For all my friends from Penn State to University of Wyoming: I know you are enduring the few weeks left of study and exams; here is a little post from our ministry website: BCMofSC.wordpress.com. I hope it encourages you! Hang in there.
The end of the semester is approaching fast, and with it, final’s week. So we’ve provided a list of quick tips for studying… your Bible! Don’t forget to engage in some much needed time with God in the next few weeks. Here are a few good reasons why, according to Psalm 119:
1. To finish strong, you will try to study well, avoid opportunities to cheat, and make the most of your last weeks as a student:
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.” Verse 9
2. Unfortunately, there will still be moments you might feel like a complete failure:
“I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.” V. 25
3. Because finals week can lead to some crazy emotions:
“I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.” V. 28
4. And there are far too many negative activities to tempt you during a study break, which will only tear you down and distract you further:
“Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” V. 37
5. Snacking on unhealthy foods while studying can lead to an unhelpful sugar crash.:
“How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” V. 103
6. When you can’t memorize the standard deviation formula for your Statistic’s final, remember:
“The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.” V. 130
7. More than likely, you’re going to pull an all-nighter. Lucky for you:
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” V. 105
8. Or, you inherited masochists for group-project partners, and they all decided to meet at 6AM to finish the project:
“I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” V 147
9. In the end, you may have to question an unfair grade, or a professor that overlooked your effort. Do not be discouraged. Remember that sometimes….
“…Powerful people harass me without cause, but my heart trembles only at your word.” V. 161
10. When it is all over, you’ll want to party like it’s 2000 and Y2K fell through. Remember to give credit to God who helped you through it all:
“I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.” V. 162
Keep your Bible handy these next few weeks. Try reading a section of Psalm 119 every few hours during your study time (there are 22 stanzas, one for each letter in the Hebrew alphabet). You may find the insight and encouragement to be just the right perspective for all the stress and deadlines of finals week.
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I’ve mentioned before that I am currently writing a Bible study for teenage girls. This month, I am persevering through to finish it and move forward with how God chooses to use it. Here is an excerpt for your enjoyment (and potential feedback for the study). This part comes from the chapter on Humility, from the study Delight: a Joyful Discovery of Biblical Womanhood. (Note that a delight is a woman of God, in the context of the study.) Thank you for reading… enjoy!
Imagine a different kind of Princess movie sequel to Disney’s Tangled:
Rapunzel woke up early as usual. She had been married to her good-looking husband, for a few months now, and it was wonderful. They lived in their own little cottage near the castle; close enough to her parents she was now reunited with, but still their own place. She wandered outside and enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the morning sunshine. She chatted cheerfully with some older gentlemen on their way to work in the fields. A few minutes later, she started writing an encouraging letter to her parents. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed a squirrel struggling to reach an acorn. She gently knocked it down for him then whistled her way back inside her home.
Then she saw it. Her husband Eugene, had failed to shave again! Ever since her hair stopped being able to grow, she couldn’t stand the sight of any hair growing, even stubble on her husbands chin. “One little thing I ask, Flynn,” Rapunzel chided, purposefully using Eugene’s alias from his robbery-days, “just shave before I see you in the morning, is that so hard!?”
She carried on about how rude he was and inconsiderate of her feelings. After living so long with a woman who pretended to be her mother, and bossed her around incessantly, now it was Rapunzel’s turn for freedom. Her husband often asked her to look after the garden, help in the kitchen, or sometimes even just sit with him and read in front of the fire. But Rapunzel was her own person, and she was going to do her own thing.
While you will rarely witness a nagging session like this in a children’s movie about princesses and little squirrels and acorns; in reality, it happens all the time. A woman of humility must learn the value of submission. The word “submission” is another “nails on the chalkboard” word to many people. Some ladies associate it with being a “doormat” or never having an opinion of their own. Others feel that obedience means “being controlled.” As daughters of God, we must trust that God set up the idea of submission because He knows it is what is best for us! Submitting to authority means that a woman follows, obeys, and commits to a person or standard with humility. In the Bible we are commanded to submit to our family authorities (parents), the government, the church, and our husbands:
“Older women are to… encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” (Titus 2:3-5)
Though you may not be married yet, one of the main purposes of this study is to prepare you for biblical womanhood, including being a wife someday. God’s design of marriage is so much more special than the relationship of a daughter with her parents, or a woman to the government. That is why the idea of submission must be more valued and cared for within a husband-wife relationship.
God designed marriage to be a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church (read Ephesians 5:21-33). When a woman disrespects, or disobeys her husband, she is painting a picture of God’s people disrespecting or disobeying Christ. The role of a wife is so much more than just being a help-meet to her husband; we get to share the story of the gospel through our very actions in relation to our husbands. A woman like Rapunzel at the beginning of this lesson paints a picture of God’s people who nag, and roll their eyes, and don’t appreciate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That is how “God’s message is slandered;” when we disregard our husbands, we disregard the picture we are painting of Christ and the church.
A delight can practice being a woman of humility to the people around her, but as a wife it is crucial that she strive to be submissive even more, for the sake of her witness of Christ.
Lucky for us, being submissive is absolutely NOT being an opinion-less door mat who cleans and cooks and massages her husband’s stinky feet every night (though that can be an excellent practice of humility).
When I think of the word “submit,” I think of turning in a paper that is due in English class. When I “submit” my paper, it becomes the teacher’s. When I turn myself in to my husband, I become his. I am under his protection, guidance, and fellowship. I line up my desires and goals with his. A Christian wife can represent God’s people well when she submits to her husband, even if he may not be representing Christ well in his actions. God uses such humility and submission in great ways:
“In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the [Christian] message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live… For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.” (1 Peter 3:1, 5, 6)
A woman of humility prays for her husband instead of nags him. A delight even prays for him even before she meets him, submitting herself to God first, and secondly to the man He has prepared for her.
Rapunzel did well as a woman of humility to the lowly, her authorities, even animals. But the true test of humility towards others lies in how a lady treats her husband, regardless of his shaving habits.
Have you seen Tangled? What is your favorite part?
Can you think of 3 people you are called by God to submit to at this point in your life?
How can you work on being humble in your relationship with those people?
Share your ideas by commenting below!
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Lets just say it, for a skin- and curves-conscious woman, today’s fashion items are difficult to dress with. It feels like many shirts are designed to reveal more of your outer beauty and cheapen the inner-beauty. Shorts and skirts that ride up to high have the same effect, as does anything see through or revealing otherwise. A woman of God must dress her best, not just for the men around her and for God, but also to be a good example to the other women who are watching what they wear as well. Here are some tips on modesty and looking your best.
Tops that reveal too much cleavage can be paired with a cute tank top underneath (beware of tank-tops with shelves, they will draw the neckline down throughout the day.)
For bikinis, wear a solid tank-top (not white), work-out tank, or tankini on top. You still get the lift that one-piece swimming suits don’t offer, but you don’t have your cleavage or belly showing.
Shirts that are too tight can be worn under jackets or sweaters (its easy to find a loop hole here by wearing your tight shirts under loose/see-through jackets or unbuttoned sweaters…. don’t do it.) The idea is, present yourself a woman of God, not a complete profile of the female body.
Wear a solid tank top underneath button-up shirts, just in case the buttons gape open at your chest.
Wear tub-tops and spaghetti strap shirts underneath cut jackets/sweaters or on top of solid t-shirts or wider strapped tank tops to cover bare shoulders (I’ve heard from quite a few brave and honest gentlemen, bare shoulders are a struggle sometimes).
If your clothes are too tight, but you want to still wear them, consider hitting the gym or eating healthy foods. Some shirts can be perfectly modest for a person that is fit and healthy, but slightly immodest otherwise. Save the favorite shirt for the special day you are fit for it, or pass it on to someone for whom it will flatter well. Grab some godly girl-friends and go shopping for some clothes that make you look your best for where you are at right now (we all go through seasons of different sizes in our lives. Don’t beat yourself up for whatever season you are in, just be wise about it and dress the body you have now.)
*A great way to make any top, from t-shirts to lower-cut blouses, look fantastic: have good posture. When you are sitting up straight, your shirt doesn’t have as much opportunity to slide down to reveal your bra or the “blessings” inside it. Having good posture accentuates the figure God created you with by tucking in the tummy, straightening the back, and giving the “girls” on top the lift they deserve (note: without pushing them out like super-breasts.) A woman with good posture reveals a woman who is confident and proud of the body God has given her.
*If your income doesn’t allow for the cute fashion tops that your friends might have, try dressing up plain shirts with jewelry. A simple black blouse can turn into a great date night outfit with the right accessories. Find awesome necklaces at thrift stores, especially now while vintage is in. Make the most of the clothes you have by mixing and matching, or trading with friends.
Bottoms: If your jeans are low-riders, find out just how low by squatting down backwards in front of a mirror; see if your bum-crack or underwear shows. If it does, either purchase new pants or find a long tank top to tuck in so that you’ll save the world from your plumber’s butt if you ever have to bend over, kneel down, or squat for whatever reason while wearing those pants (don’t kid yourself into thinking you wont).
Shorts and skirts that are too tight or too short will show your underwear or the bottom rim of your bum when you bend over while keeping your knees straight. Test it in the mirror. If it rides up too far when you bend over, it will ride up every time you sit down, every time you walk, etc. For no good reason, they always seem to ride up. So frustrating, but not an unavoidable frustration. Buy longer shorts/skirts or pair them with leggings.
*I never thought leggings were immodest, but one gentlemen once commented that leggings are just as tight and revealing of shape as a tight shirt or mini skirt. So even with leggings, make sure the shape of your body isn’t too obvious. Wear longer skirts or dresses/shirts with your leggings to make sure your “hiney” doesn’t become the object of attention instead of your heart.
There are lots of skirts that are see-through, particularly in the sun light. If in doubt, buy a nice slip; I know it seems old fashioned, but you never know when the spot light will be on you and all of heaven and earth can see the shape of whats underneath your cute skirt.
To look your best in all of your skirts, dresses, pants, etc. Keep that good posture rule going. Sit up straight, with your knees closed when needed, and display a lovely lady to the world around you.
Remember, there are lots of different views on modesty, fashion, and clothing in general depending on what culture you find yourself in. When dressing your best for God, make sure He is the focus of your outfit choice, both inside and outside. If you ask Him to, the Holy Spirit will guide you into the best choice for you, and for the people around you.
Don’t forget that children all over the world don’t have the option to be modest… they might not even have the option to get dressed in the morning. Use your outfit-making skills with gratitude and keep in mind to pray for, raise awareness, or go serve the poor who do not have that privilege! For more on this topic, click here.
Having an adorable wardrobe doesn’t have to come at the expense of immodesty. Have a blast making your outfit choices, then pin them on pinterest for others to get some perspective on dressing your best!
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