About sarahdva

Not much to see here. :) I'm a mom of 3, (boy,girl,boy) a wife to a pretty great husband. I also work as a draftsmen at an architect firm. We belong to a good church family in Salina (WELS), but live in a small town just south of there. Life is good, and God is great. ;)

Women are trash

I have your attention haven’t I. Now, before I get 12 million indignent comments . . . I, in fact, do not think women are trash. And I know no one else does either. Including, (maybe even especially) people who are not christian. So how then, did our society come to the point where it’s okay to say that men are trash? Why is okay to say that about men and not okay to say it about women? The answer should be obvious. It’s not okay at all.

Yet we have examples such as when Kavanaugh was being confirmed and T shirts sporting this phrase were worn with pride. And we were told in essence that equality meant no matter the circumstance women are to be believed over men. Really? What’s equal about that? Anyone with children (boy and a girl) knows that sisters are just as likely as brothers to fib on occasion.  It is the nature of Humans (Man-Kind) to have selfish tendencies. People everywhere throughout history are capable of great love and great hate. We are equally foul-able.

Yes, women should have the right to vote, and work, and have the same opportunity as men do. But if we as women get there by tearing men down; then we’ve achieved nothing more than turning back time and showing the world how hateful we can be.  Today’s women have hated everything about men, we’ve even come up with the term ‘mansplaining’. Let me reverse that as well. What if there were a term ‘womansplaining’? Wouldn’t we find it offensive and immediately accuse men of sexism and trying to hold women back? Again if it’s not okay for them to say, why is it okay for us? It’s not.

Even as recently as last week there was a story in the news about how masculinity is now seen as toxic. The American Psychological Association (APA) has informed us as a Nation that traditional masculinity is toxic. So now, to be in essence what defines men is harmful?? Really? Now simply to be born male you are wrong, harmful, toxic. How sad for our sons, for our brothers, and our fathers. How sad for the men serving and who have served in our military. What a slap in the face that is to our policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, linemen, truckers . . . and more.

Let me reverse this now too. To be feminine is toxic. To be female is harmful and dangerous to society. Those statements are (of course) false and not okay. Therefore, it is not, and should not, be okay to say the same of men. To be born female means we have different hormones, varying anatomy and even, it seems, different thought processes and ways of handling emotions. To be feminine means the traditional nurturing and also the modern loving and strong. In the same way, to be masculine is to want to provide for loved ones, to protect and encourage.

I am not a “girly girl”. For me feeling pretty is when I have an awesome T-shirt and great looking jeans. Today men can enjoy a Mani-pedi and not be judged for it. We can be modern women and allow our men to be modern men without tearing them down. Isn’t equality expecting the same out of each other? Shouldn’t we equally encourage, support and love each other?

Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Ladies God put us (all) here to cooperate with each other. Today we call it team work. And when we do things right, it’s a beautiful thing.

Proverbs 3:14-16 . . . for she is more profitable than silver, and her gain is better than fine gold.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.…

Here’s a call to be an honorable kind of woman that upholds goodness and shows grace. The kind of woman that loves without measure and keeps wisdom by her side. The kind of woman that teaches strength and holds firm in her virtues. The kind of woman that treats men as she would like to be treated.

 

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The LORD is my shepherd

We all know the verse (Psalm 23). Over and over again God compares himself to a shepherd to give us a picture of how He loves us.

Yet we learn early on in the bible that this profession is not highly thought of.

Genesis 43:32 “They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.”

This was before Moses, before the long documented rivalry (sometimes brotherhood) of the two nations. This was before Israel was even a nation. So why did they refuse to eat with them? Hebrews were shepherds.

Genesis 46:33 & 34 “When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

There’s that word ‘detestable’ again. Why did the Egyptians think it was so bad? Lots of people have opinions on this, and not many agree on why. I think the Egyptians were simply grossed out. Anyone on a ranch or farm knows that tending to animals is dirty, smelly, laborious work. Joseph’s brothers probably smelled a bit. Think about it. Sweat, animal poo, the lack of indoor plumbing at thier disposal.

So knowing how Egyptians felt, Joseph wisely advises his family to tell the Pharaoh what they do for a living. And they are allowed to settle in a fertile land separately and quietly.

God knows we sheep are a lot of work. Still he meets us where we are. Smelly and unclean, and he takes us by still waters to freshen us up. Thank you God for serving in a less than glamorous way. And forgive us when we think we we’re above any similar task. Amen.

So be it.

Not many women (especially these days) would accept the title “Servant”. In fact most are offended by it and often say things like “I’m not your servant.” I can’t say that I’m not guilty of this mind you, but when I think of it; how can I refuse when my Lord and Savior kneeled to wash our feet and was obedient even in death.

At least one woman, long ago, had the fortitude to say:

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

She was willing to let God take over her body. Not just go get Him a drink or stay at her house. This woman (who had not known a man in the biblical sense) gave up her daily comfort for her God.

Any woman who has been pregnant knows exactly what I mean. And at time when epidurals were not a thing .

I’m not saying women today don’t serve. I’m a mom, I know we do. Still, I think many of us assume that we are the only ones who do.

To return, or . . . not to return.

Hosea 14:1-2

“Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord.”

When we sin, when we mess up and we really know we did . . . we want to do better. Most of us want to “fix” it. And maybe that can be okay if we keep our eyes on God in doing so. Because while work can never save us, wanting to try, to get up and do, or even the action of stopping a behavior because we know it’s wrong-is the beginning (action of) repentance.

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” -James 2:18

In other words he has the desire to do good. To work, share, help, save, obey, because he has faith. Faith brought on by the hearing of God’s word which tells us we need to repent. We need to stop the bad that we do and return to our Father in heaven. Not only for our good but for the good of others.

Return with apologetic words and then words of encouragement, because the law meant to guard us. To keep us from certain death.

Galatians 3:24 “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.”

If we ever wonder why we have a conscience, this would be the reason. It’s our flashing yellow light. When it goes off we have a choice to keep going, or return.

New month. New theme.

The word repentance literally means to ‘turn’ or ‘return’. Coming from the Greek word Metanoia meaning ‘change of mind.’

Distraction isn’t just a safety issue. Although many a driver would have certainly benefited from more attentive driving habits. How many in fact have paid the ultimate price for failing to keep their eyes on the task at hand? When we don’t focus, when we forget to look straight ahead instead of side to side . . . distraction pulls us in. We are lured in by shiny baubles, personal glory, entertainment, even the taste of good food can be a tempting diversion from daily troubles.

The Israelite’s wondering in the wilderness so many times could have avoided troubles by simply keeping their eyes on God, on His promise. But they forgot the abuse and remembered the food. They forgot the curses of many voiceless gods and remembered the gold and pleasurable rituals. They could only see desert and and remained blind to God’s infinite ability to provide and create.

Of course we all know that this was only the beginning in a long line of generational rebellion.  Again and again God would fight to get His chosen peoples attention. He yearned for them to return to Him. Even His beloved King David forgot God’s great generosity; and instead of look up and thanking the Almighty God for what was already given, David took what wasn’t his to take. God gave him everything, and because David  got distracted and lost focus, everything wasn’t enough. It cost David the peace of a kingdom and the life a good man and an innocent child. And while those consequences could not be undone, Davids sincere repentance kept him from death. He had seen his mistake and returned to his God.

However, all was not (is not) lost for them or us. Even though we forget and turn our backs to our God over and over; He fought till the death for His children. So that through Jesus Christ His only Son , we are saved from self imposed destruction. All we need to do is believe. God has made it irrevocably easy to keep our eyes on Him. Now when our attention is inevitably diverted, Gods great mercy and love is there pulling us back. God Himself causes us to return.

Christians Know

There is a long list of things I’m not. I’m not patient, kind, loving, wonderful, special, talented . . . well you get the idea. You might say, ‘Oh, your being too hard on yourself.’ or, ‘That isn’t true, I’ve met you are a indeed kind and patient.’ Yes, that may be true-sometimes. Still, I know that I am not those things one hundred percent of the time. I will occasionally slip and say something less than kind. Maybe justifying it as a joke. Even if I manage not to say it out loud, my thoughts betray me. Even if I bite my tongue when someone puts me down or they act obnoxiously, my outward appearance might not match my spirit. If I curse my enemy inwardly is it not the same as an outward lashing?

Matthew 5:28

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Therefore, it is as it is with laws. Either I follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law. And most of the time I fail miserably at following both. If you aren’t a christian, I honestly have no idea how one deals with the crushing knowledge the we fail as human beings at some level constantly. I can only come to the conclusion that some really don’t know. That they go about life believing that they are as close to perfection as possible. Maybe, but for my part I have not yet met such a person. In fact if you watch the news at all the world seems to be full of the opposite.

All that said, here is my not so secret-secret for dealing with the knowledge that I am so completely and utterly flawed. I’ve read a book. And it say this:

 2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

“Even unto death”

Revelation 2:10

Holman Christian Standard Bible
“Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

We go to church, read our bible, go to Sunday school, we pray, and go about our lives with our human knowledge and human sight; and seemingly unfortunate lack of ability to see into the future. Psychologists talk about children and teenagers not being able to “see around corners.” What they mean (I think) is that kids don’t know how to think ahead far enough to foresee the end result of their current actions. When we ask why they would jump off of  the couch onto their little brother, expecting them to know, we as the adults are actually doing so in folly. They really don’t know, and couldn’t predict harm. Their brains aren’t done growing, and they didn’t (previously) have the context to realize what could happen. But we adults have experience that allows us to see ahead, and logically predict results. That’s a benefit right?

Well that depends. Children who can’t see possible harm, also trust that it will work out. And really it usually does, even when flawed parents drop the ball. (And that I do.) They believe that things will be okay. Children believe it even unto to death. Christian parents know this well, however if for some reason we have to live through the ‘even unto death’ part . . . we find it almost impossible to see around the corner and believe it will be okay. Our adult minds, with our adult experiences have given us reason to think it might not be. And its much easier to accept ‘even unto death’ if it’s our own.

But when we’re faced with the death of a loved one, it’s so much harder. We can’t see them, nor can we logically predict our lives without them. The thing is we don’t have to be logical when it comes to trusting God. We don’t have to know everything, we don’t have to do anything. We can mess up everyday, be happy, be sad, maybe be on our game; just hold out hope in Christ. Let go and be faithful until death, and God will give us the crown of life.