You Remind Me of a Horse

Running Horses Hooves

“I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” Song of Solomon 1:9

Few of us would swoon if our husbands compared us to a horse. In fact, using today’s connotations and implications that might get your man slapped!

Today, however, I heard an interpretation of this little verse that changed my perspective not only on being horse-like, but on the biblical concept of being a helpmate to the leadership role of my husband.

Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage offered an explanation that I’d never heard before. Apparently, mares were rarely harnessed to a Pharaohs’ chariot. Generally, because speed and power were desirable, Pharaohs used the brawniest stallions to do this work. But they found that when they harnessed a mare among the stallions, she produced in them such a frenzy that they drove harder than ever.

What do you bring out in your husband? When you spend time with him, work beside him raising your family, speak to him–what character qualities and attitudes do you cultivate? Does he leave your presence more determined than ever to be a servant leader or a committed father?

Does he feel stronger, more confident, more capable than he did before?

Women, we have a lot of power. To listen to the culture, you wouldn’t think so. Collectively, we clamor for more power and equality. But I think this tactic is evidence of the way we often wield our power–manipulatively, subversively.

This calls for extra care–prayer–in our words and deeds.

Next time you are tempted to blame your husband for something or harass him for failing to live up to your expectation in some way, consider first what attitudes, qualities and actions you have cultivated in him.

You are his helpmate, harnessed alongside him for a good purpose. Your mere presence can multiply his power and productivity in life. Don’t take this lightly.

 

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If You Can’t See God

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you couldn’t see?

Maybe you are blind or you have some other kind of disability. When we struggle with something or face difficulties, it can be hard to understand how God will work it out for good.

Meet Fanny Crosby. Fanny had a hard life. In fact, to hear her story at first, it’s hard to imagine that she found any joy at all. And yet, Fanny Crosby was one of the most joyful, talented, wise and influential women in history.

Fanny Crosby was born in 1820 in Brewster, New York. When she was only 6-weeks-old, she caught a cold and got very sick. Even her eyes got inflamed and painful. The doctors treated the little girls the best they knew how, but by the time she got well, Fanny had lost her sight. No one really knows whether her blindness was caused by the medicine or something that could not have been prevented.

Before Fanny was a year old, her father died so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. Both of them were devout Christians and taught Fanny about Jesus. They taught Fanny to study hard, read the Bible and memorize Scripture. In fact, starting at 10-years-old, Fanny memorized five chapters of the Bible every single week!

Fanny was only 8-years-old when she wrote her first poem describing her blindness. By that time, she had accepted the fact that she could not see as part of God’s plan for her and determined to use it to glorify Him. She said that if she were offered perfect sight, she would not take it. Fanny believed that if she could see, she might have been distracted by all the beautiful things around her and forget to sing and praise God!

So, Fanny used her talents to glorify God. In her lifetime, she wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs including some of the most poplar hymns we sing today like, “Blessed Assurance” and “To God be the Glory”. In 1843, Fanny traveled to Washington D.C. to help persuade the government to support education for the blind, and she was the very first woman to speak to the United States Senate!

When Fanny wasn’t composing songs, she spent much of her time teaching at the New York Institute for the Blind. Once, when an epidemic of cholera struck New York City, rather than flee for safety, Fanny stayed at the NYIB to nurse the sick. She also worked hard to care for the poor saying, “from the time I received my first check for my poems, I made up my mind to open my hand wide to those who needed assistance.” Fanny is remembered for her rescue missions work almost as much as for her songs.

Does it ever feel like you can’t see God’s work in your life?

Do you ever ask God why He made you a certain way?

Do you wonder why you have to struggle with some things that don’t seem fair?

Next time you do, try praising God using one of Fanny’s songs. I think it will encourage you!

To hear some of Fanny Crosby’s songs follow these link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNVCcph6cnI&list=PLD75EEB725D137135.

We’re So Vain!

As if gambling were not already enough of a social ill. As if it weren’t enough to encourage a society that can scarcely employ its population, to risk, barter and fritter its income on cards and electronic games. As if 90,000 teens getting plastic surgery in 2007 wasn’t a clear enough sign that America is beauty-obsessed. As if!

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City is offering $25,000 worth of plastic surgery to one lucky winner. Gamblers can earn points throughout the month of October. On October 29, someone will be awarded the opportunity to look in the mirror, dissect and despise their body and then submit themselves to a surgeon’s knife for liposuction, breast implants, a nose job, ear tucks or any one of a number of procedures.

I heard this on the radio a couple days ago, and I had to Google it – surely it couldn’t be. And of course, if it sounds unconscionable, ridiculous and absurd – it’s probably real. One only has to watch the progression of reality TV shows to notice that American entertainers are in a vicious competition to be the most deviant and aberrant.

I am the first one to admit that I don’t often admire a picture of myself. Even if I appreciate what I see in the mirror at 9 in the morning, I’m likely to feel frumpy and disheveled by 10:30 a.m. I work at a gym, and daily I watch people struggle to thin their thighs, tone their triceps and trim their tummies. At least they’re trying.

I don’t advocate body disparity. The Bible says that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139). Instead of squandering our children’s college tuition on chance in the casino, what about investing in their healthy bodies, thirsty minds and malleable spirits? If we don’t we’re likely to find our teens spending their high school years sullen, self-absorbed and at odds with us. Rethink your priorities!!

As I read several articles about the Taj Mahal’s unique prize, a couple things struck me in addition to promoting discontent with our bodies.

It’s interesting: gambling is a get rich quick effort. (for some interesting statistics see http://www.overcominggambling.com) Plastic surgery is a discouraged individual’s attempt to perfect her body overnight. Americans want everything yesterday. Hard work and waiting are disappearing values.

Gamblers are more likely to be male than female. Is this an all-out effort to attract women to the “sport?” I guess luring women into surgeon’s chairs through unrealistic magazine spreads, billboards, runway models and TV ads wasn’t working fast enough.

It seems almost crazy that someone could be addicted to plastic surgery, but we’ve seen it happen. We already know gambling is addictive. Imagine combining the two!

According to an interview with The Associated Press, Dr. Eda Gorbis — an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and founder of the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders in Los Angeles — said she’s already seen cases of people struggling with excessive plastic surgery and excessive gambling, and has grown concerned about the connections.
“Definitely one thing reinforces the other one,” she said. “Both are addictions, and they’re bad addictions.”

First we’ll boost the casino’s business and keep the plastic surgeons busy. In a few more years we’ll be overwhelming Gamblers Anonymous and other 12 step programs.

 

 

Women are Inferior To Men…

The Bible says women are inferior to men.  

You’re being a doormat to treat him with such respect when he doesn’t return the favor.

You’ve heard it.

Recently, my little sister’s boss asked her the $24,000 question.  As a mom-to-be and a new home owner, her priorities are shifting.  In the midst of an unrelated conversation he asked, “Do you think your husband’s job is more important that yours?”

Wow, feminists, I can hear you roaring!  I smell the bacon frying and you’re on your way back out the door to trample on every man who gets in your way.

Kelsey said, “Yes.”  Now, there are plenty of logical reasons – Kelsey is going to be taking maternity leave at the very least and be unable to work for a while, and Blake makes more money, to name two.  But really, she told me, her heart is committed to the Biblical description of Christian behavior.  She is proud of and loves her home.  She is anxious to fill their new house with baby things, a loving atmosphere and if she’s lucky – puppies!  Kelsey does not plan to sign her life away to a progressive career before her first child is even born.

So, Christian, is a woman inferior to a man?   Can she achieve less?  Is she doomed to servanthood all her days?

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”  1 Peter 3:1,2

I can hear you protesting.  Did you only look at those two verses?  Step back, take in the full view.  Start in 1 Peter 2:13-25.  I’ll excerpt some of it for you.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (v.13) …jump…

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His footsteps.” (v. 21)  Jesus was abused, ignored, reviled and slandered.  Even in the worst of circumstances, Jesus submitted himself without retaliation or indignation.  He entrusted himself to God, who judges justly.

If Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the Father’s will in order to ransom me, then, can I not submit myself to any authority figure, knowing that ultimately (whether they realize it or not) I am subjected to and judged justly by God?

And men, don’t think you’re off the hook!  Just a few verses down, there’s another “Likewise.”

The command to submit is not limited to women any more than salvation is limited to men.  Christ-like behavior is to, “Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 13:10

Who do you consider to be your role model?

She doesn’t consider herself a model.

If she were, she’s been grossly under-paid.

In fact for much of her life, she’s probably felt like a maid.

She’s carried, delivered, fed and clothed.

She’s loved and languished as a prodigal roved.

She hugged and (tried not to) strangle,

She tried to see things from a teenager’s angle.

She’s mediated, moderated, debated and accomodated.

To call her a model, is grossly understated.

She’s demonstrated, taught and corrected.

Applauded and trophies collected.

She a generational wonder

To me, to my sister, to you – She is mother.