Jessica Rey – The evolution of the swim suit

via Jessica Rey – The evolution of the swim suit – YouTube.

I found this video inspiring today!  I have often wondered about the over-sexualization of our culture and how its connected with a lack of respect for women.  This video sort of answered that question a little.  If a man see’s a woman as more of an object or tool, it makes it all the more easy to treat her as an object or a tool.

I also say this video by Dustin Hoffman.  It sort of illustrates the process of scales dropping from ones eyes.  What happens when you stop seeing women as objects but as interesting people?

I hope you find them as interesting as I did!

Why fundraising is difficult

I have been thinking a lot recently about why the initial season of fundraising is difficult for mostly all new staff… and apart from the obvious its different reasons for everyone I have been noticing some common threads amongst me and some of my other new staff friends. In general I would say fundraising is challenging because it causes us to confront some of the lies that we were previously believing. Here are some of them (though I am sure there are many more… I didn’t even touch the ones related to money):

Lie #1: I am nothing if I am not ministering
I think this lie rears its ugly head when we have found too much of our identities in what were doing on campus. It calls into question our primary identity as a son or daughter of Christ and makes us feel worthless and useless.

Lie #2: I’m not worth supporting
I feel this at especially low moments, or when I have sinned in some way or another. It feels like, “why would God bless me with support when I am such a mess in other ways?” But the truth is every human being deserves the support they need and our God is generous and gracious beyond our wildest imaginings.

Lie #3: Its all about me
Related to lie #2 (because that was also a self-focused lie), this lie tells us that this season is all about us. Its our ministry, our needs that need to be met, our effort that needs to bring in things to meet them. It feels like I keep making appointments to talk about ME and MY ministry, etc, etc. And I think as soon as we step on the ME-train things start going hay-wire. I see myself as the one who needs to get everything done, myself as the one with all of the responsibility, and I consequently get selfish and think about myself all the time. Eww, not pretty. This week I have been re-aligning that this season is NOT about ME. Its Jesus’s ministry that He invites me to be a part of… ultimately He must provide the funds. Its not even really about me when I am meeting with potential donors–its about them and how they might grow/benefit from supporting Jesus’s work on the college campus. Its about them and how they would like to be involved. Maybe it is partly about me (after all its raising a support team for me, haha), but not in a selfish, self-focused way.

To all my fund-raising friends, hang in there. Any lies you want to add to this list?

Watch this video for some encouragement: 

To all my non-fund-raising friends, please pray for me and all of the new staff this year who are battling these lies.

Is Christmas About Giving or Receiving?

No one can celebrate

a genuine Christmas

without being truly poor.

The self-sufficient, the proud,

those who, because they have

everything, look down on others,

those who have no need

even of God–for them there

will be no Christmas.

Only the poor, the hungry,

those who need someone

to come on their behalf,

will have that someone.

That someone is God.

Emmanuel. God with us.

Without poverty of spirit

there can be no abundance of God.

Oscar Romero

I would like to speculate that often in our answers we say: giving of course! Its all about giving!  But let us not forget that it is also a season very much about receiving and we are not very good at that part.  We must learn to graciously receive gifts from those around us and be thankful or we will never learn to receive the greatest gift of the season.  The birth of our God 2000+ years ago… the birth of God with US.

Media Moguls

Lets take a minute to stop and think about the power of the media on our subconscious minds.  Watch and be disturbed:

Let’s get some more females into the media business, eh?  And in the meantime, I feel affirmed in my decision to unplug from media to some extent (we don’t have cable, and I limit my hours of internet/movies, etc.).  Images have such power to stick in our minds, be careful what you consume.

Psalm 100 by Laura James

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Solitude

Today, I am musing on the lessons of solitude:
Teach me to stop and listen,
Teach me to center down,
Teach me the use of silence,
Teach me where peace is found.

Teach me to hear Your calling,
Teach me to search Your Word.
Teach me to hear in silence,
Things I have never heard.

Teach me to be collected,
Teach me to be in tune,
Teach me to be directed,
Silence will end so soon.

Then when it’s time for moving,
Grant it that I might bring,
To every day and moment,
Peace from a silent spring.
-Ken Medema

“Solitude does its work whether we have any cognitive understanding of it or not. Just as the physical law of gravity ensures that sediment swirling in a jar of muddy water will eventually settle and the water will become clear, so the spiritual law of gravity ensures that the chaos of the human soul will settle if it sits still long enough.” Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Leighton Ford