The Woman Speaks

Women are not to speak in church at all. Women are definitely not allowed to teach men anything. The only males they can teach are little boys. Once a boy hits puberty, he can no longer have a woman teacher in Sunday School. He is a man now. This same boy can be taught in public (or private or Christian) school by a woman and no one loses their mind. He can have women professors in college. He can have a woman boss. But in church, man reigns supreme and women need to just shut the heck up.

This is biblical, right? I mean, right? It’s what Paul writes, isn’t it? And we all know Paul is like next to godhood. His writings in 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 3 dictate the silence of women, at least that is what I have always been taught. I’m sure many of you have as well.

Let women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says, and if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet.

I Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12, respectively

These passages have no doubt been beaten and belabored to death in recent months. But please, allow me to throw my hat into the ring as one late to the party. Let’s talk about church first, shall we? Let’s define it biblically, okay?

For where two or three are gathered together, I am there in their midst.

Matthew 18:20

This verse in Matthew comes just after Jesus tells the disciples how to deal with offenses done against them. (You can read it all in Matthew 18:15-20.) Church is not a building but it is the whole body of Christ. It is comprised of individual believers. Anytime believers meet together it is church. So anytime believers have a meal with other believers it’s church. If believers meet out shopping or going for a walk, at a concert, etc it is church. But we don ‘t live like that. We live as if the church is simply the four walls of a building with Church in the name. “I attend this church. Which church do you attend?” So we translate this passage in light of that viewpoint. Women cannot talk inside the four walls of a church.

Except even this is not practiced truly. Women speak inside the church walls all the time. Women speak to men inside the four walls of a church all the time. And no one bats an eye. Women speak and teach in the church. Children and women only. “Because that’s what the Bible says.” I beg to differ. I am not intelligent nor eloquent enough to lay out the reasons. But I will show what Jesus has been revealing to me about Himself and His dealings with women.

Jesus revealed Himself to women first on many different occasions and in varied ways. A real quick rundown of some.

  • Mary heard from the angel, Gabriel before Joseph. God chose to reveal Himself to a woman before revealing Himself to her betrothed and before revealing Himself to any in Israel.
  • Jesus chose to reveal His identity as Messiah to a woman before revealing it to the disciples. He told the Samaritan woman, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:26) This was after speaking with her and bringing the conversation around to church and worship. She confessed to hearing the rumor of a promised Messiah who “will declare all things to us” (John 4:25)
  • Jesus chose a woman, a woman who had been demon possessed, to first reveal Himself post-resurrection. According to His plan and purpose, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb early on the first day of the week. She saw the stone had been rolled away and she hotfooted it back to town to tell the disciples. She was the one who followed Peter and John as they entered a footrace to the tomb.
  • Jesus chose Mar Magdalene to be the one to look into the tomb after Peter and John left. (Left to go find the resurrected Jesus? Nope. They left to go home.) He chose for Mary to see the angels and then turn around and see Him. He veiled her understanding until He spoke her name.
  • Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to be the first apostle. She saw Him first post-resurrection and she was the first one He sent. And where did He send her? To give men a message. But not just any men. His men. Men who had faithfully followed Him throughout His ministry. The message she was to give them? In short, she was to instruct them. Jesus could have shown Himself to them. He could have appeared at the tomb behind Peter and John and told them to go back and tell the other disciples He lived and where to meet Him. But He didn’t. I can’t emphasize this enough. He purposely chose a woman. He purposely sent her out. He purposely sent her to instruct men, His men. Believing men.

So let’s go back to Paul. He writes, what I believe is at least tongue-in-cheek, that women are not allowed to teach or even talk in church. He even says “just as the Law also says.” The Law meaning, of course, the Mosaic Law. Only the Mosaic Law does not say this. Anywhere. It’s not there. I believe it was considered a law at the time in the church. This was not a law handed down by God, but rather was a law handed down by men. It was, in short, tradition that had morphed into another law that governed behavior.

It is also thought that women were viewed as disruptive. Maybe some were. The verse in 1 Corinthians 14 that immediately precedes Paul saying to let the women be silent, addresses an issue in the body. Chaos reigned. Confusion ruled the assembly. Paul writes that “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” I am not going pretend to have studied the culture of the Corinthian church and cannot speak to that. All I know is context is key.

There is a church I have attended on a few occasions and in this church is a man who is of sound least it appears that way. Before the message gets under way, he is observed quietly speaking with others in the sanctuary, with coffee cup in hand. But once the pastor begins the message this man begins shouting out words and phrases. To be sure, they are “Christian” phrases, but are nonetheless disruptive.

I attended a Christian concert a few years ago. This concert did not take place inside the four walls of a building with Church on the side but it was, nonetheless, a church. The man directly behind me was extremely disruptive. He kept reaching forward to grasp my arms in an effort to make me raise them. He shouted out words and phrases at such an alarming rate and decibel level the musician called him out on it. It did not stop the man. I was preparing vacate my seat in search of someone in charge who could escort the man out when there was an intermission. The man did not return to his seat. It’s possible he left voluntarily and it is also possible he was told to leave. I don’t know. I share these experiences simply to show women are not the always the ones who bring disruption to worship.

Let’s move back to discuss the church. My family often shares a meal with friends from church. This, by definition, is a church. So if women are not allowed to speak in church, any time I have a meal with another family of believers, I cannot speak. I must sit in silence. There could be no “please pass the mashed potatoes” or “please pass the salt.” There could be nothing but silence as the men are allowed to speak. How crazy would that be? But if we are going to be dogmatic about what Paul wrote, we have to take it to this place too.

I have begun praying for Jesus to open my eyes, to let me see Him and read His words with fresh eyes. He has been faithful to do just that. I want to get rid of any preconceived ideas and notions about what the passage is saying and listen to His voice reveal His truth.

One of the most amazing things He has brought to light is simply the powerful role of women, His women in His narrative. He first revealed His identity and deity to a woman. A woman was His first apostle. He sent her to instruct believing men. We have allowed traditions to dictate church life long enough. I want to say this next part with grace but I fear it will come out and sound harsh. Weak m men, men fearful of losing their felt power and authority, have devised this and blinded the eyes of weaker men in an attempt to silence women. Women who love Jesus and are empowered by Him to proclaim His word to men and women. For His glory.

Why You Don’t Tell Your Fear How Big Your God Is.

This morning I was spending some time reading in the book of Exodus. Some months back I heard Jesus whisper to my soul that I was a “Modern-Day Moses”. I continually argued and claimed I had no ability to do what I believed He was calling me to accomplish for Him.

Oh how He must have laughed at me and my incredibly short-sightedness. How much He has taught me, revealed in the hearing of His voice in my mind and through the pages of Scripture.

He has showed me the incredible impossibility of my doing any work for Him. He opened eyes and heart to see the reality and truth of Ephesians 2:10:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

new american standard bible

Everything I thought He had created me to do, everything you think He created you to do, has already been done. We are merely to walk in the good works He has prepared and accomplished. Remember His words on the cross. It is finished. We so often think He was simply referring to redemption and certainly that was finished. That means there is absolutely nothing more for us to do for our redemption. Not a thing. It is finished. In Him and by Him. The works our faith produces are completed by Him. We simply walk in them as we walk in Him.

If you’re wondering what that has to do with Exodus, you’re in good company. Hopefully by the end of this post we will both know.

This morning I read in Exodus 5 of Moses and Aaron’s first appearance before Pharaoh. They tell him exactly what God told them to say. Pharaoh’s reaction was not at all surprising.

But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel god? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.’

exodus 5:2

What did surprise me and really make me pause to think, ponder, and pray was the next verse where Moses answers Pharaoh by completely ignoring the question. Check it out.

Then they said, ‘ The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.’

exodus 5:3

Here Moses and Aaron were given a golden opportunity to talk about their Great God and they ignored it. They completely side-stepped the question and instead further asked their original question. Why? I kept thinking about Jonah. He did not want to go to Nineveh because he knew they would hear and repent. Maybe it is a real possibility that if they had answered Pharaoh could have repented. That is all conjecture and a moot point because we already know God was going to deliver them and Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened.

You don’t evangelize your strongholds; you get rid of them.

If we see ourselves as enslaved in Egypt and Pharaoh as our strongholds, we begin to see why they did not answer the question. To evangelize (telling others Who our God is) would be making friends with our strongholds. Making friends with our strongholds would be to keep them intact. We do not want to do this. Strongholds are sin and negatively affect our service.

We cannot make friends with our sin. We must ruthlessly eradicate it. Now, please understand here, I am not at all saying that we must do something to atone for our sin. That is impossible and a horrible affront to God and His grace that we have that mindset (and make no mistake, we do). We cannot walk in freedom with God and live in our strongholds. Jesus has already paid the price for our sin and set us free. Our eradication of strongholds is not done by us, it is done when we confess the sin, and invite Jesus to speak His truth into the stronghold.

We do not tell our fear how big our God is. We don’t tell our strongholds how big our God is. They already know. We get rid of them through our Big God. Just because they taunt us by asking Who God is, does not at all mean we must answer.

The strongholds, our own personal Pharaohs, want us to believe they are the most powerful god in the land. They want us to believe they are more powerful than anyone and anything, even God. They want us to shut up about being free and get back to work for them. They want us to believe there is no freedom for us because there is no God bigger than them.

They are wrong. And we are fools when we believe them.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore. keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

galatians 5:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

romans 8:1-2

and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

john 8:12

Do not dialogue with your strongholds. Surrender them to Jesus.

Quiet Time

It was a hurried quiet time this morning. There was no lingering long over coffee and prayers, this was a fly out of bed and hit the deck running day after a very short night. Normally there is plenty of time to bask in the grace and wonder of Jesus, to linger long while sipping coffee, pondering the deep things of Jesus and praying His peace pervades all of everything.

But not this morning. This morning was an I have to get up and out the door by 6:45. Which means I need to be in and out of the shower by 5:30 so Mr. FullCup has plenty of time to get ready himself before leaving for work at the same time. It was also a I still have so much to read before 9am, I better begin as soon as I get out of the shower. And that is exactly what I did.

Life hit me like dominoes. One thing after another. Please, do not misunderstand here, I am not at all saying one must spend copious amounts of time with Jesus every morning or watch out, He’s going to get you! Not at all. Jesus isn’t like that. He doesn’t operate that way. My focus was two-pronged which is unusual and more or less impossible. I knew He was with me, I could sense His closeness, but my thoughts were on what needed to be done now. Right now. This minute. This very minute now. Not in a few minutes, not in a few days but now, right this second now.

You know because you’ve been there too. It’s the tyranny of the urgent and life’s demands stack up like unpaid and unpayable bills. Soon you find yourself running hither and yon, then back to hither in a mad, vain attempt to accomplish something. Anything. You can’t think straight enough to know what the next step is, the next thing is. You’re just so dang crazy busy.

You pray on the fly, “Jesus, help here!” “Oh Jesus, are they crazy? Do they think they are the only one who is making demands on my time? Do they really think now is the time for that? How on earth, Lord, is all of that going to be done?”

You feel the panic and stress rising. You want desperately to drown your stress in mochas but you haven’t the time to get one. You want to go anywhere but here. You’re desperate to run any where as long as it isn’t here. Quitting isn’t just a nice thought, it’s a mind obsession. Fight or flight and you’re picking flight. But your dang feet won’t move, won’t budge an inch.

You battle tears and find yourself losing, thinking, “What on earth good are tears at a time like this? Tears won’t get that job done. They won’t write that article. They won’t read that book. They’ll just make a mess of your makeup. That’s it.”

As you choke back the tears, wipe your nose and eyes for the millionth time in an hour, you suddenly realize, your focus is wrong. Your focus in on what you can do. All of your abilities and inabilities. You see the waves and feel the wind in your hair and you raise your hand as your heart cries out, Oh Jesus! My focus is the waves! I’m feeling the wind, and oh Jesus, I’m sinking fast. Please show me the next thing. Keep my focus on You.

Just as fast He reaches down, grabs your hand, lifts you out, and sets you on a rock. He covers you with His pinions, and under His wings you find refuge and strength. Not your own, His own. In His arms, we are safe and we rest in His life living in and through us. If you listen close, you can hear His sweet voice as He gently sings over your soul, calming your fears and your tears.

How to Say Good-Bye to the “What-Ifs” of Life

What if that happens?
What if she really doesn’t like me?
What if they had an accident and are dead on the side of the road and no one knows it?
What if no one talks to me?
What if no one believes me?
What if I ruin my children?
What if I …what if that…..?

We are all so familiar with the whole what if scenarios. We create them in our mind and call it nice things like concern and planning. We pride ourselves on being full of forethought and caring concern for others.

We plan for every little contingency; we stress and worry. We stress and worry when we think we have no “what-ifs” to stress and worry about. We like them. We are fond of them. They drive us up the wall, but without them we think and fear we are nothing. We have no place and no purpose.

Dear reader, this is not where our purpose and place is found. It is not found in our frantic grasps for control. Our purpose is found solely in Jesus Christ.

“…there is but one God,the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

1 Corinthians 8:6 nasb (emphasis mine)

Our purpose is His and to be His. He defines us and our place in this world. We live out our purpose when we surrender fully to His life in us and live from that place of complete surrender and obedience to Him. I’m sorry there is not other way, unless you like wallowing in worry and self-pity.

The other night I was struggling with something I knew for a fact that Jesus had told me. I knew He led and directed my steps, but still my thoughts went to the what if route. The thoughts took me by surprise, I thought my confidence and my obedience to Jesus would negate them and their ability to strike fear in the pit of my stomach. I was wrong.

I have walked with Jesus through a lot of yucky stuff, I have learned to trust His voice and His heart, so when I heard His whispered voice in my ear, I listened. 

What ifs come from fear, not trust.

What ifs speak of our fears, mostly our fear of a loss of control. One thing Jesus has really been opening my eyes to lately is how much we think we are in control. I am sure most of our sins could be eradicated if we only realized the idolatry of our control. Our push and grab for control tells Jesus, “I don’t need You for this. I’ve got it. I’ll just worry, fret, stew and control everything and every part of it so You can just go help the people in Sudan. They need You.”

Oh how wrong we are! Oh how that flies in the face of grace. If we could control our way to heaven there would have been no need for Jesus to ever come to earth. If we could worry and fret our way out of situations, we wouldn’t need Him. But we so desperately do! We need Him more than we need air.

He is our Breath and our Life. He gives and sustains life. Not worry, not fret, not control. Jesus.

Oh dear reader, I know you’re tired. You’re weary and worn. And you’re trying so hard to not be. Give up your unending drive for control, give up all your what ifs and fears, and cling to Jesus. Only in Him is there the peace and joy you so desperately need.


We were slaves in the marketplace; we were full of fear. We wondered how and where we would end up, who would purchase us and what would they be like? Would they be means and vicious, or kind and tender? Would they care for our needs or expect us to care only for theirs?

Fear–thick and heavy–ruled us with an iron fist and our captors wanted it that way. Fearful slaves were easily controlled slaves. They led us, not in tenderness and love, but by hatred with beatings, both actual and threatened.

Hatred kept us in our place. Hate and fear were our two constant companions that dogged our footsteps and shared our bed.

We didn’t have names, that would have shown kindness, we were just a number to those who ruled us with an iron hand of control. One by one, they called our number, the number they had assigned us when they stripped us of our identity and our hope as one strips off yesterday’s clothes.

There we stood, wearing nothing except our fear, wondering, trying not to cry, nor look anyone in the eye because they could see our fear and they would feed on it.

“Just do what they say and never think about anything else. You have no choice, just do as they say.”

We were bought, shame, fear, and all. Brought with a price. The One who bought us clothed us. We were given a name.

But still we clung to our fear, believing we had no choice. A slave we were, a slave we will always be.

Then our new owner–stooped down, looked us in the eye and said, cutting straight to the heart, our heart,

“Do not fear. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine.”

The freeing part isn’t in our redemption, but in the One who redeemed us. The One who paid the price of our life on that slave block. Everyone not sold is sentenced to death.

And we were already dead.

Sometimes we strut around touting, “I have been redeemed!” and “I am FREE!” as if we had anything to do with it. It wasn’t because we were so strong or capable or great that He redeemed us, because He is far more than we. But He redeemed us.

That is the reason we can have no fear, He redeemed us. The words “Do not fear” is not saying, “Do not fear you are redeemed.” It is saying, “Do not fear I have redeemed you.” The emphasis is not on the one redeemed by on the One who does the redeeming.

In Jesus fear dies. In our pride, in our arrogance, we show who our real master is in that moment–fear.

Why when He has freed us from death, sin and fear, do we chose to live that way again? WHen we choose fear, we choose the old life. There is no life there. There is no freedom there.

He has redeemed our life from the pit! We must stop going back there. And how, how do we do this? By surrendering fully to Him. Admit the shame, the fear, the nakedness, and confess our wrong beliefs about ourselves and our God, our Redeemer.

Then we walk free…given a name and clothed in His robes.

Laying it all Down on Our Mt. Moriah

“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…but whatever things were gain to me, those I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,”

Philippians 3:10, 7-8

The first sentiment is easy and very churchy. It’s what we think we’re supposed to want, to say and to mean. It’s all well and good until He starts taking things and we start losing those things we hold so dear. Then counting our dearest treasures as rubbish in view of the surpassing value of knowing Him, suddenly it isn’t so easy. It’s hard. It’s brutal.

Dying to self and denying ourselves is never easy, except on paper and in our head. Move that to a heart thing and we find out we are incredibly selfish and, quite frankly, we don’t really trust and believe Jesus. We don’t believe He is good because if He was truly Good He would know how much we need that. You can name your own that, possession, relationship, person, job, treat, pet, position, it’s a need and you feel entitled to it. He’s good if He takes what you’re willing to freely give, the things on the fringes of your heart. Those are easier to let go of than the gifts you treasure.

One of the hardest things to give up is the very thing you know He gave you. You’re facing your own Mt. Moriah, you have the wood, the knife, the altar is there. But where on earth is the sacrifice?

It’s living in you. It is the very thing you’re holding onto with a death grip. It is the thing you know deep in your marrow that He gave you, He told you and now you’re having to die to yourself. You have to lay it all down on that altar, not knowing if there will be a ram caught in the thicket by his horns.

You pray and pray that this cup, this cup of affliction and suffering, this cup of pain and loss when you’ve lost so much already, will please pass from you.

But you’re still holding that cup. The cup that burns in your hands and you’re looking around, wanting someone, anyone to come and take that cup from you. You’re dying for someone to rescue you and heal your burning hands.

But still you’ve got the cup.

You know in your soul as the word reverberates in your mind that Jesus says “Die to that thing. Kill it. Deny yourself. Pick up your cross. The very cross you said you’d gladly bear and bear it all the way to the death. The very cross you want someone else to take, pick it up and die on it. Die to the very thing you want more than life itself. “

Because only in the dying do we live. Only in the losing are we found. The only way out is the way in. The way to life is the way to death.

So sacrifice it already. Surrender it and yourself in tears if you need to. But give it and your anxious heart to Him. No guarantees and no bargaining. Just simple trust.

He Is…I Am Bible Study Week 5

This is a little later than I normally post these but Jesus was speaking and I had to get His words to share with you.

I’ve been listening to this song the past few days and I really like it. Except for one line. Plumb sings, “Come and consume, All we are. We give You permission….” That line, about giving Jesus permission, just rubs me the wrong way.

We do not give Jesus permission. He is not beneath us, nor is He in our control. He does not stand outside, hat in hand waiting for us to deign to invite Him in. He always works. He draws our hearts to Him. Yes, He stands at the door and knocks, but He is not a gentleman. He goes where He is not wanted nor invited. He gets in our business all the time.

Anymore the very thought of our giving Him permission or allowing Him to do anything turns my stomach and makes me angry. Yes, angry. He does what He is going to do–no permission from His creation is needed nor sought. He is God and His plan marches on to completion. He is not a gentleman, but He is good and kind, loving in all He does.

Our only role–is not that of foreman, granting permission as we deem necessary–but that of surrender. We bow our knees before Him in surrender. He is in charge and is not a gentleman.

Oh Jesus, consume me like a forest fire out of control. Burn off the dead, bring fresh nutrients to the soil. Please set me aflame.

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but not He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’ And this expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:25-29

We all want a nice, safe God. One who plays nice with our lives and doesn’t rattle our cage or shake us up at all. We want one that allows our control and strongholds to remain and He sure doesn’t ask anything from us. We want to Him play sweet on Sunday, we want to feel His presence as we sit in church and then bless us as we live in our control and strongholds the rest of the week, calling on Him only when we face something we deem to big for us to handle.

This is not the Jesus–not the God–of Scripture. That God rattles and shakes things. Often the things He rattles and shakes is us, our things. He shakes things up and He shakes us up.

He shakes to remove those things which can be shaken–our sin, our control, our strongholds–in order that those things–His Life and gifts–that cannot be shaken remain.

One thing we desperately need is to be shaken. We must see all our control and strongholds for what they are–a farce and a sham. They are flimsy and no good at keeping anyone with any strength out. Until we surrender to Him and surrender our control and strongholds to the One in Control and our Greatest Stronghold of refuge, He will continue to shake us.

Even after we surrender things will be shaken up, because He must expose and remove all our self-made strongholds. This is why we should pray to be protected from everything except what would bring Him glory. When we pray this, we know in our times of shaking that everything that happens is bringing Him glory, painful though it may be. We can rest secure in Him and watch Him be glorified in us and through us.

So when things start to shake in your life, and they will, trust me on that, surrender. Don’t dig your heels in and staunchly try to maintain your control. Surrender. Lay down your weapons, ask Him to speak to the hurt, the stronghold and then be set free to live in Him.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things  which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

He Is…I Am Bible Study Week 4

Can you believe we’re finishing up our first month of Bible study already? I pray Jesus is opening your eyes to see Him, to hear Him, and to experience Him in brand-new ways.

I’ve been struck over over the past couple of weeks with His very sameness. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change. He cannot change. The way He was before the beginning of time is exactly how He will be after the end of time. There is no shifting of shadows in Him. There is no, “well, I don’t know if He’ll still do it….”.

Precious reader, if He did it before He is sure to do it again! It might not be the in the exact same way, but He will do it because He doesn’t change. If He met you yesterday, He’ll meet you today. Since He was faithful to you last week, He’ll be faithful to you this week as well.

Here is the thing that really strikes me about the very unchangeableness of our Jesus.

He’s not monotonous.

Monotony bores me to tears. If you want to see me run, put me in a place I will have to do the same thing, in the same way, every day. I’ll die. I will invent new ways of doing it. I will be so bored I’ll cause trouble for everyone. I’ll talk when I should be quiet, I’ll poke my neighbor, I’ll prattle on and on, long after you’ve shushed me a billion times.

When I leave my house I often try to take a new way to wherever I’m going. Since I’ve lived here for over 17 years, I’m quickly running out of ways to go, but still the thrill entices me.

My man is the opposite. Change is horrifying to him. He lives today as he lived yesterday. He takes the same way to work every single day. And what’s more, he sees no need, has no desire to change it at all. I’m going to admit it drives me absolutely up the wall.

It is comforting however, to know that Jesus never changes. It comforts because we can know that as He loves us today, He will love us tomorrow. He will never love us more, never love us less than He does right this moment. He will never know us more, never know us less than He does right this second. He will never stop loving us, or knowing us because He doesn’t change. As He is right now, He will always be.

He will reveal different facets of Himself and we plunge deeper into Him, His heart and His life. But He, His heart, His life, His character, His character remain the same forever. From forever past to forever present to forever future, He remains the same.

Man changes. But our God remains steadfastly faithful.

He will continue to grow us, to change us, to teach us, but He will always remain our Faithful God. Through the shifting sands of time He is steadfast.

Remember that! Never forget.

Here is the link to the next month of Bible study.

One Word 2019

A number of years ago it was popular to choose a word to focus on for the coming year. It was a word you would hope to be characterized by at the end of the year.

I have shared a time or fifty of my non-conformist ways and so it should be no real surprise to you that I did not immediately jump on the bandwagon, choosing a word willy-nilly. The words I chose were simply words that I kept encountering. At every turn I was confronted with the word Joy one year and another it was grace.

After a sweet conversation with Jesus, I was convinced the word for my life would be Joy, and there was no reason, no real need, to ever again have a word for one year. I slowly began collecting anything with the word, Joy, on them.

In the words of Marie Kondo, they brought me joy. Immense Joy.

This year I began noticing people again choosing a word or two for their year. And I thanked Jesus that I had a word for my life. And that I was made a non-conformist.

Then He spoke. One word.


My heart questioned, not from unbelief, but it seemed a strange word for Him to speak to my heart.

“I have called you by name, you are Mine!”

Isaiah 43:1

The word He chose for the year is so multi-faceted. It is a pronoun showing ownership.

But it is also a noun. As a noun these two definitions have piqued my interest,
1. A subterranean passage under an enemy position.
2. A rich source of supply.
These are to definitions I’m definitely going to be thinking on over the next few months.

It is also a verb and these two definitions jump out at me.
1. To dig under to gain access to or cause the collapse of an enemy position.
2. To extract from a source.

My identity is simply this. I am His. He has called me by name and I am His. In this I get to mine the depths of Him. In Him I have a secret, underground passage under the position of my enemy. As I mine His depths, enemy held positions in my life collapse.

His life, His supply is endless. We could mine the depths of Him every day for the rest of forever and we will never exhaust our supply of Him or His riches.

So, be encouraged, dear Reader, He is more than adequate to meet your needs. His riches and His life do not end, there is nothing you will experience that will be beyond the riches of His source, His Life. Plunge yourself deeply into Him, mine the depths of His life and grace.

He Is…I Am Bible Study Week 3

Can you believe we’ve completed three weeks of our study into our identity already!?! I would love to hear what you have been learning, please consider leaving a comment so we can rejoice and celebrate with you.

Jesus will never love us more, He will not know us more than He does in this exact moment in time. It is also true that He will not love us or know us less than He does in this precise moment in time. There is nothing we can do to stop, thwart, or change His love for us. He will never stop loving because His heart never changes.

As Jesus is right now, He will always be. He will reveal different facets of Himself and His life; but He will remain the same. His heart, His character, His love does not shift or change. He remains the same forever, from forever past to forever future He is steadfastly faithful.

We are often so quick to think other people bring change and growth to our life. We think they make us flourish in ways we hadn’t before. We think, “Man, since this person has been in my life, I’ve acted differently.” Ergo, it’s the person.

But all growth and lasting, noticeable change comes only from Jesus. As He breaks–shatters–the strongholds, we are changed and that change lasts. He will continue to grow us, to change us, teach us but He will remain the same. He will never be surprised by anything, He will never know more or less than He does because through the shifting sands of time He remains steadfastly faithful.

When I look back over the last year I am amazed at the changes in my own heart. Most of them have been subtle, yet sublime, internal changes that are not readily noticeable. I haven’t experienced a sudden, remarkable change. One cannot point to a time and say, “One moment you were this and then BAM! You were like that!”

His truth has been cemented in the marrow of my soul. Things I had heard, things people had tried to teach me have been understood because of His love, His faithfulness. His truth has moved from an intellectual pursuit, staying all in the mind and never reaching a behavior-changing heart level, to being dropped and cemented in my heart and is now a truth lived out because Jesus’ Life lives in me.

He showed me the high price of surrender is not near as high as the cost of remaining in and with an illusion of control. Surrender to Him and His life is always worth the cost. Always.

So many times we fear a loss of who we are if we surrender to Him. We fear we will be a nobody, we will have no identity. We are afraid we will be an empty cup. We will have no life, we will be a nameless, faceless person in a crowd. We fear this because our identity is wrapped up in who we are not. We think we are the life, we think the cup makes the coffee great, not the coffee making the cup great.

Our identity is not in who we think we are. It is in who Jesus says we are! Our identity is not lost when we surrender who we are not to Who He is, it is realized! Only in this freely surrendering our identity to His truth are we changed and enabled to walk in our high places with Him.

In this surrender we see ourselves as we are–His–and that frees us to see others as they are, and allow them to be who Jesus created them to be. We let go of any illusion of control that says everyone must be just like us or they are wrong. It frees us of the trap of comparison. It frees us from so much self.

Shoot, it just dang frees us. From us. To Him. And that is true freedom.