Tag Archives: freedom

Confidence Unveiled: Physical Identity

WDYT or FOFO???

Let’s remove some veils before we smother.

We are living in a culture of extremes that glorifies the smallest to the biggest of sizes.

We are either obsessing with appearance (WDYT) or settling with health (FOFO). And, because we’re at one extreme or the other, we usually “weigh in” with either pride or despair….

Can anyone relate?

In the event you don’t think I’m reality based, here are recent facts to substantiate:

  1.  1 in 2 deaths in the U.S. is due to lifestyle choices.
  2.  Plastic surgery apps on your phone now make it possible to cut yourself to a smaller size before posting onto social media.

 

 

We listen to the voices of culture that begin to play inside our minds creating thick, internal veils….

“I’ll never measure up.”

“What good does it do to take care of myself? I’ll die of something…”

Culture sways…Satan speaks….We hit “Play” and our Identity is Taken Away!

Whenever you compare yourself to others, you’re actually lowering your standard because you’re one of a kind…the unique combination of your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual components that make up YOU in totality.

Let’s offer some HOPE, shall we?

What would it be like to approach each new day with the following mindset….

“What can I do today to care for my body?”

“How can I eat properly so my body and mind are nurtured well?”

“How can I work my body to keep it strong and active?”

“How can I appreciate (and even like!) the one body God gave me?” (Psalm 139)

“How can I use this body to fulfill God’s earthly mission since it’s the vessel He has given me to accomplish my daily tasks?”

A healthy balance is to take pride in your appearance without being prideful.

A healthy balance is to be proactive with your health, especially if you know your medical history.

The question ISN”T “Why Do I?”…. The question IS “Why Wouldn’t I?”

Two points to offer hope:

  1. Selectively focus on the traits you DO you like when you gaze in the mirror!
  2. Focus on what you’ve got; stop trying to look like someone you’re not!

Remove those veils of obsessing and settling and UNVEIL some confidence today.

 

 

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Questions Before and After My Naturalization Day

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I still remember this day.  I was 4 years old. My mother, grandmother, and I boarded a train in the middle of the night to Washington, DC where we met my father for the Big Day.

My Big Day was a Big Deal.  The shrouded details of mystery in leaving one country to enter this one are still just that, shrouded.  There are many questions that still linger.

Since I was obviously a minor at the time of my naturalization, my mother filled out the questionnaire on my behalf.

Here are the questions:

  1. Have you married, or been widowed, separated, or divorced?
  2. Have you been absent from the United States?
  3. Have you committed any crime or offense, or been arrested, fined, or charged with the violation of any law whatsoever?
  4. Have you joined any organization?
  5. Have you become a member of the Communist Party?
  6. Have you claimed exemption from military service?
  7. Has there been any change in your willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States; to perform non-combatant service in the armed forces of the United States; to perform work of national importance under civilian direction, if the law requires it?
  8. The law provides that a petitioner for naturalization shall not be regarded as a person of good moral character who, at any time after his or her petition for naturalization has been filed, has committed adultery; has been a prostitute; has procured any person for the purposes of prostitution; has been a narcotic drug addict; or has dealt in narcotic drugs illegally in any way.  Have you committed such an act or been such a person?

The questions for the process of naturalization have, no doubt, changed.  And the questions that still remain unanswered are still a mystery to me.  I waffle between HAVING to know and TRUSTING in what I don’t.  Nothing changes the result:  God’s sovereign hand in literally plucking me from one part of the world and placing me in another.

Some questions answered, some not. Regardless, I have been given freedom in the Land of the Free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY FREEDOM

“Freedom Is Not Free” is the memorialized inscription on the Korean Wall in Washington, D.C. Resolve, determination, and endurance are the impetus – intertwined with ongoing sacrifice and hopeful expectation – that eventually results in liberty.

On October 10, 1967 – exactly 5 years to the day that my father received his unofficial orders for assignment in Tehran, Iran – I stood before the Honorable Edward M. Curren, Chief Judge of the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. to become a citizen of this great land. He acknowledged the “sacrifices made by our forefathers who opened up this great land for…[us] to …bear the fruits they intended…far removed from the maddening hates of the Old World…[to be] what America deserves to be, a haven of Godliness, peace, and prosperity.” On this historical date I not only traded my status of “alien” for inalienable rights, but also an old world of tyranny for a new world of democracy. My oath of allegiance required me to “abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince….which I had heretofore been a subject or citizen.”

God’s hand has placed each of us as either “born a citizen” – like Apostle Paul (Acts 22:28) – or a citizen by divine intervention and sovereignty in order that the seed of labor of our forefathers and our families might be harvested in the fruit of our liberty.

As Samuel Adams’ letter to The Boston Gazette on October 5, 1772 states that “religion and public liberty of a people are intimately connected…[with] interests [that] are interwoven [and] cannot subsist separately…”. May we confidently acknowledge that our pasts – whatever that may consist of – cannot subsist separately from our individualistic testimonial faith and personal freedom in Christ.

On this and every day, we must acknowledge that our freedom is not free. Daily relinquishment of self and the “old world” to whom we have all previously been subject are intentional acts of sacrifice that necessitate our preserved liberty in Christ.

As citizens of God’s people and members of His household (Eph. 2:19), we are to minister and encourage the oppressed who are captive not by princes of a foreign land, but to the prince of darkness who steals true liberty. Let us sacrificially plant the seeds of a lasting heritage – to our children and to others – that will reap a harvest for the future.

Freedom is not free, but let us each resolve with determination, endurance, and hopeful expectation to rend the veils that blind our spiritual understanding. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (II Corinthians 3:14-17). And we are free indeed.