Saturday, November 29, 2008

Frantic Friday


In my opinion "Black Friday" has become exactly that: black! As black as the depravity of man's heart.

How can any material thing be more important than a human life? One greeter at a Walmart won't be celebrating the season with his family. Instead his family is planning his funeral. The masses broke the doors down and trampled him underfoot as they madly rushed to get those iPods or xboxes or gps or... How can this happen?

Nicole works at Walmart in Troy. Thankfully, she didn't have to work till afternoon. She came home last night and told us about a man who punched a lady and her daughter because they took the last xbox off the shelf!!

A couple years ago, Jerald & I decided to get up in the middle of the night and go to a Best Buy for something ( I don't even remember what it was anymore). We stood in a line that went across the front, down the side and half way around the back of the store. Even after the store opened, the line barely moved. We decided it wasn't worth the ridiculous wait, so we went home. Jerald went online and got the same exact item for the same exact price with no shipping.

How can we go from spending one day in thanksgiving with our families to spending the very next day in a lustful, mad pursuit of stuff? It's like something (or someone) temporarily takes up residence in the heart and causes actions and attitudes that are insane.

For shame America!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Titus 2:3-5
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands that the word of God may not be dishonored".

that they may encourage the young women sensible.

It seems that much thought and time are spent in the encouragement to love husbands and children, but my attention lately has been drawn to that one little word, sensible. What exactly does it mean to be sensible? How does an older woman encourage the younger woman to be sensible? How do we, in a practical manner, live sensibly? What happens if we do not incorporate this virtue into our lives?

The NASB uses the word 'sensible' in this passage of Scripture; the ESV says 'self-controlled'; KJV 'discreet'. The Greek word comes from two parts of speech: a verb meaning to save, to keep safe, to rescue from danger and a feminine noun referring to the mind as a faculty for perceiving and judging, but also meaning the midriff, a part of the heart that masters desires and passions. If we put these two together, we could safely conclude that sensible means training the heart so that the mind can discern what is free from harm and danger, what is safe, prudent and trustworthy. It would involve restraining desires and impulses. (I don't particularly care for the ESV definition of self-controlled. Anything with self at the beginning seems to leave out the work of the Holy Spirit and from what I've concluded there is no way to be a sensible woman without the working of the Spirit in the heart.) The same word is used in 1 Timothy 3:2 in reference to an overseer being prudent.

A verse in Proverbs brings to mind what an unsensible woman might be like- "like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man (or woman) who has no control over his spirit". (25:28)
Romans 6:12 commands us to "not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts".
I believe Peter knew what he was talking about (based on his past)when he instructed us to apply all diligence to moral excellence, knowledge and discretion (mastering desire, passion & appetites). He reminds us that if these qualities are ours and they continually increase in us, we will not be useless or unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I have to ask, who of us, as women, don't need instruction on mastering our emotions? A sensible woman doesn't let the emotions of her heart master her actions and attitudes.

So, how can on older woman train a younger lady in this? We cannot encourage the younger to be sensible when we ourselves do not live controlled by the Holy Spirit. If we are setting the example of a life that's ruled by our passions, desires and emotions, our words of encouragement will fall on deaf ears. We train by example first. And, Moms, you are showing your little girls every single day.

What does living sensibly look like? I asked each of my girls what came to their mind after hearing me read Titus. One said, "it's thinking before acting"; another said, "it's not being a dumb blonde, not acting stupid (stupid is a mean word :)), being smart" and the other mentioned "not being giggly, being responsible". I think that's a pretty good summary. And I'll let you decide who said what.
Other thoughts that came to my mind were establishing boundaries and schedules and than living by them. It seems that schedules may curb our impulses to just do what feels good at the moment. It is sound judgement, common sense, right thinking, the normal process of knowing your right priorities, controlling the temper, meekness (strength under control), applying wisdom in a practical way by modeling God's word.

Being sensible is NOT living by our feelings.

What happens if we don't incorporate this virtue into our lives? I believe if we realized the seriousness of what God is asking of us, we may give these verses more than a cursory glance. Some passages of Scripture become so familiar to us, we read over them without a second thought. But read what it says at the end of Titus 2:5, "...that the word of God may not be dishonored". How serious is that? The Greek word for dishonored is blasfemo. It's easy to see what English word comes from that: blaspheme. What it's saying is that when I am not being sensible and training the younger ladies to be sensible, the very word of God will be spoken evil against. That's serious business! Ultimately, I will cause a sin and I will not be useful to God. Most importantly, God will receive NO glory.

I'm sharing my study on this in the hope that I can encourage someone who is where I was 20+ years ago. Maybe I can help them avoid the mistakes I made, due largely to a lack of knowledge.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


That's what my brain has been filled with as far as blogging material is concerned! I've been seriously limiting my computer time so that I can keep my priorities straight. Life has been very routine, which helps me keep my daily 'to do' list checked off.
I think Jerald is home for a time now, so that's nice.
Nicole still has the dining room table totally covered with college info. I'm wondering how much time I should give her. Having things out-of-order like that doesn't bug me as much as it used to, but I'm starting to think time's up.
Adam is getting excited about his Mali, Africa, trip. He leaves Wed. (10-5), so keep him in your prayers for the next two months.
Colin is busy with school, farming and social activities.
Brooke takes ice skating lessons every Monday night, which she absolutely loves. She's awfully thankful for her older brother and his driving status so that she can be socially active. She pretty much likes to have her weekends full.
Laina has to always be the one who hangs out with mom and dad; actually, I think she likes the attention.
God continues to pour his blessings out on our family; we are continually seeking His will and praying a lot!