Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love and Submission

Last Sunday, Chad hit a “hot topic” so to speak. In continuance with the Colossians series, the next scripture verses in line happened to be Colossians 3:18-19 which talks about husbands loving their wives as well as wives submitting to their husbands. Of course, Chad also pointed out that in Ephesians 5:21, Paul also told us to submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. In other words, submission is a mutual respect and not something that should be demanded or lorded over another person. We need to remember the definition of love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which tells us that love is patient and kind. It’s not envious, boastful, proud, rude, selfish, or easily angered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs and it delights not in evil but rather, in truth. Love protects, trust, hopes, and perseveres.

The more we are “with” Christ and hidden in Him, the better we understand real love. And likewise, the opposite is true. The more we are just trying to do things on our own, the more we miss the point and the less we understand real love. Chad said that when we just do “the best we can” we are devoid of “with”. When we just do our “best” in the flesh (separate from God) we can’t do a thing. Jesus said in John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can’t do anything. I know that’s true, because I never have true success when I try to do things on my own. Nothing ever lasts when I do things on “my” terms. I am nothing without Christ!! If He were not in me, I would have no fullness, no life, no joy, no anything. I would be empty, lonely, and my life would be meaningless.

The more we accept this concept, the better our lives will be (and particularly in our relationships). As we all know, it is very hard to love people on our own. Speaking from experience, there are a lot of people that I have struggled to love - but through the grace of God, and Him living in me, He has enabled me to do so beyond my human ability. I’m so grateful for that!!

Chad said that sometimes, it’s especially hard to love in our marriages when we begin seeing just how different we are. Aside from the fundamental differences between men and women, he also described the concept that many of you might already be familiar with. He said he got it from a book called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”. I also think there is another book that describes this concept called “Men Are Like Waffles; Women Are Like Spaghetti”. In other words, men are very compartmentalized and women are very connected. They have these “boxes” in which everything is separated and basic. For women, however, everything is connected - like a long piece of tangled wire or spaghetti. Men’s boxes don’t “touch” but for us, EVERYTHING touches!! We can go from topic to topic, but men only focus on one at a time (which is why we can talk for hours and hours and most men usually can’t). ;)

Chad used a lot of humor and a lot of his own experiences to describe these concepts. So, if you’re curious to know, you can click on the link provided to learn more!! It was a really great message, and I enjoyed it a lot!!

Grace and peace to all of you!!

Guess What I Seen Last Night...

There is rarely anything in the media worth blogging about these days. We are bombarded with material that is unsuitable, filthy, and immoral. There is scarcely anything worthwhile for anyone to watch. However, there are those rare moments when we sometimes get treated to something with real virtue and substance. Such was the case when my husband and I went to watch/support the movie “Fireproof” last night. As many may remember, I have been encouraging others to see/support this movie for quite some time. This movie was made by the same church that made “Facing the Giants” and “Flywheel.” And, needless to say, their latest movie didn’t disappoint!!

I don’t know how they do it, but each movie that they make gets better and better and finds a new way to touch the heart of the audience!! “Fireproof” was, in a word, PERFECT!! It had every element I have come to expect from their presentations: faith, depth, character, suspense, drama, and a great sense of humor. And, they stepped it up even further by enlisting the acting talents of a very well-known and beloved star: Kirk Cameron. I must say, I was very impressed by the authenticity and intensity of his acting. He did a PHENOMENAL job, and his character was solid and believable. Praise God for that wonderful talent of his!!

I know that I have already made my case for this movie before, but now that I have seen it, I can better vouch for its substance. Whether you are married or not (and especially if you are going through a tough time in your marriage), you will definitely appreciate this movie. It has a little bit of everything. I cried through the intense emotional parts, and I laughed through the blessed moments of comic relief. One particular part that I loved was when Caleb (Kirk Cameron) played a joke on a fellow firefighter. He drank a bottle of hot sauce (which was really tomato juice) and challenged his friend to beat his time and show everyone how “manly” he really was. Well, needless to say, his poor friend failed (and got a VERY rude surprise when he attempted the impossible! LOL). Another funny moment was the running joke of Caleb taking his anger out on the trash can when he got frustrated - only to look up and notice that his neighbor was watching him and shaking his head in confusion.

Though, aside from the humor, were brilliant and touching lessons of how to get through the “fires” of marriage and to stick together like salt and pepper (to understand that reference, you will have to see the movie!!). Everything about this movie touched home and was so raw and real. So many times, it was as if I was looking in a mirror (and those of you that know me will know what I mean when you see the movie for yourself). It was as if this movie were made for me. I’m glad that I went to see it, because Satan did try to deter me from doing so. Likewise, I am sure that he is also trying to stop others from watching it as well, and if one of those people is you….I urge you…PLEASE DON’T LISTEN TO THAT LIE!! GO SEE IT!! Don’t miss out on a blessing, and the opportunity to show you support for something good for a change!!

On that note, I would like to wish a happy early anniversary to my husband Mitch. On Monday, it will be our seven-year wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary Mitchie!! Thanks again for your thoughtfulness in surprising me with an early gift, and thank you for watching that movie with me!! I love you!

Have a blessed weekend everyone - and I pray that you will have the opportunity to see “Fireproof” (especially THIS weekend - which is so crucial to the box office!). Grace and peace to all of you!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dumping the Bucket

Last week, I blogged about Chad’s sermon on that little word “with.” That was a message that I will never forget!! Chad’s next sermon was just as powerful when he elaborated further on the “with” concept.

In Colossians 3:5-11, the Bible talks about no longer walking in our old sinful ways and habits (sexual immorality, lust, idolatry, anger, malice, bad language, lying, etc.). Once you’re in Christ, you’re new. Chad said, “You’re new. BE new!” and “Get busy being new!”

Chad said that he sometimes has a hard time understanding those deep concepts. So, God shows him how to “get it” in amazing ways. His latest illustration took the shape of an old house he was renovating. He said he was tearing apart the old stuff around a window when God told him “This is you.” Chad saw how all the old wood and plaster that was being torn off, and all the work that they were doing to conform the house to the brilliant blueprint designs intended for the structure, was just how God viewed him. God tears out all the old junk in order to change our “house” into what He has always had planned. His “blueprints” for us are bigger and better than anything we could imagine!! God is the grand architect! He wants to transform our “old house” into the beautiful one He already has planned and designed!

Of course, in order to be the “house” that we were designed to be, it’s going to take some work!! God has to clear out the old to make way for the new - just as Chad showed to us. Chad showed us a bucket full of old wood and plaster and how they were throwing away all that old stuff. Though, he says that sometimes, we end up taking that bucket and bringing it back into the house. So often, we get “emptied out” only to end up bringing the junk back in!! The old needs to be dead; and not dug up and revived. What’s buried at the foot of the cross needs to stay buried. We need not remain bonded to all our junk!!

Chad says that he knows at which times he starts to pick up and dump the bucket. In a humble moment of humanity and vulnerability, he described his own weakness of being tempted and drawn back to his “bucket.” He says that during the times it’s not his turn to prepare a sermon and preach, he’s has more trouble staying in the Word and being self-disciplined. When he was talking to one of his friends, who is also a pastor, he told him two simple words that just cut him to the core: “Get pure.” He told Chad that when he found himself slipping away, he needs to focus on getting pure - concentrating on Jesus and cleaning house again! It also reminds me of a phrase that someone told my husband recently: “Practice the presence of God.”

Chad said that for him, most of his problems start in his thoughts. He said it’s the most free place we have. We could be a million miles away and no one would even know it. That’s why we need to set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2) and think on good things (Philippians 4:8). We need to be wary of the “streets” we walk down so that we don’t start to turn that corner into temptation (Proverbs 7:8). We need to “practice the presence of God” by practicing good behaviors - like those listed in Colossians 3:12-14 (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love). Be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and not the things of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-23).

We are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and we need to continue working out our salvation (Philippians 2:12) and living up to what we already have in Christ (Philippians 3:16). In all things, giving praise and thanks to Jesus; having His grace and peace nestled in our hearts (Colossians 3:15-17).

May the grace and peace of God be with you as you walk in the presence of God!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Truth: Do You Know It? Will You Stand For It?

FYI to everyone who has the guts to VOTE in November…..

You’ll want to see this video that one of my friends sent me on myspace. It concerns Barack Obama and his approval of infanticide (also, please note the name of the organization, that proudly endorses him, on the background behind him). If you’re not familiar with what infanticide is, you will be after you watch this video in which blogger/nurse Jill Stanek describes the infanticide she witnessed; how babies are discarded and left to suffer and die (ALIVE and ALONE)!!! How could anyone support this??? I don‘t know…..would someone ask Osama Obama please??? It’s the ultimate terrorism and crime against humanity to proudly support the deaths of your own countrymen - no matter how small!! (For more information, check out http://www.bornalivetruth.org/ ).

Likewise, I have the same questions reeling in my mind about our Democratic candidate for governor, Jill Long Thompson. WHY on earth is she such a radical supporter of abortion? And, aside from her horrible and distasteful position on life, who would even want to vote for her (especially after Mitch Daniels has done SO MUCH to better our state - and is also hailed as the most pro-life governor EVER)? Thanks but no thanks, Jill. We just got back on the right road after years of substandard Democratic leadership by the late Frank O’Bannon and Evan Bayh (who is now demonstrating his so-called “Hoosier values“ by choosing to sit on his hands in the senate; refusing to defend life and traditional marriage - among other things). Indiana will choose to stand by our man Mitch!! We REFUSE to backtrack on progress!!

We have so many of these power-hungry-leftist-psychos wanting to take over our lives, kill our children (but saving “mother earth“), and ruin our country in more ways that I can begin to name. That’s why it’s all the more imperative that we VOTE so that these crazies don’t end up calling the shots! Sorry if I’m being a little too blunt for you, but it’s important to speak up and tell people like it is sometimes. We need not be fooled into voting for someone that we have no clue about!! These people have blood on their hands; don’t stain your own by shaking theirs! We all should know better - especially if we call ourselves Christians. We should NOT vote for people who support things that violate the Word of God!! If we do, how truly “Christian” are we if we refuse to stand up for the faith we claim to believe? To quote one of my friends: “Liberal Christians completely creep me out.”

Please let your voice be heard!! Keeping silent and refusing to stand up against those that shed innocent blood will only add more to the pain this nation already bears!! Please, America, NO MORE!! No more innocent lives lost. No more wounded and victimized women of “choice.” No more needless pain, regret, and even medical complications, infertility, and miscarriages that women often go through afterwards. Let the lies and deceptions end with our generation!! Let‘s help put an end to the suffering!!

To wrap it up, I am encouraging you all to participate in the next pro-life memorial day, which is on October 6th. (Please click on the link for more!) Let us honor the lives lost through abortion, as well as reaching out to the broken hearted who mourn the losses of their children. Let us have compassion for their scars, and walk with them through their grief. In fact, if you are reading this and have had an abortion, there is help for you. I would be glad to hear your story, and to offer my sympathy and compassion (and I have information links for you if you want additional help).

Grace and peace be with you all!! Stay informed and aware!! God bless you!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Get "With" It

“With.” It’s a tiny four-letter word. It probably doesn’t stir much emotion within you when you look at it, read it, or think about it. However, if you think about it in the sense in which Chad described it last Sunday, you might look at “with” a lot differently.

Chad continued the Colossians series by talking about chapter three, verses 1-11. In these verses, Paul talks about how our lives our changed when we meet Christ. Who we were before is dead and in Christ, we are made new and alive!! Specifically, verse three says: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

So, what does it all mean? Well, the key to that verse is that little bitty “with.” It’s the bridge between the old and the new. I like the different definitions that Webster’s dictionary uses to describe it. One of those descriptions says: “used as a function word to indicate a participant in an action, transaction, or arrangement.” In this particular case, the participant is “us” the action is Christ’s sacrifice, and the arrangement is the forgiveness of sins; resulting in a transformed life and more importantly, ETERNAL LIFE!!

That’s a BIG “with” now isn’t it? Just thinking about my “with” moments leaves me in awe of Jesus as I think about all the old junk of mine that He took away and all the newness that He filled me up with (and continues to every day!). Chad asked us if we knew “new” like we know our “junk.” Well, do we? Or, do we simply identify with all our scars of old and not HIS scars that makes us new? When we die to self, it’s the “dumping place for our scars”, as Chad called it. But, do we dump it and leave it there at the foot of the cross, or do we continue to come back to pick it up and wear it again? Do all the scars from our sins identify us, or are we embracing God’s forgiveness and choosing to identify with the scars of grace instead? Aren’t those scars more than sufficient enough to “hide” ourselves in Him?

Chad told us a story of a girl that carried so much hate and rage. Then, unexpectedly, God emptied her out and freed her from it when some people laid hands on her to pray for her deliverance. Afterwards, she could hardly make sense of her new freedom. Chad said the two biggest questions she had were, “Is that possible? Is that God?” I think all of us have the tendency to believe that it just can’t be that easy, or that becoming free doesn’t have to be that hard when you are coming to the one and only God who is Lord over all the “impossible” things!!

There is so much more depth to the sermon than what I can probably describe. So, I encourage you to listen to it for yourself. And, I further urge you to check out this video of “cardboard testimonies” I found on God Tube. It’s an illustration in which everyone shows the “old” side of who they were on a piece of cardboard and then flips it to the “new” side. Chad and several others shared their own cardboard testimonies last Sunday. Chad’s sign said “Tattooed…..Renewed.” He said “the only difference between the front and the back is ‘with’.”

What would your “with” sign say? Or, maybe you don’t have a “with” sign yet because you’ve never identified yourself with Christ. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to talk to me about it. I would be more than happy to show you the meaning of “with.” After all, I have had a lot of “with” moments myself! If I were holding that cardboard, it would probably read: “Lived in legalism…….Now living under grace.” Or, as I had commented about one of my friends at church (who happens to love landscaping and rocks lol) “Rocky life…..Life on the ROCK!”

Grace and peace to all of you as you fellowship “with” Him!!! God bless you!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bringing "Hope" to Life

In the midst of remembering the tragedies of September 11th yesterday, I was honored to spend the day by CELEBRATING life as I attended The Hope Clinic banquet. Being at that banquet, with other passionate supporters/protectors of life, blessed and filled my heart with hope, joy, and thankfulness.

The culmination of the banquet came when testimonies were shared. Two women shared their gratitude with us as they expressed how much the Hope Clinic meant to them. Both women were very vulnerable to the idea of an abortion, but decided against it after finding hope and support at the clinic. One chose to keep and raise her baby, and the other chose to give her child up for adoption. Both were facing trying circumstances, but the loving and caring people at The Hope Clinic walked with them through their hard times (try finding THAT at a Planned Parenthood!!!).

Those testimonies truly highlighted the need for a ministry such as The Hope Clinic. Crisis Pregnancy Centers like that can only exist through the big-hearted donations of the people that support it (whether through prayer, finances, donations, etc.). That is why I am asking my readers to consider supporting this ministry. Last year, so many of you overwhelmed me with your generous outpouring of support as I participated in the Walk for Life (there is no walk this year because they alternate their fundraisers). And so, I am hoping for the same kind of outpouring. I know that the economy is tough, so I understand if many of you cannot donate (though your prayer support is always appreciated - and costs you nothing out of pocket). Though, if you only have even five bucks to send, would you please consider giving it to this blessed ministry? My blogs get approximately 100 views (give or take) a week (and that's just on ONE of the blogs in which I post!). So, can you imagine what a blessing it would be to The Hope Clinic if those hundreds of views turned into a few hundred dollars?

I will now close this blog with another powerful testimony; as well as a few other special links (and the contact information for the clinic if you choose to open your heart and donate financially). The other featured speakers were two women who faced difficult pregnancy diagnoses. One was faced with the certainty that her son, Noah, would not live outside the womb. The other was confronted with the fact that her son, Owen, would have several disabilities. These two women, who are also good friends, clung to each other (as well as their faith and family) to get them through.

Their stories were touching and emotional, and I tried unsuccessfully to hold back my own tears. Their stories reminded me of my own son, Casey, who was born hearing impaired. Even though my son’s disability isn’t as difficult as what they had to face, I still identified with the fact that each life is precious. No matter what adversity a person faces, EVERYONE has a right to live and breathe (no matter how long or short that time is!). They affirmed the fact that each child is a blessing (regardless if they are born “healthy” or not). Each life is planned and serves a purpose and is for the glory of God. Even a child that is born less than “perfect” by the world’s standards is still valuable nonetheless!! They realized, just as I have, that the story of the blind man in John 9 is just as true for us as it was then. Neither the parents, or the man, were being “punished” with a disability or hardship. On the contrary, God’s name would be glorified through the lives of the man and his family - just as His name is glorified in our own lives today!

I don’t have the words to describe their beautiful, heart-wrenching, and inspiring stories. So, please feel free to see, hear, and read them for yourselves on their website. On their site, they have links to the YouTube videos and photo albums of the precious baby boys that they love. Noah went to heaven after blessing his family with one precious hour and 42 minutes of time before going home to the Father. Meanwhile, here on Earth, Owen continues to beat the odds as he continues to live and thrive; serving as a testament to the world that God is good and that nothing is impossible!!

May the grace and peace of the Lord be with all of you as you prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you give to this blessed ministry. Do it for the women and babies. Do it in memory of Noah and Owen (or even for my little boy: Casey). Whatever the reason, do it for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom and to help save and protect the lives of the innocent - for all those God-created persons (Isaiah 44:2, Psalm 139:13). God bless you all!!

The Hope Clinic

165 W. Water Street
Berne, IN 46711

Noah’s Video

Videos of Owen

Casey and Me

Saturday, September 6, 2008

You're Someone's "Tank Man"

Last Sunday, Craig preached the sermon and it was based on Philippians 1:27-30 in which Paul talks about holding fast to our faith, being citizens of heaven, and not being intimidated by our adversaries. He even shared a childhood story of how he was bitten by a dog while trying to flee from him on his bike. Needless to say, he was afraid and intimidated by that dog after that incident, and didn’t want to ride his bike past the dog’s residence again. Though, one day, his friend insisted that they go that way, and sure enough, there was that dog. His friend urged him to stand his ground and not show his fear. Running would only give his power away. The dog came up to them, sniffed around, and then left. Then, they rode their bikes without any trouble from that dog.

Craig urged us to stand our ground when faced with persecution. He cited another example by telling us of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests in China. Some may know what I’m talking about, but for those that don’t, here’s a YouTube video to illustrate the courage and bravery of the unknown man who stood in the way of the tanks that were attempting to silence the message of the students who were taking a stand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nXT8lSnPQ

That video illustrates a powerful point. Sometimes, it only takes one person to stand up to injustice in order to start a whole revolution! One person’s courage can inspire more people to take a stand as well. It reminds me of a quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Of course, there is often a lot of risk and persecution involved in helping to liberate others. Doing the right thing can be costly, but it’s worth it! And, you might be the very example that someone needs to see in order for them to have the courage to step out in faith themselves. Sometimes, I think about how altar calls at church are like that. There are lots of people that want to come to the altar for prayer or healing, but they are afraid to be the first to step out. Though, once someone is bold enough to go first, others follow once someone decides to be courageous enough to lead and set the example.

Who is looking to you as their example? Craig said that we may be someone’s “tank man.” In fact, as Christians, I think we are ALL tank men!! We are supposed to step out and stand up for what’s right. We aren’t supposed to sit idly by as everything sacred gets stripped away from us in this world. We are to live out our allegiance to Christ in our actions, not merely our words. We are supposed to be salt and light and living our lives for Christ as a testament to the goodness of our Lord. How else will a person see and know that God is loving and good if we don’t model it for them? Like the saying I once heard, “You may be the only Jesus someone ever sees” or “the only Bible that they may ever read.”

I pray that all may see and read good things about Christ as they look at my life. I’m not perfect, and I have my flaws, but I do the best I can. I pray that my life can help others see “the life” in me. May God’s grace and peace be with all of you!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dont' Let A Rock Do Your Job!!

I have a confession to make…..I’m stubborn. Does this shock you? For those of you that know me best, I’m sure it doesn’t. Though, what would make me bring up the issue of my tenacity right now? Well, it’s because the time has come to put my determined and immovable will to better use. By that I mean that I changed from a stubborn “I’m not sure if I can vote for McCain” mindset, to a “I will vote for no one other than McCain” stance after watching the Republican convention last night. This despite the fact that I said I would NEVER vote for McCain. Well, like the saying goes, “Never say never!” After all, if Dr. Dobson can change his mind, so can I; and especially since we have good reason to!

Of course, many of you probably recall just how “Huckafied” I was during the first part of this year when I began supporting and advocating for Mike Huckabee when he was fighting for the presidential nomination. I was determined and unwavering in my commitment to his passion, conviction, and vision for this country. Everything was paying off too, that is, until he started losing momentum (which I attribute to spoiler Fred Thompson and the S.C. primary - but I won‘t get into that now). And, when Mike Huckabee was forced to withdraw, I bawled and bawled and just couldn’t accept the fact that the best man for the job was out of the running. This also led me to resist accepting McCain right away because of the obvious difference in the level of true conservatism. So, yes, I was very stubborn and resistant when it came to jumping on the McCain bandwagon because it felt like such a step backward and I didn’t want to settle for second best.

So, for months, I have had thought and prayed about the whole thing. McCain had never shown himself to be a solid conservative; and yes, I know that Obama is far worse than McCain, but I just didn’t know if I could vote for him in good conscience. I thought if he picked Huckabee for his running mate, I would compromise. Otherwise, I would just write-in Huckabee and be done with it.

My stalemate continued for a while as I waited to see who McCain would choose for a running mate. We all knew that his pick would be crucial and says a lot about how conservative he really is. It would be the deciding factor. I hoped and prayed hard for Huckabee, but instead, I (and the rest of the world) was pleasantly surprised when he picked Alaska governor Sara Palin. I must say that I would have been more disappointed in the fact that he didn’t pick my man Mike if it weren’t for the fact that his choice was so perfect for a varied number of reasons. For one, this was a BRILLIANT strategy and a huge slam to the democrats. Obama neglected to pick Hillary as a running mate; which would have made even more political history. Yet, McCain chose to pull the rug out from under him by doing what Obama wouldn’t (I’ll bet Obama is kicking himself now!! LOL). McCain might very well pick up the many female votes that would have gone to Hillary had she still been in this race (and Palin is a steak compared to hamburger Hillary anyways! There‘s no question as to who the better woman/leader is! This should be a no-brainer for all those who want to vote for a truly worthy female candidate!!).

Though, bigger than the shock value or clever political tactics is the fact that McCain picked a conservative more solid than he is. Beyond the fact that she is a woman of faith, she is also a mother of five as well as a brilliant, tough, and capable woman who fights for truth and justice. Her small-town background and values are what shaped her. Before she was governor, she was mayor of her small town, and her experience alone (and the LACK of experience that Obama has) makes a world of difference!!

I was taken in by her as I watched her speak last night. Her speech was PHENOMENAL!! She spoke with courage, strength, faith, and heart. She was warm, funny, charming, and TRUTHFUL! And, when she spoke to all of us who have children with special needs, I became teary eyed. Her commitment to the well-being and protection of life is what riveted me the most. She said that we will have an “advocate” in the white house for our children. That was the probably the one thing that resonated most with me, and that was when I said “they get my vote.” Not only will children, like my hearing-impaired son, have someone who will protect and encourage them in their lives, but ALL CHILDREN (born and pre-born) will have the hope of protection and life if McCain/Palin are the next residents of the White House.

So, there you have it. This is my new and improved stubbornness. LOL I will now be supporting McCain/Palin and encouraging others to do the same. And, for those of you that may still have qualms, let me tell you about something God reminded me of. This may surprise you, but I was somewhat reluctant to accept a woman as a vice-presidential candidate. Having women in a position of high leadership, to me, undermines the dynamics of things. Men are supposed to be the ones in a position of headship and authority (just as men are supposed to be head of their household and the spiritual leader of their families). However, as I wrestled with this in my mind before she left the stage, Queen Esther came to mind. I thought of her courage and faith and how she had to be willing to possibly sacrifice her life in order to try and save her people. In the latter part of verse 4:14 in the book of Esther, Mordecai says to her: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

Indeed, we NEED just the right people to lead in “such a time as this.” God purposed Esther to serve and to reign in a crucial time for her people, and God has done the same for us with John McCain and Sara Palin. Women in ministry and leadership are just as crucial as the men; and especially imperative when God’s army lacks male volunteers. I’m not meaning to slam men here, though I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed that this world is running short on 100% passionate, sold out, die-hard Christian men who are eager to love Jesus with their whole heart and serve His people. You can even ask my step-father (who is also a pastor) if he agrees, because he has been criticized for putting women in leadership in his own church. Though, his response to them is that when men start stepping up, he won’t have to put women in charge of the shoes that the men are supposed to be filling. God has a purpose, and if we reject it, He’ll rise up someone else that is willing to accept it. Much like how Jesus said the rocks would cry out if His people ceased to praise Him (Luke 19:40). If we don’t do what we are meant to do, someone else will have to pick up the slack. And, like a good pastor I know once said “I don’t want a rock doing my job.”

I applaud Sara Palin for stepping up in “such a time as this.” She’s done a good job as mayor, governor, and by the grace of God, will do wonderfully as a vice president. Though, she can only fulfill her purpose if we fulfill ours by VOTING!!! Don’t let a bunch of “rocks” do your job!!! Don’t let this country fall to pieces by failing to fulfill your role in this election!! STAND on the rock, Jesus, and we won’t have people with only rocks in their heads running this country!!

Grace and peace to all of you as we pray for these elections and support those who hold God’s principles dear to their hearts!!