White As Snow

winter sceneIt was snowing the day I was born in Racine, Wisconsin. Flakes of white silently falling as I cried loudly to announce my arrival. A diverse individual created by God different from anyone else just as God makes each snowflake unique from another. I am sure that is why I love to see the dried leaves of fall covered with a fresh glistening blanket of paper white.

The snow reminds me of my sin. God took my blackened dead heart and gave me a new heart. He made it alive in Christ. The sin still ever-present but now clothed in Christ’s righteousness. He washed me white as snow.

David prayed it:

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 ESV

To Israel God proclaimed it:

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson. Isaiah 1:18 ESV

Leon Olguin sings of it:

White As Snow

White as snow white as snow

Though my sins were as scarlet

Lord I know Lord I know

That I’m clean and forgiven

Through the power of your blood,

Through the wonder of your love,

Through faith in you

I know that I can be

White as snow white as snow

Though my sins were as scarlet

Lord I know Lord I know

That I’m clean and forgiven

Through the power of your blood,

Through the wonder of your love,

Through faith in you I know

that I can be

White as snow.

Yes, I love snow but most of all the gospel that washes me white as snow.

Stromboli, Titus 2 and Mentoring

pan-349949_1280Today is my husband’s birthday. I wanted to do something special for him. So I am going to an “older woman’s” home and she is going to teach me how to make Stromboli. As I continue my series on “Women Mentoring Women” I am thinking about this older woman’s life whose name is Peggy in light of Titus 2:3-4:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…(ESV)

When seeking the Lord about the establishment of a mentoring relationship these are the qualities the older woman should have:

-Reverent in behavior

Does she honor God in her daily actions at home, work and the church? Does she give God first place in her life?

-Not a slanderer

Is she quick to engage in gossip and speak negatively of others? Or does she speak with wisdom and kindness?

-Not addicted to much wine

Any addiction whether food, drink or Facebook gives a picture of imbalance. Susan Hunt writes in regards to this quality:

We must be free from habitual, compulsive behavior in order to live disciplined lives for God’s glory.

-Teach what is good

Good means beautiful, commendable and excellent. This good is found in God’s word. Does she lead others to God’s word for the issues they are facing?

Teach and train are two words that women easily get hung up on when qualifying themselves for mentoring. They think they must have the gift of teaching but that is not the case with the meaning of the word. Susan Hunt shares that it actually means to cultivate sound judgment and prudence.

Peggy exemplifies all these qualities. Some may think teaching me to make Stromboli is not mentoring but I disagree. We may or may not talk about spiritual things today and that is okay. She is building into my life in a practical way and I am able to show my love to my husband by learning to prepare a favorite dish of his.

Is there a godly woman you have wanted to teach you a certain skill? Or is there someone who has mentioned to you they would like to learn something from you? Get out of your comfort zone and set the date. There can be much wisdom shared even over a pan of Stromboli.

What is one of the fun things you and a mentor have done together?

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart -Book Review

Surprising. Jaw dropping. Astounding.

“Nine percent of practicing Christians have read Fifty Shades of Grey, the same percentage of all Americans who have read the book. And among all American adults who read Fifty Shades of Grey, one in five were Christians.”

Seriously? Those statistics are mind boggling to me. Why are Christian women attracted to a book that uses the “F-word” approximately one hundred times in each of the books? Why do they enjoy reading of BDSM? What is that you may ask? I didn’t know myself but it stands for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism and Masochism.

Maybe you have never heard of Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, that is just as well.

Dannah Gresh and Juli Slattery, co-authors of Pulling Back the Shades, explore the reasons as to why Erotica, defined as art or literature intended to arouse sexual desire, is being read by so many Christian women. Dannah chose not to read the book but learned of its damage to women through many stories she read of those who had read Fifty Shades of Grey and other Erotica books. Juli on the other hand, a clinical psychologist and cofounder of Authentic Intimacy prayerfully read the book. She openly shares that she was appalled by the graphic scenes but at times was also aroused.

Yes. This book is explicit in detail but it is a much needed book for women. I commend the authors for tackling these taboo topics and creating an opportunity for dialogue among the Christian community. I understand the draw of these books because I read some myself in our early years of marriage. I wasn’t a Christian then and I can’t imagine reading them now as one. Philippians 4:8 is pretty clear about what we are to think on and Erotica doesn’t match that verse’s criteria.

“From creating shame about sexuality in Christian women to sexual abuse and prostitution, his (Satan) agenda is to separate us from ever celebrating sexuality within the context of God’s holy design.”

God designed sex to be a celebration of love within a marriage covenant. Satan on the other hand wants sex to be the gratification of lustful pleasure with no boundaries. He twists and distorts that which God has made holy.

Have you played into Satan’s hands and can’t seem to stop reading or watching Erotica? Do you have a friend who is struggling in this area? Do you want to be equipped to be able to refute those who say there is nothing wrong in reading such books? Then I highly recommend reading Pulling Back the Shades and sharing it with other women. I am thankful for the authors who opened their own hearts and exposed the damaging effects of Erotica.