Monday, September 29, 2008

New Book "Does Modesty Exist Today?"

Chapter One

Why is
Modesty a

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of your flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for theses are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things you please. But if you are led by the spirit you are not under the law.”
Galatians 5: 16
- Hey, to begin with, writing a book on modesty was the last thing on my mind. This whole book was totally Naomi’s idea and I simply agreed to go along with it because she wanted my help I’m kind of like the writer of the family. As I began, I really wondered if this was such a good project for me to do. After all, who am I to write about modesty? I struggle with it, I want to be in fashion, I want the attention when I wear an awesome outfit and, like many Christian girls I know, the problem isn’t I want to attract a boy; I just want to be ‘in’.
So how could I dare to teach others on such a thing, something on which I still have so much to learn?
I was amazed after I started on the first chapter how much I really did know from my own personal experiences and on what my parents and others have taught me. I continued to search and dig I became so overwhelmed by the definitions and verses and how in the end so much ties together. So even if I’m not completely there yet, God is at work and I hope this book will be not a lot of do’s and don’ts, but what we and others have learned.

- Hello, dear sisters, I am Naomi. I am just like you, nothing special about me except for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. I indeed am nothing but Christ is my everything. In myself I am weak, but in Christ, and Christ alone, I become strong. I struggle with the same battles that you do. In my flesh, I buck at the very idea of modesty. I can come up with excuse after excuse after excuse to not dress modestly, but the Holy Spirit silences me every time.
As my sister said earlier that this book was my idea, and true I did say to her, hey Lydia, I have this idea to write a book on modesty, but quite truthfully, it is not my idea. The whole idea of modesty did not come from me, but rather, it came from the clear commands in the Bible. This book is not something that I decided to write for popularity, in fact I expect the opposite, but rather this book is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and everything that we write is based on what Jesus Christ has said to us in the Scriptures.
There may be things in this book that make you angry or upset, there may be things in this book that make you defensive and proud. I am not apologizing for these things, on the contrary, I am pleading with my precious sisters in Christ, that you read this book with a heart open to the Holy Spirit working in your life. Lay your flesh and any pre-suppositions and biased attitudes on the teaching of modesty and let your mind be opened to what God would have you learn.
As Paul prayed for the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:18, I pray for you:
…that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
May the Lord open the eyes of you heart so that you might see and know the riches of His glory.

Tell us what you think of our idea to write a book on modesty.
Lydia and Naomi

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sorrow and Joy

We are a homeschool family, our dad is a preacher, our mom is a stay at home mom, and for the most part we fit in the homeschool mold. One thing we don’t have is a lot of children. We have five and sure that’s more than most people but not for homeschoolers. We have been asked before why. Some homeschool mom even dared to ask if we were against lots of children. The answer is no. In fact, every time I think about it, pain comes.
My parents felt led by God to release their family planning after my brother (our third.) (I do not want to judge and so don’t think I’m saying this is for everyone. Only if God’s called you to it) so there was me, my sister and brother along with one miscarriage. My mom had no idea what would come or what God would ask of us. She lost another baby after my brother. Then my sister was born and she felt God told her she would have another son, but it would be awhile before she knew it.
Every year after that she was pregnant, and every year we lost a baby. We don’t know why but it happened. The hurt, even though it wasn’t my children, was so painful. I didn’t know why this was happening or why God would allow us to loose all these little ones. We wanted them in our family. We desired those children and they were being taken away from us. Most the time I could bear to forget but then it would happen again. I have 7 unborn brothers and sisters in heaven now. After the seventh I begged my mom please don’t let it happen again. Though she too was struggling she told me she couldn’t because God had asked her to trust Him. Then she got pregnant again. It was hard to even get excited about it. But we counted to weeks as a family, no one else knowing about it and her belly got bigger and bigger. She had a son and we named him Nathan which means, “Gift from God.”
We gave him to God while he was still in my mom's womb because we knew he was safer in His hands then ours.
So now that my keyboard is wet I’d like to tell you why I’m sharing this. It is because I have learned something in it all and even though I would have loved to have had so many more siblings and even though I sometimes wish my mom was still having children I find comfort in remembering that God knows what He’s doing even when we don’t. Nathan means so much more to us than he would have if it had just been another child and I’ll be able to carry that into my future home, a love for every child and knowing they truly are a blessing. When other girls in our church have a moms who goes through the same thing we can tell them we understand because we not only went through it once but seven times.
This applies to all of life and so many things could be used to illustrate this but I like our story because you can see a beginning and an end. In my heart I still see seven tiny graves in our families past but I see hope in the future and every time I sit and hold my now two year old brother I give thanks.

“Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who my Dad is makes me who I am

What’s it like being a PK (preacher’s kid)? This is to answer the question is my dad still a pastor. Yes he is. We will be celebrating our 15 years at our church within the month. We do belong to a denomination but that’s not what rules us. We base all our convictions on God’s word and I like to refer to us as Reformed Christian.
Often I like being a PK and sometimes I don’t. I’ll start with what I like.
1. Our standards are generally higher than others and it keeps me accountable. I get to meet some really neat people because it feels like my dad knows everyone. My sister and I work at our church so we get to talk with the staff and do jobs. We know where all the candy is and enjoy talking to everyone. I like seeing my dad preach every Sunday. He gets to choose his day off. He knows so much about the Bible we can give him a key phrase to a verse and he gives you a reference. He has an awesome memory. (Too bad I didn’t get some of it. Sadly I have about the same memory skills as a 40 year old. My sister often teases me that I’ll be senile by the time I’m 30)
2. I sometimes don’t like being a pk because our friends sometimes act weird around us. We go to someone’s house to watch a movie and their parents freak out over every part and start fast fording things you know they don’t usually do. Lots of people expect us to be the “good kids” which can be a good thing and challenge you if you take it right. My dad had to carry so many others problems and this sometimes affects the way he acts when he comes home in the evenings.
There are good and bad just like every other job. I guess I’m thankful for it. What better thing for my dad to do than serve God in his work? Because of who he is and how he affects my life I am who I am.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

To Date or not to Date...

It wasn’t until recently (over this past year) that I became aware of the fact that many Christians still date. I don’t date because I feel God’s will in my life is to save myself emotionally and physically for my future mate and I don’t want to compromise this in any way. But others see nothing wrong with this system of finding one guy, date around, break up, and finding another, maybe being a little more physical with this one. But when it hurts you may put your guard up for the next one only to break up again at one time or another.
I was challenged by a new friend I met online saying, “How can you just give up? Then life would be pointless.”
I totally agree with this statement. But it can be misapplied. She used the examples… “If a relative dies and you realize you are not going to live forever do you just give up?”
No, because the Bible tells us to live life to the fullest in Christ. (By the way I base all my life on the Bible so if you disagree take it up with God.) This is not something we are called to give up on.
Another thing… “What about a friend who is not a Christian. What do you do when they spit in you face and reject the Gospel. Do you give up?”
Never, the Bible says, “Go into all the earth making disciples of all nations…” Is that not obvious enough?
Does the Bible say, “GO and Date.”
I think not. In fact, it says and hints the opposite.
It tells you how you are to spend your single years.

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, (or his house and family) and his interests are divided. And the unmarried is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is worried about worldly things and how to please her husband.” 1 Cor. 7:32- 34

My thought on this verse is…

“Be free from the worry of a relationship and devote yourself to God. The unmarried man can devote himself to God and work in the Church. But the married man is committed to caring for his family. For the unmarried are to be worried about the things of God and His ways. But married women are to be focused on her home and how to please her family.”

This verse shows how we are to spend our single years. Not going from one relationship to the other but devoted to God and ministry.
Another verse that I believe confirms this is found in Song of Solomon. No one says it better than Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh.

- “The Song of Solomon is the most romantic book in the Bible. It describes a love relationship between Song of Solomon and his bride. Three times in this powerful love story the young women is charged not to stir up or awaken love before it is time.”

God wishes for us to have a pure and devoted heart to Him and not to every man that makes us laugh.
Another thing...If we look or are checking men out now it’s not going to stop after we are married. We know that’s wrong. Should our behavior towards the opposite sex be any different now than when we are married? I don’t think it should. Remember you can’t marry them all. You get one. If you flirt, hug, go out with, hold hands with, kiss, or even go as far as to have sex, you are doing all that with someone else’s husband or wife. When I am deciding how to treat a boy I treat him as if he already belonged to another. I wonder if a girl somewhere far away or near who knows my future mate and treated him as I am treating this guy would I be jealous? Would it hurt? If you date and date then enter marriage you never know, “What did he do on his dates?” “Did he treat her like he treats me?” “Am I as fun to be around as she was?”
God’s desire for you is to be whole, not broken into several pieces all along the way. It’s not just a, “Well, that didn’t work out so I will press on in another relationship.”
That is the way of the world and we should not follow it. Anyone may dare to disagree with me and I will listen to you or read about your view but I am firm in mine and feel I have a solid foundation for it.
One more story…
I went to a class on dating and this is how the man teaching started things.
“May I borrow a piece of gum?”
A guy brought one up and the speaker took it and chewed saying, “The first bite is always the best.”
Then wrapping it back up, all wet and gooey gave it back and said, “Maybe he won’t notice…”
We all got the picture. Each date there is one more chew out of us. And one day when you marry, if that is God’s will as it is for 99% of Christians, you can hand you mate a chewed piece of gum or say…
“All I am, all I was, and all I will ever be is yours. I have never given my heart to another and all of it is wholly and completely yours.”
Lord willing I will be able to say this but there are many who can’t. Some have even lost their purity entirely. God can heal and mend; I know He can because of other area in my life in which I have failed terribly then found forgiveness. All you have to do is ask…
For more info on giving dating up there are some awesome books. I kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris is the best in my opinion. Also by the same guy, Not even a Hint. (I heard he changed the title recently so watch out) Before you meet Prince Charming is good for younger girls. And Lies young women believe and the Truth that sets them free. There is a lot of great info in this book but two chapters talk about dating. It’s by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh.

Now I don't do this because it's fun. There are many times I wish I could have a guys attention or want him to put his arm around me, etc. These desires are normal and one day will be satisfied in the greatest way. If I had nothing to look forward to waiting would be a waste. Sometimes it can be hard but I am trusting God to work in me in such a way that when I stand before the man He has for me I can look back and have no regrets.

God Bless...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Desire of my Heart

I have many desires and dreams. I want to write and publish Christian books, get married to an awesome Christian guy (have no clue who he is yet), have children to love and teach, and so many more little thing that I hope may one day be apart of my future. But right now as an American teen I have a desire that is so very close to my heart and wishes and I want it to be happening right now. Passion…
Now there are many kinds of passion. We live in a passionate age and see it everywhere. People have passion for their love life, for a football team, food, cars, sports, TV, video games, music, money, etc… but that is not the kind of passion I want to see.

Revive Us Again

LORD, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered their sin.
You withdrew your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation towards us! Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to His people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him that glory may dwell in the land.

I found this Psalm (Psalm 85) a few years ago and fell in love with it. I have prayed over it with tears as I think about America and more importantly, the American Church.
This is my version for my country with this Psalm…

“Lord, you were favorable to you land. You were kind to our founding fathers. You restored America to George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and so many others from the hands of the British. You forgave our iniquities and sins. You withdrew your wrath from those who disobeyed you and were gracious.
Yet what has happened? We have turned aside.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation towards us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people will rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us salvation.
Speak to your people and turn away our love from this world. Speak Lord, for he will speak peace to his people, to his chosen ones. But let them not turn to the world. His salvation is near those who fear him and his glory will dwell upon them.

This is the desire of my heart. I see so MANY that claim to be Christians and many may be but they are so consumed with the pop culture to even stand out. You wouldn’t know one from the other because there is no joy. Sometimes I can hardly believe Christians are watching some of the movies I see advertised. I wonder how? And then come to church on Sunday and have a pure heart towards God? Do they just throw Philippians out the window when it comes to entertainment?
My heart is burdened for America’s church. Where are we going? Why don’t I see people seeking hard after God? We go to youth group and all these godly things are said and done, then we go in the hall and talk about trashy movies and do not speak as I believe we would if Jesus were there. I feel I am often included in that. Why do we go on mission trips and the only time we smile is with our friends? Why is there so much complaining about the heat or bugs? I went to China last spring and I felt like all our team did was complain about the food. (It was strange food at timesI must admit) but I found myself complaining because of this attitude. Do you realize how your attitude affects others?
At a camp I went to this summer I found myself complaining over a very annoying situation I found myself in and it defiantly affected others.
We are called to be joyful and show the world we are followers of Christ by our behavior. It’s not happening. The Church is like the world and we seem stuck in this rut of having to be hip to reach the world. Don’t you think God can save people without us compromising his holy standards? This is the desire of my heart and I ask that anyone… anyone who may read this would work with me to change the world by changing ourselves. Pray though Psalm 85 with me and let the Lord restore us…

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Not everyone got out with simply no power for a few days...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hurricane Gustav 4

Day Four...

making breakfast

We spent the day like all the other days. Hot,playing games, cleaning what we could... in the afternoon one of our good friends invited us and my friend Hannah and her sisters to come swim in their pool. There I found out she didn't even get water. I can't imagine. But while we were there her mom called and we found out their electricity had come on. That evening ours did too.
God's mercy was so great. But pray for the people in Louisiana. Many still don't have power and others have a lot of clean up.

We got lights!

Night time

y favorite time was in the evening. It was so dark we didn't go off by ourselves but all hung out in the living room reading aloud and talking. It was so hot we all bunked up in the kitchen.

playing with the flashlight...

Hurricane Gustav 3

Day three

we were able to hook the generator up to our washer for a few hours which was great. We could wash clothes! Then we hung them out to dry...

hanging clothes ( you know things that came off the line were a lot stiffer than dryer dried clothing.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Around Us

We thought things were going pretty well until we took a drive around. Everything was out of power. Imagine driving through your city and no stores being open, every window is dark, gas lines forever, no traffic lights and just as many cars as normal.
Trees were everywhere, lines were long. We saw a trailer slit in half by a tree and more...

Here is some what we saw...

a billboard torn up

the garden section at home depot. you can see some letters missing and the torn look

the gas station across from our church lost their sign

we found it


Hurricane Gustav 2

Day Two

Ever wished you could travel in time? We got a taste of that. Dark house, bugs, doing everything by hand... it was hot, it was awesome and I gave God thanks for it...
"Praise Him in the storm..."

this is how we tried to kept cool. It gave us light too... yes we kept our doors open all day except at night.

making lunch...yum looks good doesn't it?

guess who became nature boy in all this? Off hunting for food this little guy was outside all the time.

doing dishes by hand was something new. The worst part was it was hot and the water was hot so you soon

Hurricane Gustav

I live in Louisiana and recently a hurricane known as Gustav hit near our home. We were without power for four days and tonight is my first night to be on my computer in it feels like forever. No internet, no air conditioning, nothing…
So how was the past four days? Some moments were better than others. We have running water and our neighbor got a generator which they kindly shared with us. God was good and I want everyone to know about it.

Day One….

Originally it was supposed to hit us at a category four. If you look at the picture of the computer screen below you’ll see what I’m talking about. We were so blessed when it unexpectedly went down to a category one.

It hit Monday… the winds were incredible. I tried to get some good videos out the window but nothing I could get could do it justice. We couldn’t believe we were only experiencing a small hurricane. My sister and I had cleared everything out of our room in case a window broke and we sat and waited. The electricity went out at about eleven – thirty a.m. but the temperature outside was windy and after the storm we went and played in the water.

notice the gray sky in the back

mimi holding up a piece of our roof.

the wind was crazy

playing in the mud

racing (i always win)

We were so blessed in the way God took care of us again and again. The first night we sat down in our dark house and my Papa asked what we were thankful for. I had to say, "I'm thankful that our God is a big God." This storm could have been so bad and as we had watched it come I must admit I got a little scared but this storm that could have been so devastating wasn't some big glob out of control in the gulf of Mexico. God holds the oceans in the palm of His hand and He was holding Gustav and guiding it's every move. This was a great adventure but we survived with nothing more than a few shingles missing. Isn't God great! Though then we didn't know what was coming next.

How Christ Saved Me...

I was asked by a sister in Him how I became a follower of Jesus. Here is my answer. I am so excited about sharing this.

When I was three my younger sister was born and I was no longer the only child of my family. My Papa was a pastor and my mom a stay at home mom but I was as rebellious as a three year old girl could be. As a year went by I became as jealous, angry, and full of pride as ever before. One evening I did what my mother directly told me not to do. (Not like I didn’t do that often enough) but this defiant act caused her, my Papa, and I to all become very upset and our little home was full of tension. That night as we were trying to have our family prayer time my Mommy asked me, “If your Papa had had taken you to the bedroom and spanked you as you deserved…then Jesus walked in and said, ‘Don’t spank Lydia, spank me instead.’ What would you do?
A simple example but that night Christ turned the light on in my little heart and I began to understand. That night I asked Jesus to come into my heart and I was never the same. Still I was only four and knew little about living the Christian walk. I went through phases of being excited about the Bible to almost dormant. I was around it all the time, in every ministry available at our church and somehow it became all very ordinary to me. But God was still working. As I entered my teens I was confused and wanted to be apart of our youth group, and I wanted so much to be ‘in’ but with my parents putting so many ‘hindrances’ (so I thought) I couldn’t be all I wanted to be. Then my eyes were opened just a little more and I began to see where I needed to be. I knew I needed to dig more into God’s word and work on having a quiet and gentle spirit to; focus more on the inside than I was on the outside. I knew I struggled in many areas but I wasn’t taking action to fix them. Then in only the past six months my life continued to turn from my own desires to that of God’s and my parents. I didn’t view submission as a burden so much anymore and I began to find God’s word to be more than the book I based my life around because that was the right thing to do. I started waking up early and seeking for myself what the Bible say and started really seeking His will. So I am this sweet, Godly, humble, submissive, quiet teen. Absolutely not! I still have years to go before I come near that. But like God has worked in the past twelve years since the night I knelt on my parent’s bedroom floor till now I am sure He will continue do great things because He is great.
I sometimes feel like I’ve wasted those twelve years and I am determined not to continue in that pattern.
Life goes on… and so does my awe in God’s hand over me. This morning I sat and wept asking, “God why on earth did you choose me? I don’t understand.” I can only say thank you and hope that I will become so surrendered to His will that He can us me, even little 5’ 2’, unpopular, silly, me for His BIG plan.
So that’s my testimony and how God reached from heaven to save….me.