Monthly Archives: April 2013

TRANSFORM Wimpy Attitude to WARRIOR Attitude: No Age Limits!

These days age limits barely exist.  Toddlers careen down snow-covered mountains on skis while eighty year olds run marathons.  Now in the fifty-something category for yours truly, I beg to talk some transformation.

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While it is ultra important to take care of yourself and to get the proper exercise, I’d like to suggest one’s ATTITUDE makes a whale of a difference when navigating life (for the big picture), or when learning a new sport such as snow skiing, just for a fun lil’ example.

Many moons ago John and I were invited to go snow skiing in Colorado with several friends.  This was the chance of a lifetime for us twenty-somethings.  Small detail:  I had never been skiing before.

Plunking myself in ski school, I learned how to snow plow.  Eventually I could keep the skis parallel.  Finally I learned to spread a lovely arc of snow upon stopping.  Now a “big dog”, I was ready for the “big girl” slopes.

One day our friends said, “Meet us at the top for lunch!  The view and the food is fabulous!!! And there are all kinds of slopes to get you back down.” (Meaning beginners were welcome.)

John was elated to have me join him on the ski lift. He’s a proficient skier and he had been patiently waiting while I’d been in ski school.

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At one point while riding the lift up to the top of the mountain, it was snowing pretty hard and the snow was pelting our faces.  I whispered, “Oh, how I wish this were sand and we were at the beach.”  Yep, John heard me.  He laughed…I think.

Lunch at the mountaintop restaurant was indeed delicious and the view spectacular.  Most of our group was black diamond level skiers or blue at the very least (advanced to intermediate).  No greenies (beginners) but me.

Things went downhill from there.  (Pun intended)  We could not find a green slope to return to the mountain’s base.  Nope,  nowhere, no sir.

John sweetly suggested, “Oh, you can handle a blue.  Let’s just go slowly.”  Engulfed by moguls, and none-too-enamored with any of them, down-via-the-derriere became my MOT (mode of transportation).  While the sky was already a beautiful hue of blue, I confess I colored it blue-er.  Arg.

So, in my case, I learned to ski too late.  I had a bad attitude coupled with fear which makes for a lousy combination. WIMPY is one adjective which comes to mind.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, another one of our friends on the trip was also fairly new to skiing. Unbelievably, she was negotiating black diamonds, effortlessly,  in a couple of days.  To this day, she’s determined and won’t quit ‘til she grasps what she’s learning.  WARRIOR-LIKE comes to mind. (This little girl below is well on her way!)

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Over the past few weeks we’ve been learning about different chicks from Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. Holly uses the term “chick” to have fun, not to be disrespectful. (For previous chick types, see …THE Just B U Chick and the Princess Chick…) This week we’ll be encouraged to purposely transform into a Warrior Chick. 

 God Chicks

Holly shows us what it takes to become a warrior.  While she offers several warrior characteristics, all of which are worth pursuing (please do read her book!), I’m convinced the most important one is to STAY at the post to which you have been assigned.

I suspect you have many different posts.  For example, I currently have the post of being a wife, a mother, a friend, and a teacher/writer.  What posts do you have?  Most posts are life-long.

Most posts are no piece of cake.  Take marriage for example.  When you got engaged and were in the honeymoon phase, yes, you thought marriage would be a piece of cake.  Soon challenges come and how do you handle them?  Do you abandon your post?  NO!  You stay:  in sickness and in health, thru’ dirty laundry, dirty diapers, teensie weensie arguments, and blown budgets.  You STAY.

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Same  with children.  They won’t always do as we like for them to do.  Do we dump ‘em?  Say, “Go fend for yourself?”  NO!  We STAY.

Same with friends.  Holly Wagner discusses friends and forgiveness at length.  Warriors STAY at their posts AND go the distance.

The KEY to warrior attitude is being courageousCourage kills fear.  Holly cited Lisa Beamer as a great example.  Lisa’s husband Todd was one of many killed on September 11th, 2001 when his flight crashed in Pennsylvania.  “On October 19th, just a little more than a month after her husband was killed, Lisa boarded the same Newark to San Francisco flight that her husband had been on…The warrior in her rose up!”  Lisa made a statement against fear.

2 Chronicles 20:17 says, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; STAND FIRM and see the deliverance the Lord will give you Judah and Jerusalem….Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”

The Life Application Bible helps us understand the above verse better:  “How do we let God fight for us?  (1) By realizing the battle is not ours, but God’s; (2) By recognizing human limitations and allowing God’s strength to work through our fears and weaknesses; (3) By making sure we are pursuing God’s interests and not just our own selfish desires; (4) By asking God for help in our DAILY battles.”

Holly teaches “the Chinese character for crisis is actually the combination of two concepts: opportunity and danger.  It is all a matter of how you look at it.”  All of us can transform wimpy attitudes into warrior ones!  IT IS NEVER TOO LATE… NO AGE LIMITS!!!

 Many of you know Kristen Sauder.  Kristen is valiantly battling cancer.  (www.kristensauder.com )  She is staying at her post of wife, Mom, friend, writer, radio talk show host (when she is able).  Her faith is stronger than it was before her diagnosis and she is clinging to it fiercely.  She is a warrior chick if there ever was one.

Kristen Sauder

Ephesians 6: 10-20, on the Armor of God is the best Scripture for us warrior chicks.  This should be the first bit of attire we put on every day:

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all  the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (NIV)

Note the pieces of armor as well as the number of times we’re told to STAND.  The Apostle Paul tells us to be strong, to put on the armor, and to pray, being alert, declaring the Gospel.  Tall order.  Excellent words of wisdom.

The Bible study I’m currently in is by Tammy Head, called Duty or Delight?  Knowing Where You Stand with God.  Tammy further expounds on the Ephesians passage: “There are four requirements to living victoriously:  1 – Know the Battle that’s raging” (Warrior Chicks courageously fight battles.), 2 – “Know the role your identity plays” (STAY at your post!) , 3 –  “Recognize and resist Satan’s attacks” (as Warrior Chicks, we must heed James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist  the devil, and he will flee from you.”, and 4 – “STAND FIRM in the Armor of God.”  Go back and put that armor on!

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We could spend weeks on the armor of God.  Navigating life with a warrior attitude requires the Sword of the Spirit.  Guess what it is?  The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. (See vs. 17 above.)

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Hebrews 4:12 tells us:  “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Tammy taught us that “a Roman soldier’s sword wasn’t long but rather light as to be used in hand-to-hand combat…Truly having a tight grip on it was a matter of life and death.”  We must be women who have a tight grip on our swords.

Kristen Sauder obviously has a tight grip on her sword.  She frequently shares in her blog how the Word of God, her Sword of the Spirit, is sustaining her.  She is patiently enduring cancer AND, she and her family are ministering to so many of us without even knowing it.

My friends, we do not have to be “tough stuff” on the exterior.  As long as we’re armored up, we are warriors–wielding God’s Word. We are warriors, STAYING at our posts.

Warrior Chicks:  Hold up your swords and claim Galatians 6:9:  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”   Remember, NO AGE LIMITS!!!  To God be the Glory.bigstock-Wheat-Harvest-concept-12573353

‘Til  next time!

(This post is dedicated to the strongest Warrior Chick I know:   Kristen Sauder.  Of all the Bible studies she’s written, her Praying for your Prodigal–a Journey through Luke 15  study by far continues to encourage me not to give up praying for prodigals.  And for you readers out there, please hold Kristen and her family tightly in your prayers.)

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Can a Princess Really Play in a Peck of Dirt???

Spring cleaning…

What’s your reaction to the above phrase?  Do you groan, or do you smile with glee?

For me, a very audible groan emanates.  But, I have friends who have been happily spring cleaning since the new year.  They love it.  I loathe it.  IF I started cleaning today, I might be done by Christmas.  Maybe…

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Amazingly, I did tackle a porch project recently.  Everyone else was spreading mulch quite feverishly around our bushes and trees. I figured I, too, had better “do something”.  We were having a petite army over for Easter, including two newborn babies, so the dirt had to go.

Our screened-in porch hadn’t been used in months because of winter, so armed with mop, bucket, sponge, paper towels, shop vac and windex, off I went.  Thankfully the babies visiting on Easter wouldn’t be crawling yet, so I s’pose I wouldn’t have to scrub every brick on the floor.

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Oh, the dirt!  Bucket water blackened all too quickly, requiring numerous trips to the laundry room sink for fresh, clear water.  My Mother used to say, “There must be a peck of dirt out here!”  Double that, for certain. (Fun fact for you fans of “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”:  a peck is  a quarter of a bushel, or two gallons of dry weight, or ten to fourteen pounds.)

In a recent article on spring cleaning, clearly written by a fan of spring cleaning, this gal said, “one must dress the part”.  Donning old clothes comes to mind.

Too far into the job, I realized I had on a brand-new, long sleeved WHITE t-shirt!!!  “Not the sharpest tool in the shed” also comes to mind.

I admit, completing a project does feel good.  Problem is, I’d rather be doing something else.  Something else fun.  Un-chore-like.  Can you say, “Princess”???  Pityful, I know.

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One of my friends has a daughter whom we actually call “The Princess”.  She knows it and she likes it.  She knows we love her even tho’ we poke fun at her.  She’s a good princess tho’, not a prissy one and there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE!!!

Remember last week when we talked about Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman?  (Click on “From Easter Chick to God Chick” to learn more…)  All eight of the chicks Holly writes about are so powerful.  Last week we addressed the Just-B-U Chick.  This week, we’ll address The Princess Chick.

God Chicks

Oh boy, do I ever have some good news for you!!!  Because we serve an active, living and loving God, and because He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and because we are His children, His daughters, THAT makes us princesses!!!  Holly tells us, “We are living, breathing, wonderful daughters of the King.”

1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

More good news: Holly adds, “In spite of the pain and mistakes of your past, God sees you as His daughter.  Your past is in the past.  Don’t let shame cause you to feel ugly.  He commands you to live and hold your head high, wearing the garments of royalty.  YOU are a princess because, first you are a daughter!”

Holly continues with reassuring advice: It is crucial that we girls understand that we are the glorious, delightful, irreplaceable, irresistible, loved-beyond-measure daughters of the King.  We are His daughters, which makes us princesses.”

Psalm 45: 9-14 has a great visual of “daughters of kings being among honored women, glorious, gowns woven with gold, in embroidered garments, being led to the King…”

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to be a princess of a palace?  What IF you could wrap a long flowing robe around you, place a crown on your head, and grab a scepter-to-go?  Come on, couldn’t we have some fun with that?

The Butter Babes (see… “Never Wrestle With a Shop Vac”…for more info’) recently kidnapped our birthday girl and made her “queen” for a night in a real-live castle!

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It was a taste of fantasy that five-for-five of us enjoyed.  Judy was the birthday gal and we gave her different crowns, a cape and a scepter at various times throughout the day.  (For you Kentuckians, you have probably seen this castle.  It sits on Versailles Road on the way into Lexington. )

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Holly makes a point you can’t argue with:  “When you realize there’s a crown on your head, that you truly are a princess, then you will live your life differently.  You will value your life differently.”  Think Cinderella.

Here’s the best part: “When we understand our value as daughters of the King, not only will our lives be changed, but so will the life of each person with whom we come in contact.”

Unlike the world, loaded with princess paraphernalia, we as princesses must look for opportunities to serve, rather than be served.  The world sells tiaras, t-shirts and tu-tus, along with diva mentalities which scream: “It’s all about ME!” and: “Serve ME!”

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But…Holly teaches us a concept in the opposite direction of the world:  “From the inception of royalty on the earth, kings, queens, and their children were supposed to serve the people they ruled.  They were to be the protectors.  Regardless of whether any of our current royals get this concept of serving or not, you and I must.  I am a princess not to be served, but to serve.  We can serve our fellowman only when we understand our role.”

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Romans 8:17 reminds us, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” (NIV)

So, let’s return to my question of this post: Can a Princess play in a peck of dirt???  Absolutely!  We are all fellow “Princess Chicks”.   While we may feel ordinary, God has chosen us, we are His daughters, and we were put here on this earth to serve others in extraordinary ways.  May we glorify Him in all we do.  Be blessed.

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to the delightful daughter of my friend Doris, whom I talked about earlier.  She’s the gal who knows we call her “The Princess”: Miss Eden Bridgeman.  She’s the most gorgeous Godly young lady you’ll ever lay eyes on and is the sweetest gal you’ll ever meet all at the same time.  We miss you Miss Eden!  Congrats on becoming an Aunt!  Now you have another “princess” to train!!!)

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From Easter Chicks to God Chicks… Avoid the Comparison Trap!

Perish the thought of ever being a “hot chick”… Please forgive me, but when I hear the word “chick”, because of this lovely world in which we live, that caliente phrase whips around in my little brain.

So, I’d love to introduce you to a fun, positive phrase, for you girls out there.  Did you know we may also be known as “God Chicks”?  There’s a great book by Holly Wagner with that very title: God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. 

God Chicks

Thankfully Holly clarifies the title:  “The reason I’m using the term chick is not to be disrespectful, but to have a little fun!  So c’mon, you amazing God Chick.  Open your heart to a picture of the woman you were created to be!”

 Last week while celebrating Easter, oh and I pray you celebrated “He is risen!” (Click here for more on “He is risen!”, Jesus’ resurrection), you may have seen little Easter chicks for décor. Or, I know some folks who hatch live chicks this time of year.  Cute,  little fuzzy critters…who blossom into big ole’ hens.  Good eggs, bad rap.  I digress…

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Let’s return to “God Chicks”.  Holly gives us several kinds of chicks, all of which are empowering. The one we’ll focus on today is the “Just-B-U” Chick.

One of  my pet peeves, and quite honestly, struggles, is the turbulent trap of comparison.  I inevitably compare myself with the “chick next door”, or the “chick next to me at the checkout”, or the “chick on TV”, and by all means run-Forrest-run from magazine covers!

Holly’s prescription for comparison?  The “Just-B-U” chick! She reminds us, “We will only be effective when we are being ourselves…We spend valuable time wishing we were like someone else, and all the time we have our own treasures inside us…just waiting to be discovered.”

Edwin Elliot said, “By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before!” Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and I know that full well.”

Holly adds, “Together we will do awesome things for our God, but only if we encourage each other as we fulfill our unique purposes rather than tear each other down by being jealous.”

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One recent experience highlights this point perfectly.  Last summer, I was blessed to team-teach with two other very seasoned Bible study teachers, Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  Jane is a long-time dear friend and mentor of mine.  Nancy is a new, dear friend and mentor, and, may I go so far as to say a guardian angel to many of us in a multitude of ways!!!

By some miracle, and by blind belief on Nancy’s part (!), the three of us connected, prayed, and planned a six-week Bible study. (I fully believe, after the fact, this was a divine appointment.)  We studied Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, The Girl’s Still Got It—Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World. (If you go online to Liz’ website, www.lizcurtishiggs.com, you can read her blog about her Bible study on the Book of Ruth.)

The Girls still got it

Being the rookie in this trio has its’ benefits:  I got to watch and soak in a boatload of wisdom. (This was my first time ever to teach a Bible study!) Our planning meetings were rich.  Nancy has this uncanny God-given talent to hone in on a theme to share with our attendees.  She  literally came up with one word or character trait per chapter of Liz’ twelve chapter book!  She kept us focused and on-track. She uses beautiful phrases such as “canopy of grace” that melt your heart.

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Jane has also taught Bible studies for years.  She first taught Bible Study Fellowship (www.bsfinternational.org ) and later taught at Southeast Christian Church.  I was blessed to sit under her teaching for several semesters.  She also has an uncanny God-given talent:  she brings to the table unforgettable visuals which clearly tie in a teaching point to apply to your life.  She pushes you to savor God’s Word beyond your brain, to let it dwell in your heart and pour out onto others.

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These gals encouraged me to just be myself.   Perhaps I was the comic relief of the bunch…. Even  more comical, was how much I prayed the same thing over and over to the Lord.  Can’t we all shout hallelujah that He never tires of hearing from us?

 James 4:8 in the New King James Version reminds us, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” We praise you Lord.

 Being pushed way out of one’s comfort zone isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Ann Voskamp recently said, “God takes you out of your comfort zone because THAT’S where you meet The Comforter.” 

I pray you’ll seriously grasp Holly Wagner’s concept of a Just-B-U Chick.   (And this is just one of eight different chicks she teaches about!  More on the others in another post or two or seven!)  The Just-B-U chick encourages all of us to use our gifts to share with others.  Quit comparing yourself to others!  It does no one any good.  At all.

 My small group of Bible study buddies is beginning an awesome study written by Tammy Head.  It’s called Duty or Delight?  Knowing Where You Stand with God.

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Already in week 2, Tammy addresses the comparison trap.  She says, “If God isn’t the inspiration for doing what we do, let’s abandon those man-made expectations and run to the cross.  What we’re ultimately looking for is approval, and because Jesus offered His life for us, we already have it.”  Just-B-U!!!

 “Never forget…your value…far above rubies and pearls.”  (Adapted from Proverbs 31:10)

 To close, may I ask you to pray a long-term prayer request?  And may it double as something ultra worthwhile to pray about adding to your calendar?  (Click on “But I don’t have time for a Bible study”… if you have any doubts…)

Guess what?  My friends I told you about earlier, Jane and  Nancy….well, WE have just had another planning meeting.  Watch out

 Exciting news!!!  We will be offering a Fall Bible study.  (Thence the long-term prayer request.)  Please pray for all details to come together and for those of you close to Louisville to come and study with us at Middletown United Methodist Church (www.Middletownumc.org.  If you have questions, please call Kelly McDonald at 502-245-8839)!!!

Even better news: EVERYONE’S invited!  While you’re praying, ask the Lord who He would have you invite.

Tentative timing for the Bible study will run from mid-September until mid-November on Tuesdays.  We’ll be studying Liz Curtis Higgs’ updated edition of Bad Girls of the Bible–and What We Can Learn from Them which has a brand-new, chapter-by-chapter Bible study video taught by Liz.

Oh my, we are ALL in for a treat!  And, like last year, Liz will come visit and speak  in one of our morning classes and one of our night classes!  You do not want to miss this opportunity!  (Her book releases July 16th.)

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I pray we can all be a Just-B-U chick every day.  Remember John Piper’s infamous quote, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”  That is:  in our own skin, not someone else’s.

 Jeremiah 1:5 adds confirmation to our uniqueness:  “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

 Blessings to you this spring day.  Just-B-U!

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to my two teaching buddies:  Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  I’m honored and forever grateful to have been a part of last summer’s study and now, this upcoming one for fall.  Y’all keep me challenged!  I need to stay on my knees, and for that, I’m forever grateful.  May God bless you and continue to give you His guidance to lead me and soooo many others. )

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