So I was at community group this past weekend and while we were praying I had a vision of the harvest. Before you get excited, contrary to what I’ve always been taught, I saw all of us there as the harvest, not the workers, but us as sheaves of wheat, hands lifted high in surrender. At first it was just a pile but then my vision panned out and I saw thousands in worship.
How beautiful was that?
So Sunday we tried out a new church.
Its a church of 200 people which is quite a change from the 20,000 peopled church my husband and I have been attending for the last 5 yrs. The worship was lively, the people were friendly, and they are having a baby boom (potential mommy friends?)
Any way after service my younger sister, B, met with the Music Pastor and told him that she’s living with me for the summer & she plays many different instruments (she is studying to be a music minister), what musician does he need. He replied and yesterday she went to practice with the worship team. She is playing in church on Sunday.
My other sister, Aggie, just graduated magna cume laude with a degree in Theology – Biblical Studies. She sat for her credentialing exam and is now an official Pastor in the Assemblies of God church. She is working 2 days a week at a church and also at a hotel as a manager. She plans on continuing her education all the way up to the PhD level.
I am so proud of them! Yet I’ve heard and even seen that in some churches in different traditions women are not allowed to be pastors. This saddens me. Many cite the Fall of Man as the reason why and I just don’t agree! The Bible has so many examples of women in leadership! Deborah, Esther, Lydia, just to name a few. Not only this, but by the orgizational limiting of women in those churches that do, they are cutting off many other women from hearing and believing the gospel. I know of women who are turned off from church life because in their family’s church tradition women are limited to membership in the choir, cooking and perhap Sunday school of those under 4 yrs.
My faith tradition allows women to be co-pastors. Many of the churches I’ve been members of have a male pastor and his wife as co–pastor of the church. They are the example of a partnership. I love this and I believe it furthers the message of the gospel which is God loves all of us and has a good purpose for each of us (See Galatians 3:28).
Curious? Check this out for a more scholarly discussion of the role of women in my faith tradition.
Some people have ministries that pay for their life. Some people have ministries that draw crowds from all corners of the earth. This is not my ministry. My ministry is more personal. More quite.
“Ministry” in the religious sense means “holy orders” or “the person or thing through which something is accomplished” or “duties.” In this way if asked I would tell you my ministry mandate from heaven is to pray for those I meet. Prayer is my ministry. Whether its the girl in the checkout aisle at Publix, or the girl I sat next to on the bus in 8th grade, that’s what I do. What do I pray for these people I run into? Usually I pray that they have a great day, that they experience a key success in their life, and that they feel closer to God, truly loved by Him. Sometimes in other circumstances I’ll pray for healing of their ankle/toe/back or whatever. Its my conversation with my God, and its an invisible and (I believe) and effective way of helping them.
I’m sure other people will say, “words are nice and all but can’t you do any physical good for people?” And I would respond to yes, Yes I can, and I do. I do many food drives, donations, homeless helping, walking for a cause etc., yet without praying for all those involved I feel like my acts of Christian service are shallow. Because at the end of this life, your soul survives, more than your external circumstances.
In different seasons of my life this has looked differently. Once I had a spreadsheet, once it was names on a sticky note on my mirror, once it was saved text messages, things change seasonally, and the number of people I’m praying blessings for change according to how I feel lead by the Spirit. Do you do this?
What would you call your ministry?
I’ve always believed that no matter the problem, Jesus has the answer to whatever difficulty you’re facing. Notice I did not say religion or church. Jesus. He alone has the answer to life’s problems. Not yoga, not bracelets, not prayer beads, not bowls, not fung shui, not dragons, not anything created above the earth or below it. Jesus.
You don’t have to agree with me. That’s not what this is about. But know that in 30 years of life, I’ve lived a lot of life. I’ve been broke ass poor in the ghetto badlands of Philadelphia, and I’ve been what I call rich-adjacent in the Poconos. I’ve seen both sides of abuse cases through the eyes of my foster brothers and sisters, social workers and therapists. I’ve been the girlfriend and sister of people experimenting woth drugs, while I was everyone’s Designated Driver, I’ve worked in radio, healthcare, schools and public housing, and the only one with all the answers is Jesus.
This Easter since my husband is preparing for a bodybuilding competition in the summer, I opted to make a vegetarian Easter meal.
2. Steamed carrots
4. Hummus & Matzo
5. My Flan
How do you do Easter dinner?
Bonus: Hummus recipe
What you’ll need:
- 2 TBSp Lemon juice
- 2 TBSp virgin olive oil
- 4 TBSp water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 lb can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Blend ingredients. (It works best if you use a food processor, if you don’t a mortar and pestle works, or even a blender, if you blend a little at a time and are careful not to make it too liquidy).
- After blending garnish with parsley and enjoy!
“But God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”
Acts 10:40-41 NLT
As you know my husband is a bodybuilder, and I love food. Whenever possible I try to make healthy versions of the foods that I love. Its not always possible though, and to be honest, if they are family recipes, I don’t want to mess with perfection.
Like many Christian churches around this time of year. My church is doing a 21 day fast. We are supposed to give up a meal or something we love (social media, chocolate, coffee etc) and instead of partaking in that thing, we are supposed to pray for someone we know who does not yet know Christ. My husband is trying to fast from foul language. I am attempting to fast from social media, only because I am the knuckle head who gets into political arguments with family members on Facebook. I need the break.
Apparently I am not the only one who needed a social media fast. People all over the internet are freaking out that Taylor Swift is has not posted a candid picture since Thanksgiving or something. While her followers are freaking out, I say, “You go Girl!”
I think sometimes we need to take a step back from public life, and be quiet. We need space to hear the only Voice that matters, and we need to turn off the noise of the world around us. I’ve only been off social media for 8 days, and already I feel more like my self. And let’s be honest, I’ve gotten back a lot of my time.
Do you fast from something this time of year?