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Posts Tagged ‘women’s issues’

I’m thinking of a particular woman.  When she is feeling energetic, creative and loving, she desires to help people have a good time.  She wants to help everyone around her have fun.  She is high on life and wants to help others experience that exuberance, too.

But, when she is not feeling so energetic, creative or loving, she descends to a dark place.  She is unhappy.  Burdened with sadness.  Discontent.  Instead of helping others to have fun and enjoy the high of life, she helps them descend to a low place with her.

I don’t pretend to know all I need to know.  I am not a psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist of any kind.  But, I know this.  I know that God created woman to be a helper.  It is a woman’s nature to help.  A woman is constantly helping — to the good or the bad.  To build up or tear down.  With discipline and restraint, or without.  With discernment, or without.  With patience or impatience.  To meet the real needs of others or to meet her own perceived needs.

For the sake of others, we women do well to recognize and accept our identity.  We are unique creations of God lovingly shaped to be helpers for men and, therefore, our world.  We are helpers by nature.  We cannot help but help.  The question is, how will we choose to help?  To what end will we help?  Will we exhibit self-discipline and restraint, or will we do whatever we want whenever we want?  Will we withhold our help when others need it?  Will we overwhelm others with the help we feel like giving when they do not need it?

Will we let our feelings set the course for our actions?  Or will we pause to think about what we are doing and why?

Is it all about us as we insist on helping our way?   Or is it all about serving God by helping others His way?

It does make a difference.  It matters.

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Within a month, a dangerous new abortion drug named Ella will be available at pharmacies.  Ella was approved by the FDA and is being marketed as an emergency contraceptive drug, but it is an abortion drug similar to RU-486 that poses a variety of health risks to women.

Studies in England show that not only is Ella embryo toxic, but it also causes birth defects and starves the baby to death if taken five days after sexual intercourse.  The abortion industry and the FDA, reports Students for Life of America, is apparently hiding the truth about Ella.

Here are the hidden facts:

  • Ella is an abortion drug, not a contraceptive
  • Ella acts in virtually the same way as RU-486, which has killed dozens of women across the world.
  • Ella induces abortion, which increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 40%.
  • Because Ella is not classified as an abortifacient, our tax dollars can fund its distribution.
  • Men can give Ella to their pregnant wives and girlfriends without their knowledge, causing abortion.

Students for Life of America reports that the FDA voted unanimously not to inform women that Ella causes abortion.  It also refused to consider clinical trials on whether it causes birth defects, even though evidence suggests that it does.

For more information, Google or Bing Students for Life of America, National Right to Life, or Lutherans For Life.

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The doubts begin about a week or so before each retreat.  There is a hissing sound.  “Who do you think you are?”  Taking another look through the Study Guide brings mixed emotions: The Word is exciting, but will my manner of presentation be helpful or harmful?

On August 8-9, my living room was filled with nine women.  My prayer was, “Please, dear God, don’t let me get in the way of Your Spirit.”  There were Lutherans and non-Lutherans.  Older and younger.  Married and unmarried.  Friday evening began, as always, with a meal.  It’s a way to practice hospitality, not showing off, but showing respect.  The women settled in for a night of contrasting the world with God’s Word before recognizing what Titus, chapter two, has to say to each of us in our vocation of mentoring.  On Saturday, we continued with breakfast, two sessions (one being my favorite on “Identity”), lunch, and two more sessions.

This note arrived about a week later: “Thanks so much for welcoming us into your home for the Titus 2 Retreat . . . The material is excellent, well thought-out and organized.  But, you present it with humility blended with confidence and commitment to the message.  At our church, we are seeking transformation, not just information.  And the Titus 2 for Life message is life-changing.”

Another note read, “It’s so wonderful to listen to someone who is so articulate, doesn’t compromise one bit of God’s Word — and gets it.  I could have listened forever.”  Another read: “Prior to this, I hadn’t considered the Genesis connection to Biblical womanhood.”

On September 17-18, a Titus 2 Retreat was hosted in Norfolk, NE.  Eighteen women fit comfortably in Kathy’s peaceful and welcoming home.  She did not “show off,” but showed respect for each guest by way of her caring and servant-style manner.  Lutherans For Life members who assisted Kathy by helping with food explained their conviction and desire to help mentor away from trendy thinking to the foundational Word of God.  By 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, all the women were tired.  But, many lingered as if they didn’t want to hurry from a place of warmth and safety.

Titus 2 Retreats are not easy.  Topics covered are counter-cultural and using the “double-edged Sword of Truth” is divisive.   After a retreat, I am drained.  I know each woman has a story.  But, not knowing the stories, I pray for tender words of hope and encouragement.  I am challenged to stay on track, yet allow discussion; speak what honors God, yet be alert to a variety of emotions.

Dear Spirit, You know my opinions count for nothing.  They are not helpful.  They are shifting grains of sand.  Keep this little ministry rooted in Truth — God’s unchanging Word of Truth.  On October 8-9 in the home of Sherry and with women from the Cedar Falls area,

Let my speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how I ought to answer each person.

And, help me be a worker who

. . . has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.

(Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:15)

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