Thursday, November 13, 2014

You Are Not Your Own Redeemer

Sometimes it is easy to get really frustrated with the world around us.  For those of us that are believers....even the other believers around us sometimes we want to throw cold water at 'em or something.  LOL

It is absolutely important to encourage one another along the narrow path.  Please remember as we do so, take care to not fall into the sin of pride.  "There but for the grace of God, go I."  It is such a true statement.  I often think of it when I remember what a wretched person I can be without Christ.  Me in of myself, I am nothing.  I am wretched.  

We have nothing to be prideful for!  Nothing.  It is only God's grace and mercy that as saved us by faith.  There is nothing we could have done to earn it, thus we have no reason for pride.  Christ gave the prideful pharisees some of the harshest rebukes.

Always tell others the truth.  Yes! Avoid sin!  Encourage all to do so as well. However, never forget to have love and charity.  Don't look on others from a high place with a stench of pride.  Never take pride in your own righteousness.  Pride wins no one.  Christ is our only redemption.


1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What do you want to reflect?

DISCLAIMER!  This video does have some language it I would rather not post.  So please don't listen with young ones in the room and with discernment.  I would rather not post it, but yet I think the lessons drawn from it are worth it.  So I am hope that outweighs my choice to post this.

I came across this on CNN today.  I linked directly to the youtube video here.  The person created this video by having someone walk in front of her with a camera in their backpack and then she carried a couple microphones in her hand.  Then she walked around the city for a hours.  They want to bring attention to the street harassment women go through.

I admit, I was really surprised by how many called out to her.  Also by the sleazy nature of the call outs.  When I went to copy the link to embed the video in this post I also seen some of the comments on it.  Many were arguing that they fellows were just being nice and friendly??  Really?  Comments like "how else do you expect men to meet women?".  They chastised her for not speaking back and bring friendly.  Yet, I suspect if she did, then she would have been accused of flirting.  Many of the comments were loaded with rough language so I don't recommend reading them.  My brief glance was bad enough.

Anyway...I have some observations.  They may not be popular.  First, I am in no way condoning any of the actions of the men in this video.  That fellow who walked right beside her for 5 minutes, that was just creepy behavior and it gave me the chills and thoughts of self defense classes.  I really felt bad for her there.  I think these men are not "just being men".  Such behavior shouldn't be excused or dismissed casually.

I am absolutely all for manliness in it's own right.  I enjoy seeing the difference in how God made men versus women.  I know men are different.   That is okay.  The behavior in this video, to me, is not okay.  You can tell a lady "polite hello".  You don't have to be catty about it.  In her defense, she is walking through there with no eye contact.  She is not looking to be friendly.  She is not looking to chat.  There is no reason to call out.  If she had been making eye contact and smiling at them all, it might be different.  But she wasn't.   The 'tone' of the many call outs says everything.  Clearly, they are 'cat calls' as folks call it.  There is a difference between being a man who is friendly versus a man who is being forward.  These men have to answer to God for their ungentlemanly behavior.  I am not their authority.  I only mention as if I don't, folks might assume I condone their actions.  I do not.  This blog is not written to men.  It is to my sisters in Christ.

So that said...  What can we sisters learn from this?  What is within OUR control?  What can we change or do differently?  What areas can we improve?  Let's look at a couple things here.  Demeanor, such as eye contact, smiles, gestures.  Also, let's look at attire.  I do think for the most part I didn't see much of anything "wrong" in her demeanor.  If anything, she was what folks around here would find cold.  She did not seem to be trying to get attention with her actions.  

I am used to at least giving a half smile and nodding when someone acknowledges my presence or eyes happen to meet.  I don't intentionally seek out to be forward.  I will say, I have never experienced the level of attention she did.  Even in my thin days and with very different attire.  The area I live in just isn't like this.  I have never seen that many men be so ungentlemanly in those kinds of numbers.

Now I have experienced Muslim men being forward with me when I have accidentally made eye contact and innocently smiled.  To me, growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians, it is just normal to look someone in the eye, smile and say good morning!  How ya doing today?!  Nothing is meant by it other than simple polite manners.

However, up in where in the city I currently live, I learned to be  more careful as other folks have different customs and my eye contact and smile have different meanings.  Add to it the veil I wear, which I guess piques the curiosity....I have been approached by multiple Muslim men over the years.  I have leaned to look down or away if I think a man might be Muslim.  I don't want to take chances.  I don't mean to offensive to anyone.  I just do not wish to ever have anyone think, even for a second, that I am being inappropriately forward.

Back to the video.  Her attire really isn't too bad in comparison to most of the world's standards.  A majority would probably say her attire is fairly "normal" I think.  A fitted tee shirt and jeans.  To me that is pretty tight, but there wasn't a lot of skin showing as some women do.  I would have a lot less sympathy if the top was low cut paired with a short skirt or something.  All in all she was dressed normal.

It 'normal' for the world okay by God's standards?  I don't believe God has a uniform for us.  Some people seem to think I believe that, but I do not.  He gives us a lot of freedom in our clothing!  He tells us back in the Old Testament that men should dress as men, and women as women.  He also tells us to be MODEST in our attire.  How modesty is defined is a highly subjective topic.  What many find modest, I may not.  He does require that his people be set apart from the world.  In the world, but not of it.  I don't think this is just actions, but in ALL things including clothing.

The thing I have encouraged sisters to do is DIG INTO THE WORD.  Don't look at my idea of modesty...look at God's!  What constitutes nakedness in the scriptures?  What level of decoration is appropriate?  How are Godly women described?  How are unGodly ones described?  Look it up and pray over it.  Talk to your husband.  Seek out his thoughts, wishes, and directives.

As I once heard Mrs. Michelle Duggar phrase it, "dress to draw attention to your countenance".  I liked that way she said it.  Dress so the eye goes upward to one's face.  Not to anything below the neck.  No you don't have to put on sackcloth as I have heard accused.  But as a believer in Christ, you are require to examine yourself in all things!  You are required to be modest!  It is a very black and white command.  How you carry it out is between you, your husband, and God.

Now, the big question here....... could the woman in the video have lessened the 'cat calls' by wearing different more loose fitting attire?  Ultimately, that is between her and God of course.  I am not here to call her out.  I don't even know her of course.  She is trying to raise money to bring attention to this.  (no comment on that part)  But I am glad she done the video, as I found it enlightening on many levels.  I truly had no idea it reaches this level.

But since the video is out there, I think it serves as a good example to use for our personal guidelines.  I think there is room for improvement.  Why?  Because I, like many women, who changed to modest loose long dresses, long skirts and tops and I found quite a difference in how I was treated out in public.   I have many times experienced men giving a respectful kind nod, and being sure to open doors or be extra polite.  In my case, I realize people see me and think "religious freakazoid", frumpy, ugly, fat, out of style, Mennonite, Amish, Pentecostal or whatever pops in their brain.  Shucks I have also been asked if I was a nurse or Covenant Nun.  I try to be feminine, modest, plain, and comfortable as best as I know how.  I do realize that I am in no way 'in style' or anything like that.  I stopped caring about fashion quite a while back.  I dress in a way my husband and I are both at peace with it.  Other may not find beauty in it.  While most of the world doesn't find it appealing or appealing my husband does.  It is old fashioned, yes.  So what.  There is actually a lot of freedom in tossing off the worries of 'fitting in' or 'being in style'.  Yes, I wear tennis shoes with dresses.  You know what, it's awesome!  You might carry out the same Biblical directives a bit differently than I do. That's fine.  The point is to carry them out.

Finally to end this, I know some will want to chastise me that men are responsible for themselves and they should keep their eyes to themselves and their mouths closed.  There is truth in that.  However, we are responsible for what we put on.  The Bible even says we are not to be a stumblingblock to others.  Dressing immodestly is a stumblingblock to men.

If you are getting 'cat calls' especially on the level witnessed in that video, I would suggest you take time to study the Word and see if you can find ways and areas to improve in.  You might be the most modest lady ever when it comes to attire.  Your actions and demeanor may be where you need to be more ladylike?  I don't know.  I know sometimes I still struggle with my own actions and have to take extra care.  I know it the past I wore some things that by my current standards were extremely immodest.  I blush to think of it.  Again, as in many things, I am thankful for His grace and mercy as I have tried to figure things out.

The point is to examine our hearts to see where we can each improve to be the best witness for Christ and not make our brothers stumble.   Your heart is far more important that what is on the outside.  Clothing is just clothing.  It is a reflection of what is on the inside though.  What do you want to reflect?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Come Out of Your Comfort Zone for Christ

Galatians 5:13

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Something I have thought about lately is comfort.  We sure do like to be comfortable.  We live a pretty plush life here in the western world as they would say.  We know comforts many would kill for.

Our society constantly reminds us to live how we want.  Don't do things you don't want to do.  Be happy!   Go out there and get the life you want, no matter what.  Don't let anyone get in your way!  A lot of folks even seem to have a martyr complex and often say things like we should "Finally serve ourselves."   "Think of yourself.".   They act as though it is a first time and all they have done is take care of everyone else.  Yet, their fruit has shown otherwise.

I also hear reminders that we should sever ties that "don't serve you" any more.  Marriage is treated that way today.  Tossed aside as casually as a disposable pop can.  Not even because of real and deep problems, but for reasons like, "Well...he just didn't understand me".  Many aren't even bothering to marry.  It doesn't serve them to make a long term commitment with someone who may or may not 'work out' or they might cease to bring them happiness.

There is much promotion of self.  Most of us have comfortable homes, apartments, or places to stay with access to clean water.  Most are temperature controlled to suit our comforts.  Most of us rarely have empty tummies.  Granted, there certainly are exceptions to these rules.

My point is we are a very self serving, happiness-seeking, and comfortable people.  Is that what scripture calls us to do?  Most definitely not!  Scripture repeatedly encourages us to serve others, treat others as you wish to be treated, die to self, don't worry about your own comfort, etc.  We are admonished to get out there and serve over and over!

Many of us object.  Shyness is a big excuse we use not to serve.  Perhaps witnessing takes us out of our comfort zones.  This woman who is speaking/writing to you right now has a big struggle with shyness.  I DO NOT like to draw attention to myself in any way.  I don't like to speak up when there are more than a couple people present.  I feel awkward with strangers.  I despise telephones unless it is someone I know very, very well.  They make me a nervous wreck.  The ring makes my heart pound in fear.  Public speaking= complete torture.  Doing youtube videos is extremely hard for me.  Especially at first, in time it gets a little easier on some level.  It is still not within my comfort at all.

Writing/blogging especially about "religious things" that folks don't approve of.... then going on social networking and sharing so everyone can see it.... is more difficult than anyone will ever know.  Knowing I am frequently exposing my heart to people who think badly is so hard sometimes.  That is just one example of how shyness can make something difficult.  (I don't share my struggle to get any pats on the back.  I share it to make a point.)

I read a long time ago that shyness is selfishness.  I rejected that for a while.  The thought didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy.  It made me feel GUILTY.  Then eventually I realized it was truth.  Yes, there is a level of shyness that is being quiet and introspective.  Nothing wrong with holding your tongue in a crowd when it is appropriate.  You don't always have to put your thoughts in.  However, if you are shy to the detriment of others.  If folks feel like you ignored them, if you missed witness opportunities, if you put your comfort above someone else's....then yes, shyness is selfishness.  

It may sound harsh.  I know it still does to me.  I TRY to make myself deal with it and open up.  I still mess this up more than I wished.  I hesitate in situations to speak or act, then an hour later I am totally kicking myself for letting my shyness cause the hesitation.  The ways I might have been able to help others or witness opportunities I missed...all because I was too shy.  Ultimately it is a point of pride to I suppose.  Why are we shy?  I think often it amounts to we are afraid others will get the wrong idea about us.  We are afraid of looking foolish.  We are concerned we might not know what to say.  They will think badly about us.  Many variations.  It brings the point back to one of an issue with pride too.

I am seeing many folks who refuse to pray publicly.  They don't like to speak up in a group of other believers to lead prayer.  I understand.  It makes me feel embarrassed too, for fear I will mis-speak.  In a group of women, I will do it.  I am not comfortable, but I do it if asked.

As a woman, I don't feel good about leading a prayer when it is a mixed group of men and women because I feel like that is not how it ought to be.  I feel like it is the Christan man's place to lead such things.  Nowadays, many won't.  They give in to their personal comfort and stay quiet.  That leaves the women in a very awkward spot!  A void to fill.  (This isn't a correction to the men, remember, this entire blog is written to women.)  I am just pointing out the awkward position we might end up in as women.  Mercy, if believers can't pray together without such sad is that!  The older I get, the more I notice less and less folks willing to simply lead prayer!  Why?  Comfort zones.

I feel like I am starting to rabbit trail here.  Back to my main point.  Maybe your issue is not shyness.  Maybe something else hinders you from serving others as you should??  Examine yourself.  Are you putting your issue and yourself above others?  If so, then it might be a problem you need to address.  It isn't good to stay in our comfort zones when it is to the detriment of others.  Is surely isn't good when it is a detriment to our witness as believers in Jesus Christ.

So what do we do?  Well shyness is something I am still working on.  I may never get over it completely.  You have to decide something isn't okay and work to fix it.  One step, one word, and one day at a time.  A favorite expression of mine lately, (and I tell myself a lot)...."suck it up buttercup".  This isn't about you, it's about others.

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watch out for container damage on broth boxes!

First watch the is very short.

Okay, home canned broth is awesome and better for you and LOADS cheaper.  However, I admit I try to keep a few store bought ones around too.   I often run out of home canned or I just don't have time to run the pressure canner.  I know I can freeze it, and I do freeze a limited amount.

Anyway, you get the point, I took the easy way out and I bought a couple today.  The last few times I have bought broth I pick the new cardboard coated vacuum sealed containers.  They seem a better value a lot of the times for store bought.  I just got some new containers home from shopping and I happened to discover an issue. (Thank you to God for opening my eyes to it!)

The corner has been grazed by something.  It is hard to tell if it happened during my handling on the way home or if it happened in the store.  I suspect it was already like that.  Anyway, I could return it and get my money back and Aldi even will replace the product.  Their double guarantee.   I don't blame them as a store at all.  It could have been ANY store as many places sell broth in these containers.   I am also not 100% sure it came like that.  I neglected to check it because I hadn't encountered that before.

I wanted to share it so you all can see and know to make certain yourself.  It is a big concern really.  From my canning experience this is the sort of thing you want to be careful about.  With the seal broken anything can happen making you and your family sick.  Botulism is typically anaerobic needing the seal to be present for an oxygen-less environment in order to grow.  Still yet, with that broken seal, (and if it was broken for a long time) any monster critter could be lurking in that broth.  Some things are not killed by boiling and it isn't worth the chance of using it.  I will toss this container.  I am out a little shy of a $1.50.  No big deal.  I am blessed to have seen it.

It DOES concern me for these containers.  If a bumped corner can be broken easily as it appears, are they truly as safe as I had previously assumed?  How easy would it have been for me to have missed this?  Extremely easy.  I could have stashed this in my pantry and not used this container for a long while.  Then one day I might have grabbed it and used the product never noticing the tiny corner damage.

I think I will go back to cans when I do buy store bought broth.  Better yet, I really need to dust my canner back off and do the homemade.  Broth is pretty easy to do so I should make the time.  It is worth it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tips on Jammed Sewing Machines or Correcting Improper Stitching

Because I have been asked this many times over the years, I figured a write up is in order.  Has your sewing machine jammed or is stitching a mess suddenly?

Stop!  Don’t keep sewing messy seams.  They will just fall apart most likely.  

Stop and take the time to get it right.  Besides you can do a lot more damage trying to force it to sew when something isn’t right.  You can damage the item you are sewing, or even worse your machine.

Don’t panic and call the repair people yet.  Odds are good you can fix it.  Don’t give up on sewing either.  Consider it a learning experience.  Every seamstress will wrestle with her machine once in a while.  Talk nice to it, it helps keep your mood civil while you tinker.  ;-) The more you do it, the better you learn your machine and eventually you will be an expert on that machine.

Resist the urge to go messing with your tensions if it was sewing properly the last time you used it.   Smack your own hands away if you have to!!  Odds are you will just mess that up.

Look for obvious improper threading.  Check both the upper thread and the bobbin.

Rethread the machine.  Upper and bobbin.  Don’t partially do it fully and completely.  Sometimes the silliest things will be solved by a re-thread and you will never really “see” what the issue was.  Be sure when you un-thread, you pull only in the direction the thread normally goes.  To do otherwise will mess your tensions up.  There is an exception when you get REALLY desperate.  More on that later.

Clean the machine well with a brush.  Avoid compressed air unless absolutely necessary.  A brush is always better so you don’t blow fuzzies back into the depths of the machine.  Not to mention canned compressed air kicks off chemical sometimes instead of just air.  Not healthy for you or your machine.

When you clean it, remove the throat plate too. (The area your needle goes down into)  You will be shocked at what accumulates there.  Never underestimated the ability for fuzzies to ruin your tension and stitching.  Clean it meticulously. 

Re-thread the machine properly again for good measure.  (seriously, I have re-thread what felt like a million times before..LOL)

Change your needle.  Many people sew on needles too old.  I am guilty of it too.  Sometimes a needle will have lost it’s point or be bent to where your eye doesn't see it well visually.  A bent needle will kill your stitching line and be messy.  It can also damage your machine.  For that matter, avoid sewing over pins.  Many a lady has ruined her machine’s timing from doing that.  At very least, only sew over them when you REALLY have to in a tight spot on something hard to hold.  If you chose to sew over pins, don’t get mad at anyone but yourself if you kill your machine.  If your needle hits a pin, assume at very lest it is probably bent with a dull point now.

Oil the machine, but only in the proper places and just a little as necessary.  (see your manual)  Make sure you sew on a scrap for a while after oiling.  If you get too heavy handed with the oil, it can come up into your stitching and kill whatever you are sewing.

Re-thread it again.  (You might be laughing...but I am serious :-))  For that matter, get a new bobbin and wind a new one.  I have also had bad bobbin winding cause poor stitching.  Make sure your bobbin is in it’s case properly and spinning in the proper direction (if you have a bobbin case for your machine).  If you have a drop in bobbin, you still need to be sure you are putting in down there properly and in the right direction.

Then and only then go playing with your tensions if it still isn’t right.  One exception to this rule.  If you have small children always make a mental note of your normal tensions so you can see at a glance if they decided to play with the knobs and buttons.  (guess what happened to me today!!!)

At your own risk on this one....but you can try flossing your machine.  Not with dental floss, but your thread.  Unthread the needle.  Take ahold of the bottom and then grab the thread from behind the machine coming off of the spool.  Gently and firmly move it back and forth just a little bit.  You might find you dislodge a big ol’ piece of lint in your tension discs if your machine has those.  Again, GENTLE!!!  It is a risky thing.  I was most prone to do this with my older serger where things would lodge in the tension discs regularly.  More modern machines with computerized tensions, it is a really bad idea.  So this one is very much at your own risk.

Finally re-thread your machine.  ;-)

Hopefully one of these solves your issue.  One final tip that has nothing to do with your threading or stitching...just a sewing PSA.  Please, I beg of you, stomp not on thy foot pedal.  Your seams are not a race!  Sew at a reasonable speed limit.  As my husband once counseled me, enjoy the process of sewing not just the result.

Do you have any tips to share?  Feel free to share in the comments!  I know some of seamstresses can be a bit opinionated on the matter.  I would love to hear others thoughts on this one.

Add on tips from others:

Baby Lock recommends the "unwaxed" dental floss (never ever waxed floss) running it down like your thread would go.  I know you didn't recommend floss, but I have seen it recommended and I am sure it was Baby Lock since I use it for that one.  Bernina folks say to use a dollar bill.
Also, if you get a new needle or esp. two or more out and put in the machine and it is still bad, try one from another new package.  You can get whole packs of bad needles and I know that for a fact, it happened over at a local shop, they got a whole batch of them and had to have them replaced...I bought some of them....and still run into some of them.....

You can also get a burr (sp.) on the throat plate from a broken needle that will cause havoc.  They recommend an emory cloth for that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Examine Yourself: Are you doing what you condemn?

Fair warning....I don’t feel very good and this might be a bit more blunt than I usually am.  I am not saying it to be mean however, but hopefully to inspire some self examination.

You get upset and frazzled about men looking at your body, yet at the same time you have shirtless pictures of muscular men on your FB wall?  Witty sayings on the pics don't make them any cleaner.  You don't think those are as stumblingblock to other women?  I am here to tell you they absolutely are.  

Even more, do you not see the overall disconnect in your logic?  You are choosing to do the same thing you condemn and dislike.   You call men names and moan of the the way they are.  You feel they see women inappropriately.  You don't want to be a piece of meat to be devoured.  They look at you, call to you, smile at you and you become angry.  You feel used and like an object.  However, how is that picture of the sweaty dude you giggled at and maybe thought of him as "eye candy" any different?  Are you not treating him the same way you DON'T want to be treated?!  It is a fool who mocks another's sin when they are doing the same thing!
It is very much like those who knock a man for looking at porn, then fail to abstain from romance novels that have the same content.  Written format can create just as much sin as visual format.  If you are going to chastise and mock others for sin, make sure you aren't doing the same thing just in a sugar coated form.  Please don’t sugar coat abomination.  Women like to make things sound sweet, thus the term "eye candy"...but come it for what it is.

Here is the next line of thought.  I know there is a degree of subjectivity of the word modesty.  I get that.   The Bible does require modesty in no uncertain terms.  Humans and believers will argue what constitutes modesty until we are blue in the face.  Some of us just see things differently there.  

Ultimately it is between each person and God.  Here is a thought though, make sure that your own opinion of your modesty standards meet the Biblical one.  You don't want to compare it to the cultural standard.  Compare only to the Biblical one.  That is the best advice I know of.  Don’t worry over anyone else’s standard, just make sure you meet God’s.  

Getting too much unwanted attention can be a sign that you might be showing too much for free.  Don’t show off the goods, then get upset if someone window shopped.  Now I realize it is possible to be extremely modest and still get a little unwanted attention.  I am not saying it means you are for certain dressing inappropriately.  It is simply something that needs checked and examined if you are having this happen on a regular basis.
Finally, make sure you are approachable for other sisters in Christ to talk to you about these things.  Do you have a tendency to get highly upset anytime someone suggests you might want to watch your walk and witness.  When is the last time you listened to and weighed a correction examining yourself to see if the person might a point?  Do you start making posts about “how dare anyone judge me”...etc...  Resistance to even the hint of correction is a FLAMING sign that you aren’t walking the narrow path you should be!!!  

Is it politically correct to admonish someone else.  No.  

Should we care about what is popular in such matters?  Nope.  

It is however Biblical to correct to help one another along the narrow path.  That is a GOOD thing.  Not something we just bristle at and scorn.  

Yes, at one time or another I have been guilty of the same stuff.  It has opened my eyes to some of this stuff though.   Perfection I will likely never attain in the time I have left on this ol' earth.  Shucks most humans couldn't agree on what even defines perfection.  

God is perfect!!! Study Him and try to be like Him!!!!  Walk the narrow path He laid out for us in His Word.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  ~2 Corinthians 13:5

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. ~ Matthew 7:5

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Submission, Blessing or Curse?

The few of you who read this blog should know how I feel.  :-)  If you do not,  I will save you the suspense.

Submission is no doubt a wonderful blessing to my life.  The day my eyes were opened to the concept, my marriage was forever changed.  Not in that one day, but over the course of the years...a little at a time.  I have ZERO regrets.  It has many times over been a huge help to our marriage and our individual walks.

I know, I know it isn't popular today.  In fact, my attempts to talk about it all in internet land usually lead to people name calling me or anyone who dares defend my words.  I have been called lots of unkind things over my videos that reference this topic.

It is something I stand behind 100%.  It is God's Word and it is pretty black and white on the topic.  If you claim Christ, you need to wake up and read the scriptures that call for wives to submit to their husband.  Folks make arguments against it often, but most are pretty baseless in my thoughts.  I don't mean to just outright dismiss them.  It is just that back when I was on the other side of the fence on this topic...I was a pretty adamant, independent, feminist myself.  However, one day God kindly opened my eyes and I see the passages so clearly I can't fathom how I ever made excuse otherwise.

I do not claim to have all of the scriptural understanding of all the Bible..  This is a topic I still learn daily on.  It is something that is a radical thought in this day and age.  It is so hated.  Our culture is growing to be nearly matriarchal.  Most decisions, especially buying decisions are made by women nowadays.  Women are often the real source of leadership in marriages, unless it is an older traditional-type couple.  Most younger couples have submissive men and dominant women.  They might not admit it, but they are.

Yes, I knew there are a few exceptions....but there sure don't seem to be a lot.  We don't have cable tv anymore, but when I get a glimpse of it and the commercials see it obviously.  Look how wise the ladies are portrayed.  Look at what idiots the men are made out to be.  It is just a reflection of our current culture.  It is not a reflection of Biblical values at all.

Do I hate women as I was once asked?  Hardly.  Of course I am one.  I love my sisters.  I only wish for them to experience the blessing of submission in marriage.  It truly is beautiful if you are open to how God can make it into a wonderful thing.  It is hard to learn a Bible based concept, if you have nothing but hate for it.  Don't hate it, embrace it.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Headship Order is Not to be Mocked

A while back I made this picture in correction to one I had seen online.  There were two versions of the same umbrella concept floating about facebook land.  Which is correct?

Read I Corinthians 11: 1-16
1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

This passage covers the "Headship Order".  It is primarily where the Christian Headcovering (or veiling) stuff comes from.  The veil aside, the root of the passage is the headship order.  God, Christ, Husband, Wife.  It is a chain of command.  It is structure.  It is actually a beautifully functioning dynamic when taken in a humble spirit.  It is not to be mocked or misrepresented.  If you share one of the umbrella illustrations....please share the correct one.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Edify Your Beloved

Once, long ago, I read The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martin.  While I might not agree with everything in the book, one of my big takeaways......edify your husband always.

Never speak badly of him to anyone.  Sometimes we wives have a tendency to want to "unload" with our sisters.  We like to "share" or have girl talk.  There is a point when you betray the trust of your beloved.

The most simple test is this....

Are you sharing something that is negative about him?  If so, shut your mouth or think of something nice to say.  You know that saying... If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it.  How much more should it apply to marriage.

Are you sharing something that you would be offended or feel betrayed that he shared it with his friends?  If so, again, shut your mouth.  Wanting to have "sharing" time is no excuse to sin and betray trust.

Never EVER tale-bear about your husband!!  God forbid we have a false witness about the very one we love!!

Pray for him daily in specific ways.  Pray his name be respected by others. Likewise, show him respect as scripture COMMANDS of you.  These are just a few things, but they have stayed with me a long time.  They have served exceedingly well in our marriage.  I would recommend them for anyone who is married.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Sin of Gluttony

Something many of you know I struggle greatly with.  Gluttony.  It is evil and I wish nothing more than to forever purge myself above it.  Food has been an idol and a vicious thorn in my flesh.

Yes, I do have a thyroid issue.  That has it's effect.  In changing meds a while back, I really shot myself in the foot and regained a lot.  I am back on the original med now, so hopefully it can help a bit as it kicks in.  However, I can not blame my morbid obesity on meds and hormones alone.

The purpose of this post is to talk about the sin aspect.  There is no doubt that pleasing my flesh has been a major source of a problem area in my life.  I am an emotional eater.  I am a bored eater.  I eat for celebrations.  I have ate because I absolutely love the taste, smell, and textures of food.  Make no mistake about it, I have an issue with sinful eating.  Enjoying and thanking God for each bite of food is certainly okay and desired.  Destroying one's temple with sinful overeating is not okay.  You might be like me and VERY overweight.  You might even be at an ideal weight, but knowing full well you have an issue of an inappropriate use of food.  You might even be an under eater.  God has a lot of scriptures on this topic.  I will post some below.

I am still learning a lot about myself each day.  One thing I wanted to share for those of you who are like me and have struggled with this thorn in the flesh.  There is an online free Bible course on the sin of gluttony.  Setting Captives Free has several courses on multiple topics.  The one about gluttony is called the Lord's Table.  I am no more than a few days in and sometimes I miss a day here and there.  But I will say, it is really starting to change my thought process the more I study and think about it all.  I have known it was sin for a long time, but there have still been aspects of my thinking that have had to change.

I encourage you to join me there and go through the study if you struggle with this as I do.  Your issue may be something else they have covered as well.  Check them out and pray about it.  No matter what, don't put off the process of dying to the flesh.  Don't let sin have control.  Drink of the LIVING WATER and not of sin.

Philippians Chapter 3  - 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:  19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 
1 Corinthians Chapter 9 - 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Philippians 3:19 - Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Proverbs 23:21 - For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Proverbs 23:2 - And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite.
Job Chapter 23 -10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.  11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.  12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Responses to Correction

So when someone tells you that you are wrong for do you act?

What if they tell you that you show too much skin?

What if they say you need to watch your potty mouth and take more care in your words?

How about if they say you offended them?

What if they correct your parenting skills?

What if they tell you that you eat an inappropriate amount of food?

Of course this could apply to a LOT of things and topics.  As you read, keep in mind I am not addressing whether or not a person SHOULD be correcting you on  particular topic.  I am also not addressing the manner or method of correction.  We all know some people can be quite unthinking and feeling and entirely too nosey on occasion.

Sometimes, they are right despite their poor skill in giving a rebuke.  Some things are just not another person's business.  Their lack of finesse might not negate the their accuracy in their assessment.  Rebukes or corrections, whatever you like to call them, are sometimes needed in the Christian walk.  Even non believers have occasion where they want to hear truth and good counsel from their friends.  As believers we are called to gently lift and correct one another. Some of us do it better than others.  Some of us are terrible at timing and manner of delivery.  The point is, rebukes happen.  How do we deal with it?

I want to zero in on is your reaction.  You might feel like "you won't take nothing like that from anyone!".  You might be very defensive.  You might be angry.  I think the majority of people tend to get defensive.  I surely do sometimes.  It can depend on the topic.

You might be downright apathetic.  You could know full well the correction is just, but you just don't care.  The full knowledge of sin, combined with an utter lack of repentance is a scary thing.

However, you might have a humble and meek heart.  You could have been approached in a hideous manner, on a topic that was absolutely private.  It could be something you already frequently pray about with the Father.  Still yet, you self examined to see if you were in the right or wrong.  You forgave the manner in which you were approached.  You just looked to see if it was something you needed to get right with God on.

Of these three things.....which do you think the Bible would have us do?  We are always to examine our hearts.  We should be humble, meek and open to rebuke.  We need to be forgiving, loving, and thankful when someone cared enough to say something.

The next time someone issues you a correction or rebuke, what will your response be?

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?2 Corinthians 13:5

Open rebuke is better than secret love.Proverbs 27:5

 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.  ~ Prov 3:11-12

A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.  ~ Prov 15:5

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Encouraging a Different Way

     I see sooo many posts of facebook encouraging to remove "negative people from your life", "follow your heart", "finally put yourself first".  Many people love this sort of thing.  They promote you to be happy.  Friends and family often comment on these sort of things and back them 100%.  They mean well.  When we love someone, we don't want to see them hurting.  

     However, as believers, we should exercise a bit of caution.  Edify and lift one another up as often as possible in a Godly way.  It is surely okay to wish someone happiness.  It is okay to wish they didn't have negativity in their life. 

      There are absolutely times to walk on from situations and not cast pearls before the swine as scripture says.  We must take care that all of this is kept in a Biblical perspective.

     Sometimes we are simply encouraging too much "self".  As believers, we need to remember the message in the Word.  The Word says to deny self.  We are to take up His cross and follow Him.  We are to remain separated from the world and follow a narrow path.  We should place the needs of others before ourselves.  Our duty to God comes above all.

     I know that how we follow that narrow path, some things we just won't agree on.  We have different gifts and personalities.  We are called to do different things.  That is okay.  The paramount thing is to seek the Word and the Holy Spirit to figure it all out.  Acting on our emotions, like happiness, will lead us astray.  I know I am an emotional creature.  When I act out of reaction to on of my strong emotions, often I get into trouble.  Not always, but it is often true.  It is something I have to be careful about.

     Using the worldly gauge of happiness will get us no where.  Only the peace that comes from following Christ should be our real gauge.  When you encourage and edify others, don't push them to follow self happiness.  Encourage them to follow God's leading.  Encourage them to refresh in the Word.  Encourage them to prayer and fasting.  Encourage them to follow the narrow path....even if it hurts.  

Matthew 16:24-26

King James Version (KJV)
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A new headcovering book!!

My sweet sister in Christ has written this awesome new book and I am excited that she is letting me share with you all.  I know you will enjoy it.  She has put her heart and many prayers into this.  :-)

There is also this:

Lovely Job Sis!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Friends today, Unfriend Tomorrow, next week....friends again.  I don’t know how y’all feel about your facebook friends.  Myself, I have MANY friends on online that I have never met in real life.  Some I have been very close to over the years.  Some, I barely know and have only a tiny bit of interaction. 

However, some come and go so often I think you could measure windspeed from their clicks of friending/unfriending. 

In my case I see many sweet sisters who mean well.  They want someone like-minded on topics like headcovering, modest attire/dresses, faith, homeschool, and homekeeping.  However in particular on the topic of headcovering.  Because I wear a veil, many sisters I don’t know in real life do “friend” me.  Sometimes curiosity causes it, sometimes they are beginning to cover themselves. 

It is GOOD to seek likeminded fellowship.  However, if for some reason that sister decides to uncover or has a shift in beliefs, then suddenly I am not worthy of friendship.  A few days, a week, or maybe a month later I get a friend request again.  Often the person is covering again or came back to that common ground again and decided to be my friend again.

Folks also love to “clean out” friends.  Closets and trash bins should be cleaned out.  Friends? I prefer not to be so harsh with my  terms there.  I absolutely understand the need to reduce time on sites like facebook.  I struggle with that too.  I find using a program called Cold Turkey very effective to control time.  The real goal is to develop better personal discipline.  Reducing time online is very wise.  However, treating people you asked to call friend as someone to be ‘cleaned’ out to me seems cold.  If you must spend less time online, absolutely do so.  That is GOOD!!!  Just, please think before you speak.

Am I perhaps oversensitive?  I don't think so because I know of other sisters who have been crushed and deeply hurt over being treated so disposable.  I try not to fret too much over it when people get on the serial friending and unfriending kick.  It is becoming so common for me. 

I simply keep accepting them back when they decide to be friendly again.  However, I admit, it does hurt my feelings a little when I see I have been unfriended yet again simply because someone isn’t covering anymore. (or whatever that common ground was)  If all I am to folks is just a picture of a veiled chick to hang on your profile, then why bother friending in the first place? 

If it is because of something I said, perhaps let me know?  I never intentionally intend to hurt anyone’s feelings.  If I have offended you, I would like to know so that I might make it right if that is possible.  Sometimes it might not be possible.  Sometimes we really and truly do need to unyoke.  However, I prefer to save the ‘shunning’ for only very serious situations.

Perhaps folks just don’t see the ‘facebook friends’ as real?  I don’t know.  I am sure in many situations it is different.  I write all of this for one reason.  It is simply to remind my sisters that you need to treat others as you wish to be treated.  REAL people are behind these monitors.  Real hearts.  Real feelings. 

Reduce time online, yes, but as you do....try not to be cold to people.  Unyoke with people due to incompatible convictions. (if you feel you must).  Be steadfast in your faith and endeavor not to shift with every new wind that blows.  If you are, I suspect you might find more DEPTH in the friendships you create.  They may not always be ‘in person’ friendships, but they can still bless you more than you ever thought possible.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pride may be "in", but it is still a SIN!

Pride may be "in" but it is still a sin.  :-)  Not my words, I just read that online somewhere.  It is true though.  Most of us struggle with some level of pride too.  I know I do.  There is that that I can see, acknowledge and repent of.  I suspect I have even more that I do not see.

I will never forget my precious Papaw Dillow looking at me as a teenager and saying he was not proud of my mother.  It was in response to something I had said.  I tilted my head sideways and was pretty confused.  I thought maybe he was just teasing.  I knew he adored my Mother and was as pleased as any father.  He said he didn't like that expression "I'm proud of you".

He talked about how while we may be pleased with some manner of people or ourselves, we shouldn't be prideful in anything or anyone.  At the time I thought it was silliness, I shamefully admit.  I kept thinking it was just an expression.  I didn't fully realize the wisdom he had and was trying to impart to my thick skull.  I so miss him here on this Earth.  He is in a far better place though.  He impacted me on several vital faith elements while he was here.  His being a 'stickler' about the pride issue, I will never forget.  Sometimes I slip and use that expression, then I bite my tongue and remember my Papaw's wise words.

Pride, now matter how culturally still sinful and a mindset we must avoid.  ESPECIALLY if it is any form of personal pride.  Humility and meekness are the character traits that the Bible teaches.  I pray God opens all of our eyes, that we may repent of pride.  Pride may seem innocent, but it will keep us from repentance.  

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What Sins Do You See?

Sisters, do you ever look and glaze over scripture because you think you aren't doing the things it mentions? Look closely at this one below. I think we tend to look at the "really bad stuff" or the "stuff we are not doing"....and conveniently not read the words of things we ARE doing.

Do we have hatred in our hearts? Do we ever spread discord and dissentions with running our mouth? Talebearing is condemned many times in scripture. We women are especially guilty of doing this. Ask yourself, are you?

Do we have 'fits of rage'? Ever deal with jealousy and envy? Sexual immorality? You might not be acting on it, but ask is your thought life? Are we lusting over other men who we are not married to? What is the new term?...eye candy, I believe. We can sweeten it up, but it is still adultery of the heart.

Selfish ambition? I don't think I have met anyone who does not display this to some level.

I would guess most of us deal with SEVERAL of these. If you are like me, sometimes you glance at a scripture and not really let it sink in and convict YOU accordingly. I know this morning as I was reading this verse, I let them sink in better and I do have some repenting to do. Let us read all of the words of scripture, not just the ones we WANT to read.

Galatians 5:19-21
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.