Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes

Most of the time my work is pretty mundane. I create ads for publications and enter information into my companies various data bases, I answer phones and take messages, and I copy and scan various information that is pertinent to the boat that my company sells. I like my job, that's not really what this post is about though, because today part of my job involved child care. And I wouldn't really say anything except for the fact that a 3 year old brought up the difference in our attire, which if you've been following my blog of late, you know that this is my new passion (read the two posts below to find out more).

It was a simple conversation, if anything. He pointed to his pants, or as he called them "his shorts", and then pointed to my skirt and said "Your shorts are different." To which I pointed out, "This is a skirt. I don't wear shorts. I wear skirts". I purposefully chose not to say it in the context of boys wear this and girls wear that because I know that's not what he sees at home, and I'm not about to alienate my coworkers in an office that small, and for a 3 year old all that really matters is that he noticed a difference. Ahh ha. . .the first point in my devotion, the distinction that dress give us as women. Normally this would probably not be such a revelation in the circle that I'm in, but for a boy that only sees me maybe once every 3 or 4 months and whose family does not attend church his observation was notable, if simply for the fact that it made me feel satisfied to point the difference out to him.

Like I said it's my new passion and any chance I get to talk about it or inform people on it, I'll take it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Levi's call to men. . ."Wear the pants."

It the wake of my recent devotion at church the feedback has been mostly positive even my step-mom couldn't find an argument against the words that the Lord laid on my heart. And while that would make most people happy, which I am, I always enjoys a good challenge. While I was back in Cali over Christmas, she and I did discuss certain ramifications of femininity being challenged and the feminist movement, but other than that not to much opposition, yet.

In any case, my friend Vicki passed along this ad that she had come across by Levi's. You know Levi's right? Those 501's that you can't live without. Well even Levi's has put a call out to men to "Wear the pants". As the email pointed out many Preachers have compromised their standards, and God's, in favor of appealing to men and bigger numbers. It's my belief that the down fall of Christianity is the "mega church". The bottom line is when Preachers quit preaching about God's standards God is capable of using what He can in order to get the attention of Christians. Remember Balaam's donkey? To quote the email I received "How sad that Levi's can discern the times better than most Christians today". Sure it's a gimmick, but the fact that they are willing to take a risk with this ad should be an admonishment to Christians and is a prophetic statement concerning where society has come from, and where it is going in the future.

“Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that’s what they do. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men, disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It’s time to get your hands dirty. It’s time to answer the call of manhood. It’s time to WEAR THE PANTS.”

Personally I have to agree with the ad. I know shocker right? But really it's sad to think about the state of confusion that the world has people in. I had a chuckle to myself in the first line, where it says women rarely opened doors. Once upon a time I believed that dating was the right way to go about meeting "Mr. Right" (but that's another topic for another time), and so on a date a boy and I went to the movies, or I should say that he attempted to take me to the movies. He bought the tickets and as we approached the door, I slowed down and stepped back so that he could open it up for me. However, instead of that happening he stopped and waited for me to open up the door for him. Ummm, what just happened there was completely astonishing to me and so I looked at him and said "Aren't you going to open the door for me?" To which he replied, "Are your arms broken?" Uhhh, NOT COOL. So I just looked at him calmly and told him I would be right back. Where did I disappear to? To the pay phone (remember those) to call a friend for a ride. When I returned he asked me where I had gone and I told him that I went to call my ride to come pick me up. No movie was going to be worth sitting through at that point.

Now do I know how to open up a door? Sure. And could I have done it? Yes. But if a guy wants to come across as a gentleman then there are certain courtesies that should be adhered to. I don't ask for much, but that is up there on my list. And the fact of the matter is that there are things that most men growing up today are just not taught or are asking the women to step up and do because of the role confusion that is taking place.

However, my brother Jack warmed my heart while I was in Cali last week on this very subject. The morning of the 23rd he as I went out to run errands so that I could get some groceries and my other brothers Christmas presents. We were leaving the house and I had to go back and get something from inside, the gate was already open and I didn't want the dog or my family's evil cat to escape while I ran back inside. So i told him that he could go on and get in the car while I got my phone. So sweet he gave me an earnest look and said in his monotone voice "But I'm holding the door open for you." Yeah, my heart pretty much melted at his courtesy. Now men, if you are reading this and it seems foreign to you, there's no reason to not know how to behave as a gentleman if a 9 year old knows how to. Likewise, ladies need to let the men rise to the occasion. Sure, we can do it, but it's also nice to have it done for us. If not for a better reason than "just because". Do you really have so much to prove that you cannot let him open a door or two? So rather than scolding Jack to the car I hurried up inside, grabbed my phone, rushed out so the cat didn't escape (that too is a story that I will tell when I post my photos) and thanked him for waiting. Far be it for me to be the one that ruins him for some lady in the future.

All hope is obviously not lost, but unless something changes I think that those situations are going to be few and far between for most women as time goes on. Men really do need to wear the pants and ladies we need to let them.
Here's the website to go out and get him some 501's.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's hanging in your closet?

The question posed on my blog is not to be nosy, but rather to hopefully spark conversation, and maybe provoke some thought about what may be hanging in your closets.

Recently I was asked to bring the devotion at our monthly ladies meeting. It was in conjunction with the SPG girls hosting the December meeting, which happens to be our annual cookie and candy exchange (our theme this year was a Hawaiian Christmas a.k.a. 'Mele Kalikimaka'), but that's beside the point. Our pastors wife could have chosen really anyone of us SPG ladies to bring the devotion that night but she felt led to ask me, which turned out to be a great blessing. Some of us ladies had just finished reading the book Dress the Heart of the Matter, for the Women in Ministry class in our Bible Institute and chapter four is about being feminine in our dress, which happened to be what I was asked to bring the devotion on. This topic seems to be a hot button issue for some people. I know why it is, but after having studied it out for myself what the Lord asks of us as ladies in our dress is very simple. It's really just a matter of submission and looking at what the Lord says rather than what our hearts, or friends may say. However, people are all in different stages of their life and spiritual growth and it really needs to be something that a lady willingly chooses to do, otherwise the changes that a lady makes will never stick and she'll never find success or peace in this area of her life. Instead of dress being relegated to a rule or regulation in her life, the only way for true success to come about is for her to look at it as more than that and embrace it as part of a woman being who she is and who God has called her to be as a woman.

Now that I have hurdled that soapbox I invite you to continue reading through the devotion that I brought to the ladies of my church this past Monday night. Whether you feel the same or not, whether you are a "baby" or more "mature" Christian it's good information that God wants us to have, and there may be something that He addresses in your life that you may not have considered before. This was what I heard from a few ladies Monday night. You never know what God will do.

Dressing with Distinction, Delusion & Dignity: What's hanging in your closet?
(All scripture references are taken from the Authorized KJV 1611 Bible)

Even though I’ve surrendered this matter over to the Lord it is still something that Satan likes to challenge me with. It’s a topic that affects us all as ladies and I trust that you will allow the Lord to use what he has showed me, and some of my own testimony, to minister to your heart and to put your desires in line with the Lords view on the subject. How dress is at the heart of our femininity as women. I believe the matter of dress, and out femininity, are good topics for every Christian lady no matter how long she’s been saved. New and old Christians are affected by this topic and with the New Year right around the corner and people making resolutions and cleaning out their “closets” so to speak making room for the new ventures in their life, we too should take inventory of what fills our closets and what we may need to hand over to the Lord so that He can refill them with those things that would edify the spirit and our testimonies for Christ.

When it comes to the matter of how we dress as Christian ladies it’s very easy to look at the issue as a rule, or a means of blending in with the crowd. We as people are very good at figuring out how to blend in with our surroundings in order to maintain the status quo. After my salvation it wasn’t very difficult for me to adhere to putting on a dress or skirt for church. I was raised with religion in my life and that was just what people did. Men wore a suit and tie and ladies wore dresses. It was easy for me to “conform” inside my new element. What was more difficult however was understanding that the Lord wanted ladylike dress, and femininity to be implemented in my life on a daily basis, however, instead of trying to figure out rules and “uniform” standards I ask you to instead consider what the Lord says about His dress standards and how they affect our femininity. Obedience is the Lord’s desire, and my dressing like a lady for church service was right, but like all parents, the Lord wants our obedience to come from an honest place in our hearts towards Him. Think of something that a child, that you either parented or have interaction with, did of their own accord, after only some simple instruction. When I’ve had that experience it pleases me to no end, and I have every confidence that this is the Lord’s same desire for us as well. That we can take His simple instructions and implement them into our own lives voluntarily.

There are three points that the Lord showed me concerning the subject of femininity and our dress, and I hope you will allow the Lord to use them in your life. First, how, through our dress, the Lord made us distinct as women. Second that there is still a prevailing view that causes a delusion in ladies dress standards and finally that there is dignity in maintaining a feminine appearance.

1. Dressing with Distinction
Mark 10:6 - “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."

I don’t know about you but I’m very thankful that the Lord made me different from a man. However, it’s very easy in today’s world, especially if we are not walking in communion with the Lord, to loose sight of those differences and take our testimonies, and our femininity, for granted.

Femininity is important to the Lord, otherwise he would not have seen the need for making such a distinction. Beyond our verse for this section the first book of the Bible mentions the Lord desire for distinction between the sexes. Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. By separating women from men the Lord also gave them a separate identity, a feminine identity. The word feminine is defined as soft, tender & delicate. It also means effeminate; destitute of manly qualities. Now that word effeminate I had to look up because it has become associated with sodomites and it has a negative connotation when they are referenced with the word. However the word means womanlike, tender, in a sense not reproachful; and ladies when we are not feminine it is a reproach to Christ, just as it is a reproach to Christ when men behave feminine.

The distinction in a woman’s apparel is commanded by the Lord, 1Timothy 2:9-10. What is distinctive about a woman’s dress? Well, the dress it’s the dress itself. The very word “becometh” in the verse means “suits”. Have you ever thought or asked yourself about what suits women that professes godliness. A dress, or a skirt and blouse certainly identifies who we are as women and what we should want to identify with. Do we want to identify with the world and what it says is appropriate? Or do we want to want to be set apart like 2 Corinthians 6:17 commands us to? If God had wisdom enough to make us physically different from men, I believe that means that He wants our wardrobes to be different as well.

2. Dressing with Delusion
Deuteronomy 22:5 – “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

The delusion that Satan puts in front of women is that they can maintain a modest appearance while wearing pants.

The Greek word for apparel in 1 Timothy 2:-10 is Katastole, which means “a long flowing garment that is let down”. When a women dresses in pants it draws attention to her pelvic area. Shirts that are tight, or to low, and revealing draw attention to a woman’s chest, which are parts of her body that only her husband should be able to view. A long flowing garment, like a skirt and a blouse that gives full coverage, do not have the same affect on a woman’s body because it is modest. Does it seem like sometimes women get more than their fair share of modesty being “hammered” at them? Have you wondered why? It’s very simple. Men are very affected by what they see. Solomon commands his son in Proverbs to keep his eyes on what is right and not to let them to bring him to lust; Proverbs 4:25, 6:25, and Matthew 5:28 paints a very clear picture of what happens when a man looks at a woman the wrong way. Because women are affected differently, we are affected by what we hear and feel, we are told to dress modestly so as not to be a stumbling block to our brothers in Christ, which includes not dressing in clothing that would call attention to those parts of our bodies that God wants us to keep for our husbands.

Modesty itself is not something that is a new concept to what the Lord and His idea of what a woman should look like. The idea of modesty, as with identifying the distinction between the sexes, began all the way back in the Garden of Eden, when the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened, and they knew the difference between good and evil.

Genesis 3:6-7, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be make one wise, she took of the fruit , and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons”.

Now man and woman had been naked for quite a while before this point, but it was the first time that they realized that their nakedness was no longer a private matter between themselves; they realized that their appearance would affect the rest of creation and so they did the right thing and covered themselves. However God took it one step further in Genesis 3:21 and made them coats so that they were completely covered. Adam & Eve had identified their nakedness in their sin, and did the best they knew how to with what they had. Their delusion was that they could do a better job at covering themselves than God could. See they were only half way covered when God showed up on the scene, after He showed up though He was the one that showed them what true modesty is meant to be and He wants to show us as well.

The world’s philosophy is that a woman should wear whatever she wants so long as she is “covered”, and I say it like that because the world has very loose standards as to what coverage is. We now see it with the bikini baristas in the area, and our eyes are accosted every summer when the shorts and tops some back out. As long as she is covered she is fine. These were my thoughts too, even after I was saved. I am covered therefore it does not matter if I wear pants. I am ok because my appearance is not provocative, but based upon my prior statement about how the eyes of men are affected, I was shamefully wrong in my perceptions. My perceptions weren’t just wrong in how I looked, but also in how I conducted myself. My previous experience with dressing like the world or even when I was in the Navy, was that when I would have to wear my uniform or I would put on my jeans was that I would end up carrying my body differently. My walk was different and I was more aggressive with my attitude towards situations and people. Wearing pants put me on an even playing field with men while working in their world, and it does for other ladies as well. However, playing in that field meant that I was forced to take on some very unbecoming qualities pride being the chief one, and God hates pride Proverbs 6:17.

Rather than having the wearing of pants “liberate” a woman from the restrictions that a dress or skirt supposedly offers, it actually has the reverse affect and seeks to demote their integrity and hold them hostage, so to speak, in the world of men. If we dress like a man then the distinction that the Lord gave us as women, in our dress and in our demeanor, is erased and that keeps our enemy very happy because we cannot then be effective witnesses for the Lord, 1 Samuel 16:7b “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”. The Lord may be able to see our heart and our true motivations behind our actions in wearing pants, whether innocent or not, but the unsaved person that we run into in Wal-Mart or the person that sees us walking down the street does not. They only see the testimony that is before their eyes.

The delusion that Satan tells women is that they can be equal with men, on their terms, and that we can dress ourselves better than the Lord can.

In their book “Dress – The Heart of the Matter”, Shirley Starr and Lori Waltemyer give some common excuses that women use to stay in their dressing delusion. I won’t share all for the sake of time, but I would like to share some of those with you.

* It’s not that important – To that I ask really it’s not? Deuteronomy 22:5, the verse that I stared off with for this section states that dressing like a man is an abomination. The word itself means extreme disgust or hatred. I don’t think that I can say it better than the book does when they say that what was disgusting to God thousands of years ago is still disgusting to Him today. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”. That being true, why then would God choose to say something is disgusting and then not consider it important? God does not contradict himself, we rebel against God. Another thing that God considers an abomination is a froward, which means distorted & perverse, heart (Prov 11:20), which is clearly an unfeminine attitude that women adopt when they wear pants.

* That’s legalism – Legalism adds to salvation. Dressing in line with what God says is appropriate is hardly adding to a persons salvation for we know that it is not about what we can do, but rather dress and being feminine is the answer from the heart of a good conscience towards God. 1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (You can find that particular word “written” in the Old Testament Leviticus 11:45). But the word conversation in 1 Peter 1:15 speaks to our behavior, and when we are dressed like ladies we behave as ladies.

* I cannot do all I do in a dress or skirt and still remain modest or warm – Warmth can be achieved when wearing a skirt on those days of inclement weather, and we have had our fair share lately haven’t we. It may make you feel a bit “bigger”, which is vanity anyways and another unfeminine quality, but you can layer on tights, or legwarmers (remember the 80’s) and thermals under a skirt, now that the weather is getting colder and we are having our wind storms. Also think about this, Are you really warmer wearing a piece of clothing that is clinging to your skin while it’s near freezing out? That brings the cold right up against your skin. And have you ever considered the fact that there are things that God did not design a woman to do, that there are tasks and activities that are better suited for a man. The women’s lib movement would rather you believe that isn’t true. Think about it. Physically speaking men are just generally made to be bigger and stronger there are tasks that the bodies are better equipped to handle. Not that we can’t do it, but if it impedes upon us maintaining our femininity and results in us disobeying God, is that really an activity that is worth participating in?

* But I like to wear my pants for convenience & comfort – There are to words here that identify the selfishness of why women choose their attire. The words are “I” and “My”. Rather than a lady looking at her manner of dress as a solitary issue she should be willing to seek her high calling in Christ Jesus through her dress, our dress and femininity should reflect what the Lord desires for us. Paul says in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul was a continual work in progress, but he made it his desire to continually strive for God’s best and what God wanted for his life. I ask you to think about where would we be had Jesus not done the same. If Jesus had put his own comfort above that which God had desired of Him. It was not convenient for him to shoulder that cross up to Golgotha, nor was it comfortable for him to have to hang from a cross for our sins. However, his desire to do His fathers will, above his own has led you and me to trust in the power of His saving grace. Should we desire our own comfort above God’s desire for our lives that we might lead others astray? Remember men look on the outside, if they cannot see Christ through us, who will they look too? Especially, for those of us that work with ladies in the making, have daughters, or one day will have daughters. If they see an inconsistent walk with the Lord or us putting our own desire to dress in the flesh above the Lords they will do the same thing, which is why we older ladies should teach them that there is dignity in being feminine and dressing as the Lord desires us to.

3. Dressing with Dignity
1 Timothy 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."

Because of the worlds delusion of how a woman should dress it takes a lot of courage and integrity for a woman to be the feminine lady that God desires for her to be. There is dignity in a woman dressing and behaving in a dignified manner and when she does people are then encouraged to look at her character and Christ through her, and not at the attention that she may be trying to draw to herself through her outfit. We have many biblical examples of ladies that desired modest and dignified dress and femininity over the world’s enticement to do otherwise, but I can think of one specifically, the woman in Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31:22 says of the woman here, “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” Not only did her clothing cover her but it was feminine, made of purple and silk.

Modesty is a dignified, and discreet, way to dress, and it does affect our actions. Our Proverbs 31 woman being dressed modestly was also able to carry herself with strength and honor as v. 25 talks about. Femininity brings glory to God and a woman that carries herself in a manner befitting the Lord will be dignified in her dress and mannerisms, or she should at least want them to if those abilities do not come naturally to her, and if that is the case then there are sisters in Christ who can help encourage you, council with you and most importantly pray with you as you seek Gods direction for this area of your life. David asks in Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” He will teach you if you let Him.
Here are just a few examples of how our feminine appearance affects us. . .

* A lady that carries herself with feminine dignity has no need to slouch or hunch over when walking, for what does she have to be ashamed of. After all she is the daughter of a King, and if her attire is appropriate she is glorifying Him and that is definitely nothing to be ashamed of. Good posture is always feminine.
* A lady that carries herself with feminine dignity addresses people properly. It’s not “Hey you” or “Dude”, her speech should always be as Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

* A lady that carries herself with feminine dignity will love the Lord, showing it through her obedience. Paul tells us in Titus 2:5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” And for those of us that are not married yet this verse does not excuse us. We still have our Pastor to listen to, some of you still have parents that play active roles in guiding your lives, ministry leaders, and of course there is the Lord. A lack of obedience can cause us to feel guilty, which can lead to a downward spiral of not wanting us to feminine and dignified before the Lord.
* A lady that carries herself with feminine dignity will be discreet, not given over to gossip, as well as prudent, weighing matters before she acts on them. Proverbs 11:22 says, “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” I know that must seem as a funny picture in your minds eye, because what in the world is a pig doing wearing a piece of jewelry, but what that verse is saying is that a woman without discretion is a woman that stands out to people, we should not want to stand out to people but we should rather that Christ is magnified through us, our dress and our actions.

A lady that dresses with dignity cares not for what, or how, the world tells her she should dress, she’s not caught up in the latest fad, but rather caught up and caring about exalting her Lord through her actions and behavior. Proverbs 31:30 says “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” If delusional dress demotes a woman’s femininity, dressing with dignity has the opposite affect and promotes her to be the godly woman and character that the Lord desires her to be. Next time you’re in your closet at a loss for what to where ask yourselves these questions as to whether or not your attire would be pleasing to the Lord.

1. Is it Distinct? Deuteronomy 22:5 (Does it make you feel, and look like, a lady?)
2. Is it Godly? Romans 12:2 (Does it demote or promote?)
3. Is it Beautiful? Psalm 45:13 (Does it make you look dignified?)
. . .and last but certainly not least. . .
4. Is it Feminine?

If your answer is “No” to any of these questions then it may be time to take an objective look at your wardrobe, or have a friend come by to help you. Maybe things have crept in to your closet that you had not considered before, I know that happened to me recently and I was forced to take another look at what I had in mine. Maybe you just need a friend to pray with you as you take on this issue for the first time while allowing the Lord to go through your closet. Maybe you’ve never handed whole heartedly over to the Lord and are keeping your closet closed to His inspection. I don’t know where you’re at, but I do know that the Lord wants us to be distinct and dignified ladies in our dress and demeanor, and not given over to the delusion of the world and all that it has to destroy our destinies, and our closets, with.

Thank you for taking the time to read what the Lord placed on my heart. I trust it will be a blessing to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Testimony on Tapping

The universal prompt for someone needing or wanting something from you is a tap on the shoulder. It's nicer than a tag, which is someone hitting you and then "running away" w/o any answers or pass down to give you and it's a lot nicer than a poke, which just plain hurts sometimes, depending on who's offering it up. A tap is usually a subtle way of someone getting you attention in order to help them out. It's also a way that the Lord uses people in order to enact service for Him. It's been my experience that a gentle tap on the shoulder from a friend at church, ministry leader, or Pastor, usually means that the Lord wants you to do something for Him, which will ultimately lead to a persons spiritual growth and maturity. A lot of people get tapped and never turn around to see what is needed, some get tapped and turn down a blessing because they are scared of what is expected of them or uncomfortable with the gifts and abilities that God has blessed them with, and still others get tapped, unsure of the path that is before them, but rise to the occasion in spite of their insecurities. But I don't have any gifts!, or so you claim. Well not according to the Lord; 1 Corinthians 12:4 "Now there are diversities of gifts, but Spirit." Not everyone is you, not everyone is me. No one can do something as you do it, the little touches that make an event or lesson special. God gives us abilities so that we can glorify Him and help the rest of the church body (1 Corinthians 12:1-31).

Most often I find myself in the last category. That's not to brag. It's just a fact. The Lord has blessed me tremendously with a willing spirit, and I don't do everything perfectly, but I do approach the tasks willingly and try my hardest to improve in areas where needed. It's the tapping that has given me some of the greatest joys in my walk with the Lord. It started for me pretty soon after I joined BBC, when our choir director asked me to join the choir. I've always enjoyed singing and having been a part of different choirs in the past that was an easy "Yes". It had been a while since I had read music, but it was nothing that I couldn't overcome, I'm still not that great at it. I know the note, flats and sharps, I know about forte's and mezzo piano's (the volume of the music), but other than that I'm not very knowledgeable, don't ask me anything about a timing signature. Then almost 5 years ago I was tapped, by my Pastor, to teach in a young ladies Sunday School class, which made me nervous like you wouldn't imagine (trust me girls can be scary), but I knew it was what the Lord wanted since I had been asking Him to place me in a ministry since I had returned to civilian life. Now you couldn't ask me to give it up ministering to young ladies, unless I get married and move away, the Lord calls me home, or something earth shattering happens in my life, I'm hear to stay. I couldn't imagine another ministry I could like more.

Finally withing the past 2 months I've been tapped 2 other times for service outside of my norm/comfort zone. First, was after our Bible Institutes 'Women in Ministry' class, when my Pastors wife asked me to pray about bringing the devotion at our Decembers ladies meeting. She told me what she was thinking about for the topic, which was the matter of dress and how it affects our femininity. We had just finished reading Dress the Heart of the Matter and she and I were discussing the book and I was sharing what the Lord had laid on my heart as I was reading it. The SPG girls had already been tapped to host the monthly meeting, i.e. creating the theme, decorations & refreshments, but she wanted to continue the theme with having one of us bring the devotion. The "praying" about it was really just me going back and re-reading the portion of the book that the devotion was to come from to see if I could give a cohesive presentation of what the Lord had laid on my heart, and even as I was reading He impressed upon my heart some other things, which I felt compelled & scared to share and that was how I knew that I should say yes. Speaking in front of people doesn't really scare me. I blame that on years of drama and speech classes. It's more making sure that I do a good job for the Lord. In the end though people response has very little to do with me and everything to do with their own willingness to be obedient to God's word.

The second tap came this past weekend after our annual church leadership retreat. A time when the leadership of out church can get away and pray about the direction that the Lord would have us to go in for the coming year. 2010 for BBC should be an exciting one! We're finally sending people over into Twisp to continue further evangelistic efforts and to start a church over there. This has been a 3 year long project planting the seed of the Gospel along HWY 20 and though "success", defined as a future church starting and then sending out it's own team of Preachers to plant a church, is still a work in progress the Lord is opening some amazing doors for the families that will be moving up and over the mountains. So what does this have to do with me being tapped? Well I was asked to be our new video editor at church. Last Valentines day the SPG's
hosted the Sweethearts Banquet and I put together a 15 minute DVD, set to the musical stylings of Jim Brickman, of the photos that I took that evening as the "official" photographer. This effort is what cemented my fate, although I had no inclination a year ago that this door would open for me. Tim, the SPG leader, has said that it's his "favorite movie", which is nice to hear, but truly it was just fun to do. (I haven't figured out how to put it on You Tube or here since the sites don't seem to support Windows Movie Maker, but if I ever do figure it out you know it will go up) Anyway, there seemed to be much support behind putting me here and so though I've never worked with this kind of equipment, I'm eager to learn and do my best for the ministry. So what will I be doing? Initially I'll be putting together a DVD for presenting the work and vision to other churches that we may be visiting and contacting. Without a church, or team of men there yet, there have been churches that have already presented themselves with a desire to support BBC's work in that area of WA. Beyond that I'll also be editing other videos for the church, but I'm still waiting on the official ministry meeting to find out the particulars. Eventually we'd like to be able to have the videos stream on our church website as well, but that's a little ways off I think.

This particular tap is really exciting for me. See when I was in HS, and pretty much while I was growing up, my whole goal in life was to become famous, or at least well known for something. And being the movie addict I was back then, I was obsessed with the process of how they were edited and cut together and so that was what I decided in my heart that I wanted to pursue. Obviously that didn't happen. Life had other plans for me. So to have this desire come full circle is really only something that the Lord could bring about, He tends to work like that in my life. Beside the glitter of the Hollywood lights, that once called my name, have since dimmed and I can't think of a better way to use this desire than in service for the Lord.

Pay attention to the taps because you never know how the Lord wants to answer the desires of your heart. You just may miss out if you hide behind your fears.

~ Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Colossians 4:2 - Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Last night I was blessed in a very bountiful way through a couple at church. See his Dad passed away and he too was GF. So his mom bestowed all of the GF food that she would no longer need to myself and Vicki. Last night the Fannings brought it all to church for us to divide. Those of you that buy GF know that it is not cheap and this being the Christmas season things have been extra tight for me. I was thinking about what to do for the next couple week while I'm home before my trip to Cali when I noticed that I had a voice mail on my phone and it was a message left from the Fannings letting me know of their plan, or rather their moms plan. It was definitely an abundance of GF fare including various flours, which can be very pricey. I walked away with 2 bags of food including lasagna noodles & cereal and a box full of Amy's Organic soup, which is great for this time of year.

Not knowing what I was going to do didn't really bother me, because the Lord has always provided before, but this was especially nice for I'll have food that will last me for a while. Besides buying my protien and veggies I should be set for at least a couple months:)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recaps from last month

Time has just flown by this year! Everyone that agrees with me raise there had. Ha! I knew I wasn't the only one. With as busy as things have been I just haven't maintained the regular postings. I'm not sure the direction that I'll take the blog in the coming year, I'll have to see. But the month of November wasdefinitely something to share.

It all started with my acceptance into WSU for the spring 2010 semester! Go Cougs!!! The goal of getting my BA is starting to take shape again. I'm going to be crazy busy over the next little bit, but I think that it will all work out in the end. My classes for the spring are as follows: Sociology 350: Social Psychology, Political Science 101: Into to American Nat'l Government. Womens Studies 398: History of the women in the West and Anthropology 350: Speech, thought and Culture. Now why would I torture myself with 12 credits? Because my VA tuition waiver depends on it, and with a savings of $1900 that's something worth working through. It's all about time management.

After I received the good news it was off to CA to visit my family. My Dad was celebrating turning 60 and his impeding retirement. As his gift my step mom flew me and his brothers and sisters out to help celebrate the momentous occasion. To surprise him I decided not to say anything until I got off the plane, which meant a week of not sharing anything, now that was torture! So to let him know I bought a Cougs sweatshirt and wore it on the airplane down there and let him guess. He didn't disapoint and got the messgae right away. Jack wanted to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of the city, which is usually a little out of the way, but we didnt really have a lot going on and on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning it was a an adventure not to be missed. It had acutally been almost 12 years since I had been there as a "tourist" so I told my Dad that if we were going to drive across it then we needed to at least stop so I could take some pics.

Jack looking out at Alcatraz a.k.a. "The Rock"

My Dad, Jack, Matthew & Me

Statue of Joseph Strauss

Heading into Marin & my Dad's house

After we got back to FF we realized that we were hungry and my Dad had a boat race that he wanted to go check out with some other Pelican enthusiasts (Pelican is the type of boat) in Benicia, so we packed up again and headed out there where we feasted on Nations Hamburgers and watched a decent race. Lest I concern my readers my hamburger bun was the lettuce, and for those that have a Nations burger know they are generaly not the easiest things to keep together but surprisingly w/o the bread mine fared better then the rest of everybody's burgers.
Here are the pics of the race. Seriously it was in the upper 60's low 70's all weekend. God gave us some spectacular weather!

My brothers playing by the water.
It took all weekend to dry Jack's shoes.
After the afternoon we met up with my aunts and uncles for dinner in the evening in Napa. It was a nice time to cathc back up with everyone. I hadn't seen my Aunt Elaine and Uncle Brian in 6 years, and for my Aunt Denise, Uncle Steve and my Uncle Mike it had been like 10 years. So yeah it was time to catch up.
The next day my Aunts and I grazed our way through Calistoga, St. Helena and Napa. We window shopped and stopped at this bakery called the Bouchon. I couldn't eat the macaroons there (pumpkin1 seriously I wanted one), however, they did make these chocolate covered rice crispy treats called "Forghetaboughtits" (say it with a NY accept). Here they are in a nut shell. Take a rice crispy treat, cover the top w/caramel, cover the whole thing w/chocolate, and then top lightly w/some sea salt or gray salt. Seriously "Forghetaboughtit"! That with some black coffee made the topping of the afternoon.

We ended up at the golf course waiting for the guys to finish up, but because they were being held up by some guys who refused to let them play through (you golfers know what I'm talking about). Overall bad form. This made people scramble to make our dinner resevations, but once we were all there we had a great time.

My Dad w/one of his B-day gifts.
A personalized autographed pic from Arnold Palmer
courtesy of my Aunt Elain & Uncle Brian
Aunt Elaine & Uncle Brian
Me & Aunt Elaine
Uncle Mike, Jack, Matthew & Joey
Uncle Steve & Aunt Denise
It was a nice dinner
The next day was more shopping and eating, this time in Sonoma. I bought some great Pomegranate syrup here. We stopped at this store called Tiddle E. Winks a vintage 5 & dime and a chocolate tasting room. Ahhh, heaven! After we met up with the guys at yet another golf course, where my Dad had decided to put together a tournement for him, my family and his friends. So why didn't I golf? One because it was going to be expensive to take my clubs with me and two because it has been a while since I took on a full 18 holes and I didn't want to hold the guys back. Besides shopping with my aunts and having girls time was great.

My Dad putting together the scores
The Golfing guys
Aunt Elaine, Uncle Mike, Dad & Aunt Denise
The family
The day was capped off with us all sitting at Ledgends & Heros watching the Steelers game (can you guess where our loyalties are). Now this was a lot of fun for me because while I enjoy watching the games here, I rarely get to watch them with anyone else let alone other Steelers fans, those are sparse in Sea Hawks country. Hmmm, wonder why;) LOL. So it was fun to cheer them on with other fans & family. It was also fun because my uncle is from CO and not a Broncos fan at all . It was close pretty much the whole game, although the QB felt the need to keep holding the ball instead passing it, but they came through in the end 28-10. The Terrible Towl keeps on flying high. They will redeem themselves after their Baltimore game last weekend too (sorry to break it to ya Julie;)).

Pivarnik siblings a.k.a. "Steelers Fans"
I like this pic because when I saw it I realized
that my Dad and I have the same wink that
shows up when we smile. My left eye does the
same thing that my Dads does sometimes.

Most of the pics are courtesy of my Uncle Brian. Thanks! Hopefully I'll have some more stories for you this month as well.


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