Guess what’s happenin’ in our town this week? The “Run for the Roses” is about to go off! If you live in Louisville, or anywhere in Kentucky, you know The Run for the Roses means it’s Kentucky Derby Week.
“Kentucky Derby 2013 is the 139th renewal of the greatest two minutes in sports!” boasts the Kentucky Derby website. (Checkout www.kentuckyderby.com) My buddy Liz Curtis Higgs sums it up best: “For most Louisvillians, it’s not about the gambling, it’s about the beautiful horses and the beautiful hats.”
Whether you attend The Kentucky Oaks (Friday’s big race) or The Kentucky Derby (always the first Saturday in May), or a party, the majority of women wear hats. No foolin’.
(Photo by Al Wollerton. Original photo can be found at KentuckyDerby.com. To see 57 more beautiful hat designs, visit their website)
The hat market in Louisville is HUGE. My friend Gwen works at a local store where they not only sell hats, but they custom design hats. I stopped in to see her this past week. Crowds of women were haulin’ in dresses and shoes, with excitement written all over their faces. (Husbands, while absent, were soon to be sportin’ sticker shock on their faces.)
Customers had to sign in on a list just to acquire a salesperson. A cooler of soft drinks and water awaited the thirsty. Hats in all shapes, colors, sizes, as well as fascinators fill the store. A plethora of feathers, flowers, ribbons, netting, etc. are available to further decorate your hat. (Checkout their website to see some exquisite hats: www.deescrafts.com. Note their question: “What are YOU wearing on May 4th?”)
Fashion-challenged, I won’t even entertain wearing a fascinator. Think terribly-tight-but-cute and over-the-top decorated headband. Think future headache. To be fair, some of you fashionistas CAN pull that off. The last time I had a hat on, our youngest son, who was then a toddler, ran from me in tears because he was so frightened! Alrighty then.
(Photo by Liam Spradlin. Original photo can be found at KentuckyDerby.com. To see 62 more photos from Derby 138’s red carpet, visit their website)
Now friends, I know, I know, I KNOW we are not s’posed to worry about what we wear. Matthew 6:25- 27 plainly says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
With wardrobe in mind, let’s return to last week’s “Warrior Chick” (for more info’, you may click on “Transform Wimpy Attitude into Warrior Attitude…….) We talked about how anyone of any age can transform a wimpy attitude into a warrior attitude by putting on the FULL armor of God. We must remember to put this on DAILY. (See below.)
Ephesians 6:10-17–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.” (NIV)
The chicks we’ve been talking about come from Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. (Our first two chicks are the Just-B-U Chick…and the Princess Chick…) The Warrior Chick/Attitude is so important we need to camp on it a bit longer. Warrior Chicks stand firm in their faith. (See in the above Scripture how many times the word “stand” is used!)
I’m sure some of you are saying, “Well, that’s all well and good to try to have a warrior attitude, but what if I’m wallowing in a pit of depression?”
Glad you asked! Tammy Head recounts a time when she was inordinately depressed and gripped by fear. She said, “I was scared out of my mind. Tears were my constant companion and my friends hardly knew what to do but pray.”
One of her friends brought her a huge stone. She told her, “God told me to get this for you… It’s an old church cornerstone.” She didn’t really know what to do with it, so she asked the Lord and here’s what He told her: “Lay it beside your bed, and when you wake in the morning, stand on it. This will be a sign to you and your confession that I am your Rock and will hold you together.”
Tammy reminds us that “a cornerstone holds the WHOLE building together.” May we savor and cling to Christ, our cornerstone and these Scriptures from Ephesians 2:19-22: “That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” (MSG)
Last week we talked about warrior-like and faithfully persistent Kristen Sauder. Thank you for praying for her and please keep it up! (www.kristensauder.com) Her blog this week also talks about Derby and she tells of a church billboard out in Oldham County which has “the perfect Derby message: ‘Bet on the guy riding the donkey.‘”
This week, I’d love to tell you about another friend of mine who is also an incredibly persistent Warrior Chick. Her name is Diane Schreiner. Diane was in a serious bicycle accident last August which still remains a mystery. Neighbors found her unconscious with broken bones and even worse: bruising to her brain. Doctors were uncertain about her survival.
Diane’s husband Tom set up an online journal thru’ CaringBridge to keep friends and family updated. His entries revealed their strong faith and absolute trust in God’s sovereignty. Painstaking therapy and utter patience was required, all of which Diane sailed thru’ valiantly. She is a testimony to the power of prayers of so many AND to God’s incredible healing power.
My sister-in-law, Marte, and I visited Diane in the hospital early into her recovery. She seemed amazingly alert and conversed comfortably with us that day. She said she still struggles with memory issues. After weeks and weeks of staying at Frazier Rehab, she was finally able to go home and then be driven to physical therapy several days a week.
The next time I saw her, I picked her up from therapy to go to lunch. She walked out of the door of the building, by herself, down the stairs, and straight to my car. No walker, no crutches, just Diane!
My mouth dropped to the ground! I felt like I’d seen a ghost! I kept trying to help her and she kept saying, “Nope, I don’t need any help, I’m just fine, thanks!” Diane’s recovery is truly miraculous. She is literally a beautiful vision of answered prayer. We praise you, Lord.
Diane and Tom exemplified warrior-like attitudes, clinging to their strong faith, and blessing all who crossed their paths. Many people’s faith has been strengthened because of what Diane went thru’ and HOW she handled everything. One of Tom’s entries in CaringBridge said, “The best thing to prepare for suffering is good theology. Whether it is life or death, healing or disease, God is good and He rules.”
Diane says, “I know why God spared me: to glorify Him with my life in the coming days and years.” Is she a warrior chick or what?!!! You can read a beautiful article on Tom and Diane in the most recent spring issue of Southern Seminary magazine. (Go to www.sbts.edu for more nformation.)
Not only do Tom and Diane stand firm in their faith, but like we talked about last week, Diane wields her sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. (See v. 17 in the above Ephesians passage.)
Tom tells of Diane having Isaiah 41:10 posted to a window sill, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” The article says, “Schreiner’s response to this crisis demonstrates that he and his family believe this promise in Isaiah to be true.” Amen and amen.
Let’s NOT worry about what we’ll wear today. Let’s DO put on the Armor of God. You GO, Warrior Chick!
‘Til next time!
(This post is dedicated to my very brave Warrior Chick friend, Diane Schreiner. Let’s all vow to pray for her continued healing and recovery. Thanks Diane for showing us what true, sincere faith is. The Lord is smiling on you. And, here’s a fun fact for you readers out there: Diane’s husband, Tom, is not just a devoted husband and father, he also happens to be an incredibly gifted teacher, preacher and author. He’s too humble to brag on himself, but I happen to know students from all over the country come to Southern Baptist Seminary just to have him for a prof. You can listen to his sermons he preaches at Clifton Baptist Church on their website: www.cliftonbaptist.org God Bless you all and your sweet family.)