Poem: Where Was God?

Erasure Poem by Debi
Source Text: Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen?

Photo Credit © Debi Taylor-Hough

You wonder
tough questions
You need help

You suffered.
Why the cruel unjust evil?

You doubted.
You wondered.

Such a question
would seem unholy.

Where is God
in the darkness of fear?

In a trembling voice,
They didn’t.

Where was God?

Brutally exterminated.

Where was God?

Oppressive systems
ravage others.

Where was God?

These are the questions
many of us bury.

Where is God?

Are we afraid?
Do we fear the answer
we cannot understand?

The evil in this world
troubled human history.

Where was God?

Where is God?

May I Not Die in this Battle

by Debi Taylor-Hough

(Ephesian 6:11-17)

helmet on groundI am no soldier
and yet
the battle of life
found me

Here I lie
stabbed through the heart
my soul bleeding
Death circling silently
I feel its breath

This helmet
which should have been my salvation
brought meager protection
in this unexpected onslaught

My breastplate
in all its righteous glory
surprised me
by offering little protection
from the fire-laden arrows
of my enemies.

The sword in my hand
always so firm and sure
fell heavily to the ground
and lay still
I am too weak to raise it again

My shield
made of stretched hide
now moth-eaten
riddled with holes
its beauty and emblems
faded beyond recognition

These shoes
once rugged and sturdy
have worn through
I feel painfully each rock
each stone
each thistle
each step an agony

Oh, how I wish to walk in peace once again.


Pitifully — under
a great soldier’s helmet
a cricket sings

Matsuo Basho

Research: Women’s Leadership Roles in the Early Christian Church

This was a paper I wrote for a “History of Christianity” course at the University of Washington Tacoma.  Just stumbled across it in my computer files and decided to cut-and-paste in case anyone’s interested.  🙂


Women’s Leadership Roles in the Early Christian Church

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

The leadership roles women play within Christianity today vary greatly depending upon which branch of the Christian family tree is being examined.   Women can be ordained as pastors or priests in some denominations but not in others.  So the question remains: what was the role of women in the Christian church during the first century?  The modern Feminist perspective has brought an influx of study on the topic of women in the historical church, but not without experiencing negative criticism from those who view such studies as “an anachronistic and unrealistic application” of historical scholarship.[1]  Even without taking into account Feminist reconstructions of the early church, it is clear from Biblical and historical sources that a number of women held active leadership roles during the time of Jesus and also in the early days of Christianity.

Historical and Cultural Context for Women in Leadership Continue reading