Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Upward Call: Raising Men of Honor

I have grown very tired of the popularity in broadcast media of making men appear stupid and ridiculous. We see it every time we turn on the television -- from commercials showing men incapable of preparing breakfast or hanging mini-blinds to a host of situation comedies depicting them completely incompetent as husbands and fathers.

I know this male-bashing trend has risen from liberal feminism trying to force society into seeing men as incidental and unnecessary. I am the mother to a son and grandmother to a grandson and I am highly offended that Hollywood has bent to this influence. I have no unnecessary men in my family. They do not deserve to be told every time they turn on the TV that they are dim, slow-witted bunglers.
Many will say that these shows are all in fun and I should lighten up. But as I watch my ten-month old grandson stop what he is doing every time a Little Caesar’s commercial comes on where the people do nothing but mumble I know that television has influence. Children learn what they see. And there is a lot of offensive programming on television right now.

The worst offender on TV is advertised on one network as “the most popular comedy on television.” It is a sitcom that portrays two brothers living together with one brother divorced and having joint custody of his 11-year old son, who lives with them part time. My biggest problem with this show is that it depicts the father as an idiot, despite the fact that he has a thriving practice as a chiropractor and depicts his brother as the competent one, despite the fact that he is a hard-drinking womanizer who sleeps with a different woman in almost every episode. The 11-year old boy sees and comments on all of the lewd behavior of his uncle and the failures of his father. It makes the son appear to be the level-headed one. What kind of example is this for young men? How can we expect boys to grow into honorable men with this kind of mentality so prevalent?
I gladly spoke the words of my marriage vows to love, cherish, honor, and obey my husband—because he is trustworthy of those promises. He gladly spoke the words of our marriage vows to love, cherish, honor, and protect me—because he meant them and demonstrates them every day. Obviously, I am not a feminist, but I am also not a weak woman who needs to prove her self-worth by clinging to a man for every need. I can change a tire and install ceiling fans. Together, my strong, intelligent husband and I have raised two strong, intelligent daughters and a strong, intelligent son.

There are young men out there without the positive influence of good male role models. It is imperative that people of conscience speak up for those who can’t. It is time that wives and mothers who respect the men in our lives demand that Hollywood produce entertainment that is more worthy of our husbands and sons. If we want more appropriate programming, we must not stay the “silent majority.”  

Friday, June 6, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury

Birthdays are a special time ~ but there comes a point in every woman's life when the birthday just doesn't feel quite so welcome. This month I turned 45 (!!!!) and thought I was doing alright...but I know I was just fooling myself. I treated myself to a haircut and highlights, then my dh took me to dinner at Frankie D's Italian Chop House and to see the new Indiana Jones movie that happened to premiere in our town on the day of my birthday. My cake was a box of Milk Duds. My present was a beautiful border garden.

The haircut took a little getting used to as it is as short as I've ever had it. The food was great. The movie...well, it stars Harrison Ford. Enough said. I didn't even open the Milk Duds until the next day and nibbled on them for three days. We started to work on the garden on the Friday after my birthday. It is becoming quite a conversation item with passersby. Next year it will be spectacular (after the perennials have time to mature a bit).

The real bummer in all this was what I discovered while trying to find a better way than iron pills to overcome slight anemia and also avoid taking a prescription medicine for high cholesterol (I already take a daily thyroid pill ;-< ). I got out my copy of Phyllis A. Balch's Prescription for Nutritional Healing and looked up every concern my doctor had. Everything is manageable as long as I am diligent in following some specific guidelines.

Of course the typical high fiber, low fat and sugar diet. Plenty of steam distilled water and fresh juices. Lean meats and lots of salad and fresh veggies and fruits. order to really overcome some of my iron absorption problems, PMS symptoms, cholesterol, and weight control issues...I have to give up caffeine in all forms. That includes coffee and chocolate. I seriously crave coffee every day. My mornings will not be the same drinking decaf Earl Grey tea. And a girl just has to indulge in one Dove dark chocolate a day!!

Ok, enough whining for one day. I'm just going to make myself a comfort smoothie and get over it! Maybe blueberries and bananas with some low-fat vanilla yogurt-organic, of course...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Problem with a Good Daily Devotional Book

The problem with my favorite daily devotional book, Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest," is that there is a new devotion each day. There are times, like yesterday, when the devotional reading is so full that I just want to mull over every word for a week or so.

Philippians 4:8 tells us - "Whatever is true , whatever is honorable, what ever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (NASB)

The word dwell is translated think in the KJV. The literal translation is ponder on these things. Ponder means to consider, think about, wonder about, brood over, contemplate. It gives the idea of spending time in thought.


The June 2 devotion is based on Psalm 25:12 ~
Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Are You Obsessed by Something?

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, "No, by nothing," but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to "live and move and have our being" in God ( Acts 17:28 ), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.

If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

"He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . ." ( Psalm 25:13 ). God will cause us to "dwell in prosperity," keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our "life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. "God is our refuge . . ." ( Psalm 46:1 ). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.


Two sentences stick out to me and are the reasons for the mulling:

"The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just our thoughts about Him." I keep asking myself if I am aware of God in every moment. I want that same sense of abiding that Jesus talks about in John 15:1-11 . The "I can't survive or function without Him" kind of abiding.

"...looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives." I know I'm not there, even after walking with Him for 30+ years, because I still worry and try to fix things myself without instantly reaching out for His hand when I face a problem. I don't automatically assume that whatever the difficulty, the end will turn out as it should because God is in control. It is so easy to be distracted by the circumstances in our lives that we overlook the source of that very life.