She Was Beautiful

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

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The Gift of Femininity

“To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving.  You and I have the gift of femininity…the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified.  Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

In Equal Sacrifice

by Robert Frost

Thus of old the Douglas did:
He left his land as he was bid
With the royal heart of Robert the Bruce
In a golden case with a golden lid,
To carry the same to the Holy Land;
By which we see and understand
That that was the place to carry a heart
At loyalty and love’s command,
And that was the case to carry it in.
The Douglas had not far to win
Before he came to the land of Spain,
Where long a holy war had been
Against the too-victorious Moor;
And there his courage could not endure
Not to strike a blow for God
Before he made his errand sure.
And ever it was intended so,
That a man for God should strike a blow,
No matter the heart he has in charge
For the Holy Land where hearts should go.
But when in battle the foe were met,
The Douglas found him sore beset,
With only strength of the fighting arm
For one more battle passage yet-
And that as vain to save the day
As bring his body safe away-
Only a signal deed to do
And a last sounding word to say.
The heart he wore in a golden chain
He swung and flung forth into the plain,
And followed it crying ‘Heart or death!’
And fighting over it perished fain.
So may another do of right,
Give a heart to the hopeless fight,
The more of right the more he loves;
So may another redouble might
For a few swift gleams of the angry brand,
Scorning greatly not to demand
In equal sacrifice with his
The heart he bore to the Holy Land.

Relevance of Sex Trafficking to Christianity

Sexual activity was created as a beautiful expression of God’s unity within Himself and within another human being as well as portraying God’s relationship to the Church.  Acts 15:29 calls humanity to abstain from sexual immorality.  Yet post-modern society has greatly devalued this bond God has bestowed upon humanity.  1 Corinthians 6:16 reiterates this philosophy by stating, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?

The Christian community is called to be the hands and feed of Jesus Christ in serving those who are less fortunate than themselves. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 prescribes steps on how Christians should emulate Christ‘s love, ― “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” Therefore, we see it is the responsibility of the Church and Christian community to address the issue of sexual exploitation so that the world may glimpse Christ and His saving Grace. Our attitude in addressing this issue is with selfless love. Philippians 2:3-4, ―”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

Biblical Masculinity and Femininity

It deeply saddens me to see how modern-day society has distorted masculine and feminine roles, particularly in the area of marriage. Marriage is the earthly, outward expression of the relationship between Christ and His church.  Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection in Ephesians 5:23-32 while women are called to submit to her husband’s leadership.

Unfortunately, this Biblical view is no longer popular in the 21st century.  Many view this call to Biblical roles as forcing a female into an unequal relationship in which her voice and rights are not considered. As a result, (Biblical) gender roles within marriage are often times confused, blurred, traded or even ignored.

What many individuals miss, however, is that God intends for an equal partnership of husbands and wives in His gift of new life.  Equal partnership within marriage between husbands and wives, despite differing roles.  The different roles that God placed upon males and females was not to constrain or reduce one at the sake of the other.  Rather, it is to mutually benefit both individuals so that they may draw closer to Him as they learn to purify themselves for His glory.

It Is Well With My Soul

Suffering is unavoidable.  It is a part of life that cannot be avoided, no matter how hard we try to escape it.  For suffering brings pain, agony, turmoil, grief, sorrow, misery and separation.  Suffering is uncomfortable and irritable.  It is difficult to undergo such turbulence, much less with a joyful disposition.  Yet Scripture calls believers to find joy and contentment in the midst of sorrow (i.e. Romans 5:3-5, 8:18).

The words of Horatio G. Spafford speak so much truth about how our hearts should be in tune with Christ.  “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.  It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.  Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.  It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

It is hard to remember that God knows what is best and that His timing always prevails.  The trials and tribulations we face in life are not what any of us would have chosen but we are imperfect human beings and our plans or timing of things often times conflict with that of our Father’s.  Suffering is a beautiful reminder that we do not have to understand why God chooses to allow certain circumstances to fall upon us. The only thing we need know and accept is that God is Sovereign and He is good and in control, although it may seem quite the contrary.  He has our best interest in mind, despite the sadness or difficulty of our current situation.  He knows what is best, not us.  What I have been able to realize is that God’s plan is better than anything that I could ever image for myself.  That He will bless me beyond compare in the future and I anticipate that with joy.  But the process of waiting upon the Lord is difficult and sometimes painful.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and fine me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13.  Our prayers cannot alter what God has already ordained but it can change the way our hearts and minds view our present situation.  When we alter our mindset so that it mirrors the heart of God, we stop taking the sweet moments in life for granted and begin to be grateful for what we already have.  It is only when our hearts have joyfully accepted the suffering that God has ordained that our trials and tribulations become well with our souls.