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Posts Tagged ‘creator’

thumbnailScarlett O’Hara, in the movie Gone With the Wind, believed her figure would be perfect only if she had an 18 inch waist.  Every day, Scarlett instructed her “mammy” to push, prod and tightly lace her into a corset.  The experience was literally breath-taking.  (It was no wonder that women of Scarlett’s era fainted so easily.)  Scarlett may have been a story-book character, but the fashionable corset was a cruel reality.  Thousands of American women attained the so-called perfect figure, but at a high price.  The following true story explains.

When Hiram Powers, the great sculptor, was visiting in the U.S., he attended an elaborate party.  A friend observed Mr. Powers watching a beautifully dressed and fashionable woman.  The friend said, “What an elegant figure she has, don’t you agree?”

“Well,” said Mr. Powers, “I was wondering where she put her liver.”

You see, Mr. Powers had studied the human body, and he knew that in order to shape a female body in the outline of the woman he was watching, some internal organs would have to be forced out of their properly functioning place.

A physician during that same era, Dr. J.H. Kellogg, examined thousands of women in a year’s time.  He stated that it was almost impossible to find a woman whose stomach was where it belonged.  This was a serious matter because no organ can function efficiently when it’s out of its proper position.

Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, a physician and the author of a series of books for young women growing up in the early 1900s, wrote: “The reason we admire the tapering waist is because we have been wrongly educated.  We have acquired wrong ideas of beauty.  We have accepted the ideals of ‘fashion’ rather than those of the Creator.” (Purity and Truth: What a Young Woman Ought to Know, Vir Publishing, 1898)

In the late 1950s, a toy company defined the so-called perfect figure by creating the Barbie doll.  Almost every American girl not only wanted a Barbie, she wanted to look like Barbie.  But Barbie’s figure is abnormally out of proportion.  A real girl with Barbie’s measurements would fall over on her face.

Perhaps we, too, have fallen over on our faces and caused our brains to stop thinking.  In what ways do we put our health dangerously at risk in order to have a “perfect” figure?  Who determines the “perfect” skin color?  How many piercings and tattoos are enough to suit the trend-setters?

Why do we let fashion designers (who don’t know us) tell us how we should look?  Why do we let department stores (who profit from our purchases) tell us what to buy?

We’ve listened to the world long enough.  Don’t you think it’s time to hear what the Creator of our bodies has to say?

Take a breath.  Pick up your Bible.  What does God say to you in Isaiah 43:1, 7; 45:9-11; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:3-5; and 1 Corinthians 6:18.

From Lesson Eight: “Beauty at Any Price?”
Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up
A Bible Study by Linda Bartlett
(Lutherans For Life or Concordia Publishing House)

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Bill O'ReillyMany people attempt to speak for God.  But it is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with God’s Word.  Bill O’Reilly, who consistently reminds his listeners that he attended Catholic school, is one example.  He recently told his guest, a priest, that the whole homosexual thing doesn’t trouble him.  Really?  And, I wonder, why might that be?

Two thoughts come to mind.  O’Reilly is a deceived creature who has raised himself above the Creator. He dangerously follows the example of Eve who, after putting herself in God’s place, spoke for Him.  When Satan asked, “Did God really say . . . ?” Eve responded, adding words that God never spoke (compare Genesis 3:2-3 with 2:16-17). Does O’Reilly doubt that Jesus Christ is The Word (John 1:1-5, 14)?  Jesus, who is God, calls homosexuality a sin in both the Old and New Testaments.

Second, it’s quite possible that O’Reilly has no difficulty with two men or two women living a gay or lesbian lifestyle because of another deception.  It is much easier to accept homosexuality as just a personal form of sexual expression when we are deceived by false identity.  That false identity is sexuality.

Identifying humans as primarily sexual beings is what motivates women to aggressively support “reproductive rights” and an American president who blesses Planned Parenthood.  But with little or no fear of God, men and women worship the created rather than the Creator.

Once we have been deceived to see ourselves as “sexual from birth,” our thinking, speech, clothing and behavior soon reflect the lie.  When we celebrate our sexuality — rather than the God who made us — we are more easily captive to the flesh.  We may, indeed, proclaim: This is who God made me to be!

Homosexuality is accepted when we believe the lie: “my body, my choice.”  At the core of all issues of life — abortion, marriage, homosexuality and euthanasia – is identity.   We will most certainly have an identity problem when we deny or doubt the Word of God.

God identifies us not as sexual beings, but as holy beings.  God is holy.  He calls us to be holy.  Holiness means seeking after the things of God, not the things of the flesh.  It means denying self and, instead, being a vessel for noble purpose.  This goes against the grain of the world’s thinking.  “Express yourself,” we’re told.  “Satisfy your natural desires.”  And, in this present culture, what could be more natural than expression of our sexuality which appears to be the sum total of who we are.

O’Reilly (and the rest of us who call upon the name of Christ) should take care.  It is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with things of God.  Our identity – and with it, our behavior – is defined by God.

To everyone who is called by God’s name, who has been created for His glory, He says, “. . . I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, 7).

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Would you please take a moment to watch? 

Alexander Tsiaras, author of From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds, provides evidence of the divine. 

Be still, and know that I am God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70&feature=player_embedded

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Ezerwoman has not written for two weeks.  I’ve been spending time with family and friends in Colorado.  It was a joy to help my uncle with words of encouragement even as he shared words of experience and wisdom with me.  It was a joy to help my older, widowed friend settle into her new home even as we both recognized that “two are better than one.”  The days were long.  There was much pouring out.  But, the Creator re-energizes me with a “Rocky Mountain high.”

Leaving the grand mesa and palisade of vineyards and orchards, I climbed the majesties.  Somewhere between sparkling streams and golden aspens I remembered something a man had told me the day before.  He and his wife had built their house with wrap-around view.  “We just can’t get enough of this.”  I understood what he meant.  I haven’t been able to “get enough” of Colorado since I was a child.  I can’t “get enough,” but neither can I absorb what I see.   That’s how it is with humans.   Our eyes see and say, “I want more,” but our minds can not begin to process creation’s magnificence.

At such times, nothing is more profound than the simple.  Few words are better than many.  “Thank You, God!”

Here is the Source of my “Rocky Mountain high.”   Even while many worship the created, I have the greater privilege of worshipping the Creator.

It is to the Creator God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — that I entrust my uncle.  My widowed friend.  All.

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Elizabeth Skoglund and I have met only once.  But, our friendship grew by way of phone conversations over a period of years.  Elizabeth is the author of over twenty books.  One of them caught my eye in a bookstore when I was researching end-of-life issues.  That book, Life on the Line, proved to be powerfully helpful to me.  Elizabeth and I share the same worldview on life issues, but her experience as a counselor in private practice and as a gifted researcher and writer equipped me to be a better defender of the sanctity of human life.

Life on the Line was so helpful to me that I wanted others to be encouraged by her, too.  I invited Elizabeth to be a workshop presenter at one of our Lutherans For Life conferences.  Illness prevented her from coming, but some time later, I asked Elizabeth if she would author a short handbook on decision-making at the end of life to be published by Lutherans For Life.  She did.  The book is titled Before I Die.  I highly recommend both Life on the Line and Before I Die in this time of technological advances, shifting standards, and babel of confusing and often contradictory voices.

Elizabeth notes that volumes could be written on all the “what-ifs” of medical technology.  “But,” she writes, “we are on much safer ground if we follow certain general Biblical principles . . . whether or not we like them.  If we do not, we are in desperate danger of trying to become gods and making our own rules based on what we feel and what we want at any given time.”

Those Biblical principles, writes Elizabeth, “can be summarized in three phrases: the sanctity of human life; the sovereignty of God, including His timing in matters of life and death; and the goodness of God, who will not fail to do right.”

Elizabeth explains that questions like “What would Aunt Sally want?” are not designed to find out the will of God in bioethics.  They merely express what we want or feel.  The Christian believer does better to ask, “What is the will of God?”

There are gray areas in times of decision-making.  Use of the respirator, for example, is troubling for many of us.  The respirator is uncomfortable.  It’s use is controversial among doctors.  Elizabeth admits that being on a respirator is one of her own great personal fears.  She expresses sympathy for those who let it be known that under no conditions do they wish to be put on a respirator.

But, writes Elizabeth, if a respirator can be a bridge back to life, she believes we have an obligation to try to live.  On the other hand, if the respirator is used when death is inevitable, simply to slow down the dying process, then it is wrongfully keeping a person from being released to be with God.

I haven’t spoken with Elizabeth for some time.  A good visit is long overdue.  In these times, we need to challenge one another to think.  To encourage one another to trust our Creator God and Savior Jesus Christ.  To work where we’ve been placed in helping others respect the dignity of human life — that of the preborn and that of a loved one nearing their death.

Our last moments on earth are important ones.  For some, it is a time of decision.  For others, it is a time of transition from this life to the next.  It is a valuable time for the family who gathers at the bedside of one who is so close to going home.  Elizabeth quotes John White (Decision, May 1989):

“In life we are on a stage.  Angels and demons watch as we enact the drama of our earthly existence, and it is important that the scene close properly.  Christ has shown us how the lines should be uttered, as a cry of joyful triumph: “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit!”  (Luke 23:46 RSV).  We will only die once and will therefore have only one chance to die properly.  We must learn our lines well beforehand so that the curtains fall on a note of triumph.”

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When disaster strikes, when health fails, when confusion seems to reign, when the earthly things I cling to fall away — I am left in awe and wonder by God’s Word to Job.

Job had everything taken from him.  Wife.  Children.  Home.  Possessions.  Job longed for days gone by.  For days when his life was good.  When he was blessed.  Having lost everything, Job was in misery.  Terrors overwhelmed him.  His days were marked by suffering.

Why?  For what purpose?  Was Job now abandoned?  Cast aside?  A righteous man cut off?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm, saying,

Who is this that darkens My counsel with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.  Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions?  Surely you know!  Who stretched a measuring line across it?  On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?  Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?  Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?

Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?  Can you loose the cords of Orion?  Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

Do you send the lightening bolts on their way?  Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?  Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?

Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?

Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south?  Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high?

Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?”

And so, at the end of a tough day — when I am weary or disappointed, weak or doubting — I remember the Creator’s Words to Job.  They are His Words to me as well.

They are my comfort in the storms of life.

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“All the people care about is the economy.”

“The people aren’t interested in ‘social issues’ like abortion, homosexuality or gay marriage.”

“There they go again,” reports MSNBC and others.  “The ‘radical right’ is working abortion and marriage into the conversation.”

Rightly so.  Social issues, as they are called, are moral issues.  The legalized killing of preborn human children is a moral issue.  Re-defining marriage is a moral issue.  Teaching our children that homosexuality is just a choice on the “sexual menu” is a moral issue.

Everything has a moral component.  The government has a moral obligation to protect “life and liberty,” to maintain a strong military, and to live within its means.  It should encourage responsible, orderly behavior and a good work ethic.  It should protect families from drug cartels, terrorists, and enemies from within and without.

Anyone running for office should have moral integrity.  Moral character.  Moral and ethical fiber.  It’s not just my opinion, but God’s mandate that people who rule a nation should respect the life that He creates.  Anyone who compromises on issues such as abortion, infanticide, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia has lost (or never had) a moral compass.

Those who seek to experiment with marriage and family float rumors.  They say that Americans don’t really care about same-sex “marriage.”  They add: If someone is against gay “marriage,” then they must be against homosexuals.  Not true.  People who believe they are homosexual are persons, too.  They are  people loved by God.  But, God is the Creator of marriage and, therefore, He alone defines it.  God created marriage for one man and one woman because it’s the best environment for children, it connects children to their biological origins, and it brings two opposites — male and female — together to mentor boys and girls in the way God intends for them to go.

Moral integrity is practiced — or not practiced — on Wall Street and in every business.  In education.  In health care.  In courts of law.  In the military.  In homes.  And during election cycles.

My eyes have seen that men and women who defend the sanctity of human life generally have a moral compass not only in place but in operation.  Leaders — in the home, community, church, and government — who value the life that God creates and redeems in Jesus Christ are imperfect leaders to be sure, but they are accountable to someone other than themselves.  Their God determines right and wrong.  Their neighbors matter.  Their choices reflect hope for a new generation.

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