Proverbs 31…Worthy or Not?

Proverbs 31…Worthy or Not?

Jan 23, 2018

by Katrina Goodrich     She is everywhere, seemingly a part of every Christian conversation about dating and marriage. She is the Christian version of a supermodel: women want to be her and men want to marry her. The “Proverbs 31 woman.” To be clear there is absolutely nothing amiss with utilizing Proverbs 31 to teach and learn about what being a godly woman means and how it looks. It uses some very practical examples and, putting cultural context aside, we can even apply what it means in the 21st century. That passage is an amazing tool for guidance—but I think we misuse it. I remember the first time I heard about the “Proverbs 31 woman.” It was from an older boy who mentioned searching for a “Proverbs 31 (P31) woman” because that’s how he’d find a wife. Since then I’ve been indoctrinated into the “P31 Woman Club.” I’ve been in all-women Bible studies that poured over the meaning of this passage and how to be more like this beloved woman. I’ve been getting to know new people and been asked if I would consider myself a “P31” woman—and if I wasn’t, would I be willing to embrace that lifestyle? Here’s the thing: These incidents are all seemingly innocent things that seem good. A man looking for a godly wife, a Bible study for women looking to become more godly women, people getting to know each other on a spiritual level. However, that’s not the sum total of what is occurring in situations like these nor is it the attitude expressed. We’re using this passage as a way to measure self-worth and what it means to be a woman—an obsession born of an unhealthy chauvinistic culture placing the responsibility of perfection on the wife—i.e. she must be all these things or she is not a woman worthy of a godly man. Ouch! Wives look at this passage and see a checklist they need to tick off in order to own the perfect godly life. If the list isn’t checked off that must be why your relationship with your husband and/or house isn’t perfect. Single ladies look at this and think if I can only...

Be A Leader

Be A Leader

Dec 21, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich A few years ago the SCSC committee sold a t-shirt/onesie that said “future SCSCer.” It was cute and seemed to come in handy for a few parents toward the end of Conference week when their kids ran out of clean shirts. SCSC is a leadership training program for young adults — but leadership doesn’t magically begin when a person turns 18, nor should it. Anyone can be a leader, even those as young as four (as evidenced by the myriad videos documenting the successes of intergenerational learning centers). It’s never too early to start teaching children to be leaders and getting them involved in their communities. Here are a few ideas that can help kids of any age start to explore and become more involved in their community. Kids: 1. Try new things. Taste that new food. Talk to people who are different from you and learn something about them. Volunteer to try different activities. Look for ways to help the people around you. You do not have to like or enjoy all of the new things you try nor continue to do them unless you’ve made a commitment. Try new things even if they’re scary because if it doesn’t work out you’ll have gained a new experience and that is a very good thing. 2. Learn to listen. When you use your ears more than your mouth you will discover many things you might have otherwise missed. When you listen, people notice and they are a lot more likely to listen to you in return. Adults: 1. Encourage kids to get out of their comfort zone — that is where they’re going to learn. Introduce them to people of different backgrounds, colors, and ages. Teach them how to interact. Take them to the nursing home to actually visit with the people who live there and do activities with them. Encourage them to try something different; get involved with a group, club, or activity that they haven’t tried before. Don’t criticize if they don’t enjoy it. At this point in their lives kids need to learn to try something and evaluate if it’s something they’re interested in. 2. Give kids a...

A Foster Home?

A Foster Home?

Nov 22, 2017

  by Katrina Goodrich Once upon a time, not too long ago, I became the member of a foster home for an adorable puppy. Fostering a puppy was not on any list I had or something I had been wanting. It was very much an unexpected event. Not necessarily an unwelcome one — even at 3 am when the poor little guy, who hadn’t slept a wink to this point, was barking and in distress for a reason I couldn’t fathom in my sleep-deprived state. My experience is not on par with those who choose to foster human children. However it has been interesting and has me thinking about foster homes, families, and kids. Technically speaking, Mary and Joseph were a foster family for Jesus. I realize the situation was a little bit different from every other fostering situation because Mary actually gave birth to Jesus. But if you take a moment to think about it, Jesus wasn’t biologically hers. Jesus was given to Mary and Joseph by God through the Holy Spirit, for a short period of time — to care for and nurture him until the time came that he could care for himself and begin his kingdom work. I’ve heard this idea of Jesus being a foster child before, but it had not really struck me what that meant until now. I believe that Mary and Joseph loved and cared for Jesus as though he were their natural-born son. I think Jesus knew that he did not ultimately belong to them. He must’ve had an idea of it by age 12 when he referred to the Temple as “his father’s house.” (Luke 2) Even if Jesus hadn’t been aware of who his father actually was up to this point, that still leaves 12 years, when as a child, he probably had heard about his less than ideal appearance on the earthly scene. I doubt that the people around Mary and Joseph understood much about immaculate conception — in that culture, conception out of wedlock was very looked down upon. Was Jesus ever alienated by his peers for his birth circumstance? There is no real way to know, but perhaps it makes...

What is God’s?

What is God’s?

Oct 25, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich Women’s Society         Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. — Mark12:17 Jesus has come to Jerusalem and is teaching after his palm-fronded entrance into the city. As he is walking into the temple, he is accosted by the Pharisees and then the Sadducees who are hoping to trap him into saying things that are blasphemous or seditious enough to get him arrested by the Romans and ultimately killed. So they ask him a question about paying taxes hoping he will be arrested — or at the very least turn public opinion against him. Jesus says pay your taxes — amazing everyone. But he also says give to God what is His. We can take this in the literal sense of tithing… however, I don’t believe that this statement boils down to just finance. God doesn’t ultimately want your money — He wants your heart. God wants you to love and obey Him. In this passage, Jesus takes a coin, holds it up, says this has the image of Caesar on it (the coins were made by Caesar). How much more then does your soul belong to God — after all we are created in his image (Genesis 1:27). God’s imprint is on our very souls, on who we are, and we have a higher calling as well. Pay taxes to Caesar but give God all that you are — your heart, soul, and mind. Jesus doesn’t say give Caesar your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give the government your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give your country your heart, soul, and mind. He says love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind just a few verses later in Mark 12:30 reiterating his words from earlier in the chapter to give to God what is his. We can safely give God our hearts because, well, He is God. He’s holy and good and will nurture and provide. It’s safe. Blind nationalism and patriotism is not safe. Government is an earthly creation and not pure and perfect. America is a country that may have been founded...

SCSC Team Fire

SCSC Team Fire

Sep 26, 2017

by Team Fire (The following are snippets from the exit testimonies of SCSC 2017 Team Fire) I originally did SCSC because my friends were doing it. There were four young adults from my church doing SCSC. So naturally, what do you do when all your friends leave you for the summer — you join them. I am so glad I did. Before leaving for training God was already working with me throughout my spring semester at college. This summer has been a real blessing. I am happy I was not disobedient when God told me I should participate in SCSC. He told me it was time to go further than just my home church. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey my first year of SCSC brought. From training, I learned to spend more time in reading God’s word. I also learned a lot about discipline, which really helped me to face challenges while on project. At training every emotional, physical and mental part of you is focused on God. At training, I continued to pray that God would bring me happiness and He’d light my fire for Him — every day I felt Him start to work. At first I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had a feeling that God was pushing me to ask this woman sitting next to me at the airport what was wrong. So I asked her if she was “ok.” She told me that a friend of hers had a heart attack and was in the hospital. She was afraid for his life and his family because he was the family’s foundation for faith. So I spoke with her about the power of prayer and prayed with her right there. This summer God was really trying to teach me to rely on His strength and focus on Him especially through listening and obeying. I felt Him grow in me even more while being on project. I found it a true blessing to be filled with so much love and be around God-loving people. Throughout the summer I felt this dark cloud dissipating. Through VBS, Bible studies, sermons and devotionals I have continued to feel God...

Robe of Achievement 2017

Robe of Achievement 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Janet Van Horn Thorngate by Karen Payne We are pleased to honor one of our very deserving women with the Robe of Achievement. Like many previous Robe recipients, our honoree is a deacon, wife, mother, (including foster mother), grandmother and great-grandmother. She is not only a wife, but a pastor’s wife and also a “preacher’s kid.” This being the case, her childhood and youth were spent in WV, NY, and AR. This year she was bestowed with the degree Doctor of Letters honoris cuasa by the Salem International University. The following is taken from the citation given her with her doctorate: Mrs. Janet Van Horn Thorngate graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in English and History, and then earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from West Virginia University. She obtained West Virginia’s secondary school teacher certification. She has spent much of her life as a teacher. She was an instructor in English at West Virginia University and Salem International University, as well as with Upward Bound at then Salem College. She worked as a technical librarian at several Educational Resources Information Center clearinghouses, and was a member of the ERIC National Steering Committee, 1976-1981. She has devoted much of her life to the Seventh Day Baptist Church, whose members were founders of Salem College in 1888 and whose continuing support over the past 129 years has been valuable to the university. She was librarian and archivist for the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Library. She continues to be an instructor in Church History for the Seventh Day Baptist School of Ministry. She is the editor of Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society publications. She has been President of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society since 2002. Her other literary endeavors include editorship of Seventh Day Baptist World, the newsletter of the SDB World Federation, of which her husband, Rev. Dr. Dale Thorngate, is President. She has been editor of Lead-Line, the leadership newsletter of the SDB General Conference, and editor and writer of a variety of church and organization newsletters, booklets, etc. Her extensive work in church history and her meticulous attention to detail in her research led to...