June 5, 2006
On Friday evening I went out for a walk and there were the old folks from the Holiness Movement just starting their street meeting. I have often thought of going, in the past, and even stopped to watch for a moment, but was embarrassed(!) and moved on. This time I very nervously (embarrassed again, sorry to say) stood off to the side and watched and listened, till a little elderly lady invited me to sit by her. There was a 40-something (I think) preacher with them, who loudly and powerfully preached a clear and simple gospel message. It was how I always imagined street preachers would preach! I wonder if I've seen this before, or if I've just heard/read stories about it? Anyway, someone passing by in a truck swore at him, and another car was sitting at the red light, and he loudly called out to them that God had brought them there for that moment. After he preached, the group sang "Amazing Grace" and I joined in. The little lady said I had a nice voice. She also said it was her first time there. There were a few other people who stopped and watched for a bit.
I have always been amazed how these elderly folks (almost all *old*!) faithfully turn out all year round in all kinds of weather. Of course, I have been very impressed with the content of their little magazine. And the lady leader spoke so powerfully - in the Spirit, for sure! - at our school chapel that time. So I know they really love the Lord, and are truly willing to suffer for Him, to bring the gospel to the world!
But up till now I have always been really nervous about hanging out with them, because they appear to be kind of "wierd" and I guess the fact is, I still care about what the world thinks!
Well, maybe that is changing... thank You, Lord! (And please forgive me for taking so long to get here).
June 5, 2006
Last Sunday _____ announced the new Sunday night series about living the Christian life, and also that the first 2 sessions would be "men only" about Christian leadership in the home (and church), and he asked the women to pray.
I thought about that all week and finally emailed, and suggested that maybe there should be a couple of "womens only" sessions, taught by a mature, Godly woman, about submission and the role/position of Christian women in the home and the church. He emailed me back and said he had been praying that a woman would step forward and offer to do that, and he asked if I would. I emailed back and said "yes" as long as I could meet with him first to be sure we are on the same page/track. So I will be meeting with ____ to discuss this.
Meanwhile I was looking through some books, and thinking about and learning more about the position and role of women. I have been finding myself more and more - finally - accepting (and being happy about!) the Biblical instructions/principles. I really was happy to realize the fact that we as women are protected, and saved from stress, when we allow men to take their rightful position.
In the past year or so, as I have followed Pastor ___'s advice to me to love and respect my husband (and to *act* love even if I don't feel it), as well as being affected by _____'s spiritual influence, I have seen such amazing change and maturity in my husband. To think that it was me who was holding him back! And I didn't see it! I thought I had to "step into the gap" and take on his responsibility until he got around to it - but actually I was interfering, blocking his way, or at least letting him off. (Though I think I really was blocking and interfering!) Forgive me, Lord! Thank You for Your love and guidance.
No wonder I have not been able to lead, minister, reach out, preach (yes, to women!), witness, be a Godly mother (oh, Lord, that too I was blocking!). I simply was not yet walking in Your positioning for me as a Christian woman. Partly, I have surely been influenced by the world's feminism and individualism, but of course I have also been full of personal pride and self-sufficiency and desire for power and control and worldly recognition! Oh, dear Father, please forgive me!
.... I was looking at the website of that street preacher, and one thing that spoke to me was his writing on divorce. You spoke to me through that, Lord! You made me realize that I have always tried to shift the blame for my own divorce to my ex-husband (and slander him in the process)... and have not accepted that I, too - probably mostly, if not all! - am to blame! I was the one, after all, who ran out of the relationship (whatever my reasons might have been) and allowed myself to fall, in more ways than one, for another man. Lord, I was wrong, and I am wrong for continuing to deny my guilt! Please, Lord, forgive me. Thank You!
I see that this is yet another crucial step it is absolutely necessary that I take, and another understanding that I must have, before I can preach to women and/or be in leadership, that is, be a Titus 2:3-5 woman. Until my life is purified, how can I dare to even think of pointing other women to You? Sure, You do use the gospel, even from people with wrong motives, but that is not Your preference, and oh, Lord, I only want what You want. I only want Your approval, I only want the glory to be given to You! So, dear Lord, I do repent of all my infidelity (adultery, and fornication before I was first married, and the abortion, too), and I ask You to cleanse me and use me and direct me according to Your will. In Jesus' name! Thank You, Lord.
Lord, please use all You have been teaching me, to change and transform my life in practical ways - in my relations with my husband, my children, my family (parents, siblings, relatives - and my husband's relatives, too), my church, my friends, my neighbours - and all whom You would have me minister to.
Oh Lord, please help me to truly submit to my husband, to truly be under his leadership (spiritual and temporal). Use me, Lord, as his helpmeet, in all the purposes You have for him. Up to now, Lord, it's all been "help me." But it must be "help him" - and me as his wife and helpmeet. Help me to always allow and place him in the front position of leadership and headship. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name. (Thank You for teaching me these things, Lord! Thank You for preparing me!)