Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Reality: Why You Inspire Me

I was having a conversation with a friend recently.  I told her she inspired me.  Her response was, "I'm not sure how I inspire anybody."

It got me to thinking.  I am truly blessed in this world, surrounded by a community of women who are living a life so much like mine - wives, mothers, married to pastors.  It is quite amazing, actually.  So, my dear friend, here is a letter telling you exactly why you inspire me.

Dear Friend,

You wake up in the morning, tired from the lack of sleep, longing for the possibility of a few more moments to think and pray before the chaos begins.  You might catch a shower, you might not.

When you do shower, you relish in the 15 minutes of hot water streaming over you - washing away some dried spit-up, yesterday's lunch, and a Cheerio or two hidden in your hair.  When you don't shower, you brush your hair a little and give a passing glance into the mirror, remembering a long time ago when you didn't have the marks of motherhood on you.  Then you smile at how beautiful those marks have made you.  You see in a way that most of the world does not - you see the beauty of the wife and mother.  You make me remember why it is beautiful that I have stripes on my belly and hair falling out in bunches from postpartum hormones.  You make me look at myself differently.

Then, you open the door to the glorious chaos that awaits you.  You see your children - fighting, playing, learning.  You let them be kids.  You may lose your temper at the Cheerios thrown about - thinking about how another two are bound to make their way into your hair today - but when you do, you breathe, admit your faults, apologize, and discipline.  In a world that either punishes unjustly or turns a blind eye to the behavior of children, you battle to find God's way of discipline for your children.  You recognize each one needs different things from you.  And somehow, you manage to figure out what helps each one learn.

You look at the clock and realize there is more work to be done.  Pies to be made for the church, thank you cards to be written to parishioners, and dinner for your own family.  You roll up your sleeves and make a ridiculous mess of the kitchen - all in the name of love for your neighbor.

On Sundays, you get those kids ready for church - by yourself.  You get them to church - by yourself.  You sit in a pew with them - by yourself.  You cry a little inside when it is hard.  You question yourself and your ability to handle this.  You wonder if you are the worst mom in the world.  Then, you confess these things.  You say, "I know I am a poor miserable sinner.  Lord, have mercy."  You lean over and say the words of confession into your child's ear, hoping he may speak them out someday on his own.  You listen as your child says the Words of Institution with Daddy.  Your heart swells and sinks throughout the service - changing to fit the moment, whether you are surviving or thriving.  Then, you go home and feed your family.

You live out your vocation - a vocation that many in the world find menial.  A vocation that includes changing diapers, cleaning up pee accidents, making pies, running a vacuum, disciplining your children, listening to your husband, and loving God's sheep.  In all of this, you recognize your own failures, and you don't whitewash them.  You hold them up and say, "I have failed.  Lord, forgive me.  Kids, forgive me.  Husband, forgive me."  Then, you try try try again.  Knowing good and well that you will fail again.  Knowing good and well that God is shaping you in your confession and absolution.

So, dear friend, don't you ever dare question why you would inspire anybody.  If you say that again, I may need to hop in the minivan with my brood, drive to the midwest, and tell you in person how awesome you are - how you inspire me because you are real, how you inspire me because you face each day under the cross, how you inspire me because I see you battle life's daily challenges with a repentant heart.  And while I am out and about, we might just have to roadtrip to the West, to the East, to the South, to the North, and even up into Canada to tell some other ladies just how much they inspire me, too.

With love,


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reality: The Toddler Potty Tales

The tales of taking two toddler boys into public restrooms.

My husband could share his own tales - standing at the urinal next to another man and one very exuberant three-year-old shouts out, "Oh, look, Daddy, is that his pee pee?"  Then, when that unsuspecting stranger is finished, our son adds, "Oh, good job, man!"  In such a situation your only thought could possibly be, "I need to curl up in the corner and die."  But then you remember you are in a public restroom, and the thought of curling up on the floor is enough to make you want to die.  So, you proudly stand up straight and ignore your child and pray the other person does the same.

Or he could share the times when one very sweet two-year-old says, "No, Daddy, go poopy in this one," as he is trying to turn around [bare butted] and sit on the urinal.  In this case, you just move like lightning to get his back end aimed toward an actual potty.

But then there was today.  Today was my story.

To tell you this story, you need to know another story:

It might be possible that a certain exuberant three-year-old likes to refer to air coming out of his back end as a "burp."  It might also be possible that a certain three-year-old's father responds to this by saying, "Yeah, maybe a burp out your butt."  It might also be possible that a certain mother disapproves of this.  I can't imagine why.  Well, until today.

So, this certain mother with a sleeping seven-month-old babe slinged onto her chest walks into the women's restroom with a certain three-year-old and a certain two-year-old.

First comes the dance I refer to as the choose-a-potty-shuffle.  "I want to pee pee in this one...oh, no...this one...no, I pee pee in the little one [meaning a urinal], Mommy?"  "No little ones in this bathroom, Honey."  Now, imagine they are both doing this while going in and out of stalls like some old comedy show where the people keep appearing in different doors.  And you might even get a random, "Oh, not this one, Mommy.  Yucky.  Is that poopy?  Oh, look, Mommy, it IS poopy!"

Meanwhile, my internal crazy woman is counting just how many surfaces they are touching. "Ugh, oh, NO. Three.  Oh.  No.  Four.  Five.  Ahh!  PLEASE STOP TOUCHING THINGS!!!!"

So, we settle on a potty.  Momma squats down to unbutton a certain three-year-old's pants [baby still attached so this is a strategic make-your-thighs-burn squat].  Three-year-old willingly hops up on the potty while touching as much of the toilet seat as humanly possible.

Internal monologue: Well, son, could you touch that anymore?  Maybe you should just go ahead and lick the seat...No, don't give him any ideas.

Now, the inevitable...

In walks a poor woman who has no idea what is to come.  If she had known, she would have walked away.  However, it was clear this trip to the restroom was of the deepest necessity to this poor woman.  She hurried to a stall, and feeling the intensity in the room deepen, I try with all my might to hurry up the pottying of these two boys.

But, no.  It was too late.

A rather loud and aggressive explosive like sound came from the other stall.  My heart sank.

"PLEASE....just. do. not. say. anything."

Certain sweet two-year-old: Whoa!  Mommy, a burp! A BIG burp!
Me: [Dying]
Certain exuberant three-year-old: Yeah, maybe a BURP OUT HER BUTT! [with the most perfect amount of sarcasm in his voice, almost exactly like that of his father]
Me: [About to go curl up in the corner and I don't even care this is a public restroom.]
Both boys: [Uncontrollable laughter.]

Sound from the other stall: Silence.  Dead silence.  Until...another explosion.
Internal Monologue: Oh, good gravy, get me outta here.

Now, just repeat the above conversation.
Except this time, please add the sounds of a crazy mother zipping pants and wrestling kids out of the bathroom.  Just. get. out.

But of course we had to wash our hands.  We practically needed an entire bath.
And washing the hands of a certain exuberant three-year-old and a certain sweet two-year-old is no easy or quick task...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Womanhood: Guard Your Eyes and Ears

Television was a hot topic of conversation at our house when I was a child.  We weren't allowed to watch very much of it, and it wasn't necessarily because of some screen-time ban.  It was because my parents rightly recognized we weren't really ready to digest what was coming out of many of the shows.  This ban caused a lot of fights - mostly between me and my older sister.  She wanted to watch said banned shows and I wanted to tell on her.  That's the way we rolled.

I could carry on about a particular time when our crazy pot-smoking upstairs renter threatened to call the police on my sister and me if we didn't stop screaming about whether or not she could watch MTV...

...but really, that is a whole blog post unto itself.  I digress...

The point is my parents took their responsibility of guarding our eyes and ears seriously.  Thanks be to God.  We weren't mature enough to make those decisions.  We clearly showed that in our actions many times.

Skip forward about 20 years...

I was recently having a conversation with a wonderfully mature (in age and wisdom) woman at one of my husband's churches.  She was discussing how she knew she couldn't handle listening to a preacher from another denomination.  This is as close to a quote as I can remember.  I quote her because I couldn't have said it any better myself - 

"You know, these pastors like your husband say they can sit and listen and hear the good from the bad of someone else.  They can tell what is right and what is wrong in a sermon.  Me, I just can't do that.  I would rather not let that stuff into my brain.  God has given us a pastor here, and I choose to listen to him."

What I particularly love about this quote [other than everything] is that she wasn't saying that no good things can come from other preachers.  She fully recognizes doctrine is tricky and sometimes mashed up into a jumbled mess.  She also recognizes God has brought her to a church where the Law and Gospel is rightly divided and spoken into her ears clearly.  Therefore, she has no desire to try to figure it out from someone else.

She is mature enough in her theology to guard her eyes and ears.  She knows that even in her lifelong membership in a Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod parish, she is not yet able to decide for herself what is right and what is wrong with someone else's theology.  That is some great wisdom given by God.

We are all children.  We all need our eyes and ears guarded from incorrect teaching.  We need to recognize when we are not able to digest what is coming out of the mouths of those who teach outside of our own faith.  
I am not a proponent of ignorance.  I believe it is truly important to have a working knowledge of various religions and denominations.  The differences do matter, and without some sort of knowledge of those differences, it is impossible to speak knowledgeably about your own.  However, if I am reading and hearing more of what is wrong than right, I seriously question when I might just start believing the wrong one or mixing it with the right one.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump, ladies. 

Guard your theological eyes and ears.  
Guard them with even more vengeance than a mother and father guard their child's eyes from MTV.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reality: The Birthmother Stigma

"So, what's wrong with his mom?"
"How did his mom get pregnant?"
"Why did his mom give him up?"
"Where's his mom?"

Yes, we have been asked all of these questions.  I try to put the best construction on it - people mean well, at least most do.  They are curious.  They may not know anyone else who has ever adopted.  I get that.  I am not writing this to chastise those who have asked these questions.  I am writing this to start conversations about how we speak about birthmothers.

As a pro-life person, I need to make sure the words I use to others reinforce the life message and not demean it.  The more our culture allows the stigma on birthmothers to continue, the more babies will die from abortion.  When we began our adoption journey, I didn't know people would be so pro-us adopting and so anti-birthmother choosing adoption.  It didn't even cross my mind until those questions starting flying at us.

The tiger mom in me wants to call them out for what they are - they be fightin' words.

First, I am "his mom."  If you ask a question about the woman who birthed him, please call her "his birthmother" or "his biological mother."

But more importantly, our son's birthmother is just off limits when it comes to anything which could be construed as being negative.   First of all, her life and her story is none of your business.  I don't really mean to sound harsh, but maybe this situation calls for a little harshness.  Secondly, no matter what you assume about her life, you can't talk bad about her around us.  You can't insinuate bad things about her.  You shouldn't even think bad things about her.  But since we can't control your thoughts, we will just settle on you not saying them out loud, m'kay?  She birthed our son.  She sacrificed her sleep, her body, her mind, her heart - for our son (hers and ours).  She is off limits.

By allowing those questions to be asked, we are perpetuating some very dangerous thoughts.

For example, no one ever asks us about his biological father.  They don't say, "Why did his mom and dad give him up?"  Why do they leave out the elephant-in-the-room father figure?  Well, because usually there is not one to be spoken of, but that does not give us the right to continue to assume there is some strange sperm donor who has no place in a child's life.  If we want fathers to matter, we need to say they matter.  We need to be just as concerned about the loss of his biological father as we are his biological mother.  Granted, it is still none of your business what happened to either of them, but the point remains the same - in asking the question but avoiding the father, we are saying they don't matter.

When our culture allows these questions, we allow false insinuations to enter the ears of our young women.   Why would she tell anyone if she was unexpectedly pregnant and scared?  She knows she cannot raise this child, but she doesn't want people to think those things about her.  Abortion seems easier than adoption.  Why wouldn't she just take a pill to get rid of the problem?  No one would ever know.  That time she heard someone say, "How could she give him up?  I just couldn't do that," rings in her ears.  And the cycle continues.  If adoption is a non-choice, abortion will continue to be the-choice.

So, what do we do about it?

We tell people how to talk about adoption.

We give them the language - call me "the mom," call her "the birthmother;" the birthmother does not give up her child, she chooses a family for her child; there is nothing "wrong" with her, she has reasons she was unable to parent.

We give them the questions - ask, "I love hearing adoption stories...would you like to tell me yours?" and be content with the extent of the answer.  Most of us love to share our stories, and we will leave out the parts you shouldn't or can't know.

We tell them the truth - outside of situations where parental rights have been terminated for abuse and neglect, birthmothers are self-sacrificing heroes for their children.

We remind them of the loss - the most natural and wonderful place for a child is with his biological mother and father.

We focus them on the gain - children are given homes with mothers and fathers who love them and serve them and parents are given the blessing of children.

Being pro-life is being pro-adoption.
Being pro-adoption is being pro-birthmothers choosing adoption.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Letter to My Children on Ash Wednesday

My Dearest Three,

Today is Ash Wednesday - a day that begins a season of repenting.  It makes me think so much about all three of you.  Each week when we stand in church confessing our sins, the room gets silent for a private moment to recount the endless list of sins I could rightly repent.  Different seasons of life bring different seasons of sins.  I would prefer to not mention my former seasons, as they brought some pretty embarrassing sins.  I am quite sure you will have those seasons, too.  

But this season of life is different, my children.  In this season I recount the same sins each week - the sins I commit against you.  They are many, and most of the sins end in the phrase, "Again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me."

I lost my temper with my children...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I chose to read endless updates on facebook instead of reading books to my children...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I taught my children how to sass by doing it myself...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I was angry at my oldest child for not acting like an adult...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I was angry at my middle child for acting like a baby...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I was angry at my youngest baby for not sleeping like...well, just not sleeping...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I showed my children who is boss here by outwardly showing how wrong I thought their father was...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
I was frustrated that I didn't get to do what I wanted to do...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.

You see, my babies, I have to go through this list every single week.  I just keep doing them again and again.  You undeservedly receive the brunt of my sins.  You see me more clearly than anyone, besides your father.  He gets a pretty good glimpse into this sinful flesh, too.  

But you are so young and so forgiving.  You run with open arms to hug me and say, "Forgive you, Mommy." 

While I show you sinfulness and flesh, you show me a glimpse into the unending mercy of our risen Lord.  Thanks be to God for the faith and forgiveness of His dear children and mine.

The truth is - I will try to do better, but I will fail...again, dear Lord.  Have mercy on me.
And you, dear children, thank you for showing me mercy.

I live another day in His forgiveness and yours.

With love and repentance,

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Womanhood: Don't "Girlify" the Church

Emotions are a gift from God.  They help us recognize unsafe situations, they move us to change our actions, they inspire us to work hard, and they connect us to each other.  God created men and women in His image.  Women typically express a wider and more sensitive range of emotions.  These, we can believe, are in the image of God. So, emotions are good, but they sure can be a killer if used in the wrong ways.

And one of the worst ways we can use our emotions is in church.  We can kill the church with our emotions.  We can kill our faith with our emotions.  We can kill the faith of those around us with our emotions.

What do I mean?

We have completely girlified the experience of church.  Note: I like to make up words.

We look around and say, "Where are all the men in the church?  Are there any good men left?"  The congregation is turning more and more female, and we don't seem to understand that we, the women, play a role in that sad state of affairs.  The American church loves feelings.  It is IN LOVE with feelings.

This song makes me feel so good inside.
I feel the Spirit here today.
Do you feel Jesus hugging you?
Do you feel Him moving amongst us?

Emotions are great.  Feelings are great.  But they can't be trusted.

If we continue to assume you must get some sort of feeling from church, then we are going to keep pushing away men.  Men do not experience life like women.  Thank God they are different from us.  We need them to be different.

What does it say to men who don't experience emotions the same way?  It says, "Oh, you don't feel Him?  You don't feel good inside when you sing this song?  You aren't crying with emotion at the Spirit?  Then, this probably isn't the place for you.  You probably should try a little harder.  You probably should get closer to Him."

Am I saying this only happens to men?  Of course not.  There are also women out there who think the church, at least the way some American Christians do it, is way too girly.

It is dangerous territory - depending on feelings and not on the Word.
Here's something that shouldn't surprise you - feelings change.

Depending on changing emotions and not on a changeless God leads to despair...

I don't feel forgiven.
I don't feel loved.
I don't feel like I belong here.

You very well may not feel those things, because Satan has a great deal of control over the human experience.  Emotions are easy to play with and deceive.  As women, we sometimes allow them to make our decisions.  Does this mean we should stop feeling?  No.  It means we have to start recognizing when our emotions and feelings are gifts and when they are curses.  We have to start asking more important questions about where we are going to receive Christ's Gifts (His forgiveness and His Body and Blood).

Are you judging a service in a church based on how good you feel when it is over?
Are you judging a service in church based on how the pastor pointed out your sin (proclaiming the truth that you and I are poor miserable sinners), and then poured the Gospel on you (proclaiming the truth that you are a saint in Him)?

*I hope the second.

Are you singing a song about God but could easily sing it about your boyfriend, too?  Does it make you feel good?
Are you singing a song full of references to Jesus Christ, the GodMan who died on a cross and shed His blood for you?  Does it teach you something about what you believe?

*Second, again.

Are you listening to someone tell you that God wants you to have your best [insert feeling great] life now?
Are you listening to someone tell you that you will have suffering (along with emotions) in this life?

*Yet again, the second is much preferable.

Are you burdened with guilt because you don't feel like you have spread the Good News to enough people?
Are you free in the Gospel to share the reasons for the hope that is within you?

*Do I need to tell you which one here?  The second, just so we are clear.

Do you depend on the Spirit to move you in a service and praise the Spirit when He does?
Do you know the Spirit never seeks praise for Himself and does in fact move you towards Christ just by bringing you into the church?

*Yep, are you getting the pattern?

Some of this may seem like semantics.  Well, words and the way we use them matter.  The way we describe our emotional experience (or lack thereof) in church matters.  So, keep on feeling, ladies.  Feeling is great when it is given by God.  Let's just not make our church depend on them.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Womanhood: Why you CAN'T be a pastor, but MUST be an excellent theologian

This isn't very popular.  It is against everything we learn in society.  It seems outdated, sexist, and unfair.

Here you go -
Men and women are different.

If that isn't already enough to make you hate what I am saying, wait for this -
Ladies, women of God, Christian sisters, you cannot be pastors.

This argument has been played out for far too long, rewritten in far too many different ways, and discussed (or screamed) in too many churches.  I could give you the reasons women cannot be pastors, but there are some really smart people who have already done that many times.  You should be reading their writings.  I have included some great resources (with a few points from each) at the end of this post.  If you have questions about why women cannot be pastors, please read them.

So, if we can't be pastors, the world tells us we must not be important to the Church.  Do not be deceived, Ladies!  You cannot be a pastor, but I am going to tell you why you MUST be an excellent theologian.

There are a lot of wolves out there in sheep's clothing.  I am not talking about the crazy people who call themselves pastors and say the world is ending on [insert date], so come take this potion and end your life now.  They aren't wolves in sheep's clothing.  Those people are just crazy.  You don't need to be an excellent theologian to avoid them.  Most people avoid them naturally.

Sheep's clothing is soft and comfortable and fuzzy and snugly.  Sheep's clothing keeps you warm.  It keeps you happy.  It looks so pure and innocent and gentle.  It whispers things like, "You are such a gifted writer and know so many things about Christ...you really would be a great pastor."  It says things like, "You care about people so much and love to listen to their problems...you would give great pastoral advice."

Then, the wolf in sheep's clothing takes on the voice of the snake from the garden - "Did God really say...?"

And then the avalanche...

Did God really say women can't be pastors?
Did God really say, "This IS my body...this IS my blood?"
Did God really say the world was created in seven days?
Did God really say that Baptism SAVES you?
Did God really say...

The wolves decide for themselves what God says.  And the sheep start questioning, "What did God really say?"

People (sheep) flock to the sheep's clothing.  They are deceived by the sheep's clothing.  And the wolf inside, well, he/she just sees the flocks coming to join him/her.  The numbers look great.  The bigger the herd, the bigger the dinner.  Or maybe, the bigger the herd, the more validated the wolf feels in his own skin.

Do I completely blame the wolf?  Do I completely blame the woman who is acting in the role of a pastor? Do I really blame the woman who questions her own calling and thinks her skills are best suited for the pastorate?  Well, sometimes yes, but sometimes no.  See, these wolves have been deceived, too - by the original and fiercest wolf, the snake, himself.  These lesser wolves may have even been sheep at some point.

But being a sheep is hard.

Sure, sheep's clothing looks great, but to actually BE the sheep is to be defenseless.
Being a sheep means following the voice of the Shepherd (especially when the pasture seems greener on the other side).  It means depending on Someone else's Wisdom (especially when the wisdom seems foreign to this world).  It means you actually have to stop talking for a few minutes and start listening to those shepherds whom He has given you.  For sheep who don't listen, well, they die.

It means humbling yourself to the point of knowing you actually CANNOT do any of these things and that HE has been doing them all along.

We don't like those things.
We secretly want to be the wolf in sheep's clothing.
We want the flocks following us.
We want the numbers of people.
We want to decide what God says.

But God's Word isn't popular.  It comes in the form of what looks to be a criminal dying in the most embarrassing of deaths.  But through a clearer lens, we see He is a criminal in the Father's eyes - taking on our failures to serve God and our failures to serve each other - serving as our ransom, paying our debts, cancelling our sin, and overcoming death.  God's Word comes in the form of order and structure, because now we are free to live in the perfect structure and order He gave us.

It is not that I cannot be a pastor, it is that I am free to be the servant He made me to be.

So, women, you MUST be excellent theologians in order to recognize a shepherd and a wolf.
You must be excellent theologians so you have the courage to run from the wolf when you discover the disguise.
You must be excellent theologians in order to defy the notion that because you can't be a pastor, your wisdom given by God can't be worth more than rubies to the Church.
You must be excellent theologians because the Church needs women to speak the truth in love.
You must be excellent theologians because if God blesses you with a husband, you are together a vision of Christ and His bride.
You must be excellent theologians because if God blesses you with daughters, they will need to hear the truth and see your example.
You must be excellent theologians because if God blesses you with sons, they will need to know how to speak truth while loving and honoring the women in their lives.
You must be excellent theologians because the Church needs less people waiting to speak and more people yearning to listen.
You must be excellent theologians because being a sheep is no easy task in this world.

I have linked to two articles available free online and given a few points from each.  They are full of good stuff.  Please don't let my very inadequate synopsis of them deter you from actually reading the articles.

"Scripture and the Exclusion of Women from the Pastorate" by John W. Kleinig

     - John Kleinig's articles are easy to read and follow.  He breaks down the argument into digestible chunks.  He gives a list of presuppositions necessary to even have the argument, which I find very helpful.  For example, if we can't agree that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, we cannot begin to have an argument about whether or not women should be pastors.  He also gives the most common verses for the exclusion of women to the pastorate and explains them thoroughly and succinctly.
     - In reference to the presuppositions: "The Holy Scriptures are the inspired, authoritative word of the Triune God.  As such they are normative for the church in its preaching and in its formulation of doctrine.  Since they record God's final and complete revelation to us in Christ, there can be no new revelation to the church about the ordination of women either from history or from what appear to be prophetic movements in the church."
     - "The two passages which traditionally have been used to exclude women from the pastorate, 1 Cor 14:34-35 and 1 Tim 2:11-15, are apostolic and canonical."  [He goes on to fully explain these verses to an extent that cannot be summarized here.  Please read it.]
     - In reference to 1 Timothy 2:11-15: "Paul makes it quite clear that, unlike Jewish women who were excluded from direct involvement in the public prayers of the synagogue as well as from becoming students of the law, Christian women were able to join in the intercession of the church for the world and to 'learn' God's word as disciples of Jesus Christ.  In fact, he commands them to be disciples...First, they [women] are to learn in quietness.  This is not just described as an attitude but also as a state of being.  Such quietness involves stillness and harmony, receptivity and teachability, respectful listening and readiness to receive direction (see Acts 11:18; 21:14; 22:2; 1 Thess 4:11; 2 Thess 3:12; 1 Tim 2:2)."

"May Women Be Ordained as Pastors?" by David P. Scaer

     - This is a lengthy piece written in 1972.  It provides a great outline of how the question of the ordination of women entered the Lutheran churches abroad and in the United States.  It lists and describes many of the arguments given for the ordination of women and why they cannot be accepted given Scripture.  Even though it was written over 40 years ago, the arguments are remarkably similar to today's.  Since many more recent sources are not available free online, I chose to include this one.  The points remain valid to the argument at hand.
     - In reference to the argument for the ordination of women:  "It is argued this way: Since men and women are equal and since men serve as pastors, women should have the same privileges.  Many concerns of the women are legitimate.  Where they have been offended by lack of promotion and inadequate salary simply because they are women, this should be corrected.  Still the church recognizes that its worship procedures are based on principles determined by God who has revealed His will in the scriptures.  Certainly the political and social climate influences the church and always will, but as history has shown, these have hardly been beneficial at all times."
     - In reference to the silence of women called for in 1 Cor 14:33-38:  "The prohibition applies specifically to the regular worship services.  It has already been shown that chapters 11 through 16 have to do with the regulations of the worship service.  This pericope does not demand the women must be silent at all times.  It does not forbid women from witnessing to Jesus Christ.  Lydia, as we know, was instrumental in gathering Christians for the congregation in Phillipi.  Neither does it mean that women cannot give instruction outside of the regular worship services.  Priscilla and her husband Aquila (Acts 18:26) expounded Christianity to Apollos.  This was a private instruction and had nothing to do with the public proclamation of the word in the regular worship services."

If you are super ambitious and extra interested, there are AMAZING articles in the book below -

Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective

     - The link gives a great overview of what is included in this book.