Saturday, August 30, 2008

08/30/08 - Two blogs

I am not going to camp on the modesty issue any longer, but I know it is a hot topic because two blogs I follow also talked about modesty this week. These blog are both written by young women and I pray your blessed and encouraged.

BLOOM!

Beauty from the Heart

Friday, August 29, 2008

08/29/08 - Dry Bones

Have you ever read Ezekiel 37: 1-14, the story of the Dry Bones?

Lately I have been reading it and it has hit me in a couple of ways.

God asked Ezekiel, "Can these bones live?" (vs. 3a). Ezekiel answered so wisely, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know." (vs. 3b)

Then God told him to preach to these dead bone. Preach to them! Start prophesying to them! Talk to DEAD bones!

Doesn't this seem absurd, talk to dead bones! But this is how God works. He calls us to do something that makes absolutely no sense to us in our human mind. Ezekiel obeyed!

As he was prophesying to these bones, they came together and formed flesh.

Then God told him to continue to preach and He breathed life into these bones and a large army rose up.

Here's how this has been brewing in my mind.

First, God's ways can be so far fetched. They can seem so impossible and He may call us to do things that make sense. Regardless of what we think, we must obey.

Second, as a person with a strong conviction to living a life totally sold out for the Lord, not cutting corners, living a life with integrity in all areas of my life, and standing up for my beliefs, it can feel at times I am talking to dry bones. It can feel like my message can fall on dry bones. So I have to believe that God will use what He has called me to, to raise up people for Him glory.

I don't in anyway want to compare myself to a bible prophet! I do believe that God has called me to share the message of emotional purity with His people. So even though I may feel at times persecuted and all alone in my stance, God wants me to endure for His sake and for His glory! Also, I am in no way perfect. Although I strive for those things in my life, I fall short time and time again. Praise God for grace!

This is what comes to me as I read these verses. What comes to your mind as you read Ezekiel 37: 1-14?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

08/27/08 - Modesty: An Act of Love

What is modesty?

I don't believe there is a "what to wear/what not to wear" list to what is modest. I believe that modesty is a condition of the heart and attitude.

Recently I was chatting with a friend (via e-mail) about modesty. She said, " I love the modesty survey that took place on the Rebelution site and I'd like to see a sweeping movement of its kind, one able to reveal modesty for the act of love that it really is, without impressing young Christian girls as judgmental or old fashioned."

The act of love, yes this is modesty...it's an act of love.

I tend to think of everything in an emotional sense (hey I wrote a book on emotional purity right!?) Us women tend to be emotionally charged. Guys, well they are physically charged.

What do I mean by that? Well, a new handsome, single, solid Christian guy starts to visit your church. Before long the single girls have gotten the low down, are inviting him to events in hopes to get to know him better, and maybe even dreaming about being ask out on a date by him.

Or maybe you are friends with a guy and your mind is always in the "what-if" future. You're pondering what you name sounds like with his, your planning your kids names, your dreaming of vacations with him, you long for private time alone, and you just desire to get to know him better.

This is being emotionally charged. We desire emotional closeness with guys (and other women for that matter).

So guys are more physically charged. They don't think of what a girls name would sound like with his, but they tend to struggle more with being physically pure in his mind.

With this knowledge it's an act of love to treat each other with honor and not cause each other to stumble in our respective areas.

Guy need to be "emotionally modest", not leading a girl on, toying with her emotions, flirting, being vague, and overall causing her to being emotionally turned on!

If you take my post from three days ago about Formal Wear and think about it in this way. When a bride is immodest in her wedding dress, it would be compared to her new husband flirting with the bridesmaids at the reception. It would be appalling. But if her dress is causing any man to stumble, what's the difference?

What is modesty? It's an act of love for our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. Whether we're being emotionally modest or physically modest, we're thinking and caring about other people more than ourselves and that, my friend, is selfless love!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

08/26/08 - Walking on Water

I love the story of when Peter walked on water as recorded in Matthew 14: 22-32.

Here the disciples are in a boat, late at night, when they see this person coming towards them. They cried out in terror, but Jesus said, "Don't be afraid, it is I."

Instantly, Peter said, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water."

What boldness, what faith, what courage!

Do you see God calling you to do something that seems impossible? Maybe He is asking you to wait, patiently for a mate or seek reconciliation with a friend. Maybe He's asking you to start a ministry that seems far beyond your abilities. Or perhaps He's calling you to change your job, move to a new location, join the mission field or get out of a relationship that is unhealthy.

God will not call us to a place that He has not already been. He's done the impossible and is waiting for us to follow His leading.

Peter was successful on walking on water till he lost his focus. He started looking at the environment, the "dangers" and he started to sink. How often do we do the same thing? We care more about the "what ifs" than being obedient to God's Spirit leading us.

We must be willing to get out of the boat, our comfort zone, and be faithfully, obedient to God's leading! It's a very exciting place to be!

What's He calling you to do that seems impossible? What's stopping you?

Friday, August 22, 2008

08/22/08 - Modest Formal Wear

I have to say that one of my pet peeves is when modesty is thrown out the window for weddings, school dances, Prom, bridesmaids dresses, and other events that require formal wear.

Tonight I came across this site: Beautifully Modest and was so encouraged to see gorgeous dresses that actually were modest!

May God bless them greatly!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

08/21/08 - Leaders

Do we, or should we, hold people in leadership positions to a higher standard?

Should we expect them to be a "notch" above?

Do you become discouraged when you see someone in "ministry" doing something that is a gray issue? Should we?

These are all questions I'd love to hear your thoughts on!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

08/20/08 - Quotes

Yesterday, when I was looking up a word in my bible concordance, I stumbled across those blank pages in the back of my bible. I have used it to put great quotes I've heard throughout the years. The bible I use now is 10 years old, so there's a few great quotes.

I thought it would be fun to share. Some are going to be ones you have heard, some are going to be my own thought, some are preachers I've heard throughout the years. I don't have any cites for these, so please forgive if I am not giving credit to someone who deserves it!

God's not looking for partnership, He's looking for ownership of me.

Christ is not looking for a better me, He's looking for a dead me.

Anytime I become defensive, I must ask, "Is this sin?"

We are always God's children, never His adults.

What you do and the way you live, is what you believe, the rest is religious babble.

Pure feels better than all sensations and temptations.

If I don't get what I think I want - I'll only get God's best!

Success falls between submission and suffering (in the dictionary)

The Word is:
A Hammer: To break us
A Fire: To consume us
A Water: To grow us

I hope this is encouragement to you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

08/19/08 - Youth

This blog has been brewing in my mind for awhile and I just need to get it out ;-) I am not putting forth a great deal of research, but this is just from my heart and experience!

There is a movement of youth in our nation that excites me at the core of my being.

I think of ministries such as, The Rebelution and Abort 73 (this site has some graphic content). These are just two of hundreds of other ministries founded and run by young people in America. These two groups are impacting thousands of teens and are just growing.

In the media we hear about the youth of today and how lazy, unmotivated, uncaring, and self-focused they have become. Of course, I can't deny that there are these types of teens in our culture, but I also believe that God is doing something with the next generation of young people.

I think back to the 60's and all the cultural changes that took place. Those major changes did not happen from men in suits making decisions for our nation, but young people rebellion against their parents and society.

I believe we are experiences the backlash of the effects of the 60's (and 70's, 80's). Young people are taking a stand on their convictions and are believing in God for big change. They are "rebelling" against the lack of convictions that the 60s brought our nation. I am trusting God, that young people will "wake" America up to the sin we are so steeped in.

What makes this generation so unique is they've grown up dealing with issues that I didn't deal with (and I am not that old!!!) Aids, homosexuality, abortion, divorce are all issues that have become more common place. Yes, those issues were experienced in my generation, but they were not so freely talked about and accepted. (I think growing up I had one friend whose parents were divorced)

This generation has never been without cable, video games, reality TV, e-mail, and a host of other "things" that make us feel more connected, yet less connected to reality and truth.

This generation has been lead to believe there are no absolutes, that there are many paths to God and to say anything is just being judgemental.

This generation has deeply felt the consequences of divorce and the devaluation of marriage between one man and one woman.

This generation has grown up with Columbine!

This generation has watched a sexual scandal with a President.

This generation has watched the "real world" being portrayed and 6 strangers living together and trying to get along.

This generation has a very skewed perspective of privacy.

They do have a lot stacked against them, but I fully believe change, deep spiritual and moral change is taking place. I am excited to watch God at work and can't wait to watch what happens!

(If you know of other ministries worth mentioning, please add their link in a comment!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

08/18/08 - Complaining

Do you think you could spend one whole day not complaining?

No complaining about: the weather, your marital status, your mate, your job, your boss, traffic, the cashier at the store, your car, your parents, your friends and their lack of sensitivity to your needs, your computer, TV, the moral state of our nation, the Olympic broadcast, the messy house, laundry, other drivers, your kids, the Presidential race, money (or lack there of), the loss you've experienced, your dead cell phone, your past, your future, the Internet, bad food....the list is endless.

Yes, we do complain about anything and everything!

Philippians 2:14: Do everything without complaining or arguing.

Are you up for a challenge?

I am!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

08/16/08 - Prayers

There are a couple of things that I'd like you to pray for, if you think of it:

Today Rick Warren is interviewing the two presidential candidates. Pray that the truth will be spoken and that God fearing Christians would listen to the heart of these two men.

(I try to not be too political on my blog, but my heart beats with a political beat and this election is pretty important!)

Also, on a personal note, my husband could use some prayer today! Thanks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

08/15/08 - Peace

For any of you who are followers of my blog, you've guessed by now that I write about whatever I am learning, go through, questions I receive, or what others are going through. Most days my blog is written that day, in the moment that I am in, and in what I have seen, learned, or begun to grasp.

I just wanted to explain that for those of you who may be new to my blog. I don't always focus on emotional purity, but I've written about that through the 18 plus months of this blog. This blog is really my encouragement to you to be fixed on Jesus and glorify Him through every aspect of your life!

Okay, now on to the thoughts I have for you today!

In the past two months it seems that every time my husband and I have opened up God's Word to study it together, we read about peace: peace with others, seeking peace, the fruit of peace. We're being to wonder what God has in store for us, but we have begun to study more about peace in God's Word. We've also begun to pray peace into our lives.

You know this has been such a peaceful month. We have things being thrown at us from all different directions (that's just life, right!?!) and I have found myself more at peace than ever before. (Light bulb moment: maybe this is just what I am studying peace for, daily living!!!)

Yesterday I dug a little deeper into the topic of peace in God's Word and I just wanted to share my notes.

Peace: Harmony in personal relationship, state of calm, freedom from strife (from my bible dictionary)

Prov. 14:30: Peace = health
1 Cor. 7:15: God has called us to live in peace
Ps. 34:14: Seek and pursue peace
Heb. 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with others
1 Thess. 5:12: Live in peace with each other
Heb. 13:20: God of peace
Eph. 6:15 Gospel of peace
Col. 3:15: Peace of Christ should rule, called to peace
1 Thess. 2:2 Prayers for others will bring peace

There are many God fearing Christians who lack peace in their lives. I have had seasons of little to no peace in my own life. If you are at that place, remember God is the God of peace, not the God of confusion, disharmony or discord.

May God grant you peace this week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

08/14/08 - Hatred

My husband heard a great quote this weekend at his men's retreat:

"Hatred hurts the person hurting. It's like drinking poison and expecting that person (the person you are hating) to die."

Maybe your hurting over a courtship gone bad.
Maybe your hurting over a broken engagement.
Maybe your hurting over a loss of a close friend.

Hating that person will only cause you more pain. Hating the situation or experience will not hurt anyone but you.

Learning to release and let go is an on going process, but one that will be vital to the health of your walk with the Lord.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

08/13/08 - Finishing Well

I recently had a conversation with a friend about finishing well in our lives. In our life we are watching a person who is not finishing the end of his life well. He is making poor choices and not resolving issues that need to be resolved.

We talked about how we (all people) didn't choose our parents, our childhood, or certain situations in our life, but we are in control of how we respond. Do we choose to let the past dictate our future, our current relationships, our walk with the Lord, and our over all attitude? Or have we released, let go, sought peace and resolution, forgave and dealt with whatever needs to be dealt with in order to run with perseverance.

(Again I think of Hebrews 12 verse 1b: let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us)

I look at this man and pray and mourn for not finishing well. For not walking through the "winter" season of his life with dignity, integrity, and boldness for Jesus.

How about you? Most of you are a long way off from finishing your time on earth, but do you think about how you want to finish this race well? What can help you now finish well?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

08/12/08 - Bitter Root

When you think of a bitter root, what comes to mind?

I imagine an unhealthy growth that begins to take over. I think of an oak tree that was planted to close to underground water pipes. Have you ever seen this on "This Old House" where they have to tear up the tree and get the roots that have overtaken pipes that help the house function? It's quite a large, expensive job!

In the Church we have far too many Christians living with bitter roots, caused by rejection, fear, slander, gossip, unmet expectations, and other unpleasant events. They walk in this pain daily and it effects every relationship they have.

Here's what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 12:

14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

The only way to be free of a bitter root is to pursue peace and not miss the grace given to us. When we realize the grace that has been given to us, our only reaction should be to extend grace to those around us. Which would cause us to have peace with those we are in relationships with.

How I long for my own life to be free of any bitterness. To know that I am walking in grace and therefore I must make an effort to live at peace with everyone. Not only will I be free of bitterness, but as verse 14 says, I'll be holy and see the Lord! What an amazing promise!

Monday, August 11, 2008

08/11/08 - God's Grace

Do we realize how much we walk in God's grace?

Lately I have been impressed with how much we take for granted the grace and safety we walk in. From daily activities like driving to work to simple things we don't even think about, like breathing.

Each day as I expedience health, as I have healthy kids (okay beside a fever and one child throwing up this weekend...I mean serious health issues), a hardworking, healthy husband, a great house, wonderful friends, and just a host of other blessings from God, I want to be mindful of God's grace.

I don't deserve any of this! I don't deserve eternal life! I don't deserve peace or blessings! But with God's grace I have these things!

Thank you Lord for your amazing and undeserving grace!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

08/06/08 - Facebook Witness

I am on Facebook, are you? It's a fun way to keep up with family and friends and it's been a great way to reconnect with some old friends: childhood friends and college friends. I love looking at pictures and getting updates!

But, my pet peeve with Facebook is that it allows non-Christians to see a "Christian" living a life just like themselves.

I am not picking on any one person, but when the religion says: Christian, and the page is filled with the same topics, images, language, and garbage as the rest of the world, you know what they say about Christians: What a bunch of hypocrites! And I for one am tried of being called a hypocrite!

So if you're on Facebook and your religion says: Christian, then here's your options:

A) Make sure your page reflects what that means. It means your set apart from the world. In the world, but not of the world.

B) Remove the title of Christian if your Facebook page doesn't reflect that commitment to Christ. This way you don't tarnish the name of Christ. You don't dishonor Him and people who are watching will not have a reason to call Christians hypocrites.

C) Radical overhaul your Facebook page and make a fresh commitment to Christ to honor Him in all you do, say, respond, and think!

Again, I plead with you, stop giving a watching world reason to think that Christians are no different then the lost, hopeless, godless world!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

08/05/08 - God's Holiness

Hebrews 12: 10b God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

Yesterday I was reading through Hebrews 12 and this just popped out at me. Don't you love when you read a passage of scripture and something new grabs your attention? I do!

We are all disciplined by God and God's discipline will produce holiness, a harvest of righteousness and peace (vs. 11). Although it may be painful, uncomfortable, unwanted, aggravating, and down right unavoidable...in the end we benefit from His discipline.

Don't we serve an amazing God? We are invited to share (partake, be apart of) in His holiness through discipline! This is one of those concepts that we need to take with us as we walk through seasons of discipline!

Monday, August 4, 2008

08/04/08 - Prayers

Yesterday at church my mom walked in crying telling me that my niece, Hazel (almost 4), was having a seizure and there were 6 paramedics working on her. My mind raced: was she breathing on her own, why were there 6 paramedics working on her, what happened?

After we got more information from my sister and the doctors, they were thinking that Hazel had a stroke. Her left side was not responding the same way as her right side and from the symptoms they assumed she suffered a stroke. At one point it felt like this could be a long recovery. The doctors were saying that she'd stay for a few days until they could figure out what had happened.

They had also said that she dislocated her shoulder while she was having her seizure.

My parents left after church to go to Iowa (about five hours from here). At one point Hazel had woken up from the sedation, knew how old she was, but starting pulling at the tubes, so they re-sedated her.

When my parents got there my dad felt that God was telling him to lay his hands on her and pray for a complete healing. He obeyed and prayed that God would completely heal her! At that moment he felt God confirm that she indeed was healed.

He kept this to himself, and they took Hazel for a MRI.

When they were given the updated from the doctors and the results of the MRI, the doctors could find nothing wrong with her, so sign of stroke, completely normal MRI. Also they said that maybe she didn't dislocate her shoulder after all. To top it off, her left side was responding just as her right side was! She was not droopy on one side and she was moving both her arms and legs completely normally!

God healed this little girl!

The doctors said that she'll be home today or tomorrow.

As I laid in bed last night, praising God for this healing this verse came to me:

James 5:16 b The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

My dad is a righteous man, who strives to walk with God and obey Him. Recently I wrote a tribute to him. Click HERE to read it!

Much to be thankful for today, mostly for the power of prayer!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

08/02/08 - Psalms 42

I was moved to read this the other night. There are many hurting, suffering people in our world. People who are in the middle of painful situations. May this Psalm bless them!


1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and

6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.