Americanized Christianity

The American church has it made.  We are a totally different animal than global Christianity.  While we sit over here debating on Calvinism, Arminianism, dispensationalism, cessationism, complementarianism, and egalitarianism, other Christians around the world are having real problems.  They don’t have arguments about these things because they are humble and simply living all of the things that we are talking about.

American Christian women have it made!  God loves women so much!  He values us, and declares us equal.  He set us free from the worldly systems of patriarchy, and brought us in to His Kingdom, sitting us as co-heirs with our brothers in Christ!  Our American society lines up with this equality, and sometimes even practically speaking, surpasses our church culture.  We aren’t just considered equals in our hearts, and then sent out to participate in a society that sees us as less.  Our society validates and trail blazes women’s worth!

From the beginning of time, there has been an all-out war waged against women.  Satan went after the woman first, after the fall, patriarchy became the distorted version of family, women are targets of domestic abuse, human trafficking, and even in America, a working woman’s wages are generally not comparable to a man’s.

I believe that because of the privilege American Christians have, we also have a responsibility.  (Yes, men, I believe this includes you too!)  Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  This is one of the first verses that crosses my mind, when thinking about global woman’s issues.  We have been given so much, and there are so many women around the world that do not have the privileges we do.  The American church needs to stop fighting each other on the “roles” of women, the clothing of women, and the subordination of women.  We are eating each other from the inside out, when we are supposed to be providing food for those that have none.  We need to stop this, so that we can help the women that are truly not free!  They may be imprisoned by a different religion.  They may be held captive by a societal structure.  They could even be held by evil people that have no problem humiliating and degrading these precious women.  Our God holds these women in the highest regard!  They need to know how much freedom our Father gives them, how valued they really are.

I believe it’s our responsibility to help!  We have been given the freedom of a highly privileged life.  It is for freedom sake that Christ set us free!  We have been given the ministry of reconciliation!  We are to bring those that don’t know the Father’s love to His heart!  I don’t believe that our Americanized privilege is to be squelched on the “comforts of living”, but to do what Jesus did and free the captives!

You Might be a Femi-Ninja if…

After finishing the “in the beginning God did not create patriarchy” mini-series, I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit.  We have already discussed that Biblical egalitarian doesn’t equal femi-nazi, but I’d like to talk about a different type of women.  I was thinking about many of the women I know, and I came up with a title for these certain special women:  Femi-ninja!  The key to being a femi-ninja is recognizing your freedom, and walking in your freedom.  You know that Christ set you free from all expectations the world imposes, and more importantly, all of the misunderstood expectations of religion.  Let me paint you a picture of what a femi-ninja might look like.  They come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and marital status’.  Actually, you just might be a femi-ninja!

You might be a femi-ninja if…..you are a single woman, and you understand that your time is probably better spent on other things, than figuring out whether or not to wear leggings, as a Christian.

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are single and are pursuing the dreams and ambitions that God put in your heart, rather than sitting around waiting for your Boaz.

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are a wife, and realize that even though the two have become one, doesn’t mean that you disappear completely.

You might be a femi-ninja if…you love your husband.  Like, actually, love him and want the best for him, refrain from using psychological manipulation to control him, enjoy being around him, and even enjoy and look forward to making love!

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are free to love your kids.  You are free to raise them, clean up after them, cook them dinner, cart them around to their activities, be the soccer mom, not because it’s expected or because that’s your “highest calling”, but because you are free to love!

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are free to be a tom boy!  You understand that you are not stepping on men’s toes, by enjoying the things you enjoy: shooting, hiking, camping, ect.

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are free to be feminine!  You understand that you are fully capable of doing the girly things you like to do: crafting, baking, scrapbooking, knitting, and just because you enjoy these things, doesn’t make you in the least bit weak.

You might be a femi-ninja if…you have believed all of the lies that the church tries to sell to women, and have overcome!  You have literally looked around inside until you found yourself again, took that girl by the hair and stepped back into her.  You realize you are free to love yourself!

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are divorced and still kicking!  You know and have realized your strength and what it takes to keep on moving!  You understand that your divorce doesn’t define you!  You have even been able to see past some unsavory comments from your churchy friends.

You’re actually a super femi-ninja if…you are a military wife!! (‘nuff said!)

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are a stay at home mom!

You might be a femi-ninja if…you are a working mom!

You might be a femi-ninja if…. you are a work from home mom!

You might be a femi-ninja….if you laugh in the face of all that Satan has tried to throw at women…and you just keep on moving!

You might be a femi-ninja…if you understand that your highest calling is following Christ, being in a relationship with Him!

You might be a femi-ninja…if you are reading this….and are pretty sure that you might be a femi-ninja!

You might be a femi-ninja…if you know that Christ set you free and you are walking in that freedom.  In that freedom you have the ability to do whatever you want!  You are able to wear any hat you choose.  You are free to pursue whatever position you feel that God has for you.

In the Beginning God Did Not Create Patriarchy (Mini-Series: Part 4)

Genesis 3:

Enter:  The Curse

AKA: Patriarchy

We are all pretty familiar with this story.  I feel that the church has emphasized the fall and the curse more that the pure love of God and beauty of creation (but I suppose that is for another time).  Satan enters a serpent.  He tempts Eve.  Eve is deceived.  Adam joins in.  God comes looking for them because He loves them.  He is so sad that they would chose to be apart from His love for them.

Genesis 3

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.[c]

17 And to the man he said,

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”

This is the first time we see tension between the genders.  Once God’s perfect world was tainted, only then do we enter a world of inequality.  This is where patriarchy enters the scene.  This is the first mention of gender hierarchy.  LET’S BE VERY CLEAR HERE:  these are the way things WOULD now be, NOT the way they SHOULD be!!  Patriarchy was NOT in God’s original design for His kids!  His original design is gender equality and harmony.  It’s only after sin enters the world do we see the man-made effects of the sin in the form of patriarchy.  We need to stop declaring the curse over ourselves!  The curse was the enemy’s plan, and we need to start living in God’s plan for us. Gender is the only part of the curse that we “keep” and some even declare that it is “God’s system set up on earth.”  None of us go, “Give me some more pain with these contractions!  They are not quite as painful as they should be!”  or “Man, I need this ground to have some more weeds!  Tilling wasn’t quite as hard as it was yesterday!”  We don’t require all Christian men to work the fields, but the church requires all women to be under the rule of men.  We have worked since the fall to make cultivating the earth easier.  We use tractors, tillers, and countless other modern conveniences to ease the pain of tilling the earth.  I mean, not very many men even have the occupation of farmer anymore.  We have invented new ways to birth children.  We now have epidurals and intrathecals.   We have done all of these things to combat or ease the curse, but the idea of patriarchy has been put on a gold placard and considered “the way things are supposed to be”.

To put it in other terms, we don’t say, “Man, I haven’t had enough temptation today.  I’m going to need a little more.”  Or, “The devil hasn’t prowled around me enough today.  I should have some more resistance.”  This just sounds foolish!  Why would we do this very thing with the idea of patriarchy?

People are so quick to say, “Jesus broke the curse when He died on the cross”, but for some reason we are very offended when that touches the idea of patriarchy.  A majority of the church lives in a way as to say, “Jesus broke the curse!  Except the curse of patriarchy.  We will keep that one.”

Jesus in His loving mercy didn’t leave us under the effects of the law.  He didn’t leave us with the way things would be.  Our loving Father, sent His only Son, Jesus, to redeem us from the curse.  HE REDEEMED US FROM THE WAY THINGS WOULD BE AND BROUGHT US INTO THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE!  Isaiah 61 foretells the New Covenant that was established at the cross!  This New Covenant is the final covenant in which we receive all the benefit!  Galatians 3:16 declares, “13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[g]14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[h] Holy Spirit through faith.”  Christ has RESCUED us from the curse!.  Verse 14 shows us that one of the marks of the New Covenant is the Holy Spirit being available and indwelling all believers!  Galatians is such an amazing book.  The theme is sonship and identity in Christ!  Later on,  Galatians 3:28 states, “ 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[o] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is not just a salvational verse, this is a sonship verse, a kingdom verse!

How can we know that we are under the New Covenant and it is in effect today?  Hebrews 8:6 states, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”  Wow!! A better covenant with better promises!! Yes!!  2 Corinthians 3:6 shows us that this New Covenant is CURRENTLY in effect (not something that has to be waited for until after death), “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  He has made US ministers of the New Covenant.  That’s not for another time.  That’s for NOW!

He has redeemed us from the curse!!  It is finished!

In the Beginning God Did Not Create Patriarchy (Mini-series: Part 3)

All of this talk about Genesis may have you thinking, “But what about the part about Eve being created as a helpmate?”  This was a point of concern for me for a long time.  Was I just created as an accessory?  Was Adam tired of doing the dishes and cooking his own meal, so He asked God to give him a helper?

If you’ve been around Christian circles for any length of time, you are probably aware that the word helpmate, translates to the Hebrew word “ezer.” (Genesis 2:18) (We will see in a bit that “ezer”’s partner, “kenegda”, has been forgotten or deleted in most modern American churches.) What exactly does that word mean?

Ezer is derived from two Hebrew root words. One meant “power” and the other meant “strength”.

Carolyn James, in her book, “The Gospel of Ruth”, enlightened me on the word helpmate.  Before Eve was created the word helper or helpmate is used twice in Genesis 2:18 and 20.  Helper or helpmate is translated into Ezer.  “Ezer is a powerful Hebrew military word that is used to describe God as Israel’s helper.  The Bible’s consistent use of ezer within a military context leads us to believe God created women to be a warrior alongside the man in advancing God’s kingdom on earth.  This is every woman’s calling. Every woman is an ezer from birth until death.  We are warriors for God’s purposes alongside our brothers in Christ.”  Women are fighters.  We are warriors.  This brings so much more meaning to a woman’s life than what time dinner is, and how to make her husband’s socks brighter and whiter.  I challenge you to let these words speak to your heart, and live up to what you were called to, being an ezer warrior!

Ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament, twice in reference to Eve, three times referring to the nations Israel requested help from, and 16 times in reference to God being Israel’s help.

The other word that we cannot leave off of the word ezer, is the word it is partnered with in Genesis 2.  The whole phrase is “ezer kenegda”.  This would be “helper fit/suitable” for him.  Kenegda indicates a power or strength corresponding to man’s.  This means equality. This is not some lesser value, weaker link, lower intelligence kind of thing.  This is someone of the same power, strength, and value as man.

We have had a poor understanding of the word ezer or helpmate.  We have turned this word into something cheap, something insignificant, something subordinate, something that has been undervalued.  Somewhere along the line, we have bought into the idea that a woman’s only value is held in being wife.  We forget that we are a portion of the image of God that the world deserves to see.

How did this happen, you ask?  The word help”mate”, was translated into English from the old English word, help”meet”.  “Meet” was in the Old English to express the concept of “fit to” or “corresponding to”.  We must not be afraid to go back to the original Hebrew for clarity!  Unfortunately, a lot of meaning can be lost through the many translations of the Bible.

Hebrew scholars have said that the most accurate translation of Genesis 2:18 would be, “I will make a power [or strength] corresponding to man.”

This is something to be excited about!

In the Beginning God Did Not Create Patriarchy (Mini-series: Part 2)

We have already seen that God’s original commission and design was for both genders to live harmoniously and equally together in this new world!  Genesis 2 gives us a more in depth look into the creation of humans.

Genesis 2

Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.

Wow!  I absolutely love this.  If you just take a minute to picture this, it is beautiful!  The love and care that the Master Artist took creating man and breathing on him!  Then, He planted a garden for Adam!  So much love was poured out for His beloved creation!

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[c] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[d] and closed up the opening.22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

God created man from the dust of the ground.  At the end of the day, God said it was good.  Adam was created in God’s image.  So, God created Adam as the complete human representation of Himself.  Adam was not lacking in anything!  I believe at this point, Adam was probably even an asexual being, if reproduction were necessary.  Here’s Adam, complete, and made in the image of God.  If God created Adam in His image and lacking nothing, then what did he make Eve out of?  Adam’s rib, you say?  Okay, so a rib was taken out of Adam (during the first supernatural surgical procedure, I might add), and with that He fashioned Eve.  I’m pretty sure we are all on the same page here.  Well, what was Eve’s innards made of?  Not her organs, but her emotions, inherit qualities, and general demeanor?  Did God give her something new?  Did He created these things to put into her?  No! (Remember, Adam was complete, and he was good.)  God, in His infinite and amazing wisdom, extracted the female attributes from Adam and fashioned them into a woman!  Whoa!  Think about that for a minute!  That’s amazing!  Life takes on a whole new meaning at this point.  This is why God says that in marriage the two have become one (Genesis 2:24)!  The one person literally became two people, and now the two people become one complete person! (Remember Genesis 1:27 In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.)

God extracted the feminine qualities OUT of Adam, who before that, being created in the full image of God.  He fashioned an amazingly new bodily vessel out of Adam’s rib, and voilai: Here is woman!!  The image of the nature of God is now housed in two distinct persons.  Marriage brings the unity of these two entities together, once again reuniting, to make a whole!

Why Does Biblical Gender Equality Matter?

Most people have an opinion about the value and position or “role” of women in the church.  If you don’t think you have an opinion about it, you probably just took on the position you were raised with, or what you have seen predominantly modeled in your church.  Some people can’t even see why it is an issue.  Others go so far as to say that it is a secondary issue in the church.  A secondary issue?!  If there are no secondary members in the church, then how can there be any secondary issues about the equality of women?  This is not a secondary issue because there are no secondary people groups in the Kingdom!

Does it really matter?  I am here to tell you, YES!  It absolutely matters!  Each person is created in the image of God.  There are attributes that we exhibit that are predominately masculine or feminine.  When Adam was created, he was created in the full image of God.  He contained all of the attributes of God, masculine and feminine.  When God fashioned Eve out of Adams ribs, He extracted the feminine qualities from Adam and placed them in a woman.  Whoa!  This is amazing to me!  That’s a big deal!  That’s so much better than the idea that women were an afterthought because Adam was lonely and needed a housekeeper, a buddy, ehem, I mean helpmate.  Women were part of the original design!

The equality of women matters more than we may see on the surface.  The church has been stunted in growth and maturity because women are not being encouraged and promoted into their callings!  Man and woman together are the full representation of the Father.  That’s why he gave us marriage.  After he extracted the feminine qualities out of Adam and placed them in Eve, God gave the institution of marriage, in which case, the two would become one (again).  This also applies to the church.  The church is to be the representation of Christ on earth.  We bear His image!  What does the church look like if only half of its members (who are relatively similar) are being represented or activated?  It looks like the American church!  We are only functioning at half capacity!  The church is only being represented in its masculine form!  (Have you ever wondered why the church is so justice oriented?  Have you ever wondered where the compassion has gone?  Have you ever wondered where the nurturing/discipleship side of the church is?  I believe these questions are easy to answer when you look at who is allowed to be active in the American church.)

The world needs to see the feminine attributes of the Father exhibited in His church!  The world is longing and begging for that!  When women are allowed and encouraged to step into the callings, this will be not only a gift to the world, but will also develop the church into a more radiant bride!  The winds of change are blowing!  I can see it happening!  The Holy Spirit is releasing freedom and peace to men and women everywhere!  Unity and love is here!

Letter to My Son on Biblical Gender Equality

Dear Son,

I am so thankful and privileged that God entrusted you to me!  You are such an amazing and wonderful boy!  You are sweet and innocent, excited for life, joyful, and strong!  You are becoming such a stunning young man!  You have so much to contribute to life.

I am so glad that you have such an amazing father to look up to.  He may be hard on you sometimes, but he loves you so much and wants you to reach your full potential. (I knew that would catch your attention since it’s from ninjago!)  He wants you to know who you are in Christ from the get go, so you will be spared the troubles that he went through.

I want you to know that you are free!  You may not need me to tell you that, but I want you to truly know that!  You don’t have to live up to the definition of masculinity put out by the world or the church.  Christ put in you everything He wants you to exemplify!  If you swing more towards mercy than judgement, that’s okay.  If you swing more towards compassion than warfare, that’s okay.  Don’t let the term masculinity define you.  You define the term masculinity.  You don’t have to be strong all the time.  You don’t have to hold back your tears.  You don’t have to give up the part of you that loves fun and silliness.

I want you to know that society and the church has put you in a very tough position.  You are viewed as a leader above women, just because of your gender.  Dear son, this is a very scary place.  To embrace that would protect your “position” in life.  But this protection will come at a very steep price.  You will lose part of you if you decide to continue in the subjugation of women.  You will always have to be strong.  You won’t be able to cry.  You will always have to lead, even in situations that you are not prepared to.  All responsibility will fall on you, and you will even be taught that you are accountable to God for other’s actions and heart.

I hope I have surrounded you with people that have shown you a different way.  I hope you see that when you elevate women to a level of equality with you, the world is a better place!  You are free.  Women are free.  You are all free to be who God has designed you to be.  You don’t need people “submitting” to you based on rules.  You need people to “submit” to you because they love you, because you recognize they are free, and you respect and honor them.

I pray that one day you marry a free woman!  You will have such a happy marriage if you recognize your wife is free, and she knows she is too.  You will have a marriage based on mutual love, respect and submission.  You won’t have to carry the responsibility and pressure of being the gender appointed leader of your family.  You will be free to be you!  Your marriage will be so successful because you will each be able to operate in the arenas that you excel in!  Her freedom is the key to your freedom!

You are so respectful and polite, especially towards women.  I love this about you.  This is something that has always been in your heart, and you don’t even know how much that touches those around you.  Don’t ever give that up!

 

Love,

Mom

Biblical Egalitarian ≠ Femi-nazi

I’ve come to the realization that many times when I talk about biblical gender equality, often time people hear, “yadda yadda yadda….FEMI-NAZI!”  I have also realized that many of my conversations with people on this topic have been in reaction to what someone has been saying.  I’d like to tell you a little bit about what biblical gender equality means, and maybe even a little of what it doesn’t mean. 
Central Beliefs:

 

1.       I believe the Bible is the Holy Spirit-inspired, written word of God! 
2.       I believe in the EQUALITY of all people REGARDLESS of color, age, sex, social status or economic status
3.       I believe that men and women are BOTH created in God’s image, and therefore have EQUAL value and FULL access to the Father, through Jesus.
4.       I believe the CURSE in Genesis 3 was a statement of the way things WOULD be after the fall, not the way they SHOULD be.
5.       I believe that God’s ORIGINAL design was gender EQUALITY, and patriarchy only entered the world AS A RESULT of sin.  (Since Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we are no longer defined by the curse.)
6.       I believe the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to WHOMEVER He chooses, REGARDLESS of gender. (If the Holy Spirit endows a persons with a particular gift, who are we as people, to deny a person to operate in their gifts?)
7.       I believe that women REPRESENT and REVEAL the feminine attributes of the Father to the church and the world, therefore women need to step into their callings to show the world their unique expression of God’s love.
8.       I believe that men and women need to work TOGETHER, not one ahead of the other.
9.       I believe that men and women are RADICALLY called to mutual submission.
10.   I believe the ABSOLUTE HIGHEST calling of a woman is to FOLLOW JESUS!
11.   I do NOT believe that all women are called to lead, just as I do not believe that all men are called to lead.
12.   I do NOT believe in androgyny, rather that each gender operate out of the strengths inherit in their nature.
13.   I DO NOT believe that it is the FAULT of all men that we are in this situation.  I believe it is the RESPONSIBILITY of men AND women to rectify the situation.
These are a few of the things that I believe.  Hopefully, this has painted a bit of a different picture in your head of what biblical equality entails.  If the picture that came up in your head was an angry woman out in the streets burning her bra, while her motherless family lay around mourning her loss, I hope I have been able to replace that with a very different portrait.

I had a hard time getting started with this blog post, and as I’m finishing it I keep coming up with things to add to this list.  So please accept this humble list with grace!  I will begin to expand on each point in upcoming blogs, but I wanted to give you a foundational example of what a biblical egalitarian looks like.  I understand that these beliefs are very polarizing.  Please understand that if you don’t agree with me, I still like you (and I’m not offended)!  As long as we can all interact with each other with respect and love, it opens the door for healthy dialogue and growth!  In the future, I will attempt to explain to you why these beliefs are so important for the church and the world!
*To promote healthy discussion, comments are open to everyone.  Spam will be automatically deleted.  Any comments deemed abusive, mean-spirited, rude, or as a personal attack will be deleted by the administrator.  Thanks in advance for being respectful and honoring to everyone!*

Letter To My Daughters On Biblical Gender Equality

Dear Daughters,
               
                You are so beautiful!  You are so amazing!  I can’t believe that God gave me this many daughters to raise!  I am so blessed by you!  I want nothing more than for you to know God and love Him and let Him wrap you in His arms of love!  There is no higher pursuit.  God fashioned each of you to be a radiant expression of Him!  You certainly are living up to the calling!
                I want you to know that you are free!  You are free from the things that bind you simply because you were born a girl.  The world is getting much better with this!  Globally, we have made so much progress.  You are so blessed to be born in the United States.  Your daddy has sacrificed so much for this freedom you are to wear with confidence.  Unfortunately, the church is where you may run into problems.  In my lifetime, I have seen so much change, and I hope that by the time you are ready to launch, all of the gender constraints will be gone forever!  Don’t ever forget that Jesus paid the price for you!  He set you free from the restrictions that people will try to place on you.  Beware, these debilitating laws can be thrown at you from men and other women.  Most are well-meaning.  These people fall into three categories.  There are people who do not view women as equals and want to keep women down.  There are also those who truly desire to follow God and believe that they are interpreting scripture properly.  The subservient position they take on and command, is out of their desire to follow the Bible.  (Fortunately for us, they got it wrong.)  Thirdly, there are those that blindly follow other’s spiritual dogma.  They make no attempt to read and study the Bible on their own, thereby not utilizing the Holy Spirit in their studies, and blindly following very misled people. 
                I want you to follow the dreams that God has put in your heart!  I want you to know that WHATEVER God has called you to, you are to pursue with an unparalleled passion!  I never want you to reach the end of your days, and wonder why you didn’t do what was in your heart to do.  God has big plans for you, and He longs to use wonderful, amazing girls like you!   Do not listen to others when filtering what God has told you.  Filter His word for your life only through His Word. 
                You have something the church is missing!  You are feminine.  Not only are you feminine, but you are the representation of the feminine attributes of God!  The church and the world need to see you shine!  They have so been missing the physical revelation of this side of Him.  You are strong and gentle, beautiful and lovely, full of love yet prepared to fight, determined, smart, courageous, emotional yet level headed, creative and logical, quiet and loud.  You are woman!
                I don’t want you to have to deal with the same problems that I have had to face.  I want you to always be free.  I never want you to let others hold you back, and I want you to know, you never have to hold yourself back!  Always be cautious because since the Garden of Eden, Satan has waged all-out war on women, trying to lure her into the chains of domination and slavery.  Don’t fall for his schemes!  Jesus set you free from the domination from anyone!  Protect your heart from these attacks.  Be aware of what they look like, and run the other direction.  When you run that direction, you will run right into the arms of your loving Savior.
                I certainly hope that I’ve been able to provide you with wonderful examples to follow.  My goal is to surround you with beautiful women that will help you grow, women that excel in every area.  I hope you have seen gifted wives, singles, mothers, teachers, singers, leaders, dancers, preachers, evangelists, apostles, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and senators.  Any of this can be yours!  Instead of spending years trying to figure out if you are “allowed” to do these things, I want you to spend that time investing into becoming who you are going to be! 

                Be empowered!  Be free!  Be love to the world!  Be courage for the weak!  Be a woman that frees other captives!  Be all that God has called you to be!  He designed you with a specific purpose in mind that only you can fill!  Go and fly!
Love,
Mom

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