Saturday, October 24, 2009
If you would like to know more about the refinement, or would like to keep updated with my family and how we are doing, please feel free to visit www.flowersinthewinter.blogspot.com
God richly bless and keep you and your families.
May He pour out His abundant blessings and joy over you and
Have a Happy Holiday Season!
Monday, October 19, 2009
- During a speech - it's important to actively listen
- During a sermon - when one texts during a sermon this not only shows disrespect but disinterest and an extraordinary amount of rudeness to the pastor, those around, and most importantly, disrespect to The House of God
- Chores your parents give
- Work that must be completed - home work, business work, church work, etc.
- During work - if you're a barista, please don't text on the job. This is very rude, and alienates business. Baby-sitters and child care workers, you're hired to care for and watch the child, not let 'em loose and if they get hurt put a band-aid on it. Do the job you were hired to do!
- While Driving - Please, do yourself and all those around you a favor and do NOT text while driving. Not only is this unsafe because your eyes are not on the road, but also because your mind is not focused on driving, but on text messaging, making your driving unpredictable and confusing other drivers. This is especially important when others are in the car with you. Please do not text while driving!
- At school. Scientia Potentia - knowledge is power. If you must text someone, and it is vitally important, like if it's to a teach, parent, adult or work, wait until after your class is over, and you are in a somewhat solitary place. God gave you a mind to steward. You are not stewarding that which God has placed in your hands and blessed you with if you are texting during a class.
- It's always, always, rude to text when talking with, greeting, saying goodbye, listening or have any sort of conversation with any other human being. This conveys an extraordinary lack of curiosity for another creation of God, rudeness, indifference and an incredible lack of caring or concern for a brother or sister in Christ. If you are interacting with a non-Christian while you are texting, what are you conveying to that person about your relationship with Christ? Are you being a good witness? Are you treating them they way God longs for you to treat them? What would Christ think if he walked up in that moment?
If you must text while driving, or during a class, or during work, please wait until after you have completed what must be done at school (like, after class), or at work, this means you need to communicate well with your boss or the other person on duty, or pull over off the road into a safe parking place, and text away. But wait until its safe, and you have stewarded well what God's given you (your mind, your job, your relationships, etc., etc.)
If you're a host, or a guest: RESTRAIN FROM TEXTING! If this means turning off the phone and hiding it or locking it away: DO SO! I have been to people's homes, as a guest, where the hosts teenagers were texting. I use the term "teenager" as a descriptive term, meaning they were self-absorbed, unsocialized when it came appropriate adult interaction (such as that with my parents), and rather immature. Those who text while hosting a guest are immediately placed in the "teenager" category in my mind - adult children, teenage-men/women, etc. Even if you see the guests are your parents guests, you still owe your parents the respect and honor they deserve by being, at the very least, polite to their guests, and greeting them at the door, waving them goodbye, and helping your mom clear the table, serving the food, passing the food around the table, etc. YOU OWE YOUR PARENTS! They worked to pay for your education, which more than half the world cannot afford, they fed you every day, watered you, gave you a bed, and at the very least put a roof over your head. You owe your parents.
"Children honor your father and mother..."
- Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4;
Matthew 19:19; Mark 7:10; Mark 10:19;
Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2.
Based on these eight scriptures throughout the Bible, I would say this is pretty important.
When to "Pull the Plug"
There have been numerous times when I have been sitting in a church service and some one's cell phone goes off, or there is a group of teenagers, even adults, texting during a service.
If you are in a church, then there is no reason why you should have your cell phone ringing, or be texting, unless some emergency has happened in your family and you are needed ASAP. Sorry, this sounds harsh, but give me a good reason why you should be texting when you are in a church to learn about and grow deeper in the Word of God, and learn to be better in your part as The Body of Christ.
In fact, it would bring the pastor great delight, and show an amazing amount of respect that few people are capable of showing if you simply turned of your cellular device.
If you absolutely must use your cell phone during a church service, if there is a family emergency or you are on call at work, please find a secluded place to take or make your call. Such as the church office, if you're granted permission, outside, or some other place where there are few people and you will not be disrupting anyone.
If you're a committed Christian, than you know the rule to this: Don't do it. Period. The end. End of discussion. Go read your Bible!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Maybe I just don't understand, but the shear look
So I was googling "2o09 Fashion Trends" and was rather shocked at what I found!
"Who will be looking?"
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
'Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity;
By: David A. deSilva
The research deSilva has done is extraordinary!
the shaping of
a set-apart you woman'
By, Leslie Ludy
(Updated and expanded version)
- The young adults did not interact with the leaders of the The River - the leaders always had to initiate if they were to expect any interaction.
- The attendees did not interact with the speaker except to laugh nervously, or in inappropriate places (for example, when the speaker attempted to give the Hebraic word for certain themes in the Bible [praise, stewardship, etc.] and then defined the Hebrew word, the audience would laugh as if it were a joke.
- As the speaker was asking the students to think about things that were keeping them from growing deeper in the Lord (jobs, money, boy/girl-friend, etc.) a couple sitting in front of me was touching each other in a very friendly manner... This is probably sounding very judgmental, but an apparent friend of the couple (sitting next to them) looked at the girlfriend, raised her eyes brows and smiled in that "uh huhh" type of way. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but don't you think our generation would be closer to God if we focused on God at church instead of focusedly touching our boy/girl friend?
Perhaps I am being to judgemental, perhaps I don't understand. Perhaps being home schooled my entire life has left me to expecting to much from other people, especially my peers.
Perhaps.. perhaps... perhaps...
Or... Perhaps I expect what ought to be expected of my peers, raise the bar of expectation, expect them to research and dig deeper into finding the true, God-intended meaning of words...
Perhaps I am following my calling in life, to expect much of me, but expecting too much of others in my generation..
What is one to do, when they can see all that could be enriched, but perfectly incapable of making it into reality because fear sets in, or you feel inadequate, or "you're younger than those people," "you don't have enough experience," "you've only gone once?"
Should I stand up and Face my Giants, or sit back and let Someone Else stand up?
Should I go against the flow of culture, or live my life on the line, as my friends in the Souled Out ministry do?
Where is the line between too high of expectations, and raising the bar to where God intended it?
When do we know, as followers of Christ, when the time has come to STAND UP, and when we are supposed to focus on SOMETHING ELSE?
Very distinctly, a few weeks ago, God spoke to me. He said that my ministry was "right here.. right amidst these young adults of 2-13... Right here, where the young woman are seeking help, guidance, support and mentors... Right here, among the young woman, and young children is where I called you."
So does this mean I edit and copy up a list of "suggestions" on our computer of The River, and gently, thoughtfully, prayerfully and encouragingly give the list to our youth pastor?
Or does this mean I simply pray and ask God to bring someone into the church who has a heart for ministry?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In the movie The Last Sin Eater, which was originally a book written by Francine Rivers, there is a maiden whose name is Bletsung McLeod. She is a hermitess, or so to speak, due to the unusual circumstances of her life story.
Her life story goes something along the lines of this:
Bletsung McLeod lived with her abusive father. She found a safe friend, and the masculine leadership she needed in her child-hood guy-friend, Sim.
As Sim and Bletsung grew they found they met each others needs in emotional, psychological, mental and spiritual ways, and so their relationship became that of a sweetly tender romance.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Her essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, City Journal, and other publications. Her book, A Return to Modesty, was published by The Free Press in 1999, and last year was reissued in paperback by Touchstone Books in an edition that includes questions for classroom use.
Miss Shalit spoke at Hillsdale College on November 15, 2000. The following is an excerpt of her presentation, which she delivered in Phillips Auditorium at a seminar sponsored by the College’s Center for Constructive Alternatives.
This afternoon I was reading a magazine for brides in which a woman had submitted the following question: “My fiance wants us to move in together, but I want to wait until we’re married. Am I doing our marriage an injustice?” The editor responded: “Your fiance should understand why you want to wait to share a home. Maybe you’re concerned about losing your identity as an individual. Or maybe you’re concerned about space issues.”
Space issues? Losing her identity? If this woman cared about those things she wouldn’t want to get married in the first place. Her question was a moral one. She wanted to know what would be best for her marriage. And on this—however unbeknownst to the magazine’s new-agey editor—the evidence is in: Couples who live together before marriage are much less likely to get married; and if they do marry, they’re more likely to get divorced. Yet the vocabulary of modesty has largely dropped from our cultural consciousness; when a woman asks a question that necessarily implicates it, we can only mumble about “space issues.”
I first became interested in the subject of modesty for a rather mundane reason—because I didn’t like the bathrooms at Williams College. Like many enlightened colleges and universities these days, Williams houses boys next to girls in its dormitories and then has the students vote by floor on whether their common bathrooms should be coed. It’s all very democratic, but the votes always seem to go in the coed direction because no one wants to be thought a prude. When I objected, I was told by my fellow students that I “must not be comfortable with [my] body.” Frankly, I didn’t get that, because I was fine with my body; it was their bodies in such close proximity to mine that I wasn’t thrilled about.
I ended up writing about this experience in Commentary as a kind of therapeutic exercise. But when my article was reprinted in Reader’s Digest, a weird thing happened: I got piles of letters from kids who said, “I thought I was the only one who couldn’t stand these bathrooms.” How could so many people feel they were the “only ones” who believed in privacy and modesty? It was troubling that they were afraid to speak up. When and why, I wondered, did modesty become such a taboo?
At Yale in 1997, a few years after my own coed bathroom protest, five Orthodox Jewish students petitioned the administration for permission to live off-campus instead of in coed dorms. In denying them, a dean with the Dickensian name of Brodhead explained that “Yale has its own rules and requirements, which we insist on because they embody our values and beliefs.” Yale has no core curriculum, of course, but these coed bathrooms, according to Dean Brodhead, embody its beliefs. I would submit that as a result of this kind of “liberationist” ideology, we today have less, not more freedom, than in the pre-1960s era when modesty was upheld as a virtue. In this regard it’s important to recall that when colleges had separate dorms for men and women, and all the visitation rules that went with them, it was also possible for kids to circumvent those rules. It was possible, for instance—now, I’m not advocating this—for students to sneak into each others’ dorms and act immodestly. But in the new culture of “liberation,” a student can’t sneak into the dorms and be modest, or, more accurately, she can’t sneak out. There is no “right of exit” in today’s immodest society. If you don’t participate, you’re a weirdo. Hence students are not really free to develop their best selves, to act in accordance with their hopes.
Modesty’s Loss, Social Pathology’s Gain
Many of the problems we hear about today? sexual harassment, date rape, young women who suffer from eating disorders and report feeling a lack of control over their bodies—are all connected, I believe, to our culture’s attack on modesty. Listen, first, to the words we use to describe intimacy: what once was called “making love,” and then “having sex,” is now “hooking up”—like airplanes refueling in flight. In this context I was interested to learn, while researching for my book, that the early feminists actually praised modesty as ennobling to society. Here I’m not just talking about the temperance-movement feminists, who said, “Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine.” I’m talking about more recent feminists like Simone de Beauvoir, who warned in her book, The Second Sex, that if society trivializes modesty, violence against women would result. And she was right. Since the 1960s, when our cultural arbiters deemed this age-old virtue a “hang-up,” men have grown to expect women to be casual about sex, and women for their part don’t feel they have the right to say “no.” This has brought us all more misery than joy. On MTV I have seen a 27-year-old woman say she was “sort of glad” that she had herpes, because now she has “an excuse to say ‘no’ to sex.” For her, disease had replaced modesty as the justification for exercising free choice.
In 1948 there was a song called “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser, in which a boyfriend wants his girlfriend to sleep over. His argument is simple but compelling: Baby it’s cold outside, and if she doesn’t sleep over, she could catch pneumonia and die, and that would cause him “lifelong sorrow.” In response, the girl offers several counter-arguments: “My father will be waiting at the door, there’s bound to be talk tomorrow,” etc. It’s a very cute song. And while post-modern intellectuals at progressive institutions like Yale would no doubt say this song proves how oppressed women were in 1948, I would argue that today’s culture—in which fathers can’t be counted on to be waiting at the door—is far creepier.
The counterpoint to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a story I read in a women’s magazine, written by an ex-boyfriend of an 18-year-old girl whose father had decided that she was too old to be a virgin. After commiserating with the boyfriend, this father drove the pair to a hotel (he didn’t trust the boyfriend with his car), where the girl became hysterical and the scheme fell apart. This article was called “My Ex-Girlfriend’s Father: What a Man!” And although the story isn’t typical, it is quite common these days for parents to rent hotel rooms for their kids on prom nights, which is essentially the same principle. So the father in “Baby It’s Cold Outside” waiting at the door, and the older culture that supported modesty, actually made women stronger. It gave them the right to say ‘no’ until they met someone they wanted to marry. Today’s culture of “liberation” gives women no ground on which to stand. And an immodest culture weakens men, too ? we are all at the mercy of other people’s judgment of us as sexual objects (witness the revolution in plastic surgery for men), which is not only tiring but also dishonest because we can’t be ourselves.
When I talk to college students, invariably one will say, “Well, if you want to be modest, be modest. If you want to be promiscuous, be promiscuous. We all have a choice, and that’s the wonderful thing about this society.” But the culture, I tell them, can’t be neutral. Nor is it subtle in its influence on behavior. In fact, culture works more like a Sherman tank. In the end, if it’s not going to value modesty, it will value promiscuity and adultery, and all our lives and marriages will suffer as a result.
Four Myths Exposed
A First step toward reviving respect for modesty in our culture is to strike at the myths that undermine it. Let me touch on four of these.
The first myth is that modesty is Victorian. But what about the story of Rebecca and Isaac? When Rebecca sees Isaac and covers herself, it is not because she is trying to be Victorian. Her modesty was the key to what would bring them together and develop a profound intimacy. When we cover up what is external or superficial—what we all share in common—we send a message that what is most important are our singular hearts and minds. This separates us from the animals, and always did, long before the Victorian era.
The second myth about modesty is that it’s synonymous with prudery. This was the point of the dreadful movie Pleasantville, the premise of which was that nobody in the 1950s had fun or experienced love. It begins in black and white and turns to color only when the kids enlighten their parents about sex. This of course makes no sense on its face: if the parents didn’t know how to do it, then how did all these kids get there in the first place? But it reflects a common conceit of baby boomers that passion, love and happiness were non-existent until modesty was overcome in the 1960s. In truth, modesty is nearly the opposite of prudery. Paradoxically, prudish people have more in common with the promiscuous. The prudish and the promiscuous share a disposition against allowing themselves to be moved by others, or to fall in love. Modesty, on the other hand, invites and protects the evocation of real love. It is erotic, not neurotic.
To illustrate this point, I like to compare photographs taken at Coney Island almost a century ago with photographs from nude beaches in the 1970s. At Coney Island, the beach-goers are completely covered up, but the men and women are stealing glances at one another and seem to be having a great time. On the nude beaches, in contrast, men and women hardly look at each other—rather, they look at the sky. They appear completely bored. That’s what those who came after the ’60s discovered about this string of dreary hookups: without anything left to the imagination, sex becomes boring.
The third myth is that modesty isn’t natural. This myth has a long intellectual history, going back at least to David Hume, who argued that society invented modesty so that men could be sure that children were their own. As Rousseau pointed out, this argument that modesty is a social construct suggests that it is possible to get rid of modesty altogether. Today we try to do just that, and it is widely assumed that we are succeeding. But are we?
In arguing that Hume was wrong and that modesty is rooted in nature, a recently discovered hormone called oxytocin comes to mind. This hormone creates a bonding response when a mother is nursing her child, but is also released during intimacy. Here is physical evidence that women become emotionally bonded to their sexual partners even if they only intend a more casual encounter. Modesty protected this natural emotional vulnerability; it made women strong. But we don’t really need to resort to physiology to see the naturalness of modesty. We can observe it on any windy day when women wearing slit skirts hobble about comically to avoid showing their legs—the very legs those fashionable skirts are designed to reveal. Despite trying to keep up with the fashions, these women have a natural instinct for modesty.
The fourth and final myth I want to touch on is that modesty is solely a concern for women. We are where we are today only in part because the feminine ideal has changed. The masculine ideal has followed suit. It was once looked on as manly to be faithful to one woman for life, and to be protective toward all women. Sadly, this is no longer the case, even among many men to whom modest women might otherwise look as kindred spirits. Modern feminists are wrong to expect men to be gentlemen when they themselves are not ladies, but men who value “scoring” and then lament that there are no modest women around anymore—well, they are just as bad. And of course, a woman can be modestly dressed and still be harassed on the street. So the reality is that a lot depends on male respect for modesty. It is characteristic of modern society that everyone wants the other guy to be nice to him without having to change his own behavior, whether it’s the feminists blaming the men, the men blaming the feminists, or young people blaming their role models. But that is an infantile posture.
Restoring a Modest Society
Jews read a portion of the Torah each week, and in this week’s portion there is a story that shows us beautifully, I think, how what we value in women and men are inextricably linked. Abraham is visited by three men, really three angels, and he is providing them with his usual hospitality, when they ask him suddenly, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he replies, famously, “Behold! In the tent!” Commentators ask, why in the world are the angels asking where Sarah is? They know she is in the tent. They are, after all, angels. And one answer is, to remind Abraham of where she is, in order to increase his love for her. This is very interesting, because in Judaism the most important work takes place, so to speak, “in the tent”—keeping kosher, keeping the Sabbath, keeping the laws of marital purity. Torah is only passed on to the next generation because of what the woman is doing in the home. Yet it is not enough for there to be a Sarah who is in the tent; it is also necessary that there be an Abraham who appreciates her. So I think the lesson is clear if we want to reconstruct a more modest, humane society, we have to start with ourselves.
I don’t think it’s an accident that the most meaningful explication of modesty comes from the Bible. I was fascinated in my research to discover how many secular women are returning to modesty because they found, simply as a practical matter, that immodesty wasn’t working for them. In short, they weren’t successful finding the right men. For me this prompts an essentially religious question: Why were we created in this way? Why can’t we become happy by imitating the animals? In the sixth chapter of Isaiah we read that the fiery angels surrounding the throne of God have six wings. One set is for covering the face, another for covering the legs, and only the third is for flying. Four of the six wings, then, are for modesty’s sake. This beautiful image suggests that the more precious something is, the more it must conceal and protect itself. The message of our dominant culture today, I’m afraid, is that we’re not precious, that we weren’t created in the divine image. I’m saying to the contrary that we were, and that as such we deserve modesty.
Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College (http://www.hillsdale.edu/)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Laughing Lioness did a beautiful job!! :)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I like this picture because it gives a hint of what the blouse is like. It's actually very feminine/ girly. Ruffles follow along the neckline, and buttons grace the front, and a bow ties in the back :) I thought the scarf added a touch of fun to the whole out-fit.
I just love scarves!
Friday, June 5, 2009
and chees salad - a truly satisfying lunch!
Looking around the store, this was how ever single one of the the guys even around my age who shared the ame attire and the persona that the two guy, no longer in the check-out, wore.
"Where are the good-looking young men?" Mom was also noticing these same traits that I saw, woven so deeply into our culture.
My attire for the day. Because we were gone most of the day,
I couldn't get any pictures outside :(
A close up - it's not a very good one :)
"I saw the Lord, seated on his throne, high and exhalted. And the train of his robe filled the temple. There were angles, with six mighty wings; with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they fly.
And they sang "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, and the whole earth is filled with his glory...."
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
As these words filled the cosmos, earths womb burst forth mighty beasts and docile four-legged creature. Soft winds flew across the broken, animal covered terrain.
I Am spoke gently to his wild creatures, “Go all you beasts of the field and untamed things, scatter upon this earth and multiply upon it. I will protect you as you birth your young. Have no fear, for I even clothe the Lily-of-the-Valley. Not one sparrow shall ever fall and go unnoticed by me, for they are the Apple of My Eye, precious and genuine.”
When Adam had named all the creatures of the earth, each with its own kind, each with its mate, he looked up to his father and Creator with longing.
“My heart is lonely!” Cried the single living human. “Have you created me to walk all lonesome, without a kind of my own? With none to multiply the earth with? As all your other beautiful creatures do?”
Psalm 139:13 NIV