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A Tale of Two Kates – International Women’s Day.

A Tale of Two Kates

Two events in my recent life have me thinking thoughts that should not be taking up real estate in my brain in 2017. One was seeing the excellent film Hidden Figures based on the true story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working as “computers” at NASA. These unsung heros of history served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

It was the early sixties and they faced all kinds of racial discrimination like having to use “coloured washrooms”, but they also had to deal with prejudice based on their sex. At one point in the film Katherine is justifying her position at NASA to a man who questioned whether a woman was suitable for the job. She responds with a curt recital of her impeccable qualifications and ends with, “So yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it’s not because we wear skirts. It’s because we wear glasses.”

I love that black women do sass so much better than, literally, anyone else?

Fast forward 50 years. I’m returning from Winnipeg on a WesJet flight. As the crew are being introduced, my interest is piqued that our pilot goes by “Captain Kate”. It’s not often you hear of a female pilot so I googled her name. I didn’t find any riveting information on her but I did find a story about another woman pilot that stunned me.

Carey Steacy, who flies for WestJet, had flown from Calgary to Victoria on a Sunday, a couple of years ago, when a message written on a napkin by a passenger was brought to her attention.

It was addressed to the captain and stated that “the cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman.” He goes on to express that he wishes the airline would notify him when “a fair lady is at the helm, so I can book another flight!”

He also references Proverbs 31.

SERIOUSLY?

At this point in history? And he’s really going to hide behind the Bible to do this? I guess he missed the part of Proverbs 31 that mentions the “virtuous woman” had a career (verse 24).

I supposed I shouldn’t be shocked. I know sexism is alive and well around the world, but here? Now?

Women in the workforce still have battles to fight. So let’s celebrate International Women’s Day. Let’s do what we can to bring awareness to glass ceilings that limit the potential contribution of our daughters, sisters, wives and friends. Because it’s not just women who get left behind when their potential is untapped.

John Glen might not have made it into orbit until much later when the first IBM computer eventually took over from the dark skinned, bespectacled, skirted ones at NASA. I wonder what other amazing things DIDN’T happen because women were not allowed to contribute…I guess we’ll never know. But let’s determine not to let it happen anymore. Celebrate International Women’s Day by advocating for some woman somewhere. Here are some ways you can:

A21http://www.a21.org

Fundraise, pray, participate, donate.

International Justice Missionhttps://www.ijm.ca/get-involved

Update your wardrobe and help women escape poverty.

Let Freedom Reign http://www.letfreedomreign.ca/womens-shop

Defend Dignityhttp://defenddignity.ca

Not for Salehttps://www.notforsalecampaign.org

Shop and support Compassion’s child survival program

Compassion Canadahttps://www.compassion.ca/shop/csp/.

Write a letter

http://defenddignity.ca/advocacy/

 

Operation Redemption

My Grandfather was a country physician. He was the best grandpa a little girl could have and I remember sitting on his lap and listening to his many stories.

After delivering hundreds of babies at home, Grandpa Hanna opened his own maternity hospital. He was its cook, ambulance driver and attending physician. I assume it was at this juncture, that he built his custom operating table. It featured a tall table, with drawers and a cupboard beneath, and a pull out section to accommodate the patient’s feet.

Grandpa didn’t retire until he was over eighty and he lived ten years after that. The one thing I wanted to remember him by was that operating table. We refinished it and used it, believe it or not, as a kitchen island. It added a lot of charm to our spanking new house and was always a conversation piece. But a few years later when we needed to sell the house and move to Calgary, we had to leave it behind. So I placed a note inside the cupboard of the table that said something like this: This piece of furniture has great sentimental value to me. If you ever decide to get rid of it, please let me know so that I have the opportunity to claim it.

donna

We moved, years passed, and I concluded I would never see the beloved antique again. But then I got a letter from the current owner of the table. It was no longer wanted. At that point, I had neither money nor space for the table- not even in the kitchen. But I desperately wanted it back in the family where it belonged. My sister, lover of all things old and sentimental, conscripted my dad to rent a utility trailer and drive with her to Edmonton to redeem the table. She brought it back to her home and restored it.

The happy story of being reunited with my Grandpa’s operating table has a very sad chapter. My precious sister joined her Saviour in heaven late last year. And in the after math, her husband decided to sell the home he shared with her. In the process, he gave the operating table back to me. We moved it into our current, more spacious home recently. Now it is restored and redeemed. It looks a lot like it did when Grandpa used it to heal people. And once again, it belongs to me.operating table

The story is too like the Gospel of Jesus not to draw comparisons. I was the rightful owner of the operating table, but the treasure was lost to me. Then even though it should never have been removed from my possession, someone who loved me, with resources I did not have, bought it back.

Redemption.

She then returned it to its original condition.

Restoration.

Jesus created you and me. He is our rightful owner. Yet by our own choice we were torn from him and he mourned. But at great expense, he bought us back, even though by rights we belonged to him the whole time. He restored us to our untainted state by his blood so that we could re-enter relationship with him.

If we know Jesus, we have been redeemed.

We are being restored.

There is no greater story than this!

 

Are you needing a dynamic speaker to take life experiences and integrate them into teachable life lessons for your upcoming event or retreat?  Email Donna at info@donnacarter.org to learn more about how you can Kick the Boring out of your event!  Located in Calgary, Alberta but is available to travel anywhere to share kicking strategies!

 

Does God play fair?

The past few months I’ve been using a Harmony of the Gospels (a chronological blending of all four biographies of Jesus) to get a more panoramic view of Jesus life. Today I was reading about the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus execution.

I am amazed at how willing the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing council) were to violate their own laws of justice in order to convict Jesus. Here are a few of their own laws they broke (there are many more):

  • They arrested Jesus at night
  • They accepted the assistance of a betrayer
  • They convicted him without the agreement of two witnesses
  • They didn’t individually pole the members of the council for their verdict.

They simply wanted Jesus dead.

They didn’t care about playing by their own rules.

They wanted what they wanted.

What a stark contrast to the way the God of the Universe was willing to submit himself—in the person of Jesus—to his own rules, even to the point of a gruesome death at the hands of His own creation. It was a price He was willing to pay out of the vast ocean of His love for humanity.

Eugene Peterson, in The Message, has rendered Philippians 2:5-8 this way:

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. 

Thank you Abba that you are just. How ironic that at times we humans accuse you of being unfair! I am so grateful that I can trust you completely to rule over the universe with justice and over my own personal circumstances with compassion. Jesus, please rule over my heart!

 

 

Are you needing a dynamic speaker to take life experiences and integrate them into teachable life lessons for your upcoming event or retreat?  Email Donna at info@donnacarter.org to learn more about how you can Kick the Boring out of your event!  Located in Calgary, Alberta but is available to travel anywhere to share kicking strategies!

Boredom Buster

Where are you kicking boring out of your life?

Things were NOT boring in the office as boxes were opened and the smell of new books filled the air.  How exciting to now have a copy in our hands!  Stacks of boxes full of boredom busting ideas are ready to be shipped out to women who are wanting to work on creating a fulfilling life and legacy of joy, meaning and love.

And as you read your copy we’re getting curious………

Boredom Buster for a boring life

New release just unpacked!

 

Get rid of a boring summer!

The colourful cover of the new book!

We’re curious about where you are reading your book?  Is it joining you on holidays?  Are you soaking up the sun while learning how to think big and travel light?  Do you read a chapter during your lunch break?

WHERE are you when you’re learning how to kick boring out of your life?

We would love to see where you read (and how you relax!) and what you’re learning!  Post a photo of where you are with your copy of Kick the Boring Out of Your Life and hashtag it #kickboringout so can see where you are this summer!  Kick the Boring Out of Your Life is hitting the bookstores just in time for the August long weekend! Get started on kicking the boring out of your life and order your copy right here!

Boredom buster

Enjoying the shade, an iced tea and Kick the Boring Out of Your Life! #kickboringout

Boredom buster

Kicking the boring out while on the beach! #kickboringout

Two candles

For the Sake of My Servant – a Legacy

Last night my mom and I attended a grief recovery meeting intended to help those of us who have recently lost loved ones to cope with the holidays. We were the only ones present who had two candles to light, representing loved ones recently lost.

2006-12-14TwoCandles05

Thinking about our first Christmas without my dad, my mind went back to last Christmas Eve. I stayed withmy precious papa, so weakened with cancer, while my mom and the rest of the family went to church. I knew it would be my last Christmas Eve with him.

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I savoured every moment.

Today, I read these words in Isaiah 37:35. “For my own honour and the sake of my servant David, I will defend it (Jerusalem).”

I am certain I have been blessed “for the sake of God’s servant Gerry.” My dad loved the Lord with his whole heart. Everything he did was affected by his desire to be faithful to God. I can think of at least two times I was in grave danger of being sexually abused as a child. I believe that my parents’ and grandparents’ prayers were what kept those men from exploiting my weakness and naiveté. Who knows how many other dangers God protected me from for the sake of his servant Gerry.

cross_nightI am so grateful for the legacy my parents have provided of devotion to God, prayer for loved ones, and faithful obedience. My life is richer for it. I am challenged to pass on that beautiful heritage so that one day, my grandchildren think of me and realize they are blessed for the sake of “God’s servant Donna”.

Ocean storm

A Moment in the Storm

I’ve been finding great nuggets these last few weeks as I re-read through my copy of Moments with the Savior: A Devotional Life of Christ by Ken Gire.  The chapter entitled An Incredible Moment in a Storm has resonated with me.  Below is an excerpt of what I’m talking about.

Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

ocean-storm-01[1]

The constant crush of the crowds have given him (Jesus) no margin in which to rest or refresh himself.  So when evening comes after another exhausting day of teaching, Jesus is ready for a sequestered Sabbath from the long week his body and soul have put in.

Suddenly in a bracing affront to the calm idyllic night, a gust of cold wind slaps the sail.  Tirades of wind shriek at the sail, causing it to flap and pop in nervous response.

Heaving waves toss the boat back and forth on it’s frothy crests.  Some of the disciples frantically bail, while others pull at the oars, while still others wrestle to subdue the erratic sail.

Meanwhile, there i s a calm eye in the midst of this storm.  Jesus is fast asleep.  “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Jesus awakes to a down pair of faithless eyes, bloodshot with terror.  He turns his piercing gaze toward the storm.

“Quiet! Be still!”

The sail falls limp.  The boat steadies itself. The storm is over.

“Who is this?Even the wind and the waves obey him?”

Then their eyes see.

He who stands before them is no mere teacher or prophet or faith healer.  He who stands before them holds the wild mane of nature in the tight grip of his hands.  To him, the unbridled forces of nature submit, without so much as a kick or a whinny of resistance.

And in the wet, shivering presence of such a power, the disciples stand terrified, knowing that the man who slept in the stern rose from that sleep to do what only God himself could do.

Dear Master of the Wind and Waves,

Help me when the sudden storms of life come crashing over me with their fierce winds and frothing waves.  I have seen enough storms, Lord, to know how quickly peaceful circumstances can turn into catastrophe.

I have seen the strong become weak with disease.  I have seen the freest of spirits become enslaved with addiction.  I have seen the brightest of stars fall like meteors in a streak of dying fame.

Yes, Lord, I have seen a lot of storms.  Too many of other people’s to feel untouchable.  Too many of my own to feel critical or proud or unsympathetic.

Some dear people I love, Lord are going through some tempestuous times right now. I pray that you would be with them.  Help them see you in the midst of their storms – you who rule the wind and waves with only a word.

And help them to see that no matter how devastating the storm that sweeps over them, you do care if they drown.  Help them not to be hasty in judging our concern for them during those times when their lives seem to be sinking and you seem to be asleep at the stern.

Help them to see that you allow storms in their lives to strengthen them – not to shipwreck them.  And help them to see that it is you who not only points out the direction their lives should take but who rides with them to hasten their safe passage.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being there during their individual storms. And when uncertain seas unsettle their faith, turn their attention to you so that the tempest in their souls might be quieted and made still…..

calm waters