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I got on the phone with a number of like-minded women, who are also moms and floated the idea of a “retreat for the whole woman.”

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When we read an obituary in the newspaper, we see the visible side of a person’s life — his or her church or organization memberships and accomplishments in life. What we don’t read, however, is how the person touched others in some special way. I’d like to share how Mom spiritually touched the lives of my sister Wendy and me.

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When the news of my mom’s death spread throughout my congregation and the naval base in Port Hueneme, Calif., I began to learn about the kindred spirit that exists among women who have lost their mothers. These women cried with me and told me, “There is something deep that happens in our souls when a woman loses her mother.” All of these women talked of mothers who loved them and modeled that every woman can be all that God wants her to be.

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As women we should be encouraged. We may be soft on the outside, but we’re strong and mighty in spirit. We are God’s secret weapons and the enemy knows it. He takes us seriously, even when others don’t. The enemy’s strategy has been to keep us quiet and in hiding. But God is doing an end run. He is going to release so many of us at once that the enemy is not going to know what hit him!

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QUESTION: I have no problem with Galatians 3:28 or with equality concerning salvation and spiritual gifts. I do have a problem with headship. Can you please tell me where any of the writers of the New Testament gave women the OK to be in authority over men?

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Question: In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul says women are not to usurp the authority of men in spiritual matters. Doesn’t CBE’s view of women in ministry twist what the Bible says?

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I was raised in a very traditional, Southern Baptist environment, but my parents, even though they were not taught egalitarian principles, sort of figured out that that was the way it had to be. 

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A father suddenly catches a glimpse of his daughter’s ministry gifts, gifts he was told women didn’t have. A mother, in tears, describes her vision of a different future for her daughters, one without restrictions and roles. And a parent grieves over the way young women are treated as less valuable, intelligent or competent than young men.

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Christy believes many women struggle with their body because they aren’t encouraged to pursue what they love and instead are confined to certain roles. Within this framework, a woman’s body is often the only tool she has to gain influence or control.

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Quick Bible quiz: Name one African person in the Bible. Did you mention Hagar, Simon of Cyrene or Apollos of Alexandria? What about the Ethiopian eunuch, or Queen Candace? If none of these characters came to mind, perhaps it’s due to a lack of understanding of the cultural and ethnic forces at work in the Bible. Understanding these forces can bring new light to familiar passages.

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