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Last September, as our third child began her senior year of high school in the home, a bittersweet awareness came over me. On the “sweet” side, our children fared well with home-based learning. They took the Christian faith with them through the frenzied teen-age years. Also, by the prospering of God, we surpassed our own academic goals. Our oldest son graduated magna cum laude from university and is working in a business career; the middle daughter, a college senior, is on target for the same high-honors graduation; and the youngest daughter will attend an outstanding Christian college in the fall with academic and voice scholarships. The task and experience of home schooling have yielded a cherished cache of sweet memories. Read more
“Zest for living” are three words that describe how Marion Haefele Longman has influenced my life. During her school years, Mom began bird watching expeditions early in the morning. She became a certified Water Safety Instructor, was an avid Girl Scout, and later saved lunch money to take flying lessons. After getting her pilot’s license and graduating from nursing school at the time of World War II, she and three friends purchased a car and headed out for a two-year, cross-country trip that included months of working in the Southwest, several weeks of travel in Mexico and a stint up the California coast. Read more
It was a warm, sunny Sunday morning and Gibson and I were outside playing kickball. It was one of his favorite activities, and playing with him was one of mine. In the middle of an enthusiastic kick, Gibson stopped abruptly and said, “Aunt Nancy, look! There is a blue reflector!” I was amazed to discover that there was a blue reflector embedded in the concrete. I had walked by, driven over, and played ball around this spot on the parking lot hundreds of times. I had never seen the blue reflector. Gibson asked, “Where is the fire hydrant?” I still did not make the connection. My young instructor continued, “The blue reflector lets the firefighters know where to look for a fire hydrant. Look, there it is!” And there it was. The fire hydrant on the corner was across from the blue reflector. Read more
In recent decades, traditionalists have dug for deeper roots in search of a viable biblical theology on which to support their superstructure of hierarchy. What has emerged instead in contemporary complementarianism is a sociocultural and extrabiblical “theology of roles.” It is this to which we will direct our critique. Read more
I’m not sure if I ever totally believed that the Bible mandated inequality between the sexes, but that’s just the way it was. I grew up in a church that didn’t necessarily preach such inequalities, but practiced them none the less. By their example I understood that there was a “man’s place” and a “woman’s place.” The men held positions of leadership and the women were in charge of the nursery and potluck dinners. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
I grew up in fundamentalist churches where women were taught to know their “place” and stay there. My parents accepted these ideas in theory, but not so much in practice, and at the same time they questioned many of the other things these churches taught. During my freshman year of college, my parents ended their lifelong affiliation with this denomination and began attending a new church. Read more
Authority is a word bearing power and pointing to the most fundamental issue in ordered human life. Among the words associated with Christian relationships and leadership, authority (Gr: exousia) is the most problematic. Encumbered with social and cultural weight, the parameters of authority become blurred when introduced into New Testament ecclesiology. But the greatest peril lurks when gender is identified with authority and incorporated into hierarchical models for Christian relationships. Read more
I would like to look to the new testament to see if I can find examples to support the theme for this conference, “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Marriages.” We all, I am sure, know stories of married people described in the Old Testament, telling about a husband and a wife—and in several instances, two or more wives Read more

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