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Did you know that the Bible is filled with single people who were loved, called and used by God? Whether prophets or widows, eunuchs or church leaders, these single souls served God “with gladness and singleness of heart.” And the greatest among them was the Son of God. Read more
“Can you stay late again tonight to help me work out one last kink in the budget?” Pastor Keith gently urged Sarah from the doorway of her office. Sarah glanced at her watch, then back at Keith. His big blue eyes won again. “Sure, I’ll come to your office as soon as I make a quick call home.” Her heart began to race a little. She had worked for other pastors before, but never had one of them appreciated her as much as Keith did. She really felt special around him. “Great!” he beamed as he gave her a wink and big smile. By the time Sarah had cleared her desk, made the call and joined him, all the other staff members had gone home. As she entered his office, he jumped up and offered her a chair beside his desk. “You’re an incredible woman, Sarah. You’re the best administrator this church has ever had. Besides that, you bring me more joy than you can imagine!” Keith exclaimed. After that last comment, his face clouded and he added, just above a whisper, “I wish I could say that about my wife.” That she could mean so much to Keith touched Sarah deeply. How she longed to save him from the heartache he was experiencing in his marriage... Read more
Sister Peng pays a high price to be a Christian in China. She has been arrested many times, and she will go to jail again if the police catch her preaching the gospel. Forced to live as a fugitive, she must sneak into her home at night to visit her husband and young daughter. The first time Peng was taken into custody, just after the Tienanmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989, she was delivering a fresh shipment of Chinese Bibles to some unregistered pastors. She was thrown into a dirty detention cell and tortured with an electric cattle prod in an effort to force a confession of her “crimes.” She shivered in that cell for months. Guards offered no coats, blankets or feminine hygiene supplies. “For eight months I had no contact with anyone. I just ate soup in my cell,” Peng told me when I visited China three years ago. “It is really God’s mercy that he fed me and kept me warm.”  Read more
The first-century Middle-Eastern world that Jesus experienced in the flesh was a patriarchal culture several millennia old. Although Jewish patriarchy had been shaped by the Law of Moses early on, its views about women had become distorted over time in its oral traditions, or midrashim, and were often influenced by neighboring cultures such as that of the Greeks. Read more
The twenty-something man with spiky hair and trendy, too-tight jeans strummed his guitar as he spoke. “See, I’m the spiritual leader of our home, the sole provider for my wife and children…” Read more
I love the biblical story of Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives we encounter in the beginning of the book of Exodus (Exod. 1:15-20). Despite the fierce oppression the Israelites were facing under the Egyptians, their numbers were increasing and the king of Egypt was getting nervous. He summoned Shiphrah and Puah and ordered them to murder all Hebrew boys they helped deliver. Read more
As Protestants we rarely dive into the extra-biblical literature that our Orthodox and Catholic sisters and brothers read as Scripture. However, when we read these deuterocanonical books as literature we can gain more than just fascinating insight into Judaism. We enrich our own faith through the stories of Jewish women and men of faith, which help us to experience Jesus as the promised Messiah of the Jews.  Read more
The birth of Jesus was surrounded by many unique and miraculous events, accompanied by wondrous words from angels and humans, both male and female. Simeon’s statement to Mary at Jesus’ circumcision, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34), is a lens through which we can view Jesus’ encounters with people. Jesus humbled the proud, the rich, and the powerful.  Read more
My faith in Jesus Christ was nurtured in a conservative evangelical tradition, which partly defined itself in reaction to cultural liberalism and Pentecostal enthusiasm. As a result, we did not recognize women prophets. Looking back, however, I believe they were among us. Scripture explains their enduring presence as clearly as church history explains their marginalization. Here is some of the biblical evidence.   Read more
A: Paul’s childbearing comment, infamously found in 1 Timothy 2:15, has long confounded interpreters. First, I will share my own view of this perplexing verse, but humility and honesty require me to give others’ opinions as well, for the most certain thing that can be said is that interpreters disagree on its meaning. Though Paul knew what he meant when he said, “she will be saved through childbearing,” his meaning has long eluded his readers. Read more

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