Celebrate your womanhood! God loves women and men equally: He does not love males more! God is not biased for men over women. Throughout history, women have been denied the equal rights and freedoms of men. This viewpoint of unequal status has often rested on misinterpretations of the Bible. While the Old Testament does indeed appear in some places to sanction the unequal treatment of women, analysts have repeatedly misinterpreted and misrepresented the implications of the Old Testament provisions for Christians who, through Christ’s grace, are freed from the old law. Furthermore, although early Christians initially embraced the cause of gender equality and reunification through Christ, this cause was abandoned as the growing Christian church confronted the political challenges associated with its own expanding power. Even today, the Christian churches almost all fail to return to the God-ordained principle of gender neutrality through spiritual unity in Christ. Misinterpretations of the Garden of Eden It has been observed, “For two millennia now the Judeo-Christian tradition has placed man a little lower than the angels and woman a little higher than the demons.”1 From early in Christian history, misinterpretations and misrepresentations of the Garden of Eden story in particular have played prominent roles in...

Big Beginnings Have you ever started something and then you didn’t finish it well? I recently cleaned out a big storage box in my garage. There, in a shoebox, I found the embroidery project I had started years ago. I remember wanting to embroider my pillow cases with custom designs. It seemed so easy and fun. I had seen gorgeous samples and I thought it was a good idea. So I purchased the supplies, got the instructions, and started. It was a big beginning, but as the work continued and obstacles started to appear, my progress got slower and slower. The thread was knotted. The design was not right. The needles hurt by fingers. Eventually, I just give up and put that whole embroidery project into a shoebox and stuck in on the shelf. Building a Strong Foundation That’s exactly what Jesus is teaching us with the parable in Luke 14:28-30 (The Message): “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun...

I’ve heard it from every woman I’ve gone shopping with. When we get in the dressing room and try on that bathing suit or dress, we stare in the mirror, groan, and say, “I DON’T LIKE HOW I LOOK IN THAT MIRROR.” Mirrors are a part of EVERY woman’s life! We start looking in reflective surfaces as babies, fascinated by what we see looking back. We look in them as little girls playing dress-up, imagining what our lives will be like. We look in them as teenagers, comparing ourselves to the other girls in our class. We come to terms with what we see, some of us loving the woman in the mirror, others lamenting their perceived flaws. Women even used mirrors in the Bible! Exodus 38:8 says, “Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” Now these weren’t clear, glass mirrors like those we are use today. The polished stone or brass worked like our modern mirrors, reflecting slightly distorted features, giving an inexact representation of the face. But thousands of years ago, we know one thing for certain, even...

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (LUKE 2:10) PEACE ...

You are wonderful! Your unique ‘one of a kind’ life is important to those around you and to God.  No one can replace you. No one has lived your experiences or seen the world as you do. But “… the only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.  In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body” (Rom. 12:3-5). Simply put – as women we identify with each other. We see ourselves in other’s stories, struggles, sacrifices, and solutions. Life is not meant to be lived alone. Being part of a community connects our strengths, resources, and callings by combining them into a sisterhood of encouragement, which elevates all of us to our highest personal potential! When a sisterhood of women from all walks of life gathers together, we create a new identity for women of faith. Each...

I can still, very clearly, remember the day my youngest son, Taylor got in the car and drove to his first day of his last year of high school! This was the last “first day of school” for me. No more shopping for school supplies, backpacks, or lunch boxes. At 18 years old, he looked so handsome in his red, navy, and khaki school uniform. I kissed him, told him that he had brought me more joy in life than I could describe … and felt so overwhelmed with God's providence. I have been so blessed to have four incredible boys. That day I entered into the transition in life that bridges motherhood to the “empty nest.” As I watched him drive away, I wondered, “What am I supposed to do now?” Stepping into the unknown is always scary ...

The first half of my Mother's Day post dealt with Marching over Painful Memories. Part two focuses on two more lessons motherhood has taught me. The first is: M.inimize O.bstacles every M.oment It is always too soon to quit! “Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.” 2 Tim 2:13 Big shots are only ‘little shots’ that kept on shooting! Keep going. Rich and I have been married over 40 years. 40 YEARS! People have asked me, how have you stayed married and not gotten divorced?  The answer:  We didn't get divorced. We did not talk about divorce.  We never really considered it an option. Here is the secret to a long happy marriage—STAY married. The same goes with life. Don’t give up on your business, your dream for success, your dream for health. God blesses us to be a blessing. What prayer are you praying for? Instead of praying with a motivation of ‘ME,' pray from this question: If God answers this prayer through me, who will I bless with the answer? The secret to being a happy Christian is caring for others and doing for...

It’s Mother’s Day weekend! Have you planned how you will honor your Mom this week? Being a mother is not an easy job. In some ways it is often thankless, dirty, difficult, back-breaking work. But it IS the MOST incredibly rewarding gift a woman can ever have! My four sons are all adults now, but through their growing up years I learned many power principles which kept me motivated. This week I am sharing three important lessons to encourage you. M.arch O.ver painful M.emories You can’t change yesterday! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor 5:17-18 Believe it or not I didn’t want to be a mom. I wasn't even interested. When I was 16 years old, I remember shouting at my mother, “I never want to be like you!” Kids, cooking, and housework were beyond boring to my teenage perspective of life. A career without domestic home responsibilities was what I envisioned for my future. But then after 8 years of marriage, I came to discover that my husband and I needed a family. So I stepped into motherhood at 27 years old when our first son, Jonfulton, was born. Being a mom turned out to be the...

The heavy wooden beam of the cross hung across His lacerated shoulders as the procession of the condemned Christ and his executioners began its slow journey from the Roman jail to his crucifixion site. With enormous blood loss and in shock, Jesus stumbled and fell. When they arrived at Golgotha, the beam was placed on the ground and Jesus was thrown backward with His entire body pressed against the wooden stake. The soldiers stretched his arms against the cross beam. The Roman soldier then grabbed his arm, and dug into Jesus wrist to locate the depression at the top of his hand. Once the executioner was satisfied he had found the spot, he then drove a heavy, square, wrought iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. He moved to the other side and repeated the action. I imagine Jesus, turning His head toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. I imagine Jesus seeing the mallet, the nail, and the soldier’s hand. I also believe that Jesus saw something else. Through the eyes of scripture we can see what those who were there that Friday could not see. But Jesus knew it was there. Colossians 2:14 states, He...

Last year, around Thanksgiving, my husband got an invitation to the White House Christmas party in the mail. It may be a bit of an understatement to say I was a little excited! Rich had been to the White House and had met other presidents, but this was my first time. I immediately started planning. Plane tickets, hotel, a new outfit, I was going to meet the President and the First Lady! Not long before we were supposed to leave for Washington, Rich started to suffer from back pain. He ended up in the hospital and couldn’t make the trip. Let the DRAMA begin! The invitation was in Rich’s name. I was the unnamed “And Guest.” On the bottom of the invitation, written very clearly, it stated “Non-Transferable.” I WANTED TO GO!!! I really wanted to go, but my name was not on the invitation. My sister, Kathie, came to the rescue. She emailed and explained my situation to the President’s team. She told them I wanted to come anyway … in fact, could I bring along my son, Rich, Jr.? He has the same name, after all! They sent back an email saying there was no problem, but we didn't get a new invitation with the...