9 Qualities of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

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It’s my week to post on the Engage (bible.org) women’s leadership blog. Here’s my entry for yesterday:

More than 35 years ago when I started dating a guy named Gary Glahn, he liked to grow bonsai trees and cacti. For my high school graduation, he sewed us matching down vests—that we still wear—from a kit. During my freshman year of college, he drew me a rose and shaded it perfectly with colored pencils. I hung it on the wall in my dorm. His plant growing, his sewing skills, and his drawing all got him labeled as a sissy.

One of my introverted male students told of a time when he visited a church for the first time. He wanted to sit back, observe, and get a feel for whether this place might be a good fit for his gifts. During the adult Bible fellowship, the larger group divided up into …

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Medieval Art and Spirituality

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I leave today for Italy to teach a two-week course in medieval art and spirituality. We start in Rome and train up to Orvieto, home base for a week—with day trips to Assisi and Siena. After that…stay tuned to find out.

One of the shifts in art I discovered in my preparations was that the church has not always allowed images of God the Father (such as we see in the Sistine Chapel). The introduction of the human male image of the Father in addition to the Protestant removal of Mary has left us not only with human images of the invisible God(!),  but a view of Christianity that makes us think even our Deity is predominately male. If you have about an hour for an interesting history lesson on the subject, check out this lecture on “Visual Heresy: Imagine God the Father in the History of Art” …

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When Mother’s Day Never Comes

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easter 1960

I’m thankful for my own mother who, when I miscarried, wrote, “We are both grieving for our children.”

Often the worst day of the year for an infertile woman is Mother’s Day. On this holiday going to a house of worship can feel more like going to the house of mourning.

During the decade when my husband and I experienced infertility treatment, lost multiple pregnancies, and endured three failed adoptions, I found it difficult enough to see all the corsages on M-Day. But then the pastor asked mothers  to stand, and I remained conspicuously seated. Some years the worship leader would even call for the youngest mother to stand, and then he smiled awkwardly as a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old unmarried teen got to her feet. On such occasions I would sit wondering about God’s mysterious ways of supply and demand. Following most such services, each mother would receive a carnation …

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