Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Subject to their Husbands

Well, we're back to our study of worth in God's eyes. We still haven't made it past the letter O in worth, but this post is the last obey directive.

Titus Two may lose quite a few popularity points when it speaks of women being subject to their husbands. In fact, in our day and time, women roll their eyes and declare the Bible old-fashioned and out of date on this issue.

But, my dear fellow sisters in Christ, the Bible is still relevant and never does a message within it expire. Even though the words submit or subject may hit us the wrong way, we are still called to obey in this area.

Can I admit to you that I am happy and willing to submit because my husband follows the directives for the husband here? Yes, I don't mind being subject to my husband when he loves me like Christ loves the church. I trust his spiritual leadership in my home because he adheres to the very hard standards set forth in the Bible for a Christian husband.

Ephesians 5:22 also tells wives to submit but then it goes into a lengthy discussion of how that man is to deserve that submission because of the way he conducts himself.

Do not misunderstand me here. Submission does not mean become a doormat. You are God's creation endowed with unique gifts to use in His service.

I've seen this truth about the husband being the spiritual leader not work in many homes. Why? I think men have fallen down on their responsibility to teach those younger than themselves what it means to follow God and what that looks like. There are many women who have had to become the spiritual leaders of their homes, taking the children to church and leading them to Christ. The roles have become blurred.

However old-fashioned the world may find it, we must return to the teachings of the Bible on the roles God established. We wonder why things just don't work in our families. We aren't following the directives of Titus Two which includes instructing those younger than us in what it means to be a wife and a husband.

God created marriage and He knows how He created it to work.

Monday, June 30, 2014

WORLD BLOG TOUR

We're taking a little break from our study of Worth to accept an invitation from Delia Latham to be included in the World Blog Tour. You can find Delia at Hearts Haven Books Blog. Delia is a fellow author at Pelican Book Group and a sweet sister in Christ I've had the pleasure of getting know.


Naturally, if you are new here, you can read my entire bio to the right below. But just a short description of me: I write Christian fiction with four books published, and I am an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Recently, I've been involved in several collaborative devotional projects, which I have fully enjoyed and will be sharing with you soon.

Now, on to the questions I am to answer.

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I am finishing the writing of another Christian romance I am tentatively calling Lamp Unto Her Feet. As soon as that manuscript is complete, I will begin writing a Christian romantic suspense which has already been fully outlined. I'm also waiting to hear about two nonfiction projects that I submitted.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
For one, God has given me very specific messages that I am passionate about to show through my work. The theme of leaving a Godly legacy seems to always shine through as well as realizing that God has a specific plan for each person's life. I've always been told that my writing contains deep emotions that have the potential to touch the reader deeply.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Not everyone has felt called to write but I do. Through much prayer, I have realized that God has called me to write Christian literature to promote Christ as Savior and Lord and to encourage and challenge Christians to live for Christ. In our world today, Jesus and Christianity is squelched at every turn. I feel the need to urge fellow Christians to stand up and assure that their loved ones know the message of the gospel and the importance of a God-centered legacy.

4. How does my writing process work?
Many of my readers have discovered how old school I really am. I actually still write out my first drafts in a spiral notebook with a pencil. Those drafts usually come from an idea that I have doodled a few notes or a sketchy outline for. I then have a wonderful woman who takes pity on my dislike of typing by transferring those penciled words into a computer document. I print out that document and place it into a three-ring notebook where I proceed to revise and edit. I then sit down at the computer with my notebook and transfer all of the changes until I'm satisfied.

Thank you, Delia, for inviting me to share in this World Blog Tour.

To learn about some other writers and their answers to the above questions, visit these links on July 8th:

Julie Cosgrove



Rachel James

Author Rachel A. James

Suzanne Purvis

Picture

Monday, June 23, 2014

BE KIND

We are still on the O in Worth which stands for obey. There is an area we as Christians are supposed to obey and that is in the area of being kind.

The word kind means a sympathetic, forbearing, or pleasant nature. Its synonyms include benevolent, compassionate, good-hearted, humane, sympathetic, tender, and considerate.

How many times do we see Jesus displaying compassion? Our calling as Christians is to be like Christ. Do you realize that Jesus didn't just look on people with sympathy? Check out the gospels. Notice his interactions with lepers, blind beggars, and dying children.

Jesus didn't just speak some encouraging words and wish people the best. He got involved. He touched. He healed. He resurrected.

What does this example mean for us? We are to understand that being kind or compassionate means being sympathetic with work clothes on. Just wishing someone the best in their crisis isn't being Christ to them. We have to help. We have to get involved.

The reason we have to be reminded to be kind and compassionate is because this is a dirty business. Let's face it, sometimes it's just easier not to get involved. We can throw some money and maybe a prayer at people's needs and feel we've helped.

Join me in praying that God would help us show kindness as Christ would. Ask Him for opportunities to demonstrate compassion. Ask Him to point out people who need a kind word or action today. You never know when you will be in need of a dose of compassion from another brother or sister in Christ.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Busy At Home

Still traveling through this idea of becoming a woman of worth in God's eyes. We find ourselves still on the O in worth which stands for obey.

Our next area in which to obey is in being busy at home. Some women roll their eyes at such an old-fashioned thought. They argue that they have a career and demands. I believe it is because we might have a wrong view of this area of obedience.

When we tell someone to be busy at home, we think that means the domestic tasks such as laundry, dishes, and general house cleaning. I believe there is more implied in this statement from Titus Two than just doing our chores around the house.

Again, I think this idea goes along with an earlier command which was to love our husbands and children. As Christians, we must make our family a priority. The only other thing that takes precedence over our family is God.

We must take on a different perspective. We often see taking care of our spouse and children as responsibilities. Yes, we have a responsibility to care and love them, but we must see them as God sees them. He has blessed you with your spouse and your children. They are gifts to be cherished.

When we think about our families in this light, we will strive to make our homes safe havens, sanctuaries.

Let's face it, our homes are often battle scenes or maybe even the opposite, a silent zone. We are in conflict with each other and don't take time for one another so the home isn't a place we want to be. It becomes a place we stop in to sleep and maybe eat. Or, we are so caught up in ourselves that it is a silent place where no affirmations are heard.

We need to pray for God to lead us in establishing a home not just a house. We must pray for God to put boundaries around our homes against Satan. The enemy would like nothing better than to tear this God-ordained institution apart. We must constantly share our hearts and lives with each other. We should try to eat our meals together and spend quality time together.

Yes, our lives are busy, but we should never be too busy for our family. Take time to pray for each member and share with them that you pray for them. Pray for them in front of them. Talk about what you are studying in the Bible or about a sermon you have heard. Discuss hopes and dreams.

Be busy at home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Obey by Remaining Pure

In our pursuit of being a person of worth, we still find ourselves in the O of worth which stands for obey. Taking our instruction from Titus Two, the next area to be obedient is in being pure.

The word pure means unmixed with any other matter or free from taint. It means to be free from moral fault or innocent, marked by chastity. Chaste means innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse or sexual purity.

In First Thessalonians 4:7 it says that God didn't call us to be impure but to live a holy life.

If a Christian is married, he or she should be completely devoted to his or her spouse. This purity means not to look too long at another man or woman. It means not to get involved with another man or woman.

Those single Christians must remain pure by saving oneself for your future spouse.

The world finds Christians extremely old-fashioned in regards to purity. But, God's Word does not condone sex outside of the married relationship. And, Christ even stated that lusting after another person who is not your spouse is committing adultery in your heart.

To single Christians this means that God expects you not to be involved physically with anyone before you are married.

This area of being pure must also involve modesty. Recently, Beth Moore expressed this idea while teaching her Bible study on Esther. She explained how inappropriate it is for women to dress seductively and then strut around other women's husbands. Beth plainly said, "Keep your breasts to yourself!"

I have to agree. The type of man that will be attracted by such a display will not treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

As the verse above states, we are to live holy lives. Holiness involves being separate from the world and its standards. Being separate means we must be pure and chaste.

Strive for purity by treasuring your spouse as the wonderful gift he or she is from God.

Strive for purity by praying for the person God would have for you to marry.

Precious metals' worth is measured by their purity, so let our purity be shown to be worth much. Not according to the world's economy but in God's. That is where a Christian should want to derive his or her worth.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Self-Controlled

Time to get back to our study on WORTH. Not worth in the world's eyes but in God's.

We have made it to the O in worth which stands for obey. Last time we used our focal passage of Titus Two to realize one way we show worth is through loving our husbands and children.

There's more to this O of obey. The next directive we should obey is to be self-controlled. This always makes me think of controlling anger or our emotions.

Let's face it, we need to exercise control over our tongues.

James 3:9-10 says: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

We are told there shouldn't be praise coming from the same mouth that spouts curses at another brother or sister.

How often have I spewed words at another person only to wish I could take them back? Just like the toothpaste illustration proves, once those words are out, they can't be taken back. This is where self-control comes in. We must work to bridle our tongues just like a horse is controlled through a bridle and a bit. Can we accomplish this on our own? No.

When we give control of our lives over to God, we must be very specific about giving Him control of our tongues. But, what does this look like in practice?

First, we think on the things of God and we look on others through God's love. This renewed perspective can help us to see people as God sees them. Who has more of a right to look on sinful people with scorn than God? And yet, He doesn't. We must pray for Him to help us see people as He sees them and to control our tongues. We should speak encouraging words, not ones that tear down.

Practicing self-control is a characteristic that God sees as worthwhile.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blue Ridge and New Friends

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference was a wonderful experience I am still digesting. Very few people know what a "God thing" this was for me to even be able to attend. I have never been able to afford to attend a conference. And, even though I have tried for scholarships, I was never awarded one.

Last year, I proposed a class for the At-Home ACFW Conference and it was accepted. Not long after that I appeared on Tiffany Coulter's blog to do a little teaching series. She mentioned teaching at Blue Ridge. I wasn't feeling confident enough at first to even approach Edie Melson as Tiffany recommended, but I pushed forward. Edie suggested I send in class proposals for the conference.

When I received the invitation to be on the Blue Ridge faculty, you would have thought I had won the lottery. Not only do I love to teach, but this meant I could attend my first writing conference.

In the months leading up to the conference I prayed that whatever "divine appointments or moments" I was supposed to encounter, God would not let me miss them. Honestly, everywhere I turned while there was a God moment. The following is just a short list of all of those experiences.

Happy to meet people in person I have only had the privilege of interacting with online.
Impressed by those writers who pitched their work so passionately and expertly to me.
Thrilled to teach and hopefully impart some wisdom my attendees can use in their writing.
Inspired by the beautiful worship music of Rachel Hauk.
Encouraged and challenged by the keynote speakers as well as Alton Gansky's devotions.
Enjoyed just dining with writers from all over the country and hearing their precious stories.
Completely overwhelmed when my name was called for a Selah Award.

This is just scratching the surface. I know as I continue to let the whole "drinking from a fire hydrant" experience sink in, there will be more things that touched me.

If you are visiting here because I met you at the conference, please consider subscribing to this blog through your email. Or, should you have just stumbled across my ramblings, please consider doing the same. This is the place I try to share what God is teaching me. I also like to feature my fellow authors and let them share their God-given work.

I will close this post by simply encouraging you. If God calls or even just nudges you toward something, act upon it. He really is in the blessing business. And, He really does want to use His children to do the things he created them to do.

Please consider connecting with me on Facebook as well. Paula Mowery on Facebook

Another place I would enjoy connecting with you is through my other blog which features creative exercises just for Christian writers. www.ccwcu.blogspot.com

To quote a line from my first book, The Blessing Seer, "Go out on a limb for God." The view is really breathtaking up there!