Monday, February 27, 2017

Teach Me Your Statutes

This New Year I have dusted off my audio Bible.  Specifically I committed to spending my first 25 minutes of listening for the day to listening to my Bible.  I am on track with all the folks who are reading and HOURS behind on my usual podcasts.  I am absorbed by the Torah.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

To Speak or Not to Speak: A Social Media Rubric

When we lived abroad, I lived an entirely apolitical life.  I had no opportunity (nor desire) to speak about the politics of our host country and no need to think about the politics half a world away in America.  But since we have been back, (especially this last 12 months) it seems to be the only topic of conversation.  I have been thinking about it a lot and finally came up with these 6 passages to help me sort out how to deal with these conversations and my own responsibility.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle: Righteousness and Social Media

I don't have to tell you that the general trend of conversation on social media has become less civil, do I?  Not just impolite, on both sides of the aisle I have seen Christians carried away into bitter and hateful speech.   Before you ask, there are Christians who vote both Democrat and Republican, not to mention independents like myself.  

Even more recently I have heard people suggest that the answer to the problem is to simply delete our Facebook accounts or to stay out of politics all together.  I sympathize.  On my personal account I have dealt with the vitriol by not responding to other's political posts and posting less and less as the bile grew.  

Then I saw a friend who was hurting; all metaphor aside politics has been giving her a stomach ache.  The word compassion in Greek means "From the gut." She is living it out.  As we chatted,  I realized I was part of the problem.  In my silence, I had let her and others believe that they were alone.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sister, Value Yourself

My sweet sister, value yourself.  

Women have been at the forefront of the news.  Not only because of the rise of LGBT, the resurgence of the "reproductive rights", and the recent Women's march but because so many women young and old feel devalued.

It's no wonder we feel devalued.  We have sold the truth for a lie (Proverbs 23:23).  

Women are devalued when they are exploited, taught that they are only valuable as sexual objects.  It happens when women read porn; it happens when women become porn.  It happens when women believe (and so dress) as if their boobs were more valuable than their brains.  You think women's education is disrupted by enforcing a dress code?  I think girls struggle to receive an education when our society and their parents have encouraged them to think of themselves as 16 year old sex objects instead of 16 year old scholars. The lie: A woman's value lies in her attractiveness.  The truth: Women are intrinsically valuable-humans made in the image of God.

Women are devalued when they believe that they are victims, constantly attacked and belittled so they should take up arms and militantly defend their rights.  The women of God, like the men of God are meek.  We are spiritual warriors, mighty in prayer.  When we suffer in the world, our Father takes up our cause.  The lie: Men and the paternalistic society are our enemies and we must fight even harder for our rights.  The truth: Women are often mistreated in the this world.  Yet the women of God seek justice at the throne of God and stand in peace for those who are mistreated, brother and sister alike. 

Women are devalued when they categorize themselves.  To the single some mutter, "Why can't you find a man?  Without a family you are nothing." To the married others mutter "The man you married has made you barefoot and pregnant, a servant in your own house." Women are never nothing.  Each one has the potential to become a daughter of the King, priests of our God, holy, mighty in prayer.  We are not only the nurturers of life, we can bring people to new life.  The lie: Our worth is found in our marriage or in our career.  The truth: Whether we are in the workplace, in our home or out having fun, we are all servants in God's house.  Checking the box, "married" or "single" will never be as important as serving Him well. 

Women devalue themselves by choosing lie over truth.

Let me tell you the truth, sisters.  You are of immense value.  Your Father adores you and wants you to becoming everything you can be.  But that "everything" isn't skinny, or curvy, married or single or any other category that the world trumpets.  God's everything is holy, self-controlled, peaceful, meek, powerful and gentle.   God's everything reflects His character and is empowered by His Spirit.  The truth will set you free from the world's expectations and bring you into your Father's light. 

So let me beg you sisters, value yourself because the Father values you.  


Monday, January 30, 2017

The Accuser

Have you ever second guessed yourself?  Felt the anxiety of wondering if you were misunderstood?  Been gripped by panic that what seemed fine at the time was actually gossiping, boasting or being hurtful?  Waffled over whether you should say anything at all?

During our most recent Sunday night class we talked about boasting.  I love these classes where our whole congregation is invited to study and bring their thoughts.  At first it seemed that everyone confidently understood how to identify bragging.  It makes us want to roll our eyes; it's a heart problem.  It's exaggerated.  It's a kind of one-up-manship. I began to think I was the only one who dithered about sharing good news in case that was boasting. In the past I have been misunderstood or I've struggled with boasting or both (See how I anxiously dither?) and sometimes now I just don't share at all.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Preparing Heart Songs: A guest post by Susan Elliott

If you recall last week, I reviewed an anthology of short fiction, essays and poetry edited by Susan Elliott.  Well, today I have a treat for you.  Susan wrote a post for MaidservantsofChrist all about the process.  Enjoy. 

Let me just say, wow! Putting together an anthology has been a huge learning curve. I had the idea for an anthology from Church of Christ Women Authors (COCWA) in 2015. I think I first mentioned it to Monica Mynk during a YouTube author interview a long time before I announced it on the website. She encouraged me to go for it, so I did. 

One cool thing about the Heart Songs Anthology is that it is full of material from all genres of writing.  It was an opportunity for any Christian woman writer to let her voice be heard. I love the variety of short stories, articles and poetry. It includes authors like Sandi Rog, Carol Shaw, Lynn Nodima, and of course Helene Smith. One thing I wanted to do with the anthology was to make sure that the writers retained their rights to their works. I want them to be able to enter contests, publish their own books, or share them in any way that they want. So, I didn’t garnish them in any way. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Heart Songs Vol 1: Book Review

Are you an omnivore?  I'm not asking if you eat meat, veggies, fruit and grains, but if you are the kind of reader who loves to read EVERYTHING.  I am. 

I love poetry. Edna St. Vincent Millay is a long term favorite.  
I love science fiction/fantasy.  Sanderson, Weber, Bujold
I love well done Christian fiction. Patrick Carr
I love non-fiction- We have been back on a Metaxes kick at our house. 
I love short stories- Especially the ones for kids. I enjoyed the Dahl, Kipling and Dickens short fiction pieces we've done for homeschool at least as much the kids did.

I love to read.