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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Walk as Women

"We need to not damage our men!"

My friend called this out to me as I was walking away from her the other day. I smiled and repeated the phrase out loud to myself - We need to not damage our men... I like it.




The question is, if we are to walk as godly women and interact with men, how do we do so in a respectful and non-damaging way?

Because, let's face it - sometimes we are more qualified, gifted, available, talented - than men.

What is this place that God has called us to and where should the lines be drawn in the church between men and women? I am by no means an expert here and I have another friend who has made a whole project out of the roles of women in the church and I am sure she has some very wise and educated thoughts on the subject - maybe I can talk her into a guest post. 


I have been thinking this over lately and here is my input on the matter currently.



LET'S BE CLEAR WHERE THE BIBLE IS CLEAR

Eldership and teaching:
The bible clearly teaches that men are to hold the eldership/overseer and teaching role of the church. Such men should be of high standard and godly:
 (1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV)
 (1 Timothy 2:12 ESV)
Head of the home: The bible clearly teaches that men are to be head of the wife, how that plays itself out in real life is in some sense very clear and in other ways very blurry.
(Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV)

SOME THOUGHTS:

I found this sermon from John Piper very interesting:
I think this is what Paul means in 1 Timothy 2:14. Let me try to paraphrase it to bring this out. "Adam was not deceived [that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver] but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor [that is, she was the one who took up dealings with the deceiver and was led through her direct interaction with him into deception and transgression]."
If this is right, then the main point is not that the man is undeceivable or that the woman is more deceivable; the point is that when God's order of leadership is repudiated, it brings damage and ruin. Men and women are both more vulnerable to error and sin when they forsake the order that God has intended.
So Paul's argumentation in 1 Timothy 2:11–14 is that men ought to bear primary responsibility for leadership and teaching in the church (that is, be the elders):
because in creating man first, God taught that men should take responsibility for leadership in relation to woman; and because the fall of Adam and Eve shows that the neglect of this divine pattern puts men and women in a more vulnerable position and leads to transgression. (Affirming the Goodness of Manhood and Womanhood in all of life)
Later in this sermon:
Personal-Impersonal:
A woman who designs the traffic patterns of city streets exerts remarkable leadership over all the drivers in that she determines how they drive. But this leadership is very impersonal. On the other hand the relationship between a husband and a wife is very personal. All leadership falls somewhere on the scale between very impersonal (little personal contact) and very personal (a lot of personal contact).
Directive-Nondirective:
A drill sergeant is the essence of directive leadership. On the other hand non-directive leadership is much closer to entreaty and suggestion. A good example of non-directive leadership is when Abigail talked David out of killing Nabal (1 Samuel 25:23–35). She was totally successful in guiding David's behavior but did it in a very non-directive way.
My principle, then, is this: To the degree that a woman's leadership of man is personal it needs to be non-directive. And to the degree that it is directive it needs to be impersonal. To the degree that a woman consistently offers directive, personal leadership to a man, to that degree will his God-given manhood—his sense of responsibility in the relationship—be compromised. What's at stake every time a man and a woman relate to each other is not merely competence (that is very na├»ve), but also whether God-given manhood and womanhood are affirmed in the dynamics of the relationship.(Affirming the Goodness of Manhood and Womanhood in all of life)

HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE?

The question is, how are we to interact with men in ministry and in the church?

As brothers -
There should be loyalty and kindness shown to our brothers in Christ.  The preference, respect, common decency and love that we show toward (or ought to) our own family members should be the way that we interact with the men in the body.

In modesty -
That said, this brotherly love should be shown and lived out in modesty. This means modesty in our talk, actions, dress and manner of interacting. As women our bible study, outside of corporate bible study, should be with women. Our counseling (to some degree) and mentorship should be with women. Our intimate relationships should remain with our husband or other women, if we have no husband then it should remain with women (Titus 2)

With much prayer -
It is wise to think and pray carefully about how you conduct yourself in ministry with a man. I like how this passage in A Challenge to Women puts it:
That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

WHAT ARE MY PERSONAL CONVICTIONS?

Let me tell you how this plays out in my own life. I must preface this with a note that I tend to lean more towards the follow the rules and lets have lots of rules side.  I would like to live on a farm and would be perfectly happy if men were to sit on one side of the church and women on the other. I prefer not to pray for a meal if a man is present, in fact, I just might refuse to do so. Again, these are MY PERSONAL CONVICTIONS.

When you find yourself in leadership over a man
:

Pay attention to how you talk to him
- The tone and manner in which we talk to men should show respect and not be patronizing or rude. Respectful is just a good way for a godly woman to conduct herself, especially with those of the opposite sex.

Pay attention to how you talk about him - You will never hear me call my husband one of my kids and you will never see me smile (well, maybe out of politeness to let the moment pass) when you refer to my husband as one of my kids. It's just disrespectful. When talking about a man we are in ministry with we should never use the stereotypes and phrases that are so common. "Just like a man!" should never fall from our lips.  If he has failed, as we all do, it should be handled in the manner that the bible lays out.  

Be wise in your interactions - Don't hold meetings alone, behind closed doors, conduct yourself in modesty and wisdom. Don't let your interaction and talk slip, it's ever so subtle, into a flirty or sexual tone.  This is very, very easy to slip into, do not think yourself above this!  

Respect his position - You may be in charge of the church picnic, but this man is usually in charge of an entire company, his own household, the church, etc.  This comes back to tone and respect, you do not have to do what this man says, but when you ask him to do something for you - even in the rush of ministry, do so with respect to the man he is. He may not be your husband, but he may be someones husband and he is your brother in Christ and deserves respect.



When you find yourself in leadership under a man, I would follow all of the above with some stricter rules:

Pay attention to how you talk to him
 - When he doesn't lead as you like, when you think his ideas are dumb, when he fails, when you think you could do a better job - God has placed him in leadership over you and you are commanded to respect that authority.  You might want to consider if you are able to do so before you accept such a role.

Pay attention to how you talk about him 
- If you don't like how he leads, when you think his ideas are dumb, etc.. do not be the woman who runs around complaining and spreading rumors about the leader. Don't do it.

Be wise in your interactions
 - He is leading. You are not. Do not try to "out talk" him in a meeting. If you have an issue that can't be resolved respectfully in a large group, then go to him privately (modesty rules apply!) and discuss it and then trust God.  He may still fail, but he will be accountable to God and so will you.


Respect his position
 - Don't undermine him and go around your own way. RESPECT!


CLOSING THOUGHTS
I think that you will find that many of the above thoughts would apply to doing ministry under the leadership of a woman as well. As we navigate our way through ministry in the church, may we always conduct ourselves in humility and in preference to our brothers and sisters without thought to our own gain - to the glory of God. May we not get so caught up in position that we forget our mission - to preach Christ to a dying world and to bring glory to God.


- Julee Huy



(photo by plus45 via PhotoRee)



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moments... Noted and Treasured

Life has been so full and bright and hope filled. God has blessed us abundantly. I have captured many sweet moments in my heart, I think of Mary treasuring moments in her heart and pondering them. Here are some moments that I've treasured recently.




 Boyish laughter and playing have filled the porch lately. These creatures I find all about my house, you save your money for them. Money that you earn by taking out the trash several times a day.  You two brothers work together on this and you work hard and faithfully.









You 4 all dressed up and excited to go to Legoland. Her as she is one of the group, but still stands apart in her own way, still learning how to squeeze in tight with the gang.




 The brothers almost twins. He sometimes makes up for your lack and you need him, you need each other. God brought this one for you and you for him.










 You all grown up and still a boy. The give and take, the roller coaster emotions as you break forth into a man and yet you are my baby still.








 I had to fight to get you on this ride. The fierce mama feelings don't rise up very often, but I have fought for you before and I will fight for you still.





 We got to go on this ride alone, just you and me. My baby before the baby came, the youngest boy. You are still tender and sweet, you will still snuggle close and hug me. You'll be an independent boy soon and not have time to follow your mama around, but I have a feeling we shall always cook together.










 You are smart, too smart at times for me to keep up with,  you amaze me with your quick ability to discover patterns and math. Your eyes alight with laughter and joy and you love a good joke. I have to keep on track and work at it a bit, but these days are good and happy days.










 You on the train all about your sister's joy and happiness. You also are finding your place - between girlhood and womanhood, as many times as I find you out running with the boys, I find you inside sewing and helping and loving.










 You help with your sister. Far more than you should and yet you know nothing less than giving all of yourself for those you love. Your heart is big and your love is deep.










 You were all a bit mischievous making those faces at all the security cameras and making the ride operators laugh. It delighted my heart to see you so happy and acting so goofy!











 
You were there in the front and you decided to punch at the air at all the bad guys on the ride. I saw you there riding with my mama and determined to capture the moment and memory of you two in my mind to bring up and treasure later - much later when you were both much older. You are a rascal and yet you have captured the heart of these two mamas and we do love you so.





I didn't see this moment, but discovered it - a moment captured by a sibling of yours.  It reminds me of a picture of myself from long ago. You there with the monkey Grandma bought you. You surveyed every animal and then grabbed this one and hugged it close, much like I do with you so often because you are at such a chubby stage.

  



 You teaching her as you walk and learn and grow. You watch out for her and fight with her and care for her with a tender care.  You are her closest sibling and you will carry many life memories together.




 And you who have burst forth with personality and opinion lately. You found a confidence and a thing that was your in the midst of this large family. God gave it to you and you are too young to understand it and yet you try. You try to be faithful and make the hard decisions and go to outreaches when you want to play on the porch and I am so proud of you.












 And you all together discovering and learning all on your own. Soon the bigs will go off to college and be busy and these kid moments will be over. Even now, everyone is going their own directions and yet when we come together there are moments like these with you all working together to discover life.














 You two. So alike in looks and humor. You both love to laugh and I can always capture a picture just like this all natural and joy filled.














 You up there on his shoulders directing and bossing everyone around, but still smiling for a "cheese." Yes, I want to remember these moments.














 You can make a face just like your monkey, and you get into everything and always have a dirty face and you love to act like a dog.  I don't want to forget these things that are - You.








 You have all taken to watching tv in your room before bed. You consider it a special treat for those nights when Daddy is out. I worry about it. Worry that it happens too often and that I am just stuffing you in there to gain my own peace.  You on the other hand, love it and look forward to this grand privilege.











 And then there was you turning 13 and the traditional family breakfast with the gifts at your place when you woke up.  How many more of these will we have with you at our birthday present tableclothed table? Your siblings gathered round and offered the gifts they had gathered from their hearts or their humor and humor them you did.  I love that about you, you are very good at that.








 And you all excited and confident as I told you goodbye.  You called me from Arizona crying on this night, but here you were sure that you would not miss me and the good food would hold you over until we met again.










 You as you thanked me for taking you to see dinosaurs for the first time, I was also there the first time you went to a zoo. I am always amazed at all you've done and have never done all at the same time! :) 








We said cheese for far too long as the lady counted far too slowly.  It was a simple day filled with simple pleasures and yet it was joy and laughter because it was spent with you.  We talked about nothing and everything and we prayed and dreamed... pretty much the way it's always been. That's me and you.




 So many moments and the month is only half way through. God you have blessed me and shown me your love through your graciousness and abundant generosity. I discover new things about You everyday and if I searched my whole life I would never discover the depth and width and height of You and yet my heart bids me try. I love you and you have loved me with an everlasting love and I will pour out my days for Your glory and praise.




Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marriage in the Mission - Pastors Wives



The mission is in the marriage, the marriage is in the mission. Marriage and mission do not have separate compartments and categories and when we try to separate the two the tearing leaves us wounded and broken.  This walk, this dance, this give and take of marriage and ministry is deep and spiritual and not one for the faint of heart.  But, the deep richness that God has for us when we choose to walk this path far outweighs any hardship.

What does this mean practically?

These ideas might apply to many women in ministry, I'm just zeroing in on pastors wives in this post. :)

1. WE TAKE UP THE CALL
We are all called to be witnesses and so that goes without saying, but the call to be a pastor's wife only comes to some.  If your husband is a pastor, guess what, you've been called to be a pastor's wife.  It took me a while to accept that call. :)  The sooner you stop looking at ministry as the enemy that is trying to steal your husband away from you, the better.  When he is called out to counsel someone, when he needs to stay and minister, when he needs to "do ministry" - that is your ministry.  You let him go, you encourage him, you strengthen him and enable him with your support.  Embrace that call with everything you have.


An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
             (Proverbs 31:10-12 ESV)



2. WE OPEN OUR EYES
Of course, we have our own call, our own walk and ministry.  That we have dual purpose and great responsibility should not be something to look down upon and ruffle our feathers over.  This great privilege has been bestowed upon us that we may walk in it to the glory of our God.

I fully believe that God does not just call us to follow our husbands around doing things like a personal assistant, although at times that is the call. We are to minister alongside them, physically or in spirit and in unity. Open your eyes and LOOK for opportunities to serve, to reach out, to minister. Part of taking on the call is to take up ministry as your own and not just as your husband's job.  On that note - think of pastoring as a job in the full sense of the idea that there is a need to be responsible, committed, respectful, and disciplined, just like a job, but let it end there. Let there be no talk or thought of their time, our time, taking too much, giving too much - can we ever give too much to God? <stepping off soap box>

Open your eyes to the ministry at home, church, life - to your husband, to your children, in taking care of the household, cars, bills, relatives, neighbors, friends, whatever it means for you - see all of life as ministry and do it as unto the Lord. It's about perspective and attitude and heart.


Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
(Titus 2:3-5 ESV)




3.WE PRAY
The connection, the deep communion that comes with being in ministry with your spouse is a fellowship that can't be experienced anywhere else.  As I watch my husband preach and there is that moment, so inscrutable that no one notices - what was it? Is he embarrassed, nervous, overwhelmed? The prayers go up as I am unable to minister to him personally in the moment and yet God can calm and move in ways that I never could. Like Aaron and Hur holding up the arms of Moses, we are the support and strength to bolster up our husbands as they walk in this call. The ministry of prayer is deeper and has more impact than any bible study you may stand up and preach, more than that wonderful lecture word of wisdom you may share with someone, prayer goes above all.  May we never think that our words are more needful than the groanings and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
(Romans 8:26 ESV)


4. WE LOVE
It's a whole lot easier to give to people that you love. What greater thing to give the people that you love than the person you hold most dear in this world? Ask God to give you eyes to see and a heart to love the people you minister to.  There have been people that I have not naturally been drawn to and have had irritation towards, that God has supernaturally changed my heart into a deep love for them - when I asked.  Love God, love your husband, love the people!


Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
(1 John 5:1 ESV)


5. WE CREATE HOME
It seems in the battle of marriage and ministry the battleground is often TIME and who gets how much. I have found that when I accept the call, look for my own call, pray and love then this battle for time seems to fade. But, the world God has created us to live in works within time and so the question is - what are you going to do with the time that you have?  My encouragement to you is to create a home that is a place of refuge, strength and love - a place to be filled with God's word, refueled in spirit and in body. The reality of this happening takes a lot of thought, organization and guess what - time.  In the juggling of this great call is the call to be workers at home, see that mission, accept it, and be diligent in it.


I write these things to you in a heart of transparency in hopes that as we learn and struggle through this journey together, we might obtain greater blessing and greater glory to God!


Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:12-14 ESV)


- Julee



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Life of Praise

When the path is dim,
I will praise thee.
When there's turmoil within,
I will praise thee.

When the light of your love
brightens my days
Your Spirit, like a dove,
Alighting my ways,
I will praise thee.

When I am at a loss
as to your will or your way,
I will look to the cross
and at your feet I will stay.
And, I will praise thee.

When your Spirit overwhelms,
And my heart soars within me,
Like the angels in heavenly realms,
I will praise thee

When sin starts to creep,
I will turn to your word,
that pierces so deep,
when the lines seem blurred.
And, I will praise thee.


When my way is clear,
I will praise thee still.
I will walk without fear,
ever seeking your will.


 Immersed in your grace,
your love pours forth on me.
In your glory, I fall on my face,
and I give praise to thee.

- Julee Huy





Thursday, January 26, 2012

When The Voices Whisper Loud

Remember the voices?  The ones you heard as a child, the ones that got louder in high school?


The ones that should be long gone now that you are 


CONFIDENT and mature?





Those voices that whisper to your heart in steady rhythm.


You do not fit in.


You don't have the right hair.


You don't have the right clothes. The right house, the right family.


You are not enough.


You will never be enough.


You are unwanted.


You are broken.


You are unworthy.


photo by Dilip Muralidaranvia PhotoRee




How do the chains creep in and hold us still?


Our vision, our hearts, our eyes have veered off course. The words pierce deepest because they are absolutely true.






I am nothing.

Have we forgotten? 
The cross, 
sin, 
Jesus sent by God, 
do we remember who we really are?  
This world distracts and we spend time trying to be somebody - we start to believe we are somebody. Do we really believe there is life outside of Him? 




photo by emdotvia PhotoRee


I'm not enough and I don't have what it takes. S
ometimes, I get distracted and I forget not to care, because sometimes, I DO CARE. I want to fit in, I want to be wanted. 


I Forget.


The sacrifice has already been made.


The debt paid in full.


I am welcome.


I am wanted.


I am loved.


By the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End. The God who sees eternity past and eternity future, He holds the universe in the palm of His hand.  He has fixed His love on me and I am HIS.


That's all the fitting in I need.







Sunday, December 25, 2011

Remember the Reason for the Season





Remember the reason for the season
That’s what they tell me
So, I’ve been thinking hard - about the season.
This season – It now begins on an October day
Revs up on black Friday
Comes with a flurry every December Day
This holiday – that is also supposed to transform into a Holy – day

You see, I’ve been mulling over this baby come down.
Why have Jesus come as a baby anyway?
IT seems such a simple way
Christmas doesn’t strike me like Resurrection Day
You’re a scrooge you might say.

Another thing that makes me wonder about this season - And it’s reason,
Is Life.
Life isn’t a respecter of seasons
I’ve attended birthday parties and spoken at a funeral.
I’ve prayed for hurting, aching people
 And cried tears of joy at a wedding
-All – in this season
Is this birth an event?

A reason to have a season?
or is this birth a means to an end?
Why send him to the womb if he fate was a tomb?

My mind can accept that propitiation for our sins before a holy God.
Requires Jesus to be fully man
Yeah, my mind and my head can nod,
but my heart still wonders if there’s a deeper plan

The mama in me,
Longs to hold this savior child close
To feel  his soft skin.
To look into the depths of his glassy eyes
Eyes – that have seen the depths of my sin and yet never despise.
To hold his delicate hand
A hand that will bear scars for me and still care to reach out to me.
To Smell tiny feet
Feet that will one day be pierced through for me. And for you.
To put my hand on his side and snuggle him close - A side that holds me close, even when I doubt.

As I think of the first season
Mary and her encounter
Joseph decided not to discount her
Mary all pregnant with the Son of God.
Stuck in a barn,
Wallowing in the sod.
The pain of the labor,
As heaven comes forth from her.
The wise men coming and throwing them selves down.
Bearing gifts before they rush out of town.

Maybe this season isn’t so hard to understand.
It reminds me
That I have a God who understands man
And knows what December is all about.
And has a plan.
To mend hearts and heal pain
To bring light to this dark world
God’s son,
Grace come down, wrapped plain
Soft and tender, not yet slain.

As we humble ourselves before this This tiny baby so frail and small
Let us remember the reason for this season
Jesus – God’s Love, sent in humility to save us all.

Merry Christmas.