Friday Round Up 300x281 - On Slavery, Sadness, and HopeWe’re back in Canada!

We crossed the border from North Dakota into Manitoba on Wednesday, and later today I’ll be leaving to speak at a women’s retreat for the weekend north of Winnipeg while my husband goes bird watching.

Then we have a REALLY long drive back to southeastern Ontario!

Our RV has lots of stickers on it, though! We put a sticker up for every state/province we either sleep in or speak in (so just driving through doesn’t count). We’ve added a bunch of stickers this trip.

Before I get to some of the thoughts I’ve had this week, and some of the things I’ve been doing, let’s take a peek at what the top posts were on To Love, Honor and Vacuum this week!

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

God Made Sex to Be Mutual 150x150 - On Slavery, Sadness, and Hope43 Folder System 150x150 - On Slavery, Sadness, and Hope#1 NEW Post on the Blog: When Christians Make It Sound Like Sex is Only “For Him”
#1 on the Blog Overall: 50 Most Important Bible Verses to Memorize
#1 on Facebook: 14 Ways to Play As A Couple
#1 on Pinterest: The 43 Folder System:  Organizing Your Paper Clutter

On Abraham Lincoln and History and Women’s Dignity

One of the coolest things we did on our trek while I’ve been speaking is we stopped into the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on our way through Springfield, Illinois.

Probably the best museum I’ve ever been to! It had amazing exhibits, but it also had these cool special effects with music and voices and even holograms that helped you FEEL what it was really like back then.

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But of course the most moving part of the display was the record of slavery. I’ll let these words speak for themselves:

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And there was this gripping scene as a child is wrenched away from his mother:

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It was impossible to walk through there and not be so saddened and even pierced by what was allowed to happen.

What scares me even more is that it was justified using the Bible.

Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as a hero today. He ended slavery. Anyone who did that deserves our praise. In surveys he is usually ranked as either the best president or the second best president. He’s always high up there.

And yet, in his time, people HATED him. The vitriol was immense. The museum shows all the editorial cartoons and all the things that were thrown at him–even by his own cabinet. He was fighting a battle that was largely unpopular. It wasn’t even clear at the time that he would win–win the Civil War, and win the fight against slavery.

But triumph he did, even if he gave his life for it. And today people celebrate him. The ideals that he was fighting for seem like “no brainers”. Obviously slavery is wrong. Obviously human rights and human dignity are close to God’s heart always.

I was reminded of this this week on a much more minor scale. Too often I think that the biggest battles have been won–obviously people aren’t racist anymore; obviously people believe that women have dignity and that “in Christ there is no male or female” (Galatians 3:28). And yet that is not obvious, as I had people arguing in the comments of my post on Monday that women do not have the right to refuse something in the bedroom even if it causes them physical or psychological trauma. The husband has authority over the wife’s body, and so she must yield it to him absolutely.

I wrote a response to this yesterday which was more or less positively received (you’ll never convince everybody).

God Made Sex to Be Mutual 150x150 - On Slavery, Sadness, and HopeBut it reminded me: people have been using the Bible to justify all kinds of evil for far too many centuries. And when they do that, it turns people completely off of Christ. I have other people who have commented over the years on this blog who have said, “I grew up in a super conservative Christian church, and I decided never to marry a Christian because the men treated their wives horribly–ordering them around, ignoring their opinions, never helping around the house. I married a wonderful, non-Christian man who treats me so much better than anyone in that church would.”

And my heart bleeds.

The Bible is never about deciding who has power. The Bible is about teaching us to serve.

If we EVER start using the Bible to say, “I’m in charge” or “I get to call the shots”, we have missed the mark completely.

Abraham Lincoln got that when it came to slavery.

I just hope we don’t have to fight these STUPID battles (because fighting for women’s dignity really should never be an issue) for too much longer. There’s too much work to be done in spreading the kingdom than to get sidetracked with this absolute nonsense.

On Winnipeg and Winnie The Pooh

So on Wednesday night we arrived in Winnipeg, and yesterday we went out exploring. We met one of my honourary aunts who took us to Assiniboine Park, which was lovely.

They have a Winnie The Pooh exhibit, because the original bear who was the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh may have been in the London zoo in England, but she was named after the city of Winnipeg.

I LOVE Winnie the Pooh! So it was great fun to walk through the exhibit:

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And see some of Shepard’s original sketches:

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Then we went out to the Children’s Garden:

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And saw the Winnie the Pooh statue!

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How My Girls Fare When I’m Gone

The story behind it is actually very tragic. The girls had a good friend whose mother was killed suddenly in an accident two weeks ago. They came home for the funeral and to spend some time with their friend. So they made it back to our hometown when we weren’t even home to welcome them. But my heart just breaks for their friend.