Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fifty Shades of Frenzy

The book series, Fifty Shades of Grey has indeed become a global frenzy. Wikipedia claims it's topped the best seller list in the US and the UK, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide. So what's it all about, and why are mainly women flocking to read this erotic, pornographic book.

Fifty Shades of Grey is the story of an older man preying on the innocence and vulnerability of a younger woman, using her as his victim to fulfill his fantasy of sexual domination, abuse and perversion. It begins with him luring her with gifts to having her sign a contract giving him complete power to do his bidding with her in his 'red room of pain'. Basically it's pornography in written form, just as addicting as the visual form, designed to romanticize the sexual violence and victimization of women.

The subject matter of Fifty Shades of Grey is the very thing I've spent the last 8 years helping rescue and heal women from. It alarms and saddens me that so many women are flocking to a book that glamorizes and romanticizes the predatory sexual, emotional and physical abuse and domination of women when in reality there's nothing glamorous or sexy about it. Instead what I see and hear from women is the broken lives filled with pain and devastation this reaps for decades following. For many, its just an interesting story, but in the world I live and minister in, it is someone's they wish wasn't real.

Not only is this sexually perverse material addicting for both men and women, but by it's nature pornography desensitizes all of us to the sexual violence against women and children. Studies are showing that men who watch hard core pornography have higher rates of sexual abuse of children, rape and violence against women, and are more likely to buy or sell girls in the sex industry. With 1/3 girls and 1/6 boys sexually abused by age 18, over 50% of a woman's first sexual experience being forced or unwanted, and sex-trafficking of women and children at pandemic proportions, pornography in my opinion is the single greatest cause and must bear the blame.

In my opinion the frenzy over this subject matter generated mainly by women, has taken our sexual identity and integrity as strong, beautiful, independent and equal women a step backward rather than forward. For me the saddest thing about this book is that it's women who've made it a best seller. Why would we as women want to glorify and glamorize the very thing we've spent decades trying to free ourselves from? That's what I don't understand.

Barbara Wilson

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winning the Battle for the Mind

"Finally, brothers (sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things...and the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:8,9.

Do you want to live with hope, peace and joy? Do you want to have pure, kind and positive thoughts? Be a loving, good person? Do you want to be the master of your behavior, rather than it mastering you? Then listen to what God says on how to do it...change your thoughts.

Like a tiny rudder that can direct the course of the largest ship, our thoughts can control our beliefs, emotions, attitudes and behavior, and ultimately our whole life. In other words if you can change your thoughts, you can change your life! It works like this:

Your thoughts (whether negative or positive) lead to beliefs;
Your beliefs (whether based on truth or a lie) determine your feelings
Your feelings (about something, someone or yourself) produces your attitude
Your attitude (your judgements and opinions) controls your behavior
And your behavior becomes your life!

So if our thoughts are so important, how should we think? This verse in Philippians 4:8,9 tells us thinking about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.

It sounds so easy, right? But doing it can be hard. I know. Sometimes thoughts crash in on us like a wave on the shore; by surprise, intrusive and with greater force than we know how to handle. Critical thoughts, impure thoughts, angry thoughts, unkind thoughts, proud thoughts, jealous thoughts, and on and on the list goes. It can be exhausting and overwhelming just trying to manage all our thoughts and emotions, never-mind controlling them.

Mastering our thought life is like being in a battle, God says. There is a war going on for control of your mind. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. Even when I'm trying to think the right things the wrong thoughts overpower me.

Imagine your mind as a room with four walls where your thoughts live. In the room is a door that opens to allow thoughts to enter or stays shut to keep them out. We can open or shut the door whenever we want. We're in control of the door. But in the door is a tiny viewing window (like a peep hole) that allows us to see who's knocking on the door before we let them in. Too often we open wide the door and let thoughts rush in and then it's hard to get them to leave. And as we begin dwelling on that thought it starts to affect our beliefs, attitudes and behavior. But if we were to preview the thought through our viewing window first, we'd know if they were good thoughts or negative thoughts; whether to let them in or shut them out.

God shares the secret to winning control of our minds in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

The secret weapon God gives us is to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. When I first read this verse, it sounded too simple. Could I really stop thinking impure and negative thoughts by just 'taking them captive'? Maybe you're wondering the same thing. But when I tried it, I discovered that God's Word is powerful.

Let me give you an example. One day a colleague said something unkind to me. It made me angry and hurt. I was tempted to start thinking about all the mean things I could say back to him. But instead I prayed, "Lord I take this angry thought captive and I give it to you. Please replace my thoughts with your thoughts of truth." He began to show me how my friend had misunderstood something I had said to him which had led him to say something unkind to me. He still shouldn't have said it, but now instead of feeling angry, I felt sorry for how I'd hurt him.

Right away, everything changed; my thoughts, my feelings, my attitude and what I did next. Rather than being resentful and saying something unkind, I went to him and apologized for what I'd said. And how do you think he responded? He immediately apologized for what he said. The situation was resolved without hurting or losing a friend...but it could have resulted in a different outcome if I hadn't taken the thought captive.

I've discovered that when I am obedient to 'take my thoughts captive' and give God control of my thoughts, I have victory in my life. The enemy wants us to think thoughts that will lead to actions that will destroy our lives and relationships. But God wants us to make choices that lead to a life of abundance and blessing.

It may sound simple, too good to be true. But trust me, even more, trust God that His ways are the best, and when we follow His plan, it releases His power into our lives to accomplish more than we could possibly imagine.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I just had a new grandson! He was born April 5th, 2012 and his name is Isaac Jeffrey Wilson. Here he is with his big brother, George. Aren't they precious?! I'm visiting them right now and helping take care of these two little guys and their Mommie. I'm having an awesome time.

Isaac is our fourth grandchild. We also have two precious girls, Cecilia and Aurora. I used to listen to new grandparents talk about how awesome grandchildren are and what a special time of life it was. At the time I thought, "It sounds great, but I can wait. I'm too young yet to be a grandmother." But now that I am one I can testify that everything others said about being a grandparent is true! And with each new one, God pours out more love for them in me. 

I loved being a Mom. I loved my children and devoted my life to caring for them and raising them. I love my children as adults too. It's so fun having a new, expanded relationship with them. But I was completely unprepared for how much I would love my grandchildren. 

I often joke that God's reward for not killing our kids is the gift of grandchildren. In jest I'm referring to those moments when our kids are driving us crazy and we secretly wonder 'why did I have kids again?' I know you've felt that way too at some honest! 

But in our age of unlimited abortions, unwanted children are killed every day around the world...44 million worldwide every year, all because they weren't wanted. And as I reflect on my comment I realize that tragically its true. We are killing our children and because of that we won't be rewarded with the grandchildren we could have had.  An unwanted child aborted today will result in a lost grandchild tomorrow. Unfortunately by the time we realize what we could have had, it will be too late.

Here's the bottom line--every life is precious; whether its wanted or not. And grandchildren are one of God's greatest gifts to parents who choose life for their children.