Monthly Archives: May 2013

Modesty.

“I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty…But I am too busy thinking about myself.”
— Edith Sitwell

Kristin sent me a text this morning with a link to this article about modesty and bikini wearing and asked me for my reaction. [Insert wide smile here.]

Almost every time Kristin asks me for my reaction to something she’s read it means that she’s fairly certain my reaction is going to be contrary to the majority and I’ll admit, I think that’s a little fun.

A couple of things before I get into it-

sticker,375x360First, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I also don’t apologize for my honesty.  Second, I work with teenage girls on a regular basis and I have nieces, sisters and friends for whom I care a great deal, I have a good bit invested in my opinions on this subject, so please don’t assume that I’ve come to them casually.

I’m going to quote a little of the article (I’m using the bits that stand out to me personally, please follow the link above and read the whole post yourself) and then I’m going to be lazy and copy & paste my text response to Kristin. Forgive me in advance, I just don’t have time to retype the whole thing. =)

… I want girls to know that dressing modestly is a SACRIFICE.

So why don’t you just wear a bikini, you ask? Why? Because I am making a sacrifice for the guys around me.

Let’s try and put ourselves in a guy’s shoes. I think we can all agree that as girls, exercise is important to us. We want to stay healthy and are often working on getting fit. We work out and stay away from carbs or sweets. We use all of our willpower to not eat the chocolate cake on the counter! Now, let’s pretend that someone picked up that chocolate cake and followed us around all the time, 24/7. We can never get away from the chocolate, it’s always right there, tempting us and even smelling all ooey gooey and chocolate-y. Most of us, myself included, would find it easy to break down and eat the cake. And we would probably continue to break down and eat cake, because it would always be there. Our exercise goals would be long gone in no time.

This is how I imagine it is for guys…

My response in text to Kristin was as follows:

I have mixed feelings

Here they are in order of feeling them…

1.) the writer is clearly young. 2.) I hate that she adopted such strong stereotypes, ie in spite of their best efforts men will always be ruled by their desire for sex and all women love chocolate cake. 3.) people miss the point when it comes to modesty and she certainly has.

True modesty is a heart condition and has nothing to do with what you do or do not wear. Obviously there’s a difference between clothing that is intentionally provocative and clothing that is not. But practicing modesty out of respect for the opposite sex has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with where your heart is when you’re interacting with guys. By being all, “look at me I’m so modest I NEVER wear bikinis because I am so concerned about keeping my male friends from sinning” she’s adopted a type of spiritual immodesty that’s much more dangerous as far as I’m concerned than walking on to the beach completely naked would be. Freedom in Christ means there are no “I nevers” there’s only obedience, which looks different on every person. It’s an important distinction to make because modesty has to do with not drawing attention to ourselves and giving glory to God instead. The moment we start with the “I nevers” it doesn’t matter what comes after those first two words because we’ve claimed the glory for ourselves.

Her intent is good, but young women would be way better off if they focused less on being a constant temptation for men, and more on who’s image they are made in and developing a relationship with God that allows them to know how to be obedient, whether that is in a bikini or not. Lets not forget we were all naked in the garden.

The only thing I’d like to add at this point is that modesty shouldn’t be something we seek to develop in relation to the opposite sex. Ever. It should be something we always seek to develop in relation to Christ. The virtues that grow in our lives in response to God will spill out and impact the ways in which we relate to other people, but as long as our “SACRIFICE” is motivated by other people, it will fall short and it will not be authentic. Please don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not trying to say that consideration for others around us is wrong, but rather, that to truly consider others it has to be filtered through our relationship with God. It has to start there or else we are putting ourselves on the throne. I write about it the way that I do because I feel like it’s a very important distinction to make, especially with young people.

As women, let’s not first assume an attitude of pride that focuses us on the idea that we are a constant temptation to men and then as result assume the role of savior.  It’s not who we are, it’s not who we were created to be.

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Freedom Conference 2013 Coming Up !

truestory

Hey guys, it’s that time of year again. Time for the Exodus Freedom Conference. Are you gonna be there? This year the theme is True Story! This is going to be a great conference and we really hope you will  join us !

Go to exodusfreedom.org for all the info, you won’t want to miss this years conference in beautiful Irvine Ca. It’s going to be a blast !

If you don’t plan to be there go a head and re think that decision . . .  then  if you still plan to stay home there is an option for you to still experience the wonderful stories from the men and women they have lined up to speak . Go here for streaming info 🙂

If you don’t plan to be there but would still like to help someone else make it there you can donate to the scholarship fund here.

Lastly check out this video greeting from Alan Chambers. Hope to see you there!

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Video Tuesday : Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson // Homosexuality & The Bible

Fascinating conversation/debate . Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

If you don’t know anything about Rob Bell check out his web page here.

If you would like to read more by Andrew Wilson you can go to this page where he is a regular contributor . I must confess I don’t know much about him and had a hard time finding anything out but there ya go!

 

 

 

 

 

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Just a little quote…

I’m reading Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning right now. It’s one of my favorites, I’ve read it at least twice before. I read this bit this morning and wanted to quote it here. Enjoy =)

It is of immense importance to understand that every word spoken and written about God is delivered in the language of analogy. In any divine analogy, there is a similarity between the human words used about God and the reality of God himself, there is also, however, a radical dissimilarity. What is affirmed in one breath must be denied in the next. For example, we liken divine love to human love. The similarity induces us to think that we are getting a grip on God’s love. And yet, though human love is the best image we have, it is utterly inadequate to express the love of the Infinite. Not because human love is too sugary and sentimental or because it is too passionate and emotional, but because it can never  fully compare with that source whence it came- the passion-emotion love of the Totally Other. The more we let go of our concepts and images, which always limit God, the bigger God grows and the more we approach the mystery of his indefinability. When we overlook the dissimilarity, we begin to speak  with obnoxious familiarity about the Holy, make ludicrous comments such as “I could never imagine God doing such a thing,” calmly predict Armageddon, glibly proclaim infallible discernment of the will of God, and trivialize God, trimming the claws of the Lion of Judah.

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Video Tuesday: This Is Water.

 

I love this video!

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You Fixed Your Eyes On Us

seenI love Kristin (that’s not to say I don’t love my other siblings, I’m just about to use her as an example).

I love the fact that she posted this article to my facebook wall late a couple of nights ago, because she knows that a big part of who I am needs to have compassion for those who’ve done the unthinkable. I also love that she was waiting for me last night after work to show me a song that she knew I would love by an artist she also knew I would love (I’m going to include the lyrics to the song at the end of this post and I encourage you to listen from the link about and read the words, they are beautiful).

I am fortunate in having people around me who know me. Who see me.

I’ve been learning lately how important it is to know that I am seen by God. Not just in that “God sees everything” kind of way that most Christians acknowledge, not in a God sees what I’m doing kind of way either, but realizing that God sees me. 

He sees who I am because he created who I am.

Who I am doesn’t always emerge in the best way, or the most right way, certainly not in a perfect way, but that’s ok because God knows who I am.

I don’t have to hide myself from Him.

Not any part of myself.

And the less I attempt to hide myself, the less I allow guilt over my sin to cause me to distance myself from God, the better I see how unchanging and how deep God’s love for me is.

The knowledge that we are seen and that we are loved is powerful. It impacts how we respond to the rest of the world. It influences our choices and our relationships. Jesus was a man who saw people. It’s why his disciples moved when he said, “Follow me” because a part of their encounter with him had to do with being seen for who they really were, and not being seen through to just what they did. Jesus didn’t see fishermen or tax collectors, he saw people and loved them.

As Christians, how often do we look through the people around us straight to what they do, or what they are aligned with, what causes they support or don’t, what political party they are affiliated with or aren’t, the crimes they have committed, the laws they have broken, the damage they have caused?

I saw an older episode of Grey’s Anatomy recently in which there was a shooter in the hospital, there’s a scene where the shooter has his gun pointed at one character and she starts rattling off to him every bit of personal information about herself that she can think of in the moment. Her name, the names of her parents and siblings, where she grew up, what her parents did for a living, where she went to school, her friends… on and on until he tells her to run instead of shooting her. Later she explains that she’d seen somewhere that in that kind of situation giving personal information about yourself will humanize you and make you harder to kill.

Sometimes I feel like Christians behave in the world the way the man with the gun behaved in the hospital. We go through life and we don’t see people, we see problems that need to be eliminated. We see everything we disagree with, everything that doesn’t live up to our “good Christian values”, but we don’t see the actual person or people who is there in front of us.

It’s no wonder people don’t like us, we make them feel invisible.

I don’t have all the answers for how to solve this problem, but I think it would at least help, if we all took a little more time to try to see into people, instead of through them.

Let’s remember Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.

Bad Blood lyrics

you fixed your eyes on us,
your flesh and blood,
a sculpture of water
and unsettled dust.

when there was bad blood in us,
we learned our lesson:
genesis to the last generation.

so we wrestle with it all-
the concept of grace
and the faithful concrete
as it breaks our fall.

our questions are all the same.
identical words; how they feel brand new against different time frames.
identical words against different time frames.

we know it all by heart-
the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts.

we’ve heard it all before-
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.

like firewood,
burning bright
in the dead of winter,
by only a flicker
we cling to this life.

so we huddle over maps;
is it faith or prediction,
will or tradition
until we collapse?
we argue our bearings
until we collapse.

we study our story arcs-
inherently good,
or were we broken right from the start?

our hesitant fingerprints
trace every mountain,
lace every valley
until we’re convinced…

that we know it all by heart-
every blade of grass
bears our mark.

in the name of being brave,
though it’s just another word for being afraid.

we know it all by heart-
the whole is so much greater
than the sum of these parts.
we’ve heard the truth before,
for in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.

Amen Sister!

alanandleslieIn this awesome post by Leslie Chambers (wife of Alan Chambers President of Exodus International ) she shares about her marriage, grace and true freedom in Christ! Read and enjoy! From the Exodus Blog. . .

Leslie Chambers Tackles Heterosexuality, Hyper-Grace, and Offers Hope.

Have you ever wondered what people think of you? As my husband is Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, I have. At present, he is somewhat of a conundrum for a lot of people. There seems to be some confusion about who he is, what he is saying and what he stands for. Here it is in a nutshell: while he has repeatedly stated his biblically orthodox view of sexuality, he has also stated his belief that one particular sin is not somehow more offensive to God than another. As his wife, I have stayed out of most of the chaos, but there are a few things that I cannot be silent about any longer. So here it goes… click here to read the rest!

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