CHOOSING MENTAL HEALTH

Why Simone Biles Will Always Be A Winner

Simone Biles, the most lauded U.S. gymnast in history, unexpectedly pulled out of the women’s team competition at the Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns about her mental health. Good for her. It has been encouraging to watch the Olympic community of athletes rally to support her decision. Good for them. It has been refreshing to read […]

simone biles

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-SIX

The Historic Attempt to Silence the Feminine Voice in the Church

Under an arch in a Roman Basilica is a mosaic portraying four female characters: two female saints, Mary (the mother of Jesus), and a fourth woman. An inscription identifies the fourth woman as Theodora Episcopa. The masculine form for Bishop in Latin is episcopus; the feminine form is episcopa. Both the mosaic’s visual and grammatical […]

bishop theodora

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-FIVE

The Meaning of "Head," Ontological Equality and Functional Inequality

Words change meaning over time. In Old English, “pretty” meant “crafty and cunning.” A century ago, “nice,” meant “naive or ignorant.” And as recent as when I was a kid “gay,” meant “happy and carefree.” So, two thousand years ago, when Paul used the word “head,” what did it mean? It’s quite possible that it […]

husband and wife

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-THREE

Head Coverings, Hairstyles, and the Fight to Understand Paul's Words

There are four Pauline Scripture passages that are most often used in the debate over women in ministry. Three are used to limit the role of women in the life of the church. These are 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34-37; and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. The fourth, Galatians 3:26-29, is used to advocate for the complete freedom […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-TWO

The Female Witnesses to Paul's Radical Inclusionary Practices

In 1888, Annie Armstrong led in the creation of the Woman’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention, helping draft the constitution and serving as its first “executive director.” During her tenure, Armstrong refused a salary and traveled extensively at her own expense as a tireless advocate for missionaries, rallying the churches to support mission […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-ONE

The Indispensable Female Leadership in the Ministry of Paul

I was elected to serve on the elite crossing guard unit when I was in the 5th grade. Karl Semecki wanted the position, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I got it. Karl didn’t like me much after that. He wanted to fight me on the school playground. I remember being scared (Karl was […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY

The Place of Women in Paul's Greco-Roman World

Less than a year into my marriage I was invited to preach at a church in Houston. It was a small Pentecostal congregation in a lower-income neighborhood. The worship experience was like entering a time machine headed for the 1950s. Priscilla and I felt obligated to stay for a church-wide lunch. That’s when the time […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME SEVENTEEN

Jesus and His Egalitarian Interaction with Women

I have shown that Jesus’ teachings elevated women. Jesus also held women in the highest regard in the way he interacted with them. [198] In fact, his treatment of women was so antithetical to the patriarchal culture of his day that he could only be characterized as egalitarian. [199]   There are four specific cases […]

Jesus and Women

BUILDING GRATITUDE

The Best 5-Minutes of Any Person's Day

A few years after my father died, I went on a one-month sabbatical. I drove from Texas to California and back, stopping along the way to take in the beauty of the land and to reflect on my life. It was a great experience in some ways. In others, it was difficult.   Finding Joy […]

Staying Strong

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME SIXTEEN

The Revolutionary, Counter-Cultural Teachings of Jesus

I grew up in a very small Spanish-speaking Baptist Church. The people were mostly poor or on the underside of the middle class. As I grew into my teenage years, the church grew as well. Over time we drew people from all over the Spanish-speaking world. At one point, there were 21 countries represented in […]

women in ministry