A friend recently posted this audio recording from one of Moody Bible Institute's chapel services. The speaker is Rosalie de Rosset and her message is timely and simultaneously convicting and refreshing. After listening to it, I immediately purchased her book of essays entitled, "Unseduced and Unshaken - The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices."
A couple of my favorite quotes from the book so far include:
"Dignity is a strong, chosen, deliberate way of life, the result of the totality of a person's choices and worldview."
"If your faith matters, your mind matters. If your mind matters, it is important what you do with it, theologically and intellectually. You cannot separate your spiritual life from the life of the mind. You can't be fully human without using wisely all the faculties God has given you. They are intertwined; one will not thrive without the other. In neglecting one or the other, you will live a small, shriveled existence."
I also appreciated her reflection on the character of Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, "Gandalf tells the reluctant and unlikely hero, 'There is more to you than you know,' more in this instance than doing what he has always done. The wise magician knows that Bilbo has become addicted to that cozy rabbit hole; he likes eating and drinking well, he likes being comfortable. But Gandalf knows that Bilbo has two sides to his nature, that 'within the hobbit's veins coursed the blood not only from the sedentary Baggins side of the family but also from the swashbuckling Took side.' Bilbo has gotten used to the sedentary side, and after all, he's not doing anything wrong; he's just a nice, even generous, placid hobbit who knows how to have a good time, who fits into his community. But, something transcendent is calling to Bilbo - telling him there is more to life than this, that there are adventures to be had on a heroic scale, that there is good and evil in this world, and he has to be part of fighting the wrongs."
I have met and been inspired by many young women who also feel that something transcendent is calling them, that there is more to life than having the most friends on Facebook, than knowing everything that happened on Glee last week, more than having a comfortable, popular life. They are right. They can be a part of fighting the wrongs in this world, and they can do so while maintaining dignity and spiritual fervor, growing in wisdom and faith along the way. And, thanks be to God, So can I. But none of us will get there without being ready to sacrifice along the way - giving up our "addiction to our cozy rabbit hole". I am thankful to writers and teachers like Rosalie de Rossert for cheering on this generation of young people and affirming their sense of calling to something deeper, richer, and more rewarding than the status quo.
Romans 12:11-12 NIV, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
1 Timothy 4:12 NASB, "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example to those who believe."
"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors - Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places, go to her room, read her Bible and pray.
I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house - not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four leter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than 30 years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We always just called him 'The T.V.'"
By Keith Currie
I wonder what Mr. Currie would have to say about the internet today. Television and the internet are not evil, but they can be used for such and we have to be on the alert.
Proverbs 4:23 NIV - "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
The gifts have all been unwrapped and the last of the leftovers are hanging out in the fridge and in cookie tins and Ziploc bags... their hours/days numbered. Now we have all settled into the post-Christmas relaxed state, that we look forward to each year.
This Christmas, Jason gave Timmy a basic Kindle to support his reading habit and his love of all things gadgety. It was a big hit! So here I sit on the sofa typing on my laptop, sitting between Timmy and his Grandpa, both of whom are reading books on their Kindles. So much for the generational technology gap! :) Actually, what sticks out to me in this moment is that for Timmy, today's technology is his native language, while it is a second and foreign language for those of us who have been around awhile longer. He can't imagine a world without microwaves, computers, electronic gaming systems, DVD players/Blu-Ray, cell phones with texting and data plans, and GPS systems. He CAN'T IMAGINE IT! I'm just trying to catch up and not get too far behind!
I read something today about how one of the reasons that the original Star Wars movie achieved such box office success was that it debuted in a pre-VCR/DVD, pre HBO, pre Netflix world where if you didn't watch a movie at the theater, you may not get the opportunity to see it again unless it came on television and you were free to watch it that day at that time! Thus, people went to see the film again and again and again in the theater, never imagining that technological advances would one day be such that they could download a high-definition, digital copy of it to their personal lap-top computer or touch-screen tablet at a moment's notice and watch it at their leisure while curled up on a sofa or flying on a plane or riding in a car. For my Timmy, however, and those in the Mosaic generation or younger - this is how the world works and always has. AMAZING!
More amazing still - The God of the universe and his unfathomable gift of salvation, as detailed in the Holy Bible, are just as relevant to this upcoming generation as it was to mine, and all those who came before. Truly, the Great I AM doesn't change with culture shifts or scientific advances, or industrial revolutions.
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!