Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Devotional #21

Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

~2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

We are commanded over and over in Scripture to preach the Word, to witness, to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us, etc. But so often, we don't always obey this command. And, just like with the rest of God's commands, if we don't obey this one, we're in sin.

We cannot, however, hope to preach the Word if we don't know it. We have to hide God's Word in our hearts, we have to meditate on it day and night, we have to memorize it, and we have to study it over and over and over. You must be in God's Word daily if you ever hope to be able to obey God's command found in 2 Timothy 4:2. We need to be studying His Word day and night if we ever hope to truly hide it in our hearts.

As Christians, we are commanded to witness to those who are lost. But we also need to speak with those who are Christians and who aren't obeying some area of God's Word. But we have to remember this: We must speak the truth in love! We mustn't be judgemental, harsh or rude. But rather we need to act as Christ would, and speak the truth in love. There will also be times when we find ourselves in debates with those who don't have the same beliefs and convictions that we do. In fact, I've experienced this myself very recently. When in this sort of debate, we need to be bold in our speech, just as we should be when witnessing. We must be thorougly grounded in God's Word if we hope to adequately represent Christ and what His Word says. And to be grounded in His Word, once agian we must know it! We must know what it says and teaches and then we must be able to stand up for it, and to "convince, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching." If we can't do this, then we will always be in the sin of not obeying this all-important command.

Another important part of this verse to remember is that it says we must be ready in season and out of season. This means we have to know the Word so well that we're ready to throw it as the sower did, whenever the opportunity arises. We can't just be waiting around for when we want to witness, and then cram all the Scripture we can into our minds at the last minute. This is being disobedient! We never know when the Lord will put us in the company of some lost person, some person who is being disobedient to the Word, or when He will put us in some debate with someone. Therefore, we must always be continuously studying God's Word, in order that we be ready in season and out of season.

God bless you all as you seek to throw His Word this week to those around you! And, if you've found yourself in a debate this week, or if you've had the opportunity to witness to someone, I would love to hear all about it! Send me an e-mail or tell me all about it in a comment!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tips for meditating on the Word

I recently received the following question, and instead of just responding to Kathleen only, I wanted to make this into a whole post, so that it may be a help to the rest of you as well!

"Do you have any tips for meditating on the Word"? ~Kathleen

Great question, Kathleen! I've compiled a list of tips and ideas in hopes that they will be of help to you.

Begin your day with a quiet time
This is so important! I can't stress this enough. We all have really busy days, and so it is so important that we set aside this time each morning to spend with our Lord and Savior. As soon as you awake each morning, before doing anything else, spend time in God's Word and in prayer. This will be such a special time, and will ensure that the first thing you think about and dwell on each day will be God's Word. Pick out a verse or passage from this reading that really stood out to you and meditate on it throughout the day.

End your day with a quiet time
Right before you turn the lights out each night, spend some more time in the Word. This way, the very last thing you think about each night will be God's Word. Not only does this help you to meditate on the Word while you're going to sleep, but this will help you to have a more peaceful night sleep, which will be wonderful for your health.

Decorate with Bible verses
I have a bulletin board in my room, on which I have pieces of paper with Bible passages written on them. This helps me to meditate and dwell on these verses throughout the day, because everytime I'm in my room, I see them and am able to read them once again. Also, there are two families from our church who do a similar type of thing. They take 3x5 inch notecards, write Bible passages on them, and then tape these cards to various areas around their home-on kitchen cabinet doors, living room walls, bathroom walls, etc. This is a practical way of obeying Deut. 6:8-9,"You shall bind them[God's words] 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." I had never thought about doing this before, but it's a great idea! This enables you to constantly have God's word before your eyes, and help you to constantly be thinking about or meditating on a Scripture passage. Another great way to decorate with Scripture is to use a cross-stitch pattern and cross-stitch a Bible verse(s), frame it, and place it on a wall. This is a great way to beautify your home, and to fill every nook and cranny of your home with Scripture! :)

Memorize Scripture
This is so very important! If you memorize Scripture, you will find that you will have a comforting verse to meditate on no matter what hardship you may currently be going through. You will also be "always ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15)-we are commanded to witness and we can only do this if we truly know the Scriptures. Memorized verses will also help you to ward off temptation-when our Lord was tempted by the devil(Matthew 4:1-11), He warded off and resisted the temptations by reciting Scriptures. And as we are to imitate Christ in all things, we must do this as well! My recommendation is that you memorize one passage a week, and then compile all of the verses you've memorized in to a notebook, so that you can continuously be reviewing them.

Carry around Bible verses
To be honest, I just got this idea when I was compiling this list, so therefore I've never actually done this myself. Choose a Bible verse or passage, write it on a piece of paper, and put it in your purse. While you are out shopping, etc., at times pull it out and read it, and this will help you to meditate on blessed Scriptures throughout the day. Another thing you could do, is get a really small Bible (usually the size I'm talking about just comes with the New Testement, Psalms and Proverbs), carry it around in your purse, and when you're waiting in the doctor's office, etc., then just pull it out and begin reading. You can also use this Bible to witness to others when you're shopping, eating out, etc.

Compile Bible Notebooks
I have 3 small, 80-page notebooks, each of which contain numerous verses from Scripture. One of them contains verses on womanhood and is divided into different subjects such as homemaking, courtship, submission, being a helpmeet, etc. The second one is on theological topics, and is divided into subjects such as the trinity, creation, the resurrection, baptism, etc. Finally the 3rd one is divided into subjects such as boldness, strength, trusting in God, obeying God, etc. This is such a help to me, and I'm sure it would be to you as well. Every time I am in need of a comforting verse on trusing in God, for instance, I just open up the appropriate notebook, and there waiting for me, is a treasure trove of blessed comfort - numerous verses on which to meditate on. This idea will also help you to obey the command found in 1 Peter 3:5, which we talked about above. By having the womanhood and theology notebooks, you will be able to stand up for your faith and your Biblical convictions by backing them up with a verse from Scripture.

Kathleen, I really hope these tips have been helpful to you!

Ladies, do you have any other tips you would like to share with Kathleen? If so, please leave them in a comment.

Rebekah I wanted to include some pics of my womanhood notebook, so that you would know what size notebook I use, as well as how I divide them up(using the index tabs), etc.

Only one more day to vote on the poll!

Daily Bible Verse

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you," says the Lord, "Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and fine Me, when you search for Me will all your heart."

~Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Devotional #20

Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

~Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)

There is nothing more disgusting in the eyes of the Lord than a haughty spirit, pridefulness, and boasting. And as it is in His eyes, so should it be in ours, as Christians. We should look on the above mentioned things and be horrified by them, and disgusted with them, just as He is. But, sadly, this is often not the case these days. So often we hear people boasting about how good they are, what wonderful things they did, how smart they are, etc. etc. etc. This ought not be, dear sisters!

As Christians, we are to put off absolutely everything from our old lives-the lives we led before we met the Lord. We are a new creature, saved by the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, people should be able to look at us and immediately know that we have Christ. But is this the case? Can people look at you, see the way you conduct yourself, hear the things you say, and by these, know without a shadow of doubt that you have been bought by Christ? If not, then I suggest we all undergo some self-examination and then we need to repent of our sinfulness!

If you are in the habit of boasting about yourself, go to the Lord, repent with your whole heart, and ask for His forgiveness. Ask for the strength to resist the temptation to boast in the future. Turn from your prideful way of life, and forsake the habit of boasting. To those you have boasted to, ask their forgiveness as well!

If you have been in the habit of boasting, it may take a lot of work and diligence to throw off this sinful habit, but it is something you must do! A Christian must not boast about themselves! For one thing, they have absolutely nothing to boast about! They are nothing but vile, wicked, wretched sinners, saved only by the miraculous grace of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If a Christian boasts, they ought to boast about how wonderful their Lord is, as Paul did! We read in Proverbs 31:31 that the Proverbs 31 woman's own works praise her in the gates. Her good works earned her praise-she did not boast about or praise herself! We must remember that! And in the verse for today's devotional, others are to boast about this person-that person ought not be boasting about themselves.

One thing I do want to point out though, is that our actions, words, and conduct must be praiseworthy. This is so important. As Christians, our thoughts, words and deeds are at all times to be worthy of praise, for they at all times are to resemble the Lord and His actions while He was on the earth. But our actions our not to be done in order that we receive praise!! Our good deeds should be preformed for the sole reason that we desire to please and glorify our Lord.

May the Lord grant to you strength, as you work towards becoming a lady of humility, rather than pridefulness!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So very true!!

"I believe that womanhood has been definitely lowered by equality with men. For nineteen centuries woman was revered and respected and on a higher plane than man."

~Peter Marshall

Saturday, October 27, 2007

There's truly no place like home!

A godly, loving home is such a blessing! I have been blessed with this gift, that so many don't have, and all others take for granted.

by Anna Vallance

Home is where the heart is,
Be it rich or lowly place.
It's where we find a lighted lamp
And a cheerful loving face.

Home is a place where the heartstrings
Feel a tug that draws you back;
Where a wealth of precious memories
Recompense for worldly lack.

Home is where a mother's love
Surrounds with tender care;
Where tousled little childish heads
Bow down in sleepy prayer.

Home is where a father's strength
Surrounds, protects his own ...
God grant we keep within our hearts
This citadel of home.


The following is my favorite meal (and I was blessed enough to have it last night for dinner! :]) I wanted to share the recipes with all of you, because you're sure to enjoy it just as much as we do!! Chicken and Almond Soup

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 TBSP melted butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1/4 TSP pepper
  • 1/2 TSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 TSP chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds
Saute onion in the butter then add the flour and pepper. Add milk, bouillon and worcestershire sauce and cook on medium until thickened, stirring constantly. Add chicken and almonds, heat thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!! Makes 4 servings

Yeast Rolls
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 TSP salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP Lecithin
  • 1 TSP gluten
  • 4-4 1/2 cups of milled hard red wheat flour (we actually just use regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds ground
  • 1 TBSP yeast

Combine oil, honey, salt, egg, lecithin, gluten, ground flax seeds and hot water in a mixing bowl(use the dough hook attachment for mixing). Mix well, then add the yeast and allow the yeast to proof a couple of minutes. Then add the flower a cup at a time until you've added enough to make a soft dough. Then knead for 5-6 minutes. Put dough into a large bowl (cover if desired) and let rise until double. After the dough has risen, punch down. Knead for another minute then shape into rolls. Rise again until double. Then bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Serve and enjoy!! *Note: This recipe can also make wonderful loaves of bread, but make sure that you keep them in the oven a little longer.

This meal (especially the rolls) is actually very healthy for you, and is SO good!! I highly encourage you all to try these recipes out, and when you do, be sure to let me know how much you enjoyed them!! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vision Forum Giveaway!!!

The Life in a Shoe blog is sponsoring a Vision Forum giveaway!! The 5 winners will be announced tonight!! Here is our wishlist:
  • The Return of the Daughters
  • Balancing the Sword
  • Poems for Patriarchs
  • Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
  • Before You Meet Prince Charming (I don't have my copy anymore.)
  • Providential Battles II

Devotional #19

I want to do something a little different for today's devotional. :) I want to dedicate this to all you dear ladies.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.

~Philippians 1:3 (NKJV)

I want to say thank you to all of my dear friends from church and to all of the sweet friends I've met through "blog land". Each and every one of you has been a never-ending source of encouragement. If I'm having a hard day, you're always there to step in with a word of comfort and encouragement. I know that you'll always be there for me, no matter what, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

The Lord has truly blessed me in so many many ways through these frienships. To have likeminded friends is such a rich blessing that is so often taken for granted. Each of you encourages me in my walk with the Lord, and urges me to live more and more to the glory of Christ, and Him alone. You are always there to strengthen me when I need it, and to comfort me when I need comfort. Our friendships will last a lifetime! I wanted to let you all know just how thankful I am for you, and just how much our friendship means to me! To all of my church friends: Thank God for you! I have never in my life had friends like you guys! You are continuously living out your faith, and you are all examples for me to follow. The times we have together are SO much fun!! :) And your sweet letters will be treasured forever and ever! You are all so dear to me, and I'm so thankful that the Lord has brought us together, and made us all into a great circle of friends. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all again on Sunday! To all of my blogger friends: Thank God for you as well! "Meeting" all of you likeminded ladies has been such an encouragement to me! Receiving your sweet comments and e-mails has meant the world to me, and they really brighten my day, and leave me with a smile! I really hope to meet you all in person one day!!

Friends, always know that I'm here for you no matter what! I'm just a phone call or e-mail away. If you need some words of encouragement and strength, or if you need prayer, or if you just need someone to talk to, I'm always here! Don't ever forget that!

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

~Numbers 6:24-26
Blessings to you always,

Show and Tell Friday!

I'm so sorry, but I completely forgot all about Show and Tell for about 3 weeks! :( I'm finally going to be a part of Show and Tell again. :)

This is a book by William Sprague, who was a Presbyterian minister in the 1800s. This book is entitled Lectures to Young People. I also have another book by him, which is entitled Letters on Practical Subjects to a Daughter. The book pictured here was published in 1835! It's almost 200 years old, but is still in pretty good condition. I often wonder about the history of this book-afterall, it was published way before Abraham Lincoln was even president!! I'm so glad I was lucky enough to find this book-it's so neat to own such a very old book!

I hope you enjoyed my Show and Tell, and I want to thank you for stopping by! For more great stories, head on over to Kelli's blog!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O you servants of the Lord! You who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.

~Psalm 135:1-3 (NKJV)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Devotional poll

You have just one more week to vote on the devotional poll that's to the right of your screen! Don't forget to place your vote, and do so before the time runs out! :)

Devotional #18

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

~1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

We have SO much to be thankful for! The biggest thing we have to be thankful for is our salvation! We were nothing by vile, wicked, wretched sinners, yet the Lord of glory, who was pure, holy, sinless, perfect, and who could not stand sin, chose to die the most horrific death for us. We could never have done anything on our own to come into the presence of God or to enter heaven when we die. For, all of our righteousness was as filthy rags. Yet, the Scriptures tell us that "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." What glorious grace and love! We do not deserve such mercy, yet Jesus willingly gave up His life in the most torturous way, so that we might have life!

There are so many other blessings to be thankful for as well. Our homes, clothes, families, food, churches, church families, likeminded friends, health, comfort, safety and the list goes on and on and on. God has been so good to us, even though we do not deserve a single one of His blessings! I often stand in awe of just how good the Lord is!

In fact, there is always something to be thankful for. We may be having the worst day of our lives, when everything is going wrong. But we still have our health, our families, our homes, etc. And even if we lost our whole family, home and all of our possessions in a fire, yes, that would be a most horrible tradgedy, but we still have so much to be thankful for! God is just so good to us! Oftentimes, I think He is too good to us! He's just abounding in mercy and grace towards His children, even though His children may have used to been the vilest of sinners.

This verse commands us to give thanks in everything, for this is God's will. First of all, I want to point out that, as Christians, we are to live according to God's will at all times. Our mission and passion in life ought to be to live according to His precepts and commands. We are to live according to His will, and are to obey Him in all things. His will is that we give Him thanks in all things, because when we do so, we are constantly remembering just how good He is, and just how worthy He is to be praised! His goodness is to be constantly before our eyes, and we are to be praising Him and living in such a way as to glorify Him at all times. And this includes always looking for things to be thankful for. Even during those hard and trying times, there is always something to thank God for! So, always, in all situations, be on the lookout for yet another thing to thank Him and praise Him for. No matter how bad your situation may be, we are commanded to always be thanking our Lord and Savior for His goodness!

As you go throughout your day, look for the little blessings in life. Begin a list of all the things/people that you're thankful for. At the end of each day, thank the Lord for each of the blessings that is on that list. Each day praise Him for His goodness to you. And, tell others of His goodness! Witness to others about how great your God is. Even during the tough times, never forget about all the many many blessings that the Lord has so graciously bestowed upon you! And remember to, in everything, give thanks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to the Lord with a voice of triumph! for the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.

~Psalm 47:1-2 (NKJV)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Devotional #17 (part 13 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Good morning, ladies! I hope all of you enjoyed a restful weekend and blessed Lord's Day! We have now come to the very last devotional in our devotional study of 1 Timothy 4:12("Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity")! I can't believe this is the end of it already! If you have not been able to read the previous devotionals in this series, please do so now, by clicking here.

We have been on the purity aspect of this verse for a while now. I want to end this series by writing a devotional for all of you ladies who may have already compromised in some aspect of your purity. I want you to know that none of us is perfect! All of us make mistakes and all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of Almighty God! But, there is forgiveness to be found, dear sister in Christ! Even if you have not upheld the standard of purity that we ought to live by according to Ephesians 5, there is a second chance for you! It is never too late to go to the Lord in repentance! 1 John 1:9 is a beautiful verse which says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Despite what you may have done, dear sister, or how much guilt and despair you feel, there is forgiveness for you! Just go to the Lord and ask Him wholeheartedly for His blessed forgiveness. He will grant it to you and will make you whole and pure again.

1 Corinthians 6:11 says, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." If you have been forgiven and sanctified, this means you have been set apart from the world(this is the actual meaning of the word sanctified). You may have led an impure lifestyle before, but you have now been sanctified and cleansed and are not to enter in again to that old lifestyle. Your sins of impurity have been forgiven, and you are to now live by the standard of purity found in Ephesians 5(please refer to the previous devotionals on purity). Follow the tips in this devotional, and ask the Lord for the strength to resist temptation in the future. 1 Corinthians 10:13 offers us much comfort, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." The Lord promises to offer the much needed strength to flee from and resist temptation!

As you can see, dear sister, there is forgiveness and a second chance to be found despite what impurity you may have committed. Take hold of Christ, and He will give you the strength to resist future temptation. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness, and now begin living by the glorious standard of purity which the Lord God has given us in Ephesians 5.

Well, we have now reached the end of the 1 Timothy 4:12 devotional study! I pray that it has been an encouragement to you and has given you strength to live out your life for the glory of God, so that you may be an example to the believers. Always ask the Lord for His strength so that you might be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity. Take your job and responsibility as role model so very very seriously! Ask the Lord for help in this important area! God bless you all, dear sisters in Christ, as you strive to be the examples God has called you to be!

Please return on Wednesday for our next devotional. It'll be strange to not be writing about 1 Timothy 4:12 anymore! I'll have to come up with another verse to have a devotional on! Pray that the Lord will reveal to me exactly what He wants me to cover in the next devotional. And, dear ladies, don't forget to vote on the poll to the right of your screen! There's only about a week left to vote, so be sure to place your vote before the time runs out! :)


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.

~Psalm 40:8 (NKJV)

Friday, October 19, 2007

The beauty of chivalry

Chivalry is a beautiful long last art. It desperately needs to be brought back! Thanks to fierce feminists, chivalry has been scared out of the majority of men in our world today, due to the fact that these women yell at and put down any man who "dares to attempt to open the door for them." What is wrong with these women?! Everytime a man opens a door for me, happiness and joy rises up in my soul. It is such a blessing! It shows that that man values you and knows that it is his Biblical duty to protect women, to open doors for them, to pull out chairs for them, etc. Praise God for such bold and brave men, both young and old! My father and I attended the 2007 Vision Forum Father Daughter Retreat back at the end of March/beginning of April. While there, I was walking from one building to another. Scott Brown's son David saw me coming while I was still a good 30 to 50 feet away. He could have just gone on about his business, since I was still far away from the door. But instead, he stopped what he was doing, waiting until I got to the door, and opened it for me. I was shocked! He didn't even know who I was, yet because I was a female, he knew that it was his duty to open the door for me, and he did so cheerfully. That was such a blessing to me! May the Lord richly bless such young men as him who know what their duty is and preform it happily and with joy!

The following is an excerpt from the 1911 Boy Scout Handbook. If only more young men would read this wonderful, godly book and live it out!

The same thing that entered into the training of these men, knights, pioneers...must enter into the training of the boy scouts of today. Just as they respected women and served them, so the tenderfoot and the scout must be polite and kind to women, not merely to well-dressed women, but to poorly dressed women, not merely to young women, but to old women: to women wherever they may be found-wherever they may be. To these a scout must always be courteous and helpful. When a scout is walking with a lady or a child, he should always walk on the outside of the sidewalk, so that he can better protect them against the jostling crowds. This rule is only altered when crossing the street, when the scout should get between a lady and the traffic, so as to shield her from accident or mud. Also in meeting a woman or child, a scout, as matter of course, should always make way for them even if he himself has to step off the sidewalk into the mud. When riding in a street car or train a scout should never allow a woman, an elderly person, or a child to stand, but will offer his seat; and when he does it he should do it cheerfully and with a smile.

Oh, Lord, please rise up more men who will take this duty seriously, and who will grow up to be chilvarous men of valor-this country is in desperate need of them!

Quotes against feminism

Persuading thousands of young mothers to go out to work and to abandon the care of their children to others is one of the most disastrous things at the present time. What is it going to profit the nation, if we gain the dollars-or even the whole world-but lose the souls of our children? Now that the state is lifting so much responsibility from parents, the bond of love between parents and their children is in danger of being loosened. It is when the mothers of the nations begin to fail in their duty to their children that religion disappears, moral standards fail, and the nation begins to go down.

~Enid Blyton, discussing women in the military during WWI


Feminists who ceaselessly inveigh against their own oppression by men (often hardly specifying its exact nature) would ignore how they themselves have oppressed...feminine women. It oppresses a woman who could delight in domesticity to tell her that her domesticity makes her a parasitic inferior to men. It oppresses a woman who yearns to stay home with her children to tell her she is worthy only insofar as she achieves in the workplace.

~F. Carolyn Graglia, A Brief Against Feminism


Do the women's liberationists want to be liberated from being women? No, they would say, they want to be liberated from society's stereotypes of what women are supposed to be....Some very interesting facts have been uncovered by scientists which feminists will have to treat very gingerly for they show that it is not merely society which determines how the sexes will behave...The idea of matriarchy is mythical, I've learned, for not one that can be documented has ever existed. Doesn't it seem strange that male dominance has been universal if it's purely social conditioning? One would expect to see at least a few examples of societies where women rather than men held the positions of hightest status....Isn't it really much easier to believe that the feelings of men and women throughout history bear a direct relationship to some innate prerequisite?....It was God who made us different, and He did it no purpose. Recent scientific research is illuminating, and as has happened before, corroborates anctient truth which mankind has always recognized. God created male and female, the male to call forth, to lead, initiate and rule, and the female to respond, follow, adapt, submit.

~Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

Little blessings

So often, we rush through our busy days not even stopping to notice the numerous little blessings that the Lord so richly bestows upon us each day. Today, Mama and I were able to open all the windows in the house, and a glorius, cool breeze wafted throughout the house today. It brought such comfort as we went through our tasks of homeschooling, housecleaning, etc. It felt so good to feel the cool breeze coming in through the windows today. There is truly nothing like it! Thank you, Lord for the wonderful gift and rich blessing of wonderful autumn weather that we could enjoy today! You are so good to us!

Take the time to daily count the many little, inconspicuous blessings that the Lord richly bestows upon you each day! You may be surprised to discover just how numerous they really are!

Devotional #16 (part 12 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Hi, ladies! We are finishing up our devotional series on 1 Timothy 4:12, which says "Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." If you have not been able to read the previous devotionals, then please do so here before continuing on with this one.

In the previous devotionals, we have seen just how crucial it is that we preserve our purity- physical purity, mental purity, emotional purity, etc. And I would like to submit to you another "tip" for completely preserving your purity: don't date! Now, I know this may be a controversial subject for some people. But it is something that we must think about in terms of preserving our purity.

Is dating wrong? Personally, yes, I believe wholeheartedly that it is. Why? Because even if you are 100% physically pure during your dating relationships (which is pretty unlikely), the fact is, you cannot, no matter what anyone says, preserve all of your emotional purity as you ought if you are dating. Bit by bit, you are giving away parts of your heart to each person you date, and this is a sin! Your heart is to be given in its entirety to your husband on your wedding day, and you simply cannot do this if you are involved in dating relationships. Proverbs 31:12 says, "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." I used to read this passage and think that it was just saying that the Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good during her married life-in other words, does not commit adultery, etc. But this is not what it's saying at all! This verse clearly says that she does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life! This means she does him good before she is married to him, and she also does him good during their married life together. Now, let me ask you this question: does going from dating relationship to dating relationship do your future husband any good? No! Not only does it not do him any good, but when you date you are doing evil to your future husband-you are sinning against him! All of your purity belongs to your future husband, but when you date, you are depriving your future husband of receiving the blessed gift of your whole and complete purity. And this is a sin. Period. But not only are you sinning against your future husband, but you are also sinning against the future wife of whoever you date. Because during your relationship, you are depriving that person's future wife of receiving the blessed gift of all of his purity. So, don't let anyone ever tell you that dating is not sinning against anyone, or that whatever you do during your dating relationship only affects the 2 involved, etc., because those are nothing but lies!

Some people say that dating prepares a person for marriage. That's a lie as well! In our country, we have the hightest divorce rate that we've ever had-nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. And I believe this is due in large part to dating relationships. Why? Because while you're dating, as soon as you have a small little argument or you hit a little rough spot, you break up. And this is to prepare you for marriage? All this does is prepare you for the sort of marriage where neither spouse works at the marriage at all, but rather as soon as there is an argument that arises, one of the spouses is usually out the door claiming irreconcilable differences. All that dating does is cause people to look at marriage in the same way they do dating-that as soon as they hit a bump in the road they can break up and everything will be ok. But the Lord hates divorce, and so should we! Marriage reflects and symbolizes the marriage of Christ with His bride, the church, and this marriage cannot be broken. Therefore, earthly marriage is binding and is not to be broken, but rather worked at diligently when the hard times arise. Now, please don't misunderstand me and think that I am saying that no one who dates can enjoy a Biblical and productive marriage. The Lord can and does work miracles according to His grace. For instance, my mother dated young men before she met and married my father 18 years ago. And despite this fact, they have a wonderful marriage. But she still wishes that she had never dated other young men.

You may be thinking, "If you're against dating, then how in the world do you expect to meet and get to know your future husband?" I am wholeheatedly dedicated to courtship. Please check back soon, as I will be writing an article on courtship, describing what it is, how it differs from dating, why it is the Biblical way of getting to know a future spouse, how courtship works, how it preserves your purity, etc.

Please click here for a wonderful article on this subject. And this is a wonderful story that is a must read regarding the sin of dating!
Please return on Monday, ladies for a devotional for all of you who may have already compromised on some part of your purity. There is forgiveness and a second chance to be found, and I pray that the Lord uses this upcoming devotional to be a blessing and encouragement to you!

Have a wonderful weekend and blessed Lord's day!

Many blessings,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I am still here! :)

Hi, everyone! I just want to say how sorry I am that I haven't posted anything lately apart from the Bible verses and devotionals. I've been swamped with school, dance classes, etc. etc. lately, and have just not found the time to post all of the many things I want to/need to!! Please don't think that I'm forgeting about you-because I'm not! :)

I have lots of pictures to post soon, as well as many other posts on homemaking, Bible reading, feminism, etc. so please check back often! I will also be posting the very important announcement about a ministry idea that the Lord laid on my heart-so you definitely won't want to miss that post!

Thank you all so much for all the sweet comments you leave, for your support, for your sweet e-mails, etc. It's really an encouragement to me to keep this blog going when I read how the devotionals, etc. help you. Keep the comments/e-mails coming! They make my day! :)

Have a wonderful day, dear ladies!

Daily Bible Verse

He has put a new song in my mouth-praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psalm 40:3-4 (NKJV)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Devotional #15 (part 11 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Well, it's that time of the week again! :) Time to continue on with our 1 Timothy 4:12 devotional study. 1 Timothy 4:12 says "Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." We are currently on part 4 of the purity aspect of this verse. If you have been unable to read the previous devotionals in this series, please do so now by clicking here and then you can continue on with this one.


In the previous devotional, I provided for you practical tips on preserving your purity. There is one however, that I did not add, as it requires a whole devotional in and of itself. And that is: give your heart fully to your father. Sadly, this is rarely heard of today, except through such great companies such as Vision Forum, or through wonderful authors such as Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. In fact, very few young ladies even realize that this is a command found in Scripture! Malachi 4:6 says, "And He will turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." There is some powerful wording found in this passage! The Lord uses such language to drive home His point that it is so important that-in this case, a daughter-turn her heart to her father. Why is this commanded and why is this so important? Well, for one reason, when a daughter gives her heart fully to her father, she finds love and affection there and has no desire to go seeking love or affection from a young man, thus preserving her all-important purity. As Hannah Zes has said, "To give your heart to your father means that none, save Christ and your father, have any hold on your affections. I don't have to go looking for relationships with young men because my heart is content first in Christ and secondly in my father's love. I have found the greatest peace in knowing that my heart is safe in my father's keeping and that I can trust him completely with my future."

So, what does it mean to truly give your heart to your father?

  • Apart from Christ, bend all of your affections towards your father-not some young man.

When you begin giving your affections to some young man, you are bit by bit giving away pieces of your heart to him-and this should not be! Your heart should be given in its entirety to your future husband one day. And the only way to insure that this happens, is to give your heart to your father and bend all of your affections to : above all else, Christ, and secondly to your father. No young man is to be the owner of your affections-those belong solely to your Savior, your father, and to your future husband. Period. If you find yourself becoming attracted to some young man (and you're not marrying age), pray that you will resist this temptation. Go to your father, tell him what you are struggling with and ask him to pray for you also. Whenever you find yourself thinking about a certain boy, immediately start thinking about something else. And use the tips I mentioned in my previous devotional-these will help you as well. There are also some books that I would like to recommend to you:

Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally (available through and

Lady in Waiting (this book is based on the book of Ruth) by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall

Emotional Purity by Heather Arnel Paulsen

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

A good relationship with your father is so very important and crucial! If you have a loving, affectionate relationship with you father, this will save you from the desire or need to look for fulfillment, love, affection or affirmation from any young man. Begin now to develop a loving relationship with your father. If you have a father that is passive, doesn't seem to be very intrested in your life, or doesn't show his love for you very much, then pray for him. Show him love and you may be surprised what this love will do to your father-he may begin responding to you in a loving way in return. And for those of you who do not know your fathers, if you are a Christian, you have a Heavenly Father, and He loves you even more than any father or husband ever could. Place Him first in your heart forever and always.


Please return Friday for the next devotional!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quote from the late Ava Gardner, a popular actress

"I act for money, no other reason. Since I made my first picture in 1941, I haven't done a thing worthwhile. I have never enjoyed making films, and I don't like being a so-called film star. I haven't the emotional make-up for it, nor the love of exhibitionism. I am much too shy. I'd rather find one good man I could love and marry and cook for and make a home for, who would stick around for the rest of my life. I never found him. If I had, I would have traded my career in a minute."

~Ava Gardner, 1990

Queen Victoria on "Women's Rights"

"I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of "Women's Rights", with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to "unsex" themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection. I love peace and quiet, I hate politics and turmoil. We women are not made for governing, and if we are good women, we must dislike these masculine occupations.

~Queen Victoria, 1870

Daily Bible Verse

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Devotional #14 (part 10 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Good morning, ladies! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and blessed Lord's Day! We are continuing on with our devotional study of 1 Timothy 4:12, which says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." We are currently on part 3 of the purity aspect of this verse. If you have not had the opportunity to read the prior devotionals in this series, please do so before continuing on with this one, by clicking here.

From the previous devotionals on this subject, we have clearly seen just how very crucially important our purity and the preservation of it really is! But, how do we ensure that our whole purity is preserved? Here are some helpful tips for you to remember and put into practice:
  • Insure that every single book you read is holy and above reproach.

Emotional purity is probably the aspect of purity that we females battle with the most. Whatever you do, do not read filthy romance novels. They waste your time, do not glorify God, and get us females into dreaming about a future spouse, having fantasies, or just dwelling on romance way too much. These books do not help us to preserve our purity whatsoever, but rather they steal away our emotional purity, and bit by bit, that purity is torn away and lost. Our thoughts ought to always be glorifying to God, and ought to be to the good of our future husband (She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. ~ Prov. 31:12). But if we are reading these such novels, these are not doing our future husbands any good, but are rather depriving them of receiving the blessed and treasured gift of our complete and whole purity-of body, mind and heart. This is a sin, dear ladies, and should therefore be stopped immediately and repented of. If you are in the habit of reading these such books, throw them away immediately, ask the Lord for His forgiveness for reading such filthy books, and become accountable to your parents!

  • Insure that every movie and tv show that you watch is holy and blameless.

Sadly, so many movies and tv shows today are just plain filthy, full of tons of immoral and impure scenes. Without even meaning to, if you watch these kinds of movies and tv shows, you may be dwelling on or thinking about what the movie contained, and this is immoral and is robbing you of your emotional and mental purity. If you are in the habit of watching tv shows and movies which contain such ungodly content, stop watching these immediately! If you own them, throw them away. If you watch them on tv, block the channel if need be. But either way, stop watching these and become accountable to your parents. Ask the Lord for His forgiveness for allowing such filthy things to enter your eyes and mind, and ask Him for the strength to resist them in the future.

  • Insure that all the music you listen to is honoring and glorifying to Christ.

There is SO much music out there today that is simply filthy, ungodly, and vile! If you own any music at all that has impure lyrics that cause you to think about things you shouldn't, immediately throw these CDs or cassettes out and stop listening to this sort of music on the radio as well. Once again, go before the Lord and repent of your sin, ask Him for the strength to resist temptation in the future, and then be accountable at all times to your parents.

  • Insure that all websites that you access are pure.

Only go to websites you know to be Christ-honoring and glorifying and block all others. If you have been accessing websites, or any such thing on the computer that is impure or immoral, then immediately go to the Lord for forgiveness and become accountable to your parents in this area.

  • Insure that your companions and friends are God-fearing and God-honoring.

I wrote a devotional on this subject not long ago. I can't even begin to stress to you how important this is!! Choose friends who are in love with Christ, and who seek to glorify Him in everything that they do, think and say. Only spend time with those who are good, godly role-models. Do not keep company with anyone who would lead you or influence you to be immoral, impure or to disobey God's clear commands. If you have friends that are bad influences on you, cut off these friendships immediately. We are to always be friendly to such people but we are not to be friends with them, for despite what we may think, the truth is that they will influence us (1 Corinthians 15:33)-we will not be the ones influencing them. Pray diligently for these people, though, that the Lord may change their hearts. But do not keep company with such people, for they will likely rob you of some area of your purity.

  • Insure that all of your conduct is chaste and discreet.

Please refer to this devotional, where I speak on us being discreet and chaste, and I use the Webster's 1828 Dictionary devotional definitions, to help you better understand these words. In short, to be discreet means to not be rash, but rather prudent, wise, cautious and wary in conduct, and to "play caution and self-restraint" [Webster's Dictionary]. When you say the word modest, most people just think that that refers to clothing. But I beg to differ! It applies just as much to a person's conduct as it does to someone's clothing! We must have modesty in our conduct, if we hope to be an example to the believers in purity. This is so important! To be modest in conduct is to be discreet, quiet, not obnoxious, etc. To be chaste in conduct is to be pure, virtuous and holy in all of your actions. Sadly, so many girls and young women are into flirting nowadays. I can't tell you what this does to that young lady's beauty! It diminishes it so rapidly-it shows that this girl is immature and impure. I used to attend a youth group where flirting was prevelant. In a church! It was horrible. Flirting is a sin that must be illiminated immediately from our conduct, never to return again. Flirting is impure, unholy, immoral and very dishonoring to God and to our future husbands! If you have found yourself in this habit, repent of it, ask the Lord to forgive you and give you the strength to resist the temptation in the future and be accountable to your parents in this area as well!

  • Insure that you are in the Word daily!

Stay in God's Word daily!! The more you fill yourself with it, the more you will have the desire to stay completely pure, and the more strength you will have to resist temptations. Have a quiet time daily!! Meditate on God's Word day and night! Memorize verses, and study God's Word every single day! I can't begin to stress to you enough the importance of this! I will be doing a post on this soon, giving you helpful tips on how to meditate on God's Word, so be sure to come back for that! :)


I pray that these tips have been helpful to you! Put them into practice and daily ask the Lord for the strength to resist temptation and to live in a holy, pure manner. He will give you this strength and will help you! Rely on and trust in Him!

On Wednesday, I will have a devotional on one other very very important thing to do in order to guard your purity. This one requires a full length devotional in and of it self, so I did not add it to this list. :) Please return on Wednesday for this devotional! And, I would love to hear from you! I would love to get your feedback on how these devotionals have been an encouragement to you, and how the Lord has used them in your life! So, please e-mail me at: Looking forward to hearing from you!

Have a blessed day,


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

~Philippians 1:3 (NKJV)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Purchase "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald today!

For a limited time (now through October 30th) Reformed Family Books will be generously offering the long-awaited book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald for the reduced price of only $10.00! This is $6 off the retail price, so you won't want to miss this great opportunity! Please support this wonderful family owned and operated business by going to today to pre-order your copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God for this very low introductory price!

note* We personally know the Goodpasters, the sweet family who owns this bookstore. They are dear friends of ours from church and they and their bookstore have been such a huge blessing to us! Thank you so much for supporting them through your purchase of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God! It is really appreciated. May the Lord richly bless you through the reading of this great book!
In Him,

Devotional #13 (part 9 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Hello, ladies! We are continuing on with our 1 Timothy 4:12 devotional study. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." We have come to the part of the verse which speaks on us being an example to the believers in purity, and are on part 2 of this purity aspect of the study. If you have not had the opportunity to read the previous devotionals in this series, then please click here so you can do so. Then, you can continue on with this one.
*note: This will not be the last devotional on the purity aspect of this verse-there is just so much to cover, that there will be at least another devotional after this one, if not two more. :) So, you have a little while longer before this series is over and completed. :)

In the devotional on Wednesday we saw what our standard of purity is to be. We Biblically and successfully answered the all-too-popular question, "How far is too far?". The study of Ephesians 5 in the previous devotional showed us what the high standard of purity that God requires of us is. This is not something to be taken lightly! We are not to brush aside this passage and say, "Yes, that may be what it says, but it isn't really all that important or crucial that my standard of purity is that high. That's just being legalistic. I can set my own standard of purity, and everthing will be ok. I don't have to have such a strict standard of purity." My dear sisters, that is the saddest mistake that a girl will make! The girl who says such things is not only lying to herself, but is showing where her heart truly is. We cannot be true Christians and yet not follow Christ's precepts, commands and principles! They are for our good and His glory and are not to be discarded(and if they are, we will face severe punishment for that)! As Christians, our goal, desire, passion and mission in life ought to be to glorify God daily in all things we say, all things we do, and all things we think. We ought to have an immense love for our Savior and that love should spur us on with a desire to obey all of Christ's commands with heartfelt love, obedience and joy. The true Christian will see this standard of purity, and wholeheartedly thank the Lord for it! He would know that this standard of purity is a gift! He would also know that this high standard of purity is for our good! It is a rich blessing! It ought to be our joy to have such a high standard of purity! Not only is it for our good, but this standard of purity glorifies God! It lifts Him up and honors Him, and a true Christian would see this fact, and desire to live by this high standard of purity in order to glorify God and bring Him praise. But there is also another reason why the true Christian would see this high standard and would delight in it, love it, and desire to live it out. And this reason is that this gift of total and complete purity would be able to be presented to that Christian's future spouse one day, whole, complete, and without blemish or impurity. And this knowledge would bring the follower of Christ great joy and immense happiness! But if we disregard this high standard of purity that is commanded of us as Christians, and don't love it and desire to live it out daily, are not thankful for it, don't see it as the rich blessing that it really is and only see it as a "restriction that limits us of any fun", then it is highly doubtful that we are even love Christ at all. This may seem harsh, but it's the plain and simple truth. It is also really doubtful that we even care in the least bit about our future husbands, let alone love them. Because if we truly loved our future husbands at all, then we would preserve our purity with all joy, diligence, perseverence and happiness! It would be our joy and honor to preserve our purity for that special future spouse that the Lord already has picked out for us. We would be oh-so-diligent to preserve every part of that blessed purity-purity of body, mind, heart, spirit and soul. We would not only resist any temptation that would lead us to impurity but we would quickly run far from it and flee in the opposite direction!! One thing that our vile and impure culture must regrasp is the love of purity! We must rediscover the beauty, blessedness, and wonderful gift of it! It is something to be treasured, kept safe, and diligently preserved from all harm, and from all of those bad influences who would seek to destroy it. I cannot stress enough the importance and beauty of purity, or the vitally crucial importance and necessity of obeying Christ and living out His blessed high standard of purity! There are so many verses in Scripture where Christ commands us to preserve our purity and to keep the marriage bed holy and sacred. If I were to include all of them now, and speak on all of them as I would like to, this devotional would be the length of a book(I do hope to have devotionals on each of these passages sometime, though!)! The Lord could have in just one verse commanded us to remain pure, and that would be enough for us to know that we better obey. But rather He commanded it over and over in numerous passages and in numerous ways to show us just how hugely important it is to the Lord that we are pure in word, thought and deed. Our purity is not something that the Lord takes lightly, and neither should we! The Lord views our purity and the preservation of it as being very very crucial! He abhors impurity so much that in Old Testament times, those found to be impure, immoral, or caught in adultery were taken into the city streets and stoned for what they had done. Only once we grasp in our hearts the importance and beauty of our purity, will we ever hope to or be able to live out a life that is God honoring in this area and that is truly and joyfully lived out according to the high purity standard found in Ephesians 5.

Please return on Monday for the continuation of this series! I will be offering all of you ladies practical help on ways to perserve your purity and resist temptation. As I stated once again, I will also be ending this series (whenever that is ;]) with a devotional for all of you women who may have already lost some of your purity, be it of body, heart or mind. None of us is perfect, and there is forgiveness to be found, and a second chance! I hope that devotional as well will be an encouragement and blessing!

Have a wonderful weekend, dear ladies!!
All for His glory,
~Rebekah Ann

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

~Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Devotional #12 (part 8 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

I can't believe that we have now come to the last part of this verse!! This series has gone by very quickly! I pray with all of my heart that this devotional series has been a blessing to you and has been used by the Lord in mighty ways. If you have not been able to read the first 7 parts of this devotional series on 1 Timothy 4:12(which says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity"), then please click here to read those before continuing with this one. And, ladies, I just want to let you know now that this devotional on us being an exaple in purity is going to be part 1 of 2! There is just so much to cover that I can't possibly hope to cover everything in one devotional. :) I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but part 2 of this devotional will be on Friday. Please return then!

Clearly, today's devotional is on us being an example to the believers in purity. How desperately needed this godly example is! As I touched on just briefly in my first devotional on us being an example in love, in our sin-saturated culture of today, we have a horribly wrong notion of love and what love truly is. We are confronted daily by a culture drenched in pre-marital sexual relationships, all done in the name of "love". However, if you truly and Biblically love someone, then you will not be partaking in sin and debauchery, depriving that someone of their beautiful and treasured gift of whole and complete purity-purity of body, mind, soul, spirit, and heart. If you had Biblical love for someone (please refer to my devotionals on love), you would not be depriving their future spouse of receiving that blessed and beloved gift. Not only are we sinning against our future spouses when we partake in such sinful and impure actions, but we are also sinning against Almighty God when we engage in such unlawful practices! There are numerous passages throughout the whole of Scripture that command us to be pure and to keep the marriage bed holy. But, so often, we don't see the huge importance of this. Why is it so very important that we be pure, holy and blameless, and that we keep the marriage bed holy? Because marriage on earth, between one man and one woman, reflects the marriage of God with His bride-the church. When the Lord comes back for His people, there will be a marriage supper, for the Bridegroom and His bride will finally be together. Ephesians 5:25-33 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Throughout this passage, it is crysal clear that earthly marriage (between a man and a woman) reflects the marriage between Christ and His bride-the church. This is why it is so important to God that we be pure, and this is why He takes our purity and preservation of it so very seriously! Verses 25-27 clearly show the importance of purity and why the Lord demands it of us,"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." These verses answer the popular question, "Well, how far is too far?" First of all, this should not be our concern!! Our desire, as Christians, should be for complete, total, and whole purity and nothing less. We should desire to honor Christ by staying wholly pure and waiting for our future husband. We should not be wondering how far we can go, how much we can get away with, and how much we can do before we get into trouble-in other words, how close we can get to the fire without getting burned. Our mission, passion, and desire should be to live a life honoring and glorifying to Christ, and we should find great joy and happiness in saving ourselves-our whole selves (heart, body, mind, etc.) for our future husband. This verse answers this question when it says "that He may present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Here it is, ladies! This is to be our standard of purity. This is what we are to strive for and work towards. This is the standard of purity that we are to desire of ourselves. This purity is what we should desire to give to our future husbands-nothing less. Yes, we are sinful humans and will still sin, and there is forgiveness for that. But if the Lord takes our purity this seriously, and if our purity is supposed to reflect the bride's purity to Christ, then we sure better take our purity this seriously as well! Christ's bride must be holy and without blemish, and our purity is directly reflecting this bride. Therefore we ought to be pure as Christ's bride is. The Lord, being holy, without blemish, perfect, and completely pure Himself, cannot and will not have a bride who is anything less. That is why Christ came to die for the church, in order to sanctify her, and make her holy through His blood. Knowing that we are reflecting the purity of Christ's bride (who is to be completely perfect-through the Lord's sanctification), should cause us to take our purity oh so seriously! I can't even begin to stress this enough!! Our desire should be to be pure in all of our actions, thoughts, deeds and words. We should abhor and abstain from anything that is impure and sinful, as the Lord Himself does. He would not accept a bride who has any blemish, spot or impurity, for He cannot tolerate sin, or be in the presence of it. Therefore, we are to strive for complete purity. Because not only are we reflecting Christ's bride, but we are Christ's bride if we're Christians! This is our standard of purity, and this is our duty-to preserve our blessed purity and abstain from and abhor anything that would seek to destroy it.

Ladies, I truly hate to do this to you, but I'm must end this where I am. It, to my surprise, has already reached devotional length (if not surpassed it.=]), and I must attend to today's schoolwork. :) I'm sorry to cut this devotional off so abruptly, but it's something I must do. As I see how long this devotional already is and that I've only coverd a small amount of what I would like to, I'm beginning to think this section on purity may contain 3 or 4 devotionals! :) We'll just see how the Lord leads, and how long He wants this series to go. It's in His hands. :) For now, please return on Friday for the continuation in this series! I pray that it will be an encouragement and strength to all of you dear ladies! I will also probably be ending the purity section of our 1 Timothy 4:12 study (however far in the future that is ;)) with a devotional for you ladies who may have already compromised in some area of your purity. There is forgiveness to be found and you can start again, no matter what your old life may have been like. I pray that that devotional as well will be an encouragement. So, please continue to come back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the devotionals, that I hope will be a blessing to you!

All for His glory,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.

~Philippians 2:14-15a

Monday, October 8, 2007

Devotional #11 (part 7 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and blessed Lord's Day! We have now come to part 6 in our devotional study on 1 Timothy 4:12, which says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Today, we will be talking about us being an example in faith. If you have not been able to read the 5 previous devotionals in this series, please click here and read them in order. Then you can return here to read this one. I hope it is a blessing and encouragement to you!

In 1 Timothy 4:12, our Lord commands us to be an example to the believers in faith. As I was thinking about this devotional, and trying to decide what I would talk about, I didn't really know what to say. But yesterday at church, one of our wonderful pastors spoke on Matthew 8:23-27, "Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, 'Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'". I've been familiar with this passage (as I'm sure you all have as well) since I was very little. But it truly took on a whole new light yesterday in church. It was such a wonderful, thought-provoking, and very convicting sermon! Now let's be honest for a minute. How many of us deal with worry? I, for one, am horrible with this! I at times find myself worrying over the tiniest little things-things that aren't even worth worrying over! And Christ makes it quite clear in His Word that worrying is nothing but sin. Why is it sin? Because when we worry, we are not trusting wholeheartedly and completely in Him! Our trust and faith in Him is wavering when we find ourselves worrying. We,by worrying, are saying to the Lord that we just cannot trust in Him, for our circumstances are just too overwhelming, our troubles are just too big, or our problems are just too horrible and unable to be overcome. But this, my dear sisters, is a slap in the face of Almighty God! He is the Creator of the world, the Savior of mankind, the Ruler of the universe, the Lord of lords and the King of Kings, yet He's not powerful enough to take care of us and our problems?? I don't think so! He is completely Sovereign and in control of all things. But do we truly believe that like we say we do? Because, I dare say, if we truly believed with our whole hearts that He is in complete control of all things, is sovereign over every little detail of our lives, and that everything that happens happens according to His will and His will alone, then we would be trusting wholeheartedly and completely in His plan for our lives. We would not be worried about what may happen in the future, because from day to day God is sovereign and nothing can ever happen to us apart from what His will is. And even in the hard, trying, sad and difficult periods of our lives, we would know that those trials and tribulations were for our good and His glory, and we wouldn't even worry during those times! Now, yes, we are human, and so would still tend to worry on occasion. But the fact is, if we truly believed all we say we do about Christ being in total control over our lives, then we would not be in worrying all the time! If we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we would know that no matter what happens to us, we are cared for by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Even if we die, we are with Christ if we are Christians! Paul said in Philippians 1:21 "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Later in this same letter, Paul wrote, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."[Phil. 1:11]. Paul was so trusting in the Lord that He had no worries! He was beaten, imprisoned, and tormented for the cause of Christ, but he knew that this was for God's glory, and that's all he cared about! He also knew that once this was all over and he was in heaven with his Savior, all of it would have been worth it to be in the presense of His Lord. Dispite what some very popular preachers say today(one in particular), our lives will not always be without grief, trial and tribulation. In fact, if we are truly Christ's, and if we are living a life completely for the Lord and His glory, then we will face persecution! The pagan and sinful world in which we live will think we're crazy! If we are not persecuted (be it by word, conduct, etc.) then we better examine ourselves to see whether or not we are truly living for Christ in all areas of our lives or not! But even in these times of persecution, Christ is still caring for us! We are under the Lord's guidance and care always-"For I will never leave you, nor forsake you." If we are always worrying, then that shows that we don't truly believe God's Word at all. Because if we did, we would meditate on all of His promises (such as the one just mentioned) and we would "sit back and relax" knowing that He is in control, has our best interests at heart, and has the best plan for our lives that we could imagine-far better than anything we could ever ask for, think about, or plan for ourselves. He will always provide for our every need, will always be there for us to offer encouragement and the strength to go on, and will always be right there by our side. The disiples in the above story knew full well who Christ was and what He was capable of (vs. 25). They had witness amazing miracles, such as blind people being made to see, water turned to wine, people raised from the dead, etc. yet they still didn't have faith in or fully trust in their Lord, or else they wouldn't have gotten themselves worked up over the storm. They would have known that He would care for them. Their testimony should not be ours! We are sinful, worrywart humans just like they were, yet we need to really obey the Lord and develop a child-like trustfulness in Him that transcends anything we may have to endure. We need to learn to have strong faith in Him at all times, for truly, He is the only one who can ever be completely trusted and relied on. It is a sin to worry and to not trust or have faith in Christ as we ought. But it is a sin that we all must attempt to overcome. Ask the Lord for help! He will develop in you that trustfulness that He desires for you to have! And be accountable! Any time you are worrying over something, go to your parents, talk with them about it, and ask them to pray for you! Above all else, seek out the Scriptures with your whole heart! Daily and diligently read His Word, meditate on it, and He will comfort you with His words, and will silent your fears, so that you too, may truly be an example to the believers by your faith in Him!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what it is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

~Ephesians 4:29(NKJV)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Devotional #10 (part 6 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

We have now come to part 6 in our devotional study of 1 Timothy 4:12! 1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." We have now come to the part of the verse which commands us to be an example in spirit. If you have not had the chance to read the previous devotionals, please click here so that you can read them in order before you proceed with this one.

This is a very important one for us, ladies! 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." As Christian ladies, it is our duty to be an example to other Christian females in the very important area of a gentle and quiet spirit. You can wear distinctly feminine clothing (i.e. skirts, dresses, jumpers, etc.) and still not be a true lady or completely feminine. I've watched old black-and-white movies before where the leading actress was wearing dresses or skirts throughout the movie, yet she was anything but feminine! Why? Because the way she spoke was rough, masculine, loud, immodest, gruff, etc. She did not possess a gentle and quiet spirit, and that sad truth came out so clearly in the way she spoke. I remember watching these such movies, and I would watch the actress and be completely turned off by the way she spoke. I had no desire to watch the rest of the movie, because the way in which she spoke was so unattractive! She wore skirts and dresses but she seemed so much like a man! However, contrast this type of a woman with a lady who speaks in a quiet, gentle, sweet, feminine tone of voice. When these particular women speak, it's like music to your ears, isn't it? The way they sound is just so beautiful, attractive, and very becoming. This manner of speaking adds to the lady's beauty, and her inner beauty just shines through radiantly. I have a great-grandmother who is exactly like this! It seems like nothing at all can make her angry. She never gives into her temper and never speaks in a loud, angry, rude, or unkind tone of voice. She is always quiet and gentle in her speech and manner of speaking, and her gentle and quiet spirit is just so evident. This is just one of the many reasons why I look up to her and desire to be like her-she is a true role model! So, ladies, practice daily to have a meek, gentle and quiet spirit. Practice gentle answers with your family. They will sometimes do things that hurt you, due to the fact that they make mistakes. They make say an unkind word, etc., but use this as the prime opportunity it really is to practice a gentle and quiet spirit! Forgive them and don't give into your temper. Rather, be kind, gentle, loving, sweet, meek and quiet in the way you speak to them. If you are in the habit of being boisterous, obnoxious, loud or immodest in your conversations due to the way you speak, stop that behavior now. It's very unbecoming to a lady and takes away from her true beauty. Rather be quiet in your tone of voice and in the manner in which you speak. Practice to possess a gentle and quiet spirit, for that will leak over into the way you speak, and you will find yourself speaking more like a true lady ought. Whatever you do, do not be obnoxious or boisterous in your tone of voice or in the manner in which you speak during conversations! Neither one of these is a characteristic of a true lady! These are not feminine characteristics at all, and so we should therefore put them off. Ask the Lord for the strength and ability to be more feminine in your way of speaking. Ask Him to develop in you a meek and quiet spirit. Ask Him for help to practice being gentle, meek and quiet in your tone of voice. He will do these things! Just trust in Him, rely on Him, and He will give you the ability to begin speaking in a more becoming fashion, rather than in loud, temper-driven speech. This is such an important area for us ladies!! If we ever hope to be an example for the believers in spirit, then this is an area that we must conquer!

We also must have a forgiving spirit if we hope to be the Christ-like example that we are called on to be. As I've said before, Christ is to be our example in all areas of our lives! We are to strive to be more and more like Him each and every day. Throughout God's Word, we see the command to be forgiving. Why? Because if we are Christians, that means that Christ forgave us! A redeemed and forgiven Christian has absolutely no right to not forgive others! We must be forgiving! Matthew 6:14-15 says, "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." In our families, we have many opportunities to practice forgiveness! So often, even though it should not be the case, the ones we love the most are the ones we hurt the most. There will probably be many times that a sibling does or says something to you that is unkind and unloving. Instead of giving into your temper and lashing out at them, instead practice forgiveness! Be loving, kind, and remember that always needed meek and quiet spirit-put that into practice as well. Forgive your siblings for whatever they did to you and however they wronged you. This is what Christ would do, and so it is therefore out duty and responsibility to do so as well! There are also times in which your parents may hurt you. They aren't perfect either, and they will at times make mistakes. Just forgive them! I know this is sometimes easier said than done, but the Lord will always give you the strength to do His will and to obey His commands! This is a really hard one, but we are also commanded throughout Scripture to forgive our enemies! I had to deal with this a lot when I was little. There was a girl (who had a really sad home life-parents divorced, older brother with the wrong croud, etc.) that would always say mean things to me. I didn't know why at the time (the real reason, I later found out, was that she was unhappy due to her home life, and that affected how she treated others). All I knew was that she was hurting my feelings a lot! I was a very sensitive child, and even if this girl looked at me wrong, I would feel immediately like crying. But all these verses about forgiving your enemies kept popping out at me! I didn't want to forgive her-I didn't even think I could forgive her. When I, a short time later, realized why she was so mean to others, I couldn't help but feel so sorry for her! I did forgive her, and that is something that we all must do! There are times when we have enemies, and they make life miserable for us. We may, at times, want to get back at them. But this is not the response that a Christian should make!! We have no idea what this person's circumstances may be! We should feel sorry for them, forgive them, and yes, pray for them! This is all commanded in Matthew 5:43-48. We must remember what is said in Romans 12:17-21:"Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. Therefore 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." This ought to be our response to all of our enemies and their wrongdoings to us! We should be loving, kind, sweet, and forgiving to them! And we must possess a meek, gentle and quiet spirit! Every time someone hurts you (such as an enemy) go to that person and tell them that you forgive them. They may never ask for your forgiveness, but go to them anyway, and lovingly tell them that you forgive them. This is how a Christian must act! For if we are not forgiving to our enenies, we are no better than the pagans and we are not being an example or role model at all, and we're definitely not immitating Christ as we ought!

We also must possess the fruits of the Spirit! I don't have the time to touch on this at the moment, but as soon as this devotional study is over, I will be moving on to a devotional series over Galatians 5:22-23, which covers all of the fruits of the Spirit, in hopes that it will be of help to you, and will better equip you to be an example to the believers in spirit!

I pray that this devotional series is continuing to be a blessing and encouragement and strength to you! Please return on Monday for part 7 of this series, for a devotional on us being an example in faith!

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord's Day!
~Rebekah Ann~

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Daily Bible Verse

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

~Ephesians 3:20-21(NKJV)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Devotional #9(part 5 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)

Hello once again! :) I pray that this devotional study on 1 Timothy 4:12 has been an encouragement to you! If you have not had the opportunity to read the first 4 devotionals in this series, please click here, so that you will be able to read them in order. Then return to this one to continue your reading.

When I was forced to break off the devotional on Monday, we had been reading through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, in order to better understand what love is, so that we can learn to practice true, Biblical love with our familes and others(1 Timothy 4:12-"Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in love"). We had just ended with 1 Corinthians 13:5a, which says, "[love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked". So, now I will be moving on to 1 Corinthians 13:5b, which says, "[love] thinks no evil." This means that we are not thinking evil thoughts about those around us, but are rather loving, gentle, kind and sweet in our thoughts towards others. In the Bible, we find that we are to honor our parents, and so if we are thinking unkind and unloving thoughts towards them, then we are disobeying this command, and we are in sin. We must think loving and kind thoughts towards those in our families daily! This will be wonderful and much needed practice for when we have our own families one day. 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NKJV) says, "[love] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth". Love does not rejoice when there is any form of injustice performed to someone. But rather, true love rejoices and sings out when truth prevails. In your families, practice this! Do not allow your sibling(s) to take the blame and receive the punishment for something that you did. Not only is this sort of behavior showing that you have no true, Biblical love for your sibling(s), but it is also very immature and sinful! So, if you are in the habit of doing such things, stop immediately, ask your sibling(s) for forgiveness, and ask the same of your Lord as well. Also, we see in 1 Corinthians 13 that love "bears all things". Wow! This is something that very few people actually put into practice. So often, we are infuriated when the smallest things happen to us. We allow our tempers to get the best of us, and we blow up at those around us. This should not be the case!! Not only is that unfeminine and unladylike (becuase this is definitely not a meek and quiet spirit!), but it's also unBiblical, hurtful, and very sinful. Patiently endure unkind words, injustice, rude behavior, etc. that you receive, and take these things and use them as an opportunity in order to show a Christ-like, loving, longsuffering spirit! This as well, is great practice for when you have a husband and children. And by practicing to have a loving, Christ-like demeanor, you are developing in yourself beautiful character! Love also "believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." Enduring all things goes right along with bearing all things. Christ, when He died for us patienly endured the most agonizing treatment and ridicule-worse than we could even begin to comprehend or imagine! Yet, He not once let out a yell, scream, or cry, but rather endured it patiently and lovingly. As Christians, Christ is to be our example in all things, and so it is our duty and responsibility to practice Christ-like love with our familes and others around us, by giving love which endures and bears all things. The rest of the above mentioned verse says that love "believes all things, hopes all things,". True love is trusting in those whom we love and is hopeful-like the Proverbs 31 woman, it "rejoices at the time to come. ", because our hope is in Christ. This passage that we are going through ends with the words, "Love never fails." This one speaks for itself. :) All things in this life come to an end-earthly possessions, wealth, etc., but love never does! And it is through Christ's perfect, sacrificial love that we have the blessing of knowing that we, as Christians, will spend eternity with Christ one day! So, truly, love never fails!

In the above paragraph and in the previous devotional on being an example to the believers in love, I had been focusing mainly on the way we love and treat our families. But it is very important to remember that everything that I've talked about, and everything we need to put into practice with our families, needs to be put into practice with our friends, enemies, aquaintances, and people we come into contact from day to day,as well. We have got to treat all whom we meet on a day to day basis with love! Christ said that the world will know we are His disciples by the way we love one another! Wow! We are to be salt and light in this pagan world, but how can we expect to fulfill that commandment if we do not practice love? In Matthew 5:44, Christ orders us to love and bless our enemies. I know from experience that this is SO hard to do! It takes work, and practice, and perseverance, but the Lord will give us the strength needed to obey His commands! Just ask Him for the ability to treat your enemies as you would wish to be treated, and He will help you with this hard and trying task.

Daily, whether it is with your family, enemies, friends, aquaintances, or just people you meet at the grocery store, put into practice Biblical, selfless, patient, long-suffering love! When we do this, then we can truly be an example to the believers in love, as 1 Timothy 4:12 commands us! Also, treat all others with kindness, respect, gentleness, and meekness, and remember to always treat them as you would desire to be treated. That is a command which is found in the Bible, and if we do not obey it, we are in sin! So go to the Lord daily and ask Him for the strength and ability to truly love those whom you come into contact with throughout each day. When you find that you have wronged someone, practice humility, and go to that person and earnestly seek out their forgiveness! This is a must! It is so important that you do this! Afterwards, go to the Lord, diligently seek Him with your whole heart, and ask for His needed forgiveness as well. I know it's hard at times, but be loving and patient to all whom you meet, and be salt and light in our pagan culture. For you never know how the Lord will bring someone to repentance-it may be your loving example that brings someone to salvation!

Please return on Friday for the next devotional in our 1 Timothy 4:12 study! This devotional will be on us being an example in spirit! I pray that it will be encouraging to you!