Genesis

And so school begins anew. There’s not much more to say than that. Basically time is split between good and better things.

Life is always easier when I prioritize. Best thing to do: wake up early (like 530) and read scriptures. For me, everything follows very easily after that. When I put the most important things first (chronologically) in my day, the rest of it flows pretty much perfectly after that. Not that there aren’t flaws that creep up, but all my priorities are straight.
So then I go to work. Laundry is so much fun. :) (Yes, of course that is sarcastic.) I work till my first class starts about 900 and then it’s off to the races.
The Lord blessed me a lot this year and so I am living one of my dreams: I am coaching a high school volleyball team. Like as the head coach. Yeah, crazy, eh? Crazier still when it takes about 20-30 hours of my week. But I love it. It gives me something to do and forces me to plan and execute my plans well. I get a lot more done when I am constantly busy. But then, doesn’t everybody?
Genesis really has nothing to do with anything but the first line of this post.
But a fun scripture in Genesis gives insight to what God looks like. (Yeah, whoa! God looks like something?)
Yup, Genesis 1:26-27 read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
How can God create something in His image if He doesn’t have an image after which to form us? He can’t; it’s impossible. Even for God. So the logical conclusion is God has an image and likeness. This isn’t completely conclusive that God has a physical body, but mix it up with some NT scriptures and you gotta believe it.

The Samaritan Woman and Us

It seems that every time I got to my New Testament class my respect for women grows. Much of my astonishment come from realising the negative connotations women had in that time. So as I see the high praise women are given in scripture it sharply contrasts with the societal conventions of the day.

Today we discussed John 4 when Jesus converses with the Samaritan woman at the well. According to Jewish tradition Samaritan woman were perpetually unclean. Thus anything accepted of the by any Jew was unclean and the Jew would then be ritually unclean as well.
Yet Jesus asks her to draw water for Him. Imagine her confusion, knowing the Jewish tradition, to have this asked of her. But He then teaches her of the water He has to give. Over the course of their conversation she realises who He is and why His water will truly quench thirst eternally.
I love the symbolism of what she does as well. Because she is a woman, she likely makes the trek to the well daily to draw the water she will use to clean, cook, and give the thirsty inhabitants of her house. This water is life-giving. It is necessary to the survival of all. But it is necessary she draws it from the well daily, for they will surely thirst again.
So as she learns of the water Christ gives, she leaves her waterpot behind to tell the men in her house of Christ. In the same way she brings the water of physical life to her house each day, she brings the water of eternal life when she finds it.
What I love is this is not a role relegated to this woman alone. It is a divine role given to all women. Each is to bring that water of eternity to her home, what a blessing she has in being given this privilege!

The Strong Role of Women

It’s strange we often neglect the importance of women and downplay the performance of their roles. This becomes more apparent as we look at history. (Maybe this is a broad claim and I don’t have any support but what I see/study–at least not off the top of my head.)

But I am continually impressed at the strong roles women play in scriptures. We could look (and for a long while) at the impressive Old Testament examples of both Ruth and Esther. Each was a great example to those around her. A light to her world (and ours), in the same tradition Christ taught of in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5: 14-16).
As Jesus taught, He focused on the discrepancies which had crept into Jewish culture between what they had been taught and the traditions which had been adopted at nearly the same level as the Law (Talmud). Christ came to bring all to a higher understanding, to raise them closer to God.
In this He broke from tradition of pedantic following of Sabbath customs and taught, by example, that the Sabbath was given to do good.
The first chapter of Mark (and truly the rest of the text) shows this drastic separation from Jewish culture quite obviously. But what I think is important to focus on (aside from the casting out of evil spirits) is the healing of Peter’s mother.
She had been sick with fever and Jesus comes to her and heals her (apparently in broad Sabbath daylight). Now this would be semi-acceptable, but then she (with understanding of the true meaning of the Sabbath) ministers unto Jesus and His disciples. 
In first century literature/writings/etc a woman was NEVER depicted doing the right thing. She was generally shown as a temptress or not mentioned at all. How startling it is to have an example of a woman doing the right thing, in blatant contrast to customs of the time, both in what she should be doing and the fact she is even mentioned.
Which brings up my point: how often do we rely on the ‘literature of the time’ to tell us what women should and shouldn’t do, what effect they should and shouldn’t have on us. I’m afraid my grand- and great-grandchildren will look back on our time and say, ‘They had no respect for women. All the women were ever depicted as was sex objects or individuals who abandoned their God-given calling as nurturers to try to imitate men’–something they were never intended to do–just as we are not intended to imitate women in their roles.
I’m afraid we have the wrong view of women. And I’m afraid we don’t give the ones who fulfill their God-given role enough respect or appreciation.
Where would we be without our mothers or the other women who had such an important impact on our lives? We ought to praise women for taking such a strong position to be mothers(or desire to be mothers if they are not able).
Praise them for their strengths, and don’t tear them down just because they may not conform to society’s (ever-changing) view of what they should do.
Take the strong stance and praise the women who fulfill their strong role.