A Man in a Suit

I have a very real weakness for a man in a suit. Not that I swoon over every man I see who happens to be wearing a suit…but I will certainly swoon over his outfit.

I don’t know what it is about a nice suit jacket or tuxedo, but whatever it is makes such a man (or woman when done right) look so much more polished and “going places”. I could look at men in suits for hours and on occasion I do just that. I especially love it when I see an ensemble that is different from just the basic matching jacket and pants with a dress shirt and tie.

Every man should own a jacket or two and every professional woman should own three. They will never go out of style.

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The Oldest Question

“What about socialization?”

We explain over and over and over again. We write songs, blog posts and make vlogs addressing this misconception about our way of life and yet the question is still asked.

The question is still asked because it still needs to be asked. We can tell ourselves all day long that we’re socialized, but the fact is, most homeschoolers are not.

Let me repeat that shocking admission…

Most homeschoolers are not socialized.

Socialization is defined as “a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.”

One of the advantages of educating at home is flexibility. The freedom to go outside the classroom and live in the world, learn hands-on instead of just from a book. To visit the capitol building as a lobbyist instead of just a tourist. To be involved in changing the world while you learn instead of waiting until after you learn.

But most home educators don’t know how to do this. My parents did not know how to do this. I have never for one moment regretted being homeschooled, but the truth is, we were guinea pigs. Every one of us. Our parents went to public or private school, they had to figure it out as they went and we’re all still figuring it out.

Socialization is something that we still haven’t figured out. It takes a lot of work to find ways to get out of the house when your perception of school is sitting in a classroom and you’ve just moved the classroom to your dining room table. What exactly do you do outside of church?

Many did not put as much of an emphasis on this issue. Their children had siblings to spend their days with, parents to learn from and people at church. What more do you need? The trouble is that socialization is something that happens by osmosis. It is not consciously learned, you pick it up by being with others who are also picking it up.

A lot of it has to do with interacting in relationships. How to meet and get to know new people. How to maintain a deeper relationship outside of people who were raised by the same two people that you were. How to keep up with friends without using an electronic device.

So, what about socialization? How exactly can you be “socialized” while educating at home? Please share your ideas in the comments. Here are a few of mine:

  1.  Get involved with the world. Politics is the most obvious, probably because most of my own experience was within that realm. Church events outside of just attending services. Concerts, art exhibits, tradeshows, etc.
  2. Join a homeschool group. Homeschoolers unite! Get together and hang out. Teach different classes/share your expertise and interests.
  3. Take classes. Music and art are the most obvious, but trade school may also be an option.
  4. Sports participation. Yes, homeschoolers can be on a sports team in a private league or even sometimes at the local public school.
  5. Hang with the neighbors. Contrary to popular opinion, your children will not die if they play with the kid next door.
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Don’t Cheat the Babysitter

I have often heard people complain about how much they have to pay their babysitter or they’re not complaining at all, just sharing that they pay their sitter $5 per hour or some such low number.

I do not babysit.

I am the 5th of 9 children and the oldest of the “second batch”.  That means I have 4 younger siblings, three of them boys that I helped raise starting at about age 9, although I was giving baths, feeding, washing and changing diapers long before then…cloth diapers with pins and huge plastic pants.  I wouldn’t say that I was really responsible/left alone with a baby until I was about nine years old.

My very first babysitting job I was around 10-11 years old, my cousins were 10 months and 2 years old.  I played with them for the morning, got the 2 year old to eat a full meal for once, gave the baby her bottle and put her to bed.  All under the supervision of my grandmother.  My uncle paid me $20 and I was filthy rich!  He said it was the normal, going rate for babysitters where he lives.

I must have been 12 or so when I babysat Ciera.*  She was 3 years old, sweet as could be but also a bit of a terror.  Her mother was just learning to be a single mom, she was exhausted and in the process of moving.  My sisters helped mom pack while I entertained Ciera in the garage, kept her out from under foot as well as I could and finally pushed her stroller up and down the road until she fell asleep.  I hadn’t expected to be paid at all, just wanted to help out a friend, but Ciera’s mother very generously gave me a check for $50.

Fast-forward almost 10 years.  I didn’t do much paid babysitting other than a couple of times for friends or as a fill-in for my sisters who were professional nannies, but by the time I was 21, I knew what I was doing when it came to caring for children.  My youngest brother was 10 at the time and I had a good 13-14 years of hands-on, child-wrangling experience under my belt.  I knew how to quiet a bawling 5 month old, console a 1 year old screaming for her mother, potty-train, calm a tantrum throwing 7 year old and keep him from killing anyone and even handle a teenage boy to a point.  All without skipping a beat.

Then came my very last babysitting job to date.  The job that turned me off to babysitting and opened my eyes to a problem that I had not realized was an issue in the childcare world.

Just to be clear, when I babysit, I don’t sit the kids in front of the tv and go about my business.  It’s against my religion.  I jump at the chance to cultivate young minds, encourage creativity and let them burn off excess energy.  While I may at some point utilize technology to keep my own children occupied while I get some work done, if I have someone else’s child for a few hours they get my full attention the entire time.  This case was not the exception by any means.

These boys were full of energy, inquisitive, creative, active, rambunctious and did I mention full of energy?  Oh yeah, and the 2.5 year old was still in diapers.  I loved having them in my home and I was entirely up to the task.

Before I agreed to the job, I did a bunch of research.  I didn’t have a clue how much to charge, but I did know that the parents, friends of the family, were not rich and I wanted to help them out.  Taking into account my age, experience level and geography/cost of living in my area of the country, I discovered that I was worth $12-$15 hourly wage.  That wasn’t happening so I went cheap.  I told them $8 per hour.  Just above minimum wage, just enough to make it worth my time and effort.

Their parents were separated.  Daddy agreed readily to my price, he dropped them off and mommy picked them up.

I still remember that moment standing in my parents dining room with my mother and this lovely woman who has known me since the day I was born and I told her how much she owed me…and then watched the look on her face as she handed me $16 and heard my mother protest telling me that was ridiculous.  “Maybe for a newborn!”

I still kick myself that I stood there, a grown woman who had just sacrificed her afternoon caring for two beautiful little boys, and I let them take some of that money back leaving me with $10.  I had dropped everything I had planned for that afternoon, I had passed up time that I could have spent actually making money, I had changed a 2 year old’s poop-filled diaper, I had fed them a snack, we had played hard and non-stop from puzzles to wrestling on our big trampoline.  My job would have been much easier if it HAD been a tiny baby or if I had set them in front of the tv to dull their brains.  I loved playing with those boys and I would have done it again, but after I made it clear that in the future I would expect to be paid what was originally agreed on…that was it.

I don’t mind, I’m not that into babysitting anyway, but that experience made me sit up and take notice and I realized that even conservative, Christian families have been infected with society’s hatred of children.

Yes, that is what it comes down to.  The babysitter isn’t worth even minimum wage because all she’s doing is taking care of kids.  That’s not hard. That’s not important.

With the economy the way it is, I understand if you can’t afford to pay your babysitter minimum wage.  That is one complaint that I’ve heard from parents…the babysitter expects to be paid as much as they make themselves.


If you’re going to hire a teenage girl who has little to no experience with children, I can understand paying her $5-$7 per hour.  I realize that this is what most people do and that is just fine with me.  Go for it.  You’ll help out a kid that needs to make a little money and you’ll both be happy. She doesn’t have any bills to pay, no mouths to feed or a roof to keep over her head.

But if you are going to hire an adult, please realize…they have to eat too.  If this is their full-time job, think about that.  Don’t join the hoards of parents that somehow have it in their heads that they should be able to pay someone a mere pittance to take care of their precious little ones while they go to work and make just enough to get by.  Your nanny has a job too.  Her job is caring for your children.  She can’t live on that little any more than you can so grow up, realize that babysitters are for the rich folks and figure out a solution.

A few suggestions:

1. Find a stay-at-home mom who can watch your kids at the same time and with little added effort as she’s raising her own.

2. Hire someone who is set up to take on multiple children and can therefore afford to charge less.

3. Hire a kid.

4. Swap childcare with friends.

5. Have mom quit her job and stay home. Learn to live on less.

6. When you do hire a babysitter, pay her what she’s worth.  If you can’t afford to pay her what she’s worth, you can’t afford to go out.  It’s like going to a nice restaurant and not leaving a tip because you don’t have the money.  If you can’t afford the full price, you can’t afford it and you shouldn’t do it.

*Name changed

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I often think that I would rather never get married because I want to keep my independence. I like not needing to worry about anyone other than myself. I like being able to stay in bed for an entire weekend without anyone saying a word about it. I like making my schedule up as I go without consulting with anyone else. But it still gets lonely sometimes.

There are still days and moments when I wish I could snuggle up to my man. There are still times when I look forward to being a wife and eventually a mother. Deep down that is still what I truly want and no amount of blessed independence will ever replace a family.

Posted in Life, Marriage, Singleness | Leave a comment


Sometimes I just need to write. To have words effortlessly flowing through my fingers and onto the page…or computer screen. Trouble is, I also like for those words to make sense and when that itching comes on, it is often accompanied by emotions that are not described by words and cannot even come close to the same level as mere letters on a page.

I’ve always lived my life with a certain optimism that I refuse to let go. If you always hope for the best, you will usually find it. Even if you don’t find it now, you’ll find it later. My motto is that, so long as God is involved, there will always be a happy ending. If it’s not happy, then it’s simply not the end yet. Keep going, you’ll get there and things will get better.

I think I came to that conclusion after I loved and was left with a broken heart. It was a deep kind of love that I expected to last and when it didn’t….it’s not the kind you get over quickly or easily. But I survived. I cried so hard I thought my heart was being ripped out of my chest, but I survived and even after all that pain, I found joy again. I guess my thought is that if I can make it through that and some of the other shitty things that have gone down in my life, I can make it through anything and just get stronger every time.

I keep thinking that something big will happen and things will change and I will “arrive”. But I don’t think we ever really arrive in this life. It’s a journey with pitfalls and triumphs, progress and backsliding. Eventually we’ll get to the end and, depending on our choices, hopefully it will be a triumph and then we will have arrived. At no time though do we ever truly have it all together.

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Response to “50 Reasons Why I Don’t Drink

I recently read an article, “50 Reasons Why I Don’t Drink”. Several of my friends shared it all over Facebook so it came across my newsfeed often enough that I couldn’t take it anymore without throwing in my 2 cents.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I do drink. I am not a pastor, just a woman who grew up in a conservative, Christian home where alcohol is still not allowed. I think it makes me not biased since I can take or leave alcohol, but I’ll leave that up to you. I am not an alcoholic and not likely to be. Ever. So, here are my thoughts on Pastor Jaimie Morgan’s 50 reasons…

First of all, I would like to point out that being an ex-alcoholic does not make you an expert on whether or not Christians should consume alcohol. It may make you an expert on alcoholism, it may make you an expert on the negative aspects of drinking, it may make you the person to go to for information on the effect that other Christians drinking has on someone like yourself, but it also means that you likely do not know/understand what consuming alcohol is like for a non-alcoholic such as myself.

[Original points in bold with my answers beneath.]

1. I can’t be sober-minded if I’m not sober.

Of course you can’t be sober-minded if you’re not sober. This is only a count against alcohol if you assume that one cannot drink alcohol without becoming intoxicated…something I highly recommend one refrain from doing.

2. Alcohol has an assignment: destruction.

Alcohol is only destructive to an alcoholic who can’t stop at one or two glasses. For someone who does not have this problem, alcohol can also serve to boost the immune system, (whiskey, aka hot toddy) improve digestion and heart health.

3. Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses should be avoided at all costs.

Actually, it has the opposite effect…unless you drink too much.

4. I don’t want to make my brother or sister stumble in the name of exercising my “Christian liberties.”

My choice to drink could lead to someone’s demise.
More on this one at the end. So far, it is the only point made that is actually biblical and logical.

5. Alcohol skews my judgment.

Only if you drink too much.

6. Alcohol leaves me worse, not better.

Only if you drink too much.

7. What I do in moderation, my children will do in excess.

Only if you don’t teach them otherwise. It is actually more true that what you strongly forbid, your children will want to try the moment they are allowed.
My sister married into a French family. It has in the past confused her husband’s underage, French cousins when they visit their relatives in the U.S. and are not allowed to have a glass of wine with their meal. It is as strange to them as it would be to tell an American teenager that it is illegal for them to consume soda at a party. For the French, it is a normal and accepted thing for everyone to consume alcohol in moderation. For French children, beer is not a forbidden thing that they can’t wait to try as soon as they’re old enough or as soon as they can sneak some behind Mom and Dad’s back, it is as normal and “boring” as soda and they’ve been taught since childhood how to exercise self-control in that area.

8. Even the unsaved know I shouldn’t drink. Bible in one hand, beer in the other — any lost person could point this out as a confusing contradiction.

It has been ingrained into the American people that drinking is evil since the pre-prohibition years. Of course unsaved people will automatically assume that it’s a sin.

9. Alcohol doesn’t bring others closer to the Lord when they see me drinking, but farther away.

Watching me eat a hamburger doesn’t bring people closer to the Lord either.

10. Alcohol doesn’t bring me closer to the Lord when I drink, but farther away.

Only if you drink too much/Neither does eating a hamburger.

11. I want to be fully awake and ready for the return of Christ, not drowsy, sluggish and fuzzy.

You only get drowsy, sluggish and fuzzy if you drink too much.

12. Show me a family where alcohol has made a positive difference in their lives. You won’t be able to.

Show me a family where hamburgers have made a positive difference in their lives. You also will not be able to….however, even I (who grew up surrounded by conservatives who don’t drink and therefore don’t really know anyone with either a negative or positive effect from alcohol) can point to one instance where it likely did make a positive difference. When Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his frequent ailments.

13. I have never heard anyone say, “Wow, that gin and tonic made me feel so Christ-like!”

I’ve never heard anyone say, “Wow, that hamburger made me feel so Christlike!” Therefore, hamburgers are a sin.

14. I want to avoid all appearances of evil.

Yes, avoid all appearance of evil. But if the culture in which you live believed that it was evil for a woman to be a pastor, would you refrain from the “appearance of evil”? Obviously not, Ms. Morgan.

15. Alcohol makes it much harder for me to practice the fruit of self-control.

Only if you drink too much or are an alcoholic.

16. Alcohol causes me to lose my filter.
Only if you drink too much.

17. Alcohol is a mind-altering, legal drug.

Only if you drink too much.

18. Alcohol is addictive.

Only if you are an alcoholic or have alcoholic tendencies.

19. Alcohol is a numbing agent for pain and sorrow that only Jesus can heal.

Only a problem if you turn to alcohol to heal that pain and sorrow and only if you drink too much.

20. Many regrets are associated with alcohol. (I can give you a whole bunch!)

Only if you drink too much.

21. No one has ever said, “If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn’t have gotten out of control.”

No one has ever said, “If I hadn’t eaten that hamburger, things wouldn’t have gotten out of control.”

22. Alcohol causes me to act in ways I normally wouldn’t.

Once again, only if you drink too much.

23. Alcohol kills brain cells.

This is a myth. Alcohol, IF YOU DRINK TOO MUCH, can damage your dendrites (branch-like ends of the brain cells) and can disrupt thiamine absorption which in turn affects your brain…but only if you drink as much as your average alcoholic.

24. Alcohol is a counterfeit, and provides a false peace.

Um…only if you drink too much/See #19.

25. The Bible says that no drunkards will enter the kingdom of God. Being drunk starts with one drink. I don’t want to see how far outside the lines I can color when eternity is at stake.

Being a glutton (also not allowed to enter the Kingdom of God) starts with one bite of food, therefore we should all starve ourselves.

26. Alcohol is a waster – money, gifts and talents, destinies, etc.

Only if you drink too much.

27. Alcohol leads to really bad behavior. It is a factor in 50% of violent crimes.

Yep, if you drink too much.

28. Alcohol distracts and derails you from living the the victorious life for which Christ died.

Yep, if you are an alcoholic and/or you drink too much. Kinda like eating too many hamburgers.

29. Wisdom is the principle thing that I need to pursue at all cost; alcohol makes me stupid.

Only if you drink too much.

30. Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.

Only if you drink too much.

31. The only influence I should be “under” is God’s.

If you don’t drink too much, this is a non-issue. Also, if you’ve ever taken an OTC drug, you were “under the influence” of something other than God so let’s start being consistent.

32. The Bible tells me to be alert; alcohol delays my reaction time.

Only if you drink too much.

33. If I don’t start drinking, I’ll never have to stop.

Very true.

34. Alcohol severely tarnishes my testimony.

Perhaps, to those who are ignorant of Scripture and have been taught that alcohol is a sin.

35. Don’t want your teenagers to drink? Yep, same reasons apply to you.

I DO want my teenagers to drink. I want them to drink while I am there to supervise so that they’re not trying it later on their own. I also want them to learn to use a knife while I’m supervising instead of later on their own.

36. God is holy; alcohol is not.

Alcohol is a fermented drink. It is holy or not holy depending on the way it is used. Back to the hamburger illustration, a hamburger is holy or not holy depending on the way it is used.

37. Alcohol and prayer don’t mix.

Since when?

38. Alcohol and Bible study don’t mix.

Since when?

39. Alcohol lowers my resolve to resist temptation.

Only if you drink too much.

40. Alcohol = Brokenness (broken lives, health, dreams, etc.)

Only if you drink too much.

41. When the world sees us drinking, it sends the message that Jesus isn’t enough.

Um…how so? Does it also send the message that Jesus isn’t enough when we consume Pepsi? Or maybe when we eat a meal so that we don’t starve? We don’t need that because Jesus is not enough.

42. Moderate drinking? How about moderate pornography or moderate heroin use or moderate lying or moderate adultery?

How about moderate movie watching? Or moderate eating out? Or moderate ice cream consumption? This argument is only valid if you at first conclude that the inanimate beverage is sinful in and of itself.

43. Christians are called to live a life of total surrender and separation from the world.

What does this have to do with consuming a fermented beverage?

44. Alcohol makes me forget. It can make me forget that I am married, that I am saved, etc.

Only if you drink too much.

45. “I don’t get drunk. I only have one or two drinks.” If they didn’t affect you, you would drink soda.

I call BS. I don’t ever drink alcohol for the effect it has on me. I don’t drink enough for it to have an effect. I drink it for the taste or on occasion for the benefits of a shot of whiskey when I’m ill. If given a choice between a soda and a cocktail that I like, I will usually choose the cocktail. Why? Because the cocktail has significantly less sugar in it and I am addicted to sugar. More on that below.

46. I should never look to the glass or bottle for joy, which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Very good, also never look to a hamburger for joy which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

47. Alcohol fills my mind with impure thoughts.

Only if you drink too much…but even then, that’s just weird.

48. If it could hinder my faith walk, love walk or dishonor the lordship of Jesus Christ, I need to forsake it.

Excellent advice. If there is any chance of alcohol being a hindrance for you, you should consider refraining.

49. Alcohol doesn’t help me run the race that Jesus has marked before me to finish with more accuracy. It does the polar opposite.

Only if you drink too much.

50. For any argument that tries to justify Christian drinking, there are at least 50 other reasons not to. The writing is on the wall. It’s not God’s best for Christians to drink.

I strongly disagree. There is no justifying, there is simply admitting that alcohol is just a beverage that can be used either for good or for evil.


All that said, let’s go back to #4…this is actually the only valid reason I have ever heard for not drinking (other than being an alcoholic or a person prone to addictions.) If by consuming alcohol, I would cause my weaker brother to stumble, then yes, it absolutely is a sin. If you are in that situation, you should refrain. If you are afraid you might ever be in that situation, then by all means, don’t drink. It is honestly not that big of a deal, it’s just a drink. You can take it or leave it and if you can’t take it or leave it, you are an alcoholic and you should leave it.

Another valid argument I have heard for not drinking is, “I have addictive tendencies and don’t want to become an alcoholic.” If you know that you tend to get addicted to such things or if you have a parent who was an alcoholic, you should probably stay away from alcohol. Like I said, it’s just a drink and your life will be just fine without it.

I am not writing this because I feel like I have to justify myself having an occasional drink. I’m writing this for two reasons, one is that illogical arguments just bug me and when I see the same illogical argument in my newsfeed multiple times, I get tired of it and tend to want to set the record straight.

The other reason is that I believe many Christians make so much of this issue that A. It becomes a big deal which actually contributes to the problems of alcoholism in our society and B. They are inconsistent. Let me explain B….

I am addicted to sugar. It does not make me drunk, but it does make me drowsy and unfocused, slows my response time, affects my decision making, muddles my brain and, left un-checked, could eventually wreck my life and my relationships. The effects are not as bad and not nearly as obvious as the effects of drugs and alcohol, but the addiction is every bit as real. It calls my name and tempts me in much the same way as alcohol tempts an alcoholic. Not convinced? Here is a short article on the subject and you can find plenty more with a quick search: http://authoritynutrition.com/how-sugar-makes-you-addicted/

The reason arguments against Christians consuming alcohol is so important to me is because we are so blind and spend so much time talking about drugs and alcohol that we don’t even stop to consider that many, many more are affected by sugar. We will refrain from drinking alcohol in order to not cause our brother to stumble, but will we refrain from taking our famous chocolate cake to a get-together? Or not serve it to guests in our home?

The only way I can go to a party and not eat sugar is by fighting the temptation constantly, arguing with and reminding myself almost every minute of that party until either I leave or the dessert is completely gone at which time I breathe and inward sigh of relief (and a little disappointment because I did not get that dopamine release in my brain.) Did it even occur to anyone that they could cause someone to stumble by baking cookies? Of course not. We’re too busy making sure everything is non-alcoholic and that is why it makes me angry that the same person who would be offended if I brought a bottle of wine to their home has no problem setting an addictive drug made from sugar cane in front of me.

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I Went Into a Church…

I went into a church but it wasn’t a church.

It has a big auditorium and lots of people,

But it hasn’t got repentance.

It isn’t like a church at all.

I went into a church and it wasn’t a church.

It has childrens’ church and programs for young and old.

But it hasn’t got a thirst for righteousness.

It isn’t like a church at all.

I went into a church and it wasn’t a church.

The people laugh and play and invite others to join them,

But it hasn’t got evangelism.

It wasn’t like a church at all.

I went into a church and it wasn’t a church.

They had singing and announcements and a sermon,

But they didn’t have worship.

It wasn’t like a church at all.

I went into a church it wasn’t a church.

The people went to be entertained. Some went because they thought they would be good that way.

But it didn’t have Christians.

It wasn’t a church at all.

I went into a church and I thought it was a church.

I could hear the Savior calling to “Take up your cross and follow Me”

But nobody listened to Him.


Liked Him,

Nobody wanted Him at all.

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Introduction to a Study of Jesus Christ

The Bible, the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon….all address the person, Jesus Christ. They each have a different theory, either He was God in the flesh or He was a prophet. I’ve always wanted to study various religions opposed to the one I was brought up in (Christianity) but it was not until just recently that my interest was peaked enough through various events that I decided to sit down with a copy of each of these three books and do a side by side comparison. Who do the Christians, the Muslims and the LDS church believe that Yeshua was and why and who is right?

When Jesus Christ was on earth in human form, He was known by several names most commonly Yeshua. Also, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach or Yeshua the Messiah. Jesus Christ is the Greek translation of a Hebrew name. I think it makes sense to call Him by the same name that His disciples did and will be doing so throughout this series of articles. I will also at times refer to Christians as Believers in Yeshua so to distinguish them from the lost “Christians”/church-goers populating our churches today most of whom don’t actually understand why they’re there.

Technically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is considered part of Christianity, lumped in with the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Church and the various denominations within those groups. For this study, I will be treating LDS as their own religion completely separated from Christianity and Islam.

I am primarily doing this for my own education and I do not have the time to get drawn into long discussions, but I do welcome comments/questions from all sides.

If you disagree, please tell me why in an intelligent and respectful manner. “This is just @#$% and dumb and makes no sense. Don’t write about @#$% you know nothing about…” is not an acceptable form of debate by anyone’s standards and such comments will be deleted.

I recently watched a clip of a testimony given by a former Muslim, now a Believer in Yeshua, where he was talking about how he began to study what the Qu’ran said about Jesus Christ and he found it interesting that although Islam teaches that Yeshua was just a prophet (with some good ideas) the Qu’ran gives more attention to this Man than even Muhammad himself. You can view the video I watched here.

I find it interesting that, according to Mario Joseph, even the Qu’ran confirms that Yeshua is God. I have not read the Qu’ran or the book of Mormon and didn’t realize that the former said much of anything about the Messiah at all so I decided to look into this for myself. According to these three religions, who was Yeshua? A prophet with some great ideas? God in human form? Just a guy with a lot of influence? What do you think?

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The Lumpy Blue Sweater

You know how sometimes you can know something as in you know the words, but you don’t really know it?

devil-wears-prada-sweater I knew that fashion was art in a sort of off-hand sort of way, but I didn’t really know until that night when I watch The Devil Wears Prada (starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.) Ironic that a film about a woman who in the end (spoilers!) turns her back on the fashion world would be so instrumental in showing me what fashion truly is. Yet, not that ironic when you think about how the message was not that fashion was either bad or good but simply that one must not lose oneself in the pursuit of it.

Before I get too sappy, let’s get to the point….

That lumpy blue sweater that Andrea wears her first day on the job. The one she wishes would swallow her up during Miranda’s frighteningly soft lecture (as only Meryl Streep can do) which I am including below:

“This….stuff? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic “casual corner” where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room…from a pile of “stuff.”

eDdtb2F5MTI=_o_the-devil-wears-prada-cerulean-sweaterAs she said those words and I got a glimpse into the detail and the thought and the pride in the workmanship that goes into every garment that I have ever put on myself, (including a lumpy sweater VERY much like the one in question only I think the one I wore back in the day was baby girl pink) it suddenly hit me, that knowledge that I had but just didn’t get, the knowledge that fashion is art. It is every bit as much art as Van Gogh’s water colors or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or the 3d chalk drawings that I’ve often wished I possessed the skill to create.

If fashion is art, is it not the only art medium that every person in the world participates in almost every single day of their lives? Don’t we get up in the morning and “paint” a masterpiece for the world to see? We’ve all heard that what a person wears is a statement about themselves and it certainly is, but do we really think about what each article means to us as we put it on ourselves? If instead of dressing in what randomly catches our fancy, what if we thought, “I am painting a masterpiece, what do I want to communicate and what should I wear to that end?”

Growing up in the conservative Christian community, modesty was always a big deal. My parents tried to teach me to balance attractiveness with modesty. Other parents taught their daughters to “dress in such a way as to frame your face” which unfortunately was often translated into shapeless floral prints and blouses with huge collars. I remember being surprised one day as I saw a friend walking toward me from about a block away and I thought, “Who is that guy?” For just a split second, her loose blouse, skirt and pulled back hair made her look LESS feminine than something more figure flattering would have done.

I remember the frustration that my sisters and I experienced, (myself especially being less of a seamstress than they were) as we would scour the internet for modest clothing. On the one hand we had your typical trends with low-cut tops, short skirts, tight jeans, and the list goes on but on the other hand we had the Christians in the fashion world putting out the above-mentioned shapeless, drab pieces. I’ve always asked myself, why is it that those who claim to serve a God who so clearly places great importance on beauty would design such beauty-less things? Is it any wonder that the world looks at us and laughs? We can’t even utilize the talents God gave us to make a dress that is both lovely AND modest!

We will be laughed at until the end of the world, but perhaps could we make it a priority to be laughed at because we do serve Yahweh rather than because we claim to and yet miss the mark on something so simple as the art of dressing ourselves?

Anne Hathaway stars as Andy Sachs, a recent college graduate whose first job is as an assistant to an impossibly demanding boss. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.

Anne Hathaway stars as Andy Sachs, a recent college graduate whose first job is as an assistant to an impossibly demanding boss.

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Josh Duggar and a Nation of Woeful Men


I’ve seen enough in my life to no longer be shocked when men sin. I’m not shocked when a prominent Christian leader is accused of molesting young girls or committing adultery or lying or twisting the Scriptures for personal gain or just plain doing something selfish. They may hurt or anger me, but they don’t shock me because I know how sinful men are and how even the best of us can fall and often fall harder than anyone else.

What does still shock me however is the amount of cold-blooded hatred that invariably follows when one of the above scenarios occurs and not just from the world but from those who claim to be Christians. It is even more shocking today in this situation because these people are not angry at the actions of a man, but those of a child. A CHILD. Essentially, you’ve got a bunch of adults attacking a child all over the internet! It boggles my mind and I just shake my head in disbelief when a so-called “Christian” gets on social media and joins in with the world in casting stones as if they were without sin.

As someone who was a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by a 14 year old boy, I am especially pained by the viciousness with which Josh Duggar is being attacked. The young boy that molested me knew better. He knew better in the same way that he knew better than to steal cookies out of the cookie jar. He had no idea what a grave sin he was committing. He had no clue nor any way to know what it was that he was messing with.
That young boy grew up, repented and told me he was sorry. Over the next 10 years of his life, many things happened in his life that nearly destroyed him and brought him face to face with some of the very worst consequences of sexual abuse. Just a few weeks ago, he looked me in the eyes and he said, “Abbie, I am SO sorry…”

When I look at Josh Duggar, I see a man much like my friend. They were both young boys without the maturity to know what they were doing. They both repented and have tried to make amends to their victims as well as they could. So perhaps you will understand why it so infuriates me when people who weren’t there, don’t know anything about the people involved or the facts of what happened and have no business even having an opinion are slandering Josh up one side and down the other.

It infuriates me that someone would not only destroy Josh, not only destroy Josh’s sisters by taking away their freedom to choose how to deal with the situation, but that so many of the people doing those things associate themselves with Jesus Christ. They’re dragging Josh and his sisters through the mud and the slime and they’re dragging Christ along with them. They are bent on spitting in the face of Christ by refusing to do one of the very first things that He commanded them, to love your neighbor as yourself, (put another way, to forgive others as they were forgiven) and yet they claim to belong to this Man. This Man who ate with “tax collectors and sinners,” who let whores touch Him, who told adulterers and adulteresses to “go and sin no more,” and who gave up His life, not only for those who He loved during His time on earth in the flesh, but also for those who came before and those who came after. He loves David, the adulterer who committed murder to cover it up, Rahab who was a whore, Samson who slept around, Saul/Paul who murdered Christians, Peter who denied Him. He loves them all and died for them. He loves ME and died for ME. He loves Josh Duggar and He died for Josh Duggar.

If you do not have ears to hear, then there is nothing I can say that will change your mind or your heart. If you do have ears to hear and you’ve heard, I pray that you will repent. Repent like Josh repented, Christ’s blood covers you too. If you yet refuse to repent, then I have just one more thing to say to you…

Woe to you oh man or woman who would dare refuse to forgive he who your Lord has forgiven. Woe to you who claim the name of Christ and yet don’t even attempt to love others the way He loved you. Woe to you for you do not belong to Christ at all, you are children of the Devil and it is with the Devil that you will spend eternity while the Josh Duggars and Doug Phillips and Davids of the world will be in paradise with Him. Woe to you when He says, “I never knew you, depart from me, ye who work iniquity.”

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