Sunday, April 26, 2015

Summary: Run Like a Girl

In summary of the womanhood series, I wanted to recap what the last 6 blog posts have been saying about the difference between a woman of God, who lives with His strength, or a wimpy woman, who lives out of her own ability. Here's what we've covered:

A Wimpy Woman:
  • Tries to be like a man.
  • Only helps herself.
  • Has no long term impact.
  • Is foolish with her words.
  • Is fearful to commit and only does things that benefit herself.
  • Lets the world determine her value.
A Woman of Strength:
  • Appreciates men & womens’ roles & strives to live out of her God-given feminitity.
  • Ia Helper to those around her.
  • Leaves a legacy of influence on the next generation.
  • Is wise with her words.
  • Is commited to courageously act on behalf of God and others.
  • Lets God determine her value.
As you ponder this,  I wanted to share this video below, that gives me a good picture of a wimpy woman and a strong woman. It is the video that  Always ran during the Superbowl this past year. Though Always uses this video for a different purpose, I love the picture of a women wrestling with what it means to do things like a girl. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 says 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and perfector of our faith."
Ladies, don’t let the world determine what it looks like to run like a girl. Let God determine it. And when he defines it in your life. Run. Run with all your might like a girl. Run like a woman with a Noble Calling. Run as one who serves as a Helper and a Life Giver. Run as one who reflects the Lord in wisdom, beauty, courage and commitment. Run as a woman who shows to the world that Christ is her all, her Hope, her Life and her Glory! 
And for goodness sakes, Run like a girl! Racing towards Jesus in your God given design as a woman.
This blog inspired  by a sign that hangs in my Mom's house that says: Here's to strong Women: May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Woman's Value: More than Skin Deep

A wimpy woman lets the world determine her value. But a woman of strength lets God determine her value.
I want to specifically address the area of Beauty here, as often I think this is one of the first things that can affect our idea of our worth.
1 Peter 3:3-5 says:
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."  
That doesn’t mean that you can never wear cute scarves or earrings or braids in your hair. As you know, we love these things and I think that we reflect God’s character in having a love for beauty. 
What this verse is saying is that your definition of beauty should not COME from these things. Rather your beauty should come from this inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  
Many women, including myself, have struggled with the term gentle and quiet. Yet I think it means something different than you think:
Gentle, according to Theologian Wayne Grudem:
“’Not insistent on one’s own rights’ or ‘not pushy,’ ‘not selfishly assertive, not demanding one’s own way.’” 
Likewise, the root of the word 'gentle' stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. It’s the idea of strength in God under control in me.
Quiet here doesn’t mean volume wise, but it means at peace, living with a sure confidence in who you are and who the Lord has made you to be. 
We rest in what Col 1:21-22 says that through the Blood of Christ you are holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Picture courtesy of
Proverbs 31: 30 says:
 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
The only way we can live in this confidence is to have this spirit of selflessness and strength under control, appreciate others around us without feeling threatened, jealous or inadequate. It means to turn our eyes to Jesus, and live out of who he says we are. The beauty that comes from a secure heart does not spoil, fade, or leave. And it surpasses all earthly beauty making us more unique, lovely, and true. Its what people close to us talk most about in us and its what makes us look different from the world.
I pray that we would embrace this confidence and faith and focus more on what the Lord is to us then what we look like coming to a fellowship time! That we would prepare our hearts to see God more than prepare what the world will see in our make-up, clothes and hairstyle.
That is the kind of beauty that shines beyond our outward appearance

This Blog inspired by all the fun, more than skin deep, beautiful ladies in the collegiate ministry I get to work with on a daily basis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

High Dives and Belly Flops: Courageous Commitments

Photo found on
One day when I was 6, I slowly climbed a ladder. Rung by rung, I could hear my breathing with every step.  As I looked at the pool water on either side of me, and looked back at the line of people, impatiently waiting for me to go faster, I remember thinking, this is it. This is the day that I step out and stand for all 6 year old girls that we too can be like the big kids and dive off the high dive! 

In my short life, the high dive had always given my little heart a faster beat and  a pang of fear. Only 8 year olds and 10 years olds could jump off the high dive. But 6 year olds? No way! 

But today, on this day at my friends birthday party, I made a commitment. I was going to jump. I wasn't going to back down like last time. I was going to go for it, despite my fear. As I stood on the ledge, I heard my dad coaching me from below and counting. 1…2…(deep breath and shaky knees)..3…JUMP!

And as I hit the water, I swam up and let the smile fill my face! Courage and commitment had won! I made a name for all 6 year old girls! And it sure felt great (despite the fact that my dive was actually a belly flop).

A wimpy woman is fearful to commit and only does things that benefit herself. A strong woman is commited to courageously act on behalf of God and others.

The Prov 7 woman gives a terribly, clear disgusting picture of being a woman that is non-commital and does things to only benefit herself.
  • She uses her looks to manipulate people. 
  • She is dressed immodestly and it says she has crafty intent
  • She was a busybody never slowing down and never taking time to spend with the Lord. 
  • She pursued man rather than pursuing Jesus, and she brought death to her world.
  • She tempts men with her words. 
  • She uses her womanhood to deceive and bring others down.
  • And its says in vs. 27 that Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. 
Yikes! I don’t ever want to be known as the woman who’s house leads others to the chamber of death! She is not committing to anything but her own pleasure. She is flaky. She says she will do something and then doesn’t show or doesn’t commit.

God says in Matthew 5:37-“Let your yes be yes and your no be no. 

I see this very much in our society currently. Women are not women of their word. They are not dependable. They say “I might come..I’ll let you know.” 

Why are we so non-commital? I think it has the same roots as what Satan was using to tempt Eve...”What if I miss out?” “What if there is something more?” Even more, I think it really resonates in our fear. Its easier if I control the world around me cause then I won’t get hurt. And in the mean time, you shut out real, meaningful relationships and you only act out of fear.

In the next chapter of Proverbs we see the woman of courage. In contrast to the Proverbs 7 woman, the Proverbs 8 woman is
  • Inviting towards people and men but not taking the role of crafty purser,
  • She takes her stand for what is right, but is not overbearing.
  • She has trustworthy things to say and is a speaker of truth 
  • and it says in verse 15 that she is a helper to Kings. 
  • She detests wickedness. She walks in paths of righteousness.
  • Her instruction is helpful and priceless.
  • Just like the Provbers 31 woman, the Proverbs 8 woman is more precious than Rubies. 
  • And she brings life and hospitality and joy to those around her
Ladies, I wish I could recount to you all the brave women of the Bible that acted on behalf of what was Noble, Right, True.  Rahab, Jesus’ mother Mary, Deborah, Abigail. I also wish I could share countless examples of women I know that live in this way!  Women who have stood up on behalf of God and his purposes, faced their fears with courage, and left a mark on history and lives by their commitments to follow through to honor God.

You will either serve God or you will serve fear. Please, choose today to Serve God! 

What are you afraid of tonight? What is keeping you from serving God and living for his purposes? Can I encourage you to cast off your fear, and courageously step out, take the leap, and  impact others and the world? To have courage to serve God rather than your own desires? To let your yes be yes and your no be no? Commit today to serve God rather than yourself. 

This Blog brought to you to by all the 6 year olds in the world that took the leap off the High Dive, and bore the sting of a belly flop followed by the courageous smile of commitment winning out.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Word Crimes: Foolish Speech

 A wimpy woman is foolish with her speech. But a strong woman is wise with her words.
Picture from
This weekend my friend Brittney was telling me about how Weird Al (who knew that guy was still around!) made a song based off the popular hit song "Blurred Lines." Weird Al's version is called "Word Crimes," discussing the faux pas of grammar misuse. With a simple google search, and a click of your mouse, you can hear it too!  
But it did make me think about the word crimes we can commit when we use our speech for evil not good. 
When we use words in a sinful way they come out as gossip and slander, harshly tearing down those around us. On the flip side, words used for God’s glory come out as amazing encouragement and truth.
James 3:9-13 says
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, (or my sisters) this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers (or sisters) can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 

Likewise Proverbs 18:21 says--The tongue has the power of life and death

Listen ladies, Gossip is when we talk to another person about someone else’s issue when that person can not or is not helpful to the solution of the situation. 

 Picture from
I see often that we mask our gossip by forming it into a prayer request. You have all heard them : "Hey would you pray for Susie, she’s really struggling with purity right nowbecause she got back with her Ex, who is so not attractive and..blahblahblah."

Not ok!

Can I challenge you women to be women of strength by bringing life with your words. Do not slander and tear down. Do not talk about others. Don’t be overly critical and cover it up by joking. Be different

The world has enough gossipers and slanders. Be a conversation changer. Be a woman that speaks of life.

Eleanor Roosevelt said this:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." 

Lets be Great minds and discuss ideas, not people.
Build up people that are living worthy lives, even when they are not around. Speak well of your brothers and sisters and honor them when they are out of earshot. It will eventually get back to them and bless them!
Proverbs 31: 26 says a woman of Noble Character  is one who speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  

Let your words be beacons of light and truth, not death and destruction. Be wise in your speech.

Also, be a woman of the Word! All wisdom starts and ends with God and His words of truth. Why not look to his book for wisdom? 

“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom..” Proverbs 9:10

This blog brought to you by Brittney's ten year old daughter, Audrey, who also informed me that "Batman" can now be used as an adjective, synonymous with the word "awesome." 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Discipleship: A Legacy of Influence

John 12:24--Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Wimpy women live only for themselves. But strong woman are life givers, leaving a legacy that impacts the world! 

Sophomore year, I went to a conference with a collegiate ministry, mainly because it  was at the beach and my friends would be there. I don't remember who the speaker was or what he spoke on. But i do remember after one of the sessions, making a bee line for the beach around 10pm.  I remember God challenging me with the verse above and just being cut to the heart. If I didn't die to myself, I wouldn't have a lasting impact. But if I died to myself, God could use my life to impact generations of people.  And I just cried and cried. I heard the Lord calling me to die to my little dreams, my little life plans, my American dream, and to let him take over.  He was saying, like he said to the rich young ruler in Mark--Rachel, will you sell all you have and follow me? And I sat on the beach  until about midnight just praying and  processing what this meant.
One story comes to mind as I wrestled with this decision. Its a story of a loving Dad who gives his 6 year old daughter as strand of fake pearls for her birthday. The daughter loved those pearls (even though they were of little value) and she would wear them every day. She wore them to school, in the pool, while playing soccer, while trying on dress up clothes, even to bed. Then one day, her dad said to her, "Daughter, I have a surprise for you! Its something that you will love! Its something beyond what you can even imagine!" The little girl squealed with delight! "Daddy! Can you give it to me now?" And he said, "Honey, I can definitely give it to you know. But one thing. This gift will cost you your pearls." The little girl looked at him with horror and said "No! I don't want you to have my pearls" and she ran to her room. As she sat there, she thought "I love my pearls! My dad knows this! Why would he ask me to give them to him?" As she sat there, she thought, there are two things I know: My dad loves me and If he says it will be better and worth it, then it must be better and worth it." So she went back to her dad and said "Dad, I will give you my pearls! And with tears in her eyes and a slowly opening first, she dropped her fake pearls into his hand. Then her Dad looked at her and loved her and said "Thank you for trusting me." And he put in her now open hand the gift. A strand of real, authentic pearls that he bought especially for her.
For me, the wrestling on the beach was to give up my fake pearls, for the real pearls. And that night, I let the fake pearls slip out of of my hand and received the peace that the Lord was going to give me something better! And how amazing! He really has! 
A wimpy women lives only for herself and her dreams. She is quick to brush asides sacrificing anything. She closes her ears to God’s voice. She holds her dreams with a closed clenched fist. But a strong woman says..I trust my father. I want the real life..the real pearls. And Jesus says..yes! Give up that small idea of life and I will give you real life..lasting that produces many seeds.
One way this looks is for us to be Life Givers.
Discipleship--Obviously, every woman is physically designed to be a life giver, in that we can birth babies. But I think we can also carry this out into other aspects of our lives.

Right now you are not bringing children into the world physically. But part of being a life giver is raising up Godly generations and discipling women in their walks with God! There are millions of Christians in this world, but few women that take up the call to be Disciple Makers. 

There are plenty of pew sitters and women that can plan ladies desserts and craft nights, but we need women who will take on the raising up of the next generation. Will you be that woman?  Rise up women! And raise up other women with you!! The task at hand is every Tribe tongue people and language for the glory of God. 

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." ~Matt 28:19-20

Will you help someone in her walk with God? Will you get help from an older woman who can teach you how to help another women with their walk with God? This it not just a Navigator calling, nor is it just a calling for college. 

Embrace this and pray for Godly generations out of your life. Let go of your small life plans, die to yourself, and embrace the call of discipling and being discipled. And see the Nations come to know the Lord. Be part of a larger grander purpose!

Picture from
A wimpy woman has no long term impact. But a strong woman leaves a legacy of influence.
This blog brought to you by Laguna Beach Retreat Center, where I left my fake pearls for some real ones.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Helper: Not just your everyday calendar magnet mover

A wimpy woman only helps herself, but a strong woman is a Helper to those around her.
 In Genesis 2:20-21, God give Eve purpose and a role as a Helper:
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Now, when I was in first grade, every week, Ms. Springer would designate her "Helper" for the week. The week my chance came, I could hardly contain my excitement. I was going to be the "Helper" changing the world (or maybe just my class) forever! 

It didn't take me too long to catch on to the fact that a first grader helper, really was just the student that moved the calendar magnet from Mon to Tues, Tues to Wed, etc.  By Wed, my eyes had been opened and my 1st grade intellect kicked in. I may have been short, but I wasn't dumb! 

Ms. Springer didn't need me to move the magnet. She was a grown woman. Essentially, no one really cared about the magnet anyway. And I had been duped. Being a helper was unimportant and stupid. Virtually, I had no role of life changing proportions and there was no need for my position.

I think we often as women think that being the Helper is just a funny little title given by God that essentially  has not real value or purpose. 

But this word Helper is so so much more than calendar magnet mover. And it is a role that men can’t play and are not made to play

Helper in the Hebrew is Ezer Kenegdo. Ezer’s root words have meanings based in the words power and strength. 

It means in essence an “indispensable companion, a help meet…some one who helps to meet the needs and fill up that which is lacking.” ~John Piper

The word is more than sidekick. It is the same word the Bible uses of God as the Helper of Israel. This word is only used for Woman, God and the Holy Spirit.  A woman as a Helper therefore , Helps meet needs and fill up what is lacking with strength and power to those around her.

I think the world is in great need of women that take a look outside of themselves, outside of the pettiness of fashion, gossip, tv shows and men and looks at how she can make their world better. 

How does this play out in your world? 

Think through your relationships, friendships and the society you live in:

  • Does someone need prayer or a shoulder to cry on? 
  • Are you a giver in relationships or a taker? 
  • Where can you seek to encourage and not discourage?  
  • Is there someone you can befriend that others won't?
  • Are your eyes open to see the needs around you? 
  • Do you point people towards Jesus or to yourself? 

Did you know women, that men will speak often of how when you live as women, specifically as strong helpers, you encourage them to live out of their God given role as leaders?

Daily I hear from multiple women, Where are the men? Where are the Leaders?

I think society has an epedimic currently of passive men. But I think we as woman have contributed to that by trying to take over their role as leader often. When we step into the role of leader and do not fulfill our role as helper, we catapult a vicious cycle, encouraging men to be passive, to step down, and to retreat. When we function independently and pretend like men are not important, we all cause men to shrink back and even cause them to  believe that this is what women want. We are manipulative and aggressive and the farthest from the role of helper. 

Ladies, I challenge you that by us taking over, stepping into their role, we are only encouraging weak wimpy men!  Being a helper means giving men room to move in leadership. 

Encourage them to step up and lead by praying for a meal, or letting them walk you to your car. Defer to them sometimes in decisions and ask their thoughts on appropriate subjects, instead of always being the first to speak or decide. Give them feedback and have thoughts to help them make decisions for a group so they can lead well. Back them up when they make those decisions, and don’t be critical.  Affirm specific things you see them doing that demonstrate Godly qualities. Be women that encourage men to be men!  

Elisabeth Elliot says that "Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men.”

Being a Helper does not mean that you sit idly by, never have a thought or opinion, but that you help and support wherever you can. It doesn’t mean you never lead, but it means you are mindful of how to encourage men to lead and are willing to lead by helping.

 Just as a building is only as strong as its foundations and supports, we need to pillars of strength behind Godly men in this world.

A wimpy woman only helps herself. A strong woman is a Helper of many, meeting needs and filling up what is lacking.
This blog brought to you by The Society of Ex-Calendar Magnet Movers and by Mrs. Springer, who also made me eat all my ketchup and mustard dipping sauces on Corn Dog day, long after the corn dog was gone.