Module One Appendix One – For Men & Women

CCIM College: Appendix ONE – for Men & Women  

* inserted as a follow-up from our last chapter regarding Women

For Men

This material was originally prepared in response to a request from a Pastor in India: 

“Sister I need a study or a sermon on husband and wife relationship according to Bible or marital life with Christ because in our church we have many broken families.  Women are hard working and their husbands are fully drunkards and they beat their wives like anything.  Kindly I need a sermon like how they can change their husbands …..” 

We acknowledge that without the inner transformative power of our Lord Jesus Christ none of us can ever be changed.  This material simply seeks to take men through a short study of the scriptures in regards to the value of every human being, forgiveness and redemption found at the cross of Christ, the heart of God over each of us and how these things play out in the roles and responsibilities of leadership and within the context of marriage. 

We pray the Lord’s quickening of our words, but we particularly agree to the quickening of His words found in scripture.  This we have sought to faithfully give. 

We suggest that you teach this material in smaller portions than all at once.  Take a few concepts at a time.  Most of all have the Holy Spirit lead you as you teach this. Remember that it is in compassion and safe places and in honour that we are equipped and open to changed hearts.  Lead in this way as you teach the men.  

Ensure that your own heart is in forgiveness towards them and your teaching will inhabit the heart of God for them.  We pray transformation and the peace of Christ brought to lives in the name and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Contents to Come

  • Stewardship   
  • Women are Equal Partners
  • You are Enough in Christ
  • Life has Problems and Redemption
  • One Day at a Time
  • Commitment to a Bigger Way
  • Loose off Guilt
  • Take on Compassion
  • Jesus Models Regard for Women
  • Leaders Take 100% Responsibility
  • You are More Powerful than You Know
  • Stand Before God with a Well Done!
  • A Churches Response to Women

Stewardship

In this life everything we are given is a gift from God. Right from the beginning of the world God put Adam and Eve as overseers and stewards of all He had made. 

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15 ESV

To be a steward is to be given a trust, to be entrusted with something.   As stewards of God’s kingdom we will all answer to Him one day for what we did or didn’t do with what we were entrusted.  Our actions matter, the choices we make matter. 

We have responsibility to God for how we live our lives and the manner in which we go through our days.  We have responsibility in regards to how we treat each other.  We will give account for how we brought the Spirit of Christ into all of our dealings. 

Yet right from the beginning things have gone wrong.  Adam and Eve sinned in not believing God and ever since men and women have tried to do life apart from Him. It hasn’t turned out so well. 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23 ESV

There has been much conflict and difficulty. We use and abuse each other.  We hurt and cause harm to others and ourselves.  It is easy to see that we are lost without God’s touch upon our hearts and minds and lives. 

Thankfully God stepped in by sending his son Jesus Christ to take care of our sin natures. 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”   John 3:16-17 ESV

The good news is that Jesus takes full responsibility for the things we have done to each other.  He bore the burden of our sin on the cross.  We are told that we can now take hold of this new gift of life and grace that Jesus made possible for us. 

We simply receive Christ and the gift of life that he bought for us, 

“Jesus I realize that there are many things I cannot make right.  There are many things that I struggle with and on my own these are just too much.  But I hear that you are interested in walking alongside me and within me. I’d like this.  I agree today to your redeeming my life and me.  I want to do life with you.  I welcome you to guide me and to show me how to live. Amen” 

As we turn toward Jesus Christ He enables us to live different kinds of lives with ourselves and with others. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Our spiritual eyes are opened in new ways and we begin living differently. 

Women are Equal Partners

One of the first ways that God’s heart begins to show through our hearts is in our treatment of each other.  Receiving God’s love and grace and forgiveness into our own lives enables us to show God’s love and grace and forgiveness to others.  We are supernaturally equipped to do life. 

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”  Ephesians 4:2 ESV

For men this begins at home with your wife and children.  Whenever any of us come to God, turning to Christ, we realize every single human being has incredible value and worth. God has made every single one precious in His sight. 

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27 ESV

We find in fact that men and women are created equal in God’s sight and we recognize where we have been unjust in our treatment of the women around us. 

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28 ESV

At the same time we are often stuck in patterns of ill treatment towards each other.  Here too we turn to Christ and invite and rely on Him to change us from the inside out. 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 ESV

We are all entrusted with the hearts of each other to care for, to nurture, to love.  A man is gifted and entrusted with a wife; she is his most important stewardship opportunity.  One day each man will stand before God and answer for the way he treated her and her children. 

You are Enough in Christ

This is a big task and the most important work of all.  You have been gifted for the task as you live in God.  You are enough in Christ for all the difficulties that might come your way. 

We are told, 

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”   2 Peter 1:3 ESV

In regards to difficulties and this life we have some great promises of God to hold onto and to give us strength. 

“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.”  John 14:1 ESV

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 ESV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6 ESV

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.  You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”  Psalms 91:1-6 ESV (read all of Psalm 91)

Life has Problems and Pain but also Healing and Redemption

It is not easy of course.  Life is difficult and we as men and women have grown up receiving our own hurts and harms from our parents and those who raised us.  Sometimes we take the pain in our own hearts and pass it on to those around us.  In fact, it is often those closest to us that get the worst of our behaviour. 

Sometimes it is our own bitterness and hatred that drives us to hurt others.  Whether it has been hurts given us by others or the bitterness that we carry, these things we can give over to God.  Here too, instead of managing poorly in dealing with hurts and hatreds we simply turn to God with them.  We give ourselves over to God. 

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.”  Acts 3:19 ESV

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”  James 4:8 ESV

And as we turn to God with our hurts and our hatreds God relieves us of these great burdens; we were never meant to carry hurt and hatred and bitterness.  This is the great news of Jesus Christ; we can be new people because Jesus came to carry our pain. 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9 ESV

We must remember that Christ died not only to remove our sin but also to cover over the sin of others against us.  As we give our hurts to God and he replaces them with peace and patience and with gladness and joy.  We can learn to treat others with the peace and patience that we ourselves have received from God. 

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV

One day at a time

We live this new way one day at a time.  Change comes bit by bit. Sometimes we still hurt over our past but as we come close to God we are told that he comes close to us.  In this way we are changed into the image of God. He tells us we are loved. 

“I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 ESV

Each day we begin with, “God I invite you into today.  Welcome into my relationships today.  I give you my pain and my sorrow. I receive from you your peace and gladness.  May I walk in you today. May I treat my wife and children as you would have me treat them.  Help me to love them as you love them; thank-you for the gift that they are in my life.  Amen” 

Commitment to a bigger way – gentleness, vulnerability

Walking each day with the Lord grows our awareness.  We begin to understand things that we never thought of before.  We realize that we don’t know everything like we once thought we did. And we see that we have made mistakes. 

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  James 5:16 ESV

These new insights can make us feel vulnerable and unsafe. “What if others reject me?” we may ask. 

Before we thought that powerful was being scary and mean.  Now we begin to see that the most powerful people are those who are gentle and kind.  We realize that to influence and to grow others, that we must have bigger thinking and understanding.  We begin to see that we can have a good impact in this world. 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”  John 15:12-14 ESV

Loose off Guilt by the Power of Jesus Christ

But it is hard to take on new ways when we are burdened by the guilt of the old ways.  The good news is that Jesus Christ died to carry your guilt.  He became the scapegoat that takes away the sins of the world.  No longer do we look at each other, nor ourselves with wrath and hatred and contempt. 

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10 ESV

We therefore give our guilt to God, 

“God I see this day all the wrongs that I have done.  The guilt of these things are too much for me. I am tired and worn down by my guilt.  Today I renounce this guilt in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and I put all guilt at the foot of the cross.  I declare my guilt covered in the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, washed away.  I simply stand as a new creation in Christ and I receive your forgiveness God. Thank-You.” 

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 ESV

And as we do this we are told that Jesus comes to us and eats with us.  He initiates forgiveness and restoration and peace to community and family. 

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Take on His Compassion and Sacrificial Service

Once we have given our guilt to God and felt the release of His Spirit over our lives we can enter into compassion and sacrificial service.  Where before we condemned others for our bad things, we now release others to be as God created them to be.  Then we find ourselves released to love and serve them. 

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:2 ESV

We realize that we are all sinners.  We all make mistakes.  The difficulties of this world have impacted all of us.  We are no better or less than anyone else.  Because of this we find new compassion flowing over us and we are now able to be compassionate to others. 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Our eyes and understanding are opened to the good that others are trying to do.  We see people with grace and understanding and this includes our wife and children.  We begin to treat them better too. 

All of this is possible because we remain in Jesus Christ, turned toward Him each day. 

“Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”  John 15:4 ESV

Jesus Models Regard for Women

When Jesus was on earth he modelled a very different kind of respect and regard for women.  Traditionally all over the world and all through time women have been treated very badly. It is as though Satan has a particular hatred for women.  But Christ came to show a different way. 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2 ESV

  • Jesus’ own ministry was supported through partnership with women.  Luke 8:1-3
  • He refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery.   John 8:1-11
  • He took the time and risk to speak to the Samaritan woman.   John 4:5-42
  • He visited and taught women, most particularly Mary whom he commended for her heart to learn from him.   Luke 10:38-42
  • A woman anointed Jesus (Jesus came under her authority to anoint him).   Mark 14:3-9
  • After he was raised from the dead he showed himself first to the women.  John 20:1-18

His was a special relationship with women, one of full regard and respect and love for them. Jesus counteracted the culture of his day, and of ours, where women are ill treated, abused, and considered a throw-away commodity. Consider this, 

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”  1 Peter 3:7 ESV

There are four vital principles for husbands in this one verse:

1. Live with your wife in an understanding way

2. Show honour to her as a weaker vessel

3. Know that women are heirs also to grace and the kingdom of God

4. Do this so your prayers will be answered

Principle one and two is a practical suggestion based on the physical ability of women.  We know today that physically women are weaker than men; men have three layers of muscle while women have two layers of muscle.  From a purely physical stand point women simply are not as strong as men. 

Because of this Peter is admonishing men to recognize this and to relate differently with their wives, to live in understanding of them. 

Where two men might ‘fight it out’ we are told in the Bible that this is not the way between men and women.  To beat a woman is to overwhelm her with violence both to her body and her heart. 

Do not beat your wife.  To do so is to dishonour her and it is a dishonour of God who made her; she is equal to you, treat her as such.  Show her honour and regard and love. 

“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.” Titus 1:7 ESV

God feels so strongly about this that we are told that a man’s prayers will be hindered to the same degree that he dishonours and ill-treats his wife. (1 Peter 3:7 as above)

We find similar admonition towards care for wives in Malachi, 

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts.  So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”  Malachi 2:16 ESV

In many cultures around the world women are treated as disposable commodities.  They are cast off at the least little thing and regarded as interchangeable and considered to be made only for man’s pleasure and convenience.  We know this to be false for every single person, man, woman, child is made in the image of God. 

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27 ESV

God is saying to not treat your wife as less than yourself.  God declares her equal before Him.  To cast her off, to beat her, to dishonour her, is to curse your self with layers of violence.  By dishonouring her you dishonour yourself.  Men, rather, are to serve their wives as Christ served the church. 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”  Ephesians 5:25 ESV

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”  Ephesians 5:28 ESV

“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”  Colossians 3:19 ESV

Men head of the household – leaders take 100% responsibility

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.”  Ephesians 5:23 ESV

We know today that to be the head of something is to take 100% responsibility.  The one in leadership is entrusted with the care and outcome of that thing and this is in regard to business, organizations, churches, and relationships of all sorts including marriage.  You are responsible. 

We also flip this around and assert that the one taking 100% responsibility is the one leading; for authority and responsibility go hand in hand.  To have authority is to have responsibility.  To have responsibility is to have authority. 

Yet, not authority to lord it over, to belittle, to put down, to curse, this type of authority is that of Satan.  The authority of Jesus Christ, and of all those who follow him, is that of lifting up, of honouring, of encouraging and bringing blessing where there has been cursing. 

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.  Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”  1 Timothy 6:11 ESV

Quite simply we can tell the quality of a man by the look in his wife’s eyes.  A woman well cared for shines.  A woman despised carries grief and sorrow and it shows on her face and in her posture. 

If your wife is your crown we ask, “how shiny is your crown men?” How bright eyed and lovely is your wife.  A woman’s beauty comes from deep inside her soul.  This beauty is released as she is regarded, respected, with genuine care and concern. 

As leader and head of his wife a man will stand before God one day and answer for what he has done to her.  Does she reflect beauty and confidence or is she sad and despondent? 

Like all actions in leadership this is a place that refuses to cast blame and refuses to make excuses.  Rather men of leadership quality seek answers and solve problems, remembering the grace of our Lord.  They remain in Christ as we spoke of earlier.  Most of all they lead well and take great care of the hearts that have been entrusted to them. 

You are More Powerful than you Know

You have the power to make your wife shine. Each day ask your wife how she is doing. See if there is anything she might need help with. Thank her for all she does for you and for your household.  Bless her for being the mother of your children. 

Touch her in non-sexual ways, with simple touch let her know that you see her as a human being and valuable to God.  Tell her how much you appreciate her.  Thank the Lord for her daily. 

Be a safe person for your wife.  Do not make her responsible for your fears, your insecurities, your anger, and everything that has gone wrong in your life.  These things, and we all have these, are to be taken before the Lord on a daily basis.  Find your center in the Lord and become a blessing to your wife and children. 

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Look into her eyes and acknowledge her. Listen to her.  Take time to just sit alongside her for a time each day.  You do not have to fix everything.  Simply assure her that you are for her and not against her.  She will begin to shine. 

God has made women to pour out to all those around her.  Women are wired to be generous and to give their lives away.  Who is pouring into her?  Who is filling her up so that she can continue in this life-giving manner given her?  You, her husband, are to be the one pouring into her. 

Just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her, so too are men to be sacrificially giving their lives to their wives.  What and how might you encourage and strengthen and gladden your wife’s heart?  Serve her.  Help her.  Offer her your strength so that her strength may not wither away. 

“I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 ESV

Stand before God, well done!

One day we will all stand before God and we would like to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”  As husband and head of your wife and home, as the one taking on 100% responsibility this is both an awesome and terrifying opportunity. 

The first thing to do is found in Proverbs, 

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 ESV

The second thing to do is to receive from your wife.  She has been uniquely wired to help you be widely successful. God has given her special gifting to help you.  Listen to her.  She has wisdom, insights, and understanding that you do not have. 

It is a foolish man who will not receive (from his wife) all that she has to give him.

“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  Ephesians 5:21 ESV

Submission is in many ways about receiving.  Submission is about coming under the unique gifting of each other for mutual benefit and blessing. 

Receive from your wife and you will be more successful than if you try to do life on your own.  It is the wise man that walks in understanding with his wife, creating for her safety and security that she might share her heart, her insights, her wisdom. 

For when a man listens to his wife in this way he becomes wiser too.  And he benefits from this gift given him called a wife. 

The quality of a community, a church, a home can be determined by how the women and children are treated.  Be a quality man, be part of a quality church, lead a quality home that treats women well. Bless them and do not curse them. Give to them, serve them, help them. 

How might your wife be best served today?  Ask the Lord and ask her. She will tell you.  The Lord will direct you. 

“Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.”  Psalm 25:12-13 ESV

Whatever good you think of doing for her do it!  Each and every day do the thing that comes to mind that will help and care for her.  In this way you will find God’s particular favour coming into your life and home. 

For God has entrusted your wife and children to you as most precious gifts.  She does not belong to you.  Your children do not belong to you.  They are created in the image of the most high God and belong to Him.  Treat them well for they are Gods. 

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?  Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.  Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”     Deuteronomy 10:12-22 ESV

A Churches Response to Women  

What We know: 

  • Churches that release women into full ministry thrive and are favoured by God
  • No person, including women, are destined to abuse and violence at home

Women marry expecting a safe place, a place to nurture their children, a place where their hearts find a companion through the difficulties. 

When, instead, a woman finds that the man she thought would lift her up, brings her down, her heart is broken.  When this happens, the fabric upon which her strength rests is fractured, the very one who was to enable her to be more than who she is becomes the very one who keeps her less than who she is; simple disregard begins this process, violence finishes it.

The church, likewise, is to be a safe place for women.  The church that tells her to return to her violence does her double harm.  When we refuse to take on injustice and minister to those affected by it we are part of the problem.  We have become the abuser.  We have participated in the sins of others. 

What if, rather than this, a church were to hold a space of safety, of honour, of dignity, for all?  What if a church were to take on the courage to support those in abusive situations?  What if a church were to take on the care for its widows and orphans, including heart widows, in simple and tangible ways? 

This sends two messages, one to men, one to women. 

To the men it sends a clear message that the care of a wife is a sacred task, thus given to men.  The environments in which their children will be raised are determined by their care. 

The light and delight in a woman’s countenance gives evidence to the kind of man that he is.  The settledness of the children gives testimony to the manner of this man. 

Studies have shown that children respond to the stress level of their mothers.  An unsettled mother, caught by stress and difficulty, makes for unsettled children. 

Unsettled children, who are themselves now stressed, cannot easily learn, are distracted by emotional triggers of danger, and are generally unable to grow into the full person they are created to be. 

It is in the best interest of the Father to care for his wife.  To create safety, to ensure opportunity to grow and become all she was meant to be. This makes for a happy wife, and a happy wife makes for a happy life. 

This in turn cares for the children, creating for them a safety in growth and maturity.  Attachment is easy and learning comes naturally.  The child grows into an emergent adult, ready and capable of taking on his/her own agency and going after God’s plan for them. 

This is the message to the Men.  The message to women is one of value and worth. 

She is valuable.  She is precious.  She is special. 

We, God and the church, will defend her.  We will stand up for her.  We will not allow harm to come to her.  We will hold out the best for her.  We will nurture her. 

She is a gift from God.  She requires special care and consideration. 

A church that upholds this space for women sets a precedent.  They declare value and worth applied to women.  Gone is the thinking that she is worth only what she can produce.  Gone is the belief that she must only serve her husband, rather the wise man, the wise church, understands that her natural bent is to serve. 

A woman is wired to give her life away.  She daily gives her life away to her children, and to her husband she will do the same, until sorrow and a broken heart leave her with nothing to give.

Because she pours her life out for others, we must ask, who is pouring into her life?  Who is standing by her to ensure that she is able to continue giving as she so desires?  This is to be her man.  A wise man pours into his wife, so that she can continue in the joy of pouring out to her children, to others and to him. 

A wise church upholds this belief in practice.  We must always ask what message are we really giving?  Are our choices and actions supporting women or are we taking them down? 

As we stand tall for the value and worth of women, we also stand for the value and worth of men.  Men need not be consumed by their anger.  Men are given the task of caring for their wives hearts, in this they also grow and learn and find their own capacity expanded. 

Men are not beasts only to be obeyed.  They are not taskmasters that cannot see past their own need. No, rather, men are to be servants to their women, as Christ became a servant to the church.  This is their highest nature.  To attain to anything less leaves the man less.  It is easy to rage and to demand and to have one’s way.  But this is closer to the behaviour of little children rather than grown men. 

The task of taking on a wife grows a man up.  There is nothing so challenging than holding back one’s strength when frustrated, of operating out of gentleness and respect when angry, but this is the higher path to which men are called. 

Holding out honour for women demands that men rise up to the full stature that he is meant to attain. To give his life away for the health and well being of his wife is godliness of great measure. 

A church that holds these things true: 

• Women have great worth and honour

• Men are called to give honour  and to serve women

• Honour and then honour will come back to you

Becomes a kind of church where the spirit of the living God is honoured and released into full measure. It is a church that stands against the ways of the world. For the world says, 

• Keep women low, deny them adulthood, deny them their own agency

• To be big you must command over and prove your bigness

• Demand to be served

• Be violent when you don’t get your way

• Use your own best judgment in these things

Christ came to bring revolution to the way we are used to things being.  The weakened nature of women is violated and exposed by the world.  Christ came to cover over and to build up women.  He defended women, and received from women the gifts they had to bring to the table.  Women were important in the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth and they must become important to us as well. 

The Gas Light is Orange

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My Daughter Danielle and I in Manitoba – Such a Good Time

Last week I was driving from the mid-west USA back into Canada. I had been with my daughter in Manitoba and then down to visit family in Minnesota and then saw a few sights on my way back westward. It was a good, blessed, restful time. I am so grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to take some weeks for a road trip and time to spend with family in numerous places.

My final day back into Canada was a long days drive. Because I have been recuperating from a deep exhaustion I had been taking my driving days slowly, only clocking four or five hours a day. My last day though was nearly an eight hour day of driving.

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A Beautiful Vista in Wyoming Where I Walked and Camped

Nearing the Canadian border I passed a gas station and wondered if I should top-up my fuel. But I thought, “Nah, I will fill up at the gas station on the other side once I am back into Canada.” I still had a good 1/4 of a tank of gas.

Once through the border and back onto home soil I headed for the campsite where I would spend the night — about 1/2 hour north of the border. I have been enjoying my tent and sleeping bag and cook-stove. I even bought at a garage sale in Minnesota a beautiful luxurious folding chair for $5; oh the sweet bliss of this.

Morning came and I began heading north into the city of Regina. I got about fifteen minutes down the highway and my gas light came on.

Now, I do not know how long I can drive with that gas light glaring at me before I run out of gas. Every turn in the road, every hillock with even a few trees or buildings I hoped and wished and prayed and begged that there would be a gas station. There was not.

For 40 minutes I careened down the highway at 120 Km/hr expecting to run out of gas at any moment. I paid close attention to the sides of the road, continuously calculating if the road edge was safe to pull off and onto if need be. I remained vigilant to the fact that should my car completely run out of gas that my power steering would not be available to me and that I would need some good effort to steer my car where it would need to be in order to be off of the highway and safe.

It is an interesting thing to know one is nearly empty and to carry on at high speed toward what might be imminent upset and inconvenience and trouble, really. 

But carry on I did. All the while talking myself out of any need for panic or dismay or worry. After all, None of these responses would change what was going to happen. I could in a panic run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies or I could serenely run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies.

I drove, like this, for 40 minutes, at 120 Km/hr knowing I could stall at any moment.

Long story short and with great relief, Regina appeared all of a sudden out of the distance and within moments I drove into the first gas station with much gratitude and praise to the Lord that I arrived well and fine and could fill up my car, none the worse for wear. But what an experience.

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Indian Princess on the banks of the Missouri River – So Stunning

At Capturing Courage Int’l Ministries, this is exactly how it feels at this moment. We are standing in the tension of establishing, faithfully attending to what we believe God is leading us to do without seeing very far in advance at all.

It feels that we are heading down the highway at top speed with a gas light flashing orange, not knowing if we are going to stall or find our way Okay.  

So, today, I am asking you, if you have been encouraged or inspired or helped in any way from the work of Capturing Courage, would you further participate with a financial gift to us.

Translation work of our CCIM Course is now happening in three countries with a possible fourth in the next months. And of course, we pay for translation work. The multiplied impact of our materials into other languages is incalculable actually. See already all that God is doing. And we are so excited to be part of this thing of the Lord.

So, today, I am asking if you would give a generous one-time gift or become a monthly partner with us here at Capturing Courage International Ministries. 

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Partnering Together

If you simply cannot contribute financially, please, please, please, keep us in your prayers that all monies designated for CCIM, that we then allocate out, would be fully present to us.

Thank you for your hearts and prayers and great presence with us at Capturing Courage. We give the Lord all the glory for the great and amazing things of him through us. Bless you mightily today.

Cyndy Lavoie,

Executive Director at Capturing Courage International Ministries

 

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CCIM College Weekly

You may know that at Capturing Courage International Ministries we have a one-year course for pastors and lay-leaders. It is an intensive discipleship journey with challenges and encouragements at every turn.

We have made it available to the body of Christ around the world free of charge. There is no course fee; the only barriers are that it is in English and that each person would need to print it out for themselves.

BUT, we are beginning a new way to receive it to your email!

Beginning Monday June 4, 2018, we will be posting one chapter per week. This may be the way you can get through the course if it is something you have been looking at and interested in.

If so, and for those of you finding this post by a link from Facebook or twitter, somewhere on this page (depending if you are looking at this on your computer or phone) you will find a button or space in which you can put your email address and click ‘Yes, Count Me In!’. If you do this then you will receive a new chapter of College of Capturing Courage International Ministries at the beginning of each week.

Blessings and thanks for joining us. May this course do you well.

Photo on 2016-05-16 at 2.45 PM #2

The Priority of God

We are finding the work of the Lord powerful and strong in our midst. God seems to have a very big plan. A big dream. That dream is to equip pastors and lay-leaders in practical heart-transformational strengths.

CCIM is currently in Uganda and in the dozen or so churches we have been to in the past three weeks, we are finding a readiness for the pure gospel message.

We have been sharing about Sulha. Taking our cue from Jesus’ telling of the story of the lost son found in Luke 15 beginning with verse 11.

We find in this story secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, made plain to us by Jesus himself. He tells us of a young man who goes to the lowest of the low, unable to stoop or fall any farther, a young man who ultimately turns toward his father and takes himself home.

We are then introduced to the father. A man who longs for his son to come home. That no matter the hurt or betrayal or immense offence and insult of the son, the father’s priority always was and is peace and reconciliation.

The father demonstrates this love by running toward the son the moment he is seen coming down the road. We are told the father saw him from a long way off. And he begins to run.

It is interesting to note that in middle-eastern culture important men do not run. But this father ran, throwing off his importance to head toward his son. It is also interesting to note that in order to run the father would have had to lift his skirts, revealing his ankles, a no-no in the culture. And so we see that the father also threw off his dignity in order to run toward his son.

Thirdly, a study of the culture would suggest that due to the great offence of the son, it would have been considered appropriate and just even, for the villagers to stone the son before he reached home, by way of retributive justice. But we see the father running toward the son to intercept the stones and to take them upon himself.

Of course, we realize that Jesus is painting a picture of Father God. And we know that the living out of this heart of The Father was accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross where he threw off both his importance and his dignity to take on the stones meant for us.

We see, that God has always been about peace and reconciliation.

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. Se we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

A Current Need at CCIM

We are near to completing the writing of our CCIM College Course and are in need of someone who would feel called to assist us with creating an index of the work.

The course is eleven months of content, a total of about 550 pages and just under 300,000 words. It is a big volume and we realize that an index would be of great service to all who will use this material in the future.

This job requires someone who:

  • Is very good at reading, quick and yet able to spot detail
  • Has an organized and systematic mind, able to recognize consistent themes throughout the course and note them
  • Exhibits a heart of service and understands the bigger picture of this work
  • Is able to follow through to completion on a big job
  • Can commit to this work over the course of three months time

To express interest in this role, to ask questions, to find out more, CONTACT US

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We Run Toward the World

I am in a lot of communities. As a visiting preacher and revivalist I visit many, many churches, many, many communities. At each of these places, with each of these churches, I find folks intent on sharing the love of God and bringing to the area where they live light and hope to a dying world.

This last weekend I was in an area of India where there is rampant unemployment due to the closure of a local mine. In the years since the husbands and brothers have been pimping out their wives and sisters in prostitution. They head into the city for a days work, returning home each evening. For years.

I was told this information a few days before I was to be the main speaker at a one day missions conference with pastors and their wives. Upon receiving this information I queried, ‘What do I bring in this context?!’

As I prayed and prepared I became even more convinced that I preach the same thing I preach everywhere else, Jesus.

And I preach the same message I’ve been giving out elsewhere, Repentance.

I learned last year that there are three keys to Revival, 1. A hunger for more of God, 2. Repentance, 3. That religious strongholds are broken.

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Poverty Strongholds Finale – Pain Upon Pain

11. Poverty Strongholds – Pain Upon Pain

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain 

Today in conclusion to this series I am writing about #10 Poverty Stronghold, Pain Upon Pain. 

My original doodling of this material, while in Uganda, began with the first 8 strongholds, and then once home and as I was writing my first post about this topic I realized that pain upon pain is a critical contributor to poverty strongholds. In identifying this I thought I would rework the Poverty Stronghold Diagram / Pie Chart to add in pain upon pain, and yet, as I’ve been fleshing out the rest of the material I realized that in fact, pain upon pain is a stronghold that overlays all of the other strongholds; we see that strongholds of Pain Upon Pain are laid over it all, informing and confounding each individual stronghold in turn.

I begin by repeating here what I wrote in my first post regarding pain upon pain that is buried deep in a people and passed on to generations after generations:

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Poverty Strongholds #10 – The Demonic Factor

Poverty Strongholds – Post Ten – The Demonic Factor

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship – link to past article
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain

I’ve introduced all the other strongholds, so today, let’s take a look at the 1st Poverty Stronghold – Demons

On our original pie chart and in our list of poverty strongholds we had demons as first on the list. This was because the thinking that led to this entire series began with a theology relayed to us of how demons were the entire problem for all poverty and for everything that goes wrong.

In a certain area in Uganda we were told that all of the pervasive problems of that region were due to this very large tree that had had a demon in it, and that when the tree was cut down and distributed throughout the entire area the demonic stronghold became established in the entire area. This was the understanding, the belief, the theology. This is what we were told was the entire problem.


demonic conversation extension 2

But of course, as a professional people developer and as a prayer minister, I know that if we give all blame (ie:credit) to the demonic we have just given fully 100% of our power away, we’ve become victims and have entered ourselves into apathy and despair. So I roughly jotted out my thinking about this issue with the result being this series of posts. Today, in this series, I finally come to address the demonic factor. Let’s talk about that.

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Poverty Strongholds #9 – Blaming & Excuses

Poverty Strongholds – Post Nine – Blaming & Excuses

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship – link to past article
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain

Let’s take a look at the 8th Poverty Stronghold – Blaming & Excuses

Blame Wheel

We begin in life with the ability to take responsibility for our own lives within our specific context and circumstances. We would say that we have 100% ability to be responsible for our lives – this could be described as having the power to move our lives forward — As in DIAGRAM  A

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Poverty Strongholds #8 – Bad Theology

Poverty Strongholds – Post Eight – Bad Theology

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship – link to past article
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain

Today, let’s take a look at the 7th Poverty Stronghold – Bad Theology 

Bad theology leads to many bad things. It is the root of all sorts of distortions and manipulations perpetrated by supposedly godly men and women. Here are just a few of the craziest things I have heard while overseas:

“The wealthier you are the holier you are.”  (this is a literal quote from a Kampala city pastor)

“The woman with the seven husbands, well, she killed them all and what we take from this story is that the seed must be planted in the right place, and this is the right place for your seed, so tithe to this church and you will be blessed.”

“We must all change our names because Abram’s name was changed”

“Do not sleep at the wrong times because this was the cause of the Hebrews being in slavery for 400 years in Egypt.”

Even as I write this I hardly have words. I am astounded time and again at the kinds of bad theology that I come across in my work. But, I am also, often enough to note, just as astounded by the bad theology found at home. For instance:

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Poverty Strongholds #7 – Agreements With the Enemy

Poverty Strongholds – Post Seven – Agreements with the Enemy

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship – link to past article
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain

Today, let’s take a look at the 6th Poverty Stronghold – Agreements with the Enemy

Imagine this, on one side of you is God and he is saying all manner of life and blessing over you.

I have for you a future and a hope

I have known you since before time

I am with you always

I created you and called you good

In me (Christ) there is no condemnation

I have special work for you

And then, on the other side of you is Satan and he is saying all manner of death and destruction over you.

He comes only to lie and steal

He brings chaos

Death is his specialty

Despair is his voice

He accuses you

He is the tempter

And you are between the two.

The Bible speaks numerous times about the need for a second witness. Throughout historical times all matters of law had to be decided on the basis of two witnesses for instance. And Jesus himself asserted that where two or more are gathered in his name that he is among them.

And so, as we have God on one hand and Satan on the other, each speaking over us, we are the ones deciding with whom we will agree, we create the second witness.

And what we agree with is what is established in our lives.

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