Posts Tagged ‘love’

Stirring some pots…

photo courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian

photo courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian

It’s been a while since I’ve stirred any pots.  I figure now is as good a time as any.  This will be short and sweet.

1.   The Bill Nye and Ken Ham  debate – this is a dumb idea.  Two guys who have a tendency to be kinda jerkish when you don’t agree with them.  Yeah, this will be a great opportunity to be Christ-like.  (eye roll)

2.  Coca Cola & America the Beautiful – being a Christian and saying hateful things about this commercial makes you a jerk.  A song about God blessing this country sang by all the kinds of people that lived, fought, and died for it being watched by millions of people is a beautiful thing.  If you’re too filled with hate to recognize that then you need to spend more time reading your Bible and less time watching FoxNews.

And have a great night!

— knittingprose

Advertisements

Lessons I learned from head covering…

This post has been mulled over time and time and time again in my mind.  The thought of trying to convey so much thought in one post has truly been overwhelming and is pretty much the main reason it’s taken me this long to write.  I can’t give a simple short paragraph explanation as to why I am not covering my head anymore.  In fact, I need to further explain why I was covering my head in the first place before I can answer the question of why I’m currently not.

So here we go. 

When I was first confronted with the idea of head covering, I knew I would have to do it.  The Lord was making it so clear to me that it was necessary even if He wasn’t giving me clear reasons.  Of course, now that I’m on the other side of this experience I can see many of the why’s. 

In short, the Lord used this experience to teach me humility, love, and love for others.  Covering my head was a very humbling experience.  I was very concerned with my appearance when I started wearing a head covering.  It was difficult getting used to the looks, side glances, and sometimes stares.  I knew I looked different and oftentimes I felt unattractive.  Lesson #1 – I need not care if others think I’m pretty.  My outward appearance can’t make up for any of my ugly heart attitudes.  Which led to lesson #2 – Don’t judge people by their appearance.  I can’t assume a person’s heart attitudes by what they wear. 

Surprisingly, people went out of their way to be kind to me more often when my head was covered than when not.  People assumed I was a generally kind, moral person due to the religious symbol on my head and people almost always associated the head covering with religious devotion.  No one will ever convince me that the head covering is irrelevant in our day as a religious symbol. 

I also found myself going out of my way to treat people with a little more kindness.  The head covering was a physical reminder that God was always with me.  He was with me in the checkout line.  He was with me in the truck at the red light.  He was with me in worship at church.  In the storms.  In the night.  During school while I taught the kids.  I was reminded by the feeling of this weightless object on my head of the love, mercy, kindness, and gentleness with which my heavenly father treated me day in and day out.  Moment by moment.  How could I not treat others with the same love?  Lesson #3 – Love my neighbor as myself. 

People weren’t always kind.  There’s always someone who is willing to be unkind when another chooses to do things differently than themselves.  I’m pretty sure that’s mostly due to fear of judgment.  Many times this is someone you know personally which can make it unpleasant at the least.  Sometimes people mistook my head covering as a personal judgment on their own devotion to their religious beliefs.  They would assume I believed every woman should cover her head and if she didn’t, she was not faithful to Christianity.  Sometimes people thought I was trying to romanticize an out-dated religious practice and feared my example would lead others to follow suit.  Lesson #4 – People will judge your outward religious appearance and activity severely, if it looks different than theirs.  I think this is the one thing that bothered me most about the whole experience.  Rather than taking the time to find out why I had started head covering, some people made false assumptions that led them to condemn the practice or severely misunderstand my motives.  It was maybe a little hurtful. 

But then there were those who were brave enough (or just curious enough) to ask me why I did it.  Even if they had already assumed an answer, they still asked and usually got an answer they weren’t expecting.  And many of those people were truly grateful that I’d shared with them what God was teaching me.  Lesson #5 – Taking the time to understand someone’s religious scruples will help me better love them and God as well for the many different ways he teaches us all.  I have learned to not put God in a neat little box.  He can and will stir his children in a million different ways and I’m not going to be comfortable with them all.  And that’s still okay.  He doesn’t need my approval to mold his clay.


Benefits to head covering for young adults (and maybe not so young adults)

There are a few benefits I discovered that would be very helpful to young women that I’d like to mention.  I would encourage every young woman I know to take up the practice for these reasons alone. 

As I said above, having a scarf on my head made me feel very humbled.  It was a physical reminder of His presence and of how He expected me to treat others.  This led me to feel more reserved with my actions and my words. 

Young women often develop sinful habits in their attitudes.  This doesn’t go away and I would even argue gets worse with age if not recognized.  And let me tell you, most women never recognize their bad, critical, and selfish attitudes.  The head covering, again being a physical reminder you feel all day, is very helpful in remembering to not let negative thoughts control your actions.  It reminds you to speak with love instead of anger, seek forgiveness rather than being indignant, give instead of take.  I found this to be a very great help in controlling my bad attitude.  Not for the sake of appearances, but for the cultivation of love for others, like God has.

Some young women develop a habit of being overly friendly.  To everyone really, but especially to young men.  When this is your M.O. as a young woman, you don’t really lose it as an adult unless you put some effort into it or you become a social hermit.  The head covering can serve as a great reminder to a young lady of how God expects her to treat the men in her life.  It can also communicate to the men in her life how she should be treated as a young lady.  And because it is a symbol visual to all, the two are automatically held accountable by complete strangers even!  It is still a very religious symbol and people recognize it as such most of the time. 


So all of this gives a small but hardly complete explanation as to why I covered my head.  But it doesn’t really give a good reason for why I stopped.  I don’t know that I can offer a good reason other than I felt God was telling me I was done.  I had learned so much including all the things above and I think that was the whole purpose of it.  God had things to teach me and He did.  I learned.  “Time to move on.  Take the lessons with you and do what I have for you next,” He seemed to be saying.  And you know, I see how He’s used these lessons to help me see the world in a more Christ-like way.  I get it now.  At least in some areas. 

My biggest take-away from the whole experience is this:  The gospel is fluid.  Like water, it sits in my hand differently than it sits in yours.  It’s still water, still the gospel, but my hands aren’t shaped like yours.  It bends and fills every crack and crevice to completely cover my hands.  It’s perfectly-molded into a shape that fits only my being.  Even if I could freeze it that way, no one else’s hands would be able to hold that water like mine do.  The gospel manifests itself differently in the life of every child of God.  It’s always the same gospel, always given to unique people, living one-of-a-kind lives. 

To the believer, the gospel offers freedom.  Freedom from sin.  Freedom from death.  Freedom from the law. Freedom from religious rules men have created.  It binds us to a greater law than that of Moses, the law of Christ.  Love the Lord your God.  Love your neighbor as yourself. 

I am free to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit on my soul, when He calls me to something like head covering.  Not only free to, but required to obey, I would argue.  I am also free to let go of rites and rules when He calls me to do so.  Not everyone will be called to the same things that I am.  I won’t be called to some of the things other people are called to.  Not every woman should cover her head, but if God is telling a particular woman that she should, I hope she does.  I don’t want her to miss out on all the things God wants to show her. 

Knittingprose

Romans 14

English Standard Version (ESV)

Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another

14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess[b] to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.[c] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

the seven disciplines of the tongue…

This would be an excellent time to read through James 3.

James 3:6-10

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.  The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hellFor every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be so.   

Continue reading

On love…

Seeing as how we’ve just celebrated Valentine’s day (with much chocolate) I’ve been thinking on love and what it really means to love someone.  We have such a skewed understanding of what love actually is.  First of all, just defining the word is a challenge.  According to Webster,  you’ve got 9 definitions in noun format to chose from plus another 4 when the word ‘love’ is used as a verb.  ….?  This is largely why we don’t understand what love is.  We’ve given it 13 different meanings!  You can’t just say “I love…” and expect anyone to truly understand what you mean.  You don’t love your husband like you love triple coupon Thursday.  You don’t love your children like you love oreos.  You don’t love Christ like you love the Counting Crows.  At least I hope not.  We’ve cheapened the meaning of the word by carelessly  assigning it to any and everything. 

Continue reading

A Poem for my Valentine…

To Youhearts

The smallest raindrop
To the drowning flood

The grain of sand
To the endless beach

The tiniest seed
To the field of poppy

The flickering flame
To the dangerous pyre

My sweetest fantasy
To you

Your S
this post is linked to: live made lovely monday