Women in the kingdom – “Jesus Feminist”


Jesus has been taking me crazy places lately in his kingdom. He’s been teaching me new things about participating with him in the now (my OneWord365 for the year).

And so accordingly, I’m paying close attention to his timing. It’s been exceptionally interesting (including watching a baby’s birth last weekend (!), and being whisked away to a monastery prayer retreat this weekend).

As I pray to see his goodness in all situations—even some really difficult ones—I want to share these encouraging words with you about participatory kingdom living from Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women.

Yes, it is a book about women in the kingdom, but it’s so much more. It’s about all of us in the kingdom, all of us loved, all of us important. May Sarah’s words spur you on—female and male—to keep trusting God like they are urging me.

“I won’t desecrate beauty with cynicism anymore. I won’t confuse critical thinking with a critical spirit, and I will practice, painfully, over and over, patience and peace until my gentle answers turn away even my own wrath.”

~ * ~

“Here is, very simply, what I learned about Jesus and the ladies: he loves us. He loves us. On our own terms. He treats us as equals to the men around him; he listens; he does not belittle; he honors us; he challenges us; he teaches us; he includes us—calls us all beloved.”

~ * ~

People want black-and-white answers, but Scripture is rainbow arch across a stormy sky. Our sacred book is not an indexed answer book or life manual; it is also a grand story, mystery, invitation, truth and wisdom, and a passionate love letter.”

~ * ~

“The culture, past or present, isn’t the point: Jesus and his Kingdom come, his will done, right now—that is the point.”

~ * ~

“It starts with this question: What would Love want to do here?

~ * ~

Let’s reclaim the church ladies now. Church ladies aren’t supposed to be kept in their women’s ministry corner. . . . It’s a lovely thing to watch men and women working together for the Kingdom of God. Women have more to offer the church than mad decorating skills or craft nights.”

~ * ~

If there is one soul in your care, one face in your loving gaze, one hand in yours, then you are loving the world. As Wm. Paul Young writes, ‘If anything matters then everything matters,’ and so the work today, the love we give and receive and lavish on the seemingly small tasks and choices of our days can tip the scales of justice and mercy in our world.”

~ * ~

“God wants his daughters to thrive, mature, gain wisdom, hone their gifts, and contribute to his vast purposes in our world. . . . God created his daughters to be kingdom builders—to pay attention to what is happening around us, to take action and contribute.”

~ * ~

“I’m through wasting my time with debates about women-should-do-this and women-should-not-do-that boundaries. I’m out. What an adventure in missing the point. These are the small, small arguments about a small, small god. Our big and good God is at work in the world, and we have been invited to participate fully—however God has gifted and equipped and called each of us.”

~ * ~

“Theologian Jonathan Edwards aptly said, ‘The task of every generation is to discover in which direction the Sovereign Redeemer is moving, then move in that direction.’

~ * ~

Now go. And do. You know Jesus—you have experienced the power and the grace with your own life; you have felt it in your own heart. Now go—heal, disciple, minister, love, loosen chains, throw open doors, bang your own pots and pans.”

* * *

How have you seen God at work in your corner of the kingdom lately? Please share in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Women in the kingdom – “Jesus Feminist”

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’m smack in the middle of something that is teetering on the edge of a cliff right now. 🙁 I can’t predict which way things will fall so I’m having to trust God as much as I can. More faith, Lord.

      This book is a good one; I think you’d enjoy it, too.

  1. Renee Ratcliffe

    This quote has made my day – thank you for sharing, Lisa! “If there is one soul in your care, one face in your loving gaze, one hand in yours, then you are loving the world. As Wm. Paul Young writes, ‘If anything matters then everything matters,’ and so the work today, the love we give and receive and lavish on the seemingly small tasks and choices of our days can tip the scales of justice and mercy in our world.”
    Congratulations on your embracing of the new. Looks like you and God have exciting adventures awaiting! Glad to connect with you through Lyli’s link-up. I’m inspired and will be looking for Sarah’s book.
    Gratefully, Renee

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love that quote too, Renee! Such power and affirmation in knowing that our one thing today–however small it may appear to us–makes a difference. Hope you enjoy Sarah’s book too!

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  3. David


    It’s very hard for us to appreciate exactly how ground-breaking was the tratment of women in the Gospels — and consequently how important. By chance I’m currently reading “The Sceptical Feminist”. My old prof. used to go on about “In Memory of Her” (that episode with the nard oil prob my 2nd fave story in the NT). I can imagine how exciting a feminist reading of the Gospels would be.

    But what about Paul? Don’t have short hair. Don’t speak in church (“if you have a question wait till you get home and ask your husband”!!?). What does Bessey have to say about all that?

    You know you are important to me. If you are teetering on the edge of a cliff I’ll pray about you.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes–I can’t even imagine how radical Jesus must have seemed back in the day (and sometimes even in our day still). Paul…you figure that one out and let me know. 🙂 Sarah’s opinion (and my apologies to her if I’m getting her wrong) leans toward much of that being culture-specific to their time, not to ours.

      I appreciate your prayers very much. God has been very gentle today. It’s actually not my cliff, but a friend’s cliff, and she’s unaware of it. But it was averted today completely. It still may be forthcoming, but at least not today. Not now. For better or worse.

  4. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I enjoyed reading through the quotes from the book you are reading. Isn’t it wonderful when you find a book that just speaks to you ‘now’, right where you are standing?
    I think a retreat in a monastery would be so cool. Did you like it?

    I know that God worked through me when I fell. I was holding my one year old granddaughter, but she was fine. I broke my leg! That is a miracle to me. Just that knowledge keeps me from feeling too down and out about my own situation.

    Sounds like you have been having some wonderful spiritual experiences. Thanks be to God who loves you so powerfully 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it always amazes me how God can send just the right author and words at just the right time. That’s quite a feat. 🙂

      The retreat starts tonight so I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m very excited to get away from the “ordinary” for a bit and be able to single-mindedly focus on God.

      Quite the miracle that your granddaughter was fine! I’ll continue to pray for your healing, Ceil.

  5. Jennifer Dougan

    Hi Lisa Notes,

    Those are some intriguing snippets from her book. I haven’t read it yet, but appreciated the thoughts you shared and started here. This one I liked best ” I will practice, painfully, over and over, patience and peace until my gentle answers turn away even my own wrath.” Yes. A wise practice for me too.

    Tell me more about this new baby, and your prayer retreat!

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for asking about the baby, Jennifer! He’s a tiny, tiny thing. He was born 4 weeks premature last Saturday; 5 lb, 4 oz. He belongs to some friends of mine that we’ve made through Manna House, a food distribution center where we volunteer. This family has very, very few resources, so it’s been my honor that the Lord is allowing me to help them in this season. They asked Jeff and I to be the godparents so I hope I’ll be able to keep up with little Isaak through the years. That may prove difficult due to circumstances, but God is big enough to make it happen if he wants to.

      The prayer retreat is this weekend so I’ll try to write about it soon!

  6. Linda@Creekside

    Wow, Lisa! You’ve jumped into January with both feet … what adventures just half way into this first month of the year.

    Sarah’s book was one of my favorites out of the 40+ I read last year. Just reading those excerpts brought a smile to my heart.

    She’s got another book in the works … and a little one due soon.

    Can’t wait to hear all about your recent adventures, friend.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I did know Sarah was pregnant with a baby but not also with another book. Exciting! God keeps breeding new things in us all the time, right?

      My weekend retreat was MARVELOUS! I hope to write more about it today and get it on the blog sometimes soon. Thanks for asking.

  7. Tracy

    Hi Lisa, I love the statements and quotes in this post. I will definitely be looking into the book mentioned here. I want to be the woman God created me to be, not what the world dictates. Great post
    God bless

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish just who we are to be–we hear different messages everywhere we turn. But yes, being the woman that GOD wants us to be is the one we want the most. Thanks, Tracy!

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