Tag Archives: women’s history month

Marching through M A R C H !

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How’s your movement from birth to death on this continuum that we  call Life?   Randomly floating on the reins of my mind are lines 64-5 from William Wordsworth’s ODE:  Intimations of Immortality – –  “trailing clouds of glory do we come from God who is our home.”  Actually,  we are moving from life to life – -that is , from fully natural living back to fully eternal living.

So, how are you marching  through  MARCH?  Are you  haltingly  stepping backward?  Are you frustratedly  marking time? Are you stoically standing in place?  Are you  going forward in baby steps?  in strides?   in leaps and bounds?

How are you matriculating through this Woman’s History Month?  How are YOU marching through March?

Annually, we in the United States designate March  as a time for a month-long focus on the stellar achievements of women.  The national theme for Women’s History Month 2014  is

“Celebrating Women of Courage, Character and Commitment.”  This is how Haley Cutler encourages us to think about the  theme:

YOU KNOW A WOMAN OF COMMITMENT.   She is a single mother who vows to give her children the best opportunities by working more than full time, showing up for school events and still working toward advancing her education.

YOU KNOW A WOMAN OF CHARACTER.  She is the mentor who listens to, coaches and opens doors for other women.  She models ethics and empowerment and elevates the voices of our next generation of leaders.

YOU KNOW A WOMAN OF COURAGE.  She is the woman who dares to stand up for what is right, to be an ally to others and to advocate for positive change in her workplace, her church, her school, her neighborhood, her club.  Women of courage, character and commitment have changed the course of history and they continue to shape our future.”

I call your attention,  here,  to such an exemplary woman  – – Mother Deborah, a  trailblazer in history.  Deborah is an outstanding  prophetess in the Bible whose activity pleased God.  She passed his intense scrutiny and was an honored model of virtue for her countrymen.  Chapter four of Judges tells us that she was a wife, mother and judge.  Reigning as the fourth judge of Israel,  she held court in Canaan under Deborah’s Palm where the people of Israel sought her wisdom in matters of justice.

One celebrated occurrence / demonstration of her courage, character and commitment involves the defeat of Jabin, king of Canaan, who had oppressed the people of Israel for twenty years.   Here is what happened.  Under the power of  her prophetic function, Deborah summoned Barak and repeated to him God’s detailed instructions:  In essence, take the field against Jabin’s army – -commanded by Sisera, the agent of the  king’s dreaded oppression – –  and God will give you the victory,  the king’s  nine hundred chariots of iron notwithstanding.

When Barak refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with  him, she agreed readily but speaking prophetically again, she told him that the Lord would use a woman’s hand [Jael’s] to take out Sisera.  Unfortunately, there would be no glory in this victory for Barak because of his reluctance to trust in God’s assurance that he would give him the battle.  In chapter five, Deborah composes one of the first songs in Hebrew literature as she and Barak celebrate their escapade that ushered in forty years of quiet existence for the land.

This episode clearly reveals the courage, character and commitment of Deborah.  She had the courage to stand for what was right- –  God’s word,  to be a confidence-builder, co-strategist  and  ally to Barak,  and to advocate/fight for positive political  change for her tyrannized countrymen.  It shows her character in that she unselfishly empowered Barak to get the job done for the good of the people.  It shows her commitment, for not only did Deborah get ready and go into battle right alongside the ten companies of tribal men, she also told Barak exactly when to charge.  In her astute assessment of the battle she urged Barak, “This very day God has given you victory over Sisera.  Isn’t God marching before you?”    [4:14]  Uniquely and saliently, this story  shows the God-given insight and confidence  that Deborah derived from her profoundly admirable relationship with God.

BIBLICAL TRAILBLAZER   – MOTHER DEBORAH 

NOW WHAT ABOUT YOU?  Can you reflect on women in your life who have demonstrated these same qualities?  How will you honor them?  As you ruminate, remember that imitation is a high form of commendation.  “Go, thou, and do likewise!”

Change the world through your courage, character and commitment.

In the spirit of Acts 28:27 and of 3 John 2, I pray that you will end your march through this month with an empowering encounter with Jesus, in whom we live and move and have our being.   Amen

MAINTAIN YOUR POWER- MARCHING CADENCE THROUGH MARCH, MY FRIEND!

 

 

 

THE AUDACIOUS WOMAN

Woman-RoaringDo you know who Helen Reddy is?  She and Ray Burton composed the song that became the anthem of  the  Women’s Liberation Movement [Women’s Lib] in the 1970s.  The song expresses the collective feelings and attitudes of women who were experiencing an emergence of female empowerment.  It was a time of social consciousness about important “women’s issues, ” such as whether to continue to be a traditional “stay-at-home mom” or work outside the home, to be satisfied with the usual nurturing occupations that  women were expected to practice  or to  enter male- dominated professions that would cause them to challenge and seek to pierce the invisible but real “glass ceiling.” Women burned bras in public gatherings as a symbol of  female liberation from the restrictions of their contemporary society, often singing  Helen Reddy’s  song.  Here are the lyrics:

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman

As you embrace this audacious spirit, consider this acronym:

{W }    –     WONDER-FULL

Are you full of wonders,  doing things that  amaze others and yourself

{ O   }  –      ONE-of-a- kind,  OUTSTANDING

By the way,  what do you know about yourself?

What distinguishes you from every other woman on this planet?  Is there anybody

else  exactly like you?  Shouldn’t be! Not  even your biological child or identical twin!

{  M }     –    MAJESTIC

Do you walk in a regality that calms troubled waters. Are problems more

manageable just because you are in charge?

{   A  }   –     ANGELIIC

Do you  have a close and  direct connection to God so that you operate in either the

heavenly/spiritual or the nether /earthly world as He directs

{ N  }   –     NATURAL, NATURE MADE

Do you treat yourself as a  a divine creation , as made by divine hands with natural /

earthly materials.

Reminds  you of Women’s History Month, you say?  Good deduction.  How apropos!

Let’s go all the way back to the beginning of history.

Let’s go all the way back to the “Let there be’s” in the first chapter of Genesis where we learn that God created light and sky and water and sea and moon and stars and day and  night and  fish and birds and animals.

God spoke many things into existence in the verses of Genesis 1:

2 – LET THERE BE LIGHT

6   – let there be a firmament/sky

9   –  Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place  [SEAS]  and let dry

land appear

14  –  Let there be lights in the firmament  [sun and moon]

20  –  Let waters bring forth every abundantly moving creatures  [fish, birds ]

24  –  Let earth bring forth every living creature after his kind  [animals]

26   –  Let us make man after our image

29  –  God even talks/speaks to the man after  he has made him,  giving him dominion over his entire creation

Yes!  God begins and ends his creative activity  in chapter 1 by speaking and then he rests.

BUT  notice  in in chapter 2,  God  creates by doing .  First we learn in verse 8 that he plants a garden  eastward in Eden, rather than speaking   it into existence.   When he sees man’s  solitary condition ,  he observes in verse 18 that it is NOT good – – everything else has been “good”  and “very good” – –  that  man should be alone, he acts.  In verses 21-22,   God performs the  first recorded surgery in the history of the world by making a woman from Adam’s rib.  Note that God takes special care in making this woman whom Adam will name Eve.  She is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalms 139:14]  Here is a striking comparison:   At the beginning of history, God FORMED  Eve and she became the most notably renowned woman in the Old Testament, the mother of natural mankind.   Eons later, the angel announced that God CHOSE Mary and she became the most notably renowned woman in the New Testament,  the true mother of spiritual mankind.

I am proud to be in the lineage of these two women.

Therefore, I make this declaration audaciously and in the spirited fervor of Helen Reddy’s sentiments:

HEAR KLARA SHANNON HADLEY ROAR!

Increasingly, I watch and celebrate as more of my beloved friends and “chosen” family members march triumphantly into eternal happiness.

 And increasingly, I commiserate with a few loved ones who limp – – either in torturously agonizing pain or in medically induced insensateness- – – across the final goal line.

How ever way my own last footfall will be, I say, Even so, come Lord Jesus. [Revelation 22:20]

THEREFORE, BE IT WIDELY KNOWN by all in this universe who are under the sound and influence of my voice:

My hope is firmly and unalterably founded, grounded, established, constructed and built in/on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

Apostle Paul’s confident assertion is mine also: For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

[Philippians 1:21]

I will never die while Jesus lives

N O W

What about you?  What is your declaration about your uniqueness?

Are you a WOMAN  –  wonder-full, outstanding, majestic, angelic, natural?   Are you audacious?  Let the world hear your ROAR!

GO forth now, WOMAN!

ROAR THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY THIS WEEK!