Outrage

It started with a letter by Beth Moore. I have always felt that women were devalued in the Southern Baptist denomination, but it wasn’t until I saw what happened to Dr. Patterson that it was confirmed.

Women should not be counseled to stay in an abusive marriage, and they should not be scrutinized, shamed, and silenced when they have been raped. I feel that Dr. Patterson used his position of power to protect the men that were involved in these cases. He should be reprimanded for this, but instead he was given an honorary title, compensated with pay, and given a home on campus— he was rewarded. The way this was handled reeks of a “good ol’ boy” system.

As a woman, I am outraged. The “good ol’ boy system” needs to end. There is no place for it in the 21st century, but more importantly, there is no place for it in the body of Christ.

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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The Three Biggest Things I’ve Learned from Being Married for 33 Years

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. We’ve come so far considering we could have been a “statistic” based on the factors we had: only teenagers when we married, we only had a high school education, we had our first child within the first year of our marriage, my parents were divorced, we only knew each other for a few months before getting married, we had a long distance relationship (me in California, and he in Florida), and we had terrible conflict and communication skills.

We had our “ups” and “downs” over the years, and I was even on the verge of getting a divorce earlier in our marriage. Yes, we saw a counselor and took marriage enrichment classes/seminars, but the turning point of our marriage was when we turned everything over to God. I’ve learned so much these past 33 years, and these are the three biggest things that I learned:

  1. I learned that I had to stop trying to be “right,” and to realize that no one is perfect so I had to be more forgiving.

It seemed that I was in a competition with my husband all the time. I wanted to always prove that I was right to a point where I would get angry about it. I spent more time arguing my case that I never really listened. When my husband did something wrong, I would use it against him and bring it up when we had arguments.

No one is perfect (especially me). If I don’t want people to expect perfection from me, then I shouldn’t expect it from other people, most especially my husband. Since I make mistakes all the time, I know that my husband will make mistakes too so I have to forgive him, just as I would want him to forgive me. I’m not always right; I had to listen more and talk less, and I had to realize that just because he did things differently that it doesn’t mean that my way is “right.”

  1. I learned to “pick my battles,” to let the “little things” go, and to choose my words carefully when there is a real issue.

I remember arguing about how the toilet paper should be placed on the holder, and how that argument would expand into other issues from the past. Does it really matter how the toilet paper is put into the holder? No! I realized that there are more serious issues. When these issues arise then that’s when I have to say something, but I had to choose my words (and tone of voice) carefully so that my words can be received.

  1. I learned to truly love my husband, to appreciate him, and to build him up as often as I can.

It used to make me so jealous that my husband had a photographic memory. He breezed through the doctoral program and graduated with a large dissertation after four years, while I struggled and nearly dropped out. The two years that followed his graduation were extremely difficult for me, but he encouraged me when I felt like giving up, he proof read my work several times, and he picked up the slack at home. I graduated after six years of being in the program, and I could not have done it without him.

I’ve come to appreciate how much smarter he is compared to me; and even though he is smarter, he never rubs it in my face. He brings out the best in me, so I try to bring out the best in him. I encourage him by pointing out the positive things about him, or about the positive things he has done or is doing. I am there if he is having a bad day and he needs someone to listen to him. When he gets a migraine, I massage his head until it goes away. I also tell him that I love him every day (they say action speaks louder than words, but words are still important).

Thirty-three years seems like such a long time, but I still have a lot to learn. I don’t think we ever get to that point in our marriage where we can stop trying to love, to support, and to serve our spouse.

Most of all, I continually thank God for His intervention in my marriage, and thank Him for the wonderful man He has given to me to be my husband.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger… No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need… serve one another through love… And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ” (James 1:17, 19, Eph 4:28, Gal 5:16, Eph 4:32, CSB).

Copyright © 2017 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Preachers

Maybe I’m wrong, but preachers ought to preach the Word. I think sermons ought to pierce our hearts so that we make changes in our lives. It’s easy for us to slowly veer away from what we should do, and we need to be reminded of God’s standard so that we can realign ourselves. Preachers are meant to impact others, and when they squander a Sunday morning worship service then they are not doing what God has placed them there to do. In James 3:1 it says, “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment” (CSB).

I realize that it is summer and people want a break, but why hijack the whole worship service for a children’s program or a concert? A music concert, no matter how good it is, can never replace the preaching of the Word. Music is like an appetizer, meant to prepare the heart for the Word; and if the Word is not preached then the main meal was not served. A quick gospel presentation at the end of a concert or a children’s program is not enough—that’s just a bite-size sample of the main meal.

I want to hear the Truth on Sunday morning—I want to feel conviction and love from the Father, and when I don’t hear the Word then I don’t hear from the Father. I know I can do my own devotionals at home, but then why go to worship on Sundays? Could it be that when a preacher preaches the Word that God is responding to me from the week I was at home praying and studying? Is it possible that when I feel confused that He will tell me what to do through the sermon? Do you see why it’s important to preach the Word? People want to hear from God, and preachers are God’s mouthpiece.

Please take your role as a preacher seriously— you have an obligation to make Christ known to us, and you are supposed to guide us in living a life that is honoring of God. Isn’t that what 2 Timothy 4:2 is about— “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching” (CSB)? It doesn’t matter if it is summer and half the congregation has gone on vacation or they are away on mission trips, or if you have only a handful of people in your church, you preach the Word!

Copyright © 2017 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Camera

I usually take pictures with a Nikon D3300, 18-140 Nikkor lens; but today I forgot my camera. I had my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and noticed that it had a “Pro” setting for the camera, so I set it to take “Vivid” pictures. Some of the pictures were blurry– not sure if it was “user error” or if it was the camera feature. I did manage to take a few that were decent at my granddaughter’s birthday party.

Overall, I’m happy with the images.

23456789Tali 2016

Copyright © 2016 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The African Study Bible (ASB)

As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the printing of the first ever African Study Bible (ASB). I reviewed part of the Bible and there are a lot of features that I really like about it. For example, in the “Overview and Story” at the beginning of Genesis, an African proverb is used: “If you do not know where you came from, you will not know where you are going.” This was a fitting way to start the first book of the Bible.

As I went through the Book of Genesis, I noticed that although the ASB was written specifically for Africans, it is also written for people who want to understand African culture. For instance, in the Creation account, there is a footnote describing various African stories of Creation. One was of “Käng,” the “Great master and Lord of all” who created everything.

The “Proverbs & Stories” linked African sayings with passages from the Bible and there are applications to African culture or traditions interspersed. I really liked that the ASB gave me insights to the African culture.  I think an anthropologist would appreciate having an African Study Bible because it illustrates several practices found in the Old Testament that are similar to African practices of today. The ASB would also benefit missionaries who are planning on going to Africa, or to anyone who wants to have a different approach in reading the Bible.

Please consider contributing: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1816907898/launching-the-africa-study-bible. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign have the opportunity to receive incentives ranging from artwork prints to limited Italian leather editions of the ASB as well as all-expense paid trips to the launch of the ASB in the United States and in Africa!

For more information on Oasis and the Africa Study Bible, visit http://www.oasisint.net or http://www.africastudybible.com

First Ever African Study Bible (ASB)

I have the privilege of sharing exciting news about a Kickstarter campaign by Oasis International to produce the first ever African Study Bible (ASB).

AfricaStudyBibleCoverArt2

What makes the Bible different? The ASB was developed by Africans for Africans— written by African theologians, pastors and leaders from 50 countries in Africa. The ASB was designed to grow the faith of African church members, teach them to evangelize their communities, and apply a biblical worldview to their society. Dr. John Jusu, the supervising editor, proclaims, “The content of the ASB is bubbling up from the cultures of Africa. The biblical truth is percolating through our own cultures and stories to create a rich and textured tapestry that Africans can claim as their own.”

The goal of the Kickstarter campaign, which runs from April 18 to June 16, is to raise one million dollars to print the first 100,000 copies in an effort to get this culturally relevant Bible to Christians in Africa who lack access to affordable Bibles—more information can be found on these links: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1816907898/launching-the-africa-study-bible and https://youtu.be/n19KGrEgMso

Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign have the opportunity to receive incentives ranging from artwork prints to limited Italian leather editions of the ASB as well as all-expense paid trips to the launch of the ASB in the United States and in Africa!

For more information on Oasis and the Africa Study Bible, visit http://www.oasisint.net or http://www.africastudybible.com

Confrontation

Someone mentioned to me that confrontation is difficult for them. It’s true that no one wants to be a “bad guy” and most of us want to make people happy. But there are times when we have to confront people. There’s a way to do this that is loving and uplifting. Here’s what I shared with that person:

“You can use the “sandwich technique” when confronting someone— say something positive, say something negative, then say something positive.

For example, you need to confront someone about their viewing of pornography. You would start with, “___, you do so much to help people and I know that your heart is to serve God.

It has come to my attention that you have been viewing pornography. This is a sin—a sin against other people, but most especially a sin against God. Viewing pornography distorts how you see women/men and it corrupts your heart. You are valuable to God and He loves you. He wants you to stop sinning. We have a group of men/women who meet and they are accountable to one another. I want you to join that group and I want you to find a person that you can be completely honest and accountable to. I want to follow up with you every week just to see how you are doing. I want you to also confess this sin to your wife/husband so she/he can help you through this process.

I love you as a sister/brother and I want you to flourish as a Christian. Most importantly, God loves you.”

I used pornography as an example only because, unfortunately, it’s so prevalent in our society— what a horrible tool of Satan, tarnishing and defiling the image of God (the human body) that God, Himself, created! Sadly, Satan has enticed both men and women in this sin.

Anyway, the point is, we need to confront people when we see that they are heading in the wrong direction. We do this because we love them. When we confront people, we do it with love (Ephesians 4:15) and humility (Galatians 6:1). We need to help one another get through this desert called “life” until we get to the Promise Land which is Heaven.

 

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti