I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sin is Pleasurable for a Season

A couple of months ago, Jason, Ethan, and I saw a friend who was going through a divorce, and living with another woman he was engaged to. He spoke of it with everyone openly, and generally seemed in a great mood. While driving home that evening, Jason and I were discussing this man, and his situation. I commented on how saddened I was, and how disappointed I was in this man. Jason agreed, but commented that he had never seen this man so happy. It was at that point that Ethan chimed in. He quoted something he has heard our pastor, Jeff Schreve, say many times. Ethan said, "Sin is pleasurable for a while." What a true statement. If sin wasn't pleasurable, we would never be tempted by sin. That is how Satan works. He knows what areas we struggle with, and he will tempt us with what attracts us. This is nothing new. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted Eve with the fruit, she "saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise." (Gen. 3:6) It was pleasurable, however there were consequences. The same is true today. We may enjoy sin for a while. We may even think we have "gotten away with something." However, there are always consequences. When we live outside of the will of God for our lives, we will not have the peace that comes only from Him. When we live with sin in our lives, we place a barrier between ourselves and God. It is a barrier of our own making, and God is right there waiting on us to repent of our sin and turn to Him. I think of the woman caught in the act of adultery. After all her accusers walked away because none was without sin, Jesus had this conversation with the woman:
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11 (NKJV)
Jesus didn't condemn, He told her to "go and sin no more." So how exactly can we do that? We need to keep our eyes focused on God. Seek His Face. Seek His Word. Seek His heart. I wish I could tell you it is easy... it is not. Satan does not play fair. But, and this is a big BUT, we have a champion on our side. That champion has already defeated Satan! Pour your heart out to God, and trust Him. I want to leave you with a section of Psalm 51. A psalm of David, and a prayer for repentance.
Psalm 51:12-17 (NKJV) 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dig a Little Deeper in the Well

For a while now, I have been studying Biblical Womanhood. I have read, re-read, discussed with my husband, looked up commentaries, discussed with other women (not always a good idea by the way), discussed with preachers, and prayed... prayed ... prayed over passages of scripture like:
1 Timothy 2:9-15 (NKJV) 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
There are all sorts of explanations, translations, and justifications about this particular passage. As I was reading it one day, I came to this conclusion... The Bible means exactly what the Bible says. If I can justify this passage to fit my desire, why can't other people justify other parts of the Bible to fit their desires... Oh, wait... that goes on all the time... However, that doesn't make it right. The Bible is the inspired word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There used to be a saying, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." Well the truth is, God said it... That settles it... whether I believe it or not. One day while on Facebook, I came across a quote from John Piper from the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I decided I wanted to read that book, and I knew I would probably want to make notes in it, so I went to Amazon to order it. As I was checking out, it suggested another book, Women in the Church. I thought it looked good also, so I ordered both... and anxiously awaited their arrival. After receiving them, I could tell that I was going in deep with these two books... I am pretty sure they are WAY over my pay grade!
So after thumbing through them, I posted this picture on Facebook and asked if anyone had read them. The responses I received were that they were deep, but good stuff, and that I would need a snorkel. Yea, full out scuba gear is more like it. I have read about halfway through Women in the Church. As I read, I keep my dictionary app, Bible app, and google close by. (Don't you just love modern technology!) And of course, my own Bible is at arm's reach.... it is indeed some DEEP information... but it is GOOD information. This evening, I decided I had a few minutes to read, but instead thought,"Do I really want to dig that deep tonight?" No sooner than I thought that, an old song from my childhood popped into my head... and I even heard the voices of the Oak Ridge Boys as they sang, "Dig a Little Deeper in the Well boy, dig a little deeper in the well. If you want a good cool drink of water, you've got to dig a little deeper in the well." I do indeed want a good cool drink of water... I don't want the muddy water that deceives... I want that living water that only comes from God. So, as soon as I am off of here, I am going to Dig a Little Deeper in the Well, and I challenge you to do the same.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Please Dress Modestly

I was thinking about the blog I shared yesterday on dressing with dignity, and I remembered a true story that happened to me last year. My husband and I were invited to an event that we felt like we should attend. The top I chose to wear has a square neckline. It is not low, however it is loose fitting, therefore I wore a tank under the shirt... just in case. At the same table where we were sitting, there were a couple of women wearing very tight, very low plunging tops. Honestly, I was embarrassed for one of them... because she was not embarrassed for herself.

As we were eating and visiting, Jason leaned over and asked,"Why do you keep doing that?" I didn't know what he was talking about, so he explained that every few minutes, I was pulling my own shirt up at the neckline. I quietly laughed, nodded toward the woman sitting beside me, and said, "Well I can't pull hers up!"

Now, this story is funny, but believe me the situation was not. It was uncomfortable. I was thankful that Jason wasn't seated right next to either of these women, however that was little comfort since the table we were at was not that big. Both of these women were divorced, but I kept wondering if they were married, how they would feel if another woman sat by their husband dressed in this manner.

I saw the above photo from aliciabock.com on Facebook, and have shared it a couple of times on my Facebook pages. I love what this photo says. "Dress how you want other women to dress around your husband." - Kim Doebler

Sadly, modesty does not seem to be taught in all households. That is evident anytime you go out in public or when you check Facebook. Even as I go to church, I see clothing that is not appropriate. As a wife, and mother of a young son, it concerns me. As the mother of a daughter, it is my goal to instill in her the virtues of dressing and acting modestly.

So, as a wife and mother, I am asking you to Please dress modestly.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NKJV)
in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Blog: Dressing With Dignity

Modesty has been a concern of mine for a while now... but even more so now that I have a son... and he will be 12 this week. This is an issue that is not just a Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or any other denomination issue... it is a woman issue. It is one that we should be concerned with as we look in the mirror, and it should be one we are concerned with as we dress and/or guide our daughters.
A good friend of mine shared with me a blog she wrote in 2008. With her permission, I am sharing it with you.

Oct 30, 2008
Dressing With Dignity -

It is no big secret that I am Pentecostal and you have probably noticed that I hold to high standards of modesty in dress, but did you know it is not just Pentecostal women that hold the same standards of dress? Don't take MY word for it... READ ON.

At last…..

The help you need to win the battle against indecent fashions!

We are surrounded by an abundance of racy, tawdry clothing. Clothing that only a short time ago would have made the most immodest of men and women blush!

Gone are the days when women dressed with beauty and charm that accentuated their femininity. Much of what passes for women's fashions today appeals to the baser senses of men and women, making it increasingly difficult to maintain the respect that women deserve.

But that's all about to change!

In her ground-breaking new book, Dressing With Dignity, author Colleen Hammond takes on the exasperation, anger, and mortification you may be feeling about fashions these days, and gives you the tools you need to protect your family from the onslaught of unacceptably tasteless clothing.

Don't be mistaken: being 'modest' doesn't mean dressing 'frumpy'. Colleen shows you how to create a tasteful style that accentuates the grace and beauty of your femininity. There is a difference between dressing attractively, and dressing to attract, and with Colleen's help, you'll be able to dress fashionable while still maintaining your dignity!

And Colleen should know. Not only is she an award-winning writer, comedienne, radio and television talk show host, but she is also a former model, actress and beauty queen!

But today, Colleen has one of the most treacherous and grueling jobs in the world…

She is a Catholic mother with four children! And what Colleen has discovered will give you the tools and answers you need to protect the ladies in your life from the onslaught of the Culture of Death.

Thousands of exasperated men and women have been helped tremendous by this monumental new book.

Dressing with Dignity

Colleen Hammond

from Chapter 3 — Corruption of Fashions

"And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons... And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, garments of skins, and clothed them." - (Genesis 3:7, 21)

Evidently, the "aprons" that Adam and Eve made for themselves didn't provide enough coverage in God's eyes, so He made them garments of skins and dressed them properly. Have you ever wondered what those skin garments looked like? You can bet they weren't those skimpy "Tarzan-and-Jane" outfits seen in the movies.

In the verses from Genesis cited above, the Latin Vulgate uses the word tunicas. Even for someone not well versed in Latin, I think it's obvious that that word means "tunic." The Hebrew word used is ktnvt, the root of which means "cover."

Tunics of pre-Christian biblical and ancient Roman times were flowing garments that extended past the knees and covered the arms and shoulders. I feel pretty confident that, after that whole embarrassing issue in the Garden with the Serpent, Adam and Eve made sure their children and grandchildren all dressed modestly.

Adam and Eve lived long enough to see many generations of their children grow up and have children of their own. Scripture tells us that Adam died shortly before Noah was born. Imagine Adam and Eve's grief at having to watch their children grow up, knowing that, because of their sin, their children would never experience anything like Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden. Right down to today, children often have to suffer because of the sins and mistakes of their parents.

I think that another outcome from that incident in Paradise is that women have an inordinate interest in clothing. Yes, we can't deny it! I can just imagine women in Moses' day gossiping about what the other women were wearing. Not only that: simply consider how much and how often women's fashions change compared to men's. But that doesn't mean that men don't have their own frivolous pastimes. Look at how many men have gotten overly involved in competition and sports, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. ESPN. Need I say more?

I think it's because of women's interest in clothing that we even have a record to trace. There are historians who have kept track of this stuff! Let's take a look.

From the time of Adam and Eve, men and women have dressed with dignity. Straight through the era of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and King David, women all wore long, flowing, graceful "tunics" that covered their shoulders and usually their arms and extended to the ground, and they would wear some sort of veil to cover their heads.

Early pagan Greek women wore long flowing robes and gowns, with their heads covered wiht some sort of veil or hair ornament. The garment was called a chiton (begins with a "k" sound and rhymes with "tighten"). The basic male garment was also the chiton, but it was usually only knee-length. The chiton was made of a rectangle of fabric which was fastened at the shoulders and belted at the waist. The garment could be either sleeved or sleeveless. Both styles were very graceful.

In Rome, the women wore a floor-length sleeveless tunic (men wore a knee-length tunic), over which they wore a floor-length stola, which was a tunic-type garment with sleeves. It was belted at the waist, and in public they would finish off their outfit with an elegant veil.

Basic styles in the Christian West didn't change much for centuries. From the historically accepted "Fall of Rome" in 476 A.D. until the time of the Crusades, the wealthier women wore elegant gowns that reached the floor, complete with long sleeves and often a veil, especially for married women. Marriage often meant a change in hair style too: from loose and flowing to pinned up in some type of a bun. Women would sometimes wear two tunic-type garments, one over the other.

The veil was worn over a wimple, a piece of white fabric which covered the head and neck and sometimes even the chin. Cloistered nuns still wear a wimple (as in photos of St. Therese of Lisieux.) The Collettine Poor Clares simplified their wimple in the early 20th century so that it no longer covers their chin.

A "girdle," which was a belt or sash worn over the tunic, was gracefully wrapped around the waist or over the hips.

It wasn't until the late 1500's that fashions became more ornate, although the basic clothing remained the same: long gowns, long sleeves, with some sort of head-covering. Think of "Elizabethan England," with the ruffle around the neck and large "leg-of-mutton" sleeves, and you'll get a good idea of what they were wearing during that time period. Lots of attractive embroidery and beautiful decoration were also included on the clothing. Instead of wimples, women wore fancy head-dresses of various styles, sometimes with a veil attached to the back.

Around this time, the corset was introduced. This was a stiff undergarment that shaped the bodice and narrowed the waist. The corset would become one of the classic elements of women's clothing. In some fashion eras, it was used in order to achieve a very tiny waist size.

A "fashion revolution" took place around the time of the French Revolution (1789-1804) and Napoleon Bonaparte (1804-1815), with Napoleon's wife Josephine setting a trend of high-waisted dresses with straight, boyish silhouettes and flattened bust lines. This is also the "Jane Austen" look, as seen in movies like Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility: high waist, low-cut bodice, long straight skirt, long narrow sleeves or short puffy sleeves or a combination of both. Also notable in women's clothing at this time period were more masculine trimmings and accessories, such as top hats instead of bonnets, and military braid on their garments. This "fashion revolution" didn't last long, as women's fashions soon returned to their traditional styles.

In the young United States of America at this time, waistlines were usually at the natural waistline and styles were fancy. Men were wearing ruffled shirts, tight knee-breeches and powdered wigs, as seen in portraits of George Washington.

In the mid-1800's, skirts became very full, with hoops and crinoline petticoats underneath. Photos of ladies during the Civil War show this style. Men were wearing top hats. Then came the bustle at the back of the dress. A few years later before and after the year 1900, the styles featured wide shoulders with large (sometimes enormous) sleeves, and tiny waists. (There's the corset again!)

Incidentally, in all of this discussion about fashions, we're talking about what is worn by good women, which has historically meant women who are chaste, whether married or unmarried. On the other hand, women who are making a living by living an openly unchaste life have historically worn clothing that is intentionally immodest and sexually provocative.

At the beginning of the 1900's, the styles start to look a little more familiar to us, a little more "modern." Hemlines move up a few inches above the ankle, and fashions are overall simpler than before.

You'll notice that one theme has remained constant in women's fashions during the six thousand years of human history: Women wore loose, flowing, feminine gowns that reached the floor, usually with long sleeves and some sort of head covering or hair ornament. But fashions were about to change radically, and not just in the amount of fullness or the length of the skirt. So what happened?

Women's clothing trends followed roughly the same pattern as the trends in society (and helped to shape those trends.) Social scientists point to the Industrial Revolution (starting roughly around 1800) - which enabled women to work outside the home. Then in the year 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, giving women the right to vote. The Roaring Twenties were the period when we start to see a dramatic departure from the classic style of dressing!

Short hair and the boyish silhouette of the flapper look, with skirts raised to the knees and sleeveless bodices, emerged for women. But where did those unprecedented styles and ideas come from? Certainly not from the past few thousand years of human history. Yes, the times were changing - but one particular woman pushed them to change faster.

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, who would become famous under the name of Coco Chanel, played a very important role in the change of women's fashions. It has been said that she revolutionized women's fashions. By the way, the perfume "Chanel No. 5" was named after Coco Chanel.

Coco Chanel's personal life was tragic, beginning with the death of her mother and abandonment by her father by the time she was 12. At 17, she moved to an orphanage run by nuns. Later, she picked up her nickname when she went through a short career as a dancer, actress and cabaret singer. Her affair with a wealthy man financed her first hat business, located in Paris.

Another boyfriend, Arthur ("Boy") Capel, financed her expansion from hats to clothing. Her early fashions were women's clothing made out of wool jersey (stretchy knit fabric, not woven) - which had been used only for men's underwear - and she used it to make clingy dresses. Those sexy, clingy styles brought her the beginning of her success. Coco would also make outfits for herself out of men's sport coats and ties.

During World War I (1914-1918), the German occupation of Northern France meant the fashion business in Paris was cut off for some years. But shortly after the Great War, Chanel was back in business. By the 1920's, Chanel's fashion house had expanded considerably, and her short, straight dress set a fashion trend with its "little boy" look.

One evening, Coco accidentally scorched her hair with a curling iron before going to the Paris Opera. She cut her hair very short and went to the opera anyway. Her short hair style, known as "bobbed" hair, became a trend.

About that same time, designers Yves Saint-Laurent and Courreges introduced dressy pantsuits for women. However, nearly all women rejected the idea of wearing pants, and designers didn't try that again until much later.

As mentioned, Coco Chanel was very influential on the fashion scene. In addition to the bobbed hairstyle and the unisex style of dressing, she introduced the "little black dress," the use of clingy knits, slacks (in her own wardrobe) and women's bathing suits. Wait...bathing suits? That's right.

The ancient Greeks and Romans practiced "bathing" (swimming) in bath houses. These places became recreational centers where men would also meet, discuss current events, etc. Bathing for men and women was separate, and mixed bathing was even condemned by Emperors Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, and in the Eastern Roman Empire by Justinian I. Some may say that it was different in Ancient Rome since people swam in the nude - but have you been to the beach lately? What I've seen some women wearing isn't that far from nudity!

Separate bath houses for men and women continued in one form or another through the centuries. By the 1400's, mixed swimming occurred in some establishments, and these places were known for their promiscuity. Mixed bath houses were considered hotbeds of vice, as only women with loose morals would swim in mixed company. Actually, the word "stew" originally meant bath house but came to be another name for a brothel.

Over the centuries, respectable bath houses continued to be separate. Before the mid-18th century, mixed swimming was condemned by Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims as an occasion for vice. From the latter half of the 1800's, women who went bathing - usually outdoors - wore an elaborate bathing outfit which included sleeves, a skirt, and loose pantaloons to below the knee. The fabric used was basically the same heavy fabric used in other clothing - so today we would hardly even consider such an outfit a "real" bathing suit.

But Coco Chanel introduced a bathing suit made out of lightweight, clingy jersey; it still had long sleeves, extended past the knees, and was covered by a long skirt. This sounds like plenty of coverage to us now, but back then the suit caused quite a stir...and a fair share of scandal.

In 1931, movie mogul Ssamuel Goldwin hired Chanel as fashion manager for the stars. However, the divas of the day apparently did not like Chanel's unglamorous clothing. Also, filmgoers wanted to escape the Depression by watching movies that featured stars wearing beautiful clothing. Due to her affair with a German officer, Chanel fell out of favor. She spent 15 years in Switzerland in exile.

During World War II (1939-1945), women in the U.S. worked in factories, where they would wear trousers and coveralls. But outside of the workplace, women kept their feminine style of dressing.

In 1946, a bomb was dropped in the fashion world. It was called the bikini. I always wondered where the name "bikini" came from, and amazingly enough, I found out through an article written in 1997 by Steve Rushin in Sports Illustrated.

Rushin relates that Louis Reard, a French automotive engineer who was running his mother's lingerie business, named his new two-piece, "atom-sized" swimsuit after the testing site of the atomic bomb in the Pacific Ocean: Bikini Atoll. Since the bikini was so tiny, none of the models in Paris would wear it on the fashion runways. So, according to Rushin, Reard hired Micheline Bernardini, whose regular job was as a nude dancer at the Casino de Paris. She "had no qualms" about strolling down the runway in this bathing suit.

Rushin continues:

The world took notice. In Catholic countries - Spain, Portugal, and Italy - The bikini was banned. Decency leagues pressured Hollywood to keep it out of the movies. One writer said it's a "two piece bathing suit which reveals everything about a girl except for her mother's maiden name."

At first, the bikini was rejected in the U.S. by the "prudish Americans," and a 1954 issue of Vogue magazine featured a swimsuit with matching jacket as "still another way of looking dressed, not undressed." As recently as 1957, Modern Girl magazine sniffed, "It is hardly necesary to waste words over the so-called bikini, since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing."

Other bikini "landmarks" in the U.S. would be the song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," which came out in 1960, and the movie Beach Party, starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon (1963). This movie, which was followed by several sequels, featured young women dancing in bikinis on screen. Interestingly, Annette Funicello herself refused to wear a bikini in any of her movies, though she occasionally wore a two-piece suit. Her fellow actress, Donna Loren, also refused, saying, "I don't believe in going up there, sticking a bikini on and shaking around."

(... Several paragraphs ommitted ...)

Advertising agencies quickly prepared marketing research to find out the reaction of men to a woman wearing pants. Do you know what they found? Using newly developed technology, they tracked the path that a man's eyes take when looking at a woman in pants. They found that when a man looked at a woman in pants from the back, he looked directly at her bottom. When he looked at a woman wearing pants from the front, advertisers found that his eyes dropped directly to a woman's most private and intimate area. Not her face! Not her chest!

Advertisers figured out a long time ago how to apply Gestalt psychology and the Law of Closure and the Law of Good Continuation when divising advertising that is aimed at men. Gracious, what does all of that mean? It means that the eye will follow a line, and a viewer will complete the picture with his or her imagination. Think of the little AOL logo man. A stick figure, right? But we all know what he's doing (RUNNING).

Advertisers know that the same holds true when a man views a woman wearing slacks or a skirt with slits. Men's eyes will follow the lines right up her legs and finish the picture in their imagination. Women's eyes may do the same thing, but since women don't have the same type of temptations, their imaginations don't complete the picture in the same way as men's do.

I have received letters and emails from men who had read the first edition of the book and wanted me to tell women that they didn't need that marketing study to tell them what they already knew: When a woman is wearing pants, a man's eyes will (much to his embarrassment) fall to a woman's crotch. These men also pointed out that it is something that happens without their wanting to do it, or without their realizing it. It's the nature of men "to look" ... and they do! By the way, you'll notice that, in ads, models in trousers will sit with their legs far apart. This isn't being done by accident.

Taken from Dressing with Dignity

Colleen Hammond is an award-winning writer, radio/television talk show host, comedienne, and Catholic mother---all rolled into one! Acclaimed for her versatility, she delivers an enduring message filled with down-to-earth wisdom, inspiration, and humor. Colleen brings a fresh and creative approach to living out the Catholic Faith daily, and helps thousands of people each year make positive and virtuous changes in their lives. Her newest book, Dressing with Dignity, can now be ordered through Valora Media.

You can read a portion of the book online, and download a complimentary copy of the Outfit Guidelines.


I hope everyone found this as interesting as I. Modesty in dress is just one area that I hold very dear to my heart.

Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

God knew way before we did, didn't He...THAT people would try to blur genders.

I would enjoy anyone's thoughts on this matter and how you have sought the Lord regarding dress. God sees our hearts and what is inside will make itself plain on the outside.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Masters and Priorities

Bubba Watson
Winner 2012 Masters

This past weekend was Masters weekend. I realize that may not mean anything to some of you, but it is a BIG deal in the Golf world. Only the best golfers in the world can play the Masters. Our family loves watching the Masters coverage each year. It usually proves to be quite exciting. Again, I realize that not everyone finds golf exciting, and you may be trying to figure out how we stay awake while watching it. This year ended in an amazing shot from the woods onto the green during a playoff. That was even exciting for the poor family members we made sit through it because we were at their house for Easter Sunday.

Bubba Watson was the winner of the 2012 Masters. Now, I was pulling for Phil Mickelson, but was not disappointed with a win for Bubba. Bubba is a long driving good old country boy, who had never won the Masters before. This is what I knew of him before Sunday. However, as we were driving home, I read an article about Bubba Watson.

In the article, it had a line of how Bubba Watson describes himself. Bubba Watson: Christian, husband, father, golfer, owner of General Lee 1. Wow! Did you see that? The winner of the biggest golf tournament in the world lists golfer as number 4 of who he is! Yea, my esteem for Bubba Watson grew by leaps and bounds.

My son dreams of one day playing in the Masters. I don't know God's plans for him. They may include the Masters, and they may not. We spend a lot of time with Ethan on the golf course, but more than that, we spend a lot of time training him up to be the man God would have him be. It is the prayer of both myself and Jason that Ethan has his priorities straight... God before all else. I am thankful for godly role models, like Bubba Watson, Tim Tebow, and others... but it is not their responsibility to raise up our son. That falls squarely on our shoulders. If Ethan has his priorities straight as an adult, it will be because we instilled that into him as a child. It is our desire to lay a firm Christian foundation for him. As he grows and makes choices, he will build upon that foundation... wherever God leads him in his life.

Ethan Eppinette
???? Masters Winner

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

As a child, learning the Easter story, I often wondered why we called the Friday before "Easter Good Friday." After all, what is good about Jesus being beat, mocked, spit on, and crucified. That sounds like a bad day to me, not a good one. As an adult, I can now imagine what the followers of Jesus must have been feeling... definitely not a good day. Somewhere in time, I just came to accept the term, and didn't think much more of it.

That is until this week. Erin asked the very same question... "Why is it called Good Friday? It was a bad day for Jesus." Before I could answer, Ethan responded with this, "It is called Good because everyday before that was bad." I thought that an odd answer. So I asked him to explain.

Here is how he explained it to both Erin and me. "Before Jesus died for all of us, people were separated from God. That was bad. Jesus created a bridge for all of us to God. That is what makes it good." To which Erin respond, "So, by Jesus having a bad day, we have a good one."

As we celebrate this weekend with family and friends, take some time to remember exactly why we can celebrate ... because God sacrificed His son, Jesus Christ, we are no longer separated from our Heavenly Father.

John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Do you Know Jesus?

Recently, I had someone ask me what I would do if Jesus came to my house, looked me in the eyes, and asked me, "So, you don't support health care because it is not a right in the Constitution?" Thankfully, it was a comment I was reading because I literally laughed out loud. My first thought was, "He is omniscient. He already knows that."

That aside, this blog is not about whether I do or do not support health care. What it is about, is people assuming they know what Jesus thinks about things. I've heard people make statements and ask questions about Jesus based on what they perceive Jesus to be. Most of these people are gathering their information from outside sources...not from a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.

If you want to know what Jesus would do, you need to know what he DID do. I challenge you to read the Gospels. In case you don't know, it is the first four books of the New Testament... Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Since I am talking about knowing Jesus, I want to share one of my favorite videos. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Where's the Evidence?

Erin and I were out running errands the other evening, and listening to American Family Radio. They played a clip from a politician that was making claims about something that even Erin (age 6) recognized as ridiculous. After the clip, Erin said, "How can she say that without evidence?" I was very impressed with her question, and after some discussion, I told her that I was proud she recognized the need for evidence. It was at that point that she said, "I learned it from Looney Toons." I couldn't help but laugh!

Yes, this story had a funny ending, but it also made me stop and think. How often do we jump on a bandwagon because it sounds like a good thing? How often do we repeat "facts" without really checking them, just because they sound reasonable? How often do we let our emotions dictate what our mouth says, without consulting the evidence?

When we speak without evidence, we are like fools. The Bible has a few things to say about fools. Here are just a few:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18

The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom. Proverbs 10:21

Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
But a fool lays open his folly. Probers 13:16

A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident. Proverbs 14:16

Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding,
But what is in the heart of fools is made known. Proverbs 14:33

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15:2

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart. Proverbs 18:2

A fool’s lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows. Proverbs 18:6

It is better to be cautious and investigate what is being said, than to quickly jump into something that will make us look foolish. Here is a good verse to remember before we entertain a thought or speak, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)