From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Some Things Are the Business of Us All

Women tend to have fewer rights in every country, in some they have no rights at all... this needs to change... this cause needs you to help to create change...   If any country is to achieve stability and prosper, the women of that country must equally share in human rights.   Violence against women is so common place in many places.... SHARE, SHARE, SHARE...  I will be writing for the next 16 days in support of this effort.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Have Been Across His Bridge Many Times

I have often crossed his bridge, never knew who he was...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Contemplating Women

There is a consuming emphasis in my life right now, a focus, it concerns my own contemplation of women.  We are all so very special, each of us is unique, and humanity does not continue without us.  We are in fact, and have always been, every bit as important and essential as men.  No matter what the country, culture, history, or rights we have held in these categories of the human experience, without us, none of it would have existed or be now.

In all of my travels, as I explore the places we go, the wonders of the architecture, the art, the history, and the beauty of the nature of the area, all these things are of great interest to me. However even more so, I am interested in the people.  I wonder about the people who created the surroundings I am visiting, the people who live there now, and what their lives were and are like.  Even the beauty of nature in the location I am visiting gives me information, because it was selected in its' location, and that brings questions to my mind.  I ask myself, what brought those who first settled this place to here?  Who was the first person to make a home in this area; was it a group of people, joining resources and beginning a community?  Were they fleeing oppression, exploring and settling new territory, or seeking particular resources for some endeavor; these and more questions run through my mind fueling a search for information.

At times, basic and simple tasks of women can become anguishing in their performance, and they can do so for many reasons.  There may be natural disasters, lack of resources, health issues, and sadly, war and oppression which greatly affects all people in the efforts which are required toward the activities of daily living. 

As women we also do many other types of things.  Women have never been limited only to household artistry, we have always created businesses, ran governments, influenced the decisions of the leadership of all groups, and been the leadership in many instances.  Scientists, explorers, artists, musicians, poets, dancers, builders, farmers, politicians, (Angela Merkel is at present one of my personal heroines,) medical professionals, performers, and merchants; we have held every title, achieved success in every area.  We have always been entrepreneurs, whether selling baskets we have woven, or building empires as Oprah has done.  ( Notice, I don't even have to type her last name.)  It has never mattered the station we were born in either.  I think of Ester of Old Testament fame, born a slave, made a queen, who then saved a people.

I think of my own namesake from the Old Testament.  Deborah was, the Bible says, a prophetess, and she was the only female Judge mentioned in the Old Testament.  The following is a narrative of one of the tales of her legend, and it shows the confidence the male leadership of the day in her country held in her.

Judges 4:

Deborah and Barak

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud had died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his forces was Sisera who lived in Harosheth of the Nations. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, because Jabin had 900 iron chariots, and he harshly oppressed them 20 years.
Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess and the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. It was her custom to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her for judgment.
She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you: ‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men from the Naphtalites and Zebulunites? Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s forces, his chariots, and his army at the Wadi Kishon to fight against you, and I will hand him over to you.’”
Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
“I will go with you,” she said, “but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take, because the Lord will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.” So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; 10,000 men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the Kenites, the sons of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, and pitched his tent beside the oak tree of Zaanannim, which was near Kedesh.
12 It was reported to Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera summoned all his 900 iron chariots and all the people who were with him from Harosheth of the Nations to the Wadi Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Move on, for this is the day the Lord has handed Sisera over to you. Hasn’t the Lord gone before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.
15 The Lord threw Sisera, all his charioteers, and all his army into confusion with the sword before Barak. Sisera left his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the Nations, and the whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a single man was left.

I really like that story.  Women are just like men in many ways, some women spend the efforts of their lives very honorably and wisely, others do not.  There are many great women, many ordinary women, and alas, just like men, many evil women.  Women are just as capable of dastardly deeds as men, history plainly tells us so.  As I have observed, women seem to as a whole be much better at deception and manipulation, and nothing is more dangerous and destructive as a woman given to such behavior.  Just as a good woman can make the man she pledges herself to, so she can destroy him, but to every person comes God's judgment, and He judges the same, for there is never any prejudice in Him, and He knows even the thoughts of every person.  In fact when the Bible says, "as a man thinketh," it is referring as well to women.  

No person can deny that there is and has for all time been another gender specific burden which some women encounter, and must bear for a lifetime.  Even today, women the world over, struggle for equal rights in all areas of their lives.  That is just undeniable fact.  There is no place in the world where a specific crime is not committed which most often targets women.  Sadly whenever a particularly heinous group of radicals of whatever persuasion, rises up in the world, sexual assault of the women of their enemies, is adopted as one of their war strategies.  Nothing demoralizes an army or enemy more than the sexual assault of their mothers, sisters, wives, and children.  No other crime is more personal, more devastating, or rampant in our world, it has always been so.  It occurs against individuals in every country.  In the Middle East is is one of the weapons of choice of the group known as ISIS.  Good men and women must always stand against this most brutal crime against any individual, for while women are most often the victim, men as well are assaulted.  Truthfully, this particular crime has always faced difficulties in prosecution, and this has been the case for so many reasons, the crime often remains hidden, and never knows the cleansing waters of justice, even in our own country.

A single life experience has not been the only reason my focus of contemplation has fallen lately toward women, but rather the experiences of a lifetime, both mine and those of other women I have known.  I have known so many great women, whose lives stagger my mind as I consider what they have accomplished, the difficulties they overcame, and sometimes an oppression which engaged their lives and forged them into the beautiful testimony to God which they have become.  There has been however, a single young woman of courage and beauty, and not the beauty of her outward appearance alone draws the attention, but the beauty of her heart and devotion to God, which slays my mind as I contemplate her life.  Shortly after we arrived in Germany I met her, and God quickly knit our souls together.  Some people you meet in life turn out to give you such clarity about why God took your own life down the roads that He did.  I will be writing her story, telling of her origins, telling of her family, the friends who have influenced and helped her, and the sorrow which befell her, as well as the dangerous and injurious trap she found herself held by, in a foreign country.  The story will inspire you, encourage you, and tell you about the love, compassion, and care that the Living God has for every person, even a gentle "island girl."  The story must unfold by the timetable which justice permits, for that is necessary, but each reader will find themselves living her story, and watching the glory and power of God... as they say... "real time!"

The photographic images of this blog post feature photos I took in Italy of clean laundry drying in the sun.  I love clean laundry drying in the sun, it is always a good thing, and these images greatly please me!