31 December 2007

Teaching Old Fashioned Values

School Administrators Under Fire for Protecting Female Modesty

Read here part of the article, written by Ralph W. Conner, in: School Reform News; Publication Date: January 1, 2008; The Heartland Institute. Then click on the title above to read the entire article. My, how "the dance" has changed since the days of the "old fashioned ladies".

School administrators nationwide are in a quandary about how to deal with the new freak dancing--or “juking”--craze going on at high school dances and proms.

The Wall Street Journal devoted an article in mid-November to the way the issue is tearing apart the Dallas suburb of Argyle, Texas. And last September, Evanston Township High School in Illinois issued fliers before its homecoming dance admonishing students that “salacious and inappropriate dancing” was outlawed. At Naperville North High, also in the Chicago suburbs, the dance tickets outlawed “sexually explicit and front to back dancing.”

. . .

Part of the problem here is the decline of academic standards. Student achievement and parental involvement are less important to some government school systems than socialization, and that means accepting highly dubious behavior in order to give students a chance to define a set of social mores in which they can feel comfortable.

As a result, rappers such as 50 Cent hold more sway with students than the civil rights icons of the 1960s, who extolled academic excellence as a way to elevate all Americans in a free-market economy.

This tag-team effort causes many parents to stand on the sidelines as another generation of girls is led to believe their self-esteem can be augmented by accepting their own degradation as normal. Those who disagree have to pull their children out of the public schools--while still paying taxes to support the institutions that are contributing to social decay.

Ultimately, of course, it’s up to parents to teach their children the lasting values of self-esteem and self-respect, while accentuating academic excellence as the path to the wonderful opportunities available to everyone not named Beyoncé or Britney.

But the schools certainly shouldn’t work against the process, especially while taking people’s tax money.

Underline this - parents are responsible for the children they have been given. Not everyone understands this, and many children are growing up with no better guidance than peer socialization and weak academic leaders who are not allowed to teach good moral behavior. If we live in a country where we are proud of our rights and freedoms, then we must realize that we live in a country where those civil liberties trump all other rights - such as the rights of all people to grow up safe, contented, and at peace. It is our responsibility, as parents and as concerned people, to train up our children, to correct one another when we harm someone else, to live as we understand to be the wisest, without fear that our government - or our government run school systems - will stop us from doing so. Make it a point, this day and all days ahead, to give the gift of responsibility to children - that is a gift that keeps on blessing in years to come. Putting a leash on a puppy is not as cruel as letting it run free and into a busy highway. How much more valuable is the life of a young human being?

Of course, the whole issue of public dancing has changed drastically from the days of folk and barn dances, and the lovely and complicated rules of Jane Austen era dances. Truly, the "dirty dancing" that our parents and grandparents were concerned about in the 50's and 60's has nothing on what dances are all about today. Some concerned administrators can see the difference. Some parents surely can see the difference in going to the prom in the high class preppy 80's (which still had its problems to be sure) and the "dances" of today. The dance has certainly changed in our culture - don't be fooled.

29 December 2007

Men and Women - Love and Respect

For those of you who appreciate the old fashioned Biblical approach to marriage and family books by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, you can hear them online at a few different discussions at OnePlace.com. Based on Ephesians 5:33 -

"Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

HomeWord with Jim Burns : A Woman's Guide to the Mind of a Man (Part 1) - "In a landmark survey, author Shaunti Feldhahn asked several thousand men what they really want WOMEN to know about them. Parenting and family expert Dr. Jim Burns talks with Shaunti Feldhahn about the results of her research."

HomeWord with Jim Burns : A Man's Guide to the Heart of a Woman (Part 1) - "When it comes to understand what women want, most men are pretty clueless. Parenting and family expert Dr. Jim Burns talks with Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn - a husband and wife research team who have discovered tips for sharing with men "A Man's Guide to the Heart of a Woman."" (2 parts total)

Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson : What Men Need to Know About Women 1 - "Many husbands are clueless when it comes to understanding how their wives think and feel, even after years of marriage. If you're one of those husbands - or if you're a wife who wants to be better understood by her husband - today's program is especially for you. Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn offer insightful marital advice from their book For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women.
"Men love their wives ... but they really don't know how to communicate it in a way that is effective with their wives because they just don't think that they can understand them." - Jeff Feldhahn" (there are 3 parts total in this series of talks)

NOTE - these are NOT sermon tapes, but interviews with authors. Also, the radio show websites are trying to raise money for these programs, and you will hear that reflected in the opening and closing remarks. That aside, the thoughts shared in the discussions between the authors and the program hosts may give you something to think about, and Biblical standards seem to be upheld. Let me know if there's anything that goes against God's will for marriage and family, and I will post that here.

You can listen to these radio slots on your Real Player or Windows Media, or download the mp3 for free through the oneplace website.

27 December 2007

Holy days are not over, folks... :)

Don't forget Good King Wenceslas! Yes, it's really a Boxing Day song, so I'm a little late, but hey, let's keep the season alive!

"The words to the carol "Good King Wenceslas" were written by John Mason Neale, and published in 1853. The music originates in Finland 300 years earlier. This Christmas carol is unusual as there is no reference in the lyrics to the nativity.

Good King Wenceslas was the king of Bohemia in the 10th century. King Wenceslas was a Catholic and was martyred following his assassination by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters. His Saint's Day is September 28th, and he is the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic.

St. Stephen's feast day was celebrated on 26th December, now called "Boxing Day", which is why this song is sung as a Christmas carol." (courtesy carols.org.uk)

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

How are you sharing with those less fortunate today, this season, and all year long? Are you involving your children and showing them the way?

Proverbs 14:31: He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

21 December 2007

Seasonal Websites

"You'll find down to earth crafts, recipes, gardening advice and family activities plus tips on keeping your family history and teaching your kids and grandkids about the generations that came before them." - Old Fashioned Living at seedsofknowledge.com

Find the meanings behind many of the traditions at - All Things Christmas

Everything Christmas - traditions, Santa tracking, and lots of Music! - SantaSearch.org

Old Fashioned Christmas Candy recipes, - from CWBN

Everyone needs all kinds of Christmas cookies recipes - Christmas-cookies.com

Find several recipes for - Old Fashion Christmas Pudding

"Back in the 1800s, homemade and handcrafted ornaments adorned most Christmas trees. For the simplicity and beauty of an old-fashioned celebration, add antique ornaments, reproduction antiques or homemade decorations to your tree." -
How to Decorate an Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree

Everything you ever wanted to know about good old fashioned live Christmas trees - National Christmas Tree Association, Inc.

Old fashioned archives of information, pictures, legends and customs - The Christmas Archives

"Having an old-fashioned Christmas does not mean that you have to sacrifice your worldly goods. It simply means that you want to have a more simple, enjoyable Christmas, without many of the stresses. Isn't that what you desire?" An article with suggestions - The Magic of an Old-Fashioned Christmas

"Sights and Sounds of an Old-Fashioned New England Christmas" - Christmas at Old Sturbridge Village: A Virtual Photo Tour

18 December 2007

Fathers Killing Daughters

First of all, YES, the man was absolutely wrong to kill his daughter. No reason exists for a father who is placed in the position of caring for and protecting his family to strangle his daughter. One cannot blame a murder on religion anymore than one can blame a murder or beating on the loss of a job, or alcohol, or "that's the way people do it around here."

People in Canada, and around the world, are sputtering, fuming, sobbing and fretting over the recent murder of a 16 year old girl, allegedly by her father, in Ontario. If you haven't heard of it, it won't take much trouble to find the news in a search engine. You will also find the very strong opinions of the writers against Islam, because it is a religion which fosters this kind of behavior, against multiculturalism, because it means that people turn a blind eye to this kind of behavior, and against religion in general, because it makes people behave badly and blame it on some higher reason or mandate. People are angry with the tradition of parents protecting their children - in general - because no child should be required to follow the traditions of their parents. People are angry with the tradition of dressing modestly - because this girl only wanted to fit in and show her beauty. Grief makes people angry. It also clouds thinking.

If true, then this man was wrong, in any religion, regardless of certain parts of the world that condone what he may have done.

Because some men in some parts of the world treat their women as cattle (and probably don't treat their cattle so well either), doesn't mean that everyone who follows the same or similar religious or traditional beliefs will do the same.

Because some people see their neighbor being beaten and say, "what a shame", and turn aside does not mean that everyone in a crowded and multicultural community is turning aside from trying to do something about domestic abuse, or crimes against children, or other hatefulness.

Because some people do not think for themselves or with a pure conscience, and blindly follow their state, or religious documents, or parents even, into performing moral outrages condemned in nearly every culture of the world does not mean that every follower of a doctrine or truth has turned off their brain and their heart to what God has designed from the beginning, and which has been made manifest all over the world as the virtues of true love, joy, and peace.

Because there are fathers and brothers (and bosses) who abuse their God-given natural tendencies to rule and protect, abusing wives, children, family, animals, and the earth itself, does not mean that there are not men all over the world who truly care for those over whom they have authority, treating them with special tenderness, nurturing them as they care for their own bodies. Because there are women and children (and employees and servants) who cower ignorantly, never learning and never standing up for their own dignity as a human being, does not mean that all people who willingly submit themselves to their husbands, fathers, rulers, bosses, or other persons in authority are too ignorant to know any better, and that they must be taught that the only way to live is to rebel against the authorities. Because the roles of man and woman, of authority and subordinant, are abused, does not mean that the beautiful almost fantastic plan for headship and suitable helpers cannot exist.

Because a woman chooses to dress modestly does not mean that she is ashamed of her body, but that she understands the beauty and glory, and does not want to immodestly and vainly show it off. Because a parent chooses to dress their child modestly, and teaches them the value of protecting their beauty, their body, their lives, does not mean that they are ashamed of their children or want to put them in a cage. A parent does have the right to teach their child family traditions, however "strict" they may seem - as long as those traditions do not lead to the child being killed, either physically, mentally or spiritually.

Yes, parents do kill their children in all these ways. Modest dress is not to blame. Religious or cultural traditions are not to blame. Disrespect for parents is not even to blame. Misunderstanding of parents, of fathers and mothers, of adult human beings, of what true love is all about is to blame. One cannot say that they love their child so much that they would kill them, whether over a job loss, a divorce, a new marriage, or their own desire to die. One cannot treat their child or wife (or their animal or anything they possess, but not to this same extent) as something which has no value other than what is material, makes their life easier or more important or more holy in their own eyes - without killing their personhood.

I do not fully understand any of the world's religions, because they do have so much of the culture and the men who created and keep them in them. I cannot even truly understand all about true and pure Christianity - that which does not follow laws made by men that are added to the original scriptures, for business or cultural or other reasons. Because I cannot fully grasp the love of God for a world full of people where parents can kill children, husbands can abuse wives, and those in authority to serve and protect send ignorant men and women out to kill an enemy of some sort or be killed themselves.

But I do understand that at least one man is alive today who was never taught how to love in the sense of sacrificing himself for his family, of teaching his family what it means to truly protect the purity and beauty of women. His sons are alive, and they too need to be taught. If not by word, at least by the overpowering expression of love in the lives of families who do understand how family is supposed to be. The judges in this world - the media, the juries, the bloggers - all need to be taught to really see that here is a family in crisis because things are not going according to the plan for families that was set out from the beginning. Not because of religion or culture or multiculture, not because of modesty or immodesty or modernism - but because there really is A Truth that needs to be taught and lived.

Each of you who have actually read this all the way through - live in such a way that no one will have reason to slander you or your God. Live the way you were created to live - whether you are male or female, bond or free, Jew or Gentile. Let the world know that there is truth, and there is love. And it is real.

13 December 2007

Another Book for Prudes

Girls taught to value sex over achievement and intelligence

Yes, that's the title and the findings presented and discussed in a recent article for Scotsman.com. The article, by Malcolm Law, concerns a new book by Carol Platt Liebau, "a leading political commentator in the US and the first female managing editor of Harvard Law Review". In her book, she points out what most of us already know: that today's young women are being taught to believe "sexy" equates to empowered. That being "sexy" is just another choice for liberated women.

"The author said "promiscuity and sexual aggression" were now being seen as the only way to achieve admiration. And she suggested girls now competed for attention based on how much they were sexually willing to do for boys."

That's what concerns most of us "old fashioned ladies": that the new age of women, is actually just the old age of male dominance in a new outfit. And the new outfit is pretty flimsy.

She said: "The overwhelming lesson teenagers are now learning from the world around them is that being 'sexy' is the ultimate accolade, trumping intelligence, character and all other accomplishments. In a culture that celebrates Paris Hilton [and] thong underwear, there's scant modesty or achievement that isn't coupled with sex appeal. Girls are being led to believe that they're in control when it comes to sexual relationships.

"But they're actually living in a profoundly anti-feminist landscape where girls compete for attention on the basis of how much they are sexually willing to do for the boys. And living in an overly sexualised culture takes a toll on girls."

• Prude: How The Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls is available in the US on Amazon, among other places, and soon to be available in other countries as well. In the reviews that I have found, it seems that this is not a predominantly "Christian" book, and the damages presented are from the practical standpoint, such as economic and emotional, rather than merely the spiritual point of view that most of us "religious" folks are used to. The world finds it difficult to listen to us when we shout out that young people's souls are in danger. But maybe if they see that the results of that disaster also affect their country, they'll listen. God doesn't make rules and laws to be cruel; but because God knows how best we work, and if we follow the instructions, things always work better than we could make it on our own.

By the way, I always despised being called a "prude", as if it were an ignorant or evil thing to be "prudent" in behaviour.

This book is also reviewed in the UK Observer

... in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation ...

06 December 2007

On Wearing Skirts

I know that not everyone who dresses modestly believes that means they should be wearing skirts. And I won't say that it's a necessary part of dressing modestly or a "rule" of some kind - I simply cannot do that. But I found that, for me, the more modestly I was trying to dress and behave, the more interested I was in "lady like behavior" in general, and I developed a stronger liking for skirts. Now, I'm not into frills and laces and all that "mush" (I know some of you might be; please don't take that as an insult! - grin), but I do like skirts.

(photo: Long Floral tiered Prairie Skirt from modestapparelusa.com)

Here's a few links that I found about women in skirts, where they wear them all the time, and provided photos at their sites. They believe in wearing skirts modestly too, so we're not looking at above the knee or tight skirts that many of us wouldn't wear either. These are just offering their thoughts to those truly considering on these things.

1. Through the week in feminine dress from the Ladies Against Feminism website

2. Another lady's week, on the same site

3. From Mrs. Catherine of "Making It Home" - her own week of work in dresses and skirts

There may be other sites out there, but I just thought it might be nice to share these so you can see what some of us are talking about when we say that dresses and skirts are practical as well as pretty.

Remember - I never said wearing pants is wrong or immodest! I do it myself sometimes. I don't think these ladies are saying that it is wrong either, but they are sharing why they've made the choice themselves. That's all this post is about - just sharing.

For more pretty and modest skirts, try the above link for the outfits in the photo, as well as these:
Hannah Lise
Simply Modest
Butter and Honey
H2O Pink Label
Ringger Clothing - Sew Modest
The Frum Attic
and this online source list of Modest Clothing
as well as A Christian Home's Modest & Feminine Apparel

Also check out this modesty in dress blog I've linked to: offbeatmodestdress

I like to provide links when I can - in this day and age, it's so sad to hear someone say they "just can't find" modest clothing. Oh, and while searching, I came across a "new" link for modest swim wear, I'll have to add to the modest swim wear article I wrote a while ago. Since it's summertime in Australia now, how appropriate that this sun conscious website is providing protective swim wear in Australia, which just happens to be modest too: sharksuit.com.