Now that I’ve perhaps caught your attention, let me start by saying that I know I’ve been a naughty girl and neglected my blog and I’m filled with all kinds of sorrowful and regretful feelings about that. While my negligence probably doesn’t bother anyone else one iota, it bothers me and so I hereby promise that I will try to write more often (doesn’t sound like a very binding oath, does it? Well, take it for what it’s worth; a heartfelt desire accompanied with determination).
A little update on the Giselbachs Jr.:
This summer vacation has been one that begs a vacation from the vacation after the whole thing’s over. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but let’s just say it’s been hectic. For one thing, my husband and I have been traveling all over the country this summer for speaking engagements (WONDERFUL obligations for which we ask God and with which we are frequently blessed). We also took our youth group at Riverbend (www.RiverbendFamily.com) to a week of challenging Christian leadership training at Horizons at FHU. It was a blessing for them as well as for us.
Also, I was given the serendipitous opportunity to be in a play this summer (Fiddler on the Roof), in which I got to play my favorite character, Hodel. It was one of those dream-come-true adventures because I’ve always wanted to play this role, and because I had to sing solos, which is a mountainous feat for someone who is terrified of singing in front of people. I’m glad I did it.
My friend Season, who works as a full-time missionary in China, came to visit me for a few weeks during her summer in America, which was absolutely magnificent. She’s always a trooper running around right along with us like the headless chickens that we are, never complaining about our frenzied lifestyle and always supporting me, bringing laughter, encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on if needed. She’s back in China now and I miss her something awful.
But the highlight of our summer happened about a week ago, when our elders paid for us to attend Polishing the Pulpit (www.polishingthepulpit.com), a week-long all-you-can-eat buffet of spiritual food for growth-hungry Christians. For more on why this event is one you just can’t miss, read this.
While there, I got to hear some amazing lessons on a variety of topics—all of which happened to be extremely relevant to my day-to-day walk with God (that’s because there’s like a million choices of classes to attend at this event. Seriously, you need go). One of the classes I was able to attend was entitled “Being Our Husband’s Priscilla,” taught by Mrs. Donna Faughn. I was excited to hear this lady speak because she is a well-known public speaker for women AND a former English teacher. She is also the mother of Adam Faughn, who writes a practical, spiritually invigorating blog located at www.faugnfamily.com (Ben and I often read his blog together for our daily devotional time at night).
The class was great because I felt like I was introduced face-to-face to a female Bible character that, in my humble opinion, is an unsung heroine in many ways. The class went by quickly because I was fascinated by the character study and by the lessons I drew from her. That was on Tuesday, and, as luck would have it (or maybe providence), the church with which my husband and I worshiped the next night was doing a summer series on women of the Bible. To my delight, the woman of discussion that night happened to be (you guessed it) Priscilla. Now that I’ve taken notes on two lectures on Miss Priss (thus the title of this post—yes, I nickname everything), I am now the Priscilla expert. Okay, maybe not quite an expert, but, just the same, allow me to share three things I learned about her, and why it matters to me:
1. She was involved. For Priscilla, Christianity wasn’t just part of her routine. It wasn’t something she did—it was who she was. Yes, she was there meeting with the saints when people were expected to be there, but that was only a small part of her ministry and service. She didn’t allow extreme hardships to discourage her, as many do today. Imagine being forced out of your homeland and into a different country just because of your heritage. Despite Claudius’ decree that all Jews leave Rome, Priscilla didn’t let it affect her negatively. She and her husband, Aquila (love how they rhyme—very Dr. Suess of them to get married and all), moved to Rome and picked right back up where they left off. They continued to serve God passionately and they continued to work together making money as tent-makers, which is likely what drew Paul to them (Acts 18:1-2). Even though their business is mentioned, it’s obvious that Priscilla was more interested in the soul-saving business than the tent-making business. She was a seeker of opportunities to share the gospel with others. She and her husband used everything they had and every talent they possessed for evangelism. And speaking of her husband, I love how Priscilla was such a team player. Every time she is mentioned in the Bible, her name is side-by-side with her husband’s.
2. She was willing to step out of her comfort zone. How comfortable do you think it was to step aside with Apollos, probably bringing him into her home, and correcting him for teaching what was, unbeknownst to him, false doctrine (Acts 18:26)? I would imagine it took a lot of courage, and even more than that, tact. Speaking of having people in her home, we know that she was a woman of hospitality. After all, the church met in her house (I Corinthians 16:19). I would like to think that I could have the whole church over to my house for worship every week without stressing out, but let’s be honest, I’d probably end up being a Martha (Luke 10:38-42). But we’re not talking about her. Priscilla welcomed people into her home, and she was obviously willing to be flexible when necessary. When Paul up and left Corinth to sail to Syria, she and Aquila packed up and went with him (Acts 18:18). Here’s a couple who was not so tied down to worldly obligations that they couldn’t transition in a moment if it meant doing something helpful for the kingdom. She went so far as to risk her life (Romans 16:3-4)—though we’re not sure how—for the cause. Life-threatening courage is anything but comfortable.
3. She was a teacher of good things (Titus 2:3). Priscilla’s heart didn’t have anything to do with the mundane boundaries of the day-to-day grind. Her heart was all about eternity, and how to help as many people as possible to get there. She partnered herself with her husband to support him and aid him in his work and in his evangelism, which were intertwined—one and the same. She was a beacon of light in a society of darkness and extreme idolatry.
Modern day Priscillas are so rare, aren’t they? But if you think about it, a church simply cannot be the church you read about in Acts 2 unless it contains people like Priscilla. Priscilla makes me look at my own life with shame and resolve. I want to be like her. If my last name wasn’t so ridiculous, I’d probably name my future daughter Priscilla. (I can hear the sing-song voices of mocking children now: “Prissy Gissy wants a Kissy…” Why is it that rhyming words make insults so much more intimidating when you’re in the third grade?)
Anyway, if you think of it, pray for me as I strive to be more of a Prissy girl—in the Biblical sense, of course. 🙂