A National Debt of Gratitude

This is a phenomenal post by Melinda K. 

Have we become ashamed to show patriotism?

It may depend on where one lives and whether or not one was raised to appreciate our military and our freedom they protect. I wonder, however, if most of the holidays established to celebrate our heroes and our country have not been reduced to nothing more than picnics and parties. Have burgers and hot dogs replaced flags and memorials? Do we now ignore their sacrifices and hold “sacred” the three-day weekend?

While we enjoyed the freedom to gather with family and friends for cookouts, did we soberly consider the sacrifices that were made to give us our freedom?

Please read this whole article at The Bottom Line … 

Naked no more: Clothed in Strength and Dignity

I doubt I’m the only woman who finds the Proverbs 31 woman intimidating. Last year, I wrote a post about this, a paraphrase of that infamous chapter.

However, when I read the chapter in light of my One Word for 2013, a tiny segment of verses stands out. Verses 25-27 seem to skip away from her laundry list of to-do’s and been-done’s. Instead those three little verses give me a peak at her personality, what she’s really thinking and feeling. And surprisingly, in the midst of her busyness, she seems genuinely happy.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.”

While many in my generation revel in the greatest comfort our word has ever known: myriad conveniences, technology, progress and wealth, there are not many of us who Laugh at our future. What would it take? Where can we find the inner peace and joy to look forward and laugh? I want to laugh even when the stock market crumbles, even when I disagree with political decisions, even if I am unemployed, even if my loved ones die. I want to laugh at the future.

The Bible says this woman is clothed with strength and dignity. The Hebrew words strength and dignity can also be translated “to be fixed (strength) and to claim honor (dignity)”.

Those words remind me of Hebrews 12:2-3

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

If I were to resolve in this new year to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman, I would start here. I will fix my eyes on Jesus, becoming steadfast and immovable –  strong. And I will claim honor by despising shame. I will not accept defeat, shame or discouragement. Instead, like my Savior, I will claim the honor that is rightly mine as a child of God and I will laugh at the future. 

Book Review: Unseduced and Unshaken

When I hear the word seduce, I think of a brazen vixen, oblivious to an innocent man’s wedding ring. With her long black lashes, polished lips and glistening skin she expertly maneuvers him away from all things chaste and moral. Unseduced, would be that man’s extraordinary willpower to resist such advances.

Rosalie De Rosset’s book, Unseduced and Unshaken, isn’t only about withstanding sexual temptation. The book is about that and so much more. Unseduced and Unshaken explains describes a postmodern culture as a seductress. De Rosset points out the predatory nature of advertising, pornography, peer pressure and other things that particularly young women must be wary to stand firm against.

De Rosset uses classic literature and well known movies to exemplify both desirable and unbecoming character traits. She enforces the need for dignity, modesty, self-confidence and strong, Biblical theology.

One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the extensive list of suggested reading in the appendix. De Rosset lists all of her sources and whets the reader’s appetite to know more about each one of them.

The book is easy to read and extremely well written, calling on a vast vocabulary. While the book is directly targeted at young women, De Rosset’s points apply to every Christian.