The Sheltered LifeWritten by Joyce C. Lock
Parents having become volunteer home missionaries (Biblically described as carpenters, today known as church planters), I was raised much like a preacher's kid ~ among preachers, evangelists, missionaries, summer workers, and such. In fact, dad was a licensed preacher, too. Only, not feeling called to lead a church in pastorate position, dad chose not to magnify that office, by way of ordination, so as to not lose his position as a church deacon; as would have otherwise been a requirement, within our given denomination.
Additionally, our home was 'Home away from Home' for countless people in spiritual need and hangout of teen preference. So, we experienced 'church', every day.
Mother also having gift of teaching (for which there was always one more lesson to learn) and being best example I have ever been blessed to witness of someone who truly walked in Spirit, I was not ignorant of such things. In fact, I was mother's pen. Whenever God would give her a new song, poem, or other words to share ... my job was to run and grab a pen and pad then write, as fast as I could, as words flowed through her. And, even though I hadn't first clue as to shorthand, I was best available; for which we, thereafter, would manage to make out all scribbles.
But also, while growing up, my service was welcomed in church. Though it might not have happened that way had we had additional mature laborers, there was no forbidding of literal or spiritual children in serving our Lord ... only a general avoidance of passing on information to one who gossiped.
At age 12, I became church pianist of choice. Serving beside mom, we transformed unwanted nursery duty into a real ministry. On occasion, I taught a children's class and once directed children's choir, always worked in VBS, and many etceteras. And, I must have had some wisdom even then, as adults would come to me for advise.
Among other things, when an adult suddenly resigned from their elected duties, I revamped church library and served as church clerk.
Younger sisters being welcomed to serve also, we improvised a bus ministry. Joining forces, we went on visitation, most every Saturday (except when we used phone), and built our youth into largest group within church. Then, with dad's driving assistance, Sunday mornings were busy picking up loads of children and teens in our family station wagon.
Though, however we served, it was often said we did a better job than adults ... not just better but 'way better'. In fact, at one time or another, I've served in most every church elected position except preacher, deacon, music director, and treasurer.
However, even though not elected for such, I once discretely did hubby's job as church treasurer, too ... mostly because I liked doing it. Though, it was dad who warned me to keep a low profile on that one, due to other's fears regarding church's money.
So, while we females did let men take occasional bows for our service, for a greater good, we never heard of such a doctrine as people supposing to live balanced lives between church and family. That's about same as separation of church and state. The church was our family and our life! Thankfully, our service was never belittled, disregarded, disrespected, or under valued; regardless of age or gender. Had that happened as children, we might have thought God to blame.
All this is to say I received 'what now appears to be' a rarely given opportunity to serve (apart from acceptance of gift of prophesy, which was not then recognized or understood); sheltered from prohibiting doctrines of men.
Only, as one grows up, moves away, finds a new church home, then moves again ... my service became less and less welcomed, my family name further not known (sometimes elected into assistant positions for purpose of training men for those roles) until, one day, I looked around only to discover I was a nobody. Having been stripped of identity, I was no longer a preacher's kid or any variation thereof. All referenced childhood training was spat upon. I was not right gender, not thought good enough to serve for whatever legal reason was invented next, and certainly not of qualified substance to teach a man anything.
Even so, I would have met guidelines for privilege to serve. And though I tried, ever-changing rules of acceptance never did end.
Though, occasionally, under false pretense, request would be made for credentials or some other form of infallible proof as to my calling. I'm a Christian! That's it! Would anyone like to say, "Duh?" And, since when did anyone have to prove good enough, at anything, to serve God? Can't you see Spirit compelling me? The Spirit doesn't lie. So what if God didn't give me an eloquent speech. I don't like limelight, anyway.
All I really wanted was for people to stop running interference, second guessing God's heart when He'd show me people that needed love. Then, if people couldn't do that, to give me a title wherein I wouldn't have to explain every time I breathed in church building.
Little is always much, when done for our Lord. Psalm 37:16, 1 Cor. 5:6 (And, having been welcomed while only children, we proved it to be true.) Faithful is he who calls you who also will do it. 1 Thes. 5:24
What was matter with these people? There were holes in their bags! Blind guides, I guess. (But no, I didn't shout ... even though I could provide a good sermon for them, now.)
There was no way I could doubt in my heart but what such doctrines were wrong. After all, I had been an eye witness and testament against such fallacies. But besides that, regardless of their lack of acceptance, God never stopped calling and that was torment of it all ... to hear cries of God's wounded, to know plight of their souls, to see destruction in making ... without any consideration that God might actually be capable of speaking to me, too; a female, of all things! Only God knows how many times I stood in gap and sobbed in intercession for His wounded saints.
To the Highest Bidder (Part 2)Written by Joyce C. Lock
The antiquity and general acceptance of an opinion is no assurance of its truth. -- Pierre Bayle
Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4
Now works of flesh are manifest, which are these ...
Adultery: I was an husband unto them, saith Lord. Jeremiah 31:32
But as a wife thou committest adultery; taking strangers instead of her husband! Ezekiel 16:32
For they loved praise of men more than praise of God. John 12:43
fornication: doing deeds of your father instead of our Father. John 8:41
uncleanness: despising government; presumptuous, selfwilled, not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 2 Peter 2:10
We are all as an unclean thing; all our righteousnesses as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6
lasciviousness: to work all uncleanness with greediness. Ephes. 4:19
Idolatry: stubbornness. 1 Samuel 15:23
witchcraft: rebellion. 1 Samuel 15:23
hatred: bloodthirsty. Proverbs 29:10; shedding innocent blood. Ezekiel 35:5
variance: causing division. Matthew 10:35
emulations: casting away.
God forbid ... if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if casting away of them be reconciling of world, what shall receiving of them be, but life from dead? Romans 11:11-15
wrath: The law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15
strife: Some preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will. Philip. 1:15
seditions: a pestilent fellow (a mover of sedition); gone about to profane temple: judging according to our law. Acts 24:5-6
heresies: false teachings. 2 Peter 2:1
Envyings: slaying. Job 5:2; hating one another. Titus 3:3
They slay widow and stranger. Psalm 94:6; desolate. 1 Tim. 5:5; pilgrims. 1 Peter 2:11
murders: hate toward our brothers. 1 John 3:15
They murder fatherless. Psalm 94:6; oppressed. Psalm 10:18; him that had none to help him. Job 29:12
Pure religion and undefiled before God and Father is this, To visit fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from world. James 1:27
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, and against adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress hireling in his wages, widow, and fatherless, and that turn aside stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:5
Cursed be he that perverteth judgment of stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all people shall say, Amen. Deut. 27:19
drunkenness: No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. Luke 5:39
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by word of God heavens were of old, and earth standing out of water and in water. 2 Peter 3:5
Whereby world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But heavens and earth, which are now, by same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But day of Lord will come as a thief in night; in which heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and elements shall melt with fervent heat, earth also and works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:6-10
Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! Eccles. 10:17
revellings: Thou shalt not revile gods, nor curse ruler of thy people. Exodus 22:28
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you (persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely), for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 For wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For invisible things of him from creation of world are clearly seen, being understood by things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:18-20