A Crown of Glory in the Hand of the Lord

last month I was invited to give a workshop on spiritual warfare at the  ICAP Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin.   When asked to participate, I immediately said no out of fear and feeling unqualified.  It was suggested that I should pray and seek the Lord for His answer, (not mine) which I did and received a yes.

After receiving a yes,  I knew I had to prepare as I would be amongst experts in the field of rescue and recovery of those in the sex trade industry, and my topic would be something new for many.

A crown of GloryWhile at the conference, I learned so many things.

Most women in this field are not there by choice. Many have suffered abuse at a very young age, are trafficked and suffer trauma, and PTSD.

I was pleasantly surprised to see people from all around the globe involved in this type of ministry. Some have a calling, others have been rescued and are now rescuing others.

Seeing and hearing these testimonies have brought me much encouragement.   God is at work, and yes, there are many success stories.

Being amongst these survivors and hearing their stories has brought a new faith and hope in me.  I feel as though I received a huge vitamin shot.   God is everywhere;  at work in the brothels, strip clubs, rescuing those in need. When I think of my own needs, they seem insignificant compared to what these women and men (yes, young boys are trafficked) go through, and because Christ sets them free, they are strong and enduring to the end.

It´s funny how God works. I went there to serve and to bless in what I can give, but I was the one that came out blessed and with a renewed hope and faith in God.

The theme for the conference was  Isaiah 62:3  You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.

After spending just a few days with these precious people, they truly are a crown of glory in His hand and the love was palpable. They choose to be molded and shaped by the master potter and continue to be used by Him for His glory.

My I continue to do the same with my life.

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Why we should all arise and go into the city

New York Skyline
New York Skyline

Acts chapter 9 relates the story about Saul, (later known as Paul) well known and feared for persecuting the Christians.  As he is on his way to do more harm, he is blinded, and falls to the ground on the road to Damascus.

Saul ask who are you, “Lord?”   Jesus confirms his suspicions. He replies, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

While on the ground, trembling and blind, we see how quickly Saul changes sides.  He goes from persecuting those of the Way, to asking Jesus, “What do you want me to do?”

The Lord replies with ¨ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”

This was the first step of obedience that Paul did.  He arose and went to the city.  His change was so radical, that he became a follower of Christ.  Thanks to the Apostle Paul, we have most of the  New Testament written by him.

I saw several things here.

First the Lord can do anything to draw a person to himself.  This gives me hope, because I know the Lord can turn around the most messed up person to serve him in a most amazing way.

Second, The Lord gave one directive to Paul.  Arise and go to the city.

Third, just obey.

The Lord did not lay out his whole life plan at one time.  He gave it to him, one step at a time.

If the Lord had told him his whole life story, about his imprisonment, stone beatings, being shipwrecked, missionary trips, do you think Paul would have backed out?   I think I would have.

I have a secret for you.  We are not supposed to have the full picture.

When we begin our walk with the Lord, He gives us only so much, one step at a time. For that I am grateful.

God´s ways and plans are always bigger than ours.  As we continue our walk in obedience, the Lord is faithful to equip us to fulfill the calling upon our life.

For us to fulfill our calling there are two things we need to do.  We need to ask the Lord what He would like us to do, and we need to arise and go into the city.  It is then He will gives us the next phase of the plan.

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Why women should be in ministry

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1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

For some time I have heard this passage preached and written regarding women in ministry. I have read and heard both sides of the argument. There are a few things that I have learned that I would like to share with you here.

You will always find an argument for women serving in the ministry.Tweet This

There, I said it.

The Lord has anointed many women to do Kingdom work.  Some are teachers, prophets, pastors, evangelists and yes, even apostles.  So in seeing these women rise up and fulfill the calling the Lord has placed upon them, how does the scripture quoted above fit in?

First we need to understand what the scripture says exactly, and the time it was written in and in the context in was written.

The passage above was written in the first century.  Women sat on one side of the church, and the men on the other side of the church.  Women did not receive an education, as a result, they would have questions during the sermons.  Paul was literally asking them to respect the service, and to ask the questions to their husbands when they got home.

The word ¨speak¨ here in the original Greek refers to chatting, questioning and arguing, and the word  “silence” refers to having a calm undisruptive spirit, and be open to learning.

Other Bible translations read that women should keep quiet during the meetings.

Paul was emphasizing order in the church, not that women should never speak or be active in the church.

Understanding the position of women in the early Church is important because it establishes the foundation for the ministry of women in the Church today.

Women were very instrumental in the church. Let´s look at a few examples:

Intercessors
Women in the early church were intercessors in prayer.  In the city of Philippi, a group of women met by the river to pray

Act 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

Women were recipients of the Holy Spirit
The book of Acts records that the Holy Spirit came upon all, men and women:

Acts 2:17 ‘AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAYS GOD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH; YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.

Acts 2:18 AND ON MY MENSERVANTS AND ON MY MAIDSERVANTS I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY.

Women  were prophetess:
Acts 21:9  Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

We have an account of a woman Apostle:
Rom 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Junia, a woman,  is noted as an apostle, a fellow prisoner.

I have heard testimony from notable men of God;  where they once frowned upon women in ministry,  the Lord changed their mind.

If you remove women from ministry, you are actually removing the gifts, calling and anointing’s the Lord has placed upon them to spread the gospel.

I leave you with this last verse:
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor  female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

I think it´s best to be one, to work as one, and to spread the good news of Christ. Don´t you agree?

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