Of Two Women

By an entry in a book titled The Intellectual Devotional, I recently was reminded of Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) who was an early female religious leader in America and who was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony after she refused to stop having church services in her home, even though Puritan authorities had ordered her to do so. On Mondays she opened her home to women to discuss the previous day’s sermons, but John Winthrop, the colony’s governor warned her that these activities were “not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God, nor fitting for your sex.” She rejected his orders and was excommunicated from the colony.

The role of women in the church, and especially what God intends in that area, always makes for a lively discussion, and while in this piece today I do not wish to examine the issue, I must point out that in all Christian churches today, women play a much more visible and important role than they did in generations before.

My interest was piqued in the subject by the recent death of Jan Holmes, a Pentecostal pastor’s wife of Little Rock, Arkansas. I was not privileged to know this person, who by every account was a sterling, exceptional being. By internet radio I listened to her final ceremony; a magnificent service, fit for royalty. The music was stellar, nothing short of glorious, and varied from vocals to instrumental offerings. I am told that in attendance were 400 ministers from all over the country and from other parts of the world and that the total attendance was between four and five thousand persons. Numerous dignitaries from the political scene were there, representing the state, the county, and the city.

It interests me that in this very conservative Apostolic church the majority of the speakers were women. So far we have come. What a telling contrast between the opportunity given and grasped by Jan Holmes and by that denied in that long ago era to Anne Hutchinson.

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My Tribute to Andre Crouch

I cannot tell you how many times my soul has been blessed by the compositions of Andre Crouch. Today, he stands before his maker, having been changed from mortality to immortality, for reports are that he died several hours ago of a heart attack.

Surely one of the most beautiful songs ever sung is My Tribute; its words and chord progressions are nothing short of majestic. I understand he wrote this song, and others, when he was merely 14 years old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF0TcbY_Z8o&spfreload=10

How is it that God moves on human beings to pen such divine music? Do angels hover, removed from the heavenlies to stay for a moment over dirt? Does a single drop of the Holy penetrate a human brain? Does celestial for a time linger by an instrument, flow through fingers, through ink on paper? How is it so?

I give honor to this man who through his music imparted praise and glory to God.

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The Color of God

No color would be here. No form. No raging sea, nor gossamer thread in blue sky. Were God not, no paintings would be hung, no symphonies sounded, no wail of newborn. Bleak, grey, nothing. No hope. Rather is our magnificent world; people and place of color, gifts, talents and genius. The Sabbath of two; one within, the other a day set aside. Today, across our country and around the world will move God’s church into the sanctuary where praise and honor will be lifted to the Almighty, the Creator, our Saviour.

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My Children and Heaven

untitled (4 of 9)I will consider myself a successful mother if all my children make it to Heaven.

Edit: On my facebook account to which this article is linked, someone made the following comment:

  • To all moms out there whose children are unsaved I say, ‘you have laid your children on the alter of prayer…you pray for them daily…you have raised them right and yet they remain unmoved…I consider you a successful, deserving of honor mother. You have the horns of the alter in your hands. Your children will rise up and call you blessed.’
    I responded as follows:


    Shirley Buxton Christie Banda is certainly right to acknowledge there can be godly mothers whose children are unsaved. Without question this can be so, and her advise to continue to pray for our wayward children is sterling. Even a mother cannot assure the salvation of her children, for each of us must make that decision for ourselves. The thrust of my words was to point up that a mother doesn’t have to be successful as far as the world judges success–high-powered jobs, fashionable clothing, social graces, physical beauty, or towering homes with magazine interiors. NO! With none of those to my credit, I will consider myself a success if my children make it to heaven.
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The Call to Noble Work

1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. NIV

20141019-untitled (3 of 21)I awoke this morning with this scripture on my mind, although the King James version is the one most familiar to me, and its strong words impacted me anew: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

My daughter and I spent several delightful hours together recently, and during the course of our conversation we discussed the sacrifices many people of God make for His work, and although I agree to the nobility of such a stance, I’m a strong advocate that the care of one’s family should be placed ahead of our work in the church. Balance. Always, in every area of our lives, balance is the key. Many years ago, I heard a pastor tell of a lady in their church who spent many hours praying at the church, but whose housekeeping was a disgrace, and who often did not prepare meals for her family as she should have. Not enough time, for she was at the church praying. Because I’m closely associated with ministers and their wives, I’ve sometimes heard them (usually as they have grown older) regret that they didn’t spend more time with their children as they were growing up.

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I want to take a little turn here, and while I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, I consider these thoughts important. Not only do I believe mothers and fathers need to provide for their households, including time and attention, but I believe children, especially as they near adulthood, need to kick in and pull their own weight in their homes. It troubles me when able-bodied teenagers seem to expect to be attended to, expect possessions to be placed in their hands–cars, phones, debit cards, computers, Ipads, fine clothes, yet offer little in return. A hard-working dad with a healthy, godly son in residence struggles to find an extra few dollars to have the lawn mowed or the weeds pulled or the garage cleaned? An unwell mom struggles with a mop while the beautiful teenager lounges about and preens and plans for the next youth event?

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Paul looked askance at such, and although I suspect he was addressing his remarks to mothers and fathers, I believe it well within the mark to believe that young people should contribute to the success of their homes, including being involved in hard work that will ease somewhat the enormous obligations that are heaped on their parents. Having said that I want to acknowledge what a beautiful sight are teenagers–and there are many–who have developed a strong work ethic, and who make their parents and other relatives proud. Be assured I am not advocating that the joys and freedoms of teenagers be denied by their being required to take on entirely too many tasks or adult roles, for all-too-soon, it seems, the full weight of adulthood will descend soundly on their young heads. Rather, it is my thinking that by observing Paul’s wise words to Timothy, our godly young people will more easily move into the ranks of mature, adult Christians who become loyal and faithful wives and husbands, and caring successful parents.

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Underneath . . .the Everlasting Arms

In my early morning musings today, this scripture rang in my ears. Despite the shifting of the earth beneath us, the fierce winds of false doctrine that rage about us, disease and pestilence that rain on our lands, and almost unimaginable government directives, we people of God rest securely in ultimate safety.

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” Deut. 33:27

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A Boy and His Pastor

20140919-untitled (66 of 72)-3God gave us families and friends, then knowing in addition to them we needed

. . .someone to preach God’s Word to us, so                           He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to pray in the night over us, so                           He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to discipline us when we stray, so                      He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to marry us to our chosen one, so                      He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to dedicate our babies, so                                    He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to lift our heads when we’re discouraged, so   He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to rejoice with us when we succeed, so            He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to baptize us, so                                                    He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to explain when we’re confused, so                  He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to hold us when we weep, so                              He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to cheer us on when we fail, so                          He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to listen to our dreams, so                                  He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to help sort out our callings, so                         He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to lay hands on us when we’re sick, so             He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to anoint our heads with oil, so                         He gave us pastors.

. . .someone to walk with us through  the final valley, so    He gave us pastors.

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding . Jeremiah 3:13

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