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Does ‘Redefining’ Change Anything?

21 Oct

As I looked at my reflection in the mirror in the bright morning light, sans make-up, I breathed a heavy sigh.

“That’s it,” I said. “I’m officially calling my age spots ‘freckles.'”

I’d already redefined the wrinkles around my eyes as “smile lines.” And the silver (Ok, gray) around my hairline as “highlights.”

My mom calls her double chin a “wattle,” but I’m still searching for a happier way to define the fleshy flap of skin under my jawline. Rooster wattles are meant to gain hens’ attention. Frankly, I don’t want ANY attention going to my double chin.

No matter how I redefine my bodily changes, it doesn’t really change anything.

I’m getting older. It’s programmed into my DNA. No matter how I try to eat healthier and move my body, my bones will likely grow more brittle with age; my hormones and fat storage will likely change; and my voice, eyesight and hearing will likely weaken.

Solomon talked about this in Ecclesiastes 12:3-13.  In old age, our muscles slacken, our grip weakens, our joints stiffen, and the shades slowly pull down on our world.

The promises of scripture for the aging are God’s continuing presence and opportunities to bear fruit for His Kingdom (Psalm 71:18; 90:10, 12; 92:14, 16; 71:9).

But this redefining thing bothers me.

Redefining reality doesn’t change it.

Redefining only makes us feel better, perhaps, about our challenges.

Or it allows us to go our own way rather than seeking God and His will for our lives.

We live in a culture that tries to redefine so many things.

  • Redefining gender.
  • Redefining femininity and masculinity.
  • Redefining roles.
  • Redefining marriage.
  • Redefining parenting.
  • Redefining love.
  • Redefining tolerance.
  • Redefining salvation.

I’m not going to go into all those re-definitions; but only want to note: We’re ending up with a culture lived in shades of gray. We’re doing what seems right in our own eyes (Proverbs 21:2).

We need to be careful not to redefine what God, in His infinite wisdom, already defined in bold, living color in scripture.

Either He is our Lord and final authority, or He is not. And He already made clear what the consequences are for not recognizing His lordship over every area of life (Matthew 7:21-23).

The One who redeems us also lays claim to our lives, and He has the right to define how we live.

Redefining what the Lord declares doesn’t change anything!

Redefining age spots as freckles is laughable; redefining “thus says the Lord” is not.

What are you trying to “redefine” in your life? Is it flying in the face of the Word of God? 

 – Dawn





Who Tells You What to Do?

6 Jul

Gate of HeavenPam and her husband Bill wrote, in Marriage in the Whirlwind:

I had a dream the other night that I was approaching the gates of heaven. I noticed Gate of Heaventhat there were TWO GATES to choose from.

Over the one at the left was a sign that said, “Men who have made their own decisions.” 

Over the one at the right, “Men who have been hen-pecked.”

In front of the right gate waited a line of men that stretched as far as I could see! In front of the left gate stood my friend John, all alone.

In amazement, I went up to John and said, “This is incredible. There is a huge line of henpecked men, and over here I find you standing all by yourself. Why are you standing here?”

John gave me a quizzical look and said, “I don’t know. My wife told me to stand here.” (1)

yes dear.[Note:  Actually, henpecked husbands are no laughing matter. Wives, we need to love and respect our husbands. But that humor makes a point… ]

No matter who you are, someone tells you what to do. Listening to and submitting to authority is not just a “women’s issue,” as so many think in the church. It’s a people issue.

Think about it.

  • The government has a good deal of input for sure.
  • If we work outside the home, our boss tells us what to do.
  • If we are wives living in the model of biblical womanhood, we submit to our husbands’ leadership ~ and though he can wisely listen to our counsel ~ ultimately, he makes the decisions. [Men are to listen to God as they lead women … they are to model listening and obedience.]
  • Authorities in our lives like the local police and highway patrol can tell us what to do when we travel in our cars, and judges can tell us what to do in court.
  • When we go to church, we listen to the pastor and other church leaders, expounding on the Word and will of God, and telling us what to do in order to live in righteousness and power.

No matter how independent we think we are, someone, somewhere, has the job of telling us what to do. It’s a fact of life. 

And we can have one or two responses.

We can allow their words to grind in our spirit and make us edgy, maybe even rebellious. We can resist and maybe even get angry: “Who are they to tell me what to do?”

Or we can keep our spirits soft and our hearts teachable. We can listen, consider, and stay humble. We can ask God for His truth in others’ words. We might say, “Help me hear with my heart, Lord, and understand Your voice behind theirs.”

I’ve had both responses in life ~ sometimes to the same person. It all depends on the condition of my heart at the moment. For example, sometimes I listen to my husband’s counsel, Continue reading

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