30 April 2013

Royal Robes

http://www.hellomagazine.com/imagenes//royalty/2013043012339/princess-maxima-outfit-dutch-inauguration-investiture/0-63-98/maxima--z.jpg
Photo from Hello! Daily News

Yes, I watched a bit of the ceremony for the new King Willem-Alexander in the Netherlands today. And I also like Downton Abbey and all those Pemberly type things. In spite of all the wrongness that can come out of cruel dictatorships, and even in spite of the ignorant prejudice that castes create, there is still something good in recognizing and observing the traditions of "classiness," and respect for the power of servitude, and service of power, that come with a monarchy.

Sure, we dress them up and give them too much money, all those royal and presidential families, but then, they represent us to the world. And don't we all over-spend when it comes time for our own weddings and banquets and ceremonies? There is something grand and honorable in ceremony and tradition, in the show of respect, of pride, and even of our meager earthly glories. We as humans may like to "show off" because we do have some amount of internal glory, and of course we all deserve to have that status acknowledged. Why some more than others? Why pay a footballer so much more than a teacher? Or a politician more than a cook? Sometimes it is a matter of preference of the masses; we certainly cannot say that an executive works "harder" than a housekeeper, or an actor than a plumber.

Royals seem to merely have been born to it. And we think, well, that's not fair. We don't recall that they have jobs to do too, to work for their country, to promote programs and rules that the governments have either put upon or taken from the people, to be mediators between parliament and populace, between estate and country, or between nations. Rather than just sitting back in lofty thrones as we picture from our limited New World picture books, these people spend their entire lives being trained to serve and live in the public eye. They study to serve. Charles of England is an expert in ecology and business; Willem of the Netherlands is an expert in water management (important for a country dependent on dikes and canals); royal and presidential wives all take on programs like education, health, safety and welfare of people all over the world. They live every day in attending fund raisers, meeting people and giving public orations, whether they want to or not, with little to no time to themselves (except the vacations that we all read about and complain that they get), and usually, no "retirement" in sight. They also live with that proverbial knife hanging from a horse hair over their heads, and no amount of money can take away the smear of the paparazzi. They don't deserve the glamor status that celebrities have put upon them, and we know that some of them don't want it. They are, after all, just people, making mistakes while trying to rear up a family and do their jobs. It would be hard to do all that with a large part of the world watching your every step, apparently waiting for you to mess up.
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/img/Willem%20Alexander%2C%20Maxima%20and%20daughters.jpg
Photo of Willem-Alexander, Maxima, and daughters from Dutch News.nl
Willem-Alexander:  "I want to be a king who is first of all traditional, built on the tradition of my predecessors, who stands for continuity and also for stability in the country ... but also a king who in the 21st century can bind together and represent society as a whole. . . 
"By being present where you think people need support or help, by giving extra attention and presence to worthwhile events and by supporting people who are in need."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Royals" represent something that I don't think Christians should forget: the definition of royalty, and what we are to strive to be.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
Does being a royal people of God mean that we are to dress in royal robes, sit on thrones, and order other people around all the time? Of course not. So we must look at what the royals on earth actually do outside of the ceremony and the picture books, and remember the immense responsibility of "class". That's why I listed those things above: not to praise them and honour them as infallible servants of the people, but to show that there is more to being in charge than ordering people around and wearing fancy clothes. And to relate their lot to that of the description of Christians: royal.

Royalty Has Work To Do

Royalty carries the responsibility of being a mediator, a representative. We represent our Father, the King of kings, who is majesty, grandeur, holiness, glory, strength and all power. We as his children should reflect that glory to the world. So how should we dress? How should we act? How should we speak? We should do all things to his glory, because whether we like it or not, there is no retirement here on earth where we stop representing him. Whether there are photographers lurking in the bushes or not, we have an image to reflect. We should never forget that.

Royalty Has A Standard to Uphold

The original "holy family" of God is spoken of frequently as the nation of Israel was formed. Not because they worked hard or deserved it, anymore than a follower of Christ deserves to be in the spiritual holy family. But because they were merely "to the manor, born".

Royalty Is Born To Its Position
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,"
If we are born again into Christ, then we are heirs, and we should act like it. We should honour each person in the kingdom as another royal, not thinking of others as our servants, but we as theirs. Taking care of one another, putting each others needs above our own - that is the power of servitude, and the service of power that we have been born into. Like earthly royals, we need to begin studying and learning from our birth more about how to be a royal child: how to behave, how to speak, how to serve. What we learn must be for the glory of our King and our Nation, for that is what we have been called.
Royalty Are Meant To Serve

In a socialist or democratic kind of world where all men and women are seen as created equal, I think there is a danger of forgetting how to show honour to whom honour is due. We don't want anyone to be in a position "over" another, for God does make us equal, right? "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." Yet being one in Christ does not negate the presence of differences of duty, of responsibility, and of position while on earth. Consider the entire text about what royalty in Christ is:

". . . you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, earthly royalty is nothing like our heavenly royal family, and as such they do not deserve worship or the sacrifice of the poor to feed their own wealth. Their time to rule and to shine will pass, and the King of kings and Lord of lords will remain alone in power. Their pomp is but a poor shadow of the immense and immeasurable glory above. And their service is, of course, nothing like the Man who came to town riding on a donkey with no royal robes, to teach by story telling and by washing feet. Their sacrifice is quite little compared to the hounding of the Pharisees and Romans who crucified our Lord. And our service and sacrifice - yours and mine - is also small in comparison.

May we be able to see the true majesty of the one and only King, and live our lives accordingly as subjects and members of that Divine Monarchy.

24 April 2013

Whom You Marry

I remember my daughter playing the computer game, "Barbie as Princess Bride" when she was very little. Not to be confused with the movie "The Princess Bride," this is a game for little girls to practice sorting and following directions and matching, and playing dress up, while pretending to get Barbie ready for her wedding. Unfortunately, one line that Barbie says - which I taught my little girls was so silly - was her reply to the Prince's question: "Will you marry me?"
screen shot from Barbie as Princess Bride, from Moby Games
She gushes, "Oh, yes! This is going to be the best wedding ever!" 

The best wedding . . . er, he asked you to marry him, not to throw him a party that he probably doesn't even want to attend. And thus, the must-have formal party pressure continues.
And, yes, even though my daughters today are not dressing like Barbies, they do enjoy designing dresses and outfits when they doodle. Maybe that's a good thing, since it's difficult to find a ready-made design for a dress that's modest in both ways at the same time. 
 -------------------------

So, before you plan the "best wedding ever"  . . . 

Please read the following articles. Marriage is so much more than the formal dinner party that so often comes with it, no matter how stressful a wedding can be. Marriage is a major decision because it will change your life. Even for those who intend to "bail" if it doesn't work, marriage will change your life. If you intend not to give up and have made the decision to marry for life, please consider the words of the following two articles.

There are two parts: one for women and one for men. If you are a young person, please read these and carefully consider printing your article out and hanging it your bedroom wall. Read both of them, and determine that you will be the one that "the good one" wants to marry as well.

thechristianpundit.org


thechristianpundit.org
--------------------------
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/934031_566775386696404_1645722421_n.jpg
 

22 April 2013

All Things Bright and Beautiful

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." 

"How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."




Have a wonderful "Earth Day", Everyone. Please enjoy this "newfangled" version of a classic song of praise for the wonders of creation.

All Things Bright and Beautiful
by Cecil Francis Alexander (Early April 1818, Ireland – 12 October 1895).


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
The purple headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;−
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,−
He made them every one:
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;−
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
(Amen)

According to Wikipedia: "The United Church of Canada includes a fourth verse, which seems particularly appropriate to Canadian geography:

"The rocky mountain splendour, / the lone wolf's haunting call, / the great lakes and the prairies, / the forest in the fall."




Also please enjoy "Look at the World", also arranged here by John Rutter.


Look at the World 

Look at the world, everything all around us 
Look at the world and marvel every day. 
Look at the world: so many joys and wonders, 
So many miracles along our way 

Praise to thee, O lord for all creation. 
Give us thankful hearts that we may see 
All the gifts we share, and every blessing, 
All things come of thee. 

Look at the earth bringing forth fruit and flower, 
Look at the sky the sunshine and the rain. 
Look at the hills, look at the trees and mountains, 
Valley and flowing river, field and plain. 

Think of the spring, think of the warmth of summer 
Bringing the harvest before winter's cold. 
Everything grows, everything has a season, 
till it is gathered to the Father's fold: 

 Every good gift, all that we need and cherish. 
Comes from the Lord in token of his love 
We are his hands, stewards of all his bounty 
His is the earth and his the heavens above 

 Praise to thee, O lord for all creation. 
Give us thankful hearts that we may see 
All the gifts we share, and every blessing, 
All things come of thee.

15 April 2013

Parents' Responsibility Regarding The Prom

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Children are a blessing. They bring us joy . . . hope . . . love . . . strength . . . help . . . respect . . . and they gift us with responsibility, which is a blessing. With these beautiful children in our lives - whether or not the children are living in your home with you - you have the desire to protect them, to guide them, to help them, and these responsibilities are not heavy; they're our children.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The Law from Moses includes these commands from the Father Himself. We are instructed "you shall..." - no mere suggestion - to teach them, to train them, to live the life that we are supposed to live in every step we take so that they learn from us whatever we do. Why wouldn't we want to?

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
These laws from the apostle Paul, given to him from the Lord, also instruct fathers to train their children in a way that they will learn the Truth, not in spite of our rudeness, but because we don't bring them up instilling in them a sense of rebellion and a desire to break away.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Children are not let "off the hook" of responsibility. This is no mere suggestion that children should learn from their parents or their elders, and this is repeated both in the Law of Moses, the Proverbs, and in the Law of Christ. But children cannot learn if they are not taught. If you do not teach them, train them, discipline them - even when they are older and almost ready to live on their own - they will look for instruction and example and inferences on how to live from elsewhere. But who knows if perhaps you were made a parent for such a time as this?

The question should not be placed entirely on the child or young adult who is trying to follow God's will, because "they should know by now". As mature adults, we have a responsibility to help the young and the weak to take more careful steps. Are we encouraging our young people, new believers, even our own peers, to walk carefully so as not to slip and fall, or to trip up someone else? Or are we letting them struggle along on their own?
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (Galatians 6:1, New American Standard Bible)

The questions of The Prom - though the answers should be explained to our near-adult children - are questions for parents, grandparents, older friends and neighbors.

Should we leave it up to our children to make their own decisions, or even encourage them to go, because everyone else is going, or because you did when you were young, or because they might "regret" not going, or because it's just the thing to do? Are these good reasons for doing anything?

Should we, as the money makers, design and promote our own proms, or prom alternatives, or quinceaneras and sweet 16 parties, like the cotillions and coming out parties of older generations?

Should we even encourage the lifestyle of attending formal dances and fancy dress banquets, in order to spend money on ourselves for the achievement of an age bracket, or a grade level in school, or just because it's fun, or because we want to do what everyone else is doing but do it safely?

Now, I do realize that I may "go too far". I know that Prom and its look-alikes are cultural "rites of passage" that will not go away quietly. Neither will the pretended ignorance of the real meanings and modern celebrations of pagan holidays, or ignorance of the original meanings of curse words and filthy language, make those things go away. No, our toning these things down is like planting a garden of thistles. Keeping them growing along a border in a neat way, decorating them with bright colours or filling them with candies does not change their nature; it merely has us believing that even thorns can be made beautiful if you are creative. And the weeds will continue to grow and choke out the healthy garden foods, just as filthy talk and wild holiday parties and dances will continue hide in the nice decorations that we try to cover them with. Would it not be better rather to eliminate or having nothing to do with these things in the first place, than to merely dress up something worldly as "redeemed", as some claim to do? What about something completely different?

http://oneyearbibleimages.com/galatians5_16.jpg
Photo from One Year Bible Blog


There are some things that are always good, and things that are not. We are aware of the "works of the flesh" - those things that please our flesh and blood but that will pass away, and in the meantime may tear apart our precious soul and spirit. We must consider for ourselves things like:
  • "Immodest dress
  • "Dancing that looks like something out of a Snoop Dogg video
  • "Drugs and alcohol
  • "Pressure for sexual activity
  • "Music with immoral messages" (the above list from "Should We Let Our Kids Go To Prom")
  • "Dancing" that is called "grinding", which looks even to un-Christian parents like "vertical sex"
  • Fostering romantic relationships between those who are not looking for a potential spouse
  • Spending excessive amounts of money to please oneself for a one night event
  • Hanging around with people which may cause us or our friends to behave in a way that does not "make for good works," rather than "fleeing" from questionable activities
  • Music that is secular, promoting a world view that is not Christian, which does not uplift or encourage, but merely makes us "feel good" (this is a hard one for me to write here but something I have to catch myself on too)
  • Lying to yourself and to your children that spending much time with those in the world is really in order to teach them the truth
Photo from Scripture Wallpaper

People of all ages and backgrounds (religious and irreligious) will point out to you that The Prom is not necessarily a den of iniquity, filled with every evil thing. You will be told that their Prom, or alternative dance, will be have rules and chaperones. It will be explained carefully to you that it is not the Prom itself where these occur, but in the after parties that children attend with or without their parents' knowledge. (Read "Educating the Next Generation" for one volunteer adult's description of a local prom with rules and plenty of chaperones.) And so, they will point out, the Prom is a good thing. But, ask them, good for what?

And you know that Prom has expectations attached by others. In a world where parents more and more are giving up their blessings - their children - to rearing up by secular or rarely present hosts, children will learn to behave badly, having little to no moral instruction. Even Christian parents leave the training of their children up to the school or "the church", and those children do not receive much of the training that they could have had, since once or twice a week in Bible class, and maybe a summer camp one week a year, is not diligent training. Parents: please take your blessings and your responsibilities seriously. Children: please listen to your parents.

In the end, attending The Prom, or any event, is going to be a decision made by each individual, and not all decisions - even those made in prayer - will be the same.
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. (Romans 14:1, The Message)
___________________________________________

So this is the last I will write in this series regarding The Prom, unless I receive comments under any of the posts this month. The information is out there, and you can read my own opinion here, if that is of any consequence. I hope that you as a parent or as a young person who is reading these brief articles and links, will think about the cultural push to attend fancy dances and dress up dinners. Can it be done to the glory of God? That is for you to decide and to act on. Perhaps you will decide to celebrate the blossom season of the world with long walks taking photos, making scrap books, having gospel music singing times, hosting a pot-luck dinner (or series of dinners) with good friends, making a trip to a small farm or even a foreign country to help others in need, getting a group together to sing at a retirement home, work out your first Bible class lesson to share with others, go on a trip to visit a place with a small congregation of God's people to encourage them . . . I mean, there is just so much that is available to spend your time and money on (other than fancy dress balls) that will reflect living by the Spirit. And as the man wrote, there's no law against doing good things.

Photo from Catholic Faith Education


12 April 2013

"The Truth About Prom"

"The Truth About Prom"

In, A Wordy Woman, read this personal story and testimony concerning attending The Prom. I recommend it.

10 April 2013

Modest and Modest Fancy Dresses


It is still "fancy dress" month, and today's entry is going to be for links and ideas that are not quite the Disney Princess or Quinceañera ballgown. Not because those styles of dresses cannot be modest in a sexually pure way, but because I want to focus on both of the meanings of the word "modest" in this post.


Image 1
Photo from Beautifully Modest
You see, some folks don't like the proms and balls and banquets because to dress up in fancy dresses or suits is to be too showy. Type in the word "modest" in your Google search bar and this is what you get:

mod·est  

/ˈmädəst/
 
Adjective
 
1. Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements.
2. (of an amount, rate, or level of something) Relatively moderate, limited, or small.

Synonyms
 
humble - unassuming - unpretentious - lowly - moderate

Serena Modest Dress in Deep Ocean Blue
Photo from Jen Clothing
Now, obviously, many women have used the idea of unassuming moderation to not show off their female bodies, which, obviously to most men, are quite beautiful and entrancing without all the trappings to show them off so much (yes, even you, who thinks you're not so lovely to look at). Showing off our shapeliness with tight or see through material, or showing off our softer skin by using less material in general - even if it is not the intent - is still showing off without modesty what we have been given or have developed through diet or exercise. And so "modest dresses" tends to mean not showing off our bodies: covering up shoulders and cleavage, thighs and knees, and for some, even calves, arms and necks.

But modesty ALSO means a more general just plain humbleness, that is, not showing off your beauty or wealth or beautiful clothing or jewelry or lovely hair. Think not? The apostle Peter, who spent a great deal of time with Jesus Christ while on earth, wrote:
Likewise, 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, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but 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. 1 Peter 3:1-4
And the apostle, Paul, wrote in his letter to the young preacher, Timothy:
Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.  1 Timothy 2:9-10
The Julia Gown
Photo from Great Lengths Clothing
This is not to say that there aren't occasions where you might want to put on wedding clothes or dressy clothes, because of a special occasion (usually dictated by the culture you are in, such as a Latin American community which puts greater importance on the 15th birthday, or a North American community that puts a great importance on a dinner celebrating the end of your high school or college years). So how far do you go in dressing up according to your culture, without losing your modesty, either in purity or in humility? It might be called "semi formal".

Check out "JenClothing" for Modest Prom Dresses to see what that might look like.  "Beautifully Modest" offers a Semi Formal selection as well. I recently found the online store with affordable modest formals: "Great Lengths Clothing". If these aren't quite the formal that you're looking for, I came across Kara Moss' Pinterest page of lovely modest prom dresses, which for the most part don't seem too over-the-top when it comes to showiness either. (Once again, I'm not getting paid to endorse these stores, and I haven't shopped there either; let the buyer be aware.)

Finding a modest formal gown - both modest for humbleness and modest for purity - is possible, but it will take time and some specific ideas. First of all, remember who you really are - inside - that you want others to see on the outside. You, not your dress or your hair style. Then have fun searching the internet, and don't miss perusing all the links to modest Wedding, Prom and other formal dress shops in the super wonderful and cross cultural and cross age groups "Modest Clothing Directory" (where you'll find lots more than just modest fancy dresses).

08 April 2013

Fancy Dress Month - Going to The Prom? part 2

My last blog entry opened up the idea that going to the local prom (high school or secondary school fancy dress dance and banquet) is not the best choice for an old fashioned Christian young person. And if there is an alternative offered for a fancy dress banquet, alternatives also abound for modest fancy dresses.

Today's entry is simply a gathering of other writing on the subject of The Prom and the thoughts of those who are living their lives for Christ in relation to said Prom. For me personally, I saw no real reason to attend The Prom when I was in high school, other than that a Cute Boy asked me to go with him when I was only in 10th grade. I remember having to stop and reconsider going for a moment, though today, I cannot remember why I wanted to go to The Prom, except that I was so elated at being asked by this older boy! The next two years went by, and I had no trouble explaining to my friends that I just didn't want to go. Since they knew that I never attended any of the school dances either, there wasn't any conversation about it that I remember now. I don't regret not going, and as I remember, I did actually "stay home and wash my hair," as I told a few friends that I would do. I'm not sure that I would have attended a "Christian Prom Alternative" if there had been one, given the idea that I still would have had to spend money to buy a fancy dress and tickets, etc. I have always been rather a "hippie" or "flower child" born out of due season, and not really good at understanding these kind of events. More on that topic in a future post, perhaps.

1. "A Teenager's Answer To "Shall I Go To The Prom?", by Sherry Burgess, found in Truth Magazine. This article is the one mentioned in my last post's link, and was written by a young woman back in the 1980's. Things have not changed much, really. In this article, she shares all of the steps that she went to as she made her decision not to attend The Prom. She also wrote how she felt sad when at first she decided against going, but then, "In my prayer that night, I thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to say "no" . . . ."  Sherry is now happily married and has two wonderful children in college and one in high school, and her Christian life has been full of the wonder and magic that can never be found in a dance-and-banquet.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18-A
Purchase this plaque from Lasting Reminders.com


2. "Planning for a Pure Prom Night", By Erin Davis, found in Lies Young Women Believe. This article was written last year, and though she applauds girls who have decided to "swim upstream" and not attend, she writes this article for those who have decided that "It is possible to attend prom with your purity, modesty, and faith still intact." Is it? She lists 10 things that a young woman can do to help her to maintain her purity and still attend The Prom. As we cannot judge others' hearts or intents, we must therefore pray for those who choose to attend and try make a difference at the same time.
Ephesians 5:3 art from Wardrobe of Grace


3. "But It's The Prom!", by Steve Higginbothem, at PreachingHelp.org. This article talks about that difference between "dancing" and "Dancing" ("Not all dancing involves indecent dress, unchaste contact, or illicit movements. . . . The kind of dancing that God’s word condemns is the kind of dancing that stirs one to have impure thoughts, and act in impure ways."), and also lists several things that are associated with Prom in the area where he writes. The big question: "Do we really think that such actions will simply be pardoned or excused because, after all, “It’s the Prom.”"
http://www.christianmingler.com/wp-content/uploads/1Peter211a.jpg
1Peter 2:11 art from Christian Mingler


4. "Are You Going To Prom? - Lesson 11", found at VSCOC.com.  This is a short little lesson using scripture, including discussion questions and short answers, which could be used privately or in a class. It is a good summary of about all of the articles that you may find on Christians attending dances or Prom events, and includes a discussion of a passage in the book of Job that you may not usually think of when discussing dancing and whether or not there is too much preaching on the subject.
http://scentoffaith.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/dec18.jpg
2 Timothy 2:22 artwork from Scent of Faith


5. "Is It Okay For Me To Go To The Prom?", found at Study the Bible. If the other studies are too long or studious, try this simple reply. Written like a short high school essay: "The question for the Christian young person should not be "Is it o.k. for me to go to the prom?". The question should be "Is it best for me to go to the prom?"."


6. "You're Not Going To Prom?",  by Allen Webster, at House to House. This article gives three main ways that you could answer the question (other than the simplistic answer that I gave when I was in school), with Bible words as your main purpose. And it has to do with avoiding sin, whether you hurt yourself, others, or your example.
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photo found on tumblr

This last article ends by mentioning that alternatives to The Prom exist, and these next few links deal with doing Something Else, though these next few links are only indicators of the many alternatives available.

In Defense of Prom Alternative,  by Melissa at Christ Crossed my Heart. Melissa lists her reasons for not attending Prom, and positively, her reasons for doing Something Else. This group's plan was a lovely formal dinner, change clothes and go bowling after, then to someone's house to roast s'mores over a campfire. The boys and girls had separate sleepovers and rejoined for breakfast the next day. I love her response: "When all’s said and done, I had a wonderful evening. I grew closer to brothers and sisters in Christ, and I had a fantastic time doing so. I’m so thankful that someone had the idea to give us a special evening free of temptation or worldliness!"

Alternative to the Prom, by Mary at For Christian Girls. Here is a short description of another alternative that was offered in one area, where the kids had "good, clean fun" and enjoyed it. They had dinner at a dress fancy restaurant, strolled around town together and then went for ice cream.

Prim Proms: How Religious Teens Party, by Ellen Leventry at Belief.net. Interesting article that goes beyond conservative Christianity: "From same-sex dancing to modest gowns, conservative Muslim, Jewish and Christian teens are finding prom alternatives." We are not alone. Some of the alternatives list shopping nights, girls only or guys only nights, and senior class dinners.

I personally like the idea that the movie "Courageous" portrayed when the father of the teenaged girl took her out for a fancy dress meal on a "date" to show her how he wanted a man to treat her. (Link to the video clip of this scene at YouTube)
Actor Ken Bevel, portraying a dad in the movie "Courageous"

There's a lot to read and sort through there. No one's requiring you to read every bit, or to agree with every bit. I'm just hoping that some young woman, or young man, or parent, somewhere might stumble upon this list and find something good for their minds to think about for a while.

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Philippians 4:8 artwork found at Little Birdie Blessings


05 April 2013

Going to the Prom or Modest Banquet?

Had my attention drawn to this article that was written last year about The Prom. Isn't it interesting that after all these years, The Prom is still a big issue with many young people and their old fashioned (or newly old fashioned) parents?


"Considerations Before Going to the Prom or Dancing | Godly Youth"

I got a bright idea. I thought I'd put together a listing of modest banquet style dresses for those young ladies that want to still have a special night of some kind and yet they don't believe that they can find anything modest to wear, because there isn't anything at the mall or the local bridal shop. Then I kept thinking...

Okay, so April is now fancy dress month. Here's your first and most popular "modest banquet dresses" websites, according to my most recent Google search, along with some photos, for ideas. Oh, and as always, this is a personal search and post, and I'm not getting paid for these free advertisements for the online stores. Unless they'd like to contact me... ;)

. . . And The Most Popular "Modest Banquet Dresses" Website According to Google Search Is:

A simple bolero that's easy to sew
Simple Bolero Pattern
Easy Prom Dress Pattern
Easy Prom Dress Pattern
ModestProm.com --   The all comprehensive site that includes tabs for buying (websites and physical stores in the United States), budgeting, bolero-ing and shrug-ing (patterns for coverups to make and wear over top of immodest tops), altering, sewing (fairly simple patterns), fitting and flattering, and fixing up. There's a link to Modest Prom Rentals (Store in Mapleton, Utah), and Modest Dress Rentals Online (for those not in Utah). The article on budgeting is very smart. "Finding affordable prom dresses is largely a matter of planning ahead and being creative." Alteration tips and patterns include ideas for lengthening and shortening of dresses, adding "fill-ins" for spaghetti straps or strapless dresses, and even attaching short sleeves. Links on the home page include sites that are LDS (Latter Day Saints) "temple friendly", if I can use that phrase. I have seen it used for years to describe modest wedding gowns, because though there are no specific rules about what can be worn in the temple, modest dress is emphasized, and shoulders and cleavage and thighs and backs should always be covered (this knowledge is from what I've read here and there; I'm not Mormon, but I do appreciate the emphasis on appearance, as the outside not only reflects the inside, but also is often the only thing that others will see).

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"Fill In" for a strapless gown
If you don't use ModestProm for purchase or pattern, at least prayerfully peruse it for your own thoughts and ideas. According to the blog entry at Modest Dress Rentals Online: "Owner Chris Hash has been helping young ladies find or create modest prom dresses for many years via her web site ModestProm.com. Several years ago, she opened an in-home rental shop which offers exclusively modest dresses for rent, ModestPromRentals.com. The shop services the central Utah area." Congratulations on your well-organized, needful and welcome website, Chris Hash.

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Dresses from Modest Dress Rentals Online