Infallible Hero

a-hero-is-someone-who-has-given-his-or-her-10

 

Recently at a bible study someone dared to say that one of our beloved bible heroes acted like a spoiled brat. The women immediately were up in arms. Bible heroes are heroes and therefore we overlook their flaws and make them somewhat godlike, but come on, truth is truth, and it’s actually beneficial to see the real person in the scheme of the heroic act.

You all know I am a huge Dr. Laura fan. I’ve been listening to her for almost 30 years. So it was no wonder that I imagined Jacob calling into the radio program as I studied the life of Joseph.  As he gives Dr. Laura the background we hear, Jacob is in love with Rachel, but marries her sister Leah and has a tribe of kids with her because Rachel can’t get pregnant, even though (Dr. Laura gets impatient with these words) he doesn’t love Leah. Finally Rachel has a son named Joseph and the bible tells us Joseph is Jacob’s favorite kid. Joseph, as a teen, has a dream that one day his older brothers will bow down to him. Joseph, dressed in this flashy coat, goes out to the field to tell his brothers about his dream. Now right about here is where I’m thinking this is one dysfunctional family.  So Joseph’s brothers take Joseph out on a walk and lose him and then go back home and tell their dad he was killed.

So I can hear Dr. Laura saying to Jacob, “What the hell were you thinking was going to happen?” At which point I usually think to myself and take a deep breath, “Buddy, do you ever listen to this program?”

You can actually do this with all the bible heroes. Moses’ parents and Dr. Laura, “Don’t have them if you won’t raise them.” Then to Pharoah’s daughter: “Give this child to an intact, two-parent home. Adopt an older child.”

To David’s parents: “I know you’re trying to raise your boy to be a man, but sending him out to places alone where he has to fight a bear? What the hell are you thinking?!”

Parts of these stories look so heroic that it’s easy to overlook the dysfunction they went through as children and only see the good these men did with God at their side. It’s easy to then say we have too much to overcome to get to a spot of actually making a difference but the bible shows us these thoughts are merely excuses. Everyone has stuff to overcome. The difference is in those who will do something despite their circumstances, and those who will wallow.

Which will you be? A Hero or Victim? It’s interesting, every Comic Hero that I can think of had a crazy childhood only to come out victorious. So what’s holding you back? You aren’t any different. Go out and do something heroic with your life. Teach a child to be a person of character, go out and feed some homeless people, go out and teach a class or coach a sport. Make a difference. The world is waiting for your gift.

Despite the Lie

blog.guarano.com

The frivolous attitude of shacking up is contradictory to the integrity of commitment therefore, the rate of divorce is higher than non-shack ups. ~ Dr. Laura

I love Dr. Laura Schlessinger because despite the cultural lies of  what is normal, she stands up for the voice of right. While many criticize her and her stance on marriage and family I salute her. Perhaps because I am one of those bad girls who turned it around,  I have more grace than others for  women whom I admire for telling the truth. I see nothing wrong in Dr. Laura’s stance and I credit her  with helping shape my morals and values for the last 22 years of my life that I’ve been listening to her radio program daily. It’s on even now in the background as I write this blog.

Why has marriage taken such a beating? I think it has to do with the fact that we throw it away so easily and embrace an inferior alternative. I found a piece of scripture that has been hounding me for weeks now.

Malachi 2:13 And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. 14 Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. 15 God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse. 16 “I hate divorce,” says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat. ~The Message

The violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage. It really is like that isn’t it? When we see it writing does it cause us a moment of pause? And when God says what he wants from marriage, “Children of God, that’s what”. What does that invoke in your thought process? I see people who are born into a moral character to do what is right despite the lie that everyone is going to be okay being raised outside of marriage. Living together outside of the marriage covenant takes all the boundaries away, leaving children vulnerable and believing that marriage doesn’t matter.

While at a youth convention this past week, the speaker was talking about defining moments in life. They asked the youth to raise their hand if when their parents divorced, they felt their lives were over. In other words, was this the defining moment of their future? In an instant hundreds of kids raised their hands. Bible: “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.”

Even as I am writing this a horrible pain stirs up within me and I tear up to have been a witness to this moment.  What we adults took so insignificantly, profoundly defined these teen’s future. Remember the speaker asked for those kids who thought their lives were over when their parents announced their divorce. Can you imagine such a deep pain? The violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage. It wasn’t just about two people, it affected a family, a community and a nation. When you picture violent dismembering of flesh what comes to your mind? Does the National Geographic Channel and the lions biting into a zebra come to mind? Does Jeffrey Dahmer’s pieces of flesh in his fridge come to mind? Yes, it’s like this.

Stay with this thought until next time. I have so much more to say on this matter so check back.

A Known Atheist

Listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio I heard a call that at first was funny and then became thoughtful to me. A woman called in to say that her brother was a “known atheist” in the town they lived in and he was offended with the caller. I laughed out loud in my car because and the same time my thought came,  Dr. Laura chuckled, “as opposed to an unknown atheist?”! The woman went on to explain that her brother was the head of the local atheist organization.

His charge against his sister? That she had never chosen him as a godfather to any of her children. Dr. Laura had a good belly laugh at that, but I was thoughtful and have been since then. You see, the brother had a valid question and the sister needed to examine it. What about our walk with Christ makes a person who doesn’t believe in Christ think it’s perfectly okay to ask to participate in something regarding our faith? It may not be such an off the wall question. What is a godparent after all?

I have said on this blog that I have amazing godparents. My godfather went home to be with the Lord last year but they have been there for me since the day of my birth. They have instructed me in my spiritual walk, they have prayed for me, imparted wisdom into my life and corrected bad behavior when needed. They were strong in their faith and their marriage and taught me the practice of church and family and God and love. When I left the Catholic faith for a non-denominational church no one prayed harder for me. They never wavered in the duty of being godparents and never gave up on me. With love they have attempted to keep me on a clear path. They participated in my life. Better examples I could not have dreamed of.

Yet I see today followers of Christ who pick friends who aren’t even church attenders to be godparents. They put no thought into their child’s mentor in their religious upbringing. I’ve seen dedication services where the godparents couldn’t even stay for the service. They did their duty and left to go celebrate and prepare for a party or worse talked through the service with no reverence or acknowledgment of what they were there for. There is no inkling or recognition of the vow they are making to God. If in the end, we are only known by our word and character this doesn’t seem to matter to some Christians.

In the book, The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel, he starts the book off with two conversations on two different airplane flights. Travis was a man who was an atheist and there was no way any conversation was going to move him to change his mind. Travis tells the writer straight up what he thinks of the whole religion thing from his perspective, pulling no punches. On the other hand, he meets a woman named Michelle who professes Christ but whom the writer calls a Christian Atheist, she reveals that she lives with her boyfriend who doesn’t believe in Jesus and is scared to death of marriage, her life obviously conflicting with her beliefs. He makes a powerful statement on page 13 when he says that Christians Atheists look a lot like Christians but live like Travis. It’s really a good read and I recommend it.

So maybe this caller’s brother’s question wasn’t that far off track? I mean if the example we give to the world is one where our actions don’t match our talk, then at least we have to give credit to this brother for living out what he believes. Granted, this isn’t what the caller was calling about, but it did make me think about what kind of a life we collectively live as Christians that this brother felt comfortable enough to ask why not him?

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

mcmnetwork.org

A woman called the Dr. Laura Schlessinger show because she felt she was losing her faith in God. She said she was a believer, whose nephew had died in Afghanistan and it was making her question God. Dr. Laura made the statement that the woman really didn’t have faith because she said she believed and had faith as long as tragedy didn’t hit her door but once it did she lost her faith, thereby negating the faith in the first place. Dr. Laura pointed out that many soldiers had died in Afghanistan why didn’t the woman lose her faith then?

I stopped my work to listen to this call because this is an interesting dynamic we face as believers of Christ. We walk steady until the rubber meets the road then some of us waffle. I remember a few days or so after my husband died and I lie in bed one night unable to sleep. I cried out to God, “I need to know you’re with me. I need to know you have a plan because right now it doesn’t make sense to me. I need to know I’m not alone because right now I feel desolate.” God doesn’t mind my questions but c’mon, either I believe he’s with me in the good and bad or I’m lying to myself.

James 2:20 NKJV
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

It’s those rubber meets the road decisions that will come to test out if what we believe are merely words or actually action? Let’s be honest, this relates to everything in our lives not only our belief in God. Do we vow for better or worse to our spouse then bale when the worst comes? Or worse, make them pay forever for their sin. Do we believe that adultery is wrong until the sexy co-worker makes a pass? Are you like me, who wakes up with a resolve to eat right each morning, and then someone brings you a chocolate cake and you have two slices instead of a half of one?

Do we really believe what we say we believe or do we believe it as long as it isn’t actually happening to us? Do we live what we believe or are we like Dr. Laura’s caller who loses her faith the moment something doesn’t go her way? Life is life, it will hand us good, bad, ugly, and beautiful days. Will we thank God for them all or will pick and choose only the good ones and turn our backs on Him for the bad ones?

A Loyal Dr. Laura Schlessinger Listener

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/drlaura/ 3044514364/

Whenever I let people know that I listen to Dr. Laura each day on the radio, I get this look of distain. I get asked quite frequently how I can stand to listen to her judgmental attitude. Here is what Dr. Laura’s attitude has done for me:

1. I began listening to her over 20 years ago. Dr. Laura was a little different back then, not that she had a different revelation, but she was more open about her family and friendships. I think the media may have jaded her towards speaking about things, or maybe it was that people without a life picked on hers. In any case, in the beginning I was always pleased to hear someone who didn’t think I was a freak for staying home and stunting my career. She didn’t believe every kid needed the latest greatest thing, she believed that kids needed parents and that was cool with me.

When I was in doubt and the peer pressure, yes parents have peer pressure too, got to be too much, I would hear a voice on the radio letting me know it was okay to not let your kids run wild or that it was okay to expect them to get an after-school job to buy makeup. She taught me to trust my mommy gut and it paid off. My kids graduated high school, went on to college, moved out on their own. and are working members of society. No one has been to jail, knock on wood, or been pregnant out of wedlock.

2. She has taught me that every single time I overrode what I knew my heart was telling me was the wrong thing to do, there would be serious consequences to pay. When she spoke out on a topic it wasn’t because she was being judgmental, it was only that she was trying to save us some heartache. I promise you that every time, not almost every time, but every-single-time, I’ve gone against her advice there’s been hell to pay.

3. She helped me become the Christian I am today. Now, that seems strange, because at the time of the solidification of my faith she was an Orthodox Jew, but she was sold out to her faith and she taught me an all or nothing, dive in and go for it, way of taking something on. As she walked out her faith, studying, questioning and gaining understanding, so did I. I didn’t just accept something because a Pastor told me it was correct, I studied it out. My faith in God grew, my trust in Jesus grew and I took little steps, a class or two until I am where I am now. I’m not sure where Dr. Laura is anymore with her faith, but I’ve heard her say, sadly, that she wished she had a solid foundation as a child. I admire the fact that she has a better knowledge of the bible than most of us bible thumpers! It is because of her life example that I so harp on couples that it really does matter what you believe because it will make a huge difference once kids are born.

4. I learned not be the feminist thinker I was brought up to be. Rather, she taught me that to have a man who loves you, kids who are decent members of society, a few good friends and a job you have passion for, is the ultimate meaning of a life fulfilled. I learned to quit measuring myself against others and that redemption and growth are worthwhile pursuits.

5. I learned that judging other’s actions is biblical. I can’t judge their motives, who knows why people do the crazy things they do anyway, but it’s okay to call something wrong when it is, and it’s reasonable to not be okay with things that go against morality.

So I am a loyal Dr. Laura fan. People need mentors and that is the purpose of this blog and my life’s work so it would stand to reason that I seek out those who are telling the truth and trying to live their lives out correctly before God and man. Notice, I didn’t say perfectly I said correctly. We all have “stuff” that what makes us human.

I have never met Dr. Laura, probably never will, and I’ve never called into the show, and she’ll more than likely never read this post. I have her books, I’ve quoted them a million times and handed countless out to friends and family. I have probably passed out and never gotten back, 10 Stupid Things (both men and women) Do To Mess Up Their Lives, enough to make them best sellers! We need to pray for her, thank her and quit being afraid to proclaim the fact that we love her and that she is right on and necessary to our society!