Category Archives: Culture

Why we like Mark Cahill’s resources

Just so you can see for yourself the impact of a righteous mission-minded man on a young teen’s heart, I’m sharing this letter my oldest daughter wrote a few months ago. I hope it encourages you to check out Mark Cahill’s resources for your own family. We highly recommend them all, but our favorites, ones that we’ve watched over and over again in the past 5 plus years, are Lukewarm No More and Stand Out. They’ve had a phenomenal impact on our Christian walk. Here’s the blurb given at his site for this particular DVD:

There is now a DVD of the talk I have been giving called “Lukewarm No More.” The message is taken out of the book of Revelation Chapter 3 about the Laodicean church.

Is it possible that you are going to a lukewarm church? Or is it possible that you are lukewarm in your faith? Watching this DVD will make it very easy for you to figure that out.

The first time I ever gave this talk, there were numerous people who told me after listening to the message that they repented of numerous things in their lives that did not line up with the word of God. They stated they are now living a holy life that has been given over completely to the Lord. Listen and be challenged to make sure that you never fall into the category of lukewarm ever again.

Also includes the message “Stand Out”—two talks on one DVD!

My daughter’s letter to Mark follows…

Hey Mark,
I’m sure you don’t remember me since you communicate with so many different people in so many different ways, but I feel like I know you personally from watching all of your DVDs except for your newest one (and that problem will soon be remedied!), reading your books and first tract, and visiting one of your speaking events. You also gave our small country church a whole box of One Second After You… booklets and we have really enjoyed giving them away.

I can feel in my veins the urgency to reach lost souls before it is too late. The return of our Lord is imminent and I think that the Devil knows it more than anyone and is working over time to keep his slaves from being freed. He seems to be more aware of the present battle that is raging than most Christians these days. This year I have felt more worldly temptations than ever before, and yet every time I begin to feel discouraged the Spirit of the Most High God reminds me that I am wholly and solely His: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”(2Cor.6:17-18) That verse always makes my heart leap!

One thing that is very disheartening to me lately is the disinterest in reaching the lost on the part of SO many Christians. I’m afraid that sometimes it makes me less zealous instead of making me work for my Lord more heatedly. Thank God, I have several friends who truly love the Lord and they are a huge blessing to me. After all, you and I are only two of the “7,000 in America, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” If only we could keep our focus on God rather than man. I have decided that one of Satan’s greatest footholds in a Christian’s life is to keep them from reading the Holy Word of God and thus shift their vision from Christ. As Proverbs 29:18 says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law happy is he.”
And Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” You’ve seen these before but it doesn’t hurt to see them again. It never does when you’re talking about God’s Word!

I didn’t exactly mean for this to be so long. I know that you are super busy. I just wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work and that I am fighting for the cause of Christ as well. Stay on the straight and narrow path, Mark, and when you begin to feel discouraged let the utter GREATNESS of our Lord Jesus Christ overcome it. We are praying for you…

Thanks so much for the DVD and booklets. I am fourteen and will be sharing these resources (or should I say “Weapons of our Warfare”?) with many young friends. The DVD will be watched at several sleepovers (or battle planning sessions) and will be loaned to many families. We have some loaned out right now actually and I just watched Watchman on the Wall this afternoon…*smile*.

Well, I had better go! Stay true until the nets are full, Mark!
Forever in Christ…


Be sure to check out Mark Cahill’s site and be as blessed by his evangelistic resources as our family and many others have been! As Mark is so fond of saying…

“Until the nets are full,”


Why Homeschool? A Christian’s perspective.


This morning as I slipped and slid my way to the chicken house over ice and snow, hurrying to get my morning chores done, I realized how cool it is that I was excited to get back to the house, back to my hot cup of black currant tea and my 9 year old and her ‘highest common factors’ math worksheets.

[Even if you don’t homeschool, you can imagine with me how it might be hard to be excited about math! *wink*]

But I was. It’s my dream job, one that I never would have taken on without God’s pressuring me to do so!  Sometimes I even marvel that in His perfect plan, our finances have never allowed for us to afford private school tuitions. I’m sure I would have caved and enrolled my firstborn at the first opportunity if so. And we would have missed out on this awesome family bonding adventure! And spent so much time on the road, carpooling. Ugh.

I know some of you might be saying “Ugh” to the homeschooling lifestyle, as you read this! Never fear, I’m not here to condemn, just to reason. Please be forewarned though, the following might require a little blindfolding of our cultural prejudices and misconceptions…here is a little of what led my husband and I to choose to home educate.

As a young Christian parent, Deuteronomy 6:5-9 was unsettling to me, when I thought about trying to raise godly children according to this kind of standard. How can you (paraphrasing here) “diligently teach your children to love God with all their heart, soul and might, when you sit and when you stand, when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you rise up…” That’s a tall order no matter what your lifestyle!

Then, too, my husband and I were surrounded by homeschooling families with bright minds, genuinely loving relationships, and sincere hearts for God. What an advertisement, right there.  God spoke to us in many ways, nudging us in the home educating direction, and I’m so glad we listened! He used scripture, videos, Christian family radio, among other things. We were surrounded by good reasons!

Now, this many years later, when I think about all the religious lies being taught in public school, it breaks my heart. Evolution IS a religion, and it IS an unproved theory. In fact, more and more tenets of evolution have been proven wrong in the last fifty years, yet it is still taught as a fact in public schools, in museums, in zoos, etc.  Wasn’t it Hitler that said, “The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it?”

What bothers me the most about this, is that if you lined up the basic teachings of evolution with what is taught in God’s word, they are complete opposites. Satan at work, no doubt. It takes a lot more faith to believe that we all came from rocks than to believe that there’s a significantly intelligent engineer behind this universe. In fact, if you really want to be scientific about it, the proof is all over the place. Maybe I’ll go into that in another post.

Guess what God had to say about evolution and public schools, way back in the early church age?

“They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” Romans 1:28

Well, in 1963, God was no longer welcome in public schools. And evolution moved right on in.  Interesting that as a result, in the 30 years following this switch off, there was a 500% increase in violent crimes, 400% increase in the divorce rate, 400% increase in illegitimate births, 300% increase in single parent homes, 200% increase in teenage suicides, and a 75% drop in SAT scores.  (Heritage Foundations 1993)

Even more scary, is that studies are now relaying the appalling news that75% of all children raised in Christian homes who attend public school will reject the Christian faith by their 1st year of college.

Excuse me? NOT on my watch! God forbid.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 says,

“God will send them strong delusion, that they shall believe a lie.”

[For instance, believing we came from a big bang, billions of years ago?]

Some more heart-sick things to consider…from opposite poles of humanity so to speak:

“I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.” –Martin Luther

“Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state.” –Adolph Hitler

I know this is hard stuff, remember, I said you might have to shed some prejudices to get through this with me…

If you are still here…bless you, I hope you get where I’m coming from.

I know many people who say that they could never homeschool their children. That’s true for some, yes, but not true for the majority of Americans. Yes, it has to be a husband-wife-God decision, but even single moms have pulled it off. I even know of a single mom with cancer who kept homeschooling through it all. Homeschooling is a passionate movement, and yes, it takes dedication.

I haven’t always wanted to hurry inside and snuggle on the couch over math problems with my 9 year old. Every good thing is going to come under attack by the enemy. Nothing worth doing is  easy. Yes we’ve had our struggles, but God has been so faithful in all the ways that really matter.

If I can ever be of assistance to you on the subject of homeschooling, drop me a line!

Feel free to air your honest and respectful thoughts in comments. :O)

Taking Our Debt to Christ for Granted

Here in America, we can hardly fathom being tortured for our faith. Watching our husbands or wives being beaten, electrically shocked, knifed, used as urinals. Enduring repeated imprisonments because the call of God for the lost souls around you is so great, and God’s love is so much a part of who you are, you can’t take care of #1 with any kind of peace. Having to send your children to safe houses so they aren’t targeted by child-prostitution/slavery rings as a deterrent to your dedication of staying the course God has set before you.

Is God speaking to you this week, today? Are you feeling an urgency to share your faith with your co-worker, a fellow bus-rider, that teenager dying with cancer? What about showing compassion, Christ’s love, to those you’d rather ignore and hold bitterness against?

Listen to this from the first part of Hebrews 2:3,

…”how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”…

How can we neglect our salvation? How can we disobey, through negligence, what God has called us to do in this lifetime. We have only one, and it could end any minute. What would you do differently if you knew it would? Live like each day is your last. No more procrastination, no regrets either. I’m preaching at myself here, and it is heavy on my heart.

If persecution comes to our country, will you be able to stand? Will your children? Are you letting God’s light infiltrate every facet of your life, private and public? Are you seeking His ways in His book to us? Are you willing to trade your dreams for His? Are you willing to die to self?

Are you scared of what others will think, how they’ll react? If you’ll be prosecuted, or targeted by special interest groups? How minor these things appear in light of torture and death of loved ones, yet they cripple Christians in America on an hourly basis.

“It must be understood that there are no nominal, halfhearted, lukewarm Christians in Russia or China. The price Christians pay is far too great. The next point to remember is that persecution has always produced a better Christian–a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian. Communist persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands. These people cannot understand how anyone can be a Christian and not want to win every soul they meet.” –excerpt from Richard Wurmbrand’s book, Tortured for Christ. ( for free copy of book)

Hebrews 2:1,

“For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

Lest we drift away and neglect what Christ did for us on the cross.

That resurrection power is alive and at work in places where His people live, work, breathe and die for Him. We don’t have, because we don’t ask. It’s much to easy to drift away. Seek Him with a pure heart, and prepare to be amazed at what He has for you.

All He’s asking for is obedience. Do you have it in you?

“A faith that can be destroyed by suffering is not faith.” –Richard Wurmbrand

Casualties of the American Dream

Pioneer Woman Collecting Cattle Dung, Kansas, c.1880Every dream has its price.

Some of the costs are obvious, while others sneak up on you, gradually.

In the name of progress, as Henry would say. That would be the Henry of Henry and the Great Society, which I highly encourage you and your families to read online. (simply follow the above link)

Just what is the American Dream about these days?  Material prosperity is a thin reflection masking a sorry fact–the bigger your house/car/TV, the more hours you’ll slave paying them off so that you can upgrade to even bigger homes, bigger cars and bigger HDTVs.

Is this truly “the American Dream”? Having “House Beautiful” and Pioneer Woman Getting Water from a Well Near Her Log Cabin, Carolinanever being on the premises to enjoy it? How about working two jobs just to sustain this poor substitute of “what really matters”?

Henry’s story tells it all. How contented he was before progress swept him along its mad rush nowhere…forever erasing life as he’d known it before electricity, plumbing, paved roads and cars, telephones and TV dinners.

If you’ve ever wanted to plant yourself in the lives of your grandparents, get a taste of the “good ole days” by reading Henry’s story. What must it have been like to upgrade and go “electric”, to be done with “outhouses”, wells, draft horse farming–to buy into the promise of having “more time” as a result, but in the end, having no time at all. It all sounds so good–time-saving appliances, tractors and cars, the world at your very fingertips via radio, television and telephones…and it benefited Henry’s wife and children right out of his life.

What really arrested my attention near the end of the book, was this statement:

“Society’s way of life…killed him with kindness; liberated him into slavery; prospered him into poverty; freed him into bondage. They reduced him to a tool of his tools; a beast of burden in his own carefully created harness.”

Hopefully I haven’t ruined the book for you, because it is a must read. I actually borrowed Farmer John’s copy, completely intrigued by his comment that it was the only book, other than the Bible, that he’d ever read to his congregation in its entirety, from the pulpit! Great essay potential for your children at the very least.

There’s more to life and it’s. not. worth. missing. So slow down and enjoy it. Or can you? Slow down?

God and Sports

Children Playing Soccer Which is more important to the average Christian today, God or sports?

This is probably a touchy subject to cover here, especially this time of year. Most of our friends and family members are gearing up for the early summer blitz of ball practice-filled afternoons and evenings, several games a week (multiplied by however many children they have participating), not to mention all the drive time and day long tournaments, etc. It makes me tired just reading the schedules my sister-in-law emails me. And I do see the draw, don’t get me wrong. Sports are a fun & challenging way to keep our kids in shape and teach them some invaluable lessons about teamwork. But I think active pursuit of sports teaches our kids more than the above.

Growing up, we had a family rule regarding sports. If a game fell on a Sunday morning or evening, or on a Wednesday night, we didn’t go. Non-negotiable. Church always came first. You see, when church becomes “optional”, or when we make exceptions to allow for sports, we’re saying that some things are more important than God. At least in my humble perspective.

I know some parents who view children’s sports as a training field, something they hope may eventually pan out in the form of college scholarships, etc. If only we viewed the spiritual journey of a child’s life in the same way. Planning for their successful future as God’s emissary, rather than hoping they’ll “go pro” in the big leagues where so many players catch headlines with drug charges, DUIs and disorderly conduct at bars. I mean, really, which future does God want for our children?

I know, I know. It sounds like I’m totally against sports. I’m not. We haven’t signed our kids up yet, for the main factor that the hustle and bustle of it doesn’t appeal to our preference to keep life simple and unfettered by spiritually insignificant activities.

My resolve deepens with every Superbowl Sunday. Fans in the pew anxiously eye their watches in church, wanting to get home and get lunch over with before the pre-game show. Evening services are canceled to accommodate this every year. Something in my soul hurts when I see how excited the millions in the stadium get, cheering their teams on as if this game will change history and be more than a blip on the screen when compared to eternity. There is definitely something addictive about sports. Sports are probably more central to conversation among believers than scripture or ways that God is working in our lives. That is so sad! Am I the only one bothered by this?

Matthew 16:26,

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Why do we actively pursue the things of this world and idly stand by while our loved ones die without Christ? Yes, we need Christian athletes out there making a difference for Christ, especially in this culture that worships the arena…but the question remains.

If a stranger spent a day with you, by day’s end, what will they have noticed? Will our speech and passions and collections reveal Christ, or is He just something we reserve for Sundays…if we even give Him that. If a stranger can see it, our kids sure can. What a message. And I know for some of us, it’s not sports, really. It could be our job, our hobby, a person in our life, a different addiction (computer, TV, books, food).

Does He delight us, or is our primary happiness found in other activities? Dangerous questions, and I for sure don’t have all the answers. But I do know this:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33, NASB

God doesn’t require that we pursue Him only. But He does require that we seek Him first. It’s a case of keeping prioritized. Not always easy to do, is it?

Contentment: Caught Between Bitter and Sweet

Not long ago, I was reading The Brushstroke Legacy by Lauraine Snelling, and the main character’s description of her best friend caught my attention. Here it is:

“But then Bethany would give her some line about God’s grace being new every morning. She [Bethany] wouldn’t recognize a real problem if she tripped over it.”

Ah, the stark hopelessness of the godless viewpoint. Most likely, this friend Bethany has tasted hurt and disappointment of which Snelling’s heroine has no concept. Savor the truth in this verse:

“A sated man loathes honey, but to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7 

“Any bitter thing is sweet…” This speaks to my heart, does it to yours? Thankfulness is the crux of contentment. And how do we learn the purity of thankfulness? During the low times.

Contentment is a favorite topic of mine, perhaps because in certain areas I struggle so with it. Most of our friends/family have two incomes, and their homes and hobbies represent that. I constantly tell myself that our lifestyle is priceless, that the sacrifices are evident but worthwhile. It’s true, for us, but lately I’ve had a few nudges from God that I wanted to share here with you. Hopefully they’ll encourage you all, as they’ve encouraged me!

For Christmas, my dh sneaked a Point of Grace CD into my stocking, and their song “How to Live” contains a line I intend to stencil above my kitchen doorway:

“Have what you want, want what you have”…

Another one worthy of framing came from Tommy Nelson’s A Life Well-Lived DVD series,

“The best thing for us is not money. The worst thing for us is not hardship.”

And I’ve been mulling over something I heard Greg Laurie say on Christian radio the other day. I was driving, so of course, I don’t have this verbatim, but he made the point of how humiliating a death sentence a Roman crucifixion was…a death reserved for the very worst of criminals. Jesus was willing to die that type of death for us, and He tells us in the Bible to “Take up your cross and follow Me.” Are we to think that living the Christian life will be one of ease and prosperity? If it were, wouldn’t people be flocking to Christ in droves…all for the wrong reasons?

If you’re human, you’ve wondered why unbelievers always seem to prosper, while so many who truly love the Lord struggle with sickness, financial problems, relational troubles…yes we live in a fallen world, but how better to increase our faith than having to totally rely upon God? We serve a God who works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform…we don’t know what His purposes are for some of the things He allows in our lives, but we can know that it’s all for good, all in His plan. Most of us don’t know true suffering at any rate, not in comparison with many of the saints and heroes of the faith who have gone before us.

Another important reason to practice and strive toward contentment, is that we want our children to follow suit. How sad to have a child that compares their lifestyle to other children and finds it wanting. There’s nothing better than my gift on New Year’s Eve, when my oldest came up and hugged me tight, saying, “I love our family! I’m SO glad God gave us to each other…”

We really get wrapped up in a lot of stress that’s unnecessary, you know? Not only that, it’s a sin. It’s  called covetousness. When I’m old and looking back, I hope the wrinkles on my face are from smiles and not regrets.

“Have what you want, but want what you have…” I have a lifeful of treasure, how about you?

Pumpkin Seeds Roasting…

It felt so good staying home tonight, gutting pumpkins with hubby and doctoring up the seeds with the girlies. Acappella singing “This Little Light of Mine” in the background and chicken stir-fry sizzling in the skillet.

My theory on Halloween is that it’s not worth losing friends over. Every year I’ve struggled with not wanting my girls to feel like they’re “missing out”, and you know what? They aren’t. Halloween is a big deal to my in-laws. We used to participate, dressing the girls up as princesses, ballerinas, ladybugs… and my middle daughter dressed as “Mary Had A Little Lamb” for about three years in a row. (Hey, it was a fantastic costume hand-sewn by yours truly! And middle’s a puny lil thing, youngest is growing into middle’s shirts and jammies, etc)

Clarification: When I say “participate”, I mean we’d go to Grandma’s with frosted pumpkin cookies for everyone and show off our cutenesses and then make a couple more special stops, dropping off more cookies as we made our short trip back home.

Last year we went to a church-sponsored Fall Festival. That felt even more like “Halloween” than dressing up and making the family rounds. Not for us. So my youngest had no idea what Halloween was about. We had dental appointments in town today, and of course, ran into some adults dressed…weirdly. She has now had an education about October 31st.

My oldest tried to prepare youngest for some cousins stopping by that would be dressed as witches. Oldest said very seriously, “they’ll be dressed like little old ladies in black, sweetie”…hee hee. Sigh.

I realize my viewpoints on dressing children as witches is antiquated and borderline offensive to most who see it as harmless. I *try* to give the benefit of the doubt, but knowing that the Wiccan religion is alive and well, and that there are actual colleges of witchcraft, well, seeing little ones treat it lightly kind of makes me sad. I know they’re only doing it in fun. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and Exodus 22:18 show us God’s view of witchcraft. Why emulate something He condemns, even in fun?

So back to tonight. We bought candy at the Christian book store…strawberry cremes with scripture verses printed on the packaging, and we stamped crosses and verses on white treat bags before filling them with a variety of candies. When you live out in the country as we do, you don’t get many trick or treaters, and the ones you do get are usually family.

We had two! They brought us treats as well, which was the best of them! In case my oldest sister is reading this, thanks for the dirt cups…the worms were a real hit with 3 year old! After supper, she was happily digging in and said, matter-of-factly, “Is this out of Aunt K’s garden?”

And for the record, the pumpkin seeds we roasted were nasty. Definitely not as yummy as last years. Not sure what I messed up…

But all in all, still a very nice evening!

What is Your Calling?

I’m so often conflicted by needs that arise around me. Who isn’t, right? There are dozens of worthwhile causes that tug at my heart and conscience.

Church Steeple in Country FieldI’m blessed to be a part of a true body of believers at church. We have a gazillion committees to ensure that all goes off without a hitch. It’s very awesome to be a part of a healthy and active whole.

But I’ve always struggled with the feeling that I’m either doing too much or not enough. Too much, meaning that my family is feeling neglected, or not enough, meaning I love volunteering for everything until it all collides at once and I wonder, yet again, why did I sign up for this?

In all honesty, my calling is as wife and mother, first and foremost. After God and family, my calling is homeschooling. I really don’t believe the church should rely heavily upon young mothers. Period.

Yes, people believe stay-at-home moms have much time on their hands, or they like to believe this. I’m not saying people at my church believe this, it’s just a fact of life that when most people work outside the home, they have little time or energy to devote to extra stuff. Especially when they’ve got kids enrolled in little league, soccer, music lessons and high schoolers with hectic schedules of their own.

It all boils down to: everyone is busy. Maybe we’re all too busy on our own agendas and not the Lord’s? Or maybe the church has its hands too full with programs to notice that the workers are stretched thin. That said, I’m so thankful for the ladies on the education committee at my church…they truly have their hearts set on serving and desire the children in our church to be getting real teaching, not fluff.

Back to my dilemma. Because there are so many committees at my church, and so many willing women and men, you’d think every job would be covered and then some. But new opportunities continually spring up like leaks in a hundred year old farmhouse during a thunderstorm. These are worthwhile activities. With so many hands already full, I feel guilty keeping to home and hearth.

Bottom Line: My husband likes me keeping to home and hearth.

Our culture likes to ask, “What would Jesus do?” Well, prayer is always right on in any situation. Jesus had a work to do, and He did it. What work has God given you to do? What is your calling?

Holly at Seeking Faithfulness made a profound statement the other day. She said,

“Instead of making a shallow difference in the lives of many, I pray to make a monumental difference in the lives of a few.”

What is your calling?

A Fun Exercise With Femininity

Prom DressIn my last post, The Church’s Influence on Modesty, an interesting point in comments was made: the distinction that femininity is not synonymous with modesty.

What do you immediately think of when you are asked to describe “femininity”? Lace? Denim jumpers? Not me.

I picture a mother with longish hair and a flowing dress. Her beauty isn’t reliant on make-up, and she has her hair twisted back into some graceful style. When she fixes supper for her family she’s barefoot (no June Cleaver image here!) and has a white halter-style apron protecting her dress. The apron has delicate flowers embroidered on the bib and pocket.

Susie mentioned yesterday in comments,

“I am so thankful that current fashions are much more feminine than they were a few years ago. Remember the grunge/military fad?! At least you can buy clothes that have lace and frills now. Does anybody else struggle with the balance between looking feminine and being modest?”

Waving my hand! For instance, I just love Laura Ashley dresses…but I’d have to wear a light sweater with most of them because the bust is so emphasized. Their summer line is gorgeous, ultra feminine, but the materials just stroke each and every curve above the waist. Or they show a bit too much cleavage…

Do you have a favorite source for modest and feminine clothing? Share it in comments! Here’s mine for those of you with little girls: Practically Pretty Design.

Now it’s your turn to paint a word picture for us: What comes to mind when you envision “femininity”?

The Church’s Influence on Modesty

My experiences with modesty over the years have had their upswings and down.

If you’d asked me about modesty in my early married years, I would have defined it differently than I do now. Back then I didn’t see anything wrong with wearing tight jeans, etc. I figured if my husband liked me in them, what was the problem, right?

Remembering how blasé I was keeps me humble. After all, I was 18-21 years old, a Christian, active in church, etc. Sure, I didn’t wear my tight jeans to church, but some of my blouses dipped a bit lower than they should have, and I had at least two long skirts with slits that weren’t quite innocent. At all.

When I was 19, my husband and I started attending a church where most all of the women wore dresses. Conservative, matronly dresses. *Smile* Or at least they seemed so to me.

So I started teeter-tottering on the age old “what to wear to church” question. I did my best to conform to the standards of those around me.

Fast forward several years. We left the above church in order to attend one that my dad had recently accepted a position in as Associate Pastor. Because of something I misconstrued at the first church as a strike against modesty, I spent three years wearing only dresses/skirts in public. Anywhere in public. I admit it was mostly a pride thing at that point, though I’ve always loved the femininity of dressing in long flowing materials.

After this three years of “dresses only”, my dad and mom moved out of state to a different church, and hubby and I moved back to our original church. And dress codes there had changed with the times.

I began slacking off (to me) on Sunday mornings, eventually joining the “dressing down” crowd at church, and wearing mostly slacks.

However, my little girls loved dresses and would ask me each week why I didn’t wear my dresses to church anymore. Well, for one thing, a lot of my straight skirts didn’t fit so well back then after having just given birth to baby #3. But they really wanted their mommy back in dresses. And that among other things propelled me to make a stand on one side or the other of this seeming Divide.

Also, I realized after all these years of feeling pulled to dress “appropriately” on Sunday mornings, I finally saw it as a way, in obedience to God, to stand up to the culture. To be “in this world but not of it”.

I look at it this way. It’s too easy to reason away the choices we make in dress. I’ve worn skorts that look like mini-skirts because I’ve thought it was “more modest” than wearing shorts. It’s even easier to reason this way when everyone you appreciate and look up to is doing the same thing.

So I decided almost two years ago that I’d always wear skirts/dresses on Sunday morning. I still wear jeans or Capris for helping in AWANA, and for other evening church functions. I have no problem with the vast majority of modest Christians out there today that wear pants and shorts to church services.

But my line in the sand has been drawn, and at this point, there’s no crossing back over. That said, I think everyone has to come to this decision on their own. It’s intensely personal, and the best way to get across your point, is, in my opinion, by following your convictions and letting your actions speak for themselves.

Most everyone is pretty hip at our church now, and I’m the one in danger of feeling dowdy wearing skirts and dresses each Sunday morning. Especially in a church full of beautiful young chicks all slender and svelte and wearing the latest fashions.

But finally I know I’m doing it for the right reason. I may go back to wearing dresses/skirts even to evening church events, if I’m so convicted.

Only God knows. And that’s all that matters to me.

For more submissions on modesty, visit Rebecca, this month’s hostess for the modesty blog carnival, at Between My Peers