All posts filed under: Women

‘China’s Taylor Swift’ displays her faith in the midst of communism

You may never have heard of G.E.M. (Gloria Tang Sze-wing), 31, but in Communist China she is known as “China’s Taylor Swift.” Deng, who was born in Hong Kong, skyrocketed to fame after entering a singing competition on mainland China in 2014 called “I am a singer 2” where she placed second. She became the first Chinese singer to surpass 200 million views on YouTube, and the first female artist in that country to have four exceeding 100 million views, making her one of the country’s top pop singers. And in a country run by the atheistic Chinese Communist Party desperate to stamp out Christianity, she is a believer in Jesus. Throughout her music and videos, we see references to her Christian faith, such as Israel’s Red Sea crossing in her latest video, Gloria, based on the English name given by her father. As she prays in the video below, the sea parts and Deng encounters a bright light. Deng told Christianity Today, that Gloria was inspired by an incident in her own life when …

The impact of a godly wife: ‘I’ll never be mad at God’, Jim Breuer on the death of his wife, Dee

Jim Breuer is a popular stand-up comic, musician, actor, radio host and podcaster. He became famous for playing Joe Pesci and the “Goat boy” on Saturday Night Live between 1995 and 1998. He has also had roles in several movies, including ‘Half Baked’. Jim married his wife Dee in 1993, and they have three daughters. I don’t know if Jim is a Christian, but his wife, Dee, certainly is, and she has had a profound impact on Jim. Dee, who was also a regular contributor on Jim’s podcast, The Breuniverse Podcast, was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, which was successfully treated. However, in 2015 she was diagnosed with Lymph node cancer and doctors admitted there is nothing they can do. But even after her second diagnosis, Dee continued to join Jim on the podcast as she talked about her struggle with cancer. In a recent episode, Jim shared a conversation that he had with a friend and you can see Dee’s profound impact. The friend, a former actor on SNL, asked if Jim …

Granger Smith’s wife, Amber, speaks of her need to forgive others for hurtful comments

Granger Smith, 43, is a country music singer, songwriter, who also goes by the name of Earl Dribbles Jr. He had a number one hit in 2016, Backroad Song and another, If the Boot Fits, was a top ten hit in 2017. In 2010, he married his wife, Amber. But in 2019, the family was struck with tragedy when their three-year-old son, River Kelly, drowned at the family home. Amber, 40, recently share an Instagram Post of people who are still condemning and blaming her three years later for their son’s death. It started after Amber commented on the post of another woman, whose child had also apparently died. “All of us mamas who know this pain have been praying so hard for your family,” Amber wrote. “We are all rallying around you and are here for you. Light will come from the dark. He is working. Bless you for blessing others in your deepest hurt. Sending all our love.” After she posted that comment, the condemnation about her son’s death started pouring in. One …

Awake Deborahs, Awake!

By Jill Austin

The Body of Christ is in a radical transition time due to the global shaking that is happening all over the world. The acceleration and advancement of radical Islam throughout the earth, the new surge of power with the Hamas, and the critical dangers that face Israel every single day will only be won on our knees.

REJECTION

One of the most difficult challenges a person can experience is rejection and in a recent article in The Epoch Times, Dawn Milberger, 55, shared her story. Dawn had been adopted into a Christian family, and it wasn’t until she was 18 that she discovered the full story of what had happened, when she finally tracked down her birth mother. It was then she discovered that her mother, with the aid of a nursing friend, tried to abort Dawn several times in the first seven months of pregnancy, before eventually giving birth. Her mother’s friend provided abortion-inducing drugs that she stole from the office where she worked. After telling the story, her birth mom pleaded for Dawn to forgive her. This was the ultimate form of rejection and for the next several months, Dawn struggled as anger began building in her heart over the rejection. But with the help of her adoptive parents, Dawn worked through her emotions to forgive her mother. “He can’t build on us if we have unforgiveness on us. Unforgiveness cannot …

The hidden cost of faith

As believers, we like telling the world that salvation is a free gift available by faith through Christ’s death and resurrection. But though it is free to everyone who chooses to believe, it also comes with a cost. And that was evident in a recent article on CBN about a young Christian woman, Leah Church, who chose to leave the University of North Carolina’s basketball team rather than compromise her faith.

How gratitude rewires your brain

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). The Greek word translated ‘transformed’, metamorphoō, speaks of an utter and complete change. It is where we get the English word metamorphosis, which describes the process when a caterpillar builds a cocoon, dissolves, and reforms into a butterfly. The change is so dramatic that the butterfly can no longer eat the same thing that it did when it lived as a caterpillar. But for the believer, Paul adds that this transformation takes place as we ‘renew’ our minds. Paul uses the same Greek word, anakainoo, when he writes that we are ‘renewed in the spirit of our mind’ (Ephesians 4:22-24). Anakainoo means to ‘make new,’ ‘make different,’ ‘to renovate’ and refers to a dramatic change, and it’s this change in thinking that transforms us. But when Paul speaks of the spirit of our mind, he is speaking about what controls and directs our thinking. Some Bible versions, such as the NIV, …

Fearless Christian woman refuses to back down to armed Islamic terrorists

There is a verse in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John’s vision of the end times, that talks about the emergence of a new breed of Christian who will not fear death: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Revelation 12:11 ESV) And we may have seen an example of this unwavering courage in Kenya. According to a report by International Christian Concern, a solitary Christian woman, boldly stood up to five Islamic militants armed with guns and explosives. Wanduta was outside her village in Eastern Kenya minding her goats, when the five men connected with the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, showed up. They were there to kill the Christian men in the village, and told Wanduta they wanted to spark a ‘fierce war’ between Islam and Christians. “They said they will wage war with Christians,” Wanduta reported, “and whoever loses the battle shall surrender to the other.” The five armed militants bravely forced the …

Finding new gods through Cluster C: How anxious are you?

How anxious are you these days? The world has been a mixed-up place lately, and I know people who are stressed about health, including all the COVID issues; and jobs, careers, and finances; and relationships, including marriages and families; and politics sure are interesting. Right now, scientists are getting stressed about a new variation of COVID known as “Omicron.” I have friends who have stopped reading the news. I know a family that lost their old mother, one year ago. She lived a long life, and she was weak and frail when she died, and I don’t think COVID was a factor. It was sad for them to lose their mother, but they were not surprised when she passed. The problem is the “estate.” Their Mom had her own way of coping with stress; she was a long-time hoarder. She worked for many years in a large retail store, and she had easy access to bargains. Now, one year later, the children are struggling to sort and dispose of all the merchandise, unopened in packages, …

77 | What to do with a strange memory

FOLLOW OUR PODCAST ON (search opentheword): Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: Hi, my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast, I wonder: am the only person in the world who suddenly has flashbacks of things that happened to them decades ago. Well it happened to me recently and involved an incident of something that took place probably 45 years ago. It was the 1970s. I was in my twenties and driving an old Rambler station wagon. It was a dusty grey colour, probably 15 years old when I bought it. But along with my Toyota Previa, was the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned. I was just saved and attending a young people’s Hippy church, a Jesus People church, where everyone had long hair, including the girls. Back then, I had hair past my shoulders and one of my friends had hair down to his waist. And today, I have sadly resorted to shaving my head, because I am basically bald. It’s very sad. Anyway, I had put …

I will show you a better way

When we find ourselves in a messy situation where there is confusion and doubt, I wonder if there isn’t a message in it for us.  And, maybe the message is the Holy Spirit saying, “hold on here, slow down because I want to show you a better way through these circumstances.  The Bible talks about God making the path of life known to us. “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:11) This verse expresses God’s desire for us to know Him and experience happiness in our lives. There is a better way of doing things. It’s what happened to me several year’s back. I was in a very uncomfortable situation in our church, where I was experiencing rejection from people. No matter what I did, or how hard I tried to gain their approval, nothing changed. In fact, the rejection seemed to get worse. I wanted to defend myself and attack back, and as long as I continued …

From fear to anger

The upheaval on our planet right now has created rifts in relationships online, off-line, in our churches and communities. I cringe when I see unkind comments and anger directed at opposing opinions amongst friends. We find ourselves in a crisis as the pressure builds and creates cracks of division and deep crevices of fear and hopelessness in our lives.  A crisis tends to bring out what is really inside us, and we shouldn’t be surprised by the ranting and pushing all around us. In these moments, love bows to fear as it takes control of our lives and vitriolic words pour off our keyboards onto the screen.   Death or life lies in our hands, and in every crisis there is the opportunity to make things better. Proverbs tells us that life and death is in our tongue (Proverbs 18:21). When we speak we can bring encouragement and life to people, or we can speak with condemnation, anger and bitterness, bringing death. This applies to the things we say and the things we write as we comment …

One prescription for mental stress

I was watching an interesting video the other day by famed University of Toronto psychologist, Jordan Peterson, and he was talking about the mental health struggles that people go through. He compared this problem to a balloon that if you keep pumping air into it will eventually blow up. But, he noted, that this break will take place at the balloon’s weakest point. He says that the same thing happens to people. When life starts getting complicated, and things start piling up, and we are hit with multiple issues at the same time, job loss, health issues, marital problems, the death of family or friends, the pressure builds until sometimes we break at our weakest psychological point. And we are living in very complicated times, with all those issues compounded by a virus, lockdowns and growing societal unrest. So, how to we deal with stress during these anxiety-filled days? Several years back, two researchers, Joshua Brown and Joel Wong, decided to study the impact that thankfulness has on a person’s mental well-being. In their article, …

Rejection or redirection?

Rejection is hard, and repeated rejection can be devastating unless we view it with a healthy perspective. I truly believe that through rejection God wants to show us that there is a better way to fulfill our desires and His plans for our life. Over the years, I have looked to people and church leaders that I believed could help me put in motion my plans to encourage women through various avenues. I gave a lot of time and energy communicating my thoughts to them. There were countless emails and one-on-one meetings in an attempt to connect and create what was on my heart. I tried so hard to make it happen and left no page unturned. However, instead of encouragement, I encountered rejection. Some felt threatened I was competing with them. Others wanted it done their way. Some just ignored me because, they already had a program in the church. But I was simply trying to do, what I believe God had put on my heart, and the repeated rejection was difficult to understand.  That is because, so …

Forgiving others is your gift to you

I have learned over the years that forgiveness isn’t about the one who hurt you.  Forgiving others for what they did, is all about you! It is one of the healthiest choices, you can make for yourself and your well-being. We need to have the mindset that when it comes to forgiving others, you are doing it for you and no one else. Joyce Meyers describes forgiveness as a gift that you give yourself. She writes, “Forgiveness is about you, even if the other person doesn’t forgive you.   Forgiveness begins 100% with you. It’s a gift you give yourself.” Often, we confuse forgiveness with making amends with the person who hurt us. Joyce reiterates that forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person at all! Whether they apologize or don’t, you need to forgive first. At times, we may try to downplay what the other person did to deal with the hurt, but that is not the solution. You need to forgive, because it transforms you from a victim into the victor. I …

One sign that you may have chosen the wrong path

When it comes to the choices we make, particularly as women, many of us don’t realize how our ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is often attached to people-pleasing.  As a woman, whose life was dominated for years by people-pleasing, I can tell you that it does not end well for anyone trying to gain the approval and attention of others, especially of those you feel hold more significance than you. As women, we spend too much time worrying about what others think we should be doing, rather than focussing on what God wants us to do. And it is time, we start checking in with ourselves before we say ‘yes’ or no’ to our involvement in the lives of others, even if their request is a good thing. This requires us to be honest about what we are really feeling about the choices we are presented with.  Why are we doing this? Are we doing it to gain another person’s approval? Are we doing it out of guilt? We need to start trusting our thoughts and feelings, as …

Playing the victim like a puppet on a string

People often find their thoughts and behaviours being affected by the decisions of others, particularly, if the ones closest to them are making choices that they believe are not in their best interests.  Our thoughts begin to revolve around them and overwhelm us, as we allow worry to take over. Our lives become a bit of a blur, as the worry continues to grow. Relationship experts, Stacey and Paul Martino, tell us that when we focus on wanting others to change, we put ourselves in a ‘victim position.’ We are controlled by their choices and start to act like a puppet on a string, yanked around by everything they do.  We need to ‘detach’ from the expectations we put on others and cut the strings that keep us under the control of their choices. God wants us to live happy and healthy lives, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  As we transfer our expectations from our loved ones and place our hopes and desires for them on the shoulders of our Father God, we will be able to focus on our …

The red flag: Moving past anger

When dealing with anger, it seems that we often make it about the other person, the one who sparked our anger. We blame our anger on them and their actions or words, and rarely about our response and the way we handled the offence. I read where one author treated his anger like a marker or a red flag, as he called it. Whenever he felt a reaction to an offence and recognized the anger that was rising from it, he literally visualized planting a red flag in the ground, staking out where his anger began. From that moment, he would take personal responsibility for his anger and not make it about the other person, as he intentionally worked towards creating a response that would bring resolve and peace for himself.   Looking back at the red flag marker, he could see how far he had come from his initial response.   This has been an awesome visualization that I practice when I feel anger stirring in me.  And, the goal, of course, is to move past the red …

How a daughter forgave her infamous serial killer dad

In a recent interview on 100 Huntley Street, Kerri Rawson, shared the heartbreaking story of when she found out her dad, Dennis Rader, was a serial killer and how God brought her to the point of being able to forgive her father. In 2005, the police arrested Dennis Radar for murdering ten people including a father, mother and two children between 1974 and 1991 in and around Wichita, Kansas. He was a serial killer who went by several acronyms including BTK, which Rader gave himself, that stood for ‘blind, torture, kill.’ He was also labelled as the BTK strangler and BTK killer by the media. During his killing spree, Rader sent letters to media and police taunting their efforts to catch him, but it was these letters that eventually led to his arrest and subsequent sentence of 10 consecutive life sentences. The arrest came when Rader started re-sending letters and messages to the media in 2004 after a several year hiatus. It was a floppy disk sent to Fox News that played a major role …

A broken heart can physically break your heart

According to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) an emotionally broken heart has the potential to physically damage a person’s heart. Though the condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is rare, it is potentially fatal and is found most often in women. Researchers from Harvard stated that 90% of the cases involved women between the ages of 58 to 75. The research team from MGH stated that TTS occurs when a person undergoes a stressful event that results in increased activity in a person’s amygdala, an organ located on either side of our cerebrum that controls our memory and emotions. This in turn can cause increased activity in a person’s heart that can actually cause physical damage resulting in what is referred to as a “broken-hearted syndrome. According to the researchers, there are several things that can lead to this condition including such stress producing factors as: Death of a child or spouse Death of a pet Divorce or break up Job loss Infidelity Unfortunately, these type of events are a part of real life. God …

A mother’s faith and prayer avails much

In an Instagram post on Mother’s Day (May 9, 2021), international pop star, Justin Bieber, wished his mom, Pattie Mallette, a “Happy Mother’s Day.” But instead of focusing on his mother’s sacrifice to his 171 million followers, Justin shared the important role his mother played in Justin’s faith: “Happy Mother’s Day Madre ! I could talk about all of the sacrifices that you made to take care of me but the most incredible thing you could have done was share with me the love of Jesus!” Justin’s climb to international stardom started through videos that his mother initially posted on YouTube for family and friends. But as others found the videos and saw his talent, Justin’s popularity began to grow, until he was noticed by those in the music industry. But as the fame took over his life, he was increasingly being caught up in the negativity that often comes with it. For a few years, all we were reading about were Justin’s run-ins with the law and the latest scandal that overtook his life: …

This Hurts Too Much

Did you ever try to focus on something that was or is just too painful? That’s what happened to me these past few weeks. I wanted to really dig into the tragedy of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada but I found myself holding back. There are a few reasons for this. One might be my own experiences of being marginalized. Another might be that the injustice and lack of public outcry anger me. I have written previously about how poverty and prejudice impacted my life. While I am in a place now in which prejudice and out-casting no longer affect me, I am still hurting for those for whom it does affect. And in these days of double racism, a dangerous idea in which people of color accuse white people of racism with racist chants and slogans of their own, there is so much division and hatred.  Violent elements have taken advantage of this and have burned and destroyed businesses and lives under the umbrella of social justice. It feels like they are …

Finding your secret place of prayer

Sometimes, I find it hard to pray. I feel disconnected and far from God. It seems that I have to pray long prayers and work hard to get God’s attention. What is my perception of prayer that it makes it seem like such an effort? Do I feel unworthy or not good enough? Do I feel like I’m barely existing and disconnected from myself, people and God? Thankfully, there is a divine connection available to us, and we can have unlimited access to heaven, at all times. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for your sins and was resurrected from the dead, you have the key to connecting with heaven from here on earth. To help me pray easily and effectively, I often create a garden, a secret place in my mind, where I can go anytime day or night. I …

Does God Care?

When things are going well, it is easy to feel that he does care. Even when things turn bad we can still feel like He cares. But when awful things happen we can lose sight of his love as we struggle through illness, job loss, and death. Once the shock and intensity of the trauma leave us, we can look back and see how his love and care carried us through these times. But what if the bad times never ended? There are many tragedies in our lives. Most are only for a short time. Some are lifelong. When I was disabled and in severe pain and chronically ill for thirteen years, I still felt God loved me. I still felt He cared for me. But just not as much as other Christians. In my mind I was a second-class Christian. This was my lot in life. To suffer and persevere. Not to thrive. In the end I was healed. I was restored to clarity of mind and heart as much as healed in my …