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live out

YOUR influence

Spring 2011


letter from the editor

} {Publisher} Elisa Morgan, M.Div. {Managing editor} Mary Byers, B.A., CAE {art Director + Graphic Designer}

Cindy Young, B.A.

Who hasn’t been stuck?

I know I have been on many, many occasions. From the agonizing choice of whether I wanted a blue bike or a red one when I was a kid (my dad finally forced the choice by walking to the car, indicating we would leave without any bike if I didn’t make my mind up pronto) to the more recent choice of “should I stay or should I go,” sometimes I’m just downright paralyzed. And I don’t know if it’s the “stuckness” that bothers me more or the feelings that go along with it: fear, uncertainty, anxiety, indecision, being overwhelmed, and all the other emotions that make being stuck a yucky place to be. I heard a quote years ago that often helps when I’m immobilized: You don’t have to be able to see the big picture and all the necessary steps clearly. Sometimes, you just simply have to identify—and take—a “next step.” Even if it’s the wrong one, at least you’ll be moving. And it’s much easier for God to steer a moving vehicle. When I don’t know what else to do, I often think of this. I simply need to figure out a next step—not necessarily the best step, or the right step or the perfect step. Just a next step. Yet Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales and author of Me, Myself and Bob, writes, “The problem with the saying ‘God can’t steer a parked car’ is that, while its cute, it isn’t biblical. When people of great faith in the Bible don’t

know what God wants them to do, they don’t just run off and make stuff up. They wait on him.” So do we move or do we wait? Or somehow do both? Move while we’re waiting…or wait while we’re moving? Are there other things we can do? What’s the proper response? MaryKate Morse tackles these questions and we hope you will be able to apply what you learn to any mire in your life. We also take a look at work as a spiritual discipline. Diane Paddison, author of Work, Love, Pray: Practical Wisdom for Young Professional Christian Women, encourages us to see work as worship—and an opportunity to touch other people in a positive way as we interact with them. She got me thinking about how I compartmentalize work and family—and how I might rearrange my life so that the areas intersect more often and I more fully draw on my faith in both my personal and professional lives. Further, Cindy Breilh, national director of Women of Vision—and our interview this month—challenges us to find ways to become global change agents. And Donna Shepherd, a public school teacher who uses integrated learning, shows how we can make a difference by using what we know, learning what we don’t know, and using the information in partnership with others. All in all, we think you’ll find there’s plenty to get you unstuck in this issue!

Mary Byers Managing Editor,


Tracey Bianchi, M.Div. Speaker and Author

Jonalyn Fincher, M.A. Author, Speaker, Apologist

Beth Flambures, C.P.A. CFO, Rocky Mountain PBS

Carla Foote, M.A. Senior Director Community & Resources, MOPS International

Phyllis H. Hendry President, Lead Like Jesus

Bev Hislop, D.Min. assistant professor, western seminary

Carolyn Custis James, M.A. President, Whitbyforum Founder & President, Synergy for Women

Laurie McIntyre, M.A.C.E. Pastor of women2day, elmbrook church

Patricia Raybon, M.A. Retired, University of Colorado School of Journalism

Constance Rhodes Author, speaker, founder and President of FINDINGbalance

Halee Gray Scott, M.A. Ph.D. Faculty, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary & Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesley Seminary

Liz Selzer, M.A. M.Div., Ph.D. President, CEO, Mentor Leadership Team

FullFill™ P.O. Box 461546, Aurora, CO 80046 Join FullFill™ at Contact us at For advertising contact Faith position statement and writer’s guidelines available at FullFill™ is a ministry of Mission: Momentum. The purpose of FullFill™ magazine is to equip women to recognize, utilize and maximize their influence in all the spheres of their lives. All opinions expressed are those of the writers and are not necessarily those of FullFill™ magazine or Mission: Momentum. The magazine promotes thoughtful ­dialogue and appropriate action as women use their gifts and abilities for kingdom purposes.

Copyright 2011 Mission: Momentum.

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FRONT COVER © Mike Kemp / RubberBall / Alamy spring 2011

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{ in focus }

I’m Stuck by MaryKate Morse

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We are truly stuck when we can’t make any progress despite trying various ways out. We might try counseling, conversations with trusted friends, seminars, behavior changes, skill-building, etc, and nothing seems effective.

{ voices } How do you get unstuck? page 9



2011 { columns } 20 Think: On Our Shoulders By Carolyn Custis James

24 Worldly Women: Africa’s Future is Female


who’s she?

By Shayne Moore

31 My Fill: From Stuck to Unstuck

Donna Shepherd

12 Spiritual Formation

30 Male Box: On Level Ground By R. Scott Rodin

11 Who’s She?


The Work of our Hands by Diane Paddison

By Elisa Morgan

14 Woman of Influence

{ regulars }

Stop, Look, and Listen An Interview with Cindy Breilh by Mary Byers

18 Resting Place 22 Overflow Leave Room for God By Oswald Chambers

Eye-2-I AM Contact By Pam Lau


26 Aprons

by Karen Booker Schelhaas

28 Quick Fill 29 Four-Letter Word: Fast SPRING 2011

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in focus


By MaryKate Morse

I’m stuck Catherine MacBride / Flickr / Getty images

A few years ago I walked onto a sandy stretch during low tide along the Coos Bay slough in Oregon. Immediately my feet sunk down about 6 inches in a stride position, and my shoes were engulfed in thick wet sand. I tried to get out and couldn’t. The more I struggled, the more stuck I became. Eventually I fell forward and wiggled out with my husband pulling me. The feeling of being immobilized with the upper part of me free and the bottom part hopelessly stuck was an odd sensation. It was a sensation of panic and rational lucidity. I’ve had that same feeling in my ministry, in my marriage, in my profession, and with my kids at one point or another. I’ve worked with colleagues in ministry where we could not get along. In the early years of my marriage I wondered if our two different personalities could make it together. Randy and I had difficulties with one of our daughters. No matter what we did, it only made matters worse. Part of me was stuck and part of

me was remarkably functional. SPRING 2011



“Stuck” happens to all of us.

We wade into it often without realizing the dangers. We’re trying to do the right thing. We want to lead and love like Jesus, but then we find ourselves in a bewildering mess. When we travel in God’s wilderness we will find patches where the only way out is stretching ourselves. We are truly stuck when we can’t make any progress despite trying various ways out. We might try counseling, conversations with trusted friends, seminars, behavior changes, skillbuilding, etc, and nothing seems effective. We also will notice a rising anxiety that takes up more and more space in us. Stuckness is not simply a test from God or simply our fault (we almost always have a part to play, but rarely are stuck situations the result of one person).

We’ll remain stuck until we realize that being stuck is an opportunity to grow so as to lead better. Jesus is a perfect model for what to do. He too got stuck. He was stuck in the desert and he was stuck in the Garden. In the desert he had to decide whether he would walk a human success path or if he would submit to God’s plan. In the desert each temptation offered him a choice between an easy way or God’s way. We have the same choice. For us the easy path is often to become more reactive by blaming, gossiping, looking for a quick-fix, or running away. The panic gets control. Instead of the easy path, we can learn by doing what Jesus did: make more—not less—room for prayer and reflection. Spend more time creating space for God to pull you out. Look for Scripture and direction to help you choose God’s way. With prayer and reflection we can come to understand our part in the mess. We take responsibility. How much of my marriage stuckness came from my desire for Randy to be how I wanted him to be? How much of the struggle with my daughter came from my desire to shape her according to my dreams for her and not relinquishing her to God? How much of my stuckness with a colleague had to do with acknowledging the unhealthiness of the situation and listening to God’s clear direction to “Go”? When we go to the desert, we can examine the voices and forces that try to take us off the foundation of Christ

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and onto our own strivings. In these types of stuck situations we always have options. One is hard but sets us free and the other keeps us stuck. There are stuck situations where there are no options for escape. As Jesus faced his death on the cross he went to the Garden to pray. He knew he had a difficult path to walk and his heart was wrestling with the pain and despair of it. Sometimes we are asked to walk hard paths and we can get stuck emotionally and subvert the call to suffering. Jesus went away and prayed again and again. To face his situation, he needed to completely release himself into God’s will. As unfair or strange as it might seem, Jesus knew this was what he was supposed to do. Sometimes we are in situations where there is no apparent way out: taking care of a child with a disability; extending tough love to an alcoholic friend; having a parent with Alzheimer’s; serving in an environment that doesn’t recognize our gifts, and so on. Life circumstances can shortchange the dreams and hopes we have for ourselves. Life is defined more by suffering than by freedom. Jesus made a choice to relinquish his pain and disappointment to God. In prayer he searched his heart and came back three times to his trust in God. If we are stuck in a situation not of our choosing, then we, like Jesus, must wrestle through our disappointments at the throne of grace. We relinquish all to God, and then we can find an emotional place of hope in order to get unstuck. We all get stuck. But as women who lead for Christ, these stuck places become an opportunity for digging deep and stretching out so that we are more like Christ. The panic is not from God. A strengthened identity and purpose is a result of being stuck. In Christ there is always a resurrection. n MaryKate Morse is a Professor of Leadership and Spiritual Formation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. She received an MA in Biblical Studies and an MDiv from Western Evangelical Seminary (now GFES). She did her doctorate at Gonzaga University where she studied the characteristics of renewal leadership as modeled by Jesus. She is a recorded Quaker pastor, church planter, spiritual director, conference and retreat speaker, writer and author of Making Room for Leadership.

{ voices }

How do you get unstuck? “Traveling, reading, and praying get me unstuck every time. A new place stimulates my senses; a new book triggers my imagination; a new prayer envigors my spirit.” —Liz Curtis Higgs, author of Mine Is the Night

“To get unstuck, I look up instead of at my toes. As an introvert, I’ve probably been too inner-focused and need to get outside myself, out of my house, and do something for someone else. Perspective floods back when I do.” —Dr. Sue Edwards, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and author of the Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study Series

“The best thing we can do when we feel stuck is to stop and listen: someone mired to the knees in quicksand gains nothing by trying to run forward. If we feel stuck in our job, ministry or task, we need to take some time to simply stop and pay attention, to ask God which direction we should go, rather than asking him to help us make progress in the wrong direction. But don’t just ask, listen for his reply. Cease striving, and listen to God, who offers wisdom that

we can’t hear over the noise of our own complaints or because we’re hurried and scattered.” —Keri Wyatt Kent, author of nine books, including Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity

“‘Stuck’ appears to be part of my creative process as a graphic designer, working to find visual metaphors rather than just decorating pages. I’m a free-range reader, frequently found wandering my local library. Quite often my visual solutions come from seeds planted by a book I’ve read months earlier. And when I’ve really hit a wall, a bike ride or even chopping vegetables creates space for my mind to wander unsupervised, which often leads to a solution. ‘Stuck’ can be a good place if it slows me down to wrestle out a meaningful solution. Of course, that’s always easier to say once I’m moving again.” —Cindy Young, graphic designer and owner of Cynthia Young Graphic Design

“I do a few things when my tires are spinning in the snow, so to speak. I’m a big fan of praying for wisdom because God promises to give it to us generously. That’s something I should do every single time I’m stuck; I’m

working on that being my main go-to strategy! Also, in terms of my writing, I’ll type with my left hand for a few minutes (creativity experts say this unlocks the other part of the brain), or breathe in and out of my nose, intentionally, or take a power nap of half an hour or less. I once heard the late, great Chaim Potok speak, and he said when he was stuck on a point of plot, he would lie down and nap and often he had the answer to his dilemma when he woke up. Brilliant! And so helpful.” —Lorilee Craker, author of Just Give Me a Little Piece of Quiet and Through the Storm with Lynne Spears

RichMedia Click on the buttons to watch “On Being Stuck: Dale Hanson Bourke” and find extras!

“Sometimes I imagine I am past the crisis or the situation and actually try to look back at it. I imagine the solution I hope to see. Often the very process frees me to think of new solutions. Long showers are also helpful!” —Cindy Breilh, National Director of World Vision’s Women of Vision. Read her interview, starting on page 14.

get unstuck, click here SPRING 2011

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She’s an influence in all areas of her life: home, work, church, and the community

at large. She leads by example. She leads by making courageous choices. She leads by having an opinion even when no one else does. She leads through a tender touch, a quiet smile, and a needed hug. She leads by holding people accountable, encouraging them to live up to their full potential and helping them go farther than they ever thought possible. Who’s she? She’s an every-day woman like you who’s leading in all the roles God has placed her. This month, she’s ________________________. Donna Shepherd

who’s she?

You’re using your influence in the classroom every day. Tell us a little about the class(es) you teach. I have been a fourth grade teacher for the past two years. Before that I taught Gifted and Talented students for four years and before having my own kids, I taught for another eight years. My masters degree is in special education so I taught children with learning disabilities in both Houston and here in Colorado. You’ve found a way to teach your students through global outreach projects. How did that come about? My gifted and talented students wrote about people who could be considered heroes in society because they are making a difference. One of my students did his essay on Nicholas Negroponte, the chairman for the foundation One Laptop Per Child. I had been wanting to do a service learning project with my students and I thought this would be an inspirational way to start one. The beauty of service learning is it sets up an environment for integrated curriculum so that research, technology, writing and reading about complex literature, marketing, economics, civics, geography, philanthropy all come into play. My students embraced all of the above and ended up being on the news, organizing their own Spa Day and

Craig Cozart / Istockphoto

silent auction, calling members of the community for donations and support and ultimately raising almost $17,000 to send laptops to five third-world countries. What are the most important skills you believe you’re teaching your students?  I believe that I am teaching them how to have compassion for others around the world. But more than that, they are learning how to have a voice. The way we approach these projects empowers them to make a big difference even though they are still young. Who has been a positive influence on your leadership style and what did they teach you?  My own parents were both excellent role models for me as leaders in their own right. My dad was the type to be the Chairman of anything he was a part of, whether it be Sunday School or the School Board. My mom was more a leader in smaller circles, the most important circle being around our kitchen table. What is the one thing you would do if you knew you would not fail? I would tell others about Christ more than I do.

Finish this phrase: peanut butter and chocolate! _________________. Go to bed late and sleep in? Or get to bed early and wake up early? Early to bed, early to rise! What’s one leadership lesson or observation that’s helped change you as a leader? As I have become more mature, I care less about what people think of me and more empowered to ask, “What if we tried this or gave ourselves permission to believe this is possible?” I believe these big school projects, and taking a few chances that they might be too “Christian,” have been bold new steps of faith for me. With each success I become even more bold. Where’s your favorite place to curl up with a good book?  We have the coziest cabin in South Fork, RichMedia Colorado. It is right on Click on the the Rio Grande River, button to watch Donna Shepherd surrounded by pine and on NBC’s KUSA. cottonwood trees. I have the privilege of getting to spend the entire summer there, when I am off for summer break. That is as good as it gets! n

What is your favorite flavor of jelly bean? I have two: coconut and juicy pear!


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spiritual formation


The Work of our Hands By Diane Paddison

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From the beginning, God expected us to work.

Jeremy Woodhouse / Blend Images / Getty Images

In Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” In Proverbs 12:14 the Bible says, “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.” And in Matthew 10:9–10 Jesus sends his disciples out to minister with these words, “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.” The worker is worth his keep. These words tell us to value our work, whatever it is. When we do, others will too. Work is a way not only to provide for our families, it’s a way we can help support, encourage and bless others. Work matters. When we take the abilities God entrusted us with to serve him and others (our employers, our customers or clients, our fellow employees, and our families) while at the same time striving to be Christ-like, God blesses our work. The critical thing is to find the right place to work and the right thing to do while you are at work, so it doesn’t seem like work. Even in less-thanperfect work environments, we can worship God with our work. My gifts at work are in the business world. I had no idea that I would be Chief Operating Officer (COO) of two Fortune 500 companies; however, God guided my path along the way. He used me to affect 4500 employees at the height of my business career. Yet nothing is certain and I’ve discovered that as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I didn’t expect the market to crater and the CEO that hired me to leave during my second role as COO. When the new CEO took over and wanted me to be at headquarters five days a week, versus the two days that were in my contract, I prayed for guidance. God reinforced the fact that my family is my priority at this time of my life and that work would come again. Even though I didn’t understand God’s direction at the time

my plan was being altered, I now look back and know that he had everything under control. The change in plans has allowed me to serve as a consultant and member of several boards. I also share my experiences with other women as I connect, support, and lead young professional Christian women with the not-for-profit I founded, 4word. Work allows us to be in relationship with others, something Jesus calls us to do. Jesus loved the gift of his disciples as close confidants to work with each day. While we are at work, it is important that we give encouragement and positive feedback, especially in public. It spurs others to do well. And when others encourage us in return, we also benefit. Work gives us a chance to touch other people in a way that they might not expect and to really live out an example of Christ. We can be a light in the workplace and we may find that others seek us out because they trust us. You have the skills to excel in your work, both inside and outside your home. They were given to you by God to use for his service (Romans 12:4–8). Even before you were born, God was uniquely equipping you to do what you are doing right now (Psalm 139:13–16). Everything you experienced as a little girl was ordained by God to prepare you for the work he is calling you to do. Can you see it clearly? If not, call on him for direction. From the beginning God recognized the value of work, both from a practical “get it done” standpoint and more importantly, from the aspect of inter-connectedness. We are created to be in community and when we work, we are inevitably connected. The work of our hands matters, whether paid or not, because it gives us the opportunity to place ourselves in God’s hands to be transformed in specific and powerful ways. And as we are transformed, we see others transformed as well. n

RichMedia Click on the buttons to find extra material!

Diane Paddison currently serves as a Board member and Chief Strategy Officer for Cassidy Turley, one of the five largest real estate services companies in the US and as an Independent Director for Behringer Harvard’s Opportunity Fund II and Air Advice. She is also the founder of 4word, designed to mentor young professional Christian women.


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woman of influence

Stop , Look,

and Listen An Interview wit h Cindy Breilh,

Women of Vision’s National Director By Mary Byers

Cindy Breilh believes a little education and indignation is a good thing if it opens eyes to the injustices happening around the world to women and children ­— especially if women then stand together and say, STOP! 14 |

spring 2011

Cindy celebrating a coffee harvest in Guatemala with a family empowered by microcredit and technical support. All the children in the community can now go to school and will no longer be enslaved to entrenched generational poverty.


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She wasn’t angling for a career change when she was approached by the

President of World Vision, a Christian, humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. In fact, she knew nothing about Women of Vision, a volunteer ministry of World Vision that educates, inspires, and equips women to use their God-given resources in service to impoverished and oppressed women and children. Yet she became the national director of Women of Vision and now spurs women to take a stand and work for global change. FullFill™ talks to Cindy Breilh.

What’s your personal vision for Women of Vision? My vision is for a movement of women, particularly Christian women, passionate and called, willing to use their God-given resources, including their voices, to change the world for women and children. I pray that women’s eyes will be opened to what is happening globally, to stand up, cry out and say STOP as we “extend our hands to the needy” as the Bible calls us to do in Proverbs 31:20. It is wrong that 24,000 children die daily of preventable diseases. It is wrong that there are more than 27 million modern day slaves—2 million of them sexually trafficked children (including kids in the United States). It is wrong that people die of diseases we have eradicated in the U.S. It is wrong that 1/3 of the population of our planet lives on less than $2 per day. It is wrong that women, the farmers of the world, have title to only 1% of the land. It is wrong that women and girls are the water carriers of the world, often walking miles every day for filthy water, which makes their families sick and keeps girls out of school. (Of the world’s 130 million out-of-school children, 70 percent are girls.) I believe that a little education and indignation to move us to Cindy preparing a action is not a bad thing! vaccination for a child in a remote South Sudan village.

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What energizes you about your work? I love the “aha! moments” when women become inspired, passionate, and their worldview goes global. After going through one of our “Heart of the Matter” studies, I often hear women exclaim, “I had no idea about these global issues! I have to do something.” Empowered women, together, create impact. I sit back

in awe as I learn about what Women of Vision are doing in their own communities and around the world. What have you learned by watching other women leaders? Sometimes it is not the “leaders” from whom I learn the most. I admire women who are centered, good listeners, wise, manage up, empower others and can speak the truth in love. I am a task-oriented and business-minded leader so I need to learn and watch others nurture, delegate and seek help. I watch closely how other women leaders maintain boundaries and manage teams. Women leaders need to help and support each other, not compete. We must encourage women leaders and promote women’s leadership, especially in our young women. However, we are not superwomen and leadership at times requires aloneness, and that is hard for some of us to accept. How do you refuel physically, spiritually and emotionally when necessary? Early morning is my spiritual refueling time. I am learning about centering prayer and reading books on solitude. I need quiet. Some of my best prayer time, thinking, planning and problem solving is done in a long hot shower—it is the joke in our family. It is where I can “tune out” and briefly escape interruption— human or machine. I try to exercise. My church is a place of refreshment as well. Corporate worship, teaching and service remind me that we are created for relationship and need each other. God created the Church for His purpose and our need. Even if I do not feel like it, being in church on Sunday is almost always reenergizing.

Finally, a healthy family life is critical to refueling. When things are not going well at home, I am much more drained than with any work issues. At the end of the day, I am thankful for a husband who enthusiastically supports my role as a woman leader and fills in the gaps when I am absent. What do you wish women would “get” about their influence, wherever they wield it? This is a great question. Women can be controlling, become focused on the details, hold grudges and gossip in spite of our best intentions. We are opinionated and emotionally charged about our opinions. Periodically I roll my eyes and wish we could be more like our male counterparts. And then I get a grip and realize that women are great leaders. Good leaders don’t sweat the small stuff but see the big picture and manage to it. When have you felt stuck in work or life and how did you move through it? Sometimes I imagine I am past the crisis or the situation and actually try to look back at it. I imagine the solution I hope to see. Often the very process frees me to think of new solutions (long showers are helpful!). A “walking talk,” or phone call with trusted friends, maybe many of them, can be helpful. I have some wise friends who are good listeners and do not try to problem solve for me but ask great questions and pray with me. I am an avid reader and will often pick up books or do a web search around a topic when I feel stuck. The stack next to my bed is always unrealistically high. Yet reading the Psalms is always calming and “restores my soul.” n SPRING 2011


Percentage of the world’s children not attending school that are girls.


Number of children who die daily of preventable diseases.

1 % Percentage of the world’s land that women farmers hold title to.

RichMedia Click on the buttons to watch Other Ways to Make a Difference: ChickTime and find extras!

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Spring 2011

resting place

Lesley Magno / flickr / Getty Images + dblight / Istockphoto


“…I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”

—Chris Cleeve, Little Bee


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A feature inviting you to think through your theology. By Carolyn Custis James

The mindset that leadership is someone else’s responsibility means our guard is down and we may not even notice the kingdom battles God is calling us to fight. —Half the Church

On Our Shoulders were studying in our dorm room when a girl burst through the door to alert us that someone was in trouble. We jumped up and raced down the hallway into the bathroom where a freshman was bleeding profusely from a deep laceration on her hand—not, as we first thought from a suicide attempt, but from a glass bottle that had accidentally shattered in her hand during a water-fight. Without hesitating even for a second, I grabbed a towel, pressed it over the wound, and held her hand firmly to stop the bleeding. I didn’t release my grip on her hand until we reached the hospital. I don’t think she lost another drop of blood en route. Once in the Emergency Room, however, everything changed. She wasn’t my responsibility any more. Doctors and nurses were there to take over. While she waited for the doctors to phone her

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parents, I sat by the bed where she lay quietly waiting and noticed that her cupped hand again began to fill with blood. As I started to feel woozy, a doctor stepped in, took one look at me, and urged a nurse to “Get her out of here!” When God designated human beings as his image bearers, not only did he confer on us the highest possible honor as his representatives, he also placed squarely on our shoulders enormous responsibility for what goes on in his world. We are to be his eyes, his ears, his hands, and feet and voice. Suffering in this world is our business, and he intends for his image bearers to take action in relieving it. As women, we are often encouraged to embrace a smaller vision of God’s calling on our lives. Much of what we are told tends to narrow our focus to our own spiritual health and directs us to make sure our personal lives are on track. Rarely is our attention drawn beyond hearth and

home to consider others who are in desperate need of our care and advocacy. We draw the parameters of our responsibility far narrower than what God has in mind. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to shatter our small thinking of how far our responsibilities extend. Every person in the parable—the priest, Levite, and the Samaritan—had responsibility for the injured man at the side of the road. The fact that the despised Samaritan took pity and acted completely redefines the concept of who is my neighbor as a borderless concept. Recently, I spoke with a young woman in Dallas who, with several of her friends, read through Half the Sky. She told me, when they finished reading, “We wanted to change the world.” They felt responsible to do something and they did—initiating a city-wide awareness campaign to combat sex trafficking during the 2011 Super Bowl. I’m stunned by the difference it makes when I feel responsible and when I don’t. Responsibility leads to action. But when responsibility belongs to someone else, I can watch someone bleed and become a problem myself by going limp. Doing so helps no one and may result in missing the kingdom battles God is calling us to fight. n Carolyn Custis James is involved in mobilizing women through WhitbyForum and Synergy. Carolyn is the author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women. She will be keynoting at the CLA Conference in Dallas in April 2011.

DEX IMAGE / getty images

My college roommate and I

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Classic Thought By Oswald Chambers

Leave Room for God



“When it pleased God…” (Galatians 1:15)

As servants of God, we must learn to make room for him—to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as he chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we The way to make had never expected him to come? Do not look for God room for him is to come in a particular way, to expect him to but do look for him. The to make room for him come, but not in way is to expect him to come, but not in a certain way. No a certain way. matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that he may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly—God meets our life— “…when it pleased God….” Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that his surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy and leave room for God to come in as he decides. n

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Taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, edited by James Reimann, © 1992 by Oswald Chambers Publications Assn., Ltd., and used by permission of Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids MI 49501. All rights reserved. Order My Utmost for His Highest at 800-653-8333 or


Contemporary Reflection By Pam Lau

…As the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.

RubberBall Productions / The Agency Collection / Getty images

(Psalm 123:2b)

Eye-2-I AM Contact Today I am distracted and I must ask Jesus to teach me how to stay focused on one thing at a time. The most frustrating thing about distraction is the draining of mental, emotional and physical energy, just as air leaks slowly from a tire and over time becomes useless. That is why Christ, hours before his arrest, commanded his disciples to “be on your guard, watch, give strict attention, be cautious and alert” (Mark 13:33 and 35, AMP).  There are levels of distraction that translate to spiritual focus. The ordinary woman is distracted simply because she is alive on this side of eternity. She suffers from human nature. She is distracted because she is normal! And this can happen without anyone else involved. Another level of distraction happens because we are in relationship with others. This distraction comes because we care:

a mother for her child, a medical professional for her patient, an administrator making a decision that affects hundreds of people. It would be unnatural not to be distracted by the existence of others. A third kind of distraction includes the second one but goes beyond—it is the distraction of the call—this is the kind of distraction Jesus experienced on this earth. Jesus didn’t get distracted by human or Divine nature; he emptied himself and took on the guise of a servant (Philippians 2). Yet, even in that position, Christ still boldly approached his Father in heaven for what he specifically needed. Like Nehemiah the cupbearer, who stayed focused on rebuilding the wall (Nehemiah 1:11), he needed eye to eye contact with the King. That is why as a woman in leadership, I must pause in the middle of what I am about to do, position myself before my King and give him my full attention—turning my most pressing need into a purpose. I must not deny myself the discipline of eye to I AM contact, for that would be the denial of undivided attention. I must cooperate with the discipline of eye contact with my King as mental and emotional anguish come from not knowing the Holy Spirit’s leading. Jesus’ eyes are on the Father’s and so must mine be. But I cannot maintain eye contact alone. I can only do it through Christ who gives me access to what he so boldly initiated. n Pam Lau lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and three daughters. She is the author of Soul Strength and a speaker for conferences, schools and businesses. Pam teaches writing at C.S. Lewis Academy in the Writer’s Cafe, a place where middle school students write about their faith and literature.  


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An invitation to find your place in this world. By Shayne Moore

(worldly) women

There are currently 168 million women active in sub-Saharan African economies and this number is expected to grow by nearly one-third over the next 10 years. Yet women still face immense challenges from lack of funding for their businesses to negative property rights laws. Did you know women produce 80% of Africa’s food yet make up an estimated 70% of people living in poverty? Women in Africa need economic opportunities to help them and their families get out of poverty, yet 75% of women cannot get bank loans because they have unpaid jobs (such as farming for their family) or they do not own property. Eight out of ten women in the sub-Saharan workforce do not receive a formal wage or salary. For economic opportunities and growth to be achieved, women in Africa need access to education. Girls in poor families are more likely than their male counterparts to never set foot in a school. Immediate chores, such as fetching water from a clean source often miles from their home, keep girls from attending and from staying in school. Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Yet by providing girls with one extra year of education, it boosts their eventual wages by 10-20%. In 2009, I traveled to Zambia with World Vision and experienced first-hand the difference education makes

Africa’s Future is Female Recently the world recognized the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. This day was established to high-

light the unique issues women face worldwide including political rights, educational opportunities, and the struggle to raise families in situations of extreme poverty, disease and domestic abuse. Many strides have been taken, and much has been achieved on behalf of women worldwide in recent history, but there is still much work to be done. Around the world women are the backbone of their communities, especially in Africa where issues of extreme poverty and preventable disease are enormous realities women surmount every day.

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Statistics taken from Africa’s Future is Female ONE report.

in the life of girls in Africa. I spent a joyful day visiting with a house of teenage girls who have a safe place to live, school fees, and uniforms thanks to a program World Vision is championing called the Empowerment, Respect and Equality (ERE) scholarship program. I met a beautiful young woman named Susan, who lost both her parents to AIDS. Susan shared her gratefulness for the opportunity to attend school and have a future. Susan recently finished her secondary education and is about to attend university and she has the goal of becoming a doctor. Without assistance and support through the ERE scholarship program, Susan easily could have become like the millions of African girls who are forced to drop out of school due to family responsibilities, lack of funding, or teenage pregnancy.

My own daughter is in sixth grade. Greta has all the advantages of living in America. I believe it is time for the world community to have an eye on the woman and girls of Africa as if they were our own daughters. It is time to get serious about investing in the future of Africa—and that means investing in the continent’s women. n Shayne Moore is an author, blogger, speaker, mom of three, and outspoken ­advocate in the fight against extreme poverty and Global AIDS. Shayne is one of the original members of ONE and sits on the executive board of directors for Upendo Village, an HIV/AIDS clinic in Kenya. She is also the author of Global Soccer Mom.


By Karen Booker Schelhaas

I’ve been pregnant with writing ideas for as long as I can remember, and I often yearn for the moment 8 months from now when I will kiss the youngest of my five children goodbye at all-day kindergarten and go home to a QUIET house to eventually give birth to my stories. More than 13 years at home, and suddenly I’ll have 8 hours to myself, 5 days a week. Real margin. When discussing the lack of writing space in my life with my friend, she looked at me and said, “It counts, Karen. It counts.”

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Paul Ceulemans / Istockphoto


“What counts, exactly?” I asked. “This,” she replied. “The next 8 months. And the past 13 years. They count for whatever might be next. And they count just because they count.” I know that’s true. I do. But I needed to hear it in a fresh way, I think, from someone who’s an empty nester. Nobody forced me in to being at home full-time. I grabbed the job with deep conviction after my first baby and haven’t loosened my grip. But for any of you who have spent any length of time in your house, day after day, year after year, there are thoughts that come at you, thoughts that aren’t from God. Like lots of “this doesn’t count.” But it does. Listen here; I’m no June Cleaver. I wear makeup, lots of it sometimes, tighter jeans than I should, and sky high heels. Red lipstick is my signature, I speak my mind, and I don’t fit the stereotypical mold of stay-at-home mothers (minus the minivan parked in my garage and the three times this week that I wore my yoga pants—in public). But I’m looking at the red apron I’ve chosen to wear these last 13 years, and I am beginning to appreciate it as a tool of influence the Lord has tied around my ever-expanding waist. In that apron, I’ve encouraged a friend on my couch to stick with her marriage, even though her husband didn’t deserve her. I’ve been picking tomatoes out back only to have a grieving neighbor hand me some of her most intimate, tangled troubles over the fence. We unravel them as I wipe her lonely tears with that apron. And I’ve been witness to a daughter’s aching heart, and had the privilege to love her with my broken human offering in the comfort of our home. I then get to move her toward God’s perfect, cherishing love, and in that embrace, she finds real peace. On a Tuesday afternoon. It counts. The first person my 13-year-old hulk of a man-child sees after a long day in the

tumultuous world of junior high is his redlipped mother. Every day, his 5-year-old brother and I are there with the windows rolled down cranking some kind of atrociously loud music, banging our heads to the beat. And yet his grin is a mile-wide, because in that van, he knows he’ll find safety and a place to exhale. Carpool counts. Wrapped up in my ratty apron, managing the same truckloads of laundry and food day after day, I’ve felt a tug to stop, to stop everything, and to sit. And in that moment, as I toss the apron to the ground, I get to hear another daughter tell me things she remembers from the five years she was not my child. And I know in that moment, I’m on sacred ground. Intimate conversation counts. My grandmothers had my attention as they whisked wonders in their kitchens, sewing clothing, costumes and prom dresses for me, always bustling around their homes making sure I was comfortable. Late at night, I’d sit tucked in to their guest beds, ears perked, my head cradled on their aproned laps, feeling so validated. And my own mother’s apron was like a trampoline that launched me in to life, confident and ready. These women had my heart in those aprons, a heart that drew upon the wisdom I gathered there to create my own family life. Influence at home counts. My mother’s rehearsal dinner ceremony for two of my brothers included an emotionally charged talk about her sons, and then a long pause as she gazed in to their brides’ eyes. She said, “Many of you are familiar with the old adage about some young men being tied to their mother’s apron strings. Well, any of you who know our children know that they have never really been tied to their mother’s apron strings—they’re all a rather independent bunch! But as a symbol that I know my son is leaving his father and mother and will cleave to his wife and no longer be under our care and control, I cut these apron strings, knowing that I have now become

the #2 woman in his life and you are #1, and commend him completely to you with no strings attached.” Holding up a beautiful, perfectly pressed family apron and a large pair of cutting shears, she cut the apron strings off, right there in front of everybody, and handed the clipped heirlooms to my sisters-in-law. Influence handed over. We all wear them at some point. Whether your circle extends to young children, old children, nieces, nephews, your husband, aging parents, neighbors, or coworkers you entertain in your home, aprons are our welcome mats to relationships with the people surrounding us. May we celebrate the unity in our aprons, and spur one another on in them. My apron is fire-engine red, and yours may be made of vintage lace…but we wear them together. And what we do in them counts. In Titus 2, Paul puts emphasis on “women being reverent in the way they live,” and he includes the reference “to be busy at home.” This last phrase indicates to me that apron-work is part of living a reverent life before God. It’s not the only thing we do that counts, for sure, but I know it’s important. Whether we’re home 2 hours a day or 24, we need to live reverently within the four walls we’ve been given. Aprons are holy instruments. I do think my stories will be born eventually, in the appointed season, but I don’t want to miss the story I’m in today. I’m convinced that what we do while wearing our grimy aprons can ricochet from our direct sphere of influence to generations down the road, leaving an indelible mark on people and how they choose to live their lives. And I think that counts an awful lot. n Karen Booker Schelhaas is a writer-in-waiting currently living in a sea of endless material with her husband and five young children, better known as The Schelhaas Seven, in Highlands Ranch, CO. SPRING 2011

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are consumed in the United States every year. This translates into roughly $2 Billion dollars worth of tasty treats being sold each year. —The Donut Book:

The number of muscles used in a kiss. Exercise anyone?

The Whole Story in Words, Pictures & Outrageous Tales

quick Fill “

Having what you want in your life only happens after you say NO to what you don’t want. —Karen Romine


Average amount coffee drinkers spend per year on coffee.

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The cost to provide a flock of chicks through Heifer International, which is committed to helping people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.

13 When automobiles were developed, doctors warned that human physiology probably couldn’t stand speeds of more than thirteen miles per hour.

All photos from istockphoto: Donuts by Nikola Bilic // lipstick by WEKWEK // Speed sign by Paul Rosado // chicks by Andrjuss Soldatovs //

1 , , ,

Four-Letter Words are words constructed of four letters. They are perfectly good, usually innocent words. Some four-letter words come with baggage that weighs down their meaning. Often there is negativity, discomfort or stigma assigned to such otherwise ­interesting and usable words. As we ­reconsider these words and address them openly, perhaps we can reclaim these words for their contribution to our lives.

Fast craftvision / Istockphoto

Quick. Swift. Rapid. Moving from one project to the next, one “To Do” to the next.

We find ourselves lost on the way to a new location and instead of having to exit and ask for directions through traffic we simply punch the address into our GPS and continue on our way. We take our teen’s afterschool texts while in a meeting, trying not to be obvious. We respond to a customer’s complaint within minutes while simultaneously adjusting the system that caused the riff. Fast. What a good thing! Exponential productivity. Multitasked accomplishments. Technological ease. Superior efficiency.

And yet…we’ve come to define our lives by what we get done, what we can cross off the list and what we conquer. We’ve developed a need for speed. And we rarely take the time to stop and consider the consequences on our emotional and physical health, our families, and our relationships. We look around at all the women moving quickly around us and assume the answer is simply to move faster. We rarely consider stopping our movement altogether, missing the paradox that rest refuels and reenergizes and lets us get up to speed more quickly. Instead, we run on empty, hoping the fumes in our tank will be enough to get us through. Fast does not always produce the desires of God’s heart in us or in our leadership.

four-letter word

Dr. Richard Swenson, author of Margin: How to Create the Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves You Need, suggests practicing economics “as if people mattered.” To do this, “We once again agree that things do not own us and are not even very important. We once again assert that jobs are only jobs, that cars are only organized piles of metal, that houses will one day fall down—but that people are important beyond all description. We once again assert that love stands supreme above all other forces, even to the ends of the universe and beyond.” Whatever is on our “To Do” list may not be nearly as important as we think it is. In debunking fast, we’re more likely to realize that relationships and people matter. Period. The irony is that we’re so busy moving from one thing to the next that we don’t have the time to step back and take a look at the whole picture. Often, we’re so busy in our own little sphere of influence that we’re missing both the bigger picture and the human needs around us. Like Jesus, leaders need soul space. Solitude often preceded Jesus’ work. And it should infiltrate ours. Fast is okay for runners. But for leaders? Leaders need two speeds in their lives: both fast and not-so-fast. Jesus modeled it. God commands it. Quick! Let’s allow the lessons of fast to speak in our lives. n SPRING 2011

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male box

R. Scott Rodin is the Managing Principal of OneAccord NFP, a professional partnership firm serving not-for-profit organizations and churches. He is past president of the Christian Stewardship Association and was formerly the president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His books include, The Third Conversion, The Steward Leader and The Sower.

On Level Ground By R. Scott Rodin

In my research for The Steward Leader, I became

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Image Source Ltd / The agency Collection / Getty images

intrigued with what I saw as a fundamental reversal in the way we have viewed effective leadership and the profound effect this reversal has had on how women see and prepare themselves for leadership roles. Let me frame this as I see it. Early, mechanistic approaches to organizational behavior raised up an image of the successful leader that fit the male stereotype of power, control and domination. Success came from manipulating the cause and effect processes that drove organizational success. Later leadership studies pointed to other characteristics such as charisma, influence and negotiation skills; each well-suited to the male personality. My observation is that in general, women seeking leadership roles tried to imitate these traits, believing that they needed to outdo their male counterparts to be noticed and respected. In a sense, they abandoned their more natural feminine traits and often adopted the extreme characteristics of their male counterparts. Toughness and shrewdness became the admirable qualities in women who vied for leadership success. More recently, leadership studies have made a significant shift away from these former views of the mechanistic

organization to that of organic community. New definitions of leadership now use terms such as “servant” and “steward.” From a Biblical perspective, the older, more male dominated trappings of leadership are not only being dismissed, but they are in need of repentance and transformation. Here is one example. Steward leaders need to be undergoing the internal transformational work of the Holy Spirit before they can be effective leaders. That work requires a setting aside of the desire to control, to exercise power and to lead with an ownership mentality. In their place, we are called to give away power, yield control and lead as a true steward of what we do not own. As a man I find it extremely difficult to set aside all I have been taught about leadership as control and power, which fit so well with my male make-up and ego. To be a true steward requires me to trust and empower others, to empty myself of those things that so often have defined my reputation among my peers, and to allow myself to be vulnerable within my community; an anathema to the persona of the tough, shrewd leader. I wonder if my female counterparts struggle as much as I do with these bad habits and attitudes? I understand we are all in need of God’s grace and transforming power, but could it be that men and women not only stand on much more level ground when it comes to natural competencies for effective steward leadership, but that men have much to learn from women in many of these areas? And if so, then isn’t it a major loss when women feel the need to set aside these natural, God-given qualities in some fruitless quest to adopt the very attitudes that we men are struggling to unload? As I wrote The Steward Leader I became more convinced that men and women were equally gifted for leadership success; both needing transformation and both able to be used by God to lead God’s people effectively. My prayer is that we would embrace the way we were created, male and female, and discover in each how God can use us in the fulfillment, not the abandonment, of the fullness of our given gender as we are called to be steward leaders for the work of his kingdom. n

From Stuck to Unstuck For five days in Robbers Roost, Utah, Aron Ralston was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Alone and desperate after a boulder trapped him during a climbing trip, he found his arm pinned to the point of self-amputation if he wanted to live. That’s stuck. Or how about this one? Thirty-three gold and copper miners were stuck in Copiapo, Chile for 69 days after the shaft collapsed and trapped them 2300 feet underground. While perhaps not quite as dramatic, we find ourselves stuck as well. Rutted realities when our wheels sink off the shoulder and into the snow or mud and we spin with no forward progress. Reversing, we have no more success. We climb out of the car to discover we’re in need of AAA—or an angel. Beyond the physical, there are other seasons of internal “stuck:” professional, relational, emotional and even spiritual. When we can’t make the numbers work and layoffs loom. When we restate our position over and over in escalating tones with no success of being heard by our teen. When we find ourselves trapped under the weight of sadness and depression, unable to attend to the daily. When we stare into the black above our heads, night after night, tug-of-warring with God. Recently, reading Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings, I realized that I was unwittingly contributing to my own “stuck.” He talks about learned helplessness— and how our past experiences and the mental maps we develop—can keep us stuck. For me, I’ve survived over a decade of various family challenges through bouncing back up off a safety net of a job outside the home. Today, in a “no net” season where my major

{ my Fill } callings are consulting, speaking and writing from a home office, I’ve found myself falling…and unable to get up. Stuck. How do I define myself now? How do I hold onto “me” and who God has made me to be? In Jeremiah 6:16, I’ve found some principles for getting unstuck on the inside. “This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Taking them one at a time: Stand: Stop what you’re doing—distracting as it might be—and admit that you’re stuck. Spinning about with no progress can sap energy needed to evaluate and move when the time is right. Look: Assess your options. Right…left…before… behind…up…down. Look carefully at the options before you and evaluate whether a step in any direction can help—or hurt. Ask: I love that Jeremiah talks about both the ancient paths and the good way. History can inform our present and future. And a good way may be different than a familiar way. Walk: At last—move! Yet while I’d love to take off in a dash toward my destination, sometimes progress is achieved by simply taking a step. One step. Then another. Find Rest. That’s the end result of getting unstuck. A soft yet solid conviction that we are where God means us to be, doing what we’re destined to be, because we are embracing who God is making us to be. Ahhhhh. Stand. Look. Ask. Walk. Find Rest. I’m discovering that this process forms the net beneath our “stuck” and holds us as we find our way through and out. Elisa Morgan Publisher


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