Tag Archives: power

I Am Woman Hear Me Preach

rise up holy yoga

 

This article inspired me today.  Check it out. http://sarahbessey.com/why-not-have-a-woman-preach/

In this article Sarah Bessey is asking the question, “Why not have a woman preach?”

I remember when I was younger my mom read me a book.  It was one of those golden books and it had a sweet girl on the front I think.  I can’t remember the details but I remember there were characters in the book doing different jobs.  There was a mailman, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, etc.  The doctor was a woman. That must have been pretty radical for the 70’s but it wasn’t radical for me. It wasn’t radical for my mom.  My mom told me I could do anything. My mom preached.

My dad preached too.  With his kindness and his belief in me.  I saw no difference in the amount of love that could be given from a man or a woman.  There was no difference.  They loved equally and powerfully.

My mom told me about Jesus and His plans for me.  She taught me right from wrong.  She modeled kindness.  She hugged and laughed a lot too. She welcomed people in to our home. Make no mistake, she preached.

As I got older, I had teachers that told me I could do anything, be anything, achieve anything.  They encouraged me.  They were men and women. They preached. They preached about opportunity and possibility and hard work and dedication and taking risks and trying my best and believing in myself. Men and women, they preached.

These people did not need permission.  They did not need a degree in encouragement.  They did not need a board of directors or a council of decorated clergymen to tell them they were good enough.  They knew it.  God approved them. God. Not man. And He gave them an assignment.  He said, “Go love the people in front of you”.  AND THEN HE PUT THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THEM! They heard His voice saying, “Encourage that child”, “show up”, “be an example”.  They did not wait.  They could not wait. It was time.

All we have is this moment. Are you going to wait? For permission to preach? From whom?

In college, I knew a sorority sister that preached. She talked about Jesus, she shared His Word and His promises. She encouraged us to know Him. It was the early 90’s. She was 19 or 20 and did not yet have a college degree. Age and education have nothing to do with preaching.

My kids preach to me!  The other day my oldest daughter laughed at me when I said I’m not a hypocrite.  She laughed.  I asked her why she was laughing and she said, “Mom, did you not hear what the preacher said?  We are all hypocrites!” BOOM.

That’s my girl.  Preach!

As an adult, there have been so many! There are women pastors who have made an impact on my life.  There are writers and speakers and organizers and women fighting for the victims of sex trafficking.  Women are on the front lines wiping tears and fighting for justice.  Some are in the court room and some are in the church.  Together we preach.

I have been abundantly blessed by everyone in Holy Yoga. That is some serious preaching. Mind, Body, Soul preaching! All the women who have been set free by Jesus and know His love and grace can’t help but preach!

There are too many to name here.  Think about the women that have helped you.  Think about the moments of grace.  Consider the examples in your life and thank them for their obedience.  Because when they were called to be an example, they answered that call.  Many of them did it afraid.

I would not be who I am today without these preachers. Whether they ever stand behind a pulpit or speak on a large stage or publish their writings…it does not matter.  God gave them gifts and opportunities and they answered with a GREAT BIG YES! Yes I will love that person.  Yes I will listen. Yes I will tell them about Jesus.  Yes I will encourage them. Yes I will be kind. Yes I will forgive.  Yes I will repent.  Yes I will pray. Yes I will read Scripture. Yes I will spend time alone with God. Yes I will listen for His voice. Yes I will live in joy.  Yes I will be grateful.  Yes I will open my home and my heart and my life. Yes.

And if you call me to it Lord, I will preach with words on a blog and on a stage and from a yoga mat.  I will get to know you so I can hear your voice.  I will not shrink back.  I will not be afraid. You go before me and show me the way. Yes, Lord, I will follow you.

See, God does not speak only in the church. He does not only use priests as conduits for sharing the faith. He does not speak differently to men and women. He is speaking to you and me right now.

Our humanness makes us look to the center stage waiting for direction from someone who is “smarter” or “more important” or “ordained” or “better than us”.  But God is standing there, in the margins, in the hallway, by the bathroom door, beckoning us.

Preaching looks like helping with homework and making dinner and loving your spouse.  Preaching is a hug before school or a ride in the rain.  It’s a phone call and a text and a Facebook post.  It’s cheering from the stands and standing at the gravesite and bringing flowers to a friend.  Preaching is sharing coffee or wine or chocolate.  Preaching is putting down the phone and listening with your eyes.  Preaching is holding your tongue and choosing kindness.  Preaching is staying home and staying out of trouble.  Preaching is standing in the gap for your friend who no longer believes  and reaching out to God on her behalf.  Preaching is choosing to be different so others see that they can be too.  Preaching is honoring commitments for the long haul.  Preaching is seeing the good in others and pointing it out to them and everyone else.  Preaching is not competition.  Preaching is love.

So in answer to the question, “Why can’t women preach?”  I say, they can and they do and they will.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV) it says, “Do not quench the spirit.”

I was in a Beth Moore study and she always has a great way of explaining things. She was talking about what happens when someone is on fire with the Holy Spirit and the people around them (or maybe one, big, powerful person) come in like the fireman with the hose and just start spraying to put out that fire!! What a shame! People…that is not our job! Let the Holy Spirit work through all people as God sees fit.  Guess what? Man does not decide who is promoted to speak God’s Word and encourage others. GOD DECIDES.

Now go. Preach.

The world needs you.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved
photograph by Stephanie Moors Photography
video by Echo Star Cinema

 

Bold. Fearless Confidence.

The other day in Holy Yoga, the passage we meditated on was Acts 4: 31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

My Bible is the NIV and the Message so I like to always peek over at The Message version too.  Here it is: “While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.”

What does it mean to you to speak boldly?

Have you ever done it?

Do you do it all the time?

Do you have fearless confidence?

Do you think fearless confidence is a good thing?

Many of us were raised to be “not bold”, to be humble, to be quiet, to be timid.  It’s interesting when you really think about words and what they mean.  In the Bible, Humble is a good word.  So is meek.  So is Bold. Hmmm…confused yet?

I have always been confident.

My mom tells me I have courage. I like that.

Bold is good.

Sometimes.

Until it’s not.

In preparation for class, I read all of Acts 4.  It’s about Peter and John being brought before all of the elders, priests, scholars, important people, “everybody who is anybody”…they are questioning Peter and John, asking them, “Who do you think you are?”

Have you ever been asked that?

Have you ever felt like people were wondering…”Who does she think she is?”

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who do I think I am to do this/say this/be this/try this?”

Brene Brown talks about this when she talks about shame in our society.  She says there are two beliefs that usually trip us up when we want to be brave.  The first one is that we can’t do it, we are not good enough, smart enough, etc.  Once we get past the first one and we believe we can do it (whatever it is), then we start asking ourselves, “Who do I think I am?”  She calls these “shame’s universal tapes” that we play out in our minds:  “Never good enough” and “Who do you think you are?”  But here’s the thing, when we follow Jesus, we know that HE IS GOOD ENOUGH and in Him, we can do all things. Also, we understand that we are forgiven and redeemed and set free so as for shame…well, ain’t nobody got time for that.  Amen?

Back to Scripture…Here’s what it says: (bold and underline mine)

4 1-4 While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand!

5-7 The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?

8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with youwe have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”

13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?

“They recognized them as companions of Jesus”!!! 

Sometimes we think we stand alone against “everybody who is anybody”.  WE ARE NEVER ALONE. Sometimes we feel like we don’t know enough, we don’t have enough letters after our name, we aren’t educated enough. JESUS IS ENOUGH SO WE ARE ENOUGH IN HIM.  We feel like we “should” be quiet, we “should” be more like so and so, we “should” tow the line, we “should” bow down to the crowds, we “should” not stand out, we “should” not make a scene. 

We “should” all over ourselves.

I’m done with all of that.

No more shoulding all over myself.

I have nothing to hide.

I am a companion of Jesus.

stop

 

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Be Brave

I have been reading momastery.com for a long time now – following Glennon from blogger mom in her yoga pants at home with a small following to super duper star on the Today show out promoting her fancy new book.  I’m so happy for her and excited for her! Not only because I’m a blogger in my yoga pants at home who would love to be on the Today show but because she is BRAVE.

I like to celebrate brave women. So I went to meet her to tell her “thank you” for being brave and for helping me to be brave too. It was fun.  It made me feel more courageous.  It made me want to write more and laugh more and mostly, it made me want to “be me” more.

sue and glennon

I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of women in the room, every single one of them has a story.  Their story is beautiful and scary and sad and funny and hopeful.  Every woman has something to teach and something to write and something to share.  And the beautiful thing is that when we (if we) open up and actually share as our true selves…we make other women braver.  Words and women are so powerful.

The book is Carry On, Warrior Thoughts on Life Unarmed and I have an extra copy.  I’m hoping to share this copy with all of you.  I mentioned this to her, I told her I wanted to give the copy to someone and then that someone passes to someone else, etc.  She loved this and her sister (love sister!) said “Oh, like the sisterhood of the traveling pants!” and I said, “Yes but not… because pants can be dirty and stinky and that’s kind of gross”.  We all laughed.  Glennon signed it for us.  For you.  Who wants it?  Comment if you want it and I will send it to the first person.  After you read it, you can put your name on the page opposite of where Glennon signed.  Then you pass it on (to a friend, mom, sister, neighbor) and the next person does that same thing.  Also, whoever reads it can email me or comment on blog or facebook me that you are reading it maybe with a comment about it.  Does this sound fun?  We can instagram pictures too…like this:

chair pose

But you don’t have to stand on chairs.  You don’t even have to take a picture.  There is no pressure… do whatever brings you joy.  This book will bring you joy.  And tears.  And it will inspire you to be brave.

Because I think the world needs more brave women.  Mothers and sisters and daughters and friends who are living authentic lives.  Women who can listen and “get it” and maybe even offer up a “me too”.  Because to hear “you are not alone”, “it’s okay”, “I get it”…those words are life lines.  Those words can save.  Those words are like salve for weary souls.

Thank you Glennon for being brave.  And thanks to all those other women out there being brave too – telling their stories and holding space for all of us to tell ours. This is important because it’s true…women and words are so powerful.

brave

 

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
picture from Pinterest