Tuesday, December 31


Monday, December 30

A Good Story


Exodus 14
 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Saturday, December 28

Colorful Creation







All pictures found on the web.

Inspire

Wednesday, December 25

Christmas


Friday, December 20

Thursday, December 19

Surprise!!!

Many of you know that I have been living in Colorado for the last year and few months. This year I am doing Missional Track in DLA, and since this program is part time, I got a job in the Kid's Club at 24 Hour Fitness. Last year I did the full time program. Anyways, about a month and a half ago I decided that I wanted to surprise my family by coming home for Christmas. So, I asked for the time off work and bought a super cheap plane ticket. Then I started telling my family that I didn't think I would be able to come home. Then two weeks ago (the begging of December) I called my mom up and told her that I found out from work that I would not be able to take the time off work, and I would have to stay there for Christmas. I did a pretty good job convincing her!
Now, I knew I would be coming home, but I needed to make sure that 1, my family had no hope that they would see me for Christmas, and 2, that they would be home the day I came home.
To make sure they would be home, I told them that I was sending them a package and they needed to be home the day it got here because they would have to sign for it.
The last two weeks I was in Colorado it was really hard to keep up the story that I couldn't come home, because I had to sound sad, and bored, and lonely. I did get sick during one of the weeks so that helped me sound miserable.
Next thing I needed to do was get a ride home from the airport so I could surprise my family by showing up at the front door. I called up my buddy Kelsey AKA Swimtrot from camp. She came and got me and drove me home.
When I arrived at my house a went up to the front door and rang the doorbell. My sister thought it was the "package" I sent them. My mom came to the front door and opened it. She stood there for a couple of moments and just stared at me. Then she asked me, "What are you doing here?"
Nobody had any idea that I was coming! This was a great surprise!

Wednesday, December 18

Small Business for a Big Cause

A friend of mine is making earrings to raise money for a missions trip she is going on this next year. This is a great opportunity for a small team to go over to the UK and share the love of Jesus to people who may have  never had someone show them God's love! Here is her website! Go ahead, take a look!

Wednesday, December 11

Friday, December 6

Ready to Date

Are You My Future Husband?
by Phylicia Duran

I stumbled through the door of the gym at 4:30 AM, frizzy hair jerked back in a stripey highlighted bun, no makeup, and barely awake. I smiled wanly at the desk attendant, rattling off my ID number – “13447.” – like a sleepwalker. He looked different than the usual early shift guy – maybe it was his hair with a slight Jimmy Neutron flair.

He spoke to me while I signed into my post-workout relaxation technique, the tanning beds. “Do you go to Liberty?” he asked. I did a quick self-eval for Liberty-logo gear – no lanyard, jacket, alumni shirt, backpack… nothing. It’s a good guess if one lives in Lynchburg that Liberty is somehow your affiliate. “I work there, and I graduated from Liberty.” I replied. We made some conversation about Liberty before I went on to my fake bake and left for home.

Five days later, Mr. Morning Shift was looking a little too chipper for 4:30 AM. When I walked in the door his face lit up. “You’re here! The highlight of my morning.” He said.

The only way this face is the highlight of your morning is if you have seen no faces at all between 12 and 6 AM, I thought.

Instead I smiled, signed in, and walked to the bathroom with a rock in my stomach. Should I have mentioned Mr. M earlier? I’d only just met this guy! We’d only made small talk! I’d had him in mind for at least three of my girlfriends!

Slightly freaked out at his apparent interest I sweated out the anxiety on the treadmill, dreading the sign in sheet for the first time in my suntanned life.

He was just as chatty when I rounded the corner. I knew I had to head this off or it was headed to worse places, so with the casualness of a Wild West gambler I hinted that my dearly beloved had just graduated from Liberty himself with an (ahem) computer engineering degree. He pushed the tanning sign in sheet toward me. “Lay down or stand up?” he asked, and that was all.

The next morning I received a very chilly greeting. Either his hair didn’t come together the way he pleased, or I was no longer the highlight of his morning. Any hint of kind customer service had vanished, and in its place was a sour Planet Fitness employee punching in my ID and asking if I wanted my tan full time or eleven minutes. What happened to Mr. Nice Guy?

Mr. Nice Guy didn’t view me as a person. He viewed me as a Potential.

The truth is, I have done exactly what that desk attendant did many times over, and now I know how all those poor, targeted guys felt when I did it. I dread checking into the desk! It’s pretty much the most awkward thing since my Finding Nemo Darla-esque braces in 10th grade.

I touched on this topic in the post I Like Him. Now What?. We get attracted to a man and consequently become social chameleons, adapting to his preferences; changing ourselves; picturing a future with him. Then the walls come crashing down and not only are we disconcerted, we begin to hate the guy who dared wreck the dreams he knew nothing about.

This is what happens when People become Potential. When we view guys as potential mates or dates, we place expectations on them that they know nothing about and therefore can never fulfill. We are disappointed when our hopes are dashed and cannot treat the young men with any respect due to our own embarrassment or vulnerability. And it’s not even their fault!

When I first met Mr. Planet Fitness, I didn’t view him as a potential date because I know I am reserved for someone else. But judging by his reaction when I mentioned Mr. M, he viewedme as a ‘potential’. While I was at ease talking with him, like I would any desk attendant, he was talking to me with other intentions. Even though he didn’t know me enough to make any judgment of character, he was interested in using me for the purpose of attention.

When I turned up taken, I no longer served his purposes, so I was no longer worth his time.

We do the exact same thing when we set our sights on a young man, running him through our mind-mill till we’ve ground every Future Husband quality out of him. This is a source of much confusion and heartbreak in the lives of young women.

When we fixate on a person, we do three things:

1. We make him an idol.

“All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human.” (Isaiah 44:9-10)

The craftsmen are only human. We are only human! We don’t know the best choice for us. We don’t know what a guy is like until we have spent time with him as a friend. Placing him on a pedestal of attention steals attention from the one who really deserves it: our Savior.

2. We set up false expectations.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

When we fixate on someone, we make plans that may never come to fruition. It is out of our control. These plans contain the human variable; a person who owes us nothing and can do whatever he wants. Plans centralized in a person will fail, but plans founded on a God who knows the future will bring hope (Jer. 29:11).

We should be busy about the plan of God for our lives, to be a worker who is not ashamed of her actions and emotions but is actively serving her Lord.

3. We try to play God’s part.


“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Prov. 16:9)

When we fixate on a person, we in essence tell God, “I’ve got this! I know this person is the answer to my prayers. I am going to spend my time thinking about him, dreaming about a future, and making tentative plans in case you come through on my terms.” We would save ourselves a lot of disappointment if we let God be God. We plan the broad way we go – dedicating our relationships to the Lord – and still try to establish our own steps to get there.God wants to have both our ways AND our steps along the way.

What can we do to be confident, capable women in this area?

1. We can make him a friend.

One thing I find helpful is to consider each man I encounter to be married. Just as I am dedicated to Mr. M, I consider these men dedicated to another woman. They are taken; reserved for someone else. Even when I was single this enabled me to remember my male friends are not my possession; they are God’s men. I could be their friend, but it was up to them whether I was worthy of pursuit. Dreaming about it did nothing but set up unrealistic expectations.

When we emphasize friendship with our male friends, we are treating them with the respect and brotherly love we owe them as Christian women. We reject the world’s method of ‘go and get ‘em’ and patiently wait on God’s timing and choice.

2. We can find out God’s plans for us.

Yes, we can know God’s will for our lives. But it’s not going to be a scroll that drops from heaven with a blueprint of the next twenty years. God’s will is revealed step by step, in the moments of need. God gives enough grace for our present circumstance, not enough for tomorrow or next week. Just so, he only reveals enough of His will for us to take the next step.

As we know God we discover His plans. He will slowly reveal which people will stay in your life and which will leave. There are people I thought I’d be friends with forever who I have no relationship with at this time. Others who didn’t fit what I had pictured have changed my life forever by their influence! We do not know what is best for us until we are at God’s feet asking. He wants to tell us, and we don’t have to guess!

3. We can play our part in God’s will.

This is the time to make the most of your skills.

Phylicia, if you harp on ‘skills’ one more time I am unfollowing you!

Sorry girls, I’m going to harp on this like Cupid and his lyre.

Every woman has skills, talents, and gifts. However, many girls and young career women shove their talents aside after 8-5 and spend their time on TV shows, romance novels, parties and shopping. I too enjoy a good Gilmore Girls series and can shop with the best of them! But I also realize that in the end my body houses a soul, and that soul has a purpose. And that purpose is running out of time.

Some view this as fatalistic, but I would challenge you to think differently. We only have one life to live and have been given gifts to live it. They were not given to us so we can bury them in pleasing ourselves and our Christian friends. They were given to us so we can actively live out God’s purpose in the years we have on earth, so we can prepare to minister to our community and someday-families, and make God’s name apparent by our character.

For me, this is cooking, cleaning, bringing meals to the sick, leading a group of 25 kindergarteners, or counseling a girl in a therapeutic horseback program. For others this is painting, teaching single moms money management, serving with Compassion International, facilitating showers and parties for loved ones, or singing at church. What God gives you to do will be specific to who you are and where God has you. This is our part in God’s will for the world.

Love God, and love people. As women of God people are not there to serve our purposes, lined up for our ‘potential’ future plans. Capable women do not let emotion dictate their actions. Confident women know their God-given purpose and rest their hope in Him.Complete women don’t need back-up, fall-back, potential mates lined up because they are God’s ‘priestess queens’ (1 Peter 2), free to serve others without partiality.

Did you read that? You are God’s royal daughter! He would provide no one but the best for you, and in your own mind you won’t find him. But God will.

“We have fixed our hope on the Living God, who is Savior of all men, especially of believers.” – 1 Tim. 4:10

@aquillandinkwell

Monday, December 2

20 Things Every Twenty-Something Should Know

First things first, most twenty-somethings are too hard on themselves.
It’s one of the downsides of a youth-obsessed culture. We tend to think if we haven’t published our first book, planted our first church or gotten married by the time we’re 30, then we’re on the fast track for a lonely, penniless death which will be mourned by none. Sure, some people get famous when they turn 25. Some people also swim across the English Channel.
Your twenties are a prime time to explore and grow, without all the baggage that comes with settling down and making your mark. (Jesus Himself was an unknown carpenter in a reviled corner of Israel until He was 30.)
That said, there are a few things every twenty-something should know how to do.

YOUR TWENTIES ARE A PRIME TIME TO EXPLORE AND GROW, WITHOUT ALL THE BAGGAGE THAT COMES WITH SETTLING DOWN AND MAKING YOUR MARK.

1. Make a Great Breakfast
Ideally, you should be able to craft a great meal for any occasion, but this is the most important meal of the day and so, it’s the one you should have down. Use real butter, large eggs, fresh mushrooms, cheese, whatever, but know the ins and outs and invite a lot of people over to eat it with you regularly.

2. Argue Kindly
An increasingly rare trait, but you’ll be better for it. Learn how to have your own opinions (and make sure they’re actually yours—not just something you “heard somewhere”) and how to put them firmly and politely, in a way that invites spirited conversation. It's a rare and wonderful thing.

3. Hold a Conversation With Someone of Any Age
Whether the person you’re talking to is eight or 80, you should be able to hold a meaningful, intentional conversation with them. Remember to ask a lot of questions, be more interested in who they are than in who you are, and strive to make their day.

4. Parallel Park
Nothing menial about it, and not nearly as hard as it looks. Practice a little. Become an expert. Dazzle your friends.

5. Defend Your Media Choices
Whether you like Kendrick, Kings of Leon or Ke$ha, you should be able to articulate why. The media we consume affects us, and you should be able to explain to yourself why you’re listening, watching and reading the things that you are.

6. Limit Your Online Life
This cannot be over-emphasized. The inability to manage an online presence has toppled promising careers and made fools out of otherwise competent individuals. You should have a good grip on how often you use social media and what you’re using it for. If you find most of your free time spent on the Internet, it’s time to make some choices. If you’re checking your phone at every awkward pause, delete that Facebook app.

7. Approach a Stranger
Whether it’s for directions, a favor or even just to pass the time on an airplane, knowing how to strike up a conversation out of the blue is a marvelous skill. Ask them questions (don’t lead with information about yourself), be approachable (not aggressive) and look for clues that they’d rather be left alone.

8. Stand Up for Yourself
Whether it’s your boss shooting down an idea before you've explained it or a guy shouting rude comments as you’re walking by, you should know how to keep from getting walked over.

9. Say “I Was Wrong”
A relationship squabble. A professional tiff. A theological debate. Whatever it is, you should always be looking for where you might have messed up. “I was wrong” is a magical little sentence that diffuses conflict and brings peace to any situation. You should have it at the top of your go-to phrases.

10. Brew a Great Cup of Coffee or Tea
Look. Once and for all, turning on the coffeemaker and brewing a pot of coffee is totally fine. But you should also be aware how to make a perfect cup of coffee or tea. For yourself. For your friends. Do a little reading. Perfect your technique. It’s a skill you’ll be glad you have forever.

11. Tip Generously
What’s just an extra buck or two to you can completely make your server’s day. Make it a habit to tip generously and, if you’re really feeling daring, write a brief thank you note on your check.

12. Maintain a Mentor
Your twenties are a great time to invest in a mentor. Find someone you want to be like—be it your pastor, a friend or even a peer—and commit to meeting with them regularly. It takes a little humility and a lot of dedication, but there is no ceiling to the value it will add to your life.

13. Bite Your Tongue
Know how to pick your battles. It’s OK for you to be right without getting everyone to admit you’re right. It’s OK for you to be offended by something without everyone knowing you’re offended. Understand when you should go to bat for what you’re thinking and when you can let it go.

14. Stay Well Rested
Late nights will come (if you’ve got kids, they’ll come pretty frequently) but our generation has forgotten the value in a good night’s sleep. Push yourself to go to bed earlier. Utilize your downtime wisely. Resting is just as important as being productive. In fact, you’ll be more productive if you are resting well and often.

15. Respond to Criticism
Defending yourself against criticism is easy. Graciously accepting it is harder, but the improvements it can make to your life and work are wild. Remember that criticism usually isn't meant to be a personal attack and, if you can learn to take it in the spirit it's offered, people will have fewer things to criticize you about in the future.

16. Write a Cover Letter
Filling out an application is a pretty simple process but, in all likelihood, the job you really want is going to take more than a list of references and previous employers. Cover letters require some effort, but it can be the difference between “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and “when can you start?”

17. Be Alone
The Millennial generation prizes community, which is very good, but it tends to come at the cost of fearing loneliness. The truth is, being alone can do you a lot of good. Be able to sit quietly—reading, writing, praying or just listening to the silence—and use that time to truly evaluate how your spirit is. Loneliness is exercise for your heart. Do it regularly.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT’S URGENT AND WHAT’S IMPORTANT, AND KNOW WHICH ONE MATTERS MORE.

18. Recommend a Book, Movie or Album
It's harder than it sounds. It’s easy to sound like a pretentious snob or a gushing fan when you’re telling someone to check out something you love. Be able to explain not only why you love something, but why you think someone else would love it.

19. Prioritize the Important Over the Urgent
There are two types of demands on your life. The first and easiest to focus on are the urgent: paying your rent, getting ahead in work, etc. The second and much harder to tackle are the important: your spiritual life, your relationship with your family and looking after the health of your soul. Know the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important, and know which one matters more.

20. Hold on to a Good Friend
There’s going to be a lot of transition in your twenties as both you and your friends float from job to job and location to location. You’ll have to say a lot of good bye’s in the midst of it all, but you should know when you've found the rare friend who you don’t want to lose, and you should be able to prioritize staying in touch with them beyond the occasional text message.

Saturday, November 30

Modesty

That Day I Wore Yoga Pants: 5 Myths About Modesty
By Phylicia Duran

Hurriedly I raked through my second dresser drawer in the dim light of the unlit closet, scrambling for pants of some kind. Finding some, I grabbed a work out shirt, jammed feet into tennis shoes and breathlessly answered the door for Mr. M.

“Ready for breakfast?” He asked.

We cooked breakfast together and headed downtown to go for a walk by the James, where a paved path was perfect for running. By the time we got there, however, our plans changed to the farmer’s market (our Saturday favorite), Estate Consignments and coffee at a little shop beside the bank.

As we walked into the estate store Mr. M glanced at my outfit. The pants I had found in my harried search were work out capris – otherwise known as yoga pants. “You know…” He said. “You are dressed a lot like those girls you always comment on at the gym.”

We had talked about this before. Mr. M has requested, not commanded, that I refrain from wearing the pants to the gym, and really not in public at all. But I’d ignored the request, and here I was walking down the sidewalk in them.

“I was kind of surprised you wore them.” He said sadly.

I picked at the tag on a buffet table, glancing at myself in a mirror in the corner. It was just one request he had made – a request based on what he knew of his own male mind and the minds of the men around him. But I wanted MY way, so I ignored it.

I like those pants. I like them because not only are they comfortable – as all yoga pants are – but I look trendy. I look like one of those suburban moms with a ponytail, pushing her children through the market in a twin-seat stroller. And I like that look, regardless of the consequences.

But there are consequences.

The issue here is not that I wore yoga pants. The issue isn’t yoga pants at all, but the principle of the matter. The pants are skin tight. You can see every curve of my lower body. Not only is it attractive to Mr. M, but from several informal interviews, comments, and input from other men, it’s a recurring blind spot with Christian women everywhere. It’s about how hot I look, or how I want to dress, regardless of what anybody thinks.

Let’s be real: I have failed and still do fail at modesty on occasions like I just depicted above. The journey toward true femininity is one we all share as Christian women, and today I’m going to share some truth I've learned through my own mistakes and the studying I've done because of them.

I recently saw an article shared on Facebook written by a woman’s husband concerning modesty and the church. While the article addressed young men, it was primarily ‘shared’ on Facebook by… women. Why is that?

The content of the article reflected two concepts:

1. Men are not keeping their eyes to themselves and honoring their Christian sisters, and

2. Women are unfairly singled out about their clothing in the church and workplace.

There is certainly truth to the first point, and the bulk of this man’s article was very valid in its address to men and the issue of lust. But the reality is that many Christian men – at least the ones who truly seek after God and are convicted by His Spirit – are not only aware of their lust problem, but guilty about it. They are not all shameless beasts looking for an opportunity to undress women in their minds. In many cases, the very women offended by the negative attention of men are dressing in such a way as to earn it.

The issue of modesty gets heated, as fingers are pointed and hemlines discussed, but I’m going to skip all that fuss and speak woman to woman, because I think we can handle it!

#1 Myth of Modesty: ‘It’s His Job Not to Look’

It’s true, lust is a sin, and men shouldn’t entertain it.

But if we give them nothing to look at, how often do you think they would be tempted to lust after us?

The article I mentioned earlier said women have been unfairly singled out concerning modesty. While men are responsible to honor us with their eyes and minds, when we dishonor ourselves by what we wear, the real unfairness is to the men. Do we really expect to wear whatever we want and then tell them not to look at us? Do we really expect to fit in with the latest (often sexually promiscuous) trends and NOT be viewed as an object of sexual desire?

It is not just his job not to look: it is our responsibility to provide nothing provocative to look at. We cannot blame men for what we instigate, and it is time for women of God to start acknowledging our responsibility in this matter, taking up our cross, and honoring God with our dress.

#2 Myth of Modesty: Setting Standards is Legalistic

I will always have a reader who emails me about my modesty posts saying that she wore yoga pants and it wasn’t a big deal. “I understand you were convicted that it was wrong,” The email might kindly explain. “But I haven’t been convicted yet.”

I’m not here to write a list of rules to be broken or ignored, but rather to talk about real issues that address real young women. I realize that it is not my job to write your personal standards of modesty. But since we are on the topic of yoga pants, let me share some things Mr. M commented to me when I was writing this post:

“Yoga pants make it difficult to work out when the girls are right there and the pants are so tight, it’s basically like the woman is naked. A friend of mine even said when a girl wears yoga pants… it shows all the form and features while covering up flaws, like imperfections of the skin or cellulite. They are designed to be appealing.”
Additionally, a young man in a men’s group Mr. M once attended upheld this view. He told the men it was tough for him to try to work out, where there are girls wearing yoga pants doing stretches right beside him. It was a struggle not to lust after them. He would have to make himself leave the vicinity to do his workout with the still-present threat of remembering their image and stumbling later on. Yet another friend told Mr. M that it pained and concerned him that his girlfriend would go to the gym in her yoga pants to work with her personal trainer, but he didn’t feel he could ask her to stop without being perceived as controlling.

What is the real issue here? Is it what not to wear? In our hearts we know it isn’t. It’s a standard of behavior, not a standard of dress, that is ultimately missing from our lives when we fail to be modest.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Paul wanted women to dress with ‘decency and propriety… as appropriate for women who profess to worship God.’ This high calling is our standard of behavior, which directly influences our standard of dress. It calls us to be different from the trends, the culture, and the leanings of the modern church. It calls us to align our spiritual life with our outward life in all things, willing to make personal sacrifices in order to do so.

Setting standards is not legalistic; regulating others BY our standards is legalistic. Many of us spend a lot more time telling the men of the church to quit looking and the other women in the church to quit dressing the way they do, and we never evaluate our own closets.

#3 Myth of Modesty: Men Don’t Care What I Wear

Oh, they do. They care. Why else would we care so much? Why do we place such value on being told we are pretty or beautiful by a man? Why do we spend half an hour getting ready before a date?

Because men DO care what we wear, and we know it!

Men care so much what we do (or do not) wear, they are very conscious of it at all times. While the level may differ man to man, the concept remains the same: extra skin, extra form, extra cleavage or extra leg will draw either subconscious or conscious attention from them. They are designed as visual creatures (we have had this taught to us many times over, have we not?) so a visual stimulant catches their eye.

On an innocent level, men simply like pretty things. My brothers notice when a girl looks put together. My dad has commented on movie actresses who are classy and well-dressed. Mr. M has commented to me that a passing woman’s dress was pretty. They like pretty things and they like when we wear them.

1. Because of this, we have a great power. We have the power to draw their eyes toward us for one of two reasons:
2. For the appeal of their desire based on revealing enough of our bodies to entice them; or
To appear attractive in personality as reflected in how we dress.

This leads me to my next point.

#4 Myth of Modesty: Lust is HIS Problem

Lust is a rampant problem in the church and in our culture. Most often lust is addressed with men, but it is also a major issue in the lives of women. It simply looks different for women than it does for men.

In Myth #3, I listed two ways we can turn a man’s head:
1. For the appeal of his desire based on revealing enough of our bodies to entice him; or
2. To appear attractive in personality as reflected in how we dress.

Don’t think I can’t relate with a desire for attention. I am acutely aware that there are certain items I could wear that would draw Mr. M’s attention to my body, and I would be flattered by it. In fact, I would relish the attention and be affirmed that he found me desirable.

Manipulating a man’s attention for the purpose of affirmation is how women are tempted to lust.

Case in point: Eve.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Gen. 3:6)

Eve was given to Adam as his most trusted companion. She was also the most perfect beauty ever to be created in the body of a woman. You can bet her beauty served her well as she asked Adam to taste-test the forbidden fruit!

Eve thought the fruit of the tree was useful and pretty, but also desirable.

“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

When I give into my desire to for Mr. M’s attention, at the expense of his endeavor to honor God, I am giving in to the lust of my flesh and encouraging the lust of his eyes. I am also expressing pride by ignoring God’s command for ‘decency and propriety’ since I claim to worship Him. I am becoming Eve.

#5 Myth of Modesty: Modesty is Just Something I Do

“The more you cover up the more [a Christian man] will want you. Men like mystery, and when you reveal that mystery walking down the street, there is no reason for them to pursue you. They’ve already gotten their reward.” – Mr. M

Would you like to reward passing men with a glimpse of your body?

Men who couldn’t care less about who you are?

Modesty affects us, ladies. It affects us greatly. It affects how we are perceived, how we are respected, how we advance in our careers, and whether we get asked on a date by a God-fearing, decent man.

Our choices in how we dress – how short our skirt is, how low our shirt is, how tight our pants are – is the clearest reflection of our personal priorities and our openness to letting God’s Word alter our lives. I realize that is a bold statement, but it is very, very true. When I am not walking in God’s Spirit and seeking to do what I read in His Word, I will wear whatever I want at the expense of the men around me and my own self-respect. In those moments, I would rather be trendy, Pinterest-y, and pretty than prove to the world that I worship God.
When we stubbornly resist the call to cover up, we reveal hearts that have misplaced priorities. We have a high calling, ladies, clearly laid out in Romans 12:17-18. This passage talks about forgiveness, which applies to all treatment of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Modesty is respectable in the sight of all men. It just is. Additionally, in our relationships with men, it depends upon us to dress in a way that keeps peace between us and our brothers.

“But Phylicia,” you may say. “How am I causing a lack of peace by how I dress?!”

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul…” (1 Peter 2:11)

When we dress in a way that has even the potential to cause a man to lust, we create an unnecessary war against his soul.

Think about that for a moment.

Dressing in the way God commands – with modesty, propriety, and decency – protects the men around us from waging a needless war in their souls. When we REFUSE to accept our responsibility to protect our brothers – our sister’s husbands and sons – from lust, we are creating a war and inciting unrest in the church.
Yes, it is the responsibility of the men to turn their eyes away. So let’s entrust them to the Lord and let Him deal with their responsibilities while we concern ourselves with our own. Ladies, I am right here with you, dealing with this issue, struggling with it, fighting with my closet over it! I am asking you to join me in this endeavor. I want to trust Mr. M around you. I want you to trust your husbands around me.

On a final note, here is some encouragement. 1 Peter 2:12 says:

“…having your way of life honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

When we keep ourselves hidden, those who see us glorify God because they see a different woman than they are used to. Anyone can join the trends. Anyone can wear yoga pants. But the woman who chooses to change in order to obey God will be blessed in her doing.

We’re in this together girls! Let’s honor God and earn the respect of the men around us by pursuing His standards for all of life and living.

@aquillandinkwell

Tuesday, November 26

Meet My Sister

As a Baby Born March 12, 1998


As a  Missionary Kid


As Someone Who is Fun


As a Lover of All


As a Helper


As a Gentle Spirit


As a Hard Worker


As a Traveler 


As a New Friend Maker


As a Free Spirit


As a Feeder of Monkeys


As a Tamer of Snakes, But Not of Hair


As a Fearless Child


As a Costume Maker


As an Enjoyer of Creation


As a Surfer 


As an Explorer


As a Gold Finder


As a Weather Reporter


As an Adventurer


As a Reader of the Bible


As an Actress


As a Friend


As a Sister


As a Server


As a Teacher


As a Worshiper and Harpist


As a Dog Watcher


As a Christ Follower


As a Goofball


As a Leader


As a Beautiful Young Lady


As a Child of God


And As My Sister Forever And Always


Saturday, November 23

Friday, November 22

Wednesday, November 20

Tuesday, November 19

A Sheep Devo 4

We caught the thief and troughed him!

Monday, November 18

A Sheep Devo 3

The thief comes again. He keeps trying to steal the sheep! The good Shepherd goes through the gate but not the thief.



Come back tomorrow to see what happens in the last devo!

Sunday, November 17

A Sheep Devo 2

In this devo Novella talks about the good Shepherd (God) and the thief (the devil) and how the thief dresses up and looks like he is good but really he is here to steal, kill, and destroy.



Come back tomorrow to see what the thief does next!

Saturday, November 16

A Sheep Devo 1

A couple years ago my friend Novella (camp name) and I came up with these sheep devos to do for the day campers at camp. This is a 4 part devo. The first one talks about the Good Shepherd that leads His sheep to good pastures. So we tried to show the day campers what it is like to try and lead the sheep to good pastures.





Come back the next day to learn more about this Good Shepherd!

Friday, November 15

Chocolate!


Wednesday, November 13

Counterfeit Gods


Another Good Quote

-Ted Dekker