Grumpy Middle Aged Woman Slaps Blog Readers

MIDDLE AGED GRUMP

I want to slap teenage boys whose pants are hanging so low their Bonds undies are inflated around their hips like a blow fish under attack.

I want to slap women with eyebrows that look like they’ve been drawn on by Picasso with a brown Disney felt pen.

I want to slap people who say (with a face like a prune), “You know those child sponsor charities just spend all your money on administration and nice cars”.

Seriously, I’m middle aged, grumpy and tired of bullpoo.

I wont actually slap anyone because I hate violence but I admit I do have to suppress the urge that bubbles up in me.

The older you get, the more real you get. Your tolerance for shallowness, cynicism, and botox infused selfies runs to zero. You think more about an authentic life. You think more about a meaningful death.

And so I have been thinking about what I’d like written on my grave stone.

Wife, Mother, Sponsor.

Sound schmaltzy? Really, does sponsor deserve to be in the same line as wife and mother?

Yep! I believe it is as profound.

Is this where you switch off because this blog is another one of thousands of pleas for sponsorship?

If you are about to switch off, just come closer for one minute.

SLAP! You deserve a slap! (metaphorically speaking off course)

Or as we call it in church circles, the laying on of hands till you are healed of the stupid.

Aggressive much – you bet! Ungracious – probably!

But I’m over 50 now and just don’t care if I upset your comfort with poverty. I’m tired of politeness being a barrier to desperate need. Your discomfort and offense don’t come close to feelings of despair and aching hunger that children in this world are experiencing as you read this.

I know, I’ve been to Cambodia in places poor beyond imagination.  The changes sponsorship bring is mind-blowingly fabulous. I’m frustrated because I cannot adequately describe the radical change it brings. Unless you’ve seen it first hand you can’t really grasp how incredible it is. You know I’m totally over bullpoo now – so trust me, I’m telling you straight, child sponsorship works, its a tangible miracle.

Sponsoring a child leaves a legacy beyond your life time and more profound than your life time. What the heck is life about if its not about profound legacy?

I know we all get weary of hearing about the overwhelming pain of those suffering in the third world.

Temporary weariness I can do, but I never ever want to become familiar, inoculated and comfortable with suffering.

I never want to say I’ve done enough. God help me if that is what could be written on my grave stone: “Elissa – she was nice and helpful but put a limit on compassion”. No way!

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Indulge me as I share one of the most significant moments of my life- tombstone worthy.

When my eighteen year old son was on his gap year he worked casually at KFC. He mentioned a sponsorship charity to me and asked, “Mum, they’re legit right? They’re good right?”

“You bet son, why?”

“I just started sponsoring a little girl in Asia with them”.

I stopped for a moment. A mummy moment. My teenage boy, off his own volition, from his basic wage, CHOSE to take the time, to take the money, to make the life altering bigger-than-he-gets-right-now decision to sponsor a child.

“Wow, mate, that’s awesome. Is that working out OK because you aren’t really on a decent wage yet?”

Then he schooled me” “Mum, I’m your son. You always said that once you have a job you have a responsibility to share that with those who don’t have what you’ve got. I’ve got water, I’ve got a flat. I’ve got two minute noodles, I’ve got a phone – I’m good.”

Put that on my friggin’ grave stone people! (The first sentence, not the two minute noodle thing.)

I could stop this blog now at this feel good moment. But I’m throwing this “writing on your tombstone” moment back at you. Let’s get very, very real for a moment.

What do you want? Who do you want to be? What do you want your legacy to be?

I pray it’s sponsorship. Sponsorship prevents poverty, sponsorship prevents deathly disease, sponsorship prevents child marriages. Sponsorship’s bring hope. Sponsorship brings positive change. Sponsorship brings joy. Click on this link if you want to see it in action:https://vimeo.com/276783227

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If you want to sponsor a child, I highly recommend, like super dooper endorse Baptist World Aid as an agency. I traveled with them to Cambodia and was left humbled by their compassion, integrity, intelligence and the dignity afforded to the children with which they partner. They are an incredibly honest, effective and honorable organization.

Press on this link below and sponsor one of their beautiful children, literally change a community and make your own life more meaningful.

To make your life more meaningful and beautiful click here:

https://baptistworldaid.org.au/sponsorship/

Bless you and I promise to stop slapping you (metaphorically speaking).

by Elissa Macpherson

author, speaker, unashamedbly pushy about justice, wife, mother, sponsor

small book image  Available at Koorong or Amazon.com

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Queridas mujeres, Porque Te sigo Diciendo Que Tu Eres Hermosa. Con Amor Del ministerio De Mujeres.

Eres hermosa. Lo siento si no lo sientes. Lo siento si no lo crees. Lo siento si no crees que es importante. Pero eres hermosa. Dios lo dijo en Cantar de los Cantares 4: 1, “Eres hermosa, mi amor, hermosa más allá de las palabras”. Este verso es sobre ti.

No importa si no lo sientes. No importa si no lo crees. No importa si no crees que es importante. Este verso es personal. Este versículo está vivo. Este verso es eterno. Es verdad.

Para aquellas que están enojadas con los líderes del ministerio de mujeres que les dicen que son bellas, pongan algo de gracia en mi camino y aguanten.

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Si bien la realidad de tu belleza no es el punto bíblico más importante que puedo hacer, eso no hace que la verdad de tu belleza sea irrelevante. La belleza de Dios y tu belleza no son mutuamente excluyentes. No es un escenario cualquiera. Es parte del paquete grande, delicioso, expansivo, complejo y rico que viene con el regalo de la salvación.

Antes de la salvación eras un pecador, eras fea. Jesús murió por tus pecados. Cuando aceptas la salvación, ya no estás definido por tus pecados feos. Ahora estás definida por Su hermoso amor. Tú eres su hija. Él te ama. Para El eres hermosa.

Para cada mujer con sus inseguridades, sus fracasos, viviendo en su desorden, esto puede ser una noticia liberadora. Es liberador porque es la palabra de Dios, y la palabra de Dios es poderosa. No es un pensamiento positivo. No es un cumplido. No es un líder cristiano animándote. Es verdad. Eterna, invariable, poderosa verdad.

Entonces, ¿por qué luchamos con la verdad de nuestra belleza? Tal vez, hay dos problemas reales que deben aclararse para evitar que nos enojemos.

Primero, como definimos la belleza? Segundo, creemos que la belleza es importante?

Si definimos la belleza por estándares culturales, es decir, su cara y cuerpo se ajustan a las medidas mundanas de atractivo, entonces estamos en problemas. Que te digan que eres culturalmente bella desde la plataforma de la iglesia es tonto. Sé que no soy Gigi Hadid. Ella es una mujer atractiva, gana un salario honesto y trabaja duro, bien por ella.

Pero no me parezco a Gigi Hadid. Y está bien porque Dios no me llama a conformarme a los estándares mundanos sino a anhelar la cultura del Reino. La cultura del Reino tiene una definición de belleza muy diferente.

La cultura del Reino define tu belleza como los portadores de la imagen de un Dios hermoso. Como portadores de la imagen, reflejamos a Dios visiblemente. Reflejamos su amor, libertad, gracia, compasión, alegría, santidad y poder. Cuando expresas estas cualidades con tu cara, con tu cuerpo, con tus palabras, con tus acciones, eres hermosa.

Nuestra belleza es la manifestación del amor de Dios.

La belleza del Reino se define por el amor de Dios. Cuando Dios te mira, siente amor, siente placer, se deleita. Sofonías 3:17 nos dice que Dios se deleita en nosotros con alegría, que se regocija por nosotros con canciones de alegría. Nuestra belleza es la manifestación de este amor infalible, es un reflejo de su gloria en nuestra vida.

La belleza es uno de los ingredientes en la gloria de Dios. La gloria de Dios es una combinación del poder aplastante del planeta, la justicia pura y la belleza esplendorosa. Si disminuimos selectivamente la importancia de uno de esos ingredientes, diluimos la forma en que concebimos la gloria de Dios. La belleza es parte integrante de la gloria de Dios y estamos llamados a ser portadores de su gloria en grados crecientes.

 

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¿Por qué somos llamados a crecer en la gloria de Dios y, por lo tanto, su belleza? Esto nos lleva al segundo tema: ¿es importante la belleza?

La belleza es importante por tanto es poderosa.

La belleza puede crear una respuesta, evocar emoción, inspirar acción, hacer que cambiemos. Estas respuestas, emociones, acciones y cambios pueden ser divinos o destructivos. En las manos del cielo, la belleza tiene poder piadoso.

La belleza tiene el poder de evangelizar.

El padre Barón, teólogo y autor, cree que la belleza es una poderosa herramienta de evangelismo. “Comienza con lo bello, que te conduce a lo bueno, que te conduce a la verdad” (1). En los tiempos posteriores a la modernidad, cuando las ideas de la verdad y la bondad son fluidas, la belleza es un lugar apacible para comenzar una conversación difícil.

La belleza tiene el poder de dar esperanza en la desesperanza.

Encarcelado en un campo de concentración nazi, el Dr. Frankl absorbió intencionalmente la belleza de la naturaleza durante una marcha forzada. Al usar el poder de la belleza, fue capaz de soportar lo insoportable. Cuando una mujer usa la esperanza como expresión de su belleza piadosa, puede dar esperanza a los que no tienen esperanza.

La belleza da valor. En el Salmo 27, David está rodeado de sus enemigos. Es entonces cuando él declara que meditará en la belleza de Dios, este enfoque construye su coraje. Cuando nuestras vidas apuntan a las alegrías y maravillas de la vida, les recordamos a los demás por qué luchamos por lo que es bueno y verdadero.

La belleza divina no se trata de generar cumplidos, se trata de generar esperanza, coraje y alegría. La belleza divina no se trata de tu peso, sino del peso de la gloria de Dios. La belleza divina no se trata de cosméticos, se trata de su creación. La belleza divina no se trata de ser bonita, se trata de poder.

  Satanás mismo conoce el poder de la belleza. Fue el deseo de poseer la belleza de Dios lo que lo corrompió y llevó a su caída (véase Ezequiel 28:17).

Satanás mismo conoce el poder de la belleza. Fue el deseo de poseer la belleza de Dios lo que lo corrompió y llevó a su caída (véase Ezequiel 28:17).

  Satanás mismo sabe del poder de la belleza.  Fue el deseo de poseer la belleza de Dios lo que lo corrompió y llevo a su caída. (Vea Ezequiel 28:17)

Las dictaduras malvadas conocen el poder de la belleza. Uno de los primeros actos de dictadura de Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot y Stalin fueron el de exiliar o ejecutar artistas, músicos y autores. Hitler definió la superioridad como piel blanca, ojos azules y cabello rubio. Los dictadores saben que la belleza totalmente expresada tiene el poder de traer libertad de pensamiento. Entonces la belleza tenía que ser capturada y manipulada para sus propósitos depravados.

El famoso autor y filósofo Dostoevsky dijo, “Lo terrible es que la belleza es misteriosa como terrible. Dios y el diablo están allí y el campo de batalla es el corazón de la humanidad.  

Hay una batalla por la belleza. No se trata solo de dictadores. Para las mujeres, es personal. La belleza no se trata solo de arte, se trata de la anorexia. No se trata solo de música, sino de imágenes retocadas. No se trata solo de poesía, sino de vergüenza corporal. Las definiciones pervertidas de belleza tienen el poder de destruir el cuerpo y el alma de una mujer. Es un ataque personal por lo que Cantar de los Cantares4: 1 debe tomarse personalmente.

Si el ministerio de mujeres  no actúa como un agente para definir la verdadera belleza, la brecha será llenada por la cultura mundana, o mucho peor que eso, será definida por el mal

Satanás conoce el poder de la belleza y no quiere que llegue a manos de los cristianos. Él nos engaña al convencernos de que nuestra belleza es esponjosa, frívola, egoísta. Sí, bueno demonio, no estoy jugando tu juego.

No puedo hablar de mi belleza, sin hablar de Dios.

No puedo expresar mi belleza, sin expresar la belleza de Dios.

No puedo aceptar la belleza sin aceptar a Dios.

La belleza de Dios y mi belleza están inextricablemente conectadas. Mi belleza declara por mi comportamiento, “¡Soy amada por el Rey de Reyes!” Así son las otras mujeres en mi mundo y voy a declararlo en voz alta y públicamente.

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La verdadera belleza no puede separarse de la gloria de Dios. Si los líderes de su ministerio de mujeres se enfocan singularmente en su belleza sin hacer referencia a la gloria de Dios en el curso de su ministerio, entonces tienen un problema. Si es así, sugiero que siga el procedimiento bíblico y que los corrija en privado.

Sin embargo, si sus líderes la están llamando hermosa en el contexto del amor y la gloria de Dios y usted se avergüenza, entonces tal vez, querida mujer, usted debe preguntarse honestamente y humildemente si tiene un problema. Pregúntate si estás aceptando por completo la verdad de su amor por ti, un amor que te hace bella.

Por Elissa Macpherson

http://www.lavishpursuits.com.au

conferencista, autora, le encanta el café, festiva y femenina, amante de Jesús.

TRADUCIDO POR LILY MUIR

BOLIVIA

 

Dear Women, Why I'll Keep Telling You You're Beautiful, Love From Women's Ministry.

You are beautiful. I’m sorry if you don’t feel it. I’m sorry if you don’t believe it. I’m sorry if you don’t think that it is important. But you are beautiful. God said it. Song of Songs 4:1, “You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words”. This verse is about you.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it’s important. This verse is personal. This verse is living. This verse is eternal. It is true.

For those who are peeved at women’s ministry leaders who tell them they are beautiful, throw some grace my way and hang in there.

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While the reality of your beauty is not the most important Biblical point I can make, that doesn’t make the truth of your beauty irrelevant. God’s beauty and your beauty are not mutually exclusive. It’s not an either-or scenario. It’s part of the big, luscious, expansive, complex, rich package that comes with the gift of salvation.

Before salvation you were a sinner, it was ugly. Jesus died for your sins. When you accept salvation you are no longer defined by your ugly sins. You are now defined by his beautiful love. You are his child. He loves you. To him you are beautiful.

For every woman with her insecurities, her failures, living in her mess, this can be liberating news. It’s liberating because it is the word of God, and the word of God is powerful. It’s not positive thinking. It’s not a compliment. It’s not Christian cheer leading. It’s truth. Eternal, unchanging, powerful truth.

So why do we struggle with the truth of our beauty? Perhaps, there are two real issues that need to be clarified to prevent us getting  peeved off.

First, how do we define beauty? Secondly, do we believe beauty is important?

If we define beauty by cultural standards, that is, your face and body conform to worldly measures of attractiveness then we are in trouble. Being told you are culturally beautiful from the church platform is dumb. I know I’m not Gigi Hadid. She is an attractive woman, she makes an honest wage and works hard, good for her.

But I don’t look like Gigi Hadid. And it is OK because God doesn’t call me to conform to worldly standards but to crave the culture of the Kingdom. Kingdom culture has a very different definition of beauty.

Kingdom culture defines your beauty as image bearers of a beautiful God. As image bearers we reflect God visibly. We reflect his love, liberty, grace, compassion, joy, holiness and power. When you express these qualities with your face, with your body, with your words, with your actions – you are beautiful.

Our beauty is the manifestation of God’s love.

Kingdom beauty is defined by God’s love.  When God looks at you, he feels love, he feels pleasure, he feels delight.  Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God delights in us with gladness, that he rejoices over us with songs of joy. Our beauty is manifestation of this unfailing love, it is a reflection of his glory in our life.

Beauty is one of the ingredients in God’s glory. God’s glory is a combination of planet crushing power, pure righteousness and splendorous beauty. If we selectively diminish the importance of one of those ingredients, we water down how we conceive God’s glory. Beauty is part and parcel of God’s glory and we are called to become bearers of his glory in increasing degrees.

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Why are we called to increase in God’s glory and therefore his beauty?                     This brings us to the second issue- is beauty important?

Beauty is important because it is powerful.

Beauty can create a response, evoke emotion, inspire action, cause us to change. These responses, emotions, actions and changes may be divine or destructive. In the hands of heaven, beauty has godly power.

Beauty has the power to evangelize. Father Baron, a theologian and author, believes beauty is a powerful evangelism tool. “Begin with the beautiful, which leads you to the good, which leads you to the truth”(1). In post modern times when ideas of truth and goodness are fluid, beauty is a gentle place to begin a hard conversation.

Beauty has the power to give hope in the hopeless. Imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Dr. Frankl  intentionally absorbed the beauty of nature during a forced march. By using the power of beauty, he was able to endure the unendurable. When a woman wears hope as an expression of her godly beauty, she can give hope to the hopeless.

Beauty gives courage. In Psalm 27 David is surrounded by his enemies. It is then he declares he will meditate on the beauty of God, this focus builds his courage. When our lives point to the joys and wonders of life, we remind others why we fight for what is good and true.

Godly beauty isn’t about generating compliments, it’s about generating hope, courage and joy. Godly beauty isn’t about your weight, its about the weight of God’s glory. Godly beauty isn’t about cosmetics, it’s about his craftsmanship. Godly beauty isn’t about pretty, it’s about power.

Satan himself knows the power of beauty. It was the desire to possess God’s beauty that corrupted him and led to his downfall (see Ezekiel 28:17). 

Evil dictatorships know the power of beauty. One of the first acts of dictatorship by Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin was to exile or execute artists, musicians and authors. Hitler defined superiority as white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. Dictators know beauty fully expressed had the power to bring freedom of thought. So beauty had to be captured and manipulated for their depraved purposes.

The famous author and philosopher Dostoevsky said, “The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.

There is a battle for beauty. It’s not just about dictators. For women, it’s personal. Beauty is not just about art, it’s about anorexia. It’s not just about music, its about airbrushed images. It’s not just about poetry, its about body shame. Perverted definitions of beauty have the power to destroy a woman’s body and soul. It’s a personal attack which is why Songs of Songs 4:1 needs to be taken personally.

If women’s ministry doesn’t act as an agent to define true beauty, the gap will be filled by worldly culture, or worse still it will be defined by evil.

Satan knows the power of beauty and he doesn’t want it to get in the hands of the godly. He deceives us by convincing us our beauty is fluffy, frivolous, egotistical. Yeh, well devil, I’m not playing your game.

I cannot talk about my beauty, without talking about God.

I cannot express my beauty, without expressing God’s love.

I cannot embrace beauty without embracing God.

God’s beauty and my beauty are inextricably connected. My beauty declares by my demeanor, “I am loved by the King of Kings!” So are the other women in my world and I’m going to loudly and publicly declare it.

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True beauty cannot be separated from God’s glory.  If your women’s ministry leaders are focusing singularly on your beauty without reference to God’s glory over the course of their ministry, then they have a problem. If so, I suggest you follow Biblical procedure and correct them in private.

However, if your leaders are calling you beautiful within the context of God’s love and glory and you cringe, then perhaps, perhaps, dear woman you need to honestly and humbly ask yourself if you have a problem. Ask yourself if you are fully embracing the truth of his love for you, a love that makes you beautiful.

by Elissa Macpherson

http://www.lavishpursuits.com.au

speaker, author, coffee drinker, feisty and feminine, Jesus lover

SOURCES

  1. http://www.azquotes.com/author/38796-Robert_Barron