Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The First Dimension "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall"

Back to the story of Snow White and her wicked Stepmother-Queen. When the magic mirror answered the queen suggesting that she was no longer the MOST beautiful - her need for affirmation ignited into jealous rage. Hatred took control and she began to plot against her beautiful stepdaughter. She connived a plan to kill Snow White and remove her competition.
Newsflash: Lucifer and the wicked queen have a LOT in common! He despises femininity and his assault against beauty has a long history.
Read Ezekiel 28:13-17
13. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created .
14. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth ; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created , till iniquity was found in thee.
16. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned : therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Can you read this and comprehend how beautiful Lucifer was? He was covered in precious jewels; he was anointed perfection and he loved how his body glistened in the light. But wait! He forgot that his brightness did not come from within! It was a reaction that happened only when he was in the presence of the "Light"! He allowed his beauty to corrupt him and God cast him out forever!
Satan fell because of his beauty and his eternal revenge is to assault beauty… 
His hatred for women is rooted in the curse he received in the garden… 
“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Gen 3:15
He hates beauty – especially Eve (woman) – because she embodies the glory of God. God's purpose for creating Eve was to attract the world to Himself. 
So Satan jealously tries to destroy her. He starts in the mirror. 
Now, the mirror has 3 dimensions…
First Dimension:
"The Girl Everybody Sees"
         Remember girls, your purpose is to attract the world to God.
         We need to make sure we are: Modest. Clean. Groomed.
Men by and large look and dress similar. The guy in the suit could be a doctor, lawyer, plumber or politician. The girl in the modest dress is a rarity. Her clothes are not too tight, too short or too revealing. Her outfit is flattering and tasteful. She saves her tennis shoes and jean skirt for cleaning and softball, so when she arrives at the grocery store or the restaurant...
                  Godly women stand out!
This image is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Think about how you looked in Walmart earlier. The "girl everybody sees" is the first dimension of your purpose. Are you attracting the world to God?
Satan hates your beauty, and he tries to distort and pervert your purpose. He is the one responsible for causing that "girl everybody sees" to dress with the desire to attract attention to her body. The temptation to show off her shape; compliment her curves; draw attention to her cleavage... This desire creates the sin of lasciviousness... defined as "inciting lust". (See Galatians 5:19)
Check the mirror, girls. What message is the "girl that everybody sees" giving? Our hope is that she is saying, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Our purpose is clear and simple, ladies... we are to attract the world to Christ. 
Stay tuned for the second dimension of the mirror... "The Girl You See"...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Remember the story? Sleeping Beauty's wicked queen-stepmother posed a question every morning to her magic mirror. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall... Who's the fairest of them all?" Her hungry ego craved hearing the daily affirmation of the mirror. "You, oh Queen... you are the fairest in all the land!"
Affirmation. Now, that's a gnawing need of many a fair lady (and gent, I might add). I recently read, and recommend, the book by John and Staci Eldridge, "Captivating". These authors attest that we all are born with questions that drive us. Girls want to know, "Am I lovely? Do you see me? Do you want me? Am I captivating?" (The book for guys by the same author, is "Wild at Heart" - boys want to know, "Am I Enough?")
After a bit of study, I realize why - with our innate need for affirmation - the enemy starts in the mirror. On most days, he has us defeated before we leave our bathroom. Unsafe people have answered our childish questions and now, the grown up girl flounders in self-loathing, pain and hopelessness. She can barely make eye contact with the mirror, as she adjusts her mask of indifference over her wounded heart and broken spirit.
I am so grateful that I know how much Jesus loves me. His approval is all I need. His acknowledgment of who I am gives me confidence, courage and contentment. I don't need anyone else to affirm the girl in the mirror. I am lovely - because Jesus sees me as lovely. He wants me - He chose me! I have captivated His heart!
I will write more about the girl in the mirror... I will explain to you why the devil despises her beauty and tries to undermine her confidence. I will talk to you about the three dimensions of the mirror - and how to recognize the true beauty of your reflection. My goal is to lead you to healing, forgiveness and victory! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Life

Life... My Life... sometimes feels like an event that I am trying to get the "best" seats for. Like a really great screen play - and I don't want to miss a moment. However, I seem to continually be interrupted and called elsewhere - while My Life rolls on. It seems that everyone else's dilemmas and criteria demand my attention and there is little time left to attend to my Story. 
I finally got a chance to sit down and enjoy a few minutes of this great saga recently; hoping to catch up - to see what I had missed. Turns out - somewhere along the line I turned 51 - commemorated 35 years of marriage - and observed my 44th Spiritual Birthday. It would seem that any one of these occasions would have called for a moment of reflection - I really should remember something outstanding about one of those beatific days. Evidently, I had stepped out of the room - attending to something else - when those monumental segments of My Life flickered past.
Unfortunately, I'll never get another chance for those scenes to be re-played. They're gone... in the past. There will not be a second showing. Those moments of My Life that I have not been "present" in were precious and valuable. 
I pray that God will give me wisdom for my future. Wisdom to attend to what is important rather than what is urgent. Wisdom to be present in every moment of this wonderful life God has given me. 
Starring in "My Life" is Jeff, my amazing husband... who takes care of me as if I were still the 16 year old girl he married. My three sons... Brocc, Cortt and Kyle - who continually enrich my story. My two daughters-in-love... Amanda and Randi - who add beauty and depth to this epic. My grandsons... Elijah and Logan - who create déjà vu moments regularly - that take my breath away. My granddaughters... Cortney, Sydney and Juliana - three little princesses- who fill a void deep inside me I didn't even know existed.  
Each member of my family are the characters in my story - yet at the same time - we're all a part of the audience. 
I care deeply about how this chronicle will play out. Is there a happy ending? Does everyone survive the traumas, dramas and action? I need not obsess about the grand finale... because my screenwriter is the best. He is the author and the finisher of my Faith. He has a perfect plan for my future and a great explanation for my past... so I'm in good hands. We all are. I just need to be more attentive - stay put - and enjoy every set - every scene - and every verse of this script... My Life... My Wonderful Life.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

He's Gone - Yet He Lives

Tuesday, we buried my darling daddy. He's gone... at least his body is gone from among us. But the best part of him is still here - alive and well. Its as if he's just in the next room... or out Pawn-Shopping. He was usually the last to arrive at dinner - just trying to squeeze in one more moment of "living" before sitting down for the evening. He was bigger than life - he didn't fit here anyways. And his memory is GI-normous. It fills my heart, my house, my life. I see him in my children, my brother and my sisters. I see him in my husband - he poured so much of himself into Jeff. I hear him in my own voice - where does he stop and I begin? He lives... in me - through me and I will live to honor him. I will make him proud. I will not let him down. 
I remember a time at the hospital, it was my turn to spend the night. It had been a rough day for him and he was so concerned that he would be too much for me. When I came in, he said, "I don't think you're gonna be able to handle me by yourself tonight." I looked him in the eye and said, "I'm a Wilt. I can handle anything." His face relaxed and with that half grin he said, "I guess you have a point there"... and that was the end of that. We just did what we had to do - no one worried about who was doing more or who was doing less. We were Wilts, and we handled it. And thats how it will always be. 
His last night on this earth was full of pain and misery. We stayed up with him and prayed for God to help him release himself from this mortal life. This was a man that did not know how to QUIT. There was no QUIT in him! We prayed and sang to him... he would get right to death's door but could not pass through. Toxins from his failed kidneys set into his brain and his eyes were blind the last twelve hours or so. We knew his hearing would be the last sense to go, so we continued expressing our love to him, praying and singing... singing and praying. At about 8:40 Thursday morning, he went into another terrible state of suffering and we broke into fervent intercessory prayer - all of us praying in the Holy Ghost... then I began to sing "Swing low, sweet chariot- coming for to carry me home..." My mom and sisters joined in and we sang on "Swing low, sweet chariot - coming for to carry me home." We began the verse - "I look over Jordan and what do I see?" When we started singing about that "band of holy angels- coming after me" his eyes blinked as if in wonder- then they set into a stare - his thrashing stopped - his face relaxed - and it was obvious that all pain and suffering ceased instantly! "Coming for to carry me home..." we sang, and he sighed one last breath. His heart, who doctors had deemed to be weak, beat on for ten minutes... although he never took another breath. At 8:55, his heart beat its last, and he was home. His chariot had arrived. 
I have not even began to grieve losing him - because I feel his presence still so strong. I am still rejoicing that his suffering is over forever. He will NEVER be sick again. He will NEVER feel another pain. He will NEVER feel the BURDEN for the LOST that drove him day and night. And for that I am grateful to God, who released him from ALL pain, suffering and burden. I know that grief is a process and that grief will come. I will not rush it - yet I will savor every phase of it - because that emotion will belong to him and to me. He has prepared me for life and for death. I understand the scripture passage so much clearer... "Oh, Death, where is thy sting? Oh Grave, where is thy victory?" He's Gone... Yet He LIVES! Forever young, healthy, strong and vibrant... his spirit lives in our memory... and in the portals of Glory... he waits for us. 
I Corinthians 15:51-57

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My sweet daddy

It's my parent's fault - I am WHO I am because of "them". I have written about my mom (that's where the whole "Ribbons of Blue" story came from)... and I'll probably write about her again, but today I reflect on my daddy. He has had incredible influence upon who I have become.
If you know him, you're probably shaking your head right now, thinking, "Yep, Wanda is so much like her dad." But let me regress... I have been shocked, scared, surprised and scripturally punished by Stanley B more times than you can imagine!
Yes, I mean "shocked" as in electricity SHOCKED! This man is brilliant. He worked around live electricity, so he was fully aware of the line between "dangerous" and "hilarious". As a kid, you're not expecting your dad to zap you when he says, "Come and hold this wire for me so I can get this cap on." His favorite party starter was to load a condenser out of a car with several charges off the battery, and then just lay it on the table. (My friend, this made for great family entertainment when we were having company over!) It's human nature to pick up whatever gadget is laying around and "fiddle" with it while you're talking. The condenser was harmless until you touched both sides of it at the same time. Us kids were trained in keeping a straight face and not staring at the person that was getting ready to be knocked out of their seat by this little wire demon. Of course, we had all been the recipients of the thrill of terror his gadgets delivered, so we were anxious to get the party started! When the fingers finally made the connection... hysteria ensued. (Hey, we didn't have XBox and Play Station when I was a kid! We had Stanley B LIVE!). As an adult, I am still very leery of anything he wants me to "hold, touch or taste". His sense of humor enjoys practical jokes immensely.
Putting a stocking over his head - donning a hat and coat - and waiting outside for an unsuspecting guest that might be leaving or arriving has been a common occurrence. The first time I saw him in this state, with his face distorted by that stocking, I was about 8 years old... alone in my bedroom. I looked up and saw him standing in my doorway and literally climbed on top of my dresser! We had a lot of fun with that one though... We became cohorts and I would set the stage for his appearance at my slumber parties... or even after church with a visiting missionary family. He really does look hideous in that get-up...
Another favorite is to cake a pat of peanut butter between the heel and toe of his shoe before walking into a room. After sitting there unobtrusively for awhile, he makes a show of "smelling" something. "Did someone step in something?" he'll quip? As we all check our shoes - he groans... "Uh-oh... I think its me." And then the fun... as he slips off his shoe... smells the goo there... "Yep... I think I've stepped in something." ...and as the onlookers watch in horror, he scoops out a finger full and... TASTES it... then with a snarled face... "Oh yeah... its definitely me." The reactions to this little joke have been quite entertaining through the years.
How many people has he had outside in the wee hours of the morning, on their hands and knees, calling out to the dead? He would convince you that you could talk to the ancient dead folks (who for whatever reason, happened to be buried right there in our back yard). He promised if you called loudly enough "Oh dead spirits, what are you doing down there" - they'd answer back "Nothing at all". After several attempts and no answer - he'd tell them... "See, they said nothing... nothing at all".
More than one time, my wild and free spirit had to be tamed. He used to tell me, "Wanda, your mouth is gonna get your tail-end in trouble!" He used the element of surprise to his advantage on several occasions... nothing like getting a lickin' when you didn't even know Dad was home! Those times of discipline stand out in my mind because of the "lecture" that followed the punishment. Normally Dad would send me to fetch the Bible and the Dictionary. Between those two resources I would find the need for repentance... and usually ended up on my daddy's lap, sniffling as he prayed over me.
Wherever Dad has been - he made friends. He loved deep and gave all. He started churches from scratch... that was his calling. He built men... that was his gift. He raised a family... that is his reward.
For the past two months, I have seen my daddy nearer to death than life. Teetering on the very brink of heaven's promise, he has stayed full of fight and faith. Every day with him is a gift. We cherish every moment... hang on his every word. After 85 years, how much time we have left with him is irrelevant. What matters is the love, life and legacy we have shared. He has taught us to live fully in the moment and to savor every second. We've laughed, loved and dreamed - big enough for ten lifetimes... in his own words... "I have no regrets."