Sunday, June 25, 2006

Movie Premiere: "I Am My Beloved's and He Is Mine"

Announcing our latest short film....




Can't see it? Click here.


About:
This past year, Stephanie C. competed in the National Christian Forensics & Communications Association (NCFCA)'s National Competition with her self-written speech, entitled "I Am My Beloved's and He Is Mine." Written about how God views the Church as His Bride, Stephanie's speech is both beautiful and moving. Out of her desire to spread the truth of God's love, Stephanie graciously agreed to allow her speech to be filmed for presentation on Beauty from the Heart.
We pray it blesses you.

Credits:
Thanks to Stephanie for her wonderful speech, and to Robert who compressed the movie for your convenience.

Having problems viewing the movie? Please let me know with an email: contact.bfth[at]gmail[dot]com

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Discussions Over Tea

Paul exhorts older Christian women in Titus 2:3-5 to invest in the lives of younger women: "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."

In an effort to apply this teaching, several wonderful Christian ladies (including my own mother) have begun a mother-daughter book study. We all meet together once every other week to read a chapter of a book on godly womanhood. Since no gathering would be complete without food, we usually schedule the book study so that we can all share a potluck dinner or "afternoon tea." All the daughters usually pile together on a couch as the mothers sip tea from their armchairs. Someone is nominated to read the chapter aloud, and then discussion inevitably follows.

Although we call this a "book study," we usually end up doing what girls seem to do best--talk. Yet the conversation isn't your normal, light chat. With their Bibles open, our mothers pour out the lessons that they have learned over the years. Sharing their hearts--sometimes tearfully--they recall past experiences and reflect on how God has worked in their lives. These conversations have been instrumental in drawing me ever closer to my mom, which has been a fantastic thing!


(Above: Friends at the book study)

Some of the most precious moments that I can remember have taken place at the book study. I have been amazed to find the very same feelings and struggles that I am going through have been present in the life of my mother or one of the other ladies. I have learned that wisdom gathered from years of growing spiritually is priceless, and I am grateful that these ladies have come together in an effort to pass on this wisdom to their daughters.

Do it Yourself!
Having a mother-daughter book study isn't just a learning experience--it is a lot of fun too! I would highly recommend for you to organize your own book study. Other activities that can be incorporated to make the time even more memorable are scrapbooking, tea time, and crafts. If you have any other great ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Book Suggestions:
  • Stacy McDonald's book, Raising Up Maidens of Virtue was the first book we read together. The questions at the end of each chapter were thoughtfully written and encouraged interesting discussion.
  • This next week we will be starting Girl Talk, by Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney. Designed to spark insightful mother-daughter conversations on such subjects as modesty, purity, and true beauty, I know this will be a worthwhile read.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Gone Camping!

I have never liked to camp. Yes, I love hiking, biking, boating and all that, but I've never been one to go wilderness camping in rural areas. I'm one of those gals who likes to "camp" from a hotel where there's sufficient facilities and air conditioning with nice sights to see nearby. But this weekend, I'm trying my hand at real camping!

That's right...me, the girl who thought she'd never go camping without a hotel nearby, is going wilderness camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (pictured above is the Mackinac Bridge which I'll be crossing on my way up). While I'm up there, I'll be doing an all-day canoe trip, a 30 mile bike ride and a lot of other fun activities.

I won't have internet connection while I'm gone, so Hannah and Lindsey are going to be in charge. I'll be returning to the blogosphere sometime on Wednesday and perhaps I'll have a photo or two to share with all of you!

P.S - If Hannah doesn't get something up on the blog in reasonable time (I'm sure she will soon), be sure to check out some previous posts listed on the sidebar.

Posted by Kristin

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thoughts from Mayberry

C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, "Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is..." Who are you when taken off guard? Are you the same in front of an audience? Would you be friendly to the visitor at church even if the pastor was not watching? Would you help with your siblings even if you had not been asked to do so? Would you go the extra mile if no one else was looking?

In one of my favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, the town of Mayberry has the "Miss Mayberry Beauty Contest." Sheriff Taylor is nominated to be the sole judge of the contest, which turns out to be more than he bargained for when young ladies and their mothers begin to arrive at his house to campaign for the title of Miss Mayberry. Miss Erma Bishop, a genteel older lady, becomes the Sheriff's salvation when she kindly offers to help him out. Miss Bishop gives her time and effort to organizing the contest, and in the end, Sheriff Taylor surprises everyone by crowning her "Miss Mayberry." Although Miss Bishop is not the obvious candidate--she is at least thirty years older than the contestants--the inner beauty she displayed in offering to help wherever she was needed made her a most deserving winner.

The simply told story of Miss Bishop struck me as I realized that one of the best aspects of her inner beauty was that she did not expect to be praised for it. She required no credit. She worked hard behind the scenes only for the sake of serving others.

Jesus Himself saved the life of an adulteress though her reputation would in no way heighten His own. He dined with sinners. He visited the homes of the diseased and those deemed unlovable, healing them. Jesus cared as much for individuals in His private ministry as He did in His public ministry because in both situations, His motivation was still the same. His goal was to glorify God, not to receive the applause of people.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." -Colossians 3:23-24

DISCLAIMER: The owners of this weblog do not endorse or encourage the use of situational comedies or any other television program for spiritual guidance. The foresaid post was simply an observation. The said owners recognize that too much television is harmful to one's spiritual health and would ask that you exercise great caution. However, if television is watched, The Andy Griffith Show is one show that is recommended. :-)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Every Day Death: Becoming Teachable

"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."-Proverbs 1:8-9

Have you ever tried to debate with someone who is convinced that they are right? You try and you try to reason with them, but they refuse to consider the possibility that they are wrong. As frustrated as I often am by stubborness, I confess that I can be extremely stubborn myself. I tend to want to teach---not be taught!

Proverbs 15:32 says,

"He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding."

We all want to be wise and have understanding, but do we take the steps required to become wise? Do we listen and accept rebuke? We cannot make any steps toward wisdom without being willing to surrender and be taught. Surrender.

Jim Elliot once wrote,

"'He makes His ministers a flame of fire.' Am I ignitible? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of 'other things.' Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul--short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God's house consumed Him. 'Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.'"

Not long after writing the above quote, Jim Elliot left with his young wife for the mission field in Ecuador. There, he and four other missionaries attempted to reach a previously unreached Indian tribe--the Aucas--with the Word of God. On January 8, 1956, they were attacked by a group of Auca tribesmen. Though each of the missionaries had brought rifles with them for protection, they all refused to use them in self defense. Every one of the missionaries was killed.

All five of the missionaries who died were young, newly married, and seemed to have their entire lives ahead of them. Yet, conscious of the danger of trying to reach the Aucas, they sacrificed their own interests for the purpose of obeying God. What does this have to do with us? It is most likely that we will not all have to die for our faith as Jim Elliot did, but each of us must die to ourselves.

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Matthew 16:24

It has been said before that it is easier for us to surrender our bodies to death than it is to surrender our will to God. This death to ourselves is not one that we only die once, but it is a continual, every day death to our own selfish desires. This surrender includes giving up our own stubborness and willfulness and laying it at Christ's feet, giving it up so that we might become teachable and pliable in His hands.

Charles Spurgeon said,

"Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defence of his gospel we would die; he is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character. Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ—nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business—are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self- aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?” For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery? Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian—its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word—Christ Jesus. Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in thee and to thee. Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, 'Ready for either.'”

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Re-posted by Kristin, originally written by Hannah Beth

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Your Thoughts!

We would love to know what you think!

I have been updating various blog pages here at BftH and I am trying to update our reading list. Here is a question for you: what books, blogs, magazines, etc., have encouraged you in your pursuit of biblical womanhood?

Also, if anyone has shared with you good advice about becoming a godly woman, please feel free to share it in the comment section under this post!
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."--1 Thessalonians 5:11
*Note: Please carefully consider books you recommend here, as they may be inappropriate for some of our younger readers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Glorifying God

Lindsey recently sent me an email with quotes from a book she read called One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God, by Sam Storms. I thought some of the quotes she sent to me were appropriate to share here with the rest of you...

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

"Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of creation be the declaring God's glory to others; for the declaring God's glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

The style's a bit bumpy at first, but go back and read it again. Don't let the puritan prose throw you. If you're still confused let me unravel it for you with my modern paraphrase:

God is the most God-centered being in the universe. He is consumed with love for himself and has infinite admiration for his own beauty. This passionate desire to be joyfully celebrated is the reason you and I exist. If all we do is think about God, even if our thoughts are accurate, we're better off not thinking at all. Telling others what we think isn't much better. The reason why we think about God and tell others what we've thought is so that all of us might relish the very idea of Him and rejoice that so great a God is actually ours.
...

So we'll assume there is at least a verbal consensus among Christians that creation exists for God's glory. But that's only step one. We're now faced with an even more important question: How is he most glorified in us? Where and in what way is God's glory most clearly revealed? Through what mechanism or means do we bring him the honor that we all agree he deserves? I believe the consistent answer of Scripture is that God is most glorified in us when our knowledge and experience of him ignite a forest fire of joy that consumes all competing pleasures and he alone becomes the treasure that we prize. Here's how Edwards puts it:

God is glorified not only by his glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive, his glory…both [with] the mind and the heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God's glory [doesn't] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation [ i.e., his heartfelt commendation or praise] of it and his delight in it.

Posted by Kristin

Regenerate Our Culture

Don't forget to check out the latest edition of Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine...there are many articles centered around the topic of initiative, including One Noble Mission (by Elizabeth Ellen Moore) and Drawing Closer to God: Why We Study the Word (by David Ketter).

You definitely don't want to miss this issue!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Focus, focus, focus!

I'm a new driver. I've only been at the wheel a little over a year. As a new driver, it was tempting to fall into the "old habit" of wanting to look at all the events happening around me. That was fine when I was a child in the backseat of the van, but it's quite a different story when I'm in control. I needed to learn to focus on the road ahead of me. It was an easy lesson to learn actually. I knew that the results could be deadly if I became distracted. But what about spiritually? As a Christian, am I still in the habit of gazing at the events around me instead of focusing on the path the Lord has for me?

Proverbs 4:25 says,
"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."
Just as my driving instructors had to impress upon the importance of fixing my eyes on the road, God has been impressing upon my heart the same message in all areas. Spiritually there are many distractions that can keep me from focusing on the "road". The one that I'm most tempted by is comparing myself to others.

Lately, it has been hard to focus on God and not compare myself to those around me - especially to those who seem popular and have it all together. I'm sure many of you ladies can relate to this. God calls us to be set apart from the things of this world, and yet I am constantly distracted by them. My "old habit" needs to change. Jesus is the only one who can change my habits.

The next time I'm tempted to compare myself, I need to be reminded that this is all temporary. We should be focusing on God and the path He has laid out for us.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 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. ~Hebrews 12:1-3
Posted by Kristin

PS- Sorry for the lack of posts these last few days. Some of us are trying to wrap up our school year and have been quite busy with that! Thanks for being patient...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Snapshots

We're back! What an amazing trip! After driving for two days through six states (counting our brief accidental 'detour' into Mississippi), my family and I arrived home Tuesday, safe by God's grace.
Your prayers for my trip are much appreciated. God's presence was as constant as always, but especially evident a few times on our trip. For instance, on our way back home we encountered a storm that was so intense we could not see the road. (Above: During the storm)
Psalm 107:28-29 "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed."

(Above: A post-storm sky)


We toured Arlington cemetery on Memorial Day, visited the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, International Spy Museum and the Capitol building. (i.e. The trip was busy, exhausting, but also a blast.)
Here are a few snapshots:
(My Father "holding" the monument to the "Father of Our Country")
(Karen, Patrick Henry, and I at Patrick Henry College)
(Agent Tim and our families standing in the Capitol)

__________________

Again, thank you for your prayers. I hope you all had a good week, and I look forward to getting back to "normal" posting.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Precious than Rubies

"For wisdom is more precious than rubies,and nothing you desire can compare with her."--Proverbs 8:11

In the post modern age in which we live, it is popular for the young to disrespect or disregard the admonitions of their elders. "Question Authority!", is the battle cry of this world. But, if we listen to this lie, we are in grave danger of ignoring one of the greatest treasures God has given to us --the wisdom of our parents and our elders.

A few years back, I attended a Bible study taught by a lady who was in her mid-twenties. She would talk about many topics on being a young lady, but she would also invite older women to come and share their testimonies. Because they were older and had experience much more than us younger ladies, we benefitted from hearing hearing their testimonies of how God had worked in their lives.

Like rubies, they had each been found "in the rough." Yet each was polished and cut by their experiences and struggles, becoming more beautiful as a result. Let's remember not to push aside and take for granted what these older women know. Their wisdom is beautiful and precious. As I listened to them share their hearts, it struck me how priceless their advice was. Their transparent honesty could spare me much pain and heartache from having to learn it "the hard way."

Posted by Kristin

Friday, June 02, 2006

Where on earth are we?!?!

As many of you know, these past couple of weeks have been busy for the contributors here at BFtH. I've provided a small update on each of us...

Hannah traveled to the Washington DC area this past week and has arrived safely. She's informed me that she's seen the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Institute and hopes to see more. Perhaps when she returns home, she'll share some photos of her trip (hint, hint, hint)!

Lindsey has also returned from Missouri where she was vacationing with her family for the past couple of weeks - she had lots of fun, but told me she's glad to be home now.

And I, Kristin, have finally made my way out of the dungeon orchestra pit and am starting to get back into a somewhat "normal" routine (read: hopefully more posts written by me).

Here are a few posts and articles from around the blogosphere that have caught my eye over the past week or so...

Regenerate Our Culture launched Issue 6 with a theme on Media Bias. Our very "own" Hannah Beth has a wonderful article on Marvin Olasky in that issue. She was actually able to speak to Mr. Olasky and was very excited!

Here's a tragic mix-up of two young ladies, Whitney Cerak and Laura VanRyn, who were in a car accident here in Michigan. Officials believed Whitney to be dead and Laura to be recovering quite well. But there was a devastating mix-up revealed almost 5 weeks later. It turns out Laura is dead and Whitney is recovering. Both families are Christians and I'd encourage you to keep them all in your prayers. (Sidenote: Laura's family has a blog here.)

Kimi Harris also has had some interesting posts, especially her post on prayer, healing and trust.


This topic doesn't have much to do with biblical womanhood, but it's neat just the same. Maureen at Trinity Prep School is asking everyone for blogging advice in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Homeschool Bloggers. She left us a comment asking for advice, but to be honest, we're still learning and are not experts! We'll just leave the tip-sharing to others and learn ourselves!

Posted by Kristin

Contributors:

Kristin, Hannah & Lindsey

A blog by three young ladies who have a desire to serve the Lord and encourage other young women around them.

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