Position.  Chanski affirmed our sameness in essence with men.  We are not higher or lower – we have just been given a different position.  He spoke briefly on the Trinity and how their positions in the Godhead give us great insight into our position as women – same in being, different in position.  To see more on that topic, see Bruce Ware’s book: Father, Son, Holy SpiritWe are not to be androginous which society would like us to lean toward: women in battle, women playing men’s sports, men wearing skinny jeans or wearing earrings, parents raising their children “sexless” until they can determine what they want to be.  We see it.  This denial of the truth of sexuality.  There is diversity in function in the created sexual genders. God has a beautiful plan for males and females.  He does all for His glory.

So, in a nut shell: know and play your position.  Don’t assume your position.  Know it.  Trust it.  Make sure it lines up with the Word of God.  Then, play your position with all your might as unto the Lord and not unto men.

Here are my take home moments.  My encouragement from my husband was to listen for the Shepherd’s voice.

1.  Assignment.  As we have been studying 1 Corinthians 7 this week in home fellowship group, I have been thinking about my current assignment.  It has changed.  I am not a wife, a helper (hopefully) suitable to E.  That is my primary role that God has given me.  How is it different from being a single living to the glory of God.  Being a wife living for the glory of God is quite different.  My brain goes a million miles a minute imagining the judgment and expectations from those around me.  I need to listen to the Word, listen to E, and listen to wise counsel around me (and not the voices in my head).

2.  A new book that I’ll be reading is Excellence by Kostenberger.  I’m very much looking forward to the hard read.  And that was Chanski’s whole entire second point – Win it!  Play your position with excellence.  So…how do I keep my home with excellence?  How do I love and serve my husband with excellence?  How will my relationships with friends change but still be lived with excellence? 

3.  My only caution: women – don’t focus too much on the domination.  When I think of the word domination I think of ego, power, complete control, mean-spirited, take over.  While E has given me “domination” over the keep of the home (meaning, he tells me the home is my domain), he is meaning that to be a blessing.  So, while I have complete “domination” over the menu each week, that doesn’t mean I should fail to get his imput.  That domination needs to still be lived out under our husband’s authority and the grace of God.

Play your position and win it!


Savoring Living Water: Book Review

posted in: Bible, Books, Women | 8

Are your quiet times ever dry?

Do you feel like the Bible should be more nourishing to you than what you are currently receiving?

Do you need some “juice” to get your daily walk with God into a run?

My friend Lara and her writing partner and friend, Katie, have written a helpful and readable e-book to help answer these such questions.  There are times when every woman feels like that their quiet times just aren’t what they should be.  Maybe you are a mother of young children and its hard for you to even get in 5 minutes a day (while you are taking a shower, usually).  Or maybe you a mom of teenagers and you pray for them constantly.  Maybe you are married and you find your role as a wife to be overwhelming.  Maybe you are single and you are looking for direction.

God’s Word has the answers to all of these life situations and you CAN get the most out of God’s Word.  God’s Word is sufficient for all your needs and His Word is true.

Maybe, you are reading this, and you’ve never had a quiet time.  You don’t know how.  Katie and Lara address this issue – then take that deeper.  Its not just a scheduling how-to, its a heart how-to.  So, this book is good for you – wherever you are in your journey with Christ.

Hear these words: “I wake up wanting to hold the reigns of control and set my agenda.  Before my feet hit the floor my mind takes off.  I have to start the day low.  I am the needy one – empty-handed and thirsty for His presence.  I arise from my slumber into His day – His plan.  I’m the one who slept all night while He never wearied.”

Ladies – this book has great insight, honest feelings, and great resources to help you journey on and savor the Living Water of Christ through the Words of the Bible.

Savor.  Win a free e-copy of this by leaving a comment about your favorite Bible verse and what it means to you!  Thanks Lara and Katie!


How Women Can Use The Guide to Biblical Manhood

posted in: Books, Women | 0

I think that may be my strangest title yet for a blog post.  But, hear me out.

I had the privilege of working for one of the authors of this book for almost 3 years.  During those years, I heard him give many session talks at conferences and then got to transcribe those talks.  This helped me remember them and learn them and pray for my future husband.  Dr. Stinson not only can teach these principles and lifestyles, but he really does live them out.

The Guide to Biblical Manhood is based on a class that he and Dan Dumas taught together at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  We had begged Dr. S to teach this class for a while, so I’m grateful that they put it in the lineup.  I hope every male student at SBTS is required to take this class.  Not only does it go through general concepts which apply to all men: but then they break the book down into sections for husbands, fathers, and pastors.  And not all of this book has to do with baseball and hunting – though that is definitely included!  I laughed aloud reading some of the illustrations because I could hear my boss saying them or knew them definitely to be true.  I’m thankful for godly, wise, “older” men in my life, like Dr. Stinson and Dan Dumas, who live out what they teach.

Anyway, so why did I read it?  Well, when I saw it come across Kindle for cheap, I one-clicked it.  I wanted to read it to know how to pray for my now-known future husband.

Here are some principles if you are going to do what I did:

1.  Pray: Don’t NAG.  If you are going to read this and pray these traits for your husband/future husband – then pray, don’t nag.  Many women are very good at nagging about one thing or another.  Men usually don’t respond well to nagging.  But, pray the Holy Spirit would be the agent of change in your spouse’s life and heart.

2.  Encourage.  If you see a trait that your husband lives out very well – thank him for it.  Bless him – be a blessing in his life by affirming God-type things in his life.  If he plans a date night (which this book suggests), don’t gripe because its not your idea of a romantic evening – give him kudos for planning a great night for the two of you.  If he leads in saying prayer at night for the family – don’t fuss because it doesn’t work into your time schedule.  Stop what you are doing and make prayer a priority.

3.  Pray for yourself too.  Pray that you would respond graciously and kindly to these attributes in your husband.  Just as Genesis 3 talks about the woman wanting to gain control in the relationship with her husband…we need to be on guard against the sin of wanting to be in control.


Since I bought this book on Kindle, I don’t have page numbers – and there are too many quotes I “underlined”, but here are a few of my favorites:

“We need men who will shoulder the weight of manhood as God designed it, who will live it out day to day but will incline their manhood toward the Gospel.”

“The pattern and order of creation set in these chapters is for me to bear the authority and responsibility of leadership.  And that hasn’t changed.  If you’re a man, it’s not optional to be a leader.”

“The man will take the initiative to leave his family and go create a new family.  And men have to lead in the initiation because once they form a family, they are responsible to lead the whole thing.”

As I talked a few times with Dr. Stinson about being single and wanting a man who was a leader, provider, and protector – his word of caution to me was that I can’t expect men who have been single their entire lives to be perfect at these three things.  But, they all need to be pursuing these three traits – and the Gospel.  I am grateful for the man that God provided me with.  With God’s help – he is a tremendous leader, provider, and protector.

Thanks Dr. Stinson and Dan.  I appreciate the time and candidness with which you both wrote this and taught this.  I’m excited to see how marriages will change because of this little book.