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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Modesty and Other Thoughts

Modesty is a topic that has been bandied about quite a bit recently. What is modesty? I say it’s an ever moving target. I assure you that if most Christian women transported back fifty years with their current wardrobes, church folks would be horrified.

This is an area that we cannot dictate to others. Here is a common-sense yardstick—if you feel uncomfortable wearing it and if it draws unwanted attention from others, choose something else instead. (If you find yourself among the people of Wal-mart photos, probably not modest either.)

I have written several blog posts about judging—here: Don't Judge Me! and here: Reprove. The Bible teaches us to discern that which is right.

Nowhere does it tell us what we are allowed or not allowed to wear. Nowhere does it tell us what TV shows or movies we are allowed to watch. It does say--Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8.

If a TV show or movie is not those things to you, then don’t watch. But each person needs to judge those matters for his/herself. We cannot impose our thoughts of what is “good” or modest upon others.

Where the Bible teaches clearly—for example, murder is wrong—then we do have the right and, furthermore, the responsibility to judge others.

Otherwise, leave the judging to God.

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Relationships, Part One

Destroy the coldness

Many of us are clueless. Many are floundering. I am one of the floundering. As such, I need to explore ways to improve relationships.

God made us social creatures.

I had a harrowing experience last night. I could not get on Facebook. It made me realize that I depend on the people of Facebook to acknowledge me as a fellow human struggling in this life. Back in junior high, I took an aptitude test. It showed that my “aptitude” lay in helping people. Health concerns keep me from doing all that I want to do in the “real” world. And so I try to lend encouragement and friendship to those on Facebook, especially writer friends. I’m not sure how much I accomplish in this area. I probably irritate as much as soothe.

Here’s the thing: sometimes irritation must occur before the soothing. Many try to conceal weaknesses from others, because, yes, it is painful, irritating, to expose our weaknesses. Many think if they acknowledge problems and ask for help, they are not being good Christians. Surely good Christians have no problems, correct?

Jesus never taught we would never face difficulties—in fact, just the opposite. And, even when there’s relatively smooth sailing, problems crop up. Or anxiety rears its ugly head. Even in calm seas, we need support in keeping our ship afloat.

How many Christians feel fulfilled when they help others? I hope its 100%. Yet, why do those same Christians refuse to ask for help or refuse help when it is offered?

We must open our lives to others, become vulnerable, to establish fulfilling relationships. We let others see the parts of us that need fixing. And we accept the help when its offered. And there will be chafing and irritating.

We must work hard at not allowing small irritations destroy relationships.

And working hard means developing good communication skills.

More later.

Laugh for today

Two rules to the secret for success:

1. Never share all your secrets.

Thought for today via Facebook

On being modest: "We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves." ~Romans 15:1 It is true that we are each responsible for ourselves but we are also to help those who are weak. Men are very visual creatures, much more than women. We need to understand that about the male mind.

Quote for Today via Facebook

“I’m so sorry for you; your lives have been so easy. You can’t play great music unless your heart’s been broken.” ~Gaspar Cassado

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cover Reveal, Secrets Kept, Book One of The Hidden Dagger Trilogy.by J.L. Mbewe

With a curse, she will build an army. 
With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice. 
But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper. 

Coming this fall.
Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father's death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people's bizarre behavior. 

Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother's disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.

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Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete.
She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don't seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things. While living life balanced between reality and dreams, she is creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.
Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, is coming this fall, and in the meantime be on the lookout this summer for short stories set in the World of Nälu. For more information about her journey as a writer mama and all things creative please visit her at http://jlmbewe.com.
You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest