Monday, March 30, 2015

On the Shoulders of SHEROES!

You might think this a little early for Mother's Day, since we're days away from the month of April.  Or even a little late for Women's History Month, as we ease out of March.   But really isn't celebrating fantastic women in your life always timely? 

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I'd like you to take a moment to think about a woman in your past or present who has made an indelible impact on your life and just say Hallelujah! What would I have done without you? 

Recently, I had a chance to do just that along with nearly a hundred other sisters as we met to celebrate our Sheroes at my church's annual women's tea.  Yes, you Modern Hipsters we're still doing the Tea Thang!  But there was  more going on at this tea than tea sipping and munching on finger sandwiches.  We got schooled in how to leave a legacy!

A SHEROE, is not just a female Hero!  She's much, much more...She's a Warrior!  Oh, you won't find accounts of her battles on CNN or your local news.  But believe me every last war campaign is recorded in heaven.  There were single mothers (divorced, widowed, or otherwise), that worked several jobs  keeping their children fed and warm. Sheroes who have travelled the world but always come home to minister to our children and grandchildren teaching them God's Word and Way!

 Some Sheroes are now failing in health, either physically or mentally.  Robbed of their unwavering vitality and acuity but were still lauded, as any disabled soldier should be for their past contributions!  We had Sheroes who are one the last of her generation and a Sheroe who although in her senior years,  still cares for her  mother who is in her nineties.  This Mama Sheroe was there with her Sheroe cubs: a daughter and about stamina!  

Preacher wives, Care givers, Retirees, Prayer Warriors, and would you believe  even a Security Guard!  We had a chance to hear heart felt testimonies of courage, love and down right resilience from women of all ages who were profoundly grateful to have these  Sheroes in their lives!

Now here's the deal!  We're standing tall on the Shoulders of these Sheroes. They are showing us the way to a life of  God-honoring purpose, passion, and perpetuity. But how will we represent Sheroism for those coming behind us?  

 Here's a thought by one of my favorite authors:  Priscilla Shirer,  from her book, The Resolution for Women

 Choose to live today with tomorrow in mind.  

In speaking of Moses who at 120 years old was coming to the end of his life (Read Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19).    

> Moses spoke of legacy

>He spoke of spiritual inheritance

>He encouraged God's people to make today's decisions with tomorrow in mind.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lessons Learned From Nameless Women of the Bible

March is National Women's History Month and since I'm always chomping at the bit for a chance to place my sisters in a favorable light; I don't dare let this opportunity pass by.

The world seems to delight in chronicling all our faults and failures. Devious, manipulative, and destructive we're often called without the slightest hint of the tendencies of the same in some of our brothers!  It's The Curse of Eve, I suppose.

 So while at least a portion of our country is taking a second  look at our accomplishments,  I thought it appropriate to weigh in on the subject myself.  Searching online, I came across The National Women's History Project,  A non-profit organization working year-round to highlight the significant role women have played in global history. 

 This year's theme really caught my attention: Writing Women Back Into History.  What a novel if there could be any history without us...who do you think gave birth to all those male historical icons?

As an admitted history buff and Bible researcher, this started me thinking about the countless  women I've come across while studying God's Word who remain anonymous.  They're everywhere from the book of Genesis to Revelation.  Although most assuredly God knows their names, and they will be forever a part of our biblical history; we tend to gloss over them in our reading.  (Did you know that of the 66 books of the Bible only two are named for women?)  I'd like to take a cue from this national forum, and write them back into Bible history!

We're familiar with Eve, Sarah, Esther,  Ruth and the Virgin Mary buso many others have stories just as important that have grounded us in our faith for centuries.  Women like: 

** The three anointers of Jesus Christ (Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8; Matthew 26:1-5; 
The Woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-110:  who taught us that our past does not determine our future!

**Old and New Testament women: Woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48); Syro-Phoenician Woman (Mark 7:24-30);  Widow with two mites (Luke 21:1-4 ) who proved God acknowledges small but sincere acts of faith!

**Women who boldly proclaimed God's Word: Naaman's wife's maid (2 Kings 5); The Samaritan Woman  (John 4); Philip's four prophesying daughters (Acts 2:9).  They disregarded their social status as second class citizens to bear witness to the power of God!

**Spiritual discerning women like: The Shunammite woman (2 Kings  3:4-10); Samson's mother (Judges 13); King Lemuel's mother (Proverbs 31) ; Pilate's wife (Matt. 27:19)whom God gave wisdom, insight and diligence to preserve earthly agents of righteousness and the ability to see His glory during times of despair and chaos.

There are many, many more.  Even as there are numerous nameless women in our own lives who have contributed to our personal spiritual growth and health.  Tonight when you say your prayers, why not pause for a minute and thank God for the nameless woman who perhaps paid your way to a women's conference or retreat; bought your study book for a bible study; prayed with you that Sunday when you were so distressed.  Or simply said...honey, whatever is bothering you, give it to the Lord and He'll make it alright!

They're everywhere, these ministering angels that have popped up in your life at uncertain times and God knows their names....ONE DAY YOU WILL TOO!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Sum of All Fears In America, AGING!

I just recently returned from a quick trip to my home town for yet another funeral! My second one in as many weeks and I've another one that's being planned for this coming weekend.   It will not be my last.

I made a comment to my brother that this seems to be all I'm doing lately, now that I've become a woman of a certain age.  It's just a fact of life.  Our bodies begin to die as soon as we're born!

Still, I'm not about to let this throw me into a Perpetual Funk or what I'm observing in America, Paralyzing Fear!  I'm all about living this abundant life that God has given me (John 10:10) and if it comes with some gray thinning hair, a few aches and wrinkles so be it!

To all my younger readers, wisdom is crying out to you today!  Aging is a battle you're never going to win!  I don't care how many sets of false eye lashes you put on; the gallons of hair rinse and weaves you invest in or the tons of make up you put on.  Time and gravity will have its way!

Whatever happened to the goal of growing older gracefully?  Appreciating that maturity bring with it a substance and flavor to life that many will never know because they have lived so foolishly and recklessly!  American culture is selling us a bill of goods and we're paying steep prices for a cheap product!

The models and glamour icons thrown up in videos and glossy magazines are nothing more than air brushed facsimiles (reproductions) of the real women you could become! Radiant in your uniqueness! Authentically and joyfully YOU (Prov. 31:30; I Peter 1:24).   Yeah baby!  You better take those selfies if for nothing more than historical perpetuity because contrary to popular opinion: Black does crack! 

Today, I'm giving it up for those of us who are brave enough and secure enough to take life just the way the Good Lord is giving it!  For those who understand that real significance, worth and value comes not from  expensive bottles of anti-aging creams but from the Bible.   

Ain't Gonna Lie to You though, growing older is not for punks!  There are health risks that come about specifically with aging and they can be scary.  But also read the obituaries in your local paper--there are as many young people dying as older ones, so the risk is just about the same!

Here are some Life Lessons I think or worth sharing:

> Gray hair I can be a crown of splendor and righteous living not just stress and age (Prov. 16:31; 20:29)

> Don't waste life on selfish pursuits.  Be careful of the bridges you burn because one day you're going to need somebody's help (Ecc. 7:15-18)

> Learn to live NOW, trusting God for everything because in the end His promises are all you will have left.  (Psalms 37:25) 

> Stop wasting time, grieving over what you used to look like. Be thankful for what you have now. (I Thess. 5:18)

(Good and Bad, this is my Testimony)


Until Next Time....