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Gold for Claressa and Flint

National Museum of American History

Never thought I’d find myself choking back cheers of joy watching a 17 year old girl box her way to Olympic Gold. But that’s what happened last night as I watched Claressa Shields beat an opponent almost twice her age.

Wasn’t raised to anticipate celebrating a woman boxer even though I was raised to read a Bible that told the stories of women named Jael, and Deborah who did in battle what men of their generation didn’t do.

In Judges 4 we read how these two women were used by the God of Israel to defeat the Canaanites in one of the darkest moments of Jewish history. Then in chapter 5 we find Deborah’s song celebrating the way the Lord of the heavens had not only honored her as she led the men of Israel in battle, but also the gentile by the name of Jael who by her own hand killed a Canaanite king.

Today, Claressa Shields’ hometown of Flint, Michigan also needed a lift. Having fallen on hard times, this once affluent automotive city has become known for its unemployment, decaying neighborhoods, and crime. There haven’t been many stories of hope coming out of Flint lately—until Claressa climbed into the ring of the London Olympics.

At the end of 4 two minute rounds she had made history and brought joy (maybe a ray of hope) to a city that seemed down for the count.

On a rainy morning, in a coffee shop, ninety miles from the celebrating city, I’m trying to sort out my emotions, as well as much of a lifetime of thinking that there are some things– like getting into a boxing ring– that men alone are supposed to do.

And still smiling with Claressa, and thinking about how the Lord used Deborah and Jael to do  a “man’s work”.



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67 Responses to “Gold for Claressa and Flint”

  1. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Hi Mart,
    I too watched the women’s boxing with our flyweight Nicola Adams being the first ever Olympic champion in this field, shortly followed by the Irish girl Katie Taylor.
    Seems all of Ireland was in the Arena.
    We also got a woman’s Taekwondo gold with a girl named Jade Jones, who is 19 and coincidentally from Flint in Wales.

    God prefers to use men because of the “authority” line from God to man and man to woman, but often the men are a bit “wimpy” and not quick in coming forward. I believe it was about Esther where it was said God would find someone else if she didn’t go for it.
    The same applies to church leadership today.
    When the men are slow then God gives the reigns to whoever is available.
    I know of one church, in India I think, where the worship leader is a girl of 4 years old, full of the Holy Spirit and on fire for the Lord.
    There is no Age limit or glass ceiling with our Father.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    I personally have difficulty with boxing, no matter which gender is fighting. Now, at tender my age, I have a physical response of pain even for football tackles. This is my disclaimer.

    When the apostle Peter (Acts 2:17, 18, 19, 20, 21) lifted up the prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29, he had experienced a broader horizon in the work of the people of God. It was the Lord Jesus who led his disciples into shared study and shared ministry with women. Only imagine the opposition to tradition that met the leadership of women in a synagogue or other Christian gathering!

    I often wonder what Susanna Wesley, for example, might have contributed to the areas of teaching or even preaching in the 18th century church if Rev. Samuel Wesley, her husband, had not forbidden her to teach a Bible study in his absence.

    Now, girls play football, women are firefighters, policemen and military officers. Women are also rabbis, pastors and imams.


  3. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Yes Maru,

    I think in these last days there will be no truck with tradition.
    All our local prophesies and words from the Lord suggest He is about to do a new thing such like we have never seen before.
    When He said “all flesh” He meant just that, with no respect to gender or age.


  4. remarutho says:

    Yes Bob!

    I put it awkwardly, but the point in the 1st c. AD is that tradition would oppose the new thing — such as women in leadership, or Gentiles in the midst of Jews at worship.

    I agree, it seems to be late in history. What the prophet Joel called the “nearness of the day of the Lord” (Joel 2:1,2) is coming our way at a pretty good clip.

    The month of July has created a new record for heat, at least in the U.S. — simply to illustrate another unprecedented phenomenon — touching Flint MI and all the rest of the cities of the nation.


  5. poohpity says:

    It seems that men who are not secure with themselves are the one’s who try and rule over women. It really makes me chuckle with frustration because God’s way are not our ways and will use what some may call the weaker to confound the strong. I have however never seen women as the weaker sex. In so many ways women have taken the humble route of being in the background yet are usually the strength of a family. God did not allow men to give birth or carry that extra load for 9 months because He thought women were weaker.

    Our desire to have a husband and for him rule over us is what God gave as a curse in the garden, Genesis 3:16. Many women still live under that curse but it no longer applies to those who are in Christ we now can work together to achieve a common goal. God will use whomever will be open to learn from Him and then go into all the earth to share the Good News. No longer does that require an age, gender, race, social status or any other limit we may place on a person. Whoever is available and wishes to do the will of God, qualifies.

  6. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Just a note on the weather Maru,
    We had the driest winter followed by a very warm march.
    Then May, June and July were the wettest on record with floods everywhere.
    You may have seen the Jubilee celebrations in June.
    Luckily we are having a warm, but not hot, August. Ideal for the Olympic Games.
    Very warm on the beach here in West Cornwall today.

  7. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Meant to say April,May and June. July was nice when it got going.

  8. rivergal says:

    Mark’s post and the comments thus far brought to mind 1 Peter 3, which my sister and I have been reading this week. We noted that after chapter 2’s reminders to slaves and citizens to show respect to masters and those in authority, that Peter says “in the same way” to both the wife and the husband, with a special reminder to husbands to understand their wives and honor them as joint heirs in the grace of life.

    As a single woman, I see increasingly that many of the glass ceilings (some of which we erect ourselves) don’t exist in scripture, and certainly aren’t in harmony with what Jesus says about what the Kingdom of God is, and how it operates.

  9. royalpalm says:

    Thanks for this topic, Mart and for the above posts. Thanks for quoting Joel and Acts, Maru. God has been faithful. The Holy Spirit has been poured out since Pentecost and is working here and now…

    During one of our Bible studies I remember a discussion on women in leadership and other related issues. One male believer from India commented, “When you are drowning – does it really matter who is throwing the lifeline?” I think this is part of the problem, too much time is spent on controversies on who, how, when, why, etc… Meanwhile people around are drowning.

  10. marma says:

    Perhaps it is a sign of the dark times we are in that we see God using some very able women bible teachers (although the women I’m thinking of have strong, believing husbands, as well) since they are available and walking with Him and love His Word?

    I found Poohpity’s remarks very encouraging: “God will use whomever will be open to learn from Him and then go into all the earth to share the Good News. No longer does that require an age, gender, race, social status or any other limit we may place on a person. Whoever is available and wishes to do the will of God, qualifies.”

    I want to add that I am very grateful for all I have learned through the men who have followed God and encouraged through the written word, radio, tv, and in person. We have such a rich heritage of sound teaching.

  11. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Just sat here at 7:30pm UK time and watching both woman’s 400 metres relay semi final and field events.
    Just amazing how so many different people from so many nations can compete together for Gold.
    Isn’t our goal to go for the crown of gold.
    Inspite of all the difficulties it is an easy goal for us.
    “My Yoke is easy and my burden is light”

  12. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    we just got disqualified because of an “out of box” baton hand over in the men’s race, we were in contention with the front runners.
    So much to learn here about how we relate to each other.
    Sometimes we have to become second or last in order to win the race.

  13. SFDBWV says:

    What an interesting subject Mart has provided us with. Yes the idea of the underdog winning is always received well by most people, And having a real life example of “Rocky” something smile worthy.

    Just as in the fictional “Rocky” movies Philadelphia appreciated the positive attention and energy that came their way, I hope as this story plays out Flint Michigan is able to as well.

    Congratulations to Claressa Shields.

    Last evening Matt and I enjoyed watching the story of the “Dream Team” during the Olympic coverage. He especially enjoyed it because it covered people he remembered and could connect to.

    Everyone it seems likes a winner.

    But in every contest there is a loser, what separates real winners from losers is how well a loser loses and well a winner wins.

    These finer qualities that shine through in the stories of the athletes are what makes the Olympics special and something all of us can recognize and connect to as well.

    I read a quote the other day that went something like this; “I have no respect for talent, that is hereditary, what you do with your talent is what is important.”

    The quote reminded me of the tragedy of all the people who have *potential* and waste it in a life of self serving options and choices.

    Jesus recognized the *potential* of every Disciple he called to follow Him and like they, we also each have our particular talents; I pray it is not too late for my talents to be used for the Glory of God and the uplifting of His Son and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.


  14. SFDBWV says:

    I also want to thank all those who spoke concerning our trip to the doctor’s yesterday. On the past topic. I will be fine, thank you for your love.

    It is ironic that Sparrow spoke of a large dark cloud and of Narrowpathseaker and Claudia’s comments concerning the sky and of rain,

    As we drove along the interstate on our way home a large dark cloud covered us for miles and we remarked about it several times. It rained some and I remarked how odd for it to be raining while I could still see plenty of blue sky.

    Then just as we were nearing home it began raining again but then stopped just as we pulled into our parking place and before I needed to get Matt out of the car and into his wheel chair.

    I said a quiet prayer of thanks, and thought how cool that was.

    I have come to believe people of God, see God in everything around them, I am glad to have people of God around me as well, thank you all for being who you are where you are and for being people of God.


  15. confeticat says:

    Good morning, everyone. We have not yet started to feel the effects of the drought, the third seal, or the black horse of the apocalypse (Rev. 6:5,6). There is a fear of a worldwide food crisis and prices of almost everything are going to rise as food becomes scarcer.

    This will come as a shock in particular to those who expected to be raptured out of here before they had to endure any suffering.

    I have talked about the rapture before, and much more could be said, but today I would like to talk about it from the aspect of it being a major stumbling block to restoration of the house of Israel. It is doctrinal baggage that Ephraim (us) has been carrying for about 200 years. Many have dropped it but with some it lingers on, remnants of Hal Lindsey and the Left Behind series and just plain wrong teaching from the Schofield Bible.

    The originator of this theory, and it is a theory because it is not in Scripture, John Darby of the 19th century, was anti-nomian, teaching that Torah had passed away at the cross (Gal. 3:24,25). He segregated biblical and prophetic history into compartmentalized ages, or dispensations. He saw a return to Torah and an end to the “age of grace” during the tribulation. But then he was stuck with the ‘church’ having to leave grace and reenter the Law of Moses! That didn’t work, so to solve that problem he adopted the pre-trib rapture, to allow Israel (I.e. the Jews) to reenter the age of Great Tribulation law keeping.

    The pre-trib theory has two major flaws: it teaches Torah is not for today, contrary to Jesus’ words in Luke 16:17. It also proliferates the error of Separate Identity Theology, that God has two brides instead of two houses of the same bride. It has Jewish-Israel taking it on the chin, stuck on earth while Ephraim-Israel flies away. The reunification of Israel then is not only an impossibility but a logistical one as well. Ezekiel’s two-stick restoration (Ezek. 37:16-20) takes place on the mountains of Israel!

    The Great Tribulation (the last 3 ½ years) is the time of Jacob’s trouble, not Judah’s trouble (Jer. 30:7). The ekklesia of Israel is the two houses of Israel, not the so-called “church” and believing Jews.

    P.S. I would like to add a word to Jimmy deYoung, whom I have enjoyed seeing with Mart on trips to Israel and whose daily devotional I used to read. You went “so far” and no farther. You could go farther in your teaching. That rapture nonsense you put in every lesson is holding you back, just as it is holding the house of Israel back.

  16. cherielyn says:

    I trust that your comment above, “I will be fine” means that everything turned out alright at your appt yesterday?

    Hearing the comments about the dark cloud and rain, even though you could see blue sky all around reminded me of a similar incident from when I was a child. I was probably around 10-12 yrs old and lived in a city where the houses were so close that you could almost touch your neighbor’s house if you extended a broom handle out the window. We lived on a corner, so we only had a house that close on one side and a street on the other. One day there was a spray of water that made a large circle of wet in the middle of the street in front of our house. I remember looking around to see if someone was using a hose, but there was no one. I looked up and there was this one small, very dark cloud and it was raining just over that section of street. We had sidewalks with a strip of grass between the sidewalk curb. The rain wasn’t even hitting that strip of grass nor the gutter before the curb on either side of the street. It was just raining in the center of the street. I think it lasted all of 3-5 minutes if that long! That was the strangest thing to see.

    By the way, the city I lived in when that happened was Cudahy – the city that the gunman who did the Sikh Temple shootings, last Sunday, lived in. My best childhood church friend grew up in Oak Creek, the city where the shootings occurred. I lived on the corner of Barnard Ave & Hately Ave back then.

  17. tracey5tgbtg says:

    It is hard for me to understand how others identify themselves with people who perform great feats of physical ability because they came from the same area. It is interesting to watch some sports, but for me it is hard to want one team to “win” over another team simply based on what part of the world they come from.

    Believe me, I know how negative and cynical I sound and I don’t want to be that way. I appreciate the hard, hard work that individuals put in to reach their goal. But does it satisfy, in the end, to stand up and have everyone applaud you and receive a metal token? I’m thinking not just of sports, but of all worldly awards in all fields of entertainment.

    In order for one individual to stand up as the “best,” so many more had to walk away as “not good enough.”

    Just watching the swimming in the beginning of the games was hard for me. The winner wins by hundredths of a second. That is so close! How can someone be better than someone else by a hundredth of a second? And the person who finished last is maybe one second behind the one who finished first.

    And boxing? I don’t understand the honor in punching another person. Because I have a lot of respect for Mart, I’m trying to understand the good he sees in the account of the girl who won a gold medal in boxing. Mart – I think the good in your heart allows you to see the good in others. Matthew 12:35 So when I have a negative viewpoint about people it doesn’t reflect well on me. That is what has been on my mind since I read the blog comment.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    In speaking to Marts thoughts of women used by God to exact His will in what seemed to be a man’s arena.

    Who is woman but a part of man (Genesis 2: 21, 22, 23), some *ladies* among us may say “the best part” and I, in learned wisdom, would never disagree.

    Where was it in history that women became thought of as weaklings or soft hearted?

    As I think about it, no where in the animal kingdom is the female less than the male in prowess or aggression.

    God used women from Eve on to bring about His will and I can not imagine a more courageous one than Mary the young teen age girl who said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1: 38) And “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1: 46, 47)

    This teenager never looked back as she accepted the word the Angel had given her and been boosted by the evidence of her cousin Elizabeth’s condition and comments.

    This is courage, and faith in action; there is no gender that separates either.


  19. poohpity says:

    Mart you asked, “I’m trying to sort out my emotions, as well as much of a lifetime of thinking that there are some things– like getting into a boxing ring– that men alone are supposed to do.” I do not think God created a man to do anything alone (Gen 2:18). That seems to be looking at things according to the flesh. Jeremiah reminds us of that in Jeremiah 17:5,6.

    I am reminded of what both genders needs to do and that is to depend and trust, not in the flesh, but in God (Jeremiah 17:7,8). God looks at the heart of any person and whether we think one should or should not do something seems to put a human spin on it. That human spin is what has caused oppression of not only genders but God’s ability to make things happen (Jeremiah 17:9,10). God seems to be concerned about our conduct, Deborah depended on the Lord to guide Israel and Jael did not turn away when presented with the enemy lying her tent to put a stake through his head. They both when presented with something to do did not turn back.

    This young lady that won the boxing match did not turn back and hopefully this town of Flint will be open to not letting the worries of a fallen city be a deterrent to seeking God to turn their city back to flourish again.

  20. poohpity says:

    I know you meant things just designated for a man to do like a man’s work. (i.e. boxing, mechanics, football) but as in history past women have come out of the closet to show we are not to be taken for granted. I love the Bible because it is known for showing us that God has a place for all of us especially those who have a servants heart. Those who try and control will have the hardest time submitting to God.

  21. Elisabeth says:

    Hello all! Wish you could send some of that progressive thinking down here to Nigeria! Sadly, there are still many places in the world, here included where even Christians still hold that women are inferior and not meant to handle positions of leadership, in church or not! Continue to pray for us. Many customs and traditions are so out of line with God’s Word and many Christians continue to defend these… Breaks my heart everyday.

  22. poohpity says:

    You can still be a leader without the recognition. Leading the women to know what God thinks of them and not what they are told. One women at a time. You can do this Elisabeth and I will join you in prayer to get the women to read the Bible and find out what God thinks of them. Truth is the only way to battle oppression.

    In South Africa as well in other parts women are the one’s leading. There are so many leading churches and many other movements to help women overcome. It is obvious this is a passion that the Lord has placed on your heart and if He placed it then He will give you the strength to get it done.

  23. poohpity says:

    Inch by inch it’s a cinch.

  24. His Sparrow says:

    Hi Elisabeth!

    I’ll be lifting y’all up in prayer, especially that the customs and traditions that are out of line with God will make a course correction.

    Somehow, my dad didn’t hold me back to do things that were traditionally for men, even though that was the culture he came from, so I know it’s possible for your community.

    So… I have been through a lot of “mens’ work” because the paychecks were good and I my skills were excellent (thank you God.)

    I agree with Pooh and have experienced myself that God has a place for everyone with a servant’s heart.

    The best producing plants in my garden are the ones that “volunteer!”

    This year was the almost all volunteer garden and I’ve had more than enough for me, other people and my livestock…btw I have two Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

    When I walked them to a neighbor farm last week, two miles away, the doe remembered where she was going (they goat-sit while I’m away and treat them well) and was in 5th gear to get there.

    The buck, Sir William, wasn’t thinking or remembering at all, so she practically dragged him the whole way.

    God gave Adam a helpmate…it seems to be an equal need in the animal world too.

    A stallion in the horse herd is really the security guard, usually off by himself. It’s the “lead mare” that leads and organizes the herd.

    God equips and gifts you to be productive and lead where you are-like no title or authority the world can give!

    His Sparrow

  25. davids says:

    I can sympathize with Mart’s comments, and those of many above. I think what takes us back most is not the issue of competence, which women have already demonstrated in area after area. This issue is rather the brutality, the savagery, of boxing, which takes us back a bit.

    When women are succesful in many areas, like health care, management, or the ministry, it is usually expressed how we “discover” that their nature contributes greatly to these roles. They have skills that are valuable, like nuturing, listening, and caring.

    But boxing does not depend on these. It is pure aggression, usually thought of as a strength and weakness of men. It is understandable that it gives Mart and others cause to ponder biblical examples of warlike women in the bible to expand our preconceptions of how God uses us for His purposes.

  26. poohpity says:

    As you mention the roles that “women” usually fill I see what has lead to the problems. I have yet to meet a women who is challenged or allowed to cross those roles that does not step up. I have met several males who are able to be the nurturers, listeners and carers in their families. It does not make a man any less of a man, it is not a gender issue they are learned qualities. The military in some countries have never stopped women from filling their ranks and files as long as they were willing to fight. I personally would respect any male who has learned those qualities rather than one who takes an authoritarian role.

  27. kingdomkid7 says:

    Elisabeth’s comment reminds me of the barriers women still face in our own churches– some of them. One of the fastest growing churches in this country doesn’t allow women to lead in any capacity. Even if you are a woman with expertise in the secular world — say in technology — you can only volunteer in their children’s ministry. I’m speaking of Mars Hill. But they are not alone: Many Baptist churches follow the “rule” of women having to be silent in the church — which means no women in the pulpit. In some churches it also means no women wearing pants in church.

  28. poohpity says:

    Jesus was a prime example of a man who displayed nurturing, listening, caring, compassion, kindness,and gentleness. Having the power to even make nature itself listen to His words yet did not have to show his extreme power and strength to show how strong He is. That is the type of man that I respect are those who are so strong they need not prove anything to anybody. To not lord it over especially those who were weaker than Him which meant every person He came in contact with. It is a shame that women feel the need to prove themselves as strong but I bet it is because of the oppression they have suffered.

  29. poohpity says:

    kingdom, do you think that is because they are run by men and not God?

  30. kingdomkid7 says:

    I suppose so, Pooh. But what baffles me is why the women go along with it. We all have to make sure we follow God and not man.

  31. phpatato says:

    I have no problem – at all – when women do men’s jobs and men do women’s….. as long as there isn’t any special treatment given them in doing that job.

    I am thinking, for example, a woman as a firefighter. Jobs today are having to have gender equality or another way of putting it…more visible minorites. The fire department has had to hire women. The men on the job were upset because time and time again, the woman wasn’t able to physically carry the 100 ft – 250 ft length of 2 or 3 in diameter hose while wearing the approx 65 lb fire gear. Concessions were made so they could get the job. The guys were (rightfully in my opinion) upset and leery of having a girl on the job that wasn’t able to “go the same distance” physically. God did not make woman with the same brute strength capabilites as a man. They feared that when partnered up with her and they went down in a fire, she wouldn’t be able to get him/carry him to safety. They were also angry that they had to jump through all the hoops to get the same paying job as the woman who either jumped through only half of them or jumped through all of them but with easier standards..all in the name of gender equality. The lower standards brought to the forefront a more dangerous situation.

    May I say here that this comment is based upon two things…a brother who is now a district chief in a large city fire department, who has come through what I’ve just said because he was on the floor while this actually happened.
    …..a daughter who spent 5 years as a volunteer firefighter, who knew first hand how difficult it really was to handle equipment and gear while trying to keep up with the men.

    Having said that, woman often bring a different strength to the job that men don’t have. Instead of using physical strength, they use for instance, their “mothering instinct” to become a “gentle giant”. Also, men bring to a woman’s job a strength that women don’t have.

    So I guess what I’m saying is – I believe – there are jobs for men only and jobs for women only but in the background, you can find a woman supporting the man in his job as well as the man supporting the woman in her job….they are each other’s helpmate.

    I also believe that common sense is dead in today’s world. If it were alive, there wouldn’t be problems like this….IMO

    So I am ducking now and I won’t poke my head up until I think it’s safe.

  32. confeticat says:

    Eccl. 7:28

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Proverbs 7: 4 calls wisdom a sister and understanding a kinswoman. Proverbs 8:1 states that wisdom and understanding is a *her*. Proverbs 8: 2 continues to describe wisdom as *she*.

    Proverbs 9:1, 2, 3 clearly gives wisdom the gender of *she*.

    I can continue, but only a fool would argue with the Word of God.


  34. SFDBWV says:

    Pat no need to worry; most everyone can agree that women do not possess the physical upper body strength of a man. I doubt that very many people would argue that pitted against a man of similar skills Claressa’s outcome would most likely have been different.

    I think the crux of the topic is that when God wants something accomplished, gender does not matter.

    Your Friend

  35. confeticat says:

    The Titanic was a ‘she’ too

  36. His Sparrow says:

    When I worked in jobs that required physical strength, I got the physical training for it, went above the requirement and kept up the training for exactly the kinds of reasons Pat stated. When the time comes to do the work, I step into the responsibility to do that work. Too many women don’t and it causes problems.

    When I served in the military, there were lots of men who were physically weaker than I…when I served in the Reserves and Guard, standards finally got enforced and we were tested annually-few of us-men and women, could run a mile. Couldn’t get around the building! The senior ranking got all kinds of waivers, the rest of us either started training or got out.

    Jobs with life and death factors also require maturity; not on one’s mind when applying for a job with status and a BIG paycheck.

    One also hopes that adrenaline will not fail in THE moment!

    I have also found it useful to apply “superior mind over superior strength” to many problems to get the job done.

    I went through “boot camp” and one of our troop couldn’t do the physical stuff…they promoted her anyway. I thought it was because she was going into the linguistics career, as she spoke fluent Russian…

    Jesus expects to be prepared for his return–hot, cold but not lukewarm…

    Love my BTA family
    His Sparrow

  37. confeticat says:

    Steve, have you ever read the book “Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers” by John R. Rice?

  38. SFDBWV says:

    His Sparrow, I have a friend across the river from town that has Jacob’s Sheep. They are quite interesting to look at and I am not sure why she keeps them, but your story of the goats reminded me of her and them.

    Like you she also worked in areas of traditionally held by men, but was wise enough to know how to do so and not cause problems for herself.

    I am not sure I would consider her a traditional Christian, but she does profess to be. She has buried two husbands bore several children and has lived quite an interesting life. Even at one point being a professional female wrestler.

    I think what it is, is that she is a successful survivor.

    I haven’t kept a vegetable garden for a very long time, too many deer, rabbits and night critters to contend with, but have friends like you who enjoy sharing the abundance of their gardens with us, and is very much appreciated.

    Elizabeth, it is great to hear a voice from Nigeria, and a pleasure to be able to add you to my prayer list. It is written that all who endure to the end will not be disappointed, who place their hope on God.
    It didn’t take mankind long to make a mess of things, but the patience of God seems to take longer to straighten things back out.


  39. SFDBWV says:

    No confeticat, I have not read nor heard of the book.


  40. confeticat says:

    It was a real biggie in the fundamental world and was republished in 2000. It’s still available on Amazon if you’re interested.

  41. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. I just wanted to let you know that my pc has been giving me a lot of trouble and if I’m not around it is because it crashed completely. I have security checking it out now, but I think I know where the problem originated.

    LOL Pat! You don’t have to duck from me. I am a woman and I agree with you completely. I have done mens jobs to survive, but there are plenty of mens jobs I could NOT do(unless God wanted me to do them and empowered me) and would not expect to be hired for such just because I am a woman. I believe there are some women that can do many mens jobs that I couldn’t do. We are ALL individuals regardless of gender, race, nationality, or creed and I also think for any one of us to be hired for a job we can not do merely because we belong to any group of people seeking special privileges, is nonsense as is the same in reverse(not being hired for a job we are qualified to do because we belong to a certain group of people)

    Again, if I am not back, it is because my pc is soooo slow that I haven’t time to wait or it crashed completely. I am not ducking…that was very cute Pat.

    I hope all here have a blessed day.

  42. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve,after planting tomatoes, peppers, squash, and herbs in large containers for people that couldn’t plant a garden and saw how well they did, I have started planting one of each on the deck for myself. Don’t have as many problems with bugs, weeds, and NONE with underground creatures, deer, or rabbits. They have to be watered everyday unless we have rain that day, but it’s pretty easy. The side deck looks kind of pretty. We even have lettuce in a window box that fits over the rail and this deck is right off the kitchen. I may even give up yard gardens.

    His Sparrow…you are one of the exceptional women that could do what I couldn’t have done and you also had the integrity to work harder to overcome your weaker areas instead of taking a free ride. God Bless you.

  43. phpatato says:

    Sparrow my daughter spent hours in the gym in weight and endurance training in an effort to keep up. She earned a place on the team even though she was still not quite, almost, but not quite “there”. I think they saw the effort she put forth, but more importantly the attitude she carried of knowing that she was now in their world and how she didn’t try to invoke special privileges for change. But like the woman who was promoted to possibly go into linguistics, she was respected for the knowledge and practice in her first aid because being a volunteer in a small country fire station, there were more car accidents/medical calls to respond to than fires….hence the comment of bringing different strengths as a helpmate…a base thought that is transferred into any job and even marriage.

    Steve you are so right, when God wants something done, gender does not matter. He fits the back for the burden and will open doors that no man can close and close doors that no man can open! Eccl 3:1 Isaiah 45:1-3

    This was Claressa’s time!

  44. phpatato says:

    Morning Narrow

    I am praying that your computer will be like a timex watch…even though it’s taken a licking, it will keep on ticking!

    You have added nicely to the thought that I tried to convey. Thank you for being my helpmate! lol

    On gardening…I have 2 tomatoes in 2 big planters on my deck. Although, like many other regions, there has been little to no rain over the summer and even though I have faithfully watered and ferilized, there are only half a dozen or so tomatoes on each plant. Do you find the yield drops when grown in planters or am I missing something.

    May God richly bless each of my BTA friends this day!

  45. narrowpathseeker says:

    There is one thing I’ve learned for certain from many years of gardening and that is no matter how much we know and do right, the harvest is in God’s Hands. This year I have so many hot peppers(four different kinds) growing on 10inch or so plants, the plants can’t support them. Regular green peppers in the yard and on deck have not ONE pepper even started as yet…just blossoms that seem to do nothing. Maybe sometimes it has to do with the plant itself….maybe a bad seed?..I grow many of my plants from seed but also buy some at local nurseries. I had bought plants that did nothing one year and home grown did great and one year v/v. Have you clipped off the sucker stems on the tomatoes? I wonder if the quality of your few tomatoes will exceed those with many….just a thought.

  46. poohpity says:

    kingdom, I think the problems came from Paul trying to break the beliefs of Greek society worshiping the goddess Artemis/Diana which elevated the women above men. Thus it seems today’s church adopted those beliefs without understanding the culture that Paul was trying to lead to Christ. Acts 19:23-41 Timothy and Titus were Greek by birth so it seems that the people they were witnessing to and where they were living had problems in the church mixing (syncretism) the old beliefs with the newness in Christ. I would think his thoughts were to bring a balance but that is just a hunch.

    I think the women went along with the beliefs because normally women were married and are taught to be submissive to their husbands as to Christ. But that is another topic all together. We do not need to be seen in a role of power if we are truly seeking after God we are OK with the a role of humility rather than authority, we can allow God that authority while we quietly do His will.

  47. cherielyn says:


    Check the last topic where I attempted to answer your question about what I meant by cease and desist.

  48. His Sparrow says:

    On boxing…doesn’t it also require agility? And: observing, anticipating, reacting; movements large and small, speedy or controlled? And: contact (aka punches) placed precisely and taking advantage of momentum (physics)?

    These things would account for advantage and winning. A lotta examples in the Bible show would be “winners” not qualified to “fight” but they had the God advantage. I’m praying Flint and other communities will start thinking about God and “doubt their doubts and believe their beliefs. (Guess where I got that quote from Confeticat :) )

    On the garden sidebar:

    when temps get in the high 90s…pollen burns so… no or low pollination means no fruit; if you shaded them because of weather, they may not mature if they are full sun plants….

    container gardening
    without seein’ your lovelies I can only generalize about this

    you can help them along with foliar feeding by a dilute solution of a fertilizer (hint: blue, granular, comes in a box and the first word is Miracle…) in a spray bottle. Plants take food in through the leaves. Containers have extra problems when temperatures fluctuate, with drainage, leaching, and for a typical tomato plant, need volume (15 Gal nursery container size is smallest)

    Lord God, I know Flint and places like it are in distress and decay, fill the people with desire to plant gardens in the waste and emptiness, to spend time together in these gardens, to love one another through dry times and experience the miracele grow and abundance you give freely. Amen

  49. His Sparrow says:

    Oops Miracle Grow

  50. poohpity says:

    I am confused how this topic got taken to gardening but I am confused a lot these days.

    I do not know why a women or a man would want to get and give punches to win anything, to me that is sort of a lose, lose proposition no matter how one looks at it. I do not believe that was ever God’s intention for us to treat others whether it is considered a sport or not. Deborah or Jael neither were doing what they did for sport or to win a medal but to help deter the conquering of their people. Not to benefit one but to help a nation.

  51. His Sparrow says:

    Also thinking a lot of what has been said here is reflected in Proverbs 31:10-31 (KJ)
    As far as the work of women…whatever “field” we’re in, we’re fruity…and when we abide in Jesus, our fruit will point everyone to Him-wow-fruitfulness can even point to Him when the person isn’t saved.

    It’s also interesting to me that in verse 29 it speaks to me that God is addressing The Church, His Bride, because it goes from describing a woman, wife, to 29 “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. And then back to the woman, wife, in verse 31. I think that’s has a name in linguistics/grammar like change of object/noun or tense-help me out on the semantics, Confeticat-thank you.

    Pat-I’ve had a bunch of physiology, etc courses and what I got out of it is this: we get a certain amount of and type of muscle, genetically. What we can do is enhance or develop the performance of a muscle by growing blood vessels (tissue mass) to feed the muscles to do more work or endure, and remove waste (lactic acid-the burning sensation in sore muscle.) So the bulk “muscle” in training or “body building” is really tissue mass/blood vessel and when the development program ceases or declines, the body takes apart that mass, hence you get reduced performance (and saggy skin with stretch marks if it was rapid, voluminous development of the blood vessels.)

    Steve-if I had to deal with the deer, raccoon, moles and those things, I probably wouldn’t garden, well, maybe sprouts in the kitchen. I’d be on a bike hitting the roads with Matt-maybe we could find the Farmers’ Market. My friends up north sent pics of purple faced deer ’cause they ate their plums.

    Love you all
    His Sparrow

  52. SFDBWV says:

    His Sparrow, I ran the deer off here last spring, I had upwards of 25 deer here in my back yard every day all day long for several years.

    Mart was kind enough to post several of the pictures I sent along for all to enjoy.

    I even had them eating out of a bird feeder I had just a couple feet from my kitchen window.

    However they kept us from having anything growing in the yard as they ate everything within their reach.

    So last spring I succeeded in letting them know they were no longer welcome and ask my neighbor to quit feeding them in.

    I keep wild bird seed and sunflower seeds in metal trash cans on my back porch with lids. This works for feeding the birds and squirrels, though when the squirrels get hungry they come up on the porch and follow their noses to the cans; they can’t get in.

    At one time we had upwards to 15 raccoons visiting the feeders at night, but my neighbor and I caught them all out using live traps and once he quit feeding the deer that took care of the raccoons as well.

    Another problem with putting out corn for deer is the most undesirable of all critters, rats.

    I simply would shoot them with a .22 when they would show up, and put poison down their holes.

    I live in the middle of farm country so going to the farmers market is stopping at roadside stands and getting excellent vegetables from people I know.
    I laugh because many of my farmer friends will tell you they only eat meat from animals they knew personally. And I can still get home made home grown sausage from some.

    You remind me of Trina my friend from the National Weather Service. She lives outside of Winchester VA and is a veteran of the US Navy.

    I had best stop as I just sat down after cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and need to finish cleaning the grill and I could talk on and on as it’s one of my habits as I like people and like to talk with them, this group in particular.


  53. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, I knew as soon I posted my last comment that I would hear from you about being off topic. Sorry, that I have posted so much off topic material lately and annoyed you. I have plenty to do and should get to it.

  54. kingdomkid7 says:

    I can accept the notion of Paul and others trying to disengage the people from goddess worship. But the notion of women being silent in the church – which had a once-useful meaning of women being taught by their husbands and not yelling out indiscriminately — is being abused by any current “theology” that can’t see women as leaders. I do not believe the Proverbs 31 woman would be allowed a speaking role in some of these churches I’m talking about. She would be sent to the nursery.

  55. poohpity says:

    narrow, you could never annoy me in anyway. Not many have ever stayed on topic here for a very long time after the first year (2008) I visited this site. One came on and started carrying the topic to whatever they wanted to talk about and it has been that way ever since and I am sure it will continue. It is really not that important to me anymore and I can not change what other people do I have a hard enough time following the guidelines myself at times. I take responsibility for my emotions and do not blame them on others because no one can make me feel any way. I am not like the person you seem to imagine me.

    kingdom, I have heard many teach that this Proverb was in fact an example of an ideal women and to inspire us to be all we can be. This was written by King Lemuel at his mother’s knee. A man taught by his mom. She was a merchant as well as head over servants and workers not just taking care of the home but was also out in the community doing the work of most men in her time. I think of that one commercial that talks about going out and earning the bacon and then coming home an cooking it too, a women who does it all but this one had the help of servants. Most of us do not have that luxury but it sure would be nice ;-)

  56. kingdomkid7 says:

    Yes, that’s always been my picture of the Proverbs 31 woman:A capable woman, one who takes care of her family and loves God. I believe she is a model of servant leadership. That’s why she shouldn’t be muzzled. I won’t beat a dead horse on this! It’s just that I know several young women who are genuine lovers of God who have faced “glass ceilings” in ministry, though He has gifted them and called them. This just should not be.

  57. poohpity says:

    narrow, I enjoy your writing and respect you.:-)

  58. poohpity says:

    I agree but God will also provide a way for those young women to fulfill their purpose one way or another. There are other countries that respect the leadership of women. We have had to overcome many obstacles and if it does beat us down it will strengthen us in our service to the Lord. I think it is truly a way of satan to come against us as well by those tiny little people who come against those who seem to look to the Lord and follow after Him with all that they are.

  59. kingdomkid7 says:

    Right on target, pooh. God will make a way for these women! Even if the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard against him. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  60. His Sparrow says:

    I remember the deer pictures.

  61. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, in one of the emails Mart had sent to me long ago regarding personal matters he told me he likes for the blog to take on a life of its own sometimes and very much enjoys the personal touch that comes from us.

    It would be just a boring dry conversation if we were not allowed to be who we are.


  62. SFDBWV says:

    His Sparrow, you then remember the snow pictures from a couple winters ago. Wow what a contrast, the Mojave Desert and the snow capital of West Virginia.

    49 this morning and cloudy.


  63. confeticat says:

    Rabbi K – We have a small glitch here. In your “Olive Tree Mystery” (only made it through first half so far) you bend over backwards too far not to say anything against Paul. Maybe you think that’s not your place, but you can’t seem to get the leaven out when it comes to ‘Rav Shaul’ as you call him. If you let him stick his nose in he’s going to mess up our restoration. So I will have to veer off from you in places and hope we come together at the end. You are supposed to be the expert on olive trees and stuff like that and this whole thing is a strain on my brain.

    You are blaming Paul’s olive tree on poor old Zechariah, who had nothing to do with it! Zech. 4 – He keeps asking the angel “What are these two olive trees?” and you say the angel keeps teasing him, “Do you not know what these are?” You say Zechariah should have known who they are, that he should have consulted the writings of his contemporaries, and that he must have been in some kind of willful sin to be teased by an angel and he was rejected from becoming a priest. I distinctly remember being teased by angels and Z must have been a priest because his grandfather Iddo was a priest.

    Finally the angel tells Zechariah that the two olive trees are the two anointed witnesses to represent the Father’s affairs on earth. Which means they would have to be Messiah’s witnesses but Zechariah would not have known that. Anyway, in Jeremiah 11:16 Yahweh names the olive tree of his planting, and it was perfect. Yet in Jer.11:17 something had gone awry from its original design. The good, godly fruit of the original tree turned against Yahweh and against one another. The tree had split into the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Yahweh says the tree that “had been planted in perfection” (quote yours) has been divided and he burned it and broke off its branches because of sin. Two olive trees out of one, two separate houses.

    After reminding us that Scripture always interprets Scripture, you offer Rom. 11:1, saying Paul’s olive tree refers to all Israelites and that he never once hinted that it was Jewish. Paul says he is an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, which is with Judah. I’d say that and “my fellow countrymen” in verse 14 are pretty big hints that he was speaking of a Jewish tree! Furthermore, if he meant it to be something else he wasn’t clear because it has been taken by Christians to mean a Jewish tree which gentiles are grafted into. (You say that is not the case, and I’m glad to know I’m not a wild gentile hanging out in his Jewish tree – but we‘ll look at that another time). Are you sure Paul was speaking of restoration here? He spoke of jealousy and arrogance, which makes me dislike this passage.

    I will agree with you, Rabbi, that a Jewish olive tree is “false, shortsighted, inaccurate and a classic case of isegesis (whatever that is!) in its worst form, causing millions to misinterpret Scripture!.” (I would have just called it the pits.) But look again, Rabbi, that’s Paul’s tree! The olive tree (one or two?) should be composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish Israelites, but Rav Shaul (Rom. 11:16b) has knocked the socks off your Jer. 11 text. It’s no mystery that Yeshua cannot be the root of Israel. He is the root and descendant of David (Isa. 11:1), the Righteous Branch. Paul is an equal opportunity destroyer.

  64. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    My computer must be tuned to that foreign TV station again!

    Didn’t understand a word of last comment above.


  65. cherielyn says:

    Bob in Cornwall,
    I suspect that confeticat visits other blogs, besides this one, and posted here what was meant for another one.

    I agree about the foreign TV station!

  66. foreverblessed says:

    Have been busy doing things lately, and have not been able to join in, but thank you all for having such a nice conversation, I really enjoy that. Psalm 133:1-2,3

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