30 December 2006

Who Are the Real Gentlemen Today?

I realized after my last post, which included the young ladies and gentlemen who are attempting to live a pure and modest life, that I have not approached the subject of "gentlemen" in this lady's web log. So I will make amends, and point out that I fully believe that if there are ladies in this modern world, there must by necessity be gentlemen.
One only needs to take a quick glance around to notice that there are very few true gentlemen remaining among us. In times past, a gentleman was much appreciated and being gentlemanly was a noble thing.

Alas, things have changed in today's society; some for the better and some for the worse. One thing that particularly irks me is the lack of good taste and etiquette most guys are guilty of at the turn of this new millennium.

I'm not saying that men should act like robots and be slaves to etiquette, but some basic good manners will go a long way in helping you during your ascent to the top.

What I've done is compile a quick list of tips that will help turn even the most blundering fool into a proper gentleman. Follow these simple tips and I can assure you that people will perceive you as a man of good breeding and taste, hence a man they wish to associate and conduct business with. Not to mention the fact that the ladies are always quite pleased to meet a real gentleman.

So opens the article "Etiquette Of A Gentleman", By Michael Bucci, in AskMen.com. I would simply direct you to the article URL link, but AskMen.com is a magazine for men, not necessarily "gentlemen", and makes use of photos of women who are not ladies (i.e. immodestly dressed). Here's a rundown of the subjects he covers:

  • Always be polite
  • Do not curse
  • Do not speak loudly
  • Do not lose your temper
  • Do not stare
  • Do not interrupt
  • Do not spit
  • Respect your elders
  • Do not laugh at others' mistakes
  • Remove your hat indoors
  • Wait for seating before eating
the basics of chivalry

In addition to the aforementioned rules, gentlemen (in training) should follow these additional rules when in the presence of a lady. Chivalry may be on life support, but it is not dead yet. Be one of the few to keep this flame burning for many years to come.

  • Always open doors
  • Put on her coat
  • Help with her seat
  • Give up your seat
  • Stand at attention
  • Give her your arm
  • Ask if she needs anything
The Author concludes his listing: "Gentlemen, if I may call you that, these are the rules of etiquette you should observe in everyday life. Elevate yourself above the rabble and display the mannerisms of a true gentleman. The world will appreciate such a rarity and your career will most definitely benefit from your good manners and savoir-faire ."

If a gentleman, or his lady, or the mother to a future gentleman would like to view the AskMen.com article (knowing that the AskMen gallery thumbnail photos do show up on these pages as links), you may find it at Etiquette Of A Gentleman, and also at Part 2 By John Samuel, and Part 3, By Edward Chalmers.

28 December 2006

I Love Young Old Fashioned People

Today, for your perusal and thought, I present a few websites that I have come across, which are by young people who seem to find those old fashioned ideals of modesty, purity, chivalry, and mutual respect for each other, to be attractive, and a life style that is worth living.

Go to The Rebelution to read the writings of and the responses by hundreds to two young men who realize that being real men and women in this modern society mean rebelling against the status quo, and usually in a polite and thoughtful way.

Also see Purity Girls, and it's brother site, Purity Guys, two websites devoted to the idea that Guys and Girls "committed to purity of heart, mind, and body...STILL EXIST."

19 December 2006

Thoughts about a funeral - 15 Dec.

What I Did Today

I spent the morning in cleaning, laundry, breakfast and struggling with school work. I spent the afternoon at a funeral for a beautiful young woman who was the mother of two little girls. Donna had troubles, and had given birth to her first child at 16. But, as one of her cousins said, she always had a smile on her face, and her curls always fell perfectly around that face. Her family loved her, enjoyed being with her, and in her daughter's case, looked up to her. She loved and lived and laughed. And her friends and family loved and stood still and cried this afternoon. Maybe some were asking, "why?" Maybe some wondered, "where is she now?" I heard her mother, who is ill both mentally and physically, calling her name and crying her heart out so literally that it hurt every soul in the room. Her cousins and aunts and uncles walked around with tears in their eyes, and with no words to say. No father was there for her, or for her daughter, other than their heavenly Father who loves them so dearly. My husband had to officiate, and I know it was hard.

The skies were gray and cold and rainy, and when it was all over, the traffic was heavy and crowded. I came home so that the wonderful young lady who was "babysitting" for us could go be with her friends, and I was so grateful that she could be there to play with and watch over our children while we were out. Then I spent the evening in cleaning, laundry, a snack and our "Friday night movie night" at home. We watched the Muppet's version of "A Christmas Carol".

Donna was so pretty, and she had a lovely smile which showed her attitude of friendliness and kindness to others. I didn't know her well personally, but my eyes still fill with tears. I don't ask "why?" or "where is she now?" Or even "what could I have done?" It just hurts.

17 December 2006

Ranting over loss of good manners

In an open forum, someone asked, "What happened to good manners?" And this old fashioned lady put on her best cranky old woman and began to rant:

We were all taught in public school and on TV that we were the most important people in the whole wide world, and nobody could hurt us. We could do anything we wanted as long as we didn't hurt anyone. No one wanted to tell anyone else what to do because it might hurt their feelings, or they might get sued for trauma. Children were not taught at home because both parents were out working so they could have more TV and movies that showed them how to be the best smart-alec, the best goof off, and in the 70's, it was the best to cheat the police cause they were a bunch of idiots anyway.

Parents listened to people who told them that their own parents were wrong for giving them rules, and that everyone had the right to determine for themselves what they felt was most appropriate - which in a capitalistic society, generally becomes what's best for "number 1." We've raised a bunch of self centered children who never want to grow up, but who don't in fact live in never land. Since they don't know what to do about it, they teach their children nothing. Parents who cared about manners found themselves in the minority and gave up, thinking themselves "the only ones". They said to them selves "No one says excuse me anymore", instead of teaching young people and their co-workers to say excuse me, by example or instruction. Polite people were made fun of, and being in the minority, or so they thought, gave in and let everyone walk all over them, instead of standing up for what they believed in - respect for others. It may be polite, but "polite" doesn't mean what it used to, because now it has the connotation of being a sissy, a wuss or a prude. Or worse, "old fashioned."

I'm all for a little old fashioned myself, and I'm trying to do my part by saying "thank you" and teaching my children to do so too. But people look at me funny, and my own family laughs at me for trying to instill in my children the joy of giving at Christmastime - saying in front of the kids, "Oh, sure, giving is the best. Hahaha!" Christianity and Judaism have gone the way of selfishness, with mega churches and rock and rap music geared towards doing what makes you feel good and fit in with everybody else, instead of what makes for true peace, and serving one another. I won't even touch the separation of church and state issue. And there are more reasons.

But this question was asked in a forum full of people who have little to no idea what social graces are, as we sit here behind little glowing screens and say whatever we want, however we want to spell it, because in the end it really doesn't matter. It's just a computer with no heart or brain. And I just happened to be in a mood for being a little grumpy about all the "Christmas spirit" that gets talked about and praised, but never fully lived, except maybe in a little toy bought and thrown in a Marines' anonymous can for children without anyone to teach them manners or love or respect - just, "hang in there and you'll get stuff every December 25th. You deserve it. Cause you're the most important person in the whole wide world."

photo from Fotosearch Stock Photography and Stock Footage, Royalty Free Images

12 December 2006

An Article on Modesty

Just a note to any who are interested in things that are modest: I found a wonderful Article on Modesty, by Melody Green at the "simplyagape" blogspot, which was well written, and I encourage you to read it at the link above. The Poster is not the Author of this article, but he does have many articles in his blog that show he is a thinking believer, and thinkers are always more likely to be ladies and gentlemen that I would like to associate with.

08 December 2006

Mrs. Claus is a Lady

(Fulton / Harple / Steele)
George Melachrino & His Orch. - 1954

Nat King Cole - 1956

Who feeds the reindeer all their hay
Who wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh
Who's helping Santa every day
Mrs. Santa Claus

Who keeps his red suit looking nice
Who does he turn to for advice
Who gives the brownies all their spice
Mrs. Santa Claus

She pitter-patters all around the workshop
The whole year long
Amid the happy clatter of the workshop
She sings a very merry Christmas song

Who reads the notes from girls and boys
Turns in the order for their toys
Who fills every wondrous heart with joys
Mrs. Santa Claus

She pitter-patters all around the workshop
The whole year long
Amid the happy clatter of the workshop
She sings a very merry Christmas song

Who reads the notes from girls and boys
Turns in the order for their toys
Who fills every wondrous heart with joys
Mrs. Santa Claus
Mrs. Santa Claus

Photo from : www.ibsencostumes.com

04 December 2006

Thinking About Thinking

What an interesting day for thinking about things. Ladies are not silly, mindless people who move from one task to another or one soul to another without giving a second thought, after all. As I watch the first real snowfall outside, and attempt to guide the children towards better understanding of the three R's and other things, and endeavor to get ready for the mixed-up traditions and feelings of the holidays - I am instructed to think. Today I found two interesting articles which are guiding me to be more careful about how I think.

The first article is from my "daily reader" from a man called Gary Henry, who is a preacher and teacher of the Bible. In "Pitfalls", he uses the following scripture,1 Timothy 6:20,21:
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen."
Then Gary goes on to share what he thinks about in this passage:
Paul warned his friend Timothy against the "contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge," and we would do well to heed a similar warning. Paul probably had in mind something like the esoteric knowledge of the Gnostics of his day, and so his warning may seem to have little direct application to us. Nevertheless, his caution contains an interesting point that we would do well to consider in a general sort of way. There is a principle here that is pertinent to anyone who seeks knowledge, but especially to those of us who seek the knowledge of God: Not everything is knowledge that wears the name. Similar appearances notwithstanding, there is a huge difference between reality and illusion, and whatever it is that we seek, we need to be sure that we find the real thing and not some substitute.
I encourage you to go to his website and read the entire article (or ask me and I'll send it to you). He concludes with this little thought:
We pray, O Lord, for deliverance from all that weakens faith in you:
from pompous solemnity;
from mistaking earnestness for trust in you;
from seeking easy answers to large questions;
from being overawed by the self-confident;
from dependence upon mood and feelings;
from despondency and the loss of self-respect;
from timidity and hesitation in making decisions.
In Christ, we pray. Amen.

The other article I read today was from a young man called "OneGuy" whose thoughtful posts I sometimes read, because he has some good things to think about, and is not encumbered by all the trappings of memorized scriptures and traditions of the churches. I think he has a point today, in "Don't Get Distracted", in thinking about thinking; that is, it's important to think about what you're doing, or you aren't really living. Yes, as Gary said, not all that is called knowledge really is, but it is important to think about what you are doing in order to fully appreciate life.

And so I ponder - I should not let the diversions of this life, this season, get me to stop thinking about those things which are really important: matters of the heart, things of the mind, movements of the spirit. When I think, it should be to awaken me to the realization of what is important, and to live well.

photo from: http://www.quiltware.com/red_hat.asp

02 December 2006

Can A Christian Lady Celebrate Christmas? and more...

When I was young, in the 70's, the Catholics put up nativity scenes, the protestants tried to be discreet by blending the world and the nativity but not garishly so as to not look Catholic, and most of the conservative people I knew did very little, so as not to appear "of the world". We had a small tree and a front door decoration (my Grandmother made "wreaths" out of woven palm fronds, spray painted gold or silver and hung with colored glass balls). We didn't talk much about "Christmas", because we didn't esteem the day higher than any other, except as a day of gift giving and family tradition, I suppose. My Dad's Dad and his wife would come over for their once a year visit and bring raw oysters. We would visit my Dad's Mom in the afternoon in her little trailer and eat old fashioned candy and open more gifts. If we were lucky, my Mom's sister and family would come down from Indiana or Chicago or Tallahassee and we'd have a big dinner at my Mom's parents' house. They always had a tree, and my Grandmother always put that fake sprayed on snow in the big picture window along with a huge cutout santa claus. My Mom even emphasized the santa tradition, I think in opposition to the Christ stories, because every year we got the "Christ wasn't probably born in December" and "the wise men were probably not three, nor there at the birth" sermons. Even, and especially on December 25th, we were supposed to be different from the world, so I thought.

As I grew older I found that more and more Christians fully participated in Christmas, and as they got cheaper, Christmas decorations were used more and more. Young people's groups always had a Christmas party, and sometimes sang carols too. I used to think that a Christian couldn't go see a school nativity play, because that would be encouraging error, but as I grew older I saw more and more Christians participating in and attending local denominational or other singing shows which included the religious stories, or theatrical events about Christ's birth. I went too. I started listening to "Christian rock" in high school, and though I stopped listening myself, for personal reasons, I found more and more Christians I knew listening to Christian pop, country or bluegrass. I never knew any growing up, because the music, like Christmas, was just a way to be like the world while sticking Christian words on things. Or so I thought.

When we had children, I decided not to perpetuate the santa claus myth, and told them the simple story of a man called Nicolas, who loved God and tried his best to do good for others, and over the years people have tried to be like him or pretended to be him still, and give the credit to him for the gifts they give, so that they can be humble in what they do. I tell them this story on their level, of course. And we all know that "Daddy is our santa!" as my daughter proudly told friends and family for a few years when she was a little younger. I decorate for "winter time" - with snow flakes and snow men, and lots of colored lights (you really do need all the lights up here in the land of darkness, where not only does the sun set way too early, but it hasn't come out from behind the clouds for weeks!). And I know that there are still some who might not approve of my "blending in with the world" this far. So I'm still caught in a quandry, because I want to let my light shine for Christ and I'll have to be different from the world's watered down understanding of his birth this time of year - but, for example, I really do like to hear all the versions of "O Holy Night" that I can - it's uplifting, and can't we listen to this all year long? I really enjoy listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's hard rocking versions of the Christmas carols and their own Christmas stories, because there's so much energy and hope in them. I come away smiling and wishing for that world that seems to be real at Christmas time that we all wish would last all year long - a world full of kindness, selflessness and joy and childlikeness. Not only that, but I like watching the animated Moses and Joseph musicals that were made a few years ago. There's something about music and drama that brings me, and other people I know, closer to the realities, even if the productions aren't complete, or are altered from the original scriptures. And I get encouraged watching "The Jesus Movie" too.

So can I participate in the world's traditions or practices because even though they've watered the truth down, I know and can appreciate the real Truth through the weak pictures they paint, and I can even be encouraged by it? Or does that make me look like I approve of their simplifying of the Gospel story? And does it matter what anyone else thinks, in the long run, if I keep a day or a feast unto the Lord or not? It has been said that some will strain out a gnat and swallow a camel, and I really do wonder sometimes which one I'm eating - what weak taste buds!

photo from : http://www.logicmgmt.com/1876/xmas/xmasintro.htm
photo from : http://www.jolahusid.com/engl/historic.htm
photo from : http://catholicshoponline.com