• Coming Christmas 2019

Wonder Woman and Me-Part 3

It would be absurd for me to discuss what Diana as Wonder Woman and I have in common without sharing what differences I found. There were quite a few actually.

An obvious difference is that Wonder Woman was 5’10” tall and could defeat an entire army garrison in 4-inch platform boots!  I, on the other hand, am 5’4” tall and shrinking! Plus, I can barely walk up several flights of stairs in my arch support tennis shoes without seeking extra oxygen!

Diana figured out how to fly and torpedo herself as a weapon! The only way I can fly is to pay outrageous airline prices, stand in human-cattle lines for hours, and then sit very still in a cramped space between two strangers for 3-4 hours in a giant torpedo shaped can! My weapon of choice is a good dose of Dramamine!

Some other differences include: Diana can rock both a ball gown and a super hero wardrobe. My best look is jeans and an oversized t-shirt! She wields a sword pretty well and can lasso anything she wants. I can wield a mean skillet on a gas stove and there isn’t a jar I can’t open, with a little help from the rubber gripper I keep handy at all times!

There are, of course, many other differences because Wonder Woman is a fabrication of someone’s imagination and there isn’t a real woman anywhere who could begin to match her. That’s the whole idea of a super hero. I’m okay with that and I enjoy her story nonetheless.

There are two important differences though that I want to keep in my heart and mind. One to challenge me and the other to keep me focused on the real world full of it’s real people and our desperate need of a Savior!!

The differences between Wonder Woman and Me

  1. Train Harder!

Hippolyta: You will train her harder than any Amazon before her. Five times harder, 10 times harder — until she is better than even you.

The Queen of the Amazons, Diana’s mother, gave the order for Diana to be trained and trained and trained some more. But that order could only be carried out if Diana was willing to endure the five and ten times harder part of that training. To say that her early training was stepped up, is the bona fide understatement of DC Comic lore. And yet Diana met that training head on until she was the best and no one could beat her; not even the god of war.

Because of Diana’s willingness and even eagerness to train and train harder, she was able to tap into her deepest power and abilities and accept a seemingly impossible mission her mother reluctantly assigned. The only reason Diana could use the “god killer” sword and the lasso of truth and handle a shield for deflecting machine gun shots, is because she trained like her life and the very existence of the world depended on it.

A life of ease didn’t shape Diana, though her mother at first tried to provide that. A life of gladiator training with hand to hand combat smattered with blows to the head and topples to the ground prepared her for super hero status. Lounging around in the castle eating bonbons all day had no place in Diana’s daily experience. Active preparation and a willingness to be trained primed her for the day she pulled a man from the ocean waters. Nothing would be the same for Diana.

Elaine: I don’t have time for training. I have a family, a career, a life to pursue. I’ll fit in church when I can and read the training manual (Bible) sometimes. It’s not my fault I don’t experience the full blessing of God.

Sadly, I cannot with any honest confession, say that I train as one of Jesus’ disciples…as a daughter of the King of Kings…even two times harder let alone five or ten times harder than an average person might do. So in this comparison, I am not like Diana at all!

My spiritual muscles are weak and out of shape. Oh I can get by for a simple hike through church life and family interactions. But I am in no way, shape or form ready for the front lines of the ugly, filthy, and even hateful human messes that are the daily experience of all of us…and mostly from me, myself and I.

Some days, I cannot believe the ugly sinful thoughts that come to my mind and weave through my psyche and then express themselves in curt words or snide glances. One simple WalMart run proves my lack of training! But I shouldn’t be surprised. One church service and a few verses a week are no match for my old nature colliding with a world without Jesus!!

Unlike Diana who became better than her instructor, I will never be better than Jesus! I don’t want to be! He is God! I am Not! And it is much better that way! But, I am commanded to be like Him and the only way to do that is to train 5 times and 10 times harder in God’s Word, by God’s preachers and teachers, with God’s people in the trenches and Jesus as my instructor.

I have not “redeemed the time” or “taken the whole armor of God” with any kind of regularity. But I do want to finish my course well. I want to be a warrior princess for the God who saved me!! May God help me do so!!

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” II Timothy 4:7

  1. Believe in>>>What?

Diana: “It’s not about what you deserve. It’s what you believe. And I believe in them (people). “Only love can truly save the world.”

This is the biggest and most important difference between Wonder Woman and me.

Her premise sounds so good, so right, so doable. It is echoed all around us: movies, TV shows, marketing, sports figures, politicians and religion. But is it true? And does it solve the human condition; namely sin and separation from Jehovah God and eternal life?

First of all, it is ALL about what I deserve.

I deserve death and damnation because ALL have sinned. 

Romans 3:10 “as it is written, There is none righteous, not even one.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”

Second, it is not just believing for believing sake. I can believe anything I want about anything I want, but without absolute truth, without the substance of reality, that belief is useless. I can believe a two-legged chair is going to hold me up, but until I actually test that belief and sit down to the truth, that belief is quite ludicrous.

In a world where truth is relative, faith is pointless!

James 2:18-19 “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (emphasis mine)

Third, It is ALL about who you believe in!

Is it a little “g” god or The God, Creator, Lord of Lords and King of Kings? Or as, Diana claimed, should we believe in people?

The only acceptable “belief” in our culture is; “Believe in yourself!” Really? The “Self” that lies if it is convenient? The “Self” that is jealous of anyone who looks better in jeans than “Self” does? The “Self” that screams and yells at those who disagree with “Self”? Or the “Self” who lets the tears fall when someone dares to disagree with “Self’?

How about the “Self” who cheats on their taxes and their spouse? Same difference, right? Or let’s believe in the “Self” who imposes lots of laws but excuses themselves of basic moral law? There is the “Self” who gives up after one or two tries or won’t hold down a job or abandons their kids? I could believe in that “Self”?

There is NOTHING in any human being; not my husband, not my kids, not even my grandkids that is worthy of my belief! And there is absolutely NOTHING in me that persuades me to believe in me! We are ALL too fickle!

No way, am I going to believe in people for my hope and salvation! The human race is a mess and has been since Adam and Eve. And quite frankly, man has been trying to save himself for ten millennia and isn’t doing a very good job. The evil and chaos and self-destruction of our enlightened age is powerful evidence against believing in people.

Little “g” gods like Diana and Thor, et al, are fun to watch in clever movie plots, but they do nothing for my reality or for yours! But neither does the god of the American Dream or peace at any cost. Just a cursory investigation into the rise of crime, violence, hate and suicide tells us that belief in our modern manmade gods leads to death and destruction, not the peace and life we all long for.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but my me.” John 14:6

And he also said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

Jehovah is the God I believe, the Hope I cling to and the Life I long for!!! It is nothing of myself and everything of Him! For that truth I am eternally thankful!

Finally, there is only ONE love that CAN Actually Save the World!

John 3:16“For God so loved the world that He gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, not life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Wonder Woman and Me-Part 2

Movies can be great! I do think a very large majority of them are horrible; either bad plots and acting or filled with unnecessary bad language and sexuality or violence. But, I have my favorites that I will watch more than once.

Most musicals I have seen enough times to have the music and the lines memorized. These are great for housework and laundry. I put the movie on and go around the house cleaning and staying completely in sync with the movie. Happy RainIt’s kind of fun to turn off the vacuum and find that I am right on que with Julie Andrews or Shirley Jones or Doris Day though maybe not quite in tune with them! (I know, I’m old!)

And I have plenty of non-musicals that are favorites that I will watch more than once. Classics like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments and most of John Wayne’s movies. The Illusionist and The Prestige are two that I had to watch about 3 times to get all the nuances. Really too many to mention especially when I add in all the Sci-Fi/Fantasy favorites. I just like well-done movies. They are good entertainment even if it is a serious or tragic story.

But only a bushel of movies out of the hundreds I have watched in my almost 60 years have challenged my own behavior or thoughts or encouraged me that I might be doing something right. The recent movie, The War Room, was full of challenges concerning my spiritual habits or lack thereof. The Lord of the Rings Saga reminds me every time to never give up on God’s mission for my life and that this mission is important or else I wouldn’t still be on this Earth.

And Wonder Woman…Diana defiantly confronted me with things I could do better and encouraged me that I am doing some things okay. I didn’t go into the movie theater expecting either of those. But I’m glad I came out of the theater pondering them and all at once. Here are two more…

What Wonder Woman and I have in Common

  1. People are the Mission!

Trevor: “We have a mission! We can’t save everyone in this war! It’s not what we are here to do.”

Diana and Trevor 2

Diana: “You’re right. But it’s what I am here to do!”

In her very long life, Diana never lost sight of her one true mission; individual people. She was sent to save those who could not help themselves. Yes, she had all the tools of warfare to defeat the god of war. Yes, her eye was set to meet Ares face to face and kill him. But her heart was tender toward those in need; one person, one group, one village impoverished and imprisoned by the war. She could not go around that fact. She had to fight her way straight through it and save whom she could.

It was the one point of contention between Diana and her mother. Diana wanted to fight the god of war and more importantly fight for the oppressed and her mother wanted to protect her from that fight. What mother wants to see their daughter go into one hopeless battle after another? Even an Amazon has that mother bear instinct!

Her human soulmate, Trevor, could only see the war and his mission to try and end it, by any means. Diana saw the people trapped in the war and wanted to save even just one. Diana & TrevorHer compassion undergirded her mission to kill Ares and drove her to action in spite of all the odds against her.

In the end, Diana realized that people were her true mission. Ares was simply a distraction; a powerful distraction, but just a distraction. She devoted her life to save the poor and the outcast from future oppressors.

Satan: “You are just one little itty bitty person! You can’t help this world! It is beyond saving!”

Elaine: “You’re right. But it is not my job to save the world. Jesus has already done that! It is my job to obey Jesus and serve people. That is what I am here to do.”

I have a true eternal life with Jesus which started the day He became Lord of my life! I also have a mission given to me on that very same day! (Matthew 28:18-20)Gods_Hand_left But how many times in these 50+ years of walking with Jesus have I let the enormity of the battles raging around me eclipse the reality that God has already won the war!!

How many times have I created my own missions, many of them good ones, but not The Best One? How many times have I let distractions, some of them monstrous, keep me from the one true mission given to me; one compassionate action at a time for one person at a time, making one disciple at a time?

James 1:18 says…Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

2. Leaders Fight in the Battles!

Diana: “Where I come from generals don’t hide in their offices. They stand beside their soldiers. They die with their soldiers.”

Diana was never an armchair player or coach. Even as a child she wanted to be in the action, ready for anything. She learned to fight and to lead and to do this on the front lines. As a leader, she could quickly assess the battle field and plan accordingly. As a fighter, she ran straight for the hottest part of the battle and fought beside those she inspired by her courage and tenacity.Diana 2

At the same time, it was ingrained in Diana to submit to leadership. She followed with grace and submission; to her mother and to Trevor as her conscious permitted. But when those she followed tried to distract her from her one true mission, then she became the leader and with grace and fortitude carried out her mission.

She even followed Sir Patrick for a time until the truth of his real evil self was revealed. Then her mission of “Kill Ares” went into full throttle even when he tempted her to follow him as co-rulers over mankind. Diana rejected his lies for the truth of her mission to lead and to fight alongside mankind to save those who could not save themselves.

Elaine: “I do not wrestle against flesh and blood. I fight the good fight with the whole armor of God, and above all I am strong and courageous!”

 There is no place in God’s eternal plan for anyone to sit back and be an armchair quarterback or to be a spectator in the stands.

Ephesians 6:12-13 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the lightstock_150291_medium_user_3915942faith;”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Bible says I am either for Jesus or against Him. (Matthew 12:30)

I am for Him!! And because I am for Him, I have a personalized battle plan set before me each and every day which cannot be carried out from the ease of the Great American Dream. It can only be carried out in the trenches of the shattered lives disposed of by the lies of that dream.

The Great American Dream is in reality, The Great American Lie!! Thousands, if not millions of people lay waste in the aftermath of their quest for this elusive and empty hallucination. Just search the headlines and read the Tweets of those who think they have “made it”! Drugs, alcohol, broken relationships and abandoned mansions litter their lives.

As a daughter of the King of Kings, I cannot live a life of ease and comfort and expect to be used by God for His front line purposes! I must lay aside my earthly hopes and dreams and get in the only battle that matters; the battle for the human soul!!

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9

Wonder Woman and Me-Part 1

Wonder Woman and I have several things in common! Honest! I’m not being arrogant or delusional or even “I am woman hear me roar!WW Symbol

I simply want to share several of the nuances of Diana and her world view that remind me of some things crucial to who I am. It all started with a date…

Thanks to yet another 100 plus degree and smoky (from distant fires) day in my hometown, Hubby and I opted to see Wonder Woman again for our Friday date night, which was really in the late afternoon.

(So thankful we are old enough to not worry about whether it is “cool” to date in the middle of the day. Matinee prices and no wait at local restaurants on a Friday trump any attempt for “coolness”.)

Anyway, usually we wait to see a movie a second time until we can see it again for free, but weather altered our normal routine on this particular Friday for recliner seats in a cool, smoke free theater with buttered popcorn. Second and even third time viewings are a necessary practice for us because we never catch all the bits and pieces with the first viewing of these adventurous fantasy/sci-fi movies. And though we are not die-hard fans of DC or Marvel comics, we do enjoy some of their movies and heroes, Wonder Woman among them.

I didn’t go on this date with the love of my life intending to return home and write a blog post; the first in almost two years! I just wanted to hang out with this guy I’ve been married to for 37 years!! But, sitting through this second viewing of Wonder Woman, I paid closer attention to the details of this movie and this character, and I was challenged by Diana in unexpected ways.

Up front, you can be assured that I fully understand and recognize that Diana/Wonder Woman is portrayed as a feminist demi-god. A made up little “g” god from the imagination of William Moulton Marston; wrapped in Greek and Roman mythology. All of which is a total antithesis to the One True God-Jehovah, Whom I worship. But, I can still glean something from her characterization; stuff Wonder Woman and I have in common and very important distinctions between the two of us.

What Wonder Woman and I have in Common

 Ancestry is Everything!Diana with Horse

Diana: “I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons…”

This was Diana’s ancestry; her heritage. All that she was came from this pivotal foundation; and nothing that ever happened to her, either from fellow Amazons or from the world ever changed her perspective of the authority she possessed based on this royal ancestry.

Everything she did, everything she said, everything she thought was filtered through this single “truth” of who she was. Her very purpose for existence was wrapped up in this declaration. She didn’t think twice about invoking the power and the authority of her royal position and she did so with extraordinary determination wrapped in noble grace.

Those around her could hardly argue their own case or their own misconceived notions when confronted with Diana’s regal presence, though they had no idea (until the end of the movie) who they were really dealing with. She was simply and matter-of-factly who she was even when they tried to tone down and dress down her royal ancestry.

But when it came time to fight the bad guys and evil itself, Diana literally ran head on into those battles fully confident of her royal authority and power to defeat the faces of evil and the god of war. She let nothing distract her, for very long, from her sworn authority to defeat Ares.

Elaine: “I am Elaine, disciple of Jesus Christ, daughter of the King of Kings, Jehovah God, Creator of the Universe.”

I, too, have a pretty amazing ancestry! In fact, it is the only ancestry that matters! My heritage is not made up by man to try and explain away our rebellion against the One True God.  The lineage offered by Jesus Christ is the only ancestry, the only identity that is Truth…that is Real…that is Eternal! Through God’s precious gift of Salvation (John 3:16) CrownI and many other “whosoevers” are adopted into God’s royal family with the full rights and authority and power that royal position affords!

Ephesians chapter one explains this beautiful eternal, legally binding act of God’s Grace! I encourage you to read the whole chapter. But, in part it reads…

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (vs. 3-5)

So, the question for me is not if I am royal, because I am! The question is, do I act like nobility?

Do I live up to and claim the authority of my lineage the way Diana did? Or do I flounder in worry and fear and hopelessness wondering how I am ever going to get through my life?cropped-dsc02767.jpg

Do I filter my life, my actions, words and my deepest thoughts through the eternal lens of who I am in Christ Jesus? Do I claim the title that was bought with the precious blood of Christ and live within the power of that title? Or do I retreat into my personal handmade idols for comfort and ease?

In Christ, I am already victorious over evil and sin and the cares of this world! But do I act like it? And if I do understand my royal heritage, am I a royal brat!? Or do I carry my nobility with grace and humility; two of the most powerful weapons I have as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Oswald Chambers wrote: “The great wonder of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He changes our heredity. He does not change human nature-He changes its source, and thereby its motives as well.”