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Archive for November, 2010

Guest Author Bio: Stuart

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 upcoming posts and comments are welcome!
“Men Are Pigs”

“Starting With the Men”
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Here is his third post on the Bible and gender…. “True Freedom in Submission by Stuart”

Stuart and his niece

I have spent the greater part of the last three weeks, praying and reading scripture and struggling with the best way to communicate what the Bible has to say about submission. I even pulled the plug on an article on the subject that I had already submitted (dang there’s that word again) because it just didn’t feel right. Why this anxiety? Well…truthfully…speaking to a largely female audience about how the Bible tells them to submit to a husband is not my idea of a way to health and longevity. Also, our culture at large seems to conjure only visions of MMA fighters or a particular bent of sexual game play complete with whips and chains when the word submission is used. This is why I find such comfort in the Bible. It speaks of no such foolishness when it asks women to submit to their husbands. Let’s take a look!

I’ll very briefly summarize some New Testament scriptures and very importantly their context in regard to submission. All three verses ask wives to either submit or be subject to their husbands. The verses are Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, and 1 Peter 3:1. If we are to understand the attitude and tone of these directives, we must look at the context. Much like this blog, these men (Paul and Peter) were writing letters of encouragement and instruction to an audience of mostly Christian women and men. Ephesians 5:22 is led into with a call to all Christians, man and woman to imitate our God and our Savior Jesus Christ in love by putting away our evil desires for worldly and temporary indulgence and instead putting on an attitude of thankfulness, wisdom, and submission to other Christians out of a reverence for Christ. So, before he calls wives to submit to husbands, he calls all Christians to submit to each other. The context of Colossians 3:18 has a charge for Christians to put off our “old self” full of selfish desire and debauchery and to put on the “new self” “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10). It goes on to command Christians to forgive each other and to live in harmony and peace with each other and to act as “one body” full of thankfulness for the redemption God has given. Peter takes a little different approach as he begins his passage in 1 Peter 2 by talking of how Christian men and women will set themselves apart by submitting to every authority that is established in their lives. He says we should do this because every authority is place by God. It is only after establishing this submission to Christ, other Christians, and every authority God has placed in our lives, that scripture then has wives submit to husbands.

I almost chuckle at my reservations of writing this blog on submission, because it is another example of how our enemy tries to distract us from the truth of God’s word…ensuring us of confusion and backlash, and telling us to look out for ourselves. God’s word calls us all…men and women…to live lives submitted to one another in love. A life that calls us to community with like-minded believers of God’s incomparable grace and compassion; that brings us out of darkness and loneliness and into a life filled with others; that has us to be concerned with how to care for each other’s needs; that calls us to be accountable for our professed convictions. God’s word calls us to submit our lives to our brothers and sisters because it knows that a life spent in view of others cannot be secretive and lonely and dark and selfish. God knows that true freedom comes from this form of loving submission to others that are also called by His grace and His peace.

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Our first visit to the strip club: My Night At The Strip Club

Special thank you to everyone who donated money and time to buy the gifts for the ladies and the manager, to shop for the gifts, and putting the gifts together. I can’t tell you how much of a part you played in this outreach. I’m also so very grateful for all of you that prayed for us. Without your prayers this cause would not have been possible. Thank you!

Friday morning I woke up wishing that I felt different, but I didn’t. No epic background music. No superpowers. Only the little pit in my stomach of nervousness and excitement. For the most part, it was a normal Friday with some extra time praying over our visit tonight to Cassidy’s strip club and a few finishing touches on the gift bags.

4:30pm rolled around and David and I loaded up the gifts in the car. Beth called me and read me the notes she had written to go along with the gifts. She poured out her heart with testimony of what Jesus had done in her life. It was beautiful and perfect. David and I headed to Outback Steakhouse to purchase a $50 gift card with the rest of the money that had been handed to me for this night over past several months. The gift card was for the owner of the strip club. My prayer was that his heart had softened from our last visit, and surely a delicious steak dinner could only help.

An hour later we pulled up to my in-law’s house followed by Beth and her husband Bob and Melissa and her husband Joseph. Melissa and Joseph had been a huge part of the first outreach, they had gone with us to the club and prayed in the parking lot as Beth and me went inside. This time Melissa had offered to go inside with us to help us pass out the 30 gift bags. The three of us and our husbands joined together to pray one last time together and headed down the street to the club.

Joseph & Melissa


Bob & Beth

Beth, Melissa, and I parked down the street and carried two large laundry baskets of gifts. Our husbands parked down the street in a car to pray for us the entire time we were inside the strip club. We entered a locked foyer room with a small barred window. The girl behind the window looked pretty puzzled to see us. I explained to her why we were there, and she nervously said that she didn’t want to get in trouble. I told her I didn’t want her to either, and that she should get the manager because he would remember us.

The locked door opened, and I could feel Beth and Melissa praying behind me. The manager looked shocked to see us again. I thrust the gift card into his hand and said,

“Hi! It’s us again! We have brought the girls more gifts, so we can either walk around a pass them out as the girls work or we can give them out however you would like.”

He just stared at me, took a few steps back, and said, “Ok.”

The sounds and sights of crowded club instantly surrounded us. Beth and Melissa walked right in and started giving the gifts to all the girls. Some of the girls we recognized from last time, and some of the faces were new. All the faces were smiling and excited to see us. We made sure all the girls working got a gift. We also gave one away to a girl who was there with two guys. The girls opened the gifts right away; most bypassed the makeup, candy, and other goodies and went straight for the note we put inside.

The girls were working, and we could only say to some ‘We love you.’ Others wanted to talk longer. I was drawn to one girl specifically. She offered to take the remaining gifts to the locker room for the girls who would come in later that evening. She grabbed me again as we were about to leave and nervously asked,
“Are you Kate?”
A friend had got me in contact with a dancer, and I have been praying for her and when I do I text her to remind her that God loves her and cares about her. Our relationship had been a phone conversation and text conversation. When she introduced herself, I nearly lost it.

Beth and Melissa finished passing out the gifts to all the girls working. As we headed out the door the manager shouted over at us,
“Thanks a lot girls. I hope you ladies have a great night.”
Only God can soften hearts.

Friday night when we walked into a strip club, we didn’t feel different or special. No epic background music. No super powers. Just three friends who have each experienced a love we don’t deserve, a love that was freely given to us. His love softened our hearts, and it’s His love that we have to give.

David and Kate 🙂

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I would like to applaud the amazing community of North. This is the most amazing community of people I have ever been a part!

North saw a huge need in the city of Amarillo, and stood up to the pain and injustice of this world and made a difference. Our national economic crisis has touched so many, and often the most affected people are the people who are already suffering financially. Every year my amazing family, Trinity Fellowship Church to which North is a ministry of, provides Thanksgiving turkeys and dinners to the families of this area most severely impoverished. That is 900 families in the Amarillo area!! This year because of the economy and the price of the turkeys had risen significantly; it looked like the outreach would not be feasible.

The ministry of North couldn’t accept, and began raising money. In just a few short weeks, North raise $10,000 to help buy 900 families Thanksgiving turkeys! An unbelievable feat for a few hundred poor college students! But they didn’t stop there. Last Tuesday night after North, those same people invaded the Walmart on Coulter Street in Amarillo and filled 200 bags full of the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner (sweet potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, cookies…etc.).

I can’t say how proud I was of my community. I know what a sacrifice that was for most of these young adults barely making it on their own. Hats off North! This Saturday the Gospel of Jesus Christ will go into help 900 homes because of your sacrifice and effort. The coolest part of it all is that I know with what kinds of heart it was done. I know most would never want any credit. They have done it because when they were poor in heart and soul and body, there was One, Jesus, who made a greater effort and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that they could know Love and be satisfied.

And that makes me all the more proud. Forgive me, but I must shout it by blog. I’m so proud of you North!! ☺

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On a personal note, I would also like to say how proud I am of my brother Ike.

My brother Ike is 21 years old and is a religion major at Liberty University. He is one of the most influential, Godly men in my life. And he’s doing an amazing job in life and faith. He has an incredible trust in God and a purity of heart that is to be desired. He recently wrote a blog that I believe shows his character and the wisdom God is increasing in him. I would like to share it with you HERE.

Ike baptizing folks in Zambia, Africa

Ok, now that I have given away all my gold stars of the day. All I can say is have a great day, and you hear from me again Sunday! ☺

KR☺

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I posted the following question on twitter/facebook this week, “Ladies, I need your help for research. When the Bible talks about being “submissive”, what is the first thing you think, feel, thoughts?”Responses and emails from women of all ages and marital status exploded into cyperspace (your welcome to read them on my facebook page). Believe me when I say this topic is a hot one; I’ve been perplexed over the issue of submission, well, most of my life. I’m not writing as an expert; I’m here to write about what I know or, at least, what I’m learning.

The first thing I think about when I think about submission in gymnastics. I spent 19 years of my life in a gymnastics gym, 13 years competing and 6 years coaching. The goal of gymnastics is flawless, absolute achievement or perfection. How is that goal achieved? Submission. Gymnastics is a work of submitting your effort, your body, your will, overcoming a mind that tells you that the laws of nature would not allow your body to do such a thing, and trusting that this act of breaking and all the sacrifice would one day achieve the goal of perfection and achievement. Life experiences tell me that sacrifice and submission results in the desired achievement, pleasure, and perfection.

What the Bible says about submission:
Ephesians 5:21-33 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

There are two ways that this verse talks about submission- submit first to the Lord, submit secondly to your husband. As with anything in life, we understand through our experiences. So if we are to follow the same formula as my gymnastics example- to get the desired result- love from God- it comes by our work of breaking our mind, will, body…etc

But what if the way I’ve experienced submission in this broken, imperfect world hasn’t been a real version. What if, like so many other things, submission has been contorted and confused to mean something different from it was intended to mean. What we are called to submit and instead of us doing all the work, God went through all the breaking and sacrifices and still gives us our desired result- love. Ladies, I have good news. That’s just what He did.

For the single women:
The only person you are called to submit in this verse is God. So accept His love. Live to love Him and to share true love with the world. If you desire a spouse, look for one who loves like God loves. Who will love you as “Christ loved the Church” (He died for her). It will be easy to selflessly love someone who selflessly loves you, and that’s what makes marriage work. And when He doesn’t perfectly love, it will be easy to forgive him.

For the married women:
If you selflessly love and respect your husband in marriage, it will refine the way he loves, and he will begin to love you more like Christ. Stop telling your husband what you need and how you need to be loved, instead just believe in him. Believe that he will love you like Christ, and when he does love you receive it. When he misses it, remember who your heart’s first love, put hope in it, and try again. Men flourish when they are believed in, accepted, and trusted, so as you submit to Christ in that way, submit to your husband in that way.

Jesus broke His body. He humbled himself. He overcame all the ways we mess it up and hurt each other. And He paid the ultimate sacrifice as He “like a lamb led to the slaughter” endured the cross carrying out shame and pain and even our pride. And he told the Father, “not my will, but your will be done.” And He didn’t do it so He could hold it over our heads, abuse us, or force us to believe in Him. He did it so we can freely experience His perfect love. Do you know what this means for you? Jesus humbly broke and submitted Himself. He did the work of submission, so we could receive the result of being wholly and perfectly loved. What do we have left to do? Accept it. God isn’t calling you to be “less than.” He’s calling us to know that you are “more than.” He knows that it’s so hard for us to accept free love. He knows our tendency to work and strive for it. But God has called us only to posture ourselves to receive His love. True submission liberates women. True submission values women.

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A Christian Girls Guide: Kate’s Top 12 Misconceptions Single Women Have About Marriage:

This blog is sponsored by the amazing girls in my North community group and dedicated to the pride and joy of the West Texas A&M women’s basketball team, the Buffalo. In my North community we discuss the sermon topics preached at North, not to mention eat lunch together and talk about life (and by life sometimes that means basketball because a few of the girls play for WTAMU).

North’s latest sermon series is “Gospel-Centered Dating.” Most our discussions are really about marriage, and the girls have asked me to blog about what marriage is and what it is not. Believe me, I am no marriage expert. Please feel free to differ and discuss…. I will doing this in the form of an epic countdown.

Without further ado.

A Christian Girls Guide: Kate’s Top 12 Misconceptions Single Women Have About Marriage:

12. Once you’re married, you can say goodbye to dating.
Let’s start with the easy stuff. Realize that being married isn’t like playing Super Mario Bros. – Nintendo style. You know where you make it through the level, beat the monster at the end, get a gold star, and never look back. A good marriage always works on the basics like prioritizing God as #1, good communication, respect, and showing him you think He the coolest guy you know.

11. The first year is the hardest year.
Who made this up? Anything that is worth anything will cost you something. So every year is hard. But when Jesus went to the cross to die for us, it knowing how hard it was that made him get through it. It was His love, and the fact that we were worth the greatest cost.

10. Your husband will be like you and think like you.
Doesn’t matter how compatible you are; he’s a dude and you’re a chick. You’re just going to think and do things differently. Don’t be surprised. And be open-minded enough to see it his way sometimes, and it will show him a ton of honor and love. Plus, figuring out each other makes for great communication, and makes marriage interesting. He’s not wrong just because he doesn’t think the same way as you.

9. Marriage will make you a stronger, more confident, more independent woman.
A lot of women think that all their insecurities will go away when they are a ‘married woman’. Wrong! Listen, if you don’t get those things in check before you get married, they will only get worse. Having another person in your life that loves you won’t fix your insecurities; it will only force that person to bear the weight of your fears. They will inevitably do something that lets you down, and you’ll find yourself disappointed, insecure, and crushed. Insecurity can only be defeated by security in God’s love.

8. I’ll never feel lonely again.
God designed this life to be done in the context of community. You’re going to need family and friends who share your faith in God and your faith in your marriage. You’re going to need girlfriends who are married who give you wisdom on how to be a better wife. Most of all, you’re going to need God more than ever. I believe this is true: You can only be as intimate with your spouse as you are with the Lord. People and health come and go, but God will never leave or fail you.

7. All the things I have worked on will finally be on display.
Rather, all the things you can hide from everyone in life, every issue you are good at skirting, and every flaw you cover up will lay bare in marriage. Marriage is facing who you truly are in front of another. Marriage is redemptive when that person loves you despite your flaws and mess ups.

6. Sex will put an end to temptation and trial.
Sex is great. Sex is fun. Great sex comes from great intimacy in a great marriage. It doesn’t fix every problem, rather having great sex is the result of doing the hard work of creating intimacy in marriage. Don’t count on it simply ending temptation or hardships.

5. My issues are my issues.
Not any more. Those things you justified when you were single because they weren’t hurting anyone else will now affect everything in marriage. Even if your spouse remains unaware, he will be strongly aware of a fracture in your intimacy. And sooner or later, your issues will come up, because now you are knit to another person and your issues are now his too.

4. Your relationship with God is now joined with his in some epic conjoined “quiet time.”
While there is definitely many times to pray and read the Word and discuss God with each other, but being married doesn’t cut you any slack in your responsibility with your heart and God. In fact, having ultimate hope and security in your relationship with God on your own is more important than ever before. It’s important because your man needs you. He needs you secure and perfectly loved by God so you can pray for him, give advice and direction, encourage, speak the truth, love him well, and forgive him when he messes up.

3. Your needs will always be met now that your married.
The truth is that you will always be meeting another person’s needs. And if you view marriage as a ‘giver’ and not a ‘taker,’ your love can transform him to be the man God has called him to be.

2. If you truly married the right man, marriage will be a breeze.
If you truly married the right man, it won’t be a breeze. Marriage is one of the foundational ways that God reveals himself to humanity. God’s enemy hates marriage, and a constant battle rages over its very existence in this world. From the moment you say your vows, you can feel it. Don’t fall into the trap of questioning God. It’s time to fight back. This same enemy doesn’t just want to hurt you and hurt your marriage; he wants you and your marriage to die. You don’t have to stand for it.

1. Your husband will be a knight in shining armor boldly conquering and courageous.
He is! But he doesn’t know it. Men carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Many times the world around them tells them they are failures and not good enough. You know this isn’t who they are, and that’s why he needs you. He needs you to believe in him and tell him who he really is. That’s why football players need cheerleaders, and that’s why he needs you. Through your support, he can be who he really is, who God has made him to be.

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My view as I write this blog.


Journal Entry: November 1, 2010

“I’m sitting in Central Park on a boulder overlooking a lake, and beyond the lake is the New York City skyline. I’ve never been anywhere like this great city, yet somehow sitting on this rock, I am home. I attribute these sentiments to the man who sits beside me, himself journaling, my husband David. When we have moments like these in life, I feel God blessing more than I can even receive. When my husband and I are together, I can feel the peace and presence of my Savior Jesus. And in moments of solitude like this moment, I recognize what is always there.

Matthew 18:19-20
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name,there am I among them.”

This city is an overwhelming, energetic, stirring mass. This week I’ve found it hard to think, slow down, even remember my priorities. Yet, somehow in the middle of man’s greatest achievement- skyscrapers, business, success- there is this peace-filled garden. I stood on top of Rockefeller Center at 11pm two nights ago. We went up there to see the view, and it was brilliant. Gazing over the lights and the towers, noise rose and hovered in the atmosphere. The site was breathtaking. I thought to myself that I had seen many beautiful things in nature, but the beauty of the city was something to behold. I kept telling David, and I guess myself too, “I can’t believe that men built this.” And I must honestly say, I’ve never been so impressed with the creations of men. God’s creations have always impressed me much more.

I asked God, “Why would men make something so beautiful?”

It’s clear to me why God would create beautiful objects. When I see His breathtaking sites, it’s obvious to me that they are a mere reflection or demonstration of God, of His character, His grace, mainly His redemption- a baby, a mountain, the Texas sunset, this beautiful park. I see Him. I see Jesus. But what of the monumental site I saw on the top of that building, built through the giving of time, money, and lives of men? What story does this city tell of its makers? If this world was created to reflect of God’s loving-kindness and redemptive nature, what is the reflection of New York City? Hussle and bussle, success and failure, striving and achievements. It’s interesting to me that this beautiful garden was put right in the middle- a refuge and peace, a planting of God’s creation, an escape from all that men had built, an escape from what men think they want.

It’s not that New York City is bad or ugly. It’s beautiful and exciting. It reflects hard work, achievement, success, and failure. These are all part of life. But in the center of it all is a beautiful garden is place where men and women can surround themselves with all that is God. And you, like me, can become aware of His presence and His character. Not that He isn’t there in the city, but suddenly you can recognize what has always been there.

We are all drawn to this garden- those who walk briskly on these concrete streets. Somehow all of New York City has a faint memory that seems to come alive here. I think somewhere in everyone who visits this place is a recognition, life began in a garden. A garden where everything was right, good, and peaceful. Where God literally walked and talked to us. We long for that garden. We long for the day when we return to that place, because one day it will return for us. It will feel just like it did in that first garden, but it will look like a city. A greater city than this one. It’s where the garden and the city meet.”

Revelation 21:1-7
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

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