Queens and Kings

Okay, so I gotta type this quick (I’m in-between classes and I still have to pack to go home). So (some of you will know this from my previous posts) I’m a fan of Jaimie Grace aaaaand…she just released her first new song in three years! Party like a Princess is one of the most repetitive songs I have ever heard, but it’s got an amazing message and beat. Go check it out. Anyway. Here’s how the beginning of the song goes:

When I walked into the party everybody just stopped/Even the DJ wasn’t ready, to see me without/A boy who isn’t ready, to be a king/So tell me why would I be chasing him to be his queen/Don’t you know, who my daddy is/Don’t you know, what my daddy did/Don’t you know, who my daddy is/He paid it all, I’m the belle of this ball, so I’m gonna party like a princess…

This is an idea I came across recently (there’s an app called Sprinkle of Jesus that’ll pop out ‘food for thought’ one or two times a day) that said something along the lines of ‘Why are you waiting for someone to treat you like a Queen unless you know how to treat him like a King’. Ignore the horrible grammar in that sentence for a minute. That idea stuck with me.

Isn’t that an absolutely shocking idea? We are told that the girls should be waiting for someone to treat them like a Queen and not settle for someone who will abuse that. But I also want to suggest this – when society slams girls who are super bossy and overbearing (I’m NOT talking about girls who are just confident in themselves), they are actually slamming them for not being Queens. Because you see, being a Queen is also a responsibility. Think about a Queen of a country (medieval times, not a figurehead like Queen Elizabeth). The Queen was in charge of the castle. She supported him and offered him wisdom and counsel when he needed it. If the King was away at war, SHE was the one who protected the castle. She was supposed to be just but strict. She raised their children (with help from the maids sometimes). And, perhaps most importantly, she submitted to her husband.

I’ll elaborate on this later, in a separate post. But think about that, ladies. Why are you waiting to be treated like a Queen when you don’t know how to treat him like a King?

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Hidden Gem

I get really frustrated with myself sometimes. I was supposed to post this Sunday, and I even knew what to post! Argghh! But it’s getting posted today. So.

How many of you have ever had a moment reading the Bible when you just stumble across a whole random section of it that you can’t remember EVER really reading before? Like, maybe never ever ever? And then it’s like, woah! And of those of you that have, who found a passage that was just a little gem with double the woah factor? Yeah, that was me Sunday. And I was pretty surprised. I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember (I was four when I became a Christian; I’m 16 now) and I’m a reader. I’m also smart. So between the reading, smarts, and lifetime of Bible, I’m usually sitting in class thinking I know this story, and I’ve heard these points before (Side Note: that’s pride, people. The “I know the Bible” thing, not the smarts. Stop pride before it starts). But then, I found this little nugget! And it has a name. It’s James. Yes, as in the book of James. (I’m going to smack myself for this, but James the Gem people. James the Gem. Okay, I’m gonna go sit in the corner now. Not really, ’cause I’m writing this.)

Really, you should just go read James for yourself. The whole thing is amazing. But let me highlight a few things that popped out at me.

  • Favoritism is a Sin – Yep. James 2 starts out with calling favoritism a sin. It uses the example of showing favoritism to a rich man over a beggar, but it applies everywhere. Christ’s love does not show favoritism. Neither should we.
  • Warning Against the Tongue – Not as new, sure, but still a valuable piece of advice. Even when it feels like you’re about to explode and you can’t help but think how unfair it is  (especially if they’re being mean to you), hold your tongue. It doesn’t matter who it is, do NOT let something unkind and/or venomous come out of your mouth.
  • Submit Yourselves to God – Seems obvious, but I realized I’ve been kinda prideful lately…instead of submitting. I did a post about rebellion a while ago. That and this are cousins or siblings, who knows. They’re related. I found verses 11 and 12 especially interesting. I’ll give you verse 12: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?”
  • Warning to Rich Oppressors – Yep, this is in here too. God doesn’t ignore those who are suffering under others. He tells them to bear with it. He tells their oppressors, Watch out. Your judgement is coming. Verse 3: “Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.”
  • Other Notes – I was not kidding when I said you should read this book yourselves. It’s extremely powerful. I just wanted to point out a couple other things that popped out to me but didn’t have a whole section. I’m just going to type the verses, since they speak for themselves.
    • James 2:26 – “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
    • James 1:26-27 – “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
    • James 2:8 – “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.”
    • James 4: 5 – “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”
    • James 5:12 – “Above all, my brothers, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”
    • James 5:20 – “remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Aaarghh! There were so many more good verses! Seriously, read this book. I love it. Anyways. One of my favorite verses in this book is James 2:26. I have this sneaking suspicion that my spiritual gift is serving – I love being able to help people, especially elderly people and anything to do with children or (ohh, yes) babies (don’t get me started on those cute little bundles). However, there is a problem with that: I am very, very, VERY socially challenged. I’m shy. I’m an introvert. I’m socially awkward. The worst thing in the world for me is having to start a conversation (I can order for myself at a restaurant now without too much discomfort, and just last month I called several places to get myself an internship for school, so I’m slowly improving!). Getting involved with peopleInitiating that? Umm…no. Oh, wait. James 2:6. Wow, okay, I just got sucker punched. There’s also a verse in James that says something along the lines of, If anyone knows what he’s supposed to do and doesn’t do it, he’s gonna get judged. I am caught between a rock and a hard place. But really…there’s also a verse in the Bible that basically says If you have not received, it is because you have not asked! (John 16:24 might be it, I don’t quite remember). Not too long ago I was thinking about how I would definitely join a club that would provide me with the opportunities to help people, that’d be great! Guess what happened. Yep, such a club appeared! (Side Note: While I encourage you to do it, I’m always terrified to offer myself to God to use because I know he’ll challenge me and say, are you really willing? And that usually involves social interaction. He knows where to hit *gulps*. He will absolutely put me between a million different rocks and hard places, and it’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO uncomfortable. But I know it’s good for me so I do it anyway. Every once in a while (I should do it everyday. If you need something to pray for, pray that I gain the strength to do that)). So yeah, now I need to follow up on that club. But the thing is, God provides. If you want a service opportunity, ask him. If you want personal growth in Him, ask him (But be prepared to work yourself. He changes willing hearts, but your heart should be willing first). Ask, and you shall receive. Even when it’s uncomfortable and feels like a slow, torturous death, God will help you complete his commands. I know I’m supposed to be serving. I also know I’m not going to lack service opportunities anytime soon.

Anyway! Thanks for putting up with my rambling. Read James for yourself. Let God speak to you. It’s so much more effective than when I do it. Ciao!

Females Today, Part 2

 

Refresher: the last post was about makeup and how it can affect and control girls. It was also my “series” intro (this “series” may only be 2 parts) about how 1) girls view themselves and 2) how society views them. This post will be about the latter. Where do I even start?

Sometimes Facebook is okay. It can be a good source to learn random information and offers a way to connect with friends and family. However, so often I see posts or memes (I’m not sure what they’d be called) that are not okay. And what makes me mad the most are those posts/memes/whatevers on a plain white background with the cartoonish figure on them – usually a sassy girl with brown hair, although she has a variety of expressions and other characters sometimes take her place. Those things really irritate me, because they spread so many lies and negativity and everything else. So below, I’m going to list a few and an abbreviated version of what their message says to me:

“I don’t care how complicated this gets, I still want you” – You are so important you’re becoming the focus of my life instead of friends or family (or God)

“Stalking my posts won’t tell you anything. I could post “I’m so upset” and be talking about how someone ate the last of the mac and cheese” – Apparently I have nothing better to do or anything more important to worry about than mac and cheese and I’m not speaking anything valuable into the world (I apologize a little for that one, it sounds harsh and I’m not trying to be mean, but for so many people that really is all they worry about. Having fun with something is fine, but it shouldn’t be so important)

“You think you’re hot but you’re just room temperature” – Anybody sound jealous? Apparently I get to decide whether or not you look good and what exactly your attitude and actions and words mean. Because apparently I know you better than you do.

“When he thinks you’re crazy but he has no idea how much” – Now it’s okay to be crazy and not act like a decent human being? And it’s even applauded!?

“Don’t make me pretend to know karate on you” – Because why? You like drama?

“When you accidentally pour too much alcohol into your mixed drink but you have to tough it up because momma didn’t raise a quitter” – Hopefully doesn’t apply to Christians, but moral: peer pressure tops wise decisions.

“Hello it’s me…I was wondering if I could get a grade above a C” – Sure – go study. If you already are, you probably aren’t asking this question.

“It takes the right guy to show you how wrong the douchebag was” – Number 1, if you’re Christian (or smart), hopefully you didn’t get so involved with a douchebag that he hurt you so bad you remember it and it affects you so much years later (waaayyy too much power). But okay, things happen. So now…there’s comparison. And a focus on dating. And mentally putting someone else down. And putting someone else on a pedestal of expectations.

Now, I realise I just stepped on some (or a lot of) toes. And in some instances, these can be taken as jokes with a friend. But largely? If they have these seperate posts, it means they’re mainstream. And not all of these posts are directed at girls…a lot of them are supposed to represent girls, or represent an idea that would apply. You see so much of this. About how crazy girls are, about their clever revenge for cheating boyfriends, about how fickle they are. There’s a post that describes a conversation between a girl and santa where it’s implied that getting a unicorn is more realistic than getting a boyfriend. And this is the part I really want to focus on.

Lately there’s been a lot of flak about how guys objectify girls. While I agree it’s wrong, I also think that society is encouraging it even while it professes to be resisting it. Also, God made guys to be attracted to a girls’ body and he charged girls with dressing modestly(1 Timothy 2:8-10. The less you dress, the more you’re inviting yourself to be objectified. Objects don’t wear clothes for a reason. I’m not saying that guys don’t carry a lot of the blame too, but I think the girls’ role is underscored in society (1 Corinthinans 10:32)(Song of Songs/Soloman 7) because society isn’t following God and his commands. So now let me refocus briefly on a summary of how society perceives a woman.

They are expected to party, be crazy, and cheat. They are expected to focus on men and are seen as irrational and dramatic. They are expected to be selfish and lazy or powerhungry and driven. Or both. Today, society seems to have lost it’s ability to view woman with dignity. In fact society as a whole seems to have lost it’s dignity! What happened to the girls who were calm and collected, who cared for others and were softhearted. What happened to a girl who was modest and patiently waited for marriage and stuck with it through the hard times. What happened to girls who work hard and stand in the face of society and laugh in the face of peer pressure. What happened to those girls!?

In reality? They’re around us. They’re closer than we know. But how many of them have we lost because of society? When I think of the number of girls giving away their dignity, I imagine a field of fallen figures dressed in white, blood staining their clothes. The sky is overcast, and similarly dressed figures stand panting. They wear no armor. Their long hair flows down their back, and they hold swords in front of them. They’re panting, their breath steaming in the cold air as they prepare for the next battle…as they prepare for the next wave of monsters, unaware of their own poor existence and tricked into attacking and killing the girls by a force greater than them. And every once in a while, a subtle glow will fall like drifting rain onto a dark figure, and they will suddenly become aware, and under the consistent rain they will transform into a shining warrior eager to fight. Can you imagine? Society throws attacks at us everywhere we turn. That is why I cannot emphasize having godly friends enough – they give you strength, they empower you, and they don’t let you throw down your sword because you are weary. This is important. Eventually, one who fights alone will fall. Together, though, their power is multiplied.

One more thing, and consider it a/the (condensed) main idea. I mentioned the santa conversation above. That conversation is so degrading. It mocks and makes fun of girls who don’t have boyfriends, as though that gives them their worth. This is scattered all over the place. Every time someone makes a joke about being single, they’re making fun of themselves and essentially putting themselves down. The same with food being all-important. All these girls are trying to say “I’m independent, ha! Look at me!” But in reality they’re whispering “Yes, look at me. I’m worth it. I’m different. Give me a chance, please. Give me my worth, either by accepting you or denying you. Give me power to build my identity.” That’s sad. That is so unbelievably sad, and it doesn’t just happen with boys.

Finishing thoughts. I know there are exceptions to all of this, but look at the heart of my message, please. Try to understand. I know stuff happens. I know life suckerpunches all of us and I know we stumble and fall sometimes. I know we slip into stuff without realizing it sometimes. This isn’t about those sometimes. This is about those people who don’t even realize what they’re doing or who can’t stop. This is about the people so entrapped by society’s lies that they can’t get out. We need to help these people. We need to bring our fallen comrades back to life. Death is the only too late. It’s never too late until death.

Today

Today was pretty bland for the most part. It was another day of classes, another day dealing with my cold, and coming back to my dorm room and falling asleep. Then a friend came in and woke me up. She invited me to hang out with her and a couple others in the lounge, then they disappeared before I was ready. Seeing as how I had just woken up, I did not hear where they were going, so I just sat on the floor until she came back. In the lounge (it’s a small one for the floor’s use) they were setting up a movie to watch. It was an online set similar to Netflix as far as I could tell. I believe the title of the movie they settled on was “The Boy Next Door”. It was about a young man – seemingly very charming – who came to the area to help his grandfather when his grandfather got a bone marrow transplant. The story follows the mother next door who is having marital problems and has a young son (think high school). Bottom line, the dude (who is almost twenty, a senior) ends up stalking this teacher. Warning: there are at least two sex scenes and a flashback. I left before the movie was over.

So. What my mind first goes to when I think about this is that we, as Christians, are set apart. Psalm 4:3-4 “Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.Colossians 3:10 “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator.” Romans 12:12, 1 Peter 2:9, John 17:15-18, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 6:19, and so many other verses that talk about how we are different. I watched about an hour of that movie. Do I think I should have left sooner? It wouldn’t have hurt. Could I have left later? Probably. But I chose to leave early because I did not need to watch that movie. It not only did nothing to help me, but it was an active voice of the devil in my life, particularly because of the sin I struggle with. So I left. And in doing so, I was setting myself apart. I’ve mentioned that I have a hard time making friends, and that sometimes means I’m lonely. Sometimes it often means that I’m lonely. If I had finished watching the movie, it’s possible I would have made a better connection with the other two people and become their friend as well. But something that I have already decided is that I will not let peer pressure or any personal desires negatively influence my walk with God. I’ve mentioned how my dad has been my mentor without me even realizing it. However, he is also my dad, and his primary job is to raise me to follow God. Maybe those two are one and the same; I don’t know. But something he has talked to me about a lot is determining things ahead of time. A very irritating phrase he often uses against me (or for me, but whatever) is “I know you didn’t mean to, but did you mean not to?” I have decided ahead of time that I am not going to watch movies with heavy sex content. I have decided I am not going to listen to music with any cuss words or bad themes…in fact, I try to only listen to Christian music. I have decided I am not going to have sex before marriage. I have decided I am not going to cuss and I will ask the people around me not to cuss. I have made decisions about these things ahead of time so that if something were to happen and I need to make a decision quickly, it’s already been made. We have been set apart. Sometimes that feels lonely. Sometimes you look around, and you think How can I be so alone? If you’re like me, there are times when you can’t help but observe how different you are. Different from the world, but also different from other Christians. There are times when I look around and I worry about making Christian friends in the future when I’m on my own. Being different can be tough. But we have to be different. If we aren’t different, then we aren’t showing Christ.

So if you want to, comment. Tell me about a time when you were different because of your faith. Ask me to pray about something. Or maybe just say hi.