Tag Archives: preach

For the Love – It’s Time!

lead

 

Every once in a while a book comes along that INSPIRES.  Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For the Love” does just that.

This book is for all my friends who are leaders.  That is EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. YOU.

Mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, friends.  You are champions.

Young, old. Single, married, divorced, separated, dating. You are loved.

I’ve seen you do your thing…teaching, writing, preaching, speaking, lawyering, doctoring, hugging, laughing.  You can be a boss in the boardroom and make a mean cupcake for the class party.

You are hand holders and snot wipers.  You offer a shoulder to cry on and a seat at the table.  You laugh freely and love deeply. You offer your heart.

You know things…like how to make a 10 year old boy roll on the floor laughing and how to recognize when your teenage daughter has been slighted by a friend.

You push the swing and swing on the swing and swing the bat. You are comfortable in fancy shoes and cleats and muddy bare feet. Your mission field is the neighborhood, the workplace, the bus, the yoga studio, the coffee shop.

This book is for you.

You know it is more important to be kind than it is to be right. You know when to compromise. You walk through life with open palms, not clenched fists. You understand that vulnerability is a strength. You know the first one to say sorry actually wins.

bridge

 

We see you in churches and neighborhoods and schools and walking paths and breakfast diners. We see you in the stock market and the business school and the interview. We know you are behind the camera and in front of the camera and you are the camera. You have vision and depth and soul. You create art. You draw people in.

You are on mission. Today. Where you are.

This book is for you.

You have been offered grace. By God, parents, teachers, coaches, friends, many people in your past. Grace is your lifeline and you have been saved. You reach out to offer that grace to others and so others seek you…other grace givers …humble servants and truth tellers.

The older you get you recognize your gifts. You don’t minimize yourself or your talents. You no longer want to sit on the sidelines. You don’t want to read about what others are doing…you want to go to battle. You don’t fear what will happen if you fail, you look forward to what will happen when you succeed. You show up. You are ready to do the deep work. You are free.

 

for the love free

 

This book is for you if sometimes you feel not worthy. You wonder, “Have I done enough?” …”What is my calling?”…”Who am I?”  Jen addresses all of this. She also addresses the church with chapters like, “Dear Church…” and “Dear Christians, Please Stop being so Crappy…” 

This book is for you if sometimes you find yourself wondering if you your family is too crazy (NO), If it really is too difficult for you to crack an egg (NO), if Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez get their beauty supplies at Walgreen’s (NO) and if you should wear yoga pants outside of the house with no shirt covering your bottom. (FOR THE LOVE…NO!) Jen covers all of this beautifully. She’s got your back.

There are recipes and thank you notes and lots of personal anecdotes. She includes Scripture and always leads you back to love and truth and Jesus.

 

jesus ftl

 

You will love her for her honesty. She becomes your best friend, mentor, teacher, preacher and coach. She tells you it will be okay and you believe her. She holds a mirror up, tells you to take a good long look, assures you that you are beautiful and equipped and then says, “C’mon now, get going!”

This book is a movement.  This book matters. “For the Love” is a battle cry.

We are missionaries. In all the places we live and work and abide. For all the people we see, heal, touch, hear, comfort, teach, love.

Jen reminds us, “You are too vital to lose years to regret or shame or insecurity or fear. We are not slaves to those masters; Jesus saw to that.”

She encourages us, “Take all the hard parts-the failures, the losses, the wounds-and give them to Jesus for glory. He makes magic with those, I tell you.”

Amen.

Let’s go make some magic, shall we?

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

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