All posts tagged: Women

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 …

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 …

Removing the tentacles of judgment

Over the years, John 3:16 has consistently been one of the most popular verses for Christians. But do you know what the most popular verse is for those who don’t believe? Surveys reveal it is “don’t judge, lest you be judged.” And God has been really speaking to me about judging, because Jesus “holds space for me” and allows me to show up with all my faults and weaknesses. But am I treating others including those who are not believers the same way God treats me? Jesus embraces me despite my imperfections. He embraces me through eyes of love and nothing I do can change His perception of me. And when we get ourselves into trouble, we can ask for help and God will provide it. But notice what James adds: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5) God will provide help without finding fault. He won’t point a finger of blame or judgment when …

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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 …

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Open your heart again

Sometimes jealousy strikes me when I least expect it. It could be a Facebook post where someone shared a great thought or perception of their life. I am ashamed to say that I find myself closing my heart to that person. And then I must do the brave and honest thing if I want my light to keep shining out into my world and open my heart to that person once again. Maybe you are like me and find your heart opening and closing many times in a day. Open to the prospects of a new day and then closed again because someone said something hurtful or jealousy crossed your path. Whatever it is closing our hearts and leaving them shut is hurtful to us and not anyone else. That person on Facebook has no idea what happened, so you haven’t hurt them. Good on them for showing up and making a good point or posting a great photo. Yet, for years I was afraid to show up and allow my true self to be …

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My Courageous Heart

This year, 2017, I choose to embrace my courageous heart. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1;9 NIV) I must admit, though, many times, ‘my courageous heart’ just wants to run and hide. Often, when I start doubting myself and my abilities, I reach for my little book of affirmations — my brightly, colored Peacock book — where I have written statements and declarations that I want to make my own. At times, when I find myself battling self-doubt, I have woken up in the middle of the night, sat down on the couch  and opened this little book of truth to reaffirm God’s love,  intentions and perceptions of me. Every time I do this, I come out on the other side with a clarity and deep knowing that God is with me and has not changed His mind on anything concerning my life. My favourite affirmation at the moment is: …

Nurses on a hospital ward at Christmas during the 1930s. Photo: theirhistory/Flickr/Creative Commons

Medical study: Want to live longer, go to church

A study of 75,534 middle-aged nurses published in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that church attendance played a key role in nurses living longer. The study surveyed the lifestyles of this group of nurses between 1992 and 2012. During the ten-year period, 13,537 of the nurses died including 4,479 due to cancer and 2,721 due to cardiovascular problems. After accounting for lifestyle choices that could lead to early death such as smoking (which can lead to increased cancer risk and heart problems), the researchers discovered if a nurse attended church over once per week they were 33% less likely to die than their non church attending counterparts. They also discovered that even if nurses attended church less often, they were less likely to die than those who didn’t. Weekly church attendance resulted in a 26% reduction in death and irregular attendance (less than once a week) resulted in a 13% reduction. The study only analyzed the impact of protestant and Catholic church attendance and did not study any benefits associated with attending services at non-Christian religions. …

U.N. condemns only one country for human rights violations against women — Israel

This past week, the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its annual meeting in New York and of the 193 U.N. member countries, the commission only condemned one nation for violating the rights of women — Israel. During its meeting, the CSW issued 9 reports, 8 of which were procedural, and one which condemned Israel as the world’s only abuser of women because of its conflict with Palestine. This despite reports, the honor killing of women happens regularly in Palestine and Hamas used civilians as human shields in the war it provoked against Israel.

A woman’s perspective: Am I Enough?

[by Barb Smith] I hadn’t been feeling well, still,  I was determined to have a nice supper for our family gathering. I  had rested in bed most of the day and managed to prepare a couple of dishes in the evening thinking I would finish the rest of my preparations the next day. Morning came and my strength continued to wane. Then it began, the barrage of self-degrading thoughts:

A woman’s perspective: Why do I feel guilty every time I say ‘No?’

[by Barb Smith] About a year ago, I came to a new understanding of the biblical term “dying to yourself.”  It seemed every time I said “no” to a request for help or an outing, I felt guilty if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time and deny myself for the sake of someone else. Often, I over commit and say “yes” even when my body is screaming “don’t do it!”  The reason I say “yes” is because I feel so guilty when I say “no.”  This is an ongoing struggle and I am in a constant process of finding a balance that is right, not out of selfishness, but out of the need to function as an emotionally healthy woman. I realized my sense of worth was determined by what I did for others. The verse “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” as I understood it, meant I must die to everything, all the time, as a spiritual sacrifice to God.

Are women the secret to beating Islamic terrorists?

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) announced this month it will be training women as tank commanders. Initially, the women would function as back-ups and only join crews in emergency situations. But it is expected, they will eventually work into regular rotations. By including women, the IDF will increase the number of people it can draw from to fill positions by 50%. But there may be more to the decision than that.