Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sacred Secrets Behind "The Vow"

"You accepted me for who I am,
not for who you wanted me to be."
--The Vow, 2012

If you contributed to the $40 million spent on opening weekend of  Sony Picture's "The Vow."  You might really connect with what I am about to say in this post.  If you have yet to see the film, well, you might be surprised.

On opening weekend of "The Vow" several of my friends and I went out to see this love story for ourselves.  After months of waiting and hoping, the movie was finally released to public viewing!

Starring Dear John's Channing Tatum, and The Notebook's Rachel McAdams, "The Vow" is a romantic story about a married couple who goes through a major hurdle in their married life.  Early in their marriage Paige (McAdams) suffers a major head injury after a car accident.  The result of her injury is memory loss of the past few years of her life.

Upon waking up from her coma, not only does Paige not remember marrying Leo (Tatum,) but she doesn't even know who he is.  The rest of the movie is the valiant story of Leo trying to win her back.  One of his most famous quotes, "I have to make my wife fall in love with me again,"  tells exactly what kind of heart he has.

Throughout the movie Leo constantly reminds himself of the vows him and his wife made on their wedding day.  "I vow to fiercely love you in all forms, now and forever.  I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love."  Leo paints the picture of this vow by standing by his wife, despite her lack of memories and personality disfunctions.  Leo truly shows us what it looks like to love like Christ loves the church.



WAIT.  Did I just refer to "Christ" and "church" while reviewing a secular film??  I did.  You might be surprised to know that the true story this film was based off of is 100% founded on the principle that God is sovereign and God alone can hold a marriage together.


In fact, the true life couple was a little dissapointed to find out the movie lacked any sense of biblical values at all.  Check out this article from Fox News: Real-Life Couple from "The Vow".


I was not at all surprised to hear this, even after seeing the movie.  Throughout the entire movie I had been telling myself in my head that only God could give that man strength, and only God could fit those two back together.  "What God has joined together, let man not separate" (Mark 10:9.)


As stated in the article, the real-life couple tell their complete story in the book.  I for one, am very excited to read this story and get some real encouraging meat out of it.  How bout you?  Click here for details on the book.

Over all, I really enjoyed the movie despite some less than family friendly scenes.  I do think the book would be twice as nice however, filling me in on the details that make this love story so much bigger than Hollywood led us on to believe.  The story itself is what's worth watching.


Article first published as The Vow: Not exactly what Hollywood says on Blogcritics.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Boy Fast



A boy fast: verb.
1.            To abstain from all contacts with the male race for a period of time.
2.            A cleansing of boys and all the troubles they bring to your system.
3.           A time for you to relax and rejuvenate so you can come back refreshed.

When to enact a boy fast:
·      After a wicked break-up.
·                3 or more painfully awful blind dates.
·      A prolonged game of “emotional tag” where you seem to be the only one playing
         The moment you realize you’ve checked your phone more than 4 times in a minute just to see if a boy has texted you.
          A kiss that just really didn’t mean that much to you.
     After the 5th time a relative has asked you if you’re dating anyone.
          The next time someone tacky says, “You’re such a cute girl! Why aren’t you married?!”

Side effects may include:

                                                      Greater awareness of self

Glass ceiling exploding confidence

                           Shopping at expensive places

                                                            A ‘devil may care’ attitude

         Eating at Mexican restaurants

                                             Pampering yourself
        


Warning: you will be tempted to “snack” during your boy fast.

Snacking includes lunch dates, texting him first, trying to get all your girls together in order to find a similar pack of boys, flirting, etc…

Stay strong.

You can’t keep your stamina high if you’re running on an empty tank. So take the next rest stop and relax for awhile.

It will all work out.

Fasting but occasionally snacking,

Gertie and Char

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sex God: Book Review

Pause with me just a moment and think. I want you to go back to a place in your childhood when you really and truly felt alive. Think about the defining moment of your existence. For some of you it may be the day you met your best friend. For others it may be a special time between you and your father. Think about your moment, and think about how it made you feel. You were full, you were alive, you were connected. That is what Sex God is all about.

The book Sex God was written by Rob Bell and published by Zondervan in 2007. The book includes nine chapters of separate but related topics relating to spirituality and sexuality. One of my favorite chapters explained the essence of humanity and sexuality. Bell paints the picture that although we are less than angels, and more than animals, we still have a very wonderful purpose for our souls and bodies.

In other chapters Bell intricately describes the ancient Jewish weddings and all of their meaningful customs. As he explains the customs, he explains how this ties into the original meaning of many passages of the Bible, thus proving that God is a very intimate and passionate lover of our souls.

When I first began reading Sex God, I was thoroughly confused and doubtful about the whole thing. Sex and God. Who would think of comparing the two, much less combining them. Although Bell made some excellent observations in the first third of the book, I was still unsure of the message, but after persistent reading I was soon captivated by the book and read the entire thing in one sitting.

Author Rob Bell, is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, a sister ministry of Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church. Bell and his wife Kristen, along with their three children, reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bell graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He also graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Three of Bell’s books have been on the New York Time’s Best Sellers list: Sex God, Love Wins, and Velvet Elvis.

The subtitle for Sex God is, “exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality.” This is definitely what Sex God is about. The basic human needs for passion, desire, and connection are made perfectly clear and tangible in this book. The only downfall is the end of the book, because it leaves you wanting to read and learn so much more. This would be an excellent book to study with a group of same-sex friends, or between a married couple. I think the book is more appropriate for post-adolescent minds, simply because the rich content might be hard for a hormone-filled teenager to handle.

I loved this book, and I hope you will too, should you choose to read it yourself. For more on Sex God and Rob Bell check out these links:

http://marshill.org/ 

http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/ProductDetail.htm?ProdID=com.zondervan.9780310263463&QueryStringSite=Zondervan,

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-God-Exploring-Connections-Spirituality/dp/0310263468


Article first published as <a href='http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-sex-god-by-rob/'>Book Review: <I>Sex God</i> by Rob Bell</a> on Blogcritics.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scaredy Cats


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sometimes we get scared. Its okay. There are lots of things to be scared about. Like
What should I major in?
Who should I marry?
Should I go to grad school or travel for a year?
How can I singlehandedly establish world peace?
What color swimsuit should I get for this season?

All understandable, legitimate fears.

But were here today to tell you those are the least of your worries.

We have found some things you should REALLY be scared of. And since were all scientific, were going to give you the full name.


Lutropublicaphobia:         Fear of public restrooms.
Arrhenphobia                  Fear of men.
Pteronophobia                 Fear of being tickled by feathers.

Barophobia                    Fear of gravity.
Obesophobia                  Fear of getting fat. 
Cacophobia                    Fear of ugliness.

Phronemophobia            Fear of thinking.
Hellenologophobia        Fear of complex scientific terminology.
Scriptophobia                 Fear of writing in public.

Teleophobia                   Fear of definite plans.
Phalacrophobia               Fear of becoming bald.
Leukophobia                   Fear of the color white.

Macrophobia                  Fear of long waits.
Mnemophobia                 Fear of memories.
Optophobia                     Fear of opening one's eyes.

See? There were all these things you didnt even know you could be scared of! Now you can let your inner scardey cat go wild!

Some of our own made up personal phobias are:

Toolongconvophobia:      Fear of first dates going too long.
Nightowlphobia:               Fear of being awake past 10 p.m.
Troublemakerphobia:      Fear of Enablers.
Lackofundsphobia:    Fear of not being able to shop @ J. Crew


Needless to say, we all have Polyphobia: Fear of many things.


But its okay, at least you know you are not alone in your fear of being alone.

Hiding under the covers,

Gertrude and Charlotte

Friday, February 24, 2012

Breaking the Cycle: Who will you choose?

In my last two posts I have talked about breaking the cycle.  As I said, I am surrounded by cycle-breakers and I love it.  God blesses those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6, Proverbs 8:17.)

One particular young man has been steadily breaking chains throughout his entire adult life, but recently, I've watched him come to a decision he hasn't made as easily as the others.

This man was born into a world without a father who cared for him.  His mother had eight kids with a few different men, and so he was raised by his mother and step-father with two other step-siblings and a mixture of family members moving in and out of the house.

As a young boy this man had a dream to grow up and be a preacher some day, but as the emptiness of a broken home set in, he soon lost this vision to drugs, alcohol, and women.  Throughout high school he was rarely out of the principals office.  He dabbled in gangs, skipped most classes, and even became a rapper of terribly degrading music.  Anyone who knew him then said he would be in jail before graduation.

Fortunately for him the grace of God stepped in, as it does for all of us at some point or another.  It was the fall he turned seventeen that this young man made his first big choice towards breaking the sinful cycles in his family and in his own life.  At a student-lead bible study, he gave his life to Christ on his knees in prayer with a fellow Christian male.

For the next two years he made choice after choice--all reflecting the grace of God he had washed his life with.  Nothing was slowing him down.  Each day he woke up in an atmosphere of smoke, profanity, and hatred, and yet he prayed his way through the attacks of Satan.  I even watched him conquer loosing special people in his life, some of which went to be eternally with Christ, others who are now spending eternity in hell.  Throughout these times, he grew closer to God, grieving with a counselor and studying the Word for guidance.

So for the past five years this man has chosen God over and over again, but this time I wonder what he will choose.  We've all prayed, poured into, and helped out as much as God's spirit will allow us too.  We all hope and want the best for him.  We want him to choose God one more time, once and for all, to give this heavy burden over to him.

You see, there was one area of his life, he hasn't let go of yet.  One area he refuses to lay at Christ's feet.  This is often the hardest area for all of us to lay down, probably because of its high level of importance. This area that I am referring to is dating.  Relationships.

Over six months now, I have watched him fight with God, telling him that he will get married to who he wants when he wants, no matter what.  I've watched him do this a million times, and every time God wins.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to get different results.  Well, that's what he's doing.  He has controlled relationship after relationship, rebelling against God's model to trust and obey the timing and placing of all he has planned.  And this time seems to be his last choice.

In Romans, the bible talks about Gods amazing grace, how he gives and he gives and he gives, but ultimately there comes a choice where we choose infinitely who we will serve, and when we choose ourselves for the last time, God gives us over to our flesh.  That's the point where this man is at.  Years of cycle-breaking potentially washed down the drain.  What will he do?  What will I do, besides watch and pray?

Rise up cycle breakers.
How will you choose?


Joshua 24:15
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."





Are you a cycle-breaker?  Send your story to divinedating.org@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on a post.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ice Capades

*

Gert: “Char, just fall down! Take one for the team.”
Char: “Why do I have to fall down? You fall down!”
Gert: “Ok, we will think of something else.”

Whoa, sorry.

Let’s back up.

There we were. Ice-skating. More like ice-prowling….grrrrr! (Sick)

We were not so concerned about our figure eights but rather about the figures of the young men on the ice. Not your usual place to meet guys, but we will take anything we can get.  

Our options were limited until we saw them.

Char: “Tall and plaid Gert, tall and plaid.”
Gert: “Let’s move.”

Four very tall and very plaid shirted young men were spotted. Their agility and speed on the ice made it difficult for us not to notice them, but also difficult to catch up with.

They were following us, we were following them. But how to strike up a conversation was a feat to be reckoned with……

We were brainstorming pick-up lines:

1.     -  Do you come here often?
2.     - Your skates are kinda big.
3.     - Whoa, was that a spin!? I’ve been trying to spin all night.
4.     - You guys are kind of out of control, we can’t skate by you.

Needless to say, everything we thought of was garbage. We need to take a course in Spinster Pick-Up Lines.  We even contemplated putting ourselves in physical danger, aka falling, to get their attention.
(Thus our intro…)

So, Char aka Sherlock and Gert aka Watson came up with a brilliant scheme. It was out of the blue and not scripted.

Char: “Hey, are you guys speed-skaters?”
Gert thought bubble: “What is she saying!!!!?”
Char thought bubble: “What did I just say!!!?”

However, it worked!

Proud to say we spent the rest of the evening with these dapper young men and finished the night with hot-chocolate and digit exchange.

Moral of the story, even if you are really really bad at pick-up lines, you CAN still get boys.

Done and Done,

Charlotte and Gertrude


Breaking the Cycle of a Broken Mother

As mentioned in my last post, "Born to Break the Chains," God has opened my eyes to the world of cycle-breaking in our spiritual lives.  I'm still wrapping my mind around the idea, so explaining this to others might be a challenge--but here we go.

All around me I see men and women rising up.  They are standing out from a family of secrecy, lies, and bitterness.  I have no idea how or why, but these beings were the chosen few (Ephesians 1:11-12.)  They were hand-picked by God to break the sinful patterns Satan placed in their families.

Of these friends, (like I said, there are many,)  there is one special woman of God who has seen the pain and unrest that feeds from her mother's prideful spirit.  Her mother is undoubtedly a product of the fall, just like the rest of us, she, however, has chosen to stay that way--despite the Lord's numerous attempts to redeem her.  You may not think growing up in a house with a self-centered mother is no big deal, but look at the deeper level here.

Proverbs 11:22
"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout 
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."


Proverbs 12:4
"A wife of noble character is her husbands crown,
but a disgraceful wife is decay in his bones."

Proverbs 12:25
"An anxious heart weighs a man down,
but a kind word cheers him up."

Proverbs 18:8
"The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man's inmost parts."

Proverbs 18:12
"Before his downfall a man's heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor."

Proverbs 19:13
"...a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping."

Now, I am certainly not saying that I have these proverbs mastered in my own life.  Nor am I saying that I know any women who do, I am however saying that I know women who strive to be life and love to their husbands and families, and I know women who strive to be life and love to themselves.  There is a big difference.

When you look at the facts it should be rather obvious.  I mean, do you really want to come across as a "constant dripping?"  How about a "gold ring in a pig's snout?"  Didn't think so.  

No one grows up saying, "I can't wait to be married so I can walk all over my husband with my anxious heart and disrespectful attitude!  That will be the day I achieve true happiness."  Therefore, we don't purposely choose this kind of fragrance for our own lives.  It is simply the result of Adam and Eve's fall, our sinful nature.

Women are naturally anxious, controlling, over-talkative about their neighbor, and proud.  We naturally want to "encourage" the men in our life by telling them what they should do.  The problem is, this doesn't come across the way we think it does.  To them we are cutting them down, telling them they aren't good enough, and trampling on anything in the way of our personal satisfaction.  Yeah, this is natural.

But here's where we get a say-so.  We have the opportunity to choose what type of woman we want to be.  

Most of us float through life mimicking the habits, actions, and behaviors of our mothers.  It's called imprinting.  Ducks do it too.  Fortunately, the difference between us and ducks is that we are intelligent, free-will creatures who can change this pattern at any given time through a series of choices.

The young woman I told you about has stopped imprinting her mothers sinful nature.  When she was sixteen she made the first choice to step out of her family norm.  She became a believer of Jesus Christ.  Shortly after she gave him control of her entire life, and she has been sprinting  through the race of life ever since.  

I have joyfully watched her go through bible study after bible study, learning the ways of the Lord and what he expects of young women.  She has recently learned the secret to financial freedom apart from her family's debt, and she puts her whole heart into giving God the "first fruits" of her paycheck (Proverbs 3:9.)  Every area of her life has been washed of sinful nature and consumed with the love and grace of God.  She will always be walking in this process of giving him more control, but she chooses daily to take the road less traveled by in her family (Luke 9:23, Philippians 3:8,12.)

Matthew 10:37
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."


Rise up Cycle Breakers.

How will you choose?








Are you a cycle-breaker?  Send your story to divinedating.org@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on a post.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mother Nature's Take on Dating



This blind date should be fine…



3 DTRS in one week…



You WILL take me on a second date!












I’m 18 and na├»ve and no one will ever break my heart!!!



This relationship is feeling a little one sided…
















Yeah…we know you’re perfect for each other. 
But do you have to post how cute you are together on Facebook?














Please let him be taller than me…Please…


Funny....but true.

-Gertrude and Charlotte



Cop Sneak Attack



After I do something stupid while driving the first thing I do is check my rear view window to see if a cop is pulling out around a corner. It’s not like I’ve had a huge cop problem but one time a cop pulled a sneaky ninja attack and followed me in stealth mode (aka all his lights off) and then pulled me over for rolling a stop sign. It was one in the morning and he came charging out of his car and booked it over to my window like I was a raging criminal.


As I was rolling down my window I said, 

“Hi officer how are you?”
He said, “I’m fine how are you?”
and I said,
“I’m fine how are you?”
Then he laughed at me. 

It took me a second to realize why he was laughing at me and then I said, “Did I already ask you that?” He then shined his flashlight into my car and saw my neon green ipod playing Spice Girls, a bunch of starburst wrappers on the floor, warm vanilla sugar body spray and hand sanitizer and realized I was not the threat to the community he had suspected.

He told me I need to do a better job stopping, and then laughed at me again and walked away.

Therefore ladies, the lesson to this incident is to make your car look like an 11 year old girl lives there and cops think it’s funny and let you off the hook.

Oh, by the way my stops at stop signs these days are impeccable. The whole S-T-O-P treatment.

Just trying to get home safely,


Charlotte