Connecting Point 2011-2012 Events


Connecting Point exists to foster fellowship and spiritual maturity among women of Southeastern. Whether you are a college student, seminary student, wife of a student, faculty, or staff member, you are welcome!

Connecting Point events are held 5-6 times per academic year. Each has its own unique flavor and is designed to encourage fellowship among the Southeastern women.  

We invite you to join us for our 2011-2012 events! 

Hi, My Name Is…
Monday, September 12, 2011
7 pm, Ledford Center

Hi, How May I Serve You?
Monday, October 17, 2011
7 pm, Ledford Center

Craft & Bake Sale
Saturday, November 5, 2011
9 am – 3 pm, Ledford Gym

Hi, My Birthday Is…
Monday, February 6, 2012
7 pm, Ledford Center

Hi, This Is My Story…
Monday, March 26, 2012
7 pm, Ledford Center

Hi, Tell Me Where You’re Going.
Monday, April 30, 2012
7 pm, Jacumin-Simpson

Childcare is provided for FREE for all CP events, except the Craft & Bake Sale.  You must RSVP for childcare up to 3 days in advance.  To RSVP contact the Women’s Life Office at womenslife@sebts.edu or (919) 761-2340. 


Don't forget to become a member of the Connecting Point Facebook group to stay up to date on the latest events! 

Lust: Not for Men Only

Reblogged from Radical Womanhood
July 22, 2011
Carolyn McCulley

Here is a post I had the privilege of writing for the Desiring God blog. 

We're well into the heat of summer now, and that means many churches across the American landscape have, at some point, reiterated the modesty message for the good church ladies everywhere.

Wait. I can actually see that eye roll of yours even from here. But, friends, don't click away just yet. Because I am going to go where large swaths of American church culture need to go on this topic … but often don't.
I'm talking about lust. And women.

For the past eight years, I've had the privilege of writing two books and hundreds of articles and blog posts for women, which then led to numerous speaking engagements. Right from the start, I noticed a trend at each event, whether in the U.S. or abroad. Invariably, one woman would wait to talk to me until the bitter end, because she wanted to confess something that made her feel doubly shameful. She wanted to talk about her lust and sexual sin, a struggle she was sure was hers alone among the women in church.

How did these women arrive at this conclusion? Because for years most churches herded the men off to talk about lust, while gathering the women to discuss modesty. While those are valid and much needed messages, they are incomplete for the culture in which we now live.

To understand the times, let's look at the messages women have absorbed in recent years. There are stripper pole classes at the gym and women's magazines with screaming headlines about sex and seduction techniques. The morning talk shows candidly discuss sex toy parties. "Sex and the City" becomes a major franchise while "Girls Gone Wild" captures drunken sexual escapades among college students. Abercrombie & Fitch markets push-up bikini tops to 8-year-old girls. Lady Gaga bursts onto the pop music scene wishing she could shut her Playboy mouth. Not one item is sold in the mall without an erotic image. And women are increasingly immersed in online porn.

This highly sexualized culture is the new normal for young women who grew up in the ethos of third-wave feminism's pro-porn, pro-sex work stance. So normal that when I spoke at a Christian college earlier this year, one woman raised her hand to ask, "So are you saying that it's bad that there's too much pornographic influence in our culture? But shouldn't women embrace their sexuality?"

Um, yes. And yes. That answer highlights the problem: the counterfeit has usurped the authentic. Sex is God's idea and his good gift to be properly stewarded within his design. For that reason, the church should be the most pro-sex group there is. We have a message of hope and redemption in the morass of sexual confusion. But first we need to help the women who are confused and in our churches right now. Here are four points on how to do that:

1. Give the truth about sex and why it's attacked.

 

Let's start with that modesty message. If it's framed as a simple "don't tempt men" message, it is incomplete and easily dismissed. We need to back up and explain first what is good about God's gift and how it is distorted in a myriad of ways. We should equip young women to be discerning about the spiritual battle raging around sexuality. The Adversary has no need to improve upon his first character assassination of God. Contradicting God's boundaries and insinuating that he is holding out on his creatures is nearly foolproof.

2. Teach young women not to mistake broken for normal.

 

Then we need to teach young women how rapidly our culture became porn-saturated in only one generation. That's often news to those who grew up in it and therefore they often don't understand the brokenness that follows in the wake of the sexual imagery they accept as normal. As John Piper says, lust is the realm of thought, imagination, and desire that leads to sexual misconduct—and young women often overlook how their drive to be sexually desirable is smack in the middle of that realm.
When young women understand the cosmic consequences of sexual sin, the worldviews that shape our consumption of sexual messages today, and how God's glory is under spiritual attack, they will not mistake any modesty message for a frumpy fashion campaign. Nor will they resent the men around them for being impediments to whatever is stylish. Instead, they will be sobered by how Satan still "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8)—and that men and women alike are fair game.

3. Stop thinking that only men have seeing problems.

 

Let's not assume that immodesty only affects the eyes of men. Women are becoming increasingly visualized as well, and can be distracted in similar, though perhaps not identical, ways. We also need to remember and help those women who wrestle with same-sex attraction. After I mentioned this recently at a large conference, several women came up to say this is their temptation and how hard it is for them to be open about it in the church. They fear misunderstanding, judgment and gossip.

4. Create a culture of light.

 

We need to clearly teach that lust is a human condition, not just a masculine one. Knowing God's glory is at stake, we need to create humble church cultures where secret sin is not kept in the dark, but rather brought into the light. If we rightly understand the doctrine of sin, we should never be surprised by our own temptations nor by the confessions of others. We should want to create "safe harbors" for God's people to confess, repent, and welcome accountability for change. The roaring lion waits in the cover of darkness to attack what he finds there, but "whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God" (John 3:21).
Let us help the women in our churches experience the freedom of living in the light.

Carolyn McCulley is an author, speaker, and documentary filmmaker. She has written more about third-wave feminism in her book, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World.

The Good Portion

Reblogged from girltalk
7.19.11
Carolyn Mahaney

“Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

The Greek word for "portion" in this verse means "meal."

Jesus tells Martha--who is busily preparing a meal that fed the body--that Mary has chosen the good meal. Mary was eating a meal that fed the soul.

But not only that—Jesus said it was a meal that would not be taken away from her. Wow! Now that’s a really good meal!

It might take us twenty minutes to eat dinner. It will take our body 24-32 hours to digest that meal. The benefits won’t last for long.

But when we make the Lord’s teaching our meal, when we feast on His Word, the benefits from that meal will last for a very long time.

So long in fact, that Jesus said, it will not be taken away from us.  Not in 24 hours, not in 24 years, not even in eternity.

Think about that. Every time we read, study, meditate or memorize God’s Word we are ingesting truth that will never be taken away from us.

That’s astounding! That’s a meal we don’t want to skip.

C.R.A.Z.Y (Stephanie Mills shares on her summer)


My summer:  c.r.a.z.y.

My summer verse: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12.2

I’ve just spent six weeks traipsing around deliciously musty libraries with the love of my life while he was on Sabbatical.  This is the glorious colorized-version of our summer movie.  Don’t miss the soft music playing in the background.  It’s actually all true. The traipsing…the delicious musty…and, definitely, the love of my life.   

Now for the black and white version:  as he was planning for his time away, the hubs saw the opportunity for a ‘research boot camp’…he l-o-v-e-s research.  And he also l-o-v-e-s me, and knows I’ve enjoyed chipping away at the degree I put on hold while I earned my GHT (getting husband through).   

So…he suggested…it could be fun to study together over Sabbatical.  So…I signed up for the maximum number of courses allowed.  Did I mention m.a.x.i.m.u.m.? It was lovely.  Really, it was.  It was also c.r.a.z.y.  And, I’m so glad we did it now that it’s d.o.n.e.   

Let me relate it to Walking Worthy’s summer theme of Staying Discplined:

My biggest fear wasn’t being crazy busy and studying over stacked dishes and smelly laundry (the hubs is pretty flexible…especially when the adventure has been his idea).  My biggest fear was…me.   Translation:  my natural tendency could be to get so ‘on-a-mission’ that I would struggle to make time with Jesus a priority.  And I’ve found that is a miserable way to live. For me and everyone around me.

I’m thankful He’s allowed me to fall flat on my face enough to know the folly of leaving Him out.  I don’t want to live a day without Him front and center…and all through...and all in all.  (I’m sure there’s a better way to say that theologically, but you see where I’m going - I’ve blown it enough to figure out I can’t do life unless He lives through me.)  

So, I asked Him to take this feeble woman’s somewhat mush-brain efforts at studying for the m.a.x.i.m.u.m. number of courses and multiply my time for His glory.  Because, I told Him, I was OK with whatever that looked like GPA-wise.  I.just.didn’t.want.to. leave.Him.out. No matter how crazy busy life got.     

He’s been so faithful.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not heading to Harvard for grad school.  But every morning He got me up and we had the sweetest time going through Romans.  And then we talked about my husband and my children and the church family.  And everything else.  And then I studied.  Home-cooked meals served on paper plates…not too shabby.  The laundry…let’s just say whites may have mixed with some colors.  

 
Stephanie Mills loves being married to Richard. And mornings that start with a mug of coffee & an open Bible.  And, now that the kids are grown, exploring the world…often in hiking boots with a tent. Richard planted Faith Baptist in Youngsville, and it was amazing to raise PKs in a place where the whole family got to join God at work and see lives changed. She thinks it just doesn’t get any better than that!

Sit and Listen

Reblogged from girltalk
July 13, 2011

“Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.” Luke 10:39

Mary’s choice to sit at Jesus’ feet revealed the location of her heart.

It displayed her eagerness to listen to His teaching. It revealed her zeal to learn and grow. She wanted to hear every word, absorb every word, and submit to every word that came from her Lord’s mouth.

The floor was simply the best spot for that to happen.

Sitting at the Lord’s feet doesn’t imply what position our body should be in; it represents what position our heart should be in. Where we sit has nothing to do with body posture and everything to do with the posture of our heart.

Mary approached her Lord with a posture of humility. She sat before her Lord as a hungry learner, an eager student. We should come to God’s Word in the same way.
Reblogged from The Gospel Coalition Blog
Dane Ortlund. July 12, 2011.

“. . . so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”

In 1951 Francis Schaeffer’s life and ministry were turned upside down, despite already having walked with the Lord for many years and having seen much fruit in ministry. He was 39.
In the introduction to his book True Spirituality, Schaeffer recounts what happened.

I faced a spiritual crisis in my own life. I had become a Christian from agnosticism many years ago. After that I had become a pastor for ten years in the United States, and then for several years my wife, Edith, and I had been working in Europe. During this time I felt a strong burden to stand for the historical Christian position and for the purity of the visible church. Gradually, however, a problem came to me—the problem of reality. This has two parts: first, it seemed to me that among many of those who held the orthodox position one saw little reality in the things that the Bible so clearly says should be the result of Christianity. Second, it gradually grew on me that my reality was less than it had been in the early days after I had become a Christian. I realized that in honesty I had to go back and rethink my whole position.

We were living in Champéry [Switzerland] at the time, and I told Edith that for the sake of honesty I had to go all the way back to my agnosticism and think through the whole matter. I’m sure that she prayed much for me in those days. I walked in the mountains when it was clear, and when it was rainy I walked backward and forward in the hayloft of the old chalet in which we lived. I walked, prayed, and thought through what the Scriptures taught, reviewing my own reasons for being a Christian. . . .

I searched through what the Bible said concerning reality as a Christian. Gradually I saw that the problem was that with all the teaching I had received after I was a Christian, I had heard little about what the Bible says about the meaning of the finished work of Christ for our present lives. Gradually the sun came out and the song came. Interestingly enough, although I had written no poetry for many years, in that time of joy and song I found poetry beginning to flow again.
Three things are striking here, and worth considering for our own time.

1. Right doctrine matters.
Schaeffer says that he spent many of his early Christian years working for “the historical Christian position.” That means orthodoxy. Right belief. And nowhere in this autobiographical reflection does Schaeffer go back on the importance of such orthodoxy. On the contrary, he says that after going back and rethinking his foundational reasons for believing, he identified his lack of vibrancy as due to something other than his theology. The problem was not his doctrine. It was something else—the absence of “reality.”

2. Right doctrine exists not ultimately for correct thinking but for beautiful living.
True doctrine, as Paul tells Titus, is to be “adorned” (Titus 2:10). To lack grace in our lives is to deny grace in our theology. We can unsay with our lives in the living room what we say with our lips in the pew. The doctrines of grace generate a culture of grace. If they don’t, the doctrines of grace are not truly believed. We may say we believe them. We may even think we do. But we don’t. Not really.
A man who says he believes his treasure is in heaven as he drives a Bentley, owns five homes on three continents, and refuses to give any resources to the church or anyone else doesn’t really believe what he says he believes. You can see what he believes.
And if a man says he believes the doctrines of grace but does not exude what Schaeffer calls the “reality” of those doctrines, such a man does not really believe those doctrines. He might align himself with the doctrines of grace creedally. But he has not adorned the doctrines of grace.
“Dead orthodoxy,” Schaeffer once preached, “is always a contradiction in terms.”

3. The crucial doctrine that fuels beautiful living is the gospel.
“I had heard little,” Schaeffer says, “about what the Bible says about the meaning of the finished work of Christ for our present lives.”
Francis Schaeffer came to discover, many years after his conversion, that the finished work of Christ mattered—mattered tremendously—for his present life. Not just for his past moment of conversion and not only for the future moment when he would stand before God. For today. As he says elsewhere, “I become a Christian once for all on the basis of the finished work of Christ through faith; that is justification. But the Christian life, sanctification, operates on the same basis, but moment by moment.”
The gospel is a home, not a hotel. We pass through a hotel; we reside in a home. And it was when this washed over him—note this, now—it was when his heart came to dwell in the finished work of Christ that his soul began to live again. “Gradually the sun came out and the song came.” Poetry flowed once more. Vitality returned. Orthodoxy had never left; life, however, had.
Doctrine matters. But doctrine is meant to fuel some thing else—beautiful, radiant living. Standing immovably on the finished work of Christ will get us there.

Dane Ortlund (PhD, Wheaton College) is senior editor of Bible at Crossway Books in Wheaton, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, Stacey, and two boys. Dane blogs regularly at Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology. He is the author of A New Inner Relish: Christian Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards.

Question: What does it mean to be a Christian FULL of the Holy Spirit…how to I live a more Spirit-filled life?

Answer: All Christians are commanded to be full of the Spirit; this fullness is to be continuously and increasingly appropriated by seeking the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Do you call yourself a Christian but live like the rest of the world? Upon confession of Jesus Christ as your Savior and LORD, the Holy Spirit dwells within you as your “deposit guaranteeing” your sealed future with God (2 Cor. 5:4-6). However, the Holy Spirit’s role is to guide us in holiness in this life too, giving us power to overcome temptations and give us an escape route every time sin beckons at our door (1 Cor. 10:12-14). Do you seek an intimate relationship with Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Or have you become numb to the power given to you upon salvation, grieving the Spirit?

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, fully God. He is a HE, not an “it.” Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a distinct, universal divine promise to all that have been claimed as children of God (Jer. 31:33; Jn. 14:16; Rom. 14:17); it is defined as once-for-all, the blessing of salvation—washing away of sin and bestowal of the Holy Spirit at conversion. The fullness of Spirit is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within the believer to daily live in holiness, fulfill a difficult God-sized task, and proclaim Christ boldly. This fullness is to be continuously and increasingly appropriated. To continue being filled by the Spirit, a Christian must continue to come (thirsting) to Jesus Christ (Jn. 7:37-39).

Evidence of the Holy Spirit
The evidence of the Spirit’s fullness in a Christian is clearly presented in scripture (Eph. 5:18-21). All Christians are commanded to be full of the Spirit; it is not something that is given only to the special few or in a special miraculous gift, such as speaking in tongues. Spiritual gifts are given to each individual believer for the edification and healthy growth of the church (Eph. 4:12, 16).  Spiritual gifts are certain functions, bestowed by God’s grace and power, which suit people for specific and related service. Therefore, when discussing miraculous gifts; prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues, Christians must understand that God is the free and sovereign Creator, while also understanding that God works primarily in nature in history not in the supernatural. God can speak to His creation however He declares best, even in the miraculous; however, every Christian has spiritual gifts and therefore has a responsibility to use that gift for the church.  

Gifts are not given to aid, comfort, and strengthen ourselves, but for the edification of the church as a body and in complete obedience to scripture (Eph. 4:12, 16). According to scripture, the Holy Spirit is seen in a Christian’s fruits; namely, self-control. Those filled with the Spirit must use their mind, and act in intelligent, controlled, healthy relationship with God and with each other (1 Cor. 14:13-15). The Spirit’s fullness involves not a private, mystical experience but a moral relationship with God and others. God, the Holy Spirit, manifests in the Christian’s life through proper Christ-directed worship and submissive fellowship with God and the church body.

The evidence of the Spirit’s fullness in a Christian is clearly presented in scripture:
  1. First, the sign of fullness is spiritual fellowship in common worship (Jn. 4:23-24).
  2. The second is the biblical truth that the Holy Spirit loves to glorify the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the Christian delights daily to sing Jesus’ praises in heartfelt worship and in obedience, which is our spiritual act of worship (Rom. 12:1-2).
  3. Third, Christians filled with the Spirit trust in all things (Col. 3:15-17).
  4. Fourth, a mark of the Spirit’s fullness is willing submission to others (Eph. 5:1, 21).

Getting Practical: What does fullness look like?

How you grow in fullness (opposite of grieving the Spirit): Study of Ephesians 4:1-32
1.      Newness of life in Christ Jesus.
2.      Saturating lives with Scripture—daily Bible Study and learner of the Word through teaching and preaching. (Not tossed by false teaching or culture’s allure).
3.      Pray to the Father continually—intimate relationship.
4.      Active Service for the growth of the Body/ fellowship and submission of believers.
5.      Moral living—shedding of old man, not walking like Gentiles (unbelievers).
6.      Put away falsehood, speak truth in love.
7.      Not angry/ no unwholesome talk from mouths.
8.      Not giving Satan a foothold.
9.      Be compassionate and kind.
10.   Forgive each other as Christ forgave you.

Are you FULL?

 K.J. Nally is a writer, teacher, and counselor. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, concentrating in women’s ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. K.J. and her husband, Dustin, have a passion to fight for Godly marriages, spur on teens to seek purity, and encourage men and women to live obediently to their Creator God.

K.J. and Dustin are marriage and individual counselors at Hope Counseling Center through their church, North Wake. They also work with Converting Hearts Ministries,’ a Christ-centered addictions ministry.

K.J. currently works as a freelance journalist with The Wake Weekly. Check out more about Christian Living at K.J.’s blog, Answers of Truth.
Reblogged from Radical Womanhood
July 7, 2011
Carolyn McCulley

Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History

Femthreads As I wrote for an endorsement of Diana Severance's new book, Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History, this book "is a must-read for men and women alike, but especially so for young women who need to have a clear view of the contributions that women before them have made to the Christian faith."
As an historian, Dr. Severance says it better herself in the preface:

Christian women were integral to the life of the Church wherever Christianity spread, but what we know of their stories is limited by the sources that have survived. There is often more we would like to know about Christian women in various geographical places and times in history. Always there are the numerous ‘common’ people in the lower and middle classes whose stories frequently are unwritten and remain unknown. Yet, the history of women in Christian history does not need a revisionist makeover. We do not need to recreate an imagined narrative out of speculative evidence. Nor do we write histories – of commoners or of so-called elite – based on what we would have liked for them to have been. Neither do we seek to superimpose contemporary thought patterns and standards on earlier societies. Though at times the evidence might raise unanswered questions, or we might wish the facts to be different, the truth of the story of women in Christian history inspires, challenges and, above all, demonstrates the grace of God producing much fruit through Christian women throughout two millennia of the Church.

The book is structured in chronological order, starting with the women of the New Testament era, progressing through the early church and late antiquity, the early and late Middle Ages, the Reformation, and on through to the 20th century. It ties women to the historical and theological movements of their day, putting them in the context of their eras. Dr. Severance quotes these women in their own words from their correspondence, diaries, and various publications. The net effect is to learn about the bold influence many women had in the cause of Christ. Or to learn that things we see as benign today were more controversial at their inception, such as Sunday schools:

In 1804, a group of women from various denominations formed a society for the education of poor girls in Philadelphia. When they applied to the state for incorporation in 1808, the Superior Court had to decide whether or not women could make such an application. After due deliberation, the Court decreed that women were ‘citizens of the commonwealth’ and entitled to file such a request! The curriculum for the poor girls included reading, writing, sewing, Scripture memorization, hymns, and the catechism.
The clergy were at first opposed to Sabbath schools for numerous reasons. Many were appalled at the idea of lay people, especially women, teaching the Bible. Some ministers feared the Sunday Schools would undermine their own teaching ministry. Some thought it was breaking the Sabbath to study or teach on Sunday. Others thought Sabbath schools usurped the rights of parents and local churches. Sabbath schools were not a part of the local church and often involved women of various denominations working together. Some held such interdenominational cooperation was dangerous or that church buildings should not be used for the general education of non-members. The very fact that the initiative was undertaken by women caused alarm in some quarters. 

Diana Severance has made a serious contribution to our understanding of women in history, much less Christian history. I highly recommend it.
ESV Student Study Bible from Crossway on Vimeo.

I am a big fan of the ESV Study Bible.  My husband has tons of commentary's, but to pick one up and start researching something has always been overwhelming to me.  A few years ago I got the ESV Study Bible and quickly fell head over heels for the insightful notes and ample amounts of cross references.  Even though the ESV Study Bible is huge, it is very easy to access and look through.  Now there is an ESV Student Study Bible.  Which is awesome for students of all ages, not just for teens.  Honestly, I would love one of these because of all the maps.  Below is a summary of what the Student Study Bible has to offer its readers:


  • 12,000 clear, concise study notes
  • Introductions and timelines for each Bible book
  • More than 80 full-color maps and illustrations throughout
  • 15 new topical articles
  • Nearly 900 new “Did You Know” facts
  • 120 new Bible character profiles
  • New glossary with concise definitions of key terms
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • Extensive concordance
  • Black letter text
  • Highly readable double-column format
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Lifetime guarantee on TruTone® editions
  • Free access to the online ESV Student Study Bible with the purchase of any print edition

The last bullet point - Free access to the online study bible is one of the best things! 

You can purchase the ESV Student Study Bible online at Amazon

Music to Check out NOW

Reblogged from Radical Womanhood
July 4, 2011

Need a new worship cd? 

Check out the roots rock-influenced worship album, The Blood and the Water, from Sojourn Music. I've used that genre description loosely, because the variety of styles on this recording could include Americana, Appalachian, blues, indie, and country--but the focus of the lyrics is timeless. The entire album is based on the hymns of Isaac Watts, an 18th-century theologian and pastor who penned the bulk of his hymns in his early 20s. Therefore, I'm not surprised Watts continues to inspire young adults even today.


One of my early favorites is an adaptation of "Early My God." The simple piano melody and plaintive vocals create a personal psalm of worship in a world of trials and afflictions. The last two lines have been ringing in my head since I first heard them:

Early my God without delay
I haste to seek your face
My thirsty spirit faints away
Without your cheering grace

Not all the blessings of a feast
Could fill my soul so well.
As when your richest grace I taste,
and in your presence dwell.

My spirit toils with this lifeʼs gloom
And fights to stay the course
Remind me of that heavenly hour
When you called me yours.

Another early favorite is the bluesy "Death Has Lost Its Sting," a ringing guitar elegy. Overall, I enjoy the musical creativity of this album. It's full of surprises, challenging the expected sound of Christian music. If you like The Civil Wars (another personal favorite!), you are likely to also appreciate Sojourn Music. Check it out in the video below.