Do You See What I See? Beyonce, Jesus and You.

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So it seems the blogosphere is all a buzz about Beyoncé’s halftime extravaganza at the Superbowl this weekend. I have seen comments ranging from allegations of soft-core porn to whole posts celebrating her performance as a triumph of female power. I am fascinated that people can watch the exact same thing and yet see something entirely different.

Isn’t it the same way with Jesus? We all have access to the same scriptures and yet we read something entirely different; Some people see Jesus the MMA fighter, some see the smiling Jesus who never raised his voice; Some people believe Jesus is looking for ways to exclude and some believe he will include everyone.

How can this be so?

Ultimately isn’t how we view both Beyoncé and Jesus determined by the same things?

Are you a man or a woman?
Did you grow up in a Christian home?
Are you a dancer? a performer? an athlete?
What is your personality?
Was your family rich or poor?
Are you from the United States?
Were you bullied? Were you the bully?

I could go on and on.

I know a lot of you are thinking right now, “What I think about who Jesus is has nothing to do with any of those things. I just believe what the Bible says.” If that is you I would ask you this…Are we not all the sum of our combined genetics and experiences? Can we when coming to a person, any person divorce ourselves from who we are? If we are all (as I believe we are) created to reflect different aspects of God‘s beauty, fierceness (especially in Beyoncé’s case) and glory can we not all learn from each other? We are all so complex. There is so much more to Jesus or Beyonce or anyone else than meets our individual set of eyes. What is for sure is that you don’t see what I see. Because of this we should recognize that when we accept forgiveness for ourselves we must also overlook each other’s shortcomings, lack of understanding and sometimes flat out sin so that we can find the beauty of every angle of who he reveals himself to be in each of us.

Does that mean we stop seeking truth since we all see with different eyes? God forbid. Does that mean that you and I reflect God in different and beautiful ways? Hell yes!

What we must do is remember this: Judgement is not our job (since we can’t see the heart). Convicting of sin and righteousness is also not our job. Loving people is our job, so is bringing reconciliation.

So instead of asking “Do you see what I see?” maybe we should start asking “Can you see what I see?” When we start trying to look at others through Jesus’ eyes I think we will find we see them in a much different way and loving them will be easier. And when we start trying to look at Jesus through other people’s eyes, genetics and experiences I think we will find more truth about Jesus as well.

Mad Men (and Women) of Christianity


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I know we are way behind but my husband and I just started watching Mad Men from the beginning on Netflix. Last night after watching the second episode, Kent turned to me and said, “Do you know why I like this show? Besides the great acting, writing and to-the-t period stuff?”
“No,” I said, “What?”
“This show is a perfect illustration of what people mean when they say they want to go back to the good old days. It’s how guys like Driscoll and Piper wish it was.”

I have been thinking about this ever since he said it last night.
At the time my mind immediately went to another blog written by Ben Ponder, editor-at-large for mediarostra.com which I read a while back. In it Mr. Ponder asserts that,

“Family” is the euphemistic code du jour for “Evangelical Christian.” “Focus on the Evangelical Christian” and the “American Evangelical Christian Association” didn’t have the same zing to them as their familiar twins. The watchword for these organizations is the preservation of “traditional family values,” which are, in a nutshell, white American family values from a period of 1939 to 1964. The family values constituency longs for a return to the virginal time before the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s Liberation Movement, the Vietnam War, the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, John Lennon, and Rock Hudson made the world a more complicated place.
When I read the Bible, I get the distinct sense that Jesus wasn’t interested in saving the nuclear family from a windy onslaught of liberal opinions. I rather get the impression that he was concerned with diving headfirst into the unvarnished messiness of the human condition and saving us—as individuals, as families, as communities, as people—from our own unhinged self-absorption and festering lovelessness.

I also remembered a scene from Modern Family which I told you all about in The Will of the People. The scene takes place between Jay and Gloria.

“Jay: This weekend we’re going up to Pebble Beach. I’m gonna meet a bunch of guys I played high school football with. Man, those were the good old days.
Gloria: Yeah, unless you were a woman, black, Hispanic, or gay.
Jay: But if you were a straight white football player you couldn’t have a bad day.”

I am sure most of the folks nostalgic for a time gone by prefer to think of it like Leave It to Beaver where everything is clean and sanitized and the worst you have to worry about is Eddie Haskel and his mischievous ways. Mad Men is a more unvarnished look back that doesn’t gloss over the messiness of life. Honestly lovelies, neither is a perfect picture. They are both fiction. However we are talking about a real period of American life that is often pointed to by christians in general and evangelicals in particular, as a time when things were simpler, better and frankly closer to what God intended. After all, the marriages and families I see in the Bible look just like the Cunningham’s on Happy Days. 😉

Personally, I have no desire to go back to the way things were.

Christian Piatt wrote a great article about a year ago titled: GOP Nostalgia? Only Christian White Men were Better Off Back Then in which he said in part,

The fact is that, unless you’re a white, Christian, straight male, there’s little to look back to and say “yeah, I was better off back then.”… To call for a return to the good old days is, in some ways, a marginalization of those for whom history has meant progress. For the majority of Americans today, turning back the clock means losing ground, acceding power or opportunity and returning to a time of greater imbalance and division.”

Sadly, the church, whom I love seems to be stuck in a nostalgic longing that is really nothing more than a mirage. It offers the illusion of a cold drink of water but for many they find only a mouthful of sand and the scorching wind of shame. Heck even some of us raised in the church who know how beautiful and life-giving our communities truly can be, all to often have found our mouths filled with sand rather than the cool and refreshing living water.

Those who feel their privilege slipping away continue to grasp at an unhealthy nostalgia responsible for keeping the church on the wrong side of history way to often. It is what makes and has made people justify slavery and segregation or oppose women’s suffrage, a woman’s right to own property, interracial marriage, women in church leadership and gay marriage. (Even when people believe they are excluding people because of unrepentant sin I still call B.S. as we often hold the door open with a big smile for people who continue to stumble when it comes to gluttony, lust, gossip and lying while slamming the door in the face of homosexuals under the guise of “unrepentance”.) When people perceive their place of privilege is slipping away, rather than rejoicing that others will share in the freedom and forgiveness which they have enjoyed, often defend and set up barriers that push people further away from Jesus. Once again, someone else addresses this issue of priviledge much better than I can. I encourage you to read The Distress of the Priviledged by Doug Muder. He explains it like this:

As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others.

Then this morning as lady luck or Sarah Bessey would have it, I woke up to a post which exposes another facet of the mirage with a fierce and brave vulnerability. In Which I am Damaged Goods is a post way too many of us could have written. Sarah shares a time when she was served the sand of shame and judgement rather than the living water of love and forgiveness. She was taught that because she was a woman who had been sexually active she was damaged beyond repair and that she should be thankful if there was a christian man out there who would have her as a wife. While this may seem at first blush unrelated to a nostalgia for an earlier time, rest assured, it is. It is nostalgia for a time when a girl who gets pregnant (not the boy of course) would be sent away “to camp” for the summer or a divorcee would automatically be viewed as desperate, a home wrecker or “hot to trot”. “Oh Myyyyy,” as George Takai would say. With just a few google searches you can find church leader after church leader (including women) who will state unequivocally or simply subtly imply that women’s sexuality and/or women in general are something to be feared, suppressed and even demonized. Tertullian went as far as describing woman as the root of all evil. This is yet another mirage of sinking sand that brings death, shame and bondage rather than life, reconciliation and freedom. A current hotly debated question in the church is, “Why are young people leaving in droves?” Perhaps it is partly because they are tired of receiving a glass of sand when they are begging for water.

Please lovelies, let us remember this, Jesus came not to condemn (John 3:17) but to bring freedom and forgiveness.

This of course is just one example. The non-drinkers exclude the drinkers, the men exclude the women, the heterosexuals exclude the LGBT community, the races exclude each other, the hits just keep on coming and love loses –or so it seems. As a friend of mine (I can’t remember who, if it is you send me a note so I can give you credit) said in a Facebook post this week, many in the church upon arriving at the banquet to which they themselves were uninvited have set themselves up as doorkeepers, judging who is and who is not worthy to enter. Do they not see the irony? None of us were invited –yet we got to come in. And now here they sit callously turning away those whom Jesus would let in. Let that not be me. I say swing wide the doors; Come in. Taste and see that He is good.

As always my lovelies, I remain hopeful. Behold, Jesus is making all things new. He is NOT making all things the way they used to be. He is making all things NEW! Make no mistake, love will win. Look around. There are more and more people who shout and whisper and sing, “Come in! Come in! All are welcome. There is enough living water for us all.

LORD JESUS, May my judgements never push people away from you. Please show mercy to those who having already received grace for themselves would push away others whom you came for. Forgive them, for they know not what they do. AMEN.

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As we were driving home I was reminded of the song Pieces of You by Jewel.  It drove home the point that we are all connected. When we exclude, shame and hurt each other we cut off our nose to spite our face. Any damage we do to each other, we do to ourselves.

She’s an ugly girl, does it make you want to kill her?
She’s an ugly girl, do you want to kick in her face?
She’s an ugly girl, she doesn’t pose a threat.
She’s an ugly girl, does she make you feel safe?
Ugly girl, ugly girl, do you hate her
‘Cause she’s pieces of you.

She’s a pretty girl, does she make you think nasty thoughts?
She’s a pretty girl, do you want to tie her down?
She’s a pretty girl, do you call her a bitch?
She’s a pretty girl, did she sleep with your whole town?
Pretty girl, pretty girl, do you hate her
‘Cause she’s pieces of you.

You say he’s a faggot, does it make you want to hurt him?
You say he’s a faggot, do you want to bash in his brain?
You say he’s a faggot, does he make you sick to our stomach?
You say he’s a faggot, are you afraid you’re just the same?
Faggot, Faggot, do you hate him
‘Cause he’s pieces of you?

You say he’s a Jew, does it mean that he’s tight?
You say he’s a Jew, do you want to hurt his kids tonight?
You say he’s a Jew, he’ll never wear that funny hat again.
You say he’s a Jew, as though being born were a sin.
Oh Jew, oh Jew, do you hate him
‘Cause he’s pieces of you.

365: looking forward to 2013

mapWell, I did it. A whole year of blogging. It has been quite a ride let me tell you. 2012 was at once an amazing year of greatness and a year of painful loss; for example this year I celebrated 25 years of marriage to my amazing best friend and this year we buried his Dad.  What a dichotomy.

As you may or may not have noticed (I like to think that at least some of you noticed) I have not done much writing in the last several weeks. Believe me it hasn’t been for lack of material or ideas but rather because life has been a bit on the full side. It is funny and I never would have believed I would say this before starting this blog on a complete whim…but I missed writing. A LOT.

I would like to close out the year by saying thank you to all of you who have read and commented, subscribed and shared and liked my Facebook page. You have turned what was a little spark of an idea into something beyond what I would have imagined. Because of you the site has reached 32,945 page views and has been seen in 152 countries! Holy crap!!

You have also made 794 comments and shared my page 348 times. Thank you.

This year I wrote 110 posts covering politics, religion, sexuality, equality, art, science, poetry and lots of personal stuff.

Here are your top 20 posts by number of page views:

  1. God and Homosexuality: Parts 6 and 7 – Pornoi, Arsenokoitai and Malakoi
  2. Pray Away the Gay?
  3. What is Traditional Marriage Anyway?
  4. God and Homosexuality: Part 1
  5. So She Did. A Word of Encouragement to Women…and Men.
  6. God and Homsexuality: Part 4 – “Eunuchs Who Have Been So From Birth”
  7. Why I Love Being a Woman
  8. Why Do Christians Curse the Silence?
  9. Dear John Piper, Would You Like a Ride on my Toboggan?
  10. Today My Daughter’s World Changed and It Broke My Heart
  11. If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart?
  12. Sometimes I Grow Weary of the Fight
  13. Homosexuality and God: Conclusion
  14. Memes the Word.
  15. Raped Too Much?
  16. Boys Will Be Boys?
  17. The Closest Friends I’ve Never Met and an Unladylike Manifesto
  18. I Choose Chow Fun’s
  19. Your Existence Gives me Hope
  20. Why I’m Voting for President Obama  (a guest post by my awesome husband)

I am also going to include here some links for posts you may have missed that I think you may want to revisit (as they say on American Idol, “In no particular order.”).

Here is to the next year my lovelies and here’s to you. May it be our best year yet.

i can’t live with that

 

hold me closer

i can’t feel you yet

tighter

i need to forget

or maybe to remember

that i’m not dead yet

please don’t let go

it is too much like dying

and i cant be without you right now

i can still see the box closing

on a friend too young to die

if you let me go

it feels like i may lose you

forever

i cant live

with that

 

Grab your Loop and Run like Hell -or- Hang Ten

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Dr. King

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The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. – Alice Walker

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As I reexamined that memory on light of justice I was beginning to realize that I wasn’t being neutral at all. My lack of conviction had been an accomplice to the unequal treatment of women. My diplomacy was misguided. In my quest to maintain peace and unity, I had become a woman with a divided mind and heart.  – Pam Hogeweide, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church.

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over time, we have been sold a bill of goods on what it means to be a christian woman.  we’ve been domesticated, tamed, caged, and limited.  we haven’t been properly valued or empowered or nurtured.

so here i am, in a place i never thought i’d be. an ex good christian woman. wreaking havoc on the norms that women are supposed to have in the church, encouraging women to get their voices, pursue their dreams, quit waiting for their husbands to lead them and live a passionate life for God no matter what other people tell them they can or can’t do. to seek change for their lives, quit doing the same old unhealthy thing in their relationships and learn a new way. to seek God’s love and approval instead of human’s. it’s been hard for me to make the shift. i still feel shame for feeling this way. even as i write this, i am wondering what person is going to say how unbiblical i am, how if i just knew my role and leaned into it i would have God’s perfect peace. you see, good christian women are filled with shame. shame for the things we do do, shame for the things we don’t do. and i was a great christian superwoman. – Kathy Escobar

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Stop waiting for someone to say that you count, that you matter, that you have worth, that you have a voice, that you have a place, that you are called. Stop waiting for someone else to validate the person that you already know you were made to be.  Stop holding your breath, sister, working to earn through your apologetics and memorized arguments, and your quietness, your submission and your “correct” doctrine what God has already freely given to you.

Because, darling, you are valuable. You have worth, not because of your gender or your calling or your marital status or your labels or your underlined books or your accomplishments or your checked-off tick boxes next to the job description of Proverbs 31.

I imagine them around a fabled table, in suits, no doubt, pulling the chairs in tight and tighter, until they are the only ones left there, crowded around a tiny table in an airless room that feels small and smaller. Me? I stand outside, in the wilds, banging my pots and pans, singing loud and strong, into the wind and the cold and the heavens, there is more room! There is more room! There is room for all of us! And then I’ll slide right up next to you, I’ll hook my arm through yours, I’ll lean in, I’ll whisper right into your ear, quiet, loud, it will sound like I’m singing or like I’m preaching, and I’ll say, there is room for you.  – Sarah Bessey

—————–

At first I thought this would be a good letter to the 16 year old me and then I realized that in spite of the struggle and the difficulty and the muting, I am who I am right now for a purpose. Lovelies we were born for such a time as this. Do you get how exciting this is? Do you get how your struggle has brought you to the point where you are standing atop the surf board, salt air in your face, hanging ten as you ride toward the shore with the wave of equality and freedom at your back propelling you into a future where there is ROOM FOR US ALL?

We stand once again at the terminator of history. The terminator or twilight zone or gray line is the moving line that separates the illuminated day side and the dark night side of a planetary body. We are coming out of the darkness and sit expectantly in the gray zone, but instead of merely waiting for the light to arrive I picture us like the people who unfurl those huge flags at the Olympics opening day ceremonies. When the music starts they grab their loop on the flag and they run like hell for the other end of the field until the full beauty of the banner is visible to all.  I picture each of us, Rachel and Sarah and me and you and Pam and every woman God has made, grabbing the loops to our collective banner, yelling into the air, “FREEDOM!!! (like Mel Gibson in Braveheart)” as we run like hell for the goal line. I picture the stands full of people watching and waiting to see what kind of banner it will be. And let me tell you when it is finally displayed for all to see, when the full picture comes into view, WOW, my lovelies is it something to behold! The colors of the lives of the men and women made in Gods image bleeding together and showing a picture, the image (if you will) of God! Holy crap. Can you just picture it?

Now, imagine all of us, men and women, young and old with Jesus in the middle, our hands on the loops of the terminator of history running like hell for the horizon pulling the light of the new dawn across the whole surface of the earth. Do you hear us? Shouting and singing and proclaiming justice for the oppressed and freedom for the captives? C’mon. Grab a loop and run with us. And look! He is making all things new.

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This post is part of the Rachel Held Evans synchroblog event, One in Christ: A Week of Mutuality.  You can follow this event on Twitter by entering #mutuality2012 to read all entries by participating bloggers.

Summertime

Go slowly summertime
Be kind to my children
Don’t speed past stealing away with your sweetness and wonder

Creep by haltingly summer days
Let the delicious joy
Of popsicles and pool time
Linger past their allotted time

Leave the memories when you go please
As these are the times they will remember most

When days seem to last forever
And nights are full of magic

Where friends come and go and stay and linger
and the smell of barbecue is always on the wind

Where parents are young and grandparents are still with us
Where they can almost taste the love
That is theirs

Stand still for just a minute summertime and let me stare at your glory
reflected in their tanned and laughing faces

You go too quickly summertime
Always leaving us wanting more
That must be what makes you so precious.

If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart?

Yesterday Rachel Held Evans Wrote an amazing post about how we as women are enough. Just. As. We. Are.  In her post she laments the seeming agreement between much of the messages given in the church about the “Proverbs 31 woman” and the media headlines and magazine covers which ask, “Are you beautiful enough?”, “Are you sexy enough?”, “Are you crafty enough?”, Are you woman enough?” or in the aforementioned cases, “Are you Biblical enough?” and of course, the recent TIME magazine cover, “Are you mom enough?”. In her post Rachel has this to say about being enough,

…by “biblical,” most pointed to a glamorized, westernized version of the Proverbs 31 Woman, who rises before dawn each day, provides food for her family, trades fine linens for a profit, invests in real estate, and works late into the night weaving and sewing.  Christian books and conferences tend to perpetuate the idea that a woman’s worth should be measured by the details, rather than the message, of Proverbs 31, and like the magazines in the checkout line, often  focus on fitness, domesticity, beauty, and success as ways of earning the favor of God and men.

But here’s the thing.

The poetic figure found in Proverbs 31 is not the only woman in the Bible to receive the high praise of, “eshet chayil!” or “woman of valor!

So did Ruth.

And Ruth could not be more opposite than the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Ruth was a Moabite (a big no-no back then; men were forbidden from marrying foreign wives).

Ruth was childless.

Ruth, was a widow— “damaged goods” in those days.

Ruth was dirt poor.

Rather than exchanging fine linens with the merchants to bring home a profit to her husband and children, Ruth spent her days gleaning leftovers from the workers in the fields so she and her mother-in-law could simply survive!

And yet, despite looking nothing like the ancient near Eastern version of a magazine cover,  Ruth is bestowed with the highest honor. She is called a woman of valor. Eshet chayil!

She is called a woman of valor before she marries Boaz, before she has a child with him for Naomi, before she becomes a wealthy and influential woman.

Because in God’s eyes, she was already enough. 

 The brave women of Scripture—from Ruth to Deborah to Mary Magdalene to Mary of Bethany—remind me that there’s no one right way to be a woman, and that these images of perfection with which we are confronted every day are laughable to those of us who are in on the big secret: We are already enough. 

We are enough because God is enough, and God can turn even the smallest acts of valor—letting go of a grudge, cleaning puke out of a kid’s hair, inviting the homeless guy to dinner, listening to someone else’s story— into something great.

Proverbs 31:25 says the wise woman “laughs at the days to come.”

I don’t think the Proverbs 31 Woman laughs because she has it all together. 

I think she laughs because she knows the secret about being enough.

For me the best part about getting older has to be that I have finally become me. By that I mean I am embracing who I am and how I was made. Surprisingly, rather than causing me to compare myself to all the amazing women I know, this has freed me to celebrate them for all that they are as well. My lovelies, the truth is we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses and it is only when we fully embrace the amazing women that God gifted us to be that we realize how much we all need each other. We are humans complete each other. We fill in the gaps. Like it says in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ, if all are the eye, how do we hear? I submit to you: If all are Cindy Crawford, where is Mother Theresa? If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart? If all are Rachel Held Evans, where is Michelle Krabill?

So, you know what?

I do not scrapbook, and I am enough.
Lots of days I don’t wear makeup, and I am enough.
My kids aren’t perfect (but they are awesome), and I am enough.
I am a horrible secretary and not well organized, and I am enough.
My kids only breastfed 6-8 weeks and I didn’t really enjoy it, and I am enough.
I didn’t cry the first day my kids went to Kindergarten, and I am enough.
I do cry when I get angry, frustrated or upset, and I am enough.
I don’t like confrontation, but I like to challenge the status quo and ask questions, and I am enough.

I laugh at the days to come. Eshet chayil!  I am enough.
And you know what else?

You are too.

Your Existence Gives me Hope

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So I woke up today with a strange feeling of hope; hope that the tide is shifting; hope that the conversation is taking a new shape. Hope in the face of setbacks like a female attorney who bows to the will of her client,  by wearing a burqa; a client, who if he had his way, would have prevented her from becoming an attorney in the first place and who would strip her of her freedom to practice law and even from leaving her home unaccompanied if given the opportunity. Setbacks like the state of North Carolina passing an amendment that robs fellow Americans/humans of enjoying the same privilege to marry their beloveds and not to be alone, that is why God designed marriage, remember? It is not good for us to be alone, we need someone who is a perfect fit for us.

But like I said, I am feeling hopeful today. Why?

1. The existence of Kent Krabill; Proof that God loves me.

2. The existence of my children who live and breathe and change the world with their love.

3. The existence of Novitas (aka the island of misfit toys) who continually challenge me to love more and judge less.

4. The existence of the countless new friends I am discovering daily.

5. The existence of inspiration. I finally feel like I am learning who I always was.

6. The existence of the Holy Spirit who continues to lead me into the truth and to change me.

7. The existence of the amazing Rachel Held Evans (who inspires me over and over) and her new article.

8. The existence of Justin Lee and his 30 confessions.

9. The existence of magical moments. I mean did you see Josh Hamilton hit 4 home runs in one game? Have you been to Disney World?

10. The existence of Sixty Percent and people who write such things.

11. The existence of Kathy Escobar and The Refuge, Alise Wright, Amanda Miller Garber and RISE church and Pam Hogeweide and all the other UNladylike women of the church.

12. The existence of Brian McLaren, Wade Burleson, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, my husband and every other men who supports the UNladylike women of the church.

13. The existence of Bert & Evelyn Waggoner and the influence he had on my life and the seeds of change planted in Kent and I at the Sugarland Vineyard.

14. The existence of Derek Watson  who set in motion the tectonic plates of our lives.

15. The existence of Laurie Watson and the work she does as a sex therapist who happens to be a follower of Christ.

16. The existence of the parents I know who are trying to teach their kids to love people, all people.

17. The existence of a shift that has begun in our country and the church toward freedom, equality and acceptance.

18. The existence of people who fight for these things every day.

19. The existence of groups like Christians for Biblical Equality.

20. The existence of the Marin Foundation.

21. The existence of common ground: President Obama and Vice President Chaney both support gay marriage.

22. The existence of Matthew Vines.

23. The existence of people who refuse to stop loving or believing better of people; even the ones who disagree with them.

24. The existence of my parents and grandparents and all the people who have helped to make me who I am.

25. The existence of art, music and poetry.

26. The existence of my God who never stops loving, never stops pursuing, who will one day make EVERYTHING right, who loves all and gives everything to bring his children home to him.

27. The existence of…YOU. YOUR EXISTENCE GIVES ME HOPE

I Will Let These Women Answer For Themselves

Margaret Thatcher

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Jael – Biblical personality

Rachel – Biblical personality

Deborah – Biblical personality

Ruth – Biblical personality

Priscilla – Biblical personality

Lydia – Biblical personalit

Miraim – Biblical personality

Madeline Albright

Mary the mother of Jesus

Mary Magdeline

Jane Addams

Susan B. Anthony

Marie Antoinette

Saint Joan of Arc

Aspasia of Miletus

Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Jane Austen

Ella Baker

Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike

Clara Barton

Florence Bascom

Simone de Beauvoir

Aphra Behn

Ruth Fulton Benedict

Shirley Temple Black

Elizabeth Blackwell

Bonnie Kathleen Blair

Rosa Bonheur

Louise Arner Boyd

Pearl S. Buck

Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo

Rachel Carson

Catherine the Great

St. Catheri

Cleopatra

Juana Ines de la Cruz

Marie Curie

Agnes George de Mille

Emily Dickinson

Amelia Earhart

Marian Wright Edelman

Eleanor of Aquitane

Beatrix Jones Farrand

Edith Flanigen

Anne Frank

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Betty Ford

Nancy Reagan

Betty Naomi Friedan

Elizabeth Gurney Fry

Margaret Fuller

Indira Gandhi

Sarah and Angelina Grimke

Caroline Lucretia Hersche

Judith E. Heumann

Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin

Ariel Hollinshead

Mary Phelps Jacob

Helen Keller

Billie Jean King

Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Susette La Flesche Tibbles

Ruth Graham

Anne Graham Lotz

Maya Lin

Juliette Gordon Low

Anne Sullivan Macy

Wilma Mankiller

Barbara McClintock

Catherine Boothe

Catherine de Medici

Lise Meitner

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Maria Montessori

Mother Theresa_

Baroness Murasaki

Shikibu

Florence Nightingale

Georgia O’Keeffe

Vijaya Lakshimi

Pankhurst

Rosa Parks

Eva Peron

Christine de Pizan

Pocahontas

Queen Anne

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Isabella

Queen Victoria

Jeannette Rankin

Sally Ride

Alexandra Romanov

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sakajawea

Margaret Sanger

Sappho

Rose Schneiderman

Lucy Stone

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Russell Strong

Bertha von Suttner

Emma Tenayuca

Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshko

Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne

Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Tz’u HsiYoshiko Uchida

Phyllis Wheatley

Mary Wollstonecraft

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Rachel Held Evans

Sarah Bessey

Ann Morr – my mother

Gladys Elliott – my Grandmother

Doris Morr – my Grandmother

Beth Moore

Judge Barbara Lynn

Chief Judge Edith Jones

Justice Ginsberg

Kathy Escobar

Pam Hogeweide

Mariah Smiley – Teen founder of Drops of Love

Laurie Watson

;

This is a list of women who currently hold CEO positions at companies that rank on the most recently published Fortune1000 lists (the Fortune 2012 list). Women currently hold 3.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 3.9 percent of Fortune1000 CEO positions.

Fortune 1500 (18 CEOs)

Fortune 501-1000 (21 CEOs)


And millions and millions more whose hard work, dedication, LOVE and passion change the world EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Sir, you should be ashamed.

Boys Will Be Boys?

Did you catch that?

And now I’m telling you lies,
All because I hate to see the tears in your eyes.
Of course I want my cake, and eat it too,
i’m a guy
And of course, you don’t understand,
But you would if you thought like a man in love
[Chorus]But in love, in love,in love, in love You gotta act like a woman but think like a man
But in love, in love, in love, in love You gotta act like a woman but think like a man

This is the title song from a new movie that hits theaters tomorrow. Think Like a Man is a movie based on the New York Times Bestselling book by Steve Harvey called, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man“.  I first heard this song last week while watching American Idol with husband and our 10 year old son and 9 year old daughter. Jennifer Hudson and Neo were the guest performers. When the song was over. We paused the DVR and had a talk with our kids about men, women and relationships.

Our sons are being told they have no control of themselves and their thoughts when it comes to girls and women. That they are slaves to their hormones and their eyes. Society shrugs and says, boys will be boys. The church tells young men. Distance yourselves from girls, they are dangerous to your spiritual health. You cannot resist them. This is a lie. And rather than a discussion about self control we have a talk keeping your distance and about how girls should just stop being so attractive.

Our daughters are being told by this song, this book and this movie that they need to understand these “truths” about men and learn how to “play the game”. They need to learn how men think so they can be a “fish” he’s going to want to “take on home, scale it, fillet it, toss it in some cornmeal, fry it up, and put it on his plate” instead of one he will take a picture of “admire it with his buddies and toss it back to sea”. (Believe it or not being scaled, filleted and fried is supposed to be a good thing). Girls and women are also told by the church that they are to dress modestly, and make sure that they are unsexy enough not to “cause a brother to sin” (Never mind the mixed signals of the “modest is hottest” [great article on this HERE] campaign or the fact that they are somehow supposed to be attractive enough to snag a husband but not too attractive so as to “cause” him to sin in the process).

So on the one hand we have Steve Harvey and his book which sets people up for heartache and failed relationships because it advocates manipulation and totally belittles men and puts all the responsibility at the woman’s feet. Behold a few gems from the book:

“Newsflash,” Steve writes, “it’s not the guy who determines whether you’re a sports fish or a keeper—it’s you. (Don’t hate the player, hate the game.) When a man approaches you, you’re the one with total control over the situation. … Every word you say, every move you make, every signal you give to a man will help him determine whether he should try to play you, be straight with you, or move on to the next woman to do a little more sport fishing.”

So women it is your job to be careful about every word you say and every move you make because it determines whether a man treats you with respect or just tries to sleep with you. In other words, if he doesn’t treat you like a man of character it is your fault. You obviously said or did something wrong.

Men have affairs because they can…

Dress it up any way you want to, but men don’t view sex the way you women do, plain and simple. For a lot of you, the act of intercourse is emotional—an act of love. … By contrast, when it comes to men and sex, neither emotions nor meaning necessarily enter the equation. It’s easy—very easy—for a man to have sex, go home, wash it off with soap and water, and act like what he just did never happened.

A man can love his wife, his children, his home, and his life that they’ve all built together, and have an incredible physical connection to her, and still get some from another woman without a second thought about it, because the actual act with the other woman meant nothing to him. It was something that may have made him feel good physically, but emotionally, his heart—the professing, providing, and protecting he saves for the woman he loves—may be at home with his woman.”

I am going to call bullshit on this one. Seriously? Men, you should be offended. Let me remind you Steve Harvey claims to be a follower of Jesus.

That’s the truth no woman wants to face. … Men can cheat because there are so many women willing to give themselves to a man who doesn’t belong to them. … Yes, these are women who have no standards and requirements and who suffer from serious self-esteem issues, making themselves willing to cheat and available to be cheated on.”

So men cheat because there are women who will do it with them. “I mean she was there and she wanted to so I had to do it.” What???

There is much more, not the least of which is the title, Act like a lady (a woman of refinement and gentle manners), think like a man (not sure what this is supposed to mean except for in the book and the song it would imply “of course I want my cake, and eat it too, i’m a guy” after all boys will be boys.

Do you see the difference? On the one hand we have, “boys will be boys”.  And on the other we have to the women,”you must have done something, or said something, or worn something unladylike to be treated that way.”  From the time we are little, girls are told we must do certain things to “act like a lady”.  The implication being if you don’t do the right things, say the right things and/or wear the right things, you will not be treated like a lady. The sad part is, it is an ever changing standard that varies from person to person.

Let’s look at an example from the headlines. This week there has been a story in the news about the Secret Service and their use of prostitutes in Colombia in advance of the President’s trip there.

Consider this from the LA Times:

Is there something different about guys in law enforcement and the military? Since they are required to exude an intimidating kind of macho in their daily work does that dictate a high testosterone ethic in every part of their lives? When you are expected to put your life on the line at any moment, does that automatically instill an “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” attitude? Are they like members of a football or rugby team who revel in male bonding rituals that almost invariably include proving sexual mastery?

I’d say yes to all of the above. So, while we should demand restraint and professionalism from these kinds of men when they are carrying out official duties for our country, we should not be shocked if, occasionally, they fail. We did not hire them to do flower arranging or assist in the kindergarten classroom (or to draw cartoons, for heaven’s sake). We hired them to use a gun and take a bullet whenever necessary.

And this from NPR’s Talk of the Nation where Jeffrey Robinson, co-author of “Standing Next to History: An Agent’s Life Inside the Secret Service”, asserted that this is just what guys do:

“When you get 11 guys together with a lot of testosterone, things happen,” he told host Neal Conan. “It happens in the Secret Service, it happens with the New York Yankees, it happens in fraternities. I suspect it would happen in the House of Representatives.”

“I don’t honestly think that they, at any time, exposed the president to any sort of real danger,” he continued. “I think it was simply boys being boys, and I’m afraid boys will be boys. I know, because I was one. I still am, I guess.”

Contrast that with the headlines about the prostitutes involved, they are referred to over and over as “the women who took down the secret service” as if the men had no chance or choice. Now I know that these men are being punished and are losing their jobs and the one’s who are married are (I am sure) having consequences at home; However, there are many who say they shouldn’t because after all, “boys will be boys” and “Hey, it was legal”. Like that makes this okay. Oh, it is legal in Columbia? Consider this from the U.S. State Department web site:

Colombia is a major source country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution in Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Asia, and North America, including the United States. Within Colombia, some men are found in conditions of forced labor, but the forced prostitution of women and children from rural areas in urban areas remains a larger problem. Individual cases of forced marriage – a risk factor for trafficking – involuntary domestic servitude, and forced begging have been reported. Some children are subjected to forced labor in mines and quarries or as domestic servants. Groups at high risk for internal trafficking include displaced persons, poor women in rural areas, and relatives of members of criminal organizations. Continued armed violence in Colombia has displaced many communities, making them vulnerable to human trafficking. Guerillas and new illegal armed groups forcibly recruit children to join their ranks; the government estimates thousands of children are exploited under such conditions. Members of gangs and organized criminal networks force their relatives and acquaintances, and displaced persons – typically women and children – into conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor, including forced work in the illegal drug trade. Colombia also is a destination for foreign child sex tourists, particularly coastal cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla. Migrants from South America, Africa, and China transit Colombia en route to the United States and Europe; some may fall victim to traffickers.

So what is the solution? Does the church have the answer? I think the recent article from RELEVANT Magazine, Beauty vs. Sexuality handles it best:

Our contemporary cultural dialogue about men emphasizes the decisive role that biology plays in driving behavior. Evolutionary psychologists, brain researchers and TV doctors regularly produce studies “proving” men are hardwired to be visually stimulated or to cheat on their wives. The emphasis is on men’s helplessness in the face of their own physiology, an emphasis many women find disillusioning and many men find disheartening.

…The response of the Church has been to reframe basic male decency as Christlike heroism.

…This reframing fails both men and women. It fails men by insisting they can’t gaze at an attractive woman without automatically lusting for her; it denies any possibility that the average man can appreciate female beauty without desiring to possess it. If a man claims to be able to “look” without lusting, he’s too often accused of denial at best and rank dishonesty at worst. If a woman says she believes men can gaze without carnal desire, we call her foolishly naïve. A self-fulfilling prophecy is created; if men are taught they can’t separate a delight in beauty from a longing for sex, they won’t.

…“women are victimized by the soul-crushing weight of having your motives (or even personal worth) judged incorrectly on the basis of something as simple as an article of clothing. A huge percentage of women within the Church are silently battling eating disorders, self-harm, pornography addiction and depression—all stemming from misplaced shame, a shame they feel because fellow Christians have equated their beauty with intentional malice or deliberate seductiveness toward men.”

…To put it another way, we shame men by insisting they’re fundamentally weak, constantly vulnerable to being overwhelmed by sexual impulses. We shame women for not being better stewards of that supposed weakness. That shame doesn’t just lead to unhealthy sexual relationships (including between husbands and wives); it leaves too many men feeling like potential predators and too many women feeling as if they’re vain, shallow temptresses.

…While it would be absurd to deny any link between beauty and sexual desire, it’s even more preposterous (not to mention spiritually toxic) to assert the two are so inextricably linked they can’t be separated. A broken worldview that reduces human behavior down to a predictable set of gendered, inevitable physiological responses shouldn’t be the framework for a Christian discussion of beauty, desire and the longing for affirmation. If grace is real, it is strong enough to give us the capacity to distinguish the delight in gazing at beauty from obsessive lust. If grace is real, it is also strong enough to give us the capacity to distinguish between the longing to be validated as beautiful and the longing to cause another person to be overwhelmed by a desire so strong he or she forgets their commitments.

Too often, the Church talks about beauty and desire in ways that suggest the Church doesn’t believe grace is quite that real.

We must begin to believe and to teach that a man can look on a woman and a woman can look on a man with an appreciation of their attractiveness without sexually objectifying them. Beauty is not something to be feared and possessed, hidden or blamed but rather something to be celebrated and admired. When we start believing that and stop blaming women for men’s sin and vice versa; when we stop arbitrarily deciding when a woman is too attractive; when we stop separating boys and girls in Sunday school, youth group and college ministry; when we stop teaching men and women, boys and girls to to fear one another; when we stop teaching girls their bodies are a source of sin and shame; then we will begin the healing process.

More reading:
Raped too much
Some Are More Equal Than Others 

How to Get the Right Guy to Like you? Really??

I Don’t Like the Word Slut and You Can’t Make Me Use It 

Today My Daughter’s World Changed and It Broke My Heart