Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
The Christian Equestrian's Literary "Stamp" in Type
Rebekah L. Holt is a Christian horsewoman with an experienced background from managing a pony breeding farm and training family pleasure horses to ride and pull carts. Born with an inherent fervor for horses, Rebekah was provided many opportunities to work with horses while growing up. As a certified instructor, Miss Holt has been privileged to teach able-bodied and special needs children and adults the foundations of horsemanship since 2003.
God Used a Horse…
To Express His Love For Me
Plans shattered. Tears of failure. Guilt. Grief.
All these were mine as I looked at the firstborn of my prized buckskin American Shetland stallion. All year I had waited for this specific foal. When it came to the crucial moment of delivery, I had proven totally useless to assist the laboring mare and in some ways, had ignorantly overlooked the “signs of trouble”.
How could I have done such a thing? I had been there with her! I had been preparing myself through reading, talking to other breeders and the veterinarian. I had read horror stories about foaling situations with ponies. I was diligent to try to study up on the subject of prevention of a bad foaling situation. The responsibility of helping dystocia cases was a worry that endured through the whole foaling season and kept me checking the mares around the clock for weeks prior to their delivery. But despite all my efforts, when it came down to it, I still “missed the boat.” The foal died.
With trepidation, I sought my veterinarian for help. Tell me what to do next time. What can I do? I have so many more mares set to foal out. He told me to not be afraid of assisting the mare and sent me home with palpation gloves and sterile lubrication. The vet also told me, well, in all honesty, due to the placenta removing like Velcro from the uterus with every contraction, there was a very tiny window of time to save a foal in a dystocia case. Horses have a very quick delivery (or rather should!) and with every contraction, the placenta and uterus comes apart progressively. Our 20 minute drive to the vet would have likely been too late anyway…by the time the mare could be hauled, etc., etc. It would have still been up to us, the owners. Plus, this filly was 3 weeks overdue. The foal was large for a first time mare. The mare would have had to have help even if the foal had been in the right position. And the fact the foal was coming “crown first”, the vet suggested it could have been an indication she was not wholly healthy. Later, we traced the culprit to be fescue toxicity and indeed, the symptoms of an overdue pregnancy and dystocia all coincided.
That night, I once again pulled out the foaling book and fortified my “foaling kit” box. Sleeping restfully was impossible. I felt like a bad steward of what God had given me charge over a beautiful small herd of American Shetland ponies. How was it possible I had failed the first time out and neglected even to heed my conscience that kept pricking me that something was “wrong” before it was too late? I mourned my ignorance and lack of experience. It was not just a mistake—it entailed a life and loss. This filly was a prize—a well-marked bay tovero with a dishy head the very first foal by my beloved Bucky and Bonnie. What a loss of time, life, money, preparation, energy, effort. Bonnie was thankfully going to heal up alright with some 3-4 times a day care and high powered medication to fight infection and inflammation. However, due to the trauma, the veterinarian said she would likely never be able to carry a foal again.
From then on, fear and dread gripped me as I watched the bulging stomachs of the remaining expectant broodmares. I found myself praying repeatedly to God, please help me! But despite a peace knowing God did hear me, there was a fear of a repeat situation and a true concern I would possibly fail again.
Like a hen, those mares were hovered over! Ruby and Dee were next.
Ruby and Dee were veteran “no help needed” older mothers that liked to foal late at night or in the wee hours of morning. They were inseparable like two little old-fashioned ladies that were always seen together. Their world was pretty settled without a care. Despite my anxious hovering, they just munched casually on their grass heedless to any greater concern than an occasional swish at a fly.
My vigorous routine of “around the clock” checkups started with the first signs of their “bagging up”. They were both expecting foals by our homozygous black tobiano stallion, Ryan. However, I had read how even good mares could still have “problems. These were our family favorite mares. To have them in a difficult delivery or possibly lose their foals (who were always some of the best of the crop), would indeed be a devastation from every angle.
The day arrived and Dee made her approach toward “any moment” foaling out. That night, I kept her up close to the house. With a full moon shining through the blinds of the window by my bed, 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am rolled by only to reveal her marching on foot along the fence line and whining to her pasture buddy who oddly didn’t stay close to her through the night. I knew enough about Dee’s patterns of foaling, she could “go” any moment…why did she wait? Yet, dawn broke, still no foal and Dee’s evening activity had merely left a worn path bordering the cross fencing. I turned her lose and down the pasture she trotted gleefully to join Ruby.
The morning wore on with occasional glances down toward the end of the 40 acre pasture where Ruby and Dee grazed. The pasture, though narrow and long, was treeless providing a clear view with binoculars at the far end. As these mares always foaled at night, I expected another worrisome night of broken sleep. Yet, around noon, walking to the front window overlooking the pasture, I parted the sheers and peered out through binoculars—my heart stood still.
Dee was in labor!
With all the panic surging with the urgency of needing to be on hand to “save the foal”, I dashed on a pair of rubber boots, ran to the barn to grab my kit and jumped in “Brownie” our 1989 brown Chevrolet standard shift pickup. With a racing heart, I shifted Brownie into 2nd and as I approached the laboring mare, I attempted to “quietly” barrel down the dusty driveway! I arrived in time to see a blinking, breathing, beautiful robust silver dapple tobiano colt laying in a carpet of clover and primroses. Dutiful Dee “spoke” to her colt in soft, fluttering of her nostrils with gentle, deep sounds I’ve only witnessed by mares to their newborns. It is the tenderest and most loving sound any animal could make.
Oh, he has a paint! And look at those white stockings! And a little star on his forehead! Awww! Oh thank you Lord, thank you Lord! Aw, Dee, aw, he’s so cute!
As my heart poured forth in ecstasy (and yes, I did “talk” to the horses many times!), I glanced over to Dee’s buddy, Ruby who never was too far away.
To my astonishment, the little red mare, who celebrated over the new arrival with little nostril flutters of her own, was acting strange! With a suddenly strutted udder, she walked around the baby and Dee and dropped down.
AH! Another one in labor in the middle of the day! Ruby in a matter of a few more minutes was making sweet sounds to her own stunningly handsome black and white tobiano colt. And I was so “unneeded” with no time to do anything but grab a camera and leap for all the joy that can be leaped for by a horse lover with two brand-new baby paint ponies only about 24” tall!
The reality of having witnessed a unique, almost miraculous circumstance was not lost on me. Two mares had foaled within a few minutes of each otherwithin a few feet of each other! The day was beautiful, sunny, blue skies and the backdrop of primroses, deep and light greens of spring was both glorious and memorable.
As I looked on at the lovely scene before me, I was overcome with the reality the Lord had “lowered the waters” for me. These mares were due several weeks apart. I had never heard of two mares delivering in the middle of the day, full sunshine and out in the open and rather socially! Neither had my veterinarian who I wasted little time in telling of this wonderful delivery! No, the Lord had not let me fail. Instead, He got it all worked out for me and had it all taken care of before I could do a thing. He also gave me a gift and did something that meant something to me. I loved being the first on the scene to witness the new little one. He reinforced that He knows me in a special way. No—I refuse to believe this circumstance was by chance. It was by His appointment I didn’t miss that quick foaling by the typical noon tradition of eating a sandwich. In a course an hour, all my dread, worries of inadequacy were overshadowed by the joy of new life and a real understanding the God who created me and endowed me with this love of horses really did something for me—Me, Rebekah—very personally. It was done in a way not asked for, but a real, delightful gift that gave both peace and tremendous delight. Photos were snapped and snapped to capture these fleeting, special moments of spindly new legs learning to bear weight (Brownie and I had to race back to the house to get me little 2 MP digital camera and a few excited siblings!).
“Dusty” and “Galloway” certainly grew to be rambunctious, fluffy colts. They were a delight to watch grow. Around Christmas, together they headed up toward Oklahoma to charm a big Indian family with extended families of youngsters. The following years, Ruby and Dee returned to their uneventful, nocturnal traditions of foaling leaving me to still hover through the night while they just went through motions like pioneers.
To some, it may not seem like much. But for me, Ruby, Dee, Dusty and Galloway were just a few pretty little horses that God used to express His love for me in a special way and provide a tangible, lovely reminder. God certainly used a horse. ><>
God Used a Horse
Rebekah L. Holt
At this present stage of life, my every day is not orbiting the horse circuit. Like many adults, my course is filled with responsibilities and much unlooked for change, change, change that are all in accord with the Sovereignty of God. There have been times I have even so much as declared myself as a "has been" when thinking of my present equestrian endeavors.
Yet, while typing at this keyboard, I can still see the mellowing scars of yesteryears moving rhythmatically with motioning knuckles. Tributes to adventures of working horses. These hands themselves could tell various stories to match the various scars of both service and stupidity!
It has been a time of recounting the years horses have been a part of my life. Though horses are by no means “a thing of the past”, reminiscing of a very equidae immersed period in my life has brought to mind the many lessons I have learn. Most of those lessons, the Lord has used the horse as a catalyst to draw me closer to Himself. Just as many medicines require a “spoon full of sugar” to go down pleasantly, I think the Lord used horses as an agent to sweeten some of the lessons He has been teaching me.
I have often expressed that if Creation leads to Christ, then horses can be an instrument of the Lord to teach us of Himself. It is true! God uses the things we love to draw us with a magnetic attraction to Himself! The Lord also prepared the very gifts He gives to captivate us and to reflect the character, nature and goodness of our Creator and Giver in a way we can "take home" or digest. As Scripture simplifies it, "Go to the ant." Creation does declare the glory of God and we have much to learn from it!
Thinking over how the Lord has used horses in my life, it has been a growing desire to write down some of the stories and recount the many blessings of a very unique opportunity the Lord allowed me. I hope you will enjoy this journey...
1# As a type of "introduction" to this series, I dusted the cobwebs off this this old little story written for children. For some of you, this is old, repeat material and you'll smell the mothballs! This was written when I was 21--the very year eQuest For Truth began!
Created To Love Horses: A Life Not By Chance
Rebekah L. Holt
In the beginning, when God created all things in just six days, He thought about you and me. He made the universe, the earth, and all living things—the animals and the first man, Adam, and woman, Eve—so one day we could enjoy life.
The Creator has made each of us for a special purpose. Before you or I were born, He already knew what He had planned for our lives.
Let’s look through my scrapbook. It records The Creator’s unfolding blue print—a Master Plan—for my life.
When I was just a small baby in my mother’s womb, my parents didn’t know what I would grow up to be. My grandparents wondered whether I’d be another boy. My older brothers hoped I’d like trucks, frogs, and Lego blocks.
Only The Creator knew what I was made for. He created me to love horses.
My love for horses started early. I was only a toddler with a sunbonnet and lacey dress when I stole away to sit on my family’s backyard pony. My mother was frantic, but “Sugar Plum” lay fast asleep, stretched in the warm Spring sunshine. I waved a dimpled hand to the slumbering pony while Mom carried me to safety.
As I grew, my parents taught me that The Creator wanted me to know Him. They read the Bible to me. I learned about God’s perfect creation at the very beginning of time. Then we read about Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Their sin caused bad things in the world to begin happening. People, animals, and all creation started to grow old and die. Aches and pains were caused by sin too.
As my parents and I talked about pain and suffering, I recalled crying when old Doc, my brother’s horse, kicked me. That was very painful! My leg throbbed so badly; I thought it would fall off.
Then Mom and Dad told me about Jesus Christ. “God does not want us to stay sinful. He does not like us to suffer or experience pain. That’s why He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered for all man’s sin on the cross and rose from the dead that every sin—yours and mine—could be forgiven. When we ask forgiveness for our sins and ask Jesus to be our Savior, God promises in the Bible that we will one day live with Him in Heaven, far away from death, pain and suffering.”
I wanted to know Jesus Christ and live with Him in Heaven. My parents prayed with me as I asked Jesus to be my Savior and forgive my sins. I was just six years old when I became a Christian.
When I turned ten years old, I longed to have my own horse. Daydreaming, I would doodle pictures of "my horse” and write stories too. I liked to read about Jesus riding on a donkey and look at my Bible’s pictures of Jesus’ horse in the Book of Revelation—proud, white, rearing. I thought I’d like to ride a horse like that!
As the desire to own a horse grew stronger, my parents encouraged me to pray. “Bekah, God knows what He has planned for your life. If He wills for you to own a horse, He will open the doors for you. Let’s ask Him to guide and keep us within His Master Plan for your life.”
As we waited and prayed together, my parents provided opportunities for me to earn money for “Bekah's Horse Fund.”
The horse fund grew as I learned to work diligently and be responsible. My tenth year felt like it would never end. Sometimes it seemed that I’d never get a horse of my own. But The Creator had a plan for my life. Right before my eleventh birthday, He blessed the desire of my heart.
I’ll never forget seeing my filly for the first time. Her eyes were big and brown just like chocolate cookies. On her forehead was a crooked white star. Her rich, sorrel coat was splashed with mud from the wet pen she was kept in. I had never seen such a beautiful horse—Acey was mine.
When I turned twelve, I learned that The Creator equips us for every task that He has for us to do. I sure didn’t like my healthy size or big feet. But my Creator knew I needed a sturdy frame to train Acey, who was now two years old.
Setting to the task of teaching Acey to ride, I read books about training horses and my dad, who had good horse sense, gave me advice. He held Acey when I straddled her for the first time.
Acey was the perfect first "student" for a young trainer. She never bucked me off, but I still lost my balance. Once I went right over Acey’s head after I said “Whoa", and she really stopped! She just waited for me to get back in the saddle. I wondered, was I the trainer or maybe Acey was training me?
As I grew older, the Lord continued to guide my life.
He gave me enough horses to fill barns. There was Brisk, the chestnut colt I bought when fourteen. When I sat on Brisk the first time, it felt like riding a toothpick! He was so tall and slender. Scout, a golden palomino with a flowing white mane, was the first horse to buck me off when I was seventeen. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected! Then there was Bucky. He was a toy-like buckskin Shetland. Together we won a cart driving championship our very first show. Hosanna and Benevolence, adorable Shetland fillies, were born on my 20th birthday just the color I wanted them to be. That was a happy birthday!
Now I’m all grown up and I still love horses. Many horses have trotted by with my childhood, but the horse I prayed for as a little girl is still my favorite!
Acey and I are now horse riding instructors. An army of young equestrians arrives weekly to ride Acey and call me, “Miss Rebekah.” I guide their horsemanship skills as Acey teaches them to trust and ride with confidence.
These children were created, just like me, to love horses. Many want their own horses just like I did at their age. Yet not all understand that The Creator made them and that He has a unique plan for each of their lives.
Across the backs of horses, I sometimes share the news of Jesus, the Savior, to freckled or chubby faces that don’t know about Him. Their eyes grow large with awe of our Lord who made the horse so magnificent. We enjoy talking about The Creator’s amazing design of the horse’s body. Together we discover that according to Genesis 1:28, we were made to enjoy and care for our horses.
Looking through my scrapbook, I see that God has used my tender, childhood years to prepare me for what I was made to do. My life's blue print is still unfolding, but so far I’ve lived an abundant and fruitful life.
The Bible says that The Creator knows what plans He has for each of us. He even knew us before we were born. Our God has made us all with a unique purpose and a one-of-a-kind future―a life not by chance.
I know without a doubt, God created me to love horses…when a foal nuzzles my face with a velvety nose…Acey and I fly like the wind across the prairie…and I see the rich smiles of children astride a horse’s back. In the beginning, it was all part of His Master Plan.
I wonder what our Creator has made you for. Were you created to love horses?
Seven Thoughts to Consider about Purity in Public
Titus 2: 3-5 - The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
What employee hasn't had to sit through the dreaded video on how to handle sexual harassment in the work place or in public? It's unpleasant and embarrassing but it often defines situations and conversations we've probably had to handle.
From a woman's point of view, it's no surprise that this is an ongoing "issue" in the work or public place considering how some women (even professing Christians) act and present themselves in public.
Here's a few things Christian women especially would do well to consider about purity in public:
1) Matthew 10:16 - Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. A woman has the ability to often steer the situation with inappropriate attention from males (and sadly even females now days!) and often PREVENT situations before they fester. Plan for success – ask God for wisdom daily in the workplace or when going out in public!
2) Proverbs 11:22 - As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. / Proverbs 31: 25 - Strength and honor are her clothing... Before even opening her mouth, a woman speaks the most by her conduct, the way she dresses and even by her body language. Have discretion in your deportment. Walk and present yourself as a daughter of the King and a follower of Jesus Christ. You reflect Christ and His image should be gaining a stronger resemblance in your life day-by-day!
3) Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. / Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. / Matthew 12: 36-37 - But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Ephesians 5:4 - Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. When she does open her mouth, a woman need be careful! Somethings just don't need to be discussed outside the home. The nature of topics certainly need to be thought of twice. Are we vulgar in our speech? Well, we need to repent and not be vulgar! What do we laugh about? Be a lady. How we talk and what we talk about, all sends volumes of insight to our coworkers about what we're willing to receive from them. Women, we can be inviting others—just by what we tolerate--to include us into their dirty or off-colored conversations. Speak up by your actions, leave the room and don't just go along with the trend. When the right timing, let your co-workers know about your church and some of your church activities. Yeh, go ahead and be thought of as a "church girl!" It won't fix all, but by doing our part, we women can certainly help guide the situation and while we're at it, witness a living Christ in our lives to our lost coworkers and the public we encounter.
4) 1 Timothy 2:9 - ...that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation... A woman can be modest if she wants to be. Women, please think "modesty" when you think about what you wear! Modesty is God's idea. Cover it up your nakedness...wear more fabric! For the conservative crowd, dresses can be just as immodest and revealing—watch the necklines and revealing fabrics! Just because it's a skirt doesn't mean it's appropriate in fit, length or perhaps that high slit to reveal a thigh and leg should be sewn up. Pouring yourself into a long pair of jeans with no skin showing doesn't make it less revealing! Also what you wear can be pretty! Nowhere in the scripture does it contextually tell us we get extra "spiritual points" for looking dumpy, ill kept and wearing faded clothing all the time (Hey! But it's true, we all need some dumpy clothing to paint the house in!). Go before the Lord and ask Him to help you get His idea of what you need to look like. It's a personal walk—but we can be united in Christ to have HIS idea.
5) Read Proverbs 31 - A Christian woman is not one of the "guys". A woman of character, high morals and Godly pursuits will be respected by most—even unbelievers. A Godly woman understands that the Biblical, God given role of womanhood if a gift that can be rejected and missed. It doesn't just happen (especially in our world today!) that women embrace God's plan for woman! A woman that truly is seeking God will behave like one. That means, in our society, that women respect how God created men in a leadership role capacity (even if the men don't understand). It means, we conduct ourselves with femininity and actively seek to live out the standards God has given us as women. "Putting one over" on the guys and competing between the sexes has no Biblical support. Being mannish is not "okay". (This is from a woman that likes to sweat outside, train horses, has helped a father and brother's work in plumbing, fencing, ranching, etc. A woman can still do and help do physical work in a God honoring way, but as a woman not trying to be a man.)
6) 1 Thessalonians 5:22 - Abstain from all appearance of evil. / 1 Corinthians 1:9 - But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. If you are single, act like you are married in that you reserve yourself for that one man (or woman) in your affections, conversations, entertainment, etc. That sounds crazy, but if we believe God is true to His word, He will provide a spouse in His timing. A wise mother said to her daughter, "There's only one man—just one. You don't have to try out everyone." Be the type of woman that the man of character would want for a wife. Presenting yourself as "one of the fun girls" to your coworkers or others in public is going to attract the same kind of person for a spouse and damage your witness for Christ. God put the solitarily in a family. Be known as a single person that is a family person. Invest in your parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Serve the brethren in church. Yeh, it's okay to be mocked as being "boring" and having no "fun." It is guaranteed that wholesome, righteous fun (that's really very broad in spectrum) will tend to life, character and enduring relationships when the counterfeit of a self-culture of "night life binges" and "sprees" will only end in moral corruption and broken, emptiness. Psalm 68: 6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Those "too friendly" customers that what to invade your space—stiffen the arm to prevent the embrace. Let it be known you belong to a church, a family. You girls, get your Dad to come visit you, let them know you have a "covering" and a man in your life. Get your brothers to walk in on your lunch break. Speak of the Lord. They'll get the message!
7) 1 Corinthians 7:1 - It is good for a man not to touch a woman. / 1 Timothy 5: 2 – [treat] The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. A note for the Men of the church or in public! Keep your comments on a woman's physical appearance reserved for your family! Many grandfatherly and fatherly types have a grace quite capable of presenting compliments and kindest actions with appropriateness—like apples of God in settings of silver. But some/most men would do better to refrain. Every time you meet in church, it is inappropriate and uncomfortable to a woman to give her an update on what she's wearing, her hair style, how well she looks, etc., etc., etc. While any honest woman would confess that admiration and being thought beautiful is a compliment—a godly woman neither seeks nor desires such attention from men beyond family. And consider, from some sources, it is more an aversion or insult to the woman than a gratification. A good rule for men would be to ask themselves, "Would I want another man to say this to my wife?" "Would I want another older man to act this way toward my daughter or sister?" "Would I say this if this woman were married and her husband standing next to her?" Even if the woman is single and young, she is likely someone's future wife. Act like a brother—and what brother goes around excessively hugging or telling his sister she's beautiful?
Purity Behind Doors
Character is what you are in the dark. D. L. Moody
Purity starts in us...in our hearts and at the hearth of home.
The “product” of how we live and operate begins with what we believe and how we live by those beliefs.
Scripture tells us, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).”
What is in is what comes out.
The starting point of purity for any believer is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Relationships require knowing someone. In being a Christ follower, it means following the ways of Christ and living as Christ would. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth (Romans 10:4).”
When we professed Christ as the Lord of our lives that meant our lives are going be constantly required to change for better in every way. We can know the Lord’s guidance through the Holy Spirit. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:13).”
Behavior and pleasures that once were acceptable in a carnal lifestyle are no longer acceptable.
Even those of us raised in a Christian home are not exempt from Christ’s purging as all of us are born with the sin nature and require redemption of character, attitudes, mindset, etc., etc.
What we are in secret is so important. Appetites for sensual pleasures often can trip up even the most enthusiastic Christian into living a lifestyle that is disobedient to God. Idleness can lead to wasting time, reading frivolous romance novels or sports magazines. Most commonly in today's internet immerged culture, many Christians can find themselves over dedicating to endless hours on social media, gaming, chat/dating websites.
Home entertainment is one of the greatest vehicles for compromise in standards of purity we Christians face.
Fornication, pornography, adultery, murder, revenge, covetousness and even just mindless, course jesting riddles almost every form of media known to man. Those bad things just get “slipped in” and before many know it, watching fornication on the screen can be justified, because, as one Christian woman told the authoress, “I’m married” (should that really make a difference??)! Crude, coarse jesting humor begins to make one laugh and the gore of blood and war—many can’t wait to watch again and again. Foolish dreamy romantic fantasies lead many young girls and even grown women down a frustrating path of longing for something that either doesn't exist or breeds discontent in their lives.
What we are “comfortable with" or things that "don't bother” us maybe should make us uncomfortable and bother us!
Humans can become comfortable with anything. One example is that many have come to accept homosexuals or unmarried people living together with an excuse of “they are engaged” or “well, they are committed to each other.” Is it surprising when considering that even the Corinthian church had to be rebuked for growing comfortable with accepting sexual immorality (incest) in their church (1 Corinthians 5:1)? Throwing out God's standard of purity--as this is an example--is not right even if it is humanly accepted. God will punish such sin.
In seeking purity, our home lives are to reflect Christ’s purity, even behind the drapes and closed doors.
We may be able to hide our actions from our family, our pastor, our friends—but God knows and see all. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom wemust give account (Hebrews 4:13).”
Are we feeding our minds with pure mental food? Have we asked the Lord to show us where we can change our lives at home? Have we turned off the television when someone clad in immodest clothing comes slinking across the screen? Or do we justify it because it’s sports, it’s a commercial, etc.? Are we blameless as singles (and married people are included too) in giving no appearance of evil of in how we are hosting male or female friends? Do we protect ourselves by our actions to remain chaste in world that tingles with thriving lasciviousness? Are we spending enough time dedicating ourselves to God-given responsibilities—like cleaning the house, washing the sheets, tending to wiping a child’s face, fixing supper on time--or are we being excessive on Facebook, Pintrest, Craigslist, blogs, etc. and neglecting husband, children, parents and/or home? Idleness or even doing good things that are the cause of neglect of the first priority can be a stumbling stone that leads to unhealthy habits, that lead ultimately to vice and sin.
Go before the Lord. This is not an exhaustive “how to” post on cleaning up our lives according to scripture. It is a call to think, fall on our knees and go humbly before the Lord seeking Him out for the Christian standard.
There are definite guidelines for Christians that should be universally understood as the way of Christ. God is very explicit in moral detail. Anyone can read the Bible and find answers about how to behave morally. Again, the Holy Spirit will lead all seeking Christians into all truth. We can know. If you want to know more, go to the Contact Us page and send us a message.
Remember, if we are aligning and justifying our purity by comparison of others—we’re not where we need to be. We only have One to align ourselves to and that is Christ Jesus. He is our Standard and Helps us obtain that morality He calls us to.
Let us make our aim not to push the limits, gratify our nature and find our “comfort zone”—but to seek the Lord, to please Him and have a heart wholly dedicated to Christ refining us into His beautiful, holy Image.
**Note from Authoress: There are two references to "sports." Please note that this is not a bash session against sports. However, there is an element in the sports world that can glorify what is not God honoring. This was merely used as an example and the blog post not exhaustive to explaining every detail. As in everything, each Christian has a responsibility to go before the Lord and live out the Christian walk before the Lord.
This is the first part of a multi-part series...
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
Purity is a hot topic in the Christian world today.
In our culture, "to be pure" often is associated as being naive, abnormal, wimpy and "no fun." Even in Christian "upstanding" circles, the idea of physical purity (e.g. virginity, abstaining from substance abuse, not being a drunkard, etc.) has shockingly become a novelty. Many parents just expect that their children will turn wayward, have a "fling" and then hopefully get serious about life and settle down.
It doesn't have to be this way.
God forgives—yet—what we often find is an attitude of acceptance among Christian crowds for the "sake" of trying to cajole and lure the wayward (especially the young) into church so we can "fix" them. Many churches and Christian organizations mistakely define love as toleration. Much effort is put into glamourizing the Message into attractive, marketable packages that will be appealing and more palatable to the Generation lost. They increase and diversify marketing strategies and grow to unnecessarily accept a lower standard and end up accommodating sinful lifestyles by providing "a comfortable environment" where lives ultimately don't change much. Nowhere in the Scriptures do we find it Biblical to accommodate and excuse sin. We are to instead call sin, sin and disciple nations in the Gospel, a solid hope in an unchanging Christ.
Christ's purity is not subject to or diminished by human definition, interpretation, marketing strategies or popularity. Regardless of man's efforts—Christ remains the same. Christ was and still is the perfect pattern. In Him is a surety, a foundation to be anchored upon and an absolute possibility in obtaining His ways (He. 6:18-20). Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (He. 13:8). He is consistent, unmoving, uncompromising Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6).
As humans, we are incapable of obtaining purity by our own efforts. We can "look the part" and still inwardly be vile. Being pure just doesn't happen by itself. As Christians that read their Bible know, the first tenet toward is a relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit living through us, putting on the armor of God, feeding oneself with the Word of God, bearing the fruits of the Spirit, and praying without ceasing. Being pure as Christ, though, does have some more action on our part. We are born with a free will, thus, WE have to choose to allow the Lord to work in us a daily renewing in a never ending lifestyle that permeates every part of us. Briefly, in application this means we have to set things asside. We have to keep our clothes on or even add more fabric to our clothing! We have to not read or watch trash. We have to walk away. We have to turn off the radio or television or computer.
In accord with Scripture and with the enablement of Christ, we have a choice and ability to control and to "... keep thyself pure" (1Tim. 5:22).
Our mind – What do we think about? Read? Entertain ourselves with?
Our eyesight – what do we view? Do we walk away or refuse to look at it? Do we turn it off?
Our mannerisms – How do we act? Are we ruled by selfishness ("this is just me, you'll have to lump it") or self-giving?
Our speech—What comes out of our mouths? Are we deceptive, backbiting, idle, vulgar?
Our desires – What do we long for? Do we inappropriately want something?
Our passions – Are we controlled by our lusts and impulses?
Our bodies – How are we presenting them? Using them? Managing them? Dressing them?
In our relationships – do we treat others as Christ would? Are we physically pure with others?
Our identity – Do we act as women should? Are we uncompromisingly feminine as God created women to be? Do we excuse ourselves as being mannish when God gave us a role of femininity?
How we work? – Do we work with purity? Are we blameless, ethical, integral and honest?
How we spend our time? – Are we good stewards of our time? What are we doing with life?
How we spend our money? – What investments are we making? Do we tithe? Are we responsible?
What entertains us? – Do we have hobbies and interests that God would approve of?
How do we care for our families? Are we committed? Do we invest and love the lives God has given us in our family? Do we honor our parents?
And the list could go on...
God doesn't want us to feel beat before we're start. He enables, He provides, He satisfies, He gives. What we have to do is make the commitment and live today, one step at a time. When we fail, we have to confess it and get back going on the right track. We have to be willing to change and make changes.
Let's bring this down to application.
What does purity look like in our daily lives?
To Be Continued...