Step Up to End Poverty

Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) is Canada’s only national public foundation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.  This foundation raises money to fund, research and share the best approaches to end violence against women; move low income women out of poverty and empower girls with confidence, courage and critical thinking skills.  The Canadian Women’s Foundation is ranked as one of the ten largest women’s foundations in the world.  Since 1991, CWF has supported over 1000 programs across Canada.

CWF is credited for the following initiatives:

Funding of innovative, grassroots programs in every province and territory with the focus on helping women and girls who have the least access to resources and opportunities.

Leading change for women and girls by bringing together organizations to share research, skills and the most promising practices for ending violence against women; moving low income women out of poverty and empowering girls.

Building communities of women helping women.  CWF connect women who share the foundation’s passion and vision and help them to pool their resources to produce long term change for women, girls and entire communities across Canada.

Commitment to careful stewardship of the foundation’s resources, making sure that their administrative costs stay low so that the donations go directly to programs and research and training.

CWF has two campaigns:  Shelter from the Storm, an annual national fundraising and awareness campaign dedicated to ending violence against women.  The other campaign is Women Moving Women, a ground-breaking movement of 2,500 women donating $2,500 to move 2,500 women out of poverty. Each $2,500 donation will fund a woman’s participation in a life-changing economic development program funded through the Canadian Women’s Foundation. 

CWF uses a holistic approach to help a woman move out of poverty.  For the foundation, it is important that the woman’s journey be one that of self-direction and its focus on building her financial, social and personal assets.  The foundation funds economic programs across Canada that help to build on women’s strengths and enable them to develop the necessary assets that will make them economically independent. 

CWF provides funding for childcare, food, shelter, transportation.  They have economic development programs which help to build trust and bring about real, sustainable change.  There are programs which encourage women to set goals for themselves and build their confidence so that they can achieve these goals.  CWF supports intiatiatives that offer practical on-the-job training and skills development; self-employment training which include business plan development, financing support, marketing, business coaching and peer support.

CWF is always finding new and exciting ways to help to end poverty.  Currently there is a contest called, I Can Achieve from Canesten in partnership with Cityline.  Canesten is celebrating the achievements of real women, and helping to move women out of poverty!  Canadians are voting on the stories that inspired them.  Each time a vote is cast, Canestan donates $1 to Women Moving Women.  It’s not too late to start voting.  Check out:  http://contests.citytv.com/icanachieve/

You can also support the Women Moving Women campaign by taking part in the Step Up to end poverty walk.

Step Up Ricki's logoStep Up for Ricki’s Walk to End Poverty for Women! Sunday, September 25, 2011
Hosted by Ricki’s @ *Malls across Canada

Join Ricki’s associates & participants at malls across Canada for a walk to raise funds to end women’s poverty.

Whether as an individual or part of a team register today and join Ricki’s in their annual drive to raise over $100K to help fund programs which deliver employment training to low-income women. These programs enable women to achieve economic independence. With every $2,500 raised, we can lift one woman (and her children) out of poverty and into a better life. Challenge yourself or your team to take 2,500 steps (about 1 ¼ mi) and raise $1 per step to change the life of one woman and her family for generations to come!

For more information, to donate, or to register, click here.

Other upcoming events that will support the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Women Moving Women campaign include:

Calgary 2011 Annual Breakfast with Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at The Westin Calgary

Toronto 2011 Annual Breakfast with guest speaker Gloria Steinem on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  This event is sold out.

Women Moving Women in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Toronto

For more details on these events visit:  http://www.womenmovingwomen.ca/events_EN.asp

Help Canadian Women’s Foundation to fund programs to help women like Catherine get back on her feet.  Catherine was a single mother with little education and no work experience.   

She and her children lived in poverty – some days not having enough to eat. Catherine attended a skills development program supported by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and now works as a successful administrative assistant and group facilitator.

“The confidence and self-esteem I have gained has changed my life. The most beautiful part is that I am now able to connect with other women and help them on their path out of poverty.”

Help Canadian Women’s Foundation to move more women out of poverty and to empower them to take leadership roles in their communities.  When a woman lives in poverty so do her children…We need more success stories like Catherine’s.  We need to change more lives…

If you are interested in supporting or have any questions about the Women Moving Women campaign, you may contact  Leigh Naturkach, the campaign Manager at:   lnaturkach@canadianwomen.org

Women and their Fathers

My father and I weren’t close.  We didn’t have father and daughter talks but I still remember how he used to be particular about my personal hygiene and that I ironed my clothes for school.  He used to feed my guinea pig when I neglected to and he bought a kite for me to fly on Easter Sunday.  He is the reason why I like Easy listening music and enjoy movie classics.  I remember him showing me how to fry an egg.  I remember him making breakfast sometimes.  I also remember him spending time with me.  He used to take the family on outings and to the drive-in movie.  I also remember the day he chose to leave when my mother gave him a choice–stay for my sake or leave.  In retrospect, I realized that it would not have been fair for him to remain in an unhappy marriage for my sake.

He and I haven’t been in touch for a while.  I wish we had a closer relationship and that he was enthusiastic about knowing his grandson.  All in good time, I guess.  I have often wondered about how her relationship with her father affects a woman.  Laura Ingalls had a close and loving relationship with her father.  She even planned to marry him when she grew up.  One of my co-workers has two daughters whom he adores and I have no doubt that these girls will grow up and have healthy relationships with men.  They have a good role model in their father.

I watched a program once about a woman who later joined the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir.  She never really knew her father.  He left when she was a child and she always had the sense of loss.  No matter how old a woman is, she is always that little girl whom her father abandoned so many years ago.  She is always the little girl who believed that her Daddy didn’t love her.

On The Oprah Winfrey Network, I watched a program where this woman was crying because she never heard her father say that he loved her.  Her father explained that he grew up in a family that never expressed their love for one another so it wasn’t something that he could easily do with his own child.  I was amazed at how years later, this woman still yearned for her father’s love and how much hearing him say it would validate her as a person.

I read this article about adult women and their fathers and what struck me was how easy it is for some women to pick out Father’s Day cards and how difficult it is for others.

Many adult women remember a childhood with a father who was caring and supportive, a man who shared their dreams, validated their successes and encouraged them to persevere following failures and setbacks. These women will have no difficulty picking out a Father’s Day card and signing it “with love.” Other women have unhappy memories of fathers who failed to provide love and support. Understandably, these daughters are ambivalent about thanking their unavailable fathers for what they did not give.

Around this time of year, these adult daughters often find themselves “forgetting” or even consciously ignoring Father’s Day. Most adult women fall between these two poles. They have some fond memories of dad, but they also recall disappointments and conflicts. These women may experience considerable ambivalence regarding how they will respond to the expectations generated by the holiday.

For me, it is hard trying to find a card that is suitable for my father.  On the other hand, it’s really easy finding a card for my husband whom I believe is a great father to our son.  It’s too bad that his daughters are missing out.  They don’t keep in touch with him–not bothering to call him on his birthday or on Father’s Day.  This hurts me because he is a good father.  He continues to do his part where they are concerned, buying birthday and Christmas gifts every year.   I feel sorry for his daughters because a father plays a crucial role in his daughter’s life.

As Sarah Simms Rosenthal, Therapist,  Author, TheUnavailableFather.com  points out, “fathers are important to women. Psychological research and clinical practice indicate that a good relationship with one’s father is crucial to the young woman’s development of high self-esteem, and to the maintenance of a confident attitude toward the challenges of life. One’s father provides a model for how to interact with the world at large, including the willingness to set high goals and compete hard to achieve them, and for the value of honesty and integrity. A father provides his daughter with a model for how men should act, in particular for how men should treat women. Therefore one’s father has a crucial role in shaping the choices an adult woman makes when it comes to the choice of a partner.”

There are some fathers who are protective of their daughters and want the men in their lives to be worthy of them.  There are fathers who find it easier to relate to their sons than to their daughters.  And then there are fathers who are physically there but emotionally there for their daughters.  My husband lost his father when he was a child so he didn’t have the relationship with him that he is now able to have with his son.  His daughters have the opportunity to have a relationship with him that other women are not able to because they never knew their fathers either because they died or they left.  I wish these girls would do right by their father and reach out to him.

If your father is still alive, I encourage you to mend your relationship with him if it is strained and let him know how grateful you are that he is still in your life.  Life is too short.  Don’t let your differences keep you from enjoying a relationship with each other.  I read some sad stories of women whose fathers were not loving, supportive or even kind.  They ridiculed them and caused them to struggle with low esteem.  One woman wished that her best friend’s parents would adopt her.  If your father is still alive and you are still hurting over what he has done in the past, talk to him about it.  Get these feelings off your chest.

Fathers, let your daughters know how much you love them.  No matter how old they are, they still need to know that you appreciate them and are proud of them.  For those of you who have healthy, loving relationships with your fathers, count your blessings.  There are many women out there who would love to be in your shoes.

Beauty-Gifts-Men-Fathers-Day-2012

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-simms-rosenthal-phd/fathers-day-adult-women-a_b_617867.html

Ponder Your Path

Keep your heart with all diligence . . . . Ponder the path of your feet. —Proverbs 4:23,26
 

A 47-year-old Austrian man gave away his entire $4.7 million fortune after concluding that his wealth and lavish spending were keeping him from real life and happiness. Karl Rabeder told the Daily Telegraph (London), “I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things I did not wish for or need. It was the biggest shock in my life when I realized how horrible, soulless, and without feeling the ‘five-star’ lifestyle is.” His money now funds charities he set up to help people in Latin America.

Proverbs 4 urges us to consider carefully our own road in life. The passage contrasts the free, unhindered path of the just with the dark, confused way of the wicked (v.19). “Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live” (v.4). “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (v.23). “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established” (v.26). Each verse encourages us to evaluate where we are in life.

No one wants to go through life on a selfish, heartless road. But it can happen unless we consider where we are going in life and ask the Lord for His direction. May He give us grace today to embrace His Word and follow Him with all our hearts.

If we pursue mere earthly gain,
We choose a path that ends in pain;
But joy remains within the soul
When we pursue a heavenly goal. —D. De Haan

 

You are headed in the right direction when you walk with God.

 

Source:  Our Daily Bread

On the road of life, we should let God be the Driver and we be the passengers.  This way, we won’t get lost and we won’t veer to the left or to the right but keep heading straight.  With God in control we have nothing to worry about.  Yes, we are headed in the right the direction when we let God lead.  Unlike us, God doesn’t need to stop and ask for directions or rely on maps to figure out where to go.  The Bible is our map.  As long as we read and study it, we will know exactly how to get to where God wants us to go. 

Indira Gandhi

To date she is the world’s longest serving female Prime Minister.  She was no relation to Mahatma Gandhi.  She got the name when she married Feroze Jehangir Gandhi, an Indian politician and journalist, and publisher of the The National Herald and The Navjivan newspapers from Lucknow. 

Indira was the daughter of  Jawaharlal Nehru, a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India and Kamala Nehru.  It seemed like politics ran in Indira’s family.  Her mother, Kamala was active in the India Freedom Movement.  She organized groups of women in Allahabad and picketed shops selling foreign cloth and liquor.  She was arrested twice by the British authorities.  A number of institutions in India, such as Kamla Nehru College, University of Delhi, Kamla Nehru Park, Kamla Nehru Hospital are named after her.  Indira’s grandfather,  Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. 

Indira went to England where she studied.  She sat for the University of Oxford entrance examination, but she failed, and spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol, before passing the exam in 1937 and enrolling at Somerville College, Oxford. It was at this time that she frequently met her future husband Feroze Gandhi.  The two knew each other from Allahabad.  Feroze was studying at the London School of Economics. They married in 1942.  Indira returned to India in 1941. 

In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India. After her father’s death in 1964 she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.  It was the The then Congress Party President K. Kamaraj who was instrumental in making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister after the sudden demise of Shastri.

Indira soon showed that she was capable of winning elections and outwitting her opponents. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. She led India as Prime Minister during the decisive victory of East Pakistan over Pakistan in 1971 war and creation of an independent Bangladesh. She imposed a state of emergency in 1975. For the first time in 1977, Congress Party and Indira Gandhi herself lost the next general election.  However, in 1980, three years later, Indira led the Congress back to victory in the elections and she resumed the office of the Prime Minister.

Indira was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, a total of fifteen years.  She was also the only Indian Prime Minister to have declared a state of emergency in order to ‘rule by decree’ and the only Indian Prime Minister to have been imprisoned after holding that office.  Indira was noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness.

In June 1984, she gave the order and the Indian army  forcefully entered the Golden Temple, the most sacred Sikh Gurdwara, to remove armed insurgents present inside the temple.  Unfortunately, the temple was damaged and this sparked the hatred of the Sikhs against Indira.  They  bitterly resented her action in their sacred space.  On October 31, 1984, she was assassinated in the garden at her residence by her bodyguards.  They were paying her back for the insult she had heaped upon the Sikh nation.

She was walking past a wicket gate  guarded by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh when they opened fire on her.  Both men dropped their weapons and surrendered.  Other guards took them away and held them in a closed room where where Beant Singh was shot dead as he tried to capture one of the guard’s weapons.  Kehar Singh was later arrested for conspiracy in the assassination.  He and Satwant Singh was sentenced to death and hanged in Tihar jail in Delhi.

Indira died on her way to the hospital.  She was cremated on 3 November near Raj Ghat.  Her funeral was televised live on domestic and international stations including the BBC.   Her blood-stained sari and her belongings at the time of her assassination are preserved at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi. Her death led to violence across India. Over a 1000 people died, many of them were Sikhs.  Following her death, her second son, Rajiv Gandhi, was sworn in as head of the Congress party and Prime Minister.

There were some things that Indira did which drew criticism of her and her administration.   She was found guilty of violating election laws. However, this conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court of India.  In an attempt to control population growth, Indira implemented a voluntary sterilization program.  To secure her power and because of escalating riots, on June 26, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency which limited the personal freedom of Indians.  She also ordered the arrests of the main opposition leaders.  She believed that this kind of dictatorship was for the good of India.  Dictatorship is never for the good of a country.  People need to exercise their  freedom of choice–they need democracy.  A government that addresses their needs instead of trying to control them.  Indira may have had a change of heart.  In 1977, she allowed free elections but unfortunately for her, the Indian people voted her out of office.

Notes to Women salute Indira Gandhi, a woman who quickly rose to power and took on the challenge of leading a country despite the overwhelming problems and challenges she encountered.  As Prime Minister, she tried to improve the lives of Indians and managed to improve relations with the Soviet Union and China.  She promoted science and technology and in 1971, India sent its first satellite into space. She led India into becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world toward the end of her time as prime minister.

All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.

Even if I died in the service of the nation, I would be proud of it. Every drop of my blood… will contribute to the growth of this nation and to make it strong and dynamic.

If I die a violent death, as some fear and a few are plotting, I know that the violence will be in the thought and the action of the assassins, not in my dying.

My father was a statesman, I am a political woman. My father was a saint. I am not.

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi

http://departments.kings.edu/womens_history/igandhi.html

http://www.ceeby.com/people/IndiraGandhi.cfm

Self-Awareness

Come to Me . . . —Matthew 11:28

God intends for us to live a well-rounded life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside. Then we tend to fall back into self-examination, a habit that we thought was gone. Self-awareness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of our life in God, and self-awareness continually produces a sense of struggling and turmoil in our lives. Self-awareness is not sin, and it can be produced by nervous emotions or by suddenly being dropped into a totally new set of circumstances. Yet it is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be rectified at once, and it is not rectified by being ignored but only by coming to Jesus Christ. If we will come to Him, asking Him to produce Christ-awareness in us, He will always do it, until we fully learn to abide in Him.

Never allow anything that divides or destroys the oneness of your life with Christ to remain in your life without facing it. Beware of allowing the influence of your friends or your circumstances to divide your life. This only serves to sap your strength and slow your spiritual growth. Beware of anything that can split your oneness with Him, causing you to see yourself as separate from Him. Nothing is as important as staying right spiritually. And the only solution is a very simple one— “Come to Me . . . .” The intellectual, moral, and spiritual depth of our reality as a person is tested and measured by these words. Yet in every detail of our lives where we are found not to be real, we would rather dispute the findings than come to Jesus.

 

Source:  My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Women and Osteosporosis

Last night my husband and I watched Doc Martin on PBS and in this episode Martin confirmed that his aunt Joan was suffering from Osteoporosis.  She was devastated by the news.  It was as if she had been handed a death sentence.  She didn’t want to talk to him about it and she was depressed–until she began a relationship with a much younger man.

What is Osteoporosis?  Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone mass, which makes bones fragile and susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease because symptoms and pain do not appear until a fracture occurs. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks, typically in the hip, spine, or wrist. A hip fracture can limit mobility and lead to a loss of independence, and vertebral fractures can result in a loss of height, stooped posture, and chronic pain.

Now that I have an idea of what this disease is all about, I can understand why Doc Martin’s aunt was so devastated by the news.  She is a very independent and active woman who has her own farm.  The prospect of limited mobility must have been very daunting for her.  And no one wants to endure chronic pain.

What are the risk factors of Osteoporosis?  They are:

  • a thin, small-boned frame
  • previous fracture or family history of osteoporotic fracture
  • estrogen deficiency resulting from early menopause (before age 45), either naturally, from surgical removal of the ovaries, or as a result of prolonged amenorrhea (abnormal absence of menstruation) in younger women
  • advanced age
  • a diet low in calcium
  • Caucasian and Asian ancestry (African American and Hispanic women are at lower but significant risk)
  • cigarette smoking
  • excessive use of alcohol
  • prolonged use of certain medications, such as those used to treat lupus, asthma, thyroid deficiencies, and seizures.

I read today that although African American women tend to have higher bone mineral density (BMD) than white women throughout life, they are still at significant risk of developing osteoporosis. The misperception that osteoporosis is only a concern for white women can delay prevention and treatment in African American women who do not believe they are at risk for the disease.

Why are women more likely to get Osteoporosis than men?

Women start with lower bone density than their male peers and they lose bone mass more quickly as they age, which leads to osteoporosis in some women. Between the ages of 20 and 80, the average white woman loses one-third of her hip bone density, compared to a bone density loss of only one-fourth in men.

What issues do African American women face with regard to Osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is underrecognized and undertreated among them.
  • As they age, their risk for hip fracture doubles approximately every 7 years.
  • They are more likely than white women to die following a hip fracture.
  • Diseases more prevalent in the African American population, such as sickle cell anemia and lupus, can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • They consume 50 percent less calcium than the Recommended Dietary Allowance. Adequate intake of calcium plays a crucial role in building bone mass and preventing bone loss.
  • As many as 75 percent of all African Americans are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance can hinder optimal calcium intake. People with lactose intolerance often may avoid milk and other dairy products that are excellent sources of calcium because they have trouble digesting lactose, the primary sugar in milk.  I stopped drinking dairy milk a long time ago and have been drinking rice milk instead.  I think my sister is lactose intolerant.  She drinks Soya milk.  The cheese I recently bought is lactose free because my husband and son are lactose intolerant. However, I am the only one eating this cheese because neither of them is interested in it and I’m not even lactose intolerant.  I should be eating regular cheese with zero transfat.

What can we do to prevent Osteoporosis?

  • Eat a well-balanced diet adequate in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Exercise regularly, with an emphasis on weight-bearing activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking and, if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.  I don’t smoke or drink.  I really need to start exercising.  My husband bought me an exercise ball which I still haven’t used.  I enjoy walking so I was thinking that during lunch time, I could walk the path at my workplace.  I also like dancing, so I could work up a sweat to some hip hop or disco.  Was never a fan of jogging.  I need to increase my calcium.

If you have a family history of Osteoporosis, speak to your doctor.  Your doctor may suggest that you have your bone density measured to determine your risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment.  The most widely recognized bone mineral density test is called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA test. It is safe and painless, a bit like having an x ray, but with much less exposure to radiation. This test can measure bone density at your hip and spine.

There is no cure for Osteoporosis, that’s why prevention is so important.  Don’t be discouraged.  Medications are available for the prevention and/or treatment of the disease.  If you need more information on osteoporosis, including lactose intolerance, nutrition, exercise, treatment, and fall prevention for the elderly, visit the National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center Web site at www.bones.nih.gov

Ladies, let us start taking care of our bones.

Sources:

The Pharisee in All of Us

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

I’ll never forget hearing the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in concert. The sincerity and depth of feeling the singers brought to the music showed that it was more than a mere performance. When they sang “I’m Not Afraid Anymore,” you could tell that many of the singers identified with the experience of living in constant fear before they met Jesus—fear of violence, fear of not having enough money, fear of what might happen to their children, fear of not being able to get the drugs needed to feed their addictions, fear of every tomorrow. As the soloist, Calvin Hunt, sang, the spotlights showed tears flowing down his cheeks. No wonder—Calvin spent years as a crack cocaine addict on the streets of Brooklyn before being transformed by the life-saving power of the gospel. That’s why he could sing with such passion; each word of the song flowed from the heart of one who had been forgiven much.

It reminds me of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet. The drama unfolds for us in Luke 7:36-50, when she crashed the dinner party at Simon the Pharisee’s home. She knew that Jesus was there. This was her chance to express adoring worship to her Savior. He was worth the risk for her, the town prostitute, to show up uninvited, worth the embarrassment to step from the crowd and approach Him, worth the price of the valuable perfume and the kisses and tears that she poured out at His feet.

But as moving a moment as that was, Simon the Pharisee was not impressed. He was indignant about the “waste” of perfume (Mark 14:4-5) and thought, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39). I suppose we shouldn’t expect the proud Simon, in bondage to his unbending tradition, to understand this kind of extravagant, self-effacing worship. But before we come down too hard on him, let’s consider the fact that there might just be a Pharisee in all of us.

Unfortunately, it seems that over time we grow accustomed to what we have been rescued from and what we really deserve. Without a continuing awareness of why grace is so necessary for us, we are lulled into forming an exaggerated perspective of our own worth before God. It’s no wonder, then, that our worship is often lacking the kind of passion that Calvin Hunt and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir display in their love for the Savior.

Jesus, knowing what Simon was thinking, rebuked him for his graceless, self-righteous attitude and for the pride that put his interests above the needs of others. In fact, Simon thought so well of himself that he felt it was too risky to honor Jesus as the guest of honor at his dinner. Yet Jesus commended this town prostitute for her extravagant worship. He told Simon, “I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:44-47).

Let’s take the lesson personally. True ongoing love for Jesus flows from a heart that is gripped by the awareness of how much we have been forgiven. When we grasp both the depth of our sin and the depth of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, then we’ll be looking for ways to join this woman at his feet to extravagantly express our love and gratitude to Him!

YOUR JOURNEY…

Carefully review the following questions to see if there might be a little bit of Pharisee lurking in your heart. Then begin to celebrate the fact that you have been forgiven much, and look for extravagant ways to show your love for Jesus today!

  • Would the “worst of sinners” feel loved by you, or would they sense that you are more likely to condemn and ostracize them?
  • Has your goodness become a habit, or does it thrive as a response of love and gratitude for all that Jesus has done for you?
  • Do you ever feel a twinge of jealousy when others are more “noticed” than you?
  • Do you feel like you have been forgiven much? Why, or why not?
  • Are you genuinely touched when you sing the words, “He saved a wretch like me,” or does it refer to someone else?
  • When was the last time you worshiped Jesus with a costly expression of love?
  • Have you ever loved Jesus in the face of intimidating circumstances?
  • Are you willing to be vulnerable in your expression of love for Jesus?
  • Think of some specific ways that you can “color outside the lines” of your comfort and convenience when it comes to expressing your love and gratitude to Jesus.
Source:  Strength For The Journey

We all have a bit of the Pharisee mentality in us.  We can be hypocrites.  Simon looked down on the woman and criticized Jesus for not knowing what kind of person she was yet he had once been a leper.  He had some idea of what it was to be treated as an outcast and to be considered unclean yet here he was acting holier than thou, looking down his nose at this woman.  He needed to be taught a lesson in humility and gratitude.

 

The woman was so grateful and thankful for the mercy she received that she went to a lot of trouble to demonstrate how she felt.  Simon invited Jesus to sup with Him which was his way of thanking Him but what he failed to do was treat his Guest with honor and appreciation.  The woman whom he condemned showed Jesus more honor–she washed His feet and anointed Him–something which Simon as the host should have had done.

 

The next time, you feel the urge to look down on somebody for whatever reason, think of how you would feel if you were in that person’s shoes.

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