Tuesday, October 31, 2006

calling him "master"

1 Peter 3:5-6
5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Sarah called Abraham "lord" (sometimes translated "master"). Should wives today follow Sarah's example in calling their husbands "lord"? What does this title mean to a woman? For Sarah, it was a sign of her submission. To comply to her husband's wishes, to please her mate, to encourage him, to yield to his preferences--some modern women might be willing to sign their names on the dotted line to the above. However, to call him "lord"? What does that imply?

To me, it implies trust. Trust that he will not misuse the power found in the title "master". Trust that his care for her will be motivated by love and self-denial. Trust in the wisdom God has given him to lead her in godly directions.

I would love to call my husband one day "master" or "lord", but ... to be honest ... it scares me. I imagine that it would scare him, as well, to bear the responsibility of that title.

By God's grace ...

[note: i am not suggesting that wives ought to do this as though it were a command in Scripture. Sarah used this title as a gesture of submission and trust in her husband, a gesture that shows to the world her love and confidence in her mate. One could call her husband "lord" or perhaps show that same respect in another fashion that bears just as much weight in our culture today.]

Monday, October 30, 2006

i can't look at you and take you seriously

So I decided to dress up as Katy Luther tonight for our Reformation Costume Party at Cassey and Jiri's ... although they didn't know they were throwing a costume party ... and I don't think anyone else knew either ... hmm, oh well.

But it didn't take long before my character was transformed from this remarkable historical figure to a pagan Goddess of the Wood. After Jiri crowned me with a berry wreath, no one could take me seriously.

Throughout the night I attempted to take part in multiple serious conversations. "When speaking to those immersed in legalism, one can rarely use logic to convince them of their error..."

"Pfgthfffft! Sorry, Christine. It's just so hard to take you seriously with those berries on your head."

At one point I pouted, which made people laugh even harder.

Bwahahaha! I enjoy making people laugh ... even if it's not on purpose.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

this time next week ...

Mike is going to hate me because I will be trying my best to keep him awake to get him used to the time change.

"It's only a 10 mile hike, sweetheart. It's for your own good."

Am I excited? Ha ha ... what a silly question!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mike's ministry

I'm excited to become involved in this work! Hopefully there's room for a girl with an M.A. in Women's Ministry who sports a goofy American accent.

A couple of people have asked me if Mike has an accent. LOL! Heck yeah! and it's oh so ...

Well ... you can hear for yourself on the bits where Mike is in the video!

good job on the video, Joe!

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Tell me a story, Uncle C. J.!"

Yesterday, Laura and I had the privilege of sitting under C. J. Mahaney's humble instruction. He has been on campus all weak blessing the seminary students with lessons on humility and cross-centered living.

The day before we went to his booksigning:

Laura: I think I'm going to bring my blankie and a stuffed animal and sit at his feet while everyone else is in line and with enraptured gaze say, "Tell me a story, Uncle C.J.!"

Check out Laura's account of this week with C. J. She has a couple of links worth following ... and she, too, got a blessing out of the talk I recommended by C. J. on marriage through the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website.

UPDATE: click here

under the sub-heading "Building Strong Families in Your Church"
(scroll down to the sermon "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" by C. J. Mahaney)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

single digits

8 DAYS till Mike arrives!

Mike describes our relationship here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

eh, stuff happens

Atlanta International Airport bathroom at 2 a.m.

Tip: Don't stress out when you run from concourse C to concourse B in a HUGE international airport and you miss your connecting flight by one minute and then you get booked on another flight that gets cancelled just as passengers are bording at 12:30 a.m. Ticket agents are SOOOO much more helpful to passengers who aren't stressed-out even if they have to spend the night in the airport with a mobile phone with only enough battery power to talk to her boyfriend for 1/2 an hour to keep her awake so she doesn't miss her 8:30 a.m. flight.

Should have gotten home 12 hours ago ... I'm tired. and I have class tonight. Think I'll take a long bath, take a nap, talk to Mike when he wakes up, and then finish up an assignment and hopefully not snore in class ... what do i mean HOPEFULLY! i DON'T snore! ... but sleeping with my mouth gaping wide open in public (esp. on airplanes) ... well, that's been known to happen.


Oh, you know what the best bit about getting back to the 'Ville was? Seeing that there was a package from Mike waiting for me. Love the CD! Wearing the shirt.

weddings ... can i really be bothered?

Me, Beth, Dolly, Karen

I don't think so ... at least not the traditional, formal sort.

LOL! So, Mike and I both attended weddings this past weekend. Too bad it wasn't the same one. I was in my best friend's wedding ... my first time ever as a bride's maid ... and probably my last. And Mike attended an old schoolmate's wedding (his brother Dave was in the groom's party).

Hmm ... what are some things one can do to take care of some of the really un-necessary headaches? Now I have been to all of maybe FIVE weddings in my lifetime ... but I'm constantly struck by the absurd pomp and circumstance ... it all seems so un-necessarily formal.

DON'T GET ME WRONG! Dolly's wedding was fabulous. She'll have gorgeous memories to cherish for a lifetime. And I got to be a bridesmaid! Woo Hoot!

But I imagine weddings are personal preferences. So why do so many women conform to the same ol' equations?

But then again ... I've never been one who could be stuffed in a "box" and categorized and conform to the "way things *ought* to be".

(side note) Karen and I made our dresses and Dolly made Beth's. We were quite the fashion designers in college!

(side note 2) I wasn't going to wear a necklace. Normally don't when I'm wearing such finery. I try to let the dress speak for itself. But I thought the professional pictures might be a little off if there wasn't SOMETHING around my neck. So I snagged one of the ribbons decorating one of the gift baskets and tied it around my neck. The bow kept slipping towards the center and at one point in between shots Dolly motioned that my neckribbon was not off-center any more.

young, attractive, trendy photographer: (slight wink) Are you trying to cover something up?

me: Nah, I just want to keep the bow on the side. I think it looks better that way.

yatp: Ah, I thought maybe you were covering a hickie.

me: ROFL!!! Wouldn't THAT be funny! No, hardly. My boyfriend is in Australia!

(side note 3) I ALWAYS told Dolly that she'd get married before I would.

(side note 4) The girls told me about some story that circulated around college where some chick got married ... her bridesmaids were wearing white shirts, khaki skirts, and held a sheet in front of the bride as she walked down the aisle ... what the?!! Maybe that's too informal ... and just plain WEIRD!!!

(side note 5) All of us look fabulous in green. The wedding was like the return of the "green girls". A time when Karen, Dolly, and I all went to an fancy-shmancy organ concert dressed in green carrying *fake* lilies ... there may have been a little horseplay and whacking of flowers stems along the way ... you can never take us too seriously.

the arty ones

"Hi, you've been to visit Dolly before, haven't you? You're the arty one aren't you?"

I tossed my head back and let out a hearty laugh. "All of us are the arty ones. We all studied art together in college."

Yes, I am terribly proud of my arty friends. Beth (Dolly's look-alike) works at the U.S. branch of Answers in Genesis as a designer (which I found out is separate from its Australian counterpart). Karen (the eccentric Aussie) is a designer at another Bible college. And Dolly is a designer for a printing company and works independently on the side. Me? I'm the only one who is currently not in an art related occupation ... sigh ... I hope to teach art again one day ...

That being said we all got a good laugh when the wedding photographer commented about our modeling abilities.

"Ha ha ... you have NO idea how much experience we really do have. Whenever any of us needed a 'source' for a project we were only too willing to comply."

I was honored that Dolly chose to paint me for her masterpiece as part of her Master of Art portfolio. Supposedly my future husband gets the blessing of owning this beautiful marvel. I doubt, however, Dolly will ever actually give it up. LOL! Could you imagine! Let's say he's a pastor and I can't be there when a woman comes to him for counsel ... there *I* am staring down at her ... "Don't you dare get emotionally attached to my man!"

* I made the dress in the painting.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Poetry Night

Brian has some pictures posted from last weekend's Poetry Night. Enjoy.

(click here)

how you handle conflict

Drs. Bill Maier and Julianna Slattery suggest in the recent Focus on the Family broadcast "Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage" that it is not common interests, goals, or passions that make and keep a healthy marriage. Instead, according to research, statistics show that it is how each person handles conflict that makes for a successful marriage.

UPDATE: OOPS! Wrong linkage. Here are the correct links the broadcast my mum and I were discussing. "Making the Tough Times Count" with speaker and author Florence Littauer.

DOUBLE OPPS: click here and scroll down to October 2nd and 3rd for the talks titled “Marriage Survival Skills 101" parts 1 and 2 featuring Gary Smalley and Scott Stanley. THESE are the correct talks ... although I'm sure the others are beneficial, too.

h/t my mum

the problem

The problem is not the problem. The problem is often how one responds to the problem. If one doesn't respond correctly, she will experience a similar situation again and again until she has learned the lesson the Holy Spirit is teaching her.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

crazy fun date ideas

Hat tip to Rodeo Clown for sending us this link for date ideas. I forwarded it to my parents and they are trying out number 16 tonight.

Would you add any to the list?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

poetry reading

Friday night we're having a poetry reading.

What do you recommend I prepare as my selection?

an autumn song of Cuban stars

This morning, Mike's and my relationship reached a new level when I sang a song to him before he fell asleep. That's a HUGE step for me ... especially considering how he'd asked me to do so a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't ... "Maybe when we're married ..."

I have no confidence in my singing abilities AT ALL. I may have been in a praise team at church ... but for all I know the sound guy probably turned the volume on my mic down and I was just a smiling face on the platform singing my heart out for the Lord. "Make a joyful noise, wot?"

This afternoon, a group of us went to a Cuban resteraunt. The guys were raving about the photographs in the men's toilet room of guys rolling cigars.

"Cassey, do you think you and I ought to take a puff one night just to see what all the hype is about?"

"Sure, if we want to know what it's like to kiss an ash tray!"

Hmm ... I have wondered ... (lol! I was being fascecious.)

Then we talked about Turkish coffee ... how we'd like to go to Istanbul one day ... ooo, What about Morocco? ... Mmm, loved Casablanca ... Not me ... Can't stand Humphrey Bogart ... One of the top 20 ugliest men ... There was nothing about him that was endearing in Sabrina. Why would she fall for him? ... If not Bogart, then who? ... Here's a clue into Girl Dorm Room talk: "Ok, Carey Grant or Jimmy Stewart?" I always answer, "Jimmy Stewart!" ... Really? I didn't think chicks would dig him. Isn't he sort of bumbling? ... But endearing. ... Ooo, I'm rather fond of that guy from Roman Holiday. ... GREGORY PECK?!!! LOVE HIM! sigh ... Gregory Peck/Jimmy Stewart--I'm trying to grasp how you could like both ... Hmm, it's sort of Ying and Yang. ... I tell you who could have stayed off the silver screen: Fred Astaire. Bleh! ... What about chicks? ... (The guys looked at each other ... I think the only classic female film star they know is Audrey Hepburn) ... Well, I like Ingrid Bergman and Greer Garson. ... Who?

It's truly Autumn. At the restaurant we watched as the weather map was on display on the television ... together we cheered as if we were watching a sport as the cold front moved into our region. Driving home the leaves swirled around the road as cars whizzed by. It made me feel like dancing ...

View entire Funny Face dance club scene here

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

she's out of there

Carmen visits Boston

Part 1
Part 2

sexual intimacy in marriage

C. J. Mahaney speaks on Song of Solomon ... believe me, the point is not that Christ is in between the Old and New Testament!

click here

under the sub-heading "Building Strong Families in Your Church"
(scroll down to the sermon "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" by C. J. Mahaney)

He quotes Tom Gledhill's commentary:
"This unabashed reveling in creatureliness must not be cramped by thoughts that it is all somehow beneath our dignity and that we would be better praying than making love. For this is a false dichotomy that must be banished forever. We do not need to sanctify an entirely natural act by having simultaneous spiritual thoughts in our spouses arms."

In addition, I have REALLY enjoyed listening to Mark Driscoll's sermons on Song of Solomon.

Click here

type in Song of Songs in the "search" box
click on the middle option for the audio options

my boyfriend and i are ...

h/t Sharon

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

idols of the heart

What is it that you desire that you would sin to get or sin if you don't get it?

Monday, October 09, 2006

2 chicks, a couple of guys, and a camp fire

Adam: (leans back, places hands behind his head) "So, if you could choose three weapons to kill a wolf, which would they be?"

My eyes grew wide. Seriously?! THIS is going to be the next thread of conversation?!! Cassey and I were highly amused. This weekend's camping trip has truly been an answer to every girl's wish to be a fly on the wall in a guy's room. (What do they talk about?!!)

Answers varied from javelin, long finger nail, bow and arrow, tank (that was my choice), etc.

Mike added his vote via SMS ... his trusty block of wood has never let him down thus far.

As the glow from the fire's flames cast odd shadows on our faces, Ben shared a story he had heard of an entire village's population (located not to far from the camp site) that had been massacred by a pack of wolves ... no survivors.

Jiri: "Then how do you know what happened?"

Ben: "Diaries"

Me: "So ... what? The last entry read ... 'We've held them off for a solid week, but rations are low and we've run out of water. They've surrounded the house. There is no escape. Are we the last one's alive? I can see them pacing outside the window, yellow eyes glaring ... as if ... ACK! One just crashed through the window. Where's Pa? Oh no, it's chaos! I'm being wrestled to the ground. No, not my Jugulaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (gurgle)'?"

Brian: "When did this happen?"

Adam: "Yesterday."

Ben: "1850"

Brian: "Ooooooo ... nice. 1850's a nice creepy date."

and then SOMEHOW ... no one will ever to be remember quite how ... someone began to associate our names with the different sound-effects some of our weapons of choice would make. As a result, *this* story was invented with our camp mascot, Goldie (Cassey and Jiri's dog), playing the heroine.

Goldie, the Wolf-Slayer

The moon was full as Goldie pulled up to the campsite in her Harley.

(Briaaaaaaaaan Bri Bri Bri Bri Briaaaaaaaaaaan) [ok, so his was the only name not associated with a weapon]

She screeched to a halt when the pack of wolves ambushed her in the darkness. Grabbing her gatling gun she cranked out a couple of rounds to keep the savage pack at bay.


When she ran out of ammo, she reached for her bow and arrow.

(ben .... ben .......... ben ben ben ...... ben)

Her supply of arrows exhausted and the raging hoards closing in on her she drew her sword.

(ChriSTINE ... ChriSTINE ...... ChriSTINE)

Oh, no! Goldie's sword got lodged in the spinal column of one of the attacking wolves.

Unable to remove the weapon, she abandoned that hope and found herself backing up into a tree.

The pack surrounded her, inching closer and closer.


The snarling wolves stepped back unsure ...

With a flick of her paw, Goldie revealed her last resort.


The wolves flinched at the sound of Goldie's lightsabre being unsheathed.

Wounded wolves were scattered left and right as the female canine unleashed her fury on the ambushers.

(Jirrrrrrrrri ... Jirrri ... Jirrrrrrrrrrri ... Jirrrri)

And THAT is what seminary students talk about around camp fires.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

why i'm not an American-American

1. I don't believe that America has to take over Israel.

2. No mustache, flat-brim baseball cap, socks with sandals, nor a bum bag.

3. I don't think that the chick always has to end up with Hugh Grant ... in fact it's probably better if she doesn't.

4. I've lived in 4 different countries.

5. I don't own a gun.

6. I don't shop at Walmart.

7. McDonalds is NEVER an option.

8. I know that Africa is NOT a country and it's "national" language is not *African*.

9. I know that Tasmania is not the alternate spelling for Tanzania (unlike Cologne/Koeln or Munich/Muenchen)

10. I love my Australian boyfriend for more than his sexy accent.

Friday, October 06, 2006

defining leadership

A Blogger friend emailed me the following and I thought it might strike up a good discussion:

Hey Christine,

I was sort of thinking that it might be really helpful for lots of us if you might write a post on your definition of leadership. I think that through your various posts on men taking the leadership role and dating and all this … I’ve never quite figured out what you mean by “lead.” Does that mean “take initiative” or does it mean “move forward intellectually” or … there are a million possibilities, so I guess maybe if we all sort of nailed down what we mean by “leadership” (can you, for instance, be a leader without a group of people who follow you?), the discussion might ratchet up a notch.

My friend Beth and I were discussing it today (a discussion provoked from reading some of your writing) and came up with this: “a leader is one who accepts responsibility to act with integrity and direct others towards a common goal.

Perhaps you might write a post or two on the subject? Just a humble suggestion from someone struggling with the whole thing …


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

the games we play

Is a woman making herself attractive a way of visually tempting her own husband? Is it manipulation? Or is it a way of expressing her love? Well, gentlemen?

Or ... is it manipulating the way many women set rules of play on their relationships? I will only do this, if you treat me like that. We can do this, but that is out of the question. We string them along expecting them to jump through hoops. Changing the rules of play at each twist and turn.

We try to live out a fairytale in our minds in which a knight slays some random dragon or climbs some impossible height for us so that he can *prove* his love ... and then we pout, "But you didn't bring me any flowers back!" We always have them guessing ... a way of exerting power over them ... and then wail our eyes out when they fail to understand our cryptic code.

Wake up! In a relationship there are TWO people involved. ... no SCRATCH THAT ... three, if Jesus Christ is to be the center of your love. It's give and take, ladies and gentleman ... learn to speak the language the other person needs in order to feel loved. Learn to communicate how you desire your significant other to relate to you in a loving manner. Be specific. If your man needs to hear the words, "I love you" but to you that seems like it's not enough. Say it anyway. Express that one statement in a multitude of ways so that he can hear and be affirmed in your love. It is the language he understands. Stop playing games. Communicate and don't hide the answer key.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

it's not about good looks ... it's about the *effort*

Due to the suggestion of a fellow blogger with a similar name to my own (Christina), I decided to share some brief snippits from the section of Shaunti Feldhahn's For Women Only (the Bible study) about the visual nature of men. Quotes pulled from pages 124-129.

"We think that if God does not look on the outward appearance, then neither should our husbands, right? The truth is that because we know 'It's what's inside that counts,' we can easily migrate to the idea that what is outside doesn't matter. It does."

"... 70 percent of men indicated they would be emotionally bothered if their wives let themselves go and didn't seem to want to make the effort to do something about it."

"... ignoring that truth, our men--even godly men who are devoted to us--end up feeling disregarded, disrespected, and hurt."

"Somehow I assumed that if I was out of shape, I was the only person who was negatively affected!"

"If she doesn't take care of herself, dresses sloppily around me all the time, never exercises, and has no energy to go out and do things together, I feel like she's choosing not to do something that she should know is important to me. ... But really, I just want to see that my wife cares enough about me to make an effort."

"Seeing us make the effort to look good makes them feel loved and cared for. It matters to them in the same way it matters to us when we notice our husbands making an effort to do things that make us feel loved--especially those things that are difficult or don't come naturally. If our husband truly puts effort and thought into a romantic event, do you really mind if it's not perfect? Of course not. You feel loved and cared for."

"In a way, this issue for men is like romance for us. Maybe it shouldn't matter whether our husbands ever put one jot of effort into romancing us, but it does. We love him regardless; yet, we still feel that empty wistfulness for what could be."

"'We need to see that you care about keeping our attention on you--and off of other women.'"

Esther 1:11
"To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she [was] fair to look on."

"A man's wife is an extension of himself, just as he is an extension of his wife. Most men know that the appearance of their wives complements them in the presence of other men."

"The way you dress and carry yourself speaks volumes about both you and your husband. You may not like the idea that others are judging your husband on your appearance, but according to the men I spoke with, it happens often."

(Understand that weight or "natural good looks" [whatever *that* is] is beside the point. It's not a 20 year old pin-up girl they're after. However, a man wants a wife who *makes the effort* to be healthy, take care of herself, dress for him, and be confident and comfortable in who she is. This makes him feel cherished and respected. True, I'm not married. Perhaps, I have no place in writing about this so passionately in recent posts. However, I have eyes ... and I have ears. And my own observations have only been confirmed by the hundreds of men [many of whom were regular church-goers] Feldhahn interviewed. Men struggle with visual temptations on a daily basis. Let us aid our brothers and husbands to fight this temptaion by dressing modestly and for our husbands make the effort so that they only have eyes for us.)

if Jon Stewart ran for President

Sunday, October 01, 2006

where does body hair come in?

Mike helped me think through my position this evening. I started out with the presupposition that my readers would assume my view of inner beauty. I affirm what Scripture says ... especially to women ... concerning developing one's character into a beautiful sacrifice to God.

When I realized that my mention of why I (personally) wear make-up struck up controversy, I was confused.

"Surely, inner beauty is a given in this conversation!!"

But as points of view began to be fleshed out I saw more and more that everyone agreed with each other concerning the big picture and what is ultimately important.

The reason I did not start off with a soap box post about women glorifying God in their inner beauty and casting off the shakles of cultural mandates was because I have heard it again and again and again ... and I agree with it. But I decided to bring up a side issue.

Perhaps I should have started off:

"Alright, ladies, we all agree about what needs to be done to develop inner beauty, right? Now, how does the Christian woman approach the issue of the outer appearance? This is difficult to address because there are far more passages in Scripture that address the issue of inner beauty; thus, indicating it's priority in the Christian life. However, let's explore the proper Christian response to this topic of physical appearance."

The physical is a side issue that many in Evangelical circles choose to ignore (oh, besides the whole dress modestly bit). And I believe that it is essentially due to a reaction to the world. The world focuses on the body, believing from a secular worldview that the body is the sum of man, nothing more, nothing less. Evangelicals react to this by placing heavy emphasis on the spirit.

But is man not both body and spirit? We are dichotomists. Not merely body and not merely spirit.

1 Corinthians 6 and 7 approach the issue of glorifying God in one's body. Indeed, much of the passage involves sexual relations. However, the broader issue of the body is addressed. A wife's body is not her own. A husband's body is not his own. They honor one another in their bodies. Is this confined to sexual relations? ... or can the interpretation be broadened to pleasing and honoring one's husband by dressing in a manner that he appreciates?

Hmm, just a question I'm throwing out there. What do you think?

beauty does not equate godliness ... but neither does plain-ness

I'm not disagreeing with any of you who are commenting that inward beauty is of the utmost importance in comparison to outward beauty.

Proverbs 11:22 compares a physically beautiful woman who is not discrete with a pig adorned with a gold ring in his snout. No amount of makeup or beautiful clothing can mask an unattractive heart.

My roommate in college was the posterchild of the campus. Gorgeous. Before I met her I knew her name and overheard many conversations where guys were talking about her. I too was swept away by her beauty and smile. But when we had lived together for a couple of months, that outer beauty was quickly transformed when her true heart was displayed. I was repulsed by her selfishness and her pride and her disregard for others. Her physical appearance was actually transformed by her heart's motivations.

I love being feminine. I love wearing skirts and dresses. I love experimenting with different ways of doing my hair. But should my heart not be right with God all of that is for nothing. Pure vanity!

So, you see? I agree with you.

However, as with many of my other posts that have sparked disagreement, I only brought up one side of the issue. Women are so often exhorted in the church to enhance their inner beauty. Do you really need another parrot to tell you the same? Sometimes I think the intensity with which this message is preached is rather reactionary to such issues as anorexia/bolemia, obesity, immodest dress and appearance, causing opinions to be swayed to the other extreme with equating plain/bland appearance with godliness.

Isn't that the same?

Both are trying to draw attention to themselves by their outward appearance one with enhancing it, the other by disregarding it. 2 extremes. Similar motives.

I am merely attempting to bring up a little discussed issue and commenting that indeed the condition of the heart and one's character is of primary importance, but that doesn't negate one's taking pleasure in creating/enhancing physical beauty.

God is the author of beauty in so many different forms, both physical and spiritual. He himself is beautiful. Artists, made in the image of God, get a thrill from copying the Master Artist or from creating their own beauty. A tree in the middle of a meadow is beautiful, especially as the mist of the evening rolls in. Would you tisk-tisk if someone came along to enhance that beauty by hanging a multitude of candle-lit lanterns from it's branches? "Shameful. God created that tree beautiful just how it is. Shame on you for attempting to add to it."

No, that's silly.

Beauty is good. Like Seumas commented on Dani's blog, the goodness of beauty does not make it moral.

Some churches decide against adorning their building in guilded sculpture and choose instead to maintain a humble appearance. Is the stainglass church better than the other because it is "more" beautiful? That's obsurd. But if that "plain" building houses a group of people who are spiritually dead and full of pride and hypocrisy, it is not better than a sepulchre. However, as one enters a cathedral and the regal pillars and arches draws one's eyes upward to the sparkling, coloured glass, one might find himself giving glory to God the Author of all things beautiful. The congregation may be as spiritually dead as the other, but that doesn't keep one from praising God. That beautiful woman walking down the street may be an atheist, however, one can still appreciate her beauty.

I desire to bless Michael with my appearance (sigh ... and just to be sure i'm not misunderstood ... AND a kind, gentle spirit). The other evening I dressed up, put on a strand of pearls, straightened my hair, and put on a bit of make-up. His appreciation could not be masked. And I took delight in having pleased the man I love in this way. (And for your information we also read Scripture together and prayed).

I feel odd having to justify myself in this ... or tacking on further explanation. human responsibility ... BUT also sovereignty of God. wife respecting ... BUT also husband loving. outer beauty ... BUT also inward beauty. make-up ... BUT also prayer.

I have a feeling Craig's going to tell me that I don't have to always justify myself on my blog. I suppose I need to remember that few of you actually even know me, so I'm scrambling here to be sure you know that I understand the value in a beautiful spirit. But honestly I'm a bit afraid I'm going to get a comment like, "What? You like wearing dresses?!! Are you saying trousers can't be feminine?!"