Friday, January 29, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Part 66 - September on Facebook, 3}

If you missed it, I said this in the first part of this series:  "The next few posts will be catch-up from Facebook posts.  I'm going all the way back to September to begin.  Yes, it's been that long since I've played catch-up."

So...let's continue...

Sept. 22nd - This image is self-explanatory:


I've had basically zero safety, peace, and trust in about 95% of my relationships (that I thought were really amazing relationships full of those things) the past few years.  People have been weeded out of my life like crazy.  Because those three things (plus just basic humanity) were missing.  I've learned a lot (of crappy things, honestly) about people.

Sept. 26th - I've noticed this all along...but it has been exponentially highlighted the past few years.  There is a HUGE void in the church.  In humanity at large really, but especially in the church.  A HUGE lack of empathy.  A HUGE lack of compassion and love.  Those things can only really be expressed towards someone after getting to know them, listening to their stories, and actually believing them!!  Are there people who exist who lie or exaggerate?  Yes.  But most people don't.  Yet they are not believed.  Not only should you listen to and believe and empathize with others...you have to clear away all of your preconceived notions, and stop thinking, 'well, this reminds me of this story in my own life' and then projecting your feelings and thoughts from your own personal experience onto them.  Their experience is not your experience.  This is their experience.  This is them...not you.  It will help to relate to them having experienced something similar.  But, similar doesn't equal same.  They aren't the same.  Don't forget that.

But, people aren't taught this.  They really aren't.  It's comparable to doctors and other medical professionals not even being taught the famous Hippocrates belief, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food."  They, more often than not, treat symptoms instead of meeting somewhere where they really are...seeing the problem for what it really is and seeing the roots so those roots can be removed.  That happens medically...but it also happens emotionally and spiritually.  When we encounter someone who is in need in our lives, we can see them for who they really are...or we can look at their symptoms and just treat those (if we even do that).

We have to know how to see who they really are though.  Most often, even 'ministry training' doesn't teach that.  And if we haven't experienced a transformation in our own lives (which often involves realizations about ourselves and transforming healing), this is not possible.  That's why this video was so impacting to me.  He actually says it...out loud.  
"It blows my mind that in our current model of training for ministry, we basically point you to education and skill sets…and then say, 'you’re ready.' ...the most important thing you bring to ministry is a transformed soul. That process never got addressed anywhere else I went."

This needs to happen.  What he's talking about specifically is a really great group/organization called Transforming Community.  "Our goal is to help you strengthen the soul of your leadership so you are able to lead from your own experience of transformation. The Transforming Center longs to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation--and it starts with transforming leaders!"

Also on their website (I'm not advertising their website, although I think it sounds fabulous... but here, I'm just agreeing with what they say):
There are reasons why people are not experiencing spiritual transformation in and through their churches. For one thing, many pastors and ministry leaders are not experiencing deeper levels of personal transformation themselves.  That's why the Transforming Center has spent the last fifteen years developing and providing the Transforming Community® experience.
It is soooo important to be transformed, so that in turn, you can help someone else be transformed.  You just simply can't do that if you haven't experienced it yourself...and if you aren't an empathetic person who believes and actively loves the people who come to you.  You need depth...not just an ability to treat symptoms (that doesn't work).

As the man said, you need more than just education and skill sets.  Find a way to get more than that...and then do it.  

Sept. 28th - I posted this really great article.  I love the title..."They Named Me Bold."  Here's an excerpt...

I gotta be honest. I used to not get this rambling about women in ministry. I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. Move along. Do what you’re called to do. Stop rallying. 
And then I had a realization.   
I didn’t get not feeling like you have permission to do ministry. Because I was never taught I needed it. 
Why pray for our daughters to be filled with the Spirit if we are not going to let the Spirit speak through them? It is to us to name the next generation of women bold. Brave. Women prepared to seek first the Kingdom – the now and not yet coming of the Gospel to our world. It is to us to teach them that we have been redeemed beyond the need of rescue – and that what time we are afraid, we can put our trust in Him. It is to us to listen when the Spirit speaks through them. 
Let us call our daughters bold. Let us tell them they are brave. Let us teach them to associate femininity with wasting their lives for the poor and powerless rather than being powerless themselves. Let us teach them that their rescue comes from Christ. Let us treat their callings to ministry as normative – let it be as normal as them saying they want to be a teacher or a mommy when they grow up. 
Let them see us, fully and proudly feminine, whether we are adoring our husbands and corralling children or coming home to an empty house. 
Let us release our daughters into the Spirit’s wind.
Sept. 28th - Ohmygosh, you have no idea how much 'material' the past few years has given me in training up my children in the way they should go.  We can spend hours talking about life lessons during school...and usually do.   I often hear, "You're a good speecher" (haha) and "You should be a preacher." Not because I'm necessarily gifted in those areas (except for with my homegrown audience of 4 maybe), but boy oh boy...what a lot of things we've 'collected' now to talk about.  So much that they can hopefully learn from us about...that they can learn from our mistakes in these very specific situations and not have to go through anything even remotely like this.


(And thanks to searching for an image to go with this section, I have now been introduced, quite by chance, to "the irrepressible and fiercely feminist, holiness evangelist, bestselling author, ecumenist, and Quaker mystic," Hannah W. Smith, one of the most prominent female religious figures in the late Victorian Era.  Awesome!)

The kids and I go through Proverbs during Bible time every day.  Very slowly.  We sometimes literally only cover 3-5 verses, but spend the whole 45 minutes allotted (and sometimes need more).  That's some heavy discussion.  :)  There are many things that are just so black and white.  Those things often make me just smile and chuckle.  How simple it is sometimes, yet humans make it so hard.  This is what we had read that day and I posted...
Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.  --Proverbs 25:18 
Read this with the kids in school today. Words of wisdom. Been on the receiving end of this lots the past few years.  I can tell you this is definitely true. And leaves lasting damage.  Moral: Just don't do it.
Sooooo much damage done.  Wouldn't it be easier if we all just shared, listened, believed each other, and just told the truth?

Sept. 29th - I posted the following with a link to buy this book.
finally a manhood book i can get behind. not egalitarian, not complementarian...just Jesus-arian.  :)  
 
love how he starts the book off with jacob and esau...and how different they are. many would probably say (or at least think, given our modern definitions of manhood) that jacob was effeminate and had obviously somehow been 'emasculated' (a favorite word amongst the 'manly men' these days). ..."yet Jacob is the brother with the greater legacy in the kingdom of God."
can't wait to read the whole thing.  an excerpt... 
~Both Christian and non-Christian authors have couched masculinity in more primal terms. For example, Christian counselor John Eldridge's 'Wild at Heart' and Harvard professor Robert Bly's 'Iron John' both lament the growing number of feminized 'nice guys' needing permission to recover their inner wildness and once again take forceful action in the world. And certainly, men should embrace and ever celebrate their masculinity. But talking about gender raises a number of questions. What does it mean to be a man? Are there distinctives between men and women outside of anatomy? What do we do with the various expressions of masculinity that can exist between two men?~
And more on this ridiculous word 'emasculation'...something I read around the same time:
I don't think anyone should be emasculating anyone (because I literally don't get it — if someone can do that to you so easily, perhaps the foundation upon which you've built your identity is more harmful than helpful?), much less yelling at a dude to "be a man already!" — to me this is part of the whole problem. But I suspect this happens in relationships where "being a man" is cited often as an essential identity in every choice and in the power balance of the relationship. Where being a man and a woman is some huge part of how things are decided and felt. Where these terrible scripts for how to act "because you're a man or woman" leave us all feeling less connected and we try to make sense of differences through this script instead of putting aside the mask of gender and just hashing out what we need from each other. 
To be clear: Gender identity is not inherently bad in the slightest — liking even popularly held notions about what it means to be a man or a woman can be enormously satisfying and complementary. But each of us must arrive at these identities in ways that are healthy and well-adjusted for us. And by using these identities to pit men and women as oppositional, we muddy that potential harmony both within ourselves and with others. One of them involves two equal deliberate players speaking sentences out loud, and the other places women forever in service to men as caretakers of this delicate male ego. Funny, then, that there is no real equivalent word in the popular lore for a man reducing a woman's femininity by simply being awesome in the world.  
#logic  #letsuseit

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Post 65 - September on Facebook, 2}

Sept. 21st:
in a church culture that would rather not know 'the real you' with your 'real problems'...that would rather just hold on to their *perceptions* of you instead of knowing truth and being bothered with anything other than rosy things... 
the 'sinners' so often have it right. may the church truly learn from them.

Sept. 22nd:
~If a husband tells a wife that she is "equal in worth," but demands that he has the final say on important matters and claims that his opinion/authority holds heavier weight than hers in the family unit, then is she really equal in worth?~
--Jory Micah 
(hint: the answer is no)
I got some interesting comments on this one.  So, I'm going to share those here.  It just shows how conditioned us women are at using other methods (other than truth and honesty) to be heard, and even 'get our way' as she put it):

          Jory Micah:   I like your hint! 
          UnlikeReply1September 22, 2015 at 7:28pm
          Commenter #1:  Why can't we be different? Different gender, different color, different culture. How about we           listen to each other and compromise? Use your intelligence. Your suggestion was his in the first place. Also             works with co-workers, students, children and bosses.
          LikeReplySeptember 22, 2015 at 9:07pm
Michawn Madden Ebersole  is this comment on the correct status post?
Commenter # JS instead of complaining, use your intelligence. I get my students, even my bosses at times to see my side by getting them to think that it was their idea. If you don't like what I just said I'm sure you will delete it smile emoticon. Just sometimes easier to do things the back door way. smile emoticon
Michawn Madden Ebersole smile emoticon interesting that you see this as 'complaining.' because the truth is that *this* is using my intelligence...to point out a horrible, rampant, destructive theology that is taught within our churches and culture. i'm not interested in using a 'back door.' i shouldn't have to. ESPECIALLY within a marriage relationship. that is just another way of using 'manipulation'...which is just as bad. i prefer truthful, in-the-light ways. like...being true equals.
Michawn Madden Ebersole p.s. there's a big difference between 'equal' and 'same.'
Commenter #1:  You want to be right or do you want to be happy? Pick your battles. And this comes from someone who knew you growing up. This comes from someone who went through a divorce ( more horrible than you know). This comes from someone who raised three children by herself for ten years. You can't have it all the way you think it should be. Just ask me.
Commenter #2:  Back door is manipulation! Just saying…
Commenter #1:  None of us are equal.
Michawn Madden Ebersole  i completely disagree with your last comment. and, i want to live a right *life.* being on the right *path.* i'm not going to 'pick my battles' when it involves having to choose between being on the right path or wrong path. there are right ways of doing things (Godly, righteous, Bible-based ways)...there are right belief systems. and that is what this is about. not 'trying to get my way.'
Commenter #1:  There's more than you to think about. I might have done things differently back when I had that choice. Be still. Think. Try everything. And anything. Forget about these people on Facebook and your blog. Remember who matters most. Here's a hint.... It's not your husband or you. It's who you BOTH made.
Michawn Madden Ebersole
Write a reply...
Michawn Madden Ebersole another p.s.: this wasn't directed at my husband or about him...or me trying to get my way with him. this way of thinking for him was purged out of him (praise God) with our week-long intensive counseling session. but, it definitely remains in the church as a whole...it permeates God's people. and it is very, very destructive. it is killing marriage after marriage...it almost destroyed mine. and it's turning people into manipulators instead of truth-tellers.
Michawn Madden Ebersole  first of all, read the above comment...again, this, thankfully, isn't my situation anymore. but...

really? who do you think i've been thinking about this whole time...for all of these years? guess what...that is WHY i would NEVER turn into a manipulator just to stay married. thank God i could stay a truth-teller and stay married (thank God we actually found a WISE man to counsel us finally). otherwise, i would be divorced. because i will *not* set an example of manipulation for my kids...that does just as much (or more) damage than divorce. that is something i know.

Commenter #1:  So happy for you. You just sound so not happy. Couldn't tell.
Michawn Madden Ebersole crazy. you must not really read my posts if you think i sound 'so not happy.' i post things that are happy and carefree. i also post things that are more serious and point out crappy things about the church/world. posting about important issues doesn't = 'not happy.' interesting.
Commenter #1:  Happy for you smile emoticon
Commenter #3:  As iron sharpens iron could probably be your mantra, Michawn Madden Ebersole! Personally I love it because I don't really have a filter AT ALL! I get that it isn't everyone's cup of tea and it is more fun to read between the lines and invent than take things at face value in our hyper sensitized world, but spoken or not TRUTH is TRUTH! I don't want rocks and stones doing the job I should be doing. Sometimes the greatest love there is is speaking the truth in love, sanding down those rough spots, and getting to the heart of a matter! After all, the me Jesus died for is the real me, not the glossed over version that others are comfortable with. smile emoticon love ya!
Michawn Madden Ebersole Love you, girl! 
Jory Micah:  Since I wrote this post I can say that it has nothing to do with "happy or unhappy," but rather an academic/theological challenge.

       Commenter #4:  Michawn Madden Ebersole I agree! I have never been able to manipulate...& I don't understand why          someone would want to manipulate. There should be equality in marriage in decisions, discussions...,. I can not stand        to be treated like a child, why would I want to act like a child (manipulation)?

That is also the discussion that brought about probably my favorite comment ever.  A meme made just for me by a college friend of mine.  Hahaha.  He (my friend) cracks me up!!



OMG, seriously...one of my favorites.  Especially after all the backlash and pushback I have gotten in the past few years.  My friend who made this is very smart, very funny, keeps it real, has an egalitarian viewpoint, and has had my back a few times in the past year (which, I cannot tell you just how much that means to me)...not because we are super tight (no, most of my 'super tight' friends and family members have gone), but just because he is able to see wrong when it rears its ugly head and isn't afraid to jump in and speak up and defend a friend, always in the most intelligent, loving way.  He also always knows just when to step in and break the ice too...with a funny something or other like this.  Hilarious.  I might have to make it my profile picture one day.  LOL.