I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

15 October 2012

The Girl Effect, part 5

Photo by A. Stahl
While I'm processing out "The Girl Effect", I want to not leave you without hope. Beauty can come from the ashes. I want to level out some of the very heavy subject matter with some music, and quotes from some of the books that I referenced in The Girl Effect, part 4.

Please bear with me, and consider everything you see and hear, and decide if this is one of those G-d moments where you needed to hear something - maybe for the first time, maybe for the second or third time, maybe simply to confirm something that has been in the back of your mind for some time that you've been wrestling with. Don't dismiss it right out without considering it prayerfully.
Also, I'm not sure what is going on with my images, but they are not all showing properly. I'll have my husband look into it when he gets home.

 Once again I can worship God with the abandon and joy that I had as that little eight-year-old girl dancing on my picnic table. What joy and gratefulness fills my heart as I see how God has brought me full circle!
...What joy that I can now be involved freely and in good conscience in the music ministry in this church. I pray that your heart, too, will be filled with rejoicing and abandon in worshiping God with lots of kinds of music and dancing!
Recovering Grace: Free to Worship!
As this has the possibility of being a trigger, skip the videos if you believe it will be a trigger to you.

 "...The rigid, patriarchal view of the Christian family says that men have been placed in the God-ordained role of full-time bos and provider. The husband's role, according to the conservative religious model, is to lead and protect his wife, while her role is to trust him and submit to his authority at all times iwthout question. Since he is supposedly smarter, stronger, and more spiritually capable, the woman has no option but to accept her inferior status..."
"The history of the church has been enriched by the lives of courageous women who dared to step "out of their place" in society to serve God. The historian Eusebius recorded many of their stories..."
"There is certainly no verse in the Bible that says, "If a woman teaches My Word, make sure a man is present so she will be covered properly." And there is no passage in Scripture that warns women, "Let every woman be properly submitted to a man so she will not get out of line and lead My people into deception..."

(Possibly Triggering video)

Women trivialize the injustice of inequity against our gender. We do this for we are conditioned to do so. We are brought up within and apart from the church to be accommodating, to give preference to others at the expense of our own thoughts and desires. It creates an internal struggle for women. . .The liberating power of the Gospel of Jesus counters the values of the world; and the church has been duped. Women have always been meant to live out the full imago Dei of God alongside our brothers. Not behind..."
Pam Hogewide, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church, page 47

(Sensitive Video!)

...violence is not legislated by the wife's actions; it is a specific choice made by the abusive husband. The primary focus of therapy with abusive men is to help them recognize that they do not have only one response option. If frustrating situations offered only one option, abusers would be equally violent on the job, driving in traffic, or interacting with friends; but that is simply not true. The majority of abusers direct their violence specifically and purposely toward their wives...
James and Phyllis Alsdurf, Battered Into Submission, page 68.

(Sensitive Video!)

It is not uncommon for battered women to describe their partners in these terms...
His public image is often charming, wonderful, courteous, active at church or in the community; yet, your experience of him is very different. You see his abusive, angry, controlling, manipulative side at home...

...Do not deny your experience of his abusive side just because no one else has seen it. God knows what is in his heart just as you have experienced it. And that is what you have to deal with...
Marie M. Fortune, Keeping the Faith: Guidance for Christian Women Facing Abuse , pages 22 and 23 

"The church has, unknowingly, created an environment that encourages abuse. We cite familiar Bible passages demanding that wives submit to their husbands without providing any explanation of what submission means in a practical sense and without outlining what these same biblical passages demand of husbands. Our counseling has been illogical and irresponsible..."
J. Lee Grady, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women: How the Bible Has Been Misused to Keep Women in Spiritual Bondage, page 182

(Sensitive Video!)

The church has the power to increase its members' emotional difficulties or alleviate them--to be part of the problem or part of the solution. If the church will be the loving community described in Scripture, it can play a tremendous therapeutic role in the lives of people... Futher, individual Christians who are strong can learn to help the weak--if they are willing to become aware of their own weaknesses. 
Dwight L. Carlson, MD, Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties page 115.

(Possibly triggering - discusses abuse, though the couple did overcome it)

  • There is too much at stake to leave - friends, the years invested, people's opinions.
  • They are afraid...
  • They have become so dependent on the abusive system that they don't know if they could leave and survive emotionally or financially.
  • They feel they are to blame for inciting the abuse, and they are only getting what they deserve. 
  • Just about the time they decide to leave, things improve for a while, so they keep changing their mind.
  • They believe things baout themselves, their relationships or God that are untrue.
    Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, The: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church, pages 53 and 54.
 (Safe Video)

 "...God's job is to fix and change. Our job is to depend, serve and equip. This is the work of grace. And it is more restful than you can imagine."
 "...It is not our job as Christians to carry out the curse. God has given us a new plan. That plan, which is meant to set us free, is not powered by "more spiritualized" means of dominating...
...It is not our job to perform the Curse more nicely, or in a more spiritual way than the rest of the world does. It is our wonderful freedom to grow in relationships that carry out God's plan..."
 " Grace-full parenting. Rather than trying to control, grace-full parents provide discipline through hich their children learn to make wise choices... A grace-full family is a place where people can do the job of learning to live without hte fear of losing love and acceptance if the job gets too messy. ...Grace-full relationships are also the place in which the training/discipling process can take place."
Jeff VanVonderen,  Families Where Grace Is in Place, pages 15, 23 and 129

(Safe Video)

 Women agonize  over a single question--Am I too selfish?-- Struggling with the belief that focusing on ourselves is selfish when it comes to spiritual or religious ssues. We've been taught that we're inferior to men in our ability to be pure-hearted and wise. - Polly Young-Eisendrath, Women and Desire: Beyond Wanting to be Wanted 
(Safe Video)
"Easier Said Than Done"
written by Ryan Clark
vocals by Nataly Dawn
piano, production, mixing and mastering by Ryan Lerman

Sometimes a cycle must be broken
Sometimes the right words are not spoken
Meant to be serious, you must be jokin'
Bight off more than you can chew and you'll be chokin'

When we've been gone
For far too long
And we become what we've been running from
It's not too late
To re-situate
So much easier said than done

I don't like the previews at the movies
Where they tell you the entire story
So predictable and so boring
Although it's entertaining when I'm mourning

13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15

"The Bible does not tell us that men should be strong while women should be weak. Weakness is not a feminine virtue. All believers, in fact, are commanded to "be strong in the Lord" (Eph, 6:10)...
...God is not glorified when a woman is timid, shy or reluctant to speak or act with courage. Timidity is never portrayed as a virtue in the Bible. God has always called His servants, whether male or female, to put their shyness and timidity aside so they can receive supernatural boldness to obey His orders..."
J. Lee Grady, 25 Tough Questions about Women and the Church: Answers from God's Word That Will Set Women Free, page 165

11 The Lord gives the word,and a great host of women brings the good news.
Psalm 68
(Safe Video)

G-d can make all things new and beautiful. This will not erase the pain or the awful that happened.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[o]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8
If you are in a situation where you are being abused in any capacity, please do not rationalize it away. Please seek help. YOU are valued. YOU are loved. YOU were created by G-d for a purpose. This purpose will not be denied you because of the awful things that are happening, or have happened to you.

If you are someone trying to reach out to a woman in an abuse situation, please try and understand her, and reach out to her. Accept her where she is, and carefully pull back the veil. Be there. Listen. Offer help.Do not force them to make decisions. Keep things confidential unless you are certain at that very minute that something is wrong and they are being physically harmed. Check out this site: If someone you know is being affected by domestic violence.

"Every girl, virgin or not, bears God's image in her soul. God created his daughters and his sons to be his image bearers. His vision from creation was for his daughters to be his representatives in this world -- to speak and act on his behalf. This gives significance to every aspect of a girl's life and means, of course, that God wants every one of his daughters to know him in deep ways, to love what he loves, and to invest her life to advance his kingdom wherever she may find herself."
-Carolyn Custis James, Huffington Post, Why Virginity is Not the Gospel
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’
-Numbers 6

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