Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Modern Marriages

NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports that according to a recent Pew Foundation Study there's been a shift in the economics of marriage that has "turned the marriage market on its head." The subtitle of her report, "The Rise of the Sugar Mama," is sure to raise eyebrows. You can read or download her report here.

This trend raises some interesting questions. To make this a bit more interesting, factor into the scenerios Ludden describes the fact that in tough economic times men are losing their jobs or having their salaries cut back.

So, does the notion of men as providers set a woman up to feel she's crossed the line or to struggle with resentment if she's bringing home the bacon? Do men feel their manhood suffers if they don't or can't or if a wife simply can earn more money? If God created the woman as ezer ['helper'] to the man, when it comes to marriage, is there a limit to how much help a wife can or should offer her husband?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Emptying Fills the Soul

Nicholas Kristof's latest piece in the NY Times carries echoes of what God had in mind for us in the beginning–getting caught up "to work with others on a cause larger than yourself . . . being hard-wired to be altruistic."

Doesn't that sound like the Blessed Alliance?

In times of crisis, such as we are witnessing in Haiti, we are distracted from our selfish pursuits, compelled to think of others and reach out to them. This is where we uncover clues that tell us who we were meant to be and what it means to become our true selves. Not because God is running some kind of matching fund whereby He returns to us in hard cash whatever we give away. The Gospel is deeper than that.

There may be far more to the second Great Commandment than we yet realize.

Read Kristof on: Our Basic Human Pleasures: Food, Sex and Giving

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Something to ponder . . .

I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
—Anne Lamott

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jesus and the Unclean Woman

Don't miss this eye-opening article on Jesus healing of the unclean woman in Mark 5. Author L. Lewis Wall is professor of obstetrics/gynecology in the School of Medicine and professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

The article connects this Gospel story to the current suffering of millions of women in Africa and Asia from fistula.


We are all Haitians

"After 9/11, the French newspaper Le Monde declared: We Are All Americans. And after yesterday's earthquake: Today, we are all Haitians. No country seems to have had worse luck with misrule, environmental mismanagement, natural disasters and poor governance than Haiti. Haitians are a lovely people who deserve far better."

—Nicholas D. Kristof, 1/13/10

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Ezer Story

Miep Gies, who helped hide Anne Frank and her family for two years during the Holocaust, died at the age of 100. She preserved Anne's diary which was eventually published by Anne's father and has given the world an intimate and powerful glimpse into those years of hiding.

Despite the risks Gies willingly took, she didn't consider herself as a hero and was dismissive when others praised her valor. "This is very unfair. So many others have done the same or even far more dangerous work."

Here's a fuller account of her story:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One more week and Synergy is heading to Chicago!

It seems ages since John Armstrong, President of ACT3, first contacted me with the idea of bringing Synergy to the "Windy City." This is Synergy's first venture beyond the warmth of sunny Orlando, Florida. We hope it is the first of many similar ventures.

If you've ever attended a Synergy conference, you'll know what I mean when I say, "This isn't your typical women's conference." For those who are new to Synergy, let me explain.

At Synergy, we take women and God's calling on their lives seriously. We're asking hard questions—the kinds of questions women are asking all the time—21st Century questions about what it means to live for Christ in this broken world, how he is raising up his daughters to serve him in a Blessed Alliance with our Christian brothers. We're casting a large gospel vision that invests every woman's and man's life with meaning and purpose, no matter where God stations us.

Here's what one attendee said,
I received more than I ever expected or imagined at Synergy! God stirred up many hopes and longings in me that I had not even realized I had cast aside (or maybe the better word is I had slowly killed off because it hurt too much to dream and I had lost sight of my place in the Kingdom battle).
What makes Synergy especially unique is that men have started attending. They are drawn by the quality and deep content of our conferences. We're asking questions that impact their lives too. Here's what one of our brothers had to say:
I've been to many conferences, but Synergy rises to the top for its theological and relational vitality. Carolyn is leading a way in a paradigm shift of biblical engagement which is really not new at all, but rooted in the Reformation concept of the priesthood of all believers. Carolyn is putting the "all" back in that ancient doctrine. As a pastor and a seminary professor, I wholeheartedly commend Carolyn's work and Synergy.
The theme of SynergyChicago is "Finding your place in The Story." If you're within reach of Chicago, we hope you'll join us.

For details and to register, goto: SynergyChicago