Cover 2019-07-21

Christian Warriors

—by Ryan Murphy

When you do a search for the armor of God almost all of the images that come up are of men. I guess that makes sense as this illustration that Paul uses is based on a Roman soldier. As Christians though, we are fighting side by side, both women and men. I love the image I found below because when I think of a Christian warrior I think of many of the women in this church. I think of Susan Nickell leading Bible classes in her neighborhood. I think of Shirley Swalwell always being there ready to serve. I think of Jennie Reynolds planning and organizing amazing activities for the ladies (some that I have tried to crash). I think of Kalene Partlow coloring Bible stories to send to Africa. I think of Billie Clark being at worship every Sunday even when she was in pain and nearing the end of her life. I think of Connie Nickell mowing the church lawn. I think of Judy Headrick making cards to encourage others. I think of Kristina Headrick reminding us of the power of prayer. I think of Debie Berreth being a shining light in our school community. I think of Jenny Bradshaw with a row full of kids. I think of Faye Leighton, Ida Pruitt, Ann Bessire, Joyce Poyser, Janet Bradshaw, and Frances Hicks, widows whose strength through loneliness and pain shines bright. I think of Julie Reynolds helping to organize the recent building improvements. I think of Lynn Haney singing with all her heart at worship. I think of Kim Swalwell leading a women’s bible class. I think of Luetta Jones fighting cancer and walking side by side with Ruth Ann Reynolds as she bravely fought cancer. I think of Aracely Gandara and my mom, Lynn Murphy, gracefully handling the incredible stress of being a preacher’s wife. I think of Kassie Bradshaw building a new life and a beautiful new family. I think of Brenda Smart always being willing to step in and teach children. I think of Stephanie Smart helping Brenda freshen up the nursery. I think of Cheryl Ruhl with Luetta making the tween Bible class engaging and relevant for those kids. I think of Pat Steele and how her love for others just radiates from her. I think of Mei Lemarr willing to learn how to teach Bible class. I think of Grace Burnham’s enthusiasm for life at 106. I think of Teri Parente and Lynn Burnham being willing to help with Backpack Buddies. I think of Ruth Reynolds and the amazing legacy she has built at this church. I think of my wife, Rachel Murphy, spending countless hours creating curriculum that is Bible based and relevant to our kids. I think of my daughter and all of the other young women in our church family and how we can ensure that they don’t think of themselves as second rate citizens in the kingdom of God, but as warriors that will fight side by side with our young men. I am sure there are even more women in our church family doing amazing things that I don’t know about. Men of God rise up! As you can see our women are already standing at the front lines waiting for us to join them.