Tag Archives for " baptist women in ministry "

the good samaritan

The Good Immigrant: A Parable Retold

A number of years ago, I led a youth retreat where I preached on the Good Samaritan eight times in four days. Having studied the text deep and wide, I wrote a modern version of the parable to share with the students in worship. It was a good exercise for me--and I thought you might find it helpful as well--to remember that compassion really can transcend any boundary.

imageThen the president of the Woman’s Missionary Alliance stood up to test Jesus. "Jesus," she said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (And everyone around got all quiet and listened because frankly, they were surprised that she had to ask such a question. Everyone knew that! For heaven’s sake, those words were printed on the city light poles, on banners at the local schools, and on the brand new welcome sign down at the local lake. It was so important, that they’d made it the town mission statement. What was she up to?)

And Jesus said to her (without any sarcasm in his voice at all), "Well, sister, what is our mission statement? How do you interpret it?"

She answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus responded, "Yep! That’s it! Just do that, and you will live a life that glorifies God not just now but for all eternity."

She had another question, though. "But Jesus. Exactly who would you say is my neighbor?"

Jesus said, “Let me put it to you like this:

"A business man was in the habit of exercising after work. At the office, he’d change from business attire to gym clothes, place his valuables in his backpack, and walk over to the downtown YMCA for a work-out before going home. One night, as he headed back to his car over near his office, he was jumped from behind and mugged. They stole all his credit cards, his iPhone, and his laptop. Then, they beat him and left him--broken, bloody, and unconscious--to die.

“Now by chance, the senior pastor of World’s Biggest Church was leaving a ministry meeting in the city and happened to walk right by the unconscious man. The thing was though, he still needed to update WBC’s website and Facebook page before he could go home; he hurried on to his office, asking Siri to remind him to look into the matter later.

“Likewise, the leader of the homeless ministry happened upon the injured man; of course, any other time, she would have stopped. (She would have!) But that night, she was on her way to B-SUB (Bible Study Under the Bridge), and she knew there would be a big crowd waiting on her. She kept walking.

“Then, an Afghan immigrant came along. When he saw the man, his eyes filled with tears, and he knelt beside the man. He noticed the guy’s t-shirt: torn and bloodied, it’s graphic and slogan spewed hate. No matter, the Afghani carefully removed his own head scarf, folded it, and used it as a pillow for the man’s head; then he took off his cloak and carefully draped it over him. The immigrant called 911, remained with the man while awaiting the EMT’s, then followed the ambulance to the hospital. Once they arrived and he saw that the man was getting the appropriate care, the Afghan immigrant stopped by the front desk. He gave them his credit card information to cover the man’s medical expenses and his cell phone number just in case there were any additional needs he might address.”

So, Jesus asked the woman, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who was mugged?”

And the woman said, “Um, well, in that story, I guess it would be the . . . uh . . . the one who showed him mercy."

Jesus said to her, "Mercy. That’s it. Mercy.”

choices opportunities

Societal norms no longer bow to church. So what? – Baptist News Global

Five Points Missionary Baptist Church

The church of my childhood met in this space back in the 70's. It's where all my friends were and I loved it.

“When I was a kid,” my octogenarian friend told me, “I went to church every time the doors were open. But I didn’t necessarily go to learn about Jesus; I went because that’s where my friends were.”

I could relate; truly, the church was the hub of my social life until I went to college. Vacation Bible School, church camp and ice cream socials were highlights of my summer. All year long, I attended Sunday school, Training Union and any special event scheduled at the church. That’s where all my friends were. Why wouldn’t I want to go?

Of course, to be fair, in those days, there wasn’t much else to do on Sunday.

I grew up in the 1970s and back then, blue laws kept most stores in my part of the country closed on Sunday. Movie theaters didn’t open either, except for a few drive-ins which opened for the late movie (which was at 8, not 10). No way could you find a bowling alley open on Sundays, though, if memory serves, I did play a game or two of mini-golf after Sunday night church on occasion. The skating rink might open for a church party on Sunday if you prearranged it, and most public swimming pools opened on Sundays (but only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. so as not to conflict with services). Thus, when I was a kid, and certainly in the 1940s and ’50s when my senior friend grew up, church was just about the most fun you could have on Sundays without breaking a law.

The same applied to Wednesday nights when most Protestant churches (which back then were the only ones that counted anyway) had Bible study and family activities. I am certain I never had homework on a Wednesday night until late into high school — and that was likely because I had procrastinated and was playing catch-up. My brother’s little league sports never scheduled events — games or practices — on Wednesdays. The same was true for any civic or community activity. Whether it was Boy Scouts or dance lessons, Wednesday scheduling was out of the question. You might as well go to church. You didn’t have any valid excuse for missing.

Not true today.

In 2017, we can visit any number of fine restaurants and enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch before catching a matinee at a nearby cinema. We can then follow that up with any activity we like: craft brewery anyone? Exception: if our kids play travel ball of any sort, they probably have games on Sundays, games that are out of town and require us to go on Saturday and spend the night.

On Wednesdays, kids have just as much homework as they do any other day (which is way too much, in my opinion, but that’s another column). Performances, practices and lessons happen just as frequently on Wednesdays as they do on other days. Wednesdays, once protected by societal norms from conflicting activities, are now fair game.

I hear lots of complaints about this perceived disregard for church culture. “Back in my day,” I’ve heard, “no business would dare open on Sunday. Little League ball games on Sunday? Not a chance.”

The thing is, though, businesses don’t open if they don’t make money. And they can only profit if they have customers. Same goes for kids’ ball games. You know why games are held on Sundays? Because children and their fee-paying parents participate on Sundays, that’s why. Plain and simple.

Parents tell me, “You would not believe how much homework little Johnny has on Wednesday nights. He couldn’t come to church tonight because he had too much work for school.” That sounds exactly like parents have no choice, doesn’t it? I mean, the kid has to do their homework, right? OK, but just to be clear, when we had essentially no other choice, we went to church; now, when we have a conflict, church is absentmindedly kicked to the curb.

Me, I think it is good that now we have to make a choice. It is harder, yes, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, usually the more difficult a task or decision, the more valuable it is or will become. Gone are the days when we can just follow the masses to church without ever actually following God’s Son, Jesus Christ. But isn’t that good? Isn’t it better that we must choose how to spend our time and energy now? Isn’t it better that we make conscious choices to turn towards Jesus and away from other distractions?

So how about this: how about we stop wringing our hands about the things of the past that we can’t bring forward to our present day? Why don’t we step up to the challenge and choose church, choose Christ? If we do, I’m pretty sure that’s one choice we’ll never regret.

Originally published at baptistnews.com. Baptist News Global is one of my favorite sources of news and information related to faith. Really. You should check it out. Societal norms no longer bow to church. So what? – Baptist News Global

ncbwim, bwimnc

Teenaged girl’s ministry becomes Baptist woman’s call – Baptist News Global

Nothing in the program guide suggested I might slip through a time portal during worship. I’m sure of it; I would have noticed.

Want to know how this time travel played out? Click for the full story.

Source: Teenaged girl’s ministry becomes Baptist woman’s call – Baptist News Global

bwimnc

Anna Daniels Anderson, 20th century version.
(2nd from the left, top row)

bwimnc

Anna's daughter, Rev. Leah Anderson Reed

following christ bearing fruit

Following Christ: Bearing Fruit

My pastor and his wife have been in Ireland for the past couple of Sundays and so, while I'm not usually the one delivering the message, I have been the last two weeks and will be again this coming Sunday. I love to preach and am so grateful to be in a church that welcomes different voices in the pulpit. But this week . . . With the incidents in the US this week, I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of proclaiming the Gospel in the midst of this national crisis.
Yet, I am glad to be fully aware of my inadequacy, to be reminded that Christ's strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thus, leaning into that promise, I approached the task of proclamation, beginning with the morning prayer (below). I preached from Colossians 1:1-14. You can find the audio of the message here, or you may download it using the link below.

imageLoving God, Holy Lord: you are our strength and our shield. You are the God of Mercy, the God of Peace.

We ask Lord that in this place and at this moment, Oh God, let your Kingdom come; let your will be done. So that right now on earth, we will experience blessed peace, divine mercy, and Kingdom justice.

Lord we ask that you will remind us from whom our help comes. Remind us that you are the source of all provision.

And forgive us.

  • Forgive us when we fail to recognize our own sins, so attentive are we to the sins of others.
  • Forgive us for failing to hide ourselves in you, so intent are we to step out with false pride in our own humanness.
  • Forgive us for relying only on ourselves: idolizing our own strengths and cursing our weaknesses.
  • Forgive us when we slip into these godless behaviors and forget that only you are holy.

We ask, Lord God, that you would guide us through the temptations of our lives.

  • The temptation of our chosen addictions: substances, attitudes, or actions.
  • The temptation to over-simplify complex issues.
  • The temptation to offer quick fixes and consider ourselves blameless.

Deliver us Lord, from our selfishness, from our knee-jerk reactions, from our mindless pursuits.

Remind us once again that we are called, through your infinite love and unyielding grace:

  • We are called to be your people.
  • We are called to be one people—one unified Body of Christ
  • We are called to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you.
  • We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
  • We are called to love you with our whole hearts.

Bring us into this moment unfettered by our own egos.

  • Still the voices in our heads that cry out for attention.
  • Voices that say, “Make sure you do this, and don’t forget that.”
  • Voices that say, “What’s in this for me?” or “This is a waste of my time.”
  • Voices that say, “I’m not worthy,” or “I don’t belong.”

Instead,

Make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.*

Lord, in your Mercy, Hear our Prayer.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Below, find the audio of Following Christ: Bearing Fruit, delivered at First Baptist Church of Weaverville, NC, July 10, 2016.

*Prayer of St. Francis
baptist woman in ministry

June BNG Column: An Anomaly in the Pulpit

Women in ministryEach month, I write a column for the Baptist News Global. This month, I wrote about a growing group of preachers who are unfamiliar to many Baptists. To read the column, click here. Then hang around over there at baptistnews.com for great articles on issues that really matter.

Woman in the Pulpit

I preach from time to time at First Baptist Church of Weaverville. Here are my most recent sermons.

December 6, 2015, "Let There Be Peace," Luke 3:1-6, Psalm 126.

 

October 11, 2015, "From Affliction to Proclamation," Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalm 22:1-15.