Showing posts from March, 2008

Age and Idolatry

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GROWING OLDER? T oday is my 34th birthday. Over the weekend my mother remarked, "You're getting old, Jen!" and then in a softer voice, "It's scary." I ignored the comment. There is absolutely nothing more I can say to change her perspective and stop her from saying that year after year. She said it when I was 10. She said it when I was 16. She said it when I was 21. She said it when I was 30. Apparently, it bothers her a great deal that I am aging. Most folks without Christ and even some who do profess to be Christians have a real problem with growing older. I believe the reason is twofold: a) This culture worships youth. Loss of youthfulness is a threat to one's perceived self-worth because youth is what is valued by the culture. b) Growing older means we are one step closer to death. For many who have not come to accept their own mortality, this is a very uncomfortable truth to be reckoned with. Let's look at both of these i

The Taming of the Shrew

LESSONS FROM SHAKESPEARE M y favorite Shakespearean play of all time (ironically, even before I was interested in Biblical femininity) is The Taming of the Shrew . Not many people know this about me, but I studied theatre in college and there was once a time when I wanted to be an actor. There are still some traces of passion for the theatre flowing through my veins, as I reflect on some coveted roles I never got the chance to play. Kate was one of those roles. I was fortunate enough to perform at least one speech from this play for my acting class. It was, as most Shakespeare buffs may have already guessed, Kate's final monologue. The speech in itself meant so much to me, because so much of it reminds me of my relationship with my beautiful bridegroom Jesus. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, Kate is a rebellious, uncontrollable, and downright nasty woman. No one wants Kate, as she is the least desirable woman in town. But when Petruchio shows up wishing to marry

Reformation in the Family

R eformation in the family? What do I mean by Reformation in the family? Using the life of Jacob I will show you what the Lord highlighted in my life which was followed by action on my part. It is my prayer that this will speak to someone who is going or has just gone through similar situations. Jacob had served twenty years in Paddan-aram (Genesis 31:38) when the Lord commanded him to return to the promised land. It is with uncertainty as to the kind of reception he will receive from his brother, Esau, that he prepares to cross over back into the promised land. As he prepares to send gifts on to pacify his brother and to make arrangements to protect his family, Jacob spends the night alone with the overwhelming desire to pray. This is where we read of His wrestle with God. Come morning Jacob limps into the promised land and is reconciled with his brother. We read in Genesis 28:20-22 of the vow Jacob made to God; Then Jacob made a vow, saying “If God will be with me and will keep m

Wicked Influence

P erhaps one of the best exchanges of dialogue in the 2002 comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding occurs between Toula and her mother Maria: Toula: Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. "Ah, the man is the head of the house!" Maria: Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants! The reason this line is a classic is because it is entirely true. God may have given men a leadership role , but He gave women influential power . However, I do not think women realize how much power they have over men. Unfortunately, those who do understand this incredible power tend to exercise their influence in wicked ways. In fact, I did it just this past weekend. Last week my dad had a cancer scare. He had a bone marrow biopsy and we were waiting to hear the results whether or not he had leukemia. Neither of my parents are saved. I have tried to witness to them ever since I became a Christian in 1993. A

Twisted Singleness

Y ou gotta love personal ads. Have you ever really analyzed a personal ad? Here are folks who are seeking companionship because of what it will offer them . Think about it. The average personal ad adheres to the following format: "SWF, possesses characteristics that are highly exaggerated because I think more highly of myself than reality would dictate. Seeking SWM, 30-40, for stuff that I think is fun and pleases me, and meets my needs. Must have the following qualities that I find attractive: superficial quality #1, superficial quality #2, superficial quality #3. If you fit this description, contact me." The hilarity of this is that every single person reading the ad thinks this describes them perfectly! Oh, we are just too full of ourselves, aren't we? Singleness is a season of life that is so often twisted between two extremes: we either want to hurry along singleness because we want a spouse for our own personal happiness, or we want to preserve the season of singl

Happily Ever After?

I t's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This cartoon is no exception. From left to right we see Belle ( Beauty and the Beast ), Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel ( The Little Mermaid ), and Sleeping Beauty, all complaining about their husbands. What is so funny is that these are all Disney characters, and Disney World is known for being "The Happiest Place on Earth." Yet, these "desperate housewives" don't seem very happy. Each one of these ladies married a Prince Charming. Who would have ever guessed that these women would ever become disenchanted with the "perfect man"? It's funny -- I have never been married -- but I have seen through the eyes of others what complaining can do to one's perception of what life is like in the "Happily Ever After." Don't get me wrong -- marriage is definitely hard work at times. But at other times, we can make our marriages harder than they have to be when we focus on the negativ

Guard Your Heart

A re you familiar with Proverbs 4:23? This verse is most often quoted from the KJV, and reads as follows: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." It is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible. Now you might be wondering, how is this verse misused? Well, let's consider that there are two reasons to "guard" something. We will either guard something in order to protect that object from others. But we will also guard something in order to protect others from that object. Which do you think is a more Biblical perspective on guarding the heart? Let me give you two illustrations. #1: Imagine you are in a museum. You notice an exhibit that features a beautiful sculpture. It is very old and appears very fragile. Other exhibits are openly displayed, but this particular sculpture is so fragile it is encased in glass. Furthermore, the area surrounding the glass is roped off so that no one can even attempt to tap on the glass