Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Strong Women

From a blog I read:

"Single women are the strong backbone of our team. Yesterday four of them sat on a bench together at chapel (the 5th strong woman, Heidi, was taking responsibility to send off our interns and drive two families back from Kampala). On the end of the bench was Pat who had come down to the Pediatric Ward the day before to see if she could be helpful, and within a few minutes we realized one of our severely malnourished patients was dying, but the little boy's father had left to get help, so that only an 8-year old scared and crying sister remained. So Pat spent almost the whole day holding Sunday, as I checked on him intermittently and the nurses did their best to push blood and fluids and medicines to rescue him. She gave the gift of encircling arms, so that this little boy did not suffer alone, so that he spent his last hours on earth loved. He died that afternoon. Next to Pat sat Kim, whose visit back to our team has been a breath of fresh air, a listening ear, a praying heart, a solid wisdom that many of us have drunk in. Then Sarah, who sat holding hands with A., a CSB support staff who after almost 8 years of being drawn into community as a student and then staff member at CSB, made a profession of faith in March during a Bible study with Sarah. Loving someone from a different world religion into the Kingdom of God, giving them the courage to break with family and follow Jesus, is an amazing thing. And next to Sarah, Ashley, anchoring Julia to the end of the bench, a faithful teacher and role model, coach and friend, who gives Julia and all of us staying power in a difficult place. Jesus chose to reveal His resurrection first to the single women. On their testimony, love, and work, the Kingdom is built."

I give you this because I am just now ending my day and want to write, but can't. Another long day tomorrow, trying to love women and men as Jesus would have me love them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Interesting Article on Female Management

Thought you might want to read this. I don't have comments now, nor do I think I will have any. But it is a thought-provoking read.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feeling It

I subscribe to a blog that reviews Christian books. They recently reviewed "Freedom & Boundaries: A Pastoral Primer on the Role of Women in the Church". You can read it here.

What I don't like about myself: as soon as I see the tagline by the reviewer, "A clear presentation of the complementarian case for women's roles in the Church", I get a little nauseous. My breathing immediately speeds up, I feel myself not being able to focus on anything else, and I know what is happening: I am having an emotional reaction to the topic of gender roles. I HATE that I have emotional reactions to this subject matter, but the truth is, I do. Having an emotioal reaction is not bad, but it does tend to cloud my judgment. So, before I begin writing and engaging with the subject matter of this blog, I have to admit that I am on edge. I am on guard, preparing for battle, when that is the last thing I want to do. I know that fighting with others will not lead to resolution, but only frustration. The person I need to wrestle with about this is God.

So, wrestle with God I will. But, along the way, I will inevitably have to wrestle with other people's ideas. And as I do that, I ask for your grace. I am not attacking anyone's ideas or lives, but merely fully engaging with what is out there. I tend to be the type of person who judges people who have different views than I do, so I will repent of that now. I want to truly be open to whatever the scriptures are saying about gender roles.

Lord, grant me the grace to be humble, repentant, and forgiving.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Following Jesus as a Woman

Can women be called to a teaching ministry?
Are women allowed to preach and hold positions of authority within the Church?
Can women in ministry be fully embraced by the church today?
What interpretations of scripture about women are cultural, traditional, and truth? How do we read scripture as it relates to women?
How do women fully embrace their gender?
What relationship should men and women have in the church?
What are the Biblical mandates for the structure of marriage and family?
How should men and women within the church be different from the world?

I have so many questions, as you can tell. I don't know the answers.

Why this blog?

I know, I know. There are a million people out there blogging about faith and gender. I will probably even refer you to them from time to time. But I am about to seriously embark on a real study of what scripture says about my gender and I wanted to let you all come on the ride with me. I will (hopefully) post some stories, some articles, some research, and more. But for now, I'm just getting started.

Why did I call this blog Following Jesus as a Woman? Primarily, I want that to be my primary aim: following Jesus. I do not want to lose sight of Him during this journey. I am sure I will become angry during this journey. I am sure I will be sad. I know I'll be confused. But I don't want to lose sight of Him. Jesus is the only one who will totally understand my thoughts and feelings. So know that in this search, I am trying to not only know myself more fully, but I want to know His fullness.

I know, I know. This already brings up a lot of gender issues. How do I, as a woman, follow Jesus, as a man. I don't know. But I know that He cares about this issue as much as I do 'cause He won't let me shake it. And yes, I will be referring to the God-head in the masculine pronoun, 'cause that's how the Bible does it, and until I can validate otherwise, I'd feel weird changing the gender He has been identified with throughout history.

Please feel free to leave comments at any time, but please be respectful. I will hopefully post some blog expectations soon for all to read.

Laura Ziesel
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