Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Compliments



What's the best compliment you've ever been given? It probably made you smile, right? The best compliments always do. There's nothing like knowing someone appreciates you, after all. A good compliment can brighten a day, can make you smile when you really didn't feel like it, and can keep that smile on your face for days, sometimes weeks.
What's the worst compliment you've been given? Not exactly a pleasant memory, is it? Maybe it was really awkward, or maybe it was meant well but hurt more than it helped. The world could use less of the latter kind of compliments, in my opinion. I know the giver doesn't always see the compliment's effect on you as you do, and they don't mean to hurt, but it still makes your smile falter a little and rolls through your mind for a while afterwards.
Compliments come in all shapes and sizes, just like the people who give and receive them. There's short compliments, long compliments, awkward compliments, genuine compliments, 'I'm being polite' compliments... I've been given them all. And you know what? Most of them, I didn't like one bit.
Before I get into this post any further, let me just say, this is not a post against compliments. I just want to explain a few compliments I've found are not as wonderful to the receiver as the giver thinks and a few suggestions as how to give a better compliment.

Okay, think about this. When you tell someone "You look beautiful today", you might mean it with the best of intentions, I understand that. You really think the person looks nice. But think about that wording. You look beautiful today. Not 'You are beautiful', but 'You look beautiful today'. You're only complimenting their temporary appearance at the moment? Don't you think they are beautiful the rest of the week, the rest of the year? Don't you think the person is beautiful, not just their looks? I'm not saying you can't tell someone you appreciate how they look dressed up, don't get me wrong.
Remember, looks are temporary. They can do their hair up nice, put on nice clothes, and a lady might put on makeup. But that doesn't make the person any more beautiful, nor does wearing their hair a mess, wearing comfortable clothes and a girl with nothing on her face make them less beautiful. It's the person you should be complimenting, not their appearance. Again, not saying you can't compliment when someone dresses up. But I think this kind of compliment does more harm than good most of the time, especially for younger ladies who are already struggling with their looks. A girl who wears no makeup is just as beautiful as the one who uses makeup to subtly enhance her natural beauty. A girl who loves wearing sneakers and tees is not less beautiful than a girl who goes everywhere dressed for tea. Clothes, jewelry and makeup don't make the girl, after all.
And please don't compliment someone on their size, shape or weight. It's just not necessary, and will make those around them self conscious about their weight. No one needs to hear someone thinner than them being complimented on being tiny and be made to feel ugly for their size. I know you can find something better to compliment someone on than this.
Instead of complimenting someone for their appearance (which gets old after a while anyway, you can only tell someone so many times they are pretty before it becomes a bland compliment they don't see as genuine), compliment their character or their attitude or their accomplishments!

How about this... The comparing compliment. The kind of compliment that compares the receiver to someone else and makes them feel like their competing for the attention. "You look just as nice as so-and-so". Let's just let this kind of compliment die, can we? Don't compare one person to another. God created each person to be unique, an individual fashioned to look like no one but them. Comparing one person to another is like comparing cupcakes to a whole cake, they're both the same batter and icing and everyone loves both equally because of it. Instead of comparing Joey's painting to Jimmy's when complimenting Joey by saying "I love the colors in your painting just as much as I love Jimmy's color choices" why don't you leave Jimmy out? Joey's painting deserves to be admired on it's own!

Awkward compliments, here's a category of compliments that make better jokes than anything else. They're not all bad. They come out sounding a lot different in words than they did in your head, maybe. Or they kind of get jumbled up and their meaning isn't quite what you expected. The harmless ones, I laugh them off, especially when it's little kids giving them. I've been complimented (at least I think it was intended as one) for the lines in my forehead, for my hair being a mess (I had worn it differently than I usually did) and for a variety of completely random things that I wouldn't have even thought of being compliment worthy by little kids. Those kind make me smile, and I stifle the laughter until I can get somewhere and let it go.
But then there's the awkward ones that just plain make you uncomfortable. Strangers telling you how beautiful you are multiple times, or people who find the oddest thing about you and try to compliment it and just make you cringe because you don't know how to respond. Perhaps the world will never be rid of awkward compliments of this type, but we can at least try not to add anymore to the long list that have been given already, can't we? Think long and hard about any compliment you might give that might not come out exactly as you meant it or might make the person uncomfortable and confused as how to respond, and if in doubt, forget about it all together.

Genuine compliments deserve a honorable mention. Sometimes they have a hint of the awkward in them, but when you boil them down, they're always given out of love by someone who genuinely wants to let you know you are appreciated. The best kind of this type of compliment is one for someone's effort or accomplishments. There's nothing like knowing something you have worked hard on has been noticed and appreciated by others. Whether it's a cake you've baked, a song you've sang, a skill you've perfected, or a little deed you thought went unnoticed... Someone letting you know they respect what you've done and think it's worthy of notice, that makes you feel good. This is the kind of compliment that needs to be given more often. Tell your friend when they've worked hard on something that they did a good job. Let your church family member know you appreciate their service every week working in the nursery or as a door greeter. Let your sibling know their efforts to keep the books straight hasn't gone unnoticed. Make sure your parent knows you appreciate that they made your favorite food when they had planned to make something else. Complimenting someone for something they have done will always be held in higher regard than complimenting someone for something they can't change like their eye color or appearance, in my book. I especially love to hear people complimenting others on things like their kindheartedness or their willingness to listen, because those traits are something that the person receiving the compliment has had to work on to develop and that deserves honor.

In short, here's a sort of checklist on compliments, courtesy of yours truly:
If you really like something someone has done, tell them. You might be the only one who lets them know you appreciate their efforts.
When complimenting a child on something they did, let them know you like it because they did something special. Focus on the child, not what they've done. Actually, do this for Anyone you compliment.
It's okay to tell someone they look nice, but make sure they know it's because they look nice, not their clothes or hair or makeup.
Don't compliment strangers or acquaintances you barely know, especially on looks and especially if they're a girl. Most times you'll just come off as creepy.
Guys, please don't ever, ever, ever tell a girl she is 'hot'. It is not the compliment you think it is. Find a word other than hot to describe a lady.
Girls, act like a lady if you want to be complimented like one.
Compliment a trait or skill that a person has developed rather than looks when at all possible because looks are temporary.
Never compare someone or someone's accomplishment to someone else or someone else's. Compliment them for their own worth, not because you think they're on the same level as someone else.
If you don't mean it, don't say it. This goes for everything, though...
You don't have to add flourish or flounces to a compliment. Be genuine, be sincere and be short, because it's almost always better than a five minute long speech.
Once you've paid a compliment, you don't have to repeat it. You said it once, you don't have to keep reminding them.
When given a compliment, just say thank you. You don't have to explain or say anything else. Smile and say thanks, that's all it takes. (And yes, I'm guilty of breaking this 'rule')
Laugh off the well meant but awkward compliments, and ignore or play off the ones that make you uncomfortable.
Don't give compliments that would make someone uncomfortable. If you wouldn't want someone to compliment you on it, don't compliment someone else on it.
And finally... Let's not touch people's hair when complimenting it, okay! Most girls will not appreciate someone messing up their hair, especially when it's done up fancy. You don't have to touch their hair to say it looks nice. You wouldn't want me to rub your eyebrows when telling you I like them, would you? (I know that's a silly comparison but think about how awkward that would be and keep your hands to yourself the next time to go to reach out and touch someone's hair, haha)



Okay, that's about it for now. Might I just say, as I get ready to go do the laundry and piece together my crocheted afghan, that I thank everyone who has told me who much they love reading my blog posts and for all the compliments about it. Those compliments are the only reason I keep coming back to write, especially when someone tells me the post I have written helped them through something going on in their personal life. You all are awesome and I'm blessed to have you as my readers!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sewing And The Bible

As you already know, I love sewing. Dresses, dolls, bags, ties... Sewing is an important part of my life. Thankfully, the Lord has allowed me to learn rather quickly when it comes to this skill. I went from barely able to sew a square pillow that wasn't misshapen to where I am today with barely any help. In fact, the most help I had up until about a year ago was mostly criticism from people outside my home on what I had done wrong rather than what I did right. I've been blessed with people who genuinely care and have helped me in my learning process.
You're probably wondering why I'm bringing this up, aren't you?
My Bible reading during dinner was in Acts today. After reading about the conversion of Saul, I came to the story of Tabitha or Dorcas in chapter nine. I'll be honest, I had never really given much thought to this woman before. Her story isn't a very long one, only eight verses long. We don't even really know much about Dorcas, really. All the Bible tells us is that she 'was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.' and that she grew sick and died.
But then I read verse 39. The Bible says the widows showed Peter the coats and garments Dorcas had made them as they wept. Maybe it's just me, but I like to think those must have been some good quality, nice looking garments! Surely a woman as highly praised as Dorcas would not have half done a sewing project or slapped together worn, ragged scraps for clothing to give these she ministered to, I would think. No, if I were a guessing person, Dorcas most likely had made these people very nice pieces of clothing, and not just a few!
Thinking about Dorcas got me to thinking about sewing in the Bible. The Proverbs 31 woman sewed and did handwork (verses 13, 19, 21, 22, 24) and I know many women use this as their goals for being a godly woman. She provided clothing for her household and herself, and her merchandise was good, apparently well sought after.
But sewing goes back farther than that in the Bible. All the way to Genesis 3:7 in the garden where Adam and Eve, after realizing they were naked, sewed fig leaves together. Then God kills an animal and use the skin to make coats for Adam and Eve, probably the saddest making of clothing in the Bible. What a drastic contrast to Dorcas and the Proverbs 31 woman's sewing!
Sewing is a great skill for women to have as wives and mother's. Even if you can't sew a huge ball gown, you ought at least be able to patch and mend clothing. It's just common sense! But there is something to be said for those who develop this skill and learn to use it more than just for personal gain or pleasure, I feel. It's the woman who takes the talent God has given her and becomes a Dorcas, who uses what her hands create to comfort and help others, who sees needs and tries to fill them with what she can make... It's this woman who deserves a special recognition!
Dorcas used the ability God gave her to bless others. She didn't hoard it, sewing only fine garments for herself so she could appear better dressed than those around her. No, look at who it was who showed what she had made or them- widows.
Probably poor, unable to care for themselves, and most likely barely able to find their meals. These were the ones who brought Dorcas' blessings to show Peter. It wasn't rich, high class women of society. It was noblemen of high rank. It wasn't princes. All these people could have paid  anyone to make fine coats and garments for them. It was the widows. These widows were probably unable to repay Dorcas' kindness to them, but still they had been blessed by this godly woman, who the Lord decided was important enough to have her story told in the Bible. No doubt Dorcas had won many friends who were genuinely grieved at her death because of her kindness and compassion for them even though she knew they'd never be able to repay her with anything but friendship.
I think a great role model for women today would be Dorcas. She was busy working and blessing others. Her life was cut short because of illness but the Lord allowed her to be raised from the dead, something which caused many to trust Christ as their Savior.
Thinking about it, the Bible says many believed in the Lord. I don't know about you but I would guess that when the story of her rising from the dead spread, most people probably already knew who she was and that caused it to go even further. I can just imagine some poor widow telling her friends of Dorcas being brought to life again and of the Lord as she showed them the warm coat Dorcas had sewn for her!
Do you think this woman got up and said 'Now I can serve myself, I'm relieved of any obligation to help anyone again'? I doubt it. I have all idea she went right back to making garments and coats and robes to help those in need around her.
I, for one, would love when my life is over for those who knew me to say I was another Dorcas- someone who helped those in need without asking in return- because to me, I think that would be even greater a compliment than to say I was a Proverbs 31 woman or a Titus 2 woman.
So, if I can encourage you, as your sister in the Lord, to do anything this year, I'd probably say "Take up sewing". Start small. Learn, and don't rush yourself through the learning process. And once you have reached the point where you can make anything to help someone who is in need, help them! Find a place to donate baby blankets, or remake coats and give them to homeless shelters as the weather turns cold. Anywhere you can use this skill, do it and remember to give God the glory while you do. Be the next Dorcas!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Prayers in My Lifetime

Prayer is a very important and wonderful blessing in our relationship with the Lord. God has given us a direct means of contact with Him thru prayer, with only Jesus Christ as our Mediator. I'm so thankful I can go directly to the One who answers my prayers without needing anyone else as go-between!
I know there have been many, many books written on prayer, but I'd much rather go directly to God's Word when studying and reading on prayer.

Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Our Lord gives us the perfect example of how to pray. Just think about it, Jesus Himself teaches us how to pray! Not only that, but He prayed for us in the garden before His death.

John 17 King James Version
17 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Verse 20.... My Lord prayed for me! How wonderful a thought, to know that He didn't only die in my place to take away my sins, but He prayed for me before He died on the Cross!

I thought I'd share some of the important prayers in my life. I guess the best place to start would actually be before I was born, haha. Like many others, my mom prayed for me before I was born. Obviously, I don't know exactly what she prayed (Did she pray for my curly hair? Did she pray I'd have blue eyes?) but I know she prayed for me, just like she prayed for each of my siblings.

The next prayer in my life would probably be my mother's prayers that I would trust Jesus Christ as my Saviour and ask Him to save me. I think there's something special about parents who start praying before they have children that they'll ask the Lord to save them. The fact that a parent loves their child enough to start praying before they're even born that they'll get saved shows a love few can understand.

Big prayer: When I trusted Christ as my Saviour! I don't remember the exact words I said, or even the exact date. I was a little girl when I understood my need to ask Jesus to save me. This is without argument the most important prayer in my life. This is the most important prayer ANYONE can pray, that the Lord will forgive their sins and save them from an eternity in a real place called Hell! If you haven't asked the Lord to save you, please do not wait any longer. He died for you and offers the free gift of eternal life to whosoever will ask!

Fast forward a few years- quite a few years. Now I have more an a few siblings and I am praying for their salvation. So far, all but one of my siblings has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour (The youngest is still too young to understand). I'm so thankful the Lord has answered this prayer!

I've been praying for a long time (almost ten years) for my future husband. At times the prayer was "Lord, can you let us meet soon?" but lately it's changed. Now I would much rather pray "Lord, let him be growing in You and learning to be a godly husband and father." Praying for your future spouse is a wonderful thing to do.
And if you're one of the ones who feels like the Lord's will for your life is to find a spouse but rather serve Him as single, that's fine! The time you would have spent praying for your future spouse, use to pray for those around you who are seeking a husband or wife!

Praying for my future children is another of my prayers. Should the Lord ever give me and my husband children, I want to see them grow up, get saved and serve the Lord with all their being.

I pray for my friends. Yes, every single one. When a friend comes to me with a prayer request (or even if they don't) I want them to know that I am actually praying for them and not just repeating a phrase when I say they will. My friends take up a considerable amount of my prayer time, and I ask that God would draw them closer to Him than anyone or anything else in their life.

As anyone should, I pray for the lost around me. I don't ask God to bless them or give them what they are asking for, but I DO ask God to work on their heart and bring them to the place where they will ask Him to save them.

There have been times when I've had times when my prayers were of fear or worry. When my younger brother split his head open when he fell, when my mom was in the pains of labor, when my family was being verbally attacked... In those moments I was able to turn to my Heavenly Father with my concern, my panic and fear, and receive His peace and comfort. He brought us through each of those times, and used them to teach us (to teach Me!) to trust Him no matter what is going on around me.

I've had more than one time when my prayer was one of disappointment and pain. When something didn't go as planned, when I didn't receive the answer to a prayer I was expecting, when I have been hurt by circumstance or person... It's then that the Lord is my Friend who sticks closer than a brother. I can pour out my grief and anguish, all the tears and sorrow, and He listens. Isn't it wonderful to know that even if we don't have anyone else, we have Jesus to listen?

Of course, there have been many, many times when I've had to go to God asking forgiveness. I am human, I have a flesh nature that I must fight. There are times when I sin and have to ask the Father to forgive me. I go directly to Him and get the forgiveness and mercy I do not deserve! It's a relief to know that no matter how greatly I slip and fall, He waits to forgive me like the father forgave the prodigal son. Thank God for grace and mercy! And never be afraid to confess your sins to your Heavenly Father- you'll always find forgiveness and love when you come to Him. It's important we always ask God to forgive us to keep from letting sin get between Him and us.

I know there have been times when my prayers were selfish, or centered on the wrong thing. Not that what I was asking for wasn't necessarily a good thing, but it wasn't what I needed. I asked for things I did not need, or prayed for one thing to happen when I should have been asking for something different. I'm thankful the Lord sometimes answers my prayers with a loving but firm "No" instead of always giving me the request I asked of Him!

Prayer, our direct connection with our Heavenly Father, is a beautiful, precious thing. Don't underestimate what your prayers can do. You never know if the one you are praying for will come to know the Lord because of your earnest prayers, or if the blessings you repeatedly ask your Father for will be given to you today.  As His child, God is always ready to hear you!

I hope that as we get ready to celebrate Easter tomorrow, everyone of you has prayed and asked Jesus Christ to be your personal Lord and Saviour and to forgive you of your sins. I pray that each of you, as His children, are blessed and that you remember the real reason for Easter is not new clothes, candy, rabbits or eggs but a cruel cross and a Sinless Lamb who died on it. Easter Blessings to you all!








Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Inbox of Laughter- A Short Story

This hasn't happened to me, although I have had some odd messages before! Hope y'all enjoy it!

"What have I gotten myself into...."
Caroline groaned as she looked at the number by the inbox. 74 messages. And they had all come within two hours of Caroline taking over for her friend who moderated a book discussion group online. Her friend had warned her that the messages could be overwhelming at times, especially with over 300 members in the group.
"I seriously should have reconsidered offering to help Hannah with this for the weekend..." Caroline muttered as she started opening messages. "I don't care if she is maid of honor at Rebekah's wedding!"
Pushing back the frustration, Caroline read the first message.
"Dear Moderator,
I'm hoping you'll agree and send permission for me to advertise-"
Deleted. Hannah had said specifically, no advertising. That was taken care of.
"Dear Moderator,
I have a question. I'm supposed to be studying for my test, and I was wondering if you could help me with a math problem- maybe you could give me the answer? See, I'm taking trigonometry-"
Nope. Caroline almost laughed. She wasn't good at math, and she certainly wasn't going to help when they should be studying instead of sending messages looking for the answer.
"Dear Mod,
I'm hurt by the way you seem to ignore all of my messages. I've asked you repeatedly why you won't respond, and you still haven't! Why won't you answer when I ask you why you won't answer?!"
Caroline cringed. That sounded like something Hannah needed to handle when she got back from the long weekend of her sister's wedding. Next message.
"Dear Moderator,
I've been wanting to ask your opinion on a matter. See, I have five guys from school all texting me at the same time, and I know all of them must like me a great deal, but which one do I choose if they all like me? I know I'm smart, pretty, and funny, and they don't have to tell me that. I just wish they'd tell me that they like me so I could choose one of them to like back!"
Caroline's nose wrinkled. What? How could anyone think so highly of themselves? She'd just leave that one for Hannah, she was pretty sure it could wait a few days to be answered.
"Dear Moderator,
I have a really funny story I want to share with you, and see if you think it should be posted in the group. If you don't think it should that's fine, but if you do, I'd like to make the other members smile a bit."
Hmm, this had potential. Caroline read on.
"I was walking through the grocery store the other day, when I heard the creepiest laughter behind me. I couldn't find where it was coming from, so I kept browsing the cereal. TEE-HEE-HEE-HEE. There it was again! I looked around, but nothing! No one! Not even a store worker was in sight! I was starting to get a little scared, but needed to finish my shopping. I reached up for a box of cereal and something touched my leg! I let out a yelp and jumped back- knocking several boxes of oatmeal off the shelves behind him. Something grabbed my ankle! In a panic, I threw myself to the ground, began shoving my shopping cart ahead and crawled down the aisle, sobbing and unable to call out for help. I reached the end of the aisle and looked back in time to see two kids- maybe five years old at the most- crawl out from behind boxed products on either side of the aisle. Now, I know this sounds like a scene straight from a horror movie, and I would have agreed it was, except a manager came tearing around the corner, stopped when he saw me and went pale. 'I'm so sorry! Those are my twins! It's bring your child to work day!' I looked up at him, almost in tears, and he stooped down to help me to my feet. 'You'll have to excuse them, their uncle is a writer for a prank show and they've just got back from spending a week with him.' The cause of my tears went from panicked horror to uncontrollable laughter. The manager took a moment before he joined in the laughter. I thanked him for giving my heart a good jolt for the day, and kept going with my shopping while he went to find his kids. Unfortunately, he must not have found them in time, because I heard a similar scream-cry-and-apology come from the baby care aisle not two minutes later.
I just thought I'd share that story with you and see if you thought it'd be okay to tell the rest of the group."
By now, Caroline was doubled over, her eyes watered to the point she could hardly see to read, and her chest hurting from laughing so hard. She answered quickly that it was fine to post, and moved to the next message.
"Hey Mod,
Yo, I gots a q for you. Wut's up with u? That's all. Smiles From Hannah- texting at the rehearsal dinner ;)"
Caroline grinned and prepared to copy and paste the last message for Hannah to laugh at. If it tickled her as much as it had Caroline, Hannah would be laughing for no explainable reason during the rehearsal.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

My Stands and Standards, Part 2

I know a while back I said I would get around to this post, and it seemed like I had forgotten. The truth was, I just hadn't had time to sit down and write out such a long post that needed time and consideration for the wording thereof. So, I'm going to share some more of my personal stands and convictions. I know some of these not everyone will agree on, and I'm not trying to force you to agree with me. Again, these are my convictions, based on Biblical truth. Whether you agree or disagree, that's between you and the Lord. I'm not going to judge those who differ on these, and ask that you don' judge me.

So, I'll tackle one of the controversial topics first: literature and movies. I know there's a lot of debate among Christians- even Baptists- about this. It's something that each family has to decide on, between them and the Lord. There are ones who say you should never watch any TV or movies, and there are ones who say you can watch anything. I believe if you are select and careful about what you choose, you can watch some. So in short...
Yes, I watch movies and TV- not much, I've been cutting out more and more lately because there are more important things to be done than sitting in front of a TV.
No, they're not all Christian movies- I've seen superhero movies, comedies, medieval movies, etc.
Do I have certain stands on the types of movies I'll watch? Absolutely. No dirty scenes, no dirty content. If there's a ton of cussing, swearing or using God's Name in vain, it's out. But we do watch movies, and we do enjoy watching TV shows that aren't filth.
And yes, there are TV shows out there you can watch that aren't filth- not many, I'll grant you, but there are some. Try Green Acres or Beverly Hillbillies or Andy Griffith, or even Gilligan's Island. You're pretty much guaranteed that even the little kids can watch those shows without fear of them seeing or hearing something they shouldn't.
When it comes to books, I hold the same stands. I have read lots of Christian novels. But if they seem to push God out of the picture, only tossing in an occasional reference to church or prayer, I'm not interested.
My family also doesn't do magic or witchcraft movies and books. Yes, we watched Disney movies growing up (We don't agree with the newer Disney movies however), but we had to fast forward a lot of scenes. We never have nor ever will watch Harry Potter, or other wizard/witch shows or movies. The Bible is pretty clear on the subject of witchcraft, and I'm not going to back down on it to get a few hours of entertainment.
And we don't watch the Hunger Games movies or read the books. The thought of kids being forced to kill kids is, in my opinion, sick and twisted. No one should be reading that kind of stuff and idolizing characters from it. No wonder kids today have so many problems, being fed fictional books about stuff like this!

Okay, next topic... Bible. I'm staunch KJV 1611 only. Again, I know this is a topic that people don't always agree on. But as for my family and me, we use the KJV only. Yes, I was raised using it and so that had influence over my choice, but as I grew older (age wise and spiritually) I did some comparing of the different versions. I've found nothing can compare to God's Holy Word, the KJV. Other versions were written and edited and cut to pieces by some very wicked people, and have taken complete verses out. I believe the KJV 1611 is the inspired Word of God, and is complete and perfect- needing no updating, no new translating, and no comparing of different languages to correct words used in it. It's not archaic, it's not outdated, and it's not too difficult to read- even my little brothers can read it, and they're under ten years old, so you can't tell me a 50 year old can't understand it. I don't believe the ye, thee, thou's and thine's need to be replaced. If you don't agree with this, that's your choice. But I do take a stand on this for me and my future family, and it is important to me.

Next topic: Social media. Yep. I have it. There are good points, and there are bad aspects to it. It depends on how you use it. It can be a great tool of the devil for gossiping and spreading seeds of discord, or it can be used as a way to share God's Word and encouragement. It can be used for vanity, or it can be used to honor God. It can be used to start fights, or it can be used to find friendship. We have some pretty strict rules on the use of social media, thankfully. My mother monitors our accounts as a sort of accountability. We keep our accounts private and locked up to protect our privacy and to keep from having all sorts of crazies get into them 😉
But yes, I have social media accounts, mostly for the advertising for my shop, but I do have personal accounts too, on Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook (Though I've found there are aspects I dislike about Facebook, I've got a lot of business for my shop through it and will keep it.) Believe it or not, there are some nice people on social media who are genuinely friendly, and don't want to gossip or start fights. I've made a lot of good friends through social media, and have circles of friends that- though I'll probably never get to meet them- are encouraging to me!

I'm pro-life. I'm anti-abortion. I do not believe choosing to murder an innocent baby in the womb is anyone's right. I believe once that baby's life has started at conception, the only one with the right to end it is God. I do not believe it is a woman's choice, it's not her body or life that is being taken from her. I'm 100000000000% against abortion. I believe life is a God given right to everyone, and that babies deserve to live just as much as the parents of the child. I believe no child should have their life ended because they have Down syndrome or any other defect. A baby is a gift of God and should be treasured and loved, not killed. There's nothing more to say on this topic.

Next topic: Homeschooling. I know that not every family is the same as mine. I was blessed with a mother who was able to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, and who homeschooled all her children (well, still is, she's not quite finished yet). I'm firmly convinced I had the best education available. Homeschooling just makes sense. Parents who choose to homeschool are given the ability to choose what kind of education their children will be given, and to help them learn at the pace with which they can process the information. I was never rushed through any subjects. I wasn't held back. Thanks to my mom taking the time to start me on reading before I was even of age to be in school, and the fact she could teach me one-on-one, I graduated early at age 16.
Now, before someone jumps all over this, I'm not saying all homeschoolers are little prodigies and Einsteins. We're normal. Everyone learns at their own pace and in their own style. The blessing of homeschooling is that your parent can help tune your education to fit your individual needs, rather than being stuck in a classroom full of kids and being expected to keep up. Not everyone graduates at 16 just because they're homeschooled. I'm gradually getting off topic, though, so...
Yes, I believe in homeschooling. My children, should God ever give me any, will be homeschooled. I believe it's a huge blessing and helps keep kids from being taught the trash that most schools are pushing now days. It keeps innocent minds from being exposed to sin and sinful lifestyles.
And yes, we do socialize and have friends. A great many of my friends were homeschooled also, so there ya go *waves at homeschooled friends*.

Okay, this is one I debated posting, but I think I will anyways. Dating vs Courting.
I'll be honest... I seriously never knew there was a difference between dating and courting, because the rules for either are identical in my family. It didn't matter what it was called, because the same rules applied and the same outcome was expected. I find the debates about these kind of funny because if you think about it, it's really ridiculous. Godly dating and Godly courting should be the same thing. I almost want to invent a third term for this so I can quit hearing about the difference between the two and confuse the ones who argue about these. But anyways, here's my list (with some of the family/house rules) on dating or courting or whatever you want to call it:
  • Will be well supervised. This means a chaperone. I don't care how old either party is. Chaperone. No trips off alone to see each other. I'd rather keep things on the up and up, and leave no room for rumors or gossip.
  • No late night outings. If it's dinner, make it at an acceptable hour. You don't have to wait until 9 at night to go out with anyone. I've jokingly said before that nothing is worth leaving the house for after dark, but this is really true in a way.
  • Hands to yourself. You may think I'm kidding, but you have no idea how serious I am. There's no need to be all over each other. If you need to hold onto something while you walk, get a cane 😉 Besides that, my mom has threatened to wrap the guy's lips around his head if he tries to kiss me, hahahaha!
  • Will not date unequally yoked person. If he's not saved, he's not KJV, he's not Baptist... Basically if we can't agree on doctrine and beliefs, I'm not dating him. To date someone who differs so greatly would cause confusion for my future children, not knowing whether mom or dad was right doctrinally. He also needs to be at the same level spiritually. I don't claim to be the wisest or most knowledgeable Christian. But I'm not a babe in Christ either, so to date a new Christian who knows next to nothing about the Bible and is still growing in their basic understanding of doctrine wouldn't be a wise decision for me.
  • Building a relationship takes time. I'm not going to jump out there after three months and get engaged to someone. I'm not going to be married to someone within four months of meeting him. I want time to get to know him as a friend first. I want time to see what he is like beyond that initial first impression. I know it's silly, but I can't help but think of the Eltons in Emma when I think of anyone getting married within a short time of meeting someone. You really do need time to get to know that person first, to see how they react to things and how they treat their family. Besides, it's far better to have a long time of dating/courting and engagement that to rush into a marriage with someone you barely know. So, for me personally and after much thought and prayer about it, I'd like to be dating/courting (I really have to think up a third term for that!) for at least a good 8 months, and engaged at least that long after getting to know him as a friend. I'm not going to repeat the mistake of rushing like I've seen happen so many times because I want a good relationship that will last for 70+ years of marriage.
Five rules. Not too much, not too demanding. It's not like one of the rules is I must be given a bouquet of three dozen white roses every time he comes to see me- they're not impractical or impossible. After all, I've got a pretty big list of things we'd have to agree on for dating/courting to be a possibility, so if we agree on those, I don't see these as being a problem. And I know not everyone has the same rules for building a relationship with someone. That's fine. You do whatever God lays on your heart and follow His direction in your relationship.

So, now that you're either A. Bored from reading such a long post, B. Disagreeing with me, or C. Enthusiastically agreeing... I'm sure there will be some of all of these... I'll end today's post, because I've got a birthday to decorate for and need to find another box of tissues because I've been sick for a few days and I'm almost out. Please remember, these are my beliefs, which I have the right to stand for and which I'm not trying to force anyone to agree with. You don't have to agree, but I don't have to back down either.

Have a blessed day in the Lord's House tomorrow!