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    My Summer Reading Recommendations for Leaders

    Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare. How much do you know about Clare of Assisi (b. 1194)? Most of us know about St. Francis. But Clare, his contemporary, outlived him by twenty years and is probably why we have such great access to his story and writings. Think Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton making sure we all rightly remember Alexander Hamilton and you get the picture.  Raised in an elite home, Clare was quite literate and trained to manage a wealthy household. But Francis helped her slip out with a companion, cut her hair, and launch herself—in quiet defiance—on a path of celibacy, poverty, and service. Radical! Her elite training…

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    Nicole C. Mullen on Multi-Faceted Faithfulness

    Last month Nicole C. Mullen sang and signed “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” along with selections from her new album, “War Songs” (based on Psalm 91), at the EPA Christian media convention in Lexington. Afterward, she sat down to talk with me about longevity and the varied faces of faithfulness. Mullen’s grandparents had “sixty-plus-year marriages on both sides of the family,” she said. Her grandfather on her dad’s side “pastored and worked for the phone company for thirty-six years.” Her parents were married for “fifty-four years, five months, and fourteen days” before the death of her father. The latter “also worked for same phone company for thirty-eight years.” And…

  • Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His love
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    Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Love

    How confident are you that Jesus loves you? Do you need assurance that He loves you? You might think that Jesus could not possibly want you because your life has been so messy or because someone has told you that you are not good enough for God to really love. The truth is that your heart need for love is real, and Jesus will satisfy your heart with the goodness of His love as you let Him do it. The Quest for Satisfaction Several years ago, my daughter and I were talking about the quest for satisfaction that drives women in our culture. From our experiences in ministry to women,…

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    Women shepherd

    Several months ago, some colleagues and I founded The Visual Museum of Women in Christianity. With the help of a pool of volunteers, we’re capturing images from around the world that document women in the visual record of the church. Often what’s written tells only decisions about problems and debates—certainly not the whole story. Imagine if someone read only your church’s notes from town-hall or business meetings rather than reading the bulletins or seeing website photos or hearing oral histories. If the former were the only records you had, you might never imagine all the hospital visits, unhoused neighbors served, funeral meals prepared, recovery ministries led, marriage counseling and classes…

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    ‘Bible Women’ Founded and Established the Chinese Church

    Please join me in welcoming guest blogger Dr. Cynthia Hester. She contributed her expertise on women’s history to the book 40 Questions about Women in Ministry Leadership. Today she’s sharing with readers about the remarkable women in ministry leadership in China and Cambodia. God chose to work largely through women to found and establish the Christian church in China and Cambodia. Nineteenth-century pre-literate Chinese women, evangelized by Protestant women missionaries, were taught how to read Chinese characters, which enabled them to teach from the Mandarin Bible. These ‘Bible women,’ such as Dora Yu (1873–1931), publicly shared the gospel and taught the Bible to mixed-sex groups. Peace Lin and her son…

  • It is okay to be ordinary and let God be extraordinary
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    It Is Okay to Be Ordinary

    Is it okay to not make a splash by doing something recognizably great that leads to acclaim and social media notoriety? Why is there so much pressure on girls and women today to be powerful, to start and lead a cause, or to stand out above everyone around them by their success? Are you letting yourself down if you are just an ordinary woman letting God be the one who is extraordinary? Is it okay to be ordinary? That is what we will explore in this post. Not Accomplishing Anything? Several years ago, I read an Engage blog by Tiffany Stein called “Next Steps.” Tiffany wrote about the pressure she…

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    3 Book Recommendations for Ministry Leaders

    I am here to commend to you three new ministry resources that belong on your reading (or listening) list. All three are available on Audible and read by the authors themselves: Releasing today: Tell Her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church (IVP Academic), by Nijay Gupta Matthew. Mark. Luke. John. Jesus. Paul. When most of us learn about the early church, we hear stories of prominent men. But ample evidence exists in the New Testament that women were actively involved on the front lines of the gospel mission, too. And not just baking cookies. They were respected leaders. Mary Magdalene supported Jesus and the male disciples…

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    Who Gets Lost in Bible Translation?

    Today I’m happy to host guest blogger Cynthia Hester, DMin. Dr. Hester writes and teaches about women and church leadership. She writes at cynthiahester.com and is a contributing author to the book 40 Questions About Women in Ministry. In 2021, she founded Theology of Women Academy® to teach Christ-followers, including ministry leaders, the spectrum of orthodox views on women and church leadership to equip them to develop their beliefs—their theology of women. Today’s Bible readers mostly read English translations, rather than Greek and Hebrew texts. Though we don’t have the original writings, we do have thousands of ancient biblical manuscripts from which translations have been written. The Bible, in its original form, is the inspired…

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    Traditionalist Views of Women: A Little History Lesson

    Theological issues relating to women—the texts, the interpretations, the history, the challenges—lie in an area of teaching and thus of academic interest for me. Because seminary degrees cannot shoehorn every single topic into a set number of credit hours, often people looking at deep-dives into history or the history of ideas must go outside of seminary walls to learn chronologies, read the primary documents, and learn social contexts. Such was the case when I took a doctoral course on women’s history.  Acknowledging that I taught at a seminary, my professor let me consult with a historian at my own school to create a supplementary reading list. She ran it by…

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    Revisiting the Topic of Women in Public Ministry: My Recommended Resources  (2022)

    For more than two decades, I’ve taught a course on gender and its ramifications in the church and for women in public ministry. Since #MeToo and #ChurchToo combined with Christian leaders saying women have to endure abuse to be biblical and also that women shouldn’t teach in seminaries, I’ve seen a shift in attitudes. Add to that the one-two punches of Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez with Beth Allison Barr’s book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: People are revisiting what and why they believe on the topic. Some have sat up and said, basically, “Evangelicals have barred the front door against radical feminism while leaving the back door wide open to misogyny.”…