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February 1, 2008

When A Woman Finds Her Voice



I can't recall an election year that has generated more interest and excitement than the current one. One of the "moments" that captured a lot of attention (as well as considerable flack) was when Hillary Clinton, campaigning in New Hampshire, dropped her professionalism and her stump speech to speak simply and transparently from her heart. You can see what happened here.

Looking back on that moment, the senator in her primary victory speech reflected, "Over the last week I listened to you; in the process, I found my own voice."

Whatever the pundits may be saying about Hillary finding her voice in New Hampshire (and many believe it turned the election in her favor), I am personally fascinated by what happened to her and troubled by the notion that it is actually possible for us, like Hillary, to do a lot of speaking, teaching, writing, communicating, not of politics, but of the gospel without finding and employing our own voices.

"It's a man's world," we're told. To succeed as a leader, we must adapt ourselves to the world of men. We must learn to think and speak like a man.

While I don't want to discount the importance of understanding men and how they think and operate, we aren't men and are giving up something central to who we are if we lose ourselves by imitating them. We end up distancing our very selves from the message we proclaim. We can routinely prepare and deliver messages without connecting our words to our own hearts and struggles, without tapping into the rich perspectives God has given us as women or drawing out of our personal histories with God.

What does it mean for a woman to find her voice? Some are quick to reduce the discussion to emotions and tears. But that explanation is far too simplistic and doesn't account for the fact that a lot of men choke up when they speak about something they care deeply about.

For me personally, a better example of a woman who found her voice is Ruth the Moabitess. Ruth saw the world through the eyes of a woman, of a Gentile outsider, of a scavenger in the grain fields of Bethlehem, and above all through the eyes of a follower of Yahweh. Her "own voice" emerges out of her richly complex perspective. She speaks from her heart, from her true self, and in using her own voice becomes a powerful agent for change in Israel.

Her words reach the ears of Boaz, a man who knows how to listen. He listens to this new voice - this female voice, this voice that speaks out of poverty, this foreign voice that dares to reinterpret Jewish law.

Boaz is a landowner who carefully observes the letter of Mosaic gleaning laws. But the gleaning practices of Israel look very different when you're living on the hungry side of the law. Ruth possessed a perspective Boaz lacked. The letter of the law says, "Let them glean." And Boaz complied. The spirit of the law (according to Ruth) says, "Feed them."

Ruth's perspective opened up new possibilities Boaz hadn't considered.

What does it mean for a woman to find her own voice? I'm still pondering that question for myself. But in Ruth's case, it meant a new perspective - a missing perspective - was gained. It meant the conversation between men and women, about God and his word and what it means to follow him in this world, grew richer and deeper. It meant Boaz, through Ruth's leadership, discovered a whole new ever-expanding realm of obedience to God. It meant God's people learned to sacrifice in greater ways for the good of those in need, and that the kingdom of God shone more brightly in the fields of Bethlehem than they would have otherwise.

Seems to me we need to work on finding our voices too.

Comments

Just superb, Carolyn. Thank you for helping us see voice not only as a matter of individual integrity, but communal impact. I doubt that Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet would have worked well with a symphony of tubas.

Bravo, Carolyn.

I think each individual woman has her own unique, distinct voice, her own melody to add to the divine symphony. Finding one's voice and using it effectively takes courage, persistence, listening, and passion. Also transcending the Xerox/carbon copy paradigm typical in so much of what constitutes "women's ministries" these days.

When I reached fifty I found my own voice. I stopped worrying about what others thought and became concentrated on only hearing His voice . It seemed that my fifty year old brain finally said enough is enough . At first it was more strident than was necessary and God had to speak to me again and again about being a lover. I have always been outspoken but now I "own " my position and walk in the authority that He has given . In some ways it has made me more humble . I realize as I get older I don't know as much as I think I do . I ask more questions I try to listen more I am not working so hard to prove my worth - it is intrinsically there I am fully female and yet own authority in my work and im church. At least im my work there is no conflict but at church they still don't know what to with me. Oh well -ten years from now , women such as myself will be the norm . This I know to be true.

I just came across this blog. Thanks for your thoughts Carolyn- very encouraging. I'm about to start my third year of Bible College. Last semester, I began to explore theology from women's perspectives. Through my study, I am beginning to find my voice, and discover that I have a voice worth listening to. My journey of redemption is unique to me as a woman and as a human being. Blessings.

All people are equal to G_d. Men, women, child, senior, whatever our personality, our behaviour, our lifestyle, our works: G_d is love to all, even those who cannot find G_d right now. When we really know and believe this we can all have our individual voice without detracting from any other. It is the gift of women and femininity and feminism to nurture and support all people, regardless; there is enough G_d, enough love, for all. Jesus lived in a time when men were believed greater than women and children yet he clearly preached equality and intended everyone to be fully included in the religious life of his new order. It is our voice as women to continue his work and especially to love anyway, where people are still hard-hearted or mean-spirited. Jesus refuted oppression or unkindness towards anyone and said 'Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone...' That is what to use our voice for, speaking out with clarity and love to continue Jesus' work to the glory of G_d.

Ruth did not lead Boaz, in any sense of the word. She was instead the humble and beautiful example of submission for the Kingdom of God. She first followed the rules of Naomi, and Boaz... and gave up herself in order to submit to the laws and customs of the Israelites of that day. Her true identity did not stem from being a new voice of the times, but from the incredible example of her humility, and surrender of herself, her old ways, and her old religion, in order to embrace a culture new and foreign to her. It was through dying to herself, that she rose to discover eteral life. She desparately clung to God, breaking the rules of her old religion, then followed God's true path for her life. It is in these examples of humble submission that Ruth finds her true and precious identity before the Lord, as His child, allowing her to be included in the lineage of our Messiah. When she left her own life to be surrounded by His ways, and His people, this is when she finds true freedom. The beauty of Ruth was not her voice, but in her humility.

Parker J. Palmer in his book, "Let Your Life Speak" explains that the word vocation come from the latin word for "voice." Vocation doesn't mean a goal that I pursue but a calling that I hear.

He says, “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live –but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am livng my own life.”

I let my life speak as I am true to who I am in how I express myself; not just by what I say, but how I live out my life. We need to stop letting our culture and others define us and find out who we really are; embrace and be true to our uniquely designed selves.

To succeed as a leader, we must adapt ourselves to the world of men

A more biblical goal might be to glorify God, following Christ's example of serving. To humble ourselves...and at the proper time, He will lift us up. This means playing by His rules, including the Holy Spirit's directive for women to be women, not men, not striving to usurp roles and authority He did not give us.

As a male I'm sure my comments will be taken with a large grain of salt. But we are called to be salt and light are we not? I found the postings of "grace" and "Deb Olson" to be consistent with the biblical teachings concerning manhood and womanhood. (By the way: it is not a man's world; it is God's world.)

The controversy of headship and submission generates more heat than light. That is because of the pride of man (a generic term that includes women). Pride is the root cause of sin because it exalts self and to the degree that self is exalted within us God is diminished within us.

I believe the submission of the woman is a picture of the soul in submission to the spirit. Only as my soul submits to the authority of the Spirit (as revealed within my own spirit) will I find the "voice" the Lord delights to hear and possible share with others.

"Boaz is a landowner who carefully observes the letter of Mosaic gleaning laws. But the gleaning practices of Israel look very different when you’re living on the hungry side of the law. Ruth possessed a perspective Boaz lacked. The letter of the law says, “Let them glean.” And Boaz complied. The spirit of the law (according to Ruth) says, “Feed them.”"

Um, what?

Where does Ruth communicate her perespective to Boaz?

Where is the evidence of "lack" on Boaz's part?

pduggie,

Boaz is one of the most incredibly godly men in the Old Testament. He’s introduced as a man who merits admiration and he increases in stature as the narrative progresses. He follows the law, leaving the edges of his field unharvested and by only passing through the field one time—leaving all that remains to gleaners (Lev. 19:9-10).

Ruth requests permission to glean among the freshly cut grain. This significantly increases her chances of taking home more than the average gleaner could reasonably expect. It also ensures Naomi will be adequately fed.

Boaz is under no obligation to consent. He is, after all, in perfect compliance with Mosaic Law. Yet he embraces Ruth’s idea, and she returns home with approximately 29 pounds (an ephah) of barley! Old Babylonian records from that era indicate a male worker’s take home pay for a day’s labor was rarely more than one or two pounds. Ruth brought home at least a half month’s wages in a single day of gleaning.

Such a massive result from one day’s work speaks powerfully to Naomi’s despondent soul. Yahweh has not forgotten her! It also reflects Ruth’s diligence and Boaz’s open handed godliness.

You can read more in The Gospel of Ruth.

Article:
"Ruth’s perspective opened up new possibilities Boaz hadn’t considered...Seems to me we need to work on finding our voices too."


I am sure, Mrs. James, that you know Boaz is a figure of Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer. How does your new understanding of Ruth fit in with your understanding of Christ?

You know, I found my voice, too, and it happens to be patriarchal as opposed to feminist, as yours and Hillary's are. I even do the housework and ironing - and do it proudly. I also dare to _define_ myself as a wife and a mother. Of course, first and foremost I am a son of God because I have been redeemed by my precious Boaz, Jesus Christ.

May I suggest as an antidote to your views on Ruth the excellent series by Mark Driscoll? His Ruth sermons can be found at the Mars Hill Church website. He puts the whole book in a different perspective - a Christ-centered one, rather than an empowered-female-finding-her-voice one.


Please reconsider your views, Mrs. James.

Sincerely,
Donna L. Carlaw


Donna,

I appreciate your input. It is always helpful to hear how others are thinking about these issues. I share your affirmation of home and family.

Regarding your question about Boaz and Jesus, the very title of my book—The Gospel of Ruth—highlights the fact that the message of Ruth centers on Jesus. Certainly Boaz pictures Jesus, but so do Ruth and Naomi.

It is a fallacy, I think, to assume that if a woman finds her voice men will be displaced or diminished. Boaz is a strong leader who stands even taller at the end of the book after collaborating with Ruth and taking up her cause on Naomi’s behalf.

I wonder at your comment about finding your voice in patriarchy. Patriarchy has never been conducive to women finding their voices or, for that matter, expressing their views on blogs. Consider today’s Afghanistan and Iran for example. Ruth wonderfully demonstrates that a woman finds her true voice in the gospel, not in patriarchy or feminism. And men like Boaz will always welcome such voices.

I hope you’ll read my book to see for yourself.

CCJames: "Ruth requests permission to glean among the freshly cut grain."

Yes, from Naomi (2:2) and then from the foreman (2:6), not Boaz. Boaz tells her to glean "after the girls." The, after the mid-day meal, he tells the hravesters to pull out some extra stalks for her to pick up. Again, without any suggestion on her part.

The entire thing is Boaz' idea, not Ruth's. And the directions that allow for the large haul are given entirely apart from her knowledge. Nothing in the text remotely suggests this idea of Ruth "finding her voice".

Lou Ford

Excuse me for not offering a remotely scholarly or even well-researched perspective. But the whole topic of your perspective on the book of Ruth has come up elsewhere, so I set off in search of more information and landed here.

I'll freely admit that I've always been a bit baffled about the whole concept of "finding your voice". This may be due to the fact that I grew up in an extended family where, for the most part, my more carefully-considered opinions were very much valued and appreciated. In face, because of that, it took me a few years of marriage to figure out that my mother-in-law had not spent her entire life in eager anticipation of hearing my every opinion on every topic. If anything, I had to learn the wisdom of silencing my voice.

However, this did resonate with me:

“It’s a man’s world,” we’re told. To succeed as a leader, we must adapt ourselves to the world of men. We must learn to think and speak like a man.

While I don’t want to discount the importance of understanding men and how they think and operate, we aren’t men and are giving up something central to who we are if we lose ourselves by imitating them. We end up distancing our very selves from the message we proclaim. We can routinely prepare and deliver messages without connecting our words to our own hearts and struggles, without tapping into the rich perspectives God has given us as women or drawing out of our personal histories with God.

Back in my single days when I was out in the work force, I had a number of rather heated discussions with other women because I was rather stubbornly fond of my notion that I did not need to sacrifice my gifts and perspectives as a woman in order to be successful. As I would often say, "I have no interest in becoming a cheap imitation of a man." (Yes, my voice was a bit lacking in diplomacy at times.)

But I just finished re-reading the 2nd chapter of Ruth and I have to admit that I don't find in it what you have described here, at least not quite in the way that I think you are saying.

I see Ruth as someone who is a wonderful example of loyalty and of being protective. Her mother-in-law attempts to send her away, but Ruth insists on going with Naomi. Finally Naomi, seeing how determined Ruth is and that there is no persuading her otherwise, says no more (Ruth 1:18)

It is, I believe, that devotion and loyalty that initially attracts Boaz to Ruth. It seems to stir up in him loyalty, devotion, and protectiveness towards Ruth. I believe it is her example that speaks volumes. But I don't necessarily see this as an example of "finding one's voice", unless I am oversimplifying what you mean and taking the phrase way too literally.

I also don't think Ruth necessarily took on a leadership role here. But I need to qualify my opinion by saying that I think our culture is way too obsessed with leadership and tends to try to see it everywhere. It's as if we all feel that every situation calls for a leader. If my friend and I decide to bake a cake together, do we really have to make sure that one of us is leading and the other one is following? Isn't that silly? Am I leading when I say, "Hey, let's beat these eggs a bit longer" but then she's leading when she decides to put in more vanilla than the recipe calls for?

I simply don't see leadership in this wonderful account. I see a degree of loyalty on the part of Ruth that puts me to shame. I see devotion and concern and protectiveness on her part. And I see how God rewarded her through Boaz, who saw her devotion and rewarded it with devotion, loyalty, and protection of his own.

Of course, most importantly, the whole concept of Boaz as the kinsman-redeemer is a beautiful picture of Christ.

What am I missing and why?

Rebecca,

Obviously, there is more than one way to interpret “finding your voice.” I suppose for some it does mean “I will be heard!” or “I am woman. Hear me roar!” That’s not what Ruth was doing. Nor is it what I’m saying. My focus is on learning to speak authentically from your own God-given point of view, instead of adopting the viewpoints of others or believing you have nothing to contribute. It is not about having a say. It is all about pursuing a richer, deeper understanding God and His Word—together.

I experienced this in a conversation with a Tanzanian man who was describing life in his culture which is closer to the ancient biblical world. As he spoke, statements in the Bible I had read all my life came alive in ways I would have missed completely if left to my Western, American point of view.

Ruth speaks as a woman, a foreigner, a gleaner, and above all as a follower of Yahweh. It is a plain fact that from her perspective, she will see things that Boaz—a wealthy landowner—won’t see. The reverse is also true, so both perspectives matter.

She isn’t making demands. She isn’t strident or pushy or self-promoting. She is godly and honors Boaz. She is advocating for Naomi. In her vow (Ruth 1:16-17), she embraces Naomi’s God and makes Him her compass. That changes everything.

Scholars have wrestled with the Hebrew and have come to the conclusion that Ruth is not asking permission to do what the law already allowed, i.e., she isn’t asking permission simply to glean. She is asking to glean where she can count on taking home more. It may or may not be leadership to suggest beating eggs longer or adding more vanilla. But where spiritual matters are concerned, where there are better ways of loving God and one’s neighbor, to press for more is leadership.

The interpretation of the book of Ruth that you describe is what I’ve always believed too. I think, if you read The Gospel of Ruth, you’ll find there’s a whole lot more to learn about the book of Ruth. The book is richer and deeper. It has a whole lot more to say about God, about what it means (and how hard it can be) to walk with Him, and about what it looks like to live on this earth as His child.

Carolyn,

Please don't let the complementarians get you down. True Christians always have to deal with darkness. Rest in God's love and strength. He will take care of the rest.

Carolyn,

As you speak of this Tanzanian man, teaching about life in his culture, I also come from a heritage and culture quite different from that of the U.S. Raised in a Hindu family, I grew up struggling to understand the culture and religion of my parents. When I came to Christ at 21 years of age, I had to leave everything, my culture, my religion, my family… behind. This was a difficult and painful process for me, but I also know that the deepest lesson God has had to teach me in this process; was submission. I had to come to a deeper understanding of the gospel of dying to myself to embrace a biblical way of life quite foreign to that of my family. Much of the American culture stems from a biblical basis unknown to many of us who take it for granted. While our country may have turned away from the true God of our forefathers, if you travel to India, you can see, experience and feel the curse on that land due to the country worshipping and embracing the idols people have become attached to.

All this to say, that I have always understood Ruth as a humble example of leaving behind her own life to adjust herself to the ways of the Jewish people. She did not do anything on her own, but followed Naomi’s and Boaz’s leading, except when Naomi told Ruth to go back and follow her own gods, which was contrary to God's word, so Ruth could not obey Naomi on this command. But in every other example I have read in the book of Ruth, she has been a broken, humble and beautiful example of pure submission to me. Contrary to my own tendency to follow my own heart and will, this book has always been used in my life to show me that dying to myself, to my dreams, to my hopes and to my aspirations is the only true way that God will ever be glorified in me, whether I “find my voice,” in this religious system called Christianity, or not. Because my voice will always be known to Him, quiet or unheard as it may be.

Hello, Carolyn,
Thank you for your gracious reply.

Carolyn:
I appreciate your input. It is always helpful to hear how others are thinking about these issues. I share your affirmation of home and family.>>>>


DL:
Carolyn, do you say that you share my affirmation of home and family. I wonder if we have the same views, though. I have no problem with being a kitchen wife, a housewife, or an ironing wife - except that is the least favorite of my household tasks. I really don't think that we have equal views of home and family, so I'm not sure what you are affirming.


Carolyn:
Regarding your question about Boaz and Jesus, the very title of my book—The Gospel of Ruth—highlights the fact that the message of Ruth centers on Jesus. Certainly Boaz pictures Jesus, but so do Ruth and Naomi.>>>>


DL:
Here is the question that I believe you are dodging, Carolyn. Ruth and Naomi are not types of Christ as our Kinsman Redeemer. In what way are you calling them pictures of Jesus?


Carolyn:
It is a fallacy, I think, to assume that if a woman finds her voice men will be displaced or diminished.>>>>


DL:
Your voice has included the very bold statement that "ezer" means "warrior." What Hebrew scholars are you relying on for that novel definition? Does it mean that men will have to shout in order for their voice to be heard over Xena, Warrior Princess? Please forgive my attempt at humor, but that is the image you are presenting to my small mind who always believed along with all of Christiandom that "help meet" means I was made for my husband, as his support, his help, the wind beneath his wings. A husband is never called a helpmeet for his wife.


Carolyn:
Boaz is a strong leader who stands even taller at the end of the book after collaborating with Ruth and taking up her cause on Naomi’s behalf. >>>>>


DL:
Here is my summary of what Mark Driscoll said about the collaboration between Ruth and Boaz. Go to the final sermon on his Ruth series if you wish to see the full context.

"What did the bride, Ruth, do in the example of Ruth and Boaz? She waited for Him to get everything ready, and then she was married to him. What does a believer do? He or she just trusts Christ to save them, without their having to somehow earn His love. He has gotten everything ready, just as Boaz, the kinsman redeemer of Ruth did for her. "

DL:
Ruth is a picture of the bride of Christ, the Chruch, and Boaz of Christ Himself, our Redeemer. Did you miss that part?


Caroly:
I wonder at your comment about finding your voice in patriarchy. Patriarchy has never been conducive to women finding their voices or, for that matter, expressing their views on blogs. >>>>


DL:
Well, I'm speaking, aren't I? I have defined myself, as feminism tells me to do. I am using my voice. It is just a different tone than yours and Hillary's.


Carolyn:
Consider today’s Afghanistan and Iran for example.>>>>


DL:
I have never been to either place, and I doubt that you have.


Carolyn:
Ruth wonderfully demonstrates that a woman finds her true voice in the gospel, not in patriarchy or feminism. And men like Boaz will always welcome such voices.>>>>


DL:
That sounds nice, Carolyn, but remember that Boaz was patriarchal. Ruth was a patriarchal wife. So was the Prov. 31 woman, for that matter. The Bible is patriarchal, beginning with God our Father.


Carolyn:
I hope you’ll read my book to see for yourself. >>>>


DL:
Well, Carolyn, if you send me a copy, I would be glad to read it. My daugher found her voice, and told me, "Mom, quit buing books that those people on the internet told you to read. You just throw them away. It's a waste of money."


DL:
My daughter is very wise.

Hindu convert:
Because my voice will always be known to Him, quiet or unheard as it may be. >>>>


That is so beautifully said. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.


Well, Carolyn, I am being very strong, here, but some of the things you have said have disturbed me, obviously.


I think that you got off on the wrong foot with me when you compared Hillary's finding her voice to that of Ruth supposedly finding her voice. Hillary's is the voice of strident, in your face, feminism. Ruth's is certainly nothing like that, as our friend who came out of Hinduism pointed out so eloquently.


Anyway, I am trying to give you some benefit of the doubt, but please understand my strong reaction.


Then, Biblical "patriarchy" or Complementarianism is nothing like what is seen in Islam or even Hinduism, I suppose. For one thing, the Muslims have 99 names for God, none of them being Father. There is no "Our Father, who art in Heaven" in Islam, since Allah has no sons. I suppose you have read the excellent book I Dared to Call Him Father?


The Father who sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world, who then sent the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower every believer - male and female, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor - for godly living and effective witness is a very different God from what you find in any other religious system.


So, there is no comparison between Biblical views of men, women, and family life and what happens in Islamic countries. Ephesians 5 is the pattern for Christian marriage, after all.


Anyway, thank you for you gracious response to me. I appreciate that. I hope you understand my concerns, and consider how some of this is coming across.


No, I don't doubt that you are a loving wife and devoted mother. You do raise some red flags, though, to say the least.


God bless, and please take care, Carolyn, and thank you for taking the time to respond to me,

Donna L. Carlaw, trying to be ladylike

I must say that the attacks on this book have gotten to be a bit creepy if not down right obsessive. Quoting Mark Driscoll discredits arguments, not strengthens them.

Donna: You say you're trying to be "lady-like" but earlier refer to yourself as a "SON" of God. What does this mean? Either I wonder if you are in fact Don, if you simply made a mistake, or if you somehow are a woman who sees herself as a man. Let's hope it was just a slip of the keystroke as it were.

It doesn't take too much work to find out what one of the critics has said elsewhere about the author. Quoting Mark Driscoll here isn't the only thing that discredits her.

Patricia:
I must say that the attacks on this book have gotten to be a bit creepy if not down right obsessive. Quoting Mark Driscoll discredits arguments, not strengthens them. >>>>


I love you, Pat. You always put a smile on my face. :-)

Lady Donna - but I'm being redundant...

Carolyn, thank you for reminding me to be who God has made me to be. In my career I have oftentimes been the only woman within a mostly male leadership team. I know that God has gifted me for leadership and the specific roles in which I have served, including my role as Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville where I serve as the only female among the leadership team. However in my previous roles in the corporate world and my role now in church leadership, I have often felt like the "odd (wo)man out". It has taken a lot for me to embrace the uniqueness I bring to this team and see that as a good, healthy thing - that God may actually have me there for a very specific purpose if I would be confident to bring my "voice" to the table.

Karen:
Donna: You say you're trying to be "lady-like" but earlier refer to yourself as a "SON" of God. What does this mean? Either I wonder if you are in fact Don, if you simply made a mistake, or if you somehow are a woman who sees herself as a man. Let's hope it was just a slip of the keystroke as it were.>>>


Karen, I have already spoken more than my quota, here, and I do thank Carolyn and the blog owners for their kindness in letting me respond and for Carolyn's gracious responses.

No, what I said is not a mistake. I am a son of God in Christ, and receive a full inheritance in Christ as such.


I could say "child" of God if you prefer, but biblicaly speaking, it is the sons who receive the inheritance.


In Christ, as far as our standing with Him, there is no male or female. I suppose I could say the generic "child", but that does not give the idea of having grown to full maturity and entering into my inheritance.


So, I hope that explains it. Through Christ, we are all sons.

Galatians 3
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Carolyn, I wanted to thank you so much for your gracious response to my questions. Few authors take the time to engage in as much dialog with your audience as you have been doing here, and I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate it.

Your reply certainly intrigued me and made me want to read the entire book.

Somewhere I have your book whose title I keep mangling --- I think it's "When Life and Belief Collides". The title made me expect an entirely different sort of book, but it became clear to me that your book was more in line with what I really needed at the time, and that was encouragement to study God's Word more deeply.

Thank you.

Men have never been women and until women speak out their own God-given perspectives on issues,many things will always be missing. Secure men do not fear women's leadership or contributions especially when we are talking about Godly women.Still waiting for most men to accept women the way Jesus has accepted us and give necessary support instead of throwing up words like usurp, to blackmail women.

Patricia was being serious, Donna. No surprise you don't get that.

Carolyn, you'll hopefully be amused to know that the Bayly Brothers got their panties in a wad over this article.

"Mom, quit buing books that those people on the internet told you to read. You just throw them away. It's a waste of money."

Of course she told you that, Donna. LOL! You were wasting the fam's money and she got tired of it. Your accusations of Carolyn are rather humorous: she sees the family as less than you do because she's an egal? Xena warrior princess?? I have no doubt your own husband must yell to be heard over you. I'll have to echo your words to Patricia: you sure are funny and good for a grin.

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