We are excited to join in with Life Vineyard Church's Beloved women's conference. The conference theme is foundations and will be all about how we can have Jesus as our firm foundation and the cornerstone on which we build our life.
The event is on Friday November 20 at 8pm. There will also be a prophetic time before hand if you would like to register, and a prayer and ministry time after the event itself.
Please find out more and join us at https://www.lifevineyard.church/events/beloved-conference/
We live in a time when women are still fighting for the right to be treated with the same respect and dignity as men; to have their talents, abilities, and strengths recognised as having equal value as those of their male counterparts; to have their voices heard and listened to. Although our culture talks a lot about ‘equality’, the basic consideration of women as being equal to men is still a work in progress.
The foundation for the concept of equality among men and women has been available in the Bible for many years. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he argues that Jesus has given his followers a new identity that supersedes the old way of measuring each other. This identity enables them to live freely in the Kingdom of God, their transformed lives demonstrating the new thing that God is doing in the world. He says:
Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This doesn’t mean that God has done away with gender differences. God still affirms the beauty of His creation of male and female. But it does mean that in Christ Jesus, the ways humans have used gender differences (and other indicators) to determine someone’s worth, have been done away with. In God’s Kingdom, all people have access through Jesus to God’s presence and His giftings.
This echoes the promise made by the prophet Joel, and confirmed by Peter in his speech on the day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:18 “In those days I will pour out my Spirit, even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.”
But in many corners of the church, women are still regarded as having no access to positions of teaching and leading. Those who argue for this state of affairs will quote the Bible in their defence. In particular, they select specific portions of Paul’s letters to make their case.
One such portion is in Paul’s first letter to Timothy:
1 Timothy 2:11 Women should learn quietly and submissively. 12 I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. 13 For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
This passage is used to justify restricting women from ever teaching or leading men. On first glance at this passage, they may be justified. But on closer inspection, we find a different story.
The church in Ephesus that Timothy pastored was in danger due to a false teaching that was infiltrating the church. The teaching stated that Eve had been created first, was superior to Adam, and that women were to return to Eve’s Edenic state of perfection through methods such as refusing marriage (even if they were already married), avoiding childbirth, and restricting the foods they ate. This false teaching was being spread from house to house by women who were new to the Christian faith and had not had the opportunity to be educated. Paul’s instructions to Timothy included:
This passage is not a universal ban on women leading and teaching men. It’s a specific command to a particular church at a particular time over a particular issue. The core lesson we can take from it is not that women can’t teach or lead men, but that false teaching should be stopped dead in its tracks for the sake of the church.
Of course, the whole New Testament is full of references to women ministers co-labouring with men and leading in their own right:
Paul himself commends many women in their roles as leaders in the church. In fact, he spends a whole chapter of his letter to the Romans greeting his co-labourers in the gospel. A third of those he mentions are women. We must approach the Bible without fear, exegete passages carefully, and consider the context of Paul’s wider ministry and writing when we come across passages that appear to ‘restrict’ women.
It is not liberal, feminist, cultural movements that has set women free. It is Jesus, the Saviour, who gave His life for men and women, and made it possible for us to live out God’s new way of doing things, right here and now. As we do, we see a glimpse of the promise of the Kingdom yet to come, where all wrongs will be put right, and all oppression and injustice will cease.
At Falkirk Vineyard, we believe in the Biblical truth that life in the Kingdom of God, and participation within God’s church family is available to all who come by faith in Jesus. It is His transforming power at work in us which frees us from sin and qualifies us to serve one another. we believe that all roles in the church are open to men and women based on spiritual gifting and Godly character. Women and men are different but equal, and their gifting may be expressed differently, but equally as effectively. This is why, in all areas of leadership in our church, in the Scottish Vineyard Region, and in the National Vineyard movement, you will find women in positions of leadership, authority, and responsibility.
Associate Pastor, Falkirk Vineyard Church
Ladies we are so excited for the clothes swap evening!
Come and enjoy breathing new life into your wardrobe. Tickets are £5 and you can get these from Lyndsey on Sundays. We would love for you to come along.
If you have any good quality clothes you would like to donate to the event. Please start bringing these in from December.
Ladies we are so pleased to be back on the blog and back for a brand new season of events! The women of this church are genuinely always on my mind and my heart. I can honestly say you women are a community of loving, caring, hilarious, supportive and encouraging women and i have never seen that anywhere else quite like here at Falkirk Vineyard. Our aim with ladies ministry is to create space... a space for women to connect with each other, to meet with Jesus, a space to invite friends, a space where we can be ourselves; our real, true selves. You know the one in her Pj’s with hair in a messy bun, with last night mascara still on... you know her right?
At the start of each season the team meet up and decide on events, dates, decor, food etc etc and this year our theme is... CREATIVITY. I read somewhere recently that christianity must be creative because first and foremost, we follow a creative God! isn't that true. Isn’t he always up to something ‘creative’ in our lives? The first thing to happen in the bible was God making the most astounding, most creative display of amazing colour and life and nature just being formed from nothing! We resonate with God through his creations, we sit on beaches staring out at the ocean, we stand on mountains looking across all that he created, we look at a single leaf and see all the details in every single leave of every single tree and the breath taking views of the colours of those leaves in autumn. God’s creativity draws us to Him.
SO you see God is a creator and we are made in God’s image so that means by our very existence that we are creative. I can see all you non artistic people rolling your eyes and saying ‘oh no, I'm not crafty or arty’. But thats not what creativity is, we are making creativity and God’s creativity small by thinking of it as only arts and crafts. God didn't just say ‘ok, you can sew, you can paint and you can make jewellery, right thats all the creative skills given out.’ IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST ARTS AND CRAFTS! Our God has so much more for us than that. We are created to be WHO he made us to be, every single part of us! When we are the full creative versions of ourselves - we show people our creator. You see we point them back to God, just like the autumn leaves.
Let me tell you a little about me and creativity. You see if you asked me outright if I was creative, I would probably say no. But I do actually sew, and bible journal and crochet and like to dabble in really anything crafty but i never really think of my brain as being creative. I just think I like to try new things and it’s even better when they actually look good (not like my baking... my recent loaf of bread turned out like a rock!!)
But the more I pondered this subject and my creativity...... the more God revealed to me. God said 2 things to me. Firstly, He said; "where is your creative joy?" and when I thought about it i instantly knew interiors, house designing, decorating, redecorating (if you don't know the story of me making my husband paint our living room 8 times in one week I'm sure someone will fill you in). You see i LOVE IT. I love every part of it. I love the imagining of what I would like the space to be; what colours, what fabrics, textures and then the buying is pretty fun, DIY is ok but the finished product is just so joyful to me. To sit in a space I had thought of in my head, for an atmosphere for me to cuddle up with a book, to create a space that I can welcome people into and want them to feel welcome, loved and cared for. Thats what I want for my home. Our home to be a space for not just us but those in my life. that is my creative joy. But I do also sew and craft a little but thats the second thing God said to me the other night (really inconveniently I was in bed and it woke me up) but God made it clear He wants me to pursue more because thats where I will find my rest.
You know ladies, I think a lot of TV, movies and whatever else takes up our free time often switches our creativity off. Our brains and creative sides don't need to be working because we are watching the screen. This is not to say we shouldn't watch TV or have a chilled night but it is to say in order to explore our creativity and the gifts God has given we have to explore. We have to give it a shot, not just say ‘I can't paint’ and that is that. You see I believe everyone is creative, and we can use this creativity to worship God. When we are becoming the people He made us to be, we can spend time with him.
You see we can focus on God in our creating. In 1 corinthians 10:31 it says whatever you do do it all for the glory of God. You know what that means right... whatever you were created to do; do it for God. Paint for God. Sing for God, crochet for God, write for God, run for God. By doing so you are offering up your life as a living sacrifice as it says in Romans 10.
You remember the story Jesus tells in the Bible about three servants. One was given five talents; another two; and another one. The ones with ten and five invested them and doubled the investments. The other buried his talent in the sand. The two who invested their talents were honored by their master, but the other was not honoured. This story shows that God expects us to invest the gifts and talent He has given us for His glory! Here is an excerpt of an article from the Relevant church in America. It says:
“Here’s the truth: It’s impossible to lack creativity while standing in the presence of the creator. The Lord has graced us with an intrinsic ability to create. To design beauty from nothing. To write, to draw, to build, to sing and to dance for something and someone bigger than ourselves...”
The Lord always has a purpose for blessing us with gifts—and He wouldn’t be so clear about our creative prowess if He didn’t expect us to use it without abandon. Ephesians 2:10 says we were ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ Ladies I feel God is trying to tell us to chase that Dream, chase the creativity!! And we are so excited for our season of Ladies events ahead to experience, grow and nurture our creativity!
This is a lovely time to be together as ladies, to share a coffee, pastry and a chat before heading out to enjoy the beauty of what God has created around us.
Meeting outside the doors of Callendar House on 26th October at 9.30am. Please bring your own hot drink.
A night for all the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard to get together, worship God, hear an inspiring message, and pray for one another.
We will meet in Camelon Community Centre @ 7.30pm on the 28th September.
On Saturday 30 March, our ladies are meeting at in front of Callendar House at Callendar Park to walk around the grounds. It will be a relaxing time to catch up and enjoy each other's company. Please bring a flask or cup with your own drink, and we will provide pastries and fruit! Invite your friends!
It would be helpful if you could register to let us know you are coming: https://falkirkvineyard.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/218012
“A story about the fear of missing out (F.O.M.O)”
I’m Jasmine. I’m married to Andrew and together we pastor FVYOUTH. We have 2 wonderful wee boys Seth (3) and Henry (6months). When Frankie asked me to write something for the women’s blog I started to think what the heck could I have to say that would really be encouraging or insightful. I’d managed to dodge this blog for a year, so why now?!
I am not a front of house anything, never mind insightful speaker/writer! I say the wrong thing more than I say the right thing. 😂 I figured the timing was perfect. I could share whatever happened at the National Leaders Conference I was going to be attending the next week. I was sure God was going to do amazing, renewing and ‘compass resetting’ work in my life at NLC as he had done before. Great! Sorted! ✅ However God had a different plan... CHICKEN POX!!
Those nasty little red spots meant I had to stay home with my two wee boys whilst my husband and a whole crowd went off to NLC. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement... NLC was always a highlight for me; awesome teaching, amazing ministry time and meeting friends across the vineyard. And of course my favourite thing... dance parties till 10pm with my 3 year old at the back to the incredible worship.
But rather I would have to sit at home stuck inside changing nappies and entertaining my high energy 3 year old (who doesn’t show any sign of ailment other than the polka dots) and miss out on it all… I prayed so hard for a miracle that the spots would just evaporate, but God had other plans. At first I was just miserable. Poor me. I’ve got such a hard life. I’m missing out. I don’t get to hear all the chat or hangout with everyone. I don’t get to spend time with Andrew as a family during his oh so infrequent time off work.
Poor me. Poor me. Poor me! But then through the tears i started to try and see the good and search for what God’s purpose was. There’s a reason I’m stuck at home. There’s a reason I’m not there and I’m here. There’s a reason I’m missing out… God has something to teach me.
Whilst driving out to buy some comfort food (Nando’s) on Saturday night after realising I was going to be spending the next week alone with my boys I started shouting at the devil... literally shouting!!
"You will not steal my joy; You will not steal my joy!"
No matter what my week looked like I would not let him take away my joy. The joy in my boys, however exhausting they may be. The joy in Andrew getting to spend 4 days immersed in what God had for him, despite how jealous I was. The joy that I could still watch it online, despite really just wanting to be in the room... I put a brave face on, and then as i spent time with God, I felt His presence was with me as he revealed something I’ve always known but not fully grasped, something so profound... God’s presence never leaves me.
He never leaves me!! He is always there. He is always beside me and feels what I feel. He hears my joy and my sadness. He hears my thanks and frustration. And He longs for me to meet with him where ever I am. At home. In the car. Hiding in the bathroom for a wee break from the kids. Out for a walk in the -6 degrees! At 3am when my 6 month old decides this is the great time to roll about the cot.
I don’t need a huge atmospheric conference to meet with him. I don’t need incredible live worship to meet with him. I don’t need to be sitting in the shadow of incredible speakers to meet with him… God’s presence is always around me. It’s everywhere!! It’s me that needs to become present... To say to God ‘yes Lord’. I’m listening and I want to be in your presence. It’s me that needs to arrive, not God!
In the last session of NLC Katia Adams shared about joy, And how we must stand up and not let the devil steal our Joy! Yes!!!!! Find your joy in God. Even when life is hard; even when we’re missing out; even when we feel like no one sees us. Find joy in God even through the tears because he loves you!! And he’s for you. He wants to bless you.
God was chasing after my heart. I just had to turn round and see it, rather than run in the opposite direction trying to find it… God was chasing after me the whole time. He was saying, "Jasmine; Stop! I’m right here! You don’t need to travel 5 hrs and try to organise 2 kids and be stressed about naps and feeding for 3 days at a huge conference and then have a huge pile of washing when you get back and have messed up routines… I am right here!! And I want to be with you HERE!!"
Isn’t God good?!
Do you need to turn round and see that God is right there? Stop running to where you think is the place to find God. Just stop and turn round to see he’s standing right there.
Just as it says in Exodus 33:14 -
‘My presence shall go with you wherever you go and I will give you rest…’
Oh I wish I’d worked this out on Monday morning... it’s now Friday morning and oh I need that rest!! Thank you Jesus!!
Christmas is a time for memories. I have all the Christmas memories stored up from the past 36 Years. It’s not always the things that we think are so important that we remember years later is it? A funny thing is I don’t remember all the presents and stuff I got even though I find myself stressing about buying the perfect gifts for people. Of course, some memories are so special and they capture precious loved ones who are no longer here. So they are bittersweet. Joy with the sting of tears.
I want to create the happiest of Christmas memories for me and my family. The ‘putting up the tree day’ is one I want to make perfect. No arguing, no stress. I want smiling children singing Christmas carols on the way to pick their new decorations. I want my husband to take my hand and to want to sing along with a Christmas jumper on. I want the most beautiful, perfectly straight tree with no baldly bits and no needles dropping. I want no bickering or controlling people when putting on the baubles and lights. I want the lights to work. I want to be able to find all my decorations and none to be broken. I want no vomiting children.
So let me tell you about last weekend; my perfect ‘tree putting up day’. It involved a trip to the garden centre singing Christmas songs - tick - (I may have forced my kids to sing loud in car by telling them if they didn’t sing I wouldn’t get them a decoration or a dominos pizza.) Only a slight argument arose when two of my boys wanted to pick the same decoration. This happens every year. Back to the house where Ryan couldn’t find the decoration box. I tried so hard not to blame him as he was the one who last touched it (I don’t go in the attic) but i did a little bit of blaming and sulking. Only shed a few tears as I thought he had chucked the box out inadvertently. I almost spiralled downwards. It contained a few decorations from my childhood- memories of times gone by I wanted to hold onto. This is when God whispered to me - that box is not what Christmas is all about.
Then we went to buy more lights—back on track and happy again and bingo a found box of missing decorations. Tick. Tree decorated albeit a few hours later than expected. Dominos pizza consumed, lovely Christmas movie on. Tick. That was all the bits within my control. Then the tummy aches began. Zac and Ethan were lying on the floor holding there stomachs. This was not in my ‘putting up the tree day’ perfect plan. Then the vomiting started. I’ve cleaned up a lot of vomit but this night was a whole new level. Up half the night cleaning children, mattresses, and walls . Musical beds ensued, 2:00am showers, boil washes and bleach. Pillows and pyjamas chucked in the bin.
This was out with my control. I couldn’t stop the vomiting children and my perfect evening was over. The memory would be ruined, but you know what? God was there. He was there amongst it all whispering to me that I don’t meet God in my memories I meet him in the present and as precious as they are I firmly believe the best is yet to come. And Christmas isn’t about things it’s about Jesus, my saviour, humbling himself and coming to earth as a helpless little baby. Gurgling and wriggling, the creator of all reduced himself to the smallest and most helpless of beings. He really did become Emmanuel; God with us. And that first Christmas was perfect but it wasn’t. You know what I mean? I think of a 15 year old Mary and the controlling part of my brain kicks in and as a mother I would have wanted the perfect night for Jesus to be born. (She would have had a water birth with candles and whale music) I would have wanted to create the perfect environment for such a special birth so I could tell him about it. But there was no room for him. There was no cot, he wasn’t born in a beautiful place. There were animals and smells and yet it was perfect wasn’t it? Our Lords birth was perfect. In amongst the chaos was the beauty of it. Light breaking through in the darkness. And because of this incarnation I can be sure Jesus totally gets the vomit thing. He’s literally been here. He understands. And I praise him because in amongst the chaos I choose to cling onto the precious moments of which there were and will be many. I will treasure them in my heart. And I will teach my children about the baby who is my king who was rejected by many but was actually perfect.
And I will teach them that even when things go wrong there is still beauty. And even when we lose something precious or we are a bit broken it’s still ok. We are still invited to join in the celebrations anyway. He loves us despite it all. And so I ask myself, “Why the big reaction? Why was I so desperate for my decorations not to be lost or broken? Why the striving for perfection? “ I realised that’s what I want for my kids. For them to be able to find all their memories and none to be broken. I want them to never get lost but the truth is at some point we all lose our way and we are all a little broken. We all find ourselves walking in darkness. But that’s why he came. He knew this was the case. He came to rescue us and there will come a time we all need to let go of our pride and admit we need a saviour. We need a light in our darkness. And we can’t save ourselves and I realised I can’t save my kids. We all need to make the choice to come to the manger and bow down.
So this Christmas in amongst the chaos and the non perfect bits remember that there is light in the darkness. Remember Jesus’ birth and the unlikely imperfect bits that we now remember as precious. He’s in it all if we let him be. Let’s ask him to be our light this Christmas and when things don’t go to plan let’s remember the whole reason why we celebrate and laugh anyway. Choosing joy this Christmas. And let’s not get too busy creating the perfect Christmas that we forget to kneel down before the manger and just adore him.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Tonight Lyndsey and I (Frankie), wanted to share our reflections on the Illuminate 2018 conference which we attended in Northern Ireland along with 13 other wonderful ladies from Falkirk Vineyard. Below are our stories and we hope they serve as a source encouragement to you!
After a mild crisis of confidence regarding my Air BnB booking skills, I arrived on Northern Irish soil excited and expectant about how God would use the weekend at Illuminate 2018. Following a profound year of stretching, growth and healing I was ready for whatever God had for me. I knew right from the Friday night, I was different this year. I was receiving out of a place of wholeness and dependency like never before. And this year was all about stories and I embraced every moment of the privilege of getting to partner with people as they told their raw and honest stories of how God had showed up in the middle of unimaginable pain.
On Sunday morning I had some time to spare so I went to see the bottom of the garden at the beautiful mill house where we stayed. It wasn’t the easiest journey- it was slippy, wet from rain and the little path badly over grown. I found a long forgotten summer house, caught a sight of the big old chimney of the abandoned mill, found a wee muddy pond and right at the bottom; a fiercely flowing river. The fallen autumn leaves were all around me as I stopped and savoured the beautiful moment of calm. I prayed out loud, thanking God for such a blessed weekend and accepting what I knew he was telling me; a new story is beginning.
All I sense so far is that this is a story where I step up, I step out and get brave. I sense an adventure of an increase in dependency, peace and practical learning awaits me. I am embracing the words spoken over me this weekend by a brave young women who called out what she felt God was saying to me; that my hands will be a doer of great works for God. Yes and Amen God; I am ready! I am ready to be shown what God wants to show me; a new love. A love that goes beyond the current boundaries of my heart and experience to love more wholly the people I encounter every day, the place I call home and all the experiences yet to come. I’m healed but I’m still healing. I’m planted but I’m still growing. My compass is set and I’m on my way!
“Arise, my dearest, Hurry, my darling. Come away with me! I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out. For now is the time, my beautiful one. The season has changed; the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth. Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purpose and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers “There is change in the air.” Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to a higher place. For now is the time to come away with me.” Song of Songs 2:2-15, TPT.
As we approached our weekend away to illuminate 2018, the only word I can use to describe how I was feeling is overwhelmed. I would like to say excited or expectant but the reality is the past few months have been difficult. If you have had a conversation with me recently you may have heard me say 'I'm busy' or 'just tired' but as I have said to those close to me, I feel I had lost my joy. So as the weekend drew closer, I was looking forward to a good nights sleep and I was desperately praying that God would intervene and I would begin to feel a little more 'normal', well normal for me anyway!
Even after years of being in a relationship with God, I am still blown away when He speaks to me in such a direct and loving way. From the stories shared on Friday night right through until Sunday morning, God used different ways to break me down, open my eyes and heart, set my compass and lovingly tell me to start walking forward again. You see somewhere along the way, I had lost my joy because I had lost my purpose. My compass was no longer facing North towards my Father. In truth my compass was irrationally spinning in any direction, my mind was foggy and I couldn't focus because I wasn't even looking for North. In the midst of being busy I had become distracted by responsibilities, work, family, chores, perfection, striving, comparison and dissatisfaction and so many other things and I was forgetting to reset my compass.
As God reached out to me, I found that I was hurting over things I thought I had long before dealt with, I was over those hurts and my past... or was I? But as Janet Young shared on Friday night, we are healed and still healing. Oh what glorious words! From there we heard Tre share about how it's ok to be under the broom tree, and God our Father will let us rest and then bake us a cake (bonus, right!) but at some point when we have rested and eaten we have to come back out; we can't stay under the tree! And then finally on Saturday night Tori said it really is a matter of constantly resetting our compass to North, we have many things that we will let draw our attention and suddenly we are not walking North anymore, but we must reset and keep going.
I cannot explain at what point things changed for me this weekend but I have returned home feeling lighter, my heart feeling joyful and remembering to always set my compass North. So let me ask you a few questions tonight:
How are you doing really?
Is your compass set on North?
Do you need to come under the broom tree?
Is it time to come out from under the broom tree?
Is it time to go, step forward, if your compass is set?
We are all at different points in this journey but I encourage you to be vulnerable with one another so we can move forward, North, towards our Father!
“Give me Your lantern and compass.
Give me a map so I may find my way...
to the place of your presence.” Psalm 43:3-4
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.