Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Titus 2: "not malicious gossips"

I am a little off schedule this week, but Saturday was our monthly Titus 2 study and I was unable to post on this month's topic, so here it is!

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips..." Titus 2:3

This so beautifully follows “reverent in their behavior,” because we cannot control our tongue apart from a strong relationship with our Master. We must use His word as the source of our truth. It must be the plumbline for our speech. Controlling one’s tongue is a mark of maturity. Paul is telling the older women, they must use self-control when using their tongues, so that they impart life, not death. “That they may encourage…” cannot flow from a heart marred by words of deceit and lack of truthfulness.

Well, we might say, I would not consider myself a gossip. Let’s look at this word more closely and see what God says about “gossip.”

The NASB uses the term “not malicious gossips," which in Greek (diabolos) is defined as slanderous or accusing falsely. (It is translated devil 34 times) **An interesting side note: this term diabolos is absent when speaking of men and their speech**

So ladies, what is God trying to tell us? Watch your words!! Be aware of the tongue, it can slander, deceit, tear down, accuse falsely and intentionally harm others. Now, for the zinger…
Operating on the basis of lies and false information or “maliciously gossip” is to actually imitate Satan himself, because as John 8:44 says,
"he does not stand in truth, because the truth is not in him, he is the father of lies..."

A woman who “traffics in information” is taking great liberty with something that does not “belong” to her. We must guard information shared with us. God tells us to “love our neighbor as ourself.” If you are entrusted with someone’s private information, keep it that way! It is not yours to tell, unless you have sought permission, or they have said it is ok to share.
Paul is speaking directly to “malicious gossip”, so let us put it into perspective:

Malicious: imitating or working as an accomplice to Satan with intent to do harm
Gossip: just wanting to traffic in information. Habitually reveals sensationalism

Neither is acceptable! Psalm 19:14 says,
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”

This world is full of many people with evil intent. Let us be one who goes against the grain of society and be an example of God’s character through our speech. Where is the root of the problem? In the HEART... for "the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart." (Matt 12:34)

Here is my challenge to us this month in the area of our speech:

1. What can you begin to do this week to begin building a reputation of one that is careful with her words? How can you be sure that you are imparting life each time you have the opportunity to speak.

2. Based on Proverbs 18:21, how would you characterize your speech? How does your speech change/differ when talking with co-workers? Your husband? Your friends? Your children? When you are at church?

Let us examine our hearts very carefully and seek to honor God with our words. Let us be the kind of encouragement that shows others the character of God. How can you be a godly example of a woman who watches her tongue?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...November 24, 2008

Outside my window...the beauty of shadow and light that comes before the gloaming period each day

I am thinking...of all the things to get packed for our trip

I am thankful for...God's perfect provision

From the learning rooms...math, phonics, thinking skills, pilgrims, indians & memory verses on thankfulness

From the kitchen...lasagna

I am wearing...black pants and a cream sweater

I am creating...my flipbook of prayers~I am going to be done this week!

I am going...to get the oil changed and tire rotated in the morning

I am reading... finishing Choices, starting The Mission of Motherhood on Wed.

I am hoping...the boys get well before we leave

I am hearing..."Nim's Island" as my boys rest and try to feel better

Around the house...furniture that needs a new home after we moved things to use the fireplace, my plans for tonight...I love to nest!

One of my favorite things...reading with my boys

A few plans for the rest of the week... running some stuff to a friend, packing, headed to Atlanta on Wednesday

Here is picture thought I am sharing... my precious family over the weekend

Stop by and visit http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It was 7:30 on Thursday night and I had just tucked the boys into bed. I came up to the front of the house, there was not one light on and it was still and quiet. Oh! How my heart needed to hear from my Heavenly Father.

I sat down in the doorway of the kitchen and fell silent before him. My heart soon begin to pour out to Him and I was gently feeling that warmth that surrounds you when you are still before your Father.

Then, ever so quietly I hear slippered feet on the wood floor coming my way.
"Mommy?" says little one.
"Yes~" I answer.
"Where are you?"
"I am right here."
"What are you doing Mommy?"
"I'm talking to God."
"God is here?"
"Yes baby, He is always here."
Little one sits gently in my lap and says, "I will sit quiet while you talk to Him."

Thank you Father for being small enough to be so real to a three year old. Thank you for being small enough to hear my whisper when I cry out to You~ Oh how my heart longs to know you more today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Child Training Tuesday: Purity~Their heart & Mine

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

Compromise. Contamination. Defilement. Sin. Worldly influence.

What causes our lives to become slowly eroded? What is causing our heart to be divided? Here are a few just to get us thinking.

Television. Toxic relationships. Ungodly habits. Self-interests. Materialism.

God's word tells us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. He tells us that we are double-minded sinners. We divide our affection for Christ, therefore we cannot live a sold out life. We are unable to be pure in heart. What exactly does purity look like?

Blameless. Uncompromised. Uncontaminated. Above reproach. Morally upright.
We live out this kind of pure devotion to Christ in our heart, our mind, our words and our actions. We know that out of the mouth flows that which is in the heart. This makes me cringe sometimes at what I see displayed in my life sometimes. I know that the heart of my Savior is grieved as He walks with me, and watches as I display foolishness. There is falsehood all around me and I need to gear up for the battle. I cling to the verse 1 John 4:4 which says, "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

God's character is without stain. I am unable to reflect God's heart of purity apart from knowing and obeying Him. Not just when I am feeling like it, but in all aspects of my life. I must be active in cultivating my heart. This is the hard work. This is where my hands get dirty.

Will I keep watching the same shows? Will I keep responding the same way? Will I go to the same activites and keep the same friends? Will I keep practicing the same habits? All of these are decisions we must be intentional about making. Our lives should be reflection of Christ. Christ is always with us, so what do we have going on in our lives that would bring Him shame?

Little eyes are watching me all the time. Watching to see how I handle conflict, how I respond to the world and how I make decisions. I have one who is always asking me "why." My response must line up with the word of God if I am going to train them to discern God's will and then follow. "Well sweetheart, we need to go because so-and-so will be happy if we go." Am I seeking to please man or please God? You can be doing one or the other, just stop and check your motive.

There are so many decisions that need to be made for my litttle ones, so I must be seeking the wisest counsel I know, which is God's word. Here are some guidelines for how we make decisions in our household.

1. Is this the best that God has for us? Good is not always best.
2. What will my children be learning from this experience?
3. How will we be able to be a witness for Christ in this situation?
4. Will this be showing my children what it looks like to live for Christ alone?
5. What kind of influence will this have on my children?
6. What is our motivaton for taking part?
7. What does God's word say concerning this subject?
8. How can I best set them up for success?

The heart behind what and why we do things is most important. My best advice is this: If you have aligned your heart with God, then follow what it tells you to do. Do not be swayed by friends asking, why don't you do this? why aren't you letting them go there? You alone are responsible before God for your life and the lives of your children when they are young. Set the goal to be found faithful. Use the questions and doubts as an opportunity to be a witness for the things that matter most to God.

Purity is the hard to acquire in this world of junk and contamination. Consider turning off the television. Consider one less play group. Stay home one full day if that is possible. Then use that time instead to teach your children about what living a life of purity really means. Find ways to be intentional with your life in the area of purity. And, remember to operate in grace towards your friends who are making the hard decisions for their family. Encourage them and learn from one another. We are vulnerable when we are teachable, but we all have much we can learn from how one we do life. Are you walking a road where you are the only one making decisions that are above reproach? I applaud you for taking the hard road and encourage you to be steadfast. God will use your life in ways you may never know and you will honor God by being faithful in what He has asked of you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... November 17, 2008

Outside my window... thousands of leaves, covering the acres of land that surround my home

I am thinking...I am grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my children

I am thankful...that my daddy was able to come and visit, was a sweet time we had together!

From the learning rooms... our focus this week is neatness is all our writing, continuing to learn place value and reading The Story about Ping (Five in a Row)

From the kitchen...Lisa's homemade bread recipe, lasgna, homemade chicken strips, potato soup, playdough and sugar cookies

I am wearing...my kitchen utensil print jammies, which my sister Amy thinks are strange :)

I am creating...a flip book of daily prayers for my boys

I am going...to keep working on my memory of 1 John this week, I need to make some serious progress!

I am reading...1 John, Choices (by: Mary Farrar)

I am hoping...I can get all my work accomplished tonight & tomorrow night for church

I am hearing...stillness

Around the house...laundry to fold & put away, a newly organized bedroom closet :)

One of my favorite things...the smell of my sweet Luke when he snuggles close in the early morning

A few plans for the rest of the week...piano lessons, lunch with a friend, 2 good friends coming over to play

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... my sweet boys, always making me smile & laugh

Stop by and visit the creator of the Simple Womans Daybook here:


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mission-minded Shopping

I am so excited to tell you about two different on-line stores that donate 5% of your purchase to different world mission causes. Please click below to check them out. Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking is having a giveaway for a pair of these cute children's shoes! Go visit her blog and check it out!



The other website is http://christa-taylor.com/. Her clothes are both fun and beautiful. I love to see women using their gifts to provide quality and affordable products, but also realize they can serve a greater purpose than just profiting themselves. If you need something for yourself or a gift, stop by these sites and do some mission-minded shopping!

Friday, November 14, 2008

You've Come a Long Way Baby

The following words are from Mary Kassian's message on feminism at the True Woman Conference '08. Will you take about 45 mins and listen to her complete message? It will challenge you and open your eyes to what has happened to God's original design for us as women. Do you desire to know what true womanhood looks like? Get a cup of tea (or coffee) and sit down to see the "ideals" of feminism unfolded. "You've come a long way baby..." Too bad is is a long way from God. Click here to listen: http://www.truewoman.com/?id=341

What's the answer to the question feminism posed almost 50 years ago? It was a spiritual question, the whole question of, “Well, what's going to bring women happiness and fulfillment and joy in life?”

What He is concerned about is that we have hearts that say yes to Him and that love Him and that are willing to be crazy enough to say, “What He has made is beautiful,” and crazy enough to say, “Selfless living, sacrificial living, laying down my life in emulation of the Christ I love is worth it!”
The New Testament reiterates that there are basic differences between men and women that are to be honored as part of God's design. In 1 Corinthians 11:9 & 12, we are told that, “The man did not come from the woman, but the woman from the man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for man.” Furthermore, “The woman is not independent of man. Nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman came from man, so also man is born of woman, but everything comes from God.” Very unpopular to read these Scriptures nowadays, isn't it? Very unpopular.

But I am crazy enough to believe that God knew what He was doing, and what He was doing was good. Indeed, it was very good. Our identity as male and female is important. As John Piper says, “It speaks to the glory of God.” Who I am as a woman and who I am in relationship to my husband, how I relate should cause people to look and say, “Wow! I see Jesus.” (This is my favorite part of the message!)

Women, I believe that God's instructions for us in His Word are not only right, they are also good and pleasant and desirable. Our problem is, we come and try to present a whole list of do’s and don'ts. We don't capture women's heart for the beauty of the vision of what womanhood is all about, and it's our only hope for wholeness to understand that our whole purpose is to live for the glory of God!

Do you trust that God knew what He was doing? How are you living out His original design for you as a woman? I would love to hear how you are living for the glory of God, so please take a minute to share with us all~ Thank you! I pray that each of us finds a practical way to redefine our definition of wholeness this week.

For more information on Mary Kassian's ministry click here: http://www.marykassian.com/

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Child Training Tuesday: Relay Parenting

If you have a husband(or a wife) and at least one child, you may find yourself in the ever famous "Parent Relay." Unlike most relay races that happen on a Saturday at the local track and field, this one happens everyday in most American homes. Everyone wakes up bright and early, eats breakfast and then....you're off! Work, meetings, Bible study, the gym, play dates, preschool, homeschool, church, piano, ballet, soccer, prayer meetings, dinner, homework, bath and bedtime. Mom has Bible study tonight, so she can only go to ballet, Dad will have to cover piano and soccer. Then Mom will race home, so Dad can make the prayer meeting later tonight at church. Mom will handle bath and bed and Dad will pick up something to eat, because no one had time to actually make supper.
Are you exhausted? I am just reading this! Now, this may be a bit exaggerated, but haven't we all found ourselves in this state of constantly running the relay, except instead of making actual progress, we find ourselves in a revolving door? There are certain life circumstances that make it very difficult for families to "stay together" at all times of the day. Starting with the fact that most fathers have to work outside the home, as do many mothers. But by no means is this a reason to keep up the aimless running.

These are some ways that we have found to help keep us centered as a family.

1. Gather at the dinner table. This is my favorite time of the day, because we all get to stop and connect. We have the tradition at our table to ask everyone: "What was the best part of your day?" "What was your frustration today?" This opens up great discussion for us to share outloud and teach our boys how to express what has happened during their day. We also get to talk about constructive ways to handle our frustrations, disappointments and tough moments. We end our day on the same page and this time together puts life into each of us. We also plan silly dinner, fancey dinner and picnics to make this time fun for the whole family.

2. Family worship. This usually takes place for us after dinner and before bed. Wesley reads the Bible and we talk about the verses. Then each of us has the opportunity to pray. We have also used this time for the boys to share their memory work. They get very excited that they get to have a special part in family worship. Next up on our list is learning hymns. There is great Biblical doctrine in hymns and I want my boys to know them as they grow up.

3. Telephone talk time. We have scheduled two different times in the day that Wesley calls to check in with us. The boys and I talk to him and he stays connected with us and what we are doing. This has really helped the boys to understand that mommy and daddy are on the same page. I am always referring to Wesley as our leader and this is a great way for him to "be a part of our day" by calling and spending time talking with each of us. This also puts fuel in both of our tanks as we face different pressures at home and work.

4. Prayer. Each decision we make must be covered in prayer. Rick Warrens said, "If you have not prayed about something, then you are doing it on your own." I am guilty of this~I think that a decision is not too big, so I just act on it and make the decision that looks best from where I'm sitting. The problem is that I do not have all the information. God does, so as a couple and family, we need to be seeking His direction and His plan for us, even for the smallest things.

5. Saying "no". This may seem like an obvious step to take, but how many of us actually take it? Say no to the birthday party, no to the movie with friends, no to helping out an extra day with the project, no to the distractions that pull us away both mentally and physically. We must say "yes" to God and "no" to those things He says are not best for us.
Parenting is hard work and doing it God's way is a huge commitment. We must be a united team with God, so we do it well. My prayer for all of us is that we will take time to build up reserves in God's word and seek His direction for our families.

At this time in a world, I believe it is especially important to be commited to doing things God's way. It will more than likely become more difficult for us to stand for Truth, but we have no other option as follower's of Jesus Christ. The family unit needs to find it's strength in God alone, so they will not be torn down by the falsehood of the world. In the end, it will be our families strong thread of trust in God that will bind us together. It is our job as parents to teach our children what it means to live sold out for Christ. How does this look in our homes? A good first step is to be a family that stays together, because they choose only those things that honor God with their time, talents and resources. This will be the kind of lasting legacy our children will remember their entire lives.

I believe that this happens simply by sacrifice. So, let us ask ourselves where am I sacrificing? What can be put aside so I am set apart for Christ alone? Challenge yourself to take one step to keeping your family closer together this next week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Child Training Tuesday

Tonight, I am spurred on to be on my knees for my children. Although the outcome of tonight's presidential election is saddening and disappointing, I ultimately trust in God alone. He is the author of all things, past, present and future. I know He is sovereign and I praise Him for that gift.

My prayer is for my two sons to bow the knee to Jesus Christ and come to the point of personally realizing their need for a Savior. I do not know what the future world will bring, but I do know in my heart that I must be channeling as much Truth as I possibly can into my children.

A friend of mine posted about children watching television and she posted this question:
"Do we not realize the power we give away when we let our children sit mindlessly in front of the TV and be filled with who knows what? If the average kid watches 2 hours of TV a day, getting all sorts of subtle information on how they should look, think, and act, do we seriously think that as parents, we are giving MORE than 2 hours of specific instruction to our kids on what their family believes about how you should look, think, and act like? (click on makingtheconnections on the right sidebar for the complete post)

We should be giving time, quality and quantity. This is a huge burden God has placed on my heart recently for me as a mother. I am now in the process of cutting back and downsizing my life, including my home and obligations. Both of these things take up precious time that I need to be investing into my sons. I have been in serious prayer about what is best for them right now. We are doing some good things, but I long to be doing what is best for them. Regardless of society's opinion, friends questions, or family pressure. When I became a mother, I said, "OK God I will do it your way. These are your precious children that you have entrusted to me. Show me the way and I will walk in it."

When I have to leave my children with someone else, I expect nothing but the best care they can provide. So, how much more does my Heavenly Father expect with his children? My challenge to all of us as mothers is to get on our face before God and ask Him to show us where to downsize. Then ask Him to show you how to turn that time around to invest into the lives of your precious children. I am a servant of Christ and this life is not my own.

Father, help me to be diligent in investing time and truth into my sons lives. Change their hearts and mold them to be men who follow hard after you. I do not know what the world will look like for them, but I do know they will need to trust in You alone to survive. Show me how to impart the Truth to them, so they can stand firm in an ever-changing world.
A wonderful prayer resource for your children is Praying the Scriptures for your Children by Jodie Berndt. (http://http://www.lifewaystores.com/lwstore/product.asp?ISBN=0310232163)

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