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Entries in Lies (11)

Sunday
Sep232012

Mission Impossible?

Here's a blast from the past.


So can I be honest here?  That message of the 80's was the image of womanhood I thought I was suppose to live up to. After exhausting myself, burning more bacon than I ever brought home and giving my husband shivers not eluded to in this commercial, let me assure you the 24 hour woman needs more than perfume!

Last week while studying Genesis, I was reminded that we females are "fashioned" by God.  We come in all sizes, shapes and colors. We can be prissy, athletic or both! We can love pink or NOT. The point is we’ve all been created distinctively female and according to the"helper design". Remember what God said…no helper suitable was made for Adam so God provided one. You say, but I’m not married. I'm not talking about being married. I'm talking about ALL women fulfilling their purposes according to their role as helper (helper design). Read what Susan Hunt says about out helper design:

“Helper is not a fragile word, and we are not called to a mission of fluff. This is a life-giving ministry of nurture, defense, comfort and caring. Adam celebrated the purpose and privilege of this design when he ‘called his wife’s name Eve, because she was a mother of all living’. Two words summarize the helper ministry: community and compassion. But sin marred woman’s design, and now she thinks about her womanhood in terms of her own self-fulfillment. She seeks her own completeness. She is her own reference point. She is her own authority. She abandons her design and mission for a never-ending quest for her own happiness. Woman became a life-taker rather than a life giver… It is because of our redemption that we can live out our helper design. Redeeming love breaks the reign of sin in our lives and empowers us to fulfill our creation mission. And it is our knowledge of our Redemer’s love that compels us to do so.”  Susan Hunt - The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood
Being in the world but not of the world (John 17:16), is all about the hard selfless work of nurturing, defending, comforting and helping others on behalf of God Himself.  And, in doing so, we reflect His image.  Sound beautiful and I want it so much to live this way.  But...

This kind of work is both emotionally and physically exhausting. And, I admit - there are times...days...okay even weeks where I want it to be "all about me."  People’s lives can be messy and getting involved can be costly. Honestly, this life giving mission is impossible apart from the Holy Spirit of God.  And, as Mrs. Hunt says, in the world this kind of helper ministry lifestyle doesn’t fit or make sense. Truthfully, helper ministry only fits and makes sense within a community of women who have surrendered their lives to Christ and understand, embrace and live out their role as helper. Thank God for my sisters!

The Enjoli commercial spoke into my life independence, "self sufficiency is power", pride in my ability to bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let him forget he’s a man. It was all about me and my glory. The message of the Enjoli commercial is a lie that my generation believed and it is the lie we have passed on to the next generation and the next… This lifestyle and thinking is in stark contrast to the Word of God.

“Helper is not a fragile word, and we are not called to a mission of fluff. This is a life-giving ministry of nurture, defense, comfort and caring.”
Married, single, divorced, widowed our mission and role as helpers is life giving. Reconciliation with God brings life and we speak reconciliation with words, actions, behaviors, and attitudes that nurture, defend, comfort, and care. This is serious, life giving work!  As women, we have a unique role in God’s plan (as do men). Before the foundation of the world, God planned for us. He knit each of us together in our mother’s wombs – distinctively female according to the helper design. God has prepared specific works of nurture, defense, comfort and caring for us each one of us to accomplish. These works are life giving and God glorifying and prepared specifically for each one of us.  Wow!

When the reality of this truth sinks in there is no way we can look around and measure our lives against the lives of others. Knowing this, why would we ever entertain the thought that we are less than or our good works are not as important as the good works of others? I’ll tell you why. We’ve believed a lie! The one that immediately comes to mind is: “Surely God is holding out on me!” Trace it all the way back to the fall. Eve’s and ours! Are you mad yet? Satan’s crafty, lying, killing and scheming ways have distracted us, taken us on a detour, and robbed us of understanding and fulfilling our unique God given purpose. Just like Eve, the evil one has come along and caused us to doubt God’s word, His will and His good intentions toward us.

Enough! We are mad and we aren’t going to take it anymore! Let’s forget all that WAS or even IS and focus on what CAN BE and SHOULD BE!  We can do it!  Amen?

Saturday
Sep082012

I am woman hear me ROAR

In 1972, Helen Reddy wrote a song entitled “I Am Woman” which became the anthem for the women’s liberation movement.  Here it is:

Okay, listen to this: Reddy credits the song as having “supernatural inspiration.” She said:

 “I remember lying in bed one night and the words, ‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman’, kept going over and over in my head. That part I considered to be divinely inspired. I had been chosen to get a message across.” 

In October of 1972, the song reached No.1 on the Billboard charts and won a Grammy Award. In her acceptance speech for Best Female Performance, Reddy thanked “God, because She makes everything possible.” In 1973, the National Organization of Women (NOW) closed their annual convention with the playing of “I am Woman.” NOW’s founder Betty Friedan said

“Suddenly women got out of their seats and started dancing around the hotel ballroom and joining hands in a circle that got larger and larger until maybe a thousand of us were dancing and singing. ‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.’ It was a spontaneous, beautiful expression of the exhilaration we all felt in those years, women really moving as women.”

Women were mad and they weren’t going to take being treated unfairly any longer! “I Am Woman” is the song of a feminist heart. The song lyrics reveal her experiences deepened the convictions (strong belief) of her soul. She had been:

· Down on the floor
· Bent but not broken
· In pain and paid a price

She goes on to say that wisdom was born from this pain. She infers that she has learned from this experience or experiences and that her thinking about herself and the direction of her life has changed.

Are we as women today so different? Some of our decisions have been born out of pain due to the actions of others.  This can certainly change the directions of our lives.  We can feel a need to protect ourselves, fight for our rights, or finally be heard (a/k/a ROAR). We have many reasons to thank those brave women who went before us fighting for equality and justice on our behalf. But have we come too far?

Often, our opinions, attitudes and actions are made based on what we feel or think is right based on our circumstances. So then, since truth is relative to our circumstances, we do whatever feels right, is comfortable, makes others happy, results in the least conflict or produces a positive outcome for us.  Here's the thing though - opinions, attitudes and actions can be influenced and, therefore, can change.  Is there any way to know that we know what is true about us no matter what is going on around us? Is there absolute truth in the face of our circumstances?

I believe God’s Word is absolute truth and God, in His Word, has a very clear standard for us as women and individuals.

Standard means…something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality.

If we proclaim to be followers of Christ, then truth is not relative to our circumstances. We must make decisions based on what God says is right in a situation.  There is absolute truth and there are moral truths and principles that do not change no matter the times or circumstances.  No matter what is going on in society or culture, we can cling to absolute truth. No matter what our feelings or circumstances tell us, God’s standard for us remains the same. All kinds of bad things can happen to us and demeaning things said to us but God’s people make their decisions based on His Word - Truth. Every lie that demeans and devalues comes from the father of lies – the one who is a murderer from the beginning. We must remember his crafty schemes are devised to destroy us, our families, and our society. And, if we don't believe in absolute truth then any 'ole lie will do...and will eventually destroy us.

Our choices and behaviors not only impact our own lives, they have a ripple effect on our families and our society in general. But, we can turn this around.  We can do it!  First, we have to decide what we are going to believe.  Are we going to believe the liar or the one who is God – Truth?

I am woman hear me ROAR:   there is absolute truth!  Let's remember, to live otherwise has and will continue to put our families, homes and society at risk.  Amen?

Saturday
Feb042012

Oh gnats!

Okay, so I'm listening through the Bible chronologically and get to the part where Moses is in Egypt because God wants Pharaoh to "Let My people go that they may serve Me."  Interesting events.  Here's a recap to self:

Ask 1:  Pharaoh says no.

· Moses' staff turns into a snake (Creepy.)
· Pharaoh's wise men and sorcerers using their secret arts threw down their staffs and they turned into snakes.

Seriously?

· But Moses' snake ate up all their snakes. (Good!)

Ask 2:  Pharaoh says no.

· Moses stretches out the staff, strikes the water of the Nile and it is turned into blood and God left it like that for 7 days.
· Pharaoh's wise men and sorcerers using their secret arts were able to do the same thing (Okay...but evidently were not able to undo.)

Ask 3:  Pharaoh says no.

· Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff over the waters of Egypt and frogs came out and covered the land. (Gross.)
· Magicians did the same thing (These secret arts are really concerning me but again they couldn't remove the frogs.)
· Pharaoh asked Moses to ask God to remove them,  God did. But, Pharaoh still wouldn't let the people go.  So...

· Moses stretched out his staff and struck the dust and gnats covered the land. Oh gnats!
· BUT...the magicians tried, with their secret arts, to bring out gnats and couldn't.  Seriously?

Using their secret arts, they could turn staffs into snakes, water to blood, bring forth frogs but they couldn't bring out tiny little gnats!  Thank the Lord their abilities and power was limited and that God is all powerful.  But still, don't you think the fact they possessed that kind of ability or power is attention getting?

This recap reminds me of something Jesus says in Matthew 7..."Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?"

Did you see that?  They were casting out demons and performing many miracles?  Okay... Jesus goes on to say to these performing many miracles - "I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness."  Attention getting!

So, they were not performing miracles in the power of God but were practicing lawlessness. Boy, that's a - Beware!  There are people out there who are doing a lot of "things" in the name of the Lord.  Jesus says they are false prophets who come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  Oh my goodness.  So, how will we know them?  Well, according to the Word of God below, we are not to listen to their words, or be impressed by the fact that they can cast out demons or even perform many miracles. Well then, how will we know them?  By how they live their lives. What their lives produce.  Remember bad fruit produces fruit flies (oh gnats!).  Does what they say match what they do?  Do they say they are good, godly, following Christ, believe in His Word - but then as a way of life they don't have God like behavior or character?  Then, what does that tell us?  If they have no desire to know God by knowing God's Word, then no way, no how they are speaking for God or doing His work. If their decisions are not in line with the decisions God says to make or according to His character, then who are they following?  Even more concerning is if we don't know God because we don't know His word - how will we know the difference?

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" Matthew 7:13-23 

Sunday
Jan152012

Liar, liar - pants on fire!

I entered womanhood during a time when every orthodoxy about what it meant to be a woman was being challenged.  Yes, that would be the 60's and 70's.  These messages felt right, spoke to my womanhood and soon I became convinced ... I am woman - hear me roar!  I can do anything, I am strong, I am invincible - I am woman!   If you have no first hand knowledge of these times, then let me just say that much of the way we act, think, do business and even legislate today is as a result of the 60's and 70's.  Interesting isn't it?  The 60's ushered in the second wave of the feminist movement and the messages during this time were radical!  "I can bring home the bacon, I can fry it up in the pan and I can never, never let you forget your a man".(Enjoli commercial from the 70's).Seriously? Yes, seriously! I, me, moi - I decide what I want and when I want it. We've come a long way baby.(Virginia Slims commercial).

Liar, liar - pants on fire. You can't do it all or have it all.  I know because I've experienced the exhaustion of  trying to doing it all and shattered dreams from wanting it all.

Big Fat Lie #1? Women have the right to choose or decide to end the life of their baby by having an
abortion. If we would just stop and really think this through we'd see this is a crazy notion. Think about it - how can it ever be right for someone to choose to kill?  We've believed a lie and as a result "the choice" has been to end 54 million little lives.

Liar, liar - pants on fire. We were sold a lie. We were marketed. Just check out the above commercials. You don't believe me?  I'm certain! You aren't? Okay! Check it out for yourself.. Read The Marketing of Evil and watch the below video. Let me know what you think and remember, God redeems and restores.


Note:  The above photos were buttons were from the 60's and 70's.

Monday
Dec152008

The spirit is willing but the flesh got overwhelmed!

Was it only 5 days ago that 37 precious women came to Christ? Boy, it seems like a long time since last Tuesday! Did I mention I caught a cold while on my way to Kenosha? Praise be to God, He kept me from coughing or having to blow my nose while sharing the gospel but the trip home the next day was miserable. And, I crawled into my own bed that night with a 101 fever. As they say though - no rest for the weary. There was work to get caught up on, wash to be done, mail to sort and meals to cook (or pizza delivered). Do you see me headed for a pity party? Oh yes! And, let me just add that I miss my husband terribly and the housing market is all but dead. Careful, all this makes one vulnerable and easy prey.

On the night before His death, Jesus went to the garden to pray and He took the disciples with Him. He went to pray and came back to find them asleep. They couldn't even stay alert for one hour! And, I'm reminded of what Jesus said to them..."Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). But, they fell asleep again...and again.

I kind of feel like that's what happened to me this week. I fell asleep on Jesus. I couldn't stay alert for even one hour! There's nothing like falling asleep to remind you of just how weak you are in the flesh and why it is so very important it is to stay alert, keep watch and pray...or be prey! I'm not sure I will ever truly comprehend why God bothers with me. Truth is, He not only bothers with me, but He lavishes me with His grace. And, it is in His grace that I stand.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7-8(a))