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One of These Things is Not Like the Other.

August 24th, 2013 by stephanie

I had the privilege a few years back to be a part of the taping for a television show they were creating about men and women. 13 shows were taped in four days. Yep. It was crazy.
The process goes something like this:
A show is taped. You go and change clothes. And you start all over again.

The star of the show was a marriage seminar leader and pastor from Wisconsin, Mark Gungar.. Not a household name, as yet, but hilarious. He was engaging, funny, and easy to listen to. If there is one thing this guy has down, it is getting the male population to “tune in” to what he is saying and connect! And too, he makes some great points to the women in the audience.
Basically, we girls just plain don’t get men, as we know. But what we forget, is that half the time, we punish men for not “thinking” like women, not “understanding” women, not “relating” to women, you get the picture. All the while forgetting they are NOT women.

It saddens me that my generation of women missed out on the tutoring from older women that guys and gals are different. And that it’s ok. That it’s not something to fight, but rather understand and embrace. But nope. We were the generation of unisex haircuts and clothing. It was cool to be “alike”. To prove that we were the equal. Differences were an “archaic” way of thinking. And we were above that. hmmmmmmm

We can see how well that worked. The divorce rate and homosexuality skyrocketed during that period of time, families fractured, and the list goes on. We were left wondering why and how this could have happened. What went wrong during this modern, intellectual way of thinking?

It’s pretty easy. The Bible has lasted for a few thousand years. Its principles (which are often deemed outdated and unrealistic) were tossed out. We would find a better way. But, I do wonder. Have we?

My challenge to you this week is just to simply strive to notice the differences in men and women. Embrace them. And work to understand them. It can be a beautiful thing.

Life’s good. Let’s work to make it even better.

S.

Get Real. Is It True?

August 12th, 2013 by stephanie

I have to admit. Reality shows get the best of me. As an old friend of mine used to say, “it reminds me I’m not crazy, THEY are!” So true. But the truth is, I am stunned that people seem to be ok with living in this drama and turmoil that they create on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

A devotional writing came my way, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. I didn’t feel it was random. Enjoy.

A Sweet, Winsome Melody
by Charles R. Swindoll

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
repute . . . dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Let me urge you to take charge of your mind and emotions today.

Let your mind feast on nutritious food for a change. Refuse to grumble and criticize! Let your life yield a sweet, winsome melody that this old world needs so desperately.

Fix your attention on these six specifics in life:

Not unreal far-fetched dreams, but things that are true . . .

Not cheap, flippant, superficial stuff, but things that are honorable . . .

Not things that are wrong and unjust, . . . but that which is right.

Not thoughts that are carnal, smutty, and obscene, but that which is pure . . .

Not things that prompt arguments and defense in others, but those that are agreeable . . .

Not slander, gossip, and put-downs, but information of good report, the kind that builds up and causes grace to flow.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Here’s a verse from antiquity that is quite appropriate I feel as well:
Neh. 6:8-9
I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.

Wow. Talk about living truth. That talks! What say you?
S.

Weeds!

August 5th, 2013 by stephanie

Today we present a guest blogger, Jayma Donnell of Nashville, TN. We enjoyed her personal story when she shared it with us, so we in turn wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

I only meant to dig out the wild bushes in the flower bed. What started out as a small task lengthened considerably when I started ripping out all the weeds. I noticed how they were so deeply entrenched. It brought to mind that scripture passage about the weeds (or the tares) and others that refer to how deeply sin gets entrenched in our lives. Instead of just reading about it, I was seeing firsthand the stubbornness of weeds and the difficulty of ridding oneself of sin or obstacles – and how the two had become synonymous.

I pulled and shoveled, sweat rolling down my face, exerting all my strength to dislodge them. I experienced indeed how hard it is for that weed to be uprooted and became a woman obsessed – taking the shovel to all the weeds I couldn’t pull out by hand and clearing out every last weed as if my life depended on it.

For it was no longer just about the weeds – it was about cleansing myself and getting rid of all the sin and obstacles in my life. I was not content to stop until all of them were gone, as if it were a mission I had to accomplish that day and not wait – for the sin or obstacle would only grow if allowed to stay. It almost became a prayer (maybe it did) as if I was asking God to help me remove the obstacles in my life that were holding me back from becoming who He wants me to be. To let go of the lies, the despair, hopelessness and discouragement that I’d allowed to settle in like a winter’s cold. This weeding was a reawakening, of letting go and coming to life, of coming to the life that He has for me!!

And then the relief; the sense of completion and victory when all the weeds were gone. Not only were the weeds cleared but I felt as if my heart was too – as if I’d let go of some baggage I’d been hanging on to for too long. I met God in that flowerbed, and we had a frank talk, without saying a word, for He already knew what I was feeling in my heart and used the weed clearing as a way of giving me some clarity, encouragement, and hope into my situation. In my exhausted state, I looked down with a sense of pride at the newly tilled dirt, seeing it for what it was: weed-free, open, receptive, and felt like that was a description of how my soul felt.

Thank you God, for the victory that I already have in you! Thank you for reminding me of it.

When Jayma isn’t pulling weeds she can be found writing and hugging on her kitty Maggie.

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