24 November 2009

Genesis, Wifely Submission, and Modern Wives - Answers in Genesis

Genesis, Wifely Submission, and Modern Wives - Answers in Genesis

Interesting source for thoughts - and well put. The explanations could go further but this is a good overview of the concept of "male and female" from Genesis 1 - the beginning.

02 June 2009

Listen - FamilyLife.com

I like this show. Dennis and Bob are discussing stepping up to the plate of parenting, and fatherhood specifically. Two part show available here:

Listen - FamilyLife.com

Posted using ShareThis

11 April 2009

Lagom: or, It's Good to be Swedish

I'm not sure if there's any Viking blood in my mixed earthly heritage, but a recent face book test confirms:

"Michelle completed the quiz "THE INNER NATIONALITY QUIZ: WHAT ARE YOU REALLY?" with the result: You are Swedish.
You are friendly, gentle, and modest, with a good heart and a lusty nature. You laugh easily, have a well-developed sense of irony, and tend to understand people intuitively. You are interested in new people, but will always maintain notions of insider vs. outsider, and this will lead you to commit to a group of friends and lovers who will be with you your entire life. If you have a weakness it's your timidity -- you feel pressure to remain 'lagom' -- on an even par with others. But this is also your strength."

Not being familiar with the term "lagom", but always interested in new words, concepts and people (as the results here point out), I looked it up. Wikipedia reports:

"Lagom is a Swedish word with no direct English equivalent, meaning "just the right amount".

"The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as "enough, sufficient, adequate, just right". Lagom is also widely translated as "in moderation", "in balance", "optimal", "suitable", and "average". But whereas words like "sufficient" and "average" suggest some degree of abstinence, scarcity, or failure, lagom carries the connotation of perfection or appropriateness."

"Hmm," I said. "That sounds just about right."

The Bible says:

"[G]ive me neither poverty nor riches. But give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." (Proverbs 30:8-9)

“This, then, is how you should pray ... Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:9, 11).

“But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6)

It is not the concept of holding back or denying oneself, or of putting up with or learning to live with your circumstances; but the practice of being perfect, content, fulfilled, just right.

The little quiz makes it look like seeking "lagom" is a kind of timidity - a seeking to be at par with others so as not to rock the boat. But it's off the mark there. "Lagom" appears to me to be a kind of modesty - a seeking not to put oneself above others while not lowering ones self to living lazily. And doesn't the Bible also teach us not to "lord it over" others, to humble ones self to the point of servanthood, and also to keep pressing on, to "live up to what we have attained"?

Jesus taught us to "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Read the whole of 1 Timothy 6, and notice what Paul writes: "there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. . . .

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. ... " (1 Timothy 6:6-9, 11-12) (ESV)

The Swedish quiz also said, "You are friendly, gentle, and modest, with a good heart and a lusty nature." (This is me - a "to the pure..." person - so I define "lusty" nature along with the common definition: "Full of vigor or vitality; robust. Powerful; strong".) I looked back at 1 Timothy 6 and said, "Hmmm." "Pursue ... love, ... gentleness. Fight the good fight ..." The quiz had mentioned a small "insider" group whom you will be with all through your life. Ya, the Bible talks about that too. So I applied my own meaning to their human words in my little Bible meditation today, and I came out Swedish.

And like I said, it sounds just about right. As the Swedish might say: "Det är [It is] lagom."

As Paul said, "Grace be with you all."


Photo above is of Ingrid Bergman, a lovely lady born in Stockholm, Sweden, who lived during the days of the old classic black and white movies.

17 March 2009

Thoughts on Springtime

"My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me--the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
For ever."

- from "A FOREST HYMN", by William Cullen Bryant - such a beautiful poem of days long ago

And here's a bit of a sweet poem from days gone by, called "A Laughing Chorus":

"... Oh, the pretty, brave things! through the coldest days,

Imprisoned in walls of brown,
They never lost heart though the blast shrieked loud,
And the sleet and the hail came down,
But patiently each wrought her beautiful dress,
Or fashioned her beautiful crown;
And now they are coming to brighten the world,
Still shadowed by Winter’s frown;
And well may they cheerily laugh, “Ha! ha!”
In a chorus soft and low,
The millions of flowers hid under the ground–
Yes–millions–beginning to grow."

I received the following in an email. I know that some folks see the amazing things of the world as mere coincidence, or not nearly big enough to make up for the weeds and thorns that they encounter, but I think the world around us is a pretty wonder-full thing to meditate on, because God made it in an amazing and wonder-full way.

See also Psalm 139


How lovely to think about the way our Creator God planned everything so carefully and perfectly, everything with a plan. As His highest creation, "we are fearfully and wonderfully made."

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.

For example, the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days.

Those of the canary in 14 days.

Those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.

The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days.

Those of the mallard in 35 days.

The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.

(Notice, they are all divisible by Seven - isn't that neat?).

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other Quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.

A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.

How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.

Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.

Each orange has an even number of segments.

Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.

Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.

Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.

The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks. The Lord specified Thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence. Only the God-planned life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is safe.

The video below was created for the music of pianist David Nevue, "While the Trees Sleep":

09 March 2009

True Woman '08

Are you aware that you can read, watch and listen to the lessons shared and prayed over at the True Woman Conference in 2008? When you have some time, check into these resources. Old fashioned is new and refreshing...

03 March 2009

"Turning Hearts Toward Home"

Have you heard of James Dobson?

He's somehow gotten into our world a little bit, don't you think? My Mom read "the strong willed child" - about me! - And the ones about raising boys and discipline about my darling little brother. Way back in the 70s and 80s. I know a lot of people, and church families, have one or two of his books in their library somewhere.

The news reported that Mr. Dobson stepped down from his position at the helm of the huge "Focus on the Family" organization in the US. You might be interested to hear his Joshua-type farewell speech to the group. Doesn't sound as if he's really "retiring" from all work, so I won't word it that way. He's one of those "sweet old guys".

Read or listen at this link: Focus on the Family

01 March 2009

Fashion, Tznius and Modesty, and Royalty

Being an old fashioned lady, I sometimes find myself surrounded with tasks of the "here and now", with little time taken for future planning. That is a subject unto itself, which I am working on, as I suppose many other women must also work on daily: how to balance all of these immediate calls with the calls to be ready for things to come.

However, I have come back to post an article that I found so interesting and helpful and encouraging for those ladies who desire to dress respectfully, modestly and beautifully. "The Fashion Conundrum: Does Being Fashionable Clash with being Tznius?", an article from "Bargain Jewess" at wordpress, enunciates so many of the thoughts that all modest, lovely ladies have had while figuring out what to wear. Do we dress frumpy? Wearing a sack dress and hiding our bodies as if we are ashamed? Aren't we to dress so that you can tell that we're women? Young women hear the term "modest dress" and immediately assume that we mean only prairie dresses from the last century or two, or even Middle Eastern garb pictured in our illustrated Bibles, and in the news. But is there truly a "happy medium?" Can we be modest and fashionable, and if so, why would we want to be? Doesn't being attractively attired draw attention to us and therefore contradict being modest, or in Jewish terms, tznius?

Some of this writer's opinion is stated thus:

A Jewish woman is considered a princess in Hebrew, a bas melech. The daughter of a king would only be kitted in the finest of fashions and of course would set the fashion tone for the entire country. She of course would never be dressed in any way that would disrespect her father the king but she certainly would always be expected to look more beautiful and put together than anyone else in the kingdom. The same goes true for the Jewish princess.

I honestly feel that an orthodox Jewish women should always be as fashionable and as classy as possible. There are many ways to look fantastic without baring it all. In general the women I find the most elegant are those who choose to cover it up rather than let it all hang out. Obviously just because you wear a skirt doesn’t mean that you are classy, or elegant I have seen many pants that are more modest that certain skirts. I’m also not here to get into debates on pants, short sleeves, how you cover your hair or any of that sort thing, in my opinion each person must do what they feel comfortable doing and it is between them and God.

Yet I think that each Jewish woman and all women should think of themselves as a princess and therefore there is nothing wrong with wearing stylish fashionable clothes so long as they aren’t thigh high and cut down to the belly button. I think that if you dress stylishly but elegantly you are still tzanua and in no way breaking any tznius code. I think that when people tell you otherwise they are steering you away from looking and feeling your best.

As a princess, there are certainly some ways to dress and behave, because, as we all know, no matter how modest a royal may be, they will "stand out" in a crowd. Let us all hope to stand out with dignity, modesty, respect for our Father. There will be places where we must "draw the line," and in truth, those who are seeing things through spiritual eyes will be able to find where that line is for them and those with whom they come in contact. Obviously, this will be different for each lady, each family, each community, and even among various cultures. But there is one over-riding standard: that which is put forward by the One who designed us to be lovely, and chaste, and helpful (not destructive) to those around us, and especially our husbands.

1 Peter 3: 1Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Don't let your "adorning" - the thing that makes you beautiful and attractive to others who see you - be an external style of fashion. But let your behaviour - which includes your words and how your dress and how you receive others, showing the True Light reflected through your behaviour - adorn you as a holy woman who hopes in God, a daughter of Sarah, the Princess and wife of Abraham.

The author of the above article concludes: "I think that it’s important to remember ... that tznius and fashion forward can go hand in hand, and not only not be polar opposites, but heighten the honor and grace of the Jewish woman." I think that perhaps modesty and respectful fashion can heighten the honor and grace of us all, to the glory of God.

31 January 2009

Beauty Tips

Timeless Beauty TIps
Timeless Beauty TIps - by LisaMe on Polyvore.com

Artwork: "A Russian Beauty", by Alexei Alexeivich Harlamoff

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." - Peter

28 January 2009

True Beauty

I found this poem in the sidebar at "Making Jesus my Pearl":

Author unknown

The beauty of a woman;
Is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries;
Or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman;
must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman;
is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman;
Is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows,
And the beauty of a woman;
With passing years - only grows!

How sweet!

This reminded me of another sweet quote I found once:

"For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
walk with the knowledge you never walk alone."


And what says the Bible concerning beauty:

Proverb: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.


Isaiah: "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."


Peter: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Want a shocker? Check the contests called "Fountain of Age" at Worth1000.com, where folks have used Photoshop on some of our most beautiful celebrities, so that we can have a guess at what they might look like when beauty fades...

22 January 2009

A Sad Anniversary

A Sad Anniversary
A Sad Anniversary - by LisaMe on Polyvore.com

Check with the recent shows on Revive Our Hearts for more about how this choice affects more than just the unborn.

09 January 2009


The following is from an email that is apparently making the rounds.

The History of 'APRONS'

Do you remember Grandma's apron? Do you remember making one in Home Economics?

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,because she only had a few,it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

Those granddaughters would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ' old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Here's a website for some ladies who make cute aprons, like the one in the photo above (that is them, not me, by the way) :) - http://www.stitchesinfaith.com/vintageaprons.htm. I also came across this really cute useful apron for gathering things in: http://www.frogcreekcottage.com/2008/04/the-gathering-apron/ If you know of another - please post it here!

02 January 2009

Modesty in Fitness

I wrote a letter to the author of this article: "Swimming in Modesty", in newsobserver.com. I wrote it after I read the article and the comments which followed. Those of you who are "old fashioned ladies" probably agree: women who are modest are so often looked at as strange, or even "evil" religious leaders who are taking their followers to some horrible end. At least it seems that way. And if that lady is modest AND Muslim, she must be a "wacko" that needs to be sneered at, put down, laughed at, discouraged from her modesty, and pointed out to others that she's trying to take over the world with her religion - just because she desires to dress and behave modestly.

How did this come to be the way of looking at modest women in our "Christian" nation? We Christian ladies and our gentlemen preferred to simply step back and just not swim or participate in sports, because it's just not modest in this day, as far as dress goes. Why didn't our girls and boys who wanted to participate in sports and swimming just wear something more modest anyway, as many girls in the last Olympics did, in spite of the near nudity of all around? And further yet, why didn't we all continue with separated men and women times in public pools and fitness zones? Why did we cave in and allow all of these places to become centers of immodest behavior and dress, when we all know that physical fitness is a good thing? So many of our young ladies are taken in and decide that modest apparel is not important after all. Especially where sports and swimming are concerned. Oh, and weddings and proms. And around the house. And when you're just shopping... do you see how it just keeps on going? What's next - immodest dress and behavior during worship times with other Christians? Yes. That's what came.

Here is what I wrote:

I follow articles like this one from time to time, and I am so glad that you reported it as you did. Readers - even those who still didn't get it after reading the article - have at least been made aware that this is a modesty issue, and not one of religious segregation. I personally am sad that my Christian friends never pushed for things like this - rather, we assimilated with the immodest world, and some are even made to feel like an "outsider" or "weird" for wanting to wear an over sized t-shirt over swim clothes, or for declining mixed swimming parties. Why didn't we modest Christians get together and find a "women's only" time in the pool? I know that some places this actually has happened - there are women's- and men's-only times in public fitness and swimming areas in the US and Canada - and it is not a "religious" issue, but one of modesty and propriety. Why the world cannot see and respect the wishes of this group is beyond me. But, regardless, articles like this which explain the concept of modesty, and attempt to educate the public at large with this "old fashioned" moral concept, is a good thing. If only there had been a more notable reference in the article to other "women's only" places in the country (your state, even) that are not Muslim oriented, perhaps the focus on the Muslim community and the idea that this is a movement of religious separation could have been understood a little more. But all in all, a better handled article than some short little articles on these kinds of things happening in other places, where it truly comes across as religious separation, and not just a modesty issue.


So, what should we as modest Christian ladies do? We could do as we seem to have done for a long time - just keep our young women from all athletics and swimming because those areas have been "taken over" by the worldly. Oh, how many physically out of shape Christian girls there are. "She strengthens her arms for the times to come..."

We could do as some Christian women have done, and create our own lines of modest swim wear and exercise clothing. They exist. Check my label below for all the articles I have on modesty, and I think you'll find a few places that you can go to find examples of modest fitness clothing (and formal wear too). "Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord."

And as far as dressing modestly in the midst of scores of immodestly dressed men and women, we could go to the management and ask for private times. We ask for it as a religious thing, or we could ask as a matter of modesty and propriety. I think if we look around and ask, we'll find a lot of other people who would like to be modest in these places, but either don't go, or go and give in to immodesty. We need to find each other and encourage one another.

Isn't physical fitness a part of your "new year resolution"? Even if it isn't, it should be a daily part of your day - to take care of that precious and fragile physical body that the Lord has given you.