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MS.Serena.Fox

Honored But Nervous

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I attend a small but loving country church. We have recently had a changing of pastors. While we waited for a new pastor, many were left somewhat spiritually dry. Our "dry season" continues as we settle into the new and different routine. One of our Deacon's Wives tries to replenish our spirit with regular fellowship functions. She is a treasure among women, and has been planning a Ladies Paint Party. We have had one, if not two before, and the turn out was wonderful. This time we are doing things just a little bit different. 

 

She has asked me to give a brief opening devotional. I imagine she asked me because I am known for my crazy antics, zany charm and quit wit, on top of having a diverse eye when it comes to explaining scriptures in modern terms. I am the church clown I guess you could say. My spirit seems to help other be at ease. Many complement my way with words and say that I help them see the Word in a whole new way. 

 

Since this is going to be a crafty gathering, I knew right away what I wanted to talk about. I would refer back to when God gave the newly freed people of Israel detailed instructions on how to carry out the crafting of every piece of HIS tabernacle. These people had no crafting skills since they had been slaves for some 400 years. The point of my presentation would be that God gave them the knowledge and talent to carry out the production of these beautiful crated items. 

 

Well, since accepting the honor, men have decided that they would like to join the festivities this time. I am not an eloquent speaker, and I have old ideals concerning headship. If a woman is more spiritually qualified than a man, and there is no other man available to accept the spiritual leading position, only then can a woman, in my opinion "teach" a man. Now that the event is opened to men, I feel fairly confident that the new preacher will attend since he is trying to build fellowship with his new congregation. I do not feel it is right for a woman to "teach" a spiritually superior and perfectly capable man. My congregation does not feel as strongly toward these "old ways" as I do. 

 

I would welcome your opinions thoughts and advice. 

 

First of all should I alter my topic? Of course God will give me HIS message, but do you have any ideas of a better painting party devotional?

 

Should I decline since men will be attending? Despite my beliefs, I am not led to decline. There were women disciples who taught, and men who did come to hear them. These female disciples knew there was a possibility, but did not intend to teach men.

 

Does anyone have any words of wisdom concerning a woman knowingly teaching of a man?

 

Thanks in advance.  

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Okay. This is my take. I don't believe you would be teaching as such. The men already know the Bible happenings. You are voicing something of value. You are adding that value to enhance the reason for the meeting. I don't think I would change your topic. If you still have qualms, I would talk with the deacon's wife who asked you to do this. Praying for guidance and all you need. :D

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

and I have old ideals concerning headship.

 

12 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

My congregation does not feel as strongly toward these "old ways" as I do. 

 

what I have to offer you is encouragement; to find understanding and then be guided. If what matters the most....is that you adhere to the convictions God has placed on your heart.... then you will go forward in the peace HE brings. You mentioned the "old ideals, the old ways", and if those are your ideals and your ways then to go outside of them will create conflict and confusion. No harm in seeking the wisdom and advice of others, but not so much as to find an immediate answer but to search your own heart and find resolve. Blessings to you.  Wow I just reread what I wrote. Hope I didn't come across as being preachy....o_O

Edited by Woman-of-Hope
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I agree with Lynn.  I don't think you will be teaching.  Leading a devotion time is more about creating an atmosphere of worship.  Seems like you're going to be clowning around and having too much fun to 'impart academic learning'.  

You are not responsible for what your hearers do with what you present.  

Would your feel more comfortable if you start with a disclaimer?  My friend's dad didn't want a funeral, so when the family insisted on attending the burial, my friend made a speech about 'this is not a funeral'.  

"I am not teaching anybody anything tonight.  I strictly command you not to learn from what I say."  (I know you will do it with more grace)  

 

As for the Israelites not knowing anything, I have read that they were the craftsmen who executed the Egyptian plans.  They took the knowledge with them when they left.  The Jewish people have preserved, and carried through the centuries, knowledge that goes back to the Egyptians.  Nicholas can set us straight here.  

 

Yes, God gave them extra direction and skill, supernatural on top of what humans had at the time, but I wouldn't paint them as perfectly ignorant slaves.  

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Posted (edited)

@Woman-of-Hope I did not consider you as being"preachy" at all. I appreciate the words of encouragement. I thank you for the carefully thought out reply. I will carry your sentiments with me as I prepare this piece.

 

@Nicola you are just delicious to me! I never even thought to go back to the crafting influence of the Egyptians. I'm so going to incorporate that. Thank you! :) 

Thank you all. I am so blessed to have found this site. I appreciate you all.

 

I almost forgot to tell you all. I was commissioned for a second piece today. I have been asked to write a High School 20 year reunion memoriam for their fallen classmates. What I write will be framed and given to the families. I am very humbled and honored by this opportunity as well. I covet your prayers as I attempt to put my best foot forward and begin to build my portfolio. 

Edited by MS.Serena.Fox

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What a wonderful opportunity! I’ll be covering you in prayer. As for a woman teaching a man, I’ll echo what others have said—approach it as an opportunity to share what God has given you. You will be a blessing to them!

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Posted (edited)

Online it said that a typical devotion was about 200 words, but this one will be read aloud. How do you feel about the length? Would someone mind telling me their opinions on the content, and possibly help me with any grammar errors of this piece? Thanks in advance.

 

Paint Party Devotional: Fellowship

 

When asked to do this, since the occasion is a paint party, my first instinct was to talk about the craftsmanship that went into the building of the mobile Tabernacle that traveled with the Israelites through the wilderness. I wanted to encourage your creativity today by drawing your attention to all the details that went into the construction and furnishings, right down to the utensils. The scripture of focus was Exodus 31:6 which reveals that God gave certain people the foreknowledge of how to craft all the pieces.

 

When I tried, on several occasions to write the words, something always seemed to get in the way; the phone would ring, the computer didn’t work… any of a number of distractions. I wasn’t worried. I knew what story I wanted to tell, so it would practically write itself. Finally, one Saturday morning, all was quiet, and I was able to get to it.

 

The best place to start any project is in prayer. So, I began that morning by asking God for HIS words and not my own. Guess what happened? Tedious Craftsmanship of HIS Tabernacle is not what we’re going to talk about today. HIS idea is so much better. :) If you will give me a few more moments of your time, we are going to talk about fellowship.

 

 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works

Hebrews 10:24

 

Let us consider one another

    

What does that mean, to consider? According to Webster's definition, it means; "pay attention to," "think carefully about," "make allowance for," or "regard" someone or something.[G1] 

 

We’re all going through at least one something. In the midst of your "something", you were loving enough to join us today. As your Christian sister let me be the first to say thank you for coming to refill my Spiritual cup that does tend to get dry. You may not have even realized that as a representative of God, you were considering my needs automatically. Your arms are HIS arms when you embrace me with loving hugs. Likewise, my arms are HIS arms and [G2] WE want to hug you too.

 

In order to stir up love

 

What do you think about when you hear that phrase? For me, it’s my mom baking goodies. She was always happiest when she was in the kitchen “cookin’ for the kids.” I’d sometimes ask her as the first batch of cookies came out, or with the first fork full of moist cake what it was that she did to make it taste so good. She would smile and say, “secret ingredient”.

 

One time she slipped up and revealed that secret ingredient of hers was a “spoonful of love.”  As you dip your brush in to mix the paint or stir in water to clean it off, give it a little extra twirl today and think about the invisible fragrance of your love wafting through this room. Then take a deep breath and get some refreshing love for yourself.

 

And good works

 

 Have you ever heard someone say, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” It’s true. As you look around you will no doubt be amazed at the talent that your brothers and sisters have. There are sure to be plenty of "good works" produced here today. But don't shortchange your own. 

 

You are a child of God, and HE is so proud of your work. You’re HIS arm, so HE fellowshipped with you as you painted it. HIS love for you is stirred into every brush stroke. HE sees HIS work in what HE has made, YOU, and it is good.

 

God bless and happy painting. 

 

Edited by MS.Serena.Fox

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Wow, I love this Serena! It makes you think about the smallest interaction with others. I’ve tried to be helpful by suggesting tighter sentences, and providing examples. I hope I don’t come off as trying to rewrite your sentences (which is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I’m feeling a bit hypocritical right now, lol).

 

First paragraph:

 

1) I would take out “mobile” as it made me think of a car. “...that traveled with the Israelites” is enough to convey the idea. 2) I’m not sure that I would start it out as “When asked to do this, since the occasion is a paint party...” Maybe instead you could say something like, “When asked to lead a paint party devotional...” or “My first instinct in writing a paint party devotional...” 3) I’d drop “the” in between “into” and “building”. Also, I didn’t quote it, but in that last part of the first paragraph, “scripture” should be capitalized.

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

When I tried, on several occasions to write the words, something always seemed to get in the way; the phone would ring, the computer didn’t work… any of a number of distractions. I wasn’t worried. I knew what story I wanted to tell, so it would practically write itself. Finally, one Saturday morning, all was quiet, and I was able to get to it.

 

I think it would read tighter to say something like, “Every time I tried to write the words...” And you might tighten “I knew what story I wanted to tell, so it would practically write itself”, to “The story I wanted to tell would practically write itself.”

 

In fact (and I don’t mean to take out all of your words), these first two paragraphs are a bit of rambling as you feel your way into this devotional, explaining how you got here. A tighter introduction would be, “I intended to share on the craftsmanship that went into building the Tabernacle, but when I prayed for wisdom in leading this paint party devotional, He directed me to fellowship.”

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

As your Christian sister let me be the first to say thank you for coming to refill my Spiritual cup that does tend to get dry.

 

Comma in between “sister” and “let”.

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

I’d sometimes ask her as the first batch of cookies came out, or with the first fork full of moist cake what it was that she did to make it taste so good.

 

Personally, this is how I’d start this sentence: “When the first batch of cookies came out of the oven, or after my first bite of moist cake, I’d sometimes ask her what it was...”

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

One time she slipped up and revealed that secret ingredient of hers was a “spoonful of love.”

 

How about “one day” instead of “one time”? I’d put “her” between “that” and “secret”, and drop “of hers”. 

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

As you dip your brush in to mix the paint or stir in water to clean it off, give it a little extra twirl today and think about the invisible fragrance of your love wafting through this room.

 

I’d take out “in” between “brush” and “to”. Instead of saying “stir in water to clean it off” you might simply say “rinse it off”. The word “today” could be omitted, and I would put a comma after “twirl”. 

 

5 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

Then take a deep breath and get some refreshing love for yourself.

 

I love this idea, but I’d reword it. Maybe, “Then breathe deeply of God’s refreshing love.”

 

The quote option is messing up on me, so I’m just going to write out the sentences from here on.....

 

“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”: “eye”.

 

“You’re HIS arm, so HE fellowshipped with you as you painted it.” Did you mean for this to be in future tense or past tense? I’m not sure when your reading the devotional, before or after the paint party.

 

This is a great devotional, and I have no doubt it will bless your painting group. Back in my blogging days, God revealed a very profound truth to me—“Each person is unique, designed to bless the heart of God in a way that no one else can.” Thanks for sharing, Serena. God’s blessings on your devotional and painting party! I hope this helped you.

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6 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

As your Christian sister let me be the first to say thank you for coming to refill my Spiritual cup that does tend to get dry.

 

Yes, comma after sister as Dramedy mentioned. Spiritual is not capitalized.

 

6 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

One time she slipped up and revealed that secret ingredient of hers was a “spoonful of love.”

 

One time [or day, whichever you use} {comma}, she slipped and revealed her secret ingredient was "a spoonful of love." 

 

6 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

I’d sometimes ask her as the first batch of cookies came out, or with the first fork full of moist cake what it was that she did to make it taste so good.

 

Sometimes, I would ask her, as she took the first batch of cookies out of the oven or as I took my first fork-full of moist cake, what she did to make it taste so good. 

 

Nice job! :D

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Posted (edited)

@Dramedy Writer

THANK YOU! I appreciate all of your time and suggestions. These are so thoughtful and helpful. I am going to get busy rewriting my next draft first thing in the morning. 

@lynnmosher

THANK YOU! You are always sure to help heal my injured rambling LOL. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you. I have learned more in the last month or so from this site than in the past year on my own. 2 years really, that is how long I have been working on my 4th book, so far. 

God has blessed me with the both of you. 

Edited by MS.Serena.Fox
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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 10:11 PM, MS.Serena.Fox said:

Does anyone have any words of wisdom concerning a woman knowingly teaching of a man?

 

It's already been said by the others, but a devotional really is different from teaching,

 

Regarding the man thing, if you don't mind a suggestion from a guy- maybe lighten up a little before you start?  It's supposed to be a fun gathering, yes?  

 

And, well, keep it brief.  I like your example about God giving the abilities, and, as a guy, I'd like to hear the short form and then get to the activities.  Also, if there's food, you've got a captive audience!

 

This sounds like a great forum for bringing people together and you seem like an easy person to like, so I'm sure it will be not only fun, but inspirational.

 

One more thing, I'd bring some tarps.  Most of us guys are kind of sloppy.:)

Edited by suspensewriter
confusing wording
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@suspensewriter

Thank you for your valuable masculine feed back always. I certainly appreciate any and all information you are willing to share with me, especial from a Christian male perspective. Access to that is very limited for me. 

 

"as a guy, I'd like to hear the short form and then get to the activities." This is very helpful. I was torn on weather I should draw it out longer.  

 

12 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

 

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Good for you for hearing and obeying God's voice.  He can be trusted to know the personal message to the specific hearts gathered in your hearing.  

Thank you for sharing the Word with us!  Your message resonates with me... 'Scuse me while I go paint my expressed love for this community....

 

Writing for speech is different from writing for reading.  The more conversational you keep your tone, the less teacherly you will seem.  I was thinking about the humour Suspensewriter suggested. You might consider saying something like, "At first I was going to tell you about the artisans of the Tabernacle.  Do you know how much linen they had to weave for the outer fence alone? "(then you throw a bunch of statistics at them.  You could continue with the statistics for another sentence or two) Then pause for effect and say, "Aren't you glad God had a better message for you today?"

Just a thought.  I love the way you have written this and I believe your group will thrive on it.  

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@Nicola

I have only been affiliated with this site for a short time, but I have grown accustomed to the wonderful advise and generous structure definitions you share with me. Thank you so much!

 

19 hours ago, Nicola said:

 'Scuse me while I go paint my expressed love for this community....

This made me actually laugh. To know one has inspired another, even figuratively is such an uplifting tool and you wield it with expertise. 

 

Quote
19 hours ago, Nicola said:

You could continue with the statistics for another sentence or two) Then pause for effect and say, "Aren't you glad God had a better message for you today?"

 

This is a great ice breaker to relieve any possible tension. I do meet with a little adversity from some of the more military minded folks that go to my church, who may be offset by my speaking. 

 

Excuse my wordy-ness. I forced myself not to write yesterday and take a break, I am off from my physical job today and alone at home, therefore I am able to concentrate. My literary juices are raring like race horses... HA!

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9 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

I have only been affiliated with this site for a short time, but I have grown accustomed to the wonderful advise and generous structure definitions you share with me.

I have received my share of delight here.  We are a piece of heaven, taking joy in the Lord and each other, and rejoicing in the work we all accomplish. 

 

9 hours ago, MS.Serena.Fox said:

. I do meet with a little adversity from some of the more military minded folks that go to my church, who may be offset by my speaking. 

God bless the Pharisees. They think they mean so well.  Do you need a sign to hang on the podium?  "I am not teaching today." 

 

9 hours ago, Woman-of-Hope said:

When will you be delivering the devotional. I am eager to hear how everything went

Ditto!

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