Dec 252011

Yesterday morning after stretching class, my combination lock somehow reset itself (I could feel tumbler resistance when it happened) and I couldn’t open it.

Since lockers (what a fitting name!) at this all-women gym are day use only, bolt cutters are kept handy, but none of the all-women staff had the strength to vanquish my resolute padlock. At one point, me and two staffers ganged up on it, but to no avail. What a pitiful sight – all the grimacing and grunting – as we put no more than a small dent in the shackle.

The Master Lock website aptly describes its shackle: “Made from hardened steel for maximum resistance to cutting and sawing.”

Women-only gym; absolutely no men around; car keys securely in the locker; – a desperate need for some muscle! I could picture one of my brothers, or just about any guy for that matter, grabbing those cutters and, snap, the lock would be off.

My best friend and I were just about to give up and call for a ride, when we decided to try the cutters ourselves, with quiet faith in the power of two believers united in heart and purpose.

“Two are better than one,

because they have a good reward for their labor.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Our daily reading recently brought us to Judges 6 and the Gideon story. God’s people had fallen under Midianite oppression after turning away from the Lord and worshiping other, so-called, gods. Things got so bad, the Israelites were hiding in caves and dens.

Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord,if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord,how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.

Faced with an unyielding obstacle, I, like Gideon, initially doubted the power available to me. God reminds us in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit…” God also encourages us at the beginning of that great spiritual armor passage in Ephesians 6, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

So it is never my might, and yet, sometimes, God “might” ask me to exercise His power within me, as He did Gideon.

Well, I’ve kept you waiting long enough, yes, you guessed it; the two of us, with focused intent and a unity of spirit forged over years of mutual submission and focus on God’s truths, were able to pool our might (and perhaps our ministering spirit angels pitched in too!) and snap! the stubborn shackle yielded; it was glorious!

I cleared my locker and walked away with a fresh sense of victory and power.

Who might you partner with, as a Thinking Christian Woman, to unlock the mighty power of God and break some shackles for His kingdom?

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

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The Most Worshipful Place on Earth?

 Taking Disney Captive to Christ  Comments Off on The Most Worshipful Place on Earth?
Dec 052011

Taking Disney Captive to Christ – No. 3


Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois, making today Uncle Walt’s 110th birthday!

Walt did a lot of great things during his life, and over the weekend I discovered another amazing legacy of the life of Walt Disney in the form of the Disneyland Candlelight Procession and Ceremony. Two nights each year in December, the park that Walt built transforms into a cathedral of praise to Jesus the Christ, born to be our Savior!

Here’s a quote from the “Disneyland Park Stage Shows & Live Entertainment” schedule handed out at the gate for the first week in December 2011: “As part of our long standing tradition at the Disneyland Resort, the ‘Candlelight Procession and Ceremony’ will be performed under the stars in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. Join us for our holiday spectacular featuring a mass choir that will retell the story of “The First Christmas’ through song and scripture.”

When I first saw the schedule, I wiped my eyes, blinked, then read and re-read that last word…scripture! Scripture was going to be read aloud as part of the Disneyland schedule of events…I was beside myself!

At the appointment time, Sleeping Beauty’s castle flared with holiday splendor, then went dark, along with most of the other park lights, as hundreds upon hundreds of choir-robed singers, each carrying a candle, sang loud and strong, from Small World to Town Square, the traditional worship songs of the season – The First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, and on and on in a stream of humanity and praise!

The pure power of the sights and sounds brought me to tears. I’d never seen Sleeping Beauty’s castle go dark, other than for fireworks. It reminded me a little of when Queen Elizabeth bowed as Princess Diana’s casket passed Buckingham Palace. I thought Disney, like the Queen, bows to no one, but here I saw humble acknowledgment of the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the voices of hundreds proclaiming His praise…in Disneyland! It was heavenly!

The seemingly endless sea of singers flowed down Main Street like an indomitable torrent – the Orange County Register reported the choir at 600 members strong this year – finally assembling into a spectacular living Christmas tree at the Main Street train depot for the telling of the biblical Christmas story in song with the help of a celebrity narrator.

This year’s celebrity scripture reader was Gary Sinise (CSI:NY, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13). Here is a video of the event, and one guest’s account of the evening, with more pictures.

According to “The first Candlelight Procession was held in 1955. It was actually a Choir Festival with individual choirs performing under a gazebo near the Jungle Cruise. For the next few years the ceremony consisted of participating choirs who performed around the hub facing the choir director. In 1960, Candlelight grew to 800 singers who followed the Christmas parades. Finally, in 1961 a narrator was added to the Ceremony. Past Disneyland narrators include Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, James Earl Jones, Mary Hart and, last year, Edward James Olmos.”

For the Thinking Christian Woman, on her quest to discover authentic links between Disney and the life of faith, this was a night of high praise with no need to translate or interpret – God’s message, sounded clear and true, transformed Disneyland, for me for that night, into the Most Worshipful Place on Earth.

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

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