Abraham’s Confidence

Editor's Note: This is the second in a two part series on the story of Abraham. To read the other post, click here. Amid the unspeakably gorgeous mountain setting at the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina, a simple photograph made an indelible impression on me. The photo captured a wooden desk lined with Bibles and other study helps, several open at once; the desk belonged to Ruth Graham. For nearly a year, this picture has not left my mind and it’s made me curious to learn more about Billy Graham’s beloved wife. In her book It’s My Turn, Ruth remembers striving to get her way during their early years of marriage. In his gracious but firm tone, Billy once responded, “God will lead me and you will do the following.” She closed her chapter by stating, “I’ve been following ever since.” These remarks by Billy and Ruth beautifully depict the image of Christ and his church. As we place our faith in Christ and believe in his goodness, we will follow as he leads. In doing so, a beautiful story unfolds. In the first nine verses of Genesis Chapter 12, God does all of the speaking. He asked Abram for a dramatic response and gave an overview of the dramatic promises to follow. There are no recorded words from Abram. Only action. “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him” recounts verse 4. God is leading and Abram is following. It is simple and difficult at the same time. Through Abram’s first steps toward the Promised Land, there are truths to apply to the journey you and I are on today.

Abraham’s Confidence2022-05-07T23:37:53+00:00

He is Your Shepherd, Dear Lamb

Who is your shepherd? Who are you seeking to follow? A couple months ago, I spoke to a group of college women and was asked to discuss what my faith was like in college. I expressed that, as a Christian, I struggled to understand what it means to be God’s child. I failed to grasp that I was precious to God. I grew up in a home that was chaotic. It was questionable about who was in charge and I often felt like I had to be in charge, though I didn’t want to be. I wasn’t able to even be a child most of the time. This earthly experience rubbed off, and sometimes still does, on my faith. I didn’t feel invited to be a child of God—even though God’s word assured me that I was through faith (Galatians 3:26). As I talked about that struggle in the college ministry meeting and noticed where I am today many years out of college, I saw a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness. Over all these years, God has done what He promises. He continually pursued me and loved me (Psalm 139:7-8). While there is still a lot of transformation and growth to take place in life, God has sought me and kept me in His flock. He has shepherded me and reminded me,  I am His little lamb.

He is Your Shepherd, Dear Lamb2022-05-07T23:38:37+00:00

Discipling Women in the Workplace

If I asked, “Who are you discipling in the workplace?” how would you respond? Are you thinking, “Should I even be discipling in the workplace? Shouldn’t discipleship happen in the church? What if I am a full-time mom?”I had similar thoughts over the years. I prided myself in being able to compartmentalize my work-life and church-life. I heard of evangelism in the workplace but discipling in the workplace was a foreign concept until I spent three years in Cambodia on medical missions. There I heard our team leader preach that discipleship began with evangelism when Jesus first evangelized his future disciples from the fishing industry in the Gospels. Since then, God has been growing a heart for discipleship not only with women in the church, but even with pharmacy students and coworkers.Opportunities to Share of ChristI always felt something was amiss while training future pharmacists to become good clinicians. During my first year as a faculty member, I had three students—a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a Jewish student—assigned to me for six weeks. At the end of the rotation, one student asked, “Dr. Jun, you seem to have a lot of peace. Where does that come from?” Inwardly, I was so happy to be asked this, but outwardly, all I could say was, “uhm, you know…” Regrettably, I failed to give an answer for the hope that was in me.While my actions may have brought about curiosity, I failed to use my words to communicate the Gospel. I was not prepared and was ashamed to disclose that I was a Christian at work.

Discipling Women in the Workplace2022-05-07T23:39:25+00:00

Prayer and Partnerships: A Profile of Ridge Haven

Editor’s Note: From its inception, the women in the PCA have loved on and supported the denomination in practical ways. One way has been through the annual women’s ministry love gift. This year, the women’s ministry of the PCA is praying for and partnering with the different agencies and committees of the denomination regionally.  Throughout the year, we will highlight the committees and agencies to learn more about what they do and how we can pray for them. Below is an interview I did with Wallace Anderson about the work and ministry of Ridge Haven: Christina: Can you tell us about Ridge Haven and how it serves the PCA?

Prayer and Partnerships: A Profile of Ridge Haven2022-05-07T23:40:07+00:00

Adoption, Visas, and Resting in the Tension of God’s Call

Last week, four of us gathered as elders’ wives to pray for our growing church-plant and our husbands. My friend, Susan, had news. She had officially registered to adopt! I felt my stomach flip. An unfamiliar mixture of joy and bitterness clouded my congratulations. I tried to shake it off, but I realized I felt (perhaps) how a woman who has been unsuccessfully trying to conceive feels when her friend announces a pregnancy. I wanted to be happy— I am happy— but a gnawing jealousy arose. My family and I are planting a church in a “security-sensitive” country. This past year, two of our team families were deported and our own visa was put on hold (and still is). The anti-foreigner (especially “anti-foreign religion”) government has been sniffing out suspicious activity and deporting at will. It is not a stretch to say we could be asked to leave tomorrow. At the beginning of 2018, before all the unhappy deportations started, my husband and I decided we were going to pursue adoption. A new law made it possible for foreigners to adopt, as long as the child was disabled in some way. We waited for the allotted two weeks to get our visa approved so we could start the adoption process. Two weeks turned into months, a year, and now 14 months. We continue to wait for the government to give us official permission to stay here.

Adoption, Visas, and Resting in the Tension of God’s Call2022-05-07T23:40:50+00:00

Connected Women Build Up the Church

I confess I do not remember the days of strong WIC Ministries in the PCA. I confess that I didn’t even know WIC Ministries existed until a year ago. I am currently thirty-five and became a member of a PCA Church when I was twenty-three. During my first several years in the PCA, I was a new believer, a new mom to four children under the age of five, and new pastor’s wife—I barely had any extra margin for women’s ministry in my local context—but my heart always longed to see more connected women in our Presbytery. The men in our Presbytery meet monthly for prayer, and quarterly for Presbytery Meetings; I always desired to see women from different PCA churches gathering together for encouragement, connection, equipping, and prayer. Part of a Greater Whole Last year, at my first Women’s Leadership Training (LT), Karen Hodge asked if I would be willing serve on her National Women’s Team as Regional Advisor to Women’s Ministries in Mid-America. I was quite shocked that she would ask me; I had only been leading women’s ministry in my local context for four years at the time, and I was in every way a newbie when it came to connecting women outside of my local context. As I have served awkwardly as a newbie Regional Advisor—learning as I go, one PCA acronym at a time—my heart has grown to see connected women on a Presbytery Level, Regional Level, and National Level. Being a small slice of the Women’s Ministry National Team has given me a diverse group of wise women who have prayed for me and walked alongside me during a difficult season in my life, and helped me troubleshoot the women’s ministry issues I have faced as a young leader in my local context. The love and connectedness I have received when I reached out beyond my local context, has blessed me more than I could ever ask or think. To step out of my small suburban, Ohio women’s ministry and serve alongside life-giving leaders from South Carolina, Texas, Delaware, and Washington has helped me practically see what Paul writes about in Ephesians 2, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

Connected Women Build Up the Church2022-05-07T23:41:44+00:00

Hinged: Vitally Connected to Christ and His Church

My office shelves are lined with a colorful assortment of pictures and memories I have amassed over twenty-five years of ministry. There are pictures of mentors and friends who have profoundly shaped my life. A Japanese silk fan and a colorful teacup from the Dominican Republic remind me of connections with my international sisters in Christ. In the middle, sits a brass hinge in a small black frame. People often ask me to tell the stories behind these mementos. Without fail, everyone asks me about the hinge.I am a HingeI am a hinge. A utilitarian piece of hardware. Its job is to connect two pieces together so that they are made useful. When a hinge does its job, you rarely notice it unless it squeaks. My calling as a hinge gets me up every day. I connect people to people and churches to churches. My goal is to strengthen them both by connecting them to sound resources.I long to hinge in such a way that people don’t see me but see the Christ and the beautiful unity that occurs when things join for His glory. I am a fifty-one-year-old hinge. I have great delight when I get to stand in the gap and help women connect across differences: different generations, cultures, and contexts. But I have no greater joy than when I see them vitally connected to Christ and His Church. Have you ever wondered what difference it would make if we believed we were better when hinged together to Christ and one another? 

Hinged: Vitally Connected to Christ and His Church2022-05-07T23:42:28+00:00
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