How To Be A Prissy Girl (In A Good Way)

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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 ( 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 (, 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 (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. 🙂

Muddy Feet

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While I was a student at FHU, a community series was conducted at the Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, Tennessee by Dr. Brad Harrub. That weekend, Dr. Harrub, founder of Think magazine, defended the existence of God and discussed current societal issues like abortion and stem cell research. At least two weeks prior to this uplifting event, after the Estes church spread the word through newspaper advertisements and other methods, Christians in the Henderson area began inviting members of the community by going door to door inviting each resident personally.

To fulfill a class assignment, one of my friends and I participated in this outreach for at least 10 hours—two Saturdays and a couple of weekdays. While this method of evangelism (door-knocking) was a first-time experience for my friend, I was familiar with it. I’ve participated in door-knocking efforts several times before during my high school years. I have not, however, had a lot of experience with door-knocking in such rural areas within the states (I have, however, done work in foreign mission efforts in 3rd world countries).

We arrived the first Saturday morning to work and were encouraged by the Christians who greeted us at the church building. They reminded us of the purpose of the work we were doing, and worshiped with us briefly before going over instructions about the routes we were to cover.

The route we were given was an area where many of the residents lived in mobile homes and were far enough from their neighbors that we had to drive to each house rather than parking the car and walking house-to-house. We didn’t know what to expect about how people would respond to our personal invitations, but we certainly faced a wide variety of reactions. Some people would crack the door, grab the flyer, and shut the door in our faces. I’m happy to say those people were in the minority. Most people politely listened to our invitation, took the flyer, and thanked us. Some people told us they were members of a denomination (usually Baptist). One man said to us, “I’ve been Baptist my whole life, and my daddy’s a Baptist preacher. If I ever went to ANYTHING at the church of Christ, I think my family would disown me.” We talked with him a while, emphasizing that it was a community series, not just a “Church of Christ function,” and by the time we left, he said he was interested and might come. We ran into several people who told us they were members at Estes, which brings me to a story.

On that first Saturday we worked, we drove down a long, narrow dirt driveway with deep ditches on either side, and no room to turn around by the two mobile homes at the end of the driveway. It was very muddy everywhere because it had rained most of the day.  We knocked on the doors, and the people who answered told us that they were members at Estes and planned to attend the seminar. We told them we would look forward to seeing them there, got back in the car, and then I struggled to back out of the narrow driveway slowly. Unfortunately, my tires slipped off and my friend and I landed in the muddy ditch.

As we stumbled out of the car and climbed out of the ditch (I was wearing a skirt, by the way), one of the men we spoke with came outside and, with an attitude of kindness and good humor, attempted to help push my car out. Due to the depth of mud and the depth of my car in the ditch, pushing wasn’t enough. The gentleman pushing went and found a neighbor of his who owns a large tractor, and his friend laughed at me and was kind enough to pull my car out. We thanked him over and over. He laughed and winked in response.

As we were leaving, the quiet, gentle man who was a member at Estes talked with us a bit. He thanked us for what we were doing, and begged us to keep going as much as we could. He told us it meant a lot to him to see young people working for the Lord as we were. We thanked him, and apologized for causing him trouble. He told us that it would be difficult NOT to fall into the ditch like we did with the rain making it slippery and the driveway being so narrow. We thanked him, and finally left to find the next house.

Although the experience was somewhat embarrassing and humbling, I cannot help but think it was providential that it happened at the home of a brother in Christ who was loving enough to patiently help us as needed. The things he said after helping with my car reminded me of the seriousness of what we were setting out to do. It was just what I needed to hear. I needed to be reminded that our efforts were not about a class assignment, but about lost souls who need Jesus. It was refreshing.

Participating in door-knocking efforts always gives me a variety of emotions: Excitement, discomfort, joy, sadness, and sometimes a hint of anger. The excitement is always there right at the beginning before I actually start exiting my comfort zone and talking to people about the Lord. The discomfort comes whenever awkward situations arise, like the overweight man who came to the door in only his boxers without any embarrassment on Monday of our door-knocking days. The joy is almost overwhelming when someone responds well to the invitation and commits to coming. The sadness comes when someone seems to care little or nothing about spiritual matters based on their response. Occasionally, however, I feel angry when the response is rude or spiteful towards us. In times like those, I’m reminded of what it means to love as Christ would love. If Christ could come and die for people who were hateful, cruel, and unloving, it’s the least I can do to be patient and kind with people who are not kind to me.

While I believe the effectiveness of door-knocking efforts pale in comparison to that of “friendship evangelism,” if one person came to the community series because of a flyer I handed them and because of a kind word of personal invitation, it was worth every moment we spent. The existence of God was defended, His word was taught, and His holy Name was glorified. I’m thankful I was able to attend. I’m also encouraged by the thought that, even if many of my contacts never showed up for the seminar, they were given clear information and what I hope was a pleasant impression of Christianity.

“…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” –Romans 10:15

Can feet be muddy and pretty at the same time? You bet!

Coffee and God

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I was talking with a friend recently about the topic of evangelism and of each individual Christian’s responsibility to share the good news of Christ at every opportunity. Knowing him to be a highly effective individual for influencing others, I coveted his thoughts. He said to me,

“You know, I just heard about something a man did that I would really like to try. Let me tell you about it.”

As I listened, he proceeded to tell me the story of a man who sat outside a coffee shop in a busy downtown area of a large city with a cardboard sign on which he had written, “Let me tell you about my experience with God and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.” He had several takers and some good, long Bible studies with people who were searching. On the second day, he did the same thing again, only this time his sign read “Tell me about YOUR experience with God and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.” According to my friend, there was a line out the door that didn’t go down until the end of the day.

While I’m not sure his approach was the best (the very best is what’s called “friendship evangelism,” meaning you form relationships with people and then try to touch their hearts with the gospel), I think the story makes a very valid point. Some people are interested to hear you have to say about the Lord, but a lot more people are more anxious to tell you about their relationships with God than to hear about yours. Don’t get me wrong—it is so important that you share what you know about the Lord and about salvation, but your message will likely be much better received if you treat that person as though their point of view is every bit as valid and important as yours is.

I remember numerous times growing up when my dad would answer the door and two Mormon ‘elders’ would be at the door asking if they could come in and talk to him about the Bible. My dad would stop what he was doing and eagerly welcome them in and serve them sweet tea as they talked to him about the Mormon doctrine. When the conversation allowed him to comment and ask questions, he would ask them questions using scriptures that he knew they would be unable to answer with scripture while adhering to the Mormon doctrine. His questions were kind and polite and his comments were loving and calm. Oftentimes, they would sit in our kitchen for hours–deep in study and deep in thought about simple Biblical concepts the Mormons had never been taught.

I would venture to say that evangelism isn’t just about teaching. Half of evangelism is just about listening.

“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” –Proverbs 29:20

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” –Proverbs 18:2