What If?

Lord, what if I stalled, paused before every single action or word and waited on You? I would never speak ahead of You. I would let You speak and I’d open my mouth only if You were opening it. I would let You go first. I would look to You then follow where You lead. I would do next whatever You say to do. I would get Your blessing, Your nod, Your approval before moving ahead with the next deed, the next word, the next thought. If only I would handle every moment of every day with that much consideration, that much self-control, that much faith, that much humble reliance.

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But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.
~Galatians 5:22-25

Growing in grace, I pray…
~Melissa
Micah 6:8
11 Cor 9:6-8

Becoming: attractively suitable, fitting, appropriate, good, lovely, right, modest

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We, who are women professing godliness, are a reflection of our beautiful Christ Who gave Himself for us. We are His. He is ours. We are bought with a price. What? Know ye not that your body is a temple?!

{See…Song of Solomon 2:16; First Timothy 2:9-10; First Corinthians 6:19-20}

“The way we dress IS a reflection of our heart. The way we dress can reflect wordliness or godliness.” ~Courtney @Women Living Well

Modesty is a timeless issue. It has been an issue from the beginning of time and it will be an increasingly important issue for followers of Jesus Christ until He returns. Today at Women Growing in Grace I am speaking a little bit about godly womanhood, our pure hearts and our appearance, offering practical advice that is a help in our own family. Modesty begins with a pure heart that wholly belongs to Jesus Christ. So, the first thing you and I can do is examine our hearts with a regular heart-check. Let’s ask ourselves some questions.

~Do I make excuses like these for how I dress?
….”I can wear what I want. It’s my business.”
…”They shouldn’t be looking anyway.”
…”I’m not a stumbling block. If they can’t handle it that’s their problem, not mine.”
…”This is what’s ‘in’.”
…”This is all you can find in the stores. I can’t find modest clothes that fit me.”

~Am I humbly walking with God or am I filled with pride?
~Do I want to be foolish or wise?
~Do I care most what pleases God or what pleases the flesh?
~Do I want others to notice my spirituality or my sexuality?
~Am I selfish and provocative in how I dress and conduct myself or am I careful to be discerning and pure in how I think and act? (Titus 2:3-5)

Maybe you’re not sure if you, in any way, ever dress or act immodestly. You can ask your husband, fiancee, or guy friends; ask your father, your uncle, or a trusted Christian man in your life. They often can tell you better than anyone. Or ask your mom, your grandma, your aunt, a Sunday School teacher, a mentor or your Christian girlfriends. And you can pray! God wants us to pray about everything! He wants to bless us!

I know it can be a huge challenge to go shopping and find appropriate clothes. Not only is it a task for myself, but we also have 8 daughters, currently between the ages of 7 and 15, to provide clothing for! One frustrating example is, the necklines are usually so low that we need a camisole or tank top under just. about. every. single. top. available. And even then, we still have to make sure the tank top is going to cover us up! It means we have to be persistent and creative sometimes, but, remember prayer works! God hears humble hearts who want to please Him! He is eager to help!

It can be easy for us to miss some things when we choose clothes. Here are some bold questions we can ask ourselves as we try on clothes…

~Am I showing any part of my breasts? Am I showing any cleavage?
~Could someone taller than me see down my top? When I lean over is this top going to keep me covered?
~Is this top see-through? Could I use some extra coverage like a camisole, or tank top?
~Is this top tight? Is it stretched so tight that it is pulling on the sides &/or the front?
~Is this blouse hard to button? Are the buttons pulling? Is the front gaping open in between the buttons?
~Are my bra straps or is my bra showing?
~Is this shirt so short that I’ll have to keep pulling it down to keep my waist covered?
~Is this top so low that I’ll need to constantly be pulling it up in the front to stay modest?
~Are these low rise pants going to show my back or bottom as I walk, or when I bend over? Ick!
~Do I need to wear a flowy tunic top or cute dress over these skinny jeans or leggings?
~Do these shorts come below the tips of my fingers when I stand up straight?
~Is this skirt or dress knee length? Does it cover my thighs all around, front and back? (Or you may even prefer that your knees not show at all.)

Dressing and behaving modestly protects our godly testimony and our fellowship with the Lord. A pure heart with modesty can protect our own marriage and even the relationships of others. Modesty shows our reverence for God, our regard for the souls and minds of men, single or married, younger and older and our desire to be a godly influence on the women and girls around us. Where possible, we want to build each other up spiritually. It is true that some people are going to choose evil regardless of our testimony, but my point is that we can always do our best to please The Lord, to be right with Him.

A godly woman can definitely dress nicely and modestly and at the same time look stunning and elegant. We CAN dress modestly and still be stylish, cute and pretty. It is worth the time it takes to make godly choices! God WILL bless our efforts! He will bless our pure, humble hearts!

What are some things that have helped you in your endeavor to be modest?

Growing in grace,
Melissa L. Scott

*Some passages for further study:
Proverbs 31
Psalm 19:8
Psalm 24:3-5
Psalm 119:9
Proverbs 29:23
Proverbs 30:12
Micah 6:8
Deuteronomy 6:5
Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2
Matt 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27
Galatians 5:22-26
Philippians 4:4-9
James 4:6-10
1 Timothy 4:12
11 Timothy 2:22
1 Peter 1:13-25
Titus 2:11-15
11 Chronicles 7:14-22

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What if…

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Dear Lord,

What if I did not have the ability to speak?

I imagine I would dream of all the sweet and wonderful things I would say!

I would long to tell my husband, my children, and everyone You put in my path

good things, encouraging things, important, meaningful things.

I would not think of wasting my words on lesser things.

Or what if I were only given a maximum number of words per day?!

I wouldn’t dare waste them away…the way I now so foolishly do

Since I never think of not having this liberty…

The liberty to speak whatever, whenever, however, and as much as I please.

O, Lord, may I be wise,

May I only use words to minister grace, bless, edify, encourage,

and admonish with great care and love.

Purify my heart to spill over with gratitude in everything,

So love and joy ~ You will supernaturally overflow from all of me.

Turn Your Whine into Worship

It is sinful, human nature to gripe about things. But, it is dangerous. Whining and complaining is like a nasty disease that will spread quickly and violently if it’s not treated right away! And we all know that once we have developed a bad habit it is not easy to turn it around! The sooner we can catch that nasty habit, and do something about it, the better!

Children seem to be especially prone to whining, and sadly many never outgrow it. Parents have to train them that they do not get what they want by whining but by being grateful and we have to train them to look for and see their blessings. At our house, with the Lord’s help, we’ve tried to think of ways we can discipline ourselves to worship instead of whine. Here are some new habits we are developing in our family.

*** Every time we pray before we ask the Lord for anything we first thank Him for something! This is a great way to train ourselves to see our blessings and praise the Lord for all He has done! God inhabits the praises of His people! That is where He lives, and dwells! And, it’s wonderful how gratitude always radically changes our outlook, our perspective…an added blessing!

*** When any of us is griping, or grumbling about anything, such as, their sister, their friend, their food, cleaning their room, putting their laundry away, loading the dishwasher, their schoolwork, their hair, their toys, not feeling well, the many chores of homemaking and motherhood, or whatever it is, then we stop and say “Do not complain about your blessings!”. When we look at what’s bothering us in a different light then we realize that we are really complaining about our blessings.

What if something happened to that precious sister, family member or friend!

What if we only had beans and rice as our one and only meal of the day or what if we had no food at all! What if we couldn’t make that trip to the grocery store with all those heavy bags to unload into the trunk then unload them again into the house then unload them again into the pantry? It’s all a blessing!!!

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Some children would love to have a bedroom to clean with a bed of soft, warm covers and a pillow to make up, and clothes, shoes, toys and games to pick up and put away! And what a blessing that we are healthy enough to do these tasks!

What a blessing to have soap and hot water to wash dishes and an added blessing to have a machine that cleans them for us! And by the way, we have a machine for just about anything…we have machines that wash and dry the clothes, wash and dry the dishes, cook the food when and how we tell it to, sweep the floors! And when there are dishes to wash and a kitchen to clean that’s a sure reminder that there was food to eat and family or friends to share and enjoy a meal with!!!

There are children in the world that long to go to school and learn! There are children and adults who only dream of having shelves full of books to read anytime they want, school supplies and workbooks and pencils and paper and crayons and computers! My goodness! And what else? Eyes to see, ears to hear, hands and fingers to write, a mind to think.

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And most of the time whatever we are going through, whatever illness or condition, we can always be so thankful it is not worse than it is.

On and on we can go, because our blessings are so rich and bountiful when we think about how much we don’t do without and the multitude of annoyances, trials or horrors we do not have to endure!!! We have nothing to complain about and much, much, much to be thankful for!!!

*** Lastly, the newest habit we are implementing is this. As soon as one of us starts whining we stop them and immediately they must say, “A blessing I am thankful for is______________.” This turns our whine into worship right away!

It’s so good to share new ideas for living out God’s Word in a real way! What are ways that you have turned whine into worship? Has it become a way of life for you, for your family?

Walking with Jesus &
Growing in grace,

~photos courtesy of Amazima Ministries

Change My Heart, O, God!
Amazima Ministries
Amazima Ministries blog
Kisses from Katie blog
A Harvest of What is Yet to Come

A Boost from Ephesians

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Good Morning as we kick off the final week of our Ephesians Bible study/book club w/Eph 6:10-12!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Until the Lord returns let us all continually be strengthened by His mighty power!

It is imperative that we arm ourselves with the equipment God has provided in order for us to stand in the battle against the devil’s schemes.

While it may appear our enemy is mankind, it is not. Our enemy is the devil and his workers. This is a spiritual battle for eternal souls!

Therefore, let’s stop fighting one another, especially at home, remember these conflicts we face daily are only temporal.

What really matters is Eternity!

So, when I’m in a struggle, I’ll keep putting on the whole armor of God & then ask myself…in light of Eternity does this really matter!?!

Good Morning Girls ~ Ephesians ~ Week 10

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Good morning,

What gorgeous weather we are enjoying in Indiana! Praise the Lord ~ God controls the weather! There’s no such thing as “mother nature”. I’m so grateful for our living, loving God Who is a genuis designer and Creator of all things! By Him all things exist! He is worthy of all credit, all praise!

Here are our notes from the past week of studying Ephesians every morning. May you be blessed and changed as you have been and continue to study God’s Word! Can you believe there are only two and a half weeks left in the book of Ephesians?! I can hardly wait to see what book we will be walking through for the next 12 week study, can you?! Have a precious day, my friends! Love to you all!

~Walking with Jesus,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Good Morning!:) Today in Eph 5:28-30 a great encouragement for husbands & wives is this…Just as the church is part of Jesus’ body, the wife is part of her husband’s body. I like this in the notes from my KJV Nelson study Bible: “The husband who loves his wife brings much profit to himself.” God’s ways are always true, always wonderful, always good, always blessed! 🙂

Monday & Tuesday, March 19 & 20, 2012
Good Morning! Eph 5:21-24 & 25-27 (I’m a doubling up today) Did you know that marriage is a symbol or picture of the church? No pressure, right? But God has it all in perfect order. His way is THE way! The joyful way! The happy way! The Heavenly way! O taste & see that He is good! His way is puzzling to the world, even maddening. But to the Christian, God through His Son Jesus Christ, has proven Himself, His love. I want to enjoy God’s gift of marriage! I want my home to reflect Jesus and His love…a bit of Heaven on earth!

Friday, March 16, 2012
Give thanks always for all things.
Give thanks always for all things.
Give thanks always for all things.
Give thanks always for broken glass on my counter, for dirty clothes on the floor, for little girls arguing, for whining 1st grader who doesn’t want to read, for daughter crying tears because she doesn’t want to help her little sister (really?)…
Give thanks always for all things.
Help me, LORD, help me to be under Your influence, help me just follow these verses, & help me thank You for all of these things in Jesus’ name!
(Eph 5:18-20)

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Good Morning Girls! 🙂 Eph 5:15-17 is such a great encouragement! See to it/Make sure you live carefully, wise; not as a fool! Because? These days are evil! Make the most of the time & the opportunities we have & understand or be clear about the Lord’s will…that NO ONE perish; that all believe on the Lord Jesus; that ALL will be saved! Amen!

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Links you might like:
Amazima Ministries
Under His Wings
Women Living Well
A Holy Experience
Bible Study Tools
Bible Gateway blog

Praying for Our Husbands

Am I a faithful wife? Do I faithfully pray for my husband? Daily. Fervently. Lovingly pray. This is the single most important act of lovingkindness I can give to my precious husband.

Dear Father, I thank You for my husband! Thank You for your provision and grace for me in bringing us together. I’m so grateful that You gave me to him! You are so good. Lord, may I always pray for him first thing in the morning, early every day; throughout the day pour my heart-prayers over him, body, soul and spirit. I pray for his walk with You; for his protection from sin; for his safety; for his wisdom, clarity and discernment; for relief from his many burdens; for strength and courage to do right no matter what; for his testimony and witness; for comfort and rest.

Please, bless his love, loyalty and steadfastness to You, to me, to our children, to his work. Lord, I pray for myself, his wife, that I will be exactly as Scripture says I ought to be in all things. Lord, I ask that my husband will hear Your voice and be obedient to follow You, keeping us in the center of Your will.

Lord, may I pray Your Words of blessing over my husband.

Ephesians 3:14-21
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Colossians 1:9-14
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

There are many other Scriptures we can pray over our husbands. The most important thing is to PRAY. Love him faithfully, by faithfully praying for him.

Walk with Jesus,