Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Facing demons...or...Rollerblading with my eyes shut

Ok, how Rocky and Bullwinkle is that title?!?! Whoa. Seriously though, I just got back from rollerblading...for an hour and a half...it was fantastic...even though it really was a journey that involved facing demons of the past and picking at scabs on my heart...But much healing was done. I rollerbladed to the places that I haunted when I was dating Bryce, places I've been avoiding for nearly two years, places that were too full of memories for me to stand a few months ago...but I survived...I did more than survive. We triumphed. Yeah, that's right, God and I triumphed. God can do all things, you know, and as Deuteronomy 20:4 says, "For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

That's King James speak for "God will lead you into battle. He will vanquish your enemies so that He might save you from them." Why would He do that? Because He loves us. He's been working on healing my heart and vanquishing the demons that lingered after that breakup ever since the break up occured -- long before I got up the nerve to face those demons. I was like the lone gunsman who walked in the wake of the blitzkrieg. The work had already been done, everything was leveled. If there happened to be an enemy waiting for me, he was probably so badly wounded and shaken up that I could easily handle him.

I mean, I revisited those places, allowed myself to think about the memories, and then released them to Christ. I was astonished to find how easy and painless it was...I hadn't realized that God had healed me so thoroughly, that He'd strengthened me that much.

It made me think about Isaiah 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not." Returning to God, leaving behind the past, and resting in His mercy will save us. Quietly following the Lord and remaining confident in His promises will give us strength. However, we usually fail to do any of that, and if we do it...it doesn't usually last long.

Yet, if even for tonight, I am content...I am at peace...I feel restored...I feel...more pure...I feel forgiven...I feel loved...Doubts may creep in tomorrow, but I pray that they don't. I like being here...next to my God. I feel...as if I actually have faith...something I've struggled with...for as long as I can remember...true faith...Hebrews 11:1 faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith that God knows the desires of my heart and will bless me beyond my wildest dreams. Faith that God always has my best interest in mind. Faith that God has been working in me and through me, though I don't know how or when...and that He'll continue to do so...in ways I can't even imagine.

For those of you more lyrically oriented, here's the soundtrack for this experience -- "Let it All Out" Relient K:
Let it all out
get it all out
rip it out remove it
don't be alarmed
when the wound begins to bleed
cause we're so scared to find out
what this life's all about
so scared we're going to lose it
not knowing all along
that's exactly what we need

and today I will trust you with confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
but tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
oh, inconsistent me
crying out for consistency

and you said I know that this will hurt
but if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear
Rememberthe end will justify the pain it took to get us there

and I'll let it be known
at times I have shown
signs of all my weakness
but somewhere in me
there is strength

and you promise me
that you believe
in time I will defeat this
cause somewhere in methere is strength

and today I will trust you with the confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
and I'll try my best to just forget
that that man isn't me

reach out to me
make my heart brand new
every beat will be for you
for youand I know you know
you touched my life
when you touched my heavy heart and made it light

P.S. - My alternate title refers to the fact that I rollerbladed down a hill with my eyes shut...which is a huge leap of faith for me...because I've always been afraid of rollerblading downhill.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

True Beauty

1 Peter 3:3-4 " 3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Okay...so, in other words, beauty comes from the inside...it's from a meek (gentle) and quiet spirit...

Quiet: Zephaniah 3:17 "17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Beauty is calm...and a woman's spirit is able to beautiful and calm when she knows she is loved...God's love exemplifies love...meaning His love can quiet her like none other.

What covers our beauty? Fear.

1 Peter 3:6 "6Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."

God will save us from our fears...He will love away our scars...He will cultivate our beauty.

Isaiah 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not."

Well, I think that's all I have to say...for now. ;)


Jonah 1:1-17

" 1Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
12And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
15So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
17Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Leave it to your devotional to pin you. God always gets through. So, brief synopsis of the passage: Jonah knew what God wanted him to do and he ran in the opposite direction. His attempt to escape God put the lives of the sailors in danger and caused them to lose all of their cargo. Jonah, could not escape God. Now, as we all know, Jonah's a terribly stubborn man and even after he gets to dry land, he will try to resist God. He obviously has a trust problem. I mean, he can't seem to believe that God would have his best interest in mind.

We are such Jonahs...How often have you found that as God tugs on your heartstrings to beckon you down one path, you run at breakneck speed in the other direction? Is it because we think we know better? I sure hope not because God is the God of all creation...He is the One who created us in the first place. Is it because we don't think that His way will make us happy? Again, I hope not because God has only ever desired to give us good things...He seeks to bless us and to care for us because He is our Father. It seems the only explanation is that we don't trust God. We don't trust ourselves to have truly heard His call. We don't trust that God's pull will work for us in the long run. How ridiculous is that?!?!

So, I guess, what we need to do is be open...be open to God's call and be ready to go...ready to go and do what God is calling us to do.

Lyrics of the day? Steven Curtis Chapman's "For the Sake of the Call"

Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them
He said "Come follow me" and they came
With reckless abandon they came

Empty nets lying there at the waters edge
Told a story that few could believe and none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

Drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea
No turning back for the water cannot help but flow
Once we hear the Savior's call we'll follow wherever he leads
Because of the love He has shown
And because he has called us to go we will answer

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die


Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we'll obey


Music of Life

Amos 5:23-24 "23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments."

This was the text for my devotions last night....it got me thinking...because I do LOVE music. How disturbing is it to think of God calling our songs noise? D0 we not seek to please God with our singing and our music? So, why would God ever despise it? Well, this little snippet comes from one of those many times where God is disappointed with Israel. Israel is living as a band of hypocrites, paying the Lord lip service each day so that all will see how devout they are, but they refuse to turn their hearts and lives over to the Lord. They're putting on a show...a show of righteousness and godliness. So, even though their songs may be perfectly harmonized and pleasing to the human ear, though they may dance and sway as they praise as if infatuated with praising God, God can not be deceived. As He reminds us in 1 Samuel 16:7, He looks at a person's heart...not on the outward appearance.

It reminds me of Galations 1:1o "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

This raises a question for each of us...are we praising God with our lives? Or are we just performing? Our lives are meant to be praise...our lives are music...but who are we singing to? Are we singing just to hear ourselves sing? Are we singing to impress others with our talent? Or are we singing to God and God alone...a sweet love song of praise? Everyday should be lived out as a song of praise. That's why this doesn't just apply to those of us in the praise band, or the cantors, or the choir...it's everyone...even if you can't sing. God knows our hearts...what is He seeing in yours?

Let's make our lives a chorus of praise only for God. It'll be a challenge each day, but if you focus your eyes on God, He'll see you through.

I'll just leave you with some lyrics to meditate on...these are by Laurie Klein...the song: I love you Lord.

I Love You LordWords & Music by Laurie Klein

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You Oh, my soul rejoice!

Take joy my KingIn what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

I love you, Lord...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where's the road end?


"Bless The Broken Road"
I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Now I'm just rolling home
Into my lover's arms

This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

So, for the past few weeks...months...or so, that song totally made me bawl my eyes out. I had always associated it with men...especially with my last boyfriend...or rather, I'd always associated it with "the one" and had hoped that I would be able to say that I was with him and that the lonesome part of my journey was over...However, I was deceiving myself. My lover is Christ. The one that I was traveling towards for 17 years was Christ. It is true that I may one day get married, and I will wish that I could give that man all the years I spent chasing after other men instead of patiently waiting for him, but that feeling will be so much like the way I feel toward Christ right now except on a human scale...you know...smaller than God, that it would be safe to say that Christ is the subject of this song. I wish I could give God all the years I wasted chasing after things that could never truly make me happy. Luckily, He just smiles because He understands that it's all part of a grander plan that is coming true. ;) I love Him so!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Men as Leaders

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about how all of us are role models to young people whether we want to be or not. Because we are older than them, they look up to us, they watch what we do, and they want to be just like us. It's the same for each of us, whether we are "good" or "bad", no matter how immoral or godly we are, we will continue to be role models. We can't change it. We instead need to work to be aware of that fact as we make decisions and go about our daily lives. They're watching every move we make, and if we don't want those kids to be lead astray, we should live our lives in such a way as to show them how to walk down the straight and narrow.

It occurred to me last night that there's a similar truth for men. Men are leaders. They were created to be leaders. Men are called and created to lead the women in their lives, and that's exactly what they do. Men lead.

It doesn't matter whether a man is good and godly or abusive and aggressive or weak and passive. It doesn't matter if he's trapped by lust or finds himself addicted. He can be in love with God or in love with himself. He can be giving or selfish, trustworthy or manipulative, a rebel without a cause or a man living to the glory of God -- he's still a leader. All those qualities, all the things he cares about, those don't decide whether or not he IS a leader, they decide which direction he's leading in.

Dancing is one of my favorite metaphors for relational life. When we dance, the man is supposed to be leading, and the girl usually lets him. However, sometimes, it's painful and trying for her because the man can't find the beat. He's hopelessly off and is dancing with two left feet, yet she tries to follow...for both of their sakes.

That's how I've seen so many relationships, including many of my own go, the man is leading the woman down the wrong path. It's not that he can't lead her...he just isn't going the way she wants to go, or knows she shoud go. I've seen too many women get trapped in abusive relationships, lose too much of their innocence, get too wrapped up in lust and worldly passion, lose sight of godly things because their man has lead them into that situation. I know that many people will say that that woman should have been strong enough to resist, strong enough to say no, strong enough to get out...it's not about strength...Women are caring and have a fear of abandonment. The two together so often seals our fate. A woman will "stand by her man" because she loves him...because she knows he can change...because she hopes to help him change...because she doesn't think she'll find anyone else...or anyone better. So she sticks with him through thick and thin...all the while traveling farther and farther away from God and the kind of life He intended for her to live. Maybe the fact that she's lost isn't as obvious as abuse, but it very well could be there...perhaps it's manifested itself as stagnation...a lack of growth.

Regardless of how it happens or exactly what it looks like, if two people are going to journey together down the path of life, God will have set them to go in the same direction. He doesn't want men leading His daughters away from Him. He loves us too much for that.

So, to the women: You'll know when a relationship isn't right...when he isn't the one...when it's not the right time...pray to God for the courage and strength to end it. Remember that Jesus is the lover of your soul. He will never leave you nor foresake you. He loves you better than any man ever could, and if you trust Him enough to give up those relationships that hinder your spiritual growth and well-being, He'll give you something much, much better.

And to the men: You need to be aware of the fact that you are a leader. You are leading the women in your life, even the ones that you are not dating or courting or engaged to or married to, you influence their lives with your leadership. So, where are you leading them? In the same way that young people watch every aspect of our lives and attempt to model themselves after us, women are watching you. They are taking note of what you value, of the way you spend your time, of what you care about, of the way you act towards women...and they are using what they see to shape themselves. So, what are your actions and words saying to them? Are you leading them to live a godly life? Are you using your strength and power for their good? Or are you abusing your God-given gifts to hurt them and leave them wounded and lost? I pray that God will work in your lives. I pray that He will give you the courage and strength to turn to Him and allow Him to mold you and lead you so that you may be a godly man...a man worthy of a daughter of the King...a man that will not try to snatch one of these women away from her Father.

(As a note: Yes, I realize that God's your father, too. He loves you as well, but I didn't have the time to truly explain what that brings into the equation...perhaps another day.)

Wild Man

An excerpt from my Devotional:

"When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet Him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones" (Mark 5:2-5).

Then Jesus healed him and sent the demons into a nearby herd of pigs."When [the townspeople] came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid" (Mark 5:15)."

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. Jesus did not let him, but said, 'Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.' So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed" (Mark 5:18-20).

One interaction with the God of the universe completely changed a wild man. Unable to alter his condition on his own, the miraculous intervention of Jesus transformed a tormented man into a man full of peace and clarity of mind. Understandably, that man wanted nothing more than to go with Jesus.

Yet Jesus told him instead to tell others about God's work in his life.

My comments:

I think there's a lot that can be taken from this. For one, the man was possessed by a number of demons. They consumed his life and neither he nor those around him could fix the problem. Only Jesus could do that. Jesus is able to free us from all of our demons and all of our sins and all of our temptations. We can't. Also, God asked this man to spread the word so that others might know of Jesus' power. He was called to not merely move on with his life, but use his past as a means by which to share the truth, and even more amazingly, share the truth with his family, friends and neighbors.

Something to think about.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Captive vs. Captivating

5 Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'
8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold— which they used for Baal.
9 "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the LORD.
14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor [a] a door of hope. There she will sing [b] as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 "In that day," declares the LORD, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master. [c] '
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in [d] righteousness and justice, in [e] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.
21 "In that day I will respond," declares the LORD— "I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. [f]
23 I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. [g] ' I will say to those called 'Not my people, [h] ' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.' "
Hosea 2:5-23
Look at how much God loves us! Our God is a jealous God because the Lord is our Husband. This really struck me, today. I was reading out of Captivating, today, and it cited Hosea 2. I wasn't familiar with the chapter, and as I read it, I was blown away!
I mean, the language used! God truly loves us! He's the lover of our souls and wants to give us good things, but we...I...look to other sources of pleasure, of happiness, of validation, of nourishment. God knows that we need Him...He loves us enough to thwart us in our attempts to run away, to try to humble us so that we might return to Him. I can't get over His intense love...the way He treasures me...the way He provides for me, cares for me, protects me, comforts me...He truly is all I need...I feel so foolish for trying to satisfy myself through other means.
It makes me think of this song, and since I have to go to bed, now...I won't be able to fully explain myself, but here are the lyrics:
Lord, You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life’s complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I’m chasing down the wind
But now it’s brought me back to You
And I can see again
This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desiresLord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsessionSo capture my heart againTake me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains
You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me
You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desiresLord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You

faithmouse: Die Wahrheit Macht Frei, In Progress

faithmouse: Die Wahrheit Macht Frei, In Progress

Monday, June 05, 2006

I am a princess, dern it

When did princess start to be a derogatory term? I mean, when did it become in an insult to hear someone say, "as you wish, Princess"? I mean, I feel truly embarassed when someone calls me princess. I feel like they're trying to tell me that I'm selfish or vain or stuck up. When did that become the definition of a princess? I used to dream of being a princess. I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted to wear a gorgeous dress and take care of business. I wanted to be admired and cared for and protected. I wanted to be special.

I don't think it's wrong for me or any girl to want to be a princess...or to want to be treated like a princess. I mean, each one of us is a princess. We are daughters of the King of kings. We are special and beautiful and precious. We should be permitted to feel special and protected and cared for. I don't think that's asking too much. I think that's exactly what is meant for us, and it breaks my heart to think that anyone would tell a woman that it's wrong for her to feel like a princess.

I almost cried at work today as I thought about all the girls I've been working with in The Sisterhood. This past Sunday, we were talking about how God made us beautiful and for a purpose. I heard the wounds the girls have suffered by the standards set by society...the way they think they have to look and be to truly be beautiful, to have guys think they're beautiful. It broke my heart because I could relate. I mean, guys are infatuated with supermodels and actresses and porn, creating another set of standards that the women in their lives can't attain. Knowing that men are so enthralled by those women, so obsessed with them, makes women feel inadequate and insecure. A part of us wants to pursue the standards for a Christian woman, but it's hard to meet those standards, and it's easy to doubt that they'll land you a man. So, women end up feeling torn, not knowing which to pursue...those who choose to pursue a Christian life wonder if they'll ever be good enough for their future husbands. We can't all have tiny waists and huge breasts. Not all of us are going to be practicing so that we'll be fantastic in bed. In short, we won't all look like models, and we won't all be able to perform like porn stars...some of us are...normal...and trying to live a life of purity...it can be frustrating and dismaying. The world tells us that we can't expect to find a man who isn't obsessed with porn...which means that we will marry men who will be able to compare our bodies and performance to "professionals". To be honest, it makes me sick. We shouldn't have to settle for that.

That's the thing. I'm so afraid that these girls...and I suppose myself....will have to settle. I'm afraid that these girls will learn to love God and wish to pursue purity only to find that their husbands didn't do the same. I'm afraid that these girls won't find real men. I'm afraid they'll find men pretending to be good and godly. I'm afraid they won't find men that will love them as Christ loves them...unconditionally. I'm afraid they won't find men who will be truly captivated by their beauty and treat them as the precious treasures they are. I'm afraid they won't find men who will want to protect them. I'm afraid they'll go out into the world only to find men who use their strength to harm them...who use their size to intimidate...who use their power to control them...who will make the girls earn love...I pray that that won't be the case. I pray that somewhere in the world, God is helping young men to grow up into real men...men of integrity...men of faith...men who get their strength from God...men who will love and cherish their wives and be amazed by the blessings their wives are...I want these girls to find men that are better than they could have dreamed of. I pray that God is preparing real men to be there for these amazing young ladies. (I suppose I pray that God is preparing one for me, too...but there's no rush on that ;) )

I do have faith, though. I have faith that God will fufill the desires of our hearts. I have faith that God is working all things for our good. I have faith that God has a magnificent plan for each of us. I have faith that God has good things in store for each of us. I have faith that it'll all be okay. And I KNOW that God is more than enough...He's better than any man...He's the lover of our souls...and...no matter what happens...whether I get married...or whether I find myself called to be an old maid, life will be good because God is in control.
Clay Crosse Speaks Out on Lust and Pornography

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What to do about abortion

Abortion is a flippin' atrocity that plagues our culture, and something needs to be done. I found this site, today http://www.stopmyabortion.blogspot.com/ , and it made me sick. It made me sick for a number of reasons...I despise how casually this woman can talk about killing her baby. I despise the series of events that led up to her pregnancy. I despise that she's doing drugs and drinking while she's pregnant. I despise that she thinks all pro-lifers are hypocrites for not giving her money. But I love her. I hate that many pro-lifers fit this woman's stereotype. So many spend their time hating women who have aborted or preaching to them...yelling, calling names, lecturing. To quote Black Eyed Peas, where's the love? Jesus called on us to love the sinner and hate the sin. We should hate abortion it's a ridiculously selfish sin condoned by our society. Who doesn't hate murder? But this woman...is a woman. Yes, she's a druggie. Yes, she's a boozer. Yes, she sleeps around. Yes, she's planning on aborting. But she is a woman...she is a part of God's creation...she is beautiful...she is someone who needs love. She needs support. She needs prayer. Having beliefs is a great idea. Another song quote, "You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything." But what good our your beliefs if their just a string of words you spew at anyone who asks for them? Beliefs should have actions...our ideals should have feet...and hands. Touch communicates much more than words can. So, if you want to change the world, if you want to show someone the truth, reach out to them...touch their lives. There are so many ways to do it...but it starts with simple love...it starts with expressing our beliefs with love, patience, and grace...Donating money helps people and touches lives, but so does donating goods, services and time. And last but not least, prayer is a huge help. Praying for those who disagree with you is a great way to touch their lives...to help Christ to touch their hearts...Don't underestimate prayer. God is doing great things through each of us...and we can all contribute to stopping abortion, to growing the Church, etc. We can serve as role models to young people, we can use our words to educate others, we can act lovingly toward those we meet, we can donate, we can volunteer, we can pray, we can write letters, we can encourage, we can move mountains. Just have a little faith and be ready and willing to respond to God's call.

Grace and peace to each of you.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hey, everyone, come see how good I look!

I don't know that I look any better than I did before...as in...well...any time before today...but I do feel good. I feel..beautiful. I feel captivating. I feel feminine and magnificent. I think the times I've felt prettiest in my life have been the times that I've been single. Relationships don't make me feel pretty...they make me feel insecure...nervous...inadequate. I mean, I always feel like I'm a disappointment to whoever I'm in a relationship with. I feel like he could find someone more attractive or more fashionable or more fabulous. I worry that he will suddenly see me as plain. I worry that he'll become dissatisfied with my taste in clothing or something. I worry that he'll see the way I'm changing and will despise it. I constantly worry. I felt like some trophy in every relationship I was in, and if I were to become less attractive, he would become less interested because he couldn't show me off. I was some shiny toy he could show off to his friends. Yet, even though he was showing me off, I felt...dull...

I'm happier, now, though. I'm single, again. I can focus on my relationship with God, again. God and I are tight, and that's why I feel gorgeous because He always thinks I'm beautiful. He always finds me captivating. He allows me to be beautiful in my own way...to be beautiful Takara...not just a beautiful woman.

I really want to marry a man who can love me like that, or at least be close...I know that no man can be as good as God.

I figure I'll know that he's the one when I truly feel beautiful around him, when I am able to be my beautiful self around him, when my view of my beauty is not tainted by anxieties...because I don't have any.

Until then, though, just know that I feel pretty. ;)

I am Not a Prude

I am not against sex, okay? I don't hate the naked human body. I don't hate men. I don't hate relationships. I don't hate marriage.

What I hate is how people cheapen those gifts from God. What I hate is how sex, in our culture, is treated so casually, so jokingly. Sex is used as a tool or a weapon...it is neither. The human body is beautiful because it is God's creation. The naked form is not meant to be used to fuel lust and immature fantasies. It was not created so that we would drool over the opposite sex, constantly compare, or to encourage us to sleep around. Yes, we are meant to marvel at the beauty we see in the opposite sex, but not in the way our society encourages us to. Men are to "rejoice in the wife of their youth", they are to find joy in her beauty...even her physical beauty...got that...their wives! Similarly, women are supposed to marvel at their husbands, to find them handsome and attractive...their husbands! Their is a certain amount of intimacy and marveling that should be reserved for marriage. That's why sex was created for marriage! Sex was created to be fun and exctiting and intimate and wonderful. God wanted us to enjoy our spouses, to enjoy being near them, to allow us to experience oneness with each other, and to enjoy the process of making babies. Our society has marred sex beyond recognition, though. Sex for sex's sake will never satisfy an aching heart. It will never make you happy. It will never meet your need for intimacy. It will never be enough. It will only leave you broken and starving...starving for more...more intimacy...more love...

So, what about having all this in the context of a "serious relationship"? NO. It saddens me that young women have been led to believe that if you've been dating a guy "long enough" it's okay to have sex with him. I hate the, "we plan on getting married anyway". What's the point then? If you're going to get married, then you (are supposed to) have the rest of your lives. What's the rush?

Why cheat yourself and your future spouse? I mean, think about it. If you sleep around, then when you do get married, the memories of those past partners will be in your marriage bed with you. Your spouse will know that you are able to compare him/her to all your past partners, creating anxiety. Your spouse will have to know that there are x number of other people who know what the love of his/her life looks like naked, how the love of his/her life is in bed...Your spouse will have to share you in a way they were never supposed to...against their will...because of your will...You are a gift...you're supposed to be a gift to your spouse...why would you cheat them out of that by giving yourself to countless other people first...What does that say about your love for them?

I love marriage. That's why I think so highly of all the blessings that go along with it.

I don't know that this went in any particular direction, but...I feel my rant has ended...