Saturday, June 29, 2013

Modesty IS an Issue Part#3

So what do we do?  I mean what is the standard?... 4 inches below the knee, 3 fingers of pinching on the waist and no blue hair ever?  Ok, silliness again, but for real, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. I think that every day when we look in the mirror. We have to ask ourselves some questions...

  1. Where are the arrows pointing?
  2. Who am I dressing for?
  3. What attitude does this give me?
  4. Does this take away from the glory of God?
  5. Does this add to the glory of God?
Modesty is not about dresses and skirts. It is...
  1. An attitude 
  2. A showing of what is in your heart.
  3. An opportunity to give God the glory. 
Go to the mirror, check it out. What are saying today? What can you say tomorrow? Then go to the other mirror, the Bible and check out what God says. 

Here are a few verses to get you started...
  1. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  3. Proverbs 31:30
  4. I Peter 3:3-4
  5. Proverbs 11:22
  6. Deuteronomy 22:5
  7. I Corinthians 10:31
  8. Proverbs 7:10 (so what is the attire) You don't want to get caught looking like something you are not
  9. I Corinthians 6:19
There is a lot of wisdom in this. Take the time and study it out.   2 Corinthians 3:28 says "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."  Ladies, you wouldn't leave the house without looking in the mirror.   So why are you dressing before you have looked in God's mirror? - Modesty is always the most beautiful! - Rejoicing in the present. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Modesty IS an Issue Part #2

I asked some of my mom friends about modesty and here are some replies...

APW: I think the thing we need to remember is there ARE erogenous zones on a woman's body (whether we like to think about it or not). Whether or not this makes us uncomfortable doesn't really matter-- it is fact.  Men are turned on by what they see with their eyes- also fact. Hemlines and necklines should cover these zones- if they don't, you will have to prove to me how you are being modest because I can't see it.  I agree that there are women who have no idea.  Honestly, I was one of those girls.  I sort of knew what was attractive but never did I know the extent of what it did to a man, nor did I care.  I only thought about me.  It was an area of my life that needed to be surrendered.  If you have never asked God to show you what you should wear or left the decision up to the prompting of the Holy Spirit than it is wrong.  I have heard said, "You can tell the condition of woman's heart of surrender by what she does with her dress; and you can tell a man's by what he does with his wallet."  I think we need to be educating the next generation.  I am so proud of our teen girls because they are developing modesty convictions on their own and it is so awesome! T hey want God to be pleased with their behavior.  So even in our ever-changing culture it can be done!  There is hope if someone will be willing to stand, point out right from wrong (in love), and educate others on Scripture.  People need to be taught a proper view of their body from God's perspective and stop leaving it up to the world about what we should wear and how we should wear it.

KA: I don't think the question is how short is too short or how much cleavage is being shown. The question is are you, as a woman, thinking about the clothes you put on your body and what the purpose of wearing those clothes are.  I might put on something "revealing" for my husband (behind closed doors) for reasons I think we are all aware of.   However, when I go out to places I make sure that I am not wearing something, I wouldn't be uncomfortable wearing in front of my dad.  Being a bigger busted woman I have to be VERY careful about what I wear. It is hard to find shirts that aren't too low even WITH a shirt underneath it.

LSI think KA hit the nail on the head - its not about how many inches of skin we're showing or how much of a roundness is detected on our chest (unfortunately some of us aren't blessed with enough cleavage, lol).  But the bigger question is "What is our goal with our clothing?"  I also have known very godly women who wear immodest clothing; my husband and I have had several conversations about it because we see so much of it being in student ministry, coming from both the students and the other ministry leaders.  I think some people don't realize it (I even went through a phase like that, and when my husband and I started dating, he asked that I not wear certain items because they were revealing - I was one of those clueless girls).  I also think some people don't think of their choices are immodest because of the culture they're in. Example, my friend A visits Brazil a LOT for missions and leisure (married a guy from there).  Because all women in Brazil wear string bikinis, the Christians think nothing of it when they wear something that covers more than what everybody else wears, but less than what we here would wear.  My friend wore 2-pieces down there all the time that she wouldn't wear here because the culture is different.  They weren't skimpy, just regular 2-pieces. I can't really say how guys viewed that down there; maybe because they saw so much skin anyway, seeing a 2-piece was no big deal to them? Don't know.

The wife of the President of our seminary here is very passionate about modesty and even wrote a widely distributed brochure about it. She brings to people's attention that God's reason for creating clothing in the first place was to cover up the shame that sin created.  In our sinful nature, people try to remove that clothing as much as possible. I think even Christians have forgotten WHY God wants us clothed.  We must be very intentional about our dress habits and how we teach our children about it (not "these are the rules and you must dress this way" but instead "this is why God wants us to wear certain things"). That said, I do think there is some room for personal conviction on the subject.

I Tim 2:9-10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

TCF: Modesty means that you're not calling attention to yourself because of what you wear. The rich clothing, the braided hair, the pearls--those called attention to the wearer in the first century.  It's VERY helpful to have an honest person in your life who can say to you, "No one will pay attention to your kindness (faithfulness, graciousness, holiness . . . ) when you're wearing that." 

These are some GREAT thoughts. Thank you ladies! - Rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Modesty IS an issue Part#1

So I am sitting here, thinking back over that night, replaying in my mind people that I saw and talked to, my heart is HEAVY, very HEAVY!  I attended a Christian function where many if not most of the ones attending were dressed up. I was shocked to see how much "skin" was shown.  In fact, as my husband and I were driving home, we discussed it and we were both convicted about teaching our young ones modesty.

I am going to be very blunt in this next statement so I apologize in advance. The clothes that these "ladies" were wearing showed bare legs, arms, breast and the whole curve of their butt and thighs. The dresses were very short and very tight and they wore 3-inch heals to accentuate it even more.  Growing up, if we were to see one of them on a corner, I would just think that they "worked the streets" aka, were prostitutes. SO WHAT HAS CHANGED? Why are we allowing our daughters to dress like this?

I don't like the other end of the spectrum, where you are told that you are not a Christan unless you have 2 inches below this, 3 fingers higher then that, wear dresses down to the ground and never brush your hair...  I know I'm being a little silly but I think there are two extremes to this card. However, it IS NOT an extreme to say that dressing to please the Lord is the only way you should live your life.

Ladies!  A man (a very generous term) who wants or allows you to dress like the "world" has NO respect for you.  He needs an arm ornament to show of.  He is also the man that will cheat on you when someone "better" comes along. He is the also the man, who doesn't see you. He sees "SEX" written across your body.  When you are pregnant with his child and you look huge, you're acting crazy and his cute lil flirty friend comes by, YOU ARE HISTORY.  Why?  He had a toy not a treasure.  He had an ornament not a life partner.  He didn't respect you, he used you.  DONT let him do this.  Respect yourself.  Dress for God!

My heart is torn for you my beautiful friend! A wise person once said "Let the arrows of fashion point to your face." How true. Let's decide today, to dress ambassadors for Christ, looking nice but not trashy. Allowing what we wear to point to the smiles on our faces and the glory of God shinning through. Stay with me as we continue this subject. - Rejoicing in the present

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lock down!

I'm super sorry, I have not been posting the last few days, between preparing our teens for camp, traveling there, registering and no sleep, I have not been able to get on the Internet. However, I am glad I didn't post the inspirational thought for this week, BECAUSE I heard about a story last night that I want to share. 
Most all of us heard about the tornado in Oklahoma, BUT did you hear about the bank vault? Here is the story...

Dena Clark wasn't supposed to be at the Tinker Federal Credit Union in Moore, Okla., when the tornado hit Monday. Her worried mother knew a storm was coming and was on the phone with Clark telling her to go home. But living in Oklahoma, Clark had seen so many tornadoes come and go with minimal effect that she decided to stop at the bank because she had a lot of cash in her car from a weekend garage sale at her home.

Clark, 23, was in the middle of a transaction with a bank employee when tornado sirens started going off. "We're actually going into the vault," the teller told Clark. "Me too?" she asked. "Yes," the woman replied. 

For the next few minutes, the bank employees and their customers all moved into the bank's vault, a small room filled with deposit boxes and encased in two feet of concrete. The bank manager and a police officer monitored the situation by watching TV and looking out the window. At least one passerby came into the bank seeking shelter.

Clark was texting her husband about whether she should stay or go. At first he told her she could probably head out, but that text was quickly followed by another one: "Tornado on the ground. Stay."

Soon enough, the lights flickered, the TV went off and the power was out. "Eventually, everyone was in the vault and the bank doors were closed," Clark said. "We had our flashlight and there's several people in there ranging from a 10-year-old boy on his iPad to these elderly people that just happened to be at the bank."

There were 14 employees and eight other people in the vault. There was one problem: They couldn't get the vault door closed all the way from the inside. Someone took off a belt and looped it through an opening meant to let in oxygen so that they could tug the vault door closed as much as possible, she said. When it still wouldn't close all the way, the branch manager, the police officer and another employee held the door shut "just in case."

"After our ears started popping, I just remember hearing the windows blow out," Clark said. "I could hear the glass hit the ground. It was still relatively calm for a little bit after that but you could hear things."

"They say [a tornado] sounds like a freight train coming, and I agree with that. But it also just sounds like swirling," she said. "We could hear things moving above us, rotating above us. Things started to hit the bank vault." The bank manager, she said, was shouting, "Don't let go! Don't let go!"

Another bank employee prayed in Spanish, crying out to God to protect them. Clark recalled getting emotional for the first time, she said, at the memory.

"You see movies. I could just picture in my mind the bank vault door ripping away from us and not knowing what was going to happen," Clark said. "I don't know how they kept that bank door shut. I don't know how long we were actually inside the tornado. It felt like forever."

Debris started flying through the cracks of the door and glass cut the feet of people who were wearing sandals. Clark said it became difficult to breathe because of all the dust and debris.

"As soon as the tornado passed, we were all kind of wondering, 'Is there a building out there?'" she said.

When they believed the twister had passed and tried to open the door, they found that they couldn't and began to smell gas. "We started smelling gas and I was thinking to myself, we survived a tornado and now we're going to explode," Clark said. The few people with cellphone service who had been calling and texting loved ones then called 911 to say that they were trapped in the bank vault and could smell gas.

Before authorities could arrive, people passing by heard them shouting and came to help. "They started to dig us out and they pulled back some of the rubble just enough for us to open the door and get out," Clark said. "We made it out of the vault and it was just a sense of relief and people were hysterically crying and hyperventilating."

tornado bank vaultWhat she saw shocked her."It was unbelievable," she said. "I know it was a miracle. Nothing in the bank was standing except for where we were."They had been in the vault for just under an hour, Clark said.

Clark's cellphone battery was running low, but she managed to text her husband, call her mother and snap a photo of the vault before the phone died. "I believe I found my car. It's what looks like my car. It was standing vertically against some rubble," Clark said. "It's not a big deal. It can be replaced. Lives can't."

Bank officials expressed a similar sentiment. "Thank you all for your support as we and many of our members found ourselves in the path of yesterday's storm," the bank posted on its Facebook page. "Sadly, our Moore branch was lost. Fortunately, all employees of that branch emerged unscathed, having ridden out the storm in the safety of the vault."

Hours after the tornado, Clark was reunited with her family and found that her house was relatively unscathed. Clark said she feels "so lucky and so blessed" to have survived the disaster. "I wasn't supposed to be at the bank," an emotional Clark said. "It was so clearly orchestrated by God."

Proverbs 4:23 "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." We are at Gospel Light's Youth Conference this week and the above story was the opener. 

Ladies, friends, moms, daughters, we WILL go through storms and disasters, but if we are prepared and have our hearts already locked up (only allowing Jesus, our great rescuer with the key) we will still stand while the whole world is falling apart. He is our fortress, our rock and foundation, our vault. Hide in him. The storms will come and everything around us will be demolished but we will still stand. Lock it down girls! - rejoicing in the present. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cooking W/ Brandy: Marinated Leafless Salad

It's the summer and there is A LOT of grilling to be done. Well, here is a yummy leaf-less salad to go with those grilled entrees

Marinated Cucumber, Onions and Tomatoes 

What you need:

  1. 3 medium cucumbers (peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick)
  2. 1 medium onion, (sliced and separated into rings)
  3. 3 medium tomatoes (cut into wedges 
  4. 1/2 cup vinegar
  5. 1/4 cup of sugar
  6. 1 cup of water
  7. 2 t Salt
  8. 1 t fresh  coarse ground black pepper
  9. 1/4 cup oil
What you do:
  1. Cut of the veggies and place them in a bowl
  2. Mix the other ingredients in a separate bowl
  3. Pore the mixture over the veggies and stir
  4. Refrigerate until you serve
  5. ENJOY!!!! 

Harmful Fruit #2 - F&V Wash Recipes

Here are three simple recipes to have on hand:

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #1
  • 1/2 cup organic white vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce. Allow to set for a few minutes, then lightly scrub. Rinse well.

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #2
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce. Allow to set for a few minutes, then lightly scrub. Rinse well.

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #3
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. organic white vinegar
  • 1 cup filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce, allow to set, then scrub. Rinse well.

Protecting your family starts with knowledge. Always buy organic produce when it comes to the fruits and veggies listed on the Dirty Dozen. And be sure to wash all produce well to remove any lingering contaminants. By following these two simple steps, you’ll go a long way to guarding against the harmful effects of chemicals, without breaking the bank!

 Hope this helps!!!!!!!!!! - rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Harmful Fruit #1

Can fruit ever be harmful? That is something we have to consider.  Here is a better statement--, "the pesticides that are put on the fruit can be dangerous" - Here is an interesting article from by: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet


If you're concerned about toxic residues on your produce, you're not alone.

More and more Americans are choosing organics to help reduce their exposure to harmful substances. Pesticides, herbicides and other biocides can have a range of negative effects on adults. But these chemicals are of even greater concern for children. In fact, studies have shown that the levels of pesticide residues on some produce exceed the level deemed “safe” for kids.

Even a Little Can Be Harmful

But what is a “safe” amount of pesticide residue, anyway?
According to recent research, the answer may be zero. In fact, even minute exposures in the womb and during infancy and early childhood can lead to serious health issues later in life.

  • Leukemia: A study published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring found that mothers who were exposed to pesticides at least once had a two- to seven-times greater risk of having a child diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) - the most common form of childhood cancer - before the age of two.
  • ADHD: A 2010 Harvard study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children with higher levels of organophosphate pesticide metabolites in their blood were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Food Allergies: Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that people with high levels of dichlorophenol (a breakdown product of an herbicide) and chlorine (found in tap water) were more likely to have allergies to milk, eggs, seafood, and peanuts. Biocides reduce healthy bacteria levels in the gut, which in turn affects the body's immune reactions to allergens.
  • Autism: Organophosphate pesticides are neurotoxins. They work by targeting neurological systems of insects. And recent research suggests these chemicals can have similar effects on people, especially children. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that children were six times more likely to be diagnosed with autism if their mothers had spent their early pregnancy in homes within 500 meters of fields with the highest levels of organophosphate application, compared to those not living near agricultural fields.

Should You Feed Your Kids More Fruits and Vegetables?

As the evidence on the harmful effects of pesticides continues to mount, many parents find themselves with unanswered (and unsettling) questions:

• Do the health benefits of fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure?
• Do I have to buy all organic to ensure my children are protected?
• How can I protect my children’s health and still stay within my budget?

The good news is that there are a few simple, cost-effective steps you can take that will eliminate nearly 90% of your family’s exposure to pesticides.

Buy Organics Selectively (But Make No Exceptions)

According to The Environmental Working Group, up to 90% of our pesticide exposure comes from 12 crops. These crops are coined “The Dirty Dozen” including:

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Cherry Tomatoes
4. Cucumbers
5. Grapes
6. Hot Peppers
7. Nectarines (Imported)
8. Peaches
9. Potatoes
10. Spinach
11. Strawberries
12. Sweet Bell Peppers

Kale/collard greens and summer squash have recently been added to the list, due to high levels of organochlorine pesticides.

When it comes to the foods listed above, you should ALWAYS buy organic. It is important to note that these foods are also the foods most commonly found in baby foods and snacks. Be sure to read labels on packaged foods and ensure that the above listed foods are “organic”.

Eliminate Residual Contaminants with Two Simple Steps

For foods that are not classified as “The Dirty Dozen”, you can reduce or eliminate residues and bacteria with two easy steps.

First, remove the outside leaves or peel - the outer surface is likely to have the highest concentration of pesticide residue.

Next, use a vegetable wash and rinse thoroughly. While commercial veggie washes are widely available, you can make your own at home for pennies. It’s completely safe, nontoxic, and won’t affect the taste of your fruits or vegetables.

Interesting! So try to buy organic (especially the dirty dozen) and or use a Fruit or Veggie Wash. Tomorrow, I will have Part 2 - The Veggie Wash recipes. -rejoicing in the present

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MYO Baby Food

Baby food is expensive, and if you're like me, you wonder what they actually put in it.  So, I make my own.  After months of making it, I came upon this website  I wish I had found this earlier--I am going to bookmark it for the future!  I am sharing, below, my 2 favorite recipes from the site.

Favorite Fruit Recipe

  • 1/4 honeydew melon, chopped
  • 1 banana
Combine 1/4 of a honeydew melon chopped and one ripe banana peeled and sliced. Mix with immersion blender to the appropriate consistency for your baby.

Recipe Yields: 4 Servings
Storage Time: 3 months in the freezer

This recipe offers Vitamin C and Potassium which are necessary nutrients for your child’s growth.

Favorite Veggie Recipe

Avocado is a great first food for baby because it contains essential fats and trace nutrients, vitamins A, C, Niacin, and Folic Acid that your baby needs to grow. Also, Avocados are easy for baby to digest.

Peel and take out the pit of a ripe avocado – do not cook. Cut “meat” in small pieces. Blend until smooth with immersion blender. Add breastmilk, formula or water to thin the puree to the desired consistency.

As your child grows into stages three and four, mash the avocado to chunkier consistency, or simply dice avocado into pieces, sized for little fingers to pick up easily. You can also introduce new flavors by spicing up the avocado mash with a little garlic (minced or powder) or even cumin. Just like new foods, introduce spices to your baby one at a time.

There are so many different recipes.  Check them out, make a few and let us know what your favorite was. - rejoicing in the present

Monday, June 17, 2013

A lesson on Kindness

A few years back, I heard this story and it made an impact on how I treated all types of children. I hope this inspires you to be a better mom, friend and teacher. You never know what is going on in the life of a child until you dig a little bit. 
Matthew 19:14 " But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Every child is important to Jesus, Are they important to you?
Kindness of a Teacher - Teddy Stoddard Story
by Bruce
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.'

His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.'

His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.'

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.'

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets.'

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honours. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.'

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

 Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." - Rejoicing in the present