Tuesday, May 31, 2011

05/31/11 - Every Nook and Cranny

If someone came and looked in every nook and cranny of your life would they see Christ? Would their findings be consistent with your proclamation of the gospel in your life? Would people see that you are the hands and feet of Jesus by examining your life?

If they looked:

  • at your e-mails/computer history
  • your CD's/Ipod
  • your movies
  • the books you read
  • your bank account
  • your clothes
  • your journals
  • your Facebook account
  • your photo albums
  • your calendar
  • your text messages
May every area of our lives come under the total Lordship of Jesus Christ!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

05/26/11 - World Magazine

The cover of World Magazine splash that within these pages they will look at "relationship and marriage 2011".

I flipped open to page 41 and in bold quotes: "If you are dedicated to emotional purity you are afraid. You either risk nothing or you risk everything." Hannah Farver

I couldn't agree more.

If you are looking to the form of emotional purity to keep you pure, you will fear. A focus on rules will lead you to bondage to the outward appearances of what you think purity should be.

If you are totally and completely trusting your emotional needs to God Almighty, you will rest in His mighty hands. There is no fear, there is no risk. You are safe.

I've been "preaching" the heart of emotional purity for years. Although, at times I feel a bit misunderstood.

Emotional Purity is:

A humble desire to honor God in our relationships.
To surrender our emotional needs to God,
whether married or single, for the sake of the gospel.

It's not a form, it's not courtship, it's not control, it's not fear, it's not manipulation.

Emotional purity is: heart driven, living authentic lives, there's a confident, calm trust in God, it's a Christ focus heart.

So yes, you will fear if you are dedicated to the FORM of emotional purity. But if you're heart is dedicated to Christ alone you will not fear...you may look the same as someone dedicated to the form, but your heart is not the same.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

05/25/11 - 25 years

25 years ago my dad baptized me! It was a public act of the re-birth in my life. That was the first time I ever remember feeling the Holy Spirit prompt my heart in obedience and I followed that leading and was baptized.

For 25 years I've walked with the Lord. Sure I've taken my own path along the road, but He is faithful. He has never left me. He is always pursing me to deeper understanding of Himself. As I've drawn near, He comes near.

I love His Word more now than ever before. I am thankful for 25 years of walking with Christ as my Savior! How I long to grow and mature in Him each and every day!

Praise God for my re-birth!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

05/24/11 - Wrestling Prayer

Yesterday I started reading "Wrestling Prayer" by Eric and Leslie Ludy and could hardly put it down (of course with three kids, being outside most of the day...I got though four chapters, which is a lot for a busy mom!)

The Ludy's talk about knowing the tools we have to fight the unseen battle. As I was reading I got this feeling that I wanted to pick up a big spiritual "Gladiator" sword, put on full spiritual armor, and run into the battle, screaming. (Sorta cheesy, but it's how I was feeling.)

We must know the weapons we have to demolish strongholds and anything that sets itself against God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Our weapon is living and active two edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

We must learn how to use these weapons so we can walk in freedom that comes from our salvation.

Sadly Christians pick up nurf $1 store swords when it comes to fighting this unseen battle. We don't know the power we have in the Word of God and in our prayer life. So we live in defeat, letting sin rule in our bodies. We don't have joy, we struggle with feeling peaceful, and we are unable to love with the love of Christ.

I am excited to read more of this book...but these are my thoughts so far!

Friday, May 20, 2011

05/20/11 - What holds us back

What holds us back from total surrender to God? What keeps us from laying everything aside and running hard the race He marked for us?

Selfishness

Fear

Pride

Lack of trust

Lack of knowledge

Whatever is holding you back from totally releasing your will and replacing it with His, I pray God makes it abundantly clear and you let go! Today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

05/17/11 - Family Vision

Organized Simplicity: A Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living encourages you to write a family vision.

Once your family has a vision or mission statement you can more easily go through and assess if this is something you need or can let go of.

John and I wrote out this vision statement:

Our family vision is to

glorify, honor, and serve God

by promoting a simple environment

where we value prayer, self-control,

honest/open communication,

hospitality, and loving others

more than self.

With this statement in hand, I was able to go through my house with this new perspective. It has been my filter, so to speak.

How do you think a vision statement could help you organize and clean your living space?


Monday, May 16, 2011

05/16/11 - Cleaning House

I've been cleaning house. Not just dusting and vacuuming, but deep cleaning and purging!

A friend blogged about this book: Organized Simplicity: A Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living and it peaked my interest. Being intentional about living has been on my radar for about 4 years.

But let me back up about a month ago.

I looked around my house and felt overwhelmed by stuff, almost suffocated! Why do we have so much stuff? How do we collect so much? We try to not, but I felt so overwhelmed.

So I started a garage sale pile and it filled more than 1/2 of my front porch! I felt pretty good about this dent of stuff getting out of my house. We had a garage sale, but it wasn't well attended because of a new law in my town that we're not able to put out signs, other than on our own yard.

Then I check out Organized Simplicity from the library and it gave me a fresh perspective on purging and organizing my house.

My husband and I decided to have another 1 day garage sale at my in-laws because they live on a busy street.

So with this book in hand and a fresh perspective on my stuff, I started through each and every drawer, cabinet, pantry, desk, sheets, towel, bathrooms, cleaning supplies, and I still have yet to go through the toy room, boy's bedroom and our bedroom.

My porch is filling up again. I've examined everything I have and asked, "Does this fit our vision for our family? Is it filling up too much space for something we hardly use? Can we live with out it?"

Some things I've kept because it does fit with our vision and other things I've let go of.

I feel light! I feel like my house can breath in a new way!

If you're feeling overwhelmed by stuff, can I recommend this book? It's an excellent resource.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

05/11/11 - Resources for Parents

Dannah Gresh: Secret Keeper Events for girls and their moms (ages 8 to 12)

Dannah Gresh: Pure Freedom Events for teen girls and their moms (13 and up)

Passport to Purity: A "do it yourself" purity retreat weekend for teen boys or girls and their parents

Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz for boys

Created for Work by Bob Schultz for boys

Practical Happiness by Bob Schultz for young men

Do you have any good resources for parents?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

05/10/11 - Marriage

Our church is going through a marriage/family series from Mother's Day till Father's Day. Our pastor is using 1 Corinthians 7 through the entire series and yesterday he talked about walking into marriage without illusions.

He said the bible is clear to walk into marriage without illusions and I agree. We must understand what we are getting ourselves into.

So what is marriage without illusions? (note: these are my ideas and thoughts)

1) You are a sinner. You are selfish

2) Your mate is a sinner. Your mate is selfish.

3) What is the sources of conflicts: your wrong motives and selfishness! (James 4:1-5)

4) Marriage should cause us to become more like Christ as you spur each other towards Christ-likeness. Marriage should cause us to lay aside selfishness and become more self-controlled.

What are your thoughts about marriage without illusions? What are some illusions we bring into marriage?


Monday, May 9, 2011

05/09/11 - Authenticity

Since I took a mini-break from blogging, I've not picked back up "Girls Gone Wise" Wednesdays. But I've continued to go through the book with my niece.

Friday we talked about authenticity.

A girl gone wise in this wild world is the same person Sunday morning as she is Saturday night, or Tuesday afternoon or Thursday night.

A wild girl puts on different masks and acts different depending on who she is with.

Being an authentic woman of God means your life is consistent with your worship on Sunday. I believe when a watching world sees that inconsistency with Christians, it makes the statement, "I don't go to church because it's filled with a bunch of hypocrites" correct.

Breaks my heart really!

A flippant attitude towards being a woman who is consistent, paints God to be a wimpy God. A God not worthy of total surrender. I'd rather someone not come to church, than to come on Sunday, different than who they are the rest of the week! Just devalues our amazing King!

Here's Mary's video for the chapter: Spotting a Fake

Saturday, May 7, 2011

05/07/11 - Blessings!

I got this comment on my post: Helping our Sisters on my Facebook page, but I felt it so awesome I had to share:

"I went to a CEF training camp several years ago and all the girls came together in the beginning of the two-weeks and committed to hold each other accountable in the area of modesty. The boys had no idea we did this. At the final session of the training, one of the guys (21YO) stood up and said "I don't know what you girls did, if anything, but I just want to thank you all for the way you've dressed, it's been so easy for us guys to focus on the Lord, and not on you." It was awesome, and us girls were SO excited to be a blessing to them!!"

Now that is just a blessing! Thanks for sharing friend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

05/06/11 - Helping our Sisters

I got this e-mail from a wife whose husband has been battling an issue with pornography:

“We have a few women in our church that dress immodestly. I so badly want to go up to them and say, ‘Don't you know what you are doing to my husband? Can't he even come to church and not have to battle this?’”

Do you know women, that there are other sisters in Christ who are battling pornography in their homes? Their husbands want to be free, but at every turn are being bombarded with images that tempt him.

Yes, saying that cleavage is inappropriate may sound legalistic and putting on rules, but I think of my sisters in Christ who are striving to be Godly wives and have God honoring marriages who feel like they have to “do battle” with immodesty even at church.

Please let’s encourage and help one another in this area. May we gentle correct, with grace and love. Older women take the lead in this. Don’t encourage immodesty among the younger women in your lives. Dress modestly and let the “hidden person of your heart” be what motivates you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

05/05/11 - 3 Year Curriculum

Are you a mentor looking for curriculum for teenage girls?

I came across a three year curriculum from Susan Hunt for teen girls. This will teach biblical womanhood to young women! Awesome!


What an amazing resources for the body of Christ!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

05/04/11 - Rules

No rule will keep your heart pure.

You must desire purity. It must be the intent of your heart. It must be what motivates you.

Once you have an internal desire to be pure, your outside will follow!

No amount of outward rules and regulations can make a heart pure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

05/03/11 - Young Ladies

Lately God has shown me some real jewels among young ladies I know.

They love Jesus.

They are willing to go against the flow!

They stand for Him.

They strive towards purity.

They are waiting patiently for God, even though they desire marriage and children.

They are serving the body of Christ, with JOY!

They aren't afraid of making sure the world knows they're are in love with Jesus.

They are bold!

They are learning self-control.

They seek out older women to mentor them.

Thank you ladies! When I was your age I wasn't even thinking through half the issues you are. I wasn't as in tune with purity as you ladies are! I can't wait to see what God has for you!

Love to you all!

Monday, May 2, 2011

05/02/11 - Modesty

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Modesty is a hot topic in Christian circle. What is modest? What is immodest? How do we honor God in what we wear? How do we have an open, honest, and frank discussion about this topic without coming across prideful or legalistic?

As I’ve been reading through Mary Kassian’s book: Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, I realized that we all have wildness in our heart. We all have fleshly bents of the heart that pull the attention off of honoring God and put it squarely to us. We all have the bent of heart this way in our flesh.

I've observed in my own heart a bent towards wanting to wear clothes that put the focus on me, and not on God. It’s a matter of the heart I’ve had to wrestle with over the years.

However, as the weather warms up the cleavage comes out. The shorts get shorter, the tops get lower, and the dresses get tighter. Literally it’s a sea of cleavage in the world and in the church.

Having a husband and three sons has changed my view of what is modest vs. immodest. As a mom of sons I believe it’s my duty to protect their eyes for their future wives. Also, I don’t want their eyes to be stimulated too early by images that could haunt them their entire life.

So I started noticing the plunging necklines and all the cleavage that was all around me, around them! Not just them, but I have a husband who doesn’t need to see other women’s boobs.

Ladies, when you look in the mirror, if you see your boobs, other people see your boobs. If you’re in a low cut top and bend over in front of mirror and see boobs, others will see your boobs.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s John Piper’s take on Modesty: Is Modesty an Issue in the Church today?

Look over the results of The Modesty Survey done by the Rebelution. These are real thoughts from real guys on modesty.

Or listen to part of C.J. Mahaney’s message on modesty as he reads a letter from a young man on modesty. *edit* Here's another link: Ladies What do Your Clothes Say About You.

As we hear about the struggle men face with this issue, why to we come as close to the edge as we can? Why do we see “how much we can get away with”?

Our hearts should be in humble submission to God asking Him what He finds acceptable, modest, and appropriate. We should ask if our clothes have people look at our faces or other parts of our bodies.

We are representing Christ in our dress! That has to be our focus! We are to shine the gospel to those looking at our clothes!

This is going to look different for women, but I hope we can all agree that cleavage is immodest, no matter what the occasion, what the outfit, how the person looks in the outfit, or how little of the cleavage is showing.