by Pastor Linda Skinner
From about age 4, I wanted to grow up and be a cow girl like Annie Oakley or Dale Evans. They were my role models. Of course, it was the Hollywood version of those two cowgirls. Beside the fact that they rode their horses everywhere they went, I admired them for being strong, independent women who stood up for what was right and fearlessly protected their families and friends.
Annie Oakley was actually my favorite. When other girls were dressing up as princesses, I was dressing up like Annie Oakley and when I went riding on my trusty steed, Smokie, I would always wear my trusty cap gun in my holster just in case I encountered one of those nasty horse thieves on my ride. When I went to school, I rode my steed down the street to school and tied him up at the fence (my mom would come get him and bring him back to the pasture and then he’d be back tied up when I got out of school). Whenever I was asked, what are you going to be when you grow up, my answer was always...” I’m going to be a cowgirl like Annie Oakley.”
Later, I found a biography of the real Annie Oakley and, even though she was not like the Hollywood Annie I loved and emulated, she was a pretty amazing woman. Born into extreme poverty and shuffled around from relative to relative, she learned to be self-sufficient. She was a petite woman, 5 ft tall and 100 pounds, that had the title of being one of the best marksmen in the world. She learned to shoot to provide for her family and herself. Through a series of events that no one could every predict, she joined up with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and became one of the big stars of that show that toured the world in the late 1800’s.
Girls need those strong role models that show them they have gifts, talents and purpose in God’s Kingdom. In short, they need to know that regardless of the circumstances they face, God is in their corner and he has a place for them. Unbeknownst to me, I was learning that lesson from my childhood fictional heroes.
This Sunday, while Pastor Tim is on vacation, I have the privilege of preaching about one of my grown up ancient female heroes of the Bible, Ruth. The story of Ruth almost sounds like a Hollywood script about a woman who achieves greatness when all odds are against her. The story really is about the greatness of God and how when we listen and follow Him we can “Be a Difference Maker” in our world. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.
PS: Don’t forget to join us for Happy Hour 10-11am. It is a great way to get to know the other amazing people of our church. Pastor David has a great BBQ planned for this weekend at Happy Hour.