Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Reason for Modesty

"True, all our lives long we shall be bound to restrain our soul and keep it low; and what then? For the books we read shall one day be endowed with wisdom and knowledge. For the music we will not listen to, we shall join in the song of the redeemed. For the pictures from which we turn, we shall gaze unabashed on the beatific vision. For the companionship we shun, we shall be welcomed with angelic society and the communion of the triumphant saints. For the amusements we avoid, we shall keep the supreme jubilee. For the pleasures we miss, we shall abide in the rapture of heaven. It cannot be much of a hardship to dress modestly at a small cost, rather than richly and fashionably if with conviction we are awaiting the white robes of the redeemed."

~Christina Rosetti

Posted by Hannah Beth

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't Believe in Yourself

A re-post from November 28, 2005.

It is not uncommon for people to struggle with insecurity and knowing who they are. A popular "cure" to this insecurity is to, "Believe in yourself,"and "Believe that you can do it." But is this advice something Christians should follow?

It is evident that some Christians are following it. A question was sent to Christian psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, asking, "How can parents prepare their younger children for the assault on self-esteem that is almost certain to come in adolescence? That was a tough time for me, and I want it to be easier for my kids."

Dr. Dobson, a psychologist who is lauded in some circles for his superb "Christian psychological advice" answered with this:

"Well, one important approach is to teach boys and girls valuable skills with which they can compensate in years to come. They can benefit from learning something that will serve as the centerpiece of their self-concept during the difficult years.This would include learning about basketball, tennis, electronics, art, music, or even raising rabbits for fun and profit. It's not so much what you teach your child. The key is that he or she learns something with which to feel good when the whole world seems to be saying, 'Who are you and what is your significance as a human being?'The teenager who has no answer to those questions is left unprotected at a very vulnerable time of life. Developing and honing skills with which to compensate may be one of the most valuable contributions parents can make during the elementary school years. It may even be worth requiring your carefree kid to take lessons, practice, compete and learn something he or she will not fully appreciate for a few more years."

By saying that teens should derive their self esteem from their own talents, knowledge, and abilities, Dr. Dobson seems to be echoing the "Believe in yourself" philosophy. But is this thinking biblical or does it come from secular philosophy?

Secular Humanism, according to the Greek philosopher Protagoras, is a belief that basically states that "man is the measure of all things." Man is considered completely autonomous and self sufficient. Reason, truth, and morality are all dependent on what man decides it to be, for he is "the measure of truth." Following that line of thinking, if a man believes that he can accomplish something (i.e. "Believes in himself") then he can, for man himself decides what is truth. This is directly contrary to the Bible, which not only shows man governed by God, but also reveals man's worthlessness apart from Him.

Abraham revealed the state of all men when he plainly stated, "I am nothing but dust and ashes..." (Gen. 18:27) Likewise, David said, "Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." (Psalm 144:4) The Preacher of Ecclesiastes says that man's persuits are futile and without value. "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecclessiastes 1:14) With these verses in mind, saying that men should search for their value within is merely the indulgence of pride and folly, for, according to the Bible, man's own merit in and of himself equals zero.

Though man is worth nothing by himself, he has become of unmeasurable value because he is unmeasurably precious to God. God loved man, in spite of man's sinfulness. He sent His Son to take the punishment for sin in our stead, so that we might live. (John 3:16, Romans 6:23) When a person can rest secure in God's value of them, they will no longer need a high esteem of their own talents and knowledge.

Belief in one's own abilities should be called by its rightful name: pride. The encouragement of the belief in one's own abilities is the encouragement of pride, which is sin and leads to destruction.

With all of that said, this whole post could be quickly summed up in the following words: Do not believe in yourself. Believe in God.

Posted by Hannah Beth

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

C'est La Vie

Life has been exciting, interesting and strange for Kristin, Lindsey and I lately.

  • The Exciting: Lindsey is in Missouri with her folks on vacation. She should be back soon and we're praying for her safety and that she would have a wonderful time with her family!
  • The Interesting (its exciting too): I'm readying myself for several days of driving to Virginia/Washington DC to see family. Please pray that we'll have a safe trip--especially since yours truly may be getting a chance to drive part of the way. (Oh, the joy of finally getting a driver's permit!)
  • The Strange (though it is also interesting, in my opinion): Kristin is hiding in the depths of an orchestra pit for the majority of this next week, playing flute for a musical.
    We hope to have a post up sometime, but until we do, au revoir!

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." -Ephesians 3:17-19

Posted by Hannah Beth

Monday, May 22, 2006

Death or Life: The Power of the Tongue

Have you ever said something, and afterwards immediately wished you could take it back? You know the feeling. All of a sudden, your mind panics—Did I actually just say that?

One day, I said something very inconsiderate to my sister. Seeing that my thoughtless words had wounded her, I started thinking frantically, “Edit, Undo! Edit, Undo!” as though I could simply reverse my words with two clicks of the mouse! Although my initial reaction was somewhat amusing, the truth behind it is not. Unlike a Microsoft Word document, our words cannot be taken back.

Proverbs is full of wisdom regarding our speech. Descriptive metaphors are given to describe the power of our words. In Proverbs 12:18, our words are compared to either “sword thrusts” or “healing”, and Proverbs 18: 21 says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” What a picture!

Have you ever heard the saying,“Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but words will never harm me"? Nothing could be more false. A cruel remark can be just as painful and humiliating as a physical slap on the face! The Bible says that our words can be used to tear each other down, or to build each other up in the Lord. In Ephesians 4:29, we are instructed: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” The purpose for all our words should only be for building each other up, and giving grace to the hearer.

Restraining Our Words
Proverbs 17:27-28: "Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent."

The apostle Peter liked to talk. He was usually the first disciple to speak up and ask questions, or to reply when a question was asked. He was impulsive, rash, and often spoke before he thought. In fact, John MacArthur refers to Peter as "the disciple with the foot-shaped mouth"! But the Lord worked in Peter's heart. In the books of 1 & 2 Peter, Peter himself wrote about self-control, humility, and restraining our tongues! 1 Peter 2:9 says, "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." When you're tempted to say something thoughtless, remember this verse— and reply with kindness instead.

Learning how to restrain our words is a difficult task— and one that can only be done with the help of the Lord. Thoughtless remarks can slip so easily from our lips, only to be regretted the next moment! Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” We girls love to talk, but we need to consider our words very carefully. “Think before you speak” is advice that I have found very helpful, especially when I am frustrated or angry.

But most importantly, we need to remember to pray. The Lord will give us the strength and self-control that we need to restrain our tongues. Jesus promised in John 14:13, "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." Jesus was saying that He will give us anything we ask for that is within His will. And it is certainly God's will for us to have godly, encouraging speech!

Matthew 12:36: "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken."
Posted by Lindsey

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Guest Post by Kimi Harris

When the ladies at Beauty from the Heart first asked me to consider doing a guest post answering the question: "If there was one thing that you could impress upon Christian girls, what would it be?", my mind raced with possibilities. There are so many important, vital aspects of godliness that God has been teaching me about. But there was one aspect of the Christian walk that kept coming back to me — servanthood.

Servanthood is not very admired in our culture. From early on in childhood, we hear phrases like "Follow your heart", "You can be whatever you want to be", "Find yourself", and "Pamper yourself--you deserve it." If we follow the world's advice, we are seeking temporal self-glorification by fulfilling our heart's evil desires. We will serve self, not others.

But Christ had a radically different message. He called us to something quite the opposite. Christ calls us to follow Him.

Christ's life would not be valued or esteemed if measured by our culture's standards today. He would not be a 'hero' in our eyes. In fact, He was often reviled by the world's most successful people when He was here. Why? Because the focus of the world then was not much different than it is now. The world at that time expected a leader who would serve himself and promote himself as king.

This attitude of self-promotion and self-service was even seen in the behavior of Jesus' disciples. Matthew was a tax collector, having an occupation infamous for cheating. James and John debated which of them would sit in the highest place in Heaven. Above the rest of the disciples, Judas demonstrated the cruelest selfishness in his betrayal of Christ. The disciples were clearly not always dedicated to servanthood. The self-serving way of life held by Jesus' contemporaries stood condemned by His perfect life of servanthood.

"Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, 'You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wished to be first among you shall be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.'"

(Mark 10:42-45)

Christ then went on to show us what He meant by His words. He knelt down —taking the lowest job of a servant or slave— and washed His disciples' feet. This was the demonstration of an amazingly radical attitude. Not only did the Son of God "take on the form of a servant" (i.e. a human form) and come to earth, but He did not demand His rights. Instead knelt to wash the filthy feet of His arguing, prideful, sinful disciples! And He did not even stop there! He was beaten, crushed, wounded, and killed for us! This is the way of a servant. As Christ said, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." By His blood and by His Resurrection, we have the great privilege and honor of following in His footsteps--and they are the footsteps of a servant.

But it is a battle. Let us not naively think that the world's view on life has not affected us. I know that it has greatly affected me. As the world will urge us to promote self, we are called to serve God by serving others. As the world will try to encourage us to value beauty and popularity, a mind set on heavenly principles will value servanthood. As the world fights to be on top, we are to fight to serve others. This is not a principle to be simply talked about, but it is a principle to be lived out. It is a principle that will get our hands dirty.


Kimi Harris lives with her husband, Joel, in Oregon. She maintains a wonderful blog-- http://kimiharris-nonconformist.blogspot.com


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Today as we celebrate this Mother's Day, each of us here are grateful for the sacrifice our mothers have made! They have laid down their lives for us and we are grateful for the time they have poured into our lives.

Happy Mother's Day!

Related Mother's Day posts...
The ladies at Girl Talk have collected and posted several tributes from various people.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Prayer thread

"Therefore...pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." --James 5:16

Is there something in life that you are struggling with right now? Please feel free to share your prayer requests in the comment section of this post, so that others can see it and keep you in their prayers. If you do not have a prayer request at this time, I would encourage to read through the comments and pray.

We have been working on re-organizing and scheduling here at Beauty from the Heart. We have new posts coming up- including more testimonies, guest posts and other things in the next several weeks. We are very excited and hope you are too!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Addition

Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes."

A new feature has been added here at Beauty from the Heart. In the future, we will be posting testimonies. Lindsey's testimony has been posted. If you would like to contribute your testimony, please email us at femininebeauty[at]gmail.com

All submissions are subject to the approval of the contributors.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hannah & Kristin

Our rebelutionary pose!
(L to R: Hannah and Kristin)
We were trying to look rebelutionary, but it was hard not to smile! Kristin failed (what can you expect from Spunky Jr?) And no, Hannah is not as serious as she looks in the picture (not even close!).

Yes, Hannah is in Michigan and she actually co-wrote that last post and this one! We really wish Lindsey was able to be here.....

EDIT: The Rebelution has a new story.

Answers to the riddles:
1. It's near (synonyms: contiguous, impinging, abutting, juxtaposed) a foreign country.
Answer: Michigan is right next door to Canada.

2. The state is schizophrenic.
Answer: It's a split state.

3. The HOMES are beautiful.
Answer: HOMES actually stands for each of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

4. This state is home to more public golf courses than any other state.
Answer: Because it actually is!

5. She is in a state where they say "pop" instead of "soda".
Answer: That's the truth! In Texas they say "soda" and "coke".

6. She is in a state which is the home of the "yoopers" and the "trolls".
Answers: People who live in the lower peninsula are called "trolls" because we live under the Machinac Bridge. People who live in the upper peninsula are called "yoopers".

Where's Hannah?

You've looked for Waldo, now it's time for a new manhunt. Yesterday Hannah flew on a plane to an-as-of-yet-undisclosed-location.

Where did Hannah go?

Comment if you have any guesses.

Here's a hint:
She's never been to this state before.
It's near (synonyms: contiguous, impinging, abutting, juxtaposed) a foreign country.
The state is schizophrenic.
The HOMES are beautiful.
This state is home to more public golf courses than any other state.

MORE hints (because you are completely off):
She is in a state where they say "pop" instead of "soda".
She is in a state which is the home of the "yoopers" and the "trolls".

To be edited for answers later.