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The REAL War on Women…

I just watched the fifth, sixth, and seventh videos of the twelve that will be released by CMP exposing the horrendous practices of Planned Parenthood. I watched as an 18-20 week  human fetus is removed from a freezer and dissected down to bits. Parts of intestine. An arm.  A liver. I listened as dollars were discussed while pieces of this child were raised for the camera to view. I then heard a former StemExpress worker discuss the horrifying practices conducted on an “intact” fetus and you know what? It’s just too much. Sickening in fact. Heart-wrenching. And yet as horrified as I am by what I’m seeing, something else disturbs me even more. Yes, even more than the dissected parts of a precious soul:

 Women are still supporting this.

THE REAL WAR ON WOMEN...

Millions of women are still standing with Planned Parenthood despite what they may have seen and/or heard about these practices. They’re defending such actions and debunking these videos, and I cant help but wonder why. Not after what I’ve seen and heard. Not after what I’ve known about this organization for years. Not as a mom. No way. But still, many of us defend, stand with, and support..and my curiosity urged me to figure out why.

So, I headed over to the Planned Parenthood Action page on Facebook. Oddly enough, there was no mention of the details of these videos or the doctors and directors who appeared in them. Instead, I found post after post discussing the anti-womens healthcare politicians (namely the Republican party) and the anti-abortion extremists as the real culprits in all of this. It showed images of reproductive freedom fighters  and how their efforts on the hill should be applauded. I read the comments supporters were leaving in defense of PP, many slanderous in nature against opponents of the organization.  I looked at the agenda that was consistently being promoted as well as the attacks against those interested in defunding PP–those who obviously didn’t want women to have affordable and accessible healthcare. I struggled with the images I was seeing as well as the words I was reading because women—lots of women (and even some men )are buying into this. Theyre sold on what Planned Parenthood is selling. And I guess I can’t exactly blame them. Hear me out on this:

See, I, too once believed in this organization. I, too was once a supporter of Planned Parenthood. I favored abortion, and believed in a woman’s right to choose.  I once felt this group was offering the very best in women’s healthcare,  and that their efforts should be supported and even funded by the government (taxpayers included).  I, too was misled by their vocabulary and the women’s rights and entitlements they were promoting. No religious fanatics or right-wing politicians could tell me otherwise. I used to believe all of this because I trusted the information Planned Parenthood was telling me. I mean where else could I receive my birth control? Where else could I get a mammogram? Where else could I get the services that were (supposedly) exclusive to Planned Parenthood? Nowhere…because that’s what they were feeding me. That’s what they’ve been feeding us all.

So I urge each one of you to do your homework and find out more about this organization. I ask you to really think about what you’re seeing in the news. I’m encouraging you to question everything you’ve heard and read. Get informed. Read testimonies like that of Abby Johnson who once directed a Planned Parenthood clinic. Educate yourselves because I firmly believe that the real war on women comes from being misinformed and yes, misled. Misled into believing that money doesn’t reign supreme. Misled into believing that abortion is a human right. And yes, misled into believing that Planned Parenthood has our best interest in mind.

** Please use discretion when commenting below. This is a very sensitive topic for everyone. Please be considerate. Harmful comments will be removed.

Ditching insecurities for good….

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Insecurities.

As women, we can’t help but to possess a number of ‘em, right? One insecurity after another…issues that plague us, trip us up, causing us to second-guess ourselves time and time again. Indeed, we struggle for a wide variety of reasons; each of us with varying pasts, emotional baggage, and those yucky old scars from childhood days gone bad. You and I? Girls, we can’t help from getting tangled…we can’t help from getting tied up in knots, unable to free ourselves from the timidities holding us captive.

Ugh.

However, we don’t have to be bound forever. The insecurities we struggle with (and possibly obsess over) aren’t a life sentence. Not when we have a God to remind us of who we really are, how much he truly loves us, and to Whom we belong. A God that tells us no matter the struggles we endure or the self-doubt we succumb to, He sees our heart(s), hears our pleas, understands our angst, and loves us anyways. That He’s there for us right in the middle of our mess. He’s there to undo, loosen, and free us from all of the knots, tangles, and twists we’ve undoubtedly found our way into.

And then?

If that wasn’t amazing enough, He then lays these tender sentiments and one powerful message on the heart of one of His daughter’s. He asks her to share her story, her hang-up’s, and her past in an effort to help the rest of us see how much we are loved, cared for, admired, and sought after. He blesses her with the gift of writing and a voice that’s not only relatable but also refreshing…a voice worth paying attention to. Chapter after chapter she begins unraveling the turmoil we’ve done battle with for years, reassuring us with God’s words,  Scripture, and love…page after beautiful page of it.

Slowly but surely, we begin to untangle.

untangledIMG_0581Friend, if you find yourself constantly tripped up by the emotional baggage you carry, and the insecurities you struggle with (and against), then Untangled by author, Carey Scott is for you.  This amazing book—this gift—is something you should consider investing in. Here’s what I had to say about it:

Carey Scott masterfully unravels each of the tangles we women can’t help but find our way into. With her relatable voice and compassionate heart, she gently guides readers away from such struggles while loosening the knots we desperately want to break free from. A must-read!

 

Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life is available everywhere books are sold TODAY. So do yourself a favor? Purchase one. Buy a copy for yourself, or maybe one for a friend, family member, and well, you get the picture. Or buy a set and partake in a bible study. This book is about to set a whole slew of women free, standing firm on the rock that Is Jesus Christ, ready to move forward.

Where do you get tripped up the most and why? Take the Untangled quiz and see where you rate.

 

 

What the world’s gotten wrong about Josh Duggar…

sin.

The Duggar family.

You know, I wasn’t going to write on this topic. I just wasn’t going to discuss this issue  because in all honesty, I’m fairly exhausted from all that I’ve read, seen and heard thus far. I didn’t want to contribute yet another article/post/opinion on the subject, but after reading (and re-reading), listening, and viewing the massive amount of comments in response to this “scandal”, I felt there was an underlying problem to this story that has yet to be addressed. One I can’t help but comment on;

Christians aren’t allowed to mess up.

Now, allow me to preface the remaining content by stating that what Josh Duggar did was inexcusable, heinous, and yes, horrible. It just was. Lives were forever altered, and victims were created. My intention here is not to defend his actions, but to shed light on that which has yet to be mentioned; the way in which this information has been handled by the media (as well as the majority of the North American continent) as well as the double standard that exists when it comes to a repentant Christian’s heart, accountability, and forgiveness.

Allow me to explain:

Each one of us is human…fallible…flawed. Each one of us (Christian or not) is more than capable of finding our way into serious sin.  Even though we know better. Even though we’re well aware of what we’re doing. See, the Enemy’s sole desire is to see us fall—to fail–as he trips us up and tempts us time and time again. You and I both know this to be true. We’ve seen it take place in our own lives. Each of us has a past just as we can instantly recall those moments where we’ve messed up and made poor decisions. Decisions that may have affected others, hurt family members, and the likes. Maybe not to the degree of Josh Duggar, but we all have history, agreed? And when these sins occur, when we feel remorse for what we’ve done, we desire grace above all else. We pray that others might forgive our trespasses, extend mercy, and that those yucky old sins we’ve found our way in to, will in fact be forgotten.

No one wants to be reminded of their past. No one particularly enjoys the consequences that occur from the mistakes they once made. And you know what? Christians are the same way.

But. The. World.

For whatever reason, it appears the world around us can’t help but judge with a harsh finger just as it’s equally eager to point out the weaknesses of an imperfect Christian. Hey, we’re supposed to know better, right?  Just as we need to be held accountable for the speech we preach and the written Word we defend. Somehow those outside of the church have conjured up this notion that in order to back up what we’re preaching, Christians need to be perfect…free from error. We’re not supposed to sin. Not at all.  And when we do, our culture is the first to point it out and yes, the last to forgive.  It’s as if the world’s standing ready…ready for any opportunity to denounce the Christian faith, the church, and the Lord we serve.

Plain and simple: our society wants Christians to fail.

I hate to say that. Really, I do. But I can’t help but think it true.  In the case of Josh Duggar, we’d much rather concentrate on the sin instead of the redemption that’s taken place in the twelve years since. We’d prefer to shout hypocrite, as well as a slew of other nasty names his way. We’ve chosen to spew hatred towards his family, just as we’ve already formed our opinions and cast judgement without knowing all of the details.  I think what’s bothering me the most about this whole thing is the double standard that exists when it comes to the blame game. I mean, we can forgive sinners in the spotlight. We can laugh at Lena Dunham’s antics after stating the same type of confession in her recently published book. We can forgive past presidents for the sexual wrongdoings and infidelity they’ve committed while in office. We can look the other way when it comes to certain celebrities, athletes, and the likes. Except for Christians. Except for people like the Duggars.

Now, please don’t think for a moment that I’m condoning sin. Quite the opposite in fact.  I’m repulsed by this recent confession and beyond upset at what transpired all those years ago in the Duggar household. It sickens me to be quite frank. But the thing about this incident—this scandal concerning Josh Duggar—well, I truly feel it it has less to do with him and everything to do with what (and Who) he represents. It’s about the world’s response to him…and Christians as a whole.

And we need to ask ourselves why.

**I know this is a sensitive topic, friends.  All inappropriate comments will be removed…

Faith Lived Loud: A 5 Day Challenge and Free Download

Faith Lived Loud: A 5 Day Challenge and Free Download

One pediatrician’s appointment
One trip to the grocery store
Two rounds of baseball practice
One visit to Target for party favors
One stop at the gas station to fill up the minivan

If you took a peek at my calendar on any given day, you’d see a whole bunch of crazy! Between the chores that keep my household running, the errands and appointments to keep us all on schedule, and the endless to-do list that seems to grow by the minute, it’s easy to see my life is chaotic.  The schedule I keep is busy…perhaps, too busy. And I’m guessing it looks a lot like yours.

In the midst of these hectic days is where I struggle…and where those first world problems seemingly take over. It’s where I find myself (and my family) too wrapped up in our hectic schedules to focus on the really important things in life, and the Great Commission we’ve been given as our true purpose. Many of us (me included) find our faith on mute when it comes to sharing Jesus. We know we’re called to make this world more aware of our Savior and His message. Yet our voices are still—stifled even—by our own fears and frenzied lifestyles.

Oftentimes, we’re so consumed with us that we forget about Him.

But deep down, we know this life is not all about us—it’s about the One who first loved us and sacrificed everything for a relationship with us. Why would we keep that Good News to ourselves? I think if we’re all honest, we want to share His love and to be the women God uses to reach out to others. We want to be His megaphone of grace, love, truth, peace, and healing in this dark, harsh world. But, our self-doubt or desire to stay in our comfort zone prevent us from actively showcasing the awesome God we serve!

This life we lead isn't about us, it's about the One who first served us up on that cross—and about the people He loves! — Jenny Lee Sulpizio

So, as we ready ourselves this week for the upcoming celebration of our risen King, maybe it’s time for us to finally get more vocal. Together, maybe we need to re-prioritize our thinking, conquer some of our inward focused fears and habits, and purpose to do more in His name for the people He loves.

Because I long to be that woman—unafraid to apply words of Truth from Scripture in secular settings to encourage and defend others, the one who could care less about the stares and whispers as I bow my head in prayer in public places, the one who actively seeks ways to be His hands and feet with those He places in my path.

I want to become stronger in my faith and bolder when it comes to sharing it.
I want to silence all the busyness and crazy schedules and live out my faith…louder.

God didn’t create me in His image for the sole purpose of living a comfortable existence—sidelined by my security—out of the game and away from the action. He made you and I for so much more than that — to do great things instead of nothing, to serve others instead of ourselves. But we need to get involved. You and I? We need to speak up!

So what do you say to conquering the fears that keep us silent, and growing bolder in the name of Jesus? What do you say to pumping up the volume on our faith and living it loud?

Friend, I’m inviting you to do just that! Simply sign up below* and over the next five days, we’ll work through some of the biggest obstacles when it comes to sharing our faith. Even better? We’ll dive into some highly actionable and authentic ways to be Jesus to those around us! So, are you ready? Are you finally ready to speak up and speak out in the name of Jesus? Are you ready to fulfill your purpose and calling–to get bold–and live this gift of faith out loud?

Me too. Let’s do this.

As a thank you for joining me and to kickstart this challenge, you’ll also receive a free downloadable wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone with a simple reminder to live boldly!

Free Downloadable Wallpaper via Jenny Lee Sulpizio

Make sure to check your email for a confirmation email!

Doing the Right Thing…and Loving It

Guest Post by Erin MacPherson

Have you ever felt like doing the right thing means giving up all of your fun?

I remember a weekend in college where this reality made my zeal to do right come crashing to a halt. The student life center hosted a “van-me” dance. Basically, everyone showed up to a dance on Friday night and one lucky person was drawn at random to win a free “van-me” weekend away.

My roommate won—which meant she got to take five friends to the mountains for a weekend of skiing, hot tubbing, relaxing and eating food that wasn’t cafeteria food. For free. A poor, broke college student’s dream.

Except for one thing: I had a huge paper due on Monday.

And as I watched my friends pack their bags and pull away from the dorm, I wanted to scream. And cry. And throw my Apple 2SII desktop at the wall. Because while I knew the right thing to do would be to stay home and finish my homework, get good grades, make the best of my education opportunity, blah blah blah, what I really wanted to do was throw caution to the wind and spend the weekend with my friends.

Doing the right thing felt so wrong.

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And I have to admit that oftentimes—even as an adult—doing right feels like the boring thing, the un-fun thing, the less exciting thing, the less cool thing to me. (Which is why I make my husband send in the mortgage check so I don’t get tempted by, say, a big sale at Anthropologie.)

I like to have fun.

I like a little excitement.

And honestly, I struggle sometimes to remember that I am God’s Girl (Thanks Jenny!) and doing the right thing is something that honors God. Even if it doesn’t necessarily align with my desires.

But here’s something else: There are a few areas of life where the right thing is the fun thing, the cool thing, the best thing. And one such area is marriage. Namely, sex.

God wants us to have an intimate, respectful relationship with our husbands. He wants us to pour into each other, to put each other first, to love each other wholly.

It’s the right thing to do. But it’s also the fun thing to do. I mean, who doesn’t want a hot, romantic sex life?

I’m sure all of your hands are raised in the air right now.

And now I’m going to step forward and volunteer (as tribute!) to help you all do the right thing this month. It will be tough—I’ll probably have to do horrible things like go out on date nights and eat chocolates and have amazing sex—but I’m willing to do it for you. You know, to help you do the right thing.

In a few days, the 50 Shades of Grey movie comes out. And, in case you are wondering what I think of it, let me just be blunt: The movie is NOT the right thing. It’s demeaning towards women, demonizing towards men and takes a beautiful thing God created (sex) and makes it dirty.

So I’m not watching it. And I’d like to challenge you to do the right thing this as well: Instead of going to watch other people have sex in the 50 Shades of Grey movie for Valentine’s Day, stay home and have real, intimate, Godly sex with your husband. It’s that simple.

The right thing. The fun thing. The cool thing. All in one, simple package.

Will you join me?

41U+JSdPU2L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_If so, click here to read about the entire challenge and if you want, post it on your Facebook page (you know, so you can help other girls be all godly and stuff.)

Plus, we have some tools to help you make the night, ahem, extra special. My new e-book (co-authored with the amazing Kathi Lipp) is called 10 Ideas to Inspire Red Hot Sex. It’s loaded with fun, flirty advice and yes, sex ideas to help you make your marriage hot.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Oh, and remember, do the right thing.

 

 

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Erin MacPherson is the author of more than nine books, including her newest release, the Hot Mama series. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Cameron and her three adorable kids Joey, Kate and Will. She blogs at erinmacpherson.com.

 

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