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Ministry


parable of the talents

This month, I am developing my ministerial vision as part of my creation of my own destiny. Last month my affirmation concerned the fact that I am a spiritual being on a physical journey. During the month I wrote several articles about women of the Bible. As a result of doing the research for this study as well as starting to attend a Bible study on Wednesday night, I realized that I needed to focus more on this aspect of my life.

After studying about the women, I realized that a lot of the ideas that I personally had about women in the ministry were wrong. In addition, during one of the Bible study sessions one of the leaders there said that I knew more about the Bible than she did. She asked if I had gone to Bible school.

Spiritual Wisdom and Knowledgeable-Gifts From God

A lot of people that I have known in ministry are either spiritual or knowledgeable. Either the person is spiritual but ignorant about what the Bible really says, or a person is knowledgeable and analytical and out of touch with spiritual things.

As i am putting myself out there, and expressing my spiritual understanding, I realize that I am both. I am knowledgeable without being overly analytical, and yet, I sense things in my spirit. There are times when I know things that I cannot explain logically. I have an intuition that often defies logic and yet whether I follow the intuitive feeling or not, afterwards, I realize that I was right.

I am able to retain many concepts from the Bible, and. I can sense things in other people. The Bible calls the gift of knowledge and the gift of wisdom. The Bible says that gifts are given without repentance, in other words, what I have are God given gifts.I didn’t earn them, but I am responsible for the gifts I have been given.

The Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:15-28 tells about how the master gave talents to his servants and what those servants had done with them. One didn’t do much with what he was given and it was taken away and given to the one who had much. Right now, I feel as though I am that unfaithful servant who buried his talent. I think it is time that I started using my talents of knowledge and wisdom and sharing them with others. I think that it is time that I step out from behind the computer and share what God has given me. I want to help others in The Body of Christ.  I need to step out of my comfort zone.

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

My intentions are to begin more intense focus on my ministry by giving weekly Bible Studies on this blog every week on Wednesdays. In addition, I intend to create Bible Study booklets to help others with their own Bible Study. I have several ideas in the works in which to develop from there, but right now, today, I don’t want to go too far into the details.

I hope that my studies bless you as much as they bless me as I prepare them.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

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What should I do now?

This month I have been working on my spiritual life. What have I accomplished during the month of April?

 

Affirmation Goal Completion This Month

January-“I am organized and productive” I have been reading the book by Vic Johnson: 50 lessons I Learned From The World’s #1 Goal Achiever.I have read it twice and now plan to use it as my focus for next month’s blog posts.

February “I am energetic, fit, strong, and healthy” I have continued eating right, however, I have been exercising as I would like. I have however been drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of rest. I have continued to drop weight this month, however, it is not reflected on the scale because I have recently started using a newer scale that weighs me eight pounds more.

March “I First seek to Understand, then seek to be understood” In the context of this affirmation, my roommate and I have decided that sharing this house is not something that we should continue doing. I like peace and quiet and her family is loud. I have been spending a lot of time by myself and that makes her family uncomfortable. No one has done anything wrong, its just that we have different lifestyles.

April’s Affirmation: “I am a Spiritual Being in a Physical Body.”

 

I have started Attending A Church On Wednesday Nights

I work twelve hour shifts on the weekends for what I call “cash flow”. Therefore, at present, I am unable to attend church on Sundays. However, I have started attending a church on Wednesday nights. We have been studying the book of Revelation. It amazes me how much I have retained over the years concerning this subject and I have put in a lot of valuable information toward the overall conversation. The members of the congregation who have attended this Bible Study have been very receptive to my input.

This Month’s Online Bible Study about Bible Women

This month’s online Bible study that I have done, both here and on Bubblews, has been received very well by others. I really enjoyed the work that I put into this study. I see a parallel with gardening articles that I put out last year..Those articles lead to last year’s publication Simply Vegetable Gardening.  I find that I am able to help others concerning understanding the Bible. Since my books have a Christian orientation, I think that I need to put myself out there as a Christian speaker either for regular church services or for women’s ministry.

Book Publishing Goals

Earlier this month I gave away a number of my first book When God Turned His Head. on Kindle. I was rather disappointed with the results of the give-away. Thankfully, a couple of writer friends told me that the book still needs work so it is probably good that the book did not do as well as I had hoped. So I am going back and working on that book some more. If it weren’t for the fact that that book is the doorway to the rest of the books in the series, I might just let it stay as it is. However, that is not an option at this point. The book except for certain things has been well received by those who have read it. There are still a few things that I need to fix. It’s worth making the book better.

In addition, I have been talking with someone who tells me that the series can look a little more professional. Some of the suggestions are that I should get a professional photo taken of me as the author and that the novel series needs a more cohesive feel regarding its cover design. This coming month, I intend to make a priority of getting this work done.

I am still on target for getting three books published this year. A Coward’s Solace is ready for publication. I just need to get it out there. The other two Sailing Under The Black Flag and In the Shadow of the Mill Pond are still little more than rough drafts. I intend to change that in May and June.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

 

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 


The Opposition

 

Much debate has come about during the past several centuries about whether women can be in the position of pastor, prophet, teacher, or apostle in the Christian Church. Most of the doctrine that limits women in ministry are the teachings of Paul in I Corinthians 14:33-35. These verses say that women are to keep silent in the church. The support this stance using other verses including one from the Old Testament Genesis 3:16 which states that because of the curse, women were subject to painful labor and that they would have to be subject to their husbands. Other verses that support this belief are also found in the Pauline epistle  I Corinthians 11:5, 11:13: 14:22; 14:35, Ephesians 5:22, and  First Timothy 2:11 and 12. In addition, they use I Peter to support their claim.

The Rebuttal

paula-white

Are Women Called Into the Ministry? Today’s Number One Female Preacher, Paula White.

 

The verse in Genesis 3:16 speaks of women who are under the curse. I could argue that we are no longer under the curse through salvation through Christ. When taken in context of the locations where Paul told women to keep silent in the churches,  therefore was for women in Corinth and Ephesus. When you understand that goddess worship was prevalent in both of these cities, it easy to understand why this order of women being silent in the church was specific instructions to the women in these cities.

Corinth was filled with influence of cults of the gods of Egypt, Rome and Greece. There, the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, stood atop the Acrocorinth. This temple, though in ruins by Paul’s time, but the influence was still present through local prostitution. The city catered to sailors and traveling salesmen and earned the unsavory reputation in its immoral activity. The name “Corinth” was at the time, in fact, synonymous with immorality.

Likewise, Ephesus was famous for its Temple of Artemis. Artemis of Ephesus is represented as a woman with many breasts.These breasts symbolized the vitality and the nourishing capacity of the earth.She is the goddess of nature, of productivity,,and the protector of wild animals and sailors.Her cult spread to the Mediterranean shores as even as far as Marseille and Spain. Visitors were provided with all sorts of entertainment and paid handsomely for statues of the goddess. Since Timothy was the pastor at Ephesus, the advise Paul gave him was also related goddess temple worship where many of the women who attended had left roles as temple prostitutes.

Women in Paul’s day were uneducated and were only able to obtain understanding of the teachings of Christ through their husbands. In Christian gatherings, women were told to submit to their husbands and learn about Jesus from them rather than trying to ask during a meeting. In addition, what understanding these women had of spiritual things came from worship of idols in the Greek goddess temples.

Examples of Biblical Christian Women Leaders

In Colossians 4:15, Paul identified a woman who had a church in her home. In the New International Version of this verse, it says,”Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house. Because there is no mention of her husband, there is little doubt that she was the pastor of that church. The King James version incorrectly translated the Greek  Nympha (female) to Nymphos (male) because they thought that it could not be possible that Nympha was the right translation of that name.

Another example where a woman is identified as a leader over a church is in 2 John where the entire book implies a pastoral woman’s leadership. In verse ten, in the King James Version translation reads the “elect” lady. whereas other translations use the term “chosen lady”.  Verses 9-10 (NIV) reads, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.” Verse 10 in the New Living Translation reads a little differently. It says, “if someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth…” The operative word here is “meeting.” All would agree that during the times of the early church many church meetings were held in houses. and  this chosen lady held a church in her home and directly was told not to allow anyone in the meeting to teach opposite Christ’s teachings. She was therefore in charge, making her, by any practical definition, pastor of the church.

Still another woman who was in leadership in the church was Phoebe mentioned in Romans 16:1-2. .Phoebe was a deacon (deaconess) in the church in Cenchrea. The Greek word translated deacon here is the same word that is translated deacon in I Timothy 3:8-12 (“diakonos”). Just because the role of deacon is stated as a role for men in the verses in I Timothy, does not mean that it excludes women from that office.(nor did it exclude single men like Timothy from pastorship).

We have the example of Romans 16:7 “Greet Andronicus and Juia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Junia was a females name in which Paul identified as an apostle who was in prison with him.

Serving as pastor is listed in  I Corinthians 12:27-31 as a spiritual gift. In Romans 11:29, it says that  Gods gifts to us are without repentance. Therefore, why would God give a woman a gift in preaching or the ability to pastor if he did not want us to use that gift? Additionally, in Ephesians 4:7-13, the scripture says that Christ gave some to be pastors. This word “some” in the Greek is not gender specific meaning that it does not exclude women nor is the office of “pastor” diminished in regard to women.

Therefore, there is no definitive scriptural evidence forbidding women to pastor. Just as Timothy was subject to his mentor, Paul, every pastor, woman or man, should  be subject to a man in authority over them, not that women should not be allowed to serve as pastors that put them in authority over any man. If any woman believes that she is called to be a pastor, she may face opposition from others in the church, but she should not ignore her gift and calling.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 


Fisherman in the Sea of Galilee

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus has started his ministry on earth telling everyone that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

He then walked along the Sea of Galilee. In other places in the Bible and in history Sea of Galilee are the Sea of Tiberias, Gennesaret, and Chinnereth. this sea was source of the Jordan River. The Jordan River flowed from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. We can take a lesson from this when we recognize that the Sea of Galilee is the source. It was alive and teaming with fish and supported the communities that surrounded it. The Dead Sea however only receives water and has no outlet. It is a dead lake where nothing grows. If you take and take and take, you will be as barren as the Dead Sea.

Jesus wasn’t walking along the Dead Sea. He was walking along the Sea of Galilee and as he was walking, he comes across Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and he invites them and then the sons of Zebedee James and John to be his disciples to become “fishers of men”. He took these men and gave them a higher calling. There is no record of them wondering if they should go, whether Zebedee tried to talk James and John out of going, if Peter’s wife was worried about where the money would come from. None of these are recorded. It just says Jesus invited them and they went.

painting of Jesus Christ healing the sick

Throughout Galilee, Jesus started his preaching ministry. He went from synagogue to synagogue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven. But he did something more, he made a difference in the lives of the people around him. He healed people. He healed all kinds of diseases, but he also healed all types of torments. The word torments here is the Greek word basanos which is thought to come from the root word basia which means to walk, a pace, foot. In other words, this word basanos has to do with anything that makes us feel as though we were going to the bottom or down to the foot.

What Jesus offered and gave to the people were The promise of the Kingdom and the gifts of salvation and healing.

“Well,” you say,” that was Jesus and that was then surely that’s not for us today. God works differently today than he did back then. He uses medicine and doctors today, right?”

I’m not going to answer the question for you of whether trusting in the medical system is God’s work. That’s between you and God. What I will challenge you concerning you  though is what Jesus told his disciples:

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, John records in John 14:12 Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Verily verily, I say unto you. He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works shall he do because I go unto my Father.”

What I am challenging myself (and you, if you’re up to the challenge) is this: If we believe the Bible as we say we do, why don’t we do the same works and even greater works than Jesus did? Why do we let the tormenter rule over our lives. Why are we ineffective in delivering others of their diseases and oppressions? Is it God who has changed or is it perhaps that we REALLY do not believe what he says? More importantly, what can we do about it?

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