Putting Out The Smoke


At the age of 13, I tried my first cigarette.  My friends and I thought, at the time, that it made us look grown up to be smoking.  After all, TV commercials romanticized it. Anyone remember the Marlboro Cowboy or the Salem cigarette commercials?  It’s no wonder that we all wanted to smoke.  I would steal my mother’s cigarettes and sneak into our basement to smoke. You might even see me hanging out my bathroom window or sneak a drag of my mother’s cigarette while she wasn’t looking.  I really thought I was getting away with something.  At that time, cigarettes cost about .50 cents a pack.  When the price was increased to .75 cents a pack I swore I’d quit smoking if the cost was raised to $1.00 a pack.  Well, what did I really know then? As the years went by I did make attempts to quit smoking. I tried several ways including hypnosis, both as a group and private sessions. The group did seem to be successful initially.  I managed to not smoke for about two months. But as soon as I went out with friends and had a drink I’d reach for a cigarette and it started all over again.  The private sessions were no better. It lasted for a while as I listened to the assigned tapes but as soon as I stopped, the urge to smoke returned.  I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to quit.  I just did not seem to have the motivation strong enough to quit.  Smoking at that time was allowed in office buildings, so I could sit at my desk and smoke.  The only restriction was you could not walk around with a lit cigarette.  You’d always find me at my desk during my work day so, there wasn’t much incentive to quit smoking other than not liking the smell of my hair or my clothes. I really did not consider my health, being young you don’t tend to think in those terms.

I was 35 when I had my first child.  I didn’t quit smoking while I was pregnant, but don’t be quick to condemn me, I did cut way down; even went to a super light cigarette. I did not want to put my body through withdrawals and stress while I was carrying my daughter as that stress can be felt as well by the fetus.  So, I cut down significantly.  I was more concerned about keeping myself as stress free as possible so that my baby would not be adversely affected.  After she was born, I seemed to make up for lost time and before I knew it I was smoking up to four packs a day.  It didn’t happen all over night, it was little by little over a nine-month period. I don’t think I was actually smoking four packs as much as I always had to be sure I had at least two packs of cigarettes on me at any given time.  At work, I always had a cigarette lit but since I was working with numbers and often balancing our deposits, a cigarette was often left in the ashtray burning.  I’d panic if all I had was one pack in my bag and would hit the store to pick up another pack before going home for the night. In my apartment, I had a window fan set up and a chair by the window so when I smoked the smoke itself would be drawn out the window. Don’t kid yourself smoke still lingers in the house and second-hand smoke is still an issue.  It was easy when my daughter was an infant since she would go to sleep and I could smoke away from her at my window.  As she got older smoking wasn’t as easy.  It emotionally weighed on me that while she was playing I could not interact with her since I was busy sitting and smoking.  One night when she was nine months old, to the day and hour, I decided smoking was not more important than interacting with my daughter before her bedtime, so I put my last cigarette out.  Not intending to quit, but rather to postpone the next cigarette until she was in bed and asleep. Once she was asleep I decided I would wait until the morning and have a cigarette with my first cup of coffee. Yep, it was a plan.  When morning came and I had my coffee I decided no, let me wait until after I dropped my daughter off at my mother’s and then I’ll have my cigarette while I drive to work.  Well, as the day went on I kept pushing off when I’d have my first cigarette until it was days later. Then I set goals.  Emotional goals.  I would wait until I hit the goal and then have a cigarette.  I decided I’d smoke again when my daughter was 18.  So, on with my daily business, I went.  No more smoking.

I was told I was the worst reformed smoker my friends ever knew.  I didn’t think I was so bad. Of course, I couldn’t see how I appeared to others. But the smell of smoke gave me a headache. Even when others smoked in the office next to mine I could smell the cigarette smoke through the walls. My sense of smell was heightened but I chalked it up to a mental barrier to keep me from smoking again. I kept my old pack of cigarettes in a drawer at home, so if I wanted a cigarette bad enough it was easy to get, and there were times I’d open that drawer and pick up that pack but I think because it was just that easy I would not pull a cigarette out. I always told myself I was not going to let that little cigarette control me. But having that pack comforted me emotionally.  It was there if I wanted.  My real test to my resolve came when we got news that my maternal grandmother passed away.  I had only quit smoking for two weeks and I was due to go on a Management weekend retreat.  I had a duplex suit at the convention center and the first night there it was dinner and then going to the bar to mingle with other managers.  At the bar, I sat smack in the middle of two very heavy smokers and I had a drink but during the evening I didn’t smoke, not even a puff of one. The smell was so bad that I decided to call it an early evening and headed back to my room.  Well, to my surprise when I took off my sweater I had to leave it in the downstairs portion of the suit because the smell of cigarettes was so strong I couldn’t sleep.

I lost my mother in 2006 to lung cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 4B small cell lung cancer which was inoperable and within twelve days of our learning about her condition she passed away. There was little time to absorb what was happening so to say there was a lot of turmoil surrounding her death with my family at that time is an under-overstatement, but no I didn’t go back to smoking.  My mother and I both quit smoking within a couple of years of each other.  I quit in July of 1990 and she quit in 1991 and was 54 years old. She had started smoking at a very early age, around 12 or 13.  I didn’t go back to smoking at least not initially.  I had quit for twenty, almost twenty-one years when I had my first cigarette again.  I justified it by saying I ran out of goals.  My daughter was now almost twenty-two.  So, what is my reason now?  She’s not a baby anymore, so why not?  I worked in a Call Center and when it was time for a break, we would all go outside and have a cigarette.  Just about all my coworkers smoked so it became a social affair.  At home, I spent a lot of time outside sitting and smoking.  I would not smoke in my home.  I did not like the smell of cigarette smoke and I was still concerned with second-hand smoke for my daughter.  I also didn’t want the smell to permeate the furniture or walls.  I wouldn’t smoke in front of certain people, initially I didn’t smoke in front of my daughter. I know most people would say at your age why hide your smoking from anyone but I didn’t smoke in front of my dad either.  Deep down smoking again I knew was wrong, unhealthy and expensive.  My dad valued health as a runner and was a vegetarian.  Smoking was an unhealthy habit and not smoking around him was my way of showing him respect for his views.

In 2010, I met my husband.  He is a trucker and I never met a trucker who did not smoke but he didn’t.  In fact, he hated the smell of it, so I didn’t smoke in his presence.  He knew, of course, that I smoked even though I tried to conceal it.  It was easy while we were beginning our relationship but after we decided to get married it wasn’t as easy.  I honestly thought if I showered before he came home, brushed my teeth, and sprayed on some nice body scents I could fool him.  Don’t believe it, you can’t.  The smell of smoke hangs around you a long time.  He would tell me he could smell it in my lungs when he kissed me.  That didn’t stop me, however, since he was a trucker and on the road during the week, it was easy for me to be outside and smoke and feel free to smoke whenever I wanted.  When he came home for the weekend, it got tough.  With as much as I loved him, I couldn’t wait for him to leave again for the week so I could freely have that cigarette.  I hated that I seemed to be rushing him back on the road so I decided that when I needed a cigarette I’d make an excuse to go to the store.  I’d satisfy my need to have my cigarette, clean up with mouthwash and body spray and left it at that.

After smoking for almost five years again I decided, and I credit my best friend for inspiring me, to quit smoking again.  She and I would sit for hours on the phone just talking about anything and everything and all the while I’d have my cigarettes and my coffee.  My husband was patient with me and encouraged me to quit but it was my dearest friend who made it click for me that I could quit and that I could still take back control and exert my will power.  It was my habit whenever I’d talk on the phone, I had to have my cigarettes.  I’d sit and smoke one cigarette after another and after a while I’d feel my chest burning.  I knew it was time for me to stop before I ended up with health issues to deal with, like my mother.  My smoking had gotten out of control again with smoking up to two packs of cigarettes a day. After talking to my oldest and dearest friend about quitting, it was as though something within me clicked and so I took the pack of cigarettes that I had just bought and I put them away. Now I will not tell you I didn’t have another cigarette because I did.  But once I got it out of my system I never went back again.  It’s now almost three years since I quit again and sometimes it’s a struggle but most days I don’t even think about it.  That almost three-year-old pack of cigarettes is still in my cabinet.  I will use them. But I will not be smoking them. Ever smoke a stale cigarette? Woohoo what a head spinner that would be after all this time.  No, I will be making a tobacco tea and spraying down my garden flowers to keep bugs off them. That will put those stale cigarettes to a good use.

For me, it’s all or nothing just putting the cigarette down was easier than trying to reduce the number of cigarettes day by day or even using the patch. If I put it down and never have another one it’s easier than having one at a scheduled time and emotionally deal with when I was going to be allowed to smoke again.  It was an emotional issue more than a physical issue. I won’t say I didn’t go through withdrawals because I most certainly did.  But I did do something I thought would help reduce the urge. I drank a lot of water, ate a lot of vegetables, and I busied myself with something to do with my hands. I realized it was the hand to mouth motion that I missed mostly, so I substituted celery sticks for cigarettes.  I gained a good twenty pounds after I quit smoking, and since joined a gym and began an exercise program.  In a months’ time, I dropped ten pounds.  When I first quit I paid about $2.75 a pack now we are looking at almost $6.00 a pack and higher in some places.  Having that extra money in my pocket was a pleasant surprise. Talk about incentive.

I’m also a diabetic, so initially joining the gym was to help control my sugar.  Losing the weight was an added bonus.  Today, I am again smoke-free since December 20th, 2014 and I feel healthy.  I need to lose some weight but I feel wonderful.  Having diabetes has made me aware of the foods I need to avoid and the foods I need to eat more of as well as the harmful effects of smoking on the body.  My advice for anyone who is a smoker and would like to quit, you need to ask yourself first some questions.  1 – Are you really motivated to quit?  If you are not, you will not be successful.  2 – Is quitting something you really want to do? You cannot quit because someone else wants you to quit.  It must be something you truly want to do. 3 – Can you just walk away?  I do believe there are two personalities – the Addictive Personality and the Non-Addictive Personality.  I classify myself as a Non-Addictive Personality.  Once you have determined which you are, then you need to examine which program will work for you.  Not all programs work the same for everyone so give it a lot of thought but don’t give up if one program doesn’t work.  Keep up the motivation and try another program. When I put that last cigarette down I drank an enormous amount of water and ate a lot of vegetables.  Mostly raw celery, spinach, and broccoli.  I ate black rice and set out to eat a mostly vegetarian diet.  Although I do enjoy a good burger or steak.  But it was to help me clean out my system.  If you are determined to quit smoking you will, just hang in there and keep the motivation.  If you have a support system in place lean on that as well, if you don’t have a support system try to get one set up.  Ask a good friend to lend an ear from time to time when you need a little extra push.  You will be surprised how many people will support your decision to quit smoking and your decision may also inspire someone else quit.  My friend inspired me to quit again, you may be an inspiration to someone as well.




What About the Transgender?

trans bathroom signWell we’ve all been hearing about transgenders being allowed to now use the rest room of their choice.  Initially I was just as upset as everyone else. Outraged even. But then I had someone ask me a question. He said – Do you think this is new? Transgenders have already been using the rest rooms of their choice. I felt like Tony DiNozzo after Gibbs smacks him in the head. Of course we have already been sharing the bath rooms with transgenders.  It’s not new. What is new are the laws that are being passed making such a big deal of it that it has caused the outrage we are seeing. I do have to wonder what is the real purpose for making this such an issue now?

As I said, we have already been using restrooms with transgenders. It’s not the fully transgender or even the transitioning transgender that I am concerned with. They see themselves as they are – which is whatever sex they want to be. So if there is a transgender female in the rest room I am no more threatened by them than I am of a lesbian sharing the rest room with me. What I am concerned with are the impostors. The perverts who want to take advantage of the new law and abuse it. That has already happened. What this law has done was not further the rights of a transgender but has caused woman and children (male and female) to be unsafe using a rest room. Let’s take for example the Pennsylvania man who was arrested for allegedly invading the women’s bathroom. According to Snopes this man’s arrest was not related to the new law, his crime was in taking pictures of a minor, which he has been charged with.  But this is splitting hairs. If the law did not allow him to enter the woman’s bathroom then he would not have been in there to take pictures. It is this type of reasoning that will cause us to continue to be faced with the unlawful acts and not solutions. So let’s not keep making excuses but let us begin to acknowledge the main cause of this issue.

We can not have a law that is so loose that it puts people at risk including the transgenders. If anyone can wake up and decide “well today I think I feel like a woman” and wear women’s clothing, that does not make them a woman anymore than my wearing jeans and boots will make me a cowboy. The clothing alone should not dictate which bathroom you use. They are cross dressers, and some still prefer the opposite sex and would never consider transitioning and surgically changing their genital. When I see the male transgenders who have obviously been on hormone therapy and clearly looks male I have to ask myself who are they kidding by trying to take issue with this law? No one is going to do a genital check before they head into the men’s rest room so how are you going to be forced to use the rest room that matches your genitals? You can’t be, so you really have no argument. This would also apply to the female transgender. Who is going to question you when you go into a stall? No one.

The transgenders want to blame the Republicans for trying to force them to use the rest room that matches the sex they were at birth. Well as I said earlier, who can make you do that without going through a genitalia check first – no one can force you to do that. That law is not for the fully transitioned transgender or the transgender in process. It is to reduce the risk of just any man walking into the woman’s rest room claiming to be female. The recent incidents have already justified our need for a law that helps to better clarify who can and who can not use which bathroom. Now the Democrats who have claimed for years that it’s the Republican’s that have this so called war on woman have only proved they are the real culprits. It’s the Democrats that are pushing for anyone claiming to identify as male or female without any qualifiers to use the rest room of their choice. This has clearly set woman and children at risk. So who is it that really has the war on woman?

Why Defend Christianity? Tribos: Christian Apologetics

Introduction 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” The above verse gives simple instructions. All Christians are to have an answer for the hope […]

via Why Defend Christianity? — Tribos: Christian Apologetics

5 Creative Ways to Up Your Logic Game — Tribos: Christian Apologetics

Apologetics Skills There’s something exhilarating about engaging your mind in your relationship with God– especially if you can have fun doing it. One of the things I’ve noticed however, is that women seem to be intimated by apologetics, and partly because it is so darn… logical. [Remember when you were in school and you had…

via 5 Creative Ways to Up Your Logic Game — Tribos: Christian Apologetics

Eich’s Forced Resignation – A Sad State of Affairs

It’s a sad state of affairs when we live in a society that is so intolerant of personal beliefs. The CEO of Firefox was forced to step down based on a personal contribution to an anti-gay marriage campaign 6 years ago in California.  He has never imposed his personal views in the work place  and since he believed in traditional marriage he wrote a check for $1000.00 to a campaign that was successful, as a large portion of Californians supported Proposition 8. Intolerance  has gone way to far when a company can fire or force out an employee  for no more then their right to exercise their own personal views on a personal level.  Gay and Lesbian groups are claiming he has hurt others by his beliefs.  I ask exactly how has he done that?  He had the same position 6 years ago as Obama.  In fact, Obama’s position changed in 2012, as it was important for him to have the Gay and Lesbian votes to help win his second term as President.   In 2008 Obama openly aired his views on marriage as being between one woman and one man in an interview.  Those views he said were in support of his Christian beliefs.  Yet the gay and lesbian community found no reason NOT to vote for him in 2008.  So it seems to me that the position of the Gay and Lesbian community is based on who they believe supports their Liberal viewpoints and agenda, and anyone who opposed them will be persecuted – except of course for our President – as his Liberal policies suit the Gay and Lesbian agenda.

G&L advocate groups are not satisfied that they have won rights, now they want to marginalize and ostracized anyone who has different views from the society in which they want to create.  Political correctness has gone to far.   We are moving towards a society that we all have to be of the same mind in order to be accepted and successful.  Everyone in constant agreement?  Wow how boring that would be. I have worked for companies that did not share my political or religious views.  Are the days of equal opportunity over?  How can a company claim to be an  equal opportunity employer if they can discriminate against anyone they discover does not share their political views?  Where does that end and how far can that be taken? Will that become a question on an employment application – What is your political affiliation?  Can you be fired or forced to resign if the company you work for does not support your religious or political views if they discovered you supported your faith or political views personally?

This country was founded on religious freedom – which means the right to choose the religion you wish to belong to and worship without fear of ridicule.   It was also founded on inter-woven political and religious policies.  God was very present at all the points of the constitution and the founding of this great country.

We are not and have not prevented the G&L community from working and living. G&L Advocates have spent the last decade fighting for marriage equality and they have now won, I say accept your success and build on your what you have, but that’s not enough. They don’t just want acceptance by the majority, they want to demand that everyone accept them in spite of personal views.

We have seen issues such as with Phil Robinson who supports prayer and traditional marriage be ridiculed by the main stream media.  Of course, Phil was supported unanimously by Christians all across the country and A&E had to change their initial action to remove Phil from the show.  The change in action by A&E only goes to show the power Christians have to affect change.  We now see Firefox taking similar action.

This past month I have purchased a new laptop and I am still in the process of getting documents and software downloaded that I typically use.  I previously used FireFox as a search engine,  I will NOT now use them.  I can not support a company who does not allow employees to have personal views and takes strong action against anyone who they disagree with politically and religiously.

As pointed out by – Charles Krauthammer : Declaring that the forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich is a sign of the “totalitarian impulses on the left,” conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called for a counter boycott and warned the progressives’ efforts to stamp out thoughts they disagree with “will only get worse if it succeeds.”

Krauthammer was speaking as part of a Fox News panel Friday discussing Eich’s forced resignation from the popular web browser over donations he made to the successful Proposition 8 campaign that banned gay marriage in California until it was overturned by a federal judge. “This is the culture of the left not being satisfied with making an argument, or even prevailing in an argument, but in destroying personally and marginalizing people who oppose them,” he said. “In the same way that proponents of climate change declare the issue closed — it’s over, there’s no debate, it is settled science — and therefore anybody who is skeptical of that is considered anti-science, and is called a denier – in a conscious way to echo that there’s some kind of moral or intellectual equivalent to denying the holocaust.

“In the same way, people are now declaring that the national debate that we’ve had for a decade or two on gay marriage is closed, and anybody who opposes gay marriage is a bigot and should be written out of polite society, ostracized and should lose their jobs,” he continued. “This is totalitarian discourse, and it shows a level of intolerance that is absolutely — it should be unacceptable, and people ought to get what they’re giving out and field a counter-boycott.”

As Christians we need to support our right to worship and  exercise our beliefs and it is important that we stand up and show companies who take pertinacious action against anyone who dares to personally support their beliefs, such as the actions taken by Mozilla and A&E that we will NOT accept that.   That it is nothing more then abuse of power.  I will NOT re-download and use  FireFox as a result of their position but I will instead seek out other services more inline with my views or that exhibit tolerance for my views.

The Liberation of Women: Our Thirst for God’s Original Plan

Since mankind’s fall into sin, all of humanity has suffered under sin’s curse.  Women, in particular, have been under the curse of male dominion. (Gen 3:16c) For this cause, women have sought more equitable treatment.  The liberation movement, during its origin, can and should be viewed as an expression of a woman’s desire to see God’s original plan for men and women reinstated.

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less” – Susan B. Anthony

The strength and success of the women’s movement is incontrovertibly attested to in the historical record.  It reportedly began in 1820 and became a full-fledged national movement by 1848.  The movement has had many names, but was known as the Women’s Suffrage Movement during its infancy.  It the early days, the focus was upon giving women the right to vote as well as their own political identity.  By 1920, the state by state battles had all been won and the 72 year-long war had finally reached fruition.   Finally, all American women had the right to vote.  This was a good thing and led to other good things to follow for women.

The Liberation Movement originally focused on uniting women in order for them to learn how to gain control over their own lives.  The movement, as most women understood it, was to emancipate women from their male oppressors.  They sought to have a voice against brutality and social injustice and thereby achieve equality under the law.  So, I agree that women have historically been oppressed.  We were unable to vote our own way, to work in fields not considered appropriate for women, or have our own voice in politics.  So, the women’s movement did in fact help women achieve freedom throughout the years. However, things later went wrong.

The next phase of women’s liberation revealed itself during the political upheaval of the 1960’s. At this point, we see the movement being hijacked by radicals as it now bore the taint of socialism.  The movement soon became splintered into small groups of women from various social demographics and organized groups became hard to find.  Radical feminists initially failed to build much of a movement and what they did have was poorly organized.  They underestimated the opposition they would encounter from groups who held different values.  However, there was some common ground between the groups.  They all sought to free women from the oppression of male dominance in the home and inequity in the workplace.   Yet there was more to the movement.  In its most sensible form, it was also intended to focus on the emancipation of women and bring their degradation to light.  The exploitative sexism in commercials and the behavior of leering men was now being progressively and effectively challenged.  So, the movement in and of itself was not bad.  There was a benefit to bringing equality to the home and to the workforce.

Nonetheless, there were problems.  One of the problems was twofold.  While many women failed to admit that they were oppressed, others misunderstood the purpose of the movement.  It was either viewed as radical or as ridiculous, and failed to bring women together.  Some women were happy with their home life and the idea of change was not what they wanted.   A major misstep for radicals was to disenfranchise middle class traditionalist women.  Failing to focus upon the common ground and choosing to lambaste willing homemakers, hurt their cause.  Moreover, they began to embrace extremist policies as though they’d fail to make progress unless they did.  Soon support for the women liberation movement began to collapse under the weight of the errors made by extremists. They took the movement from a valid pursuit of equal treatment to a liberal agenda driven pursuit of things like abortion on demand and the validation of the homosexual lifestyle.  Women were now being told that, being equal to men wasn’t sufficient.  Now they had to hate men and seek punitive measures to make modern men accountable for the oppression of their ancestors.

 A book is born

Betty Friedan’s 1966 book “The Feminine Mystique” brought to light the dullness and emptiness some middle class housewives experienced.  Her views brought balance to the landscape and many women agreed that she was spot on. That is, their feelings mirrored hers, but Friedan’s book focused on all female roles, not just the housewife.  Her book emphasized the importance of being valued and equal as a human being.

It is important to note that Feidan was not responsible for the Women’s Movement.  She did establish N.O.W. (National Organization Of Women) which she was the leader but the women’s movement began a few years before her book hit the shelves.  Friedan’s book was mostly a personal account or her own life and how choices she made frustrated her and her views about women and women’s rights.  Once her book hit the shelves, it rallied women all over to the Liberation Movement.  Friedan never took the femininity of women away with the issues she raised, unlike the radical feminists.

So, what have we gained so far?

Now, let’s examine the accomplishments and effects of the movement as manifested in the aforementioned period.  Firstly, many women were no longer happy being required only to tend home and hearth.  Additionally, the movement was almost solely responsible for eliminating wage disparity. Sadly, many women felt that the message of the movement meant they shouldn’t be happy at home under any conditions, as if being a homemaker lacked intelligence or skill.  As a result, they felt they should seek satisfaction elsewhere at all costs. And, by the 1970’s, divorce was on the rise.

In more rural settings, what women did was of great value.  The tenets of home economics governed how the money of the bread winner was utilized.  Not to mention, many rural families did a certain amount to farming to bridge the gaps.  With children in school and a husband at work, women had their day taken up with chores.  Without the hard work and thrifty, ingenious efforts of housewives, rural families would not have been nearly so well cared for. In the urban setting however, family needs changed thereby affecting the role of the housewife. The advent of modern conveniences, the modern housewife now had more time on her hands. This fact, coupled with the clamor of radical voices telling housewives how they should feel, brought discord.

The radicals even became so ridiculous as to suggest that women had the potential to match men in physical strength.  While this notion is laughable and not to be taken seriously, it speaks to very real threats we face when we lend our ears to liars and extremists. The physiological differences between men and women are to be revered, not revised, celebrated, not erased.  Equality, in the mind of radicals, became synonymous with conquest.  They failed to understand the point of the movement. The movement’s founders sought to have women shown the respect that comes with conceding that they are of equal value and nothing more. Additionally, the movement was never intended to question women’s choices.  It was intended to give them freedom.

Chivalry is dead and radical feminism killed it.

Personally, I like it when a man opens a door for me and exhibits courteous behavior.  I see nothing wrong with that.  I agree it is a two-way street, but I have no desire to be a man.  I was gifted by God to be a woman.   But, we do need to appreciate the benefits of the movement.  I cannot deny that throughout our history women have been oppressed and men having superiority over a woman.  But let’s also not lose sight of the fact that women have always stood up for women’s rights and had success without losing their femininity which is what the movement of the 1960’s seemed to accomplish.

Lest we overlook it, all of humanity needs liberating.

Feminists seem to believe that men were already liberated, already have it made which is a big misconception.   Do we really believe that men are happy being tied down to a job with a one of two week vacation to look forward to?  Men are pressured to financially providing for their families and the success or failure of the family rests squarely on their shoulders.  So ‘no’, there is no true liberation for men either.  And the feminists have tried to use this misconception to gain leverage.    But men did gain some benefits from the movement.  Now men had the ability to leave their jobs to deal with family emergencies which was once only acceptable for females. Additionally, men can now enter into fields traditionally held by women, for example teachers and nursing.  For the woman entering the workforce, the radical minds within the movement sought to step inside a man’s shoes and walk the path he walked.  Many women dressed as men, in slacks and tailored shirts.  Another error of feminist mentality was in assuming you had to emulate the male instead of finding your own place.

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.” – Susan B. Anthony

I personally worked in an industry that was heavily staffed by women, but with men in positions of great power.  I had to prove myself and felt I had to know more about my job then my male counterpart.  Was that reality or just pressure I put on myself to prove my ability?  I found success when I realized I had a unique perspective in the workplace.  I was a female with qualities that my male counterparts did not possess.

Once I accepted that my feminine abilities were valuable to my success I began to have the success I worked to achieve and is what I believe the movement failed  to teach women.  The movement  failed to teach women how to learn  to make their own way in life and use their qualities to succeed and to achieve happiness and fulfillment, even if they decided to remain in the home as care takers.  What the movement did not account for was the mass groups of women and social classes.  There are women in lower, middle, and upper classes that see their needs differently from each other.  But I do believe all  women agree they want to be viewed as human beings not as sexual objects.  True liberation means that women will not have to lose their femininity and will not be seen as weak but as equal human beings to their male partners.

“The book of Genesis contains a parable about creation. It says that when God first created people He made them male and female, so that both together were God’s image and likeness. At that time He provided that the two should be “one flesh.” There is no hint that God intended in the beginning for either male or female to have superiority.’  Genesis 1:27. — So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

As a Christian, I hold fast to the belief that God created man and woman and that is how we should be. We need each other to be complete and whole.  Women do have an uphill battle, there is no denying that however, I cannot say I am in agreement with a radical movement to achieve equality.  A movement which includes a woman’s right to an abortion or living a lesbian lifestyle.  The radical movement for abortion rights for women was later argued in a letter to Bill Clinton that Abortions help control the poor, and unhealthy from having babies.  This was a way for the government to control population. That is not achieving equality but also a subject for another article.  We look to have equality as human beings and I do believe that can be achieved. We see husbands and wives now working side by side inside and outside of the home both recognizing strengths in each other and that for me is true liberation.  But will there be true success as equals in the workplace and in politics, I think that is still a work in progress.  It is still a man’s world but I do believe that we as women standing up for our rights can achieve some level of success and without the radical extremist movement.

While the historical events of the Suffrage Movement are very interesting, there is a much more interesting point that we may all miss.  God’s original plan for Men and Women was one of gender equality.  Prior to Genesis 3:16c, we see no indication that the man dominated the woman.  Both of their lives were to be lived out in type a of paradise until the Original Sin took it from them and their descendants.  Since this time, women and men have both had an innate hunger for a return of God’s original plan.

In Christ’s name –

Books – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valorie Burton, The Women’s Liberation Movement, 1960-1990 by Terry Catasús Jennings

The Need For Uncompromised Christianity in a Weeping World

Now, more than ever, the world needs Christianity to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16).  Now, more than ever, the world needs Christianity to be that shining city on a hill (Matthew 5:14).  Simply put, the world is literally going to Hell and so many Christians are missing their opportunity to make a positive difference, to set a Christ-like example.
So, what happened to Christianity? Where did following the word of God go? Christianity today, is judged by it’s abusers. But do those who judge understand the Bible, know scripture? Should we expect them to? Are they able to make judgments based on any sound understanding? No, they only see the abusers who take scripture and twist it into what would fit their purpose. Some falsely claim to be Christians yet make shameful choices that affect Christianity negatively. Can we blame the critics? Not entirely.  Are those who have judged Christianity to be false or made up, have they closed themselves off to any other reasoning? Have they decided that only their bird’s-eye view of Christianity is the only view that, for them, makes sense?  Can we forgive those who claim to follow Christ yet allow perversion to take hold?
Unlike so many other religions, Christianity is divided into many different denominations. Each of the Christian denominations practice various doctrines specific to them. I can certainly understand why so many people would question God. But let us be reminded, God did not create the various religious institutions. He gave us His word to follow.  In 1 Timothy 4:16 we read, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  Anyone really interested in understanding God’s word needs to put all previous influences away and open their minds to understanding what God’s message to us is.  Consider Ephesians 4:14where it says “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;”
I don’t want anyone to be insulted or offended by my beliefs, but what I want is really irrelevant. What God wants is relevant. Honoring His word and living according to His teachings is what is relevant and required by us. We lose sight of His teachings when we wrap ourselves up into compromise. If I only give in this time, we can have peace. Well, I see many dangerous issues there. I see compromise becoming the rule and way of life. Secular tolerance for only those who share the same secular beliefs. Societal tolerance of Christianity is rapidly declining.  2 Corinthians 6:14-15 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”
We see, all too often, Church Leaders compromising in order to be politically correct. Is that the purpose of today’s Church? Some Pastors have even said they will remove crosses from their Churches in order to make Muslims feel more comfortable. What are they thinking? Is the Muslim going to attend a Christian church? I don’t think so, any more than a Christian would attend a Mosque. The only Muslims that may attend a Christian Church are those who have seen Jesus, and His cross would not offend them.  2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
Can we look at our nation’s history and determine a turning point?  When did things start to spiral down for America?  I keep going back to the 1960’s. That was the era of Free Love and the Woman’s Liberation movement.  We also wept as we witnessed prayer being removed from our schools, as if talking to God before lunch or a ball game was a bad thing!  All of these things had a significant impact on our society. No matter how you slice it, we as a society allowed these things to take place with very little fight. The whole free love movement opened the door to radically promiscuous behavior in our own children.  The Punk Rock’s cultural’s wanton extremes led to  use of recreational drugs like LSD and Angel Dust.  The indulgences of hallucinogenic drugs and battling against the establishment took the place of family gatherings and Church attendance.  Many of the youths, who were caught up in this debauchery, later turned their lives around.  They did so when it became necessary to find a good job and support a family.  But during that time, radical movements were all the rage.  Unwilling to step in, so many of us thought, “Oh, this will pass, it’s just a phase.”  How wrong we all were!
Take for example the Woman’s Liberation movement. The movement of the 60’s was vile, and women extreme in their preaching.  They persuaded women to believe they had no value unless they were willing to give up home, and ultimately family, and join the fight for equality. When two parents worked, the thinking initially was so they can improve their life, the actual results were higher divorce rates. Older children were left alone to fend for themselves until the parent(s) came home from work (latch-key kids). In the case of the younger child, they were left with baby sitters who were chosen by their price rather than their values. So what happened to our children can be traced directly back to when this all began, smack back to the whole free love and woman’s movement era. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women’s rights, however, the movement of the 60’s was at the detriment of the whole family. Look at what is going on today. We have some of the harshest women’s movement in history.   It’s run by angry, venomous feminists not traditional, family-oriented women. I enjoy being a woman, I love the attributes I bring to both the home and work place so why would I want to change those attributes,  to mimic a man?  Well, at the time, women didn’t see it in that light.  Although, some women, after much consideration and in retrospect, have come to those conclusions after all was said and done.  Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s take a look at the Church. Church pews empty, Church times reduced, and Church doors locked. I remember, if I needed, being able to go sit in Church no matter what time. Not anymore. Those doors are now locked. Why? Because of vandalism. When we lived in a age of mutual respect, properties and persons were important.  Therefore, the Church’s could leave their doors open.  Not anymore. We have continued to become an angry society. Now, those in power and with a strong voice dictate the perversions we are witnessing today. Once the whole gay marriage issue was legitimized, it opened the doors to all other perversions, including pedophilia. Now, psychiatrist are claiming that Pedophilia is a treatable disease and those suffering should be treated not incarcerated. Well what happened to enforcing the law and what of victims rights? What about how the victims are now emotionally affected for the rest of their lives? Yes my friends, we are living today in a perverted world and it’s only going to get worst. Christians are being pushed further and further into a box, and treated badly unless they conform to what society today says is acceptable.
So how do we get back to what we had before all this began?  I don’t think we can.  What I think we can do is stop accepting the things we know to be wrong.  We are to live separated but not isolated in the world, so lets get back to hearing God’s voice in His written word.  Let’s return to learning and studying the Bible and making life choices that keep us in line with what we know God wants for us.
There are far fewer true Christians per capita in today’s society.  And we need to remember that it’s our responsibility to make God’s word relevant by demonstrating its value.  We do this by preaching it, teaching and, most of all, living it!
My favorite  verse is  Matthew 7:14. In it we read, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  I don’t need to be surrounded by a multitude of secular people.  What I need is to be surrounded by those who share God’s word and live in accordance with it.   I think, if Christians would focus more on how we live and work and live the life we are intended to live for God, I do believe we can, to some degree, affect a change in our society.  We must use our energies to vote for those who can return Christian values to our country, and who values the family unit.  Not look at all the shiny objects that only serve to distract us and take advantage of us.  (Psalm 1:1) “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;”
There are no easy answers, but I do know there are many wrong choices.   May God be with us, and help us all to return to a more Godly world.

In peace and love….