027 Modesty Pt2: Who Told You That You Were Naked

Modesty Pt2: Who Told You That You Were Naked

This week Sandy and Elisabeth have a discussion on modesty, church dress standards and lust.

MARK [7:20]-23 And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things [indecency; lust; lewdness], jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”

These verses are Jesus’ response to the Pharisees when they tried to use their checklists to trap the disciples. This is something we see all over Scripture where the Pharisees look at someones actions but Jesus looks at their heart.

GENESIS 3:9-11 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked?

God didn’t tell Adam and Eve they were naked. God didn’t tell them to be ashamed. Every time the church tells a woman she is naked we are echoing the words of satan in the garden.

PHILIPPIANS 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Whether you are male or female, in everything you say and do, in every action and reaction your attitude should be that of Jesus. If the attitude of our heart is in the right place it really just doesn’t matter what you are wearing.

CONCLUSION:

If you believe that Christ dying on the cross covered our sins, once and for all, and you cannot add to that work, then we must get rid of the checklists, and we MUST be patient with people as the Holy Spirit leads them to places that may different than He is leading us.

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Today is the day He declares: It Is Finished.

The day our hope is fulfilled in the most horrific way possible. Literally, the best man that ever has, or ever will live, died on this day thousands of years ago, and in that deepest mourning, the greatest redemption was born.

Today, we see the full picture, from Eve to Mary, and the unspeakably great love that our Redeemer has for us, in that while we were yet sinners, He willingly died for us, so that we may be reconciled to our Creator, the price for our sins paid. It is dark and dreary where I live today. It matches my mood, it matches Good Friday.

“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed”

Luke [23:44]

It’s spring, we’re having a normal spring day. Things die and nourish the soil, then there’s gloom and darkness, and then in a day or two, flowers everywhere will unfurl, given life by the required gloom. Darkness to light, death to life, the cycle we see over and over, the story of our Salvation echoed in creation since the beginning of time. On Sunday we will celebrate how Christ alone breaks this cycle of death, and we will celebrate the Resurrection.

But today, knowing and loving Christ, I struggle with mourning, despite the fact that Christ said not to:

27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!”

Luke [23:27]-29

I think of Mary, who loved Jesus in ways that perhaps no other moral ever will, and how one of Christ’s last words were commanding that his mother be cared for (John:19) “ 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

I wonder where Eve’s soul is, and the relief she and Adam felt when Christ died for the sins they allowed to enter the world.

It’s the Friday before Easter. It Is Finished, the story comes full circle. The head of the Serpent is crushed. It is Good.

-E

026 Of Modesty and Men

OF MODESTY AND MEN

In the first of a 2 part series Sandy and Elisabeth sit down with their husbands to get a male perspective on modesty, lust and purity. In this interview style episode the men talk about what they were raised to believe, how those views have changed over time and what we need to teach the next generation about these topics.

INTRODUCTIONS

David is Sandy’s husband of 11 years. They have 2 children together, he has two adult children and he has two children in Heaven. He is a self-described “Christian mutt” as he was born into the Lutheran church, baptized in a Baptist church and attended Charismatic and Pentecostal churches with his family along with attending Catholic school for most of his education before settling into non-denominational churches in adulthood. In his professional life he is a manager in Information Technology, in his internet life he is the host of the Shooter’s Nation Podcast and in his personal life he is a perpetual student of leadership, safety and self-defense.

John is Elisabeth’s husband of 8 years. They have 1 child together. He was raised primarily in the Baptist church. He felt abandoned by the church after his father passed away at a young age and spent a few years away from it before God called him back to the church. In his professional life he is in Information Technology, in his internet and personal life he is a self professed D&D nerd.

DISCUSSION TOPIC

This discussion was initiated because of a pastor who tweeted the following: “Your seasonal reminder, ‘Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel with modesty and self-control.’ 1 Timothy 2:9. Leggings are underwear not outerwear, wear them properly.” This was follow up to his tweet: “Leggings aren’t pants. Wear pants. Leave the leggings at home.” basically admonishing women for wearing leggings and yoga pants in public because he deems them immodest. He also defended his tweets saying that he was a shepherd shepherding his sheep.

MODESTY, PURITY AND LUST OH MY

When asked what they thought about these words here were the responses:

Modesty: Behavior

Purity: Thoughts

Lust: Dwelling

Modesty has more to do with the behavior of the person wearing the clothes then it does with the clothes the person is wearing. Purity has more to do with a persons thoughts and motives. Lust is the act of dwelling and fixating on impure thoughts and is a sin.

Modesty does not equal pure thought. Immodesty does not equal impure thoughts. The burden of purity falls to the person doing the thinking. You are in control of your actions and your thoughts and what a person does or doesn’t wear is completely irrelevant to how you handle yourself.

Placing the burden of controlling mens lust on the clothing of women is just an excuse to sin.

Blaming someone else for your thoughts or actions is weak.

TRAIN THEM UP

What should we teach our sons? You are capable of controlling your thoughts and keeping yourself from dwelling on and living in those thoughts. You always have a choice to remove yourself from a situation. You may have to sacrifice something to do it but you always have a choice. Follow Christ’s example and subject your thoughts to the same control that you would subject your body.

What should we teach our daughters? Expect respect and not settle for anything less than that. Don’t allow yourself to be treated as an object of someone’s sexual fantasies. Don’t settle for a guy that treats you like a possession and hides you away from the rest of the world but expects you to be the object of his sexual desires behind closed doors.

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025 The Green New Deal – How Christians Should Care for the Environment

The Green New Deal – How Christians Should Care for the Environment

This week Sandy and Elisabeth discuss the now defunct Green New Deal, it’s importance to National politics, to the next generation and to God. And they dive deep into what it looks like to interact with the Earth in a Biblical way.

GENESIS [1:26]; 28 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over everything that creeps over the Earth”….and God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the Earth.”

God tells us twice within three verses to have dominion. This repetition commands attention and emphasizes the importance. Aaron Armstrong from the Gospel Project put it very well: As God’s image bearers in Creation, we were intended to act as His representatives. We were designed, in a very real way, to show the world what God is like. So when God gave us the command to rule over the earth, the expectation was to do so in a way that reflected His character.

We were created to care for God’s creation and we were commanded to do so. But if we refuse, and we do the opposite, will we kill the planet? The short answer is No. The long answer is that God designed all of His creation with a perfect balance. If we push that relationship out of balance then God’s creation will no longer supply what we need to survive and the people will be scattered. We can see many examples of this in the Bible itself. From natural disasters such as the Great Flood to the direct hand of God in the Tower of Babel. And we can see more recent examples in the fall of the Mayan empire and the subsequent reclaiming of the land by nature.

The point: As Christians, we know how the story ends. We aren’t going to surprise God by ending things before His plan is ready to be executed. He is infinitely patient and His timing is perfect. He will not be rushed. He will not be scrambling. But if we do not follow His commands, we will be waiting, we will suffer and we will be scattered. Just ask the Israelites.

2 PETER 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day.

So why does the Green New Deal matter to Christians? The short answer is because people matter to Christians. And while the Green New Deal is extreme and misguided in some areas and completely unattainable in others, the heart of the document is trying to save people in the only way the world knows how.

As Christians, we should care about the earth because it was our first commission. And there are some really easy ways that we can help our environment that will make very little impact to our daily lives.

Check out the full episode for lots of fun and easy ways that you can follow God’s command to care for the earth and be a witness to those around us by honoring God’s creation.

PROVERBS 31:8-9 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

PSALM 1[40:12] I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.

PROVERBS 22:2 The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.

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Potential

This is Planty. She was my Valentine’s Day present from John.

For those who don’t know, Hydrangeas are grown specifically for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Easter, wrapped in foil and sold at grocery stores generally have a pretty stressful life. According to Plant Addicts “The foil wrapped hydrangea has usually been grown for a one-time, spectacular show. The plant has been fed specifically to produce many large blooms quickly, quite often at the expense of the future health of the plant.”

They are forced grown in pots that are too small and they are trimmed too heavily and fertilized very strangely to produce prolific blooms at a very young age.

Either people don’t want to take care of them because they’re finicky or the plant just can’t handle life after bloom or its pot is too small or it gets put outside too early. There are a bazillion factors that usually result in these beautiful but damaged plants having a short life and being thrown away.

Mine, however, is not dying.

For the last 6 weeks, I have very carefully maintained her indoors I have kept her soil moist, I have transferred her outdoors in a pot that is so small it makes my eye twitch but I know that I have to wait and let her acclimate to being outside for a little while before I re-pot her.

In the two days she’s been outside, she’s put out new growth, all over the place.

New leaves are signs that she’s not dead, she’s still growing and she wants to be big and healthy.

At some point over this weekend, she will be getting a new pot with a custom mixed soil and some proper fertilizer and she will be lovingly cared for by hand

Odds are, she will never be the big, deeply rooted in the earth, prolific bloomer that she was genetically intended to be.

She might! Some people have accomplished this with “foil hydrangeas”, but she might also live in a pot being pretty and green, and only producing 1-4 blooms a year. Even if that’s the case, she will bring me joy.

But the point is, she’s still trying. Despite being plant abused, despite being shoved in the wrong pot with the wrong soil and having weird expectations, she’s still growing, and I’m gonna support her until she’s done.

She’s a $15 plant. And I’m excited for her. I have deep faith in her. I will care for her daily, even though she’ll likely never reach her full potential.

How much more does our Creator care for us, root for us, and get excited about even the smallest progress, regardless of how broken and abused we are? Regardless of how we feel about ourselves when our blooms have fallen away, and we’ve been pruned for our own good?

Were Planty a human, she’d probably not be feeling so great about herself right now. She’s had a rough go, and the thing she was specifically grown for – those lovely blooms in February – are now long gone. But it’s okay. I’ve got plans for her that she cannot possibly comprehend, and I’m gonna take care of her, as long and she’s willing to keep growing.

-E

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

 

Matthew [10:29]-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

024 Contentment-Because You Can’t Always Get What You Want

CONTENTMENT – BECAUSE YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

This week Sandy and Elisabeth talk about contentment, including the difference between the Biblical definition and the modern American definition, the difference between our needs and wants, and choosing contentment in good times and in bad.

LESSONS FROM PAUL

PHILIPPIANS [4:11]-13 Not that I am speaking of being in need for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I now know how to be brought low and how to abound. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Paul is writing this from prison. He has by all standards every reason to be discontented and yet the message he sends back to the church is not to tell them how good they have it but to remind them that in all circumstances we must find contentment through Jesus.

LESSONS FROM SOLOMON

ECCLESIASTES [5:19]-20 God gives some people the ability to enjoy the wealth and possessions He gives them, as well as the ability to accept their state in life and enjoy their work. The do not worry about how short life is because God keeps them busy with what they love to do, the little pleasures are distractions from the meaningless world

Solomon uses Ecclesiastes chapter 5 to warn us that money does not buy happiness but more importantly he goes on to tell us that the ability to enjoy life and be content is a blessing from God. The little things are the most important things and give meaning to a meaningless world. Pay attention to the little things. Choosing contentment will lead to a joyful life.

LESSONS FROM JESUS

LUKE [12:25] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life.

Here again we find another example of Jesus giving us a bit of science. It’s almost as if He knew how our bodies were supposed to work.

If you find yourself constantly having a negative attitude and feeling anxious every single day start a thankfulness journal. Every day write down 3 good things that happened that day. It doesn’t have to be life changing or profound just 3 things that were positive in your day. Your brain will begin to look for these good things and focus on them and slowly your whole perspective will shift and you will find yourself seeing things in a different light. A positive light.

CONCLUSION

EPHESIANS [2:10] For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Since we have eternal hope in Jesus we can be content with our circumstances in the here and now and we can do all things through Him because He created us to do good things and prepared those things for us so that we could walk through life according to His plan.

So find the good you were created for and know that He will give you the strength to do it.

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The Holding Pattern

As I type this, I do not know what day it is (update: I checked, I’m typing this on Thursday). My whole house is sick with some fantastic viral ick. My husband (the highly functioning autist with Tourette’s), who rarely gets sick, and has had a fever one other time since our daughter was born in 2014, has had a fever for 3 days. There’s so much snot you guys. Ugh. Everyone is grumpy. I have made two trips to Target for supplies, one trip to the pediatrician to check the ears, lungs and confirm viral ick, and as of last night, my own throat feels like it’s made of sandpaper. We’re all tired, we’re all grumpy, we’re all just hanging out, waiting to be well. There’s no way out but through. Waiting to be through, sucks.

I’m whining. This is a very first world problem, and I am unspeakably blessed that I have insurance and money for Tylenol and a mom who sends my child Amazon love packages of new crayons and coloring books. I am very grateful that viral ick is the worst ick we’re dealing with right now.

These last few days have reminded me of some past phases of my life when things were less than awesome. When we were completely broke, for example. When we were waiting for my husband to get a new job, sitting on the couch through the third trimester of a high risk pregnancy, waiting for my daughter, or when I was 26, waiting to test results to see if I had cancer. I have friends in Ministry who are waiting to hear about their husbands getting a job at a church, and friends who are waiting to be approved as foster parents. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

It’s a hard thing for such finite creatures who from a young age, are well aware that their time in this life is limited. Waiting to run in a new direction, waiting while healing be it physical or emotional, waiting through growth.

We’ve talked on the podcast about waiting when we talked about Zerubbabel rebuilding the Temple. There are other places in scripture that talk about waiting, and patience and one is in Isaiah 30. Here the scripture talks about warning God’s people against going into Egypt, being stubborn, and not waiting.

It starts with this: “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine,” (can anyone besides me relate to this?), and goes on for 16 verses to talk about what happens when you don’t listen to God. Then in verse 18 the tone changes, and talks about God’s graciousness – “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice;  blessed are all those who wait for him.”

If you’re reading this, and you’re in a period of waiting, I just want you to know God knows you’re frustrated. He knows you are waiting. He knows it’s hard. You have not been forgotten, you are not in some sort of cosmic time out like a bad child (unless you’re in the belly of a whale), and your Heavenly Father is not uncaring about your inner turmoil. You will be blessed for waiting and trusting in Him, even when it’s hard, instead of fleeing to Egypt (or going into work while you’re still sick).

023 Adulting and Jesus – Because We’re All Just Winging It

Adulting and Jesus – Because We’re All Just Winging It

In this weeks episode Sandy and Elisabeth talk about their favorite tips to surviving life in general. Food prep, time management a little of everything in this listener requested episode.

INTRO

Life is like a buffet. Not everything on the table is for you. Use discernment to choose what is beneficial to your life and what will just add more stress and make life feel even more overwhelming.

FOOD PREP:

Cook your meat. Ground beef, grilled chicken, taco meat, BBQ, whatever it is if you open your freezer and you see a week’s worth of already cook meat to throw together a dinner you get back at least 30 minutes of your day in prep time and the busiest part of the day becomes more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone.

Use Pinterest for good. There’s tons of great recipes for quick dinners, crock pots and insta pots if you can stay away from the home decor, crafts and birthday party ideas long enough.

Cook extra. Plan for leftovers. Sometimes heating it up in the oven instead of the microwave is all it takes to get your family excited about that leftover casserole.

Preheat/Pre-chill coffee mugs, travel cups and kids thermos containers to increase the amount of time your food and drink will be at proper temperatures.

Check your recipe before you start. That Pinterest meal will be a big Pinterest fail if you don’t have baking soda so check the list and check your pantry before you set yourself up for disappointment or failure.

TIME MANAGEMENT:

If mornings are stressful for you pick out clothes and shoes the night before and have everything laid out and ready to go. No arguing over what to wear, no missing shoes, no trying to find two matching socks that are clean slowing down your morning.

Leave the shoes at the door. If they get past the front door who knows where they’ll end up. Get a basket or box and leave the shoes in one spot.

If getting dressed is not a big deal in the mornings then think about what the biggest stressors of your morning are and spend 5 or 10 minutes getting those things ready. Set up the coffee pot, fill sippy cups and snack cups, get your grocery list written down, check the traffic patterns and the map for best directions.

GETTING THERE:

If there’s one thing I learned in my 10 years of commuting in Nashville traffic it’s that the fast lane is not any faster it’s just the place where people want to drive the fastest. Drive steady and go with the flow. Playing lane change leap frog is not only slowing you down it’s making everyone less safe.

Love the zipper. Especially if you’re in the South can we please exchange “manners” for following the rules of the road. You don’t need to merge at the sign that says road work 10 miles ahead and you don’t need to let 7 people over in traffic. Go to the merge point alternate every other car with the lane that’s merging. Everyone will get there faster if you learn to zipper.

Know how a 4 way stop works. If a stoplight is out it becomes a 4 way stop. It’s not a game of chicken.

CLEANING TIPS:

Norwex cloths work better than anything for stainless steel without any cleaners or polishes needed.

Silicone scrapers aren’t just for dishes. They work on wood and tile floors or just about any solid surface that kids or dogs leave remnants.

If you even get stuck with a vinyl floor that seems ruined. Grab some vinyl siding cleaner from Lowes and go to town on those floors. You’ll be shocked how well it works and makes a nasty floor like new (or at least tolerable until you get to replace it.

Fragrance free cleaning options: Seventh Generation, Biokleen, Charlie’s Soap and Method

The most important part about keeping a clean home is habits and pacing yourself.

Some times you’re house is just not gonna be your biggest priority and that’s okay. Take care of people first and then stuff. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and depressed about the state of the chaos try and get one thing accomplished from start to finish each day. If you can complete one task, clean one area, tidy up one room you will feel encouraged and successful.

BUDGET:

Online grocery shopping keeps you from impulse buying and makes price comparisons much easier.

Budget realistically. Look at your actually expenses. Cut back where you need to, plan for what you really spend and be honest with yourself.

Talk it over with your spouse. Not for permission but so that you can both be responsible for your financial well being.

Dave Ramsey isn’t for everyone. Find a budget style that works for your life and your family.

LIFE IS SHORT:

Don’t participate in mommy wars. You don’t know everyones personal, financial, emotional and medical needs. These decisions are as individual as the people making them. Just because something is the right choice for your family doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for every family.

Read more. Read for yourself. Not just self help but also for entertainment. Read to your kids. It may be the most impactful (and easy) thing you can do for their developing brain.

Communicate what you need. To your spouse (and yes that includes sexual needs), to your kids, to yourself.

Make big changes in small steps. Taking longer to reach a goal is 100% better than giving up after a week because you set unrealistic goals for yourself.

Be patient. With yourself, with your kids, with your spouse.

CONCLUSION:

Growing up is hard and it’s something we never finish doing. And for Christians, in this life, we will never stop striving to be more Christ like.

ZECHARIAH [4:10] Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.

HEBREWS 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that has been set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

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022 You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup – And God Doesn’t Want You To

You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup – And God Doesn’t Want You To

This week Sandy and Elisabeth discuss living life filled and overflowing, what Christian culture and popular culture want you to believe about it and how that compares to Scripture.