Jul 182014

By guest blogger Sara Clarke

stop sign

Yes, I texted at a stop sign, letting family know I was heading home.

“Driving. Stop sigh. Home soon.”

Autocorrect pointed the way to a godly pause built into every commute. I don’t have to continually carry cares. Every red octagon can be a reminder to stop, sigh, and cast all of my cares on Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).

The Thinking Christian Woman can use these common visuals as opportunities to breathe (sigh) her cares to her Lord, who loves her so!

© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Maleficent – Not the story you’ve been told

 discernment, righteousness, Taking Disney Captive to Christ, victory, vigilance  Comments Off on Maleficent – Not the story you’ve been told
Jun 212014

Taking Disney Captive to Christ – No. 5

Maleficent opened in theaters three weekends ago as a tantalizing twist on a timeless tale; innovative, visually stunning, well-acted, provocative…and dangerously wrong!

Maleficent wings

(spoiler-alert! this article reveals plot details)

As a Literature major at Wheaton College in Chicago, I studied Folk Literature under Gary Rundquist, and learned that “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” is a centuries-old fairy tale in which an evil and envious fairy named Maleficent curses the infant Princess Aurora, sentencing her to die by finger prick on her 16th birthday. Good fairy Merryweather ameliorates, but cannot undo, the curse; Aurora will not die, but only sleep for 100 years, or until awakened by true love’s kiss. The whole kingdom will sleep as well to spare them the agony of her absence.

Before we go forward, let’s be clear on a fundamental literary reality:  fiction does not always equal falsehood, and non-fiction does not always equal truth.

Though fictitious, the main purpose of fairy tales is to convey universal moral truths in an entertaining and memorable fashion. A fairy tale consists of a simple narrative dealing with supernatural beings, told for the amusement (mostly) of children (but also for adults).

Throughout the ages, names have been extremely important in fairy tales, as they are in the Bible. “Maleficent” means, “being, and wanting to do, evil; harmfully malicious.” This is her name. This is who she is. She is not a human woman. She is an evil fairy; a supernatural character.

In Disney’s latest iteration, Maleficent starts out pure and innocent, then becomes evil because of mistreatment, only to redeem herself and become good again. But there is no truth in that tale! Supernatural characters, such as fairies and trolls are literary representations of the very real spiritual powers and principalities at work in our world. Some are good. Some are evil. But none are both beneficent and maleficent.

In the works of J.R.R. Tolkein (ie. the Lord of the Rings trilogy), all supernatural characters are either good or bad, while human characters are both good and bad – in keeping with clear Bible teaching.

The only supernatural beings who ever supposedly started out good and chose to become evil are the pridefully rebellious archangel Lucifer (better known as Satan or the Devil) and those angels who followed him in the fall (demons). “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9) As harsh as it might seem from our limited earthly perspective, there’s no going back, no redemption, for them.

Fairy tales have always been malleable; stamped with a timeless literary admonition “Bend, but do not break.” Most of the fairy tales we know – Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc. – have existed in a variety of forms, some much more violent than their modern counterparts, while retaining a central moral message.

Disney’s uplifting and powerful 1959 animated classic got it right; clearly portraying that virtue, truth, and righteousness will overcome the forces of evil.

Prince Phillip (the Christ figure in the story because he puts his life on the line for Princess Aurora and the whole cursed kingdom – greater love has no man…) Prince Phillip sword and shieldis outfitted for the deadly battle by the good fairy Flora, who says, “Wait, Prince Phillip. The road to true love may be barred by still many more dangers, which you alone will have to face. So arm thyself with this enchanted Shield of Virtue, and this mighty Sword of Truth, for these weapons of righteousness will triumph over evil. Now come, we must hurry.” (His shield clearly bears a cross)

During their fight, Maleficent further reveals her true nature by invoking the powers of hell and transforming into a gigantic, fire-breathing dragon. This same creature appears nightly on the Rivers of America at Disneyland during the Fantasmic show. It is a frightening sight. Here’s how the scene plays in the 1959 animated feature:

[Prince Phillip cuts through the forest of thorns and rides toward King Stefan’s castle]
Maleficent: No! It cannot be!

dragon fire[transforms herself into a whirlwind and appears in front of Phillip, blocking his path]
Maleficent: Now, shall you deal with ME, O Prince – and all the powers of HELL!
[laughing, she transforms herself into a huge dragon; Phillip charges]

shield of virtuePrince Phillip defeats the dragon with his weapons of righteousness (see Ephesians 6), and, having proven his selfless love, overcomes the curse and awakens (resurrects) the princess and the kingdom.

In the 2014 retelling, Maleficent does not turn into a dragon, but rather orders her crow to play that part (perpetuating the charade that she is good deep down inside). In 2014, Prince Phillip is superfluous, not fighting for Aurora, and not wanting to kiss her because he just met her (a good point to make, but out of context with the deeper meanings of the classic story). Once he does kiss her, she remains asleep. Apparently there is no such thing as true love to break the spell. But wait, the much-maligned Maleficent’s matronly forehead kiss does wake Aurora! And so, the one who suffered so, and whose evil is therefore justified, the one who cursed Aurora to death in the first place in a fit of rage, becomes the blessed one who resurrects her. Isn’t that nice?

The End. Clap-clap-clap.

Trailers for the film tease audiences with, “you know the tale; now find out the truth.” One can almost hear the hisses in Eden, “Did God really say…?” (see Genesis 3)

Maleficent 2014 is dangerously wrong because it is beautiful, heart-wrenching, compelling, and as such, deadens our discernment to the reality that maleficent supernatural beings will always seek our harm, are never to be trusted, given hospitality, or even pitied, but rather are to be called what they are and opposed to the death with weapons of righteousness.the dragonThe Thinking Christian Woman is not ignorant of the Serpent’s (Dragon’s) disguises and devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). The Thinking Christian Woman knows that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Maleficent 2014 opens with the tantalizing words, “this isn’t the story you’ve been told.” What it never admits is that we have not been told this story because it has no lasting value, no central truth, no life-giving lesson.

Maleficent 2014 attempts to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. The goal of this article is to bring it captive to the obedience of Christ.

Christ on throne

Maleficent looking up





Whether you have seen the movie or not, I would be interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment.


© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The People’s Race Car

 God's love, Gospel  Comments Off on The People’s Race Car
May 012014

car and two guys who thot it up You’ve heard of “March Madness”? Well, today begins what is known simply as, “The Month of May” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, initiating the arduous process of preparing 33 contenders for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 25. This year, after decades of domination by corporate sponsors, the 98th running of the Indy 500 might include a largely fan-funded entry, #67, driven by Josef Newgarden, owned by CuttersRT (named after the bike team in “Breaking Away” – an homage to Indiana limestone cutters), and teaming with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Newgarden, an Indy resident, is an up and coming young driver with great potential. While he is working hard to be ready, here’s also his lighthearted look at “The Life of a Race Car Driver”.

If #67 qualifies, it will be the first ever crowd-funded (crowd-sourced) Indy 500 entry. For as little as $100, sponsors, like me, can have their names written right on the car.

low angle view

(btw – “racecar” is a palindrome – same forward and backward)

The last time I joined 300,000+ fellow race fans at the 500 was the first time Honorary Hoosier Jim Nabors sang “Back Home Again” at Indy. Nabors announced that this year, (42 years later), will be his last Indy 500 performance. I plan to be there singing along with him, from my seat on the front straight-away.

It’s so exciting to anticipate watching #67 fly by and knowing that The Anderson Family is written somewhere on it:  The People’s Race Car.

Even better, the Thinking Christian Woman knows that God has engraved His people on the palms of His hands! (Isaiah 49:16). Jesus the Christ bears huge iron spike scars on His palms today, because of my sin. By His love, I’m engraved on His glorified body. He is:

The People’s Savior!

 © 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Apr 082014


Mom editing-001Mom died six months ago today, after nearly 95 trips around the sun. Though strong, opinionated, and talented, for 68 of those years she poured her life into the dreams and goals of her husband – Christian author, speaker, film producer and director, Ken Anderson.

Scan_Pic0006“Mrs. A” as many around the film studio and the world called her, was a humble, but not common, thinking Christian woman. Shortly after her death, I found a hand-written note in her devotional, written on her 59th birthday:

“Dear Lord – Help me to be a method actress in the greatest film of life. I don’t ask for the lead part. Put me anywhere in the film. I only ask that I can give You 100% of all that I have. If all the hard parts seem to come my way, I thank You for the compliment – it means I could handle it for You. Help me to remember that You never send an actress more trouble than she can handle. Help me study the script (Bible) so I’ll know the lines. And when the director calls “cut” for me because of illness or old age, help me to accept the “wrap-up” and final scene with grace, showing love and kindness as You did when You left the setting of Heaven to come here to earth, to live and die, so that I might live forever in scenery yet unknown, leaving those who remain on set. – Mrs. A”

Strawberry patch© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Thank God for the Oscars (coming out of the prayer closet)

 praise, Witness  Comments Off on Thank God for the Oscars (coming out of the prayer closet)
Mar 302014

Quick! Without googling…what is Oscar holding in the golden Academy Award of Merit statuette, and what is he standing on? And, for extra points, can you name the Midwest city where Oscars are made? I’ll look for your answers in the comments!

Since 1929, nearly 3,000 Oscars have been handed out, but precious few recipients have publicly acknowledged God for their achievement.

Slate.com has tallied to whom thanks has been given most often at the Oscars since 2002, and the AP has apparently tallied acceptance speeches for the past 30 years, and God still comes out next to last (14 mentions out of 270). Only  Abraham Lincoln, who was thanked by Daniel Day-Lewis last year, comes in lower on the list than God. This third study goes back 60 years and says God has only been thanked 11 times, so there’s some discrepancy in the numbers, but the same outcome.

That’s part of what makes the ceremony held a month ago today so special; a whopping 2 award winners thanked God!

Darlene Love 1

Darlene Love was bold and clear and musical with her God-honoring acceptance “Lord God I praise You, and I am so happy to be here representing the ladies of ’20 Feet from Stardom’, and I sing because I’m happy. Oh I sing because I’m free, cuz His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

first of all 3

Matthew Mcconaghey (Best Actor) seemed to shock the audience who didn’t know whether to clap or not when he said, “Now, first off, I wanna thank God, cuz that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘when you got God, you got a a friend, and that friend is You!”

The Thinking Christian Woman knows that God is very keen on gratitude and acknowledgment.

  • God is worthy of our thanks (Psalm 106:1)
  • In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Do everything with thanks (Colossians 3:17)
  • God guides those who acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:6)
  • Lack of gratitude toward God can lead to dire results (Romans 1:18-32) and can even be fatal (Acts 12:21-23)

10 lepers 2

And though we may never win an Oscar, we each have the sweet opportunity to encourage Jesus and His Father by remembering from Whom all blessings flow, as in the story of the 1 leper out of 10 who thanked Jesus for the healing (Luke 17:11-19).

At their best, Oscars can acknowledge achievement in a given field, but must not venerate the recipients. Everything we accomplish is a result of God giving us the breath of life (Acts 17:25), gifts, and opportunities to use those gifts (Deuteronomy 8:18).

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes from heaven. The gifts are like rivers of light flowing down from the Father of Light (James 1:17).

In the “light” of that truth, what can you thank God for right now? Each time we humbly thank Him, He shines on us, in us and through us to light the path of life before us. And the Oscar goes to…

© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Mar 152014

Malaysia jet“All right, good night” – the last verbal communication from the flight deck of a Malaysia Airliner on a red-eye from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Missing for over a week now, MH370 is one of the most mysterious and compelling aviation disappearances since Amelia Earhart’s 1937 attempt  to circumnavigate the globe, in a Purdue University-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, ended somewhere over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.

Most air disaster investigations narrow over time, but the search for Flight 370 has expanded, due, in part it seems, to mistrust, misinformation, and lack of cooperation among neighboring nations in a highly sensitive region of the world. With twists and turns too numerous to mention here, coverage of events and speculations surrounding the missing aircraft, and the 239 souls on board, read like a nail biter screenplay.

Recent revelations include facts indicating the Boeing 777, one of the safest commercial crafts in the air, seems to have flown over multiple countries on its diversion path to oblivion (being forgotten or unknown). Oblivion, that is, only if it is found. The very real possibility exists that MH370 might never be found, which is possibly the only way it will maintain its mystique.

Pray God Miracles Do HappenAs Patrick Smith observes in his Ask the Pilot blog, “It’s the very missing-ness of the plane that the public finds so captivating. If and when the wreckage is discovered, I have to wonder if suddenly people will stop paying such rapt attention.”

My fantasy is that MH370 landed somewhere and released some of its passengers and crew, who are temporarily being held against their will for some reason. I have prayed for them and their families, and for God to be magnified through all this.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

But regardless of whether we humans, with our many fears and frailties, ever solve this mystery, one thing is certain:

God is aware of every intimate detail involving Flight 370. He knows what happened, moment-by-moment. He knows the thoughts, feelings and intents of the crew and passengers each mile of the way, and He sees where the plane came to rest.  There is no hiding information from Him. The deep mystery of Flight  370 holds no surprises for Him.

I find comfort in this as I face the unanswered questions in my own life. Proverb 15:3 assures that, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good,” and Proverb 15:11 affirms that, “Hell and destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.”

The question of why things like this happen, why there is suffering in the world, is worthy of consideration beyond the scope of this blog post.

plane searching 2But for now, even as hundreds of searchers, from 14 countries, in 43 ships and 58 aircraft at last count, scour both land and sea looking for any scrap of evidence, God’s word promises, “…you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deuteronomy 4:29) and, “…you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

As much as I want searchers to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, I want every spiritual seeker to find the one true God immeasurably more. Journeying into the unknown with God is the only way for anything to be “all right,” and for anyone to have a “good night.”

© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jun 182013

We have a large family; seven brothers and sisters. The first is Naoma, and the last is me.

Naoma and Larry married when I was about 3, but I still remember the cold folding chair, my shiny black patent leather shoes, and how beautiful my sister looked.

Larry had some breathing problems last week, then yesterday, while sitting on the couch after ordering a new bible and a book to help him study Ephesians, his heart and breathing stopped after 73 years.

Naoma performed CPR, and the ambulance team did as well, but Larry left this earth before he made it to the hospital. Here are my initial thoughts about his extraordinary life.

Extraordinary Larry

Defying the odds

Studying the bible

Making a plan

Raising a family

Preaching God’s Word

Running a store

Building a house

Teaching a class

Working on a project

Loving people

Sharing the Gospel

Keeping the basement dry

Running a department

Saying a prayer

Training future teachers

Pursuing a dream

Singing a dog to sleep

Making new friends

Giving to people

Loving his wife and family

Living in glory

Preacher boy











Department head



Store owner





New resident of Heaven

To the glory of God, Larry has never been ordinary!


© 2013 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Nov 052012

On Saturday, I witnessed my 71-year-old sister’s induction into the Grace College sports Hall of Fame in Winona Lake, Indiana. It was the surprising (to her, not me) culmination of a lifetime love of, and pioneering visionary spirit for, women’s sports.

Margaret played basketball before Title IX allocated school funding for women’s athletics and even before statistics were kept. As a young girl, playing on the court my parents built for her in the back yard, she imagined sinking the winning shot for gold even before there was an Olympic women’s basketball team.

It was frustrating to love sports with her whole being at a time when there was so little opportunity. She often asked God, “Why did you make me good at sports of all things?!” But one day in the 1970’s, giving her testimony to a capacity crowd in Mexico City as a member of the first-ever Venture for Victory (now Sports Ambassadors) evangelistic women’s basketball team, she finally understood.

For several adult decades, Margaret was an integral part of the formation and vitality of a tennis league in her community in which she was one of the top players. Friendships were forged and faith shared as a result. She testifies, “God has given me many opportunities to share my faith over the years through sports.”

Thirteen years ago, a serious cancer diagnosis took away my sister’s athletic life. Today, she confidently affirms, “I would never wish to have cancer, but having had it, I wouldn’t trade that experience because of the deeper relationship I have with the Lord.”

After a lifetime of little to no recognition for her dedication and drive, then after physical changes that put sports out of reach, Margaret experienced the Hall of Fame honor as a humbling, worshipful experience.  From my vantage point, it’s like God saying to her, “I came to all your games and saw your desire to honor Me.”

Last night, one of my sister’s dearest friends presented this poem at her bible study:

Marg’s a champ, as we all know, even has a medal to show.

We’re so proud of what she’s done, gaining Grace’s fame…she’s our #1!

But, there’s another story she likes to share – her faith in Jesus and His loving care.

So, Miss Margaret, you make us very proud, don’t ever change, or you’ll hear from us, your Bible study crowd. – Jo Lemon

The thinking Christian woman knows that God will not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11), but He will sometimes allow His people to be recognized for their achievements.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11 NIV)

God bless you today as you go forth in excellence in His name – and if not recognized on this earth, know that your loving heavenly Father sees.

Margaret with her college coach and fellow Hall of Famer, Yvonne Messner

With former Laker’s and Heat assistant coach and fellow Hall of Famer, Chet Kammerer, wearing his NBA championship ring.

© 2012 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Oct 042012

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'”

Genesis 1:26-27

We have beautiful comical reddish/brown squirrels in my neighborhood. They travel the overhead lines like little acrobats, frequently breakfasting at my bird feeder.

Earlier this week, a friend called to report an injured squirrel in her yard.

When I was a little girl, Dad taught me that helping suffering/dying creatures is part of exercising our dominion over creation. I remember once we were walking the dirt lane by the little dam on Center Lake, and came across a painted turtle that had been partially crushed by a car. Gently, and with the utmost respect and solemnity, he explained that the turtle was suffering and could not survive with such damage. He told me that creatures depend on us sometimes to end their suffering. Once he was sure I understood through my tears, he swiftly fulfilled the duty of dispatch dominion.

That was on my mind as I drove the half mile to my friend’s, with ax and gloves in the trunk.

We stood a good long time evaluating the critter’s condition. There was no blood or visible damage, but he was breathing very fast and shallow, moving only infrequently and without proper coordination, and he had been crying.

Then something happened that I’ve never seen before.

Two other squirrels, one small and young like this one, and a larger older female, took turns visiting the injured fellow, then slowly approaching us, coming within a foot or less, sometimes standing on back legs, looking intently at us, then running back to him. At first I backed away, fearing maybe they were guarding the injured one.

This happened several times, until eventually I realized they might actually be pleading with us to take action.

With that possibility in mind, and having satisfied ourselves of his desperate condition, we stepped up to our responsibility.

“You have made him (man) to have dominion over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen – even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.”

Psalm 8:6-7

As similar, and sometimes apparently merciful, as it might seem, I do not support euthanizing humans or aborting less-than-perfect fetuses. Scripture is clear that dispatch dominion ends at the bright border of humanity, except for the limited sphere of government-controlled capital punishment. We are created in God’s image and our times are in His hands. He gives the breath of life, and it is solely His prerogative to take it back again.

Oh how I cried after burying that furry little fellow. Death hurts the dying and the living. But I took consolation in having fulfilled my calling as a thinking Christian woman by helping my fellow creature in his hour of need and exercising one important aspect of creation dominion.

© 2012 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jun 062012

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of good books on leadership. This post doesn’t presume to improve on those, but simply to share a dream.

While investing a week at the Optimum Health Institute recently, (eating only raw food in proper combinations, drinking at least half my body weight in ounces of water and other fluids, juicing/drinking wheatgrass twice a day, colon cleansing, and other spiritual, mental/emotional and physical transformation practices), I remembered the following dream one morning.

A square-jawed, crew-cut, battle-scarred, muscular, seasoned old sargeant is in the face of a skinny, wide-eyed, fresh-out-of-the-box young officer barking gruffly, “You wanna be a great leader, Andy?!” (One of the founders of the church camp I attended as a child affectionately called me Andy as short for Anderson, but I never liked it because it was a boy’s name.)

The old Sarge continues without waiting for an answer, “it’s more than encouragement, character, and strength…ya gotta open doors for people!”

Then he swings open the metal gates and ushers herds of civilians through, barking, “Keep it movin! Keep it tight! Let’s go people, keep movin!”

I’ve thought about that scene alot since then. It makes so much sense. If a door that I want to enter is closed to me, and someone opens it and steps through ahead of me, I will follow them through, not necessarily because of their great leadership skills, but because they are making a way for me to go somewhere I want to go but haven’t been able to on my own for whatever reasons.

Jesus is our pathmaker to salvation and eternity. He has stepped through the open tomb door and invites us to follow.

To whatever degree I’m entrusted with leadership from this point forward, as a thinking Christian woman, I have purposed to remember that it’s mostly about opening doors for people, with a servant’s heart.

© 2012 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter