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I’m so Pretty

Recently I was listening to “Betcha Gon’ Know” by Mariah Carey. It was the version that features R. Kelly. It made me think about how R. Kelly is now known for abusing women and how many were pushing for the mute R. Kelly movement, among other celebrities that are outed as abusers or pedophiles. I see why people want to shame these people and want to take away their star power. However, there are abusers all around us. There’s millions probably billions of people that abuse other people but we are only aware of the cases that make the headlines, nationally or locally. If we knew what literally everyone was up to in their spare time no one would be allowed to do anything in the court of public opinion. It seems that we have entered a new era in history. Pedophilia and abuse against women in general is taken more seriously in some ways. Despite the “anything goes” culture, the “consent” culture, there seems to be thirst to know the truth even about our supposed heroes or favorite celebrities. I cannot emphasize enough though that it shouldn’t surprise you that the World is busy being the World. That is, if you’re a Christ follower.

In Genesis 6:9, the Bible tells us that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” He [and his immediate family] was the only one selected to survive the Great Flood. Literally, no one else.

As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core. Genesis 6:11-12 MSG

Further in Genesis 18, the Bible tells us that Abraham interceded for the town of Sodom. He asked if God would spare the city if fifty righteous people are found and God said he would. However, I think Abraham knew there wasn’t fifty righteous people so he kept bargaining for less. He stops at ten. He asks God if he would spare the city if there are ten righteous people found and God gives His word, “for the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” We read just one chapter later that God did not find ten righteous and only allowed Lot, his wife and two daughters to flee as God rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Heaven. Out of the four fleeing, three made it to the next town.

Skipping ahead to the book of Daniel, we learn about a young man named Daniel that was trafficked to Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem. Daniel became known for maintaining his purity in the midst of the Babylonian culture. Daniel refrained from the foods and drinks they served as to not defile himself. God gave him favor and Daniel was allowed to not partake in the lifestyle. Daniel continued to see favor throughout his life while living in a different kingdom.

Just as in the times of Noah, Lot and Daniel- these men were counter-cultural. Within their generations and throughout history, their names and stories were written down to be known forever for their righteousness. These are just three examples, but three out of the billions of people that have gone to the grave before us and will go after us… THREE stands out to me.

We are living in modern day Babylon or Sodom or Gomorrah. These cities are basically cliché in 2019. But if you are a Bible reader, you need to acknowledge the time in which we live. Our culture is a secular one. Our country didn’t begin that way but as history repeats itself, Secular is what we have turned into. That is why there is so much hostility towards the Christian life. Real Christians standing for Biblical Truth in the Post Modern Culture.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to explain how I’m so pretty and what that has to do with R. Kelly, historical and biblical references.

[I apologize if you’ve lost interest already. Context is one of my top strengths and I feel compelled to give the context to help lead you from one idea to the next. It’s just how my mind works! ]

While we live in Babylon just as Daniel did, we are called to stand out. We are not to participate in everything that the opposing culture offers. Daniel could have forgot his identity and dismissed his God but he did not. He could have sold out to the dominate culture, a foreign culture. Time and time again God warned his people to not worship other gods or idols. To not become like those around them. In the Old Testament, God very clearly gave those instructions repeatedly. In the New Testament, God gave us his only son to give us the grace that we might finally obey his commands. He allowed Jesus to come to love us by allowing us to see our hearts are knitted together with His. That we see ourselves and others with His gracious loving eyes. We have to distinguish what is the culture permit and what does God command? They should not be the same. We are to pursue Christ and aim to be Holy not assimilate to a culture that rebels and rallies against our God. It can feel uncomfortable but if our eyes are on eternity with Christ, saying no to permissive cultural practices should become easier over time.

Earlier that day I was running errands. I went to a Target for one thing. That one thing was not in the store so I decided to walk around a bit. Dangerous, I know! I walked through the women’s clothing, accessories, bedding, back through the accessories and women’s clothing. I tried on a lot of sunglasses and touched many handbags. I left the store only buying one t-shirt!

As I was driving away, I began to think about how much I desire to buy new clothing and accessories. How much I desire to join in the beauty and fashion trends taking place. How the pull of obtaining more clothes, more accessories, longer lashes, specific nude colored lipstick permeate my mind. I follow a lot of online boutiques on social media so I constantly see the clothes I don’t have and decide very often that I need thirty new tops every month. Social media is now interwoven with ads of all types. These ads are catered specifically for you through algorithms. Its easy to get caught up in striving to look a certain way or follow current trends.

I often feel I need to be prettier. Prettier and prettier. I have to achieve more as far as appearance. I have to improve my appearance. I have to aim to look better than I do today. Its feels like a beating drum…. Prettier….prettier….prettier. A pounding drum.

For men, it could be you feel you need to make more money, improve your wages, get a bigger paycheck. More money…money….money. A pounding drum.

I then wondered what if I replaced that beating drum with the beating drum of God’s love? What if I put that appearance drum on mute. I believe I would hear the pounding drum of God’s fierce love. I Love You. I Love You. I Love You. DEEPER. FIERCER. That sound would be overwhelming and no other sound could replace it once I heard it truly.

It made me think of how I long for a husband. A husband that would take delight in me. That would be excited when I walked into a room. Or if I were doing something like the washing dishes a very mundane activity. My back is towards him as I zone out in the task before me. He, on the other hand, very much intently watching me. Radiating beautiful thoughts towards me.

So, if I take this vision and transplant it on the Lord…

Can I fully grasp how much he loves me already? How much it isn’t about my appearance? The clothes I wear, the makeup trends I choose to follow or reject, my hair style, my weight. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflective surface and instantaneously think “ugh,” when I don’t measure up to the standards I decided were important… NONE of these influence God’s love. God has been radiating beautiful thoughts on to me since before he knit me together in my mother’s womb. For every beat of “be prettier,” God beats “I LOVE YOU” louder, “I LOVE YOU DEEPER,” “I LOVE YOU FIERCER”….its a beat more steady and full than our own heartbeat. Its a rhythm with origins in Heaven that God gave us the grace to tune in to.

Havilah Cunnington posted this the other day on her Instagram. I thought it fit perfectly into the revelation I had.

Related Reading:

Sister, Your Worth is Not Found in Your Size

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Gender Issues, History, Women

the War on Eve

 Female Genital Mutilation. Rape. Domestic Violence. Molestation. Female Infanticide. Acid Burning. Sex Slavery. Murder.

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The Women’s Movement was meant to Liberate us. Liberate us from what? I thought this was America? Land of the Free. I have Rights, dontcha know? Even with Rights & Freedoms, women still suffer. They suffer in every spec of space in the world. There are women in basements and inside walls barely clothed if at all. They are treated as reusable semen dumpsters. Their souls are annihilated with each use. Female infants, toddlers, girls, teens, and adult women are raped repeatedly. I feel nauseated typing these sentences because I can see them clearly. Women and girls with tears in their eyes, staring at ceilings hoping there is an end, praying that they just die. Doors being opened to see a small child maybe 4 years old, a negotiation of a price. A few green papers to use a child’s body for an orgasm. There is a war taking place and its been raging since the book of Genesis. The war is on Eve. You & me.

I’m not meant to just stay quiet* I’m meant to be a lion* I’ll roar beyond a song

Those are lyrics to a popular song that I love right now. There was a popular song in the 70s, ” I am Woman. Hear Me Roar.” That was a feminist’s anthem. Those lyrics in bold are my battle cry. I am a Defender of Femininity. I believe in the royal status God gave to women. I’m on a mission to restore my femininity. When God made Woman, he literally broke the mold. The mold was Himself in which he created Adam. Adam came from dust. And after Adam and God spent some time together, God realized there was something missing. He knocked Adam out and took a rib from Adam. From that rib He created Woman. She was unlike anything else. She was God’s cherry on top! The last touch of finesse! The frosting on the cake! Why didn’t God stir up some dust like He did with Adam? Because He knew this new creation had to be different! Had to be even more grand than the last! Eve was made from Adam because she was meant to be protected and governed by Adam. Can you imagine being so beautiful that you are guaranteed protection and provision? That is how we were meant to live. Adam and Eve (you and me) were meant to live in a beautiful garden. No traffic. no winter storms. no bills. no crime. no problems!  Man was supposed to take care of Woman, and Woman take care of Man. We were given different gifts and talents and it was going to be great!

This next piece of information is not entirely me. The book “Captivating” by Stasi and John Eldredge, the author’s write about Satan’s hate for Eve. Satan was once a beautiful angel, highly adored by God. However, because of his pride and desire to be God, he was cast out of Heaven. He was sent to live here (with us!). Satan was so prideful and arrogant, he became jealous of Eve. Simply, because his beauty had been out-done! Satan was a bit of a diva if you ask me. So he targeted Eve in the garden. Notice he never once enticed Adam to eat any fruit. He simply slithered out towards Eve and incited doubt. In her own sinful nature, decided that God was holding out on her. I admit plenty of times feeling like God was holding out on things and experiences from me. Can you? What do you believe God is holding out on you? Money? Success? A relationship? a Job? In an instant she decided that she knew better than God. *Insert curses now* Adam well…where was he? He was there but didn’t say anything. Personality defect: passivity. <*Satan also became angry with Eve because she blamed him when God confronted her.* She stated, “The serpent deceived me…” He had wanted Eve to reject God but she did not.> His trap did not go as planned. God served us with an Eviction Notice and some horrible curses.

One in particular stands out. “You’re desire will be for you husband, and he will rule over you.” *Patriarchy* Our love-hate relationship is a punishment for our sin in the garden. TBH I’m kinda irked by my ancestral grandparents. Here I am struggling to pay my bills, having menstrual cramps, plagued with unrequited love….I could be living in botanical bliss!

Life on earth is no easy task. We are cursed and attacked by Satan constantly. He is waging war on our spirits. Maybe you are reading this now and realizing how much as a woman you have suffered and endured. You think I was used, abused, spat on, kicked, punched, tortured, and so much more. I hope you see this is Satan not your fellow brother, Man. It may quite literally have been your brother molesting you, a father, uncle, boyfriend, husband that has stomped on your heart and soul. But Satan will use the sins of others to get to you and me. You can turn your heart cold towards men. Become bitter. Decide you can take care of yourself and complain later that men aint S***.  And in the same breath hypocritically, you can continue to do your best to snag a man with flirtatious and raunchy texts, short skirts and pouty lips. Two outcomes will occur: You will still get hurt. Your appetite for love will never be satisfied.

There is hope though. You CAN be LIBERATED! Liberated in Christ. Jesus’ death of the cross was for you. So you do not have to live with the chains on your wrists or on your heart. The war will continue but you will be equipped and trained to fight. You may even get to train up others. I know this because I’m in training right now. I’m studying how to fight the enemy. I’m studying how to arm myself. My soul is not going down without a fight. I’m not meant to stay quiet, I’m meant to be a LION.

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Related reading:

NEW as of November 21, 2018 : https://www.dailywire.com/news/38597/judge-rules-federal-law-banning-female-genital-hank-berrien

http://www.ryot.org/photos-these-women-were-doused-in-acid-for-turning-down-marriage-proposals/559641
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
http://sheikyermami.com/2015/03/women-have-no-need-for-their-genitalia-unless-you-are-a-whore/

http://liveactionnews.org/woman-aborts-18-girls-pregnant-son-husband-wanted/

http://m.clarionproject.org/news/150-isis-sex-slaves-commit-suicide-some-fed-dogs

Related Music: He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYpBgJHmGmw

http://en.gravatar.com/that1liana

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