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Archive for October, 2010

Check out the Guest Author page to learn more about Stuart!
Catch up his blog from last Sunday, “Men are Pigs” by Stuart.

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Before God saw fit to bring the crowning jewel of his creation (women) to the earth, he created man. He walked with man in the garden, gave him work to do, and responsibility of the care of all of his precious creation was placed as a mantle upon the man. During this time, God gave instructions to Adam, one in particular that would change the course of human history…
”You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

I find it of utmost importance to note that Eve was not here with Adam when this commandment was given. Throughout history, the common belief has been that Eve sinned first. I have been taught, and I see it much differently. There were other commandments as well.
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We are not told who was present at this commandment, but if we look at these we can perhaps draw a little insight into how things were going for our first parents when the serpent came along. At the time that the serpent comes, Adam and Eve do not have children. Have they disobeyed the first commandment to multiply? When the serpent questions God, they were commanded to take dominion over him as one of “every living thing that moves on the earth.” This is obviously a sin. As for the commandment regarding the tree, Adam was the only one present for the commandment. He needed to not only convey the commandment, but teach it well enough that his wife understood. He did not teach clearly enough for Eve to understand how to take dominion over the serpent and his falsehood. Not only that, but he was with her! He stayed silent and let Eve feel the burden of responsibility to respond. I am confident that God had an expectation that Adam should act, because when God comes back into the story, he does not seek Eve, but instead comes calling for Adam. Adam is held responsible for how his household knows, understands, and acts in response to God’s commands.

Why is this important? If you live in America, 90% of you will marry. Choose a husband who knows the importance of obeying God’s commands and who carries the mantle of responsibility so that his family understands God’s commands. This is a key to a life free from part of the curse pronounced in Genesis 3:
“Your desire will be for your husband and he shall rule over you (the word for rule here literally means rule harshly).”

Women, do you want a life where your curse is lightened? Choose a husband who understands what Ephesians 5 commands,
“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Choose a man who loves God and obeys His commandments wholeheartedly. Choose a man who will follow the example of Christ and love you in the way that Christ has loved us all.

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Thanks so much to all of YOU and especially the community of women at North for making A White Stone Cause, an outreach to local exotic dancers, possible! So many of you have donated towards the gifts, are proclaiming the truth of the Gospel by wearing the “Jesus Loves Strippers” tshirts, and giving your time putting together the gifts. A special thanks to the men who have donated money and bought the manager of our Amarillo strip club a free steak dinner to OHMS! If you would like to read more about A White Stone Cause, please read our cause page HERE!!

And without further words, here is the progress via PhotoBlog! 🙂

putting together the gifts you purchased!


wrapping the candles



the bags


me writing in the cards


starbuck's gift cards


we ate a lot of spaghetti too 🙂




Moleskin journals




lots of candy in the bags


me stuffing bags



ALL FINISHED

of course Calvin helped!

Thanks to my North Community Group! They put all the bags together last Monday!

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Please welcome Guest Author, Stuart Lanier.

Stuart was born in New Mexico. He now resides in Amarillo, Texas, and works in the oil fields. Before settling in Amarillo, Stuart spent some time in Seattle and was a member of Mark Driscoll’s church, Mars Hill.

Stuart is a friend of me and David. He is a volunteer member of the North Leadership Team, leads a North Community Group on film and the Gospel, has traveled with us to the mission field, and an active participant of North. He is a man of the Word. David and I value is leadership and friendship, and we are honored to serve Jesus along side of him. We value Stuart’s wisdom and heart for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On a recent North Retreat, I had some great discussions with Stuart about gender, culture, and the Bible. I asked if Stuart would write a few blogs for A White Stone Blog readers from the perspective of a Godly man. I am so honored that he took the time to do so!

Please enjoy his posts and comments are welcome!
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Men are pigs! Men are vulgar, perverted, disgusting, and harsh. The only good news is that God knew this, and proclaimed (the first proclamation that anything in his creation was not good) “it is not good that the man should be alone”. In his infinite wisdom he didn’t just stop there, he followed through with the perfect solution…”I will make a helper fit for him”.

God then proceeded to make the crowning jewel of his creation in woman. In the beautiful words of a former pastor, “God completed all of creation, but he allowed it to exist for a time without the woman…almost like a suspended note…longing for resolve of the perfect exclamation point to the beauty of all creation”. Why then is it that all these years later we are still convinced that women have a lesser role to play? In Genesis 1:26-27 we see an overview of the creation of humans:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

God placed the same value upon both sexes…his image! You cannot assign a created thing more worth. Yet we still labor under the delusion that women must act as men do in order to attain equality. I understand the thought of unequal representation in the workforce, in leadership positions, and pay as a basis for the idea that women are not treated equal in our society. I agree that steps need to be taken to correct this unequal treatment. But I wish to passionately denounce the idea that in order to have equal status with men, that women must act as men do. I believe we have come to a place where women have fought so long for equality that in some ways they have sacrificed the beauty and grace given at creation to participate in the vulgarity and insensitivity of a man’s world. I constantly see women not only surrender to the debauched actions of men, but somehow convince themselves to become active participants. I have seen and heard countless women drinking more beer, belching louder, viewing pornography and attending strip clubs with their men in desperate attempt to control things which are contrary to the more delicate nature they were endowed by their creator.

What then are we to do? How are we as Christians to understand and combat the lies that are so commonly accepted in our society and history? I believe it is imperative that we, just as our creator saw fit to do, start with the men.

(Next Sunday, “Starting With the Men”)

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Things are never really what you imagine them to be. In my 24 years of life before our “I do’s,” I always imagined that all my polishing and hammered out character flaws would be gloriously finished on my wedding day. I really thought all my self-refining and hard work would finally be displayed, and I would begin marriage with my beautiful side showing and my strengths glowing. This is a hilarious false perception of how it really is!

Marriage has been like looking at myself in one of those magnifying mirrors or in a fitting room with fluorescent lighting. I was suddenly aware of all my selfishness and pride. My fears and insecurities were impossible to hide as I have learned what true intimacy is, my soul knit to another. The beautiful thing about being married—the true miracle of love—is that even in the bareness of my flaws and shame, David’s love was unconditional and strong. And being purely loved is redemptive. Love changes you.

Imagine for a moment if all the flaws and baggage I brought into marriage not been treated with redemptive love. Imagine that when my husband realized I wasn’t perfect, plagued with fears, insecurities, selfishness, and pride, He demanded me to change. What if when I was unable to overcome these things in my life, He took from me all my clothes, belongings, and money, and he sent me outside to live in our doghouse. What if my husband had said that he would leave me and abandon me if I didn’t get it together? What if he had withheld from me love, protection, and provision, and spent his time hurling insults and telling everyone what a screw up I am? Do you think that a starved, abandoned, abused, and hurting Kate would suddenly blossom into a beautiful, loving, pure, and perfect bride? It’s a ridiculous thought! It’s ridiculous because this isn’t love.

If we know how ridiculous this would be in marriage, I wonder why we think this will work for “The Bride of Christ,” The Church?

Marriage was created by God to show men and women a picture of the love and the intimacy we can have with God. But marriage is also the metaphor that we understand Jesus’ relationship with His people, the Church. The Bible calls Jesus “the Bridegroom,” and it calls the Church “The Bride” (Ephesians 5:25-33). God does this so that we can better understand God’s love for His people, the Bride.

I hear Christians pray and sing, “God, break my heart for what breaks Yours.” And then I hear Christians bashing the Church for her shortcomings. How is this not a contradiction? Do you want to know what breaks God’s heart? His love for His Bride, the Church. He longs to redeem her with love, to secure all her fears, heal all her hurts, and perfect all her flaws with His faithfulness. And one day the Bridegroom Jesus will come back for His people the Bride (Revelation 19:6-9), but until that day we can only love each other with the love of Jesus.

It’s time that we extend all the love and grace that Jesus has shown us despite our flaws to our local churches and Christians. True love is not based on requirements. It’s time that we begin to show the Bride redemptive love.

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How can you love the Bride of Christ? (the church and God’s people)

Tips from Ephesians 5:
-Give yourself up for the church and people in the same way that Jesus gave himself up for you. He gave His life.
-Love the church relentlessly and faithfully
-Sanctify her and make her clean- speak truth in love to people, be a voice of truth and change in your church. Do not speak badly of others or of your local church.
-Move toward the glorification of others, not in self-glorification.
-Love others. Love your local church more than you love yourself.
-Do not let fear or insecurity stop you from active, change-producing love.
-Nourish, cherish, and provide for people and your local church.
-Give your life to God’s service and ministry
-Bind yourself to others and your local church. Do not see yourself as separate. Do not isolate yourself from Christian community.
-Do not point out where the Church needs to change, be the change. Love the Church.

Ephesians 5:25-33 (English Standard Version)

” Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

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David and I leave in just a few short weeks on a short trip to New York City with some of our closest friends! We are so excited. As is the “Ritchie Way,” we’ve been spending our weeks leading up to the trip learning a lot about the history of New York City by getting together with friends and watching a documentary.

We’ve made it up to the mid-1800’s and Civil War era where this capitalist city of opportunity experienced violent bloodshed in 1863, because of racial tension between the white German and Irish working class and the blacks and the newly instated National Conscription Act that made them available for the draft. The Draft Riot in New York City (seen in the Gangs of New York movie) was the most brutal and largest scale urban “civil unrest” in American history. It’s unclear how many were killed, officially 119 were reported dead, and the unofficial toll could be as high as 1,000 lives.

The Draft Riots were an American horror, but an even greater travesty is the greater picture of our country at that time. The riots were finally halted after 5 bloody days by the intervention of the North army, a Northern army that marched to the aid of NYC from Gettysburg. If you know your Civil War history you know about Gettysburg, it’s the site of the bloodiest battle every on American soil! And it took place just a few short days before the rioting in NYC. The armies of the North and South collided in the small town of 2,400 Pennsylvanians residents. A total of 165,000 soldiers met with intentions to kill, and kill they did. There were 51,000 casualties at Gettysburg July1-3, 1863. The very survivors from the North were the soldiers who marched promptly to NYC to end their skirmish. An unbelievable moment in American history!

My first trip the Gettysburg!!!!


My second trip was for a gymnastics meet 🙂


These two events are so horrific its hard to wrap my brain around the horror and death. I want to be careful not to demean the sadness of the situation in New York City during the riots, but I can’t help but feel like it is somewhat overshadowed by the brutal battle in Gettysburg. And I have to admit this historic incident has really had me thinking about my own life. So many times in life I get caught up in my own cares, worries, fears, priorities, and feelings, and while they are very valid and real; they are and should be overshadowed by the bigger problems of this world.

North went on its Fall Retreat, and I went into the weekend bringing God a list of things that I felt like I needed. And after I read them off like my Christmas list to God, I pointed out to Him all the ways that I am trying and striving and doing. Needless to say, I didn’t get the answers I was looking for from the Lord. The Lord so gently reminded me that
My problems, needs, fears + all my good works and striving= RELIGION

I preach constantly against religion, but I find myself so quickly resorting to it. Again I am reminded, I was not a woman saved by religion. A perspective change, this is not about me. Life is not a bargain with God to get what I want.

Two things remain in all of us, that religion will never be able to attain:
1. a searching for fulfillment and peace that is never satisfied
2. our striving and achieving that isn’t worth anything at all

Moral efforts for God, in exchange for satisfaction, love, peace, fulfillment IS religion. And religious striving and achieving never attains satisfaction for fulfillment and peace. Our puny attempts at working to be enough or good are always overcome by our hastiness to self-serve. And it always comes back to how we can self-serve. But I praise God that my turmoil and searching and striving is the dissatisfaction of my soul. Because then I realize that when religion and rules failed, He sent Jesus to do it for us. When all the reaching to God never got there, God reached down to us through Jesus.

A long story short, in the rambling crazy brain of Kate, this moment in history so adequately reflects my life. So often I all caught up in the turmoil of my own life, and I worry and I violently strive for solution and resolve and peace. And I can completely miss the bigger story in this world. The craziest part of it all, unlike this moment of horror in history, God has given me the assurance of a good ending to my story. He has given me the promise of hope, peace, love, and fulfillment. If I will trust in my Savior, the end of all my battles is in my favor. But there is a world out there full of hurt and pain, one that looks like the battle grounds of Gettysburg, desperate for the same hope that I am assured. And we can be a part of the greater story of redemption in this world, if we will only open our eyes to the bigger story.

KR:)

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I talk to a lot of women who struggle to consistently read the Bible. Many women don’t know where to begin, get frustrated, and can’t keep it up. If you are one of these women, you are not alone.

reading my Bible in Santa Fe

Every author has a voice, and the more you read something the more you can hear what the author “sounds” like. The Bible is living, active Word of God, and the more you read it, the more you are going to be able to know what God sounds like. Every day is a constant flux of data coming at you telling you what’s important, who you are, and what is the meaning of life. Without the constant input from the voice of God, other things begin to influence our understanding of the world. We need to hear from God every day.

And by the way, I think its time that us Christian women change the stereotype that men are the only people interested in theology. Who decided that women can only worry about what they wear to church and read “fluffy” Christian romance novels and self-help books, while men get to be the apologists of our faith? God is looking for women who know why they believe what they believe, because there is a generation of hurting women in this world who have real questions and are going through real pain. Are we going to be women who pat them on the hand and invite them to a church service so that someone else can explain to them what we are supposed to believe? Or are we going to be willing and able to “preach the word; be[ing] ready in season and out of season.”

My husband and I are history nerds, and we have recently been reading all we can about church history. I want to BE these amazing chics I’m reading about! Like St. Boniface’s sister, Lioba of the 8th century. She loved the Word of God so much that her wisdom and wise counsel was famous. The most powerful men of her time came to her for advice. It was said of her,
“So great was her zeal for reading that she discontinued it only for prayer or for the refreshment of her body with food or sleep; the Scriptures were never out of her hands.” (Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem)

In a time and culture when the women had no authority or voice, Lioba was one of the most influential people alive in the world because she filled herself with the wisdom of God through the Bible.

I think she’s a hero and an example to women everywhere.

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Need help getting started? Here’s some practical advice:

1. Get help! You can’t do it alone. Get an ESV Study Bible. I did, and it changed my life. Personally, I love the ESV, word for word translation. The ESV study Bible has so many awesome articles and commentaries. It significantly increased how well I understood what I was reading. Get in a Bible study where you can talk about what you are reading. Surround yourself with people who want to learn about the same things as you do AND with older people who already understand things you want to understand.

2. Come up with a strategy on how to tackle the Bible. You can even steal my strategy! Every day I read one chapter from Proverbs (there are 31 chapters), a chapter from Psalms (I use this as a prayer), and I read a little from another book of the Bible that I want to read (the gospels are always good books about the life of Jesus). Now that you have your strategy, stick to it!

3. Don’t read the Bible with a gender specific perspective. The English language is very gender specific, so it’s hard for us as American women to not read the Bible from that perspective. For example, if you are reading a book and there is an address like, “Men, consider this fact…”
As American women, we would count this address for the male gender and see the information as disassociated from the female gender. Because the Bible was not originally written in English, we cannot take this approach when we read it. Most of the male gender words in the Bible include the female gender in its meaning.
For example:

Hebrews 2:17-3:1
“Therefore he [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus…”

Hebrews 2:17 “αδελφοις” [Greek word for “brothers”]
Hebrews 3:1 “αδελφοι” [Greek address for “brothers”]

In the Greek language these words for “brothers” has the following meaning:
“Brothers and sisters; one who shares beliefs; Jesus calls everyone devoted to Him ‘brother’; of a relationship with a woman other than that of husband.”
(A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Christian Literature,” based on Walter Bauer, revised/edited by Fredrick William Danker)
In other words, as women, we must receive everything that the Bibles says specifically for women and all believers. And, we must be especially careful not to disassociate ourselves from all that God says to us and for us because of the way that gender plays into our language.

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