Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have been in some form of ministry for 20 years, so this issue is not a new one. However, usually I am able to claim John Wesley's catholic spirit and peace is continued. So, I am not sure what it was about today that triggered my passion. Maybe it was a reminder of the gifts of ministry I saw in a young woman just this afternoon. Or maybe it was simply that I had not eaten for 15 hours and I was just grumpy.

However, please and I do mean please do not tell a young woman that there is something she can not do simply because of her gender.

You know what I am talking about.

Believe what you desire for yourself and you do not need to embrace a doctrine you cannot agree with for yourself. You can quote me Scripture (I have read them and yes, studied them several times) that makes your point and I will quote you some other Scripture.

I am not here to debate you on the issue of women in ministry.

I feel no need to talk you into believing that I am called by God to be in ministry. I really never have felt a need to rationalize my calling. I do not say this because I am that confident or bold. I say this simply because, if I am called to ministry or not is really not between me and you. It is between me and God. God called me, gifted me and has guided me. If you feel that I received or interpreted this calling incorrectly, the fruit will not be there and the Holy Spirit will move me along to something different. If I could have avoided the calling, I would have. Come on, didn't I just mention I have been in ministry for 20 years. So, this is not about me.

You do not have to listen to a women preach or teach. You never have to believe for yourself that God could call a women to preach. I am not asking for you to change what you believe.

I am asking you to allow a young woman's calling to be between God and her. That is all.

Let her figure it out without tossing some "man" made doctrine into the mix.

Monday, July 12, 2010


The question on the application simply asks why do you want to experience international mission? I am not sure how to put into words the part of me that has been crying out for 20 years. “I want to go” seems like such an empty phrase.

We are called to reach out. Somehow I think this includes more than the woman at the Sonic drive-in that hands me my diet coke most afternoons. I stand before a congregation on Sunday morning and challenge them to show Christ’s love to a broken world. Do I really know of God’s world? Do I understand brokenness?

Yes, my heart hurts for those I talk and pray with that are walking through broken marriages and grieving the death of a love one. However has my heart ever really been broken, literally broken due to the compassion I am called to feel for another? A tear may fall, a lump may gather in my throat and at times I have been moved to lift a prayer or throw in a dollar. I can collect food for a shelter, wrap gifts for the local Christmas giveaway and even rebuild the ceiling of a home in intercity Memphis and I am in missions. Yet, somehow my heart has craved more.

The draw for missions comes from the desire to have my small and comfortable world bump up against God’s complete world. To have my heart pierced with what pierces God’s heart. Can that happen as I drive to my air-conditioned office in my paid off Honda Accord?

Why do I want to experience international missions? The circle that I have spent the majority of my life existing is not even a drop of whom I am called to love and serve. My heart knows there is more on the horizon or at least on the other side of an airplane ride.
I want to go.