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Hello and welcome to Fresh Perspectives! In 2015 we spent time learning about a modern-day Eve. We read about her dream (to be a pastor), we learned about her gifts (teaching, encouraging, and praying), we came to understand her setbacks (very few female pastors ever get hired in Evangelical churches), and we saw God work in her life when she was asked to be the pastor at a retirement centre. Join me during this next year as we follow Eve further along her journey. As for me, I will be blogging as a Modern-Day Mary Magdalene -- read why here -- If you want to read more about my journey to possession see my memoir Saving Mary: The Possession. Also, my newest book in The Testimony Series is now available...

Monday, November 14, 2016

the sin of Noah

The Redemption Story—True Baptism

God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you... (1 Pe 3:20–21)

Imagine that the ark has landed safely upon the mountains of Ararat and after waiting for dry land to appear, Noah then sets out. Noah is commanded by God to come out of the ark two by two—Noah with his wife—followed by theirs sons with theirs wives. Unfortunately, Noah exits with his sons by his side. 

After Noah’s whole family exits then the animals exit. They exit two by two—male united with female. Bears: male and female; monkeys: male and female; lizards: male and female. The only pair that emerges differently is Noah and his family. They don’t come out two by two, male united with female as God commanded. They come out male united with male, and female united with female. Noah came out of the waters of baptism unchanged. Change is uncomfortable, after all. It goes against the flow; it rocks the boat. It Noah’s case, it would have changed the world. 

In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. —Gen 8:14-18; bold mine. 

But because of Noah’s sin, the order of this new world was set. From the point of Noah onward, God worked within Noah’s chosen paradigm of fathers united with sons. Consequently, because of Noah’s choice, God blessed not Noah and his wife—as He originally blessed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—but rather, in this new world, God blessed Noah and his sons.

But if Noah and the flood happen to be a prophetic example of Christ’s baptism, as scripture tells us it is then we should ask ourselves: Do we see the continued example of male united with male working through the New Testament? After all, it is in the New Testament where the spiritual reality of baptism finally takes place. Picture this: Jesus, the image of the invisible father, the one who said “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9) comes out of the waters of baptism and then goes off to choose his twelve apostles—the sons of Israel. After teaching them, Jesus then begins to send them out into the fields to work. Notice how he sends them out:

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two,  and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. —Mk 6:7; underline mine.

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others [“others” meaning heteros, plural masculine] also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. —Lk 10:1-2, NKJV; underline and additions mine

With only half of the Christian population working in the fields, certainly it was true—the laborers were few! The women were missing; consequently, God's mandate to Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply... and have dominion” (Fruitful meaning: growing in the character of God. Multiply meaning: creating new disciples. Dominion meaning: let male and female have authority together--see my Blog Post on this HERE) could not be completely achieved without the women by their side. And Jesus was well aware of this.

Noah: A Story of Hope and Prophecy

Noah’s story is one of hope. The hope Noah’s father had when his wife gave birth to their first son: “This one will bring us relief from work!” Lamech’s hope was that through this son, all men might find relief from laboring in the fields—and thanks to Noah—yes, this did happen. After all, just after God blessed Noah and his sons with domination, God then allowed men to hunt and fish: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything” (Gen 9:3). Before this, the men worked the ground and were vegetarians. Adding this additional food source gave some relief to the men (fish would have been particularly abundant at this time due to the flood waters). But to the men who were chosen to follow Christ, the words they heard when Jesus approached them were, “Come, I will make you fishers of men!” A new harvest field was suddenly introduced; working in this new environment, as you may imagine, was still an awful lot of work. And Jesus’ answer was, “If you want help, you are going to have to pray for additional workers to be released.”

But Noah’s story is also one of prophecy. Noah came out of the waters of baptism without woman by his side; and without the “help” of woman, the work was too great. Woman is anointed to be the “helper.” This is not a word that designates woman as a mere subordinate or assistant. This word helper “ezer” means “the one who comes to the rescue.” In other words, when things get overwhelming, when things have gone wrong, when, finally, you cry out for help, woman will come to your aid. She will be the partner that stands with you to get the work done. 

Then the lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” —Gen 2:18

                                Hear, o lord, and be gracious to me!

                                o lord, be my helper! —Ps 30:10

Just as the warrior Barak relied on Deborah the judge to be at his side, saying, “If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go” (Judg 4:8), today Christian hearts are changing. Men are looking around for help and they are finding it in women. The truth is, we are meant to exit the waters of baptism changed, new creations, loving both God and our neighbor in radical ways; we are meant to work the harvest field together, with no one gender demanding authority over the other. The story of Noah means relief from work for men and a place of authority for women. Both of us working in unity under the blessing not of domination but of God-inspired dominion. 

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
 —1 Tim 4:4-5

the sin of noah
the sin of noah
the sin of Noah

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

the sin of noah


God commanded Noah to come out of the ark with his wife, but Noah disobeyed.
Ultimately, Noah had a chance for complete renewal—the reversing of the fall. But Noah’s heart (whether he realized it or not) did not wish to rule with his wife as God had first ordained dominion in the Garden of Eden:
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. —Gen 1:26-27
Noah preferred his own gender; he preferred to rule with his sons. Maybe, by this time, due to the fall of Eve in the Garden of Eden, men had become accustomed to ruling over their wives:
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." —Gen 3:16
Maybe, after losing everything in the garden, this small bit of authority gave men a feeling of importance and prestige, or maybe Noah simply forgot what true love was:
You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. —Jas 2:8-9

Although God had chosen Noah because he was “a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen 6:9), Noah fell short. His heart proved to lack in love because of the sin of partiality. Noah chose to rule with his sons despite God’s command to stand beside his wife. 

sin of noah

Because of Noah’s sin, the order of the new world was set. From this point onward, God worked within Noah’s chosen paradigm of fathers united with sons. Consequently, because of Noah’s choice, God blessed not Noah and his wife—as He originally blessed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—but rather, in this new world, God blessed Noah and his sons:

Imagine the setting, God calls out Noah and his wife with the intent to bless this new couple as they begin fresh; however, Noah walks out without his wife and in her place he has set his sons. God's intent to bless is still there, but the blessing is profoundly different from that of Adam and Eve's.

Noah and Sons’ Blessing:       

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” —Gen 9:1-4, bold mine

 Adam and Eve’s Blessing:

God blessed them [Adam and Eve], and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” —Gen 1:28

What fathers and sons received was not dominion; what they received was domination: “The fear and dread of you will be on all that moves.” (It is also interesting to note that at this juncture humans lose their vegetarian status--now they are free to eat any living thing.) In the garden (before the fall) there was no fear, there was no dread. There was simply the joy of unity, of man and woman being who they were created to be, children of God—neighbors with authority. But now things had changed. Now, not only would the husband rule his wife, now men and sons would dominate the landscape. And certainly, from this point onward, men and sons dominate our scriptures; and throughout the course of history, they have dominated the world; and even today, though many have repented, men and sons within our churches continue to uphold a doctrine of domination.

Through Noah, we see the heart of man as he cries out for his sons to walk at his side, to be his partners in work and life. We view this theme through Abraham’s tension with his sons Isaac and Ishmael, through Leah and Rebecca’s competition to conceive sons for Jacob (Gen 30:20). We see it in Israel (the father) and the jealousy of his twelve sons in regards to Joseph; and we view it in Aaron and his lineage of priestly sons. Fathers and sons are certainly blessed—with domination. But the true blessing is the one God gave man and woman—dominion.
Dominion: United responsibility over a homeland.
Domination: Imposed control or power over another.
Sadly, we are currently living in a time of domination. We see this philosophy woven throughout cultures and throughout world religions. Take note of the links below and ask yourself if there is a difference between the religious beliefs surrounding women in Saudi Arabia and women living in the USA within the Christian group known as the “patriarchal movement.”  I’d like to know your thoughts.

Part Four of The Sin of Noah Coming Soon!

sin of noah
sin of noah

sin of noah

Friday, September 23, 2016

the sin of noah


This may be one of the most important teachings you will read, simply because we’ve gotten it so wrong for so very, very long and a change needs to occur for our own good. Let’s start with a short story: I was sitting in my hairdresser’s reception room waiting for my appointment. On the table before me was a local paper, so I picked it up and started reading. An Amish man was being interviewed. The question posed to him was, “Are you planning to vote for Trump?” The Amish man responded by describing the voting habits of the Amish—they don’t usually vote. He then went on to say that he didn’t know if he would ever vote for Trump because of his large ego (not very Godly). He also said Mrs. Clinton couldn’t win because, well… she’s a woman and women shouldn’t be leading. He then described how the problems of the modern world began with the feminist movement and women getting the right to vote. The reporter quoted him as saying that men used to rule the world and that’s how God likes it.
            It’s a very real world view. And it’s not just the Amish who believe it. Christians and almost every other religion in the world believe this to be true—men are God’s appointed leaders. And if men are the leaders, then women are the followers. But what if this isn’t God’s will? What if this teaching--men united with men in the duties of leading women--is in fact the opposite of God’s will?

The Beginning of Salvation--Noah

In getting to know Noah, the first thing to notice is that his name means literally “rest”:
When Lamech had lived one hundred eighty-two years, he became the father of a son; he named him Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.” —Gen 5:28-29 
It’s no coincidence that the name Noah means “rest.” Take a moment to remember, the men during Noah’s time had been working the ground since the days of Adam. With the birth of Noah, Lamech’s hope was for a little relief from the toil of working the ground that had been cursed during the fall of Adam:
Cursed is the ground because of you [Adam]; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  —Gen 3:17-18, bold mine
The men had been working for a harvest of food—and it was seriously tough work. ALL PEOPLE WERE VEGETARIANS AT THIS TIME. Perhaps in the mind of Lamech the name Noah was a prophetic declaration to end the curse. Or at the very least, Noah (Lamech’s first-born son) would be sure to bring him some personal relief since there was now another set of hands able to work the fields with him.
As the story of Noah goes, the world was now fully corrupt with sin and violence: “The lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). (Read my appendix “A Short Description of Hell” in Studying … The Testimony to understand the depth of sin during this time.) Therefore, God came up with a plan. He would send a cleansing flood across the whole earth to purge sin; however, he would save one family by having a man build an ark sturdy enough to withstand the coming waters. This ark would be a place of refuge, a boat big enough to house an entire family—not to mention a multitude of rambunctious animals. Through this family unit, God would begin again. The family God chose to save was, of course, Noah’s. God chose Noah because he was the one righteous person left on earth. We are told in Genesis 6:9-10 that Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Noah also had a wife.)
So this is what we know about Noah:
1.      His name means “rest.”
2.      Hopefully he would bring relief for the men from the toil of working the fields.
3.      He was the one righteous man on earth and he walked with God.
4.      He had three sons and a wife (and his sons also had wives).
5.      He would build an ark.
6.     Through Noah’s family unit, God would give the earth and the people a fresh start—a new birth. A universal restoration would take place.
In due course, the directive for Noah to build the ark was sent out. Noah dutifully responded. Once the ark was built, God said to Noah:
But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.Gen 6:18-19; italics mine.
Stop here and notice how God told Noah to go into the ark: “you, your sons, your wife and your son’s wives.” Also notice how God told Noah to bring with him two of every kind of animal—male and female. Now take a moment to picture Noah entering the ark with his sons, following them come the women, and after the women come the animals, two by two. The humans enter male united with male, female united with female, and the animals enter male united with female. This choreographed escape becomes our template for restoration. Why? Because Peter describes Noah’s salvation through water as a prediction of Christ’s coming baptism:
God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  —1 Pet 3:20-21 

Baptism = Restoration

God came up with a plan to bring about a universal restoration. Through the waters of “baptism,” God would save the family unit and through that family unit He would replenish the world with righteousness and restore everything that had been lost through the onslaught of sin. In the early stages of Noah’s story everything went as planned: the rains came, the family entered into the ark in the order of the fall (see Gen 3:16 -- Adam rules over Eve), everyone was saved, along with the animals both male and female. Eventually the flood waters subsided and the ark came to rest on dry ground. It was here where God then commanded Noah to come out of the ark:
In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. —Gen 8:14-18; bold mine.
In the above verses, we learn that God told Noah to come out of the ark in a different order. No longer did God want Noah united with his sons, in a leadership position. Instead, God wanted to see Noah walk side by side with his wife: “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives.”  After all, the waters of restoration had just saved this family—restoration by its very nature requires a total healing, a restructuring needed to be done. But unfortunately the ties that bind don’t break easily—Noah didn’t exit with his wife. Instead, Noah walked out of God’s waters of baptism united with his sons.
Imagine the ark with all the animals departing in pairs—two by two—male united with female. Bears: male and female; monkeys: male and female; lizards: male and female. The only pair that emerges differently is Noah and his family. They don’t come out two by two, male united with female as God commanded. They come out male united with male, and female united with female. Noah and his family came out of the waters of baptism unchanged: they came out the same way they went in.

The Outcome - Evil Hearts

It was after Noah’s unfortunate exodus that he immediately set up a burnt offering, probably to say “thank you” for having been saved. You would think, at this point—since Noah was the only righteous man on earth—that God would have been greatly pleased with Noah. Instead God said:
And when the lord smelled the pleasing odor, The lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth.” —Gen 8:21
            The inclination—or the bend of the human heart—is toward evil. Noah’s action, or rather his inaction (his inability to trust God) has proven the state of the human heart. This is an issue that no curse or punishment can solve. What Noah needed was a new heart—new life. Don’t get me wrong, Noah was a good, decent man, but in the end even his heart inclined toward evil:
            The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
            but the lord tests the heart. —Prov 17:3

 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. --Eze 36:25–26


sin of noah
sin of Noah

I am using The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The following is taken from Wm. Paul Young's blog:

Today's the day! Richard Rohr and I are doing a live webcast from 4:30 - 630pm (MDT). If interested, Join us by registering here. (or simply learn more here).
Also as a bit of a preview, the following is an excerpt from the foreward that I wrote for Richard Rohr's new book that is coming out soon, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. Enjoy!

"There is a rising rumble, like a midnight train approaching through the wastelands. Not only do we hear it from the distance, but we can feel it if we put our hands on the ground or in the water or in the torn bread and poured out wine. The rumor in the deep places of our souls is that there is a party going on, and we can scarce trust our invitation. Could there ever be a toast raised to us? Might a hand reach out and lead us into the divine dance, whispering in our ears that we were always made for this? And so we wait for the kiss, the breath in and out that awakens our sleeping hearts to life. We were made for this, utterly found within Relentless Affection!
There is a community of intelligent mystics who are speaking with profound compassion and authenticity, daring to accept this table fellowship themselves, and reminding others they we too received an invitation. Richard Rohr is one of these voices, calling us forward and inviting us to actively change what we let into our hearts, calling us to consciously participate in this Divine Dance of loving and being loved.
We have watched the waters recede over the last few hundred years, and with this came a sense of ebbing hope. But as we challenge and change what we let into our hearts, we realize: we have not been forsaken nor abandoned, and what we thought we were losing was a gathering. Waters made of many voices rise into a fountain of life that is collecting dreams: of expectancy and chronic wonder and longing love – the cusp of a new reformation, and release of renaissance. As wonderful as revival has been, it has never been enough. We have witnessed the shattering of the old wineskins and watched the blood-red wine absorbed into the ground. For those with eyes to see, they look out from a towering and rising mass of living water about to crash upon this planet. For those whose eyes have not yet been healed, those ‘born blind’: although we cannot see it, we can feel it coming.
The children of this approaching re-forming of the very ways we think and see, will respond quickly and easily. The elders of the empires will take much more work. They are not to be discarded, though, for love never rejects a single bit of bread nor drop of wine."

As Christians we talk about a personal relationship with a Living God. So it stands to reason that the Holy Spirit would lead us and teach us in very personal ways. Jesus talked about this in John 14:16-21.

I believe we are being guided into "all truth" in a personal, gentle way.  And as we ask questions and ask the Spirit to reveal truth to us we shouldn't be surprised to get the answers! Even though, I confess, it still blows my mind. I mean seriously, the God of the universe wants to speak to me!!! It’s so awesome and it never gets old.

Back in July of this year I asked the Holy Spirit: “What does it mean to be blameless?” Before I share the answer with you, I need to take you back to where this question really began. It goes back to the spring of 2011 when I asked God another question, in a not so gentle way.

You see, I was angry, very angry. My good friend and family member had just died. She died young. Dead before her 40th birthday. On this particular day, I had another no-show appointment at an apartment we were trying to rent. That was the tipping point. As I was driving away from the waste-of-my-time-appointment and since I was alone in the car, I decided to let God have it. I screamed at the top of my lungs and I distinctly remember asking, “What the *#$% really matters?!!!!!!” I wanted desperately to understand, in light of how quick this life can end, WHAT REALLY MATTERS?

Later that evening, I was reading my Bible and these two verses jumped off the page: “I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand WHAT REALLY MATTERS, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns.” Philippians 1:9-10 NLT

Ohhhhhhhhhh. Okay. LOVE. Overflow in love. And for the next four years I tried to focus on the first part of that verse – LOVE. It is the most important. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.” That is a journey – everyday – learning to grow in love. To receive it and to give it.  LOVE.  The rest of the verse sounded “nice,” but I didn’t really give it a lot of thought until this summer. Which brings me back to the question, “What does it mean to be blameless?”

As the good church girl – never really rebelling in any overt action – I think I thought being blameless and pure was all about outward actions: my behaviour. This is all up to me. I’d better keep all my actions “right” then somehow I will be sure to be in a better position to judge others who are getting the required actions “wrong.” No self-righteousness there at all, eh? That’s a lot of pressure. And not so much fun either. Sure, it kept me out of trouble, but I wasn’t living free and enjoying the good things God has given us to enjoy either. I was always worried about whether a particular action was okay or not.

Psalm 119:1-2 NET
How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey (meaning: “walk in”) the law of the Lord.

So I asked again:

“Holy Spirit help me see the meaning – the truth—the connection, what does it mean to live blameless? To walk in the law of the Lord as a new covenant believer?
Do I need to make a new list of dos and don’ts? Do I need to keep a check list? You have already freed me from the bondage of religion, yet I want even more freedom with you. Help me to live free and blameless before you. How do I do that?”

The answer for me (remember – God is personal and this is what I needed to hear) came through a book I was reading at the time A Beautiful Mess by Danielle Strickland. In the book Danielle quotes Mother Teresa, “Spend an hour with God every day and don’t do anything you know is wrong.”  This made sense to me. I can do this. Spend time with God. Stay away from what I know to be wrong.  Later the next day I read Job 1:1 NLT “There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.”  And there it is, fear God, stay away from evil. Blameless.

The Holy Spirit was also kind enough to give me these words in my spirit “celebrate life.” So, for me, how to be blameless = Fear God and stay away from evil. Don’t do anything you know is wrong – as for everything else? I am free to enjoy, to celebrate life!

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