I warned you…

I’m studying to earn a Certificate of Ministry to Women at Moody Bible Institute and I knew it wouldn’t be long before things I’m reading would seep into the posts I leave for you here.

Daughters of the Church by Ruth A. Tucker and Walter Liefeld is a treasure trove of fascinating stories about women who have declared the gospel since Jesus first stirred in his mother’s womb. The book begins with the calling and annunciation of Mary and carries us (through over 400 pages) to an awareness of the church’s view of women today.

Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Esther, Sarah, Ruth, Rahab and others recorded in the Old Testament spoke of a promised one and declared his authority centuries before Christ. The list of women who lived at the time of Christ and responded to his ministry is lengthy. The authors note that there were over 40 references to women in the gospels, either in narratives or in the teaching of Jesus (including allusions to Old Testament events or metaphors). Elizabeth and Anna, Mary and Martha, Mary of Bethany, the women who traveled with Jesus, the widow of Nain, the woman at the well, and so many others are recognized in the Word as women who believed and declared Christ as the Messiah.

writerIn my notes on the first chapter of the book, I scribbled this impression…

Beginning with The Magnificat, the beautiful prayer spoken by Jesus’ mother, Mary, as she received her mission to bring the Messiah into the world “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…” and carried through to the women who reported the truth of an empty tomb — women have been invited, even called, to declare Christ.

The author Dorothy Sayers points out that perhaps it is no wonder that women were “first at the cradle and last at the cross…

They had never known a man like this Man — there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them….who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious.” from Are Women Human?

I accept the invitation and the calling to declare Christ, Son of God and Savior to man.

(Note: The stained glass window featured in the photo above is behind the altar of the newly-built home of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Albion. (You can read more about “the faith that formed me” here.) The little limestone church where I grew up and first met Jesus is long gone and the faithful have worshiped in a former grocery store for several decades. The pews were full on Friday evening as those who attend the little church, past and present, gathered to celebrate this new home to the smallest parish in the diocese.)

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Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

For the past five years or so, as I’ve watched leaves begin to change color and noticed the shortening of our daylight hours (and lengthening of our nights), my thoughts have turned to writing. Okay, so my thoughts are often on writing, but during this season, I think specifically of gathering with other writers from around the country at the Breathe Christian Writers Conference.

writerThis gathering is my “happy place” for meeting up with my people, with other writers of all genres in all stages of writing and publication. The three days I spend in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the conference fuel me both as a writer and as a follower of Christ. What could be better?

This year, our keynote speaker will be historical fiction author Jocelyn Green. I highly recommend her work, especially the most recent title A Refuge AssuredI know I’ll leave this year’s mid-October conference inspired to return to my own fiction work during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). My goal is to add another 25,000 words to my novel during the month of November.

In the meantime, I’ve offered an introduction to the one book that has most inspired me as a Christian writer on the Breathe blog today. You can read about it by following the link below. Please share with us a book that inspires you in your faith and in your art.

Every time I open the pages of Madeleine L’Engle’s little volume Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art I am reminded why I write, why I create anything at all…..more