Women’s History Month – Part 4

During this month, we honor the women who used their gifts of communication to become influential writers and propel the Gospel forward with their words. Women's History Month

Some of these writers include:
Faltonia Betitia Proba (4th century AD) – a Christian poet.

Kassia (810-867) – a Greek poet and hymn writer. 49 hymns have been attributed to Kassia, the majority of which are currently used in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy.

Hildegard (1088-1179) – a theologian who wrote about natural history and the medicinal use of plants. As a script writer, Hildegard saw some of her plays performed in the convent she organized.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) – Yes, Julian was a woman who wrote about the motherhood of God.

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was born in England, married at 16 and sailed to America. As an early colonist, she and her family struggled through many hardships, but kept their faith intact. Anne became one of the premier Christian poets of the 17th century.

Sarah Osborn (1714-1796) – a Christian leader and writer.

Hannah More (1745-1833) wrote for stage performances and then became a philanthropist. She wrote tracts and books, describing social injustices and in 1805 published a book titled, “Hints Towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess.”

Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784) – a poet.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) – a famous Christian writer. To help her family survive during the Revolutionary War period, Hannah made lace and tutored college-bound men. Then she wrote “An Alphabetical Compendium of the Various Sects”, an encyclopedia of world religions. With sales from this book, Hannah became the first American woman to support herself through the income of writing.

Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was the founder of the Sisters of Charity. During her lifetime, she wrote prolifically in her journals which recorded the struggles and victories of a life of faith. She also translated several French works, including “The Life of St. Vincent de Paul.”

Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) – an evangelist and a writer.

Most of us know the name of Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) who was a famous hymn writer.

Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) used her writing skills in conjunction with her gift of evangelism. One of her most beloved books is “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.”

Patricia St. John (1919-1993) – a popular writer of Christian children’s books including “Treasures of the Snow.”

The list grows into the 20th and 21st centuries. God’s daughters continue to use their giftings for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Whether they write, serve as missionaries or raise the next generation of Christians – the month of March reminds us to celebrate women and their roles in history.

Since Jesus valued us and died for us, we go forward to write, speak, teach, nurture and evangelize our world. As Christ has loved us, so we love him and make our own places in history as women, servants and the bride of Christ.

Women’s History Month – Part 3

Women's History MonthThroughout history, many women were called to preach and to use their gifts of evangelism. Although some denominations shut women out of speaking and teaching roles, historical records corroborate the important role these female preachers held.

Notable names include the Waldensian women of the 13th century. These women began a Christian movement in southern France and portions of Italy that spread across Europe. Many of the Waldensian women were preachers who believed in the literal interpretation of Scripture. They also promoted social justice and respect for religious diversity. Although a great number of the Waldensian women were burned at the stake for their beliefs, the church still exists in Italy.

The Lollards, a Christian movement in England from the 14-16th centuries, merged with the Protestants due to the preaching of many Lollard women. These women also helped to translate the Bible into a vernacular English.

During the 17th century, the Baptists and the Quakers employed many women preachers. One of them was Susannah Wesley, mother of John Wesley. She often traveled to neighboring villages to preach and teach. Through his mother’s example, Wesley learned to treasure the leadership gifts of women. When he founded his London Society in 1742, 49 of the 66 members were women.

Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) was a preacher in Massachusetts. During the time of the Puritans, women were barely allowed to think for themselves, but as a young girl, Anne developed an interest in theology. She read widely from her father’s library and questioned religious leaders of the day. In 1643, Anne and her husband and their 15 children sailed to America. She initiated a Bible study in her home where she preached the doctrine of salvation by grace rather than works. As her study grew, so did her influence. She was later excommunicated because she acted “as an unseemly woman.”

Sarah Crosby (1729-1804) was a famous Methodist preacher whose work influenced scores of people for over 20 years.

Several Victorian women served as evangelists and preachers. Some also organized charities. Among those were:
• Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874)
• Antoinette Brown who became the 1st ordained Congregationalist minister in 1853
• Catherine Booth who was a preacher before she married William and together they founded the Salvation Army.
• Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924) who was a famous evangelist
• Eva Burrows – an Australian evangelist
• Agnes Ozman (1870-1937), a Pentecostal evangelist
• Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) who may have been the most famous woman evangelist of the early 20th century.

We are indebted to these courageous women who fulfilled the call God placed on their lives and used their teaching and preaching gifts to further the Kingdom of God.

Women’s History Month – Part 2

While many Christian women in history gave their lives to overseas service, other women stayed in their homelands. They worked to initiate the significant cultural and social differences we celebrate today.Women's History Month

One such woman was Fabiola who lived in the 4th Century AD. Although she was a wealthy woman, Fabiola gave up everything to nurse the poor. She served as an example of a woman who sacrificed her own desires to meet the needs around her.

Brigid, who lived from 450-525, founded the 1st women’s religious community in Ireland while Hilda of Whitby (614-680) founded several monasteries. Hilda, an influential woman in the Saxon church, also hosted the Synod of Whitby in 664.

We can only imagine the amount of work required to organize a synod.

Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) grew up as a daughter of wealth. Her family lived in a castle in Mount Subasio, Italy. Clare founded an order of nuns who became known as the Poor Clares, because they so seriously committed to their vow of poverty.

Katharine Zell (1497-1562) visited the sick and the prisoners as she accompanied ministers during the Peasants’ War. Katharine also sheltered Protestant refugees in Germany and published several tracts and books that outlined the importance of women using their gifts.

Along with George Fox, Margaret Fell (1614-1702) co-founded the Quakers. Margaret became known as the “nursing mother” of Quakerism, because she opened her home as the communications center for this religious movement.

Another key woman in a religious movement was Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. She lived from 1707-1791, and served as a key figure in the Methodist movement of the 18th century.

Catherine Booth became a devout Christian at a young age. By the time she was 12, she had read the entire Bible eight times. Before she met her husband, William, Catherine preached in open-air meetings. It was her commitment to speak for the Lord that first impressed William. Together, they founded the Salvation Army in 1865.

As a more current example, Esther John (1929-1960) worked as a Pakistani Christian nurse. Although born into a Muslim family, she found Christ by observing the teachers of a Christian school. Esther then traveled through the smaller country towns to share her testimony. At the age of 30, she was brutally murdered. A statue to commemorate her life now stands at the entrance to Westminster Abbey.

These are only a few of the many examples of women who served God in their homelands. They remain shining pillars for all of us 21st century women who seek to make a difference in our world.

Women’s History Month – Part 1

Women's History MonthAs we celebrate Women’s History Month, we remember all the Christian women who made a difference for the Kingdom of Christ. These were women of courage and foresight who marched against the traditions of their culture in order to follow their Lord. But who were some of these women?

Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, provided a place where he could rest. Legend tells us that Martha was a wealthy widow and the homeowner who supported her brother, Lazarus, and her sister, Mary. Martha organized the work, supervised her servants and – as scripture implies – used her type A personality to get things done.

We need the Martha’s of our world, just as much as we need the Mary’s.

Other biblical women who exercised leadership and earned their way to biblical records include Lydia, Priscilla, Deborah, Abigail, Rahab, Jael, Mary Magdalene, Suzanna, Ruth, Joanna and of course, Mary – the mother of Jesus.

But what of the women beyond these biblical characters?

Many Christian women of history are listed as martyrs, those ladies who gave their all for the love of their Lord. Some of these noble warriors include Blandina (177 AD) from France, Perpetua and Felicitas (203AD), Faltonia (4th century AD) and Anne Askew (1546) an English Protestant martyr. Many others may not be recorded here, but they are definitely written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Many historical women were noted missionaries, who moved to another country and brought other people groups to Christ. To become a missionary in those days meant extreme hardship. These women truly left father, mother and homeland for the sake of the Gospel (Mark 10:29).

Some of these brave women include:
• Ann Lee (1736-1784: a Quaker missionary)
• Ann Judson (1789-1826: missionary to Burma)
• Lottie Moon (1840-1912: missionary to China)
• Mary Slessor (1848-1915: missionary to Africa)
• Ida Scudder (1870-1960: missionary to India)
• Evelyn Brand (1879-1974: missionary to India)
• Gladys Aylward (1903-1970: missionary to China)
• Elisabeth Elliott and Rachel Saint who helped reach the hearts of the Auca Indians in the 1950’s-60’s.

During Women’s History Month, we salute these brave women who left a legacy of faithfulness to Christ. As their sisters, we step forward to serve our Lord in whatever field He leads us to – for the glory of the One who created us to be His.

Women’s History Month – Part 4

ImageDuring March, 2012, we honor the women who used their gifts of communication to become influential writers and propel the Gospel forward with their words. Some of these writers include:

Faltonia Betitia Proba (4th century AD) – a Christian poet.

Kassia (810-867) – a Greek poet and hymn writer. 49 hymns have been attributed to Kassia, the majority of which are currently used in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy.

Hildegard (1088-1179) – a theologian who wrote about natural history and the medicinal use of plants. As a script writer, Hildegard saw some of her plays performed in the convent she organized.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) – Yes, Julian was a woman who wrote about the motherhood of God.

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was born in England, married at 16 and sailed to America. As an early colonist, she and her family struggled through many hardships, but kept their faith intact.  Anne became one of the premier Christian poets of the 17th century.

Sarah Osborn (1714-1796) – a Christian leader and writer.

Hannah More (1745-1833) wrote for stage performances and then became a philanthropist. She wrote tracts and books, describing social injustices and in 1805 published a book titled, “Hints Towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess.”

Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784) – a poet.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) – a famous Christian writer. To help her family survive during the Revolutionary War period, Hannah made lace and tutored college-bound men. Then she wrote “An Alphabetical Compendium of the Various Sects”, an encyclopedia of world religions. With sales from this book, Hannah became the first American woman to support herself through the income of writing.

Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was the founder of the Sisters of Charity. During her lifetime, she wrote prolifically in her journals which recorded the struggles and victories of a life of faith. She also translated several French works, including “The Life of St. Vincent de Paul.”

Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) – an evangelist and a writer.

Most of us know the name of Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) who was a famous hymn writer.

Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) used her writing skills in conjunction with her gift of evangelism. One of her most beloved books is “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.”

Patricia St. John (1919-1993) – a popular writer of Christian children’s books including “Treasures of the Snow.”

The list grows into the 20th and 21st century. God’s daughters continue to use their giftings for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Whether they write, serve as missionaries or raise the next generation of Christians – the month of March reminds us to celebrate women and their roles in history. Since Jesus valued us and died for us, we know we can go forward to write, speak, teach, nurture and evangelize our world. As Christ has loved us, so we love him and make our own places in history as women, servants and the bride of Christ.

Women’s History Month – Part 2

While many Christian women in history gave their lives to overseas service, other women stayed in their homelands. They worked to initiate the significant cultural and social differences we celebrate today .

One such woman was Fabiola who lived in the 4th Century AD. Although she was a wealthy woman, Fabiola gave up everything to nurse the poor. She served as an example of a woman who sacrificed her own desires to meet the needs around her.

Brigid, who lived from 450-525 founded the 1st women’s religious community in Ireland while Hilda of Whitby (614-680) founded several monasteries. Hilda, an influential woman in the Saxon church, also hosted the Synod of Whitby in 664. We can only imagine the amount of work required to organize a synod.

Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) grew up as a daughter of wealth. Her family lived in a castle in Mount Subasio, Italy. Clare founded an order of nuns who became known as the Poor Clares, because they took their vow of poverty quite seriously.

Katharine Zell (1497-1562) visited the sick and the prisoners as she accompanied ministers during the Peasants’ War. Katharine also sheltered Protestant refugees in Germany and published several tracts and books that outlined the importance of women using their gifts.

Along with George Fox, Margaret Fell (1614-1702) co-founded the Quakers. Margaret became known as the “nursing mother” of Quakerism, because she opened her home as the communications center for this religious movement.

Another key woman in a religious movement was Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. She lived from 1707-1791, and served as a key figure in the Methodist movement of the 18th century.

Catherine Booth became a devout Christian at a young age. By the time she was 12, she had read the entire Bible eight times. Before she met her husband, William, Catherine preached in open-air meetings. It was her commitment to speak for the Lord that first impressed William. Together, they founded the Salvation Army in 1865.

As a more current example, Esther John (1929-1960) worked as a Pakistani Christian nurse. Although born into a Muslim family, she found Christ by observing the teachers of a Christian school. Esther then traveled through the smaller country towns to share her testimony. At the age of 30, she was brutally murdered. A statue to commemorate her life now stands at the entrance to Westminster Abbey.

These are only a few of the many examples of women who knew God created them to use their giftings and serve him in their homelands. They remain shining pillars for all of us 21st century women who seek to make a difference in our world.

Women’s History Month – Part 1

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we remember all the Christian women who made a difference. These were women of courage and foresight who marched against the traditions of their culture in order to follow their Lord. But who were some of these women?

We have, of course, the biblical histories of Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus who provided a place where he could rest. Legend tells us that Martha was a wealthy widow and the homeowner who provided for her brother, Lazarus, and her sister, Mary. Martha organized the work, supervised her servants and – as scripture implies – used her type A personality to get things done. We need the Martha’s of our world, just as much as we need the Mary’s.
Other biblical women who exercised leadership and earned their way to biblical records include Lydia, Priscilla, Deborah, Abigail, Rahab, Jael, Mary Magdalene, Suzanna, Ruth, Joanna and of course, Mary – the mother of Jesus.

But what of the women beyond these biblical characters? Many Christian women of history are listed as martyrs, those ladies who gave their all for the love of their Lord. Some of these noble warriors included Blandina (177 AD) from France, Perpetua and Felicitas (203AD), Faltonia (4th century AD) and Anne Askew (1546) an English Protestant martyr. Many others may not be recorded here, but they are definitely written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Tim Lambert has compiled a history of Christian women. Many historical women were noted missionaries, who moved alone to another country and brought other people groups to Christ. To become a missionary in those days meant extreme hardship. These women truly left father, mother and homeland for the sake of the Gospel (Mark 10:29).

Some of these brave women include:
• Ann Lee (1736-1784: a Quaker missionary)
• Ann Judson (1789-1826: missionary to Burma)
• Lottie Moon (1840-1912: missionary to China)
• Mary Slessor (1848-1915: missionary to Africa)
• Ida Scudder (1870-1960: missionary to India)
• Evelyn Brand (1879-1974: missionary to India)
• Gladys Aylward (1903-1970: missionary to China)
• Elisabeth Elliott and Rachel Saint who helped reach the hearts of the Auca Indians in the 1950’s-60’s.

During Women’s History Month, we salute these brave women who left a legacy of faithfulness to Christ. As their sisters, we step forward to serve our Lord in whatever field He leads us to – for the glory of the One who created us to be His.