She Facebooked her Friends and said “Rejoice with Me!…

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…for I have found the piece which was lost!”

Several sisters have asked about the lost dress. Facebook can be a huge umbrella of encouragement even in the mundane.  I know life’s not all about finding Cindy Colley’s heirloom dress, of all things, but I was truly humbled and amazed that so many of you cheered us on as we searched for and found a little dress that I very much wanted to put on BabyG2 next September.  Hundreds of you (literally) and many that I’ve never met have been the sweetest sisters a woman could ever have. I love Facebook for giving your encouragement to me. 

The dress was deep in a closet at Hannah’s (my daughter’s) house. It was in a garment bag hiding behind her wedding dress, which was in the back of that closet in another very huge garment bag. The funny thing was, I had everyone looking for a pink box in which I’d originally wrapped that dress for the gender reveal two years ago…the gender reveal that turned out to be for a boy. Thus, the dress was never opened at the reveal. 

What I had forgotten was that the dress had been removed from the box and used as an illustration at a ladies day in Middle Tennessee a few months after that reveal…the very weekend, in fact, that Ezra was due. (Thus the reason it never got out of my car at my house….It just went straight to Hannah’s house and got hung in a closet there because hospital luggage is not conducive to dress preservation.) That’s just where Facebook became very helpful. You found out I was looking and three of you remembered the dress. You identified where you saw it and the garment bag in which it had left the church building at East Main. In turn, I told my son Caleb (via his Facebook page) to stop looking for a box and start looking for a garment bag. Truth be told, I don’t think he’d done a whole lot of looking for either. (He’s a good egg, though.) But Hannah, being the faithful Facebook follower that she is, immediately saw that post about looking for garment bags. She had moved all the hanging clothes in that closet more than once, laid them on the bed and searched the back of that closet for a box. But this time, she rushed home and actually looked through those clothes she’d been moving  back and forth. She looked for a black garment bag. She found the dress and tried to call me…twice. Unable to reach me, she called her Daddy, who got in the car and drove across town with photos on his phone to spread the cheer.

When he walked in the kitchen door in the middle of last Tuesday, I was surprised to see him. 

“What would you give a man…?” he began. 

“You found my dress??!!”

“I think so. But what would you give a man?…Is this the dress?” He offered his phone and a series of photos.

“You found my dress!!!!” 

“Yes and you should call your daughter on that phone that I don’t even know why I pay for.…She wants to hear from you.”

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There are always lessons, of course. Here they are:

  1. If Facebook can find a lost dress, surely we can connect some dots and find some lost souls, too. Facebook is a more personal and encompassing kind of outreach than email or USPS. It’s the kind of networking in which you never know if a click that posts or comments may be the click that does click with some lost soul and opens a door to a relationship, a study, an invitation that could result in a saved soul.
  2. Facebook is a neutral commodity. You get to decide whether your use of it is for the Lord or for the devil. Now, finding a dress is not a work of the Lord. But encouraging each other, as Facebook friends did (and do regularly for me) through this medium, is a great way to get the most good out of something the devil loves to control.
  3. You’re never going to find what you’re looking for if you’re looking where it’s not. That dress was not in all those absurd places (like on top of way-up-there kitchen cabinet and in overflowing trunks where I would have never crushed that batiste and damp basement corners) where I was looking. Sometimes life is like that. We can’t find contentment. We look in all those hard-to-do absurd places instead of the obvious place where the “owner” of truth has put it in the first place. 
  4. You may be own, be picking up, carrying, and moving about the answer to all your dilemmas. But until you recognize that, open it up and really look inside, you won’t find what you’re looking for. Hannah did that with that garment bag. She moved it over and over as she looked other places, to no avail. That’s what we do with our Bibles. We lay them on the table beside our beds. We pick them back up and take them to worship. Sometimes we move them back and forth and back and forth without ever really opening and examining them. We move the book, but we don’t meditate on it, memorize it or mark it. There are many people who own a Bible but do not own truth. It’s very important that we show our kids the difference. The Bible is not a lucky amulet. It’s what’s inside that can bring us joy. But that joy exists for me only when what’s inside the book gets inside of me. Hannah had a garment bag that she was transferring mindlessly back and forth, while what was inside eluded us all. 
  5. Some people are so close to what they really want, but just not quite there. Jesus told a scribe as much in Mark 12:34. “You are not far from the kingdom,” Jesus said. I have many friends who are close to the kingdom. I hurt for them because, of  course, being close to the kingdom of God is not enough. Hannah was near that dress we were hunting each time we talked about it on the phone. It was sometimes right there in the same room with her. Close is not good enough. We have to give people the information they need to identify that for which they search. 
  6. Some news is so good, you want to personally deliver it. I love that about my husband. He loves to bring joy…not just to me, but to everyone in all circumstances. We have the very best news of all. When we understand the wretchedness of that from which the good news— the gospel—rescues people, we can’t be stopped. We are going to those people. We will move heaven and earth to reach them with the good news. In fact Heaven has already moved that they might have this good news. It’s up to us to make the move on earth. We simply must. We are going to tell them that we’ve found that for which they are searching. 

Titus and Facebook

EyeFacebookRecently, several women have asked questions (worded in all kinds of ways) about Christian women, facebook, modesty and discretion. Questions like “Do you think we should be publicly posting things about the color of our underwear?”… “What do you think about these pregnancy photos of bare tummies?” …”My friend takes photos of personal tattoos and posts on facebook…”…”Do you really think women need to talk about bra sizes in a public forum?”

Well, first off, let me say that I think, in almost every instance, when these questions are brought to me, that women are probably not looking for answers as much as they are looking for back-up support on a position they already hold. After all, there are lots of people you could ask and most probably already know what I’m going to say about discretion and purposeful chastity. And those who want an opposing view could always ask Lady GaGa or, in most instances, their next door neighbors. Of course I am going to say I believe we should refrain from talking about subjects that bring pictures of women in underwear, or less, to mind. But just because you already knew what I would say doesn’t mean there’s not some logic/scripture in back of my judgment.

Three words in Titus 2:3-5 come to mind quickly when I think about facebook and “underwear talk”. The words, in English are “discreet”, “chaste” and “good.” The first of these words has to do with having passions fully under control, and thinking rightly… judging passions the way they, in reality, are in their effects. The second has to do with purity of heart and life. The third has to do with just what you would think…being good to the core. These are things that older women are to be teaching younger women. The reason given is pretty important: that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Such a powerful motivator for teaching makes me really want to be sure I do it, if given the chance. So, let me clearly say, I believe, we should take great care in public (and facebook is pretty public) to be sure we are extremely protective of purity, particularly purity of thought. I do believe that “underwear talk” or “tattoo pics” can tempt men who may run across such on their news feeds to impurity of thought and possibly, for those tempted by pornography, to impure actions. Is such a sin on the part of a man the fault of the one who posted the comment? No. It is his fault. He will give an account for that sin. But what woman, who wants to please the father, would seriously want to have any part in that temptation? Not me. Not you either. And then comes the question, why? Why would I risk impure effects of a posting when it’s just so simple to NOT post.

And then there’s the teaching of I Timothy 2: 9,10. Modesty is really called into question when I start posting about my shower or my undergarments or my tattoos. Am I drawing attention to my physical self in a way that may violate the principle of “having the ability to blush,” as is the literal meaning of the KJV word “shamefacedness” in that passage? My opinion is yes. Perhaps lots of us, starting with me, need to reexamine our postings and be sure they are not self-serving in an even larger sense…not boastful or self gratifying.

Perhaps just asking a few questions before I hit that post button on that picture or comment will help:

  1. Will this, or can this, harm anyone spiritually?
  2. Does this sound boastful or self serving?
  3. Am I ashamed for the Lord to read this?
  4. Would it be uncomfortable for one of my elders in the church to comment to me about this next Sunday?
  5. If the answer to any of the above is “yes”, do I have to post this?

For me, I want all of the answers to be “no”. Facebook is a social network. Social means “interacting with community.” May all of our interactions with community as His women be unquestionably good, chaste and discreet. If I would be uncomfortable saying it to ANYone at all, may I be uncomfortable posting it…because posting is just like saying it to EVERYone!

And besides, God is just so good to daily load us with benefits. Facebook is a great avenue through which we may glorify the Father. So many really good things to post…so little time!

New Facebook Group is a Gathering!

Well, lots of you have joined a new facebook group called Digging Deeper in God’s Word created since my last BYH post. Good for you! I awakened from a much needed nap last Monday afternoon to discover that my inboxes were FULL of requests, comments, and posts on and about the new facebook group. Checking it out, I discovered that I was an administrator and that it was a group of women who are all about the Word of God. Now I do NOT have to tell you that I love this idea and am thankful to Lori Lynn Rives for its conception. If you are a member, make it count and be in the Word. If you are in the Word, come on and be a member.

I’m also excited to tell you that you can order a 4 CD set which complements this reading schedule. The CDs contain tips and tools for getting the most out of this study, as well as an exegesis of the Hebrews writer’s admonition to be carnivorous (meat-eaters) in our study. Just call House to House/Heart to Heart at 1-877-338-3397 (toll free) and ask for the Digging Deeper CDs by Cindy Colley. The PTP team has put together this set, especially for the Digging Deeper Group, for only ten dollars. Several have already ordered and I understand the sets will ship immediately.

So encourage others who may just be beginning a journey that will lead them to lots of hidden treasures before the path turns to streets of gold. Technology is an amoral gift that can be used for immorality or morality, darkness or light, destruction or life. We choose morality, light and life. Tonight as I go to bed, I am praying for this group, for every member’s growth and spiritual health and for the Word to be reflected through the powerful force of these numbers of women who are studying. We (beginning with me) all need the light of the Lamp (Psalm 119:105).

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)

I believe this group is a gathering! Let me share a note from a sister in Hawaii who is a testament to technology’s power to bring us together in fellowship and study.

Aloha Mrs. Colley!
An older Christian lady who I look up to for spiritual guidance and encouragement would link some of your blogs on her Facebook page. I enjoyed it so much I subscribed last year and always smile when I see a new blog in my email. I forwarded some of the blogs to my friends and they enjoyed it so much that they subscribed themselves. Thank you for taking the time to encourage us young ladies to live a life serving, honoring, praising, and loving our LORD! At our congregation, there aren’t many older ladies to whom I can go for encouragement, advice or to have an in depth bible study. In times like this, I am thankful for technology…because I’ve learned a lot through your blogs (about modesty, dancing/proms, parenting, etc) and listening to past lectures at PTP. I live in Hawaii and wish so much I lived in the continental US so I can drive to these events. But for now…the internet will make do. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio for the “This is War” retreat/seminar. I was hoping the audio would be made available and was thrilled that you included the link in today’s blog. I am thankful for this opportunity to be reminded about my priorities and serving our LORD. I am a single parent and these lessons help me to raise my son to be a God-fearing person and one day, be a faithful Christian who will lead his family to love and honor the LORD. Thank you for your time and I continue to look forward to your blogs to supplement my daily personal bible studies to grow in faith! Best wishes from Hawaii nei!
               
In Christian love,
Prisca

The continental U.S. is blessed to be connected and share events in which so many in other places cannot participate. Let’s remember that our real “mainland” is heaven and let’s all keep longing for the time when there are no barriers of geography or distance!

More Bible Study Tips from BYH readers:

“I have gained the most from my in-depth studies by doing a word study of the book or letter. I read through the book several times and look for re-appearing words. Using different colored pencils, I color code the key words by underlining them. It really helps me to to see the development of the themes of the book. I also like to use an online program called e-sword to look up the passages with key words to find out the original Greek meaning.” –Kristen Turner
“…what works best for me, is to go outside, in a special spot I have put a bench, just for that purpose.  I live in the country so being in a quiet peaceful area surrounded with evidence of Gods existance, really makes me feel “spiritual” and eager to learn and read more.  Sometimes I only take my bible and read thru my daily chapters, and sometimes I take a study book to read along with with the indicated verses.  When I am outside, I am away from the dishes calling me from the sink, the computer and the phone, all of which seem to demand my attention.  It helps me keep my focus, when I hear the birds singing, the flowers blooming and the deep green of grass. the sunrise, and the cool of the day.  Obviously that is my summertime study place.  In winter, I have a bench inside the house, made comfy with an old quilt, in a corner away from those distracting items!” –Lois Stone