"Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ." - George Washington

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Curious Policy

   Hello friends, I am writing this post on a whim, hoping for some feedback. Please let me know what you think.

   We are living in an age of communication. Gone are the days when messages were sent by foot, horse or rail. Old fashioned letter writing has been dubbed "snail mail", it's practically outdated. Phone conversations are even being replaced by computers and cell phones with endless options. People simply don't get to know eachother the same way we did 10 years ago. This calls for other things to change along with;  ettiquitte must be developed for these new means.

   I am writing this because I would like your opinion on a rule my mom laid down a few years ago. When I got my first cell phone and email account, there had to be restrictions laid down. (With great power comes great responsibilty, and all that jazz.) One most important rule was this:  That my sister and I, being girls, were not allowed to initiate texts, calls, emails, etc. to anyone of the opposite gender.

   Mind you, we were allowed to communicate with guys, as long as they texted/called/emailed first. This was a rule my mom strictly enforced, we even had our phones taken away once or twice for disobeying. The reasoning behind this was that we believe guys are meant to be initiators. If a guy wants to talk to, or get to know a girl, he can do so. He shouldn't wait long enough for a girl to become aggresive. And that leads to another point. We believe girls should not be initiators. I can think of several female friends of mine right off the bat, that would text other guys constantly. That made them look not only aggresive, but flirtatious and even desprate.

   That rule is still in place, though not as strictly enforced since April and I are older. And I've come to appreciate it very much. In my opinion, it hasn't ever harmed me, but rather helped. I would love to hear your feedback, please! I want to know what you think of this, was it a bit extreme? Or just perfect? Would you like to see more people putting this to practice?

My Ebenezer

   Guess what today is? Nah, I won't make you guess, I'll just tell you. It's been one year today since I started blogging. =)  That's actually quite a milestone for me, because I wasn't sure I would be able to keep going this long. Minus this post, I've written 65 posts! That's more than one a week. Sometimes I really do amaze myself... lol. Just kidding.

   I really ought to give the credit to whom it's due, and that would be the Lord. The plain truth is that I would not have kept this going on my own, the Lord has led me through ups and downs and kept me pressing onward. This blog is what it is, by His will, and His grace. I've learned quite a lot through it, I've seen myself change. I can see how I've been blessed, I can look back on the mountain tops, the valleys. I can see where I've trudged deeper through His Word, and other times when I merely waded in the shallows. I wouldn't trade this exprerince for... well I dunno. =) I just wouldn't trade it. And that was just one year my friends! I'm so excited to see what God does in the next. His will be done.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In All Things

   I'd like you to meet a new 'friend' of mine, her name is Melanie Wilkes. Actually, I'm sure you already know her. She is everybody's favorite mistress from Gone With The Wind, the wife of Scarlett's lifelong forbidden love, Ashley Wilkes. I recently had the pleasure of seeing the movie for the first time, and I rather enjoyed it.

   I've had her and several other fictional ladies brought to my attention in the last few weeks, all women of similar character. Along with Melanie I've been reminded of Helen Burns from Jane Eyre, and Elsie Dinsmore. All three of these ladies are unforgettable, their actions speak volumes. They are forbearing, they suffer willingly, believe the best in others, are slow to judge, always giving the benefit of the doubt, and always quick to forgive. I understand that they are only fictional, but surely such a high standard shouldn't be ignored or laid aside. This morning my personal devos took me to Philippians 2:14-18, and it so perfectly describes these precious women.
   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, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
   Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
   There are many things to study in these verses, and I parenthesized the points that describe my heroines. Helen Burns from Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece was a willing sufferer. She accepted all her trials and persecutions as just punishment. She never focused on her pain, but looked forward to her eternal reward. Such character is blameless, unable to be criticized. Helen never misbehaved, she was picked on by her teachers who were scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something wrong with her. Helen was {blameless}.

   Of course the first thing everyone knows about Melanie is that she is such a forbearing soul. She loved Scarlett with every bit of sisterly affection, even when she had no obligation to. She defended Scarlett, even when the other girls justly accused her. Scarlett almost never did an unselfish act toward Melanie, but Melanie never complained. Even when Melanie heard of Scarlett's infidelity with her husband, she was the first to forgive. She could have been the first to shun, but she was the only one who believed in Scarlett's innocence. Melanie was {harmless}, innocent and pure. She was unable to hurt anyone, willingly or otherwise.

   Elsie Dinsmore was finally recognized by a father who had abandoned her to be raised by his own parents. He was not a servant of the Lord, and wanted Elsie to obey him, even to the point of causing her to disobey the Lord. She would not, however, and approached the brink of death in her fervency to serve the Lord. She never complained, Elsie was {without fault}. She was above reproach in her passion to follow the Lord.

   We live in a crooked and perverted world. What the world considers acceptable has deviated from God's standards, but these ladies wouldn't settle for "acceptable". They never complained, never argued. As John MacArthur says, those sins "demonstrate a lack of trust in God's providential will, boundless grace, and infinite wisdom and love." They never questioned or criticized what God was doing. Romans 8:28 says that ALL THINGS work together for good to those that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose. Helen always knew that the Lord had a reason for her to be at Lowood School, she was content where she was. Even though the teachers persecuted her, she knew suffering was a gift of the Lord.

   These ladies shine brightly, their impeccable character is unforgettable, and leaves us desiring to be just as admirable. The Lord tells us to shine, and because we are Christians, we will stand out in a crooked generation, just as a candle stands out in a dark room, or stars stand out in a night sky. A better interpretation of "holding fast" would be "holding forth". We are holding the standard, we are Christ's representatives and He's given us the capacity to shine for Him.

   Rejoice in the opportunities God has given you to suffer, don't complain. It's a gift of grace, to be oppressed for Christ's sake. Be a willing sacrifice for the Lord, believe the best in others, be blameless and above reproach. Lord, make me even a little more like these fictional heroines, always blessing your name, and bringing You glory.

Hope and Predestination

   "My mind was therefore hourly replete with inventions and thoughts of being freed; and, if possible, by honest and honourable means; for I always remembered the old adage, and I trust it has ever been my ruling principle, 'that honesty is the best policy'; and likewise that other golden precept--'To do unto all men as I would they should do unto me.' However, as I was from early years a predestinarian, I thought whatever fate had determined must ever come to pass; and therefore, if ever it were my lot to be freed, nothing could prevent me, although I should at present see no means or hope to obtain my freedom; on the other hand, if it were my fate not to be freed, I never should be so, and all my endeavours for that purpose would be fruitless. In the midst of these thoughts I therefore looked up with prayers anxiously to God for my liberty; and at the same time used very honest means, and did all that was possible on my part to obtain it."

-Olaudah Equiano