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Mutuality

Book Review: Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage

A Tibetan girl named Sonam used to spend her days collecting dung for fuel and desperately trying to patch the worn sides of the tent she shared with her mother. That is, until something as simple as a basic cinder-block house freed her family from the elements and allowed her to attend school. Then there's Meerim, an accomplished young Kyrgyz woman who was kidnapped and forced to reject her Christian faith for an unwanted Muslim marriage. And Mai Lin, a Chinese AIDS orphan. After years of rejection by her community, she was educated and cared for at a Christian school.

Book Review: Singles and the Church: A Match Made in Heaven?

At my former church, I offered a suggestion to the pastor. I told him that his morning sermon had been geared toward the married members of the congregation, but did not have application for singles. I suggested that he try to include messages relevant for single churchgoers as well. He looked at me and straightforwardly replied, "I don't know how to include singles because I am married."

Book Review: What Science Says About Superiority: Shattering the Myth of Race

Shattering the Myth of Race by Dave Unander is a thoughtful discussion of the conflict of race and ethnicity against the backdrop of the history of Western Europe and the United States.

Unander speaks of many people's lack of family roots in his Chicago neighborhood in the 1920s and 1930s to suggest that people can lose a sense of racial or cultural identity. In his multiethnic neighborhood, what people were like had more bearing on what he thought of them than their racial or ethnic background.

Book Review: Unmarried But Not Unimportant: Single Women: Challenge to the Church?

Intended for single women and the churches they attend, Single Women: Challenge to the Church? tackles the unique challenges faced by single, Christian women through the eyes of nearly 100 women who were surveyed and interviewed for the project.

The book also addresses the church's response to these challenges and provides practical suggestions for the church on how to serve its single members. This work is an encouragement for single women because it views singleness as a gift that holds a distinct purpose for a woman's service to God.

Margot Starbuck's Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights, and Stilettos: A book review

I will be honest about this. Margot Starbuck's Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos (InterVarsity Press, 2010) is not a book I would typically pick up, let alone excitedly read. With its giant, bright red, high heeled shoe on the cover, and a different pair of shoes gracing the first page of each chapter, I worried that it would be a "fluffy" message about how all women are beautiful—a Christian "chick lit" book that would provide milk when I was longing for meat, to use the metaphor of Hebrews 5.

The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James: A book review

James begins by giving her readers an in-depth look at what it means to be a widow and a barren woman in Old Testament times, a heart-wrenching reality for both Naomi and Ruth. Her treatment on barrenness is particularly full of insight as she describes how God uses pain to engage his people on a deeper level, while also making it clear that the pain of loss can never be glossed over. She writes, "Even when we can pinpoint 'something good' that came out of tragedy, it never balances out what we have lost . . .

Susan McLeod-Harrison's Saving Women from the Church: A Book Review

I had just finished teaching an adult Sunday School class on spiritual gifts when a friend ran up to me and asked, "Did you hear what pastor said today in his sermon—that women can't teach men—and he used you as an example?" In processing my pain and confusion from that day, I found resources from Christians for Biblical Equality that helped me heal, and led me to Jesus. Now, there's a new publication that offers similar hope and healing for women: Susan McLeod­Harrison's Saving Women from the Church—How Jesus Mends a Divide.

Book Review: Jo Anne Lyon's The Ultimate Blessing

JoAnne Lyon feels the way all of us do sometimes—depressed, bitter, lonely, helpless. But she also remembers what we often forget—that through the pain and frustration of human existence, we are blessed by a transcendent God who loves us and promises to be with us always.

Book Review: Crossing the Divide: Daughters of Islam

Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim Women is a wonderfully relevant book for Christians who have little knowledge of Islam or the people who subscribe to it. This book helps readers peer into the hearts of Muslim women, to perceive what they feel and think, and to understand how they live.

Book Review: Kate Hurley's Getting Naked Later

Are you still looking for a way to use those two-for-one coupons you long to share with a spouse? Or, are you constantly giving your single friends advice on how to snag a mate? There's something for you in Getting Naked Later, by Kate Hurley. Don't be put off by the title—she never gets into specifics.

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Volume 21

Single. Female. Pastor. Three words that are hard to swallow for the general population, much less the Christian community. Add the word “young” and you will have described my reality during my twenties: young, single, female pastor. Not what I would want to lead with on a résumé. However, it doesn’t take long for these categories to stick, so this is how I have been defined for the last decade. Read more
“My minister was blurring all women together with the term ‘wives’ in his sermon,” my friend told me over a cup of coffee. “It was so disheartening. It was really hard to hear. I felt like I was not valued as a woman because I was out of God’s will somehow in being single. I’d love to be married and have children. The fact that he didn’t recognize any of the single women in the congregation made my singleness twice as painful.” Read more
Tim Krueger
Paul laments that the demands of family distract from serving the Lord; we teach that service to the Lord and the demands of family are one and the same. To us, marriage can’t distract from our calling, because marriage is our calling. And it seems to be the one calling we believe (almost) all Christians should pursue. Of course, we recognize that not everyone gets married, but we wish they could. Read more
We bought the tickets, secured the hotel, and were excited to be on our way to California with our youth group. Our youth leadership team of John, Mary, and myself had worked hard to pull the trip together to attend this large conference. A few days before we left, our pastor pulled me aside and said, “Katie, I don’t think you should go. You’re a married woman, and with John going, well, something could happen. It’s not a good situation.” Read more
As a single Christian woman in leadership, I often find that people are curious about my marital status. Recently I had a conversation with someone who wanted to play matchmaker and connect me with his friend. When I told him that I wasn’t interested and was content and happy where I was, he contested. To him, I was being dishonest with myself. He, a married man, couldn’t understand how I, an unmarried woman, could be content. Read more
My world changed in 2008 when I listened to a Namibian woman speak about her experience of being raped three times as a teenager. I was aware that violence against women was an important issue, but it had not affected my heart. I felt God challenging me about what kind of world we had created—a world of broken relationships, in which many women suffer horrific violence and some men commit crimes against them with apparent impunity. Read more
“How many babies does she have in there?” I exclaimed as my seven-year-old daughter altered my drawing of a pregnant woman. Sarah giggled and proceeded to make my stick figure ten times the size of any mother of multiples. Read more
My roommate and I like to watch the TV show Friends. Correction—my roommate and I are addicted to the TV show Friends. All throughout college, our group of girlfriends had this show on loop. It was on in the background when we were doing homework, or studying for tests, or eating dinner, or getting ready for the day. It became a bonding experience, a shared moment. Read more
Ask one hundred people “What does it mean to be masculine?” and you will likely get a hundred different answers, along with a fair amount of blank stares and blinking eyes. When I posed the question, rather unscientifically, to a few people hanging around our campus’s social science building, I got a variety of answers with no two being the same. Read more
Worldly stereotypes about men abound. Movie-goers watch jet-setting spies spring back to life after leaping out of airplanes. Professional athletes are valued for their physical prowess. Romance readers lust after rugged cowboys. Gamers pretend they are militaristic superheroes. And Wall Street applauds twenty-something billionaires. Read more

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