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International Women's Day



God is within her, she shall not fall; God will help her at the break of day.
- Psalm 46:5

Happy International Women's Day!


What a wonderful occasion to celebrate the wonderful women that we know and love... mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, daughters, nieces, aunts, loved ones, extended family, friends, leaders, bosses, co-workers, educators, entrepreneurs, creatives… I could go on and on…


As we celebrate today (really all month) let’s make sure that we show these four things:


1. APPRECIATION

Let’s go out of our way to tell at least three women “THANK YOU.” It is so easy to take women for granted and to assume that they know how much we appreciate them. Let’s take time to show our gratitude and to be very specific in saying “why” they are such a blessing to our lives.


2. AFFIRMATION

As we share our appreciation for their doings… let’s remember to honor them and attest to the fact that they are wonderful beings created in the image of God and called according to God’s purpose. So, as we speak to a woman today, let’s remember to speak life to her purpose, her joy, her hopes, and her dreams. There are so many things in this world that exist to break women down. This day is a reminder that we need to be intentional in our efforts to uplift women in every way, and every area of our society.


3. AWARENESS

Every day the lives and liberties of women and girls endure a barrage of pressures and aggression. Let's become more prayerful, conscious, and conscientious of the many adversities that women face in our ongoing struggles for equity and justice. These include matters of employment, education, economics, healthcare, security, business, leadership, religion, and policy-making, as well as, the many life-altering issues that are currently being argued and decided in our judicial systems.


If we are truly going to appreciate and affirm women we must have greater awareness of the things that systemically, institutionally, and personally hinder and harm women and girls.


4. ACTION

Once we know more and know better, we should do more and do better. This does not require "doing the most" or doing everything. However, a righteous cause requires righteous actions. If we do not already have one, let's select one specific cause to improve the lives of women and commit to doing good work in this area until change happens.


There are many ways that we can take action. Here are some simple ones:

  • Partner and/or volunteer with an organization

  • Get involved in advocacy and social justice work

  • Donate to an organization or movement

  • Support women-owned businesses

  • Be a great mentor to a young woman or girl

  • Vote for candidates that will empower women and girls


If we are leaders, let's make the necessary changes in our institutions that will help women to not only survive, but to thrive and live our best lives!


Remember, we have the power to make a difference and with God all things are possible.


Happy International Women's Day!


Rev. TaNikka Sheppard, DMin

Regional Executive Minister of the Cleveland Baptist Association

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