Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our Women's Retreat - The Chocolate Boutique

I just noticed that I forgot to post on the TFB Women's Retreat we had last week at Pinecrest(probably because there was too much insanity at work this week). I mentioned last fall that we were doing Group's Chocolate Boutique: Where Women Taste and See That the Lord Is Good. This retreat-in-a-box format was new for us -normally, we have a speaker at a program camp like Forest Home or every other year we plan our own hotel retreat. This year we were unable to go to Forest Home and so we had to scramble to come up with our own in less than 5 months.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was the Director of the retreat which meant recruiting the various leaders of the breakout sessions -the boutiques, crafts, worship, Big Group sessions and small groups. That turned out to be easy since we had an incredible team that volunteered for everything without me asking them. The facility was great, especially the food and I know that the ladies had a wonderful time. Our Worship Team of Karla, Casie and Laura did an excellent job all weekend. I liked how it spread the tasks out among so many different women -we had 14 total on the Design Team and it allowed for a variety of women to exercise their talents and spiritual gifts. Most of the women in attendance preferred the small group format to a lecture-style speaker although some thought it was a bit too light on Bible teaching. A couple of them thought I should've assigned a mandatory one hour quiet time before free-time (I guess 20 minutes of prayer and meditation by yourself in the prayer boutique was not enough.) Some complained it was too much like a Children's VBS (probably because we do Group's curriculum for our VBS too). Of course, they all liked eating chocolate. Whether or not this will have lasting spiritual impact, it is to early to see.
I posted a picture of the ladies here. You can see more down on my flickr banner at the right margin.

Labels: , , ,

The Tawdry Life of Anna Nicole Smith

Normally, I do not comment on the sleazy world of celebreality. There is far too much hype and staged drama that it is often difficult to envision these people as anything other than caricatures of themselves. No person could have such an outlandish lifestyle in real life - real people need sleep, food, shelter and companionship; celebs seem to stay out all night, shoot movies all day while living on 500 calories a day and ignoring their family/friends. As all of them discover sooner or later, reality bites them back -their endless partying eventually lands them in a hospital or in rehab, and the wake up friendless and alone when the money runs out.

Miss Smith seems to have been the epitome of this. Here was a woman raised far from the spotlight in Texas but with one star quality, her appearance. She married and had a child as a teenager, eventually trading her waitressing/fast food jobs in for the life of a stripper. From there she became a Playboy centerfold, continued stripping and married an elderly billionaire. When he died she became embroiled in a legal battle over his estate, all the while trying to develop her acting/Hollywood career. Eventually, she had her own reality TV show in which no behavior on her part was too outrageous for the camera. She was public with her drinking and apparent drug use along with her numerous relationships. In this past year, she had won her US Supreme Court case, her stepson, with whom she was fighting over her husband's estate had died of cancer, she gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock, three days later her 19yearold son died of an overdose in front of her and two men were fighting over her daughter's paternity. Is it surprising that this woman is now dead? Now after her death, in addition to the first two men claiming paternity, Zsa Zsa's husband says he might be the father and ANS's sister believes that the father is Smith's long dead billionaire husband whose frozen sperm was used to imprenate her. Even on the radio tonight, someone was speculating that perhaps the father was ANS's own dead son. (Eeeeeew, if true!)

If she did not die by trying medicate herself into oblivion, I wouldn't know who would. This is where I will deviate from the typical commentary about her life -this is a person who definitely needed Jesus to intervene in her life. Now I cannot say for certainty either way about ANS's eternal destination, but looking at the evidence in the totality of her adult life, it did not appear that she was living for anything beyond her immediate earthly gratification. She may have been a good and kind person, perhaps even a devoted mother but when you see all the things she did that seemed to be so devoid of what God would've desired for her, I really must conclude that she was on the wrong path. You see, life is not about being the most glamorous, having the most money or enjoying household name recognition -all of which she certainly had at one point or another. It is living a life that pleases the One that made you. It's trusting in the One that loved you so much, He sacrificed Himself for you. Instead, she believed a lie that she needed implants so that men would love her, she needed money to satisfy every material, that alcohol (or drugs) was the way to alleviate her pain.

Too bad she did not heed the wise words of Solomon,"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised." Proverbs 31:30 (NLT) or of Jesus in Mark 8:36-37, "And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?" (NLT)