All posts filed under: Women

Stepping past your fears

For years I have been controlled by what other people thought of me. Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed watching YouTube videos of people dancing up stairs.  I had a notion to try this myself but wondered what others would think of a 60 year-old-woman dancing up a set of stairs. Because of my fear, I hesitated doing it. I was trapped in a mindset of “not being good enough.” I was caught in the comparison trap and was controlled by what other people might think. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that “the fear of man is a snare.”  It traps you and stops you from being who God created you to be. We have to quit worrying about what others think, because God accepts us just the way we are and we need to accept ourselves. Each one of us is created with our own unique design and expression. We were recently in Galveston, Texas and I saw some stairs going down to the ocean.  In that moment, I wanted to dance up …

Credit: rosipaw/Flickr/Creative Commons

Change and Choose

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT) I love this scripture and the promise it holds. I can hear God’s heart cry, ‘Oh, that you would choose life.’ It seems to present a logical choice as well. Of course I want life and blessings and not death and curses. But this scripture is not just a casual statement. God wants me to choose Him first in all things. But how can I do this when I am prone to go my own way and make my own choices? I can identify with the following scripture: I know that in me, that is, in my human fallen nature, there is nothing good, I can will myself to do something good but that does not help me carry it out. (Romans 7:18 Voice) It seems for me to want …

Credit: Judy Baxter/Flickr/Creative Commons

Quit comparing

We were recently on a cruise and one day I headed to the gym and exercise studio on the 11th deck. I decided to participate in a workout session that I had only observed from my corner of the studio the previous two days. The class was more challenging than what I was used to. Anyways, I made up my mind to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try.  It was a tough workout. The instructor knew I was struggling and I found myself looking at the women around me who were obviously in better shape. Several times I was ready to quit, get up and walk away from the class. But it was a windy day at sea and we found ourselves either rolling to the left or the right during our routine and loosing our balance. We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves. The laughter loosened me up a bit and I decided that I wasn’t going to quit and leave the class. Comparing myself to others has never gotten …

Credit: halocastle/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking the Cement of ‘Not Good Enough’

Several years ago I found myself in depression. I felt anxious and overwhelmed most of the time and walked around in a cloud of doubt and indecision.  There was no glint of happiness or joy in my life. As Henry Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep on choosing joy everyday.” We are responsible for our mindset and the fear of failure sucked the joy right out of me. I allowed my mistakes to define who I was and they kept me trapped in a dark place.  I was stuck in a very unhealthy mindset of ‘not being good enough.’ I want to share some advice that has helped me stay out of depression and move forward in my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being afraid to make a mistake means you will stay stuck in confusion and doubt.  Mistakes are part of life and they can become our greatest teachers. Learn from your mistakes and move on.   “I know I made a mistake but …

Credit: Mark Moschell/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does it mean to be born again?

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (reject, condemn, to pass sentence) on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16) When talking with people about my faith, I have searched the Bible to make sure I am distinguishing my faith which is Christianity from the many other faiths out there. What makes my faith, Christianity, different or more appealing than all the others? To understand, we need to read the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus who was a prominent leader and teacher of the Pharisees.  This religious sect had long lists of rules and regulations (do’s and don’ts) to follow.  They believed that obeying these laws would make them acceptable in God’s eyes. As a result, Nicodemus felt the heavy weight of the laws of the Pharisee Sect on his shoulders. These rules hung like a noose around his neck and at times it felt like he was being strangled by them. The thought of this weight …

Martha and Mary by Georg Friedrich (1639)/Wikipedia/Public Domain

Are you an over-functioner?

My many years of operating as an over-functioner qualifies me to say that “we do not serve ourselves or our families well when we over-function.” So what is over-functioning? Over-functioning takes place when when we do for others what they can and should do for themselves.  When we do this, it stops people from growing up and taking responsibility for their own lives. We keep them in a perpetual state of immaturity. I remember reading a story of a married couple who had kicked their 30-year old son out of the home. He wasn’t working and expected them to look after him. They were not doing him any favors by letting him continue in this lifestyle. He had to grow up. Incredibly, their son even sued to stop his parents from forcing him out of the home. Fortunately for him, he lost. But it is easy for this to happen. We become the biggest obstacle to our children taking responsibility for themselves  and end up stunting their emotional and spiritual growth. We do not allow …

Credit: ms. neaus neaux/Flickr/Creative Commons

Drain the blame

If you keep doing what you’re doing, and thinking what you’re thinking, you are going to keep getting what you’ve got. Nothing will change in your world until you change. —  Gay and Katie Hendricks This message is really about me and not anyone else. My intention this year is to get hold of the blame cycle that kicks in whenever I feel overwhelmed, anxious or fearful. In times of frustration or difficulty, I want to blame others for my problems. I tend to project my frustration on those nearest me. It could be my family or friends. But if we continue to project our frustrations on others nothing will change. It only creates a vicious circle that gets smaller and smaller and pretty soon I end up acting like a caged lion without really knowing why. In other words, the only person you have the power to change is you. So rather than focusing on what you want changed in others, it’s time to create an “inner shift” that will transform what’s going on …

We need to unlock from our past to push ahead Credit: Antoine Robiez/Flickr/Creative commons

Unlock yourself from the past and push ahead into 2019

I want to honor my spiritual journey over the past 30 years.  To sit here today and dismiss it all would be wrong.  It wasn’t all bad all the time. Looking back it was my life experiences that shaped me into who I am today.  I am so thankful  for the opportunities and resources along the way that helped me heal, grow and move forward.   God has made His provision for healing and wholeness readily available to us. Unfortunately, we often stubbornly hold onto our pain by refusing to forgive. It acts like a soother keeping us trapped in a “poor me” mindset. There were two people in particular that I chose to forgive and when I encountered them again, as I did from time to time, it was like nothing had ever happened allowing me to treat them respectfully. I was able to climb out of the confusing muck of bad experiences and memories they brought me by forgiving them.  My emotions and even my body embraced the release I experienced as I literally …

Credit: Shreyans Bhansali/Flickr/Creative Commons

Rewire your brain

Español: Renueva tu cerebro As a Christian woman, I kept waiting for God to change things in my life.  I had a very fixed mindset about how things should work. Literally, I was rolling around in the mud of a helpless “poor me” mindset. Shifting out of  “poor me” to an  active and positive  mindset  that propels you forward is the only way to keep growing spiritually. We must want personal growth and change. We need to be able to look back over the year and say yes, I grew. I changed. I made progress. It’s about standing our ground and saying ‘no more’ to the thoughts that debilitate us.  Let’s make choices and grab hold of the opportunities that are available to help us break out of old patterns of thinking that have become strongholds in our lives; “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) There are two kinds of strongholds. There are demonic strongholds that …

Book Release: ‘Captivating Creative Craftsmen and Study Guide’

We don’t normally do this, but Myrna Petersen, a popular author on opentheword.org, has just published a book on Christians and the arts and we decided to provide a bit of an overview of the book for those who might be interested in purchasing it. Inspirational stories behind Biblical artisans. As we draw closer to the Creator of the universe, we’ll be inspired to create new works. Written by Myrna Petersen with editing and graphic design by Open the Word’s Dean Smith, this is a great read for individuals or in a small group study. It is not how-to-instruction in the art of one’s choice but rather, a book to help crafts people, artists and musicians draw closer to the creator of the universe to release one’s creativity. When you know and work with the Creator of the human spirit, you’ll be inspired to create new works. In the beginning God created man in His own image. Since human beings are created in the image of our Abba Father, we should function as creators, making new …

Credit: ScrewJ/Flickr/Creative Commons

Look to the Mountains of Mercy

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 NIV) We so easily fall into the trap of religion where we judge people by what they do or don’t do and the choices they make. The reason we judge others is it gives us a reason to not show mercy or kindness. Yet that is so contrary to how God treats us, who remains faithful even if we are faithless. We do not serve a pagan god who requires rules and regulations to please or appease him. God’s judgement towards us has been appeased by Christ’s blood shed on the cross. Whatever thoughts or struggles I may have with someone, I am learning to first look at myself and see if there is a personal message about my own shortcomings and poor choices. As I have dealt with my personal struggles in this area, I keep seeing a vision of God’s mountains of mercy that surround us. And as we walk through the valley that winds between the mountains …

Credit: Jim_McGlone/Flickr/Creative Commons

How I see others?

I have been seeking ways to view  people in the world around me through the lens of Christ’s love.   When I am disappointed, and focus on the flaws of others from my high and lofty position of arrogance on the mountain of judgement, I am failing not only my fellow man but myself as well. I earnestly desire new eyes, to change the lens of my perceptions and the way I view people — friends, other Christians and strangers. Sometimes people don’t return phone calls, or show up when their supposed to (like me on occasion) or answer e-mails or follow through on things they said they would.  People are not perfect but we expect it more from others than we do ourselves. A daily devotional I read recently summed it best with these words: “We see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and everyone else through a microscope.” If I do not look with eyes of hope on those around me as our Lord did. . . then I have not really  embraced the message of …

Credit: Blake Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking out of your victim cage

I am on an email list for Lana Vawser who has a prophetic ministry in Australia. Almost every time I receive a prophetic email from her it speaks directly into my life about where I have been and where I am now and where I am headed spiritually in the future. Even though she has hundreds of followers, her emails often address issues I am facing at the moment.  She recently sent out a prophetic word about an issue that has controlled my life for many years: “The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear … “You see not through eyes of defeat, you see not through eyes of a victim mentality, you see not through eyes of fear, but you are now arising and seeing with greater clarity and vision through My eyes.  The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear, but now you are arising …

Giving yourself 48 hours Credit: mike Lietz/Flickr/Creative Commons

The ’48 hour’ rule

Many times through various seasons of my life, the voices of my loved ones were calling out to me in the wilderness of my emotions as I circled around the same issues and same people over and over again. They were voices of reason reminding me to calm down in the midst of my emotions that were suddenly triggered. But, how does one calm down when every sense in your body is reacting? I have learned the hard way, when unchecked, emotions send us whirling into bad decisions that often create more havoc, confusion and damage in our personal lives. It’s never about the other person. It’s about you and your emotional well-being. Because of this during times of emotional turmoil, I decide to practice the 48 hour rule that I recently read about. The 48 hour rule puts you in a timeout, gives you space to settle down and allows you to re-evaluate the circumstances once your emotions have calmed. During this two-day period, I don’t make any decisions, send reactionary emails or texts, …

The bush displaying its leaves and berries late in the fall while we were on our prayer walk,

Our prayer walk

My friend Linda and I were on a walk praying for the nation of Canada. As a prophetic act we released leaves into water representing “healing for the nations” spoken of in the Book of Revelation: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We prayed that racial divides and rifts in our country would be healed and Canada, together with the nations, would stream to Mount Zion and be healed and restored to God and one another. Afterwards we were attracted to the shrubs that lined the path around the lake. Though it was late fall, their leaves were still green and clusters of red berries filled the branches. It was in stark contrast to the barren trees and leaves that were laying on the ground. We were drawn to the clusters of bright red berries on the shrubs. Linda shared that the berries were …

Fence in New Forest, Hampshire, England Credit: jodi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Learning to live within your boundaries

Learning to live with healthy personal boundaries is a spiritual journey that has changed my relationship with God, myself, my loved ones and friends. I am easily distracted and when I see a need or someone struggling, I commission myself to rescue that person. Without thinking I step outside my personal boundaries to help the individual. I have had as many as five people on my “to save” list and my husband just shakes his head and quips, “off to save the world again?” What I did not understand is that when I did this I was pushing beyond my own personal boundaries which affected my health and emotional reserves which were often riding on zero.   My tank was empty and it would literally wipe me out. The problem was that I was trying to save people who were not my responsibility to save. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that each of us has boundaries in terms of ministry and we are not to go beyond these borders: 13 We, however, will not boast …

Credit: Philipp Medicus/Flickr/Creative Commons

Messed Up

I hurt someone the other day. I didn’t mean to but I did. I felt convicted about this, so offered my apology and asked for forgiveness. All seemed well and should have been, but I kept rehearsing the event in my mind. “How could I have messed up so badly,” was in my thoughts. I couldn’t let it go. Later that day I read a quote Jill McCormick which pointedly said: “God is not surprised by my mistakes, imperfections and sin. Only He is perfect, which is why He extends me grace.” Sometimes it is easier to see grace extended for others but harder to see the same for myself. I know I am not perfect only He is. I cannot fix everything. Yet I can accept His grace and mercy because it is extended freely with no strings attached. I really want to live more fully in this beautiful grace He offers – even when I mess up. “God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer …

Credit: Nicholas D./Flickr/Creative Commons

Women need to set boundaries

I believe many Christian women find themselves feeling guilty about things that they think they ’should’ be doing. We do not have a clear understanding about what it means to live a happy, wholesome life. We seem to operate mostly  from guilt and ‘should have’s’. Gerri Scezzarro, author of The Emotionally Healthy Woman, says that we have  a wrong perception of a good, loving Christian woman. She states that most women believe this is how they need to live: “They never say ‘no’.  They have an active social calendar.  They juggle many things and never complain.  They get things done and put others before themselves I fell into this trap and started my Christian experience with this popular phrase as my cornerstone, JOY.   Alas, JOY, (Jesus first, others second and lastly you) did not work for me as I continually sacrificed my own and family’s wants and needs to help others.  I ended up being a joyless Christian women trying to carry my cross and save the whole world. It was not a pretty picture! …

Credit: Chris Campbell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you self harming?

Whenever I heard the word ‘self-love,’ it made me cringe as I immediately thought of ‘selfishness’. I was pretty sure this was not the Christian way. In my mind, self-love and selfishness were the same thing. But as I pressed into my journey to wholeness — physically, emotionally and spiritually — the idea of needing to love yourself kept coming up. I wasn’t sure how Biblical this was but thought I needed to find out if it was or wasn’t. It seemed that to heal from past issues and recent traumas that constantly triggered me, I was being pointed in the direction of ‘self-love’. What was I getting myself into? And how did this fit with the verse, “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow after me?” Jesus shed His blood on the cross to save the world and it started to feel like I was doing the same thing, making personal sacrifices for others. But were these the sacrifices that God was asking me to make? Was I being motivated by love …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …

Priscilla Shirer: YouTube capture

Don’t be out of step with the Gospel in terms of race

I was recently struck by the words of Priscilla Shirer, 44. She is a black woman, a motivational speaker, TV host, author, preacher and founder of Going Beyond Ministries. Priscilla recently had her first acting role in the Christian movie War Room playing Elizabeth, the wife of Tony Jordan. Chuck Bernal, the pastor of Lifepoint Church, recently shared a video on Facebook of some profound statements Priscilla made about race, politics and the Christian faith. On the video that has been viewed nearly 7.5 million times, Priscilla said: “I do not describe myself as a black woman because that gives too much power to my blackness. “I don’t want my race to be the describing adjective of who I am as a woman. I am not a black woman. I am a Christian woman who happens to be black. “It’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are. If there’s gonna be an adjective describing me it’s not gonna be my race, it’s going to be I’m a woman who …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t let envy and resentment destroy your joy, the story of Miriam

Recently, I have been drawn to the story of Miriam. Her name comes from the word Myrrh. Myrrh was the main ingredient of the anointing oil that Moses sprinkled on the tabernacle, which made it not only visually but also olfactory prominent in Israel’s camp. (Exodus 30:23). And though it referred to the fragrant spice used in the tabernacle, it was also considered bitter. Because of Myrrh’s connection to bitterness, some believe Miriam’s name originally meant “sea of bitterness” or “sea of sorrow” or “rebellion.” Her mother may have given Miriam this name because of their hard life in Egypt. Miriam was a leader among the Hebrew women. She was a prophet and gifted musically. She used her leadership role to direct the women to praise the Lord often through the dance. She was a godly influence in their lives. Miriam was one of God’s special gifts to the people of Israel. As was typical of the day, these dances were often spontaneous. The women would follow Miriam in the dance copying her movements and …

Credit: Tyson Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Tearing down strongholds of self defeat

Often, I notice in myself and others that we have a tendency to sabotage our own happiness. The expression that “We are our own worst enemy is so true.” We don’t feel that we deserve to be happy and the way we think about ourselves prevents us from receiving God’s blessings.  We’re not even sure that God wants us to be happy, because subconsciously we don’t feel like we are worthy. Many times it has to do with how we were raised.  We don’t realize it but often we are dealing with strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have blueprints that have been imprinted upon our minds from childhood. If you grew up in an environment where it wasn’t safe to express your wants or needs, you will begin to believe you really don’t deserve anything good. If you were constantly criticized, you will struggle to feel good about yourself. It can feel safer staying stuck in our uncomfortable old patterns than to rock the boat and feel good about ourselves. …

Are you playing the blame game?

Freeing yourself from the mire of resentment

Sometimes we need a clear picture of what happens when we allow resentment to settle in our spirit. When that happens our pointing finger of blame is often the only thing that can be seen as we sink deeper and deeper in the bog of anger, resentment and blame. And if we don’t pay attention to what is happening, the sticky mire of resentment dries and hardens on us until we can no longer move or even breathe. Great effort is required to keep our hearts from hardening when we feel life is unfair or if we keep getting offended by what people are saying or doing. I will tell you now that these other people have nothing to do with it. No one has the power to make us angry or resentful except us. It is our choice. When we become offended or point the finger of blame, we are giving other people control of our lives. We are giving our power over to them. When we remain offended and angry, we lose control …

Avril Lavigne in Brasilia, Brazil in May, 2014 Credit: Breno Galtier/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Canadian punk rocker Avril Lavigne surprises with a worship song?

Canadian rock star Avril Lavigne, 34, has surprised everyone with the recent release of a song that some describe as a worship song. Called Head Above Water, this was her first song after taking a five-year break from public life due to her battle with Lyme disease, an infectious debilitating disease commonly spread by ticks. In 2015, she released information that she had been battling Lyme disease since 2014. The disease kept her bed ridden for months. On her website, Avril described how her struggle with the disease led to her most recent hit: “One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me,” she said. “I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.” …

And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations

Over the years my friend Linda and I have walked and prayed around and through the park that is planted in the center of our city. Yesterday, we sat and prayed at one of our favorite spots. The leaves were just starting to turn color and fall to the ground. And we were drawn to the passage in the Book of Revelation: 2 … On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We contemplated the meaning of this verse as we have many times over the years. And like many scholars have noted, the interpretation can be unclear concerning this day and age. Many times this scripture would surface as we prayed for our nation. With the leaves falling all around, we began to pray once again that the leaves of the tree (Christ the tree of life) and we His people (the leaves) would receive …

Are you trapped by your emotions? Credit: Stef/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is your addiction?

Believe it or not you may have an addiction! But it’s not what your thinking. I am not talking about an addiction to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. But many of us are feeding addictions in our lives that have haunted us for years. In my life, I had an addiction or need for people to recognize and acknowledge my accomplishments. In the end, this led to a serious addiction of people-pleasing. In other words, I was struck with “the disease to please,” and would do things I didn’t want to do just to get people’s approval. It was unhealthy and killing me from the inside out. But there are other addictions operating in our lives that many of us do not recognize as well. When we hold on to limiting beliefs about ourselves, then anger, sadness or guilt will show up to compensate for our lack of self-confidence. We substitute unhealthy emotions for our lack of confidence. Sadness can be a way of getting others to notice and feel sorry for us. We need this …

Coming storm Credit: Roy Keeris/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did the Apostle Paul warn about a coming narcissist plague?

I walked out of the doctor’s office a few days ago and noticed a young woman in front of me crying. I passed her on the way to my car and then thought I should check if she was okay and turned around and went back to talk to her. She looked at me as she wiped a tear from her eye and said that she was just diagnosed with PTSD. She shared that it had been a year since she left a relationship with her narcissistic boyfriend. She fled England a year ago after her boyfriend burned her house down. The only way she could get away from him was to leave the country. Just days before leaving England she considered going back to him “because he would only be angry for a while and then things would get better.” This is the same guy that set fire to her house! What was interesting about this is that until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what narcissism was until I started reading …

A crop close to harvest near Lohbusch, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Credit: Christian Kortum/Flickr/Creative Commons

The womb of God’s provision

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) The growth and the nurturing we received while in our mother’s womb is a wonderful example of God’s great care for us. It is a clear picture of how God our Father wants to provide for us while we are in the womb and out of it. Our nine months in the womb, as an embryo formed into a tiny baby, is the precedent to experiencing the hand of God outside the womb. This tiny form deep inside the mother did not demand the nourishment it needed to develop. Before the babe knew what it needed the nutrients were already there for the next stage of growth as the hands, fingers, feet and toes, eyes and ears needed to develop. The baby was in perfect alignment with the Spirit of God who had prepared beforehand what was required for the …

Just say no Credit: Dylan Todd/Flickr/Creative Commons

When I want to say ‘No’ but say ‘Yes’

What do boundaries, healthy boundaries, have to do with our relationships? Why is learning to say “no” important and why is it so hard? Because if you continue to do things you don’t want to do, you eventually become, angry, resentful and bitter. If like me you choose to be a martyr and say “yes” when you really want to say “no,” you will become what some describe as a “bitter martyr.” But as one psychologist puts it,  “it’s not too late to turn the ship around.” To remove the bitterness, we must become better at telling the truth to ourselves and others because saying “yes” when you want to say “no” is being dishonest. Why do we struggle with this? It’s the little girl in us acting out our childhood training to be nice. According to psychologist, Terri Cole, growing up with a mother who was a people-pleaser makes it difficult for a person to say “no” when it is the last thing we want to do. If you lived in a home where …

US Supreme Court, Washington, DC Credit: Matthew Buckley/Flickr/Creative Commons

Today marks the anniversary of the remarkable water baptism of ‘Jane Roe’

August 8, 2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the water baptism of Norma McCorvey in a Garland, Texas swimming pool.  She was baptized by an Evangelical minister Philip (Flip) Benham who today leads a pro-life organization called Operation Save America. For those who don’t know, Norma McCorvey was the woman involved in Roe vs Wade, the infamous 1973 Supreme Court case that ruled it was illegal to criminalize abortion, opening the door for unimpeded abortions across the US. She came from a rough family. Her mother was an alcoholic and her father abandoned the family. In 1969, Norma McCorvey, who was living in Dallas, Texas, was 21 years old and pregnant with her third child. She wanted an abortion which was illegal. Her friends recommended that she claim the pregnancy was due to rape, one of the rare exceptions that many states allowed for abortion. However, since she had not filed a police report that was ruled out. McCorvey was eventually told about two lawyers who were willing to take on her case. Using the …

Sky diving over Palau Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s okay to be afraid

Sometimes we are being pushed out of our comfort zone and often think fear is telling us to pull back. But in reality it’s a signal to move forward, push through the fear and jump. I have been acknowledging my uncomfortable feelings these past weeks. At times I almost feel paralyzed by fear and anxious thoughts. Have you ever felt this way afraid, nervous and excited all at the same? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. And often we judge ourselves for being afraid of our next big step. We have this misconception that fear is telling us “not” to do it. Well, the good news is that fear is just a natural emotion that means you are stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. Being stretched is uncomfortable in the physical and the natural. Growing and expanding beyond where I have been comfortable for some time now. Fear is a normal part of life, but it is an emotion we must control before it conquers us. Writing for Proverbs 31 Ministry, Bobby Schuller says: “Fear is …

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England Credit: Jim/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Treasure Chest of Strength

Lately I have been thinking about what real strength is. Of course one of the first scriptures that came to my mind was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Berean Study Bible) I know Strongs’s concordance 1743, defines this strength as empower, enable (increase in) strength, to be (make) strong. However, this only made me wonder more about this word ‘strength’. Around this time, I had a vivid impression of a treasure chest with the word ‘STRENGTH’ written on it. I saw this chest was full of many things such as; God’s love, freedom, acceptance, healing and identity. Whatever I happened to need was inside. Not to be found in this ‘treasure chest’ were negative things like unworthiness, rejection, bitterness, or self-hate. Nothing was there which would take away my strength in Christ. So then, I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Whatever I need is in the treasure chest of strength. I just have to grab hold of the truth provided. What is …

Scaly Breasted Wren from Ecuador Credit: Nick Athanas/Flickr/Creative Commons

A song in the day and a song in the night

For the past couple weeks a robin has been singing in our backyard. Its clear melodic sound has drawn me outside onto my deck to be entertained again and again. I typically make a cup of coffee so I can sit down and appreciate the solo performance that seems to be for my ears only. The other day, as I sat down on my chair with coffee in hand, there was silence. I thought I had missed my morning performance. Then I heard rustling in the branches hanging over our deck. He was sitting right above me and sang his beautiful song over me once again. The sound and intensity of the song was so wholehearted, clear and clean. He was singing his heart out to me. This song from Zephaniah resonated through me: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God sings over us. He …

Choosing the right path. Credit: Bertie Mabootoo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Veering off the path

Psychologists believe that many of the health issues women experience today stem from our fear-based emotions and false beliefs about ourselves. Like ‘I am not good enough, I don’t have enough money to be successful , I am too fat etc. As I look back over a few of the more dramatic or traumatic events in my life, there were signs leading up to them. Signals, a sense of something not right. Really, it was a whisper of the soul and sometimes they were from Jesus as the Lord will speak to us: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27} And I realize now that as time went on and I ignored this voice, clearer and louder messages followed. But deep down I knew that something was up and I didn’t really know what to do because fear was there too. And as I continued to ignore these warning signs I was  hit by what some call “a cosmic 2×4.” I like how Stacey Martino puts it, …