Monthly Archives: April 2011

A tale of two Brides…

I admit that I saw part of the Royal wedding this morning. Brad wanted to know what was so fascinating about it. I told him I wasn’t sure, but it had something to do with the dress.

When I saw Kate’s dress I thought it looked a lot like Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. It couldn’t be a coincidence that William’s “commoner” wife chose a wedding dress so similar to Grace Kelly’s, another “commoner” wife. Brad laughed because I couldn’t remember what country Grace Kelly’s husband reigned over, but I could remember what her dress looked like… as I said, it’s all about the dress!!

Sadly, our young girls are seeing much more than the dress. Millions of them will aspire to find their prince and capture the “fairytale” love they’ve seen played out in the media. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled William and Kate finally tied the knot, but when talking with my teenage daughter about their romance I’ve found little I want her to admire or imitate. Let’s name a few highlights:

1. They met when Kate was modeling her underwear in a fashion show.
2. They lived in a flat with other co-eds when their romance began.
3. They started sleeping together soon after (God calls it ‘fornication’ in the Bible but we sanitize it by calling it “sleeping together” or “making love”).
4. They’ve “lived together” off and on for eight years. No wonder it took him so long to commit; as many men have told me—he had all the benefits without the responsibility and commitment of marriage!

That’s not the way I want my daughter attracting her man and it’s not the kind of man I want her entrusting her heart to. How do I neutralize the effect of this fake fairy tale and encourage her to embrace the real deal?

I pray for the man my daughter will marry almost every night. I ask God to capture his heart, give him the strength to remain pure and prepare him to lead my strong-willed daughter with love and confidence. That’s the kind of man we talk about and the romance I pray she dreams of.

I teach her about who God is and how to discover His perfect plan for her heart.

I look for role models that give her hope.

Last weekend another bride walked down the isle with her prince. She’s the kind of bride I’d love to see plastered all over the news. She’s the kind of bride I want my daughter to imitate.

Rebecca St. James is a singer, songwriter, author, actress and advocate for purity. I met her several years ago when she did the voice of ‘Carla the Lioness’ for an animation project I’m producing. In her late 20’s at the time, Rebecca was vocal about her desire to be married and her commitment to remain pure for her future husband. She received a lot of criticism through the years but her convictions didn’t waver.

Last weekend she and her groom gave each other the purity rings they’d both worn as reminders of their commitment to God’s call to sexual purity. Now that’s romantic!!!!

Most of the world won’t know about Rebecca’s wedding, but you and I do. We can pass her story on to our sons and daughters and encourage them with the reality that God still brings His Princesses and Princes together and it’s worth the wait!!!

Left over Ham Casserole

I had a lot of ham left over from Easter dinner and did a little experiment…it actually turned out really well!! My family ate it up! If you’re looking for something to do with your ham I hope this helps!!!

Left over Ham Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
½ cup cooking sherry
¾ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Add any left over vegetables you have around (I used a cup of steamed broccoli, 1 can corn (drained) and a handful of cherry tomatoes—chopped, and ¼ cup sliced green onions)
1-2 cups chopped ham
½ bag noodles (I used veggie corkscrew noodles), cooked
1 cup or more of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl mix together all ingredients, except noodles, and stir until smooth. Do a taste test and add more salt, pepper or garlic according to your preference.
Stir in noodles.
Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour mixture into dish and spread evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top and bake for additional 15 minutes.

Mel Gibson and Bill Bright

I met Mel Gibson at my “Father-in-Love’s” home a few months before The Passion of Christ hit the theaters. Mel had come to meet Bill Bright, the man who was responsible for the production of The Jesus Film. Bill was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis and knew that his days on earth were drawing to a close. He was incredibly weak but he insisted on going through with the meeting. The appointment with Mel Gibson was his last.

We’ve never talked publicly about the meeting and I won’t go into the details. However, I will tell you that father, despite their many obvious differences, felt a kindred spirit with Mel in their mutual passion to tell the story of Jesus. Bill Bright also understood the spiritual warfare that is waged against those who seek to tell Jesus’ salvation message. Mel has since experienced that reality.

I tell you this because we watched The Passion last weekend with our children. We finally felt like they were ready for it. Afterward my son quietly said, “I’ll never be able to think about the crucifixion or Easter the same again.” The movie broke our hearts and prepared us for the joy of Easter morning. It was the best Easter we’ve ever had!

I’m thankful today for Mel Gibson and the heart, soul and tears he poured into The Passion. It takes our faith in Jesus from the head and rips open our heart. It’s a movie our culture needs to see.

If Bill Bright were still here he would remind us that the power of the resurrection is available to us every day. Whatever you need, whatever temptation you’ve fallen prey to, whatever heartache consumes you, whatever insurmountable mountain looms before you, the same power that enabled Jesus to endure the cross and rise from the dead is available to you. If you try to fight the battles, conquer the temptations, soothe the heartache or climb the mountains on your own effort you will crash and burn.

Jesus didn’t die just to pay the penalty for our sins. He died to set us free from the chains of sin and death. He died so we can live in victory. I pray you experience His victory today!

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

When God said, “No”

Dear Friends, I’m sorry I haven’t written in the last few weeks. Brad and I have been traveling and when we arrived home last week I headed for the hospital. Brad’s mom had been admitted for what they feared was pneumonia. I spent 3 nights with her in the hospital. (Hospital lounge chairs were definitely not designed for over night visitors…I’m just say’n!) When we brought her home I continued to spend the night. Yesterday she came to stay at our house for Easter. Needless to say, it’s been a bit disruptive but we’re thankful she’s doing better. She’s an amazing woman. I’ve learned some poignant lessons the last week and a half. I’ll share them with you next week.

Today I want to pass on something God drew to my attention this morning. Because it’s Good Friday I read Luke’s account of the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane. The “mom” in me was deeply moved by Jesus’ plea to His Father in Luke 22:42

Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine. (NLT)

God’s Perfect, Holy Son was about to face incredible suffering but not for any fault of His own. The physical suffering was daunting enough, but Jesus knew far worse was in store. In order to pay the price for our sins Jesus would have to endure the weight of all our sins and the separation from His Father that those sins require. The anticipation of such suffering was almost more than He could bear. He asked His Father if there was any way to avoid what was coming.

What would you do if your child were sentenced to death for a crime they didn’t commit? Any parent would do everything in their power to stop it. God the Father had the power, but He said, “No”. I can’t image there being a more heart wrenching “No” ever pronounced.

If there was any other solution to our sin problem, Jesus was asking His Father to choose that road…but there wasn’t. God had to say ‘no’ and let the suffering continue to the end. Jesus was willing to obey His Father’s will and do what had to be done. They both love us that much.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)

The Mommy Pit

Have you ever been in the “Mommy Pit”? I fell into it this week big time and it wasn’t pretty! The “self image demons” kept me awake to the weeeee hours of the morning. I was second-guessing every parenting decision I’ve made. I wallowed in the reality of my selfishness and then naturally transitioned into a non-therapeutic session comparing myself to all the other “really great moms” out there…it was bad…really bad! There were moments when I thought my kids would probably be better off without me…

All of us have areas of our life that need pruning. It’s painful to face the reality of our shortcomings and sin, but there’s also a powerful anticipation that comes from knowing God will bring you through it stronger, wiser and more like Him.

The pruning shears came out this week, however, when God is doing the pruning He NEVER speaks lies—only the enemy of God does that. The lie I heard is that my kids would be better off without me. As my friend, Tracy, says: Really? God is Sovereign. For some crazy reason He chose me to be my kids mom…warts and all!

The enemy wants me to focus on my inadequacies, selfishness and failures. This week, he had me right where he wanted me. I was like the Apostle Peter sinking in the water. When his eyes were fixed on Jesus he defied the laws of nature and walked on a stormy sea. When the wind and waves distracted him, pulling his focus away from the Savior, he began to sink. I’ve felt like I was drowning.

I tried to do what Peter did. I cried out to Jesus, but I have to tell you, it didn’t help right away. I’m ashamed to say that in my heart I believed the lies that were suffocating me. I knew what God’s Word says, but my feelings said something else. So I began claiming what I know is true. I claimed it over and over and over! Slowly my feelings began to align with God’s truth and I’m starting to rise above the storm.
Just like Peter on the water, nothing has changed except my focus. Focus is everything. It’s the only way to rise up out of the mommy pit!

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. –Hebrews 12:2a (NLT)