Monday, August 18, 2014

Do not be addicted to much wine

That title will catch your attention, right?

We're back to our Worth study and we've made it to the letter R in the word which stands for restraint. The Titus Two passage talks about not being addicted to much wine.

Now, for many people, myself included, I might quickly skip over this point because I don't indulge in any alcoholic beverage. But, when I read this statement, I tend to see it in a broader sense. To not be addicted to much wine to me means to not allow something to control you or steal your testimony.

Drinking alcohol is a touchy subject. Some people use the argument that in the time of the Bible the people drank wine. And, even this statement from Titus Two says not to be addicted to much wine. As a Christian I have personally decided to abstain. My first reason is because it is such a touchy subject. Christians have very strong and differing opinions on the matter. Thus, for fear of causing another to stumble or to think ill of me, I choose just to not drink at all. Secondly, I don't care to use a substance that could alter my control. Since I am to practice self-control as a Christian, I will refrain from consuming alcohol since it can dull reaction times and impair my abilities.

As those out in the world look at us who profess to be Christians, we must be careful how we represent Christ. We must be leery of anything that could cause us to lose control or might steal our testimony.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blogs by Christian Women

We pause for a word from our sponsor. Just kidding. I wanted to share a post that I wrote for Blogs by Christian Women.

I'm talking about specific ways to leave an intentional Christian legacy.

Ladies, you might want to put this blog on your Favorites list.

blogsbychristianwomen.blogspot.com

Friday, August 1, 2014

RESTRAINT

Wow, I've been MIA! Actually, I've been bailing. Bailing water from the basement after the bad storms that blew through last Sunday evening. We've been keeping the fans on it and almost have it dried up and readied to spray for mold. So, now you know.

Now it's time to return to our Worth study. We get to move along to the R which stands for restraint - things we are warned to stay away from or not to do.

The first warning we are given in Titus 2 is not to be slanderers. Slander is a false report maliciously uttered and tending to injure the reputation of a person.

We can see this in different ways. One form of slander is gossip. People want to say that they are just telling facts and not spreading gossip, but the gossiper has some information they just must share. This information isn't about herself or himself but about someone else. Most of the time it is an interesting tidbit and the gossiper has the upper hand when getting the opportunity to share it first.

Here's a good test: Would I still share this information if the person I was speaking of was standing here beside me? If the answer is no, it might just be gossip. Because if you wouldn't share in front of the subject of your gossip then there must be some reason your news would hurt them or embarrass you. Thus, "tending to injure the reputation of a person" from our definition.

Of course, we often just boldly speak to others in rude and degrading ways. As Christians we are to use our words to build others up, not tear them down. How often in the Word are we told to love one another? Jesus Himself in John 15 gives the command: "Love each other as I have loved you."

Jesus set the example of how to love others. He said loving and encouraging words and showed love through His actions. He went as far as to give His very life out of love for us. We are to love in this same manner.

We must show restraint over the words we utter about others. I can remember growing up and hearing my mother say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." This usually came when my brother and I were in a yelling spree. But, isn't there truth there that we could heed?

If what you're going to say isn't loving or doesn't build up the other person, just bite your tongue. We could all use a little more tongue-biting and a lot less back-biting!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Subject to their Husbands

Well, we're back to our study of worth in God's eyes. We still haven't made it past the letter O in worth, but this post is the last obey directive.

Titus Two may lose quite a few popularity points when it speaks of women being subject to their husbands. In fact, in our day and time, women roll their eyes and declare the Bible old-fashioned and out of date on this issue.

But, my dear fellow sisters in Christ, the Bible is still relevant and never does a message within it expire. Even though the words submit or subject may hit us the wrong way, we are still called to obey in this area.

Can I admit to you that I am happy and willing to submit because my husband follows the directives for the husband here? Yes, I don't mind being subject to my husband when he loves me like Christ loves the church. I trust his spiritual leadership in my home because he adheres to the very hard standards set forth in the Bible for a Christian husband.

Ephesians 5:22 also tells wives to submit but then it goes into a lengthy discussion of how that man is to deserve that submission because of the way he conducts himself.

Do not misunderstand me here. Submission does not mean become a doormat. You are God's creation endowed with unique gifts to use in His service.

I've seen this truth about the husband being the spiritual leader not work in many homes. Why? I think men have fallen down on their responsibility to teach those younger than themselves what it means to follow God and what that looks like. There are many women who have had to become the spiritual leaders of their homes, taking the children to church and leading them to Christ. The roles have become blurred.

However old-fashioned the world may find it, we must return to the teachings of the Bible on the roles God established. We wonder why things just don't work in our families. We aren't following the directives of Titus Two which includes instructing those younger than us in what it means to be a wife and a husband.

God created marriage and He knows how He created it to work.

Monday, June 30, 2014

WORLD BLOG TOUR

We're taking a little break from our study of Worth to accept an invitation from Delia Latham to be included in the World Blog Tour. You can find Delia at Hearts Haven Books Blog. Delia is a fellow author at Pelican Book Group and a sweet sister in Christ I've had the pleasure of getting know.


Naturally, if you are new here, you can read my entire bio to the right below. But just a short description of me: I write Christian fiction with four books published, and I am an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Recently, I've been involved in several collaborative devotional projects, which I have fully enjoyed and will be sharing with you soon.

Now, on to the questions I am to answer.

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I am finishing the writing of another Christian romance I am tentatively calling Lamp Unto Her Feet. As soon as that manuscript is complete, I will begin writing a Christian romantic suspense which has already been fully outlined. I'm also waiting to hear about two nonfiction projects that I submitted.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
For one, God has given me very specific messages that I am passionate about to show through my work. The theme of leaving a Godly legacy seems to always shine through as well as realizing that God has a specific plan for each person's life. I've always been told that my writing contains deep emotions that have the potential to touch the reader deeply.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Not everyone has felt called to write but I do. Through much prayer, I have realized that God has called me to write Christian literature to promote Christ as Savior and Lord and to encourage and challenge Christians to live for Christ. In our world today, Jesus and Christianity is squelched at every turn. I feel the need to urge fellow Christians to stand up and assure that their loved ones know the message of the gospel and the importance of a God-centered legacy.

4. How does my writing process work?
Many of my readers have discovered how old school I really am. I actually still write out my first drafts in a spiral notebook with a pencil. Those drafts usually come from an idea that I have doodled a few notes or a sketchy outline for. I then have a wonderful woman who takes pity on my dislike of typing by transferring those penciled words into a computer document. I print out that document and place it into a three-ring notebook where I proceed to revise and edit. I then sit down at the computer with my notebook and transfer all of the changes until I'm satisfied.

Thank you, Delia, for inviting me to share in this World Blog Tour.

To learn about some other writers and their answers to the above questions, visit these links on July 8th:

Julie Cosgrove



Rachel James

Author Rachel A. James

Suzanne Purvis

Picture

Monday, June 23, 2014

BE KIND

We are still on the O in Worth which stands for obey. There is an area we as Christians are supposed to obey and that is in the area of being kind.

The word kind means a sympathetic, forbearing, or pleasant nature. Its synonyms include benevolent, compassionate, good-hearted, humane, sympathetic, tender, and considerate.

How many times do we see Jesus displaying compassion? Our calling as Christians is to be like Christ. Do you realize that Jesus didn't just look on people with sympathy? Check out the gospels. Notice his interactions with lepers, blind beggars, and dying children.

Jesus didn't just speak some encouraging words and wish people the best. He got involved. He touched. He healed. He resurrected.

What does this example mean for us? We are to understand that being kind or compassionate means being sympathetic with work clothes on. Just wishing someone the best in their crisis isn't being Christ to them. We have to help. We have to get involved.

The reason we have to be reminded to be kind and compassionate is because this is a dirty business. Let's face it, sometimes it's just easier not to get involved. We can throw some money and maybe a prayer at people's needs and feel we've helped.

Join me in praying that God would help us show kindness as Christ would. Ask Him for opportunities to demonstrate compassion. Ask Him to point out people who need a kind word or action today. You never know when you will be in need of a dose of compassion from another brother or sister in Christ.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Busy At Home

Still traveling through this idea of becoming a woman of worth in God's eyes. We find ourselves still on the O in worth which stands for obey.

Our next area in which to obey is in being busy at home. Some women roll their eyes at such an old-fashioned thought. They argue that they have a career and demands. I believe it is because we might have a wrong view of this area of obedience.

When we tell someone to be busy at home, we think that means the domestic tasks such as laundry, dishes, and general house cleaning. I believe there is more implied in this statement from Titus Two than just doing our chores around the house.

Again, I think this idea goes along with an earlier command which was to love our husbands and children. As Christians, we must make our family a priority. The only other thing that takes precedence over our family is God.

We must take on a different perspective. We often see taking care of our spouse and children as responsibilities. Yes, we have a responsibility to care and love them, but we must see them as God sees them. He has blessed you with your spouse and your children. They are gifts to be cherished.

When we think about our families in this light, we will strive to make our homes safe havens, sanctuaries.

Let's face it, our homes are often battle scenes or maybe even the opposite, a silent zone. We are in conflict with each other and don't take time for one another so the home isn't a place we want to be. It becomes a place we stop in to sleep and maybe eat. Or, we are so caught up in ourselves that it is a silent place where no affirmations are heard.

We need to pray for God to lead us in establishing a home not just a house. We must pray for God to put boundaries around our homes against Satan. The enemy would like nothing better than to tear this God-ordained institution apart. We must constantly share our hearts and lives with each other. We should try to eat our meals together and spend quality time together.

Yes, our lives are busy, but we should never be too busy for our family. Take time to pray for each member and share with them that you pray for them. Pray for them in front of them. Talk about what you are studying in the Bible or about a sermon you have heard. Discuss hopes and dreams.

Be busy at home.