23 October 2008

Those Politics

We interrupt this everyday living for some political thoughts.

As we live our lives, we do take in the world around us, not living in fear of it, but aware and understanding, and on guard for our hearts and our families.

Christian ladies, please consider this one man's thoughts and understanding of the Bible and politics: "For Whom Should a Christian Vote?"

Other thoughts on this topic by this author include:

"We Christians need to get back to what the Bible teaches us about politics. God only ever legislated that we care about one issue politically and that is found in I Timothy 2:1-2. He asked us to care that our leaders would allow us to lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and diginified in every way. Interestingly, God did not ask us to do anything political to make that happen. He asked us to pray.

. . .

"Let me also point out that God has not once ever laid on us the responsibility of trying to get the right kind of leader over our nation. Therefore, He has never laid on us any responsibility regarding our vote. It simply isn't in the Bible. If it is, please show me the book, chapter and verse.

"I do believe we are allowed to vote. I believe each of us is allowed to vote based on the issues we believe are most important. I have most often voted based on issues of abortion. I may do that again this year. Though, frankly, I am far more concerned about the fiscal positions of the candidates than their moral positions. I am thankful that the candidate I'm thinking of voting for lines up with me on both fiscal and moral issues. I don't have to make the choice.

"The point, however, is this. God has not ever directed our votes. He hasn't asked us to vote. He has not given us the responsibility to vote. He has never asked us to pass on His will via political means. Therefore, it is high time that Christians hop of their high political horses and quit acting like their candidate is God's man. It is high time Christians got back to spreading God's will the way God asked--talking to people about the Gospel. It is high time that Christians quit trying to act like God has some stake in a nation being democratic. Lest you forget, the one time God set up a nation--it was a theocratic monarchy. Therefore, it is high time we quit making a person's vote a test of their spirituality and Christianity.

"Additionally, it is also high time Christians quit throwing out their Christianity during election time. I am no fan of Obama. I hope he loses. I think he will be bad for the country. But I am so sick of receiving e-mails filled with speculative and often completely fallacious stuff to try to scare me from voting for Obama.

"Obama has not ever said he would choose his religion of Islam over his nation. He has consistently claimed to be a Christian. The statement that he would stand with the Muslims has been taken out of context and misused. He was not saying he would choose Islam over America. He was writing specifically about the issue of investigating American Muslims in the same way Japanese Americans were investigated during WWII and said if the politics of America shifted in favor of mistreating Americans because they are Muslim, he would stand with the Muslims.

"Slander and malice is not allowed among Christians even during elections. Further, we are commanded to honor our governing authorities and these commands were given when the authorities were far less favorable to Christianity than Obama will ever be. "

21 October 2008

How Does He Know That You Love Him?

". . . teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children. . ." (Titus 2:3-4)

Something to listen to today, if you have a half hour, or you can read the transcript:

"Letting God shape your husband...", from Revive Our Hearts.

I think you could get something out of that in learning how to let God take care of your child, your best friend, that person you worship with...

"He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more [including your husband]. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it." - Charles Spurgeon

The lesson from the day before this one, on how to love your husband is really good too.

Remember Tevye and Golde from "Fiddler on the Roof"?

17 October 2008

Doing Good

I think this lesson applies to single women who need to remember to respect and earn trust from their fathers and spiritual elders as well, so don't mark this off as a married woman thing only.

Did you ever read Proverbs 31:11-12 from the Amplified Bible - which takes several translations of the original language and combines them to get a closer possible understanding of the passage?

The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.

She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.

My husband is a good man, very devoted to God and to his family, very loving and concerned for our Christian Family. He has an enormous weight on his mind and shoulders, from the responsibility given him by the Lord, whether he lives up to it perfectly or not. He loves me, regardless of whether I'm perfect or not. And I need to respect him and love him as well. Because God loves us first - so who are we to be so judgmental of others? And why do I want to give anyone, especially the person that I live with, more troubles, when I am supposed to be encouraging? I do not want to break my husband's trust in me, so I don't share problems, or secrets. And he knows that I would rather build him up in public, rather than makes jokes about him which would put him down. At least he should know that. :)

But... what if he were way less than perfect? I remember wondering when I was single, if I wound up with a louse or simply someone who didn't seem to care, could I be like Abigail, or Deborah, or Timothy's mother, and do the Right thing anyway. Of course, not being in that position, and being full of youthful zeal, I assumed that - even if he was abusive, I would be in prayer and study. Even if he kept me from a church family, I would be strong. But I know that even with the great guy I live with, and the church Families that have encouraged us so, I have had many times of personal weakness, when I return mean word for mean word, I expect more of him than myself, I don't do what I know that I should for some personal pet peeve... not considering him, but only interested in defending Myself. But, I still have a purpose and responsibility myself, to do good, regardless of how I perceive myself to be treated.

Here is another quote:

"Now, by saying that, I don’t necessarily mean absolutely. There are times when to do good to a husband may mean to appeal to the appropriate authorities at the church or the civil authorities. If a husband is breaking the law, to do him good is to get him into a position where he can be helped by the law, or restrained by the law, or by the church authorities." - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I think that this makes sense. God never commanded us, through Proverbs or through Jesus Christ or the Apostles of the New Testament, as women, to merely "sit down and shut up", to be servile huntin' dogs who grovel at a cruel dictator's feet and still lick his hand after he's kicked us in the head. Jesus did not command that of men or of women. Look it up - that's not what "doing good" is all about, and it isn't what "submission" is all about.

Neither do I "do good" just because he "does good" to me first. That's the wrong motivation, if I'm just trying to "50-50" our relationship. I heard once that a marriage (or any Christian relationship really) should be "100-100": I give everything, you give everything. I can't expect the other person to give everything if I'm holding back. And if he's holding back? Where does the Bible say anything about "submitting to one another in the fear of Christ, but only when it's entirely equal submission between believers"?

"Doing good" so that I can be trusted is something for all women, daughters, men, husbands and even elders in the church. This isn't one of those "married with children ladies' class topics". This is for everybody. See Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3.

Verse 23-24 reads: "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." And the whole chapter shows how we can as Christians in general show love and trust for one another, with a lesson for wives by example mentioned in the listing.


May I do much better with watching my tongue, that it does good and not evil, to my husband and children, my father and brothers in Christ, and to those to whom I am supposed to be shining the Light from above, so that they can see Him in me.


Photo above from ScotsIndependent.org - click here and scroll down to read a lovely poem in and old fashioned style about a young woman who married a beggar who turns out to be a knight.

"I press on..."

"Our greatest joy lies NOT in never failing,
but in rising every time we fall."

“He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Pressing on toward the goal:

"An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels."
(Proverb 31:10)

Nice that it doesn't say "the completely perfect woman", isn't it? Sometimes I have to remember (not that it's OK to be in the imperfect shape I'm in so I don't have to do anything different, but), that it's OK to be imperfect, because my husband, my family, and my friends can see my humility and growth and dependence on God, and not some sort of put-on perfection or superiority that I don't have. I want to be like Ruth: "All the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman" (3:11). But more importantly, I want to be like what God has made me to be. Even if I can't do it exactly right all the time, the Bible says we can all be "virtuous", or "excellent". And if the Bible tells me so, well then...

... for the righteous falls seven times and rises again...
(Proverbs 24:16)

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be a light to me.
(Micah 7:8)


Praying, having devotions with the children, de-cluttering, meal planning

14 October 2008

Addicted to Much Wine?

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,
For they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
- Proverb 31:4-5

Didn't think I meant all of Proverbs 31, didja?

"Older men are to be sober-minded [or temperate], dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Likewise, older women, to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, and not slaves to much wine" (Titus 2: 2-3).

The NIV says "not addicted to much wine."

I don't drink alcoholic drinks. I can't even stand the smell of fermented beverages. Here's the thing: All Scripture is inspired. We know that every word of it is necessary and is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV).

How does this apply to me, a Christian woman studying Proverb 31?

I think that "slaves to much wine" applies to more than drinking habits. I "interpret" this as a physical thing with a spiritual meaning, concerning indulgence and temptations of the flesh. I can't make any new laws that are not found anywhere in Scripture regarding this. I'm only trying to look at this lesson from the inspired writer whose written words were passed on and saved for my learning. I don't think this is only a checklist that I can check off, saying "oh, I'm not a drunkard. I must be wonderful." I think there's always more to learn.

First of all, the direct, physical lesson. Doesn't it hurt your physical body, which God gave you to care for and honour Him with? Whether it's wine or something else (food, sugar, caffiene, over the counter stuff) - overindulgence hurts physically. But we know that. Best not to "look at wine when it sparkles in the cup". (Proverbs 23:31-32)

But also: don't be controlled against your will by something external. "Such were some of you; but you were washed...". "Don’t get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery [wild living, excess, riot, luxury]. But instead be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) "All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. " (1 Corinthians 6:12).

And consider this:
"But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble." (1 Corinthians 8:9-13)
I think that we are intelligently blessed by God enough to be able to apply "eating things devoted to idols" to our lives today.

Finally, a quote:

"And as I get older, am I living a life that’s more indulgent, more carefree, more thoughtless? Or am I living a life that is more focused, more intentional, more temperate, more wise about what I’m doing with my time and with my life?

"So I think Paul is saying, first of all here, whether you drink wine or not is not the first issue. The issue is do you have a lifestyle that is temperate, that is disciplined, that is bounded by godly ways of thinking, that is fruitful and productive?"
- ROH Radio, Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I personally have a problem with "needing" to check the computer too often, and to have coffee. There are other things, but these are the biggies, for now, in this area. Now, I don't know if the Proverbs 31 lady may have had to use a little caffeine to help her get started before the sun rose, but if she did, I'm sure she did it responsibly, not relying on it to help her through, because she put her reliance in the Lord. May my husband and children see that in my life!


praying, Bible reading, dressing nicely, turning off the computer

13 October 2008


Take a 31-day challenge with me and to read the 31 verses of Proverbs 31 every day for the next 31 days.

[Danger: dripping sarcasm ahead, and not one of my friends are being singled out and picked on here:]

"Ack. - Proverbs 31? Sorry - not perfect, not me: I have no husband, no children, wasn't raised in the church, don't have the money or the servants, can't sew, can't cook, don't live in Israel, yada yada yada."

Oh, I'm sorry.

Excuse me, God? Did you hear? You put something in your perfectly saved and written Word that doesn't apply to us today, which we can't even learn anything from.

And, NO, I didn't really mean that.

You know what - I dislike this chapter of Proverbs, too. It has always been some "high ideal that nobody can reach" in my mind for so long, that I've probably forgotten most of the verses I memorized for Bible class when I was younger. This lady makes me tired. She makes me feel inadequate. She makes me feel guilty.

But I'm committed to trying even more to be the woman that God made me to be. I feel confused and discouraged so many times. I argue with my husband. I let my children get away with things that I had determined to never let them get away with, and things which could very well make their future life more difficult. I end a day discouraged because I haven't done everything I wanted to do - or anything I wanted. Sometimes I spend too much time on the computer.

Consider this quote:

"You take time to look through women’s magazines to see what a beautiful woman, a beautiful home, a beautiful marriage looks like. I want to challenge you over this next month to put down those magazines. Put them away. I’m not saying they’re necessarily sinful or wrong; I’m just saying they’re what this world has to offer in terms of a picture of beauty.

"Instead, pick up this picture. Matthew Henry called it a looking glass which every woman ought to look into as she dresses herself. Pick up this picture and examine it. Take time—spend time in it studying it—and then ask yourself, “Where am I getting my picture of what it means to be a woman?” Where are you getting your ideas of womanhood? Who shaped your standard? Was it shaped by the world, or has it been shaped by the Word of God? "

I don't think I'll ever be perfect. I don't think I'll ever "be" the Proverbs 31 woman. But I'm not even going to come close to being a woman that people will look at and see Christ living in me, glorifying God, if I don't spend time in God's Word, and allowing myself to listen and learn and shed all those years of worldliness that I've let take over my thoughts.

And if my words seem a little snotty here, consider this: I'm not perfect, but hopefully, after really listening to and spending more time with God in this matter, reverently and devotedly, I'll be able to convey my thoughts more gently, more helpfully, and more Godly.

“Why did God make women? What is His purpose for us? How is it different from His purpose for creating men?” Now, there are some purposes that are similar or the same, but there are some purposes that are unique and distinctive.

Why did God create the man first, and then the woman? What does it mean for man to provide a spiritual covering and protection for a wife, and for a woman to be a responder to male initiative? Why is this a biblical way of thinking—in a culture that thinks you’ve got two heads if you talk that way, in a culture where it’s very politically incorrect to see any but the obvious physiological differences between men and women?

Why are there differences? And why are they more significant than the physiological differences? What does that mean for a woman in dating, in courtship? What does it mean for a single woman who wants to be married? What is her role? What is her responsibility? Does she go looking for a husband? How does she respond, when she has a husband, to his leadership?

What does it mean to be the woman 1 Peter 3 talks about who has a submissive spirit—who has a gentle and a quiet spirit? Does that mean she never talks? Well, it doesn’t. But what does it mean? Does it mean she doesn’t have an outgoing personality? Well, it doesn’t mean that. But what does it mean? What does it look like for women to reflect the image of God in ways that are distinctively feminine for us as women—and for women to be women in the body of Christ?"

above questions quoted from Nancy Leigh DeMoss


Join the challenge, read the Bible, pray daily and always

12 October 2008

True Woman

A big deal in interdenominational conservative Christians recently has been the "True Woman '08" conference in Chicago, this past weekend. Put together much like many of our "ladies' weekends", speakers came and spoke, prayers and hymns were sung, and some lives were changed. Difference being that this was about 2000 ladies from several countries, from a wide variety of backgrounds (I saw in the photos women with prayer caps like the Mennonites, women acting out very "Pentecostal" like, etc.), and the speakers had all written many many books and probably most women there did not feel the same way about raising of funds for doing God's work, the importance of physical things like baptism, the Lord's Supper observances, head covering, foot washing, church buildings, etc. I did tune in to some of the free live streaming presentations. I missed John Piper and Joni Erickson Tada (you may have heard their names), but I did hear from a woman who had written a book many years ago countering the feminist "Feminine Mystique" book with her own "Feminine Mistake". Oh, how we have all been led, regardless of our doctrine as regards the follower of God, in general.

The point being brought out in all of these lessons is that part of The Doctrine that we are all missing as that of living out the teachings, traditions, commandments of Christ in our day to day lives; specifically here, us women. We aren't men. God designed from the beginning that we were to be different. And not just biologically. I know I bought into the lie. I remember smiling at the Virginia Slims ads: "You've come a long way, Baby" (from the days when we women were slaves). Thing is, we weren't slaves. We were made to be content in our role as the Church incarnate. Many women were and still are, and I dare say, even those who are not trying to follow God's written laws, or those who are following them misguidedly, or who are following laws not written by God but who believe that they are. His law is written in our hearts, and in our consciences, and we rebel against our nature and mess things up for ourselves and those around us, when we think we can do anything men can do AND have babies too. I've been learning this more and more the past few years (and I am just 40 years old now), trying to get my thinking out of all the "stuff" that I was raised up with, skipping out on Home Ec. because it was beneath me. HA! I read and hear so many younger women who think us older women are nuts and old fashioned but not truly Christian, for believing these things; and who become "doormats". Wait a minute. Jesus Christ was a doormat - Jesus washed dirty feet, and was spat on. Right? It's time, says this conference and I think so to, that we Christian ladies - especially if you feel that all those ladies at the conferences don't have the full understanding of Scripture as they should - to get up and truly be different from the world, to teach the younger women to be different, and to show our mothers and aunties who really did mean well but didn't train us correctly, that we are going to be what God made us to be: Truly different from men, in our worship, our teaching, our day to day lives.

Look at Titus 2 again - when the elders and older women are described, it is their manner of life which is focused upon. Don't you long for the kind of "Church of Christ" that we heard about (and maybe some of you lived during) when other Christians knew that if a Bible was missing during a trial that they could smilingly suggest that they could "swear on a member of the church of Christ" because they knew and lived the Word so well?

Living the doctrine of Christ. It's more than a check list. It's more than a "skirts touch knees and two fingers below the collar bone" form of modesty. It's more than 2 times a week putting up with other people "at church", and blogging on an all black and white blogspace, or avoiding blogs at all. It's more than knowing the Greek and Hebrew and having the biggest library. It's more than reading out of a lesson book for your turn at teaching the class. It's doing more than making a casserole, or signing up to host the visiting preacher for lunch.

It's living it with your whole life and your whole heart - that's true doctrine: something which transforms and makes you come out from among them and be separate. Not just another building on Church Street. Not just a great social group where no one uses bad language and watches clean movies together. But if that's all there is - a checklist - then how are we more righteous than those Pharisees? What makes us different, and therefore a light on a hill, or on a lampstand?

If we say we don't need those outside denominational preachers and teachers or videos or books or Christian counselors in order to truly live the blessed yet difficult temporary life that Christ has called us to, because He did give us the saved written Word, then let's get out there and live it.


But if you're interested, here's the page where you can listen for free to the talks given at that conference I mentioned: True Woman '08. I listened to Piper's talk this morning. If you feel I'm falling off track and need to be pulled back - PLEASE let me know.

08 October 2008

Abide With Me

In lieu of the proper Christian counselor, or Christian author, or available pastor or minister who "truly" understands... in lieu of the presence of a daily significant other or best friend forever who would be always available with just the right words at just the right time, along with plenty of hugs and kisses... in lieu of the best growing up years and parents, or even pretty good growing up years and parents, schooling and teachers who cared...

I present you with merely the Truth. The One Who Cares. The Strength and Shield. The Comforter. The Sacrifice and One Who Took Your Place. May you notice that This One does indeed abide with you. Pray, beseech, fall on your knees, cry, lean, kneel and be truly humbled. And you will be lifted up, comforted, healed and made whole.

Hayley Westenra singing Abide With Me at Rugby School


“They urged Him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’” Luke 24:29

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Words: Hen­ry F. Lyte, 1847.
Music: Eventide, Wil­liam H. Monk, 1861. Mrs. Monk de­scribed the set­ting:

This tune was writ­ten at a time of great sor­row—when to­ge­ther we watched, as we did dai­ly, the glo­ries of the set­ting sun. As the last gold­en ray fad­ed, he took some pa­per and pen­ciled that tune which has gone all over the earth.

Lyte was in­spired to write this hymn as he was dy­ing of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis; he fin­ished it the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. The next day, he left for Ita­ly to re­gain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks af­ter writ­ing these words. Here is an ex­cerpt from his fare­well ser­mon:

O breth­ren, I stand here among you to­day, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to im­press it upon you, and in­duce you to pre­pare for that sol­emn hour which must come to all, by a time­ly ac­quaint­ance with the death of Christ.

- Cypberhymnal

07 October 2008

artificial beauty aids toxic?

Couple of links, via FoxNews and a video clip of their Dr. Manny, answering questions on this study:

"Study: Makeup Contains Chemicals Harmful, Cancerous to Teens", October 01, 2008, FoxNews.com

Link to the study by the Environmental Working Group. Study published September 24, 2008.

Video clip: "Price of Beauty? Toxic chemicals from makeup seeping into blood"

06 October 2008

The True Woman conference from Revive Our Hearts

TrueWoman08: Now is the time
The following information is from the Revive Our Hearts website:


The True Woman '08 conference is just the beginning! What we're after is a widespread movement of revival in the hearts of Christian women around the world. Here's the good news for those who can't attend the conference:


If you can't be in Chicago for the conference, no problem. We will bring the event to you via a "LIVE" video and audio feed.* Put the date on your calendar now, and invite your friends to enjoy the experience with you!


Sign up below and stay tuned for further information on how to watch this "LIVE" video feed. When you sign up, you will get exclusive True Woman resource discounts and a 40-day True Woman conference prayer guide. You're obviously interested in being a true woman—just sign up so we can keep you posted.

You'll also want to sign up to receive blog updates via email or RSS to join conversations with Christian women around the world.

We want you to be a part of this global movement of true women . . .

  • Embracing God's created design and mission for your life
  • Reflecting the beauty and heart of Christ to your world
  • Intentionally passing the baton of Truth to the next generation
  • Praying earnestly for an outpouring of God's Spirit in your family, church, and world

Thanks for joining our community!

The preceding announcement is from the Revive Our Hearts website.